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World War II
People

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Allies
William Joyce
Axis
Other

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World War II: People

Allies

Britain's Home Secretary following the outbreak of the Second World War (moved from Lord Privy Seal on 4 September 1939) – name remembered through a pre–fabricated domestic air raid shelter Click to show or hide the answer
Made Minister of Aircraft Production in 1940 Click to show or hide the answer
Minister of Labour in Britain's coalition government, 1940–5 Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of I Airborne Corps, and deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army during the Arnhem landings, September 1944: said (during planning of the operation) "I think we might be going a bridge too far." Also an Olympic bobsleigh competitor in 1928, and married to Daphne du Maurier; played in the film by Dirk Bogarde Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of Chinese forces against the Japanese in World War II Click to show or hide the answer
Organised the Free French troops against the Nazi occupation, from London, 1940–4; made a broadcast on BBC Radio in 1940, which became known as The Appeal of 18 June Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the first US air raid on Tokyo (18 April 1942) Click to show or hide the answer
Commander–in–Chief of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain Click to show or hide the answer
Governor of the Bahamas, 1940–5 Click to show or hide the answer
Supreme Commander, allied forces – invasion of North Africa (1942) and Europe (1944 – the Normandy Landings, a.k.a. D–Day) Click to show or hide the answer
British Foreign Secretary at the outbreak of World War II Click to show or hide the answer
Commander–in Chief of RAF Bomber Command, 1942–5: commonly known in the press as 'Bomber', and reportedly in the RAF as 'Butcher' Click to show or hide the answer
Name shared by the US ambassador to the UK, 1938–40 (he resigned after being perceived as defeatist during the Battle of Britain) and his eldest son, who was killed in action in August 1944 when the bomb on his plane exploded prematurely, over Suffolk; they were respectively the father and brother of a future US president Click to show or hide the answer
US General: took the Japanese surrender on USS Missouri, 2 September 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of Finland's army throughout the war – created Marshal of Finland 1942 Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of the Yugoslavian Chetniks (guerrilla movement, which opposed communism and eventually collaborated with Axis forces against the Allies) Click to show or hide the answer
Soviet foreign minister 1939–49, and effectively Stalin's deputy Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of the British Eighth Army in North Africa, 1942–3 (including El Alamein), and in the subsequent Allied invasions of Sicily and the Italian mainland; commander of all Allied ground forces during D–Day; principal field commander for the failed airborne attempt to bridge the Rhine at Arnhem (September 1944); took the German surrender at Lüneburg Heath in Northern Germany, on 4 May 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
Appointed Supreme Allied Commander South–East Asia, 1943 Click to show or hide the answer
Commander in Chief of Allied forces in the Pacific, including Midway; signed the Japanese surrender documents in 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the Manhattan Project (1942) to develop the atom bomb Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of the 'forgotten' 14th Army in Burma, 1943–5 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the Communist–backed Partisan troops in Yugoslavia – opposed the Axis forces more rigorously than Mihailovic's Chetniks Click to show or hide the answer
Swedish diplomat, rescued over 100,000 Jews in Nazi–occupied Hungary; in 1981, became the second person (after Winston Churchill) to be granted honorary US citizenship Click to show or hide the answer
Creator and leader of the Gideon Force and the Chindits Click to show or hide the answer
Soviet Chief of Staff: liberated the Soviet Union from Nazi occupation, and led the offensive that eventually led to the fall of Berlin Click to show or hide the answer

William Joyce

Born in New York, 1906, of Irish parents; returned to Ireland a few years later; moved to England 1921, joined the British Union of Fascists 1932 and became Deputy Leader. Sacked in Moseley's 1937 clear–out, formed the National Socialist League. Fearing arrest as a Nazi sympathiser, he fled to Germany and took German citizenship, eventually becoming Germany's best–known propaganda broadcaster. Captured at the end of the war, convicted of high treason and hanged on 3 January 1946 – the last person to be executed in Britain for a crime other than murder

Axis

Private secretary (deputy) to Hitler: believed to have escaped from the fall of Berlin 1945, sentenced to death in absence at Nuremberg, but a skeleton dug up in Berlin in 1972 was found (from dental records) to be his. Now believed to have committed suicide, and may already have been dead when sentenced Click to show or hide the answer
Hitler's long–term companion – married him less than 40 hours before their double suicide on 30 April 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
German admiral, commander of the U–boat fleet during the Battle of the Atlantic. Served as President of Germany for 20 days following Hitler's suicide; government dissolved by Allied powers 23 May 1945. Controversially imprisoned for war crimes 1945–56; died 1980 aged 89 Click to show or hide the answer
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, 1933–45. Committed suicide in Berlin along with his wife, one day after Hitler; his wife had murdered their six children the previous evening. Believed to be the model for Squealer in Orwell's Animal Farm Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of the Luftwaffe – given the unique title Reichsmarshall, 1940. A former member of the Red Baron's flying circus. One of 12 sentenced to death at Nuremberg, but committed suicide hours before he was scheduled to be hung (October 1946) Click to show or hide the answer
Deputy Führer under Hitler from 1933 until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the UK; the last prisoner of the state to be held in the Tower of London (1941); also the last prisoner in Spandau (he hanged himself there in 1987, after which it was demolished) Click to show or hide the answer
Nazi governor of Moravia and Bohemia from 1940; Director of the Reich Main Security Office from 1939, and as such head of the Gestapo, also the Criminal Police (Kripo) and the Security Service (SD); nicknamed 'the Hangman', or 'the Butcher of Prague'; assassinated in 1942 by a bomb thrown at his car in a suburb of Prague Click to show or hide the answer
Reichsführer of the SS 1929–45; Chief of German Police, 1936–45 (as such he had control of the Gestapo, but see Heydrich); committed suicide after being captured by British troops in Bremen, May 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
Described by Churchill as "that bloodthirsty guttersnipe" Click to show or hide the answer
The last person to be executed in the Tower of London (German spy, 15 August 1941) Click to show or hide the answer
Captured and executed by the 52nd Garibaldi Brigade (Communist Italian partisans) at Dongo, near Lake Como, April 1945, while attempting to escape to Switzerland. He is believed to have been carrying a considerable amount of gold and currency, including four or five crowns looted from Ethiopia, none of which has ever been seen since Click to show or hide the answer
Led the German attack on Stalingrad, 1942; surrendered to Soviet forces 31 Jan 1943; Hitler expected him to commit suicide, but he became a prisoner of war and a vocal critic of the Nazi regime; released 1953 Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the German Afrika Korps; known as the Desert Fox; suspected of involvement in a plot against Hitler, he took his own life in October 1944 rather than face trial Click to show or hide the answer
The Butcher of Riga: commander of the Riga ghetto, Jan–Oct 1943 – exposed by Frederick Forsyth's 1972 novel The Odessa File (particularly the 1974 film version) Click to show or hide the answer
Hitler's Armaments Minister, 1942–5: an architect by profession, he acted as Hitler's (and the Nazi Party's) architect from 1932, and was one of Hitler's "inner circle" Click to show or hide the answer
Russian Marshal who defeated Finland, 1939–40 Click to show or hide the answer
Japanese prime minister 1941–5; hanged as a war criminal 1948 Click to show or hide the answer
German designer of the V1 and V2 rockets; worked for NASA after WWII, designed Saturn rockets Click to show or hide the answer
Hitler's Foreign Minister, 1938–45; hanged for war crimes after Nuremberg Click to show or hide the answer
Leader of the '20 July Plot' – a 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler Click to show or hide the answer
Commander of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Click to show or hide the answer

Other

German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti–Nazi dissident, hanged by the Nazis on 9 April 1945 after being found guilty of involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler Click to show or hide the answer
Norwegian Fascist leader who declared a coup d'etat following the Nazi invasion in April 1940 (his government lasted only five days, after which the German Josef Terboven was made Reichskommisar; Quisling was appointed Minister President in 1942); convicted of high treason and executed by firing squad, October 1945 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017