Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  G to Groth  
   
  Gale, Richard - (1896-1982) Gale (“Windy Gale”) was a British military officer who rose to the rank of Major General during the war. In World War II he was the first commander of the First Paratrooper Brigade. Gale commanded the 6th Airborne Division during the invasion of Normandy in 1944, which occupied and held the left flank of the bridgehead in Normandy during the night of June 6. He also played an important part in the Ardennes counter attack in January 1945. After the end of the conflict, Gale remained with the Army and eventually became the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe..  
   
  Gamelin, Maurice G. - (1872-1958) Gamelin was a French general best remembered for his unsuccessful command of the French military in 1940 during the Battle of France and his steadfast defense of Republican values. Gamelin was viewed as a man with significant intellectual ability. He was respected, even in Germany, for his intelligence and "subtle mind", though he was also viewed by some German generals as stiff and predictable. Despite this, and his competent service in World War I, his command of the French armies during the critical days of May 1940 proved to be disastrous. He was replaced by General Maxime Wegand after the enemy's breakthrough on the Western front on May 19, 1940. Gamelin was tried by the court of Riom in 1942 and he came by the Germans. He was deported in 1943 and did not return until the end of the war.  
   
  Gandhi, (Mahatma) Mohandas Karamchand (1869-1948) Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Gandhi had led a movement of Satyagraha (civil disobedience) in protest against the United Kingdom’s rule of India for 20 years before the World War 2 and spent much of this time in prison. At the onset of the war Gandhi initially favored offering "nonviolent moral support" to the British effort, but the Congressional leaders were offended by the unilateral inclusion of India in the war without consultation of the people's representatives. Ultimately Gandhi declared that India could not be party to a war being fought for democratic freedom while that freedom was being denied to India.In August 1942, along with other Indian National Congress leaders, Gandhi propounded the slogan "Quit India," which provoked a brief rebellion and led to his imprisonment by the British until May 1944. Gandhi participated in the negotiations that led to India's independence in 1947, a few months before he was assassinated by a fanatic.  
   
  Gehlen, Reinhard - (1902-1979) Gehlen was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Major General in the Wehrmacht. From 1942 to 1945 Gehlen, led the Foreign Armies of the East, a German military intelligence organization that focused on analyzing the Soviet Union and other East European countries before and during World War 2. His specialty was the Soviet Union. In 1945 he surrendered himself and his archives to the Americans, along with some of his colleagues and eventually became head of the West German intelligence apparatus.  
   
  Genda, Minoru - (1904-1989) Genda was an Japanese naval officer and military aviator who rose to the rank of Captain. Genda is best known for planning the Pearl Harbor attack.  
   
  General Government for occupied Poland The General Government for occupied Poland was an occupied area of Poland that was under Nazi German rule during the duration of World War 2. The Nazi government designated the territory as a separate administrative region of the Third Reich on October 25, 1939. It included much of central and southern Poland, western Ukraine, and included the major cities of Warsaw, Kraków, and Lviv. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the region of Eastern Galicia, formerly Polish territory, was incorporated into the General Government..  
   
  King George II of Greece - (1890-1947) King George II ruled Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947. He was expelled in 1922 and deposed in 1923. In 1935, however, he was recalled by a plebiscite. Despite the regime's quasi-fascist tendencies and strong economic ties to Nazi Germany, King George II was known to have pro-British feelings at the start of World War 2. When Greece was invaded by Germany in 1941 King George II and the government left the Greek mainland for Crete and then into exile in London. During the war he remained the internationally recognized head of state, backed by the exiled government and Greek forces serving in the Middle East. He was recalled to Greece by another plebiscite in 1946.  
   
  King George VI of the United Kingdom - (1895-1952) King George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India, and the first Head of the Commonwealth. King George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII on the death of their father in 1936. However, less than a year later Edward revealed his desire to marry the divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson and abdicated. After war broke out in September 1939, King George VI and his wife resolved to stay in London, despite German bombing raids and narrowly being missed by bombs in September 1940. Throughout the war, the King and Queen provided morale-boosting visits throughout the United Kingdom, visiting bomb sites and munitions factories, and (in the King's case) visiting military forces abroad. Their high public profile and apparently indefatigable determination secured their place as symbols of national resistance.  
   
  Georges, Joseph - (1875-1951) Georges was a French Army general who, on the outbreak of the World War 2 in September 1939, became commander of all French field armies. After continuing losses to the Germans Georges was sacked and General Maxime Weygand returned as head of the French Army. After Marshal Petain took power after the fall of France, Georges refused to play any significant role in the new Vichy French government. Winston Churchill wanted Georges to become commander of French forces in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia after the invasion of North Africa in February 1942. However, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that this post should go to General Henri Giraud. In January 1943, Giraud and General Charles De Gaulle became co-presidents of the French Committee of National Liberation. Georges was appointed minister without portfolio but it was not long before like Giraud he was ousted by De Gaulle.  
   
  Gerbandy, Pieter Sjoerds - (1885-1961) Gerbandy was a Dutch lawyer and politician, belonging to the Anti-Revolutionary Party. He served as minister of justice in 1939 and as prime minister of the Dutch government in exile from 1942 1945. His voice, characterized by a unique accent, became celebrated throughout the Netherlands during the war as a result of his regular radio broadcasts.  
   
  von Gersdorff Rudolf - (1905-1980) von Gersdorff was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Generalmajor (Brigadier General.) von Gersdorff attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler by suicide bombing on March 21,1943 but the plan failed. von Gersdorff plot remained undetected and he survived the war.  
   
  Gerson, Victor - Gerson was a French exile dealer in fine rugs and carpets in Paris who moved to London after the surrender of France in 1940. His wife Giliana, a Chilean, was the first female agent for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), beginning in May 1941. Between 1941 in 1944 Gerson organized and operated resistance groups in France including the extremely successful “Vic” escape route for the SOE.  
   
  Gestapo - The Gestapo, an abbreviation of Geheime Staatspolizei, "Secret State Police," was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on April 20, 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police.  From September 1939 forward it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) ("Reich Main Security Office").  
   
  Ghazi bin Faisal - (1912-1939) Ghazi was the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq. Ghazi died in a mysterious accident involving a sports car he was driving. Some believe he was killed on the orders of Nuri as-Said, a controversial an Iraqi politician. King Ghazi’s death precipitated turmoil in Iraq.  
   
  Ghormley, Robert L. - (1883-1958) Ghormley was an American naval officer with a rank of Vice Admiral. Before the outbreak of the Pacific War Ghormley was the Director of the War Plans Division and Assistant Chief of Naval Operations and then was sent to Great Britain as a Special Naval Observer. Ghormley served as Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force from June to October 1942, during the early stages of the campaign to seize and hold Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Admiral Chester A. Nimitz replaced Ghormley with Vice Admiral William F. “Bull Halsey, Jr. because of Ghormley’s pessimism and lack of initiative.  
   
  Gibraltar - In British hands since 1704, Gibraltar has repeatedly proven invulnerable. A small airfield, with part of its runway built out into the sea, was added on the northern side of the rocky peninsula in 1941. The naval base, on the western side, provided vital refueling, repair and anchorage facilities for Allied warships. The Straits - 14.2 km wide at their narrowest point - remained under continuous British naval control, though a few U-boats and one important squadron of Vichy French ships bound for Dakar did slip through unobserved. Severe overcrowding in the town of Gibraltar did not prevent the civilian population of some 20,000 for welcoming troops, sailors and airmen resting on their way from one battle to another. Occasional air raids did little damage. The number and identity of ships present was, however, visible in daylight to German agents across the bay.  
   
  Gibson, Guy Penrose (1918-1944) Gibson was an RAF airman who displayed exceptional skills in daring as a pilot and leader. After commanding a bomber squadron for 11 months, he formed 617 Squadron RAF for special low-level raids on the Ruhr, which he personally led in May 1943 including the Dam Busters raid (Operation Chastise) in 1943, resulting in the destruction of two large dams in the Ruhr area for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He had completed over 170 operations by the time he was killed in a minor operation in September 1944 at the age of 24.  
   
  Giraud, Henri H. - (1879-1949) Giraud was a French general during World War 2. Giraud was captured during the German invasion of France in 1940. After Giraud escaped in 1942, he joined the Free French Forces, and participated, to various degrees, with the Allied invasion of North Africa and its subsequent events.  
   
  Glassford Jr., William A. - Glassford was an American naval officer who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral. Glassford commanded the naval forces of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet during the first month of the war, and then relocated to Java to combine his forces with the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command. His most notable battle was the Naval Battle of Balikpapan, in which he led a U.S. task force in an attack against Japanese forces that had occupied the port. This attack came too late to prevent the capture of Balikpapan, and had little effect on the Japanese campaign to capture the resources of the Netherlands East Indies. After the campaign, Glassford returned to the United States where he held a variety of positions in the Sixth Naval District and the Eighth Fleet.  
   
  Goebbels, Dr. Paul Joseph - (1897-1945) Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism.  
   
  Goering, Hermann W. - (1893-1946) Goering was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of the First World War as an ace fighter pilot. In 1935 Goering was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, a position he was to hold until the final days of World War 2. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler promoted him to the rank of Reichsmarschall, making Göring senior to all other Wehrmacht commanders, and in 1941 Hitler designated him as his successor and deputy in all his offices. By 1942, with the German war effort stumbling on both fronts, Goering's standing with Hitler was very greatly reduced. Goering largely withdrew from the military and political scene to enjoy the pleasures of life as a wealthy and powerful man. After World War 2, Goering was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but committed suicide by cyanide ingestion the night before he was due to be hanged.  
   
  Golikov, Filipp I. - (1900-1980) was a Soviet military officer who rose to the rank of Colonel General during the war. Golikov commanded the 6th Army during the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. Golikov was in charge of the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate during 1940 and 1941 and personally led Soviet military missions to Great Britain and the United States. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union he commanded the Bryansk Front in 1942 and the Voronezh Front in 1942 and 1943. In April 1943 he was appointed Assistant Minister of Defense.  
   
  Gort, Field Marshal John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort - (1886-1946) Lord Gort was a British and Anglo-Irish soldier who served in both World War I and 2. At the outbreak of war he was given command of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France. When the 1940 German breakthrough in the Ardennes split the Allied forces and communications between the BEF and the French broke down Gort took the unilateral decision to abandon his orders for a southward attack by his forces. Gort was evacuated with the BEF at Dunkirk. Following Dunkirk Gort served in various positions: ADC General to King George VI, Inspector of Training and the Home Guard, Governor of Gibraltar, Governor of Malta, and High Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan. His courage and leadership during the siege of Malta was recognized when the King gave Gort his field marshal's baton on June 20, 1943 at Malta.  
   
  Goto, Aritomo - (1888-1942) was a Japanese naval officer who was posthumously promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral. Goto was in command of IJN CruDiv6 that supported the second assault on Wake Island in which Japanese troops were able to capture the island. In May 1942, from IJN CruDiv6, Goto commanded an element of the "Main Body Support Force," providing cove for the Operation MO offensive, including landings on Tulagi and an attempted assault on Port Moresby, New Guinea that resulted in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Operating from Kavieng, New Ireland, and Rabaul, New Britain, Goto's CruDiv6 supported Japanese naval operations during the first several months of the Guadalcanal campaign and participated in the Battle of Savo Island on August 8, 1942 resulting in the sinking of four Allied cruisers. Goto was killed in action in the Battle of Cape Esperance as his IJN CruDiv6 supported a large “Tokyo Express” run.  
   
  Gott, William H. E. - (1897-1942) Gott was an British military officer who rose to the rank of Lt. General. Gott was promoted to Lt. General and given command of XIII Corps in early 1942 and led that formation in the battles of Gazala and First Alamein. In August of 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill removed General Sir Claude Auchinleck as Commander-in-Chief Middle East and acting General Officer Commanding Eighth Army and Gott was chosen to take over Eighth Army. Before he could take up his post, Gott was killed when an unarmed transport plane he was in was shot down by a German fighter ace, Emil Clade, while returning to Cairo from the battle area. Gott’s command was taken over by Major General Bernard L. Montgomery.  
   
  Graziani, Rodolfo - (1882-1955) Graziani was an officer in the Italian Royal Army who led military expeditions in Africa before and during World War 2. After the conquest of Ethiopia Graziani was made Viceroy of Italian East Africa and Governor-General of Shewa/Addis Ababa. After an unsuccessful attempt to kill him in February of 1937, Graziani ordered a bloody and indiscriminate reprisal on the Ethiopians becoming known as "the Butcher of Ethiopia".After the death of Marshal Italo Balbo in a friendly fire incident in June of 1940, Graziani took his place as Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa and as the Governor General of Libya. In 1941 Graziani resigned his commission after a British counterattack in Libya. Graziani was the only Italian Marshal to remain loyal to Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini after Dino Grandi's Grand Council of Fascism coup. He was appointed Minister of Defense of the Italian Social Republic in northern Italy by Mussolini. Graziani was jailed after the war until being released in 1950. He was never prosecuted for specific war crimes.  
   
  Greiser, Arthur - (1897-1946) Greiser was a Nazi German politician and SS Obergruppenfuhrer. He was the Senate President and the head of state of the Free City of Danzig at the outbreak of World War 2. He was one of the persons primarily responsible for organizing the Holocaust in Poland and numerous other war crimes and crimes against humanity, for which he was tried, convicted and executed by hanging after the war.  
   
  Grew, Joseph C. (1880-1965) Grew was a United States diplomat and career foreign service officer. Grew became the Ambassador to Japan beginning in 1932. He was the U.S. Ambassador in Tokyo at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor and when the United States and Japan declared war on each other in December 1941. He was interned for a short time by the Japanese government but was released and returned to the United States on June 25, 1942 after which he was appointed as Under Secretary of State upon his return to the United States. Grew was a member of the "Committee of Three," along with U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson and U.S. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, a group that sought to obtain an alternative to the use of the atomic bomb in order to force Japan's surrender without using atomic bombs.  
   
  Groth, Wilhelm - (1904-1977) Groth was a German physical chemist who worked on the German nuclear energy project, also known as the Uranium Club. The main focus of his research was on the development of centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium.  
   
  Groves, Jr., Leslie R. - (1896-1970) Groves was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who rose to the rank of  Brigadier General during the war. Groves oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War 2.  
   
  Guadalcanal - Guadalcanal was the site a military campaign fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island in the Solomon Islands chain in the southwest Pacific Theater between Allied forces and Japan. On August 7 Allied forces, predominantly American, landed on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Florida with the objective of denying their use by the Japanese to threaten the supply and communication routes between the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. The Americans captured a nearly complete air base and named it Henderson Field. Control of Henderson Field was the objective of both sides from August through November. Numerous land and sea battle were fought for control of the airfield. In December the Japanese abandoned their efforts to retake Guadalcanal and evacuated their remaining forces by February 1943. The Guadalcanal campaign marked the change in momentum between the Allies and Japan in the Pacific Theater.  
   
  Guadalcanal, The Naval Battle of - The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal took place from November 12-15, 1942, and was the decisive engagement in a series of naval battles between Allied and Imperial Japanese forces during the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands. The action consisted of combined air and sea engagements over four days, most near Guadalcanal and all related to a Japanese effort to reinforce land forces on the island. In the resulting battle, both sides lost numerous warships in two extremely costly surface engagements at night. Nevertheless, the U.S. succeeded in turning back attempts by the Japanese to bombard Henderson Field with battleship and sank most of the Japanese troop transports preventing the majority of the Japanese troops and equipment from reaching Guadalcanal. The battle turned back Japan's last major attempt to dislodge Allied forces from Guadalcanal. The only two U.S. Navy admirals to be killed in a surface engagement in the war were lost in this battle.  
     
  Guderian, Heinz W. - (1888-1954) Guderian was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Colonel General during World War 2. Guderian was a German general who was a pioneer in the development of armored warfare, and was the leading proponent of tanks and mechanization in the German Armed Forces. Germany's panzer forces were raised and organized under his direction as Chief of Mobile Forces. During the war, he was a highly successful commander of panzer forces in several campaigns, became Inspector-General of Armored Troops, and was Chief of the General Staff of the German Army in the last year of the war.  
   
  Gustaf V - (1858-1950) Gustaf V was King of Sweden from 1907 through World War 2 and through the post war years until his death in 1950.  
     
   
     
   
 

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