Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  L to Los Alamos  
  LaGuardia, Fiorello H. - (1882-1947) LaGuardia was Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945 as a liberal Republican. In 1941, during the run-up to American involvement in World War 2, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed LaGuardia as the first director of the new Office of Civilian Defense (OCD). After Pearl Harbor in December 1941 his role was turned over to full-time director of OCD, James M. Landis.  
  Lampson, Sir Miles (later Lord Killearn) - (1800-1964) Lampson was British ambassador to Egypt from 1936 to 1946. As ambassador to Egypt he forced King Farouk I to change the cabinet to a wafdist one by surrounding the king's palace with tanks.  
  Langsdorff, Captian Hans W. - (1894-1939) Langsdorff was a German naval officer, most famous for his command of the pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee during the Battle of the River Plate on December 13, 1939. The SMS Admiral Graf Spee was damaged by a force of three British cruisers and Langsdorff would scuttled the ship outside of Montevideo, Uruguay on December 17 rather than face the British force waiting for it. Langsdorff would commit suicide on December 19.  
  La Porte du Theil, Paul Joseph de - (1884 -1976) La Porte du Theil was a French general and founder of the Chantiers de la jeunesse, youth camps run by the Vichy government. La Porte du Theil was arrested by the Gestapo in January 1944 for sabotage of the Forced Labor Battalions and for aiding the Maquis and sent to a concentration camp. He was indicted by the High Court of Justice in November 1947 and acquitted.  
  Larminat, Rene de (1896-1962) Larminat was a French officer and head of General Maxime Weygand’s chiefs of staff in May 1940. He served as High Commissioner of French Equatorial Africa in 1942 and became chief of the First Free French Division in 1943. He fought in Italy and was then named commander of the Forces francaises de l’ interieur on the Atlantic shore. He captured Royan in April 1945.  
  Lattre de Tassigny, Jean de (1889-1952) In 1939 Lattre de Tassigny headed the chiefs of staff of the Fifth Army in Alsace. He commanded the 14th Infantry Division in 1940 against the German trust into France. In 1942 he became chief officer of the 17th Military Division in Montpellier. He was arrested in November 1942 when he attempted to resist the entry of the German Army into the free zone. A French war Council condemned them to a prison sentence of 10 years, but he escaped in September 1943 and joined General Henri Giraud, who gave him command of Army Group B in the Army of French North Africa. He formed the First French Army, which landed at Saint-Tropez on August 16, 1944 and later took Toulon and Marseilles and fought northward towards Alsace and captured Stuttgart, Ulm, and Constance. On May 9, 1945 he signed the Wermacht surrender on behalf of France.  
  Laval, Pierre - (1883-1945) Laval was a French politician who was President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic four times. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of foreign Jews from French soil to the death camps. After the liberation of France in 1945 he was arrested, found guilty of high treason, and executed by a firing squad.  
  Lawrence, Dr. Ernest O. - (1901-1958) Lawrence was an American physicist and Nobel Laureate, known for his invention, utilization, and improvement of the cyclotron atom-smasher beginning in 1929, and his later work in uranium-isotope separation for the Manhattan Project. Lawrence had a long career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Professor of Physics.  
  League of Nations - The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 that dealt with the aftermath of World War I. The League was the first permanent international security organization whose principle mission was to maintain world peace. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to February 1935, it had 58 members. As the situation in Europe deteriorated into war, the Assembly transferred enough power to the Secretary General to allow the League to continue to legally exist. The headquarters of the League, the Palace of Peace, remained unoccupied for nearly six years until the Second World War ended. At the 1943 Tehran Conference, the Allied Powers agreed to create a new body to replace the League: the United Nations.  
  Leahy, William D. - (1875-1959) Leahy was an American naval officer who as Chief of Naval Operations (1937-39) was the senior officer in Navy, overseeing the preparations for war. After retiring from the Navy he was appointed as Governor of Puerto Rico and later as Ambassador to France, 1940-42. Leahy was recalled to active duty as Chief of Staff to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 and served in that position throughout World War 2, and continued under President Harry S. Truman until finally retiring in 1949. Leahy also presided over the American delegation to the Combined Chiefs of Staff. In these multiple roles he was at the center of all major American military decisions in World War 2. As Fleet Admiral Leahy was the first U.S. naval officer ever to hold a five-star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces.  
  Lee, Jr., Willis A. "Ching" - (1888-1945) Lee.was a was an American naval officer who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral. Lee commanded the American ships during the second night of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (November 14 - November15, 1942) and turned back a Japanese invasion force headed for the island. The victory ended Japanese attempts to reinforce their troops on Guadalcanal and thus marked a turning point in overall momentum in the Pacific Theater. After Guadalcanal Lee was promoted in 1944 and placed in charge of the Pacific Fleet's fast battleships, as Commander, Battleships, Pacific Fleet. In May 1945, he was sent to the Atlantic to command a special unit researching defenses against the threat of Japanese kamikaze planes. While serving in that position on August 25, 1945, he died suddenly after suffering a heart attack.  
  von Leeb, Wilhelm - (1876-1956) von Leeb was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal during World War 2. von Leeb commanded Army Group North at the onset of Operation Barbarossa.  
  Lend-Lease - Lend Lease was the name given to the program under which the United States supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France, and other Allied nations with war materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941. The terms of the agreement provided that the material was to be used until time for their return or destruction. This program was a decisive step away from American non-interventionism since the end of First World War and towards international involvement.  
  Leopold III - (1901-1983) Leopold III reigned as King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951, when he abdicated in favor of the Heir Apparent, his son Baudouin. Leopold III refused to leave Belgium when it became apparent that the Germans would overrun the country in 1940 and was considered by many to be have committed treason although Leopold III rejected cooperation with the Nazis and refused to administer Belgium in accordance with their dictates.  
  Lidice - Lidice was a village in the Czechoslovakia just northwest of Prague. On June 10, 1942, on orders from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the village was completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal for the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich. All men over 16 years of age from the village were murdered and most women and children were deported to concentration camps.  
  Lindbergh, Charles A. - (1902-1974) Lindbergh was an American aviator and social activist. Lindbergh is best known for winning the Orteig Prize by flying the monoplane Spirit of St. Louis non-stop from Garden City, New York's Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France in 1927. Before the United States formally entered World War 2 as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lindbergh was an outspoken advocate of keeping the U.S. out of the world conflict and became a leader of the anti-war America First movement. Nonetheless, he supported the war effort after Pearl Harbor and flew many combat missions in the Pacific Theater during the war as a civilian consultant, even though President Franklin D. Roosevelt had refused to reinstate his Army Air Corps colonel's commission that he had resigned in April 1941.  
  Linlithgow , Victor Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow - (1887-1952) Lord Linlithgow was a British statesman who served as Governor-General and Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943. Lord Linlithgow implemented the plans for local self-government embodied in the Government of India Act of 1935. With the outbreak of World War 2, Linlithgow's appeal for unity led to the resignation of the Congress ministries. Disputes between the British administration and Congress ultimately led to massive Indian civil disobedience in the Quit India Movement in 1942. Linlithgow suppressed the disturbances and arrested the Congress leaders.  
  von List, S. Wilhelm W. - (1880-1971) von List was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal. List took part in the 1939 Polish campaign and the 1941 Greek campaign. In July 1942, List took command of Army Group A on the eastern front. The failure of this groupto make satisfactory progress which resulted in his removal by Hitler in September. List spent the rest of the war at his home and never returned to active duty. After the war he was charged and convicted of war crimes primarily the reprisal killing of hostages in retaliation for partisan activity.  
  Litvinov, Maxim - (1876-1951) Litvinov was a Russian revolutionary and prominent Soviet diplomat. In 1930, Josef Stalin appointed Litvinov as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs. A firm believer in collective security, Litvinov worked hard to form a closer relationship with France and Britain. In 1933 he successfully persuaded the United States to officially recognize the Soviet government. Litvinov also actively facilitated the acceptance of the Soviet Union into the League of Nations. In 1939 Stalin replaced Litvinov with Vyacheslav Molotov. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany in 1941 Litvinov was appointed Deputy Commissar of Foreign Affairs. Litvinov also served as Ambassador to the United States from 1941 to 1943 and significantly contributed to the lend lease agreement signed in 1941.  
  Los Alamos - Los Alamos, New Mexico was the site of a laboratory founded as a secret, centralized facility to coordinate the scientific research of the Manhattan Project, the Allied project to develop the first nuclear weapons. The site was chosen because of its isolation and temperate climate and was opened in 1943. The first nuclear device, code named “Trinity,” was exploded near Los Alamos on July 16, 1945 and the bombs dropped on Japan in August 1945 were assembled at Los Alamos.  

The objective of WW2Timelines.com is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

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