Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  M to Mussolini  
   
  MacArthur, Douglas - (1880-1964) MacArthur was an American military officer who rose to the rank of 5-star General. MacArthur was a Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War 2. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of U.S. Army Forces Far East. A series of disasters befell MacArthur's forces culminating with the withdraw to Bataan. MacArthur, his family and his staff left Corregidor Island in PT boats and escaped to Australia in March 1942, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines. He officially accepted Japan's surrender on 2 September 1945, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951.  
   
  McAuliffe Anthony C. - (1898-1975) McAuliffe was an American military officer who rose to the rank of Major General during the war. In the defense of Bastogne against the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, McAuliffe, as temporary commander of the encircled 101st Airborne Division, fought on stubbornly from December 18, 1944 until his unit was relieved on December 26. His answer to the Germans demand for surrender, which has since become legendary, was the single word "Nuts!" As commander of the 103rd Division he joined the Allied forces advancing from a point near the Brenner Pass on May 4, 1945.  
   
  MacDonald White Paper - The MacDonald White Paper, named after Malcolm MacDonald, the British Colonial Secretary who presided over it, was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain in 1939 in which the partitioning the Mandate for Palestine was abandoned in favor of creating an independent Palestine governed by Palestinian Arabs and Jews in proportion to their numbers in the population by 1949. Limits on Jewish immigration were recommended. Both the Jewish and Arab Palestinians rejected this plan.  
   
  Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion - The Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion or Mac-Paps were a battalion of Canadians who fought as part of the XV International Brigade on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War  
   
  The Maginot Line - The Maginot Line, named after French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defenses, which France constructed along its borders with Germany as a result of its experience in World War I. However, the German army in World War 2 largely bypassed the Maginot Line by invading through the Ardennes forest and via the Low Countries, bypassing the Maginot Line and conquering France in days.  
   
  Maisky, Ivan - (1884-1975) Maisky was a Soviet diplomat, historian, and politician. In 1932 he became the Soviet ambassador to the United Kingdom. After the outbreak of World War II and the Soviet break-up with their former allies, Maisky was responsible for the normalization of relations with the Western Allies. In 1943 he returned to Moscow where he became the deputy commissar of foreign affairs. In this capacity, he was a member of Soviet delegations to the conferences in Yalta and Potsdam.  
   
  Manchukuo - Manchukuo was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Dynasty of China. In 1931, the region was seized by Japan following the Mukden Incident and in 1932, a sympathetic government was established, with Puyi, the last Qing emperor, installed as the nominal regent and emperor. Manchukuo's government was abolished in 1945 after the defeat of Imperial Japan at the end of World War 2. The territories formally claimed by the puppet state were first seized in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945 and then formally transferred to Chinese administration in the following year.  
   
  Mannerheim, Baron Carl G. E. - (1867-1951) Mannerheim was the Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defense Forces during World War 2, Marshal of Finland, and a politician. He was Regent of Finland (1918-1919) and the sixth President of Finland (1944-1946).  
   
  Mannerheim Line - The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland against the Soviet Union. During the Winter War it became known as the Mannerheim Line, after Field Marshal Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. The line was constructed in two phases: 1920–1924 and 1932–1939. The fortifications were incomplete when the Winter War began in November 1939.  
     
  von Manstein, Erich - (1887-1973) von Manstein was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal in World War 2. He became one of the most prominent commanders of Germany's armed forces. During the war he attained the rank of Field Marshal. He was the initiator and one of the planners of the Ardennes-offensive alternative in the invasion of France in 1940. He received acclaim from the German leadership for the victorious battles of Perekop Isthmus, Kerch, Sevastopol and Kharkov. He was dismissed from service by Adolf Hitler in March 1944, due to his frequent clashes with Hitler over military strategy. In 1949, he was tried in Hamburg for war crimes and was convicted of "neglecting to protect civilian lives."  
   
  Manzanar - Manzanar War Relocation Center of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during the war. The camp was located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California's Owens Valley northeast of Los Angeles. The site was identified by the U.S. National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former camp sites and was designated the Manzanar National Historic Site.  
   
  Mareth Line - The Mareth Line was a system of fortifications built by the French between the towns of Medenine and Gabès in southern Tunisia, prior to World War 2. It was designed to defend against attacks from the Italians in Libya. After the fall of France it came under control of the Axis Powers and was used by the Italians and Germans to defend against the British in the Tunisia Campaign in 1943.  
   
  Marshall, George C. - (1880-1959) Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense. Once noted as the "organizer of victory" by Winston Churchill for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War 2 because of his service as the United States Army Chief of Staff during the war and as the chief military adviser to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  
   
  Marumo, Kuninori - (1891-1985) Marumo was a Japanese naval officer who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral during the war. At the start of the Pacific War, Marumo was on the staff of the IJN 4th Fleet and commanded the Support Group during the Battle of the Coral Sea. In December 1942, Marumo was assigned as naval attaché to the Empire of Manchukuo, where he spent most of the remainder of the war.  
   
  Matsuoka, Yosuke - (1880-1946) Matsuoka was a Japanese diplomat and the Minister of Foreign Affairs during the early stages of World War 2.  
   
  MAUD Committee - The MAUD Committee was the beginning of the British atomic bomb project, before the United Kingdom joined forces with the United States in the Manhattan Project.  
   
  Mauthausen - Mauthausen Concentration Camp, known from the summer of 1940 as Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp, grew to become a large group of Nazi concentration camps that were built around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria.  
   
  Macmillan, Harold - (1894-1986) Macmillan was a British politician who served in the Army during the First World War. As a progressive conservative, he served in Parliament from 1924 to 1929 and from 1931 to 1964. Macmillan was a junior minister in 1940-42 and minister resident in Algiers from 1942-45. He took part in political settlements throughout the Mediterranean. Macmillan would serve as Britain’s Prime Minister after the war.  
   
  McAfee, Mildred H. - (1900-1994) McAfee was an American academic who served during World War 2 as first director of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in the United States Navy. McAfee was the first female officer in the United States Navy.  
   
  McCain, Sr., John S. - (1884-1945) McCain was an American naval officer who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral during the war. McCain was a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations who in 1942 commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign. In 1944 and 1945 he aggressively led the Fast Carrier Task Force in the Pacific Ocean Theater. His operations off the Philippines and Okinawa, and air strikes against Formosa and the Japanese home islands, caused tremendous destruction of Japanese naval and air forces in the closing period of the war.  
   
  McCreery, Sir Richard - (1898-1967) McCreery was a British military officer who rose to the rank of Lt. General during the war. After service in France and the First World War, McCreery, a British cavalry general, returned to France with the British Expeditionary Force in 1940. Two years later he became chief of the General staff in the Middle East for General Harold Alexander and in 1944-45 he was commander of the British Eighth Army in Italy. After the war he commanded occupation forces in Austria in 1945-46 and on the Rhine in 1946-48.  
   
  McLeod, Sir Roderick W. - (1905-1980) McLeod was Commanding Officer 1st Airlanding Light Regiment Royal Artillery in North Africa and Sicily in 1943 moving on to be Deputy Commander 1st Parachute Brigade later that year. McLeod became the first Commander of the Special Air Service Brigade and was its leader from 1944 to 1945. In 1944-45 McLeod, a British officer, commanded the Special Air Service.  
   
  McMillan, Dr. Edwin M. - (1907-1991) McMillan was an American physicist and Nobel laureate who was credited with being the first ever to produce a transuranium element. In World War 2, he was involved in research on radar at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sonar near San Diego, and about November 1942 was recruited to the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory, being involved in the initial selection of Los Alamos and in implosion research. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Glenn Seaborg in 1951.  
   
  McNair, Lesley James - (1883-1944) McNair was an American military officer who rose to the rank of Lt. General during the war. A veteran combat in France during the First World War, he served as General George Marshall's right-hand man from 1942 to 1944 and has been credited as the man who trained the U.S. Arming for combat in World War 2, using a system that simulated actual battlefield conditions. He was killed by friendly fire on a tour of inspection on the Normandy when a USAAF Eighth Air Force bomb landed in his foxhole near Saint-Lô during Operation Cobra.  
   
  Mechelen Incident - The Mechelen Incident occurred during January 1940 during the Phony War. A German aircraft with Major Helmuth Reinberger on-board carrying the plans for Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), a German attack on the Low Countries, crash-landed in neutral Belgium near Vucht, in the modern-day municipality of Maasmechelen. This revealed the plans to the French and British commands and caused an immediate crisis situation that however soon abated.  
   
  Mengele, Josef R. - (1911-1979) Mengele was a German SS officer and a physician in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. He initially gained notoriety for being one of the SS physicians who supervised the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced laborer, but is far more infamous for performing human experiments on camp inmates, including children, for which Mengele was called the "Angel of Death". Mengele survived the war, and after a period living incognito in Germany he fled to South America, where he evaded capture for the rest of his life despite being hunted as a Nazi war criminal.  
   
  Messe, Giovanni - (1883-1968) Messe was a Italian military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal during the war. Messe commanded Italian units in action on Abyssinia, Greece, the Soviet Union, and North Africa. Messe was promoted to Field Marshal by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on May 11, 1943 as Messe’s 1st Italian Army was surrounded by the Allies in Tunis in the hope that he would keep fighting. Messe surrendered the next day. After the Italian armistice in September 1943, he was made Chief of Staff of the "Italian Co-Belligerent Army" consisting of those units loyal to King Victor Emmanuel that would fight on the side of the Allies.  
   
  Metaxas, Ioannis - (1871-1941) Metaxas was a Greek General, appointed Prime Minister of Greece in 1936 who became dictator during the 4th of August Regime, from 1936 until his death in 1941. Metaxas was the leader of Greece when Italy attacked that country on October 28, 1940.  
   
  Michitaro, Komatsubara - (1885-1940) Lt. General Michitaro was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army and was in command of the Japanese 23rd Infantry Division during the Nomonhan Incident.  
   
  Mihailovic, Dragoljub "Draza" - (1893-1946) Mihailovic was a Yugoslav Serbian general. A staunch patriot, he retreated to the mountains near Belgrade when the Germans overran Yugoslavia in April 1941 and organized bands of guerrillas known as the Chetnik movement. The Chetnik organization was founded as a royalist/nationalist Serbian resistance movement and was the first Yugoslav military opposition against the Germansa. By late 1941 the Chetniks had fallen out with the communist resistance forces and from early 1942 Chetnik factions began collaborating with Italian forces and later with German occupation forces. After the war, Mihailovic was tried and convicted of high treason and war crimes by the Yugoslav authorities, and executed by firing squad.  
   
  Mikawa, Gunichi - (1888-1981) Mikawa was a Vice-Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Mikawa was the commander of a heavy cruiser force that carried out the Japanese victory over the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Navy at the Battle of Savo Island in Ironbottom Sound in August 1942. In this battle, his squadron of cruisers and one destroyer sank three U.S. cruisers, plus the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra. Mikawa's force suffered no losses in the actual battle, although heavy cruiser IJN Kako was sunk an American submarine on the return to their base. His later career was of mixed success, and he was reassigned to lesser posts after the loss of a troop convoy destined for New Guinea.  
   
  Milch, Erhard - (1892-1972) Milch was a German Field Marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Germany following the First World War and was instrumental in establishing the Luftwaffe. Erhard Milch was one of the few high ranking Jews in the Wehrmacht. In 1933, Milch took up a position as State Secretary of the newly formed Reich Aviation Ministry, answering directly to Hermann Göring. In 1935, Milch's ethnicity came into question because his father, Anton Milch, was a Jew. This prompted an investigation by the Gestapo that Göring suppressed. At the outbreak of World War 2 Milch commanded Luftflotte 5 during the Norwegian campaign. Following the defeat of France, Milch was promoted to Field Marshal and given the title Air Inspector General. Milch was put in charge of the production of planes during this time, and his many mistakes were key to the loss of German air superiority as the war progressed. In 1944 Milch sided with Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler in attempting to convince Adolf Hitler to remove Göring from command of the Luftwaffe following the failed invasion of the Soviet Union. When Hitler refused, Göring retaliated by forcing Milch out of his position. For the rest of the war, he worked under Albert Speer. At the end of the war Milch attempted to flee Germany, but was captured by Allied forces in May 1945. In 1947, Milch was tried as a war criminal by a United States Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. Milch was sentenced to life imprisonment but he was released in 1954.  
   
  Mitscher, Marc A. "Pete" - (1887-1947) Mitscher was an American military officer who rose to the rank Vice Admiral during the war. Mitscher served as commander of the Fast Carrier Task Force in the Pacific Theater in the latter half of the war.  
   
  Modlin, The Battle of - The Battle of Modlin took place during the German invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War 2. Modlin Fortress was initially the headquarters of the Modlin Army until its retreat eastwards. Modin served as a defensive citadel for Polish forces who resisted the Germans from September 13 to September 29, 1939.  
   
  Molotov, Vyacheslav - (1890-1986) Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin. He served as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars from 1930 to 1941 and as Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949. Molotov was the principal Soviet signatory of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939 (also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) and was involved in post-war negotiations.  
   
  Montgomery, Bernard L. - (1887-1976) Montgomery was a British military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal. Montgomery commanded the 8th Army from August 1942 in the Western Desert until the final Allied victory in Tunisia. He subsequently commanded the Eighth Army in Sicily and Italy before being given responsibility for planning the D-Day invasion in Normandy. He was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord from the initial landings until after the Battle of Normandy. Montgomery then continued in command of the 21st Army Group for the rest of the campaign in northwestern Europe and was the principal commander for the failed airborne attempt codenamed Operation Market Garden to bridge the Rhine. On May 4, 1945 he took the German surrender at Luneburg Heath in northern Germany.  
   
  Moravek, Vaclav - (1904-1942) Moravek was Czechoslovak military officer who became one of best known personalities of the Czech anti-Nazi resistance as a member of famous resistance group called Three Kings a national hero. Moravek died in a gunfight with agents of Gestapo while he tried to help his colleague Vaclav Rehak. Moravek is considered a Czech national hero and was promoted to Brigadier General in memoriam.  
   
  Morgenthau Jr., Henry - (1891-1967) Morgenthau was the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He played a major role in designing and financing the New Deal. After 1937, while still in charge of the Treasury, he played an increasingly major role in foreign policy, especially with respect to policies supporting China, helping Jewish refugees, and in designing the "Morgenthau Plan" to prevent Germany from ever again being a military power after the Allied victory in 1945.  
   
  Moscicki, Ignacy - (1867-1946) Ignacy Moscicki was a Polish chemist, politician, and President of Poland from 1926 through 1939. Moscicki was the longest serving President of Poland and was in power when the Germans attacked Poland sparking World War 2. After Moscicki and his government fled to Romania he was interned in Romania and was forced by France to resign his office. In December 1939 Moscicki was released and allowed to move to Switzerland, where he remained through World War 2.  
   
  Mosley, Sir Oswald E. - (1896-1980) Mosley was an English politician, known principally for founding the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in 1932. During the 1930s t BUF was frequently involved in violent confrontations, particularly with Communist and Jewish groups and especially in London. In May of 1940 Mosley was interned under Defence Regulation 18B, along with most active fascists in Britain, and the BUF was later proscribed. He lived with his wife Diana Mitford and their son Max a house in the grounds of Holloway prison. The Mosleys were released in November 1943, when Mosley was suffering with phlebitis, and spent the rest of the war under house arrest.  
   
  Mountbatten, Lord Louis - (1900-1979) Mountbatten was a British statesman and naval officer. When war broke out in 1939, Mountbatten was moved to active service as commander of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla and led a British convoy in through the fog to evacuate the Allied forces participating in the Namsos Campaign in Norway in 1940. It was also in 1940 that he invented the Mountbatten Pink naval camouflage pigment. In late 1941 Mountbatten became Chief of Combined Operations. His duties in this role consisted of planning commando raids across the English Channel and inventing new technical aids to assist with opposed landings.[6] Mountbatten was in large part responsible for the planning and organization of The Raid at St. Nazaire in mid 1942 and the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942. Noteworthy technical achievements of Mountbatten and his staff included  the construction of an underwater oil pipeline from the English coast to Normandy, an artificial harbor constructed of concrete caissons and sunken ships, and the development of amphibious Tank-Landing Ships. In October 1943, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appointed Mountbatten the Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command.  
     
  Mueller, Heinrich - (1900 - date of death unknown) Mueller became head of the Gestapo, the political secret state police of Nazi Germany, and was involved in the planning and execution of the Holocaust. He was last seen in the Führerbunker in Berlin on May 1, 1945 and remains one of the few senior figures of the Nazi regime who was never captured or confirmed to have died.  
   
  Murray, Philip - (1886-1952) Murray was an American labor leader who became head of the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1940. Murray strongly supported the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the war effort during World War 2. He quickly adopted a "no strike pledge" on behalf of all CIO unions, and supported (with Walter Reuther) the establishment of industry union councils to promote increased production, quicker retooling and to overcome design problems. To help overcome racial tensions in war plants, Murray established the CIO Committee to Abolish Racial Discrimination (CARD). Murray also served on the National Defense Mediation Board and a number of other government agencies to help promote the war effort.  
   
  Muselier, Emile H. - (1882-1965) Muselier was a French admiral who led the Free French Naval Forces during World War 2. Muselier was responsible for the idea of distinguishing his fleet from that of Vichy France by adopting the Cross of Lorraine, which later became the emblem of all of the Free French.  
   
  Mussert, Anton A. - (1894-1946) Mussert was one of the founders of the National Socialist Movement (NSB) in the Netherlands and became its leader. Mussert was the most prominent National Socialist in the Netherlands before and during World War 2. During the war he was able to keep this position due to the support he received from the Germans. After the war he was convicted and executed for high treason.  
   
  Mussolini, Benito - (1883-1945) Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism. He became the 40th Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and began using the title Il Duce by 1925. Among the domestic achievements in Italy under Mussolini from the years 1924–1939 were his public works programs, the improvement of job opportunities, and public transport. Although he initially favored siding with France against Germany in the early 1930s, Mussolini became one of the main figures of the Axis powers and on June 10, 1940, Mussolini led Italy into World War II on the side of Axis. Three years later after the Allied invasion of Italy, Mussolini was deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism. Soon after his incarceration began, Mussolini was rescued from prison in the daring Gran Sasso raid by German special forces. Following his rescue, Mussolini headed the Italian Social Republic in parts of Italy that were not occupied by Allied forces. In late April 1945, with total defeat looming, Mussolini attempted to escape to Switzerland, only to be captured and executed by Italian partisans. His body was taken to Milan where it was hung upside down for public viewing and to provide confirmation of his demise.  
     
   
     
   
 

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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