Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  N to Nomura  
  Nacht und Nebel - In English, "Night and Fog." On December 7, 1941 German Chancellor Adolph Hitler issued a decree that under normal circumstances no information was to be given about arrested persons throughout occupied Europe and that no contact between them and people outside was permitted. The decree was aimed political activists and resistance 'helpers' and meant to intimidate local populations into submission. Prisoners were secretly transported to Germany, vanishing without a trace. To this day, it is not known how many thousands of people disappeared as a result of this order.  
  Nagano, Osami - (1880-1947) Nagano was a Japanese career naval officer and fleet admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1934. He was more of an administrative officer than a sea commander. He served as Navy Minister from 1936 to 37 and walked out of the London Naval conference in 1936 over the issue of parity for Japan, and rammed through a large appropriation bill for 66 new ships and 14 flying corps the same year. From 1941 to 1944, Nagano was chief of the Imperial Japanese Naval General Staff, serving as the most senior officer in the Japanese navy during most of World War 2. Although he was a proponent of the political doctrine which stated that Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands were Japan's sphere of interest he was against war with the United States although he pressed hard for the Japanese drive south in July 1941 because there was "no choice but to break the iron fetters strangling Japan." He was against Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku's planned attack on Pearl Harbor, but reluctantly gave his approval after Yamamoto threatened to resign as Combined Fleet commander. By 1944, with Japan suffering serious military setbacks, Nagano lost the confidence of Emperor Hirohito. With the emperor's approval, Prime Minister Tojo Hideki and Navy Minister Shimada Shigetaro removed Nagano from his post and replaced by Shimada. Nagano died while awaiting trial for war crimes.  
  Nagumo, Chuichi - (1887-1944) Nagumo was a Japanese naval officer who rose to the rank of Admiral (posthumously). In 1941 Nagumo was appointed Commander in Chief of the First Air Fleet, the Imperial Japanese Navy′s main aircraft carrier force, largely due to his seniority and commanded the strike force on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After Pearl Harbor he was the fleet commander during the Bombing of Darwin and the successful Indian Ocean raid on the British Eastern Fleet. Nagumo was the commander of the Carrier Striking Task Force at the Battle of Midway when Japan lost four carriers in what proved to be the turning point of the Pacific War. Nagumo was reassigned as Commander in Chief of the Third Fleet and commanded aircraft carriers in the Guadalcanal campaign, but his actions there were largely indecisive, and much of Japan’s maritime strength was lost. In March 1944 he was sent to the Mariana Islands as Commander, Central Pacific Area Fleet, stationed at Saipan. On July 6, during the last stages of the Battle of Saipan, Nagumo committed suicide in a cave.  
  Nanshin-ron - The Southern Expansion Doctrine (Nanshin-ron) was a political doctrine in prewar Japan which stated that Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands were in Japan's sphere of interest and that the potential value to Japan in those areas was greater than elsewhere. This political doctrine was diametrically opposite that of the "Northern Expansion Doctrine" (Hokushin-ron), largely supported by the Imperial Japanese Army, which stated the same except felt that Manchuria and Siberia were the targets. After the military setbacks at Nomonhan on the Mongolian frontier against the Soviets and negative Western attitudes towards Japanese expansionist tendencies, the Southern Expansion Doctrine became the primary doctrine supporting Japan’s decision to go to war.  
  Narvik - Narvik is a port in northern Norway that was considered a strategic objective during World War 2. Two naval battles were fought between the Royal Navy and the German Kreigsmarine (navy) during April of 1940. A two-month long land campaign was fought between Norwegian and Allied troops against German and Austrian mountain troops, shipwrecked Kriegsmarine sailors and German paratroopers. The Allies had occupied Narvik but evacuated the port in May of 1940 because the troops were needed on the continent because of the deteriorating military situation there. Narvik provided the Germans with an ice-free harbor in the North Atlantic for iron ore transported by the railway from Kiruna in Sweden and provided the Kriegsmarine with a refuge for warships like the pocket battleship SMS Lützow and the battleship SMS Tirpitz that was outside the range of air attacks from Scotland.  
  National Komitee “Fries Deutschland” - National Komitee “Fries Deutschland” was an anti-fascist organization founded at Krasnogorsk, near Moscow, on July 12-13, 1943, by German émigrés in the Pre-Political Administration of the Red Army. Numerous German prisoners of war joined. It was combined with the German Officers’ Circle in September 1943 and attempted group propaganda pamphlets and broadcast to bring about German Chancellor Adolph Hitler’s fall from power, prevent the collapse of Germany and in the war while favorable terms and still be obtained. The organization was completely unsuccessful and dissolved in November 1945.  
  Nedic, Milan - (1877-1946) Nedic was a Serbian general and politician, he was the chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav Army, minister of war in the Royal Yugoslav Government and the prime minister of a Nazi-backed Serbian puppet government during World War 2. After the war, Yugoslav communist authorities imprisoned him, during which he allegedly committed suicide in 1946.  
  von Neurath, Konstantin F. - (1873-1956) von Neurath was a German diplomat remembered mostly for having served as Foreign minister of Germany between 1932 and 1938. Holding this post von Neurath is regarded as playing a key role the German goals of undermining the Treaty of Versailles and territorial expansion, although he was often averse tactically if not necessarily ideologically. This aversion would result in German Chancellor Adolf Hitler replacing von Neurath with Joachim von Ribbentrop. von Neurath then served as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia but was replaced by Reinhard Heydrich. von Neurath was tried as war criminal in Nuremberg and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment for his compliance and actions in the Nazi regime.  
  Neutrality Acts - The Neutrality Acts were laws that were passed by the U.S. Congress in the 1930s, in response to the growing turmoil in Europe and Asia that eventually led to World War 2. They were spurred by the growth in isolationism and non-interventionism in the U.S. following its costly involvement in World War I, and sought to ensure that the U.S. would not become entangled again in foreign conflicts.  
  Nimitz, Chester W. - (1885-1966) Nimitz was an American naval officer who rose to the rank of five-star admiral. He was the leading U.S. Navy authority on submarines, as well as Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Navigation in 1939. With the onset of the Pacific War he was promoted and held the dual command of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet ("CinCPac"), for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas (CinCPOA), for U.S. and Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War 2.  
  Noel, Leon - (1888-1987) Noel was a French diplomat and politician and the French Ambassador to Poland at the outbreak of World War 2.  
  Nomonhan Incident - The Nomonhan Incident was named after a nearby village on the border between Mongolia and Manchuria. The Japanese and the Soviet Union fought a brief series of battles that resulted in total defeat for the Japanese Sixth Army. The Soviets and Japanese signed the cease-fire on September 15, 1937. The defeat convinced the Imperial General Staff in Tokyo that the policy of the North Strike Group, favored by the army, which wanted to seize Siberia as far as Lake Baikal for its resources, was untenable. Instead the South Strike Group, favored by the navy, which wanted to seize the resources of Southeast Asia, especially the petroleum and mineral-rich Dutch East Indies, gained the ascendancy, leading directly to the attack on Pearl Harbor two and a half years later in December 1941. The Japanese would never make an offensive movement towards the Soviet Union again.  
  Nomura , Kichisaburo - (1877-1964) Nomura was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and was the ambassador to the United States at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  

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