Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  P to Purple Cipher  
  The Pact of Steel - known formally as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy, was an agreement between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany signed on May 22, 1939. The Pact consisted of two parts: the first section was an open declaration of continuing trust and cooperation between Germany and Italy while the second, a "Secret Supplementary Protocol" encouraged a union of policies concerning the military and economy. It was Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini who dubbed the agreement "the Pact of Steel", after being told that its original name, "the Pact of Blood", would likely be received poorly in Italy.  
  Paderewski, Ignacy J. - (1860 - 1941) Paderewski was a Polish pianist, composer, diplomat, politician, and the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland. In 1940 he became the head of the Polish National Council, a Polish parliament in exile in London. Paderewski also restarted his Polish Relief Fund and gave several concerts (most notably in the United States) to gather money for it.  
  von Papen, Franz - (1879 - 1969) von Papen was a German nobleman, Roman Catholic monarchist politician, General Staff officer, and diplomat, who served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933-1934. A member of the Catholic Centre Party until 1932, he was one of the most influential members of the Camarilla of President Paul von Hindenburg in the late Weimar Republic.  
  Patch, Alexander M. - (1889 - 1945) Patch was an American military officer who rose to the rank of Lt. General during the war. Patch is best known for commanding Army and Marine forces during the invasion of Guadalcanal, and the U.S. Seventh Army during in the invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon).  
  Patton, Jr., George S. - (1885 - 1945) Patton was an American military officer who rose to the rank of General. Patton commanded corps and armies in North Africa, Sicily, and the European Theater of Operations. In 1944, Patton assumed command of the U.S. Third Army, which under his leadership advanced farther, captured more enemy prisoners, and liberated more territory in less time than any other army in history. Patton had a reputation for eccentricity and for sometimes-controversial gruff outspokenness.  
  Paul of Yugoslavia - (1893 - 1976) Prince Paul of Yugoslavia was Regent of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia during the minority of King Peter II. On March 25, 1941, Yugoslav government signed the Tripartite Pact with significant reservations as it received three notes. Two days later, Prince Paul was forcibly removed from power and he went into exile. For the remainder of the war, Prince Paul was kept, with his family, under house arrest by the British in Kenya.  
  Paulus, Friedrich W. E. - (1890 - 1957) Paulus was a German military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshall. Paulus is best known for having commanded the Sixth Army's assault on Stalingrad during Operation Blue in 1942. The battle ended in disaster for Nazi Germany when approximately 270,000 soldiers of the Wehrmacht, Axis allies and Hilfswillige were encircled in a massive Soviet counterattack in November 1942. Paulus surrendered to Soviet forces on 31 January 1943, a day after he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshall by Adolf Hitler. Hitler expected Paulus to commit suicide, citing the fact that there was no record of a German field marshal ever surrendering to enemy forces. While in Soviet captivity during the war Paulus became a vocal critic of the Nazi regime and joined the Russian-sponsored National Committee for a Free Germany. He was not released until 1953.  
  Pearl Harbor - The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Japanese were planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the U.S. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The attack caused the United States to declare war on Japan the next day.  
  Pearl Harbor of Australia - Pearl Harbor of Australia is the popular name given to the Japanese air raid on Darwin on February 19, 1942. A larger number of bombs were dropped on Darwin than during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack killed at least 243 people, sank eight ships, and destroyed over 20 planes.  
  Peenemünde - Peenemünde is a village with a seaport on the the island of Usedom on the Baltic Sea coast of Germany. During World War 2, the area was highly involved in the production of the V2 rocket, until the production's relocation to Nordhausen. The village's docks were used for the ships which recovered V-2 wreckage from launches over the Baltic Sea. The entire island was captured by the Allies on May 5, 1945.  
  Pegram, George B. - (1876 - 1958) Pegram was an American physicist who played a key role in the technical administration of the Manhattan Project. As Dean and Chair of Columbia's physics department, Pegram was instrumental in bringing Enrico Fermi to the US to escape the Fascist regime of his native Italy. In 1940 Pegram brokered a meeting between Fermi and the U.S. Navy at which the prospect of an atomic bomb was raised with the military for the first time.  
  Peierls, Sir Rudolf E. - (1907 - 1995) Peierls was a German-born British physicist who had a major role in Britain's nuclear program. With his collaborator Otto Robert Frisch he designed the first theoretical mechanism for the detonation of an atomic bomb in 1940.  
  Percival, Arthur E. - (1887 - 1966) Percival was a British Army officer and World War I veteran who rose to the rank of Lt. General . Percival commanded the forces of the British Commonwealth during the Battle of Malaya and the subsequent Battle of Singapore. Percival's surrender to the invading Imperial Japanese Army force is the largest capitulation in British military history, and it permanently undermined Britain's prestige as an imperial power in the Far East.  
  Pétain, Henri Philippe - (1856 - 1951) Pétain, generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain, was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France. With the imminent French defeat in June 1940, Pétain was appointed Premier of France by President Lebrun at Bordeaux, and the Cabinet resolved to make peace with Germany. The entire government subsequently moved, briefly, to Clermont-Ferrand, then to the spa town of Vichy in central France. His government voted to transform the discredited French Third Republic into the French State, an authoritarian regime. Petain's actions during World War II resulted in what many regard as a show-trial, with conviction and death sentence for treason, which was commuted to life imprisonment by his former protégé Charles de Gaulle.  
  Pierlot, Hubert Eugene - (1883 - 1963) Pierlot was a Belgian Walloon politician and jurist, who was Belgium’s Prime Minister from 1939 to 1945. Pierlot led the Belgium government-in-exile in London during the war.  
  Pius XII - (1876 - 1958) Pius XII was born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli and reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 1939 until his death in 1958. His leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II remains the subject of continued historical controversy.  
  Pointblank Directive - The Pointblank Directive a document issued by thr Joint Chiefs of Staff to British and American heavy bomber forces in Europe that set out formal instructions for the priorities and aims of the bomber offensive leading up to the cross channel invasion of France. The plan allowed both the U.S. Air Force and RAF Bomber Command to conduct their independent operations as they saw fit.  
  Project Y - Project Y was the code name for the Los Alamos, New Mexico portion of the Manhattan Project. Much of the important atomic research was conducted at Los Alamos. It was at Los Alamos that the first atomic bomb was tested and the two that were dropped on Japan were constructed.  
  Puller, Lewis Burwell "Chesty" - (1898 - 1971) Puller was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps who rose to the rank of Colonel during the war. Puller commanded Marine units on Guadalcanal, Papua New Guinea, and Peleliu. In November 1944 he became executive officer of the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he finished out the war. Puller is the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, and the only Marine to be awarded five Navy Crosses.  
  Purple Cipher - Purple Cipher was the codename used by the United States for the “System 97 Printing Machine for European Characters") or Angōki Taipu-B ("Type B Cipher Machine")used by the Japanese Foreign Office just before and during World War 2.  

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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