Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  W to Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service  
   
  Wainwright IV, Jonathan M. - (1883 - 1953) Wainwright was U.S. Major General who assumed command of Allied forces in the Philippines after the departure of Lt. General Douglas MacArthur in March 1942. Wainwright surrendered all Allied forces in the Philippine Islands on May 6, 1942 after holding out on the island of Corregidor for a month after the surrender of American and Filipino troops on the Bataan peninsula.  
   
  Wake Island - Wake Island is a coral atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, located approximately 2,300 miles west of Honolulu, Hawaii and approximately 1,500 miles east of Guam. Wake Island was the site of a determined American resistance to defend the island after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The first Japanese attempt to capture the island was repulsed on December 11, 1941 and was the only occasion early in the Pacific War that the Japanese efforts were not successful. The Japanese returned with a larger force and captured the island on December 23. The Japanese occupied the island until after the end of the war surrendering to a detachment of U.S. Marines on September 4, 1945.  
   
  Wallace, Henry A. - (1888 - 1965) Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–1945). U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Wallace chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare and of the Supply Priorities and Allocations Board in 1941. Both positions became important with the U.S. entry into World War 2. In these positions Wallace came into conflict with the conservative wing of the Democratic party in the form of Jesse H. Jones, Secretary of Commerce, as the two differed on how to handle wartime supplies. After Wallace feuded publicly with Jones and other high officials, Roosevelt stripped him of his war agency responsibilities and replaced him with Harry S. Truman as his running mate on the 1944 Democratic Presidential ticket.  
   
  Wallenius, Kurt M. - (1893 - 1984) Wallenius was a Finnish Major General who was a member of the Finnish Jäger troops trained in Germany prior to Finnish independence. In the Winter War with the Soviet Union in 1939-1940 Wallenius commanded the Finnish troops in Lapland. His troops, though outnumbered, repulsed Soviet troops at Salla and Petsamo. Once the front in Lapland front had stabilized, Wallenius was sent to the southernmost point of the fighting along the western shore of the Bay of Viipuri. Wallenius failed to prevent the Red Army from gaining a foothold from the western shore of the bay, and there were reports that he was drinking heavily. Wallenius was dishonorably discharged in early March 1940 after only three days in command.  
   
  Wang, Ching-wei - (1883 - 1944) Wang was a Chinese politician who initially known as a member of the left wing of the Kuomintang, but later became increasingly anti-Communist after his efforts to collaborate with the CCP ended in political failure. Wang is noted for his formation of a Japanese-supported collaborationist government in Nanjing in 1940. For this role his name in mainland China is also now a term used to refer to a traitor, similar to "Benedict Arnold" for Americans or "Quisling" for Norwegians.  
   
  Wannsee Conference - The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi Germany, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee in January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich had been appointed as the chief executor of the "Final solution to the Jewish question". Heydrich presented a plan, presumably approved by Adolf Hitler, for the deportation of the Jewish population of Europe and French North Africa  to German-occupied areas in eastern Europe, and the use of the Jews fit for labor during which they would eventually die. The plans laid at the conference ultimately culminated in the death camps.  
   
  War Production Board - The War Production Board was established on January 16, 1942 by executive order of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The purpose of the board was to regulate the production and allocation of materials and fuel during World War 2 in the United States. The Board converted and expanded peacetime industries to meet war needs, allocated scarce materials vital to war production, established priorities in the distribution of materials and services, and prohibited nonessential production. It rationed such things as gasoline, heating oil, metals, rubber, paper, and plastics.  
   
  War Relocation Authority - The War Relocation Authority was a U.S. government agency established to handle the internment of Japanese, German, and Italian Americans during World War 2.  
   
  Wavell, Archibald P. - (1883 - 1950) Wavell was a British military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War 2. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the Germans. He was appointed Viceroy of India in 1943.  
   
  WAVES - WAVES were a World War 2 era division of the U.S. Navy that consisted entirely of women. The name of this group is an acronym for "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service." The WAVES began in August 1942 and were an official part of the Navy, and its members held the same rank and ratings as male personnel. They also received the same pay and were subject to military discipline. WAVES could not serve aboard combat ships or aircraft, and initially were restricted to duty in the continental United States. Late in World War 2, WAVES were authorized to serve in certain overseas U.S. possessions, and a number were sent to Hawaii.  
   
  von Weizsaecker, Baron Ernst - (1882 - 1951) von Weizsaecker was a German diplomat and politician. He served as State Secretary at the Foreign Office from 1938 to 1943 and as German Ambassador to the Holy See from 1943 to 1945.  
   
  Welles, B. Sumner - (1892 - 1961) Welles was an American government official and diplomat. He was a major foreign policy adviser to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and served as Under Secretary of State from 1937 to 1943.  
   
  Weserübung - Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the World War 2 and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. The operation began on April 9, 1940.  
   
  Weygand, Maxime - (1867 - 1965) Weygand was a French military commander in World War I and World War 2. Weygand was recalled from his post in the Middle East to replace General Maurice Gamelin after French defeats against the Germans during invasion of France in 1940. After Weygand’s efforts weren’t enough to prevent defeat he joined in seeking an armistice and later collaborated with the Germans as part of the Vichy France regime.  
   
  White Rose - The White Rose was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Germany of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign lasting from June 1942 until February 1943 that called for active opposition to the Nazis. The six most recognized members of the group were arrested by the Gestapo and beheaded in 1943. The text of their sixth leaflet was smuggled out of Germany and in July 1943 copies of it were dropped over Germany by Allied planes.  
   
  de Wiart, Sir Adrian Carton - (1880 - 1963) de Wiart was a British officer of Belgian and Irish descent who rose to the rank of Lt. General. de Wiart is considered by many to be one of the most remarkable figures in British military history. After a distinguished career in WW I de Wiart had retired to Poland. With the prospect of hostilities becoming likely between Germany and Poland de Wiart was recalled to duty as an advisor to the Polish military. When Poland fell de Wiart escaped to Romania and then to Germany. de Wiart’s next mission was to command the Anglo-French forces in Norway. After these troops were withdrawn de Wiart was assigned to Northern Ireland to prepare for a possible invasion and to train troops. In April 1941 de Wiart was appointed as head of the British Military Mission to Yugoslavia. On his way to Yugoslavia the plane that he was in crash landed off the coast of Italian-controlled Libya, and de Wiart was captured by the Italian authorities. In Auigust of 1943 de Wiart was released in order to accompany an Italian negotiator to Lisbon to meet Allied contacts to facilitate the surrender of Italy. In late 1943 he was appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s personal representative to the Chinese.  
   
  Wilhelmina - (1880 - 1962) Wilhelmina was Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. Her reign saw World War I and World War II, the economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial empire. Outside the Netherlands she is primarily remembered for her role in World War II, in which she proved to be a great inspiration to the Dutch resistance.  
   
  Wilhelmshaven - Wilhelmshaven is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of Jadebusen, a bay of the North Sea and was the site of a German shipyard and naval base. Approximately two thirds of the town's buildings were destroyed by Allied bombing raids.  
   
  Wilson, Henry M. - (1881 - 1964), Wilson was a British military officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal. Wilson became a senior British general in the Middle East and Mediterranean during World War 2.  
   
  Wingate, Orde C. - (1903 - 1944) Wingate was a British military officer who rose to the rank of Major General. He is known for the creation of the Chindits, airborne deep-penetration troops that were trained to work behind enemy lines in the Far East campaigns against the Japanese. Wingate died in a plane crash in northeast India returning from an inspection trip to assess the situations in three Chindit-held bases in Burma.  
   
  Winkelman, Henri G. - (1876 - 1952) Winkelman was a Dutch General best known for his command of the Dutch troops during the German invasion of the Netherlands. Winkelman was forced to surrender the Dutch armed forces on May 14, 1940 after the bombing of Rotterdam and the German threat to bomb the major Dutch city of Utrecht.  
   
  Wolfsschanze - Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) was Adolf Hitler's first World War 2 Eastern Front military headquarters and one of several Führer Headquarters located in various parts of Europe. The complex, which was built for Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, was located in the Masurian woods, about 5 miles from the small East Prussian town of Rastenburg.  
   
  Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) - The Women's Auxiliary Air Force of the RAF was formed on June 28, 1939. The women worked as office clerks, operation room plotters, radar operators, telephone operators allowing their male counterparts to be released for aircrew and front-line duties.  
   
  Women's Army Corps - The Women's Army Corps or WAC was the women's branch of the U.S. Army. It was created as an auxiliary unit, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) on May 15, 1942 by Public Law 554, and converted to full status as the WAC in 1943.  
   
  Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service - The Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service was a World War 2 era organization (abbreviated as WRCNS, pronounced as WRENS) established in order to recruit women to replace men who were leaving for sea duty. The WRCNS slogan was “to release a man to go to sea."  
     
   
     
   
 

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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