Adolf Hitler –An Austrian-born German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer (“leader”) of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. He was effectively dictator of Nazi Germany, and was at the centre of World War II in Europe and the Holocaust.
Air Raid Shelters – Also known as bomb shelters were structures for the protection of non-combatants as well as combatants against enemy attacks from the air. During the intense bombing raids by the German Luftwaffe, thousands of civilians used the London Underground as air raid shelters.
Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights (AACR) – – A pressure group established in 1942 by Joshua Hassan and Albert Risso which sought to protect the interests of families evacuated during World War II. They also took a leading role in the repatriation of the Gibraltarian evacuees. In 1945 the AACR became a political party, advocating improved pay and working conditions and the introduction of a democratic constitution. Its leader, Sir Joshua Hassan would later become the first Chief Minister of Gibraltar under the 1969 Constitution.
Allies – The Allies of World War II, known as the United Nations from the 1st January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as seeking to stop German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
Axis Alliance – The coalition headed by Germany, Italy, and Japan that opposed the Allied Powers in World War II.
Battle of Britain – The series of aerial combats that took place between British and German aircraft during the autumn of 1940 and that included the severe bombardment of British cities.
Blitzkrieg – A form of warfare used by German forces in World War II. In a blitzkrieg, troops in vehicles, such as tanks, made quick surprise strikes with support from aeroplanes. These tactics resulted in the swift German conquest of France in 1940 (see fall of France). Blitzkrieg is German for “lightning war.”
British Expeditionary Force (BEF)– The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British Army in Europe from 1939 to 1940 during early stages of the Second World War. Commanded by General Lord Gort, (who would become Governor of Gibraltar from 1941–42) the BEF constituted one-tenth of the defending Allied force.
Constitution – A constitution is a set of rules that guides how a country, state, or other political organization works. The constitution may tell what the branches of the Government are, what powers they have, and how they work. It may also state the rights of citizens. The Government’s other laws are not allowed to disagree with its constitution.
General Charles de Gaullel – Was a French general, resistant, writer and statesman. He was the leader of Free France (1940–44) and the head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–46). In 1958, he founded the Fifth Republic and was elected as the 18th President of France, until his resignation in 1969.
Doodlebugs - – An unguided jet-propelled missile used by the Germans against England in World War II. The V-1 and later V-2 rockets were nicknamed ‘Doodlebugs’ by Londoners.
Dunkirk – The Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo, also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between 27nd May and 4th June 1940, during World War II.
Evacuee- – a A person evacuated from a place of danger to somewhere safe.
Flying bombs – See Doodlebugs.
Force H – A British naval formation during the Second World War. It was formed in 1940, to replace French naval power in the western Mediterranean removed by the French armistice with Nazi Germany. Force H was based at Gibraltar and was responsible for the destruction of the French fleet at Mers-el-Kébir in Algeria.
Free French Forces – Members of a movement for the continuation of warfare against Germany after the military collapse of France in the summer of 1940. Led by General Charles de Gaulle, the Free French were eventually able to unify most French resistance forces in their struggle against Germany.
General Franco – General and Dictator Francisco Franco (1892-1975) ruled over Spain from 1939 until his death. He rose to power during the bloody Spanish Civil War when, with the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, his Nationalist forces overthrew the democratically elected Second Republic.
Gibraltar Defence Force (GDF) – Founded in March 1939 by the Governor of Gibraltar, General Ironside. Together with other British troops stationed on the Rock, the GDF was tasked with the defence of the Rock during World War II.
Incendiary bombs – Bombs designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire, caused by incendiary devices, rather than from the blast effect of large bombs.
Joshua Hassan, Sir – Gibraltarian politician and first Mayor and Chief Minister of Gibraltar, serving four terms as Chief Minister for a total of 17 years. He was a key figure in the Civil Rights movement in Gibraltar, and played a key role in the creation of Gibraltar’s Constitution and Government. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1963 and nicknamed ‘Salvador’ (Saviour) by the grateful people of Gibraltar for his role in the repatriation of the civilian population.
Luftwaffe – German term for an air force. It was also the official name for the Nazi air force founded in 1935. Led by Hermann Goering, it became the largest and most powerful in Europe by the start of World War Two.
Military Town Planning Scheme – Began in 1946 with the aim of transferring military personnel away from the town area so that these lands could be released to house the returning evacuees. It was, however, a slow process, which would not see the last of the evacuees return until the 11th February 1951.
Nazi Germany – Under the leadership of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party, grew into a mass movement and ruled Germany through totalitarian means from 1933 to 1945.
Nissen Huts – A prefabricated steel structure, made from a half-cylindrical skin of corrugated steel. Originally designed during World War I by engineer and inventor Major Peter Norman Nissen, it was used extensively during World War II.
Normandy invasion – he Invasion of Normandy was the invasion by and establishment of Western Allied forces in Normandy, during Operation Overlord which began on the 6th June 1944 during World War II; it was the largest amphibious (from the sea) invasion to ever take place.
Operation Barbarossa – The code name given to Nazi Germany’s planned invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, which began on the 22nd June 1941. It was the largest military operation in history, involving more than 3 million Axis troops and 3,500 tanks.
Operation Felix – The codename for a proposed German capture of Gibraltar during World War II. It never got beyond the staff study stage, even though planning continued into 1944, It’s postponement was primarily due to the reluctance of Spanish Dictator, Francisco Franco, to commit Spain to enter the war on the Axis side.
Operation Torch – The British-American invasion of French North Africa during the North African Campaign of the Second World War which started on 8th November 1942. The entire invasion force was secretly accommodated inside Gibraltar’s tunnels and included barracks, hospitals, stores, bakeries and electricity generators. Gibraltar became a large, fixed-in-place aircraft carrier in support of Operation Torch. By the time of the invasion, over 100,000 Allied troops and over 400 RAF and US Spitfires, divided into 30 squadrons, were stationed at Gibraltar.
Referendum – A general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.
Repatriation – The process of returning a person or people to their place of origin.
Refugee – A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
V-1 and V-2 rockets – See doodlebugs.
Vichy French Government – he government of France after Germany defeated and occupied it at the beginning of World War II. Vichy, the capital, is a small city in central France. The Vichy government was essentially a puppet of the Germans.