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Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945: Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies.Standing in front are: Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.Selected for their high academic achievement, personal character, and grit, these seniors became the first cohort of Wellesley students to be recruited to serve their country on a crucial, top-secret wartime mission: cryptanalysis, or code breaking. Held once a week in the observatory, where lights on late would not arouse suspicion, the course introduced the history and fundamentals of cryptanalysis.
Co-belligerents included Finland (1941–44), Iraq (1941), and Thailand (1942–45).
There were also a number of puppet states and minor participants.6 – World War 2 is also known as The Great War, World War II, and the Second World War.
World War 2 started in September 1939 when Germany attacked Poland.
The Axis powers were those countries that joined to attack Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Pacific.
The few public comments by military and government leaders praising code breaking efforts do not mention women at all.
Sworn to secrecy under pain of death, and with their files classified until the late 1960s, few have come forward, and only a handful of books have been written on the subject.In the back row, left to right (not all are visible): Rear Admiral Ichiro Yokoyama, Navy; Saburo Ota, Foreign Ministry; Katsuo Shiba, Navy, and Kaziyi Sugita, Army.(Identities those in second and third rows are from an annotated photograph in Naval Historical Center files.)7 – One of the major causes of World War 2 was that the League of Nations which was created after World War 1 was unable to intervene diplomatically to prevent the onset of the war combined with the naked aggression of Hitler-let Germany.8 – The primary leaders of the Allied Powers during World War 2 were Franklin D.Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stallin.9 – The primary leaders of the Axis League were Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito.10 – Most estimates place the total number of deaths during World War 2 at 60 million people.World War 2 was the deadliest conflict in modern history.The majority of the developed world was involved in the conflict to some degree, with close to 2 billion people being involved in the conflict and more than 24 million killed on both sides.These nations consisted of: Australia, Belgium, British India, Canada, Republic of China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, South Africa, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Yugoslavia.Brazil, Mexico, and the Pan American Union countries would join the Allies starting in 1942 and later into the war.5 – The Axis Powers consisted of: Germany, Japan (at war 1937–45), Italy (1940–43), Hungary (1941–45), Romania (1941–44), and Bulgaria (1941–44).Like other unsung heroines of World War II, Wellesley’s code breakers took diverse paths after the war.Many embraced domestic life, getting married and raising children; others attended graduate school on the G. bill, and went on to other professional careers; still others stayed in Washington, helping to shape the direction and culture of the NSA.They remained silent on the subject of code breaking for over 30 years.Kurtz, who noted she was told she would be shot if any leaks were traced to her, reflected 55 years later, “Never in my life since have I felt as challenged as during that period.