Test Your Knowledge: Axis Powers WWII

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About This Quiz

History portrays these forces as a shadow that threatened to darken the entire world. How much do you know about the Axis powers of World War II?

The very first use of the term "Axis" originated from a piece of writing done by which leader?

He said that "the axis of European history" would go through Berlin because of German's growing power.

A swift attack and victory by the Axis powers prevented the government officials of which country from escaping?

In spite of their defeat, the Danes never aligned themselves with Axis forces.

The Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy was informally known as what?

The agreement was signed without Japan, which had different priorities than Germany and Italy.

Against which country (or countries) did Japan want to focus the Pact of Steel, against the desires of Germany and Italy?

Italy and Germany were actually more interested in hostilities against Britain and France.

Which two countries made up the initial Axis alliance?

A 1936 treaty between these two laid the foundation for a years-long alliance.

What was the original nickname for the Pact of Steel?

But the powers that be thought a bloody nickname might tip off the public to their evil plans.

What transpired with Axis forces at the conclusion of the Warsaw Uprising?

Hundreds of thousands of Poles were executed after they failed to uproot the Nazis.

After Japan, Italy and Germany, which country was the first to adopt the Tripartite Pact?

In 1940, Hungary joined the pact and sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers into the fight.

At the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, how many troops did the Axis have in the area of conflict?

Even after massive reinforcements, the Axis couldn't hold the area; they may have lost more than half a million men in the fight.

A defeat in which battle resulted in the inability of Axis forces to initiate wide scale offensive operations?

It was one of the biggest armored battles in world history and the outcome gave Soviets and their allies an edge in the war.

How many summits did Italy, Germany and Japan need to coordinate their objectives and strategies during the conflict?

Germany and Italy communicated, but Japan only loosely coordinated with the European Axis powers.

After a German invasion, Greece became a puppet state subservient to which country?

The Greek resistance fought throughout the war but the Axis maintained a significant presence until 1944.

Axis powers took a major victory at the Battle of the Java Sea, killing 2,300 Allied sailors. How many sailors did the Axis forces lose?

In addition, the Allied Strike Force commander was killed; it was a devastating defeat for the Allies.

What year did Axis powers temporarily occupy Iceland?

The Allies hung out in Iceland for parts of the war but the Axis did not.

The leaders of the Axis powers saw themselves defending humanity from what scourge?

They were also at odds with some of the tenets of Western capitalism.

Which area did Germany first occupy during the very first stages of the conflict?

It was an ominous act of aggression that spoke of events yet to come.

The Japanese lost one soldier during their victory in which Pacific battle?

American forces there surrendered; five U.S. soldiers who tried to escape capture were caught and beheaded.

How many Romanian soldiers joined the Germans against the Soviets in 1941?

The Axis failures at Stalingrad prompted a change of heart with Romania, which began secretly talking to the Allies.

After defeating France, how long did Hitler and his allies wait to begin attacking the Soviet Union?

It didn't take long for Hitler to begin capitalizing on his early victories; he would ultimately regret his decision to pick a fight with the Soviets.

How did the gross domestic product of the United States compare to the combined Axis powers at the start of the war?

Even before the war, the United States was an economic powerhouse, which helped propel the Allies to victory.

Japan inflicted the Allies with one of their worst defeats in history at which battle?

The Allies lost all of these battles, but Bataan was a brutal beatdown that cost more than 100,000 soldiers and ended with the horrors of the Bataan Death March.

Which country was targeted by the Anti-Comintern Pact that was signed by Germany and Italy in 1936?

It created an alliance determined to resist the spread of Communism, particularly from the Soviets.

After being attacked by Japan in 1941, Thailand aligned itself with which power?

The Thai government then declared war on the U.K. and U.S.; the U.K. returned the favor … but the U.S. did not.

For how long did Japan continue the fight after Nazi Germany surrendered in May of 1945?

The atomic bombing of Japan helped to seal the fate of the Axis.

The lack of which resource spurred Japan to attack the United States and then parts of Southeast Asia?

The U.S. stopped shipping oil to Japan, meaning the country was unable to continue attacking China; Japan had to widen its aggression or withdraw from conflict.

Which event essentially triggered the beginning of the Pacific War?

Japan invaded in 1937, setting off an apocalyptic series of events.

The Axis powers caught the Allies completely by surprise at the beginning of which battle?

The Allies were sure the Axis couldn't launch an effective attack through the thick Ardennes forest; they were wrong, and it became one of the biggest battles of the war.

Why did Finland fight against the Soviets even though it wasn't officially part of the Axis?

Finland was determined to take back land lost to the Soviets during the bloody Winter War, which occurred at the outset of WWII.

Isoroku Yamamoto was a leader of which Axis group?

His intelligence and solid strategies cemented his status as one of the best leaders in the Pacific War.

Hitler said it was "the most famous victory in history" after Axis powers defeated which country?

In the end, he was wrong about that.

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