Can You Name the Military Leader by Their Nickname?

John Miller

Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

In the fog of war, some men make themselves crystal clear – they either become icons of the age or they become objects of lasting derision. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, or the World Wars, heroes and goats fill the history books, and their men give them appropriate nicknames that often serve as reminders of their glory … or their failures. In this quiz, can you match these nicknames to the correct military leaders?

We know you’ve seen many of these nicknames before. “Old Hickory” and “Old Blood and Guts” were two of America's most famous generals, and they were alike in many, many ways. But do you really know which man was which?

In the Second World War, Lt. Gen. James Gavin became known as "Jumpin' Jim.” That’s because he was one of the pioneers of airborne attack methods, creating some of the tactics that the Allies used to airlift men into Normandy and beyond.

Germany had heroes, too. In WWII, Capt. Michael "Black Baron" Wittmann was feared as one of the best tank commanders of the entire war, as he destroyed 138 enemy tanks.

There are many other famous men in conflicts the world over. Let's see if you know the nicknames of these titans of war!

Who was "Little Corporal"?

He wasn't little -- Napoleon was 5'7" -- and the nickname wasn't demeaning. He was the "Little Corporal," a nickname the French general and emperor earned for the way he endeared himself to his men.

Who was "Unconditional Surrender"?

During the Civil War, Ulysses Grant won a vital Union victory at Fort Donelson, where he insisted on an unconditional surrender. His triumph earned him a fitting nickname.

Who was "Old Blood and Guts"?

As one of the European Theater's most decisive generals, George Patton wasted no time in pursuing the Axis. "Old Blood and Guts" lost a lot of men, but he feared that indecisiveness or fear would cost him even more.

Who was "Desert Fox"?

In North Africa, his legend came to life. He was Germany's Erwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox," a tank commander who parried and attacked with intelligence and deadliness.

Who was "Black Jack"?

John "Black Jack" Pershing is still one of America's most famous military leaders, one who led the U.S. in World War I. He held his men in American units instead of dispersing with French and English forces, a strategy that paid huge dividends in the long run.

Who was "Stonewall"?

Robert E. Lee called Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson one of his most competent subordinates in the Civil War. And when Jackson was shot by his own men, he lost an arm and then died a week later, partly due to pneumonia.

Who was "Ike"?

So it wasn't the most original nickname. But Eisenhower's "Ike" nickname was fitting for a man who made his living making decisive decisions the face of historic consequences.

Who was "The Lionheart"?

Richard I of England was known as "The Lionheart." He ruled as king in the late 12th century and was renowned for his courage and fortitude.

Who was "The Red Baron"?

Manfred von Richthofen was "The Red Baron," and he wasn't just the most fearsome fighter pilot of WWI. He was also the squad leader of "The Flying Circus," hailed as a national hero in Germany.

Who was "Rough and Ready"?

In the Second Seminole War (1832-1845), Zachary Taylor earned great respect in the U.S. Army. He was "Old Rough and Ready," always prepared to take on the enemy. He later became the 12th U.S. president.

Who was "The Marble Model"?

At West Point, Robert E. Lee was a study in discipline and perfection. He was "The Marble Model," and he carried that professionalism into the Civil War, too.

Who was "Old Hickory"?

He was tough as nails and always looking for a fight. Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson defeated the British at New Orleans in the War of 1812 and then became president.

Who was "War Horse"?

When Robert E. Lee needed a Civil War win, he leaned on his "Old War Horse," James Longstreet. Longstreet won several important Confederate victories but ultimately couldn't help the South turn the war's tide.

Who was "Vinegar Joe"?

In the Pacific Theater of WWII, Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell drew one of the toughest assignments of the entire war. He was sour as vinegar to work with (thus the nickname) but he kept on in the face of extreme adversity.

Who was "Old Ironsides"?

In the 1600s, Oliver Cromwell became one of England's best military leaders. He was "Old Ironsides," a dependable commander who garnered respect from his men and from the enemy, too.

Who was "The Grand Constable"?

During his long career, French icon Charles de Gaulle had numerous nicknames. Among them: "The Grand Constable," "The Fighting Cock," and "The Big Asparagus."

Who was "Stormin' Norman"?

In the Persian Gulf War, Norman Schwarzkopf had a couple of nicknames. He was "The Bear" to some, and to others, he was "Stormin' Norman."

Who was "Chesty"?

No other Marine in American history has won as many medals as Lewis "Chesty" Puller. Thanks in part to his WWII heroics, he was awarded five Navy Crosses and one Army Distinguished Service Cross.

Who was "The Conqueror"?

First, he solidified his power in Normandy. Then, William I took England by force. He was "The Conqueror," and he made himself King of England in 1066.

Who was "The Swamp Fox"?

During the American Revolution, Francis Marion was "The Swamp Fox." His guerrilla tactics often left the British army grasping at air in the war's southern theater.

Who was "Uncle Bill"?

William Slim, or "Uncle Bill," was a British hero in both World Wars. He was wounded three times, and following WWII he became the Governor-General of Australia.

Who was "Autie"?

George Custer always mispronounced his own middle name (Armstrong) as a child. That led to his nickname of "Autie," followed him throughout his life.

Who was "Little Mac"?

George B. McClellan fought in the Mexican-American War, and later, the Civil War. Little Mac has a big legend -- but many historians call him a mediocre to poor battlefield tactician.

Who was "Howlin' Mad"?

Holland Smith was "Howlin' Mad" during World War II. He was a Marine general who modernized many amphibious attack techniques that became vital in both war theaters.

Who was "Dugout Doug"?

In the Pacific Theater, Douglas MacArthur loved the spotlight, even while the men he left behind suffered in the mire and blood. He was "Dugout Doug," and many G.I.s came to loathe him during the war.

Who was "The Fighting Quaker"?

Raised in religious family that disdained violence, Smedley Butler was "The Fighting Quaker." He was a top Marine, one who served with distinction during the Great War.

Who was the "Butcher of the Somme"?

During World War I, Douglas Haig led British troops to slaughter, time and again, to the tune of 2 million casualties. It's no wonder his own men called him the "Butcher of the Somme."

Who was "Hap"?

In World War II, Henry "Hap" Arnold was a celebrity of the U.S. Army, a five-star general. When the Air Force split from the army, he became a five-star general there, too -- the only man ever to be a five-star general in two branches of the U.S. military.

Who was "Gray Ghost"?

In the Civil War, he was the "Gray Ghost," the Confederate cavalry commander who quickly struck at Union forces and then ran for the hills. He survived the war and then became a well-known attorney.

Who was "31-Knot"?

During WWII, a damaged ship meant he could only lead his men at 31 knots … and Arleigh Burke became known as "31-Knot Burke." Originally a demeaning nickname, it eventually became a hallmark of his persistence and courage in the face of challenges.

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