How Much Do You Know About the Famous Uprisings of WWII?

By: John Miller

How Much Do You Know About the Famous Uprisings of WWII?
Image: Stefan Bałuk via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

By the late 1930s, it was clear to many people around the world that the Third Reich and the Empire of the Rising Sun would not rest until they'd satisfied their imperialistic desires for more territory and power. So it wasn't surprising when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, and Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 wasn't really all that shocking. As the Axis swarmed in and occupied lands in both the Pacific and European theaters, many locals were left behind. Some submitted to the invading forces -- others took up arms against them. What do you really know about the famous uprisings of the Second World War?

In some places, revolt was a choice, a courageous call to arms amid occupying soldiers with big guns and superior numbers. In others, other than accepting death by starvation or gas chamber, rebellion was the only real option. In Poland, men, women and children made their own weapons, planned for many months, and then rose up against the brutality of the Germans. The Warsaw Uprising was the most famous revolt of WWII ... and its outcome became yet another tragic story for the ages.

Find any weapon you can, be it an ancient pistol or a rock, and wait for the secret signal. Then, join the fray of this treacherous WWII uprising quiz!

It was a deadly enterprise. Which major occupied city rose up against the Nazis in WWII?
Manchester
London
Warsaw
In mid-1944, the innocents of Warsaw had had enough. They initiated a major, coordinated rebellion. The Warsaw Uprising became one of the best-known resistance efforts of the war.
Geneva

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It was no minor enterprise. How long did the bloody Warsaw Uprising last?
A week
63 days
The Warsaw Uprising was a cleverly calculated rebellion, one meant to catch the Germans at a weak moment. For 63 days, the uprising caused immense bloodshed throughout some of the city’s most vulnerable areas.
Three years
15 minutes

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During WWII, it became infamous. What was Treblinka?
A Soviet encampment
A huge German city
A death camp
Treblinka. One word says it all for those who know their WWII history. It was a German death camp ... but prisoners created an historic moment.
An atomic bomb

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During the war, captives in the Treblinka death camp received news that the Germans were losing the war. So why did they fear even more for their lives?
They heard Hitler was paying a visit.
They feared the Allies would bomb them by accident.
They figured the Germans would murder all of them and retreat.
In Treblinka, many prisoners got news of Allied gains ... and worried. Their fear? The Germans would murder every prisoner and then run for their own lives.
They actually weren’t worried at all.

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The Warsaw Uprising was the work of many people. How much help did the locals have in their rebellion?
Almost no help
The fighters in the occupied city figured that the Allies would jump to help them. They were wrong. The uprising’s warriors had very little help from outsiders.
A lot of help
Help from refugee children
Aid, but only from America

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At the Treblinka death camp, prisoners seized the moment. What did they do?
Climbed the rooftops
Threw meals on the floor
Broke into an arms room
The prisoners in Treblinka forced their way into a weapons room. They grabbed guns and started their uprising in earnest knowing that the guards would be on them in seconds.
Burrowed underground

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About 300 prisoners took part in the Treblinka death camp revolt. How many survived the attack and resulting manhunt?
0
About 100
About three hundred prisoners revolted at Treblinka. Perhaps 100 survived. Many perished before they reached the prison fence.
All 300
Just 13

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It was one of the most famous rebellions of the war. Where did the Białystok Ghetto uprising take place?
Poland
The Poles never gave up. In 1943, residents of the Białystok Ghetto rose up. It was sparked by a German declaration that many locals would be forcibly deported from the area.
France
Mexico
Yugoslavia

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Hundreds rose. Many fell. How many weapons did the warriors of the Białystok Ghetto uprising have?
25 rifles
They would’ve preferred a lot more. At the Białystok Ghetto uprising, hundreds of people revolted ... with just 25 rifles and a scattering of homemade firearms.
100 machine guns
Mostly swords
Roughly 25,000

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Revolt is contagious. How did the Warsaw Uprising affect the prisoners at Treblinka?
It made them fearful.
It made them hopeful.
The prisoners at Treblinka took much hope from the Warsaw Uprising. Their resolve stiffened ... and they followed through on their daring plan.
It put a stop to the idea of escaping.
They decided to escape the next day.

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What was the number one goal of the bitter Warsaw Uprising?
To get the Germans out of Warsaw
The people in Warsaw languished under German occupation. They wanted the Nazis gone ... no matter the price in blood.
To kill Hitler
To end the war
To find atomic weapons

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The Białystok Ghetto uprising was doomed from the start. At the end, what did the leaders of the revolt do?
Turned themselves in
Killed themselves
The Białystok Ghetto uprising was much smaller than the Warsaw Uprising. It was no less dedicated. The leaders of the revolted killed themselves rather than be caught.
Became Nazis
Bombed a German HQ

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When the Warsaw Uprising began, how did the fighters fare?
They captured a single arsenal.
They failed at every turn.
They seized control of much of the central city.
With their cache of arms and intelligent coordination, the warriors of the Warsaw Uprising seized much of the central area of the city. Holding on to their gains was another matter.
They burned three German generals.

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The "Resistance" was particularly famous in which WWII-ravaged country?
France
The French Resistance became an iconic force against the Nazis in WWII. Cleverly, they undermined German efforts every second of every day.
USA
Finland
Philippines

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German leaders despised the French Resistance. In 1941, what measure did the Nazis take?
They killed most of Paris.
They took thousands of hostages.
In 1941, fearing widespread revolt by the Resistance, the Nazis took thousands of French civilians hostage. It was an outrageous escalation.
They executed the French president.
They outlawed the French language.

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How did the French "Milice" affect the French Resistance?
It helped them.
It sold them guns.
It hunted rebels.
The Milice was a Nazi-operated French militia. It found Frenchmen hunting their own kind ... and after the war, they too were hunted .. and executed by their countrymen.
It stole their women.

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During the Warsaw Uprising, which country airlifted in supplies to the embattled fighters?
Britain
Winston Churchill felt the agony of the Polish fighters. Unable to convince the Allies to contribute, he sent British planes to drop supplies to the rebels in what became known as the Warsaw Airlift.
Australia
Iceland
Norway

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How long did it take German high command to receive news of the Warsaw Uprising?
30 minutes
Within 30 minutes, the Reich knew all about the Polish uprising in Warsaw. They were quite pleased about this development -- it gave Nazi leaders cause to destroy the city.
3 days
3 weeks
A month

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Why did the Poles want to start the Warsaw Uprising BEFORE the Soviets arrived to liberate them?
They were out of food.
They were afraid of Russians.
They didn’t want to see the city leveled.
If the Soviets arrived at Warsaw, a battle between the Red Army and the Nazis would destroy the city. The Poles resolved to revolt before that happened.
All of them

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Retribution was severe. How many Polish civilians were killed during the Warsaw Uprising?
Perhaps 1,000
Perhaps 10,000
Perhaps 200,000
This was WWII, after all, where casualty numbers were always high. Around 200,000 Polish civilians were killed in the uprising, many of them executed as a matter of revenge.
2.9 million

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They were Polish heroes. What does "Armia Krawoja" mean in English?
Triumphant Ones
Home Army
Poland was one of the first to fall to the Reich. But from start to finish the Armia Krawoja, or Home Army, made them pay in blood.
Weapons Men
Nazi Hunters

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During the Warsaw Uprising, Soviet troops near the city received calls for help. What did they do?
They rushed into the city.
They did nothing.
Polish fighters hoped that the Allies would join the fray once they made progress in Warsaw. But Soviet generals received their cries for help ... and did nothing.
They bombed the fleeing Germans.
They called in airstrikes.

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“Werwolf" was a resistance group in which country?
Iceland
Spain
Germany
Not all Germans liked the Nazis. "Werwolf" was an anti-Nazi group in Germany ... but it didn’t manage to accomplish much during the war.
The Reich kind

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Alexander Pechersky was a heroic rebel. Where was he from?
Canada
America
USSR
Alexander Pechersky was a Soviet soldier — and a Jew — imprisoned at the Sobibor concentration camp. But he was no ordinary POW.
Libya

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At the famous Sobibor death camp uprising, Alexander Pechersky screamed which code words to start the revolt?
“Semper Fi!"
“Hurrah, the revolt has begun!"
After exhaustingly detailed planning, the Sobibor uprising began with the stabbings of Nazi officers. Then, Pechersky screamed, "Hurrah, the revolt has begun!"
“Hitler is a very bad man!"
“Let’s protest their faces!"

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The Warsaw Uprising was surprisingly effective. What was one major flaw?
The uprising was poorly timed.
The rebels had no real weapons.
The fighters were isolated from one another.
The rebels of the uprising captured most of the city. But they failed to clear paths to one another ... and were thus isolated. This turned out to be a problem.
There weren’t enough radios.

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It wasn’t always bulllets. Kazimierz Piechowski was famous for which feat of defiance?
Killed Hitler
Stole Nazi nuke plans
Escaped from Auschwitz
Kazimierz Piechowski and three other prisoners of Auschwitz pulled off an incredible feat. They dressed in German SS uniforms, stole an SS car ... and drove unscathed from the notorious death camp.
Killed 12 generals with a knife

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Some people were too scared to participate in the Sobibor camp uprising. What happened to them?
They were rewarded with hot showers.
They got three full meals.
They were executed.
No, sometimes there is no justice. A few dozen Sobibor death camp rebels survived the war. Ironically, the prisoners who opted not to take part were all executed. On German leadership orders, the camp was immediately closed, destroyed ... and turned into a tree farm.
They were made German officers.

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The Germans finally won the day. What happened in the wake of the Warsaw Uprising?
Poles mostly escaped retribution.
The Germans destroyed the city.
After about two months of bitter fighting, the Germans put down the Warsaw Uprising. And then? They completely destroyed the city.
The Germans retreated.
A truce was signed.

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Fighting during the Warsaw Uprising was vicious. Heinrich Himmler compared the fighting to what?
Pearl Harbor
Trying to defeat winged demons
the Battle of Stalingrad
Himmler witnessed the carnage of Warsaw and was taken aback. He compared the relentless fighting to the infamous Battle of Stalingrad.
Atomic warfare

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At the Treblinka death camp, most prisoners were killed when?
During the holidays
Within two hours of their arrival
Treblinka was a literal slaughterhouse. Nine out of 10 prisoners were killed within two hours of their arrival.
On every other Saturday
At midnight, every night

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The Wola massacre was a bloody, murderous rampage committed by which nation?
Japan
Canada
Germany
As Germany regained control during the Warsaw Uprising, the Third Reich’s leaders ordered mass executions in retribution. In the infamous Wola massacre, German troops may have murdered as many as 100,000 people ... and then burned the bodies.
USSR

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Before the Warsaw Uprising, what was life like in the ghettos?
It was luxurious for many people.
It was like a minimum security prison.
It was depressing but livable.
It was a complete deathtrap.
The ghettos of Warsaw were utterly horrifying before the uprising. Starvation and diseases killed more than 100,000 people in the years before the revolt.

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Polish leaders-in-exile saw the USSR approaching Warsaw and feared what?
That even more starvation would occur
That the rebels-to-be wouldn’t be able to speak Russian when the Red Army invaded
That the Soviets would kill everyone in the area
That the Soviets would take control of the city
One reason the rebels pulled the trigger on the revolt as the Red Army approached Warsaw -- they feared that the Soviets would simply replace the Germans as occupiers. It was an unfathomable thought.

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The Soviet army did capture one small part of Warsaw from the Germans … and then halted their advance. Why?
They were out of bullets.
They were scared of the Germans.
To give the Germans time to run away
So the Germans would destroy the Polish rebels
No one is precisely sure why the Red Army stopped its advance in Warsaw. But many historians speculate that Soviet leaders wanted the Germans and Polish rebels to destroy each other, making it easier for the communists to take over the area.

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