Vroom, Bam!: Engines of WWII


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

World War II, like the Great War before it, was largely a war won by engine technology. The armies with the best vehicles had more maneuverability, range and power. How much do you know about the engines of World War II?

The Willys MB referred to what sort of vehicle?

The Willys MB was more commonly known as the Jeep. Jeeps, of course, were four-wheel drive vehicles with gutsy engines (and all-terrain ability) that made them indispensable to the Allies.


The Hercules JXD engine was used in the Studebaker US6, which was what?

The Studebaker US6 was a cargo truck that became vital to supply efforts during World War II. It had a 320 cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine that produced around 86 hp.


The Willys MB (or Jeep) featured a Willys L134 engine. It was better known as what?

The Willys L134 engine was better known by the name Willys Go Devil. It didn't have a ton of horsepower, but the vehicle had a heavy transmission that was durable for use in war zones.


Which vehicle featured a Rolls Royce Griffon engine?

Some of the famed British Spitfire fighters had Rolls Royce Griffon engines. They could zoom nearly 400 mph, making them hard targets for the Nazis.


What was the horsepower rating of the Willys Go Devil engine?

The Go Devil was rated at about 60 hp. It also had a torque output of around 105 lb ft. These Jeep engines zipped military men around the front, through all sorts of awful terrain.


Why was the Soviet fighter model Ilyushin Il-2's so hard for the enemy to disable?

The Ilyushin Il-2 fighter had armored plating all through its body, including around the engine. Some of these planes absorbed hundreds of hits and kept right on flying.


The Detroit diesel 6051 quad-71 was mainly used in what category of vehicle?

Detroit diesel 6051 quad-71 was used to drive propellers, often those on landing craft meant for amphibious assaults.


Most American World War II trucks used gasoline engines.

Almost all World War II trucks used gasoline. Diesel and multi-fuel truck engines didn't become more common until well after the war ended.


Which country spent much of the war making its own copies of the Detroit Diesel Series 71?

Thanks in large part to the Lend-Lease Act, the Soviets were very familiar with American engine technology. They made their own versions of the Series 71, often integrated into trucks and artillery tractors.


The Panzer IV tank used which engine?

The Panzer IV tank was the most common German tank of the war. It relied on its 12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 to move around the countryside.


The GMC 270 engine became incredibly important for what sort of missions?

The GMC 270 engine was used in some of the most common cargo trucks, namely the famous "Deuce and a Half" (2.5-ton) trucks that hauled Allied supplies all over the place.


How many cylinders were there in the Go Devil engine?

The Go Devils sported 4-cylinder engines and manual choke. Altogether, they weighed around 1 ton, too heavy for the Army's taste but still more than capable for the war's needs.


The Maybach HL230 engine was mostly used in what sort of vehicle?

The Germans used countless numbers of the Maybach HL230 for a variety of tanks, from the Tiger to the Panther. It was a water-cooled V12 engine.


The Germans continued to upgrade the Maybach HL230 engine throughout the conflict. By the end of the war, the best versions had how much horsepower?

With fuel injection and a supercharger, the later versions of the Maybach HL230 could hit around 1,200 hp. They powered the Tiger, one of the most-feared Nazi tanks.


Which aircraft used an inverted-V12 aero engine?

The Germans built their Messerschmitt Bf 109 with an inverted-V12 aero engine. The fact that it was inverted made it less susceptible to enemy fire from below.


The Pratt & Whitney R-1830 was used in which sort of vehicle?

The Pratt & Whitney R-1830 was used in large planes, such as the DC-3 transport and B-24 heavy bomber. It became one of the most common engines of the war.


The Pratt & Whitney R-1830 was used for huge planes carrying heavy loads. How much horsepower did it produce at takeoff?

These were powerful engines that created about 1,200hp at takeoff. When cruising, they'd output around 700hp.


The American M2 light tank used a Continental R-670-9A engine, which featured how many cylinders?

The M2 had a Continental R-670-9A engine, which used a 7-cylinder setup. It was a radial gasoline engine most often built into planes.


What was the horsepower rating of the Continental R-670-9A engine?

It was built into light tanks, but the Continental R-670-9A still only offered about 250 hp. A lot of these tanks were used primarily for tank crew training purposes, not actual combat.


What was a common nickname for the Detroit diesel 6051 quad-71 engine?

The engine garnered notable nicknames, like "Rocky Mountain Humming Bird," for the distinctive sound it made when it was running hard. It was also called the "Green Leaker" because it tended to spew fluids.


The Continental R975-C1 was used in which war vehicle?

The Continental R975-C1 was used in the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer. It produced a whopping 400 hp, far more than many other World War II-era engines.


Thanks to its Continental R975-C1 engine, what was one of the defining characteristics of the M18 Hellcat?

The Continental R975-C1 made the M18 Hellcat crazy fast. It didn't have a lot of armor but could top 50 mph, making it the fastest American tank of the war.


The "WC series" vehicles featured an engine made by which company?

The Dodge WC Series was a huge array of light trucks made in the hundreds of thousands for the war. They had a horsepower rating of around 90 hp.


Thanks to the 90-hp engines, the Dodge WC Series trucks could generally hit what speed?

The WC Series engines weren't overwhelmingly powerful, but they could propel the trucks to about 55 mph. In cases where bullets were flying, that might not have felt fast enough.


What was a notable trait of the Ford GAA engine?

The Ford GAA engine was the biggest mass-produced gasoline V8 engine on the planet. It was made from around 1940 to 1950.


The Ford GAA engine was a big engine used in what weapon?

The GAA was used in many versions of tanks. The 525-hp behemoth was originally 12 cylinders but was reduced to 8 cylinders in some tanks.


The Horch 3.8 V8 petrol engine powered the Leichter Panzerspähwagen, which is what sort of vehicle?

The V8 engine was used in the Leichter Panzerspähwagen, which was an armored car. The engine created about 90 hp, used to move a heavy vehicle that tipped the scales at nearly 9,000 pounds.


The Opel Blitz was a German truck that featured construction similar to trucks made by which American company?

The Opel Blitz often featured a 75-hp straight-six engine very similar to the ones found in Chevy trucks. They were so similar, in fact, that Allied troops could use parts from their stockpile to get abandoned Blitz trucks running again.


The 6-cylinder Maybach HL 62 TR was used in the German Wespe, which was meant for which purpose?

The 6-cylinder gas Maybach HL 62 TR powered numerous Nazi vehicles, including the Wespe. It was a self-propelled artillery gun that could go nearly 25 mph.


The German Landwasserschlepper was a 13-ton amphibious tractor. How much power did its engine produce?

The Landwasserschlepper used the common Maybach HL120 engine, which produced about 300 hp. The 13-ton monster tractor could carry up to 22 people.


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