Was it World War II or the Vietnam War?

By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

They were both pivotal wars that drastically altered American life. One found the United States fighting for its very existence, while the other still isn't even recognized formally as a war. Can you match the following facts to World War II or the Vietnam War?

Which war became a fight between the Axis and the Allies?

The Second World War was an epic confrontation between the Allies, such as Britain, American, France (and many others) against the Axis, which featured the likes of Germany, Italy and Japan.

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Which war caused a greater number of American casualties?

Roughly 420,000 American troops died fighting World War II. In Vietnam, a slow-burning but violent conflict, about 58,000 troops died.

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Which war was caused in part due to oppressive treaty terms following the First World War?

After World War I, Germany was forced into signing humiliating concessions that drastically altered German culture. Hitler capitalized on a German desire for revenge as he built his Third Reich.

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The Gulf of Tonkin Incident caused an immediate escalation of which war?

In 1964, North Vietnamese ships supposedly attacked American naval craft near Southeast Asia. President Johnson leveraged the event (which may have been completely falsified) as an excuse to escalate American military activity in the area.

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Which war do historians often regard as a proxy war between Cold War superpowers?

After World War II, the Soviet Union and China (both communist countries) supported North Vietnam. America and her allies fought with democratic-minded South Vietnam. In many ways, Vietnam was a proxy war between the U.S. and U.S.S.R.

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Which war was more expensive for the United States?

The Vietnam War was no budget-priced conflict -- America blew about $170 billion on the war. But World War II was incredibly expensive, at $340 billion in 1945 dollars, which is around $4.6 trillion today.

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Which war started in 1939?

There were drumbeats of major conflict before Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939, but the attack on Poland was the act that truly propelled World War II into an emergency situation. Allied nations knew that the Nazis would be difficult -- or perhaps impossible -- to stop.

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A surprise attack on Hawaii dragged America into which war?

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Before the attack, America was waiting on the sidelines of the war -- but Pearl Harbor meant there was no turning away from the imperialism of the East.

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The "blitzkrieg" was a major battle tactic during which conflict?

Germany used blitzkrieg ("lightning war") tactics to steamroll enemy forces in World War II. They massed armored vehicles and struck with amazing speed, often overrunning even heavily-armed forces that were ostensibly ready for the onslaught -- they often were not.

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Operation Rolling Thunder was a significant round of violence during which conflict?

Starting in 1965 and continuing for more than three years, Operation Rolling Thunder was a sustained bombing campaign meant to buoy the struggling South Vietnamese and to devastate North Vietnam's ability to wage war. It killed perhaps 180,000 civilians.

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Which war had a greater number of total casualties?

Including civilians, the Vietnam War may have cost about 1.7 million lives. World War II, however, was the deadliest war in history. It may have killed more than 80 million people in the span of just a few years.

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Which war featured the biggest land theater of war in human history?

In 1941, the Axis attacked the Soviet Union, opening the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front became the biggest land war theater in history and resulted in millions of deaths.

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The Tet Offensive was a major offensive that took place during which conflict?

In 1968, the North Vietnamese set out to permanently overthrow the South Vietnamese government through the Tet Offensive. The offensive failed in its primary objective but started a downward spiral for American forces in Vietnam.

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D-Day marked a critical turning point in which war?

On June 6, 1944 -- D-Day -- the Allies launched an invasion of Europe in hopes of throwing back Hitler's minions. The attack worked. If it hadn't, you might be reading this in German instead of English.

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The "domino theory" guided much of the United States' policy during which war?

American leaders were concerned that if communist aggression wasn't halted in Vietnam, communism would spread throughout Asian countries, like a series of falling dominoes. Stop the Soviets and North Vietnam right away, and maybe communism would be halted in its tracks. Some historians believe that ultimately this strategy was successful.

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The Holocaust took place during which war?

Nazi Germany wasn't just out to conquer the world. It also wanted to cleanse the Earth of "undesirable" peoples. The Holocaust rounded up millions of innocent souls and exterminated them.

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Huge waves of counterculture protests shook the world during which war?

In many places, particularly America, the Vietnam War was regarded as a senseless conflict. Counterculture protests throughout the country ripped the nation in half. During World War II, however, the nation was united against the Axis aggression.

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The Paris Peace Accord was a major political achievement during which conflict?

In 1973, the combatants of the Vietnam War came together for the Paris Peace Accord. It temporarily halted some of the fighting, but the war dragged on until years later.

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Which war lasted longer?

World War II was the deadliest armed conflict in human history, but it burned out quickly, just six years after it began. In contrast, Vietnam dragged on for about a decade and a half.

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The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval fight during which war?

In 1942, Japan attacked the atoll named Midway in the Pacific Ocean, but she stumbled into a trap. The United States handed Japan a withering defeat that altered the course of the Pacific War.

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Which war ended in 1975?

After years of slogging through the jungles fighting the Viet Cong and its allies, the United States finally fled South Vietnam and headed for home in 1973. After America's exit, the war still burned until 1975.

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Which war resulted in the Cold War?

After World War II, the partnership between the United States and the Soviet Union quickly disintegrated into a frosty standoff called the Cold War. The Cold War, of course, played a major role in the escalation of violence in Vietnam.

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The fall of Saigon marked the end of which war?

In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese finally captured the South Vietnam capital of Saigon. American stragglers and allies fled the city amid scenes of disarray, a final visual reminder of a resounding defeat.

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The Lend-Lease policy played a huge role in the politics of which war?

In World War II, as Germany turned on the Soviet Union (a former ally), the United States and Britain took up the Lend-Lease policy. The policy allowed the Allies to provide goods to countries like China and the Soviet Union in order to help them beat back the Nazi hordes.

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Operation Frequent Wind was a major helicopter operation during which war?

Helicopters weren't a part of World War II. As Saigon fell during the Vietnam War, the U.S. executed Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation ever performed. It removed remaining American personnel and many South Vietnamese allies from the city.

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Which war was marked by the first-ever use of nuclear weapons?

During World War II, the Allies initiated the Manhattan Project, a massive international effort to develop atomic bombs. They succeeded, and in 1945, the United States dropped two nuclear weapons on the Japanese homeland, an act that helped to end the war.

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A city named Hiroshima became world-famous during which conflict?

In 1945, the United States opted to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It was the first city ever to see the effects of a nuclear weapon. Later, the U.S. dropped another bomb, this time on Nagasaki.

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Which war is sometimes simply called the "American War"?

In Vietnam, the Vietnam War is often called the American War. It was a political quagmire that still affects all of the countries that fought in the conflict.

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The United States and Soviet Union were allies during which war?

Germany's unbridled aggression made for some strange allies during World War II. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. exchanged goods and strategies in an effort to throw back the Nazis and their evil aims.

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Japan was at war with China during the beginning of which conflict?

Japan's imperialist designs were evident in the late 1930s, when the Empire of the Rising Sun invaded China, which suffered horrific military and civilian casualties at the hands of Japanese.

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