Weapons of World War II


By: Nathan Chandler

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Engineers learned lessons from the first World War and applied their new knowledge to the killing machines of World War II. How much do you know about World War II weapons?

What kind of weapon was the M1 Garand?

The M1 Garand was a U.S. semi-automatic rifle. It was a .30-caliber version that saw widespread use in World War II and the Korean War.


The MG 34 is an air-cooled machine gun.

The MG 34 is indeed an air-cooled machine gun, one that was used by the Germans. It was light enough to be lugged by a single soldier and at 900 rounds per minute, it had an incredible rate of fire.


The M1911 pistol is chambered for which cartridge?

The M1911 was designed by American John Browning. The .45 caliber pistol was in high demand during World War II -- millions were produced for Allied forces.


The Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk 2 rifle was produced mostly for which country?

The Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk 2 rifle was produced mostly for the United Kingdom. There are several versions of this rifle, which has been reproduced more than 17 million times.


"Ma Deuce" is nickname for which kind of weapon?

The Ma Deuce is the M2, or the Browning .50 Caliber machine gun. These heavy machine guns were successfully used by Allied forces all over the world.


What was a defining trait of the M1 Garand rifle?

In a war where speed mattered, the Allies needed rifles with a faster firing rate. The Garand could shoot at nearly 50 rounds per minute.


British S.T. grenades had what special feature?

The S.T. grenades were so-called sticky bombs. Soldiers cracked them open to expose a sticky residue and then threw them at passing vehicles. The grenades would stick…and then explode.


Which grenade was the standard model for the Japanese army?

The Type 97 was the standard Japanese grenade. These models were plagued with unreliable fuses that made them hazardous to the user.


How many rounds were there in a standard clip for the MP 40 machine gun?

The MP 40 typically used a 32-round magazine. When soldiers (incorrectly) grabbed the magazine to stablilize their aim, the gun often jammed.


How many different versions of the Thompson machine gun were adopted for use by the U.S. military?

The U.S. military adopted two versions of the so-called Tommy machine gun. Around 1.5 million of these famed guns were made during the war.


Which country deployed Gato-class submarines?

The U.S. launched the first Gato-class subs in 1941. The subs were extremely successful against Japan -- America sank countless tons of Japanese cargo using Gato submarines.


Allied forces used the PIAT for what purpose?

The PIAT stood for Projector, Infantry Anti-Tank. Infantry soldiers could use the system to launch 2.5-pound bombs to disable or destroy enemy tanks.


Which type of British weapon was nicknamed Lifebuoy?

Portable, No. 2 British flamethrower had a life preserver-shaped fuel tank that led to the Lifebuoy nickname. Fully loaded, the system weighed more than 60 pounds, creating a significant burden to the shooter.


The Breda Mod. 42 was intended for what purpose?

The Breda Mod. 42 was an anti-tank mine used by Italian armed forces. It was made in two versions, an explosive type and an incendiary type, both of which were used during the war.


The Mk II was a type of concussion grenade.

The U.S. Mk II was filled with TNT. It wasn't a concussion grenade. Instead, it was made to fragment in order to cause maximum mayhem.


What was special about the De Lisle carbine?

The British De Lisle carbine had a built-in noise suppressor, making it extremely quiet. Its low noise meant it was perfect for special operations forces that relied on speed and surprise.


Which company was known for making a weapon nicknamed the Gangster gun?

The Gangster gun was the Winchester Model 1897, a shotgun that was widely used during both world wars. Known for its reliability, it was most often deployed in 12- or 16-gauge.


U.S. Gen. George S. Patton called one weapon the greatest implement of battle ever devised. To which weapon was he referring?

Patton, the famous U.S. war hero, called the M1 Garand rifle the greatest implement of battle ever devised. The U.S. made more than 5 million of these guns during World War II.


What sort of weapon was the Enfield No. 2?

The Enfield No. 2 was a top-break revolver produced from the 1930s to the 1950s. World War II versions had automatic ejectors that made for quick and easy loading.


In 1935, the German military adopted a standard service rifle. Which rifle was it?

The Karabiner 98k was the German standard rifle throughout the war. It was prized for its reliability and its accuracy of more than 550 yards.


Which country was most likely to deploy Type 99 mines?

Japan deployed the Type 99 mines as anti-tank weapons. Large metal vehicles triggered the fuze, and after a 5- to 10-second delay, the mine would explode.


One weapon made by the U.S. was called the M6. What sort of weapon was it?

The M6 was a type of bazooka, a portable rocket launcher. Bazookas were often used to destroy tanks or buildings.


The StG 44 rifle had a huge impact on the war's outcome.

Although it was a solid assault rifle, the StG 44 was too late to the party to make much of a difference. By the time most of these rifles hit the battlefield, Nazi Germany was already doomed.


Which country produced the weapon called Suomi KP/-31?

Finland created the Suomi KP/-31, which gained a reputation as one of the best submachine guns used in the entire war. It was expensive to make, but its fast firing rate and great accuracy made it a fearsome weapon.


Skilled German snipers could use Karabiner 98k rifles to hit targets at what maximum range?

Sharpshooters armed with the 98k were known to hit targets up to 3,200 feet (1,000 meters) away. Germany produced more than 130,000 sniper-specific versions of this rifle.


What sort of weapon was the Japanese Nambu Type 100?

The Type 100 submachine gun saw its first service starting in 1942. Like many other World War II guns, it had an exceedingly simple design so that it could be produced quickly and cheaply.


British Sten guns were largely considered successful weapons.

The Sten guns were cheap, mass-produced submachine guns meant to quickly replenish weapons captured by Axis forces. Unfortunately for the Allies, they were also inaccurate and unreliable.


PPS submachine guns were commonly used by which country?

The USSR outfitted its soldiers with a number of type of PPS submachine guns. Roughly 2 million of the guns were made during World War II.


Which German weapon was introduced as an emergency design near the end of the conflict?

As Axis forces ran out of resources and manufacturing capabilities, they desperately looked for cheap and easy-to-make weapons designs. The MP 3008 machine gun was simple, inexpensive and not very effective.


What was a major problem with the USSR's RGD-33 grenade?

The RGD-33 was too complex, both for manufacturers and for end users. It also sometimes sent shrapnel flying farther than the users could throw it, endangering friendly soldiers.


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