Will You Declare Victory over This WWII Trivia Quiz?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: LifesBiggestQuestions

About This Quiz

As the Second World War reached an incredible crescendo, a single balding man issued this timeless phrase to Allied troops: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” And then, with Eisenhower’s words ringing in their ears, hundreds of thousands of men committed to pushing back Germany’s Nazis forever. What do you know about the incredible moments of World War II in this hard-fighting quiz?

First, it was Germany steamrolling across Western Europe. Then, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The world, it seemed, had gone mad with a thirst for blood. By the time it was all said and done, tens of millions of people were dead, cities were wiped from the maps, and the world would never be the same again. What do you know about the men, politics … and consequences of this heartbreaking conflict?

At the beginning of the war, the Luftwaffe achieved air superiority, devastating air and ground forces all over Europe. Planes like the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf 190 clashed with Hurricanes and P-51 Mustangs all across the battlefronts. What do you know about the aircraft and weapons of WWII?

As Hitler’s little mustache quivered with rage and Hirohito’s hopes crumbled, the Allies picked up the pace, building planes, tanks and ships at an ever-faster rate. Soon, evil would fall. Take our WWII quiz now! We’ll find out if you’re cut out for the Marines or if you’d be better off falling on your own sword in this WWII quiz for the ages!

During the Second World War, Germany, Italy and Japan were called the _____.

Germany, Japan and Italy were the primary nations that made up the Axis Powers of WWII. Their dreams of conquest sparked the deadliest war in human history.


What was the name for Germany’s fast-attack tactics?

"Blitzkrieg" means "lightning war" — Germany used its armor and air superiority to quickly overwhelm Allied lines in blitzkrieg attacks. At the beginning of the war, few Allied forces could withstand the blitzkrieg.


Who was the leader of the Soviet Union during WWII?

Joseph Stalin was the USSR's Communist leader who ruled with an iron fist. He first sided with Hitler ... and later found his people being slaughtered at the hands of the Germans.


What was one cause of World War II?

The treaty that ended the First World War required huge reparations from Germany and its allies. They were so heavy-handed that Germany didn’t make its last payments until 2010.


Nazi doctor Josef Mengele had which nickname?

Mengele was an empathy-free monster often called the "Angel of Death," for his role in conducting merciless medical experiments on people in concentration camps. He escaped justice after the war and lived a free life in South America until his death in 1979.


In 1938, Hitler decided he wanted to "annex" the Sudetenland, a German-speaking area of Czechoslovakia. How did Britain respond?

Hitler arbitrarily decided to take the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia ... and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had no objections. He hoped that pacifying Hitler would make him go away. He was wrong.


Why did Communism and fascism flourish in Europe before WWII?

The ruination of WWI and the Great Depression caused immense economic suffering in Europe. It was an atmosphere fertile for the roots of fascism and Communism.


Omaha Beach was an important part of which fight?

On June 6, 1944 — D-Day — Allied forces landed on five code-named beaches in Normandy. Omaha Beach was one of the bloodiest, a place where thousands of soldiers were hurt or killed.


How did the chemical DDT play a role in the war?

DDT, a potent insecticide, was sprayed liberally all over the South Pacific, killing the bugs that spread disease among Americans. It was nothing short of a miracle — and it wasn’t until later that people realized how harmful it was to the environment.


Who was the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe?

Dwight Eisenhower, the whip-smart strategist who forged many of the ideas behind D-Day, was the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe. He insisted on total control of many units so that he could efficiently execute his plans.


What was a hallmark of the Battle of Okinawa?

By April 1945, American troops were fed up with the war. At Okinawa, they uncorked their rage — and the Japanese returned the favor. Both sides committed one atrocity after another, and less than three months, 150,000 civilians were dead.


Who did NOT serve as U.S. president during WWII?

Teddy Roosevelt was president from 1901 to 1909. Franklin Roosevelt was president during most of WWII but died before the war ended; Truman stepped in to take his place.


Which country enacted Operation Barbarossa?

On June 23, 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR. It may have been the dumbest decision of the war, as it left Germany vulnerable on both the Western and Eastern fronts.


Which man was known as "Old Blood and Guts"?

General George Patton was called "Old Blood and Guts" in media reports, and the nickname stuck. Some soldiers complained that it was their blood and guts that were doing all the work of their egotistical general.


What was the "Spitfire"?

The Supermarine Spitfire was a British fighter aircraft of WWII. It shot to fame during the Battle of Britain, when its guns (along with those of the Hurricane) beat back the Luftwaffe, time and again.


How many Americans served in uniform during the war?

America quickly ramped up its military capacity during the war. By the time the conflict ended, more than 16 million men and women had done their time in the military.


The U.S. won a major naval fight called the Battle of Midway, in large part due to _____.

Before the Battle of Midway, American codebreakers cracked Japan’s codes ... so they knew the Empire’s attack plans. The U.S. landed a decisive blow, sending some of Japan’s most important ships to the bottom of the Pacific.


How many atomic bombs did America drop on Japan during WWII?

In early August 1945, America dropped Fat Man and Little Boy on two Japanese cities. The bombs killed around 130,000 people and terrified humans all over the planet with their awesome power.


What happened in the German city of Dresden during the war?

In early 1945, the Allies loaded thousands of tons of incendiary bombs, which then fell on Dresden. The firebombing of Dresden is a lasting symbol of unbridled revenge, one that killed tens of thousands of civilians and destroyed a city full of precious artwork.


What role did Isoroku Yamamoto have during the war?

Isoroku Yamamoto was top admiral in the Japanese Navy. He was also one of the masterminds of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was killed later in the war when American pilots (very intentionally) shot down his plane.


The Japanese took four aircraft carriers to the Battle of Midway. How many were left once the battle ended?

America leveraged its superior intelligence regarding Japanese battle preparations for the Battle of Midway, blasting all four of the Empire’s carriers. It was a blow that Japan couldn’t recover from, giving the U.S. Navy the upper hand for much of the rest of the war.


What was a "kamikaze"?

As the momentum of the war turned against Japan, its leaders grew desperate, sending kamikaze suicide pilots at American ships. The tactic was intermittently effective — and terrified American sailors.


What was the primary purpose of Germany’s V-1 weapon?

Germany launched its V-1 flying bombs at British cities primarily as a tool of terror. It fired thousands of the missiles and caused tens of thousands of English casualties.


What was the most expensive American weapons project of the Second World War?

You’d think that the atomic bomb (Manhattan) project would be the most expensive. But the B-29 bomber, due to its insanely advanced capabilities -- including computerized guns -- was actually far more expensive. It cost the U.S. around $3 billion.


Calvin Graham was a decorated U.S. war hero. How old was he when he enlisted?

Graham lied and schemed to enlist in the Navy even though he was just 11 years old. Later, still a child, he became a war hero when he saved the lives of wounded sailors while suffering from injuries of his own.


After WWII, many tons of chemical weapons were left unused. How did the Allies dispose of them?

Chemical weapons weren’t used often on the battlefield in WWII, but Germany had large stockpiles of these munitions. After the war, the Allies dumped many of the weapons into the ocean ... where they now threaten the health of the seas.


Why did the Americans leave Emperor Hirohito unpunished after the war?

The United States occupied Japan for years after the war, and they used Hirohito as a puppet. Without the emperor, it would have been much harder to bring Japan’s citizenry to heel.


About how many total deaths were there during WWII?

Due to the extent of the devastation, historians will never really know the true number. But some estimates put total troop and civilians deaths at 80 million ... or even more.


As Allied troops liberated concentration camps, what did Commander Eisenhower tell them to do?

Dwight Eisenhower knew that in the wake of the war, many people would deny that the Holocaust ever occured. He had his men take countless pictures and films to document the madness for future generations.


What’s one major reason that Japan surrendered?

In early August 1945, the USSR, fresh off of its victory over Germany, invaded Japan’s lands. It may well have been the threat of the Soviets — and not American atomic bomb attacks — that caused Japan to throw in the towel.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!