World War II Generals Quiz


By: Nathan Chandler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

These men made battlefield decisions that affected world history. How much do you know about the men who helped shape our future? Take this Quiz now!

Which U.S. general was eventually elected to become the 34th president of the United States?

Dwight Eisenhower was a career military man who was also agile in the world of politics. He defeated Adlai Stevenson in a landslide election in 1952.


German Gen. Heinz Guderian was known for developing what?

Guderian was known for developing fast-moving armored strikes called blitzkrieg attacks. Using highly mobile tanks and infantry, these attacks decimated Allied forces for years.


Which Japanese commander was the mastermind behind the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?

Isoroku Yamamoto was the fleet admiral who coordinated the successful Pearl Harbor assault. In 1943, a U.S. fighter shot down the bomber that was transporting Yamamoto.


How did Gen. George S. Patton die?

About three months after the end of the war, Patton died from injuries sustained in a minor car wreck. While in the hospital, he said, "This is a hell of a way to die."


Which U.S. general was known for his kind and polite nature?

Unlike so many military men who rely on force and aggressiveness, Omar Bradley was known for his politeness and kindness. Others described him as being a little on the dull side.


Which World War II general earned the nickname Desert Fox?

Rommel was known as the Desert Fox for his brilliance as a German tank commander. After Rommel was implicated in a plot to kill Hitler, the Fuhrer forced Rommel to commit suicide.


How many stars did Gen. Douglas MacArthur earn during his time in the military?

MacArthur was a five-star general. The five-star ranking came about during World War II but has since been removed from the ranking system.


U.S. Gen. Henry Arnold helped to modernize which part of the military?

Arnold was instrumental in modernizing the equipment and strategies of the U.S. Air Force. Under his (rather ruthless) leadership, the Air Force played a huge role in beating back the Nazis.


Russian Gen. Georgy Zhukov prevented which Soviet city from falling into German hands?

Zhukov was one of the war's underrated generals. As the Nazi war machine rolled towards Leningrad, he locked down the city and prevented its capture, although a resulting German siege inflicted great suffering on the citizens there.


Britain Prime Minister Winston Churchill called which American general "the organizer of victory"?

Churchill called George Marshall "the organizer of victory". Marshall oversaw a huge expansion of the U.S. military and helped to coordinate many strategic plans in both Europe and the Pacific.


Which Italian general attempted to convince Benito Mussolini to end Italy's alliance with Nazi Germany?

Vittorio Ambrosio served in three Italian wars, including both World Wars. He failed in his bid to convince Mussolini to end the alliance with Germany, but Ambrosio eventually helped to remove Mussolini from power.


Which British general was known as "The Spartan General"?

Bernard Montgomery was called The Spartan General -- or just Monty -- during his five-decade military career. He was a brilliant miltary man known for his absolute lack of politeness and tact.


Which Soviet general told his troops to remember the torture inflicted by the Nazis and that they should exact revenge for all of it?

Zhukov took the war and the Nazi atrocities to heart. He wholeheartedly endorsed reprisals against Germans as USSR armies advanced against the Nazis at the end of the war.


Gen. Bernard Freyberg fought for which country's army?

Freyberg was a commander for New Zealand. He was known as a fearless fighter who often plunged into the thick of battle, always emerging wounded but still walking.


British Gen. Claude Auchinleck spent much of the war in which country?

As the top military commander in India during the war, Auchinleck was responsible for pushing back pro-Axis forces in the area. He also commanded forces in the Middle East.


At peak levels, how many men did U.S. Gen. Omar Bradley have under his command?

At one point of the war, Bradley was in command of 1.3 million men. No general before or since commanded so many American soldiers at once.


Maxine Weygand was a general for which country's army?

Maxine Weygand was a general for France. As Germany invaded France, Wegand decided to help the Nazis … but was then arrested by the Germans because he wasn't as helpful as they wanted him to be.


Which German commander took up the cause of building up defenses on the Atlantic Wall?

Knowing the Allies would be attacking from the sea, Rommel was dismayed by the lack of progress of defenses on the Atlantic Wall. When he was promoted to a commanding position, he immediately set about reinforcing the wall to defend against invaders.


After being convicted of war crimes, how long did German commander Erich von Manstein remain in prison?

Manstein admitted to some of his war crimes and was sentenced to 18 years, which was then reduced to 12. He wound up serving four years for his role in the Holocaust.


Władysław Anders was a Polish general arrested by which country's army?

As he was retreating from Germany's invasion, Anders was arrested and imprisoned by the Russians. He was released on the understanding that he'd command units to fight alongside Russian troops, and he did, while still pushing the Russians to release other imprisoned Polish citizens.


U.S. Gen. Carl Spaatz was known for his relentlessness in pushing which type of technology?

As head of the U.S. Air Force, Spaatz pushed fighters to achieve longer and longer flights. Fighter escorts made bombing raids much more successful.


Mark W. Clark helped the Allies capture which city?

Clark was in charge of the Fifth Army when it pushed its way into Rome in 1944. He was just 48 years old when he became the youngest U.S. officer to achieve the rank of general.


Which Italian general negotiated the Armistice between Italy and the Allies?

Giuseppe Castellano shook hands with the U.S.'s Dwight Eisenhower following the drawn-out Armistice negotiations. He retired from the army following the war and became a successful business owner.


Jan Golian was a general who helped spark an uprising against the Nazis in which country?

Golian was instrumental in organizing an uprising in Czechoslovakia. The uprising did not last long against the superior German forces. Golian was killed at the Flossenburg concentration camp.


U.S. Gen. Ira Eaker was tasked with what sort of operations?

As the U.S. began to embrace massive bombing campaigns, Eaker learned everything he could about bombing strategies. He pushed bombers farther into Germany in hopes of dealing death blows to the Nazis.


How did Japanese Gen. Iwane Matsui die?

Matsui was found responsible for war crimes such as the Nanking Massacre. He was captured by American forces and ultimately executed.


Which German general signed the unconditional surrender of Germany in 1945?

Alfred Jodl had the dubious honor of signing the famous surrender. He was found guilty of a long list of war crimes and then executed in 1946.


Which German general was shot in the head by his own troops at the Battle for The Hague?

Kurt Student was in command of paratroopers during the Battle for The Hague, during which the Nazis failed to achieve even minor objectives. Student survived the accidental shooting but was executed after the war.


Which U.S. general was sometimes called the "crazy cowboy general"?

Hitler himself reportedly called Patton the crazy cowboy general. Patton was well-known for his fearless offensives that often drove back enemy lines.


What was NOT one of the nicknames for George S. Patton?

Patton was never called the Wise Warrior, although he was smarter than most generals. He helped lead the Third Army across Europe following the Battle of Normandy.


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