If You're Not a True WWII Expert, Don't Even Bother With This Quiz!



By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

With millions of people dead, both soldiers and civilians, and half the world ravaged by bombs and tanks, World War II left a tremendous impact on the future direction of the world for countries involved, countries that sat on the sideline, and countries that didn't even exist at the time. Are you a WWII expert, with knowledge on the war and the ramifications? Could you pass a quiz with some of the most difficult questions about the war? Here's your chance to find out! 

After witnessing the violence of World War I, or the Great War, countries all over the world thought a similar conflict was not possible. They were wrong, and only two decades later, another global conflict arose with many of the same actors involved. However, with World War II, the weapons only got deadlier and the casualties grew higher as the Axis Powers were pitted against the Allied Forces. With powerful, vocal leaders on both sides, the countries involved rallied behind cries for nationalism and patriotism. The future for these countries would never be the same. 

Do you have what it takes to pass an expert-level quiz on this violent global war? Do you know the leaders, the agreements between countries, and the major battles? Take this quiz and find out! 

Who was President of the United States when WWII started?

Franklin D. Roosevelt guided the United States through both the Great Depression and the initial years of World War II. He's the only president to be elected four times.


Why did Japan want to expand?

Japan was a small island nation and knew the industrial powers around the world relied on natural resources for their rise to power. With few natural resources in Japan, the country decided to look elsewhere.


Which country was NOT an Axis Power?

Russia initially had a non-aggression pact with Germany. However, Germany broke the agreement by invading Russia, which many believed to be inevitable.


Which country attacked the United States in an attempt to cripple its Pacific Navy?

Japan's expansion in Southeast Asia surely caught the attention of the United States, which was also involved in the region. Before the U.S. could gather its forces and enter the war, Japan decided to attack first.


Where did Japan first attack the United States?

The attack took place on December 7, 1941. It lasted for just under two hours, killing over 2,000 U.S. servicemen.


The mass execution of millions of Jews by the Germans was called what?

Adolph Hitler believed the Jewish people were largely responsible for Germany's inability to recover after World War I. His hatred and belief that Germans were a superior race caused him to order the imprisonment and execution of Jews all over Europe.


Who led Germany into WWII?

Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. In 1934, Hitler merged his power as chancellor with that of the President of Germany, becoming the sole ruler of Germany.


Which agreement was signed by the Axis Powers?

Signed in 1940, the Tripartite Pact was aimed at the United States, should they decide to enter the war. At that time, most people in the United States wanted to stay isolated from the struggle.


Which battle gave the United States the advantage in the Pacific?

In 1942, Japan planned an attack on what was left of the United States Pacific Fleet. However, the United States learned of the attack and launched a counter-strike that crippled the Japanese Navy.


What was it called when a Japanese plane would crash purposely into an enemy target?

When Japanese planes were out of ammo and bombs, the planes would crash into enemy targets. These Japanese planes were loaded with explosives to make the attacks more damaging.


What political party helped Adolf Hitler rise to power?

The Nazi Party rose to power by promoting the superiority of the German people. It was heavily influential in the development of German nationalism.


Who was the Prime Minister of Japan during the attack on Pearl Harbor?

The Empire of Japan went from a pre-modern nation to a world power in less than a century. They even secured a victory over Russia, the first Asian country to defeat a European power.


What year did Japan invade China?

Japan's invasion of China was both bloody and brutal. One incident, the Rape of Nanking, saw some of the most atrocious acts from the war.


What year did Germany invade Poland?

The German invasion of Poland is considered the start of World War II. However, many countries were already fighting by this point, particularly​ in Asia.


What was early-German military strategy during the war called?

Blitzkrieg can be translated to mean "lightning war." It was just that, as the strategy involved striking with as much force as possible to avoid drawn-out​ conflicts.


What was a major reason for Adolf Hilter's rise to power?

The Great Depression in the United States had ripple effects around the world. Germany, which was already suffering from an economic crisis since the end of WWI, was hit even harder and desperately needed an answer.


Heading into WWII, what type of government did Italy have?

Italy was ruled by Benito Mussolini, who was the founder of fascism in Italy. Mussolini was a loud and dominant personality, which helped in his rise to power.


What policy did Britain and France initially take toward Germany's growing military?

No one wanted a second world war, nor did they think it was possible. However, Hitler took every inch that was given and much more.


What year did Winston Churchill become Prime Minister of Britain?

Winston Churchill did not support the policy of appeasement. He was one of the first British subjects to demand that Britain prepare itself for war.


Who led Russia through WWII?

Joseph Stalin rose to power through the Communist Party started by Vladimir Lenin. However, Stalin's policies turned the Soviet Union into a dictatorship with him at the helm.


What is the annexation of Austria into Germany called?

Prior to the Anschluss, most Austrians believed they should be part of Germany anyway. When Germany invaded, the Austrians were more than happy to receive them.


How was the Battle of Britain fought?

After Hitler conquered France, he set his eyes on Britain. For his campaign to be successful, he had to first win in the air.


What was the German air force called?

In the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe went up against the Royal Air Force. Despite being outnumbered, the RAF managed to hold off the German threat.


Who was the Supreme Allied Commander for the South West Pacific Area during WWII?

Douglas MacArthur received the Medal of Honor for his efforts in the war. He was also promoted to a five-star General of the Army.


Who was the Supreme Commander for the Allied Expeditionary Force?

Dwight Eisenhower was instrumental in the success of the European campaign. After the war, he became the 34th president of the United States.


What was the name of the German armed forces?

The Wehrmacht came into existence in 1935. Its primary purpose was to reconquer lands lost by Germany.


The Wehrmacht fell apart on the Eastern Front when Hilter failed to capture which city?

Russian winters can be very cruel, particularly to those who aren't used to them. For that reason, military strategists have developed a rule that you don't march on Russia in the winter.


Where did the Allies land on D-Day?

D-Day was one of the bloodiest fights of the war. The invasion force consisted of 150,000 men. 10,000 of those died during the attack.


Who became president when Franklin D. Roosevelt died?

Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945 shortly before the war ended. He was elected to his fourth term only a few months prior.


The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on which Japanese city?

After dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the United States demanded that the Japanese Empire surrender. When they still refused, the U.S. dropped another bomb on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered shortly after.


What was the first of three strategic conferences between Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill called?

The Tehran Conference was held in Iran at the Soviet embassy. It was the first time during the war that the leaders of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain met.


What was the name of the project to construct the atomic bomb?

The Manhattan Project was led by Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves. The lead designer of the bomb was Julius Oppenheimer.


Which treaty ended the war in Europe?

The treaties signed at the Paris Peace Conference reset boundaries for countries in Europe. They also ensured racial discrimination would no longer be allowed.


Which document set up the terms for Japan's surrender?

After the war, Japan was occupied by the United States. The occupation set Japan up for tremendous economic growth for the next few decades.


Which global conflict followed WWII?

The Cold War pitted the democratic values of the United States with the communist ideology of the USSR. The era was defined by proxy wars and the fear of a nuclear holocaust.


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