WWII for Dummies

Can you answer these relatively easy questions about the Second World War?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 24, 2020
First submittedSeptember 23, 2020
Times taken13,986
Rating4.28
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1. Who won the war?
The Allies
The Axis
2. What was the name of the Soviet Army?
The Black Army
The Red Army
The White Army
3. Which of the following types of ships was more important in WWII, especially in the Pacific Theater?
Aircraft carrier
Battleship
4. What country did Germany attack on September 1, 1939 – considered the beginning of WWII?
France
Poland
United States
5. Who of the following was NOT President of the U.S. during some part of WWII?
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson was President during the first World War
6. Which of the following people was NOT a Nazi?
Adolf Hitler
Friedrich Nietzsche
Hermann Göring
Joseph Goebbels
Nietzsche was a 19th century philosopher
7. What country was the site of the D-Day invasions?
France
Greece
Italy
Morocco
8. What battle was considered the "turning point" of the Pacific Theater?
Battle of the Bulge
Battle of Midway
Pearl Harbor
9. If the Luftwaffe is attacking, what should you be on guard for?
Airplanes
Ships
Tanks
10. Which of these countries was NOT part of the Axis?
Germany
Italy
Japan
Soviet Union
11. True or False. Prisoners captured by the Japanese were generally well-treated.
True
False
For example, about 1/3rd of American POWs died in Japanese captivity
12. Which of these countries was never invaded?
Brazil
China
France
13. What animal was Winston Churchill compared to?
Bulldog
Moose
Octopus
14. Who was leader of Italy during most of the war?
Silvio Berlusconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Benito Mussolini
15. True or false. Germany suffered relatively few casualties during the war.
True
False
Millions of Germans died, about 8% of the population
+16
Level 74
Sep 23, 2020
When I saw "WWII for Dummies" I wondered if it would ask "Who won the war?" and lo and behold the first question does!
+4
Level 44
Oct 24, 2020
7/15...Shame XD
+2
Level 80
Oct 24, 2020
I can think of at least one self proclaimed super genius who would struggle with this and several other questions here. Probably walk out half way through the quiz, too.
+26
Level 88
Sep 23, 2020
Really dislike the inclusion of 'relatively' in the last question. Relative to the Soviet Union or China, 'few' is arguably true.
+16
Level 80
Sep 23, 2020
Germany lost a higher percentage of its population than China did, and half the percentage that the Soviet Union lost. I don't think either qualifies as "relatively few".
+1
Level 45
Oct 27, 2020
German losses were "few" relative to the losses of (most) of the countries Germany invaded, that includes Poland, the Benelux, Denmark, Norway, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and for the most part (and for the majority of the war) the Soviet Union.

I don't like questions like this because this can (and inevitably will) be misconstrued into defending an ideology I want nothing to do with. The "correct" answer is just objectively wrong. It was >relatively< few losses by any meaningful metric. Even saying that the Germans lost a certain percentage of their population doesn't mean anything (like absolute numbers) because where do we know when a percentage stops being "relatively few" and starts being "relatively many". We can only compare losses on the sides of the axis and the allies. And the axies, including Germany, suffered relatively few casualties compared to the allies.

+2
Level ∞
Oct 28, 2020
Sorry @schtreg but your comment is simply incorrect. Some of the countries you listed, such as Denmark and Norway, had practically no casualties to speak of. As a percentage of their population, and by absolute numbers, Germany had greater casualties than almost every other nation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

+7
Level ∞
Sep 23, 2020
The Germans had massive losses on an absolute scale and relative to other countries. True, there were a handful of other countries that suffered even worse. But Germany's losses were horrific, and among the very highest of any country.
+1
Level 29
Oct 27, 2020
Why do you need that 'relatively' at all in the question? It's just confusing.
+5
Level 74
Sep 25, 2020
I agree with this. One man's big is other man's "let's dig out the microscope".
+8
Level 71
Sep 26, 2020
I agree, Germany had a high number of casualties, and that's what the question is meant to be about. What purpose does the word "relatively" serve? It only makes you think about the countries that had heavier losses (which include most of Eastern Europe) and makes the question ambiguous and confusing.
+2
Level 56
Oct 24, 2020
Agree, "relatively" rarely makes for a good question.
+2
Level 82
Sep 23, 2020
The Soviet Union was allied with Germany on the "official" act of starting the war. They both invaded Poland to reclaim the territory they lost in World War the First. Technically not part of the Tripartite Pact of Japan, Germany and Italy, they were Germany's equal partner for the only European event of the war for its first 8 months. They were considered an extremely intimidating German ally by the Allies.
+22
Level ∞
Sep 23, 2020
The Soviet Union was not part of the Axis powers. You are trying to find a valid nitpick where none exists.
+11
Level 73
Sep 30, 2020
It was a non-aggression pact, not an alliance.
+5
Level 80
Oct 24, 2020
Their relationship probably soured somewhat after Hitler invaded them.
+2
Level 52
Oct 25, 2020
"they were Germany's equal partner for the only European event of the war for its first 8 months."

You might want to read up about the war or either you're making very broad generalizations about what constitutes a single event.

+11
Level 83
Sep 23, 2020
If Marconi had run Italy, then Europe, not Japan, would have had been the site of intense radio activity. (rimshot)
+1
Level 60
Oct 26, 2020
I Love this comment :)
+6
Level 65
Oct 9, 2020
I'm more concerned that 1% of people don't know that the Allies won WW2
+1
Level 83
Oct 24, 2020
100% first try.
+5
Level 65
Oct 24, 2020
Not to brag, but most of my points come from the "for dummy" quizzes.
+12
Level 70
Oct 24, 2020
Battleships vs Carriers is really only a clear distinction in the Pacific war. In the Mediterranean theater, carriers had a specific role to play as support for battleships, not often as independent groups.
+2
Level 73
Oct 24, 2020
I agree, although escort carriers played a vital role in the Atlantic too.
+3
Level 62
Oct 24, 2020
I agree. From a US perspective, the carriers were surely more important. Maybe, you could specify the region in the question.
+4
Level 56
Oct 24, 2020
Agreed. It's a really odd question in a quiz about the entire war.
+3
Level 53
Oct 24, 2020
Yea it's definitely a very bad question. The quiz was probably written by someone who only read american textbooks.
+5
Level ∞
Oct 24, 2020
I've read Churchill's entire 6 part history of the war. The impression he gives is that battleships were expensive boondoggles that were easy prey for aircraft.

Ask yourself a question. If battleships didn't exist, how would the war have changed? Now do the same for aircraft carriers.

In fact, battleships were so useless that the last American battleship was commissioned in 1944, retired in the 1950s, and there has never been another one since.

That said, I've modified the question to make it more obvious what the correct answer is.

+2
Level 80
Oct 25, 2020
That was the original design purpose of aircraft carriers - to be support for battleships. But after Pearl Harbor, which destroyed most of the capital ships in America's Pacific fleet but none of its aircraft carriers, it became clear to tacticians and historians alike that battleships had become obsolete and aircraft carriers were what was actually important.
+1
Level 45
Oct 27, 2020
Exactly, that's the second question I had an issue with. I know this sounds bad, but it isn't meant that way: It would be helpful if quizzers would include "from a US perspective" sometimes. I run into this issue sometimes when I have to guess whether the quizz master is American or not because a question was worded in a way that it can only be answered subjectively.
+7
Level 68
Oct 24, 2020
Battleships were more important throughout the entirety of the war, aircraft carriers played a minimal role in the Atlantic and were mostly pivotal in the Pacific near the end of the war.
+2
Level 80
Oct 25, 2020
There were a couple battles between battleships in the Atlantic. But even there, submarines and destroyers were arguably more important. However, as much as many Europeans here seem to be completely ignorant about anything that happened in the Pacific theatre or its importance, no serious historian would make the argument you just did. Pearl Harbor. Midway. etc. Battleships were important in WW1. By WW2 they had become largely irrelevant, and military leadership still stuck in a WW1 mindset paid a cost for thinking otherwise.
+2
Level 71
Oct 24, 2020
Question #3 is WAAAAY too subjective to be a genuine quiz question.
+1
Level 61
Oct 25, 2020
NOOOOOOT.
+2
Level 60
Oct 26, 2020
Hmm ok I agree that the philosopher who laid the entire foundation for Hitler’s ideology was * technically * not a nazi...
+1
Level ∞
Oct 27, 2020
My guess is that you haven't actually read Nietzsche. Not recommended, by the way. The thing about Nietzsche is that his language is so convoluted that it's hard to argue that he has a consistent belief system that makes sense. Or rather, you can make virtually any argument you want.
+1
Level 34
Oct 27, 2020
Is... that Mark Rober?