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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
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First submittedSeptember 23, 2020
Times taken78,470
Average score86.7%
Rating4.52
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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. Less than 1% of the German population died because of the war.
True
False
About 8% of Germany's population died
87 Comments
+51
Level 76
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!
+8
Level 82
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.
+7
Level 59
Dec 8, 2020
I'd never heard of...Nietzsche before, so I guessed there and got one wrong.
+6
Level 64
Oct 16, 2022
Nietzsche is a philosopher.
+3
Level 60
Dec 7, 2022
And there's nothing he can't teach you 'bout the raising of the wrist.
+1
Level 47
Jun 6, 2024
Socrates himself was permanently pissed!
+8
Level 81
Sep 30, 2022
Well I want to know about the 1% that though the Axis powers won…
+5
Level 65
Mar 8, 2024
+1

after some quick math, I now want to meet the ~569 people who thought the Nazis won.

+2
Level 53
Mar 31, 2024
My guess is they had no idea what the Axis/Allies were, but that is pretty general knowledge. We sort of skipped over a lot of WWII when I was in school.
+2
Level 69
May 3, 2024
I got it right, but we never learned these terms. Well to be specific the term axis. We did have a term meaning allies.

Edit and wonder in how many languages it would be axis or another (translated or not) term.

+3
Level 43
Apr 29, 2024
I want to know about the 11% that thought the Japanese treated the prisoners well
+1
Level 34
Jun 6, 2024
Yeah lol. I'm thinking the same...
+1
Level 34
Jun 9, 2024
I'm guessing they don't know history, and considering Present Japan as their basis.
+5
Level 89
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.
+52
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.
+1
Level 35
Oct 16, 2022
Japan was never in the axis it was though alligned and supportive with the axis in ways
+1
Level 35
Oct 16, 2022
*never formally * as japanese soldiers never helped the european theatre in ww2
+30
Level 79
Sep 30, 2020
It was a non-aggression pact, not an alliance.
+17
Level 82
Oct 24, 2020
Their relationship probably soured somewhat after Hitler invaded them.
+8
Level 58
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.

+12
Level 59
May 16, 2022
By the argument of a non-aggression pact, would you say Poland was a German ally as well?
+5
Level 75
Oct 17, 2022
Lol the Soviets single handedly won the war. More than 75% of the German war effort and forces were developed on the Eastern Front. The Westerners were fighting old men and conscripts after D-Day and Hitler himself did not really want to destroy the British, whom he considered Nordic i.e Aryan nor the Americans, who were mostly of German/Nordic descent at the time anyway. Au contraire, he considered the Slavs to be subhuman and communism his greatest enemy, the pact was solely to deceive the Soviets and buy time to secure France.
+4
Level 77
Oct 18, 2022
Um....didn't several countries, most notably the USA, provide significant support to the Soviet Union. I don't think any reputable historian would say the Soviets single-handedly won the war. Also, some of the best German generals were on the Western front including Rommel.
+23
Level 87
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 65
Oct 26, 2020
I Love this comment :)
+9
Level 65
Oct 9, 2020
I'm more concerned that 1% of people don't know that the Allies won WW2
+2
Level 90
Oct 24, 2020
100% first try.
+15
Level 72
Oct 24, 2020
Not to brag, but most of my points come from the "for dummy" quizzes.
+7
Level 49
Oct 16, 2022
Not to brag but most of my 5 points come from “cheating”
+5
Level 61
Oct 16, 2022
Not to brag but most of my points come from JetPunk quizzes
+2
Level 60
Oct 18, 2022
Not to brag, but most of my points come from online
+1
Level 65
Mar 8, 2024
Not to brag but most of my points come from basketball
+2
Level 59
Jun 6, 2024
you've made more than 10,486 points in basketball?
+17
Level 85
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 79
Oct 24, 2020
I agree, although escort carriers played a vital role in the Atlantic too.
+3
Level 68
Oct 24, 2020
I agree. From a US perspective, the carriers were surely more important. Maybe, you could specify the region in the question.
+8
Level 75
Oct 24, 2020
Agreed. It's a really odd question in a quiz about the entire war.
+6
Level 59
Oct 24, 2020
Yea it's definitely a very bad question. The quiz was probably written by someone who only read american textbooks.
+10
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.

+1
Level 59
Apr 20, 2024
totally agree about the general uselessness of battleships. however they didn't quite disappear, Reagan's demented plan for a 600 ship navy resulted in 4 Iowa class battleships being recommissioned and brought back into active service.
+1
Level 67
Oct 17, 2022
Tbh with you, I don't know?

(I was under the impression, that carrier-groups fought carriers). But I know very little; mostly the Midway stuff.

I was going to bring up small planes, like the Swordfish vs. Bismarck, but I looked that up, & they launched from small carrier Ark Royal.

I assume there would've been island-hopping? (For the Pacific. I have 0 idea of the Atlantic/Africa)

Like, start somewhere in SEA. Pummel an island with ship-artillery. Amphibious landing. Set up airbase. Fly bombing missions to next island. Seems like a terrible situation for causalities & materiel transport.

Maybe less land would be reclaimed from Japan.

I guess bombings to Japan were also launched from carriers.

I guess Pearl Harbor wouldn't have happened. So I get kind of lost in the hypothetical.

If battleships didn't exist.. I guess the main effect would be to Atlantic convoys? I agree with the expensive boondoggle comment.

+3
Level 82
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 67
Oct 17, 2022
You seem to imply that there was more than blind luck involved in no carriers being destroyed at Pearl?

I agree about the importance of carriers but circumstances dictated this as well as strategy

+3
Level 47
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.
+3
Level 60
Jul 11, 2021
Sure. And that is the reason why after the HMS Illistrious was disabled by Luftwaffe in january 1941, the entire fleet of battleships sat in Alexandria for three months until HMS Formidable arrived in march. If only admiral Cunningham knew that the aircraft carriers were not that important in the Mediterranean during that time. And also never forget the famous battleship raid on Taranto, that crippled half of the Italian fleet. Wait, what?
+9
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.
+5
Level 82
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 59
Dec 8, 2020
I don't know how much Europeans know about the Pacific Theater, but when talking about the battles there, it's hard to imagine how different they would be without Aircraft carriers. I may not know much about naval attacks in the Atlantic, but Aircraft Carriers were absolutely vital to war in the Pacific. It's why the U.S. still has eleven, and continues to sail them around the world just to intimidate other countries like China.
+2
Level 47
Oct 16, 2022
Ships don't have to fight to be useful, qv the concept of a fleet in being. It's said that on her own Tirpitz was a fleet in being, and just by the threat of a sortie kept units of the British Home fleet pinned down at home, but the reverse was also true, the threat that she could be chased down and sunk like her sister kept Tirpitz in Norway.

Now imagine a scenario in which the Japanese battleships had all been scrapped under the Washington Treaty. What would have stopped the Americans from abandoning island hopping, and amassing a fleet to sail directly at the Japanese home islands. That there were no major fleet engagements between the battleships didn't mean the battleships didn't play their part.

+2
Level ∞
Oct 16, 2022
What would have stopped them? Aircraft carriers and land-based aircraft of course.
+3
Level 77
Oct 24, 2020
Question #3 is WAAAAY too subjective to be a genuine quiz question.
+2
Level 62
Oct 25, 2020
NOOOOOOT.
+1
Level 67
Oct 17, 2022
YEEES it is
+2
Level 66
Oct 17, 2022
No it isn't, aircraft carriers objectively had a way bigger impact on the outcome of the war, especially in the Pacific
+3
Level 65
Oct 26, 2020
Hmm ok I agree that the philosopher who laid the entire foundation for Hitler’s ideology was * technically * not a nazi...
+7
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 any consistent belief system at all. Or rather, you can make virtually any argument you want about what he is trying to say.
+2
Level 72
Oct 16, 2022
I’d add that there really can’t be any Nazis before the foundation of the Nazionalsozialistische Deutche Arbeiterpartei. Not that similar political ideologies didn’t exist before 1920, but Hitler’s Nazism was a very particular blend of ideologies, mythologies and conspiracy theories, so it would be inaccurate to suggest, whatever you think of his philosophy, that Nietzsche (or anyone else living before the party with its distinctive name was founded) was a Nazi, since it really didn’t exist as a political philosophy until it’s various strands coalesced in Hitler’s deranged mind and, then, manifested itself in the formation of the party.
+1
Level 46
Jun 6, 2024
While I agree with you, and the other comment saying that he died before Nazism became a thing so couldn't have been one, to play devils advocate, his sister was a member of the Nazi Party and did actively promote her brothers works in connection with Hitler's philosophy so there could be some room for confusion.
+2
Level 71
Jun 6, 2024
Directly from Wikipedia: "After his death, Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of his manuscripts. She edited his unpublished writings to fit her German ultranationalist ideology, often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with fascism and Nazism."

So Nietzche was decidedly not a Nazi, his work was just misconstrued to fit the Nazi ideology. I'm not necessarily a fan of Nietzche, but to call him a Nazi is flat out wrong and a disservice to his philosophy.

+11
Level 78
Nov 2, 2021
Calling Nietzsche the 'entire foundation' for Hitler's ideology is ridiculous and almost flagrantly ignorant. I suppose Wagner is to blame for the Battle of the Bulge?
+2
Level 66
Oct 27, 2020
Is... that Mark Rober?
+1
Level 39
Feb 15, 2021
i tried getting 0 and i still got 1 correct
+1
Level 49
Oct 16, 2022
Which question?
+1
Level 35
Oct 16, 2022
I wanna punch myself for not getting the nazi one.
+1
Level 49
Oct 16, 2022
Don’t worry, I cheated, that’s even worse
+1
Level 59
Feb 24, 2023
Why do you cheat? Stop!
+1
Level 59
Jun 6, 2024
why did i write this comment like that it sounds so bad
+2
Level 47
Oct 16, 2022
check out the song the D-Day dodgers. Its become now most strongly associated with the Normandy Landings but before Normandy there were many other D-Days, in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.

Number 9. is a fun one, add the qualification "mostly" and it would be mostly correct. The Luftwaffe field divisions had tanks (well armoured self propelled anti tank guns, vehicles as close to being tanks as to make no difference to most people) and the Luftwaffe had ships in the Baltic decked out with big AA guns and radar. So occasions when you were being attacked by Luftwaffe tanks and ships did occur.

+3
Level ∞
Oct 16, 2022
The question is entirely correct, not mostly, because it asks what you *should* be on guard for and then presents three choices. Only one of these choices is logical.
+1
Level 66
Oct 17, 2022
Imagine you're in the British Home Guard in 1941 and let people know the Luftwaffe is coming, and someone asks if they should be expecting their land, air, or sea forces as though that's a logical question
+1
Level 49
Oct 16, 2022
Only way I got the Battle Of Midway battle question correct is because Pearl Harbor is how it began and I know battle of bulge was somewhere in Europe
+1
Level 53
Oct 16, 2022
i beat 4.3% of test takers...
+1
Level 30
Oct 18, 2022
Question #5 is a bit loaded. Because every single person wasn't president of the US for part of WW2 one way or another. Wilson is obvious, Truman wasn't President until Roosevelt died therefore not being President until '45, and Roosevelt missed most of the '45 part of the war.
+5
Level 25
Oct 19, 2022
like many other ww2 quizzes, the eastern front is largely unrepresented even though it was the event that led to the demise of the third reich. it would be nice if the eastern front and the soviet union's contributions were properly represented instead of being largely ignored and/or downplayed
+2
Level 61
Feb 28, 2023
I know. No mention of the Eastern Front, where 75% of the Nazis were killed.
+1
Level 46
Dec 18, 2022
i hit the giddy on oblock
+4
Level 61
Feb 28, 2023
For dummies, yet uses obscure terminology like "Pacific Theatre"
+1
Level 49
Sep 26, 2023
What 1% got number 1 wrong?
+1
Level 65
Mar 8, 2024
*does math*

568.82 quiz takers missed Question #1

+2
Level 59
Jun 6, 2024
i'd like to meet 0.82 of them please
+1
Level 18
Jun 6, 2024
9/15. My brain is empty
+1
Level 56
Jun 6, 2024
Question, What happened to that thing where you can select all the places you've been?
+1
Level 52
Jun 7, 2024
Nothing
+3
Level 59
Jun 6, 2024
My British great grandfather died a few years after the war. It was due to the years of starvation and torture he experienced as a POW in Singapore and Malaysia. Damn right the Japanese didn't treat them well.
+1
Level 34
Jun 6, 2024
That's sad... I'm sure your great-grandfather is living happily in heaven
+1
Level 67
Jun 6, 2024
"Hitler is dead." - Nietzsche
+1
Level 47
Jun 10, 2024
Isn't the Japan question technically an opinion question? There would be something wrong with you if do but you could theoretically think that they treated their prisoners well