Can you guess if these events happened in WWI or WWII?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Johncairns/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you consider yourself a student of history? Do war movies and documentaries get your blood flowing faster? If you think you know all there is to know about historical combat, take this quiz to test your knowledge and find out if you really know as much as you think you do.

The players and the theaters were similar, and so were the results, but those who didn't learn from the past were condemned to repeat it. In World War I, the Allied Powers - the U.S., France, Russia, Britain, Japan, and Italy - fought the Central Powers - Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Austria-Hungary. 

During World War II, the Allied Powers - the U.S., France, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union - battled the Axis Powers - Germany, Japan, and Italy. World War II ramped up the battles with modern combat devices such as modern artillery and devices, tanks, ships, submarines, airplanes, and, finally, two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Compared to the machine guns, poisonous gas, and trench warfare of World War I, the second world war introduced horrors that were, until then, not even imaginable.

So, if you think you know enough about twentieth-century warfare to ace this quiz, let's get started.

Nuclear weapons played a major role in this conflict.

The Allies were terrified that Hitler would develop an atomic bomb. So they started the Manhattan Project as part of a race to create the world's first nuclear weapons.


In which war did Japan fight on the side of the Allies?

In WWI, Japan joined the fight on the side of Western Allies. A generation later, of course, Japan would vow to kill Allied soldiers wherever they met in battle.


This war was triggered by the assassination of an Archduke.

In 1914, a gunman murdered Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria. The assassination set into motion an avalanche of events that resulted in The Great War.


This war resulted in the Cold War.

After WWII, the Soviet Union and United States (and some of its allies) settled into the Cold War. It was a geopolitical stalemate of sorts, in which both sides maneuvered for the best political and economic advantages.


"Blitzkrieg" combat was common during this conflict.

In WWII, the Nazis used "blitzkrieg" or lightning war, which consisted of fast-moving assaults meant to overwhelm enemy lines.


Italian leader Benito Mussolini was a major figure during this war.

Mussolini was a fascist leader in Italy during WWII. He buddied up to Hitler and hoped to become a political powerhouse once the Third Reich had taken over Europe.


Harry Truman was U.S. President for part of this war.

Just before the end of WWII, Franklin Roosevelt's health finally failed and he passed away April 12, 1945. That left Harry Truman as the man in charge when Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945.


David Lloyd George was Prime Minister of Britain during which war?

David Lloyd George served as Britain's Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922. During WWII, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister and emerged as a political legend for the ages.


It was also called "The War to End All Wars."

WWI, The Great War, "The War to End All Wars" was a devastating conflict that altered the history of humankind. And yet, 20 years later, we did it all over again.


It was also known as "The Great War."

WWI was also called The Great War. It was supposed to be the last big war fought by humankind but that concept clearly didn't pan out.


The Versailles Treaty was signed at the end of this war.

The Allies were victorious in WWI and forced Germany to sign the Versailles Treaty, which came loaded with all sorts of humiliating conditions -- the conditions that later contributed to the start of WWII.


Of the two wars, which one lasted the longest?

WWI churned the world for four years. WWII swept the globe for six years, from 1939 to 1945.


During this war, there was a terrible siege at Leningrad.

In WWII, the Nazis struck out for Moscow and stopped at Leningrad along the way. The Soviets refused to relent, resulting in the Siege of Leningrad, which lasted 900 days and resulted in scenes of cannibalism as city residents starved.


During which war was Turkey considered one of the "Central Powers"?

In WWI, Turkey was one of the Central Powers, along with Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary, and of course, Germany.


The Battle of the Bulge was a major event during which war?

In late 1944, the Germans launched one last major offensive on the Western Front, resulting in the bloody Battle of the Bulge which spanned from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945. American forces suffered mightily in an effort to drive back the Germans with 89,000 casualties.


Which war had the most causalities?

There's no real comparison here. WWII killed around 60 million soldiers and civilians worldwide -- some historians think the number may be as high as 85 million. In comparison, around 17 million people died during WWI.


This war was mostly driven by conflicting ideologies.

WWII was a battle of competing ideologies. Democracy, fascism, and communism all faced off in an epic (and bloody) showdown.


The Marshall Plan, a reconstruction plan, was enacted after which war?

The Marshall Plan pumped billions of dollars into the area in an effort to rebuild cities and restore lives of millions of war-scarred civilians.


Which became famous for siege-like trench warfare?

During WWI, armies had newfangled and high-powered weapons matched versus outdated battlefield tactics resulting in bloody slaughters. So generals resorted to stagnant trench warfare to cut down on casualties.


Operation Barbarossa was a key element of this war.

Operation Barbarossa was the German invasion of the Soviet Union in WWII. Hitler's decision to launch a war against the Soviets was a key factor in the downfall of the Third Reich.


In which war did military deaths outnumber civilian deaths?

In WWI, there were about 7 million civilian deaths compared to 10 million military deaths. During WWII, about 60 million people died, and the majority of them were civilians.


At the beginning of this war, the Soviet Union invaded parts of eastern Poland.

The Soviets joined Germany in the pillaging of Poland at the start of WWII. Later, the Soviets and Germans would become enemies.


Near the beginning of this war, the Italians broke a fragile peace.

In 1935, Europe was struggling to maintain peace. Then Italy decided to invade Ethiopia, and suddenly, military aggression didn't seem like such a bad option.


The Lend-Lease act was passed during which war?

In early 1941, the United States enacted the Lend-Lease Act, which authorized material support for the Allies. But the U.S. didn't send troops into combat until after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December of the same year.


The League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations) was created following this war.

After WWI, world leaders created the League of Nations, a political body intended to prevent future large-scale armed conflicts.


A weapon called the flamethrower was first used during this war.

Flamethrowers were used occasionally in WWI and they became much more common (to the chagrin of soldiers everywhere) during WWII.


Aircraft were first deployed in significant numbers during this war.

Both sides used a lot of aircraft during WWI, primarily for surveillance purposes. In WWII, however, aircraft became potent offensive weapons.


During this war, Russia attacked Germany.

In WWI, Russia opted to attack Germany, an event that helped the war spiral out of control. During the Second World War, of course, Germany flipped the script and attacked Russia, much to Josef Stalin's chagrin.


It was also called The Great Patriotic War.

The Eastern Front was home to some of the bloodiest battles of WWII. There, the Soviets clung to their homeland, finally beating back the Nazis and winning The Great Patriotic War.


The first tanks were used during which war?

In part to counter the horrors of trench warfare, tanks became more common during WWI. At first, they were slow and unwieldy, but by the end of the war, some of these machines were quite capable and deadly.


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