Can You Name All of These WWII Political Figures From an Image?

HISTORY

Gavin Thagard

7 Min Quiz

This Russian ruler held an iron grip over the Soviet Union. Who is he?

Joseph Stalin played a key role in transforming the Soviet Union from an agrarian society into an industrial powerhouse through collective ownership of production. However, the transition resulted in millions of deaths across Russia.

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What's the name of this U.S. president who made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan?

Harry S. Truman served as vice president of the United States for less than three months before the death of his predecessor in 1945. With little knowledge of the atomic bomb, Truman had to quickly make a decision on its use when seeking an end to the war with Japan.

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He was the Tsar of the Kingdom of Bulgaria when war broke out. Do you recognize this political leader?

Boris III came to power in Bulgaria after his father, Ferdinand I, abdicated the throne following loses during World War I. Even after being named Tsar, he only held so much power until he outlawed political parties in 1934.

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Can you identify this leader who was the First Lady of the Republic of China?

With a life spanning three centuries, Soong Mei-ling was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. During WWII, she played a particularly important role inspiring the Chinese people to resist the Japanese invasion.

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Before WWII started, Italy fell into the hands of which political figure shown here?

Even at an early age, Benito Mussolini was fond of revolutionary forces in Europe, identifying himself with the Socialist cause that was on the rise. His views swung to the extreme, however, as he positioned himself as an editor within newspapers that he could use to incite violence.

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Are you familiar with this British prime minister who was eventually replaced because he couldn't handle the pressure applied by Nazi Germany?

Neville Chamberlain is often placed under the microscope when scholars analyze how the German war machine was able to rise without much opposition. His decision to appease the Germans was the main reason he was forced out of office in 1940.

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Nazi Germany became a fascist state under which ruler shown here?

Economic problems following WWI crippled Germany and left the citizens of the country dissatisfied with their ability to change their circumstances. Promising a better future for his people, Adolf Hitler was able to eliminate any political opposition within the country as he seized full power for himself.

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Trained as a lawyer in London before returning to India, how well do you know this political figure?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent much of his later life fighting for the rights of Indian Muslims in a largely Hindu country. Eventually realizing that Muslims and Hindus could not cooperate peacefully, Jinnah pushed for the creation of a new Muslim state, which became Pakistan.

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Who is this Belgian King who refused to leave his country during German occupation?

Hoping to remain neutral, Leopold III refused to enter into a peace agreement with Great Britain and France in the early stages of German aggression. When the German advancement began in 1939, Belgian forces were quickly defeated, but Leopold decided to remain in his country under German rule.

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Do you know this Japanese emperor who held power during WWII?

Hirohito became the first Japanese crown prince to travel abroad when he went to Western Europe in 1921. He returned to Japan to find that his father had grown ill, leaving Hirohito in charge as regent until his father's death in 1926.

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Few politicians were as influential when war broke out as which U.S. president, depicted here?

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president in U.S. history to serve more than two terms in office. In total, he was elected to the presidency four times between 1932 and 1944, though he died shortly into his fourth term.

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Is this political figure who first held the position of Chairman of the Communist Party of China familiar to you?

After WWII, Mao Zedong became the first leader of a single-party state established under the Communist Party of China. In an effort to transform China's economy to rely on industry, Mao initiated the Great Leap Forward, which led to a massive famine that killed millions.

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Did you study enough world history to identify this Italian leader who helped end the fascist reign in Italy?

Pietro Badoglio was central in bringing about an end to Italy's involvement in WWII. Realizing that the Italians were fighting a lost cause, Badoglio signed an armistice agreement with the Allied powers and became the prime minister of Italy in 1943.

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Can you name this powerful Japanese figure who was instrumental in the creation of the Tripartite Pact?

When the war concluded, Hideki Tojo received much of the blame for Japan's role in WWII, particularly for the bombing of Pearl Harbor and for crimes against prisoners of war. Due to his involvement, Tojo was sentenced to death.

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Australia looked to the United States for military aid under which Prime Minister shown here?

John Curtin took office as the 14th prime minister of Australia in 1941, serving until his death in 1945. As prime minister, Curtin helped organize the Australian military, which he left under the leadership of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur.

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Are you capable of identifying this British monarch who reigned during the war?

George VI was never supposed to inherit the throne of England, as his older brother Edward VIII was the rightful heir. However, Edward gave up the throne to marry a twice-divorced American woman named Wallis Simpson.

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How familiar are you with this Canadian prime minister?

A member of the Liberal Party, William Lyon Mackenzie King served over 21 years as the prime minister of Canada, though not as a single tenure. His reign is the longest in Canadian history.

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He was the King of Italy throughout the war. Who is this?

Victor Emmanuel III helped Benito Mussolini gain power in Italy by supporting his march on Rome in 1922, which put the National Fascist Party in control. A few years into WWII, Emmanuel turned on Mussolini, leading to his removal from power.

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What's the name of this prime minister who essentially became the dictator of Romania?

After the First World War, Ion Antonescu worked his way through the ranks of the Romanian government, eventually becoming the defense minister in 1937 and the prime minister in 1940. As prime minister, he was able to replace King Carol II with his son, who served more of a puppet role in Romania.

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Which Chinese political figure who led the Republic of China is this?

A member of the Chinese Nationalist Party, Chiang Kai-shek spent much of his political career battling communists forces throughout China. He eventually lost that battle following WWII and was forced into exile in Taiwan.

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Do you recognize this king who ruled over Thailand?

Ananda Mahidol remained a neutral figure throughout WWII by taking up residence in Switzerland. He returned to Thailand following the war but was assassinated in his bed under strange circumstances that were never fully revealed.

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The final president of the Third Republic in France, how well do you know this Allied leader?

Albert Lebrun gained the French presidency by holding a central position within French politics. He gave up that power to the new French State as Germany advanced upon France in 1940, though Lebrun would later claim that he didn't formally give up his power.

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Few members of the British Royal Family were as active during WWII as which princess shown here?

Elizabeth gained the throne of England following the death of her father in 1952. Under her reign, Britain's overseas empire began to dissolve as countries like South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka gained their independence.

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Can you identify this king who led a coup to overthrow the dictator who held power in Romania?

As the Soviet Union advanced across Romania, destroying the Nazi front stationed there, King Michael I brought an end to the fighting in his country by ordering a ceasefire. The decision allowed the Allies to advance towards Germany at a much quicker pace.

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Is this Japanese prime minister familiar to you?

Fumimaro Konoe served as the prime minister of Japan when the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937 after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Following the incident, he was an encouraging voice behind the Japanese invasion of China that led to the Battle of Shanghai.

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Egypt was led through the war by which king depicted in this image?

After reigning for 16 years, King Farouk was forced to give up his throne on July 26, 1952 after a successful military coup. He was replaced by his infant son, Ahmed Fuad, who became the final ruler of the Muhammad Ali dynasty.

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Are you familiar with this political figure who was put in charge of the French State after the fall of France to Axis forces?

Philippe Petain's decision to surrender France to Nazi Germany lost him favor both in his country and among Allied forces. Following WWII, he was tried and convicted for treason, though he was allowed to live his life out in prison rather than being executed.

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One of the most recognized faces of WWII, who is this?

Winston Churchill's greatest quality as a leader might have been the ability to inspire his people with his powerful words. One of his famous quotes from WWII was "If we win, nobody will care. If we lose, there will be nobody to care."

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Does your knowledge of WWII political history extend far enough to identify the last King of Iraq?

Faisal II was in power in Iraq when the 14 July Revolution took place in the country that ended with his death and the fall of the Hashemite monarchy. After the revolution, the Iraqi Republic was established.

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What's the name of this important Russian figure who negotiated agreements with the United States and Britain after the German invasion of the Soviet Union?

Serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vyacheslav Molotov sought peace with Germany when WWII first broke out, eventually agreeing on a non-aggression pact. Germany, of course, did not plan on sticking to the pact and launched an invasion into Russia in 1941.

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This German politician was instrumental in spreading Nazi propaganda. Can you give us his name?

Joseph Goebbels played an instrumental role in the growth of the Nazi Party by suppressing opposing voices throughout Germany when the Nazi's seized power in 1933. He accomplished this by taking control of all media outlets across the country, using them to spread Nazi propaganda.

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How familiar are you with this general who was appointed Military Governor for the United States in Europe?

Following WWII, Dwight D. Eisenhower was pressured into seeking the presidency, as he was easily one of the most popular men in America. He ran for election in 1952, earning a dominant victory over Adlai Stevenson.

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Do you know the name of this Hungarian leader who served as the head of state during the war?

Following WWI, Hungary was forced to give up large portions of land to surrounding countries. Ceding this land along with internal rebellions from communist forces, ultimately brought Miklos Horthy to power as regent when the Kingdom of Hungary was reestablished in 1920.

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Nazi Germany lost one of its leaders when which political figure depicted here flew to Scotland to negotiate peace terms with Great Britain?

Prior to the German invasion of Russia, Rudolf Hess secretly took a German plane across the North Sea to negotiate terms with Great Britain. He hoped his plan would prevent a two-front war for the Germans, but he was instead arrested and imprisoned.

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Who is the last American governor of Puerto Rico?

Having obtained a graduate degree from Columbia University, Rexford Tugwell was one of the most educated men in the Roosevelt administration. He served as part of a team of advisors for the president known as the "brain trust."

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Few political figures for the Allies were as controversial as which one shown in this image?

The Soviet Union arrested thousands of Polish citizens who they deemed dangerous after they invaded Poland in 1939. In 1940, the Soviets began the Katyn massacre, killing off these prisoners they held. Mikhail Kalinin was one of the men who signed off on the massacre.

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Are you able to identify this Japanese prime minister who worked with the Allies following WWII because he hoped it would spare the emperor?

Mitsumasa Yonai served as prime minister of Japan for less than a year, where he maintained support for an alliance with the United States and Great Britain. However, this put him in opposition with the Imperial Japanese Army, who were pro-German and hoped to join the Axis powers.

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Is this Polish political leader familiar to you?

After the German invasion of Poland, Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz left the country to take residence in London. While in London, he formed a government in exile with him as the president, but he never returned to Poland, as control was given to the Soviet Union following the war.

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Can you identify this political figure who negotiated many of the early pacts for Nazi Germany?

One of the key figures in starting WWII, the Nuremberg trials were harsh on Joachim von Ribbentrop. He was convicted of not only influencing the start of the war but also of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.

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What's the name of this general who was instrumental in rebuilding Japan after the war?

Following the end of WWII, Douglas MacArthur was given the title of Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. While holding this position, MacArthur oversaw the occupation of Japan as it recovered from the devastation of the war.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives

About This Quiz

When you think about the Second World War, what are the things that come to mind? The nations who split themselves between the Allied and Axis powers, new developments in warfare and the battles where those developments were put into action or the devastation that resulted? 

Of course, none of those battles would have happened without the actions of the political actors who forced them upon the world. These are the people who led nations, formulated plans and agreed to treaties that led to the start of the war as well as the end of it. Some of these political figures were given power, like kings and emperors, while others captured that power for themselves, becoming dictators in developing countries suffering from the after-effects of WWI and the depression of the 1930s. 

Are you an expert when it comes to the significant political figures who defined WWII? Sure, you might recognize the big names like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. What role did they play in the war, though, and for which country? 

When you're ready to test the limitations of your political knowledge from WWII, gear up and battle it out with this political figure identification quiz. 

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