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How Well Do You Know the WWII Military Alphabet?
by John Miller
United States Federal Government

In the early 20th century, a revolutionary technology – radio – began to transform battlefield communications, allowing soldiers to relay critical messages and coordinate their objectives in real time. But between crackling static and ear-shattering bomb blasts, it was hard to make out exactly what senders were saying. Thus, radio communicators began using military radiotelephone spelling alphabets in order to clearly convey their messages. Do you think you can match all of the letters to the correct words?

In our quiz, we’ll be exploring the words used specifically by the Americans during World War II. These words are different from those used by other Allied forces, and they also vary from those used in later decades. At the end of this quiz, we’ll show you how some NATO versions from the Cold War are very different from the American words used in the Second World War.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation on a cellphone on a windy day? Then you can probably imagine just how frustrating it was to understand radio transmissions during WWII. Not only was the sound quality vastly inferior to today’s modern technologies, but the chaos and din of the battlefield made it nearly impossible to determine what a sender was saying.

In our quiz, we’ll see if you really know your “Tango” from your “Zulu.” Grab your radio, duck from enemy artillery, and take our WWII radio alphabet quiz now!

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