The Epic WWII Quiz: Part V


By: Nathan Chandler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

In the fifth and final part of our Epic WWII Quiz series, the Axis still controls much of the world ... but the Allies are finally finding their way. Finish Part V of WWII series and see the fight to the end!

On D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe, hundreds of "pathfinder" troops led the way, about an hour before the main assault. What sort of troops were these pathfinders?

About 200 pathfinder paratroopers were dropped in advance of the main assault. Cloudy weather and enemy fire scattered the men all over the countryside, far behind enemy lines.


The Allied pathfinders were meant to guide in the main D-Day assault forces using which technology?

The men were equipped with specially-encoded radios to help the pathfinders guide in the primary assault teams. The concept was mostly a failure, as the men were strewn about the countryside and fighting just to stay alive.


For years, the Nazis murdered millions of people at concentration camps. When was the first major concentration camp liberated?

It wasn't until the middle of 1944 that the first major concentration camp was liberated. It was then that the Soviets captured the Majdanek camp and liberated thousands of inmates.


On July 20, 1944, what happened at Hitler's infamous Wolf's Lair headquarters?

The famous 20 July Plot was an attempted assassination of Hitler by his own men. A briefcase bomb exploded … but a heavy table helped to block the blast and prevented Hitler from being killed.


How did Hitler respond to the attempted July 20 assassination?

Hitler was enraged by the assassination attempt. His Gestapo -- the Nazi secret police -- rounded up thousands of people (many of whom had nothing to do with the plot) and executed them without mercy.


Operation Dragoon was incredibly important to the Allies. The operation was an invasion of which area?

Operation Dragoon was the invasion of southern France in August 1944. It quickly pushed back the Germans, who were left scrambling to slow Allied attacks in Normandy, too.


Erwin Rommel was one of the most famous Nazi commanders. What was his nickname?

Rommel was the "Desert Fox," in part because of his excellent performance in North Africa. He became famed for his amazing ability to coordinate tank attacks.


In one famous photograph, American Marines raised a flag in the middle of a battle. During which battle was the famous picture made?

In early 1945, at the hard-fought Battle of Iwo Jima, a photographer took a picture of Marines raising a flag together. The picture became a sensation, boosting American morale and giving people hope that the Japanese could be beaten.


The famous Iwo Jima photograph featured six Marines raising a flag. How many of those six men survived the Battle of Iwo Jima?

Iwo Jima was a costly battle for the Americans. Three of the Marines were killed within just days of the picture. The other three managed to survive the war and made it home.


Which country liberated the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp?

Many of the worst concentration camps, like Auschwitz, were close to the Eastern Front. As the Soviets pushed the Nazis back, they liberated these camps. Auschwitz was liberated in January of 1945.


Which American military commander was often called "Big Chief"?

Douglas MacArthur, also called Big Chief or Dugout Doug, was one of the most important American commanders in the Pacific War. He won the Medal of Honor for his defense of the Philippines.


Erwin Rommel was one of the most famous Nazi generals. How did he die?

Rommel was implicated in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler. Hitler gave him the choice of execution or suicide -- Rommel chose the latter. It was a sign of the Third Reich's deterioration.


In late 1944, the Americans clashed with the Japanese at the huge Battle of Leyte Gulf. This battle saw the first use of which weapon?

At Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese resorted to kamikaze attacks, suicide attacks in which pilots flew their planes directly into American ships. The attacks were both effective and terrifying.


In terms of casualties, which battle was the costliest for the Allies?

In December of 1944, when the weather was painfully cold and men were exhausted, the Battle of the Bulge became a battlefield of horrors. It's where the Allies suffered their worst casualties of the entire war.


Which side started the famous Battle of the Bulge?

In December 1944, the Nazis were in dire straits. Hitler launched Operation Wacht, a surprise attack in France, hoping to help his Nazi forces regain momentum. It became known as the Battle of the Bulge.


The Battle of the Bulge lasted a little over a month. How many American troops died?

At the Battle of the Bulge, American units were obliterated in spots -- 19,000 men died in just a month. Tens of thousands more were missing or captured by the Germans.


What happened in the German city of Dresden?

The Allies sent hundreds of bombers, which rocked the city and set it on fire. The firebombing of Dresden is often seen as an unnecessary act of revenge on the part of the Allies -- one that killed (at least) tens of thousands of Germans fleeing the war.


The very first atomic bomb was simply called what?

Allied scientists took to calling the first test bomb "the Gadget." The innocent-sounding device wound up having major consequences during the war, and for many decades afterward, too.


What was the biggest naval battle of World War II?

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the biggest of the entire war -- and might have been the biggest naval battle in human history. About 200,000 men (combined) fought in this sprawling battle, which had four major engagements.


In April of 1945, the war was drawing to a close, but a major battle had just begun. Which battle was it?

The Japanese leaders knew they were beaten but they refused to give up. At the Battle of Okinawa, weary and desperate soldiers on both sides committed unspeakable atrocities.


Operation Downfall never happened. It was meant to invade which area?

Downfall was the codename for the planned invasion of Japan, originally intended for November 1945. Fortunately this operation, which would have been very costly to America and her allies, was never necessary.


What was NOT one of Gen. George Patton's nicknames?

Gutless George was definitely not one of Patton's nicknames. "Old Blood and Guts" gained fame for his aggressive attacks against the Nazis in Europe. Hitler personally feared Patton, whom he equated to a deranged cowboy.


President Roosevelt died before the war ended.

Roosevelt, who guided America through some of its most harrowing moments, died weeks before the end of the European War. After years of health problems, he died from a stroke.


As the Soviets closed in on Berlin, Hitler's staff encouraged their leader to do what?

Hitler's staff wanted him to flee the city and hide in the German forests. But Hitler -- completely crazed by years of war and drug abuse -- opted to make his last stand in an underground bunker.


On April 30, 1945, Hitler and his wife Eva committed suicide. How did Hitler kill himself?

Eva swallowed a poison pill. Hitler killed himself with a bullet to the head. It was a horrifying end to a hideous human being.


What happened to Hitler's body?

The Nazis did their best to burn Hitler's body. But the Soviets managed to seize some of the remains, and they buried (and reburied) the monster's corpse following the war. In part to prevent his body from becoming a memorial, the exact location is not known.


The Nazis surrendered before the Allies even tested the world's first experimental atomic weapon.

Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, shortly after Hitler's suicide. The first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945. You can probably guess what happened next.


The United States warned Japanese civilians about an impending nuclear attack.

America showered Japanese cities with leaflets warning them that an atomic bomb attack was imminent. The papers repeated this line several times: "Evacuate your cities."


How many atomic bombs did the United States drop on Japan?

America dropped two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki. About 200,000 died from the two powerful blasts and the fires that resulted.


Japan's surrender ended World War II. What was the date of this surrender?

If December 7, 1941, was a day that would live in infamy, then August 12, 1945, was a day that would be celebrated forever by the Allies. On that day, Japan unconditionally surrendered and World War II came to an end -- and so too does our five-part Epic WWII Quiz!


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