WWI or WWII: During Which War Did These Major Allied Victories Take Place?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: GeorgePeters/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

You already know how both the First and Second World Wars ended. A group of nations that was ultimately known as the Allies beat back threats from an aggressive Germany and its partners in war. In World War I, Germany and its comrades were known as the Central Powers. In World War II, a similar alliance, this time with Japan and Italy, was called the Axis. The Allies lost many battles in both wars but ultimately won just enough fights to win the wars. If we offer up the name of a famous Allied victory, can you match it to the correct war?

Pearl Harbor. The invasion of Poland. The Spring Offensive. The list of serious Allied defeats in the World Wars could go on for hours. But rather than dwell on the successes of the Axis and Central Powers, we’ll delve into Allied triumphs. Those like the Battle of Belleau Woods, the Battle of the Bulge, and the iconic firepower on display at the Battle of Midway. Do you know when these crucial engagements took place?

Allied wins at battles like D-Day, Iwo Jima, and the Somme came at the expensive of bloodshed the likes of which contemporary humans can barely fathom… and they turned history’s tide. Dive into the fray of these Allied triumphs now!

It was a desperate Axis winter offensive. During which war did the Battle of Bulge rage?

In the winter of 1944, the Germans were depleted on the Western Front. But they made one final major offensive at the Battle of the Bulge… and were turned back by brave Americans and their allies.


The Germans went for a knockout blow. When did the First Battle of the Marne take place?

In September 1914, the Germans went all-out against the British and French, hoping to put them down and then turn to face the Russians. But the First Battle of the Marne instead left the Germans reeling in defeat.


It left a major industrial center in ruins. When did the Battle of Stalingrad happen?

Hitler was determined to capture Stalin's namesake city at nearly any cost. But after casting themselves time and again into the city's depths, the Germans couldn't take the city, and they lost this great WWII battle.


It was the longest battle of this war. When did the Battle of Verdun finally grind to a halt?

It started in February 1916 and didn't end until December, making Verdun the longest battle of WWI. The French at last prevailed but suffered more than 370,000 casualties in the process.


It killed nearly 20,000 British troops… in one day. When did the horrors of the Battle of the Somme come to life?

In 1916, the Allies bombarded the Germans for days leading up to a futile charge. Tens of thousands of them fell, and the Battle of the Somme became a WWI graveyard.


Both sides took to the air in this epic clash. During which war did the Battle of Britain transpire?

Germany knew it needed air supremacy in order to subdue Britain. But the English used their Hurricanes and Spitfires to turn back the Luftwaffe at the bloody Battle of Britain.


For eight days, it was the most spectacular tank battle in human history. When was the Battle of Kursk?

The Soviets and Germans both sent thousands of tanks into the Battle of Kursk, the biggest tank battle ever. But even with nearly 1 million men in the field, the Germans still managed to lose … and found themselves in long, agonizing retreat.


It greatly impacted the enemy's ability to conduct its plans. The Brusilov Offensive was an important victory in which war?

In June 1916, the Russians launched the Brusilov Offensive, which put the Central Powers on its heels. It was a significant Allied victory and one that the Russians would fail to repeat at later stages of WWI.


It proved that the Allies could summon true strength. When did the Battle of El Alamein occur?

In July 1942, the First Battle of El Alamein was essentially a stalemate. That fall, though, the Allies decisively turned back Erwin Rommel's armored divisions and marked the end of German power in North Africa.


It was the start of the Hundred Days Offensive. When did the Battle of Amiens catch fire?

In August 1918, the Allies launched the Battle of Amiens as part of a major offensive that they hoped would bring an end to the war. Many Germans surrendered, and the Allies won one of their biggest victories of WWI.


Four Axis aircraft carriers became fish habitat. When was the Battle of Midway?

Six months after the horrors of Pearl Harbor, the Americans trapped the Japanese with trickery at the Battle of Midway. Four Axis carriers were lost, and the Japanese fleet would never regain its former glory.


It was a Middle East bloodbath. When did the Battle of Megiddo happen?

At the Battle of Megiddo, the Allies took the fight the Ottomans in the Judean Hills. They captured tens of thousands of prisoners and were so successful that this battle essentially ended major Allied offensives in this theater of WWI.


The Second Battle of Cambrai is famous in part for its use of Allied tanks. When did those armored beasts roll the Germans?

In 1918, the Allies threw substantial amounts of armor at the Germans in WWI's Second Battle of Cambrai. Allied forces used tanks to blow past weak German defenses.


It saw some of the most depraved violence of the war. When did the Battle of Okinawa take place?

In April 1945, the Allies took on the Japanese stronghold of Okinawa. The Japanese knew they were going to lose the war, but they often fought to the death anyway.


Here, the U.S. Marines added to their legend and lore. When was the Battle of Belleau Wood?

At the Battle of Belleau Wood, the Germans launched an offensive that became part of the Battle of Belleau Wood. U.S. Marines suffered terrible losses but gave the Allies a foothold on the woods, and later, victory.


The Allies pounded the island with a powerful air and naval bombardment… to no avail. When did the Battle of Iwo Jima happen?

For days, the Allies tried to pound Japanese bunkers at Iwo Jima, but those efforts were largely in vain. Instead, the Americans had to earn the island with infantry and guts.


It proved that Canadian troops were hard-nosed and willing to die for the cause. When did the Battle of Vimy Ridge happen?

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was just one small part of the larger Battle of Arras. But it was at Vimy Ridge that Canadian troops proved their worth, taking German positions at great cost to their own men, and giving the Allies a critical win in an otherwise dismal outing.


It was the biggest naval battle in all of history. When did the Battle of Leyte Gulf take place?

The Battle of Leyte Gulf sprawled across thousands of square miles and involved hundreds of ships. But the Americans ultimately triumped over the Japanese fleet.


British troops blew up nearly 20 mines under German positions, and then dashed forward. When did the Battle of Messines explode?

In 1917, British engineers dug tunnels under German lines and then detonated huge mines, ripping holes in their defenses. The British captured vital ground, and the Allies movie onward.


It was a doomed naval invasion. When did the Battle of the Coral Sea occur?

The Empire was angling for the Solomon Islands and other Pacific treasures but the U.S. fleet, along with Australian help, put down the assault at the Battle of the Coral Sea.


It was the last great German offensive. When did the Second Battle of the Marne happen?

In the summer of 1918, the Germans pushed hard at the Second Battle of the Marne. But it was to no avail - the Allies held their ground, and WWI began winding towards and inevitable end.


It was incredibly bloody and horribly lopsided affair. When did the Battle of Luzon take place?

In 1945, the Americans were determined to retake the Philippines, and the Japanese were equally resolved to stay. About 200,000 Empire troops perished to just 10,000 Americans, making it a truly lopsided battle.


Australia was a key part of this Allied fight. When did the Battle of Pozières happen?

In 1916, the Battle of Pozières was part of WWI's Battle of the Somme. After months of brutal fighting, British and Australian troops finally captured key points near a village in France.


It was a gigantic carrier battle called the Battle of the Philippine Sea. During which war did it take place?

By the time of the Battle of the Philippine Sea in 1944, American planes were simply better than Japanese Zeroes. The blasted the Japanese out of the skies and sank their ships, too.


It was part of the famed Spring Offensive. When did the Allied win at the Battle of the Lys happen?

The Battle of the Lys happened during both World Wars. But the one that happened during the German Spring Offensive was a WWI defeat for the Central Powers.


About 1 million troops attacked the city. When did the Battle of Moscow wreak havoc?

Hitler wanted Moscow as a political prize, Stalin was loathe to give it up. Even as 1 million Germans attacked, the Soviets repulsed them, snapping the back of Nazi offensive momentum.


It involved more than 1 million U.S. troops. When did the Meuse-Argonne offensive take place?

As WWI drew to a close, the Allies launched a huge offensive, one that included 1.2 million Americans, the biggest collective of U.S. troops ever to take the field. After a month and a half of fighting, the Allied offensive was a clear success.


It helped prove that American soldiers belonged in brutal combat. When did the Battle of Cantigny scar the land?

The Battle of Cantigny was the first real WWI battle for massed American troops. Paired with their British allies, they won out, giving vital confidence to inexperienced U.S. soldiers.


The British broke through German lines at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, which happened when?

The British used an impeccably planned offensive to smash through German lines at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. But this 1914 battle merely set the stage for many to follow.


It may have turned the tide of human history. When did D-Day happen?

On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the D-Day attacks on the coast of France. Their successes gave them a launching point for further attacks that decimated the Germans on the Western Front.


It helped bring an end to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When did the Battle of Vittorio Veneto occur?

At the end of 1918, the Allies captured hundreds of thousands of prisoners at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. Only a week later, WWI finally ground to a bloody halt.


It turned into a siege that featured cannibalism. When did the Battle of Leningrad ravage this city?

For about 900 - yes, 900 - days, the Germans hounded Leningrad. As its citizens starved, the city somehow held and gave the Soviets a WWII victory of terrible proportions.


It was the beginning of the end. When was the Hundred Days Offensive?

In 1918, the Allies mustered all of their strength for the Hundred Days Offensive, intending to finally destroy the Germans. The plan worked, in large part thanks to fresh American troops.


It was meant to end the war before the Americans could arrive. When did the Ludendorff Offensive happen?

The Ludendorff Offensive, or Spring Offensive, was a plan by the Central Powers to bring the Allies to their knees before the Americans joined the fight. The offensive was a tactical success but failed in its ultimate objective.


It was the ultimate victory. When was the Battle of Berlin?

As Berlin crumbled overhead, Hitler offed himself to avoid Soviet reprisals. The Battle of Berlin signaled the end of the Third Reich.


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