WW2 Trivia

100+ WW2 Trivia Questions For History Buffs

Few historical events are as horrific as what happened during the world wars. You probably learned about this time period in school, but you might not know everything there is to know about these events. Here is some World War 2 trivia to test your knowledge of history:

World War II Quiz:

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Unsplash / Clarisse Meyer

Even if you’re a history buff, you might have trouble answering the following questions. But that’s okay. Wheneve you get one wrong, it gives you an opportunity to learn something new. After all, it’s incredibly important to know your history. Here are some questions about the second world war that you might not have learned in school:

What two countries were already involved in a military conflict before the beginning of World War II?

Japan and China were already involved in a military conflict before the beginning of WW2.

What was the longest battle of World War II?

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of WW2.

Which event is generally considered to be the first belligerent act of World War II?

Germany’s attack on Poland is considered to be the most belligerent act of the war.

Who proclaimed December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy”?

Franklin D. Roosevelt made this famous statement.

What English code breaker created a machine that helped to decrypt Nazi messages?

Alan Turing was a famous code breaker to decrypt messages.

What was the first Nazi concentration camp?

Dachau was the first concentration camp.

Which two countries were the first to declare war on Germany?

Britain and France were the first two countries to declare war on Germany.

What German battleship destroyed the British battlecruiser HMS Hood?

Bismarck destroyed this British battle cruiser.

What was the last major battle of World War II?

The Battle of Okinawa was the last major battle of the war.

What was the first action the Nazis took against Jews?

A boycott of all Jewish-run businesses was their first action.

What was the “London Blitz”?

This is a term used for Germany’s bombing campaign on London.

Overall, the Battle of Britain is considered to be a victory for who?

Britain.

What was the code name given to Germany’s plan to invade the USSR?

Operation Barbarossa was the code name given to Germany’s plan to invade the USSR.

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Unsplash / Andrew Neel

On which region of the Soviet Union did Hitler place the highest priority?

Ukraine and southern Russia.

What happened to the Soviet air force during the opening days of the German invasion?

Up to 2,000 Soviet aircraft were destroyed while still on the ground.

What was Italy’s primary role in the war?

It distracted Germany from accomplishing its main objectives.

In which battle did the Axis powers lose about a quarter of their total troops on the Eastern Front?

The Battle of Stalingrad.

What was the name of the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima?

The Enola Gay was the name of the bomber that dropped the first bomb on Hiroshima.

What was the second city the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on?

Nagasaki was the second city where a nuclear bomb was dropped by the United States.

After World War II, Germany was divided into how many zones of occupation?

Germany was divided into four different zones of occupation.

In a Nazi concentration camp, a pink triangle identified a prisoner as _______.

A homosexual.

What battle halted the Axis advance in 1942?

The Battle of Midway halted the Axis advance.

What meeting of world powers near the end of World War II is often said to mark the beginning of the Cold War?

The Yalta Conference.

What British general surrendered to Japanese forces at the Battle of Singapore?

Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival’s.

Against which country did the Soviet Union instigate an armed conflict in late 1939?

They instigated an armed conflict with Finland.

What were the first two western European countries that Germany invaded?

Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.

Which was the first Axis Power to surrender?

Italy was the first Axis Power to surrender.

Via what route did Russians manage to send some supplies to Leningrad during the German siege of the city?

A supply route across Lake Ladoga.

Which battle involved the largest engagement of tanks in history?

The Battle of Kursk involved the largest engagement of tanks in history.

On which beach did the Americans run into a firestorm of resistance during the D-Day landings?

Omaha.

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Unsplash / Giammarco

How many Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941?

353 Imperial Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes.

How many U.S. battleships were sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor?

All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk.

What was the last major German offensive campaign of World War II?

The Battle of the Bulge.

What was the Nazi code name for a planned invasion of the United Kingdom during WW2?

Operation Sea Lion was the code name.

What time of day did the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor begin?

The attack occurred at 7:48 a.m.

What were Jews in Nazi Germany forced to wear on their clothing?

They were forced to wear a yellow Star of David.

What Axis leader was imprisoned on July 24, 1943?

Benito Mussolini was imprisoned.

What major mistake did the Allies make in preparing to defend against Germany’s attack on France?

They misinterpreted where the main invasion would take place.

Where was the first atom bomb tested?

The first atom bomb was tested in New Mexico.

What was the code name for the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France?

The code name was Operation Dynamo.

The Battle of Stalingrad was…

One of the deadliest battles in human history.

Which battle is considered to be the turning point for the war in the Pacific?

The Battle of Midway.

During the Battle of Midway, Japan lost…

Most of its aircraft carriers.

What Japanese action created tension with the United States?

Its seizure of territory in China.

More questions about the second world war

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Unsplash / Mr Cup / Fabien Barral

Here are some more questions about the second world war. It will test how much you know about the past few decades and history as a whole. Even if you get the answers wrong, at least you will learn something new today about our history. This way, we can avoid repeating it.

What was unique about the Doolittle Raid?

The bombers were launched from an aircraft carrier.

Who was the Japanese admiral behind the Pearl Harbor attack?

Yamamoto was the admiral behind the Pearl Harbor attack.

What U.S. action created tension with Japan?

Its establishment of a trade embargo against Japan.

What was the code name for the Battle of Okinawa?

Operation Iceberg was the code name for the Battle of Okinawa.

How did Hitler die?

Hitler died from a gunshot. He was the one who fired the gun.

What agreement, signed on September 27, 1940, created the Axis Powers?

The Axis Powers were created by the Tripartite Pact.

What was Hitler’s primary justification for invading Russia?

Germany needed more space for its population.

What country lost the most lives in World War II?

The Soviet Union lost the most lives during World War II.

What was the name of the antisemitic laws passed in Nazi Germany on September 15, 1935?

The two Nuremberg Laws.

In a Nazi concentration camp, a black triangle identified a prisoner as _______.

Asocials (this included Roma, nonconformists, vagrants, and other groups).

What happened at Dunkirk in May 1940?

British forces retreated across the English Channel.

Before the end of the war, Winston Churchill was replaced as British Prime Minister by…?

Anthony Eden.

Which book was considered the bible of National Socialism in the German Third Reich?

Mein Kampf.

Which best describes Germany’s standard invasion strategy at the beginning of World War II?

Attack with a combination of speed and overwhelming force.

Where was the French surrender to Germany signed?

The French surrender to Germany was signed inside of a railway car.

Why did the British Royal Navy attack French warships at Mers-el-Kebir?

The French crews refused to surrender their ships when the British requested.

What was Germany’s initial strategy for conquering Britain?

First, establish air superiority, then send in ground forces.

What research and development project produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II?

The Allied Manhattan Project.

What country sent reinforcements in the form of “Division Azul” to aid Germany in its WWII attack on the Soviet Union?

Spain sent in reinforcements.

What was the code name for the Battle of Normandy?

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy.

What was the largest battleship of World War 2?

Yamato was the largest battleship in the war.

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Unsplash / Tanner Mardis

What was the significance of Guadalcanal to Japan?

The island was in an ideal position for controlling the Solomon Islands.

What was the focus of the Tehran Conference?

The Allied invasion of France.

When did Adolf Hitler attack Poland?

He attacked Poland on September 1, 1939

What was the location of the second major Allied assault into Europe in 1944?

The French Mediterranean coast was the location.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, how long did it take Congress to approve President Roosevelt’s request to declare war on Japan?

It took one day to approve the declaration of war.

The nations involved in the war formed two opposing alliances. What were they called?

They were called the Axis and Allies.

The use of secret, unbreakable codes was a behind-the-scenes strategy employed in wartime. One code language used by the U.S. Marines was borrowed from what Native American people?

The Navajo.

Adolf Hitler predicted the war in his memoir published in 1925. What was it called?

“Mein Kampf” was the name of the memoir.

Which came first V-E Day (victory in Europe) or V-J Day (victory in Japan)?

Americans declared August 14 “Victory over Japan Day,” or “V-J Day.” On May 8, 1945, when the Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s official surrender, was V-E day.

At what conference did the Allies set the terms for the Japanese surrender?

The Potsdam Conference.

In the last six months of the war, what was the U.S. strategy for winning the conflict with Japan? 

Break the Japanese will with massive bombing raids on Japanese cities.

Who was the U.S. president when Pearl Harbor was attacked?

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the president when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Which Allied country’s forces arrived in Berlin first?

The USSR arrived in Berlin first.

There are currently five branches of the U.S. armed services: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. Which branch was part of the Army until after World War II?

The Air Force.

During the war, the British referred to Germans by what common nickname?

Radar.

What were the V1 and V2?

These were the names of German missiles.

Where did the Battle of the Bulge take place?

The battle took place in the Ardennes Forest.

What was Monte Cassino?

A large monastery in central Italy where the Germans defended Rome from Allied forces.

Why did Allied forces invade Italy after it had already surrendered?

German forces were still fighting in the country.

What was the significance of Mt. Suribachi?

It was the site of a major battle on Iwo Jima.

The Battle of Kursk is best described as…

A tank battle.

Did any of Hitler’s relatives fight for the Allies?

Yes, Hitler’s nephew fought for the Allies.

hardbound books
Unsplash / Dmitrij Paskevic

What treat was invented during the war to compensate for chocolate shortages?

Nutella was invented to compensate for chocolate shortages.

Of the eight battleships damaged or destroyed during the Pearl Harbor attack, how many were eventually repaired and placed into service?

Six battleships were repaired and placed into service.

The D-Day invasion, code-named Operation Overlord, was considered a major turning point in favor of the Allies. On what date did it occur?

June 6, 1944.

Before Japan’s surrender, there were plans for possibly launching a third atomic bomb. Which city was targeted for this final assault?

Tokyo.

Who met at Casablanca?

Roosevelt and Churchill.

Some historians believe what contributing factor helped set the stage for World War II?

Instability in Europe following World War I.

How many years did World War II last?

Six.

Japan and the Soviet Union were on opposite sides of the World War II conflict. In what year did they sign a peace treaty?

Never.

World War II was a devastating conflict, but it did lead to the creation of an effective international organization devoted to worldwide peace and security. What is it?

The United Nations was created after the war.

What was a “Liberty Steak”?

A hamburger was known as a liberty steak.

How many different countries were involved in the conflict?

Thirty countries were involved in the conflict.

Enola Gay was the name of the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb over the port city of Hiroshima, Japan. What was the name of the aircraft that dropped the second bomb over Nagasaki?

Bockscar.

How many domestic automobiles were produced in the U.S. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (between February 1942 and October 1945)?

Zero domestic automobiles were produced in the US.

Kamikaze pilots were dreaded Japanese weapons during the war. About how many kamikaze pilots intentionally crashed their planes into enemy targets during the conflict?

2,800 pilots intentionally crashed.

Why was the Japanese capture of Rangoon such a bitter loss for the Allies?

As a major seaport, it was an excellent supply point.

Which German Army general tried to assassinate Hitler?

Claus von Stauffenberg

Which country instigated the conflict in North Africa?

Italy.

More Quizzes

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Unsplash / NASA

Don’t worry! There are plenty of more quizzes you can take if you want to test your knowledge in different areas. If you’re having a good time answering questions, here are some more fun quizzes about random topics, from anime to Disney to geography. See how many questions you can answer correctly, then challenge your family and friends to do the same!

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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