World War II Quiz

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Question 1
Which of the following conditions in Germany helped lead to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s?

A
Germans were angry about the nation’s failing economy.
B
German people were becoming more and more distrustful of other races and cultures.
C
Germans were angry about what all they were forced to give up in the Treaty of Versailles.
D
all of the above
Question 1 Explanation: 
Adolf Hitler successfully preyed upon the dissatisfaction of the German people. His message and charisma allowed him to not only rise to power, but eventually assume the role of a totalitarian leader. He used Germany’s rising nativist sentiment and anger over the results of World War I to help fuel his rise.
Question 2
Who rose to power as the Communist leader of the Soviet Union in the late 1920s following the death of Vladimir Lenin?

A
Adolf Hitler
B
Nikita Khrushchev
C
Joseph Stalin
D
Benito Mussolini
Question 2 Explanation: 
Stalin’s official title was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. However, Stalin successfully consolidated power by both increasing his position’s power and eliminating those who opposed him in the government and beyond. For all intents and purposes, Stalin would reign over the Soviet Union as a full-blown dictator for decades.
Question 3
How did America respond to the rise of communism, fascism, and ruling dictators across the globe throughout the 1920s and 1930s?

A
America opted to remain neutral.
B
America quickly worked with allies to aggressively stand up to the oppressive regimes.
C
America sold vast amounts of weapons to any and all nations willing to buy them.
D
American supported some of these nations and spoke out against others.
Question 3 Explanation: 
Congress passed a series of acts in the 1930s designed to keep America neutral in emerging world conflicts. World War I had left America holding a lot of unpaid debts from foreign nations; as a result, in the 1930s Congress was extremely hesitant to offer foreign assistance financially or militarily.
Question 4
What was the agreement reached between Britain, France, and Germany at the 1938 Munich Conference?

A
The nations agreed to divide the European continent into three separate regions of control.
B
The three nations agreed to reinstate open trade.
C
The three nations agreed to avoid actions designed to entice American involvement in European affairs.
D
Britain and France agreed to appease Germany by giving into Hitler’s demands to annex the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in exchange for an end to further German expansion.
Question 4 Explanation: 
England and France were not eager to engage in another European war. By adopting a strategy of nonviolent appeasement, both nations mistakenly thought Hitler’s thirst for expansion would be satiated. Less than a year after the Munich Conference, Hitler would take the rest of Czechoslovakia by force.
Question 5
What was the strategic motivation for the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin in August of 1939?

A
Hitler and Stalin were longtime friends, the pact simply formalized their alignment.
B
Hitler wanted to invade Poland without Stalin feeling threatened.
C
Stalin wanted to attack Poland but did not want Hitler to mistake the action as a potential threat on Germany.
D
Hitler wanted Stalin’s help invading Poland.
Question 5 Explanation: 
Hitler and Stalin were long-time enemies; however, they came together in 1939 to formalize their agreement to avoid military action against each other. Hitler had been eyeing an invasion of Poland, but feared Stalin would be upset by the attack on a nation bordering his Soviet Union. By seeking out the non-aggression agreement ahead of time, Hitler cleared the way to invade Poland and had the assurance that Stalin would be kept at bay.
Question 6
What was the name given to Germany’s “lightning offensive” invasion strategy that involved moving troops and military weapons in large quantities and with startling speed?

A
perestroika
B
Third Reich
C
blitzkrieg
D
Kristallnacht
Question 6 Explanation: 
The blitzkrieg was unleashed upon Poland in September of 1939. By the end of the month, Poland had fallen. Following the successful invasion, Germany and the Soviet Union would divide up the newly conquered country between their two empires. Within a year, the blitzkrieg strategy led to the near total domination of Europe by Nazi Germany.
Question 7
Who were the nations that made up the Axis Powers of World War II?

A
Germany, the Soviet Union, and Italy
B
Germany, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Japan
C
Germany, Italy, and Japan
D
Germany and Italy
Question 7 Explanation: 
The three nations were not a truly coordinated alliance in the strategic sense, but they stood together to promote their agendas of expansion and conquest. Although Germany would work with the Soviet Union early on in the war, one of the key goals of the Axis alliance was to neutralize and eliminate Soviet Communism.
Question 8
What was the result of the Battle of Britain?

A
Hitler relentlessly bombed and harassed Great Britain, but was not able to take control of the island nation.
B
Hitler laid waste to much of Britain’s major cities and industrial centers resulting in a reluctant British surrender.
C
The British decimated Hitler’s forces and immediately began a successful counter-offensive into mainland Europe.
D
French forces used the battle as a distraction to reclaim their country from the Nazi invaders.
Question 8 Explanation: 
Britain’s successful defense against the Nazi blitzkrieg was largely due to the strength of Britain’s Royal Air Force and the strong resolve of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Hitler was forced to give up the attack to prevent further losses to his air force.
Question 9
How did America respond to the war in Europe in the late 1930s?

A
America immediately joined in the conflict by sending weapons, money, and troops to England in large quantities.
B
America continued a policy of neutrality, but began putting pieces in place to prepare for war.
C
The American public and political leaders were largely unmoved by the war growing in Europe and felt little concern for its impact.
D
America doubled-down on even stricter neutrality policies to make it even more unlikely America would enter the European war.
Question 9 Explanation: 
Roosevelt recognized the public’s desire to remain out of the European conflict and kept up a forward-facing message of neutrality. Meanwhile, steps were taken to bolster the American navy, to lay the legal groundwork for a potential draft, and to begin building up the military-industrial complex as a means of earning much needed revenue from the sale of arms to allies.
Question 10
What did the Lend-Lease Act of 1941 change in American foreign policy?

A
The act allowed American business to take out loans from foreign banks for the first time since before World War I.
B
The act permitted the sale, lease, or loan of arms and funds to other countries as long as it would prove to be a benefit to America.
C
It shut down any bank with German or Italian holdings.
D
It allowed foreign nations to borrow American war experts as consultants in an effort to prevent further American involvement in the war.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The Lend-Lease Act was another step in Roosevelt’s move towards supporting and eventually entering the war. The funds and arms were desperately needed by the British in their continued efforts to fend off the Nazis.
Question 11
What was Roosevelt’s response to the Japanese initial aggressions in the Pacific throughout 1940?

A
Roosevelt imposed harsh economic sanctions upon Japan.
B
Roosevelt launched a full naval assault on Japan.
C
Roosevelt convinced Britain to lend ships and troops to help slow the Japanese expansion.
D
all of the above
Question 11 Explanation: 
Roosevelt cut off Japan from any of their assets held in American banks and put a stop to trade deals that were supplying Japan with fuel and resources to continue their aggressions.
Question 12
What event finally led to America formally entering the war against the Axis Powers?

A
the discovery of Nazi concentration and death camps throughout Europe
B
the formal request made by Winston Churchill to FDR
C
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
D
the sinking of an American passenger ship by a German U-boat
Question 12 Explanation: 
The December 7, 1941 attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii galvanized public support for entering the war. The surprise attack cost America over 2,000 soldiers, hundreds of grounded aircraft, and over a dozen warships. Within days, Congress had declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy.
Question 13
How did involvement in the war affect the American economy.

A
America was unprepared for the economic burdens of war and fell into a recession.
B
The American economy remained largely isolated from foreign affairs and thus was unaffected by the war.
C
The war led to a boom in industrial production and a major increase in employment.
D
The American economy thrived during the war thanks to a renewed focus on agriculture rather than industry.
Question 13 Explanation: 
The war effort was a crucial factor in the recovery of the American economy still reeling from the Great Depression and the subsequent recession. While many Americans felt the pains of resource rationing in their own homes, the American economy saw huge gains on the whole.
Question 14
How did the war impact the lives of American women?

A
Women joined the military in record numbers.
B
Women joined the work force in record numbers.
C
Women participated in war efforts at home like growing gardens and finding creative ways to do without rationed items.
D
all of the above
Question 14 Explanation: 
The war provided numerous ways for American women to support the war cause. Women took on active roles in jobs and positions that had typically been thought of as only suitable for men.
Question 15
How were Japanese Americans treated during World War II?

A
Tens of thousands of Japanese Americans served as American translators and spies in the counter-offensive against the Japanese.
B
Over 100,000 Japanese Americans were relocated to internment camps and held there for the majority of the war.
C
Japanese-Americans were able to find jobs in record numbers thanks to the large proportion of the American male population fighting overseas.
D
Japanese-Americans were treated no differently than any other American culture group during the war.
Question 15 Explanation: 
Japanese internment remains one of America’s greatest shames. The prisoners were forced to live in harsh, cramped conditions away from their homes and possessions for no other reason than public paranoia surrounding their ethnicity. It would take America until 1988 to formally apologize for the injustice.
Question 16
Where did the Allies choose to begin their joint assault against the European Axis powers in 1942?

A
Japan
B
the English Channel
C
the border of the Soviet Union
D
Northern Africa
Question 16 Explanation: 
Both FDR and Churchill agreed that an attack across the English Channel into the heart of the German empire would be a fool’s errand in 1942. Instead, the Allies focused on Northern Africa as a way to gain control over the land, the Mediterranean Sea, and the all-important Suez Canal. From there, Italy would be within reach.
Question 17
Which of the following best describes the Allied assault on Italy in 1943?

A
The Allies lost a long campaign in Italy against a stalwart German and Italian force.
B
The Allies were able to force Mussolini to give up rather quickly, but Hitler and the Nazis continued to contest the territory for nearly a year.
C
The Allies were able to take control of Italy in only a few months.
D
The Allies were able to drive the German forces out of Italy rather quickly, but Mussolini and his forces prolonged the fight for another year and a half.
Question 17 Explanation: 
While the Allies would eventually take Italy, the occupying German forces proved to be relentless opponents. The Italian invasion set the tone for what was sure to be an arduous fight.
Question 18
How effective were the German attacks on the major Soviet cities of Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad?

A
Germany was able to greatly cripple the Soviet war effort with successful sieges of the three crucial cities.
B
Germany was not able to take Leningrad, but by keeping Soviet forces occupied there, the German army was able to successfully take Moscow and Stalingrad.
C
Germany was able to take Moscow and Leningrad, but Stalingrad proved to be too formidable a challenge.
D
Germany was not able to capture and hold any of the three major Soviet cities and, as a result, wasted valuable time, soldiers, and resources.
Question 18 Explanation: 
Germany’s failed sieges of Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad would prove to be a crucial inflection point in the war. Hitler’s army faced steep losses in both numbers and morale. Perhaps more importantly, Hitler’s split focus between the Eastern and Western fronts opened the door for the rest of the Allied forces to finally plan and implement an invasion of France.
Question 19
What was the objective of the June 6, 1944 (D-Day) mission knows as Operation Overlord?

A
The Allies aimed to push into German territory by crossing the Baltic Sea from Scandinavia.
B
The Allies aimed to push into German territory by crossing the English Channel from Britain.
C
The Allies aimed to push into German territory on the eastern front by crossing the Soviet border into Poland.
D
all of the above
Question 19 Explanation: 
The daring attack on the coast of Normandy, France would be one of the largest and boldest military assaults ever attempted by a modern military force. There were enormous casualty numbers on both sides, but the Allies would ultimately succeed and gained a crucial staging ground for the final pushes into the German-controlled European mainland.
Question 20
Which of the following could be considered a major result of the Battle of the Bulge?

A
Despite a strong initial surge, the Germans were defeated at the Battle of the Bulge and would never fully recover from the loss.
B
The Germans were successful in their attack into the Belgian front and were able to slow the Allies’ momentum.
C
The battle was a stalemate and neither side gained any ground.
D
none of the above
Question 20 Explanation: 
The Battle of the Bulge would be the last major offensive mounted by the German army. Following the key victory, the Allied forces were able to reverse the momentum of the European campaign and push the Germans back to Berlin.
Question 21
What was the aim of the Nazi “final solution”?

A
to defeat the Allies and control all of the territory in mainland Europe
B
to totally eliminate the Jewish race
C
to assassinate the leaders of the Allied nations
D
all of the above
Question 21 Explanation: 
The Nazi campaign of hatred and persecution targeted specific cultures and groups including the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals. The Nazi holocaust stands as one of the most devastating examples of genocide in human history.
Question 22
What was the outcome of the Yalta agreement between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in the winter of 1945?

A
Roosevelt handed over control for rebuilding post-war Europe to Stalin and Churchill in exchange for total control over rebuilding the post-war Pacific.
B
Stalin agreed to join the war in the Pacific against Japan in exchange for some of the Asian territories that had been under German control.
C
Stalin would take the Soviet Union out of the war militarily, but would continue to contribute to the Allied cause financially.
D
Churchill and Stalin agreed to leave the fight in the Pacific entirely to the United States.
Question 22 Explanation: 
While the Soviet Union was part of the Allies, Roosevelt and Churchill were wary of Stalin’s post-war aims. The Yalta agreement gave the American and British leaders hope that the alliance between the three nations could be tenable moving forward. Regardless, the fear of the spread of Communism still loomed large.
Question 23
What was name given to General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz’s strategy for attacking the Japanese in the Pacific?

A
blitzkrieg
B
island hopping
C
espionage
D
total war
Question 23 Explanation: 
MacArthur and Nimitz leapfrogged from island to island throughout the Pacific working towards capturing the Philippines and Japanese mainland. Each captured Island provided the opportunity for the Allies to create new bases for future operations.
Question 24
What was the major significance of the American capture of Guam?

A
Guam provided more of a moral victory for the Allies than a strategic one.
B
Guam was the first Pacific island captured by General MacArthur.
C
Guam gave the Allies a launching point close enough for aerial and naval attacks on the main Japanese islands.
D
Guam was only held by the American forces for a single day before being recaptured by the Japanese.
Question 24 Explanation: 
Guam would be the launching point for the Battle of Leyte Gulf that sank the majority of the Japanese fleet. The island was also a key strategic base for conducting bombing raids on Japan’s main islands.
Question 25
What was the purpose of the Potsdam Declaration made by the Allies in the summer of 1945?

A
to declare the war in the Pacific was officially over
B
to give the Japanese a chance to surrender before Truman ordered the use of the atomic bomb
C
to announce a partnership between the Philippines and the Allies
D
to formally apologize for the use of the atomic bomb
Question 25 Explanation: 
The decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a difficult one to make and justify. The Potsdam Declaration warned Japan that a refusal to surrender would lead to the “prompt and utter destruction” of Japan. When Japan refused to surrender, Truman made the decision to follow through with the declaration’s threat.
Question 26
What was the result of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

A
Over 100,000 people were killed by the bomb blasts and resulting radiation illnesses.
B
It would lead to the Japanese surrender less than two weeks later.
C
The ecological impact of the bombs’ radiation was felt for years and for miles beyond the initial blast radius.
D
all of the above
Question 26 Explanation: 
The atomic bombs resulted in both immediate and long-lasting effects. While the bombings would successfully convince the Japanese to surrender, ending the war, the devastation to both the population and the environment would last for generations.
Question 27
Which of the following best describes the end results of World War II?

A
The Allies defeated the Axis Powers with a fairly insignificant cost to both human life and national resources.
B
The Allies defeated the Axis Powers in the largest and deadliest military conflict in history.
C
The Axis Powers were able to hold out against a stronger Allied force resulting in little change in the geopolitical landscape.
D
The Axis Powers were able to significantly expand their territorial holdings.
Question 27 Explanation: 
Despite the triumph of the Allies over the Axis forces, the final casualty counts for World War II were staggering. Over 40 million soldiers and civilians died over the course of the conflict.
Question 28
How were the Japanese and Nazi leaders treated by the global community following the end of World War II?

A
Those leaders who were unable to disappear into exile were forced to stand trial for war crimes.
B
The vast majority of Axis leaders sought, and were granted, forgiveness for their acts during the war.
C
Most Axis leaders accepted responsibility for their actions and did not have to face consequences that were especially severe.
D
Only a handful of Axis leaders actually made it through the final days of the war alive.
Question 28 Explanation: 
Trials were held in both Tokyo, Japan and Nuremburg, Germany to prosecute the Axis leaders for war crimes. While some of the leaders were able to flee to sympathetic nations willing to harbor them, the vast majority were forced to face grave consequences for their involvement in one of the most horrific wars in world history.
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