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How Much Do You Actually Know About World War II?

Let's see how much you actually remember from high school and/or the History Channel.

  1. How many years did World War II last?

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    6 years

    Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, marking the beginning of the war. Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945.

  2. What year did Hitler appoint himself Führer Germany?

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    1934

    Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933, but consolidated power shortly after in 1934 by joining the offices of the Chancellor and President.

  3. What event caused Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim that December 7, 1941 would be "a date which will live in infamy"?

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    The Pearl Harbor bombing

    Japan did not announce the Pearl Harbor attacks, instead bombing the Hawaiian military base while the U.S. and Japan were in negotiations with each other. The large-scale loss of life combined with the surprise of attack caused FDR to utter this famous line.

  4. What city did the United States choose to bomb first after Japan's refusal to surrender?

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    Hiroshima

    Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945. The second atomic bomb was released over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. However, Kokura was the intended target of the second bomb.

  5. What event is now considered a failed act of appeasement?

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    Munich Agreement

    The agreement, signed in 1938, allowed Nazi Germany's annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain believed they had secured "peace in our time."

  6. What pact cemented Germany and Italy’s alliance in World War II? 

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    The Pact of Steel

    Signed on May 22, 1939, this pact promised that Germany and Italy would support each other in the event of war. Mussolini originally wanted to call it the Pact of Blood.

  7. What two countries declared war on Germany after the invasion of Poland?

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    Great Britain and France

    Great Britain and France had promised military aid to Poland in the event of German aggression.

  8. Which nations attended the Yalta Conference?

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    United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain

    The 1945 Yalta Conference was a meeting attended by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill to demand Germany's unconditional surrender.

  9. What did Italy hope to achieve by joining World War II?

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    Expand into a second “Roman empire”

    Mussolini considered Italy a prisoner of the Mediterranean and believed large scale expansion and an increased Navy presence would give Italy more autonomy. He hoped to expand into North Africa by taking land from Great Britain and France.

  10. What cemented Germany, Italy and Japan as allies in World War II?

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    Tripartite Pact

    The act was signed on September 27, 1939, ensuring mutual aid for any of the signatories, should they suffer attack from any nation not already involved in the war. It was meant to single out America and act as a warning against them joining the war.

  11. What aided a United States win at the Battle of Midway? 

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    Cracking Japanese fleet codes

    Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku had hoped to draw out U.S. forces by attacking near Pearl Harbor and defeating the rest of its fleet. Instead, with the help of U.S. Intelligence, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was able to surprise the Japanese, resulting in a devastating loss in aircraft operators and mechanics.

  12. What two countries were already at war at the start of World War II?

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    China and Japan

    Japan was already attempting to expand its power into China. They were part of the Second Sino-Japanese War, which started in 1937.

  13. Which nation joined the Allies first?

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    Soviet Union

    The Soviet Union joined the Allies after Germany attempted to invade their lands on June 22, 1941. America did not enter the war until after the Pear Harbor attack, on December 8, 1941.

  14. What event in France did Winston Churchill deem a “colossal military disaster”? 

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    Battle of Dunkirk

    Also known as the Dunkirk Evacuation. During the Battle of France, German soldiers cut off and surrounded Allied troops. A hastily gathered fleet of 800 ships transported a total of 338,226 men out of Dunkirk by crossing the English Channel.

  15. Which battle marked a turning point for Allies during the war? 

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    Battle of Stalingrad

    The Soviet Union successfully encircled and crushed the invading German army, dealing a fatal blow to Hitler’s eastern expansion.

  16. Why didn't Hitler execute his plan to invade Britain?

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    Germany couldn't demonstrate total air supremacy

    In the summer and fall of 1940, Germany and Great Britain engaged in intense air warfare over London, but the British Air Force eventually overpowered the Luftwaffe, leading Hitler to reconsider plans of invasion.

  17. What event led Germany to invade Vichy France?

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    The Allied invasion of North Africa

    Allied forces antagonized Germany when they landed in North Africa in November of 1942 and French naval crews scuttled a fleet of French ships. Charles De Gaulle took control of the Vichy France territory St. Pierre and Miquelon during the invasion.

  18. What led to the fall of Fascist Italy and the arrest of Mussolini?

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    Invasion of Sicily

    Allied forces had easily invaded Sicily, leading to the fall of Fascist Italy, arrest of Mussolini, and the establishment of a provisional government. German forces set up several defenses at Salerno to prevent further Allied advancement

  19. What agreement requested and outlined Japan's surrender?

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    Potsdam Declaration

    On July 26, 1945, Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee, and Chian Kai-shek released a document promising that if Japan did not surrender, it would face “prompt and utter destruction." The declaration went ignored.

  20. How many Nazi officials were hanged after the Nuremberg Trials?

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    10

    Ten Nazi leaders were killed after the Nuremberg Trials. Twelve were sentenced to death, but Martin Bormann was sentenced to death in absentia and Hermann Göring committed suicide the night before.

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