World War II (1939–1945)
World War II (1939–1945)
The Start of the War
The Invasion of France
The Battle of Britain
Italy and the Mediterranean
The Invasion of Russia
Japan and Pearl Harbor
The Nazis’ “Final Solution”
Total War in the Pacific
The Strengthening Alliance
North Africa and the Invasion of Italy
The German Retreat from Russia
The Allied Invasion of France
The Fall of Germany
The Fall of Japan
Suggestions for Further Reading
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
Table of Contents
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Full Book Quiz
1. Which event is generally considered to be the first belligerent act of World War II?
Germany’s attack on Russia
Germany’s attack on Britain
Germany’s attack on Poland
Germany’s occupation of Austria
2. Which two countries were the first to declare war on Germany?
Italy and Greece
Britain and France
Norway and Denmark
The United States and the USSR
Against which country did the Soviet Union instigate an armed conflict in late
4. What were the first two western European countries that Germany invaded?
France and Belgium
Norway and Denmark
Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Austria and the Netherlands
5. Which best describes Germany’s standard invasion strategy at the beginning of World War II?
Attack with a combination of speed and overwhelming force
Intimidate the enemy by first amassing a large force along the enemy’s border
Begin with acts of sabotage behind enemy lines
Draw out battles for as long as possible to wear the enemy out
6. What major mistake did the Allies make in preparing to defend against Germany’s attack on France?
They failed to anticipate that the attack would take place
They expected an attack by ground forces rather than a naval assault
They misinterpreted where the main invasion would take place
They failed to set up minefields along the border with Germany
What happened at Dunkirk in May
British forces retreated across the English Channel
The French army lost a major battle
American forces invaded France
German forces were defeated in a large naval battle
8. Where was the French surrender to Germany signed?
In a railway car
On a boat
9. Why did the British Royal Navy attack French warships at Mers-el-Kebir?
The French crews had sworn allegiance to Germany
France was at war with Britain
The French crews refused to surrender their ships when the British requested
They were manned by Germans
10. What was Germany’s initial strategy for conquering Britain?
First establish air superiority, then send in ground forces
First destroy the British navy, then send in ground forces
First send in ground forces, then attack the country with aircraft
Immobilize London with poison gas attacks
11. What was the “London Blitz”?
Germany’s plan for a blitzkrieg on London
A term used for Germany’s bombing campaign on London
A series of German missile attacks late in the war
Code name for a secret British radar system
12. Overall, the Battle of Britain is considered to be
A victory for Germany
A victory for Britain
A victory for neither
A minor conflict
13. What was Italy’s primary role in the war?
It helped Germany in accomplishing its main objectives
It was helpful to Britain
It caused problems for Japan
It distracted Germany from accomplishing its main objectives
14. What was Hitler’s primary justification for invading Russia?
Stalin was preparing to attack Germany
Germany needed more space for its population
Hitler believed that a war on two fronts would be to his advantage
He desired revenge for the execution of Tsar Nicholas II
15. What was the code name given to Germany’s plan to invade the USSR?
Operation Sea Lion
16. What happened to the Soviet air force during the opening days of the German invasion?
Soviet aircraft were destroyed while still on the ground.
Soviet pilots scored easy victories against inexperienced German pilots
It was evacuated to Siberia
The Soviet air force engaged in huge dogfights involving thousands of planes on each side
17. Which of the following was
a part of the Soviet defense plan against Germany?
Well-organized partisan resistance
A strict policy of destroying any usable resources before retreating
The Soviets sought to lure German armies into forests, which they would then set on fire
Major factories were disassembled and moved east
18. On which region of the Soviet Union did Hitler place the highest priority?
Ukraine and southern Russia
Leningrad and northern Russia
Moscow and central Russia
19. Via what route did Russians manage to send some supplies to Leningrad during the German siege of the city?
A German supply line across the Black Sea
An underground railroad
A supply route across Lake Ladoga
20. Which country was the site of most of the Nazi extermination camps?
21. How did the Western Allies respond to Germany’s invasion of Russia?
They sent supplies and intelligence information to the USSR
They were largely indifferent to the situation in Russia
They sent large numbers of troops to fight in Russia
They attacked German naval forces from the Black Sea
22. What Japanese action created tension with the United States?
Its seizure of territory in China
Its seizure of territory in Russia
Its seizure of territory in Korea
Its decision to block American shipping routes
23. What U.S. action created tension with Japan?
Its blockade of Japanese ports
Its freezing of Japanese assets
Its establishment of a trade embargo against Japan
Its default on Japanese loans
24. Who was the Japanese admiral behind the Pearl Harbor attack?
25. Which of the following was
true about the Pearl Harbor attack?
U.S. officials knew the day before that Japan was planning a major attack
There was concern among U.S. military leaders that Peal Harbor was vulnerable to attack
The Japanese painted their aircraft to look like American planes
Prior to the attack, Japanese spies had verified which U.S. battleships would be in port
26. What was unique about the Doolittle Raid?
The bombers were launched from an aircraft carrier
It was the first raid to employ jet aircraft
The bombers flew to Japan all the way from Hawaii
The bombers were unmanned
27. Which battle is considered to be the turning point for the war in the Pacific?
The Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of Guadalcanal
The Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Midway
28. The Battle of the Coral Sea was a unique naval battle in that
It was fought entirely with submarines
It was fought during a typhoon
It was fought entirely with carrier-based aircraft
It was fought primarily at night
29. During the Battle of Midway, Japan lost
Most of its battleships
Most of its aircraft carriers
Most of its Pacific Fleet
30. The Battle of Stalingrad was
A clear-cut example of a blitzkrieg
An easy victory for Germany
One of the deadliest battles in human history
Primarily a tank battle
31. Who met at Casablanca?
Roosevelt and Churchill
Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin
Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and Hitler
Truman and Churchill
32. What was the focus of the Tehran Conference?
The Allied invasion of France
The war in the Pacific
The Battle of Stalingrad
The division of Germany after the war
33. What was the significance of Guadalcanal to Japan?
The island was sacred to the Shinto religion
The island offered a good position for attacking the Philippines
The island was known to have oil reserves beneath it
The island was in an ideal position for controlling the Solomon Islands
34. Why was the Japanese capture of Rangoon such a bitter loss for the Allies?
They were worried about Rangoon historical sites
As a major seaport, it was an excellent supply point
Winston Churchill was born there
The location was perfect for launching air strikes against Japan
35. Which statement best characterizes the series of battles in the Pacific following the Battle of Guadalcanal?
With each battle, the Allies became increasingly disheartened until they finally gave up
With each battle, the Japanese surrendered in large numbers
With each battle, the Japanese soldiers increasingly fought to the death
With each battle, civilian inhabitants of the islands joined the Allies in battle
36. What was the significance of Mt. Suribachi?
It was the site of the bloodiest fighting on Okinawa
It was the Japanese defense headquarters outside Tokyo
It was the location where Japan was defeated in New Guinea
It was the site of a major battle on Iwo Jima
37. Which country instigated the conflict in North Africa?
The United States
38. Why did Allied forces invade Italy after it had already surrendered?
German forces were still fighting in the country
Italy refused to meet all of the Allied demands
There was strong anti-Allied resistance among Italian partisans
The Allies felt that Italy needed to be punished
39. What was Monte Cassino?
A place where Allied soldiers celebrated after the fall of Rome
The place where Italy’s surrender was signed
A large monastery in central Italy where the Germans defended Rome from Allied forces
The site where Mussolini was killed
40. The Battle of Kursk is best described as
An aerial battle
A tank battle
41. After the Battle of Kursk, German forces
Advanced deeper into southern Russia
Finally entered Moscow
Began a lengthy retreat back to Germany
Held their position until the end of the war
42. What was the code name for the Allied invasion of Europe?
43. The Allied invasion of Europe was primarily directed at
The German coast
The Italian coast
The Danish coast
The French coast
What was the location of the second major Allied assault into Europe in
The Italian coast
The French Mediterranean coast
The German North Sea coast
45. Why was the Luftwaffe so ineffective during the last part of the war?
Germany was experiencing a severe oil shortage
Germany was running out of pilots
Most of Germany’s airplanes had already been destroyed
The Allies had developed a way to interfere with German navigation equipment
46. Where did the Battle of the Bulge take place?
The Ardennes Forest
In northern Italy, near Milan
In northern Germany, near Hamburg
What were the V
Italian army battalions
The two atomic bombs dropped on Japan
Nightclubs in Berlin
48. Which Allied country’s forces arrived in Berlin first?
The United States
49. In the last six months of the war, what was the U.S. strategy for winning the conflict with Japan?
Negotiate with Japan for a conditional surrender
Insert ground forces on the Japanese home islands
Break the Japanese will with massive bombing raids on Japanese cities
Place all of Japan under a naval blockade until the country surrendered
50. At what conference did the Allies set the terms for the Japanese surrender?
The Yalta Conference
The Casablanca Conference
The Tehran Conference
The Potsdam Conference
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