Quiz on World War II

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on June 05, 2020 Published on June 05, 2020

War and peace: The A-bomb dome in Hiroshima, Japan   -  REUTERS/ERIKO SUGITA

June 6, 2020, is the 76th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of France in 1944. Operation Overlord began with the landing of over 150,000 troops on the beaches of Normandy. This quiz is therefore all about World War II.

New world order

1 Veronica Lake was an American actress of the early 1940s, known for her peek-a-boo hairstyle. Why did she adopt a much shorter haircut during the war?

2 Though his was actually a competing design that was never accepted, who first gave the fearsome German heavy tank The Tiger its name?

3 Why did the British air ministry credit the success of its night fighter team — led by pilot John Cunningham (nicknamed ‘Cat’s Eyes’) — against German bombers to a diet of carrots, which, it claimed, improves night vision?

4 On October 14, 1944, who committed suicide in the presence of General Burgdof after realising that he would be implicated in the plot to kill Hitler. His suicide was hidden till the end of the war, until his widow finally told the story.

5 With which specific operation in December 1941 would you associate the names Hiryu, Soryu, Akagi, Kaga, Zuikaku and Shokaku?

6 Which epic war film was inspired by a mission involving Sergeant Frederick Niland in 1944?

7 During WWII, what did the Americans refer to as ‘Liberty Steak’?

8 Where did the signing of the Japanese surrender take place, bringing the long and costly war to a close?

9 Bock’s Car, named after its commander Frederick Bock, was one of two Allied warplanes with a unique role in the war. Name the other — a much more well-known warplane — and the reason for their infamy.

10 Which European leader’s surname entered the dictionary as a synonym for a traitor after he actively collaborated with the Nazi leadership after his country’s occupation?


1 Her hairstyle was copied by many American women, and with the men at war, there were far more of them working in factories, where long hair was a dangerous hazard. Lake was asked by the War Department to change her hairstyle and help bring shorter cuts in fashion.

2 Ferdinand Porsche. His versions were converted into self-propelled guns named Elefants.

3 The British had just start using radars, and wanted to deflect German suspicions about their existence, so they came up with the theory of the carrots helping night vision.

4 Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox.

5 These were the six Japanese aircraft carriers that launched the attack on Pearl Harbour, bringing the US into the war. Four of these were sunk in the Battle of Midway.

6Saving Private Ryan. Frederick was one of four Niland brothers and his other brothers were assumed killed. Frederick was sent back to the US on what was referred to as the “Only Son” or “Sole-Surviving Son” policy.

7 Hamburgers. They wanted to avoid any German names.

8 On the battleship USS Missouri.

9 Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Bock’s Car dropped the bomb on Nagasaki a couple of days later.

10 Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian leader.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on June 05, 2020
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