History Guild WW2 History Quiz
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The stories behind the questions
1. Which Soviet General coordinated the defence of Stalingrad?
Georgy Zhukov – He rose to prominence after he won a decisive battle over Japanese forces at Khalkhin Gol in 1939. He organised the defense of Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad, eventually rising to command the 1st Belorussian Front for the Battle of Berlin.
2. Which of these amphibious assaults occurred first?
Tarawa 20th Nov 1943
Anzio 22nd Jan 1944
Normandy 6th Jun 1944
Balikpapan 1st Jul 1945
3. Which of these divisions saw action at the Battle of El Alamein?
The British Eighth Army under Montgomery consisted of the following units:
Australian 9th Division
British 51st (Highland) Infantry Division
New Zealand 2nd Division
South African 1st Infantry Division
Indian 4th Infantry Division
British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division
British 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division
British 7th Armoured Division
British 1st Armoured Division
British 10th Armoured Division
British 8th Armoured Division
4. What type of tank is this?
Italian M13/40 – 740 of these were built, making it the primary tank used by the Italians throughout the war. The disappointing performance of the tank can mostly be attributed to a lack of training for the crews. They typically received only 25 days of training and rarely practiced as part of a larger unit.
5. Which Army was supplied by air ‘Over the hump’?
Ilyushin Il-2 – 36,183
North American P-51 Mustang – 15,586
7. Who commanded Allied forces at the Battles of Imphal and Kohima?
William Slim – In March 1942 Slim was given command of Burma Corps, and gained great respect from both his subordinates and superiors for his handling of it over the following years. He was promoted to command the new Fourteenth Army, which went on to stop the Japanese U Go offensive, which included the Battles of Imphal and Kohima in mid 1944.
8. How many German vessels were sunk during the 1940 Norwegian campaign?
57 – Although the German invasion was successful, it saw the loss of 3 cruisers, 10 destroyers and many smaller craft, a large proportion of the Kriegsmarine. This dramatically limited the German ability to undertake an opposed crossing of the English Channel.
9. What was the primary weapon of the Panzer I?
2 × 7.92 mm MG 13 machine guns – Almost 2,500 of these light tanks were produced, which were very lightly armoured and virtually obsolete from the beginning of WW2. Despite this they saw service throughout the war, with 410 entering the USSR as part of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, 12% of the German tanks deployed.
10. Which officer was famous for going into battle armed with a broadsword and longbow?
John ‘Mad Jack’ Churchill – Also nicknamed ‘Fighting Jack Churchill’, he graduated from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1926 and served in Burma with the Manchester Regiment for 10 years. He then worked as a newspaper editor, actor and male model before rejoining the Army in September 1939.
He fought with distinction in France in 1940 before joining the Commandos. He took part in half a dozen amphibious landings with his Scottish broadsword slung around his waist, a longbow and arrows around his neck and his bagpipes under his arm. In 1944 he led the Commandos in Yugoslavia to support Josip Broz Tito’s Partisans and was knocked unconscious and captured. He managed to escape from the POW camp and was on the run for several weeks before being recaptured.
After the German surrender he volunteered to serve in Burma, but was disappointed that the Japanese surrendered before he was able to see combat there.