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World War II (1939-1945)

Q.1
World War II began when Germany invaded Poland on 1st September, 1939. What two countries demanded their retreat and declared war on Germany two days later?

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Q.2
Following the defeat of Poland and the formal declaration of war in Europe on 3rd September, 1939, Nazi Germany turned their attention westward. Name five countries that Nazi Germany defeated and occupied in 1940.

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Q.3
All of Germany's early successes in 1939 & 1940 were due to their military strategy known as 'Blitzkrieg'. What does Blitzkrieg mean and what did it involve?

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Q.4
When Germany overran France in 1940, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) stationed in Belgium and the French armies retreated to Dunkirk. There, they were eventually rescued by over 800 British ships and small boats. What was this rescue operation code-named and how many troops were rescued?

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Q.5
After France fell to the Germans in 1940, the country was split between a German-controlled area to the north & west (including Paris) and an independent, self-ruling France in the south. What was the name of the French General who collaborated with the Germans and what was the French-controlled south known as between 1940 and 1944?

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Q.6
Hitler's plan to invade Britain in 1940 was called 'Unternehmen Seelöwe' in German. In English, its name was.....

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Q.7
Before Hitler could invade Britain, he wanted to gain air superiority to protect the German invasion forces. The German Luftwaffe launched attacks across the Channel in 1940. The RAF were aided by a new innovation that helped them spot German aircraft. What was this innovation called and what was the name of the air battle in late summer 1940?

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Q.8
When Goering's Luftwaffe failed to destroy the RAF in the air battle over Britain in 1940, the Germans switched their strategy to night-time bombings of British cities, hoping to break the morale of the British population. What name did the British public give this bombing campaign?

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Q.9
In 1941, frustrated at the failure to subdue Britain, Hitler turned his attention eastwards towards the Soviet Union (USSR). On 22nd June of that year, he launched a massive ground and air assault into Soviet territory. What was this operation called and how many Axis armies did it involve?

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Q.10
In late 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on an American Navy port in the Pacific, hoping to destroy their naval power instantly. The USA entered the war at this point. Where did this attack take place and on what date?

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Q.11
German armies became isolated and surrounded after attacking a southern Soviet city between August 1942 and February 1943. After becoming trapped by Soviet forces encircling this city, the German army finally surrendered in 1943. What was the name of the city, the German commanding officer and the number of German soldiers taken prisoner?

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Q.12
In 1943, a major counteroffensive in the Soviet Union was planned by the Nazi hierarchy to stop the advancing Soviet armies. Germany committed over 900,000 soldiers, 10,000 artillery guns, 2,700 tanks & 2,000 aircraft. What was the name of this battle and why was it so significant?

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Q.13
By 1944, Germany had lost its foothold in North Africa and the 'Desert Fox' - General Erwin Rommel came back to mainland Europe to oversee a massive defensive system in Western Europe. It was hoped that this defensive system would prevent the American & British armies from re-invading France & Western Europe. What was the name of this defensive system and how many miles did it stretch?

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Q.14
On 6th June, 1944, American, Canadian & British forces landed in Northern France, accompanied by French, Polish, Belgian, Czech, Australian & New Zealand soldiers. What were the code names for the beach landing zones and how many Allied troops attempted the landing?

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Q.15
In July 1944, an assassination attempt was made against Hitler by a large number of German officers and servicemen. It is known as the 'July Plot', The conspirators hoped to kill Hitler and sue for peace with the Western Allies. Who was the German officer who attempted to kill Hitler by placing a bomb under a desk in the 'Wolf's Lair'?

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Q.16
The 'Battle of the Bulge' is a significant event in the war on the Western Front between Nazi Germany & the advancing Allied invasion forces. When did it take place and why is it so significant?

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Q.17
As the Western Allies advanced into Germany from the west and Soviet forces closed on Berlin from the East, Germany slowly collapsed under the weight of so many attacks on different fronts. Hitler retreated into his command bunker under the Reich Chancellory and committed suicide on what date?

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Q.18
As the Americans continued to push back the Japanese in the Pacific, victory day was declared in Europe after Germany's unconditional surrender. What date was 'VE Day' (Victory in Europe)?

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Q.19
In the war of the Pacific, the US had managed to push Japanese forces from the island of Midway (1942) & the Battle of the Coral Sea (1942) almost all the way back to Japan. General MacArthur supported this plan because he felt that huge losses would be sustained if the Americans attempted to take every single island. Instead he opted for a more strategic plan - only attacking the major islands like Iwo Jima & Okinawa. What was this strategy known as and what was its official code name?

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Q.20
What was the code name for the secret development of the atomic bomb in the USA by Oppenheimer and many leading nuclear scientists?

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Q.21
In order to force an unconditional Japanese surrender, the US dropped two atomic bombs on two Japanese cities on different days. What cities were bombed and on what dates?

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Q.22
After Germany's defeat in World War II, the Allies liberated many concentration camps in Europe where up to 6 million Jews, Communists, Homosexuals and other 'undesirables' were both worked to death and/or exterminated. The extermination of so many Jewish people in Europe became known as the 'Holocaust'. What was the German plan for the extermination of Jews in Europe called and in what year was it devised?

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