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North Africa Quizzes, Trivia

North African History Trivia

North African History Trivia Quizzes

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5 quizzes and 50 trivia questions.
  North African Campaign: 1940-41   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Italy declared war on the Allies on June 10th, 1940, and opened up a completely new theatre of war in the deserts of North Africa, where Italy suffered a spectacularly humiliating series of defeats.
Average, 10 Qns, doomed, May 10 15
3761 plays
  War in the Sunshine is No Day at the Beach    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The campaign for control of North Africa began when Italy declared war on the Allies in June, 1940 and ended with the surrender of the Axis in Tunisia 35 months later. This quiz is designed as an introduction to the campaign.
Average, 10 Qns, Joe_Meek, Mar 26 11
538 plays
  Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The title is from a book I read years ago about the US Army's first battle against seasoned German troops in WWII. I could not come up with a title more appropriate. Enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, beterave, Apr 13 11
478 plays
  Afrika Korps   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about one of Germany's elite fighting formations.
Tough, 10 Qns, beterave, Apr 09 10
820 plays
  The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Operation Crusader opened on 18 November 1941. The Allied Desert Force was rearranged and renamed the Eight Army. Two Corps made up the Eight Army, XIII Corps and XXX Corps. XXX Corps was the fist of the Operation and is the subject of this quiz.
Tough, 10 Qns, MrRadt, May 02 17
150 plays

North African History Trivia Questions

1. What was the Allied operation to invade North Africa in 1942 called?

From Quiz
Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: Operation Torch

The operation to invade North Africa in November of 1942 was called, Operation Torch. It was the first major land offensive by combined US and British troops in WWII against Germany and Italy.

2. This main communication and supply artery - named after the Italian Governor-General of Libya at the time - was completed in 1937, and stretched almost the entire length of Italian Libya. What was this road called?

From Quiz War in the Sunshine is No Day at the Beach

Answer: Via Balbia or Via Balbo

The Via Balbia was named after Governor-General Italo Balbo. This road was of crucial importance as it was the main route for logistical support for both the Axis and Allies as they fought for control of North Africa.

3. Why was the Afrika Korps sent to Libya in 1941?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: to act as a blocking force

The Afrika Korps was deployed to Libya in early 1941 to act as a 'sperrverband', or a blocking force to support the Italian Army after its defeat by the British in Operation Compass.

4. Which leader, seeing the French on the verge of collapse and the British army pushed out of Europe, was keen to seize whatever he could in the North Africa?

From Quiz North African Campaign: 1940-41

Answer: Benito Mussolini & Mussolini

Italy entered the war due to the most strangest of pretexts. On Sunday March 3rd 1940, Italy protested to Britain over a proposed ban of Italian imports of German coal. Two days later the first Italian colliery was stopped from production. On March 9th an Anglo-Italian agreement on coal was made with Britain. However, on March 18th Mussolini met with Adolf Hitler at the Brenner Pass. He then remained strangely quiet while war raged on in Europe and on June 10th 1940 Italy declared war on France and Britain, just before the Germans entered Paris. "On to glory and whatever we can grab", commented a cartoon in the (British) "Daily Express" at the time.

5. According to the Operational Order for Crusader, the 7th Armoured Division had 455 tanks available. Who was the commander of this division?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: Major-General W.H.E. Gott

Newton-King commanded the 4th South African Armoured Car Regiment as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade Group with Brigadier Gatehouse as commander. General Brink was in command of the 1st South African Infantry Division.

6. What did the British High Command insist that the untested US soldiers were?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: green and cocky

The British (veterans of El Alamein) were not impressed by the material might of the US Army. They immediately saw green and untested troops who were a bit too cocky for their liking because they had yet to face a real nemesis in the German Africa Corps.

7. Italian leader Benito Mussolini wanted Egypt. Tenth Army commander Marshall Rodolfo Graziani invaded but stopped after an advance of some 60 miles into Egypt. Why?

From Quiz War in the Sunshine is No Day at the Beach

Answer: Supplies and hot weather

After the defeat of France, the humiliation of the BEF, and given that French North Africa was loyal to Marshall Petain, Mussolini became anxious to conquer Egypt before Germany invaded England. Marshall Rodolfo Graziani was a veteran of the colonial wars and understood the hazards of fighting in remote and undeveloped expanses of Africa. An invasion of Egypt in the summer heat had to cross 60 miles of roadless Egyptian territory before reaching his first military objective. Graziani wanted to wait until October before launching the invasion of Egypt and use the time to train troops, increase his truck transport and water tankers to supply his troops. Mussolini became very impatient with Graziani and had to practically order him to invade Egypt immediately. Finally, the 10th Army invasion of Egypt began on 13 September 1940. With temperatures reaching 122 degrees Fahrenheit Graziani stopped the advance at Sidi Barrani and there built a defensive network while he built up 10th Army supplies, trained troops and extended the road from Libya to join the road eastward into Alexandria.

8. Which division was the Afrika Korps first organized as?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: 5th Light Division

The Afrika Korps was initially formed from the 5th Leichte Regiment and was designated 5th Light Division when deployed.

9. On June 11th 1940, the day after Italy declared war on France and Britain, which nations declared war on Italy?

From Quiz North African Campaign: 1940-41

Answer: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

On this day the RAF began bombing Turin and airfields and petrol dumps in Italian East Africa and Libya. In return Italy bombed Malta. On June 12th Turin was bombed again along with Genoa and the docks in Tobruk, Libya. HMS Calypso was sunk off the south coast of Crete by the Italian submarine Bagnolini.

10. The 22nd Guards Brigade was made up of the 9th Battalion (The Rifle Brigade), the 3rd Battalion (The Coldstream Guards), the 51st Field Regiment and the 12th Battery of the 1st LAA Regiment, but who was its commander?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: Brigadier J.C.O. Marriott

Sir John Charles Oakes Marriott (1895-1978), a veteran of WW1 commanded the 22nd Guards from October 1941. The Brigade was later renamed 200th and later the 201st Guards Brigade. The Brigade was forced to surrender when Tobruk was captured in 1942, but Marriott managed to avoid capture. After returning to England he took command of the 32nd Guards Brigade in 1942, then became Deputy Director of Infantry at the War Office.

11. The US 1st Armoured Division was well trained by pre-war standards. What major problem did they face at Kasserine Pass?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: German armour was better with experienced crews

The major problem the US 1st Armoured Division faced at Kasserine Pass was not only a superior tank in the Panzer MK IV but also veteran crews from the Africa Corps.

12. Soldiers in the Afrika Korps remember the heat in the North African desert. What was their second major complaint?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: the flies

The flies. Everyone complained of the flies which seemed to be everywhere and get inside everything.

13. Which Italian officer was nicknamed 'The Butcher'?

From Quiz North African Campaign: 1940-41

Answer: Marshal Rodolfo Graziani

Graziani was given the tag due to his ferocious slaughter of the Lybian Sanussi Arabs when they rebelled against Italian rule in the 1930s. He was thought of as an outstanding administrator although seen as despotic by many. He governed Libya between 1930-34 and from 1936-37 he was Viceroy and Commander-in chief in Ethiopia. In 1939 he was promoted to Chief of Army staff and in 1940 became Commander-in-Chief of the Italian forces in Libya. He was reluctant to carry out Mussolini's orders when attacking Egypt claiming his troops were ill equipped and badly trained. He also stated that he might have beaten the British but could not "break steel armour with fingernails alone". By February 1941 the Italian forces had virtually ceased operations in the Western desert, and after the defeat at Beda Fomm, Graziani gave up his command in North Africa.

14. What was the initial objective of Operation Crusader?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: The destruction of the Axis Armour

Most sources (including Wikipedia) agree that Crusader was an Allied victory, though their initial object of destroying the Axis armour was not achieved. The Allies received a severe mauling by the German Panzers at Sidi Rezegh which saw the destruction of the 5th South African Brigade and the 2nd New Zealand Division severely mauled. The second objective, to relieve Tobruk was achieved on 27 November and Rommel's forces, losing most of the gains achieved in previous months, were pushed back to El Agheila. The victory, though crucial, was a limited one for Rommel: his armoured force was hammered but intact and was not defeated in the desert - by a long shot.

15. The US did have Sherman tanks at Kasserine Pass. How did the US tank crews fail to take advantage of this tank?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: fire and maneuver

If the US tank crews had used the armoured doctrine of fire and maneuver,they would have fully utilized the Sherman's 75mm gun against the German armour. Instead, they were picked off on at a time by concentrated fire.

16. Operation Torch consisted of three separate task forces - the Western Task Force, the Central Task Force, and the Eastern Task Force. Which of the three task forces did George S. Patton command?

From Quiz War in the Sunshine is No Day at the Beach

Answer: Western Task Force

Then Maj. General George S. Patton, Jr. commanded the Western Task Force, the largest of the three task forces, and its main objective was the capture of Casablanca. The task force sailed from East Coast ports of the US directly to the west coast of French Morocco. It was a miracle that German U-Boats did not intercept the task force while en route. A series of miscalculations, mistaken assumptions and bad intelligence kept the wolfpacks away.

17. Who was Rommel refering to when he said,'they are certainly no good at war'?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: the Italians

'They are certainly no good at war'. Rommel was refering to his Italian allies.

18. The 5th South African Brigade (part of 1st South African Division) consisted out of the 1st Battalion South African Irish, 3rd Battalion Transvaal Scottish and which other battalion?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: 2nd Battalion, Regiment Botha

The 5th South African Infantry Brigade, despite desperate and courageous fighting with few anti-tank weapons and virtually no armoured support (mainly due to mis-communications), was severely mauled by the German Panzers at Sidi Resegh suffering casualties and captured POW's to the tune of 70% of its strength. Its commander was Brigadier B.F. Armstrong.

19. General Fredendall was the US commander at Kasserine Pass. What major mistakes did he make that day during the German attack?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: poor deployment and piecemeal support

General Fredendall made two glaring errors that day: he deployed his troops on two isolated hills so neither could support the other and he attempted to support them with armour piecemeal. The Germans surrounded both positions and decimated the armoured columns that attempted to come to their support.

20. What did the Afrika-Korps soldiers mean when they said,'reissen und scheissen'?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: aches and runs

'Reissen und scheissen' was German Army slang for [rise with] aches and pains from trying to sleep in that environment (hard ground with freezing nights), and constant bowel movements caused by dysentery from the flies.

21. A veteran of World War One served as commander of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment attached to the 4th Armoured Brigade Group during Operation Crusader. Who was he?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: Henry Dinham Drew

Henry Dinham Drew had served as a Major with the Devonshire Regiment at end of World War One. The other names where made up.

22. What did the US 2nd Armoured Division see as it attempted to restore order at Sidi bou Zid?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: US troops in full retreat

General Harmon (CO of the 2nd Armoured) was astounded to see, 'a US Army in rout'. Anything that had four wheels was moving away from the front at full speed. His command vehicle was almost run off the road twice!

23. After the Axis defeat at the 2nd Battle of El Alamein Rommel retreated westward all the way back to an old French fortified zone on the Tunisia/Libya frontier. What was this fortified zone called?

From Quiz War in the Sunshine is No Day at the Beach

Answer: Mareth Line

Named after the town of Mareth in southern Tunisia, the Mareth Line is a series of natural and man made fortifications lying between the salt lakes of Nefzaoua and the port of Gabes. It was designed to protect Tunisia from a westward invasion by the Italians. With the Franco-German Armistice of June 1940 the Mareth Line was thinly held by French colonial troops and saw no fighting until early March 1943. With the British 8th Army established at the city of Medenine just east of the Mareth Line FM Rommel attempted to disrupt the upcoming 8th Army offensive by launching one of his own. The offensive failed. Montgomery then launched his offensive which outflanked the Mareth Line thus making the fortified zone untenable for the Axis defenders.

24. What was 'Lili Marlene'?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: a song

Lili Marlene was a love song written by Hans Leip (1893-1983) and performed by Lale Andersen. It became immensely that became popular with the soldiers on both sides in the North African campaign. Fitzroy Maclean wrote later in "Eastern Approaches", 'Husky, sensuous, nostalgic, sugar-sweet, her voice seemed to reach out to you ...'

25. Which two types of tanks formed the backbone of XXX Corps armour during Operation Crusader?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: Cruisers and Mathilda II's

Of the Cruiser tanks used (339 of various models) 210 were of the latest A15 Crusader models, after which the Operation was named. The majority of the Infantry tanks was Mathilda II's. M3 Stuarts and a variety of other light tanks was also pushed into service, bringing the total amount of tanks available to XXX Corps to 477.

26. Who replaced General Fredendall after Kasserine Pass?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: Patton

General George Patton replaced Fredendall after Kasserine Pass and assumed command of the II Corps. This was the beginning of a legend.

27. Logistically, which item was a priority for the Afrika Korps?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: fuel

The Afrika Korps was a mobile formation; fuel was the number one priority. Munitions and spare parts were second. Even in the harsh environment of the desert, food and water did not supersede these four items.

28. The 7th Armoured Division became legendary for its tenacious fighting spirit. What is their famous nickname?

From Quiz The XXX Corps in Operation Crusader

Answer: The Desert Rats

With the motto "All of one company" they where also known as The Green or Jungle Rats after they were deployed to Burma in 1942. In 1990 they returned to the desert as part of Operation Granby during the Iraq war. After being involved in Kuwait, the Balkans and Afghanistan, to name but a few campaigns, the Brigade was re designated as the 7th Infantry Brigade in 2013. It will however retain their famous "Rat" insignia.

29. What vital lesson was learned from Kasserine Pass?

From Quiz Kasserine Pass: Baptism of Fire

Answer: American armoured doctrine was flawed

Kasserine Pass saw the defeat of US forces against a veteran Africa Corps. The one vital lesson learned from that engagement was our armoured doctrine was flawed. Armour cannot be committed piecemeal and you need infantry to support it.

30. Who was entitled to wear the cuff title 'Afrika'?

From Quiz Afrika Korps

Answer: anyone who served six months in North Africa

Anyone who served six months in North Africa was entitled to wear the cuff title 'Afrika'. Rank and combat status were not a factor in awarding this cuff title.

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