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Quiz about North African Campaign 194041
Quiz about North African Campaign 194041

North African Campaign: 1940-41 Quiz


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.

A multiple-choice quiz by doomed. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
doomed
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
189,728
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
3771
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 97 (2/10), Guest 206 (8/10), Guest 107 (4/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. 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?

Answer: (Two Words - First and last name or just last name)
Question 2 of 10
2. On June 11th 1940, the day after Italy declared war on France and Britain, which nations declared war on Italy? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Which Italian officer was nicknamed 'The Butcher'? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. North Africa saw no action when Italy declared war, in fact it seemed to many that that Italy was indulging in bravado. However, the British and Commonwealth troops set about making things very difficult for the numerically superior enemy. In fact, the figures were amazing. Of these four - air power, heavy artillery, tank and manpower - there was only one in which the Allies had numerical superiority. Which was it? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The North African campaign saw many small battles and conflicts end in Allied victory. The Italian army was no match for the dogged determination of the British and Commonwealth forces. The skill and knowledge of the ANZACS (Australian and New Zealand forces) blasted Italian morale. In the ANZACs the British had first-rate, dependable forces. December 9th 1940 saw the British attack Italian positions in Western Egypt, which signalled the beginning of the end for Italian hopes of gaining the victory Mussolini wanted so badly. Which two generals carried out a five day assault that forced the Italian army retreat back to Libya? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. January 17th 1941 saw a pivotal situation occur. Infantry of the Australian 19th Brigade and 7th Armoured Support Group, with the 11th Hussars probed ahead from victory at El Adem airfield in Libya. They reached a strategic port 800 miles from Tripoli and threw a cordon that was going to be very difficult to breach. This port was to become a famous siege. Where was it? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. North Africa saw some quite amazing feats achieved by the tiny British and Commonwealth force. In the space of six weeks, this force fought its way across 200 miles (320km) of harsh terrain, taken by assault two powerful and heavily manned Italian fortifications and took many prisoners. Between January 5th 1941 and February 7th 1941 how many prisoners were taken by the British and Commonwealth forces? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Tank warfare played a massive role in the North African campaign of 1940-41. It was the one single factor in the Italian defeat that no-one had envisaged due to the harsh conditions of the desert. The Allies had two pieces of machinery that caused extensive damage, whilst the Italian relied solely on one model. The Rolls Royce A/C fought against the Fiat M13/40, but what other piece of machinary played a major role in the campaign? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What was the significant event that took place on February 12th in Tripoli, that heralded the next phase of the North African Campaign? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The stunning defeats Italy had suffered at the hands of the Allies gave the Germans much work to do in North Africa. Taking back as many fortresses and ports as possible would require very well planned campaign. Hitler chose a general who he thought was equal to this daunting task. The man in question was a tactical genius with a keen eye for enemy mistakes and plenty of cunning that enabled him to capitalise on them. What nickname was given to him? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 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?

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

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

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.
4. North Africa saw no action when Italy declared war, in fact it seemed to many that that Italy was indulging in bravado. However, the British and Commonwealth troops set about making things very difficult for the numerically superior enemy. In fact, the figures were amazing. Of these four - air power, heavy artillery, tank and manpower - there was only one in which the Allies had numerical superiority. Which was it?

Answer: Aircraft

The Allies outnumbered the Italians 313:205 in aircraft. This small superiority in aircraft was in fact much greater than appears, as the RAF was far superior in skill to the Italian air force.
However, artillery was greatly in Italy's favour 230:1811. The number of tanks was 120:270. Most astonishing of all was the discrepancy in manpower, 36,000:236,000.
5. The North African campaign saw many small battles and conflicts end in Allied victory. The Italian army was no match for the dogged determination of the British and Commonwealth forces. The skill and knowledge of the ANZACS (Australian and New Zealand forces) blasted Italian morale. In the ANZACs the British had first-rate, dependable forces. December 9th 1940 saw the British attack Italian positions in Western Egypt, which signalled the beginning of the end for Italian hopes of gaining the victory Mussolini wanted so badly. Which two generals carried out a five day assault that forced the Italian army retreat back to Libya?

Answer: Wavell & O'Connor

Lieutenant-General Richard Nugent O'Connor was a small man of lean physique. He was awarded the DSO and bar, Military Cross (and, ironically, in WWI he had been been awarded the Italian Silver Medal for Valour). He was chosen in June 1940 by then General Sir Archibald Wavell, the British Commander-in-Chief for the Middle East, to spearhead the North African campaign. O'Connor had an instinctive grasp of mechanised warfare and was a tactical genius when using tanks, infantry and artillery, which he combined into effective formations capable of defeating an enemy, which did *not* in fact run away as many had expected.

His outstanding ability was a major reason for the Allied successes.
6. January 17th 1941 saw a pivotal situation occur. Infantry of the Australian 19th Brigade and 7th Armoured Support Group, with the 11th Hussars probed ahead from victory at El Adem airfield in Libya. They reached a strategic port 800 miles from Tripoli and threw a cordon that was going to be very difficult to breach. This port was to become a famous siege. Where was it?

Answer: Tobruk

Tobruk lay 800 miles from the Italian colonial capital, Tripoli, whilst it lay equally as far in the opposite direction from the main British base in Alexandria in Egypt. The North African campaign relied heavily on controlled lines of communication and supplies, so Tobruk was vital.

The Italians had built a very impressive fortress. but it was incomplete. Built around 7 miles from the port, the fortress had deep anti-tank ditches and extensive minefields. On January 7th 1941, two brigades of the Australian 6th division together with the 7th Royal Tanks deployed. On January 21st they were joined by the 7th Armoured Support group and the battle for Tobruk took place with the Australians taking out a large number of Italians. Contrary to popular belief, the Italians put up a fierce fight, but thanks to the superior fighting skills of the Australians the fortress was taken, the anti-tank ditches were filled and the minefields cleared.
7. North Africa saw some quite amazing feats achieved by the tiny British and Commonwealth force. In the space of six weeks, this force fought its way across 200 miles (320km) of harsh terrain, taken by assault two powerful and heavily manned Italian fortifications and took many prisoners. Between January 5th 1941 and February 7th 1941 how many prisoners were taken by the British and Commonwealth forces?

Answer: 113,000

113,000 prisoners of war, 700 guns and tons of supplies. Places such as Bardia in Libya, Tobruk and Benghazi were great victories for the Britain and her Allies. Such were the speed and number of the Italian surrenders that providing for the prisoners became a serious problem.

The Italians now knew how tough the Allies were and that the expected "stroll" through North Africa was a pipe-dream.
8. Tank warfare played a massive role in the North African campaign of 1940-41. It was the one single factor in the Italian defeat that no-one had envisaged due to the harsh conditions of the desert. The Allies had two pieces of machinery that caused extensive damage, whilst the Italian relied solely on one model. The Rolls Royce A/C fought against the Fiat M13/40, but what other piece of machinary played a major role in the campaign?

Answer: Matilda MKII

The Matilda could carry four crew members, as could the Fiat and the Rolls Royce A/C. It was powered by two Leyland six cylinder petrol engines each developing 95bhp or two AEC diesel engines each developing 87bhp. The Fiat engine was one SPA TM40 eight cylinder diesel engine developing 125hp and the Rolls Royce A/C carried a self named petrol engine developing 40-50 hp. As for performance, the Matilda reached a maximum speed of 15mph(24km/h) and had a maximum range of 160 miles (257km), it carried 2pdr 40mm guns.

The Fiat reached a speed of 20mph (32km/h) and had a range of 125 miles (200m) with 47mm .32 calibre guns. Finally, the Rolls Royce A/C had a top speed of 60mph (95km/h) and a range of 150 miles (240km) with 7.7mm Vickers machine guns.
9. What was the significant event that took place on February 12th in Tripoli, that heralded the next phase of the North African Campaign?

Answer: Lieutenant-General Rommel landed

On Monday, February 3rd success for the Allies had continued, with Agordat and Cyrene captured. Two days later the Italians began retreating from Benghazi only to be intercepted by the Allies, with the Australians taking Benghazi on the 6th of February.

These defeats were too much for Italy to bear, and Mussolini asked for Hitler's help. Hitler offered troops due to the fear of an Allied swoop through Malta and Greece. On February 12th Lieutenant-General Rommel arrived in Tripoli. On February 14th the Allies captured Kurmuk stating that "No Italians remain on the soil of Egypt, the Sudan or Kenya except as prisoners".

However, Rommel began his counter-attack.
10. The stunning defeats Italy had suffered at the hands of the Allies gave the Germans much work to do in North Africa. Taking back as many fortresses and ports as possible would require very well planned campaign. Hitler chose a general who he thought was equal to this daunting task. The man in question was a tactical genius with a keen eye for enemy mistakes and plenty of cunning that enabled him to capitalise on them. What nickname was given to him?

Answer: Desert Fox

Rommel joined the army in 1910 and won the Iron Cross first and second class during his stint on the Western Front in 1914-15. In 1939 he was given command of the 7th Panzer Division which later became the 'Ghost Division' during the invasion of France because of the incredible speed in which the units moved.

His skills as a general and a leader were supreme, and his eye for tactics and cunning were what made him very popular in Germany. In June 1942 he recaptured Tobruk and was made a Field Marshal by a delighted Fuehrer.

However, in the autumn of 1942 he was defeated at El Alamein and his Afrika-Korps began its long retreat, which ended in surrender. He returned to Germany and helped strengthen the the fortifications along the Channel Coast in anticipation of the Allied invasion.

He was severly wounded soon after D-Day and whilst recovering he was - it is believed - implicated in the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler. Due to his huge popularity in Germany, he was offered the option of suicide instead of trial and execution.

He took the poison and was given a full state funeral with the truth about the circumstances of his death only emerging after the war.
Source: Author doomed

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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