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

War in the Sunshine is No Day at the Beach Quiz


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.

A multiple-choice quiz by Joe_Meek. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Joe_Meek
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
335,731
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
542
Last 3 plays: Guest 206 (3/10), Guest 1 (4/10), Muttley211 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. 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? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. 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? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The North African Campaign can be broken down into three separate campaigns: The Western Desert, Operation Torch, and the Tunisian Campaign. Which of these three campaigns was Bernard Montgomery NOT involved in? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. 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? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In order to get French co-operation in the Torch landings a series of clandestine meetings between American and French officials in North Africa were arranged to smooth things out. After a few snags and unexpected events French co-operation was secured. With this mission accomplished the next military objective was what? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. 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? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Once the Allied forces were settled in Tunisia Lt. Gen. Patton was ordered to launch a spoiling attack just north of a strong Axis defensive position at Wadi Akarit that was causing the 8th Army trouble. The resulting battle and victory gave the US a much needed morale boost after having suffered a humiliating defeat where? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Once the junction between the U.S. 1st Army on the east and the British 8th Army on the south was complete the assault on what remained of the Axis forces caught in the NE pocket of Tunisia began. Much to his distress, Patton was absent from the final and conclusive phase of the North African Campaign. Why is that? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Many weapons which would serve the belligerents for the rest of the war were introduced to battle in the North African Campaign. One of these weapons was a British infantry tank Churchill Mark IV. Another was the excellent British 17-pounder ATG. What German tank made its debut against the Western Allies in Tunisia? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Of the numbered US Army Air Forces which two were based initially for operations in North Africa? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 21 2024 : Guest 206: 3/10
Jun 14 2024 : Guest 1: 4/10
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 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?

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.
2. 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?

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.
3. The North African Campaign can be broken down into three separate campaigns: The Western Desert, Operation Torch, and the Tunisian Campaign. Which of these three campaigns was Bernard Montgomery NOT involved in?

Answer: Operation Torch

Operation Torch (8-11 November 1942) was the mostly US amphibious landings on Vichy French North Africa. The attack came a few days after the Montgomery led British 8th Army defeated Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika in the Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October to 5 November 1942).
4. 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?

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.
5. In order to get French co-operation in the Torch landings a series of clandestine meetings between American and French officials in North Africa were arranged to smooth things out. After a few snags and unexpected events French co-operation was secured. With this mission accomplished the next military objective was what?

Answer: Tunis and Bizerte

Soon after the the French had been won over to the Allied cause the British 1st Army (formerly Eastern Task Force) began their move eastward to seize Tunis and Bizerte before German reinforcements could block their path. Unfortunately, elements of the British 1st Army could not get past a hurriedly set up Axis roadblock about 19 miles to the west of Tunis. Local air superiority helped the Axis as they were able to use all-weather airstrips while the Allies were restricted to using dirt strips that became unusable during the rainy season.
6. 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?

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.
7. Once the Allied forces were settled in Tunisia Lt. Gen. Patton was ordered to launch a spoiling attack just north of a strong Axis defensive position at Wadi Akarit that was causing the 8th Army trouble. The resulting battle and victory gave the US a much needed morale boost after having suffered a humiliating defeat where?

Answer: Kasserine Pass

The Battle of El Guettar marked a turning point for US ground troops. They held the Axis offensive then launched a counter offensive that eventually drove the Axis northward. At the Gabes-El Guettar road Patton linked up with the British 8th Army and formed a pocket from which Axis forces were eventually squeezed by the Allied 1st Army from the west and the British 8th Army from the south.

At the Battle of Kasserine Pass Rommel had inflicted a humiliating defeat on green US troops, which forced the removal of former Central Task Force commander and current US II Corps commander Lloyd Fredenhall. Lt. Gen. Patton replaced Fredenhall as II Corps commander, and the rest is history.
8. Once the junction between the U.S. 1st Army on the east and the British 8th Army on the south was complete the assault on what remained of the Axis forces caught in the NE pocket of Tunisia began. Much to his distress, Patton was absent from the final and conclusive phase of the North African Campaign. Why is that?

Answer: Tasked with the planning of the invasion of Sicily

With the departure of Patton for 7th Army HQ to plan and organize US role in the invasion of Sicily Omar Bradly became US II Corps commander and he led the corps to final victory in Tunisia.

Patton had been assigned a support role for Operation Husky, landing on the left of Montgomery as flank protection. While Patton agreed to this arrangement once 7th Army landed in Sicily and Montgomery was held up in 8th Army drive toward Messina both commanders devised a plan that would have a strong US task group capture Palermo, then Patton's task group would drive on Messina while Montgomery would bypass the strong defenses at Mt. Etna and move north to Messina.
9. Many weapons which would serve the belligerents for the rest of the war were introduced to battle in the North African Campaign. One of these weapons was a British infantry tank Churchill Mark IV. Another was the excellent British 17-pounder ATG. What German tank made its debut against the Western Allies in Tunisia?

Answer: Tiger 1

The Tiger I made its debut in the Eastern Front in late 1942 when several of the vehicles were sent to the Leningrad Front. Swampy ground and mechanical problems plagued this experiment. Next the Tiger I was sent to Tunisia were several arrived in January 1943.

The first action resulted in two Tigers getting knocked out by well camouflaged British 6pdr. ATG with shots from close range into the less protected side armor.
10. Of the numbered US Army Air Forces which two were based initially for operations in North Africa?

Answer: USAAF 9th and 12th

12th AF was commanded by Jimmy Doolitle and was based in Morocco and Algiers. Besides US built heavy and medium bombers, fighters and transport aircraft it also included British Spitfires in it's inventory.

5th Air Force was commanded by Gen Lewis Brereton. The nucleus of what later became 9th AF first arrived in the Western Desert US Army Middle East Air Force. USAMEAF was a major contributor in the defeat of Rommel in the Second Battle of El Alamein. In early November 1942 USAMEAF was reconstituted as US 9th Air Force. The air warriors followed on the heels of the retreating Axis and took part in the decimation of Axis air convoys dubbed the "Palm Sunday Massacre".
Source: Author Joe_Meek

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