Only 1 in 53 People Can Identify These WWII Weapons from an Image. Can You?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Youtube via C&Rsenal

About This Quiz

Want to see how good triumphed over evil? Here's a lineup of some of the most memorable weapons brandished on both sides of the war that shaped the 20th century!

The Second World War began on September 1, 1939 with the German-led invasion of Poland. Over the next six years, it pitted troops of the Allied and Axis powers against each other in epic battles around the globe. Those soldiers carried weapons of all sorts with them. The weapons were designed specifically for warfare and they played a vital role in how the war unfolded and how it was finally won.

From the very beginning, it was clear that both tanks and aircraft would feature prominently in this war. It's no surprise then that artillery to combat them would be a focus for all armies involved in WWII. So, can you tell your anti-tank gun from your anti-aircraft gun? There are a couple in here you can test yourself on!

Arming individual soldiers was also of paramount importance. Countries scrambled to equip their troops with the best rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, knives and even spears. Some of them are quite easy to spot - others might make you stop and think twice. We know you're up to the challenge, so show us what you've got!

The end of WWII came with the decisiveness of two weapons never used before (or after). Just thinking about their sheer power is enough to blow your mind. Can you name them? We know you can, that's why they're both in the quiz!

It's time to show what's in your arsenal of knowledge about WWII weaponry. Take the quiz now!

The V-2 rocket was among a set of V-weapons developed by Germany during the Second World War. The “V” stands for “Vergeltungswaffen” (German for “retaliatory weapons”). The V-2 rocket was the first ever long-range guided ballistic missile and a test V-2 rocket was the first manmade object to leave Earth’s atmosphere and travel into space (on June 20, 1944).

he United States Army introduced the M1 Rocket Launcher in 1942 which, although it often went by the nickname “stovepipe,” became universally known as the “bazooka.” It weighed roughly 13 pounds and had the ability to penetrate up to 4.7 inches of armor. Following developments in tank armor, the bazooka had to be upgraded, and thus the M20 Super Bazooka was created with the power to penetrate 11 inches of armor plate.

The American-made T-12 Cloudmaker demolition bomb was based on the earthquake bombs designed by British engineer Barnes Wallis. At 43,600 pounds, however, it was much larger than earthquake bombs made up to that time by both the U.S. and Britain – those had weighed a maximum of 22,000 pounds. The T-12 Cloudmaker was carried aboard modified B-36 strategic bomber aircraft.

The Mills bomb is named after William Mills, a British engineer and hand grenade designer. It is a fragmentation hand grenade which was in service with the British Army from 1915 until the 1980s. The Mills bomb was originally designed to have a seven-second delay, but this proved impractical and by WWII, it was reduced to just four seconds.

Two 28 cm schwere Bruno Kanone (E) railway guns were produced by German weapons manufacturer Krupp between 1937 and 1938. They were built from coastal defense guns which had been in use before the First World War. The German Army used the 28 cm schwere Bruno Kanone (E) railway gun in the invasion of France and then in coastal defense of Occupied Norway.

The design of the Type 96 15 cm howitzer field gun was finalized in 1937, and a total of 440 of them were made for use by the Imperial Japanese Army. The Type 96 was first put into action in the Sino-Japanese War and then in Soviet-Japanese Border Wars and World War II.

The AEC Mk I Gun Carrier (or Deacon) was utilized by the British Army in the last year of the 3-year North African Campaign (1940 – 1943) of WWII. The Deacon was fitted with the QF 6-pounder, an anti-tank gun which was mounted and shielded on the flatbed of the Deacon.

This pump action shotgun was well liked for its smooth and reliable action and as such, it earned the nickname the “Perfect Repeater” soon after its introduction. The Winchester Model 1912 shotgun was used by the United States military in both World Wars, as well as in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The Type 99 Mark 2 aircraft autocannon served the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second World War. It was commonly used aboard the Mitsubishi A6M Zero (a long-range fighter aircraft) and the Kawanishi N1K (a floatplane fighter).

The Webley Mk IV handgun lost out to the Enfield No. 2 Mk I in a 1932 competition to become the new handgun for the British military. World War II led to a shortage of the Enfield handguns, however, and the Webley Mk IV (among others) was called on to fill the gap as one of Britain’s standard issue service pistols.

The Vickers K was also known as the Vickers Gas Operated (or Vickers G.O.) During WWII, the British Royal Air Force used it as a way to weaponize some of its light and medium bomber aircraft. The Coastal Forces of the Royal Navy also used the Vickers K to arm Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) and Motor Launches (MLs).

Several versions of this multiple rocket launcher were used by the United States Army during the final year of WWII. The T34 Calliope had 60 launch tubes from which it fired M8 air-to-surface and surface-to-surface rockets. It was usually mounted atop M4 Sherman medium tanks.

The Fat Man atomic bomb was the second and last nuclear weapon to ever be used in warfare. It was dropped on August 9, 1945 on the Japanese city of Nagasaki (three days after the Little Boy atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima). It was deployed from a Boeing B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar flown by Major Charles W. Sweeney of the United States Army Air Forces.

Thanks to its use by both gangsters and lawmen alike in the U.S. Prohibition era, the Thompson submachine gun was already a well-known (and well-liked) firearm before the Second World War began. During the war, over 1.5 million units were produced for military use by the United States and other Allied forces.

Both the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Special Landing Forces began using the Type 97 fragmentation hand grenade as of 1937. Each grenade was filled with 2.3 ounces of TNT. To activate it, a soldier would have to remove the safety pin and hit the grenade against a hard surface, after which the grenade would detonate in 4 – 5 seconds.

Earthquake bombs, like Tallboy, were first developed by British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis in 1941 for the specific purpose of “Attacking the Axis Powers.” The Tallboy bombs were used on several occasions by the British Royal Air Force, including in the sinking of the Tirpitz, one of Germany’s Bismarck-class battleships.

Before the start of World War II, there was a large number of BL 9.2 inch Mk X coastal defense guns already in place in naval fortifications in Britain, the British colonies and several British Commonwealth nations. Their vital role during the war included defending ports such as Dover and Plymouth in Britain; Fremantle and Sydney in Australia; and Halifax in Canada.

The bolt action Berthier rifle was used by French forces beginning in 1890 into WWII. The Berthier was also utilized by German forces following the occupation of France. Use of the Berthier rifle was largely phased out after the war ended.

Starting November 3, 1944, the Japanese released over 9,000 explosive-laden hydrogen balloons into the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean. At least 300 of these Fu-Go fire balloons made it to their intended target – North America, and so became the first ever weapon with intercontinental range. One Fu-Go fire balloon, which landed in southern Oregon, killed a pregnant woman and five children – the only deaths on the contiguous U.S. during WWII which are attributed to enemy action.

The Molotov cocktail (also known as a bottle bomb) is a simple but effective device. It is made up of a glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid and fitted with a wick (typically kerosene-soaked cloth). During WWII the British Home Guard stocked up on Molotov cocktails as defensive weapons in the event of an invasion.

The kukri (also spelt khukri) is somewhat similar to a machete except that its blade curves inward. It is a traditional tool and weapon in Nepal and is universally identified with Nepalese soldiers (Gurkhas). The Gurkhas’ skill with the kukri was greatly admired in World War II to the point where some non-Gurkha Allied troops bought and trained with kukri for use in hand-to-hand combat.

This anti-aircraft gun was used by Soviet forces in their battles against Germany along the eastern front of the Second World War. As with some other air defense guns, the 85 mm M1939 was primarily meant to be used against aircraft but was also designed for anti-tank use.

British engineer Barnes Wallis invented the Upkeep bouncing bomb as an underwater version of his earthquake bomb. Upkeeps were drum-shaped aerial bombs which were released at a low altitude and designed to spin backward at the rate of 500 revolutions per second, causing them to skip across the water’s surface. They were famously used by the Royal Air Force Dambusters in attacks against German dams in Operation Chastise (May 16 – 17, 1943).

The Type 38 75 mm field gun was designed in 1905 by German weapons manufacturer Krupp. Type 38s were built in Japan and used by Japanese troops in World War I. After being modified to improve its range, rate of fire and other features, the Type 38 was also put to use in World War II.

British Lt. Col. Stewart Blacker developed this infantry anti-tank weapon shortly after the start of WWII. Also referred to as the 29 mm Spigot Mortar, the Bombard was meant to be used by the British Home Guard in the event of a German invasion.

Soviet troops made use of the ROKS-2 and ROKS-3 man-portable flamethrowers from 1935 to 1945. The ROKS-2’s fuel tank was designed to look like an ordinary knapsack while its flame projector is indistinguishable from a real military rifle. In the case of the ROKS-3, the fuel tank is not disguised.

This Soviet anti-tank mine was a metal case containing 7-ounce blocks of TNT. The top surface was a pressure plate which activated the mine once sufficient force was applied.

The basic design for this Polish grenade launcher dates back to 1927 with some improvements made in 1936. When the Germans invaded Poland in 1939 at the beginning of WWII, they gained access to the Granatnik wz.36, as it was the Polish Army’s standard grenade launcher at that time.

This 40 mm anti-aircraft autocannon was designed by a Swedish weapons maker and used by both Allied and Axis troops. The Bofors gun was built by various manufacturers and has served in numerous wars up to the present day (with some modifications).

Sweden produced a total of 36 of these assault guns between 1944 and 1947. Swedish forces continued using the Sav m/43 after WWII, right up to 1973. Each 12-ton Sav m/43 carried a crew of four soldiers.

Nicknamed “Lifebuoy” due to distinctive shape, this British man-portable flamethrower was formally designated “Flamethrower, Portable No 2.” Its backpack was shaped like a large filled-in donut with fuel in the outer ring and propellant in the inner circular tank. The Lifebuoy was also known as the “Ack Pack.”

British inventor and gun designer James Paris Lee designed this bolt-action rifle at a weapons factory in Enfield, London – hence the rifle’s name: Lee-Enfield. This well-liked rifle officially became the standard rifle of the British Army in November, 1895. Over the years, several modifications were made to the Lee-Enfield, with its No. 4 Mk I variant being used extensively in WWII.

The miaodao (or miao dao) is a two-handed long sword with a blade that is typically longer than 47 inches. A shortage of firearms, plus the effectiveness of this traditional Chinese weapon, led to the use of the miaodao in both the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Second World War.

The M1 Garand is named after Canadian-American firearms creator Jean (John) Garand. He completed his design for the rifle in early 1930s, and the officials of the U.S. Army were so impressed by its simple design and semi-automatic action that by 1937, all ranks were fully equipped with the M1. It was used extensively in WWII and in numerous conflicts thereafter.

The blade on this combat knife is just under 11 inches long and sharpened for that full length on one side and halfway (tip to mid-blade) on the other. A dull matte finish over the entire blade helps it to remain undetectable at night. The smatchet was designed by British Capt. William E. Fairbairn and used by both U.S. and British troops.

This Chechoslovakian-British weapon gets the “Br” in its name from the city of Brno (in Chechoslovakia) where it was designed and the “en” from Enfield (a London borough) where it was produced. Beginning with WWII, the original Bren gun and its variants have featured in several wars, being put to use by a long list of countries.

These gas-operated, air-cooled rifles were designed in 1917 by American weapons designer John Browning. The United States Army began using the Browning automatic rifle (BAR) in February of 1918, during the First World War and continued their use in WWII.

The Japanese Type 10 grenade discharger was in service with the Imperial Army from 1921 to 1945. It was a simple weapon best suited for close range warfare and used primarily with the Type 91 High Explosive grenade. The Type 10 saw widespread use in the Pacific Theater of WWII.

Throughout the history of Chinese warfare, the qiang (Chinese for spear) has featured prominently in battles alongside similar weapons, such as the dao (saber), gun (staff) and jian (sword). Commonly made of hard wood, the military version of the qiang ranges in length from approximately 9 to 21 feet.

Austrian firearms designer Georg Luger designed this semi-automatic pistol in 1898. Germany’s widespread use of the weapon since then has led to it being universally associated with that country’s armed forces. During the Second (and First) World War, Allied troops were reportedly eager to gain possession of Lugers as souvenirs, which led to some soldiers being lured into deadly Nazi booby traps.

Nicknamed “Ten ton Tess,” the Grand Slam earthquake bomb was a larger version of the previously developed Tallboy bomb. This massive 22,000-pound bomb was much more in keeping with designer Barnes Wallis’ original earthquake bomb design than the 12,000-pound Tallboy. The Dambusters (British RAF No. 617 Squadron) were the only team to ever use the Grand Slam bombs.

Its official name is the “Rifle, Anti-Tank, .55in, Boys” but troops using the Boys anti-tank rifle tend to refer to it as the “elephant gun.” It is a bolt-action rifle named after its creator, British weapons designer Captain Henry C. Boys. It proved to be very effective against tanks until these began to be developed with improved armor.

The REISING M50 submachine gun was brought into United States military in 1940. At that time, supplies of the Thompson submarine gun were running low (and the M3 submachine “Grease” gun had not yet been invented). The REISING only saw limited frontline action, however, as it was prone to jamming and proved to be unsuited for the conditions experienced in the heat in battle.

The parang is traditionally a popular weapon among the islands of Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. As such, the parang has historically been put to use in conflicts within the region, including those in the Pacific Theater of World War II. A typical parang can weigh as much as 2 pounds and have a blade between 10 and 36 inches long.

The PIAT man-portable anti-tank weapon was brought into operation by the British in 1942. It was introduced to replace weapons such as the Boys anti-tank rifle which were no longer practical weapons against the upgraded armor of tanks. A drawback often cited with the PIAT, however, is its short effective range of just 115 yards.

Created by American firearm designer John Browning in 1911, the M1911 was initially produced only by Colt Manufacturing Company. It went on to become the U.S. military’s standard-issue sidearm serving through both World Wars I and II. Increased wartime demand, however, meant that other manufacturers had to be brought in to match the military’s need to arm its troops.

The STEN is often referred to as the best-known submachine gun of the Second World War. The prototype for the STEN was developed in 1941 and after modifications, some variants of the simple, low-cost STEN saw widespread use among British and Commonwealth troops.

Once America entered WWII, both the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Navy (USN) realized they were without an effective combat knife. Both entities were still using the knives they had used in the First World War and the need for troops (specifically those in the Pacific Theater) to have an upgrade soon became apparent. The USMC and USN went with the now famous Ka-bar fighting/utility knife with its 7-inch blade and a hilt made of stacked leather washers.

The M3 submachine gun was designed by German-born American gunsmith George Hyde in 1942. By December of that year, the M3 entered U.S. military service where troops nicknamed it the “Grease Gun” based on its appearance. It was initially meant to replace the Thompson submachine gun (Tommy Gun) in WWII but low production levels limited its distribution.

The T40 Whizbang was a multiple rocket launcher with 20 launch tubes. It was brought into service by the United States in the final year of World War II with each T40 typically being mounted atop an M4 Sherman tank. A T40 operator could choose to have it fire off rockets simultaneously or one at a time.

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