World War II was - and thankfully remains (so far) - the biggest war in the history of humanity. It wasn't the first great war of the Industrial Age, ceding that particular dubious honor to World War I, when mechanized warfare shell-shocked the world. However, WWII was the first war in which this had been established as the order of the day, and that made it easy for it to be crowned the bloodiest war ever waged. WWII comes in with a death toll of some fifty million, rising to eighty million if you count civilians murdered or dead from war-related disease.
All of this was executed by a variety of military hardware that changed the scope of what was possible. As Panzer tanks rolled across the deserts of North Africa and Spitfires battled Fokkers in the skies over Britain, aircraft carriers displaced battleships as the true power on the surface of the world's oceans. Guided weapons, plastic explosives and nerve agents were all born, though not all were used to their full potential. On the small arms side, the first semi-automatic rifle and the first assault rifle made their debuts. These seemingly less significant weapons went on to extinguish many more lives than the most memorable weapon of the war: the atom bomb.
It's an arsenal to terrify any 1940s civilian and fascinate any history buff. Let's find out how much you know about WWII!
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