Can you guess who said these famous World War II quotes?

HISTORY

Nathan Chandler

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

World War II swept up millions of people into a long and bloody conflict that inspired all sorts of very memorable sentiments expressed by politicians and military leaders. How much do you know about these famous World War II quotes?

Roosevelt said that December 7, 1941, was "a date that will live in _____."

President Roosevelt heard reports of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and called it "a date that will live in infamy." The surprise assault dragged America into World War II, which killed more than 400,000 U.S. soldiers.

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One Allied leader gave a speech that ended, "This was their finest hour." Which country did he lead?

After France surrendered, Churchill encouraged his people to hold fast against the Nazis. "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.' "

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"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." Who gave this speech?

Churchill was a veritable quote machine, even in the face of ultimate fear. "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

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"I shall return." Who said it?

As the Japanese invaded the Philippine Islands, General MacArthur escaped (and left behind tens of thousands of troops). But he promised them, "I shall return." And he did … much, much later.

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"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." Who said it?

Churchill was famous for his memorable quotes. When he took the office of Prime Minister in May 1940, he said, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

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"The truth is that men are tired of liberty." Who said it?

Benito Mussolini took to oppressing millions of people during the World War II era. He was usurped, arrested, escaped, rose again to power and then executed by the liberators of Europe.

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Who said, “We must be the great arsenal of democracy”?

Just before Christmas 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt committed to helping Europe beat back the Nazis by supplying the Allies with weapons, but he did not commit U.S. troops … yet.

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True or false: Winston Churchill said, “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”

It was actually Churchill who said these famous words. He uttered them during a speech at Harvard in September 1943.

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"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't." Who said it?

George Patton was the swashbuckling American general who terrified the Nazis, in part because he backed up lines like this: "May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."

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“We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people's freedom.”

During a 1941 State of the Union address, Roosevelt knew America's role in the war was only going to deepen as time went on. “We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people's freedom.”

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“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” Who said it?

Written years before he became the Nazi leader, this line shows just how crude Hitler's mindset became with regard to political power. He had very little empathy for most other human beings.

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"Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist." Who said it?

Before Hitler invaded Poland and triggered World War II, he snapped up another country and absorbed it into the German empire. He then said, "Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist."

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"If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." Who said it?

The entire Nazi philosophy was a huge lie. But Hitler repeated the lies so often that his countrymen wound up believing him. This quote is actually of uncertain origin but it's too good to omit from our quiz.

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"The eyes of the world are upon you." Gen. Eisenhower said those words before which battle?

Gen. Eisenhower had a serious message for the Allied men who took part in the D-Day invasion. "The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you."

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"Shoot me in the chest." Who said it?

"Shoot me in the chest." That's what Benito Mussolini said when justice finally caught up to him in 1945. After brutalizing Europeans for years, his time was up, and just as he requested, the Allies shot him.

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"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends." Who said it?

Dwight Eisenhower said, "Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends." He uttered these words in the weeks before World War II ended.

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About a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor, who said "Heaven will bear witness to the righteousness of our struggle"?

Rear-Admiral Ito said, " "A gigantic fleet... has massed in Pearl Harbor. This fleet will be utterly crushed with one blow at the very beginning of hostilities...Heaven will bear witness to the righteousness of our struggle."

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"The chief of staff says I'm the guy." Who said it?

Dwight Eisenhower wrote "The chief of staff says I'm the guy" in his journal after learning that he was to lead the D-Day invasion. His effective invasion plan helped to win the European War.

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"In war, you win or lose, live or die -- and the difference is just an eyelash." Which general is credited with this saying?

Douglas MacArthur lost plenty of ground to the Japanese during the war. He as well as anyone knew that victory or defeat was separated only by an eyelash.

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President Roosevelt said: "No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it."

It sounds like a line from a children's fable, but it was indeed a quote from President Roosevelt. He used it in reference to the Nazis, whom he apparently did not intend to treat to any belly rubs.

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"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." When did Winston Churchill say this famous line?

As the Nazis pummeled Britain during the Battle of Britain, Churchill said, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." England's stand against the Nazis helped turn the tide of the war.

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“I don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country." Who said it?

Hitler expressed utter disdain for the United States, especially its Jewish and black populations. He was also probably displeased when he came to understand America's ability to wage war.

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"Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Who said it?

Iwo Jima was a hard fight for the Americans. Adm. Chester Nimitz recognized the men's sacrifices when he said, "Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

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Following Pearl Harbor, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is credited with saying: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible ____."

For decades the famous quote has been attributed to Yamamoto. However, there isn't any concrete proof that he actually said these prophetic words.

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Who is credited with saying, "There is no security on this Earth; there is only opportunity"?

MacArthur's quotes didn't have the snap of Patton's quips, but they proved to be equally enduring.

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"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Who said it?

In 1942, Britain was still struggling for its very survival, and Churchill knew the fight would be a long one. "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

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"Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice, it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day." Who said it?

Benito Mussolini preferred brutal tyranny to democracy. It caught up to him. In 1945, he was captured by the Allies and then executed.

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"The Almighty has never helped a lazy man. He does not help the coward. He does not help a people that cannot help itself." Who said it?

Hitler lacked a certain tact in his speeches, but his message was always clear. He was out to take Europe ... no matter the cost to his fellow citizens. Billy Graham had hoped to join the Army Chaplain Corps during WWII, but illness kept him from completing his application.

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"When the cannon speaks with its powerful voice, the less we speak, the better.” Who said it?

Benito Mussolini was no pacifist, but he was a shrewd politician. In 1942, he said, "It is my conviction that in time of war, when the cannon speaks with its powerful voice, the less we speak the better. ”

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"Once more arise and be worthy of this historical hour! We shall win." Who said it?

Benito Mussolini was certain that his alliance with the Nazis would serve him well. And he was correct -- for a while.

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