How Much Do You Know About These Famous Traitors and Turncoats?

Annette

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

When it comes to war, there are few things more despicable than a traitor or a turncoat. People despise and hate them. Books are written about them and folk songs speak of their devilry. But how much do you know about the world's traitors? Why does someone become a turncoat? Most think money is the motivation of most who swap sides, but you may be surprised to learn that usually threats against family and even same-side bullying often cause these people to betray friends and country. 

Judas is considered to be one of the most famous traitors of all time. Do you know which painting captures the likeness of Judas before he betrayed Jesus? Or do you know who America's most famous turncoat is and what war he served in? Which best friend betrayed Caesar and became the focus of a famous Shakespearean play? 

During World War II, the United States and Nazi Germany were about as hostile to each other as any two enemies could be, but do you know the name of the only American officer to betray the Allies and join forces with the Nazis?

How much do you think you know about the world's most famous traitors and turncoats? This is the quiz that will tell you if you should fight on or turn away. 



Benedict Arnold was a traitor during which war?

Benedict Arnold is perhaps the most famous traitor in American history. The turncoat general became disillusioned with the American cause.

A turncoat is someone who _____ loyalty.

A turncoat is someone who shifts loyalty or allegiance. They betray or desert an original cause for a new one.

Turncoat is a _____ term.

"Turncoat" is a military term. Opposing armies wear different colors to prevent friendly fire. A turncoat literally changes the coat that they're wearing.

During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell's soldiers did what to their coats?

During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell's soldiers turned their coats inside out. This was so they could match the colors of the Royal army.

Are traitors and turncoats the exact same thing?

There are similarities and differences. Turncoats often change sides in groups, sometimes because of one powerful leader. They move from one cause to another.

The word "turncoat" is often associated with _____.

"Turncoat" is often associated with the term "renegade." It is one who changes principles or party.

“Woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.” This was said about whom?

No one wants to be called a Judas. Perhaps the most notorious and hated traitor of all time was Judas Iscariot.

Judas appears in what painting?

Judas famously appears in "The Last Supper." You can just see him there, plotting, at the end of the table. That cad.

Who was behind the Gunpowder Plot?

Don't get anyone started on Guy Fawkes. His name is associated with the Gunpowder Plot in Britain. Talk about getting caught!

Guy Fawkes was sentenced to ____.

Guy Fawkes was supposed to be drawn and quartered, but he managed to escape! He committed suicide instead.

“Et tu, _____? Then fall, Caesar!”

“Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!” This is a famous line from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." Brutus was a notorious traitor in history.

Who was Brutus' co-conspirator against Julius Caesar?

Brutus' famous co-conspirator was Cassius. Together, they stabbed the crap out of Caesar. And Satan smiled.

Who wrote, “Oppose Corrupt Government and Support the Reformed Nanjing Government”?

Wang Jingwei is one of the most famous traitors in Chinese history. He formed his own government, creating an Imperial Japanese puppet state.

Who said, “Believe me, in ten years’ time I will have become another Saint Olav”?

Vidkun Quisling is a notorious Norwegian traitor. He founded a fascist party called the National Gathering.

Who betrayed her people to the Spanish conquistadors?

Doña Marina was famous for basically handing her people over to the vicious Spanish conquistadors. She was the translator and mistress to Hernan Cortes.

Thanks to Doña Marina, Cortez conquered ________.

Thanks to that low-life Doña Marina, Cortes was able to conquer the Aztec Empire and seriously destroy some people in the process. She is known​ as La Malinche thanks to her betrayal.

Benedict Arnold offered _____ to the British.

Benedict Arnold is famous for offering West Point to the British, to the tune of 20,000 pounds. He would go on to weaken the defenses of the strategic fort.

At the start of the War of Independence, Benedict Arnold was ______ Americans.

Benedict Arnold was an American hero, until he took a turn for the worst. He was considered a brilliant and brave American general.

Who said, "I am today setting out along the road of collaboration" in regards to Hitler?

Marshal Pétain was famous for saying this to the French people, after meeting with Hitler. He became one of the greatest betrayers in history.

Where was Marshal Pétain's fascist government?

Marshal Pétain placed his fascist government in Vichy. He was responsible for passing anti-Semitic laws in France. There's a special place in hell for him this very moment.

Before killing him, Brutus was Caesar's _____.

Before killing Caesar, Brutus was actually Caesar's dear friend. Then he literally stabbed him in the back.

Judas Iscariot was one of _____.

To make matters worse, Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve apostles. He betrayed Jesus after dinner in the garden of Gethsemane.

Judas eventually did what?

Sometime​ after the horror of the crucifixion, Judas committed suicide. He had already given away the money that came from his betrayal.

Were the people of Iran ever turncoats?

After the overthrow of the last Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's regime, the people of Iran did a 180. They embraced the unbridled fervor of Ayatollah Khomeini's regime.

After the fall of the USSR, many staunch Communists became fervent ______.

A great example of turncoating. Many officials in the USSR, once it fell, quickly switched from communism to capitalism. They are known as former apparatchiks.

Did some Nazis do a 180 after WWII?

Perhaps the most egregious case of dirty turncoats, many Nazis quickly shifted their beliefs and tried to erase their Nazi pasts. Fat chance.

Turncoats are often associated with _____.

Turncoats are very much associated with burying, rewriting or denying the past. A turncoat is often afraid of the past and the truth.

Who are often the first to become turncoats?

Leaders are often first to become turncoats. That's because they have access to private information, so they can see when a situation is hopeless.

Traitors and turncoats are often motivated by which of these?

Traitors and turncoats are very much motivated by fear and insecurity. Sometimes a person becomes a turncoat merely for survival.

Who became the American Nazi?

Martin James Monti has the regrettable title of the American Nazi. He was the only American military officer that defected to the Axis in WWII.

Who joined Charlie in Vietnam?

McKinley Nolan was a bizarre case of an American becoming a Communist in the Vietnam War. He slipped away from his base camp and turned himself into the Viet Cong.

Who joined Afghanistan?

John Walker Lindh said that his name was Abd-al-Hamid when soldiers found him. He was raised in Marin County, CA, but he converted to Islam as a teen.

Who was the turncoat in the Philippine-American War?

In 1899, Fagen defected to the Filipino army. Once there, he was known as an "Insurecto Captain."

Where was the Confederates' most senior officer, Samuel Cooper, from?

Talk about a Yankee Confederate! He married into a wealthy Virginia family, and the rest is history. He was bought.

Who joined the Mexican Army in 1846?

Irishman John Patrick Riley famously joined the Mexican Army before the Mexican War with America. Apparently, it was anti-Irish bigotry that made him do it.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes