World War II was filled with iconic political and military heroes across the globe. Three American heroes — Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and George Patton — were particularly vital to the Allied war effort. In this WWII quiz, do you think you can match the facts to the correct men?
Do you know the man who issued these resounding words: “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you”? That was a statement from commander Eisenhower just before Allied troops stormed ashore during D-Day in hopes of liberating France from the Nazis. Thanks in part to his bold words, they did just that.
But Eisenhower wasn’t the only guy giving speeches in the war. MacArthur and Patton had their share of powerful words, too. Do you think you know which man said what during the conflict?
WWII spanned the globe, sparking deadly battles from China to Japan to Russia and back again. Do you know which of America's leaders led the charge in the various theaters of war?
By the end of the war, everyone from Rommel to Hirohito knew the names of these famous fighters. Take our generals quiz now and see if you know America's top dogs from the Second World War!
All three were renowned for their actions during the war, but only one made a living in high-level politics after the conflict ended. It was Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th president.
Patton liked to say that it took "blood and brains" to win battles. Journalists took to calling him "Old Blood and Guts," partly in reference to his reputation for risking the lives of men in his command, and the nickname stuck.
MacArthur had a knack for marketing his own brand, and his corncob pipe helped him stand out in a crowd. Wherever he went, he often had the pipe stuck in his teeth.
Eisenhower got the big job in a big war. He was the Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces, calling the shots for the most momentous decisions in Europe.
Eisenhower sailed to the top of America’s armed forces without ever seeing active combat. But he tried, over and over again, to see the battlefield, without success.
During the Sicily Campaign of WWII, Patton lashed out at two shell-shocked soldiers, violently slapping them. He was removed from any real command for about a year due to the incident.
In December 1944, the Germans launched a major offensive that trapped American soliders near Bastogne. Patton’s army drove the rescue, saving the men before the frigid weather and Nazi bullets could force a surrender.
MacArthur was one of the most important commanders in the Pacific Theater. His job was to somehow halt the seemingly unstoppable Japanese army in the South Pacific.
As the Japanese invaded the Philippines, MacArthur was forced to flee. Once he arrived in Australia, he made a fateful promise, "I came through and I shall return."
Operation Overlord was the Allied invasion of Europe, and Eisenhower was the man in charge. He even took control of all Allied air operations in order to better hone his plan for the invasion.
Patton was a bold (and often vulgar) public speaker. Before the big invasion of France, he exhorted his men with some over-the-top lines that irked his superiors ... but won the hearts of his men.
In 1970, actor George C. Scott played the role of Patton in the film "Patton." The well-received film helped to cement Patton as a hero for the ages.
After he was removed from command for slapping two soldiers, Eisenhower still saw Patton as a valuable tool. He presented misinformation to the Axis that made it seem as though Patton was back in action ... but he was really just a decoy.
President Truman famously clashed with MacArthur in his conduct of the Korean War and eventually removed him from command. MacArthur's replacement, Matthew Ridgway, almost immediately turned the tide in favor of the U.S.
Eisenhower developed good relationships with many Allied commanders, including Georgy Zhukov. Their trusting bond helped them develop better strategies for the war.
Before the war was over, Eisenhower guessed (correctly) that certain people would call the Holocaust nothing but propaganda. So he made sure the Allies documented Nazi war crimes in the most gruesome way possible.
Patton was always aggressive and on the move, in part because he felt that quick, decisive battles ultimately spared lives. Of his haste in Europe, he said, "Whenever you slow anything down, you waste human lives."
Patton was not much of an academic and actually struggled with reading and writing as a child. He also had to repeat a year at West Point.
When he made his promised return to the Philippines, MacArthur made a production of the day by climbing out of his boat and wading ashore with his men. The dramatic photographs drove home his point: He had returned, in spite of all Japanese efforts to stop him.
Eisenhower had power struggle after power struggle during WWII, but he almost always came out on top. He insisted on having personal control of battle planning ... and his instincts were often correct.
Patton had several commands during the war. But his leadership of the Third Army in France and then Germany was what really catapulted him to fame.
As the Pacific Theater drew to a close, MacArthur began planning Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of Japan. Fortunately, this operation was never necessary, as the Japanese surrendered.
Eisenhower did everything he could to secure an overseas assignment during the First World War, but it wasn’t meant to be. His channeled his disappointment into ever-greater achievements a generation later.
After MarArthur escaped the Philippines, American leaders were worried that the Japanese would use his retreat for propaganda purposes. So ... they gave him the Medal of Honor to make his withdrawal seem heroic.
Patton was certain he’d been a warrior in previous lives, dating at least back to the days of the Roman Empire. And he was equally sure that he’d lead armies again in his next life.
Allied forces occupied Japan after the war, from ‘45 to ‘51. MacArthur was the man in charge, and he implemented a broad array of changes to the country, many of which played a role in Japan’s current makeup.
Eisenhower’s political skills were second to none — he was tactful in emphasizing his strategies but accommodating to leaders like Churchill and Montgomery, and their teamwork helped beat back the Axis.
Just half a year after the war’s end, Patton was in a car accident that left him clinging to life. He died days later, probably to take command of another army in another life.
Patton was no stranger to high-flying stunts. He got a pilot’s license and began flying over his troops, all the better to understand effective formations and movements during combat.
Patton wasn’t a great student but he was an excellent athlete. He was part of the pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics, where he nearly won a medal.