History Guild General History Quiz 152
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History Quiz 152

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The stories behind the questions

1. When did the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman become the first European to reach New Zealand?

1642 – Employed by the Dutch East India Company (VOC), Tasman was the first European explorer to reach New Zealand, Fiji and Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen’s Land after after Antonio van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. See a map of his voyages here.

2. What is the Ancient Egyptian writing material papyrus made from?

Reed stems – Made from the pith of a water plant, papyrus was used as a form of paper in Ancient Egypt.

3. Where is a ‘Landser’ from?

Germany – A colloquial term for a German army soldier, particularly used during World War II.

4. Who wrote Catch-22?

Joseph Heller – Published in 1961 the novel is set during World War II. It follows Captain John Yossarian, a bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Force. It explores the absurdity of war in an unsual style, the narrative’s events are out of sequence and the reader must piece them together as the book unfolds.

5. The Boer War took place in which country?

South Africa – The Second Boer War took place from October 1899 to May 1902. The war was fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (referred to as the Transvaal by the British). After a protracted, hard-fought war, the two independent republics lost and were absorbed into the British Empire.

6. What was the 1960’s ‘Indonesian confrontation’?

A limited war, fought between Indonesia and Malaysia – Between 1963 and 1966 Australian troops supported British and Malaysian forces who were opposing the Indonesian ‘Confrontation’ (Konfrontasi) of the new federation of Malaysia. The conflict stemmed from Indonesia’s opposition to the creation of state of Malaysia from the Federation of Malaya. It ended after Indonesian president Sukarno was deposed in 1966.

7. When was the World Trade Organisation (WTO) formed?

1995 – Founded in the aftermath of the fall of the USSR, the WTO is an intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade. It replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948.

8. When did Germany first acquire an overseas colonial empire?

1884 – After German unification in 1871 Germany began to acquire colonies in Africa and the Pacific very quickly. The German overseas empire was short lived however, with all colonies lost during WW1.

9. The ship Endurance carried which explorer on his 1914 Antarctic expedition?

Ernest Shackleton – Leading the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which aimed to cross Antarctica on foot for the first time, from the Weddell Sea (south of the Atlantic Ocean) to the Ross Sea (south of New Zealand), via the South Pole. The ship was crushed by ice and sank one year into the journey. All memebers of the crew survived, sailing open boats to Elephant Island and then South Georgia where they made contact with a whaling station and arranged a rescue. This was a journey of over 1,000 nautical miles across the rough Southern Ocean.

10. When was the first manmade object launched into space?

1944 – On the 20th June 1944 a German V2 rocket that was part of a vertical test launch reached an altitude of of 176 km, crossing the 100 km Kármán line that designates the edge of space.

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