History Guild General History Quiz 181
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History Quiz 181

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The stories behind the questions

1. Which country manufactured the largest battleships ever made?

Japan – Built as part of the Japanese decisive battle doctrine, which envisioned a war ending after a single major naval action, in much the same way as the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese war. The Yamato and her sister ship Musashi both carried nine nine 460-mm guns, the largest ever fitted to a warship, and displaced 73,000 tons, more than any other battleship.

2. When did Italy successfully invade Ethiopia?

1935 – The first Italian invasion of Ethiopia was decisively defeated at the Battle of Adwa in 1896. The second Italian attempt in 1935 was successful, occupying the country until they were defeated by a joint British Commonwealth and Ethiopian force in 1941.

3. Cambria was the Roman name for which country?

Wales – Wales was part of the Roman Empire for over 300 years. During this time the Latin words for forts, windows, rooms and books were absorbed into Welsh.

4. In which conflicts did Winston Churchill see combat?

All of the above – Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars in 1895, he fought in the Battle of Omdurman, part of the Anglo-Sudan War. During the Boer War he was captured, then escaped from a POW camp. In 1915 he rejoined the army, was temporarily promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers. He saw three months of active service in the Ploegsteert region.

5. Which country was the first to introduce income tax?

UK – Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduced a progressive income tax in 1798 in order to raise funds for the Napoleonic wars. Prior to this most taxes were levied on assets or consumption. Most countries began introducing income taxes in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

6. Which Australian Prime Minister said “The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race.”?

Gough Whitlam – Writing in the London Daily Telegraph in 1989.

7. The original Kamikaze destroyed an invasion fleet from which country?

Mongolia – In 1281, Kublai Khan amassed an impressive armada of 4,400 ships carrying at least 140,000 Korean, Mongol and Chinese troops in a second attempt to invade Japan.

But Kublai Khan’s plans were thwarted when a two-day typhoon – known as a kamikaze (or “divine wind”) – hit the Tsushima Strait, apparently destroying approximately 80% of his fleet. Historians believe Kublai Khan’s troops either drowned at sea or were killed on the beaches by samurai.

8. Which of these events occurred first?

USA declaring war on Germany during WW1 – The USA declared war on Germany in April 1917, following on from the revelations in the Zimmermann Telegram. This was a secret diplomatic communication issued from the German Foreign Office in January 1917 that proposed a military alliance between Germany and Mexico in the event of the United States entering World War I against Germany.

In Russia the 1917 October Revolution, which brought the Bolsheviks into power, led to an armistice and negotiations with Germany in December 1917. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed in March 1918 between the new Bolshevik government of Soviet Russia and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire). This ended Russia’s participation in World War I.

9. When did the BRICS group of countries form?

2010 – Holding their first summit in 2009 with leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China all attending, the current BRICS grouping was formed with the addition of South Africa in 2010.

10. In 1933, who discovered dark matter?

Fritz Zwicky – While working at the California Institute of Technology, Zwicky proposed the existence of unseen dark matter after realising that a cluster of galaxies he was studying had about 400 times more mass than was visually observable.

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