History Guild General History Quiz 97
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History Guild General History Quiz 97

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The stories behind the questions

1. Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, held what title during his lifetime?

Prince of Wallachia – Vlad Țepeș (Impaler) also known as Vlad Drăculea (Son of the Dragon) ruled Wallachia, part of what is now Romania three times between 1448 and 1477. He was successively installed as Prince and removed from power by the actions of the strong realms to either side of him, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.

Vlad initially took power with Ottoman backing in 1448, but only remained on the throne for a year. After he was ousted he sought Hungarian support, re-taking power in 1456. He switched his support from the Ottomans to the Hungarians several times, resulting in a loss of power and imprisonment by the Hungarians from 1463 to 1475, and his ultimate death in battle against the Ottomans in 1477.

2. Which palace was originally a hunting lodge and private retreat for Louis XIII?

Versailles – Louis XIII built a simple hunting lodge on the site of the Palace of Versailles in 1623 and replaced it with a small château in 1631–34. Louis XIV expanded the château into a palace in several phases from 1661 to 1715. In 1682 Louis XIV moved the seat of his court and government to Versailles, making the palace the de facto capital of France.

3. How did Russian poet Alexander Pushkin die?

Shot in a duel with his brother in law – Pushkin suspected his sister’s husband, Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès, of having an affair with his wife. He challenged him to a duel, in which he was fatally wounded.

4. Who famously said “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”?

Carl von Clausewitz – A Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the moral, psychological and political aspects of war. His most notable work was Vom Kriege (About War).

5. The Percy’s and the Neville’s were important families involved in which event?

The Wars of the Roses – The House of Percy and the House of Neville, and their followers helped provoke the Wars of the Roses. The Percy’s fought on the side of the Yorkists, while the Neville’s supported the Lancastrians.

6. Which colonial country ruled Algeria until 1962?

France – The French invaded and captured Algiers in 1830, by 1875 the French conquest of Algeria was complete. The Algerian War began in 1954 and continued until independence was gained in 1962.

7. Which island was Amelia Earhart attempting to reach when her aircraft disappeared in 1937?

Howland Island – During an attempt at becoming the first woman to complete a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. They departed Lae, New Guinea, on July 2, 1937, and no further trace of them or their aircraft has been found.

8. What weapon is this soldier using?

Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT) Mk I – a British man-portable anti-tank weapon developed during WW2. It fired a 1.1 kg shaped charge bomb using a cartridge in the tail of the projectile with a range of around 100m. This image shows two Australian soldiers using the weapon in Balikpapan in July 1945.

9. What year did the Irish famine begin?

1845 – During the Great Famine about 1 million people died and more than a million fled the Ireland, causing the country’s population to fall by 20–25% with some town’s populations falling as much as 67% between 1841 and 1851. Read about efforts to combat the famine.

10. Which Australian unit was critical to the success of the Battle of El Alamein?

9th Division – The 9th Division suffered about 10,000 battle casualties in all its campaigns, more than any other Australian division during WW2. It also won more decorations than any other. Seven of its members received the Victoria Cross out of a total of only 20 awarded to Australians during the conflict.

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