Battle of Waterloo quiz
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Where was Napoleon Bonaparte born?
Question 1 Explanation:
Born on 15 August 1769 and christened Napoleone di Buonaparte, the future emperor changed to the more familiar version of his name during adulthood. His parents, Carlo and Maria Letizia, had a total of 13 children, although only eight survived beyond infancy.
Which Allied commander at Waterloo did Napoleon deride as the “sepoy general”?
Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt
Willem Frederik George Lodewijk, Prince of Orange-Nassau
Henry Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge
Question 2 Explanation:
Born in the same year as Napoleon, Arthur Wesley (who later changed his surname to Wellesley) gained his reputation as a military commander during his time in India – ‘sepoy’ meaning ‘Indian soldier’. However, perhaps his most successful campaigns were those fought on the Iberian Peninsula between 1808 and 1814. Waterloo would be the first and only time he faced (literally) Napoleon in battle.
Which of the following is NOT part of the Waterloo battlefield?
La Haye-Sainte farmhouse
Question 3 Explanation:
Despite its name, the battle was not fought at the nearby village of Waterloo, rather at a place called Mont-Saint-Jean. However, the battlefield also encompassed the Hougoumont château, La Haye Sainte farmhouse and Plancenoit village, among others. Wellington would later write his famous dispatch to London while at the inn at Waterloo, which, some believe, gave rise to the name – battle of Waterloo.
The defence of Hougoumont has been described as a ‘battle within a battle’, but where on the Waterloo battlefield was it?
Wellington’s left flank
Wellington’s right flank
Question 4 Explanation:
The attack on the Château of Hougoumont was begun by Napoleon’s brother, Jérôme, and was intended to act as a diversion to the main French infantry assault. However, both Napoleon and Wellington would commit increasing numbers of men into the struggle for this part of the battlefield throughout much of the day, the French remaining unable to take it.
Which unit was given the task of defending the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte?
42nd Regiment of Foot (Black Watch)
2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
2nd Battalion, King’s German Legion
Question 5 Explanation:
Six weak companies of the 2/KGL under Major Georg Baring were initially given the task of garrisoning La Haye Sainte, which was positioned forward of the centre of the Anglo-Allied Line. Like their famous 95th Regiment counterparts, these green-jacketed light infantrymen were armed with the more accurate baker rifle rather than the usual smoothbore musket.
Which senior British officer was killed during the charge of the Union and Household brigades?
Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill
Lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset
Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Vivian
Sir William Ponsonby
Question 6 Explanation:
During the first major French infantry assault, a demoralised Dutch and Belgian brigade broke, opening a gap in Wellington’s line. Seeing this, Lord Uxbridge ordered the British heavy cavalry to charge, and although they sent the French infantry reeling backwards, the British cavalrymen then carried on towards Napoleon’s main line, where they were heavily mauled by a counterattack of French cuirassiers and lanciers. During this clash of opposing cavalry, Ponsonby, commander of the Union Brigade, was killed.
Forming infantry squares was a tactic used at Waterloo for…?
Defending against artillery
Defending against cavalry
Defending against infantry
All of the above
Question 7 Explanation:
Forming infantry squares to defend against mounted attacks was a well-established tactic by the time of Waterloo. Such squares were made up of multiple lines of infantrymen; the outer lines presenting a hedge of bayonets against which horses refused to impale themselves. Squares were, however, vulnerable to artillery fire. Two hours of repeated French cavalry attacks at Waterloo failed to break any of Wellington’s squares.
The fighting in and around the village of Plancenoit was a bitter contest between which two forces?
French and Brunswickers
French and Hanoverians
French and Nassauers
French and Prussians
Question 8 Explanation:
Although defeated by Napoleon at the battle of Ligny on 16 June, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher was determined to honour his promise to come to Wellington’s assistance. Making the difficult march from Wavre, the Prussians eventually began to pour onto the Waterloo battlefield around 4.30pm. They would spend the next few hours in a bitter struggle with the French to take control of the village of Plancenoit.
Napoleon ordered his famed Garde Impériale to make one last desperate attempt to smash Wellington’s line late in the battle. What did this elite unit comprise?
All of the above
Question 9 Explanation:
Napoleon kept the elite troops of the Garde Impériale in reserve, usually ordering them to attack towards the end of a battle to secure victory. In addition to artillery, infantry and cavalry, the Garde Impériale also included engineers or sappers. Despite their fearsome reputation in battle, their attack at Waterloo ultimately failed.
Following his defeat at the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to which island?
Question 10 Explanation:
After escaping the Prussian pursuit of the disintegrating French army, Napoleon arrived back in Paris. However, he found many of the people of France had turned against him, leaving him little choice but to abdicate for a second time. He was sent into exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, and would die on the island of suspected stomach cancer on 5 May 1821, aged 51. Some still believe he was poisoned. (Note: Napoleon did also go into exile on the island of Elba, but this was in March 1814).
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