British Military History Quiz

How good is your Military History Knowledge?

According to a new study conducted by Universal Pictures and the Royal British Legion of 2000 people one in eight did not know enough about Britain’s Military History and were unsure about recent conflicts as well.

Here’s 10 Questions on British Military History, see if you can answer them all.

  1. In what Year did the First World War end?
  2. When was the Battle of Hastings?
  3. Which Islands did Britain and Argentina go to war over in 1982?
  4. Who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940-1945?
  5. On what date did D-Day take place?
  6. What is the significance of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square?
  7. When did the Iraq War start?
  8. What iconic Supermarine Aircraft took part in the Battle of Britain?
  9. The port and beaches of Dunkirk are famous for what?
  10. In what conflict did the Battle of the Somme take place?

Scroll down for the Answers.

The vast majority were familiar with the First and Second World Wars but many did not know the dates for the Iraq War or the War in Afghanistan.

Even iconic dates from the World Wars proved elusive, almost half of the 2000 surveyed didn’t know that D-Day marks the Normandy Landings one in Five thought it was the end of the First World War.

A large number admitted that they didn’t know anything about the Cold War which had dominated the latter half of the 20th Century.

Having studied Military History at University I like to think that I have a pretty good knowledge of British Military History and 20th Century Military History in particular. But even I struggled to name the more obscure conflicts Britain was involved with. The Suez Crisis or Malayan Emergency were completely unknown to me. Fortunately though I had the opportunity to study the Malayan Emergency in my Final Year studying Counter Insurgency.

By far and away though I am most familiar with the Second World War having written a comparative analysis of the performance of the Allied and German Armies and many of the modules available to me being Second World War oriented.

I even had the fortune of visiting the Normandy Battlefields in my second year and followed the war diaries of British Units including the fateful 7th Armoured Division and the Battle of Villers Bocage.

While an in-depth knowledge of Military History is not required for Genealogy it certainly helps to lend a historical background to who I am researching. For instance if I’m looking into a soldier who has died I’m often asked what battle he was in. A date is sometimes enough for me to say straight away The Battle of the Somme, or Battle of Mons. Then I can also provide a little bit of background to the battle as well.

Certain requests also pique the Historian inside me and I go off to have a look for more information of my own accord. We received a diary of a Royal Navy serviceman aboard HMS Gay Viking a small Motor Gun Boat which during the War carried out supply runs to and from Sweden carrying Ball Bearings essential to war time production. I subsequently wrote a Blog Post referencing the ship but also delved as deep as I could into it’s history in the short amount of time I had.

Here’s the answers to our little quiz, how well did you do?

  1. 1918
  2. 1066
  3. Falklands Islands
  4. Winston Churchill
  5. 6th June 1944
  6. Commemorates the Admiral and his service in the Napoleonic War
  7. 2003
  8. Spitfire
  9. The Evacuation of the BEF from France
  10. First World War

We have one extra question for you with a week (7 Days) of Free Full Membership to the site on offer for a randomly selected correct answer. Just click the “Add Comment” button at the bottom of the Blog enter your answer for your chance to win and we'll reveal the winner tomorrow morning at 09:00.


What is the top level Gallantry Award given to British Service Personnel for Valour in the Face of the Enemy?


Sources: Daily Mail & Gloucester Citizen

Do you want to find out about your own Families’ military history? Have a look at Forces War Records and give the search system a go. Maybe your ancestor was a Commando in World War Two, a Tank driver in World War One, or a Cavalryman in the Boer War! 

Blogger: ThoBen

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