The world’s most famous wars often begin with literal bangs. Just ask a certain archduke from Austria. But complicated circumstances always unfold when people start killing each other in battle. Sometimes, those fights are literally pointless – other times, they turn the tide of a bloody conflict. In this nearly impossible quiz, do you think you know which events led to the conclusion of these famous wars?
You already know how the Stamp Act and King George’s obstinate nature helped to jump-start the American Revolution. From there, George Washington and his men stole Britain’s thunder, running loose through the colonies and making life hell for the redcoats. But do you really know about the events that brought the Revolution to an end?
Both World Wars had very clear starting points, in which it was obvious that there would be bloodshed, and a lot of it. But both of these major conflicts also featured events that drew them to inevitable conclusions. Can you name those events? What led to the guns finally falling silent?
How about the finales of the Vietnam War, or the American Civil War? Never surrender in this lead-splattered quiz! Maybe you can end this test like General Washington ended that pesky Cornwallis.
The Treaty of Versailles brought a formal end to World War I, "the war to end all wars." But the treaty so humiliated Germany that this nation was bound to rise again in anger … and that's exactly what happened.
Sure, the Vietnam War didn't end until 1975. But the '68 Tet Offensive surprised the American public and turned the country against the war. It marked a major swing in the fortunes of American resolve.
The Confederate warship CSS Shenandoah traveled all over the world during the Civil War. The ship finally traveled to England, where in November 1865 it became the last Confederate force to surrender.
After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, a U.S.-led coalition began bombing the daylights out of the aggressors. Just a few days after the ground offensive began, President Bush called for a ceasefire, effectively ending the war.
At the 1781 Battle of Yorktown, George Washington's men put the clamps on the redcoats. With no way to escape, the British surrendered, and America won its independence.
The Battle of New Orleans came at the very end of the War of 1812, and it had no real impact on the outcome. Nevertheless, it was a rousing victory for outnumbered U.S. forces led by General Andrew Jackson.
In a back-and-forth affair, the 1951 Chinese Spring Offensive attempted to destroy United Nations forces for good. It didn't succeeed, but it did help to create a stalemate that ended in a 1953 armistice.
At the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon and his French army suffered a surprise defeat. The battle ended with Napoleon's second (and final) exile from Europe, and left his empire deflated.
On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, one of the most symbolic signs that Communism in Europe was crumbling. Not long afterward, the USSR collapsed and the Cold War ended.
The French and Indian War saw the French and British fighting over lands in North America. The British (with the help of colonists) finally won, and France relented with the Treaty of Paris.
In early August 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Days later, it followed with another at Nagasaki. The gigantic weapons may have helped accelerate Japan's final surrender.
In the 1840s, Mexico and the United States waged war over lands of the Southwest. When American troops invaded and occupied Mexico City in 1848, the war ended, and the U.S. seized one-third of traditional Mexican territory for itself.
Starting in August 1918, the Allies began the 100 Days Offensive, a massive attempt to push back the Central Powers. And starting at the Battle of Amiens, the Central Powers began to disintegrate.
The Spanish-American War only lasted for about three months, and it ended with the 1898 Treaty of Paris. In the treaty, Spain gave up its claims to vital strongholds like the Philippines.
After years of horrific atrocities, the Nationalists won numerous key battles. When Francisco Franco declared victory, other nations accepted his claims and the war was all but over.
In April 1865, Union troops finally managed to enter and occupy Richmond, Virginia. With the fall of the Confederate capital, the war ended just days later.
The U.S. was actively involved throughout WWI, but didn't commit to military action until 1918. America's fresh troops reinvogorated the Allies in their effort to defeat the Central Powers.
Argentina took the Falklands Islands from the British by force in 1982 … but Britain refused to lose a strategic base near South America. It retaliated with an amphibious assault and retook the islands after two months of fighting.
Muslims resented begin drafted into Russia's WWI battles, and the Basmachi movement found Central Asian people fighting against the empire. After years, of intermittent battles, the Red Army put down the Basmachi Revolt for good in 1934.
In August 1945, the USSR declared war on Japan and immediately invaded Japan's territories. Almost immediately, the Empire of the Rising Sun cried "uncle."
The Treaty of Paris (1783) brought the American Revolution to its official conclusion. In the ashes of the war, a new country -- the United States -- rose.
The 18th-century Seven Years' War is often called the first true world war. And the war turned largely between Britain and Prussia formed an alliance that altered the war's outcome.
As Saigon began to fall in 1975, U.S. forces started Operation Frequent Wind, a large-scale evacuation of civilians and (some) South Vietnamese from the city. Thousands upon thousands of people fled to avoid reprisals from North Vietnamese troops.
In 1967, faced with Egyptian closures of major Israeli shipping routes, Israel launched major air strikes multiple Arab counties. The Six-Day War was a decisive Israeli victory, one that caused crippling destruction to the Arab militaries.
On April 20, 1945, Adolf Hitler and his new wife committed suicide in a bunker beneath Berlin. Their fates, though grim, were undoubtedly better than if the Soviet troops in the city had gotten their hands on them.
President Lincoln was assassinated before the war ended, but too late to help the Confederate cause. On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to the Union, essentially bringing the four-year war to its inevitable conclusion.
The Hundred Years' War was a succession of linked wars and battles that began in 1337. It essentially ended with the Battle of Castillon, a 1453 battle that saw England losing most of its remaining territories in France.
The Boxer Rebellion saw parts of Chinese society rising up against foreign and Christian elements. An Eight-Nation Alliance (mostly from Europe) successfully put down the rebellion, but by then, tens of thousands of foreigners had already been killed.
In the English Civil War (1642-1651), the so-called Roundheads took on the Cavaliers for the future of the country's government. The English monarch collapsed, in part after Charles I was executed.
It began shortly after the 9/11 attacks … and it is still going. The American War in Afghanistan is likely to overtake Vietnam as the U.S.'s longest (and perhaps, most futile) war in history.