How Much Do You Know About the History of Military Units and Battalions?
By: John Miller
Image: Juan de la Corte via Wiki Commons
About This Quiz
Through the history of human warfare, kings, generals, and commanders have wielded troops in different ways. In some eras, it made more sense to group soldiers into small fire teams; in other times, it was better to create sprawling masses of infantry as far as the eye could see. Along the way, many of those units served in combat, and in doing so, they made history. In this frontline quiz, what do you know about the organization of war squads, and can you name some of the most famous men ever to serve?
You probably already know how the Continental Army served during the American Revolutionary War. George Washington, the commander-in-chief, relied on a fractured group of colonial troops from all over the eastern seaboard. He tried to hammer these men into a cohesive fighting unit, but that process took years … and some notable failures, before it found triumph.
The jungles of Vietnam proved that WWII-era tactics were in many ways outdated. So savvy commanders reformed their units into small platoons that could counter North Vietnamese guerrilla warfare.
Plenty of other nations have fought and made war in other ways, too. Join the fray of this famous military unit quiz now!
Which country boast's the longest continuously serving military unit in history?
Since 1248, Spain's King's Own Immemorial 1st Infantry Regiment has been serving the country. And the unit is still going strong, providing protection for the army's headquarters.
The Battle of the Bulge brought everlasting fame to which American unit?
947th Military Police Detachment
1st Cavalry Division
In late 1944, the German army launched its last major offensive on the Western Front. They nearly broke through, but the 101st Airborne hunkered down and stopped them, even though they were surrounded for a week in bleak winter conditions.
The "berserkers" were a famous fighting group from which culture?
In ancient times, the Vikings were feared warriors. Particularly terrifying were the "berserkers" who fought with extreme rage and skill. No one knows why they were so crazed, but some sort of substance abuse may have contributed to their blood lust.
What's the oldest continuously serving unit in American history?
182nd Infantry Regiment
America is a new country but it does have several very old continuously serving units. That includes the 182nd Infantry Regiment, from the Massachusetts Colony. It was established in 1636. Several others in the area were formed at the same time.
Believe it or not, the British military dropped parachuting dogs into Europe during D-Day in WWII. The dogs had all sorts of jobs, from detecting mines to warning Allied troops to the presence ("woof!") of German soldiers.
The famous Russian Northern Fleet Motorized Rifle Brigade relies heavily on which type of creature?
Russian troops need reliable ways to move in very cold and inhospitable terrain. The Russian Northern Fleet Motorized Rifle Brigade -- a modern unit -- relies on reindeer to pull gear and men through icy terrain.
During WWII, why did the Allies build a "ghost army"?
to haunt Japanese leaders
to confuse Axis commanders
In the midst of WWII, the Allies used inflatable decoys that looked like tanks and Jeeps to confused Axis commanders. This "ghost army" was moved around from place to place, effectively making the Germans believe the Allies had more vehicles than they really did.
What's the purpose of the Korean People's Army Special Operation Force?
political and psychological ops
In North Korea, the Korean People's Army Special Operation Force is a very large force dedicated to certain types of intelligence activities. That includes psychological and political manipulation meant to confuse and distract enemies … and perhaps the citizens, too.
The Varangians were a hardcore group of soldiers. They were also called what?
In ancient Europe, the Varangians were a group of Viking soldiers that plundered various areas and served as elite mercenaries. Military leaders would sometimes hire the Varangians and then send them in at the end of battles to crush remaining enemy resistance.
Persia's 10,000 Immortals gained eternal fame during which battle?
Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Shiloh
Battle of Thermopylae
At the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, the 10,000 Immortals struggled to beat a few hundred Spartan troops in a narrow canyon. But the Spartans were betrayed, and an information told the 10,000 Immortals how to skirt past the Spartans and attack them from the flank.
The Ritchie Boys were a special unit that famously served during which conflict?
World War II
The Ritchie Boys were thousands of intelligence troops trained in German culture and language for secret operations in WWII. Many of the men were actual Jewish immigrants from Europe who wanted to do their part to fight the Nazis.