If We Show You a Flag, Can You Guess the Battle the Country Fought In?

By: Tasha Moore
Image: Pixabay / alles

About This Quiz

"Battle" and "war" are used interchangeably at times. On this military challenge, we've sorted through some serious battles from the past to help you understand just how distinct the two terms are. You are encouraged to choose the correct battles of history based on the flag images that we present. 

Think of war as a sum of previous battles. Every war includes traces of old conflicts (big or small) that date back hundreds, even thousands of years. Take the history of China and Japan's diplomatic relationship as an example. Some of Japan's clashes with China during World War II were continuations of World War I gripes. China's protests against Japan during World War I stemmed from how the two allies managed to contribute to winning the war. Communism was a primary cause of contention between the world powers back then, and land possession continues to be a testy issue. On this quiz, learn about their continual World War II struggle for China's Changsha region, which gave way to a crucial path during the Second World War.

Unlike wars, battles tend to include the participation of brave citizenry who have fought for their independence against massive armies. Poland's citizens took on the Nazi's during the Siege of Warsaw during World War II. And in the 16th century during the SIege of Vienna, Austrian citizens battled and defeated Suleiman "the Magnificent" and his Ottoman army that some war historians suggest numbered as high as 300,000 soldiers.  

After taking this quiz, you'll see why battles were important times when nations tested weaponry, war readiness and the will of the people. Will you master this military test? 

During the Battle of Golden Spurs, about 10,000 Flemish infantry soldiers stormed the citadel of Courtrai while France attempted to quell the uprising. Knights that died on the battleground were found with hundreds of golden spurs, which the victorious townspeople also hung in the church abbey.

On August 3, 1601, General Giorgio Basta and Voivode Michael the Brave were joined in victory against Sigismund Bathory's armies. The victors also successfully besieged Transylvania, but they ultimately clashed. Basta called for the execution of Michael the Brave, which occurred on August 9, 1601.

Napoleon returned to France victorious after the Battle of Aboukir Bay, which took place in August 1798 off the coast of Egypt. Admiral Lord Nelson led the British fleet that had been in pursuit of the French vessels for weeks.

Since the end of the 19th century, some ethnic Albanians have contended that Albanian-speaking people should be united under one principality. The fight for a "Greater Albania" gave way in 2001 when rebels attempted to seize former and current Yugoslav states.

On June 24, 1340, King Edward III defeated the invading French fleet led by Phillipe IV for control of the English Channel. The British first began using cannons and firearms at sea during the Battle of Sluys.

Rumors of British attacks and Parliamentary laws, known as the Intolerable Acts, prompted American colonists to mobilize for civil war. On September 1, Royal Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Gage removed gun powder from storage at Charlestown as a precaution, an act that further fueled tensions.

On May 16, 1811, the first battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers successfully assailed French troops. The Royal Welch Fusiliers were first established in 1689 as Lord Herbert's Regiment.

Exhausted troops of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) joined French soldiers to stop an advancing German Army, ultimately pushing their opponent to the River Aisne border. War historians have dubbed the pivotal World War I event the "Great Retreat."

Poland's 1939 battle with Germany during the Siege of Warsaw saw many Polish citizens take up arms, digging trenches and fighting the Germans until the country's surrender. The German high command expected "unconditional capitulation" on September 29.

Germany's forces were fully occupied on the war front in Poland when French General Maurice Gamelin led the 1939 invasion of Germany known as Operation Saar. While Gamelin's Third, Fourth and Fifth armies first marched passed the German border, they witnessed vacant posts and little resistance.

Finland's battle with the Soviet Union lasted a little over three months before Finland finally surrendered. Resilient Finnish forces were gravely outnumbered by the Soviet war arsenal that included 100 times as many tanks and 30 times the air support as Finland.

On several occasions during World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army battled Kuomintang Chinese Nationalists in an attempt to take over Changsha, China. Control of Changsha meant command of south China and access to rail paths leading to Burma and India.

On December 13, 1939, during the Battle of the River Plate, New Zealand and Britain sank the Admiral Graf Spee German "pocket battleship" that had ravaged the South Atlantic and destroyed nine Allied merchant ships. The Graf Spree battleship sank near Uruguay.

Followers of Osman I defeated Byzantine forces at the Battle of Bapheus in 1302, signaling the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The flood had caused the Ottomans to migrate northward in search of fertile land before they encountered the considerable Byzantine army.

Roughly 100,000 Danes observed the Battle of Copenhagen take place on April 2, 1801. Deemed one of the most savage battles of the Napoleonic Wars, the Copenhagen conflict resulted in a British defeat.

Political parties of Macedonia ventured to form a unity government to end the conflict launched by ethnic Albanian rebels that used 3,500 citizens as human shields. Party leaders attempted to work with ethnic Albanians, who have complained of discrimination in the Slavs majority state.

Allied forces defeated Germany during the Battle of Marne, which was the first skirmish of World War I. Germany's Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hentsch issued the order of retreat at the end of the battle that many war historians believe changed the world.

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle raged from March 10 to March 12, 1915. Britain demonstrated considerable land force during the clash; half of Britain's forces that confronted Germany were from the Indian Corps.

The Second Battle in the Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium is the first successful large-scale use of a gaseous war weapon on the Western Front. Germany unleashed a cloud of chlorine gas released from cylinders.

German General Erich von Falkenhayn led the failed charge against the city of Verdun, France in February 1916. Under-Secretary for Artillery M. Albert Thomas and General Petain helped to lead France's important counterattack that secured the fortress city during World War I.

Launched by the French on April 16, 1917, the Nivelle Offense is considered one of the worst debacles in French military history. French General Robert Nivelle lost 120,000 soldiers in just five days.

Before the Battle of Arras in World War I, British soldiers hid in a maze of underground quarries built from medieval times. The devastated Germans retreated beyond the Vimy Ridge, having lost many soldiers and close to one hundred weapons.

Japanese soldiers forced Filipinos and Americans to march for 70 miles through scorching Philippine jungles to an internment camp. Navy, Marines, Army Air Corps and Army soldiers were among the American prisoners in the ordeal that lasted for six days.

Rommel initiated the Battle of Gazala on May 26, 1942, to seize control of Tobruk, the only port that accommodated massive ships anywhere along the African coast that stretched for a thousand miles between Egypt and Tunisia. Germany's Fifteenth Rifle Brigade reinforced Italian forces stationed there.

Japanese bombers sank USS Chicago with six aerial torpedoes off Rennell Island during the January 1943 melee. The Battle of Rennell Island was one of several intense clashes between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Navies of Allied forces that occurred from December 1942 to March 1943.

Neither the United States or Japan intended to clash in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands during World War II. The American heavy cruiser Salt Lake City sustained considerable damage in the haphazard battle.

U.S. First Marine Division clashed with Japanese forces at Peleliu Island, a Pacific outpost that Japan had established during the 1930s. The Peleliu skirmish began in September 1944 and lasted for several months.

The Battle of Slivnitsa was the crucial November 1885 battle of the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Bulgarian forces crushed the Serbs in a dispute over land. Bulgaria's win was particularly significant since the country had secured independence from the Turks with Russia's assistance as recent as 1878.

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces crushed Ukranian rebels' fight for self-determination in the Battle of Berestechko of 1651. Ukranian Cossacks officially conceded by signing the Treaty of Bila Tserkva on September 28, 1651, several months after the military defeat.

Known for his unique strain of cruelty, Vlad III Dracula was unseated from his throne after he successfully defeated the Turks in Wallachia. During his cruel reign, Dracula often savored dining while witnessing mass executions.

Spanish Muslims held ground with skillful military science until their defeat at the Battle of Granada in 1492. The battle forced Ferdinand's army to revolutionize combat methods that Spain diligently refined for several decades to become formidable logistical strategists and artillery experts.

Norwegian sculptor Fritz Reed created Swords in Rock, or "Sverd i Fjell" (also called Swords in Stone), to honor the 872 Battle of Hafrsfjord when King Harald Harfagre allegedly united all of Norway under one crown. Harfagre is considered the first official king of Norway.

Before the Battle of Bach Dang commenced, brilliant Vietnamese strategist Ngo Quyen had his army thrust iron spikes into the Bach Dang riverbed. The spikes impaled Chinese ships after Ngo Quyen had lured the doomed opponent into battle during a period of high tide.

Switzerland demonstrated unique martial ability against the massive Habsburg army at the Battle of Morgarten in 1315. War historians have noted that the victorious Swiss army's lying-in-wait tactic against Austria exemplified the supreme discipline of the Swiss.

The Battle of Krbava Field in 1493 was a culmination of sporadic raiding campaigns the Turks unleashed upon Croatia practically on a yearly basis. Raiding parties had hit the coastal area between Slunj and Senj hardest.

The 1508 Battle of Chaul saw the defeat of Portuguese naval forces by an armada of warships owned by sultan of Gujarat and Mamluk Egypt. Portugal's loss took place off the Konkan coast.

The late-September 1529 Siege of Vienna spelled defeat for the Ottoman Empire. Suleiman "the Magnificent" and his mighty army of approximately 120,000 to 300,000 soldiers were no match for Austria's will to win.

Battle of Campaldino happened on mountainous terrain that stretches from Arezzo to Florence in Italy. The famed Italian poet Dante Alighieri served as an elite "striker" with other Guelph Florentines; he's known to have plowed straight into the chaos. Dante published his "Inferno" in the 14th century.

Basarab I commanded the army of Wallachia to overpower forces led by Hungarian King Charles Robert of Anjou during the Battle of Posada. Charles Robert's defeat ensured Wallachia's independence from Hungary.

As a result of cordial relations between Portugal and China, the Portuguese leased China's Macau territory as a trading port starting in 1557. Dutch forces made an unsuccessful attempt against Portugal to control the region on June 24, 1622.

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