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History in Songs Trivia

History in Songs Trivia Quizzes

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Historical Events in Songs

11 quizzes and 115 trivia questions.
Is There Any Truth to that Song
  Is There Any Truth to that Song?   best quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Some songs are good 'story songs' and many story songs are based on real events. Here are ten; can you place them?
Average, 10 Qns, CmdrK, Jul 25 13
CmdrK gold member
2296 plays
Singing the Truth
  Singing the Truth   great trivia quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
All the songs in this quiz are based on real events. How many can you recognise?
Average, 10 Qns, rossian, May 09 16
rossian editor
1469 plays
  A Short History of the World editor best quiz   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Three minutes for a song is a short space of time but, in the hands of these artists, can provide a snapshot to a piece of history with enough power to move the mind and the heart, as well as the hips.
Easier, 10 Qns, pollucci19, May 13 21
pollucci19 gold member
May 13 21
613 plays
  Nazism and the Holocaust in Rock Music editor best quiz   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Not many rock musicians dared to tread the paths of this dark era. This quiz focuses on those who did, each using a different approach. Be sure to read the interesting info sections.
Tough, 10 Qns, gentlegiant17, Oct 24 07
3439 plays
  Apartheid and its Resistance Heroes in Music   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Apartheid was one of South Africa's darkest eras, and only a few musicians were brave enough to express their feelings. A tribute quiz to all those who fought against Apartheid. Best of luck!
Average, 10 Qns, thegogga, Jul 31 08
419 plays
  Let's View History Through Music!   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Special events, wars, good times and other occasions in history that some creative people felt should be preserved for posterity in the form of music. Enjoy yourself!
Average, 10 Qns, logcrawler, Apr 19 14
logcrawler gold member
520 plays
  Based On A True Story    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
There have been several popular songs which are based on real events. Here are just ten of them.
Average, 10 Qns, 480154st, Dec 27 21
480154st gold member
Dec 27 21
281 plays
  Songs In The Key Of Real Life    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Many songs have been written about events that have happened in the real world. Trace these 15 that are based on true stories.
Average, 15 Qns, darksplash, Aug 12 21
Aug 12 21
234 plays
  Inspiration in Song   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
All of these songs were inspired by a person or event. I will ask you a question pertaining to each song.
Tough, 10 Qns, Eastenders01, Apr 11 16
Eastenders01 gold member
478 plays
  Songs Inspired by Real Events   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Of course you know the songs. But do you know what caused them to be written?
Tough, 10 Qns, tncvols, Oct 20 10
845 plays
  There's A Song About It    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Historic events are often retold in song. Read these newspaper headlines and see if you can recall the songs based on the stories. Have fun.
Tough, 10 Qns, oscarguy, Aug 11 19
Aug 11 19
2065 plays
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History in Songs Trivia Questions

1. "A crowded main street, The scene was set, They checked out the view, Turned the radio on" are the opening lyrics to "Dallas 1pm" about the assassination of JFK. Which stalwarts of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement recorded the track?

From Quiz
Based On A True Story

Answer: Saxon

Saxon were formed in Barnsley and quickly became one of the leading lights of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) which began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In their golden era, the band had four UK top 20 hits in 1980 and 1981 and became the first band to play the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington twice, when they did so in 1980 and 1982. "Dallas 1 PM" was taken from the band's 1980 album, "Strong Arm Of The Law", which was a number 11 hit on the UK album charts. President John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas at 12:30pm on November 22nd 1963. He was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital 30 minutes later.

2. Johnny Horton's 1960 hit "Sink The Bismarck" was more or less accurate in the opening line of the song. Approximately how far off was he in his estimation of the actual beginning of WW2, historically speaking?

From Quiz Let's View History Through Music!

Answer: 20 months

"In May of 1941 the war had just begun..." Ole Johnny was just a bit off with his timeframe for the beginning of WW2, since the war had actually begun with Germany attacking Poland in September 1939. To his credit, the U.S. didn't become involved until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941. It is also a fact, however, that the German battleship Bismarck was sunk by the British in 1941. Decades later, the wreckage of the ship was discovered on 8 June 1989 by the man who had also located the wreck of RMS Titanic in 1985, Dr. Robert Ballard.

3. According to the book titled "The Girl in the Song", "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond was inspired by this woman. Can you tell me who?

From Quiz Inspiration in Song

Answer: Caroline Kennedy

It has been said that this song was written for Caroline when she was around eleven years old. He performed it for her via satellite on her 50th birthday.

4. "Wuthering Heights" is a song inspired by the book with the same title. It was a 1978 UK number one hit for which artist?

From Quiz Songs Inspired by Real Events

Answer: Kate Bush

Her producer had advised against releasing this song. He finally agreed to do it thinking it would bomb and Kate would then heed his advice.

5. Just to clarify the rest of the quiz, what exactly was Apartheid?

From Quiz Apartheid and its Resistance Heroes in Music

Answer: It was a system of brutal and unfair racial segregation that was legalised in South Africa up until the 1990s

Apartheid (literally meaning "apart-ness" in Afrikaans) was a system in South Africa whereby racial segregation was legalised by the ruling Government party at the time, the National Party (NP). Between 1948 and 1990, the NP introduced various laws which essentially classed South Africans into "groups" according to their race, created homelands for the various racial groups; stripped non-whites of their voting rights; forbade marriage and sexual relations between people of different races; and various other laws which made it near impossible for people of different races to interact with each other. The laws imposed were supposedly to encourage "separate development in order to preserve culture," but they really aimed to make whites "superior" to blacks, and were most unfair towards black people.

6. "Small Plane Crash Takes Lives of 3 Rockers at Clear Lake" What sad song commemorates this tragedy?

From Quiz There's A Song About It

Answer: The Three Stars

On February 3, 1959, a four-seater plane crashed minutes after take-off from Iowa's Mason City Airport killing Buddy Holly (22), Richie Valens (17), and The Big Bopper (28). The impact of this tragedy affects music lovers even to this day. Tommy Dee wrote and recorded a mournful tribute, "The Three Stars", which charted at number 11 on April 13, 1959. The song was also recorded by Eddie Cochran.

7. In 1976, Judas Priest sang "You're in for surprise, You're in for a shock, In London town streets, When there's darkness and fog" in a song about which historical figure?

From Quiz Based On A True Story

Answer: Jack The Ripper

This track by Judas Priest, titled "The Ripper" (1976) told the tale of Jack the Ripper's exploits, from the viewpoint of Jack himself, and continued "I'm sly and I'm shameless, Nocturnal and nameless, Except for "The Ripper", Or if you like "Jack The Knife". Although the track didn't chart, it has been a staple of live Judas Priest shows for many years. Jack the Ripper was a serial killer in London in 1888, believed to be responsible for at least five murders. He was never apprehended and to this day his identity remains unknown.

8. "Better late than never". Sometimes the folks who say such things are right, so don't discredit them. What was the "Old 97" that was turned into a legend by an old country ballad? (The real-life event surrounding its story occurred in 1903.)

From Quiz Let's View History Through Music!

Answer: a locomotive train

"The Wreck of the Old 97" told the story of a Southern Railways train derailment that occurred near Danville, Virginia. The engineer, Joseph Broady, was in a hurry to make his mail run because the "Fast Mail" as it was known, was running behind schedule. The train had a reputation for NEVER being late, and it was perhaps because of this that Brody was a bit careless. The train started off late on the day of September 27, 1903 when it left Washington D.C. on its way to Monroe, Virginia and thus arrived an hour late. At Monroe, Broady had been instructed to arrive at his next destination, Spencer, North Carolina 166 miles distant, on time. The only way to make up for the time already lost was to speed the train along; accelerating from the usual required speed of 39 mph to a minimum of 51 mph. The rolling terrain and the faster speed caused the train to derail and sent it crashing over an embankment sending several people on the train to their deaths. The wooden cars burst into flames after the train crashed, and while the railroad placed all the blame on Broady, claiming that no one had insisted that he deliver the mail on time, others have always felt that Broady was not solely to blame for the accident. In 1924, country musician Vernon Dalhart's ballad about the Old 97 became a major commercial success.

9. "Ohio" is a song that was written about the Kent State University shootings in the state of Ohio in 1970. Can you tell me who wrote this song?

From Quiz Inspiration in Song

Answer: Neil Young

According to the Neil Young biography "Shakey", by Jimmy McDonough, Neil Young was inspired by the photos of the massacre in Life Magazine to write "Ohio" when he saw pictures of wounded students being tended to. It was sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The song was initially banned on AM radio due to its anti-war theme but readily played on FM radio.

10. Jim Morrison wrote "Been Down Too Long" after which event?

From Quiz Songs Inspired by Real Events

Answer: Reading a book with that title

Richard Farina published this book and tragically was killed two day later in 1966. He had also been acquainted with Bob Dylan and may have been the story behind Dylan's satirical "Positively 4th Street".

11. Anger. "The Intense Humming Of Evil" is a hard-hitting song containing graphic concentration camp descriptions. Which Welsh band performed this song in their third album "The Holy Bible" (1994)?

From Quiz Nazism and the Holocaust in Rock Music

Answer: Manic Street Preachers

The song opens with a recording from the Nuremberg trials. The following is its second verse and coda: "Arbeit macht frei Transports of invalids Hartheim Castle breathes us in In block 5 we worship malaria Lagerstrasse, poplar trees Beauty lost, dignity gone Rascher surveys us butcher bacteria Welcome welcome soldier smiling Soon infected, nails broken hunger's a word 6 million screaming souls Maybe misery - maybe nothing at all Lives that wouldn't have changed a thing Never counted - never mattered - never be" An annotated version of the lyrics can be found at "The Holy Bible" encompassed other controversial subjects such as racism in the USA, Anorexia Nervosa and the death penalty. On the sleeve of their second album "Gold Against The Soul" a quote from a Primo Levi poem, "Song Of Those Who Died In Vain", appears (translated lyrics can be found at

12. "Huge Iron Ore Freighter Lost on Superior -- All 29 Crew Feared Dead" What song was written about this maritime disaster?

From Quiz There's A Song About It

Answer: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot went to number 2 on Billboard charts in September of 1976. The Edmund Fitzgerald sank on November 10, 1975.

13. "Treaty" (1991) by Yothu Yindi was written after which Australian prime minister failed to follow through on his 1988 promise that there would be a treaty with Indigenous Australians by 1990?

From Quiz Based On A True Story

Answer: Bob Hawke

"Treaty" (1991) is sung in English and Gumatj, making it the first song in an Aboriginal Australian language to gain international airplay, as well as it helping Yothu Yindi to become the first predominantly Aboriginal band to have a chart hit in Australia. The first verse sets out the frustrations of the Aboriginal people with the lyrics, "Well I heard it on the radio, And I saw it on the television, Back in 1988, All those talking politicians, Words are easy, words are cheap, Much cheaper than our priceless land, But promises can disappear, Just like writing in the sand." In 1988, Bob Hawke, while visiting the Northern Territory as part of Australia's bicentennial celebrations, promised a treaty would be in place with Indigenous Australians by 1990. Songwriting brothers Mandawuy and Galarrwuy Yunupingu wrote the song to highlight the lack of progress by the Australian government. Fast forward to 2021 and there is still no treaty, but the song and its message remain as strong as ever.

14. Which British monarch's name was used by the Kinks as the title for their 1969 single that spoke of the peak of the British Empire?

From Quiz A Short History of the World

Answer: Victoria

By 1969 the Kinks were in a little bit of turmoil. Their previous album "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society" (1968) was both a critical and commercial disaster and echoed a declining trend in the band's fortunes. Then came the concept album "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)" and a change of fortune. "Arthur" was to have been part of a soundtrack for a television play, but the project failed to eventuate. The Kinks put that behind them to produce this masterpiece that has been hailed by critics as one of the best concept albums in the history of rock and roll. "Victoria", the third single to be released from the album, is written in Ray Davies' own satirical style, full of irony and double meanings. In single lines he reveals the quest for Empire during Queen Victoria's reign "from the west, to the east/ from the rich to the poor/ Victoria loved them all" (though live versions altered the word "loved" to one that would not have amused Victoria) and how this empire was built upon the backs of the down trodden, who had little to enthuse about, yet had an enduring love for their Queen "though I am poor, I am free/When I grow I shall fight/For this land I shall die". The album produced a number of tracks with a historical bent such as "Mr. Churchill Says" and "Australia". "Some Mother's Sons" is as uncompromising an anti-war song as you're likely to find.

15. The sinking of The Edmund Fitzgerald was the greatest shipping disaster to happen on the Great Lakes. It inspired the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". Can you tell me who wrote this epic song?

From Quiz Inspiration in Song

Answer: Gordon Lightfoot

This disaster which occurred in November of 1975 made headlines in Newsweek magazine and inspired Lightfoot to write this song. It reached number one in his and my native land of Canada. To this day when Gordon Lightfoot performs live, this is one of the most requested songs in his repertoire. I have been fortunate to have seen him perform this phenomenal song live.

16. Fleetwood Mac's song "Albatross" inspired which Beatles song?

From Quiz Songs Inspired by Real Events

Answer: Sun King

In a 1987 George Harrison identified the inspiration for this song. He said the band like the reverb sound in "Albatross" and decided to "sound like" Fleetwood Mac, even though that was not the result.

17. "Barrow Gang Evades Law Continuing Bloody Crime Spree Across Country -- Nearly Caught in Joplin" What was the pop song about this gang?

From Quiz There's A Song About It

Answer: The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde

Inspired by the "Bonnie and Clyde" movie craze of 1967, Georgie Fame had a number 7 hit with "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde". The song is loaded with machine gun sound effects.

18. In 1976, a Scottish band hit the UK charts with a song about one of the most important events in the history of the establishment of the American Republic. The Boston Tea Party was the event, so who were the band?

From Quiz Based On A True Story

Answer: Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Alex Harvey was one of the most flamboyant frontmen that the rock world has ever seen and it seems so unfair that SAHB were only around for four short years between 1972 and 1976 and even more unfair that Alex Harvey died aged just 46 in 1982. The band had three UK top 40 hits, and two of them "Boston Tea Party" (1976) and "Delilah" (1975) were big, reaching number 13 and number 7 respectively. The opening verse of "Boston Tea Party" states, "Redcoats in the village, There's fighting in the streets, The Indians and the mountain men, well, They are talking when they meet, The king has said he's gonna put a tax on tea, And that's the reason you all Americans drink coffee" The Boston Tea Party was a protest over a law which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying the high taxes that other tea companies were subject to. These protests against the British Parliament's tax on tea, with the slogan "No taxation without representation." were met hard by the British government, who revoked the Massachusetts Bay Colony's privileges of self-government and from the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the situation escalated into the American Revolution when Massachusetts was declared a rebel state in 1775.

19. Which singer, known as "Mama Africa", recorded "Sophiatown is Gone", highlighting the Apartheid regime that existed in South Africa for the last half of the 20th century?

From Quiz A Short History of the World

Answer: Miriam Makeba

Sophiatown was one of those rare beasts in South Africa; it was a freehold town. This meant that it was one of the few areas in the country where blacks could own property. Despite being a cultural hub and producing some of South Africa's most famous musicians, politicians and writers, it was also a poor district and an area subject to frequent violence. As the neighbouring townships of Newlands and Westdene expanded so did the consensus that Sophiatown was too close for comfort. In 1955, using the Immorality Amendment Act, No 21 of 1950 as their justification, 2,000 police converged on the suburb and forcibly removed the residents. The area was then flattened and redeveloped. As a final insult, it was re-named "Triomf" - Afrikaans for Triumph - by the government. Makeba, who had moved to New York in 1959 after the success of her songs "Pata Pata" and "The Click Song", soon found that her South African passport had been cancelled and she was effectively exiled from her own country. She was not even allowed entry to attend her mother's funeral in 1960. "Sophiatown is Gone" is a jazzy lament that lends a wistful note to the cry of "sweet Sophia is gone forever" as Makeba sings of a vibrant community with its residents shuffled off to a soulless suburb that became known as Meadowlands. Makeba would also record one of the most popular versions of the song "Meadowlands", a famous anti-Apartheid number that had been written by Strike Vilakezi in 1956. It was a song that cleverly twisted irony around an uptempo jive beat. It would become one of the anthems of the anti-Apartheid movement.

20. Can you tell me the name of the man who first recorded a song that later became known as "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" which was a 1971 hit by Paul Revere and the Raiders?

From Quiz Let's View History Through Music!

Answer: Marvin Rainwater

"Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" was written by John D. Loudermilk and was first recorded by a 25% Cherokee Indian named Marvin Rainwater in 1959. He sang the original version under the title "The Pale Faced Indian". The song tells of the forced removal of the Cherokee and the other so-called Five Civilized Tribes of the southeastern U.S. as they were force marched from their homelands to the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. (Not one of the prouder moments in American history.)

21. Apparently, according to various sources, this song was written by Randy Bachman when he was with The Guess Who while he was waiting for his girlfriend to get ready to go out on a date. Which song did he write?

From Quiz Inspiration in Song

Answer: These Eyes

This was a breakthrough song for this legendary Canadian Band led by Burton Cummings and was one of my favourites during my high school years. It broke into the U.S. charts on the top Billboard Pop Singles peaking at number six.

22. So what was one of the most often cited inspiration for "Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds"?

From Quiz Songs Inspired by Real Events

Answer: A school drawing by Julian Lennon

Julian brought home a drawing he titled "Lucy, in the sky with diamonds" and John patterned the song on that. Speculation that it was a drug reference led to a its ban on the BBC.

23. "Teen Kills 2, Injures 9 at San Diego Elementary School" What was the song titled after the perpetrator's quoted reason for committing the crime?

From Quiz There's A Song About It

Answer: I Don't Like Mondays

All four choices were quotes by 17 year-old Brenda Spencer, but "I Don't Like Mondays" is the morbidly memorable song by The Boomtown Rats. Brenda is now serving two 25-to-life sentences.

24. In 1980. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released which song about a very famous aircraft?

From Quiz Based On A True Story

Answer: Enola Gay

"Enola Gay" (1980) from OMD was about the plane of the same name that dropped the "Little Boy" atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in World War II. The song was a top ten hit in UK, France and Switzerland and a number one hit in both Spain and Italy. The Enola Gay aircraft dropped its famous cargo on August 6th 1945, destroying almost three quarters of the city of Hiroshima and causing the deaths of between 70,000 and 80,000 people, both from the actual blast and the firestorm which it caused. Part of the lyrics to "Enola Gay" are "Enola Gay, Is mother proud of little boy today? Ah-ha this kiss you give It's never ever gonna to fade away".

25. Which character, with strong links to the Russian Revolution, was the basis for a Boney M hit in 1978?

From Quiz A Short History of the World

Answer: Rasputin

Rasputin is certainly one of those people you could describe as a "different cat". He was a religious man who was firm in the belief that to get close to God, one had to sin and then ask for forgiveness. He also had some healing abilities and when he was able to assist the royal family with their son's hemophilia, he was able adhere himself to them. Nicholas II was a weak leader and, as such, Rasputin was able to bring his own influence to play in the Tsar's policy making. The Tsar's poor leadership was not the sole reason behind the revolution but it certainly didn't help. Rasputin, for his troubles, was assassinated by a group of nobles who'd seen their own powers diminished as a result of Rasputin's influence. The Boney M song is semi-autobiographical in nature. It certainly portrays Rasputin as a manipulator, a mystic healer and a playboy ("Russia's greatest love machine"), though, some of the lyrics should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, it claims an affair with Queen Alexandra, however, there is no documented evidence of this. (Spooky fact) Boney M's lead singer died December 30 (2010) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Rasputin died December 30 (1916) in St. Petersburg, Russia.

26. On November 10, 1975 a tragedy occurred that Canadian songwriter/singer Gordon Lightfoot wrote about. What was the name of the ship that he immortalized in song that reflected a tragic accident in the U.S. Great Lakes region?

From Quiz Let's View History Through Music!

Answer: SS Edmund Fitzgerald

The freighter, "Edmund Fitzgerald" was named for a civic leader and chairman for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. The line, "The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'..." begins the 1976 hit song by Gordon Lightfoot. The cause of the sinking of the "Edmund Fitzgerald" has never been clear. Some believe that it was due to two massive storms playing out simultaneously, creating near-hurricane force winds, while others feel that it may have been as a result of three rogue waves that had been reported in the area just prior to the ship sinking. With the weather so capricious, both factors may have contributed to the ship breaking up on Lake Superior, not far from Michigan's shoreline. All twenty nine crew members perished and none of their bodies were ever recovered. Gordon Lightfoot chose to write and sing this modern-day ballad as a tribute to them and their families.

27. As the story goes, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young wrote the song "Our House" about his relationship with which famous singer?

From Quiz Inspiration in Song

Answer: Joni Mitchell

In various interviews with Graham Nash, he talks about his brief affair with Joni during the Woodstock era. This song was on their "Déjà Vu" album about his relationship with this Canadian singer. The song apparently was about the struggle between free love versus being in a committed relationship during the hippie era. Joni Mitchell wrote the song "Woodstock" which also was on the album.

28. The Kingston Trio recording "Tom Dooley" was based on an 1866 murder in what state?

From Quiz Songs Inspired by Real Events

Answer: North Carolina

Tom Dula was convicted of the murder of Laura Foster. On the gallows he stated he had not harmed Foster but probably deserved his punishment. This lead to speculation he was covering for another woman who may have killed Foster out of jealousy.

29. "Friendship 7 Astronaut Home After 3 Orbits" What song pays tribute to this space first?

From Quiz There's A Song About It

Answer: The Epic Ride of John H. Glenn

Walter Brennan recorded "The Epic Ride of John H. Glenn" as the flip side to his hit, "Old Rivers" (1962).

30. In 1812, Napoleon marched on Russia. 181 years later in 1993, which band released "Holy Grail" about Napoleon's ill fated invasion?

From Quiz Based On A True Story

Answer: Hunters And Collectors

Hunters And Collectors are one of the great Australian bands that never achieved the global success they deserved. "Say Goodbye" (1986), "Throw Your Arms Around Me" (1986), "When The River Runs Dry" (1989) and "True Tears Of Joy" (1992) are staples of Australian radio, but none is as popular as "Holy Grail" (1993). "Holy Grail" was adopted as an anthem for Aussie Rules football and has been used in TV broadcasts of the sport as well as a part of the pre match and half time entertainment for the AFL Grand Final. The lyrics to "Holy Grail" read, "All the locals scattered, They were hiding in the snow, We were so far from home, So how were we to know, There'd be nothing left to plunder." Napoleon's march on Russia failed for many reasons but the two main ones were the Russian weather and the Russian scorched earth policy, both of which devastated his troops. In order to engage the Russians at the earliest opportunity, Napoleon insisted his men didn't wait for the slower moving supply wagons but instead live off the land as much as possible. Unfortunately, Russia had a poor road network and an even poorer agricultural base, meaning his men were often spread out over great distances and unable to find enough food to feed the 600,000 men and 50,000 horses contained in Napoleon's army. Retreating Russians also adopted a scorched earth policy, further depleting French chances of finding sustenance. Disease became rife, with over 200,000 soldiers dead or hospitalised and as the French army retreated, the weather turned against them to such an extent that by the time Napoleon's troops crossed into Poland in early December, less than 100,000 of the original 600,000 strong force remained.

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