French vs. English The Battle of Quebec

About the battle of Quebec between the French and English forces in North America and Canada in 1759.

QUEBEC, 1759

Engaged in a Colonial struggle with France in North America, the British decided to advance on the key French stronghold at Quebec. Many thought that the city was impregnable but General Wolfe, in a dangerous night action, sailed past the French defenses and scaled a poorly held portion of the heights with 4,500 men. In the morning the French were surprised to see a long scarlet line formed above the exposed city on the Plains of Abraham.

The French General Montcalm immediately grasped the danger of this new turn of events. The English would now be able to bring up artillery and leisurely pound Quebec into submission. Montcalm attacked, risking everything in battle.

Late in the morning, the French main body advanced in 3 groups with fixed bayonets. The British, harassed by snipers and Indians, had taken cover by lying down in the tall grass. As the French marched toward them, they rose to form a standing line. At 200 yards, the French opened fire. Encouraged by a few falling British, they rushed forward.

The British troops waited coolly until the ragged French formation was 50 yards away. Then, almost as one, they fired a terrible volley. The French were staggered. The British line marched ahead a few paces and then fired another telling volley. In 15 minutes the battle was over. Reeling from 1,400 casualties, the French fled before the attacking British.

General Wolfe was killed as his victorious army advanced toward Quebec. Montcalm died while trying to rally his broken troops. Quebec surrendered 4 days later.

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