Quiz on special and elite military units

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on July 09, 2020

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On July 11, 1798, the US Marine Corps was re-established after being disbanded post the American Revolutionary War. This quiz is all about special and elite military units.

Special cause

1 The Immortals were a legendary fighting force associated with the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. They were the elite units of King Xerxes’s army. The Immortals always had exactly the same number of soldiers; if a soldier fell sick or died in battle he was immediately replaced. What was that number?

2 In the 12th and 13th centuries, the breakaway Shi’ite Ismaili sect found political and martial voice in the form of a troop of elite warriors known for their esoteric rituals. Their skill with a scimitar was unmatched and they were known for their ability to steal in and murder political opponents. By what name were they known?

3 The Jaguar warriors were armed with clubs studded with obsidian and actually wore jaguar skins into battle. In which famous culture were they the elite warriors?

4 SEAL Teams are the elite units of the US Armed forces, noted for missions such as the capture of Somali pirates and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. How did it get its name?

5 What was the name of the legendary military group of British and Indian soldiers headed by Brigadier Wingate, which operated in Burma during World War II?

6 After which mythological bird is a special unit of the Indian Air Force, raised in 2004 to protect critical bases and for search-and-destroy missions, named?

7 The Sayeret Matkal, one of the most feared special forces in the world, shares its motto ‘Who Dares Wins’ with the British Special Air Service (SAS). Which country does the Sayeret Matkal serve?

8 A special regiment, the Prussian infantry regiment No 6 was formed in 1675 by Frederick I of Prussia. It was known by a nickname for a very unique characteristic, and Frederick used to search around Europe for recruits. What was the characteristic?

9 The first battalion of which Indian regiment, originally raised in 1846, is regarded as the most decorated regiment in the Commonwealth, with 245 pre-Independence and 82 post-Independence gallantry awards?

10 What was the name for the Christian converts who were the elite troops and personal bodyguard of the Ottoman Empire for over 500 years?


1 10,000.

2 Hashishins, as followers of Hassan-i-Sabah. The word assassin originates from them.

3 Aztec. Sadly, they were no match for the Conquistadores equipped with guns.

4 It’s an acronym for Sea, Air and Land.

5 The Chindits, from the mythical Burmese beast Chinthé.

6 Garud.

7 Israel; the name literally means “special reconnaissance force of the general staff”.

8 They were all very tall and were known as the Potsdam giants. The minimum height was 6’2” at a time when the average height was about a foot less, and there were several seven footers in the unit.

9 The Sikh Regiment. Its soldiers were also a part of the legendary 1897 battle of Saragarhi.

10 The Janissaries, who started off as expert archers and later became crack shots.

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on July 09, 2020

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