Battle of the Plains of Abraham, 1759

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James Wolfe versus Marquis de Montcalm: A British army under Wolfe tries to seize an apparently formidable fortress from a French army under Montcalm and win Canada. Wolfe tries many different ways to do so; will Montcalm suffer defeat to any of them? Also known as the Battle of Quebec. .

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Significance
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In Canada, this is that stereotypical battle that everyone is taught about in school; young students know the place, the time and the commanders who lead each side. For Canada, this battle decided the path of Canada to be British instead of French even though French still holds a significant place in modern Canadian culture.

Analysis
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This battle must have been extremely difficult and stressful for both commanders although the massive implications could not have been known at the time. Both commanders struggled logistically; Montcalm struggled more but Wolfe felt the urgent need to capture Quebec, going to desperate, costly measures. Wolfe came out the better commander in this battle due to luck, always the best quality to have in a commander. The animation overlooks certain details of the landing at Anse de Foulon. For one, a French sentry questioned the leading British transport as it passed Quebec; one of the British soldiers spoke crude French sufficiently that the French sentry sent the word that the transports were their own supply vessels. Also, the actual landing went unimpeded because the cliffs were guarded by thirty soldiers, seventy less than required, and were led by a commander known for loose command and sleeping on duty. Does this mean Montcalm should have won the battle and that Wolfe just got lucky? Absolutely not, because there are infinite factors attributed to chance and not the commander’s attributes.
plains of abraham preview 2Notes
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I felt a certain satisfaction after completing this animation. This animation was on the drawing board for far too long despite being such an important battle to animate for this site and my own national obligation. It was the first purely Canadian battle to be animated and also the first animation to feature a battle within a battle which was necessary to properly detail the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. I felt this animation was done smoothly, effectively enough for future animations that eventually featured entire campaigns such as the Waterloo Campaign.
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– Jonathan Webb
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Works Consulted

Bishop, Arthur. True Canadian: Battles that Forged Our Nation 1759-1953. Toronto: Key Porter, 2008.

Black, Jeremy. The Seventy Great Battles in History. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004.

Donaldson, Gordon. Battle for a Continent: Quebec 1759. Toronto: Doubleday, 1973.

Garret, Richard. Clash of Arms: The World’s Greatest Land Battles. New York: Galahad, 1976.

Reid, Stuart. Quebec 1759: The Battle that Won Canada. London: Osprey, 2003.

Images

British infantry: http://www.britishbattles.com/battle-of-quebec.htm

British ship of the line: http://rivermanundercliff.blogspot.com/2007/11/thirst-for-sail.html

Charles Saunders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Saunders_(admiral)

French infantry: http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=114993&page=5

James Wolfe: http://www.electricscotland.com/history/scotreg/mcculloch/story5.htm

Map of North America: https://21stcenturylearning.sharepoint.com/Pages/ColonialEra.aspx

Map of the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_map_projections

Marquis de Montcalm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis-Joseph_de_Montcalm

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If you enjoyed the Battle of the Plains of Abraham 1759 battle animation, you may also enjoy these other battle animations:

Battle of Saratoga 1777, another battle fought in North America during the 1700s:

saratoga preview 1

Siege of Tyre 332 BC, another battle involving am amphibious landing to seize a fortress:

tyre preview 1

Battle of the Wilderness 1864, another battle fought in North America:

wilderness preview 1Thank you for visiting The Art of Battle: Animated Battle Maps.

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. Great depiction of the Battle and very informative. It will help when we make our trip to Quebec City this year. It also helps in the understanding of the English/French connection.

  2. Ah Quebec City is a beautiful place, you’ll enjoy yourselves.

    Unfortunately this battle and surrounding events are only a small part of English/French tensions throughout the last few centuries.

  3. Is this site credentialed????

  4. Marie: The term “credentialed” is a tricky term. As the author, I am currently pursuing a Combined Honours Bachelor’s Degree at McMaster University and plan to complete a Master’s thereafter. So in a few short years, the author will have more “credentials.” The fact that the site is associated with HistoryNet and Weider History Group is a good sign if I was to argue for the site’s reliability but mere association with any organization does not guarantee reliability.

    The site cannot be considered an academic source because it is not officially reviewed by peers in the field of history.

    You should be skeptical of any source regardless of its author, credentials, appearance etc, this one included. Just because an author has a PhD does not excuse him from bias of any sense. For example, if you’re using this site as a source, do not stop your research here as bias refers not just to what is said but what is NOT said. What details are missing and why? All of the sources I consulted are listed here: http://www.theartofbattle.com/works-consulted. Many animations now feature direct citations as well in my comments.

  5. this is unnecessary information. I needed information about the quebec war, not how they attacked each other!!!

  6. Wow good post!! Thanks for sharing this nice animated video.

  7. Welll, This isn’t really what I was hoping to find but I found some really good info on the Battle of Quebec(:

  8. Solia / Alexis….

    So you went to a page NAMED “Battle of Quebec, 1759” and are complaining that it didnt have information you wanted that has nothing to do with the Battle of Quebec??

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