On 13th September 1759, one of the most significant battles of the 18th Century was fought – the Battle of the Heights of Abraham.
The Heights of Abraham were (and still are) the cliffs above the St. Lawrence river in front of the strategic city of Quebec.
Louis, the Marquis de Montcalm - who was in charge of the French defenders of the city Quebec - felt secure because of the natural protection against a river side attack afforded by the Heights of Abraham.
And so he sent only a small detachment of French soldiers to watch the cliffs and repel anyone foolish enough to try and scale the Heights and attack
However, Wolfe found a route up the cliffs, that led to the top. When he got to the top, he found the French guard asleep and they were quickly overwhelmed.
And by dawn, Wolfe had four thousand eight hundred and twenty eight men on the top of the Heights of Abraham - west of the city.
And, of course the rest is history.
The French attacked Wolfe but grossly underestimated the force that he had led to the top and were soon in disarray.
Wolfe was mortally wounded leading his men into battle, as was Montcalm as he attempted to rally his troops.
The following day Quebec surrendered and with it, the French lost Canada
And that loss came about primarily because the French guard - at the top if the Heights of Abraham - were asleep on duty.
Had they been alert that day – Quebec would not have fallen.
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