An armed conflict between state actors, typically for the furtherence of a political or economic aim.

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Which nations have armed prisoners and sent them to war?

I'm looking for examples of countries that have armed prisoners and sent them to war? Were the prisoners coerced, or were they offered amnesty should they survive?
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631 views

Did the USA win the counter insurgency war in the Vietnam war?

What happened in the aftermath of the Tet offensive to the Viet Cong? Was it actually broken or did it just incorporate into the North Viet Nam army? Edit: I am fully aware that the USA lost the ...
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469 views

Army formation: veterans at the first line

I am trying to understand the early roman legion deployment. I can see some advantages to putting the inexperienced warriors at the first line and the veterans at the last. But have there been ...
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2answers
961 views

Why did Operation Market Garden go ahead when the allies knew German armor was in the area?

Montgomery's ill-fated operation to capture the Rhine crossing at Arnhem was ingenious but fatally flawed. Evidence suggests that the Allies knew there were German armoured units in the town a few ...
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1answer
854 views

Captured nobles in medieval times, were they always ransomed?

Was watching the directors cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and one of the scenes had an actor playing what seemed to be a nobelman stating that he is according the privilege of ransom. While I remember that ...
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391 views

Were any of the major battle plans in WWII changed last minute by officers on the ground?

I haven't found any consistent reference to a particular battle wherein the battle plans were changed by a lower level officer on the ground at the last minute. Specifically, a major battle plan, not ...
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WWI trench tactics using shields?

Are there any records of WWI trench tactics involving shield formations similar to the example below of the ancient Testudo formation? . I imagine that it could have been successful if used to get ...
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209 views

How many recorded incidents are there of attacks on Australian soil?

There are two that I am aware of: Japanese midget submarines entering Sydney Harbour The bombing of Darwin 1942 and 1943 I am not looking for Naval battles but actual attacks on Australian soil.
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978 views

Switzerland's political isolation after World War II

Does anyone know what were the reasons of Switzerland's political isolation on the international scene after World War II and how did it manage to break out of isolation?
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485 views

Have wartime conditions traditionally decreased or increased consensual sexual activity in the young?

In joshbirk's Answer to the question Hogwarts: So why aren't the kids doing it? he claims that wartime atmosphere would decrease sexual activity in the students: Towards the end of the series / ...
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Did either of the World Wars involve South or Central America?

Were any South or Central American nations besides Brazil involved (not necessarily officially) in either of the World Wars? If any were, I'd appreciate information on their degree of involvement.
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253 views

Gengkhis Khan armor secret

Gengkhis Khan the king of the Mongolian Empire used a specific kind of cloth material for his military fatigues. This cloth material worked as an armor and was an advantage for his soldiers to win ...
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603 views

Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?

Does anyone know of any battles where war elephants played either a major or decisive part in the victory of whoever had them? As far as I know, they were mostly used for the fear factor and were ...
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How were diplomats and their staff's treated when World War II was declared?

This could be a large and varied subject so i will restrict it to the 20th century and give two instances. In Sept 39 after Poland was invaded the British diplomat in Berlin handed a note to the ...
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1answer
1k views

In WW2, which midget submarine program was the most successful?

In WW2, which midget submarine program was the most successful? I know at least Great Britain and Japan had midget submarines and used them during the course of the conflict. Which WW2 combatant had ...
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3answers
404 views

Why did Ieyasu Tokugawa oppose Hideyoshi's plan for expansion?

When Hideyoshi wanted to invade Korea, the Tokugawa clan noticeably stayed out of the conflict. What were the reasons for them doing so?
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677 views

When was the earliest recorded battle with the usage of gunpowder as an offensive weapon?

When was the earliest recorded battle (on script) with the usage of gunpowder (in any form) as an offensive weapon?
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498 views

What went on during multi-year sieges?

You hear all the time in ancient history about cities or fortresses being besieged for a year, or two years, or even many years such as the sieges of Tripoli or Carthage or Drepana. I'm wondering, ...
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2answers
295 views

Who kept noble prisoners captured in battle?

During the Hundred Years War era, noblemen captured in a battle were normally held for ransom. In such a case, who got to keep the prisoner, provide him lodgings, and receive the ransom? Was it the ...
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419 views

Have any national leaders been kept unaware of their own wars?

I've seen a number of scifi/fantasy stories (most recently the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender) in which nominally-powerful leaders are insulated from the events of their own countries by ...
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1answer
341 views

When did the practice of formal declaration of war start?

Up to world war 2, formal declarations of war was a standard way to start a war, at least between major powers. When did this practice start and why? Since when did it become a norm?
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Were there reasons for Japan to go to war with US aside from US owning Philippines?

Right after the Spanish-American War in 1898, the US acquired the Philippines from Spain. At that time, local leaders desired Philippines independence. The Philippines-American War was fought around ...
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3answers
527 views

Why did Robert E. Lee stop offensive maneuvers?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Gettysburg, after that battle Robert E. Lee stopped making offensive maneuvers and rather started reacting to Union offensives. Is this 100% true, ...
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2answers
724 views

When was the last cavalry charge?

When was the last instance of a unit of cavalry charging? I know that the Polish forces had units of cavalry during World War II and those were used against Nazi units but was there any later than ...
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786 views

Was Russo-Polish of 1919-1920 a war of independence?

What evidence is there to call the 1919-1920 conflict between Poland and the Soviet Union a "war of independence"? As for a definition of independence, I would say it is a full political, legal, and ...
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1answer
3k views

Was the UN critically involved in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Is there any evidence to show that the Cuban Missile Crisis was scaled back because of the actions of UN personnel acting in their UN role? The topic came up recently about precedent for UN having ...
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359 views

What was the first recorded use of Aerial Weapons in warfare?

Fighter planes were popularised by their extensive use in WWI. What Aerial weapons were used before that period (if any)? What is earliest recorded use of Aerial Attacking and what was the technology ...
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369 views

Were certain soldiers considered to be neutral by both sides?

Not sure how to word this... I remember back in high school learning about World War II, and I distinctly remember that my teacher made a mention that "medics would often have to clear the ...
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271 views

How was planning done before computers?

In particular, how were large-scale operations like war campaigns organized, how were logistics tracked, and how did people ensure that complex chains of time-sensitive events were carried out ...
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3k views

Why did the USA take no action to help Pakistan during their 1971 war against India? [closed]

In 1971, USA and Pakistan were known to be strong allies or were they? Why did the USA just pretend to help Pakistan and actually do nothing in the Indo-Pak war of 1971? Why did the 7th fleet not ...
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1answer
996 views

How do war elephants fight?

Do they just run breaking phalanx? Do they pull their front food and then crush enemies below? What do elephants do? Or are the fighters on top of it just shoot arrows?
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1answer
350 views

Indian account of the Battle of the Hydaspes River

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River? If so, what are they, who authored them, and how do they differ from the Greek & Roman accounts?
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4answers
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Why is there is a pan-slavic movement?

While studying the history of Eastern Europe during the last century, I found that one of the main issues was the Pan-Slavic movement. For example big events such as World War I or the current civil ...
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5answers
416 views

Is there a link between national debt/trade deficit and starting a war?

I saw in an article mentioning that there is a link between national debt and starting wars I don't recall where I've seen it mentioned to look for further references on the matter. Are there known ...
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499 views

Was the American Civil War the first to include multiple multi-day battles?

Looking at wikipedia reveals that there were plenty of multi-day battles in the American Civil War. I looked at its article on the Crimean War, which as far as I know was the previous significant ...
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849 views

Was the Minoan civilization warlike?

Generally, is believed that the Minoan civilization on Crete was peaceful and their culture was more like a culture of peace than a culture of war. But I've read an article lately that suggests that ...
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1answer
209 views

What happened to the stuff stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans?

In the year 66 CE, the Jews in Roman Palestine rose up in revolt against the Roman occupation. Four years later , the Romans sacked Jerusalem, leveled the city, killed everyone inside, razed the ...
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1answer
314 views

Was Ashoka motivated more by economics rather than religion in giving up war?

Is there any evidence to support the idea that Ashoka's aversion to war might have been due to inflationary economics rather than religion or remorse? Such as say the degradation in the value of coins ...
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1answer
171 views

Life expectancy of monarchs and its relation to stability/peace

Has there been any studies on the average life expectancy of a monarch during different time periods? If there had been, can this be used as an indicator of relative peacefulness during the time? ...
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4answers
426 views

What reasons did the Confederacy have for believing they would have a quick victory?

At the beginning of the U.S. civil war, both sides were very confident in a quick and easy victory. I can see why the North would think so: they had a better trained army, better infrastructure ...
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2answers
542 views

Why the six hour gap between British and French declarations of war?

In Britain the story (and the audio) of the events of 3rd September 1939 are so well known and Neville Chamberlain's moving broadcast so cherished that the it's strange that the French declaration of ...
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2answers
678 views

Were natural resources a primary reason for invading Romania during the middle ages-present?

When I was in school in Romania I remember my history teacher saying that historically Romania has seen a lot of invaders (referring mainly from the middle ages-present) because it used to have a lot ...
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401 views

What laws of war existed before the modern international treaties and conventions?

Were there laws governing the rules of conducting war before modern (20th century) international treaties and conventions such as the Geneva conventions? For example, were there rules regarding the ...
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4answers
1k views

What were Britain's defensive plans for a Nazi invasion?

Despite the fact that it never ended up happening, a Nazi invasion of England was kind of a common sense inevitability for a while during the beginning of World War 2. Had the Battle of Britain gone ...
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5answers
368 views

Historical examples of significant no man's lands between states in perpetual conflict

What are some historical examples, if any, of large-scale (say > 10000 km squared) "no-man's lands" between states in perpetual conflict? These states would be mutually hostile, firmly divided ...
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1answer
212 views

What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812?

The reason I'm asking is because of Washington D.C.'s location. It wasn't easily accessible by land and it wasn't easily traveled to by waterways. In what battles were the British able to get to ...
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1answer
690 views

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union?

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union? That is what the world history teacher told me. Please show your sources.
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2answers
966 views

How was Hitler able to rearm?

It seems that Germany must've been under incredible scrutiny especially by the British. How was Hitler able to rearm? Please provide specifics on personnel and weapons classes.
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459 views

Organized and intentional suicide attacks during military conflicts

First of all I want to make it clear that we're not speaking about terrorist attacks here. This question is strictly dedicated to war operations, in a dictionary meaning. Also this question is about ...
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191 views

Instances of the UN defusing serious crises

One of the reasons why the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis did not escalate into a war was due to the diplomacy of Adlai Stevenson in the UN. Are there other instances where the defusing of a serious crisis ...