An armed conflict between state actors, typically for a political or economic aim. Use this tag for specific wars.

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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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5answers
373 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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2answers
645 views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...
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1answer
218 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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2answers
1k 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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3answers
489 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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4answers
311 views

Has there ever been a war between members of a personal union?

A personal union occurs when two otherwise independent states (each with their own territories, governments, etc.) come to share the same monarch. Has it ever come to pass that two member states of a ...
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2answers
193 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 ...
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6answers
4k views

Which arm was the shield held in?

I'm asking a question elsewhere and I'm sure I've heard some historical text to back this up as well as sound reasoning: you want your strongest arm to stop yourself from getting killed by using a ...
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3answers
763 views

How do modern historians evaluate Sherman's “Total War”?

A major element of Sherman's march to the sea was his army's burning southern farms and cities. The rationale for what Sherman called "Total War," approved by Grant and Lincoln, was that it would ...
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5answers
440 views

Historical examples of energy wars

Energy sources and resources like oil and coal are vital for the survival of modern civilizations. Are there any good historical examples of wars, or low intensity armed conflicts, over the control ...
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1answer
2k views

What was the reason for the Ottoman invasion of Otranto?

In 1480, the Ottomans invaded Otranto and briefly occupied it. However, it didn't seem that the city was strategically important or held particular value to the Ottomans, nor did they seem to follow ...
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2answers
374 views

What was the final result for France after the Napoleonic wars?

What I'd like to know is if the final outcome of the wars was ultimately beneficial for France. In territorial terms. Did it manage to keep some territorial gains? If the question isn't clear be ...
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1answer
213 views

What are the top 5 bloodiest battles in terms of British casualties?

I have done a bit of research and it seems the Somme, Towton and maybe Bannockburn are up there? Any more to throw into the mix? Great site by the way!
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2answers
393 views

How much armor did elephant units wear?

I often hear stories about enemies defeating elephant riders by axing the legs of the elephants. Does this mean that the commander of the elephant army did not put enough armor on the elephants' ...
5
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1answer
129 views

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? [duplicate]

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? Expansionist policies don't count although use of debt as a justification would be interesting.
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2answers
167 views

Where can I find financial data for the first world war? [closed]

I want to analyse the first world war on the financial aspect. Here are some of my questions. Which countries borrowed money to win the war? Where were weapons manufactured? Where can I get ...
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2answers
225 views

When has a military force used their own people as human shields?

I am looking for instances/examples (and sources) throughout history of times an army used it's own people as a buffer between itself and an opposing force. While it is fairly common for an army to ...
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1answer
1k views

Sources for letters written during the Boer Wars

For a project at my school i need to make a 'letter home' of a canadian soldier that participated in the second boer war. I need to draw from primary sources and im not having luck finding any. so ...
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0answers
191 views

What effort did the Luftwaffe make to prevent Operation Torch landings in North Africa 1942? [closed]

Did the Germans know about the Operation Torch landings in late 1942 and if so what steps were taken in particular by the Luftwaffe to intervene?
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3answers
1k views

In Battle of Zama, how did Hannibal's use of war elephants lead to a Roman Victory?

Why did Hannibal attack with elephants from the front? Why not from side? Also why did the elephants just keep walking through the small gap? Why not wreak havoc in the middle of Roman troops? (like ...
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3answers
536 views

What started the Korean war?

Is it true that the catalyst was a conflict about a tree right on the border? I heard it from a teacher at a US university as he was teaching a course about nation-states in and out of war.
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6answers
317 views

How do nations maintain sovereignty over conquered nations?

After the battle of Hastings, William defeated the English with ~7000 men. What I don't understand fully, is how an army of 7000 can maintain control over England, which had around 1.7 million people ...
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4answers
135 views

How accurate is Russell on liberalism versus fanaticism in war?

After the second world war, reflecting on the rule of empiricism versus various kinds of dogmatism in political philosophy, Bertrand Russell writes (Philosophy and Politics, 1947; emphasis mine): ...
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3answers
254 views

What was the dominant Soviet strategy for invading Germany in the 1980's?

Through archives and doctrinal publications, was there any bias towards attacking NATO through the North German Plain, the Fulda Gap, or something else?
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2answers
502 views

How could a chariot work against a phalanx?

During Battle of Gaugamela Darius now launched his chariots at those troops under Alexander's personal command... Those chariots who made it through the barrage of javelins charged the ...
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1answer
257 views

Is the Sri Lankan Civil War really over?

I was wondering whether the Sri Lankan Civil War, which officially ended, would technically considered to be still ongoing, since there are still clashes going on to this day. Would this classify as a ...
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1answer
382 views

Was the Taiping Rebellion the deadliest war of the 19th Century?

According to Wikipedia: With no reliable census at the time, estimates are necessarily based on projections, but the most widely cited sources put the total number of deaths during the 15 ...
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1answer
114 views

Origin of the “Tartar” troops in the First Opium War

During the First Opium War, on the march to Peking, many of the battles that occurred did not involve Chinese soldiers, but fighters that the British described as "Tartars," being vaguely described as ...
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1answer
170 views

What was the custom/consensus regarding irregular combatants 19th century?

Immediately prior to the battle of Sedan, the German soldiers who captured the town of Bazeilles executed a number of armed civilians who had been firing on German troops that day. This happened in ...
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1answer
195 views

3rd party (foreign nationality) forces active in Iran-Iraq war?

During the 8 year war between both countries many other 3rd party countries were involved too, in both supplying arms and experts, but I'm faced with claims of a major number of foreign soldiers being ...
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2answers
184 views

To What Extent Were St. Augustine's Just War Principles Used In The First Crusade?

The question is mostly self-explanatory; however I want to state I have read a few books so I am aware of abuses and also some of the origins of the Crusade. So what I am really asking for is ...
4
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1answer
255 views

In the British Invasion of Greece, what happened to the British troops who were not captured?

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-forces-arrive-in-greece I also was wondering what happened to the soldiers who were not caught, if any? Where did they go, and what happened to ...
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1answer
902 views

Why was the Bay of Pigs invasion unsuccessful?

Goal of The Bay of Pigs invasion in April,1961. was to overthrow Cuba's president Castro. It was totally unsuccesful and counter-revolutionary military, trained by CIA was defeated in just two days. ...
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1answer
215 views

How often did kings give land to their sons?

During the middle ages, how often did kings give land for their sons to govern? In particular sons who were not heirs or even far in the line of succession. If they did give land would it be small ...
4
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1answer
215 views

Has the US Congress's power to declare war been rendered superfluous by recent conflicts?

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the Congress of the United States formally declared war on Japan. After Germany declared war on the United States, the Congress then formally declared war on ...
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0answers
186 views

Did defeated countries pay their war bonds? [closed]

This related question approaches how beneficial war bonds were to US during WWII. I would like to know what happen with war bonds when a country is defeated. What did happen in similar experiences? ...
4
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2answers
194 views

How significant was the US military role during the NATO campaign in Libya?

The NATO campaign in Libya was started by the UK and France, and the US was later also involved. How significant and vital was the US assistance in this campaign? Edit: I am primarily interested in ...
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8answers
2k views

What caused the turning point in Hundred Years' War?

At school I have learned that the English had upper hand in the war until Joan of Arc convinced the French king to give an army under her command to besiege Orléans and since then, the French forced ...
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4answers
531 views

Why is the Spanish-American War not called the Spanish-Cuban-American War?

Cuba was at war with Spain since 2/24/1895. In fact, it was the third war against Spain for their independence. US arrived to the war in 1898, after the Maine's explosion. Very wise when Cubans had ...
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5answers
605 views

In current times is it impossible to win a war if the people of invaded country are determined not to lose? [closed]

When the United States lost the Vietnam war, the Vietnamese showed another face of war: With a big difference of power, the weaker country can win. This is happening again in Afghanistan and in ...
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3answers
464 views

Are there wars still going on, but officially ended? (found two) [closed]

I am curious if are there any wars still going on because of anomalies of diplomacy like the following examples: Rome vs. Carthage, 264BC - 1985AD, Since Carthage was destroyed, there were no ...
3
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2answers
653 views

Throughout history, how many wars have there been between Russia and Japan?

Do both countries have a particluar hot spot that existed in the past, and if so, does it still exist now? Have their wars historically been bloody or transient, and are they now considered "friends"? ...
3
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2answers
214 views

Why did Syria intervene in favour of the Maronites during the Lebanese Civil War?

From pg. 382, A History of the Modern Middle East by Martin Bunton and William Cleveland "The [Lebanese Civil War] was expanded and then brought temporarily to an end by Syrian intervention. In ...
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2answers
2k views

Why did Spain trade Florida to the British in exchagne for Havana?

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. wikipedia Why did Spain trade Florida ...
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2answers
243 views

Medical personnel fighting on the battlefield

How common was it for Red Cross medical personnel to take part in military action on the battlefields (in both World Wars)? How was this received by the combatants (friendly and enemy)? The question ...
3
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1answer
227 views

What killed Takeda Shingen?

What killed Takeda Shingen? A sniper's bullet? Illness? Old wounds? A combination of the above? Why is the cause of his death shrouded in mystery? Did the Takeda try and keep his death secret or ...
3
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1answer
319 views

How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino?

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the eventual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie "Kagemusha", the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
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2answers
402 views

When did the Pakistan army used tank for the first time during the 1971 Bangladesh war?

I would like to know the first recorded case of usage of tank in the Bangladesh war which took place in 1971.
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3answers
141 views

Why was Luodian important in the Battle of Shanghai?

In the middle of the 3-month long Battle of Shanghai, the small town of Luodian on the outskirts of Shanghai saw some of the heaviest fighting. After Japanese troops made successful amphibious ...