17
votes
3answers
6k views

Are there any records that indicate a submarine vs submarine battle?

I am aware of only one which is the U-864 was sunk by the HMS Venturer but that was when both were being submerged -- according to wikipedia. Is that accurate? Which battles did happen between two ...
24
votes
2answers
7k views

When did homosexuality become unacceptable in Europe?

In the ancient greek world male homosexuality was common and didn't attract the same scorn as it did even 100 years ago. So 2,000 years ago, it was acceptable, and 100 years ago it was unacceptable. ...
25
votes
10answers
8k views

Why wasn't the Republic of Ireland invaded (by either side) in WW2?

Ireland was neutral in WW2, however it was never invaded (by either side). How come? Why wasn't Ireland invaded by the UK to prevent the Germans invading? Why didn't germany invade ireland? It would ...
2
votes
0answers
145 views

Were Pope John Paul I's views anything that could imply a support for contraception? [closed]

Pope John Paul I was a short lived pope (only 33 days). There are rumours that he was assasinated. Someone told me that he was quite liberal (as catholic popes can go), and some of his ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

How were dagger axes used in battle?

During the Chinese warring states, weapons knowns as dagger axes were used and there is a wide body of evidence that those were common at one time -- so so I believe. Is there any record of fighting ...
8
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How did a besieged city/castle defend itself vs. catapulting diseased dead bodies into it?

I was a bit shocked to read that diseased dead bodies/animals where catapulted into besieged castles/towns. Biological warfare in the middle ages. But this "method" of warfare had probably a lot of ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

What was the life expectancy of an ancient roman child and adult?

I'm assuming the average life expectancy of a Roman did not change very much between 500 BC - 500 AD (?), as there was probably no significant progress in medical knowledge or nutrition. Do historians ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What factors contributed to earlier democratic states failing?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the superior form of government. If this is true, then factors might have contributed to earlier democratic states like Athens in 500 BCE and the Roman ...
49
votes
3answers
14k views

How did Israel win the Six-Day War?

Considering Israel fought several Arab countries, which had troops largely outnumbering the Israeli, how did they manage to win the war decisively, with much fewer casualties than the Arab countries? ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

Are the Xibe people the same as the Manchu?

Xibe people living in Xinjiang are Qing dynasty colonists in the region. They clearly speak the same language as the Manchu did, which bears a question: Are the Xibe and Manchu people the same ethnic ...
14
votes
1answer
370 views

What set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the other border checkpoints in Berlin during the Cold War?

How did "Checkpoint Charlie" become known as the border crossing between East and West Berlin? Out of the countless border checkpoints, what set Checkpoint Charlie apart from the rest for defectors?
0
votes
1answer
514 views

Historically accurate WW2 simulation [closed]

Does anyone of a good and historically accurate large scale WW2 simulation? This could be either a computer or board game. Note: I am not sure if this should be on topic, of instead of downvoting if ...
9
votes
5answers
630 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

When and why did war chariots stopped being used?

Many cultures (Egypt, Celts, etc...) had war chariots either as mobile platforms or as troop transport. What other advance in warfare made them obsolete?
8
votes
1answer
593 views

What are the origins of the Shinto religion?

Shinto's recorded history is typically dated to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, but most sources suggest that oral traditions go back much further than this. What evidence is there to support this - ...
38
votes
3answers
2k views

What was the typical peasant's diet like in Europe during the High Middle Ages?

I know that wheat, barley, rye, onions, lettuce-like plants and turnips were common but how common were other things like meat or cheese? I've heard the "plowman's lunch" was a concoction of the dairy ...
3
votes
1answer
319 views

How was Australia able to start to demobilize in 1944?

Frank Welsh's mammoth history of Australia, Great Southern Land notes that From June 1944 ... the Australian government began demobilising its soldiers. Welsh doesn't go into detail but I'm ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Which 11 countries were democratic in 1941?

Relistening to the BBC's History of Democracy broadcast in July 2011. The historian on the show talked about the low point for democracies being 1941 when there were just 11 parliamentary democracies ...
5
votes
1answer
149 views

Is there any evidence of Edward VIII trying to influence the UK Government?

Edward VIII was King of the UK, however he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorced woman. Someone told me that the "real reason" was that he was trying to influence the UK government and/or ...
15
votes
2answers
422 views

Is the “youth bulge” hypothesis an evident explanation for imperialistic/rebellious historic movements and genocides?

The "youth bulge" hypothesis says that whenever the proportion of young men in the population was very high, their unhappiness with their future prospects - i.e., their inability to get jobs and ...
12
votes
1answer
947 views

How frequently were homing pigeons used in the World Wars?

It seems that the strategic weight of specially breeded pigeons is much higher than I thought at first, based on the number of pigeons used and the effort to stop them. (In WW2 Germans even trained ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What was the reason for inflation in Britain after the Black Death?

According to the Wikipedia article Ordinance of Labourers 1349 During this outbreak [of Black Death], an estimated 30-40% of the population died. The decline in population left surviving workers ...
9
votes
1answer
257 views

How did Magnus IV of Sweden come of age at 15?

According to the Wikipedia article Magnus IV of Sweden Magnus was declared to have come of age at 15 in 1331. This caused resistance in Norway, where a statute from 1302 made clear that kings came ...
15
votes
4answers
584 views

Where and how did the concept of “incorporation” originate?

Wikipedia states that "The alleged oldest commercial corporation in the world, the Stora Kopparberg mining community in Falun, Sweden, obtained a charter from King Magnus Eriksson in 1347". Is this ...
42
votes
11answers
10k views

When were swords last used in European warfare?

Specifically, I'm interested in the last documented occurrence of swords (of any sort) being used as a primary weapon by infantrymen or cavalrymen in Western warfare. That is, when did any European or ...
8
votes
1answer
390 views

Evidence of cross contamination between Japanese and Western sword fighting styles?

Are there any documented cases of cross pollination between western sword fighting techniques and Japanese ones? Such cross contamination could have happened during the Sengoku-jidai. This period ...
5
votes
1answer
432 views

When did blade fuller appear?

A fuller is the rounded or beveled groove or slot in the flat side of a blade which make the blade lighter -- not as some suggest a blood groove. When did the practice start? I suspect it was a ...
10
votes
1answer
435 views

Was the Battle of Tours really the turning point for the Umayyad expansion into Europe?

Considering how far the Umayyad Empire had come into Europe, and their defeat at the Battle of Tours could they have pushed further into Europe? Did Tours really stop their advance or were there ...
8
votes
1answer
558 views

Who started the “katana is the soul of the Samurai” meme?

Samurai used to be defined by their ability to use horses and bows in the early history of Japan. This moved to using the sword, first tachi then katana. Within the Tokugawa period, the katana ...
12
votes
1answer
421 views

Who was the first military force to use teppo (guns) in mass battles during the Sengoku-jidai?

Oda clan used guns to great efficency against the Takeda clan but which warlord (or faction) used them for the first time? I seem to recall that some of the sohei order had access to firearms and ...
9
votes
1answer
488 views

During the Sengoku-jidai, what were shinobi (aka ninja) used for?

During the Japan Sengoku-jidai, several clans of shinobi were recruited by various war lords to help their military campaigns. What were they primarily used for? Was it covert espionage, ...
10
votes
1answer
219 views

Who compared giving women the vote to giving cows the vote (& in what context)?

I recall hearing (in History class) that when women were campaigning to get the vote, some (powerful?) people suggested that if women were given the right to vote, you might as well give the vote to ...
15
votes
3answers
372 views

What were the origins of Etruscan Civilisation?

Given the differences between Etruscan civilisation and other Italian peoples of the same period, is the conclusion that Etruscan civilisation was autochthonous sensible?
26
votes
6answers
15k views

Where did the Gaels originate?

The origin and spreading out of the Celtic peoples is a topic shrouded in mystery, at least to my mind. While the Germanic migrations occurred during the late Imperial Roman period and Early Middle ...
14
votes
1answer
856 views

What really happened to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel is a well-documented semi-historical legend in Jewish history, and appears in sources from a number of ancient cultures. The factual history however, seems to be shrouded ...
11
votes
5answers
527 views

Why did non-monarchic rule meet with so little success in ancient China?

In the ancient world, the states around the Mediterranean were ruled by various forms of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, each of which had varying levels of success. Meanwhile, in China, monarchy ...
12
votes
1answer
244 views

What historical evidence do we have regarding the Lost Colony of Roanoke?

In grade school, Americans are told a very basic story of Roanoke colony. A group of colonists arrive in the New World and establish the colony. The first American of English descent is born there: ...
10
votes
4answers
216 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.
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Why didn't Moldova unite with Romania?

Towards the collapse of the USSR, nationalism rose in Moldova. Nationalists proclaimed the linguistic and ethnic identity between Moldovans and Romanians. It seems that they strove toward unification ...
8
votes
1answer
307 views

Was it worthwhile for Britain to side with the USA in the Canada-Alaska border dispute?

In 1903 the Canada-Alaska border dispute was decided by a tribunal of 3 American members, 2 Canadian members, and 1 British member. The British member sided with the Americans with the stated goal of ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the Cold War still going on? [closed]

Do any historians consider the Cold War, or Cold War II, to be going on? I'm asking because some features of the Cold War still exist, such as an antagonism between Russia and the Western world, and ...
3
votes
1answer
628 views

Why did Arthur Philip decide to move to Port Jackson two days after arriving in Botany Bay?

This wikipedia article on Botany Bay suggests the following reason: Governor Arthur Phillip sailed the Armed Tender Supply into the bay on 18 January 1788. Two days later the remaining ships of ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Third Reich? What were the other two? [closed]

Nazi Germany is widely called the Third Reich. But what were the First and Second Reich then?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Was the Roman Empire based on a 'plunder economy'?

It has been stated by Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke that: The economy of the Empire was a Raubwirtschaft or plunder economy based on looting existing resources rather than producing anything ...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

When did the practice of formally “declaring war” cease and why?

Here's a detailed description of ambassador Neville Henderson being received by the foreign ministry in Berlin in 1939. Perhaps the most famous example. He came in looking very serious, shook ...
5
votes
2answers
422 views

What was the significance of the term “Lollard” in describing religious dissenters? [closed]

When John Wycliffe's followers gained support from the common people, why did the church call them Lollards? What does Lollard mean? Why didn't they just call them Wycliffites?
17
votes
3answers
32k views

Why did the Federalist Party collapse?

The Federalist Party in the United States was a significant political force during the early years of the United States' history. Wikipedia doesn't really cite reasons why the party declined and ...
11
votes
3answers
947 views

What wars were started when an indebted country refused to pay?

For example, France invaded Mexico (both times) when Mexico stopped some of their payments. What are some other examples?
28
votes
2answers
10k views

Why did the French sell Louisiana?

Why did an imperialistic country like France (at that time) sell a territory so large for so cheap? Was it an important region at the time? I heard that the port of New Orleans was particularly ...

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