9
votes
1answer
625 views

Latest recorded government sanctioned use of scaphism or cyphonism (torture)?

Scaphism, also known as "the boats", and cyphonism both seem to involve smearing an individual in honey and exposing them outdoors to insects for a prolonged period of time as a form of torture. ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

During the Second World War, did the Germans expect that Japan would declare war on Russia?

As I understand it, Germany did not make war with America on the condition that Japan joined the war against Russia. Was this because they thought that Japan would attack Russia anyway? If so, what ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

How tall were the Jerusalem temples?

There were two temples in Jerusalem. I've seen conflicting statements about their heights. So this is a few questions in one: What was the average height (from the foundation) of each of the two ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Why was California admitted as one big state rather than split up?

In this answer, Mark points out that when California was admitted to the Union as a free state, that changed the balance between free and slave states, leading to the Compromise of 1850. Why indeed, ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Did East Asian responses to the Spanish Civil War divide along 'party lines'?

Did Chiang Kai-Shek and Hirohito, and other leaders of China and Japan, see any parallels between the Sino-Japanese war and the Spanish Civil War? Did Chiang make any message of support for the ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Would Plutarch be considered a historian by modern standards?

I've been reading his "Parallel Lives" and it's clear part of the goal is to tell how some fundamental characters lived, so people can know their stories, but the other part is to set and reinforce a ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

What is the origin of the Flower of Life symbol?

I have been collecting resources and tracing the history of the Flower of Life geometrical symbol, since it contains great properties of many kinds: While the oldest occurence in Abydos, Egypt has ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Why did the north and south struggle to control the territories before the American Civil War?

Why was it even important to them that one extra state would be added to their collection? Couldn't they just let Kansas and Nebraska decide for themselves under the doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty"? ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

The first use of submarines, and the appearance of “modern” submarines

The first submarines surfaced (excuse the pun) during or around the American Civil War. The question I have comes in a few parts: Did the submarines seen in the American Civil War prompt any change ...
8
votes
1answer
308 views

What percentage of men, ages 18 to 35, from the northern states served in the Union Army?

In my genealogy research, I can assume with some certainty that if a white southern family had sons born between 1835 and 1846 there is a pretty good chance that all of them will have served in the ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

During the Normandy landings, were any German naval assets brought to bear against the Allies?

I know the allied fleet suffered heavy losses during the operation: Naval losses for June 1944 included 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries sunk, and a further 120 vessels damaged. ...
18
votes
11answers
7k views

What was the ratio of German to Soviet losses on eastern front during different stages of the war?

I've read somewhere that the ratio of Soviet to German casualties on the eastern front was 1.4 for the whole war. But what about data for different stages of the war? (this ratio wasn't constant after ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What exactly is this 1795 German “Berichte” Document?

I came across this document on Google Books and I am trying to interpret exactly what it is. Title: Berichte Published 1795 from the Bavarian State Library 24 pages My root question is "What is ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Seafarers provisions items

What is the composition of seafarers provisions? I'm thinking about XIX century. What they had taken with them for a long trips? For example - for just travelling light trip from glasgow to magellan ...
0
votes
1answer
645 views

On Washington's Farewell Address

Here is a question from CollegeBoard's practice APUSH exam... I'm having trouble answering it. Washington's Farewell warned against the dangers of international alliances and the formation of ...
7
votes
2answers
228 views

How prominent were taverns in medieval Europe?

Taverns as defined as a 'commercial establishment in the business of selling alcohol'. I'm aware that taverns existed in some parts of Europe during the late medieval period, but I don't know quite ...
3
votes
2answers
455 views

Why was Woody Woodpecker a “natural” hit during WW2?

Woody Woodpecker "with his innate chutzpah and brash demeanor, ... was a natural hit during World War II. His image appeared on US aircraft as nose art", Wikipedia says. Why was Woody Woodpecker a ...
8
votes
2answers
515 views

How did the Romans build straight roads that stretched very long distances?

I once read that the Romans were masters of building roads that stretched long distances in a straight line like the Fosse Way road in Britain. I never thought much of it until I watched Canada & ...
51
votes
3answers
8k views

When did bombs actually look like this?

I guess most are familiar with the cartoonish "bomb icon". It is used to warn of metaphorical or literal explosive danger and shows a deep black sphere with a smaller cylinder attached. That is where ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Has the U.S. Navy ever commissioned the building of a warship overseas?

Many foreign navies have commissioned foreign shipyards to build warships and submarines for them. Most recently, Russia purchased to amphibious dock landing ships from France (that sale is currently ...
7
votes
1answer
285 views

What is the mark next to the hallmark on this silver object?

I got an object which is either made of silver or silver-plated (as far as I can see), and while studying the hallmark I noticed another mark close to the hallmark. At first I thought it was nothing ...
7
votes
7answers
564 views

At what point did Soviet armored units have qualitative parity with Wehrmacht armored units?

Was the T-26 a match for the Panzer II,III, and IV in the early stages of Barbarossa? The T-34 has been given a lot of credit as the tipping point where Soviet technology created a weapons platform ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

How “excellent” were relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people?

Major Colin Powell, investigating on the massacre at My Lai, concluded that "relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent". Surely in the case of My Lai they were not, ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

Identification of ship and seaplane type

Can anyone give clues on the type of ship and seaplane and the time frame?
43
votes
7answers
6k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in ...
13
votes
3answers
244 views

In the USSR, what if any was the formal, ideological response to the Cultural Revolution in China?

How did the USSR parse and explain an ostensibly uber-communist movement which was dedicated to overthrowing the leadership of the country's communist party? Did they see this as 'Trostkyism', or some ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Did the Chinese Develop Steam Engines Prior to the 17th Century?

I vaguely remember seeing a documentary on the history channel that was discussion on ancient Chinese technology. The basic theme of the program was that China developed many industrial technologies ...
42
votes
5answers
1k views

How accurate or supported is Jared Diamond's “Guns, Germs, and Steel”?

Jared Diamond wrote a fascinating book that purports to explain, in a very broad way, the development of civilization. It has several explanations for the development of Eurasian civilization rather ...
14
votes
3answers
717 views

What do I need to know about Syria's history to understand the 2011-2012 uprising?

Syria is in the news a lot lately due to the current uprising, but it's not a country that many people know much about. It can trace its history back to the origins of civilization, and as a result ...
3
votes
1answer
691 views

Aircraft identification

I am trying to identify the aircraft in the picture here. I know it is a U.S. Army Air Corps training aircraft from World War II, and I'm guessing its an AT-6. But I can't find a comparable photo ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Did the ancient Chinese use an ink covered finger to sign documents?

I saw some film that in imperial China, Chinese who doesn't know read and write often push his/her finger in ink then apply it in the document instead of signing. Is that true in history? Because I ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Was the site of Rome and Constantinople chosen for featuring “seven hills”? [closed]

Both Rome and Constantinople were located on seven so-called hills. Rome was capital of the Roman state, and maintained that status into the imperial era; Constantinople was founded as a new capital. ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Did a capital ship ever hit anything with a torpedo?

It seems WWI and inter-war ship designers went a bit torpedo mad, both in their fear of them and in their use, finally coming to their senses in the harsh realities of WWII. I've seen many examples ...
9
votes
2answers
281 views

What is the current location of the “Cauldron of Trun and Chambios” from August 1944?

I am trying to document my grandfather's participation in World War II, and have come across a letter written by a German military official informing my grandfather's parents that their son is missing ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Did De Gaulle really say “I am France” (Je suis la France)?

My great grandpa always told me WWII stories and he always told me De Gaulle said that, however, I can't find any reliable source for it. I have a book stating that supposedly he wrote that in a ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

French WW 1 infantry field uniforms

In the photo below, my grandfather is photographed center with another 29th Division soldier during World War I and a person on the left whose uniform I cannot identify. Is it French? My grandfather ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

What did farmers/laborers use for boots before modern rubber existed? [closed]

The need or usefulness to protect one's feet while doing certain duties in farming, heavy labor, and the like (such as construction with pointy things and hard edges everywhere), I am assuming has ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Why weren't aircraft carriers utilized during D-day?

Why were aircraft carriers not used during and following D-Day? They could have added a great deal of range to the air support operations.
0
votes
2answers
166 views

Cult related law made in US

Was there some law formed in US after Jonestown mass suicide, regarding religious or such kind of clique/sect/cabals? or what actions were taken regarding limiting and monitoring cult activities by US ...
10
votes
3answers
512 views

Did WWII Delay Indian Independence?

During WWII, Gandhi said that Indians should adopt a compromising attitude towards the British due to the stresses of war. Did this prolong the (near) inactivity of the Indian National Movement? Or ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Historical use of alcohol as a source of clean water

I've heard that there were two common methods to disinfecting water in the past: boiling water or turning it into alcohol. Presumably, those in the East relied on boiling water, while those in the ...
1
vote
2answers
664 views

Was swastika really a popular symbol among Slavs and/or ancient Indo-Europeans?

It seems to me that many Russian nationalists and neo-paganists currently believe that swastika was a Solar symbol or a symbol of fortune in ancient Slavic folklore. There are multiple paintings by ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Primary sources from Umayyad times

Background Most narratives about the events during the Umayyad rule come from sources that were compiled during the succeeding Abbasid rule. Since the Abbasids came to power through armed ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Was the communication between Spitfire and other fighters' pilots encrypted?

If machines like SIGSALLY were occupying so much space like in the picture above, were the pilots' communication encrypted or somehow obscured in order to prevent the enemy from eavesdropping on the ...
-2
votes
1answer
105 views

How were little children dressed in medieval times?

So I wonder how did people dress their children for simple things in medieval times. What kind of clothes? Were there real clothes (pants/shirts) for (normal/poor) children? Or were some random ...
10
votes
2answers
308 views

Which were the last castles to be besieged and fall in the United Kingdom?

Which were the last castles to be besieged and fall in the United Kingdom? I'm separating the two in case a castle was besieged unsuccessfully most recently.
20
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
919 views

Which single car accident in history caused the most deaths?

I was looking for the answer to this question. It brought me here, but the closest question was [closed]. The most that I am aware of was when driver Pierre Levegh's race car killed 83 spectators at ...
14
votes
12answers
6k views

Why does Europe have so few skyscrapers compared to East Asia?

The European Union has virtually no skyscrapers except the newly built 'The Shard' in London. There are also a series of newly-built state-funded skyscrapers in Moscow. On the other hand if you look ...
12
votes
2answers
250 views

Did the bounty on bin Laden ever get paid?

Osama bin Laden famously had a $25m bounty for action or information leading to his killing or capture. Was this ever paid out following his killing in May 2011? If not, how was the money budgeted for ...

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