6
votes
3answers
639 views

Was the battle of Stalingrad “unique” in the annals of history?

I'm referring to the fact that BOTH sides ordered their troops to fight for the city "to the last man and last round." (Hitler). The Soviet Union's General Vasili Chuikov echoed this by saying "We ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the biblical apostle James visit Ireland?

I remember reading in a magazine that the biblical apostle James the Greater visited Ireland 400 years before Saint Patrick. Is it true that he went on a mission to Northern Ireland? Forgive me if I ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?

Who were the Hun people who made several appearances in Eurasian history? Were they Finno-Ugric, Paleo-Siberean, Mongolic or Turkic? Were the Hun who attacked Roman Empire extensions of the Xiongu, ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Why did Shostakovich not release his 4th, but did release his 5th symphony?

Why did Shostakovich not release his 4th, but did release his 5th symphony? (The 4th was released eventually, just not when it was written)
7
votes
1answer
271 views

How extensive was the slighting of castles in the English Civil War?

Wikipedia states During the English Civil War many castles and fortified houses were slighted by the Parliamentarians to stop them being used by the Royalists. Most of the destruction was in ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What Are the Dynamics of A “Forced March?”

In the "Art of War," Sun Tzu opined that if you put your army on a forced march of a certain speed, you will lose one-third of your troops along the way. A rough rule of thumb was that an army would ...
6
votes
3answers
920 views

Was Alexander the Great ever an emperor?

Why is it that in the many biographies of Alexander the Great, the lands where he ruled over is his "empire", but he is only a "king of Macedon"? Was he ever recognized in or after his time as an ...
7
votes
3answers
257 views

How historical are early Chinese (Shang dynasty and earlier) dynastic records?

Early Chinese dynastic records look like actual history in some places (in particular the exact dating of reigns, back to and including the Yellow Emperor). Elsewhere, there is clearly a lot of myth ...
0
votes
2answers
175 views

For Alexander, what were the incentives of expanding to the west vs to the east? [closed]

For Alexander, what were the incentives of expanding to the west vs to the east? If Alexander would have decided to go westwards, would it be as successful and rewarding in comparison to his ...
5
votes
3answers
792 views

What evidence connects Aaron Kosminski to Jack the Ripper?

I realize that in 2014, a writer claimed to have solved the Jack the Ripper case naming Aaron Kosminski as the ripper. Although many seem to dispute the claim that DNA evidence linked Kosminski to ...
9
votes
4answers
732 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?
9
votes
1answer
130 views

What is the history of the use of word dividers in Greek?

In my understanding, Ancient Greek was usually written with a vertical line or three vertical dots separating words. This was phased out in favor of scriptio continua (continuous script) and ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

Why did the USSR switch from 1524 mm gauge to 1520 mm gauge in the late 1960's?

This article mentions that Russia started with a 1,524 mm rail gauge, and in the sixties and seventies, switched to a 1,520 mm rail gauge with tighter tolerances. Why do this? If you want tighter ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any evidence of arachnophobia in ancient history?

Are there any sources that would tell us whether (any) ancient Greeks or Romans were afraid of spiders?
-3
votes
1answer
229 views

Why is there less public attention on the firebombing of Japan compared to its atomic bombing? [closed]

Virtually everybody has heard of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the firebombing of Japan is nowhere near as well known, or talked about, at least by non-Japanese. Why is there ...
22
votes
9answers
30k views

Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?

Shields were considered useful in Europe until the development of full plate armor. Despite the fact that they never had anything comparable to plate armor, shield use was apparently abandoned by the ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Were non German soldiers treated differently than German soldiers in the German army during the Great War?

For some reason I cannot find reliable source about that. Germany's population were in majority German, but there was also Frenchs in the west, Danes in the north, Lithuanians, and Poles in the east, ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

What is the first recorded instance of the lo-shu square?

The lo-shu square (洛書) is a 3×3 grid of numbers, usually written as dots: Legend traces its origin to the legendary Yu the Great (大禹) or Fu-hi (伏羲) ~3000 years ago, but I'm interested in ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

Why did the Japanese Navy convert Kaga to an Aircraft Carrier?

The IJN ordered 4 Amagi class battlecruisers (Amagi, Akagi, Atago, and Takao) and 2 Tosa class Battleships (Tosa and Kaga) to form the "Eight-Eight Fleet". All ships started construction between 1920-...
1
vote
0answers
172 views

What did Thomas Mann yield in negotiations with Nazis in 1933?

The following is from the article on Golo Mann (1909 – 1994) in the German Wikipedia (translation courtesy of Google Translate). Golo Mann was the son of German novelist and 1929 Nobel Prize in ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why did the French insist on reclaiming Indo-China after WWII?

After WWII France was in rebuilding mode, and yet they insisted on trying to reclaim Indo-China. It would seem that in the new world order this did not make much sense for a country that was trying to ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the best historical example of conflict between two cultures with differing levels of technology? [closed]

Let me start with some background, in fiction authors like to explore situations where the human race meets another civilization. As a rule of thumb both races in one way or another - sometimes after ...
7
votes
2answers
937 views

Why did Ancient Pueblo peoples build their homes in cliffs?

The Ancient Pueblo peoples are known for their cliff dwellings found throughout the American Southwest, in places like Mesa Verde, Bandelier, Montezuma Castle, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Why did ...
5
votes
3answers
900 views

Why didn't Romans fight in a single line formation?

I read that historically, Romans fought in checker board formation, composed of 3 lines. But I play Rome Total War and in the game, that deployment means a nice recipe for high casualties. In the game,...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Did any Antarctic expeditions use coal?

During the "Heroic Age" of Antarctic exploration (roughly 1890 to 1920), did any expeditions use coal as a fuel or heat source? I'm not just asking what they carried while walking in the interior, I'...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Why did Emperor Constantine believe he was a instrument of God?

I recently watched a lecture by a professor at Yale who mentioned Constantine's belief that he was a instrument of God, but the academic doesn't really explain why Constantine believed he was an ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Were any fortified castles self-sufficient in food?

I read here and there about sieges of fortified castles which lasted extended lengths of time (two years for instance). Was there any castle in Medieval Europe that was self-sustaining? By self-...
6
votes
1answer
242 views

What were the factors that caused debtors' prison to disappear in most parts of the world in the 20th century?

Debtors' prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. As recently as the mid 19th century, it was a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Debtors' prison started to ...
-2
votes
1answer
540 views

Hitler And Nazism - Did Hitler ever express remorse over killing? [closed]

I know at least some journals of prominent party members have been uncovered, so I was wondering if any kind of consensus can be reached on the emotional state/the real reasons behind Hitler's actions?...
4
votes
1answer
741 views

How did Chinese sausages come about?

In the west, sausages have a lengthy history. According to Wikipedia: Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and most likely with the ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

What was used to pay taxes in Medieval England [closed]

Was coinage issued by the Kings (Queen) used to pay taxes in Medieval England? If so were these silver or gold coins or base metal ? And how did the use of tally sticks fit into the tax system
9
votes
7answers
905 views

Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, pretty early ...
0
votes
4answers
494 views

Why didn't the senate of Carthage reinforce Hannibal in Italy?

During the second Punic war, Hannibal Barca fought in Italy for 14 years, and yet the Romans managed to bring the war to Africa. How is that possible, especially after battles such as Cannae? If ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

What sort(s) of identification were used before driver's licenses were issued in the US?

In the United States, before driver's licenses became a nearly universal means of identification (i.e., before autos), what form of identification was routinely used? For example if one was arrested, ...
9
votes
1answer
827 views

Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?

I recently stumbled upon an article in the now-defunct lit mag Black Table in which the author establishes the un-cited claim that Hitler had designs on making Lincoln, Nebraska the new headquarters ...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

Why does the rooster symbolise France? [closed]

The Gallic Rooster is widely used as a symbol of France. However, there are a number of conflicting sources on how it originated. The French embassy in the USA states that the rooster originated ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

History of terrorist organizations designations/undesignations by Israel

In 1948, Israel passed the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, which allows it to officially designate organizations as terrorists in the Official Gazette. What organizations have been designated this ...
54
votes
8answers
13k views

Why did the USSR give Crimea to Ukraine?

In 1954 Soviets transferred Crimea from Russian Soviet Republic to Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Why is this strange? The whole act, at least officially, was meant to be "a gift", a token of friendship....
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Where in Basel was the first Zionist Congress held in 1897?

The Zionist Congresses were held in Basel from 1897 (the first congress) until 1899 (third congress), and many of the congresses after that were also held there. Where in Basel, exactly, was the "...
4
votes
2answers
885 views

When was the last time (if ever) an elector was faithless in US presidential elections?

With regards to the ongoing US presidential elections, I just read this on electoral-vote.com: Could There Be Faithless Electors? Presidential electors are supposed to vote for the person who ...
1
vote
2answers
247 views

At what point in time did Judaism become popular? [Pre Christianity]

When did Judaism become popular in the ancient world, and what caused it to spread faster at that point in time? (ex: Christianity had its spread assisted by Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire)
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Were Korean and Tibetan rulers ever styled as 'sons of heaven'?

Chinese dynasts adopted the term "Son of Heaven" or "Son of [the god] Tian" (天子) during the early Zhou period around the turn of the 1st millennium BCE, and continued using it until the overthrow of ...
13
votes
7answers
716 views

Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Was there human sacrifice in ancient Crete?

Excavations on the hill of Kydonia, near Chania in Crete, where the third largest palace of the Minoan civilization was, revealed a small area fenced by rocks in the yard, with many animal bones and ...
9
votes
3answers
11k views

Why did Mongolia split in two when they declared independence?

When Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Empire in 1911, part of it stayed under Qing control. This is the part known today as Inner Mongolia. But even before their independence, there were "...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Does written language change language more than oral tradition? [closed]

I'm not sure if this is a right forum, but I didn't find better from SE. I wonder if it is researched how much development of writing systems affects to language compared to languages that are not ...
26
votes
1answer
952 views

How did people react to Cavendish bananas when they first replaced the Gros Michel strain?

I was reading that the bananas we eat today (Cavendish) weren't particularly popular until the 50s, when the more popular Gros Michel variety was virtually wiped out by a nasty disease. Apparently ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Place and/ or plane identification

I am trying to identify both the place and the type of plane in this photograph. My father is inthe centre middle row (William Bone), who as far as I know stayed around Leeds during the war - I ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

British royal titles for regions not in Britain

Royal titles for the British aristocracy seem to be associated with regions within Britain, particularly England; such as the Duke of Cambridge or the Princess of York. Were there ever royal titles ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What percentage of Jews were in “finance” (money-lenders) throughout Middle Ages?

The stereotypical image of a Jew in Middle Ages (and the portrayal of them) was of course "the money-lender". From Ivanhoe's Isaac of York, to Shakespeare's Shylock, to "Проклятый жид, почтенный ...

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