12
votes
4answers
4k views

Could The Soviet Union have continued fighting World War II without Caucasus oil?

In 1942, Germany's Fall Blau was initially aimed at capturing or interdicting shipments of oil from the Caucasus to the rest of the Soviet Union. Even though armies were diverted to Stalingrad and ...
43
votes
9answers
40k views

Why did the Western Roman Empire collapse but not the Eastern Roman Empire?

There were several crises in the “late” Roman Empire. For once, the crisis of the Republic, which resulted in the creation of Principat and later Dominat. This crisis may be related to the fact that ...
10
votes
3answers
584 views

Was the German Empire responsible for the advancement of German technology?

After the creation of the German Empire in 18 January 1871, there was a boom of advancement in Germany. Especially in chemistry, motors and electricity. At the same time Germany quickly grew as an ...
6
votes
0answers
81 views

How did the European and international left react to the Cafe War?

During Algerian decolonization, one episode was the Cafe War, when the mainstream Algerian independence group FLN and the communist MNA killed each other's members. This left several thousand dead in ...
5
votes
2answers
540 views

Why didn't the Romans use the army to repel the siege of Rome in 410? [duplicate]

I would like to know why the Romans, the emperor Honorius in this case, didn't use the Roman Army (i.e. Legion). According to the Notitia Dignitatum, there were still many Legions around the Western ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What are those X in top of the flag?

Well, I was wondering. What are those crosses in the top of the flag when we visualize military battleplans? For instance, take a look in a map of the Battle for El Alamein: The Free French ...
2
votes
2answers
479 views

How was iron obtained in ancient times? [closed]

Today we have advanced machines to mine iron, but it was not so a millennium ago. How did our ancestors locate the presence of iron deposits, mine them and make weapons out of them? How did they ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Will someone help me understand the following quotation about Calvinism?

Okay, working on some class notes for school, and I stumbled upon a sentence which seems like it's in another language to me in the text: "To Luther’s emphasis on the individual’s relationship ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

Must scopes have revealing reflections? [closed]

This is my first post in History. I hope this is a good stack for my question, as I see a lot of posts related to military hardware. If not, well, let me know. Are there any documented cases of lens ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Why were rockets not popular as part of artillery until 20th century?

Why were rockets not extensively used throughout the world like cannon until the 20th century? Maybe one may ask the reason for pointing out 20th century. I guess it's fair enough after thinking about ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

What is the usage of a small wash-house in Versailles during Louis XIV times?

I was searching for the usage of a small construction on the edge of the Versailles Castle gardens (the stone thing on the left on the picture below, one of the gates (Saint-Antoine) is on the right): ...
5
votes
1answer
338 views

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

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Napoleon's exploits in 1785

Napoleon Bonaparte being commissioned Second Lieutenant at the age 17 in French Artillery, returned to Corsica. Given his French Allegiance, why did he join the resistance movement while still ...
2
votes
3answers
219 views

Did the proto-Indo-Europeans displace or overlay the pre-existing European tribes?

The various proto-Indo-European groups which entered European in the 2nd millennium BCE replaced local languages very thoroughly. Basque and Sami might be remainders of pre-PIE people's languages. ...
8
votes
3answers
411 views

Has any US President served in a government position with a foreign nation before or after their presidency?

Has a person elected to the US Presidency ever held a government position in a nation besides the United States? I think any government-related role would be an interesting answer. I think the ...
0
votes
1answer
261 views

Who inherited from the pre- World War II German states?

The German states (aka Länder) have been completely reshaped after WWII and I wonder: Which current German states inherited laws and state-owned property from the former pre-WWII states? In states ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

What are the modern names of the nations mentioned in Ystoria Mongalorum?

Giovanni Carpini in his Ystoria Mongalorum lists as factions under the dominion of the Mongol Empire: Nations that have been subjugated: Meniti Colona-Thorati Sassi Thoas Sarthi ...
4
votes
7answers
719 views

Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a major conflict with a long string of battles. Has it led to any innovations in 19th-century warfare? It has been pointed out that it may have been the first ...
4
votes
0answers
127 views

The influence of the second catilinarian conspiracy on the fall of the Roman Republic? [closed]

When studying Roman history during the first century BC, one of the prominent events mentioned is the second Catilinarian conspiracy, wherein Catiline seeks to overthrow the Roman Republic through a ...
9
votes
1answer
668 views

Did the Safavid rulers require all subjects to convert to Shi'a Islam?

On one hand I've read that Shi'a Islam was the only religion allowed in the Safavid empire. On the other hand, the empire contained parts of Armenia and Georgia, but Armenians and Georgians are ...
7
votes
1answer
347 views

Did Viet Nam suffer a famine any time during the 1980s? And if not, how close was it to famine?

Wikipedia claims that In 1988, Vietnam suffered a famine that afflicted millions. But its only citation is this 1988 NYT article that mentions "famine fears". A 2002 Economist article states ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Gregório Amúrrio: dates of birth and death

Gregório Amúrrio was a Franciscan missionary in California during the late 1700s. He was one of the five original missionaries to Alta California, and the co-founder of Mission San Juan Capistrano. ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Napoleon ever say «On s'engage et puis… on voit»?

Lenin in his "About our revolution" cites Napoleon as saying «On s'engage et puis… on voit». Loosely translated that is, "One jumps into the fray, then figures out what to do next", or "You commit ...
4
votes
1answer
808 views

How did people clean their teeth in the past? (Greco-Roman to medieval age)

How did people clean their teeth in the past? How in these days the tooth decay was faced?
9
votes
3answers
9k views

In the British empire, what was the difference between a Governor General and a Viceroy?

In the many colonies of the British empire, it seems that the rulers of some were known as Governors General and others were officially titled as Viceroys. Was there a practical distinction between ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are there no photorealistic paintings from the old days? [closed]

As proven by many recent examples, some people can develop their drawing skill to such a level as to produce drawings that are difficult to distinguish from photographs. Yet much of historical art is ...
6
votes
2answers
313 views

When and where was the first naval gunnery school/college established?

While I have found that the first naval battle including ship mounted cannon occurred in 1338. It would seem that the use of such weapons did not turn the tide of the battle. Further reading brought ...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

Destruction of iconic structures in wars of the 20th century and later

I was thinking about this question I just asked, and I wonder whether the potential destruction of such an iconic building is even a realistic fear. Has there been any incident of deliberate ...
9
votes
1answer
376 views

Where was the U.S. president when Captain McGonagle was awarded?

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Great Wall of China Controversy

Until several years ago the eastern end of the Great Wall of China was considered to end at Shanhaiguan where the wall goes into the sea, but the Chinese have revealed (in 2009) new portions of the ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Have Paralympics been the specific target of boycotts?

Prior to Sochi, have countries completely or partially boycotted Paralympic games as a political protest in and of itself, without it being the follow-on of the Olympics being boycotted? Non-example: ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

When did challenging to a duel cease to be a practice in English culture?

In the Aubrey Maturin series of novels, there are at least two scenes where the protagonists are challenged to a duel: Post-Captain - Aubrey and Maturin about Aubrey's reputation with the Admiralty ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

What was Lester B. Pearson's motivation for instituting Canada's 40 hr. work week?

Back in the 1960s, Lester B. Pearson instituted Canada's 40-hour work week as well as 2 weeks vacation and a new minimum wage. However, his motivations for doing so at that time are not clear to me. ...
1
vote
1answer
257 views

What lead some nationalities to be the butt of bestiality jokes? [closed]

Some nationalities (for example New Zealand and Wales) are the butt of jokes about bestiality, especially with sheep. What lead to this?
-3
votes
1answer
353 views

Alignment of South American and Egyptian Pyramids [closed]

I don't remember when and where I hear, but I remember something like this: several pyramids in Egypt are aligned with pyramids in South America . That is, in South America are several (if correctly ...
4
votes
1answer
266 views

What is the origin of Gladiatorial Games?

There are several accounts of Gladiatorial Games being organized during the Roman period, but are there any indications that they existed before the Romans? Please include references.
23
votes
2answers
952 views

When did the term “Nationality” first come into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? By ethnicity?

When was the term "Nationality" first came into use? How did ancient civilizations refer to themselves? When we refer to Ancient Civilizations, did they consider themselves a nation in the modern ...
3
votes
2answers
279 views

Ratio of population to military size throughout European history? [closed]

I realise that this is a fairly broad question, but I am trying to get a sense of the ratio between the total population and the size of the military that societies could support at different times ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did Japanese samurai disembowel themselves?

Japanese samurais were known to commit ritual suicide by stabbing themselves in the belly. Why? Why not hang themselves? Cut their own throats? Does Japanese culture view disembowelment differently ...
-5
votes
1answer
158 views

How were genocide perpetrators able to succeed in public after WW2? [closed]

[Source:] Reinefarth went on to live a normal life similar to other Holocaust perpetrators living in West Germany including SS-Obersturmführer Strippel from Majdanek concentration camp,[4] and ...
6
votes
2answers
562 views

Scaffoldings on Taj Mahal?

I recently came across this picture (removed now, look at wiki article instead), saying that it is a scaffolding erected during WW2 over Taj Mahal to protect it from Japanese Air Force. Even the ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Did Germany have treaties imposed upon it after WWII that mirrored the weight of the Treaty of Versailles?

After WWI, the treaty of Versailles became the rallying cry for more extreme political forces in Germany, as it's terms were blamed for the countries hardships, and as an insult to the country itself. ...
4
votes
0answers
114 views

Visit of Greek philosophers to Rome in 155 BCE

In 155 BCE a delegation of three Greek philosophers arrived in Rome on a political mission (to negotiate the settlement of war fines). During their stay they succeeded in raising Greek philosophy to ...
2
votes
1answer
451 views

What is the average price, in silver, for a loaf of bread through history?

I would like to build a graph for the price of a loaf of bread based on exchange of silver. My research has shown that some items or commodities have remained very consistent when priced against other ...
16
votes
4answers
757 views

How can prices be compared over time?

I've just asked a question where Tyler Durden wrote in his answer that paper was expensive at Euclids time. So I wanted to ask the question: How did the price of paper / papyrus develop over ...
14
votes
2answers
845 views

Did ancient miners have ways of predicting ore/stone deposits before the 19th century?

When miners in the ancient world went looking for materials in the earth, like gold or iron, did they have ways of predicting where those might be found? For example, we now know that diamonds are ...
6
votes
2answers
400 views

Freedom of speech under Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, a philosopher king, took steps toward free speech (wiki): The emperors permitted free speech, evidenced by the fact that the comedy writer Marullus was able to criticize them ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Have Germany and Poland ever signed a peace treaty after WWII?

I met a shocking (for me) information, that Germany and Poland have not signed a peace treaty after the World War II. Because I could not believe this, I performed some research. In the Potsdam ...
3
votes
2answers
239 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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
166 views

Why was Benedict Arnold liked by the Tories but scorned by the Whigs?

[Source:] ... In the winter of 1782, Arnold moved to London with his second wife, Margaret "Peggy" Shippen Arnold. He was well received by King George III and the Tories, but frowned upon by the ...

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