12
votes
5answers
3k views

Why did the Soviet Union's economy grow fast in the 1950's-1960's?

Communist economic systems self-implode. Today it has been recognized that Communism is bad for economic progress. There is no dispute that Communism makes countries poor based on what has happened in ...
1
vote
4answers
468 views

What is the reason of Mongol Empire success conquering that huge territory?

I found out that Mongol Empire had around 100,000 soldiers on the field. Most of them were cavalries and they had great battle tactics. Isn't that figure however a bit low to conquer and control ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

I'm looking for the number of soldiers the Mongol Empire had at the time of Genghis Khan. What percentage of them were ethnically Mongolians?
1
vote
2answers
610 views

Why weren't Baden, Würtemberg and Bavaria independent states ever restored? [closed]

The southern german states of Baden, Würtemberg and Bavaria were independent states until 1871. Their historical background is quite different from the northern Germany which was dominated by Prussia ...
0
votes
2answers
189 views

Were naval mines an underutilized weapon in WW2? [closed]

Why did the Germans (and Allies for that matter) not devote more energy to the mining of enemy controlled waters (in the Med, British and North American waters for the Germans and Med, Baltic and ...
8
votes
2answers
256 views

Was there any time in non-recent history where it was fashionable to wear ripped clothes?

For around past 30 years it's popular to wear ripped jeans. Was there anything similar in history, when ripped or otherwise heavily worn clothes were popular and considered fashionable?
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Machine gun specs in WW1 [closed]

I know that machine guns were a vital part of world war 1. I know that they were mainly used in the trenches as fixed position weapons. However, I would like some specifications about the machine gun ...
5
votes
3answers
683 views

What is the most noteworthy defection of a member of the Nazi party to the Allies during WWII?

During WWII, before it became clear the Nazis were going to lose, is there any especially noteworthy examples of a member or members of the Nazi party defecting to the Allies? I'm aware noteworthy is ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What percentage of British and American troops were involved in direct combat with enemy in World War II

How large a proportion of British and American troops were involved in direct combat with the enemy in World War II? What was the casualty rate among those men?
15
votes
4answers
780 views

What would be accurate illustrations of vikings and viking culture?

Vikings didn't have horned helmets as is often depicted. Where can I find accurate representations how vikings and viking society looked?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How did commoners in late medieval to early modern Europe learn to read?

Literacy in the early Middle Ages was very low, but as I recall, by the time of Reformation quite a lot of commoners could read. Even if they were not very good in reading and writing, by the 17th ...
4
votes
1answer
292 views

Does the reversal of the ribbon on a military medal (South Africa / UK; WWII) carry meaning or is it simply an error?

My father was showing me his father's WWII medals for service in the South African military. Having found images depicting the official order of wear I noticed that some had reversed ribbons. I ...
6
votes
1answer
809 views

How did historians sync up historical dates of different cultures? [closed]

How do people know, say, that some specific event happened in China 1200 BC? Or the Mayans did something in AD 150? Back then, didn't they all use a different calendar system?
2
votes
0answers
130 views

When did lecherousness, in Western Culture, become a primarily male quality, instead of a female one? Or is that not true? [closed]

When did lecherousness, in Western Culture, become a primarily male quality, instead of a female one? According to TvTropes: I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Very much Newer Than They Think. In ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

Can the University of Bologna be considered the first university in the world?

There are usually two different opinions: the first group considers the University of Bolgona to be officially the first one, some others instead claim that there might have been other groups of ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Need help interpreting “silver” hallmark - 1706?

I'm looking for some assistance in interpreting the silver hallmark in the image below. EPNS tells us it's not real silver, could 1706 really be the true date with that in mind? What does the ...
-3
votes
2answers
767 views

Why didn't the ancient Egyptians conquer an empire? [closed]

If we look for example to Romans and Greeks we will find that they had great empires, they invaded a lot of countries and established civilizations outside their countries. Why didn't ancient ...
4
votes
2answers
996 views

Stalin cultivated a “Friend of the Children” image: Why? Did other communist/socialist leaders do the same?

Part of Stalin's cult of personality was his promulgation of a "Friend of the children" image. What was the reason for this? What other communist or socialist leaders also used this tactic? (I ...
27
votes
2answers
772 views

Which war games did Napoleon practice with his generals?

I have read that Napoleon actively used to play strategy games with his generals in order to understand how they act in a range of situations. The generals also learned the same thing about each ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How did Churchill and Stalin intend to translate the percentages in the “Percentages agreement”?

In "percentages agreement", Stalin and Churchill allegedly divided Southeastern Europe to sphere of influences of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. According to Churchill's account quoted by ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Are there any theories about what health problems would a man of the past suffer in the current age?

Thinking about the problems which the natives of the Americas suffered when they met the Europeans, I wondered how a man of the past could survive in the modern age. Problems could be caused by ...
3
votes
2answers
531 views

How did Napoleon I succeed in France despite his shortcomings in French?

TL;DR. My question: The following sources onfirm that despite Napoleon's industry and perseverance, he never refined his French to the level of a native fluent speaker. So how did he succeed in ...
5
votes
1answer
297 views

What is 'real socialism'?

I have been assigned a monograph about the countries of real socialism. While I understand the topic and have been successful at writing up the work, I am having difficulty in finding a definition for ...
-2
votes
1answer
118 views

How did Americans' hatred of taxes shape the country up through the Gilded Age? [closed]

It is clear that many Americans hated taxes and that it was one of the causes of the Revolutionary War. However, the effect of taxes shaping America after Independence up until the Gilded Age is not ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Why did the Dutch, French & British acquire minor colonies in South America?

We know that South America was partitioned between Spain and Portugal in the early days of empire when Spain and Portugal were the major powers. Later, in the 19th century, when Spain and Portugal ...
12
votes
3answers
386 views

The Purpose of Mystery Object 40.9.11

In the summer of 1915, a wireless telegraph station in Sayville, Long Island owned by the German company Telefunken was caught sending covert commands to U-Boats patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. The ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Was there a battle were Russians forces rallied around a religious icon to achieve victory?

I remember on my last visit to Moscow, there was an incredible art piece where a group of priests carrying orthodox icons are surrounded by soldiers with spears and swords. I remember the legend ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Is there a painting from before the colonization of the Americas depicting travelers from far away visiting European nobles?

Is there a painting from before the colonization of the Americas depicting European nobles being entertained or given gifts by travelers from far away places, such as sub-saharan Africa or India? I'm ...
10
votes
2answers
776 views

How did galleys battle?

Until the late 16th century, galleys were the main battleships. They were then started to be replaced by larger galleons, as the galleons could carry much bigger cannons with the developed technology. ...
9
votes
1answer
149 views

Who were the Deer Touchers?

About 20 years ago I read an article in a periodical (can't remember which periodical) about a tribe of natives (I believe they were North American) who had a tradition of touching live deer. They ...
9
votes
2answers
964 views

Did Mountbatten favour India in partition of India-Pakistan?

Christopher Beaumont's said that Mountbatten pressured Radcliffe to change the boundary in India's favour. See this BBC article: The documents repeatedly allege that Mountbatten put pressure on ...
1
vote
2answers
224 views

Who was the highest ranking spy ever? [closed]

I wonder who was the highest ranking government official working knowingly and clandestinely for a foreign government. Two nominations are possible: Traitors A citizen of country X working ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Usage of German camoflage during World War II

Although most do not know this, Germans used camouflage during the war. The grey uniform was only ceremonial. However, they are pictured without the camo 99% of the time so I'd like to ask, during ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did families in 6th century Mecca send their babies to be raised in the desert?

Biographies of Muhammad mentions that in his early childhood he was looked after by a wet-nurse Halimah, from a few days after his birth until he was 4. It seems customary for Meccan families to do ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Names of articles worn by men of ~11th century European nobility

Would anyone be able to name the articles of clothing that would usually be worn by men of noble status in Europe around the 11/12th century CE? A general answer would suffice, as I realize that ...
8
votes
3answers
310 views

Identification of ship and seaplane type

Can anyone give clues on the type of ship and seaplane and the time frame?
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Employment statistics in Germany since mid-19th century [closed]

What is the most reliable source of employment statistics in Germany? I am interested in the time period starting from mid-19th century all the way to present days.
11
votes
1answer
56 views

Was the Church of St Simeon the Elder at Aleppo built while Simeon was still alive or decades after his death?

I recently read in Diarmaid MacCullochs 'A History of Christianity' that the pillar dweller and hermit, Simeon had a church built around him, almost like a "living exhibit in a Christian zoo". However ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

What factors contributed to the U.S economy flourishing during the early cold war period?

Wars, cold or otherwise, are bad for economies, right? So why did American capitalism flourish during the early cold war period (shortly after World War II)? I think there are several positive ...
6
votes
2answers
293 views

How/why did Plzeň become the “armourer” for Austria-Hungary?

In 1938, Nazi Germany coveted (the modern) Czech [Republic] in large part for its Skoda Works which produced something like one-quarter of the arms and ammunition used by the Third Reich. From what ...
1
vote
1answer
850 views

Why did the jews leave Israel and spread out through the world? [closed]

When and what lead jews to leave Israel after the Roman conquest and spread out through out the world?
6
votes
2answers
176 views

Why have wheat and rice been consumed in different forms?

Historically, wheat has been ground into bread, while rice has been boiled and consumed in "granular" form. Corn has been consumed both ways, "on the cob," and in corn bread. Why is that?
2
votes
2answers
740 views

Legacy of the May 1968 Paris riots

As you may be well aware, France has had a notable number of riots, uprisings and revolutions in the last 250 years or so. I believe it the Fifth-Republic has been in existence for approximately 50 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Were Shakespeare's plays written for “high culture” or “entertain the bawdy masses” during his time?

Currently, the plays of William Shakespeare are viewed as great English literature, and viewed as "high culture". However I heard someone say that Shakespeare was writing "bawdy, violence filled plays ...
2
votes
2answers
593 views

Did the turret shown in this picture belong to a German battleship? [duplicate]

As @Lennart Regebro observed in an answer to another question, while the gun turret shown in the picture above is claimed to be German and from WWI, it doesn't look like German gun turrets. Yet, ...
7
votes
4answers
490 views

Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

In his letter to Charles V, Hernan Cortes states that "it was only necessary to threaten to return them [the natives] to their native masters in order to make them serve the Spaniards very willingly." ...
14
votes
1answer
265 views

What was done to improve the safety of jousts after the death of Henry II?

While jousting in a tournament to celebrate his daughter's marriage in 1559, France's Henry II received a splinter in the eye, and died not long afterwards. According to Wikipedia, this marked the ...
9
votes
1answer
463 views

What were French actions against Germany during September 1939?

In Poland "Phoney war" is treated as betrayal by UK and France, who only declared war against Germany and did not perform any other actions. This combined with Soviet attack on 17th September is said ...
3
votes
4answers
440 views

Why are only the Normandy landings referred to as D-Day?

Thinking about the anniversary of the Normandy landings, I was struck that the terms D-Day and H-hour were used to denote the start time of all allied military operations. Are there any specific ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

In 1858 during Italian unification, the Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, Cavour, entered into an alliance with France. In return for French aid against Austria, Cavour ceded Savoy and Nice to ...

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