11
votes
8answers
313 views

Is there a confirmed historic record of using “non-standard” live animals for military purposes?

Is there a confirmed historic record of using "non-standard" live animals for military purposes? To clarify, the following doesn't count due to either being standard or non-military: "Standard" ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

How well can cavalry fight infantry?

In the Battle of Pharsalus, Caesar's infantry won by throwing their spears at the horsemen's faces. So how come in Battle of Zama and many other battles, including the battle where Khalid ibn ...
3
votes
3answers
802 views

In Battle of Zama, how did Hannibal's use of war elephants lead to a Roman Victory?

Why did Hannibal attack with elephants from the front? Why not from side? Also why did the elephants just keep walking through the small gap? Why not wreak havoc in the middle of Roman troops? (like ...
-5
votes
2answers
567 views

When did polygamy start becoming illegal? [closed]

Anyone knows when the greek/roman (or anyone else) start prohibiting polygamy and why?
7
votes
1answer
563 views

How do war elephants fight?

Do they just run breaking phalanx? Do they pull their front food and then crush enemies below? What do elephants do? Or are the fighters on top of it just shoot arrows?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any research explicitly contradicting facts in Suvorov's “Icebreaker” book series claiming that Stalin intended to attack Hitler in 1941?

Viktor Suvorov is a somewhat famous ex-GRU spy who defected and wrote a series of books. The most (in)famous and sensational were a series of books on World War II, starting with "Icebreaker", which ...
4
votes
1answer
258 views

Were sailing ships of the line understaffed with gunnery crews so that there were not enough for 2 broadsides?

Is there any data to support or refute the hypothesis that sailing ships of the line were only complemented with enough gunnery crews to simultaneously fire 1 broadside but not 2? If it matters for ...
5
votes
2answers
902 views

About Naval Formations?

What are the differences between the "line ahead" and "line abreast" formations in naval warfare? Which is more likely to lead to the (advantageous) of "crossing the opponents' T" (or being crossed)?
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Is Germany responsible for World War I? [closed]

Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the war. What's their "moral" justification? Is it just, you lose so just agree with this or did Germany do something to start ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

How much armor did elephant units wear?

I often hear stories about enemies defeating elephant riders by axing the legs of the elephants. Does this mean that the commander of the elephant army did not put enough armor on the elephants' ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Are there any independent historical records of ancient Persia allowing freedom of worship for the Jews?

Starting from this claim that the king of Persia respected the Jewish' God. http://niv.scripturetext.com/daniel/6.htm The only surviving text is the Jewish text. Are there independent sources of ...
9
votes
1answer
203 views

What historical situation is comparable to what Europe is currently facing?

I know that this question might get closed, but I will try it, nevertheless. The reason why I am so interested in broad comparisons of historical situations with current ones, is because I believe ...
6
votes
4answers
522 views

Does Grant's use of attrition tactic support his reputation as a general?

In 1864, General Ulysees S. Grant began the "final campaign" against Richmond using a war of attrition. That's because of the Union's 2-to-1 numerical advantage against a qualitatively superior ...
7
votes
2answers
297 views

Did the Gallic army besieged in Alesia conduct itself well when expecting relief?

During a Gallic revolution against Rome, a Gallic army of some 80,000 men took shelter in the fortress town of Alesia, where they were besieged by some 50,000 Romans under Julius Caesar. (His army may ...
8
votes
1answer
218 views

How Did Modern Weapons Change the Dynamics of City Fighting?

In medieval times, an attacking army that had breached the walls/outer defense of a city, could enter it and overrun the defenders at relatively little cost. A major modern exception was the battle ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

There are books and articles about the Soviet submarine K-129 and the USS Scorpion in 1968, with various stories of attempted nuclear attacks and reprisals. Is there a factual narrative about these ...
9
votes
3answers
635 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

Why do people (governments) hang on to the idea of East and West?

The Idea of "East and West" was originated in the (nowadays Middle East) during "Trojan" times. The meaning of "East and West" changed since then but the "Western" governments (and by default, Eastern ...
2
votes
1answer
586 views

What Were the Main Causes of World War One? [closed]

It would appear that the very root of the cause of WWI was the assassination of the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne. To me, this is an incredibly odd reason to start a world war. Was the war as ...
7
votes
1answer
294 views

What cultures have had a lasting effect on Sicilian culture?

Considering that Sicily has been inhabited by multiple empires/peoples native Sicilians/Italians tribes and communes Greeks (partially) Carthaginians (partially) Romans Ostrogoths (very briefly) ...
3
votes
1answer
918 views

How was the literacy rate of Americans impacted by the establishment of public schools?

I've heard that people in the United States were mostly literate before Government took over education and literacy rates have been on the decline since. I haven't been able to find any proof of this ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

How beneficial were war bonds to the US during WWII

I've been watching classic cartoon shorts from Disney and Warner Brothers. So many devoted time to encouraging Americans to buy war bonds. Did money collected from war bonds amount to a significant ...
12
votes
2answers
707 views

Did the Egyptians understand the importance of the brain?

I remember hearing recently that new research has suggested that the ancient Egyptians did not view the brain as a useless organ, and had a reason for disposing of it in the manner they did. I can't ...
15
votes
1answer
451 views

What happened to all the french guillotines?

Quoting Wikipedia: "The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How unfavorable were the terms of Germany's “surrender” in WW1?

The First World War ended when an armistice was signed between the Germans and the Allies. At that point, while Germany had no realistic hopes of winning the war, they had no enemies within their ...
4
votes
1answer
494 views

Is there a Greek myth of Poseidon “dating” his daughter in the form of a dolphin? [closed]

On Saturday Night Live, there was a skit in which Greek god Poseidon said that he took the form of a dolphin and raped his daughter. Do we have literary or other evidence for such a myth? It might ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...
12
votes
3answers
879 views

How did former Spanish colonies in the Americas become so fragmented?

If we only consider countries that are connected by land, there are 16 Spanish speaking countries in the Americas, totaling 11,301,072 km2 in area. That's only slightly larger than Canada (9,984,670 ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Who discovered cancer in mummies?

Who was it that was responsible for the discovery that there are mummies found with cancer as the stated cause of death? And which Pharaoh or Pharaohs was it found in?
7
votes
1answer
179 views

What is the source of the error regarding the origin of the number zero?

What is the source of the historical error that the zero was from the Middle East and not where it is really from, namely India?
12
votes
5answers
416 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
606 views

Did JFK win the presidential election by fraud? [closed]

Based on sources such as Chicago Tribune, Encyclopedia Britannica, Slate Magazine and many other books, it is said that JFK's father played a significant part in making him president. In the book, "If ...
1
vote
2answers
325 views

Best books on the politics behind WWII [closed]

What are the best books on the politics leading up to and during World War 2? Thanks Edit: Just wanted to add that I just realized that reading biographies of the people involved with the politics ...
38
votes
6answers
4k views

Which came first: polytheism or monotheism?

It seems a common position that monotheism tends to evolve out of polytheism. Wikipedia offers a few historical examples of this. However, many polytheistic religions seem to have monotheistic ...
13
votes
2answers
250 views

How did Quebec transition from French Law to English Law?

When Britain conquered Quebec at the end of the Seven Years War, Quebec began a transition between French law and English law. How did that transition occur?
9
votes
3answers
161 views

Were there any political checks on the U.S. executive during their covert support of the military junta of Pinochet?

U.S. secretary of state Kissinger- with the support of the executive- actively supported the overthrow of Chilean president Allende in favor of the military dictatorship of Pinochet. After the fact, ...
6
votes
1answer
344 views

What is the most widely accepted theory on the ancient “Sea Peoples”?

There are many theories as to who they are the wiki has SIX. What is the most widely accepted theory on who the ancient Sea Peoples are?
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How did Alexander III of Macedon get the title “the Great”?

Alexander III of Macedon is referred to as Alexander "the great", but who gave him this title? At what point in history was he acknowledged as such and why is he considered so great?
23
votes
3answers
989 views

What was the status of Arab Christians during the crusades?

Did Arab Christians take an active role in the crusades in the Holy Land or at any point on their trip to the Holy Land. Or were they victims of the crusaders? Did the crusaders typically ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What effect did tanks have on warfare strategies upon their introduction?

After the introduction of the tank in WW1, what effect did their introduction have on how battles were carried out, and strategies were formulated?
11
votes
1answer
322 views

What were the original casualty projections for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

I remember hearing several times that the bombs dropped on Japan were a lot deadlier than expected. What were the original projections for casualties for both and how much less than the actual ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Tarim Mummies origins and theories separating fact from fiction

Is there any conclusive evidence of where the Tarim Mummies originate from? What were these "westerners" doing in China? The theories I have heard are that they are the fore bearers of the Kazaks or ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization?

Which country is recognized or documented as having the first prominent civilization? After reading so many articles, I couldn't determine which country should be acknowledged as having the oldest ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

What Factors Contributed to the Success of Certain “Long March” Strategies?

In the middle of the 100 years' War, France's Bertrand du Guesclin reportedly used "countermarch" tactics successfully against the English. Another example was General National Greene's "March to the ...
18
votes
2answers
541 views

What were the demographics and economics of South-East Asian islands around year 1400?

Background: Prior to the arrival of the Europeans on the scene, the island chains in South-East Asia, specifically in the area of today's Indonesia, Philippines and neighbouring states, housed a ...
27
votes
4answers
4k views

What was the religion of the Arabic people before conversion to Islam?

What was the dominant religion of the Arabic people when Prophet Muhammed started the Islamic religion?
13
votes
3answers
440 views

What was Libya's form of direct democracy (Jamahiria) like in practice?

I've been following the recent events in Libya and I learned about the Green Book, which outlines Gaddafi's vision for a democratic socialism. Published in 1975, it proposed a form of direct democracy ...
12
votes
3answers
673 views

In what way and to what extent did the USSR exert influence on Mongolia?

I am asking this in relation to a comment by @Wladimir Palant on my answer to another thread. In his comment, Wladimir compared Mongolia to the Warsaw Pact countries in being heavily influenced by the ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

What was the purpose for Kaiser Wilhelm's visit to Jerusalem?

What was Kaiser Wilhelm's (and it seems his forebearers) stated reason or purpose for their custom of visiting Jerusalem? Also, why where the anarchists trying to kill him?
27
votes
3answers
2k views

What knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Alexandria?

Of course we'll never know for sure, but do historians have some reasonable ideas about what knowledge may have been lost at the Library of Serapeum of Alexandria, when it was destroyed by the Decree ...

15 30 50 per page