11
votes
2answers
455 views

Have the current polar ice caps receded further than those that existed before the beginning of the last Ice Age?

Has science been able to determine from the geologic record how our current ice caps compare to those that existed before before the beginning of the last Ice Age? If so, how do they match up? (I ...
19
votes
2answers
424 views

What is the basis for the argument that the true believers in Juche died in the N. Korean famine?

I have just read an article (in Russian) about the most recent weird news from N.Korea: women are (again) not allowed to ride bicycles. After you've finished splitting your sides with laughter, allow ...
10
votes
3answers
448 views

Were there any German operations to destroy supply routes in the Persian corridor in WWII?

Germany used its naval fleet to stop allied arctic supply route to the USSR. Were there any German operations, in Iran and Iraq (who were pro-German) to throttle allied supply routes through the ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Did the Soviet Union know when DEFCON levels changed?

The US military uses a scale of alert readiness called DEFCON, with DEFCON 5 being the lowest alert level and DEFCON 1 being the highest, preparing for imminent nuclear war. At least once during the ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

'Sub rosa' council meetings

Wiktionary's etymology of the term sub rosa reads: The rose's connotation for secrecy dates back to Greek mythology. Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, the god of love; he, in turn, gave it to ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How do functionalists explain the fact that Holocaust continued until the very end of the war?

While I haven't read Goldhagen or scholars with a similar viewpoint directly, I frequently encounter the following argument that seems very Goldhagenite to me: "The Germans tried to murder Jews up ...
10
votes
1answer
203 views

What happened to Frederick II's library?

The emperor Frederick II was, among other things, a very learned man who wrote a highly regarded book on falconry. Presumably, he would have had a sizeable library. Is there some mention of his ...
3
votes
0answers
176 views

Ted Nugent and draft dodging

I've asked whether this is in scope: Are draft-dodgers in scope?. I'm not sure,but I'll crack on anyway. Too what extent did Ted Nugent dodge the draft for Vietnam. He certainly did receive ...
12
votes
2answers
603 views

How did Napoleon evade the British fleet and return to France?

After the defeat of the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in 1798, Napoleon's army was cut off in a far away and hostile country. One year later, after eluding the British fleet, he made it safely ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Has the existence of a matriarchal society really been discredited?

I always thought that there was proof of the existence of matriarchal society in the ancient times but apparently, according to Wikipedia this hypothesis is mostly discredited today. Why? Wiki cites: ...
9
votes
2answers
416 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
13
votes
6answers
8k views

Is there a civilization that never believed in God in the ancient times?

I'm not obviously talking about small groups or individuals but about an actual civilization that never believed about the existence of a supreme essence. Is atheism just a modern concept?
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Who invented the first flag?

An answer on this site claims that the first flags were heraldic flags used in battles. But when was this, and for which nations?
12
votes
2answers
298 views

First time the sail ship technology took off

At what point in history did the sail ship technology take off for the first time? And by that I mean sail ships that significantly eased trade across water and which got produced in significant ...
7
votes
1answer
653 views

Why Antarctica was never conquered before the advent of the modern men?

Citing wikipedia: "...the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Heads of state convicted in international court

From this BBC News article: Taylor became the first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes by an international court since the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after World War II. What ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Did the Celts really go into battle naked?

Yes, this of-repeated tale was reported by the Romans all the time, but it sounds a lot like rumor. Stuff the victors write about their former enemies, "they were so stupid, they went into battle ...
0
votes
1answer
536 views

Are the Neanderthals a subspecies of Homo sapiens or not? [closed]

For some time, scientists have debated whether Neanderthals should be classified as Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, the latter placing Neanderthals as a subspecies of Homo ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did Jefferson have to 'Stretch the Constitutional Breaking Point' for the Louisiana Purchase?

Because the U.S. Constitution did not explicitly grant the president the power to purchase territory, when the 'Now or Never' moment came to purchase the Louisiana territory, he had 'stretched ...
5
votes
0answers
615 views

Why has bidet use not spread to the northern countries of Europe? [closed]

As wikipedia states, the bidet is quite common in southern European countries (in Italy for example, it is found in 95% of households), in the Middle East and in East Asia. Conversely, bidets are ...
12
votes
2answers
318 views

Why didn't mercenary combat after the middle ages lead to the collapse of the ruling class?

The structure of society and warfare were closely connected to each other in the feudal system. The land belonged to the crown, the king assigned it to lords in return for military service, and in the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. My sense is that the Romans developed their system autochthonously, probably with some influence from their Etruscan neigbours and one-time-overlords. ...
9
votes
4answers
826 views

Isn't there any positive legacy of the Mongolian occupation in Russia?

In the BBC radio 4 series The Wild East, the history of Russia after the Mongolian occupation is described as if all the bad things happend subsequently had been caused by the legacy of that era. ...
38
votes
9answers
72k views

Why were Spain and Portugal neutral / not invaded in WWII?

Why weren't Spain and Portugal involved in World War II with either side? Was not Franco sympathetic with the Axis powers given the help they offered during the civil war? Also, given their ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Aside from the Jews, did Hitler have a final solution plan for other ethnicities/races in the Third Reich?

We know that Nazi ideology explicitly singled out Jews as the main reason for all Germany's problems, and planned to exterminate all of them. Nazis also persecuted gypsies, Polish people, and POWs. ...
5
votes
3answers
623 views

Was Japan really part of the Axis?

I recall in history class learning that the Japanese could have attacked the USSR in the 1940s and potentially split Stalin's forces - which presumably would have been more useful for the Nazis than ...
36
votes
3answers
21k views

Why were the Romans unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
7
votes
2answers
633 views

What factors led some South American governments to be sympathetic to Nazi war criminals?

What were some of the factors that contributed to some South American governments being so sympathetic to Nazi war criminals that they harbored them?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

How did Hitler behave towards all those whom he knew in his childhood and youth after he rose to power?

What do we know of Hitler's acts and attitudes towards those people he knew in his childhood and youth after he rose to power? For example, his World War One comrades? Did they receive and attention ...
8
votes
2answers
855 views

After America achieved independence, did George Washington continue to wear a military uniform?

After the American Revolution, the founding fathers seem to have adapted their 'costumes' from similar European ones. Like the Europeans, their uniforms often had orders, medallions and ...
9
votes
1answer
175 views

Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

Do we consider Carthage as belonging to a different civilization from the Phoenician one?

Carthage was founded by Phoenicians settlers around 800 BC. Because of its position, and being in a relatively calm area (compared to their homeland), Carthage quickly rose in importance, overtaking ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the state of the art historical analysis of claims that Carthaginians discovered America?

The Carthaginians, and the Phoenicians in general, are renowned for their seafaring abilities. There is evidence for their circumnavigation of Africa, and strong evidence for the fact that Hanno the ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Historical examples of secessionist movements fighting alongside their de jure governments

In the complicated many-sided conflict in Mali, the MNLA, are fighting for a secular state in Azawad, whereas islamists (such as Ansar Dine), seek the imposition of Sharia law across Mali. Recently, ...
1
vote
1answer
304 views

Does Genghish Khan Worship Tengri?

Tengri is the intelligence and power behind all of nature. Everything is ultimately controlled by him, from the weather to the fate of individuals and nations, which is why Genghis Khan says in ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Which is the first genocide?

According to the United Nations, a genocide is: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Financial ramifications of peerages created since the 19th century

I once (quite naively) thought that those who were awarded titles of nobility in olden times would henceforth life charmed lives in their splendid houses, etc.: until I noticed e.g. in several ...
13
votes
3answers
566 views

Historical/legendary/mythological accounts that turned out to be true

Reading Herodotus' Histories, one is often baffled by passages like (3.102): {102} [...] Indians [..., of the North] make expeditions for the gold. For in the parts where they live it is desert on ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What evidence support the theory that the killing of unwanted children was practiced in ancient Athens?

While researching the Who first wrote about deafness? question, I came across this bold claim on Wikipedia: Sparta is often portrayed as being unique in this matter, however there is considerable ...
16
votes
1answer
456 views

Are photos of WWII US Navy damage reports available online?

I have located a PDF of the USS Marblehead's Bomb Damage Report from 4 Feb 1942. The report lists plates of photographs which are not included in the report I have found. Do copies of this report ...
13
votes
1answer
149 views

Gazan attitudes to Egyptian rule 1948-1967

Was Egyptian rule viewed favourably by the population? Were there uprisings? Another related question: were there travel restrictions of some form (i.e. could Gazans travel freely in Egypt)? UPDT: ...
4
votes
2answers
325 views

When did people start caring for the handicapped? [closed]

Did people in the past concern themselves with the welfare of the handicapped, such as the blind and the deaf, or did they neglect them? Was e.g. the "Amnericans with Disabilities Act" a new ...
12
votes
2answers
852 views

What came before the Zamboni?

The Zamboni machine has become one of many people's favorite parts of Ice Hockey. Technically this device is called an ice resurfacer, but everyone just calls it a "Zamboni" after the inventer. ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Who first wrote about deafness?

Aristotle referred to the sense of hearing in his work "The Problems". He correlated hearing with the capacity of learning, he believed that the sense of hearing was the most important in order to ...
5
votes
0answers
113 views

Were does Tifinagh come from?

Because all of my knowledge of Tifinagh came from the Wikipedia article, I was quite puzzled to read this. For those of you that just don't bother checking, the author describes the different ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

When was the Eastern Front founded?

I am talking about the Eastern Front coalition in Sudan. Although the article on Wikipedia is informative, I can't see when it was founded, or when the groups that make it up were founded (except for ...
7
votes
1answer
394 views

Upper-class male cohabitation in mid-19th century USA

James Buchanan is often considered to be the first (and only so far?) gay American president. The major piece of evidence for this (at least according to wikipedia and some popular articles on this ...
8
votes
3answers
193 views

Who first precisely measured the length of the year?

In the past people measured the length of a year according to the moon's 28-day cycle but this obviously left a few days out, so I was wondering which civilization first realized this and fixed the ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How did ancient armies keep the route of supplies to their battlefield?

How did ancient armies like the Romans, Greeks, Persians, Chinese, or even in later times, the Arabs and Mongols keep the route of supplies going to support their armies marching through the vast ...

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