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32

The official reason was to avoid a long and costly battle attempting to force the Japanese to surrender by invading the mainland. The Japanese were tenacious fighters and their tactics of Kamikaze suicide bombers and their courageous defense of their country in engagements such as the Battle of Okinawa, lend substantial credibility to this claim. Some such ...


31

If you look only at the numbers, then Israel was bound to lose the war of course. The Arab countries had far more soldiers and they also had better/more equipment (the Soviet Union supplied them well). This view leaves out a number of important factors however: Surprise: By launching a preemptive attack Israel took the Arab countries by surprise which ...


25

The Egyptians, along with Syria and Jordan, had worked up a plan to attack Israel a couple of weeks prior to the actual war. Apparently some recently declassified documents confirm that the Egyptians had planned to launch bombers against Israel to take out their airfields and other strategic military positions. They had also deployed a number of tank units ...


22

For a relatively brief period in China's Three Kingdoms era, the three states of Wu/Shu/Wei were actively fighting each other. For most of the rest of the time, Wu and Shu were allied in their resistance against the vastly stronger Wei. In 219 (AD), the ill-fated Battle of Fancheng took place. Shu, fresh from their acquisition of Hanzhong, invaded Wei, but ...


20

Let's do the math: 100,000 mounted archers * 4 horses each * 10 kg/day * 250 days/campaign = 1,000,000,000 kg of forage required each campaign. As noted here annual forage yield of meadow steppe is about 2000 kg/ha; of typical steppe about 900 kg/ha; and even desert steppe yields 200 kg/ha. Thus the area required to support Genghis's cavalry for a campaign ...


19

Perhaps you're thinking of a video game, because I'm sure that what you posit makes no sense whatsoever in hand-to-hand combat. A shield is just movable armor. It's big enough not to require a lot of accuracy in placement, just a shift toward the direction of attack. Its design, at some minimal level, will resist blows from hand weapons passively, i.e. ...


18

Simply because Switzerland was a worse alternative plan strategically than Netherlands and Belgium. Hitler had a plan to attack Switzerland, named Operation Tannenbaum but the Maginot line could be breached through Belgium and Netherland. So it became needless conflict with no gain. It is a less known fact that Switzerland (German part namely) was part of ...


17

"armour" is a bit general, from the fancy gleaming best tournement suit to the few bits of salvaged chain mail stitched onto an archers leather jacket. Generally the knights and foot soldiers wouldn't march in anything like full armour, medieval battles were fought on agreed sites when the armies were visible to each other - not ambushes or blitzkreig. So ...


17

Here are some rough specs for common planes (as I said in the comment, the endurance depends on various factors). Sopwith Camel (BR) combat endurance (at 1000 m) - 2:30 (hr.:min.) cruise endurance (...) - 5:00 SPAD S.XIII (FR) combat endurance (...) - 1:30-2:00 cruise endurance (...) - 3:00 Albatross D.III (GER) combat endurance (...) - 1:30-2:00 ...


16

Why: Several factors determined the cost-benefit-ratio of war chariot. This ratio changed with different tempo in different regions, as different factors became differently important. To list the most important: the breeding of horses changed significantly over the centuries, horses became taller and stronger, so the cost-benefit-ratio improved towards ...


16

There were actually TWO endings to the War of 1812. The first, and "official" ending, was the signing of the peace Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1814, which would have made a nice Christmas present. It called for a cessation of hostilities, the exchange of lands and prisoners, and the appointment of a joint commission to study U.S. Canadian boundary issues. ...


15

That would the Battle of Navarino fought during the Greek War for Independence in 1827. It was the last battle feature entirely sail fleets. Navarino is known as Pylos now. Sailing ships have come back into vogue recently so who knows how long they will be around and what was they might be involved in. The last active sailing warship appears to have been the ...


15

Shields for soldiers were tried during the First World War. In order to stop high power rifle rounds, they had to be rather heavy weight steel plate. This made them difficult to move and carry. One French design made a wheeled shield known as the Mobile Personnel Shield. This proved too heavy and cumbersome to use in combat. However, it may have played a ...


15

First of all, to clarify what you asked in the subject, US didn't "lose" Vietnam war militarily. Tet Offensive was basically a disaster for them - they didn't achieve their intended strategic objective (popular uprising in the south) and suffered major losses. However, US populace lost the will to fight in that war - as noted by others, they started viewing ...


14

Japan shut out the West very successfully so its emergence from isolation was all the more abrupt, and Japan's history to 1945 could be seen as trying to integrate Japan's self-image and national mythologies, and its powerful social factions, into a post-feudal, industrial state. And quickly! The Japanese leadership made a quick but effective plan to ...


14

Not in the UK, but the events leading up to the Ludlow Massacre is a good example of this. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company hired a "detective agency" (more like thugs) to break a miners strike. The detectives armored a car and put a machine gun on it and fired at the strikers. Not only that, every once and a while, they'd just randomly fire a bullet at ...


14

The Mongols wore silk underneath their armor. The benefit of using silk was that if a Mongol warrior was hit with an arrow the silk would not break and they could pull the arrow out by pulling on the silk on each side of the wound and the arrow would come out. References: Review of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Mongol War Strategy Koryo ...


14

We have essentially three references on this topic. Of these, only Caesar's could have had political motivations, as he was engaged in a campaign against the Britons. His account, however, is only marginal compared to the others, in that he does not clearly state that the Celts went to battle naked. On the other hand, both Polybius and Diodourus Siculus look ...


13

The Japanese had 4 terms they were demanding in order to "surrender": The emperor would remain inviolate. Japan's borders would be restored to those of summer of 1942, requiring the allies to return to Japanese control every island and country that they had been thrown off of, such as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and the Philippines. Japanese troops would ...


13

You should consider the Bosnian war (in Yugoslavia) in the 1990s, there were basically three factions fighting each other: the Orthodox Christian Serbs (Serbia), the Catholic Croats (Croatia) and the Slavic Muslims (Bosnia). The war was three-sided from 1992 to 1994, and two-sided in 1995-1996. You can see that even the table of belligerents in the ...


12

Battle of Sinop between Ottoman and Russian empires during Crimean war seems to be the last major naval battle with sail-powered ships. There were three steamboats in Russian fleet, and one steam boat in Ottoman fleet, but their firepower was negligible compared to sail-powered ships involed in the battle. It was in 1853, Russian fleet destroyed Ottoman ...


12

Basically, the time to put veterans in the front line is when you are in an attacking mode. That is, you put your shock troops in front so that they can actually deliver a shock. In a defensive mode, you put your less experienced troops in front 1) to give them experience and 2) to have them absorb casualties and spare your veterans. If and when the enemy ...


11

Gettysburg was pretty much a last ditch effort by Lee and Jefferson Davis to save the Confederacy or at least give it some credibility. There were different objectives that led to the attack in the first place. For one thing, the war in the West was going against the Confederates, and if the West fell, and more importantly access to the Mississippi River, ...


11

Since its founding, Switzerland has been somewhat isolated from the rest of Europe. That's partly because of its mountainous geography, and partly because of its fierce desire for independence, and the ability NOT to participate in what was going on in Europe at any given time (feudalism in the Middle Ages, nationalism later on). This problem was ...


11

Up until Vietnam, the US had been training their military to fight a "conventional" war, more along the lines of what they fought in each of the World Wars. In Vietnam, the fighting was very "unconventional". In each WW, they could easily identify the enemy because they wore different uniforms and spoke a different language. In Vietnam, the enemoy spoke a ...


11

As mentioned in this Wikipedia article, Japan's reasons for attacking the US were mostly because of the US stopping oil and other material shipments to Japan and Japanese belief that further Japanese aggression in Asia (which they were intent on pursuing and not just or even primarily in Philippines) would lead to a war with the US anyway. Thus Japan ...


11

First of all, seeing as to how more than one SE user has questioned the seriousness of the Cuban missile crisis, let me try to outline how tense things were at the time. The Cuban missile crisis is the only time ever that any section of the US military has mobilised to DEFCON 2. The erstwhile SAC was at DEFCON 2 while the rest of the armed forces were at ...


11

Switzerland isn't much of a "prize." It has about 16,000 square miles, and about 4.5 million people in 1940 making it twice the size of New Jersey, with about as many people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland On both counts, it is one of the smaller countries in Europe, and less worth having. On the other hand, Switzerland maintains a policy of armed ...


11

When a war starts, the diplomats lock down the embassy and leave through a neutral country. They are neither molested nor harassed, and their diplomatic immunity is not disputed. The embassy building and the property therein is taken care of by the neutral country representing the interests of the belligerent (or some other arrangements may be made). The ...


11

The second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War may be a good example. There was a civil war between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party (CPC) factions, and in the middle of this Japan invaded. Both KMT and CPC resisted the Japanese, and at some point they even (nominally) cooperated. This cooperation was brief, however, and there were major ...



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