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99

Yes, a trained archer can probably put more effective shots on an unarmored target than a trained musketman of the 18th century. The problem is that word trained. Consider that most nations in the 18th century did not have a standing army. Men were called up, served their time, and left. That means you either need to use skills they already have (in WWII ...


56

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 ...


42

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 ...


42

There wasn't a lack of food in the UK, not in the sense that people weren't getting enough to eat or were suffering malnutrition. What there was is a lack of variety of food. Anything which was imported (citrus, tropical fruits, tea, coffee, sugar), expensive (meat) or important to the war effort (fats, meat, canned anything) would be rationed. Rationing ...


41

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 ...


39

Verse 3. After crossing a river, you should get far away from it. If the river is a barrier, you can be hemmed in against it. If your enemy is the one hemmed in, they also have a defense on at least one side, preventing you from surrounding them. Verse 4. When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do not advance to meet it in ...


36

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 ...


36

The British Army left in Kabul, Afghanistan after the First Anglo-Afghan War, was to leave after an Afghan uprising. The main contingent of some 16,000 troops and associated civilians was attacked throughout their journey to Jalalabad, eventually only a single survivor Assistant Surgeon William Brydon. He was asked upon arrival what happened to the army, to ...


35

The short answer is that there was a concentrated effort in post-WW2 Europe to clear known minefields. France, for example, used POWs to do the dirty work. Longer answer is that the post-WW2 period was very different than the post-Balkan Wars period. At its heart, WW2 was a "tidier" war with two opposed groups of nation states with relatively disciplined ...


34

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 ...


27

Recorded in Plutarch's De garrulitate, this is an example of a Laconic phrase: After invading Greece and receiving the submission of other key city-states, Philip II of Macedon sent a message to Sparta: "If I invade Laconia you will be destroyed, never to rise again." The Spartan ephors replied with a single word: "If" (αἴκα). Subsequently ...


25

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 ...


24

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 ...


24

I am not aware of any large battles with only a single survivor out of all the combatants, but there was at least one major battle that had only a single survivor on the losing side. The Battle of the Little Bighorn (or Custer's Last Stand) led to a slaughter of the American forces. Every American soldier who was present when the battle began was killed, ...


23

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 ...


22

(1) "The Battle of France" - so called by the French. The the term "Battle of France is widely used for the WW2 fighting of the French against the German invasion. See e.g. Wikipedia Battle of France And the naming of it accordingly is attested to e.g. Winston Churchill: here ... What General Weygand has called The Battle of France is over. The ...


21

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 ...


21

"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 ...


21

PTSD, or stress reactions from battle, were well known during the Greek and Roman era. The Greeks understood it very well. Alexander the Great's men are said to have mutinied after suffering "battle fatigue." These examples of Roman era PTSD are taken from a blog of ancient examples sourced from Max Hastings', An Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes: ...


21

They identify the size of the formation. That Free French unit you referred to with one X is actually a brigade, not a division. Similarly, the Greek and German unit facing each other German unit both have a single X, and has been explicitly labelled as brigades. All other units, including the Italian one you mentioned, have XX - indicating they are ...


21

The Anglo-Swedish war of 1810-1812. A phoney war forced upon Sweden after the devastating defeat in the Finnish war; neither side wanted to fight the other, and no battles were fought. There were, however, a formal declaration of war and a signed peace, and British troops that were stationed at the Island of Hanö occupied it during the war.


20

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 ...


20

During the First World War, King Albert I of Belgium assumed personal command of the Belgian Armed Forces. He wasn't just visiting the front - he went into the fields with his troops and commanded them in the fighting, including at the pivotal Battle of the Yser. I don't know if this counts as "taking part in military actions" - it kind of depends on ...


20

Certainly. In fact there was even a whole series of Sacred Wars. More specifically, the First Sacred War was fought by the Amphictyonic League against the city of Cirrha over the latter's mistreatment of religious pilgrims to Delphi. Delphi derived religious significance from its Temple of Apollo, which housed the famous Pythia - the Oracle of Delphi. The ...


20

Yes, there was a battle between the Spartans and Argives described by Herodotus. They decided to solve the dispute in a "fair way" without risking their full armies, so 300 soldiers were chosen from each side, and it was decided that the side that loses would recognize its defeat. The result was one Spartan and two Argives surviving. The Argives rushed back ...


19

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 ...


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. ...


19

The Austro-Prussian War is currently known in Germany as "Deutscher Krieg", or "The German War" - though it was originally known as "Preußisch-Deutscher Krieg", or "Prussian-German War". Another contender are the Napoleonic Wars--or the Guerres napoléoniennes, as they are called in France.


18

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. ...


18

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 ...



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