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Oct
17
comment What are some major military successes achieved by the former Soviet Union against the Western World?
@JoeHobbit - The Americans consider the Berlin Airlift a victory for their side, tho: American logistics vs. Soviet ground forces. In retrospect, both sides probably thought they "made a point" - the Cold War was weird like that.
Oct
1
comment Why did Austronesian/Polynesian people not colonize Australia?
@Drux - During the Ice Age, lots of land routes to places existed that are no more (see "Sahul" - the continent as it was during the Pleistocene)
Sep
19
comment What prevented the Mongolian Empire from expanding into Europe?
@TomAu - Ummm - this comment is also ahistorical. Dan Carlin's "Hard Core History" podcast series on the Mongol conquest is a great introduction to the topic, and offers a number of points of departure for further inquiry. It may be a good tool to refine your answer.
Sep
17
comment What prevented the Mongolian Empire from expanding into Europe?
This answer is ahistorical. Ogegai, not Genghis, commanded Subutai to conquer west to the Atlantic, and it was Ogedai's death that caused their recall. Further, it wasn't until the death of Möngke that the Mongol Empire became disunited.
Aug
11
comment Was the Minoan civilization warlike?
@Oldcat - Here's the deal tho: there is no evidence these weapons were used in extensive wars of aggression in either the historical or archaeological record. As a counter-example, we have both from their contemporaneous neighbors in the Mediterranean, the Egyptians and the Hittites, who were aggressive and expansionist and would be major sparring partners if the Minoans were actually war-like, and not simply pork-barrelling or potlaching with defense spending projects.
Aug
11
comment Was the Minoan civilization warlike?
@Oldcat - The argument isn't that the Minoans were pacifists, the argument is that they were not an expansionist militarized society. For all of their arms and fortifications, the evidence is that they went to war rarely and in campaigns of very limited scope (trade wars and grudges between nobles rather than seeking conquest or hegemony).
Jun
30
comment Why bother attacking castles at all? Why not go around?
Note - there are differences in how fortresses are used strategically. In Europe in the late middle ages, there were a lot of castles. Bypass one to invest a fortified town, as that's where the loot was, and the army inside the castle would come out and attack you from the rear. Chase them back inside, and the army in another nearby castle you had bypassed would come out and attack you from the rear. This is how the Hungarians defeated the Golden Horde.
Jun
25
comment Classical battle sizes vs medieval battle sizes
Depends on where in the Middle Ages - the Mongols assembled massive armies, and fought equally massive armies in Eastern and Central Asia. Did you mean only in Europe?
May
29
comment Is Taiwan always a part of People's Republic of China?
@jwenting - It's safe to assume Taiwan has nuclear weapons as well; of the three pariah nations of the '60s and '70s, South Africa, Israel and Taiwan, they were the only one with the technical and economic ability to run a nuclear program who didn't officially announce it.
May
15
comment How did ancient armies keep the route of supplies to their battlefield?
@DVK Interesting to note - after the initial Mongol invasion of Europe, the Golden Horde invaded the same area of Hungary 40 years later. The Hungarians had used the intervening decades to build dozens of castles and holdfasts and walled towns, all garrisoned, which they used to store supplies securely and to harry foragers, denying them resources to carry out the campaign. The mongols were seen off after a two month campaign, soundly beaten.
May
15
comment Why wasn't Federal Republic of Central America a stable country?
Yup, there are something like 7 million mayan speakers in Mexico and Central America today - but there are actually a half million speakers each of a dozen or so dialects, many of which are incomprehensible to each other.
May
15
comment What was the nominal strength of a company in a British Regiment during the American war of Independence?
Yeah, 2400 is way out of range for 1775. Armies grew dramatically in size after the French Revolution to deal with a completely mobilized populace (like France's) - the French used sheer numbers to drown the professional militaries of the powers trying to restore the monarchy, so professional militaries grew much larger.
May
14
comment Gap between poor and rich in the Roman Empire
It's a fine question - comparative standards of living and class structure is a hot topic in history. The answers may kerfluffle some political ideologues on the right side of the spectrum, but that's never a bad thing.
May
6
comment Has the strength of the historical-archaeological method ever been tested experimentally?
The academic discipline you're looking for is "experimental archaeology" - it's a pretty active field. In addition to applying their techniques to modern societies, they recreate artifacts using period technology and test their usage in real-world conditions.
May
5
comment What was the last landmass on Earth to be settled by human beings?
I strongly disagree with the hold. Timelines of human settlement are a very important area of interest to historians and archaeologists.
Apr
25
comment What led to the romantic perception of the Mayan civilization?
Uncited and inflammatory, and worse, speculative and ahistorical.
Apr
4
comment Which came first, the shield or the sword?
@RazieMah - Sorry, I meant cultures contemporaneous to modern scholars. You cannot infer from modern-era (after 1492) Aboriginal culture when shields were introduced - you need reliably dated art depicting shields, written records of shields by contemporary writers, or reliably dated artifacts.
Apr
3
comment Which came first, the shield or the sword?
@RazieMah - To be honest, that's my issue with your answer. Contemporary cultures that seem "primitive" are not good indicators of the technology used in pre-history. Artifacts and contemporary records (in depictions or written) are the only evidence of the existence of a certain technology at a certain time.
Apr
3
comment Which came first, the shield or the sword?
@jwenting - Swords and shields are objects we have a very good archaeological record for, and clear timelines of their development.
Apr
3
comment Which came first, the shield or the sword?
@YannisRizos - Axes and clubs were far more common infantry weapons in the chalcolithic and early bronze age. Daggers are fairly useless in combat, due to the reach and momentum of the larger weapons - it wasn't until bronzeworking became advanced enough to support flexible and strong blades that the dagger was lengthened to the sword - and even then, transitional weapons like the khopesh came first.