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2d
comment Did the Soviets excel in one area of weaponry during World War II?
The British had a clear advantage in cryptography and counter-cryptography and RADAR, and the US had superior logistics - these are lethal weapons unmatched by other powers in the war, even tho they may not seem like weapons. The US also had the atomic bomb, but that came to late to impact the war in Europe.
Jan
21
comment Where were Racka sheep brought to Europe from and when?
@TylerDurden - The origin and distribution of crops and livestock is an active and lively field of historical research - not all history revolves around kings and battles.
Jan
18
comment Why didn't Native Americans have big sailing ships?
@JonofAllTrades - No, the answer is incomplete, but not incorrect. There was nothing in the Caribbean until the Europeans brought sugarcane. No reason to risk sea travel on regular trade routes - there was no equivalent to the Mediterranean, Black, Red, Baltic or Caspian seas, ringed by civilizations, no equivalent of the great archipelagos of South and East Asia. The Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence didn't have enough population to make maritime trade worth the considerable risk.
Jan
18
comment Why didn't Native Americans have big sailing ships?
@JonofAllTrades - North America would not see a city larger than Cahokia until Philadelphia in 1780. At its peak, it was twice the size of London. The book "1491" may help give you a better understanding of the technological level of pre-contact civilizations in the Americas.
Dec
18
comment Was Otto Carius fair in his assessment of American forces vs. Russians?
+1 for "Otto was still the one inside the pocket." The number of Americans lost, considering there were more than 8 million Germans killed or captured in the West, is so low it's surreal. The difference between fighting decisive engagements and achieving strategic goals, one wins the day, the other wins the war.
Dec
17
comment Why was slavery profitable in the Southern colonies and not New England?
That, and the technology made available in the 18th C. favored the crops grown in the cold north - the seed drill, the Dutch plow, the horse-hoe, canning - and new public infrastructure like improved roads, rivers and canals allowed frontier farmers to sell crops and livestock to urban markets. This made free farms of the North competitive with the slave plantations in the South, despite the climate.
Dec
16
comment Why was slavery profitable in the Southern colonies and not New England?
@TylerDurden - I'm in Rhode Island right now, born and raised. South County was a very small area of a very small New England colony that had proportionately high population of slaves in the mid 18thc, similar to the 19thc South. We're still talking less than 4k slaves in the colony entire. Slave-owning was ended in the State of RI after the revolution, only 384 remained by 1800. Almost all of the stone walls in NE were built by farmers from stones they tilled up from their fields from the early 17thc up until the middle of the 20thc. So, the answer is mostly un-researched baloney.
Dec
14
comment Why were North Native Americans less advanced than Central or South?
@StuartAllan - The Egyptians, Mesopotamians and Crete/Mycenae urbanized wayyyyy before Northern Europe. This is generally believed to be due to climate. It's not until the Renaissance that cold places contributed meaningfully to urbanized culture, mostly due to advances in logistics and technology. (China is a very different story, tho! But we cannot overlook the role climate played in the development of the west, and can't help but find possible parallels in the Americas.)
Dec
14
comment What was the primary reason for the rise and success of the Roman republic / empire?
@Alex - No-one outside Italy could imitate Legionary tactics and logistics, and no-one in Italy could match Rome's population and wealth, both required to field effective armies. Hannibal wiped out Legions entire, and Rome still had the resources to go after Carthage while holding him at bay. Resources, tactics, logistics and long term strategy could have been this answer's "TL;DR" summation.
Dec
8
comment Battle which has been decided by an epidemic plague
@SJuan76 - Wikipedia has a category page for "Sieges Ending in Disease"? Also, I think a battle that ended because one side was too sick to carry on the fight would be interesting and not trivially answered.
Dec
7
comment If I were a well-to-do ancient Roman, could I make money by investing in the construction of an aqueduct?
Downvoting just because you don't like the questioner/answerer is counterproductive. It's flowery, overlong and has a picture because of reasons, but the question at the core of it is straightforward - were there investors in public infrastructure who hope to turn a profit in ancient Rome? This is answerable and history-related.
Nov
1
comment Who is the earliest recorded person?
We are not talking about a person as we might imagine them to be. We are talking about a name we can pronounce, and know it was a name we pronounced. The first was a bundled sheaf of wheat we learned from later developments in language and literature as "Inana" - a mythical goddess. The first person we can assign a name we can pronounce and without ambiguity was Narmer - so his is the first historical name. Sorry.
Oct
30
comment Who is the earliest recorded person?
Unfortunately, a signature is not a name - see the point above about Ka and Iry-Hor. It does not translate into any known language, and there is no context to it apart from being unique to a particular artist; we don't know if the artist was using it to identify themselves, or if they used it for another purpose. It's quite literally pre-historic, and we can't make any real assumptions on it. We can't even pronounce it.
Oct
9
comment Why bother attacking castles at all? Why not go around?
@Taemyr - The Hungarians defeated the Golden Horde with a scorched earth strategy and castles. They would harry the Mongols, who were running out of forage, from nearby castles. The moment they tried to lay siege to one or assault it, forces from other nearby castles would show up, harry them in the rear and destroy their camps, and then retreat back to the castle rather than give them a decisive battle. The Mongols' second encounter with Hungary did not go their way because of the strategic power of castles.
Oct
7
comment What was the original cause of the Camel War in Islamic history?
@MediSaif - Changed the answer to reflect your correction. Thanks!
Sep
9
comment What was the original cause of the Camel War in Islamic history?
@MediSaif - You are correct. I will revise the answer later today or tomorrow.
Aug
31
comment Did Hitler really keep the blueprints of the current Nebraska state Capitol building in the drawer of his desk?
He's not asking to prove a negative. He's looking for corroborating evidence to a claim made in what was supposed to be a factual article. The second paragraph was more helpful and on-track as to why such corroborating evidence cannot be found.
Aug
19
comment What was the first known war in history?
@KevinKeane The modern concept of a nation-state dates back to the Treaty of Westphalia (a bit older than 200 years ago, mid 17th) true, but the very definition of a state is a unified self-governing political entity, and one of those that can engage in armed conflict with another of its type is a concept vastly older than the 30 Years War.
Aug
17
comment What was the first known war in history?
The first mention of the Mahabharat only dates to 400bce. No contemporaneous documents of the war remain, and no archaeological evidence the war occurred. Furthermore, what academic consensus there is on its historicity place it much later, in the iron age: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahabharata#Historical_context
Aug
17
comment What are the oldest primary sources of recorded history in china?
This is a wildly ahistorical answer that ignores common consensus among literary scholars, historians and the archaeological record. Real crackpot stuff, and the answer's author seems to be willing to redefine well established terms of art such as "writing" and "history" whenever convenient.