Questions tagged [battle]

Questions related to an historical battle, being a single engagement or combat in warfare between two or more armed forces.

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19 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why did few French and no Dutch pilots (but many Poles and Czechs) take part in the Battle of Britain?

Among the non-British pilots, at least 141 were Polish, 84 Czech and 28 Belgian, but only 13 were French and none were Dutch, Norwegian or Danish. The reasons why there were many Polish, Czech and ...
5 votes
1 answer
343 views

Battle of Ulm: why did general Mack surrender to Napoleon instead of retreating to Ulm and wait for the Russian Army?

Was there something that made being besieged at these times inconceivable? I can imagine that a lack of provisions and/or logistics of keeping ~70 000 men in a city wouldn't make the situation ideal ...
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was there a battle at "Wodziki" in October 1914?

A gravestone for Friedrich Adel Ferdinand Torsten Graf Posadowsky-Wehner, Freiherr v. Postelwitz, Kgl. Preuss Oberst und Kommandeur des (2 Oster.) Gren Rgt. 13 says gefallen am 7 Okt. 1914 i Wodziki ...
7 votes
7 answers
5k views

Battles won by much weaker side [closed]

I'm interested in battles that were won by much weaker side or even lost by it, but for example making the stronger side to keep fight against this weaker force and thus providing it strategic victory....
0 votes
1 answer
131 views

When did Athenian archers pepper Spartan hoplites with arrows for days on an island?

The heading is basically all I remember from school. The hoplites lacked mobility and were thus harassed for day by the lightly armored Athenian archers. Athenian victory.
5 votes
3 answers
871 views

Did the British really bail out the Americans at the Battle of the Bulge?

Just read this article on the Battle of Kasserine Pass America's Most Humiliating Defeat The author made the following statement regarding British help during the battle: As at the Battle of the ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Aetius or Attila fight in the Battle of Worms (436)?

I'm looking for information on the Battle of Worms (436). Specifically, did Flavius Aetius and/or Attila command or fight there? The Wikipedia page on Aetius, under the "Battles/wars" column,...
22 votes
8 answers
2k views

Are there famous battles that took place on ice?

As my favorite ice hockey team became the champion of Poland today, I was reminded of the famous Battle of the Ice that took place in 1242. During the fights, forces of Alexander Nevsky managed to ...
1 vote
0 answers
96 views

Did the Battle of Red Cliffs take place on the border between Cao Cao and Liu Bei's territories?

In the YouTube video Three Kingdoms - OverSimplified, we have this depiction of the Battle of Red Cliffs: The video suggests the Battle of Red Cliffs (赤壁之战) takes place on the border between Cao Cao ...
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Where was the Battle of Antioch (613 CE) fought?

The Byzantines were severely defeated in this battle by their Sassanid counterparts. But where did this battle take place i.e. what was the precise location of this battle? According to Wikipedia, ...
1 vote
1 answer
988 views

How many vehicles were involved in Operation Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, October 3-4, 1993)?

I wanted to know how many vehicles (include their model and which country used it), aircraft and infantry were deployed in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu in October 1993. Specific numbers of: ...
-1 votes
2 answers
480 views

Why did armies meet on the battlefield, and how often did they? (medieval times) [closed]

A common criticism I hear of fiction set in medieval-esque worlds is that it makes no sense for the defending army to leave the fortifications in order to meet the attacking army on the battlefield. ...
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Which battles of WWII did the cracking of Enigma decisively influence?

Having just watched The Imitation Game, I am curious about the influence of the cracking of Enigma on the outcome of WWII. Which battles did the information decoded by Enigma influence? Which ...
8 votes
7 answers
3k views

Was the Battle of Trafalgar strategically pointless?

On a tactical level, the Battle of Trafalgar is one of the most analysed naval battles in history and there are many books and papers covering the battle itself. Most of the strategic analysis covers ...
4 votes
0 answers
250 views

What was the Indian nobility's reaction to the construction of Veeranam Eri (வீராணம் ஏரி)?

Background Information In the South of Medieval India, there was a wealthy and powerful empire called the Chola Empire. In between the years 907-955 AD, the king (or Raja) Parantaka the First (...
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Where and when were air guns used in a major battle?

In the 18th century some European armies had air guns at their disposal. I remember that during some major battle sharpshooters from Tirol used air guns to deadly effect on the troops of the opposing ...
1 vote
0 answers
84 views

Did any army try speed volley fire by passing pre-loaded muskets to the front line? [duplicate]

Early 16th to 18th century muskets had 2 big disadvantages. Musketeers needed minimum 20-30 seconds to reload them and they were very inaccurate, because projectile (usually small lead ball) was much ...
5 votes
2 answers
835 views

What is the reasoning behind these huge numbers for participants in the Battle of Grunwald 1410?

I was reading about the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) in 1410 during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War and I found this strange excerpt from current Wikispeedia, (which is based on an old Wikipedia ...
-1 votes
1 answer
508 views

Did a submarine ever torpedo and sink a destroyer? [closed]

The naval battle of U-405 versus USS Borie sank the Borie, but that was due to its own action of ramming U-405, which had a stronger hull to withstand depth pressures. Did a submarine ever sink a ...
0 votes
0 answers
48 views

How effectively did Romans rotate/relieve lines with the cohort system? [duplicate]

There is a similar question on Reddit and the original poster of the question uses a YouTube video to demonstrate the point. That video showcases a rotation of Roman infantry in a cohort. According to ...
2 votes
0 answers
227 views

Were there any major battles between Australian Aborigines and English Colonists? [closed]

The English were hostile to most of the natives near their colonies. However, I can't seem to find any evidence as to whether or not the Aborigines partook in any battle against British colonists in ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the top 5 bloodiest battles in terms of British casualties?

I have done a bit of research and it seems the Somme, Towton and maybe Bannockburn are up there? Any more to throw into the mix? Great site by the way!
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

How true is this observation concerning battle?

I came across a quote: “One who risks his life in battle has the best chance of saving it; one who flees to save it is most likely to lose it” (Anthologia Lyrica Graeca, ed. E. Diehl2 1936-42.) The ...
28 votes
4 answers
6k views

How difficult was to escape from a naval battle after engaging into one during the Age of Sail?

So, I am designing a board game which includes pirates/imperial battles during the age of sail. While I have found a lot of information on the internet as well as books, papers and of course other ...
35 votes
16 answers
14k views

Which battle was the most lopsided result in terms of casualties?

I have recently read about two ancient battles that were won by a much smaller army and/or lead to very different casualties: Defeat of Boudica - according to Roman accounts only 400 Romans died as ...
6 votes
1 answer
478 views

Why were the Marines so badly outnumbered at the critical point at Guadalcanal?

Prior to the battle of Guadalcanal,, the Americans had landed 11,000 men on the island in August, 1942. This compares to the 5,000 or so men that the Japanese had on the island by the first week of ...
1 vote
1 answer
330 views

Why didn't the Chinese attack Hungnam during the evacuation?

The Hungnam evacuation was a notable event during the early years of the Korean War. Retreating to the port of Hungnam from the recent defeat at Chosin Reservoir, UN forces managed to evacuate about ...
4 votes
0 answers
268 views

What happened where in 1541? (Portuguese in the Horn of Africa)

Was trying to check the following description from the introduction to a board game: In 1541, Portuguese soldiers [...] slipped into the port of Massawa [and] join[ed] the Christian forces. At the ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was the aftermath of a battle in the Middle Ages? How did wounded soldiers proceed?

The Red Cross was founded by 1859 over these circumstances: Until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and/or well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and ...
2 votes
1 answer
332 views

Was the Kerensky Offensive doomed from the start?

I've been reading about Russia in the Great War during 1917, and what is quite surprising for me is the Kerensky Offensive. Primarily, what is surprising is that the army was in great material terms ...
0 votes
0 answers
152 views

What pre-industrial battle used a tactic to split the enemy force in the middle in this way?

I remember watching a video on a pre-industrial battle (maybe even pre musket, but not sure) on a unique battle technique. Cavalry was involved, as well as slingshot and infantry. For some reason my ...
2 votes
0 answers
74 views

Where can tactical maps for battles of the Mexican Revolution be accessed?

There are a bunch of resources on the Mexican revolution, but I've never seen an academical text that narrates the major battles in the struggle along with tactical maps. Thus, I'm looking for a ...
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was the French Commander-in-Chief Gamelin a terrible general?

While doing some research on France's defeat in 1940, I saw that some harshly criticize the French Commander-in-Chief Gamelin and blame him for its speedy downfall (of course there isn't only one ...
41 votes
3 answers
8k views

In the Battle of the Coral Sea, how could two Japanese scouts grossly mis-identify two American ships?

I've been reading the Wikipedia pages about the Pacific theatre in WW2; in the page describing the battle of the Coral Sea there is the following passage: [...] the scout [from Shōkaku] confirmed ...
-7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How long did the battle of Bosworth last?

How long the battle of Bosworth actually last? The Wikipedia article on the Battle of Bosworth Field doesn't say anything about how long the battle lasted.
35 votes
12 answers
8k views

Under which conditions does the losing party actively commemorate a battle?

I am trying to understand under which conditions battles are predominantly remembered and commemorated by the losing party (who acknowledge their defeat), not the victors. This is not who gets to ...
2 votes
1 answer
420 views

At the Battle of Augusta, how did the French learn that de Ruyter was mortally wounded?

According to Wikipedia, in the Battle of Augusta (1676) The battle was a short but intense affair and ended abruptly when Duquesne, after hearing that De Ruyter had been mortally wounded, ...
0 votes
1 answer
701 views

Why did the Athenian expedition to Sicily fail? [closed]

Was the Athenian expedition to Sicily during the Peloponnesian war a strategic failure, a tactical failure or both?
5 votes
2 answers
536 views

Did German win any victories between Normandy and Bulge?

In regards to World War II, I always hear about the great number of Allied victories won between the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Very little is spoken of German victories. ...
62 votes
5 answers
24k views

Why did the Germans spare Allied troops trapped at Dunkirk?

I haven't seen the movie but know enough of the story to understand that Allied troops had fallen back to Dunkirk for evacuation but were trapped there until transport came. I also understand that ...
3 votes
1 answer
346 views

Why didn't the Hungarians help the battle of Kosovo?

I am curious why the Hungarians, as the first neighbor of then Serbia and Bosnia, who sent troops to confront the invasion of the Ottomans, didn't also participate given that it was obvious that the ...
8 votes
3 answers
493 views

Could the anti-Napoleonic forces have done better by uniting earlier before Waterloo?

During the Waterloo campaign, there were TWO Allied armies facing Napoleon, one under England's Wellington, and one under Prussia's Blucher. Napoleon first defeated Blucher at Ligny, then turned on ...
2 votes
1 answer
419 views

Is it true the British heavily downplayed their defeat in Cartagena?

According to the wikipedia article the British lost the siege of Cartagena despite having a numerical advantage of 7-8 to 1. After the defeat King George II forbade anyone to talk about it in the ...
6 votes
2 answers
729 views

An American Civil War battle where a general was ordered to advance to a certain point and wait . . . so waiting was all he did?

I'm trying to pin down something I once read about what went wrong with the Union's plans for a certain battle in the American Civil War. I think I once read a few paragraphs about this in a book by ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did the Roman testudo protect the sides of the formation?

I have seen several images like these, where the soldiers in testudo formation hold shields above their heads and to their sides as well. The soldiers standing in the extreme left or right column of ...
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Are there examples of battles fought under the influence (of alcohol)?

I'm looking for documented antecedents that describe the use or abuse of alcohol in the historical context of battles. Not necessarily well known battles. I remember watching (many years ago) a ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the technical term for a head on head battle?

I am writing an essay about how accurate the film "Braveheart" is. In the film Braveheart, the battle of Stirling Bridge is shown with the two armies facing each other. I would like to know what the ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was the significance of the BEF moving into the gap between German forces in First Battle of the Marne?

The German troops fighting in the Battle of the Marne were exhausted and their commanders seemed to communicate very little. After the Marne they retreated to the river Aisne and more or less began ...
0 votes
1 answer
273 views

Why did the Persian army lose the battle of Marathon? [closed]

Persian army was an absolutely massive army,and persian empire defeated famous empires such as babylon using it, you know that then Greece wasn't a united country and it was built from different city-...
17 votes
7 answers
54k views

Are the "bone fields" of the Stalingrad encircled battlefields real?

In this podcast by Dan Carlin's Hardcore history show, Dan mentions that there are areas inside of the Stalingrad pocket where human remains are openly visible above ground, exposed to the weather. ...