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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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32
votes
16answers
9k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

Have two generals ever agreed to fight one on one to avoid a battle? [duplicate]

In fiction, there's a scene sometimes occur where 2 armies are facing each other in preparation for battle, but the leaders parlay and agree to fight one on one to determine the outcome with minimum ...
1
vote
0answers
125 views

Were the Japanese aware of Desmond Doss's actions?

I read about the amazing story of Desmond Doss and wonder if the Japanese at all aware, during the Battle of Okinawa of the extent of his actions at the time? I know a few individual Japanese would ...
5
votes
3answers
583 views

What battle of WW2 is depicted in this Battlefield V level?

What battle of World War II is depicted in this Battlefield V level? Credit goes to the game makers of course, as it is their property. Slight update: I cannot quite remember the map name, but I ...
3
votes
5answers
558 views

Why is a pocket-battleship large in size ?

Why is it called a pocket-battleship when it’s large in size? Isn’t anything with pocket as prefix meant to be small ? I was reading up on Graf Spee - The German pocket-battleship.
1
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4answers
293 views

Has there ever been an encirclement without superior numbers or mobility

I can't find any examples. It seems like encirclement is always just a result of some other advantage, and doesn't affect the battle in itself. For example the classic case is Cannae. The ...
3
votes
1answer
416 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Who was a Roman General for a short time?

I'm trying to remember the name and battle that a Roman General. I might be unintentionally mixing parts of it up with other historic parts. The story goes the Roman Empire need someone to lead their ...
2
votes
0answers
158 views

Why did General Dupont surrender in the Battle of Bailén?

General Dupont's had, from my inexpert view, quite a superior army when he fought the Spanish forces at the Battle of Bailén. This battle was in fact the first defeat in open field of the Napoleonic ...
3
votes
2answers
574 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How did knights in full suits of armor eventually die in combat? What were the most common causes of death for soldiers in full-body plate armor? [closed]

I've heard about the battle of Agincourt that many knights probably died of drowning as they fell and their helmets filled with mud. It got me thinking: If you're going into battle on foot and in full-...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

Has any medieval army ever fought 3 or more distinct battles on the same day?

In the fantasy fiction A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of thrones, during Robert's Rebellion, three battles were fought in the same day, in the same place. There where particular conditions that lead to ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

Are there any contemporary references to the Battle of Badr outside of the Qur'an?

As the question reads, I'm trying to find sources for the Battle of Badr outside of the Qur'an from the same time period.
-1
votes
2answers
456 views

Was the French commander in chief Gamelin such a terrible commander?

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What happened at the Battle (or not?) of Luding Bridge, during the Long March of Chinese Communists in 1935?

I've just finished reading Mao: The Unknown Story by Chang and Halliday. She seems very biased against Mao and revels in accusing him of lying and manipulating. If this were to be taken as a serious ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
978 views

Why were there so many US military deaths outside of the major battles in WW2?

Recently I have started to take a huge interest in WW2. I've been researching new information everyday about it. But one of the things I've been interested in is the number of deaths each country ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did the Allies lose the Battle of France (1940)?

I know for a fact that Allied forces were slightly inferior to German forces on some points. I know that the Ardennes was ill-protected on the French side. The defenses were poorly constructed, and ...
2
votes
1answer
234 views

Was anyone blamed for Japan's defeat at Tai'erzhuang?

The battle of Tai'erzhuang was the first major Chinese victory in the Second Sino-Japanese war. IJA 10th and 5th divisions, aiming to take Tai'erzhuang and ultimately Xuzhou, were instead held up in ...
-5
votes
1answer
295 views

How long did the battle of Bosworth last?

How long the battle of Bosworth actually last?
7
votes
1answer
674 views

How many tons of bombs were dropped on Britain between 1940 July 10 and September 7?

1940, July 10 to September 7, was the part of the Battle of Britain before the Blitz. In other words, it was the part where the Luftwaffe primarily focused on airfields, factories, and if I'm not ...
2
votes
3answers
872 views

Would occupying Big Round Top have been a good idea for the Confederates?

A lot of attention was given at the end of the 19th century to the "what if" the Confederates occupied the Little Round Top at Gettysburg, but there's the Big Round Top nearby and the Confederates ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Which fortress east of Ancient Megiddo did Thutmose III go to during the siege?

After the ancient Battle of Megiddo, the rebels fell back to the city of Megiddo and the Egyptian army was victorious. The Egyptian army besieged the city of Megiddo by building a moat and a wooden ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why weren't the Egyptians attacked on sight in the ancient Battle of Megiddo?

In 1457 BC, Thutmose III and his army had to pass the mountains to reach Megiddo. He had three passes he could go through, one in the North, called Jokneam Pass, and another pass in the South, called ...
0
votes
1answer
727 views

Were ancient (Greek) battles fought like duels between heroes? [closed]

In dramas on TV and film we are often shown a "hero" standing in front of the army, fighting alone against a "villain". Their soldier comrades don't help out much, as we would expect them to do in ...
7
votes
1answer
332 views

Who is the officer/soldier in a cave that received a morale boost from a spider?

Today on the radio, I heard about a commander or an officer who was in a cave waiting for a battle to start and he was feeling that he will be defeated because of the large enemy forces (he was in a ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Physics of a heavy cavalry charge?

Can someone explain a heavy cavalry charge? A bunch of 500kg animals smashes into a dense crowd of men at speed of 40km/h. This simply cannot end good for neither side. Let's say the charge fails. The ...
9
votes
1answer
236 views

Which town or village in Britain lost the greatest percentage of men in WWI due to “Pals Battalions”?

The British decision to create "Pals Battalions" of men from a single town or village led to unanticipated disasters when Pals battalions ran into heavy resistance, with large numbers of men from a ...
1
vote
1answer
456 views

What's the story behind this photo from WWI?

Warning: the photograph below is very graphic and may disturb some viewers, hence the spoiler tag. Click at your own risk. The picture shows the skeletal corpse of a dead German infantryman (the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the largest battle fought by ancient Rome?

What was the largest battle, by number of participants, in which ancient Rome took part? Not counting sieges. A quick Google search reveals nothing authoritative, but some discussion threads mention ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Did “el Empecinado” fight in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1810)?

I'm writing a little piece on Juan Martín Díez, el Empecinado (the most famous Spanish guerrilla leader of the Peninsular War), and I need to know if he took part in the defence of Ciudad Rodrigo ...
2
votes
2answers
586 views

Why the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) was “the last of the old sieges”?

During the Crimean War (1853–56), Charles George Gordon took part in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55), calling it "the last of the old sieges". What made Sevastopol so "old fashioned" for a comment ...
0
votes
2answers
916 views

Has there ever a period in history when people were not killing each other? [closed]

Has there ever a period in history when people were nice to each other and not killing each other? In other words, since humans arrived, have the inhabitants of this planet ever enjoyed world peace? ...
5
votes
1answer
541 views

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

I'm looking for information of the Battle of Worms (436). Exactly, did Flavius Aetius and/or Attila command or fight on it? Wikipedia page on Aetius, under the "Battles/wars" column, mentions only a "...
5
votes
2answers
842 views

What were the most used drugs in battles and wars?

I have read that germans used extensively Pervitin (Methamphetamine) in WWII. So, I guess there are other drugs used in wars and battles throughout history. What were the most used drugs in battles ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Battles 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Did medieval commanders exchange words before battle?

Random question for anyone who reads accounts of medieval battles. Was it customary for European medieval commanders to exchange words before battle, not merely for diplomatic reasons but more out of ...
28
votes
7answers
11k views

Why did trench warfare accept deadlocks?

As someone who has never studied military history or strategy I find it very hard to understand how and why both sides got locked into relatively short lines of heavily defended trench warfare with ...
36
votes
12answers
8k views

Lost battles - 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
186 views

Help me recognize this naval action

I recall reading a Wikipedia article about an Age of Sail naval combat incident between two vessels, the smaller one being attacked by the larger one. I don't remember anything about the participants ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did England and Portugal cheap out on the Battle of Aljubarrota?

One of the most important and famous battles in the Iberian Peninsula took place in Aljubarrota. There were two main parties: Castile (with Aragonese, French and Italian support) Portugal (with ...
7
votes
0answers
401 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!
2
votes
1answer
294 views

Historical use of air guns in 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
621 views

Why was Luodian important in the Battle of Shanghai?

In the middle of the 3-month long Battle of Shanghai, the small town of Luodian on the outskirts of Shanghai saw some of the heaviest fighting. After Japanese troops made successful amphibious ...
4
votes
4answers
460 views

Magic armies examples in history?

Are there any examples of attempting to use magic in history? Note that I don't mean magic is real. I mean that some crazy commanders could THINK it is real and try to utilize it in battle. For ...
3
votes
3answers
346 views

Battle which has been decided by an epidemic plague

Well i think the title say's all but here some necessary details to make some focus: I would like to know if there's a record of a Battle or a Siege (or War, but only optional) which have been ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Battles that ended with a disaster for all the parties

Have there ever been (recorded) battles (in the middle-ages) which ended badly for all parties? I would like to explain what could be meant by disaster giving to possible scenarios: by disaster I ...
5
votes
4answers
905 views

Why is the battle of Hampton Roads known as the Monitor vs the Merrimack?

The American Civil War battle of the ironclad warships which took place on the Elizabeth River in Virginia has several common names. One way which it is commonly referenced is as simply the "Monitor ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How thick was late medieval horse armor?

Do you know how thick was late medieval horse plate armor? Was it as thick as its rider's armor? Good horses were expensive and valuable, especially during a battle, so it makes sense to protect them. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

When was the first airborne combat drop?

I know that airborne troops became famous in WWII, but was that the first time they actually fought after parachuting into the combat zone? What was the first instance in which paratroopers in an ...