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Questions tagged [combat]

For questions regarding specifically physical combat between individuals, as distinct from the tactical scale of an entire [battle] or overall [warfare].

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12 votes
2 answers
368 views

What is meant by this medieval reference to combat 'under-ground'?

I was reading The History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of London, by William Herbert (1836), and came across an interesting turn of phrase. In a section discussing early guilds predating the ...
justCal's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
1k views

Before Idriss Deby, who was the last head of state to be killed in combat?

Reuters reports this morning that Idriss Deby, president of Chad, was killed while visiting troops engaged in armed combat. I can’t remember the last time I heard of a head of state being killed in ...
templatetypedef's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
159 views

Was combat beneath the pikes a common type of fight in XVII century?

As far as one can see, warfare is always defined by the leading army that at some point dominated a region. For instance in Europe in the XVII century one of the most famous and effective "army&...
user2820579's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
435 views

How deep would a Roman Marian cohort's battle line be, in a melee?

Are there any estimates for how deep a Roman battle line was, under Marius, at the level of a cohort? Whether the line was 3, 6, or another number of ranks deep? I'd suppose 3 would be a minimum, and ...
Hoseman's user avatar
  • 93
20 votes
5 answers
6k views

Did line infantry units have designated marksmen?

I've found the picture below on the TotalWar game series forum, but doing the reverse image search, shows that it is actually quite popular (however, I couldn't find the author or the title): It ...
Yasskier's user avatar
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26 votes
6 answers
14k views

How did archers judge distance before range finders?

Before electronics, was there a method for judging distance in archery? What methods were used historically? How were combat archers trained to judge distances?
Amethyst Wizard's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
12k views

Which Allied aircraft scored the most air-to-air kills against the Me 262 in WWII?

Backgound: The Schwalbe (German: "Swallow") fighter version of the Messerschmitt Me 262 was the first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, with the first test unit having been formed on 19 April,...
Kerry L's user avatar
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32 votes
5 answers
12k views

Why did the grip-centered viking shield fall out of use relative to the kite shields?

Did Normans have battle advantage with strapped kite shields over Saxons and Vikings with their grip-centered shield style of fighting? What often comes to my mind are battles like Hastings (1066). ...
Jotunn's user avatar
  • 661
1 vote
1 answer
982 views

Why don't tanks have radar aimed guns?

After World War II, plenty of radar aimed guns were developed for the purpose of targeting the guns of anti-aircraft vehicles. Why hasn't this same technology been applied to tanks? A 900 MHz radar ...
Eric Urban's user avatar
  • 1,010
1 vote
1 answer
745 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 ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
  • 4,259
5 votes
1 answer
339 views

Did anyone ever use comedy as a combat tactic?

Fighters are known to use war-cries, taunts, gestures and postures before engaging their enemy in order to increase their own adrenaline or to intimidate the enemy or throw off their concentration. A ...
Lorry Laurence mcLarry's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was Textile Armour More Effective at Stopping Arrows than Mail?

You hear accounts of guys trundling around with a dozen arrows sticking out of their padded armour, looking like pin cushions. This has lead to the belief padded cloth armours could stop arrows ...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 159
0 votes
2 answers
3k 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? ...
End Antisemitic Hate's user avatar
27 votes
6 answers
18k views

Was there any practical use for German spiked helmets (Pickelhaube)?

In 1916, during the First World War, the Germans dropped the idea of using the pickelhaube because it wasn't practical in the trenches. I read the wiki, but I am left with one question: It remained ...
CsBalazsHungary's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
306 views

What were the political goals of the United States' intervention in the Russian Civil War? [closed]

My understanding is that the United States sent two separate ground forces to take part in the Russian Civil War Polar Bear Expedition American Expeditionary Force Siberia Only the Polar Bear ...
Eric Urban's user avatar
  • 1,010
30 votes
4 answers
6k views

In WWII, what were the major differences in tank combat on the eastern and western fronts?

Nearly every nation deployed tanks in World War II. What are some differences in tactics between the eastern front in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the western front in France, the Low Countries, and ...
I Like Computurs's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

How many Spartan boys survived army training?

Spartan combat training was very rough and dangerous. What percentage of boys survived their training?
Eowyn12's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are there any examples of soldiers faking their death a combat before the modern era? [closed]

Let me give you a simple scenario, let's say two huge armies are attacking each other, thousands of soldiers are attacking, one of the armies starts to have a lot of casualties and begins to retreat (...
moudiz's user avatar
  • 1,590