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Questions tagged [defense]

Questions related to the history of the strategy designed for the protection of assets or territory, usually with regards to military, political, sporting, gaming, or other similar activities.

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21 votes
8 answers
9k views

Why did the Soviets not shoot down US spy satellites during the Cold War?

The USSR was not happy with unauthorised overflights, shooting down everything it could, from spy balloons to U-2s. Also, despite repeated US proposals, something like the Open Skies treaty was only ...
against very long user names's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
160 views

What are some examples that show medieval stone construction on top of older foundations?

Are there any more blatant examples that show new construction or repairs on older construction? Buildings like castles or walls With visible differences between the two construction eras? For example ...
aah123's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why weren’t the Dutch and Belgian borders fortified with wire, trenches, mines, etc., as it became clear Germany would invade during WW2?

Following standard military doctrine, a full mobilization of the opponent nation is the clearest indication of hostile intentions, short of an actual declaration of war. Considering that massive, ...
M. Y. Zuo's user avatar
  • 518
3 votes
2 answers
583 views

How did the United Kingdom government come to be responsible for defence of the Channel Islands?

The government of the United Kingdom is responsible for the defence of, and foreign relations of, the Channel Islands. How did this arrangement come about? Was there a specific agreement/decision/...
Nemo's user avatar
  • 155
0 votes
2 answers
305 views

Are there any modern history examples of large scale conflicts where warfare technology provides a great advantage to the defender, except WWI? [closed]

One of the characteristics of World War I was the Trench warfare which shows one of those cases when defender has a large advantage over the attacker: (..) a revolution in firepower was not matched ...
Alexei's user avatar
  • 1,087
0 votes
2 answers
391 views

Was there any sort of medieval defensive contraption which dropped rocks on attackers?

I was wondering if there's any evidence of such a contraption in the Middle Ages? I'm imagining this as a cousin to the catapult; instead of catapulting rocks on attackers, they simply drop rocks on ...
Ajani Stella's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
269 views

How were Japanese elite divisions defeated? [closed]

During the early months of the involvement of Japan in World War 2, Japanese land armies performed well against British, American and other Allied (Filipino, Dutch) troops. From my research, on books ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,791
2 votes
1 answer
127 views

How much protection did Fort Warren afford Boston?

Fort Warren (constructed 1833–1861) was built on Georges Island in Boston Harbor, by my understanding to guard what was then the main channel into Boston, marked "Main Shipping Channel" on ...
DavidC's user avatar
  • 403
-1 votes
1 answer
273 views

Where can I buy a tank trap? [closed]

Where could one procure a full size tank trap? I am looking for a reproduction of a full size hedgehog style tank trap meeting whatever specs exist for that sort of thing.
acpilot's user avatar
  • 185
3 votes
1 answer
562 views

Are there examples of cities planned for urban combat that actually experienced it?

I was under the impression some cities are built to make urban combat more of a mess than it already is. Specifically they are built to have bad sight lines, confusing routes for the enemy and planned ...
Max Young's user avatar
  • 213
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

What's the point of fortified castles inside fortified cities?

In the Middle Ages, people built highly fortified castles for royalty inside cities that were already fortified by walls. What was the reasoning behind that? Were they made to protect royal families ...
Ivan Yurchenko's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
239 views

How were the invasions of Korea by the Mongols and the Manchus similar?

The first Mongol invasions of 1231 forced the Koreans to capitulate and reconsider their defensive posture. In an attempt to overthrow the newly imposed tributes of the Mongols, the Koreans (at the ...
Courtny's user avatar
  • 1,661
6 votes
1 answer
891 views

Did the Arab League create a Joint Defense Council and a Permanent Military Commission?

Were the Arab League's Joint Defense Council and the Permanent Military Commission ever created? There seems to be a lack of information concerning this topic on the internet, but by the Treaty of ...
haidousm's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
1 answer
453 views

Has an armed gang ever taken a medieval city? [closed]

Are there any instances of a medium small armed gang (<100 men) entering and taking over a medieval city (in any part of the world)? How well did medieval city defenses work against medium-small ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 603
2 votes
2 answers
646 views

Why didn’t the Franco-Belgian accord of 1920 lead to extending the construction of the Maginot line along the Belgium-Netherlands border?

The Franco-Belgian Accord, which lasted from 1920 until October 1936 when Belgium declared itself neutral, included an article which 'discussed greater integration of frontier defenses' (according to ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
476 views

How did a travelling Roman army decide where to temporarily camp for the night?

I seem to remember that Sun Tzu says to avoid mountains and valley entrances, and be close to a river with grass, but how did a Roman army decide where to camp off the beaten track, such as through a ...
Dex's user avatar
  • 73
96 votes
4 answers
30k views

Why were old fortifications shaped like stars and not like circles?

The fortifications of Copenhagen, Fredericia and Acre are star-shaped. (Defense of Copenhagen is shown in the picture below.) Why not have defenses or fortifications in the shape of a pure square or ...
Ole Petersen's user avatar
  • 1,883
1 vote
1 answer
406 views

How did the SAGE system send data to in flight assets for intercept tasks?

According to Wikipedia, the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment system could automatically update the autopilot of the F-106 and the guidance system of the CIM-10 Bomarc. Presumably this would send ...
Eric Urban's user avatar
  • 1,010
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why did Pre-Columbian Americans not build city walls?

The question At the time of the European invasions after 1492, the most technologically advanced cultures in the Americas had progressed to about the same stage as the Bronze Age in the old world. ...
0range's user avatar
  • 2,706
3 votes
1 answer
452 views

How did Native Americans defend militarily? [closed]

I've seen Native Americans as great warriors who charged armies and raided settlements but I haven't heard much about their defensive capabilities. When they were attacked, did they have set up any ...
JPtheK9's user avatar
  • 133
5 votes
1 answer
640 views

Why was the Hexamillion wall incapable of preventing invasion?

The Hexamillion wall was created to fortify the only land route into the Peloponnese peninsula ~ but throughout it's history (450-1460 AD) it failed to prevent multiple invasions, acting only as a ...
Courtny's user avatar
  • 1,661
0 votes
0 answers
203 views

Why didn't Germans use chemical warfare during WW2? [duplicate]

(I have read this discussion but I feel it does not answer completely) Why haven't Germans massively use chemical warfare during WW2? The Wikipedia has a text, but for me the reasons are weak: ...
Voitcus's user avatar
  • 7,151
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

How were fortification doors protected against fire?

Ancient and medieval fortifications are often shown to have wooden gate doors in the midst of their stone walls. Now granted, these doors are often massive and incredibly thick, but it still seems ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
  • 7,692
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Examples of defense without walls

Walls (or physical barriers) appear to be the standard defensive structure for a city in order to keep invaders out. Are there examples of cultures/cities that successfully defended themselves without ...
schroeder's user avatar
  • 179
12 votes
1 answer
334 views

Was the Iraqi Mukhabarat modelled on the German Reichssicherheitshauptamt, and in what ways?

In Charles Stross' (urban fantasy-ish) novel "The Atrocity Archives", it is claimed that the Iraqi Intelligence Service Mukhabrat was modelled on the Nazi-German Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). The ...
mart's user avatar
  • 4,774
9 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why were ancient cities protected by walls?

I know the obvious answer to this question is "for protection"! But I would imagine that for a wall to be justifiable in terms of costs, attacks must have been fairly frequent. If the attacks were so ...
Django Reinhardt's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there any evidence to support the claim that the US Strategic Defense Initiative played any significant role in undermining the USSR?

I have been reading Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, and one of the things that stuck me was a quote by Soviet hydrogen bomb creator Andrei Sakharov who was released from political imprisonment ...
BrotherJack's user avatar
  • 5,795
11 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is there any historical evidence of boiling oil being poured on attackers?

A typical modern scenario of the medieval siege was the throwing of oil on the attackers from ramparts. Oil was really expensive so why waste it on attackers? Most commonly the items thrown were ...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
495 views

How many recorded incidents are there of attacks on Australian soil?

There are two that I am aware of: Japanese midget submarines entering Sydney Harbour The bombing of Darwin 1942 and 1943 I am not looking for Naval battles but actual attacks on Australian soil.
going's user avatar
  • 902