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Questions tagged [war]

An armed conflict between state actors, typically for a political or economic aim. Use this tag for specific wars.

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What was the last profitable war?

I was having a conversation with family and friends this weekend and this question came up: "what was the last profitable war?" Of course in history there were wars that turned a profit, ones I can ...
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What significant historical events led to the current Lybian Civil War? [on hold]

There has been a lot of sporatic world news reports about the current Lybian Civil War without much historical context to its cause. What significant historical events led to the current Lybian Civil ...
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7answers
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Do historians agree that most wars are caused by religion?

I'm not a historian, but this is a very common claim that crops up in debates over God's existence and religious scripture. What is the opinion of the community of professional historians?
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14answers
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Has anyone ever named a war after their own country or faction?

An interesting conversation has come up on the Science Fiction and Fantasy SE site. I will try to summarize it as briefly as possible. Someone asked a question about the second Star Wars prequel. ...
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2answers
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What was Yugoslavia doing in the Angolan Civil War?

I was looking through Wikipedia (a mixed quality source) about the military history of Yugoslavia, when I noticed this odd listing of Yugoslavia as one of the combatants in the Angolan Civil War (1975-...
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3answers
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How much armor did elephant units wear?

I often hear stories about enemies defeating elephant riders by axing the legs of the elephants. Does this mean that the commander of the elephant army did not put enough armor on the elephants' legs?...
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Trying to identify what military service, war and rank by the uniform

I have been searching google images, tried a reverse search and found nothing. I have looked on many sites and cannot identify the service. I do know he has 9 buttons on his coat, 3 on the cuffs, red ...
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3answers
494 views

Why didn't global trade and investment prevent World War I from erupting in Europe? [closed]

It has often been said that world trade and investment between nations makes war between nations an irrational act. If your trading partner is hurt, it hurts your own wallet as well because you lose ...
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3answers
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Why did Spain trade Florida to the British in exchange for Havana?

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. wikipedia Why did Spain trade Florida to ...
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1answer
342 views

Did Arabs actually raise a red flag on the dome of their commander's marquee during the Haraam months?

This answer to the question What is the purpose of putting a red flag on the dome of Hussain ibn Ali(as)'s shrine? states that if Arabs were at war with each other, during the Haraam months there ...
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1answer
233 views

Why did Ancient Greek city-states fight each other and how did they morally justify it? [closed]

I'm curious about why the different city-states in Ancient Greece fought war against each other and how did their leaders motivate their people to take up arms, leave their families and farms and go ...
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7answers
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Was Japan known to be a potential threat to the USA in the 10 year period prior to 1941

In the years leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack, did non-military Americans see Japan as a potential threat to the USA?
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5answers
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How did pastoral nomads keep winning battles/wars? When did the tide turn against them for settled societies?

From the Huns to the Mongols, pastoral nomads keep coming up in history books. Entire empires have fallen to them, from Rome to various Chinese dynasties to Persians. And yet, when these nomads settle ...
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2answers
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In medieval times, were captured nobles always ransomed?

Was watching the directors cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and one of the scenes had an actor playing what seemed to be a nobelman stating that he is according the privilege of ransom. While I remember that ...
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1answer
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Why has Nepal never been conquered or colonized?

Why has no country conquered or colonized Nepal? Nepal lost the Anglo-Nepalese War with East India Company but was not colonized.
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2answers
299 views

Could medieval soldiers be organized into a Roman style legion order of battle?

Is there any reason why medieval soldiers could not have been organized into the order of battle of the Roman Empire by a ruler or empire that chose to do so? Integrating crossbowmen, longbowmen, ...
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6answers
3k views

Were slave armies used?

In both fantasy and science fiction, from books, movies, games and tv shows, slave armies are a concept that is used pretty often. A well known example of this is the Unsullied from Game of Thrones. ...
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0answers
122 views

What was the number of native casualties in the Muslim invasion of Hispania?

Where can I find information about the number of casualties amongst native peoples produced by the Muslim invasion of Visigothic Hispania? Strangely, it's very easy to get an estimate of the number ...
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2answers
205 views

What anti-Japanese guerrilla units were active in Manchuria from 1944-1945?

I am writing a historical fiction novel with a North Korean protagonist joining anti-Japanese guerrilla forces in Manchuria in 1944. I understand that major anti-Japanese resistance in Manchuria was ...
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1answer
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Did Ted Nugent dodge the draft?

I've asked whether this is in scope: Are draft-dodgers in scope?. I'm not sure,but I'll crack on anyway. Too what extent did Ted Nugent dodge the draft for Vietnam. He certainly did receive ...
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4answers
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Why was Eisenhower chosen to be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe?

Dwight D. Eisenhower "Ike", graduated from West Point in 1915 ranked 61st in a class of 164 better known for his abilities on the football field than in the classroom. Upon graduation from West Point ...
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5answers
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Has there been a war in which the South conquered the North?

There've been many wars in which the side known as the "North" conquered the one known as the "South", e.g.: Three Kingdoms period in China: the Northern kingdom conquered the two Southern ones The ...
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1answer
256 views

Why were the Soviets better at replacing their lost men and material? [duplicate]

Battle of Kursk is considered a Soviet decisive victory, no doubt it was the last major German offensive at the Eastern front. But why so? Casualties indicate the Soviets suffered 1 million ...
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1answer
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Revolutions: which side does the nation's military join? [closed]

Historically, when there has been a notably significant revolution to overthrow the standing government, does the military typically defend the government or join the revolutionists?
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5answers
13k views

Has there ever been an instance of an active nuclear power plant within or near a war zone?

The question Has there ever been a military combat going on around an active (running or in outage but not decommissioned) commercial nuclear power plant? Or dangerously near it? If yes, how did the ...
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5answers
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What was the first known war in history?

Not the first instance of warfare, which surely predates recorded history, but of an organized war between civilizations. For the purposes of this question I'll define a war as: Defined scope: the ...
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3answers
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How were diplomats and their staffs treated when World War II was declared?

This could be a large and varied subject so I will restrict it to the 20th century and give two instances. In Sept 39, after Poland was invaded, the British diplomat in Berlin handed a note to the ...
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11answers
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When was the last time a reigning monarch personally participated in battle?

A similar question was asked about only British monarchs. The conditions in this question are the same, but for monarchs world-wide. For the sake of this question, tribal chiefs are not considered ...
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6answers
825 views

Has any war in recorded history ever resulted in the complete annihilation (civil and military) of an enemy - all of them killed with no survivors?

Question In reviewing the Wiki topic on War of annihilation it is clear that there have been several examples (many of them in recent history) wherein the goal of a war was to utterly destroy an ...
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1answer
234 views

Mexican Indian wars in the north

I am seeking information about Mexican Army Operations against Apaches and other Native American militant tribes (such as the Apaches, Comanches, Yaquis, etc) in the northern part of the country. If ...
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2answers
236 views

Has an encirclement ever succeeded with numerically inferior cavalry?

This is a follow up to my previous question. In all the examples given there was some other advantage that decided the battle and not encirclement. For example at Narva They attacked inexperienced ...
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2answers
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Why did General Billy Mitchell regard war with Japan as inevitable as early as 1912?

llama stated in Comments about General Billy Mitchell's observation from March 1912 after touring Russo Japanese War Battle Fields, "war between the United States and Japan is inevitable". @llama ...
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1answer
232 views

Did people ever pour drinks on the floor to reject a toast or indicate an end to civilities?

In a fantasy book called "Jack of Shadows" by Roger Zelazny I read this: A disgraced member of a ruling party is being forced to ceremonially drink to the coronation of the new king, but instead ...
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Why didn't Russia seize California when it could? [closed]

Spanish colonies in the Californias, created in part to forestall Russian expansion, were militarily weak. The military had only a few hundred men in the whole territory, and no ships at all. It was ...
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Military expenditure over time [closed]

The following graph from the world bank website shows the world wide military expenditure in percentage of the world GDP over time from 1988 to 2015 I am trying to find similar data over a much ...
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2answers
31k views

Did Erwin König Exist?

Erwin König Was a sniper supposedly killed by Vasily Zaytsev in the Battle of Stalingrad. The diary of Vasily Zaytsev mentions killing Erwin Konig, and there is a sniper scope in Russia, but there is ...
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1answer
2k views

What caused the shift from annexation of territory, to colonization of territory?

What caused the shift from annexation of territory, to colonization of territory? I've been thinking about this for some time, but can't come to any definite conclusions as my knowledge in history ...
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2answers
716 views

Why was the Me262 not suited for a bomber role?

A documentary at Radio-Canada named "mégastructures nazies" mentioned the Me262 as not being suited for a bomber role. Also, Albert Speer was against the decision to convert the Me262 to this role, as ...
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2answers
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Was Nixon's Vietnam claim right before the 1968 election true?

In Richard Nixon's final appeal to voters on NBC right before the 1968 Presidential Election, he made an explosive claim about the Vietnam war. Here is how the Eugene Register-Guard reported it: [...
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2answers
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Why and how were the Mongols able to invade Russia successfully?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27 The campaign was heralded by the Battle of the Kalka River in 1223, which resulted in a Mongol victory over the forces of several Rus' ...
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0answers
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What was the troop ratio between the red and white army in the Russian revolution?

I am making a game over the Russian Revolution for English class. I want to make this game a somewhat accurate representation of the Russian Revolution. I have been able find the answers to all of my ...
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1answer
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How could Germany afford waging WWII? [duplicate]

I have been asked on several occasions how could Germany afford to start such a big war as WWII. Of course, they mean multiple aspects such money and other actors (countries) allowing it. Also, ...
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What pretext did Hitler use to justify Operation Barbarossa?

At the beginning of WW2, Nazi Germany orchestrated the infamous Gleiwitz Incident, which was used by Hitler to publicly declare, that since 5:45 we are returning fire. The invasion of Poland ...
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3answers
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Switzerland's political isolation after World War II

Does anyone know what were the reasons of Switzerland's political isolation on the international scene after World War II and how did it manage to break out of isolation?
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8answers
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How did the US/South Vietnam lose the Vietnam war?

South Vietnam was helped by US. Even when the US was gone, they had a 1 million army. So why did they lose? Even without US support, South Vietnam had about the same manpower, higher technology, and ...
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2answers
944 views

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes Rivers?

Are there Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River? If so, what are they, who authored them, and how do they differ from the Greek & Roman accounts?
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Did the military industrial complex play a role in LBJ's decision to increase America's involvement in Vietnam?

Path to War (2002) starts with LBJ's election victory in 1964 and shows him making somewhat irrational decisions, against the well-argued advice of some of his advisers, leading to the War in Vietnam. ...
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1answer
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How accurate is the book “Rifleman Dodd”?

I recently borrowed a Napoleonic war era book titled Rifleman Dodd, by C.S.Forester. It was a entertaining story set in Portugal in the years 1810-1811. I'm wondering if the book is a work of fiction ...
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What reasons did the Confederacy have for believing they would have a quick victory?

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, both sides were very confident in a quick and easy victory. I can see why the North would think so: they had a better trained army, better infrastructure (...
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1answer
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What does “setting up a trophy” mean in ancient Greece 5th century B.C.?

I'm reading Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War and time and a gain armies are said to "set up a trophy" on a site. What does that mean? What was concretely done at the site where a trophy was set up? ...