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Questions tagged [warfare]

For questions related to: acts of organized violence between groups of people where the violence often has a political purpose; the impact of such violence on peoples/nations; and any other related questions.

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What historic examples are there of swords being used a primary weapon in history? [closed]

Before anybody says anything I've already heard it all before "Swords were historically sidearms." "Swords aren't meant to be primary weapons." and all other such things. I ...
Masakan's user avatar
  • 105
3 votes
0 answers
256 views

How effective were early modern hand grenades?

I saw a video about the 1683 siege of Vienna, and in the video, it talked about hand grenades that were used in the siege, and that the Ottomans used glass grenades that would explode once shattered ...
Chuck's user avatar
  • 139
27 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why were slings phased out of medieval armies in favor of bows?

I was watching some videos on slings and was surprised by how long-ranged and powerful they could be. This test indicates its power could be similar to that of a 9mm bullet. According to Wikipedia, ...
Twilight Sparkle's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
382 views

When did the Allied war aims change?

At which point exactly did the aims of the allied powers in the Second World War change from what they were initially to the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and the other members of the Axis? ...
user22453's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
6k views

How much more damage can a big cannon do to a ship than a small one?

I don't think anyone will argue with the fact that the mass of projectiles a Napoleonic era warship could fire at its opponent mattered - a 36 pound ball will naturally tend to cause more damage and ...
Kugelblitz's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
286 views

What happened to the rowers during boarding actions in ancient Greece?

My research thus far has led me to the following conclusions: The main methods of dispatching enemy ships during naval combat in ancient Greece was by ramming and by boarding, with ramming being the ...
Achi's user avatar
  • 171
2 votes
2 answers
223 views

Could skirmishers pass through friendly formations in ancient/medieval warfare? [closed]

I'm trying to get a visualization of how skirmishers were used in historical battles, especially during ancient Greek warfare. Could skirmisher formations pass through friendly formations? As in was ...
Achi's user avatar
  • 171
0 votes
1 answer
234 views

Was there any war won by the victim without sending forces to lands/seas/air of the attacker?

Was there ever in history a victim that won the war, remaining totally on its own lands? No sea, air, or land attacks on the lands of the attacker or their allies. A necessary notice about what is &...
Gangnus's user avatar
  • 7,269
19 votes
3 answers
6k views

How much louder was a Napoleonic era cannon than a musket?

I recently stumbled upon this impressive quote about the Battle of Borodino in a video (here at 5:07): "The artillery roared to such an extent that from dawn until the middle of the day we ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 1,300
-2 votes
2 answers
239 views

What was the nature of conflict between Helvetii and German in prelude to Gallic Wars?

In Caesar's diaries from Gallic Wars, he states that Helvetii battled Germans "almost daily, repelling them from their own territories or waging wars on German frontiers". What were German ...
Reverent Lapwing's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
166 views

Is there a database of wars in Europe since 1945?

I'm currently improving a Timeline I build some time ago, this Timeline of Wars in Europe since 1945. I did used several sources, including Wikidata, to get the list of conflicts to include. Yet, ...
James's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
187 views

Did soldiers wear helmets in the 19th century? [closed]

When trying to do research in military history, I got interested in 19th century warfare. I know that they wore a lot of hats back then, but did they also wear helmets? I know that helmets existed at ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 143
5 votes
1 answer
887 views

How were medieval camp followers vetted?

So I'm writing a medieval epic fantasy book, as one does. I've read in a few places that armies should have camp followers, but frankly, I'm not sure what that means or how that might operate. As I ...
veryconfusedman's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
98 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 ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Where was gunpowder invented/ discovered?

There are many people on the internet claiming that India discovered/ invented gunpowder for eg, many of these claims quote Dr. Gustav Oppart (acs.org, and see below). Wikipedia says that gunpowder ...
Babu's user avatar
  • 500
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was the quality of Roman armor really worse than the armor of knights of the XII-XIV centuries?

When I was studying the metallurgy of ancient Rome, I saw a rather controversial study done by Michael Fulford, David Sim and Alistair Doig called "The production of Roman ferrous armour:a ...
MaxPryhodko's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
5k views

Were British infantry trained to shoot attacking aircraft with rifles?

In WWII the Allies were surrounded at Dunkirk as they waited for the Navy to ferry them back to England. In the movie "Dunkirk" there are entire Battalions of British troops standing in huge ...
Lorry Laurence mcLarry's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
436 views

What is the price of modern warfare compared to medieval in terms of GDP?

I recently read that the Russians launched 35 missiles each costing around 1 million USD on Jarov, which made me realize that modern warfare is, to put it mildly, very expensive. But I would probably ...
fbence's user avatar
  • 605
2 votes
0 answers
191 views

Do wars in Europe rarely start on a Wednesday? [closed]

When the Russian ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, was asked by the German newspaper Die Welt whether Russian armed forces would start to invade the Ukraine on Wednesday February 16th, as ...
New User's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
523 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. ...
user110391's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
523 views

Have sanctions ever stopped a nation from starting or continuing a war?

I am asking about nations that would be considered “Great Powers”. It is my understanding that the U.S. oil embargo on Imperial Japan did nothing to stop Japan’s war in China and actually caused them ...
cattmurry's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
474 views

Where and how were the catapults/trebuchets operators trained?

Practice makes perfect: give someone enough time with a sling, bow or crossbow and after a while he will learn to hit the target - you don't need to know much science, as much of the learning revolves ...
Yasskier's user avatar
  • 3,420
-3 votes
1 answer
963 views

How, just how you can burn down a stone structure? [closed]

I often encounter claims that this or that stone temple or fortress was "burned down" sometime in the past. How this could happen? One example (of many) is the claim that Church of St. Mary ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.8k
2 votes
2 answers
346 views

Why did Lübeck not have colonies like other strong city-states?

Why did Lübeck not have colonies, far away trading-posts or even more land like other strong city-states? They had a big fleet and a big army as well. For example the city-state of Venice was rich on ...
Ole Petersen's user avatar
  • 1,883
0 votes
1 answer
230 views

Has any losing general in history tried to save his mens' lives by offering to disband, rather than surrender, his army?

The losing general proposes to effect a "cease fire" by giving his soldiers discharge papers (or absent papers, a "token") that the enemy agrees to honor, signifying that the ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
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
4 votes
1 answer
770 views

Do we know why the Scythians and Sarmatians were overpowered by the Goths, Huns, and Slavs so quickly?

I'm doing a project on the Scythians and Sarmatians and so I've been reading up on ancient wars involving them and I've noticed the following: So, from around 500 BCE to 1 CE the Scytho-Sarmatians ...
WOAHDUDE's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
115 views

How were warriors wielding axes deployed in combat?

IIRC ancient & medieval soldiers have been wielding axes in battles since Sumerian times. My question is essentially, how were these warriors deployed in an Army? Most soldiers were in tight ...
gdsfshtre's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
783 views

Did medieval armies cultivate resources during their campaigns?

Reading on the siege of Constantinople of 717, the following is mentioned: The Arab army was well-provisioned, with Arab accounts reporting high mounds of supplies piled up in their camp, and had ...
YokedSinger8062's user avatar
42 votes
4 answers
10k views

Were kamikaze pilots an effective strategy for Japan?

history.howstuffworks.com claims kamikaze pilots were not overly effective. Wikipedia states that there was no noticeable increase in number of ships lost even as kamikaze pilots became more common, ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 771
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How was reconnaissance performed in medieval warfare?

During the middle ages reconnaissance played at least a minor part in a tactician's plans. As evidenced by this question Irish Hobelars would be used to scout ahead in terrain that was too difficult ...
PausePause's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
119 views

After World War 2, was there a trend to say "defense" instead of "war"?

In answering a question whether "defense forces" has any legal meaning, I noticed a trend. Before World War 2 military departments and ministries used terms like "war". After World ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 55.1k
25 votes
5 answers
6k views

Have any kings ever been serving admirals?

As the title says, has any person who has held or has gone on to hold the title of King (or some other similar monarchical title) ever been a serving admiral, who has exercised actual command of a ...
Monty Wild'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
-1 votes
2 answers
217 views

Do revolutions always need public support in order to succeed long-term? [closed]

I normally frequent Worldbuilding StackExchange, and I recently asked a question about werewolves attempting to declare themselves an independent, sovereign state in the American West. However, this ...
user2352714's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
826 views

Are there any tanks with the gun and autoloader outside the main turret?

Basically as title. I've been thinking about this hybrid turret design for quite some time now. Essentially, I had this idea for a potential design for a tank turret that could be accomplished with an ...
NXTangl's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
1 answer
802 views

Did French troops use chemical weapons during the Siege of Laghouat in 1852?

During the Siege of Laghouat in Algeria, the French army massacred around 3627 civilians. Many sources suggest that the colonial army also used chemical weapons in that confrontation. However in these ...
elsadek's user avatar
  • 147
6 votes
3 answers
436 views

How common was capturing a post-sail warship?

From this answer it appears that capturing an enemy warship in battle, either by boarding, or by shooting at them from bow or stern until they surrender, was relatively common in the age of sail. ...
sds's user avatar
  • 27k
2 votes
0 answers
141 views

Has a prize ship ever been surrendered to a neutral country?

According to the Hague Peace Convention of 1907, §13 Art. 3, whenever a belligerent power captures a prize ship in the territorial waters of a neutral power, the belligerent power must surrender the ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 2,810
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the origin of Americans sometimes refering to the Second World War "the Good War"?

WWII has gone down in American popular memory as "the Good War" (later criticized by authors like Studs Terkel, etc.). But who coined this term? I don't mean the concept, which refers to the ...
Howard Roark's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
98 views

Did Spanish missions block exploration of South America?

According to The river sea : the Amazon in history, myth, and legend, page 112, In any study of these wild regions [of South America], one is constantly astounded, even moved, regardless of one's ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 2,584
5 votes
6 answers
918 views

Was the tide of war ever turned by a wonder weapon?

There seems to be a repeating topos in history, where powers on the loosing side of a war try to turn its tide by inventing new, secret and/or super weapons. The misguided hope seems to be that these ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 1,300
-2 votes
1 answer
236 views

Did they use flying drones around 1925 for warfare?

In the Soviet sci-fi film "Napoleon-gas" (1925) they use radio-controlled flying drones for air warfare. Here is the timed link to this place in the film. I wonder if this is a pure sci-fi ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 32.8k
6 votes
2 answers
499 views

How did smaller feudal vassal realms survive a war or raid?

Say you're a knight or baron or just generally a landowner who swears fealty to a much more higher title than you. One day a war breaks out between a rival realm or raiders from a more tribal-like one ...
Nagaraja's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
635 views

Did Germans refuse to take Cossacks prisoners in WWI? If so, why?

The Russian Wikipedia's page about Kozma Kryuchkov, the first awardee of Russia's Cross of Saint George in the First World War, says: После этого случая, освещённого почти во всей тогдашней ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 701
33 votes
3 answers
6k views

Has there been any "invasive plants warfare" in the past?

Has there been any events of warfare in the past which used invasive plants to damage any country's (or kingdom's) food crops or its natural vegetation? Some details: The damage done by invasive ...
user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
10k views

Who said: "Armies prepare to fight their last war, rather than their next war"?

There is a famous quote which I've seen phrased in several different ways. "Armies prepare to fight their last war, rather than their next war" "Generals prepare to fight their father'...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
235 views

Which 'march across the ice' had comparatively the most casualties?

I'm wondering whether a 'march across the ice' has ever ended in a catastrophe. These events are typically described as "risky", "daring", "bold", and "exceptional&...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

Where from, and in what way, did the first detailed account of the use of self-propelled torpedoes reach the RN and USN?

Three possible candidates seem to exist for the first verified (non-participant) observation of a torpedo boat assault. The options are the Russo-Turkish War, at Caldera Bay, or at Weihaiwei, all of ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
8 votes
2 answers
790 views

Help on finding out about a sword

After my mother passed away, I found this sword. I'm trying to get any information on it. It's one-piece, and appears to be brass under all the erosion but I could be wrong about the metal. I think it'...
CMR's user avatar
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