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312 votes
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Do historians agree that most wars are caused by religion?

The idea that "most wars are caused by religion" is trivially false. From what I can see, this is a rhetoric rooted in a critique of theism, rather than serious historical analysis. Even a casual ...
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102 votes
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Has NATO ever started a war?

There are four main NATO "operations" that can be interpreted as starting a war: Bosnian War. NATO intervened with Operation Deliberate Force. Kosovo War. NATO intervened with Operation ...
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100 votes

Where is the bloodiest square mile on Earth?

Strong contenders would likely include the deadlier major WW1 battlefields (Passchendaele, Verdun, Somme, etc.) - they were more spread out than a single square mile, but the amount of casualties in ...
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100 votes
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Where is the bloodiest square mile on Earth?

The square mile around the Colosseum in Rome seems a likely candidate for most deaths using conventional weapons. Within a mile of the Colosseum were the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum where ...
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83 votes
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Why didn't battleship Bismarck have more support?

The Germans wanted to send more, but there were none available. Most were unsuitable to escort Bismarck. Those which were suitable were damaged. A good warship for commerce raiding is fast, both to ...
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71 votes

How has hearing loss been avoided in war?

Until the 1940s, it was believed that the cure to loud noises was developing a tolerance to them: The pervasive attitude of the early 1900s was that hearing loss could be prevented by developing a ...
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70 votes

Was any stimulant used in wars before WW2 that gave a significant advantage to soldiers?

FC: What exactly is a 'stimulant'? We might follow some modern definition and arrive at a certain restricted subset of chemicals that includes meth and modafinil. But that excludes quite a bit of ...
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69 votes
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Has there ever been a truly multi-sided war?

There have been at least a few wars with more than two opposing factions. Algerian War: Opponents: Algerians aligned with one of two liberation movements ("National Liberation Front"; "Algerian ...
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67 votes

How did pilots know when to release bombs on airplanes during World War2?

Electronic computing was not available, but a simple and constrained problem like timing a bomb drop can be handled by a dedicated mechanical or electromechanical device, the bombsight. These are "...
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60 votes
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When did countries begin making up a pretext before starting a war?

I think it has always been done, e.g., 3,000 years ago Greeks justified a war by a kidnapping allegation. Justification of war is important for one's own troop and population morale, so the ...
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60 votes
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How were tanks scrapped after World War Two?

Once nobody was willing or able to use them(either in other conflicts or as bulldozers), tanks were stripped of any particularly valuable or reusable parts, and whatever was left was disassembled/cut ...
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59 votes
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Why can I visit battlefields, but not battleships?

Respect, preservation, and safety. While it's possible there may still be remains on a battlefield, people do their best to find and remove the bodies and bury them properly. Sunken ships often ...
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58 votes

Why are the French and Indian Wars / Seven Years' War not considered WW 1?

Continuous war was not possible That period of war, mid 18th century, was before the industrial age. The ability to supply an army continuously in the field did not exist until the time of the ...
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56 votes
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Has there ever been an instance of an active nuclear power plant within or near a war zone?

The Ten-Day War, in 1990, was Slovenia's war of independence from Yugoslavia. During this war, at least a few battles took places within 10-20 km of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, which had been ...
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54 votes

Was the Wehrmacht a mechanized army?

You are correct. Parts of the Wehrmacht were mechanized, but the vast majority was foot infantry with horse drawn logistics. Most soldiers walked towards Moscow, and back. World War II German ...
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54 votes

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

Best example I know of is the Zhaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant. Its in Southern Ukraine, which unfortunately put it right within the area that the Russians "separatist rebel forces" wanted to use to ...
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53 votes

Was Switzerland really impossible to invade during WW2?

No country is impossible to invade. Andorra could invade the USA. The question you should have asked was "Was Switzerland Impossible to Conquer during World War II?". The answer is no ...
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52 votes

Has there ever been a battle with only a single survivor?

The British Army left in Kabul, Afghanistan after the First Anglo-Afghan War, was to leave after an Afghan uprising. The main contingent of some 16,000 troops and associated civilians was attacked ...
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51 votes
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WW2: Did US marines and soldiers really go into action with unbuckled helmet chin straps?

Yes, they did. Not all, but a very many, especially the more veteran soldiers. I don't have time to get sources together, but will when I do. Reasons were varied. Some believed that being close to ...
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49 votes
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Why was there lack of food during WW2 in the UK?

There wasn't a lack of food in the UK, not in the sense that people weren't getting enough to eat or were suffering malnutrition. What there was is a lack of variety of food. Anything which was ...
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48 votes
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Has a major war ever occured and a map before the war looked exactly the same after?

Status quo ante bellum It's a Latin phrase that describes exactly what you're after - that territories reverted to what they were before the war. It's actually very common; a modern example is the ...
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48 votes

Why can I visit battlefields, but not battleships?

In the UK, the wreckage of military aircraft and designated military vessels is protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. Only 12 vessels are currently designated as controlled ...
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46 votes

How did warriors age historically?

The Romans were known to retire their soldiers with a pension after 25 years of service. That would probably have put most of them in their early to mid 40's. Given that experienced veterans are ...
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45 votes

Why did Sun Tzu believe you shouldn't wait beside a river when eager to fight?

Verse 3. After crossing a river, you should get far away from it. If the river is a barrier, you can be hemmed in against it. If your enemy is the one hemmed in, they also have a defense on at ...
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45 votes
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Was Switzerland really impossible to invade during WW2?

Ok, since I think I finally got your real question (as I see it): I'm simply asking if the defense of Switzerland during WW2 was overrated. Many people claim that the country was impossible to occupy,...
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45 votes

Were there often intra-USSR wars? If not, why not?

Yes, there were insurgencies, wars and inter-ethnic conflicts. Not often. First of all, the Yakut revolt which was part of the Russian civil war, lasted till June 16, 1923. The USSR was established on ...
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44 votes
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Did Roman troops suffer from PTSD?

PTSD, or stress reactions from battle, were well known during the Greek and Roman era. The Greeks understood it very well. Alexander the Great's men are said to have mutinied after suffering "battle ...
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40 votes

Has there ever been a battle with only a single survivor?

I am not aware of any large battles with only a single survivor out of all the combatants, but there was at least one major battle that had only a single survivor on the losing side. The Battle of ...
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