knut
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Why was the Ottoman empire not seen as an Arabic empire?
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45 votes

The leading people of the Ottoman empire were not Arabs, but from Turkish tribes. They speak a variety of the Turkish languages (Ottoman Turkish). Turkish is its own language family, Arabic belongs to ...

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How did early adopters of the automobile fill up their cars?
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37 votes

The first cross-country automobile journey was run by Bertha Benz in 1888.: With no fuel tank and only a 4.5-litre supply of petrol in the carburetor, she had to find ligroin, the petroleum solvent ...

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Who was the first Russian in space (not Soviet)?
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35 votes

It is depending on your definition of a Russian. Gagarin was born in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, so he was the first Russian in space. Sergei Krikaljow (also a Russian) started ...

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Why was language not used to establish dominance throughout England 1066 AD–1360s CE?
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32 votes

There was a separation between the noble french and the vulgar Old English. Or as I wrote in my comment: Who cares about the language of peasants I found a nice source for this assumption Middle ...

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Has a plague ever caused a civilization to collapse?
29 votes

When Europeans discovered Americas they also imported plagues. These plagues were one factor of the collapse of the pre-columbian cultures. http://www.examiner.com/article/apocalypic-mysterious-...

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What was the economic basis for West Berlin?
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25 votes

how did it stay competitive with West Germany, which would be free of West Berlin's particular logistical challenges? Or were they being directly subsidized by the Federal Republic and/or the western ...

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Was German ever an official language in the USSR?
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25 votes

There was a Autonome Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik der Wolgadeutschen (Russian Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцев Поволжья, English Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist ...

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What was the first major historical event to be photographed?
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21 votes

It is difficult to give an answer, what is a major historical event? According Wikipedia Carol Szathmari was the first combat photographer during the Crimean War (1853-1856). This was some years ...

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What is a "Schwedenschanze" on an 1830's map of Eastern Bavaria?
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18 votes

There is a German Wikipedia entry for it, but I found no entry for this specific 'Schwedenschanze'. It is a military sconce (fortification) (German: Schanze) or Hill fort, the name is based on the ...

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Were East Germans more acquiescent to Soviet domination than the rest of Eastern Europe and if so, why?
17 votes

Your assumption is wrong, there was the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany And the Fall of the Iron Curtain was also initiated by the East German mass protests.

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What is the oldest road in the world that has been in continuous use?
17 votes

I think, it depends on the definition of a road. Most old roads will start as a path trail, later it will be paved. Maybe it will decline and become again a trail. I think some of the oldest roads ...

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Were there any Germans in Japan after the surrender of Germany in May, 1945 and if so, what happened to them?
16 votes

I found an interesting quote (section 1943 in Kobe mit CW-Virus infiziert) of a contemporary witness (translation below). The last sentence contains a short hint what happened to Germans in Japan ...

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Why did France put so many resources into fighting Algeria in comparison to its other former colonial holdings?
15 votes

Algeria was more then a colony, there were French Départements in Algeria, from 1848 on until 1962 it was an integral part of the French motherland. See Wikipedia or the french wikipedia article ...

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Why do Afro-Caribbeans have English names whereas Indo-Caribbeans still have Indian(ish) names?
14 votes

Afro Carribeans: Afro-Caribbeans are Caribbean people who trace their heritage to Sub-Saharan Africa [...] Between the 16th and 19th centuries, European-led triangular trade brought African people ...

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Have there been any efforts by the countries of Europe to restore their monarchies?
14 votes

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was Tsar of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1946. 2001, Simeon resumed the role of leader of the nation upon taking office as Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria from July 2001 ...

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Why did Jews not immigrate to the Muslim world?
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13 votes

I could imagine, it is a kind of spiritual home. Jews immigrated from Muslim countries to Muslim countries (ok, Spain was Christian when the Jews were banished, but it was a new thing, and the Jews ...

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At the end of WWII, were Nazis working on any other super weapon besides V-2?
12 votes

German physicist tried to build an atomic bomb, at least there were experiments. At end of WW2 there was a laboratory in Haigerloch. It is told, that American scientist checked everything and took ...

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How has Chinese GDP as a percentage of world GDP changed over time and why?
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10 votes

There is an overview in an article on China Whisper.com: China`s historical GDP share in the world Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) GDP per capita: $450, 26% Tang Dynasty 618 – 907 AD GDP per capita:$...

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Were Quintidis holidays in the French Republican calendar?
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9 votes

I found another hint in 'Histoire du dimanche: de 1700 à nos jours' by Robert Beck (page 154): Le surplus en travail que provoque le rythme décadaire, pourrait également constituer une raison du ...

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Nazi Germany's secret service SD was first called Ic-Dienst, what does "Ic" stand for?
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9 votes

I found a hit in http://www.documentarchiv.de/fs/ns_abkuerzungen.html: Ic Offizier für Feindnachrichten (English: Officer for enemy messages). There are some other websites with similar ...

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Why wasn't the Free City of Lübeck ever restored?
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9 votes

One reason may be the size of the city. The Freie Hansestadt Bremen has 661,000 inhabitants (including Bremen and Bremerhaven), Hamburg has 1.7 million inhabitants. Lübeck has only 213,000 ...

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Did the division between East and West Germany coincide with cultural boundaries?
9 votes

You asked for a major cultural difference. My answer doesn't reflect a cultural difference but a political one. If you follow the link Gesamtergebnisse der Wahlen zum Reichstag und Mandatsverteilung ...

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Umar ibn Khattab and Omar as a Western given name
9 votes

Omar occurs also in the bible Genesis 36:11 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz. Genesis 36:15: These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants: The sons of Eliphaz the ...

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Could some of the Titanic passengers have climbed on the iceberg to survive?
8 votes

Another remark beside the problems of climbing an iceberg: A quote from Wikipedia: Hit an iceberg 11:40 p.m. (ship's time) 14 April 1912 on her maiden voyage and sank 2 h 40 min later After 1 ...

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What was the highest ever win for a decision in a nationwide *democratic* voting?
7 votes

Switzerland practices direct democracy and has many votings. There is a list of Swiss federal referendums at wikipedia with the results. The results are listed in the German version. A short ...

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How early did restrictions on hunting start?
6 votes

I think hunting restrictions existed during the complete history of mankind. Totems or Totemism seems to be one of the oldest religion element of mankind. There are taboos against killing clan ...

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What caused Yugoslavia to switch sides early in World War II?
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4 votes

Was there a united Yugoslavia? There was a Yugoslavia, but it was split to Croatia (with Bosnia and Herzegovina), Serbia and Slovenia (which was again split for Germany/Austria Italy and Hungary). I ...

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Why didn't Germany attack US ports with U-boats during WW II?
4 votes

Oldcat already answered for the naval aspects. There were also plans to obtain a long-range strategic bomber that would be capable of striking the contiguous United States from Germany. From ...

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Ancient Civilization in non-Egyption Africa?
4 votes

What's ancient for you? There are old paintings in South Africa The Kingdom of Kush isn't in central/south of Africa, so I think it does not count. There is Great Zimbabwe (11th century) The Mali ...

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Did the Germans invent "Unexpected Pot-Shots"?
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3 votes

The Spiegel mentions in an article from 2007: Danach wurden Verurteilte nach sowjetischem Vorbild mit einem "unerwarteten Nahschuss in den Hinterkopf" getötet: Beim Betreten des Hinrichtungsraums ...

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