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The War Portal


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Introduction

Austerlitz-baron-Pascal.jpg
The Battle of Austerlitz by François Gerard.
War is a state of conflict between relatively large groups of people (such as nations, states, organizations, social groups), which is characterized by the use of armed lethal violence between combatants or upon civilians. Other terms for war, which often serve as euphemisms, include armed conflict, hostilities, and police action.

A common perception of war is a series of military campaigns between at least two or more opposing sides involving a dispute over sovereignty, territory, resources, ideology or a host of other issues. A war to liberate an occupied country is sometimes characterised as a "war of liberation", while a war between internal elements of the same state may constitute a civil war.

Ant-war.JPG
Two ant colonies in pitched battle.

Aside from humans and their primate brethren, ants are the only other species known to exhibit such behavior on a large scale.[1]

A battle is an instance of combat in warfare between two or more parties wherein each group will seek to defeat the others. Battles are most often fought during wars or military campaigns and can usually be well defined in time, space and action. Wars and campaigns are guided by strategy whereas battles are the stage on which tactics are employed. German strategist Carl von Clausewitz stated that "The employment of battles to gain victory" is the essence of strategy.

Military history is the recording, in writing or otherwise, of the events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of conflict. This may range from a melee between two tribes to conflicts between proper militaries to a world war affecting the majority of the human population.


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Featured article

Bust of Alcibiades

Alcibiades was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. The last famous member of an aristocratic family that fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War, he played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician. During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his allegiance on several occasions. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated for an aggressive foreign policy, and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In the years that he served Sparta, Alcibiades played a crucial role in Athens' undoing; the capture of Decelea and the revolts of several critical Athenian subjects occurred either at his suggestion or under his supervision. Once restored to his native city, however, he played a crucial role in a string of Athenian victories that eventually brought Sparta to seek a peace with Athens. He favored unconventional tactics, frequently winning cities over by treachery or negotiation rather than by siege. Alcibiades' military and political talents frequently proved valuable to whichever state currently held his allegiance, but his capacity for making powerful enemies ensured that he never remained in one place for long, and, by the end of the war that he had helped rekindle in the early 410s, his days of political relevance were a bygone memory.
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Did you know...

Fight for the Bagration flèches

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Featured picture

Chateau Wood Ypres 1917

Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, October 29, 1917. The photo was taken in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, which was one of the major battles of World War I.

Photo credit: Frank Hurley

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Selected anniversaries

January 17
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Major topics and categories

Eras of warfare

Overview • Prehistoric • Ancient • Medieval • Gunpowder • Industrial • Modern

Types of warfare

Aerial • Amphibious • Arctic • Armoured • Artillery • Asymmetric • Attrition • Biological • Cavalry • Chemical • Conventional • Desert • Electronic • Ground • Guerrilla • Fortification • Herbicidal • Infantry • Information • Jungle • Maneuver • Mechanized • Mercenary • Mountain • Naval • Network-centric • Nuclear • Psychological • Radiological • Siege • Ski • Space • Sub-aquatic • Submarine • Surface • Total • Trench • Unconventional • Urban

Categories

Lists

Armies • Battles • Civil wars • Commanders • Corps • Divisions • Fleets • Invasions • Operations • Orders of battle • Sieges • Tactics • Wars

Other related topics

Genocide • Peace • United Nations

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Other Wikimedia projects

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Things you can do

Military history WikiProject announcements and open tasks
watch · edit · discuss
  • Voting has concluded for the project's Military historian of the year 2009! Congrats go to Durova, Nick-D, and Abraham, B.S. who received the Bronze, Silver, and Gold wikis, respectively.
  • A discussion about combining several task forces is ongoing
  • The December newsletter is now available!
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It's a Long Way to Tipperary
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