The War Portal

Introduction

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

A common look on 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 characterized as a "war of liberation", while a war between internal elements of the same state is called a civil war.

Aside from humans and other primates, ants are the only other animals known to exhibit such behavior on a large scale.

A battle is a single engagement fought between two or more parties, wherein each party or aligned group will seek to defeat their opponent. Battles are most often fought during military campaigns and can usually be well defined in time, space and action. Wars are generally the continuum of a related series of battles and are guided by strategy, whereas individual battles are the stage on which tactics are employed.

Military history is the recording and analysis of those events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of organized armed conflict and that relates to the institutions and organizations that prosecute such conflict.

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The Yom Kippur War was fought from October 6 (the day of Yom Kippur) to October 26, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Egypt and Syria. The War began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria into the Sinai and Golan Heights, respectively, which had been captured by Israel six years earlier during the Six-Day War. The Egyptians and Syrians advanced during the first 24–48 hours, after which momentum began to swing in Israel's favor. By the second week of the war, the Syrians had been pushed entirely out of the Golan Heights. In the Sinai to the south, the Israelis had struck at the "hinge" between two invading Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal (where the old cease-fire line had been), and cut off an entire Egyptian army just as a United Nations cease-fire came into effect. The war had far-reaching implications for many nations. The Arab world, which had been humiliated by the lopsided defeat of the Egyptian-Syrian-Jordanian alliance during the Six-Day War, felt psychologically vindicated by its string of victories early in the conflict. This vindication paved the way for the peace process that followed, as well as liberalizations such as Egypt's infitah policy. The Camp David Accords which came soon after led to normalized relations between Egypt and Israel—the first time any Arab country had recognized the Israeli state. Egypt, which had already been drifting away from the Soviet Union, then left the Soviet sphere of influence almost entirely.

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Destroying Chinese war junks, by E. Duncan (1843).jpg
The East India Company steamship Nemesis (right background) destroying war junks during the Second Battle of Chuenpi, 7 January 1841

The First Opium War (Chinese: 第一次鴉片戰爭; pinyin: Dìyīcì Yāpiàn Zhànzhēng), also known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Sino War was a series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty between 1839 and 1842. The immediate issue was the Chinese seizure of private opium stocks at Canton to stop the banned opium trade, and threatening the death penalty for future offenders. The British government insisted on the principles of free trade and equal diplomatic recognition among nations, and backed the merchants' demands. The British navy defeated the Chinese using technologically superior ships and weapons, and the British then imposed a treaty that granted territory to Britain and opened trade with China. Twentieth century nationalists considered 1839 the start of a century of humiliation, and many historians considered it the beginning of modern Chinese history.

In the 18th century, the demand for Chinese luxury goods (particularly silk, porcelain, and tea) created a trade imbalance between China and Britain. European silver flowed into China through the Canton System, which confined incoming foreign trade to the southern port city of Canton. To counter this imbalance, the British East India Company began to grow opium in Bengal and allowed private British merchants to sell opium to Chinese smugglers for illegal sale in China. The influx of narcotics reversed the Chinese trade surplus, drained the economy of silver, and increased the numbers of opium addicts inside the country, outcomes that seriously worried Chinese officials. (Full article...)

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The Soviet flag being flown over the Reichstag building as Berlin falls to the Red Army.
Photo credit: Jewgeni Chaldej

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November 1

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