The War Portal

Introduction

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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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Cross section of the Jarmann M1884

The Norwegian Jarmann M1884 was a bolt action repeating rifle firing a 10.15 mm black powder cartridge in an 8-round, tubular magazine. It was among the earliest repeating rifles to be adopted in the world. Its adoption, and subsequent modifications, turned the Norwegian Army from a fighting force armed with single-shot black powder weapons into a force armed with modern repeating weapons firing smokeless ammunition. Several thousands were manufactured to equip both Norwegian and Swedish forces in the 1880s. The design is unique, and is the brainchild of Norwegian engineer Jacob Smith Jarmann. After the design had been phased out of the Norwegian Army, a number of the weapons were rebuilt as harpoon guns.

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Near-contemporary image of the Battle of Poitiers
Near-contemporary image of the Battle of Poitiers

The Black Prince's chevauchée of 1356 was a large-scale mounted raid by an Anglo-Gascon force under the command of Edward, the Black Prince, between 4 August and 2 October 1356 as a part of the Hundred Years' War. The war had broken out in 1337, but a truce and the ravages of the Black Death had restricted the extent of the fighting since 1347. In 1355 the French king, John II, determined to resume full-scale war. That autumn, while Edward III of England threatened northern France, his son, Edward of Woodstock, later known as the Black Prince, carried out a devastating mounted raid, or chevauchée: an Anglo-Gascon army marched from the English possession of Gascony 675 miles (1,086 km) to Narbonne and back. The French refused battle, despite suffering enormous economic damage.

In 1356 the Black Prince intended to carry out a similar chevauchée, this time as part of a larger strategic operation intended to strike the French from several directions simultaneously. On 4 August 6,000 Anglo-Gascon soldiers headed north from Bergerac towards Bourges, devastating a wide swathe of French territory and sacking many French towns on the way. It was hoped to join up with two English forces in the vicinity of the River Loire, but by early September the Anglo-Gascons were facing the much larger French royal army on their own. The Black Prince withdrew towards Gascony; he was prepared to give battle, but only if he could fight on the tactical defensive on ground of his own choosing. John was determined to fight, preferably by cutting the Anglo-Gascons off from supply and forcing them to attack him in his prepared position. In the event the French succeeded in cutting off the Prince's army, but then decided to attack it in its prepared defensive position anyway, partly from fear it might slip away, but mostly as a question of honour. This was the Battle of Poitiers. (Full article...)

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A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing at Da Nang, Vietnam — August 3, 1965


A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing at Da Nang, Vietnam — August 3, 1965.
Photo credit: Unknown - NARA archive

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