War in History

If ever you wanted confirmation that the world is not a peaceful place, then these pages will provide it. In fact, in certain periods, the sheer volume of strife is shocking.

War is a terrible thing: ask anyone who has been involved in one. And yet it is in this furnace of terror, amidst inhuman brutality and shocking violence, that one often finds the most humane acts, the deepest friendships and the noblest of spirits. Moreover, in the perverse way of things, the most extraordinary discoveries and advances have often followed human conflict on a grand scale.

It is this fascination that leads so many, like myself, to the study of military history in an effort to understand this paradox. This study is not a glorification of man’s baser instincts. On the contrary. as that most famous of memorial lines reads: “Lest we forget.” Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

Here, the aim is to provide historical material, to help the wargamer to understand the context of the conflicts they are recreating, as well as to provide a wealth of the sort of detail every military history enthusiast craves. If you have anything you feel might be of value to contribute, whether an account of the broad historical sweep of a period, the details of a Prussian infantryman’s buttons, or a war or battle that you’ve spotted has been left out, please leave a comment or get in touch.

Use the menu here to find a list of the conflicts, wars, rebellions and revolutions in each era, from the earliest recorded history to 1999. Entries are made chronologically according to when the conflict started. Also, where a conflict is commonly known by more than one name, alternatives are given. Where a conflict is part of a larger series of events, this is given in brackets, e.g. (The Napoleonic Wars).

I owe my inspiration here to George C. Kohn and his Dictionary of Wars and Don Featherstone’s War Games Through the Ages series.

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