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Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts

Wars, battles, and other domestic or international conflicts, whether armed or diplomatic, are often the outcome of a dispute over natural resources or a struggle for power, influence, and wealth. Major conflicts between nations, peoples, and political groups can end up shifting the cultural and political geography of the world and can also effect change, whether intentional or not, in societal values and the balance of power.

Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts Encyclopedia Articles

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Punic Wars
Punic Wars, (264–146 bce), a series of three wars between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian (Punic) empire, resulting in the destruction of Carthage, the enslavement of its population, and Roman hegemony over the western Mediterranean. The origin of these conflicts is to be found in the...
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The western Mediterranean during the Punic Wars.
Vietnam War
Vietnam War, (1954–75), a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Called the “American War” in Vietnam (or, in full, the “War...
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Vietnam War
Pearl Harbor attack
Pearl Harbor attack, (December 7, 1941), surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, by the Japanese that precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II. The strike climaxed a decade of worsening relations between the United States and Japan....
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Pearl Harbor attack
Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses, (1455–85), in English history, the series of dynastic civil wars whose violence and civil strife preceded the strong government of the Tudors. Fought between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne, the wars were named many years afterward from the supposed badges...
Encyclopedia / Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts
Battle of Bosworth Field
Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars, series of wars between Napoleonic France and shifting alliances of other European powers that produced a brief French hegemony over most of Europe. Along with the French Revolutionary wars, the Napoleonic Wars constitute a 23-year period of recurrent conflict that concluded only...
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Napoleonic Wars
Korean War
Korean War, conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2.5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union,...
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Korean War, June–August 1950
French Revolutionary wars
French Revolutionary wars, title given to the hostilities between France and one or more European powers between 1792 and 1799. It thus comprises the first seven years of the period of warfare that was continued through the Napoleonic Wars until Napoleon’s abdication in 1814, with a year of...
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Napoleon I
Afghanistan War
Afghanistan War, international conflict in Afghanistan beginning in 2001 that was triggered by the September 11 attacks and consisted of three phases. The first phase—toppling the Taliban (the ultraconservative political and religious faction that ruled Afghanistan and provided sanctuary for...
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Afghanistan War
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Thermopylae, (480 bce), battle in central Greece at the mountain pass of Thermopylae during the Persian Wars. The Greek forces, mostly Spartan, were led by Leonidas. After three days of holding their own against the Persian king Xerxes I and his vast southward-advancing army, the Greeks...
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David, Jacques-Louis: Leonidas at Thermopylae
World War II
World War II, conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents were the Axis powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies—France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. The war was in many...
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World War II: Germany invading Poland
American Revolution
American Revolution, (1775–83), insurrection by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. The war followed more than a decade of growing estrangement between the British crown and a large and influential segment...
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The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
Cuban Revolution
Cuban Revolution, armed uprising in Cuba that overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959. The revolution’s leader, Fidel Castro, went on to rule Cuba from 1959 to 2008. As a result of the Spanish-American War, control of Cuba passed from Spain to the United States on January...
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Spanish-American War
Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years’ War, intermittent struggle between England and France in the 14th–15th century over a series of disputes, including the question of the legitimate succession to the French crown. The struggle involved several generations of English and French claimants to the crown and actually...
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Hundred Years' War: Battle of Crécy
World War I
World War I, an international conflict that in 1914–18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions. The war pitted the Central Powers—mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey—against the Allies—mainly France, Great Britain,...
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World War I
Seven Years' War
Seven Years’ War, (1756–63), the last major conflict before the French Revolution to involve all the great powers of Europe. Generally, France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden, and Russia were aligned on one side against Prussia, Hanover, and Great Britain on the other. The war arose out of the attempt of...
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Seven Years' War: Battle of Zorndorf
American Civil War
American Civil War, four-year war (1861–65) between the United States and 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. The secession of the Southern states (in chronological order, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana,...
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Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of France
Battle of France, (May 10–June 25, 1940), during World War II, the German invasion of the Low Countries and France. In just over six weeks, German armed forces overran Belgium and the Netherlands, drove the British Expeditionary Force from the Continent, captured Paris, and forced the surrender of...
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Hitler, Adolf
Crusades
Crusades, military expeditions, beginning in the late 11th century, that were organized by western European Christians in response to centuries of Muslim wars of expansion. Their objectives were to check the spread of Islam, to retake control of the Holy Land in the eastern Mediterranean, to...
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Crusaders departing for the Holy Land, chromolithograph of a 15th-century illuminated manuscript.
Pacific War
Pacific War, major theatre of World War II that covered a large portion of the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, with significant engagements occurring as far south as northern Australia and as far north as the Aleutian Islands. The Japanese war plan, aimed at the American, British, and...
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U.S. troops advancing on Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, in 1943
Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War, (1945–49), military struggle for control of China waged between the Nationalists (Kuomintang) under Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists under Mao Zedong. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), China was effectively divided into three regions—Nationalist China under control...
Encyclopedia / Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts
Pacific War: Japanese-controlled areas of China

Wars, Battles & Armed Conflicts Encyclopedia Articles

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