Portal:War

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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.

Aside from humans and their primate brethren, ants are the only other species 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 organised armed conflict, and that relate to the institutions and organizations that prosecute such conflict.

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Featured article

Battle Between the Monitor and Merrimac, by Kurz and Allison

The Battle of Hampton Roads was a naval battle of the American Civil War, taking place from March 8, 1862 to March 9, 1862, off Sewell's Point, a narrow place near the mouth of Hampton Roads, Virginia. As the war started, Union forces evacuating Norfolk burned the ships left behind. One was raised by the Confederates, renamed the CSS Virginia, and plated with iron—making it the first modern ironclad warship. On March 8, 1862, it sailed into Hampton Roads off Sewell's Point to challenge the blockading Union ships there, destroying several of them. The next day, it was engaged by the USS Monitor, a newly built Union ironclad. Although the battle itself was inconclusive, it is chiefly significant in naval history as the first battle between two powered ironclad warships, which came to be known as ironclads. Prior to then, warships were made primarily of wood. After the battle, ships and naval warfare changed dramatically, as nations around the world raced to convert their fleets to iron.

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Did you know...?

Fight for the Bagration flèches

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Featured picture

Diagrams of first and third rate warships, England, 1728 Cyclopaedia.

A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for war. This plate from the 1728 Cyclopaedia shows first and third rate English warships.

Illustration credit: 1728 Cyclopaedia

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Selected anniversaries

August 22
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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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