Portal:War

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The war portal
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Introduction

Austerlitz-baron-Pascal.jpg
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 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

Joan of Arc, c. 1485

Joan of Arc is a national heroine of France and a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. She had visions, believed to be from God, which led to the liberation of her homeland from English dominance in the Hundred Years' War. The then-uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the disregard of veteran commanders and ended the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Rheims and settled the disputed succession to the throne. The renewed French confidence outlasted Joan of Arc's own brief career. She refused to leave the field when she was wounded during an attempt to recapture Paris that fall. Hampered by court intrigues, she led only minor companies from then on, and fell prisoner during a skirmish near Compiègne the following spring. A politically-motivated trial convicted her of heresy. The English regent, John, Duke of Bedford, had her burnt at the stake in Rouen. Pope Callixtus III reopened Joan's case; a new finding overturned the original conviction. Her piety to the end impressed the retrial court. Pope Benedict XV canonized her on 16 May 1920.

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Did you know...?

Fight for the Bagration flèches

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Featured picture

Lowering the flag on Zuikaku

Zuikaku was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Her planes took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor that started the Pacific War, and she fought in several of the most important naval battles of the war. Sustaining heavy damage in the battle off Cape Engaño, the crew lowered the flag (shown here; note the sharp list to port) and attempted to abandon ship, but were unable to do so before she capsized.

Photo credit: Kazutoshi Hando

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Selected anniversaries

September 1
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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 • Corps • Divisions • Fleets • Invasions • Operations • Orders of battle • Sieges • Tactics • Wars • Weapons • World War II Commanders

Other related topics

Genocide • Peace • United Nations

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