Talk:Military history

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  • Expand : Add information on the changes in the level of warfare

Asymmetric/post-modern war?[edit]

I don't know if this is the correct nomenclature, but shouldn't contemporary war (specially arab-israeli conflict, georgia and chechnya secessions, etc) be included in the article? It's a very explored and written topic... (talk) 21:44, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Intro line[edit]

"Military history is composed of the events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of conflict."

I would encourage a discussion about this definition. The purpose of a military is not only to participate in "conflict" but to deter war simply through it's presence. While most of the attention is payed to battles fought, perhaps it is time to recognize the possibly catastrophic conflicts avoided though shows of strength. PrometheusAvV (talk) 02:36, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

need of some cleanup[edit]

I think this page is in need of some cleanup; the capitalization, sentence structure, and style (particularly in the section on warfare in the Ancient World) is pretty bad.-- 14:39, 3 July 2006 (UTC)fourmajorman

Cruise Missiles[edit]

Cruise Missiles invented by the USA in 1982? The linked article clarifies this, though.


Conscription has been one of the fundamentals of many political organisation (think of the Athenian 'Pyle', the Roman farmer-soldier, the Saxon 'Fyrd', etc. Josh will probably know some better examples) Please correct me, but conscription is more ancient than the professional soldiery, which, if I remember correctly, was introduced in Rome by Marius in the second (or first?) century B.C. -- Mathijs

maybe not so much conscription as the EXPECTATION of universal service for those eligible. That seems to be true of hoplite warfare. The Romans practiced conscription in the Punic wars, though I don't know if we know how they handled it. --MichaelTinkler

list of generals[edit]

Feb 26 2002: wondering if the list of generals should be elsewhere, or at least classified by conflicts. --Christopher mahan

I can see a problem with classifying by conflict -- lots of duplicate links...Just think of Kitchener, Gordon, Patton, Custer.... JHK
Hum, I've been seeing plural entries beginning to pop up here and there that are just lists of links. I'm not sure if I really like the practice, but I do see the utility of such a scheme. Would an article named Famous generals be out of line? --maveric149

Feb 27 2002: I think that if there is an article for famous generals (or Famous military commanders) there needs to be a minimal summary for each, such as conflicts involved in and life defining events. --Christopher Mahan

Sounds good to me. --maveric149

"purposes" for military history[edit]

Some "purposes" for military history are given in this article. Would the "discouragement of war" be considered another reason to study military history? That's the key reason I like reading military history. Or is military history a bit too jingoistic to properly support pacifism? EmRick

It could be a reason, but are there more besides yourself? There could be all kinds of reasons to study it, but we only want to list the ones with significant numbers of people. H.G. Wells perhaps? Stan 07:31, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Roman Cavalry"[edit]

[quote] In 54 BCE the Roman triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus took the offensive against the Parthian Empire in the east. In a decisive battle at Carrhae Romans were defeated and the golden Aquila (legionary battle standards) was taken as trophy to Ctesiphon. The result was one of the worst defeats suffered by the Roman Republic in its entire history. Romans after this defeat learnt the importance of cavalry from Iranians and introduced it into their army, just as nearly a thousand year earlier the first Iranian to reached the Iranian Plateau introduced the Assyrians to a similar reform.[1] [/quote]

Of course roman armies had cavalry before Carrhae! While a typical legion`s cavalry consisted of just about 300 men, most of the successful roman generals used larger contigents of mercenary cavalry. In fact, Crassus used some parts of Caesar`s ubian cavalry at Carrhae. Truth is, romans relied mostly on heavy infantry, but one must not say the roman learned to use horsemen from the parthians. 20:21, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Yep. The Roman cavalry wasn't up to standards as other militaries until the 2nd and 3rd century during Trajan's conquest of Dacia. Intranetusa (talk) 17:59, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

It can't be right to have fictional battles in this section

Are there any references that there were no "no social roles or divisions of labor (with the exception of age or sex differences)"? That seems like an awfully strong claim.


In that same paragraph, there is the line "Probably, during periods of famine, hunters started to massively attack...". That is the worst Wikipedia statement I have ever heard. With total disregard to sociology and the like, the author of this paragraph makes useless the research of theories of, for example, people acquiring resources and using them to gain power over others, in effect becoming the first leaders. Wikipedia articles are not based on "probably"! If they were, any person's opinion or argument, no matter how uninformed, uneducated, or simply inadequately pondered upon, would be made equal with a well thought out idea. This is unacceptable. I hope that "probably guy" is reading this...

ps. Since I believe in the example listed, it is very frustrating to see such "misinformation" being spread via Wikipedia, intentionally or not... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:22, 18 March 2007 (UTC).

pps. I have changed the paragraph to my own "probably". The original author may argue for their sources, if they exist, but since they have not been listed, I believe that I am justified in stating the "probably" that I have been taught in Socio 101, since I also have a source (which I will also not list).

Some developments of this period[edit]

Is this really necessary here given it is not used in other periods?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:55, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Reordering suggestion[edit]

May I suggest that the Encyclopedia of Military History periodisation by R. Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N.Dupuy are used? I know its an old work, but it seems to me to provide a far better treatment in military history development then the current five periods.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:02, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Industrial warfare[edit]

There is no such thing as "Industrial warfare" in military history. Industrial warfare is the conflict between or within industrial sectors as part of economic, trade or commercial competition.

What the period really is attempting to say is that as the production became industrialised, that is massed, it became possible to equip large number of conscripted population, producing large armies. The quality of the firearms and artillery became superior to those made by artisan craft workshops (or even large workshops that became known as factories) requiring less soldier training to achieve proficiency, making truly national wars possible for the first time in history. Although the Industrial Revolution did begin in the late 18th century, the military forces of even the Crimean War were relatively similar to those of the 18th century in terms of equipment, tactics, an strategy used. Even the American Civil War Armies at their onset were still organised, led and used in ways reminiscent of the wars fought a century before. Only warfare in Europe around the time the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 can really be called a product of the Industrial Revolution since the earlier American Civil War was conducted in a state which was not yet a major industrial producer (in fact a major industrial net importer).

Conscription was not a result of the development of industries, but as a direct political necessity of the French Revolution that left France with inadequate forces to defend itself. Similarly the response to threats of the invasion of England resulted in close to 300,000 volunteers, something that had nothing to do with either industry, or politics, or the military which had insufficient firearms for this unexpected public enthusiasm for military service.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, after some searching I did find two modern military historians, one quite well known, who use the term, however only in the context of the Industrial revolution, and dating it to late 19th and early 20th centuries, and not the start of the Industrial revolution as it took the militaries a century to catch up with the benefits of the innovations in production methods.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:38, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Added more info[edit]

Added more info in China section regarding the Han Dynasty and conflict and expansion into Vietnam, Korea, and steppe civilizations of Central Asia, and the downfall of the Sui Dynasty. Added more info in the Roman section regarding numerous Roman civil wars, such as Marius, Sulla, Caesar, and Caesar's successors. Intranetusa (talk) 17:59, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Airship Lebaudy Patrie[edit]

It has been suggested to me that this article might be of interest to the project, since the Patrie served, albeit (and unfortunately) somewhat briefly, with the French Army in the period leading up to WWI. Please take a look and see what you think. Thanks. --TraceyR (talk) 12:03, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Role of Minorities[edit]

It would be nice to see this article discuss the role of women and minorities in military history. Some useful resources (specific to the US Army)include:,, and (talk) 03:28, 30 January 2010 (UTC) EN

Changes in the level of warfare[edit]

War's History section contains some information the evolution of the level of warfare (at least one paragraph mentioning the Human Security Report). I was expecting to find more detailed information here, but instead found nothing. I believe this article should cover at least as much. --Chealer (talk) 02:52, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Gun control RFC[edit]

There is an ongoing RFC that may be of interest to editors in this article. Talk:Gun_control#RFC Gaijin42 (talk) 16:12, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Fun with WP:ERAS[edit]

A recent change converted a few "BC" to "BCE" in the article, but only a few. Per WP:ERAS, we're not supposed to do that. I looked at the article history, and found there was a mix of both going back couple years. But, until the recent change, BC was used ~3:1 over BCE, AD/CE was about even. So I was bold and changed them all to BC/AD. But, also per WP:ERAS, there are a few reasons why an article should be in one or the other. I don't know of any that apply here, but maybe others might. --A D Monroe III (talk) 18:22, 6 December 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Suren-Pahlav was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Problematic content[edit]

This article is confusing to me. For example, the section Military_history#Modern_warfare, rather then discussing military history, appears to discuss military technology with a long bullet list of militaria topics. It also appears to contain a good deal of uncited editorialising and WP:OR. I think this section should be cleaned up, and possibly others looked at. I tagged the section as OR. Any feedback? K.e.coffman (talk) 06:01, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

I'm going to restore some of the tags. There's WP:OR, lack of citations, and off-topic content. K.e.coffman (talk) 14:26, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

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