The War Portal


La bataille d'Austerlitz. 2 decembre 1805 (François Gérard).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 lethal armed violence between combatants or upon civilians. Other terms for war, which often serve as euphemisms, include armed conflict, hostilities, and police action.

A common look on 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 characterized as a "war of liberation", while a war between internal elements of the same state is called a civil war.

Aside from humans and other primates, ants are the only other animals 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 organized armed conflict and that relates to the institutions and organizations that prosecute such conflict.

Featured article -

The Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups which began in 1991. It is estimated to have cost over 100,000 lives. The conflict has effectively ended with a government victory, following the surrender of the Islamic Salvation Army and the defeat of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). The conflict began in December 1991, when the government cancelled elections after the first round results had shown that the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party would win, citing fears that the FIS would end democracy. Islamist guerrillas rapidly emerged and began an armed campaign against the government and its supporters. They formed themselves into several armed groups, principally the Islamic Armed Movement (MIA), based in the mountains, and the GIA, based in the towns. The guerrillas initially targeted the army and police, but some groups soon started attacking civilians. The MIA and its allies, under attack from both sides, opted for a unilateral ceasefire with the government in 1997, while the GIA was torn apart by splits as various subdivisions objected to its new massacre policy. In 1999, following the election of a new president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a new law gave amnesty to most guerrillas, motivating large numbers to "repent" (as it was termed) and return to normal life. The violence declined substantially, with effective victory for the government.

Selected conflict -

Changde battle.jpg

World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis powers. In a total war directly involving more than 100 million personnel from more than 30 countries, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Aircraft played a major role in the conflict, enabling the strategic bombing of population centres and the only two uses of nuclear weapons in war. World War II was by far the deadliest conflict in human history; it resulted in 70 to 85 million fatalities, a majority being civilians. Tens of millions of people died due to genocides (including the Holocaust), starvation, massacres, and disease. In the wake of the Axis defeat, Germany and Japan were occupied, and war crimes tribunals were conducted against German and Japanese leaders.

The exact causes of World War II are debated, but contributing factors included the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Soviet–Japanese border conflicts and rising European tensions since World War I. World War II is generally considered to have begun on 1 September 1939, when Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland. The United Kingdom and France subsequently declared war on Germany on 3 September. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union had partitioned Poland and marked out their "spheres of influence" across Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan (along with other countries later on). Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, and the fall of France in mid-1940, the war continued primarily between the European Axis powers and the British Empire, with war in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz of the UK, and the Battle of the Atlantic. On 22 June 1941, Germany led the European Axis powers in an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the Eastern Front, the largest land theatre of war in history. (Full article...)

Major topics and categories

Eras of warfare

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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


War by medium
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Metaphors referring to war and violence
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Armies • Battles • Civil wars • Corps • Divisions • Fleets • Invasions • Operations • Orders of battle • Sieges • Tactics • Wars • Weapons • World War II Commanders

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Featured picture -

M4 Carbine with with an ejected ammunition casing in mid-air

The M4 Carbine is a shorter but heavier version of the M16A2 assault rifle, achieving 80% parts commonality with the M16A2. Here an M4 is shown just after firing, with an ejected ammunition casing in mid-air.
Photo credit: Suzanne M. Day, U.S. Air Force

Selected anniversaries

July 7

General images

The following are images from various war-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Media files used on this page

Heinkel He 111 during the Battle of Britain.jpg
German Heinkel He 111s which went into service in 1937. Some 6000 Heinkel He 111s were built but were found to be a poor match for Hurricanes and Spitfires during the Battle of Britain.
Bundeswehr Kreuz Black.svg
Eisernes Kreuz als nationales Erkennungszeichen der Bundeswehr.
Nuvola apps edu mathematics blue-p.svg
Author/Creator: David Vignoni (original icon); Flamurai (SVG convertion); bayo (color), Licence: GPL
Square root of x formula. Symbol of mathematics.
Social sciences.svg
Author/Creator: , Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Iconic image for social science.
Icon for telecommunications
Cantigas battle.jpg
Battle of the Reconquista from the Cantigas de Santa María
Linecons big-star.svg
Author/Creator: Designmodo http://www.designmodo.com/, Licence: CC BY 3.0
Linecons by Designmodo
BS Bismarck.png
Author/Creator: User:Anynobody, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Battleship Bismarck
Regaining the Provincial Capital of Ruizhou.jpg
A scene of the Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1864
Bataille Lizaine.jpg
Bataille de la Lizaine en 1871
Example of a four-wheeled ballista.

Print shows two soldiers with a horse-drawn ballista. The device, mounted on a wagon, is manipulated like a crossbow, shooting large arrows at enemy fortifications. The horses are well covered with armor. Taken from the collection Notitia utraque cum orientis tum occidentis ultra Arcadii Honoriique Caesarum tempora (1552) edited by Sigismund Gelenius (1477–1554). This part is from the De Rebus Bellicis, which contains many illustrations of weapons and engines of war.

print: engraving
Fokker Dr. I (117710246).jpg
Author/Creator: Jerzy Kociatkiewicz from Colchester, United Kingdom, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
A replica of a Fokker Dr.I triplane.
Nuvola apps package graphics.png
Author/Creator: David Vignoni / ICON KING, Licence: LGPL
Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.
Author/Creator: Koky, Licence: CC0
Assault rifle CZ-805 BREN
Prussian bayonet clean.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CeCILL
Fula jihad states map general c1830.png
I made this, using the commons' en:Image:Africa_map_blank.svg as a template. Shows the major Fula / Fulani /Peul Jihad states of West Africa, circa 1830, prior to the rise of Umar Tall.
A 155 mm artillery shell hurtles out of the barrel of a 11th Marine Regiment M-198 howitzer during live fire and maneuver training on November 20, 2000, at the Al Hamra Training Area in the United Arab Emirates. U.S. Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) are deployed from the USS Tarawa (LHA-1) to the training area for Exercise Iron Magic.
"Fig. 1. Dagger from India, called khouttar, Fig. 2,3,9,11,23 and 24. Indian daggers with strengthened, rippled blades. Nos. 3,9,11, and 23 have the handle made of ivory, enriched with enameled ornaments. Dagger No. 24 has the handle in the form of a horse-head. It is made of a crystal-rock embellished with enamel. The blades of the luxury daggers are embellished with gold. Fig. 6. Dagger from India slightly projecting from its sheath. The handle is made of green jade, artistically formed. Fig. 10 and 18. These are oriental daggers, made by a Paris company of M. Henri Lepage. Fig. 19 and 20. Indian daggers. The handle has raised design, the sheath has wide furrows. Fig. 22. Dagger from Persia with a cord made of weaved gold threads. Fig. 15. Dagger from Turkey shown inserted in its sheath. Fig. 5. Sword from India, with the blade serrated on both sides. The handle is made of wood. Fig. 8. Sword from India. It has a flat blade and transversal grip, embellished with a round-shaped armband. In India, this sword is considered already an ancient type of sword. Fig. 4. Sabre from India with a curved blade, steel grip covered with plain gold. Fig. 6. Indian saber. Drawn half-way from its silver sheath. The blade is slightly curved, the cross-guard is hook-shaped, made of finely chiseled silver. The end of the grip is in the form of an animal's head. Fig. 13. Indian saber with curved blade and sharp, saw-like teeth. The grip is embellished with inlay silver. The pommel is in the shape of a small disc. Fig. 12. Indian execution saber. Large and strong Damascus blade, rather rude. This saber weighs almost 13 lbs. Fig. 21. A Special weapon from Nepal called Koukri kora. The blade is hook-shaped, especially at the end, ending with in sharp points. The grip has two discs at both ends. The sheath for this arm is quite large, made of wood. clothed in red velvet. Fig. 14. Old Indian torador (matchlock musket) with match-striking fire mechanism. Beautiful barrel inlaid with silver. The grip, made of wood, is lacquered, embellished with gold. Gig. 16. and 17. Shafted weapons made entirely of steel, with reliefs, embellished in gold."
Depiction of a Greek trireme: this graphic was first published in May, Elmer; Stadler, Gerald; Votaw, John; Griess, Thomas (series ed) () Ancient and Medieval Warfare: The History of the Strategies, Tactics, and Leadership of Classical Warfare, New Jersey, United States: Avery Publishing Group ISBN: 0-89529-262-9.
Español: Trirreme griega
Dangerous weapons seized from holiday flights at Manchester Airport.jpg
Author/Creator: ukhomeoffice, Licence: CC BY 2.0

Deadly weapons including knives and replica firearms have been seized by Border Force officers from passengers at Manchester Airport.

With the busy summer holiday season fully underway, Border Force is reminding travellers heading abroad to think carefully before bringing back holiday ‘souvenirs’.

Read more: <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dangerous-weapons-seized-from-holiday-flights-at-manchester-airport"></a>
William Henry Jackson - Castle of Chapultepec, from the west, Mexico, between 1880 and 1897.jpg

"Castle of Chapultepec, from the west, Mexico". From between 1880 and 1897. Dry plate glass negative, 8x10". Detroit Publishing Co. no. 03922.
Tower of London interior.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Random font awesome.svg
(c) Font Awesome by Dave Gandy - https://fortawesome.github.com/Font-Awesome, CC BY-SA 3.0
Icon extracted from [fortawesome.github.com/Font-Awesome/ Font-Awesome]
A shell casing flies out with a trail of smoke as U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Freise fires an M-4 rifle during a reflex firing exercise at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, Republic of Korea, on March 23, 2005. Freise is attached to the 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, which is taking part in exercises Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration/Foal Eagle. The annual, multi-phase exercise is tailored to train, test, and demonstrate U.S. and Republic of Korea force projection and deployment capabilities.
Darkgreen flag waving.svg
Author/Creator: TristanBomb, Licence: CC0
A dark green flag.
Victor Adam after Louis Choris - Vue du Presidio san Francisco, 1822.jpg

View of Spanish colonial Presidio of San Francisco and the Golden Gate.
Grande Ludovisi Altemps Inv8574.jpg
So-called “Grande Ludovisi” sarcophagus, with battle scene between Roman soldiers and Germans. The main character is probably Hostilian, Emperor Decius' son (d. 251 AD). Proconnesus marble, Roman artwork, ca. 251/252 AD.
Lorentzian Wormhole.svg
Author/Creator: Original: AllenMcC.Vector: KES47, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Exact mathematical plot of a Lorentzian wormhole (Schwarzschild wormhole).
Ming Dynasty eruptor proto-cannon.jpg
An illustration of an "eruptor," a proto-cannon, from the 14th century Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing. The cannon was capable of firing proto-shells, cast-iron bombs filled with gunpowder.
Map of Ethiopia circa 1540.png
Author/Creator: Ingoman, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Horn of Africa circa 1540 during the Ethiopian–Adal War (1529–1543), at the peak of Adalite sultan Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi's expansion into Ethiopian territory.
Bronze statue of dancing warrior 480 bC lower italy.jpg
Author/Creator: MatthiasKabel, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Tänzerische Übersteigerung einer Angriffshaltung. Solche Statuen wurden von Siegern den Göttern geweiht und finden sich meist in Heiligtümern. Bronze, Unteritalien, um 480 v. Chr. Staatliche Antikensammlungen.
La masacre de San Bartolomé, por François Dubois.jpg
La topographie, manipulée, est adaptée au désir de montrer ensemble les lieux principaux de cette tragédie. On reconnaît à gauche l'église du couvent des Grands-Augustins (aujourd’hui disparue) où sonna le tocsin qui déclencha les tueries, la Seine et le pont des Meuniers. Au centre à l'arrière-plan, le Louvre et, devant le bâtiment, Catherine de Médicis la veuve noire, principale instigatrice des massacres. Au centre au second plan, l'hôtel particulier dans lequel l’amiral de Coligny, chef du parti protestant, est tué avant d’être défenestré, décapité et émasculé. Réunis autour de son cadavre, les chefs du parti catholique, les ducs de Guise et d’Aumale et le chevalier d’Angoulême. À droite à l'arrière-plan, la porte Saint-Honoré et, sur la colline de La Villette, le gibet de Montfaucon, où le corps de l'amiral sera pendu par les pieds. Rassemblant plus de 150 figures, l’œuvre est un véritable catalogue de la cruauté en période de guerre civile. Femme enceinte éventrée (à droite du tableau au second plan), enfants traînant un nourrisson au bout d’une corde (au second plan au centre, à droite du pont des Meuniers), femme embrochée sur une pique de rôtisseur (juste derrière les enfants traînant le nourrisson), cadavres dénudés et empilés (notamment aux pieds de Catherine de Médicis), maisons pillées (derrière les chefs catholiques). Le roi Charles IX tire à l’arquebuse sur ses propres sujets depuis une fenêtre du Louvre (probablement de la tour de gauche du bâtiment). Ce tableau est tout à fait exceptionnel en raison de la qualité de son exécution, mais aussi parce que les représentations contemporaines des massacres de la Saint-Barthélemy sont très rares. Il porte la signature du peintre François Dubois, protestant d’Amiens réfugié à Genève après les massacres.
Tissot The Women of Midian Led Captive by the Hebrews.jpg
The Women of Midian Led Captive by the Hebrews, watercolor by James Tissot, at the Jewish Museum, New York
Sumayya and her cat in front of her demolished home 2002, 2nd Intifada.jpg
(c) Adnanmuf at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Sumayya and her cat in front of her family's demolished home in Balatah refugee camp , 2002, Second Intifada
Cartography of Europe (blue).svg
Author/Creator: User:Hayden120, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Cartografia dell'Europa
Ramsés II en Qadesh, relieve de Abu Simbel.jpg
Author/Creator: Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States, Licence: CC0
Ramsés II en Qadesh, relieve de Abu Simbel
AMISOM T-55.jpg
Ugandan AMISOM T-55
Battle of crecy froissart.jpg
From a illuminated manuscript of Jean Froissart's Chronicles
Saladin and Guy.jpg
Saladin and Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187
Néolithique 0001.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Thure de Thulstrup - Battle of Shiloh.jpg

Illustration of the Battle of Shiloh in the American Civil War by L. Prang & Co.
Takezaki suenaga ekotoba3.jpg
The second volume of "Mongol Invasion pictures and text", picture 16 [Battle of Kōan] by Takezaki Suenaga. The three brothers Oyano board an enemy ship, and the enemy ship fights back.
Changde battle.jpg
Pitched battle at Changde.
Beirut- building from before civil war.jpeg
Author/Creator: No machine-readable author provided. Bertilvidet~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., Licence: CC BY 2.5
Traces from the Lebanese civil war. Beirut. Photo by Bertil Videt
Former logo of the English Wiktionary. Set in Times New Roman, Lucida Sans, and Bitstream Vera Sans.
Cannon pic.jpg
Author/Creator: No machine-readable author provided. Bogdan assumed (based on copyright claims)., Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0

A small cast-iron cannon on a carriage

picture by Bogdan Giusca: a cannon from some monument of the cannoniers in Bucharest