Military History - Wars

Warfare has many causes: territorial conflict, conquest, economic domination, control of government, cultural or religious conflict. As seen in historical pictures, ancient warfare shared these motives. There were repeated conquests of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. Historical images of Biblical accounts are infused with conflicts, including the Babylonian Captivity after the conquest of Jerusalem followed by the Jewish people retaking the city. Ancient Greek soldiers were deployed in the Trojan War and the Persian Wars, and under Alexander the Great stretched Hellenistic culture to lands as far as ancient Egypt and India. Roman military power dominated all lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, battling the armies of Carthage in the Punic Wars, and finally splitting off the Byzantine Empire centered in Constantinople. Regarded as a Holy Land by many faiths, the Mideast remained a center of conflict during the Middle Ages, when historical pictures show the Crusades, a conflict of Christians versus Muslims.

Medieval incursions into the former Roman Empire by the Ottoman Turks, Goths, Gauls, Franks, Celts, Huns, Teutons, Vandals, and other Eurasian tribes changed the cultures and languages of Europe and Asia Minor. Historical images of important European wars include the Hundred Years' War, Thirty Years' War, Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War, and many additional conflicts over boundaries and alliances. Russia fought the Great Northern War against Sweden and was involved in many other European conflicts, shown in historical pictures, as well.

Wars of independence in the Americas followed years of conflict between natives and European colonists shown in historical pictures. The War of 1812 and the Spanish-American War largely ended colonial wars in the western hemisphere.

The history of naval warfare is a specialty subject. Historical images of sea battles show unique tactics and equipment in maritime use. Advances in ship design improved speed and maneuverability; in addition, naval artillery and other naval weapons were added and improved over the course of maritime history.

Military uniforms identify different armies as well as military units, and historical pictures show the variety of uniforms including helmets, armor, and colorful plumes and other decoration. Cavalry, the military's mounted branch, is commonly pictured on war-horses, such as historical images of knights, but elephants and other animals have also been used in war.


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