Portal:War

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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 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 organised armed conflict, and that relate to the institutions and organizations that prosecute such conflict.

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Featured article

An Iranian depiction of the Muslim pursuit following the battle

The Battle of Badr was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's war against his Quraish opponents in Mecca. The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory ascribed to either divine intervention or the genius of Muhammad. Although it is one of the few battles mentioned by name in the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an, virtually all contemporary knowledge of the battle at Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, written down decades after the battle. Prior to the battle, the Muslims and Meccans had fought several smaller skirmishes in late 623 and early 624, as the Muslim ghazawāt plundering raids grew increasingly commonplace, but this was their first large-scale battle. Muhammad was leading a raiding party against a caravan when he was surprised by a much larger Quraishi army. Advancing to a strong defensive position, Muhammad's well-disciplined men managed to shatter the Meccan lines, killing several important leaders including Muhammad's chief opponent, Amr ibn Hishām. For the early Muslims, the battle was extremely significant because it was the first sign that they might eventually overcome their enemies in Mecca, one of the richest and most powerful pagan cities in pre-Islamic Arabia.

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Did you know...?

Fight for the Bagration flèches

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Featured picture

USS Pennsylvania leading USS Colorado, USS Louisville, USS Portland, and USS Columbia into Lingayen Gulf before the landing on Luzon, Philippines in January 1945.

The battleship USS Pennsylvania leads USS Colorado, USS Louisville, USS Portland, and USS Columbia into Lingayen Gulf before the landing on Luzon, Philippines in January 1945. Battleships and other big gun naval vessels that served in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II were used primarily for offshore bombardment of enemy positions and as anti-aircraft screens for aircraft carriers.

Photo credit: United States Navy

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Selected anniversaries

April 25
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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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Other Wikimedia projects

War on Wikinews     War on Wikiquote     War on Wikisource     War on Wiktionary     War on Wikimedia Commons
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