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Portal:War

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The War Portal

Introduction

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.

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A stained glass window showing the death of Penda of Mercia

Penda was a 7th-century King of Mercia, a kingdom in what is today the English Midlands. A pagan at a time when Christianity was taking hold in many of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Penda participated in the defeat of the powerful Northumbrian king Edwin at the Battle of Hatfield Chase in 633; nine years later, he defeated and killed Edwin's eventual successor, Oswald, at the Battle of Maserfield. From this point he was probably the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon rulers of the time; he defeated the East Angles, drove the king of Wessex into exile for three years, and continued to wage war against the Bernicians of Northumbria. Thirteen years after Maserfield, he suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of the Winwaed in the course of a final campaign against the Bernicians and was killed.

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Top-left to bottom-right:
* Iranian child soldier on the frontlines* Iranian soldier in a trench wearing a gas mask to guard against Iraqi chemical attacks* Port quarter view of the USS Stark listing to port after being mistakenly struck by an Iraqi warplane* Pro-Iraq MEK forces killed during Iran's Operation Mersad* Iraqi prisoners of war after the recapture of Khorramshahr by Iranian forces* ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun being used by the Iranian Army

The Iran–Iraq War (Persian: جنگ ایران و عراق; Arabic: الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) was a protracted armed conflict between Iran and Iraq that began on 22 September 1980 with the Iraqi invasion of Iran. It lasted for almost eight years and ended on 20 August 1988, following the acceptance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 by both sides. Iraq's primary rationale for the attack against Iran cited the need to prevent Ruhollah Khomeini—who had spearheaded Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979—from exporting the new Iranian ideology to Iraq; there were also fears among the Iraqi leadership of Saddam Hussein that Iran, a theocratic state with a population predominantly composed of Shia Muslims, would exploit sectarian tensions in Iraq by rallying Iraq's Shia majority against the Baʽathist government, which was officially secular and dominated by Sunni Muslims. Iraq also wished to replace Iran as the power player in the Persian Gulf, which was not seen as an achievable objective prior to the Islamic Revolution as Pahlavi Iran boasted colossal economic and military strength as well as close relationships with the United States and Israel. The Iran–Iraq War followed a long-running history of territorial border disputes between the two states, as a result of which Iraq planned to retake the eastern bank of the Shatt al-Arab that it had ceded to Iran in the 1975 Algiers Agreement. Iraqi support for Arab separatists in Iran increased following the outbreak of hostilities; while claims arose suspecting that Iraq was seeking to annex Iran's Khuzestan Province, Saddam Hussein publicly stated in November 1980 that Iraq was not seeking an annexation of any Iranian territory. It is believed that Iraq had instead sought to establish suzerainty over Khuzestan.

While the Iraqi leadership had hoped to take advantage of Iran's post-revolutionary chaos and expected a decisive victory in the face of a severely weakened Iran, the Iraqi military only made progress for three months, and by December 1980, the Iraqi invasion had stalled. As fierce fighting broke out between the two sides, the Iranian military began to gain momentum against the Iraqis and regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. After pushing Iraqi forces back to the pre-war border lines, Iran rejected United Nations Security Council Resolution 514 and launched an invasion of Iraq. The subsequent Iranian offensive within Iraqi territory lasted for five years, with Iraq taking back the initiative in mid-1988 and subsequently launching a series of major counter-offensives that ultimately led to the conclusion of the war in a stalemate. There were a number of proxy forces operating for both countries: Iraq and the pro-Iraqi Arab separatist militias in Iran were most notably supported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran; whereas Iran re-established an alliance with the Iraqi Kurds, being primarily supported by the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. During the conflict, Iraq received an abundance of financial, political, and logistical aid from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and the overwhelming majority of Arab countries. While Iran was comparatively isolated to a large degree, it received a significant amount of aid from Syria, Libya, China, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan, and South Yemen. (Full article...)

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

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Uncle Sam Wants You

Uncle Sam is a national personification of the United States dating from the War of 1812. During World War I and World War II, Uncle Sam's image was used for military recruitment in this poster.
Image credit: James Montgomery Flagg

Selected anniversaries

August 17

General images

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

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