A weapon, arm or armament is any device that can be used with intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, law enforcement, self-defense, warfare. In broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a tactical, material or mental advantage over an adversary or enemy target. While ordinary objects such as sticks, cars, or pencils can be used as weapons, many are expressly designed for the purpose – ranging from simple implements such as clubs and axes, to complicated modern intercontinental ballistic missiles, biological weapons and cyberweapons. Something, re-purposed, converted, or enhanced to become a weapon of war is termed weaponized, such as a weaponized virus or weaponized laser; the use of objects as weapons has been observed among chimpanzees, leading to speculation that early hominids used weapons as early as five million years ago. However, this can not be confirmed using physical evidence because wooden clubs and unshaped stones would have left an ambiguous record.
The earliest unambiguous weapons to be found are the Schöningen spears, eight wooden throwing spears dating back more than 300,000 years. At the site of Nataruk in Turkana, numerous human skeletons dating to 10,000 years ago may present evidence of traumatic injuries to the head, ribs and hands, including obsidian projectiles embedded in the bones that might have been caused from arrows and clubs during conflict between two hunter-gatherer groups, but the evidence interpretation of warfare at Nataruk has been challenged. The earliest ancient weapons were evolutionary improvements of late neolithic implements, but significant improvements in materials and crafting techniques led to a series of revolutions in military technology; the development of metal tools began with copper during the Copper Age and was followed by the Bronze Age, leading to the creation of the Bronze Age sword and similar weapons. During the Bronze Age, the first defensive structures and fortifications appeared as well, indicating an increased need for security.
Weapons designed to breach fortifications followed soon after, such as the battering ram, in use by 2500 BC. The development of iron-working around 1300 BC in Greece had an important impact on the development of ancient weapons, it was not the introduction of early Iron Age swords, however, as they were not superior to their bronze predecessors, but rather the domestication of the horse and widespread use of spoked wheels by c. 2000 BC. This led to the creation of the light, horse-drawn chariot, whose improved mobility proved important during this era. Spoke-wheeled chariot usage peaked around 1300 BC and declined, ceasing to be militarily relevant by the 4th century BC. Cavalry developed; the horse increased the speed of attacks. In addition to land based weaponry, such as the trireme, were in use by the 7th century BC. European warfare during the Post-classical history was dominated by elite groups of knights supported by massed infantry, they were involved in mobile combat and sieges which involved various siege tactics.
Knights on horseback developed tactics for charging with lances providing an impact on the enemy formations and drawing more practical weapons once they entered into the melee. By contrast, infantry, in the age before structured formations, relied on cheap, sturdy weapons such as spears and billhooks in close combat and bows from a distance; as armies became more professional, their equipment was standardized and infantry transitioned to pikes. Pikes are seven to eight feet in length, used in conjunction with smaller side-arms. In Eastern and Middle Eastern warfare, similar tactics were developed independent of European influences; the introduction of gunpowder from the Asia at the end of this period revolutionized warfare. Formations of musketeers, protected by pikemen came to dominate open battles, the cannon replaced the trebuchet as the dominant siege weapon; the European Renaissance marked the beginning of the implementation of firearms in western warfare. Guns and rockets were introduced to the battlefield.
Firearms are qualitatively different from earlier weapons because they release energy from combustible propellants such as gunpowder, rather than from a counter-weight or spring. This energy is released rapidly and can be replicated without much effort by the user; therefore early firearms such as the arquebus were much more powerful than human-powered weapons. Firearms became important and effective during the 16th century to 19th century, with progressive improvements in ignition mechanisms followed by revolutionary changes in ammunition handling and propellant. During the U. S. Civil War new applications of firearms including the machine gun and ironclad warship emerged that would still be recognizable and useful military weapons today in limited conflicts. In the 19th century warship propulsion changed from sail power to fossil fuel-powered steam engines. Since the mid-18th century North American French-Indian war through the beginning of the 20th century, human-powered weapons were reduced from the primary weaponry of the battlefield yielding to gunpowder-based weaponry.
Sometimes referred to as the "Age of Rifles", this period was characterized by the development of firearms for infantry and cannons for support, as well as the beginnings of mechanized weapons such as the machine gun. Of particular note, Howitzers were able to destroy masonry fortresses and other fortifications, this single invention caused a Revolution in
Area denial weapon
An area denial weapon or Anti Access/Area Denial weapon system is a device or a strategy used to prevent an adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land, sea or air. The specific method used does not have to be effective in preventing passage as long as it is sufficient to restrict, slow down, or endanger the opponent; some area denial weapons pose long-lasting risks to anyone entering the area to civilians, thus are controversial. In medieval warfare and sturdy stakes were buried at the bottom of long lines of ditches, pointed end up diagonally, in order to prevent cavalry charges in a given area. If the stakes were spotted, soldiers would be forced to dismount and give up their advantage as cavalry as well as becoming easier targets; the correct layout of these extensive lines of ditches and the quality control of stake size and placement was part of the craft of war. A more modern version, allowing quicker dispersal and providing the advantage of being hidden more are caltrops, though items bearing close similarity had been in use for most of antiquity.
Many variants were used, such as boards with metal hooks, as described during battles of Julius Caesar. Passive fortification—ditches and obstacles such as dragon's teeth and Czech hedgehogs—were used as anti-tank measures during World War II. Simple rows or clusters of sharpened sticks, the use of small caltrops have been a feature of anti-infantry warfare since antiquity. However, due to the difficulty of mass-producing them in the pre-modern age, they were used except in the defense of limited areas or chokepoints during sieges, where they were used to help seal breaches. Increasing ease of production still did not prevent these methods from falling out of favor from the late Middle Ages onward. Caltrops are still sometimes used in modern conflicts, such as during the Korean War, where Chinese troops wearing only light shoes, were vulnerable. In modern times, special caltrops are sometimes used against wheeled vehicles with pneumatic tires; some South American urban guerrillas such as the Tupamaros and Montoneros, who called them "miguelitos," have used caltrops to avoid pursuit after ambushes.
The most common planted by hand or dispersed by artillery. Some modern prototypes experiment with automatic guns or artillery-delivered ammunitions that are fired only after remote sensing detects enemies. Booby traps or improvised explosive devices in sufficient concentration qualify as area denial weapons, though they are much easier to clear and pose less long-term danger. During an armed conflict there are several methods of countering land mines; these include using armoured vehicles to negate the effects of anti-personnel land mines. Land mines can be cleared either by hand, or by using specialised equipment such as tanks equipped with flails. Explosives can be used to clear mine fields, either by artillery bombardment, or with specialised charges such as Bangalore torpedoes, the Antipersonnel Obstacle Breaching System and the Python Minefield Breaching System. 156 states are parties to the Ottawa Treaty under which they have agreed not to use, produce or transfer anti-personnel mines. Anti-ship missiles are a modern method of stopping a potential adversary from attacking by sea.
China, North Korea and Iran all have developed or imported such weapons in an effort to develop a modern anti-access or A2/AD strategy to counter modern United States weaponry. In response to China’s pursuit of such A2/AD capabilities, the United States has developed the AirSea Battle doctrine. Amitai Etzioni of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies has suggested that AirSea Battle is an escalatory military posture that entails restructuring United States military forces and ordering additional weapons systems, that AirSea Battle could “lead to an arms race with China, which could culminate in a nuclear war.”Other methods of area denial at a strategic level include aircraft carriers, surface-to-air missiles, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, electronic warfare and interceptor aircraft. Various CBRNE weapons can be used for area denial, as long. Fallout from nuclear weapons might be used in such a role. While never employed in this form, its use had been suggested by Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.
Anthrax spores can contaminate the ground for long periods of time, thus providing a form of area denial. However, the short-term effects are to be low - the psychological effects on an opponent would be more significant; the massive use of defoliants such as Agent Orange can be used as an interdiction measure because they leave areas empty of any form of vegetation cover. In the desert-like terrain that ensues, it is impossible for the enemy to travel without being seen, there is little cover in case of an attack from the air. Many chemical weapons produce toxic effects on any personnel in an affected area. However, this has no tactical value, as the effects of indirect exposure do not develop fast or enough - though again, the psychological effect upon an enemy aware of the chemical usage may be considerable. There are however some chemical agents that are by design non-degrading, such as the nerve agent VX. Sulfur mustard was extensively used by both German and allied forces on the west front in World War I as an effective area-denial weapon through contaminating large land stripes by extensive shelling with HD/Gelbkreuz ordnance
Deep operation known as Soviet Deep Battle, was a military theory developed by the Soviet Union for its armed forces during the 1920s and 1930s. It was a tenet that emphasized destroying, suppressing or disorganizing enemy forces not only at the line of contact, but throughout the depth of the battlefield; the term comes from Vladimir Triandafillov, an influential military writer, who worked with others to create a military strategy with its own specialized operational art and tactics. The concept of deep operations was a national strategy, tailored to the economic and geopolitical position of the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of several failures or defeats in the Russo-Japanese War, First World War and Polish–Soviet War, the Soviet High Command focused on developing new methods for the conduct of war; this new approach considered military strategy and tactics, but introduced a new intermediate level of military art: operations. The Soviet Union was the first country to distinguish the third level of military thinking which occupied the position between strategy and tactics.
Using these templates, the Soviets developed the concept of deep battle and by 1936 it had become part of the Red Army Field Regulations. Deep operations had two phases. Deep battle envisaged the breaking of the enemy's forward defenses, or tactical zones, through combined arms assaults, which would be followed up by fresh uncommitted mobile operational reserves sent to exploit the strategic depth of an enemy front; the goal of a deep operation was to inflict a decisive strategic defeat on the enemy's logistical abilities and render the defence of their front more difficult, impossible—or, irrelevant. Unlike most other doctrines, deep battle stressed combined arms cooperation at all levels: strategic and tactical. Russian military thinking had changed little over the course of three centuries prior to the 1920s; the Russian Empire had kept pace with its enemies and allies and performed well in its major conflicts in the run-up to the 19th century. However, despite some notable victories in the Napoleonic Wars and in various Russo-Turkish Wars, Russian defeats in the Crimean War, Russo-Japanese War and First World War, together with a series of Soviet defeats at the hands of Poland in the Polish–Soviet War, highlighted the inferiority of Russian methodology in organisation and training.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the new Bolshevik regime sought to establish an new military system that reflected the Bolshevik revolutionary spirit. The new Red Army combined the new methods, it still relied on the country's enormous manpower reserves. Once this had been achieved, the Soviets turned their attention to solving the problem of military operational mobility. Primary advocates of this development included Alexander Svechin, Mikhail Frunze, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, they promoted the development of military scientific societies and they identified groups of talented officers. Many of these officers entered the Soviet Military Academy during Tukhachevsky's tenure as its commandant in 1921–1922. Others came particularly Nikolai Varfolomeev and Vladimir Triandafillov, who made significant contributions to the use of technology in deep offensive operations. In the aftermath of the wars with Japan and Poland several senior Soviet Commanders called for a unified military doctrine; the most prominent was Mikhail Frunze.
The call prompted opposition by Leon Trotsky. Frunze' position found favour with the officer elements that had experienced the poor command and control of Soviet forces in the conflict with Poland during the Polish-Soviet War; this turn of events prompted Trotsky's replacement by Frunze in January 1925. The nature of this new doctrine was to be political; the Soviets were to fuse the military with the Bolshevik ideal. This would define the nature of war for the Soviet Union; the Soviets believed their most enemy would be the capitalist states of the west they had to defend themselves against before and that such a conflict was unavoidable. The nature of this war raised four major questions: Would the next war be won in one decisive campaign or would it be a long struggle of attrition? Should the Red Army be offensive or defensive? Would the nature of battle be fluid or static? Would mechanized or infantry forces be more important? The discussion evolved into debate between those, like Alexander Svechin, who advocated a strategy of attrition, others, like Tukhachevsky, who thought that a strategy of decisive destruction of the enemy forces was needed.
The latter opinion was motivated in part by the condition of the Soviet Union's economy: the country was still not industrialized and thus was economically too weak to fight a long war of attrition. By 1928 Tukhachevsky's ideas had changed: he considered that, given the nature and lessons of the First World War, the next major war would certainly be one of attrition, he determined, that the vast size of the Soviet Union ensured that some mobility was still possible. Svechin allowed for the first offensives to be fast and fluid; this would require a strong economy and a loyal and politically indoctrinated population in order to outlast the enemy. The
Early modern warfare
Early modern warfare is associated with the start of the widespread use of gunpowder and the development of suitable weapons to use the explosive, including artillery and firearms. This entire period is contained within the Age of Sail, which characteristic dominated the era's naval tactics, including the use of gunpowder in naval artillery. All of the Great Powers of Europe and the Middle East were fighting numerous wars throughout this period, grouped in rough geographical and chronological terms as The European wars of religion between the 1520s and the 1640s and, the Franco-Spanish War, the Northern Wars, Polish–Swedish wars and Russo-Swedish Wars. In the Horn of Africa, the Adal's conquest of Ethiopia and the involving of the Ottomans and the Portuguese. In Asia, the Persia–Portugal war, Nader's Campaigns, the Mughal conquests, the Chinese Ten Great Campaigns, the Anglo-Mysore Wars; the earliest existent Chinese formula for gunpowder is recorded in the Wujing Zongyao manuscript published by 1044, while the fire lance, an early firearm, was used by Song Chinese forces against the Jin during the Siege of De'an in 1132.
The earliest surviving bronze hand cannon, dates to 1288, during the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty of China. Gunpowder warfare was used in the Mongol invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 in the form of explosive bombs fired from catapults against enemy soldiers. Japanese scrolls contain illustrations of bombs used by the Yuan-Mongol forces against mounted samurai. Archaeological evidence of the use of gunpowder include the discovery of multiple shells of the explosive bombs in an underwater shipwreck off the shore of Japan, with X-rays providing proof that they contained gunpowder. In 1326, the earliest known European picture of a gun appeared in a manuscript by Walter de Milemete. In 1350, Petrarch wrote that the presence of cannons on the battlefield was'as common and familiar as other kinds of arms'. Early artillery played a limited role in the Hundred Years' War, it became indispensable in the Italian Wars of 1494–1559. Charles VIII, during his invasion of Italy, brought with him the first mobile siege train: culverins and bombards mounted on wheeled carriages, which could be deployed against an enemy stronghold after arrival.
The period from 1500–1801 saw a rapid advance in techniques of fortification in Europe. Whereas medieval castles had relied on high walls to keep out attackers, early modern fortifications had to withstand artillery bombardments. To do this, engineers developed a style of fortress known as the trace italienne or "Italian style"; these had low, sloping walls, that would either absorb or deflect cannon fire. In addition, they were shaped with bastions protruding at sharp angles; this was to ensure that every bastion could be supported with fire from an adjacent bastion, leaving no "dead ground" for an attacker to take cover in. These new fortifications negated the advantages cannon had offered to besiegers. A polygonal fort is a fortification in the style that evolved around the middle of the 18th century, in response to the development of explosive shells; the complex and sophisticated designs of star forts that preceded them were effective against cannon assault, but proved much less effective against the more accurate fire of rifled guns and the destructive power of explosive shells.
The polygonal style of fortification is described as a "flankless fort". Many such forts were built in the United Kingdom and the British Empire during the government of Lord Palmerston, so they are often referred to as Palmerston forts, their low profile makes them easy to overlook. In response to the vulnerabilities of star forts, military engineers evolved a much simpler but more robust style of fortification. An example of this style can be seen at Fort McHenry in Baltimore in the United States of America, the home of the famous battle where The Star-Spangled Banner was penned by Francis Scott Key; the power of aristocracies vis à vis states diminished throughout Western Europe during this period. Aristocrats' 200- to 400-year-old ancestral castles no longer provided useful defences against artillery; the nobility's importance in warfare eroded as medieval heavy cavalry lost its central role in battle. The heavy cavalry - made up of armoured knights - had begun to fade in importance in the Late Middle Ages.
The English longbow and the Swiss pike had both proven their ability to devastate larger armed forces of mounted knights. However, the proper use of the longbow required the user to be strong, making it impossible to amass large forces of archers; the proper use of the pike required complex operations in formation and a great deal of fortitude and cohesion by the pikemen, again making amassing large forces difficult. Starting in the early 14th-century, armourers added plate-armour pieces to the traditional protective linked mail armour of knights and men-at-arms to guard against the arrows of the longbow and crossbow. By 1415, some infantrymen began deploying the first "hand cannons", the earliest small-bore arquebuses, with burning "m
Industrial warfare is a period in the history of warfare ranging from the early 19th century and the start of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the Atomic Age, which saw the rise of nation-states, capable of creating and equipping large armies and air forces, through the process of industrialisation. The era featured mass-conscripted armies, rapid transportation and wireless communications, the concept of total war. In terms of technology, this era saw the rise of rifled breech-loading infantry weapons capable of high rates of fire, high-velocity breech-loading artillery, chemical weapons, armoured warfare, metal warships and aircraft. One of the main features of industrial warfare is the concept of "total war"; the term was coined during World War I by Erich Ludendorff, which called for the complete mobilization and subordination of all resources, including policy and social systems, to the German war effort. It has come to mean waging warfare with absolute ruthlessness, its most identifiable legacy today has been the reintroduction of civilians and civilian infrastructure as targets in destroying the enemy's ability to engage in war.
There are several reasons for the rise of total warfare in the 19th century. The main one is industrialization; as countries' capital and natural resources grew, it became clear that some forms of warfare demanded more resources than others. The greater cost of warfare became evident. An industrialized nation could distinguish and choose the intensity of warfare that it wished to engage in. Additionally, warfare was becoming more mechanized and required greater infrastructure. Combatants could no longer live off the land, but required an extensive support network of people behind the lines to keep them fed and armed; this required the mobilization of the home front. Modern concepts like propaganda were first used to boost production and maintain morale, while rationing took place to provide more war materiel; the earliest modern example of total war was the American Civil War. Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman were convinced that, if the North was to be victorious, the Confederacy's strategic and psychological ability to wage war had to be definitively crushed.
They believed that to break the backbone of the South, the North had to employ scorched earth tactics, or as Sherman called it, "Hard War". Sherman's advance through Georgia and the Carolinas was characterized by widespread destruction of civilian supplies and infrastructure. In contrast to conflicts, the damage done by Sherman was entirely limited to property destruction. In Georgia alone, Sherman claimed he and his men had caused $100,000,000 in damages. Conscription is the compulsory enrollment of civilians into military service. Conscription allowed the French Republic to form La Grande Armée, what Napoleon Bonaparte called "the nation in arms", which battled European professional armies. Conscription when the conscripts are being sent to foreign wars that do not directly affect the security of the nation, has been politically contentious in democracies. For instance, during World War I, bitter political disputes broke out in Canada, Newfoundland and New Zealand over conscription. Canada had a political dispute over conscription during World War II.
Both South Africa and Australia put limits on where conscripts could fight in WWII. Mass protests against conscription to fight the Vietnam War occurred in several countries in the late 1960s. In developed nations, the increasing emphasis on technological firepower and better-trained fighting forces, the sheer unlikelihood of a conventional military assault on most developed nations, as well as memories of the contentiousness of the Vietnam War experience, make mass conscription unlikely in the foreseeable future. Russia, as well as many smaller nations such as Switzerland, retain conscript armies. Prior to the invention of the motorized transport, combatants were transported from by wagons, horses and by marching. With the advent of locomotives, large groups of combatants and equipment were able to be transported faster and in larger numbers. To counter this, an opposing force would destroy rail lines to hinder their enemies' movements. General Sherman's men during the American Civil War, would destroy tracks, heat the rails, wrap them around trees.
The mass transportation of combatants was further revolutionized with the advent of the internal combustion engine and the automobile. Combined with the widespread use of the machine gun, the horse, after millennia of use, was supplanted in its war time role. During both WWI and WWII, trucks were used to carry combatants and materiel, while cars and jeeps were used to scout enemy positions; the mechanization of infantry occurred during WWII. The tank, a product of World War I invented by the British to break through trenches while withstanding machine gun fire, while discounted by many, came into its own. Tanks evolved from thin-skinned, lumbering vehicles into fast, powerful war machines of various types that dominated the battlefield and allowed the Germans to conquer most of Europe; as a result of the tank's evolution, a number of armored transport vehicles appeared, such as armoured personnel carriers and amphibious vehicles. After the war ended, armored transports continued to evolve; the armored car and train declined in use becoming relegated to military and civilian use as transportation for VIPs.
Infantry fighting vehicles rose to prominence with the creation of th
Prehistoric warfare refers to war that occurred between societies without recorded history. The existence — and the definition — of war in humanity's hypothetical state of nature has been a controversial topic in the history of ideas at least since Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan argued a "war of all against all", a view directly challenged by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in a Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract; the debate over human nature continues, spanning contemporary anthropology, ethnography, political science, psychology and philosophy in such divergent books as Azar Gat's War in Human Civilization and Raymond C. Kelly's Warless Societies and the Origin of War. For the purposes of this article, "prehistoric war" will be broadly defined as a state of organized lethal aggression between autonomous preliterate communities. According to cultural anthropologist and ethnographer Raymond C. Kelly, the earliest hunter-gatherer societies of Homo erectus population density was low enough to avoid armed conflict.
The development of the throwing-spear, together with ambush hunting techniques, made potential violence between hunting parties costly, dictating cooperation and maintenance of low population densities to prevent competition for resources. This behavior may have accelerated the migration out of Africa of H. erectus some 1.8 million years ago as a natural consequence of conflict avoidance. Some scholars believe that this period of "Paleolithic warlessness" persisted until well after the appearance of Homo sapiens some 315,000 years ago, ending only at the occurrence of economic and social shifts associated with sedentism, when new conditions incentivized organized raiding of settlements. Of the many cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic, none depicts people attacking other people explicitly, but there are depictions of human beings pierced with arrows both of the Aurignacian-Périgordian and the early Magdalenian representing "spontaneous confrontations over game resources" in which hostile trespassers were killed.
Skeletal and artifactual evidence of intergroup violence between Paleolithic nomadic foragers is absent as well. The most ancient archaeological record of what could have been a prehistoric massacre is at the site of Jebel Sahaba, committed by the Natufians against a population associated with the Qadan culture of far northern Sudan; the cemetery contains a large number of skeletons that are 13,000 to 14,000 years old half of them with arrowheads embedded in their skeletons, which indicates that they may have been the casualties of warfare. It has been noted that the violence, if dated likely occurred in the wake of a local ecological crisis. At the site of Nataruk in Turkana, numerous 10,000-year-old human remains were found with possible evidence of major traumatic injuries, including obsidian bladelets embedded in the skeletons, that should have been lethal. According to the original study, published in January 2016, the region was a "fertile lakeshore landscape sustaining a substantial population of hunter-gatherers" where pottery had been found, suggesting storage of food and sedentism.
The initial report concluded that the bodies at Nataruk were not interred, but were preserved in the positions the individuals had died at the edge of a lagoon. However, evidence of blunt-force cranial trauma and lack of interment have been called into question, casting doubt upon the assertion that the site represents early intragroup violence; the oldest rock art depicting acts of violence between hunter-gatherers in Northern Australia has been tentatively dated to 10,000 years ago. The earliest, limited evidence for war in Mesolithic Europe dates to ca. 10,000 years ago, episodes of warfare appear to remain "localized and temporarily restricted" during the Late Mesolithic to Early Neolithic period in Europe. Iberian cave art of the Mesolithic shows explicit scenes of battle scenes between groups of archers. A group of three archers encircled by a group of four is found in Cova del Roure, Morella la Vella, Castellón, Valencia. A depiction of a larger battle, in which eleven archers are attacked by seventeen running archers, is found in Les Dogue, Ares del Maestrat, Castellón, Valencia.
At Val del Charco del Agua Amarga, Alcañiz, seven archers with plumes on their heads are fleeing a group of eight archers running in pursuit. Early war was influenced by the development of bows and slings; the bow seems to have been the most important weapon in early warfare, in that it enabled attacks to be launched with far less risk to the attacker when compared to the risk involved in mêlée combat. While there are no cave paintings of battles between men armed with clubs, the development of the bow is concurrent with the first known depictions of organized warfare consisting of clear illustrations of two or more groups of men attacking each other; these figures are arrayed in columns with a distinctly garbed leader at the front. Some paintings portray still-recognizable tactics like flankings and envelopments. Systemic warfare appears to have been a direct consequence of the sedentism as it developed in the wake of the Neolithic Revolution. An important example is the massacre of Talheim Death Pit, dated right on the cusp of the beginning European Neolithic, at 5500 BC.
More a similar site was discovered at Schöneck-Kilianstädten, with the remains of the victims showing "a pattern of intentional mutilation". While the presence of such massacre sites in the context
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, its impact on the societies and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships. Professional historians focus on military affairs that had a major impact on the societies involved as well as the aftermath of conflicts, while amateur historians and hobbyists take a larger interest in the details of battles and uniforms in use; the essential subjects of military history study are the causes of war, the social and cultural foundations, military doctrine on each side, the logistics, technology and tactics used, how these changed over time. On the other hand, Just War Theory explores the moral dimensions of warfare, to better limit the destructive reality caused by war, seeks to establish a doctrine of military ethics; as an applied field, military history has been studied at academies and service schools because the military command seeks to not repeat past mistakes, improve upon its current performance by instilling an ability in commanders to perceive historical parallels during a battle, so as to capitalize on the lessons learned from the past.
When certifying military history instructors the Combat Studies Institute deemphasizes rote detail memorization and focuses on themes and context in relation to current and future conflict, using the motto "Past is Prologue."The discipline of military history is dynamic, changing with development as much of the subject area as the societies and organisations that make use of it. The dynamic nature of the discipline of military history is related to the rapidity of change the military forces, the art and science of managing them, as well as the frenetic pace of technological development that had taken place during the period known as the Industrial Revolution, more in the nuclear and information ages. An important recent concept is the Revolution in Military Affairs which attempts to explain how warfare has been shaped by emerging technologies, such as gunpowder, it highlights the short outbursts of rapid change followed by periods of relative stability. In terms of the history profession in major countries, military history is an orphan, despite its enormous popularity with the general public.
William H. McNeill points out: This branch of our discipline flourishes in an intellectual ghetto; the 144 books in question fall into two distinct classes: works aimed at a popular readership, written by journalists and men of letters outside academic circles, professional work nearly always produced within the military establishment.... The study of military history in universities remains underdeveloped. Indeed, lack of interest in and disdain for military history constitute one of the strangest prejudices of the profession. Historiography is the study of the history and method of the discipline of history or the study of a specialised topic. In this case, military history with an eye to gaining an accurate assessment of conflicts using all available sources. For this reason military history is periodised, creating overlaying boundaries of study and analysis in which descriptions of battles by leaders may be unreliable due to the inclination to minimize mention of failure and exaggerate success.
Military historians use Historiographical analysis in an effort to allow an unbiased, contemporary view of records. One military historian, Jeremy Black, outlined problems 21st-century military historians face as an inheritance of their predecessors: Eurocentricity, a technological bias, a focus on leading military powers and dominant military systems, the separation of land from sea and air conflicts, the focus on state-to-state conflict, a lack of focus on political "tasking" in how forces are used. If these challenges were not sufficient for the military historians, the limits of method are complicated by the lack of records, either destroyed or never recorded for its value as a military secret that may prevent some salient facts from being reported at all. Researching Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, for example, have presented unique challenges to historians due to records that were destroyed to protect classified military information, among other reasons. Historians utilize their knowledge of government regulation and military organization, employing a targeted and systematic research strategy to piece together war histories.
Despite these limits, wars are some of the most studied and detailed periods of human history. Military historians have compared organization and strategic ideas and national support of the militaries of different nations. In the early 1980s, historian Jeffrey Kimball studied the influence of a historian's political position on current events on interpretive disagreement regarding the causes of 20th century wars, he surveyed the ideological preferences of 109 active diplomatic historians in the United States as well as 54 active military historians. He finds that their current political views are moderately correlated with their historiographical interpretations. A clear position on the left-right continuum regarding capitalism was apparent in most cases. All groups agreed with the proposition, "historically, Americans have tended to view questions of their national security in terms of such extremes as good vs. evil." Though the Socialists were split, the other groups agreed that "miscalculation and/or misunderstanding of the situation" had caused U.
S. interventionism." Kimball reports that: Of historians in the field of diplomatic history, 7% are Socialist, 19% are O