An ambush is a long-established military tactic in which combatants take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops. Ambushes have been used throughout history, from ancient to modern warfare. In the 20th century, an ambush might involve thousands of soldiers on a large scale, such as over a choke point such as a mountain pass, or a small irregular band or insurgent group attacking a regular armed force patrol. Theoretically, a single well-armed and concealed soldier could ambush other troops in a surprise attack; the use by early humans of the ambush may date as far back as two million years when anthropologists have suggested that ambush techniques were used to hunt large game. One example from ancient times is the Battle of the Trebia river. Hannibal encamped within striking distance of the Romans with the Trebia River between them, placed a strong force of cavalry and infantry in concealment, near the battle zone.
He had noticed, says Polybius, a "place between the two camps, flat indeed and treeless, but well adapted for an ambuscade, as it was traversed by a water-course with steep banks, densely overgrown with brambles and other thorny plants, here he proposed to lay a stratagem to surprise the enemy". When the Roman infantry became entangled in combat with his army, the hidden ambush force attacked the legionnaires in the rear; the result was defeat for the Romans. The battle displays the effects of good tactical discipline on the part of the ambushed force. Although most of the legions were lost, about 10,000 Romans cut their way through to safety, maintaining unit cohesion; this ability to maintain discipline and break out or maneuver away from a kill zone is a hallmark of good troops and training in any ambush situation.. Another famous ambush was that sprung by Germanic warchief Arminius against the Romans at Battle of the Teutoburg Forest; this particular ambush was to affect the course of Western history.
The Germanic forces demonstrated several principles needed for a successful ambush. They took cover in difficult forested terrain, allowing the warriors time and space to mass without detection, they had the element of surprise, this was aided by the defection of Arminius from Roman ranks prior to the battle. They sprang the attack; the Germans did not dawdle at the hour of decision but attacked using a massive series of short, vicious charges against the length of the whole Roman line, with charging units sometimes withdrawing to the forest to regroup while others took their place. The Germans used blocking obstacles, erecting a trench and earthen wall to hinder Roman movement along the route of the killing zone; the result was mass slaughter of the Romans, the destruction of three legions. The Germanic victory caused a limit on Roman expansion in the West, it established the Rhine as the boundary of the Roman Empire for the next four hundred years, until the decline of the Roman influence in the West.
The Roman Empire made no further concerted attempts to conquer Germania beyond the Rhine. According to Muslim tradition, Islamic Prophet Muhammad used ambush tactics in his military campaigns, his first such use was during the Caravan raids, in the Kharrar caravan raid Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas was ordered to lead a raid against the Quraysh. His group consisted of about twenty Muhajirs; this raid was done about a month after the previous. Sa'd, with his soldiers, set up an ambush in the valley of Kharrar on the road to Mecca and waited to raid a returning Meccan caravan from Syria, but the caravan had passed and the Muslims returned to Medina without any loot. Arab tribes during Muhammad's era used ambush tactics. One example retold in Muslim tradition is said to have taken place during the First Raid on Banu Thalabah; the Banu Thalabah tribe were aware of the impending attack. The Banu Thalabah, with 100 men ambushed them. Muhammad ibn Maslama pretended to be dead. A Muslim who happened to pass that way assisted him to return to Medina.
The raid was unsuccessful. In modern warfare, an ambush is most employed by ground troops up to platoon size against enemy targets, which may be other ground troops, or vehicles. However, in some situations when deep behind enemy lines, the actual attack will be carried out by a platoon, a company-sized unit will be deployed to support the attack group, setting up and maintaining a forward patrol harbour from which the attacking force will deploy, to which they will retire after the attack. Ambushes are complex, multi-phase operations, are, therefore planned in some detail. First, a suitable killing zone is identified; this is the place. It is a place where enemy units are expected to pass, which gives reasonable cover for the deployment and extraction phases of the ambush patrol. A path along a wooded valley floor would be a typical example. Ambush can be described geometrically as: Linear, when a number of firing units are distant from the linear kill zone. L-shaped, when a short leg of firing units are placed to enfilade the sides of the linear kill zone.
V-shaped, when the firing units are distant from the kill zone at the end where the enemy enters, so the firing units lay down bands of inte
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families. Charles left an undivided Monarchy of Spain to Louis XIV's grandson Philip, proclaimed King of Spain on 16 November 1700. Disputes over separation of the Spanish and French crowns and commercial rights led to war in 1701 between the Bourbons of France and Spain and the Grand Alliance, whose candidate was Archduke Charles, younger son of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. By the end of 1706, Allied victories in Italy and the Low Countries forced the French back within their borders but they were unable to make a decisive breakthrough. Control of the sea allowed the Allies to conduct successful offensives in Spain, but lack of popular support for Archduke Charles meant they could not hold territory outside the coastal areas. Conflict extended to European colonies in North America, where it is known as Queen Anne's War, the West Indies as well as minor struggles in Colonial India.
Related conflicts include Rákóczi's War of Independence in Hungary, funded by France and the 1704–1710 Camisard rebellion in South-East France, funded by Britain. When his elder brother Joseph died in 1711, Charles succeeded him as Emperor, undermining the primary driver behind the war, to prevent Spain being united with either France or Austria; the 1710 British election returned a new government committed to ending it and with the Allied war effort now dependent on British financing, this forced the others to make peace. The war ended with the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, followed in 1714 by the treaties of Rastatt and Baden. In return for confirmation as King of Spain, Philip V renounced his place in the line of succession to the French throne, both for himself and his descendants; the Dutch Republic was granted its Barrier Fortresses, while France acknowledged the Protestant succession in Britain and agreed to end support for the Stuart exiles. In the longer term, the commercial provisions of Utrecht confirmed Britain's status as the leading European maritime and commercial power, while the Dutch lost their position as the pre-eminent economic power in Asia and the war marked their decline as a first-rank power.
Other long-term impacts include the creation of a centralised Spanish state and the acceleration of the break-up of the Holy Roman Empire into larger and more powerful German principalities. In 1665 Charles II became the last male Habsburg King of Spain. In 1670, England agreed to support the rights of Louis XIV to the Spanish throne in the Treaty of Dover, while the terms of the 1688 Grand Alliance committed England and the Dutch Republic to back Leopold. In 1700, the Spanish Empire included possessions in Italy, the Spanish Netherlands, the Philippines and the Americas and though no longer the dominant great power, it remained intact. Since acquisition of the Empire by either the Austrian Habsburgs or French Bourbons would change the balance of power in Europe, its inheritance led to a war that involved most of the European powers; the 1700-1721 Great Northern War is considered a connected conflict, since it impacted the involvement of states such as Sweden, Denmark–Norway and Russia. During the 1688–1697 Nine Years War, armies had increased in size from an average of 25,000 in 1648 to over 100,000 by 1697, a level unsustainable for pre-industrial economies.
The 1690s marked the lowest point of the Little Ice Age, a period of colder and wetter weather that drastically reduced crop yields. The Great Famine of 1695-1697 killed between 15-25% of the population in present-day Scotland, Finland, Latvia and Sweden, with an estimated two million deaths in France and Northern Italy; the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick was therefore the result of mutual exhaustion and Louis XIV's acceptance that France could not achieve its objectives without allies. Leopold refused to sign and did so with extreme reluctance in October 1697. Unlike France or Austria, the Crown of Spain could be inherited through the female line; this allowed Charles' sisters Maria Theresa and Margaret Theresa to pass their rights as rulers onto the children of their respective marriages with Louis XIV and Emperor Leopold. Despite being opponents in the recent Nine Years War, Louis XIV and William III of England now attempted to resolve the Succession by diplomacy. In 1685, Maria Antonia, daughter of Leopold and Margaret, married Maximillian Emanuel of Bavaria and they had a son, Joseph Ferdinand.
The 1698 Treaty of the Hague or First Partition Treaty between France and the Dutch Republic made the six year old heir to the bulk of the Spanish Monarchy and divided its European territories between France and Austria. The Spanish refused to accept the division of their Empire and on 14 November 1698, Charles published his Will, making Joseph Ferdinand heir to an independent and undivided Spanish monarchy; when he died of smallpox in February 1699, a new solution was required. This was of doubtful legality but France and the Nethe
Grand Alliance (League of Augsburg)
The Grand Alliance is the name used for the coalition formed on 20 December 1689 by England and the Dutch Republic, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold, including the Archduchy of Austria. With the additions of Spain and Savoy, this fought the 1688–97 Nine Years' War against France that ended with the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, it was reformed in September 1701 by the Treaty of The Hague shortly before the War of the Spanish Succession and dissolved after the 1714 Peace of Utrecht. This is referred to as the Second Grand Alliance; the Grand Alliance was the most significant of the coalitions formed in response to the wars of Louis XIV that began in 1667 and ended in 1714. Post-1648, French expansion was helped by the decline of Spanish power while the Peace of Westphalia formalised religious divisions within the Holy Roman Empire; this weakened the collective security provided by the Imperial Circles and led to a series of individual agreements, such as the 1679 Wetterau Union. Louis XIV secretly supported the Ottomans against the Austrian Habsburgs in the 1683–99 Great Turkish War, while weakening their influence within the Holy Roman Empire by paying subsidies to states including Bavaria, the Palatinate and Brandenburg-Prussia.
The Protestant Kingdom of Denmark received subsidies and when James II became King of England in February 1685, it was assumed he too would become a French ally. In 1670, France occupied the Duchy of Lorraine much of Alsace in the 1683–84 War of the Reunions, threatening Imperial states in the Rhineland; the October 1685 Edict of Fontainebleau revoked tolerance for French Huguenots, an estimated 200,000 - 400,000 of whom left France over the next five years. Former allies like Frederick William now invited French exiles to settle in Brandenburg-Prussia and agreed a treaty with the Dutch Republic in October 1685; these events were followed in 1686 by the massacre of around 2,000 Vaudois Protestants, reinforcing widespread fears that Protestant Europe was threatened by a Catholic counter-reformation led by Louis XIV. With Leopold occupied by the Ottomans, William of Orange led efforts to create the Union of Wetterau, a coalition of German states within the Holy Roman Empire to resist French expansion and'preserve the peace and liberties of Europe.'
As a non-Imperial state, the Dutch Republic was excluded from the Union but many of its leaders were senior officers in the Dutch army, including its head, Georg Friedrich, Prince of Waldeck. He was the architect of its most significant innovation, his model was used for the 1682 Laxenburg Alliance, which combined Austria with the Upper Rhenish and Franconian Circles to defend the Rhineland but the War of Reunions proved it could not oppose France on its own. When Philip William inherited the Palatinate in May 1685, Louis claimed half of it, based on the marriage of Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate to Philippe of Orléans, creating another crisis. Previous failures showed a more based alliance was needed to defend the Palatinate, while victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 allowed Leopold to refocus on the western portions of the Empire; the League of Augsburg was formed in July 1686 by combining the Laxenburg Alliance with the Burgundian Circle, Swedish Pomerania and Bavaria.
On 27 September 1688, French forces invaded the Rhineland and attacked Philippsburg, launching the Nine Years' War. The coalition was strengthened when the Glorious Revolution deposed James II in November 1688 and William of Orange became William III/II of England and Scotland; the Dutch Republic declared war on France followed by England in May. The overlap between the various coalitions is confusing; the Empire contained hundreds of members, each belonging to an Imperial Circle, an administrative unit for collecting taxes and mutual support. Individual states could form or join alliances, such as the 1685 agreement between Brandenburg-Prussia and the Dutch Republic, while Leopold signed the Grand Alliance as Archduke of Austria. However, only the Imperial Diet could commit the entire Empire. A number of foreign monarchs held lands within the Empire, he was Duke of Swedish Pomerania, a member of the Lower Saxon Circle and part of the League. The same applied to the Spanish Netherlands, a member of the Burgundian Circle, but not the Kingdom of Spain, which separately joined the Grand Alliance in 1690.
Lastly, some writers fail to differentiate between the'Grand Alliance,' as in England, the Dutch Republic and Leopold, versus members of the anti-French'alliance,' like Bavaria, the Palatinate, etc. Seventeenth-century European society was hierarchical; this made Savoy's entry into the Alliance in 1690 a major triumph for Victor Amadeus but Leopold refused to allow Bavaria and Brandenburg-Prussia separate representation at the Ryswick peace talks in 1697. The terms of the Grand Alliance were based on the agreements of May 1689 between the Dutch Republic and Austria and the August 1689 Anglo-Dutch'Treaty of Friendship and Alliance.' It was signed on 20 December 1689, delayed by Leopold's concerns on accepting William as King of England and the impact on English Roman Catholics. The main provisions were restoration of the borders agreed at Westphalia in 1648, the independence of the
War of Jenkins' Ear
The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Britain and Spain lasting from 1739 to 1748, with major operations ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1858, refers to an ear severed from Robert Jenkins, a captain of a British merchant ship. There is no evidence that supports the stories that the severed ear was exhibited before the British Parliament; the seeds of conflict began with the separation of an ear from Jenkins following the boarding of his vessel by Spanish coast guards in 1731, eight years before the war began. Popular response to the incident was tepid until several years when opposition politicians and the British South Sea Company hoped to spur outrage against Spain, believing that a victorious war would improve Britain’s trading opportunities in the Caribbean. Ostensibly providing the impetus to war against the Spanish Empire was a desire to pressure the Spanish not to renege on the lucrative asiento contract, which gave British slavers permission to sell slaves in Spanish America.
The war resulted in heavy British casualties in North America. After 1742, the war was subsumed by the wider War of the Austrian Succession, which involved most of the powers of Europe. Peace arrived with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. From the British perspective, the war was notable because it was the first time that a regiment of colonial American troops was raised and placed "on the Establishment" – made a part of the regular British Army – and sent to fight outside North America. At the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht gave Britain a thirty-year asiento, or contract-right, to supply an unlimited number of slaves to the Spanish colonies, 500 tons of goods per year; this provided British traders and smugglers potential inroads into the traditionally closed markets in Spanish America. But Britain and Spain were at war during this period, fighting one another in the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the Blockade of Porto Bello and the Anglo-Spanish War.
In the Treaty of Seville, following the Anglo-Spanish War, Britain had accorded Spanish warships a "Visitation Right", the right to stop British traders and check them for smuggled cargo to verify that the asiento was being respected. Over time, the Spanish became suspicious British traders were abusing the contract and began to board ships and confiscate their cargoes. After strained relations between 1727 and 1732, the situation improved between 1732 and 1737, when Sir Robert Walpole supported Spain during the War of the Polish Succession, but the causes of the problems remained and, when the opposition against Walpole grew, so did anti-Spanish sentiment among the British public. Walpole gave in to the pressure and approved the sending of troops to the West Indies and a squadron to Gibraltar under Admiral Nicholas Haddock, provoking an immediate Spanish reaction. Spain asked for financial compensation, in turn the British demanded annulment of the Visitation Right. In response, King Philip V of Spain annulled the asiento and had all British ships in Spanish harbours confiscated.
The Convention of Pardo, an attempt to mediate the dispute, broke down. On 14 August, Britain recalled its ambassador to Spain and declared war on 23 October 1739. Despite the Pacte de Famille, France remained neutral. Walpole was reluctant to declare war and remarked of the jubilation in Britain "they are ringing their bells, soon they will be wringing their hands"; the incident that gave its name to the war had occurred in 1731, off the coast of Florida, when the British brig Rebecca was boarded by the Spanish patrol boat La Isabela, commanded by the guarda costa Juan de León Fandiño. After boarding, Fandiño cut off the left ear of the Rebecca's captain, Robert Jenkins, whom he accused of smuggling. Fandiño told Jenkins, "Go, tell your King that I will do the same, if he dares to do the same." In March 1738, Jenkins was ordered to testify before Parliament to repeat his story before a committee of the House of Commons. According to some accounts, he produced the severed ear as part of his presentation, although no detailed record of the hearing exists.
The incident was considered alongside various other cases of "Spanish Depredations upon the British Subjects", was perceived as an insult to Britain's honour and a clear casus belli. The conflict was named by essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle, in 1858, one hundred and ten years after hostilities ended. Carlyle mentioned the ear in several passages of his History of Friedrich II, most notably in Book XI, chapter VI, where he refers to "the War of Jenkins's Ear". Following Jenkins' testimony and petitions from other West Indies merchants, the opposition in Parliament voted on 28 March 1738 to send "an Address" to the King, asking his Majesty to seek redress from Spain. More than one year all diplomatic means having been exhausted, on 10 July 1739 King George II authorised the Admiralty Board to seek maritime reprisals against Spain. On 20 July, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon and a fleet of warships departed Britain, bound for the West Indies, to attack Spanish ships and "possessions". War was not declared against Spain until Saturday, 23 October 1739, one day after the attack on La Guaira, the principal port of the Province of Venezuela, controlled by the Royal Guipuzcoan Company of Caracas.
After arriving at the island of Antigua in early October 1739, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon sent three ships under the command of Captain Thomas Waterhouse to intercept Spanish merchant ships that made the route between L
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of a world fur market in the early modern period, furs of boreal and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued; the trade stimulated the exploration and colonization of Siberia, northern North America, the South Shetland and South Sandwich Islands. Today the importance of the fur trade has diminished. Animal rights organizations oppose the fur trade, citing that animals are brutally killed and sometimes skinned alive. Fur has been replaced in some clothing by synthetic imitations, for example, as in ruffs on hoods of parkas. Before the European colonization of the Americas, Russia was a major supplier of fur pelts to Western Europe and parts of Asia, its trade developed in the Early Middle Ages, first through exchanges at posts around the Baltic and Black seas. The main trading market destination was the German city of Leipzig. Kievan Russia, the first Russian State, was the first supplier of the Russian Fur Trade.
Russia exported raw furs, consisting in most cases of the pelts of martens, wolves, foxes and hares. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Russians began to settle in Siberia, a region rich in many mammal fur species, such as Arctic fox, sable, sea otter and stoat. In a search for the prized sea otter pelts, first used in China, for the northern fur seal, the Russian Empire expanded into North America, notably Alaska. From the 17th through the second half of the 19th century, Russia was the world's largest supplier of fur; the fur trade played a vital role in the development of Siberia, the Russian Far East and the Russian colonization of the Americas. As recognition of the importance of the trade to the Siberian economy, the sable is a regional symbol of the Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Siberian Novosibirsk and Irkutsk Oblasts of Russia; the European discovery of North America, with its vast forests and wildlife the beaver, led to the continent becoming a major supplier in the 17th century of fur pelts for the fur felt hat and fur trimming and garment trades of Europe.
Fur was relied on to make warm clothing, a critical consideration prior to the organization of coal distribution for heating. Portugal and Spain played major roles in fur trading after the 15th century with their business in fur hats. From as early as the 10th century and boyars of Novgorod had exploited the fur resources "beyond the portage", a watershed at the White Lake that represents the door to the entire northwestern part of Eurasia, they began by establishing trading posts along the Volga and Vychegda river networks and requiring the Komi people to give them furs as tribute. Novgorod, the chief fur-trade center prospered as the easternmost trading post of the Hanseatic League. Novgorodians expanded farther east and north, coming into contact with the Pechora people of the Pechora River valley and the Yugra people residing near the Urals. Both of these native tribes offered more resistance than the Komi, killing many Russian tribute-collectors throughout the tenth and eleventh centuries.
As Muscovy gained more power in the 15th century and proceeded in the "gathering of the Russian lands", the Muscovite state began to rival the Novgorodians in the North. During the 15th century Moscow began subjugating many native tribes. One strategy involved exploiting antagonisms between tribes, notably the Komi and Yugra, by recruiting men of one tribe to fight in an army against the other tribe. Campaigns against native tribes in Siberia remained insignificant until they began on a much larger scale in 1483 and 1499. Besides the Novgorodians and the indigenes, Muscovites had to contend with the various Muslim Tatar khanates to the east of Muscovy. In 1552 Ivan IV, the Tsar of All the Russias, took a significant step towards securing Russian hegemony in Siberia when he sent a large army to attack the Kazan Tartars and ended up obtaining the territory from the Volga to the Ural Mountains. At this point the phrase "ruler of Obdor and all Siberian lands" became part of the title of the Tsar in Moscow.
So, problems ensued after 1558 when Ivan IV sent Grigory Stroganov to colonize land on the Kama and to subjugate and enserf the Komi living there. The Stroganov family soon came into conflict with the Khan of Sibir. Ivan told the Stroganovs to hire Cossack mercenaries to protect the new settlement from the Tatars. From ca 1581 the band of Cossacks led by Yermak Timofeyevich fought many battles that culminated in a Tartar victory and the temporary end to Russian occupation in the area. In 1584 Ivan’s son Fyodor sent military governors and soldiers to reclaim Yermak conquests and to annex the land held by the Khanate of Sibir. Similar skirmishes with Tartars took place across Siberia. Russian conquerors treated the natives of Siberia as exploited enemies who were inferior to them; as they penetrated deeper into Siberia, traders built outposts or winter lodges called zimovya where they lived and collected fur tribute from native tribes. By 1620 Russia dominated the land from the Urals eastward to the Yenisey valley and to the Altai Mountains in the south, comprising about 1.25 million square miles of land.
Furs would become Russia's largest source of wealth during the seventeenth centuries. Keeping up with the advances of Western Europe required significant capital and Russia did not have sources of gold and silver, but it did have furs, which became known as "soft gold" and provided Russia with hard cur
Mobilization, in military terminology, is the act of assembling and readying troops and supplies for war. The word mobilization was first used, in a military context, to describe the preparation of the Imperial Russian Army during the 1850s and 1860s. Mobilization theories and tactics have continuously changed since then; the opposite of mobilization is demobilization. Mobilization became an issue with the introduction of conscription, the introduction of the railways in the 19th century. Mobilization institutionalized the mass levy of conscripts, first introduced during the French Revolution, that had changed the character of war. A number of technological and societal changes promoted the move towards a more organized way of deployment; these included the telegraph to provide rapid communication, the railways to provide rapid movement and concentration of troops, conscription to provide a trained reserve of soldiers in case of war. The Roman Empire was able to mobilize at various times between 6% to as much as 10% of the total Roman population, in emergencies and for short periods of time.
This included poorly-trained militia. The Confederate States of America is estimated to have mobilized about 11% of its free population in the American Civil War; the Kingdom of Prussia mobilized about 6–7% of its total population in the years 1760 and 1813. The Swedish Empire mobilized 7.7% in 1709. Armies in the seventeenth century possessed an average of 20,000 men. A military force of this size requires around 20 tons of food per day, shelter, as well as all the necessary munitions, transportation and representative garments. Without efficient transportation, mobilizing these average-sized forces was costly, time-consuming, life-threatening. Soldiers could traverse the terrain to get to war fronts. Many armies decided to forage for food. However, due to new policies, greater populations, greater national wealth, the nineteenth-century army was composed of an average of 100,000 men. For example, in 1812 Bonaparte led an army of 600,000 to Moscow while feeding off plentiful agricultural products introduced by the turn of the century, such as potatoes.
Despite the advantages of mass armies, mobilizing forces of this magnitude took much more time than it had in the past. The Second Italian War of Independence illustrated all of the problems in modern army mobilization. Prussia began to realize the future of mobilizing mass armies when Napoleon III transported 130,000 soldiers to Italy by military railways in 1859. French caravans that carried the supplies for the French and Piedmontese armies were slow, the arms inside these caravans were sloppily organized; these armies were in luck, however, in that their Austrian adversaries experienced similar problems with sluggish supply caravans. Not only did Prussia take note of the problems in transporting supplies to armies, but it took note of the lack of communication between troops and generals. Austria's army was composed of Slavs, but it contained many other ethnicities as well. Austrian military instruction during peacetime utilized nine different languages, accustoming Austrian soldiers to taking orders only in their native language.
Conversely, in an effort to augment the efficacy of the new “precision rifle” developed by the monarchy, officers were forced to only speak German when giving orders to their men. One Austrian officer commented at Solferino that his troops could not comprehend the command, “Halt.” This demonstrates the communicative problems that arose with the advent of the mass army. Intricate plans for mobilization contributed to the beginning of World War I, since in 1914, under the laws and customs of warfare observed, general mobilization of one nation's military forces was invariably considered an act of war by that country's enemies. In 1914, the United Kingdom was the only European Great Power without conscription; the other Great Powers all relied on compulsory military service to supply each of their armies with the millions of men they believed they would need to win a major war. France enacted the “Three Year Law” to extend the service of conscripted soldiers to match the size of the German army, as the French population of 40 million was smaller than the German population of 65 million people.
The Anglo-German naval arms race began. Each of the Great Powers could only afford to keep a fraction of these men in uniform in peacetime, the rest were reservists with limited opportunities to train. Maneuvering formations of millions of men with limited military training required intricate plans with no room for error, confusion, or discretion after mobilization began; these plans were prepared under the assumption of worst-case scenarios. For example, German military leaders did not plan to mobilize for war with Russia whilst assuming that France would not come to her ally's aid, or vice versa; the Schlieffen Plan therefore dictated not only mobilization against both powers, but the order of attack—France would be attacked first regardless of the diplomatic circumstances. To bypass the fortified Franco-German frontier, the German forces were to be ordered to march through Belgium. Whether or not Russia had committed the first provocation, the German plan agreed to by Emperor W
The Beaver Wars known as the Iroquois Wars' or the French and Iroquois Wars, encompass a series of conflicts fought intermittently during the 17th century in eastern North America. During the 17th century, the Beaver Wars were battles for economic welfare throughout the St. Lawrence River valley in Canada and the lower Great Lakes region; the wars were between the Iroquois trying to take control of the fur trade from the Hurons, the northern Algonquians, their French allies. From medieval times, Europeans had obtained furs from Scandinavia. American pelts began coming on the market during the 16th century—decades before the French and Dutch established permanent settlements and trading posts on the continent—after Basque fishermen chasing cod off Newfoundland's Grand Banks bartered with local Indians for beaver robes to help fend off the numbing Atlantic chill. By virtue of their location, these tribes wielded considerable influence in European-Indian relations from the early seventeenth century onwards.
The Iroquois sought to expand their territory and monopolize the fur trade and the trade between European markets and the tribes of the lower Great Lakes region. They were a confederacy of five nations—Mohawk, Onondaga and Seneca, inhabiting the lands in upstate New York along the shores of Lake Ontario east to Lake Champlain and Lake George on the Hudson river, the lower-estuary of the St Lawrence river; the Iroquois Confederation, led by the dominant Mohawk, mobilized against the Algonquian-speaking tribes and Iroquoian speaking Huron and related tribes of the Great Lakes region. The Iroquois were armed by their Dutch and much English trading partners; the wars were brutal and are considered one of the bloodiest series of conflicts in the history of North America. As the Iroquois destroyed several large tribal confederacies—including the Mahican, Neutral, Erie and northern Algonquins, they became dominant in the region and enlarged their territory, realigning the tribal geography of North America.
The Iroquois gained control of the New England frontier and Ohio River valley lands as hunting ground, from about 1670 onward. Both Algonquian and Iroquoian societies were disrupted by these wars; the conflict subsided with the loss by the Iroquois of their Dutch allies in the New Netherland colony after England took it over in 1664, with Fort Amsterdam and the town of New Amsterdam, renaming it New York, with French objective of gaining the Iroquois as an ally against English encroachment. After the Iroquois became trading partners with the English, their alliance was a crucial component of the English western and northern expansion leading to the French and Indian War; the English/British used the Iroquois conquests as a claim to the old Northwest Territory, of the United States, northwest of the Ohio River and around the Great Lakes. The expeditions of French explorer Jacques Cartier in the 1540s made the first written records of the Native Americans in North America. French explorers and fishermen had traded in the region near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River estuary a decade before for valuable furs.
Cartier wrote of encounters with a people classified as the St. Lawrence Iroquoians known as the Stadaconan or Laurentian people, who occupied several fortified villages, including Stadacona and Hochelaga. Cartier recorded an ongoing war between the Stadaconans and another tribe known as the Toudaman, who had destroyed one of their forts the previous year, resulting in 200 deaths. Wars and politics in Europe distracted French efforts at colonization in the St. Lawrence Valley until the beginning of the 17th century, when they founded Quebec in 1608; when the French returned to the area, they found the sites of both Stadacona and Hochelaga abandoned destroyed by an unknown enemy. Based on analysis of political and economic conditions at the time, some anthropologists and historians have suggested that the Mohawk Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy destroyed and drove out the St. Lawrence Iroquoians; when the French returned, they found no inhabitants in this part of the upper river valley. The Iroquois and the Iroquoian-speaking Huron used it as hunting ground.
The causes remain unclear.. This was in response to the formation of the League of the Iroquois; when the French returned in 1601, the St. Lawrence Valley had been the site of generations of blood feud-style warfare, as characterized the relations of the Iroquois with all neighboring peoples. In 1603, when Samuel de Champlain visited Tadoussac near the St. Lawrence, the Montagnais and Huron immediately recruited him and his small company of French adventurers to assist in attacking their Iroquois enemies upriver. Before 1603, Champlain had formed an offensive alliance against the Iroquois, he decided. He had a commercial rationale: the northern Natives provided the French with valuable furs and the Iroquois, based in present-day New York, interfered with that trade; the first deliberate battle with the Iroquois in 1609 was fought at Champlain's initiative. Narrative makes it plain Champlain deliberately went along with a war party down Lake Champlain, further, this battle created 150 years of mistrust that poisoned any chances that French-Iroquois alliances would be durable and long lived.