Biological warfare —also known as germ warfare—is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons are living organisms or replicating entities that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological warfare is considered a type of biological weapon; this type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military initialism for nuclear and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction. None of these are considered conventional weapons, which are deployed for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential. Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some chemical weapons, biological weapons may be useful as area denial weapons; these agents may be lethal or non-lethal, may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or an entire population.
They may be developed, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may be considered bioterrorism. Biological warfare and chemical warfare overlap to an extent, as the use of toxins produced by some living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are characterized by shorter incubation periods; the use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law, as well as a variety of international treaties. The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime. Offensive biological warfare, including mass production and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; the rationale behind this treaty, ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013, is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.
Many countries, including signatories of the BWC pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, not prohibited by the BWC. A nation or group that can pose a credible threat omass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield; as a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, therefore might not stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets; this feature can be undesirable, as the agent may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or friendly forces.
While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of all nations. Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity; the earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 1500–1200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic. Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of 25 million Europeans.
The British Army commanders approved the use of smallpox as a biological weapon in the French and Indian War to target Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763. Correspondence between General Jeffrey Amherst and Colonel Henry Bouquet provides further evidence that the English army planned for the use of biological weapons to kill Native Americans, as detailed in Native American disease and epidemics. A smallpox outbreak was reported in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes area through 1763 and 1764; the spread of smallpox weakened the French and Native American resistance to the British troops led by Bouquet. The smallpox outbreak was considered a direct result of two blankets and a scarf taken from a Small Pox Hospital gifted by William Trent and others English army representatives to leader Maumaultee and warrior Turtle Heart of the Delaware people during their visit to Ft Pitt. Amherst and Bouquet discussed other biological weapon deployments as a result. Apologists pose questions as to whether the outbreak was the result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was present among the Delaware people.
It is that the British Marines used smallpox in New S
Nuclear warfare is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is used to inflict damage on the enemy. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction. A major nuclear exchange would have long-term effects from the fallout released, could lead to a "nuclear winter" that could last for decades, centuries, or millennia after the initial attack; some analysts dismiss the nuclear winter hypothesis, calculate that with nuclear weapon stockpiles at Cold War highs, although there would be billions of casualties, billions more rural people would survive. However, others have argued that secondary effects of a nuclear holocaust, such as nuclear famine and societal collapse, would cause every human on Earth to starve to death. So far, two nuclear weapons have been used in the course of warfare, both by the United States near the end of World War II. On August 6, 1945, a uranium gun-type device was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days on August 9, a plutonium implosion-type device was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
These two bombings resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people. After World War II, nuclear weapons were developed by the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China, which contributed to the state of conflict and extreme tension that became known as the Cold War. In 1974, in 1998, two countries that were hostile toward each other, developed nuclear weapons. Israel and North Korea are thought to have developed stocks of nuclear weapons, though it is not known how many; the Israeli government has never admitted or denied to having nuclear weapons, although it is known to have constructed the reactor and reprocessing plant necessary for building nuclear weapons. South Africa manufactured several complete nuclear weapons in the 1980s, but subsequently became the first country to voluntarily destroy their domestically made weapons stocks and abandon further production. Nuclear weapons have been detonated on over 2,000 occasions for testing demonstrations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the resultant end of the Cold War, the threat of a major nuclear war between the two nuclear superpowers was thought to have declined.
Since concern over nuclear weapons has shifted to the prevention of localized nuclear conflicts resulting from nuclear proliferation, the threat of nuclear terrorism. The possibility of using nuclear weapons in war is divided into two subgroups, each with different effects and fought with different types of nuclear armaments; the first, a limited nuclear war, refers to a small-scale use of nuclear weapons by two belligerents. A "limited nuclear war" could include targeting military facilities—either as an attempt to pre-emptively cripple the enemy's ability to attack as a defensive measure, or as a prelude to an invasion by conventional forces, as an offensive measure; this term could apply to any small-scale use of nuclear weapons that may involve military or civilian targets. The second, a full-scale nuclear war, could consist of large numbers of nuclear weapons used in an attack aimed at an entire country, including military and civilian targets; such an attack would certainly destroy the entire economic and military infrastructure of the target nation, would have a devastating effect on Earth's biosphere.
Some Cold War strategists such as Henry Kissinger argued that a limited nuclear war could be possible between two armed superpowers. Some predict, that a limited war could "escalate" into a full-scale nuclear war. Others have called limited nuclear war "global nuclear holocaust in slow motion", arguing that—once such a war took place—others would be sure to follow over a period of decades rendering the planet uninhabitable in the same way that a "full-scale nuclear war" between superpowers would, only taking a much longer path to the same result; the most optimistic predictions of the effects of a major nuclear exchange foresee the death of many millions of victims within a short period of time. More pessimistic predictions argue that a full-scale nuclear war could bring about the extinction of the human race, or at least its near extinction, with only a small number of survivors and a reduced quality of life and life expectancy for centuries afterward. However, such predictions, assuming total war with nuclear arsenals at Cold War highs, have not been without criticism.
Such a horrific catastrophe as global nuclear warfare would certainly cause permanent damage to most complex life on the planet, its ecosystems, the global climate. If predictions about the production of a nuclear winter are accurate, it would change the balance of global power, with countries such as Australia, New Zealand, China and Brazil predicted to become world superpowers if the Cold War led to a large-scale nuclear attack. A study presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in December 2006 asserted that a small-scale regional nuclear war could produce as many direct fatalities as all of World War II and disrupt the global climate for a decade or more. In a regional nuclear conflict scenario in w
A charge is a maneuver in battle in which combatants advance towards their enemy at their best speed in an attempt to engage in close combat. The charge is the dominant shock attack and has been the key tactic and decisive moment of many battles throughout history. Modern charges involve small groups against individual positions instead of large groups of combatants charging another group or a fortified line, it may be assumed that the charge was practiced in prehistoric warfare, but clear evidence only comes with literate societies. The tactics of the classical Greek phalanx included an ordered approach march, with a final charge to contact. In response to the introduction of firearms and Scottish troops at the end of the 16th century developed a tactic that combined a volley of musketry with a rapid close to close combat using swords. Successful, it was countered by effective discipline and the development of defensive bayonet tactics; the development of the bayonet in the late 17th century led to the bayonet charge becoming the main infantry charge tactic through the 19th century and into the 20th.
As early as the 19th century, tactical scholars were noting that most bayonet charges did not result in close combat. Instead, one side fled before actual bayonet fighting ensued; the act of fixing bayonets has been held to be connected to morale, the making of a clear signal to friend and foe of a willingness to kill at close quarters. The shock value of a charge attack has been exploited in cavalry tactics, both of armored knights and lighter mounted troops of both earlier and eras. Historians such as John Keegan have shown that when prepared against and by standing firm in face of the onslaught, cavalry charges failed against infantry, with horses refusing to gallop into the dense mass of enemies, or the charging unit itself breaking up. However, when cavalry charges succeeded, it was due to the defending formation breaking up and scattering, to be hunted down by the enemy, it must be noted, that while it was not recommended for a cavalry charge to continue against unbroken infantry, charges were still a viable danger to heavy infantry.
Parthian lancers were noted to require dense formations of Roman legionaries to stop, Frankish knights were reported to be harder to stop, if the writing of Anna Komnene is to be believed. However, only trained horses would voluntarily charge dense, unbroken enemy formations directly, in order to be effective, a strong formation would have to be kept – such strong formations being the result of efficient training. Heavy cavalry lacking a single part of this combination – composed of high morale, excellent training, quality equipment, individual prowess, collective discipline of both the warrior and the mount – would suffer in a charge against unbroken heavy infantry, only the best heavy cavalrymen throughout history would own these in regards to their era and terrain; the cavalry charge was a significant tactic in the Middle Ages. Although cavalry had charged before, a combination of the adoption of a frame saddle secured in place by a breast-band and the technique of couching the lance under the arm delivered a hitherto unachievable ability to utilise the momentum of the horse and rider.
These developments began in the 7th century but were not combined to full effect until the 11th century. The Battle of Dyrrhachium was an early instance of the familiar medieval cavalry charge. By the time of the First Crusade in the 1090s, the cavalry charge was being employed by European armies. However, from the dawn of the Hundred Years' War onward, the use of professional pikemen and longbowmen with high morale and functional tactics meant that a knight would have to be cautious in a cavalry charge. Men wielding either pike or halberd in formation, with high morale, could stave off all but the best cavalry charges, whilst English longbowmen could unleash a torrent of arrows capable of wreaking havoc, though not a massacre, upon the heads of heavy infantry and cavalry in unsuitable terrain, it became common for knights to dismount and fight as elite heavy infantry, although some continued to stay mounted throughout combat. The use of cavalry for flanking manoeuvres became more useful, although some interpretations of the knightly ideal led to reckless, undisciplined charges.
Cavalry could still charge dense heavy infantry formations head-on if the cavalrymen had a combination of certain traits. They had a high chance of success if they were in a formation, collectively disciplined skilled, equipped with the best arms and armour, as well as mounted upon horses trained to endure the physical and mental stresses of such charges. However, the majority of cavalry personnel lacked at least one of these traits discipline and horses trained for head-on charges. Thus, the use of the head-on cavalry charge declined, although Polish hussars, French Cuirassiers, Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores were still capable of succeeding in such charges due to their possession of the mentioned combination of the traits required for success in such endeavours. In the twentieth century, the cavalry charge was used, though it enjoyed sporadic and occasional success. In what was called the "last true cavalry charge", elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States attacked Villista forces in the Battle of Guerrero on 29 March 1916.
The battle was a victory for the Americans, occurring in desert terrain
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
War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries and militias. It is characterized by extreme violence, aggression and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers of wars in general. Total war is warfare, not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties; the scholarly study of war is sometimes called polemology, from the Greek polemos, meaning "war", -logy, meaning "the study of". While some scholars see war as a universal and ancestral aspect of human nature, others argue it is a result of specific socio-cultural or ecological circumstances; the English word war derives from the 11th century Old English words wyrre and werre, from Old French werre, in turn from the Frankish *werra deriving from the Proto-Germanic *werzō'mixture, confusion'. The word is related to the Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, the German verwirren, meaning “to confuse”, “to perplex”, “to bring into confusion”.
War must entail some degree of confrontation using weapons and other military technology and equipment by armed forces employing military tactics and operational art within a broad military strategy subject to military logistics. Studies of war by military theorists throughout military history have sought to identify the philosophy of war, to reduce it to a military science. Modern military science considers several factors before a national defence policy is created to allow a war to commence: the environment in the area of combat operations, the posture national forces will adopt on the commencement of a war, the type of warfare troops will be engaged in. Asymmetric warfare is a conflict between belligerents of drastically different levels of military capability and/or size. Biological warfare, or germ warfare, is the use of weaponized biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria and fungi. Chemical warfare involves the use of weaponized chemicals in combat. Poison gas as a chemical weapon was principally used during World War I, resulted in over a million estimated casualties, including more than 100,000 civilians.
Civil war is a war between forces belonging to political entity. Conventional warfare is declared war between states in which nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons are not used or see limited deployment. Cyberwarfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation's information systems. Insurgency is a rebellion against authority, when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents. An insurgency can be fought via counter-insurgency warfare, may be opposed by measures to protect the population, by political and economic actions of various kinds aimed at undermining the insurgents' claims against the incumbent regime. Information warfare is the application of destructive force on a large scale against information assets and systems, against the computers and networks that support the four critical infrastructures. Nuclear warfare is warfare in which nuclear weapons are the primary, or a major, method of achieving capitulation.
Total war is warfare by any means possible, disregarding the laws of war, placing no limits on legitimate military targets, using weapons and tactics resulting in significant civilian casualties, or demanding a war effort requiring significant sacrifices by the friendly civilian population. Unconventional warfare, the opposite of conventional warfare, is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing conflict. War of aggression is a war for gain rather than self-defense. War of liberation, Wars of national liberation or national liberation revolutions are conflicts fought by nations to gain independence; the term is used in conjunction with wars against foreign powers to establish separate sovereign states for the rebelling nationality. From a different point of view, these wars are called insurgencies, rebellions, or wars of independence; the earliest recorded evidence of war belongs to the Mesolithic cemetery Site 117, determined to be 14,000 years old.
About forty-five percent of the skeletons there displayed signs of violent death. Since the rise of the state some 5,000 years ago, military activity has occurred over much of the globe; the advent of gunpowder and the acceleration of technological advances led to modern warfare. According to Conway W. Henderson, "One source claims that 14,500 wars have taken place between 3500 BC and the late 20th century, costing 3.5 billion lives, leaving only 300 years of peace." An unfavorable review of this estimate mentions the following regarding one of the proponents of this estimate: "In addition feeling that the war casualties figure was improbably high, he changed "approximately 3,640,000,000 human beings have been killed by war or the diseases produced by war" to "approximately 1,240,000,000 human beings...&c."" The lower figure is more plausible, but could be on the high side, considering that the 100 deadliest acts of mass violence between 480 BCE and 2002 CE claimed about 455 million human lives in total.
Primitive warfare is estimated to have accounted for 15
Blitzkrieg is a method of warfare whereby an attacking force, spearheaded by a dense concentration of armoured and motorised or mechanised infantry formations with close air support, breaks through the opponent's line of defence by short, powerful attacks and dislocates the defenders, using speed and surprise to encircle them with the help of air superiority. Through the employment of combined arms in manoeuvre warfare, blitzkrieg attempts to unbalance the enemy by making it difficult for it to respond to the continuously changing front defeat it in a decisive Vernichtungsschlacht. During the interwar period and tank technologies matured and were combined with systematic application of the traditional German tactic of Bewegungskrieg, deep penetrations and the bypassing of enemy strong points to encircle and destroy enemy forces in a Kesselschlacht. During the Invasion of Poland, Western journalists adopted the term blitzkrieg to describe this form of armoured warfare; the term had appeared in 1935, in a German military periodical Deutsche Wehr, in connection to quick or lightning warfare.
German manoeuvre operations were successful in the campaigns of 1939–1941 and by 1940 the term blitzkrieg was extensively used in Western media. Blitzkrieg operations capitalized on surprise penetrations, general enemy unreadiness and their inability to match the pace of the German attack. During the Battle of France, the French made attempts to re-form defensive lines along rivers but were frustrated when German forces arrived first and pressed on. Despite being common in German and English-language journalism during World War II, the word Blitzkrieg was never used by the Wehrmacht as an official military term, except for propaganda. According to David Reynolds, "Hitler himself called the term Blitzkrieg'A idiotic word'"; some senior officers, including Kurt Student, Franz Halder and Johann Adolf von Kielmansegg disputed the idea that it was a military concept. Kielmansegg asserted that what many regarded as blitzkrieg was nothing more than "ad hoc solutions that popped out of the prevailing situation".
Student described it as ideas that "naturally emerged from the existing circumstances" as a response to operational challenges. The Wehrmacht never adopted it as a concept or doctrine. In 2005, the historian Karl-Heinz Frieser summarized blitzkrieg as the result of German commanders using the latest technology in the most beneficial way according to traditional military principles and employing "the right units in the right place at the right time". Modern historians now understand blitzkrieg as the combination of the traditional German military principles and doctrines of the 19th century with the military technology of the interwar period. Modern historians use the term casually as a generic description for the style of manoeuvre warfare practised by Germany during the early part of World War II, rather than as an explanation. According to Frieser, in the context of the thinking of Heinz Guderian on mobile combined arms formations, blitzkrieg can be used as a synonym for modern manoeuvre warfare on the operational level.
The traditional meaning of blitzkrieg is that of German tactical and operational methodology in the first half of the Second World War, hailed as a new method of warfare. The word, meaning "lightning war" or "lightning attack" in its strategic sense describes a series of quick and decisive short battles to deliver a knockout blow to an enemy state before it could mobilize. Tactically, blitzkrieg is a coordinated military effort by tanks, motorized infantry and aircraft, to create an overwhelming local superiority in combat power, to defeat the opponent and break through its defences. Blitzkrieg as used by Germany had considerable psychological, or "terror" elements, such as the Jericho Trompete, a noise-making siren on the Junkers Ju 87 dive-bomber, to affect the morale of enemy forces; the devices were removed when the enemy became used to the noise after the Battle of France in 1940 and instead bombs sometimes had whistles attached. It is common for historians and writers to include psychological warfare by using Fifth columnists to spread rumours and lies among the civilian population in the theatre of operations.
The origin of the term blitzkrieg is obscure. It was never used in the title of a military doctrine or handbook of the German army or air force, no "coherent doctrine" or "unifying concept of blitzkrieg" existed; the term seems to have been used in the German military press before 1939 and recent research at the German Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt at Potsdam found it in only two military articles from the 1930s. Both used the term to mean a swift strategic knock-out, rather than a radical new military doctrine or approach to war; the first article deals with supplies of food and materiel in wartime. The term blitzkrieg is used with reference to German efforts to win a quick victory in the First World War but is not associated with the use of armoured, mechanised or air forces, it argued that Germany must develop self-sufficiency in food, because it might again prove impossible to deal a swift knock-out to its enemies, leading to a long war. In the second article, launching a swift strategic knock-out is described as an attractive idea for Germany but difficult to achieve on land under modern conditions, unless an exceptionally high degree of surprise could be achieved.
The author vaguely suggests that a massive strategic air attack might hold out better prospe