Below is a list of Wars that led to the World we
Alexander the Great 356 BC
– 11th June 323 BC
Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III
of Macedon, was one of the most successful Military
Commanders in history, said to be undefeated in
By the time of his death, he had conquered most of
the world known to the ancient Greeks.
Many Military Commanders throughout history, and
even to the present day, were influenced by Alexander
Roman conquest of Britain
The Roman Conquest of Britain began with the
expeditions of Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC.
Britain was an island split into many kingdoms at
that time, many of which welcomed the Romans.
As most of the Scottish tribes refused to accept
the Romans, they built Hadrian's wall across northern
England to keep the Scottish tribes at bay.
The most famous of the English tribes to try and
remove the Romans from Britain was the Iceni tribe of
East Anglia, led by Queen Boudica in AD 60 or 61.
Although Boudica failed in her attempt to crush
the occupiers, ever increasing attacks on the Romans
in Britain and Europe forced their departure from
Britain in 410.
Viking raids across Europe
793 - 1066
Viking refers to Norse (Scandinavian) people,
great explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates,
who raided and colonized many areas across Europe
from the late 700s to the early 1000s.
Norsemen used their longships to travel as far
east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia,
and as far west as Iceland, Greenland and
Battle of Clontarf in
Ireland 1014 (April 23)
The Battle of Clontarf took place on Good Friday
on the 23rd April 1014 between the forces of the
Irish Kings, Brian Boru and Mael Morda mac
Mael Morda mac Murchada had an army boosted by
many Viking mercenaries from Dublin and the Orkney
Although killed in the battle himself, Brian Boru
and his forces succeeded in removing Viking influence
The Battle of Largs (Scotland)
on the 2nd October 1263, between king Hakon Hakonsson
of Norway, and Scottish forces of king Alexander III,
led to the Viking withdrawal from Scotland.
Canute the Great Conquest of
Canute was a son of the Danish king Sweyn
Forkbeard of Denmark, becomming one of the most
famous people in history after conquering England in
1016, becoming King of England along with Denmark,
Norway and parts of Sweden.
Canute died in 1035, at Shaftesbury, in Dorset. He
was buried in Old Minster, at Winchester.
The weak rule of his descendants led to the French
/ Norman invasion of England beginning in 1066 by the
troops of William, Duke of Normandy (William the
William the Conqueror's victory at the Battle of Hastings,
was the last successful conquest of England, the
beginning of modern day Britain.
Crusades 1096 –
The Crusades were a series of religious military
campaigns by much of Christian Europe, mainly against
Muslims, but also Slavs, Jews, Russians, Greeks,
Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Waldensians, Old
Prussians and political enemies of the popes.
The first Crusade started in 1095 after Pope Urban
II called upon all Christians to join a war against
the Turks, promising those who died in the endeavor
would receive immediate remission of their sins.
The most famous Crusades were battles between
Christians and Muslims for control of the Holy Lands
Mongol conquests 1205
The Mongol Empire expanded dramatically in the
1200s with a series of successful invasions
throughout Central and Western Asia, reaching Eastern
Europe by the 1240s.
Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire,
declared Khagan (emperor) of one of the largest
empires in history.
The building of the Mongol Empire is said to have
led to the death of between 30 and 60 million
Wars of Scottish
Independence 1296 – 1328
King Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286, and
his eight-year-old heir, Margaret, died four years
As Scotland was then left without a monarch,
Edward I (Longshanks) of England sent his troops into
Scotland with a view of taking control for
John de Balliol and William Wallace tried in vain
to remove the English.
From 1307, Robert the Bruce began a campaign that
ended with the signing of a treaty in Edinburgh on
the 17th March 1328, allowing Robert the Bruce to
become king of an independent Scotland.
The descendants of Robert the Bruce, the Stuart's,
ruled Scotland after his death in 1329.
The Stuart's went on to rule Scotland from that
time, and England from 1603 until 1714.
Hundred Years' War 1337 -
The French House of Capet dynasty came to an end
in 1328, as the three sons of Philip IV all failed to
produce surviving male heirs.
This began wars between the French House of Valois
and the British kings that were descendants of the
French born William, Duke of Normandy, who took
control of England in 1066, to see who would take
over the throne of France.
The British captured Joan of Arc in May 1430,
and executed her by burning on the 30th May 1431.
The Battle of Castillon in 1453 is said to have
been the last battle of the Hundred Years War, seeing
the French king Charles VII taking full control.
The defeat is said to have pushed Henry VI of
England into a state of insanity. Henry VI was then
defeated in the War of the Roses by Edward IV and
imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was
murdered on the 21st May 1471.
Ottoman - Wallachian Wars
1460 – 1476
These wars began between the forces of Vlad III
(the Impaler) (Dracula) (Tepes) of Wallachia, and
Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire, after Tepes invaded
Bulgaria and impaled over 23,000 Turks and
Mehmed raised an army to conquer Wallachia, and
after a few skirmishes, reached the Wallachian
capital of Targoviste, where he discovered another
20,000 impaled Turks and Bulgarians. This sight led
to the Ottomans calling off the campaign.
Tepes was killed in battle with the Turks in 1476
near Bucharest. It is thought he was killed by his
own men, either by accident, or deliberate.
The Turks displayed his head on a pike in Istanbul
to prove his death.
His headless body was believed to have been buried
at a medieval monastery on an island in Lake Snagov,
north of Bucharest/Romania.
In 1931, archaeologists searching Snagov found a
casket partially covered in a purple shroud,
embroidered with gold. The contents, thought to be
that of Tepes, were taken to the History Museum in
Bucharest, they have since disappeared without a
Spanish conquest of Mexico &
the Aztec Empire 1519 – 1821
The Aztec Empire (modern day Mexico) was destroyed
by the arrival of the Spaniards in 1519.
For three centuries after, Mexico was colonized by
Spain, a time when the majority of its indigenous
population died off.
The war of independence from 1810, ended with
Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821.
A war with the United States from 1846, ended with
Mexico losing almost half of its territory to the US
France was the last country to invade Mexico in
1862, ruling the country until their defeat by the
Mexican Republican Army in 1867.
Wars of Religion 16th and
The name Wars of Religion were given to a series
of European wars of the 16th & 17th Centuries
after Martin Luther, a German monk, had ideas that
influenced the Protestant Reformation, splitting the
Christian religeon based on the Pope in Rome, into
Protestant and Catholic.
Kings of Protestant countries then became head of
their countries churches, this changing the course of
Western civilization, leading to a number of
Countries most affected by the wars over
Protestantism and Catholicism were, Switzerland,
France, Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Netherlands,
England, Scotland, Ireland and Denmark.
In France alone, between 2 and 4 million people
died during the Wars of Religion.
Anglo – Spanish War
1585 – 1604
The Anglo – Spanish War was between the
kingdoms of Spain and England.
Hostilities escalated after English Privateers
(said to be pirates by the Spanish) were encouraged
by the Protestant Elizabeth I of England to loot
Spanish ships operating in the Atlantic.
As the war escalated, the English had naval
victories at Cadiz in 1587, and over the Spanish
Armada attacks on England in 1588.
The war ended in 1604 with the Treaty of London,
between representatives of Philip III of Spain, and
the new Scottish born king of England, James I
James I was a distant relative of Elizabeh I, who
took control of England as Elizabeth I failed to
produce an heir.
Spain agreed to stop their military interventions
in Ireland, England and the Netherlands.
The English agreed to renounced high seas
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
1639 – 1652
The Wars of the Three Kingdoms took place in
Scotland, Ireland, and England between 1639 and
The English Civil War is the most documented of
these conflicts, as Oliver Cromwell defeated king
Charles I (Stuart) to become Lord Protector of
England, Scotland and Ireland. Charles I was beheaded
at that time.
The Wars included the the Scottish Civil War of
1644 – 1645, and the Cromwellian conquest of
Ireland in 1649.
Cromwell died on the 3rd September 1658, leaving
his son Richard in control.
With Richard Cromwell loosing support of the
troops, Charles II returned from exile in France as
King of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1660,
restoring the Stuart's to the throne.
In 1661, Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from
Westminster Abbey, hanged in chains at Tyburn for
some time, then thrown into a pit. His head was
displayed on a pole outside Westminster Abbey until
French and Indian Wars
1689 – 1763
The French and Indian Wars were a series of
battles in North America with Great Britain, its
colonies and American Indian allies on one side, and
France, its colonies and Indian allies on the
Most of the North American fighting ended when the
Marquis de Vaudreuil surrendered Montreal, and most
of Canada, to Britain.
The war officially ended with the signing of the
Treaty of Paris on the 10th February 1763. The treaty
saw France give up all its North American land east
of the Mississippi, all of Canada, except Saint
Pierre and Miquelon, two small islands off
France was given back the Caribbean islands of
Guadeloupe and Martinique, that had been occupied by
Spain was awarded Louisiana, including New
Orleans, in compensation for its loss of Florida to
The British were then keen to keep the peace with
the various Indian tribes, so stopped colonists from
moving further west.
By removing the French threat in North America,
the colonies no longer needed the military might of
Great Britain, leading to talk of American
Unpopular taxes and restrictions on colonial
expansion west, were the main reasons used to gain
support for the American War of Independence that
began in 1775.
Jacobite Risings Great
Britain 1714 – 1691
The Jacobite Risings were battles in England and
Scotland after the death of Queen Anne (Stuart) on
the 1st August 1714, leaving no heirs.
Queen Anne created the Act of Union between
Scotland and England, seeing the creation of Great
Britain on the 1st May 1707.
The English parliament chose her second cousin,
the German protestant, George I, of the House of
Hanover, to succeed her to the throne. George I was a
distant descendant of the Stuart's through his
maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James
The Jacobite Risings were an attempt to restore
the catholic Stuart's to the throne of Great Britain,
people with a more realistic claim to the throne.
The last Jacobite battle, led by Charles Edward
Stuart (the Young Pretender), was a decisive defeated
for the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in
1746, ending any hope of a Stuart becoming king
American War of
Independence 1775 – 1783
The American Revolutionary War, or American War of
Independence, was a conflict between Great Britain,
and thirteen British colonies on the east coast of
The main causes of the war were, the colonies
began objecting to British rule, taxes they had to
pay to Britain, and Britain was against the colonies
moving west into native Indian territories.
George Washington led the American forces that had
the backing of about 45% of the colonists, many of
the rest remained loyal to the British.
An estimated 13,000 native Americans fought on the
side of Britain.
After the American forces showed signs they could
be successful, France signed a Treaty with the
Americans on the 6th February 1778, and Spain entered
the war with France in June 1779.
The war came to an end after the Treaty of Paris
was signed on the 3rd September 1783.
The last British troops left New York City on the
25th November 1783. This began a series of wars with the native
Indians, as the colonies began spreading out
Napoleonic Wars 1803 -
By 1789, the French people had turned against King
Louis XV1, with revolutionaries gaining control of
France by 1792.
Louis XV1 was put on trial in December of that
year, and executed by guillotine on the 21st January
A reign of terror then followed as the new rulers
began executing all potential enemies in the
During six weeks leading up to July 1794, almost
fourteen hundred people were executed by guillotine
in Paris alone.
France was then ruled by different government
factions until Napoleon became ruler of France in
1799, and later, Emperor in May 1804.
As Napoleon then had the power he craved, he set
out to conquer all of Europe, and defeat countries
plotting his demise.
Napoleon soon took control of most of Europe, and
large areas of Russia, before suffering defeats by
the combined armies of many European countries.
His final defeat was by the British commander Duke
of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.
Napoleon was then forced into exile, spending the
rest of his life on the island of St Helena in the
His death on the 5th May 1821, saw him buried on
His remains were taken from St Helena in 1840, so
they could be reburied at the French army museum at
Invalides in the centre of Paris.
Napoleon is often credited with being the greatest
ever military commander..
Mexican War of
Independence 1810 - 1821
The Mexican War of Independence was between the
people of Mexico and Spanish colonial rulers,
beginning on the 16th September 1810.
The Spanish had rules Mexico since invading the
country in 1519.
On the 24th August 1821, representatives of the
Spanish crown signed the Treaty of Cordoba,
recognizing Mexican independence, ending Spanish
Texas Revolution 1835 -
The Texas Revolution, or Texas War of
Independence, began on the 2nd October 1835, between
Mexico and the area of Texas, at that time, part of
the Mexican state.
The war ended at the Battle of San Jacinto, about
20 miles east of where Houston city is today. That
battle saw General Sam Houston lead the Texan Army to
victory over Mexican forces under the Mexican
President, Santa Anna, who was captured after the
The war ended with the creation of the Republic of
The most notable battle of the Texas Revolution
was at The Alamo in 1836, a mission and fortress
compound, defended by about 185 Texans under the
command of William Barret Travis, and Jim Bowie.
The Battle of the Alamo
ended on the 6th of March after a 13 day siege, all
Texans were killed.
Anglo - Afghan Wars 1839 -
Afghanistan was important to Britain & Russia,
as the British Empire in the India wanted control of
Afghanistan to their north, and the Russian Empire
wanted control of Afghanistan to their south.
There were three wars between 1839 and 1921, where
the Afghans themselves tried to remove the British
and Russians from their land.
The most famous battle in the wars was at the
Khyber Pass, a mountain pass connecting Afghanistan
In January 1842, about 16,000 British and Indian
troops were killed in a battle at the the pass.
The wars came to an end with the Treaty of
Rawalpindi, signed on the 8th August 1919.
The treaty stated the United Kingdom should
recognize Afghanistan's independence, and agree the
British / Indian empire would never try to extend
past the Khyber Pass.
Mexican – American
War 1846 - 1848
The Mexican–American War began after Mexico
refused to recognize the military victory by Texas in
1836, acusing Texas of being a rebel province, and
refusing to sell America land.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on the 2nd
of February 1848, ended the war with the U.S. taking
control of Texas, and the areas of California,
Nevada, Utah, parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico,
Mexico was given U.S. $15,000,000, under half the
amount the U.S. had offered Mexico before the
Crimean War 1853 -
The Crimean War was fought between the Russian
Empire, and an alliance of France, United Kingdom,
Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire.
The war was over European powers wanting influence
over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire.
Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean
Peninsula, western Turkey, and the Baltic Sea
Peace negotiations began in 1856 through the
Congress of Paris, with Russia agreeing not to
establish any naval or military bases on the Black
All the Countries involved signed to state they
would respect the independence and territory of the
The Crimean War is best remembered for Florence Nightingale,
who became known as The Lady with the Lamp, a
pioneering nurse and writer.
Also, the Charge of the Light
Brigade, a disastrous cavalry charge led by the
British Lord Cardigan during the Battle of Balaclava,
on the 25th October 1854.
Lord Cardigan received unclear instructs to charge
guns. Instead of charging a few British guns that had
been captured by the Russians, he led over 600 of the
Light Brigade straight into the full force of the
Russian army and cannon.
Casualties were 156 men killed, 122 wounded and
335 horses destroyed.
American Civil War 1861 -
In the presidential election of 1860, the
Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, campaigned
against the expansion of slavery.
The Republican victory in that election led to
seven Southern states withdrawing from the Union,
even before Lincoln took office on the 4th March
Hostilities began on the 12th April 1861, after
Confederate forces attacked a Union military
installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
The war led to about 1,030,000 casualties, around
3% of the population, about 620,000 soldies, two
thirds by disease.
The war ended after the Confederate General Lee
surrendered his Army in Northern Virginia on the 9th
General Johnston surrendered his troops to Sherman
on the 26th April 1865, in Durham, North
On the 23rd June 1865, at Fort Towson in the
Choctaw Nations area of Oklahoma Territory, General
Stand Watie signed a cease fire agreement with Union
representatives, being the last Confederate general
to stand down.
Victory for the Union saw the seven breakaway
states return to the Union, and slavery
Franco-Mexican War 1861 -
The French invasion of Mexico was by the army of
the Second French Empire, supported by the British
The war began after Mexican President Benito
Juarez stopped interest payments to foreign countries
on the 17th July 1861.
The British, Spanish and French fleets arrived at
the Mexican port of Veracruz between the 6th January
and 8th January 1862.
The city of Campeche surrendered to the French
fleet on the 27th February.
After the Spanish and British realized the French
intended to conquer Mexico, they withdrew their
forces on the 9th April.
The French took full control of Mexico in 1864,
claiming the Austrian, Maximilian I, was
Emperor of Mexico.
Many foreign governments refused to recognize this
government, especially the United States, that backed
the Republican forces led by Benito Juarez.
Maximilian I was executed after his capture by
Republicans, in Santiago de Queretaro in 1867.
The execution of Maximilian I, and backing from
the U.S., led to the Republic of Mexico being
restored in 1867.
Anglo - Zulu War 1879
The British, since 1824, had established a trading
post in South Africa at Port Natal, now Durban, with
good relations with the indigenous people.
Until 1868, Natal had been developing slowly, but
after gold and diamonds were discovered at Kimberley,
the area developed dramaticaly.
As British expansion in the area was held back by
the Zulu territory, discussions began between the
British and the Zulu chiefs to agree a Confederation
of joint control.
As no agreement was reached, the first invasions
of Zululand took place between January and April
The battle that led to the downfall of the Zulu
nation took place at their capital of Ulundi, on the
4th July 1879.
There were many historic battles throughout the
war with up to 5,000 British troops facing up to
25,000 Zulu warriors at a time.
Most Zulu successes, armed mainly with spears,
were picking off small British convoys, although they
were successful in a few large battles.
The British won most of the major battles, such as
the most famous, Rorke's Drift.
single-shot lever action rifle was the weapon British
troops used in the campaign. A .45 inch or 11 mm
calibre weapon with a killing range of about 400
Today, Zululand is part of the Republic of South
Third Anglo-Burmese War
1885 - 1887
There were three periods of conflict between
Britain and Burma from 1823 - 1887, with the wars
beginning after Burma tried to expand their land into
the British Empire in India.
Britain won a series of wars in the early years,
taking control of regions of Burma.
The Third War led to British rule in 1886, with
Burma becomming a province of India, with the capital
The end of WWII, led to Burma gaining independence
from Britain on the 4th January 1948.
The British were so unpopular in Burma at that
time, the Burmese people refused to join the British
India and Pakistan also gained independance from
Britain around that time, and did join the
The most memorable history of Burma was during
WWII, in 1943, when a Japanese invasion, with
superior heavy weapons, took thousands of Allied
Prisoners of War.
These prisoners and Asian labourers, were forced
to work on the 415 km long Burma to Thailand railway,
including the bridge on the River Kwai.
Their are 2 war cemeteries in Burma containing the
remains of over 8,000 Australian, Dutch and British
war prisoners that lost their lives during the
construction of the Death Railway.
Russo - Japanese War 1904
The Russo – Japanese War was a conflict
between the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire, over
control of Korea and Manchuria (a region between
Russia and China).
Japan needed minerals from these countries, and
Russia needed warm water ports on the Pacific Ocean
for its vast naval fleet.
After Japan broke off negotiations and attacked
the Russian fleet based at Port Arthur (a Port in
China leased to Russia), the world’s military
experts were amazed when the mighty Russian Eastern
Fleet had either been sunk, or blockaded in port.
The Russian Government responded to that attack by
sending their main fleet of warships from the Baltic
port of Liepaja, to engage the Japanese.
They had to travel around the African coast as the
deep draught of their battleships prevented them from
using the Suez Canal.
The Russian fleet was then instructed to call at
the port of Vladivostock in Siberia, and from there,
attack Japanese Navy and cargo vessels.
After covering 18,000 miles, the Russian’s
were approaching the Tsushima Strait on the 27th May
1905, when they engaged the entire Japanese
The following battle ended with the Russian fleet
destroyed to an extent, only a few ships managed to
flee to safety.
After that defeat, Russia was forced to sign a
peace treaty with Japan, signaling Japan's status as
a world power.
Most of Japans warships at that time were British
built, and their officers British trained.
World War I 1914 -
World War One war began after the assassination of
the heir to the Austro/Hungarian throne, Archduke
Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo on the 28th June
It was believed the Serbian Nationalist Secret
Society the, Black Hand, had planned the
As Serbia refused to hand over the conspirators,
Austro/Hungary declared war on Serbia on the 28th
As Russia had signed a treaty with Serbia, they
sent their troops to defend Serbia.
With Germany having signed a treaty with
Austro/Hungary, they declared war on Russia on the
1st August 1914.
France declared war on Germany and Austro/Hungary
on the 3rd of August 1914 as they had also signed a
treaty with Russia.
As Britain and France were Allies, Britain
declared war on Germany on the 4th August 1914.
Japan declared war on Germany on the 23rd August
1914, as they had signed a treaty with Britain in
America declared a policy of absolute
Italy had signed a treaty with Germany to help
defend Germany in the event of war. With Germany
being the aggressor, Italy declared a policy of
neutrality. Italy maintained that stance until
joining the war on the side of the Allies in
America joined the war against Germany in April
1917, as the German unrestricted submarine warfare
was threatening United States commercial
As the First World War came to end, after Germany
accepted terms of surrender on the 11th November
1918, over 9,000,000 people had lost their lives. The
countries to suffer the highest losses were Germany
and their Allies over 3,500,000, Russia 1,700,000,
France 1,300,000, British Empire 1,000,000, and the
Irish Wars of Independence
1916 - 1922
Until the middle of the 1600s, Dublin had remained
a small, walled medieval town. The English Civil War,
led to Oliver Cromwell taking control of Dublin in
The town of around only 9000 residents at that
time, began to grow dramatically with Protestant
refugees from European countries settling in the
Over the following century, Dublin grew
dramatically, becoming the second city of the British
The Act of Union between England and Ireland in
1800, abolished the Irish Parliament, this
drastically reducing Dublin's status.
With the wealth of the city declining over the
following century, Irish Republicans led by James
Connolly and Patrick Pearse, began plotting to gain
control of Ireland in 1916.
The battle that broke out between Republicans and
British troops at Easter in 1916, ended with James Connolly, Patrick Pearse and
their top men imprisoned.
Although the Republicans had little support from
Dubliners at that time, the execution of Connolly,
Pearse and 12 of their men by firing squad in May
1916, led to the Republicans gaining a massif
increase in support, in Ireland and from Irish
That extra support and finance, led to the War of
Independence, with Ireland achieving independence in
Chinese Civil War 1927 -
The Chinese Civil War, was a civil war in China
between the Chinese Nationalist Party and the Russian
supported Chinese Communist Party.
On the 21st April 1949, Communist forces crossed
the Yangtze River, capturing the city of Nanjing,
capital of the Nationalist Party's Republic of
No legal document to end the Chinese Civil War is
said to have been signed. With both the PRC and ROC
still existing, it seems the Chinese Civil War has
not been resolved legaly.
The Communists have ruled China ever since, with a
mutual mistrust with capitalist countries around the
China dramaticaly began opening up for trade with
the west in the first years of the 21st Century.
With China and its citizens new found wealth, it
should only be a matter of time until China becomes a
true democratic country.
World War II 1939 -
The Spanish Civil War came to an end on the 28th
March 1939, with the Spanish dictator Franco taking
control of the Country, with the help of the German
German forces were then set to begin their attacks
on countries Hitler had chosen for conquest, mainly
countries awarded German land at the end of World War
One, and, as Hitler stated, Germany should defeat
France in war to avenge the German humiliation of
World War One.
Before Hitler sent his forces into Poland, he
signed a pact of non aggression with the Soviet Union
on the 23rd August 1939. This led to Hitler beleiving
his invasion of Poland on the 1st September 1939,
would be accepted by other countries.
Hitler had underestimated governments around the
world at that time, as Britain, France, Australia and
New Zealand, responded to the invasion of Poland by
declaring war on Germany on the 3rd September
Two days later, the United States declared a state
of neutrality. Canada spent a week debating the
situation, then showed their support for Britain by
declaring war on Germany on the 10th September
With the Soviets having invaded Poland by that
time, Warsaw was forced to surrender to the Germans
and Soviets on the 27th September 1939.
Within a month of taking control of Poland, the
Nazis started carrying out euthanasia on Germanys
sick and disabled.
The Soviets were thrown out of the League of
Nations after they began invading Finland, Lithuania,
Latvia, and Estonia.
With Hitler seeing those invasions as encroaching
on German lands, he launched operation Barbarossa
(the invasion of the Soviet Union on the 22nd June
The United States had imposed severe sanctions on
Japan, as Japan had been taking control of Islands
and mineral rich areas of other countries throughout
the Far East in the late 1930s.
These sanctions would have crippled Japan, as they
were dependant on the import of oil to sustain their
countries needs. Japan had a choice of either giving
up all their conquests in the Far East, or go to war
with the United States.
Germany, Italy and Japan formed an alliance on the
27th September 1940. This led to Italy carrying out
attacks on British forces throughout the
Mediterranean and North Africa, while the Japanese
planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, on the 7th
The United States declared war on Japan the day
after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Germany responded in
support of Japan by declaring war on the United
States on the 11th December 1941.
German forces surrendered in Italy on the 29th
April 1945, in Western Europe on the 7th May, and on
the Eastern Front on the 8th May.
Japan surrendered on the 15th August 1945.
The highest number of losses during World War Two
were, the Soviet Union over 21,000,000, Germany
7,000,000, Poland 6,850,000, Japan 1,800,000,
Yugoslavia 1,700,000, Romania 985,000, France
810,000, Hungary 750,000, Austria 525,000, Italy
410,000, Czechoslovakia 400,000, Great Britain
388,000 and the USA 295,000.
Vietnamese War of
Independence 1946 - 1954
French Indochina was formed between 1887 and 1893
from the countries of Annam, Tonkin, Cochinchina,
Cambodia and Laos (an area that is now Vietnam).
The years after the Second World War, saw the
countries of French Indo China take part in a series
of guerrilla wars to prevent the French ruling them
France’s defeat in 1954, led to the Geneva
Conference awarding power to the nationalist
governments of Cambodia, Laos, North Vietnam, and
The North Vietnam government adopted communism
with strong backing from Russia, this creating
tensions in the region as communism looked like it
could take over the entire region.
The Vietnam War followed in 1959, between the
communist north supported by Russia, and capitalist
south supported by the U.S.
First Indo-Pakistani War
1947 - 1948
The First Indo-Pakistani War, often referred to as
the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and
Pakistan, mainly over the region of Kashmir.
India gained independence from Britain on the 15th
August 1947. India was then split into modern day
India, and Pakistan.
The borders were drawn to try and split the
different religions in the region, Muslim, Sikh, and
Pakistan was made up of the two Muslim-majority
areas in the eastern and northwestern regions of
India was to hold most of the Sikh, and Hindu.
At that time, up to 1 million people are said to
have been killed, and many more forced to relocate to
an area more suitable for their religion.
Britain gained control of India in 1858, and
expanded its borders over the following 90 years.
Tension between India and Pakistan has existed
ever since they split into two nations, mainly over
the Kashmir area.
The First Indo-Pakistani War, was mainly over
control of Kashmir, in the years 1947 - 1948.
Another two wars have been fought over Kashmir, in
1965 and 1999.
Currently, Kashmir has been split in two, with
India and Pakistan controlling an area each. Kashmir
remains one of the worlds military hot spots.
Since early in the 21st Century, India and
Pakistan have joined China as the fastest evolving
economic nations. Western nations are hoping this
should lead to more stability in the region, as, the
richer and more educated people are, the less likely
they are to support, or volunteer for military
The down side for western nations is, much of the
wealth in the west will be lost to these developing
India and Pakistan became nuclear powers after
developed nuclear weapons in the 1990s.
Palestinian Civil War 1947
Evidence of a Jewish presence in the area of
present day Israel dates back 3,400 years.
The British took control of vast areas of the
Middle East during WWI.
After WWI, in 1920, the British administration
changed borders in the area to created the state of
Palestine, an attempt to establish a homeland for the
This area was mainly carved out of southern Syria,
containing a large number of Israelis, and Arabs.
The Palestinian Civil War began over the Arab and
Jewish people wanting to split Palestine into two
On the 14th May 1948, the last British forces left
Haifa as the Palestine Civil War escalated between
the Jewish and Arab communities.
This was the time when the Jews, led by David
Ben-Gurion, declared the creation of the State of
Israel, in accordance with the 1947 UN Partition
Israel gained most of the land, leading to the
Arab Palestinians having ongoing disputes with the
Israelis over land, and part of Jerusalem.
From that time on, Israel has had disputes / wars
with Palestine and other Arab countries in the region
over borders, river water, and use of the Suez
The greatest impact these wars had on the world
were when the Suez Canal was blocked with damaged
ships twice, from 1956 - 1957 and 1967 - 1974.
These times caused instability throughout the
world, with fuel prices increasing dramatically.
Shipyards had to start building Super Tankers
from that time to transport oil from the Middle East
to the west around the Cape of Good Hope at
Korean War 1950 - 1953
The Korean War between North Korea and South Korea
began on the 25th June 1950.
As WW II ended in September 1945, the Soviets
liberated the northern part of Korea above the 38th
parallel from Japanese occupiers, and the USA
liberated the southern part from Japanese
This led to the splitting of Korea with a northern
government adopting communism, and a southern
In an attempt to unify north & south Korea,
backed by Stalin and using Soviet weapons, the
communist north led by Kim Il-sung, invaded the south
on Sunday 25th June 1950.
The first large scale foreign military
intervention by U.S. & United Nations forces
began on the 5th July 1950.
Hostilities escalated after China entered the war
on the side of North Korea, with Chinese troops
engaging U.S. troops for the first time on the 1st
An armistice was signed on the 27th July 1953,
after the death of about 400,000 South Koreans and
500,000 North Koreans.
Foreign servicemen to die in combat were about,
33,000 U.S., 2,100 UN, and 110,000 Chinese.
Vietnam War 1959 -
French Indochina was formed in October 1887 from
Annam, Tonkin, Cochinchina, with the Kingdom of
Cambodia added after the Franco-Siamese War of 1893.
These countries are now basicaly modern day
The years following the Second World War, saw the
countries of French Indo China begin a series of
guerrilla wars to avoid being taken back under French
France’s defeat in the Indo China war in
1954, led to the Geneva Conference awarding power to
the nationalist governments of Cambodia, Laos, North
Vietnam and South Vietnam.
The Vietnam War, also known as the Second
Indochina War, was between the communist Democratic
Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), supported by its
communist allies, and the Republic of Vietnam (South
Vietnam) supported by the U.S.
The U.S. sent its first troops to the war in 1965,
in an attempt to prevent comunism spreading
throughout the region.
Due to the lack of support for the war in America,
on the 15th January 1973, President Nixon of the U.S.
announced the suspension of offensive action against
The Paris Peace Accords were signed on the 27th
January 1973, ending direct U.S. involvement in the
The war ended with about 58,000 U.S. soldiers
killed, 3 - 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, and
up to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians.
Although the U.S. continued to arm and train the
South so they could defend themselves, it was not
enough to prevent the North from attacking the south
again in 1974.
The North Vietnamese captured the capital of the
south, Saigon, in April 1975, leading to North and
South Vietnam being reunified the following year,
under comunist rule.
Soviet war in Afghanistan
1979 - 1989
Afghanistan had been stable for 40 years under the
rule of King Mohammad Zahir Shah from the 8th Nov
1933 - 17th July 1973.
The king was overthrown by former Prime Minister
Daud in 1973, creating instability in the region once
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a 9 year
conflict involving Soviet forces supporting the
governing Marxist People's Democratic Party of
Afghanistan (PDPA), against the Mujahideen resistance
fighting to overthrow the Soviet backed
The Mujahideen were supported by a number of
sources such as: United States, Saudi Arabia,
Pakistan and other Muslim nations.
The Mujahideen, with modern western weapons, and
fighters from the Muslim world, made it impossible
for the Soviets to remain in Afghanistan.
The Soviet withdrawal in 1989 was seen as similar
to the the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.
About 15,000 Soviet servicemen had lost their
lives, leading to Soviet citizens demanding an end to
At that time, no one had won the war, or lost. The
Soviet Union collapsed in May 1992 when 12 of 15
republics declared their independence from the
The civil war continued in Afghanistan until Kabul
fell to the Mujahideen in April 1992.
From that time, war between the Mujahideen
factions escalated with each faction hoping to take
In 1996, the Taliban, a faction of Mujahideen
soldiers, who identified themselves as religious
students, took control of Afghanistan.
The Taliban ruled until the U.S. backed invasion
on the 7th October 2001.
That invasion received support from most western
countries, as as the Taliban refused to hand over
Osama bin Laden for his alleged involvement in the
September 11 attacks on
Afghanistan was a democratic country from 2002
till the Taliban regained control in 2022.
Iranian Revolution 1978 -
The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic
Revolution), was a revolution that led to Iran
changing from monarchy rule under Shah Mohammad Reza
Pahlavi to an Islamic republic rule under
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had been in control of
Iran from the 14th September 1941, until he was
forced to flee Iran during the Iranian Revolution in
During the Shah's reign, Iran had celebrated 2,500
years of continuous monarchy since the creation of
the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great.
The revolution seemed to be set off by a series of
events such as the growth of the Islamic revival
against Westernization, shortage of goods, strikes,
and a claims the Royals were only interested in their
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini served as the Supreme
Leader of Iran from 1979 until his death on the 3rd
On the 22nd October 1979, the exiled Shah was
taken to the United States for medical treatment for
This led to revolts in Iran, and on the 4th
November 1979, a group of students took control of
the United States embassy in Tehran, taking 63
American hostages, creating more tension between Iran
and western countries.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini then began calling for
an Islamic revolution across the Muslim world.
The leader of Iraq, President Saddam Hussein,
responded by attacking Iran to secure his own future,
and take control of Iranian oil fields.
Western governments backed Saddam Hussein at that
time, supplying Iraq with weapons.
Although Western governments never trusted Saddam
Hussein, they used the opportunity to try and destroy
Iran, that was seen as threatening world peace.
Iran – Iraq War 1980
Since records began, wars have been fought
throughout the the Middle East for control of the
After World War One, the British were given the
task of defining borders to try and end the
The borders of modern day Iraq were defined at
that time. This led to disputes between Iraq and Iran
over borders, mainly oil rich regions in Iran, that
Iraq believed should have been theirs.
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 threatened the rule
of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, as he was a
Sunni muslim, leading a country with a majority of
Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran had been calling for
the Shia of Iraq to rise up and take control, similar
to how Iran had been taken over in the 1979
With the backing of many western nations, Iraq
launching a full scale invasion of Iran on the 22nd
The war came to and end on the 20th August 1988
with a cease fire agreement.
Iraq casualties are thought to have been between
160,000 and 240,000, Iran casualties at least
Although the war ended with no clear winner, the
influence of Iran in the Middle East seemed to be
Gulf War 1990 - 1991
The Gulf War (2nd August 1990 – 28th
February 1991) began after Iraq accused Kuwait of
stealing Iraq's oil through slant drilling.
Another reason was, Kuwait had been influential in
keeping the price of oil low at that time.
Iraq believed they had an agreement with western
countries that backed them in the war against Iran,
that oil prices would be higher to allow Iraq to
recover financially from their years of war.
Representatives from Iraq also seemed to get the
idea from some U.S. diplomats, who had been backing
Iraq in the war with Iran, that an invasion of Kuwait
would be accepted by the U.S.
This however proved not to be reality, as, a
coalition force from 34 nations authorized by the
United Nations, but led by the United States and the
United Kingdom, responded to the invasion of Kuwait
by setting out to return Kuwait to the control of the
Emir of Kuwait.
The overwhelming coalition forces soon forced
Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, leading to U.S. President
Bush declaring a cease fire on the 27th February
U.S. forces had 148 battle related deaths, and the
UK 47 deaths.
Iraq had between 20,000 and 35,000 fatalities.
Yugoslav Wars 1991 -
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of conflicts
involving all of the six former Yugoslav
These were mainly ethnic conflicts between Serbs
on one side, and Croats, Bosnians and Albanians on
The wars peaked between 1996 and 1999 during the
Kosovo War, between mainly Christian Serbian forces
and the Kosovo Liberation Army, that were mainly a
Muslim Albanian guerrilla group, trying to break away
from the former Yugoslavia.
Serbian forces were accused of ethnic cleansing,
executing thousands of Muslim men of fighting
Most people were shocked, after scenes like
Hitler's WWII were shown to be taking place in a
European country during the 1990s.
The Serbian forces received backing from their
citizens by spreading hate and disgust over the
foreign fighters with the KLA, beheading Serb
soldiers and citizens.
It is unclear just how many executions by
beheading took place, the KLA stated Serb forces made
up a lot of the allegations to obtain support for
Although NATO moved into the region in 1999,
mainly taking military action against Serb forces, it
took a further two years to put an end to the
NATO forces are expected to remain in the region
as peace keepers for many years.
Leaders from all sides are continually being
hunted down and tried for War Crimes.
War in Afghanistan (2001 -
The War in Afghanistan began on the 7th October
2001, after the United States and United Kingdom
responded to the 11th September 2001 attacks on the
World Trade Centre in New York, and Pentagon building
There were 2,974 deaths by the attacks, mainly
civilians, after muslim extremists were claimed to
have flew 3 aircraft into the buildings. This began
the ongoing War on Terror.
The stated purpose of the invasion of Afghanistan
was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and
remove the Taliban regime that was accused of
providing support and training for al-Qaeda and other
Within 3 months, the Taliban had been removed from
power, although they continued to harass Afghan and
foreign troops in an attempt to regain power.
The attacks on U.S. buildings and citizens were
claimed to have been planned by the Saudi born Osama
bin Laden, the son of a wealthy Saudi with a vast
Osama bin Laden provided finances, hardware and
fought with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the
1980s, in the successful quest to remove the Soviet
backed government from power in Afghanistan, and
Soviet forces from the region.
At that time, foreign, mainly muslim fighters,
received military hardware from the U.S. and other
western countries for the war. The never ending
supply of weapons, especially surface to air
missiles, made it impossible for the Soviets to
remain in the area due to mounting casualties.
The Gulf War of 1990 - 1991 saw U.S. and other
western forces based in Saudi Arabia to protect that
country and liberate Kuwait from Iraqi
Osama bin Laden had tried to persued the Saudi
leaders, that if Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia, he and
the Mujahideen fighters from around the Muslim world
would fight a war similar to that in Afghanistan
against the Soviets.
The Saudi refusal to take him serious, and opt for
the guaranteed protection of the U.S., is claimed to
have led to Osama bin Laden returning to Afghanistan
where he began orchestrating the war of terror on the
The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in
2021 after US forces withdrew from the country.