Below is a list of wars that led to
the world we see today.
Great 356 BC – 11th June 323
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
Many military commanders throughout
history, and even to the present day,
were influenced by Alexander the
Roman conquest of
Britain AD 43
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
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 Islands.
Although killed in the battle himself,
Brian Boru and his forces succeeded in
removing Viking influence from
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 England 1016
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,
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
Hastings, was the last successful
conquest of England, the beginning of
modern day Britain.
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 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 and
conquests 1205 – 1312
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
The building of the Mongol Empire is
said to have led to the death of between
30 and 60 million people.
Wars of Scottish
Independence 1296 – 1328
King Alexander III of Scotland died in
1286, and his eight-year-old heir,
Margaret, died four years later.
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 himself.
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
War 1337 - 1453
The French House of Capet dynasty came
to an end in 1328, as the three sons of
Philip IV all failed to produce surviving
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
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
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
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 trace.
Spanish conquest of
Mexico & the Aztec Empire 1519
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
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 in
France was the last country to invade
Mexico in 1862, ruling the country until
their defeat by the Mexican Republican
Army in 1867.
Religion 16th and 17th
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
Anglo – Spanish
War 1585 – 1604
The Anglo – Spanish War was
between the kingdoms of Spain and
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
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
Spain agreed to stop their military
interventions in Ireland, England and the
The English agreed to renounced high
Wars of the Three
Kingdoms 1639 – 1652
The Wars of the Three Kingdoms took
place in Scotland, Ireland, and England
between 1639 and 1651.
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
Cromwell died on the 3rd September
1658, leaving his son Richard in
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,
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 Newfoundland.
France was given back the Caribbean
islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique,
that had been occupied by the
Spain was awarded Louisiana, including
New Orleans, in compensation for its loss
of Florida to the British.
The British were then keen to keep the
peace with the various Indian tribes, so
stopped colonists from moving further
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
Great Britain 1714 –
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
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 I.
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 again.
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 North America.
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
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 west.
Wars 1803 - 1815
By 1789, the French people had turned
against King Louis XV1, with
revolutionaries gaining control of France
Louis XV1 was put on trial in December
of that year, and executed by guillotine
on the 21st January 1793.
A reign of terror then followed as the
new rulers began executing all potential
enemies in the country.
During six weeks leading up to July
1794, almost fourteen hundred people were
executed by guillotine in Paris
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
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 South
His death on the 5th May 1821, saw him
buried on the island.
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
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
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
Revolution 1835 - 1836
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
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 battle.
The war ended with the creation of the
Republic of Texas.
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
Anglo - Afghan
Wars 1839 - 1921
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
There were three wars between 1839 and
1921, where the Afghans themselves tried
to remove the British and Russians from
The most famous battle in the wars was
at the Khyber Pass, a mountain pass
connecting Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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
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.
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, and Wyoming.
Mexico was given U.S. $15,000,000,
under half the amount the U.S. had
offered Mexico before the war.
1853 - 1856
The Crimean War was fought between the
Russian Empire, and an alliance of
France, United Kingdom, Sardinia and the
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 region.
Peace negotiations began in 1856
through the Congress of Paris, with
Russia agreeing not to establish any
naval or military bases on the Black Sea
All the Countries involved signed to
state they would respect the independence
and territory of the Ottoman Empire.
The Crimean War is best remembered for
Nightingale, who became known as The
Lady with the Lamp, a pioneering nurse
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
Casualties were 156 men killed, 122
wounded and 335 horses destroyed.
War 1861 - 1865
In the presidential election of 1860,
the Republican Party, led by Abraham
Lincoln, campaigned against the expansion
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
The war ended after the Confederate
General Lee surrendered his Army in
Northern Virginia on the 9th April
General Johnston surrendered his
troops to Sherman on the 26th April 1865,
in Durham, North Carolina.
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
War 1861 - 1867
The French invasion of Mexico was by
the army of the Second French Empire,
supported by the British and Spanish.
The war began after Mexican President
Benito Juarez stopped interest payments
to foreign countries on the 17th July
The British, Spanish and French fleets
arrived at the Mexican port of Veracruz
between the 6th January and 8th January
The city of Campeche surrendered to
the French fleet on the 27th
After the Spanish and British realized
the French intended to conquer Mexico,
they withdrew their forces on the 9th
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
Anglo - Zulu
The British, since 1824, had
established a trading post in South
Africa at Port Natal, now Durban, with
good relations with the indigenous
Until 1868, Natal had been developing
slowly, but after gold and diamonds were
discovered at Kimberley, the area
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 1879.
The battle that led to the downfall of
the Zulu nation took place at their
capital of Ulundi, on the 4th July
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,
The Martini-Henry 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 yards.
Today, Zululand is part of the
Republic of South Africa.
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
The Third War led to British rule in
1886, with Burma becomming a province of
India, with the capital at Rangoon.
The end of WWII, led to Burma gaining
independence from Britain on the 4th
The British were so unpopular in Burma
at that time, the Burmese people refused
to join the British Commonwealth.
India and Pakistan also gained
independance from Britain around that
time, and did join the commonwealth.
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
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
Russo - Japanese
War 1904 - 1905
The Russo – Japanese War was a
conflict between the Russian Empire and
Japanese Empire, over control of Korea
and Manchuria (a region between Russia
Japan needed minerals from these
countries, and Russia needed warm water
ports on the Pacific Ocean for its vast
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
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
After that defeat, Russia was forced
to sign a peace treaty with Japan,
signaling Japan's status as a world
Most of Japans warships at that time
were British built, and their officers
World War I
1914 - 1918
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 assassination.
As Serbia refused to hand over the
conspirators, Austro/Hungary declared war
on Serbia on the 28th July 1914.
As Russia had signed a treaty with
Serbia, they sent their troops to defend
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
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 1902.
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
America joined the war against Germany
in April 1917, as the German unrestricted
submarine warfare was threatening United
States commercial shipping.
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 USA 116,000.
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
The town of around only 9000 residents
at that time, began to grow dramatically
with Protestant refugees from European
countries settling in the area.
Over the following century, Dublin
grew dramatically, becoming the second
city of the British Empire.
The Act of Union between England and
Ireland in 1800, abolished the Irish
Parliament, this drastically reducing
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
Pearse and their top men
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
That extra support and finance, led to
the War of Independence, with Ireland
achieving independence in 1922.
War 1927 - 1949
The Chinese Civil War, was a civil war
in China between the Chinese Nationalist
Party and the Russian supported Chinese
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
World War II
1939 - 1945
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
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 1939.
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
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
The Soviets were thrown out of the
League of Nations after they began
invading Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and
With Hitler seeing those invasions as
encroaching on German lands, he launched
operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the
Soviet Union on the 22nd June 1941).
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
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 December 1941.
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
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
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 once
France’s defeat in 1954, led to
the Geneva Conference awarding power to
the nationalist governments of Cambodia,
Laos, North Vietnam, and South
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
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
The borders were drawn to try and
split the different religions in the
region, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu.
Pakistan was made up of the two
Muslim-majority areas in the eastern and
northwestern regions of British
India was to hold most of the Sikh,
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
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 action.
The down side for western nations is,
much of the wealth in the west will be
lost to these developing nations.
India and Pakistan became nuclear
powers after developed nuclear weapons in
War 1947 - 1948
Evidence of a Jewish presence in the
area of present day Israel dates back
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 Jewish people.
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 different
On the 14th May 1948, the last British
forces left Haifa as the Palestine Civil
War escalated between the Jewish and Arab
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
1950 - 1953
The Korean War between North Korea and
South Korea began on the 25th June
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 government
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
Foreign servicemen to die in combat
were about, 33,000 U.S., 2,100 UN, and
1959 - 1975
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
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
The U.S. sent its first troops to the
war in 1965, in an attempt to prevent
comunism spreading throughout the
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 Vietnam War.
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
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
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
The king was overthrown by former
Prime Minister Daud in 1973, creating
instability in the region once again.
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
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
About 15,000 Soviet servicemen had
lost their lives, leading to Soviet
citizens demanding an end to the war.
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 Russian
The civil war continued in Afghanistan
until Kabul fell to the Mujahideen in
From that time, war between the
Mujahideen factions escalated with each
faction hoping to take full control.
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
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 New York.
Afghanistan has been a democratic
country again since 2002.
Revolution 1978 - 1979
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
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 the
During the Shah's reign, Iran had
celebrated 2,500 years of continuous
monarchy since the creation of the
Empire by Cyrus the
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 own wealth.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini served as
the Supreme Leader of Iran from 1979
until his death on the 3rd June 1989.
On the 22nd October 1979, the exiled
Shah was taken to the United States for
medical treatment for lymphoma.
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
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 - 1988
Since records began, wars have been
fought throughout the the Middle East for
control of the land.
After World War One, the British were
given the task of defining borders to try
and end the unrest.
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
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 Shia muslims.
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 September
The war came to and end on the 20th
August 1988 with a cease fire
Iraq casualties are thought to have
been between 160,000 and 240,000, Iran
casualties at least 300,000.
Although the war ended with no clear
winner, the influence of Iran in the
Middle East seemed to be greatly
Gulf War 1990
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
1991 - 2001
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of
conflicts involving all of the six former
These were mainly ethnic conflicts
between Serbs on one side, and Croats,
Bosnians and Albanians on the other.
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
Serbian forces began ethnic cleansing,
executing thousands of Muslim men of
Most people were shocked, after scenes
like Hitler's WWII were shown to be
taking place in a European country during
The Serbian forces received backing
from their citizens by spreading hate and
disgust over the foreign fighters with
the KLA, beheading Serb soldiers and
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 their
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
Leaders from all sides are continually
being hunted down and tried for War
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 flew 3 aircraft into the
buildings. This began the ongoing War on
The stated purpose of the invasion of
Afghanistan was to capture Osama bin
Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the
Taliban regime that was providing support
and training for al-Qaeda and other
Within 3 months, the Taliban had been
removed from power, although they have
continued to harass Afghan and foreign
troops in an attempt to regain power, and
keep control of the lucrative drug
business that supplies most of the heroin
The attacks on U.S. buildings and
citizens were thought to have been
planned by the Saudi born Osama bin
Laden, the son of a wealthy Saudi with a
vast construction business.
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
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
The U.S. and other western countries
again provided Muslim fighters with
weapons, and even fought alongside them
in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.
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., led to Osama bin Laden
returning to Afghanistan where he began
orchestrating the war of terror on the
west, countries that had suported their
cause during 3 major conflicts.