History (from Greekἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Historians place the past in context using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, ecological markers, and material objects including art and artifacts.
History also includes the academic discipline which uses narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze a sequence of past events, and investigate the patterns of cause and effect that are related to them. Historians seek to understand and represent the past through narratives. They often debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians also debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present.
Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by evidence. However, ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is often taught as part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies.
Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is often considered (within the Western tradition) to be the "father of history", or, the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was known to be compiled from as early as 722BC although only 2nd-centuryBC texts have survived. (Full article...)
Preussischer Adler was sent to the Mediterranean Sea in September 1863 in company with a pair of gunboats, but shortly after they arrived, they were recalled owing to an increase in tension between Prussia and Denmark that resulted in the Second Schleswig War. While on the way back to Prussia, the three ships rendezvoused with a pair of steam frigates from Prussia's ally Austria. The combined squadron attacked a Danish force enforcing a blockade of the German North Sea ports, resulting in the Battle of Heligoland in May 1864. The battle was tactically inconclusive, but the arrival of the Austrian warships forced the Danes to abandon their blockade. Boiler problems kept Preussischer Adler from taking part in subsequent naval operations and she underwent extensive repairs in 1867–1868. (Full article...)
The Akutan Zero has been described as "a prize almost beyond value to the United States", and "probably one of the greatest prizes of the Pacific War". Japanese historian and lieutenant general Masatake Okumiya stated that the acquisition of the Akutan Zero "was no less serious" than the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway, and that it "did much to hasten Japan's final defeat". On the other hand, John Lundstrom is among those who challenge "the contention that it took dissection of Koga's Zero to create tactics that beat the fabled airplane". (Full article...)
Rather than defend the fort, de Bourlamaque, operating under instructions from General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and New France's governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, withdrew his forces, and attempted to blow up the fort. The fort's powder magazine was destroyed, but its walls were not severely damaged. The British then occupied the fort, which was afterwards known by the name Fort Ticonderoga. They embarked on a series of improvements to the area and began construction of a fleet to conduct military operations on Lake Champlain. (Full article...)
No. 1 Flying Training School (No. 1 FTS) is a school of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It is one of the Air Force's original units, dating back to the service's formation in 1921, when it was established at RAAF Point Cook, Victoria. By the early 1930s, the school comprised training, fighter, and seaplane components. It was re-formed several times in the ensuing years, initially as No. 1 Service Flying Training School (No. 1 SFTS) in 1940, under the wartime Empire Air Training Scheme. After graduating nearly 3,000 pilots, No. 1 SFTS was disbanded in late 1944, when there was no further requirement to train Australian aircrew for service in Europe.
The school was re-established in 1946 as No. 1 FTS at RAAF Station Uranquinty, New South Wales, and transferred to Point Cook the following year. Under a restructure of flying training to cope with the demands of the Korean War and Malayan Emergency, No. 1 FTS was re-formed in 1952 as No. 1 Applied Flying Training School (No. 1 AFTS); it moved to RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia, in 1958. For much of this period the school was also responsible for training the RAAF's air traffic controllers. Its pilot trainees included Army, Navy, and foreign students as well as RAAF personnel. The RAAF's reorganisation of aircrew training in the early 1950s had led to the formation at Uranquinty of No. 1 Basic Flying Training School (No. 1 BFTS), which transferred to Point Cook in 1958. In 1969, No. 1 AFTS was re-formed as No. 2 Flying Training School and No. 1 BFTS was re-formed as No. 1 FTS. Rationalisation of RAAF flying training resulted in the disbandment of No. 1 FTS in 1993. (Full article...)
Born in Purbalingga, Dutch East Indies, Sudirman moved to Cilacap in 1916 and was raised by his uncle. A diligent student at a Muhammadiyah-run school, he became respected within the community for his devotion to Islam. After dropping out of teacher's college, in 1936 he began working as a teacher, and later headmaster, at a Muhammadiyah-run elementary school. After the Japanese occupied the Indies in 1942, Sudirman continued to teach, before joining the Japanese-sponsored Defenders of the Homeland as a battalion commander in Banyumas in 1944. In this position he put down a rebellion by his fellow soldiers, but was later interned in Bogor. After Indonesia proclaimed its independence on 17 August 1945, Sudirman led a break-out then went to Jakarta to meet President Sukarno. Tasked with overseeing the surrender of Japanese soldiers in Banyumas, he established a division of the People's Safety Body there. On 12 November 1945, at an election to decide the military's commander-in-chief in Yogyakarta, Sudirman was chosen over Oerip Soemohardjo in a close vote. While waiting to be confirmed, Sudirman ordered an assault on British and Dutch forces in Ambarawa. The ensuing battle and British withdrawal strengthened Sudirman's popular support, and he was ultimately confirmed on 18 December. (Full article...)
The Parliamentarians approached the city from the south on the afternoon of 23 September. Their route took them up narrow lanes and straight into Rupert's force, which was resting in a field. The noise of the approaching Parliamentarian cavalry alerted the Royalists, who quickly formed up. The Royalist dragoons gave their cavalry time to prepare, firing at point-blank range as the Parliamentarians emerged into the field. Rupert's cavalry then charged and broke most of the Parliamentarian cavalry, though one troop stood its ground and returned fire. Ultimately, all of the Parliamentarians were routed. (Full article...)
The helmet was constructed by covering the outside of an iron framework with plates of horn and the inside with cloth or leather; the organic material has since decayed. It would have provided some protection against weapons, but was also ornate and may have been intended for ceremonial use. It was the first Anglo-Saxon helmet to be discovered; five others, from Sutton Hoo, York, Wollaston, Shorwell, and Staffordshire, have been found since. The helmet features a unique combination of structural and technical attributes, but contemporaneous parallels exist for its individual characteristics. It is classified as one of the "crested helmets" used in Northern Europe from the 6th to 11th centuries AD. (Full article...)
First edition cover of The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle first-hand, the novel is known for its realism and naturalism. He began writing what would become his second novel in 1894, using various contemporary and written accounts (such as those published previously by Century Magazine) as inspiration. It is believed that he based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville; he may also have interviewed veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. Initially shortened and serialized in newspapers in December 1894, the novel was published in full in October 1895. A longer version of the work, based on Crane's original manuscript, was published in 1982. (Full article...)
Sergeant Tom Derrick in June 1944
Thomas Currie "Diver" Derrick, VC,DCM (20 March 1914 – 24 May 1945) was an Australian soldier and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. In November 1943, during the Second World War, Derrick was awarded the Victoria Cross for his assault on a heavily defended Japanese position at Sattelberg, New Guinea. During the engagement, he scaled a cliff face while under heavy fire and silenced seven machine gun posts, before leading his platoon in a charge that destroyed a further three.
During the interwar period, T7 and the rest of the navy were involved in training exercises and cruises to friendly ports, but activity was limited by reduced naval budgets. This ship was captured by the Italians during the German-led Axisinvasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941. After her main armament was modernised, she served with the Royal Italian Navy under her Yugoslav designation. Following the Italian capitulation in September 1943, she was returned to the Royal Yugoslav Navy-in-exile. She was commissioned by the Yugoslav Navy after World War II, and after a refit which included replacement of her armament, she served as Golešnica until 1959. (Full article...)
A British Cromwell observation post tank on Villers-Bocage's main street; one of more than a dozen vehicles destroyed by Michael Wittmann. This tank was commanded by Captain Paddy Victory of the 5th Royal Horse Artillery.
The Battle of Villers-Bocage took place during the Second World War on 13 June 1944, one week after the Normandy Landings, which had begun the Western Allies' conquest of German-occupied France. The battle was the result of a British attempt to improve their position by exploiting a gap in the German defences west of the city of Caen. After one day of fighting in and around the small town of Villers-Bocage and a second day defending a position outside the town, the British force retreated.
The Allies and the Germans regarded control of Caen as vital to the Normandy battle. In the days following the D-Day landings on 6June, the Germans rapidly established strong defences in front of the city. On 9June, a two-pronged British attempt to surround and capture Caen was defeated. On the right flank of the British Second Army, the 1st US Infantry Division had forced back the German 352nd Infantry Division and opened a gap in the German front line. Seizing the opportunity to bypass the German Panzer-Lehr Division blocking the direct route south in the area of Tilly-sur-Seulles, a mixed force of tanks, infantry and artillery, based on the 22nd Armoured Brigade of the 7th Armoured Division, advanced through the gap in a flanking manoeuvre towards Villers-Bocage. British commanders hoped that the appearance of a strong force in their rear would force the Panzer-Lehr Division to withdraw or be surrounded. (Full article...)
The firepower of a battleship demonstrated by USS Iowa (c. 1984). The muzzle blasts distort the ocean surface.
A battleship is a large armoredwarship with a main battery consisting of large caliber guns. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the battleship was the most powerful type of warship, and a fleet centered around the battleship was part of the command of the sea doctrine for several decades. By the time of World War II, however, the battleship was made obsolete as other ships, primarily the smaller and faster destroyers, the secretive submarines, and the more versatile aircraft carriers came to be far more useful in naval warfare. While a few battleships were repurposed as fire support ships and as platforms for guided missiles, few countries maintained battleships after World War II, with the last battleships being decommissioned at the end of the Cold War.
A lithograph of a watercolour painting depicting soldiers transporting winter clothing, lumber for huts, and other supplies through a snow-covered landscape, with partially buried dead horses along the roadside, to the British camps, during the Siege of Sevastopol of the Crimean War. In the winter, a storm ruined the camps and supply lines of the Allied forces (France, Britain and the Ottoman Empire). Men and horses became sick and starved in the poor conditions.
An 1805 depiction of a Khoikhoi family dismantling their huts, preparing to move to new pastures. The Khoikhoi are a native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen. Most of the Khoikhoi have largely disappeared as a group, except for the largest group, the Namas.
Jews captured by SS and SD troops during the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising are forced to leave their shelter and march to the Umschlagplatz for deportation. The SD trooper pictured second from the right, is Josef Blösche, who was identified by Polish authorities using this photograph. Blösche was tried for war crimes in Erfurt, East Germany in 1969, sentenced to death and executed in July of that year.
Cotton MS Augustus II.106, one of four surviving exemplifications of Magna Carta. This document, sealed by King John of England on 15 June 1215 (O.S.), was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular king and a group of rebel barons. The charter promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown. The document was reissued and renewed several times over the centuries, though its political impact decreased as later laws were passed. The charter was significant because the king had agreed to limit his power, so that although it dealt predominantly with the king and the barons, since the late 16th century it has been considered a symbol of liberty and the freedom of the individual.
A Chola dynasty sculpture depicting Shiva. In Hinduism, Shiva is the deity of destruction and one of the most important gods; in this sculpture he is dancing as Nataraja, the divine dancer who unravels the world in preparation for it being remade by Brahma.
Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.
Roman Empire 117 AD. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
World Colonization of 1492 (Early Modern World), 1550, 1660, 1754 (Age of Enlightenment), 1822 (Industrial revolution), 1885 (European Hegemony), 1914 (World War I era), 1938 (World War II era), 1959 (Cold War era) and 1974, 2008 (Recent history).
A Japanese depiction of a Portuguese trading carrack. Advances in shipbuilding technology during the Late Middle Ages would pave the way for the global European presence characteristic of the early modern period.
"If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don't know, search for it." An engraving from the 1772 edition of the Encyclopédie; Truth (center) is surrounded by light and unveiled by the figures to the right, Philosophy and Reason
The Chinese Han Dynasty dominated the East Asia region at the beginning of the first millennium AD
Reconstruction of the Oikumene (inhabited world) as described by Herodotus in the 5th century BC.
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten further heads in the antlers. An object inspired by the art of the Siberian Altai mountain, possibly Pazyryk, unearthed at the site of Nalinggaotu, Shenmu County, near Xi'an, China. Possibly from the "Hun people who lived in the prairie in Northern China". Dated to the 4th–3rd century BC, or Han Dynasty period. Shaanxi History Museum.
A political map of the Mauryan Empire, including notable cities, such as the capital Pataliputra, and site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
Cishou Temple Pagoda, built in 1576: the Chinese believed that building pagodas on certain sites according to geomantic principles brought about auspicious events; merchant-funding for such projects was needed by the late Ming period.
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