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Articles on Military history

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Ancient military innovations – like the bit and bridle that enabled mounted horseback riding – changed the course of history. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/British Museum via WikimediaCommons

The horse bit and bridle kicked off ancient empires – a new giant dataset tracks the societal factors that drove military technology

Did ancient technological advancements drive social innovation, or vice versa? Studying cause and effect in the ancient world may seem like a fool’s errand, but researchers built a database to do just that.
Every March 27, the Myanmar military celebrates its anniversary with a parade. The day of the 2021 parade, soldiers killed at least 90 pro-democracy protesters. Xinhua/Zhang Dongqiang via Getty Images

Myanmar’s brutal military was once a force for freedom – but it’s been waging civil war for decades

What began in the 1940s as a revolutionary army created to liberate Myanmar from British colonial rule soon turned repressive. The country has been a military dictatorship on and off since 1962.
Virginia National Guard troops in front of the U.S. Capitol building, Feb. 5, 2021. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

How the National Guard became the go-to military force for riots and civil disturbances

Some 5,000 National Guardsmen will stay in Washington to protect the Capitol into March, according to the Pentagon. The Guard is seen as a reliable peacekeeping force – but it wasn’t always that way.
A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask flashing a victory sign in Beirut in November 2019. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

Can wars no longer be won?

Wars don’t produce winners and losers – they never really did.
A British Pattern 1907 bayonet with leather scabbard. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: a short, sharp history of the bayonet

There is no weapon more visceral than the bayonet. It encourages an intimate form of killing, and during WW1, Australia troops plunged, parried and stabbed with great vigour.
The Charge of the Light Brigade happened 163 years ago, but historians still debate who was to blame for the military fiasco. William Simpson

Could the Charge of the Light Brigade have worked?

The Charge of the Light Brigade was brave but fruitless. Could it have worked if the feuding British leaders had interpreted their orders differently?
The Cu Chi tunnels may be the most popular of the ‘war tourism’ attractions in Vietnam. www.dreamtime.com

Will tourism transform the way Australians remember the Vietnam War?

Might the rise of heritage tourism and the increasing ease of international travel lead to more of Australia’s military experiences overseas being better understood?

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