List of wars

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The list of wars is a selection of historically transmitted wars . It is not a complete list of all collective acts of violence against a group considered to be the enemy, but only those long-term military conflicts which, due to their course or results, are included in the historical tradition and found the scientific discussion.


Violent clashes with foreign enemies were commonplace in nomadic, but also sedentary, societies of prehistory and antiquity , which had no clearly defined borders and whose protection was guaranteed by a class of warriors whose social position depended on their military strength. What they had in common was that a group of mostly adolescent warriors went on raids once or several times a year into enemy territory (whose warriors, as soon as they were able to take revenge for the disgrace they had received). The war was omnipresent; it determined the life and self-image of such tribal societies . Their forays are therefore only occasionally handed down to us. But the rulers of ancient civilizations also defined themselves through military success and had to constantly renew this legitimation . Although these campaigns were institutionalized through embassies, declarations of war and peace treaties , they were still an annual phenomenon. Only larger wars of conquest by equal opponents with high casualties were limited to a few in the century, because in these cases a new generation of warriors first had to grow up. The following list is therefore only a very limited selection.

Egypt and the Middle East



Rome until the death of Emperor Justinian (500 BC to 565 AD)

middle Ages

As in antiquity, military probation was the nobility's most important means of legitimizing rule. This is especially true for the lower nobility ( knighthood ). In addition, since the non-military means of dispute settlement, such as generally recognized and institutionalized supremacy, positive law and the judiciary, were poorly developed or ineffective, war, institutionalized in the form of feuds , was the most frequently chosen means of asserting political interests.

Only when state power was expanded in the late Middle Ages and especially in the early modern period and a state monopoly of force gradually enforced did the war develop into a problematic disruption of the normal state of peace.

Early middle ages

High Middle Ages

Late Middle Ages

Early renaissance

Modern times

Late renaissance

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

Great wars since World War II (with casualties)

Fatalities from fighting since 1950.

This list contains the civilian deaths from infectious diseases , famines , war crimes , genocide , etc., as well as the soldiers killed in battles , i.e. the total number of war victims .

At least 25 million people worldwide died as a result of war after the end of the Second World War. In the 20th century, around 100–185 million people died in wars.

See also


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