War Matrix

shield, axe and sword The matrix below is an entry point to many texts about various aspects of that most hideous yet persistent aspect of human society: war. It is organized vertically by time period and horizontally by subject category. The matrix is neither complete nor exhaustive, as it would require hundreds of books to list all weapon variants, notable commanders, skirmishes and conflicts and to describe them in detail. Instead, only major subjects listed and described in small summaries. The texts are short enough to fit an encyclopedia; more details and context can be found in books and other websites. Therefore this set of webpages serves a starting point for further research, helping the reader by its straightfoward matrix structure.

The focus of the matrix is mostly on Europe, but other parts of the world are covered too. As usual in history, there is far more, and more reliable, information on late than early events. This does not mean that there was less fighting in early human history. In fact, there was probably a lot more, though of far lesser intensity and gruesomeness than is often thought. The War Matrix focuses the most important, well-known or interesting events and participants. This is not a scientific work; almost all information comes from secondary sources and has not been subject to peer review. But the sources have been cross-checked and deliberated, to get at the truth. You will not find fantasy heroes, game weaponry or Hollywood misconceptions here, just the real thing.

War as an object of study is a fascinating phenomenon, due to its variety and complexity. War in real life is a horror, a blight on the achievements of humanity. The texts of the War Matrix do not judge whether war is good or bad, but describe many aspects of it, so the reader may gain insight into how and why humans fight wars and may form and opinion him/herself.

Period Armies and troops Generals and leaders Weapons and technology Wars and campaigns Battles and sieges
Prehistory 35000 BCE - 3500 BCE tribal warriors   clubstaffspearjavelinatlatlmaceslingself bowshieldwalled town    
Ancient Era 3500 BCE - 500 CE
Middle East Period 3500 BCE - 3000 BCE Sumerian warfare   axeflail    
Early Bronze Age 3000 BCE - 2200 BCE Akkadian army Sargon of Akkad bronze weaponsdaggersickle swordsapperscomposite bowbattering rampolearm    
Middle Bronze Age 2200 BCE - 1600 BCE   Hammurabi siege towerreinforced wallsshort sword    
Late Bronze Age 1600 BCE - 1100 BCE Hittites   hill fortwar chariotscale armor Invasion of the Hyksos Battle of Megiddo
Iron Age 1100 BCE - 550 BCE Neo-Assyrian armyScythians • Greek hoplites   iron weaponscataphractcamel cavalrycrossbowballistacatapultpentekontertriremeborder wall First Messanian War Battle of 300 champions
Classical Period 550 BCE - 480 CE
Persian Era 550 BCE - 330 CE Athenian navy Cyrus the GreatSun Tzu lamellar armorsteel swordwar elephantquinquereme Founding of the Persian empireGreco-Persian WarsAnabasis Battle of MarathonBattle of SalamisBattle of PlataeaSiege of Syracuse
Greek Era 330 BCE - 200 BCE Macedonian armyMaurya armyRoman republican army Alexander the GreatPyrrhus of EpirusHannibal Barca Han Xin mail armorfortified camptree saddle Conquest of PersiaUnification of ChinaPunic Wars Battle of GaugamelaBattle of the Hydaspes riverBattle of AsculumBattle of Cannae
Roman Ascent 200 BCE - 120 CE ParthiansRoman professional armyTeotihuacanMaya warfare LucullusJulius Caesar   Han\96Xiongnu WarRoman-Persian Wars Battle of CynoscephalaeBattle of MobeiBattle of TigranocertaBattle of CarrhaeBattle of Alesia Battle of ActiumBattle of the Teutoburg ForestBattle of Watling Street
Roman Decline 120 CE - 480 CE Late Roman armyHuns Attila stirrup Gothic War Battle of Red CliffsBattle of Adrianople Battle of the Catalaunian Plains
Middle Ages 480 CE - 1480 CE
Early Middle Age 480 CE - 1066 CE
Dark Age 480 CE - 630 CE fubing Belisarius      
Islamic Age 630 CE - 800 CE Carolingian Franksghazis Khalid ibn al-WalidCharles Martel macuahuitlGreek fire Arab conquestsReconquista Battle of YarmoukBattle of QadisiyyaBattle of Tours
Viking Age 800 CE - 1066 CE Vikingsberserkerssohei Sweyn Forkbeard castlelongshipcarroccio Magyar raidsGreat Viking Army Siege of Paris Battle of SvolderBattle of Stamford BridgeBattle of Hastings
High Middle Age 1066 CE - 1300 CE
Knightly Era 1066 CE - 1206 CE knightscrusader ordersHashashinSong navysamurai Alp ArslanEl CidWilliam MarshalRichard I the Lionheart cogtrebuchet First CrusadeGempei War Siege of AntiochBattle of Hattin Sack of Constantinople
Mongol Era 1206 CE - 1300 CE Mongol armyMandekalu army Genghis KhanSubutaiBaibarsTran Hung Dao explosive minerockethandgonne Conquest of KhwarezmiaMongol invasion of Europe Battle of MohiBattle of Ain JalutFall of Acre
Late Middle Age 1300 CE - 1480 CE men-at-armscondottieriSwiss mercenariesJanissariesHussitesAztec armyshinobi John HawkwoodTamerlaneSkanderbegJoan of Arc plate armorlong swordestocbombardstar fortmatchlockcarrack Hundred Years' War Battle of the Golden Spurs Battle of GrunwaldBattle of Agincourt Battle of CastillonFall of Constantinople
European Age 1480 CE - 1945 CE
Age of Discovery 1480 CE - 1620 CE LandsknechteTerciosgun cavalryregimentsline infantry Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba Hernán CortésTakeda ShingenLautaroToyotomi HideyoshiAlexander FarneseMaurice of Nassau bronze cannonwheellockgalleongalleassturtle ship Conquest of the Inca empireOttoman-Habsburg WarsEighty Years' War Battle of Cerignola Battle of PanipatSiege of MaltaBattle of LepantoSiege of Leiden Defeat of the Spanish ArmadaCapture of BredaBattle of Sekigahara
Age of Reason 1620 CE - 1750 CE Swedish armygrenadiersAsante armyRoyal NavyPrussian army Gustavus AdolphusMichiel de Ruyter Turenne Nader Shah Frederick the GreatAlexander Suvorov flintlockbayonetship-of-the-linemilitary academy Thirty Years' War Battle of Lützen Battle of FreiburgSiege of MaastrichtBattle of Vienna Battle of BlenheimBattle of Poltava Battle of Karnal
First Industrial Revolution 1750 CE - 1830 CE French Revolutionary ArmyZulu army Arthur WellesleyNapoléon BonaparteCarl von ClausewitzWinfield ScottShaka horse artillerycarronadecaplockconscription Seven Year's WarAmerican Revolutionary WarFrench Revolutionary and Napoleonic WarsFrench invasion of Russia Battle of Plassey Battle of Leuthen Battles of Saratoga Battle of the Nile Battle of Austerlitz Battle of Waterloo
Geopolitical Race 1830 CE - 1880 CE French Foreign Legion Helmuth von Moltke the ElderRobert Lee rifled musketgun-howitzerArmstrong gunrifleironcladmachine gunmodern shell Scotts Mexico City campaign Crimean War Franco-Prussian War Battle of Solferino Battle of KöniggrätzBattle of Isandlwana
Second Industrial Revolution 1880 CE - 1914 CE Japanese Imperial Army   quick-firing gunsubmarineairshipdreadnoughtmultiplane laws of warRusso-Japanese War Battle of AdwaBattle of Tsushima
World Wars 1914 CE - 1945 CE stormtroopersRoyal Air ForceRed Armynazi armykamikaze fighters Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck Tomoyuki YamashitaGeorge PattonErich von MansteinHeinz GuderianAdolf HitlerGeorgy Zhukov poison gastankaircraft carrierairborne troopsradarmonoplanemotorized troopshelicoptermechanized infantryself-propelled artillerytank destroyerbio-agentassault riflerocket propelled grenadecruise missilejet aircraftnuclear weapon World War IChinese Civil WarWorld War IIOperation Barbarossa First Battle of the MarneBattle of the Somme Battle of WarsawBattle of SuomussalmiFall of FranceBattle of BritainBattle of StalingradBattle of Kursk D-Day
Modern Age 1945 CE - present
Cold War 1945 CE - 1991 CE special forcesUS Air Force   guided rocketnuclear submarinemain battle tankattack helicopterICBMballistic vestdrone Korean War Vietnam WarCuban Missile CrisisYom Kippur WarSoviet-Afghan WarIran-Iraq WarFalklands WarGulf War Battle of Dien Bien PhuOperation Opera
Global Age 1991 CE - present Daesh   hypersonic aircraftrailgunlaserexoskeleton Congo Wars Syrian Civil War  

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