warfare timeline

  • 3000 BCE

    Horses

    Humans acquire their most important single ally from the animal kingdom when they domesticate the horse, in about 3000 BC. Wild horses of various kinds have spread throughout most of the world by the time human history begins.
  • Period: 1300 BCE to 1200 BCE

    Trojan Wars

    In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad.
  • 1027 BCE

    When humans first used a bow and arrow.

    The earliest definite remains of bow and arrow are from Europe. Possible fragments from Germany were found at Mannheim-Vogelstang dated 17,500-18,000 years ago, and at Stellmoor dated 11,000 years ago
  • Period: 431 BCE to 404 BCE

    The Peloponnesian War

    The Peloponnesian War was an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League led by Athens against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta.
  • 300 BCE

    trebucket

    The traction trebuchet is believed to be an ancient war engine which was invented in China in 300 BC. It is thought that the trebuchet may have developed from the stave sling. ... The Trebuchet (Trebucket) was introduced to England in 1216 during the Siege of Dover - as were many other types of siege engine.
  • Period: 246 BCE to 146 BCE

    Punic Wars

    The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were some of the largest wars that had ever taken place. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus (or Poenicus), meaning "Carthaginian", with reference to the Carthaginians' Phoenician ancestry.
  • 904

    Gunpowder

    Gunpowder was invented in 9th-century China and spread throughout most parts of Eurasia by the end of the 13th century. Originally developed by the Taoists for medicinal purposes, gunpowder was first used for warfare about 904 AD.
  • Period: 1095 to 1492

    Crusades

    The crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best-known crusades are the campaigns in the eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule. The term crusade is now also applied to other church-sanctioned and even non-religious campaigns.
  • 1180

    longbow

    The longbow was invented by the Celts in Wales around 1180 C.E. but was not really used by the English military until the 1300s. The longbow is an incredibly strong piece of wood roughly 6 feet tall and 5/8 inch wide.
  • 1326

    Hand cannons

    The earliest reliable evidence of hand cannons in Europe appeared in 1326 and evidence of their production can be dated as early as 1327. ... Improvements in hand cannon and gunpowder technology – corned powder, shot ammunition, and development of the flash pan – led to the development of the arquebus in the 15th century.
  • Period: 1337 to 1453

    One Hundred Years War

    The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war.
  • 1400

    Matchlock

    Matchlock. Matchlock, in firearms, a device for igniting gunpowder developed in the 15th century, a major advance in the manufacture of small arms. The matchlock was the first mechanical firing device. ... The flash in the pan penetrated a small port in the breech of the gun and ignited the main charge.
  • 1515

    Submarine

    Leonardo da Vinci sketched a primitive submarine around 1515, and in 1578, William Bourne drafted the first design for a submersible craft. In 1620, the first successful submarine was built by Cornelius Drebbel and tested in the Thames River, where it completed a three-hour journey.
  • Period: 1519 to 1521

    Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire

    Between 1519 and 1521, Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, overthrew the Aztec Empire. This event is called the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Cortés helped old enemies of the Aztecs defeat them in one of the most important events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
  • Period: to

    Thirty Years War

    The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague.
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    English Civil War

    The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") principally over the manner of England's governance.
  • Period: to

    Napoleonic Wars

    The Napoleonic Wars were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom.
  • The first handgun

    Samuel Colt submitted a British patent for his revolver in 1835 and an American patent (number 138) on February 25, 1836 for a Revolving gun, and made the first production model on March 5 of that year. Another revolver patent was issued to Samuel Colt on August 29, 1839.
  • Period: to

    The Taiping Rebellion

    The Taiping Rebellion, which is also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion or civil war that was waged in China from 1850 to 1864 between the established Manchu-led Qing dynasty and the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
  • Period: to

    The American Civil War

    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people.
  • Warship

    On March 9, 1862, the day after the Virginia sank two Union ships, the ironclads met in battle for the first time at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The two fought to a draw, bouncing hundreds of shots off each other's armor over an hours-long battle.
  • The first machine gun

    The first practical self-powered machine gun was invented in 1884 by Sir Hiram Maxim.
  • Period: to

    Boxer Rebellion

    In 1900, in what became known as the Boxer Rebellion (or the Boxer Uprising), a Chinese secret organization called the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists led an uprising in northern China against the spread of Western and Japanese influence there.
  • Period: to

    World War I

    World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918.
  • Tanks

    The first offensive using tanks took place on 15 September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme
  • Period: to

    Russian Civil War

    The Russian Civil War. The Russian Civil War was to tear Russia apart for three years – between 1918 and 1921. The civil war occurred because after November 1917, many groups had formed that opposed Lenin's Bolsheviks. These groups included monarchists, militarists, and, for a short time, foreign nations.
  • Period: to

    World War II

    World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis.
  • atomic bomb

    On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped its first atomic bomb from a B-29 bomber plane called the Enola Gay on Japanese city of Hiroshima. The “Little Boy” exploded with about 13 kilotons of force, leveling five square miles of the city and killing 80,000 people instantly.
  • Period: to

    Cold War

    The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989.
  • When the first hydrogen bomb was first tested

    The first series of thermonuclear tests conducted by the United States took place in November 1952 during Operation IVY. The first test took place on November 1, 1952 on the small Pacific island of Elugelab at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The explosion, nicknamed the "Mike Shot", was very successful
  • Period: to

    Rwandan Genocide

    The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi, Twa, and moderate Hutu in Rwanda, which took place between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War.
  • Period: to

    Second Congo War

    The Second Congo War began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 1998, little more than a year after the First Congo War, and involved some of the same issues. The war officially ended in July 2003, when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power.
  • MOAB

    The GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb is nicknamed MOAB. MOAB also stands for the “mother of all bombs”. 2. The bomb is a weapon that justifies the use of the word 'terrifying' to describe its power and marks a deadly ramping up of the US's military initiative abroad.
  • anti-satellite

    Anti-satellite missiles can be deployed against enemy satellites, disrupting crucial intelligence during war. India tested an anti-satellite weapon on Wednesday, saying the locally produced interceptor was used to destroy an object in orbit