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Introduction

War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

The scholarly study of war is sometimes called polemology (/ˌpɒləˈmɒləi/ POL-ə-MOL-ə-jee), from the Greek polemos, meaning "war", and -logy, meaning "the study of".

While some scholars see war as a universal and ancestral aspect of human nature, others argue it is a result of specific socio-cultural or ecological circumstances.

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German troops parade through Warsaw, Poland on October 5, 1939.

The Polish September Campaign was the conquest of Poland by the armies of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small contingent of Slovakian forces during the Second World War. The campaign began on 1 September 1939 following a German-staged attack. This military operation, which saw the first use of Blitzkrieg tactics, marked the start of the Second World War in Europe as the invasion led Poland's allies, the United Kingdom and France, to declare war on Germany on September 3. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Red Army invaded the eastern regions of Poland. The Soviets were acting in co-operation with Nazi Germany, carrying out their part of the secret appendix of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (the division of Europe into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influence). The campaign ended on 6 October 1939, with Germany and the Soviet Union occupying the entirety of Poland.

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Featured picture

Chateau Wood Ypres 1917

Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, October 29, 1917. The photo was taken in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, which was one of the major battles of World War I.
Photo credit: Frank Hurley

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