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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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Polish boy scouts fighting in the uprising

The Warsaw Uprising was an armed struggle during the Second World War by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) to liberate Warsaw from German occupation and Nazi rule. It started on August 1, 1944 as a part of a nationwide uprising, Operation Tempest. The Polish troops resisted the German-led forces until October 2. An estimated 85% of the city was destroyed during the urban guerrilla war and after the end of hostilities. The Uprising started at a crucial point in the war as the Soviet army was approaching Warsaw. Although the Soviet army was within a few hundred metres of the city from September 16 onward, the link between the uprising and the advancing army was never made. This failure and the reasons behind it have been a matter of controversy ever since.

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Fight for the Bagration flèches

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI

A Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI. The Spitfire was an iconic British single-seat fighter used by the RAF and many Allied countries in the Second World War.
Photo credit: Chowells

Selected anniversaries

September 18

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Genocide • Peace • United Nations

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