• Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)

    The Battle of Waterloo was the last in an array of battles which together formed the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). In 2015 the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo has taken place. TracesOfWar takes you back to the battlefield where little has changed in all those years. We'll show you the important sites including the final victory of Napoleon at Ligny, the delaying actions of the Prince of Orange at Quatre Bras and the main battlefield around Waterloo where the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon.

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  • Crimean War (1853-1856)

    The Crimean War was a battle between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire with the support of amongst others the United Kingdom and France. From a Russian viewpoint it was aimed mainly at protecting the Orthodox Christians who were under Islamic domination. Moreover, it was an excellent opportunity to expand their territory at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. The British and the French mainly fought this battle for economic purposes. Unique for that time, was that the British media comprehensively reported about the war with photos and news items. It was the first time that so many war photographers and journalists were sent to the battlefield to report about the war, which resulted in a strong interaction between the front and those at home.

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  • American Civil War (1861-1865)

    The American Civil War, known in America as the Civil War, took place from 1861 to 1865 between the Northern Union (The United States of America) and the Southern Confederation (Confederate States of America). In the end the North won and slavery was abolished. Approx. 625,000 lives were lost and many were injured.

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  • Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)

    The French-German War, also known as the Franco-Prussian War, took place from 1870 to 1871 between France and a couple of German states governed by Prussia. Prussia won and this led to the foundation of a new German Kingdom. About 150,000 soldiers died and many were injured.

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  • Lombok Expedition (1894)

    The Lombok Expedition, also known as the Lombok War or The Lombok Betrayal, was a military conflict between the former Dutch East Indies and the princedom Lombok. It consisted of two subsequent expeditions with the aim to support the Sasaks people on the island in their battle against oppression by the Balinese. The Dutch Indies army succeeded in conquering the area and to dethrone the monarch. The area was redivided and remained under Dutch government. The riches of the monarch, his family members and the local people, consisting of 200 kilos of gold, well over 7000 kilos of silver and countless jewels and precious stones, were seized by the Dutch. This so-called Lombok treasure was largely returned to the Indonesian government in the 1970s. Some pieces, including the Lombok diamond, can still be seen in Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden.

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  • Second Boer War (1899-1902)

    The Second Boer War took place between 1899 to 1902 between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State and the British Kingdom. Immediate cause of the war was the many years’ tension between the Dutch farmers and the British after the First Boer War. It ended in favour of the British Republic and the end of Transvaal as an independent state. In this war 80,000 lives were lost; mostly women and children who died in concentration camps.

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  • First World War (1914-1918)

    The First World War, also known as the Great War, took place from 1914 to 1918. It took place on many different fronts and many lives were lost. This war is mostly known as a trench war, which took place in the Belgian and French countryside. Many soldiers died in the trenches due to cannons, poison gas and gunfire. If you have ever visited a war cemetery from the First World War, you must have noticed that many graves are dated from a later period, some even 1919. These were mostly victims of the Spanish flu, which broke out in 1918. The war ended on 11 November 1918 and was won by the Allied Powers. The Great War is still commemorated in several countries. In the United Kingdom, this 11th of November is also the national Remembrance Day for all war victims of the wars that took place after the Great War.

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  • Russische Burgeroorlog (1917-1922)

    The Russian revolutions in the spring of 1917 put a stop to the monarchy of the Russian Empire. The tsar was dethroned and soon after that the Bolsheviks led by Lenin took over the power. The opponents of the Bolsheviks formed the White army led by several Tsarist Generals. They were supported by several Western countries in their battle against the Bolshevik Red Army. In the beginning, the Red Army quickly lost terrain. However, the shattered White Army was severely weakened because of a lack of good cooperation within army command, which gave the Red Army the chance to turn the tide. The Red Army won the war, which in addition resulted in the independence of Finland and the Baltic states: Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

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  • Pools-Russische Oorlog (1919-1921)

    The Polish-Soviet War took place from 1919 to 1921 between the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Second Polish Republic. Cause of the war was an attempt by the Second Polish Republic to expand their territory, and because the Russians wanted to use Polish territory as a transit route to other communist territories. The war ended in a cease-fire and resulted in a permanent border between both countries. In total around 200,000 people lost their lives in this war.

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  • Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

    The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939 between a nationalist fraction and the Second Republic of Spain. The right-wing nationalists staged a coup because they disagreed with the left-wing policy of the republicans. The nationalists won the war and it led to the foundation of a military dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco. Around 500,000 people were killed in this war.

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  • Second World War (1939-1945)

    The Second World War took place from 1939 to 1945 and was fought on several fronts between the Axis powers (mainly Germany and Japan) and the Allied Powers (mainly the Soviet Union, the United States of America and the British Commonwealth). This war was characterized by the huge number of civilian casualties and the gigantic scale of the theatre of war. The war ended in 1945 in the advantage of the Allied Powers. In total more than 70 million people lost their lives, including approx. 50 million civilians.

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  • Indonesian National Revolution (1945-1949)

    The Indonesian National Revolution was effectively two relatively short offensive operations, conducted by the Dutch armed forces during the Indonesian war of independence. The first operation took place from 21 July until 5 Augustus 1947 and the second one from 19 December 1948 to 5 January 1949. The operations served to restore the Dutch authority in the area, after it had been lost at the end of the Second World War. In total around 5,000 Dutch soldiers lost their lives. Many of them still have their final resting place on the Dutch military cemeteries in Indonesia.

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  • First Indochine War (1946-1954)

    The First Indochina War, also known as the Vietnamese war of independence took place from 1946 to 1954 between the French Union Française and the Viet Minh. It ended by the Vietminh winning and the country being divided in North and South Vietnam. Around 400,000 people died, including 75,000 Frenchmen.

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  • Korean War (1950-1953)

    The Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953 between the communistic North Korea, supported by China and Russia, and the Western-oriented South Korea, which was supported by the United Nations (UN). The war ended with a truce between the fighting parties, but a peace treaty was never signed. Around 2 million people lost their lives during this war, including tens of thousands UN soldiers.

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  • Algerian War (1954-1962)

    The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian war of independence took place from 1954 to 1962 between France and the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). The FLN won, after which Algeria was recognised by France as an independent country. About 350,000 people died, amongst which 17,500 Frenchmen.

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  • Vietnam War (1955-1975)

    The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, took place from 1955 to 1975 between the communistic North Vietnam, supported by China and Russia, and the western-oriented South Vietnam, supported by the United States of America. North Vietnam eventually won. The war would go down in the history books as the first ever war lost by the United States. More than 2 million people were killed during this war, including more than 58,000 Americans.

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  • Lebanese Civil War (1975-present)

    The Lebanese Civil War started in 1975 and was a battle between the different religious groupings in Lebanon. Israel and Syria were also actively involved. As of 1978 an international peacekeeping force, UNIFIL, was stationed here, with militaries from dozens of countries, including the Netherlands. From 1982 the MNF, with militaries from the US, France, Italy and the United Kingdom were added to it, but after a couple of major bomb attacks resulting in many victims, it was discontinued in 1984. The Lebanese Civil War officially ended in 1990, but at present UNIFIL is still active in the area, deactivating mines among other activities. About 250,000 people died in the Lebanese Civil War, including hundreds of soldiers from the international military forces.

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  • Falklands War (1982)

    The Falklands War started on 2 April 1982 when Argentinian troops occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. In response to this occupation, the United Kingdom sent a special task force to the Falklands to reconquer it from the Argentinians. South Georgia was reconquered without much battle, but in June 1982 heavy battle took place on the Falkland Islands. In addition many ships were attacked, resulting in many lives lost. The Falklands War ended on 20 June 1982 when the remaining Argentinian troops on the islands surrendered. 258 British died (255 British military personnel and 3 Falkland islanders) and 649 Argentine military personnel (323 of which lost their lives when the Argentinian light cruiser “ARA General Belgrano” was sunk). Argentina still claims the islands.

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  • Gulf War (1990-1991)

    On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded neighbouring country Kuwait. The reason for this war was the increased tensions due to the debt of Iraq owed to Kuwait after the Iraq-Iran War. Moreover, Kuwait was accused of oil drillings on Iraq territory and of overproduction of oil, resulting in a decrease in the price of oil. The United States and coalition troops, consisting of 34 Western, African and Asian countries supported Kuwait in this war. The Netherlands and Belgium also took part. After just a couple of months, the Iraqi troops were driven away from Kuwait.

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