Featured Answers

Active contributors today


Pol Pot


He was born Saloth Sar in 1928 but kept this name a closely guarded secret. He died in 1998. He led or participated various versions of the Cambodian Communists sometimes referred to as the Khmer Rouge. He was Premier of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979.

He organized the mass killings of about a million Cambodians. It is possible to visit detention areas and mass graves near Penom Penh. Survivors are available at a museum to give their remembrance of those times. Their are few very old people in Cambodia as they did not survive.

The Vietnamese Army retook Phnom Penh in 1979 and removed the Khmer Rouge Government. With few allies the Khmer Rouge kept up a low level war against the new central government. A cease fire finally took hold in 2000.

Weariness at the eternal conflict a time of relative peace and reconstruction has prevailed. There is renewed political tension of late.

Cambodia has a great number of mines and unexploded ordinance from various wars including the American Vietnamese War.



Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is a strategic concept connected with the ability of two or more superpowers to annihilate each other denying final victory in an armed confrontation.


In our modern history MAD became a reality because of nuclear weapons that can be deployed worldwide (through ballistic missiles) and have the destruction capability to obliterate entire nations. Before the fifties wars could be won by one or other opponent leaving the winner in a position of prominence even if scarred and heavily damaged in the process (Soviet Union "won" WWII but at the cost of millions of dead and huge destructions to her infrastructure).

In modern times the strategy is to assure the impossibility for the enemy to survive the war and to assure that it will be destructed anyway regardless of the result, so that instead of risking a self-destructive war it will not attack.
It is like to play a game where you cannot win...it becomes useless to play the game.

Strategic Christian Services

Some weapons or systems were introduced to try to bypass this strategy: the "Star Wars" program launched during the Reagan presidency was supposed to intercept (using lasers or other missiles) the incoming nuclear missiles denying the enemy the ability to strike or reducing its effectiveness. The Soviets introduced fake warheads to divert and saturate the interception capability of the system.

Massive and fast first strikes were studied to destroy the primary launch sites of the enemy leaving them with a reduced number of warheads not sufficient to operate the MAD strategy...as usual the countermeasure was discovered as to place missiles on movable platforms (submarines or lorries) to be able to move them and hide them from the enemy (securing their survivability).


1) Queretaro. 2) 1867. 3) Mariano Escobedo.


The 4th question is more difficult to answer.
I could not find an exact date for the demobilization of the French (and Belgian) troops from Mexico. But I expect this did not happen long after the defeat of Queretaro on May 15th 1867 and the execution of Maximilian on June 19 of the same year.
As for the repatriation of the Emperor's "mortal coil" to Austria, this also happened in 1867 as requested by his brother Franz Joseph the Austro-Hungarian Emperor.

The 5th question requires answering one that you did not ask:
"Why did the French occupy Mexico in the first place?".
This background, it seems to me, is necessary to understand why they were militarily forced to leave.

enter image source here Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico

In 1865 Mexico was in a terrible economical quagmire. Their revolution had given them independence (twice) but the war with the United States and the building of infrastructure had covered the treasury with unsolvable debts. In those days it was accepted practice for a creditor country to send the army to collect its dues. Bear in mind that people would normally go to prison for debts. Just read Dickens to learn how bad it was.

France was among the most exposed of Mexico’s creditors and, foreseeing a highly probable default, Louis Napoleon conceived an extraordinary plan. He would, "indirectly", occupy the country but, instead of forcefully exacting the sum due, France would further invest in a submissive economy and foster the industrial development of Mexico in order to create an commercial power on the American continent capable of competing with the United States. The time seemed particularly favourable as, in those years, the US was fighting its own Secession War and was not likely to intervene south of its border.

The term "indirectly" is important because, instead of sending a member of the French Imperial dynasty to govern the vassal state, which would have made the plan too obvious and open to English and Prussian opposition, Louis Napoleon opted for the nearest eligible not-yet-crowned head in the vicinity who happened to be Maximilian, brother of the Austrian Emperor.

enter image source here

Under those terms, the dominance of France in the agreement was benignly acknowledged by all parties and Maximilian left Vienna with full backing and military escort of the French Army.

All parties, as I used it here above, included of course France, England, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Belgium, Prussia and such other non-significant powers as Spain, Portugal and the Pope.
It failed however to include the United States and Mexico who, inevitably, felt excluded and excedingly affected by the deal.

Neither of them welcomed the presence of a European power on American soil and, particularly Mexico, on their own.
Mexico had been independent, with numerous vicissitudes, rebellions and military coups for a long time. They were certainly not ready to accept a foreign occupation worse than the Spanish one that they had overthrown in 1921.
Hence the rebellion, the battle of Queretaro, and the execution of Maximilian who paid with his life for the last attempt of a Franco-American Empire.

I might have given you more than what you expected, but I had fun writing it and I hope you will enjoy reading it.


The Treaty of Versailles stuck Germany with a war debt that crippled their economy..


The wording of the treaty, signed on November 11, 1918, held Germany solely responsible for "causing all the loss and damage" during the war, including that caused by the other Central Powers, and put Germany on the hook for reparations to the victorious Allies.

The cost, nearly half a trillion dollars in today's money, kept the postwar Weimar Republic (Germany)'s economy dismal during the 1920s, transferred some of their western lands (the prime mining and farming land) to France, and left Germany doubly vulnerable to the Great Depression that started in America but affected most of the world.

The cost was so ridiculously high that it made reneging on the debt a popular political cause, a major factor in Hitler's rise to power, and a major cause of the second World War.


He was the driving force behind the unification...


It is not widely enough known (at least in the US) that, prior to 1870, Germany was not a single nation, but instead was a confusingly subdivided jigsaw puzzle of kingdoms, duchies, principalities, and so forth.

Some of these were large, such as Prussia and Bavaria, but many were quite small. As the 19th century wore on, a national aspiration for unification grew stronger among the German speaking peoples in these entities. The largest, and most militarily powerful, was the kingdom of Prussia in the northern part of what is now Germany.

The Prussian kings saw themselves as the natural leaders of a unified Germany, but weren't quite confident of being able to accomplish unification. The great fear was that their large and powerful neighbors Russia and Austria would intervene militarily to prevent German unification.

Otto von Bismarck was named Minister President and Foreign Minister of Prussia in the early 1860s, and is widely held to have steered Prussia's policies brilliantly. He engineered a series of wars (against Denmark in 1863, Austria in 1866, and, finally, France in 1870), each of which Prussia won convincingly due to the efficient Prussian Army. Bismarck's genius was to arrange (via diplomacy) that each of these losing nations were first isolated diplomatically, so that Prussia only had to fight one enemy at a time.

The tremendous prestige Prussia earned from these military victories enabled Prussia to declare the creation of the German Empire. They did this in the palace of Versailles - the residence of the Kings and Emperors of defeated France, in 1870.

Bismarck wasn't done after this - he continued to serve until the early 1890s, and redirected the new German Empire's policy towards peace. He is given credit for steering German policy during these years with as much genius as he showed in the unification of Germany.


I wonder what war you are talking about, and whether it is WW1 or WW2.
WW1 mainly began to turn around in 1918.
WW2 mainly began to turn around on June 6, 1944 after the D-Day landings in Normandy.


The war on the western front in WW1 was a battle of attrition, with the constant bombarding of either side and waste of life as hundreds of men were sent 'over the top' into no man's land.

In 1916, the British produced the first Tanks, and used them at the Battle of the Somme, which was designed to be the beginning of the finishing blows against the Germans, however the Germans had dug in and were able to withstand the week long heavy bombardment and the mines set off. When the bombardment stopped, they were able to get back in time to their machine guns and mow down the lines of allied troops in no man's land.
This made the Somme a tragedy, but the new tanks were shown to be great assets in trench warfare, and could break through the deadlock the two sides had created.

The turning point of the first world war happened mainly after the German Spring Offensive in 1918, which was incredibly successful at first, but the supply lines got stretched so far, the troops had to retreat, surrender or threaten being destroyed by the allied armies. After that, the Germans continued the retreat back into Germany, where on the 11 of November in 1918, the armistice was signed and WW1 ended.

WW2 on the western front began to turn after the invasion of Normandy, France, in 1944, where a seaborne attack onto the beaches of Normandy took place.
Special tanks and weapons were formed to get on to the beaches, clear them of defenses and their defenders.
These tanks included the Duplex Drive Sherman- literally a swimming tank, the Churchill crocodile- a flame thrower tank, the Sherman/Churchill minesweepers and many more, I'd recommend reading into the topic.

There was also nightly bombing raids on Normandy before the invasion took place, to soften up some of the defenses, and the night of the invasion, Allied gliders and parachutists were sent in to capture and hold key strategic points such as bridges until the troops on the Normandy beaches could relieve them.

This invasion was a key turning point against Germany in Western Europe in WW2, and could be believe to have helped secure much of Europe from the Soviet Union, whom were on the offensive at this point in the war, most likely would have kept going until they reached the English Channel, which would have led us to see a much more different Europe than the one we have today.

Hope this answers your question, and educates you on the other War in Western Europe.

View more
Ask a question Filters
This filter has no results, see all questions.
Question type

Use these controls to find questions to answer

Need double-checking
Practice problems
Conceptual questions