Europe has had a colorful and exciting history and is famous for a great many things now. As such, it stands to reason that Europe would also have its fair share of European wars, and indeed there are countless wars and conflicts that have occurred in Europe throughout the ages and of course many that are still going on today. At the same time even where the wars were not ‘European wars’ per se, Europe has played a part in many of the largest wars in the world.
Starting with the two largest wars – World War 1 and World War 2, these were largely European affairs. Both were started over European disputes, and both were fought mainly across Europe. This started with World War 1 which arose out of tensions between Germany and England and France, and again with World War 2, the catalyst of which was Hitler forcibly invading Poland despite warnings. Much of World War 2 was then fought in France with the D-day landings being a particularly crucial event. Essentially then the world wars were really European wars, and Europe also had a big hand in the Cold War with the ‘iron curtain’ being drawn across Europe.
However we would tend to think of European wars more as the wars that occurred solely within Europe and there are no shortage of these either. The Eighty Years’ War, also known as the Dutch War of Independence, was a war that continued for eighty years between 1568 and 1648 and began as a revolution of the Seventeen Provinces, who at the time were under the rule of Philip II of Spain who was the Sovereign of the Hasburg Netherlands. The war ended when the Dutch Republic became recognised as independent.
Another famous Spanish war was that of the Spanish Civil War fought between 1936 and 1939. This war was an attempt by a selection of Spanish Army generals to overthrow the government of the time. This was partially successful leaving a divided Spain until the Nationalists overthrew the republican government at the time to create an authoritarian rule under Francisco Franco. England also had its own civil war in 1642-1651 between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists (actually three separate wars between the long parliament and King Charles I (twice) and the Rump Parliament and King Charles II). The battle ended in a parliamentary success and the execution of Charles I and the exile of Charles II. It is due to this war that English monarchs can no longer govern without the say so of the government. Another very famous examples of European wars was the Balkan wars in which many South Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro) attacked the Ottoman Empire and ended it’s rule in the Balkans between 1912 and 1913.
These are only a handful of European wars in a history rife with them. There have been countless other wars and smaller conflicts, and often the same countries have historically come head to head on multiple occasions such as Greece and Turkey and England and France. However this age of European wars seems happily mostly behind the continent and such wars are now fewer and far between. However European countries are still involved in conflicts, with Russia currently still fighting the Second Chechen War which began in 1999 in response to an the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade invading Dagestan; and with England playing a role in the war on terror.
This post was written by admin on November 2010