Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

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Futurist
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Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 20 Jan 2021 22:41

Which wars of conquest throughout history could realistically be described as being the most ambitious? I could think of Nazi Germany's desire to conquer Lebensraum in the entire European part of the Soviet Union during World War II as well as of the US's war with Mexico in 1846-1848 (the Mexican-American War) in order to acquire a lot of additional space for the US's growing population. There were also, of course, Saddam Hussein's wars in Iran and Kuwait, which were not territorially ambitious but were nevertheless ambitious in another war--specifically with him (and his Iraq) aiming to control a much larger percentage of the Middle East's and world's oil reserves, thus making it even easier for Iraq to become wealthy and to extort and blackmail other countries with its vast oil reserves. Anyway, though, which additional examples of this were there?

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 21 Jan 2021 01:28

For the record, I want to specifically focus on the last couple of centuries here and on conquests that were actually aimed to subsequently be directly annexed to the motherland/metropole--such as French Algeria.

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henryk
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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by henryk » 22 Jan 2021 02:12

There is the War of !812, to more than double the US.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 22 Jan 2021 03:38

True; failed but definitely ambitious!

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jan 2021 13:25

Hi Guys,

It has to be the USSR. Nobody else ever had a public plan for a single world government and you can't get more ambitious than that, unless you go for the moon as well, which they also tried.

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Sid.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 22 Jan 2021 22:33

That was only true for the Lenin-era USSR, no?

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jan 2021 13:50

Hi Futurist,

I guess it was still technically policy until the Comintern was dissolved in the middle of WWII.

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Sid.

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henryk
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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by henryk » 23 Jan 2021 20:30

Resurrected with Putin. Example Crimea.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jan 2021 22:11

Hi henryk,

I see Putin as in the more limited Hitler-reclaiming-lands-lost-at-Versailles mode - trying to regain, as he sees it, territory that he considers historically Russian that was lost with the break up of the USSR. This includes all of Ukraine and Belarus and quite a bit more.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 23 Jan 2021 22:35

henryk wrote:
22 Jan 2021 02:12
There is the War of !812, to more than double the US.
That expansion happened in 1803 by purchase from France.

ETA: I was going to mention the Golden Horde until I saw that it was outside the timeline mentioned above.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 24 Jan 2021 01:37

Thumpalumpacus wrote:
23 Jan 2021 22:35
henryk wrote:
22 Jan 2021 02:12
There is the War of !812, to more than double the US.
That expansion happened in 1803 by purchase from France.
I think that he was talking about the failed US attempt to conquer Canada here.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 24 Jan 2021 01:39

Sid Guttridge wrote:
23 Jan 2021 22:11
Hi henryk,

I see Putin as in the more limited Hitler-reclaiming-lands-lost-at-Versailles mode - trying to regain, as he sees it, territory that he considers historically Russian that was lost with the break up of the USSR. This includes all of Ukraine and Belarus and quite a bit more.

Cheers,

Sid.
Yep, similar to Miklos Horthy and non-Nazi German nationalists in the interwar era such as Gustav Stresemann.

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Steve
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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Steve » 24 Jan 2021 19:22

So, Putin is hoping to restore the Communist Empire which presumably means in Europe taking over the Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. I suspect that people are taking western news media and NATO statements on what Russian intentions are at face value. Given the huge force imbalance in favour of NATO which is comparable to that of pre war Germany and Poland it is very unlikely that Russia is seriously contemplating such a scenario. For those who do not believe this I would suggest adding up the defence budgets of the NATO countries and comparing the total to Russia’s defence budget. Putin once said something along the lines that you would have to be mad to attack a NATO member. Even though Belarus and Ukraine are not NATO members an all out Russian attack on these countries would likely elicit a NATO response.

Though an attack by Russia on a NATO country can be ruled out further NATO expansion east cannot. The Ukraine would like to join NATO but at present with an ongoing military conflict in the east it can’t. Ukraine joining NATO would very likely be a red line for Russia and if NATO were to seek a conflict this would be the way to go. Maybe Putin does want to annex the eastern part of Ukraine but I would suggest one reason for keeping the conflict simmering is to prevent Ukraine joining NATO.

If Khrushchev had decided in 1954 not to transfer the Crimea from the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic there would now be no issue with the Crimea. Of course It depends on who does the illegal takeover or breakaway as to whether a blind eye is turned on the matter or not.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Jan 2021 23:12

Hi Steve,

I doubt he thinks it practicable to restore the Russian Empire. Russia is too stretched already to think about occupying 14 other countries, most of whom don't want to be Russian. However, he can reclaim ethnic Russians (Crimea) and perhaps peacefully reabsorb Belarus, which has Russian-leaning leadership already. He probably doesn't regard Ukrainians as non-Russian, and ideally would like Ukraine back, but the war over the Donbas has stoked Ukrainian nationalism and undermined any possibility of that happening peaceably in his lifetime, if not ever. If I remember correctly, 40% of Kazakhstan's population were Russian in 1990, but so many have left since that using them as a lever has been drastically weakened as well.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Most ambitious wars of conquest throughout history?

Post by Futurist » 25 Jan 2021 00:30

Kazakhstan is now slightly less than 20% Russian, I believe. Maybe around 25% if one includes the remaining Slavs and Europeans there. But still declining even today since Kazakhs are likely MUCH more fertile.

As for Belarus, I think that even they developed a sufficiently strong national identity to oppose being reabsorbed by Russia by now.

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