Cover image for Dictionary of wars
Dictionary of wars
Kohn, George C.
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts On File, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 614 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D25.A2 K63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
D25.A2 K63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
D25.A2 K63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D25.A2 K63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



Updated and expanded, this dictionary is an authoritative source on the global conflicts, civil wars, mutinies, punitive expeditions, undeclared wars, rebellions, and revolutions that have occurred throughout the world, spanning more than 4,000 years. This edition contains new and updated entries, new illustrations, and new front and back matter. Approximately 1,850 entries are extensively cross-referenced, dealing exclusively with military information.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This single-volume work attempts to list and describe the major human conflicts from 2000 B.C. to the present. Claiming more than 1,700 entries, it lists for each entry the name(s) of the conflict, the date(s), how it began, the opposing sides, a brief summary of events, and the outcome or significance of the conflict. War is perhaps a misleading term since wars, aspects of a conflict, and individual battles all can have entries. The scope is worldwide and Kohn treats the Third World fairly, describing conflicts little known to the average U.S. citizen. To further set things in context, the birth, death, or activity dates of major individuals are also noted in the text. The emphasis is primarily military, but political and social backgrounds are also given. The arrangement is alphabetical by keyword (e.g., Jenkin's Ear, War of), and there are copious cross-references to guide the user to the entry from variant and alternate names. When a series of conflicts occurred, the arrangement within an entry is chronological (e.g., Dutch Wars) following the development of renewed fighting over time. Running heads on each page make finding one's way easy. The name index is straightforward and the geographical index has the wars arranged chronologically under the country names. The entries themselves are of varying lengths and reflect Kohn's perception of what is important. They are concise without being too short and avoid the opposite trap of too much detail as well. The prose is very readable and it is easy to be sidetracked into looking at entries having nothing to do with the original question one is trying to resolve. Of the entries checked, the accuracy is satisfactory. One can always find flaws in a work and this is no exception. The entry Sonderbund, War of the is misspelled in the geographical index under Switzerland as ``Sounderbund, War of the.'' There is no entry for the Conselheiro Insurrection of 1897 in Brazil, a more serious flaw considering that Mario Vargas Llosa based his novel War of the End of the World upon it. The most serious shortcoming of this work is the lack of maps. One is required to use Dictionary of Wars with a good historical and/or military history atlas at hand. Of the several that exist, Arthur Banks' multivolume World Atlas of Military History (Seeley Service; dist. by Hippocrene, 1973-) is recommended as easy to use. This work compares favorably with existing works in the field. Only David Eggenberger's Dictionary of Battles (Crowell, 1967) compares as a single-volume work with the same level of detail. Eggenberger included a few maps, but in the nearly 20 years since his book was issued humanity has added a few more wars to the list and Kohn is up-to-date on that score. In sum, Dictionary of Wars is a very good single-volume work chronicling the major conflicts of the world. It is up-to-date and has concise but informative entries. It has the additional virtue of being browsable, of being enjoyable to read for leisure as well as for researching specific wars. Academic libraries and medium-sized to large public libraries will find this a worthwhile addition to their collections and smaller libraries should consider it if they have nothing else on the subject though they will need supplemental cartographic material.

Choice Review

An informative and easy-to-use source for concise information on more than 1,700 conflicts dating from 2000 BCE to the 1980s. Each entry contains military information but includes political, social, and/or cultural aspects as well. Major personalities in each war are listed with birth and death dates. Kohn defines war ``fairly broadly,'' hence includes entries for raids, massacres, sieges, mutinies, and extended campaigns and battles (e.g., Battle of Britain). Dictionary of Wars complements and, to a degree, updates existing single-volume reference sources on military history including Trevor Dupuy's more extensive Encyclopedia of Military History (2nd rev. ed., 1986; rev. ed., CH, Jul '77) and David Eggenberger's Encyclopedia of Battles (1985, rev. ed.). Kohn provides cross-references that are especially useful for conflicts known by more than one name (e.g., Suez War, See Arab-Israeli War of 1956) and that link together relevant conflicts. The geographic index also serves as a chronology to conflicts, and a name index further facilitates the use of this source. For undergraduates and general readers at academic and public library collections with an interest in military history.-C.M. Getchell Jr., Wake Forest University



Praise for the previous edition: ...provides answers to the old questions of who, where, when, what, why and how on the more than 1,700 recorded wars in human history from 2000 b.c. to the present. - Stars & Stripes Dictionary of Wars, Revised Edition contains detailed summaries of all notable wars from throughout history, spanning more than 4,000 years. It is an authoritative source of information on the global conflicts, civil wars, mutinies, punitive expeditions, undeclared wars, rebellions, and revolutions that have occurred throughout the world. Facts are presented in a lively and engaging manner, and the scope of the book is truly impressive. More than 1,800 entries are extensively cross-referenced to help readers find the information they want. The book deals exclusively and concisely with military information, often specifying political, social, economic, and cultural influences on military operations. New coverage includes: The Persian Gulf War The civil war in Bosnia and Yugoslavia Hostilities in Chechnya, Rwanda, Somalia, Zaire, Liberia, Albania, Mexico, and Azerbaijan The American and French Revolutions Bolshevik Revolution War of the Oranges The Franco-Prussian War Norman Conquest Six-Day War Zulu War and more. Excerpted from Dictionary of Wars All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vi
Preface to the First Editionp. vii
Entries A-Zp. 1
Geographical Indexp. 557
Index of Namesp. 595