Obscure Wars

Apr 2017
482
the coast
#31
I'd say many of the "Indian Wars" in the Pacific-Northwest are obscure enough to the casual historian, especially compared to perhaps better known events like the Plains Wars. Conflicts in the Pacific-Northwest region included the Yakima War of 1855-58, the Cayuse War of 1847-55, the Puget Sound War of 1855-56, the Rogue River Wars of the 1850s, and the Snake War of the 1860s. These conflicts might not be widely known to people from outside that region, but they were all important events in local US and Native-American history and many of those conflicts saw the removal of combatant tribes to reservations and the takeover of their homelands to white settlement.

I think the Nez Perce War of 1877 is a bit better known, mainly because of the famous personality of Chief Joseph.
 
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Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
4,867
Canary Islands-Spain
#33
At the time of the US Civil War, Spain reanexed Dominican Republic, in 1861.

An army of 52,000 men was sent to the island. A rebellion erupted in 1863, a war of almost no remarkable encounters, but marchs and countermarchs, and guerrilla. By 1865, after suffering 23,000 casualties (mostly to illness), Spain left the island.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
4,867
Canary Islands-Spain
#34
The Spanish invasion of Portugal in 1762 is one of the most obscure wars in Spanish history, as well as one of the more devastating defeat. You barely find three or four works in Spanish citying it.

The reasons are obvious:

Three Spanish armies attacked Portugal, one with the intention of taking Porto, another Lisbon, and laterly, another the Alentejo. In total, 52,000 Spanish troops plus 12,000 French. In front, 8,000 Portuguese and 7,100 British troops.

The catastrophe was appaling, once and again the Spanish armies failed their targets. Guerrilla actions deprived the invading forces of its supplies, and deaths began to amount.

Finally, casualties rose to 30,000... And the issue was forever forgotten.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,382
Las Vegas, NV USA
#35
The Spanish invasion of Portugal in 1762 is one of the most obscure wars in Spanish history, as well as one of the more devastating defeat. You barely find three or four works in Spanish citying it.

The reasons are obvious:

Three Spanish armies attacked Portugal, one with the intention of taking Porto, another Lisbon, and laterly, another the Alentejo. In total, 52,000 Spanish troops plus 12,000 French. In front, 8,000 Portuguese and 7,100 British troops.

The catastrophe was appaling, once and again the Spanish armies failed their targets. Guerrilla actions deprived the invading forces of its supplies, and deaths began to amount.

Finally, casualties rose to 30,000... And the issue was forever forgotten.
Would this be part of the Seven Years War?
 
Oct 2016
837
Merryland
#37
Why do you call these wars "obscure"? They were also fought in the daylight.
I'm in the U.S., and I'm better-read than most of my countrymen (false modesty aside), and I can tell you almost nobody knows about the GNW or the South American wars, at least outside of academia. Pop culture portrays every country south of Texas as mariachi music and periodic revolutions. Sweden? Those guys are always neutral, right?:confused:
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,083
Portugal
#38
I'm in the U.S., and I'm better-read than most of my countrymen (false modesty aside), and I can tell you almost nobody knows about the GNW or the South American wars, at least outside of academia. Pop culture portrays every country south of Texas as mariachi music and periodic revolutions. Sweden? Those guys are always neutral, right?:confused:
But what makes a War Obscure? The fact that some people didn’t read a book about it or the fact that we don’t have sources about it? Those wars can be found in any generic World/Universal History. We don’t need to be an academic to know about them.

I am in Portugal, and I don’t know much about the American Civil War or about WWII. Is the American Civil War an obscure one? Is WWII and obscure war?

For instance King Arthur makes plenty of appearances in the pop culture. But he is one of the most known obscure kings of history! The Wars of king Arthur… those are quite obscure!

That was what I was trying to say with the previous comment.
 
Oct 2016
837
Merryland
#39
But what makes a War Obscure? The fact that some people didn’t read a book about it or the fact that we don’t have sources about it? Those wars can be found in any generic World/Universal History. We don’t need to be an academic to know about them.

I am in Portugal, and I don’t know much about the American Civil War or about WWII. Is the American Civil War an obscure one? Is WWII and obscure war?

For instance King Arthur makes plenty of appearances in the pop culture. But he is one of the most known obscure kings of history! The Wars of king Arthur… those are quite obscure!

That was what I was trying to say with the previous comment.
good point re; Arthur. literature--the intellectual equivalent of pop culture--has celebrated him ('Morte d'Arthur'), but there are no epics about Vauban or Charles II (at least none that I know of).
and 'obscure' can be regional. I'm sure many Paraguayans know about the triple alliance war and not much about the US Civil War.

maybe we define as 'wars few non-historians know much about'.
 
Jan 2010
3,983
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#40
I think a good one is the War of the Pacific in the 19th century between Chile and Peru-Bolivia. Thanks to Bolivia is landlocked and there is still massive resentment caused by the loss of Bolivia's Pacific coast to Chile.

Then there is the Great Northern War (1700-1721) which ended the Swedish Empire.

Another one is the War of the Triple Alliance fought between 1864 and 1870 with Paraguay against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Paraguay lost 70% of adult male population. There were around 400,000 deaths, making it the bloodiest conflict in South American history.
None of these is what I would call obscure, particularly, in the case of the first and third, if you're from South America or have been there.

The first and the third are very sad wars. I recall seeing an exhibition at the National Archaeological, etc , Museum of Peru which listed all the reasons why Peru/Bolivia lost. If I'm not mistaken, Bolivia is still working on ways to get access to the Pacific.
 

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