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Difference Between War and Battle

War vs Battle

Battle and war are two closely related concepts and also the most confused ones. There are many who cannot differentiate between the two and even use them interchangeably which is a wrong practice. This article will highlight these differences clearly to remove all doubts from the minds of such readers.

The history of human civilization is replete with wars and battles. There have been thousands of wars involving even more battles. Does this give you a clue? No? Let us move forward. When a doctor, jubilant, as he discloses a new vaccine developed in the fight against cancer, says that this is an important battle won against this deadly disease, he means that the fight is long and the war is yet to be won. A war is a mission that is not over till the objective is achieved and battles are mere interludes that help as small goals to move forward to the final objective.

Two World Wars come straight to our minds whenever we talk or think about wars. These were historic events full of large scale destruction of property and loss of innumerable lives, but all devastation did not take place in a day or at one place at a point in time. These World wars comprised of lots of battles that were fought between rival countries at different fronts. Battles are important, but they do not constitute whole picture by themselves. It is when all the battles are taken into perspective that one understands their importance in a war.

When two countries are at war with each other, they get engaged in many pitched battles over a long time period. Some battles are won by one country while some others are won by the other country. But war is won by the country that wins decisively defeating the other country. If war is a big picture, battles are like jigsaw puzzles that complete the big picture. A war is all the battles taken together and the outcome of a war is not dependent upon a single battle which is why there is a saying, “You may have won a battle, not the war”.

Have you seen a boxing match between two players? It comprises of several rounds and the winner is the player who wins more rounds or earns more points in all rounds taken together. Here the match can be considered as the war while rounds can be considered as battles. A player may have won all previous rounds but if the opponent knocks him over in the final round, he is declared as the winner.

In brief:

Difference Between War and Battle

• A battle is a small part in a war and a war is made up of several battles

• Battle is actual fighting that takes place while war is more of strategy and planning

• Battle is the real action in a war

• The outcome of a battle does not decide the winner of a war

• Battles are of smaller duration than wars


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