The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present
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Videos of American Military Intervention in Second Libyan Civil War (vs. ISIS)

Wars of Libya (1800-Present)

Libyan Flag

Libyan Flag under Gadaffi

Libyan Rebel Flag

Map of Libya

 Map of Libya


The History of Libya actually goes back to Biblical times and to the days of the Romans. Modern Libya has only been a nation since indpendence in years after World War Two. Below are the more recent wars and conflicts in Libyan history.

First Barbary War (1801-1805)--Also known in the West as the Tripolitanian War, this was a war between Tripoli and the United States. From this conflict, the United States Marine Corps Hymn uses the phrase "From the Shores of Tripoli..."

The Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912--Italy conquers Libya in a war against the Turks.

World War Two (1940-1943 in Libya)--Although Libya was occupied by Fascist Italy during World War Two, Libya was a battleground betweent the Italians and Germans on one side, and the British, Americans, and other Allies on the other side.

Khaddafi Coup d'etat (Sept. 1,1969)--The coup led by Colonel Muammar Khaddafi ended the monarchy, and began 42 years of rule by Khaddafi.

Military Coup Attempt (1975)

Libyan-Egyptian War (1977)--A brief four-day border war between Libya and Egypt.

Libyan Intervention in Uganda-Tanzania War (1978-1979)

Libyan invasion of Chad (occupation of Aouzou Strip) (1979)

Tobruk Army Revolt (1980)

Libyan invasion of Chad (1981)

U.S. Air raid against Tripoli and Benghazi (1986)


Libyan War 2011 (2011)-February 15, 2011--Protests against the Libyan government began

Foreign Intervention Began: March 19, 2011

Libyan Revolution Timeline


Second Libyan Civil War (2014-Present)-The Government of National Accord (GNA) battles against various factions and militias, including the Islamic State. The U.S. and allied nations joined the war officially in August, 2016 to fight ISIS in the city of Sirte. 




1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1999.

2. Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupey. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present New York, New York: Harper & Row. 1993.


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