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It wasn't until much later, that I realized that the gallant knights were actually armed thugs. Not only did the knights keep Europe in the dark ages, for a thousand years, they massacred thousands of helpless Jews, during the Crusades.

They also managed to defeat the Arabs and Turks trying to conquer Europe. See, for example, the battle of Tours
and the battle of Vienna and the siege of Vienna

Warfare has destroyed many of the finest civilizations the world has seen, over and over again.

It has also preserved many of the finest civilizations.
See, for example, the battles of Salamis and Thermopylae

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