The history of Europe is a long and muddled affair. This video doesn't convey all the detail of what happened and when but it does a great job giving an overview of events. It suddenly makes it clear why everyone speaks half a dozen languages: their ancestors had to pass through three countries on their way to work in the morning.
I also wonder how closely related the history of mining is to the overall history of Europe. Did the big wars require steel and tin and copper for weapons or were some of the wars for control of gold and silver mines?