Calls have been made in recent years for the legal distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts to be removed. Also as of late, confusion regarding the applicable legal regime has been created by so-called transnational conflicts involving non-state entities. These situations do not fit naturally into the two traditional types of armed conflict recognized by IHL from 1949 onwards. The present article centres on how the legal divide that still exists between international and noninternational armed conflict can be explained historically. It aims to further the discussion on whether such a distinction is still relevant, as well as on how certain situations could be classified in the existing typology of IHL.