Questions pertaining to characteristics of armed forces' structure, manpower, equipment, or expenditures.

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Has ramming ever been considered a viable tanking tactic?

Has any nation's tank doctrine ever used ramming as a primary or secondary means of combat? I'm aware that Soviet tanks at the Battle of Kursk would ram German tanks once they (the Soviets) ran out of ...
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1answer
77 views

The end of swords as infantrymen sidearms [duplicate]

When did infantrymen of Western armies cease to be issued of swords as sidearms (and backup weapons), on a general basis?
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Are there any specific events which grants a soldier permission to execute a prisoner on sight? (Like in the movie: Fury)

I recently watched the movie Fury. Although the movie is full of historical inaccuracies as usual, there are some events looked very questionable to me. In a scene, the U.S. soldiers capture a ...
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3answers
257 views

Is there a precedent for private companies maintaining a military force? [closed]

In general we think of Corporations as not acting on nations with force, simply with legal power. (Perhaps they maintain a fleet of security guards). We generally think of Corporations as leaving the ...
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4answers
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What happened to aircraft if their aircraft carrier was damaged?

Obviously if a plane takes off from a carrier but can't return because the carrier is damaged or sunk, it has to go somewhere. Or if it can't reach an airfield, its crew would need to ditch it and ...
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1answer
112 views

Which countries have used rail bikes in their armed forces?

Some 15 years ago, I read an article on "rail biking" and as part of the article it showed pictures of soldiers riding the rails on rail bikes! I believe the photos were from between 1850 and 1950. ...
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5answers
8k views

Why did trench warfare accept deadlocks?

As someone who has never studied military history or strategy I find it very hard to understand how and why both sides got locked into relatively short lines of heavily defended trench warfare with ...
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5answers
418 views

How Did The Mongol Empire Get So BIG?

Undoubtedly, the largest empire in the existence of human history was the Mongol Empire, once a hodgepodge of warring nomadic tribes from Central Asia before banding together under the banner of ...
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4answers
536 views

Why did the German air force lose experienced pilots faster than the Allies, even though they were defending their home airspace?

During the 1940 Battle of Britain, German and British planes shot down each other at roughly a one to one rate. This gave an advantage to the British because all of the surviving German pilots shot ...
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3answers
337 views

Origin/reason for reversed flag on right shoulder?

Virtually any time the American flag is depicted or flown, it has the orientation seen in the following image, with the stars in the upper hoist (left) quarter of the flag: However, when the flag ...
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3answers
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Are there military commanders other than Khalid ibn al-Walid who have never been defeated?

I was reading about Khalid ibn al-Walid, a commander in the Muslim's era. What is interesting about him is that he was never been defeated in any of the hundred battles that he encountered. Are there ...
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11answers
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Lost battles - under which conditions does the losing party actively commemorate a battle?

I am trying to understand under which conditions battles are predominantly remembered and commemorated by the losing party (who acknowledge their defeat), not the victors. This is not who gets to ...
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3answers
315 views

Why did India use Soviet military hardware during the Cold War?

A former British colony, I'd have thought that India would use Western military hardware during the Cold War. In fact, they fought shoulder-to-shoulder with British soldiers against the Japanese. ...
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2answers
125 views

When & what are the first recorded peacetime uses of soldiers?

Today, military personnel are often used as a labour force to fulfil various peaceful functions, given that most soldiers aren't preoccupied with fighting wars in the most peaceful period of human ...
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1answer
87 views

Which leading Serbs and Croats argued against their own extremists in the wars 1992-95?

Looking back on the wars in Bosnia and Croatia twenty years on, and having read many of the histories of the period, I can't think of any accounts of commanders on either side behaving with vision or ...
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2answers
185 views

French Military uniform identification

I'm trying to identify the uniform in this picture of my great-great-great uncle Leon. The picture was taken some time between 1860 to 1890 we think. I've done image searches for uniforms from that ...
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2answers
311 views

When and why did tank crews cover their tank markings in WWII?

I'm currently working on a modeling project and would like to know why and when tank crews started to paint over their marking. I'm also interested in which force started the trend and why? I'm ...
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1answer
376 views

Why couldn't the UN lift the siege of Sarajevo?

The Siege of Sarajevo lasted for more than three years, and the people inside were very much trapped. This was in 1992, at which time the UN had ~40,000 troops, which it had mobilized for the specific ...
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6answers
350 views

How do nations maintain sovereignty over conquered nations?

After the battle of Hastings, William defeated the English with ~7000 men. What I don't understand fully, is how an army of 7000 can maintain control over England, which had around 1.7 million people ...
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2answers
191 views

Did any country adopt a straight pull bolt-action rifle?

I know that Canada developed the Ross-rifle, but was it officially adopted? I'm also interested in adoption not only for infantry, but for any armed forces.
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1answer
159 views

Historical precedent for using bodyguards as special forces?

In many sci-fi stories such as Star Wars (before TFA invalidated it) featured emperors, leaders, and senators with personal bodyguards trained in martial arts and advanced weaponry that also doubled ...
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3answers
382 views

Why did leaders seem to overlook diseases in their campaigns?

During military campaigns in the 19th century many soldiers died of diseases. Why did the military leaders not seem to pay as much attention to the importance of supply to the army? Let me give some ...
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1answer
213 views

How did the Romans build their armies for the First Punic War?

The Romans built a great and vast empire, my question is what were some of the military techniques they used to build, train, and use their army? Specifically during the period of the First Punic War. ...
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0answers
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Who participated in the Gran Sasso raid/Operation Eiche?

I am looking for a list of all soldiers who participated in the Gran Sasso raid/Operation Eiche. The Wikipedia list only the 4 who received Knight's Cross, and the 9 with German Cross in Gold. But ...
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1answer
274 views

Did Soviet Republics like Kazakstan and Azerbaijan have their own military units?

Were Soviet units typically separated by national origin or were all men from all Soviet nations mixed together in divisions? I'm not talking just through World War II, but from the 1940s all the way ...
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1answer
183 views

Which country/empire was the dominant hegemon for the longest time? [closed]

Say the USA has been the worlds most dominant power for 75 years. Before that one could argue the British Empire during the Victorian era, approx 1810 to 1915, was the world dominant power. Other ...
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1answer
195 views

Identification of Aircraft, Weimar, Germany, May, 1945

Identification of Aircraft, Weimar, Germany, May, 1945. ck.imgur.com/S83TI.jpg
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1answer
137 views

What happened to the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792?

We know that the Swiss guards were disbanded in the aftermath of the Assault on the Tuileries, on August 10, 1792, and all other Swiss troops in French service followed soon thereafter. We also know ...
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2answers
361 views

Why were the ship names “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” used together?

In the German Navy (both the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine), the two ship names of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were used together for sister ships; for example the SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau ...
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0answers
133 views

Special name for two rows of knights with raised swords?

Is there a special name to describe the formation of knights that form a row of arches with their swords (for a special person to walk through)? Was such a formation historically accurate, or only ...
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6answers
10k views

Why did navies abandon armour?

Over the Cold War the many navies of the world moved away from significant;y armouring their ships besides splinter protection for some vital spaces, with a few exceptions. What prompted the shift ...
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1answer
195 views

Was it possible for one medieval warrior to defeat several opponents? [closed]

I think that an experienced and equipped warrior (mercenary, for example) had no chance against two or more equal opponents in fight. But what if his opponents were three peasants? I heard a theory ...
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2answers
370 views

Did many Nationalist Chinese soldiers fight in the Korean War on the Communist side?

Some years ago I was told by some Taiwanese friends that Nationalist troops who had surrendered to the Communists during or after the Chinese Civil War were made to fight for the Communists rather ...
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1answer
373 views

Was 18th century Prussia really so militarily obsessed?

I'm reading A Military History of Germany by Martin Kitchen, and I was surprised at the description of 18th century Prussia. The country is described as a North-Korea like military obsessed nation, ...
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1answer
235 views

During the American Civil War, were cavalry units issued horses?

When a cavalry unit was raised during the Civil War, were the men issued with horses or did they use their personal horse? For example, 1st Arkansas cavalry (Union) was a western unit made up ...
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1answer
149 views

Which Union General identified the defensive value of Cemetery Hill?

Who was the first Union general to realize the significance of Cemetery Hill during the battle of Gettysburg (1863) as a defensive position: Buford, Reynolds, Howard, or Hancock? They each claim to be ...
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2answers
270 views

Did von Manstein push for mass production of late models PzKpfw IV over Panther or Tiger?

I read this claim somewhere, but cannot possibly find the source of it - did Erich von Manstein prefer large numbers of medium tanks PzKpfw IV over small numbers of heavy tanks?
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1answer
172 views

Why was the Cornish Militia stationed in Devon in late 18th Century?

On Genealogy & Family History SE, I asked a question about Finding late 18th Century service record of Francis Green in Cornish Militia?, and it looks like it will need a degree of luck to find ...
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2answers
371 views

Why some sections of Great Wall of China seem to be bidirectional?

Official historiography says that Great Wall of China is built "across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various ...
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1answer
198 views

Scandal at Annapolis in 1934

According to the Wikipedia article on Peyton Magruder he "resigned during his senior year of 1934 partially due to a scandal which has now become a part of Naval Academy lore." What was this scandal?
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1answer
182 views

Identification of location of ship yard or naval base

I need help in identifying the location of this ship yard or naval base.
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0answers
72 views

Why didn't Emperor Gaozu of Tang let Crown Prince Li Jiancheng command battles more often?

When Emperor Gaozhu of Tang (唐高祖) was reigning, there were a number of battles that were helmed by his second son, Li Shimin(李世民) instead of the crown prince Li Jiancheng(太子李建成), such as: The ...
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1answer
201 views

Why were Chinese divisions undersized?

Reading the orders of battle for the Second Sino-Japanese War, it seems that in the major battles, the Chinese side consistently fields large numbers of divisions, but not as many total troops as that ...
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2answers
258 views

What happened to the belongings of fallen Roman soldiers?

It seems that soldiers in Rome were very well paid, even after all their running costs and other expenses were removed. What I'm curious to know is where would a soldier have kept his excess funds, ...
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2answers
2k views

What was the tactical benefit of using flamethrowers as weapons?

I often hear stories of flamethrower troops storming the beaches of Iwo Jima and burning bunkers full of troops. But isn't it more risky to carry a tank of flammable liquid with limited fuel and ...
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1answer
415 views

Were Roman gladiators ever enlisted into the military?

Were Roman gladiators ever enlisted into the actual Roman military? I have heard of Roman soldiers becoming gladiators but not the other way around. I imagine this would only happen if the Roman ...
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1answer
209 views

Did Jiang Baili receive a sword from Emperor Meiji for graduating first of his class?

Jiang Baili was a famous Chinese military trainer who attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Some sources, including the Wikipedia article, claims that he graduated top of the class and that ...
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2answers
428 views

When did the German people learn that they had a large, powerful military, in violation of the Versailles Treaty?

According to the terms of the Versailles Treaty at the end of the First World War, Germany's military was limited to a force so tiny as to be utterly irrelevant in any major conflicts. When Hitler ...
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1answer
237 views

What would my 2x Great Grandfather and his unit in the British Army have been doing in South Africa between 1900-1902?

My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records. Which I have downloaded from FindMyPast, the images can be ...
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1answer
196 views

What would my 2x Great Grandfather and his unit in the British Army have been doing in India between 1891-1897?

My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records. Which I have downloaded from FindMyPast, the images can be ...