Historically, when there has been a notably significant revolution to overthrow the standing government, does the military typically defend the government or join the revolutionists?

closed as too broad by Semaphore Jan 17 at 2:05

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    Varies by the revolution. Usually the side the military joins is the successful side. But there are plenty of failed military coups. I think this question is too wide to answer. – Mark C. Wallace Jan 17 at 0:36
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    I'm not sure we can speak of a "typically" - this is entirely dependent on the circumstances, and often times the military itself splits. – Semaphore Jan 17 at 2:08

It depends on the issues and forces at stake. The communist revolution in Germany failed because the military, on the whole, remained with the establishment; whereas in Russia, this was not the case.

On the other hand, in the English and American Revolution there was a long, drawn-out civil warfare where both sides had a well equipped military.

And in Tianeman square, for a few days, it looked like it could go either way.

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