Questions tagged [military]

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

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3
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0answers
221 views

Is The King (2019) historically realistic?

The King (2019) by Netflix is about king Henry V. A few aspects of the movie struck me as either unbelievable, or contradicting what little even I know about history. In no particular order: The ...
22
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6answers
8k views

Was it ever possible to join the US military instead of going to prison for a crime?

It is pretty clear that today the US military is an all volunteer force and it is not allowed to take people who are joining to avoid going to prison. Was there ever a time when a judge could sentence ...
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2answers
607 views

Why did Stephen II of Blois (father of King Stephen of England) abandon the First Crusade in 1098 knowing how much he would lose by doing so?

Having taken the crusader’s vow and raised an army of thousands, why did Stephen II of Blois forsake the enormous prestige associated with crusading and risk shame and accusations of cowardice by ...
2
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1answer
96 views

For how many years in the eighteenth century were Russian soldiers present within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth borders?

For modern Poland, the answer is rather simple. Russian, and later Soviet soldiers, were stationed inside the Polish borders for almost the whole 19th and 20th centuries (with a notable exception for ...
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1answer
351 views

Rifle with bayonet thrown like a javelin

I mean certainly there had to be a circumstance at one point where a soldier's only chance was to throw his rifle and somehow ended up winning? my searches have garnered no luck.. edit:for the 150 ...
3
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1answer
134 views

Could British India have realistically allied with both Afghanistan and the Punjab?

In his book The Return of a King, historian William Dalrymple is strongly critical of British policy toward Afghanistan prior to the disastrous invasion of 1839. He implies, quoting the British envoy ...
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1answer
194 views

Can someone identify this military uniform?

I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me anything about this military uniform. Thanks so much for any help!
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3answers
505 views

Has a sniper ever disabled a tank?

In theory, a sniper can disable a tank. shoot out the gun sight shoot out the driver sight wait for crew to open the hatch because they can't see shoot the crew Has this ever happened? The snipers ...
54
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7answers
12k views

Why didn't battleship Bismarck have more support with it?

The primary objective of battleship Bismarck was to sink transporters coming from the U.S. and sailing to Europe transporting goods (oil, food). It encountered HMS Hood and sank it. German cruiser ...
18
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8answers
2k views

Are there famous battles that took place on ice?

As my favorite ice hockey team became the champion of Poland today, I was reminded of the famous Battle of the Ice that took place in 1242. During the fights, forces of Alexander Nevsky managed to ...
18
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11answers
6k views

Why were people from the Asian Steppes able to militarily dominate Europeans on a repeated basis?

From the Huns through the Mongolians, why were nomadic people from the east able to create such havoc in Europe? Was it an endless 'first mover' advantage with horse domestication? Was it a higher ...
3
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2answers
827 views

What specific training did members of medieval military orders get?

What were the dominant martial and clerical themes to the training of knights in medieval military orders? Were there specific fighting or training techniques, or weapons, adopted to meet religious ...
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1answer
269 views

What was the military makeup of the Baltic tribes/Lithuania from 1200 to 1500 AD?

There is quite a lot written on the Teutonic Order and its military, but I'm having a harder time finding any good English sources on the military of one of its chief foes, Lithuania and the other ...
5
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1answer
199 views

What was the Hospitaller gonfalon like in the 12th and 13th centuries?

The Templar Order had a gonfalon (a military standard of a specific type) of black and white called the beauseant (I have come to prefer the spelling most common in the book I first took it from ...
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3answers
2k views

Why does the UK buy some of its major military hardware from the USA while France is self-reliant?

UK: Trident missile. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. AgustaWestland Apache Boeing E-3 Sentry. Raytheon Sentinel some other examples In contrast, France isn't nearly as reliant on USA. Why did ...
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5answers
620 views

Were Allied high commanders that bad at the end of WW2?

I have heard by some friends, speaking of military history, that Allied commanders were well known for being, at best, mediocre in their performance of fight. They were not able to give precise ...
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0answers
119 views

Can anyone identify the uniforms in these pics, dated 1903 - 1904, Calcutta?

A little background... his father was a merchant with offices in Bremen and Calcutta; his mother tutored the children of the Viceroy of India. In later documents he states he was a member of the Royal ...
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2answers
19k views

How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

I'm looking for the number of soldiers the Mongol Empire had at the time of Genghis Khan. What percentage of them were ethnically Mongolians?
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1answer
126 views

Can anyone identify this military uniform (1900-1915)?

Can anyone identify this uniform? Uncertain of the time frame, suspect it is 1900 - 1915.
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5answers
33k views

How did Israel win the Six-Day War?

Considering Israel fought several Arab countries, which had troops largely outnumbering the Israeli, how did they manage to win the war decisively, with much fewer casualties than the Arab countries? ...
36
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2answers
10k views

Did the Soviet army intentionally send troops (e.g. penal battalions) running over minefields?

You can hear this story/claim stated in various way, from just regular troops doing it, to just penal battalions, to strenuous denial nobody ever did this in the Soviet army. (Just look at a Quora ...
5
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1answer
256 views

Would Victorian era British soldiers wear their short sword bayonets while wearing uniform when off duty?

In depictions of the Victorian era we often see lower ranks of soldiers wearing uniform when off duty in pubs or frequenting fairs, or just milling about as extras in the background etc. My question ...
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0answers
166 views

What uniform is my great great Cossack grandfather wearing?

The man bellow with the medals and the beard is my great great grandfather. He was a cossack in the Urals, I have been looking for ages but I can not find what Cossack uniform he is wearing. I really ...
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1answer
351 views

What did NATO AFCENT commander Bennecke do during World War 2?

The commander of Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) from 1968–1973 was (Konrad Max Arthur) Jürgen Bennecke, a German. In short: Bennecke's publically available bio has some gaps in ...
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2answers
3k views

How did Roman armies survive in the desert?

I'm writing a novel set in the third century. A general is marching his army through the middle of the Syrian Desert. How did Roman armies with tens of thousands of soldiers survive in the arid ...
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2answers
150 views

What uniform is Alexander Duncan McLennan wearing?

I am trying to identify this uniform. It’s a photo of my great grandfather Alexander Duncan McLennan 1861 - 1919. He was born in Glasgow in 1861 so was Scottish. The only record I can find of an A ...
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1answer
371 views

How long did men have to serve in the US army until they were promoted to sergeants during WW2?

During the Second World War men rose through ranks much quicker than they do today due to heavy losses and they went from private to corporal and corporal to sergeant after serving only a small amount ...
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0answers
151 views

Did the German ship SS Hansa (former Albert Ballin) continue her journey to the West after 30 January 1945?

Looking for refugees or families of refugees who were on board the Hansa on January 30th 1945 when she left Gotenhafen with the Wilhelm Gustloff. I am trying to find out what happened to the Hansa ...
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1answer
225 views

What was the name of the torpedo boat with mechanical problems accompanying the Wilhelm Gustloff?

The Wilhelm Gustloff was a German cruise ship that was used as part as a means of evacuating refugees from Gotenhafen (today Gdynia) in January 1945. The Wikipedia article reads: The ship left ...
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0answers
128 views

What branch of service and rank is this 1860 photo?

This is a cabinet photo taken by Kelley's in New York, but we are having a difficult time identifying his branch of service and rank. Any leads to this genealogical effort would be greatly appreciated!...
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1answer
205 views

What are some instances of professional army funding being stolen in full?

It feels like with large empires using professional armies for distant provinces, especially during classical or medieval times, funding of those armies were most likely to be bottlenecked by small ...
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2answers
693 views

When the Swiss Guard was formed, was the height requirement 174 cm (5' 8 1/2")?

The current minimum height required for the Swiss Guard at the Vatican is 5'8 1/2" or 174 cm (Swiss Guard requirements). Has that always been the case? I remember reading years ago that the minimum ...
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3answers
290 views

Which, if any, successful invasions have been planned by one person without relying on specialized experts?

10 years ago, I read the following quote A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a ...
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1answer
514 views

What does this Italian soldier's 1930’s uniform tell us about his job and rank?

The below photo of a soldier was taken in Sicily in the mid to late 1930’s. I have been told he may have served in Libya for the Italians. What type of soldier was he and what rank did he have? What ...
4
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5answers
750 views

Is there any example of one country devastating a third? [closed]

My question comes from a video game I am playing: I am playing Austria, in Napoleonic wars. I am fighting France as main adversary, but I just captured and looted Bavaria and Saxony, two little ...
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7answers
530 views

Have there been any great female military commanders?

From Alexander the Great to Saladin, from Muqali to Horatio Nelson, from Napoleon I to Winfield Scott, history is loaded with great male generals. Have there been any great female generals? Warfare ...
108
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13answers
30k views

Why, in ancient battles, did being encircled mean defeat?

Why, in ancient battles, did being encircled mean defeat? The classic example of that is the Battle of Cannae, where 80,000 Roman infantry were surrounded by 40,000 Carthaginian infantry. Every ...
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3answers
1k views

What are some major military successes the Soviet Union achieved against the Western World?

What are some major military successes achieved by the former Soviet Union against the Western World that shook the US and its Cold War allies?
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1answer
150 views

Was the Horo Cavalry “Balloon cloak” effective?

Was the Horo Cavalry Balloon cloak effective? and if so is there a European/Non Japanese Variant? My understanding is to defend against arrowfire positioning armor away from the body is ...
2
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0answers
138 views

Can anybody identify the cap-badge and/or uniform in this image?

Can anybody identify the cap-badge and/or uniform in this image? I'm hoping the period is c. 1899/1900 and should be UK based??? My searches to date have turned up a blank; but then I have no ...
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2answers
265 views

How rigorously do combat engineers follow command hierarchy?

This is related to chain of command I am interested if certain branches are looser than others when it comes to chain of command. The reason being that engineering, especially combat engineering, ...
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6answers
8k views

Why command hierarchy, if the chain of command is standing next to each other?

Screenshot's from 1:08:19. I transcribe: 2: Order the 58th to withdraw. 1 to 3: Fraser, order the 58th to withdraw. 3: Yes sir. I don't understand this command hierachy: Similarly, an ...
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1answer
234 views

What kind of uniform is this? (Circa 1940s, possibly Israeli)

This photo is in a photo album from Jersusalem, with mostly family-type photos, some with Hebrew writing on the back. Some of the photos are dated and they range from the 1930s to the 1950s, and this ...
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5answers
1k 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. ...
7
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1answer
378 views

What kind of bullet did I find in Swiss glacial ice?

I found this bullet frozen in glacial ice in Switzerland. There is no visible stamp on it anymore and unfortunately did not have any precise measuring equipment with me. I can measure the size of my ...
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4answers
8k views

Is there any evidence of armies enrolling women in fighting roles in significant number in antiquity or the middle ages?

Most sources I find seems to portray women's participation in warfare, as leaders and or soldiers, as more of an exception than the rule during antiquity and the middle ages. Is there any source ...
3
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1answer
309 views

Under Catherine the Great were all officers appointed for five years?

I noticed that the chief commandants of Kamchatka seemed to serve terms of about five years (Koselev 1802-1807, Petrovskii 1807-1813, Rudakov 1813-1817). Their rank (IV) qualified them to be made ...
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5answers
2k views

How was Napoleon's invasion of Russia supplied?

How was such a great army, like the army of Napoleon on its way to Moscow, supplied with food and other needed things? Were they transporting it from France or maybe stealing from territory on their ...
3
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3answers
573 views

At what point did the United States have a truly federal army?

Wikipedia states that: The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784. But how much was it truly a federal force? I assume it had one central command from ...
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2answers
364 views

Why did the German Military and Police not intervene during the years of NSDAP ascend?

I am currently following a free course provided by the Open University which features a brief timeline on the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler. This timeline dates Hitler's entry into politics to 1920, ...