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Questions tagged [military]

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

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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. Unlike his predecessor Kielmannsegg, who was at least accused ...
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1answer
608 views

Identifying a military uniform from the early 19th century

I would like to identify this military uniform from someone related to my family in Portugal. It is probably from the early 19th century, and it may be from the Portuguese, British or Napoleonic Army ...
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7answers
2k views

How to explain the Khalkhin Gol outcome in view of Soviet weakness and Japanese strength at that time?

Conventional wisdom says that the USSR was very weak in 1939/40/41, in large part due to the purges of the 1930s, ideological interference in the armed forces, and lack of equipment, preparation and ...
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4answers
659 views

What was the last profitable war? [on hold]

I was having a conversation with family and friends this weekend and this question came up: "what was the last profitable war?" Of course in history there were wars that turned a profit, ones I can ...
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2answers
5k views

Why did fighter pilots wear their hats lopsided during the World Wars?

In many photographs of flying aces of the two World Wars, they wear their hats in a lopsided manner instead of straight. Here's photos of Albert Ball, a British WWI era pilot, and Erich Hartmann, the ...
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1answer
110 views

When did Wang Mingzhang die?

Wang Mingzhang was a Chinese general of the National Revolutionary Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He commanded the defense of Teng County (14-18 March 1938), part of the Xuzhou Campaign, ...
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1answer
218 views

Military reforms after the battle of Manzikert?

After the battle of Manzikert and during Alexius's reign was there any attempt towards military reform to go back to the theme peasant-soldier system instead of mercenaries? In John Julius Norwich's ...
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1answer
270 views

Why aren't all front-line soldiers issued suicide pills? [closed]

I know that certain soldiers (on secret missions) and spies have been issued them, One of the objectives of the Dieppe Raid in August 1942 was to discover the importance and performance capability ...
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2answers
134 views

Where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were?

I am looking for a fairly comprehensive source where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were? I mean, I want to look up this information ...
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3answers
265 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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5answers
3k views

Which WW2 belligerents provided military brothels?

Did any of the other belligerents of WW2 besides Japan and Germany provide their troops with authorized military brothels?
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1answer
190 views

How long did it take US fleet submarines during World War 2 to charge their batteries?

How long did it take a US fleet submarine running on the surface to recharge its battery fully for maximum duration submergence? I realize that the answer depends on how many engines were being used ...
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2answers
576 views

Did USS Buck (DD-761) send the message “Temper, Temper”?

In a March 26, 2019 Reddit post with 1.1k upvotes, there is a picture with a story as follows (emphasis added). 15 Mar 1952: The Wisconsin receives her first direct hit in her history when one of ...
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2answers
1k views

Origins of “Still on patrol”

I recently came across an article about a tradition of USN not to consider submarines lost, but rather being on a permanent patrol. After trying to find more information about the topic pretty much ...
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2answers
603 views

Did B-17 crews run into difficulty releasing their bombs and does data exist on this?

The B-17 was used for a significant portion of the Allied campaign during WWII. My understanding is the earliest bombs in aviation consisted of just throwing stuff out of the open cockpit of planes. ...
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8answers
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What damage did anti-tank rifles hope to inflict on tanks in WW2?

Initially I was surprised to learn that such a thing as an anti-tank rifle even exists. It seems a ludicrous idea to try to shoot a tank with a rifle. But let's suppose that the bullet really hits a ...
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1answer
128 views

Difference between acts of “merit” and acts of “valor” in military decorations? (e.g. V device)

I used to think valor is for combat and merit is non-combat. Then I realize Purple heart, a successor of Badge of Military Merit, is awarded for "being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy"...
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1answer
212 views

Can you explain how officers were able to refuse orders historically in France? Elsewhere?

I've read several biographies that pertained to military history in England and France especially around the time of Napoleon. I noticed that the authors referenced the ruler requesting the service of ...
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0answers
148 views

Trying to identify what military service, war and rank by the uniform

I have been searching google images, tried a reverse search and found nothing. I have looked on many sites and cannot identify the service. I do know he has 9 buttons on his coat, 3 on the cuffs, red ...
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3answers
206 views

What was the timetable for Germany's Invasion of the Low Countries (Fall Gelb) in WW2?

I was watching the 1969 classic movie 'Battle of Britain' the other day and noted numerous scenes where the British were very concerned about a German invasion; "what are they waiting for?" was a ...
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2answers
296 views
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2answers
288 views

What uniform is in this picture?

Believe he was in the Somerset Light Infantry based at Jellallabad camp Taunton sometime between 1890 and 1914. Any help from anyone appreciated. We cannot find his birth or death as he used ...
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2answers
17k 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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2answers
3k views

Who was Richard of York at the Battle of Grunwald?

Gloria.TV states that "the foreign knight,...Richard of York" fought, and was killed, at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) in 1410. I can find no one from the house of York who might have been at ...
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10answers
7k views

Why did it take so long to abandon sail after steamships were demonstrated?

1807, Robert Fulton's Clermont the first ship to demonstrate the feasibility of steam propulsion for commercial use, but it also carried sail. 1819, The first steamship to cross the Atlantic was the ...
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2answers
305 views

How effective were archers/ slingers / skirmishers in Greek, Roman and Medieval Period?

So it seemed that from the accounts of Thermopelea, Roman military strategy of waiting out an arrow storm, and Knights holding out for hours behind a shield wall during the first crusade it ...
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0answers
64 views

What is this Uniform and Medal Ribbon?

I am trying to help someone. She has sent me a black & white photo. I think the battle dress is post WW2? And the man could be an officer? Ie the wearing of a tie. I just cannot work out the ...
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9answers
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Why did navies abandon armour?

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

Why were general and flag officers allowed to fly aircraft in combat?

LTG Frank M Andrews and Maj Gen Robert Worley both died while piloting combat aircraft in a war. I'm assuming that generals and admirals are less skilled or prepared to pilot aircraft, as their ...
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3answers
17k views

Why are military uniforms often flared or poofy above the knee?

I've often wondered why do various uniforms have those "poofs" on the outsides of the legs just above the knee? Was there a particular purpose to this, or a practical reason, or was it just the result ...
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0answers
220 views

Number of foreigners in the Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht during WWII

During World War II, thousands of non-German men fought in the Waffen-SS and in the Wehrmacht. People from all Europe, volunteers from neutral and occupied countries and enemy prisoners. Even Russian ...
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1answer
229 views

Identity of pre 1930s US battleship

Need help in identifying this battleship--USS Nevada, Pennsylvannia or Arizona?
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1answer
255 views

How to decode / read US Veterans Bureau Form 7202?

In doing some family background research, I came across an old military service record which says it is a "Form 7202 - Rev. Sept., 1927". I would like to decipher the meanings of the various codes to ...
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0answers
78 views

helmet change from Greek to Macedon, Rome and Medieval period

Why did Roman helmets not cover the mouth like their greek counterparts? Did individual soldiers need to shout commands? Same for companion calvary Boeotian helmet vs that of medieval knights.
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Identify prior 1930's US Battleship and US Navy plane [duplicate]

Looking to identify this battleship--USS Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona?
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1answer
186 views

Did Japan have secret films about going into the US in the 40s?

This film (narrated by Ronald Regan) was produced in the 40s. It discusses detailed planning for an air mission into an area in Japan. Did Japan have similar fims in the time period to aid them in ...
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2answers
783 views

What were the needs of the US Navy that resulted in the production of both the Arleigh Burke class and Ticonderoga class in the 1980s?

In the 1980s the United States Navy introduced both the Arleigh Burke class and the Ticonderoga class. Wikipedia pages on them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arleigh_Burke-class_destroyer#...
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4answers
12k views

How did Medieval armies survive the use of mail armor in the deserts of the Middle East?

Something that has long puzzled me is the use of full mail hauberks and the like in the Crusades. How did Crusaders and their various enemies avoid cooking inside their armor? I know many of them ...
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1answer
2k views

“Musketeer” beard, mustache and hairdress - where did they originate?

This is a portrait of typical French musketeer, with typical triangle beard, mustache and long wavy hairs. I wonder where this fashion originates from? Is not it the Byzantine Empire where such ...
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4answers
1k views

What is this strange uniform?

Colonel John Tiltman wears a very strange uniform in this picture, dated 1919. The original webpage where I saw the picture is http://www.colossus-computer.com/colossus1.html.
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2answers
440 views

Why would high-ranking officers wear a helmet exhibiting their rank near the enemy?

Buckner had arrived with his standard three stars showing on the front of his steel helmet and a nearby Marine outpost sent a signal to Buckner's position stating that they could clearly see the ...
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2answers
6k views

What would be a typical rank for KGB intelligence officers spying abroad in the 1980s?

What would be typical ranks of KGB officers spying in the west during the 1980s? I know some western spies were recruited by the KGB, that after defecting to the Soviet Union got/had ranks in the ...
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8answers
5k views

Operation Vengeance and Individual Targeting of Enemy Commanders

Operation Vengeance (1943) was a US military operation aimed specifically to kill Japanese Admiral Yamamoto. It looks like something weird in contemporary era: are there any similar military ...
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2answers
5k views

What was the function of the walls of Jericho?

The walls of old Jericho have been dated to around 8000bc. This is thousands of years before the nascent civilisations of Babylon and Egypt built similar fortifications and thousands of years before ...
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1answer
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Did firing trials of pre-WW1 British dreadnoughts involve actually firing at them?

On the Wikipedia page of HMS Dreadnought it is mentioned that during firing trials against HMS Hero there were some vulnerabilities of its fire control systems revealed: namely, wiring and voice tubes ...
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4answers
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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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3answers
377 views

Was it possible to organize a women's uprising or feminist movement in the Middle Ages? [closed]

Women in Europe endured thousands of years of gender inequality, culminating in the Middle Ages. Women in the Middle Ages had few rights and were treated like minors and properties, yet they did very ...
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2answers
407 views

At the start of the Second Punic War, why didn't Hannibal engage Publius Scipio in Hispania, but crossed the alps instead?

Sorry, I forgot exactly where I remember this from but as Hannibal moved towards the Alps with around 50,000 troops, he was pursued by Scipio with fewer troops (actually, if anyone can find a source ...
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2answers
180 views

How were the Roman Triarii trained?

Unlike the Hastati and Principe, the Triarii were spear based and they also the oldest veteran elite troops. So did they initially fight with the sword and then go to the spear (and if so why) or were ...
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3answers
1k views

Have revolutions been won without the military establishment?

Various historical and political theorists (for instance, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita) have asserted that the support, or, at most, the abstention of a country's military is necessary for a successful ...