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Questions tagged [military]

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

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1answer
161 views

What kind of training did Imperial military officers receive? [closed]

In the early modern period, European empires maintained their faraway colonies with great armies and navies. Many enlisted soldiers and sailors were barely trained; imperial officers were often ...
12
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3answers
966 views

Why did few French and no Dutch pilots (but many Poles and Czechs) take part in the Battle of Britain?

Among the non-British pilots, at least 141 were Polish, 84 Czech and 28 Belgian, but only 13 were French and none were Dutch, Norwegian or Danish. The reasons why there were many Polish, Czech and ...
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2answers
399 views

What was the composition of European Medievel armies?

What was the class make up of Western European armies of the middle ages? Most cliches are telling us that there was usually an elite force of nobles, as knights, a bunch of peasant levies and ...
4
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1answer
209 views

Why didn't France do a better job of “politically” protecting franc-tireurs during the Franco_Prussian War?

After France lost the battle of Sedan, some of the best defenses of French territory were conducted by franc-tireurs, or what we would call snipers, operating "American Revolution" style, civilians ...
2
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1answer
323 views

What was the impact of race in the French Foreign Legion in the 20th century?

Lately I've been interested in the French Foreign Legion and found that it's somewhat difficult to find information about racial topics on the subject. Were for example blacks allowed to serve, and if ...
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1answer
176 views

Which military first mandated After-Action Review?

According to Gong Chu's Memoir, both CPC and KMT army officers wrote detailed reports after every and each battle. This kind of activity is called After-Action Review (AAR) in today's military jargon. ...
26
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3answers
7k views

What was the longest a World War II submarine could stay at sea without being resupplied?

The US Balao-class and Gato-class submarines had enough provisions to stay on patrol for 75 days. Information on other long-range submarines has proved hard to find, although this site mentions ...
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2answers
481 views

Help with identifying the soldier / uniform

I found this pic in my grandmother's belongings after her passing. I'm curious as to what branch of the military this soldier was in and the time frame. Maybe even what war, if any he may have been in....
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1answer
153 views

New Latin American navies raiding Spanish interests

The newly formed navies of the Latin American wars of independence sometimes raided or blockaded Spanish interests in other parts of the Americas. Consider the Liberating Expedition of Peru, the ...
7
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1answer
337 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 ...
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2answers
383 views

Could someone identify this uniform? The photograph is a tintype

I am trying to identify the uniform worn by this confident young man. Is it a military dress uniform? The photograph is a tintype, so I think that the probable date is ca. 1860-1880. The photograph ...
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2answers
3k views

Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

In the book Hattin by John France the following claim is made: The fighting qualities of western knights were widely recognized in the Mediterranean lands, and they were often employed even by ...
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3answers
6k views

Couldn't an army of archers easily defeat Macedonian style phalanxes?

At that time of military history, it seems the phalanx was the accepted supreme military style that won battles. So countries tried to outdo each to see who could do the phalanx best. Since archers ...
18
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1answer
3k views

When did the use of chevrons as military rank devices begin?

In US, Commonwealth and certain other militaries, the chevron is used as rank devices for non-commissioned members. I'm curious when did this practice start. Historically, up until and including the ...
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2answers
327 views

Can you tell me more about this Italian 1930’s uniform/rank

Can you tell me anything about the rank or job this soldier may have had? This was taken in Sicily in mid to late 1930’s I have been told he may have served in Libya for the Italians. I would like ...
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2answers
325 views

Was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible?

All else equal, when these types of forts were in use, was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible? A bit of what-if led to this question. Russians ostrogs such as Nizhnekamchatsk and Fort ...
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2answers
5k views

Why were British ships not of the same quality as French and Spanish ships until the latter part of the 18th century?

In Patrick O'Brian's 'Men-of-War', it says (apparently referring to around the time the Victory was built [1759-65]), ...most of the British ships were not nearly so well built as the French or the ...
2
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1answer
373 views

Right before D-Day, how were naval mines cleared secretly?

Wikipedia says Minesweepers began clearing channels for the invasion fleet shortly after midnight and finished just after dawn without encountering the enemy. It also shows this map: This seems ...
2
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1answer
207 views

How unusual was an unanswered naval salute of 150 guns?

In naval tradition, ships and ports may expend gunpowder saluting each other, thus proving their respect and nonaggression. The respect so shown appears greater when more guns are shot off. A common ...
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4answers
6k 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 ...
2
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2answers
293 views

Why didn’t the Franco-Belgian accord of 1920 lead to extending the construction of the Maginot line along the Belgium-Netherlands border?

The Franco-Belgian Accord, which lasted from 1920 until October 1936 when Belgium declared itself neutral, included an article which 'discussed greater integration of frontier defenses' (according to ...
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0answers
200 views

What kind of medal is this?

I found this medal in UK. As far as I know the medal is from CCCP. I am living in Latvia and it used to be CCCP as well. On the medal you can see LIEPAJ and if there is missing letter then that must ...
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0answers
79 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
457 views

Why don't tanks have radar aimed guns?

After World War II, plenty of radar aimed guns were developed for the purpose of targeting the guns of anti-aircraft vehicles. Why hasn't this same technology been applied to tanks? A 900 MHz radar ...
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4answers
663 views

Why was the US army slow to adopt the use of radar prior to Pearl Harbour?

According to Wikipedia, the US radar station SCR-270 picked up the Japanese approach and reported it, but this report was ignored as the duty officer believed it to be American bombers coming from ...
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4answers
450 views

Has there ever been a war between two service branches in the same country?

We all know about the army navy games. Often armed services hate each other. I am sure that somewhere, somehow, there has been a war between two armed services in the same country.
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1answer
190 views

Why was the Russian Federation Military expenditure cut in 1998-1999?

I am looking into the Military Expenditure Data provided by SIPRI. Interestingly through 1998-1999 Russian Federation's Military Expenditure was cut down to 14,000 almost half of 1997 which was 23,...
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6answers
1k views

Has there been an occasion where ranged weapons were available but not used?

I have been trying to prove my thinking wrong. I believe that there can never be an occasion where ranged weapons are available in outdoor battles / skirmishes that they would not be used. I am ...
7
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3answers
431 views

Under European feudalism, were the distribution of armies (vassals and fiefdoms) based on a coherent idea?

The context is High Medieval, (c. 1001—1300). The concept of feudalism is as understood in Europe. I'm not looking for an answer to cover all European empires or dynasties during this period -- which ...
104
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13answers
28k 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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8answers
13k views

Has there ever been a case when a traitorous military commander took command again for the side he betrayed?

In one novel I am currently reading a traitorous commander who is responsible for atrocities against the people he should protect and killing the remainder of the army he once belonged to was promoted ...
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1answer
166 views

What have been the advantages/disadvantages of NOAA and the USPHS having uniformed services?

Most Americans (and likely many folks around the world) think of the US military as comprising the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. However, there are also the United States ...
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2answers
184 views

Artillery guns near Triglav?

My friends and I were climbing near Triglav (Slovinia) last weekend, and there was some memorial for people who died pulling guns up the mountain. Now I don't remember which era that was, but I am ...
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1answer
290 views

Has the US army ever fought an urban battle? [closed]

I can think of the following examples off the top of my head: Mogadishu (a disaster) Fallujah (more like a siege followed by walking into an abandoned city) Sadr city (same) Baghdad 2003 (basically a ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between Douhet and Walther Wever's strategic bombing theories?

Wiki introduces Wever this way: Walther Wever (11 November 1887 – 3 June 1936) was a pre-World War II Luftwaffe Commander. He was an early proponent of the theory of strategic bombing as a ...
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3answers
897 views

Who was the Kilroy?

In the 2nd World War it seems that American troops rallied around a man (or legend?) known as the "Kilroy". I've seen his image depicted on American tanks, letters, barracks, etc. Some I've seen in ...
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2answers
251 views

Was (Mahanian) “control of the seas” an Athenian goal in the age of the trireme?

I recently read Nic Fields' 'Ancient Greek Warship: 500-322 BC'. In it, he makes the claim: Control of the seas in the modern sense was impossible for a trireme navy, and sea power, therefore, had ...
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4answers
8k views

What is the reason for the selections of gun caliber size in history?

After being a fan of diverse WW2-games, I was wondering why and how the gun caliber sizes were designed, from the view of history. Is there an explanation why for example the German army choose to ...
4
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2answers
449 views

The Lines of Ne Plus Ultra in the War of the Spanish Succession

After reading another biography of Marlborough, I am annoyed by the fact the authors mention but do not describe the Lines of Ne Plus Ultra. They make it sound (I have read Chandler and Konstam) as if ...
11
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2answers
973 views

How were Roman Legions disarmed/disbanded before entering Italia?

When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, it was illegal. Legions were supposed to disarm (edit: disband) themselves before coming back to Rome, in order to discourage any coups. But I've also read in various ...
5
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1answer
375 views

Did British soldiers in WWI on the Western Front get paid in foreign currency?

Did British soldiers in WWI on the Western Front get paid in foreign currency or in sterling ? Some years ago, I saw a TV programme in which it was stated that when British soldiers went to France, ...
4
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1answer
737 views

Have US troops ever been lawfully quartered in private homes during wartime under the Third Amendment?

According to the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (my emphasis): No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a ...
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1answer
2k views

Did Germany have enforced conscription in 1944? [closed]

My grandfather was a german soldier during the second world war. He was born on March 22, 1926 in Schwabach, Germany. At the age of 18 he enrolled in the german army. There is one detail i would ...
9
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1answer
415 views

What was the first example of a foreign mercenary unit?

Employing foreign mercenaries as royal guards is an ancient trend. The Pope employed Swiss guards starting with the Renaissance. The Basileus had his Varangian Guard. Even the Roman emperors briefly ...
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4answers
863 views

Why did the other Continental European powers keep trying to fight Napoleon before 1813 despite being beaten by him so often?

In the Napoleonic Wars the other major powers of Continental Europe, especially Austria but also Prussia and Russia, seemed to keep coming back every few years to have another go at fighting Napoleon, ...
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1answer
790 views

Has a CIWS system ever shot down a missile in combat?

Has any Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) successfully intercepted and shot down a missile in combat? Surely they have had the chance to, for example Phalanx systems were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. ...
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2answers
446 views

What were the ranks in the Army of Imperial Spain?

At the time of the Latin American wars of independence, the Imperial Spanish army employed men in ranks like Capitán (captain), Sargento (sergeant) and so on, between the King and the lowliest ...
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1answer
1k views

Were Germans permitted to give the Hitler salute with the left arm?

I frequently come across pictures and videos where Nazi functionaries (such as SS and SA men) give the infamous Hitler salute (a.k.a the Fascist salute) with their right hand. Now this is hardly ...
2
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1answer
386 views

“Ridiculous” military haircut in Spanish California

According to the reminiscences of José Maria Amador, as translated by Gregorio Mora-Torres in "Californio Voices", around 1820 recruits at the Monterey Presidio received an unusual haircut: After ...
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4answers
5k views

Battle of Norfolk (1991 Gulf War): How could the losses be so lopsided?

During the 1991 Gulf War there were a lot of lopsided tank battles where such a large number of Iraqi vehicles got destroyed for very little Coalition losses. For example in the Battle of Norfolk ...