Questions tagged [military]

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

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17
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2answers
2k 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
136 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 ...
3
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1answer
326 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 ...
7
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0answers
146 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 ...
2
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1answer
219 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
126 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!...
-2
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1answer
201 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 ...
6
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2answers
676 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 ...
0
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0answers
88 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 ...
-2
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3answers
283 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 ...
4
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1answer
509 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
743 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 ...
1
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7answers
507 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 ...
106
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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 ...
4
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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?
-1
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1answer
143 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
137 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 ...
0
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2answers
257 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, ...
29
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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 ...
6
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1answer
229 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
366 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 ...
39
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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
307 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 ...
17
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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
556 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 ...
5
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2answers
357 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, ...
24
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6answers
6k views

What happened to US's Lend-Lease machinery given to the Soviet Union?

Although most sources say that the Russians were supplied with great amounts of equipment and food as part of Lend-Lease program, I have not in all my years living in Russia seen US labeled machinery. ...
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1answer
197 views

Can anyone identify this uniform, approximate year, and aircraft?

It's U.S. from the interwar years, but I don't know much more than that.
8
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2answers
638 views

What branch of the military wore this 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....
19
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2answers
37k views

Were soldiers in the World Wars paid?

There have always been professional soldiers however during the world wards there were vast conscription to encourage young men to join up for "King and Country". Presumably there was some sort of ...
49
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12answers
9k views

Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?

I'm listening to Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears and the officers on both sides seem to always exhort their men to "aim low". For instance, General John Gibbon told his 2nd Division infantry: Do ...
0
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1answer
113 views

Is there a source for Medieval army composition and tactics across cultures?

It's mostly a source question, because the topic is too large to be covered by simple questions and answers, so im sorry if i posted this in the wrong place. I'm trying to research on the ...
36
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10answers
12k views

Why did only the English adopt, evolve and use the longbow en masse in war?

The bow was a relatively common weapon on dark age battlefields as Harold's arrow in the eye at Hastings will attest. But shortly after is was largely superseded by the crossbow, partly because pretty ...
34
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7answers
9k views

How were Martello towers supposed to work?

Having recently seen a Martello tower on the East coast of England, I tried to find-out what the defensive strategy was supposed to be - but the internet seems very short on information. The South-...
22
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8answers
19k views

Why did the scutum fall out of use?

Wikipedia says By the end of the 3rd century the rectangular scutum seems to have disappeared. Why did the rectangular scutum design fall out of use? Why was the shield design not commonly used ...
2
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0answers
220 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 ...
2
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0answers
108 views

Where was this destroyed bridge in South Vietnam?

Can anyone provide the location of this destroyed bridge during the Vietnam War? I believe the sign at the end of the bridge refers to the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division
9
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2answers
650 views

What is this war machine shown on Trajan's column?

The most comprehensive visual evidence about Roman army of I-II centuries is the Trajan column. It shows in great detail cloths, weapons, ships, military machines and other equipment of the Roman army....
3
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1answer
172 views

Can anyone help identify this French military uniform?

Can anyone help identify this French Military Uniform? The picture belongs to a woman – my father's 2nd cousin found through DNA matching – and she says it's her grandfather, who was a Frenchman. ...
4
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4answers
2k 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 ...
4
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1answer
285 views

Can anyone identify this uniform?

Copied from OP's comment: I believe he stayed in the Aachen area. It is a photo of my G.G.Grandfather who was born in Aachen, Germany in 1841 and died 13 Nov 1890. Thanks in advance.
6
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1answer
429 views

What uniform is this?

At a family reunion in Alberta my brother showed me a photograph of a young man in a dress military uniform. The photograph was on paper using a process common at the turn of the century. I can't find ...
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2answers
249 views

Identifying the Soldier in this minature painting

I bought a minature painting in a wooden / gilt frame. The portrait is signed Lila Sampson. Inside the frame was another miniature painting of a man in uniform. I am trying to find out more about both ...
3
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1answer
304 views

What kind of uniform is this?

This is a picture of an uncle and his friend taken about 1925 or 1930. I don't know if he was in the US military or not, but this seems to be a US Infantry uniform. Can anyone identify the uniform? ...
3
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2answers
317 views

Can anyone help to identify and date this uniform or the medals?

Found in my late Aunt's possessions. Photograph of unidentified uniform:
2
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1answer
228 views

What is this soldier's regiment?

Could anyone please help me identify this soldier's regiment
2
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1answer
198 views

What uniform is my ancestor wearing?

Can anyone identify this uniform? I believe this man is an ancestor of mine, the picture was shared with me by my father 2nd cousin - whom we found through DNA matching. She does not know his name. ...
8
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1answer
3k views

Military Uniform of Great Grandfather

Can anyone identify this uniform? It is a photo of my great grandfather that a relative came across. I know he was in the US Army during WW1. He moved to the US from Italy sometime before that. Nobody ...
6
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2answers
328 views

Help identifying a strange uniform jacket

I've got nothing to go on here other than this is quite old. Thick navy wool with dark gray (or black) Corded striping. One gold star on right sleeve. Handwritten tag is hard to read, has a long ...