Questions tagged [military]

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

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1answer
532 views

Were the pre-WW1 alliances really created to prevent war?

A scene in Blackadder goes Forth has Captain Edmund Blackadder setting the stage for World War One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGxAYeeyoIc Edmund: Do you mean “How did the war start?” ...
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347 views

Did Lee Harvey Oswald receive any medals or ribbons?

Did Lee Harvey Oswald, in his time as a marine, receive any medals or ribbons? I don't expect any significant decorations (other than sharpshooter). I know he worked as a metalworker (both in Texas ...
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1k views

What is “quarter column”?

I'm watching a documentary on the Boer War and apparently, during the Victorian era, the British Army commonly employed their infantry in "quarter column". I've tried to look it up, but can't find ...
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114 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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289 views

Did Machimoi fight in Phalanx formation?

The 'Machimoi' were low ranking Egyptian foot soldiers, pressed into service by the Ptolemaic Dynasty during a period of manpower shortage. The term Máchimoi... ...commonly refers to a broad ...
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132 views

What was the National Revolutionary Army's “Training Brigade”?

During the Battle of Nanking, China's forces included the so-called "Training Brigade" which defended Purple Mountain. What was the nature of this formation? The Wikipedia article describes them as "...
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229 views

Identification of location and type of bi-plane

Could the location be on the west coast or in Hawaii? 1920s time frame?
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1answer
289 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.
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139 views

Were commandants in Kamchatka from the Army or the Navy?

The Imperial Russian Navy operated out of Kronstadt, next to St. Petersburg. Well before sending the Nadezhda and Neva into the Pacific in 1803, the empire had Pacific ports like Okhotsk, accessible ...
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498 views

Does the reversal of the ribbon on a military medal (South Africa / UK; WWII) carry meaning or is it simply an error?

My father was showing me his father's WWII medals for service in the South African military. Having found images depicting the official order of wear I noticed that some had reversed ribbons. I ...
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145 views

Help identify details from a Soviet military uniform?

My family on my great-grandfather's side came from Romania and I have a picture of one of his brothers in a soviet military uniform. I know nothing of his involvement in the military and was hoping ...
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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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122 views

What regiments of the British East India Company were in southeastern India in the late 1790s?

I have been researching ranks and positions that existed in various regiments and civil branches of the British East India Company during the late 1790s to early 1800s. Those aren't as hard as finding ...
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301 views

Who participated in the Gran Sasso raid/Operation Eiche?

I am looking for a list of all soldiers who participated in the Gran Sasso raid/Operation Eiche. The Wikipedia list only the 4 who received Knight's Cross, and the 9 with German Cross in Gold. But ...
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Why didn't the Persians create good infantry units?

The defeat at Marathon, Plataea, march of the 10.000, and the hold up at Thermopylae really suggest the need for some heavy infantry that can fight on par with the Greek Phalanx. Like how much of ...
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Were there any “retaliation” anti-tank weapons widely used by infantry in World War II?

"Standard" anti-tank weapons used by infantry included bazookas and anti-tank rifles (the latter being heavier than infantry rifles, and requiring special shells). In a "pinch," infantry used "Molotov ...
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How did soldiers in WWI who wore jackboots keep the boots from being sucked off in the mud?

In the trench warfare of the First World War, the mud was often knee deep, although it sometimes reached well above the soldiers' chests. These conditions were obviously horrendous, and made it ...
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523 views

Is there a precedent for private companies maintaining a military force? [closed]

In general we think of Corporations as not acting on nations with force, simply with legal power. (Perhaps they maintain a fleet of security guards). We generally think of Corporations as leaving the ...
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Why were the 8th Route Army better at fighting the Japanese than the Nationalists were?

Numerous sources have noted the (Communist) 8th Route Army's effectiveness in its resistance against Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) occupation; British, American observers, even Japanese commanders have ...
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How accurate is Karl Heinz Frieser when he said that the blitzkrieg was a myth?

In his book, The Blitzkrieg Legend (original title Blitzkrieg-Legende, der Westfeldzug 1940), Karl Heinz Frieser wrote that during the campaign in France, blitzkrieg was just improvised, and that even ...
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3answers
679 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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319 views

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

Found in my late Aunt's possessions. Photograph of unidentified uniform:
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802 views

What was the dominant Soviet strategy for invading Germany in the 1980's?

Through archives and doctrinal publications, was there any bias towards attacking NATO through the North German Plain, the Fulda Gap, or something else?
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704 views

Did any nation have a demonstrable qualitative advantage in their soldiers of the 18th century, and how did they achieve this?

I once read in a primary source that whilst the Prussians had the best drilled regiments who were able to fire 4 shots a minute to everyone else's standard of 3. Comparatively, British Redcoats were ...
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641 views

Is this quotation authentic (88mm versus Sherman)?

Have seen in several places a supposed quotation from a German WW2 battery commander or gunner, either in Italy or Normandy, to the effect that he ran out of shells before the enemy ran out of tanks (...
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197 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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971 views

Did Africans defeat Europeans in battle between 1850 and 1950?

The battle of Adwa was fought between Italians and Ethiopians in northern Ethiopia in 1896. The Italians were defeated and it was the greatest victory for Africans. Were there any other battles where ...
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377 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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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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476 views

How common / uncommon was sword-vs-sword combat on ancient battlegrounds?

The question Any notable battles fought with steel vs. bronze weapons?, more precisely the comment to this answer to the tone of "ah, but that was mainly a chariot battle...", piqued my interest. As ...
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257 views

What were the dimensions of the Lahitolle 95 mm cannon?

What were the dimensions of this gun? Specifically, I need to know the height, the width, and the length of the entire piece, not just the barrel.
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308 views

When and how did steel supplant iron for artillery?

When did steel supplant iron for use in making artillery pieces? And was it a peacetime innovation, or was it the result of wartime pressure to accept change? In reading Reign of Iron, it becomes ...
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276 views

Were there crewmen from other USN ships on USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered?

I have tried finding a list of the crewmen on the USS Missouri at the time of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, or at least some general information about who was on the ship at ...
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1k views

When did the German people learn that they had a large, powerful military, in violation of the Versailles Treaty?

According to the terms of the Versailles Treaty at the end of the First World War, Germany's military was limited to a force so tiny as to be utterly irrelevant in any major conflicts. When Hitler ...
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406 views

Was the US close to running out of volunteer manpower during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars?

I remember during the early-middle days of the Iraq War there were growing concerns on the need to reinstate conscription to shore up US troop numbers. Was there any legitimate concern behind this or ...
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23k views

Which military commanders burned their own ships?

I understand it happened more than once where a general arrived by sea and shortly after landing ordered the ships to be burned, so that retreat would never be an option. Which military commanders/...
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312 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
257 views

How did steppe-nomad military tactics change in response to widespread firearms in the 18th/19th centuries?

Please forgive my ignorance of the cultures extant in the Eurasian steppe at this time, but I was wondering how the military tactics of steppe-cultures changed in response to the massed musket tactics ...
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1answer
232 views

Identifying a WW2 German badge/medal

Is anyone able to identify this? It appears to be a part of a badge as there is a leather backing on it.
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2answers
864 views

What were the requirements for Iron Cross first and second class?

What were the prerequisites for being awarded an Iron Cross first or second class? Were there stricter requrements for getting an Iron Cross 1st class than an Iron Cross 2nd class? What happened ...
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2answers
459 views

Did von Manstein push for mass production of late models PzKpfw IV over Panther or Tiger?

I read this claim somewhere, but cannot possibly find the source of it - did Erich von Manstein prefer large numbers of medium tanks PzKpfw IV over small numbers of heavy tanks?
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2k views

How were snipers used on the western front during WW2?

When the topic of snipers in WWII comes up, it's almost always about Soviet snipers and the eastern front. What about the western front? I'm specifically interested in how or if the British, American, ...
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2answers
2k views

Why did the musket become the standard infantry combat weapon in European armies around 1700?

Could it have been because of the introduction of the bayonet, particularly in "socket" form? This question goes (well) beyond a related question. Until the introduction of a bayonet, musketeers (...
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1answer
586 views

Testudo formation vs ballista?

We have a related modern question: WWI trench tactics using shields? But if we move back into antiquity, are there accounts of the testudo formation withstanding ballistae bolts? Could it?
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2answers
835 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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200 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
579 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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237 views

How to attack Fort Ross

Imperial Spain was upset when the Russian-American Company founded its Californian outpost Fort Ross. Local Spanish officials always stayed cordial with the Russians, though. Both sides were remote ...
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331 views

How did the US plan to use nuclear shells for naval guns?

Acoodring to wikipedia: The W19 nuclear system was adapted into a nuclear artillery shell for the US Navy 16 inches (410 mm) battleship guns, the W23. Production of the W23 began in 1956 and they ...
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1answer
144 views

Mudéjar revolt of 1264–66: how were the Mudéjars armed?

In the Mudéjar revolt of 1264–66, the recently conquered Muslim subjects (also called Mudéjars) in Castile rebelled against the crown, and were helped by the Muslim Kingdom of Granada. In the ...