Questions tagged [military]

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

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Are there any specific events which grants a soldier permission to execute a prisoner on sight? (Like in the movie: Fury)

I recently watched the movie Fury. Although the movie is full of historical inaccuracies as usual, there are some events looked very questionable to me. In a scene, the U.S. soldiers capture a German ...
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How professional and well equipped were US Civil War soldiers?

Essentially, what the question says - did the war cause Americans to become better at war than the Eurasian powers (Germany, France, England, Russia, Japan, whatever, I am just making up a list) at ...
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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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What is that gold plaque Scottish soldiers wore around their necks?

If you see pictures of Scottish officers in traditional dress, sometimes they are wearing a gold plaque hanging from a chain around their neck. It is usually kind of kidney shaped. Does anyone know ...
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Why was 'Captain' named for 2 different ranks? [closed]

"Captain" is named by most Anglophone navies for their OF-5 rank, and by their armies for their OF-2 rank Captain. Pictured at the top are 2 US Navy, 1 RNZ, and RAN Jennifer Wittwer Captains. Then ...
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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, ...
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Is there a complete list of German cities bombed by the Allies in WWII?

I was doing some reading on the Allied Bombing Campaigns in WWII and found it strange that I couldn't find a specific source that listed all of the German cities bombed in WWII. I had found numerous ...
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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 ...
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How do nations maintain sovereignty over conquered nations?

After the battle of Hastings, William defeated the English with ~7000 men. What I don't understand fully, is how an army of 7000 can maintain control over England, which had around 1.7 million people ...
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Which countries have used rail bikes in their armed forces?

Some 15 years ago, I read an article on "rail biking" and as part of the article it showed pictures of soldiers riding the rails on rail bikes! I believe the photos were from between 1850 and 1950. ...
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How effective were siege guns and gun boats compared to field artillery in the 19th century?

On the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, some 45,000 Confederates under General Albert Sydney Johnston caught 33,000 men of Union General Ulysees S. Grant by surprise. They overran (and captured) one ...
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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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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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Identification of Aircraft, Weimar, Germany, May, 1945

Identification of Aircraft, Weimar, Germany, May, 1945. ck.imgur.com/S83TI.jpg
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From how far away could an experienced and skilled archer hit a man?

So I'm not asking about shooting into the enemy formation without specific target but targeting a single individual with a reasonable chance of success.
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How was Ivaylo's Bulgarian peasant army able to repel the Mongols?

So this peasant in Bulgaria named Ivaylo says he's tired of all these Mongols and gets together a peasant army. How was this roughshod force able to repel the Mongols when so many others have failed?
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Trying to identify a military uniform, ca. WWI

I've recently come into a a large group of dry glass plate negatives, and this is one of the first images I've come across. Most of the the other slides I've seen, so far, are likely from the early ...
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Is Costa Rica's refusal to maintain a standing army unique?

After a 44-day bloody civil war in 1948, the rebel fighters of Costa Rica banned the country from having a standing army. Other than conquered nations under the dominion of another, is there any self-...
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How much time would it take to mobilize an army during WW2?

How long would it take to mobilize the armed forces of a Western country during the 20th century? Specifically, during and around WW2. I'm also looking for the number of troops as-well.
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How did militia barracks look in the 19th century?

I’m seeking some information (preferably photos or art, but description would also help a bit) on how the exterior of militia barracks looked in ~1790 - 1870 in Europe. It would be helpful to mention ...
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What were some Greek equivalents of a Roman triumph?

In ancient Rome, it became common to honor successful military leaders with a parade in their honor. The standard form might involve the general getting snazzy clothes and a gilt chariot, his soldiers ...
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277 views

Scandal at Annapolis in 1934

According to the Wikipedia article on Peyton Magruder he "resigned during his senior year of 1934 partially due to a scandal which has now become a part of Naval Academy lore." What was this scandal?
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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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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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333 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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What were the American-equipped armies of Nationalist China equipped with?

During the latter years of WWII, the US equipped and trained a number of Chinese (Kuomintang) armies to fight the Japanese. Initially the Chinese armies were greatly inferior, armed with bolt-action ...
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445 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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810 views

How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino?

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the eventual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie "Kagemusha", the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
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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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How much food value is a horse to a cavalryman?

Suppose you have a group of say, 1,000 cavalry, that were besieged on a fortress awaiting relief. As such, they are dismounted and fight like infantry. Suppose they are short on food, but they can ...
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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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Identity of pre 1930s US battleship

Need help in identifying this battleship--USS Nevada, Pennsylvannia or Arizona?
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Did the treaty of Versailles require closure of German cadet schools?

I'm hoping someone can give me a definitive answer about whether German military schools/academies ("kadettenanstalt" - secondary school level) were forced to close by the Treaty of Versailles. It ...
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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 ...
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What was the mechanized/motorized distribution in German Panzer divisions?

I've read a lot of organization charts for German Panzer divisions. In most of them, they have one panzer (tank) regiment, one artillery regiment, two or three panzergrenadiere (mobile infantry) ...
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461 views

How did Leonardo plan on moving his tank?

Was there a plan for how to propel the circular wooden tank design of Leonardo da Vinci's? It seems far too heavy to be powered Flintstones-style by the people inside, but it also seems too small for ...
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1answer
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What was the Soviet reasoning for developing their Airborne Forces (VDV) into a powerful military branch?

The Soviet Airborne Forces (the VDV, or the Воздушно-десантные войска, or the Aerial Descent Force as a more precise translation) were one of the more prestigious units in the Soviet military (see '...
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Which Luftwaffe units participated in the raid on Manchester on 11 March 1941?

Which Luftwaffe units participated in the raid on Manchester on 11 March 1941?
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When was the last state militia abandoned? [closed]

I've learned that at the beginning of 1812 war most of the U.S army was a bunch of state militias. I think that during the civil war state militias still existed though I have no idea to what extent. ...
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Did USSR used tactics learned during the winter war against Germany? [closed]

Did the Red Army use tactics from Finland against Germany ? I searched for a while and I have never found any trace of it ...
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1answer
325 views

What type of defenses did the Pequot use at their fort?

During the Pequot War (1634-1638), the Pequot built a fort near modern Mystic, Connecticut. This fort was overrun by the English settlers in 1637 who massacred most of the inhabitants. What type of ...
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1answer
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Seeking identification of a military uniform in a watercolor painting

Can anyone provide information for the uniform in this watercolor? It was discovered in an estate sale in New York City as part of a larger art collection (no other similar pieces). The lettering at ...
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1answer
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Vietnam war “blue tag”

I was talking to a random former USA Vietnam war soldier - I don't know what branch - who said he got out of Vietnam on a "blue tag". What did he mean? I missed the opportunity to ask for ...
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What was the composition of Medieval European armies?

What was the class make up of Western European armies of the Middle Ages? Most cliches tell us that there was usually an elite force of nobles, as knights, a bunch of peasant levies, and sometimes ...
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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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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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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? ...
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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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1answer
225 views

How were wars financed under Islamic empires?

A related question is this thread, where the subject in question were banks, and how they operated and profited under Islamic rule. In Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), charging interest on loans is ...
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130 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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