Questions tagged [military]

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

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Historically, was the War of 1812 ever called by another name?

In the wildly popular Youtube chanel Crash Course, the narrator states that the War of 1812 bears that title only because of the historians' "great imagination" and mentions three humorous names that ...
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2answers
1k views

When and why did tank crews cover their tank markings in WWII?

I'm currently working on a modeling project and would like to know why and when tank crews started to paint over their marking. I'm also interested in which force started the trend and why? I'm ...
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187 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. ...
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1answer
405 views

How large were Victorian British military forces?

I was wondering roughly how many people were members of military services in Britain during the later Victorian era, and had no luck finding any information on the subject online, apart from the ...
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1answer
547 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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1answer
311 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 ...
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2answers
484 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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1answer
268 views

Is there any truth to the story of a British general breaking down in tears upon seeing the battlefield conditions at Passchendaele?

An oft-repeated anecdote about World War I (and the lack of understanding among high ranking officers) claims that, after the Third Battle of Ypres (aka Passchendaele), a British general visited the ...
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1answer
262 views

What was this a buckle for?

I got a buckle in Gettysburg around 1970 that looks like this: These are very widely known as civil war belt buckles. But the farmer/shopkeeper who sold it to me said it was actually not for the ...
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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? ...
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1answer
342 views

Did Japan use reconnaissance balloons in WWII?

I have heard that Japan had used reconnaissance balloons in WWII, especially in China as the Chinese lacked air power and effective anti-air weaponry. I know that balloons - airships to be precise - ...
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1answer
586 views

What did Kennedy know about Soviet missiles during the Cuban missile crisis?

After the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US declassified reports showed that the USSR only had four operational ICBMs in October 1962, notwithstanding contrary rhetoric during the ...
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177 views

M-1 rifle ammo and grenade invasion ration

How many rounds did US Army infantry carry on a beach landing? One belt of 10, 8 round clips? two belts? How many grenades?
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1answer
2k views

Riveted mail - flat or round rings? Die cut rings mixed with riveted ones?

I'm interested in the chainmail worn in the 14th and 15th century. As far as I know, almost all chainmail found in Europe has been riveted and woven 4 in 1. But I hear that there were chainmails made ...
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1answer
152 views

Average ages of US Army officers at the turn of the 20th century

What would be the average rate of promotion for US Army officers beginning their career in the mid 1890's as a 2nd Lieutenant? By what age could they expect to be promoted to each successive rank? ...
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205 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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253 views

Military Strategy of Carnot

I'm listening to Mike Duncan's podcast, Revolutions, episode 3.44, and in it, he details the misfortunes of the French bumbling about the wrong side of the Rhine. According to Duncan, Carnot, now a ...
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1answer
169 views

Which leading Serbs and Croats argued against their own extremists in the wars 1992-95?

Looking back on the wars in Bosnia and Croatia twenty years on, and having read many of the histories of the period, I can't think of any accounts of commanders on either side behaving with vision or ...
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569 views

Were commandos brought in to break the Grand Mosque siege French or Pakistani?

In December 1979 some miscreants occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca. I have read the Wikipedia article regarding this, but i am still unclear who broke this siege. Were they Pakistan army commandos or ...
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1answer
2k views

Missing link in the German tank development?

As you know, the Leopard 1 was not the first tank of postwar Germany. Germany work on different new tanks. There are prototypes as medium tank Indienpanzer (later developed into a Swiss KW30 and its ...
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1answer
220 views

Is/were there cases of hazing and violence against younger conscripts in armies of Arabic countries?

Is/were there cases of hazing and violence against younger conscripts in armies of Arabic countries? It is often advertised in the media that there are no such things in Israeli army, but what about ...
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1answer
136 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 ...
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1answer
405 views

What kind of knife is this?

My grandpa had this knife and we do not know anything about it. It seems to be very interesting and I am very curious as to what kind of knife this is and where it came from. Edit: Grandpa was born ...
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1answer
405 views

How was Pre-Samurai Japan structured ? What part did solders and warriors play in the yayoi culture and how did the Yamato state wage war ?

I've always been fascinated about the history of ancient Japan before the Samurai. A period rarely written about, and never truly brought to light in films or any form of media. I was wondering what ...
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1answer
259 views

Special name for two rows of knights with raised swords?

Is there a special name to describe the formation of knights that form a row of arches with their swords (for a special person to walk through)? Was such a formation historically accurate, or only ...
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How far could Mongolian horses travel in a day?

Help! I searched this up on Google and there was nothing, I even looked it up on the Wikipedia. I need information by tomorrow. It is for a project.
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319 views

Is The King (2019) historically realistic?

The King (2019) by Netflix is about king Henry V. A few aspects of the movie struck me as either unbelievable, or contradicting what little even I know about history. In no particular order: The ...
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127 views

What is the latest case of employment of Cretan archers in Antiquity?

It is known that Cretan archers were widely used (presumably as mercenaries) across Mediterranean by Greek armies and were occasionally included in Roman armies of Republic and of Imperial period. I ...
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103 views

How did succession work in the modern Argentine military dictatorships?

For example, it says on the wikipedia page for Alfredo Oscar Saint Jean, an Argentine president and general: "Saint-Jean's brief period as President in June and July 1982 ended when he was succeeded ...
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165 views

Can you identify this military uniform? Montana 1850-1920

Portrait taken in Montana-best guess between 1850 and 1920. WWI?? Slouch hat. Single-breasted coat with 5 or 6 buttons. Breast pocket on each side; diagonal, flap with button. Knee-high boots. Curvy ...
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96 views

Palestinian Troop Strength During 1948 War

I am trying to estimate the strength of the Palestinian irregular forces during the 1947-49 War. I find two well documented groups: Army of the Holy War, commanded by Husayni, based in Ramalla, ...
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280 views

History about Triplex Plate Armour?

An example of triplex plate armour was discovered and dated to the War of the Roses at the Royal Armoury of Leeds. They even had a reproduction made by A Plaisance Armouries for a crossbow and musket ...
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738 views

How many German soldiers were there by the time Nazi Germany surrendered?

How many German soldiers were out there fighting by the time Nazi Germany surrendered ? (What I mean by surrendered is 8th of may 1945) I read this and it says in early may there were around 800K ...
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2k views

How many samurai warriors were there during the Sengoku period?

I was trying to estimate the number of warriors who were part of the samurai class. I am mainly interested in the 16th and 17th centuries. Trying to search for that, I came across this. It states ...
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1answer
441 views

How did Native Americans defend militarily? [closed]

I've seen Native Americans as great warriors who charged armies and raided settlements but I haven't heard much about their defensive capabilities. When they were attacked, did they have set up any ...
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191 views

Which Field Marshal famously used to fire Staff Officers if they could not write orders within two pages?

I recall a military anecdote which described a Field Marshal who considered Officers ineffectual if they were unable to write concisely. I believe the standard applied was that all plans or orders ...
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1answer
347 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
195 views

Youngest age for the militia in the middle ages

I know it probably differed from village to village, town to town, city to city, but what was the standard bare minimum age for anyone to join the local militia or receive any sort of combat/survival ...
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1answer
357 views

Where can I find documents on the 1992 fight between French soldiers and Somalian fighters?

I read in this French blog that before the battle of Mogadishu in 1993, French soldiers did fight successfully and manage to achieve their mission in June 1992 during the Oryx Operation (They were ...
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3answers
907 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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859 views

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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4answers
453 views

Why are the police never responsible for guarding the Head of the State?

Why does the military provide the Head of State's honor guard? Why is the Head of State always accompanied by military personnel? Why don't the police escort the Head of State?
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338 views

Are there any surviving military textbooks from the Napoleonic era?

Napoleon attended school for military officers, so it stands to reason they would have some books around which they based their curriculum. Are there any complete and publicly available recordings of ...
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2answers
279 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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2answers
2k views

Has the USA ever taken unilateral military action?

In the post-American Revolution era, has the United States ever taken unilateral military action against another country besides during the Civil War?
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363 views

Stories from history of mercenaries who didn't get paid

I'm doing a talk on freelancing. It's a dirty secret that sometimes hired guns don't get paid. I'd like to de-personalize it by telling a couple short historical stories of mercenaries who didn't ...
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1answer
342 views

Rationale for mounted infantry?

Why would the Victorian military use mounted infantry instead of cavalry? Was it due to the lower training requirements for man and horse?
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1k views

Which was the last war in which swords were used? [closed]

Which was the last war in which swords were actively used as the primary weapon by an army?
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496 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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184 views

Autobiographical books about the Atlantic war for WWII from the allied perspective

A long time ago I read Das Boot (which is the collection of experiences as war correspondent in a U-Boat, it contains also more gruesome depictions never mentioned in the movie). I would like to know ...