Questions tagged [military]

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

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1answer
383 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
379 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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1answer
198 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 ...
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5answers
836 views

Were Allied high commanders that bad at the end of WW2?

I have heard by some friends, speaking of military history, that Allied commanders were well known for being, at best, mediocre in their performance of fight. They were not able to give precise ...
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3answers
920 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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4answers
477 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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2answers
415 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
295 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
444 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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2answers
2k views

Hand signal for suppressing enemy position in World War 2

I've seen this in some movies and video games about world war 2. Basically whenever a ranking officer wanted to signal his troops to suppress an enemy position, he would sort of punch 2-3 times in ...
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2answers
540 views

Were warhorses unable to graze in grass fields and thus needed to be manually fed an exclusive type of hay?

I found this trivia in a historical strategy game (whose name shall not be disclosed) and I want to know its credibility. It is stated that warhorses — say, destriers or other types of European ...
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1answer
381 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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602 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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3answers
1k 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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1answer
316 views

What were the differences between mortars and other artilleries in world war I?

Artillery just means missiles today. In WWI did artillery and mortars worked the same way only difference being the angle its being fired at, and how big the projectile is.
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188 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 ...
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2answers
172 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 ...
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3k views

What are the capabilities of a warhorse?

I am really curious about the capabilities of warhorses that the military used before the combustion vehicle came and mostly replaced them on modern battlefield. I had read a bit about warhorse, but ...
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2answers
776 views

Has the training of Russian troops improved since 1989? [closed]

Recently, USA has excluded Pakistan from military training list. On the flip side, Pakistan has signed an agreement with Russian Federation for the training of its officers. My personal assessment is, ...
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1answer
107 views

Identifying a badge/medal

Does anyone know what this is from and who had this?
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2answers
216 views

How much did Spanish California officials earn?

It is my understanding that in Alta California, priests and natives in Missions earned no cash salary, but Spanish army officials would have. From the governor down to a junior soldier, what did they ...
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1answer
146 views

Please help identify this medal… German military?

Found this in my late father's possessions. Probably belonged to his father or grandfather. Prussian? German? war related? I have no idea...
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2answers
346 views

How “old” is mechanized infantry in terms of usage in warfare and what should be called as such?

This topic often fascinated me as a kid. I often questioned myself if there was an equivalent of the use of machinery to protect ground soldiers during a siege or an attack at some city or whatever ...
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1answer
176 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 ...
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2answers
441 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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1answer
947 views

Can you identify the “Tank Limo”?

Dame Vivienne Westwood uses a "tank" to protest fracking. It's not a tank, but a strange Armored Personnel Carrier that I cannot identify. The markings indicate it is the "Tank Limo" hired from Tanks-...
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1answer
263 views

Were Russian recruits ever chained?

This paper contains the following remark: Recruits were then marched off, without proper care, to a destination that might be hundreds of miles away; initially they were branded and even ...
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1answer
353 views

How did British aircraft fare against Japanese aircraft during the Second World War? [closed]

It goes without saying that both the Supermarine Spitfire used by the UK and the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero are iconic fighter aircraft of the Second World War. But how did these aircraft fare when they ...
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2answers
512 views

If the Allies had invaded Japan in 1945, would they have been fighting the “weakest” Japanese troops?

Sources such as Basil Collier's "The Second World War: A Military History" list the Japanese forces during the war as being 6 million. My understanding is that the background of these troops is ...
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3answers
267 views

Were Israeli-Arab conflicts in the Cold war testing grounds for NATO and Warsaw Pact equipment?

During the Cold War, Israel and it's Arab neighbors often came into conflict with each other and fought a number of wars during which Israel often used weaponry from the West (USA, UK and France) ...
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2answers
200 views

Where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were?

I am looking for a fairly comprehensive source where can I find data on the amount of fuel carried by WWII Warships and what their operational ranges were? I mean, I want to look up this information ...
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1answer
155 views

Difference between acts of “merit” and acts of “valor” in military decorations? (e.g. V device)

I used to think valor is for combat and merit is non-combat. Then I realize Purple heart, a successor of Badge of Military Merit, is awarded for "being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy"...
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1answer
236 views

What is this soldier's regiment?

Could anyone please help me identify this soldier's regiment
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2answers
653 views

How effective were archers/ slingers / skirmishers in Greek, Roman and Medieval Period?

So it seemed that from the accounts of Thermopelea, Roman military strategy of waiting out an arrow storm, and Knights holding out for hours behind a shield wall during the first crusade it ...
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1answer
122 views

Can the assignment “Depot Battalion” in Hart's Annual Army List be linked to a specific regimental assignment?

In this question I asked about the meaning of the assignment "depot battalion" in Hart's Annual Army List, a book that lists the assignments of every British officer in the Victoria era, each year. ...
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2answers
191 views

Was there a Stick-Grenade prior to the Stielhandgranate?

Most people are familiar with the Stielhandgranate that appeared in 1915, and saw use in both world wars. The question I have, is whether it was the first of its kind, a stick-grenade? Were there no ...
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2answers
363 views

Have interior lines ever mattered? [closed]

There is at least one instance where being encircled tactically is an advantage: any path between two points in the interior is shorter than the corresponding perimeter. Has this ever actually ...
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1answer
787 views

Has ramming ever been considered a viable tanking tactic?

Has any nation's tank doctrine ever used ramming as a primary or secondary means of combat? I'm aware that Soviet tanks at the Battle of Kursk would ram German tanks once they (the Soviets) ran out of ...
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1answer
495 views

How did the Romans build their armies for the First Punic War?

The Romans built a great and vast empire, my question is what were some of the military techniques they used to build, train, and use their army? Specifically during the period of the First Punic War. ...
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1answer
675 views

What are some other celebrated military failures, besides Gallipoli? [closed]

The Gallipoli campaign in WWI is a hugely important event in Australian and New Zealand history. 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the landings and there are huge commemorations planned to mark the ...
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1answer
122 views

For how many years in the eighteenth century were Russian soldiers present within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth borders?

For modern Poland, the answer is rather simple. Russian, and later Soviet soldiers, were stationed inside the Polish borders for almost the whole 19th and 20th centuries (with a notable exception for ...
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1answer
296 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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1answer
400 views

How did a travelling Roman army decide where to temporarily camp for the night?

I seem to remember that Sun Tzu says to avoid mountains and valley entrances, and be close to a river with grass, but how did a Roman army decide where to camp off the beaten track, such as through a ...
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2answers
1k views

Was Textile Armour More Effective at Stopping Arrows than Mail?

You hear accounts of guys trundling around with a dozen arrows sticking out of their padded armour, looking like pin cushions. This has lead to the belief padded cloth armours could stop arrows ...
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1answer
708 views

What happened to the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792?

We know that the Swiss guards were disbanded in the aftermath of the Assault on the Tuileries, on August 10, 1792, and all other Swiss troops in French service followed soon thereafter. We also know ...
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1answer
121 views

Can anyone identify this uniform? Time period is 1841

This is a charcoal drawing of my great great grandfather. He was born in 1819 and I was told he served for 7 years. It looks like in the lower right hand corner it shows 1841. I heard he served for ...
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1answer
279 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. ...
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2answers
2k views

Did any country adopt a straight pull bolt-action rifle?

I know that Canada developed the Ross-rifle, but was it officially adopted? I'm also interested in adoption not only for infantry, but for any armed forces.
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432 views

Historical precedent for using bodyguards as special forces?

In many sci-fi stories such as Star Wars (before TFA invalidated it) featured emperors, leaders, and senators with personal bodyguards trained in martial arts and advanced weaponry that also doubled ...

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