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Questions tagged [military]

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

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5answers
621 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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4answers
1k views

What was the last profitable war? [closed]

I was having a conversation with family and friends this weekend and this question came up: "what was the last profitable war?" Of course in history there were wars that turned a profit, ones I can ...
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1answer
618 views

Was the US's pre-emptive bombardment of Iwo Jima insufficient? [closed]

[Source:] The lessons learned on Iwo Jima served as guidelines for the following Battle of Okinawa and the planned invasion of the Japanese homeland. For example, "because of the casualties taken at ...
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2answers
631 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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1answer
2k views

Did Germany have enforced conscription in 1944? [closed]

My grandfather was a german soldier during the second world war. He was born on March 22, 1926 in Schwabach, Germany. At the age of 18 he enrolled in the german army. There is one detail i would ...
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1answer
237 views

What is the history of organizing militaries primarily through semi-permanent units as opposed to individual positions?

In modern, professionalized armies, command structures tend to be composed of units and subunits, and the chain of command goes from commanding officer of a superior unit to the commanding officer of ...
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2answers
224 views

What is this complex in Colorado?

This image is located in Windsor, Colorado(40.4526°N -104.9273°W) and it continues to puzzle me. There is a high fence surrounding the about 5 acre area. I looked up who the land is owned by and the ...
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1answer
378 views

Where is the tomb of Erwin Rommel located? [closed]

I saw this picture on a Facebook page and I'm wondering where it is. Maybe it was destroyed like many nazi era monuments and symbols, but maybe it's still there ? I'm reading the biography of Rommel ...
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1answer
127 views

Can anyone identify this military uniform (1900-1915)?

Can anyone identify this uniform? Uncertain of the time frame, suspect it is 1900 - 1915.
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2answers
265 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, ...
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2answers
558 views

Can the Largest Infantry Polearms be Wielded by Cavalry?

Someone was telling me that cavalry can use any polearm infantry can use. Including the largest halberds and pikes that were ever used. I would like to ask if this is feasible and true. I only know ...
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1answer
386 views

Which were the (militarily) strongest countries of the Holy Roman Empire?

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, Roman or an empire, but it was still a strong power despite its infighting. What were the strongest countries towards the end of the "empire"?
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1answer
358 views

Was the 18th century Russian peasant braver; or simply more afraid of Cossacks?

Frederick the Great famously noted after the Battle of Zorndorf that "It's easier to kill the Russians than to win over them." For that same battle the Russian commander (William Fermor) is noted as ...
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1answer
233 views

Can you explain how officers were able to refuse orders historically in France? Elsewhere?

I've read several biographies that pertained to military history in England and France especially around the time of Napoleon. I noticed that the authors referenced the ruler requesting the service of ...
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1answer
225 views

Did Japan have secret films about going into the US in the 40s?

This film (narrated by Ronald Regan) was produced in the 40s. It discusses detailed planning for an air mission into an area in Japan. Did Japan have similar fims in the time period to aid them in ...
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1answer
228 views

Why were general and flag officers allowed to fly aircraft in combat?

LTG Frank M Andrews and Maj Gen Robert Worley both died while piloting combat aircraft in a war. I'm assuming that generals and admirals are less skilled or prepared to pilot aircraft, as their ...
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1answer
133 views

Where can I find primary sources on mortars/artillery in world war one?

I need primary sources for artillery from ww1. I have looked everywhere such as the database of the World War I Document Archive, Proquest and archive.org but with no luck. So I am asking here as a ...
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1answer
261 views

Where was this flag flown?

I have a 48 Star flag that I have recently acquired from a seller off of a similar setting to Craigslist. He said he’s found it in an attic and really has no other information on it. Because the size ...
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1answer
794 views

Was it possible for one medieval warrior to defeat several opponents? [closed]

I think that an experienced and equipped warrior (mercenary, for example) had no chance against two or more equal opponents in fight. But what if his opponents were three peasants? I heard a theory ...
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3answers
257 views

What troop categories were used historically? [closed]

To my understanding, modern terminology such as infantry, cavalry and artillery, and especially light vs heavy and roles like skirmishers etc. generally originate from 17-18th century European efforts ...
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1answer
118 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 ...
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1answer
206 views

Did America help the Chinese nationalists to repel the communist advance?

As an answer said in this subject (What are some major military successes the Soviet Union achieved against the Western World?), it seems that the politics of USA had a great issue on the help of ...
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1answer
184 views

Can anyone identify this early 20th century uniform?

Maybe US, British or Irish. Might be military or civil. Early 20th century. Medals on right chest? Commemorative or mirror image?
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0answers
100 views

For the French Army under Jean Martinet (d1672) how and why were cavalry used instead of infantry?

For France's army of the period of Jean Martinet (d1672) in the Early modern, how and why were cavalry used instead of infantry? In European warfare the default company is the infantry company. This ...
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2answers
5k views

What were the differences between the Waffen SS and the Wehrmacht in their role during the war? [closed]

I can't find any good answers. The Waffen SS was more of a private army while the Wehrmacht was a national army I think. Except that the Waffen SS was given orders by the OKW just like the Heer and ...
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1answer
223 views

The end of swords as infantrymen sidearms [duplicate]

When did infantrymen of Western armies cease to be issued of swords as sidearms (and backup weapons), on a general basis? PS, Swords were rather common stuff for infantrymen even in 19th century (...
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2answers
244 views

Did cavalrymen drive in tanks in World War II?

I found the following quote in the dictionary of US army slang (my emphasis): bowlegs: Derisive term for cavalrymen, ignoring the fact that they rode in tanks rather than on horseback. Were there ...
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1answer
498 views

Why the Rzhev battle is not as famous as Stalingrad? [closed]

Since the 4 operation on the EasternFront ( Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus ) are linked, why is the Rzhev battle so unknown ? Didn't Model requested most of the backup to defend his salient ? ...
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3answers
505 views

Has a sniper ever disabled a tank?

In theory, a sniper can disable a tank. shoot out the gun sight shoot out the driver sight wait for crew to open the hatch because they can't see shoot the crew Has this ever happened? The snipers ...
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2answers
279 views

In which estate were the soldiers prior to the French revolution?

In which estate did the soldiers come prior to the French revolution? In my book it is written "peasants had to serve in the army..." and "army was not open as I was not a noble by birth"
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1answer
237 views

Medal of Honor for retreating before an enemy?

The Highest award for valor in the United States Armed Services is the Medal of Honor; sometimes referred to the Congressional Medal of Honor. Has anyone received this high honor while retreating ...
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1answer
189 views

Must scopes have revealing reflections? [closed]

This is my first post in History. I hope this is a good stack for my question, as I see a lot of posts related to military hardware. If not, well, let me know. Are there any documented cases of lens ...
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1answer
349 views

Modern navy ranks, roles and responsibilities [closed]

Note: As there is no military related StackExchange, it has been suggested to ask here. In a modern navy, a carrier can have several thousand crew members. For such a large number of crew, there ...
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1answer
150 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 ...
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1answer
182 views

Which Union General identified the defensive value of Cemetery Hill?

Who was the first Union general to realize the significance of Cemetery Hill during the battle of Gettysburg (1863) as a defensive position: Buford, Reynolds, Howard, or Hancock? They each claim to be ...
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1answer
212 views

The Roman Legion Strength [closed]

-What's the secret behind the "Roman Legion" strength? -Historically, The "Roman Legion" was one of the strongest military units ever: They played key roles throughout the Roman wars. They were the ...
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1answer
10k views

Do Navy Seals die in training? [closed]

I didn't know where to ask this but i've heard that sometimes Navy Seals die during traing? Is this true? The same goes fro Green Berets.
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4answers
1k views

Why did the other Continental European powers keep trying to fight Napoleon before 1813 despite being beaten by him so often?

In the Napoleonic Wars the other major powers of Continental Europe, especially Austria but also Prussia and Russia, seemed to keep coming back every few years to have another go at fighting Napoleon, ...
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1answer
307 views

Why aren't all front-line soldiers issued suicide pills? [closed]

I know that certain soldiers (on secret missions) and spies have been issued them, One of the objectives of the Dieppe Raid in August 1942 was to discover the importance and performance capability ...
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3answers
290 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 ...
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2answers
173 views

Why did the introduction of European firearms have such an impact on warfare in Africa and the Americas?

So to my knowledge, one of the reasons that gunpowder changed everything was that the firearm was the first weapon that could reliably penetrate plate armor, which made feudal armored cavalry (knights,...
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1answer
205 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 ...
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1answer
351 views

Rifle with bayonet thrown like a javelin

I mean certainly there had to be a circumstance at one point where a soldier's only chance was to throw his rifle and somehow ended up winning? my searches have garnered no luck.. edit:for the 150 ...
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3answers
1k views

Did cavalry in China use spears instead of swords?

In Japan, yari (spear) seems inferior to katana. In Shogun: Total War, for example. Spear wielding troops are "cheaper" than Samurai. The spear wielding troops are peasants. Samurai are warior classes....
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3answers
474 views

Was it possible to organize a women's uprising or feminist movement in the Middle Ages? [closed]

Women in Europe endured thousands of years of gender inequality, culminating in the Middle Ages. Women in the Middle Ages had few rights and were treated like minors and properties, yet they did very ...
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3answers
542 views

Why did leaders seem to overlook diseases in their campaigns?

During military campaigns in the 19th century many soldiers died of diseases. Why did the military leaders not seem to pay as much attention to the importance of supply to the army? Let me give some ...
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1answer
1k views

Were Germans permitted to give the Hitler salute with the left arm?

I frequently come across pictures and videos where Nazi functionaries (such as SS and SA men) give the infamous Hitler salute (a.k.a the Fascist salute) with their right hand. Now this is hardly ...
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1answer
311 views

Has the US army ever fought an urban battle? [closed]

I can think of the following examples off the top of my head: Mogadishu (a disaster) Fallujah (more like a siege followed by walking into an abandoned city) Sadr city (same) Baghdad 2003 (basically a ...