Questions tagged [military]

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

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2answers
706 views

Are these uniforms credible for American sailors just after WW2?

In the 1961 French film Lola (set in the Atlantic French harbour Nantes), American soldiers wear the white uniforms seen below: Was this uniform typical for these soldiers in Nantes following WW2? ...
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2answers
279 views

How did an advancing force walk during WW1?

I am searching for any noticeable orders, doctrine or any piece of information about how an advancing force should be organized. I am interested in the scope 1914-1918, on European and Middle-East ...
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1answer
113 views

What uniform is this man wearing (probably Austro-Hungarian circa 1900)?

Trying to identify time period, soldier rank and war for this ancestor who live 1876-1918. Probably served in Austria Hungarian war. He was a Croat. It appears that the uniform is dark navy?
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246 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
193 views

Why was the Russian Federation Military expenditure cut in 1998-1999?

I am looking into the Military Expenditure Data provided by SIPRI. Interestingly through 1998-1999 Russian Federation's Military Expenditure was cut down to 14,000 almost half of 1997 which was 23,...
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1answer
39 views

Who were the members of Hartnell's _Compañía Extranjera_?

In 1832, William Hartnell convened a posse of fifty immigrants to "help keep the peace" in California (according to "The Lives of William Hartnell" by Dakin). The group was called "La Compañía ...
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102 views

When is the last time a trebuchet was used in combat? [closed]

When was a trebeuchet or any similar weapons (such as an onager, mangonel, catapult) last used in combat? My guess is that they were replaced by the cannon in the gunpowder age. But I know the cannon ...
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35 views

When did the defeated General José de la Cruz sail back to Spain?

José de la Cruz was a Spanish military commander in Mexico's wars of independence. He was finally defeated by his ex-subordinate, Pedro Celestino Negrete in Durango, just after the Treaty of Córdoba, ...
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84 views

Has the US National Guard ever been deployed nationwide before, as has been done with the Covid-19 pandemic?

I've tried looking in various places online and have been unable to find when in US history we have had nationwide deployments of the National Guards? Where can I find this out? Or do you know? Edit: ...
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59 views

What were the proportions of state militias in Continental Army?

The wikipedia article on the Continental Army suggests that "The army never numbered more than 17,000 men." but also lists a number of 80,000 as the peak size. The former number refers specifically ...
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34 views

What is a good book with authoritative histories of individual RAF bases?

I write a lot about RAF radar systems. It is common to refer to the base where it was first built, like RAF Bard Hill. However, I find it very difficult to find anything about Bard Hill, what does ...
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136 views

Can anyone identify the uniforms in these pics, dated 1903 - 1904, Calcutta?

A little background... his father was a merchant with offices in Bremen and Calcutta; his mother tutored the children of the Viceroy of India. In later documents he states he was a member of the Royal ...
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135 views

What branch of service and rank is this 1860 photo?

This is a cabinet photo taken by Kelley's in New York, but we are having a difficult time identifying his branch of service and rank. Any leads to this genealogical effort would be greatly appreciated!...
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82 views

What is this Uniform and Medal Ribbon?

I am trying to help someone. She has sent me a black & white photo. I think the battle dress is post WW2? And the man could be an officer? Ie the wearing of a tie. I just cannot work out the ...
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118 views

helmet change from Greek to Macedon, Rome and Medieval period

Why did Roman helmets not cover the mouth like their greek counterparts? Did individual soldiers need to shout commands? Same for companion calvary Boeotian helmet vs that of medieval knights.
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60 views

Identify prior 1930's US Battleship and US Navy plane [duplicate]

Looking to identify this battleship--USS Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona?
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324 views

Tomb of the Unknown soldier: why do they relax their jaw?

During the changing of the guard, I have always noticed the relief commander either relaxes their jaw before most sentences they say, or actively juts it out for every sentence (depending on the ...
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800 views

Why did the Lead Dart replace the Pilum?

As I understand it, early through to mid Roman Armies use the javelin style Pilum. I've read that the late Roman army used Lead Darts, or Plumbata, in the same or a very similar fashion. Was the ...
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172 views

What was the significance of Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle from a military/political perspective?

What was a strategic intention for building Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle? Its placement in a swamp, in a basin surrounded by mountains might on three sides made the castle impregnable, but also quite ...
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3answers
707 views

Why Americans like to enroll in military services despite huge risks involved? [closed]

Working in US military is one of the riskiest jobs in America because of the regular engagement in battles compared to other military in the world. I live in a third-world country. Even in my country,...
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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
630 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 ...
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2answers
320 views

When did the US start using sniper + spotter teams, rather than solo snipers?

The US sniper teams are a definite trope of TV and movies, but historically many armies have used solo snipers, without the spotter. When I look for info, I either find gun info, sniper statistics or ...
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1answer
296 views

What kind of impact did ancient armies have on civilians and the environments outside of combat?

Are there any notable studies of the impacts of ancient battles on civilian populations and the environment outside warfare? What happened to farms and villages that lie in the path of ancient armies?...
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1answer
238 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
226 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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194 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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271 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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1answer
265 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
256 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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2answers
741 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
451 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
368 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
187 views

Is there an example of 2 opposing military forces both attempting pincer movements on each other?

Pincer movements (double envelopment) seem to be a ubiquitous and effective theme throughout (what I know of) military history. Since the idea is far from new, it seems to me like you'd find both ...
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1answer
92 views

How did the pincer movement at the Battle of Cannae work? [closed]

In an effort to understand both the Battle of Cannae and its early use of double envelopment (Pincer movement) in 216 BC, I came across the following diagram: The diagram doesn't seem particularly ...
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1answer
250 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
196 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
1k 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
261 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
165 views

Why are flagpole tips spear-shaped? [closed]

I happened to notice that the flagpoles outside of EU Parliament are not ending with a spear-shaped tip (in their upper part), so I wondered why usually flagpoles resemble spears. I suppose that ...
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1answer
156 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
203 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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116 views

What pre-industrial battle used a tactic to split the enemy force in the middle in this way?

I remember watching a video on a pre-industrial battle (maybe even pre musket, but not sure) on a unique battle technique. Cavalry was involved, as well as slingshot and infantry. For some reason my ...
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108 views

What determined who would be on the front lines of a large infantry engagement? [duplicate]

In Ancient and Middle Aged European Armies, what decided whether a soldier was at the front lines or just in the normal center-back? Was it a status symbol or honor to be in the front lines? Please ...
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80 views

What authority did the US Army have in Egypt between 1945 and 1950?

I am trying to research a brief period of time in Egypt immediately after Britain's withdrawal in 1945, specifically the presence and authority of the US military there (if any) before 1950. Was ...
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74 views

Why do graduates of Nanjing Political College receive a dagger that says “military spirit” (“軍魂”)?

Beyond the generality of the college being administered by the PLA, why are they given a dagger, and more specifically, why does it say "military spirit"? I've looked at the Wikipedia article about ...
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103 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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6k 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
237 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
251 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 ...