Questions tagged [military]

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

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How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

I'm looking for the number of soldiers the Mongol Empire had at the time of Genghis Khan. What percentage of them were ethnically Mongolians?
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Why are modern tanks regiments called cavalry?

The word cavalry is derived from the French word cavalerie which means horse. Historically the term cavalry has been used to represent troops mounted on horseback. After the invention of battle tanks ...
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What kind of cloth did Genghis Khan use in his armor?

Genghis Khan the king of the Mongolian Empire used a specific kind of cloth material for his military fatigues. This cloth material worked as an armor and was an advantage for his soldiers to win ...
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Why did Frederick the Great do so much worse against the Russians than against his other enemies in the Seven Years' War?

Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, made a name for himself and Prussia in the Seven Years' War, winning key battles against the French and Austrians at long odds. He won the battle of Rossbach ...
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Can you identify this military uniform?

My Dad bought this painting and this is the only photo he sent me of it. I started out looking all over to find resources with military uniforms through history, but they seem to leave out the dress ...
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Identification of location of ship yard or naval base

I need help in identifying the location of this ship yard or naval base.
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What do men in the middle of a phalanx contribute?

I understand how the Phalanx can have an almost impenetrable front, and I understand the rear and sides may have to defend against an attack like the front - but what purpose do men in the middle ...
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What uniform is in this picture?

Believe he was in the Somerset Light Infantry based at Jellallabad camp Taunton sometime between 1890 and 1914. Any help from anyone appreciated. We cannot find his birth or death as he used ...
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How did they manage accuracy with traction trebuchets?

Traction trebuchets were the earliest kind of trebuchet, where instead of the more familiar counterweight, the force came from lots of men pulling ropes attached to the short arm: https://en....
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What branch of the military wore this uniform?

I found this pic in my grandmother's belongings after her passing. I'm curious as to what branch of the military this soldier was in and the time frame. Maybe even what war, if any he may have been in....
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What equipment and formations did the Muslim armies employ against the Crusades?

One can easily find articles on Wikipedia about typical tactical formations of Romans, but I haven't found such information on the Muslim world, specifically during the crusades. Did the Muslim armies ...
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What Were the Types of Sieges?

As I understand it, there were two types of sieges. One was where the attacking army would "camp," surrounding the city, and let the defenders run out of food. An example was Ulysses S. Grant's siege ...
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Is this a US Civil War uniform?

Image is a photo of an original tin type (photographic method introduced in 1856, in popular production until roughly 1867), hat appears to be U.S. Civil War - Union, "X" patch on right front breast ...
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How and why did the Cavalry lance temporarily fall out of favour during the 16-18th centuries?

In the late middle ages, every knight or even his retainers and squires were armed with a spear or a lance. When heavy cavalry gave way to pike squares, we still see the lance still in use among the ...
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Why did the Russians lose to the Turks in 1711 after defeating them in 1700 and the Swedes in 1709?

The Russians captured Azov and Taganrog in a war with Turkey that ended in 1700. Then they decimated the Swedish army at Poltava in 1709, thereby crippling their main enemy, and freeing the bulk of ...
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How many soldiers were present at the charge down Little Round Top?

The events of July 2, 1863 have been discussed endlessly, from Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels to the film Gettysburg. Since reading the book and seeing the film many times, I can't help but wonder ...
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What rank is S. SGT in the Army Air Force during WW2?

I am looking over my Grandfather's DD214 (Military Discharge Paperwork) from WW2. His grade says "S. SGT" I am trying to figure out his rank conclusively. Nowhere on the DD214 does it display an E-5 ...
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Did barracks exist in the middle ages?

In many medieval RTS games soldiers come out of a building named 'Barracks'. Where did medieval soldiers actually train ? Did such specialised buildings exist ? Most peasants probably got no training ...
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Changing troops in first line during battle?

I remember Caesar in De Bello Gallico mentioning Romans changing fighting/resting troops in some siege defense while Celtic attackers didn't do this and lost the battle because of it. This is just one ...
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Why did Cretan archers flourish?

This question concerns why Cretan archers were so prolific and well regarded during Antiquity. As seen in Xenophon's Anabasis Cretan archers often were hired to serve as mercenaries in Greece and ...
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What were the incentives for joining the Roman army before the Marian reforms?

Before the Marian reforms, soldiers had to supply their own equipment. This did not exactly inspire anyone to form a professional standing army, especially since most were peasants who had to return ...
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Did Soviet Republics like Kazakstan and Azerbaijan have their own military units?

Were Soviet units typically separated by national origin or were all men from all Soviet nations mixed together in divisions? I'm not talking just through World War II, but from the 1940s all the way ...
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How much firepower did the British navy represent in 1940?

A question was recently asked about how Britain would have defended herself against a cross-channel invasion by Hitler. A key element in the British defense would be the Royal Navy. At the beginning ...
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A Roman Admiral, a Tribune, a Legatus and a Promagistrate all walk into an arena

If these meet up, who is more senior than who, socially, politically and militarily? The Legatus, Admiral, and Tribune are from legions and fleets in different provinces to the Promagistrate. They ...
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What uniforms did each of the American Civil War regiment wear during First Bull Run / First Manassas

During the American Civil War battle First Bull Run / First Manassas, regiments of both sides turned up in either the gray militia uniform or the blue 1858 regulation uniform, in addition to any ...
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Were there many instances when an “overaged” commander was at odds with a much younger second in command?

I can think of two. The first was at Stirling Bridge, in 1297 when the English outnumbered the Scots some 4 to 1, but the 72-year old English commander, John Warrenne, Earl of Surrey was not keen on ...
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Were there bows employed by tribes living in the desert, and if so, what were they made of?

For tribes that inhabited desert areas (e.g. Arabian Peninsula, Sahara, etc...), there seems to have been a problem: a good bow would likely require materials that would be hard to come by in the ...
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What is the history of standing armies in India?

Specifically, the points I am looking answers to are: 1) What is the first recorded instance of a standing army in the Indian subcontinent. 2) When did it become a general practice to have standing ...
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Military expenditure over time [closed]

The following graph from the world bank website shows the world wide military expenditure in percentage of the world GDP over time from 1988 to 2015 I am trying to find similar data over a much ...
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Is there evidence for the use of the solenarion in late Medieval Ethiopia?

Shihab al-Umari, an Arab historian of the 14th century, wrote much of what's know of Emperor of Ethiopia Amda Seyon I campaigns against the Muslim States, namely Awfat, Dawaru, Arababni, Hadya, ...
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Why do people say, “Alexander the Great conquered the world?”

In many books, articles, or even in folktales, whenever Alexander III of Macedon (referred to as Alexander the Great) is mentioned, it is said that he conquered the world. Even some historian say that ...
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Did the Germans consider an amphibious landing for Fall Blau?

In the operation Fall Blau (Case Blue) the German Wehrmacht advanced towards the Don river, and then sent Army Group A into the Caucasus region to take the oil fields in the region. They managed to ...
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Have revolutions been won without the military establishment?

Various historical and political theorists (for instance, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita) have asserted that the support, or, at most, the abstention of a country's military is necessary for a successful ...
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Historical examples of significant no man's lands between states in perpetual conflict

What are some historical examples, if any, of large-scale (say > 100 square kilometers) "no-man's lands" between states in perpetual conflict? These states would be mutually hostile, firmly divided ...
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Was the Waffen-SS an elite force? [duplicate]

I often hear that the SS were "the elite troops of the Reich" and I seriously doubt it without being able to explain why it wasn't despite having read two entire books on the Waffen-SS. I think it's ...
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What was the first confirmed use of black powder to blow stuff up in war (in China and in Europe)?

In this SciFi SE answer to "Can we date the technology in the Lord of the Rings movies?" , I made a statement that I wasn't able to research as fully as I'd have liked, and therefore would like a ...
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About Naval Formations?

What are the differences between the "line ahead" and "line abreast" formations in naval warfare? Which is more likely to lead to the (advantageous) of "crossing the opponents' T" (or being crossed)?
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Why couldn't the UN lift the siege of Sarajevo?

The Siege of Sarajevo lasted for more than three years, and the people inside were very much trapped. This was in 1992, at which time the UN had ~40,000 troops, which it had mobilized for the specific ...
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Why didn't Romans fight in a single line formation?

I read that historically, Romans fought in checker board formation, composed of 3 lines. But I play Rome Total War and in the game, that deployment means a nice recipe for high casualties. In the game,...
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What happened in Calcutta in 1961?

I was watching a clip of the American flag being raised in Havana for the embassy re-opening since closing in 1961. There were some retired Marines there who were there when the flag was taken down. ...
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What is the motivation of having heavy infantry to the right and light infantry to the left flank?

In Napoleonic wars era, a line contains mostly regular troops except for two kind of elite units, the heavy one, e.g. grenadiers, they normally are the bravest, strongest troops with the best stamina, ...
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At what point did the United States have a truly federal army?

Wikipedia states that: The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784. But how much was it truly a federal force? I assume it had one central command from ...
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Did USS Buck (DD-761) send the message “Temper, Temper”?

In a March 26, 2019 Reddit post with 1.1k upvotes, there is a picture with a story as follows (emphasis added). 15 Mar 1952: The Wisconsin receives her first direct hit in her history when one of ...
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Looking for info on an (epicly) failed British Special Forces mission

A couple of years back I read a Wikipedia article about a UK special forces mission. After a series of bad decisions, most of the crew got killed. I would like to be able to give these events as an ...
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How does a country give “aid” to another?

This may not be historical because it's a contemporary event. However, it's been going on for a while. Suharto said, "No to your aids" (or something like that). For instance. Say US gives aid to ...
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What is the origin of the black/devil riders?

From what I understand, the black/devil riders were a group of German soldiers or mercenaries who were famous for using black painted armor. They developed various techniques for fighting on horseback,...
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When was the first airborne combat drop?

I know that airborne troops became famous in WWII, but was that the first time they actually fought after parachuting into the combat zone? What was the first instance in which paratroopers in an ...
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Examples of defense without walls

Walls (or physical barriers) appear to be the standard defensive structure for a city in order to keep invaders out. Are there examples of cultures/cities that successfully defended themselves without ...
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Strange jeep-hold cable used during Operation Horev

The National Library of Israel has just released 100 images about Operation Horev. Two images show a jeep that holds a sort of cable attached to a balloon or something, or maybe it is just a very ...
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Are there recorded incidents of the Gentlemen Pensioners protecting the monarch in the 16th century?

The Gentlemen Pensioners were the forerunner to the modern Her Majesty's Body Guards. Henry VIII instated it in 1509, disbanded it in 1515/16, and re-created the unit in 1539. They are described as ...

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