Questions tagged [military]

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

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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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447 views

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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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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1answer
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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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998 views

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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932 views

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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Can anyone identify this possibly Czechoslovak uniform?

I have this photo of my Great Grandfather Antonin Hošek and his wife Elisabeth Hofrichter with my Grandma as a baby Alzběta Hošková. I am trying to find out more about my family's past and I'd love to ...
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What kind of uniform is this? (Circa 1940s, possibly Israeli)

This photo is in a photo album from Jersusalem, with mostly family-type photos, some with Hebrew writing on the back. Some of the photos are dated and they range from the 1930s to the 1950s, and this ...
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What kind of bullet did I find in Swiss glacial ice?

I found this bullet frozen in glacial ice in Switzerland. There is no visible stamp on it anymore and unfortunately did not have any precise measuring equipment with me. I can measure the size of my ...
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475 views

Did Jiang Baili receive a sword from Emperor Meiji for graduating first of his class?

Jiang Baili was a famous Chinese military trainer who attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Some sources, including the Wikipedia article, claims that he graduated top of the class and that ...
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What happened to the belongings of fallen Roman soldiers?

It seems that soldiers in Rome were very well paid, even after all their running costs and other expenses were removed. What I'm curious to know is where would a soldier have kept his excess funds, ...
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How did Turkey achieve such a quick military rebound after World War I?

The Ottoman military had a very weak performance in World War I (1914-1918), completely defeated in the Middle Eastern theatre and ended up losing almost all of its non-Anatolia possession. This was ...
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755 views

Did the Carthaginians have the option of sending Hannibal to Sicily?

Sicily was a major focus of the First and Second Punic Wars. The first Punic war ended with Carthage handing over major grain-growing areas on the island, and the port of Lilybaem to Rome as spoils of ...
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996 views

What is the origination of the Forlorn Hope?

Going back to a comment I had made in the question on What were the types of sieges something I had seen often referred to in the Bernard Cornwell Sharpe series was the Forlorn Hope. Basically these ...
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Under European feudalism, were the distribution of armies (vassals and fiefdoms) based on a coherent idea?

The context is High Medieval, (c. 1001—1300). The concept of feudalism is as understood in Europe. I'm not looking for an answer to cover all European empires or dynasties during this period -- which ...
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What were the ranks in the Army of Imperial Spain?

At the time of the Latin American wars of independence, the Imperial Spanish army employed men in ranks like Capitán (captain), Sargento (sergeant) and so on, between the King and the lowliest ...
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513 views

Did the chariot drop in importance between bronze age Greece and the iron age Greece? Why, why not?

In what I've read about classical Greece - about Persian wars, Pelaponesian wars, Battle of Leuctra, Macedonia conquest...etc. - military discussion seems to be mostly about the Phalanx with a bit ...
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502 views

What would the Royal Sussex Regiment have been doing in South Africa between 1900-1902?

My 2x Great Grandfather, James Walter Juden, served in the Royal Sussex Regiment from 1889 to 1902. I have a copy of his service records. Which I have downloaded from FindMyPast, the images can be ...
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1answer
661 views

Are there any battles that have been extensively studied across the world? [closed]

Has there been any historical battle which became so universally well regarded, that military academies from across the world would would study it? Or are most military academies inherently biased ...
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Organized and intentional suicide attacks during military conflicts

First of all I want to make it clear that we're not speaking about terrorist attacks here. This question is strictly dedicated to war operations, in a dictionary meaning. Also this question is about ...
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What uniform is my Cossack great great grandfather wearing?

The man bellow with the medals and the beard is my great great grandfather. He was a Cossack in the Urals, I have been looking for ages but I can not find what Cossack uniform he is wearing. I really ...
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203 views

Was the Seven Years’ War the first time dogs were used to carry messages?

The use of messenger dogs during World War I by both sides is well-attested to, but they were also used by Frederick the Great during the Seven Years’ War. Wikipedia says he is reportedly the first ...
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Were the officers assigned to Kamchatka being punished?

The Russian Imperial army and navy had to build frontier outposts in very remote locations such as Kamchatka. During the Catherine the Great/Paul/Alexander period (1762-1825), the few ostrogs and ...
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369 views

Did the German ship SS Hansa (former Albert Ballin) continue her journey to the West after 30 January 1945?

Looking for refugees or families of refugees who were on board the Hansa on January 30th 1945 when she left Gotenhafen with the Wilhelm Gustloff. I am trying to find out what happened to the Hansa ...
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What do these artillery shell stamps indicate?

I found this inert shell decades ago at a garage sale in New Brunswick, Canada and finally got around to cleaning it up. I'm not really well versed in the various marks on it, but I've attached some ...
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Why were rockets not popular as part of artillery until 20th century?

Why were rockets not extensively used throughout the world like cannon until the 20th century? Maybe one may ask the reason for pointing out 20th century. I guess it's fair enough after thinking about ...
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Two Successive Coups?

Is there any country in which a coup has been overthrown by another coup? In specific I'm looking for a scenario in which: 1) A ruler was overthrown in a coup by person B 2) Person B left the ...
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Were the “hussars” that Jan Sobieski used at the battle of Vienna actually elite troops?

Apparently, the decisive blow at the 1683 Battle of Vienna was struck by Jan Sobieski, with only 3,000 "hussars" (cavalry). This seems a bit hard to believe, given that the Turkish army had about 100,...
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Disappearance and reappearance of helmets in European armies circa 1600 to 1900

What factors lead to the disappearance of military helmets from European armies during the 17th through 19th centuries, and then to their return to use in the early 20th century? To what extent were ...
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Is this a Masonic Ring?

I told by my Auntie that she had a Masonic ring that came from my Great Grandfather from my mum’s side of the family and I’m skeptical if this ring she sent a photo of is really a Masonic ring. I ...
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When were soldiers compensated with land grants?

In what times and places was it common to give land to soldiers, as a form of payment for their army service? I have learned in school that this was common in Rome. However, in the wikipedia article ...
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955 views

Was there more than one way for anti-aircraft fire to shoot down a dive bomber in World War II

I read somewhere that there were two "best" times for anti-aircraft to shoot down a dive bomber (of World War II vintage). One was when the plane was going into the dive. The other was when the plane ...
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Help identifying a strange uniform jacket

I've got nothing to go on here other than this is quite old. Thick navy wool with dark gray (or black) Corded striping. One gold star on right sleeve. Handwritten tag is hard to read, has a long ...
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806 views

Before and during WW2, how were war games played?

One example that I've gleaned from this website accounts a Japanese war game for the Battle of Midway: In the tabletop manoeuvres, for example, a situation developed in which the Nagumo Force ...
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What was the alcoholic beverage of choice for British soldiers during WW2?

The British army has throughout history plied soldiers with rum and grog to boost morale and quiet dissent. Did this policy continue into WW2, and if so, what was the drink supplied by the state?
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Why was Operation Felix cancelled?

Operation Felix was the seizure of Gibraltar (a British naval base at the tip of the Mediterranean Sea) by the Nazis during World War 2. The Nazis believed if they could take control of Gibraltar, ...
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What are the modern roles of brigadier generals and commodores?

It has been said that the hardest jump in the military is between colonel and general. That's because a colonel is a "specialist" who commands troops of only one type (infantry, cavalry or artillery), ...
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Military tactics specifically aimed against cavalry horses

Were tactics specifically aimed against horses common in past cavalry warfare and what forms did they take? For instance, did opponents try to harm (poison or shoot-them-first), distract (loud ...
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427 views

Why did the German Military and Police not intervene during the years of NSDAP ascend?

I am currently following a free course provided by the Open University which features a brief timeline on the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler. This timeline dates Hitler's entry into politics to 1920, ...
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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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In U.S. military forces, did black soldiers suffer a heavy racial segregation during World War II?

Source: BBC In his book, Mr Hitchcock raises another issue that rarely features in euphoric folk-memories of liberation: Allied looting, and worse. "The theft and looting of Normandy ...
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What was the Soviet reasoning for developing their Airborne Forces (VDV) into a powerful military branch?

The Soviet Airborne Forces (the VDV, or the Воздушно-десантные войска, or the Aerial Descent Force as a more precise translation) were one of the more prestigious units in the Soviet military (see '...
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371 views

Can someone identify this military uniform?

I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me anything about this military uniform. Thanks so much for any help!
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Origins of “Still on patrol”

I recently came across an article about a tradition of USN not to consider submarines lost, but rather being on a permanent patrol. After trying to find more information about the topic pretty much ...
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What was American anti-tank doctrine during WWII on paper, and how did it differ from in practice?

What was the prevailing doctrine in the US Army on how to deal with German tanks during WWII? In an ideal situation, what sort of unit (anti-tank infantry, tank destroyers, towed AT guns, etc.) would ...
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Use of war elephants in Egypt

In a discussion with a friend, we came up with this topic. We know that Indians, Carthaginians and Persians were famous for their use of war elephants in ancient warfare. But the games like Age of ...

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