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  • » Military - Room 1
  • » Greatest armies in history by PatrickDup
  •    Debate on greatest fighting units/armies of all time. From Legion to Macedonian Phalanx.

    There are many views on which historical military unit or army has been the greatest and most effective during its own time and how much of an effect it has had on the world during its hayday. One view is the that armies like those of the Macedonian or Eporite Greeks with Macedonian Greek style 5-6m long pike/sarissa Phalanx and the composition of armies that it was a part of, made of 15% regular 2.5 metre long spear armed hoplites in the style of the Spartans and Athenians, 5% archers like the famed creten archers with composite bows, 5% light armed troops of say slingers and peltasts, 15% cavalry like Greek Thesalian cavalry and Macedonian or Eporite Companion cavalry, and 60% Macedonian style hoplites, were the most effective armies of their day as an Eporite Greek army of this composition  even beat the roman legions at one point in history at the beginning of the rise of Rome at the battles of Heraclea and Asculum and tied at the Battle of Beneventum (Good event) due to having a smaller army and the fact that the Romans occupied a strong defensive fort position. Others would disagree and say that the Roman legions and the legionary cohorts and their centurions were the best of their day as they beat the Macedonians and their Macedonian style Phalanx at the Battle of Cynocephalae (Dogs Heads) and several other battles during the Macedonian-Roman Wars. Still others would claim the fact that the late Byzantine Greek Empire, a successor state to the Roman Empire, lasting for 903 years if the beginning is considered to be during the reign of Justinian in around 550 AD, the longest lasting single political and military entity in history, that its army was the greatest military force in history as it held off invaders from the Franks to the late Hunnic tribes to the Bulgars and Slavs to the Sasanian Persians and the Arab muslims and, for a while, the "Barbaric" Turkic tribal federations such as the Seljuks and the Ottomans. These armies at times were likely to have composed 40% heavy infantry pikemen with 5-6m long pikes, 30% heavy cataphractos cavalry who were well armored both rider and horse and armed with a long lance and a long sword and composite bow and arrows and 30% well trained archers with composite bows and arrows. Make your argue-meants clear and supply statistics and facts and maybe we will come to an agreement on the best of the best.

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#61 2011-06-09 13:38:19

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@PatrickDup Battle of Britain and Desert Rats were he UK's biggest contribution

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#62 2011-06-09 13:35:33

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@PatrickDup uuh, no Germany was ahead in the nuclear race..they would have the nuke and use it during this building up of forces.

Last edited by depresser (2011-06-09 13:36:46)

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#63 2011-06-09 03:58:11

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@depresser America was the only country with the a-bomb for a few years. Tachnologically america was ahead for all of the cold war in most areas in terms of implementing new technology and weapons and in all areas in terms of military research. Their navy was far more advanced then the soviets and bigger too and when you add the NATO countries then the west was even more ahead in naval powere and navy size although the soviets had many more submarines. In terms of air power, for most of the cold war the west/NATO and the russians/soviets and warsaw pact countries were matched in terms of airforce technology and numbers, but for the first few years the west had many more planes and much more advanced planes, and for the last few years of the cold war the west was far ahead with new, more advanced fighters and stealth aircraft. Also, you do know that British and american air to air missiles were far more advanced than soviet missiles. The west's missiles had a longer range and were more powerfull. The only area that the soviets had an advantage was in ground forces with an army 50% bigger than NATO's and when you add the warsaw pact countirs it was twice the size. Also, despite the west having a technological lead in all areas as i have stated, including in land power/warfare, the soviets invested more money in tank reasearch than most NATO countries and so had much more effective tanks like the t-65 and t-72 for most of the cold war. The onlky exception were the British who could match the Soviets in tanks with the Chieftain and Centurion, though only in small numbers which therefor lessened their impact. But for the last few years of the cold war the west brought many new and superior tanks into service such as the British Challenger, the German Leopard 2, and the American M1 Abrams. These were superior fighting vehicles as compared to the Russians/Soviets and Warsaw pact nations machines and swung the balance of land power in favour of the west. So i disagree with the statment that the soviets were the major world power ever on their own. But i will say that they were a world power along with the Americans. Also yes the British did not do as well as the Germans and Finnish during the war on land, despite having some Nordic blood from the angles, saxons and viking invasions and colonization of old england, (though most British have original Britonic blood and they were celts), but they still fought excellently in terms of air and sea power which were their strong points as opposed to the Germans and Finnish strong points in land power.

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#64 2011-06-09 03:14:16

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@depresser Yes true but all i said still counts. The russians needed allies to win that war against the germans but the americans and british commonwealth did not need the russians. They could have sat behind the english channel and built up forces and naval power to the point that germany was boxed in on the continent and then they could have struch when germany was weak enough. It would have been bloody for both sides but the western allies would have won eventually. And the main point i was always making was that the germans were a better fighting force over all then the russians/soviets.

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#65 2011-06-07 20:36:50

          United Kingdom    depresser
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i agree the russians fared appallingly in the first half of the war, but in the second half, their advance into Berlin was twice the feat of the Western Allied push.

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#66 2011-06-07 20:34:49

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Nordic blood, Britain has Nordic blood and we did not do exasperatingly well exactly....Soviet union was the key world power, more so than the USA. They had a better army and more control over foreign affairs for the first stage of the cold war. Also, it was not solely russia to blame for the cold war...Truman did not exactly play the situation out well either. He made it clear to Stalin he was going to be rough, tough and zero compromise.

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#67 2011-06-07 00:36:11

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@depresser And dont foget that as I said, in purely military feats the germans had a friendly to enemy casualty/death rate of 4 to 1 soldiers before the german army started to collapse when the russians and western allies got into germany and when all german and soviet losses are taken into account after germany falls and many german soldiers are killed in captivity in the years following the war then the numbers are 2.5-3 million german soldiers killed on all fronts by all allies to 8.4 million russian soldiers killed so roughly 1-3 in favour of the germans.

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#68 2011-06-07 00:31:46

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@depresser Yes everything you said was completely true mate. Except for one thing. The Soviets weren't the only world power after ww2 for ten years. They were one of the 2 major powers for about 45 years until leaving the title soley to america. So they weren't the sole major power for any ammount of time. And i wasn't ever disagreeing with any of what you just said. I was merely stating over and over again and right now that the Germans were simply the better fighters out of the Russians/Soviets and Germans and out of the German Eastern front warring nations. The second best in my mind would have been the Finns and i think you know why i say that. They had a higher kill/death ratio against the russians then the germans did at one point. So its that Nordic blood my friend. (Nordic being both Norse/Scandinavian and Germanic, those two are sub racial groups of Nordic people.) And I point back to my arguement that the Germans had the russians on the ropes for almost two years before the russians/soviets "Got their shit together". And even then it took the Russians another two years to finally defeat the Germans. And the point that all the aid that the americans and British Commonwealth gave the russians/soviets, while it was much less than the good vehicles and supplies and materiel that the russians produced themselves, maybe 1/10, it still was enough to ensure German defeat since it was in conjunction with the western allied war effort that as i said took at least a half million German ground troops in the form of Waffen SS and Wermacht soldiers off the Eastern front. These were troops that would have no doubt pushed the Russians over the edge and into true anihiallation which was what the Germans wanted. So thats the point i am making and there is no doubting the facts. But it is true the Russians made a big sacrifice and fought bravely. And i dont think the war should have truned out any differently but i do hate the russians for initiating the Cold War.

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#69 2011-06-06 21:35:48

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@PatrickDup The Germans were retreating far more quickly from Eastern Europe than they were from the West. The Russians were making rapid, violent gains, far faster than the allies were, and once they got their shit together, they were unstoppable, largely thanks to some new war machines (their previous tanks and aircraft were worthless). And yes, I know the German advance was impressive but the point is that the Russians came so well off at the end of the war that they were powerful enough to ignore Yalta, to ignore Potsdam. If Britain and America had done well off then half of Europe would not have been under soviet control. For the next 10 years Russia was the major world superpower.

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#70 2011-06-06 21:29:01

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@PatrickDup aaaaaah fuck i made a mistake, i stand corrected, i think the ira bit confused me.....:hang:

Last edited by depresser (2011-06-06 21:36:12)

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#71 2011-06-06 08:29:47

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@depresser Yes russia/soviet union did a great job during ww2 and sacrificed alot but you are making it sound a bit to glamorous mate and at the same time playing down the german military accomplishments which were grand. The fact remains that during ww2 on the russian front the germans killed 6 million russian regular soldiers and 2 million partisans and militia. They also wiped out about 20 million civilians although i dont much care for that fact since killing civillians is low but in purely military feats the germans had a friendly to enemy casualty/death rate of 4 to 1 soldiers before the german army started to collapse when the russians and western allies got into germany and when all german and soviet losses are taken into account after germany falls and many german soldiers are killed in captivity in the years following the war then the numbers are 2.5-3 million german soldiers killed on all fronts by all allies to 8.4 million russian soldiers killed so roughly 1-3 in favour of the germans. So the germans basically kicked the russians arses during most of the fighting and if it was not for the americans and english sending the russians literally thousands of sherman and grant tanks that they, the russians would never show in russian ww2 footage for communist nationalistic pride and propoganda reasons, and also millions of rifles and thousands of tonnes of food, clothing and ammunition then the russians/soviets would have been finished off by the germans before they were able to regroup and get their industry in gear and move alot of their factories eastwards away from german troops. Also the americans and british commonwealth were keeping 600,000 german ground troops in France, norway, greece and italy throughout most of the war just with the threat of invasion from the british and americans and later with actual invasion. Those half a million troops would have been very helpfull indeed on the eastern front against the russians, in fact half a million extra troops would have been worth at least a million extra russians and dare i say that would have been the final nail in the coffin for the soviets/russians even by stalingrad a batte that the germans lost but after which they were still well in the fight.

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#72 2011-06-06 07:32:34

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@depresser I think you must be saying this in reply to what i said in reply to someone saying the iranians were the first army. This was a while ago it took me a couple of minutes to find the post. You should say who your speaking to for convenience. Anyway sumeria was not in iran it was in ancient mesopotamia which is modern day iraq.

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#73 2011-06-06 07:26:26

          Australia    PatrickDup
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@Skaldy Actually mate they did agree to split poland between them. There was the Molotov-Ribentrop treaty between russia and germany in agreement to invade poland. But yes russia did do it to gain extra land as a buffer zone for any future german attack.

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#74 2011-06-05 21:18:19

          Turkey    Skaldy
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Re: Greatest armies in history




Russia and Germany didnt agree to split Poland between them. It is called Poland crysis or sendrom or something like that. When Germany started to conquer poland Russia conquered eastern part of poland to expand their defensive line on western border against germany. Russia knew they had to fight germans someday. They were just buying sometime.

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#75 2011-06-05 18:55:03

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




sumerians lived in modern day iran i thought?

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#76 2011-06-05 18:52:43

          United Kingdom    depresser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




............ please read a history book. Russia ducked out IN THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, when Russia and Germany agreed to split Poland between them. After this, Germany conquered France and Britain was the only country at war with Germany at that point. THEN in 1941, Germany invaded Russia and by next year, in 1842, Germany was at stalingrad. THEN in the winter of 1942, Russia started to turn the tides and by 1943, The germans were rapidly retreating out of Russia. Kursk also decimated the German Armour Russia was winning the war at this point, and this was even before D-Day

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#77 2011-06-02 19:20:20

          Norway    Jpreisser
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Re: Greatest armies in history




 

 usa also took on england during the revolutionary war and at the time england was the most powerful country at the time o and also our army took out mexico england in the 1800's with our army 

 

I think Americans give themselves too much credit for beating the English. I am not saying that it isn`t a worthy feat, I am saying it isn`t as if the English dedicated all of their resources to fighting this particular war, wich was in retrospect, almost impossible for them. The English almost won the Revolutionary War mind you and George Washington was not a great commander.

The United States as of this moment has the best military in the world but not by some overwhelming margin. America has been in minor conflicts for a very long time and more often than not they perform well. My issue is that the U.S. fights small countries and therefore it is hard for me to gauge how good they really are.

Last edited by Jpreisser (2011-06-02 19:21:01)

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#78 2011-06-02 02:06:34

          France    Doo Pee
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Re: Greatest armies in history




From the more disciplined Russian and Chinese Armies.

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#79 2011-06-01 18:25:51

          Australia    PatrickDup
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Re: Greatest armies in history




If I was going to make a list of best armies or military forces it would be something like this and i will give reasons. Taking in mind that you must compare them as relative to their success during their own day, as you cant just compare each army by their accomplishments overall since different armies at different times were exposed to different threats and challenges and had access to different technologies in their own days.

1-The Eporite Greek/Macedonian Greek style Phalanx and the army with the composition of soldiers that it fought with for example an army with composition of troops like this - 35,000 men, of which 20,000 are Greek macedonian style phalangites, 3,000 are heavy cavalry, 6,000 are levy hoplites in the style of Spartans and Athenians, 3,000 guard hoplites in the style of Spartans, 1,500 Cretan archers and 1,500 Peltasts (Javelin armed light troops). This is because it was one of the few military formations that could stand up to the early republican roman legionary army and win at times. It also helped Alexander the Great defeat the very large Persian Empire and take him further than any european had travelled for the day and for the next thousand years until european vikings made settlements in canada and other parts of north america in the 700's/800's.

2-The Byzantine army/navy, though at varying times during its history since its success and strength varied greatly at different times as the empire got different emperors with different degrees of competence. This was due to the simple fact that if you take the byzantine empire as ending in 1453 with the sacking and capture of Constantinopolos by the Ottoman Turks and take it as beginning at around the reign of justinian and after the fall of the Western Empire since after rome fell along with the western empire that would have been the time that Rome wasn't the epicentre of the greeco-roman culture anymore and Constantinopolis became more important, then the empire was in existance for a phenominal 900 years or more. This was longer than any other empire in history. Its army was very well trained and composed excellant troop types at numbers such as 40% heavy infantry with sword, large shield and 5-6m long pikes, 30% heavy cavalry called cataphractos that were well armored both horse and rider and had long lance and sword, and 30% well trained archers. This army was supported by a well trained and almost unbeatable navy that controlled the eastern mediteranean for centuries.

3-The Roman Legions. This is because Rome with it's legions conquered a large part of europe and North Africa thus creating the largest empire of its day. Any given army could range from 85,000 with 8 over sized legions and extra velites (Javelin men), to a regular sized army of 30-40,000 men with 6-8 regular sized legions. For the army of 85,000, each legion would have composed both roman and allies with 3,500 roman legionaries and 3,500 allied legionaries, 500 roman and 500 allied cavalry, and 1,000 roman and 1,000 allied velites(javelin men). This army 85,000 strong therefor contained 28,000 roman legionaries, 28,000 allied legionaries, 8,000 roman velites and 8,000 allied velites, and 4,000 roman and 4,000 allied cavalry and 5,000 extra velites.

4-The Mongol Horde and their horse archer cavalry warriors. This is due to the fact that in their hay day, from the 1200's-1400's, the Mongols under such leaders as Genghis Kahn and Kublie Kahn were almost undefeated and ruled over the second largest area of land for any one people. At the onset of the mongol invasions of China in the early 1200's there were only about 450,000 mongols of whom around 175,000 were mongol warriors. These would be divided into tumens of 10,000 men each of which was commanded by a mongol general and could make up a much larger army. The mongol warriors each had 3 or 4 steppe donkeys to alternate riding on so as to cover ground faster than any other army of the time, carried a heavy wooden mace and a composite bow and arrows with bone arrow heads which were very effective. They gradually became more advanced with the more territories they conquered and adopted metal arrow heads and swords and metal maces as time went on.

5-The United States military from 1940 onwards. This is because of the technological supremacy of the united States and thus its military. It has won most of the battles and wars it has been involved in and has a level of training that few armies can equal.

6-The British Empire and its navy but also its reasonable army. This is obviously due to the fact that during the British empires almost 300 years, the British were victorious the majority of times and had the best navy for hundreds of years. The British empire was also the largest the world had and has yet to see, ruling over 1/4 of the worlds people and land.

7-The German military of ww2 in particular the Wermacht and Waffen SS for reasons that are so obvious im going to save a little time by not saying the reasons as i have been writing at this point for a while.

8-Napoleonic France. The French Grand Armee under Napoleon Boneparte and his generals held europe and russia by the throat for around 20 years and was extremely well lead and well supplied with advanced logistics and well trained and very well motivated men.

9-The Greek city-states of varying times and their hoplite armies and especially their almost unbeatable navies (except when versing other Greeks). Greek city-states like Athens were some of the first super powers of the Mediteranean and Athens in particular had an exceptional navy of 375 triremes at the height of its power, a boat that the greeks are credited with inventing and that was in use for almost a thousand years with the Greeks and by various peoples apart from the Greeks including the Romans, Persians and Carthagians/Phoenicians. Also the Spartan's and their truly awesome army and warriors. These were a people who had the first professional army.

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#80 2011-06-01 18:16:25

          United States    americaneag
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Re: Greatest armies in history




@Doo Pee dude our army is VERY VERY disciplined. Where did you het this idea??

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