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Greatest Military of All Time?

JC Callender

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Who in your opinion had the greatest military of all time, commensurate to what they had to work with at the time ?

I found this topic interesting yesterday while listening to Dan Carlin discuss on his podcast who he thought had the better military, WW1 Germany or WW2 Germany, so I'd thought I'd expand it to all of history. You can use any metrics you want including technology, number of troops, leadership, patriotic will to win, etc... .

And bonus question, which period of American history had the best military? I would assume WW2, but hard to argue with the Revolutionary War with what we were up against....
 

jimbo

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Who in your opinion had the greatest military of all time, commensurate to what they had to work with at the time ?

I found this topic interesting yesterday while listening to Dan Carlin discuss on his podcast who he thought had the better military, WW1 Germany or WW2 Germany, so I'd thought I'd expand it to all of history. You can use any metrics you want including technology, number of troops, leadership, patriotic will to win, etc... .

And bonus question, which period of American history had the best military? I would assume WW2, but hard to argue with the Revolutionary War with what we were up against....

IMO military of all time. Ghengis Kahn and the Mongols.

In terms of US,the Revolutionary war era.
 

JANFU

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Who in your opinion had the greatest military of all time, commensurate to what they had to work with at the time ?

I found this topic interesting yesterday while listening to Dan Carlin discuss on his podcast who he thought had the better military, WW1 Germany or WW2 Germany, so I'd thought I'd expand it to all of history. You can use any metrics you want including technology, number of troops, leadership, patriotic will to win, etc... .

And bonus question, which period of American history had the best military? I would assume WW2, but hard to argue with the Revolutionary War with what we were up against....
In order
Romans, Genghis Khan, Brits, Ottomans
 

Bodhisattva

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Who in your opinion had the greatest military of all time, commensurate to what they had to work with at the time ?

I found this topic interesting yesterday while listening to Dan Carlin discuss on his podcast who he thought had the better military, WW1 Germany or WW2 Germany, so I'd thought I'd expand it to all of history. You can use any metrics you want including technology, number of troops, leadership, patriotic will to win, etc... .

And bonus question, which period of American history had the best military? I would assume WW2, but hard to argue with the Revolutionary War with what we were up against....

If I had to put them in a rough order off the top of my head it would be this:

US Military (Today: Navy Seals, Stealth, etc.)
Nazi Germany
Japanese Samurai
Romans
Spartans
Mongol Hourde
Spanish Conquistadors Empire
British Red Coats
English Long Bowmen
Japanese Empire
 

Tom Horn

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Who in your opinion had the greatest military of all time, commensurate to what they had to work with at the time ?

I found this topic interesting yesterday while listening to Dan Carlin discuss on his podcast who he thought had the better military, WW1 Germany or WW2 Germany, so I'd thought I'd expand it to all of history. You can use any metrics you want including technology, number of troops, leadership, patriotic will to win, etc... .

And bonus question, which period of American history had the best military? I would assume WW2, but hard to argue with the Revolutionary War with what we were up against....

Temujin
 

Desert Storm

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Alexander the Great. His army went undefeated during his reign.

He had also conquered a huge part of the world

main-qimg-8048ae0e7ac6b1588806c6a7f0a0db56
 

ttwtt78640

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Although not likely who many will select, but I am going with the mujahideen and the successors, the Taliban, in Afghanistan. This rag tag (and largely unpaid, volunteer) force has defeated (or at least was not defeated by) the military forces of superpower nations for (4?) decades with some using assistance from NATO allied forces as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/28/afghanistan-mujahideen-taliban

For the US forces it would have to be during the Vietnam campaign - it was said that we won each and every battle by large (sometimes huge?) body count margins during that affair.
 
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JANFU

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Lord Tammerlain

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In terms of the most powerful during the time they existed, world wide.

The Roman empire would be countered by the various Chinese empires of the time

So in terms of being the most powerful during their best period

Mongols. Able to sweep across Northern, Central Asia, China and eastern Europe. Only failing in the woods of central and western Europe. Most dominate military in their time.

The US military in the time between the early 90s and perhaps 8 years ago. Outside of nuclear weapons the US military in that time frame was by a massive amount more powerful than any other military in that time frame. Just the US navy would have had more air power than probably the next 3 military's combined. It is still dominate, but not quite as much, and no not due to Obama, but wasteful spending on the WOT.

Honorable mention

British Empire in the 1800's. Quite a bit stronger than peer competitors, but not as dominate as the Mongols or the US military

Most others had peer competitors that could be nearly as strong in different parts of the world or in the same region.
 

Jredbaron96

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United States Armed Forces
Macedonian Army of the Argead Dynasty
Mongol Horde of medieval Eurasia
Napolean's Grand Armee
Late Roman Army of Belisarius
 

calamity

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Who in your opinion had the greatest military of all time, commensurate to what they had to work with at the time ?

I found this topic interesting yesterday while listening to Dan Carlin discuss on his podcast who he thought had the better military, WW1 Germany or WW2 Germany, so I'd thought I'd expand it to all of history. You can use any metrics you want including technology, number of troops, leadership, patriotic will to win, etc... .

And bonus question, which period of American history had the best military? I would assume WW2, but hard to argue with the Revolutionary War with what we were up against....

Mongolians, hands down.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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What made them better than the rest?


Great logistics, great tactics and very good equipment.

Only when their tactics, logistics and equipment could not work well, did they fail. So being a horse based military, when in wooded areas they did not do well. Or when trying to invade Japan by sea
 

ttwtt78640

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What made them better than the rest?

I have come to understand that they could self-sustain (living largely on their horse milk and cheese?) and move (escape?) rapidly on horseback. Even when greatly outnumbered, their ability to find weak points in enemy defenses, strike quickly, inflict huge death tolls and avoid being effectively pursued let them win against seemingly formidable odds.
 
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Desert Storm

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In terms of the most powerful during the time they existed, world wide.

The Roman empire would be countered by the various Chinese empires of the time

So in terms of being the most powerful during their best period

Mongols. Able to sweep across Northern, Central Asia, China and eastern Europe. Only failing in the woods of central and western Europe. Most dominate military in their time.

The US military in the time between the early 90s and perhaps 8 years ago. Outside of nuclear weapons the US military in that time frame was by a massive amount more powerful than any other military in that time frame. Just the US navy would have had more air power than probably the next 3 military's combined. It is still dominate, but not quite as much, and no not due to Obama, but wasteful spending on the WOT.

Honorable mention

British Empire in the 1800's. Quite a bit stronger than peer competitors, but not as dominate as the Mongols or the US military

Most others had peer competitors that could be nearly as strong in different parts of the world or in the same region.
Whats a WOT??
 

JC Callender

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Although not likely who many will select, but I am going with the mujahideen and the successors, the Taliban, in Afghanistan. This rag tag (and largely unpaid, volunteer) force has defeated (or at least was not defeated by) the military forces of superpower nations for (4?) decades with some using assistance from NATO allied forces as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/28/afghanistan-mujahideen-taliban

For the US forces it would have to be during the Vietnam campaign - it was said that we won each and every battle by large (sometimes huge?) body count margins during that affair.

Do you feel like it's more appropriate to say our government politicians pulled out of Vietnam than saying we flat out lost? As you've pointed out, the troops kicked ass in every battle.
 

Desert Storm

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Vikings should get some honorable mention also. Although they were more barbarians than conquerors.

Rest of Europe were terrified of them though
 

JC Callender

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Probably not fair to count the Allies during WW2 as one military, right? We did fight together.
 

ttwtt78640

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Do you feel like it's more appropriate to say our government politicians pulled out of Vietnam than saying we flat out lost? As you've pointed out, the troops kicked ass in every battle.

Yes, the battle plan lacked any emphasis on holding/securing territory (much the same as our ME efforts now) and RoE prevented stopping much of the enemy resupply from 'friendly' counties. Taking hill #3526, in a decisive victory, for the third time in four months made no sense at all.
 

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71gNVVZWg0L._SY355_.gif


Sorry... turkey and vodka cranberrys have me in a non academic mood :lol: Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
 

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What made them better than the rest?

Innovation, leadership and strategy. Innovation was using the skills and equipment of those they conquered. Leadership was allowing field generals to decide how to wage the war instead of central command. Strategy was implementing everything from siege warfare to feigned retreats to topple an enemy.
 

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one that most ignore was Shaka's Zulu empire in the first half of the 1800s. His tactics and discipline were unmatched in all of Sub Saharan Africa. While his regiments were inferior in technology to say the British empire, his armies were vastly superior to any other military power in Africa that did not rely on firearms. The training of the Zulu regiments was legendary-such as training his men to march without sandals-which meant they could run much faster through the veldt. The use of stabbing spears and shields-reminiscent of the Greek Phalanx and the Roman Legions, proved devastating against poorly disciplined opponents who would throw light javelins and run. Zulu warriors were as well disciplined as the British-maybe even better. Though Shaka died before his armies really clashed with the Brits, the discipline lead to one of Britain's most crushing defeats at Isandlwana. While Britain regained the momentum at Rorke's Drift-where massed rifle fire and lots of ammunition overcame Zulu numbers and discipline, even the british were amazed at the resolution of the enemy. Zulu leader Cetshwayo, would march a large number of men towards the British to count the number of british rifles. his men didn't break even though they were essentially sacrificial lambs

when Shaka was murdered in 1828, his forced had displaced 25% of the entire population of sub-saharan Africa.

He and his men have to be rated among the strongest armies in history
 
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