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Forum LockedMost powerful army ever

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Most powerful army ever
    Posted: 15-Sep-2005 at 09:03

I was wondering if anybody has any idea which state mobilised the biggest army as percentage of their population.

A couple of rules.

It must be a proper army, peasant levies and militias don't count.

People in all levels of the state must be included as members of the population, slaves, subjects ect.  EG: with Sparta, Helots must be included in the population because they were part of the socio-economic structure that allowed the army to exist.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2005 at 09:04
I am placing my bet on a subcontinental army.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2005 at 09:16

Paul:

The Red Army of WWII.

One could also make the case that cultures such as the barbarian tribes that eventually supplanted the western Roman world were characterized by all adult males as warriors.  Of course this could be applied to a lot of older cultures.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2005 at 09:31

I agree tribal societies are problematic. The general rule is about 32% of the total population can fight but when not fighting they go home to tend their crops so aren't really an army. But not all tribal societies fit this model, the Huns and so being notable examples.

I'd also have thought at the end of WWII Germany would have had a higher number fighting than Russia, they were throwing everyone from about 12 up whilst throughou the war the Russian kept their factories manned.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Sep-2005 at 10:37
Originally posted by Paul

I was wondering if anybody has any idea which state mobilised the biggest army as percentage of their population.

A couple of rules.

It must be a proper army, peasant levies and militias don't count.

People in all levels of the state must be included as members of the population, slaves, subjects ect.  EG: with Sparta, Helots must be included in the population because they were part of the socio-economic structure that allowed the army to exist.



Well militias have to count??

The biggest percentage will be by pastoral nomad armies eg Scythians, Xiongnu, Turks, Huns Mongols.  

In these societies the army is essentialy a militia of all able bodied men between 15 and 60 (or similar ages), in some cases even young women fought as well.  Women, children and a few slaves tended the flocks and even some of them went with the army (the flocks were the armies food).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2005 at 00:59
Depends, in some particular epidodes of history the whole population of a city state was mobilized to defend the city walls. In terms of a permanent standing army I would tentatively argue the Scythians, who constantly kept all adults under arms. Women were apparently refused marriage until having killed an opponent in battle IIRC.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2005 at 12:56
What about the Zulu, where young men were not allowed to marry unless they killed an enemy in battle. Their women may not have been involved in battle, but otherwise the greta majority of their men was enrolled in the army.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Arvedui Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2005 at 14:23

mongols is the best ever hail to the Cengiz han and his sons

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Post Options Post Options   Quote King_Cyrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2005 at 15:34

 

Well this forum seems to forget that the world population was very low back in the day.  I have heard most Ancient armys rarly went over 80,000 men.  Altough there are a few examples of Ancient armys surpassing this number.  Possibly the Persian army had 100,000 men in the Persian wars.  If anyone is foolish enough to believe that the greeks ever went up against a Persian army of 1 million men or even half of that you should wake up. 

So my choice for the largest army in history is probably the red army during World War 2.  Seeing that 3 million of them were killed in the overall war they probly had the largest army.  (actually i cant remember if it was 3 million Russian soldiers killed or 3 million russians bot soldiers and citizens killed).  They are still my choice though.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ramin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2005 at 23:53
@ Cyrus,

AFAIK Soviet Union lost ~ 16 Million soldiers and Germany about 4 Million. anyway, this thread is abou the most powerful army not the biggest one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2005 at 11:52
It's about the country that had the biggest regular professional army PER CAPITA which per capita would probably have been the most powerful army ever.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 19:50
no russia lost 11 million men in ww2 germany 7million men.,
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Post Options Post Options   Quote El Cid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 20:01
It´s clear than the best army ever was the spanish Tercio. It dominated the european battlefields since XV to the first half of XVIII century, demostrating its power in battles as Pavia, Saint Quentin and Gravelines. With the power of the tigh, greek-like Pikemen formation and protected by Musketeers at the sides, it could crush any army in from of it. What do you think?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mangudai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 20:11

Originally posted by El Cid

It´s clear than the best army ever was the spanish Tercio. It dominated the european battlefields since XV to the first half of XVIII century, demostrating its power in battles as Pavia, Saint Quentin and Gravelines. With the power of the tigh, greek-like Pikemen formation and protected by Musketeers at the sides, it could crush any army in from of it. What do you think?

Yes, the tercio was a great creation of it's time - combining the impregnable pike-wall and momentum of the swiss and the firepower of the new arqebus. But when it encountered the new flexible formations created by Maurice of Nassau and Gustavus Adolphus in the early 1600's, its days were counted

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fizzil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 21:51

Would Punic-Wars Rome qualify?

Their army was proffesional, in comparison to other antiquity armies.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 22:32

it would obvious be the nomads.

However, for sedentary societies, the Qin dynasty during the Warring states. All the population are either farmers(to make food for the army), artisans(to make weapons/armour, repair them, and improve them for the army), and the army. Obviously an extremely small percentage would be bureaucrats, but they're so small it doesn't even matter. Thus, with the entire population divided into only three groups you get 1 million professional men out of a measly 12 million population.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 23:00

WWII Red Army.

The Battle of Kursk is unsurpassed and is single handedly the largest cavalry (modern) battle in human existence. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sarmata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2005 at 01:28
wasn't the largest modern cavalry battle during the Polish-Soviet war at the battle of Komarow?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2005 at 02:05
Battle of Kursk involved 6 million Russians and 5 million Germans
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Oct-2005 at 09:33
Memluks army was invincible. defated Mongols at Ain Jalut when the mongol was the greatest power on green earth.
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