Before World War II tanks and tank tactics were greatly improved, and in the first campaign of that war German tank armies conquered Poland in less than a month. Whole armored divisions and corps of tanks were soon formed on both sides. In mass tank battles in Europe and N Africa the tide often tended toward the side with the most effective use of armored units. Among the great armor commanders were Erwin Rommel and George Patton. There were also specialized tanks for amphibious landings and clearing mines. Antitank weapons were developed, such as bazookas, armor-piercing shells, recoilless rifles, and antitank missiles, as well as airplanes armed with rockets and bombs.
Since World War II the basic features of tanks and tank tactics have remained unchanged, but there have been refinements such as reactive armor that explodes out when hit, laser rangefinders, automatic loading, and computer systems for fire control and navigation. Antitank weapons have also been greatly improved; they now include specialized munitions capable of attacking dozens of tanks at once that are delivered by artillery or aircraft, as well as powerful infantry weapons. Tanks are particularly effective in desert fighting, as demonstrated by their use by the Israeli military and in the Persian Gulf War.
See B. H. Liddell Hart, The Tanks (1959); D. Orgill, The Tank (1970); H. C. B. Rogers, Tanks in Battle (1972); D. Jeffries, Battle Kings (1987); P. Wright, Tank (2002).
Group of a prescribed size with a specific combat role within a larger military organization. The chief units in the ancient world were the Greek phalanx and the Roman legion. Modern units originated in the 16th–18th century, when professional armies reemerged in Europe after the end of the Middle Ages. Since then the basic units—company, battalion, brigade, and division—have remained in use. The smallest unit today is the squad, which has 7–14 soldiers and is led by a sergeant. Three or four squads make up a platoon, and two or more platoons make up a company, which has 100–250 soldiers and is commanded by a captain or a major. Two or more companies make up a battalion, and several battalions form a brigade. Two or more brigades, along with various specialized battalions, make up a division, which has 7,000–22,000 troops and is commanded by a major general. Two to seven divisions make up an army corps, commanded by a lieutenant general, which with 50,000–300,000 troops is the largest regular army formation, though in wartime two or more corps may be combined to form a field army (commanded by a general), and field armies in turn may be combined to form an army group.
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Law prescribed by statute for governing the armed forces and their civilian employees. It in no way relieves military personnel of their obligations to their country's civil code or to the codes of international law. Mutiny, insubordination, desertion, misconduct, and other offenses injurious to military discipline constitute violations of military law; offenders may be subject to court-martial. Lesser offenses may be penalized summarily by a commanding officer (e.g., through the withdrawal of privileges or the cancellation of liberty).
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Administration of territory by an occupying power. The definition does not cover military forces stationed in neutral or friendly territory that share administrative responsibilities with local civil authorities. Military government must also be distinguished from military law and martial law. Its control lasts until it either gives up power voluntarily or is overthrown. The term is popularly used for rule of a country by its own military, whether it comes to power through a coup d'état or is the legitimate governing body.
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Art and practice of designing and building military works and of building and maintaining lines of military transport and communications. It includes both tactical support (see tactics) on the battlefield, including construction of fortifications and demolition of enemy installations, and strategic support (see strategy) away from the front lines, such as construction or maintenance of airfields, ports, roads, railroads, bridges, and hospitals. Its most notable feat in ancient times was the Great Wall of China. The preeminent military engineers of the ancient Western world were the Romans, who maintained their power by constructing not only forts and garrisons but roads, bridges, aqueducts, harbors, and lighthouses. Seealso civil engineering.
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Compulsory enrollment for service in a country's armed forces. It has existed at least since the Egyptian Old Kingdom in the 27th century BC. It usually takes the form of selective service rather than universal conscription. (The latter generally refers to compulsory military service by all able-bodied men between certain ages, though a few countries—notably Israel—have also drafted women.) In the 19th century Prussia's system of building up a large standing army through conscription became the model for competing European powers. During the American Civil War both the federal government and the Confederacy instituted a draft, but the U.S. did not use it again until entering World War I in 1917. Like the U.S., Britain abandoned conscription at the end of World War I but reverted to it when World War II threatened. During the ensuing Cold War, Britain retained the draft until 1960 and the U.S. until 1973. Seealso U.S. Army.
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Institution for the training of commissioned officers for the U.S. Army. Founded in 1802 at the fort at West Point, N.Y., it is one of the oldest service academies in the world. It was established as an apprentice school for military engineers and was, in effect, the first U.S. school of engineering. It was reorganized in 1812, and in 1866 its educational program was expanded considerably. Women were first admitted in 1976. The four-year course of college-level education and training leads to a bachelor of science degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the Army. West Point has trained such leaders as Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, John Pershing, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, and George Patton.
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A military armored (or armoured) car (see spelling differences) is a wheeled armored vehicle, lighter than other armored fighting vehicles, primarily being armored and/or armed for self-defence of the occupants. Other multi-axled wheeled military vehicles can be quite large, and actually be superior to some smaller tracked vehicles in terms of armour and armament.
In 1914, the Belgians fielded some primitive examples of armored cars during the Race to the Sea. The British Royal Naval Air Service then began using cars to rescue downed reconnaisance pilots in the battle areas, and as these excursions became increasingly dangerous, they improvised boiler plate armoring on the vehicles. Eventually, customised Rolls-Royce armoured cars were ordered , but when they arrived in December 1914, the mobile period on the Western Front was already over.
A military armored car is a type of armoured fighting vehicle having wheels (from four to ten large off-road wheels) instead of tracks, and usually light armor. Armored cars are typically less expensive and have superior speed and range compared to tracked military vehicles. Most are not intended for heavy fighting; their normal use is for reconnaissance, command, control, and communications, or for use against lightly armed insurgents or rioters. Only some are intended to enter close combat, often accompanying convoys to protect soft-skinned vehicles. They usually mount a machine gun, autocannon, or small tank gun. Other uses include as a way to move (or tow) various long-range rocket, missile, or mortar batteries through dangerous areas while giving some protection to the crew.
Armored cars are popular for peacekeeping or internal security duties. Their appearance is less confrontational and threatening than tanks, and their size and manoeuvrability is more compatible with tight urban spaces designed for wheeled vehicles. They can also be much more easily air-deployed in cargo planes.
Many modern forces now have their dedicated armored car designs, to exploit the advantages noted above. Examples would be the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle of the USA or Alvis Saladin of the post-World War II era in the United Kingdom.
Alternatively, civilian vehicles may be modified into improvised armored cars in ad-hoc fashion. Many militias and irregular forces adapt civilian vehicles into AFVs (Armoured Fighting Vehicles) and troop carriers, and in some regional conflicts these "technicals" are the only combat vehicles present. On occasion, even the soldiers of national militaries are forced to adapt their civilian-type vehicles for combat use, often using improvised armor and scrounged weapons.
The Military Budget and Its Role in the Economic Assurance of the Country's Defense Capability and Military Security.(Statistical Data Included)
May 01, 2001; The terms "military spending" and "military budget" appeared in this country a relatively short while ago and...