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    (Original post by chrisawhitmore)
    Against people with weapons older than the soldiers themselves, no military training and next to no support. Knocking over middle eastern countries is no more battle hardening for the US army than the British armies wars in Africa (incidentally, great job taking 10 years to win in a small country, the British record is 37 minutes)
    How is Israel more battle hardened though?
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    (Original post by Howard)
    How is Israel more battle hardened though?
    Constant, credible threat of annihilation from literally every neighboring country. Tends to keep your armed forces on their toes (though as I have already stated I do not believe the Israelis to be the best army in history, I would probably credit the Mossad as the best intelligence service) At any rate, the US faces no credible military threats, and as such it's forces can never be truly battle hardened, facing no true battles. Being able to beat an untrained guy with an RPG is not the same as being able to hold a position against a combined arms assault with artillery shells raining down around you.

    Also, they won the 6 day war against the armed forces of 12 different countries, outnumbered 2 to 1, in six days.
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    (Original post by Lou_Ferrigno)
    no. finland's army was helped by a confluence of favorable circumstances - extremely rugged terrain (good for defending), winter season (very difficult to conduct offensive operations), an uncommonly weak russian army (decimated by 1937 purges).

    plus in the beginning the russians had few tanks, their forces consisting mainly of infantry. however when eventually the russians were persuaded to take the finns seriously and brought all their tank forces from all over the empire together for an offensive, they smashed the finns' defensive network (so-called Mannerheim line) and the finns had no choice but to sue for peace.

    so it wasn't the finnish army itself that was so amazing - although they fought incredibly bravely - so much as it was the confluence of favorable circumstances. furthermore the finnish army was not equipped for offensive operations, so that right there disqualifies it from being the greatest army in history.

    greatest armies in recent history: prussian army under freddy the great, nazi army to 1942-43, napoleon to 1807, american 1944-45

    This is the same with everything though, surely? It's just a case of measuring these and taking them into account.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    The Roman Army. Or Alexander the Great's lot. They both conquered much of the entire known world at the time.
    That's a myth. Both empires had significant land borders, had diplomatic relations with other states and launched many a failed invasion of neighbouring countries. The Romans and Greeks would have had to have been absolute morons if they thought they came anywhere near close to conquering the world.
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    (Original post by chrisawhitmore)
    At any rate, the US faces no credible military threats, and as such it's forces can never be truly battle hardened, facing no true battles. Being able to beat an untrained guy with an RPG is not the same as being able to hold a position against a combined arms assault with artillery shells raining down around you.
    The Taliban are untrained? I think the Soviets might beg to differ a tad bit.
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    (Original post by chrisawhitmore)
    At any rate, the US faces no credible military threats, and as such it's forces can never be truly battle hardened, facing no true battles.
    Rubbish. An army can still be battle hardened when facing off an enemy comprised of insurgents who wage guerrila warfare.

    Being able to beat an untrained guy with an RPG is not the same as being able to hold a position against a combined arms assault with artillery shells raining down around you.
    Wrong again, however well trained or however untrained a group of insurgents might be, they still attack a position en masse and collectively make a formidable enemy capable of over running a position, however well trained and however well armed the defenders might be.
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    If you mean Best Army as in most loyal, well trained, well disciplined, love their country and will die before leaking so much as how many bacteria lives on the service of the land. It may be the Japanese in the WWII fighting the Americans on the small islands surrounding Japan-main island.

    Bust if you are looking at Brute force, hammer-throwing cave-men then it's the Mongolians when Genghis Khan was in power. :afraid:
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    The pashtun army during the british raj.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khyber_...Line_Agreement

    ''The Pashtuns, strong in their belief that they must defend their land from foreign incursion, resisted the British advancement. The first war between British and the Pashtuns resulted in a devastating defeat for the British, with just one individual, Dr. William Brydon coming back alive (out of a total of 14,800-21,000 people). This happened during the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1849 and later the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1876''

    Don't know if they were the most skilled, organised or well equipped, but sounds like they were pretty tough to rule. They've been resisting the US and UK in afghanistan for the last ten years.
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    (Original post by Strathclyder)
    I disagree, however I cannot have a serious discussion with someone that is stupid enough to claim that swords and bow & arrows etc. are not a form of technology "because they need human strength opposed to pressing a button"

    You're an idiot, now bye bye
    Come on you cant really compare a the US army today to an army centuries ago. What makes one better than the other?
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    "The greatest fighting force in the history of the earth: the Romans." Rory Williams, specifically. *sigh*
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    (Original post by chrisawhitmore)
    Constant, credible threat of annihilation from literally every neighboring country. Tends to keep your armed forces on their toes (though as I have already stated I do not believe the Israelis to be the best army in history, I would probably credit the Mossad as the best intelligence service) At any rate, the US faces no credible military threats, and as such it's forces can never be truly battle hardened, facing no true battles. Being able to beat an untrained guy with an RPG is not the same as being able to hold a position against a combined arms assault with artillery shells raining down around you.

    Also, they won the 6 day war against the armed forces of 12 different countries, outnumbered 2 to 1, in six days.
    The US Army has been in battle for the last ten years. That makes them a lot more battle hardened than the Israelis who have not.

    The six day war was so long ago that I doubt a single member of Israel's armed forces from that time is still serving now. You can't really say that what happened almost half a century ago makes for a battle hardened army today.

    And on what grounds would yuou credit Mossad as the best intelligence service?
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    That's a myth. Both empires had significant land borders, had diplomatic relations with other states and launched many a failed invasion of neighbouring countries. The Romans and Greeks would have had to have been absolute morons if they thought they came anywhere near close to conquering the world.
    Maybe so. But I'd still rate them way up there. The Romans and Greeks both conquered massive areas and ruled over them for many hundreds of years.
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    I don't know about the best army in the world, but in terms of military strategy this guy literally wrote the book on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu

    According to Wikipedia, this text has apparently has been cited as contributing to:

    * The unification of China in the Warring States Period, under Qin
    * Samurai philosophy and practice, and eventually the unification of Japan
    * The strategy behind communist guerilla movements, most notably in Vietnam
    * Napoleon's military strategy (apparently)

    It's also required reading for the CIA and is on the Marine Corps Commandant's reading list.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    And on what grounds would yuou credit Mossad as the best intelligence service?
    I think the reason a lot of people credit Mossad as the best is the fact that they are so notorious. Their pedigree is impressive no doubt, but then so is their list of ****-ups. Until such time as all leading nations release document attaining to the missions of their intelligence agencies, we can't really begin to compare them in any way. Really, the best intelligence agency is one that we shouldn't even know about!
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    I think the reason a lot of people credit Mossad as the best is the fact that they are so notorious. Their pedigree is impressive no doubt, but then so is their list of ****-ups. Until such time as all leading nations release document attaining to the missions of their intelligence agencies, we can't really begin to compare them in any way. Really, the best intelligence agency is one that we shouldn't even know about!
    Fair point.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    The US Army has been in battle for the last ten years. That makes them a lot more battle hardened than the Israelis who have not.

    The six day war was so long ago that I doubt a single member of Israel's armed forces from that time is still serving now. You can't really say that what happened almost half a century ago makes for a battle hardened army today.

    And on what grounds would yuou credit Mossad as the best intelligence service?
    The US army has been deployed for 10 years, they have not fought anything resembling a battle since the early days of Iraq (and then a hopelessly mismatched one) The question is best army in history, so the fact that the six day war was a while back is not a problem. The US army has not won a relatively evenly matched war alone except for defeating the Spanish in 1898, and has only ever beaten that one European state without the aid of other European states.
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    Present day Islam
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    The Germanic Tribes under Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest; they defeated their enemies (the Romans), despite being outnumbered and technologically backward.
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    Dumbledoor's
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    Debatable, if you had to choose an army that has consistently been an efficient, successful fighting force, it's without any doubt the British Army.

    However for specific times in history you could choose:

    - German Army during 1939-1942
    - Roman Legions, 0AD - 200AD
    - US Army, 1990-Present
    - French Army, 1799-1815
 
 
 
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