Imperial French (Napoleon)
WW2 US military
WW2 Red Army
Modern US Military
Napoleonic Era British
I never said that the German army prior to WW1 was not a professional army -- and yes, the Janissaries were certainly a professional army and were the inheritors of the legions by the Eastern Empire. Anyway, it was a fun discussion, and I still rate the Roman legions up there.
Well,a conscript army can be a professional army in a sense. I had said that the American army was not a professional army in WWII and in that I was partially wrong. By the end of the war they were -- four years of war does that. But after the war, the American army drew down and you went back to the core professionals until the next flare-up, namely Korea.
Augustus established the Roman army as 28 legions. Another change that was made: the standard of a legion, the so-called aquila (eagle) was the very symbol of the unit's honour. The aquilifer who was the man who carried the standard was in rank almost as high as a centurion. It was this elevated and honourable position which also made him the soldiers' treasurer in charge of the pay chest.
For three centuries these 28 legions protected the Empire, patrolled the frontiers, and, in many places, provided the only law that existed. Starting with Adrianople, infantry began to be replaced by the cavlary. To me it's not clear that this occurred because the cavalry was now superior to the infantry (though the stirrup had yet to be introduced) or was it just the simple deteoriation of the Roman armies by being stretched too thin and having to plug too many holes in the border. It's a great debate that has been going on forever...
My arguments for the Cribs and the Bloods is simple. If you ignore the political considerations (which is completely arbituary), then they are professional military.
As for mercs, well, you get what you pay for.
I am not very sure what's the debate about professionalism. "An army is an instrument of the state for defence from within and without" - Kautilya (Arthashastra). When the state is legal, the army is legal.
Professional (as against Amateur - as in tennis players) meaning selling services for money - would class mercenaries as professional. Not a welcome thought in military circles.
However usual parlance has "professional military" as a force maintained by the state (conscript or volunteer) with professional (as against 'emotional') attitude towards the job. When there is planning, training and simulation to top the real battle-scarring of the organization.
Thats my two-penny.
Regards and its nice to be back to WAB
Primum non Nocere
I would have everie man write only what he knows and no more - Montaigne
“They are a volunteer force, have a chain of command, a rudimentary C3, clear perimeters, and uniforms to boot.”
Further elaborating that:
“A volunteer force is automatically a professional army but a professional army is not necessary a volunteer force. The people chosed their profession.”
So, according to your definition, you would consider groups to constitute a ‘professional army’ that no one else would, certainly no governments, nor the UN, and not according to the ‘Geneva Conventions’. Does the US have to treat arrested members of gangs as PoW’s? I simply don’t agree with your definition, and the fact that it would include groups such as ‘street gangs’ as members of ‘professional armies’ just highlights the flaw in your definition IMHO.
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be ‘claming’, since I’ve not tried to construct a definition thus far. I’ve simply given counterexamples which point out the fallacies in your definition. For my part I ‘know one when I see one’ and the German army was a ‘professional army’ IMHO, in spite of it’s use of compulsory military service and ‘street gangs’ are not in spite of whatever superficial characteristics they may share with ‘real’ professional armies.
Last edited by deadkenny; 31 Jul 07, at 13:40.
I have voted for Neapolitan period British.
This is mainly because I have finished reading a few books on Wellington, regarding both the Indian campaigns and the Portuguese campaign (against the French). Some great victories there, also the the birth of the rifles (as in the regiments) more on less kick started modern infantry.
The British Army of that time typifies a well trained and well drilled army being capable of defeating a far numerically superior force. In many cases, against the odds.
I find it odd there is such a large amount of people voting for the modern US army. Yeh its the best in the world atm, but other than the Second world War (and even this you could argue wasn't a was they would ever lose) it has not fault any wars that it HAD to win. The USA has never fought for its very existence and has never won a war it was unlikely to win. An Army needs to have been tested to and beyond its limits to be on this list imo.
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