of these articles treats the armed force army, for the surname, sees to army (surname)
Austrian guard company

the army is the whole of the ground forces of a state. The tasks of the army are primarily clearing and fighting hostile troops up. ToFulfilment of its tasks fighting and supporting units are to it at the disposal.

To table of contents


already in the antique armies came it to a partitioning into branches of service, in particularinto light and heavy infantry. In the Greek and Roman armies the task of the able-bodied men depended in the army on their ownership structure, since the soldiers first had to be responsible for their equipment. The heavily armored Greek Hopliten, thosein a close Phalanx fought, recruited themselves from the Oberschicht. At times of the Roman republic the state turned into to be responsible for the equipment of the large Roman army. As consequence of it an enormous Kriegsindustrie developed. Since the end of the republicthe standing Roman army consisted of Freiwilligen and had temporarily a strength of up to 900.000 soldiers. By the reformation of the Roman army by Marius (among other things under the ideas of the Kimbern and Teutonen) became the foundation-stone forthe powerful Roman army of the Kaiser era put, by which only the gigantic expansion of the Roman Imperiums could be bewerkstelltigt. To the Kaiser era a last large reformation of the army was introduced. From then on each Legion of the Roman army existed always outthe 3 troop units (Manipel) Triarii, Principes and Hastati. In late ancient times it came to the separation of the army into a movement (Comitatenses) and a border army (Limitanei).

After the fall of the Roman realm, among other things by those People migration was caused, gave it over thousand years long no standing armies in Europe, except in the Byzantine realm. The army quantities of the Middle Ages consisted of body-own farmers, of knights and other aristocrats and their Gefolgsleuten and of urban quantities ofMen with citizen right. Armies became in the European Middle Ages quantities only if a war course were planned or had a hostile invasion to be repelled. The obligation was justified to the army service by feudalen dependence.

In the late Middle Ages mercenary made the largest partthe army out, since the princes and kings wanted to separate in this way from dependence from their Vasallen. Besides the professional armies were a consequence ever more important of the money economy become, which the feudale reason to the participation in oneWar course by a financial reason replaced. Since the mercenaries were often undisciplined and did not feel bound to a certain state, they became fast in large parts of Europe land troubles. Been missing pay payments could lead to heavy plunderings and excesses, besidesmany mercenaries let themselves be abwerben, if one promised them a higher pay.

The transition to disciplined, standing armies was introduced at the beginning of the early modern times. The infantry fought to 15 since that. Century in close formations, what required a high discipline.In order to be independent of the mercenary quantities, most European rulers went into late 17. Century over to set up standing armies. The associated disciplining measures made it possible to let the armies proceed despite ever more largely becoming firepower in closed battle row.Only in 19. One changed century due to the rapid advancement from Feuerwaffen to up-loosen the armies into combat.

Increased revolution, which radiated also on other European states , by the first introduction of a compulsory military service in the course of the Frenchitself the armies extremely strongly. Into the second half 20. Century muster the great powers in the Kriegsfall million-armies. The German army had in the First World War a strength of up to seven million soldier.

With the change thatWar guidance strategies (e.g. in Germany with the defense policy guidelines in the version of 2003) the tendency accompanies smaller to create high-present and fast shiftable army structures with it world-wide employments and gradated military reaction becomes more easily possible. In Germany critics criticize sinceBeginning of this transformation thereby was created a “intervention army”.

Since end of the cold war many European states in the course of the reduction of their armies abolished the military service or suspended ( the United States had this already after end of the Viet Nam war done).





see also

Web on the left of


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)