Most Powerful Militaries of All Time

The Top Ten

1 USA 1941-Present

The United States military is the most advanced military as of now, and that's thanks to defeating the overly powerful Nazi regime with their allies, they've been the global super power since and have shown that in their ability to outrun the Soviet Union with their unreal military and economic budgets, they rid the Western Hemisphere from colonization and protect the great continents of North and South America from foreign powers. This is a nation that has been beyond powerful since their revolution, whether you believe it or not, they were a sleeping giant even during the 19th century, wars trained our troops, not camps, the Civil War and Spanish and Mexican-American Wars proved that our nation was able to defend and fight, when World War I came, we outsmarted both sides and let them beat each other up, then develop an advanced military quickly and finish it off. World War II we DESTROYED 2 SUPER POWERS ON 2 SIDES OF THE WORLD, considering a lot of the defeat of Japan was thanks to ...more

Although the USA and its citizens did not think that their country can be greatest among countries in the 18th Century, they were wrong. USA, in the 19th Century, fought the mighty Spanish Empire, following it a US victory. The US then expanded their territory into Oceania, halting at China, since the British Empire took control of it. The US then went on to fight in World War I, increasing their rating of strength, then World War II, where they proved to be the strongest nation in the world after taking down the mighty Nazi Regime. The US then went to make the atomic bomb to blow up the Japanese Empire and end the war and then cancelled out the Soviet Union, which was in 2nd place, decades afterward.-Anonymous

By far for the short time this country had, it took the world bu storm

Us has best army in the world. In ww1 germany was against usa and every one knows how gemany was deafted. And in second world war Japan was deaftesd

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2 Nazi Germany 1933-1945

There is no need to say, that the Nazis were stupid and that they could have been a more powerful army at their time, without any doubt. They dodged their intellectual elite, by saying Jews are the enemy and missed some technological advantages, by Hitler being a lunatic and not seeing the real benefits in it. At their time they were the most advanced country on earth, which makes all of what happened even more strange, scary and just wondering, why. But it was the losing in WW1 and the disrespect of the winners which even allowed to get Germany a second chance on the battlefield. At least a lot of Germans felt that. And they were right, like this period has taught us. I mean, which army today needs the hate of all world against it, to get defeated? So imagine, they weakened themselves and still were able to perform a war like this...

Everything to defeat them was invented in Germany, just imagine, that it was just Hitler, who made the German win impossible, because he left his ...more

The Nazis may have been evil; but they were also very good at what they did. Adolf Hitler was a highly decorated WW1 German war hero, and a post-war intelligence operative. These skills & experiences compelled Hitler & Nazi Germany to advance warfare exponentially with "blitzkrieg". The Nazis built the world's first modern mechanized military, and the world's first global superpower. The Nazis were a frightening fighting force of disciplined, fanatical warriors using the most high tech, incredibly advanced weapons. Modern-day warfare & tactics were invented by the Nazis, as well as technology that was leaps & bounds ahead of the Allies. Let me put it this way-- If we didn't have the Nazis, we never would have went to the moon or launched satellites. They were THAT advanced and critical to human history.

Most people don't realize that the Nazis were fighting France, Britain, and America at the same time. The Nazis were extremely intelligent when it came to battles, prisoners, and training. Probably the best use of propaganda then any army. Adolf Hitler was a genius at war, the London blitz was just a taste of what the Nazis did to you if you attacked them (Berlin bombings). Great army.

No doubt that what Nazis did was bad, but others were too many Soviets performed war crimes, Brits had boer concentration camps, and German were also very tactical

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3 Mongol Empire 1206-1368

No European or American army can match their courageous acts of conquering the entire known world more than the mongols they pillage and sack more cities and erase most of civilized society than any other army previously or after.

Genghis Khan "Chiggis Khan" was unstoppable and merciless who stand on his way. Genghis Khan was kind and merciful who want to serve him. Genghis Khan's vision of Silk road opened us another way to living life and his vision gave us religion freedom first time in human history. Khan was great warrior, great leader, great strategic personality, and also born to be King of World. In Secret History of Mongols Genghis Khan said: "If there is one sun, our world will have one Great King". Lots of people says Genghis Khan was brutal, but what about other mid era king and empires?. 1 in every 200 men descendant of Genghis Khan. Before say something bad every man should take the Y-DNA test. I'm from Mongolia. Also descendant of Genghis Khan proven by Y-DNA result. - Henryotgoo

Yep, the second largest empire and the largest land empire of all time, conquered a quarter of the world's population, absolutely annihilating armies of much more advanced empires who outnumbered them ten to one, best fighting force of all time.

They conquered Russia in the middle of the winter!

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4 British Empire 1800-1939

Especially given its size, the British forces of this period and somewhat before, were extremely robust and achieved what no other nation in history has managed, dominance of all the world's oceans ad commerce with an all conquering navy and a small but highly effective army. Fighting over multiple terrains and against a hugely diverse set of opponents they emerged with by far the largest empire the world has ever seen.

Given that British naval supremacy over the best part of a century caused a long period of relative peace in the world, something that America's military power today has failed to do, should demonstrate the absolute supremacy enjoyed by Britain in the 19th century

Britain played a major role into today's society. Our world will know this empire for being the largest and biggest empire that ever existed. Our world would change if this never happened. Long live the king.


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5 Soviet Union 1941-1991

I would have put the Soviet Union at number 2 due to their nuclear capability (the Soviet Union had the 2nd largest nuclear stockpile on the planet at 55000+, while the United States of America had 70000+, but, we also have the consider the Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear detonation in history, which was actually detonated at half of it's potential power as they removed the U-238 Tamper which increased it's explosion power to 100 megatons because if they detonated the Tsar Bomba with 100 megaton potential power then it would have destroyed the plane which dropped it as it was trying to fly away from the explosion) and their ability to overtake the American's at the beginning of the space race with the launch of Sputnik into orbit around the Earth. This proves that they were the only empire/union that was able to be the rival the United States of America, hell, the United States of America was terrified with the "Red Scare", and the American people thought that their country ...more

See Number 2? Well, the Soviets crushed them. And most of their allies. And then went on to slap the Japanese harder than the A-bomb. And then was the only country that ever rivaled the US.

They are a world phenomenon crushing loads of countries

This is the only country capable to defeat the United States

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6 Empire of Japan 1905-1941

They never would surrendered and had conquered China at one point before stupidly attacking Pearl Harbor and throwing it all away

It took a lot of armies to beat them, and they were all alone. They didn't need any help. - Deadamanwonderlandgi

NO! It didn't ended at 1941 but at 1945
Remember the history that pass away and did not wasted or rotted... - The_Raging_Calidonian_Bull

Defeated by Russia. - darkraid1

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7 Dai Viet Army 1228-1300

Deserves to be at least be in top three

Great Viet Army is its meaning

If the Mongol empire is 2 then Dai Viet army should be 1 because they defeated the Mongol empire 3 times

Impressive army that sent the Mongols running back to Mongolia.

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8 Roman Empire 27BC-476AD

The Romans might not seem like much now cause we have guns that can kill a person from 400 yards away but back then imagine seeing on the beaches of your island this massive army all equipped with sword/spears, shields, armor and helmets. If you can't then imagine an army the size of the Romans but they all have the same technology we have.

They accomplished so much, and conquered so much, they had the first professional army.

They ruled for 700 years. What other empire was as forceful and stayed around that long?

An Empire that spanned all the way from Iberia to the Persians in Asia. Seeing these massive armies with tactics that have inspired Generals and soldiers traced to modern times is surely an accomplishment.

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9 Viet Cong 1954-1976

America has lost a war they lost this one

The nation was so poor they harly could afford to buy guns, so they defeated their enemies by mostly using booby traps. How many armies can say they've done that? - sdoggys

If it wasn't for Vietnam defeating America, most nations would still be fighting with WW2 tactics. Vietnam pretty much changed the way Generals see the battlefield.

Your comment about Vietnam defeating America made me far angrier than it should've, as Vietnam did not beat us. We won, and a treaty was signed, then Vietnam went against said treaty and we just decided it wasn't worth the trouble. - Traitorous

Okay buddy, calm down. History points towards the USA losing, but if you choose to ignore that, go ahead.
Moreover, people should learn from a loss, not ignore it.

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10 Spanish Empire 1492-1975

The Spanish Empire was the first empire of global extent. It controlled modern day, South America, Central America, Mexico, Southwest America and Northern Africa. In its peak it was wealthier and stronger than England, France and Portugal. It's power is displayed by it's language having 460 million speakers the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin. When Philip II was in power The Spanish Empire most definitely ruled the world. After it's defeat on Jul 29, 1588 along with a series of civil wars marked the decline of the Empire.

Just over 500 Spanish soldiers brought down an empire of over a million people.

The first modern empire

The first global empire.

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The Contenders

11 Russian Empire 1721-1905

Russian Empire defeated Swedish, Polish, Ottoman, Persian, French Empires. - darkraid1

Russia defeated most armies on this list

Russians defeated Mongolia, France and Germany.

After all it won world war 2 n is the only nation we've got which can stand up to western propaganda

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12 Ottoman Empire 1299-1808

Defeated Roman Empire and Took it Over

Rapid conquest. Mamluks defeated in under 10 years. Beat all the crusaders. Conquered Constantinople. Nearly conquered all of Central Europe 4 times. Nearly United Islam. Reshaped history. Forced Castile to go to the new world due to its immense trade power. Largest armies, largest navy and largest population. One of the most tolerant empires in history.

Finished off the Byzantine Empire and became one of the major powers in Europe until the early 1800s.

Greatest of most eras

V 11 Comments
13 Persian Empire 550BC-651AD

Cyrus the Great conquered all of the land that would be called Persia in a very small amount of time. (He gave freedom to all the slaves in Persia as well).

During this time Persian Empire conquered the lands that non of the empires and civilization could do that

This empire got the closest to world conquest any empire has ever gotten m. 44% of the world population under Persian rule.

Worlds biggest empire with 49% of worlds population

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14 Caliphates 632-1258

When you're generals have 100 battles and 100 wins you know that you are the greatest military force on earth. The caliphates were always outnumbered but never defeated. Nearly took over Europe 2 times. It's empire stretched from Spain to a Chinese dynasty. It lead to creation of Islam, led to Islamic golden age. Led to great inventions and discoveries. Largest empire of its time.

They were the best.. No one can compete with them in this list.. They were the most courageous people in the world.. People like them will never come again in this world till the end of the world because they were righteous just n most courageous..

They brought defeat to the roman and the Persian who were the two strongest in the world at the time. They only had 1/12 the size of other army's but their determination brought them greatness

They had khaled ebn el Walid the commander off all time.

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15 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1386-1795

Wiped out countless numbers of enemies with forces half the size

Took fighting on 3 fronts to destroy it because it allowed more freedom to its citizens than Prussia, Russia and Austria Hungary - first constitution in Europe.

The Winged Hussars were at that point, the most powerful cavalry known to man.

Maybe not the most famous but surely the most decisive.

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16 German First world war Army 1914-1918

In a war in which they were up against the British Empire, The French Republic, Russian Empire, and the United States of America, they still managed to last 4 years and all they had to help was the dying Austria-Hungarian Empire and Ottoman Empires both of which would be gone even if there wasn't a war. German Military Doctrine was really impressive, if the Kaiser had been smarter diplomatically the German Reich would likely still be around to this day.

This may be the greatest army ever. They were outnumbered well over two to one. German leadership of the Ottoman armies kept them going far longer than seemed possible. The Austrian army did not collapse until late 1918. This was due to the help of the Germans down to the junior officers and sergeants. Only their political stupidity caused them to loose by bringing the US into the war.

The casualties and the economic power of the powers also should be looked at in determining how strong this army was.

Did you mean the Wehrmacht was trying to copy the Kaiserreich army, if so you are correct WWI army was greater than the WWII army.

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17 Kingdom of Macedonia 808-168 BC

Alexander The Great had superior tactics that gave him great advantages even when outflanked!

Conquered the whole known land in its era

Entire countries surrendered then joined his army.

Alexander the great

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18 Swedish Empire 1611-1721

The caroleans were the best trained soldiers in Europe at their time

Defeated by Russia. - darkraid1

The Carolean Army defeated armies twice their size or more on a regular basis... Carolus Rex (Charles XII) and Gustavus Adolphus were two of the more brilliant military tacticians of their time, if not all time.

We beat Russia with 4000 thousand men to 60000 thousand men. Like damn...

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19 Sikh Empire 1799-1849 V 1 Comment
20 First French Empire 1804-1814

Won more major battles than any other military in history, and were the basis for all modern military strategy after it.

The victory record of Napoleon is over the top, his tactics have been copied by everyone after him.

Nearly took all of Europe away

Best fighting force of their time

V 2 Comments
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Top Remixes

1. Dai Viet Army 1228-1300
2. Mongol Empire 1206-1368
3. USA 1941-Present
1. Dai Viet Army 1228-1300
2. Mongol Empire 1206-1368
3. USA 1941-Present
1. Empire of Japan 1905-1941
2. Mongol Empire 1206-1368
3. Nazi Germany 1933-1945



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