Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Nazi Germany 1933-1945

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 and experiences compelled Hitler and 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 and tactics were invented by the Nazis, as well as technology that was leaps and bounds ahead of the Allies.

Let me put it this way: If we didn't have the Nazis, we never would have gone to the moon or launched satellites. They were that advanced and critical to human history.

2 United States 1941-Present

I have studied and taught history for many years now. The best quote about the power of the United States was summed up by one man. After the attack on the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the Japanese military celebrated their surprise victory. However, as the legend goes, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, who had spent several years in the U.S., said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." Yamamoto was referring to the industrial power, the economic capabilities, the potential for overwhelming military power, the vastness of America's natural resources, and above all, the spirit of its people that he knew only free men and women have.

Today, the United States spends more money on its military than the next 10 countries combined. The U.S. is a member of the strongest alliance in history (NATO). To give a brief example of actual power compared to the rest of the world, the United States has over 20 aircraft carriers roaming the seas of the world. The military seen as the second most powerful today, Russia, has only one aircraft carrier. There is truly no comparison to history's past military powers. The United States dominates the land, the sea, the air, and space and will for a long time in the foreseeable future.

3 Mongol Empire 1206-1368

The existence of Mongolian iron cavalry is a myth! The Mongol army is the only one in the history of the world that did not rely on logistical supplies. Temujin and his descendants, the Golden Family, swept across Eurasia in decades of oppressive attacks against half of the Earth's mainland. They created many firsts: the empire with the largest territory, covering almost the entire Eurasian continent. And the army with the largest number of kills, massacring 200 million people. They created a unique tactic that did not involve slaughtering a city just once.

They are described as a group of monsters that even the gods feared. They defeated armies with their cavalry. They once said, As long as the arrows of the Mongols can shoot, it is the territory of the Mongols. Western countries were afraid of Mongolian cavalry and even the Black Death.

4 Empire of Japan 1905-1941

The Japanese navy was, at the beginning of World War II, arguably the largest navy in the world. Japan was able to take on a much larger nation, China, and simultaneously deal with the US. They were able to put up a fight with America for four years!

Perhaps if the Allies had chosen an invasion of Japan instead of atomic bombings, Japan may have won the war. It would have been a sort of "Stalingrad of the East."

Okinawa, a tiny island in Japan, saw fighting in World War II and 49,000 US casualties. The Allies planned to launch a D-Day invasion on the island of Kyushu, 16 times larger than Okinawa. If the invasion went the way that Okinawa went, the US would have suffered 789,520 casualties. If that's not a powerful military, then I'm not sure what is.

5 British Empire 1800-1939

In 1921, the British Empire seized the African colonies from Germany after the end of World War I, reaching the largest territorial scope. It was the largest empire in history until the outbreak of World War II. At that time, the British Empire claimed sovereignty over parts of the Canadian Arctic Circle, the Australian interior, and Antarctica.

Territories: British Isles, Africa from Egypt to South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Burma, Malaya (including the Straits Settlements, such as Malacca, Penang, and pre-independence Singapore), and British Borneo, Yemen, Oman, Iraq, Guyana, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Hong Kong.

6 Ottoman Empire 1299-1808

I think there is a mistake on the list because there are many things that have changed by the Turks in the Ottoman period of reign. For instance, it is accepted that when the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul), the Middle Ages ended.

The Byzantine Empire ended and a new period of time began. The Ottomans ruled 24 million square kilometers and they had the strongest army in their time.

Rapid conquest. The Mamluks were defeated in under ten years. They beat all the Crusaders and conquered Constantinople. They nearly conquered all of Central Europe four times and nearly united Islam.

They reshaped history and forced Castile to go to the New World due to its immense trade power. They had the largest armies, the largest navy, and the largest population. It was one of the most tolerant empires in history.

7 Roman Empire 27 BC-476 AD

The Roman Legion was a regular army during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, conquering the Mediterranean coast with its efficient adaptability and mobility. The Roman Legion, before Marius' reform, and before the reform, Rome implemented compulsory military service, and all weapons and equipment were self-provided.

So, the arms were assessed according to the amount of property. Arms can be divided into light infantry, youth soldiers, middle-aged soldiers, reserve soldiers, and cavalry. Its strength makes the Mediterranean its inner lake.

Later, from the city-state on the banks of the Tiber River to the Byzantine Empire, the Roman Legion has always been the mainstay of the Roman Empire for 2,000 years.

8 Soviet Union 1941-1991

In 1949, the Soviet Union took advantage of the victory of World War II to acquire territories from Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Romania, Japan, and other countries. Territory included the Kamchatka Peninsula in the east, Turkmenistan and the South Caucasus in the south, Ukraine and Belarus in the west, and the Arctic Ocean in the north.

The Soviet Army is probably third on the list for me. The only downfall about Soviet and more modern Russia is that their Navy was weak. This is surprising because of how powerful their Navy was during the 19th and 18th centuries.

Apart from that, the Soviet Union and modern Russia have had the biggest land army, the most nuclear missiles, and a very good air force (second only to the United States).

9 Russian Empire 1721-1905
10 First French Empire 1804-1814

The Grande Armée rampaged across Europe unchallenged for an entire decade, until cold and typhus (rather than enemy armies) destroyed it in Russia. It was one of the most formidable fighting forces ever assembled, with extremely experienced soldiers (some of whom had been fighting constantly for 20 years) and fearless generals who took part in the killing with their swords during cavalry charges.

Between 1805 and 1815, Napoleon's Grande Armée achieved a level of dominance over Europe that had not been witnessed since Ancient Rome.

The Contenders
11 Spanish Empire 1492-1975

From 1763 to 1800, France ceded French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to Spain, until 1800 when the French Napoleon regime exchanged Tuscany, Italy, for Spain for the part of French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River. Territories included Spain, the Low Countries, the Two Sicilies, the American line from Louisiana to Argentina, and the Philippines.

The Spanish Empire was the first empire of global extent. It controlled modern-day South America, Central America, Mexico, Southwest America, and Northern Africa. At its peak, it was wealthier and stronger than England, France, and Portugal.

Its power is displayed by its 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 its defeat on July 29, 1588, along with a series of civil wars, marked the decline of the Empire.

12 Spartans 900 BC-192 BC

The Spartan heavy infantry is a legend in the history of ancient warfare. It is the first fully professional army in history. Every Spartan is a natural warrior with tenacious will and strict discipline. The Spartan heavy infantry has always been a representative of strength and terror, and its excellent attack ability makes the Spartan warriors invincible.

In the Boloponnesian Civil War, the blockade of 90,000 Spartan heavy infantry almost killed the Athens side at the beginning of the war, so that the Athenians could only stay in the city for several years. In the earlier Hippo War, Leonidas' 500 Spartan soldiers led 3,000 Greek allied forces to a fierce battle with the Persian 100,000 army. In the end, Persia barely won by relying on the guidance of the Greek traitors.

One year later, in the decisive battle of Plataea, with The 30,000 Greek coalition forces with Spartan heavy infantry as the main force easily defeated the 80,000 main force of the Persian elite and completed the "glorious revenge".

13 Caliphates 632-1258

When your 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. They nearly took over Europe two times. Its empire stretched from Spain to a Chinese dynasty.

It led to the creation of Islam, led to the Islamic Golden Age. It also led to great inventions and discoveries. It was the 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 until the end of the world because they were righteous, just, and the most courageous.

14 Persian Empire 550 BC-651 AD

Cyrus the Great conquered all 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.

This empire got the closest to world conquest any empire has ever gotten. Forty-four percent of the world population was under Persian rule.

This shows how little people know about history. Only three warmongering savages have ever conquered Persia.

15 Germany 1914-1918

This is the army that beat Russia while fighting a two-front war. It took the three greatest militaries on Earth - America, Britain, France, and a touch of the Spanish Flu - to stop them. Only the vast resources of America and Britain's overseas colonies were able to match the furious output of the Ruhr's factories, and no country had anything to compete with Krupp Artillery.

The common soldier was the best equipped, best trained, and most deadly of any soldier in Europe. The only reason the Nazi Empire was so deadly was the Prussian system it inherited from Bismarck, von Moltke, and others.

16 Kingdom of Macedonia 808-168 BC

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

Not only did Alexander take over the world, but he also Hellenized it, changing the course of history forever.

Entire countries surrendered then joined his army.

17 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1386-1795

It took fighting on three fronts to destroy it because it allowed more freedom to its citizens than Prussia, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. It had the 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.

18 Swedish Empire 1611-1721

The Caroleans were strongly religious. In preparation for every battle, the Carolean army prayed together with their king. The king also led the army personally into battle with no thought for his own personal safety. This gave the army the highest morale possible.

You shall not get hit by any bullet or cut by any sword if it is not the will of God! - Gustavus Adolphus.

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 of all time.

19 Sikh Empire 1799-1849

The Undefeated Army in the battleground from 1799 until Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1839 (King of Sikh Empire), the only cause of losing the empire in 1849 was betrayed by corrupt politicians after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Still, the Sikh Army fought without proper command for 10 years until the Sikh Empire merged into the British Indian Empire. The Sikh Army fought in the 1st and 2nd World War under British. Now, it is serving in the Indian forces as the Sikh regiment.

Sikhs are strong but also forgiving. They fought against overwhelming odds even though they were greatly outnumbered. They are super strong and will sacrifice so much.

They will always help you and they will never give up, ever. They had to fight so much and were so strong even though they did not have enough food, water, or a big army. Their army only consisted of 100, and they still won. They should be crowned the best army in the world.

20 Prussia 1701-1918

The Franco-Prussian War is possibly the single most lopsided war ever. The vaunted French force was steamrolled by the German war machine, cementing Prussia as one of the great powers and setting the stage for world history up to today.

Prussia stood against Austria, France, Russia, and Sweden during the Seven Years' War under the leadership of Frederick the Great and with its disciplined army. Voltaire once remarked, "While most states have an army, the Prussian army has a state." Prussia played a pivotal role during the Napoleonic Wars from 1813-1815.

It defeated the Austrians in 1866 and unified Germany in 1871 after decisively defeating the French during the Franco-Prussian War. Prussia was the main force of the German Army during World War I. Prussian General Baron von Steuben trained and drilled the US army during and after the American Revolutionary War, helping create America's first army.

Even after Prussia's de jure dissolution in 1933, Hitler tried to model the Wehrmacht on the Prussian Army.

21 Dai Viet Army 1228-1300

Impressive army that sent the Mongols running back to Mongolia.

The only country to defeat the Mongol empire.

22 Viet Cong 1954-1976

I hate to admit it, but these soldiers were very brave to take on the US. Not only that, but they managed to win! They were both cowardly and cunning.

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

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

23 Israel 1948-1982

Defeated the armies of all Arab countries with a country just formed and an army that was outnumbered. Then did so again during a war that was so swift it lasted for only six days, crushing forces that were much superior to many Arab states.

24 Grande Armée 1804-1815

Because it was the most courageous and dominant in the European continent.

25 Maurya Empire 322-187 BC

The empire had an army that controlled all of the Indian subcontinent, including present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and some parts of Afghanistan.

Maurya is the best empire in the world. It had the biggest army in the world. If they wanted, then the whole world would have been won by them.

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