If if you have no plans to start a war, it’s always good for the other guys to know that you have the bigger guns and the stronger troops. In this part of Top Armies, we look at the final selection of armed forces. You can also read part one, part two, and part three.
Top Armies #31- Mexico- The Mexican Army
The Mexican Army can trace its roots of warfare and military training back to the Aztec Tribes. Before the Spanish invasion of the country, the tribes were highly organised and made young men train in warfare from the age of 15 years old. Since this time the army has had many changes. The current Army as it is known was formed in 1810 after the battle for independence. The army was mainly used for keeping the peace in the country and does not believe in assisting other countries in warfare. In recent years it has begun changing some policies as the country could be a target for international terrorism. Most of the weapons used by the army are from America and France. It is believed that the army will be upgrading equipment and buying supplies from America in future in the hope to prevent terrorist attacks in the country.
Top Armies #32- South Africa- South African Army
The South African Army was created after the Union of the South in 1910. During the Second World War, the South African forces were part of the British forces. The main role of the army has been to keep the peace in the country since the 1990’s tensions. There is an estimated 40,000 soldiers on active service and another 12,000 in reserve forces. The army has served as part of the NATO force when troubles have erupted in other parts of Africa. The army is facing massive problems in recent years as most of the equipment used is nearing the end of its life. There have been recent plans to upgrade most of the equipment under the African Warrior programme. By 2020 the army plans to have changed all of its ageing equipment but the budget for the army is very low and this has caused problems.
Top Armies #33- Norway- Norwegian Army
The Norwegian Army has been active in many conflicts since it was formed in 1628. Over the years Norway has been evaded by its neighbour, Sweden, and the army has been forced to improve training and the equipment every time. During World War Two, the Army was unprepared for the German invasion. Since then the country has learnt its lessons and now has an active army of 11,000 soldiers. One of the main focuses has been on crisis management and assisting other countries in conflict. The army has acquired small arms from around the world, including Germany and Canada. Most of the artillery equipment was from America, including the M270 multiple launch rocket system. Combat vehicles include the Sisi-158 armoured personnel vehicle from Finland which has been in service since the 1980’s.
Top Armies #34- Austria- Austrian Armed Forces
Austria is a landlocked nation that does not need a navy. Instead, the forces are divided between the ground forces and the air forces. The area has seen a lot of conflicts and the current form of the Austrian ground forces has been the same since 1955. In recent years the country lifted a ban on certain weapons that the military could use after tensions began rising in neighbouring countries. One of the main problems which the ground forces attempt to tackle is the flow of illegal immigration. Hundreds of people attempt to cross the borders to get into the rest oEuropepe. In the event of a national disaster, the army is called to action to assist the public. There is an estimated 4 million people available for service in the event of war and a conscription service is still in place.
Top Armies #35- Malaysia- Malaysian Army
The Malaysian Army is filled with many traditions from the British army. The army was formed from the Penang rifle volunteers in 1933. Since this time, the army has been part of many different engagements. These include World War Two, United Nations peacekeeping missions in Congo and the Kosovo War. There is an estimated 80,000 active personal and over 50,000 on reserve. There are four infantry divisions, 9 infantry brigades, and one special forces brigade. There is also a territorial army which provides border surveillance and highway surveillance. The army uses a variety of anti-tanks and anti-air systems to protect the country. One anti-aircraft missile that is used is the Starburst from the United Kingdom. The army has less than 100 tanks in its armament but instead has a selection of armoured vehicles to use.
Top Armies #36- North Korea- Korean People’s Army
Kim Jong-un is the supreme commander of the armed forces in North Korea. The current form of the army dates to the 1940’s and the Soviet Union once equipped the army with supplies. These were used against South Korea who were unprepared for the attack. There is a conscription service for the army and it is estimated that there are around 12 million people who would be suitable for military service in the event of conflict. The army has a massive budget of over $10 billion. The North Korea is currently be watched by different countries around the world after they expressed an interest in using nuclear warheads as part of their weapons programme. There is also a belief that the army is developing chemical weapons which could be used for mass destruction and the killing of millions of people.
Top Armies #37- Netherlands- The Royal Netherlands Army
The origins of the army date back to the 1500’s but the current army dates to 1814. If the origin story is true it would make this army one of the oldest in the world. The army has taken part in many different conflicts over the years including the Eight Years War and the Battle of Waterloo. It is estimated that there is 21,000 active personal in the armed forces, this includes those who serve full time and part time. The soldiers are trained in the Koninklijke Militaire Academie which has trained soldiers since 1828. The Netherlands do not appear to have any tanks but they have a range of armoured vehicles instead. There is a large air defence system which is operated by the 13th Air Defence Battery and 802 Squadron.