Having the top army in the world is one of the top priorities that a country can have. Armed warfare has been one of the ways that countries have defined themselves for centuries. Moving into the modern age, fighting and bloodshed is not considered a top priority by the general public. But that doesn’t stop countries from around the world trying to ensure that they are the best.
Top Armies #1- United States of America- The United States Army
The United States Army is the largest branch of the armed forces in the United States. The roots of the army date back to 1775. This was before America was established as an independent country from Britain. The role of the army is ground based military warfare and has over 400,000 active personnel. This does not include over 500,000 members which are on reserve forces. This takes the total manpower of the US Army to over one million personnel. The mission of the army is preserving peace and security for the country and overcoming any nations that act aggressively towards the country. In response to the 9/11 attacks in New York City in 2001, the US Army was deployed to fight the war on terror against Al-Qaeda. The current budget for the US Army is around $21 billion and the budget has gotten smaller over the years since 9/11.
Top Armies #2- Russia- Russian Ground Forces
The Ground Forces for the Russian Federation are the land placed forces for Russia. This army was formed on the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. In 2015 the Russian Ground Forces reportedly has over 425,000 enlisted personnel. The mission of the army is to protect Russia’s State borders and soldier development. When the Soviet Union dissolved every attempt was made to ensure that the Soviet Forces were kept as a single military unit. The Grounds Forces benefit from a range of ground equipment at their disposal. In recent years they have been acquiring new equipment but have continued to use older equipment from the Soviet Age. There are several different branches within the Ground Forces, this includes The Motorised Rifle Troops and Special Corps. The Motorised Rifle Troops are equipped with a large armament of weapons for ground combat.
Top Armies #3- China- The People’s Liberation Army
The People’s Republic of China has an army called The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which was formed in 1927. The ground troops of the army are called the People’s Liberation Ground Force, which is one of four other branches of the Army. The four branches combined make it the world’s largest military force. It is law in China that everyone completes a term of military service but due to the high number of volunteers the country does not need to enforce it. The mission of the PLA is to safeguard China’s national interests and help maintain world peace. China is one of the most prominent members of the United Nations and has sent its army to various hot-spots to help restore peace. In 2015 around 700 soldiers were sent to South Sudan on a peacekeeping mission as part of the United Nations.
Top Armies #4- India- The Indian Army
The largest part of the Indian Armed Forces is the Indian Army, the land-based branch of the military. There are over one million active personnel in the ground forces and around 960,000 reserve personnel. The army was formed in 1895 and named the British Indian Army. This was because India was part of the British territory at this time. After 1947 when India was given its independence from Britain, the Gurkha Regiments remained with Britain and the remaining regiments became The Indian Army. There are 63 armoured regiments in the Indian ground forces and this includes several historical regiments. The current budget means that India cannot fight in current conflicts but it is believed that in the next few years India with have ammunition needed to fight in conflict zones. India is also planning on producing their own equipment and building their own weapons and vehicles.
Top Armies #5- The United Kingdom- The British Army
Great Britain and the United Kingdom are two different things. Great Britain includes the countries England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The patron of the British Army is Queen Elizabeth and anyone from the United Kingdom is able to serve. There are nearly 90,000 active personnel and over 25,000 in reserve forces. The armed forces were established in 1660 as the first standing military force for the crown. Since then more and more regiments from across the UK have been added. The main weapons of the British Army include L85A2 assault rifle although sometimes these are equipped with an underbarrel grenade launcher. Armoured vehicles include the Challenger 2 Battle Tank and the Saxon APC.
Top Armies #6- France- The French Army
The French Army is the largest part of the French Armed Forces. In 2014 it was reported that the French Army had around 115,000 personal. A French soldier is considered a professional in the country once conscription has been suspended. The first permanent army in France was founded in the 1420’s under Charles VII. Since then there have been several major reorganisations to the army but it’s roots can be traced back nearly 600 years. This makes it one of the oldest military forces in the world. Since the beginning of the 29th century the French Forces have seen a massive decline in manpower. At the beginning of World War One there was an estimated 1,300,000 soldiers in the French Army. The standard issue rifle for soldiers is the FAMAS rifle. The army currently has over 200 tanks in storage and around 7,000 armoured vehicles.
Top Armies #7- South Korea- Republic of Korea Armed Forces
The Republic of Korea Armed Forces or ROK Armed Forces is one of the largest standing military forces in the world. It has been reported that personnel number for 2014 were above 3 million. Between the ages of 18 and 35 years old there is a mandatory subscription of around 2 years that must be completed by law by men. This is not compulsory for women but they can volunteer their services if they want to. The forces were founded in 1948 after the Korean War. China and North Korea caused a lot of damage to South Korea. To ensure that it didn’t happen again South Korea formed its own army so that it did not have to rely on support from outside countries again. The current mission of the ground forces is self-defense and protection of people in the South. Over two-thirds of the army is at the front line to prevent any attacks from the North of the country.
Tope Armies #8- Germany- The German Army
The Modern German Army was only formed in 1955 but the original forces date back to 1871. Since the First World War the German Army has changed it appearance many times. Since World War Two there is very little history which the army allows to be traced to it’s current position. One of the few things that is allowed the Nazi resistance plots within the German Army. The army currently has over 60,000 active personal. Since 1991 the army has seen massive reorganisation and many of the old battalions and regiments have been disbanded. The main battle tank of the German Army is the Leopard 2A6 tank. The newest addition to the equipment will be the 31 ton Puma (IFV) which will be replacing the current Marder IFV. German troops have been against Allied Forces in the past but are now working with them in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Top Armies #9- Japan- Japan Self-Defense Forces
There are several service branches within the Japan Self-Defense Forces. After World War Two, Japan had little military forces left. In 1945 it was decided that any military presence in Japan would serve as a protection force from other nations. Japan has not ruled out the use of nuclear warheads as it is the only country which has experienced the devastating effects of nuclear weapons. After seeing how terrible nuclear war really is, Japan stated that it had no desire to use these types of weapons. In 2013 the government called for a total rearmament of the forces after tensions with China and North Korea. Up until this point, the Japan Self-Defense forces have only taken part in international peacekeeping missions. The country is currently focusing on its missile programme after China increased its military forces. Japan currently has the fifth largest defense budget in the world.
Top Armies #10- Turkey- Turkish Armed Forces
The Turkish Land forces is the land based branch of the Turkish Armed forces. The official claim from the Ministry of Defense is that the Turkish Army was formed in 209 BC by Modu Chanyu who was the founder of the Xiongnu Empire. The modern Turkish Army is dated to 1922 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. In 2014 it was estimated that the Turkish Forces had grown to approximately 415,000 service personnel. The Turkish Army has many of its weapons built within the country. These include the Otokar Cobra infantry mobility vehicle and TAI/ AgustaWestland attack helicopter. Although many of the weapons are made in Turkey, the government choose a Chinese firm to build the country missile defense systems. Several of the Turkish military branches and unit have been certified by NATO for combat readiness in times of conflict.
Image source- Wiki Commons