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An army comprises all of a nation's land-based military forces or a specific large military force.


Military land forces

An army is a military organization. The word army (armée in French) can refer to any armed force (for example, the People's Liberation Army of China consists of ground force, navy and air force branches); or more specifically a force primarily designed for land-based warfare (for example, the United States Army, or the French Armée de Terre ).

Most (but not all) armed forces make considerable organizational distinction between the land-based warfare of an army, the sea-based warfare of a navy, and the air-based warfare of an air force - often splitting the three components into mostly independent forces. However, many air forces were formerly part of the army; historically, the United States Air Force originated as part of the United States Army.

Modern armies use infantry, armoured fighting vehicles (e.g. tanks), artillery, and aircraft (usually helicopters), supported by engineers, communications and supply troops.

Armies of the world

Military unit

An army can also be a large military unit (formation) comprising two or more corps. When used in this sense, the army is named or numbered to distinguish it from military land forces in general - for example, 1st Army and The Army of Northern Virginia. In the British Army it was normal to spell out the ordinal number of an army (e.g. First Army), whereas lower formations would use figures (e.g. 1st Division). In the Red Army, armies were actually corps-sized units and an army-sized unit was referred to as a front.

The hierarchy of large land force units is

See also

Last updated: 02-04-2005 14:56:14
Last updated: 02-24-2005 04:02:47