AskDefine | Define armies

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  1. Plural of army

Extensive Definition

expert-portal Military history An army (from Latin Armata "act of arming" via Old French armée), in the broadest sense, is the land-based armed forces of a nation. It may also include other branches of the military such as an air force. Within a national military force, the word Army may also mean a field army, which is an operational formation, usually made up of one or more corps.
In several countries the army is officially called the land army to differentiate it from an air force called the air army, notably France. In such countries, the word "army" on its own retains its connotation of a land force in common usage. The current largest army in the world by number of active troops is the People's Liberation Army of China with 2,250,000 active troops and 800,000 reserve personnel.

Field army

A field army is composed of a headquarters, army troops, a variable number of corps, and a variable number of divisions. A battle is influenced at the Field Army level by transferring divisions and reinforcements from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at a critical point. Armies are controlled by a General or Lieutenant General.


A particular army can be named or numbered to distinguish it from military land forces in general. For example, the First United States Army and the Army of Northern Virginia. In the British Army it is normal to spell out the ordinal number of an army (e.g. First Army), whereas lower formations use figures (e.g. 1st Division).
Armies (as well as army groups and theaters) are large formations which vary significantly between armed forces in size, composition, and scope of responsibility.
In the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet Air Force, "Armies" were actually corps-sized formations, subordinate to an Army Group-sized "front" in wartime. In peacetime, a Soviet army was usually subordinate to a military district.
For the hierarchy of land forces organizations, see military organization.

See also

armies in Arabic: جيش
armies in Bengali: আর্মি
armies in Catalan: Exèrcit
armies in Czech: Armáda
armies in Welsh: Byddin
armies in Danish: Hær
armies in Pennsylvania German: Armee
armies in German: Heer
armies in Modern Greek (1453-): Στρατός
armies in Spanish: Ejército
armies in French: Armée de terre
armies in Galician: Exército
armies in Korean: 육군
armies in Ido: Armeo
armies in Indonesian: Angkatan darat
armies in Italian: Armata
armies in Hebrew: צבא
armies in Javanese: Angkatan Dharat
armies in Georgian: სახმელეთო ჯარები
armies in Latin: Exercitus
armies in Hungarian: Hadsereg
armies in Dutch: Landmacht (algemeen)
armies in Japanese: 陸軍
armies in Norwegian: Armé
armies in Norwegian Nynorsk: Hær
armies in Polish: Armia
armies in Portuguese: Exército
armies in Romanian: Armata terestră
armies in Quechua: Awqaq suyu
armies in Russian: Армия
armies in Albanian: Ushtria
armies in Simple English: Army
armies in Slovenian: Vojska
armies in Finnish: Maavoimat
armies in Swedish: Armé
armies in Thai: กองทัพบก
armies in Vietnamese: Lục quân
armies in Turkish: Ordu (askeriye)
armies in Ukrainian: Армія
armies in Chinese: 陆军
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