Most Overrated Militaries

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Well I will start with a pretty controversial one - Germany in WW2.
I don't think this is really controversial among the long time contributors in military history for this site. Not at all!

World War 2 topics come down to those who have a psychological inability-prejudice where giving credit to the Soviets-Russians is concerned, compared to those who while skeptical of communist propaganda are willing to accept the evidence of the Soviet planning and execution at key points in the war.

The faction that can't credit the Soviets tend to mis-state the proportion of German army which was fighting the allies in Italy and the native resistance in the Balkans prior to June, 1944. They create a false manpower and materiel ratio on the Eastern Front, then say that the German performance in 1943 was excellent given a balance of power which is (very likely) false.

I'd be surprised if any of our top 10 posters in military are going to disagree with you on this assessment; but I'd love to read the brief in the Wehrmacht's favor.
 
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Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Here's one that might sitr the pot a little:

OTTOMANS IN 1681-1683.... OVER - RATED... Those sappers should have finished the job at Vienna prior to the coalition wiping them out, right?
 
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Aug 2018
337
America
France without a doubt. "France has the best track record of wars in history!". I mean, France is quite the military power, but that statement is nothing but Francophilia or French chauvinism gone mad. It's in the same level as "China is undefeated because it has lasted to this day!" which is ignorant.

The Roman Empire as well. There are moments when it is okay to praise it, but then hearing people talk about how it lasted for over a millennium is grating because of how oversimplified this is. After Yarmouk, even the ERE was nothing but a receding pathetic state that depended on Varangians and Crusaders to be kept alive. To call it an "empire" is nothing but an insult to your intelligence as well. The Norwegians were more of an empire than the Byzantines. Not to mention the Byzantines weren't even at Rome anymore. They didn't even speak Latin anymore. The Byzantines were somewhat good at defending Constantinople, but outside of that they were hardly a military power.

Speaking of the Byzantines, we have the Ottomans for that matter. The fact that it took so long for the Ottomans to take Constantinople, a feat achieved by Crusaders who couldn't even hold Jerusalem, speaks of how overrated the Ottomans are. But even more egregious is their failure at conquering Hungary. Mother of Christ one is surprised at reading the history of how this relatively small kingdom was not conquered by the Ottomans in its entirety. Then there's their loss to Iran. And to Timur, who invaded from the borders of China and still defeated the Ottomans in battle. Really, the only impressive thing the Ottomans did was conquer Egypt, but since the Mamluks were already in decline, one has to ask how impressive this was to begin with.
 
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Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Speaking of the Byzantines, we have the Ottomans for that matter. The fact that it took so long for the Ottomans to take Constantinople, a feat achieved by Crusaders who couldn't even hold Jerusalem, speaks of how overrated the Ottomans are. But even more egregious is their failure at conquering Hungary. Mother of Christ one is surprised at reading the history of how this relatively small kingdom was not conquered by the Ottomans in its entirety. Then there's their loss to Iran. And to Timur, who invaded from the borders of China and still defeated the Ottomans in battle. Really, the only impressive thing the Ottomans did was conquer Egypt, but since the Mamluks were already in decline, one has to ask how impressive this was to begin with.
As a member of the Serbian diaspora it makes me something of an apostate to agree with you... but well argued points!
 
Feb 2019
1,031
Serbia
Well I will start with a pretty controversial one - Germany in WW2.
I would actually put Prussia as a whole, including the German Empire and Nazi Germany. They are often hailed as some sort of an epitome of discipline and military innovation and there is some truth to this, but they are vastly overpraised and I would argue that just Jena-Auerstedt, where their army was routed and effectively crushed after just 6 days of war, disqualifies them from any form of place as the ''greatest military.''
 
Aug 2018
337
America
I would actually put Prussia as a whole, including the German Empire and Nazi Germany. They are often hailed as some sort of an epitome of discipline and military innovation and there is some truth to this, but they are vastly overpraised and I would argue that just Jena-Auerstedt, where their army was routed and effectively crushed after just 6 days of war, disqualifies them from any form of place as the ''greatest military.''
I would put Rome as a whole, including the Republic and Imperial Rome. They are often held as some sort of discipline and military innovation and there is some truth to this, but they are vastly overpraised and I would argue that just Adrianople, where their army was effectively crushed with the Roman emperor killed by a band of wandering primitive horsemen, disqualifies them from any form of place as the ''greatest military.''
 
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Aug 2018
337
America
Also, for specific Roman periods, the period of Justinian in particular is overrated. He recovered North Africa but took over a decade to recover Italy and only took a small portion of Spain. His gains in Italy were reversed as soon as he died to the Lombards as well. Not to mention Totila was capable of regaining much Italian territory until Justinian finally defeated him. He of course didn't regain anything in Gaul and Britain either, or anything north of the Alps as well.