Which Country/Military Treated Its Soldiers/Sailors the Worst?

Oct 2016
1,045
Merryland
#1
who treated their military members worst?

Prussia, 18th-19th Centuries.
I read that officers would use surveying instruments to make sure their formations were straight. overkill much? I understand there was some flogging. as late as WWI, Barbara Tuchman ('Guns of August') suggested that even officers in the German army needed to supplement their meals with private fare.

WWI Russia.
apparently thousands of moujiks were sent to the front without rifles. just grab one when one of your fellows gets shot there's a good lad. the sort of thing that leads to, um, revolution.

WWII Soviet
recruits would arrive at a depot, be given uniforms (and sometimes a rifle), bused to the edge of town, and told 'the Germans are down there. stop them.' to their credit, they did.

WWII Japan
the IJA marched into Malaysia with few supplies, traveling fast and light. the Brits obligingly left them lots of food and stuff. they tried the same tactic in New Guinea (Kokoda Trail) and found slim pickings. the allied strategy led to bases and units being bypassed, left to fish and garden and try to supply themselves, with mixed results. troops in Guadalcanal suffered especially. I read somewhere that more Japanese soldiers died of starvation / malnutrition in WWII than from battle injuries.
 
Mar 2016
749
Australia
#4
Alexander the Great at Gedrosia
To be fair, Alexander shared all the same difficulties and sufferings they did. It wasn't like he ordered them to march through the desert then got on a ship and went from a nice cruise. There's even a story that he rejected the last bit of water, because he didn't want any special treatment compared to his soldiers.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#6
To be fair, Alexander shared all the same difficulties and sufferings they did. It wasn't like he ordered them to march through the desert then got on a ship and went from a nice cruise. There's even a story that he rejected the last bit of water, because he didn't want any special treatment compared to his soldiers.
really you believe that Alexander did not get better rations? stories are not facts. There are many stories of Generals sharing the hardships. Few of them appear in the casualty list of these marches. Overall the under representationof generals in deathes these marches certainly suggests they got much better food than the average soldier. How many French Marshsalls died in Russia in 1812?
 
Likes: Futurist

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,603
Australia
#8
Russia seems to get the guernsey in the mistreatment race, at least id we discount the more bizarre traditions of some African military forces. I once talked with a former Russian soldier over few beers and he had nothing good to say about his military service.
 
Oct 2016
1,045
Merryland
#9
Russian hazing, from 1960-late 2000s.

Source

Not only beatings by slightly more senior fellows lower enlisted and junior leaders, but theft of pay by commanders, even cases where privates were pimped out as male prostitutes by their commanding officers.
"The arrival of ‘hazing’ (abuse of new conscripts by older soldiers) in the Soviet Army in the 1960s was facilitated by the decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) to recruit people with a criminal background to the army. Former inmates brought thieves’ slang and prison customs to the army, which led to the practice of violence against soldiers who were less physically strong and easy to bully. Based on 1971 data, the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office stated that ‘1,573 suicides and attempted suicides were registered in the Armed Forces of the USSR (+13.1% compared to the previous year), with a significant increase among young soldiers and sailors (+43%).’ "

omg...
that sort of thing inconceivable in the US Navy
Putin's reaction; clamp down on the reporting.
so grateful to have been born in the USA

and this was mostly peacetime. imagine what they were getting away with in combat situations.