Field Marshal

Field Marshal

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Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.

Etymology


The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s (from Old German
Old German
Old German usually refers to Old High German, but it could also refer to:*Old Low German *Altdeutsche Tracht , a dress style popular among early 19th century German radicals...

 Marh-scalc = "horse-servant"), from the time of the early Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 kings.

Usage and hierarchical position


Some nations use the title of marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

 instead, while some have used field marshal general. The Air Force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 equivalent in the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and many Middle Eastern air forces is marshal of the air force
Marshal of the Air Force
Marshal of the Air Force is the English term for the most senior rank in a number of air forces. The ranks described by this term can properly be considered marshal ranks....

 (not to be confused with air marshal
Air Marshal
Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

). The corresponding naval ranks are normally fleet admiral, grand admiral
Grand Admiral
Grand admiral is a historic naval rank, generally being the highest such rank present in any particular country. Its most notable use was in Germany — the German word is Großadmiral.-France:...

 or admiral of the fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
An admiral of the fleet is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments...

.

Traditionally, upon their promotion, field marshals are awarded a decorative baton as a symbol of their rank. The baton is often studded with jewels and inlaid with precious metals. In many countries like Austria-Hungary, Prussia and Germany, extraordinary military achievement by a general (a wartime victory) is required for a field marshal.

Historically, however, several armies used field marshal as a divisional command
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

 rank, notably Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 (Spanish: mariscal de campo). In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (French: maréchal de camp, Portuguese marechal de campo) it was formerly a brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 command rank.

British army



Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

, held the rank of a field marshal, or equivalent rank, in eight armies. Nine of his field marshal batons are on display in Apsley House
Apsley House
Apsley House, also known as Number One, London, is the former London residence of the Dukes of Wellington. It stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, facing south towards the busy traffic interchange and Wellington Arch...

 (see Batons of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Batons of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington acquired many titles and honours including the rank of field marshal or equivalent in eight nation's armies. Each one of these nations provided him with a baton as a symbol of his rank...

).

China


During Imperial rule in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, successful generals were given the title of field marshal (元帅 Yuan Shuai
Yuan Shuai
Yuan Shuai was a Chinese military rank that corresponds to a marshal in other nations. It is given to distinguished generals during China's dynastic and republican periods. A higher level rank of Da Yuan Shuai , which corresponds to a Generalissimo, also existed.-People's Republic of China:The...

) or grand field marshal
Grand Marshal
Grand Marshal is a ceremonial, military, or political office of very high rank. The term has its origins with the word "Marshal" with the first usage of the term "Grand Marshal" as a ceremonial title for certain religious orders...

 (大元帅 da yuan shuai). One of the most famous of these generals was Yue Fei
Yue Fei
Yue Fei , style name Pengju, was a military general of the Southern Song Dynasty. His ancestral home was in Xiaoti, Yonghe Village, Tangyin, Xiangzhou, Henan...

 from the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

.

Egypt


Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces consists of a body of 20 senior officers in the Egyptian military. As a consequence of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the Council took the power to govern Egypt from its departing President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.The junta meets regularly, as...

 has been the de facto head of state of Egypt since former president Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak is a former Egyptian politician and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011....

's resignation caused by 2011 Egyptian revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

.

France



In the French army of the Ancien Régime, the normal brigade command rank was field marshal (maréchal de camp). In 1793, during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, the rank of field marshal was replaced by the rank of brigade general. The rank insignia of field marshal was two stars (one-star being used for a senior colonel rank). The French field marshal rank was below lieutenant-general, which in 1793 became divisional-general. In the title maréchal de camp and the English "field marshal", there is an etymological confusion in the French camp between the English words "camp" and "field". The French rank of field marshal should not be confused with the rank of Marshal of France
Marshal of France
The Marshal of France is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a military rank. It is granted to generals for exceptional achievements...

, which was the highest rank of the Ancien Régime and is in effect the highest French rank today (although in theory it is not an actual rank but a "state dignity").

India


Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw
Sam Manekshaw
Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, MC "Sam Bahadur" was a Field Marshal of the Indian Army. His distinguished military career spanned four decades and five wars...

 was the 8th chief of staff of the Indian Army in 1969 and under his command, Indian forces concluded the surrender of the Pakistan Forces after the Bangladesh Independence War from Pakistan during the final 10 days of the guerilla conflict on 16 December 1971. Sam Manekshaw
Sam Manekshaw
Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, MC "Sam Bahadur" was a Field Marshal of the Indian Army. His distinguished military career spanned four decades and five wars...

 was the first of only two Indian military officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal in the Indian Army, the other being Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa
Kodandera Madappa Cariappa
Field Marshal Kodandera "Kipper" Madappa Cariappa OBE was the first Indian Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army and led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947.He is among only two Indian Army officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal Field Marshal...

.


Japan



Until the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 also bestowed the honorary title of field marshal (元帥 gensui) on successful generals and admirals; they would however retain their ranks of general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 and admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

.

Pakistan army



Field marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan has remained the only field marshal in the Pakistan army to date. He appointed himself as a field marshal when he was the second president of Pakistan
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

, as well as the commander in chief of the army.

Turkish army


In the Turkish Armed Forces
Turkish Armed Forces
The Turkish Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Turkey. They consist of the Army, the Navy , and the Air Force...

, the corresponding rank is Mareşal. The rank of Mareşal can trace its origins to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and to the military of Persia, where it was called "مشير" (müşir) and bestowed upon senior commanders upon order of the ruling Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

. The rank of Mareşal can only be bestowed by the National Assembly
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

, and only given to a General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 who leads an army, navy and/or air force successfully in three battles or at various front lines at the same time, gaining a victory over the enemy. Only two persons have been bestowed the rank Mareşal to date: Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and his Chief of Staff Fevzi Çakmak
Fevzi Çakmak
Mustafa Fevzi Çakmak was a Turkish soldier , politician. Minister of War of the Ottoman Empire, National Defence Minister, Prime minister of Ankara government, the second Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Grand National Assembly and the first Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of...

, both for their successes in the Turkish War of Independence
Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence was a war of independence waged by Turkish nationalists against the Allies, after the country was partitioned by the Allies following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I...

.

United States


The United States has never used the rank of field marshal; however, General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 was field marshal
Field Marshal (Philippines)
Field Marshal of the Philippines was a rank created in 1937 to be held by Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was accorded the rank as Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines, which retained his services to form an army in response to the growing danger from Japan and the...

 of the Philippine Army
Philippine Army
The Philippine Army is the ground arm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines . Its official name in Tagalog is Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas. On July 23, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III appointed Maj. Gen...

 from August 24, 1936 until December 31, 1937.

On December 16, 1944, George Marshall
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

 became the first American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 general to be promoted to five-star rank, the newly created General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

. A Washington columnist suggested (with tongue in cheek) that Marshall disliked the plan because five stars was the rank of field marshal and the Chief of Staff could then be addressed as “Marshal Marshall.”

Field marshal ranks

  • Field Marshal (Australia)
    Field Marshal (Australia)
    Field Marshal is the highest rank of the Australian Army and was created as a direct equivalent of the British military rank of field marshal. A five-star rank, the equivalent ranks in the other armed services are Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force...

  • Feldmarschall (Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy)
  • Marshal (Brazil)
    Marshal (Brazil)
    Marshal is the highest rank in both the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Air Force, although the latter is titled Marechal-do-Ar . These ranks are equivalent to that of Admiral in the Navy...

  • Stožerni general
    Stožerni general
    Stožerni general is the highest rank in the Croatian Ground Army and the Croatian Air Force and Defense branches of the Croatian Armed Forces...

     (Croatia
    Croatia
    Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

    )
  • Vojskovođa (Independent State of Croatia)
  • Mushir (Egypt)
  • Field Marshal (Finland)
    Field Marshal (Finland)
    In Finnish Defence Forces Field Marshal is officially not an active military rank but an honorary rank that can be bestowed upon 'especially distinguished generals'...

  • Field Marshal (France)
    Field Marshal (France)
    Maréchal de camp was a general officer rank used by the French Army until 1848.The rank originated from the older rank of sergeant major general . Sergeant Major General was third in command in an army, after the General and the Lieutenant General. One of his tasks was to dispose the troops on the...

    ; Marshal of France
    Marshal of France
    The Marshal of France is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a military rank. It is granted to generals for exceptional achievements...


  • Generalfeldmarschall
    Generalfeldmarschall
    Field Marshal or Generalfeldmarschall in German, was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire; in the Austrian Empire, the rank Feldmarschall was used...

     (Germany)
  • Stratarches
    Stratarches
    Stratarches or στρατάρχες ), means "master/ruler of the army" in Greek, and is a title associated with successful generals. In modern Greek usage, it corresponds to the rank of Field Marshal....

     (Greece)
  • Field Marshal (India)
    Field Marshal (India)
    The rank of Field Marshal is the highest possible rank in the Indian Army. Only two Army appointments have been made by the Government of India since independence in 1947. An equivalent rank existed in the British Indian Army before 1947...

  • Jenderal Besar (Indonesia)
  • Field Marshal (Iran)
  • Marshal of Italy
    Marshal of Italy
    Marshal of Italy was a rank in the Italian Royal Army . Originally created in 1924 by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini for the purpose of honoring Generals Luigi Cadorna and Armando Diaz, the rank was granted to several other general officers from 1926 to 1943...

  • Field Marshal (Malaysia)
  • Field Marshal (New Zealand)
    Field Marshal (New Zealand)
    In 1977 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was awarded the ceremonial rank of Field Marshal...

  • Field Marshal (Pakistan)
  • Marshal of Peru
    Marshal of Peru
    Grand Marshal of Peru , commonly referred as Marshal of Peru, is the highest rank in the Peruvian Army. Unlike the other ranks, it is conferred only to an officer who has been victorious at war.-List of Marshals of Peru:...

  • Field Marshal (Philippines)
    Field Marshal (Philippines)
    Field Marshal of the Philippines was a rank created in 1937 to be held by Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was accorded the rank as Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines, which retained his services to form an army in response to the growing danger from Japan and the...

  • Marshal of Poland
    Marshal of Poland
    Marshal of Poland is the highest rank in the Polish Army. It has been granted to only six officers. At present, this rank is equivalent to a Field Marshal or General of the Army in other NATO armies.-History:...

  • Mareşal (Romania)
    Maresal (Romania)
    Mareşal is the highest rank in the Army of Romania, the Romanian Armed Forces. It is the equivalent of a Field Marshal in other countries....

  • General Field Marshal (Imperial Russia)
  • Marshal of the Russian Federation
    Marshal of the Russian Federation
    Marshal of the Russian Federation is the highest military rank of Russia, created in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It ranks immediately above General of the Army and Admiral of the Fleet , and is considered the successor to the Soviet-era rank of Marshal of the Soviet...

  • Field Marshal (South Africa)
    Field Marshal (South Africa)
    Jan Smuts was a Field Marshal from 1941, fighting for the British Army in World War II. He served on the war cabinet. The rank of Field Marshal does not exist in the current South African National Defence Force....

  • Marshal of the Soviet Union
    Marshal of the Soviet Union
    Marshal of the Soviet Union was the de facto highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ....

  • Vojvoda (Serbia)
  • Fältmarskalk
    Fältmarskalk
    Fältmarskalk was a Swedish military rank equivalent to present day NATO OF-10, and from the end of the 16th century to 1824, 77 persons have held this rank, sometimes written as General Fältmarskalk...

     (Sweden)
  • Chom Phon
    Chom Phon
    Chom Phon or Field Marshal of Thailand is a military rank of Thailand in the Royal Thai Army, considered the equivalent to a Field Marshal or General of the Army . Today it is ceremonially held by members of the Thai Royal family and exists only on paper in the actual Thai military...

     (Thailand)
  • Mareşal (Turkey)
    Mareşal (Turkey)
    Mareşal is the highest rank in the Army of Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces. It is the equivalent of a Field Marshal in other countries....

  • Field Marshal (Uganda)
    Field Marshal (Uganda)
    The rank of Field Marshal is a high rank in the military of Uganda. President Idi Amin was the commander-in-chief of the army, awarding himself the rank of field marshal. The highest ranking individual in the modern Ugandan army, the Uganda People's Defence Force , is the current President Yoweri...

  • Field Marshal (United Kingdom)
  • Marshal of Yugoslavia
    Marshal of Yugoslavia
    Marshal of Yugoslavia was the highest rank of Yugoslav People's Army , and, simultaneously, a Yugoslav honorific title...

    (SFR Yugoslavia)