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Thread: Europe's largest armies in 1960-70. Rough numbers needed.

  1. #1
    Master Gunnery Sergeant Sudayev's Avatar
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    Europe's largest armies in 1960-70. Rough numbers needed.

    Hey guys in need rough manpower numbers of Europe's strongest armies in the 60's. I did my best to find any tables with number comparisons and my search was fruitless. All I got left is to do ant's work research and pick each army one by one and learn their manpower in 60's.
    Does anyone have any data, like tables with number or rough rankings? Cmon..
    For example, In 1965 People's Army of Poland had manpower equal +-300.000 front soldiers and 650.000 of territorial defence.

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    Lieutenant Colonel Tonci87's Avatar
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    I guess the Yugoslawian Army was one of the biggest, or even the biggest in Europe. France and GB would be next. Do you also coun´t foreign Armys stationed in Europe? There were many Americans in Germany at that time.
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  3. #3
    It can be quite difficult to compare, as some countries will publish their statistics including reserves, paramilitary forces, conscripts etc. while others do not.

    The UK had ~521,100 'Regular Forces' personnel in 1960, of which ~257,800 were in the British Army. By 1970 these numbers had reduced to ~373,000 people in all three services, of which ~174,000 were in the Army. As I said, these are just the figures for full time UK Forces, Gurkhas and all Full Time Reserve Service personnel, so the various Territorial Army, National Service and other part-time/reserve organisations that existed at various points in this period, aren't included in those figures.

    The document I got these numbers from has a comparative table of NATO forces from 1975, which I guess you could roughly extrapolate back a decade or so. However it states the same problem that I mentioned at the start, about the ambiguity of which types of service are counted in the statistics when it comes to countries publishing their Army's manpower. Also, it doesn't have figures for the non-Nato European countries of the time (i.e Warsaw Pact or unaligned)

    www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN02183.pdf

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    Lieutenant Colonel Tonci87's Avatar
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    OK I have some numbers. But it seems impossible to get numbers from 1960.
    At it´s peek point the JNA had 600000 active troops and 2,4 million trained reserves.

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    Master Gunnery Sergeant Sudayev's Avatar
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    Ok. Yugoslavia and UK sorted. What about France and Italy? I can't find anything about French Army.

    Combined forces of Germany supported by the US equaled 370.000 men back in 60's

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    Master Gunnery Sergeant OnlyRazor's Avatar
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    For the purpose of this discussion, is Russia considered a European or Asian nation?
    Quote Originally Posted by W0lle View Post
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    Lieutenant Colonel Tonci87's Avatar
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    Yeah I checked again, totally impossible to get accurae numbers on the JNA strentght of that time. Maybe you could ask IceBreakr, he might be able to point you to some sources.

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    Moderator [FRL]Myke's Avatar
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    During the 60's and 70's, the Swiss Army had ~880'000 active military personel if required to mobilize all forces. There's a reason why people said "Switzerland doesn't have a army, Switzerland IS a army."

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    Master Gunnery Sergeant OnlyRazor's Avatar
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    I thought Switzerland only had a government-organised militia. Technically, every adult man in Switzerland is a member of the militia, keeping a rifle and 90 bullets in his home.

  10. #10
    for what i know Jugoslavian army was the third or the fourth biggest army in europe. france has always been the biggest army in europe (i guess even today).

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