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


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#1 Sudayev

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:39 PM

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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#2 Tonci87

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

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 da12thMonkey

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:21 PM

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

#4 Tonci87

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:41 PM

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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#5 Sudayev

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:11 PM

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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#6 OnlyRazor

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

For the purpose of this discussion, is Russia considered a European or Asian nation?

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#7 Tonci87

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

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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#8 -FRL-Myke

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:49 PM

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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#9 OnlyRazor

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

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.

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#10 *LK1*

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:44 AM

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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#11 KilKenny

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:16 PM

Hi,

I've found a Wikipedia article (in french) stating that the french army had more than 400 000 men in Algeria in the early 60s during the independance war, and that it represented about one third of its global personnel at the time, so it suggests the global number should be around 1,200,000 men in 1960.

Source : http://fr.wikipedia....re_de_la_France

That includes conscripts of course, but not the locals who fought as auxiliaries in the colonies, and they were between 236,000 and 400,000 men according to that same article.

Edited by KilKenny, 12 April 2012 - 02:20 PM.

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#12 PELHAM

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:18 PM

The Soviet Army was the largest active army in the world from 1945 to 1991. Although I'm not sure of the numbers based in Europe, it's safe to say much of it was. Numbers are difficult to come by as they were kept secret. Eg in Poland numbers were limited by treaty but this was ignored and nuclear weapons were installed without permission.

In Germany alone in 1991 there were:
338,000 soldiers in 24 divisions, distributed among five land armies and an air army.
4,200 tanks
8,200 armored vehicles
3,600 artillery pieces
106,000 other motor vehicles
690 aircraft
680 helicopters
180 rocket systems

Poland early 1990s:
56,000 soldiers (This is a much reduced fugure and could be easily multiplied during the 70's), with 600 tanks, 400 artillery pieces and 200 planes, 250 nuclear assets.

Czechoslovakia around 1970 after the uprising:
85,000 troops and comprised two tank divisions, three mechanized infantry divisions, three missile brigades, an artillery brigade, and an airborne assault brigade.

Hungary 1980s
Around 60,000 troops, 2 Tank Divisions, 2 motorized Divisions, 36th Air Army.

There were also many divisions in the occupied Baltic states but not got numbers for those.

Edited by PELHAM, 12 April 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#13 Beagle

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:29 PM

This chart shows the personal strenght of Bundeswehr, it had it's peak in 1991 with more than half a million regular soldiers including 250.000 Reservist...wartime strenght would have been 1 Million men in about 2 weeks. personal gear fpr 1 Million was stored in special barracks...basically all barracks had 2-3 empty company blocks with full armory to be filled up with Reservist in case of NATO alert.
German Army was infact the biggest european army in cold war...logically it was because we were the frontline. through the 70's the strenght was all around 480.000.

Edited by Beagle, 12 April 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#14 KilKenny

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

Found the chart for the french army :

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So it goes from about 1,000,000 in 1960 to roughly 600,000 in 1970, due mostly i guess to the end of the decolonization wars.
The arrow at the end shows the strenght of reserve forces.

Source : http://www.persee.fr..._num_22_1_3390#
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#15 adamicz

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:09 PM

Czechoslovakia around 1970 after the uprising:
85,000 troops and comprised two tank divisions, three mechanized infantry divisions, three missile brigades, an artillery brigade, and an airborne assault brigade.


These numbers seems to be wrong as in 1969 there was 214,000 military personel (580,000 including reservists in case of war) in CSLA.


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