China has an army of two million people today. That might be considered small because its population is 1.4 billion people. India, with about the same population has 1.45 million people in its military. By comparison to these, the U.S. number of people in the military is fairly small at 1.39 million, the third largest in the world.
Army size is not a predictor of the chance of victory in war. Russia’s army at 850,000 is much larger that the army of Ukraine. However, Russia’s attempt to invade its smaller neighbor has largely failed.
Today, nearly 28 million armed forces personnel stand at the ready globally, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. By comparison, about 70 million soldiers fought in World War II, 42 million of them from the United States, the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan – whose armies and related services were four of the largest ever rallied to the battlefield.
To determine the largest army in history, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a list of military superpowers from Business Insider. Armies were ranked based on the total number of troops serving a country or empire at the point when the army was at its largest.
Six Chinese dynasties assembled some of history’s largest fighting forces, ranging from the 575,000 troops in the ninth-century Tang Dynasty to the 1,300,000 million fielded by the Ming Dynasty in the 1500s. (Troop numbers in the People’s Republic of China peaked in 1980 with nearly 4.9 million soldiers, the eighth-largest fighting force ever assembled.)
More recently, South Korea formed the seventh largest army in history, estimated at 5.2 million soldiers in 2000, in order to keep its northern adversary in check. Together with North Korea’s 9,495,000 troops, that makes the Korean Peninsula the hottest military zone on the planet based on the number of boots on the ground.
The largest army in history was United States during WWII. Here are the details:
> Troops: 12,209,000
> Circa: Aug. 1945
Click here to read The Largest Armies in History
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