The Info List - Field Marshal

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FIELD MARSHAL (or FIELD-MARSHAL, abbreviated as FM) (UK : /fiːldˈmɑːʃəl/ ( listen ), US : /fildˈmɑːrʃəl/ ( listen )) is a very senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army, and when it is, few (if any) persons are appointed to it. It is considered as a five-star rank (OF-10) in modern-day armed forces in many countries.

The origin of the term dates to the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses (from Old German
Old German
_Marh-scalc_ = "horse-servant"), from the time of the early Frankish kings.

Promotion to the rank of field marshal in many countries historically required extraordinary military achievement by a general (a wartime victory). However, the rank has also been used as a divisional command rank and also as a brigade command rank. Examples of the different uses of the rank include Austria-Hungary, Prussia and Germany for an extraordinary achievement; Spain and Mexico
for a divisional command (Spanish: _mariscal de campo_); and France, Portugal
and Brazil
for a brigade command (French: _maréchal de camp_, Portuguese : _marechal de campo_).

The traditional attribute distinguishing a field marshal is a baton . The baton nowadays is purely ornamental, and as such may be richly decorated. That said, it is not necessary for the insignia to be a baton. (Such is the case in Russia post-1991 and the former Soviet Union, which use a jewelled star referred to as a Marshal\'s Star .)

The exact wording of the titles used by field marshals varies: examples include "marshal " and "field marshal general ". The air force equivalent in Commonwealth and many Middle Eastern air forces is marshal of the air force (not to be confused with air marshal ). Navies, which usually do not use the nomenclature employed by armies or air forces, use titles such as "fleet admiral ," "grand admiral " or "admiral of the fleet " for the equivalent rank.


* 1 Regional examples

* 1.1 Afghanistan * 1.2 Australia * 1.3 China * 1.4 Egypt
* 1.5 Finland * 1.6 France * 1.7 Germany * 1.8 Greece
* 1.9 India * 1.10 Indonesia
* 1.11 Libya
* 1.12 Pakistan * 1.13 Philippines * 1.14 Portugal
and Brazil
* 1.15 Serbia
* 1.16 Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* 1.17 Thailand
* 1.18 Turkey
* 1.19 Uganda * 1.20 United Kingdom * 1.21 United States

* 2 Other nations * 3 See also * 4 Notes * 5 References



Afghan National Army (ANA) insignia

Field marshal
Field marshal
Mohammad Qasim Fahim was a politician in Afghanistan who served as Vice President from June 2002 until December 2004 and from November 2009 until his death. Between September 2001 and December 2004, he also served as Defense Minister under the Afghan Transitional Administration.


Main article: Field marshal (Australia)

Sir Thomas Blamey
Thomas Blamey
was the first and is the only Australian-born field marshal. He was promoted to the rank on the insistence of the Australian prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, in 1951. His field marshal's baton is on display in the Second World War
Second World War
galleries at the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
in Canberra
. Currently, the only Australian field marshal is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
, who was promoted to the rank of field marshal in the Australian Army on 1 April 1954.


During Imperial rule in China, different dynasties gave different titles to generals. A very similar title is "司馬" (sima ) in the Eastern Han dynasty, which literally means "master of horse", and later became a two-character surname too. "司馬" is one of the Three Excellencies in Eastern Han, who is in charge of the country's military affairs.

Later, a more common title for a field marshal or a commandant was (元帥 _ Yuan Shuai_) or grand field marshal (大元帥 _da yuan shuai_). One of the most famous of these generals was Yue Fei
Yue Fei
from the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty

Since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, it has promoted 10 military commanders to the rank of marshal, all in 1955 and abolished in 1965. Since then, the rank has remained defunct.


military history had 8 field marshals. Currently there are two living field marshals; ex military chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawiand President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Previous field marshals are Abdel Hakim Amer , Mohamed Abdel Ghani el-Gamasy, Ahmad Ismail Ali, Ahmed Badawi , Mohammed Aly Fahmyand Abd al-Halim Abu Ghazala.


Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was promoted to Field Marshal
in 1933. In 1942 he was promoted to Marshal
of Finland, which really is not a distinctive military rank but an honour.


Main article: Maréchal de camp

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 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 , which has been the highest rank of the French Army since the higher dignity of Marshal
General of France was abolished in 1848 (although in theory it is not an actual rank but a "state dignity").


Main article: Generalfeldmarschall

_Generalfeldmarschall_ (_general field marshal, field marshal general, or field marshal_ / _ listen (help ·info ), abbreviated to FELDMARSCHALL_) was the most senior general officer rank in the armies of several German states. In the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary
, the rank _Feldmarschall_ was used.


_STRATARCHES_ (Greek : στρατάρχης, pl. στρατάρχαι (archaic) or στρατάρχες (modern)), means _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


Indian insignia Main article: Field marshal (India)

Field marshal
Field marshal
is the highest attainable rank in the Indian Army
Indian Army
. It is a ceremonial / war time rank. There have been two Indian field marshals to date: Sam Manekshaw
Sam Manekshaw
, the 8th chief of staff of the Indian Army in 1969, and Kodandera Madappa Cariappain 1986.


_ Jenderal Besar_ (lit; Grand General) of Indonesia
Main article: Jenderal besar Main article: Indonesian military ranks

The rank "Field marshal" in Indonesia
is known as _Jenderal Besar_ (Grand General). Only three men have earned this rank: Generals Sudirman
, Abdul Haris Nasution, and Soeharto.


Khalifa Haftarwas the first to receive this rank in Libya
from the House of Representatives (Libya)in 2016 after the liberation of oil ports in the Operation Swift Lightning .


Pakistani insignia

Muhammad Ayub Khanis the only field marshal in the history of Pakistan. He appointed himself when he was the second president of Pakistan and commander in chief of the army.


US Army General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
was the first and only field marshal in the history of the Philippine Army
Philippine Army
, a position he held while also acting as the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines with a rank of major general. President Quezon conferred the rank of field marshal on 24 August 1936 and MacArthur's duty included the supervision of the creation of the Philippines nation-state.


In the Portuguese Army
Portuguese Army
, the rank of _marechal de campo_ was created in 1762, as the most junior general officer rank. Hierarchically, it was between the rank of _tenente-general_ (lieutenant-general) and the rank of _brigadeiro_ (brigadier), this last one not being considered a general rank, but a kind of senior colonel .

In Portugal, the ranks of _marechal-general_ (marshal-general) and _marechal do Exército_ (marechal of the Army) or simply _marechal_ also existed. Distinctively from the rank of _marechal de campo_, the ranks of _marechal-general_ and _marechal_ were the highest in the Portuguese Army, usually being reserved for the commanders-in-chief of the Army. Latter, the rank of _marechal-general_ became reserved for the Monarch , as a mere honorary dignity. Main article: List of Marshals of Portugal

When Brazil
became independent from Portugal
in 1822, the Portuguese system of ranks was maintained by the Brazilian Army
Brazilian Army
, including the rank of _marechal de campo_.

In the second half of the 19th century, the rank of _marechal de campo_ was replaced, both in Portugal
and Brazil, by the rank of _general de brigada_ (brigade general). This last rank still exists today in the Brazilian Army, but corresponds to the present rank of _major-general_ (major-general) in the Portuguese Army.


Main article: Field marshal (Serbia and Yugoslavia) _ Serbian voivode_

In Serbian, field marshal can be translated as _vojvoda_ (Serbian : Бојни Војвода). It was the highest rank in the army of the Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
and Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
until the Second World War . It was created with the passing of the law on the _Organization of the Army_ of the Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
in 1901. The law was passed on the suggestion of Lieutenant
(later Divisional General) Miloš Vasić who was minister of defense at the time. The rank was awarded only during the war for particular military contributions of top generals.

In the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
and World War I this title was used to designate the highest military rank in the Serbian Army (above general – the equalent of field marshal in other armies). The first _vojvoda_ was promoted by a great military decree of the Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
on 20 October 1912. Only four people ever officially held that military rank: Radomir Putnik
Radomir Putnik
(attained the rank in 1912), Stepa Stepanović (1914), Živojin Mišić(1914) and Petar Bojović(1918). The Montenegrin General Janko Vukotić(1915) and the French General Louis Franchet d\'Espérey (1921) held the rank as an honorary title. During the World War I for a time, general Petar Bojovićheld the position of Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command (the highest military position in the Serbian Army) and was a superior to two army commanders who were field marshals ( Stepa Stepanovićand Živojin Mišić).

Before this rank was introduced, the highest rank in the Kingdom of Serbia
was army general . After Second World War, the newly formed Yugoslav People\'s Army stopped using the royal ranking system, so this rank ceased to exist.


Main article: Field marshal (Sri Lanka)

Field Marshal
is the highest rank in the Sri Lanka Army
Sri Lanka Army
. It is a ceremonial rank. Sarath Fonseka
Sarath Fonseka
is the Sri Lankan officer to hold the rank. He was promoted to the position on 22 March 2015 as a recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
's war victory over the LTTE
as the army commander.


_ Thai Chom Phon_ (จอมพล) Main article: Field marshal (Thailand)

In the Royal Thai Army
Royal Thai Army
the rank of _Chom Phon_ (Thai : จอมพล, จอมพลทหารบก) was created in 1888, together with all other military ranks along western lines, by King Chulalongkorn
. Until the first appointment in 1910, the rank was reserved solely for the reigning monarch. Currently the rank is in abeyance.


In the Turkish Armed Forces
Turkish Armed Forces
, the corresponding rank is _mareşal_. Its origins can be traced to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and to the military of Persia
, where it was called "مشير" _(müşir)_ and bestowed upon senior commanders upon order of the ruling sultan . The rank of _mareşal_ can only be bestowed by the National Assembly , and only given to a general who leads an army, navy 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: Kemal Atatürk
Kemal Atatürk
, the founder of modern Turkey
, and his Chief of Staff Fevzi Çakmak, both for their successes in the Turkish War of Independence .


Field Marshal
Idi Amin Dadawas the military dictator and third president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946, serving in Somalia and Kenya. Eventually, Amin held the rank of major general in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its commander before seizing power in the military coup of January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. He later promoted himself to field marshal while he was the head of state.


Main article: Field marshal (United Kingdom) United Kingdom insignia

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, 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
(see Batons of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington ).


The United States has never used the rank of field marshal; however, General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
was field marshal of the Philippine Army from 24 August 1936, until 31 December 1937.

On 14 December 1944, Congress created the rank of "general of the army ", a five-star rank equivalent to that of field marshal in other countries. Two days later, George Marshall
George Marshall
was promoted to this rank, becoming the first five-star general in American history. 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


_ Replica of the marshal\'s baton of Generalfeldmarschall_ von Richthofen

* _ Field marshal (Australia)_ * _Feldmarschall _ (Austrian-Hungarian monarchy) * Marshal
(Brazil) * _ Stožerni general_ ( Croatia
) * _ Mushir
_ ( Egypt
) * Field marshal (Finland) * _ Maréchal de camp_ (major general); Marshal
of France * _ Generalfeldmarschall
_ (Germany) * _ Stratarches(Στρατάρχης)_ ( Greece
) * _ Field marshal (India)_ * _ Jenderal Besar_ ( Indonesia
) * _ Mushir
_ ( Libya
) * _ Marshal
of Italy _ * _Rav-Aluf_ (Israel) * _ Wonsu_ ( DPRK
) * _Fil Marsyal (Malaysia) _ * _ Field marshal (New Zealand)_ * _ Field marshal
Field marshal
(Pakistan) _ * _ Marshal
of Peru _ * _ Field marshal (Philippines)_ * _ Marshal
of Poland _ * _Mareşal_ ( Romania
) * _General field marshal ( Imperial Russia
Imperial Russia
)_ * _ Marshal
of the Russian Federation _ * Field marshal
Field marshal
(South Africa) * _ Marshal
of the Soviet Union _ * _ Vojvoda_ ( Serbia
) * _ Fältmarskalk_ ( Sweden
) * _ Chom Phon_ ( Thailand
) * _Mareşal_ ( Turkey
) * Field marshal (Uganda) * Field marshal (United Kingdom)


* _ Admiralissimo_ * _ Generalissimo
_ * Grand marshal * List of field marshals * List of German field marshals * General of the Army
General of the Army
* Admiral
of the Navy * General of the Air Force


* ^ The equivalent of a _Generalfeldmarschall_ in the German navy was _ Großadmiral_ (grand admiral ). The rank of _Generalfeldmarschall_ was abolished after the fall of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
in 1945.


_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to FIELD MARSHALS _.

* ^ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27492354 * ^ http://www.news.lk/news/sri-lanka/item/6744-sarath-fonseka-promoted-sri-lanka-s-first-ever-field-marshal * ^ "Great Turkish Dictionary". Turkish Language Association. Retrieved 1 August 2009. * ^ "Eisenhower Memorial Commission – The Story Behind Ike\'s Fifth Star". Eisenhowermemorial.org. Retrieved 2012-05-14.


* General officer
General officer
* Flag officer * Air officer


* _ Six-star rank
Six-star rank
(proposed)_ * _ Five-star rank * Four-star rank * Three-star rank * Two-star rank * One-star rank
One-star rank


* Generalissimo
_ * _Generalissimus_ of the Soviet Union * Supreme Allied Commander
* Admiral
of the Navy * General of the Armies
General of the Armies
* _ Generalfeldmarschall
_ * Field marshal * _Mareşal _ * Marshal of the air force
Marshal of the air force
* Marshal
of the Russian Federation * Marshal
of the Soviet Union * _ Mushir
_ * _ Caudillo_ * _ Magister militum_ * _ Spahbed_ * _ Ispahsalar_ * _ Beylerbey_ * Constable of France
Constable of France
* Grand Domestic * _ Dux bellorum_ * Grand marshal * _ Hetman
_ * _ Jenderal besar_ * _ Reichsmarschall_ * _ Sardar
_ * _ Serasker_ * _ Strategos autokrator
Strategos autokrator
_ * First marshal of the empire * _ Dai-gensui_ * _ Taewonsu_ * _Voivoda _ * _ Wonsu_ * _ Yuan Shuai_ * _ Da yuan shuai_ * _ Marshal
of Yugoslavia _

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