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Who usually wins in a war: big army or big navy?

cretinous00cretinous00 The sea! The sea! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
i posted this in another forum and i got good answers. note how the question is phrased. a military historian can answer it straight away but it would be nice to discuss. interesting historicals would be the greco-persian wars, the armada, ottoman conflicts, US independence, napoleonic wars, WW1 and 2.
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Comments

  • BowenBowen Member PExer
    What era? The 300 or today?
  • mani94mani94 ex-Catholic PExer
    Depends sa geography... if sa pacific area - navy (this is the reason why Japan has a badass navy from 1900s to the early 40s). If more like the German vs USSR war in WWII, then land forces...

    Good sample also is the British Empire, since Island nation sila mas priority yung navy nila sa budget... so for centuries they rule the seas.... until the coming of age ng US/Japan... when the US built the great white fleet in the late 1800s... the Japanese kick the British fleet butt in WWII (due to the advent of carriers)...

    Kung sa Philippines we should prioritize ang Navy (at least coastal defense lang, kahit hindi na blue-navy capable)... that is kung wala ng problem sa internal security...

    Bottom-line.... its still a balance between the two... but more on the navy kung island nation ka...
  • cretinous00cretinous00 The sea! The sea! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    you choose.
  • BowenBowen Member PExer
    It depends on where a war is fought and how good their strategy is. In the middle-east, having a small and under equipped army can actually win a war. The 6 day war is a good example of this where 5 Arab nations was against tiny nation Israel. Israel obliterated all of them in 6 days flat.

    Another instance of this is the Vietnam war. Clearly, the U.S. army is at a great advantage here. Just like Israel, the Vietnamese outwitted their enemy.

    Just because you have a small and under equipped army doesn't mean you can't win a war.
  • cretinous00cretinous00 The sea! The sea! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    good points but they don't answer the question. :)
  • BowenBowen Member PExer
    Maybe you should start first to get the ball rolling.
  • cretinous00cretinous00 The sea! The sea! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    nice rejoinder. historians will tell you that in a war, the seapower usually wins. you can imagine the reasons: geographic positioning (a navy outflanks you,) logistics (no ships, no supplies,) and you can't invade from the sea without a navy.

    on the other hand, a continental army can basically lord it over the entire land mass (you can also think of examples like napoleon, russia, germany.) and you can hold the entire land mass as long as you're self-supporting.

    but there are certain conditions and everything depends as you said. consider the time factor. hitler had the biggest army in western europe in 1940. he walked over all adjacent countries except russia. but with a sorry navy, the british had little to fear from him. remember that a navy takes a lot longer to develop and a lot more money. while hitler is building a navy, britain and the US would have strenghted their navies and proceed to invade hitler with a bigger built-up army (an army takes sooner to build up.)

    but having the biggest navy in the world won't guarantee a win either. your vietnam example is good. another is the british and the american revolution. UK had both the biggest army and navy at the time so why? one word: alliances. the allied navies of france, netherlands and spain was bigger, even though UK's navy was far bigger than any single one.
  • mani94mani94 ex-Catholic PExer
    Ok, historically its the big navy... coz they can strategically cut-off the offending island/country, and starve it to death... talong-talo sa logistics (no ammo supplies, food, replacement parts, reinforcements, etc.)...
  • mani94mani94 ex-Catholic PExer
    nice rejoinder. historians will tell you that in a war, the seapower usually wins. you can imagine the reasons: geographic positioning (a navy outflanks you,) logistics (no ships, no supplies,) and you can't invade from the sea without a navy.

    on the other hand, a continental army can basically lord it over the entire land mass (you can also think of examples like napoleon, russia, germany.) and you can hold the entire land mass as long as you're self-supporting.

    but there are certain conditions and everything depends as you said. consider the time factor. hitler had the biggest army in western europe in 1940. he walked over all adjacent countries except russia. but with a sorry navy, the british had little to fear from him. remember that a navy takes a lot longer to develop and a lot more money. while hitler is building a navy, britain and the US would have strenghted their navies and proceed to invade hitler with a bigger built-up army (an army takes sooner to build up.)

    but having the biggest navy in the world won't guarantee a win either. your vietnam example is good. another is the british and the american revolution. UK had both the biggest army and navy at the time so why? one word: alliances. the allied navies of france, netherlands and spain was bigger, even though UK's navy was far bigger than any single one.

    Same lang sa sagot ko, except the Vietnam one... and currently Afghanistan... more on win the hearts and minds naman talaga labanan ever since pa... Why do you think Islam spread so fast in less than 100 years? Bigger than the Roman Empire... in Less than 100 years....
  • BergKaiserBergKaiser I got no free time..jeez! PExer
    hmmm...navy, I guess:hmm:

    Though if I could choose, I'd rather have a bunch of super-long-range big nukies! :lol:
    ...or big-@ss bio weapons
  • quick_benquick_ben Primus Pullus PEx Rookie ⭐
    tell you what....

    austrians and mongolians today would tell you a big army would win for them if they get into a war...

    :lol:
  • BowenBowen Member PExer
    For me, in any war, there are a lot of uncertainties and a lot of surprises.
  • FerdinandFerdinand Member PExer
    You can't get a straight answer on this question. It depends on the war. A strong army and a weak navy may win war if you stay inland. In a small island war, you don't really need a strong army. A strong navy will do the damage, though it may take longer to achieve whatever goal the naval force have in mind . Now if you need occupation forces, then you need a strong air, sea and land forces.

    You sample with the Great Britain vs Germany in WW II is not a good sample. If Germany only occupied the neighboring countries and did not touch USSR, Great Britain and the US, they could have lengthened the war to 20+ years. Heck they could have done it for half a century since they have all the scientists back then, and they were so closed in using jet and missiles by the end of WWII.

    These scientist were used by the USSR and US to farther their technologies. Had Germany limited the war to their surrounding neighbors, they could have been the superpower of the 50's and 60's or maybe up to 70's.

    Their mistake was touching Great Britain, USSR, and US. With the land mass of USSR, the distance and water divide of US and Great Britain, not to mention the number superiority and resources of these countries caused the defeat of Germany.
  • QubethaQubetha Member PExer
    mani94 wrote: »
    Depends sa geography... if sa pacific area - navy (this is the reason why Japan has a badass navy from 1900s to the early 40s). If more like the German vs USSR war in WWII, then land forces...

    Good sample also is the British Empire, since Island nation sila mas priority yung navy nila sa budget... so for centuries they rule the seas.... until the coming of age ng US/Japan... when the US built the great white fleet in the late 1800s... the Japanese kick the British fleet butt in WWII (due to the advent of carriers)...

    Kung sa Philippines we should prioritize ang Navy (at least coastal defense lang, kahit hindi na blue-navy capable)... that is kung wala ng problem sa internal security...

    Bottom-line.... its still a balance between the two... but more on the navy kung island nation ka...

    agree ako sa sinabi mo, sa katulad natin dapat talagang malakas ang navy forces natin dahil sila ang unang sasagupa sa kalaban bago man sila makatapak sa lupa ng sasakupin pero mas maganda sana kung parehong malakas both sides navy and army but when it comes in land most of the time marines ang sasagot dyan tutulong lamang ang mga armies and tama din kung maayos ang ginamit na strategy ng grupo madaling manalo sa gyera kahit gaano man sila kalakas !
  • BowenBowen Member PExer
    We cannot always base it on war fought before. War technology changes and strategy changes. What we see today is air superiority rules, so the navy with the largest armada of fighter planes will win. Long range bombers can penetrate deep into the mainland as well as tomahawk cruise missiles.

    The army has a limited range because you need to have a base in the area of conflict.

    So, I think the navy wins because it has a stronger and longer reach.
  • anti_heresiesanti_heresies Member PExer
    The one who wins the war is yung may mga ballistic missiles at cruise missiles with powerful airforce.

    saka airforce ang nagpapadominate sa digmaan ngayon.

    kaya bago manalo sa naval battle ay dapat may aircraft carrier at cruise missiles
  • tontontonton Let's stop and talk awhile. PExer
    With all other factors being equal, of course the bigger army.

    If Oscar de la Hoya was as young and quick as Pacquiao, he'd knock Pac out because he's bigger.
  • BowenBowen Member PExer
    The Airforce alone can significantly reduce a country to ashes.
  • FerdinandFerdinand Member PExer
    The navy can do that with greater ease and resources.

    As I’ve said before you can’t get a straight answer on this because it will depend on the mission and goal of the country involve. But I tell you what the navy (at least the USN which I am part of) is a multi purpose brach of the armed forces. Its function is deterrence; a rapid deployment force. The marines go in first followed by the army. But the marines needed the navy to achieve their particular goal.
  • IscharamoochieIscharamoochie Moderator PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    i'd say navy. a fleet of gunships could bombard a beachhead to protect incoming troops and provide supressive fire. even if we include the airforce into the equation, very few planes can go halfway around the globe to attack an enemy, so they'd still need carriers to refuel and restock weapons. also, this baby belongs to the navy:

    F-14A_Tomcat_over_Iraq_during_Southern_Watch.jpg

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