Questions regarding historical warfare objects, their identification and value.

3,811 Questions
Video Games
Name Origins
A Tale of Two Cities

Why do army officers peak caps have two golden threads?


Peaked or visor caps usually have a loose-fitting strap that sits on top of the bill. This strap is attached at each side with a button. For officers, this strap can be a gold or silver "rope" and usually doubled.

The visor cap evolved from earlier forms of military hats. All hats had a chin strap to help hold the hat firmly on the head. Officer's hats evolved to have a brass strap or over-lapping plates. Also, when not in use, the straps could be tied or buckled so that it was worn above the bill. Some even attached to the very top of the hat.

A close comparison is the German pickelhaulbe (or spiked) helmet, which was a leather helmet first worn in the early 1800's. These were usually worn with the chin strap resting on the bill of the helmet. Enlisted men's helmets had leather chin straps and officer or elite troops(cavalry) had brass chin straps.

So, the golden threads are actually chin straps. And they still function, some what, as an adjustable strap. The knot at each end will actually slide such that the strap will gown wide enough to place under the chin. But of course, there is no way to secute it snugly and it is not practical nor does it look cool, either.

Another hat that also hat gold or colored cords were the Slouch hats worn by US Army. These resemble the common "cowboy hat". They were common wear during American Civil War and out West. A tan version was issued during the Spanish American War and later evolved into the Campaign Hat that Army drill instructors wore. These had a double cord that had two ends that hung loose. These were colored to indicate branch of service. I think this evolved to the colored piping worn on the Overseas caps used in WW2.

British hat from Waterloo with white braided cord

British hat from Waterloo era with chin strap tied up to peak of hat.

French Napoleonic hats

British shako (post Napoleonic) with 1-piece chin strap attached across front of hat.

US Slouch hats and Campaign hats and other hats from various times.

WW2 USAAF 'crusher' caps

Soviet Visor caps

Practical Answer

The modern visor cap has the chin strap usually worn on top of the bill. Officers are rope cords and enlistedmen's are leather straps. Both are made of two strands, one attached at each button on the side of the hat. The cord wraps around the front of the hat and has a loop or knot at the other end that slips over the mating cord. This arrangement allows the chin strap to be loosened or tightened. This double cord design allows for this adjustment of the strap.

The slouch hats also have double cords probably for the same reason.


Baikal Firearms

How much is a smith corona rifle worth?

50-500 USD depending on specifics


What is the value of a hipoint 9mm luger pistol?

New models can be purchased for roughly $250 plus $25-$40 depending on options.

If you go to a gun show you can buy them right from high-point for as low as 119$ and on for 139.99

British Armed Forces (UK Military)

What does the MC in Sten. M.C. MK III mean?

The British term for a submachinegun was a "Machine Carbine". MC. See the link below for some more info on the Sten.

War and Military History
WW1 Allied Forces
US Army

Who has the best army in the world?

This is a very subjective question, leaving people bound to claim their own country a having the best army in the world. In reality it comes down to what you define as best.

If you define best as "which individual Army is most likely to win a war against a foreign power?", then the answer is undoubtedly the United States. Although they have a smaller Army than the Chinese in terms of manpower, their technology is, at this time, far superior making them more likely to succeed in all out war.

That said, war is rarely straight forward and allegiances are often formed to bring down a common enemy who could not be defeated by an individual nation. For example, if the United States entered into war with A member of the European Union, the other members would probably come to it's aid. In this situation, the eventual victor of the conflict would probably be the allied Europeans as together they have similar technology to the United States but a greater number of troops and a stronger economy.

If the playing field was level in terms of man power and technology the situation changes again, with the emphasis being on the skill of the Individual soldier and the strategy of the army. Here the British probably excel, having regiments like the SAS, Royal Marines and Parachute regiment with a reputation for stringent discipline and intensive training (the Royal Marines have the longest basic training course of any normal infantry soldiers in the world at 33 weeks). Of course the US is not far behind with Delta Force or the Navy SEALs but the size of their special forces makes it harder to train all of the soldiers to the same level that other nations may do. The Gurkhas should probably receive and honorable mention - they fight as part of the British army but hail from Nepal, so in a way they could be seen as an unofficial Nepalese army - in which case they would be the best trained and most skilled of any Army in the world, although lacking technology and manpower, they have proved themselves time and again in conflict.

Historically, Britain and America have always been very strong militarily, although Britain has a richer history. Since the official creation of both the British Army, no foreign power has ever managed to invade Britain (although this could also be down to the fact it i an Island nation). The same can be said for the US; once the British left they have had no need to actually defend their country itself - just allies or overseas territories. Compare these two to places that may have faced similar threats militarily, like Russia, France and Germany and their long standing dominance is very impressive.

Going back even further, the title of best Army in the world could be given to the Roman Army, as for several hundreds of years, they were head and shoulders above their nearest rivals. The Greeks might have a claim to having the toughest soldiers in the Spartans, who even today are world renowned as being seriously good fighters (they won one of most one sided battles in History at Thermoplyae in 480BC. Their entire lives were devoted to fighting and training so it's easy to imagine how they were such good fighters.

In conclusion:

The Top ten "best" Armies at this time in terms of expenditure and man power, training and equipment.

1. United States

2. China

3. United Kingdom

4. France

5. Russia

6. Japan

7. Germany

8. Italy

9. India

10.Saudi Arabia

Historically (looking at the most militarily powerful nations of the last few hundred years) the list should probably go;

1. Britain

2. France

3. Germany

4. Russia

5. USA

Additional input from WikiAnswers Contributors:

This question could be interpreted in different ways. If it is asking about the most powerful conventional army in the world, most would say the US. However, many FAQ Farmers interpreted the question to be asking for a subjective opinion on the "best" military. Many people said the armies of their own nation were the best in order to be patriotic. Here are some of the facts and opinions that were given:

United States Army

  • If they all had the same equipment and number, Israel or China might have the best, however they do not. America has a ton of soldiers, and definitely the best equipment anywhere giving US soldiers the edge they need to be the best. (Others say the US Army relies too heavily on technology.)
  • Look at who the world superpower is (Russia as the counter-balance)
  • I served in the U.S. Army for 8 years, as an infantry soldier in the 82nd airborne div. I've been to Iraq three times and Bosnia once and no army in the world can compare to America's land and air forces. I know the British army is good but then why do Americans train them in urban warfare? The British do have a better main battle tank but compared to the M2A1 Abrams they would get smoked in a desert battle. As far as trained soldiers go, some of America's forces are not that well disciplined, e.g. reservists. But when push comes to shove even they get the job done. To those who say we lost Vietnam: look at the statistics. Politically we lost, we also lost around 60,000 soldiers, but we killed over four million. So I'd say we won, South Vietnam lost.
  • Sorry to butt in here but the SAS instructors train the American troops including the Navy Seals who are by the way, way over rated. Also the Abrams i think you'll find would not beat the challenger 2 as it is not good enough.
  • Additionally, the counter-intelligence that the USA Armed Forces possesses is without a doubt, second to none. With spies and 700 military bases in 130 countries around the world, the USA Armed Forces has the ultimate capability to plan and attack an air or ground combat war, or dispatch for rescue and humanitarian relief. The British Army is not the best in the world for the mere fact that they could not defend nor protect their own country during the Second World War as they had to call on the Russians and Americans for help. Between the US Army and the British Army let's take a look at the facts. Facts: British Army active personnel: 101,000; Total British Armed Forces personnel; 195,500 Total Military Bases Around the World: 86; British Nuclear Stockpile: 200+; Special Forces: Special Air Services; British Defense Expenditure (Y 2008): $69 billion USD; US Army active personnel: 1, 055,000,000; Total US Armed Forces personnel: 1, 426,000,000; Total Military Bases Around the World: 700 in 130 countries; American Nuclear Stockpile: 5000+; Special Forces: Navy Seals, Delta Force, Green Berets, Top Gun; US Defense expenditure (Y 2008): $623 billion USD (47% of world's total military expenditure.) Bottom Line: US Armed Forces = 600 pound Gorilla (In response to the above statement- It is not completely correct and a little offensive. The British of course fought the "Battle of Britain" (a predominantly air-based battle) against the Germans and won, thus securing the British Isles. The Americans came to the aid of FRANCE, who they helped liberate along with the British)
  • Always bring the British Army into fight their battles. Then they get Britain attacked as well.

British Army

  • The British Army is without a doubt is the best army in the world. It may not always have the best equipment and technology, but the British army has definitely got the best trained, most skilled and professional soldiers in all the world.
  • The British Army are without question the finest soldiers. They are the standard all others aim to and Sandhurst is were the rest of the world comes to train their armies.
  • It hasn't lost a major conflict in its five hundred year history and it was the back bone to the largest Empire on the earth ever. The British are too modest when it comes to its armed forces as it likes to keep a low profile.
  • The best army in the world be a combination of the US, British, Australian and Canadian forces. The UK/Australian SAS and SBS special forces are simply the best. When it comes to the best regular troops, I would have to say it is the Gurkha regiments from Nepal who are part of the British army. I have heard that during the Falklands War that the Gurkhas fought the heavily armed Argentinian invaders with their knives and beat them hands down.
  • If you had a level playing field combat situation (same amount of soldiers) between any army in the world and the British the British would win full stop.
  • The Israeli Army has the most skilled minds and advanced technology in the world, they constantly create patents in the field of military technology and regularly share intelligence and work with the military forces of the US . In addition, the country of Israel is strategically placed in an area of great threats that forces its defense forces to be in tip top shape.Israeli Special Forces (Mossad) or (IDF) Facts: Best training, Best Tactical operations, Israeli Military leaders are sent to train Police and military all over the world.
  • The Indian Army has got the bravest soldiers and skills. Thus they are the best army in the world. Being ruled by different rulers at different times India has never lost its dignity.
  • The British Army is without any shadow of a doubt the world's best trained and combat experienced Army of either the ancient or modern world. It has participated in far more wars than the whole of the rest of the worlds armies put together and that is historical fact. It also raised and trained half of the worlds existing armed forces today. Even the Indian and Pakistan armies have a common heritage being formed by the British. There initial training is the longest in the world for infantry and marines. Their assault courses put the USMC and special forces to shame as few can complete them and those that can in the US forces take twice as long as the British. Britain does not have the high tech equipment of the US Armed Forces due to the fact successive modern governments whose politicians have never served in the Armed Forces, continue to starve them of proper equipment and keep reducing the armed forces size. Individual infantry and Armored Regiments have accumulated more battle honors for their colors and Gideon's than the combined infantry regiments of any other worlds army. Sadly they are only allowed to display a very limited and selected number of battle honours on their colours and Gideon's. They do not display any battle honours for the American War of Independence (American Revolutionary war) because it is the only war they ever lost and is regarded as a civil war fought overseas, kin against kin. Today they are also the best paid armed forces. The minimum initial training for non combat arms is 13 weeks, for artillery and armour it is 18 weeks and for the infantry it is 26 weeks (30 parachute Regiment). The Corps of Royal Marines of the Royal Navy is now 33 weeks.
  • The SAS are without doubt the best special services in the world, not the Navy Seals. The SAS have a brilliant track record of success after success playing huge roles across the world.

Other Opinions:

  • Pakistan's army is the best army in the whole world. The Pakistani army is well trained and dedicated to their duties. Pakistani commandos are very brave.
  • North Korea: anyone who challenges them in a nuclear war ... will be toast. (funny, seeming how North Korea hias 1/10000 the amount of nukes America Has)
  • The Chinese have the greatest army on earth. They are well trained. For example, 10,000 soldiers walk together, they are look the same because they step at the same time. There is no doubt that they are the greatest. (Others say that China, Russia and North Korea are just conscripted cannon fodder.)
  • Finnish Army would be one of the best ones.
  • Russian and American armies are the best in the world.
  • The Greeks by far have the bravest soldiers. In World War II, Italy came to take over Greece and could not do it, a country with 10 times the army. They had to call in Germany for help. After 10 months of fighting they finally took control of Greece [FYI: took them 40 days to take over France]. Germans were stuck on Crete for 6 months and could not take control of the island because kids as well as older people were stabbing the parachute troopers as they were coming down. Only island that has never been conquered. Because of this LONG delay [10 months], it forced Germany to enter Russia in the winter ... and you all know what happened. Germany lost the war. So when it comes to courage, passion and having heart I would say Greece, hands down.
  • Australian Army is the greatest and most aggressive in the world, our SASR special forces has surpassed the British and throughout our short history our courage, AGGRESSION and raw ability have prevailed through all our battles. You just ask any US soldier that has been on op with an Aussie and they will tell you how it really is. The Australian Army gets the job done, no nonsense, not relying on technology. Our soldiers grew up outside, in the bush, we were born soldiers and if there was ever a time someone tried to invade our land, it wouldn't just be our military at hand it would be our grandparents, mothers, fathers and children all stepping up to protect our freedom. It's a solid block that our country has been developed on, I respect the other army's especially the British, though based on "even" personnel numbers, our quality of soldier reigns above the rest. After all we have more to live for (beaches, women, and cold beer).
  • Military strength is a term that describes a quantification or reference to a nation's standing military forces or the capacity for fulfillment of that military's role. For example, the military strength of a given country could be interpreted as the number of individuals in its armed forces, the destructive potential of its arsenal, or both. For example, while China and India maintain the largest armed forces in the world, the U.S. Military is considered to be one of the world's strongest, although the certainty of such a claim cannot be ascertained without a detailed analysis of opposing military forces in relation to one another as well as taking into account the field(s) of battle and tactics used in such a conflict.
  • Canada is under the United Kingdom. Although Canada is a young and small country in comparison to many other countries it's true that the Snow Birds (jet fighters) beat out the Americans! The latter statement doesn't really matter in the context of things. American, Canadian, British or our allies, it takes ALL OF US to win a war against our enemies. By fighting amongst ourselves it resolves nothing and only shows up each country as being fools. If we can't get along together then how can we even begin to win a war!
  • I am Italian but if you need an answer in the history, so the old Roman Empire was made with the best army for that time , some of this old way to combat is also today in use , if you need to know the most powerful army is us army but cause us government spend almost ten times what other country spen for own country. I say that the best are sas army from UK and Italian nocs from Carabinieri are also good.
Animal Life

Humpback pilot and blue are all types of what animal?


History, Politics & Society

What is the circle on top of the CPO anchor called?


Military Terminology
Bombs and Explosive Materials

What is a bursting radius and how is it different from a lethal radius?

The bursting radius is the distance from a device that may cause wounds. The lethal radius is the distance that will cause death to 50% of persons exposed. A White Phosphorus hand grenade has a bursting radius of about 35 meters- it will not kill 50% of all persons within 35 meters. The 40mm HE grenade launcher projectile has a 5 meter lethal radius- it will kill 50% of the people that are within 5 meters when it detonates.

Military Equipment

How does a Bullpup rifle work?

The exact same way a normal rifle does, except that the trigger is typically attached to the firing mechanism by some sort of linkage - this is also the reason bullpup rifles tend to be cited as having really jerky trigger pulls, although this has been rectified in some rifles through the use of a free floating linkage.

The primary difference (and, indeed the very definition of what "Bullpup" means) is that a Bullpup's action (bolt/firing pin, breach, et al) is located behind (i.e. closer to the rear) the trigger. Normal rifles also require a linkage between the action and trigger, but this linkage can be extremely short, and thus, less susceptible to becoming loose or stuck, which can be the cause of the "jerkiness" of many Bullpup weapon's trigger pulls.

World War 2
World War 1

What is the value of a 1917 World War 1 trench knife with a brass knuckle handle and a metal sheath?

Value of WWI Trench Knife
  • An earlier D knuckle guard style spike is currently bid at $160 as of 07 April 2005 on EBAY.
  • 1917 is the model designation. That knife was accepted by the Army in 1917. The M1917 Bayonet was made as late as the Vietnam era.
Beware of Imitations
  • A lot of newer knuckle knives are being sold as WWI originals, so be careful!

Probably nothing if it is a knock off, up to $300 if it is authentic. The brass knuckle ones are very common however, so I'm going to say an authentic one of those is worth a little lower than $200.

Browning Firearms

What is the year of manufacture of FN model 1922 serial 57475?

1941 ? see


Where can you buy blasting caps?

Farmers still have occasional and legitimate need for dynamite, and most farm cooperatives sell it. But you would have to prove to their satisfaction (not easy) that you are a farmer, and have legitimate need of it. The same goes for the blasting caps that would be sold there, too.


Above was correct, however, in the US, the Safe Explosives Act NOW requires that you have a license to purchase explosives, including blasting caps, This is issued by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and requires fingerprints and a background investigation to be licensed as a "Responsible Person". The purchase is made from a licensed explosives dealer.


What is high port with a rifle?

Rifle held with two hands, in front of the chest, at a 45' angle to the body. Held this way while running.


What is a radom p-35 9mm worth?

value of a weapons depends on overall condition. a random is ex. condition est. $600 -


World War 2
Germany in WW2

What is the value of a P38 9MM German Luger gun with 2 clips and certificate dated 1945 plus holster from World War 2?

I've got a listing for a Luger Krieghoff 1936-1945Same specifications as Luger Krieghoff 36, except 1936-45 dated chamber, bbl. proofs. Est. 8600 production.$1950.00 WWII CollectiblesTry to find the latest edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values updated each year. Try your local library. Remember condition isn't everything its the only thing.

A "P38" and a "Lugar" are two different semi-auto 9mm pistols produced by Germany during the 1st half of the 20th century. The Lugar was standard issue in the Germany Army in WWI and the P38 was standard issue in WWII. Both used the same ammunition.


The 9 x 19 mm cartridge fired by both the P38 and P08 (Luger) is popularly referred to as the 9mm Luger. The writer above is correct about the German military issue. However, the P38 is still manufactured by Walther, and is the current military sidearm of 9 countries. $500 to $700 us dollors less in Canada $400 to $600 these pistols were mainly bring backs from ww2.


Does the company T Williams of Smithfield and who sold Pipe brand knives still exist?

The Company of Thomas Williams of Smithfield no longer exists. Thomas Williams born in 1851 and died in 1918 was my husband's grandfather. The Company was founded in 1765 by the first Thomas Williams it was then passed to his son, Ebenezer, then his son, Thomas Johnson Williams, then to Thomas Williams (1851 - 1918) then his wife, Lillian, took over until his son, also Thomas Johnson Williams was old enough. The business finally failed about 1939. His brother was Denis Johnson Williams and my husband is his son. We have a butchers' knife made by the firm and also a set of butchers' scales which we recently purchased at auction. We also have a hard-back catalogue dating from c1900. It was a very successful business - they made everything for the butchers' shop, including scales, knives, meat cleavers, skewers, blocks, things for slaughtering animals, perishables, "The Silent Sausage Machine" was patented by my husband's grandfather and "The Champion" meat chopper. They also fitted out butchers' shops. The items are highly collectable, especially in Australia. The Company sold worldwide. What we don't have are any photos of the family and would dearly love to have a photo of Thomas Williams - my husband's grandfather. I have been researching the family history for some time and have obtained a lot of information from The Worshipful Company of Cutlers in London. I believe there was also another brother of Ebenezer's - another Thomas, possibly older and there is also a William Williams - possibly the first Thomas' brother. They are recorded at the Cutlers' Company.

US Army
US Navy
US Military Ranks Pay Rates and Benefits

Which is of higher rank a General or an Admiral?

Generals and Admirals have equal ranks. Generals serve in the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Admiral is the equivalent rank in the Navy and Coast Guard.

There are different ranks for Generals and Admirals with different designations.

Here are the current ranks, the number of stars and the service equivalency:

  • one star - Brigadier General = Rear Admiral (lower half)
  • two stars - Major General = Rear Admiral (upper half)
  • three stars - Lieutenant General = Vice Admiral
  • four stars - General = Admiral
  • five stars - General of the Army = Fleet Admiral

The only official five star officers all served during World War II and reached their rank either during or after the war.

There are other officers that held higher rank. All the five star officers of WW II were acknowledged to be junior to John J. (Blackjack) Pershing who commanded American forces in World War I. Some consider is rank as six stars, his official rank was General of the Armies of the United States.

George Dewey reached the rank of Admiral of the Navy after the Spanish American War and some consider him a six star Admiral.

There is one final rank. Congress passed a law in 1978 that declared that George Washington is the highest ranking officer to ever have served, or will ever serve in the US Military. Washington's highest rank was actually Lieutenant General in the regular army and General of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. This effectively makes George Washington a seven star General.

War and Military History
US Army

Worlds largest army?


1. Russia (1,027,000 active) (22,010,000 reserve)

2. North Korea (1,106,000 active) (8,200,000 reserve)

3. South Korea (687,000 active) (8,000,000 reserve)

4. Vietnam (455,000 active) (5,000,000 reserve)

5. China (2,285,000 active) (1,510,000 reserve)

6. India (1,325,000 active) (2,142,821 reserve)

7. United States of America (1,580,255 active) (864,547 reserve)

8. Iran (510,000 active)(1,800,000 reserve)

9. Brazil (327,710 active) (1,340,000 reserve)

10. Cuba (49,000 active) (1,159,000 reserve)

11. Ukraine (129,925 active) (1,000,000 reserve)

12. Turkey (510,600 active) (428,700 reserve)

Germany in WW2

What is the value of a 1907 ross rifle bayonet?



Why are there two dog tags on a military dog tag chain?

One dog tag was immediately taken from the necklace (or other part of the body) of the dead person (usually by a responsible officer)to represent proof that that specific serviceman had been killed and as positive identification of the serviceman's name, serial number, branch of service and religion -- for official records. The other tag remained at all times on or with the body of the dead serviceman so his or her identity, etc. would not be misplaced or lost. vcs In accordance with current policy:

Identification tags found around the neck of a casualty, and only those tags found around the neck, stay with the remains at all times. Tags found any place besides around the neck are made note of in the Record of Personal Effects of Deceased Personnel, and placed in an effects bag. They are not removed unless there is a need to temporarily inter the remains. If there is only one tag present, another is made to match the first. If the remains are unidentified, two tags marked "unidentified" are made. One identification tag is interred with the individual, the other placed on a wire ring in the sequence of the temporary cemetery plot. This enables Graves Registration personnel to make positive identification of remains during disinterment procedures; when the remains are disinterred, the tag on the wire ring is removed and placed with the matching tag around the neck.

Hobbies & Collectibles
Winchester Firearms

Value of waffenfabrik neuhausen bayonet model 1899 96?

around 200 us dollars

Clocks and Watches

How much is a stadion stop watch worth?


US in WW2
Military Terminology
US Military Ranks Pay Rates and Benefits

How does a Naval Commissioned Officer address a Chief Warrant Officer?

All Warrant Officers are addressed as "Mr."

I usually addressed them by their first name. In formal situations they would be Chief Warrant Officer xxx. In informal situations with lower ranks present, I sometimes used the term 'Gunner' when talking with those with a specialty in weapons or EOD.

Hobbies & Collectibles
World War 2

How much is a world war 2 bayonet worth?

depends on the brand and where it came from and time it was made. any way it ranges between $100-$400

World War 2
Germany in WW2
US in WW2

How do you identify World War 2 German uniform badges?

Identifying WW2 German badges is fairly easy with the many books and webpages on the subject. The difficult part is determining if they are Originals or Reproducitons. Nazi militaria has gotten so expensive, the it is easy to replicate to a high degree of accuracy.

As an example, there are companies that reproduce many German uniform items such as visor caps that include the label and sweatband details.

If you inherited the collection, it might be very advisable if you document how you obtained the collection. This may convince someone that the items have been in your or your family's possession for a long time----if you intend to sale the items.

A good site to check for World War II information is


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