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|UK commissioned officers|
| Admiral of|
| Field marshal or|
General of the Army
| Marshal of|
the air force
|Admiral||General||Air chief marshal|
|Vice admiral||Lieutenant general||Air marshal|
|Rear admiral||Major general||Air vice-marshal|
|Commodore|| Brigadier or|
|Commander||Lieutenant colonel||Wing commander|
| Major or|
junior grade or
| Lieutenant or|
| Ensign or|
|Second lieutenant||Pilot officer|
|Officer cadet||Officer cadet||Flight cadet|
| Warrant officer or|
chief petty officer
| Warrant officer or|
|Petty officer||Sergeant||Flight sergeant|
|Leading seaman|| Corporal or|
|Seaman|| Private or|
| Aircraftman or|
Generalissimois a military rank of the highest degree, superior to field marshal and other five-star ranks in the states where they are used.
In many nations the highest military ranks are classed as being equivalent to, or are officially described as, five-star ranks. However, a number of nations have used or proposed ranks such as generalissimo which are senior to their five-star equivalent ranks. This article summarises those ranks.
Field marshal 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 persons are appointed to it. It is considered as a five-star rank (OF-10) in modern-day armed forces in many countries. Promotion to the rank of field marshal in many countries historically required extraordinary military achievement by a general. 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, Germany, India and Sri Lanka for an extraordinary achievement; Spain and Mexico for a divisional command ; and France, Portugal and Brazil for a brigade command.
A five-star rank is a very senior military rank, first established in the United States in 1944, with a five-star general insignia, and corresponding ranks in other countries. The rank is that of the most senior operational military commanders, and within NATO's "standard rank scale" it is designated by the code OF-10.
The word generalissimo (Italian : Generalissimo), an Italian term, is the absolute superlative of generale ('general') thus meaning "the highest-ranking of all generals". The superlative suffix -issimo itself derives from Latin -issimus , meaning "utmost, to the highest grade". Similar cognates in other languages include generalísimo in Spanish, generalíssimo in Portuguese, généralissime in French, and generalissimus in Latin.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, and together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a regional or a traditional language in these countries, where Italians do not represent a historical minority. In the case of Romania, Italian is listed by the Government along 10 other languages which supposedly receive a "general protection", but not between those which should be granted an "advanced or enhanced" one. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
Historically this rank was given to a military officer leading an entire army or the entire armed forces of a state, usually only subordinate to the sovereign.Other usage of the rank has been for the commander of the united armies of several allied powers and if a senior military officer becomes the head of state or head of government of a nation like Chiang Kai-Shek in China and later in Taiwan, and Francisco Franco in Spain.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system, the head of state usually has mostly ceremonial powers, with a separate head of government, although in some parliamentary systems, such as Botswana, the head of state is also the head of government. Likewise, in some parliamentary systems the head of state is not the head of government, but still has significant powers, for example Morocco. In contrast, a semi-presidential system, such as France, has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation. Meanwhile, in presidential systems such as the United States, the head of state is also the head of government.
Francisco Franco Bahamonde was a Spanish general and politician who ruled over Spain as Head of State and dictator under the title Caudillo from 1939, after the nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War, until his death in 1975. This period in Spanish history is commonly known as Francoist Spain.
The rank Generalissimus of the Soviet Union would have been a generalissimo but some sources assert that Joseph Stalin refused to accept the rank.In fact the grade was established by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet which did not need the "approval" of Stalin. The rank of Generalissimo for Stalin was used also by Western diplomacy.
Generalissimus of the Soviet Union was a proposed military rank created on 27 June 1945, following the tradition of the Imperial Russian Army. It was granted to Joseph Stalin following World War II; however, Stalin refused to officially approve the rank and died with the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. It would have been the highest military rank in the Soviet Union.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1953) and Premier (1941–1953). Initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, by the 1930s he was the country's de facto dictator. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.
|Chiang Kai-shek||National Revolutionary Army||Republic of China||1926||Appointed commander in chief of the Nationalist Army for the Northern Expedition. In 1935 was appointed "general special class" (特級上將 Tèjí shàng jiàng).|
|Joseph Joffre||French Army||France||1914||His dignity (rank) was Marshal of France , but his title as commander-in-chief of the French Army was généralissime.|
|Alexander Danilovich Menshikov||Russian Imperial Army||Russian Empire||1727–1728|
|Duke Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick||Russian Imperial Army||Russian Empire||1740–1741|
|Alexander Suvorov||Russian Imperial Army||Russian Empire||1799|
|Ferdinand Foch||French Army||France||1918||Généralissime was the title used to describe Ferdinand Foch's Allied Command, starting 26 March 1918. He actually held the rank of général de division , the dignity (rank) of Marshal of France and later the ranks of British Field Marshal and Marshal of Poland.|
|Maurice Gamelin||French Army||France||1939||His rank was général d'armée , but his title as commander-in-chief of the French Armed Forces was généralissime.|
|Maxime Weygand||French Army||France||1939||His rank was général d'armée , but his title as commander-in-chief of the French Armed Forces was généralissime.|
|Francisco de Miranda||Venezuelan Army||Venezuela||1812|
|Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla||Revolutionary Army of Mexico||América Mexicana||1810– 1811|
|José de San Martín||Peruvian Army||Peru||1821–1822||Generalísimo de las Armas del Perú|
|Francisco Franco||Spanish Armed Forces||Spain||1936–1975||Generalísimo|
|Emilio Aguinaldo||Philippine Revolutionary Army||Philippines||1898–1901||Generalissimo|
|Ihsan Nuri||Ararat Forces||Kurdish Republic of Ararat||1927–1930|
|Crown Prince Charles John||Royal Swedish Army||Sweden||1810–1818|
|Joseph Stalin||Soviet Armed Forces||Soviet Union||1945||Generalissimus of the Soviet Union (declined usage)|
|Kim Il-sung||Korean People's Army||North Korea||1992||Taewonsu|
|Kim Jong-il||Korean People's Army||North Korea||2012||Taewonsu (posthumously awarded)|
|Rafael Trujillo||Dominican Army||Dominican Republic||1930|
|Sun Yat-sen||National Revolutionary Army – Warlord Era (Northern Expedition)||Republic of China||1921||Technically as da yuan shuai or "grand marshal of the army and navy"|
|Albrecht von Wallenstein||30 Year's War||Holy Roman Empire via the "Principal Decree of the Imperial Deputation"||1625|
|John J. Pershing||United States Army||United States of America||1919||Promoted to General of the Armies of the United States on September 3, 1919.|
|John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough||War of the Spanish Succession||Dutch Republic||1702||Referred to as Generalissimo by the Dutch States General.|
|Prince George of Denmark||British Army||Kingdom of Great Britain||1702–1708||Declared 'Generalissimo of all our Forces within Our Kingdom of England and Ireland and Elsewhere' by his wife Queen Anne|
|James, Duke of York||Third Anglo-Dutch War||Kingdom of England||1673||'Generalissimo and Supreme Commander' over forces employed against the Dutch.|
|Louis Dauphin of France||War of the Spanish Succession||France||1708||Commanded French Army|
|William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel||Swedish Army||Sweden||1720|
|George Washington|| Continental Army |
United States Army
|United States of America||1776||When chosen to be the Commander in Chief, was called by the Virginia Gazette the generalissimo of the American forces. Promoted posthumously to General of the Armies of the United States on January 19, 1976 with date of rank of July 4, 1976.|
|Deodoro da Fonseca||Brazilian Army||Brazil||1890|
|Hermann Göring||Luftwaffe||Nazi Germany||1940–1945||Promoted to the rank of Reichsmarschall on 19 July 1940. Stripped of rank on 30 April 1945.|
|Kalākaua||Hawaiian Army||Kingdom of Hawaii||1886–1891||King of Hawaii, was given titles of "Supreme Commander and Generalissimo of the Hawaiian Army".|
A Commander-in-Chief, sometimes also called Supreme Commander, is the person that exercises supreme command and control over an armed forces or a military branch. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a country's executive leadership – a head of state or a head of government.
A caudillo is a type of personalist leader wielding military and political power. There is no precise definition of caudillo, which is often used interchangeably with "dictator" and "strongman". The term is historically associated with Spain, and with Spanish America after virtually all of that region won independence in the early nineteenth century.
Admiralissimo is an informal title for a chief naval officer, usually implying supreme naval command. It does not correspond to any particular rank, probably derives from Italian, and is a naval equivalent of generalissimo.
A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The Order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. It was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism, dedication, and courage demonstrated on the battlefield. The Order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, cities, ships, political and social organizations, and state enterprises. In later years, it was also awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military, police, or state security service without requiring participation in combat.
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the highest military rank of the Soviet Union.
Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Vasilevsky, a Russian career-officer in the Red Army, attained the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1943. He served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces and Deputy Minister of Defense during World War II, and as Minister of Defense from 1949 to 1953. As the Chief of the General Staff from 1942 to 1945, Vasilevsky was responsible for planning and coordinating almost all decisive Soviet offensives in World War II, from the Stalingrad counteroffensive to the assaults on East Prussia, Königsberg and Manchuria.
Prince Aleksander Danilovich Menshikov was a Russian statesman, whose official titles included Generalissimus, Prince of the Russian Empire and Duke of Izhora, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Cosel. A highly appreciated associate and friend of Tsar Peter the Great, he was the de facto ruler of Russia for two years.
Paul de Rapin, sieur of Thoyras, was a French historian writing under English patronage. His History of England, written and first published in French in 1724–27, was an influential exposition of the Whig view of history on both sides of the English Channel.
Modern Russian military ranks trace their roots to Table of Ranks established by Peter the Great. Most of the rank names were borrowed from existing German/Prussian, French, English, Dutch, and Polish ranks upon the formation of Russian regular army in the late 17th century.
Grand marshal is a ceremonial, military, or political office of very high rank. The term has its origins with the word "marshal" with the first usage of the term "grand marshal" as a ceremonial title for certain religious orders. The following are some additional usages of the term grand marshal:
Taewŏnsu is the highest possible military rank of North Korea and is intended to be an honorific title for Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. The rank is senior to that of wonsu (marshal). The title also exists in Chinese military history as dàyuánshuài, and was briefly taken by Sun Yat-Sen.
The military ranks of the Soviet Union were those introduced after the October Revolution of 1917. At that time the Imperial Russian Table of Ranks was abolished, as were the privileges of the pre-Soviet Russian nobility.
Da yuan shuai was a Chinese military rank, usually translated as grand marshal or generalissimo.
The Chief of the Defence Staff of the Armed Forces is the chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies of France and leading senior military officer responsible for usage of the French Armed Forces, ensuring the commandment of all military operations.
Supreme Commander may refer to:
Fort Knokke or Fort de Cnocke or Fort de la Knocque or Fort de Knocke was an important fortification that defended western Flanders from the 1580s until it was demolished in the 1780s. During its 200 year history, the place was held by the Spanish Empire, Kingdom of France, Habsburg Austria and the Dutch Republic. The existing defenses were improved in 1678 by the famous military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. The fort was attacked by the Grand Alliance in 1695 during the Nine Years' War but the French garrison successfully held out. It was captured from the French by a ruse in 1712 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Control of the fort and other strong places in the Austrian Netherlands was a key feature of the so-called Barrier Treaty in 1713. The French captured the fort after a two-month siege in 1744 during the War of the Austrian Succession. Emperor Joseph II had the citadel demolished in 1781. The site is on the Yser River about 8 kilometres (5 mi) southwest of Diksmuide, Belgium.
Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces in the period 1943–1955 were characterised by a number of changes in the armed forces of the Soviet Union, including the reintroduction of rank insignia badges and the adoption of a number of higher ranks.
Sir John de Botetourt, 1st Baron Botetourt was an English military commander and admiral in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The Earl of Athlone [Godard van Reede] was set on by the other Dutch Generals, to insist on his quality of Velt-Marshal, and to have the command with the Earl of Marlborough by turns. But, though he was now in high reputation by his late conduct, the States obliged him to yield this point to the Earl of Marlborough, whom they declared Generalissimo of all their forces, and sent orders to all their Generals and other Officers to obey him.
The Prince was Duke of Cumberland, Lord High-Admiral of Great-Britain and Ireland, Generalissimo of all her Majesty's forces both by sea and land, and Warden of the Cinque-ports.
But an unexpected alteration was suddenly made, and the French King declared the Duke of Burgundy Generalissimo of his forces, appointing the Duke de Vendosme [sic: Vendôme] to serve under him; and he was to be accompanied by the Duke of Berry.
wurde 1720. von dem König in Schweden [...] zum Generalissimo der sämmtlichen Schwedischen Trouppen ernennet