Field Marshal

Field Marshal

:"For other meanings see Field Marshal (disambiguation)

Field marshal is a military officer rank. Today it is the highest rank in the armies in which it is used, one step above a general or colonel-general. Historically, however, several armies used field marshal as a divisional command rank, notably Spain and Mexico (Spanish: "mariscal de campo"). In France, Portugal and Brazil (French: "maréchal de camp", Portuguese "marechal de campo") it was formerly a brigade command rank.

The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses (from old German "Marh-scalc" = "horse-servant") from the time of the early Frankish kings.

Some nations use the title of marshal instead, while some have used field marshal general. The Air Force equivalent in the Commonwealth is marshal of the air force (not to be confused with air marshal). The corresponding naval ranks are normally fleet admiral, grand admiral or admiral of the fleet.

During Imperial rule in China, successful generals were given the title of field marshal (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 from the Song Dynasty.

Until the end of World War II, Japan also bestowed the honorary title of field marshal (元帥 "gensui") on successful generals and admirals; they would, however, retain their ranks of general and admiral.

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington was a field marshal in twelve armies. His twelve field marshal batons are on display in Apsley House.

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, 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 was the highest rank of the "Ancien Régime" and is in effect the highest French rank today (although in theory it is not an actual rank but a "state dignity").

The United States has never used the rank of field marshal in part because George Washington only held the rank of general: some considered it "inappropriate" to have a higher rank.Fact|date=June 2008 Instead, two variations on "general" are used: general of the army or "5 star general" and, once general of the armies of the United States (the latter rank was invented for John Pershing in 1919 in recognition of his performance as the commander of the American Expeditionary Force). The American General MacArthur was a field marshal in the army of the Philippines, whereas he held different ranks in the United States Army. On December 16, 1944, General Marshall became the first American general to be promoted to 5 star rank, the newly created general of the army. He was the second American to be promoted to a 5 star rank, as William Leahy was promoted to fleet admiral the previous day. 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 Marshall.” [ [ Eisenhower Memorial Commission - The Story Behind Ike’s Fifth Star ] ]

Field marshal ranks

* Field Marshal (Albania)
* Field Marshal (Australia)
* Feldmarschall (Literally "Field Marshal") (Austria, Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy)
* Field Marshal (Bangladesh)
* Field Marshal (Egypt)
* Field Marshal (Finland)
* Field Marshal (France); Marshal of France
* Generalfeldmarschall ("Literally "General Field Marshal") (Germany)
* Field Marshal (India)
* Field Marshal (Iran)
* Marshal of Italy (Italy)
* Field Marshal (Malaysia)
* Field Marshal (New Zealand)
* Field Marshal (Pakistan)
* Field Marshal (Peru)
* Field Marshal (Philippines)
* Marshal of Poland (Poland)
* Mareşal (Romania)
* Field Marshal (Russia)
* Field Marshal (South Africa)
* Field Marshal (Soviet Union)
* Mareşal (Turkey)
* Field Marshal (Uganda)
* Field Marshal (United Kingdom)

Other meanings

* "Marshal" and "Marshall" are both common surnames, held by such notable figures as William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and George C. Marshall, the United States Army Chief of Staff during World War II.
* A marshal is also the name for some U.S. law enforcement officers, such as members of the United States Marshals Service, or sky marshals who serve as undercover law enforcement on board commercial aircraft.
* In the Royal Air Force and other air forces which use their rank system, air vice-marshal, air marshal, air chief marshal and Marshal of the Air Force are equivalent ranks to major-general, lieutenant-general, general and field marshal respectively.

References and notes

ee also

* List of Field Marshals
* Grand Marshal
* Generalissimo

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • field marshal — Marshal Mar shal, n. [OE. mareschal, OF. mareschal, F. mar[ e]chal, LL. mariscalcus, from OHG. marah scalc (G. marschall); marah horse + scalc servant (akin to AS. scealc, Goth. skalks). F. mar[ e]chal signifies, a marshal, and a farrier. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Field marshal — Field Field (f[=e]ld), n. [OE. feld, fild, AS. feld; akin to D. veld, G. feld, Sw. f[ a]lt, Dan. felt, Icel. fold field of grass, AS. folde earth, land, ground, OS. folda.] 1. Cleared land; land suitable for tillage or pasture; cultivated ground; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • field marshal — field marshals also field marshal N COUNT; N TITLE A field marshal is an officer in the army who has the highest rank …   English dictionary

  • Field Marshal — est un grade militaire britannique équivalent à maréchal. Il n est attribué qu en temps de guerre. Bernard Montgomery et Alan Brooke furent Field Marshal. Liens externes (en) Nomination dans la London Gazette au grade de maréchal du général… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • field marshal — field .marshal n an officer of the highest rank in the British army …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • field marshal — noun count an officer of the highest rank in the British army …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • field marshal — ► NOUN ▪ the highest rank of officer in the British army …   English terms dictionary

  • field marshal — n. in some armies, an officer of the highest rank …   English World dictionary

  • Field marshal — For other uses, see Field marshal (disambiguation). Common anglophone military ranks Navies Armies Air forces Officers Admiral of the fleet Marshal / …   Wikipedia

  • field marshal — noun an officer holding the highest rank in the army • Topics: ↑military, ↑armed forces, ↑armed services, ↑military machine, ↑war machine • Hypernyms: ↑marshal, ↑marshall …   Useful english dictionary

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