, abbreviated as FM
) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer
ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army and as such 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 (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
and Sri Lanka
for an extraordinary achievement; Spain and Mexico
for a divisional command (Spanish: mariscal de campo
); and France, Portugal
for a brigade command (French: maréchal de camp
: marechal de campo
The origin of the term 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; words originally meaning "servant" were sometimes used to mean "subordinate official" or similar. 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. 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
Field marshal ranks by country
When Brazil became independent from Portugal in 1822, the Portuguese system of ranks was maintained by the 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. Today, the Rank of Marechal
is the maximum rank available but only awarded during wartime. The Brazilian Air Force
has the similar rank of Air Marshal
On the eleventh of August two thousand and twenty, former Chadian president, Idris Déby
, was promoted to the rank of Marshal
, for his efforts against Islamic terrorism in West Africa.
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
from the 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.
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.
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 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").
(general field marshal, field marshal general, or field marshal
), abbreviated to Feldmarschall
) was the most senior general officer rank in the armies of several German states, including Saxony, Brandenburg-Prussia, Prussia, the German Empire, and lastly, Germany (from 1918). In the Habsburg Monarchy
, the Austrian Empire
, the rank Feldmarschall
was used. The rank was also given to generals in southern German States and Austria by the Holy Roman Emperor during the existence of the Holy Roman Empire
up to 1806.
Field marshal is the highest attainable rank in the Indian Army
. It is a ceremonial / war time rank. There have been two Indian field marshals to date: Kodandera Madappa Cariappa
, the 1st Indian Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army in 1986 (much after his retirement), and Sam Manekshaw
Field Marshal of Malaysia is equivalent to general of the army
of the United States which is the highest rank in the Malaysian army
and are reserved for His Majesty the King of Malaysia.
In the 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
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.
5 stars and a cross keris
representing the first malay weapon used in battle with a crown representing the Monarchy of Malaysia
Serbia and Yugoslavia
Field Marshal is the highest rank in the Sri Lanka Army
. It is a ceremonial rank. Sarath Fonseka
is the first and only Sri Lankan officer to hold the rank. He was promoted to the position on 22 March 2015.
In the Royal Thai Army
the rank of Chom Phon
: 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.
Sri Lankan ෆීල්ඩ් මාර්ෂල්
Thai Chom Phon (จอมพล)
Field Marshal Idi Amin
was 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.
United Kingdom insignia
No branch of the United States Armed Forces
has ever used the rank of field marshal. However, General Douglas MacArthur
was commissioned a field marshal
of the Philippine Army
in 24 August 1936, serving until 31 December 1937, while still serving as a United States Army
officer. 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
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 Marshall".
- ^ https://fotw.info/flags/af_mfndu.html
- ^ "Did You Know That Only 3 People Have Been Given The Highest Ranks In The Indian Armed Forces?". Archived from the original on 4 January 2017.
- ^ "Profile: Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar". 15 September 2016. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018 – via www.bbc.com.
- ^ SureshikaThilakarathna. "Sarath Fonseka promoted Sri Lanka's first ever Field Marshal". news.lk. Archived from the original on 11 July 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
- ^ "Great Turkish Dictionary". Turkish Language Association. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- ^ "Eisenhower Memorial Commission – The Story Behind Ike's Fifth Star". Eisenhowermemorial.org. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
Last edited on 29 April 2021, at 07:05
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