Sunday 26 March 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Taiwanese Army has historically received the least amount of funding out of the Taiwanese Armed Forces' three main service branches. With a yearly budget of only $19 billion (in 2023), the Taiwanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) is forced to prioritise investments in the country's air force and navy to have some chance in keeping up with China's rapid military build-up. As the Taiwanese Army will enter combat only after Chinese forces have already landed on Taiwan or one of the various island groups off China's coast, the priority for the Taiwanese Armed Forces has been to establish a viable deterrent and realistic wartime capabilities through the acquisition of weapons systems like fighter jets, anti-ship missiles and air defence systems to deter China from carrying out an amphibious landing in the first place.

Saturday 25 March 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Despite investing tens of billions of USD into its Armed Forces over the past two decades, Venezuela is curiously left with a military that is significantly weaker than before these investments were made. This spectacular feat is not only the result of highly peculiar procurement decisions, but also due to the fact that the Venezuelan Armed Forces of the late 1990s was in fact among the most powerful in South America. For years procuring modern armament from sources like the United States, France and Israel, these countries were replaced by Russia, China and Iran after the United States imposed an arms embargo against Venezuela in 2006 because of President Hugo Chávez's policies.

Friday 24 March 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Battle for Luxembourg was a short battle between the Luxembourg Gendarmerie, Volunteer Corps and the German Wehrmacht that resulted in a swift victory for Nazi Germany. The invasion that prompted it began on the 10th of May 1940 and lasted just one day. As a result of the 1867 Treaty of London, Luxembourg had no army and relied on a small force of Gendarmes and volunteers for its defence. Despite not even possessing an army, Luxembourg still managed to fend off the German Blitzkrieg longer than Denmark, which despite actually possessing an army and air force surrendered after just two hours of fighting when it got invaded by Nazi Germany on the 9th of April 1940.

Thursday 23 March 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Ancak, ulusun hayatı tehlikeye girmedikçe, savaş bir cinayettir - Unless a nation's life faces peril, war is murder (By Mustafa Kemal Atatürk)
 
Staying neutral during the Second World War was an art form that Türkiye managed to master through clever diplomacy. It would take until February 1945 when the country finally declared war on Nazi Germany and Japan, and even then no Turkish troops actually took part in the remainder of World War II. In fact, Türkiye's late entry into the war was little more than a formality after the Allies conditioned Türkiye's full belligerency in order to be invited to the United Nations. This no-show was undoubtedly much to the dismay of the British, who had actually expected Türkiye to declare war on Germany already on the 28th of October 1940, when Italy launched its invasion of Greece.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The People's Socialist Republic of Albania was a Marxist-Leninist one party state that existed from 1946 until 1991. Throughout much of its existence, the country was led by Enver Hoxha, who ruled Albania by establishing a Stalinist style of governance known as Hoxhaism. Despite far-reaching similarities with North Korea, Albania and its authoritarian ruler arguably constitute a forgotten chapter of the Cold War period. Albania's close ties with the Soviet Union until the Albanian–Soviet split in 1961, then with China until the Sino-Albanian split in 1978 and ultimately its almost complete international isolation from 1978 onwards had a profound effect on the equipment inventory and operational readiness of the Albanian People's Army (UPSh). To this day, the UPSh remains the only European military to have been mostly equipped with Chinese-made weaponry, aircraft, ships and other equipment.

Monday 20 March 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Transnistria owes its existence to a brief war in 1992 between Moldova and Russian-backed separatists who feared that Moldova would become part of Romania after the collapse of the USSR. The war ended when the Russian 14th Army, stationed in what was then the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, intervened on behalf of Transnistria and defeated the forces of the newly independent Republic of Moldova. Despite the fact that armed conflict ceased the same year, the situation in Transnistria remains extremely complicated, with the breakaway state wishing to join the Russian Federation while remaining reliant on Moldova for exporting the limited produce its economy outputs.

Monday 6 March 2023

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
The goal of this list is to comprehensively catalogue North Korea's current inventory of vehicles and equipment. In an effort to streamline the list and avoid unnecessary confusion, civilian trucks towing military trailers and military trucks on which missiles, rockets or radars are based are not included in the list. If several configurations of a vehicle with one designation are known, they are added as such. The part within apostrophes refers to an unoffical name, such as the US DoD M-xxxx designation system (referring to the first year the system was identified). A year in square brackets after the designation of a vehicle refer to its perceived date of inception. When available, the range (of missiles) are added in square brackets. All vehicles listed are presumed to still be in use with the Korean People's Army. This list is updated as additional vehicle types are uncovered.

Friday 3 March 2023

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February 2023 marks one full year of epic struggle on Ukraine's part to preserve its very existence. Rather than succumbing to the invaders beleaguering the country from the North, South and East, it has managed take the initiative in a conflict that was heavily stacked against it. Yet one year also marks the point where the war is beginning to surpass perhaps any conflict since WWII in terms of ferocity and, necessarily, losses. Though these losses are skewed to the Russian side, attrition on the Ukrainian side is also unprecedented, and sustainable only through material support from its allies. With new contingents of Western armament on the way, this list now attempts to denote what types of heavy equipment are known to be in use on the battlefield that have not yet been confirmed destroyed or captured. As opposed, to the Russian counterpart of this list, we might thus expect this list to grow rather than dwindle down as time progresses.

Thursday 2 March 2023

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Russia's one year anniversary of its special military operation in Ukraine marks a pivotal point not just for its symbolic significance, but also because it coincides with a sudden realisation on our part. That being that keeping track of the types of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) and aircraft in use by the Russian Armed Forces that have been destroyed has become considerably harder than listing those that haven't been, and subtracting from that list as time progresses. Hence, the list that follows.