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Military In many countries, the rank of marshal, cf. field marshal, is the highest army rank, outranking other general officers. The equivalent navy rank is often admiral of the fleet.
Marshals are typically, but not exclusively, appointed only in wartime. In many countries, especially in Europe, the special symbol of a marshal is a baton, and their insignia often incorporate batons.
In some countries, the term "marshal" is used instead of "general" in the higher air force ranks. The four highest Royal Air Force ranks are marshal of the Royal Air Force, air chief marshal, air marshal and air vice marshal (although the first named, which has generally been suspended as a peacetime rank, is the only one which can properly be considered a marshal). The five-star rank of marshal of the Air Force is used by some Commonwealth and Middle Eastern air forces.
Some historical rulers have used special "marshal" titles to reward certain subjects. Though not strictly military ranks, these honorary titles have been exclusively bestowed upon successful military leaders, such as the famous grand marshal of Ayacucho Antonio José de Sucre. Most famous are the Marshals of France (Maréchaux de France), not least under Napoléon I. Another such title was that of Reichsmarschall, bestowed upon Hermann Goering by Adolf Hitler, although it was never a regular title as it had been "invented" for Goering who was the only titleholder in history. In England during the First Barons' War the title "Marshal of the Army of God" was bestowed upon Robert Fitzwalter by election.
Marshal ranks by country
The following articles discuss the rank of marshal as used by specific countries:
- Feldmarschall and Feldmarschalleutnant (Austria-Hungary Empire)
- Marshal of Bolivia
- Marshal (Brazil)
- Marshal of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
- Marshal of Finland
- German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich 1871-1918; and also in Nazi Germany 1933-1945)
- Generalfeldmarschall ("General Field Marshal")
- Marshal (Shogun)
- Land marshal of the Livonian Order
- Marshal of the air force (New Zealand)
- Marshal of Paraguay
- Marshal of Peru
- Marszałek Polski (Poland)
- Mareşal (Romania)
- Marshal of the Russian Federation (Russian Federation)
- The Soviet Union had three marshals ranks. The relationships between them is unresolved.
- Marshal of the Soviet Union
- Chief marshal of a troop arm was used in five Soviet military branches – the air force, artillery, armoured troops, engineer troops, and signal troops.
- "Marshal of a troop arm" was used in five Soviet military branches – the air force, artillery, armoured troops, engineer troops, and signal troops. "Marshal of a troop arm" is considered equivalent to the rank "general of the army," which was used in the infantry and the marines.
- Mareşal (Turkey)
- Field marshal, marshal of the Royal Air Force (United Kingdom)
- Marshal of Venezuela
- Marshal of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia)
- Mariscal and the upper condestable (Spanish language countries)
These ranks are considered the equivalent to a marshal:
- Chom Phon (Thailand)
- General of the army, fleet admiral and general of the Air Force (United States)
- Arteshbod (Iran)
- Mushir (Arab countries)
- Protostrator (in Frankish Greece, deriving from the Byzantine Empire, likewise deriving from the post of "stable-master")
- Stratarches (modern Greece)
- Vojvoda (Kingdom of Serbia)
- Vrhovnik (Croatia)
- Wonsu (North Korea and South Korea)
- Yuan Shuai (modern China)
- Sima (ancient China)
- Gensui (Japan)
- Nguyên soái or Thống chế (Vietnam)
The name is also applied to the leader of military police organizations.
- Provost marshal - a term used in many countries
- Provost Marshal General - head of the military police in the United States
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