原文标题：Top 10 armies in world history
Nice list, but I suggest taking the Hun army out of there, and maybe replacing it with the Chinese armies of the Han and Tang dynasties.
to be honest,Chinese armies have nothing outstanding. Chinese Han dynasty pays tribute to the Hun Empire for over 60 years,emperor Gaozu almost captured by the Hun army...
the capital of Tang Dynasty was almost destroyed by Tibetans.
Kitans,Arabs,Turks,Uygur...everyone has kicked Tang's ass
the Hun army under Modu and Attila was the world top 1 army. but Chinese armies were never...
Dude, they were raiders. The only thing that was hard was catching up to them, and, since they didn't have cities they could play a great cat and mouse game. The Huns are overrated, probably because they harassed the Romans, but only when Rome was on her way down. When Rome fell, China was clearly the most powerful nation in the world. That does not happen without a top ranked army, despite how subjective the evaluation of an army is.
You seem to forget why Great Wall of Chinese was built.It was built to prevent Turk and Mongol attacks from north.Huns were always superior to Chinese in military.
Was the original Xiongnu related to Western Caucasian Huns or Turks? No one is able to prove this.
Did the Gokturks caused any real threats to ancient China? I remember that they got overrun by Tang armies and by other nomadic armies, that's why they fled to the west.
Your opinion is entirely subjective. Ancient Chinese armies were also very powerful. The famous Han general Chen Tang once said that before the Xiongnu adopted Han technologies, one Han soldier could defeat five Xiongnu soldiers; after they adopted Han technologies, one Han soldier could only defeat three Xiongnu soldiers.
Xiongnu related to both because Huns were not a different and single ethniticy.Turks were the largest tribe in Hun empire.
Gokturks defeated China few times and China paid taxes regularly during Tang dynasty after defeat of his army in 626.
Actually it was not only Chinese that caused Turks flee to west. Chinese hans were clever and they made Turks to fight each other. Karluks and Turgish attacked Oghuzs and that caused weakening and later disappear of Gokturk state.
First Gokturk state was defeated by Chinese and Mongols.Second Gokturk state was defeated by other Turks.
Difficult climate conditions and famine were another reason for Turks to flee to west.
Other than in the year 618, when the Tang was was still facing multple contenders on the throne, and in 626, right after Tang Taizong ursurped the throne after the Xuanwu gates incident, the Tang has never paid anything to the Gokturks. In fact after 630, the Eastern Gokturks were subjugated and relocated along the Tang frontiers, paying annual tribute and providing auxiliars for Tang campaigns, their state was divided into two prefectures and eventually came under the Chanyu Dudufu. The Xueyantuo Khanate likewise perished in 646 and the Tiele/Toquz Oghuz were zoned into 6 protecturates and 7 prefectures and it had to provide auxiliary forces whenever the Tang demanded, this led to numerous rebellions namely in the year 662 and 667. However final independence was not achieved until 686 when the Tang withdrew its protectorate of the pacified north to the south of the Gobi.
The Tang did make payments to the Uighurs on two occasions; one as a fee for Uighur support in crushing An Lushan's rebellion, the other due to the arbitrary killing of an Uighur embassy, but that was well after the height of Tang power.
To imply that the Tang did not defeat the Turks directly in combat is preposterous. In 630, 3000 Tang soldiers was enough to capture Illig/Jieli Kaghan and tens of thousands of his men and in 657, 10,000 Tang soldiers under Su Dingfang routed 100,000 Western Turks. Likewise in 641, 50,000 Tang soldiers under Li Siqi with 10,000 Turkish auxiliar was able to defeat the entire alliance of the Toquz Oghuz numbering some 200,000. Taizong personally noted that 10,000 Han soldiers was enough to annihilate 100,000 "barbarian" army.
The first Gokturk state was weakened by the rebellion of the Toquz Oghuz, but it was put to an end by just 3000 Chinese cavalry with a 100,000 men support. The Western Turks were put to an end with 10,000 Chinese infantry, although the Toquz Oghuz supplied a significant auxiliary force in the mop up campaign. The destruction of the second Gokurk Empire was indeed mainly the deed of the Uighurs, but the Tang forces under Wang Zhongsi still played a role in the attack on the tribes south of the desert and possibly crossing the Gobi to meet up with the Uighurs in the follow ups.
I don't believe the Turks ever fled west during the Tang, and I have no idea where this notion came from, the Seljuks that went west happened much later than the period under discussion.
Turk tribes always fight each others for thoudsands of years,not because of Chinese made them to fight
sorry dude,i didn't notice that you are from China...
i can fully understand your thoughts but im just telling the truth
I live here, but I'm not Chinese. I assure you there is nothing personal about what I said. I just hope I didn't turn this into another east vs west thread, that's all.
well,cat and mouse game is a great stratgy,Russia defeated Napoleon & Hitler by playing such game,but nobody can deny that Napoleon & Hitler got their asses kicked by Russians.
China has paid tributes and women to Huns, Turks, Tibetanz, Kitans, Jurchens, Mongols for few hundreds of years. 3 Chinese emperors were captured by Jurchens & Mongols. at the Peak of Tang Dynasty,the main force of Tang army was easily defeated by Kitans,Tibetans and Arabs...Han Dynasty didn't defeat Xiongnu,Xiongnu was defeated by natural dizaster,politics and Xianbei attack...
i respect your opinion,but i disagree China was the world most powerful nation after Roma went down...
They used their heads the Russians of both occasions but it was the Russian winter that defeated these two brilliant armies not the Russian army. Let me explain, if it wasn't for the Russian winter both Napoleon and Hitler would have conquered Russia. Though Hitler's objective was the oilfields. Also if the Italians hadn't made such a hash of it in North Africa and the Germans never went to their aid to keep up the myth of axies invinciblity then the Germans would have went a month earlier into Russia. More than enough time to capture their objective before the winter set in.
Also Hitler meddled in the plans too much so they went in with much less strength than originally planned.
If, this, if that... speculations... If Germany never attacked USSR they would have captured UK and whole of Europe and Africa. And am really sure that conditions for Red Army in winter were much more harsh then for the Germans. Also how many winters were there? I mean the war went for 4 years on Eastern Front... And last but not least am pretty sure that it was Red Army who was pushing Germans back for all those 4 years and not winter. So imo i think its safe to say that it was the Red Army who defeated the Nazis with help of allied forces and American Lend Lease. Saying that Russian Winter defeated the Germans is an outdated cold war propaganda.
But i do agree about Napoleon.
It is ridiculous to claim Hitler had any chance whatsoever of INVADING, even less so capturing Britain. Not even the biggest fans of the Third Reich that i'v argued with, and i'v had my share of debates with devout Nazis, claimed Hitler could conquer Britain. It was simply impossible - he never had even slightly close navy power as the British - the seas were theirs from the start to the very ending of the war and in no way did the Third Reich possess the capacity to build a bigger navy than the Royal Navy. That's precisely why they chose the submarine instead. Second of all, the Luftwaffe was nowhere near as close to gaining air superiority over the Island as commonly believed. The British had plenty of Airfields completely untouched near the Channel, a capable and operating Royal Air force, a very innovative for its time and crucial in the defense of the Isle Radar System, as well as an airplane producing industry that was never truly crippled, even after Coventry. Since a sea invasion is the single most difficult military operation to achieve it requires not only a huge superiority in numbers, but also complete air and sea control - which the Germans were never going to get.
The allies outnumbered the Germans hugely, they controlled the seas and air completely, got the element of surprise, invested enormous amounts of goods and even had the support of the local population and guerrillas when invading Normandy AND STILL it was a hell of a fight with no certain outcome. The Germans were never even close to achieving the same level of preparation and superiority as this for a British invasion, so it is simply out of question. And that's all just about the Invasion itself - the conquest of the Isles that would ensue is an entirely different matter, which once again shows odds against the Germans. As Churchill said, the Brits would not surrender like the French, they would fight to the bitter end, meaning even an impossible landing of Germans on the Isles would not really mean anything - there was still too much ahead. So generally, one can easily dismiss ANY and ALL doubts that Germany had a chance in Invading and even more so - Capturing Britain, regardless if it invaded the Soviet Union or not.
Like 70% (at least) of all "energy" of the Reich was concentrated on the Eastern Front. If all that would be turn against UK you really think that Germans couldn't invade?
And No, i cant see how some one could easily dismiss/agree with a subjective speculative scenario, both of them... If Germans never intended to invade Russia maybe they would concentrate more on their Navy, Airborne or what ever one need for invasion of UK.
Actually, more than 70% was concentrated on the Eastern front, but this has absolutely no meaning whatsoever in this debate, since most of these divisions were ground - infantry or panzer, thus have no effect on the possibility of an Invasion. They could'v just as well all sat on the French shores of the Channel and make no difference. The Luftwaffe was defeated by the British in 1940 - before Barbarossa. Therefore the argument of the concentration of forces to the East is simply irrelevant.
As i said, what you need to have to even begin thinking of a sea invasion is absolute control of both seas and air. The Germans had no capability to achieve either - the Kriegsmarine was so inferior to the Royal Navy the Germans soon restricted its actions to the Baltic only and instead sent submarines to the Atlantic. It could'v never reached the power of the Royal Navy, regardless of how many resources were delegated to it, since the British would simply not allow this. They would proportionally delegate resources to new ships as well, keeping the superiority (British ports were untouched and operating, getting resources from their vast colonial Empire and the US). This is not speculation but very simple logic that a powerful state with a capable military will always conclude. And even if we can imagine a wonder-world where the Germans are given a big navy by the gods of Asgard themselves - even then the invasion is still impossible due to the British control of the skies, which they won already in 1940, before the soviet invasion, when the Luftwaffe attacked them in full force.
Some speculative scenarios simply have a too obvious answer to be seriously debated. It's like asking if the crusader army of Richard the Lionheart could invade and conquer China. Theoretically - yes, in reality - the answer is clear.
I cant see what would stop Germans to concentrate their resources on ships and planes instead of ground forces if their never intended to invade SU?
And i cant see why argument is invalid only because Luftwaffe lost in 1940... Lets say the year is 1941 (or 42 or 43). UK is the last real opponent to Germany in Europe. Germans have almost all Western European resources to their disposal. Instead of building tanks their building planes, training marines instead of mechanized infantry etc...
And UK is right across the channel, while Lionheart and China got 8000km between them in the middle ages.
So, if it wasn't China then which nation was the most powerful? Let's look beyond military; let's look at science, culture, literature, technology and law and order.
But the thread is about military and Huns were powerful than Chinese in this case.
Even if we only look at military, ancient China would still be one of the strongest ancient civilizations. Some Westerners just refuse to accept the fact that ancient China was a powerful civilization.
i agree that China was powerful,however it was never "the most powerful",if i list top 20 armies in world history,i would defenately put China in...
I never said that China was the most powerful, I said that ancient Chinese armies deserve to be on the list of powerful ancient armies.
Famous Han Dynasty generals such as Wei Qing, Huo Qubing, Chen Tang, and Dou Xian all defeated the Xiongnu.
Several Tang and Song generals also defeated Tibetans, Khitans, and Jurchens.
after Xiongnu went down,Wei Qing & Huo Qubing killed 80000 Xiongnus,at the same time 30million Chinese were killed by Xiongnus,later Han Dynasty still had to pay Xiongnu tributes and women,do you call that "a voctory"?
Lol, 30 million, where did you get that number? Out of your pure imagination I suppose?
Han did suffer from the battles with Xiongnu, but not as severe as you described. At least, Xiongnu was significantly weakened by their wars with the Han Dynasty. Both the Han and the Xiongnu suffered losses during their wars.
according to Chinese historical book "Zizhi Tongjian",the population of Han Dynasty was 60million before Han-Xiongnu war,during the war over half of Chinese population were slaughtered by the Xiongnu army. By Wudi's end, the entire empire went to waste, and households were halved". So much so that the grandiose-seeking Wudi promulgated the unprecedented Fault-Me Decree, apologizing to the entire Chinese people for his actions. Han Dynasty was directly destroyed by Xiongnu
Well, Zizhi Tongjian was written in Song dynasty, almost 1000 years after Han Dynasty, so we aren't sure whether the numbers in this book were accurate or not. Moreover, the writer Sima Guang probably had his own political agenda. He probably exaggerated the numbers in his historical record just to warn his Song emperor that it's bad to start wars because the people would suffer.
And also, the Chinese text that you posted didn't say 30 million, and it didn't say all these people were slaughtered by Xiongnu. Stop reading what's not written in there.
Nice list and agree.
Han armies under Emperor Han Wudi kicked Xiongnu's ass.
Tang armies under Emperor Tang Taizong was also very powerful.
The Song army was probably the first army in the world to use gunpowder weapons. The ancient Chinese were the first people to discover gunpowder.
I would definitely put the ancient Chinese army on my list of top 10 armies in world history.
Xiongnu was already destroyed by natural disaster,politics and Xianbei attack during Han Wudi's period
moreover,Han Wudi didn't defeat Xiongnu,after the battle of Han and Xiongnu,Han dynasty continuing pay tributes and women to Xiongnu. 200 years later Xiongnu terminated Chinese Western Jin Dynasty...
Well, whatever, I still think that ancient Chinese armies deserve to be in the list of most powerful armies in history, perhaps not in the list top 10, but definitely top 15 or top 20.
Ancient China dominated East Asia for centuries, and it was a technologically advanced civilization from the antiquity up until the 16th or the 17th centuries. Ancient Chinese armies were by far the largest ancient armies.
The problem is that Chinese armies never engaged European and Middle Eastern armies in a systematic fashion.
Historically, the only wars that pitted Chinese forces against European and other Western Armed forces were the Opium Wars, WW2 (Japan was a third world country from a European perspective and was easily defeated by the US, and still Japan was easily able to overpower and conquer most of China in WW2) and the Korean War (first time a Chinese army held their ground against an Western Army).
China never dominated Asia. Historically, China dominated a territory of 4-5 million square kilometers in East Asia.
It's true that Chinese armies held a civilization together for centuries on end that contained 20-30% of the world's population, but this civilization was either not integrated into the Western World or when it was integrated they had a pathetic military performance.
There isn't any actual evidence supporting such claims. Literary sources claim massive Chinese armies, but literary sources also claim massive Persian armies, in fact, dozens of times larger.
The largest invasion force ever, according to literary sources taken literally, was the Persian Army of Darius in 480 BC, with 5,200,000 men. The second largest was the German expeditionary force involved in the invasion of the Soviet Union, in 1941, with 3,200,000 men.
actually they did, the Chinese Tang army was beaten by the Arabs in 751 AD.
yet after the battle the abbasids continued to pay tribute to the chinese tang dynasty, which by your logic means the chinese was obviously stronger than the abbasids
Why would Abbassids pay tribute to Tang after defeating them !!! Abbassids gained lands as well as technology, through Chinese experts in printing paper....after that, both powers never came to conflict and actually established diplomatic relations....
I believe he said "in a systematic fashion", and not a single skirmish which is precisely what Talas in 751 was. The Turgesh, a vassal turkic state of the Tang, however, did engage in systematic warfare with the Arabs, and often bested them on the battle field.
i don't know who discovered gunpower,but i know that Song Dynasty got it's ass kicked by Kitans,Jurchens and Mongols for over 300 years...
What's your point? Romans also got their ass kicked by Huns and various Germanic tribes, and Mongols also conquered Central Asia, Middle-East, and Eastern Europe.
The Song Dynasty resisted the Khitans and Jurchens for hundreds of years, and they resisted the Mongols for more than 40 years before they were finally conquered. No one could resist the mighty Mongols for 40 years at that time, except the Chinese. The war between Song and Mongols started around 1235, and it ended in 1279. In comparison, Jurchens only resisted the Mongols for about 20 years, from 1211 to 1234, and other Central Asian, Middle-Eastern, and Eastern European kingdoms and empires only resisted the Mongols for a few months to a few years.
Song Dynasty resisted Kitans and Jurchens by paying tributes,not by army.
Mongols took 40 year to conquer Chinese because the landform of Song was full of rivers and mountains.Mongols defeated Jurchen army before they defeated Chinese army.does that mean Song army was even stronger than Jurchen army by your logic?Mongols didn't conquer Japan at all,does that mean Japan was N x 100times stronger than Song Dynasty by your logic?
Since Song Dynasty was a rich dynasty, so paying tribute was a good way to deter their enemies. I can't see anything bad about this.
Rivers and mountains also existed in other kingdoms or empires that the Mongols conquered, not just in Song territory.
Jurchens were probably very strong in the early years of 12th century. However, they became weaker afterwards. In 13th century, to compensate for their losses to the Mongols at the northern frontier, the Jurchen emperor ordered his armies to attack the Southern Song Dynasty, yet most of their campaigns against the Song at this period resulted in failures.
The Mongol conquest of Japan was a different story. First of all, Mongols might be excellent horsemen, but they sucked on ships. Secondly, the Korean and Chinese soldiers whom they forcibly recruited didn't really want to obey them and fight the Japanese. Thirdly, they chose the bad season, as they always encountered typhoons and sea storms on their way to Japan. Most of their armies were destroyed by those sea storms, not by the Japanese. Japan was rather lucky because it was an island nation, isolated from its continental neighbors. I would argue that Japan survived the Mongol conquests because of its geographical location. If Japan was a continental nation, then I'm sure the Mongols would be able to crush them.
You missed out the Spartans. They were ( at their height like any army ) feared.
The German army of the 20th century. They were a formidable force.
PS. Not to put the Roman army as No.1 shows a lack of historical knowledge.
IMHO. Sorry, just look at the dates they were on top and they were the elite army of the ancient world bar NONE! The proof is is the pudding. They beat the Macedonia phalanx on numerous occasions and that was just the Republican Roman army.
So what are you asking? top 10 in historical order or 10 to 1 in order of prestige?
the 10 armies were listed by period,there is no "No.1" on the list.
The Huns over the Mongols .....What?!
No he's put the list in historical order.
The chinese were always getting overrun by step armies who took over then became 'civilised' Chinese themselves. That was the historical pattern of Chinese history.
They were weak in that respect, weak and very vurnable against their Step neighbours.
That's why they built a massive wall.
Ancient Chinese army was not the only army which got overrun by nomadic tribes. Many Central Asian, Middle-Eastern, Eastern European, and even Roman armies got overrun by steppe armies.
Ancient Chinese fought the nomadic armies for thousands of years, and sometimes they even gained the upper hand.
Ancient Chinese were also good at military innovations. They invented repeating crossbows, multi-fired crossbows, triple-bow arcuballistas, primitive landmines, ceramic grenades, rocket arrows, fire lances, etc.
Yes that's true, look at the Huns in Europe!
But China was much more exposed to these peoples' and for a much longer period of time. As I have written that is the reason we have the Great Wall. It was one of the GREAT human civilisations. There is no doubt about that.
If you are implying that us westeners think the Chinese civiliation was somehow 'inferior' then I think you are mistaking.
I loved your list but you should had add "German Army of 20th Century". They fought with nearly all world and they two times tired to conquer world(ok first war was not aiming for world domination but victory would made Germany superpower).
I couldn't agree more.
lionmaster, you are being pointless in this discussion about Chinese armies.
1. You can't take the entire history of the country and say "here you can see defeats". I can do it with every other empire.
2. Chinese diplomacy worked in a different way than western one, mutual gifts were common to strengthen relations. In any case, other powers such as Rome had to pay tribute to enemies too.
Whatever the case, the Xioungnu were totally dominated after Wudi and again with Ban-Chao. These wasn't the only success of Han Dynasty armies, which conquered Korea and extensive areas in Central Asia.
If you have doubts about Chinese performance, Tang armies of 7th century were simply the most powerful on Earth, one of the most successful armies in human history.
could u give me a good reason to prove that Han or Tang army was the most powerful in the world wide?Han Wudi couldn't even defeat decadent Xiongnu. Tang army was easily defeated by Arabs and Tibetans at it's peak... if u really know Chinese history u wouldn't say Chinese armies have ever been "the most powerful on earth"
Han dynasty totally crashed Xioungnu, that's fact. After, Wudi and his sucessors campaigns the nomads entered in a stage of division, becoming vassals of China.
Tang army experienced a decadence of quality after 700, due to a bad transition to mercenary armies. But during 7th century, it was a superb armed force. They destroyed Turkish empires in Central Asia, conquered many other central Asian peoples, destroyed Koguryo, defeated Japan and subjugated Tibet for a while after conquering Lhasa.
We are talking about an scenario that cover more than 8,000 kms in legth. Tang armed forces of the age had a capable navy, a superb heavy cavalry, infantry with unparalled ranged weapons and very good generals.
On the contrast, the transition to a mercenary army was precisely because the older fubing units declined in quality since the 660s. The new army improved in efficiency and saw a second wave of Tang expansion in the early 8th century. I believe the reason he believed that Tang army suffered constant losses against Tibet, was due to the capture of Changan in 763, but that is during the middle of the An Lushan rebellion and far from the height of Tang power, for by 755, the Tang army has scored numerous victories against Tibet and pushed the frontier from Xining several hundred KM west to Kokonor.
The Tang never conquered Lhasa in its history, the only time it attempted that was in 670 with its Luoxie dao expeditionary force and it was crushed in Da Feichuang. It did however, conquer the entire Gokturk Empire, subjugated the Tuyuhun of Amdo, so in the 660s, the Tang rulers became the first in history to rule both the entirety of the Inner Asian steppe and China and it reached a size that was only surpassed by the Mongol Empire of the 13th century.
Also i think German (1941) army and Red Army should be on the list.
Germans for obvious reason
and Red Army not because they were so great warriors, because they weren't, i mean germans had like 1:4 ratio against the Soviets, but because despite having all the disadvantages like: Your own country is treating you like cattle, generals doesn't care about losses, they facing a much superior and better trained army (Germans), not enough supplies and resources, not to mention the Stalins purges that weakened Red Army even more they still prevailed, and ended up in Berlin. I view Red Army as a huge underdog that became a champion. They got champions heart for sure...
"Masters" of the art in their respective times/places:
Assyrians (imperial period, c700s BC)
Macedonians (Philip II and Alexander III)
Qin (the armies of the Warring States era (to 221BC), not too surprisingly, were very formidable and sophisticated)
Romans (from the time of Hannibal on)
Mongols (under Genghis Khan and immediate successors)
Spanish (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries)
Prussians (Frederick William I and Frederick II)
Grande Armee (1805-1809 especially)
Germans (1870 - 1945)
United States (especially after post-Vietnam adjustments)
There's a pretty big gap between the Romans and the Mongols there. I believe the Chinese were at their best during the Dark Ages in Europe and also the Muslims of the Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates were quite developed both as a civilization and a military force. The Ottomans would have to take the 16th century in my opinion, sharing the second half of it with the Spanish Tercios, which continued on to only the first half of the 17th century. They didn't really play the dominant role after Rocroi in the middle of the century and rather the Swedish of Gustav Adolfus were then the best. The Germans would in my opinion have to share the 1930s and 1940s with the Imperial Japanese army, just as the US would have to share the 1950s and 1960s with the USSR.
1. Saladin's Dynasty was Ayyubid.
2. You cannot call strictly feudal states "armies".
3. Saladin's Army was definitely not the best of it's time , it was very similiar or exactly the same as the ones around it, a core elite of Mamluks, with Iqta Holders supplying heavy cavalry, Turkoman nomads and nomad Arabs with City Militias providing infantry , the force that directly belonged to Saladin was his Mamluks.
So would you then consider the Mamluks themselves as pretenders for the best armies of their time? After all, they defeated both Crusaders and Mongols - two other pretenders for the best fighters of their time.
The German army of both the First and Second World War was far superior to the Allies. The reason why they lost the wars was because they had the whole world against them but when it came down to actual battles they would consistently defeat the Allies even though they were outnumbered.
We beat them by strength in numbers and by isolating and blockading them, not by having better soldiers or equipment.
I think the mongols should be first. they may have had good generals, and often superior numbers, but they were still pretty great.
The Cossacks? I don't know about that. I think the Assyrians or Persians would be better.
It is nonsensical to compare militaries which developed centuries apart.
hmm this list is pretty biased toward which country had the most military influence in europe
why Roman is there
It should be replaced by Han
Han only being kicked by Hun when it just finished civil war
but later break Hun into two parts and controlled southern Hun for 300 years
northern Hun flee to Europe and kicked Roman damn hard
The Hun didn't "kick Roman damn hard" for any military reason - the Roman legions were more than capable of handling the Huns just as they handled barbarians for centuries. The reason the Romans had problems with Atilla was because the Empire was in decline at that time and had major problems of all nature. It's like saying the Ottomans had never good armies because they were loosing wars in the 18th and 19th centuries.
When Rome was operating properly in the late Republic and early Empire its legions were almost unstoppable and the reason they are better than the Han is because they faced much more diverse enemies than the Han ever did - and overcame them all. From the chariots of the celts to the phalanxes of Greece and from the diverse armies of Carthage to the Cataphracts of Parthia and the horse-archers of the Scythians - the Romans gathered much more experience in warfare than the Han ever had. Plus that, one only needs to compare the basic organization of the two armies - from equipment and training to logistics and field engineering to see the Romans were superior .
so did the qin dynasty,which had better weapons； evident through the qin bronze sword being both longer and harder than that roman gladius used about 300 years later.（on avg, 296hv and 80-90cm vs 180hv 60-65cm) and had an larger army.
of course there is no real way to compare them since they fought very different enemy but my point is this list is very biased toward which country had the most power in europe.
Im surprised Assyrian armies are not on lists.
- the Macedonian army of Alexander
- the Spartan armies (4th century BC)
- the Roman army (the 1st Punic War to the 3rd Century)
- the Qin army
- the Mongol armies (when they were a conquering and a rampaging)
- the French army under Napoleon (never thought would put the French army in there )
- the German army in the Third Reich (an unfortunate admission)
-the modern day American army (in terms of equipment and intelligence has there ever been a better rant)
Wehrmacht for me is the greatest army of all time.
i think The real China has been destroyed after the Jin dynasty。
Orther dynasty was not china。
China`s race like mud，mixed together。
After several confounding，So I think The real Chinese has been destroyed。
Top ten I am not shure but I can give you among the finest armies ever existed:
- The Macedonian Army under Alexander
(managed to conquer the known world)
- The Roman Army under the Republic and first half of the Empire
(managed to take every country around the Mediterranean and hold it for centuries)
- The Carthaginian army under Hannibal
(managed to defeat the superior Roman Army several times and stood at the gates of Rome)
- The Mongolian Army under Genghis Khan
(managed to conquer the largest empire that ever existed)
- The French Army under Napoleon
(managed to take on coalition after coalition and win in the end almost always facing superior numbers)
- The Prussian Army under Frederick
(managed to double the size of Prussia and inflicted enormous casualties on the enemy)
- The German Army in both World Wars
(managed to fight of several armies and took the most of Europe for half a decade)
- The French Army during the reign of Louis XIV
(managed to fence of the half of civilized Europe and took the advantage even though standing alone)
- The British Army at times of the American Revolution
(managed to win the majority of battles in the American Revolutionary wars eventhough 1000's of miles from home)
- The Japanese Army during World War II
(took the whole pacific and out shined the European colonial empires)
Panthera tigris altaica（美国）
Not wishing to belittle what they achieved. It was after all still quite extraordinary. However, i feel that if the treaties in the Pacific of the time had allowed the allied powers to militarily strengthen their positions to a much greater extent, then the Japanese would have had a much harder slog in than what had proved otherwise, perhaps even failing in capturing some of their objectives.