Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by patrickblue, Oct 9, 2007.

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  1. Hi
    I recently joined this site to post an answer to a question about the Northover Projector.
    While I'm here, can anyone tell me something that has always baffled me.
    Why are the ranks of lieutenant and major reversed when applied to a general, i.e. why does a lieutenant general outrank a major general.
  2. I believe that Major General used to be Sgt Major General thus the junior, however I stand to be corrected.
  3. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I have seen that answer on a thread on this site before now and it's good enough for me.

  4. Correct.

    And as a matter of interest, Colonel is derived from the old Hindi word meaning 'Banana Vase'. Tis true, look it up.
  5. Thanks very much. When I put Sgt Major General into wikipedia it all became clear
  6. Try looking up WO III as well.
  7. I did look it up, but it doesn't say much about bananas
    I quote

    The term colonel derives from Latin columnella 'small column'. However, it was never actually a Roman rank. The system of ranks in the Roman military was quite different. As a rank the term arose in the late sixteenth century Italy where it referred to the officer in charge of a column (Italian colonna, plural colonne) or field force. The term is first attested as colonnello, but it is perhaps a truncation of something like capitano colonnello 'captain of the column, the captain designated to command the column'. In this context colonna seems to refer to a force marching in column, rather than to a battle formation — a battle or battlation of pike.

  8. Here, hold this for me;


    :D :D :D
  9. As others have said Major General was Sgt Major General then Lieutenant General and the highest rank used to be Captain General which became Field Marshall

  10. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Whereas the Germans had Colonel General between Lt Gen and Field Marshal.
  11. I think the Gunners still toast 'Our Captain General the Queen'.