Naturally, My Top Top 5 Are All British, But Who Are The Runners Up?

The Best of The Rest On Parade!

As a military history buff I do appreciate the soldierly elite of other nations. After all, if other nations didn't have elites where would be the sport for our lads! ;)

I jest, but I actually do like to see the great regiments of other nations and here's a short list of my favourites... 

[Note: This list is not based on any opinion regarding the fighting capabilities of these regiments, rather - like we have a high regard for our Guards regiments this list is based on my positive impressions from their ceremonial appearances. However, being a bit of a traditionalist I believe that is a regiment looks the part in ceremonies and is skilled in drill then there is a good chance it's a pretty professional formation... It just so happens that our Guards also have a excellent combat history too!]

5. Fiji Infantry Regiment

Too obscure? Well, they shouldn't be. You may not have heard of the Fijians as soldiers but their fighting prowess is pretty impressive. Behind the Nepalese Gurkhas, Fijians have consistently been the largest cohort of foreign nationals serving in the British army. They number about 1,300 and regularly win medals for bravery and serve in elite units such as the SAS.

As part of their own national defence they protect the Republic of Fiji, an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. They have also served as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces and The Royal Australian Infantry Corps and Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment conduct yearly training seminars and exercises with the Fiji Infantry Regiment.

The Fijian Regiment - Wikipedia (Opens in new tab).

4. Spanish Regulares

One of the regiments of Spain the renown of which spans back to the Spanish Civil War, though the Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas - in particular - is a formation that has it's basis in Spain's colonial possessions in North Africa. 

It's probably obvious from the wonderful regimental dress that the influence is or was garnered from the Berber tribes of Morocco. Originally, these troops were famed for their abilities as light cavalry, but these days they are a foot regiment.

I love the flamboyant swagger of Spanish troops, although the Regulares are somewhat more restrained than their counterparts in the Legión Española, who turn the 'macho' up to eleven! 😏

Spanish Regulares on Wilipedia (opens in new tab).

3. German Guard of Honour Wachbataillon

Unfortunately, due to certain 'unpleasantness', the German Army tends to get a bit of a cold shoulder when it comes to recognition for it's impressive military tradition. And even I feel a tad bit uneasy whenever I hear or see the modern Wachtbatallion on parade, marching along to the tune of Preußens Gloria!

But one has to remember that Prussian military tradition goes way back before any 20th century events. Plus, it should be emphasised the importance of the modern Bundeswehr as a major component of NATO and their position as our stanch ally in order to put away any old feelings. (As hard as that is for the British to do!)

...That said, they do like a good march! 😏

German Wachbataillon on Wikipedia (opens in new tab).

2. Légion étrangère -French Foreign Legion

My enamour for the Foreign Legion - like so many others of my age - is somewhat romantic and goes back to my boyhood love of the old 1939 black & white movie Beau Geste with Gary Cooper! 😉

If there is one military regiment that has influenced stories of adventure and daring do more than any other it has to be the Foreign Legion. But, this romanticised image of the regiment does not obscure the acknowledgement by the general public that these guys are hard!

While the French military - sadly - suffers from the butt of many jokes (again, thanks to the British) the French Foreign Legion is the exception to this and has always been admired as an elite military unit...

The French Foreign Legion on Wikipedia (opens in new tab).

1. The Indian Sikh Regiment

It's one of those historical clichés, but some might say that the mark of how good a foreign military is is often exemplified by whether that unit has been absorbed into the British Army! While we often associate this with the Gurkas we nowadays tend to forget that the fighting reputation of the Sikhs was neigh on par.

Whether it be in the trenches of WW1 or the battlefields of the Far East in World War 2, the British highly valued the Indian Sikh as premier fighting men. Today, a proudly independent India enjoys an abundance of legendary regiments - including their own Gurkha units - and the Sikh regiment must stand atop of all of these.

Just look at some of the fantastic waxed moustaches among the ranks in this video and tell me that you are not impressed!

The Indian Sikh Regiment on Wikipedia (opens in a new tab).

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post