If you had to guess which country had the biggest army, who would you choose? Maybe China? The US? You’d be wrong on both counts. We won’t give it away, but it’s worth noting that a large population doesn’t necessarily mean a large army. Also worth noting, a large army doesn’t necessarily mean a powerful army. While North Korea has more active soldiers than almost any other nation in the world, even tiny Switzerland’s army packs more firepower. And finally, don’t confuse the “army” with “military”. The US military is unrivaled in strength not just because of its army, but also because of its air force and navy, both of which are bigger than the rest of the world’s air forces and navies combined. Today, however, we are going to be focusing purely on the size of various armies. So, without further ado, these are the 25 biggest armies in the world!
Myanmar/Burma - 513,250
With over half a million soldiers, Myanmar stands out because the vast majority are active duty. This shouldn’t be too surprising, however, considering that the country is pretty much run by the military.
Colombia - 516,050
With over half a million soldiers, Colombia is the second most militarized country in South America.
Israel - 649,500
Although it is only 18th in size, Israel’s army is the first army on our list that can actually pack a punch. Although many countries have much larger armies in terms of personnel, Israel comes in 14th in terms of military strength. So far no other country on our list makes the top 20 in that regard.
Thailand - 699,550
Here is a perfect illustration of the point we just made. Although Thailand has several thousand more soldiers than Israel, it comes in only 18th on the military strength index. This is 4 countries behind Israel at 14th. Size isn’t everything.
Turkey - 890,700
Although Turkey has more soldiers than France, Italy, and the UK, it only comes in 10th in terms of military strength. France, Italy, and the UK are ranked 6th, 8th, and 9th respectively. Of course, all of these countries are part of NATO which means they combine to form the European branch of the world’s most fearsome military machine. So yes, if you wanted to rank the most powerful militaries in Europe it would be: France, then Italy, then the UK, and then Turkey.