Comparative military ranks of World War I

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The following table shows comparative officer ranks of several Allied and Central powers during World War I. Not all combatant countries are shown in the table. For modern ranks refer to Comparative military ranks. See also: Comparative military ranks of World War II

KEY:

Navy
Army
Air Force
Approximate
modern NATO
equivalent
Flag of the United States Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of France Flag of the Kingdom of Italy Flag of the Russian Empire Flag of the Kingdom of Serbia Flag of the German Empire Flag of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Flag of the Ottoman Empire Flaf of Portugal
United States British Empire1 France Italy Russian Empire2 Serbia German Empire Austro-Hungarian Empire3 Ottoman Empire4 Portugal
OF-10 Admiral of the Navy10
General of the Armies10
Admiral of the Fleet
Field Marshal
Amiral de France5
Maréchal de France5
Ammiraglio
Generale d’Esercito
Генера́л-адмира́л (General Admiral)
Генера́л-фельдма́ршал (General Field Marshal)
Војвода (Field Marshal)12 Großadmiral
Generalfeldmarschall
Großadmiral / Vezértengernagy
Feldmarschall /Tábornagy
Müşir Amiral
Müşir
Almirante8
Marechal8
OF-9 Admiral
General
Admiral
General
Vice-Amiral
Général de Division
Vice Ammiraglio d’Armata
Tenente Generale in Comando di Armata
Адмира́л (Admiral)
Генерал от инфанте́рии / кавале́рии / артилле́рии (General of the Infantry / Cavalry / Artillery)
Генерал (General)11 none
Generaloberst
Admiral / Tengernagy
Generaloberst (since 1915)/ Vezérezredes
Birinci Ferik Amiral
Birinci Ferik
Vice-almirante
-
OF-8 Vice Admiral
Lieutenant-General
Vice Admiral
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Vice Ammiraglio di Squadra
Tenente Generale in Comando di Corpo d'Armata
Admiral
General der Infanterie, General der Kavallerie, General der Artillerie
Vizeadmiral / Altengernagy
General der Infanterie / Gyalogsági tábornok, General der Kavallerie / lovassági tábornok, Feldzeugmeister (artillery) / táborszernagy
Ferik Amiral
Ferik
Contra-almirante
General9
OF-7 Rear Admiral
Major-General
Rear Admiral
Major General
Major General
Contrammiraglio di Divisione
Maggior Generale
Ви́це-адмира́л (Vice Admiral)
Генера́л-лейтена́нт (Lieutenant General)
Vizeadmiral
Generalleutnant
Kontreadmiral / Ellentengernagy
Feldmarschalleutnant / Altábornagy
Liva Amiral
Mirliva
OF-6 Commodore
Brigadier-General
Commodore 1st Class Contre-Amiral
Général de Brigade
Contrammiraglio
Brigadier Generale
Ко́нтр-адмира́л (Counter Admiral)
Генера́л-майо́р (Major General)
Konteradmiral
Generalmajor

Generalmajor / Vezérőrnagy
Commodore 2nd Class
Brigadier General
Brigadier General
OF-5 Captain
Colonel
Captain
Colonel
Colonel
Capitaine de Vaisseau
Colonel
Capitano di Vascello
Colonello
Капита́н 1-го ра́нга (Captain 1st rank)
Полко́вник (Polkovnik)
Пуковник (Colonel) Kapitän zur See
Oberst
Linienschiffskapitän / Sorhajókapitány
Oberst / Ezredes
Kalyon Kaptanı
Miralay
Capitão de mar e guerra
Coronel
OF-4 Commander
Lieutenant-Colonel
Commander
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Capitaine de Frégate
Lieutenant-Colonel
Capitano di Frigata
Tenente Colonello
Капита́н 2-го ра́нга (Captain 2nd rank)
Подполко́вник (Podpolkovnik)
Потпуковник (Lieutenant-Colonel) Fregattenkapitän
Oberstleutnant
Fregattenkapitän / Fregattkapitány
Oberstleutnant / Alezredes
Fırkateyn Kaptanı
Kaymakam
Capitão de fragata
Tenente-coronel
OF-3 Lieutenant-Commander
Major
Lieutenant Commander
Major
Major
Capitaine de Corvette
Commandant
Capitano di Corvetta
Maggiore
Ста́рший лейтена́нт (Senior Lieutenant)
Капита́н/ро́тмистр (Captain/Rittmeister)6
Мајор (Major) Korvettenkapitän
Major
Korvettenkapitän / Korvettkapitány
Major / Őrnagy
Korvet Kaptanı
Binbaşı
Capitão-tenente
Major
OF-2 Lieutenant
Captain
Lieutenant
Captain
Captain
Lieutenant de Vaisseau
Capitaine
Tenente di Vascello
Capitano
Лейтена́нт (Lieutenant)
Шта́бс-капита́н/Шта́бс-ро́тмистр (Stabs-Captain/Stabs-Rittmeister)6
Капетан прве класе (Captain 1st Class) Kapitänleutnant
Hauptmann / Rittmeister 7
Linienschiffsleutnant / Sorhajóhadnagy
Hauptmann / Százados, Rittmeister / Kapitány7
Yüzbaşı
Yüzbaşı
Primeiro-tenente
Capitão
OF-1 Lieutenant Junior Grade
First Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Enseigne de Vaisseau de 1re classe
Lieutenant
Sottotenent di Vascello
Tenente
Ми́чман (Midshipman)
Пору́чик/пору́чик (Poruchik/Poruchik) 6
Капетан друге класе (Captain 2nd Class) Oberleutnant zur See
Oberleutnant
Fregattenleutnant / Fregatthadnagy
Oberleutnant / Főhadnagy
Mülazım
Mülazım-ı evvel
Segundo-tenente
Tenente
Ensign
Second Lieutenant
Chief Commissioned Warrant Officer
Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Enseigne de Vaisseau de 2e Classe
Sous-Lieutenant
Guardiamarina
Sottotenente
Подпору́чик/корне́т (Sub-Poruchik/Cornet)6 Поручник (Lieutenant) Leutnant zur See
Leutnant
Korvettenleutnant / Korvetthadnagy
Leutnant / Hadnagy
Mülazım
Mülazım-ı sani
Guarda-marinha
Alferes
Midshipman
Commissioned Warrant Officer/ Midshipman Aspirant
Aspirant
Aspirante Guardiamarina
Aspirante
Пра́порщик (Praporshchik) (army reserve)
Потпоручник (Sub-Lieutenant) Aspirante
Aspirante

Notes[edit]

  1. From 1 April 1918, the date of its official formation, until a little after the close of World War I, the Royal Air Force used the same ranks as the British Army. The highest RAF rank held during this period was lieutenant-general.
  2. For transliterations, refer to History of Russian military ranks.
  3. Austro-Hungarian ranks are shown in both German and Hungarian, as would have been contemporary practice.
  4. Military personnel in the Ottoman Empire were assigned different duties according to their capabilities in order to administer the Armed Forces and particularly to be successful in battle. They were given various ranks so that they could conduct relations with each other and be fully aware of their duties. The issue of what sort of duties should be allocated to which unit or to which military institution used to be determined by the ranking within the Armed Forces. In Islamic countries, certain 'degrees', instead of ranks, were given in accordance with the categorization of government duties. In the course of time, these 'degrees' had taken on certain characteristics. In the Ottoman Empire, besides the ranks that were awarded after passing through certain stages of promotion, there was also the rank of "Pasha" that was given directly by the Ottoman Sultan. This rank, which continued until the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, was also given to civilian administrators who were approved of and found suitable. After the establishment of the Republic, the Sultanate was abolished, and the title became synonymous with the General rank, restricted to the Armed Forces only. Paymaster of a regiment - Captain of the Right Wing (Alay Emini - Sağ Kolağası): The rank of the Captain of the Right Wing was very high. The rank of the Adjutant and Paymaster of a regiment was also high but such individuals were not from the military class and they dealt with clerical duties and equipment needed by the regiment. Captain of the Wing - The Captain of the Left Wing- (Kolağası - Sol Kolağası): Captain of the Wing or the Captain of the Left Wing was the senior Captain. If he was educated in the regiment, he was called "Ağa" but if he was the son of a pasha, he was called "Bey".
  5. Maréchal de France and Amiral de France were as much a dignity of state as a military title. Thus British Field Marshals consulted with French Generals in 1914. The elevation of Joffre to Maréchal in 1916 actually marked a diminution of his powers of command. There was no Amiral de France alive during World War I.
  6. Army/cavalry ranks. Cossack cavalry had distinct ranks below Podpolkovnik: войсково́й старшина́ (Voiskovoy Starshina), есау́л (Yesaul), подъесау́л (Sub-Yesaul), со́тник (Sotnik), хору́нжий (Khorunzhiy)
  7. Captains in the cavalry and mounted transport corps in Germanic-derived rank systems were called Rittmeister.
  8. Almirante and Marechal were only honorary ranks, not held by anyone during World War I.
  9. The Portuguese Army was unique in having only a single rank of General Officer. A Portuguese General could be assigned to command from a brigade to the entire Army.
  10. The US rank Admiral of the Navy was a unique rank created for Admiral George Dewey after the Spanish-American War; it has never been held by any other person and debate still goes on over whether it was a "five-star" or "six-star" rank. General of the Armies is similarly ambiguous; it was granted to General Pershing at the end of the war, and previously had been held (or a rank of the same name had been held) by Generals Grant and Sherman after the Civil War, but its equivalency to modern ranks is disputed.
  11. The Serbian Army was unique in having only a single rank of General Officer. A Serbian General could be assigned to command from Division to the entire Army.
  12. Voivode of Serbia (Field Marshal) was the highest rank in the army of the Kingdom of Serbia. Radomir Putnik held title from begging of the war since he was promoted in 1912.