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Totally OT


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You'll have to look at the word 'lieutenant'. Lieutenant general could be understood as "in lieu of the general", maybe?

Literally, it'd make more sense if Major General was higher than a 'mere' General, though, wouldn't it? It's army stuff, it doesn't have to make any sense.

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It may be pronounced that way, but it's spelt Lieutenant.

It descends from the French and essentially means deputy. Sergei has it more or less correctly, AIUI.

The way I look at it, rank works like roman numerals. If the lesser rank is in front of the greater, it lowers the total rank by the senority of the lesser rank. So a Major lessens a General more than a Lieutenant does. OR somefink.

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I have another theory - AFAIK, the rank of Lieutenant is denoted by two small stars, and the rank of major by one, but bigger, and Lieutenant Colonel - by two bigger. So, while Generals' stars are huge, a one-star general would resemble a Major, and a two-star general... well, you can't really call him "Lieutenant Colonel General", now, can you?

Just my 2 euro-cents.

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The way I look at it, rank works like roman numerals. If the lesser rank is in front of the greater, it lowers the total rank by the senority of the lesser rank. So a Major lessens a General more than a Lieutenant does.
... but isn't an Oberstgeneral senior to a mere General?
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Originally posted by Foreigner:

the rank of Lieutenant is denoted by two small stars, and the rank of major by one, but bigger, and Lieutenant Colonel - by two bigger.

Except when they aren't. the UK uses pips and crowns. 1 pip for 2nd Lt, 2 pips for Lt, 3 pips for a Capt, a crown for Maj, 1 pip and a crown for Lt Col, 2 pips and a crown for Col, 3 pips and a crown for Brig, crossed swords and a pip for MajGen, crossed swords and a crown for LtGen.

see here (down the bottom), or here (for the UK).

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Originally posted by JonS:

AIUI, the 'Maj' bit in Maj Gen came from an NCO rank, and was originally Sgt Maj Gen. Lt Gen was always a commisioned rank. Hence Lt Gen outranks Maj Gen.

Jon has it about right. There was a detailed discussion on this a few years back that nailed it all down, IIRC. There was also an item on the Strategy Page around the same time that did the same thing. This seems to be a perennial question that arises with every crop of newbies.

Michael

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Yes - it comes from Sergeant-Major General, which was outranked by a Lieutenant General because the Lewie outranks the Sgt Major..........although we al know who's REALLY in charge in that one - one of them cries when it's feeding time and blows bubbles, and the Sgt Major walks through tall buildings without having to open the doors! smile.gif

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