Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the United States Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, a Major General ranks immediately below a Lieutenant General and above a Brigadier General. An American Major General is also called a two-star general because of his insignia. A Major General is equivalent to a Rear Admiral (upper half) in the US Navy.
In the British Army the Major General ranks below Lieutenant General and above Brigadier, and is thus the lowest of the general officer ranks. For insignia in the British Army see General. The Major General is equivalent to Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy. Its equivalent rank in the Royal Air Force and airforces of many Commonwealth countries is Air Vice Marshal
The modern day military of Germany also uses the rank of Major General, referred to as Generalmajor. The rank is a successor to the Second World War title when it was the first of the German General ranks. In the modern age a German Major General ranks above a Brigadegeneral.
In fiction, the best-known Major General is Major General Stanley, the "modern major general" from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. Stanley satirizes the aristocratic, learned officers in the British army of the day. He sings the immortal "Major General's Song."
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