A military dictatorship is different from a dictatorship because of how it occurs and who is in power. As researchers Acemoglu, Ticchi, and Vindigni state, in a military dictatorship, the military or a group of military officials hold power and control over a nation. This mean there is not a single leader as in a dictatorship; instead, several military officers or the military itself rules the country.
A military dictatorship often forms after some large event. For example, they can emerge after a coup against a current form of government. This means the military overthrows the government and puts itself in charge. For instance, this occurred in Burma. The military gained power in Burma in 1962 when its “post-colonial democracy was overthrown in a military coup”. The military dictatorship resists democracy, withholding power from the citizens. In Burma, the military moves through villages and forces citizens to build bases once it has controlled that area. Thus, the individuals comprising the military all work together to control the citizens and their land. Since they have overthrown the government, the military can take power with their weapons and use of force.
In sum, a military dictatorship begins when a country’s military seizes power from the government by means of a coup. The citizens of the country then have no single individual as a leader. Instead, the military controls the country.