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Imperial Harchong Army

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Imperial Harchong Army
Post by runsforcelery   » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:33 pm

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Someone asked about Harchongese rank titles, so here's a section from the series tech bible which was written before LAMA. I mention this because Church rifle production numbers have been substantially increased by several factors since October 896. There's a section in ATST in which Green Valley is rfelecting on Temple production numbers and comparing them to what the Union managed during the American Civili War with a total population of only around 15,000,000.

The projections are . . . illuminating. :o
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Imperial Harchongese Army

Ranks and nomenclature:
Lord of Armies — Army minister
Lord of Hosts — field marshal
Lord of Horse — general (a floating rank)
Lord of Foot — brigadier
Captain of Horse — colonel
Captain of Foot — major
Captain of Swords — captain
Captain of Spears — senior lieutenant (no precise equivalent in other armies)
Captain of Bows — lieutenant
Captain of Staves — cadet/midshipman

Noncommissioned ranks (which are less important and therefore less flowery) are the same as those used by other armies: corporal, sergeant, etc.

The Imperial Hanchongese Army traditionally has relied upon mass and the toughness and endurance of its serf and peasant soldiers. Cavalry has much greater prestige, and traditionally missile weapons have been regarded as suitable for serf soldiers but not for noblemen. There’s been some change in that attitude since the introduction of gunpowder and the emergence of a professional standing army, but old habits die hard, especially given the enormous expansion of the standing army demanded by the requirements of the jihad.

The quality of the standing army is actually quite good, although it can be badly hampered by the influences of nepotism and aristocratic privilege within its officer corps. Long-term noncommissioned officers and enlisted are professionals who spend too little time in training in many ways but who compensate for that with length of service and experience on deployment. They are as much (or more) wedded to old model tactical doctrines as anyone else — in part because whatever the faults and flaws of the Imperial Harchongese Navy, the Imperial Harchongese Army has had a tradition of success in battle. Of course, it never came up against the Republic of Siddarmark, where it would undoubtedly have experienced much greater difficulty. The levees conscripted for the jihad are not going to approach that level of competence; the professional regiments are extremely proficient within the limitations of their tactical doctrine and their archers/arbalesteers are well-trained and accurate, able to produce a very significant volume of fire at ranges which would allow them to more than hold their own with slow-firing smoothbores.

Outside the professional regiments, Harchongese archers tend to have very limited proficiency. This is a direct result of the Harchongese aristocracy’s determination to keep effective missile weapons out of the hands of serfs. For the most part, the Harchongese peasantry is allied with the aristocracy against the serfs, because liberating the serfs would threaten the peasantry’s landownership (the serfs would need land of their own), because the serfs provide a lower-class to which even the poorest peasant can feel superior, and because the peasantry is usually attacked along with the aristocracy in the event of a servile insurrection and peasants usually lack the organized military force to defend themselves. Peasant landowners are permitted to possess arbalests and bows and are subject to emergency call up by the militia in the event of servile insurrection. As a result, many of the peasants are proficient archers. Serfs, who are punishable by death if they are found to possess any missile weapon other than a shepherd’s sling, have no opportunity to develop archery skills during peacetime. This is one reason why the IHA continues to deploy slingers in its missile troops; serfs (and especially serfs who work as shepherds for their masters) are likely to be skilled with that weapon.

The conscript troops raised for the jihad are, for the most part, not very skilled in missile or melee combat and have highly inexperienced officers. The men are tough, by and large, and controlled by brutal discipline and impelled by faith in Mother Church, they possess (or will initially possess, at any rate) a great deal of determination, but their forte is going to be hard, stubborn defensive fighting rather than offensive operations. The standing army, on the other hand, is actually well-suited to old model offensive operations and, in addition, will find its own morale and determination enhanced by its sense of superiority over the vast sprawl of the conscript army.

The peacetime strength of the Imperial Harchongese Army (standing regular army, not counting cadre of feudal cavalry regiments) was 471,310, organized as follows:

Household Cavalry (heavy); 45 Regiments; 89,955 men
Household Cavalry (light); 40 Regiments; 79,600 men
Line Cavalry (heavy); 10 Regiments; 19,990 men
Line Cavalry (light); 70 Regiments; 139.930 men
Heavy Infantry; 75 Regiments; 111,975 men
Light Infantry; 20 Regiments; 29,860 men

In addition to the combat formations above, the Emperor’s Spears (military police) contributed an additional 20 cavalry regiments (29,860) and 25 infantry regiments (37,325), for another 67,185 men, bringing the total peacetime armed forces of the Harchong Empire (excluding feudal cavalry regiments and purely local militia units) to 538,495 men.

For security purposes, given the perpetual Harchongese fear of servile rebellion, 20 percent of the standing army and 50 percent of the Emperor’s Spears have to be left home both for security purposes and as training cadre, so the maximum deployable force of “regulars” would be approximately 375,000 combat troops and 34,000 military police, or 409,000 men. This means that of the estimated 1.5 million men being sent to the Republic (actually closer to 1.75 million, in the end), approximately 1,341,800 (or better than 75%) are conscripts or feudal cavalry. The actual breakdown is (approximately) :


Feudal cavalry; 135 Regiments; 269,865 men
Conscript cavalry; 53 Regiments; 105,947 men
Conscript infantry;** 647 Regiments; 965,971 men
Total: 835 Regiments; 1,341,783 men
*Number of regiments for feudal cavalry is approximate because of fluctuation in unit organizations.
**75 percent of the conscript infantry regiments (485 regiments = 724,105 men) are heavy infantry. The remaining 162 conscript regiments (241,866 men) are light infantry, of which 45 regiments (67,185) are actually slingers.

Of this total force, 40 regiments of regular heavy infantry are equipped with bayoneted rifles (total of just under 60,000) and 10 regiments are equipped with matchlocks (15,000). Thirty of the heavy Household Cavalry regiments are equipped with pistols (59,916) which have long enough barrels to effectively be treated as carbines. None of the conscripted infantry regiments had firearms initially, but all of the military police are equipped with them, the infantry (12 regiments) with rifles and the cavalry (10 regiments) with pistols, adding an additional 17,916 riflemen and 19,990 pistol-armed cavalry. That gives the field force an initial total of 15,000 matchlocks (all line infantry); 77,636 ML Rifles (59,720 line units); and 78, 926 pistols (78.916 in miltary police hands)


What all of this means is that of the 1,750,000 Harchongese troops in the Mighty Host of God and the Archangels, only 4.4% have rifles and only only 4.5% have pistols, and roughly 30% of each are in the hands of the military police rather than the combat formations, as of October 895. This means, of course, that they are totally and completely unfit for combat against the Imperial Charisian Army or the re-armed Siddarmarkian regiments.

In light of the poor equipment levels of the IHA, extraordinary measures are imposed by Maigwair and Ducharn. Until their meeting in September 896, all new production in the Temple Lands and Border States was intended for the AOG, although transport difficulties had caused quite a bit of the new weapons to pile up in the rear. After their September meeting, however, everything not already forward of the Border States is subject to reallocation. In addition, the decision is made to recall all pikemen from the Army of the Sylmahn and the Army of Glacierheart. They have proven ineffective in combat, making them useless mouths at the end of a long, difficult supply chain. Those pikemen are drawn on for the AOG cadre being spplied to the IHA under the agreement Maigwair and Duchairn (with Clyntahn’s support) have rammed through. With the pikes withdrawn, the supply situation is improved and there’s less reason to get new rifles to the front and many of the rifles which were supposed to be sent to the AOG by the various other realms are diverted to the IHA, instead. Of the roughly 295,000 rifles produced between October 895 and October 896, 225,200 went directly to the IHA, a 317% increase in the originally projected number of weapons going to the IHA.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by Alistair   » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:43 pm

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I LOVE info dumps!

Thank you DW
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by ksandgren   » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:05 pm

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Alistair wrote:I LOVE info dumps!

Thank you DW


+1

Thank You, RFC!
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by lyonheart   » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:22 am

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Wow!

That was great!

How did I miss this earlier?

Thank you so very much RFC!

L
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by Aethor   » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:00 pm

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This is a very, very good and professional way to write military (science) fiction. Establish a plausible world, with history and all, list exactly what each side has at its disposal and how fast can they build/train more, and then the story goes within the limits of that.

This is what makes is plausible, which makes the immersion work, makes me really believing in that world while reading it.

After many years of reading RFCs books, sometimes when I read something from some other authors (not all... there are other good writers, though not on this level) I see such a lack of plausibility, a lack of a coherent world, that I wonder if it was written for 5-year olds, or maybe by one.

I have just read a non-RFC book where the good side destroyed a whole mass of the enemy (sort of starfighters on a carrier), just for even more enemy to appear; and then I understood that the writer never actually said how many fighters the enemy had, so he could toss waves and waves into the story, so any action of the heroes of the story suddenly lost any meaning... they could destroy half a wave, 3 waves, whatever, and on the next page 4 times as many could just pop in. It continues until the author said whatever he wanted to say and until there's a scene he wanted to show. I could as well skim to the end, since anything in between can turn upside down at any time without reason or explanation.
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by DMcCunney   » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:17 pm

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Aethor wrote:This is a very, very good and professional way to write military (science) fiction. Establish a plausible world, with history and all, list exactly what each side has at its disposal and how fast can they build/train more, and then the story goes within the limits of that.

This is what makes is plausible, which makes the immersion work, makes me really believing in that world while reading it.

Authors writing a series set in a universe they created often create series bibles with those details. The details may not appear in the books, but the author needs to know them, simply to provide the sort of coherence you mention. It avoids the sort of "Wait a minute! You can't get there from here!" moments that less well crafted books can produce. That sort of thing can toss the reader out of the story.

I wouldn't expect to see it till the Safehold series is completed, but I'd pay good money for a copy if David chose to release the series bible he created for Safehold (and for the Honorverse, too.)

Of course, bibles are subject to revision. In the Honorverse, for example, the original series plan had Honor dying at the end of At All Costs. Her career paralleled the careers of the fictional Horatio Hornblower and the real Admiral Lord Nelson, and Nelson died at Trafalgar. That didn't happen, and the Honorverse changed direction, with Manpower (and the Mesan Alignment that was behind it) becoming the true bad guys, and other characters in the Honorverse like Countess Gold Peak becoming leads in their own books in the series. I believe David has commented elsewhere about stuff in his bibles he had to revise because of errors in his original assumptions that would affect the books.
_______
Dennis
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:02 pm

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The great resizing comes to mind.
The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by Randomiser   » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:12 pm

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As someone who tossed off a quick question about Harchongese ranks, I have to say that I never expected anything like this in reply. I am astonished and grateful. Thank you RFC.
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by ChronicRder   » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:56 am

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Impressive numbers and very helpful breakdown. I'm saving this in a spreadsheet for later reference. RFC, do you have any other spreadsheets you could share with us to help with following some of the finer points? Even if only to check our notes against, these lists and numbers would be extremely helpful.

My question is, in a society where women aren't contributing members of society, why do you say the military is made of x percentage of the population when roughly 60% of the population in ineligible for military service? Why wouldn't you say it has x percentage of the eligible population instead total population to get a more realistic impact of a State having a larger military?
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Re: Imperial Harchong Army
Post by Louis R   » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:31 pm

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Whooo boy! You clearly need to spend some time with something other than political and military history.

I defy you to name any time or place where women weren't "contributing members" of society. You're going to have to look long and hard just to find places where women weren't responsible for a major proportion of cash-equivalent household income. Never mind all the _other_ stuff they've been saddled with.

It's actually the fact that 60% of the population is traditionally regarded as 'unfit for military service' that has allowed the sport to keep going for as long as it has.

ChronicRder wrote:Impressive numbers and very helpful breakdown. I'm saving this in a spreadsheet for later reference. RFC, do you have any other spreadsheets you could share with us to help with following some of the finer points? Even if only to check our notes against, these lists and numbers would be extremely helpful.

My question is, in a society where women aren't contributing members of society, why do you say the military is made of x percentage of the population when roughly 60% of the population in ineligible for military service? Why wouldn't you say it has x percentage of the eligible population instead total population to get a more realistic impact of a State having a larger military?
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