Monday, March 11, 2013

19th Century Imaginations - Rumpwhistle (2 - military of the Confederacy)

So, the Confederated Cantons of Rumpwhistle, as the country is known in the later half of the 19th century, has its army organized in two broad parts.  Rumpwhistle also as a small navy, to patrol its coast along the shores of the inland sea, Lake Balkania, but that isn't addressed here.

Rumpwhistle Infantry
The first segment of the army is the National Army of Rumpwhistle.  These are troops that are organized to work together, and take their direction from Premier of the Landhouse, who is supposedly the head of the army, but in reality often just appoints generals from the capitol building at Ramshorn.  These troops are funded by Confederacy money, which is often of poor amounts and late in arriving, so because of that the National Army units are often of poorer quality - in terms of both equipment and morale - compared to the second part of the army.  Due to the long heritage of the country as once being a Monarchy (the Earldom of Rumpwhistle), there is a long and proud heritage of sons of the nobility serving in the Army as senior officers.  That tradition, in the late 19th century, still encourages sons of families with money or status, to attend to their ancient military obligations.  Because of this, the officers of the National Army are usually of a high status, and often rather idealistic.

The second segment of the army are the Canton Units.  In reality each of the 13 cantons of Rumpwhistle has their own individual army, but these are rather small, and highly variable in size.  However, there is, in the Treaty of Confederation, terms that require the Cantons to submit units for the common defense of the nation at large, and to support each other in case of internal or external threat.

There are 9 cantons and 4 independent cities that are treated as cantons - they have seats in the Landhouse, and provide units to the army.  These are listed here.
  • Sutliff - Coal mining country.  Also known for their musicians.  Units frequently accompanied by extra pipers and drummers.
  • Nikovena - Cold mountain country, with thin soil.  The only real economy is sheep herding, and the land is too rocky for many horses.  No cavalry units from Nikovena.  Capitol city is Papaschlemo, and the Canton is always struggling with the local Bosniak population.
  • Gawith - Strong tradition of distilling spirits.  Located along the mountains, Gawith is the home of the Hoggarth Rebels - formerly Drover highlanders aligned to Furstenberg, but during the Cattle Raid wars of the last century, broke off and moved to the Rumpwhistle (Gawith) side of the border.
  • Pease - The trade city of Meridda Hill is in Pease, and it is home to the best armories and foundries in Rumpwhistle.  Pease Artillery units are legendary, at least amongst the Canton armed forces.
  • Fribourg - Hill country.  Home to a very contentious local population.  Given to strong drink, poetry, and reactionary political movements.  They make good infantrymen.  The chief town of Mac Baren is home to the famous Red Guard - volunteers during the civil wars, and rabble rousers the rest of the time.
  • Cornell - Location of the port city, Diehl.  Many foreigners enlist here, making Cornell regiments the most "exotic" in make up of all the Canton forces.
  • Stanwell - Farm country, home to a good many horse communities.  Stanwell cavalry is the best in the Confederacy.
  • Dunhill - Coal miners, again.  These fellows are strong in a fight, but they never went anywhere fast.
  • Peterson - Sheep country.  High population, but it is kept mainly in the walled towns, with the countryside given over entirely to the Sheep trade.  The capital of the Confederated Cantons is here, the city of Ramshorn.
It is interesting to note that Ramshorn is not considered one of the independent cities, but that was due to the Treaty of Confederation thinking that it was important, and powerful, enough without having its own electors for the position of Premier, or independent representatives to the Landhouse.

The four independent cities that DO have Canton status are:
  • Eriksen - City at the junction of Sutliff, Cornell and Fribourg.  Lots of class conflict, between the wealthy traders of Cornell, the miners of Sutliff, and the "salt of the earth" people of Fribourg.
  • Wessex - City is in between Stanwell and Peterson.  Wessex stock markets are known for their horses of Stanwell, sheep of Peterson, and sharks of Wessex.
  • Grabow - Between Dunhill and Gawith.  Grabow University is the elite seat of learning for Rumpwhistle.
  • Long - Bordering both Nikovena and Pease.  Marksmanship tradition going back to the middle ages, when Pease Longbowmen were highly sought after mercenaries.
Regular Infantry on the left, Canton Infantry on the right

The last significant focus of military strength in Rumpwhistle isn't a part of the regular armed forces.  That focus is on the various irregular units that will often (but not always) align themselves with the Rumpwhistle forces (either the Confederacy army or the Cantonate forces).   These groups include the following:
  • Urbik Hill Tribes - the ethnic Urbs are a fierce hill people, and will often come together, many different smaller tribes and villages, under a charismatic warlord, to either fight for or against the Rumpwhistle forces, depending on the way the wind is blowing.  Occasionally the Urbs will get caught up into the Pan-Urbik league, which stretches Urbik territory over the nations of Rumpwhistle, Vulgaria, and Furstenberg.  Occasionally Urb tribes will have cavalry, either mounted on horseback, or if they have ties to the tribes from the arid Simian Plains of Furstenberg, they may have camel mounted units.  Urbs are renowned for their deadly accurate rifle fire, and are frequently armed with jezzail long rifles.
    Urb Hill Tribesmen
  • Bosniaks - these are wild men of the hills in and around Nikovena.  The original Bosni-Balkanian people of the region have mostly, over the centuries, been integrated with the various European, Asian and Semitic nations that have invaded or colonized, but these represent pure Bosni-Balkanians.  They are sworn enemies of the Urbs, but also of the Rumpwhistle nation.  It is rare that a month goes by without a Bosniak raid on Papaschlemo (the capitol city of the Canton of Nikovena).  It is possible, from time to time, that Bosniak units (occasionally irregular foot scouts, but more likely to be rifle and spear armed light cavalry) will join a Rumpwhistle military column.
  • Wagon People - there is a culture of nomadic peoples that live in and around the hills of the Fribourg Canton, that are best described as either tinkers or gypsies.  They move around, in large extended family-clans, using horse drawn wagons.  These wagons serve to move the family goods (each adult individual or couple in the family-clan will have one or more wagons), and are peopled either by family members, or by the serfs that they capture in their raids and clan wars.  Again, the wagon people will occasionally join a Rumpwhistle operation, but frequently when it is against either Urbs or Bosniaks.  The fighting style of the Wagon People is to form a defensive "fort" by placing their wagons into a laager formation, and firing out against the enemy.
    Defensive Laager of the Wagon People

So the Confederacy army is divided up into three Corps, but they have different duties.  The first corps, Home Corps, is almost always located at Ramshorn, to provide home guard units, ceremonial duties, and manning the headquarters of the army, Fort Boxtinder. The second corps, also called the Spirit Corps, is used for training and recruiting.  The various units in the Sprit Corps (really it is at division, or lower, strength) are almost all under manned, yet they have a full complement of Officer and support structure.  These units are spread out among the various Cantonate military forces, and provide a reach-back to the Confederacy from those military forces.  The third corps, also known as the Expedition Corps, is kept up at full strength, and is the "field army" of the Confederacy, kept at a high level of readiness.  The other parts of the Confederacy army are theoretically available for use, in case of major operations, but it would take some time to mobilize and equip the units.  The Expedition Corps is the first option for military actions in or around Rumpwhistle.

Cavalry of the Expedition Corps

Expedition Corps (III Corps, Rumpwhistle Confederacy Army)

6th Division
  6 regiments of infantry (each 2 battalions)
  1 regiment of grenadiers (3 battalions of grenadiers)
  1 battalion of jaegers
  1 cavalry regiment
  1 artillery regiment

8th Division
  4 regiments of infantry
  2 regiment of grenadiers
  2 cavalry regiment
  1 artillery regiment

12th Division
  6 regiments of infantry (each 2 battalions)
  2 battalion of jaegers
  2 artillery regiment

Terrapin Division
  4 regiments of infantry
  2 regiment of grenadiers
  2 battalion of jaegers
  1 cavalry regiment
  2 artillery regiment
 The next article in this series will cover the Canton troops.

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