Combined Arms Corps

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The Combined Arms Corps, a self-contained unit with organic ground combat, close air support, and combat service support elements, emerged in the militaries of Caputia, the Bassarid Empire, and the Raspur Pact nations, particularly Natopia, in the aftermath of the Hammish Civil War and the War of Lost Brothers.

History and origins

The intent of creating combined arms units at the corps level is to create an all-arms formation capable of independent offensive actions at the operational and strategic levels. The impetus for developing these new formations, and with them new tactics, had its origins in the relative failure of Jingdaoese Decisive Battle Doctrine and the Sxiro-Natopian alliance's Neo-Babkhan influenced Annihilation Strategy to achieve a decisive outcome. Indeed the Apollonian and Batavian fronts had degenerated into static trench warfare, the Keltian theatre had exploded into an out of control insurgency, and the rapid movement on the Florian front was mostly due to the collapse engendered by the flailing political incompetence of the leadership in Northcliff.

The seedbed of the Combined Arms Corps experiment laid in the devastated arctic realm of Normark, where the Elian Militia, developing from scratch, and supported by a barely token aerospace expeditionary force dispatched by the Natopian Defense Force, faced off against a well prepared and financed insurgent force operating from bases in the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa that disdained being obliged to surrender the sphere of influence that the Pallisicans and Haifans (grouped together as Bassarids in the aftermath of the War of Lost Brothers) had assiduously developed around the Gulf of Jangsong. In consequence of which the militia, and the committees of defence for the various settlements, was obliged to fight a defensive war focused upon holding on to the urban areas, particularly Elijah's Rest and Sårensby Industrial Area, whilst the surrounding countryside fell into chaos.

The development of Combined Arms Corps in Natopian Normark arose from the experiences of the improvised mobile columns, particularly those employed in keeping the roads clear between Sjorsborg and Riddersborg, that necessitated independent manoeuvre actions into hostile wilderness country, frequently whilst surrounded by insurgent forces and with unreliable lines of supply and communication. As the output of the Sårensby Industrial Area picked up, particularly after 1659 as the availability of raw materials and international credit improved, the Elian Militia, grouped under the aegis of Keltia Command's “Army Group Normark”, was able to contemplate reorganising in such a way as to adopt a more offensive posture. Rather than rely solely on local militia forces, the Joint Military Council of the Raspur Pact, still then formally known as the Shirerithian-Alexandrian-Natopian Entente (SANE), elected, at the expense of chartering an entire Caputian airline for a full year, to airlift the Shapur Division of the exotically named Tapferite Army of Vengeance from Lindstrom to Nynormarksudda. The mechanised infantry brigades of the Shapur Division, reinforced by Imperial Natopian Constabulary in the role of auxiliaries, were integrated into the force structures generated by the Committees of Defence, to create the first three combined arms corps of what would become the Army of the Littoral. The troops raised by the Natopian Security Ministry, although initially envisaged as public order troops, were also retrained as mechanised infantry and assigned to perform the same role in the next three corps established for the Army of the Interior. Close Air Support for the combined arms corps would be provided by integrated Army Aviation regiments trained up by the NDF Imperial Air Training School in Nynormaksudda. Because of the particularly harsh sub-arctic and arctic climate of Normark, as well as some especially dangerous fauna – the existence of the hitherto mythical “harpy” was for instance horrifically proven – the combined corps of Normark rely upon native scouts and porters recruited from the local nomad population.

Caputia's decision to adopt the Combined Arms model in large part rested upon the specific circumstances in which the armed forces of the Union were formed – vast quantities of armoured vehicles, aircraft, munitions, and stores were inherited by the victorious coalition of rebel militias from the collapsed and disbanded forces of the former regime. Although ostensibly the Royal Caputian Army maintains a formal structure of specialist corps and regional armies, and the Navy and Air Force were established as separate branches, the reality has been that these forces whilst distinct for training and administrative purposes have, for the purpose of territorial defence, been grouped together into numbered combined arms corps and distributed in such a manner as to maximise coverage of the Union's frontiers as suits the country's policy of armed neutrality.

Although Bassarid unit nomenclature, particularly within the New Zimian War League, is often seemingly idiosyncratic owing to the highly particular culture of the empire, it seems broadly that the intent in forming combined arms corps of their own is part of the consistent Bassarid strategy of matching Natopian developments whilst searching for ways to disrupt them at an operational level.