Union Defence Force
|Motto||Pax in Bello|
|In use by:||Council of Eliria|
|Size:|| 126,550 personnel
|Commanders:||General Abolfazl Shahzad Khoroushi|
|Conflicts & Deployments||
The Union Defence Force constitutes the armed and military forces of the Elwynnese Republic.
The UDF has been through various incarnations but traces its ancestry back to the feudal militias raised by Elwynn to fight in the War of Vengeance and the Elwynnbrigaden which fought in the War of Jeremy's Nose and the Kai Aphmyarkaiph before being re-established as the Elwwehr in the wake of the White Lily Revolt. The UDF expanded dramatically in size during the era of Elwynnese independence and emerged as a political power broker in the tumultuous years prior to the establishment of the Coordinated State. It was abolished after the Communist Revolution of 1613 and replaced by various ad hoc revolutionary groups and a People's Militia. Following the Kalirion Restoration the UDF was re-established by decree of the Steward of Elwynn, the Storjarl Hallbjörn Haraldsson, in 1629 AN.
The UDF essentially collapsed after three separate wars against the Imperial Forces, these being the River War (1635), the Year of the Four Kaisers (1644) and the Auspicious Occasion (1651). Although victorious in the first two encounters, both triggered by rogue anti-Elw factions within the Imperial Government, the final decisive battle which united Imperialists and Elwynnese dissidents against Monarchists loyal to the House of Ettlingar Freyu was an abrupt and decisive coup during in which the UDF hesitated, wavered and finally went over to the Imperial side, joining the cudgellers in turning against the Froyalanish FLG and VTG.
In spite of backing the winning side the UDF was now at the mercy of its longstanding rivals the Imperial Army whose tribunes, legates and magisters took great pleasure from humiliating the Elwynnese officer corps by having them wait upon them as servants and personal attendants. This both demoralised the UDF and undermined the officers in the eyes of their subordinates. A wave of resignations ensued and the command and control of the UDF progressively collapsed.
As officers resigned and troops abandoned the colours, the active strength of the UDF was reduced down to the Zjandarian Guards, the 12th Naval Division, the Elwkustbevakning and the Amokolian Highlanders and much of its equipment forfeited to their old rivals the Imperial Forces whilst the General Staff was replaced by an Imperial Liaison Mission intended to reintegrate the UDF into the wider scheme of the Imperial Republic's collective defence. It was replaced after 1653 by the Republican Guard, a state security service geared towards maintaining internal security.
The Republican Guard however would ultimately prove to be an inadequate force for the magnitude of the task it faced, confronted as it was by the decay of the Imperial Republic in the aftermath of the War of Lost Brothers, and would be swiftly overwhelmed by the Elwynnese Civil War.
The third restoration of the UDF occurred in 1672 with the unification of the two paramilitary forces which had supported the Elwynnese Republic during its first year of independence in the aftermath of the Kalirion Fracture: these being the Elwynnese Liberation Army (consisting of cudgellers of the Northern Reaches and Akordionyr, supported by the ESB and the Iron Company, and volunteers) and the Sāzmān-e Basij-e Niruha-yeh Entezami (Babkhi paramilitaris active in Alalehzamin and Utasia). The Northern Banner Group of Benacia Command has been instrumental in equipping and reorganising the nascent new UDF and has assisted with the integration of defecting Imperial personnel into its ranks.
Following experiences in the River War the UDF reorganised the Territorial Defence Corps into four divisions, three of which comprised of fours brigades. The lead brigade of each division was built around two pansarbataljons of Horjin AFVs supported by specialist mechanised infantry, towed-artillery and modular anti-aircraft missile systems. Of the remaining three brigades, one would be built around heavy artillery, one around heavy assault infantry and the last brigade would be dominantly comprised of light infantry skirmishers (Fedayeen).
The lead brigade in each division would act as a rapid reaction force in defensive operations and, when on the offensive, the force penetrator intended to drive through and shatter the enemy line before moving on to secure objectives to the enemies rear. Broken enemy formations would then be held in place by a fast moving following wave of Fedayeen before being ground down by heavy artillery bombardment, after which the heavy assault troops would move in to dispatch whomsoever still displayed the least indication of resistance.
The UDF doctrine also encompassed the concept of a 'battle in depth' in which the rear areas of hostile formations and their vital supply chains and communication networks would be comprehensively disrupted and interdicted by the operations of the two tactical aviation divisions of the Union Aerospace Corps as well as the special operations and electronic warfare activities of the Union Intelligence Corps and the Panopticon Corps.
From a doctrinal standpoint, the UDF does not expect to operate in isolation on the battlefield but rather as part of a broader coalition of allied forces, including the Black Legions of Benacia Command. Nonetheless as a combination of solid mass, momentum and firepower, the UDF would be expected hold its own effectively against any immediate threat of aggression, and in so doing fulfil its basic remit of providing for a comprehensive defence of the Republic.
The UDF on the march seeks to secure lines of supply and communication for an advancing force by establishing a chain of fortified depots or magazines and the establishment of a motorised transport corps capable of drawing supplies from these magazines for dispatch to the tabor-laager, an armed convoy of roaming merchants, commissary officers and camp followers carrying all the necessary supplies and rear units, such as field kitchens, sanitation wagons, field hospitals armourers or shoemakers, necessary to sustain a brigade level force in the field.
When on the march, particularly in enemy territory, the brigade would, after a day's advance, establish a defensive perimeter around the furthest point reached by the tabor-laager. While the brigade headquarter's would be a part of the tabor-laager encampment, each of the 4 battalions of the brigade would construct a fortified camp or castra of an embankment and surrounding ditch with dugouts, mortar pits and machine-gun nests, requiring as raw materials only earth, turf and timber. Camp construction were the responsibility of special engineering units (ingenjörkompani) to which specialists of many types belonged. These engineers would requisition manual labour from the soldiers at large as required. An infantry bataljon could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours. The typical 4 castra arrangement would cover the cardial points surrounding the tabor-laager encampment, preferably dominating any approach roads or pathways - the tabor-laager would ideally be situated on raised ground overlooking a cross-roads or some other convergence point and have access to fresh water. The defensive positions should be sufficiently distant to reduce overcrowding, milling about, confusion and vulnerability to threats such as artillery fire or encirclement, yet should be sufficiently close to permit mutual indirect fire support in the event of an attack and the conduct of perimeter patrolling.
Depending on the duration of the occupation of the site, the brigade engineers would select from a menu of standard fortification measures designed to suit their needs. Typically an occupation of an encampment for a period longer than five days would see aspects of a forward operating base (F.O.B.) brought into being, including a dedicated helicopter landing site and improved fortifications using gabions made from collapsible wire mesh container and heavy duty fabric liner that would be filled with soil and gravel and stacked to create blast walls against explosions or small-arms.
Once the tabor-laager/castra configuration metastasised into a more permanent F.O.B., typically featuring the assembly of earthen dams, concrete barriers, gates, watchtowers, bunkers and other force protection infrastructure, it would become the secured position and 'jumping off point' for support tactical operations such as targeted raids and long range patrols into enemy or insurgent territory.
To ameliorate the loss of force strength that would be caused by having hold back 'front-line' troops to guard and patrol the main lines of communication and supply against guerrilla incursions, the patrolling of these routes and the garrisoning of depots was passed to reservists and 2nd-line personnel drawn from the Fästningbataljon ('fortress-battalion') of operationally deployed brigades, normally made available through the substitution of individual losses or through the roulement of companies.
The UDF consists of four combined-arms territorial defence divisions, four gendarmerie divisions, two auxiliary service corps (fleet & air) and five non-combatant corps. These are organised sequentially as follows:
Territorial Defence Divisions
- 1st Division "Elwmacht" (1 Div Elw)
- 2nd Division "Amokolian Pioneers" (2 Div Amk)
- 10th Division "Zjandarian Guards" (10 Div Zja)
- 11th Division "Hyperborean" (11 Div Hyp)
- 3rd Division "Livgardet Elenaran" (3 Div LE)
- 14th Division (14 Div)
- 15th Division "Angularis" (15 Div)
- 16th Division (16 Div)
Auxiliary Service Corps
- Union Fleet Maritime Corps (UFMC)
- 12th Naval Division (12 Div Nav)
Union Aerospace Corps (UAC)
- Union Aerospace Corps Command (UACC)
- 4th Tactical Aviation Division (4 TA Div)
- 5th Tactical Aviation Division (5 TA Div)
- 6th Logistics-Airlift Division (6 L-A Div)
- 7th Anti-Air Defence of the Nation Division (7 AADN Div)
- 8th Strategic Operations Division (8 Strat-Op Div)
- 9th Maritime Reconnaissance Division (9 MR Div)
- Union Intelligence Corps (UIC)
- Elwmarine (ElwM)
- Corps of the Gentlemen-at-Cudgels (CGC)
- Combat Support Services Corps (CSSC)
- Union Medical Corps (UMC)