Knootian Defence Force
The Knootian Defence Force (KDF) is the name given to the armed forces of the Dutch Democratic Republic of Knootoss. Enlistment is open to all able-bodied citizens of the Knootian Federation, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The Knootian Defence Force had a past reputation of incompetence. The navy was referred to by foreigners as "the rubber boat", and its army as "that guy on the bike". Indeed, bicycle infantry still forms an integral part of the mobile forces of the Landmacht, but it is no longer the feeble force it was once considered to be. The professional volunteer army encompasses about 0.39% of the population, including active reserves. It currently ranks in the top 5% of military spending per capita in the world. This still puts in well behind the great powers, but this does make it the second military in the Western Atlantic region, after Iesus Christi. The military of Pantocratoria is larger, but more poorly equipped.
The Shadow War served as a wake-up call for Knootian Military planners, spurting a large increase in government funding for the military. Conflicts such as the Fourth Edolian War and the One Day War also served to highlight the need for a responsive and mobile KDF abroad. An important boost to the defence force is the military aid from EOTED(continued by ICEL) and New York and Jersey
Knootoss has the largest high-technology arms industry in the Western Atlantic region. Much of this industry is currently geared towards exports. Information Technology and other innovative industries are well-developed, and technologies that have military applications are readily incorporated into the military. As a result, the armed forces have highly efficient logistics, but also higher maintenance and lower survivability.
Knootian culture generally abhors violence. Military careers are not particularly high-status, and units do not expect to fight to the death in battle, preferring to surrender in the face of overwhelming odds. The government has the power to edict emergency acts whereby able citizens are drafted into the military. This only happens in the most extreme of situations, however, and it has only been done in anticipation of a world war when Drum Gods threatened to invade and during the Shadow War where some citizen-soldiers actually fought in the battle for The Hague. These poorly-trained forces made an especially poor showing, however, and were quickly overrun. Professional Knootian and allied SATO forces eventually recaptured the city.
The Landmacht is the land forces element of the Knootian Defence Force. It is a relatively small, professional volunteer force. It favours mobility, superior tactics and force specialisation over superior numbers and heavy equipment. Officers have a mandate to make independent decisions, improvising and acting as the occasion demands. Taking initiative is encouraged, with a result-oriented style of leadership. The Landmacht has the following Combat Arms:
- Infantry (Wapen der Infanterie)
- Armour (Wapen der Cavalerie)
- Field Artillery (Wapen der Artillerie)
- Combat Engineers (Wapen der Genie)
- Communications/Liaison Department (Wapen der Verbindingsdienst)
- Army Aviation Department (Wapen der Luchtvaartdienst)
- Logistics Department (Dienstvak Logistiek)
Owing to the urbanised nature of their home country, all soldiers of the Landmacht are expected to be proficient in urban warfare, and their standard equipment and training reflects this emphasis. A typical unit will also specialise in one particular alternative environment (e.g. desert warfare or jungle warfare). A typical Knootian fire team consists of a korporaal armed with a light machine gun, a designated marksman, a soldier armed with a light machine gun and a soldaat armed with a grenade launcher. Weapon's load-out may vary, however, and squads usually consist of 3 fire teams who, between them, carry a wide variety of weaponry. Squads are also supported by a pair of purpose-built drones: one for reconnaissance, and one for carrying gear. Additional light combat drones may be added, in areas of close-quarters fighting.
All regular infantry units are equipped with fast and silent bikes that can be used as bicycle infantry to speed up an otherwise slow advance. Bicycles are easy to maintain, and Knootians are naturally proficient in using them. Non-mechanised units sometimes end up commandeering private vehicles, with improvised mounted weaponry. In mechanised units, soldiers will usually be transported in fast, eight-wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers called Schaatsen. These units are pervasive in mechanised elements of the Landmacht, and they have a modular design that allows them to function as (for example) command posts, ambulances or battle damage repair stations.
Uniforms for regular troops are a source of derision, with "drab green", "piss yellow" and "mud grey" being nicknames for the different environmental outfits. Protective armour is bulky, and sometimes seen as limiting mobility. In the expectation of chemical and biological retaliation, soldiers are often issued additional protective gear, including protective masks, overgarments rubber overboots and gloves. This has earned Knootian regular infantry the nickname "varkenskoppen" or "pig heads." Junior officers can be recognised by their eye-mounted head's up display, which has a CAESAR uplink. Some officers have been hesitant to wear these, as it makes them a popular target for snipers. PDA's are issued to all infantrymen, and some officers prefer to use these instead of their personalised HUD.
Vredestroepen or peace corps soldiers serve in separate, elite units that specialise in performing long-term missions abroad. Like regular Knootian infantry, they are specialists in urban warfare. However, they receive additional training to deal with potentially hostile civilians, both violently and non-violently. Language skills and cultural sensitivity are a must, and all peace corps troops rotate into at least one military foreign exchange programme. Soldiers are also encouraged to develop "civilian" skills that aid in building relationships with civilian populations. This is useful, since another function of the peace corps is to train and operate with indigenous forces, in order to conduct either regular or guerilla warfare. Peace corps troops can call upon additional resources, such as OLV Valk drones, riot suppression gear, translators and supplies for local civilian populations. Additionally, peace corps units are always mechanised and usually also air mobile.
The Korps Commandotroepen (KCT) are the elite special forces of the Landmacht. It's primary task is to conduct covert special reconnaissance operations. Operators gather and report intelligence as they infiltrate deep into enemy territory, observing, monitoring, analysing targets (enemy forces, buildings, infrastructure) and surrounding natural environment. Intelligence that would benefit the main battle force prior to an invasion, or intelligence that would benefit a direct action, is relayed to the CAESAR system. This promotes so-called "information superiority." The KCT also conducts covert offensive actions that are small in size, conducted violently with surgical precision, in a (very) short amount of time. They come in the form of raids, ambushes and sabotage/demolition in order to take out specific targets. The ultimate purpose is to bring the enemy force to its knees through deprivation, humiliation and sabotage, not necessarily by destroying it.
Knootian commando's are equipped with whatever resources the mission requires, and have been trained extensively in combat situations. Part of their training involves being air dropped in rebel-controlled territories of Knootian Colombia, armed with only a knife and a piece of string. An urban legend holds that Knootian commandos are addicted to a special brand of Pink Bunny Cola that is only issued by the Knootian Defence Force, in order to ensure loyalties. More truthful rumours suggest that the services of commando's are sometimes leased to the EIVD, the Economic Intelligence and Security Service, for illicit operations abroad.
The Landmacht has a medium-sized armoured force, which has the dual purpose of outmanoeuvring the enemy and supporting infantry operations. As a consequence, armoured units emphasise speed and mobility over fire-power.Domestically built armoured vehicles are noted for their creative use of light composite materials, their fuel efficiency, and the high degree of battlefield information awareness available to their commanders.
The Stadtholder Tank is the regular main battle tank of Knootoss. It has been designed to support infantry in assaulting hard points and to destroy other tanks. It can theoretically be airlifted by heavy-lift transport helicopters, but doing so puts the helicopter in a very perilous position. It's companion, the Otter Light Tank, has greater strategic mobility. It can be easily airlifted, or air dropped, as the situation warrants. It has been developed to provide additional fire-power to air mobile Landmacht units and the Korps Mariniers. Some of the recent models are designed to operate autonomously, though these have only been brought into service in the latter years of the Daatman administration, and are available in limited numbers only.
The Landmacht favours towed guns over self-propelled artillery, owing to it's greater cost-effectiveness. Knootian towed guns are generally light, and can be taken to places that self-propelled guns cannot reach. Smaller towed guns may be drawn by bikes or mopeds, although artillery tractors for motorised artillery are also extremely common. Imported units of self-propelled artillery are in use, but their numbers are limited.
Chemical artillery is available, to be used in preparation for an attack. Chemical weapons are considered to be a tactical tool, not a weapon of (strategic) destruction. Gay Spray is the most well-known of these chemical weapons, but the military also commands fourth and fifth generation nerve agents. These agents are designed to be undetectable using standard chemical detection equipment, and to defeat chemical protective gear. The gear of artillerymen who work with chemical projectiles is even more elaborate than that of regular soldiers, and they are nicknamed "Darth Vaders", owing to the rather loud air filtration system that is used in their distinctive helmets.
The Genie are Knootian combat engineers. In addition to the abilities that one might expect the soldiers in such a unit to have, they are also proficient in placing and disarming various high-technology booby-traps. In peace time, the Genie are often used to maintain the Knootian dykes. The use of water management and "weather warfare" to manipulate the combat environment is one way of translating this civilian expertise into combat effectiveness. Waterworks may be destroyed and rivers may be diverted, for example. Effective "weather warfare" has thus far been restricted to cloud seeding, though experiments in other areas are rumoured to be in progress.
Knootian logistics are massive, expensive, and high-tech. Central Command and the headquarters of the Verbindingsdienst are located in a bunker under the old Ministry of Defence in The Hague. All Knootian units and vessels use improved versions of the Combat Application Engineered System for Advanced Response, (CAESAR) which is used for virtually all logistics. The Verbindingsdienst relies on an extensive and network of satellites and fibre-optic cables to stay in touch. It coordinates it's efforts with the MIVD. The department is considered to be a Combat Arm, because it has additional responsibilities for electronic warfare, cyberwarfare, space-based weapons research, and coordination with the Luchtmacht for the development and deployment of EMP weapons.
Army Aviation Department
Much of Knootoss' military airborne capability is tied up in the Army Aviation Department. The Landmacht wants to have the ability to deploy a completely air mobile force in a single foreign theatre, although it does not have sufficient air power to realise this goal just yet. Four models of helicopter dominate the Army Aviation Department:
- A single-seat attack helicopter with a coaxial rotor, designed designed to be small, fast, and agile to improve survivability and lethality.
- A twin-engine, tandem rotor troop transport helicopter.
- A stealth transport helicopter for strategic insertions, which is available only in very small numbers due to it's great expense.
- Luchtkoe heavy lift helicopter
Soldiers from the Knootian Federation may be permitted to serve in the Knootian Defence Force. Several divisions from the protectorate of Ale-Yarok have been fully integrated into the Landmacht, and are indistinct from regular units apart from language (Hebrew), religion (Jewish) and their usual base of operations in Israel.
Knootian Colombia has it's own, notionally independent, armed forces. It is commanded by the Colombian government, and is deployed in order to quell domestic rebellions against it. The Knootian Colombian army is trained by Peace Corps officers, as part of a military exchange programme, specialising in jungle warfare. Native Knootian Colombian units are noted for their use of tactics and technologies that have been banned in Knootoss proper, because of World Assembly regulations. Their human rights' record is often quite sketchy, and as a result they are loathed by the local Colombian population. Mining, the use of chemical weapons used to taint water supplies and intimidation of civilian populations are just a part of the arsenal of a Knootian Colombian commander.
The Marine is the branch of a Knootoss' armed forces principally designated for naval warfare and amphibious warfare. It is a relatively well-funded branch of the Knootian Defence Force, allowing the country to maintain a sizeable blue water navy. The nation's vast merchant fleet provides the recruitment agency of the marine with a large pool of able and experienced sailors. Large, modern and efficient shipyards are used for both civilian and military purposes.
Knootians have a long and proud naval tradition that goes back to the countries' independence war with Lavenrunz. The marine is the nations' first line of defence, and Knootian governments do not hesitate to send it to sea in order to flex its military muscles. Of all branches of the Knootian Defence Force, the marine has seen the most varied palette of combat actions, engaging in a multitude of skirmishes, patrols, escort missions and naval engagements. Owing to it's commercial interests, the blue seas navy is actively deployed in the fight against high seas piracy. It is known to respond to the threat of piracy with extreme force.
Areas of operation
The marine usually operates in the Western Atlantic region, treating this vast area of ocean a bit like it's own private domain, though treaties with it's Atlantic partners are meticulously observed. Marine vessels may also be deployed to escort merchant ships, or convoys, in dangerous oceans. This allows Knootian merchants to continue shipping in areas that might be thought too dangerous for the merchant fleets of other nations. The navy charges business conglomerates for this 'service'.
The headquarters of the marine is located in Den Helder, which is also the location of the main naval shipyards, and maintains an maintains ancillary bases in Rotterdam. The bulk of the fleet is deployed here, and it is known as the North Sea Fleet ("Noordzeevloot"). The much smaller Mediterranean Fleet ("Middellandse Zeevloot") operates from Ale-Yarok City. The marine ships defending Knootian Colombia are divided into the Pacific Fleet ("Stille Oceaanvloot") and the Caribbean Fleet ("Caraïbische Zeevloot"). A naval base on Vyck Island is being built, to accommodate a force which will be known as the Embolaliaanse Zeevloot, which will operate in and around the Embolalian Archipelago. A task force to the Eastern Islands of Dharma, the Dharmatische Zeevloot, will make it's home in Marinebasis Johannes, in territories ceded by Unibot. Ships on a mission are organised into a Task Force. For example, the ships that fought in the Iesus Christi Civil War were organised as Task Force Iesus Christi. Europolis used to be the base to Task Force Sisgardia. A task force always consists of one or more naval battle groups.
|Escort Carrier||Koloniën CVS||2|
|Anti-surface combatant||Ondeugd BB||2|
|Escort|| De Ruyter CC
|ASW|| Vampier SSN
Where the Task Force is the unit into which marine ships are organised, Naval Battle Groups (NBGs) are the building blocks of which a Task Force is made up. Every NBG is capable of operating independently, meeting any particular threat that may arise. However, they are often combined in order to provide the numbers necessary to accomplish a particular mission. The composition of NBGs has changed over time. In the past, Knootian NBGs were organised around a single aircraft carrier or battleship. Nowadays, a full-strength NBG is home to at least two Ondeugd-class Battleships and two Koloniën-class Escort Carriers. 24 ships make up the core of a Naval Battle Group.
|Offensive Air Group (OAG)|| Republiek CVN
|Marine Amphibious Assault group (MAAG)||Geuzen LPD||10|
|Battleship Battle Group (BBBG)||Ondeugd BB||2|
|Long-range Offensive Group (LOG)||Supply ship||2|
In order to provide NBGs with the ability to fulfil specific mission objectives, mission ships are held in reserve to complement battle groups tilted towards specific roles. Such deployments are known as “Modules”.
- The Offensive Air Group (OAG) complements an NBG with two large fleet carriers and drone ships, giving it the ability to offensively engage hostile land-based military units.
- The Marine Amphibious Assault group (MAAG) module includes amphibious assault ships, carrying a good number of Knootian marines that can be rapidly deployed on shore.
- The Battleship Battle Group (BBBG) has two extra Ondeugd-class battleships, making the constituent unit very effective in coastal bombardment missions and some pitched naval battles.
- The Long-range Offensive Group (LOG) module is unique, in that it can be attached in addition to any of the previous modules, for naval missions that take place outside of the Western Atlantic region. Task Forces that deploy far from friendly ports will need the additional logistical support.
The first modern submarine in the service of the Marine was the KDF Dolfijn, a Zeedier-class submarine. Diesel-electric submarines like the Dolfijn were the mainstay of the Marine's sub-service assault fleet, until after the Shadow War ended and budgets were increased for all branches of the Knootian Defence Force. Despite their limited capabilities, they were often dispatched to patrol the waters around potentially hostile nations, as part of intelligence-gathering operations. In addition, they were used to deploy special forces abroad and hunt other submarines. However, as nuclear submarines entered into service, the class was relegated to patrolling littoral waters.
Elementen-class submarines make up the bulk of the Knootian sub-surface fleet. They are used in the ASW role as part of Naval Battle Groups, but for the most part they travel separately from the surface ships, operating in old-fashioned wolf packs that are dedicated to reconnaissance and submarine warfare missions. Recently, the Vampier SSN has also entered into service. This ship has superior capabilities to the Elementen-class, and additionally has the ability to deploy special forces. Unlike it's bulkier cousin, it operates alone.
The strategic ballistic-missile (SSBN) variants of the Elementen class go on long-range patrols outside the region, providing a nuclear deterrent that is independent from bombers and land-based installations. A number of SSBN submarines patrol inside the Western Atlantic region, whereas others go on long-range patrols around the world. Alternatively, Knootian governments may designate specific foreign regions as warranting additional SSBN patrols. Such foreign-region patrols are highly classified, but it is believed that the Reich, Aperin and Haven may have been designated as regions warranting SSBN patrols in the past.
Knootian Marine Corps
Knootian Marines (nickname: "Cloggies") are light infantry units that operate as a rapid-reaction force, deployable anywhere in the world within 48-hours notice. Knootian marines are trained to operate in any environment, under any condition and circumstance. Therefore, they regularly train in arctic, jungle, desert, high-altitude and urban conditions. Throughout their service, the marines embark on various training missions throughout the world. Amphibious warfare forms the heart of the marine corps, and this aspect is already implemented in the initial military training program. During operational training, there is more emphasis on other tactics in amphibious warfare.
Marines drive Schaats Armoured Personel Carriers and Ambulances as well as specialised All Terrain Armoured Vehicles. Their equipment includes 60 mm commando mortars and specialised assault rifles, sniper rifles and missile launchers. While the marines lack the lethality, tactical mobility and survivability of the Landmacht, they possess somewhat greater strategic mobility and are able to execute difficult missions under restrictive terrain and weather.
The Luchtmacht is the armed forces branch responsible for aerial warfare. Although it is traditionally the best-funded branch of the Knootian Defence Force, it has recently been forced to endure budget cutbacks after some high-profile scandals involving massive cost overruns for the development of new aircraft. The main types in use are:
|Dove Emerald||Midlonia||Air Superiority Fighter||E/K|
|Eurofighter||Knootoss||Multirole Fighter|| T6/K|
|Vuurhaag KDF80||Knootoss||Interceptor aircraft|| KDF80|
|Hypersonic Strike Fighter||(under development)|
|Ground Attack Aircraft|
|Dove Ruddy||Midlonia||Ground Attack||R/K|
|Zwarthaai||Knootoss||Attack Helicopter|| ZH-50|
|Valk OLV2||Knootoss||UAV Ground Attack Drone|
Comparative Military Ranks
Ranks in the Knootian Defence Force using the RL NATO Rank Code. OF refers to the officer ranks, OR to other (enlisted) ranks. (Compare to RL military ranks here) It should be noted that the person of the Maarschalk-Generaal of the army is often (but not always) also appointed as Commander in Chief of all the branches of the military. The Knootian Marine Corps uses the same rankings as the Landmacht, but the highest-ranking KMC officer is a Majoor-Generaal.
|Class||Landmacht & KMC||Marine||Luchtmacht|
|OF-1||Luitenant 1e klasse|
|OR-9||Sergeant-Majoor||Hoofd-onderofficier 1e klasse||Sergeant-Majoor|
|OR-8||Sergeant 1e klasse||Hoofd-onderofficier|
|OR-7||Eerste Sergeant||Luchtsergeant 1e klasse|
|OR-6||Sergeant||Onderofficier 1e klasse||Sergeant|
|OR-5||Korporaal 1e klasse||Onderofficier 2e klasse||Korporaal 1e klasse|
|OR-3||Soldaat 1e klasse||Technicus 1e klasse||Technicus 1e klasse|
Knootoss maintains the multi-continental retaliation doctrine. In the event of an attack with nuclear weapons, or a severe biological attack where with mortality rates approaching a nuclear strike, a ‘proportional nuclear response’ is delivered, while attempting to avoid escalation. The nation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in a first strike-role, but only in the event of an invasion of Knootoss proper, launched by a vastly superior foe In this event, all warheads will be released by various means to completely destroy all life in all invading nations. The idea behind it is that a full-scale nuclear war would be lost by both opponents, and that a stronger opponent, having more to lose, would therefore refrain from proceeding further ("being the best boxer in a gunfight").
Like many other nations, Knootoss uses a color-coded alert system to indicate nuclear and conventional readiness. An upgrade in military preparedness is typically ordered by the minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence in consultation with the Prime Minister:
As condition orange is declared, national reserves are mobilised in addition to professional forces. All nuclear assets are primed for an immediate retaliatory strike and the Luchtmacht begins actively patrolling Knootian airspace. This condition has been declared twice in Knootian history, when a nuclear strike on Knootian forces was thought imminent.
Condition yellow sees all conventional forces put on active duty, ready for immediate deployment or defence. The navy takes to sea, and nuclear-retaliatory submarines are deployed to take up positions near potential targets, in order to be able to carry out a first strike.
Condition blue is used in times of regional crisis. Professional conventional forces are mobilised and, if necessary, deployed. There is increased intelligence and a general heightening of national security measures. Knootoss was at this condition during most of its cold conflicts with CACE and the Reich.
Condition green is used to designate normal peacetime military readiness.
|Geography||Politics||Society & Culture|
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