Royal Brachyurian Defence Force
Emblem of the RBDF
|Motto||"Per Ardua Ad Aqua" ("Through adversity to the sea")|
|Service Branches|| Royal Brachyurian Army|
Royal Brachyurian Navy
Royal Brachyurian Marines(Auxiliary branch of the Navy)
|Headquarters||Ministry of Defence, Gerald|
Commander in Chief
Minister of Defence
18 - 70 years old
Percent of GDP
$4.1 billion (USD)
The Royal Brachyurian Defence Force (RBDF) is the unified armed forces of Brachyuria, as constituted by the 1991 National Defence Act, which states: "The Royal Brachyurian Defence Force is the armed forces of his Majesty, and consist of one service encompassing all of Brachyuria's mighty forces." This singular institution consists of two main branches, the Royal Brachyurian Army (RBA), and Royal Brachyurian Navy (RBN), which contains the Royal Brachyurian Marines. These branches are together overseen by the Brachyurian High Command, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff, headed by Admiral Rose Hasvogel for the navy, General Kate Lichtenberg for the army, and Field Marshall Friedrich Lannegan as the chief of Defence. At the pinnacle of the command structure is Irvine Ronald Niederhaus, who holds no official title pertaining to the military itself, but has control over it as the reigning Brachyurian monarch.
The current incarnation of the RBDF dates from the 23rd of February 1991, when the Navy and Army were merged into a unified structure. Its roots, however, lie in groups of raiders that followed Bronzi Niederhaus into the modern territory of Brachyuria, who conquered the land and established the kingdom as a result of fighting between 1442 and 1452. In the late 15th century, a formal Brachyurian army and navy was established. Because of religious views at the time of it's invention, views that have persisted in modern Brachyuria, the RBDF has never contained an air force. Although largely uninvolved in conflicts outside it's borders until the late 20th century, it has taken part in several large scale international conflicts during it's existence, and generally preformed well.
The forces are today funded by approximately 2.1 billion conches ($4.1 billion USD) annually, and are presently ranked in the top 5 in size compared to Melivorica's other armed forces by number of total personnel.
Main articles: Military history of Brachyuria
Though the RBDF itself only came about in 1991, an organised national military force essentially existed from as far back as 1452, when the large army of raiders, led by King Bronzi, came to be in control of the current Brachyurian territory. Rather than leave the large army to disband itself, or potentially attempt to usurp him in turn, Bronzi immediately formed the Brachyurian Army upon his coronation as Brachyuria's king, and began paying those who chose to remain in it for their services as "defenders of the nation." In 1476, the predecessor to the Brachyurian Navy was established, following Bronzi's new fixation with Giant Crustacean Gods and the ocean in general. Much effort was put into expanding the navy during the rest of Bronzi's life, as a result, the army was less prepared when the Penguininjanian Empire invaded and captured the city of Graspus in 1542. The Army and Navy would remain separate and sometimes verbally opposing entities until 1991, some four and a half centuries later.
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the majority of conflicts Brachyuria was involved in revolved around the Empire of Penguininjania, which lay to Brachyuria's East. Pivotal to this era, known as the Imperial Campaigns period, was the numerous occupations of Graspus by Penguininjania and subsequent recapture attempts made by Brachyuria. Since Penguininjania was a landlocked nation, all the fighting for this period took place on land, and it is for this reason that the army would be behind the largest share of historical events still remembered by Brachyurians today.
In 1752, the Brachyurian army, now well learned in the way Penguininjania fought, was finally able to permanently retake Graspus, and further threats from King Frederic Esme, the ruler of Brachyuria at the time, led the Empire to announce it was cancelling all future plans to re-invade, an announcement Penguininjania would hold true to. No longer beset by it's immediate neighbours to such a constant degree, Brachyuria was finally able to venture outwards, and make contact with the rest of the Melivorica.
Cartography and anti-piracy
Beginning in the mid 18th century and continuing on until 1957, Brachyuria became intensively involved with exploration-based cartography, particularly within Melivorica, but also in some areas outside of this region. Though Piracy itself was dying down by this point in most of the world, certain hotspots in Melivorica were still problematic, and as a result of their influence, piracy throughout the region was also more active than the norm. Following several early ill-fated cartographical expeditions, the Navy later became involved in escorting the explorer ships throughout regional waters, mostly offering such support to national explorers, but occasionally helping foreign shipping as well if the occasion presented itself or a diplomatic agreement was made.
Though several areas still remain a problem today, through the efforts of the Brachyurian navy and those of several other nations, piracy in Melivorica was drastically reduced by the 1800's. In the same way that the modern Brachyuria has attained some low level practice by constantly being at odds with airborne enemies such as seagulls, the battles Brachyuria engaged in with Pirate fleets, especially the well equipped fleets of Pirates sailing from Khedive Rex, would give them ample experience in Naval warfare and provide a much needed testing ground for experimental naval theories.
In the 20th century, the Brachyurian military went through several sweeping reforms, most were due to external changes, both technology based and political. Upon the invention and subsequent adoption of the aeroplane by several regional neighbours, Brachyuria instigated a war with Archonis-Thay after Queen Sodie III denounced the entire country as heathens, specifically for using what she had deemed "an unholy contraption akin to the accursed seagull menace." Though planes themselves were at too early a stage of development to play a part, another recent invention, the machine gun, put to rest the Brachyurian tradition of Crab mounted cavalry for good. Upon this change, the army suddenly fell out of favour with the Brachyurian public, despite all it's historical achievements. Today, the army is still viewed as the lesser of the two armed branches, and will likely continue to be so for quite some time.
In 1957, Queen Sodie III and King Roskilde were both killed by their son, who then proclaimed himself the new sole ruler, King Tin. Abandoning the largely professional military in favour of a larger conscript force, it is likely that he brought about his own demise when he would later attempt to wage war with several foreign powers between the 1960's and 1980's, and in all occasions fare badly. Eventually committing suicide in 1985 following widespread rebellion led and manned largely by members of the armed forces, Tin was replaced with King Irvine. He initially put little thought into building up military power, but would return to the pressing issues with modernity in the 1990's, setting up the unified Royal Brachyurian Defence Force in 1991 and instigating vast reforms to their organisation and equipment, the naval fleet in particular being subject to large scale upgrades and bolstering with new vessels.
Defence policy and command structure
Brachyurian defence policy
Since the coronation of King Irvine, Brachyurian defence policy has consistently stressed four overarching objectives:
- The defence of Brachyuria itself
- The defence of Melivorica from extra-regional invaders in cooperation with other nations in the region
- Upholding a stance of anti-expansionism
- Maintaining a foothold in the realm of Naval power
During the mid to late 20th century, under the rule of King Tin, the principal focus of Brachyurian defence policy was solely "making plain to foreign heretics, the majesty of the glorious nation." Which led to the weakening of security in Melivorica in the face of this stance and the constant threats Tin made towards foreign powers. When he was eventually overthrown in the 1980's, the RBDF, already weakened by extensive purges of high command and a divisive civil war within the power structure of the army itself, had to for all intensive purposes be rebuilt from the ground up by the next monarch, King Irvine.
However, since then as the political stability of Melivorica settled down, Brachyuria was able to move much of its defence focus into more amiable efforts. A great regional instability caused much strife during the first decade of the 21st century, but when this eventually led to several neighbouring nations collapsing, the end result when the dust settled was a more steady political environment, where the RBDF was recognised as a notable, if not major military force in the region.
Since 2010, the Government has initiated a major re-equipment effort to rebuild it's forces after the seriously mishandled defence spending of the 1960s, foreign interception of funds during the 70's and 80's, and procrastination of spending funds on much needed upgrades throughout the 90's and up until 2010. The program of capability renewal is ongoing and over the next twenty years aims to:
- Decommission all outdated ship types in the Navy
- Build at least 40 new warships of various classes to replace existing outdated ships and bolster existing numbers
- Large scale upgrades on warships from classes that have retained relevance to modern naval theory
- Continue with leading edge in the fields of anti-aircraft counteractions and detection theory along with the related technology
- Consider the induction of helicopters into the fleet, marines and army
Per the Brachyurian faith and government body, command-in-chief of the Royal Brachyurian Defence Force is vested in the country's sovereign, King Irvine Niederhaus, who came into power in 1985. All troop deployment and disposition orders, including declarations of war, must be agreed upon by the king before any further action is taken. While there are appointed chiefs of defence and a large body of naval and army staff, the king has a tendency utilise his place as the leader of the armed forces and take a direct role in the planning of wartime and other military manoeuvres.
The forces' 462,000 active personnel are divided into a hierarchy of numerous ranks of commissioned and non-commissioned officers, and other non-commissioned positions. The monarch appoints, sometimes on the advice of the senior defence staff, a Chief of Defence as the highest ranking commissioned officer in the forces, and who, as head of the Armed Forces, commands the RBDF from the Defence Ministry building, a large section of the Brachyurian Government Compound in Gerald. On the senior defence staff sit the numerous heads of the two military commands – the Naval Command, known as "the Admiralty" and the Army Command. In previous centuries, before the Brachyuian Royal family was nearly wiped out by King Tin; The sovereign and most other members of the Royal Family also acted as colonels-in-chief, admirals, and captains-general of RBDF regiments, though these positions were usually ceremonial after the 18th century.
Brachyuria's forces operate out of 27 branch-specific Royal armed forces bases across the country, as well as twelve shared bases, including the Ministry of Defence. Officer cadets are educated and trained at two RBDF collegiate institutions, the Royal Military College of Brachyura and the Royal Military College of Luxorhynchus, which are found in the respective cities. Naval Cadets undergo basic training and ship handling training at the Naval Officers Training Centre at Port Helman, near Mictyrus, Officers may also be commissioned on enrolment with a degree from a civilian university. In some cases, officers may also be commissioned from the senior non-commissioned ranks. Basic military training for non-commissioned members is provided at a variety of locations.
Main articles: Royal Brachyurian Navy
The Royal Brachyurian Navy (RBN), more commonly called the Brachyurian Navy, is the naval branch of the RBDF and is a descendant of the fleets first established by Brachyuria's founder during the 15th century. Headed by Admiral Rose Hasvogel the Chief of the Naval Staff, the RBN includes 483 surface ships of varying sizes, and 10 submarines, deployed in four, very loosely organised unified fleets. The total number of regular sailors and lower staff of the navy is around 86,000. Within the Navy rather than as a separate branch is the Royal Brachyurian Marines (RBM), better known simply as the Marines. The marines are subject to Naval command, and are led by Admiral Leon Matthias, who in turn answers to Admiral Hasvogel.
Currently, the majority of the Marines take the form of four Corps-sized "expeditionary forces", usually containing three Marine Divisions and a Naval attaché Brigade. All of these Expeditionary forces and extra free floating Divisions fall under a single Army group, simply refered to as The Royal Brachyurian Marines. In total, the Marines contain two infantry divisions, four support divisions and five Naval attaché groups. The combined number of personnel in the Brachyurian Marines is around 158,400. Though they use almost identical equipment as the Army, the Marines are very different in their organisation and management.
The Navy participates in regional exercises when invited, and ships are deployed all over the region in support of the Brachyurian military as well as in conjunction with multinational deployments. The Marines are deployed on expeditionary events within the region, and function as the nation's first line fighting force and peacekeeping troops, the most recent use of the latter being in the protection of Martiniel Island (later Azgaria) as an aid to the populace and a deterrent to foreign aggression.
Main articles: Royal Brachyurian Army
Currently, the Army consists of nine Division to Brigade sized units, fielded through an average of 20 Battalions each, usually split into 4 or 5 Regiments. On average, a combat orientated infantry or Mechanised division will have around 15,000 personnel, with a total of about 140,400 people in service throughout the entire Army.
Reserves for both the Army and Navy are extensive, numbering more than 200,000 and 300,000 respectively. As this is much more than the RBDF could account for financing without fatally draining even the considerably large national budget, all reserves are merely part of the military in a ceremonial sense, being only loosely trained over a three week course, not paid, and encouraged to take up other occupations within the national economic structure.
Loosely organised into two main "field armies" for the Army and Navy, the reserves take no part in Brachyurian military affairs other than public ceremonies and foreign posturing regarding military strength. In times of extreme crisis, the reserves can be called upon, and the RBDF has stockpiles of outdated weapons originating from the mid 20th century to this end. Using the reserves is considered a last resort however, and are only to be put into use if the sovereignty of the nation is under direct threat which the regular RBDF forces cannot handle on their own.
As the two branches of the Brachyurian military are a single service, the uniforms for the branches are very similar, with the necessary changes for situational differences in their use. The Army and Marines, when operating within Brachyuria, in temperate environments overseas or enacting non-combat roles, use a simple four colour camouflage. Known as BRATC, or Brachyurian Temperate Camouflage, it is the most commonly used camouflage in the military, since current environments that the RBDF finds itself fighting in tend to be areas around temperate forests, though mountainous terrain, particularly the tussock filled rocky plains north of the Grey Lake, are also taken into account in the camouflage's design.
When the RBDF operates in environments different to their normal range, most commonly in cold or bad weather, both branches have access to a large stock of extra clothing items or specialised uniforms for these tasks. Brachyuria has not made a habit of operating in equatorial or desert environments, so their available reserves of warm weather gear is limited. Contrarily, they are well equipped for cold and rainy environments, the latter of which is a near constant requirement for many of the Army's infantry, as Brachyuria's weather is not particularly pleasant outside of summer. Coats for adverse weather and temperatures are also in good supply for the navy, with specialisations made to ensure that officers can use them while still clearly displaying their rank.
The current monarch of Brachyuria officially holds control over spending and development projects relating to national defence, but gives responsibility to the Ministry of Defence. Currently, the defence budget of Brachyuria is around 24% of total national expenditures, or 3.4 trillion conches ($6.5 trillion Universal Standard Dollars). Most of this is annually spent on performing much needed upgrades to the large number of obsolete vessels in the fleet.