The Lendosan Confederate Army is responsible for all ground-based military activity conducted by Lendosa. Its focus is more aligned with defence than with projection of power, and the Army is therefore arranged and equiped in a manner not suitable for attacking foreign nations. This does not mean, however, that it is in any sense weak - the Lendosan government takes the issue of defence very seriously.
Ranks and Uniforms
Officers in the Lendosan Confederate Army are divided into eight ranks. In order of seniority (from lowest to highest), these are Cabo, Sargento, Diefo, Maioro, Coronelo, Brigadeiro, Generalo, and Marechalo. While these rank names can be translated into literal equivalents, it should not be assumed that each rank will function in a similar manner to foreign ranks with the same name. The most senior officer (who serves as the commander of the army) is given the prefix "grando" on his or her rank (producing Grandomarechalo, which can be translated as Grand Marshal), while the second most senior officer is given the prefix "alto" (producing Altomarechalo, or High Marshal). These are not, however, ranks in the strictest sense - rather, they are aditional titles given to a regular Marshal.
The uniform worn by army officers is green with gold trimming. The uniform's design, which (apart from colour) is identical to those of the Navy and Airforce, was originally used during the days of the Empire. Rank is indicated by a number of square golden badges (also from the Imperial era) on the front of the unform, and by a bar on the uniform's epaulets.
. Rank Insignia Epaulet Bar Rank Name Corporal Sergeant Chief Major Colonel Brigadier General Marshal High Marshal Grand Marshal
The Lendosan Confederate Army grew out of the central core of the old Imperial Army (units originating in other parts of the Empire were either disbanded or incorperated into the new national armies of those regions). The Imperial Army has a long history, having been created by the command of the Empire's first ruler, Emperor Ravamiro. It was intended to replace the old Army of the Republic, which Ravamiro had once led but which was now considered politically suspect. The Army of the Republic was officially disolved, but the core units (which Ravamiro had commanded personally and which maintained a special loyalty to him) were used as the basis of the new Imperial Army. Ravamiro deliberately dispersed his loyal units among the new troops he recruited, trying to create a culture of loyalty to the imperial throne.
Unlike the old Army of the Republic, the new Imperial Army consisted mostly of soldiers with no ideological commitments. The Army of the Republic, a revolutionary army which overthrew the corrupt monarchies in favour of a democratic state, was considered to be unreliable in light of Ravamiro's newfound ambitions, and so any of its officers without personal connections to Ravamiro were regarded as dangerous. Even those who had served under Ravamiro, however, became less supportive of him as he became more autocratic. Previously, he portrayed himself as a hero of the Revolution who had not been given proper credit - now, however it was becoming obvious that he was merely using the revolution as a vehicle for a personal power bid. As such, the early Imperial Army was never fully trusted by the Emperor.
Subsequently, Emperor Ravamiro attempted to ensure the Army's support for him by appointing senior officers from the his newly-created nobility rather than from lower ranks. This was a trait of previous monarchies, and the new Republic had deliberately targeted it as something to be ended. As such, its restoration was a source of considerable resentment in the Army. There was much resentment between noble appointees and career officers, and later on, between nobles and ordinary troops. In the words of one junior officer, the noble appointees "knew nothing about warfare, and considered military service to be a matter of uniforms, medals, and court politics, not of leadership and strategy".
Transfer of Power
When, in 135 AP, Emperor Ravamiro was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt, the Imperial Council moved quickly to take back control of the country. Withdrawing the powers it had been forced to grant Ravamiro, it had eight important military officers arrested for allegedly participating in the assassination attempt. While these charges were implausible, the speed with which the Council acted (and the fact that these officers were all in the capital, separated from their armies) prevented the action being opposed. By the time most of the army was aware of it, the Council had appointed its own military leaders. Alandro Delcaro, formerly the highest ranking non-noble army officer, was made Grand Marshal.
At the same time, the Palace Guard (a supposedly elite unit established to protect the Emperor) was disbanded. The Palace Guard had originally been made up of the best of Ravamiro's own units from the Revolution, but had gradually declined until it became little more than a decorative honour guard. Much of this decline can be attributed to the same factors at work in the Army - an influx of nobles without real talent. The Palace Guard became a favoured destination for minor sons of the aristocracy, most of whom were more interested in the prestige than the duties. The weakness of the Palace Guard was exposed when, a few days after the Council seized power, elements of the Palace Guard attempted to stage a coup to restore the Emperor's power. In the words of one observer of the fighting: "the Palace Guard were resplendant in their fine black coats, their capes, and their glittering medals... a pity that none of them actually knew how to use those shiny ceremonial swords of theirs, though - if they had, some of them might have survived."
The Council Guard, an independent unit maintained to protect and serve the Imperial Council, was the primary force involved in the Council's reclamation of power. With the army all being stationed some distance from the capital (mostly due to Ravamiro's fear of a coup), even those parts of the military which supported Ravamiro were not able to assist him. The Palace Guard, although equal in numbers to the Council Guard, was weak, and was soon disbanded (with the Emperor now to be "protected" by the Council Guard). Due to its primacy in the capital, the Council Guard had a significant impact on politics, particularly in the military. In addition to being used to keep nobles under the Council's control, many senior Council Guard officers were installed in military positions to help ensure loyalty to the Council's Grand Marshal Delcaro.
When Grand Marshal Delcaro unexpectedly died after a fall, his position was given to Colonel Numerio Brinado, commander of the Council Guard. Brinado is regarded by many as being the most influential figure in the army's history. Among the first things that Brinado did as Grand Marshal was to cut all ties between the military and the country's various City Watches. Brinado, who had commanded the Gloria Libertatis City Watch before entering the Council Guard, said to people: "I'm happy to be a soldier and I'm happy to be an watchman, but I won't pretend that anyone can genuinely be both at once. A soldier serves the state and a watchman serves the law, and when you try to merge the jobs, one or other of those roles will be ignored." This marks the beginning of separation between military and police in the region. It also marks a decisive shift in the view of the state towards police - while Brinado's view of the police had been gaining credence, many people (including the Emperor) would previously have denied his claim that the Watch should serve the law rather than simply act as an instrument of state control.
Another thing that Brinado accomplished was the almost complete removal of noble influence in the army. While Grand Marshal Delcaro had placed the army back in the control of professional soldiers, he had not succeeded in fully removing the power of the nobles - many officers were still appointed from the aristocracy. Brinado was able to completely end this practice, ensuring that all senior army officers would be militarily competent.
Grand Marshal Brinado's impact on the political world was felt outside the army, however. His meritocratic, anti-noble, anti-monarchist views were well known, and he was widely despised by the aristocratic world. In an atmosphere where birth was important, Brinado proudly declared himself to be the illegitimate child of a blacksmith and a prostitute, accompanying this statement with a claim that he was "of better birth than the Emperor - my parents actually worked for their living". Brinado made a point of being polite to people who had achieved their station by merit, but was cheerfully insolent to people who had not. Throughout his life, Brinado was known for his sense of duty to ordinary citizens, for his sarcastic brand of humor, and for his lack of the pretense and self-aggrandizement that usually accompanied senior figures.
Brinado also became highly popular with the people. His work to eliminate corruption, extortion, and brutality in the Gloria Libertatis City Watch had already made him a popular figure in the capital, and after being promoted to Grand Marshal, he conducted similar reforms in the Imperial Army. He also gained considerable support for "standing up to the aristocrats". The Imperial Council generally backed him as well, although Councillors used to the subtle politics of the Council were occasionally uneasy with his more "direct" approach to problems. On the whole, Brinado was regarded by the Council as useful, morally sound, and "a refreshing change", and many Councillors took some delight at the fury he caused among the Council's opponents in the nobility. The Council frequently blocked political attempts to remove him.
When Grand Marshal Brinado eventually retired, his successor continued his policies. The legacy of his tenure still affects the modern Lendosan Army.
In 142 AP, Emperor Ravamiro died, and his chosen heir became entangled in a succession dispute. The new Emperor Virantoro, while recognised by the Council, was not actively supported by it, and with the army and security forces all loyal to the Council, Virantoro was weak. His challenger was General Fero Dago, formerly an officer of the Imperial Army and husband of Emperor Ravamiro's daughter.
Dago, while the son of a minor noble, was not important enough to gain senior rank instantly, and so worked his way up the chain of command in the normal fashion. As such, he was relatively well respected by the army at large, and most likely counted on support from it. He was, however, disappointed - the army's leader, Grand Marshal Malduro (a protégé of Brinado), managed to keep the bulk of the armed forces neutral. The Council steadfastly refused to intervene with force, and only consented to intervene politically after a great number of concessions by Emperor Virantoro. Dago's challenge was eventually defeated. More importantly for the Imperial Army, however, the idea of military impartiality in political disputes had been firmly established.
The military continued to function as normal until 202 AP, when a minor monarchist insurrection occured in the garrison of Benali (a small town just outside the capital). To this day, it is unclear what sparked the mutiny, as there was little popular support for the Emperor among regular troops. It is suspected that the problems arose as the result of the views of the unit's commanders, not out of the ranks themselves, and that most of the soldiers were simply following orders. Nevertheless, the remainder of the army (still under a pro-Council Grand Marshal) responded quickly to subdue the mutiny. After brief fighting, the rebels surrendered. The commanders of the mutinous unit were hanged.
While the mutiny did not have any lasting impact (despite considerable agitation in the political world), it caused the army's central command to pay closer attention to the politics of its officers. Within the army, a political and security office was established to monitor such things. Later, in 215 AP, the State Security Enforcement Agency (soon to be known as the Panopticate, the Empire's intelligence agency and secret police) was established to counter a supposed communist threat, and also assumed responsibility for ensuring that the military remained apolitical.
By 230 AP, however, there had been an upsurge in nationalism within the Army. Increasingly, military officers were voicing concern about a "weak" government, and complaining that the military was undervalued and unappreciated. Funding for the military had been cut back considerably, and the size of the army was being reduced.
Many members of the Imperial Army found a champion in Prince Carigo, the eldest son of Emperor Tandisto. Carigo was a strong advocate for the armed forces, holding soldiers up as a model of competence and loyalty. This, along with Carigo's nationalist sentiments, won him considerable backing with the military, as well as with more conservative segments of society. By the time of Tandisto's death, Carigo's support within the army and the Papaist Church was sufficient for him to claim the throne despite Council reluctance.
Carigo proved to be a highly interventionist monarch, and championed many nationalist and militarist causes. His intervention saw a considerable increase in military spending, further solidifying his support in the Imperial Army. In 239 AP, Carigo championed a nationalistic intervention in Caboteniasa to assist ethnic Lendians, a move which led to war with several states in the area. The small and antiquated Caboteniasan forces were no match for the Imperial Army, and repeated successes made the war quite popular in the Empire. In particular, the military saw the war as a return to former glory, and enjoyed the increased respect received from society.
Emperor Carigo himself, however, soon ran into difficulties. Having used his considerable popularity to increase his official powers, he now found himeself accused of being power-hungry and arrogant. While his military policies were applauded, his other initiatives were widely condemned as restricting freedom and civil rights. With his political support eroded, Carigo found himself relying more than ever on the support of the military.
However, the military was becoming steadily less supportive of the Emperor than it had previously been. While the initial war in Caboteniasa had been popular, subsequent conflicts had not. In particular, a long-running war against communist guerillas in the jungles of Percevejan had drained much of the morale from ordinary troops. In general, senior officers of the Imperial Army remained loyal to Carigo, but regular soldiers became increasingly disillusioned.
In 251 AP, the Panopticate (the Empire's intelligence agency and secret police force) threw its weight behind the Council. With Carigo's power now seemingly finished, a change of leadership occurred within the Imperial Army. Many of the most prominent pro-Carigo officers were pressured into retirement or resignation, with more moderate figures replacing them. The following year, Carigo surrendered most of his authority to the Council.
Carigo was not prepared to abandon his drive for power completely, however. In 269 AP, elements loyal to him took control of the Panopticate once again, and senior generals who were opposed to Carigo's rule were either forced into retirement or simply made to "disappear". Carigo's attempt to reclaim power was ruthless, with the Emperor apparently believing that insufficient force was the reason for his previous failure. The public, however, was not prepared to see Carigo return, and although Carigo gained the support of the upper ranks of the army and Panopticate, he did not get backing from the rank and file. When the Panopticate underwent an internal rebellion, and broke from Carigo, the anti-Carigo elements in the army were able to seize control again. Carigo was finally defeated in 275 AP.
From this point, the Imperial Army remained largely non-political. Fighting continued in the jungles of Percevejan, however, with a major communist insurgency continuing. Morale was a significant problem. The Empire was finally reformed into the Free Confederacy of Lendian Republics, and then dissolved into various successor states. The core of the Imperial Army became the new army of the Lendosan Confederation.