Combined Forces

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Combined Forces
CF COA.png
Founded 1651
1991
Country Questers
Type Army
Role Land warfare
Air warfare
Nickname(s) t'Forces
Motto(s) Forward Together
Colours Red and White
March Folk Songs from Ellashire
Engagements 2015 Karaman War
Commanders
Commander in Chief of the Federation Defence Peter Baker
Minister of Defence Christopher Mallard
Chief of the National Defence Staff Nathanial Clarke-Phillips
Chief of the Combined General Staff Alexander Stafford

The Combined Forces (Danske: Kombineret forsvar) is the ground and air warfare branch of the Federation Defence (Danske: Forbundsforsvar). Its civilian commander-in-chief is the Prime Minister of Questers and the professional chief is the Chief of the National Defence Staff, although day-to-day operational control lies with the Chief of the Combined General Staff, both of whom are five-star Field Marshals. The Combined Forces was established in 1991, but its predecessor units date back to 1651, the formal founding date of the Questarian Army.

The main task of the Combined Forces is to defend the territorial integrity of the Federation, support the internal security forces, and carry out humanitarian tasks at home and overseas, especially disaster relief. The Combined Forces have been deployed overseas to Rochehaut and Badouma and fought several conflicts between 2013 and 2016, both conventional and asymmetrical, in Karaman. The bulk of the Forces are deployed on the border with Pollona: Questers has issued on general mobilisation order on this border once since 1991. The Combined Forces consists of three arms: the ground forces, the air forces, and Peoples Volunteers, a reserve army comprised of Communist Party members.

Although the Combined Forces operates a regimental system, the basic tactical unit is the division. The Questarian Forces has 11 divisions and 6 independent brigades divided between two operational areas, two field armies and five corps. The Tactical Air Forces are divided into wings and squadrons and number approximately 1,030 jet aircraft. The Peoples Volunteer Units deploy 11 garrison divisions and 21 mobile brigades. Together, there are approximately 1,657,500 personnel: around 70% of which are conscripts on two-year national service.

History

Early

Questarian Hussars mount a charge in the Battle of Dalworth's Ford, 1879..

The history of the Questarian Army dates back millenia to locally raised militia forces that were loyal to local fiefdoms, who in turn swore fealty to the King. These armies were not professional, and not including standing forces of Knights, Questers did not have a standing army until 1651, when the Crown raised permanent troops to crush the Noble's Rebellion. The first Royal General Commissioner of the Army, Thomas Sutton, was appointed in 1653. The Army celebrates this day as their "founding day." Troops in the new Royal Army were organised into regiments, and in times of war local nobles or otherwise wealthy men would raise their own regiments or battalions to participate in conflicts. The standing army grew during the 18th century, when Questers annexed the nearby countries and brought them into the Empire.

The Army was reformed along Gallan lines during the early 19th century, and organised into permanent Corps and Divisions, as well as a permanent General Staff. Staff colleges were set up during this time. Between 1862 and 1864 Questers fought a war with the Moravian Empire. The failure of the Royal Army to decisively defeat the Moravian Army has been attributed to the technical inferiority of Questarian industry, which was not able to produce sufficient modern weapons, and the nature of Questarian infrastructure, which blocked the movement of supplies to the front.

20th Century

Rare colour photograph of Questarian troops in the Great War.

In 1914 Questers fought in the Great Maredoratic War, and mobilised the largest Army of all the countries in that war, pressing more than ten million into service over a period of five years. The Questarian Army advanced quickly through Pollona, but was harassed by partisans, and found it difficult to supply their spearheads because of the poor quality of roads on the border. Eventually they became bogged down by trench fighting, in which superior Berrian artillery was able to break up Questarian attacks. Questers fought against Varnia in the same war and suffered much the same fate, compounded by the even longer supply distances and domestic economic problems. Against both armies, the cavalry-heavy Questarian Army suffered greatly against modern machineguns.

After the Great War, Questarian military leaders drew up plans for a mechanised army. Motor transport was seen as a way to solve the problem of supply lines in the first war, and the rapid movement of tanks and mechanised infantry could end a war decisively before too many men were lost. During the 1920s and 1930s Questarian and Gallan officers, under a joint command, developed tank and mechanised infantry tactics and equipment. By 1939 Questers had produced nearly 2,000 tanks, though they were mainly the A-7 and A-11 types, which were light and poorly armed. By 1942 the Questarian Army fielded 700 A-30 tanks.

Questarian troops prepare to suppress a strike, 1981.

In 1942 war broke out between Questers and Varnia, and Questarian troops fought for two years against the Varnians. A Maredoratic League embargo cut off all fuel to Questers, and despite early successes with mechanised units, a lack of fuel forced Questers to revert to regular infantry. After the war, which is considered a phyrric victory, Questarian planners decided that a smaller, more mechanised army would have to overwhelm the enemy quickly, while stocks of oil remained. Mechanisation was advanced, and the size of the Army was reduced. Throughout the 1950s to the 1980s, the Army experimented with and developed further their mechanised and armoured tactics.

Between 1970 and 1989 the Army was shrunk in size, and a large-scale arms programme produced more materiel, as well as some advanced weapons systems that were produced in co-operation with other countries, mainly Galla. Numbers shrunk from the 20th century high of 1.35 million active in 1976 to less than 300,000 active by 1989, although these were still conscripts; in contrast, the professional Royal Horse Police and Royal Mounted Police, the country's gendarmerie, increased in size, becoming more than 1,000,000 strong by 1987 from an all-time low of 150,000 in 1960. The Metropolitan Police also grew in similar proportions. Cuts in size and spending angered military leaders.

Commonwealth period

A Royal Provost Policeman disarming gendarmes of the Royal Mounted Police, December 1990

When called to restore order in the Questarian Revolution, the Royal Army mutinied and turned on the Horse Police and Mounted Police. It was merged with the Yeomanry and the Communist Party's Defence Units, as well as the Shire Troops and Royal Flying Corps, in 1992, forming the Combined Forces. The period 1993-2009 saw a vast escalation in military spending, rising from 4.5% of GDP to 11.5% in 2009; at its peak in 2007 the Forces had almost 2 million men under arms. Throughout this period, Army strategic planners, conceiving of a new military doctrine, wound down the size of the Army to its present size, while at the same time increasing outlays on complicated weapons systems, especially precision guided munitions, digital targeting and control systems, and other high-tech weaponry. After 2009, Questarian defence spending began to fall, reaching around 8-9% of GDP in 2016.

In 2013, Questers invaded Karaman as part of a multinational coalition. More than 3,000 soldiers were killed in the insurgency and civil warfare between 2013 and 2015. In 2015, Questarian forces in Karaman defied orders from the Chief of Defence Staff and invaded the Vyzant Republic, a part of Karaman supported by Prekonate. In a two-week battle, Questarian forces defeated the Prekovi and Vyzant armies, but following massive international condemnations, Questers withdrew from Karaman in early 2017. Although the leader of Questarian troops in Karaman, Alexander Stafford, was under house arrest, he is now the professional head of the regular Army.

Organisation

Command

Structure

The Combined Forces is administratively divided by two military districts: General Headquarters North and South. These regions contain field units from all three Combined Forces services and act as unified tactical commands.

HQ Army Corps
GHQ South
HQ Jesselton
Questarian Eighth Army I Corps
V Corps
XXX Corps
GHQ North
HQ Haschester
Questarian Fifth Army II Corps
XIX Corps

Manoeuvre units

The basic tactical unit in the Combined Forces is the Division; there are currently five Infantry Divisions, two Cavalry Divisions, three Armoured Divisions and one Parachute Division. Infantry Divisions are composed of two to three regiments of mechanised infantry. These mechanised regiments range from being infantry-heavy formations to balanced combined arms units. Cavalry and Armoured Divisions are composed of two armoured regiments, with Armoured Divisions having an extra mechanised regiments.

Division Corps Insignia Major units Type
1st Infantry Division V Corps 1st Division patch.png GG reg tac reco.png Grenadier Guards (GDR) Combined mechanised regiment
Rep gds reg tac reco.png Republican Guards Regiment (RGR) Combined mechanised regiment
2nd Infantry Division I Corps 2nd Division patch.png Hareshire regiment tac flash.png Hareshire Regiment (HAR) Combined mechanised regiment
Rangers reg tac reco.png Sherwood Rangers (SHR) Combined mechanised regiment
Polets reg tac reco.png Poletshire Fusiliers (PSF) Medium mechanised regiment
3rd Infantry Division II Corps 3rd Division patch.png CVF reg tac reco.png Cardigan Valley Fusiliers (CVF) Combined mechanised regiment
Lothian reg tac reco.png Lothian Regiment (LOR) Medium mechanised regiment
Highlande reg tac reco.png Highlanders (HGR) Medium mechanised regiment
6th Infantry Division I Corps 6th Division patch.png Jesselton reg tac reco.png Jesselton Regiment (JTR) Combined mechanised regiment
Hallia reg tac reco.png Hallia Regiment (HLR) Medium mechanised regiment
RBR reg tac reco.png Republican Border Regiment (RBR) Medium mechanised regiment
15th Infantry Division II Corps 15th Division patch.png RF reg tac reco.png Republican Fusiliers (RPF) Combined mechanised regiment
OFR reg tac reco.png Owceistershire Fusiliers (OSR) Medium mechanised regiment
FFR reg tac reco.png Fyre and Forth Rifles (FFR) Medium mechanised regiment
1st Cavalry Division XXX Corps 1st Cavalry patch.png Life Guards Regiment (LGR) Heavy cavalry regiment
Sheriffs Bodyguard (SBG) Heavy cavalry regiment
22nd Cavalry Division XXX Corps 22nd Division patch.png 7th/11th Sherwood Hussars (7/11 SH) Heavy cavalry regiment
Danske Guard Hussars (DGH) Heavy cavalry regiment
1st Armoured Division XIX Corps 1st Armoured patch.png 1st/3rd Hussars (1/3 HR) Medium cavalry regiment
14th/20th Hussars (14/20 HR) Medium cavalry regiment
Pembroke Regiment (PMR) Medium mechanised regiment
7th Armoured Division I Corps 7th Armoured patch.png 11th/15th Dragoon Guards (11/15 DG) Medium cavalry regiment
1st Lancers (1 LCR) Medium cavalry regiment
Republican Danske Rifles (RDR) Medium mechanised regiment
11th Armoured Division V Corps 11th Armoured patch.png 4th/7th Dragoon Guards (4/7 DG) Medium cavalry regiment
19th/21th Lancers (19/21 LCR) Medium cavalry regiment
Danske Guards (DGR) Medium mechanised regiment
1st Parachute Division XIX Corps 1st Airborne patch.png Parachute Regiment (PARAS) Airborne infantry regiment
Rochehautese Volunteer Rifles (RVR) Airborne infantry regiment
Fusilier Guards Regiment (FGR) Airborne infantry regiment
Unattached units Telshire Rifles (TER) Light mechanised regiment
Howdenshire Regiment (HSR) Light mechanised regiment
Sortland Grenadiers (SGR) Light mechanised regiment
9th/12th Lancers (9/12 LCR) Medium cavalry regiment
1st (Pembroke) Horse (1 PH) Medium cavalry regiment
1st Rifle Regiment (1 RR) Airborne infantry regiment
Paracommandos (PCR) Airborne infantry regiment

Special Forces

Reserves

After finishing their active duty, conscripts and officers are drafted into the Territorial Force. Non-commissioned officers and Commissioned Officers in the Territorial Force are required to do a minimum of two weeks per year refresher training, although they receive a significant stipend in return. If the Territorial Force was stood up it would be the task of these Officers and NCOs, in addition to whatever Regular personnel may be drafted to a reserve unit, to bring the conscripts up to speed. Men up to the age of 49 are liable to be called up for service. In 2016 there were approximately 3.5 million men in the Territorial Force. The Territorial Force maintains three types of units:

  • Line One and Two Divisions: En-cadre Divisions with pre-existing equipment. Each Division has a "mirror" unit in either the active force, or the prior line, from which it may draw experienced NCOs and Officers in order to bring it to full Divisional strength. After a general mobilisation the Territorial Force can therefore provide twice as many tactical Divisions as the regular forces.
  • Supporting Units: Individual Regiments, Battalions or Companies, typically of combat support units but sometimes combat units like infantry and armour, which provide assistance to Corps or Armies in carrying out particular, sometimes niche, tasks.
  • Replacement Forces: Replacing either individuals or small units such as squads and platoons inside units that have been in contact with the enemy and have become depleted.

Regiments

Tactical Air Forces

Main article: Questarian Tactical Air Forces

Peoples Volunteer Units

Main article: Peoples Volunteer Units

The Peoples Volunteer Units (PVU), formerly Peoples Defence Units (PDU), is a reserve militia force administered by the Questarian Communist Party. Once mobilised, the PVU falls under either the Combined Forces command or a Combined Operations Headquarters. The PVU has its origins in the Communist Party's armed wing, the Peoples Defence Units, which fought in the Questarian Revolution and were afterwards put under the same command structure as the Questarian Army during the Combined Forces reforms. Peoples Volunteer Units have a civil defence as well as explicitly military purpose and have occasionally been deployed during floods or as extra security for special events. Peoples Volunteer Units have served overseas in a humanitarian capacity.

Peoples Volunteer Units have a separate internal command structure, rank system, and personnel roster to the regular Army, but fall under the same operational high command. Peoples Volunteer Units are divided into Battalions, Brigade Groups, and Divisions; Battalions and Brigade Groups are operational units and Divisions are area units. As of 2017 there at least twelve Volunteer Divisions and twenty one Volunteer Brigades. Personnel are members of the Communist Party youth organisations and may apply to join the Peoples Volunteer Units instead of the ordinary two-year national service. Membership of the PVU lasts eight years, with promotions and renewals available, and personnel can be expected to serve up to one month per year.

As of 2016, there were approximately 250,000 members of the PVU, of which around ten percent were active at a given time. The budget for the PVU in the 2016-2017 year was estimated at $14.5 billion. The Chief of the Peoples Volunteer Units is formally the Chief Secretary of the Communist Party, and the professional head is the Marshal of the Volunteers. The PVU elects its field officers; staff officers attend the regular forces staff colleges.

Personnel

Officers

Enlisted

Training

Civilian

Equipment

See also - Equipment of the Combined Forces

Ranks

See also