1748-1756: A New Order
Alykinder now sought to consolidate his political gains in Tok and reorganize the Tokish military.
Alykinder moved into the Tok political arena in force. He chose legislators for the city-states that had served as his bases during the Lower Barro war, and Duke Icho was forced to accept Alykinder as Governor for the Svarld and (newly added) Barromarch. In addition, Alykinder’s allies in the parliament allowed the Zone of Operations to continue even though the war was over, meaning he was supreme ruler of any area where the military was deployed.
By his 45th birthday, Alykinder was the effective ruler of an area larger than all but the biggest of the Quar kingdoms. Why was he so successful? In large part it had to do with the growing popularity of the Crusader ideology—feeding on a growing discontentment with the rule of the First Families, nurtured by a very effective political propaganda campaign and the successes of Alykinder’s military.
Alykinder’s Reorganization was the largest military transformation in generations. The previous mix of Royal and Commissioned Catrawds were replaced. Though many retained their traditional names and heritage with their founding Syrnols, they were fully suborned to the Tokish Army. The biggest change came to the Guard Catrawds.
The Guard Catrawds consisted of an elite infantry catrawd with dedicated artillery and armor or cavalry assets. This brigade-sized formation often spearheaded major advances or were given the honor of taking major objectives.
Yet they were almost as much a pain to their corps commanders as enemy action. For almost a century they had been armies-in-miniature, officially answerable only to the King. Though famously skilled soldiers, they could be insubordinate and often appealed unpopular orders directly to the court, where they were often given permission to act as they pleased. While Guard Catrawds were considered the finest soldiers, they could often act rashly.
Alykinder stripped the Guard Catrawds of their authority to appeal orders to the court, making them fully under the control of their corps commanders. At the same time, he created the Light Infantry Army. A Guard Catrawd was reinforced with three to seven Militia or Line Catrawds, as well as a dedicated artillery Catrawd and cavalry troop. The Army commander was free to break his command into brigades as he saw fit, with the Guard Catrawd serving as a readily-detached formation.
The Airmobile Forces received special attention in Alykinder’s reorganization. Airmobile Armies were merely administrative formations. Brigades would be constituted from the Airmobile Army for specific operations. Once an Airmobile force had completed its operation, it would be relieved by a Light Infantry Army, sent back for resupply, and then a new Brigade reconstituted for the next operation. This served to keep Alykinder’s best soldiers and officers directly under his supervision, and it left enemy spies baffled as to the exact number and organization of the Airmobile Brigades.
The Airmobile Marine Infantry fell into two classes. Marine Paratroopers jumped directly from the largest and fastest airships to prepare the landing zone and airhead, or across logistical routes to disrupt and link up with offensive operations. Lander Marines would follow on in larger units from assault landing airships, carrying the Brigade’s heavy weapons and equipment.
The Long Walker airship design was now the standard fast transport for the Airmobile, increasingly accompanied by the new Talon Path class of airship destroyer. Lander Marines used any number of roughly-built landing airships, designed to make one-way trips to the landing zone, where they would be cannibalized into supplies for the Airmobile forces.
Next: The Hasty War of Kryst