Knootian Defence Force
The Knootian Defence Force (KDF) is the military of the Dutch Democratic Republic of Knootoss. The professional volunteer army encompasses about 0.39% of the population. These numbers are not permanently under arms, however, but they have all received military training and function as active reserves. In addition to this, the Knootian Federation can be drawn upon for military resources. Several divisions from the protectorate of Ale-Yarok have been integrated into the KDF. Soldiers have been trained in Knootian Colombia as well, but these have only been deployed locally in order to quell rebellions in that region. Locals from both dependencies are usually trained by Knootian officers. (OOC technicality: This is just for flavour, not to boost military numbers which may be considered Godmoding.)
The KDF has four main branches, the Landmacht (Army), Marine (Navy), Luchtmacht (Air Force) and the Knootiaans Mariniers Corps (Knootian Marine Corps). In future tech roleplay there also is an active spacefleet.
The Knootian Defence Force has long had a reputation of being incompetent in the past. 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.
Knootian military strength has improved since the Shadow War, and it currently ranks in the top 5% of military spending per capita in the world. This still puts in well behind most major powers and most potential adversaries when matched up directly. 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
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 Dutch Democratic Republic has a sizable high-tech arms industry, which is currently exporting most of its products abroad. In the event of an all-out war, this would translate in a sizable capability of producing arms.
- Information Technology and other advanced technologies are very advanced and advances are incorporated into the military, especially the Luchtmacht and the spacefleet. This generally leads to much more efficient logistics, but also higher maintanance and lower survivability.
- Knootian culture generally abhors violence and has pacifist inclinations do not help to improve the stature of a military career. Knootians (both KDF and reserves) do not expect to ‘fight to the death’ and are expected to do so only in extreme circumstances.
- Guns are banned domnestically, and the average civilian cannot be expected to be able to handle them.
Central Command is 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. General de Kaste is still formally in charge of the KDF, though he has relinquished day-to-day command and taken on a more ceremonial function during Operation Tempo Doeloe. Hans Couzy commands the military base known as Europolis.
The way the KDF operates differs from more traditional militaries. This becomes readily apparent at first sight: Knootian military personnel are allowed to have long hair, women are pervasive throughout the ranks and the basic unit of the military is the ‘team’. The social distance between officers and NCOs in such teams is small, and gay military personnel are not considered to be abnormal.
Compared to most militaries, officers in a Knootian team have more of a mandate to make independent decisions, as they generally enjoy the confidence of their superior to act independently. They improvise, act as the occasion demands and take a lot of initiative and sometimes also risks. Officers are encouraged to do so by means of the more result-oriented style of leadership. On the upside, this means that Knootian teams are more likely to learn from mistakes, displaying less risk-avoidance behaviour than seen in other militaries. Unfortunately, Knootian military personnel also like to interfere in everything, also in things for which they have no responsibility or with which they are only involved on the sidelines.
The Knootian officers and the teams have a talking culture, when the situation allows for this. They are more orientated towards compromises and to solutions that everybody agrees with. Knootian officers derive their authority not solely from rank but also from competence. Knootians are not as readily reconciled to a hierarchy and are not as keen to accept arguments purely and solely because an authority says so.
When working in coalitions or joint deployments, Knootians are generally pleasant to work with. They tend to know their languages, are internationally-orientated and have learned to get on with people easily. They are consequently a little more relaxed, more outspoken, more jovial and more informal to deal with. They are not afraid to make mistakes either in English or other foreign languages, instead preferring to stumble through anyway. This informality can, however, lead to clashes with more hierarchical allies.
Against foes threatening Knootoss with weapons of mass destruction, the KDF may respond with the multi-continental retaliation doctrine as well as conventional deterrence. It has never had to resort to using nuclear weapons, and disavows any possession of biological weapons, although it has funded research in this area for defensive purposes (antidotes etc.) The KDF maintains non-lethal chemical weapons (Gay Spray) and is thought to maintain a tactical reserve of lethal chemical weapons as well.
In the event of an attack with nuclear weapons, or a severe biological attack (with mortality rates approaching a nuclear strike) on Knootian targets the KDF engages in a ‘proportional nuclear response’, attempting to avoid escalation.
Under the multi-continental retaliation doctrine, the KDF reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in a first strike-role under severely restricted circumstances. All nuclear weapons will be used in the event of an attack on Knootoss proper, launched by a vastly superior foe (specifically, alliances such as the Reich or Arda) in the event that the Marine has been unable to prevent landings and if there is no likelihood of help or relief by allied forces to prevent long-term occupation or even the destruction of Knootoss proper. In this event, all warheads will be released by various means to completely destroy all life in all invading nations.
This doctrine was installed to prevent any major alliance from even contemplating a conventional invasion of Knootoss proper, in the event that alliance doctrine should fail. This "worse-case" doctrine is based on the RL-French "Weak-to-strong strategy". 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"). The principle was summarised by Roel Vogels:
"Within ten years we shall have whatever is necessary to kill 2 trillion inhabitants of the Reich in the first strike. Well, I reckon one does not light-heartedly attack a people who are able to kill 2 trillion Reichers, even if one can kill 3 trillion Knootians in retalliation, that is if there were 3 trillion Knootians."
Like many other nations, Knootoss uses a color-coded alert system to indicate nuclear and conventional readiness. An upgrade in military preparedness is typically made by the minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence in consultation with the Prime Minister.
|Red||Used in the event of an attack on Knootoss proper, a nuclear strike on Knootian forces or other dire circumstances. All forces are at optimal readiness. This state has only been used during the Shadow War.|
|Orange||National reserves are mobilised in addition to professional forces, all nuclear assets are primed for an immediate retaliatory strike, the Luchtmacht begins actively patrolling Knootian airspace. Declared twice in Knootian history, when a nuclear strike on Knootian forces was thought imminent.|
|Yellow||All conventional forces are active and ready for immediate deployment or defence. The navy takes to sea, and nuclear-retaliatory submarines are deployed to take up positions near potential targets.|
|Blue||Used in times of regional crisis. Professional conventional forces are mobilised and, if necessary, deployed. There is increased intelligence and the heightening of national security measures. Knootoss was at this condition during most of its cold conflicts with CACE and the Reich.|
|Green||The condition used to designate normal peacetime military readiness.|
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 (Major-General Bierman)
|Class||Landmacht (army) & KMC||Marine (air and space navy)||Luchtmacht (airforce)|
|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|
Army unit subdivisions
|Symbol||Name||No. of personnel||No. of subordinate units||Officer in command|
|XXXXXX||Regio (Theater)||200,000 +||2+ Legergroepen||Maarschalk-Generaal|
|XXXXX||Legergroep||100,000 +||2+ Legers||Generaal|
|II||Battalion||300–1000||2–6 Compagnies, Artillerie batterijen, Squadrons||Luitenant-Kolonel|
|I||Compagnie, Artillerie batterij, Squadron||60–250||Varies||Majoor or Kapitein|
Typical Active Army Unit Structure
Regio: Knootian Colombia
- Legergroep Bogotá
- Knootian 27th Leger (Army)
- "Colijn" Special Operations Brigade (Urban)
- Knootian 271th Corps
- "Anne Frank" Infantry Division
- "de Tocqueville" Mechanised Infantry Division
- "Montesqieu" Armoured Division.
- Peacekeepers 32nd Corps
- Peacekeeper Division G (Reconstruction Taskforce Centre)
- Peacekeeper Division H (Reconstruction Taskforce Mountain Range)
- Knootian 27th Leger (Army)
- Legergoep Colombia East (Rural operations)
- Knootian 17th Leger (Army)
- Knootian 171th Corps (Rapid Response Unit)
- "Hobbes" Mountain Division
- "von Hayek" Mechanised Infantry Division
- "Kollataj" Airmobile Brigade
- "Glasnost" Airmobile Brigade
- Peacekeepers 31st Corps
- Peacekeeper Division E (Reconstruction Taskforce North-East)
- Peacekeeper Division F (Reconstruction Taskforce East)
- "Kuyper" Mixed Division (Multinational)
- Knootian 171th Corps (Rapid Response Unit)
- Knootian 41st Reserveleger (Auxiliary Army)
- "Vrede en Vrijheid" Special Operations Brigade (Jungle Warfare)
- "Paz e libertad" Mixed Division (Multinational)
- "Protector" Infantry Division (Multinational)
- "Guardian" Special Operations Brigade (Jungle) (Multinational)
- Knootian 17th Leger (Army)
Landmacht & Luchtmacht
Modern Knootian military doctrine usually assumes defensive situations insofar as massive troop deployments are concerned. On the offensive, the military prefers more specialist tools such as airdrops and air support over massive troop movements. Operation Tempo Doeloe is one of the largest KDF operations in recent history, featuring 50.000 troops deployed into Tanah Burung.
- Bicycle infantry: in order to increase mobility of the common soldier, standard infantry units have been equipped with fast and silent bikes that can be used to speed up an otherwise slow advance. While more and more brigades are transformed into Mechanised Infantry, the Bicycle Brigades provide a cheap alternative for higher mobility.
- Towed guns, of all sizes, used as artillery.
- Peace Corps forces: the Knootian answer to its limited stand-alone military capabilities and new types of missions presenting itself was the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps consists of troops that are especially well-trained, specialising in dealing with a wide range of situations beyond pure military engagement. Special emphasis is placed on multinational cooperation. When there is a mission abroad, the Peace Corps soldier is usually the first to go along with the Luchtmacht.
- Eurofighter – many variants of the Eurofighter serve in the Knootian airforce.
- KDF80 Vuurhaag Interceptor - designed after the Shadow War as an interceptor for the defence of Knootoss proper.
- OLV2 Valk Drone, an airborne drone designed to engage targets on the ground.
- Gay Spray - a non-lethal chemical weapon designed to incapacitate hostile forces. (Classified)
The new Ondeugd-class Battleship and the Waarden-class Air Defence Cruiser are to improve the strength of the standard battlegroup. The tactical design in the air will be defensive, rather then offensive.
An advanced Knootian Defence Force battlegroup will include two Ondeugd-class battleships, one aircraft carrier, two air defence cruisers (Waarden-klasse ADC), two normal cruisers, eight destroyers and 2 nuclear Elementen-class submarines. A single old Zeedier-class submarine (diesel-electric) will also be part of the standard battlegroup. Initially four such battlegroups will be created. Other ships in the fleet will still conform to old standards (one carrier, one or two conventional battleships and escorts). Old battleships will gradually be taken out of service and mothballed, but other models such as the de Ruyter-class Battlecruiser and the Phlegethon-class frigate are still being refitted for use.
In order to improve flexibility, ships will be held in reserve to be part of battlegroups tilted towards specfic roles as “Modules”.
- The Offensive Air Group (OAG) which has an extra carrier
- The Marine Amphibious Assault group (MAAG) which has KMC marine landing craft
- The Battleship Battle Group (BBBG) which will have two additional Ondeugd-class ships.
- The Long-range Offensive Group (LOG). As an extra it will have 1 ammunition ship and 1 supply ship if no friendly ports are availiable for resupply.
Military experts have speculated about a new standard practice of another group of stealth submarines being kept in ‘wolfpacks’ that will travel separately from the main battlegroup with the purpose of reconnaissance, submarine warfare and nuclear capabilities.
In space, the KDF is best suited for support roles for larger multinational fleets. This is mainly the result of having most of its ships produced in Sunset shipyards, meaning they are slightly below the development envelope of Yut standards. Recent efforts to modernise the spacefleets have helped, however, with new carriers and fighter-size gravships coming into service.
The KDF starfleet uses "Star Trek"-type Starships imported mainly from Sunset. Its emphasis is placed on smaller and older types, though recently the KDF has accuired a few advanced carriers as well as new cruiser designs. An overview of the most common classes: