Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

On the Armies of Nmenor In time of King Ar-Adnakhr peaked the trends in the lives of Dnedain towards the military,

a specially remarkable process regarding the evolution of conscription. At first they were not such, but appeals made by private people interested in founding colonies in Middle-earth, but as time passed by they grew in scope and war intentions. The first great conscription was the one made for the War of Sauron and the Elves, and though it had no continuation, great lords already started having a role in them. After the general conscription ordered to confront Herundils rebellion, Tar-Ancalimon established a short mandatory military service whose aim was for all the Nmenoreans to have a minimum ability to wield weapons, and conscription was one of the tasks that he delegated in the lords of the peninsulas of Nmenor. With time, military service became longer. Militarism affected not only the Kings Men, but also the more and more oppressed Elendili, who used the army as their way to emigrate to Middle-earth. So the armed forces had got an enormous size in its number as well as in its presence in Nmenrean society, to the point of making it necessary to regulate a new organization. Until then the colonial kingdoms had needed for their defence forces of their own as well as the legions that the motherland could send from afar, so each one had one army or more that had grown under the circumstances of the moment, and sometimes were not enough to fulfil their tasks, or they were excessive after having them finished. In the same kingdom royal troops, governors guards, armies of one origin or another and other varied militia and public order corps could gather together in great disorder. Now in this time messenger ships were developed, smaller versions of the eagle-ships of Forostar able to sail only using their sails almost against the wind and that by various mechanisms used the force of the waves and sunlight to reach unused speeds. Ar-Sakalthr, having come to the throne, took advantage of the quickness of communications provided by these new ships to improve the Sceptres control over the Empire and to assure with no sight of dissent the majority of territories that stayed faithful to the motherland. His most lasting achievements consisted in the definitive arrangement of the navy and the army in the way inherited by the Nmenrean realms of later times, and the organization and levelling of the territories of the Empire. To do that, Ar-Sakalthr coordinated a great Nmenrean force separating civil from military administration by installing in the kingdoms military governments and captainships depending directly on the motherland, not on the governments of the kingdoms; the forces corresponding to each military government were called armies and fleets. That had a precedent in Umbar and Pelargir, the most important of Nmenrean bases. In the former, after the great enlargement and fortification of the place after the War of the Renegades, Tar-Ancalimon put up a powerful military government, whose governor would be different from the civil one but also chosen by the Council of the colonial kingdom; its jurisdiction stretched over Harad from the Harnen to the Tulwang, later sharing boundaries with the colonial kingdoms of Ondor and Ciryatandor. Also, when the colonial kingdom of Ondor was constituted, that same King didnt want to leave Veantur the command of the Pelargir fleet and separated attributions by the same procedure. From Ar-Sakalthr onwards, the traditional civil governors were subordinated to their military counterparts, these becoming the highest authority in the governments, directly commanding the army and having under their

command an Admiral for the fleet. Both ranks required years of learning at the Officer School and of working in Middle Earth. Regarding the Navy, though the King was its supreme commander, it had after Tar-Telperien an Admiral, but after Tar-Ciryatan the fleets multiplied both in the Island and Middle-earth and the title of Lord of the Ships and Havens, that Tar-Aldarion and later only one person (Ardulion, founder of Mredor) had been given, was resumed to designate the person who commanded all the Admirals, usually the King himself, and if not that way, a mere manager, named or deposed according to the will of the monarch. But being subdued the whole mortal side of the Belegaer, from Lindon to Mredor and even beyond, and with enough fleets available to keep safe all its waters, it was made unnecessary the existence of others in Nmenor itself, and Ar-Sakalthr distributed between those of Middle-earth the ones based at Rmenna (four) Morionde (two) and the fraction of the eagleships that didnt depend on the Lords of Forostar. The fleet-squadron-ship hierarchy was not modified, for it had always shown itself efficient and able to adapt the progressively restricted functions of materials and troops transport that after Ar-Sakalthr was its only task, thoug of no little importance: that restriction was a consequence of its superiority and cause of its efficacy, since the armies founded the greatest part of their mobility in ships. The largest part of the Nmenrean armed forces kept being an enormous navy transporting a colossal navy infantry. From that moment on the stretch of the Nmenrean empire was defined by the territories appointed to each of the military governments, to be protected by them. This was an important step forward in Nmenors militaristic and conquering progression; the reform of the colonial statute eliminated the figure of the federation -except in the case of Dwarves, because of the geographic particularities of their realms, caverns in their majority-, levelled colonial kingdoms and simple colonies in military aspects and avoided any Nmenrean settlement, regardless of how small or distant it was, being not considered under the Sceptres authority, and any of them trying not to be was to be considered rebel. On the other hand, that obliged the Sceptre providing defences enough to assure the settlement and prosperity of the foundation. So proud were Nmenreans of their superiority, that no matter where one of them settled, his nation and his King considered having the right to conquer the place. An important symbolic element was the replacement of the old ensigns of the times of disorder by another, given to each army or fleet, that could be placed besides the White Tree and the Green Star of Nmenor. That concession was made by the Sceptre, meaning that loyalty was not towards the colonial kingdom but to the motherland, a major preoccupation in Ar-Sakalthrs reforms. In practice that also meant that between armies and fleets could be exchanged the legions and squadrons that composed them, something the King knew to be necessary to avoid an excess of affection towards the land and to keep as the only soldiers loyalty that towards Mother Nmenor. So the highest-level territory correspondence was in organization and not in troops; it is, what actually belonged to the armies and fleets were the structures of administration and maintenance of the facilities used by men themselves. But besides from acting as police and engineer corps, a division, the part of an army right under the army itself, was hold to be the minimum unit able to carry out a complete campaign; formerly those were units of smaller size like the metropolitan legions[1] or the colonial armies. Now these were made more interdependent; divisions took from

the armies some administrative aspects and exchanged units according to the needs of the governments, determined by the supreme authority of the Sceptre; less often were moved entire divisions. As Ar-Sakalthr determined it, one division ideally comprised some twenty nine thousand men, distributed in five legions, these in their turn in eight cohorts and these latter in five maniples of one hundred and forty four men[2]. Never from Ar-Sakalthrs time onwards an unit lacked men: those numbers were ever increasing and several times it was necessary to split in two some division that accumulated too many soldiers or to create a new one, especially when many auxiliaries from Middle-earth were incorporated to the armies. For another change introduced by Ar-Sakalthr was to recruit as a rule native auxiliaries to form permanent units and not only as allied or mercenary troops, and the majority of them belonged to peoples that had been federates in the past. Though they kept being treated as inferiors and the disciplined and resolute Dnedain were ever the bulk of the army through the military service, in some places auxiliaries stood out in specific functions, as the Eriadoran riders, the Halimmi slingers in Ciryatandor and the Mredoran and Womaw explorers. Under Ar-Sakalthr also the battle formations maturated. In the War of Sauron and the Elves, the Dnedain, only constituents of the army, destroyed the enemy lines shooting their bows and artillery from the boats, and later landed and advanced in thin phalanxes, since any Nmenrean was a formidable soldier compared to any other Man, and even more to an Orc; never in the first times happened battles requiring a high tactical level. Later, when auxiliaries were introduced, the separation between inexperienced units, marching to the front line, and veteran, better protected in the rearguard, penalized lesser men in comparison to Dnedain, these usually being veterans. There were some battles in which the latter were mostly dedicated to protect the artillery while the former were cruelly sent to spill their blood in direct combat, sometimes falling under the projectiles of their own side. However, when the advances in chemical artillery reached destructive power enough, the siege towers or platforms became obsolete at last and the advance against enemy fortifications disappeared, for first of all the walls were battered down, leaving the towns exposed. (Tar-)Calmacil is the first known person having made systematic tactical studies, since he had many occasions to try his sight of the usefulness of havign not only disciplined but also manageable alignments, as opposed to the disorder from which his enemies were unable to escape. Calmacil and the naurnen[3] (see entry 07/18/2009) used the Dnedain to victories with no casualties. Though under that prince, imitating his figure, some units were allowed to develop champion tactics, in which a powerful warrior shattered enemies unworried for his own defense, relying in the ordinary soldiers that were around him, Calmacil himself instituted as more useful and rational the basic tactical unit, the 12 x 12 men-maniple, since that arithmetic allowed to array soldiers in a variety of phalanxes of different depth. Other more complex arrays of his creation were the sereghr, the opening of corridors between the infantry lines absorbing the enemies rush, and the narusakal, a line of lances that repelled the initial momentum of the brute charges spearing and drawing up the bodies of the enemies towards the back lines of the Dnedain[4]. He also invented the thangail, a simplification of the narusakalconsisting in a shield line, and the drnaith, initially conceived as a movable sereghr but at last developed into a quick attack column to breach the enemy lines; these were both mentioned in the tale of the disaster of the Gladden Fields.

Optimal exercise of these tectics, coming from former experience but ordered by Calmacil, endured as long as the Nmenrean forging arts, for also the armament of the Dnedain reached a development higher than any other people of the time, since the Elves of Aman didnt expect war and relied more in their body strength and abilities, and those of Middle-earth had been decimated by Sauron. In siege machinery they built cyclopean artefacts able to batter the hardest stone, and large vehicles that crushed everything around. They were ever improving naurnen and used substances that equally corroded flesh and metal. These latter arts the Elves refused to learn due to their cruelty, but Dnedain didnt hesitate to use them against Saurons minions. Among Dnedain light units, both cavalry and infantry, soon disappeared for heavy ones, since improvements in metal working allowed to make pieces thinner and even some hollow ones though equally useful, like spears and some parts of siege machines, so heavy armament was as easily portable as was for lesser men light one; until then only bows used to be hollow[5]. Their quality offered the Sceptre with a new way to practice its rapacity: since though the long span of the military service weapons lasted even more, the soldier that left the army was obliged to return his weapon in an acceptable conservation status though he had to pay the Sceptres forges its repair. The criteria of what was considered to be acceptable served to collect more or less gold according to the need or avidity of the Treasury at that moment. Armament control was total after the Wood Wars in Eriador, in which some lesser men that in the past had been instructed by Nmenreans turned their weapons against their masters; since then the components that required most advanced techniques were forged only in Nmenor by the old Guild of Weaponsmiths, though metals came wholly from Middle-earth. Six or seven of the eight Dnedain cohorts of each legion were made up of hoplites wearing the basic panoply: armour, sword or combat axe, shield, spear, bow and arrows and dagger, the other cohorts being of specialized archers, bearing a great amount of arrows and projectiles of different kinds but could equally use swords when necessary. After the alliance with Ruuriik, through the accession of these Dwarves to the required metals, the majority of the armours of the eastern Nmenrean armies and that of the arrows of all of them were made of dwarven steel, the only complement to the Guild of Weaponsmiths. Also from the Dwarves brought the Nmenrean axe wielding through two ways: indirectly through the Sindar masters of the Edain in Beleriand, and directly and most important through the dealings with Baruzimabl and Ruuriik -that weapon never lacked importance. Fighters were arrayed in chequered alternate rows of swordsmen and axe men, since for Dnedain it was as comfortable to smash enemies cleaving with the axe from their tall stature as to thrust with the sword from behind the shield. But with time one weapon was reduced: for soldiers, swords and axes were initially blended in the model of Dramborleg, and each row fighted, before coming to the final disorder of the battle, cleaving and thrusting alternately and co-ordinately; though with the tactical improvements, thrusting was increasingly preferred, being best for fighting in close formation, and sword-axes evolved to swords, giving the famous eket, the short (for Dnedain standards) sword typical from the last centuries of Nmenor. Officers, on the other side, just left the axe to move more lightly and achieve a better command of their units. Cavalry and auxiliaries were organized in the same kind of units than infantry; it was in the battlefield when they were deployed according to the tactic needs. With time, Rvanri colonists from the Eastern Sea were almost the only Nmenrean cavalry, since horses were rarely brought from

Nmenor and they were the only ones to develop an extensive breeding. Apart from them, the largest cavalry units that ever existed were cohorts, incorporated to the legions it was thought to be appropriate. Though the Rvanri never rode in the abrupt and wild terrain of the Lands of the Sun, they bred many horses next to their havens in eastern Middle-earth to use them not only as beasts of burden or mount for couriers, as was usual among other Nmenreans, but also for combat. The most usual formation was a long line of cataphracts, the horses front defended by large jagged plates that could be chained to each other, and the long spears to the front. After the pact with Ruuriik there were too Rvanri knights who, armed by Dwarves, fought individually, on the back of the mighty barrel horses, so called because they weighed as much as a full liquid tank, the biggest horses ever known and that only the Rvanri bred. Both these horses and their knights fought fully plate-armoured against powerful enemies of great size, like trolls or elephants, and the rider handled, more than wielded, weapons of great weight incorporated to the horses armour. Rvanris action used to be overwhelming and were never rivalled: never, throughout all the battle history of Nmenor, the enemy broke a line of cataphracts, nor was an ironclad knight dismounted. In other parts of the Nmenrean empire they tried to imitate these knights, but the barrel horses and dwarven forges not being available, there were only small units maintained for the picturesque. The Dnedain rightly confident in the discipline of their foot formations and mounted units in those regions were mostly auxiliary riders, being the heavy cavalry reserved to Dnedain: in Umbar and Pelargir there were some small companies, and in Eriador were based the Knights of Menelmacar who had appeared in the War of Sauron and the Elves. Inspired by the Guild of Venturers, they made the fight against Sauron their strict aim, making them bold raiders even after Tar-Ancalimon broke down their see of Minas Menelmacar in Orrostar, being since based only in Middle-earth. Finally, artillery was developed from archers and was never fully split, since it was integrated in the other units and was maintained even after Tar-Calmacil, who was the first to use chemical artillery. Each cohort had a minimum number of artefacts of different kinds, used both in the open field and in sieges or fortification defense, and therefore this development added few men to the numbers of the cohorts since almost all of them were fighters too. For thanks to the strong health and high culture of the Dnedain, both engineers and other specialised corps as physicians and cooks were part of the troop, so that in a hypothetical desperate occasion there were no units unable to going into battle. Starting from the times in which the first native peoples from Middle-earth were conquered, Dnedain knew from them the use of warcries, though for centuries they were considered a barbaric use, and when some unit shouted during or off the battle it was for their own and apart from the rest of the army. However, Calmacil ordered this aspect too, acknowledging that, on the one hand, voices and no doubt noise could affect the enemies courage, and on the other, coordinate sounds served to command formations. Since then, timpani and pipes marked marches, tactic commandments were given through large metal horns, and one-handed fifes coordinated soldiers in the din during the combat. And arranged chants were composed for the legions to sing with deep voice when they were in the battle formation before launching the attack, and they sounded like the echoes of the Orossi in the caves of the earth; enemies learnt to fear subsequent silence, preceding the shoots from the bowmen cohorts, when the unison of thousands of hollow steel bows roared like a furious thundering before the fall of a lethal hail.

[1] Calling them metropolitan is a mere explanation, for the legion was the unit reunited in Nmenor itself to send as one to the colonies. It was originally an enlistment made to establish a colony in Middle-earth, a mainly civil enterprise, including about one third of soldiers or men able to wield weapons, of the several thousands of people that after Tar-Telperien the Sceptre required to consider viable the new foundation. After the War of Sauron and the Elves the expeditions took an ever growing military character and both the proportion of soldiers and the total number of people in every enlistment or legion. Hence the translation in the name that weve made in this Chronicle, due to the similitude in meaning (the original name was gonon, list) and name with the Roman one. [2] A Hirzagar (leading sword, a lieutenant) commanded a maniple, an Azgarn (battler, a captain) a cohort, an Attabar (strength father, a mayor) a legion, and an Attuzagar (warrior lord, a general) a division. [3] Naurnen was an incendiary, resinous substance, impossible to extinguish with water, invented by alchemists of the Nmenorean court with materials Calmacil had sent there as a present. The substance was sent back to Calmacil together with its creators, and he ordered the artifacts to use it in battle to be forged and used it ever since. (See next entry.) [4] Lances were curved and were used as pikes nailed in the ground; soldiers speared with their own hands the attackers, retreated behind the second row of lances and the latter repeated the action; lances were recovered in a later moment of the battle or after its ending. [5] Though the weight of weapons and armours was lightened, it was made in a way that their uses were not impaired. The lightness of some parts of the weapons was compensated by means of introducing heavy metals in the appropriate points (axe heads, sword ends) to make them devastating enough.