Union Defence Force

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Union Defence Force
Active: 1508–1613 & 1629–1653
Motto Pax in Bello
In use by: Council of Eliria, Imperial Shirerithian Defence Council
Allegiance: Elwynn, Shireroth

Type: Defence Force
  • Active Strength: 80,000 personnel
  • Available Manpower: 2,791,966 reservists
Nicknames: The Ironsides
Commanders: Vacant

The Stallari of the UDF



Conflicts & Deployments

Under the Martial Code of Shireroth, the Union Defence Force (UDF) existed to defend the territorial integrity of the Elwynnese Union as an Imperial State within the Imperial Republic of Shireroth. The UDF is nominally under the command of Elwynnese head of state in peacetime, the Ministry of Military Affairs in time of war, and at all times is under the supervision of the Imperial Shirerithian Defence Council and the Martial Code as interpreted by higher authorities.


The UDF has been through various incarnations but traces its ancestry back to the feudal militias raised by Elwynn to fight in the War of Vengeance and the Elwynnbrigaden which fought in the War of Jeremy's Nose and the Kai Aphmyarkaiph before being re-established as the Elwwehr in the wake of the White Lily Revolt. The UDF expanded dramatically in size during the era of Elwynnese independence and emerged as a political power broker in the tumultuous years prior to the establishment of the Coordinated State. It was abolished after the Communist Revolution of 1613 and replaced by various ad hoc revolutionary groups and a People's Militia. Following the Kalirion Restoration the UDF was re-established by decree of the Steward of Elwynn, the Storjarl Hallbjörn Haraldsson, in 1629 AN.

The UDF essentially collapsed after three separate wars against the Imperial Forces, these being the River War (1635), the Year of the Four Kaisers (1644) and the Auspicious Occasion (1651). Although victorious in the first two encounters, both triggered by rogue anti-Elw factions within the Imperial Government, the final decisive battle which united Imperialists and Elwynnese dissidents against Monarchists loyal to the House of Ettlingar Freyu was an abrupt and decisive coup during in which the UDF hesitated, wavered and finally went over to the Imperial side, joining the cudgellers in turning against the Froyalanish FLG and VTG.

In spite of backing the winning side the UDF was now at the mercy of its longstanding rivals the Imperial Army whose tribunes, legates and magisters took great pleasure from humiliating the Elwynnese officer corps by having them wait upon them as servants and personal attendants. This both demoralised the UDF and undermined the officers in the eyes of their subordinates. A wave of resignations ensued and the command and control of the UDF progressively collapsed.

As officers resigned and troops abandoned the colours, the active strength of the UDF was reduced down to the 10th Division (The Zjandarian Guards), the 12th Naval Division, the Elwkustbevakning and the Amokolian Highlanders and much of its equipment forfeited to their old rivals the Imperial Forces whilst the General Staff was replaced by an Imperial Liaison Mission intended to reintegrate the UDF into the wider scheme of the Imperial Republic's collective defence. It was replaced after 1653 by the Republican Guard, a state security service geared towards maintaining internal security.

In future state troops would be expected to complement rather than rival their Imperial counterparts. The mistakes of Elwynnese hubris, which had brought the UDF to its ruin, would not be repeated.

Duties, Functions, and Responsibilities

The UDF was, aside from its primary duty of the defence of the Realm against internal and external aggressors as well as other enemies, by law also charged with the following duties, functions, and responsibilities:

  • the furtherance of, where applicable and allowed, the foreign and domestic policies of the King;
  • the protection of the interests of the Elwynnese Union, whether in the Elwynnese Union itself or elsewhere;
  • the provision of executive assistance to maintain public order and security, to prevent and interrupt terrorist acts, and otherwise to protect society at large;
  • the provision of assistance in rescue operations by contributing equipment, personnel and expert services;
  • the participation in assisting another country in case of a terrorist attack, natural disaster, major accident or other similar occurrence;
  • the protection and advancement of the international rule of law;
  • the provision of any public service.


The King of Elwynn was, by virtue of the consolidation of powers upon the sovereign under the Elwynnese Constitution and by the Royal Decree of 1629 refounding the UDF, Commander-in-Chief (Överbefälhavaren, ÖB) of the force and every aspect of its organisation and administration laid within his gift. The King could appoint a Stallari (marshal) to whom could be, at his discretion, delegated some or all of the powers pertaining to the organisation, rank structure, training, discipline, efficiency, administration and good government of the UDF.

The position of Stallari was an office of state, in practice the Stallari would also be the most senior general or admiral of the UDF.

There was no record of King Noah or his successor ever appointing a Stallari. This proved to be an oversight as, once the King and his court were removed from the command structure by the Imperial Government's decapitation strike, there were no sufficiently empowered and loyal subordinates in place to keep the UDF soldiery to their oaths.


The UDF was recruited from across the Twelve Peoples of Elwynn and as such communication within the ranks of the heterogeneous force was an acute issue from the earliest days of the UDFs establishment. As a consequence the UDF evolved its own distinctive dialect or Army Crandish formed of a creole of the Norse and Froyalanish languages leavened with a heavy dose of Babkhi command words.

Every year, between 1629 and 1651, the UDF would commemorate the Battle of Vijayanagra, which took place during the War of Vengeance and in which the Count Harald of Araxion and his retinue of Huskarls threw back the Antyan invasion fleet.


Following experiences in the River War the UDF reorganised the Territorial Defence Corps into four divisions, three of which comprised of fours brigades. The lead brigade of each division was built around two pansarbataljons of Horjin Armoured Fighting Vehicle supported by specialist mechanised infantry, towed-artillery and modular anti-aircraft missile systems. Of the remaining three brigades, one would be built around heavy artillery, one around heavy assault infantry (Huskarls) and the last brigade would be dominantly comprised of light infantry skirmishers (Fedayeen).

The lead brigade in each division would act as a rapid reaction force in defensive operations and, when on the offensive, the force penetrator intended to drive through and shatter the enemy line before moving on to secure objectives to the enemies rear. Broken enemy formations would then be held in place by a fast moving following wave of Fedayeen before being ground down by heavy artillery bombardment, after which the húskarlar would move in to dispatch whomsoever still displayed the least indication of resistance.

The only exception to this is the 2nd Division in which, although it followed the four brigade pattern, Huskarls are entirely predominant and, in 1639, experiments began with a view to creating a force of fallskärmhúskarlar or paratroopers trained in the Huskarl tradition to act as an air assault formation which could double as a strategic force reserve for the Generalstaf of the UDF.

The UDF doctrine also encompassed the concept of a 'battle in depth' in which the rear areas of hostile formations and their vital supply chains and communication networks would be comprehensively disrupted and interdicted by the operations of the two tactical aviation divisions of the Union Aerospace Corps as well as the special operations and electronic warfare activities of the Union Intelligence Corps and the Panopticon Corps.

From a doctrinal standpoint, the UDF does not expect to operate in isolation on the battlefield but rather as part of a broader coalition of allied forces, including the Fleur de Lys-Longships Guard, the Vanic Temple Guard, the Corps of the Gentlemen-at-Cudgels, ad hoc militias raised by the Royal Governors of the various precincts and, eventually, the Imperial Forces. Nonetheless as a combination of solid mass, momentum and firepower, the UDF would be expected hold its own effectively against any immediate threat of aggression, and in so doing fulfil its basic remit of providing for a comprehensive defence of the realm.

Tulloch Reforms

The deployment of the 10th Division of the UDF (Zjandarian Guards) on a counter-insurgency operation in the Vale of Angularis in 1639 exposed weaknesses in the UDF's logistical supply chain which were subsequently addressed by the so-called Tulloch Reforms implemented by the Zjandarian Guards' newly appointed Generalmajor, Petro Tulloch, and subsequently rolled out across the entire UDF.

The reforms emphasised the importance of adequate lines of supply and communication for an advancing force by establishing a chain of fortified depots or magazines and the establishment of a motorised transport corps capable of drawing supplies from these magazines for dispatch to the tabor-laager, an armed convoy of roaming merchants, commissary officers and camp followers carrying all the necessary supplies and rear units, such as field kitchens, sanitation wagons, field hospitals armourers or shoemakers, necessary to sustain a brigade level force in the field.

When on the march, particularly in enemy territory, the brigade would, after a day's advance, establish a defensive perimeter around the furthest point reached by the tabor-laager. While the brigade headquarter's would be a part of the tabor-laager encampment, each of the 4 battalions of the brigade would construct a fortified camp or castra of an embankment and surrounding ditch with dugouts, mortar pits and machine-gun nests, requiring as raw materials only earth, turf and timber. Camp construction were the responsibility of special engineering units (ingenjörkompani) to which specialists of many types belonged. These engineers would requisition manual labour from the soldiers at large as required. An infantry bataljon could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours. The typical 4 castra arrangement would cover the cardial points surrounding the tabor-laager encampment, preferably dominating any approach roads or pathways - the tabor-laager would ideally be situated on raised ground overlooking a cross-roads or some other convergence point and have access to fresh water. The defensive positions should be sufficiently distant to reduce overcrowding, milling about, confusion and vulnerability to threats such as artillery fire or encirclement, yet should be sufficiently close to permit mutual indirect fire support in the event of an attack and the conduct of perimeter patrolling.

Depending on the duration of the occupation of the site, the brigade engineers would select from a menu of standard fortification measures designed to suit their needs. Typically an occupation of an encampment for a period longer than five days would see aspects of a forward operating base (F.O.B.) brought into being, including a dedicated helicopter landing site and improved fortifications using gabions made from collapsible wire mesh container and heavy duty fabric liner that would be filled with soil and gravel and stacked to create blast walls against explosions or small-arms.

Once the tabor-laager/castra configuration metastasised into a more permanent F.O.B., typically featuring the assembly of earthen dams, concrete barriers, gates, watchtowers, bunkers and other force protection infrastructure, it would become the secured position and 'jumping off point' for support tactical operations such as targeted raids and long range patrols into enemy or insurgent territory.

To ameliorate the loss of force strength that would be caused by having hold back 'front-line' troops to guard and patrol the main lines of communication and supply against guerrilla incursions, the patrolling of these routes and the garrisoning of depots was passed to the Amokolian Highlanders (a combat support services corps) supported by the Cudgellers and locally recruited Stratioti alongside personnel drawn from the Fästningbataljon ('fortress-battalion') of operationally deployed brigades, 2nd line personnel held back at the main depot, normally made available through the substitution of individual losses or through the roulement of companies.

Table of Organisation


  • 1643: 1,199,892 personnel
  • 1653: 80,000 personnel
  • 1663: 744,000 personnel (projected)


(Officer Ranks)

  • OF-10 (Överbefälhavaren, ÖB Supreme Commander)
  • OF-9 (General, Amiral)
  • OF-8 (Generallöjtnant, Viceamiral)
  • OF-7 (Generalmajor, Konterameral)
  • OF-6 (Brigadgeneral, Flottiljamiral)
  • OF-5 (Överste, Kommendör)
  • OF-4 (Överstelöjtnant, Kommendörkapten)  
  • OF-3 (Major, Örlogskapten)  
  • OF-2 (Kapten)  
  • OF-1 (Löjtnant)  

(Other Ranks)

  • OR-6 (Förste Sergeant, Förste- styrman,konstapel,maskinist)
  • OR-5 (Sergeant)
  • OR-4 (Korpral)
  • OR-3 (Vice korpral)
  • OR-2 (Menig 1kl)
  • OR-1 (Menig)



Figure 1: Ceremonial Uniforms of the Independence era UDF.
(Design: Tarjei Einhornsson)
Figure 2: Field Uniforms of the post-1629 UDF
(Design: Thorgils Tarjeisson)

Field Equipment

Each member of the UDF deployed in the field carries a gas mask, wirecutters, a short entrenching spade, a waterproof saddlebag of hide which can be inflated for crossings of deep rivers. This bag also will contain clean clothes, a needle and thread, a fish-hook line, a hatchet and two leather bottles, one for water, the other for medicinal brandy. Troops were also issued with a haversack for carrying a canteen with detachable cup/frying pan of 4 pints capacity, a cloth-covered aluminium waterbottle of 2 pints capacity, aluminium drinking cup, knife, and fork and other personal kit. If transport vehicles are not available, infantry are required to carry a cowhide backpack containing an additional pair of trousers, a camouflage smock, two shirts, a spare pair of socks, two handkerchiefs, a change of underwear, a pair of shoes, boot brushes, salt and a daily travel ration, normally consisting of smoked meat, rye bread, and field biscuit, a near imperishable but also near inedible millet and wheat flour cracker that had to be soaked in coffee to become palatable.

If required to establish a castra at the end of a days march in hostile territory the infantry will also carry a pick, axe, saw, and two stakes, in addition to whatever weaponry and body-armour their function obliges them to carry.

Weapons & Vehicles

Small Arms
Glock 9x19mm Pistol
Bolo Knife
AKM 7.62mm assault rifle
M67 fragmentation grenades
Medium & Heavy Weapons
Vickers Machine Gun
M252 81mm mortar
FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS
FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile
Bren 7.62x51mm Light Machine Gun
Type 87 (automatic) grenade launcher
9K115-2 Metis-M
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Horjin Armoured Fighting Vehicle Electronic Warfare Vehicle
Horjin AFV Reconnaissance Tank
Horjin AFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Horjin AFV Armoured Personnel Carrier
Artillery / Anti-Aircraft
Aircraft / Rotorcraft
Ships / Boats / Submersibles

Recruitment and Training

The Union Defence Force is a volunteer force, open to male and female recruits, with exacting requirements, a reason for its persistent active strength shortfall since its re-establishment in 1629. All recruits have to be at least 5 ft 8 in tall, and they are given a medical examination to ensure that they are physically sound, with good eyesight. Volunteers signed on for 20 years, no small commitment yet the pay, made out in government backed Florins, is generous. Men and women join for the pay; for the perceived glory; or for the hope of bettering themselves in an Elwynnese Union that has seen a resurgence in aristocratic power and privilege since the end of communism in 1623.

On acceptance, a recruit is sent straight to a camp administered by the Kungliga Krigsacademien (Royal Academy of Warfare) for basic training and evaluation. The pattern of unrelenting training and assessment is a defining and unending feature of a UDF volunteer's service life no matter what grade or rank they eventually advance to. Soldiers are put through their paces on the parade ground, every day of basic training under the harsh command of a Förste Sergeant (First Sergeant) or drill-master who wields a vine staff, which serves as a symbol of his primacy amongst the other sergeants of the unit and as a weapon of punishment for the lax and inattentive. UDF volunteer soldiers sign a waiver to acknowledge their consent to any form of corporal punishment that occurs as a necessary component of discipline so as to avoid the infraction of various loosely worded anti-discrimination edicts.

For exercises, soldiers are required to run, jump and vault over wooden horses whilst in full kit. New recruits are obliged to do this whilst carrying double-weight practice weapons. Men and women of the UDF are also expected to constantly carry on a punishing schedule of route marches and mock battles, again always in full kit, all preparing soldiers for real combat. To bolster physical strength a daily routine of running and athletics was implemented by physical education instructors, with swimming being encouraged in the summer month.

Whilst this punishing routine carries on, all recruits are subjected to continuous evaluation and testing by their instructors. Those who show an aptitude for a specialism or a modicum of intelligence or initiative are selected for officer training at one of the five specialist colleges that operate under the umbrella of the Kungliga Krigsacademien.

In Popular Culture

The War of Vengeance feudal militias which are among the predecessors of the UDF are extensively featured in the Elwnet TV series called The Most Glorious War. The same applies to the Elwynnbrigaden with regard to the Elwnet TV series that is known as The Iron Brigade, which is a show about the War of Jeremy's Nose.

The UDF also is quite the regular in the The Duel of Princes, an Elwnet TV series about the Coordinated State.