Brotherhood

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Brotherhood

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

The powerful and secretive Teutonic Order has many duties within the Prussian Empire, but it is first and foremost a military organisation, preserving and upholding fighting traditions going back centuries. Their most visible activity, and the one for which they are best known, is providing a corps of highly trained, heavily armed military forces to serve alongside the Prussian regular military, especially in heavily contested or strategically crucial warzones.

Although the Order’s most spectacular creations are the huge war robots and zeppelins it deploys as major strategic assets, it also has a wealth of weaponry and equipment well-suited for smaller scale missions at the tactical level. Of these, the most common are the Knight-Armsmen.

Although fairly low-ranking in the hierarchy of the Order, they are trained to an elite level, and will stand unafraid in even the most desperate battlefield conditions. A large part of this confidence stems from their equipment, for the Knight-Armsmen go to war in the fearsome powered suits of armour that are the trademark of the Order’s front-line fighting troops.

These mighty armoured suits are nearly impervious to most enemy firepower outside of dedicated anti-tank weaponry, and the massive enhancement they grant to their user’s strength enables Knight-Armsmen to wield a variety of devastating weaponry far too large and heavy for regular infantry.

Teutonic Knights Section

Teutonic Knights Section

Their main armament is the heavy Maschinegewehr 71, adapted from a common infantry support weapon. This brutal, belt-fed death machine enables the Knight-Armsmen to lay down a devastating barrage of fire as they advance, more than making up for their relative lack of speed compared to regular infantry.

However, some Armsmen are equipped with the Tesla Mark 4 Schocklanze. This fearsome weapon is a heavy duty variant of the lighter Mark 2 version employed by the Luftlancer squadrons. It takes advantage of the powerful Sturginium battery that powers the Knight-Armsman’s armour to hurl great forks of deadly energy into the enemy’s ranks over short distances, incinerating flesh and blowing apart tanks and war machines.

Indeed, the Order turns this steady march to its advantage. A section of Knight-Armsmen on the march is as inexorable as a mighty glacier, and just like a glacier, they are crushingly unstoppable. Regular infantry are swept aside by storms of flying lead and lightning strikes and even ironclads and armoured targets are not safe, as a co-ordinated assault by Order warriors can wreck even light tanks and bunkers at close quarters.

The Order treats its Knight-Armsmen almost like armoured companies rather than regular infantry. Knight-Armsmen are organised into units called Brotherhoods. Each Brotherhood is broken down into Lances, the largest practical single unit for tactical operations. Lances are then further sub-divided into combat sections known as Blades, which are usually three soldiers strong at full strength.

Although all Order Armsmen are capable of operating on their own initiative if need be, ideally each Blade includes an Unter-Marschall among its number. The Order’s equivalent of sergeants, these officers are subordinate to the commanding Marshal of their Lance.

A Lance might be spread across a considerable section of frontline, offering steel and firepower to regular Prussian troops over a large area – as well as keeping a close eye on officers and soldiers alike for any signs of defeatism and backsliding.

However, sometimes an entire Lance, or more than one, will be gathered together to carry out specialist operations. These missions are usually planned and carried out under sole command of the Order, or as a powerful spearhead for a larger attack.

Such was the case when the Prussian Land Flotte and Reichswehr units of the Imperial Caribbean Expeditionary force launched the Operation Parade offensive against American units on Puerto Rico. The Order’s attached units provided the spearhead and, although ultimately halted, caused tremendous damage to the defending American forces, as well inflicting a severe shock on their morale which took a long time to subside.

Elsewhere, Teutonic Order Brotherhoods have been active on both the eastern and western fronts of the European theatre. Although several forces were deployed to the Low Countries, a much larger proportion of Order strength is currently active on the long eastern front facing the Russians and their allies.

Several Brotherhoods are active in defending the northern sectors of the mighty defensive lines known as the Wolfgang Fortresses, from Stettin to the far northern borders between Prussian Scandinavia and the Russian-ruled Grand Duchy of Finland.

A strong force under the command of Landmeister Franz-Albert Freiherr Von Dammenblatz is stationed to defend the Order’s ancient home, the mighty citadel of Marienburg Castle in West Prussia. This huge fortress, heavily reinforced against the terrible weapons of the Sturginium Age, has resisted five major attacks since the Russian invasion began. The Knight-Armsmen under Dammenblatz’s command have proven more than a match for the Russians in the bloody fighting in and around the city, despite being heavily outnumbered.

HMG Section

The huge Prussian Reichwehr has long recognised that focussing too greatly upon individual marksmanship in training would be an impractical measure, given the sheer numbers and skill levels of the soldiers who make up its Grenadier Regiments.

However, this does not mean that the Reichswehr command disdains the use of supporting fire. Indeed, the General Staff ensures that every regiment has a lavish allotment of heavy support weaponry as part of its integral organisation, as well as furnishing divisional commanders with even more such weapons as reserves to parcel out to units at the front as they are needed.

Advancing columns of resolute Prussian infantry are an intimidating sight, but the provision of heavy fire support to cover their advances is vital – time and again, Prussian field commanders are reminded during and after their training that the Empire’s vast manpower reserves does not give them license to be satisfied with costly victories any more than actual defeats.

As a result, the Prussian infantry are well furnished with heavy machine-guns. The most popular model is the Rudiger Model 64, and the powerful Prussian industrial base is easily capable of turning out these weapons in vast amounts.

Prussian Empire HMG

Prussian Empire HMG

Thanks to Prussian technological expertise, the Model 64 is a highly advanced design. A triple-barrelled beast, its water cooling system and chain-link ammo belts allow it to maintain a high rate of fire, albeit at some cost to its overall maximum range. However, the Reichswehr tends to make up for this by deploying these weapons en masse where possible.

This weapon, like many other Prussian firearms and war machines, epitomises the grimly industrial nature of warfare in the Sturginium Age; a Prussian machine-gun battery is veritable firepower factory which beats down even the toughest enemy resistance for the infantry to sweep away.

The Rudiger has acquired the uncompromising nickname of the ‘jackhammer’ for its thunderous stream of reports when used for sustained fire. This name apparently originated among the American troops stationed on Puerto Rico during their first encounters with the Prussian army units invading the island. The use of the title quickly spread, and the German translation – Presslufthammer – was adopted by the Prussian infantry themselves as a mark of honour for the guns and crews that contributed to so many successful attacks and stout defences.

All Reichswehr regiments include several machine-gun support companies which fight directly alongside the regular infantry – their crews are drawn from the same regiments, ensuring that there is a strong degree of mutual respect between gunners and regular soldiers.

Also, when needed, extra machine-gun batteries are deployed from army reserves for additional firepower; this is common practice on the eastern front, where whole machine-gun companies have occasionally been deployed en masse to defend against the fiercest Russian assaults.