Chapter 93 Army Framework
A few days after the victory celebration, Roland finally undertook the great farming project.
A constant dripping sound could be heard from the direction of the windows when he was sitting in his office, it sounded as if it was raining non-stop. It was the sound of the melting snow.
When he visited the countryside for New Year’s, he laid in front of the window most of the time, watching the long ice prisms which hung under the roof turn transparent and then into droplets, which then fell down. At the moment he hadn’t had the time for such leisure. However, writing down plans for the future while simultaneously listening to the voice of earth’s recovery was also very pleasurable.
According to the information gathered from the previous years, the snow would need about one week’s time to melt, but the road between the Border Town and Longsong Stronghold would at least need one month until it was usable again. It took so much time after the snow melted since the road was built out of mud and also didn’t have a drainage system
Roland could already imagine it, if he wanted to defeat Longsong Stronghold, the first thing he needed to do, was to build a road between the two cities which was usable by carriages even during heavy rains.
But now the problem with the highest priority was still the issue of the army’s reconstruction. Without a reliable and mighty army, it would be impossible to defeat the forces of the Longsong Stronghold with his outnumbered troops. Transferring the militia into the regular army was only the first step. The specific preparation of establishing the new rules, discipline, reward and punishment system turned out to be a big headache.
Although as a child he had played land battle chess, however, he had already long forgotten all the previous teachings. Roland, after some thought, simply decided to make up his own plans. Anyway, as the creator of the new army, even if he implemented unreasonable things, no one would discover it anyway.
So Border Towns’ first compilation for the new army was soon prepared: according to the Army, division, platoon, team, squad, five people for a squad (taking into account that a cannon needed at least five people to operate), ten squads for a team, ten teams for a platoon. As for the number of platoons within a division, he decided to consider it later. In view of the overall battle prowess of the armies during this era, as long as he sent out two or three platoons of soldiers, it should be enough to defeat the vast majority of opponents on the battlefield.
When he decided on the basics for the army framework, Roland took a deep breath.
The rules and regulations that came next were much simpler, in addition to always wearing their uniform, they had to obey the commanding officer, never desert, never betray a comrade and so on. Roland’s first rule was to prohibit plundering and harassing.
The problems caused by plundering were numerous, and the negative impact it had on the local inhabitants was so great, that they would need years to recover, if ever. This was also the reason why he had insisted on only using civilians as the members of the military.
When the aristocracy responded to the call for battle of their Lords, the main reason for their obeying wasn’t to defeat the enemy, instead, it was for the looting afterwards. Or in other words, the main reason they followed the call of war, was to plunder the wealth and territory of an enemy, of course, this included also the innocent civilians within that territory.
As for the mercenaries, not to mention bandits, even though they looked steady and fierce, but if you took a closer look, they were just a flag waving in the wind and at the same time robbery was also a major source of their income. So hoping for military discipline from these people was meaningless.
Only an army built up out of civilians wouldn’t see other civilians as only lambs to be slaughtered. Of course, relying on discipline and moral restraint alone wasn’t enough. After long days in the field, the heart of greed would enlarge with each continued victory. Therefore, the given rewards had to always keep up with the greed, only in this way could he prevent looting and other illegal behavior.
In order to make the reward grand enough, Roland decided to offer the greatest reward of all – receiving their own territory. As long as they achieved great merits during battle, they could get their own territory. Roland had many unclaimed territories, like this, the land between Border Town and Longsong Stronghold could slowly be reclaimed.
Since more than 90% of all land belonged to members of the aristocracy, such a reward was absolutely very appealing. Once they had their own property, these people would be closely attached to his side, and in case there was someone who wanted to overthrow him, they would show the strongest possible resistance to protect their benefactor and with this protect their own land as well.
After all, humankind wasn’t driven by words and whips, but by their own benefits. Putting it another way, as long as he could continuously fulfill the basic interests of the people under his rule, there would be no one who could shake his dominance.
Unlike a traditional fief, Roland will grant them an area between a few acres and up to a dozen acres. The territory could be used to build their own residences, and they could purchase serfs or hire farmers to take care of their fields, but they weren’t allowed to set up their own industry. In contrast, the rewarded territory for a knight is close to two thousand acres, an area equivalent to a small village. The above-mentioned industry income was used to provide the knight and his attendant’s for their war necessities, for example, it was needed to purchase their own weapons, armors and horses.
Being awarded such a small area of land wasn’t of much interest to the aristocracy and as such wouldn’t encounter much resistance, but it would also weakened the feeling of independence for the people on the battlefield. In Roland’s view, it was just like paying a retirement pension, which would ensure that the soldiers had a stable income even after retirement.
At the same time, in order to strengthen the centralization of power, and to avoid that the thought that “servant’s servant is not my servant,” would occur, he would only grant them the ownership of the territory but no autonomy. In other words, the land was still under the jurisdiction of the laws, regulations, and systems in the Lord’s area. In a sense, they would become the foundation for the future generations of farmers.
After he had written down the concept for the reward system, Roland took a break and stretched his body. Then finally he could start thinking about a field within his own area of expertise – R&D weapons.
With the increasing speed of flintlock manufacturing, continuing to use spearman to protect the gunners seemed to be a waste of manpower, so the latter needed the ability to fight independently in melee combat.
There was a very easy solution to this problem, that was, adding a bayonet to the flintlock. Roland didn’t expect his own men to take the initiative and engage in close range combat, instead they should only have the ability to defend themselves in case the power of the gun wasn’t able to completely destroy the enemy’s courage and they started a desperate attack.
A weapon like a bayonet wasn’t so difficult to manufacture, describing it in easy to understand words, it was just a sharp cone, and in the case of further improving the killing effectiveness, he could also add a blood groove into it. The key part was the connection between the bayonet and the gun, the first bayonet was a blade which was connected to a thin wooden pole, which could be directly put into the barrel of the gun. The advantage of this construction was that it was quite simple, the disadvantage was also very obvious, if the bayonet was used the gun was unable to fire, and in addition, if it was used to stab someone, it could happen that the bayonet would become stuck in the enemy’s body.
So Roland intended to produce the improved second generation bayonet – the casing type bayonet. The bayonet had an iron casing added to the blade’s handle. The inner casing diameter was slightly larger than the grooved barrel.
One only needed to weld a piece of iron with a hole on top of the barrel. After plugging the bayonet on top of the barrel and inserting a filling into the hole, it would become fixed. The blade had a triangular form, with three sharp blades, if pierced into the body it wouldn’t fall off, and it would also leave a difficult to heal wound.
After the installation of the bayonet, the bayonet would be slightly longer than the barrel, and so also complicate the loading process, but compared to a folding bayonet, it was much simpler for mass production. As long as there was a sample, any blacksmith was able to reproduce it.
But to enable the bayonet to play an important part in a battle, it was important to train the soldiers in how to use it.
But Roland naturally didn’t know anything about it. Fortunately, he remembered that his Chief Knight had once boasted, that he was able to use any weapon. So he just had to find him and get him to teach the others how to fight with a bayonet.
TN: For more information about bayonets. They seemed to fall off all the time 😀