Throughout the galaxy
The Imperial ground forces, sometimes incorrectly refered to as the Imperial Army, was a branch of the Imperial Military that had the primary responsibility of prosecution of ground-side military operations, under the oversight of Army Command. It was formed by re-organizing the Grand Army of the Republic and kept its previous command structure. During the Imperial era, one of the Army's most common duties was the maintenance of planetary garrisons throughout the galaxy, as well as waging war on the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
Numbering in the tens of trillions,the Army utilized a wide range of equipment and vehicles in support of its infantry. Army units were often reinforced by stormtroopers, although the command structure for the two organizations remained separate. On garrisoned worlds, the Army operated in conjunction with Imperial Starfleet, stormtroopers, and the local constabulary to maintain order and security.
After the defeat of the Emperor, the Army would be split up between various Imperial warlords up until the Imperial Reunification. A century later, the split of the Fel Empire a the new Imperial Civil War would also lead to the splitting of the Imperial Army among the two factions.
As with the rest of the Imperial Service, the Army made a strong distinction between “combat elements”, and “command elements” or “support elements”. Any commander, even a sergeant, was considered part of the "command element" and was not counted among the troopers. Since unit commanders were considered supernumeraries, the average size of an Imperial Army formation tends to have a larger headcount then an equivalent strength formation in the Grand Army of the Republic.
The uniquely Imperial concept of 'augmentation' was intended to allow the rapid integration of reinforcement units into an existing force while minimizing the number of (relatively scarce) senior officers required.
On a small scale, augmentation could be compared to unit “attachments”, while on a larger scale it could be compared to an active cadre for reserve divisions. The full extent of augmentation could be impressive. For example, the augmentation of a million man sector army could result in its size being expanded many hundreds of times over.
Perhaps in an effort to facilitate this process, support in the Army was noticeably decentralized. For example, armored and repulsorlift platoons included organic mechanic sections not accounted for in the order of battle (OB), while higher command did not have the usual assortment of support units common in other militaries.
Augmented squads operated together with another squad. Usually, squads were augmented with an additional three-man detail, armed with a heavy or medium repeating blaster.
The nine basic types of squads were the building blocks of the Army. Each squad consisted of eight troopers and was commanded by a sergeant. The other eight troopers were given the numbers one through eight, with number one being a brevet corporal and second-in-command. Both sharpshooter and engineering squads were part of “Special Missions” units. Regular Imperial units did not have designated marksmen or engineering support. The symbol for this level of organization was:|
Infantry units were called “line” units in the Army. High losses against the Rebel Alliance caused the Empire to equip its' troopers with Light repeating blasters to increase their short range firepower. However, only in three Sectors were more than half of the squads equipped with these blasters by the time of the Battle of Yavin.
Heavy Weapons Squads
These squads were armed with Heavy repeating blasters. Heavy Weapons squads were usually attached to other platoons in order to provide additional firepower.
These squads consisted of troopers who had shown accuracy above standard with their weapons. They were also trained in demolitions and several other skills. Due to their above average skill, briefing and training, these soldiers could improvise on the battlefield, should their leaders be killed. Sharpshooter squad sergeants appointed a new brevet corporal before each mission, depending on the skills needed for it. These squads were equipped with light repeating blasters
Engineering Squads were composed of troopers trained in combat and various non-combat technical skills. They were able to handle nearly all equipment and gear found on a mission. Although they used standard weapons, individual squads were equipped with additional gear, such as thermal detonators, medpacs or Portable Sensor Arrays. Each squad included an experienced demolition expert from a Sharpshooter Squad.
Mechanized squads were composed of repulsorlift vehicles, with two vehicles per squad. Each vehicle had a crew of four, consisting of a mechanic, a driver, a sensor/tech officer and a gunner/commander. The sergeant's vehicle was equipped with an additional DER and operator.
Heavy Repulsorlift Squads
The vehicles used by these squads were of two types: a light repulsorlift that functioned as a “battle taxi” (APC), and a heavy repulsorlift which was closer in concept to the “infantry fighting vehicle” (IFV). Heavy weapons repulsorlift squads often added additional weapons to their vehicles, like repeating blasters and grenade launchers.
A scout squad was also called a scout “lance”. Consisting of five personnel including the sergeant, they were generally equipped with speeder bikes. Scout troopers were trained to repair and maintain their bikes, which reduced the need for support personnel. In contrast to the more usual practice, the Empire emphasized unit heritage and pride in its scout squads.
Armor and Artillery Sections
There were two types of armor and artillery sections: heavy and light. Heavy sections consisted of one vehicle. Light sections had two vehicles, but those vehicles were individually smaller than the one in the heavy section.
These are commanded by lieutenants, with a sergeant major as deputy. A platoon consisted of four squads, giving it strength of 38 men, although this varied depending on the kind of platoon. The symbol for a platoon is a kind of L.
A platoon was authorized to request fire support but, typically, not directly. The centralized fire support scheme required the request to be routed up to battalion level, where arrangements were made. Often, an artillery company was assigned to several platoons. The company’s captain then had to allocate his fire support depending on the battle situation.
Mechanized units were a blanket term covering repulsorlift and heavy weapons repulsorlift units, as well as armored platoons. These units included specialized and distinct command vehicles, in addition to maintenance sections in transport vehicles.
This platoon was made up of two line squads and two heavy weapon squads. Usually up to two or three additional medium or heavy repeating blaster details were assigned to this kind of platoon. It had strength of 38 to 47 men with an average of 41.
Infantry platoons, were split into 'light' and 'assault' platoons. In comparison to assault platoons, light platoons had fewer repeating blasters and no medium or heavy support weapons.
Also called a line, this platoon had four artillery sections with four either heavy or medium vehicles, like the SPMA-T, or eight light vehicles. The standard complement was 38 men and 4 to 8 vehicles.
This Platoon contained four repulsorlift squads and a command element, together 56 men and 11 vehicles. The command element served as mobile command base and coordination center. It had two light transport vehicles with modified armor and repulsors and a support vehicle. It had a crew of four with eight mechanics and carried spare parts for repairs.
This was similar to a repulsorlift platoon, but the repulsorlift squads had been replaced with heavy weapon repulsorlift squads.
Armor Platoons were composed of repulsorlift tanks, the equivalent vehicle or walkers. Like the artillery platoons, these platoons had either four heavy vehicles or eight medium or light ones, with the heavy configuration being the most common. Additional to this the Armor Platoon had a command vehicle and two heavy transport vehicles that carried spare parts, resupply components as well as technicians. Together a platoon consisted of 34 to 42 men and 7 to 11 vehicles.
Like a standard platoon, it had 38 men and 4 squads, 2 sharpshooters, 1 engineer and 1 heavy weapon specialist. These squads were often split in equal sub-units, containing troopers of all squads. This allowed larger flexibility. Special mission platoons were often used for PGOs.
This platoon contained two line squads and two scout squads, together with 28 troops and 10 speeder bikes. The lieutenant usually commanded the scouts, replacing the sergeant in the command squad. The line squads were commanded by the sergeant major. An augmented scout platoon had four scout squads, making it smaller than a normal platoon, but more mobile. This platoon had a lieutenant, a sergeant major and 20 troops.
A Company consisted of four platoons for 152 troops. The additional command and logistic staff raised the personnel count to 180 men. Companies were the smallest units where staffs were integrated in the form of specialized medical, technical, and logistic sections, as well as an executive officer also in charge of intelligence. Not surprisingly, various supplementary droids could be found at this level that allowed the unit a certain degree of independence. A captain with a staff of four officers equal to a lieutenant in rank was in command of the company.
For longer missions where no support would be available, additional droids would be added to the company. The organization symbol of a company was an upside down squarish U.
A line company was a standard, run-of-the-mill infantry company, having four line platoons for a total number of 152 troopers and a total of 180 men.
Artillery Company (Battery)
With only 23 of support personnel and only around 70 droids, batteries had a smaller staff than other companies. Composed of four artillery platoons, a battery had 16 heavy/medium artillery pieces or 32 light pieces for 152 troops.
Heavy Weapons Company
This company had two assault platoons and two line platoons. Depending on the configuration of the platoons, a heavy weapon company had 152 to 170 troopers, giving it a total strength of 180 to 198 men.
Attack Armor Company
This kind of company contained three armor platoons and a heavy weapons platoon. The number of troopers in this company varied from 200 (16 heavy tanks + 9 heavy repulsorlifts) to 232 (28 light tanks + 9 heavy repulsorlifts). Additional, the company had a modified heavy tank as a command vehicle for the captain.
Breakthrough Armor Company
Breakthrough armor companies had four armor platoon and a total of 21 to 37 tanks (depending on the platoon’s configuration), one of which was a heavy command tank. Unlike other companies, the support element of this company stayed with the battalion’s headquarters and does not travel into the combat zone. Since the company was usually cut off from any supply lines, the mission profile of a breakthrough company was to break enemy lines and holdings until further troops would arrives. Under these conditions, the company could only operate for a maximum of 72 hours without significant supply problems.
Consisting of two line platoons and two repulsorlift platoons, a company had 188 troops, 32 support personnel, 22 combat vehicles, 8 transport vehicles and 1 command vehicle. The repulsorlift platoons carried the line platoons.
Special Missions Company
Three special mission platoons and an augmented scout platoon made a special missions company. It had a command element of 28 and 136 troops. These companies operated on planets with increased hostile activity in- and outside of the Galactic Empire, usually with little or no support, which was launched from space. On short missions, the command element stayed behind.
Scout Company (Troops)
A scout company contained four scout platoons plus the support and command element. There were 116 troopers and 40 speeder bikes. The whole command element was mobile, using high-powered command speeders.
Battalions were commanded by a Major. Command and support elements were pooled together. Battalion command elements stayed out of the battle zone and were considered relatively safe. The size of the support staff was double that of a Company. There were five staff officers equal to a captain in rank.
A security platoon was considered a support unit, not a combat unit and maintained order within the battalion. Usually commanded by the SB5 officer, the major could assume command of the platoon if the HQ was under attack. The total personnel of a battalion HQ was 90 men and 145 droids, which included around 97 mouse droids.
Battalions were the smallest units that the Service considered dropping. Some Battalion types therefore benefited from a limited degree of combined arms integration. A Battalion's symbol was a rectangle.
That was the most common type of Battalion. It was considered the minimum for any drop surface operation and was used more often than any other type in combat. A line Battalion contained three line companies and one heavy weapons company. That made a total of 810 men including 608 troopers, 18 more if the heavy weapons company was fully equipped.
Assault Battalions were used in urban environment and attacks on a single stronghold. In addition, they were given priority over line battalion when in came to artillery support from capital ships. With one line company, two heavy weapons companies and a repulsorlift company and with one assault company always fully equipped, the assault battalion had a strength of 662 troopers, 206 support personnel and 31 repulsorlift vehicles.
The main advantage of this Battalion was its speed. It was also one of the few Battalions with a mobile HQ. Consisting of three repulsorlift companies, a scout company and the HQ, it could be used for recon, pursuit, skirmish and lighter raids. It only entered battles when additional firepower was needed. The total strength was 680 troopers, 272 support personnel, 115 repulsorcraft (18 of them attached to the HQ) and 40 speeder bikes.
An Artillery Battalion had three artillery companies and, as protection, a heavy weapons company. A full battalion had 608 troopers, 202 support personnel, 96 light or 48 medium/heavy artillery vehicles and several other repulsorlift vehicles to move the artillery tubes.
This kind of Battalion offered the most effective combination of speed and firepower, although it lacked defensive capabilities at stationary targets. Its primary objective was mobile defense and attack. The composition of an Armor Battalion was one breakthrough armor company, two attack armor companies and one repulsorlift company. Like a repulsorlift battalion, the HQ was completely mobile. The HQ had 23 additional men and consisted of 24 HTVs. Armor Battalions were divided in ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ battalions.
Light Armor Battalion: In light battalions, the armor companies only had light tanks and more personnel like a heavy battalion. It was deployed in situations where no large enemy forces or heavy defenses could be awaited – a typical situation when fighting the Rebellion. The only drawback was that the there was no landing barge large enough to transport the whole Battalion. Together there were 695 troops, 401 support personnel, 93 light tanks and 55 repulsorlift vehicles.
Heavy Armor Battalion
This was the heavy version of the light battalion. It had roughly half of the tanks, but these were all heavy or medium models. Together there were 601 troopers, 399 support personnel, 53 heavy/medium tanks and 55 repulsorlift vehicles.
Special Missions Battalion
The largest Special Mission formation was the Battalion. Support personnel were support-trained engineers and the staff and the security platoon were all experienced veterans. This was because, unlike all other HQs, the HQ was expected to fight. The total numbers were 544 troops, 202 support personnel and 88 speeder bikes.
A Regiment was a combined arms formation containing approximately 2,500 troops and 1,000 support personnel and commanded by a lieutenant colonel. The structure and staff complement were the same as a battalion's, but with more droids (>200). A Regimental HQ had a large repair workshop with nanotechnology capabilities and was able to produce nearly all needed spare and repair parts.
Usually the regiments commanded the troops from orbit, unless command continuity was disrupted or the unit was engaged in a long term (over one month) or independent campaign. A regiment's symbol was roughly flag shaped.
It contained two line battalions, one assault battalion and one repulsorlift battalion. They were usually stationed on worlds with none or a low threat level. However, by combining assault and repulsorlift battalions, a line regiment could deploy a fast response to an attack without using its whole strength. Together there were 2,558 troops, 972 support personnel and 130 repulsorlift vehicles.
Assault regiments were pure combat units. They job was it to attack and conquer an identified rebel stronghold or area. Once the battle was over, a line regiment would replace the assault regiment. Two assault, one line and one heavy armor battalion made such a regiment with a total of 2,545 troops, 1,001 support personnel, 121 repulsorlift vehicles and 53 heavy tanks.
In large areas with light and scattered resistance, there was a need for quick response. Three repulsorlift and one armor battalion made a repulsorlift regiment. The HQ was completely mobile and dropped on a planet more often than any other Regiment’s HQ. Imperial commanders often used this to tempt rebels into attacking the HQ, laying a trap. Depending on the size of the armor battalion (heavy or light), the strength of a repulsorlift regiment was 2,641 or 2,735 troops, around 1,305 support personnel, 53 or 93 tanks, 400 repulsorlift vehicles and 120 speeder bikes.
One well-known Regiment was the 112th Repulsorlift Armor Regiment commonly known as Hell's Hammers. The Regiment fought at the Battle of Turak IV, Battle of Absit and the Battle of Spuma. It used the S-1 FireHawke Heavy Repulsortank and the 1-H Imperial-class repulsortank.
During the formation of the Imperial Army, artillery had been given the least priority. The common thinking among the army was that artillery would play no significant role on modern battlefields. The Rebellion, however, proved them wrong and artillery was quickly re-armed. Because of this, the artillery regiments often had a unique composition. Often, smaller artillery units were attached to larger units, like a battery to a battalion, although this is not reflected in the OB. A normal artillery regiment consisted of three artillery battalions, one assault battalion and sometimes one scout company. There were 2,425 troopers, 1,095 support personnel, 144 medium/heavy or 288 light tubes, 53 tanks and 199 repulsorlift vehicles in the most common configuration.
Armor regiments had the most firepower of all regiments but they lacked the numbers in infantry for any garrison duty. Because of this, armor regiments had never been deployed alone, only in battlegroup formations. There were two kinds of armor battalions, ‘line’ and ‘vanguard’.
Vanguard Armor Regiment
A vanguard regiment was composed of three armor battalions and 1 repulsorlift battalion. Together there were 2,483 troopers, 1,559 support personnel, 262 repulsor vehicles and several tanks.
Line Armor Regiment
A line armor regiment had more repulsorlift vehicles, but also used more firepower by having heavy armor battalions attached. In two heavy armor battalions and two repulsorlift battalions there were 2,562 troops, 1,432 support personnel, 304 repulsorlift vehicles and 106 heavy tanks.
COMPNOR Regiment (CompForce)
CompForce regiments (composed of fanatical but ill-trained COMPNOR troops) had the same basic structure as an army regiment, but had fewer security concerns. Due to the fanaticism of its' troopers, the security platoons were unnecessary.
In the Grand Army of the Republic, many divisions were associated with particular places (such as planets) or beings. The Imperial Service preferred a more 'unified' system. Except for a few elite formations, all Army units were stripped of their old designations. To further highlight the change, the term 'Division' was replaced with 'Battlegroup'. These formations were intended for major offensives. Battlegroups had sufficient strength to assault one major or several lesser points of resistance on a planet
A Battlegroup's commanding officer (CO) was typically at least a High Colonel, although it was possible for the CO to be as senior as a Major General (the 1st Tapani Assault Battlegroup was one such example).A Battlegroup had the usual principle staff of five officers of a rank of a major (SG1 to SG5), but in addition the SG5 (Battlegroup "Headquarters" officer) had a 4-man "substaff" (SG51 to SG54). The staff had a total of 188 support personnel and was protected by two security platoons.
Unaugmented battlegroups did not have artillery units even as late as Battle of Yavin. However, this was compensated for by augmenting a battlegroup (other than armored) with an artillery regiment first.
Battlegroups with 3 lines and 1 assault regiment were considered “line”. However, by the Battle of Tiems this formation was considered obsolescent: the Alliance to Restore the Republic had begun fielding division-equivalents and Line Battlegroups held no decisive advantage over such forces. Many Line Battlegroups were replaced by the better balanced Assault Battlegroups or were augmented to Reinforced Battlegroups. However, budget problems had stopped this process. A Line Battlegroup had 10,219 troopers, 4191 support personnel, 511 repulsorcraft and 53 heavy tanks.
Battlegroups of this kind had more tanks and repulsor vehicles than a Line Battlegroup and were seen as a good mix of offensive power and staying power. They had 10,210 troopers, 4,680 support personnel, 676 repulsorlift vehicles and 212 tanks.
When the enemy had spread over a relatively large area, an Armored Battlegroup was sent in. It could hit several enemy strongholds relatively fast and at the same time. With four lines, armor regiments there were 10,090 troops, 6,256 support personnel, 1,132 repulsorlift vehicles and 318 tanks.
An Assault Battlegroup had the same composition like a line Battlegroup, but an armored regiment replaced one of the line regiments.
The advantage of this Battlegroup was its speed. On planets where the Rebellion held areas close to the Empire’s, this Battlegroup could make quick attacks and responses towards enemy attacks. Three repulsorlift regiments and one line armor regiment gave this Battlegroup strength of 10,248 troops, 5,858 support personnel, 1,342 repulsorlift vehicles and 265 heavy tanks.
This Battlegroup was merely a concentration of available resources for the corps commander. The Battlegroup was not meant to fight alone. Three CompForce regiments and a Ground Support Wing made an auxiliary Battlegroup for a total of 7,674 troopers, 2,456 support personnel, 390 repulsorlift vehicles and 40 TIEs.
Ground Support Wing
The Army insisted on its own wing of support fighters for ground missions, while the Navy wanted to keep control of its TIEs. The result was this downsized wing of 40 TIEs. These 40 fighters were organized into ten flights. Six flights made two squadrons of TIE/lns, Three flights made a TIE bomber squadron while one flight of TIE/fcs served as spotters. These wings were also stationed in prefabricated garrison bases.
A Corps was commanded by a major general with five staff officers (SP1 to SP5). Each staff officer had his own two staff officers (SP11 through SP52). Security for the HQ was provided by a company of 152 men plus six extra perimeter platoons of 38 men each which are commanded by either the SP1 officer or the general. The 3 COMPNOR regiments were supported by (an inadequate) 144 personnel. The remainder of the corps had 388 support personnel. One Imperial Intelligence operative and 50 ISB agents handled Intelligence, the latter functioning as political officers as well.
The whole corps could be transported with one corps transport, which was one of the seldom examples of cooperation between army and navy. In addition to real corps, there were cadre corps HQs on planets. These were the basis of Imperial garrisons, to be reinforced as required. A typical garrison had 4 battalions and a fighter wing.
An industrial complex with over 2000 droids (MSE-6, I2F-5 and I2F-73) was frequently attached as well. The complex was capable of producing almost all of the items required by a corps, and so greatly eased logistics.
While the Empire enjoyed numerical superiority on the strategic level, and aimed for the same on the tactical, this was not necessarily true on the operational level. A corps was deployed to pacify a hostile world that had recently seceded from the Empire. It could typically expect to be outnumbered by at least four to one. It was up to the operational skills of Imperial commanders to arrange local superiorities and defeat the enemy in detail.
There were 3 line and 1 assault battlegroup in a line corps for a total of 48,541 troopers, 20,658 support personnel, 2,599 repulsorlift vehicles and at least 371 heavy tanks.
Named after the famous Atrisian assault corps of the planet Atrisia that inspired the politics of the Empire, the Atrisian corps were among the elite of the Empire. Such a corps contained 2 assault battlegroups, 1 line battlegroup, and 1 armored battlegroup, giving it 48,403 troops and, 3,385 repulsorlifts and 795 heavy tanks.
This corps was suited more for operation where firepower was more needed than agility. 3 armor battlegroups and 1 repulsorlift battlegroup gave the armor corps a strength of 48,192 troops, 26,602 support personnel, 5,128 repulsorcraft and 1,219 heavy tanks.
A mobile corps was the exact opposite of an armor corps: With its repulsorcraft vehicles the mobile corps could deliver fast strikes against rebel positions. Composed of 3 repulsorlift and 1 armor battlegroup, the mobile corps had a strength of 48,508 troops, 23,107 support personnel, 5,548 repulsorlift vehicles and 1,113 tanks.
An Army is commanded by a full General. The support element of an army is as large as two Battalions for a total of 1,855 men and twice as many droids. It had five staff (SA1 to SA5) and ten substaff (SA11 through SA52) officers, a security company (152 men) and six independent perimeter Platoons (total 228 men), 200 ISB agents for agent intelligence or counterintelligence, 3 companies of COMPNOR "observers" (each 152 men plus a command element of 5), 4 Imperial Intelligence representatives and 784 support personnel.
An Army would have one of each type of Corps and was meant to fit into a naval troop squadron. That gave an army 193,644 troopers, 100,042 support personnel, 16,660 repulsorcraft and at least 3,498 heavy tanks.
A Systems Army was commanded by a High General and consisted of anywhere from two to six armies, they were organizationally separated from the Surface Army and corps HQ over which they had oversight. The only force directly attached to a High General's command was the headquarters unit, which had the same strength like an army HQ. The primary function of a systems army was to deploy reinforcements and naval support to its child armies rather than to fight.
The sector army could be commanded by a Moff or delegated to a Surface Marshal. A sector army could have up to eight systems armies under its command and was supposed to fit within an Imperial Assault Fleet. The total numbers of a sector army were 774,576 troopers, 405,733 support personnel, 66,640 repulsorcraft and 13,922 heavy tanks. Its HQ element was of the same size as that of an army or systems army (1,855 men total).
Collective term for the Unified Armies of the Imperium.
The Imperial Army serves as the planetary armed fighting forces for the Imperium. Its soldiers deal with planetary surface actions, battles, and campaigns.
The Imperial Army is divided into three major force commands: Close Orbit and Airspace Control Command, Nautical Force Command (the wet navy) and Ground Force Command.
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