19 February 2009

The Militia

Although intended as both an emergency military force and regional police force, many militia units are considered to be a little worse than bandits (it being considered that bandits are more competent at the criminal professions). They are usually entitled "Freikorps", in imitation of German practice, though there are some regiments of "Fencibles" and "Yeomen".

A small sample of government-supported militia units is shown. There are many strange and colourful uniforms, usually the more outrageous the design of the uniform is, the less likely it is that the government supports the unit. All belts are (generally) natural leather.

Officers, NCO's and musicians are habitually dressed in reversed colours, following early Austrian practice. Officers are not permitted to wear the gold and blue silk sashes used by the regular units, but must wear a yellow and green woollen sash. NCO's may be distinguished by button-coloured lace around their collars, but generally the reverse-coloured uniform is their only distinction. Mounted officers are supposed to use plain blue shabracques edged yellow, but the practice of using facing coloured shabracques with button-coloured edging is entrenched. Harnessing may be black, brown or buff leather.

Cavalry units wear similar uniforms, albeit with cavalry boots rather than infantry shoes, and plain coloured shabraques (usually grey or a shade of blue). Few number more than a troop, though the Dragons d'Cooma, who well remember the massacre at Beaver Ridge, muster a full regiment of three squadrons that regularly patrol the southern border with the Holy Kingdom. It is even rumoured that the troops may raid isolated farmsteads across that border, but no substantive evidence has been produced.

The militia units, in theory, carry a plain blue flag with a white, seven-pointed star in the centre. However variations based on the arms (granted or invented) of the unit's colonel or portraying the members' origins are also frequently seen.

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