Themiclesian Marine Corps (according to November Magazine)

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Themiclesian Marine Corps
TMC logo.gif
Active1318 – now
CountryThemiclesia
BranchNavy
TypeNaval infantry
Naval aviation (helicopters)
RoleBoarding
Landing
Size9,553 (active)
3,220 (reserved)
Part ofMinistry of Defence
HeadquartersN7 Crystal Park, Kien-k'ang
Nickname(s)Wandering Legion, Star Children
PatronVenus (planet)
ColoursBlue, verdigris, silver
Commanders
Captain-generalDr. Margaret Skur
Exchequer Chief ClerkCol. Samuel Sam
Insignia
Unit flagThemirines flag.png
Commercial logoThemirines logo 3.fw.png

The Themiclesian Marine Corps (房冗人, pang-nunk-ning) is the naval infantry branch of the Themiclesian Navy (航, gang) and performs a range of tangent and peripheral duties.

Contents

Name and translation

Themiclesian Marines acquired their Anglian names when confronted by Tyrannian Royal Marines, who fought them in 1791 during the Raid on Rad and gave them their present name. Hallians and Sylvans did not distinguish amongst Themiclesian armies and called all of them exercitūs thimiensis, "Themiclesian Army". The term exercitus thimiensis was also used by Themiclesian diplomats referring to the nation's forces. "Themiclesian Marine Corps" is the sanctioned translation in Anglian of the Shinasthana pang-nunk-ning (方冗人) since around 1810.

Themiclesians do not use pang-nunk-ning to translate "marine corps" in general; rather, the term sturt-prang (水兵, "maritime force") is used, being the more inutitive.

pang (方) is a proper name for a cabin located in the side of a ship and constrats with stit (室), a cabin in the stern of a ship. The word nunk-ning (冗人) means "passenger". Currently, the last term is still used to identify passengers on both ships and aircraft, but not those on road vehicles. This name is uncontroversially linked to the medieval custom that all passengers (i.e. not crew members) on ships on the high seas are required to bear arms for its defence, under its captain's direction.

In terms of its placement within the ceremonial departments, the marine corps is a branch of the Privy Treasury. It should be noted that, in the eyes of the administrative law, the Marine Corps is actually several separate entites, and only the commissioned officers, officers of the headquarters, legal counsels, and accounting officers are part of the Treasury hierarchy. The petty officers and enlisted men are armed groups that assemble under other statutes, even though they must obey the commands from officers appointed to lead them. The full title of the Captain-general was rendered as "Captain-general of Marines, Privy Treasury".

History

Precursors

The seminal distinction between sailors and "passengers" was made in a royal edict dating to 502, forbidding passengers (anyone not a crew member) from defecting to enemies in case the ship was attacked. Maritime historian C. Larter belives these laws evidence the "increased militarization of the Grang merchant navy, seeking to utilize every person onboard."  

The oceanic navy was organized in 810 as a military fleet to hold off Hallian attack on Themiclesian outposts in Columbia and to control the prized Maracaibean trade, which brought much gold to Themiclesia. As the latter wars always occurred in Meridian waters, enemy fleets could carry more troops, while the Themiclesians had to carry months of provisions even to reach disputed waters. Ships set aside for storage were poorly defended and useless in combat. Thus, many Themiclesian vessels were less crewed than their opponents. Additionally, if experienced sailors were captured, the craft could be paralysed; carrying substitute crew too burdened provisions. As a result, the 502 statute was used to compel the fleet's physicians, scribes, craftsmen, priests, and even ordinary civilians to fight alongside the crew.

In the Themiclesian fleet, crew members both manned vessels and boarded enemy ships, but Themiclesians called any soldiers on enemy fleets "passengers". After the capture of Portcullia, any civilian living there were liable to be pressed and procure their own provisions, as long as the fleet compensated them with money (transported more easily than grain). From that point, the fleet expecting battle would sail to Meridia with a small crew, press men into service for battle, and discharge them after battle. Since these individuals were not sailors and served largely the same role as soldiers on enemy fleets, they were called passengers.

The press was exceptionally unpopular with Themiclesians abroad engaging in commerce.[1] Those who could afford it hired substitutes when it was imposed. Additionally, as the number of passengers waxed, they also became prone to mutinies, which hampered several important operations in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Revolt of 1279

In 1279, a number of Meridian states entered into an alliance and assembled a fleet to rival the Themiclesian one. Hostilities opened some time in 1280. Themiclesian archival sources provide that the enemy was spirited but poorly co-ordinated; however, many historians contend that the Meridian states fielded well-built ships and expert mariners that flustered Themiclesian admirals. The Themiclesians invaded two of the major allies at the same time, which caused the Meridian fleet to split and rush in their aid. In one, the Themiclesian fleet laid in wait and ambushed one of halves and won a victory at not-insignificant cost, but in the other, the Themiclesian troops were facing stern local opposition. Shortly after this victory, the passengers who took the first Meridian city refused to set sail to assist those in the other, having learned that the battle was hard and proclaiming that they were promised only one battle. This delay permitted the standoff to reach the other city, where the passengers defected to the Meridian alliance, knowing that the fleet was quagmired and unable to relieve them in time.

"Fouding"

The Themiclesian Marines officially profess the position that the force was founded in 1318, because the Great Exchequer's (大內) money rolls that year show that expenses relating to naval infantry were disbursed as a separate heading, apart from the fleet. The admiral of the fleet was, apparently, divested of the duty to find and pay for marines from a fund granted for this purpose; rather, an envoy from the Treasury handled this task henceforth. It is suggested that, because the marines were foreigners pressed abroad, there was no effective way for the central government to know how many of them there were or for how long they served, and the admirals may have been implicated in some sort of corruption scandal over the misuse of moneys earmarked for them. This reform has no known effect on the practice of naval warfare.

Wax Tablet Case

Aside from fiscal records in the 14th century, the Wax Tablet Case of 1370 is the sole proceeding at the royal court that explicitly involves marines. Around 1365/6, a man called Ta-lep became an indentured servant for 15 years to another man called Mū, and in 1368 Mū was under compulsion to procure marines for the Themiclesian fleet, which was near Maracaibo. He therefore gave up Ta-lep to the fleet in a 2-year period for the sum of 14 taels and 10 maces of gold, which the Exchequer gave him a note to be redeemed upon Ta-lep's return for a monthly interest of 6 maces. Mū further gave security of 3 taels and 4 maces for the armour and weapon Ta-lep was to have. Ta-lep was on a ship that carried a diplomat from Maracaibo to Themiclesia, when he reportedly ate one of the letters of credence and was thrown into the ocean for this transgression. The defilement of such a document was viewed as lèse-majesté and was punished by death.

Mū, finding out that his servant had been killed, filed a suit against the Treasury for a trespass on his lawful interest in Ta-lep's service, of which he argued 10 years was still outstanding and for which he demanded 50 taels of gold. He argued that the diplomat was not a judge empowered to throw his servant overboard. The case gained the attention of jurists who wished to investigate the extent of an envoy's power over members of his mission, and the judges ruled that the envoy, having power to sign binding treaties on behalf of the soverign and do all things to ensure the success of his mission, also had the authority to remove threats for reasons of state.  Mū's case was thus rejected on the grounds that Ta-lep had become dangerous to affairs of state, and Mū was not entitled to recover the outstanding value of Ta-lep's service to him. However, Mū was permitted to recover the 3 taels and 4 maces security on Ta-lep's armour and weapon, since those were not thrown into the ocean.

Mits's case

In 1405, a defendant Mits mentioned as a "passenger now in the fleet" was accused of slaying another person of unclear identity. The initial tribunal ruled the homicide intentional, but the case was appealed to the Chancellor in 1406, when Mits has apparently left the ship and stood imprisoned. The Chancery re-read the briefs filed and ordered the admirals to change the ruling to an unintentional homicide, for which Mits was sentenced to "redeem death" (贖死) by a fine of two catty and eight ounces of gold (about 960 g).  Mits's response on record was, "The defendant rather die" (情死). The record broke at this point.

Battle of Maracaibo

The entry of Sylva into the race for colonies in Meridia prompted Themiclesia to expand its fleet. In 1518, the admirals devised an formula for calculating how many marines were required on each ship. Advocates of the formula stated that, since ships and marines were both fixed costs, expenditure on either can be mathematically optimized. Beneath the optimum, the likelihood of capture increases dramatically, while above the optimum, deployment carried diminishing returns. This was compared to the current value of the ship they defended. Opponents of the formula asserted that it does not factor in the enemies and thus cannot be accurate.

During the Maracaibean War fought over the political independence of Vitric society, passengers were known to have been gathered from at least six Meridian ports for an expected naval battle with Sylva.

Gwits-men's reforms

In 1705, Emperor Gwits-men embarked on a rigorous programme to re-organize the defences of his realm, which stretched from the west coast of Columbia to the remote interior of Hemithea. The Themiclesian court became weary of stationing large, unified armies in disparate regions for fear of developing local loyalties, the likes of which eventually assisted the independence of Camia. The Emepror supported instead a policy to separate the remaining Colonial Army into two armies and at the same time filling some of their ranks with metropolitan Themiclesians. This change in recruitment was intended to increase dependence on the metropole for defence and dilute regional loyalties.

For centuries, Themiclesian thinkers have understood the world as a bipartite space: the strategic and diplomatic concerns of the east, mainly Dzhungestan and Menghe, and those of the west, namely the subcontinent, Hallia, and Casaterra. From the establishment of standing armies in the 14th c., Themiclesia fielded regular forces on both sides of the Meh Sea to defend metropolitan and imperial interests. In the mid-1600s, it was noticed that while Themiclesia had enemies on both sides, it rarely needed to field both armies simultaneously, as enemy states' strategies rarely intersected or co-ordinated. In a period of fiscal stringency lingering from the lengthy Camian War of Independence, the royal court permanently bound an army to the navy, so that it could fight on both sides of the sea.

The Admiralty labelled the new army "Left Passengers" (左冗人), while the naval infantry were redesignated as "Right Passengers" (右冗人). The Admiralty's nomenclature is deceptive, as while both units had the name "passengers", they were in reality fielded separately. To disambiguate them, historians conventionally call the former the Admiralty's Army. The new army was approximately 8,000 men strong, augmenting the approximately 30,000 soldiers in the Subcontinent and 26,000 in Themiclesia. During periods of particularly hightened tension, the Admiralty's Army have reached a strength of 16,000, though its conception and role as a mobile reinforcement meant the royal court usually did not enlarge it in priority.

Mutiny at Trung-gengs

To strenghthen the Admiralty's army, around 3,000 men of the Northern Colonial Army were re-assigned to the Admiralty in 1731. Due to widespread suspicions and a temporary shortage of deck space, the fleet docked at Trjung-gengh (中亙; now in Camia) turned away the men in Jan. 1732. Some crewmembers combined this with other grievances and refused to sail until addressed. While the affair took place at peace, the royal court was gravely troubled. The admiral in charge of the army, Admiral Kit, required the men were required to take an oath before the crew of the ship on which they served, swearing to defend the crewmembers like themselves. This is remarkable as it shows significant Casaterran influence, Themiclesians rarely swearing oaths except during judicial proceedings before this time.

Mutiny at Smlin-ts′ing

On August 2, 1740, the 11th Regiment of Marines mutinied at Smlin-ts′ing (神清; now in Camia). Some of the regiment had been caned for a minor offence with a number of sailors. Reportedly, the captains commuted the caning sentences into amercement, but the marines did not enjoy the same. The mutineers barricaded themselves at a small, defensible position at Smljin-ts′jêng, presenting their grievances on an ensign, demanding, amongst other things, equal treatment. However, the fleet silently set sail on the night of the 5th, leaving the 11th in their barricade. The court disbanded the 11th on Nov. 22, 1740. While the grievance was not addressed, the Offences Onboard Act was amended in 1741, effectively granting their petition.

Maverican War

While the Marines saw combat against Ostlandic marines during both Maverican Wars, the conflict for which they are most famous occurred in 1768, known as the Great Firefight. The Colonial Army massacred and intentionally caused a famine for the locals in retribution for their revolt, but it also encumbered the navy's revictualing, which relied on plentiful Maverican grain. The admirals ordered marines to investigate and resettle dispossessed Mavericans, contradicting the Colonial Army's policies. Skirmishes then broke out between the two forces, the most deadly occurring on September 1, 1768, with 281 casualties. The locals support the Marines who appeared to be fighting for their security. The Colonial Army took this as proof that the Admiralty was in league with them and imported two regiments from the subcontinent to expel the marines. Vindictive Colonial Army officers threw captives into the sea.

Raid on R′adh

Anglian Royal Marines defeated the two Themiclesian Marines units at R′adh

In 1789, the Tyrannian Royal Navy was commanded to offer reinforcements to Camia, but rather than leaving the Meh, it instead raided the Themiclesian port of R′adh, where the vast majority of Themiclesian ships were docked. The Royal Marines were sent ashore to set fire to the Themiclesian fleet and nearby buildings. Themiclesian marines in the locality were hastily assembled along with the local militia to offer resistance. A brief but intense engagement occurred in the naval docks. While the Royal Marines were not able to reach all the ships, their extremely close or touching hulls permitted the conflagration to spread to and later consume the entire fleet. The spreading fire and prevailing winds prevented the Themiclesians from rescuing any significant number of ships. Though the invaders were repulsed within but a few hours, the fleet was effectively destroyed. The sudden disappearance of naval assets was to have a strong impact on the later Second Maverican War; civilian vessels could not safely transport troops and war supplies from the Subcontinent, which meant they had to be procured in the metropole and travel less efficiently over land. The intense expropriation required to fund the war eventually turned the gentry against the hawkish government, causing its eventual downfall.

Camian campaign

In the Second Maverican War, the prime minister the Lord of Slor and the foreign secretary Lord Mai believed that Camia could be pressured into withdrawing its troops engaged in Maverica if its home territory was directly attacked. To this end, they commandeered civilian ships to transport the West Expedition Army, consisting of six regiments of the Admiralty Army, to Camia. The Government followed the admirals' advice and appointed a veteran Marines officer, Long Lêt, to general the expedition; this was an unusual appointment that apparently passed over more eligible figures within the aristocracy. The Camians, expecting Themiclesian to be fully committed to Solevant and Maverica, failed to defend the coast adequately, resulting in an bloody but straightforward taking of two ports that overlooked the capital city.

On Dec. 21, 1791, the army marched against the capital city, Kensington, and defeated its three defensive regiments. Not waiting for negotiations, Long immediately destroyed the city's defensive walls and established control over civic buildings. Following Lord Mai's directives, Long attempted to pressure the Camians to recalling its army, at times resorting to terrorism against civilians in the city. The burning of agricultural fields and expulsion of civilians from their homes enraged the citizens, prompting several disorganized assaults on Themiclesian fortifications. Taking advantage of these instances, Long had dozens arrested and executed publicly, without trial, in some cases by skinning them alive and other cruel methods. In the spring and summer of 1792, he took several other towns to stop grain exports and redouble the pressure on the Camian government.

At the same time, the Camians bought military secrets from the invigilator of the army, Rjem, who was jealous of Long's fast advance and offended by his social slights. Long's progress was thus stalled by surprise attacks in the Camian woods near Ngieh-sen and sorties from New Berkshire. In the fall, he returned to Kensington to winter and collect more evidence of Rjem's activities, but the Navy Secretary and Foreign Secretary both dismissed his allegations. In the winter of 1792, Camian leaders decided that they would not recall their army but "battle to the end" against the occupying army, even if it meant relying on civilians and sporadic attacks. Impatient with Long's lack of progress, the Government replaced him with the Lord of L′jin, who was a puisne justice of the Supreme Court. L′jin prosecuted Rjem successfully, but before he was sent home for sentencing, the troops murdered him, believing his traitorous actions occasioned many unnecessary deaths.

The Camian gentry welcomed L′jin with open arms in the hopes of mollifying his disposition about when to attack other Camian towns. Knowing his reputation in strict enforcement of laws, they alleged to him the atrocities committed by his troops and demanded prosecutions, whereon L′jin executed Long's infamous executioner on Apr. 2, 1793 for murder, since Long, having sidelined his chief judicial officer, did not prove any of his victims' guilt. His head was displayed on a pike on Kensington's west gate. L′jin next moved to take Ngieh-sen and was rebuffed by a resolved defence and poor weather, later to suffer a similar outcome in Oct. 1793 on the march against Lupo. L′jin became convinced that his men were trying to sabotage the campaign and had scores imprisoned. While he was initially lenient on the murder of Rjem, by this point a known traitor, he convicted the group that murdered Rjem of petty treason, for which they were strangled. Without any progress for a full year, the Government dismissed L′jin for Lord Kaw′ in early 1794.

Morale showed improvement under Kaw′, as he pardoned L′jin's prisoners and declared that he would not be unduly harsh against his officers and men. His spring campaign to Litton was successful until he was ambushed near Ansing and pushed off a cliff. Injured, he travelled to Amble under disguise but was recognized and hanged. The Ansing Offensive, executed by civilians with only a handful of officers, is heavily romanticized in Camian historical canon. His replacement, Lord Grum, was ill for most of his tenure and failed to achieve what the Government had wanted. In May 1795, the West Expedition Army was disbanded, and its regiments sent to fight in Maverica.

Lord of Gar-lang's disarmament

The military arrangements in the subcontinent, of which the Navy were part, were disrupted during the Maverican Wars. In 1796, the Themiclesian court faced a critical choice whether to re-establish military presence and administration in Columbia, which would be expensive, or to abandon their interests there, likely for good. The emperor was desperate to reach preliminary agreement with aristocrats to recapture lost territories, even with the promise of a more equitable distribution of colonial profits, but most of them distrusted and opposed him. After an impasse lasting almost four years, the Lord of Gar-lang was appointed prime minister and began disarming to suppress military expense and to complement an isolationist policy that he believed was more stable and left the crown less political capital.

To this end, Gar-lang in 1802 dissolved the Admiralty's Army, then around 12,700 men, leaving six regiments in the naval infantry department. Of the remaining regiments, he instructed the Admiralty to reduce their number by two-thirds before the full moon of the eighth month, the start the naval year. The admirals scrambled to meet Gar-lang's demand and largely accomplished it by discharging the ill, wounded, and weak, with a negligible severance payment. This disarmament programme was so hastily executed that the Admiralty estimated the decimated units would take more than three years to regain its former fighting ability, due to missing officers and newly-composed units.

While most of the soldiers appeared to leave service happily, a small group remained disgruntled and plotted to assassinate the Lord of Gup, Secretary of State for War. Snat Ker ambushed Gup when he left the Palace on Jan. 2, 1803, hitting Gup's chest with a pistol. Gup fell from his carriage but survived his wounds. Snat and 26 co-conspirators were convicted of petty treason and sentenced to decapitation, but the War Secretary commuted 20 of the sentences to penal slavery; the rest were decapitated at Kien-k'ang on Jun. 22, 1804.  Journalists at the trial reported that Snat said that his regiment was one of the few that fought well and should not have suffered the ignominy of disbanding; the Crown argued successfully that Snat and his confederates were bitter at losing their salaries during a time of national stringency.

Salary reform and revolt

In 1820, the Lord of Ral-lang was Baron-President of the Admiralty Department and attributed corruption to excessive reliance on officers, many of whom inflated troop numbers and assessed fictitious fineson their men to arrogate wages. Ral-lang introduced the Casaterran use of primary documents to enhance control, believing that if recipients could calculate and check their own salary payments, embezzlement would diminish and willingness to fight increase. Marines were ordered to invoice the Exchequer for salaries directly. However, extreme chaos ensued, as the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty reported that marines were not tested for literacy and numeracy at enlistment. From private letters, historians understood this policy as a disaster. The policy also allowed literate officers and local notaries to extort illiterate men.

On Mar. 3, 1821, a group of petty officers roused up a revolt in the port city of Tor. A large number of marines turned against the government and demanded the abrogation of the new salary policy through an open letter to the Magistrate of Tonning, the nearest senior officer. The rebels claimed that all the marines (around 5,000) were in agreement about their grievance, but official investigations suggest that about 1,000 at most were involved. In response, the Magistrate of Tonning called together the local militia, whereupon about 11,000 men assembled in the city in three days' time; the Admiralty ordered most warships to de-anchor for Prin to prevent the rebellion from relocating. To prevent contact between groups, the militias were ordered to quarter a few miles from the city and deny the armouries from the rebels.

In Kien-k'ang, Ral-lang was mortified by the news of the revolt. The Council of Peers, meeting on Mar. 10, demanded Ral-lang investigate the disturbance, which he described to the Council as a minor dispute. However, the scale of the matter soon reached the capital city, and nine peers were commissioned to investigate the rebellion. The commissioners negotiated with the mutineers and came to the agreement that the policy would be reversed without delay, on condition ringleaders of the rebellion be identified surrendered. The ringleaders were handed over to the Magistrate of Tonning for trial. The ringleaders, represented by Sjt. Kaw, demurred to the Magistrate's jurisdiction and demanded to be tried at the Exchequer, the customary place for naval offences. The Chancellor sustained the demurrer and committed the prisoners to the Exchequer.

While the attorney intended the rebels to address the court in public so as to generate sympathy, the Government and Ral-lang especially pressured the judge to adjourn the trial to the very last day of every judicial term, ensuring that the court would always vacate before the defendants were heard. The 21 ringleaders were confined into a single cell and denied the customary right to pay for better accommodation. By Dec. 1821, seven of them had died to dysentery. Kaw petitioned the royal court for a special pardon on the argument that the marines had been driven to revolt by their "compelled indigence and abuse at many hands", but even after a change of government the petition was rejected. On Aug. 4, 1829, eight years after the revolt, the jail that housed the ringleaders burned down under mysterious circumstances, killing the remaining five ringleaders but not other prisoners.

The nine-member panel was given a second commission following the dispersal of the revolt, to find out what had driven the ringleaders to lead the revolt in the first place. The commission reported in 1822 that officers felt no personal responsibility to suppress rebellions and recommended that all officers must pay a good-conduct deposit to the Government before being allowed to take a commission. Those refusing pay the deposit were not removed from office but denied promotions.

1841 Dockyard Riot

In July 1841, thousands of middle-class citizens of Tor protested against the limited franchise in elections to the House of Commons. Protestors camped outside of the local magistrate's seat awaiting his promise to deliver local grievances to the central government. A rumour then circulated out that the army had been dispatched to disperse them, and on the night of the 26th, the protestors stormed the Sram-ka Fort that overlooked the city. Sram-ka was deemed the most threatening as it was the nearest occupied fortification. The protestors expelled the 1,545 marines that lived in the fort in the middle of the night.

In response, the magistrate of Tor sent summonses to adjoining counties to muster the militia and bring them to Tor's city gates to maintain order. When the militiamen entered the city, not having been informed that the Sram-ka had already been taken, they mistook the marines sleeping outside of the fort for rioters and attacked them. The commander of the fort then fled on horseback to the local magistracy for protection, and on the morning of 28th the magistrate made a public appearance and announced that he did not plan to attack the protestors. The Secretary of State for Home Affairs entered the city and negotiated the protestor's exit upon a promise of no prosecution. His actions are locally remembered for their mildness and causing no civilian casualties.

Skirmishes with Camia

Battle of Liang-la

After Acker II became president of Camia, he became politically attached to the policy of removing Themiclesians from the Isle of Liang, which was only 70 miles off the coast of Camia. According to him, "a Themiclesian invasion could begin with less than a single day's warning." The Themiclesian envoy advised him this was impossible, since the Themiclesian fleet was chronically underfunded to spare ships for such a mission; nevertheless, Acker II never represented this to the public, instead using the threatening notion of an invasion to his political advantage. In 1867, the Camian government amassed some 12,000 troops to take Liang and commandeered 30 ships to ferry them over, once the navy had dealt with Themiclesian warships that were thought to be in the vicinity. The capture of the island was critical to keeping the Themiclesian fleet isolated in the Halu'an.

On Dec. 25, 1867, the Camian Navy set sail and found no Themiclesian vessel in the waters surrounding the island, thus landing two days ahead of the ships that carried most of the troops. Camia's 2nd Regiment of Marines were initially ordered to capture only the harbour, which they did easily because it was deserted. The 2nd ventured further inland until they happened upon an occupied fortress on Dec. 26, and the three Themiclesian units, with Lord M′reng as the most senior officer, promptly surrendered without engaging.

After the surrender, the Themiclesians quickly found out why the 2nd Regiment was called the "hangman's regiment". The 2nd had been training for this battle scenario under exacting standards and even suffered some casualties during training with real ordnance. According to historian H. Hope writing in 1887, they felt deceived and slighted by the speed and ease of the Themiclesian capitulation. Additionally, the Themiclesians easily threw off their arms but would not give up their rooms and beds to the invaders, who lived in tents. The 2nd held a kangaroo court with no juridical apparatus for 54 Themiclesian officers and men they felt had committed the crime of cowardice and hanged them, one after another, before the other Themiclesians.

Lord M′reng and sixteen other senior officers were carried off to Camia on Jan. 14 when the naval blockade of Themiclesia was underway, while the rest of the Themiclesians were kept on the island. Their existence on the island, according to Camian sources, have not altered significantly beyond being turned out of the fortress; there were vegetable patches and a small cattle ranch that provided for the unit's food. After the blockade ended in April 1868, the Themicleian foreign secretary, the Lord of Ghor, sailed to Camia and successfully negotiated for the prisoners' release.

M′reng reforms

Lord M'reng, who surrendered the Isle of Liang, was appointed Captain-general in 1870. He introduced a number of important reforms that have been received positively. In 1871, he secured a law that exempted marines from the militia fine, which was nominally assessed on all able-bodied males not participating in militias. Next year, Trjuk abolished the Spiritual Benevolence, which was taxed on salaries for the upkeep of the Naval Cult but had become a device of embezzlement, since the Cult was obsolete. In 1875, he pioneered an initiative to teach the enlisted rates to read, write, and count, making them less susceptible to abuse from superiors and giving them a chance to become petty officers. By 1880, his campaign to elimiate waste had effectively increased enlisted salaries by a sixth. C. Larter says that Trjuk "made the Marines a lot less superstitious, oppressive, and medieval."

In 1871, the Government passed legislation to allow ship captains to use marines stationed on his vessel to perform various security tasks. Formerly, new captains were permitted to appoint two midshipmen out of the petty officers aboard his vessel; in return, these two midshipmen were expected to function as the captain's secretaries and guards while he was still captain, and when he left office he would recommend actual commissions for the two. This system originated in the era when captains of ships did not necessarily have maritime experience and relied on the ship's crew to fulfill his function in battle, and the commission offered was a reward for personal service to the captain; if the captain did have maritime experience, he could ask the ship's chief sailor to hire his follower so that he could be promoted as midshipman. This was also that potential mutinies would be dissuaded, if the captain held personal friendship of at least some sailing officers.

The Government argued this system required captains to pay for his own midshipmen, an expense many talented officers could ill-afford on a captain's salaries alone. However, Lord M′reng and other Marines officers were reportedly upset about this reform. M′reng called it "the beginning of the end of responsible commissioning", referencing the notorious social hierarchy that dominated both civilian and military life, requiring officers to be more prestigious and wealthy than subordinates. Cpt. Bjip (1845 – 1901) said that captains who could not pay for their own midshipmen, let alone provide the gifts the crew expected, would have a difficult time commanding their respect; he then complained that he would now have to pay for his men's waistcoats, which was a captain's customary gift to his crew. The Navy Secretary, the Lord of Dubh, wrote to M′reng that the decision was made because most of the logs indicate marines were not doing much for most of the day.

After this new duty was imposed, some petty officers questioned the integrity of the (customarily two) marines assigned to be the captain's guards, since they neither received a midshipman's salaries nor expected commissions after the captain left office. Indeed, multiple captains refused to use their new powers and continued to pay for their own midshipmen. It should be noted that during this era, most civil officers of high rank paid for their own secretaries, accountants, solicitors, and even bodyguards if necessary, as it was commonly thought that these services were naturally personal and should not be paid for by the state. The custom of paying for midshipmen died out around 1910, when captains lost the right to vouch for new officers.

Merger

Between 1910 and 1916, several leaders of the Marines advocated for merger with the Capital Defence Force, one of three professional armies then.[2] They believed that more advanced tactics and better equipment could thus be introduced to naval use, though historian M. Graw believes that the social prestige of the Army Academy and officers' alumni connections with those in other professional regiments were also motivations. The Admiralty was diametrically opposed to this scheme. Admiral Dek, Baron of the Admiralty Board, was weary of the fact that every single Marines officers was a graduate of the Army Academy. In Commons committee, he reported that merger would yield no economies, weakening the argument. Additionally, the Liberals under the Lord of Mik planned to expand the Navy's roles and so did not press forth with the merger.

In 1917, the Admiralty Board sought to establish a division in the Naval Academy for the Marines, but several Marines officers criticized it as an assault on their regimental independence as granted by the Regiment Act of 1850. Both Naval and Marines officers who opposed this planned division petitioned the Admiralty to withdraw their policy then privately prosecuted the Admiralty for breach of statute. However, the Marines' success in maintaining their regimental independence has been received in light of the eventual inability to procure enough graduates in the early phase of the 1936 conscription. Into the 1940s, commissions were granted to petty officers, who, despite good performance in some instances, were subject to broad and patent discrimination due to their "less than gentlemanly" means of obtaining commissions.

The exclusion of the Marines from the Consolidated Army revealed two immediate issues: there was no future strategy that looked beyond 1918, and as the prohibition on selling new commissions did not apply to the Marines, they were then with the Royal Guards the only source of saleable commissions. While some officers scrambled to formulate strategy for an independent naval infantry service, their efforts were nullified by the soaring prices of their commissions. As saleable commissions grew scarce in the late 10s, prospective buyers flocked to the Marines. Many officers chose to "cash out", making as much as four times their initial investments into the commissions; extant plans were shelved, as new officers often had little enthusiasm for military work. The profitability of scarce, saleable commissions being widely known, commissions were bought by mutual fund managers starting in 1921. The admirals decried this situation in an internal document in 1924, saying that "in ten years the Marines have create a state of decay hitherto unknown to mankind," but the Navy Ministry forbade the admirals from publicly complaining as the availability of a small number of commissions by purchase was policy.

Prairie War

The government passed the Special Conscription Act, 1935 to conscript organized men before the general public in response to mounting pressure from Menghean volunteers in Dzhungestan. The 1st and 2nd Regiments of Marines were sent to the front this way with a litany of others units not initially involved there. Anticipating a naval invasion from Camia, the Marines were ordered to recruit starting in 1937, progressing at a snail's pace as most able-bodied men were already conscripted or on notice for conscription. Dayashinese immigrants, feared regional discrimination, which was known to be rife in some units, responded to the the lobby encouraging them to join the Marines instead, where they would form a majority in the new regiments; some have called this phenomenon a "group-buy mentality", where minorities could band up and create or enforce a friendly environment. In 1940, Dayashinese men accounted for over 80% of the entire enlistment and 65% of the force.

PSW and infiltration

After the 1st and 2nd Regiments were re-organized for combat at the eastern front, the remaining marines, numbering some 950, were assigned shipboard and logistics duties in the city of Tonning, which was a major naval port. These duties expanded to the outskirts of Rim-tsi in early 1936 and then the coastal prefectures of Lêng, Tsjinh-′an, and Prjin. The royal household and government evacuated to Rim-tsi in November 1936. The Dayashinese Imperial Special Operations Group (D/ISOG) sent infiltrators to surrender and then join the Marines, due to their predictable region of operation near the seat of the government.

Assassination attempts thereby occurred between 1940 and 1941, and on two occasions the assassin was only foiled before the royal presence. This caused the royal court to move to Gwrjang-′an (永安宮) Palace in early 1941 and then to the even more secluded ′Klrui-ljang Palace (淮陽宮) in the same year. The 1st and 2nd Regiments were returned to naval control in the re-organization of 1943.

In Menghe

The Marines were mostly seen with naval convoys that shipped men and goods to Menghe starting in 1946, not experiencing combat at sea or on land. An altercation occurred with the military cinemas, showing anime, set up in Menghe, originally for Themiclesian soldiers but admitting Menghen civilians, provided vacant seats; however, marines were not part of the South Expedition Army and thus not entitled to free admission. On Feb. 4, 1947, one marine first entered a scuffle with a ticketing clerk, complaining that they were treating the locals better than fellow soldiers, and then vociferated obscenities before the cinema, "creating a gross disturbance of the peace". Eventually, an officer pacified him, paying for his ticket. In March, he was fined three months' wages under the confessed charge of conduct unbecoming. The identity of this anime-loving marine was only revealed in 1990, who, in his old age, said that

punching others and publicly shouting obscenities is shocking and outrageous, and to that I confessed, but animation unites humans of every sex, race, and religion. If you looked into the theatre, mortal enemies sworn to each other's destruction sit shoulder-to-shoulder enjoying the same thing. If nationality and political allegiance fades into insignificance, why should a little badge on my shoulder make any difference?"

Postwar reforms

After the conclusion of the Pan-Septentrion War, the Government announced ambitious reforms for the Marines, encompassing procurement, recruitment, training, and law enforcement. These efforts were hindered by the state of public coffers, which were virtually bankrupt after 20 years of warfare. Some argued that systems in place, relying on officers simultaneously discharging several professional functions, were cheaper in the short term, but the Government believed that such economies created considerable opportunities for malfeasance and ambiguated areas of responsibility. It also argued that ambiguities enabled enemy infiltrators to evade apprehension because no specific officer was responsible for an occurrence not previously anticipated. Operationally, the largest expense lay in hiring and training petty officers to discharge functions that commission-holders would have done on an ad hoc basis.

The Government's agenda were opposed by a few MPs, who criticized these objects as expensive, and too by some Marines officers, stating that these reforms could create conflicts of interest and encumber the quality of professional judgment. Nevertheless, the reforms received royal assent in 1949 and formally ended certain outdated practices. By and large, they were transduced from reforms already implemented in the Consolidated Army in the late 30s, or by the South Army and Royal Signals Corps even earlier, to address administrative issues arising out of the influx of untrained recruits via conscription.

A boot camp was instituted by the same measure, largely devised by Cpts. Siung and Nrik, under consultation with the Army Academy, which had begun making conclusions about the experience of the Pan-Septentrion War. The boot camp, which employed dedicated training officers, replaced the old tutelage system that required veterans to "put recruits through their paces" on various tasks before being ready for front-line combat, which was criticized as unscientific, abusive, and presupposing an availability of experienced veterans. The Basic Training Facility at Prjin Marshalcy (濱師學), formerly the source of the demobilized 22nd and 41st Divisions, was dedicated to the Marines in 1951 and remains operational today. The acts of 1949 superseded the Regiment Act of 1850 that required every regiment to find and train its own recruits.

Maverican Civil War

Themiclesia's government responded to an request from the Maverican government to deploy troops to arrest the advance of communist forces, which were threatening the survival of the federal government by 1958. To that end, Parliament authorized (caput 29 Sqin 34) the formation of the 202th Division, out of 14 regiments of the Marines, which began operations in northern Maverica in September 1957. In 1959, there were unconfirmed photographs of Themiclesian soldiers being stabbed to death or having their hearts torn out while alive, by members of the Syndicalist Party arriving from Maracaibo. These photographs were published on various newspapers but called "grotesque inventions and unwholesome forgeries meaning nothing more than to cow the forces in defence of civil government," by the Prime Minister.

Nevertheless, public outrage having so kindled, the Government caused the 22nd Division to decamp towards the east to avoid the forces of the Syndicalist Party. In March 1960, the division was withdrawn from Maverica immediately preceding the collapse of the national government. The 22nd Division was disbanded by statute (caput 44 Sqin 37), receiving royal assent on 2 October 1960.

Operation Coast Starlight

In 1963 – 64, the Themiclesian Marines particpated in a scheme sanctioned by the Foreign Office and the Menghean antiquary authorities to rescue museum collections from artillery bombardment that were enclosing on the then capital city of Sunju. In the final days of the Republic of Menghe, two companies of marines conveyed almost 4,000 tonnes of artifacts from several museums located in Sunju under the direction of local authorities. These were loaded onto the SS Qa and SS Mngê and arrived in Tor in October 15, 1964, where the Secretary of State for Education received them into a local warehouse. Contemporaries have billed the operation a "miraculous success of conveyance" with not a single object lost or damaged beyond repair in its haste.

Police

By the Police Regiment Act, the 3rd Squadron of the Coast Guard Fifth District was re-constituted as the 791 Police Regiment in Jun. 1967. The Act received Royal Assent in Oct. 1966 but was delayed according to its terms in coming into effect by Order-in-Council.

Portfolio

Many of the Marines' policy aims are reliant on digital technology. Pictured: DPRM 1302 installation in 1954

White papers

The Themiclesian Marines currently have four distinct roles, as defined by the Admiralty's White Paper on Naval Defence, 2003.

  1. Protection of the Themiclesian fleet and naval installations from land-based and personnel threats;
  2. Conversion of foreign naval and land assets in support of naval operations;
  3. Participation in foreign campaigns;
  4. Certain diplomatic and ceremonial duties.

International activity

  • Jungle exercise with Dayashinese forces on Sakurajima (late 2018).
  • Deployment to Idacua for the suppression of drug cartels and their forces (2019 – ongoing), along with the Royal Signals Corps and with Coast Guard assistance.

Budget

Humanitarian activities and social responsibility campaigns

  • Tīri-Era from 2020 and ongoing, aboard hospital ships and certain peripheral tasks.
  • Vyzhva from 2019 and ongoing
  • Kainan from 2021 and ongoing

Recruitment and training

Recruitment

In 1858, the Government passed the Charities by Workhouses Act that sought to address high unemployment by forcibly interning unemployed men in workhouses, where it was believed that an intensive work schedule and uncompensated labour would cultivate an ethic and habits appropriate for competitive urban employment. This policy extended to abandoned children as well. The workhouses established under the act were private, for-profit operations, but their owners could not eject inmates except those who were violent or found an employer. Since marines enlisted under a written contract after 1821, workhouse owners often sent able-bodied, male imnates to them under the pretext that an employer had been found. The practice began in 1857, when the Captain-general owned a workhouse and, in imitation of other regiments, conveniently filled recruitment quotas with inmates.

This was not an uncontroversial practice, as shown by an officer's testimonies for the House of Commons in 1860 which claimed the recruits they found amongst workhouse inmates were "frequently ill-nourished and of a temperament unsuited to military service." Workhouses did not usually send the physically strong, as these men often did more work and created more profit for the owner; rather, they sent men who were able-bodied but unable or unwilling to work long hours or demanding tasks and thus created a smaller profit or even liabilities. The Marines very soon recognized the issue, but workhouses refused to do otherwise on the grounds that they retained the more productive inmates to provide for the unproductive ones, mainly the young, old, and ill, whom they could not eject. Under the Ghor government, the proposal to boost recruitment by increasing wages from 20¢ to 35¢ each day was refused, and the War Secretary the Baron of Na-qrum castigating their reluctance to take workhouse inmates "utterly shocking, unacceptable, and indicative of a indolent character."

Sale of commissions

Historically, the Marines have been more open to appointing officers from the rank-and-file than other armies.[3] This liberality or dispensation is thought to be the result of devolved appointments, where otherwise qualified bureaucrats or members of the gentry would have been preferred. The power to commission junior officers reverted from the Admiralty Department to the Chancery (directly responsible to the Crown) in 1806, and then to the Crown-in-Parliament in 1836. As the statutory gentry expanded to include rich graingers, merchants, and (later) industrialists, the proportion of Marines officers arising out of a urban background grew at the expense of the provincial gentry. This evolution was noted by contemporaries as a desirable and normal one.

Like many regiments in the 19th century, the Marines sold active and reserve commissions. In a way, the 1850 law restricting new commissions to graduates of the military academy encouraged sales since the concern of appointing unqualified officers abated. While only a small fraction of officers were usually absent in the mid-19th century, they represented half of them by 1890. The expansion of the Academy as a liberal-arts university also meant that many officers had no expertise in leading military units, which meant reliance on petty officers. The Admiralty sought to control this issue by putting units with absentee commanders in reserve, but ultimately it was not possible to reserve all of them. This situation persisted until the 1930s and is accurately reflected in A Movie Director and a Geologist, a fictionalized novel about the Dayashinese infiltration of the Marine Corps, aided by many officers' total lack of military experience.

The same laws that created the Consolidated Army in 1921 prohibited the sale of commissions in that force; by reason of exclusion from this legislation, the Marine Corps and several other units continued to sell officers' commissions and relied on a share of this money to meet certain expenses. The Admiralty acquiesced to this system it believed seriously outdated, because fewer naval monies needed to be expended on marines, but they also lobbied the Government to meet the Marines' fiscal needs in the future. While in 1916 most Marines officers felt comfortable protecting their rights to sell their commissions for a profit on the grounds of regimental independence, this argument no longer held water by 1921, when most regiments' officers lost this right.

While the Liberals wished to reform the Marines as well, the Conservatives believed that they had bowed to the Liberal government's manifesto by not blocking the Army Acts and quite firmly opposed forthcoming military expenditures and reforms in the early 20s. The Conservative leader, the Lord of Sloi, rejected the idea of totally eliminating purchase of commissions, arguing that "the class of the very distinguished" needed a way to maintain their reputations through public service; the Marines and Royal Guards were earmarked for this purpose. As such, the Marines quickly garnered a reputation as a regiment for the idle rich, socialites, and unsuccessful gentlemen. On the other hand, the Marines in the 20s through 30s also functioned as a backdrop for the commercial class to exercise their influence through social events hosted in the name of the forces. Marines officers welcomed their exclusion from the Army Acts as their commissions would increase in value considerably, because the supply of commissions virtually evaporated. The lieutenant Mr. Sak-ni said in 1928:

The difference between the Marine Corps and the L'odh Stock Exchange is that you can only hold one commission at one time in the former.

On September 1, 1936, Parliament banned the sale of all commissions, which occurred at an alarming rate as officers raced to quit the military with war on the horizon. Though not expected to be in combat, the high proportion of absentee officers meant the Marines had an immediate shortage of officers. The Navy Secretary exhorted all commission-holders to present themsevles at the earliest possible time, but there was speculation that the prohibition on commission resales was intended to halt the precipitous fall of junior commission prices, which would ultimately endanger those of senior commissions. Though touted as a wartime measure, the ban on the sale of commissions was never lifted since 1936; commissions issued after that date were not eligible for refund from the Government nor sale to a third party.

Training

After the Pan-Septentrion War, the Admiralty obtained permission in 1952 to set up a Marines Academy that began operation in 1954, but in three years the Board of Universities and Education Secretary could not be satisfied with the quality of research and instruction at the institution. They refused to award a charter to give the academy degree-granting powers. Without it, graduates could not be commissioned according to the Regiment Act of 1850. The new academy became a potent embarrassment for the Admiralty, and its first alumni were required to sit through an additional oral examination at the Army Academy while the rest of the student body spectated. Those who did not take this examination could only be employed as petty officers. A school of arts appeared in the Marines Academy in 1966, and Parliament granted a charter in 1970, though as a technical school and not a university. The source of an officer's qualification remains influential in the marine corps today: every captain-general has been a graduate of one of the six universities of Themiclesia.

Organization

The Marines encompass a range of offices under multiple medieval departments (徹寮). Not all departments of the Marines originated as military offices, especially the "in-betweeners" who were not part of any official regiment, who were closer to civil servants than military officers for much of history.  

Captain-general

The Captain-general (冗人尉), currently Dr. Margaret Skur, is the most senior officer of the Marines and by edict holds the courtesy rank of 2,000 bushels in the Civil Service.  The holder of this office is generally responsible for the administration of the Marines and holds certain supervisory powers over departmental heads and field officers, but is usually not directly involved in military operations. The Captain-general may sit on the Standing Committee on Military Operations upon the invitation of the Lord-president of the Admiralty.

The Captain-general was initially appointed in 1504, but it was not a permanent office and originally had a much broader remit, principally over the naval purse. Initially, it was conceptually similar to the Governor-general of Military Affairs of the South Sea (都督南海諸軍事) that existed in the 14th century, responsible for recruiting and fielding men in a geographic region. In Emperor Gwīts-men's reforms, the office was split into two; the First Captain-general (右尉) became primarily associated with the Home Establishment of the Admiralty, and the Second Captain-general became associated with the Admiralty's Army. After the Admiralty's Army was disbanded in 1801, the two offices were once again merged under the old title. Throughout the 1800s, the captaincy-general was usually occupied by aristocrats appointed as government patronage, but it was not available for purchase as ranks above colonel as a rule were not.  

After 1840, there was a tendency for the captaincy-general to be used as a temporary posting for senior civil and military officers whom the government wished to keep available but could not yet appoint to an appropriate office, though they were expected to perform the office's functions all the same. As a result, the captaincy-general was usually not occupied by the marine corp's own officers; this was not an unusual situation in Themiclesia, as other senior military commands were increasingly occupied by civilians since 1800. The final civilian captain-general, Lord Sor (鵕君), left office in 1947 to become the Secretary to the Board of Trade. When the office of captain-general is civilian or otherwise unfamiliar with military duties, the Private Secretary (作書私史) as a rule since 1880 becomes his executive officer and is appointed a lieutenant-colonel. Since that time, the captain-general customarily holds the office of colonel of one of the regiments in the Marines. This does not mean a prospective captain-general must first be a colonel, only that he or she is made a colonel upon appointment.

Chief Clerk of the Exchequer

The Chief Clerk of the Exchequer (內大史) is the deputy of the Captain-general. The Chief Clerk is not a financial official as the title suggests, but an abbreviation of Chief Clerk of the Sacramental Treasury Exchequer (御府內大史), a title used by officials of the Privy Treasury, the royal household's finance department, when on supervisory or temporary missions to the peripheries of the empire. As agents of the royal household, they were permitted to participate in the administration of other parts of the Privy Treasury, which included the military outposts in Meridia and Columbia. There is no real department called the "Privy Treasury Exchequer"; rather, it refers to all money-related activities, especially receipts and expenses, of the Privy Treasury.

Regiments

The Marine Corps is a service built upon 27 statutory regiments or comapnies and 3 agencies created at various points in time and purposes, and these components are governed by the Marines HQ located in Kien-k'ang, according to §182 – 194 and §202 of the Sacramental Treasury and Exchequer Department Act (御府內史府令). Like in the Consolidated Army, statutory regiments retain many non-combat functions, contribute to combat units, and are pertinent to servicepersons' daily lives and careers. Except for some staff officers, who are counted amongst the numerary positions of the ceremonial department of the Sacrament Treasury, all officers and enlisted persons in the Marines are members of one of these 26 regiments and 3 agencies, and these regiments are not constrained to any particular size. Unlike the Consolidated Army, the Marines do not possess a trades system responsible for recruiting technical servicepeople from civilian trades and regulating their professional activities.

The statutory regiment is responsible for most human-oriented services, such as recruitment, specialist training, leisure, counselling, and long-term benefits, though these do not necessarily occur with the statutory regiment as a unit. All servicepersons are required to graduate from the Basic Training Facility to become a full member of the regiment that recruited them, though this facility is shared by the entire service. A serviceperson receives their rank as a member of the regiment and thereby the salaries associated with that rank. Depending on the specialization of the regiment, further development of skills occur through programmes organized by the regiment. The individual companies within the regiment are withdrawn in wartime to form other units of mixed specializations flexibly.

While most administrative regiments are headed by a colonel holding active commission, the colonelcies of some regiments are held ex officio as honorary titles. For example, the Chancellor of the Western University holds the colonelcy of Emperor Gwīts-men's Forgotten Musketeers (and of several Consolidated Army regiments) ex officio, and the Treasurer of Sacraments is the colonel of both the Higher and Lower Naval Engineers. The commander of the 12th Armoured Division in the Consolidated Army holds the honorary colonelcy of the Lower Transmarine Musketeers, due to the historic connection between the two units. Honorary titles do not carry remuneration or any duties within the unit to which they are nominally appointed, but holders are expected to represent the unit at various public functions, such as the Emperor's birthday. The actual duties of the colonel is then carried out by the most senior major of the regiment.

The following are the administrative units composing the service:

Administrative unit Founding Notes
Prjin Footmen 賓步 1432
Higher Naval Engineers   丄緐寺工 1575
Lower Naval Engineers   丅緐寺工 1576
K′uq-mg′wan Horsemen   九邍馬 1690
Supernumerary Engineers 弛寺工 1691
6th Admiralty Regiment   衡廷6 1702
11th Artillery   11羨 1705
Emperor Gwīts-men's Forgotten Musketeers   惠文失廢 1712
Lower Transmarine Musketeers   下戉廢 1731
Upper Transmarine Musketeers 上戉廢 1731
Ostlandic Musketeers 奧發 1734
15th Foot Regiment 15步族 1792
Second/Qrut Middle Engineers   乙中寺工 1795
Honourable Schoolmasters' Company   大斆族 1875 One of Lord of Sng′ra′s volunteer companies
Honourable Balance-makers' Company   大䅍族 1876 do., transferred to the Marines in 1901
204th Regiment 204族 1938
205th Regiment 205族 1938
901st Services Regiment 901廩 1940
902nd Services Regiment 902廩 1940
421st Signals Regiment 都族421 1942
910th Conveyance Regiment   910專族 1943
909th Services Regiment 909專族 1944
794th Medical Services Regiment 904醫 1945
13th Regiment of Marines 13水族 1957
334th Administration Regiment   334省族 1956
790th Police Regiment 790互族 1961

Order of battle

  • 1 air-mobile battalion
  • 1 armoured battalion
  • 1 foot battalion
  • 1 battlion TBA

Naval Reserve

The Naval Reserve (緐帀, qmeq-sprul) is a training and administrative organization for reservists of the Marines. Its head is the Chief Clerk of the Exchequer. Reservists of the Marines are required to attend monthly training sessions, where they re-acquaint their equipment and familiars in formation, but otherwise they are able to seek full-time civilian employment.

A reserved regiment is said to be "stationed at the garrisons" (戍, sma), which is a term particular to the Marines—marines that are on active duty are "at sea" (亢, gāngs), even if their position is actually on land.  This term has surprisingly good provenance, being attested in the 14th century on the Exchequer's essoin rolls.

Headquarters

N7 Crystal Park, current HQ of Themiclesian Marines, from the south
First floor in the old HQ looking at the promenade

Prior to 1700, the Marines did not have a headquarters as such, as their activities were co-ordinated through the Admiralty's Exchequer Department, and this department sat together with the admirals depending on the season in several different locations. In 1703, the Admiralty's Army established its headquarters in the Meh coast town of Tagh. In 1754, the principal naval port was moved to R′adh, where the Admiralty occupied a large corridor of rooms overlooking the docks. It is assumed that the Marines' were administered from within the same buildings. In 1791, Tyrannian forces raided R′adh and burned down the Admiralty's buildings (while the admirals themselves were actually away). The burnt site was sold to developers to raise fast money for the rebuilding of the fleet and construction of a new naval headquarters.

In the early 1800s, the Marines' headquarters was moved between several residential buildings in R′adh. In 1853, their new headquarters was located on SW Tridh Ward, Kien-k'ang, a prestigious mansion acquired under a 99-year lease. While it was a popular legend amongst the Marines themselves, there is no contemporary evidence to suggest that SW Tridh was acquired as an office building because it was haunted and therefore unmarketable as a residential building. Rather, the building was acquired by the then-Captain-general, Lord G′or-′ar, and then leased to the Marines for a favourable rent, though for a long period. Amongst regimental headquarters, it was often considered the most splendid in the realm. Various parts of the building give their names and themes to subsequent buildings the Marines have used as their headquarters, including such as the grand drawing room, the green room, the blue day room, the reading chambers, the promenade, the fore gallery, and the closet (a meeting room, not a wardrobe).

It moved to 3 Bakers' Square, Tonning in 1936, in avoidance of the Menghean advance. It returned to Kien-k'ang in 1947 and sought out a new building due to the lease's imminent expiry. In 1950, the headquarters was moved into a modernist office building in the Phoenix District (朱𦄋里), next to the local branch of the Central Land Registry. The Registry moved out in 1967, the premises being sold to the Fields Milk Company, which disputed with the Marines about an easement leading into the headquarter and about milk floats parked on the street at all times. In 1982, Fields Milk was bombed by terrorists, killing 2 and injuring 15, under the impression that it was the Marines' headquarters, as the two buildings were identical except mirrored.

In 2002, the Marines moved again to N7 Crystal Park, a government-owned five-storey building. N7 was originally split between a hotel on the third and fourth levels, and an office building on the ground, first, and second storeys. As the lease to both tenants were bound to run out by the end of 2002, neither being willing to renew the same, it was given to the Marines. N7 is located on the north side of Crystal Park (水晶苑, stur-s'sing-ngwans), which is surrounded by affluent townhouses and office buildings. As the building was originally leased to private users, it is known that it has two underground and five overground levels, plus an attic space. Originally built in 1877, the building has no parking space; as such, officers and men who work there are required to commute by taxicab or public transit. Senior officers, however, usually transit by government chauffeur.

The office of the Captain-general is in the first storey turret facing southwest. Dr. Margaret Skur, the Captain-general, was seen working at a desk in that corner of the building, according to International Politics Magazine, whose editorial office is across the street from N7. However, because the lighting inside is seriously deficient, it is not possible even with a high-powered telescope to see what the Captain-general was reading. This space had formed part of the old drawing room of the hotel.

The residents of Crystal Park have had mixed opinion about the new occupant in the neighbourhood. Some have objected against the presence of more government buildings, which they say detracts from the residential character of the locale, but others believe that the inclusion of a moderate amount of office buildings can boost trade volume on nearby commercial streets, which have been under threat of redevelopment due to poor performance lately.

Facilities

The ground floor has of a cloakroom for the male and female gender, on opposite sides of the main doorway, with a third cloakroom under construction for other genders. There are lavatories in each cloakroom. There are 12 office rooms and an infirmary on this level.

The second level consists of mostly public areas and the Captain-general's office suite. It encompasses a hall, drawing room, reading room, meeting chamber, dining room, map room, and drinking room. The Captain-general's suite consists of two writing rooms, a principal room, and a lobby that leads to the three rooms. There are two lavatories in this level. The dining room had been occupied by The Humors, a renowned restaurateur, until 2006 when it folded due to insufficient patronage. It had operated here since 1957 and was patronized by the hotel's guests, the law firm that used to work on the upper storeys, and walk-ins, but few realize that the restaurant was still open to the public after the Marines moved in. After the restaurant folded, the room was used to serve meals to workers in the building. Due to the presence of the restaurant and the need to accommodate visitors, this level remains open to the public.

The third, fourth, and fifth levels are off-limits to the general public and are used as office spaces. There are two underground levels in this building. The basement is used as office space and service areas for laundry, cooking, and pastry-making. The uses of the sub-basement is uncertain, though it is unlikely to be used as anything but a cellar because of limited ceiling height at 5′ 6″.

The building to the east of N7 is owned and operated by Tam-lam Chocolate. While it is built in a similar style and physically abuts the Marines' headquarters, it is actually the older building of the two (built in 1870). There are no connections between the two buildings. The building north of N7 is a private townhouse.

Equipment

Cloud-streak Class (虔雲艇) landing platform dock

Culture

Cat legend

A cat

It is reported that in the 1782, the Marines were on an escort mission to Kashubia where they encountered some hostile forces superior to them in number. Combat occurred whereby one of them went missing. They spent a few hours waiting for their comrade to re-appear, but circumstance compelled the unit to leave the site. The unit's commander shouted the comrade's name three times in a final attempt to recover him, and a cat jumped onto the commander's face. The unit came to believe their comrade had become a cat in the fog of war. The cat was allowed to remain on the missing marine's ship and provisioned with his rations. This story propagated and led some Themiclesian novelists to theorize that most marines were cats to start with, only transformed into human shape by the magical spells of the fleet's mages, and the spells wear off if fighting proved too intensive.

Some historians have sought to recover the basic meaning of this legend. One explanation states that the legend actually ridicules coastal Themiclesians for their accent, which was labelled as cat-like by many. A consonant proposition is that sailors often took stray cats, frequently seen in port towns, onto their ships to keep rodents at bay, and that practice was connected with the forced impressment of marines often done at the same time. "It is conceivable that some Themiclesians may have thought that some of the cats brought aboard became marines," A. Gro writes, "since they were usually reluctant to start conversations in towns foreign to their own. This muteness and coyness may have reminded some of cats' behavoiurs." A further observation is that marines were usually charged to keep night watch, even if the fleet is docked; nocturnality is further thought to have solidified their identity with cats.

The fate of the cat found in 1782 is unclear. After the fleet returned home, the cat was registered by a Royal Counsel and a Royal Accountant as the unit's spoils, which would have been declared to the Exchequer for tallying and distribution. Anything which was not of Themiclesian origin was registered as spoils, as a measure to ensure equitable distribution and prevention of embezzlement by officers.  The Exchequer's Pipe rolls confirm the existence of the cat but do not record its futher deposition. By accounts of two officers, the men pooled funds to ransom the cat, which would have assessed whether it was worth keeping alive or not. However, the ransom records have been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1841. "If the cat was not ransomed, it is very likely the Exchequer would have ordered its destruction in view of costs to feed and house it," A. Gro writes, "but the records which would have mentioned that are lost."

Religion

Venus on the dawning horizon

For a few centuries, the Themiclesian Marines resembled many of the units pledged by minorities to the royal court in terms of their symbolisms and mythology. The most prominent figure that contemporaries report to be worshiped by marines is the planet Venus. Venus was called kê′ (𢻻) in Themiclesian astronomy, literally meaning "vanguard". This is consistent with the cross-cultural position of Venus as the morning star that precedes the rising sun. In 1453, the traveller Nrut reported that the appearance of Venus on the horizon signified the beginning of day routines for the fleet and the end of night-watch.

Authorities have discussed the relevance of the morning star to the Marines, if it was a belief adopted from a different culture or created by the fleet's reliance on astrology. Research into the Marines' archives have yielded no useful description of this belief due to its bias towards administrative records rather than literature, and due to changing recruitment practices it left no trace in the modern unit. Its absence from official records stands in stark contrast with accounts of dozens of marines bowing their heads at the rising of Venus. Another source of information are several airs that call upon Venus to protect marines, who address themselves as "children of the vanguard star". Harris argued in 1968 that Venus to Themiclesian marines was a symbol of comfort, as not only did its appearance indicated the end of their nocturnal shifts, but as the evening star it precedes the appearance of stars at dusk, a phenomenon mythologized as the revival of the drowned.

Dumplings

In 1869, Lord M'reng reportedly helped himself to 40 dumplings and ate one for each time Christian marines praying in the next room said kyrie eleison. Near the end he vomited because he could not stomach that many. His perceptive secretary, later Lord Kaw-ning (郜寧君), puisne justice of the Supreme Court, said that it was a silent protest of being fed up with what he could not stomach, but he could not bring himself to say so because he granted permission to Christians to say prayers only in 1868.

In 1885, Colonel Hal of the Supernumerary Engineers paid from his private funds for a small chapel to be erected for the convenience of marines garrisoned at the headquarters, on an unused corner of its grounds. Though he wished that the resident priest would enjoy a stipend from the Admiralty Department, this was eventually not provided because they believed that religious activity should not be publicly funded. Eventually, the Church of Themiclesia agreed to provide a stipend for the resident priest from the local diocese. The provision of a small chapel was tolerated by the Government because it meant that Christians could say their prayers privately and not in the view of others, and forbidding the saying of prayers appeared unduly harsh.

Professionalism

Chang and Beecky (1984) asserts that some of the activities of the Themiclesian Marines in the 19th century were remarkably similar to trade guilds of the day. Craftsmen continued to migrate to major cities, particularly close to coast, after the restarting of trade with neighbouring states in 1796. Urban-dwelling craftsmen built on the medieval institution of trade guilds and, many enriched through enterprise, began to develop professional pride. It was not only founded on excellence in one's skill, but also the resulting economic security.

Non-regionalism

The Themiclesian Marines are a non-regional force, like the rest of the Navy and the TAF. Recruits since the 1500s were placed into its units without regard for origin, though it is assumed that most recruits are from the coastal areas, where recruitment took place. The Navy has recruited foreign sailors, or even impressed them from formerly hostile fleets, to replenish its own crew, especially after engagements with large casualties. The same applies to marines, though the subject of impressment would be ordinary civilians, rather than sailors. Since the recruitment of Dayashinese-Themiclesians in 1938, Dayashinese has also been added as an official language, though the main spoken language still appears to be Shinasthana, with foreign terms primarily appearing as jargon.

Emblem and Sylvanate name

The proposed new emblem

The seal, adopted in 1843, consisted of a globe with orange longitudinal and latitudinal lines and red equator and prime meridian over a dark-blue field with the asterisms of the Great Dipper and the Boat. Three concentric rings, at various positions of obliquity, of gold, silver, and bronze, encircled the globe, representing the orbits of the sun and moon.[4] The field was encircled by a thick verdigris border with increments. The rings represent a traditional navigational instrument, whose functions were comparable to a sextant. The asterisms were key pointers for celestial navigation, the Great Dipper pointing to the north in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Boat to the south in the Southern.

The emblem, referred to as the "Septentrion globe emblem" by the Marines' official literature, is affectionately called "the Bohr model" by veterans. This monicker arose apparently due visual similarity to Niels Bohr's model of the atom, with electrons flying around the nucleus in fixed orbits. This appellation is dated to the late 50s.

In 1872, the outer ring was added, with the Sylvanate translation added from sinister to dexter, like the Tyrannian text today, reading Legio Vectorum Thimiensis ("Themiclesian Passenger Legion"). Tyrannian was substituted in 1890. The Shinasthana text reads "Marines of the Sacrificial Treasury" (御禀方冗人, mg′ra′-rem-mpāng-nung-ning), reflecting the force's original position within the Imperial Privy Treasury.[5]

In 2017, a new emblem was designed by Laught Arts Co-operative. It recapitulates the familiar elements of the current emblem but in a uniform grey, with the exception of the constellations. In its brief, Laught asserts that the new colour scheme is more modern, symbolic, and capable of appeal to a broader audience. The emblem was printed but soon invited comparisons with the logo of the Metropolitan Line of the Kien-k'ang Urban Railway, and its adoption was therefore placed on hold indefinitely. KUR holds the new emblem to be an infringement of the Metropolitan Line's newly-registered trademark, but Laught claims that the similarities are co-incidental and, in any event, not likely to infringe on KUR's commercial rights.

Flag

Unit flag

The inaugural flag of the Themiclesian Marines was adopted in 1880 and featured four stripes, red, yellow, green, and blue, representing infantry, artillery, logistics, and civilian officers. It was an imitation of the flag of the Capital Defence Force, which had six stripes due to a broader internal structure. Though well-liked, the flag was sometimes criticized as an impoverished version of that of the CDF. In 1921, the flag was changed to the modern design, with two white waves across a blue field, with a white Septentrion globe superimposed on and interrupting the waves. An anchor was added in 1959, in the canton of the flag, to elucidate the naval affinity.

Liberalism

Stereotypically, Themiclesian marines are Liberals, espousing their values of minimalism, efficiency, and personal liberties. Before the PSW, military officers openly wore political affiliations, and more Marines officers were members of the Liberals than of the Conservatives. This is only true for officers, since universal franchise only appeared in 1904. Before then, most enlisted marines would not have qualified for the franchise on the strength of their salaries alone.

In consequence of the major reforms of the 1950s, levying military office for political ends, long a social offence, was made illegal. Conservative legislators pointed out in 1970 that many of the public and private statements delivered by Marines' officers possessed "a strong Liberal slant". Successive attorneys-general investigated the forces but were unable to conclude that military authority had been abused for partisan ends, at least not at the electoral level. Modern commentators provide that the "Liberal slant" existed insofar as the Liberal Party pressed for a strongly interventionist foreign policy, which called for the unit's strengthening to fulfill the policy's expeditionary demands. Exit polls suggest that the voting preferences of marines, like other servicepeople, are consistent with their income levels.

Progressivism

In the landmark case of Tro v. R., the court ruled in 1951 that the prohibition of females from taking combat roles was unlawful in the Consolidated Army. While the Staff Board was taken aback by the decision, the Marines announced on Dec. 18, 1951 that they "intend to respect the right of women to serve to their fullest potential." At the time, Marines divided battalions into first through third lines, depending on the width of the front they were expected to hold; first-lines, which had the widest frontage and least depth, were initially not open to females.

Sexuality

In recent scholarship, it was discovered that sexual abuse of marines, a minority on most ships, was a suppressed fact of naval life until the late 19th century.[6] After 1882 and until 1971, the ill-defined "carnal knowledge" between naval servicepersons was prohibited on penalty of imprisonment or expulsion. The rule did not, until 1957, extend to civilians or members of other services. In the early 20th century, it was seen as progressive in some academic circles to discourage homosexuality and conservative to be agnostic; this arose under Casaterran influence, which boasted a considerable body of (now discredited) academic work asserting that homosexuality impaired effectiveness. By the 60s, much of the work stigmatizing homosexuality in the forces was found unsatisfactory. In 1971, the law was amended to decriminalize homosexual contact.[7]

Nickname

Cats

As the Themiclesian Marines were not associated with specific counties and recruited without regard for local borders, they were frequently called the "Wandering Legion" (遊旅) in coastal areas, where locals more frequently saw them. This name became their primary appellation in the 15th century, and surviving letters demonstrate that marines most frequently called themselves "Wandering Soldiers" (遊卒). Contemporaneously, soldiers in other armies also used similar phrases to describe themselves, such as "Guard Soldiers", "Demesne Soldiers", or "Capital Soldiers". In contrast, the term "passengers" (冗人) was considered officious. Terminological doublets like this were common in Themiclesia and reflected contrasting worldviews held by the elite, which sought political and legalistic continuity, and those by commoners, which was usually frank and substantial.

Poetically, the Themiclesian Marines' songbook identified themselves as "Sons of Orion" (參孫, s.r′ūm-sūn), referring to their religious belief in Venus as the morning star.

In 1879, a Lt. Gaw had his cravat woven out of peacock feathers, so that he could be called "featherneck", as a jest towards Tyrannian Royal Marines and Camian Marines after them, who were nicknamed "leathernecks" due to their leather stocks. The peacock cravat was later donated to a private collection, and in 2019 it attracted the opinions of modern marines, that it was "very pixelated".

In 2021, the Coast Guard have announced that the Marines' official nickname is "cats", citing a "long history of unusual coincidences, folklore, humour, and pseudoscience that links marines to cats".

Sports

Marine corps's croquet lawn in Rak
Another view of the croquet lawn in Rak, pictured with officers and their wives playing croquet, circa 1868

Casaterran-style bare-knuckle boxing became popular in the Navy in the 19th century as it required very little equipment or premise, and marines frequently placed highly in the Navy's boxing matches, though winning the championship only once, in 1879. Some sports historians attribute this to gamesmanship, while others comment that street fighting was very common in lower-class urban communities whence marines typically originated, resulting in a proficiency that other naval servicepersons found difficult to match. This argument is supported by the observation that the Marines lost their standing after open recruitment was enacted in 1947, which allowed all services to recruit freely throughout the country. Bare-knuckle boxing was nationally banned in 1960 as a blood sport.

In the 1950s, the Themiclesian Air Force entered a rivalry with the Marines in tennis. The 1949 match between them, with a score of 13-11, 6-3, 6-8, 10-12, and 7-5 and lasting three hours, was the most-attended inter-service sports event up to that time, attracting over 2,000 servicepersons. In 1953, the TAF banned the Marines from the Upper Themiclesia Championships (邦陰算, prong-′rjum-stsorh), claiming that marines were training during working hours and were, effectively, professional athletes.[8] In response, the Marines hosted a new event and sent out invitations to a great number of regiments and units, creating a schism that briefly drew public attention. TAF maintained its policy that service members may not replace their work with "sports and diversions", but the Marines claimed that sports enhanced team spirit and was a bona fide part of their work. The schism persisted until 1970, when the "open era" began. At this point, the TAF had banned most of the forces from Upper Themiclesia and earned the animus and scorn of many commentators and veterans.

Tennis court on the premises of the Marines' old HQ, now owned by the Mat Club

The Marines maintain a croquet lawn in Rak, open to the public in afternoons in summer months.

Criminality

In 1354, the imeprial court ordered that charges brought by foreigners against marines in service to the Themiclesian fleet should be sued before a Themiclesian admiral, who must then arrest the defendant by his warrant. Charges against officers were not brought before an admiral, but the Exchequer in Kien-k'ang. The plaintiff was required to be personally present in the Exchequer and make oath "to the four quarters that he accuseth a decent man of an infamous crime."

The latter process was more ceremonious and invoked public opinion in the capital city against a royal officer. The edict ordering the process explains that it was feared that a Themiclesian admiral would face pressure not to proceed against towards a fellow officer engaged in royal enterprise and possibly bonded by friendship in battle. However, the historian B. Gro says that,

the edict removes the plaintiff from a friendly environment, their home city, into an alien city at the head of a empire, thousands of nautical miles away, and moreover the home territory of the defendant; it imposes distance, delay, expense, and uncertainty. The intentional biases are hardly insubstantial, yet it remains to be said some convictions are indeed found. Perhaps the idea that a foreigner had traversed thousands of miles of perilous oceans to make their case engendered sympathy, if not credence. Or perhaps litigants who could afford to bring witnesses across the sea could hire well-known attorneys, in which case the courts had no choice but to take the claim seriously.

Marines who injure officers or crew members were often thrown off ships without trial, if refusing to submit to apprehension, under the captain's prerogative. Non-violent offenders are subject to the ordinary naval law, which included caning, up to 2,400 strokes, as its primary punishment. It was not uncommon for caning sentences to result in death, whether through exsanguination or infection. Officers were allowed to amerce (贖, slwāk) in lieu of caning, but since officers tended to be wealthy, the amercement figures were effectively unpayable for enlisted rates, who had little savings after mandatory contributions and expenses on food, clothes, and weapons.  

In the 18th century, public attorneys were further empowered as prefects enforcing laws in the navy, which reduced ad hoc punishments and corruption to some extent. The maximal caning sentence was reduced in 1710 to 600 strokes and introducing imprisonment. Most marines sentenced to prison turned up in the Tonning West Jail, which was operated by the Exchequer and mainly held tax evaders, fraudsters, counterfeiters, gamblers, and debtors. While jail officials were not usually harsh, new prisoners were placed in the worst cell until they paid for better accommodation. Visitors state up to thirty were imprisoned in a single cell, with hardly enough room to sit and stand without touching each other.

In 1827, Sam-di Ka who was a private in the 7th Regiment was imprisoned for dishonest dealing but emerged after six months having defrauded $850 from other prisoners. With this money he redeemed his service contract and started a business, later in life becoming a prolific builder in Kien-k'ang. His story was filmed into One Man's War in the 60s.

In 1919, the jurisdiction over naval crimes and piracy, smuggling, and trafficking of arms were separated from the Exchequer and given to the new Court for Marine Causes, whose prison the Themiclesian Coast Guard operated. Together with the Prison Reform Bill that year, prisoners were granted individual cells, and officials were prohibited from charging for improvements in accommodation. However, the Coast Guard were instructed to use force liberally against military prisoners for what appeared to be no real reason other than intimidation.

Relationship with Coast Guard

Themiclesia's coast guard

Discipline within the Marines shows a general decline between the 1850 and 1910, arising at a confluence of causes; it was never truly addressed before social and educational programmes ameliorated the suffering of underprivileged classes of industrial Themiclesia, who accounted for much of the recruitment. In 1921, the Admiralty asked the newly-formed Themiclesian Coast Guard to keep unattired, drunken, or misbehaving marines from cities. This policy created much resentment amongst marines. Fistfights ensued between the two services, and it is relayed in memoirs that marines prefered bootleg spirits to dutied ones because they thereby defied the Coast Guard.

There remains a friendly rivalry between the services today in the game of Hunt (邍, ngwyān). It reprises many a bootleger pursuit by the Coast Guard of a marine with his coattail pockets laden with alcohol, though today they are not confined to their canonical roles in this game. The primary challenge for the "marine" to run at full speed without breaking or losing the bottles while evading the "coast guard" catching up from a distance away. The "marine" cannot run with the bottles in his hands as it historically aroused suspicion. The "coast guard" wins if he catches up with the "marine" or if the latter exposes or breaks the bottles, while the "marine" wins if he can stave off apprehension and hand over his wares to the umpire at the end of the course.

In the 1940s, the Home Office ordered the Coast Guard to exercise extreme caution when dealing with marines because it suspected enemy infiltrators lay within the Marines' ranks undiscovered. On Jun. 1, 1941, the Coast Guard apprehended a group of marines depositing bills at the Exchequer and discovered that two of them were enemy agents; after this, the Home Office further instructed coast guards to arrest all marines they deemed suspicious, and there appear from records a great number unjustly arrested. Furthermore, many marines of Dayashinese heritage complained that the Coast Guard's practices were ethnically bigoted. In 1948, several Marines officers wrote to the Home Secretary complaining the Coast Guard was "interpreting their regimental uniforms in se as a sign of complicity", which the Coast Guard did not deny was the case.

After the Maverican Revolution in 1960, Themiclesia feared Maverica might land troops on the Themiclesian coast, after borders were fortified. The Coast Guard acquired additional roles and armaments for this scenario. The Marines were commanded in 1961 to have annual beach exercises with the Coast Guard, the former always in the role of Maverican invaders; these exercises were internationally considered a show of force by Themiclesia in case of open conflict. However, the Coast Guard has lost only 7 times in 60 years, leading to the joke that a marine was not fully trained before being taken prisoner by the Coast Guard. As the Themiclesian coast close to Maverica was heavily mined and protected with missiles and turrets, this exercise is notoriously challenging. It has occasioned two fatalities in 1971 and 1979, and the Marines have accused the Coast Guard of causing both of them due to rough handling of prisoners.

In 1961, the Commandant of the Coast Guard wrote to the Chief Baron of the Admiralty Department that the Marines' uniforms were "virtually the same as ordinary civilian clothing" and recommended new badges be added, so in a law-enforcement scenario they could be more easily distinguished; the minister remanded to the Marines the proposal. The matter sparked outrage on The Spectre, the Marines' newspaper, which asked the Coast Guard "to invest in eyeglasses first". The paper followed the next day with a long sermonization about how "wearers define the clothing they wear, not the other way around" and "the Coast Guard is confounded by its lack of sensitivity to subtle but clear distinctions of the Marines' uniforms from 'ordinary civilian clothing' that a closer appraisal of our mission and history would elucidate, or by such a crazed obsession, of which we do not accuse but indeed suspect, with their own uniforms conditioning the illusion that all others are similar to 'ordinary civilian clothing'."

Kuroyamada Akira, then Captain-general, wrote that the Coast Guard does not need to police marines because they are a self-policing force. Kuroyamada also said that "the Coast Guard has more faith in marines' needlework than I do and would in a hundred years." The matter was referred to select committee, which never met or reported.

The Coast Guard was ordered to be on high alert again when the Marines were infiltrated a second time and bombed the House of Lords. The Admiralty's leadership of the Marines was called into serious doubt by both houses of Parliament, and the Commons Defence Committee examined proposals to reform the Marines' headquarters and other lines of responsibility. One purported to give the Coast Guard administrative powers over the Marines; however, it was defeated after the heads of both services testified against it. The Lord Speaker said that the Marines had recently been infiltrated by "very amateurish terrorists" and recommended a longer consultation period to resolve security issues the upper house found.

Morale and image

The Rubber Duck by a Batavian artist

Since the middle of the 19th century, most soldiers of the average regiments had urban backgrounds. Some with no criminal past turned to it after enlistment at peers' encouragement. Many recruits were unemployed and lived in lawless urban slums, subsisted on a near-starvation diet of adulterated foods, or were stunted in their physical and mental development by unregulated work environments. Though many captains-general attempted to convince the Government to provide remedy, low wages constrained recruitment to the destitute, and as the urban revolution continued, some segments of the public came to associate unemployment with laziness, irresponsible living, and ultimately immorality; the military, not then considered a "proper profession", was therefore seen as a place where the skillless and irresponsible congregated.

While some officers attempted to use martial spirit as a device to discountenance poor behaviour and inspire performance, martial spirit told through historical tales was negatively received by the enlisted rates, who thought these stories were part of their officers' attempt to show off their learnedness and privilege from manual work.[9] Before compulsory education was introduced in 1901, most soldiers could not read political literature, which alienated them from ideologies like patriotism, which was derided as middle-class, romantic, or impractical. As an exception, petty officers sometimes exhibited extremes of patriotic zeal. Some in turn characterize this tendency as an attempt to obtain office despite inability to afford actual military education.[10] This attitude was not limited to the Marine Corps and existed in one degree or another in all regiments recruiting in industrial cities, where class was most visible.

Relationship with the Consolidated Army

In the 19th century and before, the Marines are not conceptually distinct from the Regular Army, in the sense that they are professional soldiers organized in regiments and serve at least 60 days per annum.  Most literature implicitly include the Marines when the nation's army, and they were considered one of four principal land forces fielded by the nation, along with the Capital Defence Force, South Army, and the Royal Signals Corps. Officers did not require additional qualifications to take commissions in the Marines, which are the same across most regiments, and regiments under the marine corps were too subject to the War Secretary. A separate identity for the Marines was promoted by the Admiralty from 1917 onwards, to counter the assumption that the Marines were to merge with the Consolidated Army, but ultimately such a policy met little success since all Marines officers by law were graduates of the Army Academy.

Funerals

There was no consistent policy to dispose of the bodies of alien marines pressed into service in the Medieval period; presumably, most would have been dropped into the ocean, along with those of Themiclesian crewmen, for fear of ritualistic pollution arising from unburied corpses. However, there are also recorded efforts for recovering floating corpses in the aftermath of battles at sea. After the 1700s, most of the policies that applied to other regiments were also applicable to marines.

Uniforms

Themiclesian Marines' uniforms

The Themiclesian Marines currently recognize three orders of dress: dress, undress, and battle uniform. A separate battle uniform emerged in 1920, while the form and use of dress and undress mirrored unwritten civilian dress codes. Many officers, of all services, defended de rigueur dress codes even in military contexts to discourage "less refined" individuals from seeking commissions. However, as social status became less emphasized during the Pan-Septentrion War, rules were codified in 1950 to counteract open discrimination on the grounds of class.

Dress coat

In 1819, an ordinance required all marines to wear a blue jacket, a waistcoat, cravat, shirt, trousers, and shoes "in the Western style". This was motivated at least in part by the Tonning tailors' guild, which offered kickbacks to Marines officers for directing their men to purchase their clothes from the guild. Both enlisted men and officers wore bicornes in the first decades of the 19th century. Since uniforms were tailored individually, colour and cut varied considerably, aside from shirts which were always white. Enlisted rates also frequently sold or repaired their own clothing to economize. Paintings show that, within a single line of marines, coats varied from sky blue to a hue nearing black, and buttons could be fabric-covered or metallic, arranged in two to four rows.

By 1830, the double-breasted dress coat had lost favour to a single-breasted one. With the rise of the social season and the Regiment Act of 1851, most military officers as part of fashionable society accepted that dress coats should be as dark as permissible and that metallic and colourful insignia should be eschewed for fear of outdressing others. Epaulettes rarified under this pressure, the dress coat became indistinguishable from a civilian coat. Hence, the dress coat became obsolete, implicitly requiring officers to wear their civilian coats to occasions where it would be appropriate.

In 1822, an edict was issued ordering the five extant regiments to adopt peculiar waistcoats. It was expected to be purchased or subsidized by the regiment's colonel. Materials ranged from wool to velvet, but silk waistcoats were reserved for officers. Like the dress and frock coats, the waistcoat could be personalized to a great extent. For example, the 1st Regiment's waistcoat was themed with conifer cones between 1838 and 1859, while the 2nd had flying fish.

Frock coat

Frock coat as worn by the Upper Engineers Regiment, shown in promotional artwork

A frock coat appeared in 1827 for daytime drilling and meals, replacing the bicorne with a cap. Then perceived as a form of undress, officers adopted the frock coat before the enlisted rates were permitted the same in 1837, possibly out of a consideration for cost.[11] The frock coat would become the main uniform style for not only the Marines but virtually all infantry regiments for the next century. Like the dress coat, the frock coat varied in colour and cut. Ready-made civilian clothing appeared around 1840 and was instantly adopted by the enlisted rates due to their cheapness. This broke the collusive relationship between officers and the tailor's guild, billed a victory for market economy as envisioned by the Liberals that came to power in 1845.

As the frock coat was usually purchased off-the-shelf, its shape evolved with civilian fashion and was only tempered by vague guidelines over colours and basic shape. There generally was a vent on the wearer's rear, closed by buttons, and two pockets opened towards the vent, concealed in the pleats. The pleats became less pronounced in the 1840s, while the collar lowered and narrowed and the skirt shortened. At the same time, the frock coat was promoted to daytime dress and admitted elements of the dress coat, like peaked lapels, contrasting collars, and revers. In 1859, the silver buttons on frock coats were exchanged for copper ones. Frock coat pockets moved from the wearer's back to the inside of the skirt during around 1860 to prevent awkward bulges over buttocks.

A renewed wave of interest in military uniforms, probably caused by two new units—the air force and coast guard—created within 1918 – 19, compelled several units to standardize frock coats in 1920, like the Marines and the Capital Defence Force. For the former, the new regulations specified the frock coat's cut and accompanying garments in detail but mainly set forth existing sartorial norms in civilian society. In 1923, enlisted marines were commanded to be dressed (i.e. frock coat) when walking out, but this regulation was relaxed in 1938 when they undertook patrol duties in Tonning, which soiled the expensive coat easily. In 1950, it was formally labelled "day dress" and appointed for occasions involving the monarch, royal family, government ministers, and foreign dignitaries of similar stature.

Frequently paired with the frock coat was the top frock and over-frock coats, worn flexibly by marines to keep warm on the open sea. Their cuts were identical, down to the pleating and pockets, to that of the frock coat, except larger to accommodate the latter. Collars and cuffs were sometimes lined with fur or velvet, but expensive furs were only seen on officers. In 1888, the Navy Secretary Lord Hap commanded that Marines officers "may don a top coat on October 1 and over-coat on November 1, as long as their captains so permit". Neither coat was officially regulated by statute or ordinance until 1950. Today, the top and over-frock coats are primarily seen on senior officers, who wear them to follow suit with other dignitaries.[12]

Sack coat

In 1923, the Navy Secretary issued a one-line ordinance that Marines officers may wear sack coats. The assumption was that officers would know, with a background in elite society, when a sack coat was appropriate. In the 1920s, sack coats or the suit jacket was worn in the company of familiars, such as by civil servants or corporate managers in their offices, but a formal coat would have been worn otherwise. The Themiclesian Air Force Almanac provides that they led the forces adopt sack coats as regulated undress, but accounts suggest that members of the Marines Club were already wearing sack coats on club grounds in the 1890s.

The Marines appointed in 1950 the sack coat a form of undress that was appropriate for all garrison use, day or night. As stipulated by the 1950 regulations, the sack coat is made of dark blue wool, single-breasted with gold buttons, and pockets on either side of the wearer. Suit trousers (the same facings) are worn with black dress shoes, and ribbons and insignia may be worn with the coat. The dress shirt and necktie are only required to be white and dark, respectively. A waistcoat may be added in colder months at will, though due to the cut of the lapels it would not likely be visible. The sack coat remains today the standard uniform for both officers and enlisted men when not in the field.

Oath

Medieval

Commemorative silver plate recording the appointment of S.mi as Clerk of the Exchequer, probably overseeing the recruitment of marines in Meridia.

There were no oaths of office as such during the Medieval period, but it was customary for newly-appointed bureaucrats to submit gifts to the imperial court, expressing gratitude. This custom waned in the 15th century, during the Themiclesian Republic. Several examples of such gifts and their accompanying messages, typically engraved, have been recovered and associated with primitive offices that evolved to form the modern marine corps. All examples record the appointment of "Clerk of the Exchequer", who often acted as agents of the imperial government in administering military affairs in the frontiers. One engraving from 1324 – 5, recovered from the wreckage of the Battle of Portcullia, reads:

今六月甲辰 內史曰戉𦤃啻令曰米卸叏事才南畺邑 米對商大兄王𦤃啻攸 之萬𨛻亾冬 内史才立率亾冓倉 舍壹㥁小子米

On this sixth month, day krap-der, the Chancellor of the Exchequer dispatched the Emperor's appointment of S.mi to conduct the Exchequer's affairs in the cities of the southern frontier. S.mi extols the grace of the Elder Prince Emperor, and have he no end in ten-thousand years. Be the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his office without harm and give S.mi, the small child, suffocating sweetness.

1732

Due to disruptions arising from the Columbian Colonial Army's augmentations in 1732, new marines regiments were required by law to take an oath before the ship on which they served, before they were allowed to board the ship. The oath, originally established for former members of the Colonial Army, was made mandatory for all members of the force in 1780, under a consideration of fairness.

I, A.B., swear, in naval war, I shall observe all laws of passenger aboard and defend your[13] bodies as my own body and this ship as my home. In the event I do not do as I say, let me be abandoned.[14]

To this, the captain or his mate would reply that he would treat marines as well as his crew, making no "unlawful distinctions".

1852

In 1852, the enlisted oath was updated as follows:

I, A.B., lawfully enlisted in [Regiment], swear (or solemnly affirm) I shall obey all statutes and lawful commands given to me and at all times be a faithful servant to the Themiclesian Navy and all her vessels. If in this I fail, let peril be my lot.

And officers' oath:

I, A.B. of [place], gentleman, hereby truly declare before the Barons of the Admiralty Department (or another competent Navy officer or officers) that I have been lawfully commissioned in [office] by the high authority of the Sovereign and the Peers and the People of Themiclesia, in the Regiment Act passed in the 25th year of Emperor Tjang and other statutes passed at other times contained, and the same office I shall discharge to the utmost of my abilities. Let this rest upon my franchise.

1941

In 1941, to reflect An Act for Clarifying Allegiance of Officers and Petty Officers and Enlisted Men of Certain Regiments which required citizenship in order to take a commission or become enlisted with the Marines, the enlistment oath was updated slightly:

I, A.B., a natural (or naturalized) Themiclesian subject lawfully enlisted in [Regiment], swear (or solemnly affirm) I shall obey all statutes ... peril be my lot.

As certain servicepersons at this point were not technically Themiclesian subjects, a temporary oath was imposed upon them to effect immediate naturalization:

I, A.B., a subject of [foreign monarch] (or citizen of [foreign state] or stateless to be best of my knowledge) hereby renounce and abjure all allegiances and debts due to sovereigns (or states) and their heirs and successors, representatives, agents, and officers whatsoever and in accordance to a statute called An Act for Clarifying Allegiance of Officers and Petty Officers and Enlisted Men of Certain Regiments passed in 18th year of the current emperor and other statutes thereupon touching, submit to the authority of the Sovereign the Peers and the People of Themiclesia in Parliament assembled and all the laws and customs of this realm. If in this I fail, let peril be my lot.

1958

In 1958, the enlisted man's oath was altered to reflect changing attitudes about military service, as the phrase "a faithful and obedient servant of the Themiclesian Navy and all its men and vessels" was now deemed demeaning and inappropriate for a citizen to swear. The matter was briefly discussed in Parliament, with the Navy replying in writing that the phrasing addressed an antiquated situation, when marines were not necessarily citizens and had to declare openly their commitment to the fleet and its operations; according to some authors, Themiclesian crew "often had good reason to demand an oath from marines pressed from various ports." The required oath was changed in 1958 to match that of domestic regiments.

I, A.B., a natural (or naturalized) Themiclesian subject, swear (or solemnly affirm) I shall obey all laws domestic and international and lawful commands to me given and furthermore bear true allegiance to the sovereign, peers, and people of Themiclesia in Parliament assembled, and their heirs and successors as the case may be. If in this I fail, let peril be my lot.

Scandals

Club (1979)

Indoctrination (1990)

In 1989, the journalist H. Hrap alleged in The Times of Themiclesia, a major right-leaning newspaper, that the Marines have practiced indoctrination with material from Ballad of the South Sea, a propagandistic book from 1849 printed by the Admiralty to boost the monetary value of Marines commissions by presenting the unit's history in light of its relatively limited role in 1849. Hrap further said that the materials found in the books were subject to further revisionism and applied to recruits to instill the "spirit heroism and self-sacrifice". While later responses characterized the piece as predominantly neutral in tone, many historians have criticized the officers involved in this "misapplication" of historical information for "the convenience of commanding officers" and creation of "comic-book heroes in real life". Hrap argued in 1990 that Ballad of the South Sea was never meant to be a real history, and in the mid-19th century its real purpose—to make commissions more valuable by making the unit look good—would have been obvious to its readers and typical for units of the day.

In 1992, Lieutenant-General Sagh Nam commented on The Times he believed this indoctrination "had been ongoing for at least three decades and may have contributed to some scuffles." The following year, another military officer, Tap-ku Ba wrote on The Globe, a left-leaning newspaper, that this form of indoctrination implicitly "casts a rosy tint on the Liberal Party, which came to power in 1845 and was at the height of its popularity in 1849." According to her, its subjects become "vulnerable to certain kinds of political messages, such as patriotism and xenophobia, and this effect may well outlast an enlistment or commission." Ba further writes that certain portrayals in the 1849 book are used in an insulting and demeaning way. She says,

Ordinary marines are portrayed as infinitely docile and nearly thoughtless beings. They accept any kind of abuse without question. These characteristics were important to prospective commission-buyers because insubordination and mutiny were grounds for cashiering, and even if an officer is not cashiered after such an event, the value of his commission will depreciate if it becomes known as a troublesome one. We now know this is advertisement: buy a commission over a unit of the docile and thoughtless, and you'll have a low-risk investment. From the fact that this quality is so strongly and unnaturally emphasized in the book, and the observation of the unit's profile in the press, we can also see that the Marines were probably not as trouble-free as its authors made them out to be. The 20 commissioners who compiled and printed this book were all Marine Corps officers: they stood to gain considerably and financially if this book could propel their unit to romantic stardom. And it worked, as Marines commissions rose by 40% over the next six years and stayed high until it crashed in 1867, when Lord M'reng surrendered to the Camians; he was hated for this reason more than anything disparaging he said about ordinary marines.

So, how did what essentially amounted to a stock market gambit become a propaganda playbook used by the modern military? After all, royal commissions were issued by Parliament nine times between 1849 and 1867, attesting to the fact that marines, not unlike other regiments, were well-aware of their abuse and stood up against officers, only not labelled as mutinies because no death or injury occurred; the commissioners, shrouded by mystery, distance, and power, gave the illusion that appeals were being heard by such authority even officers could not overrule. In reality, commissioners rarely ruled against the officers, but the latter would have been embarrassed to be questioned on the same table as their subordinates. The book intimated that these events were rarer than they actually were. Frequently enough, officers from other forces were commissioned to investigate the Marines. Can you imagine the embarrassment if your social competitor was appointed as a commissioner to investigate your relationship with your men? Naturally, the book was a face-saving device, partly admitting to baseness but identifying a desirable future through the language of history.

Pervert (2019)

In the 2019 deployment to Idacua, Themiclesian marines captured drug cartel members and paramilitary personnel thereby retained. Amongst them is the International Liberty Front, noted for their anarcho-capitalist beliefs. On Nov. 20, that group tweeted that at least one of its members were taken prisoner, warning that any abuse would be reported. Captain-general Geoffrey Ghwang (王晞, ghwang-l′ei) reportedly took insult and allowed an official tweet calling the ILF "perverts". Reception has been overwhelmingly negative, with many satires appearing on the same platform, using the word "pervert" to put off those voicing legitimate complaints or concerns, e.g. the landlord of a leaky house calling a complaining tenant "pervert". By the end of November, "pervert" has become an Internet meme. Gwjang was dismissed on Dec. 28, 2019, replaced with Colonel Margaret Sui. She says that the conduct of the Themiclesian Marines in Idacua "can stand up to the entire world's scrutiny" but apologizes for the "inappropriate tweet".

List of leaders

An incomplete list of Captains-general:

  • Lord S.sring-gāl (清河君): Apr. 22 – May 3, 1348, merchant.
  • Pang Ngam C. (方卿巖): Jun. 23, 1745 – Nov. 12, 1749, musician and career military officer.
  • Lord Ghwār-′ān (荁安君): Jan. 4, 1856 – Jul. 30, 1859, politician.
  • Lord M′rēng (顭君): Nov. 30, 1867 – Feb. 15, 1869 and Jul. 2, 1877 – Mar. 15, 1879, mathematician and politician.
  • Lord Nrār J. (暵君): Jan. 2, 1940 – Mar. 5, 1941, jurist and politician.
  • Lord Swar Sjt. (鵕君): Mar. 14, 1945 – Oct. 1, 1947, lawyer and politician.
  • Kuroyamada Akira C. (黑山田卿 景; くろやまだのつかさ あきら): Jul 4. 1960 – Mar. 15, 1962, career military officer.
  • Lazarus Nip P. (聶大夫獺): Jan. 2 – May 14, 1968, career military officer.
  • Dr. Geoffrey Ghwang L′ei (王晞): May 4, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2020, archaeologist and career military officer.
  • Dr. Margaret Skūr (睢墀): since Jan. 31, computer scientist and career military officer.

List of conductors of the Halconian Ensemble:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Pim, Major (臨俞): since Jul. 1, 2008, musician.

In popular culture

Video games

  • Changing Winds (1994): naval-themed beat-'em-up game, with RPG elements, based on Battle of Dubh. The Marines exist as a power-up, where time spent in combat levels them up. They come with a risk of RNG-based mutiny, progressively greater if the player does not discharge them from time to time; however, discharging them too frequently causes their levels to reset, reducing their usefulness in gameplay.
  • A Tear in an Ocean (1996): an RPG game where the player survives naval combat after being pressed into the Themiclesian fleet as a marine. The game starts with the character finding out that his village had been sacked when he was away. The plot requires the player to assassinate seven Themiclesian admirals, who are scattered in the various stages.
  • Banner of the Stars (1997): a 3D action-adventure RPG with fantasy elements where the player must repulse expanding Themiclesian influence in 16th-century Solevant. The Marines are the enemy grunts barely able to resist the player's magic spells and control over the elements.
  • Fantasy Island III (2000): the player explores a fictional island set in the middle of the Meridian Ocean. A Themiclesian marine stands next to a banana tree overlooking a narrow footpath, passage wherethrough is required to advance to the next area, and shakes it so that bunches of bananas drop on and instantly kill the player. The player must bring him a mouse, which transforms the marine into a cat. The cat continues to wear the distinctive hat of the Marines.
  • Nine Lives (2002): the protagonist is a Foreign Office agent and must reverse his fate by bringing a sympathy-arousing item into the childhood of nine NPCs that, in the modern day, are determined to kill the protagonist painfully. The fourth NPC is a Themiclesian marine. The correct item is a child's model cruise ship, which the play must steal from a store in a stealth maze mission. The game has been criticized because the model is not of a warship, which would be "a more appropriate connection"; however, the developer responded that the connections are not meant to be obvious, and the common story of all nine NPCs is that they are not in their dream jobs.
  • On Official Business (2003): in stage 5-4, the player is a marine stationed at an embassy of a non-specified state. The stage is an escort mission for a diplomat, whom the player plays in other stages, that needs to reach dangerous areas. The marine is overpowered and guns down not only attackers but bystanders in the line of fire in one hit. The diplomat is immune to damage from the marine but will die in one hit from other enemies. Game developers provide that this is because the game engine only allows one life bar, which is given to the player-controlled marine, who can take several shots depending on difficulty; the diplomat NPC can only be programmed to die when colliding with projectiles or attack.

Film

  • Christianity in Themiclesia is a 1905 silent film made in Themiclesia by a group of Christian priests from Anglia, who sought to understand the history of Christianity in Themiclesia. The services at multiple churches are filmed in brief, and one such was the Marines' chapel in Kien-k'ang. There are six scenes that last about a minute each, each superscribed with the segment of the service as understood by the Anglians. These are "Kyrie eleison", "Gloria", "Credo", "Sanctus et benedictus", "Agnus dei", and "Ite missa est". It is unclear why this church was selected by the Anglians, though its proximity to the location of the Anglian consulate—one block away—may have been relevant. Benjamin Terrace says that the film's creators intended to discovery the boundaries of the Christian community in Themiclesia and therefore sought to discovery whether the religion was acceptable in a variety of contexts. This film also happens to be the earliest known footage depicting the unit.
  • Price To Be Free (2002)
  • Hot-blooded (2003): "Hot-blooded is an all-round shittier version of Price To Be Free, plus battle scenes and pints of fake blood. The story assumes in the aggregate audience the intelligence of a ‘fucking rock’, and the characters are so flat they could ‘pass under a closed door’. For the fact this film came out four months after Price To Be Free, it strikes us like a spoof or a bad parody and leave us feeling soiled, violated. It has nothing of the risk-taking, fragile humanity of Price To Be Free that touched every heart. While I express my highest regard for this production's artists, producers, stunt professionals, and the absolutely incredible cameramen, Hot-blooded should simply not exist."—Meridian Quarterly, 2003. "The timing of the release of this movie is unfortunate. We are told Hot-blooded actually began production earlier than Price To Be Free, and the complex action scenes took many takes to get right, delaying post-production until the latter premiered. Nevertheless, it must be agreed that Hot-blooded is a film doomed to the panning of critics, even without Price To Be Free; with it, Hot-blooded looks like a complete joke. I imagine the Marines must be desperate to rip their logo off the credits of this film, but Neptune Studio wanted their principal patron to sink with them into the abyss of cinematic disgrace."—The Stage, 2003. "Hot-blooded has everything a great film has—celebrities, music, visuals—except a story. The entire film can be condensed thus: because we fought for the country, you must love or worship us back. As soon as the film starts, one is told who the good and bad guys are and how the film will end; their identities and motives never change, you expectations are never challenged, and an off-screen air force fires the silver missile to rescue our heroes. Price To Be Free makes you feel even the ordinary grunt has an extraordinary story to tell; Hot-blooded humiliates you so much, it should be a war-crime to screen it."—The Decade in Films, 2012. "This is the sort of film that totalitarian states would pay you to watch, but here in Themiclesia we pay to watch it."—Cinematic Review, 2019.

Comics

  • A Life Well Lived began as a weekly comic on the Marines' newspaper The Spectre in 1954, mainly drawn by Cpt. Njan and usually makes humorous comments on soldiers' lives and how minor things can often bring joy to them. It was continued by other artists after Njan resigned his commission in 1971. In the 1980s, the artist Cpt. Slje-da often used cat ears to represent his characters' bewilderment or cute moments, though none of them have permanent feline features. Since 2001, the strip was jointly drawn by Cpt. Lang and the warrant officer Nep, the precise division of labour between them being unclear. Readers have detected an increasing focus on the Marines' life onboard ships, as both Lang and Nep are permanently stationed on the SS Tibh and SS Sl′rong. Lang and Nep interprets marines as ships' cats and explored the implications thereof, especially compared to domestic cats living on land.

Periodicals

  • The Spectre is the Marines' newspaper. It was originally published as a weekly journal for officers in the 1840s. The Spectre’s editorial positions has shifted wildly, reflecting the Government's preferences at the time. When it functioned as an officer's journal, it reported moving houses, marriages, new commissions, resignations, deaths and upcoming social events like dinners, dances, and receptions. In the 1950s, it was usually left-wing in tone when it focused on the difficulties of re-integration to civilian society experienced by former servicepersons; however, this reporting was reportedly suspended at the Foreign Office's injunction. Between 1961 and 70, it had a very pronounced right-wing editorial bias that the governing Liberal Party secretly demanded, to convince the public that the government's foreign policy views was independently confirmed by the armed forces. However, the editors Cpts. Sek and Per were by a convicted before the House of Commons in 1971 for participating in the Liberal Party's political activities.
  • While the Marines make up no more than 3% of the whole armed forces of Themiclesia, stories pertaining to the unit account for 5% of the column-inches on editions in major newspapers dedicated to defence and foreign policy.
  • The Spectre was known in the 50s for very poor printing quality, with frequent "ghosting letters". This deficiency earned the paper the Anglian nickname The Printed Spectre.

Literature

  • The Marines are often used as a fictional setting when it was inappropriate to name a regiment associated with a particular place.
  • The Marines are associated with old-fashioned ideas especially concerning tactics and administration. This image probably arose in the 1920s when they were sequestered from several important reforms that occurred in the Consolidated Army. While tactics and administration are rarely encountered in well-published fiction, this idea often transmutes to other kinds of old-fashioned things. In the novel Nathan, which takes place in the 1978 Northern War, Mike Tram writes that, "The postal clerk having excused himself from the counter, Nathan was thereby isolated with a marine in whose dress uniform, he dozing off on the inhospitable benches. Nathan, leering off the peripheral extrema of his field of sight, could not help but was overcome with an irrestiable itch, an unquenchable desire—to switch off the lights and put on some gas lamps instead."
  • On the other hand, the Marines' own literature consistently show a preference for technological progress and often have a futuristic theme. In the old HQ building, they converted the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue in 1953 into a glass-walled computer room, in order to display a mainframe computer to the entire lobby. Not only was this an appeal to progress, it was also considered one of patriotism, as the Themiclesian government strongly supported the development, manufacture, and sale of the digital computer.
  • The Marines are also often typified in modern literature by various expressions of urbanity, particularly of the economically- and politically-dominant capital city of Kien-k'ang, where 1/4 of all Themiclesians live. While the Marines were seen in the 1800s as regiments without a permanent home, they were formally "adopted" by the city council in 1956. In the 2002 movie Price To Be Free, the marine known as Sammy to the narrator calls anyone who does not come from the capital city a "rustic", that city to be "the city", and anywhere else (including other cities) "the countryside". In the 2018 film Baked, a Coast Guardsman complains to his commander that "marines believe all other services are composed of country-bumpkins who live in idyllic hamlets, have simple lifestyles, and are blissfully above social injustice and other issues of great moment."

Music

Bronze bell of communications unearthed in Camia, used to command retreats; on officers' sigils representing their authority over military manoeuvres. This example, with gold and silver embossing, dated to 890.
  • The Halconian Ensemble (est. 1882) is often considered the Marines' foremost vocal group. It is one of the few that specializes in the repertoire known as C-14 or Early Meh Nexus. The group has about 21 full-time vocalists and 6 playing accompanitant. The Halconian Ensemble has been noted for musicians' skill ex tempore performances, particularly four-voice improvisations: this requires the chorus be divided into four voices and then separately improvise upon a given theme. The improvised lines are judged by their consonance with each other and musical development. The Halconian often gives recitals to the general public and perform at state occasions, where they have acquired the label of "never performing the same song twice", as parts are inevitably improvised.
  • The group traditionally tests an incoming director by requiring them ex tempore to expand a given theme into a four-voice motet, who then gives four simultaneous directions to the chorus realizing his directions. To do this, the director signals notes with both hands by the Guidonian hand for two voices, hums the pitch of a third, and silently mouths the Solmization syllables of a fourth. The tactus is usually given by nodding, though other directors have tapped the ground with a foot as well. The current director, Major Elizabeth Pim, completed this task in 2008 and recounted "once the performance started, my mind blanked, and I cannot recall what directions I gave on the day. I just kept on giving directions and prayed to every god I knew that my directions were not a complete farce. There are few things in the world to prepare one for giving four simultaneous directions."
  • The Captain-general of Marines is authorized to use a fanfare (彭簡) of eight musicians. This is the same entitlement for barons.
  • Several regiments in the Marines have royal license to display bronze bells in their emblems, the bell properly being a symbol of authority over military manoeuvres communicated by drums, which signal advance, and bells, signalling retreat. Bells, cast of bronze, are also associated with religious and ceremonial music. While bells were actually cast for military campaigns in antiquity and during the Middle Ages, it is thought their issue ceased after the Themiclesian Republic, being thereafter only used in symbology. The practice after 1500 was to use bells only for units directly under the imperial court, i.e. militia units raised and fielded by viceroys did not use bells in their symbology.

References

  1. In this period, a Themiclesian pressed into service would have to arrange for his property to be kept with a bailiff and to declare a will, in case they fail to survive.
  2. The other two were the South Army and Royal Signals Corps.
  3. Only the literate and numerate were eligible, which were the minority amongst the ratings.
  4. This has been criticized by some as an endorsement of the outdated geocentric model of the Solar System.
  5. The Sacrificial Treasury (御廩) was the department of the Emperor's personal finances; it controlled royal forests, mines, and rights-of-way on many roads and birdges. It developed out of the treasury that kept sacrifices for the state gods that the Emperor was duty-bound to offer. It was distinct from the Great Treasury into which tributes from cities, provinces, and baronies were paid.
  6. The "naval rape culture" described by Gwjang, 1985.
  7. Their spokesperson said, "We must not remain fast to outdated theories. Regulations against homosexuality have always been based on what was considered the most advanced knowledge available; now that research has refuted the legitimacy of such laws, we shall strive to have them struck out as soon as possible."
  8. Upper Themiclesian Championships were, by the rulebook, an amateur event.
  9. It has been noted by many authors that the most patriotic class of Themiclesian society was the petty middle class, who came to dominate the commission lists towards the middle of the 19th century. Some such authors consider this their "ticket" to political enfranchisement, to convince the social elite that they were reliable individuals deserving the ballot.
  10. Historian K. Gro writes, "One such angry marine fulminated in 1875, 'These fabricators with their pretenses, tail-wagging and cheek-licking, think they are better than us, and they exude a dastardly demeanour they are better than us before those that are better and the furtive, guilt-ridden hope even to join them. They hear not of the truth that they are as we all are, here to put food in our mouths, but truth will out, and the pall of disappointment & fall from grace will strike them harder than anyone else. And then they shall all die of heartbreak and pain, and even their children will disown them.' We know not what injustice he suffered, but we may speculate it reflects very honestly the common hatred of the enlisted men of those only 'slightly better' than they are."
  11. Dress coats were usually more expensive than frock coats, even though the latter used more fabric. However, since frock coats were considered a form of undress, a coarser (and cheaper) fabric could be used.
  12. The practice of following suit, that is wearing something similar but not exactly the same as someone else, is a sartorial gesture of respect in Themiclesia. Conversely, overdressing or underdressing can be considered insulting.
  13. i.e., the crew.
  14. i.e., thrown off the ship.

See also