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Mass Effect/AEC: Krogan Military Doctrine


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Excerpt from Modern Galactic War by Paul Malthus, 3rd Edition , Made available for Extranet Scholastic Use by  The Institute of War and Diplomacy, Vancouver Metroplex, North American Union, Earth, 2190 (1st Edition published by Banabar Books in 2184).

Krogan Army

The krogan are undergoing massive socioeconomic upheaval as a result of the end of the genophage and their role in defeating the Reapers. Transforming the krogan armed forces from loose bands of tribal groups to a coherent discipline force is one of the largest challenges they face today. To this end krogan leaders have instituted a series of reforms designed to turn the army into a modern fighting force. They have identified three areas of concern:

  1. Organization: Creating the structure to train, maintain and equip this new force.
  2. Equipment: Expanding and standardizing the army’s system to maximize their effectiveness on the battlefield.
  3. Doctrine: Creating a new doctrine based on the lessons learned in pass conflicts and one that exploits the krogran strengths and ameliorates their weaknesses.

The krogan army core unit is the battle group, a natural outgrowth of the old clan warbands. The battle group is composed of one or more companies (2-5) with between 20 to 150 individuals each. Current battle groups rely on heavy infantry armed with personal and crewed served weapons backed by infantry fighting vehicles, plus light artillery. Unlike the warbands of old which relied on the charisma of a given warlord, soldiers down to the newest recruits receive extensive training in small unit tactics, fire discipline, and initiative under fire. All members of a battle group are expected to know their mission objectives and be willing to take their place of their fallen comrades in battle. The new soldiers are taught to see their unit as their Krantt (often translated as, “battle brothers”) which strengthens the bonds between the unit members. Taking a page from the turians, the soldiers are taught to think of the unit as more than the sum of its parts, that it is an entity unto itself and that it exists to protect all krogan everywhere. It shifts the concept of honor from a personal or tribal one into the honor of the unit and the army.

The Tomkah, an infantry fighting vehicle, is the backbone of the army. It represents the ruggedness, ease of use, and maintenance on the field common in krogan equipment. With their manufacturing based destroyed after the Rebellions and a Council imposed embargo on eezo, the krogan lack a large stable of ground, air or space based vehicles. During this time period between the Rebellions and the Reaper Invasion the krogan concentrated on the manufacture of personal weapons and armor in cottage industries across Tuchanka. The years after the Reaper Invasion has seen an easing of the embargo of most goods to and from Tuchanka. This in turn has led to a revitalizing of krogan heavy industries, including weapons manufacturing.

The army is developing a new series of ground vehicles such as the, Shulka or “Little Brother.” The Shulka is based on the chassis of the Tomkah but with a lower profile and armed with eight 3.7 cm (37 mm) high-velocity anti-aircraft auto cannons on twin quad mounts backed by between eight to ten anti-armor/anti-aircraft missiles mounted in launch cells between the guns. Each gun can fire up to 1,100 rounds per minute with a combined rate of fire of 8,800 rounds per minute. The Shulka is designed to engage low flying targets under 5,000 meters such as aerial drones, shuttles, gunships, and Reaper drop pods/Harvesters. Another vehicle in joint development with Alliance R&D is the Olifant (Alliance term/krogan name unknown as of 2190). This heavy armor/shielded counter-grav vehicle proposed armament varies wildly between test beds but the most common configuration has three fast firing autocannon (between 14.5 mm to 2.3 cm/23 mm) on the hull for point defense against enemy infantry/anti-tank missiles and a 17.5 cm/175 mm main gun in a fully traversal turret paired with another coaxial mounted auto cannon.  The main gun can be elevated up to 70 degrees for indirect fire support.  The army is also seeking to acquire new gunship/field transport capable of providing close air support as well as carry the new family of vehicles in a modular cargo area. Impressed by the ability of Alliance vehicles like the M35 Mako family of vehicles to deploy from low orbit, the krogan leadership has demanded that new krogan armor have the same capabilities.

The fastest evolving area of the army is in its doctrine. Here the krogan can harness thousands of years of military history at the planetary and galactic level. The plan is to convert battle groups into flexible all arms formations that are fully aerospace mobile. In theory these units can be tailored to any situation and deployed from allied ships (see Krogan Weaknesses) to the surface of target world. Long gone are the days of relying on mass to overwhelm their enemies although few remember that sheer force of numbers was only one of the tactical tools available to krogan. Centuries of living in the irradiated rubble of Tuchanka taught the krogans to use shock through speed of advance and made them masters of fortifications. Krogan fortifications are built with an eye for concealment, redundancy, and depth. They also rely heavily on psychological warfare to win the day. Seasoned officers prefer to intimidate an enemy into retreat or surrender rather than wasting valuable resources in a long drawn out fight.

A common tactic, described by human military historian Martin Hughes in his book  Krogans After the Rebellions (North America Military Press, 2178) as, “The Leaping Porcupine,” demonstrates the characteristics mentioned above:

When facing a larger clan, a smaller clan launches an all out attack on territory vital to the other clan, then entrench themselves in that position. That leaves the larger clan with two options, waste valuable resources in retaking the objective or negotiating with the smaller clan. In order to succeed this tactic requires an intimate knowledge of not only the tactical layout of the enemy but also of their political leadership. Without this the attacking clan tends to seize a useless objectives, be impaled in the stronger enemies fortification network, or fall into a trap set by their rivals. 

A similar situation occurred when Citadel forces defeated a krogan offensive during the rebellions only to find it impossible to retake lost territory without significant loses due to the krogan ability to swiftly fortify conquered territory. Behind their fortifications the krogan re-armed and rebuilt their forces then launched a new offensive. Today the emphasis is on durability/tactical flexibility rather than pure offensive strength.

Recruiting is the last pillar of the doctrine. The army no longer accepts any male who has survives their Rite of Passage. Recruits most show a commitment to something larger than their clan or regional government. They must pledge to protect all krogan and follow a strict (for the krogan) set of ethical standards. Only thirty percent of the applicants enter service. Failure to join at a young age does not prevent a krogan for future entry into the army. Given time this might bring a new series of technical expertise sorely lacking in today’s krogan forces.

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