Are there any pros to having a levied army based around a core of noble officers and special forces, over a professional meritocratic army?

Are there any pros to having a levied army based around a core of noble officers and special forces, over a professional meritocratic army?

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    yeah

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    there is a reason levy armies dissappeared over the advent of professional standing armies
    maintenance costs with an army you can disband is the only pro I can think of

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >there is a reason levy armies dissappeared
      they still exist today

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      There's a war being fought right now between two levy armies.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        At least in the case of Ukraine they are nominally trained and equipped to the same level as the professionals. I'd say there is a distinction between levies and a conscript serving in what is a modern professional army.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >nominally trained and equipped to the same level as the professionals.

          Don't quite understand what you're trying to say here. By the tone of your post I'm genuinely not sure if you understand that the term 'nominally' means 'in name, not reality'. They're given the bare minimum and thrown in. A professional rifleman takes ~2 years to start getting really good and conscripts in the sense of most modern armies still have months of training before they're allowed out.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That's partially because your idea of what a levy was in the pre-modern period is based on moronic shit you were either told by someone else who doesn't know anything or saw in a shitty movie or assumed out of your ass. Medieval armies were not mobs of mentally moronic peasants swinging sticks at each other. They weren't professional soldiers, either, but they did have familiarity with their role as a potential soldier to the same equivalent extent that the average Korean does today.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >They weren't professional soldiers, either, but they did have familiarity with their role as a potential soldier to the same equivalent extent that the average Korean does today.
            If you actually believe that the average peasant leveed into his lord's army has the training/knowledge someone who has actually completed conscription in an army like that of Korea you're delusional.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What are reservists and government paramilitaries for 400 Alex?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Reservists are professionals, they just aren't full time. They're often professionals who completed full time active service and still drill.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/xmIVR5X.jpeg

      Are there any pros to having a levied army based around a core of noble officers and special forces, over a professional meritocratic army?

      You can’t afford a standing army as a small kingdom, of which there were thousands in the Middle Ages, plus further divided by barons and princes depending on how feudal the kingdom was. So personal mercenaries for a short time war + levied seasonal peasants + personal family retinue was the only realistic way to raise an army. Standing armies kind of require an empire first

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        In the long term, this method eventually developed into proper standing armies (in Western Europe, at least). That said, it doesn't have any more immediate advantages than getting masses of slaves to fight for you or just taking a certain section of your population and making them all soldiers.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >what is Ukrainian war
      The moment a professional army meets their peer, the bullshit stops and the state starts conscripting everyone, forcefully if need be.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes, levies were the meta of musket age warfare. Because muskets had low entry standards, low skill caps, and low k/d ratios, the army which could absorb the most casualties had a decisive advantage since even the most skilled generals and troops could only fight a few battles before running out of blood.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The musket meta was mercenaries until the French invented levée en masse.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        8137
        The Duke of Marlborough through a little trickery (against his own allies) brought the 55,000 men of the Army of the Grand Alliance (England, Scotland, Austria, Prussia, and the Dutch Republic) to the Battle of Blenheim
        >17,924 in the Imperial Army of Prince Eugene
        >11,340 Anglo-Scottish soldiers
        >6,054 Prussian soldiers (~4,450 under Eugene, ~1,600 serving as mercenaries for the Dutch)
        >1,700 Dutch cavalry

        Which means there was about 20,000 men on the field from Denmark, Hesse-Kassel, Anspach, Wurtemberg, Hannover, Luneberg and Saxe-Gotha serving as mercenaries in their ranks. This was not uncommon particularly for the various German micro-states of the time, the Duke of Anspach couldn't really afford to keep an army of ten thousand men under the colors all of the time, but if someone vaguely aligned with his interests like the Dutch or the Austrian Emperor wanted to essentially rent the troops, taking responsibility for feeding and paying them for a couple years, that was perfectly fine. It was how they were able to maintain such large armies and why the Grand Alliance would fall to pieces once they lost momentum and Churchill's charisma, because 20-30% of their manpower came from the German states who had to be begged, bribed, and flattered to maintain their commitments, so once the war carried into the heart of France and heavy casualties for little gain at places like Malplaquet began hitting them the Germans and English bailed leaving the Dutch and Austrians alone which they couldn't sustain

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yes, levies were the meta of musket age warfare. Because muskets had low entry standards, low skill caps, and low k/d ratios, the army which could absorb the most casualties had a decisive advantage since even the most skilled generals and troops could only fight a few battles before running out of blood.

          Also while the idea of patriotism wouldn't coalesce for another couple decades by the 1700s there were millions of professional soldiers as we think of them today serving in almost every army in Europe. These men whether as volunteers or called up by a primitive conscription system/program of national service would spend their entire lives under arms training and drilling whenever possible during peacetime. A good example would be the Caroleans, they had the 'Allotment System' which grouped together somewhere between 2 and 12 families (depending on how wealthy they were) were grouped by the Crown into a 'rote', these people would recruit a soldier and provide a small croft for him out of their lands which he would work to help provide for his family most of the year, except Sundays where they would drill by company, the summer where the regiment would muster and drill as a unit for 3-4 weeks until midsummer's eve, or during a war where they would march wherever the King ordered, and during these times the other families were required to assist the soldier's family with taking in the harvest and generally maintaining the croft. The idea was that each of the Kingdom's provinces could recruit and maintain at least one infantry regiment and keep them as a trained unit at a relatively low maintenance to the Crown, and these troops provided 42,600 of the ~76,000 men Charles XII had at his disposal at the start of the Great Northern War

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If you're a small scale society that can't afford to run a standing military, you can opt for a levy army.

    These armies can kick ass provided that your civilian levies are actually trained and have combat experience. As attested by Hoplite Armies, the OG Roman Legion, and Qin-Han Conscript Armies

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes, people aren't trained as much and their morale is far lower. Levies are dogshit.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What about the nobility though? They would have a lifetime of training and experience.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        There are a couple problems with nobility. For one you'll have a great disparity in quality from one member of a unit to another. Nobles are expected to pay for their own equipment and what not. A rich noble with large estates will be able to equip himself with the highest quality gear. By contrast his comrade who might be an impoverished noble with little land is likely to go into battle on a malnourished horse while wearing his great-grandfather's arms and armor.
        Another problem would be cohesion and the fact that not all nobles are equal. A guy might be a lower ranked noble but he might actually have a sharp mind for military matters. His opinion is either likely to be ignored entirely or if he's actually put in charge by the king the higher ranked nobles will cause a massive fuss over taking orders from him.
        Also the lifetime of training is not really a thing. Yes a noble would have much better training than the levies. He'd really be a god among men because he spends time training. But he's not going to be as well trained as somebody whose job is soldiering and only soldiering. Nobles also have to spend a lot of time taking care of their estates, families, attend public functions and be involved in politics.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Another problem with nobility is that aristocrats are naturally without honour or most redeeming qualities

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Only if the incompetent nobles get killed or otherwise replaced on a regular basis. Without regular skill checks you get a situation like ancient China where armies were run by people who were good at politics rather than people who were good at war.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You can maintain feudal order without having landless officers chimping out and taking over. Still, n the event landless officers take over they just re institute hereditary positions.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I think I would rather die following my king into battle than for politicians who started a war without consulting the generals.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Isn’t that basically what Mymanmar is going through right now?

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Historically, professional standing armies usually ended up running the show in some fashion or another.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      And that's why the whole holy mandate thing became popular later on.

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >threaten to invade you in spring
    >"lol just kiddin" 😉
    >farmers go home to plow their fields and sow their wives
    >raid you

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    cheaper and also less likely to overthrow and kill you

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Sure but at the end of the day, I want an all female lesbian levied army where their uniform is just bra and panties and they have to train everyday in the sun so I can look at their sweaty bodies.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Someone has been reading too much Dune

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Fish Speakers and later BG and HM forces weren't levies.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >why cant real life be more like my cool videogames?!?

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Size, it's a benefit both tactically and strategically

  14. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Can I just take a minute to point out how fricking cool the Imperial Ethiopian Army offcier uniforms were

    >Khaki with peaked cap and epaulets made from lion manes
    >No shoes because

  15. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Works fundamentally, but only on the smaller scale. As a local or provincial lord, or thge ruler of a city-state levies are perfectly acceptable. Once you start getting to larger kingdoms levies become unsustainable as the core of an army because when you run into a professional standing army you're at a severe disatvantage.
    Another issue is as a ruler you would have to divest some military power to local lords, and as they would be raising levies from their personal fiefdoms, it grants them autonomy. You need troops now to respond to a sudden invasion? Well this group of local lords doesn't like you, so they're going to take their time and not send the number of troops you requested. Plus God frobid one of them decides to rebel, and now has a system to generate an army on demand.
    Another downside is while your levies are waging war, they arent tending fields or harvesting crops, so you have to be very strategic with how you wage war to ensure your troops can return to their villages to ensure you have a food supply.
    Largest benefit is monetary, standing armies are wildly expensive, so levies make for a much more cost efficient military and open up wealth to be used for whatever purpose you desire.

  16. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Worth noting the US squared the circle on this dilemma and
    >got rid of the nobility
    >replaced them with a cadre of professional officers drawn from the landed gentry
    >proportionally small, specialized full time professional army
    >proportionally large reserve consisting of part-time professional soldiers that can be activated as necessary
    The advantage of a levee is a small, lower cost standing army, the disadvantage is that levees suck ass.

  17. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Republican Rome and every army of WW1 and WW2 was this, so I'm going to say yes.

  18. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It works well if you have a population uninterested or uninvested in the continued existence of the ruling polity. If your people are illiterate goatherds, farmers and craftsmen, completely unaware of and uninvolved in any level of governance, keeping these cohorts of trained locals in every administrative zone makes for a very simple and effective way of raising a force quickly. Of course it's massively prone to corruption, but if the administrators who manage the levy are sufficiently motivated, then it can be kept to a reasonable minimum; the only victims being said apathetic peasants you're sending to fight and die anyway. Having these levies trained for various roles as part of their service to the state is also a cost-saving measure; they're all only compensated for their missed earnings and require no payscale or access to military resources. If your conflicts are still low-level local affairs, you can make looting an accepted practice and get away with requiring levies to provide their own equipment; in this way you attract volunteers of organised groups with combat experience and the truly desperate who will invest all they have and gamble on being able to make a profit from captured materiel.

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