The Britannian Military includes all the Armed Services that are sworn to serve the Holy Empire of Britannia. It is shown to be one of the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Some high-ranking members of the military play a key role within series, and as such Britannia's military forces are seen in almost every episode.
- 1 Organization Outline
- 2 History
- 3 Branches
- 4 Ranks
- 5 Knights
- 6 Known Bases
- 7 Trivia
The Britannian Military and all its subsequent branches are shown throughout the course of the series to be a highly formidable, technology advanced, and an utterly dedicated fighting force.
Much like the mainstream of Britannian society, it is shown to be extremely loyal and supportive to the governing of the Empire and its core values. Since it was founded on the basis of the olden Imperial British Military, concepts such as honor, chivalry, and loyalty towards the monarchy, are still embedded among the military culture. As such most members of the military will generally follow orders given to them by their superiors, regardless of any potential consequences it could imply, even if it were to involve sacrificing themselves or the innocence to achieve victory, or to uphold their loyalty. With such a ruthless nature among the rankings, it is no surprise that most members of the military hold no regard or sympathy towards the oppressed Numbered citizens of the empire, many actually holding racist beliefs against them, while some are quite happy to carry out an order that would mean the unnecessary deaths of Numbered citizens (all these characteristics most likely being the reason why soldiers followed the false order given to purge all the Japanese during the S.A.Z ceremony)
In terms of structure, Britannia's Military is shown to follow a traditional modern military ranking system, with the addition of incorporating those with nobility titles into its rankings. This means members with a noble title and those parts of the aristocracy are permitted to serve in the military, and the higher their title among Britnnian Society, the higher the rankings and commanding positions they will be granted to hold. For example; someone with the title of "Knight or Knight of Honor" may hold a slightly lower position, either as a soldier or basic Knightmare Frame pilot, while others with higher titles like "Earl" or "Marquess" will be placed in leadership or commanding officer positions. This method of ranking explains how some notable members of Britannia's Imperial Family are shown to be heavily involved with military affairs, even leading campaigns against enemies of the Empire.
It is also shown the Military allows for the operation of individual groups that may not be directly tied to the military's main branches. These groups would either support the military efforts and/or strive to push a certain political ideology into the rankings, such as the Purist Faction (a group of elite Knights and Nobles descended from Pureblood Britannians who wanted the eradication of Numbered citizens from serving within the military) or the many of Britannia's dedicated Knight Orders and groups operating alongside the military.
In terms of appearance, the most common uniform for standard Britannian Military personnel is a unique light blue & black trim military tunic with a red necktie, however, this varies depending on which division or branch they are a part of. Higher-ranking officials like Colonels or Generals may usually wear grey & black tunics, while those apart of the Nobility, Royal Guards, or Knight Orders wear their own distinctive uniforms. Rank identification symbols are very minimal, instead of an individual's rank is usually associated with their name or by the type of uniform they are wearing, however, it is shown that higher-ranking mainline military personnel wears golden collar badges instead of silver ones. Additionally, colored armbands are also used by some divisions to identify themselves (such as the Purist Faction wearing a red armband, and the A.S.S.E.C wearing green armbands) All of Britannia's Military forces are united under a golden imperial eagle symbol, which appears on many of their uniforms, vehicles, military bases, and equipment.
The exact calendar date of which Britannia's military was founded is unknown, however, it can be assumed that it was sometime around the year of 1813 not long after the establishment of the new empire under Ricardo von Britannia's rule, formed from whatever remained of the British Imperial Military forces by the end of the Napoleonic Wars. From this point onward, the newly formed "Holy Britannian Empire" would begin an aggressive campaign of conquest to rebuild itself as a global superpower, and the military was called upon to fight the long history of conflicts. Some of the notable campaigns include the absorbing of all the America's into the Empire, involvement in the First Pacific War, and at some point declaration of war against the E.U under the oversight of Euro Britannia.
Britannia's Military would show its true strength and power into the 21st Century, when the 98thEmperor, Charles zi Britannia started the Second Pacific War in a.t.b 2010 by ordering a full-blown invasion of the island nation of Japan. Despite Japanese forces putting up strong resistance in the beginning, Britannia's overwhelming number of troops and technology, including the first combat deployment of the advanced Knightmare Frame weapons platform, ultimately played a part towards Japan surrendering and being absorbed into the empire as Area 11. After the successful invasion, Britannia continued its global expansion via military force, moving further towards the Eastern territories and annexing other nations into the Empire.
During times of occupation, the military would often find itself the target of radical, anti-Britannain resistance groups and as such would be deployed to swiftly crush any resistance movements that would oppose the empires will. One such resistance group which began in a.t.b 2016 was the Black Knights, based in Area 11 and lead by a masked individual named only as Zero. Unlike the other groups, Britannia's Forces struggled a number of times against the Black Knights, due to their smarter organization, implementation of advanced strategy, and acquisition of weapons and Knightmare Frames. This failure to stomp out the resistance movement ultimately lead to the Black Knights to rally most of the Japanese population to revolt against Britannian rule, this was known as the First Black Rebellion. Britannian Military found itself on the front line against that Black Knights, engaging them in battle in a number of locations across Area 11. The rebellion would hit its peak when the Black Knights and the revolting Japanese launched an Assault on the Tokyo Settlement, Area 11's government capital. The battle was long and bloody however Britannian Forces would ultimately achieve victory in the end via conventional military methods, and due to the fact that leaders of the Black Knights were either suspected killed or captured in the midst of fighting.
In between R1 and R2, the Britannian Military focused imposing lockdown in Area 11 and other colonies to ensure that another major uprising would not happen and continued to focus on fulfilling the Empire's global expansion. The mainland Britannain Military would eventually be called upon to finish the conflict with the E.U, taking over operations from Euro Britannian forces after it was revealed that the Knights of St. Michael took over the sub-empire via a coup and planned to revolt against the homeland. Second Prince Schneizel el Britannia was appointed to oversee the E.U campaign, and with assistance from the Knights of The Round, eventually led Britannia's Military forces to push the E.U towards a state of surrender and come to the negotiation table in a.t.b 2018.
Britannia's Military would face the Black Knights again in R2 during the Second Black Rebellion, though initially direct combat engagement was limited due to the political strategy route the Black Knights played. Military Forces would be forced to defend the Tokyo Settlement, and Area 11 again when the Black Knights, with assistance from the liberated Chinese Federation (now the United States of China) launched on an all-out war to absorb Japan into the UFN. Black Knights had the upper hand over Britannain Forces throughout most of the battle, however, it ultimately ended in a ceasefire truce when Knight of Seven Suzaku Kururugi fired the first F.L.E.I.J.A. weapon on the settlement, killing millions and injuring thousands more.
Upon the sudden arrival of Lelouch vi Britannia ascending the throne, many high-ranking officials who were in charge of the military submitted his rule, either via the influence of Geass or fear of execution. As such all of Britannia's Military forces were completely loyal to Emperor Lelouch, with the exception of a few groups, such as the Knights of The Round, who still swore loyalty to the former emperor and the Imperial family, though these resistance groups would ultimately be defeated at the final battle of the series at Mt. Fuji along with the UFN forces, marking Britannias victory over the world.
Following the destruction of Pendragon and the Battle of Mt. Fuji, the Britannian military power has diminished due to the heavy casualties by the open skirmishes with the Black Knights and the United Federation of Nations and the battle for control of the Damocles, cutting all of its military power in half after the conflict had ended, but thanks to Nunnally and Suzaku Kururugi, now under the guise as Zero, Britannia has officially joined the UFN with the Britannian military dissolved and the remaining military personal has the option to join and become the Order of the Black Knights
Like any modern country's armed forces, Britannia's Military comprises multiple branches each with their own special role that contributes to the expansion and defense of the Empire. Some branches play a more prominent role more than others, but all of the following have made an appearance in the series at least once:
Britannian Ground Force
Main Article: Britannian Ground Force
The Britannian Ground Force or the Britannian Army is the ground-based warfare service branch of the Military. It is shown to be the largest of the serving military branches, with them appearing in almost every episode of the series. The Army is tasked with defeating enemies of the Empire and defending its national interests, either at home or abroad. It comprises both infantry soldiers and armored combat units, including the Royal Panzer Infantry Knightmare Frames, as such they are regarded as the face of occupation of the Empire at large. This made the Army prime targets for resistance groups the world over.
Britannian Foreign Legion
One of the problems of managing a world-spanning empire is the need for more soldiers to protect the Empire's large territory. Because of this, the Empire allowed some of their conquered citizens to serve within the military, filling the gap needed in order to maintain a strong military presence in the colonel Areas. Although they were sometimes recruited to serve in Irregular forces like the Camelot and the tasks they are assigned to are just as menial as they are dangerous. For example; during the first episode a group of Honorary Britannians was tasked with finding a "Chemical Bomb" in hostile territory, armed with only their combat knife as a means of protection, but their discrimination didn't just end there. Sometimes the Foreign Legion was treated as "Guinea Pigs" by the main Military, either to place serious blame onto someone (like the Purist Faction did to Pvt. Suzaku) or to test out new weapons technology. Despite their harsh treatment by the military, they were also regarded as "traitors" by their own people and as such most terrorists groups have little or no reserve if they meet upon them in battle. Foreign Legion troops are separated from regular Army infantry by their darker shade of combat armor.
Irregular Units are considered to be groups or teams that are loyal to the Britannian Military but do not fall under direct Britannian Protocols or the traditional military branches. Despite having much greater freedom outside of the regular military, it is shown that they still required to conform to the traditional military command hierarchy and ranking system. Irregulars can take shape in many ways, and play different parts within the military. One of the most notable Irregular divisions in the series was the "Advanced Special Envoy Engineering Corps" (A.S.E.E.C) which was founded by Prince Schinzel and headed by Lloyd Asplund, who was responsible for the development and research of new Knightmare Frames and their subsequent technology. It was this Irregular group that was responsible for the development of Britannia's first 7th generation Knightmare Frame, Lancelot, and developing core technology and equipment that would be absorbed by the main Britannian military forces.
Britannian Medical Corps
The Britannian Medical Corp is responsible for providing aid in a military operation. They are easily recognized by their yellow military truck with the Red Cross emblem on them. During active operations, they are never too far away from the G-1 Base command center, or Army units, to ensure maximum protection and safety for the injured. They made their first appearance on the second episode tending Suzaku Kurugi's wound. The Medical Corps also works in tandem with Britannia's own Search and Rescue Unit.
Main article: Britannian Air Force
Actual aircraft are rarely used in combat by the Empire, instead, large cargo planes are used for transport through VTOL gunships and Knightmare T-4 VTOL drop ships are often seen infrequent use during military operations. Since the development of efficient float systems, large hover airships like the Avalon started to dominate the Imperial skies. They serve much the same role land-based command vehicles like the G-1 do on the ground, though still heavily-defended and capable of reaching considerable speeds. Similar Float Unit systems are now being equipped onto mainline Knightmare frames, rendering them capable of flight and able to fulfill the same role that traditional combat jet aircraft would have served pre-invasion of Japan.
Main article: Britannian Navy
While battleships are seen used by the Empire in early battles, ships do not seem to play an important military role in the Empire, usually delegated the role of transport and trade. This is possibly why the Black Knights chose a submarine as one of their first headquarters. However, the Britannian military is by no means incapable of aquatic or even deep-sea combat, as shown by the effectiveness of the Royal Marine Infantry (RMI)-13 Portman series of amphibious Knightmare Frames.
Main article: Royal Guards
Royal Guards are specialized military units that serve the members of the Imperial Family, nobility, and it has also been shown that the Knights of the Round also have their own royal guard subordinates. However, the full aspect of the royal guard is unknown. They wear a variety of uniforms depending on who they are affiliated with. The most commonly seen guardsmen are members of Cornelia's Royal Guard dressed in maroon-red tunics with gold trims, black shakos, and high boots.
Lelouch's Royal Guard is presented in more detail: all members are dressed in white-and-gray uniforms vaguely similar to the Knights of the Round with black tricorn hats and grey half masks, the jacket, and hat emblazoned in golden eye symbols similar to the ones on Lelouch's Imperial outfit. The tricorns also have drop-down visors similar to the one on Zero's helmet.
Much like the real world, the Britannian Military incorporates a traditional ranking hierarchy system. The rank names and roles are almost identical to their real-world counterparts (likely based off the American and British system) however, the key difference is that titles of nobility or those of the aristocracy can hold significantly high ranking within the military, hence why some members of the Imperial Family are seen leading military campaigns throughout the series. It is also unknown if the ranks are universal across all of the military's branches, or if each holds their own unique set of ranks. The following is a list of non-nobility, traditional military ranks that are used by Britannian Forces and have been known to exist in the series:
- Lieutenant Colonel
- Director/Advisor of Operations
- Warrant Officer
"Knights" as by their name sake are elite specialized armed forces units within Britannia, that generally operate outside standard Britannian military hierarchy. Many are under personal command of a member of the Royal family. They are known to wield swords along with firearms in combat, and are often seen wearing uniquely designed, elaborated uniforms. The Knights of the Round are considered the greatest of knights in all of Britannia, answerable to only the Emperor himself. Most Knight Orders of Britannia follow a strict code of chivalry, much like the real world knights of olden times.
Within the regular military rankings, the term is used for the pilot of any Knightmare frame (sometimes regardless if one held the title of Knight or not) although as time passes it became increasingly associated with the more elite pilots and special forces within the military itself. Unlike the traditional British system of knighthood, Britannian knights bear the title of "Sir" before their surname rather than their given first name. For example; In a British system, Guilford would instead be addressed as "Sir Gilbert".
It is known that there are several Knight Orders in Britannia that are not directly serving royal family members. Here are the list of currently known Britannian knight orders:
Imperial Family members
- Argatro Knights (Algerian Invasion Force)
- Konoe Knights
- Britannia Airforce Alaska Base
- Britannia Airforce Iowa Base
- Britannia Airforce Marshall Island Base
- Britannia Army Hawaii Base
- Britannia Army Philippines Base
- Britannia Navy Aleutian Naval Port
- Britannia Navy California Base
- Britannia Navy San Francisco Base
- Britannia Navy Seattle Base
- Annaba Base
- Bejaia Base
- Bermuda Island Base
- "Far East Exchange Center" (Hong Kong Base)
- Norfolk Base
- Sao Miguel Base
- Aside from the traditions of honor and chivalry carried over from the old British Military, one connection Britannia makes towards its exiled homeland is the naming some of its military weapons and technology after parts of the British Isles. This can be seen with the military's first incarnations of mainline Knightmare Frames, such as the RPI-11 Glasgow, RPI-13 Sutherland, and RPI-209 Gloucester.