The Imperial Army, also known as the Imperial Forces or Imperial ground forces, was the land-based branch of the Galactic Empire's military. The original forces of the Imperial Army were comprised of the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic and local planetary defense forces. These units then became Imperial Army soldiers. Later on these units were gradually phased out in favor of the stormtroopers, the Empire's elite shock troops. While stormtroopers did exist during the time of the army soldiers, they became more common due to this. Stormtroopers were organized under the Stormtrooper Corps, which operated as a part of the army. The Imperial Army also comprised the Maritime Division, the Army Air Corps, and Special Forces Command, which served as its starfighter and special forces branches, respectively.
As the branch of the Imperial Military that dealt with surface operations, the Imperial Army was composed of many sub-units and organizations, and utilized a vast array of vehicles to achieve its objectives. The General Staff was responsible for making decisions for army operations and was itself a part of Imperial High Command. The Army Engineering Corps served to construct Imperial installations and demolish enemy fortifications. The Imperial Armor Corps was also part of the Imperial Army, as was the Imperial Artillery Corps, a sub-unit of the Armor Corps. The Imperial Army also maintained its own Military Police, although they were overshadowed by the Stormtrooper Corps, they projected a degree of fear. Although the Stormtrooper Corps was part of the Imperial Army and supplied the army’s stormtroopers, it was led by Stormtrooper Command, which was also part of Imperial High Command. The Imperial Army also consisted of the Maritime Division, as well as the Special Forces Command. The Imperial Army also had an abundance of smaller organizations, including general maintenance and administration.
The Imperial Army often favored the use of a tactic known as combined arms, in which both infantry and armored cavalry were used together against a target. This so the enemy would have to defend against both. The Empire's armored cavalry consisted of many different types of walkers, such as the All Terrain Armored Transport, and tanks, such as the 2-M Hover Tank and the Imperial-class 1-H repulsortank.
The Imperial Army also maintained numerous TIE fighters for combat use in planetary atmospheres as part of the Army Air Corps. As a result, TIE fighter pilots in the Imperial Army were nicknamed ground-hogs unlike their Imperial Navy counterpart, the vac-heads. Since vac-heads maintained better public recognition through the HoloNet News, a bitter rivalry existed between the two branches, with each having their own anthem and bars at Imperial flight bases in order to avoid conflict. However the Bright Jewel Oversector Flight Base did not separate its bar between the branches, in one instance resulting in members of Nashtah Squadron to provoke other members of the Imperial Navy by singing the Ground-hog anthem.
In 14 BBY, Imperial Army forces were garrisoned on the Imperial protectorate of Ryloth, which was in reality under Imperial occupation. Colonel Belkor Dray served as Governor Moff Delian Mors' second-in-command and commanded the Imperial Army forces on Ryloth. The stormtroopers on Ryloth operated outside the Imperial Army command structure and answered directly to the Empire. He used his senior position within the Imperial government and military on Ryloth to spy for Cham Syndulla, the leader of the Free Ryloth movement. Other elements of the Imperial Army were stationed at the Equatorial Communications Hub, which was commanded by Major Steen Borkas. Though their base was attacked, Borkas' forces including stormtroopers assisted Moff Mors in rescuing Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader and foiling Dray and Syndulla's plot to assassinate the Empire's leadership. Following the failed assassination attempt, the Imperial authorities embarked on a crackdown on Ryloth and strengthened the stormtrooper presence on the planet.
By 5 BBY, Lothal's Academy for Young Imperials was training Imperial cadets for both the Imperial Army and Stormtrooper Corps. Cadets selected for the stormtrooper program received a more rigorous program than those training for the Army track. Cadets training as Imperial Army officers including Zare Leonis underwent a series of grueling training exercises including multiple sessions in a simulated combat chamber called The Well. Promising Army officer cadets also underwent training at the Arkanis Academy, which was run by the charismatic Commandant Brendol Hux, the architect of the First Order's stormtrooper program.
Battling the RebellionEdit
During both the early rebellion and the Galactic Civil War, the Imperial Army saw action against various rebel forces including the Spectres, the Phoenix Cell, Saw Gerrera's Partisans, and the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The Imperial Army was deployed on many worlds across the galaxy including Tatooine and saw action on multiple locations including Hoth and Endor. During the Battle of Hoth, General Maximillian Veers commanded the Imperial ground assault on Echo Base. At the Battle of Endor, Imperial Army forces and stormtroopers defended the second Death Star's shield generator. Despite dogged resistance, the Imperial forces on Endor were defeated by the rebels and their local Ewok allies.
Following the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader at Endor, the Imperial Army and other branches of the Imperial Military fought against the New Republic on multiple worlds and fronts including the Wretch of Tayron, Naalol, Akiva, and Sevarcos. By 5 ABY, elements of the Imperial Army on Kashyyyk came under the command of Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck. Several Imperial Army personnel were stationed at Lozen Tolruck's island fortress including Forest troopers. Many Imperial personnel were killed when Han Solo, Chewbacca and their associates staged a successful Wookiee slave uprising against the Empire.
After Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax took control of most of the Imperial remnants, his forces on Jakku included elements of the Imperial Army and Stormtrooper Corps. The Clone Wars veteran General Hodnar Borrum commanded the Imperial ground forces during the cataclysmic Battle of Jakku, which saw the defeat of the Empire and the triumph of the New Republic. The Galactic Concordance stipulated the dissolution of the Empire including its vast military. While civilian functionaries were given conditional pardons, all Imperial officers were designated as war criminals.
The remnants of the Empire subsequently relocated to the Unknown Regions where they reestablished themselves as the First Order, a military junta dedicated to restoring the "Old Empire." The First Order's army was established from the remants of the former Imperial Army. Brendol Hux's son Armitage Hux became a high-ranking general in the First Order's army. Nearly a generation later, the surface of Jakku was still littered with wreckage including Imperial Army AT-AT walkers, one of which became the home of the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey.
- 91st Mobile Reconnaissance Corps
- Army Air Corps
- Army Engineering Corps
- Imperial Armor Corps
- Stormtrooper Corps
- Barokki's division
- Maritime Division
- Unidentified armored division
- 224th Imperial Armored Division
- 975th stormtrooper garrison
- Scarif garrison
- Tatooine Garrison
- Imperial Garrison (Garel)
- Imperial Garrison (Plateau City)
- Imperial Garrison (Lothal)
- Imperial Garrison (Mataou)
- Winter's Edge stormtrooper garrison
- First Legion
- 68th Legion
- Imperial Ninety-Seventh Stormtrooper Legion
- One-Oh-Seventh Stormtrooper Legion
- 291st Legion
- 501st Legion
- Foot Patrol 7
- JN-093's squad
- Squad two
- Squad two (Crawler 413-24)
- Squad Three
- Squad five
- Squad Five (Lothal)
- Squad Seven
- Squad eight
- Team Nine
- Team Twelve
- Blizzard Force
- Eadu Deployment
- Hellhound attack force
- Imperial Hammers Elite Armor Unit
Drivers and pilotsEdit
As the Imperial Army used a large variety of vehicles, they deployed different variants of the Imperial combat driver. Several variants included AT-ACT drivers, AT-AT pilots, AT-ST drivers, Imperial combat assault tank commanders, and Imperial combat assault tank pilots. As part of the Imperial Army, the Army Air Corps utilized TIE fighter pilots.
In addition to its own infantry forces, the Imperial Military also employed mercenaries to do their bidding. Dowutin Hunters, Fathier Riders, Tognath Marksmen, Twi'lek Incinerators, Luggabeast Munitioneers, as well as Gamorrean Warriors usually saw service with the Empire.
In the early rule of the Empire, the Imperial Army continued to utilize clone troopers, as well as clone shock troopers and Clone Commanders. Inquisitor Troopers, elite clones that served under the Inquisitorius in 18 BBY, were from the very last production line. As the Empire grew older, its military forces transitioned from clones to birth-born human recruits and conscriptions and were re-designated as stormtroopers. Stormtrooper commanders were stormtrooper officers that commanded groups of other stormtroopers. Their rank was denoted by the colored pauldron they were equipped with. Imperial officers who led contingents of stormtroopers aboard a capital ship were also referred to as stormtrooper commanders.
The Imperial Army used special and elite stormtroopers for a number of operations. Special Commando Advanced Recon troopers were used for special missions, Storm Commandos were special forces that were efficient in close-combat tactics, Purge Troopers were special units deployed in the Anoat sector, shadow troopers were elite units with experimental armor, and Imperial shock troopers were used as heavy frontline troops as well as bodyguards for Emperor Palpatine himself and as heavy weapons specialists. At times, the experimental phase II dark troopers were also used by the Imperial Army.
The various environments in the galaxy called for a variety of stormtroopers that specialized in different surroundings. Swamptroopers were specialized for operations on swamped worlds, seatroopers were equipped for underwater combat, magma troopers and Crimson Stormtroopers specialized in activities on volcanic environments, cold weather assault stormtroopers for sub-zero combat, sandtroopers and their sub-variant, the dewback trooper, were utilized for desert operations, spacetroopers for operations in vacuum environments such as space, coastal defender stormtroopers for tropical environments, forest troopers for densely forested conditions, and the wet-weather gear stormtroopers, which were used on the swamped planet Mimban.
The Imperial Army had a wide array of stormtroopers that specialized in a type of combat or weapon. There were several variants of the Heavy Weapons Stormtrooper, which included the Heavy Sandtrooper, the Heavy Snowtrooper, and the Heavy Shoretrooper, and also used was the Imperial Heavy Trooper. The Army also made use of Jumptroopers, which had several variations as well. They included Arctic Jumptroopers, Desert Jumptroopers, and Forest Jumptroopers. Stormtrooper snipers, sniper troopers, and scout troopers were used as recon and sniper units. Demolition Troopers, rocket stormtroopers, and stormtrooper grenadiers used heavy ordnance, while flametroopers utilized flamethrowers. Other specialized stormtroopers used by the Imperial Army included the riot control stormtroopers, the patrol stormtroopers, and the Range trooper.
Although the core of the Imperial Army was composed of stormtroopers and combat drivers, the Imperial Army also used Kubaz Invaders, Ongidae Oppressors, and Rodian Recon Snipers as part of their forces, different from mercenaries, as well as Imperial Army soldiers such as swamp troopers, which were also used on the world Mimban. For black-ops missions, the Army deployed the deadly Imperial Army Special Missions troopers that were able to effectively act as saboteurs, infiltrators, assassins, commandos, and slicers. Engineers were also frequently used by the Army, and were part of the Army Engineering Corps.
Vehicles and machineryEdit
As the ground forces of the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Army possessed a vast arsenal of ground and surface vehicles. Part of the Imperial Army, the Imperial Armor Corps made use combat speeders and infantry fighting vehicles.
The Imperial Artillery Corps, a sub-unit of the Armor Corps, utilized several artillery pieces, including the fixed 1.4 FD P-Tower, and the mobile SP.9 and Self-Propelled Heavy Artillery Turbolaser.
The Maritime Division of the Imperial Army used several surface ships, including aircraft carriers, submarines, and waveskimmers. The Imperial Army also utilized OMS Devilfish subs and another type of submarine.
Repulsorcraft and wheeledEdit
While the Imperial Army commonly used walkers, they also made use of wheeled and repulsorcraft vehicles. Wheeled vehicles included the HAVw A6 Juggernaut, the treaded MTV-7 light vehicle, the HCVw A9 turbo tank, and the tracked TX-225 GAVw "Occupier" combat assault tank. The larger models of repulsorcraft deployed by the Imperial ground forces consisted of the 2-M Hover Tank, the INT-4 Interceptor, the assault tank, the Imperial-class 1-H repulsortank, the Imperial combat speeder, the Imperial Troop Transport, and the TX-225 GAVr "Occupier" combat assault tank.
The Empire maintained several models of speeder bikes. These included the 74-Z speeder bike, the 614-AvA speeder bike, C-PH patrol speeder bike, and the BARC speeder in the early rule of the Empire.
The Imperial Army's Starfighter Corps, the Army Air Corps, used airspeeders and TIE line starfighters to conduct army operations. The Imperial Army also made use of aerial landing platforms that served as mobile staging grounds for occupation forces.
The Imperial Army used walkers to achieve various objectives on the battlefield. Early in the Imperial Army's operations, it utilized the Clone Wars-era walkers that were later retired such as the All Terrain Recon Transport, the All Terrain Tactical Enforcer, the AT-AP, and the All Terrain Open Transport. Later walkers used were the All Terrain Armored Transport, which consisted of two variants, one model of All Terrain Armored Transport was notably used during the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire, and another All Terrain Armored Transport used throughout the Army's operational history. The Elite AT-AT was a more upgraded version of the standard AT-AT, while the All Terrain Armored Cargo Transport was used for the transportation of equipment and supplies.
Other walkers used by the Imperial Army was the All Terrain Defense Pod, the All Terrain Scout Transport, the AT-ST Mark III, the Cold-weather AT-ST Mark III, the All Terrain Missile Platform, the AT-MP Mark III, the Enhanced AT-ST Walker, the Mobile Heavy Cannon, the Cold-weather Mobile Heavy Cannon, the AT-PT, and the All Terrain Defense Turret.
Weapons and equipmentEdit
The Imperial Army had a vast range of infantry weapons to utilize. Shortly after the transformation of the Republic into the Empire, the Army deployed the later retired DC-15A blaster, the DC-17 hand blaster, and the DC-15 blaster rifle. It later came to use the E-11 blaster rifle, the E-10R blaster rifle, E-10 blaster rifle, the E-22 blaster rifle, the EE-3 carbine rifle, SX-21 blaster rifle, and the TL-50 Heavy Repeater, as well as larger weapons like the RT-97C heavy blaster rifle, the DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle and the T-21 light repeating blaster. For heavier ordnance, the Army deployed the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon, the MWC-35c "Staccato Lightning" repeating cannon, the E-Web heavy repeating blaster cannon, and the Reciprocating quad blaster.
For long range purposes, the Imperial Army made use of the T-21B heavy blaster, the E-11s long-range blaster, the DLT-19x targeting blaster, and the DLT-20A laser rifle. For close encounters, the Army utilized blaster pistols, which included the SE-14C blaster pistol, the SE-14r light repeating blaster, the RK-3, as well as the EC-17 hold-out blaster, and made use of batons and electrostaffs as melee weapons.
The Imperial Army also had an array of special weapons such as flamethrowers and grenades such as the Class-A thermal detonator, the N-20 Baradium-core thermal detonator, the Sonic Imploder, the thermal imploder, the Flash grenade, the smoke bomb, and the C-25 fragmentation grenade. Heavy weapons included the T-7 ion disruptor rifle, grenade launchers, the RPS-6 rocket launcher, the Smart Rocket, and the MPL-57.
Equipment used by the Imperial Army included DRK-1 Dark Eye probe droids, suits and heated breather masks powered by a battery pack that could last up to two standard weeks, ice boots, and insulated belt kama.
As noted by the Rebel General Pitt Onoran, the Imperial Army favored combined arms operations, which emphasized the deployment of infantry in concert with other military types, thus forcing the enemy to defend against one type of attack while leaving them vulnerable to another.
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