|By Alexander of Volzhsky||See other fanon and fan fiction works from Alexander of Volzhsky.|
|"When the war will be over, the members of the Kyoshi Legion will set forth in rebuilding the country, an Earth Republic, with the help of the Fire Nation."|
|— General Qianlong|
Fighting for the "liberation of the Earth people from the corrupt monarchy"
The Kyoshi Legion, also sometimes called the Earth Liberation Army, was a unit of Earth Kingdom natives who fought in the military of the Fire Nation. In the last year of his reign, Fire Lord Azulon embarked on a propaganda campaign to improve the image of the Fire Nation in the Earth Kingdom in order to gain volunteers to fight for them and end the Hundred Year War quicker. This campaign was somewhat successful, and attracted some 30,000 locals to collaborate. The commander who was chosen to command the unit was a former Earth Kingdom army officer named Qianlong. The legion was founded in Taku and received training from Fire Nation officers on their tactics combat at styles, before being sent to the front. It was named after the Earth Kingdom Avatar Kyoshi, in order to instill recruits with Earth Kingdom nationalism.
The main propaganda used by the Legion stated that the goal was to "liberate the peoples of Earth Kingdom", and "fight against the corrupt monarchy", together with "our Fire Nation comrades." It was planned for ten divisions to be formed, but only four were ultimately created, along with several smaller independent units.
The Legion was initially used for combat against the Earth Kingdom military, and saw action for the first time near Makapu Village, where it fought against a large grouping of Earth Kingdom troops. After several days of combat, the Kyoshi Legion and the Fire Nation soldiers defeated them and took control of the area. When Ozai became the Fire Lord, however, he took action against Earth Kingdom volunteer formations (hating anything non-Fire Nation) and had them transferred from active duty at the front to auxiliary police duties, such as fighting against partisans. However, after General Iroh's failed siege of Ba Sing Se, the unit was again sent to fight against the Earth Kingdom forces. Defections became a problem, with thousands returning to the Earth Kingdom side. Within several months, the Kyoshi Legion went down to 24,000 members out of the original 30,000.
Background and formation
By 95 AG, much of the Earth Kingdom was still under control of the forces loyal to the Earth King. Fire Lord Azulon was tired of the war and wanted to end it in his lifetime. As part of that plan, he ordered the Fire Nation general staff to start a propaganda department. The aim was to make the Earth Kingdom people more welcoming of the Fire Nation, to make them believe that they were being liberated from the oppressive monarchy. That way, less troops would be needed to garrison the occupied territories and they could be sent to the front. An Earth Kingdom expatriate in the Fire Nation, a man named Shikai, heard of this and volunteered to lead a formation of earthbender volunteers in the Fire Nation army. The general staff liked this idea, seeing much potential in it, and Azulon also approved of it. The propaganda department spread leaflets in prisoner of war camps calling for citizens to step up and serve the "Earth Nation" against the corrupt monarchy.
Among those who agreed to join was an officer named Qianlong, who was a nationalistic earthbender with anti-monarchy views. He was accepted as the leader of the new formation, replacing Shikai. The expatriate had no military experience and instead served as his chief of staff. Given the rank of general in the Fire Nation army, Qianlong dubbed the unit "Kyoshi Legion", after the famous Avatar Kyoshi. Touring around occupied territories and POW camps, he recruited as many volunteers as he could. The general staff authorized the formation of a total ten divisions, though the number of initial volunteers (~30,000) was too small for such an assortment. Instead, four divisions were made, with additional independent units. Qianlong also planned to create an "Earth Liberation Committee", which would prepare to form a new Earth Nation as a Fire Nation puppet regime after the war. The unit was officially formed in Taku, where it spent several weeks being trained by Fire Nation officers. After that, it was deemed ready for combat.
- General Kabayashi — Fire Nation adviser
- General Qianlong — Commander of the legion
- Colonel Shikai — Chief of staff
|Formation||Size and composition|
|600th Infantry Division (1st Earth Kingdom)||~7,000|
|650th Infantry Division (2nd Earth Kingdom)||~7,000|
|700th Infantry Division (3rd Earth Kingdom)||~6,000|
|750th Infantry Division (4th Earth Kingdom)||~4,000|
|Independent Ostrich Horse Cavalry Brigade||~1,000|
|822nd Sandbender Battalion||~800|
- Kuruk Legion
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