|Military of the Earth Kingdom|
The Earth King is the constitutional commander-in-chief, although during the War, his actual power was extremely limited. The main commanding authority is the Council of Five, which is an assembly of five senior generals who oversee the war effort from Ba Sing Se.
The Earth Kingdom military forces are greater in number but technologically inferior to those of the Fire Nation. The Earth Kingdom was usually able to counter the attacks of the Fire Nation through various tactics and a stalwart defense; however, the latter was still successful in its invasion and subsequent colonization of several areas of the mainland during the War. Despite these setbacks, the Earth Kingdom still fielded a largely competent and determined force of soldiers up until its defeat in the Coup of Ba Sing Se.
The Earth Kingdom Army is the largest and most important branch of the military. Similar to the Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom armies consist of benders as well as regular foot soldiers.
Equipment and uniform
Soldiers, both benders and non-benders, carry a wide variety of weapons from spears, swords, and other various polearms to more unusual weapons such as hammers, axes, and sickles. Soldiers are typically attired with specially-armored conical helmets, which have also been shown to function in battle as an impromptu shield against fire blasts. Non-bending soldiers wear a headdress underneath this headgear. They also appear to be more heavily protected than their bending counterparts and wear boots, in contrast to bending soldiers who are often barefoot in order to fully utilize their earthbending abilities. Helmets designed for benders are pointed and decorated with the Earth Kingdom emblem. Officers wear yellow armor instead of the standard green variant.
Infantry clothing appears to be color-coded. Non-benders wear an olive drab green. However, out of bending soldiers:
- Omashu soldiers wear leaf green.
- Iroh's kidnappers wore yellow and light brown.
- General Fong's soldiers wore light green.
- Ferry guards wear brown-on-tan uniforms.
- Ba Sing Se soldiers have more diverse uniforms in black and yellow.
Earth Kingdom cavalry consists of ostrich horses, animals which can carry soldiers over long distances as well as run at high speeds almost vertically for short distances. They are often geared with armor. These creatures either serve as a means of transportation for soldiers or as mounts for non-bending members of the army that are outfitted with spears. By riding on the ostrich horses, non-benders can quickly avoid projectiles and other forms of attack from foot soldiers.
Earthbenders use heavy circular stones, comparable to the height of an average person, as artillery and catapult projectiles. They are meant to resemble the emblem of the Earth Kingdom, and as such, they bear similarities to the common currency, with the square in the center of the emblem usually carved out. The stones have a variety of other uses, such as lining them up consecutively to create a mobile defensive wall or stacking them to build a makeshift lookout tower. Skilled earthbenders can also use them as a means of transport by "riding" in the square hole in the center of the disk and rolling it with their bending.
The mechanist, a brilliant Earth Kingdom inventor, designed and produced several highly advanced earthbending-powered tanks for the Earth Kingdom to use in what was ultimately a failed attempt to invade the Fire Nation. These tanks are powered by four earthbenders and can carry at least a dozen troops, with side hatches that allow earthbenders to hurtle projectiles at enemy forces. The tanks are multi-segmented, allowing them to bend and flex in a manner similar to the movement of caterpillars. This feature makes it possible for the tanks to traverse practically any terrain, crawl over and even crush obstacles or enemy vehicles, make wide turns, and twist upright should one be overturned. They have exceptionally thick armor that can deflect all manner of fire blasts. These new vehicles were more than a match for the Fire Nation armored forces at the time of their invention and debut in battle.
The mechanist also manufactured a select number of supply trucks for the invasion. These vehicles were designed to carry weapons and bendable elements to be used by the warriors. They move entirely on treads and are controlled by a single driver. Each has a large flatbed that can carry boulders, jugs of water, bombs, and other materials.
A year after the Hundred Year War, the earthbending-powered tanks were officially incorporated into the country's line of warfare. The Earth Kingdom also acquired the specifications for the hot air balloons, which were once Fire Nation exclusives, and incorporated them into their own line of warfare, albeit modified to bear the Earth Kingdom emblem and colors. One such unit was used to carry Earth King Kuei as he led the Earth Kingdom army to Yu Dao to enforce the Harmony Restoration Movement.
List of known commanders
- Council of Five
- General Fong
- General Chin
- Captain Yung
Not much is known of the Earth Kingdom Navy, except that during the Hundred Year War, it was inferior to that of the Fire Nation. It was considered "suicide" for any Earth Kingdom fleet to launch a naval attack against a Fire Nation fleet.
The Earth Kingdom Navy was once mentioned when the exiled Fire Nation Prince, Zuko, was questioned by then-Commander Zhao about how his ship had incurred its recent damages. Though the truth was that the damage had been inflicted by the Avatar, Zuko claimed to have hit an Earth Kingdom ship. General How also mentioned the deployment of the navy in the original plan for the Invasion of the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun.
- Main article: Kyoshi Warriors
The Kyoshi Warriors are an all-female group of fighters led by Suki on Kyoshi Island. Their fighting style and clothing mimic those of their founder, Avatar Kyoshi, although the most current fighters do not implement any of the bending arts in their physical movements. Clad in ornate green armor and kabuki-esque makeup designed to intimidate opponents, Kyoshi Island warriors use metal fans as their main weapons, but they also employ katanas and wrist shields. Holding the fans like extensions of their own arms, the Kyoshi warriors aim to turn the strength of their opponents against them, a principle also essential to waterbending. The exclusively female warriors do not take kindly to training outsiders, particularly men, in these uncommon methods, as it is a long-standing tradition that only women from the island may be trained as Kyoshi Warriors. Sokka is the only known exception to this tradition.
- Main article: Terra Team
The Terra Team is an elite platoon of earthbenders under the command of General Sung. During the Hundred Year War, the platoon was ordered to destroy the Fire Nation drill that attempted to breach the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se. When the earthbenders approached the machine, Ty Lee, who was stationed with Azula aboard the drill, saw the threat through a periscope and was sent along with Mai to subdue them. The earthbenders, defenseless against Ty Lee's chi blocking, were defeated swiftly. They had to be rescued and taken back to the Outer Wall, where Katara did her best to heal them.
Royal Earthbender Guards
- Main article: Royal Earthbender Guards
The Royal Earthbender Guards of Ba Sing Se are affiliated with neither the Dai Li nor the military and instead serve as personal protectors of the Earth King. Hundreds of these guards keep the Royal Palace under surveillance while others work as the gatekeepers of the Outer and Inner Walls of Ba Sing Se. The guards use specialized surface-to-surface rocks against invaders approaching on foot, but the projectiles also serve as surface-to-air rocks against airborne intruders. They wear dark green armor with a green feather at the top of the helmet.
- Main article: Dai Li
The Dai Li serve as the "cultural protectors of Ba Sing Se", meaning they are intended to preserve and defend the ways of the city from upheaval. They were created by Avatar Kyoshi following a peasant uprising that threatened the rule of the 46th Earth King. Their loyalties are questionable; although they are intended to protect Ba Sing Se, the rise of Long Feng as their leader led to their function being warped. Under his command, they began to hide the truth about the War with the Fire Nation from the Earth King himself, as well as using fear and brainwashing to control the citizens. This conspiracy ultimately led to the city's downfall. With orders from Princess Azula of the Fire Nation, they initiated a coup to weaken the city's defenses and personally brought down the walls of Ba Sing Se, allowing the Fire Nation to invade. Some of its members were shown to have traveled with Azula to the Fire Nation, where she eventually banished them in a paranoid rage.
There are some other groups that have very little to no affiliation with the central Earth Kingdom government. They are independent movements and fighting forces that are loyal to the Earth Kingdom, though their interests and methods may differ from the interests of the government.
Earth Kingdom rebellions
- Main article: Earth Kingdom rebellions
The Earth Kingdom rebellions were a series of revolts during the later stages of the Hundred Year War, at an unknown time following the Coup of Ba Sing Se, in addition to the more military-related underground resistance in Omashu. It was mentioned in 100 ASC to Fire Lord Ozai in a war meeting the day before the eclipse that these rebellions were preventing the Fire Nation from achieving total victory in the Earth Kingdom. It was this information that impelled Ozai to harness the power of Sozin's Comet to burn down the Earth Kingdom and end the rebellion once and for all.
- Main article: Freedom Fighters
The Freedom Fighters were a group of teenagers who wanted to liberate the Earth Kingdom from Fire Nation occupation, even if it meant killing and injuring innocent people. They conducted their schemes under the leadership of Jet, whose parents' deaths at the hands of the Fire Nation eventually led to his desire to fight them off.
List of major engagements
- War of Chin the Conqueror
- Battle of Han Tui
- Battle of Taku
- Hu Xin Provinces Campaign
- Battle of Garsai
- 600-Day Siege of Ba Sing Se
- Battle for the Northern Air Temple
- Capture of Omashu
- Battle of the Drill
- Coup of Ba Sing Se
- Invasion of the Fire Nation
- Earth Kingdom rebellions