- This article is about the military of the Water Tribe. For other similar uses, see Military (disambiguation).
|Military of the Water Tribe|
The Water Tribe military is smaller and considerably less sophisticated than that of the heavily populated Earth Kingdom or the highly industrialized Fire Nation. Nevertheless, the tribes also exhibit the deep pride and willpower typical of a warrior race.
Northern Water Tribe
The Northern Water Tribe has a more sophisticated and organized militia. All adult male members of the Northern Water Tribe are fully-trained warriors. There are both waterbender warriors and nonbender warriors. Master waterbenders who are involved in the military are referred to as "Water Warriors", and are known for being elite fighters as well as their ability to defend the ramparts of the capital city.
Equipment and uniform
Water Tribe warriors are skilled at defending the ramparts of the Northern Water Tribe. In times of war, they bear the traditional war paint of both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes.
Both benders and nonbenders are equipped with melee weapons including clubs, spears, scimitars, and machetes. Before the industrialization, these weapons were traditionally made of bone; the machetes for example were laced with whale teeth on the dull side of the blade. Nevertheless, by 151 ASC, the weaponry was made of metal, and, in case of the spears' shafts, of wood. They typically apply black and white warpaint onto their full face before going into battle.
The Northern Water Tribe makes use of armories located on the warrior training grounds, which serve as weapon storage and war planning rooms where orders are distributed. The armories also contain weapon sharpeners, which use a spinning wheel kept in motion by pressing down on a foot pad to grind spear tips and knives. Their waterbenders engender and utilize a countless amount of iceberg spikes scattered across the ocean just outside the city as a first line of defense against Fire Nation ships. The spikes are capable of ripping through solid metal and sinking even the largest ships. The currents in the iceberg fields are known to be extremely dangerous, but are easily traversed by Water Tribe vessels. The iceberg spikes themselves are also used as cover for warriors to hide behind, enabling them to easily ambush any unwanted visitors. The Northern military somehow gained access to mecha tanks as part of their ground forces.
The Northern Water Tribe has a number of different ships, the most common variant being the waterbending-powered catamaran, a small vessel with two hulls. Though its compact size enables it to be used for a variety of applications, including transporting civilians across the canals within the city, its main purpose is to be used for short, open ocean trips. Even though it is not necessarily designed for long voyages, it is capable of being used to travel over a thousand miles and withstanding the harshest ocean conditions. Warriors use this ship to patrol and protect the waters just outside the Northern Water Tribe.
The Northern Water Tribe also possesses larger maritime vessels. Master Pakku used such a ship, also a catamaran, to travel from the Northern Water Tribe to the Southern Water Tribe as he began his effort to restore the decimated community to its former state. The ship is massive, easily transporting scores of waterbenders and healers, all the members of Team Avatar, and a ten ton flying bison.
Despite being a nation culturally associated with seafaring and the ocean, the Water Tribe boasts neither the largest nor the most advanced naval force in the world. Ironically, during the Hundred Year War, the Fire Nation administered the most powerful navy among the four nations, even though the element of fire is the polar opposite of water.
Within seventy years after the end of the Hundred Year War, the Northern Water Tribe constructed a much stronger navy, having gained access to modernized battleships.
Special task forces
Hahn's task force
These militants of the Northern Water Tribe were recruited when Chief Arnook called on his tribe asking for participants for a mission to stop the invading Fire Nation Navy. Sokka was one of the participants, but while training for the mission, he got into a quarrel with its leader, Hahn. He was subsequently removed from the team by Chief Arnook, although in reality it was so he could protect Princess Yue. Hahn and his team disguised themselves as Fire Nation soldiers with the intent of infiltrating the Fire Nation Navy in order to assassinate its commander, Admiral Zhao.
Hahn's task force was apparently successful in boarding Zhao's ship, but the mission ended in failure when Zhao threw Hahn overboard just as he attempted to kill the admiral.
List of known commanders
Southern Water Tribe
All adult male members of the Southern Water Tribe are fully-trained warriors and combatants. Following the loss of hundreds of waterbenders sixty years prior during raids instituted by the Fire Nation, the Southern Water Tribe fighting force shifted into becoming a purely non-waterbender unit.
Equipment and uniform
Warrior weaponry includes clubs, sharpened boomerangs, spears made of bone, scimitars, large shields and machetes lined with whale teeth on the dull side of the blade. Water Tribe warriors typically apply black and white war paint to their faces before going into battle.
Hakoda's expeditionary force, however, appears to wear different armor while on campaign. They wear helmets in the shape of a wolf's head and are outfitted with arm braces and greaves. The designs on their chests are different for each man. The warriors are better equipped than the warriors of the Northern Tribe, possessing full body armor and shields that can withstand small fire blasts.
Southern Water Tribe warriors have used tangle mines, buoyant, terrible smelling makeshift mines of Hakoda's invention, which he affectionately nicknamed the "stink n' sink". The tangle mines are constructed with a bamboo frame and covered with dried animal skin, while the inside is filled with skunk fish and seaweed. These mines float in the water and detonate when a ship hits them. When the mines detonate, they erupt seaweed, which tangles around the propeller of the ship, incapacitating it, and skunk fish, which terrible smell forces people to abandon ship. Though a very unusual type of mine, they had apparently been quite effective. Hakoda was also seen using small, handheld bombs. They appear to be quite powerful, considering their size, only a few inches in diameter.
The Southern Water Tribe has a number of cutter sailing ships with wooden hulls that utilize the wind for propulsion. The boats are operated by at least two people, one to maintain the main sail and one to control the jib, a smaller sail at the rear.
The Northern Water Tribe navy employs waterbending-propelled catamarans with great maneuverability against larger ships as well as the more conventional wind-sailing ships.
List of known commanders
Foggy Swamp Tribe
The Foggy Swamp Tribe has a far less organized military than either the Northern or Southern Tribes. However, its waterbenders are skilled fighters and have been involved in at least one operation, the Invasion of the Fire Nation.
Their military uniform consists of simple wooden chest and arm guards. Foggy Swamp members utilize their waterbending when needed for combat purposes. They also use small canoes which are used mostly for hunting and traveling.
List of known commanders
List of major engagements
- Northern Water Tribe Raids 
- Southern Water Tribe raids
- Siege of the North
- Invasion of the Fire Nation
- Barbarian Invasion
- Water Tribe Civil War