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Military of the Water Tribe

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Water Tribe emblem
Northern Water Tribe warriors
Military of the Water Tribe
General information
Leader(s)
Notable members
Headquarters
Affiliation
Purpose

Defense of the Water Tribes

Chronological information
First appearance

"Bato of the Water Tribe"

Last appearance

"Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang"

The Military of the Water Tribe is a military group of organizations protecting the various Water Tribes. It is divided between the Northern Water Tribe, the Southern Water Tribe, and the Foggy Swamp Tribe.

Chain of command is not very well defined. There is no overall military commander of the Water Tribe, command being divided between the North and South. It is clear however, that the Chiefs of the two tribes have the overall command of their respective tribal militia.[1][2]

As a result of the strong customary theme expressed by the two major sects, the Water Tribe military is considerably less sophisticated than that of the recently industrialized Earth Kingdom or the highly industrialized Fire Nation. It is also much smaller. Nevertheless, the tribes also exhibit deep pride and willpower typical of a warrior race.

Northern Water Tribe

The more organized Northern Water Tribe has a more sophisticated militia. All adult male members of the Northern Water Tribe are fully-trained warriors. There are both waterbender warriors and non-bender warriors.[1]

Equipment and uniform

Infantry

These Water Tribe elite fighters are all master waterbenders and skilled at defending the ramparts of the Northern Water Tribe. They bear the traditional war-paint of both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes.

Non-bender weaponry includes clubs, spears made of bone, also used in spearfishing, scimitars, and machetes laced with whale teeth on the dull side of the blade. They typically apply black and white warpaint onto their full face before going into battle.[1]

Other equipment

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. 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.[1]

Navy

The Northern Water Tribe has a small number of ships. The most common ship is a double-hulled vessel powered by waterbending. Though its small, 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.[3]

Water Tribe cutter ship

A larger Northern Water Tribe ship.

The Northern Water Tribe also possesses, however, great ships and maritime vessels. Master Pakku used such a ship, technically called a catamaran, to travel from the Northern Water Tribe to the Southern Water Tribe as he began his effort to restore the decimated sister tribe. The ship is massive, easily transporting scores of waterbenders and healers, the Avatar, along with his friends, and his ten ton flying bison. The ship dwarfs Appa, who could be seen standing on its deck just before Aang and friends departed from Pakku and headed off on their journey toward the Earth Kingdom.[4]

Though perhaps used as a plot device, the Water Tribe, ironically, has the smallest navy in the world (excluding the Air Nomads on the basis that they did not exist at the time), and that the nation whose power is quelled by water, the Fire Nation, has the most powerful navy of them all.

Special task forces

Hahn's task force

Northern Water Tribe Special Task Force

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, and while training for the mission, he got into a quarrel with its then 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 (the outfits were however outdated).[1]

Hahn's task force was apparently successful in boarding Zhao's ship, but the mission ended in failure when Zhao threw the warrior overboard just as he attempted to kill the admiral. What became of Hahn and the rest of his team was never revealed.[5]

List of known commanders

Southern Water Tribe

Southern Water Tribe warriors meeting

Warriors of the South discussing plans.

All adult male members of the Southern Water Tribe are fully-trained warriors. Since the loss of the waterbenders, the Southern Water Tribe has been a purely non-bender force.

Equipment and uniform

Infantry

Warrior weaponry includes clubs, bladed boomerangs, spears made of bone, also used in spearfishing, scimitars, large shields and machetes laced with whale teeth on the dull side of the blade.[6] Water Tribe warriors typically apply black and white warpaint onto their full face before going into battle.[7]

Hakoda's expeditionary force, however, appears to wear different armor when on campaign. They wear helmets in the shape of a wolf's head and have arm braces and greaves.[8]

Other equipment

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.[2] Hakoda was also seen using small, handheld bombs. They appear to be quite powerful, considering their size, only a few inches in diameter.

Navy

Southern Water Tribe ships

Southern Water Tribe ships.

The Southern Water Tribe has a number of ships. The ships of the Southern Tribe seem to be cutter sailing ships, containing wooden hulls and utilizing the wind for propulsion. The boats are shown to be operated by at least two people, one to maintain the main sail and one to control the jib, a smaller sail at the rear.[6] The ships appear to be designed more for use as a transport vessel than combat.

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.[8]

Their military uniform consists of simple wooden chest and arm guards. Foggy Swamp members utilize their waterbending when needed for combat purposes.[8] They also use small canoes which are used mostly for hunting and traveling.[9]

List of known commanders

List of major engagements

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 1". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  4. Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wilcox, Ian (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 7, 2005). "Bato of the Water Tribe". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  7. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Avatar Returns". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  9. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  10. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  11. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Military of the Water Tribe

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