The Empress' Livestream - Chapter 557
The Empress' Livestream Chapter 557 – Drought, Refugees (III)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The civilians did not know about the death of the second princess, An Yina. Even if they knew about it, to them it was just the death of a royal family member.
In fact, the news was enough to agitate the situation in the north. With a grave look on her face, she asked about the troops’ recruitment and the training of the new recruits. It would be impossible to fight without the troops.
Due to the drought in the north, many members of the Tsing Yi Army and the Red Lotus Group felt that they could no longer survive so they broke away from the organizations and became refugees. For these refugees, Fengyi County was an oasis in the desert. They tried very hard to work their way there.
Jiang Pengji instructed for them to be carefully screened and those of high quality would be selected as new recruits.
Thanks to the household registration policy for the female troops, the recruitment went quite smoothly. With their backs to the wall, many women wanted to join the female battalion as well. However, Jiang Pengji raised the entry requirement of the female battalion. Only women who were physically strong, agile and determined would be selected in order to ensure the combat capabilities of the female battalion.
In this era, women were the only ones who could multiply the population through childbearing. However, in the female battalion, the rules stated that the female troops could only get married and have children after they retired from the military at the age of 24. If too many women entered the female battalion, the population in her territory would inevitably be affected, which Jiang Pengji was unwilling to see.
Moreover, victories in wars were not dependent upon the number of soldiers. The overall quality of the troops was very important as well. She would rather have the number of troops in the female battalion to be half of that of the male battalion. The standard of combat power must not fall. Troops were valued for their quality, not their number.
Jiang Pengji asked with a grave look on her face, “How’s the mining of the iron ore going?”
Feng Jin replied, “The members of the Tsing Yi Army who were previously captured have already been dispatched to the mines. The iron ore veins are quite rich, but in terms of smelting… It’s beyond their ability. We probably have to carefully scout about for skillful craftsmen. This isn’t a difficult task. I’ll try to find a way.”
There were iron ores in the territory, which meant that they did not have to buy iron externally at a high price. This could save them a lot of money.
Jiang Pengji’s heart had ached at the purchase of the thousands of infantry equipment in the previous year. A hole was burnt in her pocket. Even if the money had been contributed by the losers in the North borderline, it was her money once it entered her storehouse!
He said awkwardly, “However… it’s very difficult to fight against the cavalry of the North borderline with that alone…”
To combat the North borderline, they must face their cavalry.
According to their understanding about the past, the army of the three tribes of the North borderline was generally composed of infantry and cavalry. The ratio of the two was about 1:2.
More than a decade ago, the three tribes of the North borderline dispatched their troops and launched a sneak attack on Shangyu County of Congzhou. They sent 100,000 troops, of which 60,000 to 70,000 were cavalry!
After the war, they pushed forward with overwhelming momentum and conquered six cities consecutively. Had the Count of Zhenbei not reacted quickly and delayed them for more than 10 days, they probably would have conquered the entire Congzhou.
The three tribes of the North borderline were a nomadic ethnic group and had contact with horses all year long. To put it bluntly, children at the age of seven or eight could ride on horses which galloped on the plains of the North borderline. If the aristocrats in Dongqing did not have the help of a stirrup, they could not even climb onto a horse’s back.
Stirrups had just emerged so they were not popular. Only some aristocrats would fix a simple and fancy stirrup on their horses. It was not easy to ride a horse, but many people who were highly skillful at riding did not like to use stirrups, just like Li Yun who often rode horses without stirrups. Hence the audience in the streaming room teased him with off-color jokes, such as praising his waist strength and that his future wife would have a blessed sex life.
The stirrups could be further improved, which could be used to aid the cavalry in horseback battles. Even those who were not adept at horse-riding could learn how to ride horses quickly. However, in regards to the cavalry, even if Jiang Pengji started to make preparations now, it was very difficult for them to outperform the North borderline in terms of quality, let alone quantity.
She trained the cavalry while training special units that could hinder the cavalry.
The look in Jiang Pengji’s eyes grew dim and her brain started spinning. Seeing that she was deep in thought and involuntarily interlocking her fingers together, he knew that his lord was thinking of a solution so he did not make any noise. He just waited for her to finish.
“It’s not impossible to fight against the cavalry…”
For Jiang Pengji, no branch of the armed forces was invincible.
Even if they were the special genetic unit formed by the Intergalactic Federation, they were not unassailable. They could still encounter ‘natural enemies’.
Similarly, the North borderline’s crude light cavalry which was little in number was even more unlikely to be impregnable.
Feng Jin asked, “What ideas do you have in mind?”
Jiang Pengji replied, “I want to train an army that specifically slaughter horses. Cangzhou is where all the ranches of Dongqing are and it’s the Meng family’s territory. They’re not our allies. We may lose our fortune if we want to purchase enough battle steeds through that channel. If the North borderline starts a war, they’ll also keep an eye on the whereabouts of the horses. It’s not realistic for us to expand our cavalry at the last minute.
Zhang Ping who was at the side said, “Are you trying to make best use of the advantages and bypass the disadvantages, avoid a battle with the cavalry and develop a method to restrain the cavalry instead?”
In terms of horse battles, in the nine states and five kingdoms, even Zhongzhao that had the strongest national power did not dare to claim that they could beat the North borderline. Rather than striving for superiority of cavalry, it was better to snap course and study the special forces that specifically restrained the cavalry.
This was indeed an idea.
Jiang Pengji nodded and said, “Battle steeds are part of a cavalry. A cavalry is as fragile as a shelled snail without the battle steeds. We can now produce iron ourselves and manufacture swords and heavy shields. If different branches of the armed forces are allowed to collaborate, for example there are troops who would be armed with heavy shields to resist the first hail of attacks made by the cavalry. The other troops would stab and slaughter battle steeds with swords or rifles…”
This was just a tentative idea. For it to be implemented for real, experiments were needed. For example, how strong was the cavalry vanguard? What kind of heavy shields and force could resist the enemy so that the rear formation would not be disarrayed?
Jiang Pengji added, “Huaiyu, you’ve seen the penetrating power of the mounted crossbows before, right?”
Mounted crossbows? Was she going to the use mounted crossbows to fight against the cavalry?
Feng Jin nodded and responded doubtfully, “But the mounted crossbows are bulky and it’s difficult to move them. I’m afraid that they’d be insufficient to fight against the cavalry.”
Zhang Ping shook his head and said to Feng Jin, “You have the wrong idea. I think what the lord means is that how much damage would the mounted crossbows cause to the cavalry if they could move around like the cavalry. The mounted crossbows could be placed on chariots so it’s naturally more convenient to move them around. Of course, wheels can be installed on the mounted crossbows. However, the tension of the mounted crossbows is tremendous. Once the arrows are launched, the whole chariot will move…”
A technical nerd had sharper thinking than ordinary people. Zhang Ping’s train of thoughts was definitely different to that of Feng Jin.
“We can give this a try.”
Feng Jin felt more confident upon recalling the penetrating power and shooting range of the mounted crossbows.
Dampening their spirits, Jiang Pengji said, “Installing wheels on the mounted crossbows or placing them on chariots could indeed make them flexible, but they’re too slow compared to the cavalry. Using them to fight against the cavalry is simply out of the question. They could at most be used to catch the enemy unprepared and pose a threat to the first assault. When the enemy realizes what’s going on, this move wouldn’t work well.”
Jiang Pengji added, “Although the lethality of the improved crossbows couldn’t compare to that of the mounted crossbows, the mobility and flexibility of the former are far better than the latter. If a unit that specifically restrains the cavalry is formed, the troops could use the improved crossbows. Such troops could be called crossbow infantry.”
Feng Jin was able get the point. It was equivalent to multiplying the number of troops in the past by more than 10 times.
Jiang Pengji’s words had opened up a new train of thought for him.