FANDOM


The Dragon Riders or Wyvern Corps was a specialized unit of the the Imperial Army, that used common flying dragons or wyverns as a form of air force or air cavalry. Each dragon normally had a single soldier mounted on their back on a saddle, much like a calvary rider. The main purpose of this unit was to attack enemy ground forces, surveillance, reconnaissance, patrol, bombing, and support of friendly ground troops.

Dragon riders were lightly-armored soldiers who have been trained to ride wyverns and were usually armed with lances. They were also be armed with bows and arrows, and bundles of javelins, oil flasks, rocks, and much later, steel nets to bring down helicopters. They were also equipped with signal flags for communication to ground forces. The Wyverns themselves are armed with sharp claws, teeth, and have thick skin that is resistant to blades and arrows. In the anime, they are shown to be able to breathe fire.

Against enemy forces of similar technology and strategy, the Wyvern Corps were a substantial tactical advantage. The Dragon Riders are far more maneuverable, and their attack potential against medieval forces was devastating. In open field battle, they could inflict massive casualties on enemy formations and during sieges, they were able to fly above fortified walls and rain down destruction on the defenders.

However, against a modern enemy like the JSDF, the Wyvern Corps were the equivalent to being minor nuisances and target practice. The Wyverns were limited to the maximum altitude in which their riders can breathe, and cannot match the speed and altitude of fighter jets. Their skin could be penetrated by small arms fire and a single burst from a 20mm vulcan cannon or 50-caliber machine gun, would bring a Wyvern down. Anti-aircraft fire, sidewinder missiles and the like were also able to take down Wyverns with ease, especially with the exposed rider as an obvious weak point. The Dragon Riders simply could not deal with an enemy that could strike them down from long range. The one minor success the Wyvern Corps enjoyed was the usage of steel nets to bring down a JSDF helicopter, but this method was highly inefficient and the victory was due mostly to sheer luck.

At the end of the Imperial Civil War, the Wyvern Corps was completely annihilated at the Battle of Marais after being shot down by 4 jet fighters and at present, has not seen any attempts by the weakened Empire to rebuild.

Trivia

  • Their uniforms are similar to the Winged Hussars, a real 16th to 18th century Polish cavalry unit.

Images