I have a paramilitary organisation with a 4,320,000-strong standing army stationed in Australasia supported by a sophisticated air force and a bigarse fleet. This force is commanded by two Major Generals referred as Archagétai in charge of the base, where this army is currently located. When mobilizing, one Archagétas will literally hold the fort with one half of the armed force, while the other Archagétas is granted full command over the mobilized half .

My question is, where in Australasia can this army be stationed that meets the following criteria?

  • An area large enough to support 4.3 million soliders

  • It must be hidden from the prying eyes of surveillance (Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia are automatically out of the question)

  • Capable of sustaining a rather large fleet and airforce

  • $\begingroup$ Given the entire population of Australia is 24,763,000 (worldometers.info/world-population/australia-population), you are talking about a military force which is a significant fraction of the population. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Jun 21 '18 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ Paramilitary organizations are usually citizen-soldiers & not professional armies. The only area in Australia that can support 4.3 million soldiers is all of Australia itself. As for sustaining a large fleet and air force, that would be the entire Australian economy. I suspect your understanding of Australia is a bit thin. There are enough large areas where your force can be stationed & concealed, but 'supporting' & 'sustaining' them is a different matter. If the force belonged to an external power & based in Oz, this might work (barely). $\endgroup$ – a4android Jun 21 '18 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ Given modern technology (or even Google Earth) there is no such place. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jun 21 '18 at 6:10
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    $\begingroup$ Quite apart from the impossibility of secrecy, suggest that you reconsider the rank structure - normally a major general is in charge of a division. Given that this force will be made up of over 400 divisions (or air force/naval equivalents) your co-commanders are not major-general equivalents. $\endgroup$ – KerrAvon2055 Jun 21 '18 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ The question is about Australasia, not Australia $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Jun 21 '18 at 8:13

Cryogenicly frozen.

You simply can't hide that many people walking around. It's almost 1/5 of Australia's total population.

If vast majority of the army was frozen in hidden bases around the country you might get away with it but not frozen is impossible. You couldn't hide the food an army that size would consume alone.

The bases could be powered by their own reactor and heatsink though a large body of water or the ocean.

If the aircraft were all VTOL, where is no need or runways and could be stored underground as part of the base.

The fleet could be all submarines with even larger subs housing VTOL aircraft and drones to act as small aircraft carriers.

As for secret, that's not going to be easy. How do you build the fleet and aircraft without someone knowing plus build the bases and build and train an army of that size?

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    $\begingroup$ But then your energy bill would certainly expose you to some critical questions, let alone shipping, handling and storing of that many frozen bodies. And we haven´t even mentioned the fleet and airforce yet ... $\endgroup$ – Daniel Jun 21 '18 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ I'd upvote your answer, since I find it insightful - hide power consumption is easier than the rest of maintenance activities such a large population would need - but then I thought: "how cool is having an accepted answer with a -1 score?!" :D :D :D $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Jun 21 '18 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ Your solution is insanely complicated! And Australia isn't that densely populated of a country! $\endgroup$ – Cbm.cbm Jun 21 '18 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ Cooling is subject to cube square scaling so one large base is better. Put it inside a large monolith the locals consider sacred and use the monolith as a heat sink for cooling and power plant and you will be fairly hard to spot. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Jun 21 '18 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ The hidden bases could quite easily have a small reactor to power them and heatsink through a nearby body of water. $\endgroup$ – Thorne Jun 21 '18 at 23:39

I'm going to say that the question as asked isn't possible in any conventional sense. Not only is the number of personnel larger than the active duty US Armed Forces, but it is a large percentage of the population of the nations in the region. That many people taken out of the productive economy would be immediately noticeable, even if they were somehow invisible to surveillance.

As well, the industrial infrastructure needed to build the weapons and equipment and the logistical backbone to support such a force would also be staggering, and quite noticeable (for example, Australia would be mining and exporting a lot of coal and iron ore in order to make the steel for the ships, tanks, trucks and so on, material which would have to be accounted for since it can be tabulated as it comes out of the mines and outputs calculated. Millions of tons of steel don't just "vanish". Add all the other materials, fuel, electrical power and so on and you have an insoluble problem.

However, the real answer is they are already there, in plain sight. A population can be aroused to fight an invader, and much useful equipment can be purchased "off the shelf". People can move around via cars, trucks, public transit, on foot, on bicycles etc. They can deploy to any point on earth by going to their computer and logging into the Quantas page (or any other appropriate airline), and can carry knowledge of how to purchase or build useful devices with them (no need to carry a rifle or rocket on the plane).

This form of warfare is evolved from insurgency warfare, and even in earlier iterations can be surprisingly effective. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) may have had a few as 500 "shooters" at any given time, but hidden in the local population they tied up tens of thousands of British Army soldiers and massive police resources, while maintaining the ability to strike in Ireland, England and even conduct recruiting, fundraising, training and sometimes attacks in other parts of the world from the 1969 until they laid down arms in 2005. More modern groups like the LTTE, Al-Qaeda or ISIS have amplified this greatly and have taken entire armies and coalitions to defeat.

The name for this style of warfare is "Fourth Generation Warfare" (4GW) and its basic tenants can be summarized thus:

Fourth-generation warfare (4GW) uses all available networks -- political, economic, social, and military -- to convince the enemy’s political decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit. It is an evolved form of insurgency. Still rooted in the fundamental precept that superior political will, when properly employed, can defeat greater economic and military power, 4GW makes use of society’s networks to carry on its fight. Unlike previous generations of warfare, it does not attempt to win by defeating the enemy’s military forces. Instead, via the networks, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision makers to destroy the enemy’s political will. Fourth-generation wars are lengthy -- measured in decades rather than months or years.

Col. Thomas Xavier Hammes-The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century

Provide basic knowledge, such as the handbooks being distributed in the Baltic States in order to counter Russian aggression, and a Casus belli, and there will be all kinds of people engaged in the struggle, from using cellphone cameras for surveillance, to providing space in their garden shed to store items to "chemists" cooking explosives for IED's and the small core of shooters taking the fight to the enemy.

They are already there, and you are looking right at them.


four MILLION soldiers?!?

Easy: Their quarters consist of a city, easy as that. They will be needing everything the population of a city need (farms, industries, entertainment, shops, etc.), plus the weapons, so the only thing you need to hide is the most top-secret weapons. For the rest, the place will just look like a city, except that every single adult male and female able to fight is armed, and the kids could give you some nasty surprises if you wanted to take a school hostage.

  • $\begingroup$ With that many soldiers, why not just take over Australia? Best place to hide a force that large is what is now your land. $\endgroup$ – UIDAlexD Jun 21 '18 at 13:52

The location you're looking for needs to be on the sea, to support the fleet, and needs airstrips, to support the airforce. All of these elements are easily discoverable, unless they are hidden in plain sight. I think you need to think of a scenario, where the army can hide among the population. Think of a sprawling metropolitan area and trading hub. In Tokyo the army would make up 10% of the population for example. That's still a lot, but the best you can work with given the constraints.


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