Military of Umbar
Dúnadan line infantry
Royal army regiment, from Return of the King.
Ambush in Harondor
Ambush in Harondor, by Jan Pospisil.
Gondorian line infantry
Naval action between a xebec and a carrack
War Standard Navy Standard Angamaitë

Commanders (1640-1666)
Grand Admiral Angamaitë
Balîkattô (Admiral of the Fleet) Tarcundo Miruvor
Abârattô (General of the Army) Voronar Octesian

Warcraft in Umbar

See also: Warcraft in Gondor, Warcraft in Khand


Standing professional army was first created in Gondor during the age of Ship-kings. It was instrumental in subduing the old Númenórean aristocracies and their military alliances in Umbar, Pelargir and Anfalas. Advancement in the army was based on pay and personal merit, and the institution allowed formerly repressed underclasses access to military offices and achieve citizenship. As the conquests of the Ship-kings drew them into landward conflict with the rulers of Umbar and Haradwaith, the importance of a standing army increased.

Though it never eclipsed the pre-eminence of the fleets, the land forces were an essential component to effective naval warfare, which depended upon the Gondorian's army's ability to secure safe harborage and provisions. This system of Gondorian military recruitment and organization was implanted in Umbar when it was incorporated in the Gondorian realm. Former military traditions were dissolved, with the exception of the Umbar town guard and urban militia.

King Ciryaher's southern victories resulted in the expansion and strengthening of traditional Haruze clientage to Dúnadan power. Among other things, this process brought to prominence the use of Haruze auxiliaries among the hosts of Gondor. The size and composition of such companies varied according to the Haruze ruler that had supplied them, and their term of service was likewise determined by the specific pledges of friendship and alliance made to the King of Gondor by a given tarb or amir.

Calimehtar and his descendants cultivated their own military clients along the frontier regions that touched upon their own sphere of influence. The kingdoms and principalities of Near Harad (Korb Taskral, Chelkar, Pezarsan, Mardruak, Dûsalan and Hazaj Tollin), which greatly benefited from the royal fleet's protection of the southern trade routes from pirates and brigands, launched their own confederacy in support of Captain of Ships.

The Kin-Strife spelled the end of the traditional Dúnadan army. This force, dating back to the early days of the realm, lost its best soldiers and commanders in fighting. When the battered confederates slowly retreated to Harondor and Umbar, they did not possess the time nor adequate resources to properly reconstruct the army. With Lebennin and the Anduin estuary, confederates lost their best manpower pools. Traditionalist faction had almost total naval superiority, but became increasingly dependable on Haradrim clients and allies on land.


17th century Corsairs of Umbar considered themselves the legitimate continuation of the royal line of Anárion and the traditions of the Faithful. Not surprisingly, Umbarean armies were remarkably advanced. Élite regular foot companies descended from Dúnadan garrisons resident in Umbar and Harnendor before the civil war. However, the bulk of the army consisted of Haruze and mixed men descended from Haradan-Umbarean converts such as Umbar militia. Slavery had been prohibited during Dúnadan rule, but allied Haradan armies had slave-recruited guard units or mamluks. Castamirioni armies and guards of the Council of Captains also included Dúnadan mercenaries from the north. Their descendants still formed the core of the élite Umbarean regiment Tirrim Tar-Calion when king Telumehtar Umbardacil finally stormed the Haven in 1810.

Umbarean thônzagari
This household knight is showing the traditional
colours of House Marös, gold, black and white
chequerboard. He has probably mixed dúnadan
and eothraim ancestry (hence his red hair), but he
wears distinctively Haradan costume and arms.
Umbarean archer in his left has small composite
bow, large single-bladed knife, a cotton quilted
armour and a bundle of arrows tucked beneath
his belt. Angus McBride, 2001.
Toward the end of the Castamirioni period, when grand-admiral Angamaitë ruled Umbar with dictatorial powers, greater numbers of Narakshi mamluks and mercenaries were recruited. Some of the latter came from the north but the great bulk were Haruze from Near Harad. Umbarean armies also attracted large numbers of volunteers. Similar sources of recruitment were available to the governors of frontier provinces, though here there were also volunteers and mercenaries from the Gondor's side of the frontier.

Payment reflected status, which in turn reflected origins - either descended from the ancient Númenórean settlers or from 'local' forces. Contingent commanders were responsible for informing the overall commander who had done well and deserved extra payment. Rewards and 'robes of honour' were given to the most deserving, but most troops relied on booty. A separate officer, Dulgubar (Ad.), was in charge of muster and review of the native Haradrim troops in the late 17th century, and efforts were made to keep newly recruited Haradrim mercanaries separate from older formations.


While Haruze fashions were gradually adopted by the ruling and military élites of the Corsairs, Black Númenórean styles enjoyed only a temporary popularity in Umbar and hardly any in Harondor. Most of the old adûnai families had merged with the gondorian newcomers in the the preceding centuries.

The White Tree of the Faithful remained in the banners of a few confederate companies in Harondor, but was otherwise replaced by the heraldic device of Umbar, the tengwarin letter U. Traditional troop colors were crimson and gold for Harondor, gold for Amrûn and red and black for Umbar. Independent armies of the oligarchic Council of Captains bore their respective markings and insignia. These were often extraordinarily varied and colourful.

Harnendor hills were rich in iron and Umbar was also well endowed with timber resources needed to work iron. Umbar produced most of the high class steel weapons it needed, but also imported sword blades from Raj, composite bows from Lurmsakun and Chy, spears and other items from as far away as Bulchyades and Sirayn. In return Umbar exported gilded and other armour to Near Harad and Bellakar, along with weapons and horse-harness.

Basically, corsair army used three types of sword. Eket was short and wide-bladed Dúnadan stabbing-sword, issued to all Umbarean foot soldiers. Only the knights and members of nobility were allowed to carry an Anket or longsword. The third type was the Haradan single-bladed, straight scimitar. Other blades were curved scimitars from Raj (Faranj), which were sometimes used by the mamluk forces, and navy falchions used by marines. Some were silvered, gilded, enamelled or jeweled while some had similarly decorated scabbards.

Bows were of the Haradan composite types. Though often regarded as inferior to the shorter, thicker and smoothly recurved Ioriag composite bow, these earlier Umbarean bows were more suited to archery on foot. Their angled ears provided substantial leverage and were consequently less tiring in situations where infantry archers had to maintain a much higher rate of shooting than did horse archers. Other weapons used by Corsair forces were cavalry axes and assorted forms of mace.

Armour included the common Dúnadan mail hauberk, the less common haradan or 'black númenorean' leather and iron lamellar cuirasses, and 'egg-like' lamellar helmets - sometimes gilded. Dúnadan winged steel helmets covered more of the neck, while marines and commanders used Númenorean-style Karma helmets. Mail hauberks were the most common form of armour, while a mail coif (Har. mighfar) covered the head except for the eyes. Gondorian texts of the period highlight the 'strange' costume of the Umbarean confederates, such as soft armour over a mail hauberk, baldrics supporting a large knife rather than a sword, and small horses with 'old fashioned' stirrups.

Umbarean thônzagari
Pictured here is a Haruze-born Karbûzagar
mounted soldier in the service of the
Umbarean army. Few haruze cavalrymen
would have been as well equipped as this
soldier, with his fully armoured horse. Under
a quilted jubbah made in the same manner
as the quilted horse armour he has a full mail
hauberk and coif. The rest of his arms,
armour and costume are a mixture of
Haradan and Dúnadan styles and traditions,
though with the strongest influence coming
from Near Harad. Angus McBride, 2001.


After the dissolution of the Regency, Umbarean Council of Captains adopted the use of adûnaic as their primary language. In Dúnadan households noldorin retained its rôle as a language of lore, but adûnaic and it's descendant, westron (Ad. 'Sôval phâre') prevailed in every other way. Other Númenórean traditions surfaced as well. One source of cultural influence was Umbar's heretical neighbour, mixed númenorean-haradan realm of Bellakar.

Umbarean footsoldiers were divided to a hundred strong companies. Six companies formed a Narad (Ad. 'Cohort') and was led by a Nardukhôr (Ad. 'Captain of Infantry'). Light haruze cavalry was used in raiding and harassing the enemy, while Umbarean mounted sergeants (Ad. Karbûzagar) charged the enemy's rear with their lances. Cavalry squadrons were commanded by Karubkhêrs (Ad. 'Lord of the Horses'). Other ranks and offices were as follows:
Zadanzagar (Ad. 'Sword of the House') - A Household Knight in the oligarchic armies of Umbar.
Zadanattô (Ad. 'Father of the House') - Household Commander or head of the family.
Thônzagar (Ad. 'Sword of the Host') - A Knight in the regular army, usually fought dismounted.
Thônabâr (Ad. 'Lord of the Host') - Commander of the Regiment.
Kadarattô (Ad. 'Father of the City') - Burgomaster or Lord Mayor. Responsible for the civilian goverment.
Kadurbâr (Ad. 'Lord of the City') - Commander of the City Guard.
Attabar / Abârattô = (Ad. 'Father of the Strenght') = General of the Army.

The change that was apparent in Castamirioni strategy and tactics after the Kin-Strife can be described as a shift from an old Númenórean reliance on iron discipline and drilling to a more Haradan emphasis on clever generalship. Subterfuge, concealment, rapid movement and skullduggery were the chief weapons of a Umbarean general. It is worth remembering that most of Sangahyandion's brilliant campaigns in Harondor were conducted against a numerically superior foe. About one half of the Umbarean land foces were in direct control of the Castamirioni dynasty and their relatives. Other half was divided among several oligarchs, and their disunity and petty conspiracies often played in the hand of the Gondorians. Apart from the Castamirioni army in Harondor and the six Captains' Hosts, there were Territorial Corps in Harnendor and Dûsalan, Garrison in Umbar and separate, small mercanary armies operating in the desert frontiers.


Full articles: First Corsair War (1540-1551) - Sack of Pelargir (1634) - Second Corsair War (1633-1638) - Third Corsair War (1652-1666)


Name Lvl Hits AT DB Sh, Gr OB 1 OB 2
Thônzagari 9 135 Pl/17 40 S+10, A/L 116bs 95sp
These dúnadan knights are close relatives of the Castamirioni family and blindly loyal to the rebel cause. They usually fight dismounted, like their númenórean ancestors. Thônzagari are armed and equipped with the best Umbar can produce, buy of steal. Often their arms and armour are family heirlooms.
Guard Line Infantry 5 90 Ch/16 30 S+5, A/L 94ss 70sp
Èlite armoured regiments of foot, mostly lesser dúnedain of Umbar and Harondor, descended from the old Line Infantry regiments of the Ship-Kings. Reinforced chain hauberks and breastplates with additional greaves and steel leggings. Line infantry are armed with traditional dúnadan swords (ekets and ankets), long spears, long bows and square shields. They wear the red robes of Umbar with winged steel helmets of Gondor. Guard regiments are the best units the Castamirioni dynasty can field.
Haruze Archers 4 70 SL/5 10 - 80cp 60da
Masses of haruze foot archers, firing their composite and recurved bows, form the backbone of every Corsair army. These excellent bowmen wear quilted soft armour and a use large single-edged daggers or knives for self-defense.
Spearmen 3 60 RL/7 25 S, A 60ja 50sc
Spearmen are expected to hold their line and pepper their enemies with javelins. They are mostly drawn from umbarean and harondorian commoners. Many are haruze. Their primary weapons are pikes, spears, javelins and scimitars. They wear lamellar leather armour for protection, and use small wicker and leather shields.
Karbûzagari 4 75 RL/12 25 S, A/L 75ml 65sc
Karbûzagari cavalry is the main umbarean mounted troop. Ethnically they are mostly umbarean, with some haruze and even northern mercenaries thrown in. They usually ride unarmoured horses, but some have quilted barding, and wear quilted armour worn over either rigid leather lamellar or full mail with coif. Karbûzagari are armed with ankets, spears and cavalry axes or maces.
Haruze Raiders 4 70 RL/10 25 S 70cp 55sc
Amongst the Haradrim tribes are accomplished horsemen who roam the desert and savannah alike, conducting unrelenting raids upon their neighbours. The horses of the south, while not as well-bred as those of Rhovanion, are swift and strong. these light horsemen are usually employed as raiders, applying their hit-and-run tactics.
Merchant Guards 4 70 RL/11 25 S, L 75sp 60ha
The Merchant Guard are a body of men unswervingly loyal to their master's goals, yet also charged with protecting traders for a hundred leagues about the city. They are professional soldiers from Raj, Bellakar and Near Harad. Most wear lamellar cuirasses, steel helmets, leather shields and are armed with, spears, axes and knives. They often smear the tips of their weapons with the preserved venom of reptiles or scorpions living in their distant lands.
Household Bannermen 10 140 Ch/16 30 S+5, A/L 102ml 86bs
Umbarean household knights are small but professional corps of cavalrymen employed by the Great Families. They are paid both in coin and land, often with extensive tax rights. Houshold knights wear full mail hauberks and coifs, dúnadan steel helmets and use haradan swords, lances, spears and maces as their weapons of choice. These veterans are often more interested in farming their taxes than in fighting.
Wardens of Umbar 3 60 RL/9 25 S 65sp 55ss
Umbarean militia guard is suprisingly well trained and disciplined, comparable in fighting spirit to many standing army regiments in Gondor. They wear leather cuirasses over quilted soft armour and red and black dresses of Umbar. Warden regiments are armed with short swords (ekets), spears or halberds, and large kite-shaped shields.
Corsairs 2 35 RL/12 20 S 35ss 20cb
Corsairs soldiers are heavily armed but lack training and morale. Their primary weapons are bows, javelins, hand axes and short swords. Their nautical expertise is beyond compare, however. Corsair crews prey upon all of the coastlands of southern Middle-Earth.
Artillerists 4 70 Ch/15 25 S 70hcb 60ss  
Corsair artillerists operate ballistae and catapults. They have loose trousers beneath the mail hauberk, large leather shields, heavy crossbows, swords or falchions.
Naphta Throwers 8 75 RL/12 5 A/L 60fire 62sc  
These specialist soldiers use Naurnen, the dreaded númenorean fire, as rudimentary hand grenades.
Desert Raiders 2 35 SL/5 5 - 30sc 40sb
Desert archers are recruited from the Dune Sea: Narakshi and other Haradrim tribes. They are equipped with small hunting bows, curved daggers and soft quilted armour. They are very fast, escaping enemy screeners with their camels and dispersing to the dunes. Best suited in desert warfare.

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