I have read 'Redwall' and am reading 'Mattimeo', and was was wondering if Redwall ever had a standing army or did they always just ask for volunteers once they've been attacked. So far this has resulted in a 'too little, too late' efforts and their only hope of survival seems to be based on miracles. I was just thinking with the clever individuals at Redwall they would have some sort of defense system set up.
- Various patrols across the ages.
- Other such things as above.
Theres never an army at redwall because redwall is a place of peace. The universe's standing army is traditionally salamandastron, though castle florent and other places maintain a guard as well.
I see, they depend on outside woodlander groups for defending the area against invaders. This is interesting since they don't really come in contact with anyone outside their walls. This probably explains how they are rarely, if ever, alerted that there's invaders in the area. Maybe since the books are written so closely within the confines of Redwall I get the sense that Redwall is the center of the universe there. Maybe it's better to think of it as just another place on the map.
Just read the last page of Mattimeo and it says that Matthias trained the defenders of Redwall. Could this suggest an understood military presence in Redwall where the soldiers simply doubled as civilians during a time of peace yet maintaining a presence of security? While it wouldn't meet the true definition of a standing army (to me), I think it is more correct than suggesting nobody knew what an arrow looked like until being attacked.
Well, most characters in Mattimeo were in Redwall as well, so they mostly knew what weapons looked like and how to use them. Most likely they knew what they looked like before the Great War but had rarely seen any. Remember, until Cluny the Scourge, every creature in Mossflower and surrounding country knew that Redwall was a place of peace and sanctuary. That means that they must have treated vermin as well, it even hints at it in Redwall. If so they were probably relieved of weapons upon entry of Redwall, giving them an opportunity to see numerous weapons in variety. They probably didn't know how to use them until they had to fight Cluny, though. Matthias probably only trained them in basic slinging, quarterstaff fighting, hand to hand combat and maybe some archery.