Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Freedonian Logistics the Most Modern

Following some comments in the gutter press about the state of Freedonian logistics, the military have been busy planning their next big enhancement to the capability for the Freedonian Army.
After prolonged fact-finding tours of major transport manufacturing companies in the French Riviera, Greek Islands and the Costa Del Sol, Mr Ravelli, minister for army procurment has returned with not one, not two, but FIVE tranport wagons.
Mr Ravelli said "...these are number one topa notcha wagons.  My pal Pinky got them as a bargain."
Mr Ravelli and Pinky 'negotiatiing' for some new wagons.

In the capital city today, the band was playing as the new logistics wagons arrived.
As part of this new procurement, the Freedonian Military Medical Services have been given one of the wagons to create the new  Mobile Army Medical Yeomanry.  The MAMY is urgently recruiting doctors, and most importantly, nurses for this new Corps. 
The Mobile Army Medical Yeomanry, providing essential medical services to our brave boya.
Other News
Reports have been coming in from remote rural Freedonain farming districts of 'Mystery Airships'. 
One W. H. Hopkins encountered a grounded airship about 20 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter near the outskirts of Hickville, Outer Freedonia. 
The vehicle was apparently propelled by 3 large propellers and crewed by a beautiful nude woman and a bearded man, also nudeHopkins attempted with some difficulty to communicate with the crew in order to ascertain their origins.  Eventually they understood what Hopkins was asking of them and they both pointed to the sky and "uttered some thing that sounded like the word 'Mars.'.  This is clearly the ramblings of a madman, or the effect over over-imbibing the fearsomely potent Silvanian Brandy, as there are no known airships of this type anywhere in the world. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Old Wars

Even though we are now, nominally, at peace with the Silvanians, historians and students of military strategy still review and dicusss (endlessly) past campaigns.  One well-known battle in the recent border war is the Battle of Kempshott Hill.
This was interesting in that the Freedonian forces acted with uncharacteristic elan - rushing the enemy positions regardless of casualties.
The Militia regiments were particularly hard hit in the assault, taking oer 80% casualties - but, by their sacrifice, paving the way for the ultimate victory of Freedonian arms.

The Freedonian Film Corporation has made a movie of this battle, which has received much cirtical acclaim..
"...this was a film..." - Imperial Cinema Magazine
"I've never seen anything like it" - Freedonian Times
"...unbelievable...." - Bosrovian Daily Record
"...I'm on a horse..." - Glevum Gleaner

You can see the movie here:

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Campaign to Relieve the Legation

The Pugilists rose up in rebellion in the Capital of the Crimson Empire, Kao-ti-hau , and  apparently even challenging the authority of the Red Emperor Ken-ishi.  At least he seemed powerless to prevent the widespread murder and molestation of foreigners in the city. The Freedonian, Bosrovian and Silvanian Embassies came under virtual siege, and became a safe-ish haven for foreigners in the city – having fortified themselves in their legations.
The Freedonian Legation in Kau-ti-Hau, the Ambassador's car can clearly be seen.  This was defended by a small detachment of Freedonian Militia, and a number of armed (if scruffy) civilians.  It was also a refuge for the Bosrovian legation staff.

A multi-national relief force was dispatched by river on brand new Freedonian river gunboats. Their mission was to travel up the Red River to the Capital, fight their way into the city and rescue the garrisons of the Legations and the civilians.
A terrible fate, almost certainly worse than death awaited the occupants of the Legations if they could not be relieved. Therefore the utmost urgency was necessary.

A number of Powers promised forces, and these forces arrived and assembled at the coastal city of Shangrila to plan the relief.
The first stage of the Relief was a planning meeting of the main luminaries in Shangrila.  
Lt Commander Flashbang, General Von Cluck and Bosrovian General Cameron preparing the expedition in the Bratuvian Embassy in Shanrila.  They are cleary concerned with urgent matters.
 Present at this meeting were
General Cameron of Bosrovia, GOC Borovian Expeditionary Force
General von Cluck of Silvania, GOC Silvanian Expeditionary Force
General Cooper of Freedonia, GOC Freedonian Expeditionary Force
Lady Constance Cholmondeley-Pilkington – representative of the Imperial Womens' Defence League
Lt Commander Flashbang, Freedonian Navy
Brigadier Ripsikorstetov, Bratuvian Military Attaché in the Crimson Empire
The FRS Firefly and FRS Cornetto, laden with the first wave of  troops and guns make their way up the Red River.
The Freedonian Flotilla under full steam (Thanks to Nick L for the photo)

After some considerable discussion they decided that overall command would be a flexible concept, arrived as when absolutely necessary - and decided to launch the first wave of troops up the Red River, with the Bosrovian Mechanised Corps travelling by land (and therefore arriving later, potentially, in the nick of time).
The Pugilists' arrayed astride the road to Kau-ti-hau.  Once can clearly see the Imperial Urns of Ammunition.  In the centre are Grand Duchy mercenaries.
The main gate of the city of Kau-ti-hau - this would be the scene of some heavy fighting later.
The Bosrovian Balloon Corps conducted a reconnaissance of the area that had to be traversed from the river landing quays to the gates of Kau-Ti-Hau, and reported the Pugilist Army, supported by mercenaries form the Grand Duchy, were blocking the road to Kau-Ti-Hau.  These would have to be dealt with first, and their position threatened unloading activities from the boats.  
Lady Constance Cholmondeley-Pilkington aboard the FRS Cornetto on her way to provide relief to the soldiers.

It was therefore decided that the forst wave of river boats would unload on the far side of the river, safe from any frenzied rushing by the Pugilists.  Unfortunately, it still left them with the prospect of an opposed river crossing.

While these operations were taking place, some of the more aggressive bands of Pugilists moved up to the river bank in anticipation of action, while their Dragon Guns kept up long range harassing fire - which even caused one or two casualties!
However the pugilists soon came under withering fire from Freedonian and Bosrovian infantry and artillery, and their casualties were very great.
Lt Commander Flashbang and General Cameron decided that sweeping the enemy form the far ban k by fire would take too long, so took the brave step of landing infantry on the riverbank short of the quay - this attracted Pugilist attention and several bands of fierce native fighters rushed the landings causing heave casualties among the Silvanian troops being landed.  A swift counter-attack by Bosrovia infantry, supported by close fire form the Gunboat quickly dispatched the foreign horde.
Opposed landing - the pugilists have killed many soldiers, but the counter-attack and gunboat fire is about to finish them off.
Meanwhile, the Pugilist army facing the landings was dwindling.  The Duchy cavalry attempted a cavalry 'charge' but were mown down by the Allies' guns in short order.  
The Freedonian Legation Defence.  Out of the picture to the left are thousands of Pugilists - no, really.
 Meanwhile, in the city, the Pugilists were becoming more threatening, and a number of bands had been assaulting the Legations.  Casualties in the Silvanian Embassy were heavy and they were forced to flee to to the larger Freedonian Legation for safety, leaving their artillery in the hands of the Pugilists (who, fortunately, were very poor shots).

The Silvanian Legation  after its capture by the Pugilists of the Red Monkey School.
Freedonian militia providing covering fire for the escapees from the Silvanian Legation.
The assaults on the Legations, in the foreground the Red Monkey School are about to rush the gate of the Silvanian Legation.   Meanwhile the Blue Heron School are trying to rush the guns of the Freedonian Legation.
By now, the main Pugilist blocking force had been dealt with by advancing troops form the landing - aided by an ad-hocBosrovian Engineers  The Grand Duchy element of this force decided to make a tactical fighting withdrawal to the safety of the city walls.
Pugilists watch from the walls as the Grand Duchy mercenaries withdraw towards them.  They kindly did not shut the gate on them.  In the distance are the relief columns.
The Bosrovian Mechanised Corps
In the nick of time, word came in of the arrival outside the City of the Bosrovian mechanised corps, who had found a regiment of wandering Bratuvian Cossacks on their travels via the long overland route.  This changed everything, as it would now be possible for a mobile cavalry force to rush the gates, hopefully before they were shut.
The Bosrovian mechanised corps harassing the retreat of the Glevum mercenary infantry.
Grand Duchy infantry facing the onslaught of Bosrovian military technology.  If you look closely you can see them marvel at it.
The fight at the Gate, one regiment of Grand Dutch infantry are 'securing the gate' having been beaten up by Bosrovian cavalry,on regiment is gallantly covering their retreat.
The last stand of the Grand Dutchy original mercenaries.
Meanwhile, inside the city, faced by repeated attacks by Pugilists, the Freedonian Ambassador, without thought for his own safety, took the car and headed off towards the city gate to 'seek reinforcements'.  Only to run straight into the mercenary troops of the Grand Duchy, who had successfully managed to get through the gate and shut it behind (we will draw a veil over what happened to the other Grand Duchy regiment that was overrun by Bosrovian and Bratuvian cavalry).
"Get out of the way D*mn YOU!"
The Grand Duchy troops kindly offered to 'look after' the car to keep it safe.  President Firefly was not amused at having to pay an 'administration charge' to get it back!
The Freedonian ambassador's car being 'looked after' by Glevum mercenaries.
The Relief forces now had a problem of getting through the gate.  Much discussion ensued of options, but is was decided to rely on massed artillery fire to do the job.
"Ahoy Me Hearty Matey".  Lt Commander Flashbang (Freedonian Navy), with his naval landing party, some Silvanians and two, yes two, captured Pugilist Dragon Guns - about to unleash massive firepower on the Gates of Kau-ti-hau.  Note the ceremonial leopard-skin cushion, reputedly a gift from the Maharani of Clewgistan
And they did the job - within minutes the ancient gates of the city came crashing down, and the Bosrovian Cavalry (with some cossacks) stormed into  he City.

They were met by Emperor Ken-Ishi himself, with a delegation of imperial staff "Welcome and thank you for saving my Empire!" said he.  Apparently the Pugilists had been holding him prisoner and only now had he been able to free himself and welcome his rescuers.
"How can we ever repay you?"  asked Emperor Ken-ishi.  "My staff are preparing a list", quipped the doughty General Cameron, leader of the Relief Expedition.
 And so it seemed.  Overwhelmed by the might of the Expeditionary Force, the Pugilists had indeed fled to the countryside, and the Legations were SAVED!  Hip Hip Hooray!
The victorious Armies marching into Kau-ti-hau for the inevitable Victory celebrations.
And the Freedonian flag flies, gloriously over the gates of Kau-ti-hau.
The Cost.  The FRS Firefly sailing back down the river, evacuating casualties to Shangrila Hospital

The Map of the Campaign from the Official History
[Finally : Thanks to JR for the use of his lovely garden for the game, long live Holy Bratuvia]

Friday, 12 August 2011

Something Will be Done

Cheering crowds gathered at the docks to give a great send-off for the Expeditionary Force to the Crimson Empire to relieve the Legations.

The Freedonian river gunboats were heavily laden with men, materiel and stores ready for action.
The people of Freedonia salute our brave boys - and the brave soldiers of our gallant Allies Bosrovia.  And Silvania.

Meanwhile, the Legations in Kau-ti-Hau remain fortified and are beating off repeated attacks by the Pugilists.  However, there is concern that the Expeditionary Force will arrive in time, before ammunition stocks run low.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Under Siege - Our Women At Risk!

Horrific news is coming in of a major uprising in the Capital city of the Crimson Empire, Kau-Ti-Hau.  Foreigners are being attacked and there have been some deaths.  There are rumours of European women suffering entirely untoward attentions from unsuitable oriental types.

European nationals have gone to their Legations for protection, and large numbers of civilians are besieged in these substantial buildings under the protection of small gallant detachments of Legation guards.  We are told that the Silvanian, Bosrovian and Freedonian Embassies are under siege, and whilst the Puglists (for it is they) have made several attacks, they are finding it hard to break in quickly.

It would seem that the two main Puglist Schools in the City, the Red Monkey School and the Blue Heron School have settled their differences and unitied against a common rival.
The Crimson Empire's armed forces have been enhanced by the addition of two 'dragon guns'.  These are not thought to be servicable.

The Emperor has claimed that he is raising the Imperial Army to put down this insurrection, but that this may take some time as communications are disrupted as a result of disorder in the capital.
Past experience has shown that the Imperial Army could take months to form, and even then it does not have much in the way of combat experience, being largely cermonial in nature.  Meanwhile many foriegn merchant warehouses and homes have been looted and many are in flames.
The primitive soldiers of the Crimson Empire appear to be armed with swords and spears!  They are unlikely to stand for long against resolute European troops, even with the unreliable aid of their Dragon Guns.

Urgent talks have been entered into between the Freedonian, Bosrovian and Silvanian Governments, and it has been agreed that a joint expeditionary force be dispatched to relieve the Legations and rescue the womenfolk (and menfolk, obviously).
President Firefly said "It is indeed fortunate that the Silvanians saw sense recently and made peace - we can now go forward together as Brothers In Arms".

The Bosrovian charges d'affair in Freedonia said "...this is unacceptable...nobody messes with our women, we will fight for their honour".  "Which is more than they ever did..." quipped a nearby head of state.

A further disturbing report, however, is that numbers of mercenaries from the Grand Duchy of Glevum have been seen arriving in the outskirts of Kau-ti-Hau - and they appear to be in the employ of a faction in the city.  This cannot be a good thing, as Grand Duchy troops are famed for their ruthless efficiency and lack of moral compass.  (follow their mercenary ramblings here)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hello Sailor!

"It is with some delight that I can announce the formation of the Freedonian Navy, by the aquisition of two Bulldog-Class river gunboats from those nice people at Wimpey-Fergusson".  President Firefly's speech was greeted with rapturous applause and cheering from the enthusiastic crowd gathered at the City Docks earlier today.  Firefley went on;  "..this is a Gala Day...and a gal a day is enough for anyone..."
The Freedonian Navy remains ever ready for a knock-down blow
The river gunboats, which apparently arrived in Freedonia in secret some weeks ago are now ready for action, complete with proper sailors and everything.  Each boat is equipped with a Krapp 18pdr QF Light Gun - the latest of its type.  The boats have a speed of several knots, and can accomodate at least a regiment of troops, or literally mountains of supplies.  The contract with the arms dealers Wimpey-Fergusson was signed following a slap up dinner with the President.

The FRS Firefly is commanded by Lt Commander Flashbang, and the FRS Cornetto by Lt Commander Backsight.  Both have experience of over 38 missions (simulated).
The Freedonian River Ship Firefly
Given recent events in the Crimson Empire, it is expected that one or more of these warships will be dispatched East very soon now.
The Freedonian River Ship Cornetto

The Freedonian riverine flotilla demonstrates formation sailing.

Minister Ravelli was quizzed on the situation in the Crimson Empire: "Wadda you sayin'?  There ain't a no sittuashun inna da Empire.  We get on fine wid 'ol Red Ken - he senda me a Christamas card last year."
Asked about the Pugilists, Mr Ravelli responded "They ain't so tough.  My pal Pinky, he get plenty tough on them, you'll see."

Monday, 8 August 2011

Crimson Empire Causing Trouble?

As the situation worstens in the Crimson Empire of the Emperor Ken-ishi, the Emperor's Chamberlain Lee Zhang said to the worlds press "There is nothing bad going on at all, absolutely not.  There have been a few high spirits following the traditional Festival of Pointy Things in July, but this has been mis-interpreted as a threat to the Freedonian Legation.  We have nothing against round-eyed foreign devils - even if they do all look alike.".
The flag of the Crimson Empire .
Despite assurances from the Imperial Government, attacks on foriegners have increased - led by a major anti-foregner faction known as the 'Pugilists'.

Intervention is on the cards, and President Firefly has announced the purchase of river gunboats from the Wimpey-Fergusson Company, well known for their fine ships.  The plan is to provide the ability to intervene, should Freedonian interests in far away places be under dire threat.  Mr Ravelli, the President's aide said "Its like this, we no gonna jus' attack nobody, but if they mess with us we get plenty tough on them.  Oh yes".

The proposed formation of the Freedonian Naval Detachment represents yet another example of how Freedonia is increasingly become a force in the world.  President Firefly said "Why, only yesterday night I was down at the  the docks actively seeking salty seamen."

Meanwhile... in the Crimson Empire

Red Emperor Ken-ishi, whilst a supreme leader possessing ultimate authority, still has to keep a variety of factions under control.
The Red Emperor Ken-ishi (centre left) in the Great Chamber of Wisdom, receiving the latest reports from his loyal Chamberlain Lee Zhang

The Pugilists.  The most troublesome factions, at present, are the Puglists, who espouse' traditional values' and the' honourable study of  martial strategy'.  What has, in the past, prevented the Pugilists from having much political influence is their tendency to fragment into rival 'schools' - each professing to hold a particular way of martial enlightnment that far outshines any of the others.  Proving martial superiority can only be determined in one way, by constant mock battles between the rival schools - 'bushumi' or or 'war - games' as they are known.   The rules of these games have been elaborated over centuries and are often regarded as esoteric and obscure by the uninitiated.  The most traditional refer, with reverence, to the "Roku-ban' or '6th Edition' of these rules as being the most enlightened - and these have been in use since the last century.

Emperor Ken-ishi watches a demonstration fight between rival schools of Pugilists.

Other factions include :
The Modernists - who want the Crimson Empire to embrace modern technology, and to become once more a powerful world-class Empire.  They point to the technological developments in places such as Forbodia and Freedonia and seek to become more like them.  Modernists tend to dress like westerners and copy their habits.
The Reformists - these are a tiny minority who seek to introduce concepts such as democracy and constitutional monarchy into the Empire.  They are not much favoured by the Emperor.
The Buddhists - who want an Empire run much more of religious lines, and are particulalry pacifistic.
...there are many more but these are the principle factions

Emperor Kenishi recieves yet another report from his Chamberlain.
The Emperor is, by tradition, above politics and does not express a view.  However diplomatic staffs report that the Emperor is a traditionalist of sorts, and there are accusations that he has not been sufficiently discouraging of the Pugilists' violent behaviour towards foriegners.  This, they have taken as an indication that they can move without redress to remove all pernicious foreign influences form the Empire.

Where will it all lead?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

VICTORY!! Peace in our Time!

The news is spreading fast of the Great Victory of the Freedonian Army at the recent Battle of High Trees.

Following much aggressive posturing, the unspeakable Silvanians had advanced several miles into Freedonian Territory and were holding the village of High Trees. The Silvanians alleged they have some sort of spurious claim to this bit of the motherland, but this held no water with our gallent field commander General Cooper.
The Freedonian Field Army was supplemented by a regiment of infantry and a cavalry troop from the Grand Duchy of Glevum - a small but perfectly formed state that is well known for hiring out its troops to deserving causes.
Freedonian Command staff, itching to get at the enemy and agreeing on the direction of advance
Facing them, and lurking among the buildings and fields of High Trees village were the Silvanian Army composed of a regiment of infantry, a regiment of guards, and a regiment of mercenaries of dubious origin.
The Silvanian Guard Commander, lurks in typically underhand way in the village of High Trees - you can barely see his soldiers.

Masterfully positioning his headquarters on a rocky prominence overlooking the village, General Cooper swifty surveyed the situation and commanded the army to immediately advance to the attack.  Such bravery!  
General Cooper's Command Post - a Certain Distance from the Front line.
The Fredonian Army begins it implacable advance
The vanguard of the attack turned out to be the guard artillery battery - whose able commander eschewed conventional wisdom and drove his guns forward to better engage the enemy, outstripping the infantry.  Supporting on his left were some Glevum troops, including their cavalry troop.
The Silvanian Invaders.  You can tell by the cruel set of their mouths and the duelling scars.
The Silvanians, loth to come out of hiding and fight like men, stayed within the village and unlashed a constant barrage of shot from the artillery.  Their artillery commander - a glassy-eyed fanatic if ever there was one, fired continually without regard to range, accuracy or effectiveness - seeking, no doubt to intimidate the Freedonian Army through weight of fire alone.  No luck old chap.
Silvanian Artillery Commander unlashing unspeakable volumes of fire form his gun positions.
It was during this advance that the Silvanians lowered the tone still futher by committing an unspeakable atrocity by catapulting an innocent Nun (from the Chattering Order of St Agnes) over the rooftops of the building towards the Freedonian Army, coming to rest in the midst of the Artillery.  The troops recoiled in horror at this unspeakable act (though only to be expected from Silvanians), and ceased firing for a bit out of respect for the fallen Nun. 
The Cataputed Nun can be seen lying among the shocked arillery crew.  Is there no end to Silvanian Infamy!
The Freedonian Artillery commander looking on in Horror at the fallen Nun.
But atrocity and cruelty were not enough to stop the brave Freedonain forces.  The Cavalry on the left drove home their charge, despite being massively outnumbered, and taking high casualties from cannon fire to their front.  
The Glevum mercenary cavary come under a withering fire from the Silvanian Artillery
  The surviving soldier of this brave band of mercenaries charged into the Silvanian Infantry regiment deployed in open order in front of them and after a short melee forced them to run away (like little girls).  Had it not been for a lucky shot from the Silvanian guns, wiping out the surviving cavalry, the pursuit would almost certainly have led to a rout.
The bravery of the Cavalry - you can just see the Silvanians running away in the distance.

The cavalry assault was swiftly followed by an infantry assualt on the left by the Glevum mercenaries, who, despite taking huge casualties reached the battered Silvanians and engaged them in bitter hand to hand combat - only resolved by the intervention of the murerous Silvanian artillery who fired willy-nilly into the melee with a typical lack of concern for the risk to their own men! 

The trail of casualties left as the Glevum regiment assault the Silvanian Line.

The melee at it height - the Silvanians on the point of defeat.

As this was happening the Freedonian artillery was starting to play on the Silvanian positions and causing casualties.  We were also told that, thanks to the profligate firing by the Silvanian Artillery the enemy force was running low on ammunition.
The Grim-Faced Silvanian defenders desperately trying to make the last remaining shots count.
In the light of this General Von Cluck, the commander of the Silvanian force agreed to meet with General Cooper to discuss terms.  It was agreed that a 'peace line' be drawn through the village, and that the War would be brought to a close.  
Generals Cooper and Von Cluck negotiate the Deal on the field of battle.  Victory and Peace!
Hurrah!  Freedonia certainly taught the Silvanians a Lesson this time, and the battle was concluded with very few Freedonian casualties.

President Firefly said "I am delighted that this campaign has been completed with a Victory for Freedonia - especially with such a low expenditure of ammunition which we hadn't finished paying for yet".

It is hoped that a Grand Victory Parade will be held in the Capital shortly.  
Hail Hail to Freedona, Land of the Brave, and Free!