26 July 2009
If anyone wants to take the running with the murder of Paddy O'Gabhain in Saxe-Beerstein, please feel free.
07 June 2009
Things weren't going too well with his attempts to find more work for the regiments, but the strife around Europe would soon fix that. The 200 Liberties he expected to receive, for arranging the cantonment of a brigade on the Channel Isles, would fit nicely in his purse.
Tomorrow he would head for Hetzenburg and then on to Stollen. They certainly looked as if they may be interested in some extra troops and he thought he may have another task there. He also had to present the Grand Star to Prince Bishop Heinrich of Gruntshoffen. He had been informed by letter today that the order was already waiting, with a trusted agent, for his collection. There were also some other nations, too. Saxe-Huack was also worth a visit. Any nation that had recently expanded was likely to look for extra troops, so as to hold those new possessions.
The Roving Ambassador and Minister for War stiffened as the knife sliced into his back. Before he could do more, a second blow took all the energy from him. His legs buckled and he was dimly aware of being held up and then dragged.
"Footpads.." was his last thought.
The man who had murdered the minister released his hold and let the body slump to the ground.
"Hurry up!" his companion hissed.
The man felt through the minister's pockets, taking whatever letters he found and handing them to his companion.
"Take his money, too! It must look like a robbery, you idiot!" The woman's voice was unpleasant, made harsh by her desire to leave before they were seen lurking in the doorway, where they had dragged the body.
The man slit the coat lining and extracted a handful of gold and silver coins. His fingers then found a large, metal disc.
"The devil! What is this?" In the poor light he could see the disc was gold, if its weight did not already tell him that. On one side was a pattern of stars and on the other bird, not an eagle, and the figure "5".
"Give it here, you may keep the rest. But where is the letter?"
"It is not here. It was not in his rooms, either."
At that moment the sound of marching feet reached them.
"The watch! Drop the button, quickly! Come, leave him!"
The pair disappeared around the corner. Behind them, a minute later, the watch sergeant and four troops marched past the doorway, not even glancing to see the body laying in the shadow. Once they passed another figure moved slowly over and knelt. A hand felt the cooling neck and a stream of French profanities was hissed. The figure stood, looked around and stepped onto the road, before striding back towards the Golden Swan.
"So. What do you think, Johannes?"
"Stabbed twice, sir. The one to the kidney is the one that killed him."
"Are you sure he's that man from the south? The one who calls himself a minister?"
"Yes, sir. Ilse pointed him out last night."
"And he has been robbed?"
Lieutenant Gruenwalder was not surprised. The man obviously had plenty of money on his person. He liked to drink and made much of his own importance. And while murder and robbery weren't common in Fraudorf, a man showing that much money was taking a deadly risk.
"Sir, look at this. It's a button, looks like it came off a uniform."
The button was gilded, with a coat of arms on it. The Lieutenant didn't recognise the arms, which seemed to be some sort of tankard on a bordered shield.
"Watch Sergeant, you did well to send for us. Take the body up to the Golden Swan, please. The man may have left some money with Frau Keller, which will pay for his burial. Send my men back to me- tell them we ride for the capital. Someone there will know what this button is."
Once his men rejoined him, the Lieutenant was surprised to hear that the murdered man's rooms had been thoroughly ransacked. There were no papers to be found, just clothes, a large some of money (though made up of coins from several nations), a pistol and case and a seal, showing a strange bird backed by crossed swords.
"We ride, now!" The troop galloped off, first to report to their squadron commander and then perhaps to take the mysterious button to be identified.
The watch sergeant watched them ride away. Then his eye caught on a reflexion from under the door. He bent down and pulled a small, silver buckle from beneath the door.
"That's a lady's, Willie." one of his men said. The sergeant was pleased. The buckle could bring a few coins at the Old Bear and Hounds.
"OK. Let's get His Grace up to the Swan, boys, and then go for a small drink."
19 April 2009
"Send him in, please."
Antonio von Albanees strode in, clutching a number of documents.
"Kelvin, I have just received a letter from the Reich Duchy of Beerstein. And I would also like you to please sign these two bestowments, for the Order." Antonio seemed rather hurried, a very unusual state for him.
"What is in the letter?"
"The Reich Duke would like to hire our 4th Regiment of cavalry as part of an allied foreign legion he is attempting to raise."
"The 4th? Good, good! Do we have the ships to embark them? Could they catch our troop convoy if they left by Wednesday?" President Rapp was mentally rubbing his hands together, thinking of the income this would produce.
"Kelvin, you farewelled Colonel Finley and the regiment when it left for Darwin, three weeks ago. They're already on the convoy ships, heading for Europe. By now, with favourable winds, they may be putting in at The Cape!"
"Oh, even better! They will be there within a few months, then. Can we send a packet to the convoy, to redirect the regiment to the Duchy?"
"We can. The old pirate, El Trujillo, should be able to catch them. If he doesn't go chasing a few pennies on board another whaler. We really should do something about him, you know!"
"He doesn't attack our ships and has caused no little bother to others, especially the Mormoans, so we'll leave him for now. Get a message, and orders for Fisher's troops, to him, please"
"It's Finley. I will do as you ask. On the other matter..."
"Antonio, those badges cost 1,600 quid each. EACH! Not to mention the 500 acres everyone also gets, when we award one! We are not going to shower them on every head of state in the world, it would bankrupt us!"
"I know, but these two worthy individuals deserve recognition.
Furst Bruno von Ursa, Prince of Saxe-Bearstein, has done the world a great service with his diplomatic messaging service. It has greatly enabled communications between nations. And, to our benefit, has sparked more than one war.
Uber Gruntshuffen, whose current ruler is the Prince Bishop Heinrich XXXII von Wullfenbuttell, has supported the Republic since it began. While not one of the Great Powers, support from these nations has stopped the Republic withering on the vine.
I do urge you to support them. Besides, by raising the awareness of our nation, we also raise the awareness of our troops and their availability for hire. Think of it as some kind of an investment. A 'Future Fund', if you will!"
"Very well Antonio. Pass them here and I will sign." The president signed the Articles of Presentation with a flourish- and a barely suppressed sigh.
"Tell me, Antonio, how is our charming Ambassadress, these days. Quite the intelligent and pretty lady, isn't she?" President Rapp looked up, knowing he would see a little discomfort on Antonio's face. But he was shocked- Antonio was red-faced and trembling! And Antonio in a rage was dangerous.
"I'm so glad you took it 'pon yourself to deal with the lady. Having such an intelligent person necessarily given access to some of more sensitive, er..., governmental branches requires us to be particularly alert in our dealings with her. It would be a most onerous task, Antonio, and I am so glad you have proved equal to it."
"Thank you, Mr President. Now, with your permission, I shall take these Articles, decorations and your orders to Colonel Finley and have them dispatched, immediately. The two new members of the order will of course be considered as founding members, it being only your oversight that stopped them being included in the original bestowments! Good day, Sir!"
President Rapp watched him stalk out.
"That was a mistake!" he thought. Antonio controlled an important bloc in the Caucus. More importantly, he wasn't adverse to calling a man out, no matter what the man's station. He remembered two years ago, when Antonio had run the hapless Nickolai Vitlamovich through, after losing a substantial sum to one of the insurance schemes the man had perpetrated on several leading citizens. Vitlamovich was a leading citizen and son of a former President and member of The Party. That was bad enough, but the way Antonio had twisted his blade as he'd withdrawn it....
Rapp shuddered. He'd not bait his Minister again.
Major Rashid looked at the young officer. He was well turned out, for a militiaman. And had a look of competence. But the Major was more interested in the trackers. They would be invaluable once his squadron of the 2nd Horse stepped up to a proper patrol programme. Leaving O'Connel for this hot, dusty backwater hadn't been popular with the other officers. Nor the men, for that matter. But with both Kingdomer incursions, an occasional brush with the French colonist escorts and a few die-hards from the militia out bushranging, the men wouldn't be bored.
Not to mention all the activity in the new Kingdomer fort opposite Alburburg. What were they up to?
"Yes, Sir. This is Old Billy, our tracker Captain, Dirrigul, Durrigul and Moses. They've been leading parties on the Kingdomer side of the river, trying to find out what all the fuss over there is about."
"And have you found anything, Captain?"
Billy blinked. The Major was talking to him, and calling him Captain!
"Nothin' much we can see, Sir. Them Gunnigong fellas, and them other brown blokes wit' all them feathers, they not likin' us goin' across there, Sir. We had a few times got to run or fight and you said we not to fight them. But Dirrigul he had to fight and we kill two of them brown fellas. An' he got close enough to see them, Sir."
Major Rashid knew that the "brown fellas" were the North American natives the Kingdomers had brought with them. Doughty fighters and trackers, they still seemed a little confused by the change from their homeland to New Holland.
"What did you see, Dirrigul?"
"It a big blue tent, boss, an' they tryin' to start a fire in it! An' it gets big and big, then it catches the fire, boss, and they all run around and try to put it out. Then one of them fellas in the red coats comes runnin' up and starts yellin' and wavin' his arms. That's all we saw when the currawongs come an' nearly get us, boss. But we see them and run off. They chase us, but Wombat an me, we get two of them wit' a spears and we got away, boss!"
"Bown fellas, Sir. We calls them currawongs 'cause they put them feathers in their hair."
"Ah, I see. Very good work, Dirragul. Lt Rien?"
"Good work, but I want you to stop. I can't say why, but all cross border activity is to stop.
However, as of now any Kingdomer found on our side of the border, away from the towns and settlements, is to be taken, preferably alive, and brought to me. And as of today any 'bushranger' who is taken, wearing any part of Republic uniform, will win a reward of 10 Liberties for the troop which catches him.
And your old friend, Lieutenant Gris, I mean former lieutenant, will bring 50 Liberties for the lucky men who bring me his body."
The tight look on the young officer's face showed he knew that his old friend had just been sentenced to death. His trackers would soon spread the word about the reward. And this cavalry major knew it.
"Understood, Sir! Is there anything else?"
"No, Lieutenant. You may.... Wait, I nearly forgot. We can't have a mere lieutenant giving orders to a captain, can we? Even a tracker captain. You are promoted, Captain Rien, and you have been placed on the Reserve Officers List. So you will now be paid as a regular soldier, sir, and are reserve posted to the 3rd Foot.
Rien stood there, not knowing what to say.
"Thank you, Sir."
"Captain, RSM O'Driscoll was very, very impressed with your work. And your regiment is raising two new companies, from the last batch of French colonists. That's why you were promoted. Not for any other reason.
And if I had a friend who needed a , ah..., holiday, I'd tell him that the northern borders are far more relaxed than this one." Rashid hoped the young officer was listening.
"Thank you, Sir."
Rien and his trackers left. Rashid watched the door close. "Sergeant-Major!" he called.
"Bring in Troopers Shultze and Jenkins and three escorts. I'm in the mood to deal with those two now!"
09 April 2009
"Thank you for your silence, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my great honour to announce the founding of the Order of the Republic of Neues Sudland. This great chivalric order will have, as its members, only those heads of state who have proven themselves to be friends and allies of our great republic. Those who have contributed to the growth of this new nation. As you can see, the Grand Star of the Order is now on display at the other end of the hall. Those who wish to view it should pass between the red cords, in an orderly fashion. And please, if your are wondering, the guards do have their muskets loaded and have orders to use them, should anyone think of picking up the Grand Star for closer examination.
Appropriately, in honour of this momentous occasion, the first of member of the Order, and the first recipient of the Grand Star, will be King Phillip of the Holy Mormoan Kingdom of New Wales. It is hoped that this award does bring our two countries closer in friendship.
The Articles of Presentation read:
His Royal Highness, King Philip of the Holy Mormoan Kingdom of New Wales.
It is the wish of the people and government of the Republic of Neues Sudland that you be made a Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic of Neues Sudland for your friendship and assistance to the people of the Republic. The Grand Star of the Order is awarded you, so that you may have tangible evidence of the high regard in which the people and government of the Republic hold yourself and your nation.
It is also our great honour to award you a small residence, situated on 500 acres of parkland near the Port of Darwin, that will be available for your use, should you ever wish to visit the Republc.
President of the Republic"
He paused to draw breath.
"The other recipients of this honour, and founding members of the Order, are-
Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II of the Grand Duchy of Stollen
Grand Duke Karl of the Grand Duchy of Hetzenburg
Reich Duke Wilhelm of the Duchy of Beerstein,
Louys, Comte de Montecristo,
Freiherr David von Linienblatt of the Freistadt of Tippelbruder,
Mr William Pitt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. "
All these worthies will receive an official residence in the Park of the Grand Order, which will be situated to the east of Port Darwin. It is also our pleasure to offer those nations in Europe who are currently at war the use of any single regiment of our army for the nominal sum of one Maria Theresa Thaler. They will also, of course, have to pay the wages and the provisioning of the troops."
Antonio sat rubbing his temples. "IDIOT, IDIOT, IDIOT!" he thought. "He's forgotten their honorifics, hasn't mentioned why they got the awards and mixed up their order of seniority. Doesn't he read briefing notes?"
The crowd filed past the watching guards, making startled comments about the size and apparent expense of the decoration. Lady Amanda, Ambassador to the Republic, beamed as she was presented with the Article of Presentation and the Grand Star.
"Bloody hell, it's heavy enough to put someone's back out! Who designed this?" she thought to herself.
In a far corner, a clinking bag found its way into the pocket of The Minister for Arts. This jewellery design lark may prove to be profitable.
08 April 2009
I've been on the road a fair bit lately. Which I blame for any over-silliness in this post.
Grand Star of the Oder of the Republic of Neues Sudland
"It's hideous! Garrotte, you fool, we wanted something dignified, resplendent and evocative of the riches of this great nation! Not a gaudy, oversized piece of costume jewellery that even the girls at Uncle Ho's would be ashamed to wear!"
In his hand President Rapp held the new decoration of the Order of The Republic. It weighed half a pound and was liberally sprinkled with diamonds, sapphires and, at first glance, dandruff.
"Jeez, Kel, I kind of like it." Juliette Buzzards eyes were firmly fixed on the glittering bauble. "Look at it sparkle!"
"Monsieur President, I assure you that this design is neither gaudy nor costume jewellery! It is based on an order granted by ze Sultan Turkique to ze grandfather of Moe Ahmoud, ze gems are real and so is ze gold! It cost 1,600 Liberties to make and will make ze crown-ed 'eads of Europe swoon!" Pierre Garrotte was determined to defend the first artistic thing he'd done in three decades.
"Don't give me that accent, Garrotte. You were born just up the road from me.... SIXTEEN HUNDRED QUID??!! Are you MAD? Do you know how many votes we could buy with that?" Rapps' face had gone an interesting puce colour as understanding of the cost of the star finally dawned.
"You wanted big, you wanted gaudy and you wanted gold, diamonds and bloody expense, cobber! Well, yer bloody well got all of 'em! And my accent ain't.. iz not fake!"
"Kel, settle down, mate." Unusually Red Ned was playing peace maker. "Look, most of them inbred royal types haven't got the taste yer underwear gets after a month of hard riding, do they? All they'll see is expense, lots of expense. An' it's a big bludger, too. They're like magpies, mate- they'll love it. And we'll get a few orders for the regiments because they're too busy lookin' at the sparkles to worry about what the regiments cost."
"Besides, if we throw in 500 acres from that back 10 thou' near Darwin, they'll be in heaven, Kel. And really, it is pretty...." Juliette looked mesmerised by the decoration.
"Well, it's too late now! We'll give the first one to King Philip. We can present it to his ambassador tomorrow, when she presents her credentials. But who else? And let's keep the list short!"
"One to the Poms, mate, for letting us house the troops on that island." put in Stefan Smith, who had been woken by the President's shouting. "An' we owe one to that Beer Duchy bloke too, for the one he sent you, mate."
"And the Hetzenburgers, Kel. Apparently they're about to commission a woman! In the Artillery! That's unheard of in the Olde World. And don't forget Whatsisname from Montecristo, too. Those dresses he sent me, when we won government, were rooly nice. And I love his flag!"
"That's the bloke. Rooly nice."
"What about that bloke who came here and set up the government tailors? You know- he runs a Duchy in his spare time, when he ain't designing jocks and socks. Darrel, I think it was?" Larry Fergusonsson was still breathing. And still in the cabinet.
"You mean Freiherr David von Linienblatt, Larry? Of Tippelbruder?" Antonio von Albanees knew that Larry was putting it on, trying to upset him. These cretins, and that abhorrent decoration, were bringing on another migraine. "Without his advice our army would be wearing rags. If they were lucky. You remember, the rags your family used to make?"
"ENOUGH!! Very well, that will be enough!" Rapp was hoping Fergusonsson would actually be silly enough to attack Antonio, but was disappointed. Ever since he dealt with those three footpads ("Or is it feetpad?" wondered the President) when leaving Madame Celeste's House of Divine Discomfort, nobody fancied taking on Antonio. It could be a terminal error.
"Antonio, please draw up suitable Articles of Presentation for the British Prime Minister, Monte Christo, Beerstein, Hetzenburg and Tippelbruder. And of course, our good neighbour, King Philip. Stefan, you can do up the titles to their house blocks."
"Now. we have to finish preparations to receive the Ambassador from the Holy Kingdom. If there's nothing else?"
The members of the cabinet filed out.
On queue the battery of guns started their 19 gun salute, the company of the Rostov Militia forming the Guard presented arms and, after three hours of waffle, the President's speech finally ended. Lady Amanda Hugankiss, Ambassador to The Republic of Neues Sudland from The Holy Mormoan Kingdom of New Wales, gracefully rose to give her reply.
"Hurley burley, what a girlie!" muttered Stefan Smith, who had been woken by the guns.
"Mate, there's hour glasses that she makes look shapeless! Gawd, she's gorgeous! An' she owns a brewery!"
Lady Amanda was indeed a most attractive and well proportioned woman. Her hair was shining like silk, she had poise and grace and, when she started to speak, her voice was melodious and yet carried across podium.
Antonio von Albanees sat there, totally transfixed. There was nothing he would not do for this elegant, well cultured and lovely woman. Nothing! "I wonder if she likes to spank?" flitted through his mind.
"I'm glad they met the end they deserved, Mr President. I also believe the fact that the Dragon d'Cooma have embarked for Europe will also hep keep matters calm, don't you think?"
Rapp had been waiting for this.
"Indeed, Madame. And your aeronautical device should be able to confirm that they have been replaced by the 2nd Horse, who have now stationed a squadron at Alburburg, specifically so as to make sure that similar criminal acts do not occur again."
Lady Amanda was puzzled. What was an "aeronautical device"? And he didn't seem bothered at all that she knew of the troops heading to Europe. Why?
The guests mingled, barbed compliments were exchanged and the Reception Ball tottered through the night. Few foreign dignitaries ever bothered to make the trip to New Holland. Far fewer bothered to make the trek to Ekaterinsberg. So all the capital's privileged and "respectable" people had used whatever dirty tricks, threats and bribes they could to secure an invitation to the first ever Reception Ball.
The bright and blessed enjoyed the night. The food and drink were both very good and free. Liveried staff wandered through the crowds, keeping glasses full and, more importantly, listening in to what conversations they could. In the ceiling, eyes watched and noted who spoke to whom from the spy holes placed among the ornately painted mouldings. And in corners deals, of both business and personal natures, were struck.
But nobody noticed Antonio, sitting quietly at the head table. His eyes never left the new ambassador. And his jaw clenched every time someone acted in a manner he thought was too familiar. Which was most of the time.
"All our men are accounted for, Sir. There's no more deserted, so we only lost the 53. The battalion guns are aboard and tied down, too." RSM Wendt was his usual, unflappable self.
"Well done, Lofty. We should be able to make up numbers at The Cape or when we get to Guernsey. I hope I can get a decent couple of horses there."
"You should be able to, Sir. I see Commodore Wong is ready. Will that thing keep up?"
"He says so. It looks like a pearling junk, but apparently it's as fast as these hulks the government is putting us on. And his little surprises on the gun deck will give anyone who tries to interfere with us a nasty belly ache. Let's go aboard!"
04 March 2009
28 February 2009
21 February 2009
19 February 2009
A small sample of government-supported militia units is shown. There are many strange and colourful uniforms, usually the more outrageous the design of the uniform is, the less likely it is that the government supports the unit. All belts are (generally) natural leather.
Officers, NCO's and musicians are habitually dressed in reversed colours, following early Austrian practice. Officers are not permitted to wear the gold and blue silk sashes used by the regular units, but must wear a yellow and green woollen sash. NCO's may be distinguished by button-coloured lace around their collars, but generally the reverse-coloured uniform is their only distinction. Mounted officers are supposed to use plain blue shabracques edged yellow, but the practice of using facing coloured shabracques with button-coloured edging is entrenched. Harnessing may be black, brown or buff leather.
Cavalry units wear similar uniforms, albeit with cavalry boots rather than infantry shoes, and plain coloured shabraques (usually grey or a shade of blue). Few number more than a troop, though the Dragons d'Cooma, who well remember the massacre at Beaver Ridge, muster a full regiment of three squadrons that regularly patrol the southern border with the Holy Kingdom. It is even rumoured that the troops may raid isolated farmsteads across that border, but no substantive evidence has been produced.
The militia units, in theory, carry a plain blue flag with a white, seven-pointed star in the centre. However variations based on the arms (granted or invented) of the unit's colonel or portraying the members' origins are also frequently seen.
Cheap black cloth with mid green facings, grey small clothes, yellow metal buttons and undecorated hat. Two companies.
Formed from loyal Arunta natives and loyalist Dutch, this unit was raised to garrison the Arakun after the uprising of 1733. Trained to fire their muskets, the troops usually prefer to fire one volley and then use their bayonets. Although the use of native troops and bayonets, which invariably produce fatal wounds, originally caused much consternation among the Malay, Dutch and Scots rebels and citizens alike, their disipline and ability to track and apprehend criminals has seen them become not just accepted, but welcomed in the Arakun settlements. The unit's Sergeant-Major, Wonneputchal, is the first native soldier to reach this rank.
Grey cloth with mid blue facings, grey small clothes, yellow metal buttons and undecorated hat. Five companies.
Raised in 1699 as prison guards for the penal colony at Port Verdigris (now Port McQuarie), the five companies are usually deployed as two half battalions, to combat raids by natives, or by companies in support of the Dragon d'Cooma on border patrols. The original members came from the survivors of the Freedom War of 1707, who volunteered to serve on the border after the Battle of Beaver Ridge. Based at Cooma (1st and 3rd companies), Thredbo (2nd company) and Yass (4th and 5th companies). Have seen service in the Eastern Marches and Marches Borders. The 5th company claim to have captured a flag from Holy Kingdom raiders at Begaville, but the flag displayed at the unit barracks bears no resemblance to known Holy Kingdom flag designs.
18 February 2009
Grey cloth with burnt orange facings, grey small clothes, white metal buttons and undecorated hat. Four companies.
Raised in 1721 by an English captain of the 67th Foot, who had taken retirement to the Eastern Marches while it was still a French colony and who had established a small settlement at the Port that now bears that name. This unit provides militia protection for the northern areas of the Eastern Marches. Companies are stationed at O'Connell, Linlithgow, Port McQuarie and the western districts of O'Donnell. Has seen service in the Eastern Marches, on the Marches Borders and was part of General McLaughlin's abortive plan to attack the Western Districts of the Holy Mormoan Kingdom, for which he was cashiered.
Red cloth with mid green facings, white turnbacks, yellow metal buttons, buff small clothes and undecorated hat. One company.
Mainly used as mine guards and a police force, this unit also saw service in the Arunta Uprising, where it was praised for the excellence of its drill and courage when the government encampment was attacked.
Dark green cloth with scarlet facings, yellow metal buttons, dark straw small clothes, yellow hat lace and red bow. Two companies.
One of the oldest militia units, formed from discharged members of the original Russian garrison, this unit proudly maintains its Russian traditions in dress, drill and the language in which orders are given. Officers are disinguished by their unique use of gorgets. Has seen service in the Dead Heart.
17 February 2009
Nova Wien Dragoons
14 February 2009
Artillery. The Republic's artillery arm consists mainly of 3lb Austrian pieces used as battalion guns. The republic also has two batteries of 6lb guns for field artillery and a battery of eight French 12lb guns, captured at Port McQuarie.
When the Republic first took independence, it had no artillery arm. Nor was it considered that one was needed. Most fighting was little more than skirmishes, small affairs that would hardly be mentioned in the reports of a European General. The other consideration was that the most likely enemies were also deficient in this arm. Indeed, the three small cannon captured by the Republic when they freed the Eastern Marches from French dominance were dismounted and the barrels used to make a tasteless (and rather confusing) monument to the Battle of Bulli, which is mounted against the east wall of the Garrison Yards in O'Donnell. The French 12lb guns captured at Port McQuarie were placed in depot at that place, where a lack of attention soon saw the carriages in a poor state.
However, failure to procure contracts in Europe, because the infantry lacked battalion guns, led to the purchase of 26 Austrian 3lb cannon in 1723. As well as the guns, a number of officers and artillerists were recruited from France and Austria. Two guns were assigned to each regiment and volunteers from the ranks were trained in their use. The remaining six guns were used to form a Battery of Support and Training, which is based at Rostov.
Experience in Europe led to the purchase of 14 Austrian 6lb cannon in 1733. These were used to form two batteries, each of six guns, with the remaining two guns assigned to the Battery of Support and Training. One battery is garrisoned at Darwin and the second is garrisoned at O'Connell. Neither battery has seen active service.
At the same time the carriages of the 12lb guns, stored at Port McQuarie, were repaired and the guns used to form a battery. This battery is deployed to defend the harbour at O'Donnell, with a section each properly emplaced on North Head and South Head. They have been used to fire upon an unidentified vessel of Chinese appearance, which turned away, and what is believed to be a frigate of either British or Holy Kingdom service, though both nations deny they have sent ships into Republic waters.
Attempts to forge cannon and howitzers have not proven successful. However, attempts will continue once a new master forger can be recruited. The practice of having the master forger test fire the newly cast pieces, to prove they are safe and may be used, is also under review.
The artillery uniform is a dark blue-grey with black facings, yellow buttons and dark straw small clothes. All belts and leather work are polished brown leather. Officers have gold laced hats and edging to their coat fronts and wear a gold and blue sash around the waist but inside the coat, NCO's are distinguished by gold lace around the collar. The guns are whitewashed wood with polished bronze barrels. Other metal work is painted a dull madder red. Battery drivers are dressed like the men. Their horse furniture is a plain blue shabracque and polished black leather tack.
Sappers: Commanded by infantry officers who have studied the principles of engineering, and who wear their regimental uniforms ("real" engineers being needed for the RNS mines) while attached to the sapper companies, the sappers are used for all the usual engineering duties. Different companies specialised in mining, sapping or constructing defences, but these troops are few and therefore expected to whatever duties are necessary. There are six companies of sappers, garrisoned at Rostov, Kunnanurra, The Springs, O'Connell, Port McQuarie and Tindal.
The sapper uniform is a undyed "black" wool with scarlet facings, yellow buttons and dark straw small clothes. Their head dress is a simple undyed woolen "beanie" and belts are natural leather. The cartridge boxes are worn on the left front, on the waist belt, and are undecorated black leather. Sappers are armed with infantry muskets, sabres and axes.
Trains. The trains, magazines, armouries and depots required by the army are still made up of contracted civilian personnel. While a military train and magazine corps was established (Army Train and Depot Battalion and Naval Chandlers Office) in 1739, claims by various business concerns that they could do the job more efficiently and for less cost led the then Minister of War, Peter Wreath, to disband the organisation and resume the use of a contractor for logistics support. Shortly after the decision was made the Minister resigned from Parliament and took up the position of the director of the company that won the contract.
In the 10 years this state of affairs has existed the contract costs have increased markedly. The contract now costs far more than the upkeep of the Army Train and Depot Battalion and Naval Chandlers Office ever did. Logistics support for the garrisons, regiments and the Navy is so poor that many regiments hire their own trains when away from garrison and when on campaign. Peter Wreath has been challenged to duels by irate officers several times over this matter. However the former Minister (and now very wealthy citizen) is prevented from defending his honour by chronic gout and dyspepsia, reportedly much to his dismay.
12 February 2009
08 February 2009
The troopers wear straw-coloured cloth breeches and white lace on their hats (regardless of button colour). The officers wear facing-coloured heavy cloth breeches, a gold and blue sash around the waist, but inside the coat, and metallic lace, matching the button colour, on their hats. NCO's have button-coloured metallic lace on their hats and around their cuffs.
All regiments' shabraques are made in the national colours of blue and golden yellow. Officers' shabraques have gold lace and a silver, seven-pointed star in the corners and on the pistol housings. Hussar officers have the star on their shabraques and sabretache, troopers' sabretaches being undecorated. All harnessing is black.
Musicians are in reversed colours, except where noted. Belts are whitened leather, edged in the facing colour for the 1st Regiment of Horse and in vermillion for the 2nd Regiment of Horse. The cavalry swords are based on the Austrian models for both the heavy cavalry and the hussars. Each trooper also carries a brace of pistols and musketoon (Regiments of Dragoons) or carbine (Regiment of Hussars).
The Parliamentary flags are deep blue with a gold, seven-pointed star in the centre. The fringing is in the button colour and the regiment's number is embroidered in the upper left canton in gold or silver thread, as appropriate. They are shown as the top flag on each cavalry plate.
The squadron flags have the field matching the regimental facings and the fringe and star matches the button colours. The exception is 1st Horse, whose squadron standards are white. The squadron flags are shown as the bottom flag of each cavalry plate.
The flag lances are in the regiment's facing colours.
White coat, sulphur yellow facings and lace, white shoulder strap, blackened cuirass (officers' with a gold parliamentary star at the top centre) with sulphur yellow trim, red leather cuirass straps (officers with gold plates), yellow metal buttons.
Raised on 15 March 1704, from horsemen recruited in Poland, Russia and the Baltic Provinces. Service in the Arakun, Kimberlies, the Dead Heart, Poland (in Russian pay) and van Demon's Land, where the regiment was sorely hurt by a volly fired by the 8th Regiment of Foot. Brigaded with the 3rd Dragoons. Garrisoned at O'Donnell and Yass (2nd Squadron).
White coat, black facings, lace and shoulder strap, blackened cuirass (officers' with a silver parliamentary star at the top centre) with white trim, black leather cuirass straps (officers with silver plates), white metal buttons. Musicians wear red coats with black facings and six white inverted chevrons on the sleeves.
Dark green coat, scarlet facings, light green shoulder strap, yellow metal buttons.