28 February 2009

Patrolling on the River Maurier
Lt Rien was watching the wagon train with a puzzled look on his face. Spotted by Dirrigul and Old Billy three days ago, his peleton from the 4th Company had shadowed the train from the Republic side of the great river, which divided the Republic from the Holy Mormoan Kingdom.
The train was obviously heading for Wodongatown and, at first glance, looked like yet more settlers for the Kingdom town that was building opposite Alburburg. But something wasn't quite right. There was the usual escort, this one looking like a company from the 4th Foot, by the red coats and black facings. And there were a few mounted men, probably from the 1st Dragoons, though they were in shirtsleeves in this heat and it was hard to be sure. There were also a few trackers and scouts with them, but all they could tell was that they were from the Gunnigong tribe, which lived around The Lakes to the east. They were far from their usual haunts.
There were also what appeared to be settlers- young men and women. But there were few children to be seen. It just didn't look like a normal settlers' train. It was too well run, too organised and, to be honest, too "military". And most settlers approached up the Broadford road, not from the east.
Lt Gris eased down beside him, opening his usual refrain-
"Geoffery, I still think we should take a few of those settlers and have a quick chat with them."
"You know our orders, Jean-Louis. There was all hell to pay last week, when word came from Katburg about you and your dragoons raiding that sqatter's place two months ago. We've been warned off. The Parliament wants things to stay quiet on our borders, so they can rent more regiments to the warring Europeans. So we watch, we don't raid. And we hope they cross the border so we can do something."
"Merde! Rapp and his ministers didn't see what those Kingdomers did at Beaver Ridge! There is still blood to pay for that!"
"Yes. And if you cross the river again your regiment and mine will be disbanded- and all of us will be 'resettled' in the Kimberlies or Dead Heart. Are you willing to risk that?"
Jean-Lois' stream of profanity in reply was quite impressive. "He's been drinking with those bullock drivers from Begaville again." Geoffery thought.
"Old Billy, can you get Sammy and Wombat over there again, tonight? But this time I want you closer, to try to hear what they say."
His scout scratched his head, not looking happy. "Those Gunnigong fellas they got wid 'em are good, boss. They know we watchin', they know we try to get close. We get too close, we fight. And you say don't fight."
Old Billy was right, of course. But Geoffery needed to know what these people were doing. Katburg's grand plans to rent the regiments were fine, if you were counting money and ignoring the rest of the world. But the Kingdomers were smart. They knew what was going on. And if the army in the Marches was reduced too much, he was sure the Kingdomers would raise their colours and swarm across the border.
"Sir, may I suggest we just watch for the present. If that's just settlers I'll eat my dress wig. But we have our orders, sir."
RSM O'Driscoll was right. He was also annoyingly polite, never forgetting the young officer outranked him. But his suggestions were as good as orders. That's why the Freikorps was saddled with these "attachments" from the 4th Foot. Not because the Regulars needed experience in la petite guerre, because it was blindingly obvious they did not, but to keep the leash tight and the militias on the Republic side of the river.
"Of course, RSM. We will do just that."
Lt Rien pulled back into the trees and gave his orders. They'd keep shadowing the damned convoy and try to learn what it was doing. But he also sent Durrigul and three of the scouts up the river, to cross over and head towards the coast. Perhaps they could find something out by scouting The Lakes. Whatever that convoy was, it was not settlers.

21 February 2009

A Diplomatic Quandary....
Parliament House, Ekaterinsburg:
Larry Fergusonsson, Special Minister for State, strides into President Rapp's office-
"Oi, KRappy, there's some bloke from the Duchy of Beerstein with a prezzie for ya."
Looking a little drawn after having attended the funerals of two public servants, whom he'd had executed for leaking information to the press, Kelvin Rapp snapped.
" Lawrence, I've told you before not to call me KRappy! You address me as President Rapp!".
"Yer can stick that where the sun don't shine, mate. Quite the little mandarin now, aren't ya?"
"Mandarin? Do you mean the fruit?"
"Don't be a smart alec, KRappy, I mean the Chinese kings or whatever they are. Startin' to fancy yerself as a bit of a monarchy now days, aren't ya?"
"Fergusonsson, don't call me Krappy! And I'm sick of your jokes. 'Duchy of Beer Stein' indeed! Do you think I was washed out of the midden in the last shower?!"
"Don't think you got washed out at all, mate. I think you had to be dragged out, with all the other sh...."
"ENOUGH! What are you going on about?"
"I told youse- there's some cove from the Duchy cons-yulate here with some sort of prezzie for ya. Yer deaf or somethin' "?
"For God's sake..!"
"Got religion too, now? Yeah, yer turning into a right little mandarin, aren't ya? The Caucus, mate, will have something to say.."
"SHUT UP! Just show the bugg... I mean please ask his excellency to come in."
"Just remember, KRappy, the Eastern Marches righties won't always control the nominations, mate. And then yer for the chop. Yeah, yeah, keep yer jocks on, I'll go grab the bludger for you now!"
President Rapp composed himself. The thought that the incriminating evidence being placed in Fergusonsson's home would soon rid him of another dolt lightened his mood considerably. Fergusonsson's brother would object, especially about the execution no doubt. But with a seat in the ministry suddenly vacated, he could be bought off.
"President KRapp, may I present the consul from the Reich Duchy of Beerstein, Leftenent Kern'l Johannes Tooheys?"
"YOU PIECE OF.... My apologies....Who? KEG?!! What are you doing here!"
"G'day, Kel. Mate, me olds were from Beerstein, see, and Dad's uncle sort of set this up for me. 6 quid a month for expenses, a real Duchy seal, enough sealing wax to block an elephant's ears (so's I can post me letters for free, see?) and a pension when I retire, though not as good as the ones youse blokes get. So I'm the consul for the Reich Duchy of Beerstein, mate, when I'm not busy at the Blood and Bucket. One day I hope to be an ambassy-door."
"Ambassador? Very well, so you're not only the publican of the most violent hotel in the city, you're also the consul of Beerstein? How ironically appropriate! Very well, Consul Tooheys, what can I do for your grand nation today?"
"What? Knock it off, Kel! Yer sound like one of them uppitty Pommy blokes at the Hound and Whistle. Here, they sent yer a gong, mate. Dunno why. It's real silver, too. I had Blue up at the assay office file a bit off, to check it."
"You what? (sigh). Thank you, Consul Tooheys. It is my sincerest hope that the award of this most prestigous.."
"Gawd! Knock it off, Kel! I ain't got all day to listen to you rabbitin' on! This job's gone straight to yer 'ead, hasn't it? I'll show meself out, mate".
President Rapp stood looking at the Star of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Tankard. Why Bluey Singh had decided to file the top point of the star, rather than a piece at the back where it wouldn't show, was beyond him. These cretins! The question now was how to respond?
"Yes, Mr President?" Chen Chiqui, his personal executive assistant (Rapp was proud of that job description- he'd thought of it himself), poked his head around the door.
"Please ask the Vice President, Assistant Minister Assisting the Minister for External Affairs, the Minister for Ceremonial Observances and the Parliamentary Secretary for Parliamentary Duties to come to my office, please."
2 hours later.....
"...and what's more..."
"Put a sock in it, Kel!" The Assistant Minister Assisting the Minister for External Affairs, Edward (Red Ned) Creene, had had enough of the tirade.
"Who needs gongs any way. Bloody monarchist stuff, gongs are. If the blokes do..."
"Or shielas!" Juliette Buzzard, Vice President and Minister for Women's Business, wasn't going to let that slip.
"Alright, blokes or shielas do something good then we give 'em a bit of land, pat 'em on the back and hope they'll starve before they tell anyone what a useless piece of land it is that we gave 'em. It's one good idea the Conservatives had! Some of 'em have actually turned their places around and made a good go of bein' cockies, too, so we get their taxes. Those that don't usually end up back in uniform, so we don't even starve that many."
"So no, we haven't got gongs and I reckon we don't need 'em! Monarchist s**t, gongs!" Red Ned folded his arms and sat back, glaring at his president.
"The point is, though, that when one receives one of these honours from another nation, one is supposed to reciprocate. Not to reciprocate is considered a grave insult. Worse, with the current unrest in Europe we have excellent opportunites to again rent out the regiments. Such an insult may damage those prospects!" Antonio von Albanees, Minister for Ceremonial Observances, tried to make his comrades understand the ramifications.
"Exactly! We can't ignore this!"
"Well, instead of a gong you could send him the title to that dodgy bit of land that Snowy Kimberley has been trying to flog off. 20 thousand acres isn't much, especially out there, but it's not as if this Duke bloke is going to come and have a look, is it? Besides, if we take it off his hands then Snowy might be a bit more generous with his donations at the next election." Juliette eyed her fellow Cabinet Members hopefully.
"Inappropriate, I'm afraid. It will have to be the star of a Commander of an Order. And we don't have one. An order that is. For diplomatic purposes, and to get the Council of Generals on our side before the next election, I suggest we should establish an Order."
"And I reckon we'll look like flamin' monarchists if we do! Next thing yer know we'll be up to our eyeballs in Dukes and Barons and that lot!"
"Ned, you thought that Coronet Lager should be banned as being Monarchist! And old Tom Coronet didn't give a cent to us after you made the pubs stop buying it by threatening them with new laws, if we won the election. Then there was all the fuss from the Republican Society of Birdwatchers when you renamed that cockatoo!"
"It was a parrot. And you can't have a King Parrot in a republic!"
"And it was sexist! Where were the Queen Parrots?"
"But this is about money! If we don't have customers for the regiments, we'll have to start standing troops down! Do you want a repeat of the '28 Rebellion or the Arakun again? Not to mention the loss of money to fund our election campaign! Without that money, how will we tell the citizens of all the work we've done? Leaflets and posters don't grow on trees!
NO! We need an Order and a Star. Even if we do restrict it to foreign rulers!"
"Enough! We need an Order that represents this great country. Antonio, be so kind as to get the Minister for the Arts to design something suitable. " President Rapp took control of the meeting, before it could degenerate further. He'd have to talk to his "helper" about planting some more evidence, soon.
"Minister for the Arts! Pierre Garrotte! You know, the minstral fellow that we put into Rostov, to get the middle aged, middle class voters to change their vote."
"Oh, him? Are you sure? It's likely to look like a whale rogering a gum tree, if he designs it!"
"Keep an eye on him and make sure it's not too outrageous. Use plenty of diamonds, too. And gold, of course. That will get Billington and Kimberley on side. " The President eyed his recalcitrant ministers.
"All agreed? Good. Let's get moving on this one. The ball's in our court and we can't afford to waste the possibilities of taking advantage of the synergies this could produce!"
"What the...?"
"I beg your pardon?"
His ministers had that look again, the one he hated, that said they had doubts about his leadership! Well, they'd soon understand why he was their leader.
"Just do it! And wake up Smith and take him with you!"
As the bewildered ministers left his office, Juliette heard Red Ned mutter to himself
"Fergo was right about this bloke!"

19 February 2009

The Militia

Although intended as both an emergency military force and regional police force, many militia units are considered to be a little worse than bandits (it being considered that bandits are more competent at the criminal professions). They are usually entitled "Freikorps", in imitation of German practice, though there are some regiments of "Fencibles" and "Yeomen".

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.

Freikorps Arakun

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.
Freikorps du Jour

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

Freikorps McQuarie

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.

Kimberly Yeomen

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.

Rostov Militia

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.

Tenant Creek Watch

Black broadcloth with scarlet facings, grey small clothes, yellow metal buttons and undecorated hat. One platoon.
Formed from Jacobite sympathisers transported from Scotland and northern England, the Watch is mainly used as a police force.

17 February 2009

Dragons d'Cooma

Red cloth with white facings and black lace buttonhole loops, white turnbacks, white metal buttons, red waistcoat edged black, straw breeches and French style dragoon stocking cap with red base, white stocking and black decoration. White belts. Black shabraque edged white with black harnessing. Regiment of 3 squadrons, armed as dragoons.
Raised from the French citizens who did not join the ill fated exodus of settlers into Holy Kingdom lands after the Eastern Marches joined the Republic. The fate of their fellow countrymen inflamed those who stayed behind and the first two troops were formed and offered for militia service only two weeks after the Battle of Beaver Ridge. Since then recruiting parties have met every shipload of French settlers and their somewhat embroidered story has seen the regiment grow steadily. The regiment has seen service on the Marches Borders, western Germany and, unusually, in the Americas, where the 1st Squadron has been employed against natives and foreign colonies. This unit is considered to be as good as any of the regular units and has been hired out to several countries.

Ludmilla Cavalry

Grey cloth with dark blue facings and waistcoat, grey breeches, white metal buttons and undecorated hat. Polished brown belts. Plain brown shabracque with black harnessing. One squadron, armed as dragoons.
Raised from the wealthier Russian- and Dutch-descended families living to the east of Darwin, the regiment is mainly employed in policing duties. During the Darwin Rebellions the regiment distinguished itself by garrisoning the government buildings and holding the rioters at bay.

Nova Wien Dragoons

White cloth with mid blue facings, yellow metal buttons, red-edged-white waistcoat, straw-yellow leather breeches and and undecorated hat. Polished brown belts (officers' white). Dark blue shabracque with black harnessing. Two troops, armed as dragoons.
One of the earliest militia units raised, this unit started life as hired guards for the more affluent area of Ekaterinsburg. Before the formation of the 4th Dragoons it was considered an excellent choice for young men of means who wished to pursue a (part time) military career. It still draws recruits from the best families, but has recently relaxed requirements to admit the sons of wealthier tradespeople and "notable citizens". The imperial eagle on the flag is tolerated in the republic as a sign of the unit's history. The unit has seen some service, particularly in the Darwin Rebellions and in the Dead Heart.

14 February 2009

Artillery, Sappers and Trains

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

The Real World Intrudes

The fires that have swept through Victoria can't be ignored by anyone living in Australia. Living in the bush myself, I know what it's like to watch plumes of smoke and worry about how we'll go in trying to save our dogs, horses and house. So far I haven't been put to the test, but this week some of my friends have. Smiley and Maree lost everything but the clothes they wore, the car they escaped in and a couple of items they managed to grab. Smiley, a veteran of Viet Nam and retired member of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, was a friend and mentor who taught me more than I can say about the mysteries and vagaries of communications , especially satellite communications. For a RAEME soldier, as I was by then, whose focus was on maintenance more than using the communications, the knowledge he imparted filled an important gap and enabled me to better do my job.

Mark and Vicki were a little luckier. Although they lost their sheds and in many of the personal "treasures" that mark our lives, their house was damaged but not destroyed. Mark is an old friend, a former infantry soldier who served in Cambodia and later went to RASigs. Our pride in having been infantry soldiers in the Royal Australian Regiment and in having earned the right to wear the "Skippy badge", although we served at different times and put our loyalty with different battalions, and our shared interest in history and wargaming cemented that friendship. We've joked together, watched each others' kids grow up, helped each other with problems and taken a lot of pleasure in facing each other across the games table, playing mainly ancients but also ACW and Napoleonics. Mark's figures, bar a couple of boxes he managed to save, were victims of the flames.

So far I've been lucky. The few peple I knew, that lived in that area, are safe. Too many other Australians were not so fortunate, grieving because family or a friends were among the 181 confirmed dead from the fires.

Another friend, from the USA, asked how a tragedy like this can happen in a civilised country. I really don't have an answer. It was, literally, an unprecedented event. Old methods of staying safe in a bush fire had failed. Never has a fire burned this hot, fanned by strong winds into bush that was dry from years of drought. Glass in house windows shattered from the heat, allowing the flames in. Windows in cars melted as the flames overtook vehicles driving to safety and the cars burned. The flames travelled at over 100km per hour, from some reports.

I'm not religious and I don't believe in prayer. But in this I'll ask that, if you do believe in prayer, please say one for those who are injured, those who are missing and those who are grief stricken. I'll gladly be wrong in what I believe, if it helps just one of those who have suffered this past weekend.


08 February 2009

The Cavalry

Each regiment consists of four field squadrons and one depot squadron. Each squadron contains three troops of 50 officers and men.

The uniforms are based loosely on Prussian and Austrian uniforms. Following the same theme as the infantry, the uniform colours are generally based on the colours found on Australian birds, it being considered that basing the uniforms on colonel's family arms was elitist and showed monarchist tendencies. Also the regiments are numbered consecutively, not numbered by type.

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).

All Regiments carry a Parliamentary flag, carried immediately behind the Colonel at the centre front of the regiment. Regiments 1 to 5 also carry four squadron flags, at the centre of each squadron. The hussars have no squadron flags.

The regiments of horse carry standards, the dragoons carry German-style guidons. The hussars carry a French-style guidon.

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.
1st Regiment, of Horse.

Nickname "The Fried Eggs"
Officially raised on 15 March 2004, the regiment was first paraded by the then CO, Colonel Pieter de Gruyt, on 14 March. The regiment therefore claims to be the senior regiment in the army. Recruited from former cavlarymen in British, Dutch and Swedish service, the regiment has served in the Kimberlies, the Dead Heart, western Germany (where, in the pay of the Wendish League, it routed the 3rd Dragoons at Blasthoffen), Eastern Marches and Darwin Rebellion of 1728. Brigaded with the 5th Dragoons. Garrisoned in Darwin.

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.
2nd Regiment, of Horse.

Nickname "The Maggies"

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.
3rd Regiment, of Dragoons.

Nickname "The Sprinters"

Raised 15th March 1704 from former cavalrymen recruited in northern German states and Swedish Pommerania. Has served in western Germany (in French pay), the Eastern Marches and on the Marches Borders. Was severely handled by the 1st Horse at Blasthoffen (the 1st was then in the pay of a group of minor German princelings), where it gained its nickname. The feud with the 1st Horse continues and the Regiments are not to be deployed in the same theatre. Brigaded with the 2nd Horse. Garrisoned by squadron at O'Connell, Linlithgo, Port McQuarie and Taree.

Dark green coat, scarlet facings, light green shoulder strap, yellow metal buttons.
4th Regiment, of Dragoons.

Nickname "The Ponces"

Raised on 26 January 1713 from the sons of well to do personages in Ekaterinsburg and apprpriate volunteer gentlemen from the German states, France and the United Kingdom. This is the regiment in which the socially-aware young officer wishes to serve. The colonels and senior officers of this regiment are only drawn from the best families of the republic. Despite this, the regiment also has a very good combat record. This regiment is the only unit garrisoned in the capital. The Regiment has seen service in the Eastern Marches, The Darwin Rebellions of 1723 and 1728, the Arakun, Duchy of van Demon's Land, western Germany (in French pay) and southern Germany (in Austrian pay). The Regiment is not brigaded. Garrisoned in Ekaterinsburg.

Dark blue coat, crimson facings, mid blue shoulder strap, white metal buttons. Officers wear white leather, not crimson cloth, breeches, have silver lace on their button holes and belts and wear silver aigulettes on the right shoulder.
5th Regiment, of Dragoons.

Nickname "The Bruises"

Raised 24 December 1737 from former Austrian, Hannoverian and Wuerttemberg cavalrymen. Active service in the Eastern Marches (1st Squadron), Arunta Uprising and the Dead Heart. Brigaded with 1st Horse. Garrisoned at The Springs.

Black coat, mid blue facings and shoulder strap, yellow metal buttons. The colours are not taken from the plumage of any bird, but were made from the cheapest cloth that the original colonel of the regiment could buy. Attempts to change the colours of the uniform, to conform to the army's tradition of copying the plumage of birds, have been steadfastly rejected. The heat of their garrison location has lead to the regiment only wearing thier coats for parades and guard mounts. They usually wear just their small clothes and, at times, have been reported as riding in shirt sleeves, but the regiment denies this.
6th Regiment, of Hussars.

Nickname "The WOFTAM's"

Taken into Parliamentary service on 19th February 1740. Active service in the Eastern Marches and on the Marches Borders. Not brigaded. Garrisoned at Kunnanurra.

Mid-blue dolman, pale yellow pelisse and facings, golden yellow braid. Mirliton black with deep blue wing and golden yellow lace. Fox fur trim to pelisse, yellow metal buttons. Hussar musicians wear red mirlitons and white dolmans, with dark blue swallow's nests, taped yellow, on both dolman and pelisse. The colours are not taken from the plumage of any bird, but are the colours of the arms invented for themselves by the Moore-Bull family, who raised the regiment during the last war with the Holy Mormoan Kingdom.

Füß-Jäger Battalion
Madder red facings, dark green coat, white metal buttons, grey small clothes.
Raised as a single company on 01 December 1738, mainly from Pathan, Afghan and local Boori volunteers, the utility of these troops has seen the force expanded to a full battalion. The battalion has a special organisation of six companies, each consisting of four platoons of 50 men and a 10 man tracking section. Two of the companies are mounted and the other four serve on foot. The mounted troops use dragoon harnesses and shabraques.Most often used as a support to local milita forces investigating (if they did not not actually commit) crimes and for patrolling the borders of the republic. Has seen service in the Arunta uprising and Borneo and is constantly engaged on the Marches Borders. Platoons are garrissoned around the country, with a mounted company located at Thredbo.

07 February 2009

10th Regiment of Foot "Canungra"

Dark blue facings, white metal buttons and white hat lace.

Formed on 01 January 1724 from militia companies in and around The Springs and by recruitment in western Germany. Service in the Dead Heart and western Germany (2nd Battalion while in French service). Brigaded with the 6th REGT of Foot. Garrison: The Springs (1st Battalion), Goldfields (2nd Battalion).

9th Regiment of Foot "Koenigenslande"

Beech brown facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 02 November 1713 by recruitment around Darwin and Ekaterinsburg. Service in the Kimberlies, the Darwin Rebellion of 1728, Duchy of van Demon's Land and western Germany (while in French service). Brigaded with the 8th REGT of Foot. Garrison: Howard's Springs.

8th Regiment of Foot "Longhai"

Slate Grey facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 31 October 1712 by recruiting in Ireland and Scotland. Service in the Arakun, the Darwin Rebellion of 1728, Duchy of van Demon's Land and Poland (while in Saxon service). Brigaded with the 9th REGT of Foot. Garrison: Humpty Doo.

7th Regiment of Foot "Keswick"

Maroon facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 23 October 1711 from militia companies in and around Mataranka and The Springs. Service in the Dead Heart and western Germany (while in Austrian service). Brigaded with the 5th REGT of Foot. Garrison: Broomestown.

6th Regiment of Foot "Enoggera"

Buff facings, white metal buttons and white hat lace.

Formed on 23 October 1711 by recruitment in southern and western Germany. Service in the Dead Heart, the Darwin Rebellion of 1728 and the Arunta Uprising. Brigaded with the 10th REGT of Foot. Garrison: Mataranka.

5th Regiment of Foot "Robertson"

Golden yellow facings, white metal buttons and white hat lace.

Formed on 01 June 1711 by recruitment in Wales, Scotland and northern England. Service in the Kimberlies, the Eastern Marches (present at Port McQuarie), the Darwin Rebellion of 1728 and the Dead Heart. Served in Borneo (Tarakan) but saw no action. Brigaded with the 7th REGT of Foot. Garrison: Kunnanurra.

4th Regiment of Foot "McLeod"

Scarlet facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 23 September 1706 from Jacobite supporters transported from the UK. The unit has the privilege of having pipers, not fifers, but highland dress is not worn. Service in the Eastern Marches (victors of the Battle of Bulli), the Marches Borders and western Germany (while in French service). Brigaded with the 3rd REGT of Foot. Garrison: O'Donnell

3rd Regiment of Foot "Townsville"

Dark Green facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 15 March 1704 from militia companies and miners in and around Kunnanurra. The convoy in which the regiment was sailing to the Eastern Marches was sunk in a cyclone in 1709. Rumours began that the convoy was sunk by the Holy Mormoan Kingdom and the survivors were sold into slavery. The "wives" of the regiment left in Darwin demanded the right to serve in their mens' places, to exact revenge. After much debate and against fierce opposition, the government granted the request and the 1st Battalion was raised at Darwin on 01 January 1711. The 2nd Battalion was raised from women prisoners, "ladies of negotiable affection" and women debtors on 26 June 1711. Service in the Eastern Marches (distinguished at Port McQuarie) and the Marches Borders. Brigaded with the 4th REGT of Foot. Garrison: 1st Battalion O'Connell, 2nd Battalion Linlithgo.

2nd Regiment of Foot "Melbourne"

Black facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 15 March 1704 from volunteers recruited in Ireland, Wales and The United Provinces. Service in the Arukun, the Darwin Rebellion of 1728 and northern Germany (1st Battalion serving as Freikorps with Prussia). Brigaded with the 1st REGT of Foot. Garrison: Tindal.

1st Regiment of Foot "Holsworthy"

Garter blue facings, yellow metal buttons and yellow hat lace.

Formed on 15 March 1704 from militia companies in and around Ekaterinsburg and Darwin. Service in the Kimberlies, the Darwin Rebellion of 1728 and western Germany (while in French service). Brigaded with the 2nd REGT of Foot. Garrison: Tindal.

Infantry Regiments

Regiments consist of two field battalions and a Depot Company. Each battalion consists of four musketeer companies, each of two platoons of 120 soldiers. There are no grenadiers, grenadiers being considered "stuck up snobs in funny hats". Each battalion has two 3lb guns attached when on campaign.

The uniforms are simple and based loosely on Russian uniforms. All Infantry Regiments have a pale grey coat and dark rose small clothes, reflecting the national bird of RNS, the Galah. This bird invokes the usual irreverance that is a hallmark of this nation. There's also a deeper meaning, but only those who have read BRIG George Mansford's book The Mad Galahs will understand the reference. Regimental disinctions are shown in hat lace, the colours of the cuffs, collars and turnbacks and the button colour. The national colours, gold and blue, are shown on the cockade. Officers have gold lace and blue silk cockades, Other Ranks golden yellow and deep blue cotton ribbon.

Officers wear metallic lace on their hats, a gold and blue sash around the waist but inside the coat, and have gilt or silvered buttons. They also have metallic, "bastion" shaped lace around their button holes. NCO are distinguished by having metallic lace edging to their collars. Shabracques for mounted officers are deep blue with button coloured lace trim and the saddle and tack are in polished brown leather. Drummers, bagpipers (4th Regiment only) and fifers wear reversed coloured coats and white or yellow, depending on the button colour, piping to the facings. The drummers and fifers of the 8th Longhai Regiment of Foot wear light yellow coats with dark blue facings and slate grey piping to their facings. Drums are plain brass with white and facing-coloured diagonal stripes on the rims. Jäger hornists' coats are the same as the men, and are distinguished by white piping around facings and six 25mm white lace hoops, evenly spaced, encircling the sleeves.

Belts are whitened leather (buff for the Jaeger) and cartridge boxes black, with brass corners and decoration on the flap. The knapsack is natural kangaroo leather, with the fur left on. The muskets are copies of the Prussian 1723 model.

All Infantry Regiments carry one Parliamentary colour and one regimental colour in each battalion. The colours are 150cm square. The Parliamentary colours are deep blue with the national emblems displayed, always in gold and "natural" colours. The regimental colours have the field matching the regimental facings and embroidery matches the button colours. The Füß-Jäger Battalion does not carry colours. The pike staves are painted black and the finials are gilt or silvered, pierced with the stars of the Southern Cross. The cloth of the colours is wrapped around the staves and then nailed with gilt or silvered nails.

Parliamentary Colour used by all infantry regiments

A History of the Republic

In New Holland

Originally the republic was settled by the United Provinces (The Netherlands), following reports by a number of nearly ship-wrecked mariners of a large, uninhabited land below the Spice Islands. The Dutch intention was to set up a base by which they could intrude themselves into the closely guarded trade from south east Asia, particularly the Phillipines and China, and as a support to their colonies on the Spice Islands. They settled in the northwest of the continent, laying claim to the whole land.

Unfortunately the mild weather of July, 1667 was succeeded by the cyclone and storm ridden wet season of 1667-68, which virtually wiped out the young base. The Dutch government decided to abandon the base but some settlers, who had moved further inland and found success with farming cattle, pleaded to be allowed to stay. They established a town, Katerina, which they named after a well respected midwife and wife of one of the leading burghers, Katerina Zaagman. Over the next years the town existed as mainly a trading post and some times council meeting place. The original port, Heymel, was 220 miles to the north and few trade goods made their way south, the colonists priding themselves on their self-sufficiency.

As a consequence of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-1678) the Dutch were forced to cede one of their colonies to neutral power, as well as surrender parts of the Netherlands themselves. The unprofitable colony of New Holland was chosen and transferred to the Russian Empire, it being considered that the Russians would least threaten the United Provinces' power in the region. Although this was not what France nor the UK had intended, the matter was agreed and a Russian governor, Piotr Megorsky, and several shiploads of boyar families and serfs arrived at the beginning of 1679. The governor, seeing the sqalid port of Heymel as unsuitable and too prone to storms, moved south and set up residence at Katerina, which was renamed Ekaterinsburg.

However the heat and cost of running the unprofitable colony soon told and, in an attempt to curry favour with the northern German states and Denmark against Sweden (Russia's main rival in the Baltic), in 1685 Russia gifted the colony to the Duke of Oldenburg, who was also King of Denmark. Left behind when the Russian governor packed his bags were the serfs, many of whom had become defacto free settlers, and the 700 men of the 3rd Battalion, Permskiy Infantry Regiment, who had provided the colony with a vestige of a police and military force. Permskiy's uniforms set the tradition of the RNS infantry wearing Russian styles of uniform for the next century.

Denmark, already having trouble holding her overseas colonies, refused to have anything to do with the colony at the far ends of the earth. Equally, however, Denmark did not want to offend a potential ally against Sweden, especially after the disastrous Scanian War. So the colony was held only under the title of the Duke of Oldenburg and Danish citizens were forbidden to settle there. German and Austrian citizens were encouraged to settle with free land grants (often land claimed by the original Dutch settlers) on offer. The ties with the small states of Germany were born when the first German and Austrian colonists arrived in 1687.

Meanwhile, the rich fishing grounds and pearl beds had attracted large numbers of fishermen from the Spice Islands, Sultanates of Malaya and southern China. Heymel had not developed as a major port, but supported a sizeable population of fishermen and pearlers. They had been discouraged at first by the strict Dutch rule, but swarmed in with the more welcoming (and lower taxing) Russian administration. With them came merchants and mercenaries/body guards from India. Heymel was an interesting place to live (and be murdered, if you were not careful) during this time.

By 1689 the Oldenburg administration had managed to tame Heymel. But in the taming the profits which had been appearing again disappeared. Once again Neues Südland, as the land was now known, was a burden on its colonial masters. In order to ease the financial pain, a new infantry regiment was raised and offered for service with the Dutch, in the War of the Grand Alliance. The offer was accepted and the colony showed the first, and last, profit for the Duke of Oldenburg. The regiment, with recruits drawn from all the peoples of the colony, including the native Boori population, proved to be good fighters but hoplessly ill disciplined in quarters. So the two year contract was not renewed. In desperation the colony once again changed hands- gifted to the new King of England, William III, on his coronation in 1689.

William, fully ware of the limitations of the colony, nevertheless accepted the gift graciously- he saw an opportunity to dilute the flow of Jacobite sympathisers to the North American colonies. He encouraged the English and Scots to send their sons to the colony and also decided that troublesome Irish and Scots families, particularly supporters of the deposed Stuart dynasty, should be exiled there. Each family who agreed to passage was gifted 50 acres of land near Ekaterinsburg, while those who objected were sent as indentured servants.

By 1698 Europe was watching a new crisis develop. Charles II of Spain was without heir and it seemed he would bequeath his throne to Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France. Europe was faced with the possibility of France and Spain being united under the Bourbons. As part of a deal to persuade Philip not to take the throne, Neues Sudland (as it was now spelled) was offered as an alternative (along with several other less than profitable colonies). The deal failed but it did spark a deep unrest among the population, who were sick of the way they were traded among the great powers. When the English garrison was withdrawn to take part in the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1702, the colony revolted and declared itself independent. The UK, being otherwise involved and seeing no value in the colony, agreed on the proviso that the new republic would continue to accept transported families from Ireland and Scotland. The colony agreed and the Treaty of Excorporation was signed on 24 December, 1702.

In 1707 the mainly Irish and Scots peopled Eastern Marches joined Neues Sudland, having themselves used France's preoccupation with continental affairs to declare independence.
In 1708 David Kimberley, the 3rd son of a British jewellry merchant who had established an enormous cattle station (by European standards- the station was larger than Britain) 600 miles to the SW of Ekaterinsburg, found diamonds on his property. The influx of diamond prospectors found more deposits, but more importantly large mineral reserves were found. In 1710 gold deposits were also found at O'Connell in the Eastern Marches. European interests in the new nation increased significantly. Realising their isolation would not protect them by itself, the republic used their newly bulging treasury to dramatically increase the size of the armed forces. By 1715, recruiting parties were busy across Europe, promising veterans of the recent war land grants, wives (should they want one) and free passage to the republic, should they join the forces for 10 years service. Ladies of negotiable affection and war widows were also lured with promises of land and a husband, on the proviso they remain with that husband until his service expired. The many fishermen and pearlers living in the area of Darwin (formerly Heymel, but renamed after the first Anglican bishop appointed to the colony), were recruited as members of the new navy, as were the crews of visiting vesels.

By the time the great nations of Europe had recovered from their war, and were preparing for the next, the trouble of conquering the republic was thought to be greater than any gain that may be expected. The republic, in the meantime, had realised that the cost of keeping their troops trained and ready was more expensive than they had realised. The idea of renting their troops out would defray the costs of maintaining them and keep them battle tested. More importantly, it would also establish good relations with many nations, which the republic hoped would lead to allies, should any nation have plans of conquest.
In the Eastern Marches

Originally this area was settled by the French, who established several whaling and fishing ports on the coast. Tales of large tracts of reasonable farming land were brought home and some 100 French families had moved to the new land by 1661. Louis XIV then offered his "Wild Geese", the Scots and Irish followers of James Stuart, the opportunity to settle there. His plan had the merits of decreasing the amount of intrigue in play around his court and also removed a possible source of recruits from his rival Spanish and Austrian crowns. In 1691 the first colonists landed, led by one Terence Patrick O'Gabhain, a former captain in the Dillon Infantry. A sizeable contingent of French, mainly from Gascony and Burgundy, accompanied the Wild Geese on their migration.

The new colonists found the land to be both more fertile, but also more forbidding, than they had anticipated. For the Irish the large numbers of deadly snakes and spiders were especially daunting, but the area to the west of the mountains provided perfect land for growing wheat, barley and other cereals. The well watered coastal regions offered good land for dairy cattle and vegetable crops, such as potatoes and beet. In 1700 a Spanish ensign, John McArthur, was injured in a duel and forced to resign his commision. His family having managed crofters and shepherds, he brought some merino sheep with him from Spain and started wool production. The climate proved to be very suitable for such an enterprise and McArthur was soon joined by others.

The War of the Spanish Succession had an immediate impact on the colony. As the French treasury was being depleted by the war in Europe, taxes were being increased every time a new ship arrived from France. With no French troops to protect them, bar two companies of French militia guarding a penal colony at Port McQuarie ("The Devils Garden"), the settlers also had to deal with attacks from natives and raids by British and Dutch ships.

The settlers became restless. Very highly taxed, but with no benefits offered by France, dissatisfaction was growing.

In 1704 rumours started that the colony was to be transferred to the British crown as part of the war settlement. News of the successes of Eugene and Marlborough had reached the colony, so the rumours were believed. Two wealthy gentlemen from the RNS, Geoff Whitlam and Johannes Pietersen, started the rumours and then urged the colony to throw off the French crown and join the republic. In February 1705 the leading families asked the Governor for a reduction in taxes, hinting that refusal would see widespread unrest. The governor responded by bringing in four companies of troops, from French colonies in the Americas. The troops landed in December of 1706 and promptly arrested Whitlam, Pietersen and the men of the leading families around the capital, Roisoliel.

This sparked a general uprising. The colonists attacked the barracks and prison, freeing the men and causing some casualties to the troops. The governor was able to send a mesage to the penal colony at Port McQuarie, recalling the two companies of French militia based there as prison guards. The colonists withdrew when they landed.

Considering the uprising to have been broken, if not crushed, the governor gathered his six companies and planned his next moves. The hot summer months were considered to be inappropriate for European troops to conduct marches, so the governor paid the local tribes to raid the properties of those he considered to be the ringleaders. In doing so he inadvertently sent the natives against men who had been undecided about joining the rebellion. One of these, Murray O'Donnell, was an experienced senior officer, having served with both France and Austria. He promptly offered his services to the rebels and was accepted as their leader. Meanwhile Whitlam had sent messages to the RNS, asking for assistance.

The 4th (now McLeod) Regiment of Foot was sent to the colonists' aid in two ships, each carrying one battalion. One ship, the Khota Maru, struck the huge reef on the NE coast of the continent, half the troops being lost in the wreck. The rest made it ashore and began the long trek south, having running battles with both the natives and the forces of the Holy Kingdom, who objected to their passing through their lands. Short of weapons and ammunition, the troops were forced to surrender and were imprisoned, sparking yet more diplomatic turmoil between the the two nations.

The other ship, the Conchin, disembarked at Thirroul, south of Roisoliel, on 25th April, 1707. The battalion was met by O'Donnell and quickly marched north. On the march native scouts reported that the French troops, with a large body of unfriendly natives, were approaching. O'Donnell set up an ambush and the native scouts were able to dispatch their opposite numbers. Unwittingly the governor, the Marquis de la Perouse, marched into the ambush with five companies of troops and his two pieces of artillery. The RNS battalion, drawn up in the bush on the west of the road, stood up, advanced five paces and fired a devastating volley into the French column.

Losing 60 percent of their men, their CO and the governor, the French troops broke. The natives turned to attack but, immediately seeing the reality of the situation, all sat down and turned their backs to the carnage, signifying their having ceased hostilities. The French survivors were chased back to the capital, where an immediate assault of the governor's compound captured the remaining company of troops.

The ambush was grandly titled the Battle of Bulli.

On 01 July 1707 the Eastern Marches declared their independence from France and on 14 July 1707 the Treaty of Union with the RNS was signed.

The many colonists of French and Basque blood, who had settled in the cooler southern highlands of the colony, at first ignored the move to independence. But tensions rose with the first attempt by France to reconquer the Eastern Marches and, in 1712, the French population decided to attempt to break with the RNS and re-establish their area as part of France. A sharp skirmish, involving a battalion of the 5th (Robertson) Regiment of Foot and two squadrons of the 4th Dragoons, decided the colonists to strike south, though honours were even between the two forces. The colonists were hopeful that they could seize the nearly empty coastal area between Port Eden and Lakes Entrance. The savage reaction to their incursion by the Holy Mormoan Kingdom was unexpected and few survivors made the return to the Eastern Marches. They were more surprised to be welcomed back, cared for and given new land grants, not realising the RNS government was using their plight in an attempt to divert King Louis' attention towards the Holy Kingdom.

France had at first refused to recognise her colony's independence. Three attempts to bring their colony back under the crown were made in 1710, 1713 and 1717. The first two fleets had the misfortune to try to run the northern coast of New Holland in the month of December, with the result that the majority of the ships were sunk in storms. The survivors who reached the RNS were given simple choices- the officers could remain as colonists or return to France. The troops could join the RNS forces and receive land grants or be sent to work in the Kimberly mines. Nothing is recorded of the fate of those who landed in the unoccupied territories, though an officer who made his way to Java reported that the natives were both fierce and cannibals.

The 3rd fleet, bearing six battalions of infantry and eight guns, landed at Port McQuarie on 01 June 1717. At first the fleet seemed to have totally surprised the RNS with their appearance. They suffered no opposition as they sailed into port and could see the citizens of the town fleeing to the hills beyond the port. But as the troops were assembling on the docks after disembarking, they were raked by cannister from four guns hidden in warehouses near the docks. At the same time three battalions, two from the 3rd (now Townsville) and one from the 5th (Robertson) Regiments of Foot, opened fire from the streets and warehouses. The French, weapons not yet loaded, tired from a long sea voyage and having taken many casualties, laid down their arms. The usual terms were given and a special clause, deleting any reference to the 3rd Regiment being present (the French were shocked and ashamed to see that the majority of the troops who fired on them were female), was agreed to.

At this disaster the French crown admitted defeat, acknowledging that retaining the colony was beyond its current means. But the provisions that the RNS supply troops to support settler parties when required (at the usual rate of hiring those troops), the penal colony at Port McQuarie remain in operation until 1750 and that French settlers and troops be allowed to pass through the Eastern Marches to settle other areas, were demanded.

The RNS reluctantly agreed, albeit with the proviso that French troop numbers be limited to one regiment of infantry at any one time, and the Treaty of La Perouse was signed on 26 January 1718. The capital of the Eastern Marches was renamed O'Donnell, honouring the victor of Bulli.

Current Political Situation

The People's Party currently holds power. The President of the Parliament is Kelvin Rapp, of whom it is said "that when KRapp speaks, that's what you hear!". As usual, the Party's "Let's have a spend up!" philosophy has put severe strain on the nation's coffers, so agents of the government have been sent to Europe in order to look for employment opportunities for the regiments. There are also rumours of tax increases.

Currently the mining companies and banking houses have the greatest access to the government's ministers, as they did under the former Conservative government. However it is understood that they have dropped their call to have slavery reinstated, in order to reduce operating costs and make their products competetive overseas, though at least one banking house is demanding that debtors be placed in indentured servitude.

The major religions are again pushing to have influence on the government and are seeking to overturn the "Missionary Laws", which allow citizens who are disturbed by missionaries/clergy/evangelists knocking on their doors to beat the offender 15 times with a rattan cane. They are also seeking to have their churches exempted from taxation (currently set at the business rate) and the right to build places of worship outside the designated religious enclaves (known as the "Miracle Miles" by the citizens). With the population apathetic to these moves and the politicians not wishing to allow religion more power than it has, these moves are unlikely to succeed.

Over all the population is cynical about politics. At the last election Gerald Dixon, a notorious bushranger and highwayman, was elected by popular vote in the Rostov electorate. He refused this "honour", saying he may be a thief and scoundrel, but he was not a politician. The government promptly doubled the reward for his capture.

Neues Sudland

"Imaginations" are a fictional nations, generally set in the period 17C to early 19C, depicting imaginary nations used for wargames campaigns. Their main purpose seems to be to give an outlet for a gamer's creativity, allowing them to design armies free from the historical constraints for the design of uniforms, organisation, etc.

It's an interesting and fun way to spend some time. I've toyed with the idea of "Republic of Neues Sudland" for a while, spurred on by Henry Hyde's articles in Battlegames Magazine and the writings in Charles Grant's and Peter Young's books The War Game and Charge, respectively.

So far I've designed a few flags and have the basic uniform ideas set down. I haven't worked out the political details, etc, as yet. And the whole idea sits behind finising my SYW historical figures in terms of priority. But here's some of the things I've done. The templates for the uniforms are available from the excellent Not by Appointment blog. David, thanks for putting that on the net.

The Nation

The Republic of Neues Sudland is on the Indian Ocean, in the NW corner of New Holland, with enclaves in the east. Settled originally by the Dutch and Irish, it has since been traded between "great powers". In 1702, after their British masters offered to trade the nation as part of an abortive plan to avoid the War of the Spanish Succession, the people got sick of being pawns and broke away from their colonial masters. So the influences are German, British and Russian, with the language spoken being a mix of English, German and various Asian languages, due to the mix of people living there.

Having claimed the whole continent, despite the small population, the RNS is not happy that their claims have been ignored. In fact, the whole notion of "Unoccupied Territories" may surprise several colonial powers in Europe and Asia and particularly the Holy Kingdom of New Wales, which actually covers far more territory on the continent. The area the nation occupies is larger than Europe. But 50% of the 3 million citizens live within 20km of the capital, Ekaterinsburg, and 20% of the population lives in the Eastern Marches. So the population density is very low. The generally arid nature of the country exacerbates this low population density, though the Eastern Marches provide good, arable land and the NW of the continent supports large rice and cotton growing areas, due to the high seasonal rainfall.

The people themselves, being great fans of a cold beverage on hot days, like to believe that the name of their nation actually means "New Beer Land", so therefore believe that drinking beer is a patriotic duty. The RNS is a secular nation with no state religion. In fact, the RNS contains the largest proportion of agnostics and atheists in the civilised world- much to the horror of that civilised world.

The main income for the treasury comes from two sources- renting regiments out to other nations and from the metals gained from the many mines in the nation. The government is not adverse to renting units to both sides of a war and, in the past, regiments have fought against each other under foreign masters. Unfortunately this has led to some deeply entrenched rivalries and certain regiments cannot be garrisoned in the same area, for fear of brawling or even outright combat.

In particular the 1st Horse and 3rd Dragoons have to be separated by the width of the continent. So deep is their hatred of each other (since the 1st chased the 3rd off the field of Blasthoffen- and thereafter dubbed the 3rd Dragoons "The Sprinters") that over the past 15 years more men from these regiments have been killed in duels than have died in battle. Similarly, when the Longhai Regiment of Foot found the 2nd Regiment of Horse crossing their front during the action at Launceston, they took the opportunity to exact revenge for a previous occasion, during a war when the regiments were in the employ of the opposing Princelings, when the cavalry had charged them, causing no small number of casualties and capturing the regiment's Parliamentary Colour. The volley they fired was very effective, emptying most of the saddles of the two nearest squadrons. It was unfortunate that, at the time, the regiments were both in the employ of the Grand Duchy of Van Demon's Land. That fine, but inappropriate, volley saw the Duchy defeated and forced to join the Holy Kingdom of New Wales.
The nation is supposedly a parliamentary democracy. However, as the candidates for parliament are chosen by vested business interests, not the members of the political parties (Conservatives, known also as "The Big End of Town", and the People's Party, known as "Corruption Central"), the reality is far removed from the theory. It is this emphasis on profit at all costs that sees the RNS troops serving anywhere, at any time, if you have the cash.

There is no bar to anyone of any ethnic background serving in the republic's army. Indeed, if a regiment has been hired for service then anyone, of any nationality, is likely to be "persuaded" to join the colours. The bar on wearing traditional items of clothing or facial hair, such as Sikh turbans or beards, has restricted the availability of some recruits. Citizens of European background are preferred for the cavalry and artillery while natives and those of Pathan, Turkish or Afghan extraction are most often found in the infantry. Despite the relaxed relations between the races in the republic, the majority of recruits are still of Irish, Scots or Germanic extraction, lured by the promise of land at the end of their service.

The RNS is unusual in that one infantry regiment, the 3rd "Townsville" Regiment of Foot, is composed entirely of female soldiers. All the officers, of course, are male and service in this regiment is very sought after, despite it offering little social advantage to the ambitious officer. The regiment has gained a notorious reputation in battle, generally offering no quarter to captured enemies and being particularly tenacious when defending their ground.

Officers are usually chosen on the basis of political favouritism or by buying a commission. As membership of certain regiments allows entry into the highest social circles, commissions are sought after and traded like any other commodity. The only prerequisite is that the officers are fluent in at least German and English, that they are literate and that they have sufficient income to pay their mess bills. Once commissioned, the ambitious officer must serve a minimum of three years in that rank before purchasing the next higher rank. Once at the rank of Major, promotion can only be attained by passing examinations and being recommended by the Council of Generals, which consists of all retired general officers who may still be considered to be of sound mind.

Although RNS will hire to any nation, they still maintain a certain sympathy for the nations of southern and western Germany, from where many of the leading families have come. There is also a deep affection for serving with the United Kingdom, as many young English gentlemen find commissions to be both cheaper to purchase than in His Britannic Majesty's army, and service far more profitable.

After 10 years service an officer is granted a "selection", of 25 to 150 acres (depending on rank), on which they may build a house and farm. Any troops that survive 25 years service may also apply for a 10 acre land grant, should they have honourably served the army.
Any man or woman who captures a colour (not an RNS colour, should two regiments meet in battle) or general officer is granted 50 acres of prime land in the Eastern Marches.
Domestically the RNS is often involved in skirmishes with neighbouring territories. The RNS' refusal to recognise any sovereignty over the continent, other than their own, is a constant source of conflict.