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Thread: Faugh A Ballagh - An Irish AAR

  1. #121
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    Trouble brewing in Italy - and no British troops around to stop the perfidious Italians (I must say, your fictitious Italians seem to have learned their backstabbing ways from their real-life WWI cousins. Not exactly a shining beacon of chivalry, but if you're trying to reunite your country, I guess you'll believe all means fair and foul are suitable).

    Good job with the Panama Canal clearing - a nice, relatively clean and precise operation. It sounds like we wil not see the likes of it again in 1916 - or if we do, they'll be drowned out by Somme-style massive bloodbaths.
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  2. #122
    Feels strange to root against the Italians trying to unify their country, but there you go.

    Very interested in seeing the Ear of Total War... which actually comes across sounding much more ghoulish than it did in my head.
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  3. #123
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    Chapter 24

    "Gentlemen and Ladies I beg that you would agree with me that it is high time we help our Brethren. If our British Overlords wish to hold against both us and Canada our still maintained argument in regards to the treating of the Indian peoples, and would seek to harm our Brethren ability to defend their nation then I say to you, Let us fill that gap, Let us stand firm beside them, Let us arm them and Let us stand against the Breech and to hell with His Majesties Armories opinion."
    - PM Arthur Griffith, Address to Parliament, 23rd December 1915


    "The Irish-Canadian Trade Act of 1916 was actually drafted and signed as early as November 1915. It wasn't until December of 1915 that both governments revealed the details of the colloquially named "War-Support Act" that would see the establishment of a trade between Ireland and Canada in regards to military equipment. From East to West came Irish made Pattern 13's, ammunition, clothes, LAAC Guns and most importantly to Canada, Ships to carry these goods on. From West to East came at first Aeroplanes, coincidentally stopping the hopes of German Industry of providing Ireland with Aircraft, and later the Huot. However the idea of trading Rifles for Planes meant that the stubborn Irish Army had to accept that an Air Force was coming. It's creation however would be at the hands of two totally different men."
    - Ireland and the World, 1900 - 1947.




    S.S. Torchbug,
    5 Miles from Dock.


    "Those god-damn frogs, why did they have to make that airship such a good bloody target?" As the ship rolled on the wave again he tried his best not to be sick. "After all if they want to send up slow moving, highly flammable bags of gas near positions known to be within range of my airplane of course I'm going to comply them by destroying it." Once more the ship rolled. " "Special Assignment" No assignment is worth this." The ship rolled again and Manfred felt like screaming, in fact he would have if he didn't feel that he couldn't even stand up. He had shot down a Zeppelin near Strasbourg and for his troubles had been promoted to Major, which meant he was now in charge of his own Air-Wing, and quite literally shipped off on a "Special Assignment." For not the first time since the journey had began he felt envious of his brother stationed against the Russians, in his last letter he had pointed out how rare it was for one to encounter Russian aircraft but not rare at all for one to encounter targets.

    As the god-dammed ship rolled again a sailor stuck his head into the cabin, or as close as one got on this Cargo ship. At least the British and Irish had the French bottled in their ports, and the ship hadn't run into any u-boats. The sailor in question had also been the only member of the crew who spoke German. Speaking English, while not difficult, required more concentration then Manfred could spare in his current state.

    "We're docking now Sir. If you want to make your way up to the deck we can have you on solid ground in a minute." Manfred thanked the sailor and climbed up the stairs to the deck were rain raked the ship while the wind did it's best to blow it over. At least in an aircraft you could fly over the clouds. It was also dark and a quick check of his wristwatch, a fashion style becoming rapidly popular for it's practicality, told him that it was little over 9 PM. There was a metallic grating noise as a stairs down from the ship to the dock was raised. The Captain of the ship was here to see him off and a sailor came carrying his luggage. He made his way down to the ground and after walking like a drunk for a few steps began to walk normally. A man in German uniform, German Naval uniform, stood there and saluted to him.

    "Greetings Major. I am Ensign Leopold Holowitz and I am here to drive you to your over-night lodgings. The car is just over here." The young Ensign lead Manfred over to the car, a German model of course, and after fitting his luggage in the back started driving away from the ship. Now that he was back on dry land Manfred finally felt confident enough to speak without throwing up.

    "Tell me" he said to the Ensign "Is it always this bad?" Pointing out the window at the sky. The Ensign smiled to him.

    "Welcome to Dublin Major Von Richthofen." Was all he said in reply.


    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Baldonnel Aerodrome,
    Clondalkin,
    Dublin, Ireland


    The weather had cleared up after last nights rain spell. A sudden spell that had tested the local builder from Clondalkin's roofing that had been built over the newly constructed sheds were the Canadian made Bristol F.2 fighters were sitting. Built off a British design that had been looked over in favor of the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5, the aircraft were still in their original paint scheme and bizarrely enough had the British roundel painted on the wings. They were taxied out onto the cleared patch of ground that the Irish had for a runway while in the older sheds the doors opened and the two Wright aircraft bought so long ago were wheeled forward so that the recruits could go over the machines to learn the fundamentals.

    Only the fully trained pilots got to touch, never mind fly, the new Canadian aircraft. And one of those pilots just happened to be the young man on who's shoulders the whole of the Aerodrome's responsibilities had landed. However on the shoulders of James Fitzmaurice the weight had met a stable holding force. He had joined the Irish army at the age of 16 in early 1914. His keen interest in aircraft saw him become one of the original batch of Air Cadets learning how to fly. His Father attempted to have him pulled from service for being under-aged but the armed forces had been put at a state of alert and as such that was impossible. Being one of the small number of pilots who graduated and even then being the only one who had remained in the micro sized Air Corps James had found himself in a position of being the second most senior officer in Baldonnel at the age of 17 when war broke out. Due to this and a general mobilization James's responsibilities grew and while other men his age may have been crushed by them James grew with them. When the Major in charge of the base had been killed in a motor accident in October James found himself getting promoted and now at little over the age of 18 he was a Major of the newly formed Irish Army Air Corps and technically in charge of the whole Corps.

    This was not something that went down well in the halls of power. The Army had demanded that such a young man could not be in charge of such a position. They demanded that an Army Colonel be put in charge of the base immediately to save the nation from the embarrassment of having a child running such a facility. The Ministry of Defence attempted to have him demoted and a Navy captain installed as the head of the facility and denied his budget requests and even tried to prevent him receiving the Canadian aircraft. However James had one Ace in his hand and that was that the Minister of Defence himself regarded the Aerodrome as his own pet project. And Sir Roger Casement was not a man to be trifled with. So James got to keep his position, his budget and his aircraft but he was under near constant observation from the higher ups. The Navy and Army both wanted command here but James was determined to keep the Air Corps free.

    "The sooner we lose that "Army" bit the better." He muttered to himself. The local builder who was helping put the aerodrome together looked up from the plans he was working on at him with a quizzical expression. "Nothing to worry about Seamus. Just thinking aloud. Anyway what do you think if instead we place the weather tower over here?" The builder opened his mouth to reply when the door to the office banged open and a Junior Leftenant, who was probably older then James himself, stood breathless in the doorway.

    "Sir *puff* sorry for interrupt *puff* ing you but you wanted to know when the car was spotted sir." The Leftenant leaned against the doorway to gather his breath while James jumped to his feet from the table.

    "Sorry Seamus but we'll continue this discussion tomorrow. For now keep your lads working on the barracks." Seamus raised his hand to interrupt "I'm sorry but this really can't wait." James shot down his interruption before turning to the Leftenant. "What are you waiting around for man? Get to the Sergeant and tell him I want everyone to fall in. Christ knows it's an important enough visitor."

    James made his way down to what could be called the drive of the aerodrome and took a few moments to make sure his appearance was acceptable, he adjusted his uniform and did his best to look like an officer while the German made Mercedes pulled up in front of him to a stop. Right behind it came the un-welcome sight of an Army Green Harper[1] car. His already not very optimistic mood started to noise dive immediately. Out of the rear car came the form of Colonel Butcher, the man the army very much wanted to put in charge of the place. However James couldn't give a damn about him as he was feeling optimistic as out of the front car came a man whom he had only seen pictures of. Major Manfred Von Richthofen himself. He was Germany's premier flying Ace and had been flying sorties since the beginning of the war, originally against the Austrians. However his actions at Strasbourg had turned him from a German hero into a figure of international renown. James saluted him as he approached.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    "Major Von Richthofen? I'm Major Fitzmaurice. The senior officer here. Welcome to Baldonnel sir." The Irish Major said as he approached Manfred. Immediately Manfred noticed he was quite young. In reality he knew the difference between them was only six years but the man just looked so young. That was part of the reason why he was here, to evaluate the aerodrome, it's commander, and to teach the Irish the basics of Aerial combat theory. He returned the salute of the Major and with Ensign Holowitz and the Irish Army colonel in tow followed the young Major out onto a field were the staff of the aerodrome were assembled. He was offered and accepted the opportunity to inspect the men who ranged from as young as the Major who had led him here to a few years older. He was then brought on a tour of the facility and shown the new Aircraft the Irish had been issued. He didn't know why but there was something about the Canadian aircraft that seemed to get to him. He couldn't explain what it was but it was there.

    He was introduced to the rather comfortable quarters that would be his for his tenure at the aerodrome and before the Ensign left he filed his first report back to the ambassador. The fact he was here at all was that ambassador's fault. The Irish Defence minister and the German ambassador in Ireland were good friends so when the Irish minister had approached him with a request to bring in a German officer who could independently report on the condition of the camp so as to settle the concerns of the Irish Army and Navy they had sent for Manfred. As it was Manfred had seen men who were not even half trained in some cases. Mechanics who were clearly very new at their jobs. A base that was woefully under-constructed and an officer who seemed to be on the brink of being overwhelmed. However what he saw was a lot of potential.

    Hell they had already designed a roundel for their new aircraft. So while the builders worked away at extending the living quarters and mechanics worked on engines in the yard Manfred grinned at the small patch the men here had given him of their roundel. Small at the moment yes. But with much potential.


    The Roundel of the Irish Air Corps, 1st Squadron markings


    ************

    So then Questions etc?

    [1] An Irish Motorcar company. Any resemblance to Ford in their designs is totally coincidence I swear .

    And the Air Force is off. Manfred Von Richthofen helping to train and establish it. James Fitzmaurice for those interested was an Irishman who was part of the first East-West Trans-Atlantic flight which was based out of Baldonnel Aerodrome. I accept that he is quite young here but hey, Creative license.

    Next update is news from the new front. Which New Front however?

  4. #124
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    So, the Red Baron is going to train Irish Biggles? Excellent (as was the whole update)!
    As for the New Front... has the Middle East or Africa made an appearance yet?

    Finally, one nitpick: "noise dive"?
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eams View Post
    Finally, one nitpick: "noise dive"?
    One of these days I'm going to get "Proof-Read your posts" tattooed on my forehead. One of these days.

  6. #126
    Very good as always (love the roundel). I love how rich the worldbuilding is in this AAR - you get a real sense of Germany, France and Canada in this TL.

    Roll on the Irish aces! I thought you might have gone for Robert Gregory but Fitzmaurice is pretty cool.
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Larkin View Post
    One of these days I'm going to get "Proof-Read your posts" tattooed on my forehead. One of these days.
    Meh, small stuff will always slip through
    And for what it's worth, "noise dive" does sound like a fairly pithy description of a Stuka attack.
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossN View Post
    Very good as always (love the roundel). I love how rich the worldbuilding is in this AAR - you get a real sense of Germany, France and Canada in this TL.

    Roll on the Irish aces! I thought you might have gone for Robert Gregory but Fitzmaurice is pretty cool.
    I had completely forgotten about Gregory. Which after having to study Yeats for Two years is no mean feat. I'd say expect him later on. Maybe late '16 or early '17.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eams View Post
    Meh, small stuff will always slip through
    And for what it's worth, "noise dive" does sound like a fairly pithy description of a Stuka attack.
    And that is getting saved for usage during the WW2 port of this.

  9. #129
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    As a treat for you all (And not at all because I need criticism on this and feel the need to learn how to refine these things) I present to you the Bristol F.2 in Royal Irish Air Corps colors.



    Now this was not drawn by me and I took it off the web. So if for some reason the original artist sees this understand that I am not in anyway claiming ownership.

    I did add the roundel and change the colors on it a bit and if this doesn't look too bad I will hopefully try this on other things. However due to my total suckiness with photoshop this is as original as art is going to get with me.

  10. #130
    Very nice, and the roundel works well in practice.

    Given the German alliance will we see RIAC Fokkers or Albatroses?
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    I toyed with that and I went with no. The Irish are getting their planes from the Canadians for practically nothing were as the Germans would be looking to get payed for them.

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  13. #133
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    Chapter 25

    "It's alright Sir. I have a cunning plan."
    "Is this a more or less cunning plan then your one regarding us dressing up as nuns and pretending to not be British soldiers so the Italians would leave us alone Baldrick?"
    "Why yes sir, for this one we are even the right Gender. Cause see here i have these robes for the choir......."
    [1]


    Irish Vatican Guard Headquarters,
    Rome,
    Italian Peninsula


    British refugees were still routing into Rome even though the Italian forces had crossed into British held territory two weeks ago. Among the soldiers who had formed the skeleton garrisons were the occasional groups of civilians who had opposed Unification of Italy and were now fleeing for their lives. As it stood the only garrison of any size was an Irish supply group in the town of Villa Nuevo, as far as you could get from Rome and still be in Irish held territory. Colonel McDonagh had already accepted that supply dump, as useful as it would be right now, as lost. He was now working with whatever he could scrounge up to organise his under-size Vatican Guard and drafted British soldiers to prepare to hold out against the enemy. The odds were not on his side.

    "Sir C squad is reporting in. They say that they have their LAAC guns ready to work with the British and their Vickers in D squad. Cpt Blackadder promises to turn the plaza into a deathtrap."

    "Good news Leftenant, how is that battery of Bl 12's doing? They still work after we got them out of that warehouse?"

    "The guns still work sir and the men there are doing as well as they can under the conditions sir, after all those guns are just this side of obsolescence Sir. They reckon however they have a good field of fire set up and the distances zero'd."

    "Well then I suppose we are as ready as we can be. Ask his Holiness if -" McDonagh was cut off as the door of his office smashed open with an out of breath Sergeant stood in the doorway.

    "Sir. Sorry to interrupt but we have a column marching in from the North-East. They are flying our colours but Capt Blackadder has the men watching them just in case sir." McDonagh nodded to the Sergeant and followed him out of the room towards the position were D and C squad were set up. By the time he arrived the column was close enough to make out the un-mistakable Green uniforms. The other fronts were getting issued Dark-Grey uniforms now but the Italian garrisons had been low priority and as so were now still in Green. The column marched forward and came to a stop in the plaza near the headquarters. With it were a number of Trucks, out of one of which a young officer wearing heavy Army issue glasses clambered out.

    "Sir! Supply-Leftenant Charlie Brennan sir! I'm here with almost the entire dump from Villa Nuevo and -" He didn't get to finish the sentence before the other soldiers there started cheering out. Supplies weren't exactly low but they weren't abundant either. This news was very good news.

    As the calls died down McDonagh looked at the Leftenant. His supply group was a few men short and he feared the worse. However he had to ask. "Leftenant you appear to be a few men short. Did you encounter the enemy on the way here?"

    "No sir. The Captain stayed back with some volunteers to try and buy us some time and cause the enemy some disruptions. He also appropriated some High Explosives, demolitions grade, A truck, fuel for the truck and several gallons of engine oil, class C - highly carbonated. He said he was going to blow a few bridges and then make a stand in the pass of Bocca di fiori. He said that if they survive he should be here within a few days Sir.!

    Bocca di fiori,
    Romanga,
    Italia


    To Capitano Angelo Borza the world had just turned to hell. The bridge on the assault plan his men were following had been blown. The plan had accommodated for that and so they had forded the river nearby. The main pass they were supposed to take had been blocked with rubble but the plan had once again planned for that and told them were to go. So he and his men had started progressing up the Bocca di Fiori pass. It had gone well until they were a quarter of the way through the pass and then the sky had roared with an earth-shattering KABOOM followed by the what sounded like two enormous gears grinding against each other as behind them fell enough rock and other detritus to completely and utterly cut off any hope of retreat. This was not in the plan. Neither was the thick black smoke that started to swarm up the pass as the shape of it caused a natural chimney to occur.

    The smoke was very thick and completely obscured their sight. Breathing was difficult but at least they could move slowly. Then the rifle fire started. The bullets started to hit his men and while not many of them fell enough fell to cause the rest to start stampeding forward. Angelo knew he would not be able to stop them and so he joined them. Surely if they could get through the smoke the rifle fire could be over-whelmed. After all there was only a few pops going. Then the Automatic fire started as two machine guns started firing from somewhere into his men. Angelo hit the dirt fast but around him men started to fall. Some got down as well but a good few were dying. Then the singing started.

    All around him voices sounding like the hounds of hell started calling out "Óró, sé do bheatha 'bhaile, Óró, sé do bheatha 'bhaile, Óró, sé do bheatha 'bhaile. Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh" The singing and gunfire continued for what felt like an eternity. The gunfire and singing stopped. Angelo used this silence to cry out for surrender. In return a voice speaking perfect Italian called back.

    "Hold your weapons above your head and continue forward out of the smoke." Angelo and his men did as instructed and came face to face with Irish soldiers aiming at them with rifles and machine guns. From among them a tall man in an officers uniform stepped forward.

    "My name is Supply-Captain Michael Collins." He spoke in Italian that was accented but understandable "And I'll be relieving you of your responsibilities." Angelo just lay down his rifle and looked at the oil fire that had caused all the smoke. The Irish soldiers grabbed his mens rifles and within a few minutes were gone. Angelo didn't care. He just rested.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Upper Finland,
    Russo-Swedish Border


    It was a dark night. The single fire was all the light the soldiers had to ward off the cold of the January night.

    That and the Vodka......

    The northern border was a comparatively cushy posting for a Russian soldier. Comparatively meaning compared to the meat grinder that was the front against the Germans. Hell the Germans had taken Riga only last week and once again the Austrians were proving to be the most useless Allies in the world. But hey that was on the other side of the world practically and they had Vodka. A few more swigs of it it and Sgt. Kerenko started to sing.

    He sung of "General Winter" how this Russian guardian would steal the Germans away and freeze them by just farting in their general direction. Boiling their blood in it's veins.

    He was so drunk he didn't even feel the knife enter under his armpit.

    The Russians were dead before any could get off a shot. One Swede turned to the other "Nice tune" he said "Shame he couldn't hold it." And with that the Swedish troops of the Kalmar Alliance marched south, Helsinki in their sights.

    After all. General Winter is not just Russian.

    ************

    The Kalmar Alliance was a pact signed between the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The brain child of the Danish Prime-Minister Carl Theodor Zahle was a plan to see the three countries of Scandinavia to share a common goal in foreign affairs so as to make all them ore powerful internationally. The pact received backing from Berlin to the point that Sweden was offered back all the territory of it's that was currently German held in return for Sweden signing and for the Alliance to declare war on Russia. Also the offer of a free Finland helped. The opening engagements saw Swedish and Norwegian soldiers cross the border while the Danish Navy began to carry out a blockade against Russia while landing Marines in Aland.

    ************
    Comments,Questions et cetera?

    [1] They are required to be mentioned in ANY fiction regarding WW1 now. I cannot promise that they are the last fictional characters I mention in passing or that it is the last we see of Capt Blackadder and company.

    As I said, New Fronts.
    Last edited by Agent Larkin; 24-06-2012 at 01:17.

  14. #134
    Blackadder and Michael Collins? Awesome.

    You know its a funny thing but I realised a while back that Captain Blackadder isn't actually all that cowardly, at least in the way (say) Harry Flashman is. Blackadder very much doesn't want to die but in genuinely highly dangerous situations (like being shot at by the Red Baron or crawling across a minefield at midnight) he keeps his cool pretty well.
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  15. #135
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    Hence the reason he's in charge of a bunch of machine guns.

    When his back is against the wall Blackadder is like his namesake. A dangerous creature.

  16. #136
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    Will there be any Italians waving particularly sharp pieces of fruit around?
    The Kalmar Alliance was nice, but what do Denmark and Norway get out of it, and how does Germany feel about handing back all that territory to Sweden?
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    Denmark gets the knowledge that the Germans aren't about to steam roll North and take them over which has been a real concern of theirs for a while. They also get some, not all, but some of South Jutland back.

    Norway gets International recognition, something it hasn't been getting, also some of the territory to the North-East of Finland which would be today Russian.

    Germans in total are not very happy about giving back the territory to the Swedes but while the war hasn't turned against them the size of the Russian behemoth is starting to slow them down. It is a major fear that if they stop the Austrians and the French will use that time to smash through so they needed a new front against the Russians, whatever the cost.

    Also side effect of this meaning that Sweden has a larger population then OTL at this point and a sizeable German minority with a boost to Industry.

  18. #138
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    Sounds like you've set things up nicely for some extreme German nationalists to make their mark on German politics, regardless of whether or not they win the war. The long-term consequences of that deal could get quite nasty, which is good for the story
    Last edited by Eams; 24-06-2012 at 17:37.
    "Taking over the world with the USSR isn't a mission... it's just a passtime." -blue emu

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  19. #139

  20. #140
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    We are not many but we are here. Funnily exactly 50% of still on-going Vicky 1 AAR's are Irish.

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