Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fortune Cookie Wisdom

This is way off topic, but I have to pass along this gem of wisdom I received in a fortune cookie today.

“A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.”

This is so true it’s scary.

Friday, December 10, 2010

World War II progress?

As mentioned in an earlier post one of the projects I have had on the ‘back burner’ for a couple of decades is an alternate (or Imagi-world if you will) World War II campaign. One of the hold ups to this in the past has been finding a usable map I was happy with. I’ve finally decided to create my own map(s). This will be a fairly lengthy development process as I’m definitely not a cartographer, but it allows me to scale the “world” to something I feel is manageable.

As a test run of this process, I’ve completed the early stages of the first Island Nation of the world. I’ve taken the concept of tiles with grids from War Plan 5 x 5. The below Island is made up of 6 separate tiles, with each tile subdivided into 25 regions. Tentatively, each of the smaller squares represents a 10 mile square area. The map is the easy part, next I need to flesh out the ‘Atlas’ that describes the major military/economic/political features within each of the squares. I’m still not entirely sure I’m happy with this approach either, but at least it represents positive movement on the project. Below is the raw first draft of the yet to be named nation, remember this is more a proof of concept effort at this time. I scanned each of the big Tiles individually, then inserted them all into an Excel document, scaled it to fit one page, and pdf’d the monster. The continent(s) of the world will definitely take some time.

Completing this first step along with surfing Bob Cordery’s Interbellum Imagi-Nations web site (‘’) on the train ride home the other night inspired me to take a stab at a little Imagi-Nation set in the Atlantic somewhere west of the Straights of Gibraltar. The below focuses on the interwar period from 1925 to 1935 and is intended to set the background. While not compatible with my intended approach to the above referenced campaign it was a fun exercise to kill time on the train. This is pretty rough, most names are just place holders at this point and there is still a lot of room for refinement.

ARMED FORCES 1925 - 1935

Air forces

Currently air force is an eclectic mix of equipment from various nations. However, in early 1935 as part of the effort to modernize and standardize their equipment agreements were reached with Heinkel. Under these agreements, Bripania will purchase 15 completed Heinkel He111’s and 10 He51’s. Additionally, Heinkel will assist in the creation of production facilities in Bripania for the production of a further undisclosed number of both these aircraft under license. While the deal was reached in early 1935, announcement of the agreement was delayed for several months until Boeing had completed delivery of the 6 DC-3 aircraft purchased by Bripania airlines for fear the U.S. government may try to stop the delivery of the aircraft. Unfortunately, this agreement is expected to result in the end of any type of favorable relations with either the United States or the United Kingdom.

While bomber command is thrilled at the prospect of obtaining a state of the art bomber like the HE111, fighter command is less than happy with having the He51’s forced on them which they consider a step backward from their current Boeing P-26’s. However, the purchase of the 51’s was a pre-requisite for both Heinkel and Germany agreeing to assist in setting up production facilities for the 111’s.

Heinkel He 111 soon to be produced domestically

Heinkel HE 51

The above will be added to the existing air force and Bripania Airline assets which currently consist of:

• 48 Boeing P26 Peashooter fighters,

• 12 Sopwith Cuckoo bi-plane torpedo bombers,

• 36 Blackburn Baffin bi-plane torpedo bombers.

• 14 Junkers Ju52 Transports.

Boeing P-26 (Peashooter)

Armored forces

As an island nation Bripania has up to now seen no reason to incur the cost of significant armored forces. However, in light of recent developments or the international stage, they are beginning to look at modernizing their armored forces. At present, the armored forces consist of 1 Battalion of 3 companies, organized as shown below:

• Coy A: 12 Renault FT-17 with 37mm gun.

• Coy B: 15 Renault FT-17 with 7.92 MG,

• Coy C: 8 Renault FT-17 with 37mm gun; 5 Renault F-17 with 7.92 MG
Renault FT-17

Mechanized Infantry

Early on the military leadership recognized the need for a small standing army such as Bripania to have a high degree of mobility. The result is that fully 50% of the infantry forces of Bripania are mechanized in some manner. Foremost among these are the 1st Dragoons. While Bripania had no Cavalry traditions, they have embraced the concept of the dragoon or mounted infantry, resulting in this motorcycle/side car combination equipped unit. The motorcycles are built domestically under license from India Motrocycles of the USA. Each Line Company is composed of a Company HQ with 2 officers, 1 1st sgt, 1 supply sgt, and 4 drivers/ radio operators in addition to 3 platoons of 30 troops each, with a HQ section consisting of 1 officer, 1 plt sgt, 2 radio men, a med MG team (Browning M1919) of 3 men and a medic. Additonally there is a support company consisting of 6 Heavy MGs (Browning M1917A1 water cooled) and 10 anti-tank rifles.

• 1st Dragoon Regiment

• HQ – 5 Officers, 5 radio men, 5 motorcycle/sidecars, 10 truck drivers/mechanics, 5 cooks,

• Coy A – 215 men, 64 mortorcycle/sidecars

• Coy B – 215 men, 64 mortorcycle/sidecars

• Coy C – 215 men, 64 mortorcycle/sidecars

• Coy D – 32 men, 21 motorcycle/sidecars, 6 M1917 Browning MG and 10 Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr anti-tank rifles

Total 702 men, 218 motorcycles/sidecars, 10 1.5 Ton trucks,


The standard Infantry or “leg” infantry continues to be structured along the same lines as during the Great War.


The Artillery arm still has a long way to go for modernization. Most of the current field guns are French 75mm quick firing filed guns, purchased from either France or the United States. They have also acquired a number of 4.5” quick firing Howitzers from the United Kingdom and one batter of 150mm Cannon based on the German SIG33. However, as relations with both the United States and United Kingdom continue to deteriorate, it is likely the old turn of the century guns will remain in service as well.


Early in 1925 the high command recognizing that virtually all of the naval ships were still coal fired and far outclassed by the new vessels entering services with other nations, embarked on a major restructuring of their fleet. Over the next 5 years all of their existing ships were sold for scrap (with Japan purchasing a majority for scrap steel). The 5” and 6” gun mounts from these vessels were converted into shore batteries.

In 1926 they purchased one “O” class sub from the United States and two WWI “W” class destroyers from the United Kingdom. In 1927 purchase one “Clemson” class Destroyer from the United States and contract to build 5 under license domestically between 1927 – 1930 for a total class of 6.

"W" Class Destroyer in Bripania service

The above is rough and in need of some work, but it's been so long so my last post I figured I'd go ahead post it now.  If you read it all the way through, thanks.