Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Great Antipodean Adventure - Factions/Blocs

Well here we go fleshing out The Great Antipodean Adventure, remember this is alternate history stuff here so no rivet counters please hahahaha!

My Rather Uncivil Australian Disturbance all revolves around the Australian Constitution's 'Reserve Powers of the Crown' and how their use caused quite a stir in 1932 (again of course in 1975!). Australia in the 1930 was in the grip of the Great Depression and the Federal Government proposed and implemented the Melbourne Proposal (Premiers Plan) to pave the way to recovery! The State of NSW led by Premier Lang's Labor Government chose an alternate route known as the Lang Plan which ran contrary to what every other State moved forward with. This led to great tension between the States, the Federal and NSW's Governments and even within the NSW Labor Party itself. These tensions came to a head on the 13th of May 1932 when the NSW Governor Sir Phillip Game dismissed Lang's Government and appointed the United Australia Party's Leader Bertram Stevens as Provisional Premier. Game called for an election to be held on June 11 however within a week of the dismissal unrest had spread within the State of NSW and so began the Rather Uncivil Australian Disturbance!

Purported photograph of a mob in George St Sydney being harangued by 'leftie' Unionists!
Picture from State Library of NSW

The main belligerents in The Great Antipodean Adventure are listed here. These will be the core of the factions/blocs that will be drawn upon for forces in the scenarios planned. As more information becomes known on their leaders and motivations, they will be updated. This does not rule out new groups that may arise during the course of the uprising against both the State and Federal Governments and they will be added as required. 
These should give me plenty of background for a mountain of fluff to go with the scenarios!

The Federal Government

The Australian National Government was naturally keenly interested in keeping the State of NSW in the fold and part of the youthful Australian Commonwealth.  The Australian Army at the time was small but a well trained force unrivaled in the region. It included infantry, mounted infantry, artillery and it even had a section of modern armoured tanks at its disposal. It was a formidable force but untested when it came to firing on its own citizenry!
The Prime Minister Joseph Lyons governed at the head of the United Australia Party and was not long into his first term. He wished to maintain a unified Australia in the eyes of the world so turned to his Defense Minister Sir George Foster Pearce and tasked him with quashing the rebellious factions that had emerged in Sydney and the surrounding environs as a result of Governor Game flexing his constitutional muscle. Sir Pearce a career politician in turn asked his Generals for advice...

The NSW Government
After the removal of the radical Premier Lang and his cronies the new Provisional NSW Government was led by new Premier Bertram Stevens. Stevens formed a Coalition with Michael Bruxner's Country Party and within a week of being placed in power put an indefinite hold on the election Governor Game had called for June 11 1932. This was due to the civil unrest in the streets of Sydney and his wish to allow time for the 'people' to calm down and cast their votes in a less troubled environment. His decision had the reverse effect, he was called a despot by groups pushing their own agendas and he was vilified by the Forth Estate being pilloried unmercifully!
The NSW Government was bereft of organised military forces so was reliant on its Federal counterpart for such assistance however it did have at its disposal limited State level organisations to draw upon to try and maintain the order; the Police Force, Fire Brigade etc were a pool from which they could muster 'units'. Even though makeshift these men were well disciplined and used to violent and extreme situations which would put them in good stead to face the mobs. Arms were garnered from Australian Army Arsenals.

The Anglican League
Fanatical members of the Anglican faith with a strong distrust of Republicans, Catholics, Atheists and Communists and enjoying ties to the Mother Country rallied to face off against the unruly mobs and support the NSW Provisional Government. They had an agenda though to wrest control of the State and secede from the Commonwealth!
Their leaders were instilled with religious fervour but had little real idea of the leap they were taking! Little did the League realise but they were nothing more than an unruly mob themselves, basically enthusiastic volunteers armed with everything from clubs to Lewis guns! This left these Conservatives perfectly matched with the other mobs on the streets of Sydney!

The Royalists
A small but highly motivated group of Monarchists believing the Governors actions proved the stability of a Constitutional Monarchy as a form of Government. They mobilised support amongst the Australian Royalists and soon were offering up a new NSW Constitution. They believed the time was right to invite Albert Frederick Arthur George of the House of Windsor and second in line to the British Throne to establish a new dynasty based in Sydney and lead an independent New South Wales Constitutional Monarchy.
A minor but very vocal group they included many of NSW finest gentry who held in their sway many businessmen and industrialists. They believed with such backing and resources they could quickly organise a Militia Corps the like of which could quickly dispatch the rabble and face any organised opposition.

All for Australia League
The All for Australia League was a minor Australian Political Party that was established in 1931. Its foundations lay in the popular people's movements of the Great Depression and was an alternative to many who were tired of the existing Conservative Parties. They were also considered more right wing than the mainstream Conservatives. Their leadership having connections with Prime Minister Joseph Lyons this group tended to support the Federal Government yet it was highly suspicious of the motives of the NSW Provisional Government even though both were allies a strange position indeed!
The former and popular First Australian Imperial Force General Gordon Bennett was prominent in the League and he drew Great War veterans to the ranks of the All Australia League's Volunteer Rifle Companies making them formidable!

The New Guard
The New Guard was a paramilitary right wing splinter group with a simple philosophy, defend the King and Empire and maintain a fine British social structure through strict law enforcement! The new Guard was led by Lt. Colonel Eric Campbell a First World War veteran. They willingly clashed with anyone who did not agree with their policies and even sometimes those who did!
Never large in numbers the New Guard was well funded and highly motivated. This ensured its ranks were filled with many experienced and well equipped fighters.

The Reds
The Reds were initially disjointed Union mobs fired up by their officials. Each Union/Group kept to themselves but they all had a single goal to transform NSW into the Australian Socialist Republic and use the fledgling USSR Government as its model!
Many of Australia's workers had been radicalised by the Great War, the Great Depression, poor working conditions and the sidlining of their hero Premier Jack Lang by a flunky of a foreign Monarch! It did not take much cajoling by their Union Chiefs and American Communist Harry Wicks who was in Australia consulting with the Australian Communist Party to set them on a path of social upheaval!
The initially poorly armed and organised Union mobs were rabid, unruly and unpredictable but still a force to be reckoned with as they had numbers and their fervour was infectious!
Within a week of the first riots following the Lang Government's dismissal several Soviets Commissars landed discretely in Sydney. They had decamped from the Soviet Union and arrived in Australia on Stalin's orders to Felix Dzerzhinsky's Cheka, they were to act as advisers and agitators. These men were pivotal in transforming the Union mobs into well-organised Communist Militia units.

The Australian Irish Front
There were a large number of New South Welshmen with Irish blood and the Australian Irish Front, which became jokingly referred to as the second A.I.F. consisted of a loose confederation of Catholic Irish ‘gangs’ following a charter laid down by a colourful character, Frederick Santa-Maria. Santa-Maria came to Sydney from Cork County Ireland and based himself in the Rocks area and planned to create an independent NSW which would be a prominently Catholic Australian State, however many suspected that the Australian Irish Front were more interested in profiteering than any real idealist dreams.
These gangs were comprised of brawlers, they were not well armed or organised but were more than capable when engaged in a bit of close quarters biffo!

More to come soon, the first skirmish is ready to go!


  1. Looking forward to the first skirmish.

    1. Hey Shelldrake good to see you visiting TSOG...the first game is not far away!

  2. The above looks excellent and along with ARBM gives me an excuse to fight a VBCW game down under.
    I imagine we will see British/Imperial forces intervening shortly.

    1. Thanks Ewan!
      I hope you stay for the ride...feel free to borrow anything for your own scenarios!

  3. Darling, you have far too much time on your hands...

    and this is rather excellent ! Quite enjoyed waking up to reading that.

    When do we get to choose factions ? :)

    Do you need anything making up, scenery or the like ?

    1. Hi Stu!
      I'm glad you enjoyed it again though as I just corrected all my late night typos!
      Gonna try to play test my first scenario this weekend for balance.
      It would be cool if all the TSOGgers get involved with everything from figures to terrain, will discuss it in depth one evening!

  4. Of course, closing time in the pubs was of more concern at this time! She'll be right mate rule ... role a 7 on a 6 sided dice to activate any faction!

    1. Ah yes the old six o’clock swill...luckily gone before I started pubbing!
      There’ll just be a 5:00pm to 6:00pm truce each day 😃.