Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Got history/background for a region in CS? let us know. (Also includes re-interpretations of Canon if you wish)
Cheshire Cat
PostsCOLON 4
JoinedCOLON Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:16 pm
Are you a Human?COLON Yes

Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Cheshire Cat » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:26 pm

First off - sorry I'm so late to this. I'm at home skint waiting for a job and picked up an old copy of the pc game.
Love it.

I'm prompted to get on here by the lack of detail on the British situation during Crimson Skies, and I thought I might help flesh it out in an interesting way that worldwide Crimson Skies players can now more easily relate to. Again apologies if this has been suggested as a background before, it's so obvious.

We know in Crimson Skies-verse the Commonwealth is collapsing and that Britain herself is weaker and possibly leaning more toward the Nazi's. Allow me to point you at last years Oscar winning Best Picture that would account for this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King%27s_Speech

The Abdication Crisis probably did not register much on the radar of non-commonwealth types before the release of The Kings Speech but it was a very very big deal at the time.

Essentially in our timeline the King of only a few years, Edward VIII, is forced to abdicate for trying to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. Edward's stuttering brother, 'Bertie', becomes King George VI, and Edward and Wallis are shifted off to exile in the Bermudas. We now know that Edward and Wallis had serious Nazi sympathies and were in secret negociations to return to the throne in the event of a peace deal. Apparently, through Mrs Simpson's good friend Von Ribbentrop, in the dark days of 1940 they actually suggested bombing sites for the Luftwaffe..

In the timeline of Crimson Skies I would suggest that the Abdication took place, but it didn't last long. Perhaps prompted by economic issues, German plotting or even Churchill's plotting (Winston was a supporter of Edward initially) poor stuttering Bertie is removed from the throne and Edward reinstated. This might cause something of a split not only in the Commonwealth, (Canada and Australia were very anti Edward) but also within society and the actual armed forces, with the Army supporting Edward and heavy Bertie sympathies remaining within the Royal Navy. (Where the RAF would stand is anyones guess though the long running dispute between the RAF and the Navy's Fleet Air Arm was a real world divisive problem well into WWII). Actual civil war is very unlikely in the UK though out on the periphery, in an Empire dealt a lingering death blow by WWI, anything is possible.

Further..

We could make events in the UK even worse, even more bitter and tragic, and treat ourselves to a bit of Shakespeare in the process. Sir Ian McKellens 1995 version of Richard III moves the classic medieval royal murder and plotting forward into a fantasy 1930s Britain using the Abdication crisis as a background..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_III_(1995_film)

If you want to make the Brits the bad guys in a Crimson Skies you won't see Upper Class villainy any better than in this movie.

Me? I'll be leading renegade Fleet Air Arm units gone Privateer... Huzzah, chocks away and long live the rightful King!


and BTW.. any British readers might like to know the largest Zepp sheds built in the UK, for the R100 and the R101, are still standing

http://www.cardington-hangars.co.uk/

User avatar
Thom
PostsCOLON 1005
JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Thom » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:16 am

Fascinating idea, you really need to flesh it out with more details! How would the "Edwardian Coup" trickle down through the rest of the Commonwealth? Others posting here have detailed a civil war in Oz. South Africa would still have strong British ties, as would India and mush of the South Pacific. Inquiring minds want to know, you must CREATE!
Flying the Crimson Skies

Cheshire Cat
PostsCOLON 4
JoinedCOLON Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:16 pm
Are you a Human?COLON Yes

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Cheshire Cat » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:29 am

OK Thom thanks for letting me run away with this for a bit...if this gets into a sourcebook you'll credit me right :-)

Two things worth noting : I'm still working my way into Crimson Skies tech changes. I'm a history nut and a naval history nerd so others may need to translate into Crimson Skies parallel reality terms.

Similarly I'm British, and though I might make some assumptions on what might happen from a British perspective in an 'Edwardian' (as you call it) Commonwealth you would really need an Indian, Canadian or whatever local to give a real look.

Perhaps most important point, Crimson Skies is a bright 1930s adventure pulp story, so I will try and limit any dystopian darkness to possible speculation as to what Lamont Cranston is up to!


The New Edwardian 'Restoration' : The British Empires final death spasm in Crimson Skies

As described in earlier mail, Nazi sympathetic Edward and his wife Mrs Simpson are restored to the British throne in an atempt to delay war with the Germans.

This is a far from an unlikely scenario, ex Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and others have suggested this (or at least an accomodation with Nazi Germany) is exactly what should have happened to lessen the effect of WW 2 on the English speaking world. Here the dashing English bad guy described in The Rocketeer is a far more of a reality than Hollywood speculation.

"Edwardian" is used to describe the world of Britain pre WW1, I would propose that New Edwardian (in the way that New Elizabethan is used in the 1950s), is the polite way to describe the new society, which owes a lot more to Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists than it likes to admit in public.

Technology
Perhaps the first thing you should look re: Crimson Skies and the British Empire is the Imperial Airship Plan described here

http://airshipsonline.com/airships/imperial/index.html

Airships or Zepps were heavily promoted as one thing that could keep the Empire together and if not for the incompetent design and disaster of the R101, government investment in the scheme would have been huge. Worth noting that the R100, designed by bouncing bomb genius Barnes Wallis, had (like the Graf Zeppelin), a spotless safety record and was scrapped in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of it's larger, successor airship.

One British incident that might hasten the Crimson Skies world of Zepps - the proposed Royal Flying Corps Attack on the Kaiser's High Seas fleet in 1918 goes ahead and is devastating. We effectively have Pearl Harbour nearly a quarter century early, finishing off the concentration on surface fleets a generation before our world. From the look of CS's Bristol Balmoral politics and inter-service rivalry has retarded tech development ever since.

Commonwealth
Assuming Bertie, his wife and the princesses are alive, their location is a huge issue. The most obvious destination, Canada, seems out of the question and in our timeline the US government were none to happy at the prospect of an exiled English monarch resident on North American soil.

I would suggest, in line with the idea of the Australian civil war, that Bertie, the ex queen and the princesses are thought to be hiding in one or the other end of Australia. Perhaps the Canberra government has rejected the Restoration/coup, and the New Edwardian government led by Lord Halifax (Churchill probably kept on side as Head of the Admiralty, for the moment) is covertly supporting the rebels in the north while negotiating to keep Canberra from declaring a republic. Republican sentiment might force the ex Royals to be moved again to New Zealand.

Lots of potential for desperate escapes in this world, and fate of the two young princesses will grab the imagination of the world in the way that the treatment of the Tsars children was a concern two decades before.

India
First thing that has to be said about India in Crimson Skies is that Indian Princes and Maharajas were shamelessly into cars, planes and plenty else. Indian royals choosing to glide above the poverty below would make attractive targets for pirates from Russia or even Arabia (perhaps led by that famous adventurer and traitor gone native T.E. Lawrence <of Arabia>)

The Indian Air Princes won't be just on the defensive either. Readers/viewers of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will know that Captain Nemo was an Indian Prince turned "pirate". 30-40 years after the setting of Jules Verne's original books the real or imagined heirs of Nemo will almost certainly be in the air and making sure their wealth keeps them technologically one generation ahead of those around them (let's just say a young well funded Frank Whittle could live very comfortably in a secluded valley in Kasmir)

I would imagine in a new authoritarian Britian Indian Independence would have far less sympathy, and despite the absurdity of England trying to govern India there would be some atempt to return to the conditions at the start of the Raj, created just after the Indian Mutiny. What is not fully appreciated by the the pro Empire elements is that at least a third of the military forces employed by the Empire are sourced from India itself.

Brtian is only able to assert influence over India through India's Upper and professional classes, when they do not co-operate the Empire is effectively over. During the Indian Mutiny of the previous century most of India remained loyal and yet such was the devastation, you could regard it almost as the Holocaust of the Victorian age.

Hitlers favourite movie was Lives of a Bengal Lancer (starring Errol Flynn, the model for the villain in Rocketteer) and he reportedly fantasised that "when we get to India they will think the Raj was a holiday". In reality neither the Nazi's, the Japanese Army or a newly cruel British (all together) could keep India under control. I see Ghandi sidelined as the struggle gets brutal, with Nehru or Jinnah leading a slow worsening conflict that looks more and more like Manchuria.

(British) Africa
Regarding Africa it was the great plan of arch Imperialist Cecil Rhodes to link Cairo in the north to Cape Town in the south via a transcontinental railroad. Zepps makes this possible, perhaps ensuring a greater level of prosperity and stability . Italian air privateers backed by Mussolini would still be a threat.

Ireland
In our reality the situation was so desperate for Britain in 1940 that Northern Ireland was offered back to the Irish Republic in exchange for temporary use of ports and airfields on the Irish West coast. In a world were British tabloid Daily Mail is still Herr Hitlers No.1 fan there is no need for the Brits or Germans to solicit support from Irish Republicans. The IRA are desperate and are probably encouraging privateers from Empire State to prey on Atlantic traffic. After centuries of Irish rebellion on the ground both sides would be reluctant to engage again on the ground but foreign backed air war over Ulster is quite possible.

Spain
No, Spain is not in the Empire, but happening concurrent with Crimson Skies is the Spanish Civil War, which has huge significance politically and technologically. I could write (another) huge amount about Spain in Crimson Skies but perhaps here I don't have to. Private armies fighting a chaotic balkanised conflict?? It is a tribute to the background feel of Crimson Skies that it gets so much of the atmosphere of Spain right in an American setting. Worth noting there were a huge number of American volunteers fighting in Spain on both sides.

The Spanish Civil War really exposes the nazi sympathies in British society. Though an enfeebled France is persuaded not to interfere in our world, in CS, supported by states in North America, it might support the Republicans against the fascist allies, prompting a rift with Britain and perhaps a French Civil War.

I recommended some outside sources in my last email, and an American or anyone else who needs a view of Spain in the 30s gets a great excuse here to read the greatest war novel ever, Ernest Hemingways For Whom The Bell Tolls. And while we are at it, if you need an insight into the "screw the government, let's do it ourselves" mindset of the 1930s John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is essential and sadly very topical for all of us.

When these guys created Crimson Skies I wonder if they knew how close we were to returning to the world of the 1930s...

User avatar
Thom
PostsCOLON 1005
JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Thom » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:50 pm

You have touched on some excellent points and ideas, I hope you will continue to flesh this concept out. As for sourcebooks, feel free to produce your own here! Our host Grant has created one of his own, The excellent >>"Pathways Through the Pacific"<<, please feel free to download it! Look over some of the other posts for ideas to pick and choose, though please try to give credit where due.

An Edwardian Coup or Commonwealth Civil War would add wonderful detail complexity to the genre.
Flying the Crimson Skies

Cheshire Cat
PostsCOLON 4
JoinedCOLON Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:16 pm
Are you a Human?COLON Yes

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Cheshire Cat » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:05 pm

And here is a another, shorter, thought. In our world the alliance between Japan and Britain in WW1 was so strong that Japanese Navy was considered to be an arm of the Royal Navy. The British only abandoned the strong military alliance with Japan after some serious pressure from Washington.

In the CS world Washington is busy with other matters and alliance with Britain still continues.

This is 'good' news (in the short term anyway) for Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, bad news for Indian and Burmese independence, and very bad news for the Dutch East Indies, China, Phillipines and ... Hawaii

User avatar
Captain Zee
PostsCOLON 77
JoinedCOLON Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:19 am
Are you a Human?COLON Yes
LocationCOLON Fishtail, Montana

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Captain Zee » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:26 am

Thank you for this insight. I have to admit, when I first played the game, I was curious as to why the Brits were anywhere near The Kingdom of Hawaii in the first place. With the information about the alliance between Japan and Britain, my curiosity is thoroughly quenched. Anyways, me and my father have always held interest in the "colorful" history of the British monarchy, and this holds good reading for both of us. Please, don't be afraid to expound your theories here!
Montana Zeppelin & Radio Company

SteampunkIronRider
PostsCOLON 18
JoinedCOLON Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:24 pm
Are you a Human?COLON Yes
LocationCOLON Orlando, FL
CONTACTCOLON

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby SteampunkIronRider » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:36 am

I just have to say that I LOVED the 1995 film Richard III, and the only thing missing from the real 1930s Britain is a Richard... we've got a George and an Edward.

User avatar
Grant
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 913
JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:42 pm

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby Grant » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:59 am

Hunh, guess I missed this.

Cool idea. CS Canon says that since Mrs Simpson died during a pirate attack, the abdication never happened. But considering that FASA went belly up right afterwards, I say go for it.

SteampunkIronRider
PostsCOLON 18
JoinedCOLON Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:24 pm
Are you a Human?COLON Yes
LocationCOLON Orlando, FL
CONTACTCOLON

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby SteampunkIronRider » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:19 am

Interestingly enough, Edward and "Bertie" had another brother - Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester (whose son, born in 1944, was named Richard). King Richard III had been the Duke of Gloucester before his coronation... perhaps we can work in some sort of scheme involving Henry manipulating things to restore Edward to the throne?

User avatar
stormwell
PostsCOLON 102
JoinedCOLON Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:49 am
Are you a Human?COLON Yes

Re: Britain in CS? The Abdication Crisis becomes Edward's Coup

Postby stormwell » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:10 pm

Bit of a grave dig for which I apologize but its worth taking a look at A Very British Civil War from Solway Craft and Miniatures, it envisions a civil war resulting because of the Abdication Crisis.

I also wrote an article for their Fall of the Empire book. ;)


Return to

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 1 and 0 guests

cron