A Very British Civil War
A British Isles-focussed alt-history mod, taking the Abidcation Crisis as its Point of Divergence, A Very British Civil War boasts a brand new map covering Britain and Ireland in much greater detail than the vanilla HoI4 map, and an engaging combination of historical research and whimiscal, P. G. Wodehouse silliness.
A Very British Civil War is based on the tabletop game of the same name by Solway Crafts and Miniatures, but is in no way affiliated to its original creators.
In our timeline, King Edward VIII, widely rumoured to hold extreme right-wing views, abidcated in 1936 in order to marry American socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson. In the VBCW timeline, he refused, resulting in the resignation of Prime Minsiter Stanley Baldwin, a constitutional crisis, widespread unrest, and ultimately civil war.
November - Prime Minister Baldwin informs King Edward VIII that he and his government cannot and will not support the King's marriage, and will resign if necessary, telling the King he must abdicate if he insists on marrying Mrs Simpson. The other political parties make it known that they too will refuse to form a government.
December - King Edward decides to call Baldwin's bluff and so summons him to the palace, informing the Prime Minister that he refuses to give up neither his love for Mrs Simpson nor the Crown. Baldwin, a man of his word, tenders his resignation, leaving the country without a government. King Edward tries to find a new Prime Minister among the Liberal, Labour and Conservative parties, but his efforts are in vain.
Finally, King Edward invites his friend Oswald Mosley to the Palace and appoints him Prime Minister. The appointment of Mosley, known for his extremist right-wing views, and not currently a member of Parliament, causes outrage in both the Commons and the Lords, with MPs and Peers alike walking out. In an effort to preserve the machinery of Government, Edward refuses to dissolve Parliament, and so a rump parliament is formed of Monarchists, Mosleyites, and a handful of idealists who believe they can continue to influence events through the proper channels.
Unrest sweeps across the country as opponents of the King protest his high-handed, unconstitutional actions.
January-April - Violent clashes continue across the country, and police forces can no longer keep the peace, calling for support from the Army. King Edward, unwilling to deploy troops against his own people, and unsure that they would obey his orders anyway, instead authorises the raising of Auxiliary Constabularies.
Given the task of assisting the regular authorities to restore order, the Auxiliaries take a heavy-handed approach, and are soon seen as an example of Edward enforcing personal rule, which only leads to increased resolve from his opponents.
May - Crowds gather around Westminster Abbey for King Edward's coronation. Security is very tight, with the King travelling in a closed car, and the route being lined with soldiers of the Guards regiments, and members of the Metropolitan Auxiliary Constabulary. As the King's car enters Parliament Square, shots are fired, and as the King's car races off towards the Houses of Parliament, chaos ensues. The Auxiliaries, believing the shots to have come from the assembled Londoners, start firing into the crowd. In response, the Guards open fire on the Auxiliaries. Both sides fire on each other for fifteen minutes until senior officers manage to call a cease-fire.
Edward immediately calls on Mosley to impose martial law. The Auxiliaries' powers are extended further, and a curfew is introduced across the country. The King and Wallis then flee London to take up residence in a Worcestershire stately home, and are married in a quiet ceremony later in the month.
Accusations fly over who made the attempt on the King's life, and the Guards regiments are disbanded. The soldiers are sent home, their honour besmirched, and deeply resentful.
Summer - The declaration of martial law galvanises opposition to the King and his Mosleyite supporters, and many left-wing and anti-Monarchist groups begin to organise themselves into armed militias. Mosley and Edward deploy regiments of the Regular and Territorial Army in an effort to keep what's left of the peace, hoping to keep tensions low by deploying regiments in their home counties.
Across the Empire, Edward's marriage has far-reaching consequences. The governments of Australia and New Zealand fall, prompting new elections, and the nationalist government of South Africa seizes the opportunity to declare independence. Eamon De Valera, Prime Minister of Ireland, sends troops into Ulster, ostensibly to help restore order but ultimately to reclaim Northern Ireland for the Republic.
The King's three younger brothers, meanwhile, flee to Canada with their families and households, fearful of the increasing violence.
Autumn - Parliament-in-Exile, formed of MPs and Lords who left Westminster upon the appointment of Mosley, meet in York to find a solution to the crisis. Seeking the legitimacy of Royal support, this new Yorkist Front invites the King's brother, Prince Albert, to return from Canada and restore order, bestowing upon him the title of Lord Protector.
The leaders of the Anglican Church, refusing to recognise Edward as the head of the Church, declare him unfit to serve as King and form the Anglican League, intent on the removal of King Edward by force if necessary. The Scottish Kirk follow suit and convene a Council of State, declaring that Scotland will no longer recognise the rule of Edward or the Parliament in London. The Scots Guards are welcomed home and forcibly expel the Fascists and Auxiliaries.
In Wales, opinion is divided between the rural north and the more industrialised south. Latent anti-English sentiment in the north forms the basis of a Welsh independence movement which seeks to form a Welsh Republic as an independent state among the nations of Europe, while in the south the returned Welsh Guards form the core of a Royalist movement still loyal to King Edward. In the industrial areas of southern Monmountshire and Glamorgan, a radical socialist movement begins to hold sway.
In Liverpool, widespread opposition to the BUF comes to a head in the form of a docker's strike as men refuse to unload supplies destined for BUF and Auxiliary forces. BUF units from Manchester are sent to break the strike, but find themselves opposed by a huge crowd of demonstrators led by the Mayor himself. Peaceful protest quickly escalates into violence, and the BUF call for support from the Auxiliaries. The Auxiliaries too find themselves outnumbered and overwhelmed, and the army are called in. The local Liverpool Regiment are first to arrive, and when ordered to open fire on the crowd, the officers instead tell their men to stand down, and then approach the Mayor to offer the services of the Regiment to the City itself. Feeling secure with his new defence force, the Mayor declares Liverpool a free city that will not participate in madness gripping the rest of the country.
Winter - Prince Albert returns, landing in North Yorkshire to meet with his Parliament. Spontaneous Yorkist uprisings occur in Pembrokeshire, Lincolnshire, and East Anglia, as people across the country come out in support of the Lord Protector.
Cornwall splits into a variety of small factions, some supporting the King, some seeking independence, some just hoping to protect their homes. Violence begins to spiral out of control, and the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry are deployed to maintain order.
Two Cornish militias form; a nationalist force known as the Kernow Liberation Army, and a royalist force called the Cornish Democratic Royalist Party. The KLA begins a guerrilla campaign against royalist forces and bases both in Cornwall and across the border into Devon, bringing them into direct conflict with the Devonshire Regiment of the regular army. Outnumbered and outgunned, the KLA retreat back into Cornwall, pursued by the Devonshires, who in turn find themselves in conflict with the Duke of Cornwall's regiment, who in the confusion believe the Devonshires to be an invasion force. The two army regiments open fire on each other, and skirmishes break out along the border. The Devonshire Regiment withdraw, but the die is cast.
Army regiments are now acting independently of high command, and units across the country find themselves increasingly drawn into the conflict. Lacking direction from above, local officers respond to the situation as they see fit, and soon the British Army is divided, with different units fighting on all sides.
Christmas Eve 1937 - With the country embroiled in open warfare, a Christmas truce is called, with the hope of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict before the cost becomes too great.
- Completely new map - the British Isles
- New states - every county is a state; several counties are further subdivided
- Strategic regions - based on UK government statistical areas and the Shipping Forecast zones
- Victory Points - Many more victory points - almost every major town and city in Britain and Ireland is represented
- Economic changes
- Production scaled down to reflect local- rather than regional-focus of industry
- New resource - coal
- Black Market imports mechancic
- Tech tree changes
- Completely reworked armour tech tree to better reflect British practice in the 1930s
- New doctrine - Irregular Warfare, replacing Mass Assault
- New naval tech tree - introduced smaller warships to better reflect the smaller scale of warfare.
- New units
- All units scaled down - Regiments replace divisions, companies replace battalions, support platoons replace support companies
- New unit types - mortars, heavy machineguns, armoured cars, marching bands, elite infantry
- Thematic unit names for all factions
- Graphics and UI changes
- New unit models - tanks and infantry reskins for most factions
Lead Developer: SquireBev
Mod Coop Representative: SquireBev