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Excalibur Squadron OOC - Too Tough To Die? (CLOSED)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:03 am
by The Tiger Kingdom

Excalibur Overture

Oh, a storm is threatening
My very life today-
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

The Introduction

It's 1939. The world is on the eve of destruction. The forces of democracy and humanism have been forced once again to take up arms to contest tyrannical regimes, ruled by sick and evil men.

In Europe, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party have forged a terrifying new German state built on fear, obedience, military worship, and ferocious, unyielding hate of ideological opponents and "inferior races", building up a massive and well-trained military armed to the teeth with advanced and unprecedented weaponry, and devouring multiple smaller bordering states through unchecked aggression. The Duce of Italy, Benito Mussolini, has likewise turned his country from a Kingdom into an autocratic "fascist" state, determined to rebuild itself as a military and imperial superpower, remake the Mediterranean Sea into an Italian lake, and reforge the Roman Empire. In Asia, the Japanese Empire continues its brutal war against the Republic of China, with millions already dead, and with the eyes of the Imperial regime even now shifting to India, Australia, the Dutch Indies, Siberia, and the Philippines. These three nations, along with a number of smaller satellite states, form an authoritarian "Axis" on a worldwide scale. Straddling Europe and Asia is Stalin's Soviet Union, the hyper-industrialized and fearsomely powerful communist pariah state that has just struck a devil's bargain with Hitler's Germany to divide Poland and Eastern Europe between them, raising the terrifying specter of the Axis adding the USSR to its ranks.

To counter these vicious and inhuman new orders, who have spent decades preparing and honing themselves for total war, the forces of freedom are cautious, divided, and unprepared. Great Britain can still call on its Empire, its Navy, and its Royal Air Force to fight Germany and defend the Home Islands, but the Great Depression and the ongoing strain of maintaining the world's largest empire may have pushed British resources to the limit before the fighting has even begun. France, politically crippled and traumatized by its catastrophic losses from the First World War, will again be the prospective frontline for a European conflict, a monumental; burden that the country may not be able to sustain. Across the vast Atlantic Ocean lies the United States of America, still deeply isolationist and inward-looking, still unwilling to involve itself in foreign military conflagrations. Around these three superpowers orbit a number of smaller nations, fearful of the Axis and keenly aware of their own vulnerability.

For years, these "Allied nations" have allowed the Axis to grow in strength and power. The Allies appeased the Axis, hoping that in giving in to their demands, the Axis would eventually either stop their aggressive ways, or would collapse under the weight of their own tyrannical systems. Neither has occurred. And now, with the invasion of Poland, the Allies have finally reached their breaking point.

Though many do not yet realize it, nothing less than the survival of freedom and liberty across the world are at stake. Hundreds of millions of lives hang in the balance. Many believe the Axis forces to be unstoppable, and their ideologies to be the inevitable wave of the future.

But there are many more who intend to fight the tyrants to the last bullet to secure freedom - at any cost.

As the Second World War exploded into reality and the Allied powers hurriedly began to mobilize for war, the Royal Air Force, the British Secret Intelligence Service, and a few top Allied politicians and military leaders secretly commenced upon an unprecedented military experiment. Almost overnight, a select handful of the world's most elite soldiers, spies, pilots, and adventurers from across the world have been gathered together into a single fighting unit. All of these operatives are volunteers, united by little other than their extraordinary skill and their fierce opposition to international fascism. This new unit, combined of all these different types of fiercely motivated specialists, would theoretically allow for an unparalleled degree of combat efficiency, flexibility, and effectiveness.

This is 319 (Special Operations) Squadron - dubbed "Excalibur Squadron". They are the new vanguard of the Allies forces as they embark on the largest global struggle in the history of mankind. No assignment is too dangerous, and no risk is too great for these daring warriors. Smash-and-grab raids, guerrilla warfare, espionage, prisoner rescue, aerial operations, sabotage, covert's all in a day's work for 319 Squadron.

By the time the Axis realize what they're up'll already be too late.

Before getting to the rules, there is what I like to call "THE CHIEF RULE", and that is this:
Excalibur Squadron is an intellectual property that is copyrighted by me alone, under the US copyright code. As such, I own everything here in terms of plot, characters, etc. By being a part of this RP, you are giving your consent to this being the standard operating procedure. I may well decide to make money off of Excalibur in the future, and as such, need to have the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure that somebody else can't just walk in here and steal ES from under my nose.
If you have any questions, feel free to TG me about it.

1. Don't be an ass. Really, you know what I mean. Be courteous, be polite, whatever.

2. Inactivity. That's a thing. And it's annoying as hell. I've tried implementing systems, I've tried being nice about it, and it just doesn't work, so it comes down to this:If I judge you to be inactive, you're out. Period. Here, I'm defining "inactivity" in a manner hearkening back to the judgements of the honorable Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: "I'll know it when I see it."
So to avoid that, post in IC regularly.

3. No godmodding. Real surprise, right? I know we're an elite squadron and all, but there is a difference between being an well-trained, dashing, and experienced pilot/commando and just trying to get yourself over at everyone else's expense. For the record, this isn't a commandment against cinematic license. Brutal realism can be just as dreary as relentless godmodding. But we're all capable of knowing what makes a good story and writing to that effect, I should think.

4. I expect good posts from you people. Good grammar is a must. Detail is great. Interactions with other characters are great. Description is great.

5. As far as I can foresee, I am not going to be appointing co-OPs. Do not ask to be a co-OP. You are only asking to get your own heart broken.
5a. If I ever, due to some act of god/debilitating mental illness/honest mistake ever WERE to establish co-OPs, you are to listen to them as though they were me. Were they to exist, they would be solely appointed and managed by me and none other.

6. If you can't post in the IC or OOC regularly, make sure that I know that. If you drop out sans notice, you've got no justification to complain when you get cut. There re numerous things that count as fine excuses, and I am an eminently reasonable man, but make sure to let me know.

7. Nobody in ES is allowed to build cairns. We need the stones for things that are actually productive.

8. I reserve the right to deny any and all applications for any reason I see fit.

9. I reserve the right to cut anybody from the RP I see fit, at any time, for any reason.

10. Providing inspiration, intentional or otherwise, to self-appointed liberators of India is strictly forbidden.

11. No outside food.

12. No solid food for the first week.

13. No water for the second week.

Red Flight:
Sword 1/Sword Leader: Squadron Leader Robert Page (RAF) - British - American Tiger Kingdom
Sword 2: Warrant Officer Patrick Wade (RAF) - Irish - Morrdh
Sword 3: Flying Officer Clifford McTavish (USAAF/RAF) - American - Gibberan
Blue Flight:
Sword 4: Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Talbot (RAF) - British - The Two Jerseys
Sword 5: Flying Officer Jimmy Thibodeaux (RCAF) - American/"Canadian" - Grenartia
Sword 6: Flying Officer Howard Cavalier (RAF) - British - Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
Gold Flight:
Sword 7: Flight Lieutenant Harry White (RAF) - British - GOram
Sword 8: Flying Officer Gerlof Voerhoeven (SAAF) - South African - Cylarn
Sword 9: Flight Sergeant Sam Melody (RAF) - American - Monfrox
Green Flight:
Sword 10: Lieutenant (Flying Officer) Henri Vodat (AA) - French/Russian - United Kingdom of Poland
Sword 11: Flying Officer Kenneth Carson (USMC/RCAF) - American - Organized States
Sword 12: Staff Sergeant Sebastian Smythe (British Army) - British - Kouralia
Black Flight:
Sword 13: Commandant (Squadron Leader)Jean-Martin de Florac (AA) - French - Reverend Norv
Sword 14: Flying Officer David Richter (RAF) - German - Len Hyet
Sword 15: Flying Officer Djamel Haines-Sahnoun (RAF) - French Algerian/British - Tiltjuice

Associated Knockabouts
- Corporal Kaya Waddock (WAAF) - Australian - Morrdh
- Pilot Officer Douglas Stanford (RAF) - British - GOram
- Second Lieutenant Rupert Tennesley (British Army) - British - Kouralia

Squadron Member App
Code: Select all
Date of Birth:
Physical Description/Picture:
Place of Origin:
Flight/Flight Combat Experience:
Ground Combat Experience:
Combat Specialties and Skills:
Weapons of Choice:
RP Experience:
Personal History:

Non-combat character app:
Code: Select all
Physical Description/Picture:
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(I reserve the right to reject all applications based on reasons that may only be apparent to me. All rights reserved.)

Operation History
- Operation GRYPHON - Ongoing


PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:14 am
by The Tiger Kingdom
The Excalibur Files
(A Supplementary Guide To The Excalibur Universe)



Not every German military formation was an elite and well-oiled machine. Gruppe Eberhardt, a division-sized force hastily composed of low-quality SA troopers, ethnic German militia, and pro-German members of the Danzig police, is perhaps one of the least combat-effective units in the entire Wehrmacht. Formed out of these disparate elements and charged with leading the assault on the city of Danzig, their conduct was extremely unimpressive, with the Gruppe registering high losses and only making slow progress against spirited Polish resistance.

With Danzig now finally pacified, Gruppe Eberhardt is tasked with occupying the city and ensuring local security as the infrastructure of Nazi occupation begins to move in. They have little artillery, no armor, and almost no motorized transport. While some of the more proactive commanders have established roadblocks and checkpoints in order to more effectively police the city, most of their troops could care less about good soldiering, weeks after the Polish campaign has victoriously concluded. Drunkenness and lack of discipline is a major issue, and nobody expects any further resistance. Many soldiers expect the war to end quickly.

Smaller in numbers, but much more dangerous than their comrades in Kampfgruppe Eberhardt, the SS-Heimwehr Danzig (Home Defense-Danzig) is a battalion-sized formation that served as the vanguard of the German offensive against Polish forces in the Danzig area. The Heimwehr saw action at Westerplatte Fortress, leading the amphibious assault that eventually breached the Polish defense there, and at the siege of the Polish Post Office in the heart of the town. Recruited from many of the same sources as the Gruppe Eberhardt, but trained much more thoroughly and led that much better, the Heimwehr is the feared primary instrument of the SS in the Danzig area.

Now under the command of the 3rd SS-Divison Totenkopf, the Heimwehr is preparing to leave the city and return to Germany proper for reorganization. Several of its rifle companies are still in place guarding high-value installations around the city, including the port, airfield, and the remains of the Westerplatte fortifications. Heimwehr forces are also charged with guarding valuable Polish military and civilian prisoners at a stockade within the city. The battalion is equipped with several armored cars for policing the town, organic artillery support, and limited Luftwaffe assistance.

German naval forces played a limited but dramatic role in the attack on Danzig, with the pre-dreadnaught battleship Schleswig-Holstein carrying out a point-blank shore bombardment of the city to lead off the assault on the city. Opposing Polish naval forces were quickly destroyed by air attack, with the wreckage of several Polish vessels still smouldering in the harbor. However, most of the Polish Navy, with British help, managed to escape Danzig only hours before the war started.

Now, Danzig is quickly being refitted as a major naval staging point for further German operations in the Baltic Sea. Numerous U-boats are based in the harbor, as well as several transports, torpedo boats, and coastal security vessels. The big guns of the Schleswig-Holstein remain an ominous presence just over the horizon, the battleship now anchored off the Hel Peninsula on the far side of Danzig Bay. German naval engineers are hard at work repairing the battle damage to the port facilities, and German sailors are now being based in the barracks there.

Sandwiched in between two superpowers, and with no natural lines of defense to protect its heartland, Poland realized the value of anticipating potential attacks before they were launched very early in its existence as a state. By the beginning of the 1930s, the Polish Cipher Bureau, known as BS-4, had already begun efforts to decrypt German diplomatic and naval traffic. While the department was small, it was well-funded and answered directly to the Polish General Staff, allowing it to avoid the interdepartmental jealousies and rivalries that frequently bedeviled Allied cryptographic efforts in the United States and Great Britain.

By 1939, Poland had come farther than any nation in analyzing and penetrating the supposedly unbreakable Enigma code, which was now the primary basis for German diplomatic, Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine traffic. An elaborate chess game was constantly being played between Germany and Poland, wherein Polish cryptographers would repeatedly make breakthroughs on decryption, only to be stymied by some new German development to further complicate the codes, setting them back to square one. This game had continued for years.

When the war started, Polish cryptographic efforts had reached their apex. The Polish General Staff was well aware that the German invasion was coming, having been forewarned by BS-4 through decrypted Enigma intercepts. Only a few weeks before, BS-4 had made contact with British and French secret intelligence services, and had successfully passed on volumes of information and records about their efforts, including working replicas of various Enigma models, and a prototype of a "cryptographic bomb", a computing device capable of gradually breaking through the Enigma code through sheer mathematical brute force.

The British and French were shocked by the advances the Polish had made. But all the forewarning that BS-4 provided the Polish government made little difference, as the German and Soviet armed forces tore the Polish Army apart. While many of the Polish cryptographers managed to escape to France or England, many did not, and much equipment was left behind. Whether the Germans will learn just how close the Poles have come to breaking their unbreakable code remains to be seen.

Technology And Equipment

British Armaments


Caliber: .455 in.
Action: Double-revolving action
Magazine Capacity: 6 rounds

Caliber: .45
Action: Short recoil operation
Magazine Capacity: 7 rounds


Caliber: 9mm
Action: Recoil-powered semiautomatic
Magazine Capacity: 13 rounds


Caliber: .303 in.
Action: Bolt-action
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds, subdivided in 5-round clips

The only real infantry-level antitank weapon available to British troops in the early phases of the war, the Boys rifle was excellent at dislocating the shoulders of its users...and not much else. Designed to fire a fairly puny .55-caliber round, the Boys was excellent at knocking out light vehicles, but simply couldn't stand up to the armor of almost any Axis tank, save at extremely close ranges or from the rear. The Boys might have furnished fine service as a dedicated anti-material rifle, to knock out enemy equipment and soft targets, or perhaps as a heavy sniper rifle to put the fear of God into enemy infantry, but as a heavy, recoil-happy, and ineffective antitank rifle, it truly earned its reputation as a glorified door-knocker.


Caliber: .55 in.
Action: Bolt-action
Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds

One of the inaugural research projects of the SIS' special research and development wing assigned to Excalibur Squadron, the Unified Combat Communications System (UCCS) is a groundbreaking (and extremely impractical) achievement in the field of military radiology. Consisting of nothing more than a set of headphones and a throat mic connected to a small waist-mounted powerpack and extremely advanced prototype transmitter, this device theoretically allows secure wireless communications for a distance of up to five miles, assuming terrain is flat and no electronic interference is present.

While the UCCS was contemplated for general mass production for the British Army, the idea was declined, primarily because of the massive expense of development. In addition, Army advisers unanimously agreed that allowing all troops access to such a system would inevitably cause chaos in a combat environment with troops clogging up the network with inane chatter, much in the same way common Tommies couldn't be trusted with automatic weapons, sweets, or nice uniforms. One extremely heavy radio per section would be the absolute limit.
Pictured: Two varying prototypes of the UCCS.

German Armaments


Caliber: 7.92mm
Action: Short-recoil
Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds


Caliber: 9mm
Action: Straight blowback
Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds


Caliber: 9mm
Action: Short-recoil
Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds


Caliber: 9mm
Action: Open-bolt blowback automatic
Magazine Capacity: 20, 30, 32, and 50-round magazines


Caliber: 9mm
Action: Open-bolt blowback automatic
Magazine Capacity: 32-round magazines


Caliber: 9mm
Action: Open-bolt blowback automatic
Magazine Capacity: 32-round magazines


Caliber: 7.92mm
Action: Open-bolt recoil-operated
Magazine Capacity: Belts up to 250 rounds, 50 or 75-round drums


Caliber: 13.2mm
Action: falling-bolt action
Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds


Caliber: 70mm (I guess)
Action: Hand-launched
Magazine Capacity: Most soldiers carry about two.

British Vehicles

Crew: 3 (Driver, gunner, commander), plus passengers and gunners/operators for armament
Engine: Ford V8 petrol, 85 HP
Armament: Countless potential choices, including machine guns, antitank rifles and cannons, mortars, flamethrowers, engineering equipment, AA weapons, and others
Max Speed: 30 MPH
Range: 150 miles

The peak of British prewar light tank development, the Mark VI was perhaps the ideal armored vehicle for colonial policing, a role the British deeply appreciated during the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and India. It was reliable, easy to ship, easy to make, carried a useful policing armament, and was moderately fast. This also stood it in good stead to be a useful reconnaissance tank for the Army's armored formations. However, its sheer numbers worked against it - when the British Expeditionary Force deployed to Europe and found itself in combat with the German invaders, the disproportionately large number of Mark VIs in service relative to the other cruiser and infantry tanks it was supposed to be supporting meant that it had to take its place in the line as a battle tank - a role that it, just like the Panzer I on the German side, was utterly unprepared to fill.

Several were shipped to North Africa, where its commanders were much more careful to keep it in the reconnaissance role.

Crew: 3 (Driver, gunner, commander)
Engine: Meadows 6-cylinder petrol, 88 hp
Armament: 1 .50cal machine gun, 1 .303cal machine gun
Max Speed: 35 MPH
Range: 130 miles

Ostensibly the backbone of the British armored forces in the interwar and early-war eras, the Cruisers were a series of medium-weight tank designs with only minor differences amongst each other. All of them looked about the same, performed about the same, and were manufactured in about the same numbers, meaning there's no way in hell I'm going to profile them all individually. The key factor these tanks all had in common was that they all underperformed - they were too lightly armored, unreliable, and quickly enough, too lightly armed to actually stand up on the battlefield as battle tanks. A significant majority of the active Cruiser force was abandoned during the Dunkirk evacuations, forcing the BEF to abandon these older designs and move on to something better.

Pretty much all of the surviving I/II/III/IV line of Cruisers were deployed to North Africa, where they performed well against Italian tanks, but were quickly outclassed by the more coordinated and more powerful late-model Panzer IIIs and IVs of the Afrika Korps.

Crew: 4-5 (Driver, gunner, commander, loader, second gunner in some models)
Engine: AEC 179 6-cylinder petrol, 150 hp, or Nuffield Liberty V12 petrol, 340 hp, depending on model
Armament: 1 40mm (2-pdr) cannon, 1-3 .303cal machine gun(s), depending on model
Max Speed: 25-30 MPH, depending on model
Range: 90 miles

The "Queen of the Desert" and perhaps the sole jewel of the prewar British tank force, the Mark II Matilda

Crew: 4 (Driver, gunner, commander, loader)
Engine: 2 AEC diesel 6-cylinder 7 litre engines, 94 HP
Armament: 1 40mm (2-pdr) cannon, 1 .303cal machine gun, depending on model
Max Speed: 16 MPH
Range: 160 miles

Perhaps the apex of military biplane development anywhere in the world, the Gloster Gladiator was nonetheless fatally hampered when it entered Royal Air Force service in 1937, by which time it was practically obsolete already. Monoplane development was already clearly the future of RAF fighter design, as well as among almost all other countries - the ME-109 had already been in service for several years, as had various advanced monoplane bomber designs. But nonetheless, the Gladiator soldiered on as the prime fighter aircraft deployed by Britain across its colonial empire, being reliable, easy to fly, and easy to maintain. It also served as an important transitional aircraft for the RAF, allowing its pilots to get experience on an aircraft with monoplane-level performance before making the epochal shift to the Hurricanes and Spitfires that would form the RAF fighter force of the next generation.

Gladiator squadrons can be found spanning all across the Empire, primarily centered at RAF bases in Malta, Egypt, India, and Singapore. They have also been adapted into aircraft carrier-compatible variants, known as Sea Gladiators, which now form the bulk of the Fleet Air Arm's air-defense contingent. Very few still serve with Fighter Command in the Home Islands. The Gladiator has also been widely exported to a number of coutnries around the world, mostly in Scandinavia and among various minor powers in the Middle East and Asia.

Whether or not this prematurely-obsolete fighter is capable of putting up any sort of fight at all against the modern aircraft of the Luftwaffe, or the aircraft of the Regia Aeronautica, remains to be seen.

"If a clever man said, 'I am going to build a big thing that will burn better and quicker than anything else in the world,' and if he applied himself diligently to his task, he would probably finish up by building something very like a Gladiator." - Flying Officer Roald Dahl, author, Gladiator fighter pilot, and spy

Crew: 1
Engine: Bristol Mercury IX radial engine, 830 hp (619 kW)
Armament: 4 x .303 Browning machine guns
Max Speed: 253 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 32,800 ft ft.
Rate of Climb: 2,300 ft./min.
Combat Range: 440 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

The first modern monoplane fighter to serve in the Royal Air Force, the Hurricane formed the backbone of the RAF in the latter part of the 1930s. First entering service in 1937, the Hurricane is not quite capable of going one-on-one against its most likely adversary, the ME-109, as the 109 is both faster and more maneuverable. However, the Hurricane is more than ready to contend with the swarms of German bombers fielded by the Luftwaffe, making it a key part of the RAF's aerial defense efforts over the battlefield and the Home Islands. The Hurricane is sturdily designed, reliable, and easy to fly, with modern equipment and considerable firepower. It has also shown considerable promise as a ground-attack platform, and may be modified to fill that role as it grows closer and closer to obsolescence as a fighter aircraft.

As of 1939, the Hawker Hurricane forms the majority of the RAF's fighter contingent, bridging the gap between the obsolete Gloster Gladiator and the hyper-modern Supermarine Spitfire. Plans are also in place to adapt the Hurricane for use on aircraft carriers as a naval fighter for the Fleet Air Arm - a desperately-needed development, given the overwhelming obsolescence of the vast majority of the FAA's aircraft.

An early prototype Hurricane being tested. Over 14,000 were ultimately made.

Crew: 1
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin III, 1,070 hp (846 kW) at 12,250 ft (3,734 m) 100 Octane fuel, +9 pounds lb/in² boost
Armament: 8 x .303 Browning machine guns, 500lb. of ordnance mounted on wings and fuselage
Max Speed: 320 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 33,000 ft.
Rate of Climb: 2000 ft./min.
Combat Range: 417 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

The undisputed hero fighter of the Royal Air Force, the Supermarine Spitfire is almost certainly the best fighter aircraft anywhere in the world in 1939. Developed from an award-winning seaplane design and nearly abandoned several times during the first production run for political and industrial reasons, the Spitfire finally entered official service in August of 1938. While it is certainly a more modern and higher-performing fighter than the Hurricanes or Gladiators currently filling the airfields of RAF fighter stations the world over, it is also considerably more difficult to fly, build, and repair, requiring a higher standard of pilot, as well as high-quality support and repair infrastructure - in order to use it to its utmost. Its performance indicates it is definitely worth the investment - and then some. The Spit's performance envelope is an almost uniquely excellent mix of firepower, pilot protection, speed, and maneuverability, built on an extremely versatile platform with an extraordinarily lengthy potential development lifespan.

The Spitfire is highly adaptable, and multiple versions are currently in development to fit a variety of special roles. Production is ostensibly centered at the Supermarine works at Castle Bromwich, however, most of the production work has been farmed out by Supermarine and parent company Vickers-Armstrong to other contractors and converted civilian "shadow factories" due to demand overload. This has significantly slowed the anticipated Spitfire rollout plans to frontline squadrons, meaning that it will still be some time before its older predecessors are fully replaced.

The Spitfire can easily savage any German bomber that it may encounter, and is definitely a match for the vaunted German ME-109. While the 109 still has a narrow speed advantage, especially in a climb, the Spitfire will reliably be able to outmaneuver the 109 in a turning fight, the aircraft otherwise being more or less equal. Any competition one-on-one between a Spitfire and a 109, then, will likely come down to a question of the skill or luck of the pilots, rather than a comparative advantage between one machine or another. Given the massive technological advantage the Germans have had over their opponents to date, this is a considerable upgrade for the Allied forces. In addition, the RAF has limited access to high-grade American 100-octane aviation fuel, which further improves the Spitfire's speed and performance.

While the Spit is still a minority in the RAF, it has already assumed an outsized role in RAF publicity efforts and in the public eye. The undeniably beautiful aesthetic qualities of the craft doubtlessly play no small role in that, but the Spit is as good a fighter as it is a work of art. With it taking pride of place in Fighter Command's arsenal, Britons can rest assured knowing that their homes are defended by Spitfires - one of the greatest aviation marvels the world has yet seen.

Crew: 1
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin III, 1,070 hp (846 kW) at 12,250 ft (3,734 m) 100 Octane fuel, +9 pounds lb/in² boost
Armament: 8 x .303 Browning machine guns
Max Speed: 367 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 34,400 ft ft.
Rate of Climb: 2000 ft./min.
Combat Range: 425 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

When the concept for Excalibur Squadron was first assembled in the summer of 1939, it was clear that tactical flexibility would be the squadron's primary weapon. A special-operations squadron would need to be able to operate anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, either in the air or on the ground. However, they would also need to have access to the best weapons that the RAF and SIS could provide them, in order to maximize their effectiveness and lethality. Reconciling these two needs was the challenge set to a quickly assembled team of RAF and SIS engineers charged with putting together Excalibur Squadron's aircraft complement.

Choosing the Supermarine Spitfire to be the combat aircraft of choice for the squadron was a simple decision - the Spitfire was the RAF's newest and most elite aircraft, and quite possibly the most effective fighter design operating in the world, the only known equal of the dreaded German Messerschmitt 109. But the Spitfire could only operate from secured airfields. While this wouldn't be a problem in Western Europe or certain colonial territories, where British or French fields would surely be available, operations in hostile, neutral, or remote countries would be difficult to impossible. The Spitfire would need some very substantive modifications in order to allow it to operate in the widest spectrum of environments possible.

The "Universal Spitfire" project was commenced in earnest in August of 1939. The RAF's best boffins worked round-the-clock to design and implement a wealth of modifications to the basic Spitfire Mark I design to allow it to adapt to almost any conceivable combat environment. In this, they were helped by previous research done by Supermarine, which had drawn up several concepts for a Spitfire variant - dubbed "Seafire" - which was capable of operating onboard almost all types of British aircraft carrier. While that design had been placed on indefinite hold due to the RAF's pressing need for land-based Spitfires and the prohibitive cost of mass-producing the design, the plans were basically sound. The Seafire would form the baseline for the project.

The ultimate result - officially dubbed the "Spitfire Mark I Special", but informally known as the "Swordfire", "Stratofire", or "Superfire", depending on how comfortable one is with terrible names - now nears completion. The Special is projected to be able to equal the performance of the typical Mark I Spitfire, while also incorporating short runway and carrier takeoff/landing capabilities. Numerous climate modification kits to allow the Specials to operate in jungle, desert, or arctic environments have also been completed. Further experimental modifications regarding the incorporation of an "all-weather" combat system to allow the Special to undertake night-fighting operations, as well as a photo-reconnaissance loadout, are in development.

Crew: 1
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin III, 1,070 hp (846 kW) at 12,250 ft (3,734 m) 100 Octane fuel, +9 pounds lb/in² boost
Armament: 4 x .303 Browning machine guns, 2 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza cannons, capacity for 500 lbs. of ordnance mounted on the central fuselage.
Max Speed: 365 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
Rate of Climb: 2,150 ft./min.
Combat Range: 425 nautical miles on standard fuel tank, 650 nautical miles with underslung 90-gallon fuel tank

One of the least successful designs ever fielded by the Royal Air Force, the Battle showed immense promise when it was first introduced in 1936. Replacing older biplane attack aircraft, the Battle was the RAF's first monoplane light bomber aircraft, and was powered by the same spectacular Merlin engine that would be the keystone of the RAF's excellent fighter designs. But by the time the Second World War broke out, the Battle was functionally a death trap - it was slow, heavy, almost completely unable to defend itself, and extremely easy to shoot down, lacking self-sealing fuel tanks or any reasonable modicum of armor. Its payload was also underwhelming relative to the JU-87 Stuka, its German counterpart. Terrifyingly, the RAF felt that such an outdated aircraft was perfect for unescorted tactical bombing missions in broad daylight at low altitude.
The results were grimly predictable.

The Battle also serves as a second-line utility aircraft, performing various support roles such as target towing and wireless operations training. These are roles it is much better suited for.

Crew: 3 (Pilot, bombardier, tailgunner)
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin II liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,030 hp (768 kW)
Armament: 1 .303 Browning machine gun in starboard wing, 1 .303 Vickers K machine gun in rear mounting, 1000 lb of internal ordnance, 500 lb of external ordnance
Max Speed: 257 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Combat Range: 1000 nautical miles on standard fuel tank[/box]

Crew: 3 (Pilot, navigator/bombardier, wireless-operator/gunner)
Engine: 2 Bristol Mercury XV radial engines, 920 hp (783 kW)
Armament:1 .303 Browning machine gun forward on port wing, 2 .303 Browning machine guns in dorsal turret, 2 .303 Browning machine guns mounted under nose blister, 1200 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 266 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 27,000 ft.
Combat Range: 1460 nautical miles on standard fuel tank


Crew: 4 (Pilot, navigator/bombardier, wireless-operator/gunner, gunner)
Engine: 2 Bristol Pegasus Mark XVIII radial engines, 1,050 hp (783 kW)
Armament: Between 3-5 .303 Vickers machine guns in fore, dorsal, and ventral turrets, 4000 lbs. internal ordnance
Max Speed: 247 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 19,000 ft.
Combat Range: 1720 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

The third of the RAF's ill-starred trilogy of prewar bombers, the Wellington entered service in late 1938. Much like its fellow aircraft, the Whitley and Hampden, it was a competent and versatile medium bomber that happened to be shoved into a role it was particularly ill-suited for - heavy strategic bombing deep over enemy territory, often in broad daylight.


Crew: 6 (Pilot, copilot, navigator/bombardier, wireless operator/lateral gunner, two gunners fore and aft)
Engine: 2 Bristol Pegasus Mark XVIII radial engines, 1,050 hp (783 kW)
Armament: Between 6-8 .303 Browning machine guns in fore turret, aft turret, ventral turret and waist mountings, 4500 lbs. internal ordnance
Max Speed: 235 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 18,000 ft.
Combat Range: 2,220 nautical miles on standard fuel tank[/box]


Crew: 6 (Pilot, copilot, bombardier, navigator, two gunners)
Engine: 2 Bristol Pegasus Mark XVIII radial engines, 1,050 hp (783 kW)
Armament: Between 6-8 .303 Browning machine guns in fore turret, aft turret, ventral turret and waist mountings, 4500 lbs. internal ordnance
Max Speed: 235 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 18,000 ft.
Combat Range: 1,430 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

Crew: 3 (Pilot, navigator, radioman/gunner)
Engine: 2 Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines, 350 hp (783 kW)
Armament: 2 .303cal machine guns, located in front and dorsal turret, 360 lbs. miscellaneous ordnance
Max Speed: 188 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 19,000 ft.
Combat Range: 690 nautical miles on standard fuel tank


Crew: 2 (Pilot, gunner)
Engine: 2 Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines, 350 hp
Armament: 4 .303cal machine guns, 1 .303cal machine-gun in rear turret, 500 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 225 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 20,200 ft.
Combat Range: 380 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

Crew: 2 (Pilot, gunner)
Engine: 2 Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX radial engines, 350 hp
Armament: 4 .303cal machine guns, 1 .303cal machine-gun in rear turret, 500 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 225 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 20,200 ft.
Combat Range: 380 nautical miles on standard fuel tank


Crew: 3 (Pilot, gunner, observer)
Engine: Bristol Pegasus IIIM.3 radial engine, 690 hp
Armament: 1 .303cal machine gun forward, 1 .303cal machine-gun in rear mount, ~1500 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 143 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 16,500 ft.
Combat Range: 520 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

No doubt one of the finest aircraft of the entire war, the PBY Catalina


Crew: 10 (Pilot, copilot, navigator, flight engineer, wireless operator, radar operator, four gunners)
Engine: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp radial engines, 1,200 hp
Armament: 3 .30cal machine guns in nose turret and tail, 2 .50cal machine guns in waist mounts, 4000 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 198 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 16,000 ft.
Range: 2,190 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

Crew: 11 (Pilot, copilot, navigator, flight engineer, wireless operator, bombardier, five gunners)
Engine: 4 Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder radial engines, 1,065 hp
Armament: 3 .30cal machine guns in nose turret and tail, 2 .50cal machine guns in waist mounts, 4000 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 198 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 16,000 ft.
Range: 1,550 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

British Ships

Crew: 1
Engine: Daimler-Benz DB-601A 12-cylinder, 1,100 hp
Armament: 2 MG 17 7.92mm machine guns in nose, 2 20mm MG FF cannons in wings, 550 lbs. of ordnance
Max Speed: 354 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 33,000 ft.
Range: 358 miles

Crew: 2 (Pilot, gunner)
Engine: 2 Daimler-Benz DB 601B-1 liquid-cooled inverted V-12, 1,085 HP
Armament: 2 20 mm MG FF cannons, 4 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns, 1 7.92 mm MG 15 in rear turret
Max Speed: 348 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
Range: 1,300 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

The third and least successful of the trio of medium bomber designs forming the backbone of the Luftwaffe's tactical strike forces, the Dornier DO-17 entered service in late 1936. Like its comrades the Heinkel HE-111 and Junkers JU-88, the DO-17 was originally designed as a "fast mail plane" for Lufthansa to carry cargo and passengers. Interestingly, while the "mail plane" development strategy was usually a fig-leaf for military aircraft development, the Dornier actually was a legitimate mailplane design until it was eventually co-opted by the Lutwaffe, which found the Dornier's claimed high-speed performance to be a promising military feature.

Indeed, the Dornier was very fast for a bomber, and its sleek, modern design certainly looked dangerous. The Luftwaffe was pleased with the civil prototypes, and ordered military development to proceed in order to turn this mail-carrier into another weapon in its arsenal. The DO-17 first saw action with the Condor Legion in Spain, where it was fast enough to avoid contact with almost any of the Republican fighters sent up to oppose it. This continued into the Polish campaign, where the Dornier was also noted for being a reliable and versatile aircraft, useful for reconnaissance and pathfinder assignments.

Ultimately, however, the DO-17's performance as a tactical bomber was unsatisfactory. Due to the slimness of its fuselage, its bombload was punishingly small - only about half a ton of bombs could be carried per aircraft. In addition, while the design also carried a disproportionately large number of machine-guns, its loss rate spiked hugely when put up against modern fighter aircraft capable of catching it, such as the Hawker Hurricane or the Supermarine Spitfire. By mid-1940, production had ceased and the DO-17 was removed from the bomber force in favor of recon work.

Crew: 2 (Pilot, copilot), 18 passengers
Engine: 3 BMW 132T radial engines, 715 hp
Armament: None
Max Speed: 165 MPH
Flight Ceiling: 18,000 ft.
Range: 470 nautical miles on standard fuel tank

The Austro-Daimler Polizei-Panzerkampfwagen (literally "police tank") is one ugly customer. Originally manufactured in Austria for riot-control purposes, all units fell into the hands of the Wehrmacht after the Anschluss. Desperate for armored vehicles to flesh out their ranks, the Germans promptly impressed them all into the ranks, using them as scout cars and fast fire support. Several were used by the SS-Heimwehr Danzig in their assault on the Danzig Free State, with the cars playing a crucial role in the Battle of the Post Office. Now, with the battle over, the ADGZs are a frequent and menacing sights on the Danzig streets, patrolling the district with their guns at the ready.
An interesting feature of the ADGZ is its unique drive-train and crewing arrangement - the car has two drivers at both ends, allowing it to be driven down city streets without needing to turn in order to reverse.


Main armament: 20mm KwK 35 L/45 (with 100 rounds)
Secondary armament: 3 x 7.92mm MG34
Engine: Austro-Daimler M612, 6-cylinder, 12 litre, 150 HP
Operational range: 280 mi
Speed: 43 mph

Main armament: 2 7.92 mm MG13 machine guns
Secondary armament: None, given that it doesn't actually have cannons.
Engine: Krupp M 305 four-cylinder air-cooled gasoline engine, 59 hp
Operational range: 120 mi
Speed: 31 MPH on-road; 23 MPH off-road

Main armament: 20mm KwK 30 autocannon
Secondary armament: 1 7.92 mm MG13 machine gun
Engine: Maybach HL 62TRM 6-cylinder petrol, 138 hp
Operational range: 120 mi on-road, 80 mi off-road
Speed: 25 MPH

Main armament: 37mm KwK 34/38(t) cannon
Secondary armament: 2 7.92 mm MG37 machine guns
Engine: (35t) 4-cylinder, water-cooled Škoda T11/0 gasoline, 120 HP/(38t) Praga Typ TNHPS/II water-cooled, 6-cylinder gasoline, 124 HP
Operational range: 120 mi on-road, 75 mi off-road
Speed: (35t) 21 MPH/(38t) 26 MPH

Main armament: 37mm KwK 34/38(t) cannon
Secondary armament: 2 7.92 mm MG37 machine guns
Engine: (35t) 4-cylinder, water-cooled Škoda T11/0 gasoline, 120 HP/(38t) Praga Typ TNHPS/II water-cooled, 6-cylinder gasoline, 124 HP
Operational range: 120 mi on-road, 75 mi off-road
Speed: (35t) 21 MPH/(38t) 26 MPH

The fearsome German U-Boat armada, dispersed and scrapped at the end of the First World War, had to be rebuilt somehow, and this little bath-toy of a submarine was the first major step to that end. The Type II first entered service in 1935, right on the heels of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, allowing Germany to equal the Royal Navy in total submarine tonnage. While the launching and deployment of the first class of Type IIs was a
Crew: 14
Main armament: 5 torpedoes or 9 mines
Secondary armament: 1 20mm C/30 AA gun
Engine: 2 MWM RS 127 S 6-cylinder diesel engines, 690 shp, 2 SSW PG VV 322/36 double-acting electric motors, 355–370 shp
Operational range: 3,800 nautical miles
Speed: 13 knots surfaced, 7 knots submerged

Crew: 48
Main armament: 14 torpedoes or 26 mines
Secondary armament: 1 20mm C/30 AA gun
Engine: 2 supercharged 6-cylinder 4-stroke diesel engines totaling 2,800–3,200 shp
Operational range: 8,500 nautical miles
Speed: 18 knots surfaced, 8 knots submerged

Crew: 325
Main armament: 5 single 5-inch guns
Secondary armament: 2 twin 37 mm SK C/30 guns, 6 single 20 mm C/30 guns, 2 quadruple 21-inch torpedo tubes, 60 mines, 64 depth charges
Engine: 2 supercharged 6-cylinder 4-stroke diesel engines totaling 2,800–3,200 shp
Operational range: 1,825 nautical miles
Speed: 36 knots

Crew: 514
Main armament: 9 triple 6-inch guns
Secondary armament: 2 88mm anti-aircraft guns, 12 torpedo tubes, 120 mines
Engine: Two MAN 10-cylinder diesels, four geared turbines
Operational range: 5,700 nautical miles
Speed: 32 knots

Crew: 1382
Main armament: 8 8-inch guns in double mounts
Secondary armament: 12 105mm guns, 12 37mm guns, 8 20mm guns, 12 torpedo tubes
Engine: 3 Blohm & Voss steam turbines, 132,000 shp
Operational range: 6,800 nautical miles
Speed: 32 knots

Crew: 743
Main armament: 4 11-inch guns in double mounts
Secondary armament: 2 88mm guns, 4 37mm guns, 22 20mm cannons
Engine:three triple expansion steam engines, 12 boilers
Operational range: 4,800 nautical miles
Speed: 18.5 knots

Crew: 619
Main armament: 6 11-inch guns in triple mounts
Secondary armament: 8 6-in. guns in single turrets, 3 88mm cannons in single mounts, 8 torpedo tubes
Engine: Eight MAN diesel engines, 54,000 PS (53,260 shp; 39,720 kW)
Operational range: 10,000 nautical miles
Speed: 26 knots

Locales and Battlegrounds

One of the Royal Air Force's most important installations, Manston is a fighter airfield built directly on the Isle of Thanet, a confusingly-named peninsula at the southeastern tip of the county of Kent, directly overlooking the confluence of the North Sea and the English Channel. Its close proximity to France and the Low Countries makes it a particularly important station for countering any German aerial attacks coming from that particular direction, and as such, is the closest point to a "natural frontline" for the RAF. During the First World War, fighter units operating from Manston payed a crucial role in countering German bomber and zeppelin raids coming in over Northwestern France.

Now, Manston has been reactivated to serve as a fighter base under the command of the RAF's 11 Group, covering the southeastern region of England. Only two squadrons are stationed there at the moment - No. 3 Squadron, operating Hawker Hurricanes, and No. 319 Squadron, an entirely ordinary Spitfire squadron which is in no way involved with secret intelligence shenanigans.
RAF Manston, 1939 - photograph courtesy of Luftwaffe Intelligence.

Stories, Battles, and Campaigns
For all the talk of "lightning war" and the irresistible force with which the German invasion of the Polish Republic was carried out, the beginning of the war was hardly a surprise to anyone on either side of the conflict. Since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on August 23rd, scarcely a week before the invasion was carried out and only three days before the ordained date, all could see that Germany and the Soviet Union acting in concert meant that Poland's days were numbered. This was apparent even as the secret provisions of the treaty, splitting Poland in half between Germany and the USSR, was unknown to the world at large.

The Polish Cipher Bureau was already privy to limited German Enigma communications, and correctly deduced that a German attack in either late August or early September was imminent. In response, Polish diplomats worked overtime with the equally concerned British and French governments to solidify their existing diplomatic agreements into a firm alliance. This was sealed on August 25th as the Polish-British Common Defense Pact, startling Hitler and the Nazi elite and forcing them to postpone the invasion by a week. Certain German units didn't get the memo in time, leading to a pair of border skirmishes near the Jablonkow railway station on August 26th.

Hitler was fearful and confused by the Allied willingness to defend Poland. The idea of a two-front war was anathema to the most basic elements of German military doctrine, but the "Fall Weiss" invasion plan couldn't be halted now. The decision was made to call the Western bluff, as had been done at Czechoslovakia, and proceed with the invasion after a short delay, beginning on the first of September. The Polish government and Army, now duly warned, began mobilization efforts, but these were hamstrung by the repeated efforts by German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to "reopen negotiations" regarding the Danzig Corridor between Germany and Poland - in reality, a smokescreen effort to confuse and undermine Polish war preparations.

Nonetheless, Poland's large army was ordered to mobilize fully by August 31st, and the majority of the reserves had formed up by then. Under a prearranged agreement with the British fleet, much of the Polish Navy was ordered to flee the Baltic Sea under cover of the night, with several destroyers and submarines managing to escape the area before the Kriegsmarine could arrive. These ships either linked up with the British, or headed to neutral countries for internment - the latter not being particularly glamorous, but it did beat getting sent to the bottom in a hopeless skirmish with a German cruiser group or Stuka squadron.

On the eve of the invasion, both sides were surprisingly confident of victory. Poland, still remembering its inspiring victory over the Soviet Union two decades earlier, confident of its army, and trusting in its allies, believed firmly that it could resist any German attack. The plain was simple - hold the German forces for as long as possible, buying time and fortifying the river lines and cities, until France and Britain could counterattack in the West and force the Germans into a two-front conflict. Only hours before the invasion, numerous Polish generals were seen in Warsaw giving toasts and making plans for Christmas victory parades in Berlin.

Of course, it didn't turn out that way.

At dawn on September 1st, 1939, the inevitable finally came to pass. The massed German Army and Air Force swarmed across the Polish border, splitting into three angles of attack in order to smash the Polish defenses in the northwestern, southwestern, and central regions of the country. Only a few hours before the invasion, SS special forces staged numerous incidents along the Polish border meant to portray the Poles as the invaders, murdering dozens of concentration camp inmates, dressing them in Polish uniforms, and scattering them around a German radio station and forestry post. These bodies were then duly photographed and breathlessly reported by the German state propagandists as proof of Polish aggression.

In a matter of hours, the Polish government and military commanders began to realize the scale of the catastrophe that had been unleashed upon them. The Polish Air Force fought gallantly, but was outnumbered and lethally outclassed by the Luftwaffe, with Messerschmitt 109s and 110s sweeping the skies clear of Polish aircraft as JU 87 Stukas and Heinkel 111 bombers blasted Polish airfields off the map. While the Polish Air Force would eventually account for almost a thousand German aircraft destroyed or damaged, it made little difference to the ultimate outcome - German air superiority was assured within a few days. Stukas and Heinkels roamed over Polish territory at will, making transport and supply almost impossible.

In the following days and weeks, the Polish Army's gallantry in the face of insurmountable odds became the stuff of legend. Pushed back by the unprecedented force and scale of the German attack, confronted with highly mobile German armored forces, coordinated by radio and led by highly independent and quick-thinking commanders such as Guderian and Manstein, and constantly under fire from the Luftwaffe, the underequipped Polish infantry would hold their positions and counterattack again and again. Such instances were reported constantly across the entire frontline, with the Poles frequently meeting with temporary success - in one instance, Polish troops even managed to counterflank and force the surrender of an entire German armored column. But it was all for naught, as the Germans consistently managed to turn the Polish lines by flanking efforts, or by blasting them back with Luftwaffe support, or simply overwhelming them with sheer numbers. The end was approaching faster than anyone anticipated. While Britain and France had decided to abide by their treaty and declare war on Germany on September 3rd, no serious action was taken to support Poland.
Indeed, none had ever seriously been planned.

By September 5th, only 96 hours after the invasion had begun, the major city of Lodz had been encircled and the entire Polish defense scheme had been compromised. By September 8th, German armored formations were reported to have reached the suburbs of Warsaw, forcing the Polish government to retreat to the southeast, towards the friendly-neutral Romanian border. This retreat order was then applied to the entire Polish Army the next day, as the final Polish attempt to encircle the the German 8th Army at Bzura fell apart under unrelenting Luftwaffe aerial attack. With the exception of Warsaw, which would continue to be defended viciously, all the Poles could do now was to try to hold the bridgehead into Romania as long as possible, buy time for their government and Army to escape to neutral territory, and hope for a miracle Allied offensive in the West to force a German redeployment and open the way for Polish counterattack.

Instead, they got the Soviet Union knocking at their backdoor.

The German invasion had forced the Polish military to focus their attentions entirely on their western frontier. This left their eastern border almost entirely undefended, facing the vast and open Russian frontier. While the Poles knew they couldn't trust the Soviets, even with their Enigma intercepts, they had no inkling of the extent to which Stalin had prepared and colluded with Hitler to invade and annex Eastern Poland.

Acting on these secret provisions of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Stalin decided to claim his spoils. On September 17th, the USSR declared that Poland was now defunct as a state, and ordered his Army to invade Eastern Poland and seize as much as they could up to the Brest-Litovsk frontier line. Only a handful of Polish units remained in the East to contest the Soviets. The Russian invasion was a shambles - the Soviet Army had practically been decapitated by two straight years of vicious officer purges, the Red Air Force was nowhere to be seen, and the ground advance was both poorly led and poorly planned. The Polish units put up a good fight despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered, but the garrisons were slowly crushed out one by one, with mass Soviet executions of Polish prisoners being reported widely.

The situation was no better in the West. The Poles had decided that Warsaw would be the sole exception in their mass retreat to Romania, and a hodgepodge of retreating Polish field forces and garrison units viciously held the city until forced to surrender due to lack of supplies on September 29th. By October 2nd, the last Polish defensive fortifications at the Hel Peninsula had been breached by German combat engineers and made to surrender. The last major Polish field army was reported to be encircled and destroyed by German forces on October 6th, ending the campaign.

When the dust settled, the world was shocked at the result. While it had suffered significant losses, especially in regard to their armored and air forces, the German war machine had stunned observers with the speed and ferocity of their assault on Poland. Every grim prediction regarding the terrifying, semi-mythical effectiveness of the "blitzkrieg" appeared to have come true. The British and French Armies had been left holding the bag, with the French unable to make any headway in their efforts to attack German fortifications in the Saar, and the British still undertaking meaningless bombing missions over the Ruhr and assembling a small and underequipped Expeditionary Force at a painfully slow rate. German-Soviet relations had never been better, raising the terrifying possibility of a truly satanic alliance between the two dictatorships. And now, with the conquest of Poland complete, Germany was free to shift the vast bulk of their army to confront the French along the Western frontier.

But the war was far from over for Poland. Hundreds of thousands of Polish troops, sailors, airmen, and civilians had escaped the country via the Romanian Bridgehead or by sea, along with the Polish gold reserves and the vast majority of their government and leadership, aiming to go to France and reform as an exile legion to keep fighting the Germans. While these troops were all interned by the Romanian government as per international law, Romania had been friendly with Poland before the war and was not eager to take care of the vast Polish diaspora for the foreseeable future at their own expense. This meant that, in effect, if Polish troops wanted to try and escape their camps to go to France, as far as the Romanian guards were concerned, they were free to go. These men would form the hard core of the Polish forces that would eventually take a prominent place in the Allied war machine in the years to come.

In Poland itself, however, there was no such escape. The westernmost regions were directly annexed into Germany, as the eastern half became Soviet. The provinces in the central districts - dubbed the "General Government" - became a German satellite state, ruled with almost unthinkable brutality. This was where Poles from the western regions were exiled to after being expelled from their homes, and the entire region was ruled as a gargantuan slave reserve. SS death squads, moving closely in behind the regular troops, quickly moved to exterminate entire villages and civilian populations practically at will, especially targeting Jewish populations and the Polish educated elite.

The heaviest burden of the war had already fallen on Poland. No one could imagine how much worse it would get.

Theories, Mysteries, and Anomalies

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:14 am
by The Tiger Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:14 am
by The Tiger Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:24 am
by Morrdh
(Jumping Jack Flash)

Character app...later.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:26 am
by The Tiger Kingdom
Morrdh wrote:Character app...later.

heh, yeah, same

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:59 am
by Grenartia
App inbound.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:02 am
by Goram
I love that new thread smell.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:03 am
by Monfrox
App later in the week

I want you to know I've been reading a lot of Tom Clancy and am also getting into some of Nelson DeMille's books.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:24 am
by Morrdh
Name: Patrick Wade
Date of Birth: 6th August 1903
Rank: Warrant Officer
Physical Description/Picture:

Place of Origin: Cork, County Cork, Ireland
Flight Combat Experience:
  • Sergeant Pilot, No.8 Squadron RAF, Iraq, 1924
  • Sergeant, RAF Detachment Kabul, Kabul Airlift, 1928-1929
  • Flight Sergeant, No. 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron (RAF Special Reserve), RAF Filton, 1930-1936
Ground Combat Experience:
  • Sergeant (Wireless), No.4 Armoured Car Company RAF, Iraq, 1925
  • Sergeant, RAF Detachment Kabul, Kabul Airlift, 1928-1929
  • Flight Sergeant, No.4 Armoured Car Company RAF, 1929-1930
  • Warrant Officer, No.2 Armoured Car Company RAF, Arab Revolt, 1936-39
  • Speaks Arabic and Gaelic in addition to English.
  • Fighter aircraft qualifications include the Bristol F.2 Fighter, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.
  • Bomber/attack aircraft qualifications include the Airco DH.9A, Westland Wapiti, Westland Wallace.
  • Miscellaneous aircraft qualifications include the Avro 504.
  • Qualified on use of wireless sets used y the RAF.
Weapons of Choice:
RP Experience:
Personal Bio:

Patrick was born in 1903 in the Irish province of Munster, though Patrick hasn't given much information beyond this but it is believed that his family hailed from County Cork. His father worked in a brewery and was a militiaman, even saw service during the Second Boer War with the Royal Munster Fusiliers. Patrick's uncle was a strong Irish nationalist, which often caused disagreements between him and Patrick's father before the uncle eventually left for Dublin with the Irish Volunteers at the start of the Great War. However, Patrick's younger brother Sean had been influenced by their uncle and this would lead to the brothers going their separate ways. The Irish War of Independence broke out in 1919 and Patrick's father, having an inkling of the trouble ahead, decided to move the family to England. Sean objected to this and, after a blazing row, ran away with the intent of finding his uncle. It would be more than a few years before the two brothers would meet again.

Over a year later the city of Cork was burned, proving Patrick's father justified.

Enlisted into the Royal Air Force in Bristol on 7th August 1922; accepted and posted to RAF Central Depot Uxbridge with rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class, effective 30th August 1922.

Completed recruit training 25th October 1922 and advanced to Aircraftman 1st Class, transferred to Electrical & Wireless School (RAF Flowerdown) 8th November 1922. Wirless completed 18th April 1923 and trasnferred to Armament & Gunnery School (RAF Eastchurch) for aerial gunnery course 9th May 1923, course completed 20th June 1923 and promoted to rank of Corporal.

Assigned to No.11 Squadron at RAF Andover, effective 4th July 1923, as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner on Airco DH.9As.

Application for flight training course accepted 1st October 1923, transferred to No.2 Flying Training School (RAF Digby) 7th November 1923. Passed basic and flight combat training at No.2 Flying Training School and awarded Sergeant Pilot brevet, effective 9th October 1924.

Posted to No.8 Squadron at RAF Shaibah (Iraq), effective 1st December 1924. Transferred to No.4 Armoured Car Company as a Wirless Operator, effective 3rd March 1925, vague report of disagreement with No.8 Squadron's C/O over Wade being dropped in favour of a commissioned officer for the squadron's pool of pilots may have influenced the transfer. Served in the southern Iraqi desert and was awarded the General Service Medal with Southern Desert Iraq clasp.

Seconded to the RAF Detachment Kabul (Afghanistan), effective 15th December 1928. Served as relief pilot, wireless operator and assisted in defence of British Legation and Kabul aerodrome. Returned to No.4 Armoured Car Company in Iraq once the Airlift had been completed. Promoted to Flight Sergeant round the same time and awarded the Military Medal for his actions during the Airlift.

Recalled back to the UK and posted to the recently renamed No. 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron, part of the RAF Special Reserve, effective 1st May 1930. Formed part of the squadron's cadre of regular personnel and trained on the Westland Wapiti in the day bomber role, later converted to the Westland Wallace when that aircraft was introduced to the squadron in 1933. Promoted to Warrant Officer in 1934.

1936 saw No. 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron transferred to the Auxiliary Air Force and Wade was transferred to No.2 Armoured Car Company in Palestine in response to the Arab Revolt that had broken out at the same time. Remained in Palestine until 3rd September 1939 when he was once again recalled back to the UK, received the Palestine clasp for his General Service Medal. Upon arrival in the UK, Wade was 'debriefed' by MI5 and asked about connections with his brother who was known to be involved with the IRA (especially since the IRA's S-Plan was in action at the time). Wade hadn't seen his brother since his left left Ireland in 1919 and was 'cleared' by MI5 for transfer to No. 319 (Special Operations) Squadron, effective 17th September 1939.

Due to be awarded the Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 18 years' service on 30th August 1940.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:58 am
by Cylarn
Uh-huh. I will join this.

What year does the RP into?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:38 am
by Gibberan
Still gonna try out Cliff one more time...

Name: Clifford John Clavin "Cliff" McTavish

Date of Birth: 14 July, 1913 (age 26)

Rank: Flying Officer

Physical Description/Picture:

Country of Origin: United States (he's from Bahston, see?)

Flight/Flight Combat Experience (MANDATORY): US Navy; RAF

Ground Combat Experience: Basic Training, as well as commando

Specialties (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.):
  • Taking off/landing seaplanes or carrier-based planes
  • Flying ground support roles/Counter-insurgency flying
  • Survival situations (ocean, desert, jungle, you name it)
  • Smoking
  • Swearing
  •, I guess

Weapons of Choice: Browning Hi-Power (and sten guns, once they come into use)

RP Experience: One of the greatest P2TM RPs of all time (and also Excalibur Squadron :p )

Personal History/Bio (more than one line please): Clifford John Clavin McTavish was born on July 14th, 1913 in the small village of Cohasset, Massachussetts, in the Greater Boston area. He came into a large Irish-American working-class family; his mother was a seamstress and his father was a fisherman. His family had long been one with the sea; Cliff could trace his bloodline all the way back to a fisherman-turned-sailor during the revolutionary war. His great-great grandfather on his father's side had been on the United States when it captured the Macedonian and his grandfather had been on the Conestoga while it bombarded Fort Henry. His father himself was a veteran of Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, but, finding it easier to have an extra naval pension rather than live off naval pay, returned to what the McTavishes had always done best: fishing. Taking his young son with him on these long daily trips, the elder McTavish would regale him with stories of far-off adventure. As they cast their nets, seaplanes on their daily patrols from the nearby Naval Air Station at Squantum would buzz low overhead, and once in a while they would waggle their wings in acknowledgment of the awestruck child down below. It was here that his love of flying would be born.

In 1927, at the age of 14, he heard the news of Charles Lindbergh's landing in Paris after completing his transatlantic flight, further inspiring Cliff to pursue aviation (much to the dislike of his seagoing father). Despite his aerial ambitions, he continued to work on his father's fishing boat until the Great Depression hit. His mother was laid off, and his father was forced to do the same to many of his fishermen as well. Life got harder, and Cliff got more cynical with it. Although Cliff offered to stay and help his father, he was told instead to go out west so he too could help support his family at home. Along with many of his older siblings, he volunteered with the Civilian Conservation Corps and was sent to North Dakota, where he was stunned by the low-flying cropdusters. After his six-month enrollment was up with the CCC, he secured a job flying as one, which he held until being laid off in 1934. With nowhere else to go, he chose to enlist in the US Navy, as so many of his forefathers had done. However, with the rising tensions in the Pacific, he decided instead he could serve his country better (and perhaps make a little more) by becoming a naval aviator. He excelled in his rigorous 18 month training, and with the rank of ensign, he was posted initially to the USS Marblehead, piloting Curtiss SOC floatplanes, and eventually to the Lexington, flying Grumman F2Fs and eventually the new Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bombers.

Even though he was an excellent flier and took orders well, the low pay and slow promotion rate frustrated him as well as the other fliers, leaving the group’s morale at rock bottom. A particularly traumatic incident near the end of his enlistment further disillusioned him, and he resigned his commission in mid 1938. Going back to work with his father, who by now was back on his feet, was more or less the same as usual, but that proved to be exactly the problem. He aimlessly drifted from one week to the next, with his cigars and alcohol being the only things that could take his mind off of what had happened. When he heard that the RAF was accepting foreign nationals, he sailed to Liverpool and enlisted, hoping this could change something. Graduating basic training, he was assigned to No. 6 Squadron based in Mandatory Palestine, where he flew numerous successful counter-insurgent sorties against the Jewish and Arab terrorists in the desert. This, matched with his exceptional flying, led to further investigation into his Navy background, and, unbeknownst to him but knownst to us, his actions in both services had his superiors put him on a shortlist for some sort of clandestine squadron in England...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:50 am
by Hothnia
Tag. App incoming.

Name: Franz Scweinger
Date of Birth: March 16th, 1917
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Physical Description/Picture:Image
Place of Origin: Germany
Flight/Flight Combat Experience:Lufthansa and RAF over Channel Islands 1072 hours of flight time/ 30 minutes of actual flight combat time, (minus basic training)
Ground Combat Experience: basic training-BEF in Battle of France ,light skirmish action- 107 hours in combat zone
- Espionage ( Literally German)
- Aerial Maneuvers and Aerobics
- Guerilla Warfare
- Building Gliders
- Fencing

Weapons of Choice: MP40
RP Experience:
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):

Franz was born on a small farm near Munich, Bavaria on March 16, 1923 to a heavily devout Catholic mother and a former Great War Imperial German Pilot who was now working as a mechanic for the nearby large city of Munich. The Scweinger family was in a relatively stable economic position despite the monetary crisis that beheld Germany at the time. Franz grew up with stories of his dad flying his Fokker Triplane, his head already in the clouds.

By the time he was 10, he has joined a group of older boys in creating a glider club, sponsored by a nearby Messerschmitt aircraft factory. Soon, the boys had built their first glider and they began to take turns flying it above the small hills and patch work ground of the Bavarian countryside. Franz was soon identified as the best pilot of the group and despite his age, quickly became the groups leader and teacher. Franz would always look back on those days in happiness as he remembered soaring above a large field, a large group of boys chasing him from the ground.

When Franz was 16, he was sent to a boarding school by his mother near Ulm, Germany. Due to the recent appointment of Chancellor Adolf Hitler, the family had recently undertaken an economic boom due to the arrival of many more automobiles on the streets as well as new military factories that would employ Franz's father to help construct their aircraft and Armoured vehicles. Franz, despite his Catholic faith, joined a dueling club without his mother's approval, something she hated. ( Dueling clubs were outlawed in the Catholic Church) When his mother found out about the club, she immediately took him out of the school.

By the time Franz was 18, Lufthansa had heard of his flying in the glider via his father and hired him to fly passenger to different parts of Europe. ( After training and making sure he could actually fly of course.) It was at Lufthansa that Franz learned how to actually fly aircraft and he became very good at it, the pride of the Southern German Lufthansa branch.

Fran's was soon placed in the Luftwaffe to fight in the war with Spain. He flew a new Messerschmitt BF-109, the most advanced aircraft to date. He scored a total of six "kills" against both Soviet and Republican Spanish Aircraft. He left the Luftwaffe to rejoin Lufthansa after 2 months of fighting, the requirement placed on him by the Reich.

Unfortunately Franz's Lufthansa career was cut short in 1937 after a string of Catholic students were arrested by the Scutzstaffel in Munich. Franz's mother quickly rushed Franz out of the country to nearby France, where he took a job as an airline mechanic, like his father who was still in Germany. He stayed in this job until he moved to England in early 1939.

In 1939, England was still devoid of work. Franz, still wanting to fly, signed up for the Royal Air Force but his papers were rejected because of his German heritage. Franz worked then as a mechanic in Mulberry until the RAF came to get him. The need for experienced pilots against the masses of German Aircraft was essential; essential enough to over look his heritage. Franz was able to join the RAF and was placed in Dover for the time being. What he didn't know was that he also made a short list of elite pilots to join Excaliber Squadron because of his German Heritage and Ace status.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:52 am
by Mestovakia
Is there a rule on gender or type of image?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:15 am
by Tiltjuice
Gonna be out for the next couple days. App incoming, though.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:26 pm
by Goram
Name: Henry "Chalkie" White
Age: 44
Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Flight/Flight Combat Experience (MANDATORY): RFC/RAF, mid-1916/1919. Recruited as a test pilot by the Sopwith Aviation Company. Later worked for H.G. Hawker Engineering after Sopwith was bought by Harry Hawker.
Ground Combat Experience: Fought in France, August 1914/late 1915.
Specialities (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.): Gifted pilot. Speaks good French but only passable German. Also something of a socialite. He knows, or at least has met, virtually everyone worth knowing - including certain members of his new squadron.
Weapons of Choice: Owns a Colt 1911, won at cards from an American officer in 1918. Remains competent with a rifle.
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):

Harry White was born August 4th, 1895, in Hampshire. He was born to a well to do, upper class, family, who owned a small estate to the west of Winchester. He attended Eton College at 13 and graduated shortly after his 18th birthday. All the while, the clouds of war had been gathering over Europe and it was at about this time that the storm was threatening to break. This was not lost on the teenage White, who'd taken a keen interest in politics during the latter stages of his education. Barely a week after leaving Eton, he volunteered as an Officer in the British Army- much to the chagrin of his parents, who threatened to disown him if he continued down career path that they believed to be unfitting to his social rank.

White found himself at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and eventually was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant with 1st battalion, Scots Guards. He arrived in France with the BEF in 1914, and saw his first action at the Battle of Mons. Later, he would see action at the Marne, 1st Ypres and numerous other engagements. In October 1915, around Loos, White organised an impromptu defence against an enemy trench raid and sustained minor wounds in doing so. For his actions during the fighting, he was awarded the Military Cross. Whilst recovering from his wounds, he met an RFC officer. Here his interest in flight was piqued, and thus he applied for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. His transfer request was accepted and, after receiving basic training, he was posted to the newly formed No. 19 Squadron at Savy, France. In this posting he spent the rest of the war, and proved himself a gifted pilot with a knack for aerial gunnery. Whilst flying Spad S.VII and later the Sopwith Dolphin, White managed to tally 27 kills before the end of hostilities. As a result, he was decorated a second time - with the newly created Distinguished Flying Cross. He stayed in the infant Royal Air Force until being demobbed in 1919, and was almost immediately approached by the Sopwith Aviation Company and offered a position as a test pilot. He accepted and flew for Sopwith until it was bought by Harry Hawker, and formed into H.G. Hawker Engineering - later Hawker Aircraft. He stayed in the job for almost twenty years, whilst also doing occasional work for Imperial Airways. In this fashion, he accrued thousands of flight hours becoming one of the most experienced pilots in the country.

Aside from flying, harbours a keen interest in sport as well. At school, he excelled in all manner of athletics - especially on the football pitch and in cricketing whites, but to a lesser extent in boxing and rugby as well. During his military service, he played for both the Army and the RFC in impromptu contests against rival battalions, squadrons and on some occasions even the Navy. After the war, and especially after his wounding at Loos, White attempted to keep his physical fitness and sporting prowess. He made several appearances for minor counties during the 1922 season, culminating in a single First Class (if non-professional) appearance at Lords against Middlesex, in the County Championship. His match saving 124* on debut was noted by the spectators, many of whom had known him during his service and had retained their commissions in the Air Force. Regretfully, the wounds he had received prevented his career from truly "taking off" and he was forced to retire before the end of the season. Yet, his sporting career (military and civil) along with his military record and his social status as being relatively upper class has allowed him to forge relationships with officers who are now at the top of Air Force hierarchy. This has allowed him to pull strings that are out of reach to most.

Now the clouds are gathering over Europe again, and a secret unit is being formed to combat the storm when it breaks. White is pushing fifty years old, but he was once a keen warrior and is still an expert aviator. As such, the Air Ministry has offered him his old rank of Flight Lieutenant back, and dangled an impressive salary - a tempting offer for a man with wife and child to support. Thus he finds himself putting the uniform on once more, almost 20 years after he took it off. He's on his way to RAF Manston, to help set up (and to act as an adviser, if nothing else) a highly secretive unit populated by men young enough to be his sons.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:01 pm
by Grenartia
Mestovakia wrote:Is there a rule on gender or type of image?

I wouldn't expect so. The previous incarnation had combat characters who were women.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:11 pm
by Morrdh
GOram wrote:Name: Henry "Chalkie" White
Age: 44

Hey, another oldie.

Was thinking of having Patrick seeing service during the Great War as I wasn't 100% sure when the [url=] took place, though turns out 1928/9 and so he probably won't be as old as Chalkie.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:58 pm
by The Two Jerseys
Lock up your wives and daughters, it's That Man again!

Name: Geoffrey Talbot

DOB: 17 February 1912

Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Physical Description/Picture:

Country of Origin: England

Flight/Flight Combat Experience (MANDATORY): RAF pilot, 1933-37, including combat operations in India, Palestine, and the Far East; test pilot & air racer, 1937-39

Ground Combat Experience: OTC Certificate B; involved in several firefights with rebel forces following forced landings and while serving as RAF liaison officer with British forces in Palestine and on the North-West Frontier; a fair share of boxing matches, schoolyard fistfights, and barroom brawls

Specialties: low-level flying and close air support; navigation; marksmanship (air and ground); can read a decent amount of French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, and German, though his verbal skills are somewhat lacking; able to imitate a variety of accents; skilled automobile driver and mechanic; trained to both read and draft technical drawings; experienced hunter; can ride/drive horses and other draft animals; can pilot small boats

Weapons of Choice: Colt M1911 (.45 ACP and .38 Super), Colt Detective Special, M1928 Thompson, SMLE Mk III, Winchester M1912 trench gun (12 gauge); has a general preference for Colt handguns over those from other manufacturers, and personally owns a variety of models chambered for different rounds

RP Experience: Oh-ho! Is funny because Tigger ask for RP experience, but he know our RP experience already! Ha-ha!

Personal History/Bio: Raised on a farm outside Eastbourne, Geoffrey Talbot showed promise from an early age, demonstrating an intelligence that earned him scholarships to public schools that would otherwise have been far above his family’s means and social standing, where he soon developed an interest in history and joined the Cadets. As soon as he was old enough to begin driving his father’s Austin Seven, he started displaying an affinity for driving fast, much to the displeasure of his mother (though his father didn’t seem to mind, so long as he didn’t damage the car...). Entering Imperial College London to study engineering, he soon made friends with a wealthy, Bentley-driving classmate who shared his affinity for auto racing and military matters; said classmate was a corrupting influence, for as well as serving as Talbot’s partner in racing fast cars, he also introduced Talbot to the world of dance bands, heavy drinking, and fast women. Somewhat unsurprisingly, while at university the two of them signed up for flying lessons as well as the Officers’ Training Corps.

After receiving his degree, Talbot joined the RAF as a direct entry officer; while the story among his university peers is that Talbot joined the RAF to stay one step ahead of the law following the events that occurred at a graduation party, both parties deny any wrongdoing, and Talbot maintains that he applied for a commission well before these events occurred. Regardless, Talbot received his commission and, following his training period and a home posting with 23 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Biggin Hill, in early 1934 he was posted to 803 (Fleet Fighter) Squadron aboard HMS Eagle on the China Station. After spending a year in the Far East, during which time he was engaged in anti-piracy operations, Talbot was transferred to 27 (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Kohat, India, where he provided air support for the British Indian forces involved in the Mohmand Campaign in 1935. With the outbreak of Arab Revolt in 1936, Talbot, whose previous two years of service had made him one of the most combat-experienced of the RAF’s active pilots, was transferred to 14 (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Ramleh, Palestine, where he provided air support for British ground forces, flew air policing missions against rebel-controlled villages, and even served on the ground as a liaison officer coordinating air support for British patrols, a role in which he came under enemy fire several times.

With the situation in Waziristan deteriorating throughout 1936, at the end of the year Talbot was posted back to India with 11 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at RAF Risalpur, where he was to put the air support skills he had honed in Palestine into use against another group of rebels. During one such flight, Talbot’s Hawker Hart developed engine trouble which led to a forced landing in rebel territory; while trying to make repairs, Talbot and his observer were attacked by rebel forces. Although both of them were grazed by enemy bullets, Talbot and his observer managed to hold off the rebels with machine gun and revolver fire long enough for Talbot to douse the plane with petrol and set it alight, and the two of them escaped into the bush. Due in large part to Talbot’s hunting experience, he and his observer were able to evade rebel forces for three days before meeting up with a friendly patrol; the two were both mentioned in despatches for this action.

Returning to England in early 1937, Talbot was posted to 1 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Tangmere; while transferring a bomber pilot to a fighter squadron with a reputation for aerobatics would seem a curious move, Talbot had little difficulty adapting to the fast and nimble Hawker Fury and soon joined the squadron in aerobatic displays, the highlight of which was the Zurich International Air Meet at the end of July. While 1 Squadron put on a good show, they realized that they were hopelessly outclassed by the new German aircraft on display there: the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Dornier Do 17.

While the Zurich Air Meet may have been an indication of a bleak future for Europe, for Talbot the future would start crashing down much sooner than September 1939: while on the return flight to Tangmere, he was involved in a head-on mid-air collision with a DH.86 airliner in heavy fog near the Channel. Despite sustaining head injuries from flying debris as the metal-framed Hawker tore into the plywood de Havilland (at the accident inquest, he testified that he “vaguely remembered” catching a glancing blow from the airliner’s tailfin as it whipped by), Talbot fought his mortally wounded ship all the way to the ground, managing to pull the nose up just enough to bring the Fury in for a semi-controlled 200 mph crash, finally coming to a stop upside-down; how he made it out of that with only a back injury is a mystery. The occupants of the rapidly-disintegrating DH.86 were much less fortunate, as the airliner corkscrewed in with no survivors.

Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing by the accident inquest, as the accident was judged unavoidable due to the weather conditions (the presiding officer, apparently familiar with the AAEE’s damning report on the DH.86’s stability, grimly added to his remarks that evasive maneuvers would likely have resulted in a loss of control and subsequent crash, and that Talbot probably did the passengers a favor by ramming into the fuselage and killing them outright...), Talbot was quickly made a scapegoat by a pacifist backbench MP seeking to make a name for himself with a “we’re wasting money on the RAF so that they can fly around recklessly and kill innocent people” platform. Faced with a storm of unwanted political pressure, the Air Ministry arranged for Talbot to take a leave of absence, ostensibly to recover from the injuries he sustained in the crash, with the instructions to “keep your head down at least till the next general election...”

Forced against his will to return to Civvy Street, and regularly popping painkillers due to his back injury, Talbot found employment as a draftsman at an engineering firm, but being unable to race cars and fly airplanes for the near future made his life a miserable existence. Then one day, completely out of the blue, he received a letter from Russian-American aircraft designer Alexander de Seversky; Seversky was developing his new combat aircraft for the US Army, and was looking for a pilot with actual, recent combat experience to evaluate the aircraft and provide design input (being pretty damn hard to kill was also a plus). Talbot’s response was short: I'll be on the next boat. And so, by the end of 1937 Talbot found himself in the employ of the Seversky Aircraft Corporation of Farmingdale, New York, in the position of test pilot; this position came with the perk of serving as the company’s backup entry in various air races, meaning that Talbot was flying in support of star pilots like Jimmy Doolittle and Jacqueline Cochran. Unexpectedly, the job also came with a brief Hollywood star turn, as Seversky was providing MGM with aircraft for the production of the Clark Gable/Myrna Loy film Test Pilot.

And so, things were going along swimmingly for Talbot, until one day in late August 1939; as he was preparing for that year’s National Air Races, a telegram arrived recalling him to active service and ordering him to report to Air House as soon as possible.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:07 pm
by United Kingdom of Poland
will get an app up tomorrow. Might see about reworking my last one...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:35 am
by Grenartia
Watch as I recycle not one, but TWO characters at once! :p

Name: Jimmy Thibodeaux
Date of Birth: June 13, 1910
Rank: Flying Officer
Physical Description/Picture:

Place of Origin: United States (officially, considered a Canadian citizen)
Flight/Flight Combat Experience: Several years of summer barnstorming and cropdusting, 4 years as a sergeant pilot in the US Army Air Corps.
Ground Combat Experience: A few schoolyard fights, one or two barfights, etc.
Specialties (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.): Fluency in English, conversational in French and Spanish, experience with divebombing, dogfighting, improvised weapons, mechanics, marksmanship,
Specialties (air or ground - communications, demolitions, disguises, languages, etc.):
Weapons of Choice: Winchester Model 12, M1911A1
RP Experience: I like their curly fries. Every experience I've had with them has been wonderful.
Personal History/Bio (more than one line please):
Jimmy was born in 1910 in Hammond, Louisiana, to Clara and Zeke Thibodeaux, who owned a local dairy farm. Zeke had been in the Army Air Service during WWI, and afterwards, often let barnstormers (some of them old war buddies) operate from his property. It was in this environment that Jimmy learned to fly, starting when he was 16. While he was in school, he earned money by cropdusting in and around Hammond. He even did some barnstorming on the side.

He got his degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, at age 22, Jimmy enlisted in the US Army Air Corps Cadet Training Program. He was a natural, and upon graduating advanced training, was promoted to Flight Technical Sergeant. Through his tour of duty, he befriended a former Marine Aviator (who had transferred in to Air Corps) with experience in Nicaragua, Douglas Striker, and an old Great War vet, Nate Green. During downtime, they both gave him lessons in dive bombing and dogfighting, respectively. After his 4 years was up, the Army Air Corps, not yet cognizant of the conflict brewing in Europe, discharged Jimmy in 1936. In the wake of the discharge, Jimmy became a part time barnstormer and Air Mail pilot, even incorporating divebombing in his shows, at least until war broke out in 1939. Shortly after Canada declared war, Jimmy had signed up in the RCAF using fake documents (apparently, Green "knew some guys who knew some guys"), and shortly after finishing training (which, due to his degree and Air Corps background, was a breeze) was stationed at RAF Hornchurch with 54 Squadron, and his flight skills had already made themselves apparent to 319 Squadron.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:38 am
by The Tiger Kingdom
Monfrox wrote:App later in the week

I want you to know I've been reading a lot of Tom Clancy and am also getting into some of Nelson DeMille's books.

I will give Tom Clancy limited credit in that he did actually write two pretty good books in Red Storm Rising and Red October.
But, of course, he actually wrote about 20% of the stuff that has his name all over it...

Cylarn wrote:Uh-huh. I will join this.

What year does the RP into?

The intro will be early September '39. Then, we can do a team-assembly montage as all your guys' intros and the actual op will occur in very late September or early October of '39.

Mestovakia wrote:Is there a rule on gender or type of image?

This is a question with a kind of difficult answer.
At the moment, for PILOT characters, it would be seriously implausible for female military pilots to be in the squadron, especially at this point in the war. But, of course, there is room for cinematic license and all that, so I won't say no (it would make me a hypocrite down the line too, I'd wager).
It would have to be a REALLY REALLY good explanation for it, tho.
For non-pilot characters - spies, resistance fighters, noncombat characters, etc. - the standards would be much lower because those saw much higher proportions of women in those fields, of course.
As to type of image...not sure what you mean, exactly?

TJ, GOram, Gib, and Gren are accepted. Pretty much all of you ES alums are safe, as you all well know.

Hothnia - we're not in the Battle of Britain yet! We're starting right at the beginning, in 1939.
Also, Sergeant 1st Class isn't an RAF rank - check here; flying ranks usually started at around Flight Sergeant or so.
(although not a hard and fast rule - damn these irregular RAF interwar practices)

Is there something weird going on with the bolding on the app template? Did I copy something over wrong? I'm seeing that show up in a lot of apps.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:41 am
by Grenartia
I mean, the whole app is in the bold code, if that's what you intended.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:49 am
by Remnants of Exilvania
*sees WW2 character RP popping up*
*spams left mouse button*
:( No Axis allowed...
Well, I'll watch anyways.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:55 am
by Kouralia
I'll add in my apps shortly. At least a re-done Seb, maybe t'other.