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"Enemy for Britain in "What If" Interwar conflict? " Topic

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1,223 hits since 21 Jun 2013
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SirFjodin Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 6:14 a.m. PST

I am starting collection Interwar British force and thinking what country can be Britains enemy in "What If" war set in 1925-1935 time frame.
Pre Nazi Germany does not have big army, so my only thoughts that enemy of Britain can be Soviet Union or France. Or Maybe United States…

advocate21 Jun 2013 6:24 a.m. PST



The Gray Ghost Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 6:29 a.m. PST

France would be good as they were still colonial competitors
The Soviet Union may have started to expand influence into the middle east or India.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 6:29 a.m. PST

Based on what I see here, the most popular "what if" enemy for the British in this period may be themselves.


Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 6:30 a.m. PST

Italy and Japan would be strong contenders, especially in the 30's.

slugbalancer21 Jun 2013 6:33 a.m. PST

The USSR. Soviets take over the Russian role in The Great Game in central Asia.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 6:37 a.m. PST

Ireland? Scotland?

morrigan Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 6:39 a.m. PST


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 6:49 a.m. PST

Spain? They try to conquer Portugal and Britain intervenes?

SirFjodin Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 6:52 a.m. PST

Thanx for advices :)I can see many gaming possibilities for my WW1 uniformed Brits with Vickers Medium MKII tanks.

It will be very interesting to fight with France in this period. British had Vickers Medium MKII and France Renault FT-17. Of course Vickers is more powerfull than Renault, but French have Char2C :)

willthepiper21 Jun 2013 6:56 a.m. PST

How about Afghanistan, Waziristan, Somalia, Iraq, Idomaland, Yemen, Burma, Palestine, China – all from a quick glance at the table of contents of Ian Heath's 'Risings and Rebellions'

boggler21 Jun 2013 6:57 a.m. PST

Somewhere in South America would be good.

Chaco War type thing but with British intervention.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 6:59 a.m. PST

France-give them Irish and U.S. mercenaries(AVG?). Let Nazi Germany and USSR go at it right after Poland.

Also France and Great Britain could clash in the Mid East and North Africa.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 7:02 a.m. PST

The USA allied with Japan because of the size of Britain's fleet.
One of Roosevelt's minor war objectives was to break up the British Empire.
No London Naval treaty, Roosevelt rather than Al Smith is the Democratic nominee for President and defeats Hoover.
Take it from there with your own counter-factuals, like no Depression and Hitler assassinated.

SirFjodin Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 7:20 a.m. PST

AWESOME! Even more ideas!

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 7:23 a.m. PST

Lots of good suggestions

Fascists seize power in Sweden and the Brits intervene

Lots of potential in the Middle East – Britain decides to exercise a "Turkish Mandate" option

The Foreign Office decides that the African colonies need expansion

Deciding that Hong Kong is a good thing, the Brits try to take advantage of the Chinese Civil War to expand their holdings

South America is always a great place for Great Power meddling

And, of course, they could square off against the USA

boy wundyr x Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 7:23 a.m. PST

War Plan Crimson – US invades Canada, Britain intervenes (or Canada invades US, could go either way…)

anleiher Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 7:46 a.m. PST

Counter factual can mean just about what you want it to, but if you want some degree of historicity, look to history itself and take a different fork in the road.

In the 30's communism a fascism were seen as the great threats. France was viewed very much as an ally because it allowed Britain to maintain a large fleet and rely on France for the army.

Plans existed to seize/bomb the Baku oil fields in Russia, repel any Spanish attempt on Gibraltar, punish any number of lesser states for defiance, e.g. Iraq, Iran, any sheikhdom.

There was a real possibility of a clash with the Italians as they moved into areas Britain felt rightfully to be in their sphere of influence.

I personally can't see any action between the US and Britain but it's your game.

Tgunner21 Jun 2013 7:56 a.m. PST

The US for sure! And it's War Plan Red-

YouTube link

Crimson is one of the subplans. Some day I'm going to get to this project again, I'm just waiting on some new vehicles.

I'm still working on my BEF British and I have some AIF Australians to help out. However I'm using early WWII for both the US and the UK since the vehicles are so common, especially with the British. For UK forces I'm using 1940 equipment, for the US I'm using 1941, so it's M3 Lights and Mediums vs. Cruisers and I-Tanks, Spitfires and Hurricanes vs. Hawks, Warhawks, and Wildcats.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 7:57 a.m. PST

I agree it was unlikely for the US and Britain to go at it, but there was a plan one can use as a template:

There's also a boardgame of it; two boardgames actually, but I think one is just naval, the old Microgame Design Co-op one covered land actions.

Edit – Tgunner beat me to some of this!

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 8:06 a.m. PST

Poland. They got quite expansionist at one time.

Tgunner21 Jun 2013 8:11 a.m. PST

Yup, the Microgame is very nice:


As for unlikely… probably. But there were real concerns about something happening. The US actually made some preparations just in case. And you don't think that the US Navy of the 1920's and the early 1930's was intended to go up against the Germans and Japanese do you?

But yes, by 1935 the US and the UK were less concerned about each other and started paying more attention to the future Axis powers. I changed that in my "history" by killing off Hitler during the Beer Hall Putsch. Heck, if that German soldier/policeman had just shifted his aim an inch or so over to the left…

Scheubner-Richter was walking arm-in-arm with Hitler during the putsch; he was shot in the lungs and died instantly.[34] He brought Hitler down and dislocated Hitler's shoulder when he fell. He was the only first-tier Nazi leader to die during the Putsch. Of all the party members who died in the Putsch, Hitler claimed Scheubner-Richter to be the only "irreplaceable loss".[35]

With Hitler dead, who knows what could have happened?

Grelber21 Jun 2013 8:23 a.m. PST

Britain, France and Russia had historically been the Protecting Powers for the Greeks ever since the battle of Navarino. Feel free to intervene in their internal affairs, perhaps to install a new government more inclined to promptly repay debts to UK citizens/banks or perhaps get involved in disputes with their neighbors on behalf of the Greeks. Help them regain Constantinople. Cheap ally, by the way, since Greekd wore British style uniforms and helmets for much of the period.


Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 9:43 a.m. PST

Since you mentioned using WWI uniformed Brits, a War with Italy in the early 20s would be very doable. Mussolini's assumption of power in 1922 was quickly followed by a very forceful policy of stamping out resistance in Libya. With Egypt next door, it's easy to extrapolate things getting out of hand.

There was also a "pacification" of Italian Somalia at this time, which could have spilled into British East Africa and British Somaliland.

Martin Rapier21 Jun 2013 10:08 a.m. PST

Italy is a likely contender, but the acoustic air warning system was aimed squarely at France so clearly the powers that be considered our WW1 alliance to be questionable at best….

Italy vs France vs UK is always a popular choice for hypothetical interwar battlewagon action without all those boring aircraft and submarines.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 10:29 a.m. PST

If you want to have combat with in the UK, where it's much easier to use all those tanks and troops without having to send them anywhere, consider a civil war in England that might be a very interesting conflict.

Fanch du Leon21 Jun 2013 10:36 a.m. PST

Time is July 1936. W.Churchill is in charge, so no more appeasement politics. In Spain, Franco launches the SCW and is backed by Hitler and Mussolini. Churchill warns the two dictators that he will not tolerate any german "advisor" or italian "volunteer" on spanish soil. In the same time, he tells Largo Caballero that British help will be granted if the spanish leader gets rid of the communists.
Hitler is infuriated by the b…..y alcoholic decadent aristocrat, and send in the Condor Legion. Mussolini follows and in a 10 hours declaration speaks about himself as Suetonius Paulinus, Winston as Boadicea, the former glory of the Roman Empire, and orders the readying of the Volunteer's "X legion". Caballero seizes the opportunity to arrest several communist leaders for treason. Winston Churchill launches "Operation Wellington" and thinks of a grandiose amphibious landing in Galicia to show he was right for the Dardanelles.
Now here we are: The SCW becomes an international war with 3 sides: Nationalists (Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Panzers I…), Republicans (Caballero backed by Churchill), Reds (communists with soviet advisors ans stalinist
international brigades).
France's part can vary. Option 1: the far right ligues took the power in february 1934. Lots of speeches about Joan of Ark, Trafalgar, Waterloo, Fachoda, and France sides with Nationalists. Option 2: Léon Blum understands that an intervention in Spain can wipe out Hitler and spare France a new war on its ground. Lots of speeches about Waterloo (Blücher this time…), Sedan 1870, Verdun, and hordes of FT 17's come to the government rescue. Option 3: in April May 1936, the Communist Party won the elections and rules the county: lot of speeches about the Commune, the proletarian solidarity and France's new Armée Rouge sides with the Spanish communists. Option 4: France remains neutral, no speech, and focuses on its 95th defeat against the All Blacks.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 11:01 a.m. PST

As someone already said – A Very British Civil War.


Gattamalata Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 11:12 a.m. PST


Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 11:15 a.m. PST

Lots and lots of good ideas expressed already. I have been working on an idea for a pulp type game set in central Africa with two colonies, one French, one British sharing a common border. It is quite possible they will start to beat up on each other. Although I don't contemplate that this would escalate to a general state of war between the two nations.
So FFL, plus Askaris, plus Bedouin types vs British in tropical kit, Sihks, Askaris and local allied natives going at it. I even have some artillery, two armored cars per side. And the British have an old WW1 fighter plane.

Dogged21 Jun 2013 1:51 p.m. PST

What slugbalancer said. The USSR held a grudge against them for intervening in their civil war, and had influential, territorial and economic interests both on central Asia and the Baltic…

Peachy rex Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 2:14 p.m. PST

There was a lot of squabbling in the Middle East – Glubb Pasha's memoirs have some stuff about troubles between France & Britain along the Syria-Transjordan frontier. I had a notion once of doing a project for that region – Arab Legion w/Imperial support, French, revanchist Turks, Ikhwan etc… but alas it never got going.

GrumpyOldMan21 Jun 2013 3:19 p.m. PST


The Tin Soldiers of Antwerp had a scenario where a civil war broke out in Belgium in the 30s and Britain intervened.

Can't find it online now but you could contact TSOA to see if it's available. Called "To Arms" I think.



peterx Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 5:17 p.m. PST

I'm with Fanch du Leon. The Brits could intervene in the Spanish Civil War. Only the British navy did blockade the Republican navy from Spanish ports (which they actually did), and maybe shelled some Republican vessels and cities. The Royal Navy was pro-Franco because they saw the Republicans as anti-Royalists/Monarchists (which they were). So the Brits could be split. The Royal Navy supports Franco, and the Royal Army and Air Force could side with the Republicans. The war could split British government (and military) and start a "Very British Civil War".

Whatisitgood4atwork Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 5:42 p.m. PST

I like the Brits v USA scenario.

Another would be the Russian Civil War drags on longer than it did, the White Russian forces do better than they did in real life and eventually persuade the Brits and French to give them more and more aid which escalates into a decent-sized expeditionary force, then full-on war.

Happy Little Trees Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 7:18 p.m. PST

Gandhi decides non-violent civil disobedience is for wusses.

Soviet Union decides to be supportive and tries to carve a supply route through Afghanistan.

The Afghanis object and so are ostensibly on Britain's side.

Alanis Morissette's grandmother doesn't get the irony of it.

spontoon21 Jun 2013 7:37 p.m. PST

I vote for the U.S. vs. Britain conflict. The Washington treaty reminds me very much of the situation prior to the War of 1812 vis a vis freedom of the seas.

Joppyuk Inactive Member23 Jun 2013 4:08 a.m. PST

Argentina invades the Falklands Isles?

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