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"Independent Ireland in 1885" Topic


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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2006 1:38 p.m. PST

Operating on the principle that large rocks in a pond cause large waves, I am thinking of branching out my VSF universe.

I have started out with the premise that the CSA won their independence in the American Civil War. There are dozens of scenarios to explain this, but I chose the standard one of Lee's orders not being lost at Antietam, the British and French intervening as "honest brokers", etc. Then, the USA has a grudge aginst Britain and France, yadda yadda yadda. The usual Turtledove stuff.

How can I take off on that premise to secure Ireland its freedom? I am thinking of a vigorous support for the Fenian raids into Canada, bearing in mind that my VSF universe has the USA and Canada going to war in 1885.

I feel the need to buy some more RAFM Soldoers of the Queen, but I already have a full TSATF battalion of them in the redcoat. How should I paint them as Irish troops? I know that in French service, Irish regiments wore a red coat. Also, the uniformed IRA were alsmost indistinguishable from the royal Irish Constabulary in 1920, wearing dark green.
What would an indpendent Ireland wear in 1885? The SOTQ are almost Zulu War Brits, BTW.
If I paint them green are there any British in green that fought in the Sudan, so they can do double duty?

Oh, yes. Black straps?
And, how about a few names for the brand new Irish regiments?

reddrabs Inactive Member08 Oct 2006 2:01 p.m. PST

The move for "Home Rule" was well on the way then and Gladstone was close to achieving it. The Fenian violence in Ireland grew after 1880. However the Phoenix Park murders of 1882 destroyed Gladstone's ability to get this idea through Parliament.
He tried again in 1886 against the wishes (and support) of the Tories, many of his own party (Liberals) and the Queen (not to mention much of the public). Its failure destroyed his government.

Lowtardog Inactive Member08 Oct 2006 2:09 p.m. PST

red coats or dark green with emerald facings and orange piping?

reddrabs Inactive Member08 Oct 2006 2:24 p.m. PST

Sorry, John, but the computer played up and I was fortunate to paste what I did.

If you take these political issues into account, the scenario can be extended into a civil war which was not just Ulster v the rest but would involve Anglo-Irish families in all four provinces.

As French-British relationships were often poor in the 1880's and Anglo-Russian relationships close to war: what a scenario!

As for uniforms, "the wearing of the green" was already a cliche. As the textile strength was in the Protestant north, uniforms may come from overseas. Russia?

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2006 2:33 p.m. PST

You could have the Americans providing weapons and uniforms. The figures would be easier to buy and then you could paint them any way you want.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member08 Oct 2006 3:18 p.m. PST

OFM darlin', it's green coats ye must paint on yer Free State Volunteers, and the foremost unit ye build must be the immortal O'Slattery's Light Dragoons:

You have heard of Julius Caesar and of great Napoleon too,
And how the Cork militia beat the Turks at Waterloo.
But there's a page of glory that as yet remains uncut,
Tis the immortal story of O'Slattery's mounted foot.

The corps was instituted by O'Slattery's oldest son,
A noble-hearted poacher with a double-barrel gun,
And many a nose was broken, aye, and many an eye was shut
In learning to maneuver with O'Slattery's mounted foot.

Then down from the mountains came the squadrons and platoons,
Those four and twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons.
The band was playing merrily those patriotic tunes
Secure that fame would gild the name of O'Slattery's light dragoons.

First they'd reconnoiter 'round O'Sullivan's old shabeen;
It used to be a chop-house, but we called it the canteen,
And there we saw a notice that the bravest heart un-nerved:
"All liquor must be settled for before the drinks are served."

So on we marched but soon again each warrior's heart turned pale,
For rising high forninst us we beheld the county jail.
And when the army faced about it was in time to find
A couple of policemen had surrounded it from behind.

"Across the ditch," our leader cried, "and take the foe in flank,"
But yells of consternation then arose from every rank;
For posted high upon a tree we very plainly saw:
"Trespassers prosecuted in accordance with the law."

"Foiled again," cried O'Slattery, "here ends our grand campaign,
"'Tis merely throwing life away to cross yon raging drain;
"I'm not so bold as lions but I'm braver nor a hen,
"And he who fights and runs away will live to fight again."

So back to the mountains went the squadrons and platoons,
Those four and twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons.
The band was playing cautiously those patriotic tunes,
To gild the fame, tho' rather lame, of O'Slattery's light dragoons.

We reached the mountains safely tho' all stiff and sore with cramp,
Each took a belt of whiskey neat to dissipate the damp;
And when their pipes were loaded up O'Slattery up and said:
"Today's immortal fight will be remembered by the dead."

"I never will forget," said he, "while this brave heart shall beat,
"The eager way you followed when I headed the retreat.
"Ye've heard the soldiers' maxim when desisting from the strife;
"'Best be a coward for five minutes than a dead man all your life.'"

So there in the mountains rest the squadrons and platoons,
The four and twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons.
They march no more so martially to patriotic tunes,
But all they same they sing the fame of O'Slattery's light dragoons.

AzSteven08 Oct 2006 4:08 p.m. PST

In my VSF world, the CSA and the USA pretty much fought as in history, but several 1864 Union victories were delayed a few months and resulted in Lincoln losing the 1864 election to McClellan, and a negotiated end to the civil war in 1865. The reulting CSA included pretty much all of the rebellious South minus Kentucky and West Virginia, and Texas lost some of its western frontier.

For various reasons, the ACW restarted in 1869, after McClellan lost to Grant in the 1868 election. The British attempted to intervene on the behalf of the Confederacy with a naval blockade, until the Franco-Prussian War forced the British fleet back home. The Americans were enraged by the semi-intervention and actively started funding and supplying Fenian groups in the US and in Ireland.

The second ACW ended in 1871 with the south losing more states, and the US immediately turned its attentions to Canada. To give the British a distraction to keep them out of Canada, the US upped its Fenian support and a general revolt broke out. Nobody expected the revolt to succeed, but a fortunate attack by a Fenian submarine on Portsmouth and a command blunder by the British commander in Ireland gave the Fenians the opportunity to cut off and defeat the British garrison in Ireland in late 1871. By the time the British were in a position to counter-attack, the new Fenian government had signed a mutual defense treaty, and the US navy (freed from action against Canada and the Confederacy) was patrolling the waters west of England.

A formal treaty recognizing an independant Ireland was signed in 1872, and while the British retained control of a rump dominion in Northern Ireland, the majority of the island was freed from English rule.

Glengarry Inactive Member08 Oct 2006 6:39 p.m. PST

Many of the historical fenians fought in their old ACW uniforms, but there is an example of an actual Fenian Uniform, a green short jacket with yellow trim. How widely this was worn isn't known.

Broglie Inactive Member09 Oct 2006 8:06 a.m. PST

I would say that the Irish regiments would have copied the basic style of the British of the time although without the pith helmet. Perhaps a side cap of some sort or a hat like those worn in the Boer War and later worn by Australians. I think the emerald green might have been regarded as a bit theatrical but a more sober green might have found favour.

The expression "Free State " would not have been used. I cannot imagine that they would have got any help from the French at that time.

Skrapwelder Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2006 8:14 a.m. PST

I recall reading somewhere that the New York troops that were part of the Fenian movement in America had northern uniforms with green piping.

link

But if I read John correctly he's looking for uniforms for Ireland and England. You could go with British home service uniforms with simple changes like green details, or green coats. Or, if they get support from France, you could use the color scheme from Napoleon's Irish Legion. I pulled this uniform description off the web. It's an earlier period but a lot of the colors could be applied to whatever uniform style you end up with.

During the period 1803 to 1814, the Irish Legion wore the basic French Light Infantry uniform in a striking light green color with pockets a la Soubise. The waist-coat and trousers were white in 1811 and the breeches may have been green prior to that date (1). The facing colors were yellow, i.e., collar, turnbacks, etc. They wore knee-length black gaiters, black shoes and white belts.

Initially, the carabiniers wore a bearskin bonnet with red cords, patches and plumes. This was eventually replaced by a shako with the same accouterments. The chasseurs wore a shako with white cords and pompons of the company colors: yellow, green, violet and light blue. The voltigeurs' shako had a yellow over green plume and green cords. All shakos had the Imperial Eagle plate.

The regimental sappers wore the same uniform as the carabiniers, but their bearskin had a primrose patch with a red grenade, plume and cords.

AzSteven09 Oct 2006 11:29 a.m. PST

Odd – my post lost the last paragraph

For the Free Ireland infantry troops I used American ACW miniatures; specifically Berdan's Sharpshooters. For cavalry I used British cavalry from the RAFM Sudan range, but the uniforms I did dark blue trousers and dark green tunics. Artillery was all dark blue with red stripes and green detailing, again RAFM Sudan British figures.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2006 3:13 p.m. PST

Thanks, guys.

Green doesn't sound all that odd. I will probably use Tamiya black green, and drybrush some Ceramcote medium green, just like I did for my RIC.

The figures will probably be RAFM Soldiers of the Queen (!).
I wish I could get different heads, like with slouch hats, glengarries, etc., but I will stick with the helmets. After all, even the USA tried them briefly. They are practical, after all.

For a VSF element, I may use the Eureka Pax Limpopo Flying British Elvises, and paint them green.
I also have some Brigade Games Berdans Steam riflemen, painted green, of course.

Now, if only I could justify Irish Zouaves…

I don't think I will call them from the Irish Free State. That name was too dependent on the events of 1921. Nope, "Ireland" is good enough for me, or Eire.

**************************

"How are t'ings in Dublin, Eamonn?"
"T'ings are looking pretty bad now, but dere does seem to be some hope for a Constitutional settlement."

Skrapwelder Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2006 10:25 a.m. PST

Zoaves could easily be used as a kind of Irish Jaeger. Dark, Hunter green coats and kepis. Tartan plus fours and black shoes with gaiters.

terrain sherlock Inactive Member10 Oct 2006 2:51 p.m. PST

zippyfusenet.. whereat did you find those..uh.. epic lines..?
And if your own.. might they be recited at a con..? :-)
Shamus

zippyfusenet Inactive Member10 Oct 2006 7:57 p.m. PST

Yes that song is an epic. I collect 'em. Sadly, I've never heard anyone but myself sing O'Slattery's Light Dragoons. This classic is overdue for revival; Shamus, you and I could spark one by introducing choral singing and barbershop at wargame cons. Do you think the world is ready? Here's a thread about the song on Mudcat Cafe:

link

Like several posters on the Mudcat thread, I found the lyrics in Frank Shay's book The Pious Friends and Drunken Companions. Shay printed the song without music so I made my own up. Being musically illiterate I can't communicate my tune except to describe it as a cheery football half-time quick march, not very military, with a lot of trombone. I shall have to sing it for you some day. Oh yes I shall.

Then I found Mudcat had links to the right music. I like my own better, but you'll have to wait for that. Here's the tune:

link

picture

The Gray Ghost Inactive Member13 Oct 2006 3:49 p.m. PST

While I can't buy into the South defeating the North theory I am working on a Fenian army largly made up of Irish American ACW vets that returned to Ireland to fight the British.
With war looming with Russia, Britian can only spare a few troops to put down the rebellion.

The Gray Ghost Inactive Member13 Oct 2006 3:52 p.m. PST

Oh and I'm useing in addition to ACW figures Old Glorys Maori War Bush Rangers they are in shirts and coats, trousers in gaiters and have the British Army pillbox cap.

The Gray Ghost Inactive Member13 Oct 2006 4:09 p.m. PST

Also Foundry make The War Out West line of ACW with troops in ACWish uniforms.
Artizans Alamo Texas Defenders 1 has 3 civillians with muskets.

jselvy Inactive Member07 Nov 2006 7:46 a.m. PST

"While I can't buy into the South defeating the North theory"

It was a closer run thing than most people would believe. The truly decisive moment in the fate of the CSA was not on the battlefield, but in the British House of Commons, when they debated recognizing the CSA officially. If they had the influx of men and materials, paid for in cotton and land, would have swung the precarious balance in favor of the South.

Skrapwelder Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2006 9:30 a.m. PST

If the CSA won it's independance with British help the North would have had plenty of good reasons to support an Irish bid for a piece of Canada.

I've been working on a timeline for my VSF stuff that has the British and Prussians allied against France, Spain and Ireland. This union comes about when Bismark Discovers that George IV is actually Edmund Blackadder and blackmails him into forming a more solid alliance with the German states against the catholic french.

For my uniformed Irish troops I'm using Renegade ACW figs with Hunter green coats and kepis. I've also just gotten a bunch of the Foundry early FFL figs to use as my Irish zoaves.

For the british I'm using the Perry Sudan range.

abdul666lw Inactive Member27 Sep 2007 12:24 p.m. PST

John, Gray Ghost, Skrapwelder:
Photos, photos, where are the photos?

John the OFM : "Green doesn't sound all that odd. I will probably use Tamiya black green, and drybrush some Ceramcote medium green, just like I did for my RIC.
The figures will probably be RAFM Soldiers of the Queen (!).
I wish I could get different heads, like with slouch hats, glengarries, etc., but I will stick with the helmets. After all, even the USA tried them briefly. They are practical, after all.
For a VSF element, I may use the Eureka Pax Limpopo Flying British Elvises, and paint them green.
I also have some Brigade Games Berdans Steam riflemen, painted green, of course.
Now, if only I could justify Irish Zouaves…"

The Gray Ghost: "Oh and I'm useing in addition to ACW figures Old Glorys Maori War Bush Rangers they are in shirts and coats, trousers in gaiters and have the British Army pillbox cap."

Skrapwelder:"For my uniformed Irish troops I'm using Renegade ACW figs with Hunter green coats and kepis. I've also just gotten a bunch of the Foundry early FFL figs to use as my Irish zoaves."

Skrapwelder Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2007 3:35 p.m. PST

abdul,

link

willthepiper27 Sep 2007 5:22 p.m. PST

Well, John, if your Irish rebels are supported by the USA, then US uniforms would be a natural for them. However, as I already know you like Rafm, then I would suggest getting a few packs of the Rafm Militia Rifles:

link

Irish Zouaves could be justified as a returning contingent of Pontifical Zouaves (I don't think there were any Irish in the real PZs, but for VSF no holds are barred!). Alternately, they could be Wild Geese returning from French service!

W

abdul666lw Inactive Member28 Sep 2007 9:44 a.m. PST

Skrapwelderv,
thanks!
(I have not realized that the High King's Own Light Infantry was the unit of 'zouaves':being more accustomed to French ones, I was expecting more baggy trousers & I misinterpreted FFL – silly, sorry)
John the OFM, Gray Ghost, if only you follow Skrapwelderv's example… Cheers!

Jean-Louis

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