The Albaean Empire is an island nation with a long history of independent governance under its Imperial Family. A long-standing rival of Gaulia and, more recently, Novgoraad, Albaea is one of the main belligerents in the World War, as its rapid rise as a regional power is being challenged by these traditional enemies.
Though smaller geographically than its continental rivals, Albaea has industrialized more quickly, and is known for the high quality of its military forces, especially the navy. Its industry is second to none in terms of quality, though lags behind Novgoraad in terms of sheer scale. Key industrial centers include Selmy, Forbaum, and Burchester in the north, Gravnaugh, Welham, and Hestershire in the midlands, and Cremmwale and Landown in the south.
Furthermore, the Albaean people are generally proud of their nation and united behind the war effort. The Empress in particular enjoys widespread popular support from all segments of the population, despite recent setbacks on the continent. Spontaneous rallies and locally-organized 'volunteer defense regiments' are common, and overall public opinion is determined to win the war.
Gaulia has existed as a distinct geocultural entity for thousands of years, and several major, radical changes in the exact nature of its sovereignty. Occupying a large section of the south-western part of the continent, Gaulia is a land known for both its imposing mountain ranges and its rich and abundant farmland.
Gaulia's most important assets remain its massive population and its large size, which insures ample reserves of every resource. Politically, however, Gaulia has been stagnant for decades. Ruled by a series of weak monarchs, regional control of the vast inlands has slowly slipped away, to be claimed instead by local governors.
The only truly successful force for centralization has been from the military, which, though modernizing more slowly than its rivals, is nevertheless noticeably more advanced than most private ventures. However, this has not been sufficient to oppose Albaea's army, which is smaller but better trained, armed, and equipped, and dealt them several embarrassingly one-sided defeats prior to the entry of Novgoraad into the war.
A vast expanse of northern territory stretching from one end of the continent to the other, Novgoraad is a massive but sparsely-populated nation. With huge reserves of metals and petroleum, Novgoraad's economic potential is unmatched. Racially distinct from the other continental powers, Novgoraad's population came from the far west, sweeping eastward until reaching their current borders.
Though historically a monarchy with imperial ambitions, the significant military defeat in Cimbria at the hands of Albaea's navy led to the rise of populist factions critical of the Imperial regime. Novgoraad's government was overthrown in 1929 by a coalition of lower-class worker's parties and extremist religious zealots preaching a reawakening of Novgoraad's ancient animist belief system. Under rule by a council of clerics, Novgoraad's foreign policy took a hard expansionist turn, becoming more intractable than ever, particularly regarding Albaea's own regional ambitions.
The most powerful of any of the combatants in the World War, Novgoraad's military is both well-equipped and overwhelmingly numerous. Their main drawbacks are two-fold: logistical difficulty in bringing their military might to bear against countries far from their production centers to the west, and a shortage of highly-skilled officers following the post-revolutionary purges that eliminated much of the traditional nobility.
The nation of Cimbria is one of the many smaller countries which became embroiled in the war as a result of its proximity to larger belligerent powers. Occupying the entirety of a pennisula of the same name, Cimbria's main export is fish, though it also has deposits of coal and metals which, though too small to be a major strategic concern, are fueling fairly rapid industrialization compared to its neighbors.
Cimbria's most important strategic asset is the naval port in Wadden. As the northern-most warm-water port on the continent, it was of utmost importance for the Grand Fleet of Novgoraad, which would otherwise be constrained to operating only during the summer months when the port at Varnik is open. Following an unsuccessful Novgoraadi attempt to seize the port, the Imperial Albaean Navy occupied Wadden in 1928 to ensure it would not fall into enemy hands.
Though initially welcomed by the locals, Albaea's imposition of export tariffs to fund the Wadden garrison at Cimbrian expense led to small-scale but violent acts of resistance, and prompted the Imperial Albaean Army to leave a large number of soldiers in the country as 'peace-keeping' forces. This in turn led to an escalation in the tariffs, and thus an escalation in the scale of the resistance. With the passage of the Emergency Act, democratic elections were 'temporarily' suspended, and de facto rule under a foreign military imposed.
Located on the northern interior periphery of Gaulian territory, Sachs has at various times been an independent region under various local dukes, and at other times been a province under the Gaulian regime. Though culturally distinct from Gaulia, Sachs shares many of the same challenges in terms of stunted modernization and weak central government.
Though poor economically, Sachs is strategically important because of its control over the land routes between Novgoraad and Gaulia. Sachs also separates Cimbria from the mainland. A region famed for its high steppe and broad, open plains, Sachs is ideal operating ground for the kind of mass mechanized warfare that has been developed by military strategists in both Novgoraad and Albaea.
As recently as 1933, Sachs, under the leadership of the warlord Otto Merovin, was in open rebellion against the central government of Gaulia. Albaean assistance in this separatist faction, particularly following Merovin's death in a plane crash, lead directly to the war against Gaulia that eventually expanded into the World War.
Located to the far south of Gaulia on its own peninsula, the ancient Kingdom of Hispalia was once a bastion of absolute monarchy, but is now effectively under the rule of a military junta. Though historically a major power, the collapse of Hispalia's colonial empire has led to it being eclipsed by its northern neighbors.
Hispalia has a reasonably modern military, with access to aircraft and armored vehicles of only slightly lower quality than their Albaean equivalents. Though not strategically located during the current conflict between continental powers, Hispalia dominates access to the southern seas via its control of several important straits. At present, these trade routes are closed to both sides of the conflict.
Hispalia is among the few nations to avoid direct involvement in the World War. This neutrality is not the result of isolationist foreign policy so much as economic and military exhaustion following five years of brutal civil war. Lasting from 1923 until 1927, this war saw the deaths of over a million people (civilian and military), and the destruction of several key economic centers during protracted sieges and bombing campaigns.
Located on the far western edge of the Ruthenian continent, distant Qing borders Novgoraad from the west and south, much as Gaulia borders it to the south and east. Ruled by representative federalism, Qing's vast territories are governed semi-autonomously through a labyrinthine bureaucracy of public officials. Culturally, Qing's religion centers around ancestor worship and finding one's place in the divine hierarchy.
Compared to Novgoraad and even Albaea, Qing boasts impressively advanced technology. Their armies are comprised of mobile and mechanized infantry in much higher proportions than either nation, and direct, brigade-level cooperation between their air and ground forces gives them unmatched reactivity in land warfare. Despite having smaller numbers of troops than Novgoraad, they have actually occupied key cities in that country's western regions.
While the byzantine internal politics of Qing are of little popular interest to the people of Albaea, their ongoing conflict with Novgoraad is seen as being of long-term strategic importance. Indeed, loses on the western front are frequently cited as the reason more troops cannot be devoted to the conflict against Albaea. Despite this, Albaean politicians do not consider Qing an ally, and the few immigrants from Qing living in Albaea are viewed with mistrust and outright discrimination.
Created by the Imperial Motor-Car Company, the LRC (Light Reconnaissance Car), is a highly produced piece of military equipment, frequently used in situations where scouting is required, but Airborne Photography wouldn't work or be fast enough. Armed with a mounted .55 Anti-Vehicle rifle and carrying 8-14mm armor, It is no match for heavy resistance, but in quick raids and scouting mission, it's 75 Horsepower 4-Cylinder IMC Engine and relatively light weight mean it can hit road speeds upwards of 80kph, allowing it to harass enemy lines while outmaneuvering enemy armored formations and anti-tank guns.
Produced by the Imperial Motor-Car Company, the TTT (Tracked Transport Truck) Mk II is a Halftrack meant to move squads of infantry quickly, it's tracks allowing it to move at a decent pace in rough terrain, which is common in battlefields, but thanks to it's large engine and wheels, it is capable of reaching 50kph. It can hold 11 fully burdened soldiers, and a single driver, and is famously reliable. Popular among the Army, it is often called the "Triple T". On Rare occasion, it can be converted into a motorized Anti-Aircraft vehicle, by replacing the seating area with a platform to hold a quad-barreled 40mm AA gun.
Designed and Produced by the Landown-based Engineering Conglomerate, Woolbridge-Uthers Limited, the Cavalry Tank Mk I, more often referred to as the 'Rapier', is a tank designed by the tenants of the Cavalry tank, being a light, fast tank designed to exploit holes torn in the enemy line by Infantry and Infantry tanks, it's speed and maneuverability allowing it to wreak havoc before the enemy can adequately respond. It is well designed for the role, it's light 10-14mm armor leveraged by it's 40mm main gun and 340 hp engine, allowing it to hit 48-50kph, a speed previously unheard of in the world of tanks. However, it is known for overheating in extreme conditions, and it's suspension viewed with disdain by some army mechanics for it's apparent propensity to crack in tense battlefield circumstances. Still, it has served well in it's few months of production thus far.
The "Infantry Tank, Cavalry Tank" doctrine used by Albaea has borne some fruit in a handful of battles thus far, and many veterans thank the Infantry Tank Mk II, named after King Siegfried II for it's tough, seemingly unstoppable tenacity. From experience with early tank battles, Christshed Motors have designed the Siegfried to meet several perceived problems. First of all, it's 40-90mm armor is thick enough to make up for it's almost laughably slow speed, bouncing shells that would decimate pre-war tank designs. It carries two turrets, to allow it to engage several enemy targets in tandem, to alleviate pressures estimated by the designers about it's slow rate of manufacture, meaning most divisions would only have a handful of Siegfrieds at once. The 75mm and 40mm guns were both placed on the tank to try and produce the same depth of fire as having several tanks at once. In addition to the two main guns, it also carries 3 Machineguns, allowing it to pin down infantry. In all, it has served well in it's role: To advance alongside infantry and provide a heavily armored bastion of heavy ordinance to help overpower enemy positions.
The Heishval 30 is a Gaulian tank produced by Heishval Motorcorp, designed in 1930 in reaction to the Albaean-Novgoraadi war, and the birth of tanks. By the outbreak of the 1935 war, however, the tank was already woefully unprepared compared to more modern designs by Novgoraad and Albaea. It's armor is 22mm at the strongest, and even then only on certain places on the frontal armor, going down to 4mm in visually apparent weak spots on sides and back. It's main gun is a 37mm cannon, which struggles to find grip against some of the heavy armored vehicles fielded by Albaea. It's top speed is a woeful 10kph, though, at very least, it doesn't lose much speed when going over difficult terrain or hills. It is also famously unsafe for the crew, with engine fumes and poor airflow plaguing the crewmen. The only bright spot about the Heishval 30 is it's commonality, easily doubling the numbers of more advanced tanks produced by other nations.
Designed and built by Forges et Aciéries de la Avion d'Vessien, aka FAAV, the FAAV 32 is a large armored vehicle designed to replace the horse-drawn artillery used throughout the last few decades of warfare, the lumbering, barely-armored FAAV 32 carrying a respectable 105mm artillery cannon. In practice, the FAAV is laughably slow, often being outpaced by the horse-drawn pieces it was meant to replace, as well as incredibly unreliable, it's large body barely supported by the much-too small tracks meaning it gets caught on the inclines and trenches tanks were originally designed to deal with. Still, on the occasions it is able to get to the field and unleash it's fire, it works as a devastating howitzer, which has forged the outcome of several battles.
Almost paradoxically, the Heishval VT-34 has proven to be one of the most reliable and useful vehicles in Gaulia's hands. Designed primarily as a support and transport vehicle, the Heishval véhicule de transport 34 has grown into the role spectacularily. Reliable, rugged, and thanks to it's massive wheels, all-terrain vehicle can transport 8 men and their gear at a respectable road speed of 50kph. However, it's most devious feature is it's ease of modification and range of use. VT-34's have seen use as artillery tractors, tank-wreck salvagers, ambulances, and have racked up an amazing amount of enemy tank kills. The latter is achieved by mounting a 37mm anti-tank cannon on the back (Sometimes with the transport cover still over it, disguising it as a simple infantry transport vehicle) and outflanking enemy armor. It has gained a 'shoot on sight' reputation amongst Albaean Tank crews who have underestimated what they thought was a simple Gaulian transport truck, only to have their tanks penetrated from behind.
The Leonid Goroskvil Tank, named after it's designer, is the main battle tank of Novgoraad. In a bizarre rejection of other countries designs and philosophies regarding tanks, the LG-1, and indeed, most other Novgoraad armored vehicles lack any sort of turret, using the space instead to mount larger guns. While this has the downside of less maneuverability (the entire tank has to be turned to face an enemy, rather than just the turret), the upside is unmatched firepower. The LG-1 itself carries a 76mm gun originally designed for naval gunboats, which cleaves through most armor like butter. It is relatively 'zippy', managing to reach speeds up to 30kph, and it's armor is a respectable 45mm in the front, though it lacks slightly on the sides and rear. Novgoraadi crews love this vehicle for its simplicity, reliability, and ease of use. Because of this and the steering which is unfortunately regarded as cumbersome the vehicle is (un?)affectionately called 'suka', the Novgoraadi term for 'bitch'.
The Vassily Petrukhin Tank, 2nd model is the Novgoraadi vision of a light tank. It bears all the marks of a 'modern' light tank: Relatively light (6-35mm) armor, and a good amount (45kph) of speed and maneuverability. However, the one mark it bears above other nation's light tanks it's it's distinctly Novgoraadi armament, a 57mm cannon originally used in a man-portable anti-tank artillery piece. This allows it to punch up above it's percieved lack of size and strength. Despite being barely larger than a large truck, it can decimate enemy tanks with it's large gun. For the record, the only differance between the VP-2 and it's predecessor, the VP-1, is an improved V-12 engine.
The Petrov Simonov tank is a self-propelled artillery piece, along the same lines as the Gaulian FAAV 32. However, unlike it's Gaulian cousin, the PS-1 performs admirably. Unlike the massive, lumbering FAAV 32, the PS-1 is light on it's feet, capable of reaching 32kph, which means it is able to stay right where the battle is, raining 105mm artillery shells down on enemy heads, retreating before the enemy can attack them, and then continuing the shelling. Despite this, in a face off, it's light armor and open-topped design mean it isn't much of a match in a real fight. For all intents and purposes, it is best to think of, and use, the PS-1 as an artillery piece, not a tank.
While the shorted phrasing of the CDST-AA-AT is a mouthful, it's full name is much more. The Cimbrian dizayn spetsifikatsii tank zenitnyye protivotankovyye (Cimbrian Design Specification Tank, Anti-Aircraft, Anti-Tank) has a storied history. Designed by Cimbrian Eccentric, Holger Ollsvad, a fairly vocal anti-Albaean, the specifications were sent to Novgoraad. The tank that Ollsvad had designed was a reasonably well-made one. After several changes, however, the few prototypes didn't match up to what had become current Novgoraad specifications, and the design fell by the wayside as tanks like the LG-1 were produced instead. However, on the outbreak of the 1935 war, several of the prototypes were rounded up. Their turrets were removed, and the large Novgoraadi 90mm anti-aircraft guns were placed on top to serve as mobile Anti-Aircraft vehicles, an untapped idea at the time.
The redesigned tanks served admirably, both as an anti-aircraft weapon, but also as an anti-tank weapon, the 90mm gun capable of penetrating any tank currently in production. The CDST-AA-AT was finalized, and is now in production in Novgoraad. With it's already fearful reputation, the idea of the CDST-AA-AT being mass produced has Albaean Tank commanders worried.
The commander, caretaker, and cook for Wightshead Base, Major Stranahan is an enthusiastic and professional young woman with blonde hair. One of the few female officers in the Albaean Air Force, Erica is noted by her fellow officers for both her easy-going demeanor and her intense work ethic.
During the Novgo-Albaean War, Erica was part of the Mk. I Focus Capsule Programme, and was deployed on the Cimbrian Peninsula, where she was promoted to Lieutenant. She served as an early-warning radar operator until late in '35, when she was promoted to Captain and placed in charge of the Command & Control Company of a key division in the Sachsen Occupation Forces. Following the evacuation, Stranahan was fast-tracked for a promotion to Major, and transferred back into the Focus Pendant Programme as Flight Commander for Wightshead.
She will be missed. T~T
Dirk Sands - The son of a fisherman
Margarette Stewart- The daughter of a lighthouse keeper
Angela Carraway - The daughter of an orchard owner's widow
Kevin Albridge - The son of a shop-owner