Reinforcements from Empire: Indians in Very British Civil War!

India sends some of her finest!

Brave veterans of the Afghan frontier, these men from Empire bring both courage and skill to a nation at war with itself….although the Vickers 6-Ton certainly doesn’t hurt either!

A while back, I posted a little conversion I made. Some Rajput infantry made from leftover parts. It was a happy accident; by adding four men into each section of Territorials, the spare riflemen started to really add up. Given that they had separate heads, and that I had tons of British 8th Army sprues from Warlord Games lying around with the appropriate heads, it took no time whatsoever to get them assembled.

Getting them painted was a different story entirely. I had a lot of other projects on the go, and so they were shoved in a drawer until they could be given the time needed to do them properly.

Work has been keeping me busy, but I decided to get some painting done today, and I was resolved to get some VBCW troops done! There has been a lot of very inspiring work on the Facebook page lately, and I really wanted to ‘do my bit’. I also had a Vickers 6-Ton lying around, so I went for a double whammy.

With all that rambling out of the way, lets have a look at what I got done!

I didn’t get all 10 done. I simply didn’t have it in me today. But 5 will suffice, another day will see the section complete!

Adding Indians into Very British Civil War was a bit of a departure from my normal Royalist and Fascist troops. I wanted to add some Colonial flavour, and while it would be incredibly controversial at the time for King Edward to involve Indian troops in the civil war, I could see him doing it. They offer veteran troops, ones involved in putting down rebellions and border skirmishes, the very kind of Counter-Insurgency troops the King could really use on the Home Isles.

Another hobbyist on the Very British Civil War Facebook page had brought in some Sikh troops, and I wanted to be distinct. My Rajputs offer a slightly different turban shape and lack of beards to the usual Indian troops one might see. I went with Navy blue turbans, a slight nod to the armband stripe that all my Royalist troops wear.

Adding the Indians was a personal touch of my own oft-neglected heritage. My family comes from Anglo-Indian background, and I often forget that, favouring(Not intentionally!) my English background over my Pakistani/Indian background. Bringing in some soldiers who actually look like me was surprisingly a really fun project, and the research I did helped me learn more about my own lineage.

Painted mostly the same as my Territorial Army units, these British Indian Army units were nonetheless a nice break from my usual 40k painting shenanigans.
I choose for them mostly running poses, bayonets fixed. They will be using distinct rules on my table to make them more fearsome up-close. The locals don’t like it up em!
One cannot forget the Armbands! Even if these soldiers from Empire will not be mistaken as often for the foe in combat, redundancy doesn’t hurt here!
Charge!

On a different note, I also got a tank done up. While the tank itself is not from the British Indian Army, it also has an interesting story behind it.

The Vickers 6-Ton was not adopted by the British Army, and Vickers produced it mostly for export, where in our timeline it was a success, if a bit outdated by WW2. The Soviets copied the tank almost wholesale, and the Polish and Finnish made good use of the Vickers in their wars.

In the VBCW timeline I’m making an assumption that the export orders were seized, as every armoured vehicle suddenly became a hot commodity. Those taken by Royalists or Fascists were turned over to Territorial units and formed into Ad-hoc Tank Squadrons, crewed by whomever they could find. This Vickers is one such example.

Lightly washed and probably over-weathered! Still, I’m happy with it! The Royalist icon on the side helps to identify the tank in combat.
This vehicle is labeled #1. But I have yet to decide what that means!
Imagine my surprise when I found out the running gear was usually painted the same colour as the rest of the tank! Boring, but simple and effective.

All in all, nothing too fancy. But still, an honest days work. I’m still really happy with them! I may be distracted by all the big-name projects like Star Wars Legion and 40k, but I’m still enamored with the VBCW setting. There is just so much potential to tell your own story!

I plan on getting the other five Rajputs done soon, and then its back to regular old Territorials and Fascist thugs. But that is all I have for today! If you liked what you saw feel free to leave me a comment, I love talking about all this stuff! In the meantime, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save King Edward!

Lest we Forget: A small tribute to a man I never knew.

I’ll keep this brief, as this is not supposed to be a post solely to get views. Remembrance Day is very important to me, but I also just started a new job today, and had to mark my moment of silence while working. I don’t have a lot of pictures; My grandfather burned them after the war to spite the British.

In 1939, Austin Turner went to war. A youth, from middle upper-class gentry, and schooled in the British fashion, the reason he went to volunteer is unknown to us. As an Anglo-Indian, considered to be a “Non-Warrior” race, he wasn’t actively sought out. A sort of reverse racism. But nonetheless, as the Empire went to war against Nazi Germany, he found himself in military service.

Eventually, he found himself in the Western Desert, fighting against Rommel and his Afrika Korps as part of the 8th Army, the famous ‘Desert Rats’. In fact, he was an Engineer, helping clear the minefields of El Alamein.

Now this is where the story gets weird. He ended up as a navigator on an LRDG truck, (and in actual fact, this is where I got the name for this blog; Their unit motto was “Non Vi Sed Arte“, Latin for “Not by Strength, By Guile), and this is where the trail goes cold, and difficult to follow. He was in one of the English/South African patrols, according to family folklore.

He recalled serving in Yugoslavia, and was wounded in action in 1943. Returning to Egypt, he helped open a Singer sewing machine factory(which, if I recall correctly, is still there today!) and was quite a character in the Egyptian yacht community. Finally coming back to India in 1945, and in 1947 was bitterly disappointed with how Britain handled Partition, burned his passport and British citizenship, and became an avid Pakistani patriot. Running a salvage operation, breaking down ships, he finally died sometime in the 70’s from complications due to smoking. (My dad, who knows the exact date, is always broken up when asked, and for the sake of an internet article, I won’t ask).

A replica set of medals, given to each of the grandchilden. The full set is in Australia with my family there.

This man, who I never met, was apparently a gruff, stern, built like a truck individual. The polar opposite of myself. Yet his influence on my upbringing was staggering. I spent much of my formative years tracking his progress across the Western Desert campaign, and told tales of his exploits to my schoolyard friends. His bayonet, ground down into a fighting knife during his posting to the LRDG, is a unique heirloom exclusive to my family.

My interest in history, the Second World War, and the Western Desert campaign all comes from a man who in 1939, went to war, and was never the same again. He was not alone in my family; A great uncle went to Burma, and was captured and worked in prison camps not far different then the Bridge on the River Kwai, and if I’m not mistaken, WAS actually where he ended up. My Grandfather on my mothers side didn’t serve, but worked in the news, editing articles and getting them up for the evening news.

My family now finds itself in two Commonwealth nations, remembering our veterans quietly, as to not take away from the fact we are honouring Canadian and Australian veterans in our respective nations. But we remember our contribution to the Commonwealth and Britain in general. While my Grandfather may have been bitter about Partition, he was still an outstanding soldier, and that is how I choose to remember him. As I do all my family’s veterans.

Lest we Forget.