I've been around here a few months now, so I thought it about time I'd give my own AU a crack. It's still early days and rough around the edges, but that can only improve with time and effort. More details and the first few ships should come soon
The Dominion of Westralia
Westralia, officially known as the Dominion of Westralia, is a country that comprises the western portion of Australasia, being formed out of what was the state of Western Australia. With a total area of 2,645,615km2, Westralia is the 10th largest country in the world, and has a total coastline length of 20 781km. It’s only land border, with eastern neighbour Australia, stretches north-south for 1,862km along the 129th east meridian line. Despite its size, Westralia possesses a population of only 5,532,491, making it the second most sparsely populated country in the world at 2.09/km2, after Mongolia. The majority of the population lives along the coast, particularly in the capital city of Perth, with the inland areas being dominated by vast expanses of desert. Other major population centres include Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (its most significant inland centre), Geraldton and Albany.
The nation is well developed and holds substantial wealth, much of it coming from the extensive mining and resource-extraction industry, as well as its significant shipbuilding and farming industries. It has of recent also been witness to a growing renewable energy industry as it seeks to move away from petroleum and gas-extraction. There has also been an increase in the services and construction sectors. This diversification has meant that the nation has been able to avoid much of the damage caused by various economic calamities, most notably emerging relatively unscathed from the Global Financial Crisis. However, with mining beginning to show the signs of an end to its economic successfulness, alternative industries are being pursued so as to continue the nations significant prosperity, with an increased focus on tourism over recent years.
Westralia was formed following a 1933 referendum that saw the state of Western Australia vote to secede from Australia, 66% For to 34% Against. Following an 18-month deliberation by the British Government, the decision was deemed valid and the state became the Dominion of Westralia in 1935, separating from Australia and becoming a part of the wider Commonwealth as its own country.
Four years later, Westralia faced its first significant challenge as a nation, joining Australia in supporting Britain and declaring war on Germany, despite only possessing only a small military force that was relatively poorly equipped, particularly in regard to the fledgling Royal Westralian Navy, whose only major surface warships consisted of two dilapidated S-class destroyers gifted by Australia.
HMAS Swordsman, one of two Australian S-class destroyers gifted to the Royal Westralian Navy
Westralia’s experience during the Second World War would prove to be mixed, suffering numerous defeats and losses early in the war, not least the loss of the two S-class destroyers within three weeks of each other. Upon Japan’s entry into the war, things became even more desperate, with a surprise attack on Broome and the very real threat of invasion; spurring Westralia to implement extensive programs to increase domestic manufacturing, especially in shipbuilding. Furthermore, Westralia followed Australia in shifting away from reliance on Britain for defence means and towards the support of the United States. By the second half of 1943, things began to improve for the beleaguered little nation, with many of the military material and personnel losses being replaced and grown upon. As the Allies, Westralia included, pushed the Japanese back across the Pacific to defeat in 1945, and the threat of invasion disappeared, Westralia was no longer in the desperate situation it faced only a couple of years earlier. However, it remained cautious, and policies were introduced to ensure that vital industries, not the least shipbuilding, were maintained so as to lessen reliance on other countries for material support.
After the war, Westralia turned its eye to domestic issues that it had faced even since before the beginning of hostilities, especially economically. Whilst shipbuilding had become a large industry in the country, it still was not enough to bring economic prosperity, something that had been somewhat lacking since the end of the Depression. Compounding the issue was the miniscule population, which did nothing to aid in the creation of expanded industries. Thus, an extensive procreation and immigration program under the slogan ‘Populate or Perish’ saw the population skyrocket, increasing at a rate far outstripping the rate of neighbouring countries including even Australia. Jobs in shipbuilding and agriculture were spruiked to the public, and the mining industry began the massive decades long expansion that would bring significant wealth to the country.
At the beginning of the new decade in 1950, Westralia saw itself involved in its second conflict, the Korean War; when RWN flagship, the Atlanta-class light cruiser HMWS Westralia was deployed to the peninsula and put on shore bombardment duties. A small detachment of troops from the army followed, and remained for 11 months, seeing combat on numerous occasions, before being withdrawn. Westralia, having briefly returned six-months into the deployment, left soon after. Many Westralians, however, served with Australian forces, remaining for the duration of Australian involvement in the conflict.
1952 saw Britain use the Westralian island of Trimouille, in the Monte Bello Islands, for Operation Hurricane and the first detonation of a British nuclear device. 1956 saw two further tests in the islands, however, Britain elected to do the majority of its testing in Maralinga, South Australia, Westralia did not pursue its own nuclear program.
The end of the 1950s saw the beginnings of a number of civil rights movements, principally pertaining to the recognition of the Indigenous population and giving them the right to vote. Whilst the Government, then the conservative National Westralia Party (elected in 1955 and re-elected in 1959), was dismissive and resistant to such movements, the election of the progressive Democratic Westralian Workers Party in 1963 saw the calls for Indigenous inclusion met for the first time, giving Australasia’s First People the right to vote and officially incorporating them into the census.
The advent of the Vietnam War saw Westralia’s two closest allies, Australia and the US, controversially deploy forces to Vietnam. However, when pressured to follow suit, Westralia bluntly refused, and furthermore, banned any foreign ships involved in the conflict from entering Westralian ports. This put significant strain on the relationship with both countries, though particularly with the US. As a result, Westralia started to turn back towards the United Kingdom, tightening the relationship to the point it was approaching (or rather, re-approaching) the closeness the country had shared with the US, going as far as buying British TSR-2 aircraft for the Royal Westralian Air Force (ultimately becoming the only operator of the type). Tensions with the US were eased, however, when Westralia committed to putting pressure on the growing Soviet interests in the Indian Ocean, the period being characterised by extensive patrols in the region by the small yet potent RWN Frigate Force and Submarine Squadron.
The 1970s saw the emergence of the Westralian mining boom. After decades of expansion, mining had become the largest industry in the country and delivered vast amounts of wealth to the nation and its inhabitants. It was also during this decade that Westralia’s population cracked 2,500,000, highlighting the effectiveness of the ‘Populate or Perish’ policy, which finally ceased in 1975 after 30 years.
In 1982, Westralia sensationally committed several of its naval vessels to aid the United Kingdom in its bid to reclaim the Falkland Islands following Argentina claiming them as the Malvinas. The Royal Westralian Navy’s two destroyers, HMWS Perth and Kalgoorlie, along with the frigate Esperence and replenishment ship Swan River, were integrated into the British task force and provided extensive AAW and ASW support, claiming four Argentinian aircraft shot down throughout the conflict. Despite this, several RN vessels were lost, and Swan River suffered a close-call after being hit by a bomb that failed to explode.
By the end of the 1980’s, the Soviet Union’s presence in the Indian Ocean had declined significantly, and as such the high-tempo RWN patrols of the region began to draw down as well. As the country entered the last decade of the 20th century, it looked as though little in the way of conflict was to face the nation in the foreseeable future, leading to a decrease in the military’s size, most visibly the retirement¬ of the RWAF’s squadron of TSR-2s and the decommissioning of the destroyers Perth and Kalgoorlie. However, this was not before both were sent on their last deployment, as part of a detachment in support of the First Gulf War in 1991. This would prove to be a surprisingly uneventful war for Westralia, with the only action being a single night of shore bombardment by Kalgoorlie.
1997 was the beginning of a number of controversial years in politics, with the foundation of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in Australia and a sister party, Western Australia One Nation (WAON) in Westralia, whose aims included the re-incorporation of Westralia into Australia, amongst a number of other, xenophobic policies. This caused much consternation within Westralia, leading to protests and riots against the party and their policies. WAON failed to gain anything more than miniscule support and ceased to exist after gaining no seats in the 1999 election.
The new millennium saw the Westralian mining boom continue, allowing the country to weather the Global Financial Crisis without suffering in the same manner many other countries around the globe did. The ‘noughties’ also saw the growth of the local film industry and the emergence of a number of successful music exports. Shipbuilding suffered its first major slump in decades, causing the Westralian government to decide to order a number of shipbuilding projects. Chief among these was the design, manufacture and marketing internationally of the Concorde series of ships, ranging from smaller OPVs to leading-edge frigates.
The Royal Westralian Navy
The Royal Westralian Navy officially came into existence upon the formation of Westralia in 1933, though in practical terms it didn't become a physical reality until a few months later when Australia gifted two S-Class destroyers, Swordsman
. By 2020, it will comprise of roughly 7000 permanent personnel and 24 commissioned ships, split across four major 'groups' - RWN Frigate Force, RWN Patrol Force, Westralian Submarine Squadron, and Auxiliary Group. Furthermore, the RWN's sole LPD, Albany
, forms its own amphibious detachment, originally borne out of Auxiliary Group but is now a separate entity.
The two main surface combatant groups, Frigate Force and Patrol Force, are further divided into smaller groups. Frigate Force is split into 1 Frigate Squadron, comprising 4 GP Frigates; and 2 Frigate Squadron (Air Defence), which possesses the RWN's two Air-defence Frigates. Patrol Force is split between Swordsman
Divisions, with both possessing an even mix of OPV's and PB's.