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TJW
Post subject: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: December 6th, 2018, 9:49 pm
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This is my very first attempt at an AU. I’d like to acknowledge llamaman2, thegrumpykestrel, & whitey_nl. Their AUs of the Channel Islands Federation, the Dominion of Westralia, & the Dominion of Newfoundland & Labrador inspired me to take the leap & attempt my first AU. I’m basing it on the former British colony of West Florida. Basically, it’s a what-if look at how things might have turned out had Britain retained a portion of its West Florida colony after 1783. But I’m an absolute novice when it comes to drawings, so please bear with me.

The Dominion of West Florida

West Florida is a dominion of the British Commonwealth, like Canada, New Zealand or Australia. It lies along the northern Gulf of Mexico, bordering the US states of Alabama, Georgia & Florida. Its eastern border is formed by the Apalachicola & Chattahoochee rivers, with the western border following the Perdido river. The northern border is the latitude line of 31 degrees. West Florida has a total area of just under 23,000 square kilometres, with a population of just over 925,000. A large proportion of the population lives along the coast, particularly in the capital Pensacola. Other major population centres include Panama City, Crestview, Port St. Joseph (Port St. Joe) & West Point (Apalachicola). West Florida lies in the US Central time zone. Historically, the West Florida economy has depended on farming, forestry & lumber. Import-export shipping in the ports of Pensacola & Panama City, as well as shipbuilding & commercial fishing have long been important industries. More recently, growth of tourism & the hospitality industry has been a major contributor to the West Florida economy.


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History

Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years' War, Spain agreed to cede its Florida territories to Britain. France also ceded much of its Louisiana colony east of the Mississippi River to Britain. From this territory, two provinces were established. East Florida, with its capital in St. Augustine & West Florida, with Pensacola as its capital. West Florida was a strip along the Gulf Coast, bounded by the Mississippi River & Lake Pontchartrain in the west, by the 31st parallel to the north & the Apalachicola River to the east. New British settlers arrived, including some from the thirteen colonies. Surveyors mapped much of the landscape & coastline. Attempts were also made to develop relations with the native Seminole people. The first colonial assembly was established in 1764. Ten years later, West Florida was invited to send delegates to the First Continental Congress, but they declined the invitation. Once the American Revolutionary War had broken out, the colonists remained overwhelmingly loyal to the Crown.

Spain officially entered the American Revolutionary War in May 1779. Two months later, the governor of Spanish Louisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez began a series of military operations against the British province of West Florida. By April 1780 Gálvez had captured all British territory west of the Perdido River, including Baton Rouge & Mobile. Despite the Pensacola garrison surviving a long siege, the 1783 Peace of Paris required Britain to cede all Florida territories west of the Perdido River & east of the Apalachicola River back to Spain. In 1813, British West Florida was invaded by American forces, led by future American president Andrew Jackson, during the War of 1812. However, the terms of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war in 1815, called for all occupied territory to be returned. The pre-war boundaries between Canada, British West Florida & the United States were to be restored.

By the middle of the 19th Century, the colonial population was granted self-government, & in 1907 was declared a full dominion of equal status to others such as Canada & New Zealand. As part of the British Empire, forces were contributed from the West Florida Regiment during World War I. The regiment’s battle honours include Gallipoli, Somme, Ypres & Passchendaele. It was following their World War I service that the regiment received their “Royal” prefix. West Florida again supported the Commonwealth during World War II, mainly contributing naval units to serve alongside British & Canadian allies in the Atlantic & Mediterranean theatres. West Florida was a founding member of NATO & often hosts allied forces at their naval facilities in Pensacola, as well as the main air base near Panama City. They have also been a regular participant in various United Nations peacekeeping missions.

There will be more to come soon, hopefully including my first attempts at some ship drawings.


Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 10:54 am, edited 11 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Swordfish Class Patrol CraftPosted: May 6th, 2019, 9:16 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge Rowdy36's drawing of the Austal 30m patrol craft as the basis of my Swordfish class.


Swordfish Class Patrol Vessel
The most numerous class in service with the Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) are the four Swordfish class 30m fast patrol craft. They were built by Austal, at their facilities, just across the border in Mobile, Alabama. All four vessels were delivered between November 2009 & January 2011. The vessels are designed for surveillance & enforcement operations in the internal waters & exclusive economic zone of West Florida. They can also be used for fisheries protection & prevention of illegal drugs trafficking. They have also proven invaluable for both patrolling & SAR duties. Each vessel is powered by two MTU 16-cylinder diesel engines driving a waterjet propulsion system & all are named for species of fish found along the Florida coast. They are also the names of former Fairmile D motor torpedo boats & harbour defence motor launches which served the RWFN during & after World War Two.

Length: 30 metres
Displacement: 16 tonnes
Draft: 1.5 metres
Speed: Up to 40 knots
Range: 1000nm at 10kts
Complement: 11
Armament: 1 x 20mm cannon, 2 x General Purpose Machine Guns
Boats: 1 x RHIB

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Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 7:17 am, edited 10 times in total.

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LtMaverick114
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: May 10th, 2019, 10:53 am
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Joined: June 18th, 2017, 10:17 pm
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Looks promising! keep it up!

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Upcomming:
Kuban AU, Fryssia AU (with MitcheLL) and random stuff

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Muscatatuck
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: May 17th, 2019, 12:50 am
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Joined: July 30th, 2015, 11:40 pm
Location: Indiana
Any updates? Was looking forward to where this was headed.


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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: May 21st, 2019, 11:21 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
There will be some updates soon. Sorry for the slow pace. Real life keeps getting in the way.


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TJW
Post subject: Ton Class MinsweepersPosted: May 24th, 2019, 12:13 am
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Joined: November 26th, 2018, 12:16 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Ton Class Minesweeper

As with my previous entry, I’d like to start by making an acknowledgement. This time to Portsmouth Bill for the drawing of the Australian Ton Class HMAS Curlew, which I used as the basis of my Pelican class.

The Ton class were coastal minesweepers built in the 1950s for the Royal Navy. They were intended to meet the threat of seabed mines laid in shallow coastal waters, rivers, ports & harbours. The first ship was ordered by the RN in September 1950, with the class eventually numbering 119 vessels. The Ton class were diesel powered vessels of 440 tons displacement, largely constructed from aluminium & other non-ferromagnetic materials, with a hull composed of a double layer of mahogany planking. Primary armament was one Bofors 40 mm gun. Sweeping equipment was provided for moored & magnetic mines. The Royal West Florida Navy purchased an ex-RN Ton class vessel in 1961. Named Pelican (M12), it also had an important secondary role as a patrol vessel. For this role, a second Bofors 40 mm gun was fitted aft of the funnel. Pelican remained in service until the late 1980s, eventually being paid off in 1989.

Length: 46 metres
Displacement: 447 tonnes
Beam: 8.5 metres
Draught: 2.4 metres
Propulsion: Napier Deltic, producing 3,000 shp on each of two shafts
Speed: 15 knots
Complement: 33
Armament: 2 x Bofors 40 mm gun, 2 x General Purpose Machine Guns


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Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 7:19 am, edited 10 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: May 25th, 2019, 8:27 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
This entry is an attempt to add a little detail to the history & back-story of West Florida, particularly it's 20th century military history. Some early World War 2 ships coming soon.

History:
Responsible government was established in West Florida in 1863, with the first parliament sitting in 1864, 100 years after the first colonial assembly. West Florida remained a colony until acquiring Dominion status in 1907, becoming a self-governing state of the British Empire, relatively autonomous from British rule.

World War One:
In 1915, West Florida entered World War One, joining Australia, New Zealand & Newfoundland, contributing troops to the Gallipoli campaign. Later in the war, the West Florida Regiment served on the Western Front in France & Belgium, adding Somme, Ypres & Passchendaele to their Gallipoli battle honours. It was following their gallant World War One service that the regiment received its “Royal” prefix.

World War Two:
Despite its relatively small size, West Florida’s military once again contributed to British Empire forces during World War Two. On 3rd September 1939, Britain declared war on Germany, automatically committing India & the Crown colonies. But the 1931 Statute of Westminster had granted autonomy to the Dominions. Australia & New Zealand immediately joined the British declaration, with West Florida & Newfoundland both joining the following day on 4th September. In May 1940, West Florida joined Canada in providing troops to assist with the defence of the British Caribbean colonies. Several companies of the Royal West Florida Regiment served throughout the war in Bermuda, Jamaica, the Bahamas, British Guiana & Trinidad. Ships of the Royal West Florida Navy also began contributing to escort duties on BHX convoys leaving Bermuda & joining the HX convoys on route from Halifax to Liverpool. Small numbers of West Florida ships & crews also served on British east coast convoy escort & in the Mediterranean theatre from late 1941 until the end of the war.

Post War:
In August 1950, West Florida once again saw itself involved in conflict, this time in Korea. The Loch-class frigate HMWFS Blackwater was deployed to the peninsula until May 1951, performing escort & shore bombardment duties. Two light batteries from the Royal West Florida Artillery also saw service in Korea. After the Korean War, West Florida’s military would not be involved in another conflict for almost 30 years, as they took no part in the Vietnam War. There would, however, be a brief period of high alert in October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1982, West Florida made the surprising decision to assist the UK in its bid to reclaim the Falkland Islands following the Argentine invasion. A small number of West Florida troops & naval vessels were integrated into the British task force as it steamed south towards Ascension Island.

Governance:
West Florida is a constitutional monarchy that uses a parliamentary system of government with Queen Elizabeth II as it’s monarch, represented by the Governor-General. It uses a bicameral parliament, consisting of an upper house (the Senate), & lower house (the House of Commons). By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint & the Queen or Governor-General provides royal assent to make bills into law. Senators are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister, while members of the House of Commons are directly elected.

Foreign Relations / Foreign Policy:
West Florida maintains good relations with all nations within the Anglosphere, especially Canada, Newfoundland & the UK. It also maintains close ties with Australia & New Zealand. West Florida is an active member of the Commonwealth, as well as a founding member of the United Nations & NATO. More recently, West Florida has started developing closer relations with Caribbean & Latin American neighbours to its immediate south. The military has also started working more closely with the Florida National Guard as part of the US State Partnership Program.


Last edited by TJW on August 4th, 2019, 3:25 am, edited 5 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Shakespeare Class, Thornycroft Type LeaderPosted: June 4th, 2019, 6:11 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Starting out with another acknowledgement. This time to Gollevainen, Portsmouth Bill & Krakatoa for their drawing of HMS Wallace, which I used as the basis for HMWFS Pensacola.

HMWFS Pensacola:
As with other British colonies, security was provided by the Royal Navy, until the Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) was founded in September 1935. After service in World War One & the Mediterranean, the former Royal Navy Shakespeare class destroyer leader HMS Spencer (F90) was finally paid off in 1928. In 1935, Spenser was transferred to the newly formed RWFN & renamed Pensacola. In 1939, Pensacola was converted for convoy escort duties, with a focus on anti-aircraft capabilities. Similar conversions, known as WAIR, were also completed on several Royal Navy Admiralty V & W class destroyers & leaders, along with some of their Thornycroft sisters.

For her conversion, Pensacola’s original 4.7-inch main guns were replaced with four QF 4-inch guns in two twin mountings. She received a new tower bridge, similar to Hunt class destroyers. Armament was completed by a pair of quad 0.5-inch Vickers machine guns amidships. Two racks & throwers for depth charges were carried aft, principally for self-defence purposes. As the Thornycroft leaders were slightly larger than their Admiralty designed sisters, Pensacola also received a quad QF 2-pounder pom-pom mounting. The light 0.5-inch & 2-pdr weapons proved to be generally ineffective & were eventually replaced by 20mm Oerlikon cannons on twin mounts. After her refit, Pensacola was given the new pennant number L90.

In May 1940, Pensacola began Bermuda convoy escort duties, before being assigned to Rosyth Escort force. She spent the next year providing escort for vital UK east coast convoys which came under regular Luftwaffe attack. In November 1941, Pensacola was badly damaged from a bomb hit amidships while under attack by two German aircraft. She was towed to Lowestoft, but was damaged beyond repair & declared a total loss. The below drawing shows Pensacola immediately after her refit in 1939. For her World War Two service, HMWFS Pensacola received the battle honours Atlantic 1940 & North Sea 1941.

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Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 7:19 am, edited 10 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Grimsby Class SloopsPosted: June 7th, 2019, 12:05 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Acknowledgement to Rowdy36 for their drawing of HMAS Swan which was used as the basis for HMWFS Heron

Grimsby Class Sloops:
Following its formation in September 1935, the Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) began construction of two Grimsby class sloops in October of that year. Both ships were named for water birds native to West Florida, Heron (U31) & Egret (U32). The Heron class had a standard displacement of 1,060 tons & a maximum speed of 16.5 knots. Initial armament for Heron & Egret consisted of three single 4-inch guns & a quadruple .50-inch anti-aircraft machine gun mount for close-in defence. They also carried up to 40 depth charges. In 1939, the quad .50-inch anti-aircraft machine guns were removed, & replaced with eight 20mm Oerlikon cannons. Two single mounts on the bridge wings & quarterdeck, with two twin mounts amidships, just aft of the lifeboat davits.

HMWFS Heron:
From May 1940 to July 1941, Heron escorted Bermuda convoys, before being assigned to Rosyth Escort Force, escorting east coast & channel convoys, which came under regular Luftwaffe air attack. While Heron was docked for repairs in July 1942 her single 4-inch guns were replaced with four QF 4-inch guns in two twin mounts. The 4-inch mounting in B position was replaced with a single Bofors 40mm gun. From October 1942 to February 1943, Heron supported Operation Torch, the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa. For the rest of 1943, she was based in Gibraltar for escort duties in the Western Mediterranean. In May 1944 Heron transferred to Devonport, in preparation for the upcoming invasion of France. After the Normandy landings, she returned to escort operations in the Channel. For her World War Two service, HMWFS Heron earned the battle honours Atlantic 1940-41, English Channel 1942, North Africa 1942-43, Mediterranean 1943 & Normandy 1944. In late 1948 Heron was docked for refit & conversion into a training ship. In February 1950 she recommissioned with the new pennant number F31. She continued as the training ship for the Royal West Florida Navy's officer cadets & apprentices until finally being paid off in 1962.

HMWFS Egret:
Unlike her sister ship Heron, Egret remained closer to home during World War Two, performing patrol & escort duties around Trinidad, Curacao, Aruba & Key West. At the end of 1949, Egret was docked for refit & conversion into a survey ship. She recommissioned in March 1951 with the new pennant number A32. In addition to vital survey work along the coast of West Florida, Egret also conducted survey work in other British Caribbean colonies including Trinidad, Guyana & Jamaica until she finally paid off in 1963.

The below drawing shows HMWFS Heron after her 1942 refit prior to service during Operation Torch.

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Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 7:20 am, edited 11 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: River Class FrigatesPosted: June 14th, 2019, 12:10 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Acknowledgement to Portsmouth Bill & Nigevids for their original River class drawing, which was used as the basis for HMWFS Blackwater.

River Class Frigates:

Over 150 River class frigates were launched between 1941 & 1944 for use as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. The majority served with the Royal Navy & Royal Canadian Navy. They were designed to have the endurance & anti-submarine capabilities of the Black Swan-class sloops, while being quick & cheap to build in civil dockyards using the machinery & construction techniques pioneered in the building of the Flower-class corvettes. After the loss of HMWFS Pensacola in late 1941, one of the recently laid down River class frigates under construction in the UK was transferred to the RWFN. She was named Blackwater, after the river in West Florida & following the RN’s naming practice for the class. Blackwater was launched in late 1942 & commissioned in January 1943 with the pennant number K55.

Main armament consisted of four QF 4-inch guns in two twin mounts salvaged from the damaged HMWFS Pensacola, a quad QF 2-pounder pom-pom mounted behind the funnel, & six 20mm Oerlikon cannons in two single mounts on the bridge wings & two twin mounts amidships. For underwater targets, Blackwater was equipped with a Hedgehog A/S mortar on the forecastle, & two racks with four throwers for up to 50 depth charges at the stern. After working up at Tobermory, Blackwater joined Western Approaches Command, patrolling & escorting convoys in coastal waters around the UK in addition to escorting Halifax convoys. Following VE Day, Blackwater served in West Florida home waters before a tour of duty in Korea, for which she received the battle honour Korea 1950-51. Prior to service in Korea, anti-aircraft weaponry was upgraded. The 2-pounder pom-pom & 20mm Oerlikons were replaced with one twin mount & two single mount 40mm Bofors guns. For close in defence against sampans & other coastal craft, two M2 Browning machine guns were carried on the bridge wings. Blackwater finally paid off in 1960.

The below drawing shows HMWFS Blackwater shortly after commissioning in 1943.


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Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 7:20 am, edited 11 times in total.

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