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TJW
Post subject: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: December 6th, 2018, 9:49 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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 Newfoundland & New Zealand. As part of the British Empire, forces were contributed from the 1st West Florida Regiment during World War I. The regiment’s battle honours include Gallipoli, Somme, & Ypres. 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 & Panama City, as well as the main air base near Valparaiso. 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 June 3rd, 2019, 12:26 am, edited 5 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 six Swordfish class 30m fast patrol craft. They were built by Austal, at their facilities, just across the border in Mobile, Alabama. All six 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 several species of fish found along the Florida coast. They are also the names of former Fairmile D boats 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

P-100 Swordfish
P-101 Marlin
P-102 Barracuda
P-103 Tarpon
P-104 Mackerel
P-105 Wahoo


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Last edited by TJW on June 19th, 2019, 7:44 am, edited 4 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!

_________________
Upcomming:
Kuban AU 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 two ex-RN Ton class vessels in 1961. In West Florida service, they were known as the Pelican class & also had an important secondary role as patrol vessels. For this role, a second Bofors 40 mm gun was fitted aft of the funnel. Both vessels remained in service until the late 1980s, with Pelican decommissioned in 1987 & Cormorant 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

M12 Pelican
M13 Cormorant


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Last edited by TJW on June 19th, 2019, 7:57 am, edited 6 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 1st West Florida Regiment served on the Western Front in France & Belgium, adding Somme & Ypres 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 July 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. Blackwater had a second tour of duty in Korean waters from late 1952 until early 1953. 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 United Kingdom. It also maintains close ties with Australia, Westralia & 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 June 13th, 2019, 10:54 pm, edited 3 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.

Royal West Florida Navy:
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.

HMWFS 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 most of the next three years providing escort for vital UK east coast convoys which came under regular Luftwaffe attack. From June to September 1943 Pensacola joined her sister ship HMS Wallace supporting the allied invasion of Sicily. Following service in the Mediterranean, she resumed patrol & convoy escort duties until the German surrender in May 1945. Pensacola then returned to West Florida waters, where she was decommissioned & placed in reserve, eventually being sold for disposal in 1947. The below drawing shows Pensacola immediately after her refit in 1939. For her World War Two service, HMWFS Pensacola received the battle honours English Channel 1940-45 & Sicily 1943.


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Last edited by TJW on June 19th, 2019, 8:03 am, edited 4 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.

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 1940-42, North Africa 1942-43 & Normandy 1944.

Egret remained closer to home, performing patrol & escort duties around Trinidad, Curacao, Aruba & Key West. 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 June 19th, 2019, 8:07 am, edited 3 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Loch Class FrigatesPosted: June 14th, 2019, 12:10 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Acknowledgement to Kiwi Imperialist for their drawing of HMNZS Taupo, which was used as the basis for HMWFS Blackwater.

Loch Class Frigates:
The Loch class were anti-submarine frigates based on the hull of the preceding River class & modified to suit mass pre-fabrication, with sections riveted or welded together at the shipyard. As with the previous wartime escort designs, mercantile machinery was adopted to speed up construction. In all, 28 Loch class frigates were built during World War II. A further 54 orders were cancelled in early 1945.

As construction had already begun on some of these vessels, two were completed for the RWFN. They were given the names Apalachicola & Blackwater, but carried their original RN pennant numbers K612 & K617. Commissioned shortly before VE day, both ships saw only limited World War Two service, briefly attached to Western Approaches Command before sailing to West Florida. The fighting capability of the Loch class was based around the new Squid A/S mortar. Depth charge carriage was reduced to only 15, with a single rack & a pair of throwers being carried at the stern. Each ship had a single QF 4-inch gun & for anti-aircraft defence, a quadruple QF 2-pounder pom-pom mounting & six 20 mm Oerlikon cannons (two twin mounts & two single mounts).

Following HMWFS Blackwater’s first tour of duty in Korea, both vessels were modernised in early 1952. The single 4-inch gun was replaced with a twin 4-inch mounting. The anti-aircraft weaponry was also 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. Following their upgrades, both ships changed to F pennant numbers. HMWFS Blackwater received the battle honour Korea 1950-53.


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Last edited by TJW on June 19th, 2019, 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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