I've been working on this for quite a while, but still in the process of writing the history etc. but here is what I have so far.
This AU is based on the real Balearic Islands, but with an alternate (British) history.
Balearic Islands / Illes Balears
The Balearic Islands consist of four main inhabited islands, and other smaller islands. The four main islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Eivissa and Formentera (the original Catalan language names were retained by the British). The capital city is Palma de Mallorca, situated in the South West of Mallorca, home to all governmental and administrative services. The Balearic Islands retain close links with the United Kingdom, Spain, and the recently independent Catalonia, as many citizens can trace their origins to these countries, and as a bilingual nation, the official languages are both English and Catalan.
As a constitutional monarchy, the Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II. The Balearic Islands Government was formed subsequent to the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which also gave greater independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
A Brief Military History
Originally as Spanish territory, the Royal Navy led the invasion of the Balearic Islands after the successful Invasion of Gibraltar in 1704. Menorca was the first island to be liberated from the Spanish in 1708, followed by Eivissa and Formentera in 1709, and the larger and more prestigious island of Mallorca in 1711 following a long naval blockade which weakened the defences on the island.
Along with Gibraltar, the Balearic Islands were officially ceded to Britain in 1713 under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, when it then became a British Overseas Territory. The British Balearic Islands, as they were then known, played a major role in the British Empire, by expanding the Royal Navy’s control of the seas into the Western Mediterranean, now with a chain of bases, including Gibraltar, the Balearic Islands, Malta and Cyprus. Palma de Mallorca became a secondary base to the Mediterranean Fleet.
The Balearic Islands experienced a higher level of autonomy than many other British territories, and this proved to be beneficial as islanders welcomed the British who provided trade, defence and healthcare amongst other benefits. Gaining full autonomy and control after the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the Balearic Islands became a fully independent state.
During both the First and Second World Wars, the Balearic Islands played a vital strategic role for the Allies in the Mediterranean, supporting all branches of the armed forces. The ports and airfields were used to ensure that the Western Mediterranean remained in Allied control, but also in World War Two, to support the War in North Africa, and later, in Italy. In WW1, soldiers, sailors and airmen fought as members of a British Overseas Territory, whilst in WW2, they were recognised as Balearic Islanders supporting the British Empire.
Although the Balearic Islands played no official role in the Spanish Civil War, a small number of voluntary mercenaries supported the Nationalists. The Balearic Islands also welcomed many Spanish civilians seeking to escape the war through Barcelona and Valencia, and most remained on the islands after the war.
In more recent history, the Balearic Islands have sent detachments to support NATO/coalition missions in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, as a NATO member, and RBAF Palma de Mallorca often hosts NATO aircraft for training or stopovers. Today, the Balearic Islands do not operate as an offensive force, but instead the armed forces are part of the Balearic Islands Defence Force.
The Balearic Islands Defence Force consists of the following:
- Royal Balearic Navy (and Royal Balearic Marines, Royal Balearic Coastguard)
- Royal Balearic Air Force
- Royal Balearic Army (and Royal Balearic Islands Police)
Flags & Ensigns of the Balearic Islands
Civil (Red) Ensign
Government (Blue) Ensign
Balearic Islands Defence Force Flag
Royal Balearic Navy (White) Ensign
Royal Balearic Navy War/Ceremonial Jack (State Flag used otherwise)
Royal Balearic Marines Ensign
Royal Balearic Coastguard Ensign
Royal Balearic Air Force Flag
Royal Balearic Army Flag
Royal Balearic Islands Police Ensign
Flag of the Governor General of the Balearic Islands
Flag of the Lieutenant Governor of Mallorca
Flag of the Lieutenant Governor of Menorca
Flag of the Lieutenant Governor of Eivissa and Formentera
I welcome any comments, there should be more to follow and I hope to start posting drawings soon...