The Sword of the Vozhd

  • Tiburon

    Don’t know if this is the right section to post this, but I was inspired and so decided to at least do an intro, see if anyone likes it.

    The year is 1952, but a very different 1952 from the one that we know. The universe is that of Kaiserreich, were Germany won the First World War and things developed from there. It’s a world scarred by atomic fire and divided into three mutually hostile factions.

    Eastern Europe and much of the Far East are dominated by the Russian State. It’s been fifteen years since Boris Savinkov rose to power in Russia, and the hulking titan he has transformed the country into would be unrecognizable to anyone back in 1936. The Russian Army stands at six million strong, with another half a million men in the navy and air force. The Russians possess a massive fleet with four heavy carriers and fifteen “regular” carriers scattered amongst four fleets, plus over a hundred and fifty submarines. Savinkov invested extremely heavily into the Air Force as well, and Russia is the world’s first and most enthusiastic user of jet aircraft, with the new MiG-15 fighter being a point of particular pride.

    In Eastern Europe Russia’s sphere extends from Vienna to Helsinki, from Sofia to Venice, from Belgrade to Oslo. Russian allies in the Middle East include a rump Turkish State, Syria, Armenia, Persia, Kurdistan and Iraq; African allies include Tripolitania, Somalia, and a rump South African state which amounts to a heavily armed camp. Japan has been subdued after a half a dozen nuclear strikes and an extensive naval campaign which saw three carriers sunk at sea and the Japanese merchant fleet destroyed; Korea, Manchuria and the renewed Republic of China face off against the German AOG corporate state.

    Russia, in addition to being the only power to use nuclear weapons in warfare thus far, possesses at least two dozen nuclear bombs stored at airbases across Poland(a fervent Russian ally after they were liberated from the Dzerzhinsky government, imposed on Poland by the syndicalists in the Ukraine) and the Mediterranean.


    One of the last bastions of any variety of syndicalism anywhere in the world, the totalist USSA straddles the New World as a titan. With puppet states in Canada, Quebec, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, the USSA has managed to restore the red tide somewhat after the destruction of the Internationale in the Second Weltkrieg. Currently sponsoring insurrections throughout the former Brazilian states and in Peru. The USSA is a totalist state—- just as the Mosley and Valois governments were—- and drew condemnation from Berlin for providing a safe haven for fleeing Totalist leaders after the war. USSA- Russian relations are complex, to say the least—- many American volunteers fighting for the Valois government were declared “terrorists” and summarily shot by Combat Squad officers, particularly in the final desperate months of the Battle of Paris; on the other hand, Russian troops worked closely with the USSA during the Third Weltkrieg, helping smash the Cascadian Revolt(which, it should be noted, they did with incredibly brutally—- even some eight years later Portland is still largely ruins) and participating in the bloody Ottawa campaign.

    The Americans have a large army and vast fleet, but they are increasingly overstretched; guerrilla warfare in Mexico is taking its toll, and Longite and Federalist insurgent remain a growing concern in areas outside the large cities. The USSA does not have a nuclear bomb as of yet, but work is ongoing in secret “science cities” on the West Coast. The Americans do have jet fighters—- the F-84 Thunderjet, whose first major appearance was to help crush a revolt in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo in 1950.


    Europe’s former predominant hegemon, Germany has emerged vindicated yet more in peril than ever before following the Second and Third Weltkriegs. The Schulenberg-Odinets Pact of 1939, also known as the “Deal with the Devil” in German liberal circles, brought the massive armies of the Russian State to bear against the Internationale. This ensured a coalition victory—- Russia’s massive armies could have ripped through the lightly defended eastern lands like a knife through butter with the bulk of the German army struggling to hold the Rhine defensive line—-but victory has only brought more troubles. Mittleafrika is holding together by a thread, with the promised 1953 autonomy referendums looming large across the continent, buoyed by former Premier Goering’s idiotic decision to absorb the entirety of Angola and Mozambique into his already overstretched realm and the gain of the former South African northern lands and Ethiopia after the Third Weltkrieg. Already the Russians are probing for cracks; SVT-40 rifles are found in the hands of Kikuyu rebels operating from safe havens in Somalia, and Islamist rebels are increasingly active just across the border from Russian-allied Mauritania. The AOG is in a similar state with Chinese Republican and Manchurian agitators active throughout the countryside; whispers of freedom travel to the Dutch East Indies, already having narrowly survived one uprising during the Second Weltkrieg, from the Russian-aligned Philippines; Finnish and Norwegian raiders clash with Swedish border guards; the Syrians, Turks and Persians rattle their sabers at the unsteady German allied regimes in Egypt and Arabia. Victory, it seems, only brings its own problems.

    And that’s not even getting into the total hell Italy has descended into.
    The Southwest Frontier and the Italian Nightmare
  • Tiburon

    Russia had always been hyper-sensitive to the idea of their southern frontier being destabilized. This had been the reasoning behind the 'Great Game'; the idea had only seem to be further born out by the chaotic years of the 1920s and 1930s, when the Emirate of Turkmenistan had sponsored insurgent activity across Central Asia. Turkmen "advisors" had fought alongside the Afghan government during their ill-fated 1936 invasion of the Dominion of India, for instance. Even after the Wars of Pacification, which had seen the Emirate's forces scattered to the four winds and Central Asia fully subdued, insurgent activity continued from over the border in Afghanistan, where the Emir had taken refuge. For years the situation remained at a low simmer.

    Then came the Chardzhuy raid.

    With India being in the German camp after the Third Weltkreig(a Russian invasion of Baluchistan had only gained some miles of desert before bogging down within sight of Quetta and Karachi, where the frontline had remained for the rest of the war) the decision had been made in the summer of 1952 to move some additional strike assets into central Asia. These, as it turned out, included a wing of the new Tu-16 jet strategic bombers....and three nuclear weapons.

    Its unclear if the sixty or seventy Afghan raiders who slipped over the border and headed for the Chardzhuy air force base knew what was being held there; even if they had nuclear technology at the time was still in its infancy, and the Afghan government had no way to really deploy such a weapon. The troops on guard duty were largely Persian auxiliary troops, whose guard had been ket down after several months without any sign of trouble. The commanding officer had grown lax in sending out patrols and the troops were complacent. The first sign they got of the impending danger was when, in the words of one of the survivors, "half the damn population of Afghanistan came roaring down from the hills, whooping and firing leftover British Autocarbines at anything that moved".

    The Persians, to their credit, didn't panic even as their comrades began falling all around them. The Russian ground crews hastily armed themselves and joined the fight as Afghan raiders made it over the base's outer fence and into the compound proper. What followed was a hectic twenty five minutes of hand-to hand combat before the surviving Afghans broke contact and withdrew back into the desert.

    When Savinkov heard that the Chardzhuy base had been attacked, he reportedly "went through the roof and quite possibly into his own personal orbit". He demanded that the Afghans seal the border, or the Russian Army would do it for them. The Afghans' response was a mixture of an attempt to placate the bear and an effort to do absolutely nothing; the government in Kabul was still heavily influenced by the former Emir of Turkmenistan, and conflict with the Russians had solidified their support amongst the more hardline factions of the Afghan populace, many of whom had fled over the border as the Russians had conquered Central Asia. In Moscow, the orders were drafted up to prepare to launch Operation ALEXANDER......

    The Kingdom of Two Sicilies had not been a particularly stable place even before the Black Monday Crash of 1936. The largely agrarian country had serious issues with a syndicalist insurgency sponsored by the northern Social Republic of Italy, one which had been fed into by the fact that much of the population still lived at the mercy of large landlords who were notorious for abusing those they considered "beneath them" socially. The government's inability to properly respond to the Black Monday crisis and a struggling attempt at industrializing and urbanizing had led to the country teetering on the edge, and in the summer of 1937 the syndicalists made their move.

    Arming and equipped by bases in the Roman Marches, long a home for bandits and insurgents, a column of agiators slipped over the border into the Kingdom and began, well, agitating. They found a receptive audience and soon massive protests began to rock the kingdom. A march on Naples was planned; the army, unwilling to fire on their own people for an increasingly unpopular government, seemed helpless; it seemed the Red Tide would sweep over the south of Italy after all.

    Then came the Martius Bridge.

    The Bridge dated back to Roman times; it was a sturdily constructed route over a small river on the outskirts of Palermo. The marchers approached it at evening one August day, full of pride and conviction in their cause. The only thing in their way seemed to be a handful of men in odd black uniforms standing on the bridge, seemingly totally unconcerned about the approaching crowd. A what seemed to be their officer stepped forward a lull fell over the crowd. They'd encountered paramilitary officers like this before; usually after giving a speech about how vile and treacherous the rally was they more or less turned tail and let the crowd on through. The officer adjusted his spectacles, fiddling with them as he gazed at the crowd. He raised his arm high in the air, and then, suddenly.....swung it down.


    And the three machine guns, which several days ago had "disappeared" from a Sicilian Army warehouse in Naples and had been carefully concealed in the woods, began their work.

    Members of the Legione del Risveglio stand at attention, Palermo, October 1937

    This was the first of the "Red Summer Massacres"; but it would not be the last. Across southern Italy similar incidents took place, as the protests were brutally crushed. Firefights erupted as members of the crowds shot back at several locations, but this merely gave the "Legion" an excuse to crack down even harder, declaring the protestors to all be syndicalist terrorists. Under Legion "encouragement" the government of the Two Sicilies became increasingly intertwined with their own leadership, personified by Baron Julius Evola.

    The stage was set for Italy's nightmare to begin.
    The Mittleafrikan Implosion—Part One
  • Tiburon


    Mittleafrika had never been the most stable of Germany’s colonies. The Black Monday Crisis of 1936 had very nearly caused its collapse as the economy basically ceased existing overnight— it was only due to the skilled work of Premier Goering’s ministers, most notably Special Minister Klaus Schaefer, and a hard crackdown throughout the major cities that the country held together. Portugal, seeking its “pink map” and seeing Mittleafrika as just needing a slight shove to come crashing down, threw a rock at the hornet’s nest by arming rebellious tribesmen from bases in Mozambique. They figured that even if the Germans figured out who was providing the arms(and it didn’t take a genius to figure out where the most likely safe havens were for rebels in the area) that the economic crisis would prevent Mittleafrika from doing anything about it.

    Portugal had badly misjudged Premier Hermann Goering.

    Following a series of attacks against Mittleafrikan police units in the Ostafrika Stadt(OTL Tanzania) Goering ordered his troops into Angola and Mozambique in order to crush the “Portuguese serpents’ dens who allowed rebels to cowardly strike at our glorious state and Germany itself without fear of reprisal”. The Mittleafrikan “Kampfgruppes”—-large units of motorized and armored troops acting in coordinated fashion—swept across the border and headed for the major cities of Angola and Mozambique, brushing aside attempts at defense from the startled and not particularly well organized Portuguese colonial defense forces. Within two weeks Portuguese colonial forces had been effectively annihilated in the field and German columns were approaching Nova Lisboa.

    There was just one problem.

    Goering had never informed Germany he planned to attack Portugal.

    Soldiers of Mittleafrikan “Kampfgruppe 75” pose for a picture in southern Angola, May 1937


    A pair of Mittleafrikan soldiers, a member of Rea Leaky’s Britisches Freikorps(a unit composed of British settlers in colonies which had been taken over by Germany after the First Weltkrieg) and a Panzer II Ozelot light tank enjoy a nice day at the beach on Lake Victoria, August 1937. Premier Goering managed to acquire large numbers of these light tanks from sympathizers in Berlin in the summer of 1936 and they went on to play an iconic role in Mittleafrikan affairs over the next twenty years.
    The Mittleafrikan Implosion—-Part Two
  • Tiburon

    News of Premier Goering’s offensive reached Berlin and Lisbon at roughly the same time, causing a great deal of confusion in the former and panic in the latter. In one case high ranking German diplomat Georg von Kratzendorff had been having dinner with the Portuguese at his country villa when a motorcycle courier roared up with a Portuguese diplomat in the sidecar clutching the railing for dear life; once he had been revived with a tall glass of champagne and reassured that the “maniac” would not be driving him back to Berlin the diplomat informed the ambassador and von Kratzendorff of the invasion, resulting in one of history’s most awkward pauses as both Portuguese diplomats slowly realized by von Kratzendorff’s dropped jaw(followed by his dropped glass, as the junior diplomat mournfully remarked) and his hasty dash for the motorcycle sidecar which promptly raced back towards Berlin that he—and Germany—had been left in the dark.

    The problem Berlin faced was that Africa was a long way away, the country was still struggling to find its feet after Black Monday, and no one had the appetite for taking on Goering, a hero of the First Weltkrieg who was still popular amongst many of the common people back in Germany. Not only that, but German rule in Indochina was rapidly collapsing in the face of a popular Syndicalist uprising armed and equipped by Britain, France and the Bharatiya Commune. Goering’s supporters in Berlin claimed he was simply taking “necessary and wise pre-emptive steps to stop a continent wide Indochina”. With the effective collapse of Portuguese resistance—-and Lisbon’s decision to negotiate rather than risk drawing Berlin into direct conflict with them—Goering was able to present the victory as a fait accompli.

    The terms of the Treaty of Maputo were harsh; Portugal was forced to surrender all of Angola and Mozambique as punishment for assisting “anti European uncivilized elements which sought to destroy the products created by the white man’s burden”. Goering also sought to take the remaining minor Portuguese territories in Africa, but threats of an outright blockade—Mittleafrika’s small surface navy had been wiped out by the Portuguese fleet— and German unwillingness to support his demands meant that went nowhere.

    The annexation of the additional lands created just as many headaches, though, as it solved. True, the original band of insurgents was effectively crushed once they lost their safe havens in Angola and Mozambique, but nationalist movements in the former Portuguese colonies, who had never really fully been suppressed by Lisbon, promptly began agitating against Goering’s rule. To make matters worse, unrest was in the rise in Kikuyuland. The murder of an English settled missionary, Dr. Andrew Morgan, by nationalist rebels in May of 1937 had led to the heavily militarized local English settler militias conducted reprisal attacks against the Kikuyu populace. The Goering administration, which supported the English settlers, ignored the reprisal attacks, focusing on trying to hunt down the Kikiyu rebels. Following the Portuguese surrender things began heating up even more as Goering poured troops into the region.

    By the summer of 1940 nationalist feeling was on the rise across Africa—not just in Mittleafrika, but in the Saharan territories of National France, Morocco, and Ethiopia. The Commune of France and it’s allies stood poised to strike Germany directly, and many agitators had made their way into Africa itself. The continent was a tinderbox—all that was needed was a spark.....
    Ragnarok 1940s
  • Tiburon

    From Ragnarok 1940s: The Deadliest Decade, a military historical TV show which aired in Germany in the mid 2000s and saw great commercial success

    An American Union State P-65 “Tigercat” heavy fighter patrols off the Florida Keys, 1944. Despite having a limited industrial base and smaller manpower pool than their main enemy, the Combined Syndicates of America, the Union State was able to hold out against the might of the syndicalist giant the longest out of any other American faction. Part of this was due to skill—Union State commanders like George Patton, Matthew Ridgeway, Lewis “Chesty” Puller, William Simpson and Joseph Collins became famous across the globe for their skill, most notably in the summer 1943 Operation Ripper, an offensive which very nearly broke the back of the CSA in the Midwest—and part was due to their technology. The Tigercat, possessing two 20mm cannons and two twin .50 caliber machine guns, was just one of the “new breed” of vehicles and weapons which had been rolled out in time for Ripper, and like so many of the others, it had provided absolutely lethal. From its introduction in the summer of 1943 to the Second American Civil War’s end in March of 1945 the Tigercat would be the mainstay of the AUS Air Force, used in interception, ground attack and anti-submarine roles, all of which it performed fairly well.

    American Union State submarine USS Bull Shark sits in New Orleans harbor, spring 1942. Both the Union State and the Combined Syndicates extensively made use of submarine raiders to target each other’s conveys, carrying vitally needed supplies from elsewhere in the world to fuel the war machines. The CSA also made extensive use of surface raiders as well. With the AUS surface navy effectively wiped out by 1942 the CSA was slowly able to establish an effective blockade of the southern coast which prevented the Union State from launching another large scale offensive after Operation Ripper ended. Union State submarines would continue attacks on CSA shipping under the very end of the war, but with fewer and fewer successes as more and more of the CSA’s Tanner class destroyers—potent submarine hunters which would serve for several decades after the war—came into service. Bull Shark would actually survive the war; in January of 1945 it was stationed in Mobile Harbor when the Turner Brigade launched its daring assault on the city. APN commandos supported the operation by launching a raid on the docks itself, successfully managing to catch the small fleet of AUS ships there with their figurative pants down. Captured intact when the scuttling charges failed to detonate the Bull Shark would be retained for testing for several years after the war before being moved to the newly opened Victory Museum in Chicago, where members of the public could actually tour the insides of the submarine itself.

    A CSA/USSA infantryman fires an M2 carbine, central Alabama, 1944. Following the failed general uprising of 1939, in which a number of largely African American syndicalist aligned insurgent groups managed to take control of a swath of land ranging from Biloxi to Mobile, the Union State began large scale repression and intimidation tactics against the African American population across the south. The fact that African American generals Oliver Law and Edward Carter Jr held prominent positions in the CSA military made many white southerners quite angry, and mixed with fears of syndicalist influencing spreading it caused them to crack down even more brutally. Silver Legion and “Nightrider” paramilitaries launched campaigns of terrorism across much of the south, with Minuteman troops largely deployed to the front and therefore unable to intercede. As the CSA finally broke through in Tennessee and advanced into northern Alabama and Mississippi, capturing Birmingham by March of 1944, they were greeted by floods of African American refugees fleeing northwards to escape the predations of the Union State’s brutal secret police forces. Some of these refugees were survivors of insurgent groups such as the Turner Brigade and Alabama Emancipation Army who would be reorganized by the CS Army and redeployed south to continue the fight in unliberated areas.


    Members of the “James Brigade”, a pro AUS paramilitary unit, pose with the Confederate flag, Eastern Kansas, 1938. Many in the south saw the rise of the AUS as the long promised second attempt at “freedom” and the display of Confederate flags and insignia was commonplace—although the Minutemen cracked down hard on it anywhere where non-friendly cameras could potentially see it. The Union State military was an odd mix of a hardened core of elite regular troops(the Minutemen) and a wide array of militias, paramilitaries, foreign “volunteers” and simple thugs. Following the defeat of the Union State many of these paramilitaries faded back into the countryside and launched a two year long guerrilla campaign against the newly established USSA.

    An L5 light tank of the CS Army, named “Eagleclaw”, sets up an ambush for remnant AUS insurgents, Kentucky, 1946. The L5 began replacing the redoubtable L3 in October of 1942. Equipped with an American made copy of a French high-velocity 75 millimeter cannon, the L5 outclassed it’s competitors—the Union State Stuart, the Pacifican Fremont, and the Canadian Matilda—by a significant margin. Fast and easy to mass produce, the L5 would become widely used throughout the New World by the forces of the USSA’s client states for decades to come, in many cases even long after the USSA had retired it.


    Battered But Unbroken: Germany After the Third Weltkrieg
  • Tiburon

    The fifteen year period between 1936 and 1951 was, on many levels, a traumatic one for the German Empire. Between Black Monday and having to fight not one but two global wars, the system was badly shaken. Germany had taken extremely heavy losses in the course of the fighting, Alsace Lorraine and most of the country west of the Rhine was in ruins due to the Internationale invasion, and people were sick of war. The fact that Germany had effectively managed to re-establish itself as hegemon over Western Europe and much of Africa and Asia meant only that the empire’s vast list of commitments had not gotten any shorter. Nationalist sentiment was growing in Africa, the Dutch East Indies and the Arab states which Germany had forced into line—sentiment stoked by an enemy who shared a long border with Germany and its remaining Eastern European allies.

    A German soldier holding a MKB42 “stormrifle” somewhere in Wallonia, 1944. The German military was one of the earliest adapters of rifles capable of fully automatic fire, and the MKB42 would be one of the weapons which turned the tide of the Second Weltkrieg. The Entente never really had a weapon capable of countering it in man to man combat, and MKB42 stormrifles were still used by many insurgent groups and minor nations across the globe decades later.

    Germany’s own nuclear program had produced its first weapon only three months after the Russians detonated their first bomb over Japan, and more reactors were hastily constructed at a frantic pace to try and produce weapons to ward off the Russian bear. Russian control over Austria—where Fuhrer Stefan Wagner directed vitriolic rants northwards almost weekly and Russian mountain troops routinely conducted exercises—was seen as a disaster, but having taken place during Germany’s darkest hour, when they had been desperately struggling to hold the Rhine line against powerful French armored forces, Germany hadn’t been able to salvage the ruins of the Austria-Hungarian Empire.

    A Communard tank crew poses with their Char B2 heavy tank in the Alsatian village of Harkau, 1940. Virtually immune to all but the heaviest of German anti-tank guns for the first two and a half years of the war, and even after that infamously tough to destroy, the Char B2 was undoubtedly the best tank the Internationale had for most of the war. The German military was badly hampered by the Black Monday spending cuts—-described as a “disembowelment” by one historian— and their performance in the early days of the Second Weltkrieg showed it. A determination never allow such a thing to happen again, and the existential threat of Russian invasion, kept the German military budget large even as the nation struggled to rebuild.

    A Messerschmidt Me-262 “Shrike” fighter of JG 25, identifiable by the squadron’s swastika insignia painted on the tail— a quirk picked up during the squadron’s time in India during the Third Weltkrieg—sits on a runway somewhere in Eastern Germany. Germany was an enthusiastic adopter of jet fighters and quickly began producing them in large numbers in order to try and counter the large numbers Russian conventional aircraft which were commonly seen patrolling the border—and often launching “intruder” sorties to test German reaction times.


    Fair Australasia
  • Tiburon


    An Australasian "Reaper" heavy fighter prowls the skies over Canberra, 1940. The Australasian government had always been unsteady, despite a great deal of success in helping the nation recover from Black Monday and repairing the damage done during the First Weltkrieg, and in 1939 General Thomas Blamey and Eric Campbell lead a march on Canberra to try and secure power. Blamey and Campbell's movement was composed of many veterans of the First Weltkrieg--including many who had fought at Gallipoli--and the police and military police units which had been deployed to try and stop the march balked at the orders to use force to stop men who had been heroes to many in Australasia. The Guard swept to power as a result, and promptly set about creating a secret police force--the Imperial Australasian Security Bureau---to crack down on "syndicalist activism and subversion". The Guard would send a substantial number of forces to the European theater of the Second Weltkrieg, as well as masterminding the rise of the Hong Kong Business Club to control over the Legation Cities.

    Australasia was outraged when the Third Weltkrieg broke out. It had taken a great deal of coaxing to get any level of conscription passed even to fight to reclaim the Home Islands, and people had been ecstatic when the Second Weltkrieg ended, feeling that it would certainly allow them a return to normalcy. The news that they would have to fight another global war so soon after fighting the last one caused riots in many of the major Australasian cities, which the Guard suppressed with incredible brutality. For several years Australasian troops duked it out with the troops of German East Asia in the jungles, capturing a number of islands and even landing troops on Borneo, which was a brutal, bloody slog. Losses mounted quickly and morale was, quite frankly, in the toilet.

    Then came the summer of 1945. Reichspakt forces had retaken all of the France and had even managed to subdue the North African territories which had stood against the Communards for so long. The Russians had formally entered the war against the Entente, rumbling over the border from North Norway into Entente aligned South Norway and pushing through the endless Baluchi deserts into the Dominion of India. Canada was threatened by the looming armies of the American totalist behemoth. The war, simply put, looked unwinnable, and the Australasian Guard's endless efforts at calling up more and more men for the war effort was increasingly wearing thin on people's nerves.

    Even today, no one really knows if the protests had been planned or not. We do know that there was a bar fight in the city of Adelaide--a stronghold of anti-Guard sentiment--between local residents and a group of off duty IASB goons. The fight rapidly spiraled out of control and into the street, where local dockworkers and Australasian Guard hired thugs arrived and waded into the fray. The local Home Defense Militia troops arrived on the scene but struggled to try and contain the rapidly escalating situation--without any luck. Then things got serious as a platoon of heavily armed IASB troops arrived at the scene. Ordering the locals to disperse "or else" the major in charge of the IASB troops handled the situation rather poorly, something which was made abundantly clear when a local tossed a flowerpot, which shattered at his feet. Startled, way out of his depth---a surviving IASB trooper would admit at his trial that the man had only arrived at their unit three days earlier and was blatantly obviously the product of nepotism, as he had shown no real leadership ability from his arrival onwards--and panicked, the major ordered his troops to open fire on the locals. As rifle shots and bursts of automatic fire from Owen Guns ripped through the night air, the local Home Defense Militia troops went from surprised to shocked to enraged all in a matter of seconds. The IASB troops hadn't bothered to worry about hitting the militiamen, and many of them had had to dive to the ground to try to avoid being hit. Then they started shooting back at the IASB troops, and things began to hit the fan.


    Two Australasian soldiers stand guard with Owen Guns, Borneo, 1944. The Owen Gun was introduced in early 1939 to give the Australasian Army some additional firepower and soon became beloved by the ANZACs, who used it from Italy to New Guinea fighting a wide variety of enemies. It would also be used extensively at home....