Wellon Army: 2300 AD
Royal Wellon Armoured Corps
By D Hebditch
The RWAC is provides the Wellon Army with its Medium Tank, Medium Recce and Corps Recce capabilities. Noticeably there are no Heavy Tank units in the Wellon Army, primarily because of the huge distances involved in any mobile operations on Tirane renders them almost operationally immobile in the face of modern hovertanks. The expense of maintaining such units is also a factor.
Culturally the RWAC is unofficially subdivided into three separate groups of regiments or in Wellon Army slang: the 'Old Cavalry', 'Recce Cavalry' and the 'No Cavalry'. The Old Cav are those socially exclusive regiments which also have a leading ceremonial role in their regions; the LHMG, RNSH and LWDG. The Recce Cav are a group of units originally concentrating in the recce role but with cavalry trappings, including uniforms, titles and small ceremonial mounted detachments. The No Cav are those recently created units of the WAR and WRR with none of the extra social airs or trappings of the other units. Within the RWAC there is substantial competition both between regiments and the groups of regiments.
Phase Two training for the regiments of the RWAC is conducted at the RWAC Depot in the huge Ferguson Barracks complex in New Shorncliffe. It is here on an eight month course that recruits are trained in basic infantry, medium recce and medium tank roles. The course aims to give every trooper of the RWAC the basic knowledge in maintenance as well as being able to take his place in every position in both the Rifleman, Craufurd and Cavalier AFV's. After this training the recruit normally joins his regiment as 'alternate' crew whilst continuation training is undertaken.
The Old Cav are generally the oldest of the Wellonese armoured units created before the colony achieved its Dominion status. One regiment was formed in each of the old Defence Forces and came to provide an interface between the upper classes and the military. Although now modern fighting units they still maintain their traditions: every recruit is trained to ride and each regiment maintains a mounted squadron (normally from its 'alternates') for ceremonial duties. These three squadrons form the Old Cavalry Mounted Regiment which provides detachments for the opening of the Parliament and regional Assemblies. This extra manpower strength is much resented in other units of the RWAC.
The Lord Heller's Mounted Grenadiers (LHMG)
The LHMG is the oldest and most senior cavalry regiment of the RWA. Formed in 2175 by Lord Andrew Heller (son of the 6th Viscount Heller) to protect his holdings at Narvik Park, south of Victoria, from roving bandits then plaguing the area. Initially a fairly conventional light unit (despite its grand name) after successfully destroying the bandits they became more of a social grouping. Most of the troopers were keen hunters and riders and they then developed a mounted ceremonial function as well. Heller's men become the most prestigious, and some would say pompous, unit in the old North Albion Defence Force.
In 2241 the LHMG became a regular part of the Wellon military as a reconnaissance unit. In 2276 it received armoured recce vehicles and changed its training to suit. It has now re-rolled to the medium armoured role and was slated to be the first Wellon unit to receive the Montgomery, however this has been overtaken by events of the Kafer War. The regiment is currently a part of the 12th Armoured Division and equipped with the Cavalier Mk.4.
The LHMG is a proud and exclusive unit and its parade dress includes an Afanc-skin grenadier's cap and rifle green tunics. Although normally it parades with horses the unit has been attempting to try and use the local Bayard, however these have proved difficult to train. Perhaps the most famous member of the unit was Queen Elizabeth III, who served two years on secondment with the unit whilst a Princess.
The Royal New Scots Hussars (RNSH)
The RNSH was formed as a social unit amongst New Scotland's upper crust in 2215 in conscious imitation of the LHMG. Regularised in 2241, the unit is now the medium armoured formation in 2 Armoured Brigade but still retains much of its social exclusivity. The officers of this unit are predominantly still recruited from the scions of the region's prominent families. The other ranks of the unit are usually from the north of New Scotland or New Highland and are often strong followers of the Reformed Free Presbyterian Church making it one of the few religiously motivated northern regiments. The individual squadrons of the regiment are sponsored by some of the Duchies of New Scotland. It is currently equipped with the Cavalier Mk.4 HBT.
The regiment's ceremonial dress is a blue hussar style uniform with a Redkat skin Hussar cap. In imitation of their Allied Regiment, the British 2nd Dragoons, they exclusively use grey horses, although some are rumoured to be dyed as greys can be hard to come by on Wellon.
The Lord Woolf's Dragoon Guards (LWDG)
The LWDG was formed in 2217 after a dispute between Major Lord Richard Woolf and Lt-Col Lord Alexander Heller (then CO of the LHMG). As a result of being excluded from entrance to the LHMG, Lord Woolf drew upon his fathers wealth to create his own regiment instead.
The LWDG vied with the NCLI as the most fashionable military unit in the South Albion Defence Force, but the unit gained a reputation as being something of a spoiled child. Regularised in 2241 the LWDG and LHMG are still bitter rivals. However thanks to several excellent commanding officers the LWDG has grown into a highly professional medium recce formation. Currently the LWDG serves in the WEF as the divisional armoured recce unit for 11th (Commonwealth) Armoured Division, where it is gaining invaluable combat experience.
Although ceremonials are far from the minds of most its troopers at the moment, the LWDG are renowned for their mounted parades. Their dress uniform is a wildly impractical cuirassier style arrangement including bayard hair crested bronze helmet and cuirass, topped off with a Greerlion pelisse and red tunic.
The Volunteer Light Dragoons (VLD)
The VLD were formed in 2201 in Point Sterling as the Southern Volunteer Mobile Militia, an anti-piracy auxiliary to the local law enforcement officers. It operated for many years against the pirates and insurgents operating from the illegal settlements in the southern islands. It gained its current VLD name in 2241 and still recruits in the south and operates in the reconnaissance role in support of the 2nd Light Division.
The VLD is notable for its reliance on an array of different modes of transportation and operation. Although it is equipped officially with Craufurd and Cavalier vehicles one squadron is always deployed on operations in the Southern Archipelago and instead operates on foot, with Quads or Reynard II's. The VLD also train extensively for infantry style close recce tasks, the result of all this cross training is a versatile, quick thinking unit.
The King's Own Western Dragoons (KOWD)
The KOWD was created in 2241 as the Western Dragoons to provide a reconnaissance component for forces located near New Birmingham. A thoroughly professional and un-showy unit the KOWD is somewhat looked down on by the older cavalry regiments. Its no coincidence that this unit has the vital corps reconnaissance role with III Corps. KOWD recruits mainly from the populations of the North Albion plains, Dannon Basin and also from Masira.
The KOWD pride themselves on their long range navigation and survival training covering vast distances across the Dannon Basins and Southlands. Having a 'geographical embarrassment' is a major misdemeanour in this regiment and many in its ranks are members of the Wellon Institute of Navigation and keen sportsmen in a variety of long duration sports such as yachting and rallying.
The Wellon Royal Lancers (WRL)
The WRL was also formed in 2285 and is the medium recce regiment for 12th (Wellon) Armoured Division. Like the WAR the formation is recruited from across Wellon, however many of the recruits come from the Warwick Peninsular. Currently the WRL have a major grievance in that the LWDG and not them were chosen to join the WEF and they were 'bumped' from 11 Armd Div's DRG. They believe this is a result of to many influential 'Old Cav' officers in the upper echelons of the Wellon military.
Considered by most as a steady unit, the WRL has bought extensively into its 'Lancer' nomenclature instituting a wide ranging series of personnel exchanges with similarly named units across the core worlds and on Alicia. The WRL also has an exceptionally gaudy black and yellow full dress uniform. A WRL detachment has replaced the LWDG contingent in the Old Cavalry Mounted Regiment and many in the Recce and No Cav believe the WRL are getting to have ideas above their station. The regiment refers to itself colloquially as the 'Uhlans'.
The No Cav units allegedly gained their name when 1 WAR was first formed. At the review the then Minister of Defence made a lengthy speech in which he said he hoped 1 WAR would 'continue the fine traditions of Wellon cavalry.' Legend has it that a Corporal (allegedly a Scots RTR soldier on secondment) in the ranks bellowed out indignantly that they were "… no' f****** cavalry". The tag has stuck every since.
The No Cav is composed of two units. The Wellon Armoured Regiment and the Wellon Reconnaissance Regiment, although is dominated by the WAR, which comprises nearly half the strength of the RWAC.
The Wellon Armoured Regiment (WAR)
The various regiments of the WAR were formed from 2285 onwards due to the Defence Review of that year. The WAR is an multi-regiment formation recruited from throughout Wellon. It has none of the social snobbery that sometimes affects the other units in the Armoured Corps, but sometimes suffers from the preponderance of officers from those units in the upper echelons of the Army. Each WAR has its own unique character, although sharing a common culture, and troops and officers are regularly transferred between them.
The six Wellon Armoured Regiments are primarily tasked with the Medium Armoured role in the Wellonese armoured divisions but also have units undertaking that role on Earth and with the WEF. 5 WAR is also the divisional recce unit for 13th (Wellon) Armoured Division. A noticeable feature of the WAR is its keenness to learn from other nationalities and always has a large proportion of soldiers on exchange duties. Indeed two of its current senior ranks fought as a part of the French 501e RCC in the war with Germany. Today cross-postings with other Tiranean militaries are commonplace, especially with Freihaven and French and Australian colonies.
1st Wellon Armoured Regiment
1 WAR is currently undertaking a Force Exchange programme with the British 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and it serves as a Medium Tank unit with the 2nd (British) Armoured Division's 4th Brigade based at Catterick Garrison in the North of England. It is equipped with the Montgomery HBT.
2nd Wellon Armoured Regiment
2 WAR is in 3 Armoured Brigade, recently moved from 11 Armd Div to the newly formed 13 Armd Div. 2 WAR is a well settled unit and has an excellent reputation for the quality of its gunnery, constantly winning the biannual III Corps competition. It is equipped with Cavalier Mk.4.
3rd Wellon Armoured Regiment
3 WAR is a MT unit attached to 5 Armoured Brigade. It is equipped with the Cavalier Mk.4.
4th Wellon Armoured Regiment
4 WAR has been attached to the independent 7 (Wellon) Armd Bde since its formation. It is highly trained in that Brigade's roles in both intervention operations and OPFOR simulation. The unit has also seen substantial training in the heart of the Blight and it expert in desert operations. N Sqn has been detached to Battle Group 7 currently en-route to help garrison the arid world of Crater. 4 WAR is equipped with Cavalier Mk.4 but should be amongst the first to re-equip once the needs of the WEF are met.
5th Wellon Armoured Regiment
5 WAR is an armd recce regiment in 13th Armd Division's DRG. It has recently re-roled from its tasking in III Corps Recce Group and is finding its feet in the closer environment of the Medium Recce role. It is equipped with a mix of Craufurd and Cavalier Mk.4 AFVs.
Although the second most recently formed of the WAR regiments, only operational in 2297, 6 WAR is a currently deployed with the WEF as part of 1 Wellon Armoured Brigade as a Medium Tank Regiment. It is equipped with the Montgomery.
7th Wellon Armoured Regiment
7 WAR is the newest regiment in the Wellon Army, having been formed in September 2302. Thanks to practice since the 2285 reforms this unit creation went remarkably smoothly. 7 WAR was created in order to give the newly converted 8 Armd Bde (previously 2 Mech Bde) its own Medium Tank regiment. One noticeable feature was the adoption of Greek letters for two Squadron designations as they ran out of letters in the western alphabet. The regiment is equipped with older Cavalier Mk.3's which are being slowly upgraded to Mk.4 standard.
The Wellon Reconnaissance Regiment (WRR)
The WRR was formed in 2287 to bring under one roof the recce formations of the Airmobile, Light and Commando Brigades. The WRR receives its manpower from volunteers from the RWAR, RWM and the Light Bde units and not from the public. The WRR is as yet has no real regimental spirit with its soldiers loyalties remaining with their original units. It remains a clearing house and school of excellence for its unique role.
The six squadrons of the WRR are deployed as a recce and screening force for their respective brigades. They are often used as mobile striking forces, being some of the most potent units with their lightly equipped formations. WRR Squadrons are generally equipped with Craufurd vehicles with the exception of F Sqn which has Quads or Reynard III light ACV.
The regular armoured regiments of the Wellon Army, like its British counterparts have three main roles, but share the same general internal organisation. A regiment consists of four 'sabre' squadrons consisting of 12 tanks per squadron, and a HQ Squadron. The HQ Squadron has a signals and administration platoon to support the regiment's two Tactical or 'Tac' HQ's from which the Commander and 2nd in Command (2 i/c) command the regiment. The HQ Squadron also has a Recce Troop and a Drone Section to provide information and a Defence Troop for protection. A REME unit is attached to each squadron for maintenance and repair of the equipment. Manpower in an armoured regiment is normally between 250 and 300.
Medium Tank Regiments
MT units are equipped with hover tanks and form the backbone of Wellon armoured formations. Armed with impressive firepower and blessed with excellent mobility MT units can take on most tasks, and when combined with infantry in battle groups they can take on almost any opponents. MT units will normally avoid combat with opposing tank units and attempt to penetrate though gaps in his lines and caused havoc in his rear areas. Wellon formations are normally equipped with Cavalier Mk.4 Hovertanks although some with the WEF or British Army's have the more modern Montgomery.
Medium Reconnaissance Regiments
Recce units are equipped with light ACV fighting vehicles equipped with drones and extensive sensor arrays. Recce units are normally employed at Divisional level to provide tactical information for the division to plan its operations. Medium Recce is usually found deployed within the Forward Enemy Manouvre Zone and is tasked with the gathering of tactical intelligence. The recce role is a demanding one requiring an additional Troop (3 hover tanks) to be attached to each Squadron to provide fire support to the recce vehicles.
When in operation a recce unit may be spread over hundreds of miles with each of its squadrons operating independently of one another and far in front of friendly troops. Troopers may also spend much of their time on foot manning observation posts (OP's). Although the recce regiment's raison d'être is to provide information, they may also carry out raids on lightly protected logistics and rear area troops.
Armoured recce units are now all equipped with the Craufurd recce ACV, support troops are equipped with Cavalier HBT's.
Corps Reconnaissance Regiment
Corps Recce units in the Wellon Army are uniquely organised utilising three general recce squadrons, one strike squadron and one long range drone squadron. They are designed to operate in concert with close recce infantry battalions which along with special forces provide relatively static observation capabilities.
Corps Recce's role is to gather reconnaissance on the enemy to the rear of his Forward Manoeuvre Zone and track his usage of combat support and service support elements. The unit then relays this to Corps HQ and can be called on to provide further information for artillery or air strikes or conduct direct action operations itself. It is normal practise for the units to remain concealed as much as possible.
The conditions on Wellon provide a unique amount of manoeuvre room for these sorts of operations but currently only one regiment, the King's Own Western Dragoons, are dedicated to it. British doctrine holds that these sorts of operations would be very difficult to conduct in a high intensity environment but the Wellonese contend that it would be a successful ploy in less densly occupied areas.
Wellon Defence Forces 2300 AD