Saturday 30 November 2013

Bolt Action 1936: Spode's Blackshorts

   Spode's Blackshort Mobile Column: 28 mm army for Bolt Action

   1936 was the year Europe went mad. Hitler invaded the Rhineland and units of the French army mutinied when ordered to resist, sparking the French civil war. Sparticists in Hamburg and Bremen mounted a coup while the German army was engaged in the west and the Spanish Civil War broke out.

   In England, Edward VIII appealed to the people in a radio broadcast to be allowed to marry Mrs Simpson against the advice of his ministers. The government promptly resigned and the opposition refused to form a government. Edward appointed Mosley as Prime Minister who formed a 'King's Party' government.

   Archbishop Cosmo Lang refused to crown Edward and crowned his brother instead as George VI. The British Civil War was on.

   Viscount Sidcup allied his Blackshort militia with the King's Party and he used his wealth to form a mobile column.

   The Blackshort Mobile Column was commanded by Captain The Honourable Rupert Pikely-Trotter who had been thrown out of the Drones Club for cheating in the annual tiddlywink competition. Pikely-Trotter converted his Jaguar SS into a command vehicle. His driver was Sergeant Mad Mick Murphy who always drove one-handed so he could hold a grenade in the other.


   The Mobile Column was built around rifle/ bren-gun platoons of three sections. Spode bought Tommy guns for the NCOs.

   Each platoon was supported by light mortars and Boys anti-tank rifles.

   Artillery support was provided by late-war 13pdrs. Spode bought the very latest mobile phone technology to equip his artillery spotters.

   Armoured support was largely provided by improvised armoured cars armed with light machine guns.

   Although Spode did manage to acquire a handful of Vickers 6 Ton 'Dutchmen' intended for an export order that fell through due to the European crisis.

   The first test for the Mobile Column came when they were dispatched from Sidcup House south through the lanes over the North Downs to seize control of the Medway Gate so as to shut in the Chatham Soviet but they never reached The Gate being intercepted at Snodland.

   But more about that later.


  1. Excellent stuff John. I really love the background to these. My games are played at Battalion level and above, but I'm planning on dropping down to Platoon level with Chain of Command. When time allows that is...

    1. I think there is room for both 28 and 15/20 mm games. They have a very different 'feel'.

  2. Just in case anyone else reading this suspects that in this blend of fact and fiction that some of the locations are made up; I've driven through Snodland, Having a pitched battle there would probably improve it...

    1. Snodland hasn't been the same since they closd the cement works although the land-tip is still open.