- This is an NPC faction. For the affiliated player faction, see Bretonia Armed Forces (player faction). For the rules for this particular faction, see Bretonia Armed Forces ID.
|Bretonian Armed Forces
|Date of founding
||King George I
|Base of operations
||Planet New London, New London
|Protection of Bretonian space
The Bretonian Armed Forces have a long history of serving as the first and last line of defense for Bretonia.
The Bretonian Armed Forces are the sole military force of the House of Bretonia, combining both space fleets and ground forces under a unified command. The BAF is commanded by the 12 man Admiralty Board, with a Fleet Admiral as its professional head and representative of the Monarch, who remains nominally the supreme head of the Armed Forces. The BAF is divided into 11 Fleets, with the planetary fleets having numerous armies attached planetside. The BAF is an extremely professional force, dedicated to the defence of Bretonia from external threats and all officers are sworn to remain loyal to the Bretonian Crown.
For the first 300 years of its history, Bretonia was defended by the Bretonian Royal Fleet, a force of warships under the command of the often tyrannical early Princes of Bretonia, who held the title of "Lord High Admiral". The first force in all of Sirius to command gunboats following the construction of the HMS Glorious in 169 A.S., by the mid 3rd Century the BRF commanded over 20 such Glorious Class Gunboats, each one commanding a squadron of smaller ships under the leadership of an Admiral. By the beginning of the 4th Century A.S. a handful of early Dreadnought class Destroyers had been constructed and the BRF was reorganised into fleets, each one consisting of a Destroyer and several gunboats and led by a smaller number of Admirals, with leaders of the Gunboat squardons retitled as Rear Admirals. By 317 A.S. there were 5 such fleets, a force more than capable of countering the early threats of crime and piracy to the extent that, until 317, no capital vessel had ever been lost in combat by the BRF, the only destroyed vessel being the gunboat HMS Endeavour which collided catastrophically with the Leeds atmosphere following a navigation error in 293.
In the spring of 317, however, rioting on Planet Leeds led to dispatch of several ships of marines from New London. The rebels, opposed to the tyrannical rule of Price Harry XXI ambushed 2 gunboats on the landing platform and succeeded in boarding and capturing the vessels. In a brief skirmish in the skies over Leeds, the two vessels succeeded in destroying a third gunboat caught by surprise by the inexperienced rebel crew. The Bretonian Civil War had begun. When the Prince's nephew the Duke of Westminster and several other New London aristocrats sided with the rebels, 2 Destroyers and the best part of their fleets defected to the rebel cause after Admiral Smith switched sides and Admiral Mitchell was killed when his crew mutinied. By the end of the year the loyalist BRF had secured New London, but with the Leeds system in the hands of the Bretonian People's Navy the royalists lacked access to the resource fields needed to repair or rebuild their forces. With more defections throughout the spring of 318, the BPN was strong enough to mount an offensive on the capital and captured Southampton Shipyard in a surprise strike in July, using a jump hole to bypass the Jump Gate defences. With the loss of their shipyard the royalist forces were in disarray and on 5 October the last BRF Admiral surrendered his destroyer to the rebels in New London orbit. With rebel forces in control of the skies, the royalist government planetside surrendered the following day under threat of orbital bombardment.
The Bretonian People's Navy continued to guard the skies of Bretonia throughout the Commonwealth period, although no new capital vessels were commissioned during this era which saw a reduction in fleet size. When the Monarchy was restored in 334 and a Kingdom of Bretonia declared, King George I completely reformed the structure of his fleet, rechristening it the Bretonian Armed Forces. An immediate shipbuilding programme was announced and the fleet was divided into various tak forces of different sizes, the largest being controlled by Admirals, medium ones by Vice Admirals and smaller forces under Rear Admirals.
The next hundred years or so were a fairly quiet time for the BAF, with no major challanges other than the occasional pirate raid or deranged pilot. The fleet's capital assets were mobilised in 437 in the face of heavy rioting from BMM workers in Cambridge, but the forces were ultimately not used as a peaceful settlement was reached. By the second half of the 5th Century, the Bretonian Buccaneers were beginning to cause considerable troubles in Bretonia, but politicians at the time decided that domestic issues were best left to the BPA, instead deploying the BAF out into the borderworlds, particularly Omega 3 and 7, to defend against growing piracy there, BAF forces being constrained to Omega-3 only after 494.
In 552 the first of the great Nessie Class Battleships was launched from Southampton, the HMS-Nessie became the flagship of the main Home Fleet under Lord Admiral O'Donnell. The BAF seemed more powerful than ever. Yet trouble was brewing; the Buccaneers were gradually expanding their influence in many regions of Bretonia and by 560 the Buccaneers had managed to construct several destroyer class vessels under the noses of the BAF by salvaging parts from the Southampton debris field and ingeniously building the ships in open space moored against their hidden bases.
By the time the Buccaneer War finally broke out in 566 following the murder of King William I, the BAF were facing enemy forces of previously unseen proportions. For 6 years the various BAF Fleets under the seperate command of their respective flag officers failed to act in a sufficiently coordinated manner to defeat the Buccaneers; a victory of Vice Admiral Marlow in 569 at the Battle of Guernsey was famously undone by the refusal of Rear Admiral Haversham to cooperate with him and the consequent failure of Haversham's fleet to cut off the Buccaneers' retreat. By 570 A.S. Queen Eleanor had taken personal command of the Armed Forces, sacking the dithering Fleet Admiral Buckingham. Combining seven of the largest fleets into two huge battlegroups and reducing the remainder to the status of squadrons, she paved the way for the BAF to bring concentrated force against the Buccaneer strongholds. Admiral Hardcastle cleared much of Manchester and Cambridge over the next two years, though much of his work was undone by Marlow's pyrrhic victory at Southampton Field in 573. A Buccaneer counteroffensive was successfully halted by a large force of BAF destroyers near Planet Dover in 579, but the BAF was unable to effectively counter the guerilla tactics of the Buccaneers enough to decisively defeat their forces for the next 8 years. In 587, however, Marlow was replaced by Admiral Sir Thomas Scott, a military genius of fleet battle tactics and using clever ambushes he gradually forced back the Buccaneers into Leeds. In the summer of 588 his battlegroup cleared most of the Leeds system itself and by 589 the remaining Buccaneer forces were caught, unprepared at Sherwood station and utterly destroyed.
The war was the most costly the BAF had ever experienced, with 3 of its mighty battleships lost and almost a dozen destroyers out of action by the war's end. Yet the victory and the improved logistics, training and administration that the war prompted in the BAF was to lead to it becoming one of the most professional forces in Sirius over the next 100 years. In 648 King William III reorganised the BAF, establishing the Admiralty Board and the fleet structure familiar to us today, with Flotilas being grouped into Destroyer Squadrons, themselves grouped into Battlefleets which combined to make up the Great Fleets of the BAF. Most of the 7th Century was spent fighting the corsairs in Cambridge, though no major fleet engagements took place within Bretonian core space. The 8th Century, however, was to see the rise of the Mollys and Gaians, both of which were to provide new challanges for the BAF; ultimately both were contained, but neither decisively defeated as the loss of the HMS Hood and much of its fleet marked an end to BAF attempts to wipe out the Molly movement.
The Nomad War of 800-801 saw considerable action for the BAF against invading Rheinland forces, beginning in Cambridge and New London before scoring several key victories over the RM forces in Omega 3 under Admiral Chambers of the Norfolk Fleet. Today the BAF face perhaps their greatest challange to date: the war with the Kusari Naval Forces has required the concentration of almost all the BAF's mobile assets, though the Armed Forces remains as unshakeable as ever in its determination for victory.
Fighters & Bombers
- Battleship Ark Royal, Newcastle
- Battleship Essex, New London
- Battleship Grimsby, Planet Darlington
- Battleship Harlow, Manchester
- Battleship Macduff, New London
- Battleship Norfolk, Cambridge
- Battleship Stirling, Omega-49
- Battleship Suffolk, New London
- Battleship York, New London
- Carrier Warwick, New London
- Fort Winchester, Manchester
- Planet Leeds, Resistance Base, Leeds