This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
3. East Midlands
RGHQ: Skendleby, nr Spilsby, Lincolnshire (evacuated Feb 1998, personnel relocated to RAF Waddington)
Alternate RGHQ: Loughborough, Leicestershire
Counties: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire
Nuclear Targets: Derby, Nottingham
The East Midlands was a significant manufacturing centre before the War, particularly in the Engineering sector. Amongst companies based in the region were Rolls Royce, who produced aircraft and marine engines at two facilities in Derby; British Rail Engineering Limited, also Derby based and the UK's last train manufacturer; and British Steel, who had a manufacturing plant at Corby. The north part of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire used to have many coal mines, and whilst many closed during the 1980's at the start of the War two pits were still producing in Nottinghamshire near Market Warsop and Ollerton. Much of this industry was destroyed during the 1997 nuclear strikes, which targeted Derby and Nottingham.
The region is now home a number of Free Cities, all independent of each other, interspersed with a number of smaller towns and villages. Most communities have formed some sort of defence forces, often armed with an assortment of shotguns, hunting rifles, and a small number of military small arms, and with improvised fortifications protecting their settlements. Cooperation varies; whilst some communities have formed mutual defence agreements and some trade takes place between the different towns and villages, outsiders will be viewed with suspicion (at best).
Few communities patrol beyond their perimeters, so much of the countryside remains a safe haven for various unlawful groups. The largest of these is based in the area to the east of Leicester and is led by a woman known throughout the region as Bloody Mary. Leicester’s defence forces have clashed with Bloody Mary’s group on a number of occasions, but the marauders have managed to have the upper hand in several of these clashes, seizing weapons and equipment from the troops (including an FV603 Saracen APC), and is gradually increasing in strength. A number of other, smaller groups infest the region, several of which include former members of the Royal Air Force or, in some cases, the United States Air Force, and armed with military issue small arms, making travel hazardous. Amongst the most dangerous of these groups is a group of Americans known as Bandito Yankee who operate in the area around Northampton. Although relatively small in number they are well armed and well equipped, making them a potent force who are feared throughout the region.
Despite this, a number of merchants operate in the region, often travelling between the Free Cities. It is not uncommon for these merchants to form small convoys for their protection, often accompanied by mercenary guards, many of whom are themselves military deserters. Whilst the presence of relatively well armed escorts can often deter a marauder attack, hiring guards is not without its own risks however, with several of the former soldiers occasionally operating in tandem with marauders to ambush particularly lucrative convoys.
The Royal Air Force
Before the War the County of Lincolnshire was home to a number of Royal Air Force stations, both flying and non flying. During 1998 and 1999 a number of these bases were abandoned, with personnel and equipment consolidated at RAF Coningsby and RAF Waddington for logistical and security reasons. The airmen remain nominally loyal to HMG, although they have been out of all contact with the main body of Government forces further south for over nine months and whilst they are well armed, they are beginning to run short of small arms ammunition, a fact that they have been careful to conceal. Coningsby also still has two operational F3 Tornado fighter jets. Neither has flown for nearly a year, although their engines are turned over once a month using the base's ever dwindling reserves of aviation fuel. Both bases also have small numbers of non operational airframes which could potentially be returned to flying condition given the right parts. The most notable of these is an E3 Sentry AWACS known as Grumpy (the RAF had seven E3's before the War, each of which was named after one of the Seven Dwarfs) which is kept in a hangar at Waddington; the last operational Sentry was lost in 1999 and it would need a considerable amount of work together with parts not available locally to restore Grumpy to an airworthy condition.
Waddington and Coningsby are both relatively close to the City of Lincoln. The RAF carry out regular patrols of the surrounding countryside, which have kept away the marauder groups that infest much of the region and ensured that area around Lincoln has remained relatively stable and organised under the leadership of its pre War local Government, supplemented by a number of civil servants who had been assigned to the RGHQ and relocated to Lincoln from RAF Waddington during 1998 (The RGHQ having itself relocated to the RAF base in February 1998), with local security provided by a mixed force of pre War police officers and Home Service Force soldiers, who know they can count on assistance from the RAF should they require it
Lincolnshire was a major agricultural region before the War, with common crops including wheat, barley, potatoes, and onions, and, whilst obviously not at pre War levels, it remains a major food producer by the standards of the year 2000. Much of the agricultural land consists of former marshland known as the Fens, which were drained during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Lying just a few metres above sea level, prior to the War the fens were protected from flooding by a series of embankments and over 250 pumping stations; since 1998 lack of electricity means most of these pumping stations have ceased to operate, leaving the fens exposed to the risk of flooding.
The Free Cities
Outwith the relatively small area controlled by the RAF, much of the Region is dominated by a number of Free Cities, the largest of which are Northampton and Leicester. The County Town of Northamptonshire, Northampton is home to some 60,000 people. Whilst this is only a quarter of the City's pre war population, it is still enough to make it one of the largest Free Cities in England. Ravaged by riots at the end of 1997 that started off over food but ended up in wanton destruction and looting, Northampton has no central authority and is essentially lawless; whilst a number of strongmen and groups are all vying for power none are anywhere near large enough to control the entire City. Those brave enough to visit the City will find that it is home to a host of impromptu markets with merchants, scavengers, and outlaws coming from all over central England to meet and do business and relatively rare items often available to trade; Northampton is also an exporter of alcohol based fuels, which are produced at the former Carlsberg brewery. It is a dangerous place to be however; violence is commonplace, with life cheap, with fatal clashes an everyday occurrence. Some twenty miles to the north of Northampton, the town of Corby was home to a plant that manufactured steel tubes and a nuclear power station before the War. Both were shut down at the end of 1997 and were subsequently looted. Both could in theory be brought back into operational, but it would take several months of work to restore either to even limited operations.
A major commercial and manufacturing centre before the War, Leicester had a large ethnic population, particularly of South Asian origin (it was also home to a significant Polish community, with many Polish servicemen settling in the area after World War 2 when they were unable to return to their homeland). Whilst not a directly targeted by the Soviets during either 1997 or 1998, it suffered significant loss of life from hunger, disease, and disorder during the period that followed the nuclear strikes, whilst others fled the City for various reasons, and its current population stands at just under 40,000. The City is governed by a Council that is led by Faisel Khan, a well known local businessman and entrepreneur before the war.
One of the first towns in England to bring military units under local control after the 1997 nuclear exchanges, Leicester is protected by a defence force built around former members of two Home Service Force units (E Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment (E Coy, 7 RAR) which had been based in the town, and survivors of G (Derbyshire HSF) Company, 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (G Coy, 3 WFR), which had regrouped in Leicester following the destruction of Derby and Nottingham) they have been reinforced by a small number of Regular Army personnel, some of whom were formerly based at the Defence Animal Centre (DAC) at Melton Mowbray, which was responsible for training the Army's horses and search dogs, whilst others have found their way to Leicester after becoming detached from their own units for one reason or another (some of the Regulars were formerly attached to the staff of the RGHQ at Loughborough). The Leicester Defence Force also has a number of locally recruited personnel, including former local police officers, veterans from all of the British armed forces, and members and former members of the Army Cadet Force, and currently has some three hundred and fifty men and women under arms when fully mustered. The majority of personnel are armed with standard British military small arms. Support weapons consist of a small number of L4A4 Bren guns, four L7A2 General Purpose Machine Guns, two 51mm mortars and a single 84mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle. Whilst small arms ammunition and hand grenades are reasonably plentiful (though not unlimited!) the LDF has only a small number of mortar shells and half a dozen 84mm HEAT rounds. They have a number of military Land Rovers (mostly unarmoured models but also two of the armoured "Snatch" variants, four Bedford trucks and a single FV603 Saracen APC (a second Saracen was recently lost to marauders led by Bloody Mary). Supplementing the military vehicles are a small number of requisitioned civilian vehicles; both military and civilian vehicles have been converted to run on alcohol fuels.