This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
6. South East England
RGHQ: Crowborough, nr Crawley, West Sussex (Closed down Feb 1998)
Alternate RGHQ: Basingstoke, Hampshire
Counties: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex
Nuclear Targets: Aldershot, Ashford, Dover, Folkestone, High Wycombe, Southampton
Within HMG's Borders
The target of several Soviet strikes during the 1997 nuclear exchange, the presence
of a number of military garrisons mean that much of south east England remains fully
under the control of His Majesty's Government. The borders of the territory controlled
by HMG are broadly defined by two Motorways -
The Army has a number of garrisons throughout the area -
The Army carries out regular patrols along the M25; these patrols are tasked with
ensuring that marauders do not cross into HMG's territory. Such incursions are rare
The Royal Navy base at Portsmouth remains operational, and is home to most of what
remains of the Fleet, including the Type 42 Destroyer HMS York, which now serves
as the Navy's flagship. The Navy retains a small number of Trident nuclear missiles
which are stored at Portsmouth under conditions of high security (whether they retain
the means to deliver these weapons is a matter of speculation -
The Royal Air Force have two major bases in South East England. Before the War RAF Manston in Kent trained RAF firefighters and was home to an Air Cadet Experience Flight, however with a fully functional 9,000 feet long runway, it was converted to a fully operational base in late 1998 and is now home to the surviving Hawks of 63 Squadron. Two of the Air Experience Flight's Bulldogs also remain operational, and are occasionally used for reconnaissance missions over the territory north of HMG's border. Another Squadron of Hawks is based the former civilian airport at Gatwick in West Sussex. Gatwick suffered heavy damage from conventional attack in 1997 but remains operational and has been taken over by the Royal Air Force (the airport had also been used by the RAF during the Second World War). The Hawks have not had to engage any Soviet aircraft for well over a year now, although they are occasionally scrambled to “escort” French reconnaissance aircraft out of British airspace.
Gatwick is also a major base for military salvage teams operating in southern England. The airport is home to a handful of civilian airliners which have been sitting parked in hangars for several years now. Whilst none of these are currently airworthy, RAF and REME technicians are currently working with a number of staff formerly employed by British Airways Engineering to restore one of the airline's Boeing 757's to flying condition, cannibalizing the other airframes where necessary.
Lying just to the north of the M4, the town of Reading and its immediate environs are garrisoned by a force of approximately 1,000 men from the 43rd Infantry Brigade. Effectively marking the northern limit of Government control in southern England, Reading has the atmosphere of a frontier town. Like Swindon, some forty miles to the west, it serves as a crossroads between the area controlled by the Government and the territory further north, providing a venue where merchants and traders from north and south can meet and do business. A number of camps have sprung up around Reading; nominally outwith Government control (and thus meaning that their inhabitants are not conscripted into the MMR's teams) these tented cities provide the inhabitants of Reading and its military garrison with a whole range of services.
Approximately ten miles south of Reading is the village of Aldermaston, home of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the Government Agency which was responsible for providing and maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent before the war. The AWE remains partially operational and is heavily guarded.
North of the M4
The proximity of the Government garrison in Reading has ensured that the southern parts of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire are relatively clear of marauders, however the further away from the M4 one goes the more common they become.
World renowned as a centre of learning before the War, Oxford remains organised and is the focus of a regional alliance that includes the nearby towns of Witney, Abingdon, and Bicester. The City is governed by a nine man council that includes pre War politicians and academics from the various Oxford Colleges and is led by a man named Anthony Jarrett. Heavily fortified, it has a reasonably well equipped defence force which is several hundred strong and is built around several platoons of HSF troops who are supported by a number local volunteers (including a number of Oxford students who were members of the University Officer Training Corps) and civilian police officers (Thames Valley Police Headquarters was located in the village of Kidlington, just north of Oxford before the War) as well as some British and American airmen from the bases at nearby Brize Norton and Upper Heyford who elected to stay in the local area rather than relocate to southern England earlier in the War when their bases were evacuated. The troops are under the command of sixty four year old Nick Courtney, who retired from the British Army as a Brigadier in 1987. They are armed with standard British (and small numbers of American) small arms, and have several GPMG's and a Carl Gustav. They also have several Land Rovers and Bedford trucks, as well as two Humvees which belonged to the Americans at Upper Heyford. Over the last twelve months they have fought several battles with marauders encroaching from the Midlands and the area is currently secure as far as Bicester to the north and Witney to the west.
The Oxford suburb of Cowley is home to the Cowley car manufacturing plant. Owned
by German company BMW, the plant produced Rover cars before the War. The plant has
sat idle for several years, but is still relatively intact. Cowley was also the pre
War Headquarters for the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation (UKWMO),
a Home Office agency that was tasked with warning the civilian population in the
event that a nuclear attack on the UK was detected and providing post strike data
to military and civilian authorities. The Cowley HQ was largely administrative -
Recently a reconnaissance patrol from the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, entered Oxford and made contact with the City's leadership, and have left a radio so Oxford's defenders can remain in contact with HMG. Aware that marauder activity in the area has been increasing and that his enclave's continued existence is perilous at best, Jarrett has appealed for more tangible aid from the Government to the south.
Outside Oxford, the USAF base at Upper Heyford is currently occupied by several hundred
refugees who moved in shortly after the Americans moved out. It is rumoured that
the Americans left behind significant supplies of food, weapons, and ammunition when
they evacuated, however patrols from Oxford have been to the base several times but
have been unable to find anything of value. A small number of Americans have lingered
in the area -
To the east of the M40 the northern part of Buckinghamshire is dominated by the Free City of Milton Keynes, which, with a population of some 75,000 is one of the largest Free Cities in England. Controlled by a local strongman name Tony Clarke, an uneasy peace currently exists between Milton Keynes and Northampton, with both vying to emerge as the major power in the region (and therefore control the majority of the resources). Clarke has a force of several hundred men under arms, and is actively recruiting mercenaries, particularly former military personnel.
The Isle of Wight
Located approximately four miles south of the UK mainland in the English Channel, The Isle of Wight retains a relatively strong agricultural industry and three breweries producing alcohol based fuels, making it self sufficient. It is also home to the Britten Norman aircraft company, whose production facilities have remained intact (as have two of the Company’s Islander light aircraft).
The town of Newport on the Isle of Wight was home to three separate prisons before the war – Parkhurst, which was a category A, or high security facility; Albany (Category B, medium security), and Camp Hill (Category C, low security). Many of the suspected subversives arrested by the Security Service at the start of 1997 found themselves sent to either Albany or Camp Hill, dependent on which Category they were classed as, whilst Parkhurst remained Category A, and received a number of prisoners who were transferred there from other facilities after the nuclear exchanges. Built to hold just over 1700 prisoners, over two thousand four hundred men were confined in the three facilities when a riot broke out at Albany in the spring of 1998. The rioting quickly spread to Parkhurst; although they were armed with a variety of weapons, the warders were heavily outnumbered, and casualties were heavy on both sides, but gradually the prisoners began to gain the upper hand. Unable to deploy troops from the mainland to bring the situation back under control, General Sir Clive Smith ordered an airstrike on the three prisons which was carried out by two RAF Tornados, causing a heavy loss of life amongst the prisoners. Several hundred prisoners did manage to escape however, quickly scattering across the island, and whilst many were rounded up, a number remain at large.