SPACE 1889 Reprinted
|Printed Copies||PDF Format|
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Crimean War! Indian Mutiny! Abyssinia! Fenian Raids! Ashanti War! Afghan War! Zulu War! North-West Frontier! Oenotrian War! Mylarkt Incident! Shastapash Uprising!
Great Britain has more experience with aerial combat than any other nation on Earth but has still only been building aerial gunboats for less than a decade. The first British experience with aerial warfare was on Mars during the Gorovaangian War (1878-79), also now referred to as the First War of the Parhoon Sucession. British officers and men, largely from the Royal Artillery, served alongside Parhoonese cloud sailors in Parhoon's small fleet, manning a handful of modern machineguns and field guns hastily lashed to the wooden decks of the Parhoonese screw galleys.
By 1880 and the outbreak of the Second War of the Parhoon Succession, several small screw galleys had been built equipped with modern British weaponry, particularly Hotchkiss revolving cannons and Gatling guns, and these were used to good effect against the Syrtan fleet during that war. These were all Parhoonese vessels, however, and by the end of the war Britain held a considerable tract of territory that demanded a British aerial force. While Parhoonese vessels were loaned to the British as a stopgap measure, a complete shipyard was hastily built in Syrtis Major (see map or the British Crown Colony below). In 1882 the first purpose-built, steel-hulleed aerial warships in history were produced: the sister ships Aphid and Ladybug. This shipyard at Syrtis Major has continued to produce a succession of fine military vessels to this time.
The defence of the Martian territories demanded aerial vessels, so it was some time before sufficient liftwood was available for the construction of warships on Earth. Inventors ans aerial enthusiasts of private means obtained limited supplies of liftwood and have produced a series of experimental vessels os some historical interest but little practical military value. The first military use of aerial vessels on Earth was in 1885 during the Sudan campaign, and, ironically, these were built by a private citizen, not the British government.
Quick to realise the impact that aerial vessels would have on naval warfare, the Royal Navy lobbied hard and successfully for exclusive control over the aerial service. By the close of 1885 this was granted by the government, and all miscellaneous projects in work by the various services were officially turned over to the navy. The result was a much more efficient and productive building program, which produced the first Locust-class vessel in 1886, the very powerful Macefield gunboats in 1888, and the Intrepid-class cruisers in 1889.
On Mars, however, the building program had always been well in hand, and the Royal Aerial Service (with men drawn from all branches of the army) had become an effective and battle-proven force. Nevertheless, the 1885 decesion to turn over all ships to the Navy was applied to Mars as well, even though its actual implementation was delayed until nearly the end of 1886. This policy change caused considerable bitterness among the offivers of the aerial service, many of whom resigned and returned to private life. The so-called Red Captains are full of officers and men formerly of the aerial service who look down on the Royal Navy as relatively inexperienced newcomers.
"Cloudships and Gunboats" by Frank Chadwick
London is the heart of an empire that colours a quarter of the Earth red. An empire extending across the luminiferous ether to Mars (The Crown Colony of Syrtis Major), Venus and Mecury; An empire on which the sun truly never sets.
The growth of the British Empire was due in large part to the ongoing competition for resources and markets which existed over a period of centuries between England and her Continental rivals, Spain, France, and Holland. During the reign of Elizabeth I, England set up trading companies in Turkey, Russia, and the East Indies, explored the coast of North America, and established colonies there. In the early seventeenth century those colonies were expanded and the systematic colonization of Ulster in Ireland got underway.
The first British Empire was a mercantile one. Under both the Stuarts and Cromwell, the mercantilist outlines of further colonization and Empire-building became more and more apparent. Until the early nineteenth century, the primary purpose of Imperialist policies was to facilitate the acquisition of as much foreign territory as possible, both as a source of raw materials and in order to provide real or potential markets for British manufactures. The mercantilists advocated in theory, and sought in practice, trade monopolies which would insure that Britain's exports would exceed its imports. A profitable balance of trade, it was believed, would provide the wealth necessary to maintain and expand the empire. After ultimately successful wars with the Dutch, the French, and the Spanish in the seventeenth century, Britain managed to acquire most of the eastern coast of North America, the St. Lawrence basin in Canada, territories in the Carribean, stations in Africa for the acquisition of slaves, and important interests in India. The loss in the late eighteenth century of the American colonies was not offset by the discovery of Australia, which served, after 1788, as a penal colony (convicts like Magwitch, in Dickens's Great Expectations, were transported there). However, the loss influenced the so-called "swing to the East" (the acquisition of trading and strategic bases along the trade routes between India and the Far East). In 1773 the British government was obliged to take over for the financially troubled East India Company, which had been in India since 1600, and by the end of the century Britain's control over India extended into neighboring Afghanistan and Burma. With the end, in 1815, of the Napoleonic Wars, the last of the great imperial wars which had dominated the eighteenth century, Britain found itself in an extraordinarily powerful position, though a complicated one. It acquired Dutch South Africa, for example, but found its interests threatened in India by the southern and eastern expansion of the Russians. (The protection of India from the Russians, both by land and by sea, would be a major concern of Victorian foreign policy). At this time, however, the empires of Britain's traditional rivals had been lost or severely diminished in size, and its imperial position was unchallenged. In addition, it had become the leading industrial nation of Europe, and more and more of the world came under the domination of British commercial, financial, and naval power.
This state of affairs, however, was complex and far from stable. The old mercantile Empire was weakened during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by a number of factors: by the abolition in 1807 of slavery in Britain itself, a movement led by the Evangelicals ; by the freeing in 1833 of slaves held elsewhere in the Empire; by the adoption, after a radical change in economic perspective (due in large part to the influence of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations), of Free Trade, which minimized the influence of the old oligarchical and monopolistic trading corporations; and by various colonial movements for greater political and commercial independence. The Victorians, then, inherited both the remnants of the old mercantile empire and the more recently acquired commercial network in the East, neither of which they were sure they wanted, since Smith maintained that "under the present system of management Great Britain derives nothing but loss from the dominion which she assumes over her colonies." allegory of Australia allegory of Africa Allegorical figures of Australia and Africa on the façade of the Colonial Office, Whitehall, London, by Henry Hugh Armstead. Click on images for additional information and larger images, which take longer to download.
During the Victorian Era, however, the acquisition of territory and of further trading concessions continued (promoted by strategic considerations and aided or justified by philanthropic motivations), reaching its peak when Victoria , at Disraeli's instigation, had herself crowned Empress of India in 1876. Advocates of Disraeli's imperialist foreign policies justified them by invoking a paternalistic and racist theory (founded in part upon popular but erroneous generalizations derived from Darwin's theory of evolution) which saw Imperialism as a manifestation of what Kipling would refer to as "the white man's burden." The implication, of course, was that the Empire existed not for the benefit -- economic or strategic or otherwise -- of Britain itself, but in order that primitive peoples, incapable of self-government, could, with British guidance, eventually become civilized (and Christianized). The truth of this doctrine was accepted naively by some, and hypocritically by others, but it served in any case to legitimize Britain's acquisition of portions of central Africa and her domination, in concert with other European powers, of China. British children, at least those who receive a decent education, learn of the the Crown's right and responsibility, sometime known as "The White Mans Burden", to fairly rule and develop more primitive countries, the moral obligation those who have civilization owe to those who do not. It can best be called nobless oblige. Rudyard Kipling summed it up in the following poem.
Antique Images of Her Majesty's Armed Forces Brought to You Through Great Peril From the Far Corners of the British Empire
The Battlesphere is another innovative design from the mind and workshop of Professor Alexis Schaeffer it is a small but powerful armoured fighting vehicle designed to provide protection and much increased firepower to the individual soldier.
The steam powered Walker is another innovative design from the mind and workshop of Professor Alexis Schaeffer it is a visually intimidating, powerful armoured fighting vehicle designed to provide protection and much increased firepower to the individual soldier.
As part of the British Royal Navy's expansion in Ether Operations the first orbital construction and repair Space Dock was completed above the Utopia Planitia region of Mars in 1889.
Aerial flyers, also called aerial gunboats or just flyers, are armed vessels held aloft by liftwood panles. liftwood is a tree native to the Martian highlands with unique anti-gravity properties.
Originally a Martian design, the balloon cargo hauler has become a popular method of delivering cargoes in large urban areas. Although the example shown here is departing the Syrtis Major High Docks at dusk; This method of delivering cargo has become popular in most of the large cities of the Empire, including London, Liverpool and Machester.
The excallating arms race in Aerial and Ether Flyers amongst the European Powers raised fears amongst civilians that towns and cities could be targetted by indicriminate bombing attacks. To counter this threat, and also to wrest back some control of Aerial weapons from the Royal Navy, the British Army developed a series of Aerial Batteries designed to provide defence for military and civilian targets.
The aerial batteries were the subject of much controversy. Concerns were raised that the lack of railings on this craft increased the danger to the crew. The army response was that railings wound impede the firing arcs of the aerial battery weaponary and the crew are equipped with magnetic boots.
Further concern was raised about the recoil from the main gun potentially causing a fatal loss of trim to the aerial battery. This was of greater concern to the army and research was begun into the possibility of retro-fitting a Lightning Cannon to the Aerial Battery, as shown here.
There was also much argument by the navy that the Aerial Batteries are in fact a form of Aerial Flyer and should therefore be under Naval control. The army response is that while these batteries use Liftwood to allow them to ascend; they have no motive power and as such are not vessels. Argument continue.
The Aerial Battery is based on the Aeronef Aerial Battery model Brigade is developing as part of a series of aerial forts and redoubts. You can see them here:
The Aphid-class was the first and is the smallest armoured aerial gunboat in British service, and it is also the most common, there being currently a total of four in service and two more in production at Syrtis Major. Each of these vessels carries a crew of 15 and has an endurance of 20 days steaming. They are each armed extremely well for their diminutive size, with a 4-inch gun, two Hotchkiss 1-pounder rotating cannons, and two five-barrel Nordenfelts.
Wasp was built in 1888 for the Syrtis Major station. Wasp is 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and measures 160 tons. Her triple expansion steam engine delivers 250 horsepower to a single wood air screw. It also powers a small dynamo which provides electricity for search and signaling lights. Louver slats of Meepsorian liftwood in the hull, controlled by a complicated arrangement of trim levers, can lift the ship to a high altitude. Though lightly armored, the Aphid class gunboats are well armed, mounting a four-inch quick-firing gun on the foredeck and two one-pound Hotchkiss rotating cannon on the wings. The normal complement is 15 men.
Aphid class aerial gunboat: built by Royal Navy Shipyard, Syrtis Major,
Engine: triple expansion steam engine with 250 horsepower, imported from Earth
Length: 90 feet Beam: 22 feet, overall width (including gun wings and rudders) is 30 feet
Height: 19 feet, 8 inches (not counting the mast)
Weight 160 tons
Maximum speed at sea level: 100 knots
Ceiling: 10,500 feet
Range: 1,000 miles
Endurance: 20 Days
Armament: 1 four-inch quick-firing gun, 2 one-pound Hotchkiss rotating cannon
Crew: 15 (three officers and twelve enlisted).
|Ladybird||1881||Lost in Action, 1887|
|Firefly||1882||Lost in Action, 1889|
|Honey Bee||(Building)||(Syrtis Major)|
|Bumble Bee||(Building)||(Syrtis Major)|
Click the picture above to download a zipped file containing the HMS
Aphid flyby AVI format moving pictures.
WARNING zipped file is 2.93 MBytes
The sleek lines of the Dauntless make it one of the most attractive of
all the aerial vessels currently in service, but its performance is
disappointing when compared to its cost, and no further examples of this class
are planned. The principal difficulty with the vessel is that its forward gun
is mounted low behind the hull armour to give it greater protection at no
additional weight. The practical result is that the forward four-inch gun does
not have sufficient traverse to engage broadside targets. Despite the fact that
the ship has two four-inch guns, it can only engage a target with one of them
at a time.
The first two vessels of this class were built with conventional boilers. The third vessel (H.M.S. Danger) was built with forced draught boilers. The weight saving has allowd the placement of two more Nordenfelt rotating cannons guns sighted to fire to the broadside, although for some reason this modification was not carried out until recently. The technical specifications below are for the original design.
Dauntless class aerial gunboat: built by Royal Navy Shipyard, Syrtis
Engine: triple expansion steam engine with 500 horsepower, imported from Earth
Length: 135 feet Beam: 24 feet, overall width (including gun wings and rudders) is 35 feet
Height: 20 feet, 8 inches (not counting the mast)
Weight 200 tons
Maximum speed at sea level: 100 knots
Ceiling: 10,500 feet
Range: 1,000 miles
Endurance: 20 Days
Armament: 1 four-inch, long, forward fixed under armour, 1 four-inch long, sterntower, 2 three-pounder Hotchkiss rotating cannon, wing mounts, 2 Nordenfelt, broadside
Crew: 26 (four officers, sixteen enlisted. one marine officer and nine marines).
|Daring||1886||Lost in Action, 1886|
The Locust-class was the first aerial warship designed by and built for the Royal Navy on Earth. It is clearly based upon the successful Aphid design but emphasizes firepower instead of protection. The class mounts a second short four-inch gun aft, and both guns can engage broadside targets, giving it more broadside firepower than a Dauntless-class vessel of nearly twice its tonnage and cost. Critics (foremost amongst them being the former chief constructor, Mr. E. J. Reed) argue that its armour is so thin that it provides no real protection, and that a more efficient design would have eliminated all armour in place of even more firepower; or better yet, reverted to the original Aphid design. Mr. White, the current chief constructor for the Royal Navy, insists, however, that the Locust design is superior to the Aphid, and he also states that he contemplates no design alterations in future versions of the ship.
|Tse Tse||1887||Pacific Fleet|
|Yellow Jacket||1887||Mediterranean Fleet|
HMS Thunderer was built as an experiment which, in retrospect, might have proven more valuable on Earth than Mars. The ship uses most of its available tonnage to mount two large guns in armoured, revolving turrets. It is an extremely well armoured ship, and its eight-inch main guns pack a tremendous punch. However, it is a very unpopular ship due to its sluggish performance and low ceiling. There is also particlular concern the the Thunderer may be vulnerable to being "swarmed" by more small ships than it can effectively engage with its numerically limited armament.
TheRutledge Flyer Company is owned and operated by Edward Rutledge III
and has been producing various flyers in its Syrtis Major yard for almost two
years. It's most popular product, the Rutledge flyer, is based upon a 50 ton
modified Belgian screw launch hull. Powered by the Rutledge steam turbune it
hit a speed of 125 in trials. Under full load and with all of the safties
installed it can just achieve a speed of 100.
This flyer comes with three gun mounts that will hold weapons up to half-inch Gatling Guns (a favorite of the designer). On the prototype, Rutledge mounted a half-inch Gatling gun on the bow mount and a five barrel Nordenfelt that could be moved to either the port or starboard mount. On some later hulls, custom modifications have been made to mount a single 1-inch Gatling in a dorsal mount replacing the port and starboard weapons mounts.
The prototype flyer set the pattern for all of the Rutledge Flyers to follow. With it's flush deck and pill box deck house it is a pleasure to see in flight. The engineering spaces are unusual with the boiler sitting in a well on the aft deck surrounded by the coal bunker. Machinery is below decks in the spaces that take up the aft half of the flyer's below decks. Below decks in the forward part of the flyer is a small galley, WC and storage locker. Access to the lower deck is from the deck house. The roof of the deck house is used as the flying bridge. The flying bridge has a duplicate set of controls that allow the flyer to be controlled from either the flying bridge or the deck house.
From Transactions of the Royal Martian Geograhical Society Volume One pp176-178, Edited by Dr. Mark Clark.
Rutledge Flyer: built by Rutledge Flyer Company, Syrtis Major,
Engine: Rutledge Steam Turbine with 250 horsepower, imported from Earth
Length: 63 feet
Beam: 27 feet
Weight 50 tons
Maximum speed at sea level: 100 knots
Ceiling: 10,500 feet
Range: 3000 miles
Endurance: 60 Days
Armament: 1 half-inch Gatling Gun Forward, 1-2 Nordenfelts in port/starboard mounts
Crew: 3 (pilot, trimsman and engineer/topman) plus crew to man weapons.
Modified from a Martian design, by the addition of a steam engine, the Aerial Observer is a short-range steam powered vessel designed to provide an observation platform. Limited defensive armaments have also been fitted to vessels of this type, mainly gatling guns.
Colonel Smutts' Patented Aerial Torpedo is a finned projectile filled with dynamite, held aloft by means of liftwood vanes, and powered after launch by a propellor driven by a small flywheel. It also trails a cable with a small grapnel to snag vessels over which it passes.
Colonel Trockmorton conducted many experiments designed to build a personal aerial conveyor. Using liftwood blades to provide lift and human muscle power to provide motive power his innovative designs herald a true revolution in personal transport.
Ether flyers are typically large spacecraft which can travel through interplanetary space by means of ether propellors. They rely upon liftwood or hydrogen gasbags for atmospheric flight.
Designers of Ether Vessels have for several years been looking for a small utility craft that can fulfil multiple roles as lifeboat, pinnacle, repair vessel and many more. Finally the Ether Cutter has arrived, this small vessel can be purchased in several configurations and with two different engines types:
Whilst the Ether Cutter is designed for operation only in Space, the vessel is equipped with parachutes to allow planetary landings. However, the Ether Cutter cannot travel from a planets surface to Space under it's own power as they are not fitted with atmospheric engines of any kind. Several comapanies are designing solutions to overcome this limitation. The two leading contendors are the Electromagnetic launching system to launch the Cutter into Space or the use of some form of carrier vehicle that would raise the Cutter to a height where it could operate under its own power. Trials of these launch systems are expected later this year.
Early versions of the Ether Cutter used an all metal hull. However, the weight of this hull was found to limit the acceleration and range of the Cutter so most cutters intended for non-military use where built using a wooden hull.
"During the last Oenotrian conflict the Royal Navy identified a need for a high-altitude observation craft. Pressure to build such a vessel was no doubt increased by pressure from the Royal Society to obtain a high-altitude research craft. The First Sea Lord, being ever quick to sieze any opportunity to obtaina greater control of the skies, established the Royal Navy Flying Observartion Service (RNFOS) and provided them with funds to build a suitable trans-atmospheric vessel capable of sustained orbit. The funds provided enough to fund two prototypes, both completed in laate 1887.
The first, HMAS Hermes, was lost during trials due to basic design flaws. The Board of Inquiry found that the Hermes had been struck by a small meteor in the bow while making the transition from ether space to atmosphere. The resultant loss of cabin pressure caused the loss of control that lead to the terrible fall to Earth. In an insightful action the designers added armour plate to the front faces of all ships to deflect meteors.
The second prototype, the Pegasus, also experienced a number of problems, but after testing was considered by the Navy to be a marginal sucess. As a result, four more flyers based on the Pegasus prototype were ordered. They entered service in 1888, and were designated Ether Observer Mark II."
From Transactions of the Royal Martian Geograhical Society Volume Two pp81-82, Edited by Dr. Mark Clark.
First flown in 1186, the Empire Class is the first Earth launched, rocket-powered Ether Vessel. Once lauched from Earth the Empire class was designed to remain in space. The fore part of the vessel seperating to serve as a planetary lander. Power generation aboard the vessel is via an array of so-called "solar panels" which, through a secret mechanism convert light to electricity.
The Brittania class cruisers are designed to be able to undertake extended missions ranging as far as the asteroid belts.
HMS Drake the third vessel of the Brittania class was launched early in 1889 and is even now egaged in a long-range survey mission to the asteroid belt.
|Ventral Turret||2 x 12" Breech Loading Guns|
|Broadside ( Port/Starboard)||2 x 12" Breech Loading Guns|
|TorpedoTubes (Fore)||2 Torpedo Tubes with a capacity of 16 torpedoes|
Britain has, until recently, enjoyed a monopoly on the ether battleship. These are extremely large interplanetary ether flyers, armored and equipped with heavy naval guns. Although interplanetary combat is not possible given existing travels speeds and target tracking techniques, ether battleships provide a means of moving aerial combat vessels between different planets as needed, as well as controlling the close orbital space around a world.
The first vessel of this type was the Duke of York, launched in 1886. In addition to its impressive size (902' x 306') and armament, it contains quartes for a battalion of troops. It has since been joined by two additional ships in this class, and similar vessels are nearing completion in France, Germany and Russia.
|Ventral Forward Turret||2 x 12" Breech Loading Guns|
|Ventral Aft Turret||2 x12" Breech Loading Guns|
|Forward Sponson||1 x 4" (long) Breech Loading Guns|
|Aft Sponson||1 x 4" (long)Breech Loading Guns|
|Broadside ( Port/Starboard)||4 x 3" Breech Loading Guns|
|Bomb Rack||8 bomb racks plus 8 reloads|
Click the picture above to download the HMS Duke of York Mars Approach AVI format moving pictures.
Animation Encoded with Indeo 5.10 CodecIndeo
|Duke of York||1886||Unknown|
|Duke of Cambridge||1888||Unknown|
|Duke of Clarence||1889||Unknown|
For many month rumours have abounded that Her Majesty's Governement was building a completely new kind of Ether ship. Rather than being powered by a conventional solar boiler this new vessel is rumoured to be powered by some new form of atom drive. Solar boiler equipped vessels have been unable to venture far beyond Mars due to the need to use light and heat from the Sun to boil water for steam. Details of the revolutionary atom drive are still a closely guarded secret but it is expected that this engine will allow vessels to travel beyond the asteroid belt and explore the cold dark planets of our outer solar system.
The first vessel of this type was the Intrepid, launched in 1889 in great secracy. In fact the launch of this vessel was not expected until 1890 or even 1891 as stories circulated about . Sensationally news broke that this ship had been completed and was on it's way to the outer system after picking up supplies and crew members from Syrtis Major. Shown here are the only know pictures of this majestic vessel.
|Ventral Forward Turret||2 x 12" Breech Loading Guns|
|Forward Side Turrets||6 Rockets unknown type|
|Side Pods||6 Rockets unknown type|
|Intrepid||1889||Unknown, but believed to be on a mission to explore the outer solar system|
This innovative Ether Flyer was designed and built by Professor Alexis Schaeffer. It uses a mono-hydrogen gas balloon to lift the Flyer above 24,000 feet required for the Ether Propellor to work. Unlike other Ether Flyers this design does not use a Solar Boiler to provide power for the Ether propellor. Rather this ship is equipped with an protoype power plant said to harness the power of the atom to provide power. Professor Schaeffer built this ship to prove to his critics that a workable atom power plant could be built and installed in an Ether Flyer. Many scientists said that this atome power was not workable, and Professor Schaeffer was particularly incensed by the Cartoon in the London Punch magazine of him attampting to split an atom with a hatchet.
Despite the reservations about this power source expressed by many scientists, the British Government has expressed considerable interest in this power plant as it could potentially open the way for further exploration of the solar system. The current solar boiler power plants used by most Ether Flyers are not effective beyond the asteroid belt as the Sun's light is too dispersed to allow steam to be generated. Battery power is not enough to support a vessel for more than a few days, whereas atom power could in theory power a ship for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
However, knowledge of the remarkable power plant fitted in this flyer has made it, and its inventor, the target of several attacks by agents of foreign powers.
The first and so far only vessel of this type is Professor Schaeffer's personal Ether Flyer the Phantom, launched in 1887.
By far the largest ether liner ever built, the Princess Alexandra is a triumphant symbol of the ingenuity of British engineers. Even the bare facts are impressive. The liner can accomodate 48 passengers in double cabins, another 14 in luxurious staterooms, and 30 more in steerage. The liner has the largest Edison-patent ether screw ever built, a Babbage 80-3-86 series astrogation engine, a billiards room, library, music room and dozens of other luxurious features.
The Princess Alexandra is expected to provide the fastest, most luxurious ether travel of any ship on the Earth-Mars route. All areas of the ship are fitted with the latest electric lights (Edison/Swan patent), and a small telephone system linking important areas is even available.
The Princess Alexandra Ether design is from "Canal Priest of Mars" by Marcus L. Rowland. Now re-released in print and PDF versions. Click on the link below to purchase this fine adventure.
"What was that chap's name again, Sah Major?"
"The Yank, sah? John Carter, sah."
"Oh, yes. A Virginian. Gone native, eh?"
"Yes, Sah. Marshies say he's more more Martian than they are. 'He is made of the sands of the deserts, with the waters of the canals flowing through his veins.' What rot."
"Pity. But what can one expect from an American..."
Science-Fiction Role Playing in a More Civilized Time.
Space: 1889 is Frank Chadwick's registered trademark for his game of Victorian Era Space-faring.