Alternate History

English Workers Army (Napoleon's World)

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The English Workers Army (EWA) was one of the primary belligerents in the English Anarchy, formed in early 1950 as a safeguard against Catholic insurrectionists in London and to protect the interests of the collapsed Socialist government. The EWA was largely comprised of former professional and unemployed soldiers from the Socialist government's powerful standing army, and often had access to the most leftover stockpiles of weapons, food and other basic supplies during the conflict. Between mid-1950 to 1953, the EWA controlled territory from Yorkshire to northern London, and operated their occupied territory as a stable albeit authoritarian police state. The EWA had no central leader, instead divided into three "groups" - East, West and North - that each was responsible for a separate region of north-central England. While initially a factor in London, the EWA withdrew from the Thames region and southern England in 1952.

EWA Flag2

English Workers Army Standard

The EWA was finally defeated at Rochester in April, 1956, although they had been on the run in central England for at least two and a half years. The EWA suffered devastating losses at Leeds and Yorkshire in late 1955 and at Gateshead in late January 1956. However, from late 1950 to late 1953, the EWA was precariously close to forming and re-establishing a new English state. Historians have argued over the ideology of the EWA - primarily, they hewed to a much more militaristic set of administrative goals as opposed to communist, like the Socialist government many of its members protected in the 1940's. Many speculative historians agree that an EWA victory would likely have resulted in a military dictatorship as opposed to the corrupt Socialist autocracy that existed prior to the Anarchy.

The EWA's initial enemies included the London Army, a faction of powerful Catholics who controlled South London, as well as central England's Volunteers Militia. The EWA had crushed most minor militias in central England by 1953, most notably in the Sheffield Massacre in which 3,000 members of the United Sheffield Militia were summarily slaughtered over a seven day period. By the mid-1950's, however, the EWA's primary enemy had become the Americans, and they formed an alliance with Ireland to fund their activities in Wales. The EWA were reluctant to engage the French in southern England as they were already fighting the Americans and funding proxy militias fighting the Scottish in Yorkshire, and their presence south of the Thames was nominal. The EWA lost several recruits to the English Republican Army beginning in early 1954.

The last EWA commander, Colonel John Ruprett Kingsley, commanded a force of 21,000 in the 1956 Battle of Rochester, where his men held out in a seventeen-day siege in March and early April. On April 14, after his defenses were at last overrun, Kingsley became the final EWA commander to surrender to ERA forces, and he was sent to the American prison camp at Darlington. The last major EWA engagement was of the 55,000 men at Gateshead during the Siege of Gateshead, which included the disastrous Whitburn Landing by the Americans.

In 1961, the English government held the Punishment Trials, in which they prosecuted eleven men, nine of which were former EWA commanders, for "egregious and barbaric crimes against the English people." All nine men were found guilty. Several EWA commanders were absorbed into the ERA in the late 1950's and many members of the EWA's upper echelons were given positions in the new Republic of England's provisional and, later, permanent government.

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