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VBCW: Ladies, Ladies, Ladies – 1st Battalion, Bessie Braddocks Brigade

In the dark days of 1938 the powers that be in the Free City of Liverpool decided that woman should be able to fight in defence of city. Many fought alongside their menfolk in Local Defence Volunteer units, factory or ethnic militias however sufficent unmarried young women wished to fight to lead the city to establish an all female brigade.


Seen as the Free City’s answer to the BUF’s women sections and filled with left-wing and/or local parochial zeal the Brigade was put under the sponsorship of local politican Bessie Braddock, who acted as the ‘Colonel in Chief’ of the unit maintaining political support and securing it missions and supplies. Operational control of the unit was in the hands of Comrade-Brigadier Rosalin Bruxelles a German communist of Irish extraction who had fought in Germany and in Spain. Until other battalions come online she also commands the 1st Battalion.

The Brigade served as a Worker Defence Corps (Labour-TUC force) miltia unit but politically  ranged from Yorkist through to Anglican all the way to Communists and Anarchists. The 1st Battalion is 1 Command Rifle Platoon, 3 Rifle-SMG platoons and 3 Rifle platoons.

The 1st Battalion of the Brigade the so called ‘Bad Girls’ earned there name for due to their aquisition of horizon bleau uniforms which by common consent had been fashioned from bolts of cloth which the Anglican League in the City had expected for it’s militas. However the donated cloth from the French Popular Front government somehow got lost in the hands for Streamstresses collective hired to fashion the uniforms and fully fashioned uniforms of various cuts ended up in the hands of the Battalion.

Another name for the battalion is the ‘Rata-tat-tats Girls’ from the new pressed steel STAN Sub-machine guns the unit was issued with. Chambered in .45 ACP to use donations from sympathetic americans this cheap and cheerful submachine gun witha side magazine saw it’s first use in the 1st Battalion. The Stamped Territorial Armourer’s Netowrk (STAN) Gun was soemwhat unreliable but a welcome addition to the firepower of the units that could get supplies of it, produced by small collectives of armourers throughout the City the quality could vary wildly.

The 'Colonel' Bessie Braddock representing the Brigade at a charity cricket match,


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