Friday, 14 June 2013

Meet the Vulgarians

My imaginary nineteenth century country of  Vulgaria has featured in several blog posts, particularly on Tim Gows site. It is probably now time for a formal introduction.


Vulgaria is one of the numerous  Germanic states of Mitteleuropa, mainly comprising extensive flat plains of rich agricultural land bisected by large waterways leading into the interior. The north is bounded by mountains which are also the major watershed, and some of the major rivers empty into the sea on the coast to the northwest where there are major ports and trade centres. To the south and east the country is wide open, although towards the east the terrain bcomes increasingly forested and marshy. There are extensive raw materials in the northern mountains,  particularly coal and iron ore, and the centres of industrial production are here. Originally the waterways comprised them main transport routes, both into Vulgaria and further into Mitteleuropa, but have ben supplemented with an extensive steam railway network. Vulgaria posses a large fleet of river barges as well as a significant merchant marine based in its coastal ports.

A modern steam tug assists barge traffic across the Vulgarian plain

Without natural barriers to the south and east, and at the centre of major trade routes Vulgaria has suffered numerous invasions. Over time this has led to the development of a highly militaristic society, and the main function of the state and nation is to maintain the country's armed forces. Much of the population still work the land, and increased industrialisation of food production has provided a steady flow of peasant recruits into the army and navy. Much prized is the Vulgarian quality of Festigeit or 'sturdiness'. This ideal of manhood is epitomised by a thick red bull neck, small beady eyes set close together well used to peering down rifle sights and sporting a huge bushy moustache.

Vulgarians take a trip in a public bus. The sturdy horses are capable of pulling huge loads and real Vulgarians scorn such comforts as overhead cover.
What passes for culture is summed up by the local saying 'Vulgarian by name, vulgarian by nature'. Favoured music features a lot of drums and brass instruments, art is predominated by watercolours of puppy dogs and pastroral scenes and the houses of the wealthy are festooned in gilt and crimson velvet. Humour is of the coarsest kind, mainly lavatorial.

The national diet is dominated by offal sausage, beer, pickled cabbage, black bread and beans.  Large gatherings of carousing Vulgarians generate huge quantities of gas, the so-called wurstnebel, and the concentrations in bars and taverns reach dangerous levels. This has hindered the adoption of electric light due the risk of sparks causing an explosion.

Railway carriages are left open to avoid the risk of explosion (see Wurstnebel above).
The Vulgarian National Anthem is stirring stuff (Courtesy of Stephen Beat on the FLW yahoo group)

We are loyal to Vulgaria
Vulture of the West
And we toil for Vulgaria,
Feathering her nest
The soil of Vulgaria
Through all the world is known
From her heights to her Dairy Area
Vulgaria stands alone!

Armed Forces

Vulgaria maintains a navy to protect both its sea going trade and riverine traffic. The Army is designed to fight short, sharp wars as the country does not have the strategic depth to fight long ones. Centuries of militarisation have led to an excessive emphasis on the teeth and combat support arms, to the detriment of logistic services. Even the artillery is disparaged as ranged combat is felt to demonstrate insufficient Feistigeit.
A typical Vulgarian officer.
The Army has a large number of infantry and cavalry regiments, large well trained staffs, efficient signals and engineering branches but a middling sized artillery Corps with antiquated guns and poor  transport. Logistic support generally is woefully lacking, the true Vulgarian marches and fights with what he carries (or can steal). Similarly, medical services are almost non-existant, there being plenty more Vulgarian peasants to replace any who fall.

Over the coming weeks and months, there will be an opportunity examine some Vulgarian military units in more detail.

A senior Vulgarian officer and his entourage

Vulgarian Jagers and Infantry

Combined arms, cavalry supported by infantry and artillery

Artillery being towed into position


  1. It sounds nice, I might move there.

  2. We will take anyone who likes sausage and beer. Just be prepared to march..

  3. LOL very good stuff, Sir! And salutations from the Kingdom of Molatero! :)