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Posted on Nov 6, 2004 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features, TIAOW, War College

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 01] – Return of the Empire

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno




Doctor Sinister

Doctor Sinister. An evil Supervillain with an insane lust for power. From his secret island base, the Doctor plans to become future Emperor and Warlord of the planet Earth. Enjoys the company of cats and cloned genetically modified Dinosaurs.



And featuring:




General Menace. Graduated from West Point Military Academy with honours, served for twenty-five years in the US Army, reaching level of 2-star General in command of training facilities before being recruited by Doctor Sinister to command his New Model Army of World Domination. Has a penchant for cigars.


EPISODE 1 – “Return of the Empire”

It is a cold and rainy night on Sinister Island as General Menace’s chauffeur-driven stretched Humvee pulls up to the entrance of the Mount Despair Imperial Command Complex. Massive elongated banners featuring the visage of the General’s lord and master, the great Doctor Sinister hang on either side of the enormous armour-plated entrance. The banners flap in the wind as the storm takes hold and strange purple lightning flashes off in the distance. Well-drilled black-clad troops, sheltered from the driving rain, snap to attention as the General’s driver exits the vehicle, wincing in pain as the rain hits his face. He opens the door for The General and ushers him into the complex beneath a steel umbrella. The General does not look back to see the Chauffeur collapse to the floor in agony as he steps in a strangely glowing puddle.

5 minutes later – in the War Room…

Doctor Sinister – Good evening General! I hear it’s still raining outside.

General Menace – Affirmative. Drops as large as 40mm grenades, my Lord, although less green than yesterday.

Oh that’s good, I’m hoping that tomorrow we’ll have the situation fully under control.

I certainly hope so, Sir. The acid is causing havoc with our field exercises – the equipment just can’t take it, not to mention the soldiers. The med bays are almost full with screaming, melting troopers.

Well, we can always buy you some more. Come and take a look at this.

Hmm… I see a large wall map of the Western Hemisphere, with arrows and little stick figures with guns… in crayon. Do I sense another new project for world domination?

Yes! I’ve decided to return to my homeland of England in a blaze of glory and restore the British Empire! I shall seize the throne, declare myself Emperor, abolish Parliament, increase military spending, and introduce conscription, with a view to conquering and uniting the former colonies of the original Empire under one banner.

Reuniting the British Empire? Very admirable, Sire. Well, that’s doable, but we’ll need to start small. We could stage a coup over in one of the smaller ex-colonies in Africa. Set up a puppet Government. I’ll get some infiltration teams ready and we’ll start drawing up a training schedule for bush warfare.

General, General, General – you aren’t thinking big enough. You need to think "outside of the box".

Something bigger, then? India, perhaps? That’s a tad more difficult, but I might be able to.

No no no no no.I intend to start our glorious conquest with – THE UNITED STATES!

(Splutters) Say again, Sir? The United States – of America?

Yes! Just think of the prestige it’ll bring to have the US of A under our belt, to return them to the mighty British Empire!

But Sir, the USA is currently the world’s ONLY superpower – and ridiculously so! Some people even refer to the USA as a HYPERpower. There’s no way we could possibly bring it back under British control.

And why not?

The USA is just too big and too strong. Stronger than any other nation on the planet. They spend billions of dollars on defence every year. They have nukes out the yin-yang, air superiority, numerous naval battle groups, and a generation of soldiers raised on cheap cigars, terrible music and someone named Springer. They are an angry, militant bunch of people!

So, what’s your point, General?

For starters, our defense spending is a mere drop in the ocean compared to that of America. Right now, there’s no way we can possibly.

Take a seat, General. Here’s a little history lesson for you: I happen to know that Britain once controlled the United States – it was a part of their original Empire, you know. And soon, it shall be a part of mine. It will be glorious! I’ll have the White House dismantled and brought to London piece-by-piece so I can use it as a summer cottage. I’ll make them return to spelling their words properly.

(Sigh) Yes Sir, about the Empire. Strictly speaking, you are correct, but the Americans declared their independence in 1776, two centuries ago.

And why did they do that?

They thought the King of England was mad and they were complaining about taxation.

Was he mad?

As a hatter, Sir.

And the taxation?

Well, to be honest, it was unfair to the American colonists – they were being charged more than anyone else in the Empire.

Quite rightly, I suppose – it probably cost a lot of money to keep them going. Why shouldn’t they pay more for living so far away?

Many people there felt it wasn’t right, Sir. Have you ever heard of the Boston Tea Party?

Can’t say that I have – it sounds civilized enough. Everyone sitting around to talk things through eh?

I’m afraid not, my Liege. A group of American colonists dressed as native Indians boarded three British ships in Boston harbour and threw the cargoes of tea into the water.

That’s shameful. Heaven knows not everyone likes tea, but there’s no need to make everyone else suffer.

Actually, my Lord, it was an act of protest against the lack of representation in the British Parliament. Eventually, things got so bad that musket balls started flying at a place called Lexington. The incident became known as the "shot heard around the world".

Why? How loud was it? They must have been using massive guns. Get our supply section to order some immediately!

Wait, Sir, that was a figurative term. Open revolt against the British Empire was a big deal. People tend to sit up and take notice of things like that. Anyway, after Lexington, the colonists rose up against the British and formed an Army.

An Army?

Yes Sir, the Continental Army. I’m afraid it all got a bit nasty. A plantation farmer named George Washington rebelled and became a General in the Revolution. It turned into a full-scale war.

That’s ridiculous – farmers taking on the British Army?

Well, they were annoyed.


Highly annoyed, Sir.

No doubt the British gave them a good hiding, eh? A few nuclear weapons here and there should have seen them off.

Correct, Sir, but this was in the eighteenth century. About 160 years before nuclear weapons were invented.

Oh yes, of course, I keep forgetting myself. I like nuclear weapons, General. They smell like… victory.

Copy that, Sir. Anyway, it all ended at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

The Americans got as far as Yorkshire?

No Sir, Yorktown – it’s in the US. The British forces were besieged in the town by a much larger force of Americans and French.

The French! They were there too? Is there no end to this insanity? Damned impertinence! We ought to do something about France, you know.

Aye, Lordship, you have often said so. Anyway, the British were holding out in Yorktown for a relief force due to arrive by sea. Unfortunately, their position in the town became untenable and they surrendered. Five days later, the relief force arrived.

And then what happened?

Well, nothing Sir. It was far too late. Washington had won.

Had he now? So this upstart Washington chap – named himself after the city, did he?

Negative. The city was named after him. They also named a state after him, put his image on their currency, and celebrate his birthday every year.

What a bighead. He must have made quite an impression.

Indeed, he did. He became the first President of the United States.

Did he now? Well, anyway, that was all a long time ago – if the Brits of the 18th century could run America back then, there’s no reason I can’t do it now – think of the advances in technology since those times! It’ll be a walkover.

It’s a two-way street, my Lord. The Americans are among the most technologically advanced peoples in the world. And they are fiercely independent – you’d have to flatten their entire country before they’d ever concede defeat. And even then, they probably wouldn’t. They’re funny like that.

Well, how can we hope to bring them to heel, then? I really want to get started on fixing their language. It annoys me.

I just don’t see it happening Sir – not unless.


(Laughs) Well, you could always run for President!

Hmmmm.President eh?

Uh, I was joshing you, Sir.

No no, I think you might have something here. President! I could take over from within – amend the constitution to make me Emperor Eternal and rule forever. It would be magnificent – I could even force them to spell "colour" properly.

As you wish, Highness.

Tell my Secretary to contact the nearest American Embassy. Then sit down and start writing a list of words we can change. I’m going to be President!

Yes, my Lord…

President Sinister

A J Summersgill and Jim H. Moreno

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