Operation Long Haul
|Operation Long Haul|
|Date:||1638–1639 (Elw Calendar)|
|Casus belli:||Training Exercise|
|Imperial Forces Force A||Imperial Forces Force B|
|Thorgils Tarjeisson||Imperial Legate Meng Po|
|1 Spiegelflügel (IRS-2986441), 8 dead|
Operation Long Haul was an exercise designed to test the overall state of preparedness of the Imperial Forces by the means of a deployment of forces to the Marquessate and Dominion of Zy-Rodun. Elements of the Imperial Navy Cadet Force and the Rrakanychan Watch provided the opposing force, controversially modelled on Shireroth's peaceful western neighbour, Minarboria.
Following the exercise, the Directorate of Imperial Works & Labour established a permanent military base on the island which subsequently became a training facility for the Imperial Army and the Jaysh al-Sathrati and a rendition centre for rogue members of the Leonid Guard.
Zy-Rodun, a perpetually overlooked Imperial Dominion of the BLUE EMPIRE ceded to the estate of the Emirate of Sathrati by the last iteration of a Loki Kaisership, was suddenly propelled into the international limelight when the RED STATE reactivated a long dormant territorial claim to the So-Saran isles.
THE BLUE FORCE has overwhelming naval supremacy in terms of its surface fleet, a significant number of patrol vessels and a rapidly expanding submarine force, however these are still orientated towards the threat posed by the now strangely dormant EASTERN POWER and those assets still assigned to the Benacian Theatre are either scattered on patrols of the remote outposts of the BLUE EMPIRE, or else concentrated around the two naval stations (Sagittarius and Sabatini) and the mouth of the River Elwynn. As such, the reaction times of the BLUE FORCE fleet are limited, the nearest vessels could be underway within 48 hours and arrive within 72 hours.
The BLUE EMPIRE's Qaisar has a simple philosophy; that victory is derived through the prompt and relentless application of a saturation bombardment to any given problem. For this reason the bomber force available to the BLUE FORCE has greatly swollen to the point where it comprises of 552 heavy long range bombers (the B-66 Vulcan and the B-49 Delta) compared to only a token number of multi-role strike aircraft. The air arm of the BLUE FORCE is however scheduled for further massive expansion and will eventually encompass 2,592 bombers, 1,512 fighters and 368 multi-role strike aircraft. The BLUE FORCE air arm currently lacks a dedicated reconnaissance arm, air to air refuelling capacity and airborne early warning systems - although the intention is to re-purpose surplus bomber aircraft to fulfil these roles.
The irony of the BLUE EMPIRE having geared itself towards a confrontation with the EASTERN POWER is that the most balanced collection of air assets available to it lie with the carrier aviation of the BLUE FORCE's navy and its 190 strike aircraft. Of these 134 are assigned to the two carriers of the 'Western Armada' where they were held in reserve to launch a counter-strike against the EASTERN POWER. In the absence of air to air refuelling capabilities the carriers themselves would have to be relied upon to convey the strike aircraft to a range from within which they will be able to launch combat sorties.
The BLUE FORCE Army, having only recently been re-established, is undergoing a process of recruitment and rearmament. Though notionally a force 270,000 strong it currently has only the 18,000 strong Order of Kampioens available overseas deployment in any semblance of order.
The RED FORCE navy, although significantly smaller than that fielded by the BLUE FORCE, is generally deemed to be more technologically advanced and of more recent construction. Designed with asymmetric warfare in mind its strongest arm is the expanding force of submersible vessels, powered by an innovative means of propulsion that BLUE FORCE scientists have, thus far, been unable to replicate.
In keeping with its asymmetric philosophy the RED FORCE relies primarily on its mobile SAM launchers, organised into air defence regiments, for the protection of deployed assets. Whilst this severely limits the offensive potential of the RED FORCE it would neutralise the threat posed by BLUE FORCE bombers and create an envelope within which the use of strike aircraft and other forms of tactical aviation would be risky, if not suicidal, until the launchers were identified and dealt with.
The RED FORCE relies for territorial defence on a collection of independent local defence regiments that are highly distinctive in terms of organisation, practice and equipment, thus might be considered to have a low degree of interoperability, however this is more than off-set by the existence of highly professional paramilitary organisations dedicated, with a single minded zeal, to maintaining the biological 'purity' of the RED STATE.
The RED FORCE does have access to amphibious patrol aircraft which can be pressed into a number of auxiliary roles, although this can only safely be done in the absence of any opposing BLUE FORCE air assets.
The RED FORCE, seeking to establish a foothold in the region, identified the island of Zy-Rodun as the most weakly defended allowing a good chance for seizing the island in a coup de main. The RED FORCE would seek to capture the 'Panamax' harbour intact which would allow for the deployment of a full expeditionary force into the region as a prelude to expelling the BLUE FORCE from the So-Saran isles.
Considering the response times of the BLUE FORCE navy, the RED FORCE has 48-72 hours in which conclude the 1st Phase, at the end of which carrier aviation will be deemed to be 'in range' and capable of providing direct air support to the defending garrison. If the RED FORCE has been deemed successful within that timeframe, an air defence regiment will be deemed to have been introduced to the island, effectively cementing RED FORCE control. If unsuccessful, then the surviving BLUE FORCE elements on the island will have recourse to close air support for the remainder of the exercise.
- Midnight Hyre 12 Araroqpinu, 1638: Landing of Cohort X31 at Smugglers Cove. No resistance encountered. Cohort forms up into raiding parties and depart inland to target objectives.
- Dawn Amnure 13 Araroqpinu, 1638: Main landing
- Morning Amnure 13 Araroqpinu, 1638:
- Midday Amnure 13 Araroqpinu, 1638:
- Afternoon Amnure 13 Araroqpinu, 1638:
- Evening Amnure 13 Araroqpinu, 1638: Ceasefire ordered to allow stewards inquiry and retrieval of the dead and wounded.
- Izillare 14 Araroqpinu, 1638: Mocked up town of bombed with incendiary devices dropped by Spiegelflügels of No. 9 Group. Resulting blaze deemed 'satisfactory'. A barn and a number of small agricultural buildings were also targeted contrary to orders. Bombardiers reported that the structures looked so flimsy that they were mistaken for the 'hastily flung together efforts of a handful of deranged lunatics'. A board of enquiry subsequently accepted this explanation and exonerated those crews involved. Arrangements for the payment of compensation to the affected manors are ongoing.
- 15 Reire Araroqpinu, 1638: Contrary to expectations Lunatics in the mocked up town object to being bombed and generally set alight. Bright shiny things and sweets are distributed to distract the defective simpletons from their plight.
- 16 Ermure Araroqpinu, 1638: The stubbornly non-cooperative prisoners assigned the default designation of 'ambulatory compost' and converted to potash by the Cohort X731 (Occult Research) of Vexillatio Aurens (Rrakanychan Watch) utilising the trusty SAVAK Special Incendiary Grenade.
- 17 Eljere Araroqpinu, 1638: An attempt by a party of naval cadets to take control of the Post Office of Tarkyr results in an embarrassing stalemate and the stubborn refusal of the janitor to unlock the front door to allow the cadets to take up positions within the building. A stewards enquiry ensues and the MoMA is obliged to break off his reverie to discuss with the janitor the inexpedient nature of his refusal to cooperate, arguing through the letter box of the staff entrance to the building. The matter is eventually resolved when the UDF observer discovered an unlocked window on the first floor of offices located at the back of the post office. After shimmying up a drainpipe, the officer eventually found his way, pausing only for a cup of tea for the purposes of orientation, round to the staff entrance and promptly administered a thorough cudgelling to the janitor. The building was subsequently unlocked and the cadets deemed to have secured their objective. The MoMA safely returned to his yacht and resumed his state of contented inebriation.
- Izillare 8 Elroqpinu, 1638: Bomber Command Air Strike cancelled after failure to clear flight plan with those Imperial States whose airspace would be overflown. MoMA woken from his state of contented inebriation. Upon being awoken and apprised of the situation, the MoMA volubly declared that 'mere details' such as the clearing of the flight path with the Imperial Shirerithian Defence Council was not his responsibility, but rather one of those purposes for which lackeys were expressly employed. An aide assigned from the Imperial Shirerithian Air Forces was subsequently keel-hauled whilst the MoMA sampled a glass of rumgrog from a bottle liberated from the island. The MoMA declared rumgrog to be 'disagreeable' whereafter the manor wherein the rum distillery was situated was shelled by the IRS Endurance.
- Eljere 23 Elroqpinu, 1638: naval assets arrive from the Western Armada. IRS Endurance is obliged to put to sea on a north easterly heading away from the island.
- Reire 3 Vixaslaa, 1638: Spiegelflügel mistakenly bomb friendly 'submarines'
- Hyre 24 Vixaslaa, 1638: End Ex. The Red Force is successfully established on the island. Inter unit cooperation and fire control needs to be worked upon, particularly where an excess of enthusiasm led to a wasteful expenditure of ammunition and a number of avoidable conflagrations.