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Fishing on the Gihon | Part of the Great Anglian Crisis


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Part One: Provocation

28 January 2020
The Prime Minister's Office

You provoke her until she mauls you,
and then you get upset at her for becoming the monster you created.

The sounds of feet running the halls of Henley House, could be heard through out the east wing, when Nadia poked her head out the door of her office and shouted, "Keep it down will you!". The National Security Advisor, Sir Stephen Quandt, continues running towards the PM. "Ma'am, you need gather the Cabinet" he shouts as he continues running down the hall. Nadia comes out of her office to meet with Sir Stephen - "What the hell is going on Stephen?" - she asked him, as he approached her.

"The Anglians Ma'am. They're massing Ma'am." he responds. As Nadia and Stephen walk back to the PMs office, her Private Secretary Sir Peter Keating, who had previously served as the Gallambrian ambassador to Anglia, piped in, "Ma'am, If I may...", Nadia nods her head, "You need to get Faf in here as well." Francis de Lange, or 'Faf', as he is more commonly known as by his friends, was the Defence Attache to Anglia, when Sir Peter was ambassador. "Right, you're right, thanks Peter", she responded. Between the three of them calling the members of the cabinet - Nadia stops half way down the hall and asks of Stephen and Peter. "Gentlemen, in your honest opinions, do you think we are going to war?" - From a far, a voice could be hear, it's that of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Errol McCormack, "Let's hope not Ma'am", he chimes as he joins the group heading towards the Cabinet Room. Stephen looks back and asks Errol, "I take it you're here for the same thing", Errol nods.

A few hours had passed and Nadia, along with Stephen, Peter and Errol, had been joined by the other cabinet members.

While Nadia starts to welcome the cabinet members and gets everyone up to speed, Faf walks in, he braces up and apologises for running late - she signals for him to take a seat. "Sorry friends, we have another guest with us today, Lieutenant General Francis de Lange, he was Defence Attache to Anglia under Sir Peter and is now the DG Defence Intelligence,"

She invites him to address the Cabinet, Faf gets up from his seat and nods to the PM. "Thank you Ma'am. Members of Cabinet, the PM has asked me to come in and give you all a brief run down of the possible outcomes of the current situation. Currently there is at least one Anglian division massing along the Suverin-Bashan Border. This has crept up significantly since last weeks 'exercises' the Anglians were running with Suverina in the same area, where we projected approximately two to three infantry brigades.

"This is obviously the first sign we've seen of aggression directed purely at the Bashan and in essence at Gallambria", he continues.

"The Anglians have postured that at least since our time at the Embassy... Essentially they are afraid that our presence in the Bashan serves purely as a potential stepping stone into Amutia and Azania for TRIDENT and other western countries. It begs to question though, why all of a sudden, after pretty much aligning three quarters of Azania with themselves, why are they poking us?"

"Obviously, while this is still fresh, we have set up at dedicated team at Defence Intelligence to start combing through intelligence from both civilian and military sources." - as he sits down, he thanks the Prime Minister for letting him open.

ACM McCormack rises from his chair, "Ladies and Gentlemen, what we see, and if you have a look at the packets in front of you, you too can see, that not only are we are looking at Anglian troops massing on the small border at the Gihon Strait, there has been an increase in Anglian naval activity in the Chebar. Within my authority as CDS, I have approved for the Commander of Gallambrian Forces Bashan to take any appropriate measures to ensure that sufficient intelligence and data is collected regarding Anglian and Suverin movements around the border. At the moment, we currently have a long range patrol squadron from the 3rd Special Operations Group patrolling along the Bashan side of the Gihon Strait, and we have initiated continuous Air Defence Patrols with Bashan airspace."

ACM McCormack then answers some questions regarding the military situation and what would be required of the Armed Forces in the near future, when all of a sudden one of the cabinet ministers pipes up, "Wish we had those nukes online, could we just blast them of the face of this planet?"

The PM, Faf, and McCormack both look at this minister scornfully, who then slumps back in his chair.

"Ladies and Gentlemen", the PM interjects, "Our goal here is not incite conflict or start poking bears in the face. We are in a predicament where we have Anglia and Suverina on our northern frontier and surrounded by OCA aligned nations and other Nations that aren't playing to our tune."

She looks towards the Foreign Secretary, "Foreign Secretary, I want you start talking directly with the Qubdian government and start working towards getting them on side with us."

Then towards the Defence Secretary, "Defence Secretary, together with CDS, get the carrier strike group online and get them into the Amnalos Sea."

The Home Secretary sticks her hand up, "Prime Minister, taking into consideration that this could go south, shall I contact His Majesty's private secretary to organise a reversal of the dissolution of parliament?"

Huffing in frustration, she looks that the Attorney-General, "Daniel, what's your opinion?"

"Prime Minister, As the parliament won't be dissolved until the 25th of February, if anything escalates to a point that requires bipartisan approval before that date, we can't recall parliament from summer break. However, after the 25th, under the instrument of dissolution, defensive measures undertaken by the Armed Forces only require to approved by the cabinet of the caretaker government, however we would have to seek a reversal of the dissolution if we undertake preemptive or offensive measures."

"Thank you Daniel." - she says while adjust her papers.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is going to a testing period - let's keep our whits about us and focused on making sure we get through this little Anglian brain fart with out any incidence."




 

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  • 3 months later...

Part Five: Senselessness

How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible.

13 May 2022
Prime Ministers Office, Bromwich

It had been a few months since the last major incident between Gallambria and Anglia - during that time, there had been an Election which saw Nadia Burnett and Liberal Party retain control of the parliament, skirmishes on the Bashan-Suverinan Border and some diplomatic tussles between the Gallambrian and Anglian governments. With the rise of Anglian activity in Dolchland, some within the Gallambrian Government have seen this as a proxy-provocation in order to distabilise the region and push East Argis into war again.


Nadia was sitting at her desk, talking with her staff as they start to get things ready for the start of the new parliamentary year. With many things on the Liberal Party's agenda for the new year, including increase in defence and security spending, establishing defence partnerships with key nations in Argis and Europa, her National Security Advisor, Lord Quandt reminded her of the instability in the Bashan region, stating that it would only be a matter of time before Anglian-backed forces start to make their move through eastern Bashan.

"Prime Minister, it is my belief that the Anglians, and Anglian-backed forces will attempt to make a push through Eastern Bashan in order to give them more direct access to sea ports and access to Western Azania," he commented.

Nadia looking through her notes, she notices that there was a comment on the report from the 6th of February incident. "Stephen, why am I only seeing this now?" she asked sternly. "I don't know Ma'am." - he responds quickly.

She continues to read through the report, with various sections referring back to the Gihon Strait.

In the period leading up to the 06 FEB 22 incident, Anglian and Anglian-backed forces have continued its build up of forces along the Bashan-Suverinan Border, with conservative estimates at close to 17,000-20,000. Daily reconnaissance flights by the Gallambrian Army's rotary wing detachment have confirmed that the build-up indicates that there maybe a planned incursion of Bashan along the western end of the Gihon Strait to the Sea of Yesodot and further to the border between Qubdi and Bashan, and Suverina.

Previous actions by the Anglians and Anglian-aligned parties, have shown that they will use periods of "social and political distraction" such as elections, etc. to begin any possible engagement with another nation.

As she continues reading, she comments, "Well the election has passed, and nothing happened. What else what they be waiting for?", she continues to read the report.

While an invasion of Bashan would not be plausible during the upcoming General Election, they may see opportunity to stage an invasion of the Bashan during the lead up to the opening of Parliament, or the Bashan General election that due to be held towards the end of May.

"Well shit," she commented as she continued reading. "Stephen, did no one ever think that this was so important as to raise it with me?"

Stephen looked at her blankly. "Obviously not Ma'am." he replied, "I should've brought that up when we were handling the 6/2 incident."

Nadia gets up and walks over to Stephen, and starts shouting at the top of her lungs. "YOU KNEW ABOUT THIS BEFORE 6/2? WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT TILL SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO HEAR ABOUT THESE THINGS?"

She walks back to her chair, and sits down and picks up her phone. "Alice, can you get Francis de Lange here within the hour please, thanks.", she hangs up the phone. As she starts to bury her head in her hands, she contemplates what has to be done. After a few minutes, she pipes up, "Stephen, as much as your service to my team and I over the last couple of years has been exemplary, I can't be seen as faltering on issues such as this, and if the press catch wind of it, there's no knowing what would happen. Don't worry, I'm not going to fire you, I'm going to give you a leave of absence, go and have a holiday or something. But take all the time you need."

Stephen gets up and picks up his things and thanks Nadia, as he walks out of her office.

A hour later, Nadia's phone rings. "Francis de Lange is here for you Ma'am," the voice on the other end said, as Faf opens the door and walks in.

Nadia rises to greet Faf, "Good to see you again Faf. Please, take a seat."

 

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Part Six: Hunting

There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed
men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.

16 May 2022
Somewhere along the Gihon Strait

It was early in the morning, the sun hadn't risen yet, when a long range patrol team from the 3rd Special Air Service Regiment, came up to one of their observation posts (OP) along the Gihon Strait, where they had planned to lay up for the next couple of days. They had been in constant communication with an RGAF Warden R1 (an modern battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft), which had been keeping tabs on Anglian and Suverinan forces on the other side of the strait.

Snapshot 68: "Whiskey Two Zero, Snapshot Six-Eight, We're currently tracking six PMV type vehicles, and close to 50-60 dismounted troops moving along the coastline to what looks like to be a FOB adjacent to your current position."

W20: "Snapshot Six-Eight, Whiskey Two Zero, Copy thanks. Will look into it."

As the operators were getting set up to gather some intelligence on the Anglian's movements on the other side of the strait, heavy machine gun and cannon fire started landing around their position.

W20: "Snapshot Six-Eight, Whiskey Two Zero, we're receiving some pretty shit fire from the other side of the strait, we're going to remain in position and wait it out."

Jake (W20), the team's leader, passes the word around for the operators to go dark, and activate their IR strobes. Some of them were clambering back to their trucks to grab their IR strobes and NVGs. Jake was standing atop one of the patrol's Dingo Special Operations Vehicles (SOV) when looked to west, further down the strait along the Suvernian side, where he noticed, fast moving boats race up the coast towards their position.

W20: "Snapshot Six-Eight, Whiskey Two Alpha, We've got eyes on fast moving watercraft to the west of our position, approximately 2-3 kilometers away, can you confirm?"

After a couple of minutes, the ISTAR specialist on the Warden R1, responded.

Snapshot 68: "Whiskey Two Zero, Snapshot Six-Eight, confirmed, I count twelve RHIB sized vessels moving up the coast to your position. Standby for ROE confirmation."

As the operators were waiting for ROE confirmation from Snapshot 68, rounds were still landing around the team, and as the RHIBs started to get within range of the patrol team, they started opening fire on the operators as well.

Snapshot 68: "Whiskey Two Alpha, We can see you're taking further fire. Advise from HQ JFC is as follows... Force authorised to defend yourself, hostile Fire may be returned effectively and promptly to stop a hostile act."

'Fuck that's some pretty loose ROE', Jake thought to himself.

W20: "Snapshot Six-Eight, Whiskey Two Zero, copy. Will report back in 30 mikes."

Jake hops down from the Dingo SOV to go and brief the team. While that's happening, the sound of the RHIBs could be heard from their position, and the their fire was becoming more accurate. One of the operators who was scanning the boats, noticed that they had some heavily armed troops onboard, unsure of whether or not they were Anglian or Suvernian, he tells the other guys to get on their guns and get ready.

Jake switches his radio back to the Command Net.

W20: "Bravo Six One, Whiskey Two Zero, how copy?"

B61: "Whiskey Two Zero, Bravo Six One, got you five by, send traffic over."

W20: "Bravo Six One, Whiskey Two Zero, we're starting to accurate fire from Anglian or Anglian-Back marine and land forces. Estimates are currently 50 to 60 dismounted infantry with 6 PMVs as well as 12 RHIB's, each with approximately 8 to 10 armed personnel on board. We're yet to return fire. Will report further when situation develops."

B61: "Whiskey Two Zero, Bravo Six One, received and understood. Do you require assistance. We currently have a cavalry squadron approximately 15 kilometers from your position, they can be there in about 20 to 30 minutes.

W20: "Bravo Six One, Whiskey Two Zero, yeah that'd be great. Can we also get some air support online? We might not be able to engage effectively with those on the other side of the straight."

B61: "Whiskey Two Zero, Bravo Six One, yeah rog, we can organise that for you. Romeo Three Foxtrot, is the cavalry call-sign that will report to you when they are inbound."

W20: "Bravo Six One, Whiskey Two Zero, ack, out"

After Jake gets off of the radio with Command, he organises his troops into defensive positions around the OP.

A couple of the operators jump on top of the teams Dingo SOV's and man the vehicle mounted grenade launchers. When Jake gives the order to return fire, the operators on the Dingo's start to fire off the grenade launchers, as the rest of the team started to open fire on the advancing forces, they started to receive some pretty accurate indirect fire from the other side of the strait. It looked like the enemies PMV's had vehicle borne mortars in the back, which they were using to get the team out of action pretty quickly.

Ten minutes later, the RHIBs that were carrying troops had landed on the Bashan side of the strait, with its forces opening fire on the teams position, at the same time a mortar round landed next to one of the Dingo's. Jake saw that the mortar had effectively destroyed one of the Dingo's and that the explosion had thrown the operator from atop the Dingo. He got up from his position to go render some aid to his team member, and in doing so, was hit by incoming fire.

W20: "Bravo Six One, Whiskey Two Zero, we're engaged directly with enemy forces, I've taken some rounds, one of my gunners is hit, requesting CASEVAC."

B61: "Whiskey Two Zero, Bravo Six One, copy, alerting CASEVAC now, have your JTAC call in to organise a HLA. Send through a sitrep when the situation has stabilised.

Fighting continued on for few more minutes, while Jake was trying to patch himself up and get to his team-mate that had been thrown from the destroyer Dingo, when an Army Pangkala, a formidable attack helicopter, flew overhead spewing flares from its tail.

Vanquish 72: "Whiskey Two Zero, Vanquish Seven-Two, on station, moving to overwatch position."

W20: "Vanquish Seven-Two, Whiskey Two Zero, roger, thanks, heads up, there's friendly cav inbound from the south. ETA 5 mikes."

Jake and the Pangkala pilot, continued to discuss the situation over the radio, when the teams medic managed to get to Jake's position to render aid. After he was patched up, he continued up to the wounded operators position with medic.

When they got to the operators position, they found that he had managed to escape relatively unharmed, some shrapnel had hit his vests, but he had managed to recover his rifle and was engaging with the enemy.

The Pangkala was overhead, laying fire down on the troops on the other side of the strait, and Jake and his team were cleaning up the enemy troops that had landed on the their position, when the roar of a squadron of Karrek IFVs could be heard as they arrived at the teams position.

A tall lanky fellow jumped out of one of the IFVs, and walked up to Jake, and introduced himself.

Gareth (R3T): "Jake? Gareth. 3rd Squadron Princess Catherine's. Hope you left some for us?"

Jake: "Gareth, glad you could make it. Sorry old chap, we got a bit excited here. No doubt HQJOC will have you attached to us now."

Gareth: "Hopefully, anyways. I'll get my guys up into harbour, and provide some overwatch. We'll coordinate with Vanquish while you guys get squared away."

Knowing that they could both be at war with Anglia tomorrow, they hesitantly shook hands and got to work.

Jake: "Shit, Hey Gareth, can you cancel Starlight for me?"

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  • 5 months later...

Part Seven: Endgame

If there's not any endgame, we're in quicksand.
We take one more step, and we're still there, and there's no way out.

1300h 22OCT2022
Prime Minister's Office, Bromwich

It has been quiet for some time along the frontier between Bashan and Suverina, with the government's focus starting to shift away from the dwindling volatility at the border, to the rising conflicts in Argis and Aurelia. Senior Ministers, Senior Defence and National Security officials have been in conference for the last few days to discuss the potentiality of Gallambria joining the fray, to bring about peace, and a return to the global order of peace and security.

Nadia, sitting at the head of the conference table, welcomes everyone back to the meeting after lunch, and directs the first agenda item to the Chief of Defence Staff. "Sir Errol, lets get on with item seven on today's agenda, Status of Planned Operations in Eastern Theater."

ACM Sir Errol McCormack, thanks the Prime Minister, as he rises from his chair. He walks over to the projector screen, where he starts to address the NSC.

"Gentlemen, Ladies, As we've seen over the last week, Anglia and its allies have kicked off military operations within Eastern Argis, and Southern Aurelia. While GFB have been busy with keeping the Suverins at bay along the border, we have been looking at potential operations in Europa against Anglia and her immediate allies in the area.

The latest intelligence estimates have stated the while a significant proportion of Anglian forces are employed in the Argian and Aurelian theatres, there is still significant air and land assets remaining in Anglia proper, with land assets estimated to be approximately 3-4 divisions.

We are of the belief that, through a joint operations approach, utilising all elements of HM Armed Forces, and those provided by our allies, namely @Iverica, @Salvia , @Seylos and @Tagmatium Rules, we will be able to affect the rout of Anglian and Anglian-aligned forces from Suverina and Lysia, forcing the capitulation of Chisinau and Lyrie, before we march on Godstone.

Now this is all a pie in the sky theory that we're playing with, and hinges directly on the support available to us by the Ivericans and with the advent of current events in Dolchland and Iwenland, we are of the belief that Seylos may not be in a position to provide the support once offered, and plans have been adapted in light of this."

(Sir Errol starts pointing to significant markers on the map while explaining the strategy proposed)

"While a significant advance through Suverina and Lysia may take weeks or months, we are looking at affecting a whole of theatre engagement during the whole operation. We would begin with Gallambrian and Iverican naval and air strikes on significant Anglian-held or maintained facilities within Suverina and Lysia. This would then be followed by amphibious landings by the Marines at Frunzivka and Salvinoria, and a land advance of the 9th Division from Gihon towards Alexandria and further north."

Sir Errol continues on for a while explaining the operations, when Charlotte interjects, "Sorry to interrupt Sir Errol, Can you tell us why the Defence Council has decided that the best course of action should be to take on Anglia on their doorstep, when we've had calls for help ..."

Sir Errol, furious that a politician had question the strategic importance of the operational plan, extends his hand towards Charlotte, and starts to give her a dressing down.

"Ma'am, with all due respect, stay in your lane. Your job is to manage policy and other political matters, leave matters of strategy and military importance to us. Although this plan is for a theatre on the other side of the Adlantic, Anglia and others pose a bigger threat to Gallambrian sovereignty and security there than it does in southern Aurelia.

Nadia gets up and starts to shout at both of them. "Enough you two!" - Sir Errol sits down, and Nadia gathers her papers.

"As I've already seen this operation plans, and have already approved them. I will be presenting a motion to the Lower House during this afternoons session, to seek support for a declaration of war against Anglia. Sir Errol, I want finalised plans on my desk by 10am tomorrow morning. Charlotte, can I see you in my office after session?"

Nadia, Charlotte and the others get up and walk out of the conference room.

Sir Errol and the other chiefs, stay back to discuss matters, when one of them whispers to the others, "I wish that bitch would just piss off."

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  • 1 month later...

Part Eight: Ring the Bells

"Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight;
whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted."

 

1230hrs 06DEC2022
House of Commons,
Parliament House

Speaker of the House: "The Prime Minister."

Prime Minister Burnett: "Mr Speaker, after many weeks of debate, it is now my purpose today to explain in certain final terms to the House and through it to the Gallambrian people the government's belief that the wurld community must deal decisively with Great Anglia; why Great Anglia's continued defiance of the international community and its continued desire to establish its own global order, poses a real and unacceptable threat to the stability and security of our wurld; why the matters at stake go to the very credibility of the rules-based international order that is at the very heart of our own political ideology; why the issue is of direct concern to Gallambria and why, therefore, the Government has authorised the forward position of elements of His Majesty's Armed Forces in the Bashan, and engagement with our allies, to garner their support.

Although there is considerable debate about the best course of action to resolve this crisis I want, for a moment, to focus on the one thing that unites us all - and that is a common abhorrence of war.

I know that in this I speak for every member of this House, every Gallambrian. We, all of us, hope that it will still prove possible to find an outcome acceptable to the international community without military force being used.

The other point of agreement shared by members in this House, by our community and by the community of nations is that Great Anglia must not be allowed to continue with its aggressive expansionism - for the security and stability of our wurld, it must be stopped.

At the heart of this debate must be a recognition of the threat posed to the security of the wurld through the progressive break down of the international and regional maintenance of peace.

The overriding concern however, is Great Anglia's record of aggression, provocation and blatant willingness to use strong-arm tactics, to meet it's expansionist policies. It has used it against its neighbours, it has used it against smaller independent nations. It has even used it against its own people.

This is a doleful distinction, which Great Anglia shares with no other country.

Great Anglia has form. Creighton has without provocation invaded Lysia and Suverina. He has fired missiles at Bashan and Qubdi. He has supplied weapons to Dolchland. He has bullied, threatened and extorted Alshamael, Afropa and Norrium. All in the name of Strength and Unity.

This issue poses great and difficult choices for Gallambria. We all hate the very thought of war in any form. Our natural instinct is to recoil from it. The temptation to turn our backs on the problem and hope it will go away is great.

Yet the realities of the wurld in which we now live do not permit us that luxury.

We all know that history is replete with examples of the community of nations retreating from difficult decisions through fear of the immediate consequences only to find that those difficult decisions must ultimately be addressed and at an infinitely greater cost.

Finally, Mr Speaker, before I make a motion, our thoughts must turn to the men and women of the Armed Forces, who are deployed or are in the midst of deploying, doing their duty and maintaining a long tradition of courage and professionalism in the service and defence of Gallambria.

Whatever may be their role in the weeks and months ahead, we admire them and wish them well. We are united in our prayers and hopes for their safety and wellbeing.

Thank you."

Every member in the House of Commons, raise from their seats in thunderous applause, when the Speaker of the House, pounds his gavel.

Speaker of the House: "Order! Ordeeeeer! The Prime ... ORDER!"

He waits for the ruckus to die down.

Speaker of the House: "The Prime Minister has the floor, to present the governments motion."

Nadia: "Thank you Mr Speaker. I move, that this parliament declares that a state of war, now exists with the Kingdom of Great Anglia and her Allies."

Speaker of the House: "The motion is, that the parliament declares, that a state of war, exists with the Kingdom of Great Anglia and her Allies. We will go to vote. Ayes?

The roar of the members trying to make their voices heard could be heard through out the Houses of Parliament.

Speaker of the House: "DIVISIONS! Call the bells for four minutes..."

The "bells" continue to ring for four minutes, as the members of parliament moved to their respectful division lobbies. When all members arrive in their lobbies, they cast their votes. Moments later, after the voting members return to the chamber, the Tellers return to the Speaker with the results. They both hand their result slips to the Speaker who then reads the results to the chamber.

Speaker of the House: "On the motion, relating to the declaration of war against the Kingdom of Great Anglia and her Allies. Ayes, three hundred and thirty-five, Nays, seven. The Ayes have it."

The Speaker rustles some papers around on his desk, while a dull, sullen quiet befalls the chamber. Nadia raises from her place, and leaves the chamber. Her head hung, and a single tear, rolling from her eye.

 

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