Three Carriers and Three Cruisers: Battle for the Eastern Med. February 2022. Historical Alternate Scenario.
A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for EC2003 Battle for the Mediterranean Battleset and the HCDB2-170909 (or later) 1980-2025 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with Advanced Scenario Editor Build 2017.013 and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.
This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/NATO side or from the Red/Russian and allies side. You should play a few times first the Blue side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red side.
Image: Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, the ITS Cavour Strike Group and the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group transit the Mediterranean Sea in formation, Feb. 6, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security, and defend U.S., allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bela Chambers, a serviceperson on duty and in consequence on public domain).
Enough is enough.
From the eventful year of 2014 (Mainly from the Russian invasion of Crimea) the world was beginning clearly the so-called Second Cold War, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) was showing clearly his plan to recover the Russian Empire including previous Soviet territories for reinstitute the greatness of "his" Russia, and to guarantee his passage on the History as saviour of the Rodina.
After the massive Russian build-up of forces from late 2021 in Russia and Belarus near the Ukrainian border, NATO forces were forced to an increased and constant deployment near Ukraine and the Eastern Mediterranean, to deterrent Putin's ambition.
The probably plan was to avoid an intervention by NATO ground forces but preventing the Russian main forces to enter Ukrainian territory, and to get this target to establish an air and sea exclusion zone around and over Ukraine.
Aside air elements deployed to near NATO countries (and four B-52H based in RAF Fairford (ASa), capable of both land and ship strike), and a constant monitoring of the Russian movements, three aircraft carriers (Truman, De Gaulle and Cavour, this last one mostly symbolic as was yet equipped with AV-8B+) were deployed on the Eastern Mediterranean, to keep at bay the Russian forces in Syria and the Mediterranean, and later to reinforce the exclusion zone and to execute offensive actions against the Russian forces in the Black Sea and Ukraine. Included in these forces was the USS Georgia, SSGN-729 and STANDING NATO MARITIME GROUP TWO (SNMG2), flagship Italian FREMM frigate Carlo Margottini F592.
For the Russian side a great number of elements of the Northern, Pacific, Baltic and Black Sea fleets were deployed in the Mediterranean, including amphibious ships sailing to the Black Sea, dangerously depleting the reserves of all the Russian fleets.
Also, Tu-22M3 Backfire-C with Kh-32 anti-ship missiles and MIG-31K Foxhound with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal/AS-24 Killjoy were deployed in the infamous Russian base of Khmeimim in Syria. And of course the surviving forces of the Assad regime after the 2011 civil war are in the Russian side, defending its country.
On the paper the Russian forces are weaker, but employing old Cold War era tactics could settle a surprise and propaganda blow to the Western forces.
Also, probably the doubtful Turkey and other countries could not joint the NATO ranks because Russian nuclear blackmail and other types of asymmetrical pressure.
And the things are going worse every day...
Enrique Mas, February 20, 2022.