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Iron Wolf

 

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the EC2003 GIUK Gap battleset. This scenario is designed for play by the BLUE side.

 

The three small Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are no strangers to a hard life of aggression, occupation, and oppression. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, a determined populace grabbed the opportunity for independence once again. But history had taught them a lesson: that their long term survival was dependent upon becoming part of an international alliance. In Spring 2004 they became full members of NATO. Without any strategic depth, there is nothing that the Baltic states could do to stop a reasonably determined Russian attack, so instead NATO has opted to do such things as emphasize early warning and control, improve the defensive capabilities of local light forces, and have NATO air forces take turns in providing fighters for territorial air defence. There is at least one significant flaw in the arrangement. The Baltic states still rely heavily on Russia for their supplies of natural gas and oil, and their power grids remain linked. In 2007, they entered into an agreement with neighbor (and NATO partner) Poland to replace the ageing (Chernobyl type) nuclear reactor at Ignalina in Lithuania. The Ignalina reactor has now been shut down, and the new powerplant is still under construction, despite the protests of Russia and Belarus regarding the increased pressure on the regional fossil fuel supply. The Baltic states therefore remain critically exposed, and their former ruler has decided to make its move.

 

And of Gediminas, who on Ponary's crest,

Warm in hunter's bearskin, lay down to rest.

Soothed by the songs of the wise Lizdejko,

Lulled by the rush of the sweet Vilejko,

He saw a wolf of iron in his dreams.

- Pan Tadeusz, a poem by Adam Mickiewicz

 

Russia has declared that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are in violation of their natural gas supply agreements, and has suddenly cut off both the fuel supply and shut down the electrical grid. Large parts of the Baltic states are now without power, particularly in border areas. Protests from Baltic governments and NATO HQ in Brussels have been ignored in Moscow and Minsk, except for harshly worded warnings to refrain from interfering in "internal state affairs". A Russian attack is believed imminent, likely supported by Belarus. Their timing is unfortunate for NATO; the currently assigned NATO fighter force is a contingent of elderly Luftwaffe F-4F Phantoms on their final deployment.

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