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BALTOPS 2015 going hot, 17-18 June 2015. Alternate History Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for the EC2003 Battle for GIUK Gap Battleset and the HCDB-150621 1980-2015 era Platform Database.

Image: HMS Ocean in BALTOPS 2015, near the landing target of Ustka, Poland. Photo by 1st Lt. Sarah E. Burns, USMC, a US servicewoman in duty, and as consequence in public domain. Taked from Wikipedia Commons.

This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/NATO and partners side or from the Red/Russia side. You should play a few times first the Blue/NATO and Partners side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red/Russia side.

After the naval and security incidents full year of 2014 and the not less eventful first five months of 2015 and with the World beginning the so-called Second Cold War when President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) provoked in succession the Crimea, Ukraine, Donetsk, Baltic States, October 2014 Swedish submarine incursion, G-20 Brisbane meeting naval crisis, November 2014 Faslane submarine incident, frigate Yaroslav Mudryy February "Channel Dash", April 2015 Finnish submarine incursion (for many observers causing the pre-mobilization of Finland reserve forces), and constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial flights (even employing transport types because the shortage of true military types in the Russian forces). That without counting other unrelated naval incidents, just as the Iranian seizure of the Maersk Tigris in 28 April 2015 (and neither counting very prominent landlocked actions, as the counter-DAESH operations in Middl
e East).
When the big anti-submarine exercise Dynamic Mongoose did begin in 4 May 2015 was interpreted by many journalists as an answer to the latest Russian actions and menacing postures, but it was actually a yearly exercise. But in the current world situation was legit to think otherwise, more with the intervention in the exercise of Swedish Navy elements, probably as consequence of the Russian-attributed Swedish submarine incident of October 2014, as Sweden is not a NATO member, but did participate as partner.
Further, when the also yearly BALTOPS 2015 multipurpose and landing exercise did begin from 5 to 20 June 2015 with theoretically neutral Swedish and Finnish partner participation, the Russian State-owned media (Russia Today, Sputnik, Russia Beyond the Headlines and others) and associated Western media did begin a campaign to delegitimize the NATO exercises (BALTOPS 2015 was a complex exercise simultaneous to others as Saber Strike 2015 and Noble Jump 2015), and to justify any Russian military action.
At last, in this alternate history path, on 17 June 2015 at BALTOPS 2015 peak, the NATO and partners show of force did go erroneously a few nautical miles East, and the ships for the programmed landing in the small Polish town of Ustka (BNp, a few days previously was another training landing in Sweden, near Ravlunda, BOp) are presented just off the coastline of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad between Lithuania and Poland (Formerly Konigsberg in East Prussia. What better excuse to request a land bridge from the Russian side, nobody remember the very near Danzig Corridor and the 1939 German Ultimatum to Poland?), and the situation goes to the boiling point very fast.
To keep his security promises to the Russian people Putin is forced to an open war and destroy the landing forces near Kaliningrad, employing all the forces in the Baltic theatre, and another very few deployed from others.
The state of readiness of the NATO forces is low, the first two days of the open conflict can count only with the forces at disposition of the current exercises, but with the complete Polish Air Force order of battle, in high state of readiness because the international situation (The Finnish Air Force will be limited to protect this homeland).
Will be vital for both sides to prevail these two first days of war, for Russia as propaganda and to show his force, for NATO and partners for resist and mobilize all the Western forces the next days, almost guaranteeing the victory against Putin's Russia.

Enrique Mas, July 4 2015.

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