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Three Carriers and Three Cruisers: Battle for the Eastern Med. February 2022.

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.


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Some sources:





















And a friend's book:


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Some notes on this recent video, irrelevant for changes (yet) in the scenario, but interesting points:

-  VAW-126 Seahawks are now equipped with updated E-2D inflight refuelling capables. Irrelevant for the scenario, but important if are deployed over the Black Sea from the Med.

- Cavour is clearly equipped yet with AV-8B+ Harrier II and showed in flight and on deck (and as originally in the scenario), against other sources (perhaps propaganda), F-35B in Cavour cames only from 2024.

- USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) is present in the first images, but not listed in any source. In the scenario could be simpley another big target.


21 March 2022, one month later, IFR capability of VAW-126 Seahawks confirmed, as first fleet operational squadron with IFR capable E-2D:




Edited by broncepulido
minor text change, E-2D IFR capability confirmed
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, this was fun!

Second run was better, the big enemy surface group was a bit further off. Sadly, it spawned in the vicinity of my smaller surface group, enveloping it with its SAMs, thus making it impossible to safeguard the smaller surface group from missile attack. The few aircraft in Cyprus were also not able to stop air attacks against the islands installations and I could not get my carrier aircraft over the island in time, since I had to manuever around the SAM envelope of the big enemy surface group.

RED thus managed to pull of a minimum victory after annihilating my smaller surface group, sinking 3 of my ships.

I did not give up and launched an all-out counterstrike. Repeated air strikes killed the enemy surface group and then one by one the enemy bases and supporting units died. Total victory was inevitable.


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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

To my surprise, I suddenly...lost! The enemy achieved his Minimum VC, sinking the third and last remaining vessel of my  small surface group. I was a little bit surprised because of that since, all in all, things were going well in the meantime and the enemy suffered horrible losses. 

Anyway - a great and fun scenario, Enrique - thx for sharing it!



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10 hours ago, broncepulido said:

Thanks for your report and glad enjoyed it! Too lazy to develop a more historical (and boring) accurate variant, and busy to assemble some difficult to conceive Ukranian scenarios.

Sounding good there

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