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China in the Horn, late October 2023. Hypothetical historical scenario.

China in the Horn, late October 2023. Hypothetical historical scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for EC2003 Battle for The Middle East Battleset and the HCDB2-170308 new standard 1980-2025 Platform Database. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.

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

Image: USS Carney (DDG 64) while on patrol in the Mediterranean Sea Sept. 23, 2016. Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, for antiballistic missile duties and with the SeaRAM mount aft, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones/Released, a serviceperson on duty, and in consequence on public domain, took from Wikipedia Commons).


At the end of the very military convulse year of 2023, with one and a half years of Russian invasion of Ukraine, other globe points were poles of interest.

This scenario is inspired in "Escape from Aden", published by Martyn Kelly in Harpoon SITREP 65, October 2023, but developing in late 2023 updated with multiple current events, and in consequence with more elements of complexity.

With the almost all out campaign of Israel against Hamas after the October 7 terrorist attacks, other actors were revealed as clearly supporting Hamas.

In fact, USS Carney was forced to shoot-down missiles and drones directed from Yemen to Israel through nine hours on 19 October 2023.

Also, news about the deployment of not one but at least two Chinese surface groups with the alibi of fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean and from its new (from 2017) base of Port Doraleh, very near (some six nautical miles!) to the Western Forces in Ambouli increased the tensions in other world regions.

In this hypothetical case, after the Chinese surprise invasion of Taiwan, the Chinese forces in the Gulf of Aden are forced to flight to the open Indian Ocean trying to escape its irremissible demise, reminiscent of the German cruisers trapped far seas worldwide in August 2014.

Also, as the Western Forces are caught off guard, have at its disposition only scattered, limited and irregular random assets to prevent the Chinese flight.

This scenario depicts the historical deployment of naval forces in late October 2023.

Could you prevent the escape of the Chinese forces, or as Chinese commander could you escape to the open Indian Ocean, East of Socotra?

Enrique Mas, November 12, 2023.


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