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Great Scenario For You Arm-chair Generals

This is a discussion on Great Scenario For You Arm-chair Generals within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Ok. The Canadian island Prince Edward Island, a small province, is suddenly seized by a sizable mercenary and rebel group ...


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Old October 29th, 2008   #1
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Exclamation Great Scenario For You Arm-chair Generals

Ok. The Canadian island Prince Edward Island, a small province, is suddenly seized by a sizable mercenary and rebel group numbering 50,000. using black market kit, including M16's, AK-47's, ex-russian tanks, APC's, Helicopters, a small fleet of air craft, a large amount of explosive ordinance, artillery and mortars, and ALOT of ammunition for it all. The mercenaries are trained like special forces groups, and spread out throughout the island for maximum presence and control. All government buildings have been seized such as Federal courts, police stations, some schools and hospitals, power and water stations, town halls, etc. They have major population zones and important civil properties locked down, Malls, Downtown areas, major offices and workplaces, sporting arenas, some parks and tourist destinations, communications grids, etc. The police and army presence on the island have been neutralized, with few causalities of the canadians, and none of the mercenaries. Soon after the seize control, they set up an extensive defense network consisting of blowing small sections of the confederation bridge out, a large number of anti-aircraft guns and artillery, mounted guns on high berms around the shores, barbed wire around the shores, landmines, radar and sonar for early detection, etc. there are 134,000 Canadian civilians on the island and the government has absolutely BANNED large scale bombing or artillery to protect the innocent. You have the Canadian army at your disposal, refuse all aid from foreigners for now and try to make a plan to get the island back under Canadian govern ship
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Old October 29th, 2008   #2
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Ok. The Canadian island Prince Edward Island, a small province, is suddenly seized by a sizable mercenary and rebel group numbering 50,000. using black market kit, including M16's, AK-47's, ex-russian tanks, APC's, Helicopters, a small fleet of air craft, a large amount of explosive ordinance, artillery and mortars, and ALOT of ammunition for it all. The mercenaries are trained like special forces groups, and spread out throughout the island for maximum presence and control. All government buildings have been seized such as Federal courts, police stations, some schools and hospitals, power and water stations, town halls, etc. They have major population zones and important civil properties locked down, Malls, Downtown areas, major offices and workplaces, sporting arenas, some parks and tourist destinations, communications grids, etc. The police and army presence on the island have been neutralized, with few causalities of the canadians, and none of the mercenaries. Soon after the seize control, they set up an extensive defense network consisting of blowing small sections of the confederation bridge out, a large number of anti-aircraft guns and artillery, mounted guns on high berms around the shores, barbed wire around the shores, landmines, radar and sonar for early detection, etc. there are 134,000 Canadian civilians on the island and the government has absolutely BANNED large scale bombing or artillery to protect the innocent. You have the Canadian army at your disposal, refuse all aid from foreigners for now and try to make a plan to get the island back under Canadian govern ship
Ummm... What? The first thing I have to ask, is what is the point of this thread?

Looking at the given scenario, there are a number of issues involving the "reality" of such a situation. For starters, a group of 50,000 mercenaries/rebels is a very large group, particularly for Canada (~60,000 active military AFAIK). As such, getting such a large number of people onto Prince Edward Island without attracting notice IMV would be impossible. Canada would notice if Prince Edward Island had a very sudden, 40% increase in population, assuming the personnel were attempting to infiltrate prior to the commencement of hostilities. If instead they attempted a sudden assault, again, it would be noticed before hand as aircraft capable of dropping large numbers of paratroopers and amphibious assault ships are not easy to hide. Not to mention, where would this campaign to take Prince Edward Island be launched from? And who/how would the operation be bankrolled. That number of personnel's payroll, as well as the significant amount of hardware listed, is not easy or inexpensive to buy via legitimate channels, never mind by way of the black market. Someone/group/nation with a large supply of funds would need to bankroll such an operation.
Again, both things that would be of interest to, and subject to detection by Canada and her allies.

If one were to go with the assumption that all of these very improbable situations occured, that such an event did occur and that Canada refused all offers of outside assistance... Then IMV the only way Canada could regain control of Prince Edward Island would be through a long and rather painful campaign. Canada would need to institute a draft of some form to maintain a higher level of alertness throughout the rest of Canada, as well as begin training some troops for amphibious operations. No troops would been needed for any sort of assault for a number of years though, as Canada would need time to design/build amphibious assault ships. Much of the first few years (yes, years likely) would consist of maintaining an absolute blockade of Prince Edward Island to prevent any additional personnel/equipment/consumables getting onto the island. The rest of the operations for this period would be precision strikes carried out by the Air Force against troop and equipment concentrations, as well as maintaining a "no fly zone" to prevent resupply by air. As time passes, the mercenary/rebel force would have lost personnel and equipment, either through fatigue, attrition or combat losses that would not be able to be replaced. Eventaully they could be reduced to a point where they could no longer resist against Canadian forces. There would be two questions though. What state would the Canadian citizens trapped on Prince Edward Island be in by the end of this? And could the rest of Canada maintain such a tight blockade needed for victory, while knowing that their fellow citizens are likely suffering as a result of it.

I would be interested in hearing the thinking behind such a event occurring.

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Old October 29th, 2008   #3
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its kinda unreal i know. but it seems like something not alot of people would think about. making it a cool scenario no?
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Old November 3rd, 2008   #4
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I, too, think this scenario less than credible.

Not only would it take the resources of something akin to a nation state to bankroll and implement such an invasion, but whoever attempted it would be faced with the dilemma of providing material support over a huge distance (there are no credible sources of such an invasion close at hand) in the face of a blockade put in place by a modern military and those of allied countries.

It's hard to think of a scenario in which the Canadians - as a free, democratic nation - would not recieve some support from allies.... and even harder to think of a realistic scenario in which a non-state actor would not be subject to restrictions, if not outright attack at whatever place they use as a base.

OK...
First, establish a blockade. PEI is probably self-sufficient WRT food, but little else. So your invaders are denied resupply of fuel, equipment and spare parts.
Secondly, it is *highly* unlikely that a group such as you posit will have the equivalent technology to that possessed by Canada and her allies. Therefore I now make it my business to destroy all of the invaders' aircraft, radar and radio communications.
The invaders are rapidly reduced to the level of a third-world army without the capability to easily detect incoming assaults, or respond rapidly to them at above unit level. They are unable to operate in the classic guerilla fashion, because they cannot blend in with the population, and are unable to attract the sympathy of the population.... because you have them effectively using the population as hostages. Bear in mind that the vast majority of the PEI's population are of anglo-celtic background, so it's unreasonable to argue that the "rebels" will have popular support.

Therefore, I suggest that the Canadian armed forces will be able to establish a beach-head on the Island, and eventually retake it, more rapidly than might otherwise be considered.

Beg pardon if I suggest that this scenario is not reasonable , unless led by Peter Sellars, complete with Q-Bomb.http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...se_that_roared

<edited to add>
Preliminary to establishing a beach-head would be the insertion of recon and raiding teams. Recon for gathering of intel (obviously) and raiding to both destroy vital equipment and to also gather intel via taking of prisoners and observation of the invader's reaction.

The establishment of a beach-head will also force the invaders to concentrate in such a way that they can be more easily attacked with high-tech and heavy weapons.

IMHO, a force such as is postulated here cannot hope to hold an area such as PEI in the conventional sense. Nor can they hope to do so via an insurgency or guerilla war. Effectively, their only hope is to hold the civillian population hostage. "Fight us and we we start killing your people!".

The other issue that has not been addressed in this scenario is the reason for the invasion. There is no currently plausible reason for a rebellion to arise. Nor could it do so successfully, spontaneously and in the short term without the Canadian national government responding. PEI has no known economic or industrial assetts that would make it a tempting target, and making that worthwhile would require the ability to export. Kind of hard when the most obvious first response by the Canadians and their allies is to blockade the invaders.

The problem with scenarious that are as unrealistic as this one, is that they become too dependent on arbitrary decisions by whoever is creating them, and also too dependent on unknown factors. Perhaps they belong on a fiction board, rather than one devoted to real-world military issues.

Regards........... Peter

Last edited by Cooch; November 3rd, 2008 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Failure to proof-read and slow thinking.
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Old November 8th, 2008   #5
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What is the "agenda" of the mercs? that would have a large bearing on what the response would be from the governing body
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Old November 8th, 2008   #6
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What is the "agenda" of the mercs? that would have a large bearing on what the response would be from the governing body
well. thats a toughy. the mercs would be setting up a military dictatorship for the start. and they would basically want to build a country they see as prefect. like communism. but not exactly. food and energy production, job creation, and defense would be the focus of the new government for a long time. until those three things could be solved. they would not branch out into a full-up "agenda" until they had stability
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Old November 11th, 2008   #7
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Mercenaries - at least in theory - are there to do what they are paid to do. Their "agenda" is to carry out their employer's commands as long as they have a reasonable expectation of (a) being paid and (b) remaining alive and at liberty so that they can enjoy that pay.

Given that this scenario does not give your mercenaries a reasonable chance of either, it seems most likely that their agaenda will be to *not* invade PEI.

As this is your scenarion, perhaps you'll tell us how you will persuade the hired help that they want to place themselves in such a situation???
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Old December 29th, 2008   #8
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If I was in command of the canadian force and was told to recapure the island. I would first get all the intelligence i can on the defences and their positions. Since airpower and artillary are out the question. I think a full scale amphibious assualt, D-day style except no artillery barrages and airstrikes would be the only way. Of course i would have the airforce maintain a no fly zone over the island. No matter how you would handle it there will be civilian casualtys. The occupying force will probably be very well entrenched and the fighting will be fierce. Thier artillery would reak havoc on the amphibious assualt if not given priority to be taken out first. The landing areas would be chosen thier would be 5 difrent landing forces all them with their own landing area. The occuppyers would have to defend from 5 difrent assualts. Since the occupying force is comprised of ex special forces the fighting would be some of the most intense ever. But once we have the beaches secured it would just be a matter of bring in the heavy armor and mopping up the remaining scatterd forces. Human loss would be heavy on the canadian side but the occupying force will be wiped out no prisoners tacken. It would be a war of atrision. Artillery and laser guided bombs if allowed would have greatly weakend any defences as we could hit them right before the assualt starts.

I call this operation overwelming force.
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Old December 29th, 2008   #9
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Ok. The Canadian island Prince Edward Island, a small province, is suddenly seized by a sizable mercenary and rebel group numbering 50,000. using black market kit, including M16's, AK-47's, ex-russian tanks, APC's, Helicopters, a small fleet of air craft, a large amount of explosive ordinance, artillery and mortars, and ALOT of ammunition for it all.

The mercenaries are trained like special forces groups, and spread out throughout the island for maximum presence and control. All government buildings have been seized such as Federal courts, police stations, some schools and hospitals, power and water stations, town halls, etc. They have major population zones and important civil properties locked down, Malls, Downtown areas, major offices and workplaces, sporting arenas, some parks and tourist destinations, communications grids, etc.

The police and army presence on the island have been neutralized, with few causalities of the canadians, and none of the mercenaries. Soon after the seize control, they set up an extensive defense network consisting of blowing small sections of the confederation bridge out, a large number of anti-aircraft guns and artillery, mounted guns on high berms around the shores, barbed wire around the shores, landmines, radar and sonar for early detection, etc.

there are 134,000 Canadian civilians on the island and the government has absolutely BANNED large scale bombing or artillery to protect the innocent.

You have the Canadian army at your disposal, refuse all aid from foreigners for now and try to make a plan to get the island back under Canadian govern ship
Reformatted OP with proper paragraphing, so it's at least halfway legible.

As for the scenario, the obvious solution is to find the backers of this operation (50k mercenaries with tanks, helos and aircraft? We're talking at least 2.5 billion cost for the whole operation, even with cheap equipment) and go after them. We're talking mercenaries after all - once the money flow stops, they'll think very very VERY hard about whether this is worth it.
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Old December 29th, 2008   #10
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If you accept the plausability of such a scenario how would these 50,000 mercenaries supply themselves. Surely once the island was blockaded, it would just be a matter of time before the force would just collapse with no supply chain?
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Old December 29th, 2008   #11
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If you accept the plausability of such a scenario how would these 50,000 mercenaries supply themselves. Surely once the island was blockaded, it would just be a matter of time before the force would just collapse with no supply chain?
Thats exactly what i was thinking its a suicide mission for the mercenaries.
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Old January 4th, 2009   #12
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If you accept the plausability of such a scenario how would these 50,000 mercenaries supply themselves. Surely once the island was blockaded, it would just be a matter of time before the force would just collapse with no supply chain?
Yup, only real way to do this.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=...-8&sa=N&tab=wl
There's a map of the place. Block aid could starve them out. It looks like there is a river or something of the sort that runs halfway through the island. If you want to you could do quick strike teams from there. Take out their moral.

Besides the blockade. The only other real thing you would have to do is gain air superiority. Shouldn't be hard for an army to do vs a rebel group. This would complete the blockade, and allow you to move supplies to civilians if you can. Politicians won't like the idea of willingly starving out helpless citizens (however giving food to one person, might mean it will go to the enemy). Air superiority would also allow you to have airstrikes with nothing to worry about. Take out ammo dumps or maybe hit a leaders home.

The only other thing I can think of would be to limit communications going into and out of the island. Don't allow the press onto the island. Block phones. I don't know if you can, but block the internet. Anything! Information of whats going on the mainland could help rebels, and if the mainland's public gets to see how bad life on the island is because of the blockade, then they might get pissed, so the politicians get pissed, so no more blockade, so you get to send in troops and probably take high casualties. Fun right?
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Old January 5th, 2009   #13
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If you are looking to minimalize casualties, I would sugest !. Blockade (easy enough against mercs) 2. Cut electricity (If any power is being sent from the mainland) 3. Use several air strikes to demoralize. Keep up the blockade and they will soon run out of food, water, and electricity and they will be forced to surrender. This will be accomplished with no casualties to yourself and only few to the enemy.
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Old January 6th, 2009   #14
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OK. So all these together probably would have done it.

But. I've decided to change it. What if the attacking and occupying Prince Edward Island party was a battalion of the Canadians Armie's soldiers? Soldiers that were able to stock and prepare the island for a long period of time (Lets say 4 years to get it set up) as well as trained in the tactics the enemy (The REAL Canadian Army) will use to take the island back, and extensive information on the enemies equipment.

In order to gain an edge of the opponent these soldiers have bought different equipment from arms dealers, pre-planned countering the Canadians (4 years strategizing), aqquiring aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-air artillery, advanced communication technology and other Military goods they had access to. They have prepared the island much like the guerillas in Iraq and Afghanistan have by digging trenches, tunnels, placing ammunition in easy access locations, made defencive positions, and ranged area for artillery and mortar aiming.

With the following correction keep in mind,
-Financed (In part) by the Canadian Government's DOD
-Air power (Not supiriority but something)
-Not just in it for the money
-The Canadian Army is smaller in turn because of the soldier loss.
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Old January 7th, 2009   #15
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OK. So all these together probably would have done it.

But. I've decided to change it. What if the attacking and occupying Prince Edward Island party was a battalion of the Canadians Armie's soldiers? Soldiers that were able to stock and prepare the island for a long period of time (Lets say 4 years to get it set up) as well as trained in the tactics the enemy (The REAL Canadian Army) will use to take the island back, and extensive information on the enemies equipment.

In order to gain an edge of the opponent these soldiers have bought different equipment from arms dealers, pre-planned countering the Canadians (4 years strategizing), aqquiring aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-air artillery, advanced communication technology and other Military goods they had access to. They have prepared the island much like the guerillas in Iraq and Afghanistan have by digging trenches, tunnels, placing ammunition in easy access locations, made defencive positions, and ranged area for artillery and mortar aiming.

With the following correction keep in mind,
-Financed (In part) by the Canadian Government's DOD
-Air power (Not supiriority but something)
-Not just in it for the money
-The Canadian Army is smaller in turn because of the soldier loss.
Question, how many ex-Canadian military personnel would be involved in seizing PEI? As this will determine how many remaining personnel Canada has available to respond with following the seizure.

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