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Roleplay: Baltic defences build-up - Part 1

This is a discussion on Roleplay: Baltic defences build-up - Part 1 within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Scenario: After years of foreign oppression, the Baltic island of Gotland has peacefully declared its independence from the Swedish Crown. ...


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Old July 5th, 2007   #1
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Roleplay: Baltic defences build-up - Part 1

Scenario: After years of foreign oppression, the Baltic island of Gotland has peacefully declared its independence from the Swedish Crown. The EU isnt pleased, but has choosen not to take action. Sweden on the other hand isnt pleased either, and has made numerous intrusions into Gotlandish airspace and into their territorial waters. A Swedish embargo is in place. Also, Russia has signaled that its first and foremost interest is to secure the area around wich the new gas-pipeline is to be constructed in the baltic sea. This area is, according to the newly elected Gotlandish President, part of the Gotlandish EEZ. The other nordic countries (especially Finland and Denmark) have taken a position of total neutrality in the matter. The Order of the Teutonic Knights (!) have presented a claim on Gotland ranging back to the islands Liberation by them in the 13th century, some German politicians have voiced that Germany should back up these claims.

Area Gotland is an island with a population of about 50000 souls, of wich 15000 are fit for military duty. It is approx. 3000 squarekilometers large and its coasline is 800km. A simple map can be viewed here.

Gotland armed forces Consist of a part-time local defence batalion of about 700 soldiers and a rapid reaction company of about 170 soldiers. The Police also have defence duties and numbers 75 officers. The local denfence batalion has one amphibious company with some older LCPs. The batalion has been motorized since the independence thru the impoundning of a large number of civilian SUVs. The heaviest weapons available is the famous Carl Gustaf grenade laucher, small arms are G3s and FN MAGs with some MP-5s and assorted pistols and hunting rifles. The "Air Force" consist of 8 SAAB 340 and 3 SAAB 2000 Civilian passenger aircraft and 2 civilian Bell Jet Ranger helicopters, all impounded at the airport at independence. The "Navy" consist of 4 civilian RIB, also impounded at independence.

Mission YOU are the new Minister of Defence. Your most important mission is to defend Gotlands national borders, but also to be able to defend Gotland itself for a period of at least 2 weeks. Seeing that Gotland is vastly outnumbered, the government has given you a whooping 20% of the BNP for the first three years, this amounts to 240 million per year or a total of 720 million . Obviously, no Swedish items can be purchased. Only smaller items (such as small arms and civilian vehicles) can be purchased from EU-countries. The Government does not want you to get any russian-made items.

What do you do?
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Old July 6th, 2007   #2
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a) Buy a decent SAM and Coastal SSM network (source: China or Israel) with plenty of spare missiles.
b) Get some experts and build enough air raid shelters to house the entire population. Also put the defense network systems underground of course.
c) Distribute plenty of sea mines all around your island except for a few easily-closable corridors (source: China).
d) Buy approximately 10 million land mines and mine your entire coastline for a 100-meter wide strip (source: China).
e) Form a mutual-defense treaty with Poland.

Alternative:
a) military coup
b) mutual-defense treaty with Russia, treaty similar to Iceland in NATO during the Cold War. problem solved.


BTW: NATO once did a very similar maneuver, using Bornholm as the "separatists", and NATO supporting Denmark in recovering it.
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Old July 7th, 2007   #3
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not much you can do or afford with 50,000 tax payers
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Old July 7th, 2007   #4
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that is exactly the point of this mental exercise, its easy to arm a nation when you have plenty of money, but what to do when there isnt much money?

Interesting points there Kato. I was thinking underground as well. What about OPVs or FACs? Something small with just some anti-surface missiles and machineguns for instance, perhaps with a small helo-pad?
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Old July 7th, 2007   #5
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Given that senerio, the best solution would be to send envoys to various countries to seek diplomatic support. Especially from other EU and NATO countries.

As far as weapons purchases:

The first time would be Rk.95 rifles from Finland. There is always the traditional Finnish/Swedish card to play plus the fact that the Rk.95 is the finest varient of the AK design in the world.

The biggest question there would be whether or not to choose the 7.62mm Soviet or 5.56mm NATO chambering. I would recommend NATO 5.56mm because of supply problems with 7.62mmx39mm Soviet in the past year. (Although this no longer seems like a problem).

Will add more later, I've got to run.
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Old July 7th, 2007   #6
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What about OPVs or FACs? Something small with just some anti-surface missiles and machineguns for instance, perhaps with a small helo-pad?
Not really needed, as long as your priority is to defend against amphibious Swedish and/or German assaults. Coastal artillery and a static defense concept, including mines, is more what you should look for then. Maybe look into Swiss Reduit concepts for a defense base, though it would have to be adapted from valleys and mountains with tank approach paths and so on rather to maritime "terrain features" like coastline and coastal shelf, shallows and depths, currents and beaching conditions.
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Old July 7th, 2007   #7
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d) Buy approximately 10 million land mines and mine your entire coastline for a 100-meter wide strip (source: China).
That's 200 land mines per person... How much do those things cost again? Maybe $250-$500 USD if you buy in bulk. Figure $350. That's an insane debt for a country smaller than most towns. 3.5billion?
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Old July 7th, 2007   #8
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That's 200 land mines per person... How much do those things cost again? Maybe $250-$500 USD if you buy in bulk. Figure $350. That's an insane debt for a country smaller than most towns. 3.5billion?
Holy shit no. Cheap anti-personnel mines go for less than 1$ apiece in bulk quantities (stuff like mines or ammunition is bought by the ISO container, not by packages of 1000 or so), 5-10 bucks if they're pricy, fancy models like directional mines (Claymore) or bouncing mines (PROM-1).

For 250 bucks you'll get sophisticated anti-tank mines, for 500 you'll get a remote side-firing anti-tank rocket system.

10 Million land mines isn't really that much. There's about that planted just as as a static denial system between Ethiopia and Eritrea; most developed nations stocked between 2 and 10 million mines before the ban just for "quick-use readiness". Investment would be 100 million US$ tops, including delivery systems.
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Old July 8th, 2007   #9
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Holy shit no. Cheap anti-personnel mines go for less than 1$ apiece in bulk quantities (stuff like mines or ammunition is bought by the ISO container, not by packages of 1000 or so), 5-10 bucks if they're pricy, fancy models like directional mines (Claymore) or bouncing mines (PROM-1).

For 250 bucks you'll get sophisticated anti-tank mines, for 500 you'll get a remote side-firing anti-tank rocket system.

10 Million land mines isn't really that much. There's about that planted just as as a static denial system between Ethiopia and Eritrea; most developed nations stocked between 2 and 10 million mines before the ban just for "quick-use readiness". Investment would be 100 million US$ tops, including delivery systems.
Uh... Sorry but I'm not believeing that one. .50BMG ammo goes for $5 a shot. The Mk. 82 iron free fall dumb bomb which is essentially explosives wrapped in a case with a explosive primer cost $268.50. A mine that must detect and sink a ship would probably be packing more heat than a 500 pound GPB.
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Old July 8th, 2007   #10
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Uh... Sorry but I'm not believeing that one. .50BMG ammo goes for $5 a shot. The Mk. 82 iron free fall dumb bomb which is essentially explosives wrapped in a case with a explosive primer cost $268.50. A mine that must detect and sink a ship would probably be packing more heat than a 500 pound GPB.
We're talking about the land mines. A anti-personnel land mine consists of like two to four ounces of of wood, plastic or metal in raw materials, a small striker or other fuze, and about a quarter to half an ounce of high explosive at most. Far less raw materials and building cost than, say, a hand grenade - or a .50 BMG round.

I didn't cover sea mines in the above post. Those are a separate thing, and required in far less quantity anyway.
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Old July 8th, 2007   #11
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wrong type of mines there, super61. Kato is talking about landmines for a cordon sanitaire, not the seamines of wich he recomends "plenty" but not 10 million.
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Old July 8th, 2007   #12
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Just a thought

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Originally Posted by Rythm View Post
Scenario: After years of foreign oppression, the Baltic island of Gotland has peacefully declared its independence from the Swedish Crown. The EU isnt pleased, but has choosen not to take action. Sweden on the other hand isnt pleased either, and has made numerous intrusions into Gotlandish airspace and into their territorial waters. A Swedish embargo is in place. Also, Russia has signaled that its first and foremost interest is to secure the area around wich the new gas-pipeline is to be constructed in the baltic sea. This area is, according to the newly elected Gotlandish President, part of the Gotlandish EEZ. The other nordic countries (especially Finland and Denmark) have taken a position of total neutrality in the matter. The Order of the Teutonic Knights (!) have presented a claim on Gotland ranging back to the islands Liberation by them in the 13th century, some German politicians have voiced that Germany should back up these claims.

Area Gotland is an island with a population of about 50000 souls, of wich 15000 are fit for military duty. It is approx. 3000 squarekilometers large and its coasline is 800km. A simple map can be viewed here.

Gotland armed forces Consist of a part-time local defence batalion of about 700 soldiers and a rapid reaction company of about 170 soldiers. The Police also have defence duties and numbers 75 officers. The local denfence batalion has one amphibious company with some older LCPs. The batalion has been motorized since the independence thru the impoundning of a large number of civilian SUVs. The heaviest weapons available is the famous Carl Gustaf grenade laucher, small arms are G3s and FN MAGs with some MP-5s and assorted pistols and hunting rifles. The "Air Force" consist of 8 SAAB 340 and 3 SAAB 2000 Civilian passenger aircraft and 2 civilian Bell Jet Ranger helicopters, all impounded at the airport at independence. The "Navy" consist of 4 civilian RIB, also impounded at independence.

Mission YOU are the new Minister of Defence. Your most important mission is to defend Gotlands national borders, but also to be able to defend Gotland itself for a period of at least 2 weeks. Seeing that Gotland is vastly outnumbered, the government has given you a whooping 20% of the BNP for the first three years, this amounts to 240 million per year or a total of 720 million . Obviously, no Swedish items can be purchased. Only smaller items (such as small arms and civilian vehicles) can be purchased from EU-countries. The Government does not want you to get any russian-made items.

What do you do?
Sounds very similar to a readiness exercise the Swedish Armed Forces had in October last year. I've found that Sweden reacted very fast and sent in units from every single regiment. The military force had everything.

A division of fighters. A few corvettes. Some paras. A mixed battalion on the ground shipped and flown in. Units to board and search suspicious ships.

But the exercise scenario was a bit simplified.
The fictive countries of Mida and Kasuria breached Swedens territorial integrity, the threat level raised and a quick response was needed.
CAS, boardings, taking territory with paras, shot down enemy planes with SAMs, sinking enemy patrol boats and show local strength was some things of what happened in the exercise.
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Old July 8th, 2007   #13
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Maybe we should first analyze what we face.

Our potential enemies are:

Sweden (priority 1)
Primarily a military threat, and the most acute. Pretty much the only thing that we as defence ministry will need to deal with right now, the others are better handled diplomatically for now.

Russia (priority 2)
Primarily an economic-political situation - however, could turn into quick threats if not handled properly, with potential volatile reactions somewhere down the line.

Germany (priority 2)
Realistically, not that much of a problem. Would mostly become a problem in concert with Russia because of the pipeline.


Some amateurish threat analysis:

Aerial threat - Sweden, our primary opponent, has a decent modern airforce with substantial numbers and a networking capability in the air. Considering Gotland has one small airport, and two auxiliary launch/landing strips, countering this in the air is next to hopeless. An offensive posture, even if backed by a hypothetical domestic airforce operating out of Gotland's airspace, would easily be met by an integrated network with fighters and surface-to-air missiles as effectors capable of tracking and intercepting any air movement originating from Gotland within seconds. In a defensive posture, using primarily a domestic air defense network, the enemy capability for anti-radar attacks, lo-lo penetration strikes, and, in particular from the west and north-west, very fast attack solutions would have to be considered in setting up such a network.

Land threat - As an island, Gotland only faces land attacks via two delivery means: naval/amphibious and aerial/airborne. Considering the capabilities of our opponents in this field, any such attack would be infantry-only, backed up by light weapons carriers at most. Even in the event that enemy beachheads are established, our opponents at present do not have the immediate means to deliver heavier supporting hardware to these beachheads (Germany and Russia would have such means given proper mobilization, using reserve or converted vessels, with increased personnel and maintenance supporting the necessary units!). A land-based attack would therefore presumably concentrate on domestic defense and command facilities themselves, with very short timings.

Naval threat - All of our opponents have a credible capability to operate within any of our control zones, even when contested. Further, all opponents maintain fleets specifically built to enforce control within the Baltic Sea, and maintain training for such operations. An active maritime denial setup would need a large ASW and ASuW capability outside potential scope. Other denial methods (mining, missile-based coastal defense, coastal artillery) will need to take into account the large MCM capabilities of our opponents, as well as anti-missile defense capacities of enemy vessels.

Am i somewhat correct so far?
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Old July 9th, 2007   #14
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Maybe we should first analyze what we face.

Our potential enemies are:

Sweden (priority 1)
Primarily a military threat, and the most acute. Pretty much the only thing that we as defence ministry will need to deal with right now, the others are better handled diplomatically for now.

Russia (priority 2)
Primarily an economic-political situation - however, could turn into quick threats if not handled properly, with potential volatile reactions somewhere down the line.

Germany (priority 2)
Realistically, not that much of a problem. Would mostly become a problem in concert with Russia because of the pipeline.


Some amateurish threat analysis:

Aerial threat - Sweden, our primary opponent, has a decent modern airforce with substantial numbers and a networking capability in the air. Considering Gotland has one small airport, and two auxiliary launch/landing strips, countering this in the air is next to hopeless. An offensive posture, even if backed by a hypothetical domestic airforce operating out of Gotland's airspace, would easily be met by an integrated network with fighters and surface-to-air missiles as effectors capable of tracking and intercepting any air movement originating from Gotland within seconds. In a defensive posture, using primarily a domestic air defense network, the enemy capability for anti-radar attacks, lo-lo penetration strikes, and, in particular from the west and north-west, very fast attack solutions would have to be considered in setting up such a network.

Land threat - As an island, Gotland only faces land attacks via two delivery means: naval/amphibious and aerial/airborne. Considering the capabilities of our opponents in this field, any such attack would be infantry-only, backed up by light weapons carriers at most. Even in the event that enemy beachheads are established, our opponents at present do not have the immediate means to deliver heavier supporting hardware to these beachheads (Germany and Russia would have such means given proper mobilization, using reserve or converted vessels, with increased personnel and maintenance supporting the necessary units!). A land-based attack would therefore presumably concentrate on domestic defense and command facilities themselves, with very short timings.

Naval threat - All of our opponents have a credible capability to operate within any of our control zones, even when contested. Further, all opponents maintain fleets specifically built to enforce control within the Baltic Sea, and maintain training for such operations. An active maritime denial setup would need a large ASW and ASuW capability outside potential scope. Other denial methods (mining, missile-based coastal defense, coastal artillery) will need to take into account the large MCM capabilities of our opponents, as well as anti-missile defense capacities of enemy vessels.

Am i somewhat correct so far?
I am inclined to down-play the swedish military threat. One must not forget the pacifist nature of the population and since sweden is a democracy, any military assault would most likely mean loss of power come election-day. And this is not what (most) politicians want.
But for arguments sake ,this is a military forum after all, i agree.
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Old July 9th, 2007   #15
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wrong type of mines there, super61. Kato is talking about landmines for a cordon sanitaire, not the seamines of wich he recomends "plenty" but not 10 million.
Oh,

Sorry, that was some miscommunication. The trouble with landmines is that they can easily be ranover and cleared by EOD vehicals (flail tanks). A normandy style beach assault with armor as the spearhead would easily get under your SAM cover and through your landmines. I'd suggest some mobile Exocet missle launchers. Then, assuming everything did it's job, you SHOULD be able to put up quite a fight. This anti-ship missle ability is also vital in protecting the supply to your island, keeping the sea lanes free of swedish naval vessels (With the exception of submarines, speaking of which ASW is very expensive, and you might not be able to afford it)
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