NationStates Jolt Archive

Plan-22 The Great Border War

17-06-2004, 21:53
Origins of Border Conflict:

In 2005 Robert Mugabe’s regime was overthrown by the UN by force, after seeing the dreadful aftermath of the invasion of Iraq they pulled out immediately leaving the country in chaos. A radical communist government came to power and brought control to the country through fear and violence. By early 2006 the government had secured power and began to turn the countries economy around, this was a very good thing for the whole of Southern Africa until South African intelligence services stole documents indicating the profits would be poured into the armed forces and an imperialistic take over of bordering countries was being planned. The Prime Minister of South Africa Sir Andrew Burke (Earl of Natal) became extremely concerned and warned other countries who refused to believe the documents. In late 2006 the PM asked Lord Essex (the defence minister) to draw up contingency plans for a deployment to the border. Field Marshall Sir Alex Picton, Chief of Army Staff was told to draw up the plan with the assistance of Marshall of the Air Force Sir Henry Smith who would do the Air Force part. The plan they came up with would become known as ‘Plan 22’. On January 13th 2007 Tornado R.4’s took photos of newly delivered MiG-29’s from Russia, by the end of February 48 of these powerful fighters where in Zimbabwean hands and fully operational. This posed a threat to the security of SA and other African countries; this was soon exposed as the communist leader Heath Ganga announced a policy of aggressive defence. Plan 22 was put into action on May 8th 15 months after its creation, 3 Rifles Corps was deployed to the border inside 7 days and the border sealed inside 10 days. 2nd Fighter Group deployed to the civilian airfield outside Messina and began CAP missions over the border. The other phase of the plan was the most successful, all known Zimbabwean agents where arrested and put in military prison for questioning. By May 20th the situation was critical Zimbabwean MiG-29’s raided Botswanan airfields and destroyed their air force before it had got off the ground, leaving the country defenceless to Ganga’s aggression.

This is the story of the great South African-Zimbabwean Border War, May 20th-November 1st.

Cape Town, 20th May, 18.00hrs

The War Cabinet had gone in to an emergency session; the crisis was now becoming a major world event. Envoys from the UK and the US had visited the PM’s residence during the day following the Zimbabwean Air Force raid. They both stated their willingness to support any attempt to change the government but because of the current political condition they could not offer any military help.

‘Good evening gentlemen, today we have seen an escalation in the current affairs of Southern Africa. Ganga has finally put his imperialistic scheme into action and knocked out one of our staunchest allies.’ The PM was straight and to the point

‘Military Intelligence indicates that a further strike is likely, into Botswana or an incursion into our own territory. With no air cover the Botswanan’s don’t stand a chance against the Zimbabwean Army.’ Sir John Adams, Chief of Defence Staff summed up the possible routes the Zimbabweans could take.

‘Do we know what status their air force is at?’ Lord Essex asked

‘They currently have 48 MiG-29’s operational, 104 MiG-23’s, 54 Su-25’s and 16 Tu-22’s. These are all on high alert and intelligence intercepts indicate that they can buy huge amounts of planes from Russia if needs be.’ Marshall of the Air Force Smith read out the file.

‘Ok, what do we have that can deploy rapidly to support the 2nd Fighter Group?’ Burke commanded

‘The 19th Fighter Group is on exercises, they can be deployed inside a week. They have 60 EF-2000 Typhoons supported by the normal recon and electronic warfare planes’ Smith said and then continued ‘That will bring us to about equal combat strength, other air force units in the area is the 7th Transport Group which has 24 AM400’s and 36 C-130’s’

‘Do we have any airborne troops in Messina?’ Lord Essex asked

‘No, but the 1st Light Infantry Division is capable of being dropped by Parachute. They are 3 Rifle Corps reserve, but they can probably spare a combat brigade if a drop is needed’ Sir Alex Picton answered.

‘We will wait for developments, if any Zimbabwean planes come within 5 miles of the border they are to be shot down after a warning. Prepare the Rifle Divisions for combat I have a feeling they are going to see some’ The PM concluded and then walked to the door followed by two aides.

SA-ZIM border, May 22nd, 12.00hrs

‘Alpha 2 we have 4 contacts bearing 180 degrees at 500knts, range 20 miles’ the ground controllers voice was crisp over the Typhoons new radio

‘Roger, vectoring to intercept’ the lead Typhoon rolled left followed by his 3 wingman

‘Range 18 miles and closing’ the radar operator told the pilots

‘Zimbabwean Jet you are on a course which will infringe South African airspace in 4 minutes, turn around’ there was no reply from the bogies and they continued on their course that would take them into SA.

‘This is your last warning, turn around or face the consequences of your actions’ still no reply, the pilot could now identify the planes as the elderly MiG-23’s. The gap was only 10 miles and was closing at a mile a second.

‘They aren’t turning around, prepare weapons for combat’ the lead pilot ordered

‘Weapons armed’ came the call from his 3 wingman,

‘Alpha Flight you are free to engage I repeat you are free to engage targets’ the ground controller said excitedly over the radio.

‘Roger, Alpha flight engaging’ the pilot turned on the AIM-9L’s heat seeking warhead, immediately the dull hum could be heard of the missile locking its target.

‘Fox-1 away’ screamed the pilot, followed by the rest of flight reporting their launches.

4 missiles careened to their targets making minute adjustments as the planes came closer, the Zimbabwean planes did not see the missiles until they where a mile off. They broke left and right confusing 1 missile that went straight ahead and exploded off into the distance. The other 3 missiles stalked their prey and when they reached a 30m range they exploded shredding the planes and the pilots inside them. The last Zimbabwean jet dove to the floor and did a tight turn and switched on afterburner.

‘Remaining bogie 12 miles 100ft’ came the voice of the operator

‘Firing Dog-1’ the big AMRAAM missile rocketed off its station and quickly accelerated to Mach 3. It chased down the MiG and inevitably the two blips on the screen merged and then disappeared as the plane plunged to earth engulfed by a fireball.

‘All bandits down, returning to base’ reported the lead pilot and the flight wheeled around.

Cape Town, 20.00hrs

‘Today South African Fighter jets engaged and destroyed 4 MiG-23’s of the Zimbabwean Air Force, they refused to turn back after repeated instructions to do so. When they came within 2 miles of the border and the engagement order was given. The flight of 4 Typhoons then shot 4 sidewinder air-air missiles at the targets, 3 hit and killed 3 bogies. The remaining jet sped for home but was intercepted and shot down by a AMRAAM missile, no survivors from any jets.’ Smiths voice was controlled as he made the report but inside he was in turmoil, had his air force just plunged South Africa into war?

The PM spoke next ‘Thank you for the full report; it puts us in a difficult position. Ganga will claim we started the whole thing and will retaliate under that impression. The world will believe him for a while until we have proved that his jets strayed into our airspace. What I want to know is where he will strike next?’

Sir John Adams was first to speak‘Botswana, I’m sure of it. Their border is defended by 2 second rate infantry divisions that will be rolled over by even one of Ganga’s armoured divisions which have been equipped with the T-90 MBT in arms deals with the Russians. They could also try and destroy our planes on the ground in Messina by a massed air strike like they did with the Botswanan’s. I believe we would be able to fend off such a blow but with a heavy cost in planes.’

‘What could we do to defend Botswana?’ the Earl of Natal asked his cabinet

Picton outlined his plan ‘Drop a brigade of the 1st Light Infantry onto the border to strengthen positions and boost the morale of Botswanan troops. They would be able to stall an invasion for a couple of days giving us time to move armour through Botswana and to the border.’

‘I want to be able to respond to any threat posed to the security of this country and her neighbours now do it.’ Burke stood and left mumbling to his aides about a call to Botswana’s President

Botswana-Zimbabwe border, 25th May, 06.00hrs

The Zimbabwean 5th Corps rolled over the border, consisting of 2 Armoured Divisions and 2 Mechanised Divisions the force was far too powerful for the Botswanans to stop. Inside the first 6hrs the Botswanans suffered 3,000 casualties and Zimbabwean armoured spearheads had penetrated 60 miles into the country and routed both Infantry Divisions. Zimbabwean planes had bombed command and control bases as well as targeting power supplies to the border towns.

By midnight there would be a salient 100 miles deep and 60 miles wide into Botswana. The Botswana Armed Forces had lost 2,000 dead and 8,000 wounded while Zimbabwean casualties amounted to 300 dead and 1,800 wounded with the loss of a dozen planes to AA fire. The South African 1st Armoured Corps had been travelling for 12 hours and was now only 70 miles away from the fragile frontline defended by 6 battered Botswanan Infantry Divisions. Nothing had happened along the SA-ZIM border, troops along each side stared pensively across the border knowing it was about to erupt.
17-06-2004, 22:04
OOC:Err, this is kinda an unconventional rp, but just so you know, I do control Zimbabwe...