Defence for 2015 and Beyond – Part 5 A Southern or Middle Eastern Threat

A series of guest posts from AndyC

In the Mediterranean the UK maintains a permanent presence on Cyprus and Gibraltar and there are two Infantry Battalions based on the former.

RAF Akrotiri would provide an operating base for up to three swing-role fighter squadrons, ISTAR, AWACS and aerial tankers.

British forces do not have adequate access to bases for the deployment of anything more than a Brigade, their helicopters and transport aircraft in addition to an Expeditionary Air Wing.  As a result we would have to rely on allies to provide air bases where troops can be deployed and supported.

The Royal Marines could deploy with a full naval task force.  In this planning scenario one of the QE carriers would operate three F-35B Squadrons – one would be a Naval Air Squadron for fleet air defence/anti-shipping and two would be RAF Squadrons primarily for CAS/SEAD and land strike.

The second QE carrier would operate one Naval Air Squadron of F-35Bs for fleet air defence/anti-shipping but would primarily operate Merlin naval medium lift helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters.  This carrier would support the Royal Navy’s full amphibious forces.

Long distance support for the naval task force would also be provided by Maritime Patrol Aircraft with the assistance of A330 Voyager aerial tankers.

Altogether the UK would be contributing over 90 swing-role fighters to support the 900+ combat aircraft available to southern European NATO air forces.

Together with France, Italy and Spain, European NATO countries would be able to deploy a total of five aircraft carriers and four amphibious groups.

Mediterranean Operations
Mediterranean Operations

Mediterranean Operations – the white areas could be covered by Typhoons operating from Gibraltar, Sicily or Cyprus and the blue could be covered by carrier based F-35Bs.

To provide minimum effective land and naval task forces requires:

  • At least 1 Division strength unit made up from Special Forces, the Air Assault Brigade, Royal Marines Commandos and 1 Armoured Infantry Brigade plus the 2 Infantry Battalions based on Cyprus
  • 2 Apache AH Regiments
  • 1 Wildcat AH Regiment and 1 Wildcat Marines AH Squadron
  • 1 C-17 Globemaster Squadron
  • 3 A400MC Atlas Squadrons
  • 2 A330MRTT Voyager Squadrons
  • 3 Chinook HC Squadrons
  • 2 Puma HC Squadrons
  • 3 Merlin HC Squadrons
  • 3 swing-role fighter Squadrons
  • 1 E-3 Sentry AWACS Squadron
  • 5 ISTAR Squadrons
  • 1 Maritime Patrol Squadron
  • 2 QE aircraft carriers
  • 4 F-35B Squadrons – 2 fleet air defence/anti-shipping and 2 CAS/SEAD/land strike
  • 2 amphibious transport docks
  • 3 landing ships
  • 9 destroyers/frigates
  • 3 Merlin HM/AEW Squadrons and
  • 2 Wildcat HMA Squadrons.

This would clearly be an international operation in partnership with other NATO members.  Regular training with southern NATO forces would greatly aid the effectiveness, co-operation and inter-operability of all combat forces.  In particular joint operations with local air forces, French, Italian and Spanish aircraft carriers and amphibious groups should be a high priority.

In this region Italy, Turkey and Spain are currently modernising their air forces with F-35 and Typhoon fighters.  Unfortunately Greece has not been able to do this and still operates 70 older F-4s and A-7s.  We should work with the German government to find a way of providing the Greek Air Force with the necessary finance to replace these aircraft with Eurofighter Typhoons which would strengthen NATO’s southern defences.

 

The rest of the series

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Defence of the United Kingdom

Part 3 – Other Sovereign Territories

Part 4 – NATO

Part 5 – A Southern or Middle Eastern Threat

Part 6 – An Eastern and Northern Threat

Part 7 – Global Intervention

Part 8 – British Army 2025

Part 9 – Royal Navy 2025

Part 10 – Royal Air Force 2025

Part 11 – Conclusion

 

 

 

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Peter Elliott
July 12, 2014 4:49 pm

For either this page or the NATO operation we should mention the requirement for Mine Counter Measures and Expedtionary Delivered Port Infrastucture.

If we put any kind of serious Army ashore (like anything Brigade scale or bigger) the we will need a port somewhere to sustain it from. That means clearing, repairing or improving what could an incomplete, damaged, too small or plain non exisitant facility.

UK already has some very specialist world leading kit for MCM. You could argue that for a serious expeditionary scenraio we need some EDPI derrived from the Oil and Gas industry experise. Especially in a coalition op where any extant ports are liable to be in very high demand by our allies.

John Hartley
John Hartley
July 12, 2014 4:54 pm

I see the Japanese defence minister has visited the USA & wants to buy 17 V-22 for Japan. He also toured a USMC Assault Carrier & said Japan needed something like that to defend outlying islands.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 12, 2014 7:37 pm

A couple of rusting car ferries bound from Egypt to Turkey (for refit) turn left opposite Rhodes, go ashore in the medieval harbour at midnight and disgorge 100 Jihadi Technicals and about a dozen transit vans packed with explosives; about a third of the force occupy the great walls of Rhodes Town (from which the bridgehead can be defended, and the population of the town subdued). The transit vans are used to blast public buildings, junctions and bridges.

The main body commandeer half a dozen buses from the bus station just outside the Mandraki Gate and drive fifteen klicks south to Faliraki Beach. By dawn they are loading buses full of hysterical North European teenage slave-girls back onto ferries full of explosives and transmitting events live to the Web…the burning remains of Falaraki are awash with blood, all those who resisted and all the men who were caught having been summarily executed… :-)

What do we do now? Answers on a postcard please. I need a few more chapters..! :-)

Plot copyright GNB 2014.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
July 12, 2014 7:42 pm

What do we do now?

Trident or Thermobaric air burst from HMS Vanguard or Eurofighter? :-)

as
as
July 12, 2014 8:12 pm

With Greece, if they are unable to provide a modernised Fighter force for QRA should not NATO provide cover like it does with its Baltic Air Policing flights? As oppose to subsidising the sale of the aircraft.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 5:16 pm

@Andy C

Are the Greeks not planning on upgrading all of their 100 plus F16 to Block 52+ standard which should keep them relevant for some time?

x
x
July 13, 2014 5:35 pm

@ GNB re Transit vans

You don’t think that is why Ford actually closed its Southampton plant do you and moved production to Turkey? Part of a vast conspiracy by the CIA to drive up European defence spending, keep our economies weak, and churn money back to the US hopefully shoring up the floundering US Dollar do you? Wow. ;)

One day soon some group is going to try to pull a Bombay style attack in the Mediterranean, only a matter of time.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 5:46 pm

@X
A Mumbai style attack with a couple of Rhibs from a tramp steamer, definitely a possibility. 2 ferries on a route that has virtually no ferries, offloading the amount of vehicles GNB talks about, very little chance.
It is about intel and secrecy in planning and then appearing normal whilst carrying it out. The larger the attack the more difficult it is to appear normal and conform with the pattern of life.
Remember there is still an active anti terrorist operation in the Med in the form of Op Active Endeavour which continually gathers and shares intel on possible terrorist activity, studies POl and runs surveillance as well.

So whilst it would be a possibility in my opinion it would have to be kept small and simple to maintain OPSEC and there are still easier targets out there.

Simon257
Simon257
July 13, 2014 5:47 pm

@ APATS
Sorry not much of a link, but apparently BAE are discussing An F-16 upgrade with the Greek Government:
http://www.defensedaily.com/bae-systems-greece-discussing-f-16-upgrades/

@ X
Franky I’m surprised it hasn’t happen yet!

x
x
July 13, 2014 6:13 pm

@ APATS

Yes. As important as the RN presence is in the Gulf I do wonder if this “ISIS/L, Arab Spring, II” business gets worse that the RN will be needed more in the Mediterranean. Would hate to think that situation degrades further over the next decade. I wonder how far the Italian services are off not coping? I can’t see the situation improving. Perhaps it is a bit of a cliché but it really is the soft underbelly. It doesn’t sound good but the security apparatus of those disposed regimes in a way was our first line of defence.

@ Simon 257

Yes. But what does it say about situation here? We have these youngster running off to fight in the Middle East. Then there are those “tales” of fighters going to Afghanistan and then after campaigning season returning home to the UK Hasn’t the UK not just fought a war supposedly to stop Afghanistan being used as a base for terrorism? Yet it seems the UK is just that a base for terrorism. I think there is different dynamic to mass suicide bombing than a mass shooting at a mall. I don’t think it would serve greater aims to upset the authorities and peoples in this safe haven. Makes me wonder how much of a handle MI5 and Special Branch have on the situation. And how convenient is the cover provided by certain sections of the chattering right on political classes? What trouble is there in store here if the situation abroad changes?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 6:35 pm

@X
I am not sure there is a conventional defence against such an attack in the traditional sense. The Greeks and indeed the Turks maintain quite an impressive level of patrols both by SSKs aircraft and Corvettes/Missile boats in the AOR. All of which would be capable of terminating the “mother ship” very easily however you need the intel. Otherwise you are talking about a huge increase in force levels.
The maritime blockade of Libya took 8-10 on task escorts, backed up by MPA, 24/7 AWACS,occasional Skasac from Ocean, a submarine presence, continual updates in Notice to mariners, massive liaison with civilian shipping companies and a 400% increase in MOC manning in Naples.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 13, 2014 6:42 pm

@apats – take your point about ferries, although as far as I can recall there are actually a fair few between the various Dodecanese Islands, and between some of those Islands and Turkey (150 sailings a week from Rhodes alone)…if you could get hold of a couple would they attract a lot of attention in the crowd if ostensibly en route either for refit or scrapping, especially if they conducted themselves professionally for as long as possible? Some of the terrorist operations are now very well funded, so presumably a genuine purchase would not be inconceivable…and as you say, the more of the planning appears legitimate the easier it is for the exercise to stay under the radar…not saying it would be easy, but then nor was hijacking four jets…and these groups are now becoming remarkably ambitious…

Certainly, if detected before the attack it could readily be stopped…but if you could COULD get big numbers of hostages aboard on the Web, with the scuttling charges in the top left hand corner of the screen it would have a hell of an impact…well worth the cost and complexity I’d say.

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 6:51 pm

@GNB

Yes but in your scenario the ferry started in Egypt :) There is little ferry traffic between Egypt and Turkey and onloading hundreds of “jihadist technicals” in a NATO country is a bit of a waste as if you are already there just start killing infidels and doing it in these countries is just a tad more difficult than it would even be in Egypt which would be anything but easy.
I cannot really go into details on “shipping intel” or Active Endeavour briefs but suffice to say there is a dedicated NATO anti terrorist mission in the Med with a dedicate intel section who share with other agencies. US 6th Fleet keeps a weather eye on things as well and lots of them have read books as well.
The issue is that there is no cost and force effective conventional defence, so you are reliant on ongoing intelligence based operations, surge and presence ops as well as observance of POL.
Let me just finish by saying that the terrorist affect of a couple of people detonating themselves in a busy Med Irish bar is just as good much more easily achieved and far more of a worry.

x
x
July 13, 2014 7:37 pm

@ APATS

Yes the Libyan effort was immense. Imagine if Europe had to do that 24/7 indefinitely across North Africa even at 50% of the level of surveillance.

The Italians asked for help from the EU on June 20th and on paper they have large(-ish) maritime “police” capability……..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardia_di_Finanza

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_the_Port_Captaincies_%E2%80%93_Coast_Guard#Tasks

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 8:08 pm

@X

The Italians want the EU to take over the running of their “Mare Nostrum” op which is specifically targeted at migrants. It has only been running since Dec 2013 but has stretched the Italians to their limit. Their operational mar police capability is not quite as good as it is on paper.
Malta is also very involved and far more difficult to deal with not being a NATO member.

“Yes the Libyan effort was immense. Imagine if Europe had to do that 24/7 indefinitely across North Africa even at 50% of the level of surveillance.”

We could not do so in a traditional method, what you would have to do would be to set up some offshore platforms, like big rigs that you could fly helos, launch inspections from and make reporting points. then use something like Global hawk to establish permanent surveillance orbits, then back that up with FF/DD and SSK ops.

Then establish a level of clearance whereby certain vessels would follow certain protocols from those that exist now all the way up to physically being inspected at one of my “platforms”,

x
x
July 13, 2014 8:41 pm

By saying “imagine if” I was implying that it couldn’t be done.

I never know how to judge European policing. It is hard for me to fathom huge border police forces, specialist riot police organisations, and they can be actively “political” too.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 13, 2014 9:42 pm

@apats – I’ve scrubbed Egypt; I’m now thinking that with that number of weekly sailings from one harbour (albeit the largest in the Dodecanese) there must be a considerable number of ferries about across Greece and Turkey, and a lively second-hand market…so if somebody from the developing world wanted to pick up a couple, that might well be plausible…might even look at the less scrupulous end of the market and try to give the impression he was up to no good (of the insurance scam kind) to allay suspicion of worse misdeeds.

I’m still working on the legitimate back-story to put it off Rhodes towards midnight one July night, and getting the war-load aboard is certainly a puzzle…perhaps making a virtue of necessity by shipping a load of second-hand commercial vehicles on the outward voyage? But getting arms, ammunition, fuel and personnel aboard in bulk is certainly a puzzle; a deck cargo of containers maybe?

Still, even an airport novel needs decent research, so I’ll stick with it… :-)

GNB

The Other Chris
July 13, 2014 9:44 pm

@GNB

When did the Ferry last undergo extended maintenance/refit and who had access to it?…

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 9:50 pm

@GNB

“might even look at the less scrupulous end of the market and try to give the impression he was up to no good (of the insurance scam kind) to allay suspicion of worse misdeeds.”

That would make it a Vessel of Collection Interest and it would remain there until final disposal, once you become a VOCI you get a whole host of extra interest and measures.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 13, 2014 10:22 pm

@apats – got to look squeaky clean then, but I’m liking the incidental export load of pick-ups quite a lot. And on one point we do differ…leaving the burning ruins and bloodstained streets of Faliraki with several bus-loads of teenage slaves from Northern Europe, snatched straight from the post-exam bacchanal is a much bigger and more resonant statement in every way than bombing a beach-side bar…not least because of the way it will play on Youtube to all those embittered young would-be jihadists in Swansea, Stockholm and Stuttgart…and their increasingly uneasy classmates. Can you think of a better way to bring the war home than producing the photographic evidence that my cousin has indeed “married” your sister in some dusty Syrian shit-hole? In a black sack and matching shackles?

@TOC – that’s a very thought provoking question…purchase ferries and refit somewhere quiet and old fashioned on the Black Sea Coast of Turkey? Build up a cargo of pick-ups as we head South, all bought fair and square? Who’d notice four here and five there going aboard without fuss or bother? :-)

There must be a shipping container possibility as well…

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 10:35 pm

@GNB

Got to buy 2 ferries and load them with your kit and sail them against the POL against an organisation that role plays this exact scenario all the time and has specific intel from multiple agencies designed to combat it. We have a saying and that is the “enemy gets a vote too”. Tom Clancy readers like to think we are as stupid as portrayed in his books or as brilliant as we are allowed to be in the end, both total BS.

” And on one point we do differ…leaving the burning ruins and bloodstained streets of Faliraki with several bus-loads of teenage slaves from Northern Europe, snatched straight from the post-exam bacchanal is a much bigger and more resonant statement in every way than bombing a beach-side bar…not least because of the way it will play on Youtube to all those embittered young would-be jihadists in Swansea, Stockholm and Stuttgart…and their increasingly uneasy classmates. Can you think of a better way to bring the war home than producing the photographic evidence that my cousin has indeed “married” your sister in some dusty Syrian shit-hole? In a black sack and matching shackles?”

Nope because that would not happen, what would happen is a visit from some very dead terrorists as the SF may or may not nsave the hostages but they are going to kill the Tangoes.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 13, 2014 11:03 pm

“The SF may or may not save the hostages, but they will kill the tangoes”…don’t for a moment doubt they could, but it would be a remarkably brave Government that gave the order to go ahead with the whole thing being streamed on the web…are our Government that brave? You clearly think so, I’m not so confident…and are we monitoring all second or third hand ship purchases quite so exactly? Would we spot a developing world entrepreneur buying pick-ups in threes and fours for export? You tell me…

I take your point on Tom Clancy though…not least because in real life the good guys sometimes lose, however good they are in both senses of the word. His version of 9/11 or indeed current ISIS successes would be very different to the reality; I’m not sure yet if my ferry pirates can get away with it yet, and if so how, but I’m thinking more in terms of Western overstretch and an underlying white noise of possible threats rather than incompetence at the beginning – and an exploration of the art of the possible rather than improbable heroics at the end.

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 13, 2014 11:12 pm

@GNB

Believe or not we do not sit around all day fulfilling you incompetency levels, dedicated intel from from numerous NATO Nations guarding against exactly the sort of scenario you describe.

You love to dream up scenarios to pass your time and that is fair enough but unlike Clancy you will be challenged on assumptions made through pure ignorance.

Think Defence
Admin
July 13, 2014 11:29 pm

9/11 caught the Intel professionals by surprise

Mumbai caught the Intel professionals by surprise

The Falklands caught the Intel professionals by surprise

Need I go on ?

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 13, 2014 11:30 pm

@apats – unfair – never suggested anyone was incompetent, and do this in passing when not busy elsewhere: are you saying things never get missed, misjudgements are never made, the unexpected never happens, if we have thought of it and gamed it out to prove it wouldn’t work it won’t work?

Presumably a good few people were trying to make sure nothing like 9/11 or 7/7 ever happened? That ISIS couldn’t build a proto-state on the Iraq/Syria Border? That Libya would settle down into normal jogging? that Boko Haram wouldn’t kidnap a couple of hundred school-girls?

All still happened though…are you telling me that the good guys have got a clear view of everybody currently purchasing an elderly car-ferry somewhere in the Eastern Med or Black Sea? Or all the various people who might be buying pick-ups in threes and fours “for export”? All the crowds of young lads hanging out looking harmless in Greek or Turkish coastal areas here and there? All the beaten-up small ships at sea conducting what looks like their normal activities?

If you prefer not to get involved in exchanges with me then leave it alone…no reason at all to start getting wound up…and especially not by taking offence at things I have neither said nor implied…

@TD – cheers boss.

GNB

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 13, 2014 11:45 pm

9/11 was incompetence, plenty of leads, but the loose ends never got tied up
– the response , not to mention what has been happening anywhere near the M. East , gave us a surveillance state that F Kafka would have been proud of (to be able to weave into his stories, don’t mean that it would have been his “target state”)

Mumbai really was a surprise, look at the investment that is going into India’s coastal surveillance systems now

Falklands? Wasn’t the intel left to the Foreign Office? How could we ever seriously think of a nation that we built the railways for, that is the second most serious nation about horse polo and plays rugby… to go to war with us? Seriously, dear old boy, you don’t say…?

Observer
Observer
July 14, 2014 3:35 am

ACC, I think that all the post 9/11 chest beating and 20/20 hindsight were simply fault finding and blame pushing. In a country that big, you’ll get hundreds if not thousands of “hits” daily with most of them turning out to be nothing. Sure, there were “signs”, but the “signs” were hidden among hundreds of similar “signs”. It’s like saying “there are terrorists wearing blue today”. The value of the information is buried too deep among too much chaff.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 14, 2014 6:07 am

APATS, I am sure your description is close to the truth. But look at what these things cost. Not counting SOCOM nor Homeland defence, the US intel budget is the ssme as our entire defence budget.

Do we know what the UK spends? I only pick the US figures, bcz they are easy to come by.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 14, 2014 6:10 am

Oops, it was Observer’s comment I was responding to
…another cup of coffee bfr doing anything more, need to be awake

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
July 14, 2014 7:33 am

I would actually say the despite its problems the Greeks have done remarkably well upgrading their air force. They have 7 squadrons of F-16 with plans to bring their Block 30 airframes up to Block 50. In fact the Greek F-16 fleet is one of the most modern flying with 4 squadrons flying the Block 52+. They also operate two squadrons of Mirage 2000 of which one has been upgraded to 2000-5 Mk2 standard and the second could also be similarly upgraded. The two squadrons of F-4s have been upgraded in an similar manner to the German ICE programme making them still effective platforms and the A-7, though only operated now by a single squadrons is remarkably useful still.

On the whole the NATO air forces on its southern flank are both numerous and capable. There are specialised area which some lack mainly in AAR and ISTAR but these can be alleviated by other NATO contingents and the southern nations themselves who are making efforts to fill these holes. The same applies to ground forces, in fact it is here that NATO has the greatest manpower, especially with regards to Turkey.

As for expeditionary operations in the Middle East, we have to seriously look at what the threats are. Few is any countries in the region can take on a NATO force in conventional warfare and this is likely to continue into the future. I am not saying all conflict will be COIN but they will involve a large amount of urban operations and we will need the ability to move rapidly over large distances in theatre to respond to threats as they arise. Given that these style of operations are usually persistent or evolve as such, any commitment of UK farces need to be carefully thought out. There are other players in the regions just as or almost as capable both inside or outside of NATO who could do the job in the region and should therefore bear the responsibility for doing so. Any UK commitment should really be limited to niche capabilities.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 14, 2014 7:44 am

@LJ, good to give credit when credit is due.

On debits and credits, the Greeks actually are paying for their Mirages (“They also operate two squadrons of Mirage 2000 of which one has been upgraded to 2000-5 Mk2 standard and the second could also be similarly upgraded.”) through an amazing 50-year finance & counter-trade (barter) package that includes tobacco, nuclear powerplants…
– all the rest can be counted as gifted through the EU rescue finance?

After the good news, the sad thing is that (if memory serves) one of the 4 NATO nations, just referred to by our PM, that meet the NATO 2% threshold is Greece… to counter another NATO member.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 14, 2014 8:50 am

@TD

Mumbai the Falklands and 9/11 all had 2 things in common.

1. They were original.
2. They had no dedicated op being run in specific opposition.

If you go back through my posts you will see I acknowledge that another Mumbai or simpler would be difficult to detect or stop. GNB fantasy invasion less so.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 14, 2014 10:58 am

@apats – “Fantasy large hostage taking raid of very limited duration (6 hours, possibly less) with a very specific target (a street full of bars twenty minutes drive away from landing) and a readily secured entry/exit point (complete circuit of massive walls overlooking harbour, dominating town inside and out) and no significant military presence (an SAR helicopter at the airport some policemen) delivered so far as possible without warning, and where a quick reaction by fast jet might well be wildly inappropriate (hostages, remember)”…

Never said anything about an invasion, never claimed it be anything but an intellectual game and possible airport novel plot…on a recreational although informative and thoughtful site; why get so arsey, especially about things I didn’t actually say? If you don’t want to play, don’t join in… :-(

GNB

Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
July 14, 2014 11:15 am

@GNB, look forward to reading the Novel. Maybe you could use APATS as a supporting character in the “seriously grumpy, British Intel. Officer” mode. My vote for playing him in the movie adaptation would be John Hurt (!) :-D

monkey
monkey
July 14, 2014 12:04 pm

@GNB
I was planning a trip to Rhodes (as we could have popped over to Turkey as well as she has been to neither) . I am rethinking it now … nah what ever ….
I have read the comments after yours and still think it credible , me I would just hire the vehicles on Rhodes (a drivers licence from Brum or Stuttgart will do) and arm/load up on landing a container load of kit (less than 24t per ISO as that’s the port crane limit ) from a little coaster. It can’t take that long to load a transit with 500kg of HE or weld/bolt a HMG to a jeep/pick up roll bar.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 14, 2014 1:09 pm

@Monkey – Great spot, and do if you can take a look at the Grand Master’s Fortress/Palace and walk the walls (might only be open once or twice a week, so worth checking)….the first was extensively refurbished for Il Duce during the Italian Occupation in the thirties, so is an extraordinary example of “Fascist Gothic”…the walls are much less changed, and are a near complete sixteenth century circuit built by the Knights of Saint John and subsequently maintained by the Ottomans. If you do visit, you will see what I mean about how readily they could be used to secure both the Town and the Harbour until somebody could organise artillery or air-strikes. If there at midnight, how quiet it gets on the seaward side of the old town.

If you take a walk down the main street in Falaraki at two in the morning, you will see how quickly and easily a few buses could be filled with hostages in no fit condition to resist at about that time.

On your alternative plan, if you wanted to shoot the place up it would work like a dream…but you need a getaway boat with the engines running and an internet feed if you hope to get away with enough hostages streamed live to the Web to give the authorities pause before sinking you from the air…as you make a run for the Turkish coast; where the mountains drop straight into the sea providing anchorages with no landward access…allegedly there is one spot where we parked up our destroyers during the Great War and the Turks never found them…

GNB

monkey
monkey
July 14, 2014 1:23 pm

@GNB
Thanks for the info on what to see :-)
Re Getaway and hostages
I bet there is at any one time a dozen super yachts(full of satellite communication gear ) in the Marina with their high value occupants and a half dozen speed boats (hired for the occasion) could secure some and distract the Authorities from those that ‘matter’ and those that ‘don’t matter’.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 14, 2014 2:00 pm

@Monkey…certainly moored up cruise ships…I’m definitely warming to this theme…

Enjoy your trip…great little place; Rhodes Old Town is spectacular (as is Falaraki in a very different way!) :-)

GNB

George
George
July 16, 2014 6:15 am

@GNB Thanks for your scenario. Off to Rhodes in a few weeks and the wife was already having misgivings!!!

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 16, 2014 10:16 pm

@George…blimey…you let your wife know you read this site! You must be a brave man…certainly brave enough to take the risk and enjoy the trip; if you decide to take a look at the great stone City of the Knights (and you should) keep your eyes open for @monkey (as well as random rusty ferries). :-)

GNB

George
George
July 18, 2014 3:19 pm

Thanks GNB!

Last went there in mid 90s and visited the old town as well as terme kalithea (I think?), but will be revisiting this time as well.
Maybe Monkey and I can walk round mandraki with a FT under our arm to spot each other!!

I will be watching the seas too…,

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 18, 2014 10:24 pm

– Perhaps TD could design and market a club tie? ; only to be worn with Red Trousers, and a morose and quarrelsome expression…I’d suggest something in dark blue, mid blue and green but I bet it’s been done…

GNB

Simon257
Simon257
July 18, 2014 10:39 pm