THE Finnish weekly, “Suomen kuvalehti”, ran an article concerning scenarios that might play out in the Baltic region in near future. One esteemed blogger colleague translated it into English. You can read it from HERE Courtesy of Disiplescientist. I wrote a bit of something concerning scenario 1. last week, but as I felt that scenario concerning Gotland might be of interest on both sides of Bothnian gulf, I decided to tax my mental faculties in English, again.
I think the invasion of Gotland gig has been done to death in Swedish SäkPol community, so I try to go lightly on it, and try to play the game considering Finnish and Russian interests.
So game opens as Sweden is deep in unthinkable and to be avoided: a war with Russia.
Firstly Swedish government has two fold problem: “terrorists”, but much more likely Special Forces acting within realm and possibly acting as catalyst for real or imagined grievances of Sweden’s size able Islamic community. Larger problem: a real shooting war with the Russians at the Baltic waters and Gotland. So it is time to get into war footing ASAP. Get your allies where you can, and try to find a way to get fighting into Gotland and preferably Baltic sea and Kaliningrad oblast. Also there needs to be intelligence assets on Island to make timely and informed decisions about measures taken. NATO offers use of their orbital assets for the swedes. This hepls somewhat. NATO is however, at this point, unwilling to commit danish or Norvegian special forces into the help given. Finland allows “volunteers” to take part.
Presence of S-400 systems in Gotland is not as bad as it first seems, as it is rather hard to shoot down an fighter plane with Surface to Air missile. Only about 5% hit probability on maneuvering targets. Some big transports and passenger planes qualify as “non maneuvering” and are thus in real danger of being shot down with aforementioned system. BUT it will still make Air support of invasion more problematic.
First order of things for swedes is to stop reinforcements from arriving into Gotland. So Submarines start to patrol Baltic between Kaliningrad and Gotland Baltic fleet is mainly confined into the shallow coastal waters, but hovercrafts manage to make dashes to and fro between Kaliningrad and Gotland.
In mainland Sweden SäPö and authorities start vigorously hunt down ISA, and manage to cut down the terrorist incidents. Muslim communities are a bit wary, but in the end gladly sell out the ISA supporters and their handlers, who are revealed to be GRU operatives. This quiets the mainland and leaves Sweden able to start focusing on issue of Gotland.
As there is no possibility of making island-hopping campaign from mainland to Gotland, it will have to be a single bigger push. Submarines start inserting even more SF teams into the Gotland to coordinate local resistance and to supply intelligence and make sabotage on Russian troops and installations. This leads to strict reprisals from the local Russian commander, and He has the civilians transported to concentration camps in islands middle.
This makes SF teams work a bit harder, but does not prohibit it. It also leaves area open to raids done by SF elemets against patrolling Russian forces. This forces Russians to patrol less frequently and in larger teams.
Finland decides to act according EU Lissbon treaty and give thanks for assistance given in 1939, and offers help to Sweden. Forces as such are not offered, but special forces and Air force mechanic reservists and regulars are encouraged to volunteer to work in Sweden. Also Guard companies are offered to help guarding the port and Airport facilities, and thus freeing Swedish troops into more pressing matters. As reprisals from Russians are to be expected, Finland calls in two mechanized combat groups and two jaeger brigades. In eastern regions five batallions of Military police troops are called in and converted to counter terrorist/special forces duties. Some “terrorist activity” flares but is quickly quelled and Finland takes a guarded stance toward Russia. Some anarchist and other “lunatic fringe” leftist are making odd noises, but are detained under “defense state” legislature before any real harm is done. This also draws people from reserves to active duties in order to maintain monopoly of violence through the country. Finland made “pro forma” offer of acting as middleman for peace but understandably neither party was pursuing peace as weapons had not had their say.
Navy and Air force can give some support to Sweden, but are mostly needed to patrol south coast and aerospace against intrusion. This of course allows Swedes to concentrate their AF to southern parts of Sweden. As G-class boats a are in use both sides of Bothnian gulf, they are loaned to swedes to make their fast landing more numerous. Some Jurmo boats with NEMO mortar systems are also “volunteered” to offer Swedish marines even more fire support on landing. It is futile to try and shoot small boats on water with “real” anti-shipping missile, so Amphibious regiment got into the shore more or less unscathed. At the same time Gripes made coordinated and concentrated SEAD attack on island and managed to win aerial superiority on aerospace. This enabled of pushing more and more hemvärnet and regulars into the Gotland shores. Swedish navy and Airforce cleaned Baltic fleet from between Sweden and Gotland, and Swedish subs were still able to curtail efforts of reinforcing the island. byt mining approaches to Kaliningrad and torpedoing everything else that sailed. Russia could only launch some more Isakanders into strategic targets, mainly airport runways and port facilities in mainland Sweden.
As Sweden build up overwhelming superiority in Gotland and managed to tie down Russian defenders in fluid battles on whole island situation deteorited fast for defenders. Russia offered ceasefire and withdrawal from Island quite fast and Sweden was forced to agree. Her defences had been stripped too low, and it was impossible to continue fighting and risk security for close future over Gotland.
Sweden’s Sky castle of not needing land forces and not needing to defend herself had been burst.