"There's something seriously wrong with our ships today" thought Admiral Kydd as he watched his monitor aboard the HMS "Queen Elizabeth".
He'd just seen another of his Type 45 Air Defence destroyers take a direct hit from the long range surface to surface missiles that had been tearing holes in his fleet.
He thought back to previous engagements the Royal Navy had fought in these South Atlantic waters, and imagined Woodward or Sturdee spinning in their graves at the thought of his losing a Royal Navy led task force. "Bloody Falklands" he thought.
The war at sea had come out of the blue. Nobody could explain why international shipping had been experiencing higher than normal losses, until the abandoned lifeboat with the smartphone in it gave an explanation.
Obviously fixed so it could record what was happening, the phone clearly showed a Chinese naval vessel sinking a defenceless cargo carrier on the high seas.
China's government gave no explanation for this, but warned any interference in "its' own matters" would be met with force.
Of course, nobody expected North Korea to trigger it all off. Taking advantage of a confused west, North Korea began aggressively approaching shipping, veering off at the last minute.
Unfortunately, they chose to harass an Indonesian tanker, not noticing the escorting destroyer from the Indonesian navy, and in the ensuing fracas, somebody fired a anti-shipping missile towards Chinese waters.
All three ships were almost immediately sunk by a massive air and sea barrage, and the PLA Navy began to openly attack both civil and military shipping in the southern Asian shipping lanes.
The kick in the head to the international economies was immediate. Oddly, no overland or air traffic was interfered with, all attacks were naval only, but all followed a similar and disturbing pattern.
All communication with the area would drop off, and when it resumed, affected units had been decimated.
It was decided in the UK, and across Europe and North America, armed naval intervention was required.
The US, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia would front in the Pacific, and the Royal Navy would lead a Task Force of NATO forces to link up with the Indian Navy off Madagascar. Task Force Rupert never made it that far.
Nearing the South African coast, Admiral Kydd received a message from Whitehall informing him that the Indian Navy had been "neutralised' by a Chinese attack.
His orders were to make for the South Pacific via the Straights of Magellan at high speed, avoiding South American territorial waters as that continent appeared to be sitting this particular fracas out. "Just as well" Kidd had thought, not wanting to provide Argentina any reason to think they were under attack, and take it out on Port Stanley in the Falklands. Sure, there were 4 Typhoons there, but the number of
Su-24s he'd heard Argentina had bought with beef might pose a problem.
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500 miles off the Falkland islands, all hell broke loose. All long range communications and radar went down, and suddenly, HMS Dragon exploded, followed by the French carrier Mistral and frigate Jean de Vienne. Fortunately HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS Calgary were providing ASW and were already in the process of sinking the three Chinese Type 93 attacks submarines that had infiltrated the task force. "Bloody bad luck for the Canucks, being sunk in the second wave of attack from the surface units" Kydd mused, as he watched the still burning HMCS Calgary disappear over the horizon. Without their superb ASW abilities, his fleet might be doomed.
"Bloody Daleks, why can't you hit anything today?" he cursed as his third Type 45, HMS Duncan, took a direct hit amidships. The vaunted long range weaponry carried by the "Daleks", nicknamed after their distinctive main mast array, was totally ineffective. The short range systems worked perfectly, but often were swamped by the high speed, hard hitting ship to ship missiles coming in a high supersonic speeds. At least his F-35s were working as advertised, making hair-raising attack runs right down the barrels of the Chinese missile boats, but they could only carry so much, and if the PLA Navy had it's way, they'd have nowhere to land soon.
Suddenly, his threat board began to alert him to a new potential threat: High speed aircraft, rapidly closing from the west. "About bloody time Stanley sent the Typhoons out" Kydd uttered. "Thank you Falklands!" Somehow they must have been able to monitor the situation and send him some much needed help. His Tac Control suddenly chimed in "Sir, I'm getting over 20 inbounds...don't they only have 4 Typhoons based in Port Stanley?"
The bridge aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth went totally silent. Everyone realised the horrible reality: Argentina had taken the opportunity to leap in on the side of China and eliminate the British from the Falklands, once and for all. "Sir! I'm picking up over 15 hypersonic missiles inbound!" Kydd fired off the orders to swing their defensive weapons about 180 degrees, but knew it was futile. This was the moment when everything would change, and he knew his role in it all was at an end.
Then the Chinese flagship exploded.
"What the hell just happened?" Kydd shouted, and the ops room erupted in chaos as one by one, the Chinese naval ships exploded. Suddenly, long range com and radar was back, and the com officer began yelling something about Whitehall frantically telling them Argentina had imposed a Protection Zone past the Falkland Islands. Abruptly, an accented voice came over the radio:
"This is Vice Almirante Medina of the Armada de la República Argentina. You are in protected waters, and hostile actions against the forces of the United Kingdom will not be tolerated. Retreat or be destroyed!"
The sky erupted with the Chinese response, and two of the Su-24s went down. "Get the F-35s and tell them to cover the Argies!" Kydd commanded, and soon, with assistance of the Lightnings, the Chinese fleet had ceased to exist.
"I cannot believe I just had my ass saved by the Argentinean Navy" thought Kydd.
He shook his head, and began giving orders for his ships to pick up survivors and make their way into the Pacific.
His com officer informed him the Vice Almirante wanted to speak to the commander of the British forces. Kyd nodded.
"We are glad to have been of assistance to your forces, Admiral" came the voice in his headset. "We may be a bit thirsty getting home, would it be possible to cut across your...Falkland Islands...to make up some time?" Kydd looked at his com officer, who nodded and began talking into his mike. "Yes sir, I've got Stanley on the line." "Tell them to expect company" Kydd said, and keyed his mike to speak to the Argentinian Vice Admiral. "We owe you our lives, it's the least we could do. We've cleared passage through..."he hesitated, then returned the gesture.."the Malvinas...and should any of your planes require it, they are cleared to land there if needed.
One SU-24 broke off from the rest, and flew slowly at deck height past the starboard side of the Queen Elizabeth.
Stepping outside, Kydd was able to see the Vice Almirant snap off a salute as he drew abreast, and Kydd returned it.
As the Su-24 roared off to the west, he heard one last comment: "We have an expression in Argentina, I think similar to one you have: Good Fencers make good neighbors."
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