8 September 2047, 06:48
The air in the command tent was ripe with tension when General Charles Cutting commenced with the briefing: "All right, chaps. What do you have for me?" Various staff officers had gathered around him, hectically pointing at various hotspots on the map. "Forward company commanders report that we've got Russian landings along the entire coastline between Kingsdown in the south and Ramsgate in the north", one of them explained. "That's roughly 10 miles of flat, open beaches. We've got them covered with multiple layers of defensive emplacements and fortified structures in the adjacent villages. If they manage to get past that, their reinforcements are gonna have a lot of clear, manageable ground all the way to London". Charles nodded while the officers spoke, already working on a plan in his mind, when suddenly Colonel David Catt of the Royal Lancers line cavalry regiment barged into the tent: "Sorry to interrupt, Sir, but we've just received important information on the enemy's composition. The 'good' news is that the bulk of the invasion force seems to consist of regular Army and Naval infantry, supported by light vehicles. They're determined, but we're holding them for now...The bad news is...that our troops in Kingsdown and Ramsgate have reported heavy contact with Shock Troopers. Seems to be elements of the Second and Third Division. From the looks of it, these two towns seem to be the focal points of their attack." Charles let out an audible grumble of anger and pressed his hands on the map table: "Sounds like that sodding berk Aleksandr is going all-in. This island...has NOT been invaded ever since William the Conqueror, gents. Not by the Spaniards, not by the French, not by the Jerries and I'll be DAMNED if the Russians do pull it off on our watch! Bring me everyone: The Navy, the Air Force, Garcia's fleet in the Channel - Everyone! Colonel Catt, I want your Challengers to move out to Ramsgate and Kingsdown ASAP. We've got our work cut out for us, lads; let's get to it. Godspeed!"
Back in Ramsgate, several Zubr-class hovercraft had made it ashore, unleashing masses of fanatical Shock Troopers at the British defenders. "Running dry!" Derek reported as he burned through another drum of 40mm grenades. But the Russians kept on charging, vaulting over the wrecked bodies of their own comrades while their rocket rifles cut through the facades of the weaker buildings, sending deadly fragments of wood and masonry flying through the air. Many positions had already been bombarded to pieces by the sporadic missile volleys fired from the ships and it was only a matter of time until this pivotal landing ground would fall to the horde. "What the fuck are these guys, are they even human!?" Matthew wondered as he mowed down a group of Troopers that emerged from the burning husk of yet another BMP who flat-out ignored that their battle armour had been set on fire when their vehicle got blown open by a missile. Suddenly, a micro-rocket smashed into the window frame. Matthew dropped his rifle and fell to the ground twitching, grasping at his right leg. "There's a large piece of shrapnel in your upper thigh!" Meryl observed in a matter-of-fact tone as she inspected the horrid wound immediately. "Well, no shit, sweetie! Fuckin' pull it out!", her comrade screamed in shock. "It might have ruptured the arteria femoralis. I can't risk removing it here as it may plug the wound for the time being." Instead, the medic injected several shots of painkillers and wrapped a tight bandage around the upper part of Matthew's leg. "Is he stable for evac?", Sergeant Finley asked while taking pot shots out of a window. "He should be, but I can't get him through all that stuff out there on my own!", Meryl replied. "Just get the bloody hell out of here, I'm gonna hold them off!" Derek interrupted. "The entire line is gonna break soon and we might not make it back to you", Finley reminded MacLeod. "It's all good, now get yerselves out of my pub!" With Mitchell and Finley carrying the wounded Private Baker to safety, Derek once again reloaded his trusty weapon and opened up on the invaders: "Ye wanna play rough!? Come at me, ye fuckin' wankers!" Disciplined fire had given way to pure rage and as a result, Derek failed to spot the one Russian with a rocket launcher who peaked out behind a pile of fallen Shock Troopers that served as a macabre piece of improvised cover. Moments later, the Corporal and his grenade launcher were silenced forever when a thermobaric Shmel warhead found its way through the window, immolating the entire building.
"What's the situation, where's Captain Wallace?", Sergeant Finley asked a fellow soldier at the company rally point on Ramsgate's market square while Meryl lifted Matthew, who had falled unconscious, onto a med-evac vehicle. "The Captain got torn to bits when a Golem tank came right out of the sea! Now there's at least half a dozen of them moving through the city. W-We gotta get out of here, Sarge, this is insanity! These blokes are gonna kill us all!" The Sergeant hesitated for a while, contemplating the possibility that he was the only one left of the local command chain while more and more scattered soldiers rallied around his position, looking for orders, directions and even the most vague semblance of hope in a battle that would soon be decided one way or the other. He had to think quickly: The first group of Shock Troopers was already snooping around at the end of the street and he could only guess how many more were converging on his position. "We will stay here and fight! We have to hold out, delay the Russians as long as we can. If they hole up in this town, they'll control the docks and bring in entire cargo ships full of these bastards that'll swarm all over the country. We cannot let that happen. If you wanna run, I won't hold any grudges. If you wanna stay, grab a rifle and fight with-" "CONTACT!" reported one of the soldiers guarding the perimeter. The die was cast and the final battle for Ramsgate was about to erupt...
The Sky Shield is a light-weight short range air defence system of Swiss and German origin. The central piece of a battery is the highly advanced fire control radar which can autonomously detect and track airborne targets. The moment an enemy aircraft moves into range, it will be greeted by the three 35mm guns that fire a special programmable round marketed as the 'Birdshot' for its ability to burst into a wave of shrapnel in front of the target, causing catastrophic damage to even the most heavily armoured airframes within seconds.
These dug-in 155mm howitzers are among the largest calibres in the ECA arsenal. Every gun can be controlled by a skeleton crew of three: The commander who oversees the entire fire mission, a technician who uses a hardened battlefield computer to calculate the ideal ballistic trajectory, which is then transmitted to adjust the gun in real-time and the loader who ensures a steady supply of shells. These consist of a carbon-based composite case and a dense payload of high-explosives, offering devastating long range firepower in a light-weight package that can be loaded in rapid succession. For the invading forces of the Russian Federation, the sight of a red signal flare and the shrieking sound of a descending shell are the only warnings prior to a massive barrage that reduces foot soldiers, vehicles and structures to nothing. In addition to the standard high-explosive shells, the ECA can also upgrade their artillery payloads to cluster shells which disperse an additional number of deadly sub-munitions upon impact. These rounds are compatible with all standard mortar and howitzer calibres.
Vaguely reminiscent of the M7 Priest artillery of World War II fame, these medium-weight, open-topped vehicles entered service with the British Army as part of the MoD's re-armament plan which was put into action after the new government of the populist 'Hope and Glory' party had announced the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the increasingly assertive European Union in the mid-2020s. Picking up on the traditions of the past in an effort to secure a safe, self-determined future, the country proceeded to engage in an increased exchange with its old Commonwealth allies, particularly Australia, India and Canada, whose economies remained relatively stable throughout the Global War on Terror, which put the UK in an advantageous position by the time stability returned to the continent several years later. Meanwhile, many 'lean and fast' units of the Army had been turned back into heavy, hard-hitting territorial defence forces and the Royal Armoured Corps was no exception. Operating alongside a new model of Britain's time-tested Challenger tank, the Mortar Track provides mobile artillery support on the go. Its powerful 120mm mortar cannon can lay down a rapid, unceasing barrage of shells thanks to its automatic loading system and the latest software upgrade for the targeting computer, which is yet to be applied to all available vehicles, allows Mortar Tracks to relay targets between each other.