UK Fuel Depots Hit
January 2, 2010
LONDON -- In the opening stages of the war, fuel depots in northern reaches of the
British Isles were struck by large Russian missile barrage coming out of
the north-east and apparently aimed at the fuel sumps in the area.
Photo taken by civilian
evacuating a nearby town shows fires burning out of control at one
depot hit by missiles
sources described the depots as being the hub of their country's energy infrastructure, where
most of the oil that flows through the UK must pass before being sent to
various pipelines and refining areas.
the hastily arranged press conference they claimed most of the fires had been
contained due to berming of the sites and well-trained fire-control facilities in these
areas. However it was confirmed that damage was considered quite extensive, and in one case the fires
were still raging out of control at that time.
Casualties were generally considered light for the scale of the
attack--only two confirmed dead and approximately twenty wounded
according to local medical officials--however, the extent of the damage
to Britain's critical fuel needs was severe. Officials
expect losses to be in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of barrels worth of
oil, representing enough oil to heat the country for an entire week.
Civilians have been asked to discipline their fuel consumption rates so as to conserve
as much fuel as possible for the prosecution of the war effort.
Many citizens were more than ready to do their part, driven more by
their sense of vulnerability and outrage than any perception of
inconvenience about having to curb their normal routines.
Attack Believed Launched from Ocean
Military officials voiced their frustrations at not being able to locate
or classify the source of the attack, but were able to identify
valuable evidence from the debris of the missiles.
code: SS-N-21 Sampson
Russian Designation: 3K10 Granat
Range: 2 700 Km
Guidance: Combines inertial-Doppler navigation and position
correction based on comparison of terrain in the assigned regions
with images stored in the memory of an on-board computer
Although no official
statement was released, anonymous sources from within the local civil
defense authority claim the missiles were SS-N-21 Sampsons. If that is
the case, the missiles may have originated from Russian guided missile
cruisers or submarines.
It appeared the single greatest casualty of the attack was the British
psyche, already wounded by the recent Falklands
war that led to the surrender of the
Islands and British troops. The attack underscored unease within the British public about
being so close to the war front. Outcries from the public demanding
greater defense of the home islands has led NATO to deploy additional
air assets to counter future threats.
this deployment was further supported by the cruise missile attacks that
struck airbases at Lerwick, Kinloss, and Lossiemouth. The latter
suffered only minor damage while the other two sustained substantial
damage, with a complete assessment of the attack still ongoing.
The British Prime Minister declared earlier today, "Though I shall
not divulge the nature, nor the number of additional assets tasked to
the protection of this great nation I declare to the good people of her
majesty's kingdom that they shall have protection, they shall have
solace and they shall have ultimate victory in this war. Remain ever
stalwart and we shall prevail."
The move was not without its controversies however.
One Norwegian Air Force captain, speaking off the record, expressed
frustration that the UK was being allocated some of NATO's best aircraft
when Norway's own air defenses had been badly damaged during the first
days of the war. Like many mid-level officers and commanders
nearer to the front lines, he questioned whether the move was motivated
by politics rather than the military needs of NATO.
In other civil defense news, rumors of Russian chemical attacks filtered
into the public consciousness. The missile strike only served to worsen
these fears. Military surplus outlets reported a run on gas masks while
other retailers said nervous citizens were stockpiling canned goods,
batteries and other emergency supplies. Civil defense planners dusted off
preparedness operations dating back to the Cold War.
"I thought we had put these plans away for good twenty years
ago" said civil defense officer Justin Case. "God help us all."