ENN Issue 9a
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ENN Issue 9c
UK Fuel Depots Hit

January 2, 2010

ENN BUREAU: 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.

Fuel Depot struck by missiles
Photo taken by civilian evacuating a nearby town shows fires burning out of control at one depot hit by missiles

Government 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. 

At 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. 

NATO code: SS-N-21 Sampson
Russian Designation: 3K10 Granat 
Range: 2 700 Km 
Propulsion: Turbojet 
Speed: Subsonic
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.

Demand for 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." 

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