ENN Issue 9a
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ENN Issue 9d
Merchant Ships Sunk
NATO & Russian Forces on the Hunt

January 2, 2010

Atlantic Ocean (ENN) - NATO and Russian surface and air units have lashed out at multiple targets across the length of the Atlantic. Merchant shipping in particular has born the brunt of Russian sub and surface attacks that stretched from the coast of America to Africa.

"This is truly aggressive warfare in its purest form."

- JHQ NORTH Spokesman

A NATO Joint Headquarters spokesman confirmed earlier in the war that Russian forces has sunk at least 16 commercial vessels flagged from various countries. He went on to claim that none of the destroyed ships were carrying "anything even slightly resembling military cargo" and no distinction had been made between west and east bound ships.

Reminiscent of the Second World War hunt for the Bismark which threatened Britain's life line to North America, NATO is determined to hunt down and destroy all Russian surface and submarine forces operating in the Atlantic. Clearing the sea lanes is necessary not only for merchant shipping that the UK depends on, but also for the military troops and hardware NATO will require from the United States.

Sinking ship
Cargo ship split by Russian submarine attack

NATO has also attacked and sunk several Russian supply ships believed destined to fuel and re-supply the Russian surface groups operating in the Atlantic. They also reported sinking three other ships that appeared to be only merchant ships but that NATO claims were actually heavily armed with Anti-Aircraft missiles.  It was speculated the vessels were intended to shoot down NATO aircraft transiting from the UK to Iceland, Norway, or other northern destinations. Using neutral-flagged ships as combat units is a violation of the rules of war, according to the spokesman.

However NATO efforts were not entirely successful. It is suspected that a Norwegian refrigerated container ship was sunk by an airstrike launched by the American carrier USS Truman.  

The 1223 ton Weisa was carrying a full load of canned tuna when it was attacked, and public outrage in Norway has already resulted in a hastily arranged board of inquiry to investigate the incident.

 

Insurance Losses Mount

Ushakov
The Ushakov is a large heavy cruiser designed for anti surface warfare and was used for commerce raiding

Renowned insurer Floyd's of London stated today that the maritime shipping lost to the war has exceeded 1,330,000 tons, the most devastating loss since the second world war. The insurance agency remained confident that it would continue its prestigious record of never having defaulted on an insurance claim but it did state that unless NATO could guarantee the safe passage of relief convoys "numerous economic issues would be in doubt."

Many commercial vessels have sought safe harbor in British parts. It was not known if the Russian military would honor these refuges, having already made missile attacks and possible commando insertions.

JHQNORTH recommends all shipping in the North Atlantic to consider southerly routes and avoid the northern shipping lanes. While the threat to shipping has been severely reduced, there remains a threat to commerce from Russian submarines and long range aircraft.

Tensions among mariners was high as might be expected.

"It's bloody piracy! That's what it is!"

What is definitely known is that the British Isles can only hold out for a few weeks if deprived of their shipping. Even still the economic effects will be felt long after the conflict is concluded.


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