<XMP><BODY></xmp>Westenran Defence Plan

Added 29-8-14
Updated 23-8-18

Westenran Defence Plan

In the years following World War Two, many military theorists were posed with something of a dilemma.

How could one conduct a conventional attack if any large concentration of forces could be destroyed with tactical nuclear weapons?

This problem only grew when the potential capabilities of smart weapons began to be realized.

While relatively primitive direct-fire guided anti-tank weapons proved themselves effective on the battlefield, many realised that this was only the start.

What if such weapons could be delivered from a distant artillery weapon, beyond the horizon, that the target could not even see?

If one had sub-munitions that could guide themselves to a target such as a tank, then a single aircraft, large missile or rocket barrage had the potential to be able to release dozens and cripple a whole company of armour in just minutes.

Unguided sub-munitions such as the DPICM bomblets were another potential threat. Although an individual bomblet was less accurate than a smart weapon, scores could be fitted into a single projectile. Those that did not hit a vehicle were often designed to act as fragmentation grenades and/or mines and were a further hazard to infantry and poorly protected vehicles.

Digging in against such weapons was only a partial defence since some bomblets were bound to find their way into open trenches.

The increased adoption of fuel-air explosive/thermobaric weapons posed yet another threat to massed formations.

In his novel “The Alternative Third World War, 1985-2035”, Sir W. G. F. Jackson describes an invasion of an African country that is stopped in its tracks when the invading column comes under fire from batteries of MBRLs loaded with smart sub-munitions.

As the sun rises over the invading force, all of the enemy vehicles have been destroyed and the survivors that were able have fled.

Introducing Westenra

Suppose we take this potential military capability to its logical conclusion.

As a thought exercise, we will consider a small hypothetical nation called “Westenra” that shares its borders with some unpleasant neighbours.

Westenra’s main concern is defence, and the majority of its military is geared towards this end.

To represent its foreign interests, it maintains an Expeditionary Force Command, the primary ground element of which is a Strategic Commando Brigade structured for global direct action and deep reconnaissance. The Strategic Commando Brigade (“Sigma”) is supported by the 11th and 16th Airborne Brigades, and the 40th and 42nd Marine Brigades.

A Foreign Service Legion and the Alpha training force deal with longer-term overseas deployments.

The Westenran Expeditionary Command, however, is beyond the scope of this article.

The home defensive forces of the Westenra can be roughly divided into four parts.


StrikeCom combines artillery, airstrike, air defence and long-range anti-armour forces.

Artillery Brigades

The artillery are organised into artillery brigades, which include their own organic armour and infantry for local protection.

The ground artillery deploys a wide variety of weapon systems. In addition to guns and rocket batteries of various calibres, they also use heavy mortars, theatre ballistic missile systems and ground-launched cruise missiles and UCAVs.

The infantry and armour component of the artillery brigades (known as “fusiliers”) have a high allocation of heavy weapons and are structured for positional warfare and mobile counter-attack operations.

Anti-Armour Battalions

Anti-armour battalions have long-range anti-ground target missile (LRAGTM) systems, but also have their own armoured gun systems, reconnaissance platoon and heavy mortars.

The LRAGTM weapons use a variety of guidance systems and warheads. Advances in the capability of anti-armour systems have given the anti-armour battalions an increasing role as long-range precision attacks systems.

The direct-fire capabilities of the anti-armour battalions compliment the Over the Horizon (OTH) capabilities of the artillery brigades and help delay or concentrate enemy forces for artillery or air-strike.

Anti-armour battalions are also used to support mobile reserve and infantry forces.

Should any enemy be so foolish as to cross Westenra’s borders en-mass, her artillery and strike aircraft would greet them with a welcoming rain of smart weapons, bomblets, thermobarics and scatterable mines (SCATMINEs).

Air Defence

The ground-attack capability of StrikeCom is complimented by its diverse air defence capabilities.

The air defence forces include SAM, ADA and missile defence units.

It also controls interceptor aircraft and airborne AAM missile-carrier aircraft.


Argus is the intelligence processing organisation of Westenra.

Like its mythical namesake, it is a sentry and protector with myriad eyes but a single brain.

Intelligence sources available to Argus include:

The function of Argus is not just to collect information but to process it and disseminate it to where it is most useful.

Information from Argus may result in any response from a police patrol car visit to an airstrike.

Note that Argus deals with both criminal and military intelligence since a violent criminal is as much a threat to society as a terrorist.

Fracturing intelligence processing across a dozen agencies is seen by Westenra as counter-productive.

Mobile Reserve

The firepower of StrikeCom is complimented by the smaller but well-equipped Mobile Reserve contingent.

The Mobile Reserve consists of armoured and airmobile brigades with relevant supporting units.

Armoured Brigades

A Westenran armoured brigade is a self-contained combat force with its own reconnaissance and engineering support.

It includes an artillery regiment of several battalions’ strength including LRAGTM and ADA capability.

The armoured battalions themselves are combined-arms units with organic tanks, infantry/armoured pioneers and heavy-mortars.

Westenra has three full-strength armoured brigades, the 2nd “Household/ Guards” Brigade, 7th “Hammer” Brigade and 21st “Paladins” Brigade.

Airmobile Brigades

The 4th and 8th Airmobile Brigades are usually deployed as reinforced battalions.

Each airmobile brigade consists of infantry with an organic helicopter-lift capability and supporting heavy-lift, attack and attack/scout helicopters.

Each airmobile brigade can draw on a pool of heli-portable vehicles, mortars and light MBRL.

In addition to these five army brigades, the Mobile Reserve also includes an Air Force element to support them. This includes transport helicopters and aircraft to keep the fighting elements supplied, and ground attack aircraft such as the Cassie.

During operations, each combat battalion is assigned one or more, often two Cassies, giving them their own quick response air-support when needed.

The Mobile Reserve also includes an independent attack-helicopter battalion (“Ravens”) and an independent tank regiment (“Ironsides”).

Counter Small Unit Aggressive Operations

The combination of StrikeCom, Argus and the Mobile Reserve makes any large-scale incursion into the territory of Westenra too expensive in both manpower and materials.

This leaves the enemy with the avenue of small-scale infiltration for purposes of espionage, terrorism, insurgency, sabotage and other means of unconventional or guerrilla warfare.

Westenra classes these threats as Small Unit Aggressive Operations (SUAO) and defence against them as Counter-SUAO or Co-SUAO.

StrikeCom has less of a part to play against such threats, although its STA batteries and radar systems remain a useful intelligence asset for Argus.

The primary defensive asset against these threats is still Argus, which uses its many capabilities to detect, identify and locate potential threats.

Westenra has a variety of forces intended to combat the enemy use of small-scale forces.


The Special Protection Corps (aka “Gamma”) performs various internal-security duties including the organisation of security systems in various sensitive or high risk establishments.

More glamorously, Gamma also handles VIP protection/bodyguard duties and domestic hostage rescue and anti-hijack missions.

Maritime Special Warfare Group

The Maritime Special Wafare Group is closly associated with the Strategic Commando Brigade.

In addition to its strategic role, the Maritime Special Warfare Group is also responsible for domestic counter-terrorism, hostage rescue and anti-hijack missions that require its special capabilities.

The forces of the Mobile Reserve may be used for internal-security and domestic counter-insurgency, particularly the airmobile forces.

Fusilier forces retain their role in defending artillery assets against SUAO threats.

11th Yeoman Hussars

The 11th Yeoman Hussar Regiment is a light armoured force primarily equipped for mobile internal-security missions, although it may be deployed for overseas missions such as peacekeeping.

The regiment has two active battalions at three-quarter strength in peacetime, but if necessary this can be expanded to four full-strength battalions if needed.

The units of the 11th Yeoman Hussars are often supported by the 17th Special Signals Regiment, which provides signal intercept and electronic warfare support.


The largest force that protects the nation against the terrorist and guerrilla are what Westenra calls jaeger-role infantry.

Most units of jaegers might be considered light-infantry in some armies, but the term is used here with reservation.

When required, the jaeger may be mounted on APCs, land rovers, boats, helicopters or even horses.

Support formations known as “patch” units provide the vehicles and support necessary to convert a “light infantry” jaeger unit into a mechanized or air-mobile unit when required.

Typically a jaeger battalion has a pool of a variety of useful vehicles, including tracked APCs and sometimes even light helicopters or aircraft.

Roles of the jaegers include border patrolling and internal-security.

They patrol rural areas and man checkpoints, often under the command of police or border patrol.

They guard high-security installations and other potential targets.

They assist the police in high-risk arrests, civil unrest, disaster response and SWAT-type operations.

In many armies, the infantry like to define their job as to close with and destroy the enemy. The Westenran jaeger have realised that the real challenge is often to find and identify the enemy.

Jaeger squads have to be well versed in small-unit tactics, tracking, patrolling and urban combat.

Jaegers are also trained in what some might consider to be “street cop” skills: search techniques, reading body language and so forth. Infiltrators will often not be wearing uniforms so such skills are vital.

To reflect the missions they perform, the structure of a jaeger infantry battalion differs slightly from that of other infantry units such as those of the airborne, marine, armoured or artillery brigades.

Mortar support above platoon-level is not needed for many missions so there are no company-level mortars. Instead there is a mortar platoon at battalion-level with long-range 60mm weapons, and mortar sections are assigned to platoons or companies as needed.

The mortar platoon has a UAV capability, so for many missions its role is surveillance and reconnaissance rather than fire-support.

Weapons such as GPMGs and ATGWs are also held at battalion-level and issued for missions where they are likely to be needed.

Most jaeger infantry companies have a section of dogs to assist with guard duties, tracking and the search for explosives and other contraband. Weapon detectors and sensor systems are commonly available.

In addition to the regular infantry battalions that are organised as jaegers, the majority of the Westenran Fyrd (Territorial Militia) are jaeger infantry and their local knowledge is often invaluable.

In the event of a major invasion, many jaeger units will continue to guard vital targets and patrol against small unit infiltrations.

In addition, they will assist in the defence of StrikeCom assets or act as scouts to locate likely targets for heavier forces.

Being necessarily well-versed in guerrilla warfare, it is easy for jaeger units to “turn from gamekeeper to poacher” and stage ambushes to delay or divert invaders.

It may be prudent for the jaegers to be a form of gendarmerie and make them a component of Gamma.

By the Author of the Scrapboard :

Attack, Avoid, Survive: Essential Principles of Self Defence

Available in Handy A5 and US Trade Formats.

Crash Combat Second Edition with additional content.
Epub edition Second Edition with additional content.

Crash Combat Third Edition
Epub edition Third Edition.
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