This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
Whilst much of the UK outside southern England descended into anarchy and chaos in
the aftermath of the 1997 and 1998 nuclear exchanges, large parts of the counties
of Norfolk and Suffolk have remained relatively stable, thanks primarily to the large
numbers of British and American Air Force personnel who were based in the region.
Since early 1999 the East Anglian enclave has been out of all contact with both HMG
in Winchester and United Kingdom Land Forces HQ at Salisbury and has been acting
completely autonomously, with soldiers and airmen in the two counties obeying the
orders of local commanders only (both Army and Air Force personnel in the region
had a strong loyalty to their local communities -
Local Government is provided by the remnants of the Regional Government Headquarters (RGHQ) staff. Part of pre War emergency planning to ensure continuation of Government following a nuclear war, the RGHQ for the East Anglia Region was initially based in an underground bunker several miles from the City of Norwich. In February 1998 the RGHQ staff abandoned their bunker, which had only been intended for short term use, and relocated to Norwich, where they established themselves in Norwich City Hall under the leadership of a woman named Julia Saxon. Supported by the RGHQ staff and surviving members of local Government as well as the military, Saxon has proved to be a capable and effective leader, providing the region with strong leadership, and conditions, whilst harsh, are bearable; the area only suffered one direct nuclear strike, in December 1997 when the port town of Felixstowe was targeted, although the missile missed its intended mark by some distance, destroying much of the city of Ipswich and causing only some damage to Felixstowe's port facilities. During 1999 East Anglian forces cleared their territory of the vast majority of marauders, and both Norfolk and Suffolk are currently producing enough food to feed their own populations and have a small surplus (the region was largely rural before the War). A number of vehicles are operational, mostly fuelled by alcohol, although the East Anglian leadership are making efforts to access the southern North Sea’s oil reserves.
Currently the Western border of the territory the East Anglian Government controls is marked by the A134 road, which runs from Kings Lynn in the north to Bury St Edmunds in the south, while the southern border is formed by the river Stour, which forms a geographical boundary with Essex to the South. The military maintains sizeable garrisons in Norwich, King’s Lynn, and Bury St Edmunds (all of which are home to British or American airbases), with smaller units based in Great Yarmouth and Stowmarket. British and American forces carry out regular motorised and mounted patrols throughout the region, particularly along its borders. Those borders have been nominally closed to outsiders since the end of 1998 and patrols have standing orders to turn back refugees attempting to enter the region, by force if necessary. In practice the southern border is relatively secure, however the western border with Cambridgeshire remains more fluid. Many of those attempting to cross into East Anglia are simply attempting to flee the lawlessness that is rife throughout the rest of Eastern England. Actual incursions by marauders are rare, with the marauders having learnt the hard way to avoid the East Anglian forces.
Whilst they work closely with their British counterparts, the Americans retain their
own command structure, and there have been various rumours in the past that the Americans
plan to return home at some point. An American withdrawal would be viewed as catastrophic
throughout the region; no one in East Anglia – particularly in and around Bury St
Edmunds, which is close to the American bases at Mildenhall and Lakenheath -
Born in Manchester in 1967, Julia Saxon graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1991 with a degree in History. Following her graduation, she passed the Civil Service entrance exam, and joined the Home Office in London as an Executive Officer in the autumn of 1991. She proved an able and competent Manager, being promoted several times, and in September 1995, shortly after the outbreak of the Sino Soviet War, she was one of a group of Civil Servants selected to take part in Operation PERIPHERAL, the Government’s contingency planning to ensure continuation of Government in the event of a full scale nuclear war.
As War spread to Europe Julia remained in London during the opening months of 1997, however the first use of tactical nuclear weapons in July saw PERIPHERAL implemented, and, together with Civil Servants from other Ministries, she found herself leaving London in the middle of a hot July night, being driven by the Army to the RGHQ at Bawburgh just outside Norwich along roads closed off by the police. It was the last time she would see London.
Saxon was the senior staff member from the Home Office at Bawburgh. As the summer wore on and the nuclear exchanges remained largely confined to the battlefields some staff returned to London, but she remained, effectively running the RGHQ until late November, when, amid fresh fears of nuclear attack, the Regional Commissioner, a Government Minister, arrived from London. This time the fears were well founded; together with the Commissioner and the rest of the staff, Saxon remained underground at Bawburgh as nuclear fire rained down on the United Kingdom. During this time, the Regional Commissioner proved himself hopelessly out of his depth, particularly after the 10 December strike on the EYEGLASS bunker at High Wycombe that destroyed most of Central Government and left the Regional Commissioners to govern their Regions on their own. In early January he suffered a complete nervous breakdown. At this point control should have switched to his deputy, the Sub Commissioner, but she had been at the alternate RGHQ at Bedford when it was destroyed in early December (many of the RGHQ bunkers had been built in the 1950’s and were unable to withstand a direct hit from 1990’s nuclear weapons). With both the Commissioner and the Sub Commissioner removed from the equation, the position of leader fell to Saxon.
She emerged from the underground bunker in early February 1998, relocating to Norwich Town Hall with her staff. In the absence of an established Central Government, Julia was now nominally in charge of the entire Civil Defence Region Four, which covered the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. In practice her authority was limited to those parts of Norfolk and Suffolk where the relatively large military presence ensured that a semblance of order remained.
In the weeks that followed Saxon travelled throughout the region, meeting the people.
Often forced to make difficult decisions, she tried to do the best she can, providing
strong leadership and earning a reputation for fairness, and is well liked within
the region. She has established a good working relationship with leaders of both
the British and American armed forces in the area. In the absence of a secure land
corridor to the territory controlled by HMG she recognises that currently autonomy
represents the region’s best chance for survival, but unlike the Separatist Governments
in Wales and Scotland, she has no desire to see East Anglia declare independence
from the rest of UK; she merely wants to keep the region intact until such times
as HMG’s forces can re-
Five feet six inches tall, slim, and dark haired, Julia Saxon is unmarried. She will be interested in personally meeting any military personnel entering the region to find out what they are doing there. Those who can win her trust will find her a powerful ally within the area.
East Anglian Military Forces
Note. This part covers British forces in East Anglia. For details of US forces in the region, see the Americans in the Foreign Groups section.
The military forces under the command of the East Anglian leadership are built primarily around a single Territorial Army Infantry Battalion and airmen from several Royal Air Force bases. The senior Army officer in the region is Colonel Allan Dewar. A quietly spoken Scotsman, Dewar was the senior Army officer assigned to the Region Four RGHQ in August 1997 and previously served as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, from 1994 to 1996.
6th Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment
The backbone of the East Anglian Defence Force is built around the 6th Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment (6 RAR). A Territorial Army Battalion, 6 RAR was brought up to its full strength of an HQ Company and five Rifle Companies (three TA and two Home Service Force) in early October 1996 and assigned a home defence role, dispersed throughout Norfolk and Suffolk guarding Royal Air Force and US Air Force bases against attack from Soviet special forces or saboteurs. These expected attacks never came however, and the opening months of the War were a relatively quiet period for the Battalion. A number of troops were deployed to the BAOR in Europe as casualty replacements, but their place was filled with a mixture of new recruits and recalled reservists, so the Battalion’s numbers remained relatively constant.
Following the first use of tactical nuclear weapons the Battalion started to receive additional training on internal security and public order duties, training that it had to put to use in the days following the Black Thursday nuclear strikes on London, as large numbers of refugees flooded out of England’s Cities seeking the perceived safety of the countryside and the Battalion was assigned to assist the Civil authorities in maintaining law and order and providing disaster relief. The Battalion fought several skirmishes with armed groups during this period, but managed to maintain a semblance of order, supported by RAF and USAF personnel from the East Anglian airbases, and in late 1998, with contact lost with UKLFQ HQ in Salisbury, the Battalion’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Owen, himself a local man – his family live in Bury St Edmunds – placed 6 RAR under the command of the local authorities.
Whilst the Battalion has suffered from some desertion, chiefly amongst men from its Companies recruited in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, many of whom have returned home to protect their families, these losses have been made good with locally recruited volunteers and small numbers of troops who have entered the region from elsewhere. It has a small number of armoured vehicles, which have been consolidated into a single Company and are based at RAF Coltishall, where they serve as a Quick Reaction Force, ready to deploy to reinforce any of the other Companies should they encounter a major threat. The Battalion has been reinforced by a number of airmen from the various RAF bases in the region, and has taken under command an RAF Regiment Squadron, which serves as an additional Infantry Company whilst a number of other airmen have been assigned to the various Rifle Companies as individual replacements.
HQ (Suffolk) Company
Location: Norwich, Norfolk
Strength: 75 men
Serves as HQ for all East Anglian military forces, and includes a number of RAF personnel
A (Royal Norfolk) Company
Location: RAF Coltishall, Norfolk
Strength: 100 men, 2 x FV603 Saracen APC, 1 x FV1611 Humber Pig APC, 1 x AT105 Saxon APC
Serves as the Battalion’s Reserve
B (Bedfordshire) Company
Location: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Strength: 120 men
C (Suffolk) Company
Location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; Stowmarket, Suffolk
Strength: 140 men
One Platoon is based in Stowmarket on a rota basis
D (Cambridgeshire) Company
Location: Lowestoft, Suffolk
Strength: 80 men
Recruited in Cambridgeshire, a number of D Company’s original personnel have deserted to return to their families, and the Company currently consists of a large number of locally recruited volunteers
F (HSF) Company
Location: Norwich, Norfolk
Strength: 150 men
Reinforced by personnel from RAF Coltishall, police officers, and locally recruited volunteers , F Company provides local security for the City of Norwich
E (HSF) Company suffered heavy casualties in the nuclear strike on Ipswich; survivors have been absorbed into other Companies
2620 (County of Norfolk) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment
Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Strength: 130 men
The Royal Air Force
All RAF bases retain small numbers of operational aircraft and stocks of munitions, primarily dumb bombs, however they have virtually no fuel, so the aircraft have been effectively grounded. Each base also has additional numbers of non operational airframes, some of which could be brought back to operational condition with the necessary spare parts.
Strength: 400 men
Operational Aircraft: 2 x Jaguar GR3, 1 x Tornado GR4, 1 RF4C Phantom, 1 x AS332L Super Puma
Located ten miles north east of Norwich, Coltishall was home to two strike Squadrons
and one Recon Squadron at the start of the War, all operating the SEPECAT Jaguar.
They were joined by the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Tactical Recon Group
in early 1997. Several hundred British and a small number of American airmen remain
at Coltishall, where they provide local security for the Norwich area in conjunction
with 6 RAR. Coltishall still has a small number of operational aircraft which include
a civilian Puma helicopter which was formerly owned by Bristow Helicopters, who used
it to ferry oil workers to platforms in the southern North Sea. The Tornado was originally
based at Honington and landed at Coltishall in October 1998 after developing a fault
shortly after takeoff. It was on a nuclear strike mission, and was armed with a single
B61 nuclear bomb. The bomb was safely taken off the aircraft and stored in a hangar
until a team from the USAF at Mildenhall could collect it. Unfortunately due to a
communications mix up, the USAF team did not collect it and the weapon – and the
Strength: 350 men
Operational Aircraft: 1 x Tornado GR4, 2 x Falcon F1
A Tornado GR4 base six miles south of Thetford, in early 1996 Honington also became the new home of 238 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), which was responsible for training RAF aircrew on the Falcon F1 (as the F16 Fighting Falcon was known in RAF service) following the RAF’s acquisition of the type after delivery of the Eurofighter was delayed. In 1997 44 Squadron, a former Vulcan Squadron disbanded in 1982, was also reformed at Honington as a Tornado GR4 Squadron. Two Falcons remain operational (the only ones in the UK as both active Falcon Squadrons were based in Germany). 20 Squadron RAF Regiment is also based at Honington. Originally equipped with the Rapier Surface to Air Missile and tasked with air defence of the US Airbases in England, the Squadron converted to a Field Squadron in early 1999 can carries out regular patrols of the region using Land Rovers.
Strength: 400 men
Operational Aircraft: 1 x Tornado GR4
Five miles south east of the town of Kings Lynn, RAF Marham was home to two Squadrons of Tornado GR4 ground attack variants including the famous 617 “Dambusters” Squadron, and the Victor tankers of 55 Squadron. Marham’s airmen provide local security for the Kings Lynn area, patrolling south along the Great Ouse River as far as the Cambridgeshire border.
Strength: 300 men
Operational Aircraft: 1 x Tornado F3, 1 x Phantom FGR2
Located near Stowmarket, Wattisham was an air defence base that hosted one Tornado F3 Squadron and the RAF’s last two Phantom Squadrons (including 74 Tiger Squadron). The Tornados and Phantoms served with distinction during the air wars of 1997, but suffered heavy losses and only one example of each remains airworthy.