World War Z
A British Perspective
The Two Lines Operation
A British Perspective
The Two Lines Operation
It was quickly apparent to the UK government in the first few days of the Zombie outbreak that despite their best efforts that most of the population would either succumb to being killed or transitioning into one of the ‘Zeds’. It was a case of too many people, with too little in the way of resources to either save the population or control the spread of the contagion.
It was on the fourth day that the PM and his cabinet via a COBR-A meeting at their emergency seat of government now residing at the highly fortified Windsor Castle alongside the Royal Family came up with their Operation Sefton proposal or known by everyone else by its nickname . . . . the Two Lines Operation.
The operation would be simple in its organisation but utterly brutal in its execution. The probability of someones or families survival would hinge on what postcode they resided in. The first part of the operation named Operation Park Lane would be as follows.
Two defensive lines would be created north and south by the military to allow the evacuation of as many civilians as possible to the refuge areas being set up.
The area between these two lines would be as one General from the Joint Chiefs of Staff said bluntly “would be allowed to go and anyone in that area would need to hunker down until rescue arrived”
A southern line starting mid-river in the Thames Estuary would follow the river upstream, through the Greater London conurbation until it met the M4 Motorway. From here it would carry on across England until the Severn Estuary at Bristol.
A northern line running across Scotland starting from the Forth Estuary, following the M80 Motorway and finishing on the River Clyde.
While this was going the second part of the plan named Operation Mayfair would be implemented.
Refuge areas would be created on the Outer Hebrides in the north and the Isle of Wight in the south. The Para’s would be shipped in to the Isle of Wight to clear the entire island of infected, street by street, house by house. The Royal Marines would land via Amphibious vessels on the Outer Hebrides and clear the entire land mass of infected, field by field, farm by farm.
Only when these two operations were concluded would the third part of the operation named Operation Knightsbridge start. This would involve search and rescue operations conducted over the land area between the ‘Two Lines’ to rescue and surviving stranded civilians.
This operation would also constitute two parts, Operation Whitehall and Operation Pall Mall, Whitehall would be the search and rescue operation between the ‘Two Lines’ while Pall Mall would be the search and rescue operation conducted from Royal Navy ships including the three ‘Invincible’ carriers stationed in the Irish Sea that would cover the entirety of both South and Northern Ireland and would also help the Irish Defense Forces. As with the all the operations conducted, the rotary and fixed wing assets of both Royal Airforce and Navy would offer close air support via the forward operating bases at both Stornaway and Sandown airports in support of the ground troops.
Four Weeks into the Operations
At Sandown Airport, known with the call sign ‘Wizard’ by the military, flight lieutenant Welland stood facing his aircraft, tiredness again creeping up on him as he sipped his tea. Welland stared into space while the ground crew continued to refuel and rearm his Typhoon FGR IV fighter or as they were affectionately known ‘Tiffy’s’. As always despite being at it non stop for the best part of four weeks and tiredness continually biting at them they worked like Trojans intent of keeping their fleet in the air until either the parts situation forced them to ground the aircraft or the search and rescue operations ended.
For the past few weeks since the outbreak the pilots of both the RAF & RN had been flying hours that would make the staff at the former Civil Aviation Authority have a mental breakdown if they had checked their logs. Even now the average pilot wether fixed wing or rotary were still doing between six and seven sorties per day.
Phillps his wingman came walking over snapping Welland out of his daydreaming.
“You were well away for a few seconds then Wellie!” ribbed Phillips
“I’m ok when I’m up in the air and busy, but the tiredness catches up with you when you’re on down time!” replied Welland as he sipped some more tea, trying to get himself to get with it.
“It’s only a rumour but Charlie over there said they’ve heard that they’re either grounding the Harriers or halving those in the air as they’re starting to run out of parts!” said Phillips.
“Had to happen . . . the factories are either over run up or going up in flames, I’m surprised that we’re still flying to be honest” Welland said.
There was then a shout from the Charlie as his ground crew finished turning the two FGR’s around in the customary twenty minutes. Again the FGR’s were bombed up and ready to go. As before and the previous sorties no conformal fuel tanks would be needed as the rails were full with BL 775 cluster bomb units and SNEB rocket pods, both arnments were found to be very effective against the Zed's unlike the artillery shells from the Army and Navy guns.
“C’mon then you pair . . . fuck off, I’ve got others to see to!” Charlie jokingly lambasted the pilots, urging them to get a move on to clear the portable inflatable hangers for the next intake of aircraft.
With that both pilots walked over to their respective rides, climbed up the steps and got into their cockpits. Strapping themselves in they started up their APU’s causing the engines and systems to come to life. When they were ready and indicated by the ground marshalls they rode forward and from outside their inflatable emergency hangers and taxied across the recently laid apron in between the host of other aircraft that were there and onto the what constituted a taxiway. Getting to the southern end of the runway they stopped and contacted air traffic control before turning onto it.
“Wizard Control! . . . Wizard Control!” Welland said “This is ‘Claymore Seven and Nine requesting clearance for take off!”
“Roger Claymore Seven!” the tower replied. “This is Wizard Control . . . please wait, we’ve got traffic inbound!”
“Roger Wizard!” Welland replied as both he and Phillips aircraft sat off the runway, their aircraft on tick over.
Less than a minute later a pair of Jaguar’s, their weapons rail completely empty signifying that they’d seen action glided past them and landed on the single runway and coasted to the end to turn off.
“Claymore Seven . . . Claymore Seven! . . . this is Wizard! . . . . you’re clear to take off, vector Nine Zero, altitude One Five . . . happy hunting!”
“Roger that Wizard! . . . vector One Nine . . . altitude One Five” Welland replied to the tower confirming their instructions.
With that they moved onto the runway and opened up their throttles to full causing them to barrel down the runway. Although it was a short runway the thrust of the engines was ample enough to get the aircraft airborne. After climbing away from ‘Wizard’ they continued up onwards to their altitude to fifteen thousand feet and contacted the E-3 Sentry flying high over the UK.
“I wonder where Magic is going to send us on this one Wellie!” Phillips asked “We’ve been on the Irish runs all day . . . could do with an English one to break the day up!”
“It all depends where the action is I’m afraid . . . where some of our ‘Pongo’s’ have put themselves in the shit!” Welland replied
“Magic Control! . . . Magic Control! . . . this is Claymore Seven! . . . we’re on Vector at Nine Zero! . . . entering Box One” Welland called out.
‘Box One’ was the fifty by fifty mile airspace around Wizard. Due to the number of aircraft in the air and the risk of aircraft collisions especially with the helicopters the whole of the UK and Eire was divided up into ‘Boxes’ each fifty by fifty miles in area and running up to thirty thousand feet.
“Claymore Seven! . . .Claymore Seven! this is Magic Two, continue to climb to Three Zero then make a Vector to Zero One Eight and Box Three Four!”
“Roger that Magic . . . climbing to Three Zero then making Vector to Zero One Eight to Box Three Four!” Welland confirmed.
“Great!” Phillips said, the smile on his face clearly coming through his comm’s, “that’s somewhere over the Midlands I think!”
“Looks like it . . . the ‘Pongo’s are clearly moving North compared to yesterday!” Welland said.
With that both pilots continued to climb then when at their required altitude over the Channel off the coast of Bognor Regis they turned to port and headed North. As it would take them a good twenty minutes to get to Box Three Four it allowed Welland to scan the land around him at the numerous fires burning out of control, some created by the ground forces as they moved in to rescue the civvies, to him it looked like those war documentaries shown on tv regarding World War Two . . . but this was real and in full colour.
As always in the far distance a huge pall of smoke came from the Swindon area as the Honda assembly plant continued to burn despite it catching fire over five days earlier. Many of the pilots at Wizard joked that they’d never buy a Honda car after seeing the smoke cloud stating Honda cars were ‘Roman Candles’ until someone corrected them that it was highly unlikely that anyone would be buying any new car for the next few years.
After getting to Box Three Four Welland again contacted Magic Two who instructed them to drop themselves to an altitude of ten thousand and await instructions. This was when both Welland and Phillips split up played their usual game of ‘Fox and Hounds’, both aircraft turning in a wide twenty mile arc chasing each others tail while waiting for the inevitable call to off close air support. It seemed like ten years instead of the mere ten minutes as both pilots waited when their comm’s crackled into life.
“Claymore Seven! . . . Claymore Seven! . . . this is Magic Two!” said the voice on the other end.
“This is Claymore Seven!” replied Welland.
“We’ve got some ‘trade’ for you . . . ten plus miles Northwest of your position! Do you Roger that!” explained Magic Two.
“Roger Magic Two!” replied Welland.
“Your Vector is two eight nine degrees . . . drop altitude to one zero . . Roger that!”
“Roger that Magic Two . . . Vector eight nine degrees . . . altitude one zero! . . . how’s the traffic!” Welland asked.
“There’s heavy traffic on your East and also South as there’s two big SAR’s and clearances in operation but we’re keeping them away from your box so you’re clear to go weapons hot and choose your attack runs at your discretion! . . .Roger that Claymore!”
“Roger that Magic . . . we’re on our way!” replied Welland.
A couple or so minutes flight time away at an over run town, a platoon of Royal Green Jackets were holed up at the town’s local school desperately trying to keep a mass of ‘Zeds’ from entering the building and wiping out the surviving towns folk.
A few weeks earlier after the start of the outbreak some of the local police had the foresight to barricade the school and get as many of the town’s folk and supplies into protection until they were rescued by HM Forces. Despite the carnage outside at least four hundred folk had survived and were in the process of being rescued by the Green Jackets when the ‘Zeds’ seeing something afoot and hearing the noise of the approaching military vehicles started swarming around the three floored building. Now after battling for over a couple of hours keeping the ‘Zeds’ at bay their ammo situation was starting to degrade and with all the rotary wing assets being maxed out in use they’d called in an air strike to give them a breather and allow evacuation by the canvass backed vehicles parked in the rear in the school yard.
Travelling at nearly six hundred knots at just under a thousand feet and coming up on the area given by Magic Two both Welland and Phillips switched to the frequency used by all the Army forward air controllers to call in an air strike to contact the stranded ‘Pongo’s.
"Claymore! . . . Claymore! . . . this is Golf One Six . . . we have you on visual . . inbound to our position Roger!" said an unknown voice across the comm's.
"Roger that Golf One Six . . . any chance of a mark!" replied Welland asking the Green Jackets to put up some smoke to indicate where they were. Taking their prompt the Green Jackets let rip a marker canister which blew blue smoke indicating their position.
It was then that both Tiffiy’'s roared along at less than a hundred feet. Running along the road towards the school both pilots flew past the Green Jacket’s position at over six hundred knots then pulled up and banked to port to make another pass. As they did so they pilots caught a glimpse of a huge throng of Zed's at least a dozen thousand pushing against one another trying to get at the trapped troopers and civvies at the school looking like football fans entering a stadium.
"Golf One Six . . . Golf One Six . . . this is Claymore Seven . . . we have your position . . corner of settlement . . . at road junction . . . Roger!" asked Welland
"Roger that . . . Claymore . . . we need one pass east bound on the road then a second north bound on the road along both sides of school . . . don't bother about the back yard. we can sort them fuckers out . . . Roger that" said the voice.
"Roger that Golf One Six . . . Claymore Seven and Nine coming in . . . brace yourselves!" Welland instructed.
Welland then ran in again at one hundred feet, already switched to Praetorian ground attack mode on his Tiffys CASTOR radar system he lined the aircraft along the road where he would drop his load of BL-755 cluster bomb units. He then counted down across the comm's to let everyone know what was about to happen.
“Golf One Six! . . Golf One Six . . . this is Claymore Seven . . . bomb release in . . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . .3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . shit!!! . . . abort . . . abort . . . apologies . . . apologies . . . target obscured . . . going around!" Welland said angrily as smoke from some burning buildings in and around town blocked his view.
"Roger that Claymore!" the voice said. Ten seconds later Phillips flew past also aborting his bomb run.
Less than a couple of minutes later Welland was back on the same run in while Phillip's loitered in the back ground patiently waiting for his turn. I hope to god the smoke clears this time Welland thought to himself knowing that many people’s lives depended on him. Getting to the target he spoke down the comm's again.
"Golf One Six . . . Golf One Six . . . this is Claymore Seven . . . bomb release in . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . bombs away!" Welland multiple touched his trigger to drop all seven of his bombs in a stick, the loss of three and half thousand pounds in weight causing the Tiffy to veer up into the air. Welland then turned to port to see the effects.
The effects were quite simply devastating. The explosions followed by dense smoke appeared a hundred feet above the Zed's on the road, a split second later fragments, shards, ball bearings the size of a five pence pieces and the residue of the bomb casings tore into the mass of the Zed's. The whole of the horde of Zed's massed on the road collapsed as one as if hit by a bowling ball.
"Claymore Seven . . . Claymore Seven . . . that was straight on the money!" said the voice. It was then the turn of Phillip's who had seen his cue by the distant explosions and came in north bound. Again Phillip's told everyone when he was releasing his load.
"Golf One Six . . . Golf One Six . . . this Claymore Nine . . . bomb release in . . . 5 . . . 4 . . .3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . bombs away!" said Phillip's as he also turned to port to watch his workmanship in action. Like the previous bomb run three explosions then dense acrid smoke pools appeared followed by the inevitable fall of the massed Zed's along the road.
"Claymore Nine . . . Claymore Nine . . . that was bang on . . . if possible we need another two passes on the same area . . . is that ok? . . . what you carrying? . . . . Roger" said the unknown voice.
"Roger that . . . this is Claymore Seven . . . we've got SNEB's left . . . will that do . . . Roger?" asked Welland.
"We would be most grateful if you could . . . these fuckers don't know when they're beat . . . Roger!" came back the reply.
Despite creating absolute carnage on the roads after their attack runs unless the Zed’s had their head decapitated from their body they would still move about. As only half the Zed's were wiped out by the first attack run due to them being so densely packed together those that could tried to get back up with arms and legs missing all the while still intent on killing the occupants of the school.
Again both Welland and Phillip's coming from the south started their attack runs. Travelling east at full throttle Welland bore into the target and got ready to launch his SNEB's at the the half demolished Zed's.
"Golf One Six! . . . Golf One Six! . . . this is Claymore Seven . . . rocket’s launch in . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!" said Wellman.
It was then that a continual whoosh! . . . whoosh! . . . whoosh! . . . whoosh! . . . whoosh! . . . whoosh! sound echoed around the area as black acrid smoke trails came from the six SNEB’s carried underneath the Tiffy’s wing points and made their way to the ground. A split second later came a pom! . . . pom! . . . pom! . . . pom! . . . pom! sound and the customary concussion waves traveling through the ground as the SNEB rockets found their targets, everyone of their sixty eight millimetre warheads causing even more carnage upon the Zed's. Ten seconds later Phillip's did likewise and gave the Zed's on his northern attack run even more punishment.
"Claymore! . . . Claymore! . . . this is Golf One Six . . . thanks for that . . . we'll take it from here . . . there’s still Zed's in the school yard . . . but me and the lads will give them fuckers a good kicking! said the unknown voice. Then there was some garbled transmissions as Golf spoke to the rest of the Green Jackets team at the school.
"Claymore! . . . Claymore! . . . the rest of the team send their regards . . . they say they owe you pair a drink when this is over . . . Roger!"
"Golf One Six! . . . Golf One Six! . . . this is Claymore Seven . . . we've still got our gun's . . . we can make another pass if you want? . . . Roger" asked Welland getting high yet again on the carnage he and his wingman had created.
"Negative . . . negative . . . Claymore . . . we can take it from here . . . Roger!" replied the unknown voice.
"Roger that Golf One Six . . . we're out of here!" said Welland
It was then that he and Phillip's turned and headed for home.