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R/C Tank Combat

Chelmsford Conflict

Background

by Chris Malton

We are at war. With rising fuel prices, and no sign of stopping, the public are angry. In a desperate attempt to cut their prices back, suppliers began laying off staff, and lowering pay. This lead to workers going on strike, blockading roads and ceasing deliveries. Eventually, the workers' union gave an ultimatum - the workers demanded a 16% increase on original salaries, or they would sabotage the North Sea oil pipelines.

Negotiations were entered into between fuel firms and their unions, but discussions soon broke down as neither side would compromise. As the situation escalated, the ultimatum date drew nearer, but, on February 23rd, the day before the deadline, rumour spread that the government had been hiking up fuel tax, under the cover of the oil shortages. Mass media coverage propagated this, and frantic government denial did nothing to alleviate public anger. To worsen matters, a dossier was leaked from within the government which showed raised taxation. The public had now lost all faith in the government which had deceived them.

A state of crisis was declared as mass demonstrations broke out in every major city. Throngs of protesters clashed with the riot police, who found themselves gradually becoming overwhelmed in more and more conflicts, as sheer weight of opposition grew. The people's demands? No more fuel taxation. Government response was of course that, given the current economic situation, these demands would be implausible.

Enter the King's Own Regiment (KOR) - a rapidly growing extremist party, whose radical policies appealed to the masses. In particular, their policies concerning oil and petroleum, grabbed public attention, and seemed to promise what was demanded. The party had also received substantial funding from several British oil companies, who would benefit from their policies, hence the party had considerable monetary resources. With these, they had purchased decommissioned military equipment from throughout Europe, and successfully rebuilt much of it, providing them a stockpile of weaponry, ready for hostile action. In particular, at the command of one of the party's political leaders, tanks had been obtained from the ex-military Sebastian Howard-Anderson.

Then, on the 17th of March, they struck. Launching a devastating campaign of forcible attacks from around the country, the KOR sought to take control of the nation by force. Moving from military bases in the south, where there was less resistance, the UK government sought to fight back, retaliating with helicopters, assault troops, riot control and tanks of their own. But, now it seems like too little, too late. Slowly, the government started entering into conflict across the country, but limited supplies and personnel caused progress to be slow.

One of the towns divided by the conflict was Chelmsford, in the heart of the Essex countryside. Here, the government were lucky enough to find several patriotic people who were in the process of restoring an old, battle-scarred Challenger 2 to former glory. Technicians were mustered and a major restoration process began. Several days later, the government attacked the KOR to the north of Chelmsford.