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The Ipswich Incident is an ongoing conflict in the town of Ipswich, Britain, involving local forces and those of Woodbridge.
Woodbridge had been running semi-regular scouting missions into Ipswich for over a decade and a half prior to the event. Most of these were simple surveys, but some were dedicated raids, intended to kidnap or assassinate local figures who posed a threat to the status quo in Woodbridge.
Over the course of 2008-2011, the People's Army of Ipswich, or PAI, grew in power in northwest Ipswich and its territory expanded across the north bank of the river Orwell. In summer 2010 the PAI drove out the various local groups in the town centre and assumed control of most of the area west of the railway line. With the PAI controlling most of Ipswich and with several clans stamped out a peace descended on the town.
The consequence of this peace, and the various shady connections amongst the military, industry and government of Woodbridge would result in the most bloody debacle in the nation's history to date.
At 1:15PM three HH-53s of the Woodbridge Air Force's Manticore Flight took off from WAF Woodbridge and proceeded east-south-east towards Ipswich, carrying between them one hundred elite Woodbridge troops. Their task was to land at Christchurch Mansion, the home of the incumbent Mayor Keith Avery of Ipswich, pacify his security detachment, and capture the Mayor. He would then be taken to a convoy moving from the A1071 and returned to friendly territory in Ipswich. In order to prevent heavy counterattacks, the helicopters were fitted with mustard gas rounds to stall the movement of reinforcements.
The helicopters arrived at their positions at 1:32PM, and landed their troops at key positions around the manor house. As they attacked the building, Manticore 1-5 moved south and fired the initial volley of mustard gas rounds around the ruins of the Willis Building. PAI troops moving from the football stadium-cum-fortress were forced to double back on themselves as they ran into the lethal gas. Manticores 1-4 and 1-6 strafed enemy positions in Christchurch Park. At 1:41PM the convoy moved over the railway line and came under attack from local forces, incurring two casualties on the way.
Within the mansion, fighting had claimed the lives of five Woodbridge soldiers, but they reported they were secure by 1:44. The convoy was delayed by a series of roadblocks and rubble heaps, only arriving at the site at 1:51 - by which stage, PAI units were assaulting from all angles, and were risking cutting off the convoy's escape route.
However, at 1:55 the Mayor and several key officers were bundled into the convoy which then set off on the route back. The helicopter marines reboarded their transports and took off; eleven more losses were sustained in the retreat. Manticore 1-6 headed directly to the safety zone to deposit its troops; 1-4 and 1-5 stayed airborne, providing cover fire for the convoy.
Then, disaster struck. Manticore 1-5, firing on a retreating group of PAI soldiers, was hit by an RPG; the tail rotor assembly was completely destroyed. The pilots of the aircraft attempted a crash landing in the one open space they had available - the bus terminal. At 2:02, the Sea King crashed.
Of the 40 on board, at least fifteen were killed in the initial impact, including the pilots. Six more were severely wounded or trapped. Only seventeen soldiers were able to escape from the crash, and immediately set up a security perimeter, covering the north and south entrances of the bus terminal. Within minutes they were under fire from PAI troops, assaulting the northern entrance. Manticore 1-4 requested permission to land its troops at the crash site to offer support, but were denied permission when two more RPGs were fired into the air. They continued to provide covering fire for the convoy until it successfully managed to reach safe territory at 2:13.
Immediately, preparations were made for a counter-attack. Troops from Woodbridge's permanent garrison in Kesgrave were armed; as soon as the convoy returned home with its prisoners, it was refueled, reloaded, and sent back out, carrying two hundred soldiers and with many more preparing to arrive on foot. At 2:47 they crossed back into central Colchester - but now, the PAI forces were prepared, with hundreds of troops on the ground, defending the key entrances into their territory. The convoy penetrated no more than 150 metres on Woodbridge Road before it ran into a roadblock and was forced to halt. The rear portions attempted to move down Belle Vue Road instead but was again forced to a halt. A brutal firefight between the Woodbridge troops and local forces ensued as they attempted to break out of the area, having no orders to retreat. When they finally were told to retreat, at 2:58, it was off no good - PAI soldiers had moved through the overgrown railway line and blown the bridge, cutting off the convoy, and forcing them to push outwards. After a prolonged battle they eventually managed to move northwards into a park that had become farmland, then were forced into a battle through the cemetery before they could move on.
Prime Minister John Robson was informed of the news and decided to request assisstance from ally and close friend Lee Evans of Essex. The High Minister agreed to the request and ordered that the mechanised portion of Essex's 3rd Battalion be dispatched immediately to Colchester, with the advance guard having an estimated arrival time of three hours.
By 4:00 the troops of Manticore 1-5 were fatigued and under threat. Three of their number had been killed and they were running low on ammunition. They were facing an incessant onslaught at their roadblocks and were taking sniper fire from PAI troops in the surrounding buildings. Pinned down and with the situation deteriorating by the minute, the troops were losing morale. Mission command knew it had to take drastic measures. At 4:18 they took the extreme risk of sending in Manticore 1-4 back up, flying it up the river Orwell and having it rapell down eighteen relief troops on Bridge Street. Though they took light arms fire and suffered two injuries in the landing process the troops were able to take cover whilst Manticore 1-4 laid down suppressing fire, and subsequently departed for St Peter's Church and the crash site. As they moved up Turret Lane they surprised several advancing PAI troops and cut them down; by 4:26 they had cleared out PAI snipers overlooking the southern entrance to the crash site. They were greeted warmly, if brusquely, by the crashed troops, and were soon directed to reinforcing the roadblocks and treating the injured.
At 4:50 another wave of breakout attempts were made along the rail line, but again were met with resistance. Practically the entire PAI had mobilised and was in combat positions across their eastern frontier or besieging the crash site. The second wave of attacks was beaten back with intense casualties to Woodbridge, even with air support from Manticores 1-4 and 1-6. It was eventually decided that tanks should be drawn in before any further assault was made, as Woodbridge's combine harvesters couldn't stand up to an enemy equipepd with RPGs. At 5:13 the last troops would retreat.
At the crash site, combat was vicious. Five had died - one of wounds sustained in the crash, three shot dead, and one from combat wounds. Again, morale was dropping, and with the PAI's attention now purely on them, they were under increasingly heavy pressure. At 5:34 their commanding officer was killed. With sniper fire increasing, enemy attacks growing more powerful, and with drizzle slowly turning to rain, morale was once again dropping. At 5:55 PAI troops decided to take final action. To the horror of the Woodbridge troops, dozens of soldiers began to pour out of the line of houses to their west, and opened fire on the Woodbridgers. Cut down the middle and with the whole point of their defence - the helicopter - captured, the men laid down their arms and surrendered. At 6:02 Manticore 1-6 reported that there was no gunfire from the area.
For the next hour there was a tense silence. PM Robson followed the updates on troop movements with intense interest, and regularly contacted HM Evans and King William - there were some fears that, no matter how implausible it seemed, the debacle in Ipswich could be related to their great scourge, the True British Army.
Then, at 6:40, all military radios in the vicinity received the following message from an unidentified PAI member:
"This message is addressed to the soldiers and people of Woodbridge, as well as any of their allies. We hold 26 of your soldiers and 31 dead. We are willing to exchange them but demand the return of Mayor Avery, the immediate end to arms shipments to rival groups in Ipswich and the ceasing of any future military incursions. These terms are not negotiable. At midday tomorrow we shall be prepared to exchange the corpses of your fallen troops for Mayor Avery at Foxhall Road bridge. Your soldiers will be let out once we have confirmation of all arms shipments to our neighbouring clans are over and their weapons are placed in our disposal."
The news shocked every single ear that heard it. When the message was relayed to HM Evans he immediately oredered the halting of the relief convoy pending and explanation from Robson. Robson himself was possibly the most shocked, believing the message to be lies and blackmail. However, HM Evans demanded that Robson investigate the issue if he wished for any further support in the mission. Though angered by the news and his friend's belligerence, Robson grudgingly decided to have his aides run an inspection of paperwork relating to the arms distribution process. At 10:37 he received a telegram stating that though the system seemed mostly correct, there were some numerical discepencies at an ammunition store in Stowmarket. The warehouse overseer was unavailable for contact and had not been since midday; the executive taking the call from the inspectors said that there had been an increasing number of departures in recent months for which he was unaware over the paperwork. These departures, he reported, had all been in the direction of Ipswich.
The Woodbridge Examiner published an interview with the missing warehouse overseer, Major George Leonard in which he stated that that senior members of the Army and government had connections with organised crime and it was these connections that had allowed some of the Army's weaponry to end up in the possession of the armed gangs in Ipswich. An official government spokesman said that the Major's claims were nonsense and designed only to deflect blame from himself.
The Woodbridge Examiner printed another report going into more detail and evidence was revealed that among the people involved in the corruption allegations were the Defence Secretary and the officer commanding the 8th Battalion of the Woodbridge Army.