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The Tenth Crusade... The Vatican is attacked

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
The year 2032 wasn’t a good one but with the spring of the New Year, there is hope on the horizon. Europe is in shambles. With the withdrawal of American troops from the Middle East and their isolationism, the Caliphate regrouped, waited and struck. A new Islamic State took over swathes of France and Western Germany with non-believers executed if they wouldn’t convert. Yet, being Muslim was no longer enough. Faith had to be proven by joining the Caliphate in their destruction of anything not in their plans. Refusal was certain death.

England and Russia are fighting their internal battles, the USA quickly eliminated the uprising on their soil using militias. Volunteers went to Canada and then to England as they had done before. Others put their eyes on Europe.

With the border of the European Caliphate moving east, the Germans are now reconsidering the Philippine model and sent out a request for help to the rest of Europe. Hungary, Finland, and Poland immediately signed up. Italy signed the pact but was embroiled in its own battles to protect the Vatican. A hodgepodge of equipment has started arriving. So did the volunteers, Scandinavians, Americans from both North and South, and Asians.

The Iberian Peninsula is mostly under Caliphate control and the Spanish and French, with their foreign legions, are united to try to push them out while the French also control the western border of the European Caliphate.

In Asia, Japan and Korea are isolated, China brutally put down and interned all the tribes from their uprising. They also sent ships out to blockade all the Muslim islands to wait out their outcomes. Arms and advisors poured into Africa to protect the Chinese interests. The Philippines slaughtered any non-Christians they came across.

The Australians drove their insurgents into the desert where they perished and then went on to liberate New Zealand in a horrific set of landings and battles.

Africa and the Middle East are in turmoil as various groups fight and take control, the vast majority of deaths being Muslim versus Muslim. With the Russian withdrawals from Africa, the men they trained joined the Chinese contingents against the various African Islamist terrorist groups.
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
I hope more people join in if they like the story... I am going a bit earlier in the timeline to 2027 :D Sort of the prequel to the intro. ;)

Regards,
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
The Prelude to my entry... (should this be a new post?):


Timeline - 2027; Sicily. Vandalism has been occurring in cemeteries with crosses knocked over and mausoleums defaced with paint. Wednesday morning, November 3rd, the staff found the body of an immigrant, beaten, with a cross in blood on his forehead, arms outstretched as if on a cross, and the fresh head of a hog on his abdomen. The mausoleum belonged to one of the Capo families and it seems the intruder was caught. Flowers, candles, and other gifts remained all over the cemetery as November second is celebrated as the Day of the Dead.

News of the murder brought out protests from the immigrant communities on Sicily and the mainland. However, the Carabinieri didn’t find any suspects or witnesses which led the immigrants to believe they were paid off.

December 8th, after celebrating The Immaculate Conception mass at the Cattedrale di Palermo, the Archbishop was assaulted and stabbed with the Cathedral set on fire. While the damage to the building was minimal, the Archbishop passed away due to his wounds. Security footage, passed on to the media, showed several men in a coordinated attack.

Repercussions were swift and led to the “Notte Della Morte Nera” after the arrival of refugee ships carrying the bodies of passengers who were shot. Recent immigrants of African descent were rounded up and taken to the Moschea di Catania, locked in, and the Mosque was set on fire. On the horizon three more refugee ships lit the night with fires. The Carabinieri were driven back to their stations and laid under siege until they relinquished their weapons. The island was under control of La Cosa Nostra.

2028 came in and there were still riots and destruction in immigrant neighborhoods on the mainland. Sicily was eerily quiet as all transportation was effectively shut down and the thought of civil war loomed. Immigrants who escaped that night fled to the mainland only to be stoned in public in the neighborhoods for fear they were “turned” by the Sicilians.

Peace only came when the Italian Marines threatened an invasion and a settlement was reached. The Carabinieri didn't come forward against anyone and the armed groups disappeared as quickly as they had formed.

This news caused the riots to spread out of the slums on the mainland with property destruction and assassinations of law enforcement. The Polizia di Stato, Arma dei Carabinieri, and the Guardia di Finanza all found themselves out-gunned as firearms were encountered. A search for an urban riot police vehicle was underway.
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
If anyone wants to join in on this story, simply title it The Tenth Cursade... (your subject direction)

Regards,
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
The setting for my entry vehicle...

They came in through Piazza San Piettro, two groups each with two vehicles. The lead vehicles were tour buses with the first being explosive laden and blasting its way past the wall with metal detectors. The second had the sapper teams pour out into the Vatican and fan out.

The alarms went off in the Vatican and the first response to protect the landmarks was a shutdown consisting of locked doors, power cutoff, and motion detectors triggering the release of Fentanyl gas into the sealed rooms. Upon release, flashing lights indicate to guards where people may be unconscious, so they can get to them prior to vomiting and choking to death. In case of fire, pressurized Inergen (IG-541) gas is used as a suppressant. It can also be set off by the guards should a bomb be suspected.

A news helicopter flies overhead as the reporter points out the residential complex with flashing lights on its foyer. She mentions a tank approaching as the cameraman zooms in on the six wheeled armored car which fires off two smoke grenades in an effort to disguise the approach of Pontifical guards to the building.

Gunfire from the building can’t be heard but the tracers indicative of automatic fire can be seen. The Pontifical Guards retreat behind the armored car which switches on blinding lights and fires a grenade into the room from which the gunfire appeared. A bright flash precedes a loud explosion as all the windows fly outwards and glass shards shower the street. A second grenade is fired into the adjacent room as the guards rush the entrance.

Surprisingly, more gunfire appears and the armored car replies with two quick shots from its cannon, causing the collapse of the corner of the building onto the floor of the top level. More flashes are seen while the armored car inches closer to the building entrance.
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
Damned, I am SIX weeks early. LOL, I thought it starts June 1st. Learn to read Saul!

Troopers - The Swiss Guards have been the Pope’s bodyguards for centuries and have a tradition uniform which is considered a tourist attraction. However, it should be noted that many of them are in plain clothes and armed with the latest weaponry, usually Swiss designed such as their Sig P226 pistols.

With attacks occurring at several tourist locations, the decision was made to keep the traditional uniforms but to upgrade them to modern protection standards. 3D printed metallic plastic armor was designed to be light and have mounting studs inside for Kevlar and ceramic armor plates. Their distinctive helmets, the Morions, had already been replaced with PVC types in 2019 but the new ones returned to the metal appearance and added communications gear.

Until 1970, the Pope had a private army called the Gendarmerie who were reduced to a paramilitary police force. However, they did continue to use military hand weapons such as the MP-7A1 submachine gun. With the recent events the Pope decided to reinstate them as an army and had them procuring new vehicles such as the two AB-214 armed helicopters which are able to whisk away the Holy See in an emergency.


Swiss guards in traditional uniform wearing the PVC helmets. — in Vatican City.
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MP-7 as used by the Pontifical Gendarmerie from one of Trumpeter's small arms packs.
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MP-7 with extended stock, as used by the Pontifical Gendarmerie.
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MP-7 with stowed stock, as used by the Pontifical Gendarmerie.
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P226 pistols as used by the Pontifical Gendarmerie from one of Trumpeter's small arms packs.
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Even the back of these P226 pistols in holsters, as used by the Pontifical Gendarmerie, have accurate details.
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Regards,
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
Procurement – The Esercito Italiano was approached about passing some vehicles to the various law enforcement departments but the request was only for wheeled vehicles which wouldn’t damage the ancient streets in some jurisdictions. Light reconnaissance cars were then offered although the armament was lacking.

Law enforcement then embarked on finding out what armament upgrades would be available to deal with the current and future threats yet able to be mounted on the offered light recon cars. Thank to isolationism, the US military had a lot of surplus as its military stood down and returned to their country. This meant weapons were offered at incredibly competitive prices with the tag line: battle tested, guaranteed to work. Sadly, they had nothing to offer.

Russia and the Ukraine both offered their urban fighting vehicles, but they were tracked and immediately disqualified. Asia offered some upgrades and it was from China that a turret was considered.

This turret was being phased out and removed from the PLA inventories’ YW 307, Type 92 IFV, and WZ 501A. It was lightweight but the attraction was that the weapons were remotely fired and housed externally in armored pods. These pods were customizable and allowed for the main weapon to be dual feed yet under armor as well.

The armament consisted of a 25 mm cannon and slaved 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. With improved hydro-electric drives, it was possible to almost triple the speed and increase the accuracy response of the weapons. A new target acquisition sight eliminated the need for the physical linkages to the main gun.

For logistics, the 30 mm cannon used by the Aeronautica Militare’s Apache helicopters was considered but the girth of the breech ruled it out. The Apaches were bought as replacements for the Mangusta at very good prices with plenty of spares and ammunition.

Looking at other chain guns, the 30 mm Bushmaster II seemed a perfect candidate but the pods would need to incorporate the forward spent shell ejection of this gun. The ability to upgrade to the 40 mm at a future date sealed the deal.

Since the Polizia di Stato provide backup for the Vatican, a representative from the Holy See’s office was present during discussions of the armament since the cost would be shared with Rome’s Polizia unit. The 30 mm was proven to stop the mobile IEDs which were increasing in frequency with some improvised using Bank armored cars. High explosive and armor piercing shells could be chosen as needed.

The slaved coaxial machine gun was found to be lacking and the Arma di Carabinieri argued for an automatic grenade launcher which would allow them to lob over walls like a mortar. This appealed to the Vatican representative as it meant minimizing the damage done if in use.

Settling on the German GMG 40mm automatic grenade launcher, an order was placed for the turrets for the Polizia di Stato and the Arma di Carabinieri. The Vatican found itself arming their Pontifical Carabinieri and would receive two of these vehicles once completed.

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Regards,
 
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sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
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First, let's see where I started last year. I played along but didn't post publicly.
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The Puma's interior had the armored glass vision ports painted and installed with the rest painted matt black as I decided what armament to use...022.jpg

I decided on the turret from this BMP variant...

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since the design team at Trumpeter decided to use a turret from Hobby Boss (which Trumpeter designed) and not mention the disparity in sizes of the turret piece and hull race. Note how small the turret race should be based on part C2.

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Yet, the BMP turret race is the correct dimension and therefore too large! I decided to use an upgraded SP Designs BMP turret.
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Now the hurdle of adding it to the Iveco Puma hull. First, decide where it goes and then we begin! Let's fill up the cupola hole on the hull. Pencil lines show where the turret will be and many hull roof details were carefully removed to reapply in new locations.018.jpg

The first step is to scribe into the turret base (C2) all the way in (red line) and not to cut it flush with the base. The resulting hole on Part C2 should accept the removed ring.
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The removed turret ring is them placed where needed and tack glued with cyano-acrylate from the inside of the ring.
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Here, the turret base is added to ensure correct placement then removed to properly bond the ring to the hull roof with cement.
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You now have a turret which can be added like any kit (twist on) but in reverse. 021.jpg

Regards,
 
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