Three part series.
To illustrate this “possible” war scenario, I will use the present proven capabilities of the belligerents.
The Boko Haram conflict ended two years ago with a victory for Nigeria but at great cost. Oil prices are on the rice and once again Nigeria’s economy is flourishingwith an average GDP growth rate of %4.
Wary of potential French subversive and exploitative machinations in the region after ten years of war, Nigeria decides its time to kick the French out of its sphere of influence. Nigeria hopes to accomplish this by bridging the gap between Anglophone and Francophone countries of the region and thus link together West Africa (Benin,Niger and others) wiith Central Africa (Chad,Cameroon and others).
The goal is to institutionally bring together the Anglophone and Francophone countries of West Africa into an integrational format focused on economic cooperation and regional security. The French controlled CFA is the official currency of over half of ECOWAS members, not to mention the colonial taxes it shamelessly imposes on Francophone countries. It will be illusory to expect France to cede its hegemonic neo-imperial influence over the enslaved Francophone.
There is no denying the inevitable. The economic and political future of ECOWAS will essentially come down to a battle between Nigeria and France in getting the member States to either accept being economically and culturally dependent on France? Or for the Paris controlled economies to ditch the neo-imperialist French economic model and bravely join the genuinely independent ECOWAS.
Nigeria is plainly in no position to compete with France on an economic and military level, so Nigeria turns to its other ally China to help with building Nigeria to the point where it can confidently press forward with the monumental task of kicking the French out of its sphere of influence.
China however prefer to enter into strategic partnership with Nigeria economically and have no desire to get involved militarily, getting mired Into a proxy fight with the West is not China’s ultimate goal. China burst into the economic scene by commiting a staggering $80 billion to develop and modernize Nigeria’s oik and gas infrastructure.
FRANCE TAKES NOTICE.
The announcement of an $80 billion investment package for Nigeria by China spooked the French. As Nigeria’s economic clout and strategic partnership with the world’s richest country grows, it was just a matter of time before the desperate poor and dependent Francophone countries are enticed into an economic partnership and integration with a Nigerian led ECOWAS, effectively putting an end to French influence in the region.
France will not relinquish its hegemony without a fight.
British Intelligence uncovered a covert mission by France to disrupt ECOWAS and instigate war. Which is not a surprise given that France has been trying to sabotage Nigeria for half a century. GCHQ (British Intelligence HQ) provided the top secrete memo to Nigeria’s Intelligence services.
The memo was titled
“Justification for French Military Intervention in West Africa”
which pretty much explains itself.
The plan entails staging fake attacks on French citizens that would then be used as a pretext for carry out selected attacks n Nigerian targets.
The plan entailed blowing up an empty French patrol vessel at the Cameroonian harbour, and conduct fake funerals for French sailors. One of the crazy plan involves blowing up a small civilian plane. An aircraft would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to Cameroon.
At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The document goes on to explain how the plane would issue a distress call, explaining that it was under attack by the Nigerian Air force. The aircraft would then be blown up by remote control in the middle of its distress radio transmission.
We’ve seen this played out before. It took Nigeria a decade with 30,000 civilian casualties to sun due and crush Boko Haram. If France wants to play cowboy again, Nigeria is not interested in playing Red Indian.
Nigeria attacks Chad with three amoured divisions.
Hostilities begin with Nigeria launching a preemptive strike on Chadian airfields and strategic targets by the Nigerian Army 3rd Armoured Division.
The 3rd Armoured Division is responsible for the security areas bordering Chad. The division is headquatered in Jos and is made up of the 21 Armoured Brigade Maiduguri, 24 Armoured Brigade Yola and 33 Artilllery Brigades.
The 23 Armoured Brigades is made up of 231 and 232 Tank Battalions.
The Artilllery Brigade is made up of the 331 and 332 Field Artillery Regiments.
In totality the fire power the Nigerian Army 3rd amoured brings to bear on the Chadians are :
- 36 T-72 Main Battle Tanks.
- 15 T-55 MBT
- 50 Vickers MBT
- 100 Field Artillery Guns
- A mixture of 200 Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Amoured Personnel Carriers
- 15,000 troops.
- 20 APR-40/ RM-70 Multiple Launch Rocket System
- 10 ZSU-23-4 Self Propelled AA Gun
- 5 Roland Short Range Surface to Air Missile System.
Nigeria’s operational goal is to destroy the airfields in N’djamena and hopefukky capture the airport in a quick surprise attack. Securing the airport, destroying the Chadian military aircrafts on the ground and making the runway inoperable for as long as possible.
Despite its oil wealth, Nigeria has failed to build up its air force substantially. That not withstanding for air support the Air Force deploys :
- One ATR-42 Maritime patrol plane.
- 10 Mi-24/35 helicopter gunships
- 10 light attack Alpha Jets.
- 8 F-7N high speed interceptor.
- 3 CH-3 Rainbow Attack Drone.
The Alpha Jets are armed with the Beluga cluster munitions.
Also the Nigerian military takes total control of NASDRA’s 5 low orbital sattelites for photo Reconnaisance. These satelites gives the Nigerian Army secure encrypted communications and will also provide imagery directly to mobile ground stations in Abuja with the attacking tank columns.
The element of surprise is lost ! Sattelite Imagery show Cameroonian troops and ground vehicles moving to reinforce Njamena. Nigeria’s military high command are not worried. Numerically they are far too inferior to pose any serious challenge. The secrete deployment of troops to reinforce Chadian defensive positions could only mean one thing ; The French know an attack is imminent and Nigeria is under no illusion of France staying out of the conflict.
It’s too late now to de-escalate. Wasting time only gives the enemy ample time to prepare. The order is given : ATTACK.
FRANCE decides to unilaterally enter the conflict on the side of Chad. France is a thousand miles away and theres little in place for French military infrastructure in Chad large enough to deter Nigeria’s invasion force. France orders the military to assist the Chadian army to halt or slow down the Nigerian advance until it could mobilise a large enough force to crush the Nigerian Army and kick it out of Chad,
Forty eight hours later the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaullle is spotted by leaving port via sattelite imagery. This is the one weapon that sends shivers down the spine of Nigeria’s military commanders.
France is the only nation besides the United States that has a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The 45 thousand ton Charles de Gaulle has a complement of 40 Dassaukt Rafale and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.
It’s also carries the deadly Aster missiles. Embedded in the carrier are 2000 French elite French Foreign Region. With a top speed of 40 knots, the Charles de Gaulle will reach the West African coast in roughly one week.
The Stealth Corvette’s NNS Unity and the Hamilton Class Frigates NNS Okpana and NNS Thunder assigned to the Eastern Naval Command position themselves off the coast of Gambia and Cameroon. Lacking in long range anti ship missile, 6 RM-70 MLRS are deployed onboard the warships with a further 30 BM-21 GRAD dotting coastal land bases.
For extended detection range the Frigates will rely on airborne aircraft equipped with long radars and drones for target detection and if need be guide interceptor aircrafts or artillery strikes.
OCTOBER 15 2020
At 21:00 hours, massed artillery units hurl trainloads of high explosive artilllery shells and 122 mm rockets in a sustained massed volley. The psychological effect of hundreds of very loud screaming artillery shells landing in a sustained volley that seemed to go on forever sent panic stricken Chadian troops running in all direction. Those who survived the bombardment wee peppered with multiple shrapnel wounds.
The artillery bombardment overwelmed air defense batteries that dotted the military base. Expecting an air attack they had hoped to lure the Nigerian Air Force into attacking by parking the entitety of their attack planes outside their hangers, out in the open. They knew the capabilitie of the Nigerian Air Force strike fleet and hoped to obliterate the NAF at a stroke with their SAMS and troops wielding MANPADS on rooftops.
Obviously the Nigerian army did not read the script. Surface to Air missiles proved useless against artillery shells and rockets. Six MiG-29’s, four SU-25 Frogfoot and a handful of helicopters packed outside the ramp were destroyed.
Nigerian Navy ships lack anti-ship missiles and will be sitting ducks for French submarines or warships if it tries to engage the French Navy on the high seas. Nigeria deploys its fleet of CH-3 Rainbow drones, loitering overhead searching for the French ships. It spotted two French Frigates off the coast of Gabon.
END OF PART 1.