Command: Modern Operations (Aegean in Flames) – Every Island a Fort

How are you doing with the Aegean in Flames DLC? It’s a challenging one, that’s for sure. I just made peace with my decision to seek a decisive battle against the Turkish forces. But this is not the topic for this post.

I am here to point out that this DLC showcases tactical and operational issues that go beyond the Aegean. All the way to the western Pacific, for example.

A while back, Lieutenant Joseph Hanacek (U.S. Navy) published an article that summarizes the tactical and operational usage of land forces in naval warfare (Island Forts: Land Forces Have Value in an Air-Sea Battle, USNI Proceedings [2019] 145: 1,392). Such Island forts would be crucial for defeating the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at sea. Armed with anti-ship missiles, the island forts would easily deal with enemy naval assets.

In Aegean in Flames, the player can make use of land-based Exocet batteries deployed in the islands of Lesvos and Cyprus. One very important detail escaped me during my command of them.

The Exocet battery at the island of Lesvos (selected). Two Turkish patrol boats are clearing the Gulf of Izmir, apparently to make way for Turkish naval forces coming out from Izmir.
A salvo of anti-ship missiles, closely chased by enemy F-16s. It was painful to observe the Exocets being shot down my enemy fighters. But eventually the destruction of the enemy patrol boat was achieved.
The TacView panel showing the final guidance of the Exocet onto the patrol boat.
The second Turkish patrol boat had to be dealt with missiles from a Roussen-class fast attack craft (P69 Krystallidis).

There are particulars for Aegean in Flames which are unavoidable and correspond well to real life. Like the air battle that went over the Lesvos island, the chasing of missiles by the Turkish Air Force and myself destroying a radar site with rockets from a MLRS located in a nearby island. One must not forget that this naval warfare in narrow seas at its best. But the use of anti-ship missiles from an island was a great experience. The harvest would have been better if I had followed the principles outlined in the article cited above: the island forts need the cooperation of boats to achieve maximum effectiveness. I have entered my P69 too late into the fight.