|Skagerrak Strait Confrontation (1986)|
HMK Oppdager shadows a Veikaian Navy Frigate in the Skagerrak Strait.
|Commanders and leaders|
Ringeriker Royal Navy|
Royal Ringeriker Air Force
|Workers' Revolutionary Army Naval Force|
|Casualties and losses|
|1x Patrol Vessel Damaged by Ramming||
1x Frigate Heavily Damaged|
1x Trawler Damaged
The 1986 Skagerrak Strait Confrontation was a series of escalating incidents resulting from a more aggressive Veikaian maritime policy, seeing an effort to increase the extent of the claimed exclusive exploitation zone, in turn forcing out foreign vessels. This threatened the stability of existing agreements pertaining to the freedom of navigation and exploitation that had been maintained in the Strait for centuries at this point. The Ringeriker government at first attempted to respond diplomatically however relations with the recently formed Council Republic were extremely poor due to active Ringeriker participation in hostilities against the communist revolutionaries not a decade earlier. The second course of action was simply to ignore Veikaian policy and continue to fish and navigate as per previous norms, this resulted in the first major incident, the ramming of a Ringeriker Navy patrol ship, the HMK By, by a trawler, the incident damaged both vessels and led to the first major escalation.
In the immediate aftermath of the ramming of the HMK By the Ringeriker Navy activated it's home standby force, consisting of several frigates, destroyers patrol vessels and a single submarine, the force was tasked with the protection of Ringeriker Fishing vessels and the monitoring of Veikaian naval vessels. Maritime Strike and Patrol aircraft were also involved in the latter task. Ringeriker commercial vessels were instructed to continue ignoring new Veikaian territorial claims.
The intervening period between the deployment of both side's naval forces and the 5th of March were relatively uneventful, whilst the back and forth of political insults and offers making little meaningful progress the threat of armed conflict had maintained the ongoing status quo. This state of relative peace was broken in the early morning of the 5th, as a Veikaian Frigate approached a Ringeriker Trawler that had strayed away from it's escort, ordering it to drop anchor and prepare to be boarded. The trawler managed to radio out to signal it's situation to it's assigned escort, an Oppdager Class Frigate, HMK Slange which immediately turned and made best speed towards the trawler arriving shortly before the Veikaian ship launched it's boarding craft. HMK Slange issued an order for the boat to return and the Veikian Frigate to leave, at which point the Frigate turned it's gun towards the Slange, causing the captain to issue an immediate order to fire, four shots were fired from the Slange's Gjentattkanon 56 main gun, with two striking the Veikaian Frigate's superstructure, killing two instantly and wounding 14 more, a sporadic exchange of fire between the multiple smaller caliber weapons then ensued with no further reported casualties. Both fleets immediately went on high alert, however no further exchanges of fire occurred.
Immediately following the skirmish the Ringeiker Armed forces conducted a major show of force exercise aimed at demonstrating it's ability to dominate the strait, including buzzing a number of Veikaian surface combatants with Maritime Strike Aircraft. This achieved it's aim and most Veikaian vessels turned to port and a direct political line was opened between the two governments, with negotiations concluding on the 7th with an agreement formalizing the Council republic of Veikaia's recognition of previously established international boundaries.
The Ringeriker reaction to the confrontation was overwhelmingly positive, seen as an affirmation that not all had been lost from the ability and prestige of the Ringeriker Armed Forces following the Sorland War.
The confrontation had wide ranging consequences withing the Veikaian Navy, with it's standing severely tarnished and it's ambitions limited effectively to coastal protection duties.