Royalist forces including the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Welch Fusiliers and Duke of Wellington’s Regiment launched a dawn attack on the Republican defence line in an attempt to follow up on their earlier successful attacks.
Fierce fighting around Barber's Wood and Theydon Mount saw heavy casualties on both sides, the Royalist attack being finally beaten off with the timely assistance of Republican Air Force Harriers operating out of Stapleford Aerodrome, despite it being targeted by Royalist artillery.
20th January 1989: In his inaugural address, George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, authorised the raising of an American Volunteer Group to serve in the United Kingdom if required. Both Bush and his predecessor Ronald Reagan were increasing concerned at the civil war in Britain and the potential threats of both French involvement in England and Soviet intervention in Northern Ireland. Whilst unwilling to have the United States become embroiled directly in a conflict that potentially could expand globally, the sanctioning of a volunteer force organised by the United States government was regarded as a proportionate response to the threat and risks posed.
19th January 1989: Republican troops fell back on the M25 defence line as Royalist troops captured Chelmsford and Billericay in 48 hours of fierce fighting. The Blues and Royals led sweeping advances into rebel held territory as Republican Territorial Army and Trade Union Militia units were swept aside.
18th January 1989: RTE News reports on escalating violence in Northern Ireland with bitter fighting between Royalists, Republicans and Nationalists occurring in Londonderry. Taoiseach Charles Haughey expressed his concerns in the Dáil that the violence in both Ulster and England could spread into the Republic and stated that the Óglaigh na hÉireann, with the help of their Soviet advisors, would ensure that the nation was protected "whatever means necessary" to ensure this did not happen.
First off apologies for the lack of updates of late, no plan survives contact with the enemy, especially when that enemy is real life, however I hope to get back on track with 2ECW soon. In the meantime I thought that this post for painting British armour, off the excellent Cold War Hot Hot Hot blog, worth passing on if you missed it.