“Tallinn Is Burning” — A Dispatch from the Beginning of a Future War

January 15, 2015

Editor’s note: The following story by Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr., the deputy editor at BreakingDefense.comis a featured entry from the Art of Future Warfare’s “Great War” war-art challenge that called for a front-page style dispatch from the outbreak of the next major global conflict.



No Contact With US Troops, Estonians As Russians Attack
Chinese Escalate Airspace Violations Vs. US Allies
President To Address Nation Tonight

PENTAGON: Online, on TV, and on the phone, the capital of Estonia is a black hole. From space, though, you can see Tallinn burning.

Silence fell in the packed Pentagon press room this afternoon as Defense Secretary Michèle Flournoy clicked through photo after photo, all taken by satellites because surveillance drones have been shot down: the medieval Toompea Castle where the Estonian parliament meets on fire; the 14th-century town hall in smoking ruins; the Tallinn TV tower snapped in two. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – named for a Russian military hero – is intact but surrounded by armed men, with Russian Hind helicopters hovering overhead. Running people are visible in some shots, but in most, the streets are eerily empty except for crumpled bodies and armored vehicles. A lone cheer broke the silence in the press room only once, when a picture showed a Russian tank on fire: Someone down there is fighting back.

Read the full story at the Art of Future Warfare site…