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Old 09-26-2022, 05:16 PM
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September 10, 1997

Canon has nothing on the day. Unofficially,

SACEUR hosts a commanders' conference to discuss the strategic situation. The meeting begins with each of the major sub-theater commanders, from the (largely dormant) Norwegian front to eastern Turkey, giving a status report on their sector, followed by a briefing by the SACLANT deputy commander on the status of the war at sea. That is followed by a briefing from representatives of the various industrial and support organizations in the alliance on upcoming production, transportation, medical support and other logsistic issues. In the discussion that follows, the gathered generals and admirals conclude that with the collapse of the Chinese war effort and outbreak of nuclear war that the chance of NATO reaching a successful attainment of its war aims is low, and that the most prudent way to avert a collapse on the central front is to stage a fighting withdrawal to German territory, where there is the best chance of defending the Oder-Niesse line for an extended period of time; simultaneously all available effort should be made to shore up the embattled NATO southern flank, taking advantage of the damage already wrought on the Greeks and Italians.

The final flights carrying the 197th Field Artillery Brigade (New Hampshire National Guard) arrive at Allen Army Airfield and Eielson Air Force Base near Fort Wainwright, Alaska as the brigade's lead batteries fire their first shots against the Soviets in the theater. The guardsmen are Arctic warfare experts, having fought along the Litsa line throughout the winter, spring and into July. X Corps assigns a CH-47 helicopter company to the brigade to allow its heavy howitzers to be moved around the battlefield.

Another (false) alarm about an imminent Soviet nuclear attack sends the Royal Family and Government scrambling to emergency dispersal locations.

Following the departure of the 70th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, the 17th Guards Motor-Rifle Division begins loading aboard trains in Mongolia for transit to the fronts in Europe.

The USS Missouri battle group makes a sweep through the Gulf of Alaska, guided by the P-3s of VP-48 (relocated from Adak to Anchorage, then CFB Comox), to intercept a Soviet reinforcement convoy. The poorly defended Soviet force - a handful of obsolescent frigates and corvettes, led by the 1964-built cruiser Steregushyy - prove to be excellent fodder for the American force's guns. The loss of the convoy severly hampers the ability of Soviet forces in southeastern Alaska and British Columbia to operate, as it carried much of the fuel, rations, ammunition and replaceements needed to sustain their offensive.

As NATO commanders contemplate the loss of Polish territory, they begin to plan for the area they currently occupy to be, in the future, once again behind enemy lines. Accordingly, they implement measures to support their stay-behind forces, embed remote monitoring and ease future operations behind the lines, with an aim to delay and disrupt Warsaw Pact forces. Hide sites are prepared for Special Forces and Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrols, stocked with rations, ammunition, batteries and medical supplies. Several clearings in forests and abandoned farms have fuel tanks quietly buried and filled with JP8 to serve as forward refuelling sites for attack helicopter deep penetration raids. REMBASS and other unmanned remote acoustic, seismic and magnetic sensors are buried near road junctions, bridges and other key points so that future Pact troop movements can be tracked and reported to NATO commanders, allowing a prompt and accurate strike.

The US 71st Airborne Brigade is forced out of the city of Deva, which it has been defending for many weeks against the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army. To avoid becoming the target of another Soviet nuclear strike - the city was struck by a nuclear-armed Scud missile at the onset of the Pact offensive - the brigade disperses into company-sized detachments in the mountains, fighting alongside their trusted allies of the Romanian 5th Mountain Brigade.

The Jugoslav high command furiously scrambles to gather more troops from around the country to defend the capital as that city's main garrison, the 1st Proliterian Guards Mechanized Infantry Division rushes north to face off against the Soviet 16th Army, which is shaking itself free of the remnants of the Jugoslav border defenses. Throughout southern and central Jugoslavia, Territorial Defense militia units are called up to compensate for the loss of regular units which have hastily departed.
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I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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