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  #181  
Old 06-04-2022, 04:56 AM
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June 4, 1997

Panzergruppe Oberdorff lifts its artillery barrage of Czestochowa at dawn. The German 361st Panzergrenadier Brigade and US 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) begin their assault on the city.

US Naval forces arrive off the coast of Iran; SEALS and USMC Force Recon units execute sabotage missions while naval gunfire from the reinforced USS Salem surface action group pounds Soviet parachute units in and around Bandar Abbas.

Unofficially,

The container-barge carrier Dalian Carrier is delivered in Mobile, Alabama.

The Victory ship Marshfield is activated in Jacksonville, Florida, where it loads a cargo of bagged cement for transport to the CENTCOM AOR.

Inspector General and Army CID agents arriving at Fort Dix, New Jersey to interview the accused drill sergeant are dismayed to discover that he is no longer on the base and that the brigade S-1 (personnel officer) has produced orders dated a month prior transferring him to the 7th Transportation Brigade in Saudi Arabia. Two female trainees in another battalion approach their commander about abuse by their drill sergeants.

Private Randall Cutler is issued his uniform at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Along the Baltic coast, the Battle of the Hel Peninsula continues. In a repeat of the 1939 Battle of Hel, the Poles use weapons removed from damaged ships to defend the naval base and ordnance from the naval bases’ bunkers as large mines, blasting a ditch across the peninsula that the Germans are forced to use engineers to cross. The Pact command is able to periodically resupply the garrison, running a series of hovercraft, helicopters and wing-in-ground-effect ekranoplans in, mostly at night, evacuating wounded and civilians on the return trips.

V US Corps raids the outskirts of Lodz, hoping to deplete the defender’s fuel reserves and identify weak points for the assault to follow. Corps artillery and attack helicopters are on call to counter the Polish tanks as they counterattack, but the Poles use built up urban routes whenever possible, limiting the effectiveness of the anti-armor effort.

II British Corps reaches the Wisła at Płock. The Polish defenders destroy the bridge across the river before the British troops can capture it, although the British main effort remains Warsaw. The British commander, General Sir John Ramsay, directs that the corps MLRS artillery regiments attack Poland’s largest oil refinery at Płock, slowing ongoing recovery efforts following repeated NATO airstrikes that had halted production in early February.

The Czechoslovak 15th Motor-Rifle Division is out of fuel and anti-aircraft missiles as the 416th Bomb Wing returns to the skies overhead, carpet bombing the division's positions from altitude.

In northern Norway, X Corps commander LtGen William Hammond suffers a heart attack brought on by months of stress and the exhaustion of continuous operations which forces his immediate evacuation. Initially his Chief of Staff replaces him. The 6th US and 6th Norwegian Divisions bring their reserve battalions forward while the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade embark on amphibious shipping.

Pact troops in Romania continue to take ground. Lead elements of 6th Guards Tank Army reach the city of Deva in Transylvania, entering the mountains.

XVIII Corps troops in Iran hold their defensive positions as CENTCOM allocates a large portion of its transportation and supply assets to I MEF to the south.

In the Arabian Sea, the Sierra II-class attack submarine K-534 attacks 5th Fleet's supply train. Low on torpedoes, it launches a spread at the mass of ships before dashing away. One of the fish strikes the oiler USNS John Ericcson while two hit the supply ship Ambassador.

In Indonesia, the Echo II-class cruise missile submarine departs its secret resupply port and slinks north into the sealanes between Indonesia and the Philippines.

Rebel resistance in the Khabarovsk Flour Mill ends, the last 700 men of the 294th Motor-Rifle Division laying down their arms. To the north, executions of mutineers of the 73rd (my 122nd Guards) MRD continue as KGB investigators review the conduct of each rebel soldier; those judged "less rebellious" are transferred to a penal battalion.
__________________
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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  #182  
Old 06-05-2022, 04:55 AM
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June 5, 1997

The Soviet 132nd Tank Regiment abandons roughly $750,000 of gold plundered from the surrounding area and captured from the Germans, hidden under the town of Kartuzy, west of Gdansk.

The Battle of Czestochowa continues, with the German 90th PanzerGrenadier Brigade attacking overnight and gaining a foothold on north side of town.

Photo1 photo2
The 4th (GDW has the 1st) Marine Division conducts an amphibious assault against Bandar Abbas, Iran. The assault is led by the 24th Marine Regiment and a battalion task force from the 1st Marine Division's 1st Marines, landing from amphibious shipping, and the 1st Marine Division's 5th Marines, landing from helicopters that have ferried the troops across the Persian Gulf. The troops land on the west end of the city, fighting to gain control of the port and nearby airfield from the dug-in defenders of the 103rd Guards Air Assault Division.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Tampa Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The 203rd Air Refueling Squadron at Hickam AFB, Hawaii receives its 12th and final KC-767 tanker, dispatching the last of its KC-135R aircraft to Japan to serve with the new 301st Air Refueling Squadron.

Private Randall Cutler is one of 300 privates beginning basic training with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 34th Infantry. He gets "smoked" for the first of many times, forced to do push-ups until he collapses as punishment for not moving quickly enough.

Combined Forces Korea goes on the offensive, exploiting the weakness of the North Korean Army after months of battering against Allied defenses. IX Corps commits the 23rd and 2nd IDs to the effort, while I Corps puts the 7th and 25th IDs on the attack, holding the 163rd ACR in reserve to exploit any breakthrough.

V US Corps continues its anti-armor raids into Lodz, continuing to meet stiff resistance.

On the south of the First German Army sector, the VI German Korps, recovered from the battle for Poznań, drives east against light resistance through Kalisz, Piotrków and east towards Radom, exploiting the gap formed when Polish and Soviet troops withdrew into Czestochowa and Łódź. The Germans slam into 1st Guards Tank Army's blocking positions outside Piotrków.

photo
The Czechoslovak 15th Motor-Rifle Division is subjected to a third day of carpet bombing by American B-52G bombers, each aircraft dropping over 220,000 pounds of bombs on the division.

The reconstituted Strike Fleet Atlantic crosses the GIUK Gap into the Norwegian Sea. It is composed of the American aircraft carriers Enterprise, Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt and Saratoga and the British light carrier Ark Royal. (Illustrious, the other surviving British carrier, is supporting the amphibious force). The carriers’ air wings are much depleted, averaging 52 aircraft each for the Americans while Ark Royal operates 11 Sea Harriers and a handful of helicopters. Nearly half of the American fighter and attack aircraft are older model F-4s, A-4s and A-7s brought out of storage to replace more modern aircraft lost in December. The fighters are short of modern air-to-air missiles, and attack aircraft rely overwhelmingly on unguided bombs. The battleship Wisconsin and an escort force cobbled together from the remaining elements of NATO fleets accompany the carrier force. The American ships are heavily loaded with land attack cruise missiles, displacing surface-to-air missiles (which are in short supply following the Battle of the Norwegian Sea) in the vertical launch cells of the most modern units.

The 14th Army in Romania reaches the transport hub and industrial city of Buzău. The Soviet's first foray into the town is repulsed with heavy losses when the mechanized force is ambushed by People's Militia units operating from higher floors and basements of the city's buildings.

A wave of executions continued in Khabarovsk as mutinous officers from the 294th Motor-Rifle Division are punished for their disloyalty. A second penal battalion is formed as the first one is loaded onto boxcars for the front in China, just a few hundred kilometers away. The 73rd (my 192nd) MRD begins loading back onto trains for transit south to the Vladivostok area.
__________________
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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  #183  
Old 06-13-2022, 02:06 PM
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June 6, 1997

In Czestochowa, the 256th Infantry Brigade (Louisiana National Guard), 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and 27th Fallschirmjeager Brigade have fought their way to the base of Jasna Gora by sunset. The Polish 12th Tank Division and 2nd Motor-Rifle Division are withdrawing up the Wisla River Valley in good order.

Unofficially,

Peace talks in New Delhi drag on, with no meaningful progress. An effort to discuss more technical aspects, such as a ceasefire timeline and methods of enforcing compliance, is rejected as secondary to the main question of terms for terminating the conflict.

The assessment team in Philadelphia reports that the passenger liner SS United States has been largely stripped to the bare bulkheads, poorly maintained and will likely require 18 months or more of intense shipyard work to restore to service and convert to a high-speed troop ship.

At Fort Dix, the Inspector General team has received 17 reports of abuse from female trainees and four reports from male trainees.

The Allied attack in Korea continues. Progress is slow, at least initially, as the attacking force must demolish some of the obstacles which it itself laid just months earlier to halt the North Korean attack. It is slow, detailed work, with engineer detachments, in many cases, traveling forward on foot accompanied by protecting infantry, to wire individual obstacles with demolition charges. In spots where armored vehicles can operate, demolition is carried out by M728 Combat Engineer Vehicles or, where available, M-48A5 and M-60 tanks firing HEP squash-head rounds dragged out of dark corners of ammo depots around the world.

Most of the American carriers depart the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea, leaving the Abraham Lincoln as the sole carrier providing Close Air Support to Allied forces ashore.

Advance patrols of the British 9th/12th Royal Lancers reach the outskirts of the Polish capital, where they are halted by a fiercely defended obstacle belt. The British force is hemmed in by the swamps of the Kampinos Forest to the north and rough terrain to the south. To their west, V Corps troops spend another day preparing for a siege of Lodz, raiding the city's outskirts.

The commander of the remnants of the 15th Czech 15th Motor-Rifle Division surrenders to the US 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), which is extending its sector east as Third German Army advances through Poland.

American, Canadian and Norwegian troops slip into forward positions along the Litsa River on the Kola Peninsula.

Soviet troops of the 14th Army surround the city of Buzau, cutting the most efficient transport routes between Bucharest and the Black Sea Coast. The Black Sea Fleet's 810th Independent Marine Brigade, evacuated from Burgas, Bulgaria, makes an amphibious landing between Mangalia and the port city of Constanta, forcing the collapse of the front along the eastern portion of the Bulgarian-Romanian border as Romanian troops rapidly withdraw before they are cut off.

The fighting in Bandar Abbas rages as Marines and paratroops struggle in intense house-to-house fighting on the western end of the city. The flow of 4th Marine Division units to the beachead slows as the specialized amphibious ships are emptied and the commercial-type vessels are forced to unload in stream. 1st Marine Division tries to make up the difference with companies landed by helicopter, but the lightly equipped troops and heavy Soviet anti-aircraft fire make even that effort perilous. The defenders score a coup when the frigate USS Nicholas comes close inshore to provide gunfire support and gunners of the 884th Independent Rocket Artillery Battalion catch the frigate in the sights of their BM-21V. The launch 36 rockets at the warship, 25 of which strike, setting it ablaze. The American crew takes heavy casaulties in the attack and are unable to get the fire under control and the ship drifts out into the straits, where a civilian salvage tug and other warships from the Salem group attempt to put out the fires and rescue the surviving crew.

Troops of the Pakistani paramilitary Mujahid Force cross into Indian-controlled territory in Kashmir and establish a patrol base.
__________________
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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  #184  
Old 06-13-2022, 03:39 PM
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June 7, 1997

Today is the final day of Battle of Czestochowa; the NATO assault on the Jasna Gora begins at 0100 and by 0430 American and German troops have reached the top of the hill. After a discussion with the American commander about a parlet, at dawn the Jasna Gora monastery is demolished. The Polish 6th Air Assault Division is destroyed as 300 survivors break out to join the 12th Tank Division and 230 Polish paras surrender. The Polish commander dies of his wounds and Major Filipowicz, CO of 6th Engineer Battalion, is wounded in explosions.

On the Kola Peninsula, the long-awaited NATO drive on Murmansk commences. (see details below).

Unofficially,

The commander and command sergeant major of the 5th Training Brigade at Fort Dix, New Jersey are relieved of their duties as investigators uncover widespread trainee abuse in the unit's basic training companies.

The 301st Air Refueling Squadron on Okinawa reaches full strength, with eight KC-135R tankers assigned and six more tankers attached from Strategic Air Command units stateside. The SAC tankers are available to support tactical and airlift missions in Northeast Asia, but if needed for nuclear missions they will be instantly pulled, despite the potential loss of other command's aircraft if a mission is abandoned mid-flight.

Adding to the fighting in Asia, the Chinese People's Liberation Army infiltrates hundreds of small, squad-size groups through the Red Army's widely spaced positions along the thousands of kilometers of front line, while in Korea the slow, grinding Allied advance continues.

The Des Moines surface action group departs Pearl Harbor, bound for the Korean theater.

Further to the west, the US Pacific Fleet (and its allies) begins a major offensive against Petropavlovsk, the (First) Battle of Kamchatka. The American carriers Midway, Constellation, Kitty Hawk, Nimitz, and Stennis move toward the Kamchatka Peninsula with the twin goals of attacking airfields and Soviet naval units operating in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. The Soviets are much less suicidal in this battle compared to December's Battle of the Norwegian Sea, and loses are comparatively light. The Soviets primarily rely on hit and run tactics, with many attacks from all directions throughout the day, and these tactics disrupt flight operations enough for many Soviet ships to retreat to safety. The carrier USS Constellation is sunk by a successful coordinated attack by missiles and aircraft from the carrier Varyag, the Slava-class cruiser Oktyabrskskaya Revolutsia, the Victor III-class submarine K-305 and the Oscar II-class submarine K-456. The Nimitz, Kitty Hawk and several cruisers are damaged, with the Bunker Hill, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, as well as the nuclear-powered cruiser USS Bainbridge and missile cruiser USS Gridley sunk. Four destroyers and three frigates are also sunk, with several more damaged, and two attack submarines, USS Drum and USS Omaha, are lost. The Soviets in turn lose four cruisers, including the battlecruiser Yuri Andropov (leaving the Frunze as the only ship of the class remaining afloat) and the Varyag. The light carrier Minsk escapes with heavy damage (later destroyed when Fokino was nuked by China) while the Oktyabrskskaya Revolutsia escaped to Fokino with no damage (later sunk by the Japanese submarine Arashio, while trying to retreat north to a base on the Okhotsk Sea), as well as several destroyers and frigates sunk or damaged, and at least nine submarines are lost, including the K-305 and the K-456, responsible for sinking the Constellation. The battle ends pretty much as a tactical US marginal victory, but considering the strategic objectives, the Soviets can rightly claim a decisive strategic victory.

Polish defenders turn back yet another attack by the German 1st Panzer Division along the Hel Peninsula. The final units of the 2nd Guards Tank Army are evacuated from the Gdansk Pocket and troops from the Polish 1st Army follow.

In the NATO rear area, the 220th Military Police Brigade (US Army Reserve) crosses into Poland and joins other NATO rear area security units in escorting supply convoys, hunting down anti-NATO partisans and Soviet Spetsnaz teams, evacuating prisoners of war, rounding up NATO deserters and fighting black market activity, especially the sale of supplies to the civilian population.

map
Operation Reindeer II, the NATO attack on the Murmansk area, starts ashore and at sea. Ashore, the offensive opens with an artillery barrage and limited air strikes against the Soviet air defenses, followed by an attack by British and American infantry (the US 6th Infantry Division, reinforced by the 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets) on the Soviet salient west of the Litsa River. The initial assault is rebuffed by dug-in Soviet troops of the 76th Guards Airborne Division and 134th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment, and a few hours later and 10km to the south the Norwegian 6th Division crosses the Litsa and climbs the hills defended by the 77th Guards MRD. A planned landing by heliborne troops from the US 6th Infantry Division is called off after Soviet BM-30 “Smerch” rockets strike the Luostari air base, riddling the massed transport helicopters with thousands of holes. (The 66th Anti-Aircraft Division’s heavy guns, which have been brought forward, would have wreaked havoc on the slow-flying helicopters had they attempted to overfly the front.) Soviet jamming units disrupt the communications between the attacking American troops and their supporting artillery battalions. While the American infantry units use advanced SINCGARS radios with frequency hopping, their supporting National Guard artillery batteries are equipped with 1960s-era single-channel radios, vulnerable to jamming. When the Litsa line was static, this limitation was overcome by use of wire communications, but the advancing infantry carry manpack SINCGARS radios. Northwest TVD’s electronic warfare regiment sets up powerful transmitters that disrupt the Allied communications, forcing attacking American troops to string wire behind them or use couriers to coordinate fire support.

US X Corps receives a new commander, kicked off his permanent replacement, Major General James Collins. Collins has previously held a staff position at the Pentagon (he had commanded 4th Infantry Division in 1994), where he had criticized X Corps’ “lackadaisical sashay on to Murmansk”; his appointment is the result of political pressure in the capital.

Further south, Norwegian troops cross the border into Finland in a bid to bypass the Soviet defenses along the Litsa. In Helsinki, the Norwegian ambassador requests a meeting with the Finnish government, timed for ten minutes before the NATO incursion crosses into Finnish territory, in order to present Helsinki with a fait accompli while still attempting to maintain some goodwill with the token warning. (It is also calculated that initial crossings by Norwegian troops would be less of an affront than American troops; hence Prince Jungi’s force leads Brave Sleigh while Norwegian border troops kicked off Stiff Elf). The Norwegian drive through northernmost Finland, Operation Brave Sleigh, advances from Karasjok, through Inari and into Soviet territory. Prince Jungi is in the lead Leopard I tank as the dragoons crosses into Finland, sweeping aside the token guard force on the border. A secondary drive further south moves east from the border hamlet of Angeli. From there it is a short distance to the crossroads at Inari and the airport at Ivalo. The Norwegian force covers that distance in a little less than 12 hours, culminating in an assault on the airport. Prince Jungi detaches a battalion to guard the village and block the highway to the south, sending the 8th Brigade northeast into the USSR. To the south, Operation Stiff Elf, the American-dominated effort, enjoys similarly rapid initial progress. The token Norwegian Army element, a company attached to the American 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, is quickly overtaken by other units of the 10th Mountain Division as the American force rushes parallel to the Swedish border and east across Finland, determined to quickly strike into the USSR before the Soviet 26th Corps can mass enough troops to halt the lone division. 10th Mountain uses its remaining helicopters to land troops in advance of its forward units, securing crossroads and bridges that otherwise would have to be captured at great cost.

Offshore, Strike Fleet Atlantic sails east for its long-planned assault on Murmansk. The Wisconsin surface action group merges with the much-battered amphibious force moving along the coast while the aircraft carriers travel in a mass 150 miles/275 km offshore Hammerfest, consolidating behind the remaining escorts. Land-based aircraft from 12th Air Force and RAF launch raids to suppress Red Banner Northern Fleet’s ships and shore bases. Naval Aviation reconnaissance aircraft and Soviet satellites track the oncoming fleet, keeping Northern Fleet commander Admiral Popescu informed of the NATO force’s progress. The submarine pens along the coast empty and small attack craft disperse to inlets and bays along the coast. A detachment of heavy anti-aircraft guns from the 66th Division emplaced near the coast tears through the American minesweeping helicopter force; their losses force NATO units into narrower lanes through the Soviet minefields.

photo
The carrier force launches a massed air strike on Red Banner Northern Fleet’s anchorages and bases in the Kola. It is a disaster, the fleet taking huge losses from the reinforced PVO air defense force (missiles, guns and interceptors), losing over 60 percent of the attacking aircraft. While damage is done in the strike, at the end of the day Red Banner Northern Fleet has more facilities surviving than it needed for its remaining ships, while NATO’s vaunted Strike Fleet Atlantic’s air fleet has been shattered.

The iron ore carrier Berg Nord completes its delivery voyage, over six weeks after leaving the shipyard in Korea. The massive ship was forced to avoid the Suez Canal and is too large to transit the Panama Canal, resorting to traveling through Indonesian waters, transiting the Indian Ocean and rounding Cape Horn to enter the Atlantic.

The defenders of the Romanian city of Timisoara surrender as food supplies for the civilian population of over 300,000 are exhausted. The Romanian government scrambles to move additional troops to the country's southeast, where the open, flat terrain favors the more heavily mechanized Soviet force.

photo
Soviet aviation attacks the amphibious force off Bandar Abbas, forcing the abandonment of the rescue effort for the stricken frigate Nichols. The bombers also strike the transport Sea-Land Explore when Soviet missiles targeting the amphibious assault ship Belleau Wood lock onto the containership. Ashore, the 350th Guards Airborne Regiment launches a counterattack, riding their BMD Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicles into the Marine's lines. The paratroops blast through the front-line battalions but soon bog down in more house to house fighting as every building becomes a potential ambush site hiding a Marine with a LAW or grenade launcher.

The KGB and MVD troops in Khabarovsk complete "processing" the mutineers of the 73rd (my 122nd Guards) and 294th Motor-Rifle Divisions. Both divisions are disbanded, their colors returned in shame to Moscow. Every officer over the rank of captain is executed and 1500 surviving enlisted men are sent to the front in penal battalions, to be expended in mass wave attacks on the Chinese. The only men who remain are nearly 250 KGB informants from the two divisions, who are rewarded for their loyalty with a week's leave, two liters of vodka and an assignment to the 70th Border Guard Brigade as replacements for those lost in the fighting. The last elements of the 73rd (my 192nd) Motor-Rifle Division depart the city, returning to garrisons west of Vladivostok to once again rebuild.

Indian border guards discover the Pakistani infiltrators and move to evict them. Gunfire soon erupts, and by sundown a full-fledged battle is raging.
__________________
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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  #185  
Old 06-13-2022, 04:03 PM
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June 8, 1997

Bandar Abbas airfield comes under Allied control as the Soviet paratroops are increasingly worn down by the American marines.

Medical students from St George's Medical University administer first dose of vaccine for "the Flu", the local term for Grenadan Hemorrhagic Fever.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Staten Island Freedom is delivered in Portland, Oregon.

The MGM-124 Midgetman missile system is declared operational by the US Air Force.

The lead elements of the US I Corps reach the first prewar positions along the Demilitarized Zone, the pre-war dividing line between North and South Korean territory. In other areas progress has been much slower, and Combined Forces Command orders I Corps to continue to clear up to the prewar border but not cross it in force.

Additional Chinese infiltrators cross through Soviet lines after dark. Far Eastern TVD requests the return of MVD and KGB troops that had been diverted to battle mutineers in Khabarovsk to improve rear area security, but the KGB troops are not yet available, recovering from the "celebration" that followed their victory and interrogating the city's citizenry to identify collaborators and sympathizers.

V US Corps plans for an assault on Lodz for dawn are foiled once again by the clever Polish commander. At midnight the NATO assault force is subjected to a fierce mortar bombardment and an assault by the Polish territorials, seizing the initiative. Simultaneously, Polish tanks lead a breakout to the east, breaking through the thinly spread pickets of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. By dawn over 80 percent of the defending force has evacuated to the town of Rawa Mazowiecka, over 30 miles to the north. V US Corps, in disarray and with its supplies in the new dumps rather than loaded for an offensive, is unable to offer effective pursuit.

Panzergruppe Oberdorff pauses to regroup after the fierce battle for Czestochowa. Patrols round up Polish stragglers, identify areas that can be safely passed through and sites for NATO logistics sites to support the offensive.

In the NATO rear area, contractors and engineers continue their efforts to repair damaged Polish roads and rail lines.

The training center in Kauteniko, Norway training Saami anti-Soviet partisans closes down. While the Green Berets withdraw, the smoldering fire of Saami militancy does not die out with their departure.

The American force attacking Finland is reliant on a single road from Norway for all of its support, and 10th Mountain Division's support command is hard pressed to keep the advancing forces supplied. Light transport aircraft are able to ferry in additional supplies after the Kittilä airport is captured; the Finnish airport also provides a forward operating base for the division aviation brigade’s helicopters. The American force requisitions the airport’s stock of aviation fuel and supply officers seize diesel fuel from the handful of gas stations. (The US Embassy in Helsinki’s effort to pay for the supplies seized by the division is rebuffed by the Finnish government).

At sea off the Kola, the remaining elements of the Soviet fleet launch a quick counterattack in the immediate aftermath of the failed NATO air strike. Naval Aviation sorties its remaining bombers from their bases near Leningrad immediately, heavily loaded with anti-ship missiles. Small combatants and submarines sortie from their dispersal areas, picking off NATO escorts and maintaining constant pressure on the Allied fleet. Coast defense missile regiments ashore and the remnants of Red Banner Northern Fleet launch a coordinated strike, and Strike Fleet Atlantic’s ships pay a terrible price. America’s most modern cruisers and destroyers have packed their vertical launch cells with land attack cruise missiles at the expense of scarce air defense missiles, and many of the short range air defense missile launchers are only partially loaded after the massive expenditures earlier in the war. While the carrier’s multi-layer defenses stop most of the incoming missiles, Enterprise and Eisenhower are both set ablaze, the British Ark Royal is sunk and many escorts are lost. The Allied fleet takes even more losses as Red Banner Northern Fleet’s surviving submarines descend on their ships.

photo
Observing the mayhem offshore, General Frisvold, commander of NATO Forces in the region, sees an opportunity for the amphibious landing force to slip in and restore the momentum in the coastal drive. The amphibious force splits into two task groups, with a British-led element heading for Ara Bay (18 miles/30 km west of the Murmansk Fjord) and an American one with an objective of Ura Bay (3 miles/5 km closer to Murmansk). The battleship Wisconsin fires her big guns on the coast defense positions while the American marines rush ashore and the skies are filled with helicopters from the fleet’s supporting amphibious carriers. The initial landings are successful as the marines and paratroops surprise the third-rate local defense troops and naval base staffs, but the battleship and other naval units offshore are unable to suppress the coastal defenses. Air support from Strike Fleet is not available, limited to Illustrious’ few remaining Sea Harriers and the USMC’s land-based fighter-bombers operating from bases in Norway.

The US 3rd Fleet, which commanded the raiding force off Petropavlovsk, orders a general retreat towards the Aluetians, allowing the massed but depleted carrier force to regroup and resupply.

The Turkish V Corps suffers another day of heavy losses, as Southern Front commits the 5th Guards Army to overwhelming the Turkish force in Bulgaria. Adding to 1st Turkish Army's trouble, the Greek forces in Thrace launch an attack on the Turkish covering force, diverting reinforcements and supplies from the Bulgarian front. The Turkish high command is growing increasingly concerned with dwindling reserves of heavy weapons, munitions and vehicles.

In Bandar Abbas, Marine Corps C-130s begin to ferry in troops of the 1st Marine Division as the last troops of the 4th (GDW's 3rd) Marine Division land on the beaches on the west end of town. As dusk arrives, the massed CH-47 helicopter force from XVIII Airborne Corps arrives, landing over a thousand troops and tons of supplies at the airport.

In the South China Sea, the Echo II-class submarine K-35 returns to action, sinking the Liberian tanker Crystal Magnus, sailing unescorted with a load of Indonesian crude oil to Japan.

Despite ambushes and small firefights on a nearly daily basis, the Army Chief of Staff decides that the 71st Airborne Brigade, a recently formed unit from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, is best deployed not in Central America containing Nicarauguan communists, but in Romania, facing Warsaw Pact troops. Ideally a heavier unit would be sent, but the airborne force has the advantage of being airmobile, allowing it to arrive weeks before a unit deploying armored vehicles by ship would.

Both India and Pakistan throw additional companies of troops into the ongoing battle on the Line of Control dividing their nations in Kashmir.
__________________
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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  #186  
Old 06-15-2022, 01:21 PM
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June 9, 1997

Nothing official for the day!

The peace talks in New Delhi continue, largely fruitlessly. At the end of the day, the lead Soviet negotiator (an experienced diplomat with decades of experience negotiating arms control agreements with the Americans) is recalled to Moscow.

The NATO Nuclear Planning Group decides to transfer weapons withdrawn from Italy to Turkey; if the front in Jugosalvia and Romania stabilizes enough to support American custodial units then those countries will be reinforced with tactical nuclear artillery shells, rockets and bombs.

The 347th Strategic Missile Squadron loads its vehicles (a mix of soft-skinned trucks and HMMWVs, M-750 armored cars and four Hardened Mobile Launchers) onto train cars for transit to Nevada from Gowen Field, Idaho, where it had been training for several months.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army launches a general offensive along the entire front line. Dug-in Soviet artillery batteries are attacked by infiltrators, and anti-Soviet partisans launch hundreds of attacks on Soviet supply convoys throughout occupied Manchuria. An air raid by F-16s of the American AVG II drops the bridges over the Sungari River at Harbin using Paveway laser-guided bombs, cutting the rail line supporting 1st Far Eastern Front.

Panzergruppe Westhoven, consisting of the 5th Panzer Division, 26th Panzergrenadier Division, elements of the US 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment and several West German jaeger divisions, breaks northeast through the scattered Polish detachments left behind by the retreating Soviets and captures Tomaszow. The lead elements report no enemy troops to the front.

Along the Baltic Coast, 1st Polish Army begins establishing a defensive line on the east bank of the Wisla. The 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Idaho National Guard) starts moving eastward, continuing Third German Army's conquest of Silesia.

Prince Jungi's mechanized force in northern Finland continues moving east, crossing over into the Soviet Union on a lonely gravel road. His detachment struggles to maintain its progress, relying on the handful of poor roads with an improvised logistic force. His tanks, which consume vast quantities of fuel, tear up the roads and require extensive maintenance support while proving vulnerable to ambushes while road-bound in the forested swamps of Lapland.

To the north along the Litsa, Allied troops make little progress. Each attack is met with furious resistance, bolstered by massed fire from mortars, artillery, rockets and anti-aircraft guns, burning through 18th Army’s stocks of artillery ammunition while 18th Army's deputy commander for the rear calls every contact he has in Leningrad, Murmansk and Moscow seeking more. The 116th and 77th Guards MRDs hold against the advancing Norwegians, with battalions from the reserve regiment launching local counterattacks whenever the NATO troops capture one of the hilltop outposts. Dug-in troops from the 76th Guards Airborne and Division Polyarnyy likewise turn back the American 6th Infantry’s attacks from the relative comfort of their fighting positions.

As the battered Strike Fleet Atlantic withdraws to the western Barents Sea, the surviving aircraft manage to sink the last operational Northern Fleet capital ship, the Admiral Lobov, finally achieving the prewar strategic goal of suppressing the Soviet fleet.

photo
The Soviet Kilo-class sub K-871 sinks the British frigate HMS Kent in the North Sea.

Soviet troops once again are forced to slow their advance in Romania as their tanks and vehicles run low on fuel and their artillery digs deep into their reserve stocks of ammunition. The Romanian government throws additional troops into the effort to halt the Soviet advance, while Jugoslavia dispatches its 37th Corps to reinforce the effort along the Danube.

In Iran, the Battle of Bandar Abbas continues even as the flow of American reinforcements continues. The defending Soviet paratroopers keep the airport and piers at the city's port under mortar fire, disrupting the effort the use those facilities to support and reinforce the Allied effort. Soviet troops have taken to sheltering in the city's buildings and the division headquarters moves to a location between a mosque and a hospital, limiting the ability of the USS Salem's big guns to attack it.

Flights of C-141 and C-5 transports arrive in Honduras to load the paratroopers of the 71st Airborne Brigade for immediate deployment to Romania.
__________________
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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Old 06-15-2022, 01:39 PM
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June 10, 1997

In Czestochowa, Poland, Major Filipowicz (former commander of the 6th Engineer Battalion), wounded and suffering from a confused mind, locates the body of Colonel Piotrkowski (the last commander of the 6th Air Assault Divison) and buries him in a sarcophagus under the Jasna Gora, gathering bodies of his troops to form an honor guard for him and the Black Madonna.

Unofficially,

In New Delhi, the peace talks are paused while the Soviet delegation awaits its new head.

The US Navy's Military Sealift Command notifies the Naval Sea Systems Command that it does not have a requirement for a high-speed troop transport such as the SS United States, ending the effort to reactivate the ship.

Following the killing of an unarmed Mexican immigrant while he broke into an elderly couple's home in San Antonio, Texas, a self-appointed militia forms and deploys to the Mexican border.

As American and South Korean troops continue to advance to the DMZ, the Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade launches the first substantial attack across the border, landing in the prewar "peace village" of Panmunjom. The Japanese troops are reinforced by the air assault troops of the US 2nd Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade.

The Chinese offensive makes progress in overrunning Soviet front-line positions, unfortunately by using human-wave attacks to overwhelm the outnumbered Soviet defenders. Soviet artillery, under attack in their battery positions by infiltrators, is unable to support the motor-riflemen, and tank battalions reap a wide swath through Chinese infantry until American-supplied Assault Breaker systems douse them with submunitions.

The pocket around the cities of Gdynia and Gdańsk is isolated from the rest of Poland when III US Corps reaches the Wisła and an Apache helicopter sinks the ferry at the mouth of the river.

Shortly before dusk, German troops of Panzergruppe Westhoven capture the road junction at Grójec, 40 km south of Warsaw.

The American 10th Mountain Division confronts its first real resistance at Sodankylä, 300 km into Finland, when the lead elements hit the Lapland Jaeger Brigade’s defensive positions on the eastern shore of the Kitinen River overlooking the downed bridge. Two infantry battalions from the division’s 1st Brigade move into the town but are cut off when Finnish troops destroy the highway bridge west of the town, cutting them off. Finnish troops emerge from the forests and isolate the halted American battalions strung out along the road to the west.

Outside Murmansk, the Soviets respond to the landing fleet with a hail of gunfire from surviving defensive guns, sinking several transports and escorts, while the marines ashore are subjected to a relentless barrage from an ancient railway gun. The battleship USS Wisconsin shifts her fire to the big Russian gun and silences it, but the remnants of the Soviet surface fleet and Frontal Aviation once again sweep in, striking the stationary NATO fleet, sinking several more transports and escorts. Finally, Northwestern TVD orders the 7th Guards Airborne battlegroup to move north from the 26th Corps area to contain the landing.

The ore carrier Berg Nord completes loading its first cargo, 220,000 tons of iron ore for German steel mills. It is too slow to travel in a convoy (and so large that a single torpedo or missile is unlikely to sink it), so it travels the North Atlantic unescorted.

Soviet Naval Infantry troops of the 810th Independent Marine Brigade enter the port city of Constanța against light resistance. Once in the town, however, the elite marines find themselves responsible for the management of the city of some 300,000 people, most of which are hostile and thousands of which were armed by the now-absent Romanian regime. The brigade commander makes a desperate plea for KGB or MVD troops to relieve his force and assume control of the city, but is dryly informed that such forces are not available and the commander is told "You're a good comrade! I'm sure you will figure out how to use the resources the Party has given you well."

The USS Salem retires from the "bombardment operating area" off Bandar Abbas to replenish its dwindling supply of ammunition. To the north of the town, British Gurkha troops of the 27th Infantry Brigade link up with the American marines as the Soviet 350th Guards Airborne Regiment withdraws into the city's environs.
__________________
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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  #188  
Old 06-15-2022, 02:29 PM
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June 11, 1997

In a move to bolster security within the US, the Army assigns several units local security and food distribution duties. the 184th Transportation Brigade (Mississippi National Guard) is assigned responsibility for security and distribution of foodstuffs in Military Regions II and III (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware), while the 228th Signal Brigade (South Carolina National Guard) is assigned local security duties around Fort Meade, Maryland and the 194th Armored Brigade at Fort Knox, Kentucky is assigned disaster relief and security missions in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Unofficially,

The new head of the Soviet delegation to the peace talks arrives in New Delhi. His identity shocks the rest of the delegation, for Colonel General Oleg Kolesnikov has a reputation within the Red Army as a hothead, and the West had previously called for him to face war crimes charges for the conduct of his command in China in 1995 and 1996.

The British Prime Minister reaches out to his Australian counterpart to encourage Australia to consider increasing its troop commitment to the war waging around the world. He notes that Australia's sole ground combat force in action is approximately one half of the 28th ANZUK Brigade and that in 1942, when Australia had a much smaller economy and population, the nation raised 11 infantry and three armored divisions.

The Freedom ship Austin Freedom is delivered in Galveston, Texas.

Headquarters, XV Corps is activated from the 81st and 121st ARCOMs at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Lieutenant General Richard Davis commanding.

The US Army Training and Doctrine Command, as part of the effort to assist civil authorities, tasks subordinate units with developing plans to suspend training and provide civil relief and security duties, using the assigned student body, teaching cadre and administrative and support staff in the event of an emergency.

The first four production MGM-134 Midgetman missiles are flown to Nellis AFB, Nevada and mated to the 347th Strategic Missile Squadron's Hard Mobile Launchers.

The 105th Engineer Group (Combat) (North Carolina National Guard) is detached from the Charleston Port of Embarkation and assigned to provide engineering support to FEMA as the nation reacts to the threat of nuclear war.

The third day of the Chinese PLA's offensive in Manchuria sees Soviet lines wavering. Group Army (equivalent to Western Corps in size) commanders commit their mobile forces to exploit breakthroughs, and their Soviet counterparts respond in kind. The resulting armor battles rival in scale to those fought in Kursk in the Second World War, the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and those being fought in central Poland every day.

In Korea, the North Korean command exhorts its citizens and soldiers to defend every centimeter of the homeland from the barbarian warmongers that wish to re-colonize the nation. The allied airborne force in the Panmunjon village comes under furious attack from troops occupying bunkers and fighting positions along the prewar border.

Third German Army continues its offensive out of Silesia, after pausing for four days to allow the formation, exhausted and with its supplies depleted after the battles for Czestochowa and Katowice, to rest and recover. The pause allowed the remnants of the Polish Second Army to retreat down the Wisła valley in good order.

The Danish government completes stocking a third underground strategic cache, at the Mřnsted limestone mines (supposedly the world's largest, which had been in operation for over 1000 years before ending commercial production in 1978).

photo
At dawn 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment enters Góra Kalwaria on the western bank of the Wisla. The commander of the Polish 1st WOW Brigade (an Internal Troops command), Colonel Janusz Malinowski, declares for the Free Polish Congress and admits the American unit under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Malinowski, his second cousin. American and German troops pour across the three bridges in the town, advancing north and east on the far side.

The surrounded American force in Sodankylä, Finland digs in, awaiting relief, while the 10th Mountain Division brings its heaviest brigade, the 3rd, forward along the highway, slowly driving the Finnish light troops back off the road.

Throughout the theater, Northwestern TVD carries out a series of coordinated counterstrikes to disrupt the NATO offensive’s logistics. The Spetsnaz team outside Kirkenes attacks the harbormaster’s home and the dormitory used by contract stevedores; the loss slows the port’s throughput by 40 percent. The jetty at Liinakhamari further east is subjected to a mortar attack, which briefly disrupts operations and diverts a company of combat troops from the front in a futile hunt for the attackers. The Tana bridge area is hit by a Scud missile that disperses a persistent chemical agent that temporarily closes the area to traffic, reducing the resistance faced by the razvedchiki in the raid that follows.

Northern Fleet assigns a diesel submarine to patrol off Kirkenes, successfully sinking two arriving transports carrying supplies to sustain the offensive before being sunk by an American ASW helicopter.

A patrol from the KGB’s 82nd Border Guard Brigade ambushes a supply convoy moving ammunition forward to the US 6th division. The attack destroys nearly 40 percent of the division artillery’s reserve supply, and soon the American unit’s guns are ordered to limit offensive fire support, prioritizing the remaining stocks for defensive fires.

With his amphibious fleet in flames, little prospect of support from Strike Fleet Atlantic and the landing troops ashore only barely hanging on, General Frisvold orders the landing force outside Murmansk to withdraw.

The American aircraft carrier Coral Sea, operating in the North Sea, finds that the front line in Poland is moving ever farther away from its position. The commander requests permission to move the carrier south, closer to the action.

The first companies of the 71st Airborne Brigade (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas National Guards)'s 1st Battalion, 142nd Infantry (Texas National Guard) arrive at Turnisor Air Base in the mountains of Transylvania.

Transcaucasian Front commander Suryakin calls on the commanders of the 34th and 73rd Air Armies (his aviation commands) to see what they can do to assist the beleaguered 103rd Guards Air Assault Division. The aviators explain that their organic fleet of transport aircraft is small, and that to deliver significant quantities of supplies he needs to appeal to Moscow, which controls the airlift fleet. His operations officer suggests an offensive along the front line in the Zagros to divert Allied support from the effort to eliminate the isolated airborne division.

A flight of six F-20s and an accompanying 747 tanker depart Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia bound for Iran. The fighters will replace some of those lost by the Iranian Air Force in the past few months.
__________________
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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  #189  
Old 06-15-2022, 03:08 PM
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June 12, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day. Unofficially,

Colonel General Oleg Kolesnikov, head of the Soviet delegation in New Delhi, delivers what is best described as a tirade to the shocked group of British diplomats and generals negotiating on behalf of the Allied forces. He states that the USSR is no longer willing to accept the continuing assaults on its territory and allies and that if NATO and its allies refuse to immediately cease their attacks and begin withdrawing to prewar borders "they shall suffer the most severe of consequences."

The troop ship General Walker is activated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Due to the ship's slow speed and the efficiency of air transport, the ship is not put into use as a transport; instead it receives an advanced communications fit and is fully stocked, then anchored in Penobscot Bay, Maine as a floating backup government headquarters by FEMA, with a partial crew aboard.

RAF Mildenhall is struck by additional Soviet conventional cruise missiles, rendering the US headquarters complex there inoperable. Most of the Third Air Force command staff survived the attack, as British early warning radars gave adequate time to seek shelter in the deep bunker under the complex. The surface facilities of the base are ravaged by fires.

photo
Soviet lines in Manchuria begin to buckle. In the eastern sector, the 3rd and 28th (my 5th Group) Armies drive eastward through the mountains towards the Yalu River, positioning them to drive up the Yalu valley and stem the flow of supplies from the USSR to the DPRK. In the center, the 27th Group Army drives north from Baicheng, threatening to recapture the transport hub of Qiqihar, defended by the MVD's 7th Operational Division, while the adjacent 11th Group Army and 1st Armored Group Army press forward towards the oil center of Daquing. The attacking Chinese formations are able to exploit the border between 1st Far Eastern Front's 5th Army and 2nd Far Eastern Front's 15th Army as their infantry-heavy forces are better able to operate in the swampy ground along the Nenjiang River than the road-bound Soviet forces.

Additional American and South Korean troops arrive at the prewar DMZ as they force the North Korean army back under relentless attack, supported by the massed airpower of South Korea, the US 7th Air Force, the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, the 4th (my 3rd) Marine Aircraft Wing and the USS Abraham Lincoln's air group.

photo
The lead troops of the US 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Idaho National Guard) clash with a defensive line thrown up by the Soviet 3rd Guards Motor-Rifle Division, part of 8th Guards Army (rebuilt after being savaged in May in western Poland). The Soviet units, short of ammunition and understrength, put up a short fight before retreating to the next in a series of weak blocking positions. Nonetheless, Panzergruppe Oberdorf’s advance is slowed.

On the Hel Peninsula, German troops launch yet another bloody assault on the mixed bag of Polish defenders, advancing nearly 500 meters.

photo
North of Warsaw, a predawn airborne assault by the British 44th Airborne Brigade secures the northern end of the aged wooden bridge at Wyszogród. With a capacity of only 20 tons, the bridge is lightly defended by Polish OTK troops. The paratroops are reinforced immediately with Saxon APCs and light armor of the 1st Infantry Brigade.

The drive through northern Lapland, Operation Brave Sleigh, bogs down. Finnish irregulars raid Norwegian supply lines, forcing Prince Jungi to dedicate some of his infantry force to escort supply convoys and patrol the sole road that supports his force. His tanks are less than useful in countering the Soviet opposition in the swampy wooded terrain of the central Kola, while his troops face some of the highest quality troops in the Northwestern TVD, the veteran Amazons of the 1077th Guards Ski Regiment and the KGB 82nd Border Guard Brigade. With the snow largely melted, the two Soviet formations adopt motti tactics from their Finnish neighbors, operating from the deep forests to strike behind enemy lines and at the least expected time and location. Behind the light Soviet troops is a defensive line manned by the motivated but green troops of 26th Corps’ 115th Motor-Rifle Division, who have had several weeks to establish strong defensive positions behind the border. The Norwegian drive comes to a halt when its tanks hit the Soviet blocking position on the northern shore of Lake Notozero, and it is unable to pass enough firepower forward to blast through the Soviet defensive line.

As more flights carrying American paratroops arrive, the lead battalion of the 71st Airborne Brigade heads west on a mix of American and Romanian trucks to reinforce the embattled garrison of Deva, which is under attack from the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army.

The Victory ship Marshfield sails from Jacksonville unescorted with a cargo of bagged cement for the CENTCOM AOR.

The worldwide shipping crunch slows Allied military operations. Convoy 147, composed of many of the ships that had sailed in the massive Convoy 140 and 142 in May, is still at sea returning to North America while the globe-crossing deployment of the 4th Marine Division has gobbled up more shipping. CENTCOM's allocation of ammunition and parts is partially diverted into the maw of the European battlefront rather than sit on docks awaiting transport to the Middle East. In Poland, offensive operations continue, at the cost of a bare-bones support structure behind the lines and widespread hardship for the civilian population of liberated Poland.

Soviet forces in Iran begin preparations for spoiling attacks to force Iranian and US Army formation to consume ammunition and fuel that otherwise would be consumed by the Marines battling in Bandar Abbas. That fighting continues, with the 4th Marine Air Wing establishing an operating base on nearby Qeshm Island to provide rapid turnaround air support alongside the carrier USS Independence.

In the Pacific Ocean, 3rd Fleet orders the consolidation of remaining aircraft after the Battle of Kamchakta onto the nuclear carriers Stennis and Nimitz, recalling Midway and Kitty Hawk to the US naval base at Yokohama, Japan to await replacement aircraft.

Indian troops in Kashmir launch an assault to drive the Pakistani force that infiltrated the prior week out. The Pakistanis have built up a fairly extensive network of trenches and covered fighting positions and repulse the Indian attack with heavy losses. (The Indian commander underestimated the number and dedication of his enemy and overestimated the skill of his troops).
__________________
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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  #190  
Old 06-16-2022, 03:46 PM
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June 13, 1997

Nothing official for today!

As UK Lieutenant General Sir Robert Owens, head of the British delegation at the peace talks in New Delhi, gingerly rues the apparent setback in the status of the negotiations (which had at least acknowledged the need for some sort of negotiated change of status of territory in areas around the world), he is rudely interrupted by Colonel General Oleg Kolesnikov, who swears at the Brit and yells "Allowing you and the Yankees on the European Continent is enough of a concession from the USSR! Given your insolence, I cannot see why the communist world should continue to tolerate capitalist imperialism any longer!" before storming out. The peace talks have ended.

The Freedom-class cargo ship Cincinnati Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi and the container-barge carrier Lhasa Carrier is delivered in Mobile, Alabama.

The 347th Strategic Missile Squadron begins its deterrent patrols with MGM-134 Midgetman missiles on the vast Nellis AFB Range-Nevada Test Site complex, an area of over 6,000 square miles.

Colonel Oleg Tumanski's Spetsnaz team launches another attack, once again targeting a convoy of replacement troops on their way to the front. They ambush a pair of buses en route to RAF Brize Norton, killing 27 recruits and losing another one of their commandos.

Soviet commanders in Manchuria try to simultaneously hold their stretched line while identifying the Chinese main effort in various sectors; they are torn as to how to best deploy their megre reserves - en masse to smash a Chinese breakthrough, or piecemeal to prevent breakthroughs from occurring. Either way, they send increasingly desperate calls to Moscow for reinforcements and additional tanks, ammunition, helicopters and aircraft.

The OTK and WOW garrisons (internal security troops) of Kraków, faced with NATO mechanized troops, abandoned by the Warsaw Pact high command and having seen the destruction rained on Opole and Czestochowa, declare Kraków an open city and lay down their arms. General Beck, Third German Army commander, permits the OTK to retain their small arms and, under the close supervision of Free Polish Congress representatives, act as the police for the liberated city.

The bridgehead over the Wisla at Wyszograd is secured, permitting CG, II British Corps General Ramsay to put 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiment onto the bridgehead. Within hours they have M2D ferries in service, transporting 1st Infantry Brigade’s Chieftain tanks and the Warrior IFVs and Challengers of the 20th Armoured Brigade to the far shore. Pact resistance is light, with most Pact mechanized units still on the other shore of the Wisła, and the Western TVD’s reserve front, the 1st Byelorussian, only partially mobilized and largely positioned on Soviet territory.

The first M-1A2D tank is deployed to Europe. The tank, initially developed for export sale and to boost tank production beyond the ability of American industry to produce gas turbine engines and sophisticated composite armor, fits a diesel engine, a different fire control system (built using otherwise idle manufacturing capability) and an alternative armor system that offers protection comparable to early model M-1s from the early 1980s.

SACLANT, despite the losses his carrier force has sustained in the past week, approves the movement of the Coral Sea and her battle group into the Baltic, although limited to the area off the East German coast, where it is protected by the Danish archiplego and the minefields that were laid at the onset of the war and are still actively patrolled by the Danish Navy's submarines and patrol boats.

In Finland, the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade continues to grind its way forward against strong Finnish resistance. The division's advance is partly limited by the long supply lines, which limit how much ammunition can be brought forward. Elsewhere in the northern theater NATO's advance is slow at best.

American ground forces engage their Soviet counterparts in Romania for the first time, when the Weapons Platoon of B Co., 1st Battalion 142nd Infantry (Airborne) (Texas National Guard) fires a Tankbreaker missile at a T-74 of the 224th Tank Regiment, part of the 17th Guards Tank Division. The Soviets respond with artillery fire, which is ineffective thanks to the poor communications between the Soviet tankers and their supporting guns.

To the south, the situation of the Turkish 1st Army is becoming more desperate as Soviet, Bulgarian and Greek troops press from all sides. The Turkish command keeps feeding a steady stream of recalled reservists into the theater, but they are armed with small arms as the nation's war reserves of vehicles, heavy weapons and ammunition are rapidly being depleted.

The fighting in Bandar Abbas continues as the Marines and Gurkhas make slow progress, driving the hardened Soviet desantniki east through the city, building by building. The USS Salem has returned to the line, providing invaluable firepower, capable of eliminating a Soviet strongpoint with a single round.

In beseiged Shiraz, a armored task force of the IPA 3rd Armored Division makes a surprise breakout, cutting through the lines of the surrounding 45th (my 32nd) Army to wreak havoc in the Soviet rear before returning to the city.

MVD troops of the 141st Seperate Special Motorized Battalion (a specialized riot control unit) surround the garage occupied by striking truckers who are refusing to depart for the war zone. After being given an ultimatum, which about a dozen drivers accept and leave the facility, the troops storm it, using tear gas and truncheons to avoid damaging the trucks or repair facility. All the remaining strikers are arrested (four are killed in the scrum, one from a heart attack, one from the tear gas and two from the beating they received).
__________________
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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  #191  
Old 06-16-2022, 04:11 PM
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June 14, 1997

The headquarters of the 3rd Marine Division joins the 1st (my 4th) Marine Division on the beachhead at Bandar Abbas.

Warsaw is surrounded by NATO forces, including the British 1st (my II British) Corps; the city begins to prepare for a long siege.

Many inhabitants of the town of Wieliczka, east of Krakow, flee the fighting, seeking shelter in the 13th-century Wieliczka Salt Mine, an incredible complex of hand-cut tunnels and chambers.

Unofficially,

The Australian National Security Committee holds a secret emergency meeting to consider the request placed by the British for greater contribution to the war effort. The leader of the opposition party is also in attendance, and the committee decides to commit a second Army brigade to action as well as extending Australia's assistance in supplying and supporting other combatant nations.

The Freedom-class cargo ship Istanbul Freedom is delivered in San Diego, California.

At Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois, Seaman Recruit Rodney Cutler is the recipient of a late night "blanket party" after one of his peers notices his missing flashlight in Cutler's locker. When a dazed and crying Cutler reports that he has been attacked, the entire company is awoken and made to run laps around the barracks until dawn, then carry out their training day as scheduled.

The Des Moines battle group arrives in the Straits of Tsushima between Japan and Korea. It is directed east to provide fire support for Allied forces ashore.

The 4th Guards Tank Army attacks south out of the Bydgoszcz and Torun bridgeheads, overrunning the outer pickets of the German 1st Gebirgsjaeger Division and capturing the city of Inowrocław within hours. The counterattack continues south, threatening the rail line and highway running through Konin and Koło. The advance south is protected by lakes on either flank, but the Soviet tanks reach a German blocking position 40 km north of Konin. The German mountain troops are forced to retreat, setting up blocking positions to try to slow the armored assault and dispersing into small units to take advantage of rough terrain.

German First Army commander General Diedrichs commits his final light formation, the 25th Fallschirmjäger Brigade, with a helicopter-borne assault on the towns of Wyszkow and Pultusk, capturing bridges over the Bug and Narew Rivers.

In the Kola, the 2nd Spetsnaz Brigade scores its biggest victory of the campaign, when a team from its 329th Special Forces Battalion (the same team that had attacked the Kirkenes stevedores’ barracks a few weeks earlier) locates and attacks X Corps’ forward command post. The brief and furious firefight between the elite Soviet operators and the platoon of Italian Alpini guarding it sees both forces wiped out, and the corps commander General Collins killed. Command of the corps switches, after a confusing interlude of three hours, to the main command post in Nikel and the corps deputy commander, Brigadier General Robert Bryant.

photo
The USS Coral Sea battle group undertakes an hours-long replenishment at sea prior to entering the Baltic Sea. All of the groups' ships are refuelled while helicopters buzz overhead landing provisions on helipads and open spots on deck.

As the final flight carrying the 71st Airborne Brigade arrives in Romania, the brigade S-4 (supply officer) scrambles to get ahold of the supplies needed to sustain his unit in action. His hosts assure him adequate food and fuel (although not of the type and quality that the troops are used to), but his formation requires spare parts, higher-level maintenance and ammunition that no other unit for hundreds of miles has or uses.

The engagement between the airborne unit and the 17th Guards Tank Division continues to grow, as both sides feed additional units into the narrow valley of the Mureș River. The American units (and their allies of the Romanian 5th Mountain Brigade) retreat to the high ground overlooking the valley, taking advantage of the Soviet tanks' limited elevation and the Soviet formation's sparse motor-rifle contingent to inflict disproportionate losses on the Pact troops. The American commanders are also able to rely on close air support from the A-7s of the 112th Tactical Fighter Wing (Pennsylvania National Guard), which have been operating from Jugoslav bases since January.
__________________
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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  #192  
Old 06-17-2022, 12:37 PM
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June 15, 1997

The canon is strangely silent on today's goings-on! Unofficially,

The Polish Free Congress, meeting in Poznan, adopts a resolution rejecting the 1944 treaty between the USSR and the Soviet puppet Polish Committee of National Liberation and seeking the restoration of the Polish-Soviet border in the east to its pre-World War II position. This is a massive claim, encompassing Vilnius (capital of the Lithuanian SSR), Belorussian territory up to and including Baranovichy and Ukrainian territory to east of Ternopol, an area of about 179,000 square kilometers (69,000 square miles).

The Freedom-class cargo ship Bayonne Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The civilian militia on the Texas border has grown to 50 men, hosted by local ranchers who are tired of Mexican immigrants traipsing across their land.

FORSCOM establishes a new subordinate command, Strategic Reserve Command at Fort Carson, Colorado. STRAC is made responsible for command and readiness of Army forces that have been declared ready for combat but have not begun movement to overseas stations. Many of these forces are leant by STRAC to FEMA and other agencies or assigned security duties. The Army also provides a personnel to SOUTHCOM to stand up Headquarters, US Forces, Puerto Rico at Fort Buchnana to coordinate all services' activities in and defense of the island.

Headquarters, 3rd Air Force relocates to RAF Upper Heyford following the extensive destruction of RAF Mildenhall in a cruise missile strike last week.

The 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, part of III MEF, makes an amphibious landing south of Wonsan, North Korea. The arrival of the USS Des Moines and its rapid-firing 8-inch guns comes as a considerable surprise to the North Korean coast defense troops as the aged heavy cruiser rapidly reduces position after position to rubble. The landing is supported by aircraft from the USS Stennis, which has returned to the Sea of Japan following the Battle of Kamchakta.

Convoy 236 departs San Francisco, bound for Honolulu and Guam, where it will split into 236.1, going to Okinawa and Korea, and 236.2, heading for Subic Bay, Singapore and eventually the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf. The formation contains the cargo ships Elizabeth Lykes, Leslie Lykes, Occidental Victory and the troop ship General Pope, all bound for Korea.

front lines
German troops of the VI German Korps reach the Wisła at Dęblin, forcing a crossing of the river against scattered resistance that includes the faculty and cadet corps of the Polish Air Force Academy as well as staff from the nearby airbase. Unbeknownst to NATO intelligence, the Polish Communist Party prepares a southeastern redoubt, garrisoned by the remnants of the Polish 2nd Army and the Polish 3rd Army, a formation made up of mobilization-only divisions, understrength and equipped with obsolescent tanks. Taking advantage of the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, the Polish troops plan a last-ditch defense of the last portion of southeastern Poland. (And most importantly to the Polish leadership, it offers the chance to remain on their own territory rather than seeking shelter from, and ultimately subservience to, the USSR).

map
18th Army launches a counterattack along the Litsa. Forgoing the traditional artillery barrage, the Soviet attack comes under cover of a series of bombing sorties from the remaining bombers and fighter bombers available to the Northwestern TVD, followed by expenditure of the army’s small stockpile of chemical weapons. The 77th Guards and 116th MRDs launch local probing attacks against the Norwegians. Those that show the most promise are reinforced with follow-on forces, first the division’s reserve regiment and then with further reinforcements. The 77th Guards takes temporary control of the 7th Guards Airborne battlegroup, released from the coast following the NATO marines’ withdrawal, and by the end of the day they have driven the Norwegian force back across the Litsa River and placed troops on the opposite bank. Further north, Division Polyarnyy and the 76th Guards Airborne Division push the Americans across the delta of the Litsa, while the 134th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment waits in reserve in Zaozersk.

The USS Coral Sea battle group makes a high-speed nighttime transit of the Skaggerak (the strait between the north tip of the Jutland Peninsula, Sweden and Norway) and by dawn is well on its way south. Keeping close to the Danish shore to avoid visual detection from Sweden, the task force's progress is watched over by Danish Home Guard troops called out to prevent any shoreside interference. By sundown the group has progressed into the Great Belt, the chain of islands that form eastern Denmark.

Romanian troops in Transylvania are forced back by the Soviet 28th and Hungarian 5th Armies. The town of Zalău falls and Soviet tanks rush towards the city of Dej. Taking advantage of the light opposition overhead, Soviet Long-Range Aviation sweeps in, striking the Romanian airbase at
Câmpia Turzii (the country''s most modern), damaging the runway and bursting one of the base's buried fuel tanks, setting it afire.

The Freedom class ship Maine Freedom is sunk by a mine as it departs the Dutch North Sea port of Eemshaven. It takes nearly five hours for the ship to sink, giving enough time for the crew to be evacuated by helicopter. (No boat captain is willing to sail into a now-known minefield).

The main body of the 1st Naval Construction Regiment begins arriving in Bandar Abbas. The "Fighting Seebees" begin work on restoring the port facilities even as they take fire from the Soviet paratroops just a few kilometers away.

The Soviet Naval high command authorizes the salvage of steel plate from the burned-out battlecruiser Rossiya for transfer to Nikolaev to be used to make the helicopter carrier Leningrad operable.
__________________
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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  #193  
Old 06-18-2022, 05:34 AM
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June 16, 1997

Nothing official for today.

With the collapse of the peace talks in New Delhi and continuing NATO successes, NATO heads of state endorse the Polish Free Congress' territorial claims and authorize NATO troops to cross the Soviet border to support the restoration of those borders.

Private Cutler and his fellow trainees in Company C, 2nd Battalion, 34th Infantry in basic training have their scheduled session throwing a live grenade cancelled as a result of a fatal "incident" the day before, when a trainee from another battalion froze after dropping the grenade at his own feet.

South Korean troops link up with the Japanese and American troops holding the border town of Panmunjom. Allied troops have driven the North Korean Army out of nearly all South Korean territory.

In Manchuria, Soviet forces have some success in slowing the Chinese assault. Nearly all the reserves have been committed and the Soviet troops took advantage of their superior firepower but are unable to eject the Chinese troops from the territory they recaptured.

Raids across the Netherlands strike ten Dutch Red Army safe houses; 75 are arrested and held.

The NATO logistic system is reaching the breaking point. Within Poland and East Germany, transportation infrastructure has improved following the use of large numbers of engineer units (Army, Naval and Air Force, in most cases) from the NATO nations active in the theater, supplemented by civilian construction firms using highly-paid labor forces from neutral nations. (Typical is an Irish or Swiss engineer overseeing Brazilian construction foremen, with Filipino, Bangladeshi and Kenyan laborers). These efforts restore the bridges over the Oder and Warta rivers and open two railroad lines, from Frankfurt-Oder to Kutno and from Gorlitz to Gliwice. Locomotives and rolling stock remain in short supply, and NATO militaries no longer maintained railroad operations units or the labor units and equipment to load and unload railcars. POWs and additional contract laborers are tasked with those duties, but efficiency is low and the rail lines also are being called upon to support the needs of the civilian population of liberated Poland. Polish roads had been atrocious (by Western standards) before the war, and the battles and subsequent continuous heavy truck traffic that followed reduced many of them to gravel. Less effort is placed in restoring them than the rail lines, since the railroads are expected to handle much greater tonnages; the continued poor conditions, however, increase wear and tear on the truck fleet. Much of the long-haul truck fleet supporting the effort is requisitioned civilian trucks, which were designed for use on smooth paved roads; the dozens of different makes and models of trucks in use make maintenance a challenge, especially when, in Poland, improvised or captured repair facilities are used. Captured airfields are, where possible, brought back into use, but often Pact defenders have used massive cratering charges (made up of stacks of excess bombs and missile warheads) to cause severe damage to runways. Air Force squadrons use repaired air bases as forward operating locations, but the captured bases are, in general, too damaged and too far beyond the reach of the NATO transportation system to be used as main operating bases. Airlifting supplies is of limited utility, since the amount of tonnage delivered is actually quite small given the level of effort involved, especially since the USAF is reluctant to commit its heavy lift aircraft to landing in the forward combat zone.

Back in Germany, prewar depots are nearly empty and ports are under strain. Prewar planning had called for the use of the massive port complex in Antwerp, Belgium and the pipelines, roads and railroads leading from the English Channel through Belgium into Germany. With French and Belgian withdrawal from NATO, those routes are closed, forcing resupply from the UK and North America into Dutch and German ports. Rotterdam had been struck early in the war by Soviet missiles and the German ports on the North Sea have been subjected to repeated rounds of air and missile attack. The French and Belgian governments closed their borders to military supplies but permit civilian items, in controlled quantities, across. Those governments take a conservative view as to what constitutes civilian items, deeming diesel fuel, preserved foodstuffs and construction materials as military in nature. While by no means comparable to the situations in 1918 and 1944-5, the war impacts the daily life of the German population.

Panzergruppe Oberdorf reaches the Wisła at Sandomierz. The Polish defenders blow up the railroad bridge outside the town, but Soviet officers forbid demolition of the road bridge (as well as a pair of pontoon bridges) until it was too late, allowing the NATO force across the river.

German and British armored units of First German Army link up with the German paratroops of the 25th Fallschirmjaeger Brigade, cutting off the last route in and out of Warsaw.

The Soviet 11th Guards Army launches a counterattack on the left (northern) flank of Panzergruppe Westhoven that is halted by the commitment of the German 217th Panzergrenadier Division and heavy NATO artillery and tactical air support.

Northwest TVD scours the Murmansk area for additional armed troops to send to the front; the scattered security platoons, groups of recuperating sailors, stragglers from 6th Army and MVD guard detachments are too small and scattered to form into a new unit but are shipped to the front anyhow, fed into the units on the line as replacements. X Corps’ commander General Bryant commits what reserves he holds to buttress the deteriorating line along the Litsa. He commits the 111th Engineer Brigade’s combat engineer battalions to plug the gap that is threatening to open between the two divisions, reinforcing the engineers with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment and the Luxembourg battalion, hastily transferred from the Rybachiy Peninsula. These forces, combined with sorties from the remaining close air support aircraft and the Soviet’s dreadful supply situation, slow the retreat from the Litsa but cannot halt the loss of territory.

The USS Coral Sea, (relatively) safely ensconced in the protected waters between the Danish islands and the northern German coast, resumes flight operations over Poland, supporting NATO troops of 2nd German Army.

In Thrace, the situation for the Turkish 1st Army borders on disaster as the Turkish withdrawal towards Turkey's border with Bulgaria threatens to become a rout. The 41st Infantry Brigade, covering the withdrawal of XV Corps, is surrounded by Soviet and Bulgarian troops south of Sredets, Bulgaria, and repeated desperate attacks are unable to break the grip of the Pact troops.

In the Persian Gulf, the Soviet 7th and 1st (my 9th) Armies attack the American and Iranian forces opposite them. The effort is successful in diverting aircraft from the battle for Bandar Abbas, but is a half-hearted effort that captures little ground in the plains of Kuzestan and the rugged Zagros.

The Echo II-class cruise missile submarine K-35 in the South China Sea succeeds in sinking another ship, the Liberian-flag tanker Laughlin Ace carrying a load of diesel to China.
__________________
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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Old 06-20-2022, 05:40 AM
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June 17, 1997

As the threat from North Korea recedes, a handful of military dependents and civilian businessmen return to South Korea.

Unofficially,

An inspector general investigation of trainee abuse at Fort Dix makes the preliminary finding that abuse of female (and some male) trainees at the base is rampant, especially in the base's 5th Training Brigade. The IG has received reports of over 75 incidents from trainees present at the base in the last 15 days; additional witnesses will be interviewed by IG investigators at bases and units around the globe of soldiers that have departed Fort Dix in the last eight months.

The admirals in Washington overseeing Naval Aviation struggle to allocate their available resources. The fleet has lost four carriers (the Constellation, Forrestal, Vinson and Washington) and massive numbers of aircraft and pilots. Replacement aircraft have been slow to arrive (less than four squadrons of F-14s, three squadrons worth of A-6s and 15 A-12s, for example) and the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona nearly emptied of useful aircraft. Adding to the difficulty, advanced munitions are increasingly scarce, with prewar stockpiles depleted and production slow to ramp up.

In Manchuria, several lower-readiness Soviet divisions are on the verge of collapse, their older weapons lacking the technological edge over their Chinese opponents and requiring more maintenance. The "Fraternal Socialist Allied" divisions from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria are slowly withering away, as the flow of replacements from home has halted and Soviet war industry prioritizes providing for the Red Army.

Panzergrenadiers of VI German Korps cautiously continue their advance towards Lublin, aware that intelligence has reported sizeable uncommitted Soviet reserves and that there are no friendly units for miles on either side.

V German Korps, operating on the south bank of the Wisła, continues to move east, capturing Wieliczka and Bochnia before encountering resistance. With only two divisions and an unguarded flank to its south, the corps halts its advance and shifts its forces to the south, allowing XI US Corps to pass through and resume the offensive.

Outside Warsaw, the 329th Engineer Group (US Army Reserve) is detached from 7th Army command, assigned to the newly formed Operational Group Warsaw.

map
NATO Northern sector commander General Frisvold and his staff realize that it is unlikely that Reindeer II is going to succeed. Certain Santa along the coast has not only failed to force a crossing of the Litsa but is now losing ground that had been held for months. The two drives through Finland have ground to a halt. The amphibious landings have failed, Strike Fleet Atlantic has been dealt a fatal blow and Allied air forces are fading from the skies. Red Banner Northern Fleet’s bases have been damaged, its capital ships sunk and its ammunition dumps emptied, but the capture of Murmansk is farther away than at any time since the collapse of 6th Army in December. Strategically, the war has moved on and Red Banner Northern Fleet can no longer threaten the North Atlantic sea lanes, themselves less important than earlier in the war when they were the avenue for transit of American divisions to the front in Central Europe. Northwestern TVD, while successful in defending Murmansk and notwithstanding 18th Army’s counterattacks, offers no credible threat to Norway. The Soviet SSBNs remain pierside in the Murmansk area bases, and the campaign has destroyed many of their other bases. After consultation with AFNORTH and SACEUR, Reindeer II is called off.

Two Foxtrot-class subs return to Severomorsk from mine laying voyages.

A NATO convoy of fast transports and cargo ships, accompanied by a strong covering force, forms in Rota, Spain and Gibraltar in an attempt to run the Greek blockade to the Turkish port of Izmir. It carries a large quantity of ammunition and a variety of equipment, supplies and troops (including a Spanish motorized infantry battalion, a US field artillery battalion, a Dutch Patriot battery and a Portuguese heavy truck company) to reinforce the beleaguered Turkish Army. The decision is made to send the 487th Tactical Missile Wing, so that it will be in a useful location if the war goes nuclear and to provide a meaningful, visible sign that NATO's nuclear umbrella extends over Turkey. As a protective measure, the 487th is loaded tactically in the convoy, with each flight shipped complete with all of its vehicles and equipment on board a separate ship, with the headquarters and support units spread among all seven ships. The convoy has a strong escort force, including the escort carrier USS Langley.

In Leningrad, workers begin dismantling the burned out hulk of the incomplete battlecruiser Rossiya, set afire by a SAS team in May. It will take over a week just to clear the wreckage of cranes, hoses and cables draping the deck.

The Great War of Africa drags on, increasing the misery of millions of innocents.

In Kashmir, the Indian Army has improved the roads leading towards the Pakistani encroachment enough to allow tank transporters to bring forward several platoons of Vijayanta tanks to deal with the Pakistani emplacements.
__________________
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...

Last edited by chico20854; 06-21-2022 at 03:38 PM. Reason: fixed the date...
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  #195  
Old 06-21-2022, 03:37 PM
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June 18, 1997

Nothing official for today!

The 301st Port Security Unit, a USCG reserve formation rebuilding after seeing action in the Netherlands, moves north from Cape May, New Jersey to Boston following the discovery of a Communist cell working to sabotage port facilities in Massachusetts. The personnel and assets are dispersed throughout coastal New England to aid forces in place in their efforts to provide security for ports and other critical facilities. The intent is to complete the training of the new PSU personnel with on the job experience before sending the 301st to Korea.

The North Korean Army along the DMZ in the east begins to fall apart. Allied air attacks and the marine landing at Wonsan have largely cut the supply lines, leaving the troops low on ammunition and out of food - vulnerable to the psychological warfare efforts of the South Korean Army. Ignoring the exhortations of their officers, increasing numbers of troops slip away to the south in the darkness or remain behind as units begin to gradually move north.

The situation on the Hel Peninsula becomes even more desperate as the defenders have been under relentless attack for over two weeks, while the 1st Panzer Division's panzergrenadier and jaeger battalions have all spent multiple spells at the front line, locked in fierce and intense close-quarters combat.

Inside the Warsaw perimeter the Polish command has a sizeable garrison. The city defense forces contain an entire division of OTK Territorial Defense troops, a NJW guard brigade as well as an East German Communist unit, the VOPO Regiment Mitte, which is used to augment ZOMO and WOW troops in suppressing support for the Free Polish Congress. The ORMO militia can muster another 15,000 combatants. Army forces that had retreated from Łódź, consolidated into the 11th Armored Division and 9th Border Guard Brigade, gradually withdraw back into the city under American pressure, and most of the Soviet 11th Guards Army is also isolated in the pocket. Finally, the Warsaw area contains dozens of noncombatant facilities, headquarters and administrative formations staffed by trained soldiers, who the Polish command form into infantry units.

One complication the city defense force faces, however, is divided command. The Soviet troops report to Baltic Front headquarters, located outside the pocket to the northeast, and the 11th Armored Division and border guards report to the Polish 2nd Army, itself subordinate to the Soviet 1st Western Front and ultimately the Soviet Politburo. The city garrison and miscellaneous units are under command of the Polish Ministry of Defense, which coordinated with the Soviet Ministry of Defense but is not subordinate to it. The situation in Warsaw reflects the situation across the whole front as the Warsaw Pact retreats across Poland. The defense of the country is divided between the Warsaw Pact, subordinate to the Soviet Politburo, and the forces of the Polish Internal Front, subordinate to the communist Polish government. Units from both commands are intermixed and while coordination is done at the local level, in the event of divergent goals resolution is reached at the Ministry of Defense level. Soviet commanders are unsure of the loyalty of Polish units as a result of the defection of units to the Free Polish Congress, despite the presence of political officers in each Polish company, battalion and regiment. Polish commanders likewise resent the priority given to Soviet units in transportation, resupply and replacement equipment and the perception (mostly justified) that Polish units are being sacrificed to permit Soviet units to escape. The Polish Ministry of Defense and the Polish Internal Front, moreover, perceive the strategic goal of their forces as the preservation of the Polish people and its communist government.

In southern Poland, the American 46th Engineer Brigade's 109th Engineer Battalion (Bridge) takes over operation of two Soviet pontoon bridges over the Wisla at Sandomierz, discovering that their own pontoon bridges are copies of the Soviet design.

Soviet troops cross into Finland along three axes. The northernmost is southeast of Lake Inari, where troops of the 115th Motor-Rifle Division and 1077th Guards Ski Regiment pursue the retreating Norwegians, maintaining heavy pressure on them as they fall back along their route of advance. The second axis is from the 16th Guards Motor-Rifle Division’s garrison at Alakurti, across the border to Kemijärvi, a rail and road junction that leads towards the Americans retreating from Sodankylä. The 64th Guards Motor-Rifle Division further south launches a third assault, heading for Kuusamo, which is defended by the Northern Jaeger Brigade. This drive is intended to divert Finnish reinforcements from the other two sectors, and if needed this axis can be reinforced and expanded to drive west, cutting Finnish Lapland off from the rest of the country. The KGB commits the 5th Motor-Rifle Regiment to maintain security in captured territory, while the 101st Border Guard Brigade remains in its positions along the international border to guard against Finnish infiltrators and to hinder desertion from Army units.

Along the Barents Sea Coast, the American X Corps continues to be pushed back. To slow 18th Army, the NATO commander General Frisvold orders the amphibious force ashore, the British-Dutch brigade into Kirkenes and the Americans in Liinakhamari.

In Romania, the standoff outside Deva is broken when the Soviets, blocked by the troops of the American 71st Airborne Brigade and the Romanian 5th Mountain Brigade, deploy forest fire as a weapon. Long-Range Aviation bombers pass overhead at low level dispersing hundreds of small incendiary bombs and napalm tanks, followed by a barrage of white phosphorus mortar and artillery rounds from 6th Tank Army. Within minutes entire hillsides are ablaze and the NATO troops are forced to withdraw from the danger zone. The Soviet armored vehicles below are able to advance over 5 km along the valley floor, where they are stopped by the next NATO blocking position. Their supporting supply trucks are unable to run the gauntlet, however, limiting the extend of the Pact advance.

In the city of Constanta, Romania the Soviet Naval Infantry commander is becoming increasingly desperate as the challenge of being mayor of a city of 300,000 hostile citizens mount. A flood of refugees flees the city for friendly lines, but the need for food and restoration of electrical power and municipal water and sewer service threatens to overwhelm the small Soviet force's capabilities. The Bulgarian government is pressured to free up troops to assist, but the nearest available unit (the 2nd Internal Troops Regiment) claims to be tied up securing the nearby town of Mangalia (and thoroughly looting it, according to KGB reports).

Transcaucasian Front continues to maintain pressure on Iranian and American units along the front in the Zagros Mountains, launching numerous company-sized attacks. Offshore, the USS Independence battle group is forced to temporarily disband one of its F/A-18 squadrons, VFA-174, after continued losses over Bandar Abbas reduces the carrier's light attack force to 8 aircraft and 14 pilots. Their space on board is handed over to the "Cowboys" of 4th Marine Air Wing's VMFA-112, flying older A-model F/A-18s.

The Victory ship Wayne Victory arrives in Muscat, Oman with cargo of 8000 tons of corn meal and a deck full of telephone poles for Iran.
__________________
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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  #196  
Old 06-21-2022, 04:06 PM
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June 19, 1997

US 43 ID becomes active under VII Corps in Poland.

Unofficially,

Members of Congress schedule a hearing on "the command and service climate in the US Army's training base".

USAF leaders grapple with the same challenges facing their Navy counterparts - losses of aircraft and pilots that exceed the nation's ability to replace them. A partial solution is to replace aircraft that can survive in a modern air defense environment that are deployed in lower-risk areas (such as the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing's F-16s in the Philippines and the A-7s of the 156th Tactical Fighter Wing in Panama) with less capable models, freeing those more modern aircraft for service where they can be best used.

Convicted New Mexico traitor Autumn Lotus (convicted of aiding the Spetsnaz team that attacked Sandia National Lab) sentenced to death; carrying out the sentence is automatically stayed pending appeal.

The Australian Army announces the formation of a second brigade to serve overseas. The 1st Brigade headquarters at Darwin will deploy the 1st Armoured Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 5th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 8th/12th Medium Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery 1st Combat Engineer Regiment and 161 Reconnaissance Squadron (Aviation).

The South Korean III Corps breaks through the fragile North Korean line 20km north of the DMZ. It sends a task force from the 12th Infantry Division and 703rd Special Assault Regiment to link up with the US Marines of the 1st MEB south of Wonsan.

On the Kola, US X Corps receives warning of 18th Army's oncoming attack from American satellite intelligence and begins preparations to evacuate Soviet territory. Support units and headquarters evacuate Nikel and Pechenga, the airfields at Kautokeino, Luostari and Nikel are evacuated and their facilities rigged for demolition and the few nonessential supplies evacuated, either overland to Kirkenes or by sea through Liinakhamari.

The Norwegian 14th Brigade is halted at the prewar border, where it begins to rehabilitate the defenses that had been destroyed at the onset of the Norwegian campaign the prior November. The 2nd MEB’s first elements are on the heights between the Titovka and Litsa Rivers by dusk.

The ore carrier Berg Nord arrives in Rotterdam, carrying 220,000 tons of iron ore destined for German steel mills. As massive as that cargo is, it represents just one quarter of the nation's iron ore imports for the week.

Having partially settled in aboard the USS Independence, the fighters of VMFA-112 fly their first sorties from the carrier, striking Soviet paratroops still battling in Bandar Abbas.

III MEF releases the CH-47 force to XVIII Airborne Corps, as the situation at the Bandar Abbas airport and seaport have stabilized enough for C-130s to make "hot unloads" and smaller craft to dash into the harbor to unload.

The Echo II-class submarine K-35 once again expends its missile load, this time striking the Chinese port of Ningbo. The missiles succeed in hitting the marshalling area in the port, destroying over 125 new Japanese trucks which had just unloaded from the ro/ro carrier Bul Pride, which is also struck and set afire, sinking at the berth after rolling over onto the dock.

The Indian tanks that arrived in Kashmir are put into service supporting an infantry assault on the Pakistani fortifications. The attack quickly falls apart when the Pakistanis use their HJ-8 anti-tank missiles to defeat the Indian armor force. The Indian Army responds with artillery barrages on Pakistani headquarters and logistic facilities all along the line of control, accompanied by aggressive feints by masses of fighter aircraft all along the border.
__________________
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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  #197  
Old 06-22-2022, 03:25 PM
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June 20, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day. Unofficially,

Headquarters, XV Corps begins a two-week long wargame command post exercise at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

The commander, XO, two battalion commanders, three sergeants major and the personnel officer of the 5th Training Brigade at Fort Dix, New Jersey are relieved, based on the inspector general's preliminary findings released three days ago.

At Camp Lejeune, North Carolina the 5th Marine Division sends the first of its regiments, the 26th Marines, to Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms in California for large-unit pre-deployment exercises.

The USAF uses wartime emergency authority to requisition Boeing's Skyfox subsidiary, which owns over 120 T-33 trainers, several dozen of which have been converted to light strike aircraft as well as the facility in Mojave, California that rebuilds the obsolescent derivatives of the 1945-era P-80 Shooting Star fighter into a counterinsurgency plane.

F-111s of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing destroy the bridge at Khasan in the far northeastern corner of North Korea, the sole rail connection between the USSR and North Korea.

Allied forces on the western side of the Korean Peninsula go on the offensive across the DMZ, with massive support from remaining airpower and the big guns of the USS Missouri and USS New Jersey lurking close offshore.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army continues to make progress; the 28th (my 5th) Group Army reaches the North Korean border near its mouth at Dandong on the Yellow Sea.

US Green Berets continue to support pro-NATO guerilla bands in areas still under communist control, but many of the bands have either been wiped out or linked up with regular NATO forces.

XI US Corps advances through Brzesko before hitting resistance at Tarnow.

photo
The Public Affairs Officer from the HQ, 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard) brings a team of local reporters from the division's home state on a tour of areas in Poland the division has recently been operating in, including a bridge destroyed by retreating Russian troops and the replacement bridge that the division's engineers erected to replace it.

The search for Soviet stragglers by KGB troops at the Finnish-Soviet border begins to choke 26th Corps’ supply efforts, as each empty truck driver returning to Soviet territory to reload is subjected to ruthless interrogation, forced to prove that he or she is not fleeing the battlefield.

To speed the advance through Finland, the Northwestern TVD approves the wide-scale use of chemical weapons against Finnish and NATO troops; in one of their first uses the 3rd Battalion of the 36th Brigade collapses when its positions west of Kuusamo are blanketed by BM-21 chemical rockets, immediately followed by tube artillery fire on the brigade chemical defense company’s decontamination site.

42 Commando, Royal Marines are on the line along the coast early in the day while the marines’ helicopters and hovercraft transport the stocks of munitions and fuel aboard the amphibious ships, which to not only their own units but the beleaguered divisions of X Corps.

Turkish forces in Thrace manage to contain the Greek offensive, forcing the Greeks to pause their offensive action to build up supply routes over territory thoroughly devastated by retreating Turks. The pause gives the Turks time to dig in for the anticipated resumption of the Greek attack. To the north, V Corps has withdrawn parallel with XV Corps, both forces holding the city of Yambol. (V Corps on the west and northwest, XV Corps on the east and northeast).

SEEBEEs and Navy salvage crews continue their effort to clear Bandar Abbas harbor of obstructions. The Gurkhas of 27 Brigade reach the center of the city, having driven the Soviet troops out of the overlooking hills and the northern portion of the city. Transcaucasian Front's offensive peters out, without any territorial gains.

In an ironic development, the truckers in Smolensk who were arrested for striking after refusing to carry cargo into Poland are released from captivity and returned to their duties transport food and goods around the city. The city Party committee has received too many complaints that having a significant portion of the city's truckers locked up has been disrupting the production of materiel for the front.

Fighting continues all along the Indo-Pakistani line of control in Kashmir.
__________________
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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  #198  
Old 06-22-2022, 03:35 PM
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June 21, 1997

Bandar Abbas declared secure; 101 Air Assault Division, 9 ID & 6 ACCB begin drive towards Esfahan; 24 ID begins moving northward towards Ahvaz.

Unofficially,

The Freedom ship Nashville Freedom is delivered in Galveston, Texas.

At Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Private Randall Cutler discovers a business opportunity while on night-time fire watch with another private. The private agrees to watch for the drill sergeant while Cutler uses his calling card to call his girlfriend on a pay phone in the platoon area; when done with his call, the other private offers to pay Cutler to use his card and they agree on $1 a minute. (Use of the phone is severely limited, and Cutler's performance is poor enough that he is rarely granted permission).

American, Korean, ANZAC and Japanese troops continue to blast their way through North Korean border defenses. Rather than clear the remaining bunker complexes (many have been blasted by airpower and artillery over the preceding months), Allied troops seal the entrances and hope that they don't harbor hidden exits that would provide opportunities for attacks from the rear.

The 24th Grenzjaeger Regiment, a veteran former East German border guard formation that distinguished itself in December's Battle of Berlin, absorbs fresh conscripts and is committed to action in Poland as a specialist urban warfare formation, securing the city center of Bydgoszcz before being committed to the siege of Warsaw.

XI US Corps pauses for resupply before beginning a grinding assault southeast against fierce Polish resistance.

The Finnish 1st Army Corps begins withdrawing south, garrisoning a line from the Swedish border at Pello, through Rovaniemi to Pudasjärvi. (From there the Finnish 5th Army Corps takes over the front line). Some of the Soviet mechanized forces are able to surge forward, limited by their aged trucks and the increasing distances back to the Soviet border.

The NATO convoy in the Mediterranean departs Gibraltar, headed to Turkey with a load of reinforcements and supplies.

Soviet forces in Transylvania surge forward once again. The forest fires west of Deva have diminished enough for unarmored Soviet vehicles to advance, 6th Guards tank Army's lead formations advancing another 10 km. To the northeast, the town of Dej is surrounded, presaging another situation where Soviet forces are insufficient to capture the town but the Romanians are too weak to break the blockade around the city.

Greek forces in Thrace are slowed for a second day as heavy rain turn the area's dusty roads into muddy quagmires that slow supply convoys. The infantry at the front rejoice in the misery and the chance to rest.

In Iran, the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) screens XVIII Airborne Corps' eastern flank, coordinating with the IPA II Corps, while the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) covers the gaps between XVIII Airborne Corps units and the IPA I Corps.

In Colombia, Marxist guerrillas detonate a car bomb in the center of the port city of Buenaventura.
__________________
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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Old 06-22-2022, 04:00 PM
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June 22, 1997

Canon is silent on the day's activities. Unofficially,

The third R-5D hypersonic spy plane is delivered in Palmdale, California.

The court martial of the Fort Lee, Virginia drill sergeant, accused of being a member of the "5th Squad" gang, is concluded with the sergeant's conviction on six counts. He is reduced in rank to buck private and, as a result of his impassioned pleas to be given "long, hard time at Leavenworth" is ordered to the front in Poland as an infantryman.

The torpedo factory in Nestor, England near Liverpool, resumes full production after being attacked by a Spetsnaz team in March.

Allied troops in Korea move north through more of the DMZ fortifications. Many of the emplacements had been used for artillery or anti-aircraft guns rather than being designed for infantry use. In the east, III ROK Corps has completed its linkup with the US 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. While the Koreans continue up the coast, the Marines begin a drive inland to further disrupt the North Korean defense.

The Polish 3rd Missile Brigade, assigned to Baltic Front headquarters, fires a salvo of Scud missiles at the NATO crossing point over the Oder River at Kołbaskowo, south of Szczecin. The strike causes significant disruption to the traffic crossing the bridge, inducing panic among the foreign civilian contract drivers, although the missiles miss the bridge.

Outside Warsaw, the NATO effort is dedicated to shoring up the NATO lines around the city to prevent a breakout or relief as well as positioning troops and building supporting supply infrastructure. XI German Korps, composed mostly of territorials and border guards, both East and West German, moves to the northwest sector outside the city. The US commits XXIII US Corps, composed of the 3rd, 35th and 40th Infantry Divisions and the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (now a full regiment, although with two squadrons of improvised vehicles scraped together in Germany), as well as a sizeable contingent of artillery and engineer brigades, mainly from the southwest and west. Much of the east section of the perimeter is held by British troops.

In Finland, the 16th Guards Motor-Rifle Division finally clears the Finnish defenders from its path and makes contact with the rear guard of the American 10th Mountain Division, which is trying to make an orderly withdrawal to Norwegian territory.

The damaged USS Enterprise arrives in Belfast, Northern Ireland and enters the drydock at Harland and Wolff, the shipyard that built the Titanic in 1912.

To distract Soviet naval efforts from the convoy headed to Turkey, 8th Marine Expeditionary Brigade launches three separate raids along the eastern Libyan coast under cover from the aircraft of the USS John F Kennedy and USS America. Each strikes a radar or air defense missile installation.

Outside Bandar Abbas, small groups of paratroopers, numbering around 1000 (mostly from the division's , make their way on foot northward. They are the sole survivors of the once-mighty 103rd Guards Air Assault Division. Behind them, in the ruined city of Bandar Abbas, the two Marine divisions, Gurkha brigade and assortment of support units begin the grim task of building a semblance of order.
__________________
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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Old 06-23-2022, 03:49 PM
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June 23, 1997

Nothing for today in canon. Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Birmingham Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Private Randolph Cutler requests fire guard for the night so he can sell use of his phone card to other privates in his basic training platoon.

The last recorded incident of draft resistance in Canada, a burning of conscription notifications, occurs on the campus of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

A USAF contingent arrives in Mojave, California, to begin rapid certification of the Boeing Skyfox and its pilots. The effort is greatly assisted by the team's familiarity with the T-33, small numbers of which remain in USAF and US Navy service in various support and test roles.

1st Australian Brigade's subordinate units begin moving to port facilities as the government and the American Navy scramble to direct shipping to the appropriate ports. American heavy-lift aircraft begin to assemble in Darwin to move the brigade headquarters.

I and IX US Corps both move north into North Korean territory, accompanied by their allies. They have broken through the hard "crust" of North Korean emplacements along the border and are able to restore a measure of mobility to the battlefield. Offshore, support is provided by the carriers Abraham Lincoln (in the Sea of Japan), Stennis and Nimitz (in the Yellow Sea) as well as Harriers from the amphibious fleet.

The American attack submarine USS Olympia is ordered to pass through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean.

The German 23rd Missile Brigade fires its first shots in anger, launching a SCUD-D missile at the Polish border guard training school in northeastern Poland, in retaliation for the prior day's attacks on the Oder crossing.

The US 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade overruns the Babie Doły air base north of Gdynia.

British engineers (and contractors) select a woodwork plant on the outskirts of the town of Ciechanów as a supply depot to support the siege of Warsaw. The town has a convienient location at the junction of several highways and rail lines.

In Finland, a confused melee erupts between the US 10th Mountain Division and the Soviet 16th Guards Motor-Rifle Division. The American division’s 2nd Brigade has been leapfrogging battalions westward, each tasked to hold its position for 12 hours before falling back through the next two battalions and establishing a new defensive position. The front line battalion is provided cover by artillery and the division’s remaining Cobra attack helicopters, now limited to firing rockets and their 20mm cannon. Ammunition supplies are running low and the American division’s troops are ordered to abandon broken down vehicles, requisitioning civilian vehicles if needed. Finnish troops attack isolated Soviet and American units while Finnish fighters make dashes along both side’s supply routes seeking targets of opportunity. The 16th Guards’ commander pushes his poorly trained and equipped troops to launch repeated human-wave attacks on the American defensive lines. Time after time the American infantry machinegun the green Soviet troops until they run out of ammunition and fall back behind the next defensive line, where another battalion awaits to repeat the exercise.

Soviet irregular forces cut the highway back to Norway in five separate spots, blocking the American division’s supply route back to its rear support base at Koutokeino. The Americans re-direct their retreat to Skibotn in Norway, following the Norwegian 13th Brigade, scavenging food and fuel from the Finnish civilian population, supplemented by limited airdrops of ammunition to support the fight at the front.

The crew of the Sierra II-class attack submarine K-336 are flown back to the remote Gremikha naval base in the far eastern end of the Kola Peninsula following a month's leave.

XVIII Airborne Corps attack in southwestern Iran makes slow progress. Many of the Soviet units are initially in disarray, caught strung out in passes in the Zagros Mountains, but quickly recover. The rough terrain limits the American forces' freedom of manuever.

CENTCOM releases most of the amphibious shipping needed for the Bandar Abbas landing. 5th Fleet retains the Belleau Wood group for use in the region.

In Nikolaev, Ukraine a ceremony is held to commission the Soviet Navy's latest missile cruiser, the Riga. The Slava-class cruiser immediately begins a voyage to Sevastopol, where the crew (a polygot assortment of draftees, retirees and survivors of ships sunk around the world) will begin completing the vessel (the ship was delivered without many items, including the main antiaircraft fire control radar) prior to commencing training voyages to forge the crew into a fighting team. The shipyard workers turrn towards completing construction of the next Slava-class ship, the Sevastopol, which is nearly 75 percent complete.
__________________
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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Old 06-24-2022, 01:48 PM
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June 24, 1997

photo
An amphibious assault by the U.S. 4th (my 3rd) Marine Division and 6th
ROK Marine Brigade south of Nampo unhinges the KPA defensive lines in the west.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Los Angeles Freedom is delivered in San Diego, California.

The commanding general of the Army Training and Doctrine Command appears before a joint session of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to explain his actions regarding the "5th Squad" and Fort Dix scandals. He stumbles and attempts to placate and mislead the Members; his disastrous performance before the TV cameras is the lead story for the nightly news, overshadowing the action on the front lines.

SACEUR orders a general advance towards the Soviet border, launched along the entire front. II British Corps (attached to Second German Army) strikes northeast, intending to cut off 4th Guards Tank Army and 22nd Army in the Wisła bend. III US Corps forces its way across the Wisła north of Grudziądz, exploiting the gap between the Polish 1st and 4th Armies on opposite sides of the river. V US Corps and VI German Korps, forming the main effort for First German Army, advance on a broad front towards Lublin and Brest, while Panzergruppe Oberdorf, reinforced by VII US Corps, together Third German Army’s strike force, heads for the Soviet border west of Lvov, leaving the Polish redoubt to XI US Corps. The offensive is generally successful along the line, although rates of advance are slowed by the dreadful supply situation. Soviet units resist as fiercely as ever.

The German 2nd Military Police Command moves into Poland from East Germany, becoming part of the ad hoc multinational effort to secure the NATO rear area. The 2nd’s duties range from securing NATO facilities, escorting convoys, investigating losses of supplies and equipment in the rear area, assisting the Polish Free Congress in its efforts to establish a local police force to maintain order among the local population, managing refugee flows, investigating crimes committed by or against NATO personnel and performing sweeps for deserters and stragglers. The command’s troops, mainly composed of West German police officers in peacetime, take on this daunting list of duties with pride and great diligence, doing the best they can in the circumstances.

photo
Underscoring the need for additional rear area security troops, a survey party of American engineers inspecting the rail line linking Poznan and Warsaw is attacked by a group of anti-NATO partisans west of Kutno. The group is wiped out and the partisans escape; the engineers are only missed many hours later when they fail to return to their home base.

XI US Corps resumes its attack in southeastern Poland; progress is slow as the cornered Polish troops furiously counterattack and the American artillery is starved of ICM and FASCAM rounds and MLRS rockets; even high explosive rounds are slow to arrive at the front after a journey of over 1100 kilometers from the port in Bremerhaven.

photo
Outside Warsaw, NATO artillery begin days of attacks on the surrounded city, breaking up Pact concentrations and strong points identified by aerial reconniassance.

In Finland, the 16th Guards’ motor-rifle regiments are empty shells and General Kuznetsov (commander of the Northwestern TVD) orders the burned out division to the side of the road, replacing them with the 64th Guards Motor-Rifle Division. The 64th Guards’ officers and sergeants are hardened veterans of the war in China and launch a relentless pursuit of the American 10th Mountain Division, whose troops are exhausted from constant action and low on ammunition after decimating the 16th Guards MRD.

Spetsnaz troops crater the highway to Skibotn just before the Finnish-Norwegian border, blocking the escape route once again. The Soviet irregulars fade away into the wilderness before Norwegian troops can reach the site, relying on persistent chemical agents delivered by Scud missiles of the 6th Guards Missile Brigade to delay repair of the road.

The carrier Eisenhower arrives in Scapa Flow, north of Scotland, where the extensive repair organization (ashore and afloat) can repair the damage wrought in the Barents Sea. (Aircraft on flight deck blew up after an AS-4 missile exploded 50 meters overhead, starting a large fire that destroyed most of the remaining air wing and threatened the ship’s survival).

photo
As the NATO convoy in the Mediterranean makes its way past Malta, Turkish IV Corps on Cyprus launches a series of attacks to tie down Greek troops and divert supplies from Thrace. Simultaneously, it transfers its 14th Armored Brigade (equipped with M48 tanks and M113s) back to the mainland, where it will go to reinforce 1st Turkish Army's efforts in Thrace.
__________________
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...

Last edited by chico20854; 06-27-2022 at 02:32 PM. Reason: update NATO effort in Poland!
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Old 06-25-2022, 06:10 AM
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June 25, 1997

Nothing official for today! Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Jackson Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Pascagoula Freedom is delivered in its namesake city.

The Army Chief of Staff denies the request of the Commanding General of the Training and Doctrine Command for immediate retirement. He is, however, relieved of command and assigned to the Pentagon.

Private Cutler requests fire guard every night; the private who draws up the duty roster nightly is happy to oblige since it means other soldiers in the platoon don't have to perform the duty.

Chinese troops launch an assault crossing across the Yalu River into North Korea. The troops of the 28th (my 5th) Group Army, supported by F-16s of the American AVG II, overwhelm the border guards of the 33rd Border Security Brigade and people's militia that are all that the North Korean regime can muster to oppose the Chinese force.

The growth of the Free Polish Legions through defections of entire units has largely stopped. Those units whose commanders are inclined to defect have, by this point, had an opportunity, and the Communist Party and their Soviet overseers have tightened political oversight of remaining Polish Army units. Every unit of company size or higher has a political officer and Soviet “coordination officers” are present at regimental and higher headquarters. The SB (secret police) has infiltrated the ranks with informants, and Soviet KGB Border Guard regiments are operating in eastern Poland, with helicopter-borne quick reaction forces available to quickly strike at a defecting headquarters.

East of Warsaw, German and American troops continue their cautious advance towards the Soviet border, wary of their exposed supply lines, hostile local population and potential for Soviet reserves to appear at any moment.

On the Baltic Coast, US Marines of the 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade launch an amphibious attack on the Hel Peninsula under cover of darkness across the Bay of Puck in AAVP-7 amphibians. Landing between the front line and the naval base, the appearance of US Marines in the rear finally breaks the resistance of the Polish troops on the front line, and by dusk German soldiers and American Marines enter the town.

photo
The US Air Force resorts to using C-130 transports to sustain the operations of its forward-deployed units based in Poland. The ammunition, fuel and parts brought in sustain the A-10 force that is so valuable in supporting NATO troops' advance.

In Finland, the 64th Guards MRD continues the pressure on the 10th Mountain Division, taking advantage of their superior armor and the American’s shortage of ammunition to steamroller over blocking positions. Once again cut off from retreat to Norwegian territory and in only intermittent radio contact with X Corps Headquarters, the American division commander orders an evacuation of ground forces through Sweden, following the road and rail routes to Narvik. (Surviving helicopters load their ground crews and fly to Norwegian bases.) The American general is relying on Sweden’s continued flexibility regarding its neutrality, where Swedish authorities turn a blind eye to NATO incursions into its territory and airspace. The passage of an entire infantry division, however diminished by losses in the recent offensive, and its purchase of supplies of food, truck parts and fuel to sustain that passage, is, however, of a massively larger scale than a multi-squadron air raid at low level over sparsely populated territory or the transit of special forces troops in civilian clothing in civilian vehicles. Swedish authorities feel the need, partially in response to Soviet objections to previous NATO incursions and partially as a well-justified desire to maintain their armed neutrality and demonstrate their sovereignty, to object. Swedish police and customs officials, backed up by local Home Guards and reservists, meet the American troops at the border. The lead elements agree to allow the Swedes to “safeguard” their weapons in sealed containers (guarded by a joint force of American and Swedish troops) and accept passage to an internment camp (that happens to be located next to a temporary bus station that offers hourly service to Narvik).

Along the Barents coast, 18th Army keeps up the pressure on the NATO forces still on Soviet territory, launching an attack after an eight-day pause to regroup, absorb replacements, resupply and repair damage to the highway launch. While the 76th Guards Airborne and 77th Guards Motor-Rifle Division (both reinforced with tanks and APCs stripped from other 18th Army units) attack down the roads, the 134th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment and 7th Guards Airborne battlegroup move cross-country towards the center of the NATO line and the 116th MRD and Division Polyarnyy attack the flanks. X Corps troops conduct a textbook fighting withdrawal to the next in a series of fighting positions, many dating from the Second World War. Allied casualties are moderate, but after months of war worldwide replacements are scarce and green recruits rushed through a truncated training course are a poor substitute for a combat-hardened veteran. Part of the Canadian-led force is evacuated overland, the remainder going by sea. The retreat is scorched earth, with roads and buildings dynamited, a ship sunk in the channel leading to Liinakhamari and the mine at Nikel flooded, leaving nothing of value for Northwestern TVD to use against AFNON across the border.

The Gurkhas of 27 Brigade join Marines of the 1st Marine Division in a series of heliborne insertions into the Zagros Mountains, placing patrols along likely egress routes for the remnants of the 103rd Guards Air Assault Division which are trying to make their way back to friendly lines.

Further north, remnants of the Iranian 18th Armored Division link up with the 24th Infantry Division as the American heavy force pushes north torwards Ahvaz.

In the USSR, the Party authorities direct the Ministry of Defense to expand the spring conscription wave to deal with the losses the Red Army is suffering around the world. The flow of replacements for soldiers lost in battle had been limited by a Politburo reluctant to remove even more young, fit workers from the labor force. However, the situation called for the usual bi-annual intake of conscripts to be doubled, to include 17 and a half-year olds as well as 18-year olds. Approximately one fourth of this intake is sent to training units in the Soviet interior for service as NCOs, as sailors, in the Air Force or Air Defense Force, in the MVD or KGB Border Guards or as technical specialists. The remainder of the intake is delivered to the rear areas of the fronts, en masse and completely untrained. Some front commanders establish ad-hoc training programs while others distribute the conscripts to motor-rifle platoons irrespective of their knowledge of the Russian language or any skills they might possess. Likewise, the Politburo limits further activation of mobilization-only divisions, many of which consist of stockpiles of worn out T-34s or T-54s, trucks retired after decades of service on collective farms and WW II-era artillery, absent armored personnel carriers, modern radios and anti-tank weapons.
__________________
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...

Last edited by chico20854; 06-27-2022 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Update the Politburo's actions in the USSR!
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Old 06-26-2022, 06:33 AM
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June 26, 1997

1st Marine Division begins moving into the Zagros Mountains, towards the airfield complex at Yadz.

Unofficially,

At Fort Lee, Virginia, the court martial of seven privates, accused members of "5th Squad", concludes. Five of the privates are found guilty and sentenced to jail, while two others are acquitted but dismissed from the service with bad conduct discharges.

At Fort Benning, Georgia, there is a major reorganization of the training units on the post. The Infantry Training Brigade hives its initial entry training battalions off into a separate brigade (the 2nd Infantry Brigade (Training)), transfers the staff of the airborne school (the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Infantry) to Fort Leonard Wood to serve as the staff of 1st Brigade, 17th Airborne Division and tasking the two training support battalions to plan to support civilian authorities. The airborne school continues operations using a combination of recalled retiree and civilian instructors, turning out replacements for the 82nd Airborne Division as well as jump qualified recruits for the 11th and 17th Airborne Divisions. The Infantry Training Brigade, renamed the 1st Infantry Brigade (Training) also assumes command of the Ranger Training Brigade, taking the top 15 percent of graduates from the post’s basic training brigades as well as the top graduate of each infantry AIT class nationwide.

The Chinese forces reinforce their bridgehead over the Yalu. To the northeast, the 3rd Army crosses into North Korea territory, where its advance is quickly brought to a halt by fierce resistance in the mountainous terrain.

The Allied amphibious force in Nampho completes its sweep of the city, rooting out North Korean stragglers and fanatical armed civilians to ensure a somewhat secure rear area for the advance that is to come.

In northeastern Poland, II British Corps and III US Corps link up, cutting off the Pact forces in the Wisła bend and XII German Korps crosses the Wisła and blocks the retreat of the isolated Pact forces. Further south, V US Corps captures Siedlce, nearly halfway between Warsaw and the Soviet border as German troops approach Lublin from the southwest and west.

The Dutch Red Army detonates a IED under a bus transporting American reinforcements to Germany; 34 soldiers and the civilian driver are killed.

The LSK (former East German Air Force) concentrates its remaining MiG-29s (17 remain flyable) in JG-3 (Jagdgruppe 3, fighter group), disbanding JG-2 and JG-7. Excess personnel are assigned to security duties at bases in Poland, where the Alphajet force is supporting ground troops. Their Soviet counterparts in Frontal Aviaition are operating at about 20 percent of prewar strength.

Allied artillery continues to pound defensive positions in Warsaw. Soviet troops in the city take up residence in the Palac Kultury, sharing the massive structure with the fanatical communists of the East German loyalist VOPO Regiment Mitte, who roam the city looking for "defeatists, spies and collaborators."

The Sierra II-class attack sub K-336 completes post-voyage repairs and restocking and slips away from the dock for some local test dives.

photo
The 6th ACCB continues to cover the advance of XVIII Airborne Corps; its attack helicopters are very effective in detecting and breaking up Soviet armored counterattacks that otherwise would cause the light troops of the 101st and 9th Divisions considerable difficulty. To reinforce I MEF, 3rd Army transfers the 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Georgia National Guard) to Bandar Abbas, where it will quickly be committed to action.

The Politburo directs all efforts to reinforcing the Soviet border in Ukraine, Byelorussia and the Kaliningrad pocket. 1st Shock Army is rushed to the front from garrisons near Moscow and 1st Byelorussian Front's 3rd Guards Tank Army brought to full strength. Some airborne units are also airlifted to the Western TVD, although restricted to Soviet territory. MVD internal troop units in western Ukraine are also released to Western TVD command, their operations again limited to defense of Soviet territory. Marshall Slepnev (Western TVD commander) knows better than to request command of KGB Border Guard brigades in his area.
__________________
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...

Last edited by chico20854; 06-27-2022 at 02:49 PM. Reason: more details on Poland!
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  #204  
Old 06-27-2022, 03:32 PM
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June 27, 1997

The 3rd (I have the 4th) Marine Division departs Bandar Abbas, heading north into the Zagros Mountains towards Shiraz to break the siege of that city.

photo1 photo2
(Unofficially, A Soviet RORSAT satellite overflies the Mediterranean and the locates the NATO convoy. Soviet naval authorities relay the convoy's location to Athens.) Light fleet elements of the Greek navy savage the NATO convoy in the night and escape relatively unharmed.

Unofficially,

McDonnell Douglas places a second JDAM production line in St. Charles, Missouri into service, increasing production of the precision-guided munition to 260 kits a day. Ten of those kits are the classified NV (Nuclear Variant), supplied to Strategic Air Command, the Navy and USAF Europe for use with B-61 nuclear bombs.

A New Mexico State Guard patrol locates the remains of a suspected Soviet spetsnaz team in the remote mountains of south-central New Mexico. Temperatures in prior days have exceeded 100 F. The corpses carry silenced AK-74s, demolition gear, encrypted communications gear but the canteens are empty.

The Department of Defense Contract Adjudication Board makes a preliminary recommendation that Boeing be paid $150 million for the requisitioning of its Skyfox subsidiary, $1 million for each of the 120 aircraft, $25 million for the conversion and $5 million for the spare parts and components. The company and the government will continue to discuss a more accurate valuation but the award goes a long way to calming nerves frayed by the Air Force's actions.

photo
British forces rush towards the Soviet border, facing weakening Soviet resistance. The US 4th Infantry Division, assigned to V Corps, encounters troops of the 120th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, an element of 7th Tank Army of the 1st Byelorussian Front, the first element of that Front to see action.

Panzergruppe Oberdorf strikes northeast, preventing 1st Guards Tank Army from reinforcing the defense of Lublin, and the formation’s 6th Panzergrenadier Division takes over occupation duties from VI German Korps.

US Marines and German troops advance further into the town of Hel on the Baltic Coast following the Marine's landing a few days prior. The battleship Iowa is brought forward into the Baltic to lend its big gun's firepower to the effort, despite the misgivings of SACLANT, who has granted OPCON to CINCBALTAP.

The 329th Engineer Group (US Army Reserve)'s battalions have been farmed out to US XXIII Corps and British forces fighting their way into Warsaw, taking heavy casaulties in the urban fight.

map
The Norwegian theatre is relatively quiet, as 18th Army advances through the devastated territory abandoned by NATO and as the US 10th Mountain Division retreats into Swedish territory. The Soviet ambassador to Stockholm lodges a protest, but the Swedish foreign minister points out the presence of Soviet troops in adjacent Finland as an example of combatants not respecting the boundaries of neutral Nordic states.

The Liberian-flag bulk carrier Orient Sunray, carrying a load of grain, strikes a drifting mine as it approaches Port Harcourt, Nigeria and floods. While tugs reach the ship and manage to pull it aground within sight of land, the cargo is ruined by the influx of seawater and the ship is ultimately abandoned.

American and Korean troops leapfrog deeper into North Korea as that despotic regime struggles to maintain order and regain initiative. South Korean mechnanized forces (built around the VII ROK Corps) are committed to exploit the collapse of the North Korean defenses along the DMZ, pushing rapidly but cautiously northward along the main road to Pyongyang as US and ROK Marines drive eastward from the coast.

In Iran, XVIII Airborne Corps makes slow progress through the difficult terrain, while to the south the Marines of I MEF are capturing more ground as Soviet resistance at the end of such extended supply lines fades.
__________________
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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  #205  
Old 06-28-2022, 03:52 PM
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June 28, 1997

NATO naval forces (the air groups of the American carriers USS John F. Kennedy and USS America) launch air strikes against Greek naval bases in retaliation for the prior night's attack on the convoy to Izmir.

What turns out to be the last shipment of AR-18 rifles, known locally as the Type 96, is dispatched from the US to China.

Franciszek Kowalczyk, a very wealthy and powerful man before the war, takes up residence in the Pieskowa Skała Castle in the Ojców National Park 20 km north of Krakow. Styling himself the Baron of Ojców, he takes over the castle as a private retreat and fortress after his wife and family were killed in the fighting in Silesia. It is rumored that large stores of arms, ammunition, and gold lie hidden behind the fortress walls. He has stocked it with food and its own generators and alarm systems. He has a small and fiercely loyal staff who guard his walls and tend the packs of guard dogs which roam the castle area day and night.

Unofficially,

Private Randall Cutler, whose platoon has been locked down for many weeks, slips out his barracks' laundry room window and crawls around the building before getting up and walking to the nearby convenience store, where he buys nearly $50 of toiletries that his platoon mates need.

Lublin falls to the VI German Corps, the remnants of 8th Guards Army falling back in disarray, the Polish defenders resisting to the end.

In liberated Poland, the Free Polish Congress has established the bare outlines of a functioning state from their temporary capital in Poznań. The top leadership positions are filled by exiles or their descendants, but they have insufficient numbers and expertise to adequately fill the needs. Some assistance is received from allied civil affairs units. Most positions are filled by defectors or prewar officials who have, to one degree or another, pledged loyalty to the Western-allied government. The economy as moribund and most urban residents are dependent on NATO food aid. The government tries to return refugees to their homes, but in many cases, that is impossible due to the massive damage inflicted by the battles. The unemployed and dislocated who are able bodied are tasked with clearing rubble and restoring housing and utilities. With an eye on gaining and maintaining popular support, the Polish Free Congress does not institute conscription; the various Polish Free Legions and guide detachments (attached to NATO units) are manned by volunteers from Poland and the Polish diaspora, defectors and captured Polish Army soldiers who answer the call of recruiters sent through the POW transit facilities before the POWs are shipped to the UK or North America for captivity. The Free Legions face the same logistical challenges that the former East German units confronted, cut off from resupply of munitions and spare parts. The US and UK provide the Poles with limited quantities of light vehicles (HMMWVs and Land Rovers) and mortars as well as rations, fuel and communications equipment.

As NATO troops approach the northern Polish-Russian border, desperate measures are implemented to beef up the defenses of Kaliningrad. The defenders consist of 3rd Shock Army, pulled out of action a month ago after losses of nearly 75 percent, the 2nd Guards Tank Army (reconstructing for only a few weeks), KGB Border Guards and security units, some under the command of the Baltic Fleet. Baltic Fleet organizes its troops into Division Baltiisk, composed around a cadre of security troops from various installations, augmented by large numbers of shoreside personnel and sailors from inoperable ships in the region, haphazardly equipped with a sprinkling of aged APCs and whatever castoff heavy weapons and small arms the Baltic Fleet could locate in its storerooms and with artillery improvised from naval guns from warships of various ages, hastily mounted on improvised carriages.

Advance patrols of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment begin encountering troops of the 115th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a PVO (Air Defense Corps) unit stationed on the Polish-Soviet border. The missile crews had been deployed forward into Poland, and after their missiles were destroyed by NATO missile strikes they were left in Poland to serve as infantry.

In northern Sweden, the Karasuando Massacre begins when the the commander of the 10th Mountain Division's cavalry battalion (the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry) refuses to permit his officers to surrender their sidearms, especially his pearl-handled Colt revolvers. The matter quickly escalates, and the heavily armed cavalrymen open fire. The subsequent skirmish starts days of violence and chaos as some elements of the American division fight their way out of Sweden, opposed by home guards and some army units rushed in as reinforcements, while other American battalions remain peacefully in their internment camps. To add to the confusion, the forward detachment of the 64th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, in hot pursuit of the American rear guards, crosses the border into Sweden, running into the oncoming Swedish reinforcements. The day of chaotic violence grips northern Swedish Lapland as three armies fight for control of the town of Kiruna, which controls the rail line and road to Narvik. Norwegian troops cross the border into Sweden to cover their American allies’ retreat. In the skies above confusion reigns as well, with Soviet Frontal Aviation, the Swedish Air Force and the disorganized remnants of several American carrier air wings (flying from Bardufoss and Evenes/Narvik) tangling in the airspace over Swedish Lapland.

Elsewhere in the Far North, the RAF contribution to Allied Forces North Norway is consolidated into a single squadron of Harriers and Jaguars, serving alongside a single squadron of Buccaneers and another of Tornados in the naval strike role. The remaining US naval air squadrons from Narvik and Bardufoss are withdrawn, and 12th Air Force consolidates its fighter aircraft in the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, with a squadron of F-15Es, another of F-15A interceptors and a flight of F-16Cs. The 917th Tactical Fighter Wing disbands its 706th Tactical Fighter Squadron, assigning all of the wing’s remaining seven A-10s as well as the three surviving USMC and USAF OV-10s to the 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron. The US Marines combine their F/A-18s into two squadrons and disband most of the temporary air bases they had established along the Norwegian coast. The Luftforsvaret (Norwegian Air Force) assigns its few remaining combat aircraft to 718 Skvadron, at Bodř.

At sea, the remaining Allied surface combatants beyond the minimum needed to escort supply convoys to Liinakhamari are withdrawn, the damaged ones for refit and repair in the United Kingdom and the few battle-worthy ones to further action in the Baltic or Mediterranean. Operational NATO submarines (American, British as well as a Dutch diesel boat) continue their months-long hunt for SSBNs and their support ships.

The USS Iowa, providing naval gunfire support to German and American troops near Gdansk, is struck by two Polish MiG-17s in a kamikaze attack that sets fire to a helicopter refueling on fantail. The fire penetrates deep into the ship, reaching the boiler room, which forces the ship's power plant offline.

The Sierra II-class attack submarine K-336 departs Gremikha on its second combat patrol. As NATO troops retreat from the Murmansk area and the situation deteriorates around the world, the Soviet naval command begins to sortie some of its nuclear missile submarines. The K-336, one of the USSR's quietest and most advanced boats, is assigned to escort one of the newest and most important SSBNs, the Barrikada TK-217.

The remnants of the NATO convoy to Turkey arrive in Izmir. Commanders are stunned to discover that its losses exceed 60 percent.

In Romania, the 38th Army is reinforced with the mobilization-only 58th Tank Division. The division's T-54 and T-62 tanks are split up between the army’s motor-rifle divisions, which are chronically short of tanks and a reasonable reaction to the questionable competence of the division’s overaged reservist command staff.

Following days of heavy fighting against XVIII Airborne Corps in Kuzestan, the 78th Tank Division is rotated out of the front line and allowed to recover in the Tehran area.

For the first time, Det. G, 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron flies two R-5D hypersonic flights over the USSR. The two sorties fly parallel, gathering invaluable imagery of the movement of Soviet troops and supplies.
__________________
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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  #206  
Old 06-29-2022, 02:14 PM
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June 29, 1997

1st Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) repulses a number of Soviet commando raids across the Bering Straits but is forced to withdraw westward when Soviet arctic mechanized units cross to the US side.

Unofficially,

Responding to word of the probable Spetsnaz team infiltrating New Mexico, self-appointed civilian militias deploy to the Mexican border in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The ROK Army links up with the amphibious force which had landed in Nampho, cutting off North Korea's South Hwanghae Province from the rest of the nation. Combined Forces Korea directs several South Korean reserve and home defense divisions to seal off the area and make gradual inroads into subduing it; paramount, however, is preventing any disruptions to the supply lines or any breakout of isolated North Korean units.

Chinese forces in northwestern North Korea begin to advance southward, while in Manchuria the People's Liberation Army's daily tally of towns and villages liberated from Soviet occupation continues to grow.

The 332nd Anti-Tank Brigade is released from STAVKA's Artillery Reserve and transported to the Polish-Soviet border. The unit is equipped with three dozen MT-12 anti-tank guns and an equal number of self-propelled AT-6/9 ATGM launchers, mounted on MTLB chassis.

The 44th Guards Airborne Division, the VDV's training division, is ordered to deploy to the Lithuanian-Polish border, setting aside its mission preparing conscripts to be NCOs.

The Polish State Council and Politburo are secretly evacuated from Warsaw by helicopter to the Communist Party’s resort complex at Arlamów in the mountains on the Ukrainian border.

The Polish defenders of the town of Hel are forced back into the ruins of the naval base.

VII US Corps encounters Soviet reinforcements when the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment engages T-86 tanks of the 2nd Guards Motor-Rifle Division, the Red Army’s premier show division, just arriving at the front from Moscow.

The Polish Internal Front counterattacks in the north, with a weak drive southwest from Bialystok with a scratch force of Polish and Soviet border guards, OTK and WOW troops and East German communists. The attempt to relieve the siege of Warsaw and cut II British Corps off from its bridgeheads is stopped outside Ostrów Mazowiecka by a NATO force detached from Operational Group Warsaw, reinforced with the Polish 2nd Free Legion. The battle between former border guard comrades is especially bitter and tragic, and the Polish drive peters out.

American troops of XVIII Corps make slow progress into the southwestern portion of Warsaw, reaching the runway of the international airport at sundown.

Damage control parties on board the battleship USS Iowa struggle to contain the fire started by a Polish kamikaze attack the day before. As the fire spreads in the powerless battlewagon, escorting frigates come alongside to provide additional pumping power and spray down the hull. The commander orders the aft magazine flooded as a preventative measure, lest the hundreds of tons of powder and explosives detonate.

In northern Sweden, 10th Mountain Division’s commander is able to regain full control of his battalions and arrange a ceasefire with the local Swedish commander, which is honored by the reinforcing Swedish units. Both sides turn their attention to the advancing Soviets, which have thrown the battered 16th Motor-Rifle Division back into the line. The Americans provide forward air control parties to guide the US naval aircraft in their strikes, while the rest of the division and the Norwegians continue their movement back to Norway.

photo
In the Mediterranean, Operation Carpet Bagger commences - USAF attacks on Greek naval bases by the 140th Tactical Fighter Wing (Colorado Air National Guard)'s A-7s, flying from Turkish bases, covered by F-16As of the 482nd Tactical Fighter Wing (USAF Reserve), who shoot down 12 Greek fighters (2 F-16C, 4 Mirage 2000s and 6 F-4E Phantoms) with the loss of only one F-16A. US carriers continue to attack Greek naval facilities, facilities they are intimately familiar with since they used them for many decades themselves.

Marines of the 4th Division make contact with outer pickets of the Soviet 201st Motor-Rifle Division in the mountains north of Bandar Abbas. The action is the first combat that the troops of the 40th Army, veterans of the war in Afghanistan, have had with American troops.

The lead elements of the Australian 1st Armored Brigade arrive in Ad Damman, Saudi Arabia, to begin making arrangements for reception and deployment of the brigade's troops when they arrive in a few weeks. (The vehicles are being loaded at multiple Australian ports).

Activation of the 84th Tank Division, a mobilization-only unit from the Kiev Military District formed from the cadre and student body of the Kiev Higher Tank Engineering School and equipped with T-34s, T-10s and ISU-152 tank destroyers, is halted. Instead, the remaining students are rushed to the front as reinforcements for the battered divisions which have retreated across Poland. Many of the school’s instructors are also taken to replace losses at the front, and the warehouses of equipment are depleted to make up combat losses at the front.
__________________
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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  #207  
Old 06-30-2022, 03:54 PM
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June 30, 1997

In a major change to command and control arrangements, Coast Guard cutters and personnel are absorbed directly into the Navy. Local maritime defense districts remain under command of their (former) Coast Guard commanders and staff, but they are formally in the Navy chain of command rather than reporting to the Secretary of Transportation.

Unofficially,

Private Cutler makes a return visit to the convenience store, this time with orders from some of his platoon mates. He returns thirty minutes later with shaving cream, disposable razors, bars of soap, three cold sodas and a small bag of pretzels. He makes a small profit from the excursion.

Following a (very busy) week of flight testing, the Boeing Skyfox is granted emergency USAF type classification as the AT-33E. (The ground crew promptly mangle the designation into the type's popular nickname of "Ate 33" rather than the manufacturer's marketing name.)

Patrols of the 2nd Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) in the Aleutians are engaged by unknown enemies; subsequent examinations of the areas reveal shell casings from 5.45mm weapons, only used by the Warsaw Pact.

As a result of the ongoing conflict, control of Hong Kong remains in British hands, following an agreement between the Chinese and British governments to extend the British lease of the colony to such time as Chinese government is prepared to administer the area.

The Echo II-class cruise missile sub K-35 arrives at the naval base at Pavlovsk Bay, pulling into the tunnel dug into the mountainside to protect it from American attack. It is the submarine's first service with the Pacific Fleet and the conclusion of an epic patrol that departed Murmansk in December and took it through the North and South Atlantic and Indian Oceans before traversing the South China Sea and Sea of Japan, sinking Allied shipping and attacking targets ashore along the entire route.

VI German Korps heads northeast towards Brest, reinforcing V US Corps’ right flank, and soon encounters advanced elements of 5th Guards Tank Army.

VII US Corps' progress is halted by resistance from the 1st Shock Army and the effects of extended supply lines.

XI US Corps makes the least progress as the fanatical Polish defenders fight for every yard and launch countless counterattacks. The Poles are short of armored vehicles but their dismounted infantry know every inch of the rugged terrain of the Carpathian foothills and have the support of the local population. The Americans do not have enough infantry to secure their entire front, leaving their rear area vulnerable to infiltration by small Polish units.

In beseiged Warsaw, a 37-year old ZOMO (riot police) captain, Krzysztof Czarny, leads his company in a counterattack to recapture part of the paint shop of the Ursus tractor plant from German troops. Within two hours his command has taken 75 percent casualties from a senseless direct attack.

The last American troops leave Swedish territory. To their north, the Soviet forces facing Norwegian troops in Finland are at the end of long and tenuous supply line, and the fervor of defending the Soviet homeland wanes once the Finnish border is reached. Short of ammunition and fuel and with the Northwestern TVD on a theater-wide counterattack, 26th Corps orders the 115th Motor-Rifle Division to maintain a passive pursuit of the retreating Norwegians. Prince Jungi is happy to oblige, eager to return to his home territory and possible redeployment of his force to defend the border with the USSR.

US carriers (the John F Kennedy and America) turn their attention to the island of Crete, launching numerous airstrikes along the length and breadth of the island; dispatching the destroyer Briscoe to use its 5" guns in shore bombardment. The Greek missile boat Plotarhis Bessas, hiding in a cove on the south side of the island, launches all four of its Exocet missiles at 6 nm range at the destroyer. One is shot down by the destroyer's CIWS, one misses and the other two strike, one amidships and the other on the helipad. The warheads cause significant damage, and, like in the Falklands conflict 15 years prior, their unburned propellant ignites a massive fire. Within 45 minutes the order is given to abandon ship.

Navy salvage teams clear the first deep draft cargo berth at the port of Bandar Abbas as SEEBEEs clear the last unexploded ordnance from Bandar Abbas International Airport. (The Havadarya air base on the west end of the city was the first captured and returned to service.)

The USS Independence and its battle group disembark VMFA-112 and its F/A-18s and head out to sea, responding to rumors of activity by the remnants of the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron.
__________________
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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  #208  
Old 07-01-2022, 03:55 PM
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July 1, 1997

Greece declares war on NATO in retaliation for the alliance's support of Turkey (which the Greeks interpret as interference in a local conflict unrelated to the larger NATO-Pact conflict) and the American strikes on its naval bases.

Unofficially,

The US 17th Airborne Division is formed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri from new draftees and volunteers from the Army throughout the continental US.

The Freedom ship Denver Freedom is delivered in Galveston, Texas.

The 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing implements its dispersal plan, dispatching maintenance and support teams to dispersal airfields throughout the west coast.

A team of recalled reserve pilots and ground crew from the USAF and USN who have experience with the T-33 (alongside three Canadian pilots, who trained on the type) arrive at Mojave, California to begin a quick familiarization course on the AT-33E Skyfox.

American C-17 military transport arrive at a remote pattch of the Taklamakan Desert in far western China. While they have the blessing of the Chinese authorities, no word has been given to local authorities of the American's arrival in the vast desert. The aircraft land on a dry lakebed, unloading heavy equipment to drill a well, establish refuelling infrastructure (including a tankfarm in fuel bags) and a very bare-bones housing and support package. The secret soon-to-be-airbase will be used to support American aircraft's entry into the USSR through lightly defended Central Asian airspace.

South Korean troops of the WHAT Corps and the US I Corps, advancing in parallel, are less than 50 km from Pyongyang, North Korea. The North Korean Army in front of the Allied force has largely disintegrated, but the advance is slowed by local civilians, who alternately clog the roads, heading south as refugees seeking peace, prosperity and safety in South Korea and attack Allied forces heading north as diehard (and to Western eyes, brainwashed) holdouts seek to prevent their homeland from being overrun by foreign invaders.

map of front lines
The commander of the German III Korps calls on the last defenders of the Hel naval base to surrender; his offer is met by a barrage of mortar fire on his front lines. (Expending the last of the defender's stock of mortar ammunition).

In eastern Poland, V US and VI German Corps' advances grind to a halt while NATO deploys its reserves of strike aircraft and deep strike munitions to break up 1st Byelorussian Front. Confident of the suppression of the Voyska-PVO, the USAF releases the 379th Bomb Wing’s B-52G bombers to carpet bomb the Soviet force with a mixture of cluster and high explosive bombs. The bombing destroys relatively few armored vehicles but succeeds in disrupting the rear areas of both armies, damaging or destroying truck parks, supply dumps and towed artillery batteries.

II British Corps and III US Corps continued their progress, approaching Olsztyn from the south. Overextended and dependent on a handful of bridges and what could be flown into captured and expeditionary airfields, their advance slows while XII German Korps tightens the encirclement of Reserve and Baltic Fronts in the Wisła bend. (The Soviets are withdrawing from the west bank of the river under pressure from I German Korps, concentrating north of Torun for an attempt to break out). Olsztyn is defended by one of the last full strength OTK regiments and the 15th Mechanized Division, reduced to little more than a regiment in strength.

In northern Poland, Second German Army deploys VII German Korps to III US Corps’ left, pressing the remnants of Polish 1st Army back along the coast to the Soviet border.

In Warsaw, Captain Czarny is provided two dozen teenage boys as reinforcements for his company, which suffered losses of over 75 percent in fighting the prior day. They have never fired a military rifle and are not provided with uniforms, helmets, weapons or training before being assigned to his command. German, American and British troops continue to press in on the city, accompanied by constant artillery barrages on defensive positions.

The Karasuando Massacre creates tremendous anti-American sentiment in Sweden, forever condemning any chance of Sweden joining the war on NATO’s side. Few Swedes that see video footage of American troops shooting at Swedish police and middle-aged home guards or pictures of the burned ruins of downtown Kiruna can support joining the war as co-belligerents alongside NATO. The Swedish people and government ralliy around their military and, dismissing the offer of continued American air support from Norwegian bases, undertake the effort to deal with 26th Corps, which is gradually solidifying its positions in Swedish Lapland.

Morale in the NATO force in Norway slumps as a result of the defeat of the long-planned offensive. The air and naval forces have taken tremendous losses and infantry battalions at the front are badly depleted. While the wounded have been evacuated south and west, the Norwegian intelligence service’s informant at the Murmansk train station reports numerous carloads of Allied POWs headed south under heavy guard. The special operations troops that have survived the offensive are exfiltrating and unable to intercept the trains, and Finnish and Russian civilians and militias are rounding up downed airmen nearly every day. It is a dark time to be an Allied fighter in northern Norway. Nonetheless, actual disciplinary problems and desertion are low although black humor and soldier’s griping are rampant

In Iran, the 1st Marine Division passes through scattered Iranian defensive positions in the Zagros Mountains before entering the no-mans'-land that separates Allied and Soviet controlled territories. To their east, the Marines of the 4th Division launch vigorous attacks on the 201st Motor-Rifle Division, driving the Soviet division back to its previously prepared main line of resistance.
__________________
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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  #209  
Old 07-02-2022, 07:04 AM
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July 2, 1997

Keeping with its treaty obligations, Italy declares war on NATO.

Canadian troops in the Yukon Territory and British Columbia prepare defense lines throughout both provinces.

Warsaw Pact forces withdraw from the front with the Chinese Army quickly following them.

Unofficially,

The 276th ADA Battery (Laser) (Provisional) is relieved of its test and development mission and placed on alert for immediate deployment. One of the battery's four platoons (with three XM-12 systems) will remain at Fort Bliss to develop tactics and train new crew members. One platoon is airlifted to Korea to use its novel system against a variety of ground and air targets, while the battery headquarters and two firing platoons deploy to Europe via priority airlift.

Private Cutler's barracks business grows, now offering candy and Playboys, which Cutler has begun buying without orders being placed in advance.

The American carriers Abraham Lincoln, Stennis and Nimitz launch Operation Left Sweep, another raid on Soviet naval facilities near Vladivostok. The strikes' fighter escort further whittle down the PVO air defense interceptor fleet - the panicked commander of the 23rd PVO Corps reports that if he does not immediately receive a shipment of missiles and replacement aircraft he cannot guarantee round the clock coverage of Vladivostok.

NATO advanced elements close on the Soviet-Polish border, continuing the siege of Warsaw. SACEUR, General Phelps, is most concerned about the threat posed by 1st Byelorussian Front in the center. Intelligence indicates that the front’s third army, 3rd Guards Tank Army, is moving towards the border, ready to exploit any crack in First German Army’s line. The aerial bombardment has disrupted the Soviet force temporarily, but once the offensive resumes there is a serious possibility that the NATO force will not be able to hold, let alone continue to advance. A bold response is needed, and once again it is decided to risk USAF assets to resolve the crisis.

The 487th Tactical Missile Wing (-) is declared operational, with its headquarters at Konya AB, Turkey.

The US Sixth Fleet strikes the Italian naval base at Taranto. The attack submarine USS Scranton is lurking outside the entrance, catching the frigate Aliseo in the flank with a pair of Mk 48 torpedoes and the destroyer Francesco Mimbelli with a pair of Harpoons. The attack stirs up a confused hornets nest as the base responds to the American air attack, and the Italians manage to spot the submerged boat and sink her with helicopter-delivered depth charges.

photo
As I MEF continues its advance in the Zagros Mountains, rear area troops continue their efforts to sustain the advance as well as establish a base structure in heavily damaged Bandar Abbas. Maintenance teams search the city for materiel that can be salvaged and repaired or reissued.

An Aeroflot I-86 arrives in Ivanovo, northeast of Moscow carrying Italian mechanical and industrial engineers and planners to resume their oversight of the completion of the truck plant on the city's outskirts.
__________________
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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Old 07-03-2022, 06:30 AM
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July 3, 1997

A Canadian battle group raised for service in Korea has its departure cancelled and, renamed Northern Command, is sent to Yukon.

The last USAF troops leave Point Salines Airport in Grenada.

Unofficially,

XV Corps Headquarters completes its command post exercise at Ft Leavenworth, Kansas and is declared ready for deployment.

A militiaman near Nogales, Arizona opens fire on a group of Mexican immigrants fleeing north.

The second regiment from the 5th Marine Division (the 27th Marines) arrives at Twentynine Palms, California to join its sister regiment the 26th in regiment-level pre-deployment exercises. The troops practice working in coordination with artillery, tanks and close-support aircraft from VMFAT-101, the F/A-18 readiness squadron at Air Station El Toro.

Soviet Arctic troops advancing across the Bering Strait consolidate their positions on the coast, establishing Nome as their headquarters and logistical hub, taking advantage of the port and airport facilities.

South Korean troops and American Marines of I MEB close on the North Korean coastal city of Hamhung, North Korea's third largest city and a major industrial center and transportation hub.

The Commander of 2nd Western Front reports that his troops holding the city of Brest have less than one days' supply remaining and that the rail lines leading to his front’s rear area have been cut; reinforcing divisions promised him are gathering near Smolensk but immobile while awaiting trucks to bring forward supplies of fuel for their hodgepodge collection of wheeled vehicles and to move the armored vehicles to the front.

The German III Korps reports that the town and naval base of Hel are finally under control, over a month after the start of the Battle of the Hel Peninsula.

In besieged Warsaw, troops of the American 40th Infantry Division (California National Guard) clear the last defenders from the now ruined terminal of Warsaw International Airport. ZOMO Captain Czarny's depleted company is assigned a reserve position 500m behind the front line in the Ursus Tractor Factory; he spends much of the day scavenging weapons and equipment from the dead and wounded to give his teenage recruits.

The last NATO troops (from the Norwegian Vestoppland Infanteri Regiment, part of 6th Brigade that had fought throughout the entire campaign) leave Soviet territory on the Kola Peninsula.

A GRU detachment arrives at Comiso Air Base, Sicily to tour the former USAF Ground Launched Cruise Missile facility. The team will brief Spetsnaz teams on the detailed layout of the facility, which closely resembles similar ones in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

A fire rages through the Kama River Truck Plant's diesel engine manufacturing facility. The plant is the Soviet Union's largest truck plant.

A Soviet raider, a converted Cuban SD-14 type freighter, sinks the Panamanian-flag (but US-owned) tanker Texaco Star as it transits the Caribbean from Venezuela to the US Gulf Coast.

The Egyptian government completes an award of a contract to clear the Suez Canal of mines and sunken ship. The winning bid goes to a company led by a trio of retired generals that has little experience in large projects, has only a dozen employees (nearly all relatives of the generals) and until receiving the first payment under the contract, virtually no money to mobilize men and equipment to do the job.

Low-level skirmishing breaks out along the entire length of the Indian-Pakistani border as both nations rush troops to the front. Islamist tribal militias in northwestern Pakistan fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of Army troops.
__________________
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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