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  #241  
Old 08-03-2022, 03:39 PM
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August 3, 1997

As in late 1950, the stunning success of the Allied summer offensive ultimately leads to disaster. The Soviet STAVKA, its armed forces hard pressed in Europe and struggling to maintain control of Manchuria, decides to take drastic countermeasures in order to neutralize this new threat to its conquests in China. As in late 1950, the Allies are taken by surprise by the direct, overwhelming intervention of a third power. Rushed to the Yalu, the newly-formed Soviet Yalu Front (consisting of the 30th and 35th Soviet Armies) crashes into the long, exposed right flank of 8th Army.

Unofficially,

The troop transport General Patrick loads 3000 replacement troops from Fort Lewis for movement to Alaska, sailing unescorted.

The first levy of American athletes - both collegiate and professional - report to basic training sites around the US following the June policy change which eliminated deferments for top-tier athletes. For many, it is shocking development and underscores just how bad the manpower pinch has become.

A disagreement mars the daily Joint Chiefs morning meeting, when the Army Chief of Staff and Commandant of the Marine Corps, reflecting on the latest manpower figures (losses, accessions and the allocation of drafted personnel), note that the Navy and Air Force have lost considerable numbers of weapons systems (ships and aircraft) and are decreasing in combat power yet continue to receive draftees as if they were still a much larger force, as well as retaining tens of thousands of excess personnel to crew and support ships and weapons that no longer exist and that American industry is unable to replace. The ground combat commanders, whose forces are taking heavy losses from Kaliningrad to Korea, see their manpower strength drop while the Navy and Air Force have excess service members. Chairman Cummings is able to tamp down the argument that follows, decreeing that the matter is to be decided by the Secretary of Defense.

Colonel Tumanski, his Spetsnaz team reduced to four men, receives word from Moscow Center that he is to concentrate his efforts on identifying targets that other teams (or systems) can hit.

Czech, Soviet and Italian troops link up north of Munich, cutting off the narrow corridor that was still open between Austria and Germany. Taking advantage of the transfer of NATO troops south to halt the Italians, the Czechoslovakian 2nd Motor-Rifle Division resumes its advance, capturing Nuremburg.

After several days of preparatory work, the hulk of the USS Iowa is taken under tow by a trio of tugs - two civilian oilfield support boats and the US Navy salvage tug Edenton.

All Italian resistance in Sardinia has ended. The San Marco marine regiment, rushed south from the Trieste battlefront, attempts an amphibious crossing of the Straits of Massina at night. The Italian Marines are decimated by the American paratroopers who are prepared for that eventuality.

photo
To the north of Sicily, a battle erupts as Patrol Hydrofoil Squadron Two, with the six Pegasus-class missile boats, intercepts a Italian surface squadron dispatched from Naples to interdict the NATO transport fleet. While awaiting support from fighter-bombers from the USS America (operating to the south of the island), the hydrofoils accelerate to 48 knots on their foils and close on the Italian ships, which an orbiting E-3 AWACS aircraft in the area has located on radar and relays their position to the missile boats. The American force launches all 48 Harpoon missiles against the Italian force before turning tail and running west in an attempt to escape the Italian force's SSMs. Ten of the American missiles strike, sinking the destroyer Ardito, the frigates Euro and Perseo and damaging the cruiser Andrea Doria. Italian helicopters pursue the retreating hydrofoils and attack them with wire-guided anti-ship missiles. The missile boats, traveling at speed, are difficult targets, and only one, the USS Taurus, is hit. The strike is on the engine room, leaving the boat dead in the water. The crew abandons ship, leaving the boat adrift and smoking, where it is finished off by a flight of G.91Ys (which, in turn, are intercepted by a flight of F/A-18s from VFA-46, losing two). The Andrea Doria receives fatal damage minutes later when hit by a raid of 22 aircraft from the USS America and USS John F Kennedy.

Italian forces enter Ljubljana, capital of the Jugoslav republic of Slovenia. The commander of the Italian Forza Dalmatia establishes his headquarters in Ljubljana Castle, which rises above the city.

The Soviet 42nd Corps occupies the city of Kars, while to the north Soviet forces gain control of the port of Rize.

Convoy 158 arrives at three north German ports - Hamburg, Bremen and Bremerhaven and begin discharging its cargo - the 5th US Marine Division, a heavy brigade's worth of armored and wheeled vehicles as well as munitions, supplies and new vehicles.
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I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #242  
Old 08-10-2022, 03:55 PM
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August 4, 1997

The German 10th Panzer Division, hastily transferred from Poland, enters action in Bavaria. The hardened veterans attack the Italian Ariete Armored Division outside Augsburg.

The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, in central North Korea south of the Yalu, is cut off from the rest of VI (my IX) Corps by the unexpected attack and is temporarily subordinated to the Chinese 28th (my 5th Mountain) Army.

Unofficially,

Another Soviet Spetsnaz team is intercepted and eliminated by the native troops of the Canadian Native Rangers, this one approaching the massive Nanisivik zinc mine on Baffin Island.

The USS Midway battle group withdraws from the Gulf of Alaska, retiring to Bremerton, Washington as the air wing is badly depleted, the Midway's magazines nearly empty and the aged carrier in dire need of refit despite being in service for only eight months.

X Corps continues to resist the Soviet advance in Alaska, slowly being pushed back in heavy fighting.

HMS Eskimo, commissioned in July, begins its first voyage, escorting a resupply convoy to the Persian Gulf.

HQ, UK Land Forces implements Operation Mornington, the reinforcement of BAOR from the strategic reserve. British forces from Northern Ireland and further personnel from Territorial Army units are moved to Germany to fill in the ranks depleted by casualties, placing the bulk of the counter insurgency work in Ireland with the local Ulster Defense Regiment units (which are heavily biased towards the Protestants due to recruitment).

A joint team from the FDA-run National Center for Toxicological Research in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland is dispatched to China to investigate the Soviet use of biological and anti-crop weapons.

In Poland and western Ukraine the front remains largely static, despite the near-daily use of artillery-fired or short-range missiles armed with tactical nuclear weapons. NATO and Soviet forces trade the weapons in nearly a one-for-one manner.

One of the tow lines on the battleship Iowa parts when the tugs try to speed the tow up to 4 knots. The salvage effort is halted for six hours while a new line is secured.

Another NATO sortie in the eastern Baltic leads to another clash with the Soviet Baltic fleet. This one is less conclusive but succeeds in turning back the Soviet convoy headed for Kaliningrad as well as forcing the Soviet Baltic Fleet to rally more escorts for future missions. (This results in roughly half as many convoys, each stronger, but overloads the damaged recipient ports as well as being delayed while forming).

The Pinerolo Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) begins moving down the coast from Naples to link up with the San Marco regiment.

A convoy carrying supplies up the hill to the Italian Forza Dalmatia headquarters in Ljubljana Castle is attacked by Slovenian Territorial Defense guerrillas. They fade away into the woods before the guard force can respond.

The Sierra-class SSN K-534 returns to the Arabian Sea south of Oman after a long period in the southern Indian Ocean, where it received replacement torpedoes and a handful of SS-N-21 cruise missiles. It announces its return by putting a trio of torpedoes into the side of the supertanker Protea Guardian.

POWs captured when the Soviets captured Shemya in Alaska arrive in MVD-run prison camps in the Soviet Far East, assigned to the custody of the 92nd Convoy Division, which operates camps from Vladivostok to Sakhalin to the Alaskan 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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  #243  
Old 08-10-2022, 04:04 PM
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August 5, 1997

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

The Freedom ship Salt Lake Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The FEMA Stockpile SRS-35587-3, located underground at the Rickwood Caverns State Park in Alabama, is fully stocked and sealed.

The Irish patrol ship Aoife, operating in the southwest approaches to the island nation, is sunk by a torpedo. Postwar research will fail to identify a Soviet submarine reporting the attack, but surviving records are incomplete and over a dozen Soviet boats are unaccounted for fron this time period. Nationalists in Ireland attribute the sinking to a British submarine, although likewise there is no surviving evidence to support this belief.

In a low-key effort, the American Embassy in London is largely evacuated. The evacuation convoy is attacked by a Soviet Spetsnaz unit but the ambassador escapes. Sixteen troops of B Squadron 22 SAS are sent after the unit.

South Korean forces drive the remaining defenders of Pyongyang to Rungra Island in the Taedong River. The South Korean troops are able to fire down on the island from the heights above, but many of the defenders are sheltering underground in the ruins of the 1st of May Stadium, home of the famous pre-war mass gymnastics festival.

The 6th Ranger Battalion, rebuilt at Fort Lewis, Washington after the losses it suffered in the January Operation Steel Bandit attack on Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, completes its training and is flown to Korea.

The 74th Tank Division, a mobilization-only unit from the Volga Military District, arrives at the front assigned to 3rd Guards Tank Army in the Brest sector. It is organized along 1950s heavy tank division lines, with two tank regiments with T-10M heavy tanks, a breakthrough tank regiment with T-34/85s and a regiment of infantry that relies on the tanks and requisitioned trucks for mobility. The T-10s are hopelessly obsolete - their 122mm guns, while extremely powerful, can only fire two to three rounds a minute, by which time any opposing NATO tank will have fired six or more shots, and ATGMs offer similar anti-tank power in a much lighter package. The aged tanks also move slowly - 50 kmph maximum on roads - and are limited in what bridges they can cross.

The Italians scramble together more forces to reinforce the Ariete Division as the battle around Augsburg grows; Dutch, Danish and German troops have all battled outside the city.

The USS Olympia is ambushed by two Soviet attack submarines, the Akula-class K-480 and the Alfa-class K-463. The detection range is extremely short, and when the Alfa fires its torpedoes at the American sub, Olympia is able to maneuver the Akula in the line of fire. K-480 is hit by the Alfa's torpedoes, and the American boat drives the remaining enemy boat away with a spread of Mk-48 torpedoes, placing in position to be unaware of the Sea Lance-N missile that the American boat drops in front of the fleeing fast Soviet boat. The 200kt W89 warhead on the American missile crushes the Alfa's hull.

At dawn Spanish Marines began landing at Licata, and begin advancing towards Syracuse. Italian COMSUBIN divers succeed in infiltrating the amphibious operations area offshore, attaching explosive charges to the American transports USS Tortuga and USNS Maj. Stephen W. Pless and the helicopter carrier Iwo Jima.

Soviet troops begin to advance westward from the Turkish port of Rize. Their progress is soon halted by the Turkish defenders, who demolish a section of the coast road, leaving a 500-meter gap of sheer cliff leading down to the Black Sea.

The K-534 continues its attack on shipping leaving the Persian Gulf, damaging the supertanker Piper Thrush, which is heavily laden with crude, bound for Spain. The Soviet sub strews a half dozen mines from its torpedo tubes as it withdraws to the south.

CIA operatives inform the Kenyan government of troops massing for what appears to be an impending Tanzanian invasion.
__________________
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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  #244  
Old 08-11-2022, 03:37 PM
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August 6, 1997

Nothing official today!

Marine Corps squadron VMA-134 at MC Air Station El Toro, California, the A-4 Skyhawk readiness squadron, responsible for training pilots to fly the aged attack aircraft, begins transitioning to the AV-8B Harrier, as the A-4 force in action (exclusively over Iran and from naval shore stations along the Gulf of Mexico) dwindles, largely eliminating the need for new pilots.

1st Battalion, Northumbrian Volunteers, a Home Service Force unit, is raised in Bishop Auckland in northern England. It is built around a core of former service members and equipped with largely obsolescent FAL rifles, Bren LMGs and a platoon's contingent of Humber Pig APCs and assigned local security duties, including hunting down rumored Spetsnaz teams.

The onslaught against the North Korean bastion in Pyongyang continues as South Korean troops bring towed 105mm and 155mm howitzers onto the heights, firing them direct-fire into holdout's identified firing positions. The few tanks remaining to the second- and third-line divisions are withdrawn, transferred to units facing the Soviets and the remnants of the NKPA to the north.

In the mountains of central North Korea, American and South Korean attack helicopters and fighter-bombers try to slow the Soviet advance through the mountains; attack helicotpers try to pick off command vehicles and selectively target vehicles to block narrow mountain roads prior to the fighter-bombers' arrival to blanket the resultant halted column with cluster bombs, napalm and rockets.

SACEUR receives fervent pleas from his subordinate Corps commanders for a relaxation of the political constraints on the employment of tactical nuclear weapons. He is not in favor, knowing that his subordiante commanders, if let off the proverbial leash, would almost immediately launch a major escalation, each desiring to fire dozens of weapons to either thoroughly decimate their opponents or turn the ground in front of their positions into an irradiated wasteland impassible by Soviet troops. SACEUR fears that such a development will result in a proportionate response by his Soviet counterpart, or possibly an escalation, stranding his troops hundreds of miles from "home" territory. He offers additional release of chemical munitions to their control to partially offset his denial of their request.

US Marines enter Palermo while the greatly reduced Aosta Brigade batters itself to pieces against the American and Canadian paratroopers who had been digging in to Messina for days. En route, the Italian brigade is under constant air attack by USMC and Spanish Harrier and USMC Cobra aircraft. The North Coastal Road becomes a highway of death.

The Soviet 42nd Corps moves west out of the city of Kars in eastern Turkey after a pause of several days to resupply. The 42nd MRD heads southwest, overrunning the scattered outpost line thrown up by the Turkish Third Army.

XVIII Airborne Corps in Iran tries to maintain a coherent, organized withdrawal. Light mechanized units (the 14th ACR and 9th ID) try to maintain a screen for the lighter units and support formations to withdraw behind. In this effort the support of Allied airpower is essential, since the LAVs and TOW missile vehicles of the light forces can be easily overwhelmed by the superior armor of the Soviet tank and motor-rifle divisions; the American ground units become masters of calling in artillery fire and air strikes and guiding attack helicopters of the 6th ACCB on advancing Soviet units.

5th Fleet command institutes local convoying of tankers carrying crude oil to Allied nations. The Salem battlegroup is stripped of escorts (the cruiser is docked in Bandar Abbas), augmented by frigates from the Belleau Wood amphibious group to escort the tankers to a point 350 nm south of the mouth of the Gulf, where the convoys disperse and the laden vessels proceed independently, each on their own seperate course to their destination under the long-range protection of patrol aircraft from shore bases and the carrier Independence.
__________________
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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  #245  
Old 08-11-2022, 03:52 PM
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August 7, 1997

As the tactical nuclear exchanges continue, people in the US seem relieved - a nuclear holocaust hasn't resulted immediately, and although things are still tense, it seems like one might not break out.

Southern TVD commander Suryakin is granted permission from Stavka to begin the small-scale use of tactical nuclear weapons to reinforce the offensive to drive CENTCOM and its allies back to the shore of the Persian Gulf.

Kenyan forces rush into position to blunt the initial Tanzanian thrusts, spoiling the Tanzanian surprise attack from succeeding.

Soviet electronic warfare units radio-locate the headquarters of the Chinese 28th (my 5th Mountain) Army and within hours the headquarters is struck by a SS-23 missile (fired by the 20th Guards Missile Brigade). The Chinese headquarters is destroyed in the strike.

Unofficially,

The front in North Korea is active in five areas. The reduction of the North Korean defense of Pyongyang continues. Along the Sea of Japan on the east coast a combined USMC-South Korean force, supported by the cruiser Des Moines, is slowly being pushed south from the approaches to Vladivostok. There is a more or less contiguous defense line along the Chongchon River from the Yellow Sea deep into the center of the country, maintained by American and Commonwealth troops and mechanized elements of the South Korean Army. Finally, along the Yalu there are two salients where Allied forces have linked up with Chinese units - the 28th (my 5th Mountain) Army and 2nd US Infantry Division, operating south from the Yalu to the city of Kanggye, and the 31st (my 3rd) and 15th Airborne Armies, with the US 25th ID and the British 6th Division, at the mouth of the Yalu.

The commander of the newly raised NATO SOUTHAG tries to rationalize his front line, creating pure national formations rather than the jumble of allied forces that has, by necessity, emerged.

The Italian Pinerolo Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) is hit by a US 100 kt tactical nuclear strike in Villa San Giovanni, making it very clear to the Italian Government that no reinforcement from the mainland will be possible and marking the end of active combat operations in Sicily.

The Soviet 42nd MRD continues its advance in eastern Turkey, climbing into rougher terrain as the highway climbs into the mountains on the way to the next sizeable town, Erzurum. The 19th MRD remains largely immobile in Kars, releasing many of its trucks to carry supplies to sustain the 42nd's advance. Along the coast, the 156th MRD remains isolated in the port town of Rize; a detachment of its 550th Motor-Rifle Regiment has opened an overland route back to Batumi, Georgia, largely clearing the coast road of Turkish troops. (to be safe, however, the divisional commander orders each supply convoy to receive a robust escort, aware of the threat posed by highly motivated Turkish troops).

At the front in Pakistan, the defenders continue to give up ground, although the prior weeks' armored counterattack has managed to buy time to seal the breakthrough. The war descends into a slow, slogging war of infantry, trenches and artillery; cursed to continue as a war of attrition until one side runs out of ammunition or men. Given the vast populations of both nations, analysts predict that the supply of munitions will determine the outcome of the war, if a nuclear holocaust can be avoided.
__________________
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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  #246  
Old 08-11-2022, 04:02 PM
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August 8, 1997

The forces of the 28th (my 5th Mountain) Army begin to disintegrate. The US 2nd Infantry Division, which had fallen under the Chinese headquarters' command after being cut off by Soviet forces, begins to withdraw south.

The Great War of Africa expands as Tanzania, reinforced by large numbers of Zambian and Mozambique volunteers, invades Kenya to capture the port of Mombasa and its refinery and thus cut off fuel and supplies to Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

Unofficially,

The Italian Aosta Brigade surrenders to the NATO forces on the island of Sicily.

In beseiged Warsaw, Captain Czarny's depleted ZOMO company is once again thrown into action, this time aiding the defense of Fort Bema on the northwestern portion of the perimeter. His mortar team (equipped with a pair of 82mm mortars) distinguishes itself by striking at a German logistic operation at the nearby Warsaw-Babice Airport.

The commander of the British II Corps in northwestern Byelorussia informs his subordinates that, unofficially at least, he sees no way to continue the offensive and that he strives to have the Corps hold the line along the Narew as long as possible.

The Tu-22M2DP interceptor resumes its operations over the North Atlantic, taking advantage of the weakening of US naval and USAF aircraft defending the airlanes. A pair of the converted bombers infiltrate the air tracks south of Iceland, one eastbound and the other westbound, and over the next 45 minutes shoot down 18 Allied transports (both civil and military, all but one carrying troops, wounded or supplies).

The Sierra-class submarine K-534 torpedoes the American transport ship Cape Texas as it crossed the Indian Ocean with a cargo of badly-needed vehicles for CENTCOM. The Independence battle group sails southwest, deploying its squadron of S-3 ASW planes, escorting SSN and surface ships and helicopters in an effort to locate the marauding sub.

Argentina tries to divert attention from the poor situation at home and considers launching an invasion of the Falklands. A naval task force is prepared and even sets sail. It's departure is noted by MI6 agents, who have kept a careful watch on Argentine naval bases since 1982.
__________________
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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  #247  
Old 08-16-2022, 02:49 PM
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August 9, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars are deployed to the continent to reinforce I British Corps in Bavaria. The Chieftain tank battalion comes from UK Land Forces' strategic reserve.

The Foreign Minister calls the Argentine ambassador to confront him about the departure of the Argentine naval task force (its movement confirmed by American satellites). The ambassador (truthfully) reports that he is unaware of the development and relays the message to Buenos Aires. Nonetheless, HM Government orders reinforcement of the garrison infantry company on the islands.

As the lead American battalions of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division bash their way through Soviet lines, the division's support command tries to impose some order among the thousands of panicked Chinese troops that want to accompany the American force south. Working with the division's MP company, many of the Chinese troops are disarmed and assigned duties as porters. The most experienced (and especially, those that can speak English or Korean) are assigned as squad leaders for ad-hoc CATUSA (Chinese Augmentees to the US Army, modeled on the long-standing KATUSA program that bulked up US Army units with South Korean conscripts) squads, assigned to round-up American infantry platoons. In Pyongyang, South Korean troops close in on the ruins of the 1st of May Stadium, last holdout of the fanatical defenders o Pyongyang.

The 60th Bomb Squadron, 43rd Bomb Wing disperses some of its B-52s to Guam International Airport, out of the blast zone of nuclear weapons that might be targeted at Anderson Air Force Base or Guam Naval Station.

The 257th Motor-Rifle Division arrives at the front, where it is assigned to reinforce the battered 3rd Guards Tank Army.

II MEF (the US Marine's 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force), previously located in Denmark and previously mostly concerned with coordinating support for three widely spread Marine Expeditionary Brigades, takes an active role as a front-line corps with 5th Marine Division, the 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and the German 18th Coast Defense Regiment under command. It also secures the release of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade from Norway along with its associated Marine Aircraft Group 14. The headquarters moves into northeastern Poland, assaulting Kaliningrad along the coast.

XXIII US Corps rotates the battered 40th Infantry Division from the lines in southern Warsaw to the front in the east, where its AFVs and tanks will be more fruitfully employed. The 40th's positions are assumed by the former West German border guards of the 2nd GrenzJaeger Division.

As rough weather approaches the Baltic, and given the poor condition of the ship, the commander of the USS Iowa salvage effort makes the decision to beach the battleship on a gentle section of the German Baltic Coast. Within a few hours the view from the pretty resort town of Boltenhagen is drastically changed, with 58,000 tons of steel lurking offshore.

Catania is the last major town in Sicily to fall under NATO control when Spanish Marines arrive. American and Canadian troops begin a sweep of the island to round up any surviving defenders.

It being a week after the mobilization order was given, the dictatorial Albanian ruler Kiço Bedaj and the Politburo demand a status report. The defense minister reports that the Army and the Voluntary Forces of Popular Self-Defense militia have manned the 175,000 bunkers scattered around the country and are ready to repulse a combined NATO-Pact-Jugoslav invasion. If a combined air and amphibious assault is launched, like the one just unleashed on Sicily, it would fail as the landing force would be brought under immediate fire from the nearest bunkers while one of the nation's tank brigades would soon arrive to overrun the landing site. Bedaj asks about the Army's ability to intervene to protect the oppressed Albanian minorities in nearby Kosovo and Macedonia. The defense minister explains that the Army is not deployed to carry that mission out, with the tank brigades spread around the nation to counter an enemy invasion, and a repositioning will take weeks since the Army only possesses a dozen tank transporters.

The USAF 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and the 465th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Keflavik, Iceland scramble all available aircraft to prevent a repeat of the prior day's massacre in the air lanes across the North Atlantic, while NATO airlift planners route more aircraft across the mid-Atlantic, flooding the Azores with as many aircraft as it can land and refuel. Anticipating such a response, the Soviets ground the Tu-22M2DPs temporarily.

Allied logistics teams in Iran complete their cleanup of the battlefield from the Battle of the Valley some weeks prior. Australian fitters are able to recover all of the damaged Leopard tanks that had been lost in the battle and restore over 80 percent of them to service, while Iranian teams (many composed of grizzled veterans of the superhuman efforts needed to sustain the war effort against Iraq in the 80s) have amazingly been able to recover over 100 T-34/85s lost by the Soviet 69th Tank Division. Forty are restored to running condition and issued to lower-quality infantry divisions while the rest are hauled off to be emplaced as pillboxes around Shiraz and guarding choke points in the Zagros Mountains.

At the Kapustin Yar test site in south-central Russia, scientists and engineers from the Kolomna Machine-Building Design Bureau launch the first of a series of six SS-23 missiles fitted with an experimental new guidance package that, using technology developed from salvage from downed and crashed American Tomahawk cruise missiles, is nearly 7 times more accurate than the seeker currently fitted. The test is a success, hitting 12 m from the aim point when fired 500 km.
__________________
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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  #248  
Old 08-16-2022, 02:56 PM
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August 10, 1997

Another day with nothing in the canon. Unofficially,

1st Brigade, 49th Armored Division (Texas National Guard) completes Rotation 97-8 at NTC-3 at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and is declared combat ready, redeeming the brigade and its new commander after a disastrous NTC rotation in late 1996 that led to new leadership, re-equipment with M1/M2-series vehicles and widescale retraining and replacement of personnel.

A high-priority airlift carries the headquarters and first company of the 4th Battalion, The Kings Own Border Regiment to Ascension Island, en route to the Falklands.

Heavy fighting continues in central Pyongyang as gangs of POWs and engineers clear rubble from roads through the capital, creating a main supply route to the front to the north. The MSR speeds the flow of reinforcements and supplies to the beleagured troops of the US I and IX Corps and their Korean and Commonwealth allies to the north, who had previously been relying on a patchwork of secondary roads, marginal in the best of times, for the bulk of their support.

The Dutch Marine Corps, in order to exploit the vast pool of Marine reservists, (over 1500 of them under the age of 35) who have not been called up for service in the three Amphibious Combat Groups or four Security Groups, forms the 9th Marine Amphibious Combat Group. The Dutch government intends to use the unit to support NATO operations in the Mediterranean, potentially in operations in Sicily, Jugoslavia or Turkey. Due to the situation the formation is equipped with obsolescent weapons from war stockpiles (FAL rifles, Uzi SMGs, 106mm recoilless rifles instead of Dragon or Tank Breaker missiles, .50 caliber machineguns instead of Stinger missiles for air defense) and requisitioned civilian vehicles for mobility ashore.

The US 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and troops of the 27th Marines launch a predawn transit of the Vistula Lagoon in AAVP-9 amphibians, assaulting the Soviet naval base at Baltiysk. The remnants of the base (it was first attacked by Marineflieger Tornadoes in November and has been struck numerous times since then) are defended by the sailors and shoreside staff, formed into the ad-hoc Division Baltiysk. Fierce fighting rages throughout the town, and the coming of the dawn makes any further crossings of the lagoon perilous at best. Allied naval forces are active offshore, and the American destroyer Coontz, returned to action following multiple repairs, provides naval gunfire support with its 5-inch gun.

Remaining British and Canadian units in Norway are pulled out, staging in England in preparation for deployment to Iran, where the situation continues to look bleak.

The Soviet 45th (my 32nd) and 4th Armies are maintaining pressure on XVIII Airborne Corps in Iran. They have pushed 9th ID's screen back to the town of Ardakan high in the Zagros Mountains. To their east 40th Army has surrounded the 1st Marine Division at Yadz, although their cordon is leaky enough that small caravans of Iranian civilians (some contracted by the Americans or Iranian intelligence) are able to slip through, bringing small quantities of ammunition, food and fuel to the Marines. To the west, 7th Army is slowly driving the 24th Infantry Division south, back towards the defense lines it had maintained throughout May and June.

Two more SS-23 missiles are fired at Kapustin Yar. They reflect similar increases in accuracy.
__________________
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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  #249  
Old 08-16-2022, 03:00 PM
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August 11, 1997

The 106th Guards Air Assault Division, a high command reserve unit, is brought forward into Poland from its home station of Tula.

The 1st Tank Division enters action on the Polish-Ukrainian border; the veterans of the war in China, assigned to 1st Guards tank Army, face off against the German 2nd PanzerGrenadier Division.

Unofficially,

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

A Soviet spetsnaz team locates the rear headquarters of the Dutch 102nd Artillery Group; following its doctrine it immediately attacks and temporarily overruns it, capturing a number of documents before being driven off by a counterattack by a scratch force of Dutch mechanics, truck drivers and clerks. The remnants of the US Army Berlin Brigade (consolidated into two weak battalions) is alerted for deployment to the Warsaw perimeter, where its urban combat expertise could be best used.

The Battle of Baltiysk continues, with the 28th Marine Regiment ferried into the city overnight and a flight of A-7Es of VA-66, operating off the USS Coral Sea, stopping a Soviet reinforcement column with an attack with three B-57 nuclear bombs as they approached the city.

Convoy 161 forms in the North Sea for a voyage to North America. It contains many of the ships from Convoy 158 that brought the 5th Marine Division to Europe, the Freedom ships Austin, Birmingham, Michigan and Oklahoma Freedom and over 40 other assorted merchantmen. The escort consists of two American frigates (the Brooke and Kauffman), the former Coast Guard cutters Munro and Tahoma, the Canadian destroyer Maragee, all led by the American destroyer Harry W Hill.

At the next Albanian Politburo session, the minister of the economy reports that the mobilization has stripped approximately one third of the labor force and that as a consequence the goals of the latest Five-Year plan are unlikely to be achieved. Oil production has been halved from the nation's oil fields and four refineries, the copper smelters are operating at half capacity. The wholesale callup of the nation's educated men (who form the officer corps) will soon cripple the major industrial enterprises. The minister of agriculture reports that the fall harvest, which usually requires the deployment of over half the peacetime Army, will be catastrophic unless the units currently on alert are allocated to assist in the harvest. The minister of transport reports that the nation will soon have all recalled reservists en route to their mobilization stations, the national fleet of nearly 5000 buses able to reach most of the remote mountain towns along the Jugoslav and Greek borders.

photo
The carrier USS Independence, operating in the Arabian Sea, is struck by a Type-65 torpedo from the Sierra-class SSN K-534, and is lucky to stay afloat after receiving extensive damage. It loses two of its four propellers and a rudder is hopelessly jammed, along with a prop shaft blown out by the torpedo (the ship's Nixie torpedo decoy worked-barely). There is some internal flooding and shock damage as well.

The SS-23 test firing series is disrupted when the first of two missiles to be fired for the day explodes shortly after launch.
__________________
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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  #250  
Old 08-16-2022, 03:20 PM
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August 12, 1997

Canon is silent on today. Unofficially,

The Canadian Navy recommissions the last of the St. Laurent-class destroyers, the Assinboine, which had been paid off in 1988 but used as a training and accommodation ship since then. The ship required extensive refit, but emerges with a modern 76mm gun, electronics and sonar. It is put into service on the convoy lanes.

The Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade is, at its commander's request, thrown into action in the final battle for Pyongyang. His troops seem less than eager, although his officers are enthusiastic about being there for the end of the North Korean regime. (Allied intelligence has not ruled out the possibility that the Kim dynasty is lurking in the tunnels under the 1st of May Stadium.)

Exploiting the documents captured from the Dutch 102nd Artillery Group headquarters, the GRU directs several other Spetsnaz teams into the area behind the Dutch front lines in Bavaria. Over a four-hour predawn period three of the Dutch 8-inch howitzer batteries are overrun, although an attack on the unit's tactical nuclear weapons storage site is driven off with heavy losses on both sides.

photo
As US Marines gain control of the town of Baltiysk, the Soviet command orders its surviving defenders out. Shortly after 10 pm the city is struck by a SSC-3 Styx coast defense missile fitted with a 15kt warhead, destroying much of what had survived. Casaulties among the marines were relatively light, as most were in fighting positions or inside buildings that provided protection from the worst blast effects.

The US Navy returns the carrier Eisenhower to service in the Atlantic after over six weeks of repairs at Scapa Flow. The damage has only been partially repaired, with the two waist catapults out of operation; fabrication of replacement machinery is expected to take another nine months.

photo
In Iran, Frontal Aviation makes another mass raid against Persian Gulf ports, with a fighter-bomber regiment tasked to neutralize the pipeline terminals. American and Saudi early warning aircraft detect the Soviet force as it forms up over northern Iran, and the raid is met with swarms of American, Iranian, Qatari and Saudi fighters.

The SS-23 test series is paused for additional inspections of the two remaining test missiles.

The 4th Battalion, The Kings Own Border Regiment, a TA regiment from Lancaster, closes on RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. One ex-regular sergeant had even been in the Falklands as a Lance-Corporal in 2 Para in 1982. A unit of Argentine commandos lands on West Falkland and moves into hiding.
__________________
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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  #251  
Old 08-16-2022, 03:27 PM
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August 13, 1997

The 26th Infantry Division (Light) (Massachusetts and Connecticut National Guard) is withdrawn into reserve behind I Corps' front line following heavy action (unofficially) against the Soviet 30th Army. The fighting along the I Corps front is the first combat between American and Bulgarian troops when the Bulgarian 11th Tank Brigade's T-62s are thrust forward to try to take advantage of the withdrawal of the 26th.

The 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized), en route to a blocking position in eastern Poland, is struck by seven Soviet tactical nuclear weapons in the space of 15 minutes. The attacks inflict heavy casaulties and leave the division combat ineffective.

Unofficially,

The 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade is withdrawn from the ruins of Baltiysk; it has seen months of action, culminating in the Battle of Baltiysk and the Soviet nuclear strike on the city that served as the final act of that engagement. To the east, the 23rd Army, attached to 2nd Western Front and commanding a miscellaneous assortment of units from around the USSR, launches a counterattack in the Suwałki corridor, the short section of Lithuanian-Polish border between Kaliningrad and Byelorussia. The attack comes at the junction between the US III Corps and II British Corps and, supported by a trio of nuclear strikes, makes 10 km of progress in its initial 12 hours.

The Sierra-III class sub K-231 begins its sole combat patrol from the Balaclava naval base in the Crimea; the boat's voyage transits the Bosporus (submerged) and Mediterranean.

The 487th Tactical Missile Wing(-) in Turkey fires its first missiles, targeting the Bulgarian Black Sea ports of Varna and Burgas through which the Soviets are ferrying troops and supplies to the Turkish and Romanian fronts, with eight missiles.

In eastern Turkey the Turkish Third Army is able to hold the Soviet 42nd Corps' assaults at bay. The highly motivated Turkish troops are still somewhat well supplied and the units contain a sizeable proportion of experienced troops that have managed to avoid being redirected to the fronts in the Balkans and Cyprus.

In central Iran the 26th (my 295th) Motor-Rifle Division, advancing quickly through the Zagros in pursuit of XVIII Airborne Corps, is caught in a series of airmobile ambushes by the 101st Air Assault Division and the 6th AACB. The Soviet division pauses as nightfall approaches, each regiment and battalion establishing laagers along the narrow mountain road, with mutually reinforcing fields of fire. The inexperienced NCOs, however, fail to post observation posts on the nearby mountain peaks, judging the effort to climb them too taxing on their already exhauseted men. Taking advantage of the terrain and the enemy's lack of night vision equipment, the Americans land a series of ambush parties along the route the Soviet division will take during the next day's advance; these parties are well equipped with TOW-equipped FAVs and HMMWs and engineer squads, which lay mines and prepare to create obstacles. When the Soviet battalions begin moving in the morning, they are engaged from the heights above and trapped strung out along the roads. After nearly two hours of withering American fire the division's artillery and anti-aircraft weapons, coupled with air support from reinforcing Hinds of the 381st Helicopter Regiment, are able to suppress the American attackers, who slip back over the ridges into adjoining valleys, where their own helicopters quickly arrive to extract them. In total, the Soviet division loses nearly all of its tanks and 60 percent of its infantry and artillery in the attack and is rendered combat ineffective. The Americans lose fourteen TOW launch vehicles, six attack helicopters and two companies of infantry.

The SS-23 test series is concluded at Kapustin Yar. The overall improvement in accuracy is impressive.

The arrival of the Territorial Army battalion in the Falklands, just as the Argentine task force is in a position to launch, throws the Argentine plan awry. The Argentines back down with the Argentine government planning to let the islands gradually suffer with reduced support from the U.K. as the war in Europe and ongoing nuclear exchange drain resources, eventually, it is hoped, forcing the local population to come begging to establish closer links with Argentina on their own (and in years to come gradually become Argentinian).
__________________
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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  #252  
Old 08-16-2022, 03:31 PM
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August 14, 1997

As nuclear attacks continue to strike Polish targets, a second wave of refugees arrive in the Wieliczka Salt Mine. They join others, mostly locals, who have been sheltering underground since June. The original residents have erected crude huts and tents, but these latest arrivals are forced to stay in vast common barracks in some of the mine's larger vaults and chambers.

Unofficially,

Naval fighter-attack squadron VFA-174, disbanded in June aboard the USS Independence after being reduced to 3 aircraft, is reactivated at NAS Leemore, California and assigned eight F/A-18s (three new production, three from the readiness squadron VFA-125 and two culled from test and evaluation duties). The "new" squadron's personnel are a mix of veteran VFA-174 personnel evacauted from the Middle East, new recruits and staff "borrowed" from the station's staff. It is assigned to the USS Ranger, which is in the midst of trying to reactivate an air wing after the heavy losses it suffered in Vietnam in January.

As the fighting in the ruins of the 1st of May Stadium in central Pyongyang has gone almost entirely underground, the commander of the Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade suddenly orders all Allied forces aboveground. Within an hour the order has been carried out, and one of the war's great atrocities unfolds when trucks arrive and begin dumping bags of dry chemicals on the ground by the entrances to the subterranean network. Right-wing officers soon pour liquid chemicals onto the bags and clouds of choking green chlorine gas, heavier than air, begin to form and sink into the tunnels below. Panicked North Korean troops, badly burned, are shot as they desperately try to escape the choking gas. The defense of Pyongyang has ended.

The headquarters, 2nd Marine Division prepares for the division to be reunited for the first time since the outbreak of war as each of its three subordinate MEBs are en-route to its location.

3rd Guards Tank Army launches another series of attacks westward, including with its relatively fresh 74th Tank Division, in an attempt to break through to Warsaw. To the north, 23rd Army continues its advance, with two divisions of elite paratroops (the 44th Guards Training and 106th Guards) in the lead.

The US 8th Marine Expeditionary Brigade re-embarks aboard amphibious shipping in the damaged port of Syracuse; they are being transferred to the Baltic.

The Albanian minister of defense reports that all the Army's 22 divisions have been fully formed and are in the process of issuing weapons and equipment and beginning training. At this news, the Albanian leader flies into a rage, demanding to know why it took so long, accusing the defense minister of wasting the vast sums dedicated to defense. As the startled communist leader stumbles to explain the diversion of resources to building bunkers, the lack of spare parts for the Chinese tanks, the inadequate numbers of officers, the constant diversion of men to support the economy and low education levels among the ranks he is instead arrested for treason.

The cat-and-mouse game over the North Atlantic resumes when a single Tu-22M2DP slips unnoticed over eastern Greenland and into the air lanes. The picking is slimmer than in the prior week, with a Canadian Air Force CC-137 (Boeing 707) of No. 437 Squadron falling victim to a missile, while the countermeasures aboard a USAF C-5B of the 436th Military Airlift Wing decoy the missile targeted at it. The tables are turned on the Soviets, however, when a USAF F-15 of the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron locates the Tu-16 tanker orbiting southwest of Spitsbergen that is waiting to refuel the Soviet interceptor on its return flight. The tanker is downed and the raider is quite surprised when it discovers that the aircraft it is rendezvousing with is an American fighter, which downs it with a long burst from its 20mm cannon.

The 9th Infantry Divison (Motorized), serving as the rear guard of XVIII Airborne Corps as it retreats back towards the Persian Gulf, has been pushed back to the town of Kazerun, in the western Zagros Mountains. The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, operating largely independently of other American units but supporting the Iranian II Corps, hangs on to the town of Behbehan as it is pressured by the 9th (my 1st) Army, and the joint American-Iranian armored force north of Bandar-Khomeyni has fought the 7th Army to a halt, taking advantage of the salt ponds of the area to channel the Soviets into a narrower 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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  #253  
Old 08-16-2022, 04:01 PM
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August 15, 1997

The scattered remains of the US 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (California National Guard) are withdrawn to Germany to reform.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Boise Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Portland and Abilene Freedoms in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

After a month of dispersal, Strategic Air Command settles into a routine. The majority of airborne alert sorties are flown by aircraft launched from a squadron's main operating base, but the dispersed aircraft have begun to require more advanced maintenance than the mobile support teams that have moved to the dispersal locations. Accordingly, a schedule is implemented to rotate aircraft and crews (both air and ground), with aircraft completing alert sorties landing at a dispersal base, being replaced in the air by an aircraft from the dispersal base, which in turn will return to the main operating base at the end of its flight. Rotation of ground crews is more basic, involving non-tactical buses and trucks; many dispersal bases are within commuting distance of the main operating base and crews don't need to move into temporary alternative housing when permitted off base.

The 173rd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Nevada Air National Guard), down to four RF-16s, is placed in reserve at Chitose Air Base, Japan.

The top South Korean Air Force ace, Soryeong (Major) Rhee Song Jii of the 153rd Fighter Squadron, is listed as missing in action when his F-4E is brought down by ground fire whilst escorting a pair of F-4Es attacking a Soviet armored column in Russia near the Korean border. He is seen to eject by his wingman, but no contact can be made with him despite extensive searches by U.S. and Chinese ground troops in the area, though his WSO is rescued. Soryeong Rhee has 26 kills to his credit when he is shot down.

The commander of the Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade is arrested by US MPs of the 8th Military Police Brigade on charges of violating the laws of war with the prior day's gassing in Pyongyang.

The Dutch Red Army blows up a rail line east of Enschede; a train evacuating NATO wounded from Germany is derailed. This is the Dutch Red Army's last successful attack.

The 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade arrives in Denmark, where it is united with the 2nd MEB, recently arrived from Norway.

The Polish Army in the small enclave in the southeast remaining under Communist control launches a fresh series of attacks as well. The Polish attack is initiated with a blast from a nuclear-tipped FROG-7 rocket against the headquarters of the German 29th Panzer Division. The unguided rocket misses, landing nearly 3 km away, but the blast disrupts the unit's operations, allowing the subsequent attack (its massed infantry advancing supported by T-34s in a scene reminiscent of the 1940s) to overrun the outer German picket line before being halted at the main line of resistance.

In northern Poland the 23rd Army continues its advance, gaining another one or two kilometers of ground from its American and British foes.

In Bavaria the front is relatively quiet as the Soviet 21st Army organizes its forces for action after the disruption and losses incurred in the conquest of Austria. On the opposite side of the lines the Austrian 1st PanzerGrenadier Division, its ranks swelled back above its original strength by stragglers and escapees from other Bundesheer units, is assigned to the German IV Korps.

The New York Air National Guard's 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron arrives at Trapani Birgi Air Base in Sicily, following the success of Operation Carthaginian. From this location it is better able to provide combat search and rescue over the Mediterranean and even Balkan theaters than from its prior base in Gibraltar.

The carriers John F. Kennedy and America, after a brief pause to resupply and refuel, return to action in the Mediterranean with a return to the air over the Taranto naval base. The days' raid expends nearly all of the groups' remaining stock of stand-off munitions, yet the commander of the Sixth Fleet is, at yet, reluctant to use another tactical nuclear strike on Italy, even though that would help ensure a resumption of NATO ships' transit of the Adriatic.

The head of the SS-23 project at the Kolomna Machine-Building Design Bureau delivers his preliminary findings to the Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense. The Colonel-General in charge orders that the new guidance package is to be fitted to all future SS-23 production.

The newly arrived TA battalion in the Falklands uncovers a recently abandoned Argentine observation post on West Falkland; the battalion is put on alert and redoubles its patrolling.
__________________
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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  #254  
Old 08-17-2022, 03:14 PM
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August 16, 1997

Twenty kilometers short of Nairobi the Tanzanians run into an ambush, hit from the sky by MD 500 TOW carrying helicopters and from the ground by Vickers tanks. Tanzanian SAMs take a heavy toll of the attacking helicopters but not before they cause significant damage to the tank formations. Kenya’s Vickers tanks prove themselves equal to the T-54, Chinese Type 59 & 62 and Scorpion tanks of Tanzania, bringing the attack to a standstill.

Unofficially,

Alarmed at the losses among the carrier fleet, the US Navy's Sea Systems Command urges a rapid completion of the refurbishment of the former Spanish light carrier Cabot, in drydock in New Orleans, and allocates additional sailors (from what is rapidly becoming an embarrassing excess) to the carrier's "pre-commissioning unit". There is less enthusiasm for the reactivation at NAVAIR, which has to find aircraft to operate off the ship, which is a challenge given that American industry is working full tilt to produce a total of six Harrier jump jets a month, well below the loss rate experienced by USMC squadrons.

Unbeknownst to Allied forces, Sooryeong Rhee, the top South Korean ace, is captured by KGB Border Guards while trying to reach the coast to escape Soviet territory. He is brought to Border Guard regional headquarters in Vladivostok while the regional KGB director contemplates what benefit he can gain by trading him to the North Koreans, PVO air defense troops and Army versus sending him to Moscow.

The consequences for the Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade continue, with the unit pulled back to South Korean territory and the officers involved with the gas attack in Pyongyang arrested as well.

Along the front, Soviet forces launch another attack on I Corps, which is turned back with heavy losses.

Desertion begins to be a serious problem for Soviet commanders in the Torun pocket in Poland, where the Baltic Front (with the remnants of two Soviet and one Polish army) is surrounded by the German I and XII Korps. Supplies in the pocket are running low, as the front is sustained only by a trickle of low-level nighttime helicopter flights, and STAVKA has refused multiple requests from the Western TVD to have the command break out and rejoin friendly lines. STAVKA considers the diversion of two German corps and the continued occupation of Polish territory as more valuable than having the forces available to strengthen the defenses of the Soviet border. The Germans, in turn, have stepped up their psychological warfare against the surrounded Pact force, exploiting the "abandonment" of the command, encouraging ethnic tension between the various Soviet nationalities and stoking resentment among the Polish troops about purported slights inflicted on them by the Soviets.

The 23rd Army's attack in northeast Poland, slowed down in the wooded terrain laden with swamps, woods and lakes, is checked by an American counterattack. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, reinforced with the 75th Field Artillery Brigade, breaks through the Soviet flank, driving forward over 20 km, cutting two of the Army's three supply routes. The cavalry disperses into the woods on either side of the supply route, while the artillery batteries seek shelter in small clearings and meadows in the area. The regiment's remaining attack helicopters scour the roads for Soviet vehicles and scouts (on foot, in M3 Cavalry vehicles and airborne in Kiowa Warrior helicotpers) call in strikes; depending on the importance of the target the munitions may be conventional or nuclear (FASCAM, DPICM and SADARM for armor units, tactical nuclear for nuclear strike systems, headquarters and logistics sites and chemical for infantry).

US Navy SEALs and Marine Force Recon commandos attack the Greek naval base at Salamis, near Athens. they sink the destroyer Kanaris, missile boats Plotarhis Blessas and Ipoploiarhos Konidis, landing ship Kriti and tanker Yliki as well as damaging the fleet headquarters and setting two repair shops ablaze.

Task Force 60, Sixth Fleet's carrier strike force, hits the Italian air force base at Lecce-Galatina to prevent it from being used by Italy's rapidly shrinking force of F-104S air defense fighters.

The 29th Infantry Division (Light)(Maryland and Virginia National Guard) is released from Strategic Reserve and embarks aboard a mix of commercial vessels and naval amphibious shipping for transit to the CENTCOM area of operations. Due to losses in the amphibious fleet, the division's aviation brigade loads many of its helicopters aboard the roll-on/roll-off cargo ship Lurline, which is fitted out with makeshift flight facilities.

The damaged carrier USS Independence is towed into the port of Muscat, Oman.

Following orders from Moscow, production of SS-23 missiles at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant is halted, allowing all future missiles to be fitted with the new guidance package.
__________________
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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  #255  
Old 08-17-2022, 03:32 PM
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August 17, 1997

Kenya’s six F-5E and two F-5F’s prove themselves superior to the Tanzanian Air Force, destroying fifteen Tanzanian aircraft in fierce air battles over Nairobi and Mombasa while losing three F-5E and one F-5F in the process.

Unofficially,

An international incident occurs outside Wichita Falls, Texas when a when a platoon of the 4th Texas Brigade (a state guard unit) stops a convoy of Soviet POWs being escorted by US Air Force security police to a work site, overpowers the guards and beats a dozen of the prisoners in retaliation for the outbreak of nuclear warfare in Europe.

As the Des Moines battlegroup in the Sea of Japan uses its guns to support the Marines of the 1st MEB and their Korean allies as they slowly withdraw along the North Korean coast it is attacked by an enemy submarine group. A helicopter from the frigate George Philip detects a sub contact and chases it down, assisted by a SH-60 helicopter from the destroyer Fletcher. After nearly 45 minutes, three torpedoes are dropped and the submarine, a North Korean Romeo-class boat, is sunk. Unfortunately, while the battlegroup command was concentrating on the North Korean boat a second sub, the Soviet Kilo-class boat B-175, slipped closer to the battle group, taking advantage of the shallow water and difficult coastal currents. The Soviet sub fires a spread of straight-running Type 53-66 torpedoes at the Des Moines; luckily (for the Americans) all of them miss after the cruiser makes a (pre-ordered) turn. A lookout aboard the ship sights the torpedoes and sounds the alarm, sending the whole battlegroup on alert. Despite hours of frantic searching, B-175 is able to escape, its commander intent on striking Des Moines in a future encounter.

A task force of Dutch marines assault a farmhouse where members of the Dutch Red Army have taken hostages. The terrorists and their hostages are killed. This is that last combat action against the Dutch Red Army, which has been broken by months of aggressive counterterror operations on the part of Dutch intelligence, police and special forces.

In Bavaria, the Soviet 21st Army assumes responsibility for the sector between the Italians and the Czechs, facing NATO forces from Regensburg to Ingolstadt. That permits the Italians to shift forces west to attempt to outflank the dug-in defenders of Augsburg and reinforce the westernmost drive into Baden-Wurttemberg, which is bogged down by the US XX Corps west of the Iller River.

Convoy 418 from Oman to US arrives off Capetown, South Africa. The Victory ship Wayne Victory is one of 38 cargo ships and tankers, escorted by but two escorts, the British frigate Juno and the destroyer USS Kincaid, in the convoy.

The US Navy's Patrol Hydrofoil Missile Squadron Two begins operations along the west coast of Italy, seeking to keep the Italian fleet off balance and prevent it from breaking south into the Mediterranean shipping routes.

In Sicily, six F-111Fs of the 495th Tactical Fighter Squadron arrive at Comiso airbase, which it had attacked just weeks before, and begins using the base to fly strike missions against targets on the Italian mainland and in western Greece.

The Albanian secret police, the Sigurimi, hold a hasty trial for the former minister of defense. He is quickly convicted of being a quadruple agent, working for the USSR, China and NATO to cripple the valiant Albanian people's efforts to defend themselves in a world bent on destroying its only true Marxist state.
__________________
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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  #256  
Old 08-18-2022, 02:44 PM
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August 18, 1997

The Zambian volunteer brigade in Kenya manages to cut the railroad between the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa but they are then stopped cold by Kenyan Army forces redeploying from positions near the Somali border, leaving its defense to Kenyan Police Reserve forces alone.

Unofficially,

Ten of the Soviet POWs beaten by members of the Texas State Guard are released from the base hospital at Sheppard AFB, Texas; two others remain in the critical care ward. The guardsmen are taken into custody by Texas Rangers and transporter to jail, while Red Cross monitors travel to the area to conduct an investigation.

The BBC announces that over 50 percent of those that fled British cities for the countryside have returned home.

Following frenzied military-political-diplomatic discussions, the arrested Japanese officers are released to their national authorities and flown home on a JASDF C-130.

STAVKA orders Far Eastern TVD, as a result of the changing strategic situation, to release 13th Army for service in the West. As Chinese resistance in central China wanes, 1st Far Eastern Front is gaining more ground every day, recapturing all the territory lost in the Chinese summer offensive and taking tens of thousands of prisoners. Soviet troops have a hard time distinguishing between PLA soldiers who have discarded their uniforms for civilian clothes, Chinese partisans and anti-Soviet guerrillas and genuine civilians; in such an environment all are treated as POWs. Like the Allied coalition in Iraq in 1991, however, the numbers of prisoners swamp the ability of the Army to handle them, and long lines of dejected men are simply directed to walk north.

Fierce battles rage in the forests of northeastern Poland and Lithuania as the commander of the 23rd Army turns the elite paratroops of the 106th Guards Air Assault Division loose on the troopers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Over the next 36 hours countless small firefights erupt as platoons and companies clash in the rough terrain; the veteran cavalrymen have armored vehicles and superior firepower to call upon, while the dismounted desantniki are able to take advantage of terrain that the American vehicles cannot traverse.

To the south, 3rd Guards Tank Army's grinding advance continues, incurring shockingly high casaulties. Western TVD is receiving multiple train-loads of replacement troops each day - some are recalled reservists with varying levels of retained skills, others are teenagers or Central Asians who have little experience and add little to unit's combat capability. Nonetheless, the end result at the end of the day is the same - massive casaulties and little to show for it.

In the Kaliningrad sector, the 3rd Shock Army, which has been in fierce combat nearly nonstop since October, is awarded the Guards title in recognition of its valaint service. Each of the army's divisions started the war as Guards divisions, but various Army-level units are also awarded the title.

As operations in Sicily wind down (internal security duties are being split between the Iberian airborne troops and a NATO-supported Italian police force/militia), the 173rd Airborne Brigade is assigned to act as a raiding force in the eastern Mediterrranean. The headquarters and support elements are transferred to Cairo West Air Base in Egypt, with the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery securing the base alongside US and Egyptian air force security personnel. The 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry is based at the facility but is tasked with raiding isolated Greek outposts; the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry remains in Sicily at the Comiso Air Base to strike Italian targets while the 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry is flown to Akhisar Air Base, Turkey to assist in that nation's defense.

Sigurimi (Secret Police) agents take the former Albanian defense minister out of the secret prison cell in Tirana and drive him to a remote abandoned farmhouse south of the capital. Over 12 hours they beat him nearly to death before loading him once again into a car. They drive him to an out of the way mountain road, then pull over and shoot him 14 times. His body is buried in an unmarked grave.

Another strike occurs in the Soviet war economy, when workers at the Kommunarsk Steel Plant in Ukraine put down their tools and march in protest at raised output demands, long hours, growing shortages and falling wages.
A firefight breaks out between a section from the 4th Battalion, The Kings Own Border Regiment and Argentine commandos 5 miles west of Fitzroy settlement on East Falkland.
__________________
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 08-25-2022, 03:46 PM
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August 19, 1997

The 5th and 7th Kenyan Rifles Battalion and the 76th Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, supported by Kenyan light attack aircraft, bring the attack on Mombasa to a halt just outside artillery range of the city. A small force of Tanzanian tanks and APCs manages to penetrate inside the city but is surrounded and then destroyed as it runs out of ammunition.

Unofficially,

The Air Force staff authorizes the formation of a second and third Midgetman missile squadron headquarters. Personnel are assigned from the training system as well as some airmen from the already existing squadron.

The KGB regional director in Vladivostok decides to send Soryeong Rhee, the top ROKAF ace, to Moscow, figuring his troop's actions in capturing him is likely to lead him to a more important position than being stuck as far as possible from Moscow.

With 23rd Army's momentum broken, losses mounting and supplies in the dispersed detachments running low, the commander of the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment orders a staged withdrawal back to the its start lines. The retreat is relentlessly pursued by the aggressive Soviet paratroops, who push the cavalry back to the Polish border before running low on supplies themselves.

In southeastern Poland, Polish troops are making steady progress in forcing NATO forces north, away from the slopes of the Carpathians. NATO troops hold the vital rail line that runs east from Krakow, over which much of the German Third Army's supplies travel.

The Sierra-class attack submarine K-534 sinks another tanker in the Arabian Sea, the Sunco Charger bound for refineries in the Far East, with a trio of torpedos.
__________________
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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  #258  
Old 08-26-2022, 03:36 PM
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August 20, 1997

Nothing official for today...

The Greek government collapses after a military coup. The junta of generals is actually initially quite popular as they promise a renewed effort at the front in Thrace and a more effective naval defense in the Agean; their appeal to nationalism in the conflict against the Turks and Americans is well received, and their authoritarian methods are presented as necessary steps to mobilize the nation's war effort after months of disorganzed and half-hearted efforts by an ineffective civilian government.

photo
Soviet troops enter Anchorage, Alaska for the first time, led by the 130th Motor-Rifle Division's 108th Motor-Rifle Regiment, equipped with rare 1940s-vintage T-44 tanks. To the north, the fresh (but mobilization-only) 147th (my 261st) Motor-Rifle Division is committed to the drive on Fairbanks, opposed by the 11th Airborne Division and various state and national guard troops.

The British command dispatches a 12-man SAS team from Guards Squadron, 22 SAS to the Falklands to pursue the Argentine commandos that seem to be active in the islands.

The Japanese officers arrested for the chlorine attack on the North Korean defenders of Pyongyang are quietly released on parole, ostensibly to give them and their lawyers time to work on their defense. They remain on an active-duty status, with full pay, although not assigned any duties beyond preparing for the as-yet unscheduled court martial trial.

The divisions of 13th Army (the 17th, 57th, 70th, 128th Guards and 161st Motor-Rifle Divisions) are all ordered to cease offensive operations and assemble in defensive positions. The Hungarian 31st Tank Brigade, assigned to the army, establishes a security screen along the southern flank.

Engineers assigned to the 5th Marine Division complete the scuttling of the last craft that they could drag into the Baltiysk channel, which links the Soviet Baltic Fleet base at Kaliningrad with the Baltic. The second-to-last vessel sunk is the dredge SM-671, which Seebees pay special attention to to ensure that it would not be recoverable. Many of the craft are booby trapped or at least partially loaded with ordnance salvaged from the town's battlefields to ensure that reopening the channel will be a long and costly effort.

The Polish 120th Artillery Regiment, assigned to the third-line Third Polish Army in southeastern Poland, begins sporadic harrassment fire on the NATO supply lines to its north, disrupting the stream of trucks supporting the southern contingents of Third German Army.

A German countermortar radar locates Captain Czarny's skilled mortarmen in northwestern Warsaw and directs a battery of LARS rockets from the 52nd Rocket Artillery Battalion onto its location. The resulting hail of rockets wipes out Czarny's mortar team and his company headquarters. The ZOMO captain is evacuated to an underground hospital, where the dedicated medical staff saves his life, although the wounds leave his face horribly scarred.

Pasdaran guerrillas in Esfahan, under direction of Sirjan Khorrasani, attack their own leader's house. While the guerrillas are unaware of the significance of the target (they think they are targeting another collaborator), it reinforces Khorrasani's cover as a loyal subject of the Tudeh regime.

The lead naval architech on the project to return the helicopter carrier Leningrad to service is arrested after many weeks of failing to find a way to graft the steel plate salvaged from the burned-out battlecruiser Rossiya onto the carrier. He is accused of sabotaging the effort after many years of secretly harboring pro-Chinese sentiment.

A second engagement occurs in the Falklands between Argentine naval commandos and TA troops. An Argentine marine is killed in the firefight, and his compatriots, under threat of being surrounded and captured, are forced to leave his body.
__________________
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 09-09-2022, 02:47 PM
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August 21, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day.

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

Fighting rages in the streets of Anchorage. Further east, outnumbered by the 1st Arctic Mechanized Brigade and the 13th Guards Airborne Division, the 172nd Infantry (Arctic), with nearly half of the unit’s remaining hovercraft out of service requiring maintenance or spare parts, abandons Valdez aboard its own amphibious craft and a requisitioned ferry.

FEMA assumes responsibility for operation of the Defense Logistics Agency underground storage facility in Quinlan, Texas and begins restocking it as a strategic stockpile. At the outset of the war the facility had housed millions of MREs as well as machine tools, medical supplies, cots, blankets, tents, sleeping bags and sand bags. Those supplies have been distributed around the world, leaving the facility available to other users.

The deputy division commander of the 40th Infantry Division, the senior unwounded officer, after consulting with USAEUR staff, orders the survivors concentrated in the division's 1st Brigade to bring it up to strength. Excess command and support personnel are to be returned to the US to form a new division.

On the Bavarian front, the 111th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, protecting XX Corps from Italian air attack, finds that the Italian Air Force, familiar with both the Hawk and the Patriot missile systems, is able to minimize the units’ effectiveness against its most advanced aircraft. The brigade is, however, still able to successfully engage Italian helicopters, transports and close air support aircraft. Polish and Soviet forces coordinate another series of attacks against Third German Army on the southern end of the front, further depleting the Allied force of supplies and reserves.

The press officer for the NATO occupation force in Sicily rushes in to the commander, distraught that the local militia that NATO is sponsoring to maintain order on the island is in fact nothing other than the Cosa Nostra, the infamous Italian organized criminal groups. He has a talk with the commander, who explains the reality of the war to the press officer, who is on a plane back to the US early the next morning.

CVW-10 (Carrier Air Wing 10) aboard the USS Independence disembarks from the damaged carrier. They join with the Seebees of the 1st Naval Construction Regiment in establishing semi-permanent housing, administrative and support facilities at the massive Al Qatif air base in eastern Saudi Arabia. The Independence battle group commander brings the support ship USS Wabash alongside the carrier to speed the unloading of the damaged flattop's ammunition, spares, aviation fuel and other materiel for transportation to the air wing's new operations base.

The Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Soviet Ministry of Defense inquires as to why no SS-23 missiles have been delivered; the production plant in Votinsk replies that it is awaiting receipt of the new guidance packages.

British Military Intelligence officers on the Falklands identify the equipment carried by the dead Argentine commando from the prior day's battle as definitely Argentine of 1990s manufacture (not a relic of the 1982 war) and transmit a report to London that Argentine forces are active on the islands.
__________________
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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  #260  
Old 09-12-2022, 03:56 PM
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August 22, 1997

In North Korea, the US 2nd Infantry Division links up with the lead battalions of IX Corps, concluding its two-week long march south through enemy-held territory.

Unofficially,

The Native Canadian Ranger Regiment intercepts and eliminates a third Spetsnaz team in the northeastern Canadian Arctic, this one near the Pelly Bay air defense radar site.

The British Ministry of Defense evaluates the report received from the Falklands. After consultations with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary once again calls the Argentine ambassodor in and demands the immediate withdrawal of Argentine forces. Once again, the ambassador professes ignorance but transmits word to Buenos Aires.

Heavy trucks arrive in the 13th Army area to load tanks and armored vehicles for transit to the nearest railheads, over 250 km to the north in Mongolia.

In the isolated Torun Pocket, cut off behind NATO lines since June, the commander of the 4th Guards Tank Army reorganizes his remaining units, disbanding the 41st Independent Tank Regiment and 510th Independent Guards Tank Regiment and assigning those units' surviving tanks and crews to the 20th and 25th Tank Divisions, respectively.

The Warsaw Pact offensives, supported by tactical nuclear strikes on NATO supply dumps and static artillery positions, continue to make slow progress. East of Bialystok, Poland, lead regiments of the 7th Tank Army attempt to force a breakthrough along the boundary between II British Corps and the American V Corps. The British, under pressure from the 23rd Army on its northern flank and spoiling attacks from a mixed force of KGB, MVD and Army troops to its front, have little to commit to their southern flank. The American corps tries to cover the area with its 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and attack helicopters from the 12th Aviation Brigade, but the long frontage and need to remain dispersed to avoid a nuclear strike mean that there is more a screen than a front line in the area and the Soviet troops gain several additional kilometers of ground.

The American freighter Santa Isabel, which dropped away from Convoy 418 after experiencing engine problems (the ship was built in 1967) is attacked and sunk by a Soviet raider, the destroyer Ostorozhnyy. The destroyer, even older than its quarry, was recently reactivated and sailed from the Kola after the conclusion of the Allied offensive and slipped through the GIUK Gap in ice flows near the Greenland coast.

After a rushed three weeks, the Portugese 15th Infantry Regiment's operational battalion arrives at the Lisbon Naval Station, where three American transport ships (the Cape Domingo, Pioneer Crusader and Cleveland Freedom) are awaiting to transport the 1st Mechanized Brigade to Turkey.

The American carriers John F Kennedy and America continue their attacks on Italian naval targets.

The Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense discovers that the electronics plant in Tblisi, Georgia that is supposed to be manufacturing the new guidance packages for the SS-23 missiles is still awaiting the production drawings, which due to an administrative error, were never sent from Moscow. They predict that they can have a prototype together in 10-12 weeks. The Colonel-General is quite upset, to say the least. The Tblisi plant has reallocated its production line to producing radars for Su-27 interceptors in the interim.
__________________
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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  #261  
Old 09-13-2022, 02:26 PM
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August 23, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day.

The 47th Infantry Division retreats east from the Anchorage area, with its cavalry squadron (the 1st Squadron, 194th Cavalry (Minnesota National Guard)) and 682nd Engineer Battalion detached to man a blocking position to prevent Soviet forces advancing north from Valdez from cutting the division's evacuation route east into the Yukon. The 2nd Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) is retreating under heavy Soviet pressure northward along the Mat-Su Valley, hoping to delay the linkup of Soviet forces advancing out of Anchorage with those that came across the Bering Strait.

1st Byelorussian Front, opposite the US V Corps, with the 3rd, 5th and 7th Tank Armies, continues its pressure on the US V Corps. While the front's tanks are mostly less modern T-64s, T-80s and T-74s, the collapse of the Chinese front has allowed additional reinforcements and supplies to flow to the front, allowing it to push back the exhausted American (and Canadian) troops, strung out at the end of a long supply line from Dutch and German ports far to the west. To the south, 1st Western and Reserve Fronts, with two Polish and three Soviet armies under command, push back Third German Army.

photo
In beseiged Warsaw, rations for civilians are cut again, to 1200 calories per day for adults and 600 calories for children under 15.

The ferry Beauport, carrying a cargo of replacement vehicles for British troops, is struck by a mine in the North Sea and sinks.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade has completed its redeployment from Sicily and launches the first of its raids, with two companies from 3-325 AIR raiding Tympaki Air Force Base in Crete. The paratroops land before dawn and are supported by gunfire from the battleship Wisconsin, which not only seals off the area but inflicts major damage on Greek infrastructure all along the southern Cretan coast. The airborne force evacuates after four hours; the final C-130 to depart does not carry troops but instead drops a modified BLU-82 7.5-ton bomb on the runway to crater it and render it useless to the Greeks.

In Iran, the isolated troops of the 1st Marine Division continue to hold the airfield complex at Yadz, supported by vigorous counterattacks on the surrounding 40th Army by the isolated troops as well as the 3rd (my 4th) Marine Division operating north of Bandar Abbas. Heavy air support keeps the Soviet forces from massing to overwhelm any particular sector, and the surrounded division's centrally stationed mobile reserve (built around the two tank battalions, light armored recon and amtrack battalions) is able to respond quickly to enemy attacks. Nightfall begins a parade of transport aircraft into the pocket, bringing in food and ammunition and evacuating the wounded, while KC-130 tankers drain their tanks into the airfields' to support the division's operations.

The Soviet Minister of Agriculture reports that the amount of food grown will be adequate to support the nation but warns that completing the harvest and distributing it is going to be a severe challenge given the lack of trucks and manpower.

The Argentine submarine Salta is dispatched from the Mar del Plata naval base to the Falkland Islands to retreive the naval commando force that has been operating on the islands for several weeks. Orders are radioed to the team to cease patrolling and remain in place until the submarine arrives to retrieve them. A SAS team arrivies in the islands and begins to search for them.
__________________
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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  #262  
Old 09-13-2022, 02:35 PM
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August 24, 1997

Another day that canon is silent on... Unofficially,

Soviet troops in Alaska begin a reshuffle, with fresh units being committed in central Alaska and others shifted south.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet return to Downing Street. Despite the return of the Government to London, the 11 regional command centers remain fully manned and operational.

In the Japanese-occupied Kurile Islands of Iturup and Kunashir a population transfer is occurring. Along with the evacuation of Soviet POWs, recently arrived Japanese government officials begin evacuating civilians who do not have family ties to the area (defined as at least one family member living in the islands in July 1945 prior to the Soviet seizure). The same flights and voyages that are carrying evacuees off the islands are also carrying "tourists", Japanese citizens that were evicted by (or fled) the Soviets and their descendants. To the dismay of the Soviet citizens, many of the "tourists" begin assessing various homes and businesses, apparently with the intention of settling in the newly reconquered territory. The government officials have no comment on the plan.

Along the northern end of the front line of the Polish-Soviet border 2nd Western Front goes over on the offensive from the Kaliningrad enclave. A Polish-led task force cuts off the US Marine garrison of Baltiysk while the rest of 1st Polish Army (reinforced with Soviet and Polish border guards and the Baltic Fleet's Division Baltiysk) drives the Danish Jutland Division out of Soviet territory. The 3rd Guards Shock Army and 2nd Guards Tank Army also attack southward against the US III Corps and VII German Korps, who use their massive mobility and firepower (both conventional and nuclear) to blunt the attacks and hold their ground.

In southern Germany, the Italian Army has run out of steam as the last of the nation's prewar stocks of fuel, ammunition and spare parts has been largely depleted. Italian industry is still in the process of mobilizing, and the industrial mobilization process (which would be chaotic in the best of circumstances given the state of Italian government and industry) is slowed by the country's isolation from its former NATO partners, who are NOT going to assist it with transport, raw materials or critical components. The Soviets offer to step in, but their assistance is a far cry from what NATO provided.

A helicopter from the escort carrier USS Langley, operating in the Norwegian Sea, detects the Soviet Delta I-class SSBN K-171 moving southbound at 5 knots. Within 10 minutes a swarm of five SH-3 Sea King helicopters are overhead; the boomer is located and sunk by four Mk-46 air-dropped torpedo hits. It is the third Soviet boomer sunk in August.

In Egypt, the commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade receives word that his request for air-droppable armor has been approved; L Company, 73rd Armor is being activated at Fort Bragg. Unfortunately, due to the widespread losses in the LAV-75 force the unit will be equipped with obsolescent M551 Sheridan light tanks.

XVIII Airborne Corps continues its slow withdrawal through the Zagros Mountains, with the 101st Air Assault Division launching a string of airmobile assaults on the advancing 4th Army as it crawls through the Zagros Mountains, pushing back the highly mobile 9th Infantry Division (Motorized). Allied Pasdaran guerrillas harrass the Soviet transport and supply troops with repeated pinprick attacks on the Soviet rear, slowing their progress.
__________________
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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  #263  
Old 09-13-2022, 03:30 PM
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August 25, 1997

Following months of intense action in the unforgiving desert environment, the helicopters of the 6th ACCB are suffering from lack of maintenance and attrition while the pilots and ground crews are beyond exhausted. As XVIII Airborne Corps is pushed out of the Zagros onto the coastal plains, fixed-wing attack aircraft are able to provide more effective support and the corps command orders the 6th to Saudi Arabia for rest and refit.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Louisville Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Phoenix and Sacramento Freedoms in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

2nd Brigade, 49th Armored Division, Texas National Guard, completes Rotation 97-11 at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California and is declared combat ready. It loads its equipment on railcars for the Chicago Port of Embarkation, where shipping is being massed in relative safety.

As students return to their schools, they resume an in-class drill that had fallen by the wayside for many years - "duck and cover" drills to respond to nuclear attacks. It is a sad reflection of the reality of the world.

IX and I US Corps continue to give up ground in Korea as supplies grow scarce and the Soviet Yalu Front incorporates more and more North Korean stragglers (and even civilians, who are almost all either NKPA reservists or members of the Patriotic Red Guard) into its ranks. Behind the front lines, however, massive flows of civilian refugees flee south, having enjoyed just a few weeks of exposure to South Korean propaganda and fearing the deprivation of life in war-ravaged North Korea.

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment is driven out of Bialystok by the 7th Tank Army's 3rd Guards Tank Division. The regiment's 58th Engineer Company leaves a farewell gift behind in the city: a 15-kiloton W45 Atomic Demolition Munition, which reduces the city center to rubble. Two hours later V Corps' 142nd Field Artillery Brigade (Arkansas National Guard) strikes the airport on the city's southern outskirts with a 12-kiloton W33 8-inch tactical nuclear shell, preventing the Soviets from using it.

The remaining aircraft of the Marineflieger, CVW-19 aboard the USS Coral Sea in the Baltic and the USMC's 2nd Marine Air Wing line up to provide an umbrella of attack aircraft over the evacuation of the embattled 5th Marine Division (reinforced by the German 18th Coast Defense Regiment and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade) from the city of Baltiysk, where they have been cut off by Polish troops who hold the shore of the lagoon and a strong blocking position along the narrow barrier island between their enclave and Poland. Under the air cover a flotilla of Allied shipping, of all sizes and nationalities, loads troops and what heavy equipment can be loaded aboard, transporting them to the ruined docks of Gdynia 55 miles across the Gulf of Gdansk. The defense of the city's perimeter is bolstered by naval gunfire support, with a task force built around the heavy cruiser Newport News and the American destroyers Coontz and Nicholson.

On the southern end of the Polish front, the highly motivated but poorly equipped troops of the Polish 3rd Army advance down (west along) the valley of the Wisłok River, reaffirming control of the southeastern Polish oilfields (the area had been lightly patrolled by German troops, who in recent weeks have been reluctant to venture into the hills to the north).

The USS John F Kennedy and USS America move closer to the Ionian Sea, launching a series of sorties under EMCOM (emissions control - all radars, radios and other electronic emmitters turn off) and low level into the Adriatic Sea to judge the level of Greek, Italian and Albanian air defense activity over the sea; if there is minimal resistance the route will be exploited for transit of transport aircraft into Jugoslavia and Romania.

Helicopters of the 94th (my 57th) Air Assault Brigade roam out over the Arabian Sea, sinking several dhows (small coastal sailing craft) and a bigger prize, the Pakistani freighter Kaghan carrying a cargo of supplies and replacements for the Pakistani mercenary detachments in Saudi Arabia and the Iranian Gulf Coast.
__________________
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; 09-14-2022 at 10:22 AM. Reason: fix continuity error!
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  #264  
Old 09-13-2022, 03:35 PM
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August 26, 1997

Canon is silent on the day. Unofficially,

The Joint Chiefs are presented the results of the worldwide military personnel study initiated three weeks ago. It notes that to date the Navy has taken casaulties equal to 15.5% of its prewar strength, the Air Force 17.8%, the Army 38.2%, the Marine Corps 39.7% and the Coast Guard 17.4%. Losses in July were spread more or less proportionally across the branches, between the naval battles off Kamchakta and the Kola, the initiation of nuclear warfare and offensives in Iran, Korea, Norway and the Central Front. Each branch's training establishment is operating at full capacity. Looking forward, industrial production is insufficient to keep up with equipment losses, resulting in an excess of trained personnel in all branches. The Army and Marine Corps have the greatest ability to absorb recruits in the absence of newly produced equipment, serving in light infantry roles, while excess Naval, Coast Guard and Air Force inductees are more likely to be used in security and support roles. The report reingites the debate that had been placed on hold earlier, with the Army Chief of Staff and General Green, Commandant of the Marine Corps once again arguing for a greater allocation of recruits and authority to expand their training establishments. After nearly an hour General Cummings intervenes, declaring that resolution will have to come from the Department of Defense's political leadership.

King Charles returns to Buckingham Palace.

At Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany the 481st Tactical Fighter Squadron turns over the last of its surviving F-16C fighters to its sister squadron the 480th in anticipation of the imminent receipt of AT-38 jets. The armed trainers are familiar to the pilots (who uniformly did their initial fast jet training on the type) and deemed fast and agile enough to survive in the air over Germany and Poland. While much less capable than the F-16s, they allow the 52nd Tactical Fighter Wing to resume flying close air support missions while its remaining F-16s are committed to air defense and nuclear strike missions.

The Polish 3rd Army turns north, attacking up the Wisłoka Valley towards the rail and road junction at Tarnow.

V US Corps is under heavy pressure from the Soviet 3rd Guards Tank Army to its front as 7th Tank Army advances to its north (in the widening gap between it and the British II Corps) and 5th Guards Tank Army pushes along the south, trying to drive a wedge between the Americans and VI German Korps defending Lublin.

The American attack submarine USS Olympia locates the Foxtrot-class B-34 snorkeling near the surface west of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic and sinks her with a pair of Mk 48 torpedoes.

The Sierra-III class sub K-231 slips into the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar by transiting under a NATO merchantman.

The John F Kennedy and America air wings follow up on the prior day's sorties, striking air defense radars and missile sites on the Greek island of Corfu and in southwestern Albania.

The Argentine submarine Slata arrives off West Falkland to retrieve the naval commando team. There is dissent within the team, with two of the senior NCOs, who had been captured by the British in 1982 as young Marine conscripts, disobeying the commanding officer's orders to withdraw. The senior NCOs want to strike at least a symbolic blow at the British to avenge the loss of their peer and salve their battered sense of machismo about having to "slink away in the darkness". The issue is violently resolved when the commander shoots one of the rebellious sailors in the head, then orders the other and the junior troops to drag the body to the boat. By dawn the second Argentine landing in the Falklands has ended.
__________________
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 09-14-2022, 02:42 PM
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August 27, 1997

As a result of the third interception of Spetsnaz teams in northeastern Canada, the decision is made to leave one battalion-equivalent (10 teams) of the Native Canadian Ranger Regiment in the east.

Unofficially,

With its supply lines under threat, Third German Army orders a general withdrawal, ordering V German Korps to defend Tarnow from the Poles, XI US Corps to hold Rzeszow, VII US Corps to stage a fighting withdrawal to the Wisla at Sandomierz and Tarnobrzeg and Panzergruppe Oberdorff to maintain a screen to the north between it and the southern extent of First German Army's VI German Korps, which is holding Lublin against 1st Guards Tank Army.

The last US Marines and German troops are evacuated from Baltiysk, and as the naval task force retreats over the horizon the USS Newport News levels what remains intact in the city (it had been nuked by the Soviets on August 12) with an 8-inch tactical nuclear round.

III US Corps withdraws from the Soviet border into far northeastern Poland; the broken terrain of the Masurian Lakes region is used to the American's advantage, as the many chokepoints created by the topography are easily defended by small detachments, and present lucrative targets for tactical nuclear weapons once abandoned.

The 41st Army is brought west from reserve positions near Vienna to reinforce the Pact effort in Bavaria, leaving the 2nd Czech Army on occupation duty.

The 197th Field Artillery Brigade, which has remained in Norway rebuilding following the collapse of the Murmansk offensive, has received enough guns to field six howitzers per battery. (A full-strength battery fields eight howitzers).

The first of two convoys carrying the Portugese 1st Mechanzied Brigade departs Lisbon, bound for Turkey. Six other ships are in the Lisbon area loading the remainder of the brigade and 30 days of supplies.

American carrier aircraft and the F-111Fs of the 495th Tactical Fighter Squadron continue to clear an air corridor over the Adriatic, striking Italian mobile radars and returning to several air bases to impede repair efforts.

The Jugoslav Army has managed to move additional troops to its exposed and vulnerable border sectors, leaving the mountainous center of the country largely bereft of regular troops (but swarming with motivated Territorial Defense part-time troops, under control of the republican governments). The 4th Corps is moved from Sarejevo to the Croatian-Hungarian border and the 17th Corps is moved to the west bank of teh Danube at the Hungarian border. The 9th Corps is moved to the northwest to reinforce the battered 5th Army and further delay the slowing Italian advance from Slovenia. The move leaves the Adriatic coast lightly defended, a risk that the Jugoslav command deems acceptable given the battering the Greek and Italian navies have recevied from the 6th Fleet.

Soviet troops arrive in the outskirts of Dakali, Iran, on the western edge of the Zagros Mountains, having pushed the 9th Infantry Divison and 101st Air Assault Division nearly 750 km south in four short weeks. (American commanders maintain that much of that distance was territory abandoned by overextended American troops, but acknowledge the great distance covered). The exhausted combatants on both sides pause before a battle for the town erupts.

Indian troops in Pakistan launch an offensive in the south, committing nearly 50,000 troops. The Indian command abandons sophisticated plans for an armored thrust that can be exploited, instead planning on using its masses of troops to overwhelm the Pakistani defense. Losses on the first day exceed 5,000 men.
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I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #266  
Old 09-14-2022, 03:37 PM
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August 28, 1997

With the border stripped of soldiers, Somali Islamist troops push down into northern Kenya to establish their leader’s goal of establishing Greater Somalia. Sudanese Muslim militias and Ethiopian marauders invade as well to grab their share of the spoils. The Kenyans try to slow them down but continue to lose more and more territory each day. A Tanzanian infantry regiment attacks across Lake Victoria and succeeds in seizing Kisumu, overwhelming the small garrison there and forcing the Kenyans to even further stretch their defensive lines around Nairobi.

Unofficially,

Calling into question the prior day's decision, a major Soviet force lands on the coast of British Columbia. The 14th (my 99th) Motor-Rifle Division lands a task force in the Alexander Archipelago, cutting off traffic in the Inside Passage and isolating Juneau from surface traffic. The task force's artillery (a battery of 85mm D-44 guns) catches the Alaska state highway ferry Matanuska passing by, sinking her with several well-aimed volleys. To its south, the 71st Tank Division lands at Prince Rupert, British Columbia and begins moving inland.

The situation in China is unclear, even to Soviet commanders. After over a month of nuclear attacks the Chinese Communist government has collapsed, its few remaining nuclear forces under the control of local commanders out of touch with higher headquarters. Following Soviet attacks on major production, transportation and command centers refugees flee the remaining cities lest they be caught in the next attack. Isolated PLA units are standing and fighting, most notably those remaining in North Korea, which are receiving limited logistical and air support from American and British naval and air forces that still control the Yellow Sea. In Manchuria Soviet forces are cautiously advancing, limited by the flow of POWs and refugees headed for the relative safety of Soviet lines and slowed by the rapid reallocation of fuel, ammunition and supplies to the European theater. In Inner Mongolia, numerous units flung themselves headlong south, outrunning their supply lines and, in some cases, their radio communications with higher headquarters. In central and southern China, where national government authority has collapsed but enemy forces are hundreds of miles away (at least) local Party officials, military commanders and traditional leaders struggle amongst themselves for control of their areas. Life for all Chinese citizens in this situation is disastrous, with the breakdown of transportation networks to move people, fuel and food, dangerous levels of radioactivity from Soviet strikes and rapid emergence of disease on a biblical scale.

At sunrise, the first flight of AT-33B armed trainers lands at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. The six aircraft are assigned to the 481st Tactical Fighter Squadron; the squadron's maintenance crews begin working the aircraft over after their long transatlantic flights.

Shortly after midnight a Soviet coast defense missile battery, down to two 4K51 Rubezh (SSC-3) launchers after months of playing cat-and-mouse with Allied aircraft and special forces, launches a volley at the retreating Allied naval task force. One of the missiles is shot down by a missile fired by the USS Coontz, one misses, and two strike - one hitting the Newport News and the other obliterating the Danish corvette Olfert Fischer. The crew of the Newport News gets the fires under control by dawn, but the ship needs to be repaired, so it begins the long voyage back to the US.

VII German Korps, the last NATO unit on the border with the Russian Kaliningrad enclave, evacuates to a more defensible line to the south, maintaining a tight linkage with the American III Corps to its east. The close terrain is of equal advantage to the Germans as the neighboring Americans, giving time for the German corps support troops to make a final salvage sweep through the region to secure spare parts, salvagable replacement vehicles and munitions to sustain the former East German Army 3rd Army, which the corps is the remnant of.

The Soviet 50th Tank Division, a mobilization-only unit from the Carpathian Military District, is attached to the Polish 3rd Army as a stiffener. The 50th is badly understrength, with only two battalions of tanks in each tank regiment and its motor-rifle regiment relying on requisitioned trucks from farms, factories and mines of Ukraine. Its artillery is of Second World War vintage, but the division is graced with a capable and charismatic commanding general, K.V. Beregovoi, whose honesty and sense of duty had exiled him in prewar days to command of a reserve division.

As SOSUS reports the transit of a Soviet submarine westbound leaving the Mediterranean (which American P-3s are unable to localize and attack), CINCIBERLANT authorizes the mining of the Straits of Gibraltar. An inbound and westbound lane are maintained for friendly shipping and for neutrals that accept a local pilot.

STAVKA directs the transfer of the 16th Army, which started the war in Hungary, was bloodied in Romania early in the year before being withdrawn for the invasion of Austria, back to Hungary in preparation for an upcoming effort to crush the NATO force in the Balkans before the Allies can rush reinforcements through the re-opened Mediterranean.

In Iran, as supplies in the surrounded airhead of Yadz continue to diminish (despite the herculean efforts of transport aircraft and helicopter pilots) and the front lines retreat farther south, the commander of the 1st Marine Division orders his subordinate commanders and their staff to begin preparations for a breakout to rejoin the rest of I MEF along the coast.
__________________
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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  #267  
Old 09-15-2022, 03:21 PM
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August 29, 1997

Noting official for the day!

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

The first units of the 70th Guards Motor-Rifle Division begin loading their less-damaged vehicles aboard train cars in southern Mongolia for transit to Europe.

In North Korea, the American 23rd Infantry Division (Light) has its supply lines cut as it serves as the rear guard of the IX Corps retreating from the road and rail hub of Hyangsan in the mountainous center of the country.

Due to the chaotic situation behind the lines, the overburdened and ineptly run Soviet rail system finally delivers the last troop train containing the 9th Guards (my 32nd Guards) Tank Division to the front in Western Ukraine, where it joins 1st Guards Tank Army.

The 481st Tactical Fighter Squadron flies its first close air support sorties since early July, in support of the 10th Mountain Division's defense against the Italian 4th Alpini Corps in southwestern Germany.

The last American conventional troops depart Ukrainian territory as XI Corps withdraws westward; special operations forces remain behind, seeking targets for NATO nuclear weapons, organizing and assisting pro-NATO partisans and desperately searching for Soviet nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.

CIA operatives note the transit of trains carrying armored vehicles across the Dnieper River north of Zaporozhye. Within hours the trains have been located by American spy satellites.

The first flight departs Frankfurt, Germany carrying excess command and support personnel from the 40th Infantry Division, which has been reduced to one brigade by nuclear attacks earlier in the month.

Rifleman Goreng Nassang, VC, still with the 1/7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles in Iran, uses his trusty GPMG in defense of his company's position helping to hold the transport hub of Sirjan, Iran. He uses his gun in indirect fire mode; when combined with other guns from his platoon they catch a company of dismounted infantry from the 108th Motor-Rifle Division's 180th Motor-Rifle Regiment and inflict heavy casaulties and disrupting the Soviet attack.

The Royal Navy patrol craft Leeds Castle arrives off Port Stanley in the Falklands Islands. The ship had been pulled from its South Atlantic patrol ship duties earlier in the war, but the threat of Argentine adventurism has called for its return to the 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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  #268  
Old 09-15-2022, 04:02 PM
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August 30, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day (that I'm using... GDW has the 5th Marine Division entering combat in Korea today; I have the 5th in action in Poland at this point). Unofficially,

3rd Brigade, 49th Armored Division (Texas National Guard) completes Rotation 97-10 at NTC-2 at the Yakima Training Center and, as the last brigade in the division to complete a NTC rotation following its retraining and re-equipment with the Abrams/Bradley weapons systems, the entire division is declared combat ready, nearly a year after mobilization.

The 11th Infantry Brigade is declared combat ready after completing Rotation 97-10 at JRTC-2 at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas and transferred by road to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma for immediate deployment to Korea.

The 22nd Motor-Rifle Division, relocated from central Alaska, takes advantage of the cover provided by the 99th Motor-Rifle Division to undertake a follow-up landing at Skagway, Alaska. The weak guard company there is quickly overrun and Soviet troops begin advancing east into British Columbia towards Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory 110 miles away.

Army engineers complete construction of a secure storage facility in Glady, West Virginia, in an abandoned railroad tunnel and FEMA begins stocking it with food, weapons, generators, clothing, tents and other supplies.

Poor weather over much of the Korean Peninsula returns to the mountains of central North Korea, preventing Army and Air Force transport units from flying resupply missions to the encircled 23rd Infantry Division (Light). Special Operations aircraft have the ability to reach the isolated 23rd, but to its commander's frustration, are assigned to other missions. (Although widely criticized by the division's veterans in the years following the war, the few MC-141s, MC-130s, MH-53s and MH-60s in the theater are not able to transport even 10 percent of the tonnage of supplies the 23rd needs on a daily basis).

VII US Corps is subjected to multiple, repeated attacks from two Soviet armies - the veteran 8th Guards and the 1st Shock, a relatively fresh formation composed of some of the Red Army's finest parade divisions and other units from around Moscow. The battle, as the Americans retreat from the Ukrainian border, sees both sides slinging nuclear weapons at the other's rear areas as the front-line troops press close to each other to prevent the other side from using nukes on them.

The USS John F Kennedy and America conclude four days of strikes on the Italian and Greek air defenses over the Adriatic as F-14s of VF-33 escort a flight of six C-17s of the 20th Airlift Squadron into Tuzla Air Base, Jugoslavia carrying supplies and munitions for the 112th Tactical Fighter Wing (Pennsylvania Air National Guard).

A task force of fast transports leaves Gibraltar carrying munitions, vehicles and spares for the beleaguered Jugoslav and Romanian armies. Sixth Fleet task forces are stripped of escorts to protect the convoy, while the battleship Wisconsin surface action group prepares for a sortie into the Adriatic.

The Albanian Army reports that it has more or less completed its mobilization, having called up over a quarter million reservists to bring their forces up to full strength. The effects on the economy are, convieniently, not mentioned, especially since the Albanian economy has consistently been the worst in Europe.

The 487th Tactical Missile Wing fires 24 missiles into Ukraine; PVO missiles and interceptors shoot down seven while crossing the Black Sea, and three others are shot down over Ukraine. Two malfunction, and a dozen explode over central Ukraine, where the trains carrying the 341st (my 22nd Guards) Tank Division are en route to Romania.

The final supply route into Shiraz is cut when troops of the 1st (my 9th) Army's 145th and 147th Motor-Rifle Divisions link up south of the city, and the second siege of the city begins. The city's government, having experienced a prior siege, is relatively well prepared - food has been stockpiled and many non-essential civilians evacuated to the coast.

The Soviet Air Defense Force (the PVO) makes a concerted effort to intercept a R-5D Aurora hypersonic spyplane. After an agent in the US alerts Moscow of an Aurora carrier taking off, the PVO sets up an airborne ambush. A line of MiG-31 interceptors is established at 100km intervals over the Urals, cruising at 40,000 feet and loaded with experimental infra-red seeking AA-13 AAMs, while outside Moscow the remaining Su-47s of the 91st Fighter Regiment scramble. The effort is detected by the NSA's ELINT satellites, which alert the Aurora before it is launched. The alert prompts the execution of the pre-briefed alternative flight plan over Central Asia, exiting over western China and looping northward across the Pacific for recovery.

The Argentine submarine Salta returns to the Mar del Plata naval base and the commando team disembarks. The rebellious senior NCO is sent to the brig to await court martial.
__________________
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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  #269  
Old 09-16-2022, 03:28 PM
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August 31, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day! Unofficially,

The Freedom ship Santa Fe Freedom is delivered in Galveston, Texas.

The area of responsibility of the First Maritime Defense District (formerly the First Coast Guard District, under command of Rear Admiral Scott MacDowell) is adjusted to encompass the area from the Rhode Island-Connecticut border to the Canadian border.

In Alaska, the 99th Motor-Rifle Division follows up on its earlier landing with a successful attack on Juneau. The attack is opened with a tactical nuclear strike on the command post of the 172nd Infantry Brigade (located in the town's high school), which leaves the defense in disarray. The veteran Soviet arctic troops are able to sweep aside the defenders, composed of the remnants of the 172nd that survived the battles outside Anchorage, the 4th battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon), cut off from its headquarters, as well as a hodgepodge of policemen, state guards, coast guardsmen and local volunteer militia. The surviving defenders evacuate into the hills overlooking the town, where they form the core of a partisan movement which hampers the Soviet occupation force for many months to come.

A C-5 airlifter of the 75th Airlift Squadron unloads the first two PAMSS - Palletized Armored Shelter Systems - at Osan Air Base in Korea. The systems are standard 20-foot cargo containers, reinforced with Kevlar armor, converted to serve as headquarters shelters, with diesel generators, climate control and a NBC overpressure system, intended for lighter units that do not have M577 or M4 armored command posts. The PAMSS is transported by an armored M1074 PLS truck and intended for battalion and higher headquarters in light divisions as well as towed artillery battery headquarters and fire direction centers. Development was extended due to (idiotic) bureaocracy within the Pentagon, who argued that fielding the PAMSS would impact the deployability of light divisions despite the fact that nearly all of the Army's light divisions have already been deployed. The prototype PAMSS are headed to the 1st Brigade, 7th Infantry Infantry Division for field testing; production of additional systems continues at Anniston Army Depot in Alabama.

As the troops of the 11th Panzergrenadier Division, part of V German Korps, begin to crumble after days of ceasless attacks from the Polish 3rd Army, Third German Army orders a nuclear attack to break the Polish momentum and disrupt their supply lines. A flight of Luftwaffe Tornado strike aircraft drop 60kt B-61 bombs on the massed guns of the 120th Artillery Regiment, the narrow road leading north through the Wisloka River valley and, for good measure, the town of Jasło, with its small oil refinery and transport links.

Convoy 418 from Oman arrives of the southeastern US coasts, dispatching its surviving 37 ships, including the Victory ship Wayne Victory, to Jacksonville, Florida, Brunswick and Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina.

As nightfall comes, Marines along the northern edge of the Yadz perimeter begin to fall back, abandoning their positions. Overhead, Navy and Marine Corps EA-6 jamming aircraft shut down 40th Army's command-and-control radio network, and a F/A-18 of VMFA-323 drops a B-61 tactical nuclear bomb on the headquarters of the 210st Motor-Rifle Division's 395th Motor-Rifle Regiment, which is blocking the southern approaches to Yadz. The 1st Marine Division's 5th Regiment goes on the offensive, overwhelming the veteran Soviet troops. 1st Marine Division's breakout from the Yadz pocket has begun.

British intelligence receives word of the impending court martial of the naval commando. It seeks verification before ordering the SAS team to stand down its hunt.
__________________
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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  #270  
Old 09-19-2022, 03:44 PM
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September 1, 1997

Nothing official today! Unofficially,

map of front lines from the Baltic to Pakistani border

The 199th Tactical Fighter Squadron deploys a detachment to the Pacific Test Range Facility airport at Barking Sands, Hawaii. This remote location will spare the squadron from the nuclear attack on its home station of Hickam Air Force Base in November.

The 22nd Motor-Rifle Division reaches White Pass, on the border between British Columbia and Alaska, and clashes with a small RCMP detachment.

New equipment authorizations (Tables of Organization and Equipment) for US Army units go into effect, taking into account the lessons of the past year's battles and developments in American war production. Two of the changes include authorizing the M1-A2D as a substitute standard tank for armor battalions and armored cavalry squadrons and creation of an engineer section within the service battery of towed artillery battalions, equipped with four Small Emplacement Excavators - Unimog light trucks fitted with a dozer bucket and backhoe to dig gun emplacements and fighting positions.

The so-called "Shangri-La" Air Base in far southwestern China, the US Air Force launches its first operational mission, receiving a KC-135 tanker of the 117th Air Refuelling Squadron (Kansas National Guard) after it drained its tanks into a B-2 bomber that made the flying wing's first penetration into the Soviet Union. (more below).

The South Korean 2nd Armored Brigade launches an attack against Soviet covering forces in an attempt to break through to the surrounded American 23rd Infantry Division. The skillful Soviet defenders of the 192nd Motor-Rifle Division use minefields and artillery fire to channel the ROK tanks into a narrow valley approach route, where dismounted infantry equipped with AT-4 anti-tank missiles, artillery and the attack helicopters of the 364th Helicopter Regiment are able to inflict heavy losses on the Korean force, pushing them back to their start lines by dusk.

At the urging of the commander of NATO's NORTHAG, 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force assigns the remnants of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing's A-10 force (17 aircraft) solely to support the embattled V US Corps. Based at the former Polish Air Force base at Powidz east of Poznan (and associated highway strips nearby) , the wing quickly establishes a standing patrol of tank-busters over the American force. The aircraft see nearly constant action countering Soviet attacks or trimming back outlying positions along the corps' flanks.

The situation of NATO troops in northeastern Poland is growing increasingly perilous as three NATO corps (the III US, II British and VII German) with eight divisions in total try to cover a nearly 170-mile front against superior numbers of Soviet troops (18 divisions). The NATO force is operating at the end of a very long supply line, one plagued by poor rail and road links, near-constant partisan attacks and limited numbers of support and transport troops.

Ships carrying the first contingent of the Portugese 1st Independent Mixed Brigade (the support battalion, air defense battery, one of the motorized infantry battalions and the engineer company) arrive at the port of Antalya and begin unloading. Due to the uncertain situation, the brigade's troops have to negotiate with the local army units and civil authorities, who are not expecting the unit and are already under considerable stress from the reverses suffered in the north.

The battleship Wisconsin, entering the Adriatic, pounds Greek coast defense positions on Corfu, protected against anti-ship missiles by the Aegis destroyer USS Barry, trailing 500 meters behind the battlewagon.

The 1st Marine Division evacuates the Yadz pocket, having held off the Soviet 40th Army for several weeks. In their departure the Yadz Airport and a smaller expeditionary airfield constructed by American engineers are thoroughly destroyed to prevent their use by the enemy. The American force is moving relatively slowly, with several battalions of troops on foot, the force's vehicles loaded down with supplies to sustain the withdrawal. Their progress is challenged by the remainder of the battle-hardened 201st Motor-Rifle Division, veterans of Afghanistan, which throws its two remaining motor-rifle regiments at the Marine's flanks while raking the American column with artillery fire. Marine helicopters and tactical aviation seek out the Soviet guns and the Marines cover seven miles of the the distance to Bandar Abbas.

To the north and west, the 1st (my 9th) Army settles into field positions surrounding Shiraz, while the 45th (my 32nd) Army is too exhausted to press an attack on the 101st Air Assault Division, which holds the town of Dakali, blocking an exit from the Zagros onto the coastal plain along the Persian Gulf.

The US Strategic Air Command launches its first "Golden Spike" mission to slow the flow of reinforcements from the Far Eastern Front to the fighting in Europe. A lone B-2 bomber crosses the Altai Mountains (where China, Mongolia and the USSR converge) after dark, weaving between Soviet air defense radars to remain out of their detection ranges and soon heads east, on a track parallel to the Trans-Siberian Railroad. At a pre-determined point it turns on its AN/APQ-181 radar, searching for a troop train spotted heading west, and soon locates it. The bomber waits for the train to reach a bridge (over the Uda river, a tributary of the Yenesi) drops a single B-61 tactical nuclear bomb fitted with a modified JDAM guidance unit. The blast leaves the bridge over the Uda a tangled mess, tosses the locoomotive into the river and rips the loaded railcars apart; the surviving contents are lit on fire. The B-2 continues down the line, seeking additional troop trains or SS-24 rail-mobile ICBMs. Finding neither, it turns north for egress over the Arctic, launching a trio of SRAM II missiles with 200 kt nuclear warheads at three air defense radar stations generally along its exit route. Once over the North Pole the aircraft refuels from a waiting SAC tanker and returns to its home base, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
__________________
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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