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  #151  
Old 05-05-2022, 11:27 AM
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May 5, 1997

Amazingly, nothing in the canon for today.

32nd Brigade, 36th Infantry Division (Wisconsin National Guard), completes Rotation 97-8 at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California and is declared combat ready. The 92nd Infantry Brigade (Puerto Rico National Guard) completes Rotation 97-8 at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, Louisiana and is declared combat ready.

The Victory Ship Wayne Victory is unloaded of returned Argentinian munitions, which are sent to various locations for inspection, refurbishment (if needed), disposal or further issue.

The Air National Guard's 203rd Air Refueling Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii receives the first operational KC-767 tanker transport. The aircraft has received preliminary type approval from Air Force Systems Command; the new aircraft increases the squadron's ability to support aircraft transiting the Pacific. Boeing continues to deliver new airliners for conversion at its Wichita, Kansas plant.

Regular Army troops (the 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers) begin moving from Northern Ireland to England, in preparation for movement to the war zone in Poland.

British troops of the 6th Armoured Brigade capture Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland as Pact troops begin to withdraw (rather than fighting to the point of ineffectiveness, which had been the case for the prior four weeks).

In an overnight raid, the headquarters of the 3rd Guards Motor-Rifle Division is plastered with bombs from a flight of F-15E Strike Eagles. Command and control of the division is disrupted and the unit is paralyzed. By dawn the Soviet unit is encircled and the 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment is on the outskirts of Wrocław, with elements of three German divisions close behind.

photo
Soviet commanders attempt to close the gap in the lines with artillery fire, but the loss of the ammunition train a week ago means that the near-constant interdiction fires are instead sporatic and uncoordinated.

The 82nd Airborne Division gains the upper hand in fierce combat against the Soviet paratroops of the 104th Guards Air Assault Division. To their south the 105th Guards has largely disintegrated, while the 103rd Guards continue to dig in at Bandar Abbas. Despite repeated calls for help, Red Army units to the north seem to be making little serious effort to break through Iranian lines to relieve them. (Actually, their logistics situation is atrocious thanks to Allied interdiction and the overburdened Soviet war economy; commanders are barely able to hold their positions, let alone advance).

The RAF stations the Buccaneer attack bombers of Nos. 12 and 208 Squadrons at the airbase in Mosjoen, Norway. The planes are primarily assigned with naval strike duties but perform sporatic interdiction strikes, carefully flying around Swedish and Finnish territory.

The Turkish offensive in Bulgaria gains steam, advancing over 2 miles from their start lines. The first group surrenders begin, with individual squads and the occaisional platoon dropping their weapons.

photo
The 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Ohio National Guard) begins loading onto ships in Philadelphia, Norfolk and Wilmington, Delaware.

The USS John F Kennedy and USS America carrier battle groups finish clearing the remnants of the Soviet 5th Squadron from the Eastern Mediterranean and begin rotating ships in for replenishment in Alexandria, Egypt. The damaged destroyer Stethem is under tow back to Gibraltar.

In Berdichev, Ukraine, the 62nd Tank Division begins mobilizing. The unit, the second "shadow" division to be hatched from the 117th Guards Training Tank Division. The 62nd takes most of the training unit's students, which are nearing the conclusion of their course of study. Like other mobilization-only tank divisions, it is equipped with 1940s and 1950s-era T-34 and T-10 tanks, Su-100 assault guns and an assortment of aged howitzers and APCs.
__________________
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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  #152  
Old 05-06-2022, 12:20 PM
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May 6, 1997

After three days of heavy fighting Soviet paratroops begin to withdraw from the Bandar-e-Khomeni area, a battered, but still cohesive fighting force. The 82nd Airborne Divison is ordered to hold its positions until the 24th Infantry Division can relieve them.

Unofficially,

The tanker Guadalupe is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland and put into naval service, with the hull number T-AOT-209.

In New Orleans, the Victory ship Wayne Victory begins loading a cargo of bagged corn meal destined for war-torn Iran.

Headquarters, XXIII Corps completes its command post exercise/wargame at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The staff there noted the corps' exceptional performance and recommended its immediate deployment overseas.

The Bundeswehr forms the 2nd Military Police Command to coordinate support and operations for three territorial military police battalions that had been operating independently under direct command of Territorial Command Ost, the Bundeswehr liaison command in the former East Germany.

Along the Polish Baltic coast, amphibious forces (the German 18th Marine Regiment and elements of the US 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade) establish a lodgment on the coast west of Kolobrzeg. Allied troops all along the front continue to push back defending Pact forces.

The first graduates of the Saami partisan training course in Kautokeino, Norway, are armed with small arms and ammunition abandoned by the Red Army in the retreat from Norway and cross the border back into Soviet territory.

Turkish troops continue to capture Bulgarian territory, reaching the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains overlooking the wide Danube Valley. The Romanian border is less than 100 km to the north, and an advance to it would cut the lines of communication between Bulgaria's capital and the Black Sea Coast.

Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic assembles the largest convoy of the war to date, Convoy 140. The convoy will bring an entire armored division (the 44th (my 20th), roughly two-thirds of the 36th Infantry Divison and the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment to Europe under unprecedented escort. It departs Jacksonville, Florida at sundown, with five ships loaded with the 1169th Engineer Group (Alabama National Guard) as well as over a dozen ships carrying munitions, fuel and supplies.

In the Indian Ocean, the Soviet raider Buliny, under the command of Captain 2nd Rank Mikhail Mischenko, makes its first strike in many weeks. A GRU source provided information about the at-sea rendevous of two ultra-large bulk carriers, the Rio Leonard and the Rio Lawrence, for the Leonard to transfer a spare part to the Lawrence. When the two massive ships (each capable of carrying over 175,000 tons of Australian coal to Europe) meet the Soviet destroyer is not far away and pounces. The ships' massive size makes them hard to sink, but the Buliny eventually does so - by sending boarding parties aboard to place demolition charges against the hull.

The Leningrad SAS team feels confident to resume operations, sending out a two-man team to observe conditions and begin assessing targets.
__________________
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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  #153  
Old 05-07-2022, 07:01 AM
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May 7, 1997


The 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) links up with 101st Air Assault Division and begins mopping up scattered remnants of the 105th Guards Air Assault Division.

Unofficially,

photo
The treason trial begins for Autumn Lotus, the New Mexico woman accused of sheltering a Spetsnaz team earlier in the year; she unleashes a rant in court about the government's oppression of the proletariat, the evils of capitalism and the war profiteering that is occurring. She is removed from the courtroom; her public defender tries his best to offer a coherent defense.

The Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry (a Territorial Army unit from Chorley), is activated and assigned to 3rd Infantry Brigade.

At Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, the tanker task force maintained for many decades using tankers rotating in from throughout the Air Force on temporary assignments is designated as the 301st Air Refueling Squadron. The new squadron maintains control of its assigned rotational aircraft, as it is currently only assigned a C-12 liaison transport aircraft, with a KC-135R en route from Hawaii. (The KC-135 was released by the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron in Hawaii as that squadron receives the new KC-767 tankers).

The Luftwaffe forms the 3rd Luftjaeger Regiment from airfield defense units assigned to the Luftwaffe’s 3rd Division (which flew strike aircraft from northern German bases). The regiment is committed to action in Poland, augmenting the RAF Regiment and USAF Security Police in defense of captured air bases and highway strips in Poland and East Germany.

Along the Baltic Coast, NATO starts landing elements of the Danish Jutland Division near Kolobrzeg. The Soviet Western TVD commander is forced to commit 22nd Army, from his reserve force in the northern half of the front, to prevent the landing force from overrunning the Polish port and naval base. (NATO deep strike ATACMS missiles, sea-launched cruise missiles and tactical aircraft have a field day on the hundreds of Soviet tanks that break cover and rushed to the coast, although the Danish, German and American troops had halted their advance and dug in in anticipation of the Soviet assault). German troops also break through the Second Western Front’s lines east of Szczecin.

The heavy cruiser Salem completes 45 days of post-commissioning workups and is dispatched to the Persian Gulf. It receives a complement of Army 8-inch ammunition to augment the Second World War-era high explosive and armor piercing rounds, including 10 tactical nuclear rounds.

The Bulgarian Second Army, weakened by having its 2nd Motor-Rifle Division and 11th Tank Brigade in China, commits its reserve 104th Tank Training Regiment and a regiment of construction troops from the 18th Construction Division, to try to slow the Turkish advance. Preceding the Bulgarian counterattack is an airstrike by L-29 trainers of the 2nd Combat Training Regiment; the trainer's 7.62mm machineguns and 57mm rockets do little to slow the Turks. When the T-55s arrive in range of the Turkish M-48 tanks the slaughter begins in earnest. The construction troops, equipped with 19th-century-vintage M95 Mannlicher rifles, DP-27 LMGs and 82mm mortars but no anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons, are swept from the field while the tank regiment takes heavy losses from Turkish tanks firing from the flanks of the wide valley they are advancing up and a platoon of Turkish AH-1 anti-tank helicopters.

The escort carrier Shangri La and eight freighters carrying equipment and vehicles of the 36th Infantry Division (Mechanized) join Convoy 140 as it sails up the US East Coast. The group also includes the Dutch cruise ship Maasdam, packed with nearly 4000 National Guardsmen.

Given up for lost two weeks ago, Rifleman Goreng Nassang rejoins his unit, complete with the GPMG he had refused to abandon.

In Leningrad, a MI6 operative obtains a workers pass for the Baltic Shipyard.

American carriers in the Pacific shift south, their aircraft reappearing over the front line in Korea.

The USS Independence continues to provide air support to IPA forces in Iran - American troops are too far north in the Persian Gulf for the carrier's F/A-18s to reach, and 5th Fleet refuses to permit the carrier group to operate in the Gulf. As Soviet troops retreat inland, the Independence group regains the destroyers it had detached to provide naval gunfire support.

In the Mediterranean, the John F Kennedy and America battle groups sortie from Alexandria, Egypt and sail north. Once in the area north of Cyprus the carriers plan to fly long-range strike missions in support of the Turkish offensive, adding their bombs to those being dropped by the USAF's 112th Tactical Fighter Group.

A second Atlantic Fleet carrier, the USS Enterprise, joins the effort to protect Convoy 140. Returning north from the vicinity of the Canaries, Enterprise sends fighters and ASW aircraft to sweep ahead of the growing formation.
__________________
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; 05-07-2022 at 07:50 PM.
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  #154  
Old 05-08-2022, 02:38 PM
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May 8, 1997

The US Air Force places an order for thousands of Charter Arms Bulldog .45-caliber revolvers to equip Reserve Security Police Squadrons, as the demand for base security detachments in Europe and Saudi Arabia grows.

Unofficially,

1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment departs Northern Ireland, returning to the UK for further service in Poland.

The Dutch Red Army detonates another car bomb in an attempt to destroy the NATO fuel terminal at Rijnwoude.

Intense combat rages along the entire front line in Poland as Pact troops try to halt the NATO offensive. NATO deep strike aircraft roam over central Poland, seeking out columns of reinforcements that have been identified by electronic reconnaissance aircraft and photographic satellites.

The Western TVD's radio-technical warfare officer is relieved of his post following the debacle that his wide-spectrum jamming plan caused. He is demoted to Senior Lieutenant and assigned a motor-rifle company in the disintegrating 3rd Guards Motor-Rifle Division.

USAF Strategic Air Command leaders "permit" the deployment of two wings of B-52Gs, their oldest and least effective bombers, to support conventional operations. The SAC commander "reserves the right" to issue nuclear war orders to the aircraft if he is ordered to execute his war plan. The move releases the 320th Bomb Wing to PACCOM and the 416th Bomb Wing to European Command. Two other bomb wings, the 42nd at Loring AFB, Maine and the 43rd in Guam, remain dedicated to naval support missions.

Allied commanders in northern Norway and the Kola use the pause inflicted by nature to repair the damaged front line and prepare for the upcoming offensive. The Norwegian Army makes some changes to its force structure. In the 6th Division, the 14th Brigade had suffered most severely from the battles of the prior months. Soldiers that had been in action fewer than four months are reassigned to other brigades in the division as replacements, while more veteran troops and the command staff are withdrawn to southern Norway for reconstruction and rest. The 7th Brigade, a fresh unit from southern Norway, takes the 14th’s place in the line.

Turkish troops attempt to advance through the remnants of the Bulgarian Second Army but are hampered by lingering pockets of resistance which make moving supplies forward on the narrow, winding and poorly maintained mountain roads nearly impossible. The Soviet Southern Front begins redeploying troops to deal with the potential breakthrough, bringing forward the 58th Army's 82nd Motor-Rifle Division and re-routing a supply convoy from Odessa into Varna, bringing additional supplies and troops to the area. 58th Army also takes command of the Bulgarian 4th Border Guard Regiment, throwing those well-motivated but only moderately equipped troops at the Turkish flank.

The Coast Guard cutter Gallatin, two tankers, the troop ship State of Maine and eighteen additional cargo ships join Convoy 140 as it passes New York. The convoy gets its first overflight from its escorts, when a pair of F-4s from the USS Saratoga passes overhead.

photo
Headquarters, XXIII Corps loads aboard aircraft at Westover AFB, Massachusetts for deployment to Germany.

The Iranian 22nd Tactical Fighter Squadron arrives in Iran, dispersing between several small airstrips while the squadron headquarters joins the 22nd Tactical Fighter Wing Headquarters at Shahid Asyaee Air Base.

The US 55th Special Operations Squadron is moved to Shiraz, Iran to better support Allied forces in the country.

The 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) moves into Iran, arriving in Bandar-e-Khomeni to relieve the paratroops of the 82nd Airborne Division. The 20th Engineer Brigade (Airborne) begins to arrive in Iran, its equipment ferried across the Persian Gulf in landing craft.

The 101st Air Assault Division begins moving northward into the Zagros Mountains; a dawn landing of the division's 2nd Brigade secures the town of Dalaki 50 miles inland from the Gulf.

The Soviet raider Buliny is located on radar by a P-3B Orion from VP-60, operating from the Cocos/Keeling Islands. The American aircraft is armed with anti-submarine weapons, not anti-surface weapons, and when another aircraft arrives on station armed with bombs and rockets the Soviet ship has disappeared.
__________________
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; 05-16-2022 at 07:44 AM.
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  #155  
Old 05-09-2022, 03:43 PM
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May 9, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day. Unofficially,

SACLANT is surprised by the absence of Soviet SSBNs in northern waters. Contrary to prewar expectations, when American and British attack submarines start scouring the White Sea and under the Arctic ice pack for Soviet SSBNs, they mostly find emptiness, livened by traps set by the Red Banner Northern Fleet such as minefields with a noisemaker in the center and the most advanced Soviet attack subs lying in wait for them. The USSR’s political leadership, in fact, has decided that keeping the SSBN fleet in harbor (those based in the Litsa Fjord were evacuated to bases farther east) ensures the strictest control of their fearsome nuclear arsenal and minimizes the chance of inadvertent launch.

1st Brigade, 50th Armored Division (New Jersey National Guard) completes Rotation 97-8 at NTC-2 at the Yakima Training Center and is declared combat ready.

NATO tactical airpower, reinforced with additional units from the USAF Reserve and Air National Guard and the USS Coral Sea air group operating in the North Sea, shifts its emphasis from close air support to battlefield interdiction, cutting Pact supply lines to the front. Polish and Soviet units all along the front start a gradual, orderly withdrawal, destroying roads, railways and bridges as they retreat. NATO mechanized units bypass isolated Pact garrisons, leaving them for follow-on units to surround and reduce.

A joint SEAL Team 3 - Special Boat Service team attacks the Soviet submarine base at Gremikha-Ostrovnoy. Satellite imagery (through a rare break in the clouds and fog) reveals that nearly a third of the Red Banner Northern Fleet's nuclear missile submarine force is there, sheltering from the NATO forces threatening Murmansk. A fierce firefight occurs between the NATO special operators and the security troops of the 313th Coastal Defense Battalion, a specialist anti-frogman unit.

Troops of the Turkish 8th Infantry Division enter the town of Popovo, Bulgaria. The town's capture cuts the rail line between Sofia and the Black Sea Coast as well as the most direct road connection. The country is not yet cut in half, relying on circuitous road and rail connections through the town of Ruse on the Romanian border, which is under periodic artillery fire from Romanian long-range guns.

Photo
Troops and equipment of the 32nd Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Wisconsin National Guard), the last brigade of the 36th Infantry Division, arrive at the ports of Davisville, Rhode Island, Boston Massachusetts and Portland, Maine to load onto ships for Europe.

Convoy 140 is joined by a flotilla of six smaller freighters which sailed from Great Lakes ports, carrying additional supplies and the 428th Field Artillery Brigade (US Army Reserve). The USS Saratoga battle group continues to provide cover to the convoy.

Pasdaran guerrillas in Esfahan, under direction of Sirjan Khorrasani, ambush a small, isolated Soviet convoy, destroying two Zil-131 fuel trucks, a Ural-375 supply truck and an escorting UAZ-469 and capturing a useful stash of military-grade weapons and supplies to sustain the rebel band.

An overland convoy of the 101st Air Assault Division, escorted by TOW HMMWVs of the 2nd Battalion, 180th Infantry (Oklahoma National Guard) arrives in Dalaki, Iran, linking up with the air assault troops that landed the prior day. The division then leapfrogs the 1st Brigade to the town of Kazerun, another 25 miles deeper into the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. The American troops there link up with rear area troops of the II Iranaian Corps.

The Soviet Sierra II-class submarine K-534, which has been hiding under a disused offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf, resumes its interdiction of Allied shipping, launching another trio of SS-N-21 conventionally-armed cruise missiles at the port facilities in Jubail, which XVIII Airborne Corps is using to ferry troops and equipment into Iran. The attacks succeed in disrupting operations at the port, sinking the US Army small transport MG Charles P. Gross as it loaded equipment. The second missile's warhead (one was shot down by a patrolling Saudi F-15 interceptor) detonates above massed vehicles of the 3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division, damaging many of them and disrupting the brigade's orderly loadout.

The 255th Motor-Rifle Division, a mobilization-only unit from the Moscow Military District, is called up in Kursk. Equipment for the division is short, with no APCs, no anti-aircraft regiment, anti-tank or SSM battalion and with a single battalion of SU-100 assault guns in lieu of a tank regiment. Wisely, the formation is mostly used as a source of semi-trained manpower for rebuilding units that have been shattered at the front.

The Soviet raider Buliny races southward to escape the operating radius of American patrol aircraft that had located the destroyer the day before. Once confident of its relative safety the commander, Captain Second Rank Mikhail Mischenko, slows down to a sedate 10 knots to conserve fuel.
__________________
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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  #156  
Old 05-10-2022, 11:09 AM
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May 10, 1997

The French FAR completes the movement and reception stage of its deployment to Mauritania and Senegal.

Unofficially,

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

Supply officers at First Army headquarters deny the supply request submitted by the commander of the MP guard company at the Bedford, Pennsylvania POW camp. The commander there requested nearly a battalion's worth of armored vehicles, including four M-1A2 tanks, to "support his mission guarding high-value Pact prisoners".

1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment is withdrawn from Northern Ireland and returned to the UK prior to redeployment to Poland.

photo
Troops of the 28th ANZUK Brigade are on the receiving end of one of the last North Korean assaults of the 1997 campaign, when the 20th Motorized Infantry Division attemps to bash a hole in the Allied lines. The Commonwealth troops, operating in difficult terrain, contain the desperate North Korean assault, assisted by artillery fire from the South Korean 4th and 7th Field Artillery Groups, which break up the North Korean troops massing for each wave attack.

Gliwice targeted by NATO airstrikes, receiving heavy damage like its neighboring towns. NATO forces under command of the Third German Army advance up the Oder River valley against scattered Pact resistance, composed largely of ORMO, OTK and ZOMO units that lack adequate artillery and air support. Polish forces, however, have held the city of Wroclaw. The NATO commander, General Rudolph Beck, orders the city pounded into submission, committing the German 23rd Artillery Brigade, the US 209th Field Artillery Brigade, the artillery of his subordinate formations and the B-52s of the 416th Bomb Wing into reducing the city.

Saami anti-Soviet partisans attack a Soviet supply convoy travelling the main road to Murmansk, destroying a dozen trucks carrying supplies to 18th Army.

The Norwegian freighter Hugh Mascot, damaged by a Soviet mine in the North Sea in March, emerges from the shipyard in Bremen.

The escorts of Convoy 140 intercept and sink the Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-4 as the aged sub ran shallow, running its diesels through its snorkel to recharge its batteries.

photo
Southern Front commits the 58th Army fully to containing the Turkish drive in Bulgaria. The 82nd Motor-Rifle Division's 36th Tank Regiment, equipped with T-64s, attacks west through the foothills on the southern edge of the Turkish salient, with the Bulgarian border guards riding atop the tanks. Simultaneously, the Bulgarian 9th Tank Brigade, released from the 1st Bulgarian Army, attacks the base of the salient from the west, while Soviet Long-Range Aviation commits three regiments of bombers to carpet bomb the roads leading out of the mountains. The attack is successful in cutting off the Turkish lead division, the 8th Infantry. The Bulgarian border guards dismount the tanks and, having been liberally supplied with RPGs by their Soviet commander, hold their blocking positions against Turkish counterattacks from both north and south.

Headquarters, XXIII Corps arrives at Berlin-Schonefeld Airport, Germany.
Convoy 142 forms in the Gulf of Mexico, heading to Europe. A follow-on to Convoy 140, it will carry the 32nd Infantry Brigade, the 118th Field Artillery Brigade and the lead elements of the 50th Armored Divison.

The ships carrying the vehicles, guns and heavy equipment of the 434th Field Artillery Brigade arrive in Saudi Arabia after a nearly month-long voyage from New Orleans around the southern tip of Africa and through the Indian Ocean.

The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) is moved into Iran, landing in Khorramshar to reinforce the 24th Infantry Division in pursuit of the retreating 104th Guards Air Assault Division.

photo
The 101st Air Assault Division takes the next leap into the Zagros, sending its Third Brigade to secure the town of Ardakan.
__________________
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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  #157  
Old 05-11-2022, 10:41 AM
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May 11, 1997

Wroclaw falls to NATO forces after being pounded nearly into rubble by artillery and B-52 bombers.

Unofficially,

In New Orleans, the Victory ship Wayne Victory completes loading of 8000 tons of corn meal and a deck cargo of telephone poles and departs, bound for Iran via the Cape of Good Hope.

The 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards performs another secret nighttime transfer, this time of the Bank of England's gold reserves.

The Danish government stocks a second supply cache, at the Thingbæk mine. (Only the highest levels of the Danish government are aware that the cache is less than 1500m from the bunker that will shelter the Government and Royal Family in the event of a nuclear alert.)

Troops from No. 15 Squadron, RAF Regiment secure the former Soviet Frontal Aviation base at Kąkolewo, southwest of Poznan and within hours a truck convoy arrives with munitions, fuel and spares to support RAF Harrier jump jets.

II MEF's 2nd and 5th Battalions, 10th Marines pound a pair of air defense missile sites east of Kolozbreg, one Soviet (the 325th SAM Regiment) and one Polish (the 26th SAM Brigade) with artillery. Both sites had been struck multiple times by NATO air defense suppression aircraft but managed to quickly restore operations. The command's 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company strikes air defense facilities further east, hitting a SAM site and air defense radar site outside Ustka. The Marines were landed from the destroyer Mitscher, which made a high-speed dash east in the Baltic.

photo
After flying the prior day's missions over Wroclaw, the B-52G bombers of the 416th Bomb Wing begin operations from a forward operating location at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England, west of London.

The German government (on behalf of NATO) signs the first of several contracts with commercial firms to support the Advent Crown logistics effort. The contract is to a Dutch-owned company to provide trucking of fuel and general supplies (not explosives) from German and Dutch ports, depots and factories to locations in East Germany located out of artillery range from the front. The contractor must procure trucks and drivers (2 per truck) and maintain the trucks. Other contracts under negotiation include repair of roads, bridges and railroad infrastructure, construction of temporary/semi-permanent group housing (as billets, housing for refugees or POWs), installation of communications infrastructure and repair of East German water treatment and electrical systems. The total mobilization of German and Dutch economies results in large numbers of workers from non-combatant nations being recruited to work on these contracts.

In Finnmark, the weak border guard force in Karasjok is replaced by fresh troops from Oslo - the newly formed King’s Guard Regiment, an elite combined arms formation led by the King’s brother, Prince Jungi of Trondheim.

The destroyer USS Stethem, damaged by a Soviet missile strike, reaches Gibraltar, where the heavy lift ship Super Servant 5 is waiting to take it aboard for transit back to the US.

The Turkish 8th Infantry Division launches an all-out effort to break through 58th Army's blocking positions. It is assisted in this by V Corps' 105th Artillery Regiment and a northward thrust by the 3rd Armored Brigade towards Popovo. The attack is mostly successful, breaking through the Bulgarian and Soviet lines and allowing over 60 percent of the Turkish troops to escape being cut off. The effort, however, exhausts V Turkish Corps' supply stockpile, and the momentum of the Turkish offensive has been lost.

MPs of the 16th Military Police Brigade establish a large POW camp outside Bushehr to hold the thousands of Soviet troops that have been captured over the preceding few weeks.

2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) links up with the Iranian garrison at Bandar-Deylam, en route to linking up with the 24th Infantry Division and 82nd Airborne Division to the northwest

The beachhead at Bandar-e-Khomeini is targeted by a concentrated effort by Southern TVD to disrupt the flow of American reinforcements into Iran. The area is hit repeatedly by conventionally-armed short- and intermediate-range surface to surface missiles, Su-24 bombers, fighter-bombers and cruise missiles launched by strategic bombers flying over the Caspian. The day-long attack overwhelms the ability of the divisions' air defense battalions and the forward deployed Corps Patriot missile battalion (3rd Battalion, 43rd ADA) to protect the unloading areas. Luckily, the Soviet weapons accuracy (and the crew's training) is so poor that many of the hits that do occur miss the intended target and, at day's end, the reinforcement effort has been set back by two days at most.

The Soviet Sierra II-class submarine K-534, still hiding under a disused oil rig in the Persian Gulf, attacks the Panamanian supertanker World Prime as it departs Kuwait with a load of crude oil for Japan.

The USS Independence battle group shifts its day's efforts from supporting the Iranian II Corps to attacking the Soviet paratroops of the 103rd Guards Air Assault Division, who remain ensconced in defensive positions in and around Bandar Abbas.

The trio of convoys carrying the 4th Marine Division depart Pago Pago, American Samoa, after a two-day stop to resupply and perform minor repairs. The island remains under a communications blackout imposed two days prior to the fleet's arrival.
__________________
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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  #158  
Old 05-12-2022, 02:56 PM
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May 12, 1997

The canon is silent on today. Unofficially,

The container-barge carrier Macau Carrier is delivered in Quincy, Massachusetts. The craft, while civilian manned, is assigned to the US Navy's Military Sealift Command to support amphibious operations since it is designed to deploy barges from its open stern.

2nd Brigade, 50th Armored Division (New Jersey National Guard) completes Rotation 97-7 at NTC-3 at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and is declared combat ready.

1st Battalion, The Royal Welch Fusiliers departs Northern Ireland for the UK, again in preparation for service in Poland.

Colonel Oleg Tumanski's spetsnaz team in the UK attempts a raid on the RAF airbase at Coltishall in Norfolk, England, home of the Jaguar attack aircraft force. Unfortunately, most of the Jaguars are deployed to Germany or Oman, leaving behind a robust security force composed of RAF Regiment "Rock Apes" and augmentees from the base's command, administrative and support staff. The team succeeds in blowing a hole in the perimeter fencing, but loses the first three men though the gap to well-placed machinegun fire. The remaining members of the team retreat, leaving the dead men in the breach.

Because the B-52’s arsenal does not include antiradar missiles, USAF planners use the brute-force approach. Nine B-52s from the 320th Bomb Wing conduct near-simultaneous cluster-bomb attacks against three major North Korean radar facilities defending the western approaches to Pyongyang. The explosions from 88,000 orange-sized bomblets shredded and silence each site.

The Dutch 2nd Marine Combat Group launches another raid on the Dutch Red Army, killing another six terrorists.

German panzergrenadiers of the First German Army arrive on the outskirts of Poznań, where resistance is fierce. The garrison of the city consists of officer cadets from the Armored Forces School, OTK, WOW, ORMO and ZOMO militia and many of the fixed elements of the Polish Army’s support structure as well as the remnants of the 9th Mechanized Division, reinforced with BMP-2s fresh off the production line at the factory next to the airport on the western edge of the city. Overhead, Chorzow's military industry is targeted by NATO airpower.

The 1169th Engineer Group (Combat) (Alabama National Guard) is declared operational in Germany and is initially attached to 7th Army, assigned to improve the infrastructure needed to sustain the NATO advance into Poland.

In the Balkans, the Turkish V Corps pauses to regroup, transferring the battered 8th Infantry Division to a reserve position to rebuild. On the other side of the line, the Soviet 58th Army pauses to reorganize, while the Bulgarian high command rushes construction units to restore the road and rail lines that the invading Turks had overrun.

The 101st Air Assault Division establishes a continuous, somewhat secure ground route between the shores of the Gulf and its forward brigade in Ardakan. The division's patrols are mopping up the last remnants of the 105th Guards Air Assault Division and their Tudeh allies, and the division's mobility and position northwest of Shiraz present a threat to the Soviet troops closing on the Iranian capital.

All along the front, Transcaucasian Front launches attacks to try to secure ground before XVIII Airborne Corps can consolidate its positions and link up with their IPA allies.

The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) begins screening operations, sending mounted patrols out north from Khorramshahr to secure the approaches to the northern Persian Gulf.

Convoy 140 continues its transit of the North Atlantic. The USS Enterprise carrier battle group appears on the horizon to the south of the convoy, while the Saratoga battle group sails ahead to the northeast and the Dwight D Eisenhower battle group, steaming at 25 knots, gains on the convoy from the southwest.
__________________
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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  #159  
Old 05-13-2022, 02:41 PM
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May 13, 1997

Nothing official for the day!

The Federal government rests its case in the treason trial of Autumn Lotus, the accused helper for the Soviet spetsnaz team operating in New Mexico; the defendant has been removed from the courtroom every day of her trial.

The US XXIII Corps headquarters moves into Poland, assigned to First German Army. It will gain units as they arrive in the country.

The British II Corps bypasses Poznan to the north and continues east while the US V Corps passes to the south, leaving VI German Korps to overrun the city's garrison, by now cut off.

Troop ships and transports carrying the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (California National Guard) arrive at the Dutch ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Vlissingen after a long transit through the Panama Canal. The division's vehicles will be transported to the front on civilian trucks augmented by NATO tank transporters.

Saami partisans demolish two bridges on the Kirov Railroad (which connects Murmansk with Leningrad and the rest of the USSR) near the village of Magnetity, south of Murmansk.

Greek engineers replace the damaged rail and road bridges near Alexandropolous, allowing the resumption of easy overland support to the Greek D Corps fighting in Thrace. The engineers next focus on the city's airport, which the Turks had cratered the runway and extensively damaged.

In the Mediterranean, the America and John F Kennedy battle groups shift their focus to the Bulgarian and Soviet garrison of Burgas, which has been under attack since January by Turkish troops. The city's port has seen a steady influx of supplies and reinforcements, preventing the Turks from capturing it.

The two Ranger battalions which had dropped alongside the 82nd Airborne Division begin withdrawing to Saudi Arabia to serve as a theatre reserve.

3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division resumes its deployment to Iran following the cruise missile strike on its marshalling area at the port of Jubayl on the 9th; the attack forced the delay while replacement vehicles and supplies were drawn from the meagre theater reserve stocks.

Outside Bandar Abbas, the British 27th Brigade intercepts a camel caravan (organized and partially staffed by Tudeh rebels) carrying over 20 tons of ammunition to the isolated 103rd Guards Air Assault Division in the city below.

The USS Independence's air wing shifts its attention to the 94th (my 57th) Guards Air Assault Brigade in Chah Bahar, striking the formation's air defense battery in preparation for further strikes.

The B-52s of the 320th Bomb Wing establish a forward operating location at Kadena Air Force Base, Japan. The base has a long history of supporting B-52s, hosting the bombers for missions over Vietnam from 1968-70.

MI6 provides the SAS team in Leningrad with forged workers passes for the Baltic Shipyard.

Nearby, the 3rd Guards Artillery Division begins the mobilization process as the situation on the Kola Peninsula grows more critical. The division pairs officers and NCOs from the Leningrad Higher Combined Arms Command School with recalled reservists from the Leningrad area. They all are dismayed to discover that the division’s equipment set, which should have been sufficient to fully equip three howitzer regiments and a rocket artillery brigade, instead consists of 48 ancient ML-20 152mm guns and 24 Second-World War Katusha rocket launchers mounted on trucks that have not been maintained in decades that no amount of mechanical magic will ever be able to make move again.
__________________
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 05-14-2022, 07:05 AM
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May 14, 1997

Third German Army forms Panzergruppe Oberdorf, assigned the 21st Panzer Grenadier Division, the 27th FallshirmJaeger Brigade, the US 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment, with 120 guides from the Free Polish Congress.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Manhattan Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Chicago and Mobile Freedoms are delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

German troops make slow progress in the battle for Poznan against fierce Polish resistance.

The former Western TVD radio-technical warfare officer is killed when his command BMP is struck by a German HOT missile outside Namyslow, Poland.

NATO deep strike aircraft are ordered to halt their campaign to cripple Polish war industry as it becomes increasingly likely that ground troops will overrun the factories. (Added to this is that the damage caused by bombing creates more defensive postions for Polish defenders to hide in). The interdiction aircraft instead shift their efforts to halting the flow of Pact reinforcements and supplies to the front.

X Corps in northern Norway directs the 111th Engineer Brigade to detach its construction engineers to southern Finnmark to construct temporary staging camps near the village of Kautokeino, assisted by 10th Mountain Division’s engineer regiment and two infantry battalions to provide security and manpower.

The 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (New York Air National Guard) is withdrawn from the Faroe Islands to Dover, England to provide search and rescue support over the English Channel and North Sea while the squadron awaits replacement aircraft after the losses it suffered over Norway and the Norwegian Sea.

photo The semi-submersible heavy lift ship Super Servant 5 completes loading the damaged American destroyer Stethem and sets sail from Gibraltar. The American frigate McCloy accompanies the ship to protect it and its valuable cargo.

A stream of Air Force transports and requisitioned civil airliners begin moving troops of the 36th Infantry Division to Europe. The Air Force aircraft land at German airports, while the civilian ones land in the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Upon landing, the troops are transported to the ports in busses escorted by German territorial troops.

XVIII Airborne Corps continues to move troops, equipment and supplies across the Persian Gulf into the lodgement it has established. The effort is hindered by damage to Iranian port facilities and the shortage of shipping assets. The USMC's 1st Division, further south in Bahrain and Qatar, has enough amphibious lift to move less than a battalion, such is the demand for amphibious shipping to move the 4th Division, now crossing the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia.

The two remaining Soviet raiders in the Indian Ocean, the Echo-class submarine K-35 and the destroyer Buliny, rendezvous 350 nm south of Diego Garcia.
__________________
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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  #161  
Old 05-15-2022, 05:56 AM
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May 15, 1997

Nothing official for the day.

The defense rests in the treason trial of Autumn Lotus; the defense counsel attempted to question the legitimacy of evidence collected by the military and its admissibility in court.

map of front lines in Poland
No. 58 Squadron, RAF Regiment seizes the Soviet airfield at Powidz, Poland. The British troops, they are startled to discover, are actually several miles ahead of friendly units in an area that, thankfully has few Pact defenders present to resist the unit's heavily armed (but unarmored) Land Rovers.

Third German Army pauses to reorganize and replenish supplies in preparation for PanzerGruppe Oberdorf's drive.

NATO deep strike aircraft roam along the Warta, Oder and Wisla River valleys seeking out masses of Soviet and Polish vehicles bunched up waiting for river crossings. They are assisted in this hunt by USAF TR-1 and E-8 surveillance aircraft, now orbiting over liberated Polish territory.

The German government begins releasing some territorial security troops from active service, allowing the German economy to partially recover from the withdrawal of most of its adult male workforce. The economy is still, however, struggling from the burdens of repairing battle damage in both East and West, the cutoff of energy supplies from the USSR and worldwide economic turmoil caused by the war.

A SH-60 helicopter from the USS Deyo, part of the escort of Convoy 140, sinks an unidentified Soviet submarine. (Surviving Soviet records list a number of boats that lost contact in mid-May in the North Atlantic.)

The American heavy cruiser Salem and her battle group arrive in Ascension Island in the South Atlantic for a brief stopover to collect mail, discharge a handful of wounded sailors and receive intelligence updates and a consignment of high-priority parts.

In Iran, Rifleman Goreng Nassang further distinguishes himself. Back with his unit (the 1/7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles) outside of Bandar Abbas, he successfully hits a Soviet captain and his radio operator with his trusty GPMG at a range of over 1600 yards.

The two Soviet raiders in the Indian Ocean, the Echo II-class sub K-35 and the destroyer Buliny launch a cruise missile strike on the American base at Diego Garcia. Using targeting data from one of the USSR's last remaining RORSAT (ocean radar recon) satellites, the destroyer dashes towards the American base and launches its five remaining SS-N-22 cruise missiles at the ships in the lagoon. The submarine fires its four SS-N-12 cruise missiles at the airfield, hoping to strike the tank farm, runway and any aircraft parked on the apron. The strike is a success; the American destroyer tender Acadia is struck and sunk, while the tanker Mount Washington is set ablaze, sinking at dusk. The air base is also damaged, with two fuel tanks burst (the fire put out after herculean efforts of the base firefighting team), two P-3s of VP-4, two C-141s of the 172nd Military Airlift Wing (Mississippi Air National Guard) and a KC-135 of the 380th Air Refueling Squadron lost.

The SAS team in Leningrad uses the fake passes and a substantial bribe to obtain access to the nuclear battlecruiser Rossiya, under construction at the Baltic Shipyard. They manage to start a fire belowdecks and escape before the fire brigade can arrive.
__________________
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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  #162  
Old 05-19-2022, 03:27 PM
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May 16, 1997

As forward elements of the 24th Infantry Division move into the Bandar-e Khomeyni-Khorramshahr area, the 82nd Airborne begins withdrawing to Saudi Arabia. As the 1st Brigade, 24th Infantry is moving into its' positions, the Soviets strike back. A battle group built around the 217th (my 337th) Guards Airborne Regiment and several Tudeh guerrilla companies launch attacks in the Ramshir-Shadegan area. The 1st of the 24th use their firepower well. The attacks are beaten back. The Soviets, however, are able to withdraw in good order.

German Third Army commits seven divisions to the capture of Silesia. They face three battered Pact divisions - the Polish 12th Tank and 2nd Motor-Rifle and the Soviet 35th (my 93rd) Guards Motor-Rifle, and various workers militia and ZOMO riot police battalions.

Unofficially,

The tanker Suwanee is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland and put into naval service.

The jury reaches a guilty verdict in the treason trial of Autumn Lotus, who provided transportation, food and shelter to a Soviet Spetsnaz team operating in New Mexico.

US Forces Korea launch a co-ordinated air campaign against North Korea. Recent POW interrogations have revealed that the North Korean People's Army has largely expended its stocks of food, fuel and ammunition at the front and that great efforts are required to keep the troops supplied. Some supplies are coming from further north, while others are being provided by the DPRK's Soviet sponsor. Consequently, USFK implements an all-out interdiction campaign designed to halt the North Korean transportation system. The 320th Bpmb Wing's B-52s hit Pyongyang, jamming the remaining air defense radars while the bombers attack the capital's rail yards. US Navy aircraft from the Kitty Hawk and Nimitz carrier battle groups (and conventionally-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from some of the escorts) pound other targets in the city, while the F-111s of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing and the Stennis and Abraham Lincoln battle groups pound Wonsan on the east coast.

The 631st Field Artillery Brigade (Mississippi National Guard) arrives at the Oakland Port of Embarkation for transit to Korea.

III German Korps links up with the amphibious lodgment and isolates Kolobrzeg on the Baltic Coast.

Anti-Soviet partisans on the Kola rescue the pilot of a USMC F/A-18 fighter-bomber who was shot down attacking air defense sites south of Murmansk.

Convoy 140 arrives off the southwest coast of the UK, having taken a more southerly route to avoid Soviet submarines that had ravaged Convoy 136 a few weeks prior. The escort carrier Shangri La departs the convoy, joining the westbound Convoy 143.

The "Rumble in the Jungle" erupts in Colombia when Colombian national police commandos, accompanied by American advisors of the 8th Special Forces Group, launch a helicopter assault on the guerilla-controlled hamlet of El Moral (east of Cali), carried by American UH-1s of the 3rd Battalion, 228th Aviation. The town conceals the headquarters of the ELM-L, a splinter group of the larger ELM marxist guerrilla group. The battle that follows is fierce, with two helicopters and a A-7 attack jet of the 156th Tactical Fighter Group (Puerto Rico Air National Guard) shot down by SA-7s, likely supplied by Cuba, making their first appearance in Colombia. By sundown the police and their American allies have gained control of the town but find themselves under siege by hundreds of guerillas and armed peasants and townspeople.
__________________
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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  #163  
Old 05-19-2022, 03:33 PM
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May 17, 1997

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

American and Allied planners face growing shortages as simultaneous offensives occur around the world. Prewar stockpiles have largely been depleted, and while Western industrial production is turning out ever increasing amounts of war materiel it is not enough to offset the voracious appetite of global war. Shipping is in short supply with three major convoys at sea moving troops and months of Soviet commerce raiding. Logistics planners try to better manage the supplies they have - substituting when possible and allocating scarce resources to the most pressing needs. One policy change US planners implement regards MREs, where supplies are rapidly dwindling as troops in the field consume them and other users want them to add to emergency stockpiles. The new policy limits MREs to one per day for troops beyond the rear of brigades in action and prohibits further transfer of MREs into CONUS stockpiles. Trainees in the US will be issued prepackaged perishable foods. In response, FEMA buys up the remainder of the year's production from the country's three biggest suppliers of dehydrated camping food as well as massive quantities of canned food. Similar changes occur in many other areas of supply.

Engineers at the US Army TACOM complete the design of a SS-23 guidance radar jamming system that can be truck mounted. After testing against SS-23s transferred from the NVA at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the system is ordered into emergency mass production.

The 196th Infantry Brigade is formed at Fort Ord, California as part of the wartime expansion of the Army, assigned a mix of draftees, recalled reservists and retirees and a smattering of reassigned active-duty NCOs, including the entire peacetime Army recruiting command staff on the West Coast who are medically fit for deployment. Due to the demands of the war the “Chargers Brigade” does not receive its complete complement of specialist troops and is issued WW II-era howitzers and converted civilian vehicles for training purposes.

The 214th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Sill, Oklahoma is stood down from alert, informed by the Joint Chiefs that it will remain in CONUS as part of a small strategic reserve, especially since the deployment of additional Pershing II missiles to Europe could be seen as escalatory.

US Forces Korea's air campaign against North Korean transportation infrastructure continues with more F-111, B-52 and naval strikes on Pyongyang and Wonsan. NSA signals interception teams record a call between Kim Jong Il and Soviet General Secretary Sauronski in which the North Korean leader begs for modern Soviet air defense missiles and PVO interceptors to cover his nation; Sauronski rebuffs the North Korean, explaining (accurately) that he has none to spare and refusing to divert PVO forces from defending the USSR.

The lead squadrons of the US 1st Cavalry Division enter Szczecinek.

The Luftwaffe 4th Luftjaeger Regiment is formed as the threat to airbases in West Germany (from Spetsnaz or saboteur attack or Warsaw Pact air raids) recedes. The regiment is tasked with providing security for NATO supply convoys and logistics sites in Poland as NATO advances towards the Soviet border.

Troops of the Hungarian Sopron Border Guard District detain a group of eight men crossing into Hungary from Austria. (The border is one of only two Warsaw Pact borders that is not seeing war; the other is the Soviet-Finnish broder). Hidden within the group's cars are several M-16 rifles, explosives, detanators and sophisticated communications equipment. They do not identify themselves and are not heard from again in the West. (The group was a CIA paramilitary team attempting to infiltrate into the USSR via Hungary; the Department of Defense thought the plan was foolish and denied the CIA's request for assistance.)

Behind the screen maintained by the King’s Guard in northern Norway, the Norwegian 8th Brigade and the Sør-Norge Mechanized Brigade move into the area around Karasjok, forming a division-sized force.

Ships from Convoy 140 arrive in Bremen, Hamburg and Bremerhaven, Germany and begin unloading the 36th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 107th ACR and 44th AD as well as thousands of tons of ammunition and supplies. The massive escort force allowed the convoy to arrive unscathed, despite the numerous objections of US Navy Admirals to their vaunted carrier forces being "wasted escorting a bunch of merchant tubs wallowing along at 7 knots".

POWs in the hastily established POW camp outside Bushehr riot, demanding better rations and an end to the overcrowding. The rioters nearly overwhelm the MPs guarding the camp's perimeter, saved only by the arrival of an Iranian infantry battalion. Over 300 POWs are killed in the disorder. The 24th Infantry Division and 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) pursue the retreating Soviet and Tudeh forces, advancing 5 km towards Ramshir and Shadegan. In Leningrad the fire aboard the battlecruiser Rossiya, lit by a British SAS team two nights before, is extinguished.

The "Rumble in the Jungle" continues, with American and Colombian transport planes dropping supplies to the surrounded troops. At sundown another air assault is launched, delivering two companies of Colombian Army infantry, equipped with heavy machineguns and moertars. Throughout the day, as the battle rages, the government troops are supported by further waves of American attack aircraft, moving fast and low to avoid guerilla MANPADS.

On the other side of the world, a Pakistani Army patrol clashes with Indian border guards along the disputed border west of Srinagar. India claims the Pakistanis were on Indian territory and that the patrol was escorting Muslim rebels into the disputed region of Kashmir, which both nations claim.
__________________
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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  #164  
Old 05-19-2022, 03:36 PM
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May 18, 1997

Nationwide conscription begins in Canada. Initially, there are some "card burning" rallies held by people opposing Canadian involvement in the war in Europe and by those resisting conscription.

Unofficially,

Outside Fort Lee, Virginia, MPs are called to a low-budget hotel in the early morning to break up a rowdy gathering of trainees. When the MPs arrive there are over 25 soldiers (mostly privates but including one staff sergeant and a lone, female, second lieutenant), ample alchohol, cocaine and six unregistered firearms. All the soldiers are brought to the base confinement facility.

The final major secret transfer of precious objects out of London takes place under the careful watch of the 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards. This final consignment includes the second copy of the Magna Carta kept at the British Library.

A third day of airstrikes on North Korean transportation sites continues. The USAF long-range aircraft are supplemented by F-16s of the 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, forward deployed to Kangnung Air Base, Korea; the F-16s carry precision-guided munitions to target bridges and tunnels along the rail lines approaching the DMZ, while ROKAF and USAF A-10s search roads and rail lines for convoys and trains to attack.

VII German Korps advances on Walcz and Piła while III German Korps, assisted by more amphibious landings (often in battalion size), takes Koszalin and Slupsk. The Soviet 3rd Shock Army, battered by a month of intense action and at less than 25 percent strength, is withdrawn to the Kaliningrad oblast for rest and reconstruction.

As the Polish Free Congress discovers the challenges of governing recaptured territory, 7th US Army offers the assistance of the 42nd Military Police Group (Customs) in battling smuggling and black market activity.

The contractors hired by the German government complete their first job, emergency repairs to the railroad bridge over the Oder at Krosno Odrzańskie, which had been damaged by RAF Tornadoes in January.

Logistic difficulties slow the American counterattack in Iran as the limited reserves of ammunition and spare parts in Saudi Arabia are depleted. CENTCOM's limited transportation resources for moving things across the Persian Gulf are nearly fully committed to sustain the forces that have already been moved to Iran, leaving the US Marine's 1st Division, the 434th Field Artillery Brigade and many of XVIII Airborne Corps' support units stranded in Saudi Arabia.

In Leningrad, the British SAS team launches what will turn out to be its final attack. They infiltrate the Vostochnaya electrical substation and attack the control center. The subsequent damage to the control center severely disrupts the life of the city, cutting off power to 40 percent of the city, shutting down much of the metro system and the main water treatment plant as well as massive portions of the city's industry.

In Colombia, the battle of El Moral comes to an end as the guerrillas, battered by mortar fire and two days of nearly nonstop air attack, melt away into the jungle. They take their dead and wounded with them, leaving the government forces in control of the town and its hostile population. Government losses approach 150 dead and over 300 wounded.
__________________
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; 05-20-2022 at 10:34 AM.
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  #165  
Old 05-19-2022, 03:48 PM
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May 19, 1997

NATO airstrikes destroy the road and rail bridges across the Raba River in Bochnia, 40 km south of Krakow.

Unofficially,

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

With the end of the school year, the governor of Texas orders the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets to active duty, splitting its remaining membership (those contracted to ROTC have already been deployed) into two regiments. The 3rd Regiment (unofficially known as “the 1st Aggies”) leaves its College Station home to augment the Border Patrol in guarding the Mexican border, operating out of a ranch on the outskirts of Eagle Pass and from Laughlin Air Force Base near Del Rio. The regiment’s cadets are armed with a hodgepodge of M16s from Air Force and National Guard stocks, M14s and M1s from the State Guard, shotguns from the factory in Eagle Pass and civilian weapons owned by the unit’s members or donated by alumni. Its sister regiment, the 5th Texas Regiment, is assigned "special missions" from the governor’s office.

The MP investigators at Fort Lee, Virginia discover that the party they broke up the night before was a gathering of the "5th Squad", a gang formed by trainees at the base, mostly attending the fuel handler advanced individual training course. The exclusively African-American gang had started out as a harmless social organization but over several months had evolved into a criminal organization, moving drugs onto the base. Witness interviews revealed that the weekly graduation parties (to celebrate the graduation of the members of the training company's senior platoon) frequently involved assault, rape and drug abuse. The investigators forward their finding to the JAG and to the Army Criminal Investigation Command.

The B-52s of the 320th Bomb Wing shift to northeastern North Korea, alarming Soviet air defense commanders in the Vladivostok area. The bombers instead hit transportation and industrial facilities in Chongjin, North Korea's third largest city. 7th Air Force withdraws its remaining A-10 force from the interdiction effort over North Korea, alarmed at the loss of five of the increasingly hard to replace aircraft in the first day's operation to North Korean anti-aircraft artillery fire.

The Poznan airport is captured by panzergrenadiers and the factory floor of the BMP-2 plant is torn apart by artillery and mortar fire. The German commander offers to permit the garrison to surrender before the artillery turns its guns on the old city. The garrison commander stalls for time, allowing the bridges over the Warta and the switches and repair shops in the city’s railyards to be demolished, before accepting the offer.

To the north of Poznan, the Polish 10th Border Guard Brigade, its commander killed in a partisan attack, declares in favor of the government in exile, the largest unit to date to declare for NATO.

The American heavy cruiser Des Moines completes 45 days of post-commissioning workups at Naval Station Mayport, Florida and is ordered to the Pacific. It will be assigned an escort force from the Pacific Fleet when it completes its transit of the Panama Canal.

The CIA station chief in Pakistan meets with a group of Afghan Mujahadin leaders who are demanding the resumption of American weapons shipments, which have been curtailed because of the war. The CIA officer explains that the worldwide war has prevented him from being able to obtain additional Stinger missiles, Soviet-caliber small arms and ammunition and explosives. He reinterates the CIA's continued financial support of the Afghan rebels and the provision of small numbers of Lee-Enfield rifles and ammunition, and the departure of most of the Soviet 40th Army to fight in Iran, leaving only small garrisons to hold the cities. The guerrilla leaders reject his call for the resistance to shut down the Afghan road network to the Soviets and their DRA allies.

Authorities from naval headquarters in Moscow judge the hulk of the battlecruiser Rossiya a total loss, fit only for scrap. The KGB finally obtains the location of the SAS safehouse in Leningrad and calls in the Alfa Group commando team.

Additional clashes break out along the Indian-Pakistani border in Kashmir. There are three separate firefights between patrols and artillery duels disturbing the night. Leaders of both nations are silent, resisting calls both to de-escalate the tensions and hawkish calls to respond with overwhelming force to force the other side to back down.
__________________
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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  #166  
Old 05-20-2022, 02:41 PM
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May 20, 1997

Today is the original jump-off date for Operation Rampart, Third German Army's offensive to capture Opole and Czestochowa. Heavy spring rains force a delay.

Unofficially,

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

The lieutentant and about half of the privates arrested at the "5th Squad" gathering over the weekend are released from jail at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Poor weather over much of the Korean Peninsula results in most Allied airstrikes being called off; the F-111s of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, however, score a coup when they catch a train carrying hundreds of tons of munitions from the USSR rushing south between Wonsan and Hamhung; the bombers not only take out the train but the secondary explosions destroy the railbed in the rugged mountains, taking the rail line out of commission for months.

In central Poland, First German Army’s advanced slows. Its rear areas are in disarray, from both Pact attacks on its supply lines and damage to the infrastructure needed to support the offensive. Parties of engineers struggle to repair damaged bridges, roads and railroad lines and develop new depots, supply dumps, helipads, headquarters and expeditionary airfields. The deployment of additional rear area security troops only adds to the logistical difficulties. The First German Army commander, General Helmut Diedrichs, also faces a strategic choice - whether to continue driving east for Warsaw, whose defenses are relatively rudimentary, or whether to attack northeast towards Bydgoszcz and the lower Wisła River valley, where the Soviet Reserve Front is still relatively intact and growing stronger every day as it absorbs both replacements from the USSR and stragglers from other Soviet units fleeing the NATO onslaught. Such a drive would also decrease the pressure on Second German Army’s flank, allowing the two formations to reinforce each others’ efforts.

The 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Ohio National Guard) is declared ready for combat and is assigned to XI Corps.

Saami partisans, accompanied by Green Berets, launch their most audacious and successful attack, on the airfield located on the outskirts of their home village of Lovozero. The mortar and rocket attack on the base destroys six airplanes and three helicopters.

A portion of SACLANT’s growing sea power in the Norwegian Sea is used to escort a large supply convoy to Kirkenes and Liinakhamari on the Kola. The arrival of that convoy improves the logistical situation of Allied forces on Soviet territory, although it takes weeks to unload all the ships, even using all available small craft as lighters. The convoy effort is part of an effort by SACLANT to draw elements of the Red Banner Northern Fleet out into battle, where they can be overwhelmed by superior NATO numbers and firepower and defeated in detail.

XVIII Airborne Corps resumes its slow-paced, limited advance in Iran, pushing back the remnants of the Soviet airborne and Tudeh force in Khuzestan and establishing firm links to Iranian forces.

In a 1 am raid, KGB Alfa group commandos attack the Leningrad SAS safe house. They are too late, the British having exfiltrated to neutral Finland immediately following the attack on the power facility. The KGB team takes two casualties from booby traps ("anti-handling devices") left behind by the British.

Headquarters, USAF Tactical Air Command, directs that the 156th Tactical Fighter Group (Puerto Rico Air National Guard) reduce its allocation of A-7D aircraft from 24 to 16. (While authorized 24, it has only 22 present following the loss of an airframe in the Rumble in the Jungle and a crash during a training flight in March).
__________________
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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  #167  
Old 05-21-2022, 06:15 AM
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May 21, 1997

Polish intelligence receives word of Operation Rampart from a German deserter. Colonel Tomasz Piotrowski, Commander of the Polish 6th Air Assault Division, radios 1st Polish Tank Army HQ at Lublin for reinforcements, Piotrowski is told there aren't any to be sent. Undaunted, he then contacts the 4th Czechoslovak Army HQ. Defenses of Czestochowa consist of three ORMO battalions and a battalion of 30 obsolescent T-55s manned by military cadets.

Unofficially,

A quick survey of CONUS Army bases reveal that members of "5th Squad" are stationed at nearly every post. Few bases host more than 3 members, and none of the bases report any known criminal activity related to the group.

The first truck-mounted SS-23 guidance radar jammer is deployed at Bitburg Air Base, Germany.

The undamaged condition of Poznań’s old city leads the government in exile to choose the town as its temporary seat of government.

At a unit formation, Polish Free Congress president Lech Walesa addresses the troops of the 10th Border Guard Brigade. The troops are welcomed and the unit renamed the 1st Polish Free Legion, and Walesa offers to release any troops that do not wish to fight for a free Poland. About 30 percent accept the offer, but are dismayed to discover that there are American MPs of the 42nd MP Group waiting nearby to take them into custody as prisoners of war.

Marshall Slepnev (Western TVD commander) demands the arrest of the Poznań garrison commander’s family; the Polish Ministry of Defense refuses, judging that it is preferable for the historic old city to be left intact and occupied by a government of Poles than to be destroyed in a pointless battle of annihilation that would result in tens of thousands of Polish deaths.

The 428th Field Artillery Brigade (US Army Reserve) is declared combat ready in Germany. It is rushed into Poland to support the advance.

The growing NATO force on the Norwegian-Finnish border is kept supplied by convoys of civilian trucks, requisitioned by the government and largely driven by Pakistanis and Somalis. The American 10th Light Infantry Division detaches its light mechanized battalion and ground cavalry troops’ LAV-25s, HMMWV gun trucks and Fast Attack Vehicles to escort the convoys.

The Soviets reveal a new weapon in the skies over the North Atlantic, with the appearance of the Tu-22M2DP, an older-model Backfire bomber that has been modified into a long-range interceptor. The "new" aircraft mounts the long-range radar and missile system of the MiG-31 interceptor, while the aircraft's bombing equipment has been removed, replaced with additional fuel tankage, giving it enough range to wander over the airlanes over and south of the GIUK Gap. The fighter's first kill is a trio of C-5 transports from the 439th Military Airlift Wing and a World Airlines 767 carrying replacements to Germany.

The Sierra II-class attack sub K-336 returns to the Kola Peninsula after its long patrol in the Atlantic. It berths in the remote port of Gremikha, 350 km east of Murmansk, to avoid capture by NATO ground troops.

In the skies over Korea, 7th Air Force launches another major raid on Pyongyang, striking targets that the North Koreans had repaired or that were missed in earlier raids. The strike manages to knock out the city's largest coal-fired power plant, making electrical service even more infrequent.

The final detachments of the 20th Engineer Brigade (Airborne) arrive in Iran from Saudi Arabia. Two combat engineer battalions (the 27th and 5th) are detached to the 9th and 24th Infantry Divisions, respectively, to support their organic engineer regiments, while the remaining battalions begin constructing infrastructure to support Third Army’s concept of holding a strip of territory along the shore of the Persian Gulf, forcing the Soviets to fight in the Zagros Mountains. Several heliports are constructed for the 101st Air Assault Division and the 6th ACCB, supply dumps established and fortified and the road network along the coast and into the mountains is improved to support the additional traffic generated by XVIII Airborne Corps.

The 82nd Airborne Division completes its withdrawal from Iran, returning to Saudi Arabia to absorb reinforcements and reconstitute.

The USS Independence strikes Chah Bahar, disrupting the Soviet paratroopers there.

Further south in the Indian Ocean, the Diego Garcia base is working to put itself back together after the cruise missile attacks. SEEBEEs are en route to repair the damage, while the base's P-3s launch a frantic search for the Soviet vessels that launched the attack.

The Soviet raiding force, having expended their missiles, have looped south and east. They are en route to meet up with some Soviet fishing vessels for fuel for the Buliny before making way to Vietnam for a resupply.

The Politburo grants permission for the General Staff to direct local military commissions to initiate another round of mobilization to support troop levels at the front. Each republic, region and locality is given a number of reservists to provide within 15 days; it is up to local officials to determine who is chosen. In larger cities the call-up is based on age and civilian employment; in the regions and countryside, especially in the villages and collective farms, it is decided by favoritism and bribery.

The call-up also extends to the large population of the incarcerated. The Ministry of Justice and Ministry of the Interior meet to establish criteria for selecting prisoners from the MVD's massive labor camp system for "parole at the front".
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #168  
Old 05-22-2022, 07:40 AM
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May 22, 1997

Lieutenant-General Boleslav Myrec, Czech 4th Army commander, responds to Colonel Piotrowski's plea for help. He agrees to send the Czech 19th Motorized Rifle Division (6,000 men, 43 tanks) to Katowice, Poland to aid in the defense. More importantly, he sends a battery of four 130mm long range guns to help augment the defenses. At dusk the first Czech troops arrive in Katowice and the 3000 survivors of the 6th Air Assault Division head north to Czestochowa.

In response to earlier attacks on facilities in the rear area and rioting in POW cages, the first complement of SPAS-12 automatic shotguns are issued to US Army MPs in Iran.

Unofficially,

The container-barge carrier Dailan Carrier is delivered in Quincy, Massachusetts. It proceeds to nearby Qounset Point, Rhode Island to load its first cargo of containerized ammunition and supplies before sailing to Europe, where it will join the floating logistics train of II MEF.

The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support group begins a crash program to develop and field a "modern C-ration" composed of a cardboard box with shorter shelf life packaged and canned food items. The ration would use food processing industry capacity that can't be used for MRE production to partially replace MRE use in areas where the light weight, long shelf life and convenience of the MRE are not essential.

SACLANT shifts the reconstituted Strike Force Atlantic north to the GIUK Gap. The Saratoga, Enterprise and Eisenhower battle groups use their fighters and fighter-bombers to augment the USAF F-15 force in Iceland and RAF Tornado F3 interceptors in Scotland in patrolling the airspace over the Norwegian Sea to protect the air bridge to Europe from further Soviet attacks.

The heavy cruiser Des Moines completes its transit of the Panama Canal and officially becomes part of the Pacific Fleet. Meeting up with her battle group (composed of a guided-missile cruiser, two destroyers, a pair of frigates and an oiler) she steams for Pearl Harbor.

MVD and KGB internal security troops sweep the town of Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula, seeking those that attacked the nearby airfield. The raid results in the capture of six Green Berets, the death of four American troops and eight Saami partisans and the destruction of the village’s partisan organization.

The SAS team that operated in Leningrad boards a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Brussels. They discarded their weapons and equipment in a lake outside the city.

After only a week in the UK, the 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (New York Air National Guard) is ordered to Gibraltar to provide search and rescue support to Allied forces in the approaches to the Mediterranean and in the western Med, leaving its remaining three HH-60 helicopters in the UK. (The helos are promptly reassigned to the 56th ARRS, operating from Keflavik, Iceland). Upon arrival in Gibraltar the 102nd is shocked to discover the replacement aircraft it is assigned are not new HH-60s, but Vietnam-veteran HH-3 "Jolly Green Giants" pulled out of storage in the Arizona desert and rushed to Gibraltar in a priority airlift aboard giant C-5 transports. The "new" helicopters lack the modern avionics of the squadron's prior mount, and the squadron's younger pilots and mechanics are not familiar with the aircraft, which the squadron had retired in 1992. Nevertheless, the squadron continues to be assigned missions, and headquarters justifies the move noting that the squadron's location in the western Mediterranean does not demand the latest technology to succeed.

The Egyptian government, after months of dithering, signs a contract with a large French engineering and construction firm for clearing the wreckage from the Suez Canal. The multi-million pound contract award immediately raises howls of protest about "European recolonization" from domestic firms (none of which have anything approaching the ability to perform the work, but which instead would have subcontracted the work to the same foreign firms after skimming off a healthy portion of the cost and adding delays and confusion.) The government, already under pressure from the loss of foreign aid, canal toll revenue and facing a food crisis, backs down, suspending the contract for "reconsideration".

The British 27th Brigade in Iran launches an assault on an outpost established by the 350th Guards Airborne Regiment outside of Bandar Abbas. The 14-hour assault, launched in the pre-dawn hours, culminates in a close-quarter battle with the Gurkhas fighting with their famous Kukri knives as ammunition runs low on both sides.

Six A-7s depart Howard Air Force Base, Panama for Point Salines Airport, Grenada, the first stop in their journey to the Middle East.
__________________
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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  #169  
Old 05-23-2022, 03:48 PM
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May 23, 1997

Following the issuance of SPAS-12 automatic shotguns to US Army MPs in the Persian Gulf, USAF police units in Poland and Germany receive the guns.

Unofficially,

After a month of investigation, Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) agents are unable to determine how over 7200 40mm grenade launcher rounds disappeared from a storage bunker at Camp Dawson, West Virginia. The investigation is placed in an inactive status as the agents are assigned to other cases, including the growing investigation into the "5th Squad" gang potentially spreading from Fort Lee.

In the skies over Korea, American bombers return to northeastern North Korea, striking the port city of Kimchaek and the rail junction at Kilju, disrupting transportation from the USSR.

Continued poor weather in Poland greatly slows operations on the ground; the heavy rains wash out roads and make low-level flight hazardous. The armies take advantage of the lull to try to rest their troops and move supplies forward.

As NATO advances across Poland, a shadow war is taking place in the woods and out of the way places as special operation forces and guerillas seek out enemy weak spots to exploit. NATO rear areas are constantly on guard against pro-Pact guerillas, remnants of cut off or destroyed units and Polish civilians who, from devotion to Communism or nationalism, take up arms against the German invaders and their Western allies. Spetsnaz units, as well as their elite air assault and airborne counterparts, seek out isolated NATO troop units, communications sites or unguarded chokepoints along lines of communications. If these targets are weak enough they attack them immediately, and if not they radio in the location, to be engaged by Frontal Aviation or, more likely, surface-to-surface missile systems. Likewise, NATO has troops operating behind Warsaw Pact lines. The US has two Special Forces groups, the 10th and the 20th, committed to the Central Front, as well as Long-Range Surveillance Detachments from each corps and division headquarters. The Green Berets concentrate on supporting anti-Soviet resistance groups and encouraging Pact units to defect, as well as performing direct action missions. The UK’s Special Air Service Group roams the woods of central Poland as well as safe houses in Warsaw and other cities, scouting Pact supply routes, assassinating traffic control officers, rescuing and evacuating downed airmen, notifying headquarters of advancing Pact troops and identifying targets for deep strike aircraft and systems. German Korps reconnaissance companies and the Danish Jægerkorpset also roam the Pact rear areas, seeking targets for others to attack, raiding vulnerable sites, helping downed airmen and generally causing as much disruption as possible.

The USAF 17th Air Force, responding to the advancing front line in Poland and improved security situation in East Germany, moves several units assigned close air support missions to former Soviet Frontal Aviation bases in East Germany. The bases have been released by the Luftwaffe, which has scoured them for parts and materiel that can be used to support the LSK (the former East German air force). The "new" bases don't have the amenities usually associated with a US Air Force base but reduce the transit time aircraft have to spend getting to and from the action.

With the boat secured and a caretaker crew aboard, the crew of the Sierra II-class SSN K-336 is granted a month of celebratory leave following their successful patrol in the North Atlantic.

The Red Banner Northern Fleet begins another series of mining missions, dispatching the Foxtrot-class boat B-2 to the North Sea.

Responding to the progress made by Greek engineers, Turkish F-4 fighters strike the Alexandropolous airfield with a low-level overflight scattering cluster bomblets over the field, destroying a pair of fixed-wing light transports and a UH-1 utility helicopter.

No. 35 Squadron, RAF and No. 21 Squadron fly numerous sorties with their Jaguar attack bombers in support of 25 Brigade's troops, which are keeping the paratroops of the 103rd Guards Air Assault Division tied down in Bandar Abbas, Iran.

A detachment from the MVD 16th Convoy Brigade is the first to transfer prisoners to the Army under the so-called “front parole” program, releasing 45 carefully-screened prisoners to the 20th Guards Motor-Rifle Division as the unit is in reserve near Lvov.
__________________
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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  #170  
Old 05-24-2022, 03:45 PM
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May 24, 1997

The Polish 6th Air Assault Division arrives in Czestochowa.

The lead elements of Panzergruppe Oberdorff begin Operation Rampart, advancing from Wroclaw to Olesnica and then to Namyslow. From Namyslow they will push on to Olesno via Kluczbork.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Pittsburgh Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Richmond Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The container-barge carrier Chengchow Carrier is delivered in Mobile, Alabama.

A patrol from the MP company guarding the Bedford, Pennsylvania POW camp (now with three prisoners present), led by the company commander, detains three local teenagers on suspicion of spying for the USSR.

The American aerial barrage on North Korea continues, with the first night of coordinated US and ROK efforts to beat back North Korean air defenses in the rear area behind the front line. American aircraft carriers launch their aircraft from the Yellow Sea, exploiting the corridor blasted open leading to Pyongyang before turning south to strike North Korean anti-aircraft missile and gun sites. B-52s of the 320th Bomb Wing fly far overhead, blanketing vast acreage with unguided high explosive bombs to eliminate small- and medium-caliber gun positions, while F-111s of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing strike command and control and communications facilities with precision guided bombs. USAF and ROKAF fighter-bombers ride escort to the bombers and stand ready to engage any North Korean fighters that may emerge from their underground hangars. As the fighters return to friendly lines, 8th Army field artillery fires a additional volleys to suppress the defenses. The mission is largely successful, but the fighter-bomber forces suffer nearly a dozen losses to the vast numbers of anti-aircraft guns and one F-16 struck by a stray 155mm artillery round when the pilot, nursing a wounded bird, crossed the demarcation line into the active artillery zone.

The Polish 4th Army, with three mechanized and one armored divisions, counterattacks against the US 2nd Armored Division, advancing southwest out of the Tuchol Forest surrounding Chojnice. The American division is pursuing fleeing Polish troops into the area and is isolated from the rest of the corps. (The 1st ID is on the other side of the forest and 1st Cavalry is farther west and to the rear). The Polish commander has set up a trap for the American division, which is soon in contact all along its northern and eastern perimeter. The American Abrams are able to hold off the attacking lines of Polish tanks, while the artillery battalions report that they will be able to keep the guns going, but that the daily resupply convoy has been halted by a series of ambushes to the west and that there is only 12 hours of reserve ammunition on hand.

In central Poland, the 1st Guards Tank Army throws its last reserve formation, the 734th Independent Tank Regiment, into the gap between it and the 4th Guards Tank Army to its north, while the 11th Guards Army moves west from the Warsaw area to help halt the drive of the advancing US V and British II Corps.

American Green Berets withdraw from the area around the Saami village of Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula. They continue to train Saami nationalists in Norway, and operate throughout the Kola using a network of safehouses operated by sympathetic Saami, highly paid dissenters and criminals (often the same) and abandoned structures, in an ongoing cat and mouse game against Soviet internal troops.

Naval base workers begin minor repairs to the Sierra II-class nuclear submarine K-336 in Gremikha on the far eastern part of the Kola Peninsula.

Danube Front, composed of Soviet and Hungarian units attacking Romania from Hungary, and Southern Front (Pact forces in Bulgaria) begin preparatory fires for an upcoming coordinated attack on Romanian, Jugoslav and Turkish forces in the Balkans.

XVIII Airborne Corps begins ferrying the guns of the 434th Field Artillery Brigade (US Army Reserve) across the Persian Gulf into Iran, reinforcing the 24th Infantry Division.

The Air Detachment of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 58 arrive on Diego Garcia aboard a trio of Air Force transports to begin restoring the base to a suitable level of operating capability. A P-3 of VP-4 locates the Buliny nearly 550 nm to the southeast and orbits out of SAM range. When it runs low on fuel it is replaced by another aircraft from the squadron, and after nearly six hours a B-52G of the 65th Bomb Squadron arrives on the scene, firing four AGM-142 Have Nap missiles at the Soviet destroyer, ending its long raid across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

The detachment from the MVD 16th Convoy Brigade which dropped off 45 prisoners for "front parole" receives a contingent of 75 NATO enlisted prisoners for transfer to the MVD's vast camp system. (The MVD's camps have two populations intermixed - Soviet criminals (including political prisoners of all stripes, from ethnic nationalists to prisoners of conscience) and Prisoners of War captured on the various battlefields around the world. At this point there are few NATO prisoners, but the camps are already filled with Chinese and Iranian POWs captured over the preceding two years.
__________________
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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  #171  
Old 05-25-2022, 02:35 PM
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May 25, 1997

The city fathers of Brzeg, Poland surrender the city to NATO, welcoming the NATO troops with the traditional bread and salt.

Unofficially,

In a ceremony at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, the 13th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) is formed as part of the Army’s expansion to meet the demands of global conventional war. Troops are assigned from the weekly graduates of the 78th Training Division, also located at the post, as well as convalescent NCOs and officers and individual recalled reservists. The regiment is organized as a light regiment to take advantage of the increasing numbers of LAV-25-based vehicles being produced by the conversion of civilian truck plants to war production. While a full set of equipment is to be issued to the regiment upon arrival in theater, one squadron of LAVs is issued for training purposes, while the air squadron uses requisitioned civilian helicopters for training.

Article 15 disciplinary proceedings are started against the junior members of "5th Squad" at Fort Lee, Virginia. They are accused of various minor offenses regarding conduct and alcohol abuse. The staff sergeant, a drill instructor at the base, and seven privates are charged with more serious crimes and court martial trials are begun. The lieutenant is subject to a different proceeding - the investigation concludes that she was invited to the party by her cousin, one of the privates, and that she had been blackmailed by "5th Squad" into attending. She is transferred to the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah immediately to serve in a staff position there, her quartermaster basic officer training unfinished.

The Bedford County, Pennsylvania sheriff secures the release of the three local teens detained by the MPs the day before; his deputies report that the kids were visiting a known hangout spot to drink some illegal beers and were roughed up by the MP commander.

In Northern Poland, the arrival of the veteran Soviet 20th Tank Division to the division’s south places the 2nd Armored’s entire position at risk. The division commander calls in support from corps headquarters, which dispatches the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to catch the 20th Tank on its flank. Quicker to arrive, however, is the combined attack helicopter force of the entire III US Corps. Under the command of the 21st Air Cavalry Combat Brigade, attack helicopter battalions of each of III US Corps’ divisions, combined with 3rd ACR’s Air Cavalry Squadron and the 21st ACCB’s component battalions, a force of over 70 Apache and Cobras, fly into the 20th's attacking regiments. In between waves of helicopters, III US Corps’ 75th and 212th Field Artillery Brigades use their howitzers to deploy FASCAM minefields in front of the advancing tank regiments, and then use MLRS rocket systems to attack the halted or slowed armor with Assault Breaker anti-tank smart munitions (expending the corps’ entire supply). NATO tactical aircraft are also called in to break up the Pact counterattack, but relatively few are available (many are trying to slow the movement of 11th Guards Army to the south). The deployment of all the US Army’s tools developed to stop a Soviet breakthrough in the Fulda Gap prove to be successful in halting the Pact counterattack, but the at great cost to the 2nd Armored - nearly 30 percent losses.

To the south, the US 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, screening ahead of V Corps, locates the 734th Independent Tank Regiment and quickly determines that the Soviet units is deployed in hasty defensive positions outside Konin, its flanks largely open. The Cavalry closes with the Soviet tankers, losing some Bradleys and tanks to the Soviet T-90s but allowing the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division to pass by the Soviet force before swinging north and cutting it off. The armored division's troops overrun the regiment's support battalion and headquarters before moving west into the battalion rear areas; within two hours the Soviet regiment has been destroyed, crushed between American tanks and fighting vehicles from both front and rear.

The US 10th Mountain Division arrives in temporary staging camps in the area around Karasok on the Norwegian-Finnish border. While still understrength, the veteran division is well rested and relatively fresh. Upon arrival, the division continues its training program, integrating the first new recruits from the vastly expanded US Army training system. (Most prior replacement troops have been inactive reservists, former infantrymen recalled from civilian life and given a quick refresher before being shipped to the front).

The Canadian submarine Ojibwa sinks the Soviet Victor I-class SSN K-460 in the Strait of Belle Isle (between Labrador and Newfoundland).

Arriving virtually in the wake of Convoy 140, ships of Convoy 142 arrive at various North Sea ports in the Netherlands and Germany. The arrival of the ships overloads some of the ports, forcing vessels to wait at anchor for a berth. Some ships wait days before starting to discharge their urgently needed cargos of ammunition, replacement vehicles and supplies.

Civilian airliners and USAF C-141 transports of the 446th Military Airlift Wing transport the troops (and some high priority cargo) of the 48th Infantry Brigade (Georgia National Guard) from Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia and Charleston AFB, South Carolina to airfields in eastern Saudi Arabia.

An uprising starts among the troops of the 70th (my 122nd Guards) Motor-Rifle Division in Khabarovsk, Siberia following rumors that the division, decimated in the 1995-6 campaign and never rebuilt, will be transferred back to the front in the next few days.
__________________
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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  #172  
Old 05-26-2022, 03:56 PM
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May 26, 1997

1st Sqadron, 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Idaho National Guard) arrives on the outskirts of Olesno.

General Barnaberi, CENTCOM commander, is pressed by the leadership on Capital Hill on his plans for an offensive to drive the Soviets out of Iran. He replies that the shipping situation prevents him from sustaining any advance that he would launch.

Unofficially,

The Swiss ambassador in New Delhi reaches out to the American ambassador. He has been contacted by the Soviet ambassador, who desires to meet with the Americans to discuss conditions to end the war.

Headquarters, XIX Corps is stood up from the 102nd and 122nd ARCOMs at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas to oversee mobilization and support to civil authorities in Arkansas and Louisiana.

The US Army Provost Marshall declares "5th Squad" an illegal organization, making continued membership or activity subject to criminal prosecution.

The American attack submarine USS Pintado departs Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on its patrol (scheduled initially to patrol an area southeast of Petropavlovsk-Kamchakta). The boat is never heard from again.

In northern Poland, III US Corps pauses to allow its logistic trail to catch up, recover some of the vehicles that had been lost in the prior day's battle and chase down the enemy light forces (both regular and partisan) that are operating in the corps rear area. One disturbing development is that the corps’ attack helicopter battalions are only able to replace 20 percent of the Hellfire and 25 percent of the TOW anti-tank missiles expended in the battle.

Back in Germany, Seventh US Army is expanding its area of operations, with a complex shuffle of units on the line. VII US Corps, which had been responsible for the Czech border from its boundary with Poland west to the western end of Czechoslovakia opposite the Hof Gap, moves east into Poland, deploying units opposite the Czech 4th Army to defend the NATO offensive’s southern flank. I British Corps moves in to assume responsibility for VII US Corps’ sector, while XV US Corps, recently declared operational, takes up positions in Bavaria, using newly arrived units to keep the Czech-Soviet forces in southern Germany hemmed in. Within those corps some units are reassigned, with engineer and artillery units, in particular, shifted into Poland.

XI US Corps is released into NORTHAG reserve, initially occupying Wrocław. It is not moved farther into Poland because the road and rail lines to the east can not sustain more combat forces; in fact, XI US Corps is temporarily tapped to provide trucks and drivers to move supplies for Third German Army to the east.

The MPs of US V Corps' 18th MP Brigade process approximately 250 POWs captured from the 734th Independent Tank Regiment when that unit was overrun outside Konin.

Over the GIUK Gap, the second sortie by a Soviet Tu-22M2DP long-range interceptor receives a rude welcome, discovering that there are American E-2 Hawkeye early warning aircraft (from the carriers Saratoga, Enterprise and Eisenhower) operating over the Norwegian Sea. The converted Soviet bomber's electronic warfare sensors detect the American aircraft before it can be located and the sortie is aborted.

In the North Sea, Convoy 145 is formed heading west. The convoy has an unusually large escort force, composed of nearly the entire group of frigates, destroyers and cutters that crossed the Atlantic with Convoy 140 and a portion of the escort from Convoy 142. It passes through the English Channel at night.

The Red Banner Northern Fleet dispatches a pair of Foxtrot-class submarines from Polyarnny to lay mines in the North Sea.

In the Balkans, Pact troops continue their preparatory artillery barrages on Romanian and Jugoslav positions as a wide variety of civilian trucks from the Western USSR, Hungary and Bulgaria are pressed into service to bring supplies to the front from the railheads and ports.

The carrier USS Independence anchors at Masirah, Oman for a restand recovery period after many weeks of intense operations.

The trio of convoys carrying the 4th Marine Division enters the Indian Ocean, having traversed the southern coast of Australia after a long transit of the Pacific.

Allied air forces in the Korean theater continue their defense suppression and aerial interdiction of the battlefield. 8th Army commanders report declining North Korean artillery barrages and a higher rate of desertion from the North Korean Army.

The mutiny in the Soviet Far East grows, when the rebellious troops of the 70th (my 122nd Guards) Motor-Rifle Division are joined by the 294th Motor-Rifle Division, which was also languishing in the area around Khabarovsk. The rebels seize control of the city's dwindling food stocks and block the rail and road routes into the city. They are, however, unable to persuade the troops of the city's MVD garrison (the headquarters of the Far Eastern MVD District and the 92nd Convoy Division) to join the uprising, and the KGB Border Guards of the 70th Border Guard Brigade on the nearby Chinese border begins moving in.
__________________
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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  #173  
Old 05-27-2022, 12:39 PM
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May 27, 1997

General Barnaberi, CENTCOM commander, reluctantly directs his staff to draw up plans for a general offensive once the Soviets have been evicted from Bandar Abbas, while pleading once again with the Joint Staff in Washington for a greater allocation of supplies and transport.

Polish troops of the 6th Air Assault Division work to strengthen defenses of Czestochowa. Trenches and fighting positions are dug, barbed wire strung, minefields laid, AT guns emplaced and supplies stockpiled in catacombs under the Jasna Gora monastery.

Unofficially,

The report from the American ambassador in New Delhi is transmitted to NATO governments. There is some specualtion as to why the Americans were approached rather than the British, who had taken the lead in two earlier rounds of talks. A meeting is scheduled for the next day to discuss what the NATO position should be on terms for war termination.

The 36th Armored Brigade, Texas National Guard, completes Rotation 97-9 at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California and is declared combat ready. Its graduation is seen as a redemption of the Texas National Guard after the embarrassing failure of the 49th Armored Division earlier in the year. The 36th is followed by the 2nd Brigade, 49th Armored Division, which is slated for a 90-day rotation rather than the standard 21-day rotation that has been in effect since November.

The 2nd Brigade, 11th Airborne Division is declared combat ready after completing Rotation 97-8 at JRTC-2 at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

Colonel Tumanski's Spetsnaz team in the UK resumes operations after a pause to re-evaluate tactics following the loss of two members during an attack on the RAF base at Coltishall two weeks prior. The team strikes a locomotive on the mainline between Birmingham and Liverpool with a RPG-7, causing a considerable amount of damage but not the derailment that Tumanski had hoped for.

The 88th Motor-Rifle Division is pulled from the front lines in Inner Mongolia after repeated insubordination and poor performance. The commander of the 36th Army Corps fears that the mainly ethnic Kirghiz Muslim soldiers of the division will desert or, worse, heed Chinese propaganda about Soviet oppression of their minorities, revolt, lay dow their arms or surrender.

The Soviet 20th Tank Division is withdrawn back to the USSR for reconstruction following its losses from battling III Corps, having lost 159 tanks in the assault, and the Polish 4th Army retreats back into the woods, its units drifting back to the Wisła to defend the bridges and ferries. The US 2nd Armored Divison remains in place temporarily, its place in the offensive taken by the freshly arrived 44th (my 20th) Armored Division.

The 118th Field Artillery Brigade (Georgia National Guard) is declared operational and is assigned to the newly arrived XXIII Corps.

In the Balkans, the Southwestern TVD launches its long-delayed spring offensive. Soviet and Hungarian troops of the Danube Front advance in northwestern Romania, driving Jugoslav and Romanian defenders back towards the outskirts of Timişoara. In the East, 1st Ukrainian Front uses the SU-130s of the 336th Guards Assault Gun Regiment to blast a hole in the Romanian defenses. The lead regiments of the 14th Guards Army drive on the city of Focşani, the first phase of a drive towards the Danube and a linkup with Bulgarian troops subordinate to the Southern Front. Southern Front's main effort is directed at driving the Turks back from their positions in the Balkan Mountains; 58th Army begins attacks out of the foothills while the 26th Army attempts to break the siege of Burgas.

Troops of the 24th, 9th and 101st Divisions in Iran secure their local areas and tie their defense lines in with the defensive lines established by the IPA's I and II Corps. In northern Iran the Green Berets of the 5th and 7th Special Forces Groups work with Iranian stay-behind parties and various ethnic militias (mostly Kurdish) to disrupt Soviet supply lines.

Allied airpower over Korea continues its campaign to disrupt North Korean air defenses and transportation. B-52s strike the rail yard at Sariwon, a key junction of several lines that connect the western part of the front to Pyongyang.

In the first day of sharp fighting in Khabarovsk, KGB troops advance across the bridge over the Amur River into the city from the west, while MVD troops of the 92nd Convoy Division's 65th Training Regiment move north from their garrison south of the city, brushing aside pickets from the rebel 294th Motor-Rifle Division. The mutinous unit commanders are having a hard time coordinating among themselves (the two generals argue several times during the day as to who is in charge, dooming the effort to two parallel but largely unsupporting fights) and enforcing their orders to subordinate commanders, discovering that once some ties of authority are broken it is difficult to enforce others.
__________________
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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  #174  
Old 05-28-2022, 06:02 AM
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May 28, 1997

Nothing in the canon for today!

A meeting of NATO heads of state begins with a briefing by SACEUR, General John Phelps, on the conditions from the Kola to Thrace. Overall, NATO is making steady progress across Poland, is preparing a renewed drive on Murmansk in the north and is, with some additional support, able to hold NATO territory in the Balkans. His J-2 (Intelligence officer) and the deputy director of the CIA give a joint briefing on the status of the Soviet war effort. Losses in Poland are heavy and other fronts are being starved of reinforcements and supplies as STAVKA scrambles to hold Polish territory. The fully mobilized Soviet economy is unable to replace the losses, and there is little indication that remaining Red Army units in the USSR can be made combat ready without further grave economic damage. Reports of internal disorder in the USSR are multiplying. Overall, NATO heads of state, pleased with the success of Advent Crown to date and confident of the outcome of the upcoming Reindeer II offensive on the Kola, see little reason to sue for peace. Accordingly, NATO demands for war termination are an immediate and permanent ceasefire, followed by withdrawal of Pact troops from Poland west of the Wisla, Romania, Bulgaria, China, the Kola Peninsula west of the Litsa and Iran, and free elections in Poland and Iran to determine the shape of future governments there.

XVI Corps headquarters is formed at Fort Hunter Liggett, California from the 63rd and 96th ARCOMs. Assigned to Sixth Army, the corps assumes responsibility for training support, oversight of the Oakland Port of Embarkation and support for civil authorities in security and disaster relief planning.

The Adjutant General of the State of Hawaii, Major General Kenneth O'Hara, reports to PACCOM that the combination of the 29th Infantry Brigade, 221st MP Brigade and Hawaii State Guard Brigade have established a tight security cordon around Hickam Air Force Base and other vital facilities in the 50th State.

The Guards Squadron, SAS is redeployed from Southeastern England to western England in response to the numerous Spetsnaz attacks there.

Belgian police arrest the manager of a small construction company in Liege for violating export controls and smuggling. The man apparently was arranging for the company's tanker truck to make a weekly crossing of a remote section of the German border, where it would meet a German truck and transfer over 3,000 liters of diesel, severely rationed in Germany as well as Belgium. The scheme netted over 300,000 Belgian francs for the manager each week.

Marshall Slepnev (Western TVD commander) commits one of his theatre reserve units, the 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade, inserting it deep into the NATO rear area. In the aftermath of a multi-regiment Frontal Aviation raid (with regiments sweeping across the Baltic, into Bavaria and over Silesia) the NATO interceptor force has largely returned to its home bases for refueling and rearming and NATO SAM batteries were reloading. At that point a force of over 100 transports roars over central Poland, disgorging the 35th Guards into the Oder Valley south of Swiebodzin, where ELINT units had identified a major NATO headquarters. On arrival, they overrun the headquarters (identified after the battle as the rear headquarters of First German Army) and then link up with remnants of cut-off Soviet and Polish formations and began raiding NATO supply routes, including the two roads and railroad line running east to Poznan and the road through Jielona Gora, one of the three MSRs supporting Third German Army. The elite troops in their BMD armored personnel carriers overwhelm the rear area security troops and American military police units, who are equipped with light armored cars and unarmored vehicles and short on anti-tank weapons.

In Northern Poland III US Corps resumes its advance, led by the freshly arrived 44th (my 20th) Armored Division. The advance is at a slower pace, the US Army having endured a bloody nose as a result of its headlong advance across the Polish countryside.

Reserve Front is now fully committed in north-central Poland, taking the sector between Baltic Front and the 1st Western Front.

Southwestern TVD's attacks in the Balkans continue, the Soviet forces using massed artillery fire to try to break Romanian resistance along the 800 km-long front line. Long Range Aviation's bombers return to the skies overhead, targeting the rail line between Brasov and Bucharest to islolate the region north of the Carpathians from the Danube plain. In Bulgaria, Soviet and Bulgarian forces take heavy losses as they try to grind down their Turkish opponents.

The British 27th Infantry Brigade maintains pressure on the Soviet 103rd Guards Air Assault Division. Even though the Soviet force outnumbers the British one by nearly three to one, the British formation is tied into Allied supply lines in Iran and receives regular "push packages" of fuel, food, water and ammunition from higher headquarters, while the Soviet force must scrounge for most of its supplies, relying on intermittent supply drops for ammunition and medical resupply.

The Sierra II-class attack submarine K-534 departs its hiding spot beneath a disused oil platform in the Persian Gulf for the last time, ordered to resume patrols in the Arabian Sea.

In the urban fighting in Khabarovsk, rebel troops succeed in preventing the loyal troops advancing from the west (the KGB 70th Border Guard Brigade) and the south (the MVD 65th Training Regiment) from linking up in the city center, although scattered loyalist detachments manage to break into the downtown MVD headquarters complex, defeating any plan to overrun it. The mutineers rejoice in their victory, but are aware that their ammunition supplies are dwindling. The lead regiment (the 190th) of the 173rd (my 192nd) Motor-Rifle Division detrains on the south edge of the city, rushed north along the Trans-Siberian Railroad to assist in putting down the mutiny.
__________________
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; 05-29-2022 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 05-29-2022, 06:51 AM
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May 29, 1997

Nothing official for the day.

The first meeting between American and Soviet delegations in New Delhi is consumed with both sides essentially posturing, reciting their perceptions of the outrages and atrocities they have suffered at the other's hands.

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

The Soviet Echo II-class cruise missile submarine K-235 launches a single non-nuclear SS-N-12 cruise missile at Bangor International Airport, Maine. The K-235 has been at sea since September and the crew, exhausted from both the constant pursuit of USN and USCG patrol vessels as well as the sub's captain constantly ordering "live fire" drills to keep his men sharp. The Soviet Weapons Officer, driven to the brink of exhaustion, accidentally fires the cruise missile after hearing the captain giving the simulated order to fire. Thankfully, the crew has been practicing on non-nuclear launches, but still the launch happens. Once the mistake is discovered by the Soviet High Command Premier Sauronski calls President Turner on the Hotline (this is the last known conversation between the two men) to reassure him this is an accident, not an escalation. As "A sign of Good Faith" he allows the US to target a similarly sized Soviet airbase. This causes unexpected chaos in President Tanner's NSA/JCS circle as many Hawkish members want to use this "accident" as an excuse to ratchet up things and some of the more rational members who want to use this as a measuring stick for how far the Soviets are willing to go. The missile's 500 kg warhead detonates over the "Christmas Tree" tanker alert area at the end of the runway, where a trio of KC-135 tankers from the 132nd Air Refuelling Squadron are on alert, destroying all three in a large fireball.

Knowing that relief is impossible and that a counterattack will be coming, the 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade's commander, Colonel Vasili Bovin, has the brigade’s engineer company fortify the town of Sulechow as a location for the brigade’s last stand. The engineers lay extensive minefields, prepare fighting positions in building basements and prepare obstacles around town.

In Czestochowa the 6th Air Assault Division's troopers continue to dig in, sparing some men to train the ORMO and ZOMO troops that are preparing to fight alongside them.

The Tu-22M2DP interceptor returns to the air over the Norwegian Sea, this time prepared for the presence of American E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft. The Soviet plane launches four AS-17 anti-radiation missiles at the two nearest radar planes, which, traveling at Mach 3.5, rapidly down the lumbering turboprops.

The USS George Washington battle group departs Mayport Florida with a rebuilt air group following the massive losses in the Norwegian Sea in December. Following the battle, squadron's of the carrier's CVW-13 were stripped of personnel and aircraft to replace losses in other Atlantic Fleet air wings. Over the winter replacement pilots and aircraft arrived, but as it became evident that production of F-14s, F/A-18s and A-6s was not going to increase fast enough the decision was made to reform the fighter and attack squadrons with older aircraft returned to service. The re-equipment with F-4s and A-7s required another change of personnel, bringing in recalled retirees, veterans and reservists who were familiar with the aircraft, which had left active naval service in the early 90s. The reformed squadrons then needed 6 weeks of intense workup to be considered adequately trained for combat.

The Warsaw Pact offensive in the Balkans continues, with Romanian and Jugoslav troops pushed into the city of Timisoara. The Soviet commander is reluctant to commit his troops to an urban meat-grinder battle, so he commits troops from the Hungarian Pécs Border Guard District and the newly arrived and poorly trained and equipped 146th Motor-Rifle Division to encircle the city while the 6th Guards Tank Army continues the offensive into Transylvania.

After a month at sea, the ships carrying the heavy equipment and vehicles of the 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Georgia National Guard) arrive in the Persian Gulf. They make port in Ad Damman to link up with the brigade's troops.

The Sierra II-class SSN K-534 sinks the tanker Galaxy Rincon after sailing underneath the massive ship through the Straits of Hormuz to avoid Allied naval forces.

A massive air deployment begins as the fixed-wing portion of the 4th Marine Air Wing departs bases in the southern US for the Middle East. Air Force KC-10 tankers are marshaled from around the world to stretch the endurance of the command's F/A-18s, A-4s and A-6s across the Atlantic and Pacific. (Squadrons use both routes to the CENTCOM AOR).

As the rest of the 173rd (my 192nd) Motor-Rifle Division arrives in Khabarovsk, the reinforced loyalist forces make another, more deliberate advance into the city. A motor-rifle battalion task force is landed by Mi-17 helicopters at the city's Central Aerodrome (a military airfield on the east side of the city), catching the rebels off guard.
__________________
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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  #176  
Old 05-30-2022, 06:14 AM
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May 30, 1997

Nothing official for today!

The peace talks in New Delhi have an added sense of urgency and seriousness following the cruise missile attack on Maine but make no progress.

The Victory ship Occidental Victory and freighter Leslie Lykes complete their reactivations in Oakland, California and move to the adjacent Army terminal to load cargo for Korea.

The junior members of the "5th Squad" gang at Fort Lee, Virginia have their Article 15 non judicial punishment proceedings concluded. Most are found guilty of assorted minor offenses. The men are washed out of their training courses at the base and cycled into various infantry and artillery training courses around the US, sending each soldier to a different base to complete their training before being sent to combat.

In McKeesport, Pennsylvania, a working-class suburb of Pittsburgh, the twins Randall and Rodney Cutler begin 36 hours of drunken partying in preparation for their upcoming induction into the military on June 1. They procure four cases of Iron City beer (known as 'Arns) and several cans of spray paint. The 25 year-olds are accompanied by their latest girlfriends and their buddies to "enjoy their last few hours of freedom."

The US 36th Infantry Division (Mechanized), in Bremerhaven and loading on railcars for transport to southern Germany, is diverted to Frankfurt-Oder to deal with the Soviet air assault force.

The US 2nd Armored Division, relieved in Northern Poland, is withdrawn to Germany for rest and reconstruction.

For internal security duties, the Polish command commits ORMO militia troops, ZOMO anti-riot troops, three WOW brigades and three WOW regiments, as well as activating OTK units in most cities. These units are under the command of the Polish government, rather than the Warsaw Pact high command, and they are, to the extent possible, kept out of the front lines since they lack heavy weapons and modern anti-tank systems. The call up of these units further slows the already strained Polish war economy, but with NATO troops occupying the western third of the country and a rival government claiming sovereignty over the entirety, the Polish government feels it is more important to maintain control.

Western TVD command commits the Soviet 230th Rear Area Security Division to securing the bridge crossings over the lower Wisła while the KGB converts its Border Guard Brigades on the Polish border to KGB Motor-Rifle Regiments, operating on both sides of the border against “anti-Soviet terrorists and criminals”. On the NATO side, the unified German government authorizes the deployment of border guard and territorial troop units in areas loyal to the Free Polish Congress. This action coincides with the effective cessation of pro-Soviet guerilla activity in the former East Germany, to a level that the civil police authorities, local militias and military units’ internal guard forces can suppress without outside assistance.

General Diedrichs, commander of the German First Army, after consulting with SACEUR following the Battle of Chojnice, decides to continue to advance east, peeling off I German Korps to guard the army’s northern flank against another counterattack from the Soviets to the north. V US and II British Corps move east, the British through Konin, Koło, and Kutno and the Americans through Kalisz, Sieradz and bypassing Łódź to the south.

A single TLAM (Tomahawk Land Attack Missile) is launched by the battleship Iowa in the Baltic Sea at the Soviet Jēkabpils Air Base in Latvia. The strike is in retaliation for the previous day's attack on Bangor International Airport, Maine, and it destroys the base' control tower and main maintenance hangar.

In the fighting in Bulgaria, 26th Army (a composite force of Red Army and Bulgarian soldiers, Bulgarian internal troops and sailors and the Soviet Black Sea Fleet's 810th Naval Infantry Brigade) finally overwhelms the Turkish XV Corps defenders, with several Turkish units abandoning their positions after over a week of nonstop artillery and infantry attack. In southeastern Romania, 14th Guards Army's drive on Foscani is slowed by repeated attacks and ambushes in its rear area by members of the Romanian Patriotic Guard, forcing the Soviets to divert significant combat power to securing its supply lines.

The USS Salem battle group arrives in the Arabian Sea, remaining out of sight of land.

There is further unrest in the POW camp outside Ganaveh, Iran when the supply of cigarettes for the prisoners runs low. Military authorities had not planned for the number of smokes consumed by their Soviet charges (who were excited to be able to get ahold of "premier" Western cigarettes rather than the inferior Soviet ones they were used to) and had diverted supplies for sale to American troops. This diversion was halted when the Third Army Command Sergeant Major went to the PX trailer and couldn't buy any cigarettes. The guard force at the camp demonstrated the rapid fire capability of their new shotguns but the prisoners were seething about the reduction in their nicotine supply.

The Echo II-class cruise missile sub K-35 arrives at a remote Indonesian port facility, secretly owned by the GRU following its attack on Diego Garcia. The crew is granted three days of liberty on the tropical island, their first time ashore since departing Polyarnyy in December. When they return to the boat the job of restocking her for her next patrol will commence.

Venezuela dispatches another round of tankers to Soviet allies in the Third World. The Miguel Hidalgo is dispatched to Nicarauga and the Jose Felix Ribas departs for Angola carrying loads of crude oil. This maintains Venezuela's self declared neutrality, offsetting the daily shipments of crude to NATO-controlled refineries in Aruba, St Croix and the US Gulf Coast.

The pressure on the rebels in Khabarovsk increases under the weight of the full 173rd (my 192nd) Motor-Rifle Division and KGB and MVD loyalist troops. (Additional MVD riot control troops have arrived to augment the 65th Training Regiment.) Isolated surrenders of rebel individuals and small units and dwindling ammunition, food and water stocks begin to sap the mutineer's fighting strength as the perimeter shrinks.
__________________
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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  #177  
Old 05-31-2022, 03:59 PM
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May 31, 1997

The 107th ACR (Ohio National Guard) enters combat in Poland, screening the northern flank of Third German Army.

The US Naval Academy's class of 1998 is commissioned directly as ensigns, a year early, and assigned to the fleet. Likewise, the US Air Force Academy and West Point commission their third-year students, and as the summer break arrives the remaining students are dispersed into various training commands for an accelerated month of exposure to "the real military" in action.

Unofficially,

86th Brigade, 50th Armored Division (Vermont National Guard) completes Rotation 97-9 at NTC-2 at the Yakima Training Center and is declared combat ready.

In McKeesport, Pennsylvania the Cutler twins spend their day drinking and as night falls head into the city of Pittsburgh to pick a fight. In the Oakland neighborhood they encounter a pair of fraternity brothers from the University of Pittsburgh and get out of their pickup to confront them.

A team of naval architects arrives in Philadelphia to assess the condition of the passenger liner SS United States, which has been out of service since 1969.

No. 55 Squadron, RAF adds one nonstandard aircraft to its tanker fleet, XH558, the last remaining flyable Vulcan bomber, which has been converted back to the tanker configuration it last flew in active RAF service as. The "new" aircraft is put to work in a refueling track over the North Sea supporting NATO aircraft transiting the area.

Allied tactical airpower struggles to support the advance as the front lines moved further and further east. With some exceptions (RAF Harriers and Jaguars and USAF A-10s), NATO aircraft are largely tied to airbases in West Germany, with their mile-long smooth concrete runways. Airfields in East Germany, both LSK (East German Air Force) and Soviet, have been hard fought over, and the recovery effort on both is slowed by the need to carefully salvage material, desperately needed to support operations of the former LSK, which is cut off from replacement parts from the USSR. RAF Harriers follow the advance, their landing sites along short stretches of road protected by troops of the RAF Regiment. Likewise, the USAF pushes A-10 units forward onto captured Pact airbases, often using taxiways and fragments of runways that had been cut by earlier bombing raids. In many cases Pact air forces had established emergency airstrips on stretches of highway; these are used to the extent that their closure did not impair army resupply efforts. The USAF dedicates two wings of C-130 transports to the resupply effort, one supporting USAF A-10 units and one moving high priority Army cargo. In most cases, however, NATO tactical aircraft generate fewer sorties over or beyond the battlefield due to the increasing distance between their home airfields and the front.

USAF Air Rescue units’ helicopters, vital to the rescue of downed airmen and support for special operations teams behind Pact lines, also move forward, using LSK emergency airfields as well as the remains of the Danish airfield on Bornholm Island, demolished by a Pact amphibious raid in March.

The Czech 4th Army launches an attack on Third German Army, sending the 15th Motor-Rifle Division from the south while the 19th MRD attacks to the west.

The Norwegian frigate Stavanger detects the Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-2 snorkeling while headed to lay mines in the North Sea and attacks, sinking the submarine with a volley from the ship's anti-submarine mortar.

The Turkish XV Corps commits its reserve, the 41st Infantry Brigade, to slow 26th Army's assault out of Burgas. Nonetheless, the relief of Burgas allows Southern Front to press its counterattack, committing 1st Guards Army in a drive from the northeast to slice west into the Turkish rear.

Six A-7Ds, formerly of the 156th Tactical Fighter Group (Puerto Rico National Guard) arrive at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, reinforcing the 150th Tactical Fighter Group (New Mexico Air National Guard).

9th Air Force dispatches a C-130 of the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing to Almaza Air Base, Egypt to load a priority cargo of Egyptian cigarettes, which are promptly flown to Ganaveh airport in Iran and distributed to the Soviet POWs in the camp there.

Loyalist troops in Khabarovsk succeed in splitting the rebel forces into two pockets, one in the city center (itself still surrounding the MVD headquarters) and one in the city's main power plant and adjacent flour mill.
__________________
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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  #178  
Old 06-01-2022, 03:20 PM
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June 1, 1997

The 46th Infantry Division (Puerto Rico, New York and Texas National Guards) is declared operational and begins movement to Virginia for deployment to Europe. Shipping to move the division has not arrived yet, most of it still tied up in European ports as Convoys 140 and 142 are unloading.

Opole falls to Panzergruppe Oberdorf when the commander of the city's OTK (Territorial Defense) regiment surrenders rather than see his beloved "Venice of Poland" destroyed by German artillery. The Polish 12th Tank Division falls back to Gliwice, while the Czech 19th Motor-Rifle Division is recalled back to home territory when the Czech high command receives word of the assault by 4th Army. Panzergruppe Oberdorff's restrictions on artillery use, imposed by the Free Polish Congress, are lifted.

Unofficially,

Map of front lines in Poland.

The container-barge carrier Taiyaun Carrier is delivered in Quincy, Massachusetts.

The 157th Air Refueling Wing relocates its headquarters to Boston-Logan International Airport to facilitate the refueling of USAF aircraft heading to Europe from the southern US.

The troop ship General Pope is activated in Oakland, California and begins loading nearly 5000 replacements for Korea.

The freighter Elizabeth Lykes re-enters service from layup and moves to the Oakland Army terminal to load more cargo for Korea.

In Pittsburgh, the Cutler brothers, who have been drinking for over 30 hours, begin chasing two fraternity brothers they have found while looking for a fight. Campus police intervene before the students need to be hospitalized, and the twins flee the scene. The running men are apprehended a few minutes later by the Pittsburgh city police. The arresting officer is a friend from high school, and the men spend a few hours resting and sobering up at the district station before being dropped off at the Military Entrance Processing Station downtown in the morning to begin their military service. Rodney scores poorly on his assessment test and is assigned to the Navy, while Randall, taking advantage of the skills he learned in a prior job at a quick oil change store, is sent to the Army and sweet-talks the assignment official into assigning him as a light vehicle mechanic rather than to the infantry or artillery.

Impoverished Mexicans continue to cross the border, drawn by the tens of thousands of jobs abandoned by American draftees. Unlike WW II, there's no Bracero guest laborer program (conservative state governments shoot down the idea, fearing an influx of pro-communist Mexican agitators).

The Czech 15th Motor-Rifle Division is locked in fierce combat against the German 4th PanzerGrenadier Division and unable to disengage. In northern Poland III German Korps captures Lebork and continues to gain ground, moving towards the port and naval base complex of Gdynia, Gdańsk and Hel. In central Poland, American and British forces pass north and south of Lodz, respectively, as the NATO armored thrust continues and Allied commanders seek to avoid built up, fortified areas.

American aircraft from Turkey and the carriers John F Kennedy and America, operating from the Mediterranean south of Turkey join Turkish Air Force fighter-bombers in strikes on the advancing Soviet 1st Guards Army, trying to disrupt the Soviet rear area and slow its drive to cut off the Turkish V Corps, which is still holding firm against the Soviet 58th and Bulgarian 2nd Armies in the mountains to the northwest. The Turkish high command dispatches a levy of 1500 recalled reservists, equipped with LAWs, M1919 machineguns and G3 rifles, to XV Corps to reinforce its battered infantry battalions. In Romania, the Romanian and Jugoslav defenders of Timisoara strike to the south, bashing a hole in the Hungarian border guards' defense line and closing nearly half the distance to friendly lines held by the Jugoslav expeditionary force.

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The 101st Air Assault Division detaches its CH-47 battalion (the 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation) to Third Army. The battalion's 24 helicopters ferry to Khasab Air Base, Oman, on the southern shore of the Strait of Hormuz. Upon arrival there, they discover that they are joining a large mass of US Marine medium and heavy-lift helicopters at the base, as well as 6th ACCB's CH-47 company, G Company, 149th Aviation (Texas National Guard) and the 18th Aviation Brigade's 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation with 32 CH-47Ds, bringing the total CH-47 force at the base to 69 Chinooks.

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The Independence battle group resumes its strikes on Soviet targets in southern Iran, striking the 103rd Guards Air Assault Division's artillery and reserves. The group also detaches the cruiser Jouett to join the Salem battlegroup, improving the surface action group's air defense potential as well as adding another 5-inch gun to the group's shore bombardment capabilities.

In Khabarovsk, the MVD troops join with the 173rd (my 192nd) Motor-Rifle Division's 371st Tank Regiment in reducing the southern pocket. The T-62 tanks are brought in to reduce rebel strong points, and by nightfall the power plant is ablaze but nominally in government hands. A plea from the commander of the 294th MRD (in the southern pocket) for help from the troops of the rebel 70th (my 122nd Guards) MRD in the northern pocket is ignored, the 70th/122nd's commanding general replying "I have chekists enough to deal with."

Another series of fierce artillery battles erupts along the Pakistani-Indian frontier. The Pakistani Prime Minister authorizes the mobilization of 15,000 additional troops.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #179  
Old 06-02-2022, 04:16 PM
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June 2, 1997

As the flood of broken young men and women from the world's battlefields continues, the VA hospital in Bay Pines, Florida is designated as the east coast reception and treatment facility for those from the European, Atlantic and Middle Eastern theatres suffering from PTSD. Patients suffering only from physical wounds are transferred to other VA medical facilities.

Unofficially,

Another scandal rocks the Army Training and Doctrine Command, already shaken by the "5th Squad" gang at Fort Lee, Virginia. A brigade duty NCO making a random check in the middle of the day discovers a male drill sergeant "conducting an unauthorized personal hygiene inspection" of his all-female platoon at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The sergeant first class is in the open shower with his entire platoon.

The Cutler twins are separated and sent off to basic training, Rodney to Great Lakes Naval Station and Randall to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, each arriving at their respective bases around midnight.

The Des Moines surface action group arrives in Pearl Harbor from the Panama Canal. The group begins a hurried period in port, undertaking minor repairs, replenishing depleted stores and refueling after the long voyage.

Ships carrying the 631st Field Artillery Brigade (Mississippi National Guard) arrive in Pusan, South Korea and begin unloading.

Allied aircraft over the front in Korea continue their assault on North Korean supply lines. F/A-18Ds of the USMC's VMFA-225(AW) “Vikings”, in a nighttime sortie, intercept a NKPA truck convoy travelling in the darkness and rake it with gunfire and bombs. The convoy was carrying the rations and fuel for the NKPA's VII Corps, which has been engaged along the DMZ for many months.

Dutch police and marines ambush a Dutch Red Army strike team as it leaves Amsterdam for another attack. Two members are killed and two survive, interrogated by military and civilian authorities.

V US Corps’ 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment links up with British corps reconnaissance units south of Lowicz, beginning the siege of Łódź. The city is defended by a WOW brigade, a regiment-sized task force from the 11th Armored Division, the 9th Border Guard Brigade and a scratch force of OTK troops, ORMO militia battalions and Soviet and Polish stragglers that have been swept up by army patrols, mustering about two divisions in strength overall. The NATO force encounters field fortifications and minefields arrayed in depth starting nearly seven miles outside the city’s outskirts, defended by well-motivated militia.

Along the Baltic Coast, the 1st Panzer Division’s 17th Jäger Battalion breaks through the Polish defenses and cuts off the base of the Hel Peninsula. Fighting along the peninsula, which varies from 100 to 300 meters in width, is fierce, the Germans facing a mixed force of OTK troops, a NJW battalion (that usually protected the Communist Party leadership complex on the peninsula), Polish naval personnel from the base facility and ships stuck in port as well as stragglers from the Polish and Soviet armies.

The Czech 15th MRD is cut off by troops of the German VIII Korps airlanded between it and the Czech border, then subject to unrelenting attacks by helicopters of the German 3rd Army Aviation Command and the American 11th Aviation Brigade. By sundown the division is low on surface to air missiles, leaving vulnerable as all night long the unit is subjected to NATO air attacks.

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A quartering party from the 11th PanzerGrenadier Division is fired on by Polish troops in the woods outside Szumirad, east of Opole. They call in a nearby panzergrenadier company, which soon finds itself in a firefight to overrun a complex protected by three concentric barbed wire fences. The arrival of a Leopard II tank platoon soon turns the tide against the defenders, and by sunset German troops are at the door to a large bunker complex. The brave troops descend in the darkness below, clearing several floors with grenades and submachinegun fire. The elimination of the defenders inflicts considerable damage, but soon military intelligence specialists are poring over the complex, which is identified as the headquarters of a Soviet Front.

The Sierra II-class attack submarine K-534 locates the USS Independence battle group's supporting supply ship, the USS Wabash, and follows it to its rendezvous with a support squadron, where the American oiler takes on a load of ammunition, parts and fuel to replenish the carrier group.

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Fighting in Khabarovsk rages again, with fierce fighting all along the perimeters of both rebel pockets. Unbeknownst to the rebel troops in the northern pocket (largely from the 70th, my 122nd Guards Motor Rifle Division), their commander is negotiating with the authorities and at dusk he surrenders the last territory held by the remnants of his division. He disappears into the headquarters of the 70th Border Guard Brigade, greeted like an old friend while his troops are arrested and disarmed by the KGB troops. The southern pocket (held mostly by the 294th MRD) is reduced to holding the grain elevators in the flour mill, under constant tank and artillery fire.

The US Air Force flies another R-5D hypersonic spy flight over the USSR, noting the buildup of trains along the Trans-Siberian Railroad as it remains blocked at Khabarovsk.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 06-03-2022, 11:12 AM
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June 3, 1997

Colonel Piotrowski rallies the defenders of Czestochowa with an inspiring speech. NATO troops are 20km outside the city and begin a massive artillery barrage prior to dusk.

The US 36 Infantry Division (Mechanized) enters action in Poland in the Battle of Sulechow. (see below)

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Boston Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Long Beach Freedom in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Executive Officer of the 5th Training Brigade at Fort Dix signs the drill sergeant arrested the prior day for inappropriate conduct out of the post MP station. There is no documentation to record how the NCO ended up on a C-141 transport plane that departed the adjacent McGuire Air Force Base three hours later, bound for Saudi Arabia.

Private Randall Cutler begins two days of doing paperwork at Fort Jackson before beginning basic training.

A series of nightime flights by USAF MH-60 Nighthawks of the 38th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron deposits patrols from I Corps' Long-Range Surveillence Company (C Troop, 38th Cavalry) on hilltops in the North Korean front line corps' rear areas. (Each of the hilltops had previously hosted North Korean anti-aircraft guns; Allied artillery and airpower had erased those units, leaving them vacant to be exploited by the American recon troops).

In Poland and Germany, all CENTAF airfields and NATO command posts at Corps level or higher have deployed truck-mounted SS-23 guidance radar jammers.

In western Poland, the elite Soviet 35th Guards Air Assault Brigade is surrounded in the town of Sulechow, with American mechanized forces on all sides. After a furious artillery barrage, two of the 36th's armor battalions, 1st Battalion, 803rd Armor (Washington National Guard) and 1st Battalion, 632nd Armor (Wisconsin National Guard), rush the town from opposite ends, their M1 Abrams blasting the Soviet BMDs. American mechanized infantry in M113s soon follow, and after 12 hours of intense house-to-house fighting the town falls in the 36th Infantry Division’s first combat action since the Battle for Castle Itter in Tyrolia in the last days of WW II (where a combined US-Wehrmacht-French force defeated attacking Waffen SS troops).

V US Corps launches a series of armored probes of Lodz's defenses, which, while somewhat successful in penetrating the outer defenses, are each met by an aggressively led and pursued armored counterattack. The V US Corps commander, General Albert McKenzie, reports that the siege will be a long and bloody battle. The corps’ two artillery brigades begin digging in and the corps’ supply troops begin dumping large quantities of supplies (chiefly ammunition) into hastily established new depots before sending their trucks back to the railheads to the west to pick up more.

Second Western Front begins evacuating 2nd Guards Tank Army from the Gdansk Pocket. In the rear area in the south, 1st Guards Tank Army establishes a series of blocking positions outside Piotrków.

The aerial assault on the isolated Czech 15th MRD intensifies when the division is subjected to a day's attention from the 416th Bomb Wing's B-52s as well as other NATO airpower.

The 51st Coastal Defense Missile Regiment, transferred from the Black Sea Fleet to the Northern Fleet, begins combat operations in Severomorsk. NATO naval activity is increasing as Allied forces try to clear passages through the Soviet's defensive mine belts along the Kola coast; the coastal efforts are opposed by shore-based artillery and missiles as well as tactical aircraft.

In the Balkans, the Pact advance continues. The force that had broke south of Timisoara is cut off by counterattacking Soviet tank units and destroyed piecemeal, while 14th Army has finally cleared its rear area and continues its advance southeast, making progress as it drives for the Danube River. In Bulgaria, the Turkish 1st Army orders V Corps to withdraw from the Balkan Mountains while XV Corps is still able to protect its eastern flank.

Dawn brings the sound of gunshots to downtown Khabarovsk after nearly 10 hours of peace following the collapse of the northern rebel pocket. The shots are the KGB executing the officers of the mutinous 70th (my 122nd Guards) MRD as well as those enlisted men identified as the ringleaders of the mutiny. On the south side of town, the MVD and Army troops of the 73rd (my 192nd) Motor-Rifle Division continue to bombard the rebels holed up in the grain elevators of the flour mill. Additional rebel troops slip away in the lulls in the bombardment, arrested by surrounding MVD and Army troops.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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