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  #121  
Old 04-04-2022, 04:57 PM
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April 4, 1997

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

The American heavy cruiser Des Moines follows its sister Salem back into commission in Philadelphia following a similar refit. Once it completes its post-commissioning workup it will be assigned to the Pacific Fleet.

The US 23rd Infantry Division, hastily formed at Camp Zama, Japan in February from miscellaneous Army troops located in Japan, the Philippines and elsewhere in the Pacific, augmented by several aircraft loads of freshly trained recruits fresh from training bases in the United States, begins battalion-level exercises at Marine Corps facilities at Camp Fuji and in Okinawa. Equipment is mostly issued from war reserve stocks in theater, with some new equipment from the US and other shortages made up by “informal” transfers from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force.

Convoy 214, carrying troops and equipment of the 45th Infantry Division, departs San Francisco Bay under heavy escort. The Midway carrier battle group transits 300 miles to the north, with fighter-bombers patrolling the area around the convoy and airborne radar aircraft sweeping the region. P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft sweep the convoy's route, searching for Soviet submarines and surface raiders.

NATO electronic warfare units along the front line in Poland focus their efforts on identifying and locating Pact counterbattery radars so NATO artillery and air power can concentrate on them.

The Danish Odense shipyard delivers the massive container ship Kirsten Mae, the last of a series of five 90,000-ton containerships. Each ship can carry over 6400 containers. The ship is immediately dispatched to New York to load ammunition and supplies.

NATO forces southwest of Teriberka on the Kola Peninsula are still 20 miles from the Severomorsk bomber base and 50 miles from Murmans and face continuing fierce Soviet resistance. Offshore, the invasion fleet is in need of replenishment and has been actively engaged against a stream of Soviet submarines (losing a third landing ship, the transport USS Charleston in addition to the two frigates that have been lost since the landing almost two weeks ago).

The Bundesmarine (German Navy) commissions the former Al Zahraa, an Iraqi landing ship that had been interned in Hamburg since 1990. Requisitioned at the outbreak of war, the ship required extensive shipyard work before being placed in service.

The first aircraft carrying troops of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) arrive in Saudi Arabia.

Soviet commanders in Iran have their allocations of supplies and fuel cut by 25 percent as resources are diverted to the Far East to make good the losses sustained in March. Their problem is made worse by a coordinated series of airstrikes on their supply lines made by F-15Es of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing and F-16s of the 149th Tactical Fighter Group operating out of eastern Turkey. The airstrikes prove particularly devastating since they are guided in by Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group, operating with Kurdish guerrillas.

The Victor I-class submarine K-469 sinks another bulk carrier, this time the Panamanian-flag Frontier Star, only a year old, as it arrives in Guinea to load bauuxite.
__________________
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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  #122  
Old 04-05-2022, 04:26 PM
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April 5, 1997

In western Poland, the 6th Air Assault Division is called back into action, counterattacking wherever possible.

Unofficially,

With the relatively slow initial progress of Operation Advent Crown, the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars' alert is changed from preparing for deployment to the Middle East to standing by for deployment to the Continent to reinforce BAOR.

3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) embarks for transit to Saudi Arabia by air, where they will link up with their equipment, which left by sea some weeks prior.

The Luftwaffe forms the 1st Luftjaeger Regiment. Its constituent elements are airfield defense and light anti-aircraft units assigned to the 1st Luftwaffe Division, as the Luftwaffe begins to deploy eastward, operating out of captured Soviet bases in East Germany. The regiment is tasked with defending those bases and the supply convoys that supply them.

The 209th (New York National Guard) and 227th (Florida National Guard) Field Artillery Brigades fire their first shots in anger from positions in East Germany.

The remnants of the US Berlin Brigade (concentrated as a reinforced battalion task force built around the 6th Battalion, 502nd Infantry) is attached to the Canadian 1st Division for operations in Poland.

NATO marines evacuate Teriberka following two weeks of nearly fruitless attacks on the Soviet force east of Murmansk. Intelligence indicates that the Red Banner Northern Fleet is readying a major task force, built around the Slava-class cruiser Admiral Lobov (the fleet’s last remaining capital ship) to wipe out the amphibious force. (The Admiral Lobov was leaving the shipyard in Polyarnyy after repairs from a Harpoon strike during the Battle of the Norwegian Sea.) The Allied commander in Northern Norway requests additional naval forces from SACLANT, but the remnants of Strike Fleet Atlantic are still in the Atlantic south of the GIUK Gap and days away from the Barents Sea. Two American and one British SSN in the area hunting SSBNs are diverted to counter the Soviet force, and an additional American snooper boat is lying silently at the entrance to the Kola Bay. Forced with the possible loss of the amphibious fleet and the brigades ashore, a withdrawal is ordered.

The evacuation ashore that follows is haphazard at best. The ships in Teriberka harbor load whatever troops and vehicles they can get aboard in two hours, then depart at dusk. The armored vehicles are withdrawn under cover of darkness, some via LCAC hovercraft and the lighter ones and artillery lifted by helicopters. Troops are evacuated by helicopter and tilt-rotor aircraft; some companies are ordered to break contact with the Soviets and head for isolated dispersed landing zones for pickup. The Allied engineers lay enough mines along the road to force the Soviets to advance slowly, but Soviet artillery wreaks havoc on the mass of marines awaiting withdrawal. US Marine Force Recon commandos hold the final perimeter, then slip away into the tundra, evacuated by helicopter, small boat and submarine as the landing fleet leaves the Barents.

In the Indian Ocean, the USS Independence launches Operation Manhammer - airstrikes on Soviet facilities at Socotra Island, South Yemen. Most of the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron has already been dealt with, and most remaining units are at sea. The Tango-class sub B-290, however, is caught in port and sunk, and the support ships, shoreside communications facility and supply dump are all rendered useless.

The ships carrying the 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) arrive in Ad Damman, Saudi Arabia.

A high priority airlift deploys the 8 MH-60G special operations helicopters of the 55th Special Operations Squadron to Al-Udaid AB, Qatar to support USAFCENT operations as well as US Army special operations in the Middle East.

The Soviet Ministry of Transport, operating under instructions from the Politburo, orders a second round of mobilization from civilian autokollonas (truck transport organizations at local and republic level). This round (an earlier round occurred in February) turns up smaller numbers of a wide variety of older trucks in rather poor condition, accompanied by either older drivers or teenagers barely able to drive.

The Victory ship Wayne Victory, in Buenos Aries, Argentina, completes loading 10 LVPT-7s, 85 M-101 105mm howitzers, 5,700 small arms (a mix of M1 Garands, M1911 pistols, M2HB and M1917 machineguns), 250 recoilless rifles and 5,000 tons of ammunition, all of which had been loaned to Argentina under the Military Aid Program. The ship departs Argentina the next day.
__________________
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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  #123  
Old 04-06-2022, 04:43 PM
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April 6, 1997

The ECM system on a C-5 of the 137th Military Airlift Squadron (NY Air National Guard) diverts a SA-14 missile fired at it as it takes off from Stewart ANGB, New York on resupply mission to Europe.

The vehicle carrier Ohio is activated from mothballs and enters service in New Orleans, LA, loading vehicles of the 36 ID's 32nd Infantry Brigade.

In Mobile, Alabama the Victory ship Furman enters service, loading a cargo of bagged plastic pellets for Brazil.

US Army Forces Command accepts assignments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for three engineer units to construct or improve a number of facilities around the US for possible future FEMA use.

In the North Atlantic, the Victor II-class sub K-476 sinks the American frigate Voge and the tanker Pecos as they moved across the G-I-UK Gap to resupply NATO forces in the Norwegian Sea.

The British 6th Infantry Division is notified that it has been offered to the Chinese government for use in the upcoming summer offensive, as it has effectively neutralized local pro-Soviet activity.

The Soviet destroyer Vertkiy, one of the ships that broke out of Petropavlovsk, begins to raid the Aleutians, where it has been hiding from American search aircraft. It runs amok through a small convoy carrying supplies to the garrison of Adak, sinking the Alaska state ferry Bartlett, the tug boat Sea Racer and the cargo barge she was towing and the pair's escort, the aged Coast Guard cutter Storis, the oldest ship in the Coast Guard.

US III Corps launches an assault across the Oder at Schwedt, south of Szczecin. Assault bridging units of the 411th Engineer Brigade and helicopters from all of the corps' subordinate units transport the soldiers of 1st Infantry Division's 5th Battalion, 16th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry (Minnesota National Guard) across the river. By nightfall the Polish defenders (remnants of the 12th “Pomorska” Border Guard Brigade) have been pushed back 500 meters from the river and American engineers begin ferrying tanks and Bradley IFVs across.

2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) begins to arrive in Saudi Arabia.

The Tango-class submarine B-489 attacks another ship off the coast of Guinea, the small tanker Blue Star. The gasoline and diesel she is carrying are soon ablaze, the fire and pillar of smoke visible ashore. The sinking tanker carries with it the fuel needed to keep the country's vehicles running for over a week.
__________________
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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  #124  
Old 04-07-2022, 04:14 PM
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April 7, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day!

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

Two battalions of the 42nd Infantry Division (Mechanized) (New York National Guard) are dispatched to augment New York State Police in the search for a Spetsnaz team suspected in the recent SAM attack.

Troops of the Aviation Brigade, 9th Infantry Division embark on aircraft for movement to Saudi Arabia. The 28th Infantry Divison (Pennsylvania National Guard) begins loading its heavy equipment and vehicles aboard ships in the ports of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Davisville, Rhode Island and Camden, New Jersey.

The Dutch Red Army attacks the American transport ship Banner in the Ems River as it approaches the German port of Emdem.

Peter Robinson, a local beat reporter for the Twin Cities Herald News, is killed by a Polish mortar round when reporting on "what your local Minnesota National Guard troops are doing in the war" from the Oder bridgehead.

SACLANT authorizes the release of approximately two thirds of his amphibious shipping to 6th Fleet. The Kearsarge, Bataan, Saipan, Guadalcanal and Guam Amphibious Ready Groups all converge on Gibraltar, to form Task Force 61.

The 180th Motor-Rifle Division has completed its mobilization and two weeks of hasty training (enough to begin working on company-level manuevers) and is ordered to the port of Odessa to load for transfer to the Bulgarian front.

The ships carrying the 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) arrive in Ad Damman, Saudi Arabia.

Rioting breaks out in Conkary, Guinea, as the government tries to manage the rising crisis caused by the loss of food, fuel and export earnings as unidentified submarines ravage its coast.

The Soviet raider Buliny, operating in the sealanes off Madagascar, sinks the Cypriot-flagged bulk carrier Grand View, which was carrying iron ore to Japanese mills.
__________________
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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  #125  
Old 04-08-2022, 04:11 PM
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April 8, 1997

Nothing official for today!

After a month of training at the Shoalwater Training Area in northeastern Australia, the 28th ANZUK Brigade is ready for combat and begins deploying to South Korea aboard a trio of chartered car carriers, a pair of freighters, the naval transports Jervis Bay and Tobruk. The convoy is escorted by a task force of four frigates (two Australian and two New Zealand) and the Australian destroyer HMAS Hobart, with P-3s of Nos. 10 and 11 Squadron, RAAF clearing their path northward.

Retired Bundeswer Feldwebel Wilhelm Schoenbohm completes his design for a field expedient 90mm anti-tank gun. Dubbed the PAK-90, it mounts an obsolescent surplus 90mm gun (taken from M-48 tanks and Jadgpanzer self-propelled guns, kept in storage) on a carriage constructed of commercial truck parts and construction materials, fitted with a splinter shield that sandwiches a Kevlar blanket between two layers of mild steel. It is offered to the Bundeswehr command to outfit the newly formed jaeger divisions, composed of territorial and border guard troops who lack heavy fire support.

The bridgehead south of Szczecin is expanded by over a half mile in each direction. The entire 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division has been ferried into the pocket, with intense attack helicopter and artillery support from most of III Corps' available assets.

The limited success of the Teriberka landing prompts a strategic discussion at the highest level of NATO command. On the one hand, the naval losses suffered by the invasion fleet demonstrated that the Red Banner Northern Fleet still have the ability to damage ships in the immediate proximity of their bases. On the other, the amphibious force had been able to operate for two weeks off the Kola, and the hodgepodge nature of the Soviet opposition ashore demonstrates that Northwestern TVD is nearly out of troops to defend the Kola. Soviet air defenses had been manageable, and the dreaded Backfires had not appeared. (Intelligence notes the participation of Naval Aviation Backfires in raids over the Baltic Sea and Poland). SACLANT’s forces in the Atlantic have hunted down most of the raiders in the North Atlantic and losses in the convoy lanes have dropped dramatically, while the surviving carrier groups have rebuilt their escort forces and air wings, albeit with older models. A bold plan is hatched to eliminate the last of the Red Banner Northern Fleet and position allied forces in the far north to threaten Leningrad, in hopes of forcing the USSR to the table for peace talks.

Flights carrying troops of the 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) begin arriving in Saudi Arabia. 1st Brigade clears the ports and moves northwest into the Saudi desert.

Another R-5D hypersonic spyplane sortie traverses the USSR, this time flying southward across the Baltic Republics, Byelorussia, Ukraine before turning east over Kazahkstan and the eastern portion of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Unrest continues in Guinea as the government proves completely unable to address the shortages of food and 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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  #126  
Old 04-09-2022, 07:49 AM
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April 9, 1997

Nothing in canon for today. Unofficially,

The tanker Sabine is delivered in Newport News, Virginia. It is placed into civilian service, one of the last not to be pressed into service as a naval oiler.

The Oregon State Defense Force, a state military force, completes its civil emergency planning; the 41st Regiment is responsible for evacuation assembly/transportation sites and assisting law enforcement in traffic control, the 82nd Regiment is to provide in-transit security and protect evacuation sites on the east side of the Cascades, while the 249th Regiment is responsible for protecting the state government and Camp Rilea.

The last elements of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) - the Division Artillery, Engineer Regiment, Air Defense Artillery Battalion, MP Company and MI Company - begin loading on aircraft for transit to Saudi Arabia.

German troops in the central sector have advanced less than 10 miles and losses are heavy on both sides. There is an outcry from the public and political leadership about the slow pace of the advance, but NATO commanders continue the slow, grinding advance rather than risk even higher losses.

Advent Storm shifts the focus of its deep strike aircraft to crippling the Polish war economy. The steel works in Nowa Huta, Poland are the first target for the nightly pounding from the air.

12th Air Force in Norway requests the return of the 10th TFW’s A-10s, but with Operation Advent Crown in full swing the tank killers are fully committed in Poland.

After 60 days of repairs, the fuel system on Ascension Island is returned to service after being shelled by the battlecruiser Kirov, which lit the fuel dump on fire.

In the only known submarine kill by a Tango-class submarine, the USS Billfish is sunk by the B-515 as the American sub is rushing north through the GIUK gap as the Soviet boat is preparing to snorkel following its own transit.

The Sixth Fleet is reinforced with an additional carrier, the Enterprise, bringing it up to three (USS America, USS John F. Kennedy and Enterprise).

The Soviet destroyer Vertkiy, one of the ships that broke out of Petropavlovsk, continues its raid through the Aleutians, shelling the headquarters of C Company, 3-207th Infantry, part of the 1st Infantry Brigade (Arctic Reconnaissance).

Its sister ship, the Vol'nyy, makes a dash into the South China Sea, hoping to intercept some of the tankers and freighters sustaining China's war effort and the Japanese and Korean war economies.

3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized)'s heavy equipment and vehicles arrive in Jubayl, Saudi Arabia.

The Lexington battle group intercepts the Venezuelan-flag tanker Salvador Allende en route to Cuba with a cargo of gasoline and diesel fuel. The ship refuses to heave to, so it is set ablaze by rockets fired by the carrier's T-2 Buckeyes.
__________________
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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  #127  
Old 04-10-2022, 08:22 AM
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April 10, 1997

France deploys lead elements of its FAR to former African colonies to Mauritania and Senegal to deal with pro-Soviet guerrillas and internal rebellions that are at the point of toppling the governments of both nations.

Unofficially,

Anti-war protests on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley turn violent.

NATO forces make a landing on the eastern shore of the Oder opposite Swinoujscie, Poland. Bundeswehr artillery pounds the opposite shore while jaegers cross in small boats. An amphibious task force of the German 18th Marine Regiment and the US 6th Marine Expeditionary Brigade lands a few miles to the east to cut off Polish reinforcements. The fighting is intense and the town (on both sides of the mouth of the Oder) is completely destroyed in the fighting.

Advent Storm deep strike aircraft turn their attention to Lublin, Poland, striking the city's truck and tractor plants.

The Echo II-class SSGN K-35 finally rendezvous with the Soviet fishing fleet drifting in the far South Atlantic. The aged Soviet missile boat had crept south at slow speed to avoid detection. The loyal fishermen are overjoyed to see new faces; the submarine tethers to a fish factory ship while receiving minor repairs, a resupply of food (mostly frozen fish, of course!) and a partial reload of four SS-N-12 Sandbox cruise missiles.

American reconnaissance satellites locate a Soviet troop convoy in the Black Sea, departing from Odessa. Analysts predict that it is headed to the Bulgarian ports of Varna and/or Burgas.

The 41st Guards Tank Division is assigned to 6th Guards Tank Army and committed to action in northeastern Romania.

Vehicles, guns (36 M110A2 self-propelled howitzers) and heavy equipment of the 434th Field Artillery Brigade (US Army Reserve) load on ships in New Orleans, Louisiana for transit to Saudi Arabia.

The Independence battle group engages elements of the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron making a run for Indian ports.

North Korean commandos launch an early morning attack on 8th Army's field headquarters. MPs of the 8th Military Police Brigade and headquarters staff fight off the attackers, losing nearly 50 men and women (including Captain Jennifer Warren, a MP company commander whose sister is serving in Germany).
__________________
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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  #128  
Old 04-11-2022, 01:29 PM
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April 11, 1997

The second module of the Freedom space station is launched into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

Unofficially,

A second night of rioting occurs on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. The campus police offices and ROTC offices are burned.

Convoy 132 departs Norfolk, Virginia, heading for Europe. The convoy includes a number of ships loaded with munitions, both new from America's war industry and aged rounds scrounged from the far corners of remote and nearly forgotten depots, as the offensive in Poland consumes incredible tonnages of ammunition. The convoy commander flies his flag in the nuclear-powered missile cruiser USS Virginia, returning to sea after sustaining damage early in the war.

Advent Storm strikes the Pokoj Steel Works in Bytom, Poland.

German troops in western Poland receive a rude surprise in the area that they have captured in the prior nine days' fighting, when a 45-year old farmer hits a Bundeswehr fuel tanker travelling in the division rear area with a homemade Molotov cocktail. This is the first instance of local civilian resistance to the NATO "liberation of Poland from Russian occupation."

American, Romanian and Turkish aircraft take turns attacking the reinforcement convoy that was located in the Black Sea south of Odessa, sinking several ships and strafing others.

The Iranian 42nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, with a dozen F-20 fighter-bombers, arrives in Iran. It disperses to four small airstrips in the Zagros Mountains and begins flying ground attack missions in support of embattled IPA troops.

The Independence battle group continued to scour the northern Indian Ocean for Soviet and Pact shipping.

2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division relieves the 3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division of the mission securing the ports of eastern Saudi Arabia.

The helicopters, vehicles and heavy equipment of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized)'s aviation brigade arrive aboard their transport ships.

The Soviet destroyer Vol'nyy intercepts the supertanker Southern Jasmine, carrying 250,000 tons of crude oil to Japan, in the South China Sea. The raider rakes the tanker with gunfire, setting the accomodation block ablaze, but the ship's 130mm guns are insufficient to sink the massive tanker outright. After blasting away for 15 minutes, the electronic warfare officer reports that the tanker was successful in radioing a SOS, and the raider beats a hasty retreat before Allied aircraft arrive.

The Soviet Sierra II-class submarine K-534 enters the Persian Gulf, transiting under a supertanker to avoid detection.

The Venezuelan tanker Salvador Allende sinks after being struck by aircraft from the USS Lexington two days ago.
__________________
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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  #129  
Old 04-12-2022, 04:42 PM
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April 12, 1997

Eritrean rebels, with USAF and USN long-range air support, seize Asmara and Massawa, capturing or sinking portions of the Soviet and Ethiopian fleets based there. The remnants escape to the Dahlik Islands.

Unofficially,

Explosions (later identified as from a medium mortar) on delivery ramp of Sikorski helicopter plant in Stratford, Connecticut, destroying ten brand new UH-60s.

The 2nd Brigade, California State Guard is deployed on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley to restore order after two nights of rioting and widespread property damage.

1st Brigade, Washington State Guard is stood down from its enhanced patrolling around SeaTac Airport and McChord Air Force Base as the airlift of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) concludes.

The Luftwaffe 2nd Luftjaeger Regiment is formed from airbase defense and light anti-aircraft units of the 2nd Luftwaffe Division. With the threat to its air bases in Bavaria receding as Soviet Frontal Aviation disappears from the skies over southwestern Germany, the division releases most of its security troops for service behind the lines in Poland. The regiment, mounted in trucks (including a large contingent of gun trucks from the flak companies), provides convoy escorts for NATO logistic traffic in the rear area, a task that NATO commanders are quickly discovering will consume substantial numbers of troops.

F-111s and Tornado strike aircraft reach out again over central Poland, striking the Jedlicze refinery and starting a large fire.

The Whiskey-class submarine S-359 begins another slow voyage to the North Sea, its hull packed with mines to disrupt NATO shipping.

The Echo II-class nuclear cruise missile submarine K-35 is ordered to wrap up its replenishment from the fishing fleet in the South Atlantic and to make its way into the Indian Ocean, keeping at least 150 nm from the South African coast to avoid maritime patrol aircraft.

The Norwegian-owned tanker Forward Pride is set afire and set adrift in the Suez Canal by Naval Spetsnaz troops from the Caspian Sea Flotilla.
__________________
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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  #130  
Old 04-13-2022, 04:15 PM
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April 13, 1997

The Iranian government, under pressure from Soviet forces and Tudeh infiltrators, declares martial law.

Bostonians are rudely jarred from their apathy by news of the sinking of the Universe Carolina, a supertanker bound for Boston Harbor. The military authorities place the residents on notice that gasoline and heating oil rationing are imminent. The local press leaps upon the local government and military officials, trying to find out why the loss of one tanker (albeit a giant one) could trigger such massive fuel rationing. They are met with stonewalling by the officials.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Berlin Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas.

1st Brigade, 40th ID (CA National Guard), completes Rotation 97-7 at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, CA and is declared combat ready, while at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, Louisiana the 45th Infantry Brigade (Oklahoma National Guard) is declared combat ready after completing Rotation 97-7.

In San Francisco, the cargo ship Reliance is brought into service from reserve and begins a short coastal voyage to Long Beach to load cargo.

RAF Menwith Hills (a NSA ELINT facility in North Yorkshire) is heavily damaged in a cruise missile attack, launched over the Baltic Sea by Tu-95 Bear-H bombers. The raid leads to a significant loss of the capability to intercept Soviet and Pact strategic communications.

On the Kola Peninsula, the Soviets attack along the Litsa line. 18th Army tries to drive NATO out of the USSR. The 76th Guards Airborne Division, having had a week of rest to replenish and absorb replacements, leads the assault across the Litsa, supported by the combined artillery fire of the army’s divisions and Northwest TVD’s 2nd Guards Artillery Division, which has not seen action since November, and the guns of the 66th Anti-Aircraft Missile-Artillery Division’s forward regiments firing in indirect fire mode. The attack catches the NATO defenders off guard; with most units positioning one third of their troops on the front line, two thirds of Allied infantrymen are sitting in garrisons in the rear area. All the Soviet divisions along the front launch local attacks to tie down X Corps’ troops, while the 76th Guards Airborne Division concentrates at the Kola Highway’s bridge over the Litsa, launching an assault using its BMDs across the still-frozen river. The KGB lands a detachment from the 82nd Border Guard Brigade from light helicopters three miles behind the line, which sets up ambush positions along the highway. The airborne troops break through the US 6th Division’s front line, and the Soviet commander throws the 134th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment into the breach. The motor-rifle force, the size of a small division with six battalions of motor-rifle troops and tanks with a nearly full artillery regiment in support, has its engineer company lay assault bridges across the Litsa, executes a textbook exploitation and links up with the KGB force, advancing six miles within the first 12 hours of the offensive, while the paratroops deploy north and south to guard the flanks.

Aircraft from the aircraft carriers America, John F Kennedy and Enterprise, supported by USAF tankers operating and F-16s of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing operating from Spanish air bases, launch a series of preparatory airstrikes on Libyan air defense targets.

The 180th Motor-Rifle Division arrives in Varna, Bulgaria, having lost most of its engineer battalion and half of its anti-aircraft regiment to NATO airstrikes in the Black Sea.

3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) clears the ports and moves inland to serve as a mobile reserve force. The final contingent of aircraft carrying the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) begin arriving in Saudi Arabia, as do the final transport ships.

B Squadron, Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta dispatches its first team into Manchuria from its operational base at Clark Air Force Base, Philippines. The elite of the elite are tasked with locating Soviet communications, logistic and headquarters facilities, striking the most important and calling in the others for attack by other assets.
__________________
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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  #131  
Old 04-14-2022, 03:11 PM
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April 14, 1997

Nothing in the canon for the day!

Unofficially,

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

Headquarters, XII US Corps is formed at Fort Meade, Maryland from the 79th and 97th ARCOMs, assigned training support, support to civil authority and oversight of the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation.

Colonel Tumanski's Spetsnaz team fires its mortar at the ICI chemical plant in Runcorn, Cheshire. The attack releases a cloud of poisonous chlorine gas, which drifts across the Manchester Ship Canal and down the River Mersey, headed for Liverpool.

British Harriers are re-tasked to close air support of I British Corps' advance into Poland. This time they have a new weapon in their armoury, Brimstone, a millimetre wave radar guided variant of the proven Hellfire. The carefully husbanded stocks of Brimstone prove exceptional in eliminating individual tanks as the Harriers provide close air support.

On the Kola Peninsula, Allied forces struggle to contain 18th Army's assault across the Litsa. X Corps scrambles to contain the Soviet attack. While infantry battalions scramble to return their troops to the front rapidly without presenting a lucrative target for enemy air and artillery attack, 12th Air Force is called in to slow the assault. The first to respond are the A-10s of the 917th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying from Kirkenes, while OV-10s of the Marine Corps’ VMO-1 and the USAF’s 27th Tactical Air Support Squadron seek out Soviet gun positions. The A-10s blanket the bridge crossing site with cluster bombs before turning their guns to Soviet armored vehicles. American and Norwegian F-16s concentrate on suppressing Soviet anti-aircraft guns and missiles (assisted by X Corps artillery), allowing the 35th TFW’s surviving F-15Es to blanket the hostile artillery, massed on the sides of the Kola Highway on the east side of the Litsa, with cluster bombs. The US 6th Infantry Division’s remaining Cobra attack helicopters follow the A-10s, plinking BMDs with gunfire, TOW missiles and rockets. The Soviet 66th Division’s heavy guns quickly shift fire, ravaging the low-flying NATO aircraft. Both corps artillery brigades pound the Soviet bridgehead, assisted by fire from the Canadian-led force across the bay to the north. The Canadians also detach the Luxembourg battalion and the last remaining company of Italian Alpini to the US 6th Division, which go to reinforce the northern side of the bulge. 6th ID’s 1st Brigade, its heaviest brigade, reinforced with the divisional cavalry squadron (4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry), occupies reserve defensive positions along the Kola Highway halfway to the Titovka River. The arrival of British troops, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets (assigned to 3 Commando Brigade but not landed in Teriberka) strengthens X Corps’ defensive line. On the opposite side of the lines, 18th Army is unable to rally additional reserves to reinforce the advance and a massive traffic jam arises on the Kola Highway as reinforcements (the sailors of the 72nd Naval Infantry Brigade, mounted in Murmansk city busses), resupply vehicles and supporting artillery batteries all crowd onto the single-lane paved road, with ambulances and trucks of wounded rushing east. NATO artillery fire adds to the chaos on the roads, and soon the Soviet advance peters to a halt. The Soviet troops dig in, and X Corps cannot muster sufficient force to drive them out. The Soviet counteroffensive in the High North has come to an end.

Air attacks on Libyan targets continue as Task Force 61 makes a predawn sortie from the harbor in Gibraltar carrying the marines of the 8th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

The Iranian National Emergency Coucil makes an offer to the nearly destroyed Pasdaran, offering it seats on the NEC and the integration of Pasdaran armed units into the IPA chain of command. The Pasdaran accept (although the splinter anti-Satanic Army refuses and continues to fight all non-Iranian forces) and their forces are absorbed into the Iranian army.

The Sierra II-class sub K-534 makes its first kill in the Persian Gulf, sinking the Liberian tanker Neve Hampton.
__________________
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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  #132  
Old 04-14-2022, 03:44 PM
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April 15, 1997

Advent Storm deep strike aircraft attack the State Chemical Establishments at Dwory in Silesia, setting it ablaze.

Unofficially,

Troops from the 56th New York State Guard Brigade, guarding the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Poughkeepsie, discover explosives on the bridge. A quick-thinking NCO pulls the blasting caps while the police bomb squad was enroute.

The cargo ship Reliance arrives in Long Beach to load vehicles and heavy equipment of the 40th Infantry Division.

photo
The troop ship Barrett is reactivated in Baltimore and moves to the Norfolk Port of Embarkation to load troops for Europe.

The 214th Field Artillery Brigade, an Active-duty unit at Fort Sill, Oklahoma with a single MLRS battalion and a Pershing II intermediate-range missile battalion, is placed on alert for possibly deployment to Germany.

The 164th Engineer Group (Combat) (North Dakota National Guard) is declared combat ready for Germany and begins movement to the front in Poland, ready to support the offensive. In the German Second Army area, the troops of the US 1st Infantry Division (now fully located on the east bank of the Oder) link up with the amphibious landing to the north.

US Navy Rear Admiral Thomas M. Lowell is promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and assigned to US Naval Forces, Europe in London as the Deputy CINC.

Operation Sand Storm commences, with airstrikes from the Kennedy, Enterprise and America's air groups. The air strikes are quickly followed by an amphibious landing in Tripoli, Libya. (While the landing force was headed to the beach the Marines spontaneously began singing the Marine Corps Hymn, with its line about "the shores of Tripoli"). The landing is guided in by SEALs of Seal Team Four, landed from the submarine Hyman G Rickover.

The last flights carrying the troops of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) arrive in Saudi Arabia.

The Soviet submarine K-534, operating in the Persian Gulf, attacks the Saudi corvette Hitteen, which was hunting for it following the attack on the Neve Hampton the prior day. The small Saudi ship disintegrates over the explosion of over 250 kg of high explosive. Patrol aircraft of VOJ-204 search for the Soviet sub; the Gulf's shallow waters make visual searching less futile than it would be in the open ocean. The squadron's HU-25 and Fokker F-27 aircraft have limited ASW capability, and ultimately the wily Soviet boat slips away, back out of the Gulf.

In the South China Sea, the convoy carrying the 28th ANZUK Brigade is located by a Soviet Tu-95 Bear recon aircraft flying out of the partially repaired Cam Ranh Bay airbase. The Soviet scout plane vectors the destroyer Vol'nyy on to the Allied force.

The Victor I-class sub K-469 sinks another bulk carrier headed into the Guinean port of Kamsar. The ship's loss is the final straw; the Guinean prime minister meets with the Soviet ambassador to inform him that Guinea will cease selling bauxite to warring nations. The presence of Soviet naval and air units in the city (and their lack of activity to quell the recent rioting) had a similarly telling effect on the prime minister.
__________________
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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  #133  
Old 04-18-2022, 03:56 PM
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April 16, 1997

In Boston, an enterprising reporter gets an anonymous source to do a live interview. The woman details how the area refineries had been instructed by the federal government to crack all processable crude into the highest possible proportions of naval light fuel oil and aviation fuels for shipment overseas. The result is that reserves of heating oil and civilian fuels (which were to be replenished by the supplies on the Universe Carolina) are now very short. The area is moving into summer, and the heating oil shortage will not be severe, but the sudden shortage of automotive gasoline and diesel fuel causes considerable unrest. While the rest of the nation can drive where it wanted, New England feel discriminated against. Conditions remain fairly calm everywhere but Boston.

Convoy 214 arrives in Ulsan, Korea, carrying troops and equipment of the 45th Infantry Division.

The fire at the Dwory State Chemical Works near Oswiecim results in a cloud of deadly fumes from the destruction that kills or drives off much of the region's original population and kills much of the local wildlife.

Unofficially,

The tanker Salomonie is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland and put into naval service as the USNS Salomonie, T-AOT-206.

XXIII Corps Headquarters is activated at Fort Snelling, Minnesota from the the 86th and 88th ARCOMs.

In Poland, troops of the German VII Korps make progress along the junction between the 1st Polish Army and 2nd Guards Tank Army, which is facing the Germans to its northwest and the British to its southwest. The Pact troops fall back, leaving the town of Chojna to be captured by the 27th Panzer Division.

Advent Storm deep strike aircraft return to the Pokoj Steel Works in Bytom, Poland. Polish anti-aircraft guns down a pair of British Tornado strike aircraft from No. 16 Squadron.

Operation Sandstorm continues in Libya. Ashore in Tripoli, American marines of the 8th Marine Expeditionary Brigade make a concentrated push to the leadership compound on the southwest side of the city, bypassing most of the city's urban area. The M1s of the accompanying C Company, 2nd Tank Battalion quickly blast holes in the compound's formidable defenses, fiercely defended by fanatical loyalists. Helicopters bring in more troops, and Harriers operating from the assault ships offshore (and naval gunfire by escorting destroyers) help the advance. By dusk the surface and buildings of Colonel Qaddafi's palace has been overrun, but the leader and many of his most loyal lieutenants have slipped away into an extensive tunnel network that stretches underneath the teeming city. Offshore, the American sub Hyman G Rickover hits a mine after inserting a SEAL team in the Gulf of Sidra. The sub is forced to head to NS Rota, Spain for repairs. The escorting attack submarine USS Batfish is sunk by a Libyan patrol boat in the Gulf of Sidra.

The 180th Motor-Rifle Division enters the lines in central Bulgaria, facing Turkish troops in the rugged Balkan Mountains.

The helicopters of the 9th Infantry Division's Aviation Brigade conduct their first post-voyage shakedown check flights.

Soviet Naval Aviation Tu-22Ms and Frontal Aviation MiG-27s attack one of the two drydocks in Middle East capable of docking an aircraft carrier. The raid on the Arab Ship Repair Yard in Bahrain is successful in destroying the gates, flooding the dock (with a mine-damaged tanker inside it, which flooded as well, preventing the fire which started aboard from spreading ashore).

An artillery duel erupts along the Indian-Pakistani border in Kashmir. A Pakistani round strikes an Indian command post, killing a colonel, three of his staff officers and 14 soldiers.

The Soviet destroyer Vol'nyy, in the South China Sea, is ordered to attack Allied shipping located by the Tu-95 the previously day. The captain is given the number of enemy ships (12), their plotted location, course and speed but is pointedly NOT told that five of the dozen ships are escorts. Capitan Second Rank Frolov waits until sunset to begin his aged ship's high-speed approach to the ANZAC-escorted convoy, pressing his chief engineer to squeeze every know of speed from the 40-year old turbines. Cranking an impressive 31 knots (sending up a long cloud of dense black smoke), the Soviet destroyer closes on the Allied task force. An alert watchman aboard HMNZS Canterbury sees the smoke cloud and a SH-2G Seasprite helicopter is launched to investigate. The helo's radar immediately locates the Soviet destroyer and the contact information is shared amongst the escorts. The convoy commander orders an immediate missile attack, and within five minutes four Harpoon missiles are in flight, while flight deck crews scramble to fit anti-ship missiles to the frigates' helicopters. That proves unneccessary, as the ship-launched missiles are enough to tear the aged Soviet destroyer apart. The helicopters instead are launched to rescue survivors. Four of the eight destroyers that broke out of Petropavlovsk on March 10 are still at large.
__________________
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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  #134  
Old 04-18-2022, 04:14 PM
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April 17, 1997

Nothing official for today! Unofficially,

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

The 81st Infantry Brigade (Washington National Guard) completes Rotation 97-7 at NTC-2 at the Yakima Training Center and is declared combat ready. The brigade's troops load the unit's vehicles aboard trains for transit to the east coast.

VII German Korps occupies the town of Chojna and begins sending patrols along its flanks to link up with the bridgeheads of III US Corps to its north and II British Corps to its south. Elsewhere along the front progress is slow; the series of defensive lines, mutually reinforcing and with armored reserves close at hand, makes achieving a breakthrough impossible for the moment.

Tonight is the first night of several with NATO air raids targeting military industry in Katowice, Poland.

The Victor I-class sub K-469 is ordered to cease the blockade of Conakry, Guinea and transit to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to disrupt the flow of raw materials and war supplies flowing from Canada to Western Europe.

A Soviet submarine (never identified) sinks the crude carrier Mediterranean Orion heading to the refinery in St. John, Nova Scotia. The loss of the tanker makes the fuel shortage in northeastern North America even more severe.

With loyal Libyan army units heading towards Tripoli and Colonel Qaddafi's escape, the Marines of the 8th Marine Expeditionary Brigade begin their withdrawal. The fighter-bombers of the three carrier battle groups offshore have a field day with the masses of Libyan armor that clog the roads leading to Tripoli.

Two of the surviving Soviet destroyers in the Pacific arrive off of Midway and begin shelling the installations there. The island, however, has diminished in importance since the Second World War, being used mainly as an emergency diversion landing spot for civilian airliners and as a weather observation station; most of the island is a wildlife refuge with minimal military presence even in wartime. The park rangers there nonetheless call in the attack.

The commander of the Far Eastern TVD reports to STAVKA that only half of his losses from last month's Chinese offensive have been made whole. The high command responds that the situation is serious on all fronts and that he will have to make do. The Far Eastern TVD loses its priority for supplies and replacements, and the flow of supplies to other regions increases proportionally. (The Transcaucasian Front, for example, receives an allocation for the following week that is a 25% increase. Marshall Suryakin immediately plans to resume the offensive against the battered Iranians.)

The Indian Air Force responds to the prior day's artillery strike along the border in Kashmir by striking the Pakistani Chandhar Air Force Base. The Indian MiG-27s of No. 29 Squadron strike the base's control tower and fuel dump, inflicting moderate damage.
__________________
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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  #135  
Old 04-18-2022, 04:49 PM
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April 18, 1997

Nothing in the canon for today.

Exploiting resentment of the Soviet government's decades-long effort to Russify and settle the semi-nomadic Saami people of the Kola, American Special Forces troops open a training camp in Kautokeino, Norway to train Saami that slipped over the borders as anti-Soviet partisans.

A checkpoint on New York Route 9 stops a car carrying a Soviet spetsnaz team heading into New York City. The commandos kill three state guardsmen as they escape.

Troops of the German 27th Panzer Division move over 10 kilometers to the north and south, while making minimal forward progress. The US III Corps commits the 1st Cavalry Division to action in Poland, taking the northern portion of the bridgehead gained by the 1st Infantry Divsion over the prior few weeks.

NATO airpower returns to skies over Katowice to continue working over military industry in the city.

In the Mediterranean, Operation Sand Storm winds down with the predawn evacuation of the last marines. The carriers America, Enterprise and John F Kennedy provide cover for the withdrawing amphibious force as they move west, heading to Gibraltar for reconstitution. Libyan coastal defense units strike the American frigate Miller with a SS-C-3 Styx cruise missile as the American task force retreats, sinking the ship.

The Independence battle group in the Indian Ocean turns north, heading back towards the Iranian coast.

Third US Army reports that the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) has cleared the ports and is combat ready. The Army's G-4 (Logistics Officer) reports that shipping allocations are being cut back in favor of moving supplies to Europe, which will slow the buildup of supplies needed for Third Army to sustain combat operations.

The pair of Soviet destroyers that struck Midway retreat at high speed, heading west until over the horizon, then turning north to raid the shipping lanes following the Great Circle Route from the US west coast to Asia. They plan to link up with their sister the Vertkiy in the Aleutians so they can strike the major American air base at Shemya, with its complements of F-15 fighters, P-3 patrol aircraft, early warning radar and spy planes. The commander of the US Third Fleet dispatches a carrier task force composed of the carriers Constellation and Midway to hunt down the raiders.

Air strikes by the USAF 24th Tactical Air Support Squadron, guided by an A-Team of the 1st Battalion, 8th Special Forces Group, hit a large FARC base in the jungle in northwestern Colombia.
__________________
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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  #136  
Old 04-19-2022, 04:29 PM
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April 19, 1997

Nothing official today!

The tanker Kaskaskia is delivered in Newport News, Virginia. It is "placed in service" (not commissioned, as it is civilian-manned) as the USNS Kaskaskia, T-AOT-207, under control of the US Navy's Military Sealift Command.

The car used by the Spetsnaz team in New York state is discovered abandoned in the Bronx. The NYPD is placed on even higher alert, and state guard and National Guard units redeploy into the city.

The troops of the 81st Infantry Brigade (Washington National Guard) are granted an unusual 2-day pass so they can spend a precious few days with their families before deploying to Europe. Sadly, it will be many of the soldiers' last time seeing them.

Under a secret plan known as Operation Peripheral, the UK is split into 11 Civil Defense Districts, each with a regional seat of government bunker facility. The last of the 11 command facilities (at Loughborough in Leicestershire) is activated today with a small staff of local and central government officials.

The battleship USS Missouri takes up station off the coast of North Korea to provide fire support for the 8th US Army.

photo
A patrol from the 27th Panzer Division makes contact with outer pickets of the US 1st Infantry Division's 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry. Unfortunately, the American troops mistake the former East German division's T-72s for Polish tanks, and five of the German tanks are destroyed in the resulting American firefight before the error is discovered.

The Katowice industrial center is subjected to a third night of NATO air attacks.

British SAS troops, who maintain a safe house in Leningrad, attack the Kirov tank plant, which manufactures T-86 tanks.

The convoy carrying the US 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard) arrives in Bremen and Bremerhaven, Germany and begins discharging.

A flight of F-15Es from the 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, locate a supply train south of the Soviet-Iranian border. They attack the train with a combination of general purpose and cluster bombs, completely destroying it and releasing a large cloud of deadly gas from the five boxcars of chemical weapons aboard, which Transcaucasian Front had planned to use to kick off its upcoming offensive.

Soviet transport aircraft and heavy lift helicopters begin to converge on airbases in the Caucasus and Turkmenistan.
__________________
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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  #137  
Old 04-20-2022, 04:16 PM
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April 20, 1997

The Iran Nowin government withdraws from Esfahan to Shiraz. The Iranian Crown Jewels are to follow as soon as a safe location for them can be prepared for them in Shiraz.

Unofficially,

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

30th Infantry Brigade, 36th Infantry Division (North Carolina National Guard) completes Rotation 97-6 at NTC-3 at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and is declared combat ready.

Headquarters, XXIII Corps arrives at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for a pre-deployment command post exercise.

Colonel Tumanski's spetsnaz team launches another attack, this one on a column of coaches carrying reinforcements to RAF Brize Norton, where they were to be flown to battlefields around the world. 28 soldiers are killed and 32 more wounded.

NATO's deep strike aircraft take a night off to allow the crews (air and ground) to rest and recover from two weeks of high intensity operations.

Survivors of the 7th Guards Air Assault Division, mauled in the fighting in Norway and the Kola, are reorganized into a single regimental battle group in the barracks in Petrozavodsk, near Leningrad. The demands of the war are such that only a few dozen replacements have arrived, and only a trio of BMD-3 armored fighting vehicles; the rest of the VDV's replacement system is replacing losses suffered by the 13th and 76th GAADs and bringing the 103rd, 104th and 105th GAADs to 110 percent strength for the assault on Iran.

The Tango-class submarine B-489 attacks a small convoy between the Cape Verde Islands and Senegal. The commander does not realize that it is a French convoy. Luckily, the escorts (the frigates Prairial and Jean Moulin) have limited anti-submarine capabilities and the the sub manages to slip away after sinking the freighter Ursula Delmas.

Task Force 61 returns to Gibraltar. Sixth Fleet's carriers call at the nearby Naval Station Rota, which has not seen such a mass of warships in many decades. The ships refuel, replenish and make minor repairs.

Convoy 132 arrives in Europe, carrying the equipment and vehicles of the 32nd Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Wisconsin National Guard), several support units (such as truck companies, water purification detachments and field hospitals) as well as large amounts of ammunition. The escort commander turns his flagship, the nuclear missile cruiser USS Virginia, east to support the offensive into Poland.

The USS Independence battle group steams west, to be positioned to support Ethiopian rebels operating in the Red Sea.
__________________
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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  #138  
Old 04-21-2022, 04:50 PM
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April 21, 1997

photo1 photo2 photo3 photo4
The Soviets launch a multi-division airborne assault in Iran. The 103rd Guards Airborne Division air-assaults Bandar Abbas. The 104th Guards lands at Bandar-e Khomeyni while the 105th Guards Air Assault Division seizes Bushehr while the 94th (my 57th) Air Assault Brigade seizes Chah Bahar. The assault uses nearly the entire Soviet airlift fleet, and the 94th (57th) is landed by heavy lift helicopters. The success of the assault is greatly assisted by the actions of supporting Tudeh rebels, who soften up the defenses and wreak havoc in the Iranian rear areas.

Unofficially,

Headquartery, XIII Corps is formed at Camp Mabry, Texas from the 89th and 90th ARCOMs. The new headquarters is assigned support duties in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

The troops of the 81st Infantry Brigade (Washington National Guard) return to Fort Lewis following their two-day pass. Only 14 fail to report; they are replaced by recalled reservists from the replacement pool maintained at the fort while the State Police are sent to their homes to retreive them.

photo
A F-15 of the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron from Langley AFB, Virginia, successfully launches a ASM-135 ASAT missile against Cosmos-2579, a Soviet Yantar-4 photoreconnaissance satellite that had just been launched from the Plesetsk space center.

Over Poland, the Advent Storm air attacks resume, with a multi-wing raid on the Kraśnik munitions plant.

The Soviet 26th Army Corps headquarters is redeployed from Arkhangelsk to Belomorsk, ordered to strengthen the landward defenses of Leningrad and the Finnish border.

The missile cruiser USS Virginia launches four TLAM (Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles) against the Soviet naval base in Liepaja, Latvia. The conventionally-armed missiles strike the KGB Border Guard naval detachment pier, sinking the patrol boat P-663 and inflicting significant damage to the facility.

In Iran, a massive artillery bombardment (with many chemical rounds) is fired at the Iranian positions (this is however of less power than originally planned as a US air strike had destroyed a sizeable proportion of the stores). Despite fierce resistance by the Iranian People's Army the Soviets push into the Zagros Mountains. In Bandar Abbas, under chemical attack, the Iranian militia flees, although some units put up a spirited resistance. The Gurkhas fight a desperate battle to keep the port open for reinforcements (the 27th Infantry Brigade).

Responding to continued instability in Central America and the Caribbean, the US 71st Airborne Brigade (Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma National Guards) is deployed to Honduras to assist the embattled government and make inroads against Sandanista-controlled and pro-Soviet Nicarauga.
__________________
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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  #139  
Old 04-22-2022, 04:21 PM
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April 22, 1997

Eritrean rebels, with USAF and USN long-range air support, land forces on the Dahlik Islands, destroy the remnants of the Soviet forces along with much of the Ethiopian Navy.

Unofficially,

A RPG is fired at the destroyer Coontz, in drydock in the Philadekphia Naval Shipyard, starting a small fire that is quickly extinguished.

An inventory of ammunition stocks at Camp Dawson, West Virginia reveals that an entire magazine of 40mm HE rounds for M-203 grenade launchers is empty, over 100 72-round cases.

Three Soviet Skory-class destroyers, the Vertkiy, Vidnyy and Vdumchivyy, rendevous approximately 700 nm south of Adak, Alaska. They are met at the rendevous site by the Hotel-class submarine K-178, a former missile sub that was converted to a support vessel. The sub is able to supply some food and ammunition to the destroyers as well as an intelligence update.

In Poland, NATO troops continue their slow territorial gains against continuing strong resistance. Polish units at the front receive a steady flow of replacement troops from territorial defense units, but replacement vehicles are limited to what can be produced by domestic factories (the Bydgoszcz rolling stock plant, turning out OT-64s, 2S1s and MTLBs from Stalowa Wola, the Jelcz, Starachowice and Lublin truck plants, the BMP factory in Poznan and the Labedy tank plant). Soviet units receive a steady flow of replacement troops and equipment, transported through Poland on priority rail shipments that are the target of NATO special operations forces and interdiction aircraft.

Advent Storm continues to target Poland's military industry, with attacks on the Skarżysko-Kamienna ammunition plant. Cumulative losses for NATO strike aircraft are in excess of 10 percent since the beginning of the month.

In Iran, Soviet patratroops consolidate their positions, clearing out Iranian police and military rear area troops and securing airports in their airheads for follow-on shipments of supplies and equipment. These prove fleeting, as the Iranian Air Force and the USAF 9th Air Force launch an all-out effort to close the airheads, putting all aircraft capable of air-to-air combat in the skies over the Soviet troops. Soviet Frontal Aviation tries to provide escorts for the transports, but American F-15s and Iranian F-4s and F-14s succeed in pulling the escorts away, letting F-16s, F-5s and F-20s tear through the streams of Il-76 and An-12 transports. By nightfall, 37 Soviet transport aircraft have been shot down (as well as 14 fighters), at the cost of 2 F-15s, a F-4 and a F-20 which fell to a Il-76's tail guns.

On the ground below, Soviet forces surge forward. Iranian units at the front find their rear area in disarray and commanders are faced with the very real possibility that the supplies and equipment they have on hand (averaging about three days worth of consumables such as fuel, ammunition and rations) will not be replaced easily. The Iranian II Corps was already preparing for a withdrawal towards Shiraz, but the speed of 45th (my 32nd) Army catches it off guard and Iranian units fall back in a semi-organized manner.

The SAS troops in Leningrad attack the Baltic Fleet base at Khronstadt. They swim into the base's harbor under cover of darkness and attach explosive charges to five ships before exfiltrating. When the limpet mines explode at dawn all of the ships are disabled; the corvette SKR-12, Whiskey-class submarine S-194 and minesweeper BT-322 are all sunk.

The Victor III-class submarine K-412 arrives in position off the port of St. Johns, Newfoundland, to await the transit of the next NATO convoy. Red Banner Northern Fleet commanders plan for the Victor I K-469 to reinforce the blockade when it completes its transit from West Africa.

The convoy carrying troops of 28 ANZUK Brigade arrives at the port of Kunsan, Korea.
__________________
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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  #140  
Old 04-23-2022, 07:02 AM
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April 23, 1997

Researchers at St George's Medical University in Grenada develop vaccine for GHF, known locally as "the flu", which has ravaged the island for nearly a year. Production of the vaccine in the University's labs begins immediately.

Unofficially,

The FBI receives a report of suspicious people in a South Jersey rental apartment, hauling heavy cases into the apartment after dark and speaking a foreign language.

Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) agents arrive at Camp Dawson, West Virginia to investigate the loss of 40mm grenades.

The USS Virginia joins the westbound Convoy 135, mostly consisting of empty transports returning to the US for another load of war material. The usual exports of German cars, fine European foodstuffs and high tech manufactured goods have all been disrupted by the war.

American F-111 bombers strike the truck plant in Starachowice, Poland, disrupting production of Star 266 medium trucks for several weeks.

The Independence battle group remains near the mouth of the Red Sea, launching repeated anti-shipping sweeps to round up stragglers of the Soviet and Ethiopian navies from the prior day's attack. The B-52Gs of the 320th Bomb Wing, which had supported the attack from Diego Garcia, fly support missions over the Zagros Mountains in Iran.

The Soviet Skory-class destroyers Vertkiy, Vidnyy and Vdumchivyy, which had broken out of Petropavlovsk in March, begin a medium-speed run north towards the sealanes that run through the Gulf of Alaska on the shortest route between North America and Japan and Korea.

The last of the company-sized Polish Free Legions formed earlier in the year completes its training at the US Army Grafenwoehr Training Center. Rather than attach the units to other NATO armies or send the units for yet more training to enable them to operate as a battalion (and eventually brigade), the Polish Free Congress agrees to use the troops as guides for other NATO troops as the advance through Poland proceeds.

The Enterprise battle group departs Rota, Spain to hunt a rumored raider near the Canary Islands.

The Tango-class submarine B-489 uses the last of her torpedoes to sink the Marshall Islands-flag tanker Aqua Forest, which was carrying West African crude oil to refineries in the UK.

The British 27th Infantry Brigade in Iran is pushed back from Bandar Abbas and begins to withdraw into the mountains, conducting a guerilla war against Soviet logistics forces. Rifleman Goreng Nassang wins the Victoria Cross for manning a GPMG against overwhelming Soviet forces, enabling his platoon to escape.

KGB headquarters in Leningrad is ordered to locate the SAS team suspected of operating in the city.
__________________
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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  #141  
Old 04-24-2022, 07:34 AM
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April 24, 1997

Father Wojiech Niekarz is refused enlistment into the Polish Army because of his age. (He is 64 years old). He sought to join the fight to defend his homeland against the second German invasion of his lifetime.

Unofficially,

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

The FBI sets up surveillance of the South Jersey apartment. Agents quietly displace the residents of the adjacent units and deploy a mobile command post two blocks away.

The Fourth Marine Division, a reserve force, assembles in Camp Pendleton, California following conclusion of a division-level exercise at MCB 29 Palms.

The US 10th Special Forces Group teams operating in the Baltic republics redouble their efforts to disrupt Soviet supply lines heading into Poland. Three rail lines are cut and an ammunition depot is attacked; six guards are killed when their BTR is struck with LAWs while responding to the break-in.

Advent Storm turns its attention from industrial targets back to transportation infrastructure as intelligence indicates that Polish internal troops, using three of their four pontoon regiments, have repaired many of the bridges damaged by earlier airstrikes, allowing trains carrying Soviet supplies and reinforcements to travel deeper into Poland before having to unload their cargoes onto the already overburdened road network.

In light of the seriousness of the situation in Korea, brigade-level exercises for the 23rd Infantry Division are cancelled and the division's battalions are ordered immediately transferred to the front in Korea. A hastily assembled stream of C-130s (American, Korean and Japanese), civilian airliners and ferries begin moving troops and equipment across the Straits of Tsushima.

Soviet Long-Range Aviation, following several weeks of low intensity operations to allow units to rebuild and consolidate, returns to the skies over the Balkans, striking the Craiova tractor plant (which has been turning out replacement TAB-79 scout cars).

The Soviet destroyer task force in the North Pacific makes its first kill when it catches the Danish-flag freighter Gitte Sif. The small container ship takes several hours to sink, allowing the crew time to escape into the ship's lifeboat, as well as radioing a distress signal.

A US Navy EP-3 Aires ELINT aircraft detects the 3P41 Top Dome radar of a Slava-class cruiser emanating from the vicinity of Tartus, Syria. (Two of the Slavas were sunk in the Battle of the Norwegian Sea. The remaining Northern Fleet unit, the Admiral Lobov, was active off Teriberka in the last two weeks, and two remain in the Pacific, leaving only the class' lead ship, the Slava, unaccounted for, barring a massive intelligence failure.)

Soviet paratroopers in Iran complete the securing of their airheads and begin digging in as they await the arrival of relieving friendly mechanized forces. In conjunction with Tudeh guerillas they send out patrols to disrupt IPA operations and provide early warning of approaching enemy forces. The patrols also scrounge for food and fuel to supplement the meagre stocks on hand. (Military Transport Aviation, following the losses of the prior days, pulls its Il-76 and An-12 transports from the area, leaving smaller An-26s and helicopters to low level nighttime sorties to supply the large airborne force.)

The USS Independence group is ordered east, to return to the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz to help suppress the Soviet landing force. The group's commander objects, claiming he is wearing down his force sailing back and forth across the Arabian Sea, but is overruled.

In Leningrad, local police and MVD internal troops are placed on high alert. Security checkpoints are implemented at the train, metro and bus stations. Police are not told who they are looking for, but dozens of suspicious people (and several wanted criminals) are detained. The SAS' informant warns the team, and they stay hidden.

Soviet crewmen aboard the Venezuelan tanker Jose Carlos Mariategui set off a bomb in the ship's machinery spaces as it is in port in Conakry, Guinea. The bombing is blamed on NATO as the ship sinks at her berth.
__________________
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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  #142  
Old 04-25-2022, 02:49 PM
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April 25, 1997

An IPA unit assigned to evacuate the Iranian Crown Jewels from Esfahan to Shiraz arrives and loads the loads the cargo. As they finish loading the trucks, Soviet forces surround the city. Other units of the Iranian II Corps fall back under heavy pressure.

The 44th (my 20th) Armored Division is declared fully operational. Each of the division's constituent brigades have already completed a rotation at one of the National Training Center sites; the division headquarters staff has just completed a two-week long command post exercise intended to forge it into an organization ready for combat. The division's troops and equipment begin moving to East Coast ports for deployment to Europe.

Unofficially,

The Victory ship Wayne Victory arrives in New Orleans carrying a load of munitions returned from Argentina.

The Ulster Defense Regiment, a Territorial Army formation composed (despite years of effort) almost exclusively of Protestants, is fully mobilized. The UDR's nine prewar battalions are increased to 11, reversing reductions made in 1984. They gradually take over responsibility for security in Northern Ireland, releasing British regular units for service on the continent.

In Ulsan, Korea, the iron ore carrier Berg Nord is delivered. The large ship - capable of carrying over 220,000 tons of cargo at a time - is designed to carry iron ore from Quebec to Rotterdam to feed steel mills in the Ruhr.

In the Gulf of Alaska the three Soviet destroyers try to escape the location of the prior day's sinking. They succeed in doing so, but are spotted by the American trawler Nichole B. The fishermen call the Coast Guard, and within hours a S-3 Viking from the USS Constellation has located the destroyers.

The combined German Navy reactivates an inactive formation, the 2nd Landing Squadron. The force is made up of three former East German trailer-carriers, the former Iraqi naval transport Al Zahraa (renamed the Bochum) and the former Soviet barge carrier Alexy Kosygin, captured in Norway in December and re-named the Glückstadt in German service. The ships begin a short period of training together in preparation for amphibious operations in the Baltic, supplementing the 12 remaining former East German Frosch-class ships.

Allied troops in Poland continue their grinding advance, blasting through seemingly endless series of defensive lines, each protected by minefields and fanatically defended by well-motivated Polish and Soviet troops.

The US Sixth Fleet dispatches the John F Kennedy and America carrier battle groups back into the Mediterranean, to strike Libyan targets en route to the eastern Mediterranean, where they are ordered to locate and sink the Slava-class cruiser detected yesterday.

In the Persian Gulf, the Soviet Sierra II-class submarine K-534 launches a trio of conventionally-armed SS-N-21 cruise missiles at the US 5th Fleet command center ashore in Bahrain. The attack, launched from a distance of less than 20 nm, gives the American command only a few minutes of warning. It is enough time to get the staff to bombproof shelters (allowing the command to weather the attack without loss of life) but the headquarters building is left a smoking ruin. The loss of the structure disrupts fleet operations, and the command is forced to reorganize as the command moves aboard its flagship, the Aegis cruiser USS Yorktown, which has considerably less space available for the headquarters (which had inevitably grown ever more bloated). The surprise attack also serves as a blunt warning of the threat posed by submarine-launched missiles.

A KGB Alfa Group commando team is dispatched to Leningrad in preparation of a raid on the SAS safehouse when it is located.
__________________
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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  #143  
Old 04-26-2022, 05:01 PM
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April 26, 1997

3rd (I have the 4th) Marine Division deploys to Saudi Arabia under the I Amphibious Corps. (more below)

The commander of the unit transporting the Iranian Crown Jewels determines that getting through the Soviet lines is impossible; an Armenian NCO offers an Armenian Catholic church in the suburb of Julfa as a location to hide the jewels.

Unofficial:

The tanker Santee is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland and put into naval service, designated T-AOT-208.

A second R-5D hypersonic spy plane is completed and handed over to the Air Force in Palmdale, California.

The Air Force authorizes the release of obsolescent aircraft from the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, for modernization and sale to allies. The two most promising programs are the C-123T turboprop conversion of the venerable C-123 transport and the conversion of 1950s-era T-33 trainers into Boeing Skyfox light attack jets. Both projects also make use of aircraft retired by allies, Thailand selling 36 decommissioned C-123s and Canada releasing over 50 CT-133s.

A multi-squadron raid from the Midway and Constellation air groups on the three Soviet destroyers in the Gulf of Alaska ends the threat those raiders posed. Only one ship - the Velichavyy - remains at large from the eight that broke out of Petropavlovsk on March 10.

The 4th Marine Division loads aboard a mass of transports in San Diego (the 24th Marine Regiment, boarding amphibious shipping) and Los Angeles-Long Beach (the 23rd and 25th Marines, loading aboard merchant-type ships).

Aircraft of the USS Coral Sea's Carrier Air Wing CVW-19 intercept a joint Soviet and Polish missile boat task force as it departs Gdynia at dusk. The American aircraft make multiple runs against the Pact squadron; the second-line aircraft from the reactivated carrier are forced to attack with Vietnam-era Walleye guided bombs and unguided cluster bomb and iron bombs. The attacks continue for three hours (with some aircraft making two sorties), resulting in the loss of four A-7s and five patrol and missile boats.

Soviet interceptors from the Kaliningrad region get pulled into the air battle over northern Poland. Responding to calls for assistance from the naval task force, a mixed force of Su-27s and MiG-31s head west, only to be intercepted by the RAF Typhoons and USAF F-15s flying top cover for the night's Advent Storm air raids on crossings of the Wisla River. By the end of the engagement, the PVO air defense troops have lost eight interceptors, with three NATO fighters shot down. The commander of the 27th PVO Corps in Riga resolves the future not to divert his forces to fights over Poland unless it helps him accomplish his mission of defending the Baltic Republics and Kaliningrad region.

A Soviet "wolfpack" (consisting of the Sierra II-class SSN K-336, the Victor III-class K-412 and the Charlie II-class missile submarine K-503) attacks the eastbound Convoy 136 125 nm northeast of St. Johns, Newfoundland. The attack subs locate the convoy and transmit its location to the cruise missile boat; the resulting melee is initiated with a volley of SS-N-9 missiles. The frigate Talbot shoots down one of the missiles, two others hit the frigate Whipple, setting her superstructure afire, and two more strike the American freighter Argonaut. As the escorts scramble in the aftermath of the missile attack (dispatching most of their anti-submarine helicopters to hunt for the missile boats) the attack submarines strike, the K-412 hitting the Coast Guard Cutter Dallas with two torpedoes while the K-336 launches a spread of torpedoes into the mass of transports. Three strike, two hitting the Bahamian Steady Shipper (carrying US Army replacement vehicles) and one damaging the American Jean Lykes, which is loaded with US Army cargoes (mostly containerized rations, engineer supplies and spare parts). Sixteen hours later only the Jean Lykes remains afloat.

The Turkish command of First Army begins to receive a major influx of reinforcements in preparation of a spring offensive to take advantage of the USSR's setbacks in other theaters.

The 74th Tank Division is stood up in Ulyanovsk, Russia from the staff and student body of the Ulyanovsk Higher Tank Command School. It is organized along 1950s heavy tank division lines, with two tank regiments with T-10M heavy tanks, a breakthrough tank regiment with T-34/85s and a regiment of infantry that rely on the tanks and requisitioned trucks for mobility. The T-10s are hopelessly obsolete - their 122mm guns, while extremely powerful, can only fire two to three rounds a minute, by which time any opposing NATO tank could fire six or more shots, and ATGMs offer similar anti-tank power in a much lighter package. The aged tanks also move slowly - 50 kmph maximum on roads - and are limited in what bridges they could cross.
__________________
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; 05-13-2022 at 03:48 PM.
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  #144  
Old 04-27-2022, 04:45 PM
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April 27, 1997

The commander of the detachment moving the Iranian Crown Jewels dispatches the empty trucks to Shiraz, instructed to inform the IPA command of their location while he returns to the city to aid in its defense.

Unofficially,

The FBI team records the inhabitants of the South Jersey apartment speaking Russian, positively identifying them as the Soviet Spetsnaz team that has been active across the northeast for weeks.

The Navy certifies the M650 Rocket-assisted Projectile, the M422 tactical nuclear and M509 Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition rounds for use aboard the Des Moines-class heavy cruisers (the Salem, Des Moines and the Newport News).

Under cover of darkness and in great secrecy, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment escorts the British Crown Jewels to a secret safe storage site at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

The skies over the front in Poland are relatively clear as both sides recover from the prior day's operations. NATO artillery attempts to make up the difference, delivering an especially heavy pounding to Pact defensive lines and supply lines in the division rear areas.

The Danish government commissions the first of three emergency stockpiles in Jutland, in the Daubjerg limestone mine. The cache contains approximately 20,000 tons of grain plus canned food, cooking oil, bulk salt and other foodstuffs, blankets, tents and cots, diesel generators and reverse osmosis water purification units. Simultaneously, the tanker Augustenborg, 22 years old and scheduled for replacement were it not for the war, is loaded with 45,000 tons of diesel fuel and anchored in the Aalborg fjord.

The 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Georgia National Guard) begins loading for deployment to CENTCOM at the port of Charleston, South Carolina.

The USS Independence battle group arrives in the Arabian Sea near Masirah Island, where it meets with an underway replenishment group to refuel and bring aboard additional ammunition, spares and food before resuming strike operations against the Soviet paratroops at Chah Bahar.

The Soviet "wolfpack" (consisting of the Sierra II-class SSN K-336, the Victor III-class K-412 and the Charlie II-class cruise missile submarine K-503) that attacked eastbound Convoy 136 yesterday heads north, the boats having expended nearly all their ordnance in their months of raiding NATO sea lanes. To avoid the NATO naval forces guarding the GIUK Gap the group heads through the Labrador Sea to transit west of Greenland into the Arctic Ocean.
__________________
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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  #145  
Old 04-29-2022, 03:45 PM
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April 28, 1997

Esfahan falls to Soviet 4th Army. The commander of the detachment assigned to evacuate the Iranian Crown Jewels is killed in the fighting.

Unofficially,

A POW camp for Pact senior officers is established in Bedford, Pennsylvania at a requisitioned luxury resort. The press quickly discovers that the contract is a boondoggle to benefit the financially troubled hotel owner and that fewer than 20 colonels and generals have been captured by all NATO forces worldwide, only 7 of which have been evacuated to the US to date.

The final elements of the US III Corps cross the Oder River into Poland, the first American corps to fully deploy into the nation. The corps is facing the Soviet 3rd Shock Army and Polish 1st Army. The corps' 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade is deployed towards the corps rear to protect the bridges that are the corps' lifeline to friendly territory, while the 89th Military Police Brigade patrols the corps rear area, evacuates captured enemy soldiers and refugees and escorts supply convoys. The roads and brigdes are maintained by detachment from the 411th (USAR) and 937th Engineer Brigades.

The first battalions of the 23rd Infantry Division arrive on the front lines in Korea. Assigned to IX Corps, the Americal Division is thrown into action holding the line against the North Korean onslaught. Losses are moderate and the division’s performance under fire is considered barely acceptable. (In this regard, the unit’s lack of training, nonstandard equipment and the perilous state of the logistic and personnel situation all hampered performance.)

A trio of convoys depart California. One, leaving San Diego, carries the reinforced 24th Marine Regiment, which is tactically loaded in amphibious assault ships. The second and third leave Los Angeles and Long Beach, respectively, carrying the remainder of the 4th Marine Division and 4th Marine Air Wing. The 23rd Marine Regiment's equipment is carried in the naval-owned transports of MPS Squadron 3, which had carried prepositioned equipment already discharged in the CENTCOM area. The remainder of the force is carried aboard a wide array of requisitioned merchant shipping, including seven Freedom-class ships and the troopship Golden Bear, in peacetime a training ship for merchant ship cadets.

The workers at the Gdańsk shipyard, the original members of the Solidarność trade union, form an ORMO regiment to defend their home city from a possible German onslaught.

The escort carrier Langley and frigate Connole are detached from escorting the westbound Convoy 133 to reinforce the badly depleted screen of Convoy 136 following the wolfpack attack on the 26th.

In the central Atlantic, the Enterprise battle group concludes its unsuccessful raider hunt near the Canary Islands and heads north.

While aircraft from the USS John F Kennedy and America bombard Libyan air defenses and oil installations, the Soviet Mediterranean Squadron (the 5th Operational Squadron) gets word of the American fleet's approach. It deploys a line of diesel submarines in a line south of Crete to detect the fleet's approach (and attrit the American force as the opportunity may present itself). Soviet subs sortie from Tartus and Latakia in Syria and Patras, Greece.
__________________
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; 04-29-2022 at 04:41 PM.
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  #146  
Old 04-29-2022, 04:39 PM
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April 29, 1997

The convoy of trucks assigned to transport the Iranian Crown Jewels is destroyed by an air strike while en route to Shiraz. There are no survivors; they were the last members of the detachment that were still alive. The Soviet command assumes that the jewels were evacauted while the Iran Nowin government assumes that they were captured by the Soviets. (The Iranian National Security Force's intelligence analysts consider that if the Tudeh had possession of the jewels that they would broadcast the fact in their propaganda.)

Unofficially,

The FBI Hostage Rescue Team and a detachment from F Squadron, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (the famed Delta Force) raid the Spetsnaz safehouse in South Jersey. The Spetsnaz team leader, Col. Oleg Tanatov and one member of his team are captured alive; the rest of the team (and three Americans) are killed in the predawn shootout.

The escort carrier Langley and frigate Connole join the escort of Convoy 136, now steaming towards Iceland, with longer-range protection from USN P-3s and the occaisional sortie by a S-3 carrier-borne ASW aircraft from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which has returned to sea after rebuilding its air wing from the losses suffered in the Battle of the Norwegian Sea in December.

Green Berets of the 10th and 20th Special Forces Groups launch a battalion-sized raid on Second Western Front headquarters in Poland, killing most of the staff, destroying the communications center and capturing the Front's chief of Staff. (The commander, General Boris Aliyev, was away inspecting troops at the front, saving his life.)

A flight of F-111s of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing are vectored onto a train located by a E-8 JSTARS radar reconniassance aircraft south of Torun, Poland. The aircraft, which were circling over East Germany awaiting targets of opportunity, hit the train with general-purpose 1000-lb bombs, setting off the several thousand tons of ammunition that the train was bringing forward to sustain the Pact defense.

The American Victory ship Mayo Lykes, a reactivated Second World War veteran, is sunk by a Soviet submarine-laid mine in the English Channel. The Dutch Navy dispatches its Mijnenbestrijdingssquadron (Mine Countermeasures Squadron) 22, with three minesweepers, to search the area for other mines.

The USS Independence battle group resumes strike operations, launching a volley of conventionally-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles to accompany the carrier's attack aircraft in pounding the Soviet 94th (my 57th) Air Assault Brigade in Chah Bahar.

The USS Salem and its battle group (the guided missile cruiser Fox, destroyer USS Russell, frigates Samuel Eliot Morrison, Bradley and Nichols and oiler Cimmaron) round the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean.

Road and terrain conditions begin to deteriorate on the Kola Peninsula with warming spring weather. The melting of many meters of snow turn the dirt roads into running streams and the countryside into a half-meter deep layer of mud atop the permafrost, making overland travel extremely difficult. The changing temperatures and close proximity of the warm waters of the Barents Sea drape the region in thick fog, lasting between days and weeks depending on local wind and elevation. Those factors combine to nearly halt all military operations in the Northern theater.
__________________
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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  #147  
Old 05-02-2022, 01:18 PM
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April 30, 1997

The Soviet 7th Guards Army is in the outskirts of Dezful, the 4th Army is consolidating its grip on Esfahan before resuming its offensive and the 45th Army (my 32nd Army) has taken Yazd. The Council at Shiraz is cut off by the Soviet advance.

In Tehran, the People’s Democratic Republic of Iran is established by the Tudeh guerillas; only the Soviet Union and Syria recognize the nation.

Unofficially,

The Soviet Kilo-class submarine B-459 intercepts Convoy 136 on the southwestern approaches to Iceland. It lurks silently submerged, allowing the escorts to pass by before launching a spread of six (of its seven remaining) torpedoes, targeting three ships with two fish each. Two of the three are hit, the Louisiana Freedom and the former East German containership Ocean going down. The Soviet boat attempts to slip away in the resulting chaos, but the escort force is able to marshall too many helicopters and by dawn the boat's batteries are nearly dead and the crew exhausted and battered by multiple attacks. The boat's commander, Captain Second Rank Vasili Bovtramovich, orders the boat to surface and the crew to surrender. He stays below, opening the seacocks and riding his command to the bottom.

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

The Iranian 22nd Tactical Fighter Squadron completes its conversion to F-20s in Pensacola and begins its ferry flights back to Iran.

Turkish marines land a major strike against their Greek opponents. A naval task force, under cover of F-4 fighter-bombers, departs the Çanakkale naval base at the southern entrance of the Dardanelles carrying the Marine Brigade. The convoy is protected by a screen of missile boats as well as several destroyers and frigates accompanying the fleet. Within five hours of departure the flotilla arrives in the Greek port of Alexandroupolis and the marines disembark. The following several hours of confused mellee see the elite Turkish troops overwhelming the Greek rear area security troops, and the Turkish force begins the systematic destruction of the town's transportation infrastructure. A company task force takes the train station and rail yard, destroying switches, signals and control systems, hobbling the sole rail line through eastern Greece and supporting Greek military operations in Thrace. Another company raided the airport, cratering the runway, destroying landing aids and torching the control tower, fuel tank farm and hangars after shooting up the aircraft that were on the ground. A third company boards the tugboats and other small craft in the harbor, setting demolition charges off in their engine rooms and along their hulls. The port's cranes are likewise toppled across the wharves into the water and the warehouses burned. Demolition charges are placed in the main roads into and out of the city, and the bridge across the small river that bisects the town is demolished. The marines then retreat, liberally scattering mines as they go, and as the fleet returns to Turkey it drops mines into the harbor while the escorting destroyers shell the town, igniting a large fire. The raid results in significant distruption to the Greek Army's operations in Thrace, reducing the pressure on the Turkish First Army's western flank.

The freighter Joseph Lykes completes a month loading munitions at NWS Concord and moves to San Francisco Bay awaiting a convoy to Japan and Korea.

The search for the SAS team in Leningrad has turned up no leads, and the KGB and local police back off from the state of heightened alert.
__________________
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 05-03-2022, 04:52 PM
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May 2, 1997

After dark, US Navy SEAL teams and Iranian Marine commandos make a series of devastating raids against the 105th Guards Air Assault Division's communications and command networks. The division commander and his chief of staff are assassinated. Command posts and supply dumps are destroyed. Those antiaircraft positions not destroyed by ground operations are knocked out by airstrikes.

A special team reporting directly to the 4th Army commander concludes its search of Esfahan, seeking the Iranian Crown Jewels, reckoning that they have been evacuated to an area controlled by the Iran Nowin government.

The 36th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (less the 32nd Mechanized Brigade, which is completing a NTC rotation) is declared operational at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Unofficially,

39th Infantry Brigade in Lisburn (on the outskirts of Belfast), using the Ulster Defense Regiment battalions called up in April, expands its area of responsibility south, allowing 3rd Infantry Brigade headquarters to be released for service on the Continent.

Colonel Tumanski's spetsnaz team strikes in the UK again, returning to the chemical plant in Runcorn, Cheshire, striking three loaded tank cars with RPG rockets. The resulting fire disrupts production, which had largely recovered from the prior mortar attack.

The Soviet "wolfpack" consisting of the Sierra II-class SSN K-336, the Victor III-class K-412 and the Charlie II-class cruise missile submarine K-503 are detected by a seabed hydrophone array between Greenland and Baffin Island as they attempt to return to Murmansk via the Arctic. Allied naval commanders dispatch a trio of P-3 Orion patrol aircraft from Goose Bay Labrador to locate the enemy sub (they are unaware that it is three), which begin a hunt in the loose ice. The commander of the K-412 gets spooked by a near miss, dashing for cover of a nearby iceberg. He misjudges, and the sub strikes the submerged portion of the berg. The noise of the collision is immediately localized by the aircraft's crew, and the sub is hammered with multiple air-dropped torpedoes which send it to the bottom.

The last battalions of the 23rd Infantry Division are on the front lines in Korea, allowing the battered 2nd Infantry Division to be transferred to the rear for some rest and to absorb replacements from the steady flow of recalled reservists and freshly trained draftees arriving on daily flights from the US.

Traffic jams in the Pact rear area in Poland prevent some of the wide-spectrum jammers from reaching their assigned positions. Commanders suspect some of the delay may be the result of the crews' reluctance to be in the vicinity of the powerful transmitters, which are expected to receive a "very healthy" dose of NATO firepower once turned on.

Soviet bombers in the Balkans are re-roled from their strategic bombing mission to anti-ship strike, as the Black Sea Fleet prepares to engage the advancing American carrier groups in the Mediterranean.

American marines and the German amphibious troops of the 18th Coast Defense Regiment are relieved along the Baltic coast and returned by truck to the East German port of Sassnitz, where the newly formed Bundesmarine 2nd Landing Squadron has been joined by American landing ships.

Unrest erupts across industrial facilities and mines throughout the USSR when workers are informed that not only do they have to make up the production missed during the May Day holiday but also produce an extra two day's worth of output as a "sign of proletarian unity and pride". (The fact that no additional raw materials or fuel were provided for this burst of productivity set off many otherwise fairly willing and motivated workers).
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I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #149  
Old 05-04-2022, 04:37 PM
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May 3, 1997

photo1 photo2
The US 82nd Airborne Division (reinforced with the British 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment) and two battalions of the 75th Infantry Regiment (Ranger) are airdropped into the Bandar-e Khomeyni-Khorramshahr area. The initial waves of pathfinders include an American journalist, Fanya Ayn Wilkerson, who takes shameless advantage of her uncle Marvin Wilkerson's good reputation among the "All Americans" of the 82nd Airborne Division to secure a seat. US Navy and Iranian surface units and gunships of the 6th Air Cavalry Combat Brigade provide fire support. Wilkerson loses two fingers on her left hand while earning a Pulitzer Prize and the undying love and respect of the 504th ("Devils in Baggy Pants") Airborne Regiment while delivering the first video footage and eyewitness accounts of the 82nd Airborne's parachute assault upon Bandar-e-Khomeyni.

photo1 photo2
The 101st Air Assault Division makes an airmobile landing in the Bushehr area, supported by units of the Iranian Navy and two battalions of Iranian Marines. At Bushehr and Ganaveh, as assault waves of UH-60's and AH-64's make their pre-dawn landing the Soviets are in a state of total confusion. By 1600 hours the 105th Guards Air Assault Division has been destroyed, seeding small bands of escaping desantniki fleeing to the mountains.

Unofficially,

The Canadian Navy recommissions the destroyer Margaree, which had been paid off in 1992.

Reporters discover that the Army has appointed the nephew of a prominent member of the House Armed Services Committee as commander of the guard company of the Bedford, Pennsylvania POW camp. The appointment prevents the young officer from deploying to Poland with his battalion. (One of his peers from ROTC, recovering from wounds received in Norway, says "He's a chickenshit. Always has been, always will be." when asked about the young captain).

The 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards escorts another "treasure caravan", containing priceless artifacts from the British Museum (including its Gutenberg Bible), in a secret nighttime effort to protect them from destruction if London should be struck. The items are stored in an underground quarry in a remote corner of Wales.

The newly arrived radiotechnical warfare officer at Western TVD deploys his new broad spectrum jammers. It is a colossal failure, as the jammers disrupt communications and radars on both sides of the front lines. The Warsaw Pact air defense early warning network collapses and Red Army and Polish commanders are forced to rely on couriers to send and receive messages. British troops take advantage of the confusion on the other side of the lines to break out of a bridgehead at Kostrzyn; small unit commanders are confident of the mission enough to advance when they realize that their opponents are unable to call in artillery to fend off their attacks.

The beleaguered Convoy 136 crosses into the North Sea.

Turkish forces in Bulgaria launch an offensive against the Bulgarian 2nd Army. Under cover of American and Turkish aircraft, the Turks open their attack with a furious artillery barrage against the dug in Bulgarians. The front lines are held by second-rate troops, many ethnic Turks, who initially hold their positions.

photo
A major naval battle erupts in the Mediterranean as Task Force 60 faces off against the Soviet 5th Squadron. The American carrier task force is located by Soviet and Greek aircraft operating overland, while American and (ostensibly neutral) Israeli E-2 AEW aircraft watch the Soviet squadron leave Syrian ports. Missiles almost immediately fly from the Soviet flagship, the missile cruiser Slava, timed to arrive simultaneously with missiles launched by Tu-22M and Tu-16 bombers over the Greek-Bulgarian border. The Aegis cruiser USS Gettysburg, coordinating the American air defense, is struck by a torpedo fired by the Kilo-class diesel sub B-459, temporarily disrupting the anti-missile effort until the USS Richmond K. Turner assumes control. The disruption allows some of the missiles to slip through the multiple layers of defenses (F-14 interceptors, anti-aircraft missiles and short-range last-ditch defense guns), with the destroyer Stethem struck by a SS-N-12 and the America's flight deck peppered with shrapnel from a AS-4 that exploded 100m over the flight deck. Fortunately for the Americans, the air wing had just completed launching its aircraft for the anti-surface strike against the Soviet group, resulting in only a handful of aircraft being lost and only a (relatively) small fire from a pair of SH-60 helicopters on deck. The combined airstrike of the two carriers' A-6 and F/A-18 squadrons and subsequent cleanup by the S-3 squadrons left none of the Soviet ships afloat. The Soviet bombers escaped unscathed. ASW helicopters locate the Soviet submarine, and an ASROC missile from the destroyer USS Briscoe sends it to the bottom.

The headquarters and subordinate brigades of the 36th Infantry Division (Mechanized) begin moving to ports under control of the Charleston Port of Embarkation (Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina and Charleston) to begin loading for Europe. The division's 32nd Infantry Brigade (Wisconsin National Guard) will follow when it completes its training; a logistics team from the Wisconsin National Guard command begins loading vehicles the 32nd left at its mobilization station of Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin onto railcars for transit to east coast ports.

Simultaneously, the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Ohio National Guard) is released from the Strategic Reserve for service in Europe and begins moving to Mid-Atlantic ports.

Caspian Flotilla spetsnaz team launches another raid in the Red Sea from the dhow that is, following the loss of Ethiopian bases, its mobile base of operations. The team attacks the Jizam airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, overpowering the Saudi National Guard platoon that was watching over the mostly inactive facility. They destroy the airfield's navigation aids and control tower and blast a 15m wide hole in the runway before returning to sea. The attack's direct consequences are slight, but it alarms the Saudi government, forcing it to divert troops from the northern border and causing distress about the departure of American troops to Iran.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #150  
Old 05-05-2022, 12:10 PM
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May 4, 1997

The IPA command concludes that the Soviets captured the Iranian Crown Jewels when Esfahan fell.

Captain Pete Fanning of the 101st Air Assault Divison is awarded the Silver Star for bravery in the prior day's operation and receives an on-the-spot promotion to Major.

The 82nd Airborne Division continues to clear the area around Bandar-e-Khomeni and Khorramsharh.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Bronx Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Des Moines and Charleston Freedoms are delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Headquarters, 4th Armored Division is formed at Fort Carson, Colorado. The unit begins to receive troops and equipment and uses facilities left behind when the peacetime resident 4th Infantry Division was airlifted to Germany in 1996.

The 8th Armored Cavalry Regiment is likewise activated at Gowen Field, Idaho as a new unit. Staffed with personnel from throughout CONUS, many fresh from various training programs, the regiment is initially issued obsolescent or substitute equipment for training purposes - the primary tank is the Cadillac-Gage Stingray, with a mix of M113 and Peacekeeper armored cars as substitute APCs. The two formations are part of the US Army's effort to face the demands of high-intensity warfare in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The 118th Field Artillery Brigade (Georgia National Guard), which had failed its predeployment readiness evaluation in January and spent the next several months retraining in Florida (accompanied by a fairly extensive purge of unit leadership), is declared combat ready and moves to Jacksonville, Florida to load for Germany. Some of the brigade's troops believe that the evaluators were ordered to pass the unit so it could be rushed into action regardless of its actual readiness for action.

The disastrous Soviet jamming effort is stopped, but the damage has been done. Warsaw Pact lines begin to fail. A gap opens between the 3rd Guards Motor-Rifle Division, on the left flank of the 8th Guards Army and the Polish 2nd Mechanized Division (on the Polish 2nd Army’s right) and 2nd Squadron, 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Idaho National Guard) slips through. Within hours the rest of the regiment enters the gap and two battalions of the 27th Fallschirmjäger Brigade land in the woods north of Wrocław.

USAF F-111s of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, operating from Eindhoven, Netherlands, strike the small but important rail junction of Tunel, 35 km north of Krakow. The attack severely disrupts the rail yard but also devastates the surrounding community. Menawhile, NATO electronic reconnaissance aircraft identify the 3rd Guards headquarters.

The remaining two Soviet subs of the wolfpack in Baffin Bay (west of Greenland) are intercepted by the attack submarine USS Annapolis. The ultra-quiet Sierra II slips past the American boat, but the older and louder missile boat is located by the Americans. The Los Angeles-class boat launches a pair of Mk 48 torpedoes which sink the Soviet sub. The other Soviet boat does not come to its companion's aid, slipping away in the noise of the sinking boat and moving ice overhead.

Convoy 136 loses another ship, the Cypriot freighter Frantiz M, to a mine as it crosses the North Sea.

photo
The wreck of the Soviet 5th Squadron (and Black Sea Fleet) flagship, the missile cruiser Slava, slips beneath the waves.

The Bulgarian troops facing the Turkish First Army begin to waver as they continue to get pounded by artillery. The fighting prevents the Bulgarian Army's logistic troops (thinly equipped in the best of times) from pushing forward ammunition and rations to the troops on the front line.

The aircraft Constellation joins the Abraham Lincoln and Kitty Hawk in launching air strikes on Soviet defensive positions in the Kuriles, in a drive to increase Allied access to the region as well as forcing the Soviet commanders to dilute their limited resources.
__________________
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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