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  #301  
Old 10-18-2022, 05:14 PM
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October 3, 1997

The last NATO troops are driven out of Silesia.

Unofficially,

The mistress of the German lawmaker who challenged the command arrangements in the prior day's Bundestag debate receives a 2m Deutchsmark deposit into her Swiss bank account. While the investigation is never concluded, it is likely that the payment came from the GRU.

The 2nd Battle of Kamchatka occurs as the U.S. attempts to eliminate smaller Soviet naval bases before pounding Petropavlovsk from both sides (knocking out the remaining support facilities for the Soviet Pacific Fleet as well as surviving airfields) as well as hunting Soviet missile submarines lurking near friendly shores. The American force, built around the remaining carriers in the Pacific - Nimitz, Kitty Hawk, Lincoln and Stennis and their battle groups and a diversionary group built around the surviving escorts for the sunken USS Constellation, moved into the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. Two carriers (Nimitz and Stennis) approach from the southwest, two carriers (Lincoln and Kitty Hawk) from the northeast and the diversionary group from the southeast.

They run into an aggressive Soviet force that intends to sink all the carriers and defend their homeports, knowing that they are the USSR’s last line of defense in the Pacific. One group, built around the nuclear-power battlecruiser Varyag, sorties from Petropavlovsk and heads into the Barents, alerted by spotters deployed in the Aleutians. Another group departs Vladivostok, trailing the American force entering the Sea of Oshkosh. The diversionary group, with their Aegis combat systems operating at full power, draws out the remnants of Soviet Naval Aviation, who believe that they are accompanied by a carrier.

The resulting scrum is the final application of Soviet naval warfighting doctrine, with massed attacks from surface ships, submarines, bombers and even coastal defense missiles, timed to arrive on target simultaneously, overwhelming American defenses. The American force gets its aircraft airborne for another of the oft-repeated massed air strikes while the escorts try to hold off the incoming wave of missiles with the last of the Pacific Fleet’s carefully husbanded store of air defense missiles.

The Americans are only partially successful - the Soviets heavily damage Nimitz and moderately damage the Stennis and Kitty Hawk, leaving Abraham Lincoln as the only undamaged carrier in the Pacific. The diversionary group suffers heavily - the Aegis cruiser Lake Champlain's and the Aegis destroyer Benfold's superstructure are shredded by Soviet anti-radiation missiles. The cruiser Port Royal is damaged by an anti-ship missile fired by a Soviet SSGN (the Oscar II-class K-132) and the destroyer David Ray is sunk. Port Royal is saved by the herculean efforts of its crew as well as the timely assistance of the frigate Roark, which takes the cruiser under tow to Japan. The Nimitz and Kitty Hawk require dry dock repairs in the U.S. lasting several weeks, while Stennis undergoes almost a month of repair in port in Japan. A total of six other American escorts (and three supporting auxiliaries) are damaged or sunk. In return, the USSR loses almost all of its participating surface units - five cruisers (mostly older Kresta/Kresta-II, but Kara and Slava class cruisers as well), the helicopter carrier Baku, five destroyers, and seven frigates as well as several submarines. The airstrikes from the Nimitz and Stennis ravage the Soviet naval aviation base complex at Sovetskaya Gavan while Lincoln and Kitty Hawk’s aircraft knock back Petrpavlovsk’s air defenses and replenish the minefields in the channel laid earlier in the war; the damaged carriers’ aircraft recover to Japan, assisted by rapidly responding SAC tankers.

Strategically, like the First Battle of Kamchatka in June, the engagement is a draw; some claim it as a slight Soviet victory. The Soviet Pacific Fleet loses nearly all of its remaining surface fleet and its naval aviation force is badly depleted, both never to operate again. The Americans neutralize Petropavlovsk (it is struck by an American nuclear missile later in the year, just as minesweepers are finishing clearing the channel) but are unable to conduct the boomer hunt they had planned on or deliver a concerted pounding to Petropavlovsk or the minor bases in Sakhalin and on the Soviet Pacific coast.

Despite changing locations frequently and the deployment of additional German territorial troops for area security, another Spetsnaz team locates a flight of USAF nuclear cruise missiles of the 485th Tactical Missile Wing east of Cologne. Once again the USAF security troops are able to fight off the attackers, who are ambushed by German security troops while evacuating the area. Documents found on their bodies reveal the location of their safehouse, which is raided by GSG-9 commandos within four hours. The safehouse is empty (and booby trapped); the loss of the German commando from the trap is not offset by capture of any further useful intelligence.

XII German Korps is authorized to withdraw its jaeger divisions - composed of former border guard and territorial units - to the east of Szeczin to prepare defenses and rebuild, detaching its 6th PanzerGrenadier division to VII Korps, which is facing the 2nd Guards Tank Army near Chojnice, Poland.

The nuclear cruiser USS Virginia leads an anti-submarine hunter-killer group into the Norwegian Sea hunting Soviet ballistic missile submarines. (Naval intelligence believes that the Soviets are sortieing older boomers with shorter-range missiles, which in peacetime patrolled north of Bermuda, to the Norwegian Sea east of Greenland to avoid transiting the GIUK Gap).

The damaged USS America arrives in Sigonella, Sicily for emergency repairs. The US Navy salvage ship Grasp is there to begin repairs, while the destroyer tender USS Shenandoah departs Rota Spain, escorted by the frigate Blakely, to assist.

Jugoslav resistance in Belgrade collapses as the surrounded defenders, abandoned by their political leaders, decide that the life in captivity offered by Soviet propaganda units is preferable to death in the isolated city.

Elsewhere in Jugoslavia, remaining surviving JNA units fight rearguard actions as they retreat to the mountainous center of the country, under attack from all directions.

The Portuguese 1st Mechanized Brigade, facing the Soviet 58th Army in Thrace, is blooded by a coordinated attack by two Soviet divisions - the 9th and 82nd Motor-Rifle - and forced to fall back. The Bulgarian 2nd Army captures the key communication hub of Kirkakeli, forcing the Turkish XV Corps to withdraw. Greek Forces in Thrace send a secondary force south to capture the base of the Gallipoli Peninsula, allowing Greece to cut off traffic out of the Dardanelles; the only resistance the Greeks face are lightly-equipped Turkish gendarmes, that are supported by a few sorties by the dwindling Turkish Air Force.

The day marks the formal end of South Yemeni resistance in Aden as “arrangements” are reached with local tribal leaders (which mostly involved transfers of cash and weapons as well as guaranteed jobs for relatives and tribe members) as the communist government of South Yemen has faded away. The 29th Infantry Division is in constant action against unorganized bandits and guerrillas.

Executing the Pakistani high command's instructions, in the predawn hours the Pakistani Air Force's No. 16 and 26 launch a combined 14 Nanchang A-5 bomber aircraft at Indian targets - three air bases (Ambala, Gorakhpur and Maharajpur) and seven cities in the center and west of the country. Each airplane carries one 35-kt nuclear bomb. Indian interceptors shoot down four planes, but two of the airbases and five cities are hit in a bid to knock out India's nuclear strike ability and cripple its economy. The Pakistanis lose two more aircraft on the egress, and one (with a volunteer pilot) was assigned a one-way mission, to strike Calcutta.
__________________
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; 10-20-2022 at 11:21 AM. Reason: spell check
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  #302  
Old 10-18-2022, 05:16 PM
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October 4, 1997

Nothing official for the day.

The Freedom ship Columbus Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi and the tanker Caliente is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland.

The commander of the USS Missouri is relieved of command for the unauthorized release of a nuclear-tipped TLAM cruise missile two days before. He is evacuated to Yokohama, Japan.

NATO forces in Bavaria launch a counterattack against Italian and Soviet forces that recently captured Augsburg. Ironically, the NATO attack is supported by the 17th Field Artillery Brigade, which is fighting to recapture its long-time peacetime barracks.

The attack submarine USS Olympia attacks the submarine support ship Amga and its escorting frigate Norka in the Barents Sea, sinking both Soviet ships as they sortied to support extended missile submarine patrols. The American sub expends its last Harpoon missiles in the mission.

The Indian government authorizes immediate retaliation for the Pakistani nuclear attacks on two of its three nuclear-capable air bases and major economic and population centers. Within hours, Indian Jaguar strike aircraft are roaring over Pakistan, wiping out the two Pakistani air bases that launched the strikes as well as the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Islamabad. As the Indian aircraft are headed into Pakistani airspace, a second wave of Pakistani aircraft are headed eastbound, striking additional population and economic targets in the Indian heartland.
__________________
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; 10-20-2022 at 11:21 AM. Reason: wrong battleship!
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  #303  
Old 10-19-2022, 04:28 PM
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October 5, 1997

Nothing in canon for today.

The Freedom-class cargo ship Tulsa Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas, the Ft. Worth Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi and the Spokane Freedom in San Diego, California.

Canton, China is struck by a small Soviet tactical nuclear strike in a bid to cut off the trickle of relief supplies that daring captains continue to deliver.

The former commanding officer of the USS Missouri is arrested in Yokohama, Japan and charged with dereliction of duty for the unauthorized release of a nuclear weapon.

The NORTHAG G-4, the general responsible for the logistic support of most NATO units in Poland, reports that his efforts are at a critical state. His greatest concerns are the losses inflicted by Soviet nuclear weapons on his supply lines and support sites, the disruption of supply lines from damage to north German ports, the wholesale desertion of third-nation civilian contract workers and the near-total depletion of spare part supplies for former East German units. (Many former NVA units had subsisted during the advance across Poland by scavenging the battlefield for damaged Soviet and Pact vehicles for spares; while withdrawing that source has been cut off).

The NATO attack on Augsburg sees success, driving the Italian Ariete Armored Division from the city center, pushing the fighting to the city's southern outskirts; the nearby Battle of Ingolstadt is going less well for NATO, with American forces gradually being pushed out of that battered city.

In order to support the embattled Turkish Army in Thrace, 6th Fleet redirects the John F Kennedy, Wisconsin and Illustrious from the Adriatic to the Aegean Sea, hopefully forcing the Greeks to divert forces from the Turks and allowing JFK's aircraft to appear over the battlefield in Thrace. JFK's squadrons have been restored to full or near-full strength by the transfer of aircraft from the damaged USS America.

Turkish resistance in Thrace begins to evaporate as Soviet and Bulgarian tank units, supported by tactical nuclear strikes, begin a seemingly mad dash for Istanbul. Isolated units that stand and fight are bypassed or pounded to bits by conventional and nuclear artillery, while others streaming away from the battlefield in an attempt to survive find themselves competing with Pact units to see who reaches Istanbul first.

The German container ship Herm Kiepe arrives at the port of Becancour, Quebec to take on another load of containerized foodstuffs, industrial chemicals and munitions. The ship's master, nervous about the continuing and escalating nuclear exchange, is distressed by the presence of the Gentilly nuclear power plant a little more than a mile from his berth.

In one of the rare arms sales (the major arms manufacturers either retaining their output for themselves or their allies, or delivering to the Chinese under extremely large contracts signed in late 1995), France delivers the first AMX-40 tanks to Saudi Arabia, where they are placed into service with the 11th Mechanized Brigade, initially serving alongside older AMX-30 tanks from which the AMX-40 was developed. The deal helps to reinforce France's ties with the kingdom, hopefully (in the French calculus) encouraging preferred supplies of crude.

The Pakistani and Indian governments struggle to provide adequate relief to their populations in the wake of the nuclear attacks on their country.
__________________
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; 10-20-2022 at 11:23 AM. Reason: wrong battleship!
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  #304  
Old 10-19-2022, 04:32 PM
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October 6, 1997

7th Guards Army renews its attacks against the 24th Infantry Division in the Bandar-e Khomeyni area. The Soviet 45th Army (my 32nd Army) debouches from the passes in the Zagros Mountains and attacks the positions of the 101st and 9th Divisions at Bushehr and Ganaveh. The Soviet 1st and 40th Armies have the US I Amphibious Corps (I have it as I MEF) pinned down at Bandar Abbas.

Unofficially

FEMA contractors complete the conversion of another facility - the Madera Speedway in Madera, California - to evacuee housing, taking advantage of the power, water and traffic handling already on the site.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK runs a story detailing how the draft papers of wealthy and influential families' sons had "gone missing". The article causes great anger from families whose sons reported for their mandatory military service.

The local military commander of the city of Xiangfan in central China declares himself the city's overlord and protector. The locality has suffered relatively lightly - its car plant (converted to military production) was destroyed by Soviet strategic bombers in the winter of 1995-6, sparing the city from a nuclear attack. The local population welcomes the declaration, with its implicit promise that the general will restore order and be able to coordinate the delivery of food, water and house the refugees flooding into the region from the north.

The commander, 3rd Fleet in Japan sets a November 8 trial date for the former commander of the battleship Missouri.

Faced with dwindling reserves and relentless attacks from the 1st Byelorussian Front's combined three tank armies seeking to exploit the boundary between V and XXIII US Corps, the commander of NORTHAG, over the objections of the Polish Free Congress, authorizes the creation of a tactical nuclear barrier along the Warta west of Lodz. After coordinated planning between both corps' operations cells and consultation with meteorologists, engineer and artillery units of both corps execute over a dozen nuclear strikes. The explosions, all ground bursts, are arrayed so that their blast radii overlap, creating a continuous line of blown-down trees, cratered or burned ground and intense radiation on the far shore of the river, hopefully impassable to Pact troops on foot or in unprotected vehicles. The blasts also create vast amounts of radioactive fallout which blows north, reinforcing the intensity of the radiation along the barrier line. The river valley is overwatched by mechanized detachments prepared to deal with armored vehicles attempting to cross the blast zone and approaching the river.

The USS Virginia hunter-killer group, operating as a team with P-3s from Keflavik and Goose Bay, establishes contact with a suspected Soviet SSBN and begins to hunt it. Over the next 16 hours they lose and re-establish fleeting contact six times.

Unable to stop the rout of its troops, the Turkish High Command directs all available reserves (mostly training formations and recently raised infantry units filled by recalled reservists and nervous teens) to the western edge of the Istanbul metro area, where there is an attempt to construct a defensive line at Catalca. That location, which succeeded in halting a similar Bulgarian drive in 1912, is a point where the isthmus is only 40 kilometers wide, much of which is bisected by lakes and waterways, forming a naturally strong defensive position. Military Police are stationed at the crossings to direct retreating soldiers seeking shelter from the battlefields in Thrace to positions along the nascent defensive line.

The survivors of the 341st (my 22nd Guards) Tank Division are formed into a single composite regiment, the 302nd Guards Tank Regiment, with 44 T-72s and a smattering of other armored vehicles salvaged from the ruins of the division’s trains. The unit begins drills in the local area in preparation for a continuation of its movement to the front in the Balkans.
__________________
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; 10-20-2022 at 11:23 AM. Reason: wrong battleship!
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  #305  
Old 10-19-2022, 04:38 PM
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October 7, 1997

Nothing in canon for today. Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Camp is delivered in Panama City, Florida and manned by USCG personnel. The tanker Chikaskia is delivered in Newport News, Virginia and placed into naval service, manned by a mix of naval and civilian sailors.

Polish civil defense authorities resist the demands from high Party officials to enter the still-burning ruins of Warsaw to put out fires and begin rescue and restoration work. The General in charge of civil defense responds that the area is still too radioactive, is infested with unexploded ordnance from the recent siege and that his remaining overworked troops (many have been press-ganged into Army service as engineers and infantrymen) are better used restoring less-heavily damaged areas of the country.

Reorganized troops of the 35th Army in North Korea are able to resume some offensive action following the nuclear attack on their supply lines. The pontoon bridges have been replaced by a more primitive method - forced-labor by North Korean civilians taking loads across the river in small boats and rafts.

The Virginia group is finally able to establish a solid enough situation to engage the suspected Soviet boomer east of Greenland. A helicopter from the cruiser, piloted by Lt. Hans Brupp, drops a B-57 nuclear depth charge on the contact, identified by postwar research as the Yankee Notch-class cruise missile sub K-423, sinking it.

Romanian troops in Bucharest are forced out of the train station by a massive Soviet counterattack that is supported by a combined force of Su-130 assault guns and 2S3 152mm self-propelled howitzers firing in direct-fire mode. The fierce Soviet firepower sets the building ablaze and the roof collapses, forcing the remaining defenders into the tunnels under the building.

Bulgarian and Greek troops link up east of Skopje, Macedonia, having defeated or run off the last Jugoslav defenders in the southeastern portion of the nation.
__________________
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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  #306  
Old 10-20-2022, 04:41 PM
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October 8, 1997

Nothing official for today!

R-5D spy plane number 6 is delivered in Palmdale, California.

Naval experts across the US are frantically searching old warehouses and back lots of naval bases and arranging visits to museum ships across the country as the naval ship repair organization struggles to come up with the parts to complete the reactivation of three Essex-class carriers - the Oriskany, Bennington and Hornet and the Independence-class light carrier Cabot as well as repair damage to the aged carriers Lexington and Midway, which have returned to the US in need of major repairs to systems that have been out of production for decades.

Allied troops finally begin to evacuate the ruined city of Hamhung, North Korea after weeks of pounding from Soviet forces and their ragtag North Korean allies. The fighting has left the city a mostly depopulated ruin, with the meagre industrial capacity leveled and the port clogged with wreckage and sunken craft.

A hasty reorganization occurs among units of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, which happen to be located in the UK. The 112th Tactical Fighter Group, evacuated from Jugoslavia and equipped with 9 A-7Ds, is effectively disbanded. Its subordinate 146th Tactical Fighter Squadron hands over its aircraft (and associated ground crew and experienced pilots) to the 132nd Tactical Fighter Wing (Iowa Air National Guard) in Germany, the only other A-7 unit in the Western European Theatre. The 146th is then re-designated an Air Refueling Squadron and assigned to the Pennsylvania Air Guard's 171st Air Refueling Wing at RAF Fairford. Simultaneously, nine KC-767 tankers, which have been gradually arriving in theatre and assigned on an ad-hoc basis to other 171st ARW squadrons, are transferred to the 146th, allowing planning, support and maintenance of the type to be centralized in a single organization.

Building on the strikes on Soviet rail lines in September, NATO executes a round of nuclear strikes on Czechoslovakian transportation sites and petroleum pipelines. In this round of attacks, Ground Launched Cruise Missiles fired from the UK substitute for deep-strike aircraft, which have suffered heavy losses over the nearly year of action. The attacks hit railyards, bridges, tunnels and highway junctions that are vital to transferring the relative trickle of supplies to the Western TVD.

The 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment, surrounded in central Poland, endures another round of intense Soviet artillery attacks. The unit is dispersed in rough terrain to avoid creating a lucrative target for a Soviet nuclear strike, but supplies are running low and most of the regiment's armor is immobilized due to lack of fuel. The regiment's air cavalry squadron, depleted by the drive from East Germany into the Ukraine, has evacuated to the west, temporarily bringing the 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment's air cav unit up to near-full strength.

The destroyer USS John Rodgers is sunk in the Aegean Sea by a torpedo from the Greek Type 209 sub Proteus as it escorts the battleship Wisconsin towards the Turkish Straits.

The first Bulgarian reconnaissance units arrive opposite the Turkish defensive line west of Istanbul. The Turks have managed to throw up a somewhat formidable defensive line in a few days, assisted by a massive number of civilian volunteers who are less than eager to see Soviet troops in their fine city. To the northwest, the Soviet 810th Naval Infantry Brigade embarks on a collection of naval amphibious and small civilian merchant ships in the Danube Delta.

XVIII Airborne Corps units are hard pressed to hold off the Soviet assaults on their front lines. The 101st and 9th Divisions rely on Iranian allies to defend their fixed base areas while the combat troops rely on their superior mobility to strike at the Soviets' flanks and rear and exploit the speed and superior mobility of their lighter force structure.
__________________
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; 10-20-2022 at 04:43 PM. Reason: correction
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  #307  
Old 10-21-2022, 04:01 PM
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October 9, 1997

Students of St George's Medical University in Grenada complete their vaccination drive against "the flu"; over 90% of the island's surviving population has received the jab, although one third of the prewar population has succumbed to the disease.

The Dutch 105th Recon Battalion is withdrawn to the Netherlands for refit following heavy losses to the Italian air force and army in southern Germany.

Unofficially,

The Army staff at the Pentagon authorizes the immediate raising of 20 medium and heavy truck companies to help address the growing shortage of transportation capacity in the theaters of war. Each medium company will field 60 Mack 8-ton trucks, while the heavy companies will be equipped with 96 tank transporters, military conversions of civilian heavy trucks that are underused by the Army but being produced in adequate numbers to equip the new units.

In reserve in a series of dispersed camps in central Germany, the American 75th Field Artillery Brigade is re-equipped following its transfer of its remaining MLRS launchers - it receives a full contingent of Lance missile launchers. Many of the senior officers and NCOs of the brigade's MLRS battalions are familiar with the older system and begin a series of rapid training classes to bring the junior troops up to speed on the short-range rockets. The new launchers are accompanied by four light infantry companies to serve as guards for the launchers and their nuclear warheads (all the conventional missiles were expended by allies months ago).

The last American troops (bar a handful of isolated pre-designated stay behind parties) evacuate Ingolstadt, while the main body of VII Corps withdraws into the uplands dividing the Danube and Main valleys. VII Corps' engineer brigade - the 7th - prepares obstacles to reinforce the natural barrier of the steep-sided and deep Altmühl River Valley. Pact forces in Poland keep up their relentless advance, with NATO forces aggressively counterattacking any Soviet or Polish units that achieve breakthroughs. Often these take the form of a tactical nuclear strike at the base of a Pact salient, followed by a vigorous armored thrust to cut off the forward elements.

The German destroyer Molders, operating in the Baltic protecting coastal shipping and providing air defense along the northern Polish coast, is attacked by a trio of Frontal Aviation Su-24s. The destroyer shoots two of them down but is hit by three AS-10 missiles from the last one, setting it afire and adrift.

The Wisconsin surface action group continues its foray into the Aegean Sea, covered by aircraft from the JohnF. Kennedy, whose squadrons have been augmented by aircraft and pilots from the damaged America. The Greek Navy makes an appearance, but after sighting the battlewagon (and losing a pair of destroyers to its guns) they flee to remote harbors and bays until the overwhelming power of the American group moves on. Once beyond Crete, the battleship and its escorts unleash a volley of nuclear-tipped TLAM cruise missiles, which strike all four of Greece's refineries, incinerating them and forcing Greece to rely on fuel imported overland from Bulgaria (which, in turn, is reliant on crude supplied by ports in the Black Sea which were struck several weeks ago by American nuclear weapons.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #308  
Old 10-21-2022, 04:12 PM
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October 10, 1997

The 6th ACCB and 82nd Airborne Division, in Saudi Arabia, are reported combat ready. The 82nd has been in reserve since May, and the 6th since August. During that time, they had absorbed the bulk of what few replacements had been sent from the US. The 6th ACCB had been able to replace some of its aircraft and aircrew losses.

Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Howard D. Crow is delivered in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and manned by USCG personnel. The troop transport General Patch is reactivated from reserve in Philadelphia and towed, without a crew, south to the Chesapeake Bay, where it is anchored in St. Mary's, Maryland (at the mouth of the Potomac River) to serve as evacuee housing.

The 72nd Field Artillery Brigade's brief rest in the eastern Netherlands comes to its conclusion, the rest was brief, as it is rushed to the front in southern Germany under the command of XX Corps, helping to halt the Pact advance out of Bavaria.

The USS Virginia, hunting for Soviet subs in the western Norwegian Sea, is attacked by its quarry, the Akula-class attack submarine K-154, one of the most advanced subs in the Northern Fleet. The nuclear-powered cruiser is damaged by detonation of a torpedo warhead that struck Virginia's towed decoy; the blast damages one of the cruiser's rudders and causes leaks in the port propeller shaft. The sub goes on to attack another combatant in the hunter-killer group - the frigate Joseph Hewes, which is blown apart by two Soviet torpedoes.

The end comes for the Romanian government in Bucharest. The commander of the Southwestern TVD declares "we finally have all the rats cornered" and orders a rapid withdrawal of Soviet and Bulgarian troops from central Bucharest, followed shortly thereafter by five artillery-fired tactical nuclear strikes centered on the massive Palace of the People and the surrounding government and historic districts. The strikes result in massive civilian casualties (much like in Kiev, Warsaw and Minsk) and the final collapse of the Romanian government.

Romanian resistance to Soviet occupation, however, continues. Soviet, Bulgarian and Hungarian troops in the country are quickly discovering that the population remains hostile and it is best to travel in large, heavily armed groups and that the highlands of the Carpathians are strictly off limits to any force that is not well stocked with ammunition and with ready air support.

The Greek junta further tightens rationing of gasoline and diesel fuel, effectively reserving all remaining stocks for military use. Rolling blackouts accompany the shutdown of over 1.2 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity that are taken offline as remaining fuel oil stocks are requisitioned to sustain military operations.

US Air Force Europe is stripped of six squadrons of C-130s, which begin a transit to Saudi Arabia via Spain and Egypt. Military Airlift Command likewise dispatches multiple squadrons of C-17s and C-141s to the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
__________________
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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  #309  
Old 10-24-2022, 04:19 PM
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October 11, 1997

The 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment, surrounded in southern Poland for over a week, expends the last of its vehicles ammunition in blasting a hole in the lines of the Polish and Soviet troops that have cut it off and begins to break out on foot, abandoning its vehicles.

Unofficially,

The Freedom ship Oklahoma City Freedom is delivered in Galveston, Texas.

In an attempt to slow the flow of weapons and reinforcements into China, the Soviets strike the port of Hong Kong with a 10kt bomb dropped by a Su-24. The strike is sufficient to halt operations at the port, sinking the large containership Newport Bay at its berth, destroying the operations center and convincing the surviving stevedores (the world's most productive) that their work is not worth the risk to their lives.

In North Korea, Allied troops continue to gradually give ground under pressure from Soviet nuclear strikes and a relatively-well supplied 30th and 35th Armies.

The American attack submarine Olympia sinks the Soviet troop transport Alla Tarasova, which is ferrying personnel from Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic, with a trio of Mk-48 torpedoes.

The Bulgarian Army makes an unsuccessful attempt to storm the Turkish defensive lines outside Istanbul. The Turkish outer pickets fall back in the face of Bulgarian armor (mostly composed of older T-55s and T-62s, with a sprinkling of T-34s thrown in to bring numbers up), luring the Pact tanks into an elaborately prepared urban armor ambush, with Turkish anti-tank teams located in basements and upper floors of multi-story buildings to attack the tank's weak spots. Only a scattered handfuls of survivors of the Bulgarian 104th Tank Regiment make their way back to friendly lines.
__________________
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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  #310  
Old 10-24-2022, 04:23 PM
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October 12, 1997

Two battalions of Rangers and 82nd Airborne Division pathfinders are dropped into the Tabriz area. Accompanying them is the young female American journalist Fanya Ayn Wilkerson, who films the spectacular airborne assault upon Tabriz. The eerie grey-green of her low light-level mini-cam as she films the ghostly arrival of 6000 paratroopers descending in silence upon the sleeping city jolts the nation on the six o'clock news when it airs.

(Unofficially) The US Department of Agriculture signs a series of major procurement contracts at the onset of the nation's fall harvest. The USDA buys over 100,000 tons of grain throughout the country, arranging for much of it to be stored in commercial grain handling facilities and additional amounts to be stored aboard covered barges in the inland waterway system. The purchase serves a dual purpose - to provide FEMA with a ready reserve if the nuclear exchange in Europe is to disrupt commerical food distribution in the US or elsewhere in the world, and (for the third fall in a row) to offset the loss of farmer's income from the cutoff of grain sales to the USSR and its satellites. (Officially) Despite these actions, the glut of food produced results in low prices for the commodities and many farmers hang on to their harvest awaiting higher prices.

Czestochowa, Poland is incinerated by a 150kt blast from an American cruise missile, leaving the city smoking rubble.

Unofficially,

A team from Army Materiel Command, in one of the war's more audacious missions for its personnel, travels to North Kroea to meet with soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division (Light) about their experience with the PAMSS shelter systems. The Palletized Armored Shelter Systems were fielded in early September to the division, offering an improved portable hedquarters environment for combat commands. The response from the units that received the prototype units are mixed - they, to a man (and woman), find them more convienient, comfortable and useful than the array of truck and HMMWV-mounted shelters and tents that PAMSS is intended to replace. The biggest challlenge is their method of transportation - by PLS truck, which is in short supply in light infantry divisions and not assigned to the units that operate PAMSS, requiriing either tasking from a unit that has PLS trucks (which is seldom timely) or assignment of the heavy trucks to the PAMSS command, an inefficient use that also requires another stream of spare parts, heavy wreckers and all the additional logistic burden that comes from adding another vehicle to a unit's table of organization and equipment.

Under the superb leadership of the regimental commander, Colonel Steven Myers, the 107th ACR makes good progress towards rejoining NATO lines in western Poland. They are supported by allied airpower and the unseen efforts of a number of NATO special operations teams that help clear the way for the regiment, which is moving on foot.

The Red Banner Northern Fleet dispatches two surface ASW groups (one from Severomorsk in the White Sea, the other from Ostrovnoy in the remote eastern Kola) to locate and destroy the American submarine which has been marauding the Barents Sea for weeks.

Southern Front deploys additional troops to Istanbul, halting mopping-up operations to clear the last remnants of bypassed Turkish formations in Thrace. The 810th Naval Infantry Brigade moves south in the Black Sea aboard ships, closely following a small flotilla of minesweepers that are clearing a path for them.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #311  
Old 10-25-2022, 04:46 PM
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October 13, 1997

The 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (reinforced with the British 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment) and 5th Special Forces Group are dropped into the Tabriz area of northwestern Iran in the second day of Operation Pegasus II.

Polish authorities order the immediate evacuation of the small town of Klobuck, west of Czestochowa, to protect the population from fallout from the strike on the nearby city.

Unofficially,

In what the court's press office characterizes as a "working justice's retreat", the nine justices of the US Supreme Court spend the Columbus Day weekend at a luxury resort in Ashville, North Carolina.

Despite the completion of training all pre-war divisions and brigades, the US Army's Combat Training Centers remain at work, now with newly-raised combat units. The National Training Centers (at three sites in California, Washington and Arizona) and Joint Readiness Training Centers (in Arkansas and Louisiana) have transitioned into supporting a 90-day rotation for new units, with 30 days spent on platoon and company/troop/battery-level exercises, another month on battalion-level and the final month forming combat-ready brigades. (Division staffs are prepared for war with command post exercises at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas).

Troop trains depart northern China with additional reinforcements for the western fronts - the 20th Guards Army, which in pre-war times had been part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.

The USS Des Moines completes its minor repairs in the Korean port of Pusan, including replacement of the heavy cruiser's gun barrels with ones with new liners, flown into Korea by priority airlift.

The 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment's scouts locate a blocking position thrown up by the Polish 4th Border Guard Brigade and call in supporting strikes. A pair of F-16s, one Dutch and one American, soon arrive and hit the Polish positions with B-61 tactical nuclear bombs, throwing the Polish unit into disarray and allowing the Americans to slip past the disoriented border guards.

The USS John F. Kennedy, HMS Illustrious and battleship Wisconsin continue their patrolling in the Aegean, taking up station between Crete and the Greek mainland. The force attracts considerable attention from light Greek naval units, which are dealt with by a combination of standing air patrols and gunfire from the battlewagon and escorts.

The Greek Army's operations begin to grind to a halt as a result of shortages of fuel, ammunition and spare parts. The nation had been able to sustain a war on the Turkish front, but the addition of the Macedonian operation combined with the Allied naval blockade and destruction of the nation's refineries are more than the fragile Greek economy can sustain. Generals order a halt to offensive operations.

In Romania, active combat in the lowlands has largely ended as 1st Ukrainian Front transitions to an occupation force, Danube Front pivots to complete the defeat of and occupation of Jugoslavia and Southern Front pivots the last of its forces to face the Turks. In the mountains the dispersed companies of the American 71st Airborne Brigade are hardening their positions; in nearly every case they are joined by remnants of the Romanian Armed Forces who are eager to continue the fight against the Soviets and their Hungarian and Bulgarian allies. US Air Force transports attempt daring low-level night airdrop missions to try to provide a minimal level of resupply to the scattered paratroops.

In the freshly divided and largely defeated Jugoslavia, chaos reigns. A Soviet Spetsnaz team assaults the command post of the Jugoslav National Army, and while unable to force its way into the complex it is able to disable the bunker's external communications. In Macedonia an uneasy truce holds between Greek and Albanian troops (in the west) and Bulgarian and Greek troops (to the east). The first truck convoys of looted grain, coal and consumer goods have already reached the Bulgarian border, looted from Jugoslav civilians by Bulgarian officers. The central mountains of Jugoslavaia are essentially a lawless no-man's land, with armed bands of Jugoslavs turning on communities from other ethnic groups. The Italian occupation authorities are pressed by their political leadership to expand the area under their control, but the overstretched Italian Army is unable to fully control the area it has occupied; it resorts to incorporation of ethnic Croatian militias into its forces, looking the other way at the atrocities they commit. The Albanian Army likewise raises ethnic Albanian militias in the areas of Kosovo and Macedonia it controls. The Albanian high command is struggling to support the three divisions it has committed and looks on the militias as useful proxies.
__________________
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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  #312  
Old 10-25-2022, 04:52 PM
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October 14, 1997

The 2nd and 3rd Brigades, 82nd Airborne Division parachute into the Tabriz area airheads established by the rest of the division as Transcaucasian Front reels from the massive disruption to its supply lines.

Open warfare erupts in Northern Ireland. With no regular army units available, the brunt of the battle on the British side falls upon the police and the Ulster Defense Regiment. Both forces are composed primarily of Protestants, and as a result, they tend to concentrate on the Catholic terrorists - the IRA and the INLA. Protestants and Catholics begin fighting in the streets of Belfast and Londonderry (as it is labeled on the British maps - Catholic Irish prefer to call the city Derry), and many Catholics are killed or forced out. In the border counties of Fermanagh and Armagh, the Catholics seize control, backed by the IRA, and call for military aid from Eire to overthrow the Protestant government.

Rotterdam is struck by Soviet nuclear warheads. (Unofficially) The strikes ignite the oil refinery and sets chemical plants on fire (for the second time in less than a year) and sinks dozens of ships in the port, NATO's busiest. (Officially) The city's security force, the 304th Infantry Brigade, is largely destroyed by the attack, and only scattered survivors escape the firestorm and subsequent chaos.

Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Pettit is delivered in Marinette, Wisconsin and manned by USCG personnel. The tanker Elokomin is delivered in Baltimore and placed in naval service.

With a quick stop at the ROK Navy's ammunition pier, the USS Des Moines returns to sea in the Sea of Japan. Once out of Korean waters, helicopters from the ammunition ship USS Pyro land on the cruiser's stern and a work party unload a half-dozen 12-kt W33 tactical nuclear rounds for the ship's main guns.

The 107th Cavalry Regiment's fighting withdrawal is sped along by the capture of a column of trucks from the rear area of the Soviet 1st Shock Army. The fuel bowsers are used to keep a relay of the cargo trucks going, transporting the trailing cavalry troops to the lead and then returning for more.

The first Soviet ASW group (from Ostrovnoy) arrives in the vicinity of the USS Olympia and begins hunting her, using active sonar to drive the American boat towards a new minefield.

The Pact renews its attacks on the Turkish defensive positions west of Istanbul. The initial attacks come from two divisions of Bulgarian Construction Troops, paramilitary formations composed of Gypsies, ethnic Turks and those judged too politically unreliable for military service, supported by Soviet assault guns of the 367th Guards Assault Gun Brigade (who have a secondary mission to machinegun the Bulgarians if any are to try to flee the battlefield). The assault is met with furious Turkish resistance, and it fails entirely after US Air Force F-16s of the 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing arrive overhead, hitting the supporting artillery batteries with four 60-kiloton B-61 tactical nuclear bombs.

The repair of the damaged tanker Starlight Gigant in Dubai is completed, freeing up the drydock it occupies, the only one in the region capable of holding the USS Independence.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #313  
Old 10-26-2022, 04:38 PM
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October 15, 1997

The commander of the German 1st Panzer Division is killed (unofficially) when Soviet electronic reconnaissance units locate his command post vehicle and relay its location to a battery of 2S7 203mm guns, which rapidly plaster the area with high explosive rounds. His deputy, Brigadier General Helmut Korell, assumes command.

The Tabriz airhead is declared secure and raids throughout the Soviet rear area begin.

The 6th Air Cavalry Combat Brigade stages forward to Bandar-e-Khomeyni from Saudi Arabia to support the airhead near Tabriz. The brigade has received the bulk of the few replacement aircraft that have arrived from the US and (unofficially) is operating at over two-thirds of authorized strength.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship San Francisco Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the Kansas City Freedom in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The light frigate USS Sellstrom is delivered in Newport, Rhode Island.

On the extreme western end of the Chinese Front, the commander of the 39th Army directs the 292nd Motor-Rifle Division to drive south into the Chinese interior and not to stop.

Bremen International Airport is hit by a 250-kt Soviet warhead. The headquarters, maintenance facility and most of the 64th Tactical Airlift Squadron is destroyed.

The 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment, having covered nearly 100 km with captured Soviet trucks, abandons them (their gas tanks drained) and resumes its slower movement on foot.

The second Soviet ASW group, rushing north from the White Sea after the USS Olympia (which the Soviets have had intermittent detections of on fixed seabed sensors), arrives in the sub's vicinity, coordinating with the other group and one of the few remaining land-based ASW aircraft.

A difficult day for Soviet troops in the Balkans. In an operation coordinated by the 6th Special Forces Group, rail lines across the region are cut and dozens of supply convoys in the mountains of Jugoslavia and Romania are ambushed. The intensity and huge breadth of the attacks are paralyzing, and of such a huge scale that the few Soviet units specifically dedicated to anti-partisan warfare (mostly airborne troops augmented by a handful of KGB Border Guard detachments) are unable to effectively respond. The attacks not only cripple Soviet operations for days, the flurry of radio traffic from panicked Soviet formations allows an orbiting RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft to pinpoint numerous headquarters and troop locations for further attacks.

Civilian tugs begin towing the damaged USS Independence from the dock in Muscat, Oman to Dubai.

After weeks of delay, bureaucracy and equipment shortages, the 321st (my 252nd) Motor-Rifle Division begins movement from its home stations to the front in Romania. American reconnaissance satellites spot the division’s movement (to maintain control it moves in closely-spaced regimental columns) and within hours the formation is the unwelcome recipient of five air-launched cruise missiles which ravage the unit.
__________________
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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  #314  
Old 10-26-2022, 04:45 PM
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October 16, 1997

XVIII Airborne Corps and I MEF launch limited counterattacks to tie down Soviet troops.

Unofficially,

With the increasing risk of nuclear attack, the deployment of the 301st Port Security Unit from New England to Korea is put on hold.

The first two new truck companies are stood up - the 476th at Fort Eustis, Virginia and the 297th (Heavy) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Colonel Tumanski's Spetsnaz team scores another (minor) victory, overrunning a Royal Observer Corps outpost and seizing communications gear and documents for their examination.

Berlin-Schoenfeld International Airport is struck by Soviet tactical nuclear weapon, destroying the headquarters of the 917th Tactical Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve) but few aircraft, several of which are serving in Iran while many of the rest had been dispersed following the initiation of tactical nuclear warfare in July.

The American XI Corps launches a counterattack on the Soviet 1st Shock Army, which has been pursuing it all the way from the Ukrainian border. The 50th Armored Division (New Jersey National Guard) advances through the blast zone of a series of artillery-fired strikes, exploiting the disruption of those strikes and an ATACMS-N strike on the army's rear headquarters and creating a gap between the 2nd Guards Motor-Rifle Division and the 60th Tank Division. With the guardsmen holding the flanks, a task force rushes eastward, linking up with the outer pickets of the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The task force quickly loads up the exhausted cavalry troopers into its trucks and APCs and the entire formation retreats back to friendly lines near the German border by dawn on the 17th.

The Battle of Svyatoi Nos. 30 miles off the eastern tip of the Kola Peninsula, the American attack submarine Olympia is under attack by two surface anti-surface groups, boxed in with shallow water to the west, a minefield to the east and a surface group to the north and south. The American boat is out of anti-ship missiles, and takes the bold move of launching its remaining torpedoes at the attacking ships while launching a series of three (all it had on board) Sea Lance-N missiles in sequence to blast a path through the minefield. The move is successful, the torpedoes sinking the pursuing destroyer Admiral Golokovo (the Red Banner Northern Fleet's last modern surface combatant) and two corvettes and allowing the American submarine to slip away.

A group of experts from the Soviet Ministry of Oil and Gas arrive in Romania to begin assessing the condition of the Romanian oil industry and the potential to exploit it to support Soviet war aims. Soviet troops are protecting the refineries and patrolling the major oil fields but the occupation authorities have been unable to round up the industry's former workforce, who they are loathe to trust with such a strategic asset in any case.
__________________
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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  #315  
Old 10-26-2022, 04:47 PM
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October 17, 1997

NATO nuclear strikes target an array of industrial sites in Silesia to ensure that the Polish communist government cannot mobilize them. (The speed of the German Third Army's withdrawal from the region did not permit a thorough demolition of the sites). The Bytom-Katowice-Sosnowiec-Chorzow-Zabrze industrial conurbation is leveled by 2 megatons from a submarine-launched ballistic missile and Gliwice by a trio of 200 kt bombs.

Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Harveston is delivered in Panama City, Florida and manned by USCG personnel.

Stavka orders the battered 58th Air Assault Brigade to redeploy from Manchuria, where it has largely been on occupation duty, to Austria, to help secure the restive mountains. The unit, which lost its BMD armored airborne fighting vehicles in the 1995-6 campaigns, is able to rapidly redeploy aboard Aeroflot airliners, with its heavy equipment filling a number of Military Transport Aviation's carefully husbanded An-22 and An-124 heavy lifters.

The Whiskey-class submarine S-392, returning from a successful patrol in the Bering Sea (where it sank an oiler and the frigate USS Davidson during the 2nd Battle of Kamchatka) strikes a mine while returning to its homeport of Petropavlovsk. It is never determined if the mine was Soviet or American.

1st Shock Army throws its 321st Motor-Rifle Division at XI Corps' attack force, now nearly back to its start lines. The veteran American troops savage the Soviet division, which was formed of Zampolits in training, Ukrainian workers and peasants, prisoners rushed to the front on “combat parole”, the MVD guards who escorted them to the front and whatever other semi-able-bodied men that could be found on the streets of Lvov, poorly equipped and exhausted from months of fighting across Poland. As the Soviet formation falls back to friendly lines, XI Corps' 151st Field Artillery Brigade (South Carolina National Guard) hits the exposed infantry with a trio of W82 "neutron bombs" that rip the formation apart.

The 134th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment, the remnant of the 45th Guards Motor-Rifle Division that survived the Kola Campaign, is pulled back to the Leningrad area, where it is felt the presence of loyal veterans would help the MVD maintain order.

The first sub-units of the 53rd Guards Motor-Rifle Division arrive in Romania. The weak Category C division from the Kiev Military District took so long to get ready for deployment that it missed active fighting against Romanian Army units. The division is assigned to 6th Guards Tank Army, serving as the occupation force for the city of Dej.

The damaged American aircraft carrier USS Independence arrives in Dubai, where shipyard workers, assisted by US Navy sailors, are preparing the giant drydock there to accept the ship.

The dazed and confused survivors of the 321st (my 252nd) Motor-Rifle Division are distributed to other units in 1st Ukrainian Front.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #316  
Old 10-26-2022, 04:56 PM
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October 18, 1997

The residents of Pyskowice, Poland flee their town in the aftermath of the nuclear strikes on the nearby Bytom-Katowice industrial region. They hide from the fallout in nearby coal mines. The population of the nearby town of Tychy seek shelter from the radiation in the railway tunnel that runs underneath their town. The (Communist) Polish government orders the closure of the Gliwice Canal to avoid the potential of radioactive contamination of the Oder River.

Unofficially,

Two additional truck companies are stood up, also at Fort Eustis, Virginia and Fort Leonard Wood. Responding to the continuing need for support troops, the Army Staff directs the activation of a dozen additional hospitals and a wide array of specialist ordnance units to maintain the wide array of systems the wartime army is fielding. Unfortunately, both kinds of units require large number of highly trained soldiers, which the training base will struggle to produce in hastily.

The German III Korps scores a notable success in its defense of the town of Szczecinek, Poland. The Korps lays a trap for the leadership of the 23rd Army by having the 220th Panzergrenadier Division (much reduced by months of combat and trying to limp by on a mix of Soviet and German vehicles) conspicuously evacuate the town. The Soviets take the bait, dispatching a combat group built around nearly half of the 43rd (my 274th) Motor-Rifle Division to seize the town. The Germans then spring the trap, surrounding the town with kamfgruppes from the 1st and 12th Panzer Divisions which cut the Soviet division off and subsequently defeat the reinforcements dispatched by the Soviets to relieve them. While those battles rage north and east of the town, the 220th returns to action, with artillery fire directed by stay-behind parties hidden throughout the town.

COMSUBLANT is informed that the Olympia will be terminating its patrol, transiting to Holy Loch, Scotland. The boat's skipper states that his crew is exhausted and his ship is out of torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. The damaged USS Virginia arrives in Hampton Roads, Virginia and enters the shipyard for repair.

Order breaks down in Turkey after Ankara is hit by a trio of Soviet SS-N-3c cruise missiles launched from the Juliette-class submarine K-67. Each missile carries a 350-kiloton warhead; they are relatively inaccurate and end up destroying large areas of the city.

The Soviet air forces score a rare victory in the skies over Iran, when a carefully orchestrated operation results in the shootdown of an American U-2 reconnaissance plane. The aircraft was orbiting over the northern end of the Persian Gulf, protected by a flight of F-15 interceptors from the 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing and under the radar coverage of a Saudi E-3 AWACS aircraft. Soviet forces send a regiment-sized force after the spy plane, drawing off the F-15s and clearing the way for a PVO (Soviet air defense force) MiG-25, traveling south at high speed from Soviet airspace. The high-flying MiG is able to execute one successful pass at the high-flying (70,000 feet) spy plane, which is restricted to a very specific speed range to remain stable. The loss of the U-2, which was providing real-time ground radar data to commanders below, deprives CENTCOM of one of a handful of sensor platforms that have been essential in locating Red Army formations before they reach Allied lines.
__________________
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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  #317  
Old 10-27-2022, 03:55 PM
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October 19, 1997

Forty-eight technicians, scientists, employees, and company officers and their families, 119 people in all, board the airship Columbia in the afternoon.

The Silesian town of Chrzanow is hastily abandoned when civil defense authorities note the danger from fallout from the nuclear strikes on nearby Bytom and Katowice.

Unofficially,

As the Soviet 20th Guards Army, which was part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany before the war, prepares to travel back to Europe from China, its 58th Independent Tank Regiment is disbanded to bring other units in the command up to strength.

Allied forces along the North Korean coasts enjoy the support provided by naval gunfire, the USS Missouri off the west coast and USS Des Moines along the east coast. The gunfire is especially appreciated as supplies of artillery ammunition for batteries ashore becomes scarce, the massive stockpiles built up in prewar years exhausted and new production (both in South Korean factories short of drafted workers and with those in the US trying to support a worldwide war) unable to keep up with the prodigious consumption. For now the supply of small arms ammunition remains adequate, although both ROK and US training commands have begun to use .22LR adaptors in basic trainee's M16s to stretch the supply of 5.56mm.

The 937th Engineer Brigade is transferred from the US V Corps to the nearby XI Corps. A construction rather than combat engineer unit, upon arrival in the former East Germany it begins preparing winter quarters and defensive positions along the western shore of the Oder River.

The destruction of the isolated 43rd (my 274th) Motor-Rifle Division in the town of Szczecinek continues as German infantry advance on the town while the defenders are hampered by German artillery fire directed from spotters within the town. At midday a squadron of German PAH-1 anti-tank helicopters arrive, providing pinpoint fire on targets throughout the town, and at dusk the Soviet commander orders a breakout of remaining troops.

The defensive line along the Warta, created with a series of ground bursts, is abandoned, the defenders at risk of being outflanked. The damage from the creation of the line, however, will linger for several years.

In one of the last major convoy battles of the war in the Atlantic, Soviet forces attack Convoy 302 southwest of Iceland. The attack is by a rare (for this stage of the war) Soviet "wolfpack", composed of three nuclear and one conventional attack submarine and a cruise missile submarine (the Oscar II-class K-329), which fires a nuclear SS-N-19 in an airburst over the convoy's approximate center. The attack subs are able to penetrate the convoy's screen by avoiding the widely-spaced escorts (dispersed to avoid nuclear strikes) and have a heyday among the thundering merchants, sinking eight ships and damaging six more before slipping away. One of the nuclear boats, the Victor I-class K-398, is unlucky enough to get caught during its egress by a helicopter from the Canadian frigate Fredericton; it calls in a responding P-3 from VP-11 which sinks the Soviet boat with a B-57 nuclear depth charge. The sub is the sole Soviet loss, while over 150,000 tons of badly needed equipment and supplies are lost to the Allies.

Romanian and American troops in the southern Carpathian Mountains welcome the 53rd Guards Motor Rifle Division to the Dej area by overrunning one of the Soviet division's outposts before its troops have a chance to fortify it, melting away before the division's rapid response force can arrive.

Following the attack on Ankara, Turkish resistance at the Catalca Line west of Istanbul begins to crumble. The Soviet 810th Naval Infantry Regiment lands along Istanbul's Black Sea coast and rushes inland, capturing the Istanbul airport’s control tower and cargo complex. With Soviet troops in their rear and after receiving repeated Soviet and Bulgarian hammer blows, the Turkish defense line west of the city collapses. Advancing Soviet troops are opposed by isolated groups of stragglers, diehard nationalists holding out in Istanbul's west end, and NATO aircraft, mostly American but with a significant Turkish presence, overhead.

The 1103rd Assault Gun Regiment, assigned to Transcaucasian Front, is destroyed when the unit's vehicles, immobilized by lack of fuel, are located by an American Special Forces team which called in attack helicopters and strike aircraft. The mass of Soviet vehicles is raked by guns and rockets and within a half hour the 1103rd had ceases to exist.

Army engineers complete repairs to the Tabriz air base, allowing C-17s and C-130s to land and disgorge vehicles and supplies more efficiently than airdropping.
__________________
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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  #318  
Old 10-27-2022, 04:21 PM
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October 21, 1997

Major General Aleksandr A. Vostokov is named commander of the 19th (my 145th) Motor-Rifle Division, at the request of Transcaucasian Front commander Suryakin. Vostokov had previously served as Suryakin's Chief of Staff.

In Boston Harbor, the sail frigate USS Constitution celebrates its bicentennial.

The US 25th Infantry Division (Light) is hit by six Soviet tactical nukes, taking heavy casualties and disintegrating while retiring back to the ROK under heavy pressure.

The 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade is moved south to the Baltic Sea and disbanded, reverting to 2nd Marine Division control along with the 6th Marine Regiment.

Unofficially,

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

FEMA completes the stocking of another emergency stockpile, SRS-17374-2, at [REDACTED] in the Alleghany Mountains of Pennsylvania.

The first units of 20th Guards Army arrive at the terminus of the rail lines into Poland, between Lvov and Lutsk, Ukraine. They quickly detrain, scurrying to cover as rapidly as possible to avoid detection by NATO overhead reconnaissance, and after dark continue their transit westward under their own power, with only a handful of tanks moving via tank transporter.

The remnants of the 43rd (my 274th) Motor-Rifle Division are evacuated to Byelorussia to rebuild.

Following the destruction of their wing headquarters, the two remaining flights from the 487th Tactical Missile Wing - Cobra Flight with five missiles and four launchers and Echo Flight with four missiles and launchers - in dispersal areas over 75 miles from the smoking ruin of their headquarters - decide to head to the nearest large, intact and secure USAF facility, the Incirlik Air Base. The units are dependent on higher headquarters for the detailed radar mapping data required for the missiles to find their targets; the destruction of Konya airbase has made it impossible for the missiles to be targeted. Prewar plans, when the unit was still stationed in Italy, called for backup support to come from the two GLCM wings in the UK. Unfortunately, the flights in the field are unable to establish secure communications with those units; their commanders hope Incirlik will have that capability.

The 216th Motor-Rifle Division, mauled by fanatical Pasdaran resistance in December and recalled to Baku, Azerbaijan for reconstruction, is ordered back into Iran to attack the American airhead in Tabriz. Almost immediately after crossing the border the division becomes engaged by pro-NATO Kurdish guerrillas supported by Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group; the division nonetheless advances, but slowly as it fights a series of small skirmishes along its route of advance.

The commander of the 302nd Guards Tank Regiment meets with the rebellious enlisted men, who explain that while they are loyal Soviet citizens, that they have already been attacked by and survived American nuclear weapons. Given that the nuclear conflict has only grown since then, they are unwilling to place their lives at risk yet again, but are willing to support other units that have not done their part and support the Soviet war effort. When the general objects, he is "arrested" by the men and escorted out of the unit's area of control, told that anyone approaching with orders for the division to move to the front will be met with gunfire.
__________________
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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  #319  
Old 10-27-2022, 04:24 PM
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October 22, 1997

The effect of Operation Pegasus II is catastrophic to the Soviets. The steady stream of supplies and replacements dries up. The Soviet 24th Guards (my 60th) Motorized Rifle Division literally runs out of gas while assaulting the US 24th ID's positions around Ramshir. American planes and artillery destroy most of the Soviet's vehicles and a quick counterattack finishes them as a unit.

The British 6th Division, also attached to the Chinese 31st (my 3rd) Army along the North Korean-Chinese border at the mouth of the Yalu River, suffers heavy losses from follow-up Soviet tactical nuclear strikes. (Unofficially) As the Americans withdraw south towards friendly lines under heavy pressure, the British force retreats to the ports of Dandong, China and Sinuiju, North Korea, at the mouth of the river.

The nuclear exchange in Europe continues unabated. NATO targets the city of Radom with a pair of submarine-launched ballistic missiles fired from beyond Scotland, with a yield approaching 2 megatons. (Unofficially, Three of the warheads are aimed at the Radom Sadków Air Base, tearing apart the massed helicopters of the 37th Air Assault Brigade; others hit transport junctions and industrial facilities in the city.)

Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Joyce is delivered in Tacoma, Washington and manned by USCG personnel.

Three additional Army truck companies are stood up - two using recalled retiree leadership and recent trainee drivers and the third using trained and experienced drivers transferred from Air Force bases in Texas.

In the predawn hours the lead troops of the 20th Guards Army's 38th (my 27th Guards) Motor-Rifle Division cross the frontier into Poland.

The USS Olympia, off the North Cape on its way south, is ordered to launch its Tomahawk cruise missiles (a mix of conventional and nuclear armed variants) against an array of targets in northwestern Russia. (The most notable is the chemical weapons production facility in Kineshma, which was struck with a pair of missiles).

STAVKA directs 1st Ukrainian Front, on occupation duty in Romania, to transfer a division to 2nd Southwestern Front to reinforce the Austrian occupation force. Unwilling to divert one of his experienced combat divisions, 1st Ukrainian Front commander Marshall Agayev foists the 155th Motor-Rifle (my 235th Rear Area Protection) Division onto Western TVD. The hapless division (with only two battalions of T-34 tanks and lightly equipped with artillery and staffed with overaged reservists and teenagers shanghaied from local communities) is loaded into boxcars, bereft of vehicles or supplies, and begins a slow and roundabout ride to the front.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 10-27-2022, 04:36 PM
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October 23, 1997

Following the loss of the 24th Guards (my 60th) Motor-Rifle Division the prior day when the Soviet force ran out of gas while attacking American troops, the 147th Guards Motor-Rifle Division suffers the same fate while attacking the 101st Air Assault Division around Bushehr. (Unofficially) The American airmobile unit inserts several battalions of infantry in the division rear areas, who then advance towards the coast, rolling up the Soviet unit from behind.

Unofficially,

FEMA completes another racetrack to refugee camp conversion, this one the Flemington Speedway in New Jersey.

The Daily Mail newspaper publishes the results of its investigation of the scandal involving the wealthy and influential evading military service. It concludes that the Guardian's reporting is flawed, and thoroughly debunks the article's reporting and conclusion.

As the front lines of the Chinese 31st (my 3rd) Army disintegrate, the remnants of the British 6th Division (down to 2500 men and a handful of armored vehicles) board three transports and a dozen smaller craft (tugs, fishing boats and the like) in the ports of Dandong and Sinuiju to be extracted from the rapidly collapsing Allied pocket at the mouth of the Yalu.

The 12th Luftjaeger Regiment, a Luftwaffe security unit, is hastily converted into a motorized infantry regiment with the addition of a company of obsolescent M48 tanks, two dozen captured Soviet BTR-152 APCs and requisitioned civilian trucks.

NATO defensive efforts in Poland are increasingly hampered by supply shortages, fed by insufficient German industrial production (made worse by the occupation of southern Germany by Pact forces) and severe damage to Northern European ports. Only minor ports remain undamaged, and air resupply from the UK and North America is unable to move even 10 percent of the needed supplies, if logistic planners could even have an assurance that the airports required were safe from nuclear attack.

On the opposite side of the lines, the Pact forces are equally starved of supplies and Soviet divisions are running low on troops. The NATO interdiction campaign has severely hampered the flow of supplies and replacements into the theater, Czech and Hungarian industry has been almost totally neutralized by nuclear attacks, and production and transportation in the USSR are increasingly being disrupted by strikes, ethnic unrest and disorder. Still, the offensive to drive NATO out of Poland continues.

The remnants of the Turkish civilian government issue a proclamation declaring the imposition of martial law. (Some have speculated that this order was issued under duress, with the politicians under military protection/custody, but the reality is that the military is the sole entity in Turkey that is capable of organizing security and relief. Even then, military rule is largely delegated to the local level).

The team from the Soviet Ministry of Oil and Gas concludes their assessment of the main strategic prize from the conquest of Romania - its oil industry. The assessment is positive, reflecting that both sides strove not to damage it, leaving it largely intact. The team from the ministry notes two urgent needs to bring Romanian production online to support the Soviet war effort - a workforce of experienced and self-reliant employees led by managers that can adapt to the unfamiliar conditions and equipment (Romania having imported some high-technology machinery denied to the USSR), and an adequate security force to protect the oil wells, pipelines, pumping stations, refineries and supporting sites.
__________________
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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  #321  
Old 10-28-2022, 03:41 PM
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October 24, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day!

The light frigate USS Kirkpatrick is delivered in Moss Point, Mississippi and manned by USCG personnel, and the tanker Marias is delivered in Baltimore.

In Northern Ireland the IRA begins forming more conventional military units, designating them according to geographic location. The initial units include the Derry Brigade, South Armagh Brigade, Fermanagh Brigade and three brigades in Belfast - the Falls Brigade, Short Strand Brigade and the Ardpyne Brigade. The IRA has had considerable success in asserting control in Derry and in rural areas adjoining the Republic; in Belfast intense battles rage between the Provos and the UDR and RUC, who are assisted (on a as-yet unofficial basis) by Unionist paramilitary bands. The US Navy, whose carrier Enterprise is in the midst of an extensive repair following battle damage off the Kola in the city's shipyard, restricts its personnel to the yard's territory, firmly defended by the ship's Marine detachment supplemented by contingents from the ship's 3300+-strong complement.

The Abraham Lincoln, the sole surviving operational and undamaged carrier in the US Pacific Fleet, returns to the waters off Petropavlovsk. Operating under EMCOM (Emissions Control, with all radar and radio emissions off) the carrier launches a predawn air raid which once again pounds the Soviet port after catching its air defense force off guard. After recovering its aircraft (three F/A-18s and an A-6 are lost) the carrier group turns tail and retreats to the vast empty spaces of the North Pacific.

The lead regiments of the 38th (my 27th Guards) Motor-Rifle Division reinforce the battered 1st Shock Army east of Wroclaw. The arrival of the hardened veterans of the Chinese campaign is an unpleasant shock to the troops of the American 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), which are already under considerable pressure.

NATO forces in Poland continue to fall back, with the front line running from Koszalin on the Baltic coast, to the eastern outskirts of Poznan and Wroclaw to the Czech border.

Overcoming scattered and disorganized resistance, Soviet troops reach the Bosporus in Istanbul. Patrols are sent across to the Asian side, but Southern Front's logistic difficulties at the end of a very long supply line, prevent any further advance into Turkish territory. STAVKA concludes that the removal of Turkey from the war has effectively been achieved and redirects remaining scarce resources to more urgent fronts. (The decision also relieves the Soviet authorities from responsibility to administer the vast and populous nation).

Preparations hastily completed, the Dubai shipyard floods its largest drydock to accept the carrier USS Independence.

The 236th Rear Area Protection Division, in the Central Asian Military District, is struggling to secure the supply lines into eastern Iran against the array of bandits, nationalist or Islamic partisans, deserters and draft-dodgers and criminals that are roaming the border regions of the USSR. The importance of this effort is further driven home by the cutoff of the transportation routes between Transcaucasian Front and the Caucasus by Pegasus II, which is forcing more traffic through the vast, lightly populated area.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 10-28-2022, 03:43 PM
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October 25, 1997

Another day with nothing in canon!

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

The light frigate USS Pride is delivered in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Guardian newspaper publishes an apology for the inaccurate story it ran on the 8th, alleging that the wealthy and influential were evading conscription. Nonetheless, the damage has been done to the perception that conscription in the UK is a fair and impartial process.

The Irish government closes the Donegal Air Corridor, a "unofficial understanding" which permitted British and NATO aircraft to access the Atlantic via a 4-mile long overflight of Irish territory between Belleek, Northern Ireland and Ballyshannon, Ireland.

With increasing Soviet artillery attacks on Poznan (ignoring the protests from their Polish Communist allies), the Polish Free Congress decides to evacuate its provisional capital. As the city's population's reaction varies from panic to mocking, the collaborators and exiles depart the city in a hastily-organized convoy headed for the German border.

The carrier Independence is successfully drydocked in Dubai and experts can begin cutting away damaged portions of the hull.

The 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (New York Air National Guard) detaches a trio of helicopters from its home station at RAF Gibraltar to Mombasa International Airport, Kenya. Two of the squadron's HC-130 fixed-wing aircraft accompany the helicopters, refueling them inflight to allow them to transit to Cairo West Air Base in one flight.
__________________
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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  #323  
Old 10-28-2022, 04:14 PM
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October 26, 1997

The American journalist Fanya Ayn Wilkerson is withdrawn from the Pegasus II airhead along with the remaining rangers and pathfinders.

Unofficially,

The (what was destined to be the) second to last FEMA emergency stockpile is sealed, this one at Ohio Caverns near Dayton.

FEMA officials are dismayed when they receive a report that the new Flemington Speedway evacuee camp in New Jersey has reached full capacity; word of the camp's opening quickly spread and nervous city dwellers from the New York and Philadelphia areas arrived in droves. Local officials are less than pleased, and the local sheriff (who is responsible for security in the camp) claims that the camp has attracted "a mass of neer-do-wells, troublemakers and shiftless folks looking for a handout from our fine community."

Fighting in Belfast intensifies. IRA forces, who in prewar years had amassed an impressive arsenal thanks to KGB support, enjoy an advantage in firepower, widely fielding RPG-7s and light machineguns. Added to this arsenal are weapons captured from Army and police outposts which were overrun in the past week. This firepower, combined with a superiority in young, enthusiastic volunteers, allows the IRA to accomplish a long-dreamed of goal in Belfast - conquest of the Loyalist Shankhill neighborhood, accompanied by a massive displacement of the population and widespread atrocities. The victory allows the Unionist forces to form a coherent pocket in primarily working-class areas from the city center to the northwest, which is surrounded by Loyalist suburbs, which the Catholics have yet to attempt to break into.

Soviet forces all along the front launch a day of coordinated attacks in an effort to dilute the efforts of the few remaining NATO tactical aircraft. The day's actions are somewhat successful, with advances in excess of 5 km on average, but the effort results in the expenditure of three days worth of supply deliveries. Many of the Allied aircraft that do respond, however, are armed with nuclear bombs as ELINT and reconnaissance teams desperately try to locate artillery and rocket batteries and headquarters.

In Bavaria, the Italian Army has drawn almost to a halt as depleted stocks of munitions and spare parts cripple its mechanized troops and its elite light infantry is unable to replace losses from earlier in the campaign. Platoons and squads of paramilitary Carabinieri troops, withdrawn from internal security duties at home, are increasingly shuffled to the front to serve as replacements; at least they are trained troops, unlike many new arrivals at fronts around the world at this stage of the war.

The first flight of workers from the Baku oil fields arrives in Ploesti, Romania. They were grabbed without any prior notice from their work sites and loaded onto an Aeroflot airliner for a harrowing low-level flight to Romania. Upon arrival, KGB and Communist Party officials give them a brief "inspirational" feat before ordering them to immediately get the unfamiliar plant back to maximum production.

The remnants of the battered Convoy 302 limp into European ports. Due to overcrowding in the few more lightly damaged ones (all medium to small in size, the largest ones - Hamburg, Bremen, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven - having been heavily bombarded or targeted by nuclear weapons), several ships have to remain at anchor in the North Sea or English Channel. One, the former East German freighter Hettstedt, is sunk by a drifting mine off Vlissingen, Netherlands.

The 241st Rear Area Protection Division is activated in Novosibirsk, Siberia, from the cadre and students of the MVD officer school in that city. Once formed, STAVKA intends to use it to assist the MVD with putting down the increasing number of uprisings and mutinies within the USSR. The MVD command objects to the Army takeover of its formation, sparking a harsh rebuke from STAVKA, which replies that if the MVD Internal Troops were doing their job maintaining order that the Army wouldn't need to.
__________________
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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  #324  
Old 10-28-2022, 04:32 PM
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October 27, 1997

Nothing in canon for today!

In response to the continuing losses in Europe and the SACEUR decision to try to hold the Oder River line between Poland and East Germany, the Army command authorizes the release of the 353rd Engineer Group (Combat) (US Army Reserve) to Europe. The unit begins moving its equipment to Corpus Christi, Texas for movement overseas.

On the front line in Poland, NATO troops launch local counterattacks to keep their Pact opponents from consolidating the prior day's gains.

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment joins the 107th in reserve in central Germany as they recover from their periods isolated behind enemy lines in Poland. Unfortunately, replacement armored vehicles are in short supply. US Army Material Command in the US has been dispatching a wide array of tanks to the European theater - LAV-75s, Cadillac-Gage Stingrays, M-60A4s and M1s of all models (the older ones either stripped from the test and training establishments or returned to service after battle damage repairs). It is up to exhausted logisticians at US Army Europe to allocate these vehicles (as well as the trickle that are returned to service after repairs from the severely damaged repair facilities in theatre) to the units that need them most, balancing the need with their current fleet and ability to maintain them. (i.e., most M-60A4s go to National Guard divisions that originally had them or had them in the 1992-5 time period, hoping that those units mechanics have memory of how to maintain the type). In this situation, the ACRs in the rear area are of lower priority for replacement vehicles than units still at the front.

The Bavarian defense is bolstered by the efforts of German territorial Wallmeister (rampart master) troops. These are Bundesheer soldiers trained in demolitions, obstacle creation, and key infrastructure denial. They use military painted civilian vehicles, and assigned their area of operations on a long term basis, allowing them to blend in thoroughly if needed. Armed with small arms, they travel with demo, tools, etc. At this stage of the war, they also make use of propositioned caches of demo and prepositioned obstacles designed as part of the existing infrastructure.

Along the high ground between the Danube and Main River valleys, VII Corps' defense is proving successful against a depleted and exhausted Soviet 21st Army.

Another naval action rages in the Baltic Sea as desperate Soviet commanders push a convoy of large merchantmen south, heading for the devastated harbors of Gdansk and Gdynia. The American carrier Coral Sea, which has been operating in the western Baltic for months, launches its remaining squadron of F/A-18s armed with unguided munitions (cluster bombs, iron bombs and rockets) to damage the Soviet convoy, which is escorted by a pair of aged destroyers and several frigates and corvettes. As the American attack aircraft wheel above the convoy's ships, strafing the merchantmen, a squadron of German missile boats arrives at high speed, adding their firepower to the effort. As their missiles are expended (many of them entered the action with only one or two aboard) they weave through the convoy at high speed, attacking the Soviet ships with deck mounted guns and even machineguns. As the Allied force departs, a single Marineflieger (German Naval Air Force) Tornado flies overhead and drops a B-61 tactical nuclear bomb, which bursts in the air over the convoy.

The carriers USS John F Kennedy and HMS Illustrious move close to the Turkish coast east of Crete in an effort to evacuate Allied citizens from the disorder that is rapidly spreading across the battered country. Helicopters from the carriers evacuate stranded personnel, while the carriers' fighters provide cover for a stream of airliners that are bravely evacuating civilians to airports in Egypt and Israel. 6th Fleet's request for additional helicopter carriers from SACLANT is approved, but they are all days away from the Mediterranean. CENTCOM refuses to release its amphibious ships, which would entail a voyage around Africa as the Egyptian effort to clear the Suez Canal is hopelessly delayed.

The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment launches a successful raid on outposts of the Soviet 4th Army, forcing that formation to burn thousands of gallons of diesel fuel when it dispatches a tank regiment to reinforce the incursion.

The first strike mission is flown by a R-5D Aurora hypersonic spy plane, striking the tank rebuild facility in Kiev, Ukraine with a B-61-11 nuclear bomb. (The facility had survived the general attack on Kiev in September, and the plant had continued operations using workers who had been evacuated to the factory's "workers rest camp" 75 km from the city, brought in daily on surviving commuter trains.

Detachment 1, 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron resumes its journey to Kenya, departing Cairo West Air Base at dawn.
__________________
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 10-28-2022, 04:36 PM
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October 28, 1997

In a further blow to Transcaucasian Front, the 346th (my 155th) Motor-Rifle Division is caught in an airmobile ambush by the IPA's 9th Airmobile Brigade as the Soviet force is hunkered down, low on fuel, ammunition and supplies, in the Zagros Mountains southwest of Shiraz. The unit takes heavy casualties and is nearly destroyed.

Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Leopold is delivered in Mobile, Alabama and manned by a mix of USN and USCG personnel.

In Northern Ireland, the IRA forces in Derry are suffering setbacks as the UDR and their Loyalist allies rally and force the Unionists back from the city center, cornering them in the historic "Free Derry" area in the Bogside neighborhood. In Belfast, the IRA-dominated Nationalist force has established a functioning shadow government to rule the Catholic enclave, which is still hemmed in by British troops. The pleas of the British force's commander to Westminster for reinforcements and armored vehicles are met with the response that none are available, so severe is the situation on the Continent.

The battleship USS New Jersey makes another sweep along the Aleutians, screened by USAF air defense fighters operating out of the Pacific Northwest (with tanker support) and with a tag-team of USN and USCG patrol aircraft providing surface search. The grouping is highly successful, allowing the New Jersey Surface Action Group to locate and sink seven Soviet supply vessels trying to sneak forward to resupply isolated Aleutian Front units.

Panzergruppe Oberdorf, formed in April to lead Third German Army's assault into northern Silesia, has returned to (former) East German territory and is disbanded. Most of its American units (the 5th Infantry Division, the 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 46th Engineer Brigade) are assigned to the American XI Corps, which is holding a sector east of the group's. General Oberdorf is assigned to lead the Schleswig-Holstein Territorial Command, responsible for security and reconstruction of the West German Baltic coast and the region between Hamburg and the Danish border.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #326  
Old 10-31-2022, 04:09 PM
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October 29, 1997

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

Delegations from the Greek and Bulgarian military governments meet in Erdine, Turkey to delineate administration of occupied areas in Thrace as Soviet forces begin withdrawing from the region. Both nations had lost sovereignty over the region in wars earlier in the century; while allies in the fighting against the Turks and Jugoslavs the two nations are both desperate to regain the lost territories and too weak militarily and economically to fight the other over them.

Another three Army truck companies are activated, one each at Fort Eustis and Fort Leonard Wood, with the third forming at Camp Perry, Ohio, from volunteers from the civilian trucking industry.

Soviet forces of the 1st Far Eastern Front conclude the clearing the last remaining pocket of Chinese Army resistance, the remnants of the 31st Group Army that had been sheltering in Dandong at the mouth of the Yalu. The suppression of the Chinese troops, who fought with a tenacity driven by fatalism and hate, is a bloody effort, and following its conclusion 1st Far Eastern Front directs the diversion of some of the less battered formations to reinforce Yalu Front's efforts in adjacent North Korea

The first ships of the ragtag evacuation fleet carrying the remnants of the British 6th Division arrive in Kowloon.

Soviet nuclear forces strike the main NATO aerial ports that receive reinforcements - Frankfurt International Airport/Rhine Main Air Force Base, Luxembourg International Airport, Amsterdam-Schipol International Airport and Dusseldorf International Airport - with IRBMs and cruise missiles, halting reinforcement operations at the bases. Aircraft already in flight are directed to land at Gatwick, Prestwick and Stanstead airports in the UK, where an ad-hoc aerial ferry system is implemented using smaller civilian transports and USAF airlifters flying to smaller (and in many cases damaged) airfields in Germany and the eastern Netherlands.

Convoy 306 departs Jacksonville, Florida, with 18 loaded freighters, two tankers and six escorts as well as an umbrella of maritime patrol aircraft overhead.

A particularly heavy day of flights into the Tabriz bridgehead, taking advantage of heavy air tasking by 9th Air Force with cooperation from the IPA and the Saudi Air Force.

Detachment 1, 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron is declared operational at Mombasa International Airport, Kenya. Two of the squadron's HC-130 transports return to Gibraltar.
__________________
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; 11-01-2022 at 06:31 AM. Reason: fixed Prestwick not Preston!
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  #327  
Old 10-31-2022, 04:18 PM
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October 30, 1997

After several weeks of sheltering from fallout in local coal mines, the first inhabitants of Pyskowice return to their homes. They have deteriorated somewhat during the interval when they were abandoned but overall are still habitable and far preferable to conditions in government-operated refugee camps.

The 82nd Airborne and the Rangers begin to break out of their airhead and begin raiding south.

Unofficially,

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

NATO transportation planners assess the implications of the prior day's attacks on airports as well as the ongoing effort to cripple European seaports. The twin developments challenge NATO's ability to replace even a portion of the losses its forces are suffering at the front, for while the US Army's Training and Doctrine Command is churning out hundreds of recruits daily and American (and Canadian and British) industry is building armored and unarmored vehicles, the inability to get them to into the theatre threatens the alliance's ability to hold off the advancing Pact forces. The US Navy offers up the idea of troop ships - both purpose built ones brought out of mothballs and requisitioned cruise ships - but they are slower than airlift and require use of the same damaged port facilities that are currently unable to unload supplies and fuel. No decision is reached other than to continue to make maximum use of smaller, undamaged facilities; the available tactical assets (landing craft and C-130-scale transports) are too few and too urgently needed to divert to logistic support missions.

Hearing the approaching thundering horde of Convoy 306, the Sierra-III class sub K-231 moves east into the Atlantic to ensure that a 120-km square area of the Atlantic north of Bermuda and away from the shipping routes is clear of enemy activity.

The first vehicles of the 353rd Engineer Group (Combat) arrive at Corpus Christi, Texas for movement to Europe.
__________________
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; 11-02-2022 at 03:43 PM. Reason: wrong sub!
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  #328  
Old 10-31-2022, 04:22 PM
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October 31, 1997

The 82nd Airborne Division and Rangers have done as much damage as they can to the Soviet base structure and communications routes in the Tabriz area as they can. To their south, Soviet troops are running out of supplies while XVIII Airborne Corps, I MEF and the IPA begin a limited counteroffensive. Caught in a vice, the Soviets begin withdrawing northward from their positions threatening Allied positions along the coast of the Persian Gulf.

The fires in the outer city of Warsaw have nearly died out. The firestorm had swept through those areas of the city which were not in the rubble, destroying most of those structures which withstood the blasts. The destruction is nearly complete. Over half of the native population died in the initial blasts and the firestorm which ran through the city. While many structures still remain standing, they are, for the most part, only shells, standing ominously over the sea of rubble which is modern Warsaw.

Unoffiicially,

Having had an entire two weeks (!) to organize, the 476th Truck Company is ordered to the nearby port of Norfolk for immediate deployment to Europe.

As the IRA consolidates its positions in Belfast and struggles to hold Derry it introduces involuntary conscription of all males between the ages of 13 and 62. Some affected men manage to slip away, while others willingly take up arms against the Loyalists.

One of the Soviet units involved in the elimination of the Chinese 31st Army, the 12th Motor-Rifle Division (3500 men, 25 tanks), is ordered south into North Korea to reinforce 35th Army. It crosses the Yalu later in the day, its infantry mostly on foot except for a lucky battalion which rides the exterior of the tanks.

The last elements of the British 6th Division arrive in Kowloon, having been evacuated from the mouth of the Yalu River, bringing an end to the "Dunkirk of China".

Convoy 306 is off the Hampton Roads area and picks up an additional nine ships and another escort, the frigate Koelsch, returning to sea after being damaged in March.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:00 PM
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November 1, 1997

The first convoy to Kenya from the United States arrives after being attacked by two Soviet submarines off the coast of Madagascar. The convoy loses two freighters, including one carrying the balance of the Sheridan tanks assigned to the 173rd. The escorts, aided by P-3C’s, manage to sink both submarines but lose one frigate and have another so badly damaged that it barely makes it to Mombasa. The rest of the convoy arrives intact, bringing the remainder of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 228th Aviation Regiment along with various support elements.

Unofficially,

The Army Chief of Staff reports that as of October 31, total casualties (KIA, wounded, missing and captured) have exceeded 100 percent of the Army's prewar (January 1996) Active Duty strength. (Noting, of course, that the Army Reserve and National Guard made up 58 percent of the total Army). While shocking, the Commandant of the Marine Corps notes that his force reached that milestone in July and that the nuclear exchange has put the equivalent number for the Marine Corps approaching 150 percent.

The government of Eire, noting the instability in Northern Ireland, calls up the FCA, the Army's reserve force. Reservists repeat the experience of most reservists around the world from a year ago, nervously leaving loved ones, reporting to mobilization stations and rushing through paperwork and store issuance.

In North Korea, Soviet artillery strikes the city of Wonsan on the east coast as Allied defenders continue to withdraw. To the west, fighting spreads in Pyongyang as the Soviets commit additional numbers of North Korea troops (a mix of pre-war regulars, reservists and People's Militia with a sprinkling of civilians forced to fight fleshing them out). Allied airpower, operating closer to its home bases, is able to provide slightly more effective support.

The US Pacific Fleet orders the withdrawal of the battleship Missouri from the western coast of North Korea, ordering it to Yokosuka, Japan for a brief period for minor repairs, resupply and minor electronic upgrades.

The German 23rd Missile Brigade, which has shot off it's entire stock of Scud-D missiles and taken grievous losses in the fighting in Poland, is disbanded. Survivors of the unit are distributed to other Bundeswehr formations.

The Dutch Air Force resumes flying missions from the Gilze-Rijen Air Base, which was struck by a Soviet missile a month earlier. The Dutch 314 Squadron's three remaining F-16s are able to take off and land from the base's taxiways, which were constructed specifically with this emergency option in mind.

Elsewhere in Germany, some Luftwaffe and USAF aircraft have begun to operate from small civilian strips and closed sections of Autobahn to reduce the risk of being struck by Soviet nuclear weapons while at one of the few remaining intact bases. NATO's remaining E-3 AWACS aircraft operating over the front have retreated to Stavanger, Norway and RAF Alconbury, relying on tankers to make up for the lost range.

The German defenders of Wroclaw, mostly the V Korps, are surrounded by Pact troops of the 2nd Polish and 8th Guards Soviet Armies.

The NATO attack submarines HMS Ursula and HNLMS Bruinvis blast their way out of the Murmansk Fjord following nearly two weeks of lurking. They follow the Soviet minesweeper Pavel Malkov out through the minefields, then sink her and her escort, the Grisha-class corvette MPK-33.

The USS Virginia remains in drydock in Norfolk, Virginia being repaired from damage sustained in mid-October. The ship's helicopter pilot, Lt. Hans Brupp, is promoted to Lieutenant Commander, partially in recognition of his role sinking the submarine that attacked the ship.

Following a long and difficult journey Cobra and Echo Flights, 487th Tactical Missile Wing, with nine GLCM missiles and launchers, arrive at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Incirlik is quickly evolving to be an enclave of relative order in the chaos that is Turkey, with a combination of local, Dutch, and USAF Security troops who are securing the miles-long perimeter. The base is slowly gathering stragglers from other NATO formations in Turkey that are able to make it there; most of 16th Air Force's surviving aircraft are recovering to the base after flying missions from their damaged home stations.
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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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Old 11-02-2022, 04:50 PM
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November 2, 1997

Irish troops begin to move to the northern counties in response to the growing conflict across the border in Northern Ireland. The government of Eire, which relies on Sinn Fein for support, claims that the deployment is wholly defensive.

Unofficially,

The light frigate USS Menges is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi and manned by a mix of USN and USCG personnel.

The 1950s-vintage Decatur-class destroyer USS John Paul Jones, is recommissioned in Norfolk, Virginia and sets sail for the Pacific. The ship had last been in commission in 1982; such is the need for escorts that in January she and her sisters were ordered back into service, obsolescent as she is. The reactivation process included installation of modern radars, electronics and self-defense systems but she still lacks helicopters and a modern sonar.

ROK stay-behind special forces troops in North Korea spot the columns of the reinforcing 12th Motor-Rifle Division heading south after crossing the Ch'ongch'on River and within hours the formation is stuck by a South Korean nuclear-tipped Lance missile, largely ending the division’s war.

Allied forces in Korea have established a semi-prepared defensive line across North Korea from Wonsan to Pyongyang, using the south bank of the Taedong River as an obstacle. Engineers destroy the river crossings, while 8th Army headquarters acquiesces to ROK concerns and denies the use of atomic demolition munitions or nuclear strikes to create a nuclear dead zone on the north bank. ROK and US light units establish a screen through the central mountains, and the most battered units are withdrawn from the front lines for reconstruction.

ROK naval units move into the estuary of the Taedong River to provide naval gunfire support to Allied forces. The South Koreas are willing to risk the destroyer Jeon Ju, a World War II-era ship with six 5-inch guns, in the effort.

The Luftwaffe 2nd Luftjaeger Regiment reaches the safety of the German border and is assigned a sector along the Oder River south of Frankfurt-Oder.

The 930th Tactical Fighter Group (USAF Reserve) relinquishes the last of its surviving A-10s to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. It receives a composite force of six A-37 and six Boeing Skyfox light attack aircraft as replacements; it has been nearly six months since the unit had a dozen combat-ready aircraft.

Panzergruppe Westhoven, another ad-hoc multinational formation formed in the spring and assigned to First German Army, is disbanded, its constituent units returned to their national corps.

West of Wroclaw, the US XI Corps prepares a counterattack to once again rescue an encircled friendly unit, in this case the V German Korps.

NATO technical intelligence specialists score an amazing prize when a SS-23 missile lands within the perimeter of Ramstein Air Base and its nuclear warhead fails to detonate. Air Force Security Police immediately secure the site and EOD personnel arrive; unfamiliar with Soviet nuclear weapons they are unable to make the warhead safe but transport it (very! gingerly) to a hardened aircraft shelter.

Convoy 304 arrives in the North Sea following a nearly-unopposed voyage from North America. Naval commanders are dismayed to discover that some ships from Convoy 302 are still at anchor awaiting berths. The smaller ships are able to proceed to shallower ports such as Esbjerg, Denmark and Eemshaven, Netherlands.

Convoy 306 is off St. Johns, Newfoundland.

Red Banner Northern Fleet surges many of its remaining nuclear and diesel-powered submarines into the Barents Sea.

While 5th Special Force Group's Green Berets work with the Kurds of northwestern Iran, the 7th Group works in central and Eastern Iran, among the Baluch and Lur tribal groups. 7th Group even deploys several A-teams across the border into post-nuclear Pakistan, more gathering intelligence than active combat operations.

Kenyan stevedores work to unload the convoy that arrived in Mombasa. American commanders are frustrated to learn the slow pace that the workers work at, and are forced to choose between unloading supplies for the units already in action and unloading additional combat capability. Ultimately, the decision is made to unload several days worth of munitions and fuel as well as desperately needed parts, then switch over, if the ships' loading permits.
__________________
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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