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  #271  
Old 09-20-2022, 03:40 PM
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September 2, 1997

Transcaucasian Front's offensive (coupled with a lack of supplies arriving from home) has largely pushed Third Army back to it's original starting positions.

Unofficially,

Private Randall Cutler and his peers graduate from Advanced Individual Training. Because of the serious situation on the ground in Europe, the class is bussed to Shaw Air Force Base 30 miles away, where a chartered 767 awaits to fly the newly trained light wheeled vehicle mechanics to Germany as replacements. The plane has just finished flying the last remaining excess command and support personnel from the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) home from Germany after the division was pounded by Soviet nuclear weapons near Warsaw in August.

In Alaska, X Corps stands up a new unit, the 2nd Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, to provide additional transportation support to the embattled corps. The battalion is formed by mass requistioning of Alaska's fleet of bush planes and conscription of their pilots, a move that is not without considerable controversy, especially among the pilots and owners of those aircraft (often the same people). Company A is equipped with Twin Otter aircraft, adding to the Alaska National Guard's small fleet of the type, Company B is equipped with DeHavilland Beaver floatplanes (ironically, many of which are former US Army aircraft), Company C with Cessnas and Company D, the heavy lift company, operates six Grumman Goose flying boats and a like number of DC-3 transports. The new formation is based at Fort Wainwright, but it operates over the vast state, much as the aircraft did as commercial bush pilots.

A warning is received that Soviet missiles and bombers are inbound towards the UK. The Royal Family and Prime Minister are rushed onto helicopters and are over the outskirts of London when word is received that it is a false alarm, and they quickly return.

The Soviet 35th Army diverts much of its remaining artillery from the front lines facing the Americans, Commonwealth and South Koreans to firing missions against the surrounded and isolated American 23rd Infantry Division. A break in the weather allows a handful of helicopters to slip into the surrounded unit's enclave, dropping off ammunition and food and evacuating several dozen wounded.

The 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) arrives aboard Air Force and civilian transport aircraft at Kimpo Air Base, Korea.

Third German Army's order to withdraw to the vicinity of the Wisla River is mirrored by the Second German Army in northern Poland. All effort is to be made to restore contact with First German Army's V US Corps to the south, as 7th Tank Army has severed contact and, despite the nuclear strikes in Bialystok, is making progress towards Warsaw.

In Munich, the commander of the Italian forces holds a conference with the commander of the 1st Southwestern Front, Marshall V.I. Avdeev, to try to formalize what has been heretofore an ad-hoc effort to coordinate the invasion of southern Germany. Bundeswehr stay-behind troops launch an unsuccessful ambush on the Italian commander as he leaves the Soviet command compound in an upscale area of the Bavarian capital.

The American attack submarine USS Olympia detects a coastal convoy running along north Russian coast and closes on it. The Soviets score a rich prize when a Tu-22M2DP interceptor stumbles across the weekly ferry flight of new-production A-10Bs (accompanied by a KC-135E of the 191st Air Refuelling Squadron) from the US to Europe. The converted Soviet bomber is able to down three of the four attack aircraft as well as the tanker (the survivor diverting to Keflavik, Iceland), escaping back to Severomorsk unscathed.

The carriers John F Kennedy and America launch another round of air strikes on Italian military positions along the Adriatic coast. At dusk a S-3 Viking patrol aircraft from the America spots a squadron of Italian missile craft sortieing from Brindisi; it remains on station as the carrier strike group responds. The two F/A-18s from the SURCAP (anti-surface combat air patrol) are the first to arrive, followed by four additional F/A-18s launched from Kennedy, and the destroyer Caron is dispatched at flank speed to engage with its two 5-inch guns. By 2200 hours the missile boat force has been broken up, with eight of the ten Italian craft sunk or sinking and two fleeing the area at high speed.

The Soviet military reacts to the prior day's Golden Spike airstrike on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. A commission from Moscow is dispatched to the headquarters of the 39th Air Defense Corps in Irkutsk to evaluate what the raid looked like to the defenses. The Railroad Troops dispatch the 44th Railroad Brigade to repair or replace the damaged bridge and clear the remains of the train off the line before restoring it to service.
__________________
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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  #272  
Old 09-20-2022, 04:00 PM
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Septmber 3, 1997

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

The survivors of the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) returned to California are granted two weeks of leave to recover before reporting to Camp Rilea, Oregon to begin forming a new division.

FEMA begins to restock the Defense Logistics Agency storage depot in Pontiac, Michigan, which has been largely emptied of its reserve of machine tools.

As casualties mount on the continent, the House of Commons introduces a conscription bill.

The air over China is the clearest it has been in years as combat operations wind down. The American Volunteer Group II, sucessors to the Flying Tigers of World War Two, are disbanded, surviving aircraft, ground crew and pilots joining USAF and US Naval air units in the Korean Theater. Their Soviet opponents are transferred west, mostly to European skies, although a few aircraft are directed to the skies over Iran.

Pro-Communist guerrillas remain active behind the lines in Poland. Outside the Polish city of Wegrow east of Warsaw a band captures two American soldiers who were travelling (against standing orders) in a lone vehicle, a M1009 CUCV Blazer. The prisoners are Father (Major) John Burroughs, chaplain for 2nd Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, and his assistant, Specialist Karl Cray. The vehicle is hidden in a nearby grove and the prisoners rushed away.

The US Army orders the transfer of the 197th Field Artillery Brigade from USAEUR to Alaska. The formation, in reserve since July, have become experts in Arctic warfare and will add badly needed firepower to X Corps' effort to halt the Soviet offensive in Alaska.

The Olympia attacks the Russian coastal convoy, sinking the corvette SKR-29 with a Harpoon missile and the freighters Bratsk and Kuloy and icebreaker Dikson with torpedoes. The minesweeper RT-350 and the small tanker Imant Sudmalis escaped, radioing for assistance.

The battleship Wisconsin engages Greek coastal positions with its massive 16-inch guns as the resupply convoy enters the Adriatic with a vital cargo of supplies and munitions for the NATO effort in the Balkans. Aircraft from Sixth Fleet carriers patrol overhead, easily dealing with the feeble effort of the Greek Air Force to interfere with the ships' passage.

Private Randall Cutler and 179 other recently graduated support soldiers arrive at Rhein Main Air Force Base in Germany. They are rushed onto busses to a nearby Bundeswehr Kaserne where Army personnel staff assign them to units as replacements.

Pro-Soviet Kurdish partisans launch an attack on the Batman Air Base in southeastern Turkey. When Turkish security troops respond to the truck bomb they use to breach the perimeter fence, a Spetsnaz team from the 15th Spetsnaz Brigade slips over the perimeter fence on the far side of the base. They attack several hardened aircraft shelters, capturing three of them (at the cost of 17 men), one of which contains a F-16 of the 149th Tactical Fighter Group. They destroy the aircraft and grab what documentation they can before withdrawing; thankfully the Batman base is not one of the six Turkish air bases that host American tactical nuclear weapons.

The 1st Marine Division continues its movement southward towards the Persian Gulf; the division commander, Major General John P. Leonard (proceeding on foot most of the way), describes the effort as "continuing the attack, just to our south". The command takes the unconventional decision to travel across the barren Dasht-e-Lut desert, which is much more lightly patrolled by the Soviet 40th Army. The Marine's native guides, provided by the IPA, identify underground qanat aqueducts that the command can use; when those have been left behind the command is reliant on what water is already aboard the division's vehicles and what is flown in by the nightly resupply flights from the coast.

The lead company of the 44th Railroad Brigade reaches the site of the Golden Spike nuclear strike in eastern Siberia by truck. The company commander reports that residual radiaition in the area is still at a high level. When the brigade commander orders him to have his company don their protective garments and conduct a site survey and begin work the young senior lieutenant is forced to tell the colonel that his unit was never issued protective garments, the unit's prewar stocks diverted to China in 1996 and never replaced.
__________________
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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  #273  
Old 09-21-2022, 03:36 PM
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September 4, 1997

Nothing official today! Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Cook Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas while the Albany Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The 13th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) completes Rotation 97-10 at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana and is declared combat ready. It is initially assigned to the Army's strategic reserve.

The destroyer USS Howard is commissioned in Bath, Maine and begins shakedown training before being committed to action, assigned to the Fourth Fleet in the Atlantic. The shipyard at Bath has two more destroyers (the McCambell and Mason) in the water fitting out and six more in various states of construction ashore or in the yard's drydocks.

Colonel Tumanski's spetsnaz team, down to four men, ambushes a pair of army Land Rovers 10km from Erskine Barracks, Wiltshrie, killing six soldiers from HQ, UK Land Forces.

In southern China, the Soviet 1st Indochinese Front has established two of its three divisions as occupying forces in the cities of Nanning and Kunming, while its Vietnamese allies have sent troops to occupy areas of Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. Two Vietnamese task forces land forces in the Paracel and Spratley Islands, asserting control of the disputed islands in the South China Sea and taking advantage of their neighbor's collapse.

Private Randall Cutler is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery, part of the 36th Infantry Division, as a wheeled vehicle mechanic working on the battalion's HMMWVs, CUCVs, Avengers and trucks.

The two prisoners captured the day before by Polish partisans are blindfolded and held in the group's hideout, the basement of an abandoned furniture factory.

A week after being hit by NATO nuclear bombs, 3rd Polish Army resumes its drive north out of the foothills of the Carpathians, with Polish infantry riding on the exterior of Soviet tanks of the 50th Tank Division. To the east, XI and VII US Corps withdraw another 10 km, destroying roads and bridges as they retreat behind a screen maintained by the corps' armored cavalry regiments, the 107th and 2nd.

No Soviet surface ships are available to assist the convoy attacked by the Olympia, but some ASW aircraft are called into the area. A lone Tu-142 Bear-F, two Il-78 Mays and a Be-14 flying boat all fly sorties over the area, but have little luck locating the creeping American boat.

The NATO resupply convoy arrives at the Jugoslav ports of Split and Ploce, bringing vitally needed replacement munitions, fuel and spare parts. The USS Wisconsin, accompanying the convoy, launches a volley of four Tomahawk cruise missiles against Italian logistic and transportation sites.

The John F Kennedy and America launch airstrikes on Italian naval targets, returning to Brindisi in search of the two missile boats that survived the battle on the 2nd. They are located hiding among the pleasure boats in the harbor's yacht marina; the air strikes destroy billions of Lire worth of luxury. Military Airlift Command begins routing transports from Germany and the Netherlands to central Norway, where the 197th Field Artillery brigade is moving to Orland and Vaernes air bases for transit to Alaska.

The 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Georgia National Guard), serving as I MEF's counterattack force along the shore of the Persian Gulf, launches a raid from the outskirts of Bandar Abbas, forcing the 108th Motor-Rifle Division to expend scarce supplies and also convincing the division commander that releasing reserves northward to counter the 1st Marine Division could leave his own command in a precarious place.
__________________
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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  #274  
Old 09-21-2022, 04:05 PM
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September 5, 1997

With the UK completely committed in Europe, the Middle East and China, Kenya appeals to the US to commit substantial forces to aid them in their fight against the various invading forces and seaborne commerce raiders. The US government, although already deeply mired in Europe and facing the specter of all out nuclear war on the horizon, decides that Kenya was too valuable an ally to lose, especially as its naval and air bases are considered essential for defending the convoys bringing supplies to the RDF and vitally needed oil to the US. The President directs the Joint Chiefs to divert units currently tasked as reinforcements for the RDF to Kenya, with the first units to be air deployed immediately.

Unofficially,

The Governor of New York places his militia forces (the New York Guard, the New York Naval Militia and the Veteran Corps of Artillery) on alert for possible civil and security duties as the nuclear conflict continues around the world.

At Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois, Rodney Cutler is one of 250 graduates from his recruit training company. Cutler receives orders for Brownsville, Texas, where he will be assigned to the pre-commissioning unit for the amphibious assault ship Makin Island, which is currently a mass of steel over 500 feet long and seven stories high sitting in a dusty bayou bank.

Despite hours of debate in the House of Commons and heated opposition, the Conscription Bill is passed (by a narrow margin) in the early morning hours.

The 23rd Infantry Division, surrounded in the mountains of North Korea, is attacked at dusk from all sides after another day of intense artillery bombardment. The attack is led by waves of dismounted infantry, largely the remnants of North Korean army and militia units forced into service under the guns of their so-called Soviet allies. The American infantry largely defeat the attack, although one battalion, the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, is destroyed when North Korean infiltrators overrun its headquarters and a night of fierce, uncoordinated actions in the dark lead to three of the companies being overrun, with the loss of over 350 men. The night's action depletes the division's ammunition supplies; while successful, the 23rd has expended so much ammunition that another attack of that scale will exhaust the supplies, rendering the division's mortars and machineguns worthless.

VI German Korps, vulnerable to being cut off by Soviet tank armies, withdraws from Lublin, setting the central city afire before departing. The main body of the American XI Corps reaches the Wisla at Tarnobrzeg as the evacuation of rear area units picks up pace. To its north VII US Corps begins withdrawing across the Wisla at Sandomierz, under the air defense umbrella provided by the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. Panzergruppe Oberdorff moves northwest, trying to prevent the 1st Guards Tank Army from cutting off the German force evacuating Lublin; the 5th Infantry Division's artillery contributes to this by striking the lead Soviet tank regiment's headquarters (located by a hovering EH-60 ELINT helicopter) with a prompt tactical nuclear strike.

The German freighter Herm Kiepe is delivered in Hamburg. It sails immediately to Canada to load munitions and containerized grain, the crew of the 13,000-ton ship eager to clear the port, a potential target for Soviet missiles and bombs.

The USAF 102nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron withdraws from Trapani Birgi Air Base in Sicily, returning to its prior base in Gibraltar.

Italian, Hungarian and Soviet troops along the northern Jugoslav border receive increased allocations of fuel and munitions, part of the windfall from the collapse of the Chinese front, while commanders gather at a resort on Lake Balaton to discuss the next steps in the Balkan theater.

Fifth Fleet receives reassurances from the owners of the giant drydock in Dubai that they are nearing completion of the repairs to the supertanker Starlight Gigant, damaged by a Soviet anti-ship missile in June, and that the drydock will then be available for repairs to the damaged USS Independence. The American carrier is anchored in Muscat, Oman with torpedo damage, and the dock in Dubai is the only undamaged one in the region able to accomodate the carrier. (The large dock in Bahrain was damaged by Soviet missiles in April).

In Iran, the 48th Infantry Brigade continues its spoiling attack against the 108th Motor-Rifle Division, forcing the commitment of the Soviet 285th Tank Regiment's T-74s to seal off a break in the front line between the 177th and 181st MRRs.

To the north, the Soviet 4th Army pressures the Iranian I Corps, trying to drive a wedge between XVIII Airborne Corps' dual centers, at Bandar-e-Khomeyni and Bushehr; the US 24th Infantry Division is tied down by a probe launched by the 7th Army. In both these actions, the absence of the 6th ACCB, rebuilding in Saudi Arabia, is keenly felt as the depleted 9th Air Force struggles to maintain air defense, provide close air support and interdict Soviet supply lines over such a vast theater at the end of such a long supply line, with only a fraction of the aircraft it was supposed to have available.
__________________
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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  #275  
Old 09-22-2022, 03:23 PM
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September 6, 1997

Canon is silent on the day. Unofficially,

The fifth R-5D hypersonic spy plane is completed and handed over to the Air Force.

At Fort Bragg, North Carolina the 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group is activated, slated for a rapid deployment to reinforce the rest of its parent headquarters in Africa. It is rapidly brought up to strength with an influx of recent graduates of the Special Forces Q-course and another shakedown of the Special Forces training and administrative structure for excess personnel that can be operationally deployed.

The final British Army regular ground unit, the 3rd Battalion, The Queen's Regiment, departs Northern Ireland, leaving the province's security solely in the hands of the Ulster Defense Regiment. The UDR is supported by helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft operating from Aldergrove, which is protected by a squadron of the RAF Regiment. The Queens Regiment troops are sent to Catterick in preparation for deployment to Germany as part of 5th Infantry Division.

The 23rd Infantry Division, cut off in the mountains of North Korea, is struck by multiple Soviet tactical nuclear weapons. The division's LARS rocket battery, A Battery 16th Field Artillery, is struck by a SS-21 missile with a 10-kt warhead, while the 2nd Brigade headquarters is hit by a 152mm nuclear artillery round, disrupting the already weakened brigade. An ad-hoc infantry unit composed of rear-area troops, holding a supposedly quieter section of front, is hit by another SS-21, taking heavy losses. Large numbers of light anti-aircraft guns surrounding the division disrupt aerial resupply and South Korean troops some 20 km to the south are under heavy pressure from Soviet forces. With no relief possible and Soviet commanders rallying more North Korean troops for another night of human wave attacks, the division commander surrenders his command to the Soviet 35th Army in an effort to save the lives of as many of his soldiers as possible. Scattered small groups of American troops break out on foot, heading for friendly lines.

As the Warsaw Pact assault in southern Germany continues to make progress and NATO forces give ground in Poland, SACEUR directs the redeployment of the US VII Corps to Bavaria. The first unit to start moving west is the 2nd Corps Support Command, most of which has crossed the Wisla.

The Soviet raider Ostorozhnyy, which sank a straggler from Convoy 418 two weeks ago, sinks the neutral containership Elite, which was in the central Atlantic en route to France with a cargo of foodstuffs from South America.

The Soviet Black Sea fleet establishes a pontoon pier leading to the beach resort town of Zlatni Pyasatsi, Bulgaria, 17 km north of the port of Varna, which was struck by American GLCMs in August. This allows freighters to be unloaded across the beach, greatly increasing the amount of cargo the Soviets are able to transfer into Bulgaria. (Previously, cargo movement was largely limited to shallow-draft amphibious craft).

The 1st Marine Division continues its trek across the desert, heading south largely on foot. The Marines in the division rear guard (a rotating duty, with the prior day's rearguard battalions trucked to the head of the column and the rearmost battalions assuming the duty) are able to make use of the desert's unique rock formations to strengthen their holding power against 40th Army's pursuing forces, which are having a difficult time traversing the desert terrain.

The 44th Railroad Brigade receives a complement of protective garments and nuclear reconnaissance equipment to begin its efforts to clear the site of the American nuclear strike on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The delay has allowed radiation levels to drop slightly in the blast zone, although the unit commanders are dismayed to discover the level off radiation in their own bivouac areas.
__________________
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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  #276  
Old 09-23-2022, 02:21 PM
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September 7, 1997

Isolated along the western coast of Korea, the US 25th Infantry Division (Light) strikes north, linking up with elements of Chinese 31st (my 3rd) Army. The Chinese force, sustained by US and British air and sea power, holds the mouth of the Yalu River and the city of Dadong, an island of relative stability. The British 6th Division has been in the enclave since late July.

Unofficially,

The 13th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light) is ordered to return to its home station at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania to await a full equipment set and transportation to an overseas theater. While waiting, it is assigned a variety of disaster relief and civil support duties in eastern Pennsylvania.

Another of the organizational changes that was authorized at the beginning of the month is the issuance of select-fire shotguns in infantry battalions; the Army expands its buy of SPAS-12s, previously issued to Military Police units as well as ordering thousands of HK-CAWs built under license by Olin Armaments. The plan is to issue an initial four to each infantry company in the Army, then expand the issue until there is one per squad.

The first draft notices are sent out across the UK.

Soviet troops begin the process of disaring the remnants of the 23rd Infantry Division and processing the over 6,000 POWs. Some are attacked by North Koreans eager for revenge on their nation's hated enemy.

Private Cutler is promoted to Private E-2, reflecting his early competence (he has a gift for understanding machinery, and he has yet to join the seemingly never-ending spades game in the motor pool''s break area) and the extent that his unit is understrength - Cutler occupies a position designated for a Specialist, a rank two above his new one.

Headquarters, VII Corps sets up in the town of Sandomierz, requisitioning the city's castle as headquarters. The Corps' 7th Engineer Brigade takes over operation of two Soviet pontoon bridges that had been captured in June, as well as surveying the railroad bridge a little ways downstream to ensure that it can be used as an emergency evacuation; the Corps commander is determined to keep traffic across the river flowing as smoothly as possible and preventing any massing of troops and equipment that can present a tempting nuclear target.

NATO's Operation Group Warsaw, the command responsible for the capture of the Polish capital, orders a cessation of offensive operations into the city, diverting armored vehicles and artillery towards the eastern side of the perimeter to defend against the approaching Soviet forces.

Likewise, a concerted effort is launched by I and XII German Korps to reduce the surrounded Baltic Front before it can be relieved by the rapidly progressing Pact counterattack, and along the Baltic coast the American II Marine Expeditoary Force launches a probing attack to seek a weak spot in the defense of the greatly shrunken Gdansk pocket, where the Polish 7th Marine Division has been holed up for many months.

A French naval Atlantique 3 patrol aircraft, dispatched from French Guiana, searches for the Soviet raider that sank a merchantman en route to France the prior day. The hunt is not successful.

The damaged heavy cruiser USS Newport News, struck by a Soviet SSC-3 coast defense missile in the Baltic, arrives at the (former) Brooklyn Navy Yard to begin repairs. It is placed in the drydock next to the one containing the USS Dale, which was struck by a SS-N-19 fired by an Oscar-class sub in July.

The air defense commission from Moscow completes its review of the radar record from last week's American stealth bomber penetration of the USSR. Given the limittations of the recording they are unable to reach any useful conclusion; the commander of the relevant sector radar unit is, however, relieved of command and sent to the front as an infantry lieutenant.
__________________
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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  #277  
Old 09-26-2022, 04:08 PM
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September 8, 1997

The long-dreaded Pact offensive in the Balkans commences with a series of tactical nuclear strikes on Romanian defensive positions along the entire length of the front. The Southwestern TVD's divisions have been replenished with additional recruits and recalled reservists, augmented with a sprinkling of obsolescent T-55, T-62 and T-64 tanks that Soviet commanders are reluctant to commit against more modern NATO armor in Poland.

Unofficially,

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

As the television networks roll out their new fall season, at 8 pm the hit comedy Darwin Was a Monkey's Uncle premiers its fifth season, featuring leading man Bob Socali as the loveable and bumbling James Darwin.

With the annual Morgan County, Ohio Fair concluded, construction workers arrive under the terms of a FEMA contract. The livestock buildings are cleaned out and fully enclosed, with chimneys added to permit use of coal or wood buning stoves to heat thee structures. The restrooms, cooking facilities and other buildings are modified so that they can be used through the winter, allowing the fairgrounds to house several thousand evacuees from the city of Columbus 75 miles away. This sort of contract is being carried out in many sites around the U.S.

Anti-draft riots erupt on universities across the UK. Despite the appearance portrayed on the telly, the riots are actually smaller scale and less prevalent than those in the US a year prior.

With the surrender of the 23rd Infantry Division freeing up large numbers of Soviet and North Korean troops, 35th Army begins a massive movement of vehicles and dismounted infantry to the front lines to the south. The effort is noted by American intelligence, and the might of the 43rd and 320th Bomb Wings is called into play, plastering the area with massive amounts of bombs from the two wings' B-52 bombers.

Units on the flanks of VII US Corps begin to hand over responsibility to their neighboring NATO corps - XI US Corps on the south and Panzergruppe Oberdorf to the north, which is transferred back to Third German Army's command. In US VII Corps' rear area, CH-47s of the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation (US Army Reserve) are committed to the evacuation of personnel and equipment across the Wisla; while not making a large contribution to the effort, every means to relieve the burden on the bridges speeds the corps' transfer to Bavaria, where intelligence is pointing towards a resumption of the Pact-Italian offensive.

VI German Korps falls back to the Wisla at Pulawy and Deblin, under heavy pressure from the 1st Guards Tank Army; it sends patrols along the river to the north and south to destroy pontoon bridges and ferry landing sites, liberally sowing landmines around the landing sites on both shores.

The Sierra III-class attack sub K-321 takes up station near the US SSBN base at Kings Bay, Georgia, dodging American patrol aircraft and craft in hopes of catching an elusive American missile boat. The Soviet raider Ostorozhnyy turns westward, seeking to interdict traffic leaving the Caribbean.

In Iran, a task force from the 7th Marines makes a predawn foray south, capturing the road junction and town of Anar, surprising the KGB-Tudeh rear area detachment that was mostly asleep. The move puts the 1st Marine Division astride the road to Bandar Abbas; the nearest friendly forces are the British 27th Brigade in the town of Sirjan 100 miles to the south.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...

Last edited by chico20854; 09-26-2022 at 04:13 PM.
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  #278  
Old 09-26-2022, 04:13 PM
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September 9, 1997

The US 3rd Armored Cavlary Regiment, heavily engaged by the Soviet 3rd Shock Army, holds the front line as it covers the withdrawal of III US Corps. The regiment's dispersal and canny leadership prevent the Soviet force from being presented a viable target for tactical nuclear weapons.

The 49th MP Brigade (California National Guard) transfers responsibility for distribution of foodstuffs in the southern half of Federal Region IX (California, Nevada and Arizona) to a variety of state guard and police units, including the California State Guard's 3rd and 4th Brigades.

Unofficially,

BMSA (Boatswains Mate Apprentice) Cutler reports to the USS Makin Island pre-commissioning unit in Brownsville Texas.

The first POWs from the 23rd Infantry Division arrive in the Vladivostok area. Unexpectedly, they are not moved on to POW camps in the Soviet Far East; instead they are dispersed to a wide array of military facilities in the area to serve as human shields to protect the bases from American nuclear attacks.

The USS Des Moines battle group is once again active in the Yellow Sea supporting Marines ashore. While conducting a strike, the group is surprised by a lone Soviet Su-24 bomber approaching at low level in the predawn darkness from the mountainous center of North Korea. The bomber fires a spread of four AS-17 anti-radiation missiles, which home in on the group's air defense command ship, the cruiser William H Standley. Three of the four hit, inflicting fatal damage; the cruiser sinks five hours later after firefighting efforts are unable to extinguish the multiple fires.

XI US Corps provides cover for VII Corps' withdrawal as it attempts to maintain contact with the Germans near Tarnow, Panzergruppe Oberdorff to its northeast while retreating towards the Wisla itself. Its' 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment and 50th Armored Division take turns launching sudden and vigorous counterattacks on the Polish 2nd Army, forcing that unit to devote resources to protect the supply line to the Polish 3rd Army, which is at risk of being cut by the American armor.

The last American and Canadian troops are withdrawn from Sicily for action on other fronts. The NATO occupation force in Siciliy is composed of detachments of the Spanish Guardia Civil and Portugese Guarda Nacional Republicana, who oversee a local NATO-supported militia/police force.

As Allied troops in Romania scramble to hold off the Soviet onslaught and piece together a defensive line that has been blasted apart by Soviet nuclear weapons, the Warsaw Pact ups the ante, sending the 16th Army across the Drava River into Croatia. Simultaneously, the Italian Grupo Dalmatia in Slovenia resumes its offensive operations and the Italian 5th Corps attacks south into Croatia from captured Austrian territory. The well dug in but outnumbered (and equipped with weapons a generation older) Jugoslav front line cracks under the pressure of seven hours of Soviet artillery fire, leavened with attacks on three JNA corps headquarters by Su-17s dropping 30-kiloton TN-1000 atomic bombs. As the sun sets, the Hungarian 2nd Corps executes a 90-degree turn and crosses into the Vojvodina, the Serbian province between Belgrade and the Romanian border.

1st Marine Division trucks and helicopters operating from within the Bandar Abbas perimeter have moved the remainder of the divison into the town of Anar, while Force Reconnaissance patrols depart at dusk south into the hills, seeking the path of least resistance.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #279  
Old 09-26-2022, 04:16 PM
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September 10, 1997

Canon has nothing on the day. Unofficially,

SACEUR hosts a commanders' conference to discuss the strategic situation. The meeting begins with each of the major sub-theater commanders, from the (largely dormant) Norwegian front to eastern Turkey, giving a status report on their sector, followed by a briefing by the SACLANT deputy commander on the status of the war at sea. That is followed by a briefing from representatives of the various industrial and support organizations in the alliance on upcoming production, transportation, medical support and other logsistic issues. In the discussion that follows, the gathered generals and admirals conclude that with the collapse of the Chinese war effort and outbreak of nuclear war that the chance of NATO reaching a successful attainment of its war aims is low, and that the most prudent way to avert a collapse on the central front is to stage a fighting withdrawal to German territory, where there is the best chance of defending the Oder-Niesse line for an extended period of time; simultaneously all available effort should be made to shore up the embattled NATO southern flank, taking advantage of the damage already wrought on the Greeks and Italians.

The final flights carrying the 197th Field Artillery Brigade (New Hampshire National Guard) arrive at Allen Army Airfield and Eielson Air Force Base near Fort Wainwright, Alaska as the brigade's lead batteries fire their first shots against the Soviets in the theater. The guardsmen are Arctic warfare experts, having fought along the Litsa line throughout the winter, spring and into July. X Corps assigns a CH-47 helicopter company to the brigade to allow its heavy howitzers to be moved around the battlefield.

Another (false) alarm about an imminent Soviet nuclear attack sends the Royal Family and Government scrambling to emergency dispersal locations.

Following the departure of the 70th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, the 17th Guards Motor-Rifle Division begins loading aboard trains in Mongolia for transit to the fronts in Europe.

The USS Missouri battle group makes a sweep through the Gulf of Alaska, guided by the P-3s of VP-48 (relocated from Adak to Anchorage, then CFB Comox), to intercept a Soviet reinforcement convoy. The poorly defended Soviet force - a handful of obsolescent frigates and corvettes, led by the 1964-built cruiser Steregushyy - prove to be excellent fodder for the American force's guns. The loss of the convoy severly hampers the ability of Soviet forces in southeastern Alaska and British Columbia to operate, as it carried much of the fuel, rations, ammunition and replaceements needed to sustain their offensive.

As NATO commanders contemplate the loss of Polish territory, they begin to plan for the area they currently occupy to be, in the future, once again behind enemy lines. Accordingly, they implement measures to support their stay-behind forces, embed remote monitoring and ease future operations behind the lines, with an aim to delay and disrupt Warsaw Pact forces. Hide sites are prepared for Special Forces and Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrols, stocked with rations, ammunition, batteries and medical supplies. Several clearings in forests and abandoned farms have fuel tanks quietly buried and filled with JP8 to serve as forward refuelling sites for attack helicopter deep penetration raids. REMBASS and other unmanned remote acoustic, seismic and magnetic sensors are buried near road junctions, bridges and other key points so that future Pact troop movements can be tracked and reported to NATO commanders, allowing a prompt and accurate strike.

The US 71st Airborne Brigade is forced out of the city of Deva, which it has been defending for many weeks against the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army. To avoid becoming the target of another Soviet nuclear strike - the city was struck by a nuclear-armed Scud missile at the onset of the Pact offensive - the brigade disperses into company-sized detachments in the mountains, fighting alongside their trusted allies of the Romanian 5th Mountain Brigade.

The Jugoslav high command furiously scrambles to gather more troops from around the country to defend the capital as that city's main garrison, the 1st Proliterian Guards Mechanized Infantry Division rushes north to face off against the Soviet 16th Army, which is shaking itself free of the remnants of the Jugoslav border defenses. Throughout southern and central Jugoslavia, Territorial Defense militia units are called up to compensate for the loss of regular units which have hastily departed.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 09-27-2022, 02:24 PM
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September 11, 1997

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

SACEUR and SACLANT make a joint presentation to to the (video conferenced) NATO heads of state in a hastily convened meeting. SACEUR lays out the assessment reached the prior day, and, testing the limits of civilian control of the military, states that he and his subordinate commanders will be implementing the withdrawal from Poland unless directed otherwise by the political leaders. When the Dutch and Canadian prime ministers push back, SACEUR offers his resignation as well as those of the commanders of CENTAG and SOUTHAG. The offers are immediately rejected and the NATO heads of state, less Polish Free Congress president Lech Walesa, approve the execution of the plan to evacuate Poland.

The first American war-built light frigate, the USS Poole, is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland and manned by USCG personnel. (The ship is a slightly updated Bear-class medium endurance coast guard cutter. Construction was started under a contract for the Chinese Navy; with US entry into the war and the losses suffered in the first weeks of the war the ship was taken over by the US Navy and the Chinese government refunded what they had paid for construction up to that point).

Order is restored on the last of the British university campuses that had erupted in violence with the onset of conscription.

Surviving Soviet Naval Aviation Backfire bombers launch a raid against British fixed coastal radar stations, blasting many of them with a mix of conventional and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. British air defense forces rush a handful of their remaining mobile radars to Scotland to try to plug the gaps in coverage, but they are not as powerful or capable as the destroyed sites.

Following up on the success of the 9th, Soviet Frontal Aviation, in coordination with an Il-38 of Naval Aviation, launches another Su-24 anti-shipping raid across the Sea of Japan from airfields near Vladivostok. The Il-38's radar locates the Tarawa amphibious group and vectors the Su-24s in. The strike that follows sees the loss of Tarawa, the transports Anchorage and Fresno and the frigade Reid as the Soviets dramatically demonstrate the power of tactical nuclear weapons at sea. The destroyer Buchannan, its topsides wrecked by the blast, remains afloat, a portion of its crew that were below decks still able to perform their duties, heads for the nearby friendly port of Donghae.

V German Korps fights off another attack from the Polish 3rd Army outside of Tarnow, but is forced to give ground, retreating to the city itself. The last VII US Corps units cross the Wisla, where a line of heavy equipment transporter trucks await to load AFVs for transit across Poland, where they will be transloaded onto railcars for the remainder of the journey to Bavaria.The US XI Corps' 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) assumes responsibility for the Tarnobrezg bridges; Panzergruppe Oberdoff takes over the Sandomierz bridgehead.

Soviet attack aircraft (mostly armed L-39 Albatros trainers with a sprinkling of MiG-27 and Su-17s) disrupt the movement of the Jugoslav 1st Guards Mechanized Infantry Division as it crosses the Danube plains towards the onrushing 16th Army. The most severe blow comes when a Su-17, responding to intelligence gained from an orbiting An-26RT ELINT aircraft, drops a nuclear bomb on the division headquarters while it is set up in a grove off trees alongside the main highway. The division's defense suffers accordingly, and the Jugoslav command recalls the JNA expeditionary force from Romania.

In Romania, the defense lines are crumbling and the 14th Guards Army's 55th Motor-Rifle Division breaks through the defenses and reaches the outskirts of the oil center of Ploesti.

To support the defense of Kenya, under pressure from many directions, Military Airlift Command deploys a mix of transports (C-5s, -17s, -141s and civil airliners) to the eastern Mediterranean to load the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

The 1st Marine Division continues its journey south across the desert, with elements of the 40th Army in pursuit. The 201st Motor-Rifle Division, to the south, which is holding the Bandar Abbas perimeter, tries to keep up the pressure on the perimeter despite its deplorable supply situation. 40th Army's pursuit of the 1st is mainly performed by the 5th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, whose commander is fearful of American nuclear weapons and keeps his troops lightly engaged, preferring to try to attrit the retreating Americans with artillery attacks and small unit ambushes.
__________________
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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  #281  
Old 09-27-2022, 02:30 PM
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September 12, 1997

The 2nd Brigade, Arkansas State Guard is activated in Fort Smith, under the command of retired US Army Colonel William Simms. Simms and much of his command staff are former servicemen past mandatory retirement age. The brigade leadership’s advanced age leads to it to be derided as the “Seniors Brigade.” Due to the demands of the war, the brigade is placed on a waiting list to receive small arms and surplus uniforms (M1 carbines and M1 rifles, M1911 pistols, olive green field uniforms and steel helmets) from the federal government.

The 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) is assigned to III MEF and is thrown onto the lines on Korea's west coast, with the air assault battalion held in reserve as a counter-breakthrough reaction force.

1st Brigade, 40th Infantry Division, now an independent formation, is ordered back to the front. It is returned to XXIII Corps' command and brought into Poland. It is held in a reserve position, however, preparing defensive positions on the east side of Lodz for the rest of the corps to fall back upon if, as it looks increasingly likely, it is driven back from Warsaw.

VI German Korps, unable to maintain contact with XI US Corps to its northeast, abandons the defense of Tarnow, falling back westward as the only corps in Third German Army on the south/east bank of the Wisla. Troops of the 3rd Polish Army triumphantly enter the town, the first town of over 100,000 it has liberated from the Free Polish Congress.

The plan to support NATO resistance with Poland recaptured by Pact troops is amended to add support for Free Polish stay-behind units and pro-NATO partisans.

The America and John F Kennedy battle groups move cautiously north into the Ionian Sea, stretching the range of their attack aircraft to try to support the embattled Jugoslav resistance over Croatia.

The arrival of the 205th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment, 70th Guards Motor-Rifle Division opposite Romanian lines east of Bucharest is an ominous development, for the veteran Soviet unit is the first from the 13th Army to arrive in the Balkan theater from China.

The Soviet 1st Guards Army makes progress into the Carpathians, capturing the oil refinery at Onesti, aided by a tactical nuclear strike on the headquarters of the Romanian 2nd Mountain Brigade, which falls back in disarray into the mountains overhead.

In Pristina, capital of the Serbian province of Kosovo, the recently activated Territorial Defense militia, composed almost entirely of ethnic Serbs, breaks up a minor demonstration by ethnic Albanian students, who are agitating to be armed as well, wanting to do their part to defend their nation.

Italian troops in Croatia approach the outskirts of the Croatian capital of Zagreb and begin long-range shelling of the city, inducing a panic among the city's civilians.

The Iranian 42nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, part of the 41st Wing, which received its F-20s in March, is down to three operable aircraft. It transfers those aircraft to its sister 41st Tactical Fighter Squaadron, along with its remaining six trained pilots and experienced ground crew, and temporarily disbands, as the flow of replacement aircraft from the US is insufficient to keep up with the Iranian Air Force's losses.

As 1st Marine Division covers more ground heading south, the rest of I MEF is able to provide more support. Battalions of the 4th Marine Division and the British 27 Brigade launch local attacks to tie down the 201st Motor-Rifle Division, while the 48th Infantry Brigade (Georgia National Guard) prepares for an armored dash to link up with the isolated marines. Marine Corps aviation and the shore-based air wing from the carrier Independence provide support, while more helicopters are in range of the Bandar Abbas perimeter, allowing more fuel to be flown in to the 1st Division and excess troops evacauted on the return flights.

The US Air Force flies another Golden Spike sortie against the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This one crosses into the USSR over the Arctic and, failing to locate any troop trains or rail-mobile ICBMs, departs over the Mongolian border, striking four air defense sites as it goes.
__________________
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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  #282  
Old 09-27-2022, 02:34 PM
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September 13, 1997

Pact forces grow closer to the embattled Warsaw perimeter. North of the city, the town of Ciechanów is abandoned by NATO troops, who detonate a massive cratering charge in the middle of the expeditionary runway that engineers had created in the summer. The formerly massive supply dump that Allied support troops had built up is empty, set afire as the last defenders depart.

Lest Turkish forces try to come to Romania's aid, Southern Front, the Bulgarian Army and the Greek D Corps launch attacks all along the front from the Black Sea to the Aegean, punctuated with nuclear strikes on the Turkish First Army's logistic sites and the crossroads of Edirne.

Unofficially,

Following the handover of responsibility for food distribution to state guard units, the 49th MP Brigade (California National Guard) concentrates at Fort Irwin to assume responsibility of providing security for a growing POW stockade on the base (as well as a secret emergency stockpile in a newly constructed mountain tunnel on a remote corner of the base).

The Soviet 35th Army resumes its southward attacks in the mountains of North Korea, but is immediately faced with well entrenched South Korean and American troops, who have used the respite provided by the reduction of the 23rd Infantry Division to improve their fighting positions and stockpile supplies. Yalu Front is suffering from the diversion of ammunition, fuel and replacements from the Far Eastern TVD to the fighting in Europe.

The heavily damaged destroyer Buchannan, caught in the blast zone of the missile that sank the USS Tarawa, reaches port in Donghae, South Korea. It is tied up at the naval base there, its surviving crew rushed ashore for treatment of radiation sickness.

Second German Army, in northeastern Poland, is in full-scale retreat, logistically challenged and outnumbered.

RAF Germany launches a flurry of Tornado sorties, each bearing a WE 177 nuclear bomb. They strike the lead elements of the 23rd Army, the communication hub of Lozma, river crossings in Grodno, Byelorussia and the air bases in Lida, Shchuchin and Ross'.

Selected members of the Polish Free Legions are detached from their units and sent to a hastily established "partisan warfare" school established in the woods north of Poznan, where they are taught the arts of demolition, encoding communications, conducting ambushes, psychological warfare and living off the land.

The USS Olympia, still operating in the Arctic, begins a three-day hunt for a Soviet submarine it detected at long range.

The German-flag container ship Herm Kiepe arrives in Montreal to load nearly 500 containers of bagged grain, small arms ammunition, fertilizer and 105mm howitzer rounds.

To the north, Romanian troops of the 1st Army (and stragglers from the 2nd Army, which is being pushed back into the mountains) stream back towards Bucharest while those north in Transylvania fight to the extent their supply situation permits; many units disintegrate under Pact pressure, the motivated Romanians heading into the hills to wage a viscous guerrilla campaign against the Soviet occupiers. The Soviet 13th Guards Tank Division captures the city of Novi Sad before the defending Jugoslav forces can destroy all the bridges over the Danube.

Two battalions of the 173rd Airborne Brigade load onto Air Force transports in Egypt and Turkey for transit to Kenya. Although capable (and experienced in) parachute landings, the move is considered "administrative", since the reception field at Moi Air Base east of Nairobi is in friendly hands and no combat landing is required.
__________________
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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  #283  
Old 09-27-2022, 02:42 PM
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September 14, 1997

The first two battalions of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, supported by a single company of M551 Sheridan light tanks, are flown into Nairobi and go straight into battle, attacking the Zambian/Mozambique brigade that has cut the railway between Mombasa and Nairobi.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Trenton Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas and the DuPage Freedom in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Black Sunday - the Soviets retaliate against RAF Germany for its strikes on targets in northeastern Poland and Byelorussia. All of RAF Germany's main bases - Gütersloh, Laarbruch, Brüggen and Wildenrath - are obliterated by nuclear attacks. Some aircraft escape, returning to the UK or landing at other Allied air bases. Some Tornados of 9 Squadron had been operating from roads for sometime and escape the carnage. The Harrier Wing, still operating 'in the field' also escapes, although some of its support units didn't make it out of Poland. The remaining Typhoons of 65 Squadron are operating as close-protection for the AWACS fleet operating now from the UK. However the picture for the RAF on the continent is overwhelmingly bleak, the 2 ATAF logistics tail has been destroyed, its spare crew are dead as are its vital maintenance staff. With the exception of the Harriers RAF Germany has ceased to exist.

The (formerly East-) German 23rd Missile Brigade fires its last Scud missile, striking a road junction southwest of Baranovichi, Byelorussia with a high explosive warhead weighing nearly a ton.

The German 5th Panzer Division, fighting east of Warsaw, is running low on supplies and in danger of being overmatched by the Soviet 7th Tank Army; it falls back to within 10 km of the city limits.

Soviet commanders seek to replicate the success of the strike on the USS Tarawa amphibious group. They do so in the Baltic, striking the Kearsage amphibious group. The nuclear strike on the group catches the flagship, the transports Shreveport, Gunston Hall, Minneapolis Freedom and LCPL Roy M. Wheat and the frigates Stark and Ainsworth.

The Bulgarian Army, depleted as it is by months of combat, disposes its forces in three directions. The 1st Army, which has been in action on the western end of the Turkish front opposite Erdine, is withdrawn from that front as the Turkish Army is driven back, transferred west to the Sofia area for a brief period of refit. The 2nd Army remains in action against the Turks as part of the Southern Front alongside its Soviet allies, while the 3rd Army takes advantage of the Romanian's weakness to undertake an assault crossing of the Danube southwest of Bucharest.

In Romania, the 6th Guards Tank Army has broken out onto the southwestern corner of the Transylvania Plateau, linking up with the Hungarian 3rd Corps, which has chased Romanian forces back from the north.

Italian troops in northwestern Jugoslavia reach the outskirts of Zagreb, where the Italian commander declares the establishment of a nationalist Croatian government independent of Jugoslavia, headed by a prominent (but disgraced) Croatian nationalist exilee.

In Pristina, Kosovo ethnic-Albanian students are hunted down by roving bands of Serbian militiamen, who are suspicious of their loyalty to the Jugoslav state and desire for weapons from the Territorial Defense militia.

40th Army receives badly needed reinforcements, the 209th Motor-Rifle Division. The 209th, a mobilization-only unit from from the Turkestan Military District has been assisting KGB Border Guards in containing the wave of smugglers and mujaheddin crossing the Pamir River into the USSR from Iran. The division's commanding general, V.S. Kholopov, born to a Kirghiz mother and a devoted Communist as well as a practicing Muslim, is an inspired leader and the unit's outstanding performance convinced Transcaucasian Front to send the unit to the front in Iran.

The 1st Marine Division arrives in the town of Shahr-e Babak, 60 miles from the outer positions of I MEF at the Bandar Abbas perimeter.
__________________
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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  #284  
Old 09-27-2022, 02:47 PM
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September 15, 1997

The Soviet 7th Guards Tank Army breaks through the final NATO covering force between 1st Byelorussian Front and the encircled Pact forces in Warsaw. The siege of Warsaw has ended.

Unofficially,

The Freedom ship Springfield Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

FEMA completes the stocking of an emergency stockpile in a gypsum cave (Alabaster Caverns State Park) in Freedom, Oklahoma.

The first British draftees, threatened with dire penalties for noncompliance, report to basic training centers across the UK.

After over two weeks of effort, the final units of the 13th Army load their troops and vehicles on board trains in southern Mongolia for the long transit to Europe.

The Soviet 30th Army, operating along the eastern coast of Korea, encounters fierce resistance as it tries to force its way down the coastal road and railroad route to the city of Hamhung. Forward passage is difficult when the USS Des Moines lurks offshore, ready to pound any advance with rapid fire from its nine eight-inch guns; the suggestion that Soviet troops absorb the pounding and wait for the cruiser to depart to reload is thoroughly abandoned when the colonel that made the suggestion declines to sit there and absorb the pounding himself.

Allied air forces respond to the obliteration of RAF Germany, dispersing remaining aircraft to even more remote locations (nearly every civilian airfield in Germany out of Pact artillery range hosts a few NATO combat aircraft), hardening facilities that cannot be dispersed and requiring off-duty crews to stay at least 5 km away from bases when off duty, in most cases staying in German Territorial Army or Bundeswehr facilities protected by territorial security troops.

A more aggressive response comes from the intermediate nuclear force, with the continent-based cruise missile wings (the 38th, 485th and 486th) launching a swarm of missiles against surviving air bases in western Ukraine, Kaliningrad, Lithuania and Byelorussia.

The American attack submarine USS Olympia (one of less than 20 still operating in the Atlantic Fleet) finally gets a decent firing solution on the Soviet nuclear Akula II-class attack submarine K-335 and launches two Mk-48 torpedoes at it. Once again the Soviet boat turns tail to outrun the American fish, placing it in perfect position for a Sea Lance-N missile to drop a 200kt W89 warhead on top of it.

map of Balkan theatre
Bulgarian troops have covered half the distance between the Danube and Bucharest as the Romanian high command scrambles to organize a defense of the city as it faces Pact troops from the north (14th Guards Army), east (13th Army) and south (Bulgarians). Massive columns of civilians, mostly women and children, flee the city.

The German containership Herm Kiepe departs Montreal with a cargo of food, fertilizer and munitions. It sails independently.

In western Iran, 7th Army launches a surprise dawn attack on the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) along the main road from Ahvaz to Bandar-e-Khomeyni. The attack succeeds in overrunning the American outpost line, but quickly gets bogged down in prepared minefields, which are refreshed by artillery-fired FASCAM mines, which land not only in the existing minefields but also on top of the advancing Soviet formations.
__________________
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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  #285  
Old 09-27-2022, 02:51 PM
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September 16, 1997

Nothing in the canon for today. Unofficially,

As tensions in the city of Boston subside, the 43rd MP Brigade (Rhode Island National Guard) is able to withdraw the last of its troops from the streets.

BMSA Cutler, after a week working on the under-construction USS Makin Island in Brownsville, Texas, has discovered that the construction program on the ship is a disorganized mess. Construction of the ship is the responsibility of the shipyard, but the yard is short of workers (many of its prewar staff has been called up for military service and the Navy will not authorize the employment of Mexican day laborers who cross the Rio Grande daily). The Navy has made numerous changes to the ship's design as lessons learned from its sisters are received; while welcomed by the Navy the changes slow construction and often result in costly re-work. Delivery of required equipment, supplies and materiel is often delayed. Cutler realizes that the Navy is using the pre-commissioning unit to hang on to excess trained personnel - the unit is approaching half of the ship's complement in size yet should be less than 20 percent given the state of construction progress. The unit itself is a mess, a poorly organized mishmash of raw recruits, resentful recalled inactive reservists and shell-shocked survivors of naval battles around the world; each day the available sailors are assigned to "augment" the shipyard workforce. There is considerable tension between the sailors and the civilian workforce, not helped by the grumbling of senior managers on both sides who blame each other for the lack of progress on the ship.

The first British officer candidates report for training. Many come from the same universities that had anti-draft riots last week.

With Warsaw liberated, NATO forces in retreat along a broad front and Krakow, Torun and Gdansk all under Pact control, the Romanian front on the verge of collapse and additional Soviet units arriving from China each day, SACEUR orders the execution of Operation Barnyard Tiger - a massive interdiction strike. Over a three-hour period, NATO nuclear forces from four nations (the US, UK, Canada and Turkey) strike 26 rail bridges across the Dniester, Bug and Neman Rivers in the western USSR as well as six rail facilities in eastern Poland and western Ukraine and Byelorussia. The attacks sever the rail lines between the Baltic and Black Seas, isolating Warsaw Pact forces to the west of those targets from rail connections to the rest of the USSR.

The USS Olympia begins searching for the SSBN that the Akula was protecting.

In Romania, the 6th Guards Tank Army begins fighting through the valley of the Olt River, Gorge which carries a highway and railroad through the Carpathian Mountains, connecting Transylvania with the Danube plain. The valley is defended by highly motivated Romanian troops, who lack heavy weapons and are short of supplies. The Soviet formation takes heavy losses from attacks from overhead, and is forced to divert considerable combat power to defending its supply lines as well, since it seems that every town, village and hamlet that it has captured harbors armed civilians or Romanian stragglers that are more than happy to take shots at passing supply trucks.

USS Independence, tied dockside in Muscat, Oman following a torpedo attack, is struck by an AS-4 missile launched in a Backfire raid. The hit disables an elevator, further delaying the ship's return to operational status.

The 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), reinforced with 4th Marine Division's 4th and 8th Tank Battalions and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, breaks through the 201st Motor-Rifle Division's perimeter, overruns the forward airfield at Sirjan and breaks northwest towards 1st Marine Division.

Regional military commissariat officials arrive in central Ukraine to re-form the survivors of the nuclear strike on the 341st (my 22nd Guards) Tank Division into a useful military unit and organize the salvage of useful vehicles and equipment from the sites where the division's trains were struck by a dozen American nuclear warheads.
__________________
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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  #286  
Old 09-28-2022, 03:42 PM
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September 17, 1997

The 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division links up with the 4th Marine Division's 4th Light Armored Recon Battalion and 48th Infantry Brigade (Georgia National Guard) north of Sirjan. Its long journey out of the Yadz pocket has succeeded.

As NATO forces retreat, the Polish Government seeks out collaborators and others who did not sufficiently oppose the NATO occupation. In the town of Ciechanów north of Warsaw, which has been used as a supply hub to support the siege of Warsaw, a battalion commander from the 6th (my 22nd) Border Guard Brigade orders most of the town's adult male population shot for aiding the enemy during their stay.

Unofficially,

The survivors of the 40th Infantry Division evacuated from Europe return to Camp Rilea, Oregon and begin forming a new division from new trainees streaming out of the training system. Supply of equipment is problematic, as the demands of worldwide war exceed American industry's ability to produce weapons, vehicles and the myriad items needed to supply a military unit.

A Soviet tactical nuclear attack on American and South Korean positions north of Hamhung permits tanks of the Bulgarian 11th Tank Brigade to break through, wreaking havoc in the Allied rear area and forcing the defenders into the city. The Freedom ship Idaho Freedom, due to depart after discharging munitions and food, is nearly overwhelmed by refugees seeking to escape the returning Communist regime; the ship eventually leaves port with nearly 5,000 people aboard, crammed onto nearly every horizontal surface aboard. (Armed guards prevent entry to the bridge and engine rooms)

German troops fall back towards the Wisla, allowing the relief of Baltic Front in the Torun Pocket. Baltic Front had been cut off for over three months, and the battered formation has sustained 70% losses in action since April.

Pact troops in southern Poland close on the Wisla as well, following the withdrawal of XI Corps, Panzergruppe Oberdorff and the German V Corps. They receive a nasty surprise in the form of numerous Atomic Demolition Munitions, losing multiple tank battalions to the remotely-detonated "nuclear land mines" as well as contaminating miles and miles of transportation routes.

A shipyard in Odense, Denmark delivers the world's largest containership, the Sovereign Mae. At over 100,000 tons, the massive ship can transport over 8,100 containers, moving at 21 knots. The ship is dispatched to Norfolk, Virginia, one of only a handful of US ports able to handle the ship's size (which is too large to fit through the Panama Canal).

NATO's Mediterranean command, AFSOUTH, dispatches another convoy to Turkey, this one carrying the remaining elements of the Portuguese 1st Mechanized Brigade.

Troops of the 1st Guards Army capture the Ghimeș Pass through the Carpathians and begin descending into Transylvania along the rail line and road against weakening Romanian resistance.

The Bulgarian 3rd Army advancing on Bucharest from the south dispatches the 16th Motor-Rifle Division to the west in a drive to cut off the Romanian capital, hoping to link up with Soviet troops from the 14th Guards Army. They are fiercely resisted by Romanian irregular forces; the Bulgarians deploy chemical weapons, sweeping away the opposition (and hundreds of civilians fleeing the city) shortly before dark.
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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 09-28-2022, 03:47 PM
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September 18, 1997

NATO tactical missiles strike Byelorussia and the Ukraine, hitting Kiev, Lvov and Odessa, severely weakening the Soviets’ attempts to build up the western front. The 87th (my 52nd) Tank Division, forming in Kiev, is destroyed in the attack.

Unofficially,

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

The 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, lead unit of the US VII Corps, enters action in Ingolstadt, Germany, catching the Soviet 18th Guards Motor-Rifle Division’s 278th Guards Motor-Rifle Regiment off guard as it moves on Ingolstadt, Germany. The veteran cavalrymen rake the columns of Soviet BTRs with withering fire, driving the Soviets off.

Along the Baltic coast, II MEF uses a detachment of LCAC hovercraft to maintain an active withdrawal, using the fast craft and remaining helicopters of the 2nd Marine Air Wing to outflank the attacking Pact forces and disrupt their rear areas. Some of these raids also include covert supply drops or pickups of agents and sympathizers who would be at risk due to their work with the Free Polish Congress.

The lone Vulcan bomber remaining in service, No. 55 Squadron's XH558, crashes on landing at RAF Honington following a refueling mission over the North Sea. While no lives are lost the aircraft is written off as a total loss. Unrest continues in Kosovo and spreads to the ethnic-Albanian population of Macedonia. The local Orthodox population, dominant in the Territorial Defense militias and police forces, try to suppress it, while additional army brigades are rushed to the front to the north.

Soviet tanks reach Belgrade, while the Jugoslav expeditionary force to Romania is tied down fighting the Hungarians (their traditional enemy) to the northeast of the city.

Another NATO capital in the Balkans comes under threat as Soviet and Bulgarian forces link up in the town of Bolontin, completing the encirclement of the city. To the south, Turkish troops, hammered by multiple Soviet nuclear strikes, retreat in a semi-organized fashion; the withdrawal threatens to become a rout.

In Iran, the exhausted troops of the 1st Marine Division are evacuated to rest stations in warehouses near the waterfront at Bandar Abbas, where they have access to hot water, a US Army quartermaster laundry unit, fresh food and cots for the first time in months.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 09-29-2022, 03:50 PM
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September 19, 1997

The 184th Transportation Brigade is redesignated an infantry brigade and assigned assigned responsibility for security and distribution of foodstuffs in Federal Region III (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware).

Unofficially,

Colonel Tumanksi's spetsnaz team relocates to a new safe house, an abandoned farmhouse in eastern Hertfordshire. They make the move in a stolen van, which is abandoned on the outskirts of Hertford.

Soviet and North Korean forces subject the city of Hamhung to a furious artillery barrage, hoping to reduce the number of Allied defenders. Persistent chemical agents and nuclear weapons are not used, lest the city's remaining industry and other resources be destroyed.

With Warsaw relieved, the Polish military begins to try to reorganize the battered defenders of Warsaw. The wounded are evacuated from the various makeshift facilities under the city, while combat forces are categorized into various classes, ranging from reassign as replacement to return to support duties. One wounded riot policeman, Captain Czarny, is dispatched to his hometown of Polutsk to recover from his wounds.

In Bavaria the battle for control of Ingolstadt intensifies as the remainder of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment arrives, supported by the guns of the 210th Field Artillery Brigade, relieving the battered German territorial garrison. They face the full weight of the 18th Guards Motor-Rifle Division, reinforced with 21st Army's 211th Guards Artillery Brigade, which launch a renewed assault at dusk. The Allied force holds off the Soviet attack, assisted by the timely intervention of a flight of A-10s from the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing.

In south-central Poland Soviet troops, celebrating crossing the Wisla after hard fighting driving NATO from the outskirts of Lvov, liberate a wine cellar in the town of Sandomierz. The celebration (as many do) gets out of hand, and by midnight a fire has broken out in the historic Sandomierz Castle, heavily damaging the historic structure. The Polish civil defense and fire forces respond and extinguish the fire, saving part of the structure.

The defense of Zagreb against attacking Italian forces disintegrates as increasing numbers of troops desert or go over to the Italian side, convinced by psy-ops efforts to join the nationalist cause in fighting for an independent Croatia.

The Italian San Marino marine brigade captures the Croatian port of Rijeka; the defending 13th Corps disintegrates as Jugoslavia seems to be disintegrating; the most aggressively commanded brigade had been lured out of the city to pursue a retreating Italian carabinieri force, an Italian feint to draw the Jugoslav mechanized force into open ground where Italian artillery and airpower could tear it apart.

Operation Golden Fleece - the 29th US Infantry Division (Maryland and Virginia National Guard) and detachment from the 4th Marine Division lands near Aden, South Yemen, supported by the guns of the USS Salem, and quickly captures the international airport, while 3rd Brigade's 1/175th Infantry parachutes on the nearby Al Anad airbase, fighting off fierce counterattacks from Yemeni and Soviet airmen and South Yemeni Army troops. The attack is the 29th's second amphibious assault, having been one of the lead divisions on Omaha Beach in 1944.

The Indian offensive in the south, which has cost over 25,000 casualties, begins to make progress. The Indian high command orders its expansion to the Kashmir sector.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 09-29-2022, 03:55 PM
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September 20, 1997

The Soviets respond to the nuclear attacks on Kiev, Lvov and Odessa with attacks on NATO ports and command facilities. Bremerhaven and Bremen are targeted with SS-20 missiles (Hamburg has already been so heavily damaged by conventional strikes that a nuclear strike is considered unnecessary); by a fluke the warhead aimed at Bremerhaven lands 12 km northwest of the city, inflicting minor damage.

In Warsaw, the arrival of Soviet troops and lifting of the siege is followed almost immediately by a flood of refugees fleeing the heavily damaged city. Among the tens of thousands of civilians fleeing the heavily damaged city are the family of a Wisla tug boat captain, Adam Rataj, who head for the (relative) safety of Lublin.

Unofficially,

In Alaska, the Soviet offensive has slowed as supplies grow more scarce and the weather cools, with the first snowfalls on 25th Corps units approaching Fairbanks. X Corps uses the lull to try to reorganize its widely dispersed and intermixed units.

The fighting for Ingolstadt continues, with additional American and Soviet units entering the fray.

The US Army in Europe is facing a manning crisis after 10 months of combat. The training system in the US is providing nearly 4000 newly trained privates every week, which is roughly enough to make up for losses at the front, but is unable to provide adequate mid-level leaders - staff sergeants and captains and above. The training system attempts to identify soldiers with leadership potential, and units are quick to act on such soldiers, promoting them to corporal within months (or even weeks) of arrival, but such instant NCOs lack the years of experience and judgement that are the hallmark of the American NCO corps. The flow of experienced soldiers from the inactive reserve has ended, depriving units of potential mid-grade NCOs, and the pre-war ROTC and West Point cadets have all been sent to the front as lieutenants. In Europe, the 7th Army Training Command re-establishes some of its training classes at prewar barracks in northern Germany (away from Pact troops advancing through Bavaria), including battle staff NCO, air assault and combat lifesaver classes and standing up an officer candidate school for high-potential soldiers already serving in Europe, using a modified National Guard OCS curriculum. Some NCOs that distinguish themselves in action receive battlefield commissions, but many battalions still suffer from attrition in their mid-grade NCOs and officers.

The American submarine Olympia is still searching for a Soviet SSBN but it has slipped away.

F-15s of the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron operating over the Norwegian Sea intercept a Soviet Tu-22M2DP southbound, shooting it down and protecting the streams of NATO transport aircraft between Europe and North America.

The 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Georgia National Guard), launches another counterattack on the 201st Motor-Rifle Division from the outskirts of Bandar Abbas, slowing 40th Army's effort to concentrate against the Bandar Abbas perimeter.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 09-29-2022, 04:05 PM
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September 21, 1997

Greek and Albanian forces invade Jugoslavia, and the Jugoslav Army begins to break up. (Unofficially) The Albanians commit their 1st, 10th and 11th Divisions to capturing Kosovo while their 4th and 24th Divisions advance over the mountainous terrain into western Macedonia. The Greek A, B and C Corps move into southern Macedonia. Both nations claim their interventions are to secure the rights of their ethnic minorities in Jugslavia from Slavic oppression.

The Freedom ship Baltimore Freedom is delivered in Galveston, Texas. The light frigate USS Marchand is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland and manned by USCG personnel.

Soviet forces secure a toehold in the outer eastern suburbs of Ingolstadt, which is subjected to near-constant artillery and air attack by VII US Corps. As the fight absorbs more and more American resources and attention, the commander of the 21st Army, Colonel General Boris Aristov, moves his tank division, the 15th Guards, to the northeast of the town, positioning it to capture the town of Neustadt an der Donau, its crossings over the Danube and Bavaria's largest refinery outside the town.

The Sierra III-class sub K-231, unable to locate an American nuclear missile submarine, consoles itself with a support target, the submarine tender Simon Lake, which is returning to Kings Bay, Georgia after supporting a SSBN in the mid-Atlantic. The area is almost immediately flooded with P-3s from nearby Jacksonville.

The NATO convoy in the Mediterranean reaches Izmir, Turkey and begins unloading the vehicles and men of the Portuguese 1st Mechanized Brigade. Ships carrying ammunition and replacement vehicles wait their turn at the city's docks.

The Pakistani Army scrambles to contain the new Indian offensive in the northern Kashmir sector. It commits one of its last reserve formations, the (at this point only somewhat mechanized) II Corps to counter a breakthrough south of Lahore. Pakistani leaders scrape together additional paramilitary troops from the poorly controlled western areas of the nation to shore up the thinning lines in the south.
__________________
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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