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

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

Unofficially,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unofficially,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POWs captured when the Soviets captured Shemya in Alaska arrive in MVD-run prison camps in the Soviet Far East, assigned to the custody of the 92nd Convoy Division, which operates camps from Vladivostok to Sakhalin to the Alaskan border.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #243  
Old 08-10-2022, 04:04 PM
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August 5, 1997

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CIA operatives inform the Kenyan government of troops massing for what appears to be an impending Tanzanian invasion.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #244  
Old 08-11-2022, 03:37 PM
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August 6, 1997

Nothing official today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5th Fleet command institutes local convoying of tankers carrying crude oil to Allied nations. The Salem battlegroup is stripped of escorts (the cruiser is docked in Bandar Abbas), augmented by frigates from the Belleau Wood amphibious group to escort the tankers to a point 350 nm south of the mouth of the Gulf, where the convoys disperse and the laden vessels proceed independently, each on their own seperate course to their destination under the long-range protection of patrol aircraft from shore bases and the carrier Independence.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #245  
Old 08-11-2022, 03:52 PM
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August 7, 1997

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

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

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

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

Unofficially,

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

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

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

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

At the front in Pakistan, the defenders continue to give up ground, although the prior weeks' armored counterattack has managed to buy time to seal the breakthrough. The war descends into a slow, slogging war of infantry, trenches and artillery; cursed to continue as a war of attrition until one side runs out of ammunition or men. Given the vast populations of both nations, analysts predict that the supply of munitions will determine the outcome of the war, if a nuclear holocaust can be avoided.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #246  
Old 08-11-2022, 04:02 PM
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August 8, 1997

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

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

Unofficially,

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

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

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

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

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

Argentina tries to divert attention from the poor situation at home and considers launching an invasion of the Falklands. A naval task force is prepared and even sets sail. It's departure is noted by MI6 agents, who have kept a careful watch on Argentine naval bases since 1982.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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