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  #1  
Old 12-04-2021, 05:39 AM
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Default On this day 25 years ago (Commentary Thread)

December 4, 1996

The US 1st Infantry Division crossed the Inter-German Border in support of its allies. It did not encounter Soviet troops until the 8th.

That's all I have for today but feel free to add, today and going forward!!!!
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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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  #2  
Old 12-05-2021, 06:24 AM
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December 5, 1996

The USSR delivered an ultimatum to Romania: provide the requested divisions or suffer the consequences.

The US 11th Armored Cavaly Regiment clashes with Soviet troops in East Germany, the first ground combat in Central Europe between US and Soviet troops.

(photo here)
The 1st and 3rd Armored and 8th Infantry Divisions cross the Inner German Border.
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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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  #3  
Old 12-05-2021, 08:35 AM
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Default No pressure, but...

Are you going to update this daily, Chico? That would be absolutely amazing.

-
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2021, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Are you going to update this daily, Chico? That would be absolutely amazing.

-
I'll try... some days there isn't much in the v1 canon, so if I get time I'll try to find something from the month to fill in, or add something from one of my historical documents. And if I have a lot of time (aka really boring conference call) I'll see if I can find an image that fits!
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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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  #5  
Old 12-06-2021, 08:15 AM
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December 6, 1996

The US 1st Armored Division enters combat against Soviet forces in East Germany.

And, unofficially from my Northern Campaign history:

photo
The Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet sorties, starting the Battle of the Norwegian Sea.

and also unofficial:

In Romania, Securitate secret police arrest over a dozen colonels and lieutenant colonels in the Army and Air Force on suspicion of plotting a pro-Soviet coup. Evidence includes large quantites of cash (US Dollars, German Deutschmarks) seized from a Soviet trucker entering Romania from Jugoslavia and photos of the officers entering a Bucharest restaurant simultaneously with the suspected KGB Rezident, Colonel Oleg Polyansky.
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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 12-07-2021, 04:14 PM
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December 7, 1996

The US 2nd Armored Division, 3rd Infantry Division and 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment engage Soviet troops. The 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment cross the Inner German Border. Back in the US, the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment is called into federal service.
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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 12-08-2021, 08:22 AM
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December 8, 1996

(photo here)

The US 1st Infantry Division enters combat against Soviet forces in East Germany.

A New York Times poll taken today shows that 76% of US adults believe that nuclear war will occur within six weeks.

unofficial:

Green Berets of the 10th Special Forces Group infiltrate Poland and the western USSR. The last diplomatic staff from the US Embassy in Warsaw evacuate to Stockholm, Sweden.

Romanian authorities execute the colonels arrested on suspicion of plotting a pro-Soviet coup. Romania declares full mobilization, while across the border the Soviet Southwestern TVD headquarters (in Kishinev, Moldova) issues movement orders to units throughout Ukraine and Moldova.

In Norway, the 175th Naval Infantry Brigade's perimeter has shrunk to the outskirts of Narvik as British, Dutch and American marines and soldiers from Norway, the US and Canada bombard the isolated Soviet command.

Further elements of Strike Fleet Atlantic cross into the Norwegian Sea through the GIUK Gap west of Iceland. Over 200 Tu-22M Backfire bombers, operating from six airfields in the Kola and the Leningrad area, launched a mass missile attack against the George Washington carrier battle group, leaving the carrier in flames and sending two escorts and the supply ship USNS Sirius to the bottom.

Transport aircraft transiting to Europe are re-routed through Bermuda and the Azores onward to the UK, clearing airspace over the North Atlantic for combat operations.

In Asia, 8th US Army reports several incidents along the DMZ. South Korean troops along the DMZ go on alert, while reservists in the US assigned to IX Corps HQ (a skeleton formation located in Japan) are ordered to mobilization stations. USAAGC (US Army Assistance Group China) lifts the restriction on US advisors and technical experts assisting the Chinese People's Liberation Army from traveling within 100 km of the front lines.

A celebration is held to commemorate the delivery of the 100th helicopter from the old Hughes helicopter plant in Long Beach, California, which is manufacturing MD-500s under a tripartite agreement - Chinese workers evacuated from the PRC's main helicopter production plant in Harbin, Manchuria working alongside American workers, installing Taiwanese avionics, with the output split between the PLA and US Army National Guard attack helicopter battalions.
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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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  #8  
Old 12-09-2021, 10:55 AM
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December 9, 1996

France, Belgium, Italy and Greece issue joint demand that US troops withdraw from East Germany.

After consultation with King Charles, British troops (initially the 3rd Armored Division and the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards) cross the inter-German border. The Canadian government orders the 4th Mechanized Brigade to join the American and British troops.

unofficial:

Soviet forces surrounding/besieging Berlin launch intense artillery bombardment, concentrating on US and British garrisons and supporting Soviet forces holding out in the Soviet embassy building. Despite the fire support, a force of East German border guards and Kampfgruppe der Arbeiterklasse troops succeed in capturing the building, executing the defenders from the KGB 105th Border Guard Detachment (who had opened the siege of Berlin by shooting passing civilians in the first hours of the war).

At Fort Bragg, NC, the 1st Battalion, 323rd Infantry, 108th Training Division (USAR) graduates its first class of infantry OSUT* trainees. The division will turn out approximately 800 trained privates every Thursday until January 1998, when the supply of draftees dries up.

*One Station Unit Training, combined basic (soldierization) training and advanced individual (occupational skill) training.
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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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  #9  
Old 12-09-2021, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
The US 1st Infantry Division crossed the Inter-German Border in support of its allies.
It ain't a World War until the Big Red One shows up...


Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
After consultation with King Charles, British troops (initially the 3rd Armored Division and the 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards) cross the inter-German border. The Canadian government orders the 4th Mechanized Brigade to join the American and British troops.
and now it's a party!
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Old 12-10-2021, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHart View Post

and now it's a party!
And the party continues...

December 10, 1996

The British 1st and 2nd Armoured Divisions and US 1st Cavalry Division cross the East German frontier; The British 3rd Mech Div & US 8th ID are in combat against Soviet troops. This is the UK's first shots fired in anger in Germany since 1945.

In the North Sea, US Convoy 102 is attacked by a Soviet sub, sinking 3 ships and crippling another; the nuclear guided missile cruiser USS Virginia sinks the sub. (USS Virginia completes 9 more convoys and is damaged twice.)

Unofficially:

A convoy carrying reinforcements for the beleaguered Soviet occupiers of Narvik is destroyed by NATO air and naval forces, dooming the isolated Naval Infantry force.

The Department of the Army in the Pentagon authorizes the establishment of over 200 "Category IV" units - those which a mission need has been identified but peacetime budget and manpower constraints prevent from being formed and sustained. The units range from additional corps headquarters to armored, infantry and Airborne divisions all the way to water purification companies. Formation and equipment of these units will take many months in most cases, and ultimately many never are.
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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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  #11  
Old 12-10-2021, 05:35 AM
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Nice, keep it up if you can with the updates.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2021, 04:15 PM
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This is scratching me where I itch. For me, it always starts around Thanksgiving (or, the day after Thanksgiving, depending who you talk to) and just builds perfectly. This though...wow!

Thanks for doing this!

My one request is please don't leave out the NG Division near and dear to my heart, 35ID, the Santa Fe Division. Per the US Army Vehicle Guide, we'd been in federal service since August, convoyed over in November, and entered combat in Northern Germany in "early December." Hoping to see a shout out to Truman's Own soon!
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Old 12-11-2021, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for the positive feedback folks! I'm still pulling together sources, but for today I have:

December 11, 1996

The US 3rd Armored Division and 4th Infantry Division engage Soviet troops in East Germany.

Unofficial:

CENTAG intelligence officers evaluating indications of Czech and Soviet troop mobilization across the border decide that the additional troops are likely to be committed in southern East Germany. To counter the threat, the CENTAG commander authorizes the deployment of two US Army Nationale Guard units, the 35th Infantry Division (KY, NE and KY NGs) and the 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment into East Germany, via the famed Fulda Gap. The 116th had been in Germany since early in the year, part of a demonstration of resolve in light of the Sino-Soviet conflict as well as evaluating National Guard readiness and the performance of female soldiers in combat units. The 35th had recently arrived in Germany, one of the first REFORGER deployments that did not rely on POMCUS prepositioned equipment stockpiles.

In other deployments, the 187th Infantry Brigade reported its deployment to Iceland complete. The US Army Reserve brigade took up positions defending the Keflavik air base, Reykjavik and various communications, logistics and radar sites around the island.

RAF Tornado aircraft from Nos. 25, 45 and 617 Squadrons performed Operation Redburn, striking the Soviet naval aviation bases in the Kola Peninsula and naval targets in Murmansk. The Soviets lose 10 Backfire bombers to the British as well as a pair of MiG-25s that pursued the raiders into neutral Sweden and were shot down by the Swedes.

The worldwide hunt for Warsaw Pact shipping continued, with the capture of the Soviet cargo ship Donetsk Komsomolets 450 miles east of Santos, Brazil by a British frigate racing north, its mission patrolling the Falklands hastily canceled in favor of convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. The South Atlantic duty would be assumed by a smaller patrol ship, the Admiralty risking that Argentine forces would be too disorganized to take advantage of the situation.
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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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  #14  
Old 12-11-2021, 03:18 PM
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Default Minor suggestion...

Include the date for the entry at the top. Preferably bolded.

Yes, I know that its the date of your entry, -25 years.

But it doesn't show the date for "today" or "yesterday" and in a week or a month, it would be easier for new folk following the entries vs commentary.

Will you start doing a Timeghost-style week by week presentation podcast?

Uncle Ted
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  #15  
Old 12-12-2021, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unkated View Post
Include the date for the entry at the top. Preferably bolded.

Yes, I know that its the date of your entry, -25 years.

But it doesn't show the date for "today" or "yesterday" and in a week or a month, it would be easier for new folk following the entries vs commentary.

Will you start doing a Timeghost-style week by week presentation podcast?

Uncle Ted
I'm happy to do the date. I'll try on the bold, depends on the device I'm using to post from.

Probably no podcast! This is slowing progress on some of my other progress, but once I get through sources that should pick up. I have several irons in the fire. Unfortunately, one (that is not yet even bare bones) is the Battle of Germany, which I wish I had done because it would be really filling this thread up! Oh well!
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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 12-12-2021, 10:38 AM
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December 12, 1996

The Canadian 4th Mechanised Brigade, British 1st and 2nd Armoured Divisions and US 3rd ACR enter combat against Soviet troops in East Germany.

Cuba issues a declaration, proclaiming itself neutral in the US-Soviet conflict, valuing self-preservation over loyalty to the Soviet Union. To avoid being drawn into the war, Fidel Castro orders the transfer of Cuban forces out of Ethiopia and Mozambique to Angola. (The transfer ends up taking a painfully long time, as the tiny Cuban merchant marine and state airline cannot match the shipping capabilities usually provided by their Soviet benefactors).

South Korean naval forces chase a North Korean mini-sub, forcing it to run aground near the port of Incheon. The crew commits suicide before they can be captured.

unofficial:
The Soviet landing force in Narvik fires off its last artillery rounds. The gunners blow up their guns (including a battery of captured American 105mm howitzers) and report to headquarters, where they serve the rest of the time as infantry, acting as a rapid response force to counter heavy NATO attacks.

The US 21st Air Cavalry Combat Brigade's helicopters make their first appearance over East German skies, firing rockets, guns and missiles in support of the US III Corps and striking Polish reinforcements as they approached the front lines.

The city government of Berlin announces to the population that 45 days supply of food and heating fuel remains in the combined city governments stockpiles.

Convoy 105, heading for Europe through the contested North Atlantic with high priority units and munitions, stops in St. John, New Brunswick. While in port it adds three tankers (loaded with fuel for the front as well as to refuel the escorts) and freighters carrying the 3e Bn, Royal 22e Regiment, the lead battalion of 5e Groupe-Brigade Mecanise.

A Swiss businessman in Baku, Azerbaijan snaps a photo (a copy here) of Soviet reserve artillery (pre-WW II-era heavy artillery) and secretly passes it on to "a friend" (A MI-6 agent), one of several disturbing pieces of intelligence about military activity in the Transcaucasian Military District.
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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 12-12-2021, 04:22 PM
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[QUOTE=chico20854;89473]Thanks for the positive feedback folks! I'm still pulling together sources, but for today I have:

The US 3rd Armored Division and 4th Infantry Division engage Soviet troops in East Germany.

Unofficial:

CENTAG intelligence officers evaluating indications of Czech and Soviet troop mobilization across the border decide that the additional troops are likely to be committed in southern East Germany. To counter the threat, the CENTAG commander authorizes the deployment of two US Army Nationale Guard units, the 35th Infantry Division (KY, NE and KY NGs) and the 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment into East Germany, via the famed Fulda Gap. The 116th had been in Germany since early in the year, part of a demonstration of resolve in light of the Sino-Soviet conflict as well as evaluating National Guard readiness and the performance of female soldiers in combat units. The 35th had recently arrived in Germany, one of the first REFORGER deployments that did not rely on POMCUS prepositioned equipment stockpiles.

Thank you Chico! Santa Fe!
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Old 12-12-2021, 04:30 PM
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Also, thanks for drilling down on the convoys...one of my grandfathers was an Army paratrooper in WW II, but the one I was closer to was a gunner's mate on a destroyer escort. The latter was a second generation German-American (still spoke German at home) from Kansas who had never seen the ocean. The paratrooper didn't talk much about his experiences, the gunner's mate did. They both saw some pretty bad stuff, I just think they were different personality types that dealt with things in different ways. At any rate, looking forward to hearing about the third naval convoy war and again, thanks for doing this!

Santa Fe!

Ancestor
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Old 12-12-2021, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unkated View Post
Include the date for the entry at the top. Preferably bolded.

Yes, I know that its the date of your entry, -25 years.

But it doesn't show the date for "today" or "yesterday" and in a week or a month, it would be easier for new folk following the entries vs commentary.

Will you start doing a Timeghost-style week by week presentation podcast?

Uncle Ted
Great idea! We can get Indy to narrate this, with occasional guest appearances by Sabaton?!
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Old 12-12-2021, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
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The paratrooper didn't talk much about his experiences, the gunner's mate did. They both saw some pretty bad stuff, I just think they were different personality types that dealt with things in different ways.
My grandad was a New Zealand Army infantry captain, he fought in North Africa and on Crete. He never spoke at all to family about his wartime experiences. It's a shame for me, but I wouldn't wanted to cause him to relive any trauma.
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Old 12-13-2021, 02:14 PM
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December 13, 1996

F/A-18s and A-6s from the USS Abraham Lincoln launch airstrikes on the Soviet fleet base in Maputo, Mozambique.

unofficially a lot happens...

The Soviet Politburo receives assurances from Castro that Soviet troops and advisors in Cuba may remain indefinately, since evacuation through the war zone is clearly impractical. In exchange, the Soviets commit that they will not use Cuban facilities to support the war. (The GRU violates this agreement with Operation Primus...)

US Coast Guard aviation assets are placed under naval control. HU-25 patrol aircraft are organized into four squadrons, VOJ-201-204. They are capable of surface search and attack, but have minimal anti-submarine capabilities.

The Chinese 29th Group Army launches attacks on Soviet 36th Army Corps in an attempt to drive the Soviets farther away from Beijing. The Chinese force is infantry-heavy, using human-wave attacks and nighttime infiltration to overwhelm the outnumbered Soviets and compensate for its lack of armored vehicles. The NATO-supported AVG II provides top cover using its squadrons of F-16s and Mirage-2000s.

Soviet Frontal Aviation, augmented by Polish and Czech air forces and PVO fighters from Byelorussia and Ukraine launch a mass air raid on West Germany. They succeed in downing a NATO E-3 AWACS plane, at the cost of 35% of the attacking interceptors.

Unrest in France and the Low Countires. In Paris an unprecedented "Vive la France - For the Republic" march organized by neo-Gaullists and Communist-allied trade unions brings the nation to a halt with millions in the streets to oppose "an Anglo-American-German war that will inevitably result in worldwide nuclear war". Three trains of British Territorials traversing France and an additional train in the Channel tunnel are stopped by striking railroad workers. In Belgium, Socialist trade unions organize anti-NATO strikes. Truckers block access to NATO HQ in Mons and dockworkers refuse to unload ships carrying war materiel in the port of Antwerp. Radical utility workers cut off the power and water to the NATO headquarters later in the day; the action is largely symbolic since the facility has backup systems and operational control has moved into dispersed field headquarters. In the Netherlands, opposition is more violent. Unknown actors open fire on a bus in Nijemegen ferrying reservists to their mobilization stations with AK-47s, killing 29.

The US 209th FA Bde (NY NG) was called into federal service and reported to a mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas without subordinate battalions assigned.

The Czechoslovakian 4th Tank Division was reported ready for action, with a full contingent of reservists.

The mobilization-only 8th Naval Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Red Banner Northern Fleet, was hurriedly activated in December 1996 following the decimation of the fleet’s naval infantry force in the assault on Narvik. Composed of older reservists in their 30s, led by whichever officers with naval infantry experience that could be found, the regiment was issued skis, a company of PT-57 light tanks and several batteries of mortars. Its mobilization station was east of Murmansk.

The first train leaves Ft. Polk, Louisiana with vehicles and heavy equipment left behind by the 5th ID when it deployed via air in November, receiving equipment from POMCUS stores. The ordnance will be shipped to Europe (through the port of Wilmington, NC) and issued to units there as battle loss replacements.
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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 12-14-2021, 07:20 AM
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December 14, 1996

nothing official, but, unofficially:

photo
2nd Far Eastern Front releases the 14th High-Power Artillery Brigade to 36th Corps to help halt the Chinese 29th Group Army's attack.

Buried microphones along the DMZ in Korea indicate digging activity. South Korean troops intercept a nearly-complete tunnel leading under the DMZ and engage in a subterranean firefight while following it north. Engineers collapse the tunnel with explosives.

In the skies of central Europe, CENTAF begins a dedicated OCA (Offensive Counter Air) campaign - RAF Tornadoes commence highly successful low-level attacks on Pact air bases in Poland and Czechoslovakia, while USAF F-111s and F-117s make nightime PGM strikes on airbases, initially concentrating on runways, taxiways and repair facilities but soon shifting to Hardened Aircraft Shelters.

The advance party of X US Corps HQ (detached from US Army, Alaska) arrives in Trondheim, Norway. It will assume command of US Army forces in Norway, lightening the load of the NATO Northern Norway command.

The Czechoslovakian 51st Engineer Brigade is brought up to full strength and deployed to the Austrian border.

The Soviet 158th Reserve Motor-Rifle Division, in Moldova, is mobilized, receiving levies of local citizens, both untrained teens and discharged Red Army veterans. Bulgaria orders a general mobilization as well.

The US transport ship USNS Antares turns away from port of Antwerp, Belgium, diverting to Emden, Germany with its cargo of vehicles to avoid the Belgian longshoreman's strike.


The Soviet "Yankee-Notch class" submarine K-395 is sunk by American helicopters (the escort force of Convoy 107) northwest of Bermuda. The sub did not know it was being tracked until torpedoes were dropped, by which time it was too late to take evasive action.

A group known as the Dutch Red Army claims responsibility for the Nijemegen bus attack and pledges more attacks on "The Imperialist War Machine".

The German DAX stock market index drops another 25% as French investors and companies undertake a rapid disengagement from the German financial system and as German investors fret about the dwindling supplies of natural gas to fuel the German economy. (The USSR had halted the sale of gas to Germany in October and all of central and western Europe the day prior.)

A secret meeting of leaders of the Hells Angel outlaw biker gang is held at the group's annual Christmas Bash (a relatively tame one, with only 2 deaths and 75 arrests). Presidents of local chapters (many of which were veterans) agree to their so-called Plan Alpha, to rally in Northern California and Southeastern Ohio in event of a breakdown in US law & order.
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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...

Last edited by chico20854; 12-14-2021 at 09:30 AM. Reason: found another item to include!
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2021, 10:01 AM
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December 15, 1996

photo
The US 1st Cavalry Division first enters combat against Soviet troops in East Germany.

unofficial:

The three trains of British Territorial troops stuck in France arrive in Luxembourg after the regimental sergeants major have a detailed discussion with the railroad workers of how exactly the British NCOs would deal with strikers in the event of further delays. The troops halted in the Channel Tunnel embark on ferries in Harwich for Dutch ports.

The 48 Infantry Brigade (Mech), GA NG, declared ready for deployment after completing a rotation at the National Training Center 1 at Fort Irwin, California.

The Idaho Freedom, the third Freedom-class cargo ship built in Portland, Oregon, is delivered. It is the 18th Freedom-class ship built and is routed to Oakland, California to load ammunition for the war in Europe.

The former training aircraft carrier Lexington is pulled from mothballs and drydocked in Philadelphia to return to service as a training carrier. In San Diego, the USS Midway likewise is reactivated.

British authorities activate the Territorial Army's Home Service Force, composed of over 90 companies of troops (ex-servicemen, territorials and regulars, with at least 2 years service), armed with obsolescent L1A1 rifles, Sterling SMGs and Bren LMGs. The companies perform local security duties.

Two British air bases, RAF Fairford and RAF Waddington, are struck by conventionally-armed AS-15 cruise missiles launched by Tu-95s over the Baltic Sea. USAF and RAF interceptors scrambled to intercept the missiles, but were unable to down them all.

The US 75th Field Artillery Brigade fires its guns and MLRS rockets in support of the 1st Cavalry Division's attack.

The British 6th Airmobile Bde launches a heliborne assault to seize vital routes in front of I British Corps' armoured spearhead. Despite RAF muttering about 'another bloody Arnhem' the attack went ahead, and probably due to the disruption of WP forces, it succeeded.

USAF MAJ Amy "Buns" Nakamura, an F-15C pilot of the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron shoots down three Tu-16 Badgers during a Combat Air Patrol over the Norwegian Sea.

The Danish Navy reports the completion of the mine belts blocking the Baltic exits to the North Sea. Neutral shipping can be guided by Danish naval pilots. Sweden warns neutral ships against sailing in its coastal waters, while not specifying whether they are mined or not.

Operation Hop-Scotch: The USAF's Strategic Air Command launches a raid on the Soviet naval facility at Conakey, Guinea. Six B-52Gs of the 448th Bomb Squadron sortie from Griffiss AFB, New York, refuelled by tankers of the 151st Aerial Refuelling Squadron, forward based at Ascension Island. The strike inflicts heavy damage on the shoreside facilities and sinks three Soviet naval vessels in the port.
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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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  #24  
Old 12-15-2021, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancestor View Post
Also, thanks for drilling down on the convoys...one of my grandfathers was an Army paratrooper in WW II, but the one I was closer to was a gunner's mate on a destroyer escort. The latter was a second generation German-American (still spoke German at home) from Kansas who had never seen the ocean. The paratrooper didn't talk much about his experiences, the gunner's mate did. They both saw some pretty bad stuff, I just think they were different personality types that dealt with things in different ways. At any rate, looking forward to hearing about the third naval convoy war and again, thanks for doing this!

Santa Fe!

Ancestor
I'm somewhat of a sealift nerd, so much more to come!

For a minor fix, check out my Illustrated History of the Third World War from a few years ago.
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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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  #25  
Old 12-16-2021, 01:37 PM
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December 16, 1996

nothing official today, but unofficially:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 7% following the prior day's conventional cruise missile attack on RAF bases in the UK. Investors are optimistic that the war will remain conventional and that the challenges facing the German war economy (struggling between the callup of a significant portion of the working-age male population, war damage and the cutoff of Soviet natural gas supplies) will present growth opportunities for American companies.

A shipment of M40 106mm recoilless rifles and several hundred rounds of training ammunition are reported missing in transit between the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and Camp Blanding, Florida.

Soviet troops of the 28th Army and their Vietnamese allies launch an assault on the Chinese-Vietnamese border. While ostensibly a drive on Kunming, the tank-heavy Soviet force is ill-suited for the steep terrain and STAVKA is content with the offensive tying down Chinese troops and presenting the PLA command with war on multiple fronts.

ROK troops in central Korea engage in firefights with unknown assailants, suspected to be North Korean commandos.

The Czechoslovakian 4th Tank Division is deployed to the Czech-East German border, held in reserve to exploit a Pact breakthrough (that never came).

The Soviet 107th MRD is orderd into the field in Latvia and northern Lithuania to counter American green berets and the Baltic nationalists that they had armed, equipped and advised.

The 485th Tactical Missile Wing officially activates its headquarters at Butzweilerhof Air Base in Germany; its GLCM cruise missiles were all evacuated from their peacetime base at Florennes, Belgium.

F-16s of the 119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 177th Fighter Interceptor Wing shoot down four Long-Range Aviation Tu-22M Backfire bombers that attempted a trans-polar strike on the fighter's home base of Thule, Greenland. To their east, F-16s of the 465th Tactical Fighter Squadron intercepted a flight of Su-24s over the Norwegian Sea, shooting down four of the attackers.

X Corps HQ (FWD) takes command of US Army troops in Norway.

The US carrier Forrestal is severaly damaged by a Soviet combined-arms strike while operating in a "bastion" in Vestfjord off the Norwegian Sea. Damage control teams struggle to contain fires lit by multiple missile strikes. Meanwhile, the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto is struck by multiple submarine-launched SS-N-7 Sizzler anti-radar missiles; the damaged cruiser is towed south for repair.

The 252nd MRD is formed in Nikolaev, Ukraine by discharge of nearly completely trained students of the 92nd Guards Training Motor-Rifle Division.
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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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  #26  
Old 12-16-2021, 04:41 PM
Ancestor Ancestor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan View Post
My grandad was a New Zealand Army infantry captain, he fought in North Africa and on Crete. He never spoke at all to family about his wartime experiences. It's a shame for me, but I wouldn't wanted to cause him to relive any trauma.
Thank you for sharing that! I kind of felt the same way about my paratrooper grandad, especially when I was a kid. He really didn't open up much until I joined the Army, and even then it was really small things. He lived far away and I only saw him a few times a year.

I've always wondered about how ANZACs felt about serving so far away from home. What an amazing thing! Don't want to hijack the thread but I'd love to know more about your grandad.

Again, thanks for sharing, I really appreciate it.
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  #27  
Old 12-16-2021, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
I'm somewhat of a sealift nerd, so much more to come!

For a minor fix, check out my Illustrated History of the Third World War from a few years ago.
Awesome! I will check that out, thank you!
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  #28  
Old 12-17-2021, 08:34 AM
lordroel lordroel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854 View Post
I'm somewhat of a sealift nerd, so much more to come!

For a minor fix, check out my Illustrated History of the Third World War from a few years ago.
Great work, will check it out.
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  #29  
Old 12-17-2021, 12:05 PM
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December 17, 1996

Soviet ground forces fail to link up with Naval infantry and paratroops in Narvik, who are forced to break out overland or be destroyed.

unofficially:

The Department of the Army authorizes the establishment of another 150 Category IV units.

The Czechoslovakian 24th Motor-Rifle Division called up and deployed to the Austrian border, where it started several months training and organizing.

Troops of I British Corps link up with 6th Airmobile Brigade, inserted by helicopter two days prior.

The US 3rd Air Force launches Operation Dreamscape - a co-ordinated multi-squadron SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) strike, with F-111s of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing hitting SA-5 SAM sites and air defense command centers in Poland. F-22s of the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron provided cover and succeeded in shooting down a Sovet A-50 AWACS that attempted to take over fighter control from the damaged and destroyed ground control stations.

NATO forces launch a counter-attack in Norway. Dubbed Operation Reindeer, the offensive had the goal of evicting 6th Army from Norwegian territory. The 37th MRD had disintegrated and the 109th and 111th MRDs were in headlong flight, with the remnants of the 36th Air Assault Brigade struggling to maintain a rear guard. Norwegian, Canadian and British troops launched the initial attacks, using a hammer-and-anvil technique, inserting strong mobile forces behind the Soviet rear guards and smashing them with artillery, close air support and frontal assaults. The steep and restricted terrain slowed the initial attacks just as effectively as it had slowed the Soviet offensive weeks before, but the weakness of Soviet troops allowed steady progress.

The American cargo ship USNS 2nd LT John P. Bobo called at the Sicilian port of Augusta and loaded vehicles and equipment of the 487th Tactical Missile Wing for evacuation.

photo
The last holdouts of isolated 8th Guards Army break out of encirclement in the Thuringer Wald, reaching the relative safety of Pact front lines south of Leipzig, slicing through NATO's southern supply lines.

NATO commissions a new air base, at Mosjøen, Norway, 215 miles/350 km south of Narvik, the culmination of two months of concentrated effort by US Navy Seebees, Norwegian civilian construction companies and a small legion of Swedish volunteers (in reality the Swedish 12th Division’s engineer battalion in civilian clothes).

Aircraft from the the air wing of the USS John F. Kenendy (which was damaged by a Soviet mine earlier in the month), operating from Gibraltar, strike Soviet naval facilities in Algeria.

The 134th MRD, a mobilization-only division from the Turkestan MD, is called up for service in Afghanistan.
__________________
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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  #30  
Old 12-18-2021, 08:45 PM
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December 18, 1996

The war widens in scope: The Soviet 7th Guards Army advanced into northwestern Iran, and encountered fanatical resistance from the Pasdaran militia. The Soviets countered this by using chemical weapons on a massive scale as they had in China.

unofficial:

The 196th Field Artillery Brigade (TN National Guard) activated at Ft Campbell, KY. The 106th Tac Recon Sqn (AL Air National Guard) is declared fully operational.

photo
The RAF stationed No. 169 Squadron’s Harrier jets at Evenes, Norway, just 19 miles/30 km from the center of Narvik, where they were able to launch sortie after sortie against the surrounded elite Soviet troops, quickly returning to the air base for rearming; the squadron generated 186 sorties in a 12-hour period today.

Fires abord the Forrestal are extinguished by 1800; over 40% of the ships compartments have been damaged. USN and civilian salvage tugs begin the tow to the nearest friendly port, Bodo.

The US destroyer Arthur W. Radford is sunk by torpedo from the Soviet Victor II submarine K-476 20nm off Norway.

The 385th Guards Assault Gun Regiment, a mobilization-only regiment from the Kiev Military District, is hastily called into service to serve in the invasion of Romania, staffed with peasants and factory workers that had served in artillery or tank units over a decade prior, led by officers seconded from its parent 17th GTD.

Convoy 105 attacked south of Iceland by the Victor I submarine K-438. The US-flag Cape Carthage and Swedish-flag Tor Hollandia are sunk. The K-438 is damaged by an escort helicopter but limps off to the north.
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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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