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

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.
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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 Raellus; 12-13-2021 at 04:03 PM.
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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.
__________________
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; 12-13-2021 at 02:03 PM. Reason: add image link
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  #3  
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.
__________________
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; 12-13-2021 at 02:03 PM.
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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.
__________________
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; 12-13-2021 at 02:03 PM.
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  #5  
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.
__________________
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; 12-13-2021 at 02:04 PM.
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  #6  
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.
__________________
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; 12-13-2021 at 02:04 PM. Reason: forgot to include Berlin
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2021, 05:34 AM
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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.
__________________
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 Raellus; 12-13-2021 at 03:57 PM.
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  #8  
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.
__________________
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; 12-13-2021 at 02:08 PM.
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  #9  
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.
__________________
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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  #10  
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.
__________________
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 12-14-2021, 07:16 AM
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December 14, 1996

nothing official, but, unofficially:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pzp...ew?usp=sharing
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.
__________________
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 09:29 AM. Reason: found another item to include!
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  #12  
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.
__________________
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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  #13  
Old 12-16-2021, 01:36 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.
__________________
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 12-17-2021, 12:04 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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  #15  
Old 12-18-2021, 08:44 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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  #16  
Old 12-18-2021, 08:55 PM
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December 19, 1996

The war widens even further in scope...
photo
The US 2nd Infantry Division is engaged against North Korean commando units. During the night the North Korean People’s Army launches a massive artillery barrage on Seoul and the DMZ, accompanied by commando attacks throughout the peninsula and raids by its obsolescent air force.

unofficial:

As a result of the sinking of the Tor Hollandia the prior day, the Swedish government prohibits Swedish-flag vessels from carrying military supplies or participating in convoys, on pain of loss of registration and revocation of captain's licenses. Several shipowners immediately file to reflag their vessels in Panama, while others order their ships to head to the nearest port to unload any offending cargo.

The 479th Field Artillery Brigade (USAR) declared combat ready at Ft Carson, CO.

With supplies dwindling and no hope of relief, the commander of the Soviet units in Narvik ordered his remaining troops to disperse and seek their own way back to Soviet territory, an epic trek of nearly 460 miles/750 km across Lapland (including neutral Swedish and Finnish territory) in the middle of winter. He himself, unwilling to return to the USSR for the inevitable show trial and equally unwilling to be paraded in front of TV cameras as a NATO prisoner, shot himself in his brigade’s basement headquarters. Few of his subordinates were successful in escaping back to Soviet territory; nearly 300 were interned by Swedish border police, several small groups were intercepted by Finnish troops patrolling Lapland, and untold numbers froze to death in the wilderness.

The USS Forrestal is docked at Bodo while specialists from the shipyard in Norfolk are flown in to assess damage.

Teams from the 8th, 9th and 10th Spetsnaz Brigades cross the Romanian frontier in predawn hours. Several engage in firefights with alert Patriotic Guard, Border Guard and Army troops.

Iranian Shia leaders declare Soviet Communism forbidden to Moslems and call on all the faithful to wage Jihad against the USSR. This call is less powerful than it would have been 10 years earlier, before Iranian society had tired of religious rule. Nonetheless, the Pasdaran militia sees a surge of eager young volunteers, while the IPA also sees a smaller increase in recruiting.
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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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  #17  
Old 12-20-2021, 03:32 AM
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December 20, 1996
The war widens more...
North Korea launches a massive dawn ground assault across the DMZ.

Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Soviet troops begin invading Romania. Romania formally withdraws from the Warsaw Pact, declares war on the three nations, and applies to NATO.

The Bundeswehr 2nd PanzerGrenadier Division enters Leipzig.

A flood of refugees from northern Iran begins to enter territory in central and southern Iran controlled by the Iran Nowin government.

Unofficial:

The 185th Tactical Fighter Group (Iowa Air National Guard) placed on alert.

The Dutch Red Army fires a RPG rocket at the frigate Evertsen as it approached the Vlissingen naval base. It missed and the attackers were hunted down by a detachment of the Dutch Marines.

In Norway, a NATO truck convoy from Trondheim arrived at the Bardufoss air station, the first since Soviet paratroopers and marines had cut the E6 highway in Narvik in November.

The submarines USS Memphis, USS Montpelier & USS Providence launch conventional TLAM cruise missiles against Soviet air bases in the Kola, destroying several Tu-22Ms and Su-22s.

Experts declare the burned-out carrier Forrestal damaged beyond economical repair; Second fleet orders her decommissioning and salvage of useable parts in place.

The transport USNS Bobo arrives in Gibraltar and discharges its cargo, the vehicles and equipment of the 487th Tactical Missile Wing. Later in the day the unit reports itself ready for action, although its pre-assigned targets are all out of range from Gibraltar.
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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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  #18  
Old 12-21-2021, 05:43 AM
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December 21, 1996

Romanian forces rush to the fronts, as do South Koreans and Iranian Pasdaran troops.

Unofficial:

The fighting in Leipzig continues, although Warsaw Pact forces begin falling back. The British 1st Corps, US III Corps and German II Korps make progress along the autobahn to Berlin, which suffers another day of heavy bombardment.

The burned out remains of the tractor truck that had hauled the missing shipment of M40 recoilless rifles was found in a warehouse district on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida. There was no sign of the trailer and its cargo.

The Idaho Freedom's orders to transport ammunition to Europe from Oakland, CA are changed, directed to wait in San Francisco Bay while escorts and ships are assembled for transit to Korea, where the ammunition will be needed as well.

A P-3 of VP-45 locates and sinks the damaged Victor-I class nuclear submarine K-438 as it limped back to home waters. The kill was the result of close coordination between the P-3, SOSUS operators ashore and SURTASS surveliiance ships patrolling the North Atlantic.

The US attack submarine USS Providence sinks KGB Grisha II corvette Ametist but is damaged by the surface ship's RBU ASW rockets.
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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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  #19  
Old 12-22-2021, 05:46 AM
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December 22, 1996

Despite the Soviet invasion of Iran, low availability of shipping due to war in Europe and Korea results in the decision to delay the deployment of CENTCOM until after first of the year.

Unofficial:

The Iranian Air Force 33rd Tactical Fighter Squadron receives its last F-20 Tigershark from the converted business jet plant in Savannah, Georgia and flies it to Pensacola to begin a month of training on the new aircraft before returning home and the war raging over its homeland.

The nuclear-powered cruiser Long Beach, on a detached forward air defense/communications relay sortie in the Norwegian Sea is located by a squadron of Osa-class Soviet missile boats (hiding among icebergs in the Arctic night) and sunk.

The Soviet destroyer Udaloy sinks the damaged American attack submarine USS Providence and in turn is sunk by the submarine USS Montpelier, which was attempting toescorts the damaged boat.

The air base in Keflavik, Iceland is struck by 10 SS-N-19 Shipwreck cruise missiles (with fuel-air explosive warheads) fired by the Oscar-II cruise missile submarine K-141.

Poor weather over the Norwegian Sea hampers naval flight operations.

Convoy 105 arrives in the German ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven, less two ships sunk on the 18th. (The ships are divided between ports to avoid overloading port facilities and speed discharge). The convoy is carrying trailing elements of the 5th Infantry Division, replacement vehicles, ammunition, spare parts and troops and equipment for corps and army-level support units, mainly US Army Reserve.

Seoul is subjected to particularly heavy artillery bombardment, while ROKAF and USAF fighters break up a North Korean air raid on the city. Air Force commanders come under increasing pressure to reallocate close air support aircraft from supporting troops in contact to seeking out and striking North Korean hardened artillery firing points.


B-52s launch a second raid on Soviet shipping and bases in Conakry, Guinea, striking targets which had survived the earlier raid. Anti-American riots follow the attacks, ironically in which 2 Soviets are killed but no Westerners.

US troops from the 193rd Infantry Brigade seize the Bulgarian-flag Smolyan as it transits the Panama Canal. It is the last Warsaw Pact ship to enter the canal.
__________________
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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  #20  
Old 12-23-2021, 10:50 AM
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December 23, 1996

NATO offers full membership to Jugoslavia and Romania, which they accept.

photo
A Jugoslav expeditionary force of three divisions and five brigades arrives at the front outside of Timisoara, Romania. The force, composed of units from central Serbia under the command of the 37th Corps, is placed under command of the hard-pressed Romanian 4th Army.

The Siege of Berlin is broken when the Bundeswehr 3rd Panzer Division is the first NATO unit to enter the city. Battle continues to rage in and around the battered city.

Taking advantage of the devastation wrought upon the Polish Air Force (which has been largely swept from the skies), US and British strike aircraft hit the oil fields and refineries near Uscie Solne (east of Krakow) in an attempt to hamper Polish military operations and defense industry operations.

US Green Berets increase their support of Eritrean and Tigrayan rebels as Cuban troops focus on evacuating, leaving a few dozen overburdened Soviet advisors to support the Ethiopian regime.

Unofficial:

AFRICOM and CENTCOM agree to the reassignment of the Horn of Africa from CENTCOM to AFRICOM, reflecting the demands being placed on CENTCOM's few troops in the region as a result of the Soviet invasion of Iran. 5th Special Forces Group B-teams in the Horn of Africa are reassigned to 3rd Special Forces Group, while the 2nd Battalion, 3rd SF Group is redesignated 2nd Battalion, 5th SF Group and deployed by air from Ft Bragg, NC to Oman. This allows the Green Berets embedded with local guerillas and friendly militaries to continue working alongside those allies without a disruptive change of personnel.

photo
The 185th Tactical Fighter Group (Iowa Air Nationa Guard)'s force of A-16 attack aircraft is declared fully operational. The 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (Texas Air National Guard) is ordered to Loring AFB, ME to bolster the northeastern USA's air defenses after an assessment that Cuba was, in fact, complying with its stated intention of remaining neutral and that therefore it was a reasonable risk to dilute Texas' air defenses.

Peace activists outside RAF Upper Heyford are caught by MI-5 radio-direction finding unit broadcasting takeoff and landing notifications for F-111 strikes from the base. A series of arrests begin.

USAF Europe launhces Operation Speed Bump, which has USAF F-117s strike bridges across the Wisla River in Poland being used to tranport Soviet reinforcements to the front.

The USAF orders the 112th Tactical Fighter Group (Pennsylvania Air National Guard) and its 24 A-7 strike aircraft to prepare to deploy to Jugoslavia as reinforcements.

The war in space heats up, when MAJ Amy "Buns" Nakamura becomes the first female ace of the war after shooting down two Soviet RORSATs with ASAT missiles.

The squadrons that were part of the air wings assigned the USS Forrestal and USS George Washington are disbanded following the loss of their carriers. The remaining aircraft and aircrew, which had been operating from bases near Trondheim in central Norway, are reassigned to other squadrons fighting in the waning clashes in the Norwegian Sea, while surviving headquarters, maintenance and administrative personnel are flown home to the US for reassignment or to rebuild selected squadrons. US Naval Aviation losses in the Norwegian Sea exceed 50 percent overall.
__________________
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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  #21  
Old 12-24-2021, 09:39 AM
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December 24, 1996

British and American forces reach the outskirts of Berlin, and the British 1st Corps relieves the besieged NATO forces there after a week of bitter street fighting, the Second Battle of Berlin.

SACLANT orders the withdrawal of Strike Fleet Atlantic from the Norwegian Sea, marking the end of the Battle of the Norwegian Sea. Scattered Soviet commerce raiders break out and raise havoc in North Atlantic convoy lanes.

The Turkish 1st Army launches an offensive against a thin Bulgarian covering force (composed of border guards backed by a single mobilization only MRD, the rest of 3rd Army forcing its way across the Danube) in Thrace.

Unofficial:

The British government authorizes the arrest of hundreds of anti-war activists and communist sympathizers following the prior days arrest at RAF Upper Heyford. Internment camps are established in rural Scotland, Wales and Northwest England.

North Korean troops continue their fierce attacks, supported by massed artillery and rocket fire. South Korean divisions on the front line hold, although reserves of replacement troops and artillery ammunition are being depleted at a rapid pace.

The last American troops are withdrawn from Italy. Only US Marine guards at the embassy remain.

The Chinese 29th Group Army renews its attack north of Beijing, its ranks replenished with three new divisions raised in Hunan province.

The Soviet 28th Army's attack into southern China is called off after getting bogged down 15 km into Chinese territory. The USSR's Vietnamese allies declined to provide additional troops and were concerned about their transportation system's ability to continue to support the offensive.

For the first time in over 40 years, NORAD does not publicize incoming flying objects coming from the North Pole. Instead, missile-armed American and Canadian interceptors await any southbound traffic.
__________________
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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  #22  
Old 12-25-2021, 05:15 AM
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December 25, 1996

The Soviet 7th Army captures Tabriz in northwestern Iran, eradicating the last of the city's fanatical Pasdaran defenders (and thousands of civilians) with nerve gas delivered by artillery and aircraft bombs.

Unofficial:

The citizens of the world have a very unsettled holiday. Training at military bases around the world is paused and the fighting is relatively light, giving soldiers time to reflect on their uncertain future and their families and friends back home.

In the war-torn cities of Berlin and Seoul, citizens huddle in shelters, while millions of refugees continue to seek a safe haven. In the many places away from the fighting, families gather, grateful for the ability to be together but nervous about how the growing conflict will be resolved and how it will affect them.
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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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  #23  
Old 12-26-2021, 08:15 AM
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December 26, 1996

Nothing in official canon for today, but unofficially:

Military operations continue around the world, joining the convoys, combat air patrols, casualty evacuation and patient care, outpost duty and artillery barrages, the war machine that did not stop for the prior day's holiday celebrations.

A relatively safe transit corridor is opened from Berlin to Hanover in West Germany. While subject to sporadic Pact artillery attacks, the German government organizes convoys of relief supplies into the city, accompanied by a fleet of empty busses to evacuate civilians from the city, which is still a battle zone as NATO forces continue their advance.

Soviet bombers launch another round of conventional cruise missile attacks on ports and air bases in the UK, launched from over the Baltic Sea, overlying southern Sweden along the way.

The USSR ignores Swedish protests about the violation of their airspace, pointing to the NATO transit of Swedish airspace in Lapland two weeks prior. The Swedish Air Force adopts a more aggressive posture regarding Soviet activity. To further emphasize Soviet disregard for Swedish sovereignty, the Soviet Mirka-II corvette SKR-90 is sunk by a mine in Swedish waters off Karlskrona.

Convoy 202 sails from San Francisco, bound for Honolulu, Guam (where the convoy will split), Okinawa and Pusan, Korea. It is composed of 37 cargo ships, one rescue/salvage vessel and four escorts, a collection of USNR-manned frigates and destroyers and the Coast Guard cutter Boutwell.

The US Congress passes a supplemental budget, authorizing over $1 Trillion of additional spending as may be needed to support the war effort. It also contains several classified sections that authorize paramilitary operations by the CIA, a FEMA stockpiling program and development and deployment of several aircraft and missile systems.
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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 12-27-2021, 12:23 PM
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December 27, 1996

another day of nothing in the canon, but unofficially:

Warsaw Pact forces begin a general withdrawal to eastern East Germany, intent on holding the line Stralsund-Neubrandenburg-East Berlin-Dresden. The shorter line will free up three divisions to serve as a TVD reserve.

In Norway, NATO troops declare western Finnmark secure as the US 111th Air Defense Artillery Brigade enters action approaching the Norwegian-Soviet border.

Following the withdrawal from the Norwegian Sea, Strike Fleet Atlantic disbands temporarily, its constituent carrier battle groups heading to various ports in the US and UK for repair and replenishment. Despite stringent efforts, the carrier's magazines are nearly completely depleted, their escorts low on fuel and ammunition and all battered by the combination of harsh winter weather and three weeks of furious combat. SACLANT establishes a patrol line of cruisers along the GIUK Gap and redoubles efforts to provide adequate escorts for convoys as the first reports of random sinkings by Soviet raiders begin to trickle in.

The Commander of the Red Banner Northern Fleet receives a status briefing of the results of the Battle of the Norwegian Sea. Most importantly, the NATO maritime offensive against the Kola was halted, with heavy losses to the NATO fleet that make a second attack in the next few months unlikely. The Soviet SSBN fleet remained safely intact in port. Soviet losses were heavy, with over 80 percent of large ship tonnage sunk (including the entire carrier force built at such great expense), bomber losses over 50 percent and the loss of the best of the Naval Infantry force.

The submarine USS Philadelphia is ambushed and sunk by a Victor-I class attack submarine in the English Channel as the American sub attempted a transit in the narrow passage not aggressively patrolled or mined by the French Navy.

The Turks break through last of the Bulgarian Krali Marko line fortifications and advance into the so-called "Triangle of Death"; the undermanned dug-in Second-World-War German and Soviet tanks were easily taken out by Turkish ATGMs and the forces allocated to the "Traingle of Death" were being hurredly recalled from the Romanian frontier over 250km to the north.

Pasdaran resistance in northwestern Iran wavers as some formations disintegrate when faced with the possibility of Soviet chemical weapons and the massive firepower Transcaucasian Front brings to bear.
__________________
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 12-28-2021, 12:11 PM
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December 28, 1996

another day with nothing official, but unofficially:

There is a major sortie of US Pacific Fleet carriers from their homeports in Pearl Harbor, San Diego and Puget Sound. The deployments are under EMCOM (emissions control, with all radiating electronics turned off) and in the pre-dawn hours.

Soviet, Polish and Czech units make tactical withdrawals to align with the new defense line. The evacuation of civilians from Berlinn continues as the battle lines shift to the eastern side of the city and Soviet artillery bombardments intensify.

Game wardens patrolling the woods outside of Bodenmais (in Bavaria near the Czech border) report a group of armed men in the distance. A hunt by BGS Border Guards and territorial troops fails to locate the men.

The US 197th Field Artillery Brigade (New Hampshire National Guard) is declared operational in Norway.

The Pact offensive in Romania stalls as Bulgarian troops are withdrawn from the southern front (leaving it static, with three Bulgarian bridgeheads on the north bank of the Danube), allowing Romanian reinforcements to be shifted to the northeastern and northwester fronts. The Pact advance is also slowed by inadequate numbers of Soviet troops and the poor training and materiel condition of the Hungarian force.

A 757 carrying infantry replacements fresh from Ft Benning, Georgia disappears over the mid-Atlantic; postwar research reveals that it was shot down by a SAM fired by a Soviet commerce raider.

NASA announces a revamp of its launch schedule; all scientific missions are cancelled and future missions will be to support the war effort.
__________________
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 12-29-2021, 06:53 AM
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December 29, 1996

Tehran falls to Soviet troops after paratroopers seize the airport and Pasdaran forces flee. Pasdaran leaders call for their fighters to continue fighting the Soviets and encourages those separated from their units to rally to defend the holy city of Qom.

Unofficial:

NATO defense ministers (including the Jugoslav and Romanian ministers flown out at low level but not the French, Belgian, Greek and Italians) begin a meeting at the heavily guarded NATO command bunker in Northwood, England to discuss war aims andexecution. They receive status updates from SACEUR and SACLANT as well as many of the coordinating bodies (on shipping and air transport, defense production, civil relief and allocation of vital materials).

The Polish 12th Armored Division (rebuilding after being destroyed in China) is declared "limited operational" and deployed along the German-Polish border west of its garrison in Szczecin.

German and American troops reach the outskirts of Dresden, advancing against disorganized Pact opposition. The Pact effort in Germany is hampered by NATO air attacks on its lines of communication, which are further disrupted by attacks by East German units that found themselves isolated behind enemy lines by the East German coup.

NATO air forces launch an offensive air sweep over Poland in an attempt to lure surviving Soviet and Polish fighters into dogfights and surface to air missile batteries to reveal their locations so they can be attacked by accompanying Wild Weasels.

Additional trains of tanks and other military vehicles, the prewar complement of the 1st Infantry Division, arrive at the Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal, an Army-operated port in New Jersey. The 1st ID fell in on vehicles from POMCUS storage in Europe, leaving a complete complement behind in Kansas. Those were now being sent to Europe as shipping space permitted as replacements for vehicles lost in combat.

The Panamanian flagged bulk carrier Empire Pilot, carrying a cargo of Brazilian corn to neutral Finland, is sunk by a Soviet submarine 500 km west of Gibraltar. Canadian fishing vessels report unidentified warships east of Newfoundland.

Soviet and Vietnamese troops return to their start lines along the Chinese border, ending their incursion at the cost of 1200 Soviet and 800 Vietnamese soldiers' lives. The effort tied down a dozen Chinese divisions, three of which are released for transit to the fighting to the north.
__________________
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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  #27  
Old 12-30-2021, 08:10 AM
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December 30, 1996

Nothing official for today, but unofficially:

The Battle of Dresden. NATO forces surround the city, exploiting the boundary between Soviet and Czech troops to the south of town. As American forces rush forward, the Polish 6th Air Assault Division is landed by helicopter behind the American tanks, amidst the 2nd Armored Division's artillery and rear area. The rear area troops fight valiantly against the elite Poles, but the assault has to be broken off. The American armored and mechanized battalions turn around, and in a confused nighttime melee drive off the paratroops. The decimation of the Polish unit buys time for the withdrawal of Pact troops from the city.

Elsewhere in East Germany, Allied forces continue fierce house to house fighting in East Berlin, while along the Baltic coast the remnants of the East German Navy attempt to interdict Pact evacuation and resupply efforts.

Norwegian and American troops reach the Soviet border southeast of Kirkenes, the retreating 6th Army still withdrawing over the frozen tundra to the east of town.

Convoy 109 departs Jacksonville, Florida. It will travel up the east coast before crossing the Atlantic.

The transport ship USNS Pollux, returning unescorted from Europe at its top speed of 32 knots, reports being pursued by a Soviet raider, which could not keep up with the speedy transport. A B-52 sortie from Loring AFB's 42nd Bomb Wing locates the Krivak II-class frigate Bessmennyy nearby and sinks it with 3 Harpoon missiles.

US Navy SEEBEEs arrive at the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport in the Indian Ocean to begin upgrading the facility to support the planned deployment of a P-3 patrol squadron.

The Akula II-class SSN K-453 is delivered in Severomorsk and rushed into Northern Fleet service. (The boat was incomplete, but the shipyard management knew that they would receive a bonus if it was delivered before year-end; the naval crew was responsible for bringing the boat up to operational standard).

Japan's foreign ministry announces the establishment of 1000 nautical mile Maritime Security Zone around its home islands. The Self Defense Forces (Air and Maritime) will actively patrol this zone and intercept hostile forces.
__________________
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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  #28  
Old 12-31-2021, 10:04 AM
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December 31, 1996

Nothing official for the last day of 1996, but unofficially:

As the year of 1996 closes out, the world has taken an ominous turn. The Sino-Soviet War w,hich while massive, was limited to East Asia, has become a worldwide conflagration, with war all along the borders of the Soviet empire, from Kirkenes on the Norwegian Border, through Berlin, Romania and Tehran to Manchuria, with ships and aircraft on and over the high seas around the world in flames. Optimists hope that the war will reach a negotiated settlement soon, grateful that fears that nuclear war would erupted immediately had not come to pass, while pessimists see every day of the ongoing war as just a momentary pause before the inevitable holocaust.

British, American and German troops drive Soviet and Polish troops out of the city limits of Berlin, but fierce house-to-house combat continues in the eastern suburbs.

The Soviet anti-satellite complex in Zelenchukskaya (known to the West as Dushanbe) attempts its first operational mission, partially blinding a KH-17 photo reconaissance satellite with coordinated strikes from multiple lasers.

The US War Production Coordination Board compiles its list of major end items produced in the US for the year. It includes:

AH-64 attack helicopter 144
AV-8B aircraft 72
A-6F aircraft 72
F-16C/D aircraft 325
F-15E aircraft 144
F-14D aircraft 96
KC-10 conversion aircraft 24
P-7 aircraft 24
SH-2G helicopter 48
SH-60B/F helicopter 60
UH-60 helicopter 145
AH-1G helicopter 180
OH-58D helicopter conversion 145
CH-47D helicopter 48
CH-53E helicopter 24
OH-6D helicopter 125
M-2A2 Bradley IFV 792
M-1A2 tank 1,080
LAV-75 AFV 480
LAV-25 APC 606
M-109A6 howitzer 540
AAVP-7 APC 600
AMRAAM missile 3,600
Sidewinder missile 8,400
Harpoon missile 660
Patriot missile 840
HARM missile 6,500
Hellfire missile 6,720
Maverick missile 14,400
Phoenix missile 420
Standard ER missile 480
Standard MR missile 845
Stinger missile 11,500
Tomahawk cruise missile 540
TOW II missile 30,000
Peacekeeper missile 48
MLRS rocket 36,000
4.2" mortar rounds 600,000
155mm FASCAM rounds 85,000
8" HE rounds 60,000
2.75" rockets 540,000
Volcano mine canisters 48,000
AT-4 LAWs 180,000
transport ships 25
naval combatant ships 10
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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 01-01-2022, 06:27 PM
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January 1, 1997

The meeting of NATO defense ministers concludes, issuing a statement that NATO heads of state have declared support for a Polish government in exile. The London-based government had operated in exile since September 1939 (when it had been run out of Poland by the Nazis) and still retained some items that supported its legitimacy - the presidential banner, the presidential and state seals, the presidential sashes, and the original text of the 1935 Constitution.

The British 1st Airborne Brigade is formed at Aldershot, England.

Unofficial:

photo
The US Navy orders the reactivation of Forrest Sherman and Decatur-class destroyers, held in mothballs for over 10 years (including DD-933, the USS Barry, which was a museum ship at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC). The reactivation places a further burden on shipyards already overloaded with ships damaged in the fighting in the Norwegian Sea, but the 17 ships would partially replace the losses of the last month.

The declaration by NATO heads of state also includes a call for the neutralization of the Soviet threat in the high north and authorization for NATO forces to sieze Murmansk.

The last Belgian forces are repatriated from Norway, where they had fought as part of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land). Tensions between Belgium and NATO rise as disputes arise about the disposition of property, personnel and equipment in Belgium and Germany. (An example of the tit-for-tat is the Belgian refusal to allow NATO to remove office equipment from the headquarters in Mons in retaliation for the German Ministry of Transport to authorise the transportation of ammunition stocks from ammunition dumps in Germany, ammunition that happens to be increasingly needed at the front and which was partially funded by NATO).

Turkish forces break out of the mountainous terrain along the Black Sea cost, capturing the town of Grudovo (Sredets), in position to threaten the road and rail lines to the vital port of Burgas.

NATO sealift planners conclude a major effort to adjust their fleet resources, eliminating the sizeable Greek merchant fleet and other nations that have left NATO and adding in the smaller Jugoslav, East German and Romanian merchant fleets, as well as the couple dozen Pact ships seized in port or on the high seas since the outbreak of war. The Romanian fleet is the most problematic, with nearly 40 percent in the Black Sea, mostly stuck in port lest they be sunk by the superior Soviet Black Sea Fleet while racing for the Bosporus.

The US submarine Bluefish slips through the Bosporus submerged underneath a supporting Turkish navy transport, en route to start a campaign against Soviet shipping in the Black Sea.
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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 01-01-2022, 07:30 PM
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January 2, 1997

Scattered workers uprisings occur across Poland as a result of the Polish government in exile gaining NATO recognition. ZOMO riot control units quickly mobilize to suppress the rioting following strong words from the Soviet ambassador.

unofficially:

Convoy 202 arrives in Honolulu/Pearl Harbor, detaching two cargo ships and gaining two others as well as the USN tanker Ponchatoula and an additional escort, the frigate USS Reasoner.

photo
The German hard rock band the Spyders announces its "Winds of Change Tour" to celebrate the liberation of East Germany and raise money for relief for East German civilians; many of the band's most ardent fans are unable to attend the concerts as they had been called up for service in the Bundeswehr.

The last Soviet troops are driven out of Norway east of Kirkenes.

photo
South Korean lines northeast of Seoul buckle and, in a handful of sectors, break. The North Korean 1st Shock Army commits its elite 820th Armored Corps to exploit the breakthrough.

Pasdaran troops continue their resistance, gradually withdrawing as the Soviet advance slows. Transcaucasian Front's supply lines are getting longer and the Front's immediate stockpiles of fuel and munitions, especially chemical weapons, has been depleted and the Front commander, Colonel General Suryakin, was forced to beg STAVKA for the trucks and supplies he needed, in competition with Front commanders from around the USSR, all needing the same resources.

The Commander of Frontal Aviation sought guidance from STAVKA about the need for future pilots and the allocation of aircraft and their crew. Southwestern TVD's handful of fighter regiments had been able to suppress the Romanian and Jugoslav air forces, but were insufficient to provide air support to the bogged-down Red Army troops in Romania. Prewar plans provided that trainer aircraft assigned to pilot training colleges throughout the southwestern USSR be transferred to the Balkans, where it was expected that air defenses would be less formidable than on the Central Front. Doing so, however, meant that new pilot training would be halted. STAVKA replied than the need for pilots was intense and that the Army would have to advance using the blood of its infantry, grateful that Frontal Aviation and the PVO were keeping NATO airpower at bay. Anyone who complained was to be transferred to the German front, where NATO fighters were gradually establishing complete control of the skies over the front lines.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...

Last edited by chico20854; 01-01-2022 at 07:44 PM.
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