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  #331  
Old 11-03-2022, 03:12 PM
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November 3, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day!

NATO dispatches a team of experts from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the British Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire to Ramstein Air Base in Germany to examine the captured SS-23 warhead.

The tanker Manatee is delivered in Baltimore, Maryland.

The refinery in Ashland, Ohio is shut down for six weeks of maintenance and upgrades, some of it long overdue.

The lead Irish Army battalions begin arriving to hastily erected camps within 5 km of the border with Northern Ireland.

The remnants of the 12th Motor-Rifle Division are split. The surviving enlisted troops are assigned to 35th Army as replacements and the remaining officers are returned to their prewar garrisons in Mongolia, ordered to stand up a new 12th Division.

The Missouri battle group arrives in Yokosuka, Japan.

The US XI Corps launches its drive to relieve the surrounded German V Korps in Wroclaw. The 1st Shock Army is forced to halt the counterattack east of Legnica with the battered remnants of the 321st Motor-Rifle Division, which was a low-quality unit from the beginning and has been roughly handled over the last several months. The 321st succeeds in stopping the advancing tanks (its few remaining artillery pieces being used as makeshift anti-tank guns in direct-fire mode), but at the cost of nearly all of its remaining men and all of its artillery.

The amphibious assault ship USS Nassau arrives off the southern coast of Turkey, where its embarked helicopters are able to reach isolated detachments of non-Turkish NATO troops and evacuate them.

The last vehicles of the 353rd Engineer Group (Combat) (US Army Reserve) arrive in Corpus Christi, Texas to await a ship to carry them to Europe. The group's personnel move by bus to Fort Hood, Texas, where they are released for two weeks of leave before deploying.

In distant McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, the annual summertime resupply of the American scientific research station (by the tanker Delaware Trader and freighter Green Wave, escorted by the icebreaker Polar Sea) is interrupted by the arrival of a Soviet raider, the destroyer Velichavyy. The raider was last identified by NATO when it broke out of Petropavlovsk in March alongside seven of her sisters; it has spent the prior months sheltering with the massed fishing fleet in a remote area of the South Pacific. The destroyer sits off the station and shells it, sinking all three ships and setting the station ablaze.
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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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  #332  
Old 11-04-2022, 07:19 AM
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November 4, 1997

A single SS-17 Spanker ICBM is launched from southern Siberia (I have central Russia) and releases four MIRVs high over the Korean Peninsula. 500 kiloton warheads detonate over Seoul, Incheon and Kunsan, wreaking havoc and killing, in total, hundreds of thousands of civilians. Fortunately, the fourth warhead (also targeting Seoul) fails to detonate.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship St Paul Freedom is delivered in Beaumont, Texas. It was the last of the class delivered from the city, with four others under construction when Beaumont was struck by Soviet nukes later in the month. Ironically, the production of Phalanx CIWS anti-missile systems has now increased enough that the ship is the last delivered without one of the systems installed as standard equipment.

The 1st Brigade, 17th Airborne Division completes Rotation 97-11 at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, Louisiana and declared combat ready. No immediate orders are issued, the unit placed on standby for deployment overseas when sufficient stocks of equipment have been assembled in theater and assigned civil security and disaster relief duties in the interim.

The British expert team arrives at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and is escorted to the heavily-guarded aircraft shelter that holds the captured Soviet SS-23 warhead. They are joined several hours later by a team of American engineers and scientists, and by midnight they feel confident disconnecting the warhead's conventional explosive, rendering it much less likely to detonate, although still not "safe".

The fires in Rotterdam have largely burned themselves out, allowing civil defense teams to assess the radioactivity and plan to clear roads so an evaluation of the damage to the refinery, chemical plant and port can be done.

In Bremerhaven, Germany the local defense leadership begins to hear increasing complaints about the side effects of the unusual defense measures in place to deceive Soviet intelligence. To make it appear that the port city was hit by a missile that actually landed offshore, city authorities have been burning a series of barges loaded with old tires. The dense, choking smoke covers the city and creates a very real refugee stream fleeing the city. This allows the port to quietly unload freighters carrying vital supplies and equipment.

In Poland, XI Corps renews its attacks, which are coordinated with a breakout drive by the German V Korps. Supported by four tactical nuclear strikes on Soviet troop concentrations, the German force is able to evacuate the city, leaving behind a fiendish collection of booby traps and damaged buildings. Wroclaw's industry and indeed much of its basic infrastructure has been thoroughly destroyed.

To the north, NATO forces complete the evacuation of Poznan; Pact forces driving west ot the north and south had created a large salient that was at risk of being cut off.

The remnants of the Red Banner Northern Fleet rally to defeat the great barrier that has defined the war in the Atlantic Ocean - the GIUK Gap. In a coordinated series of strikes, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles strike Keflavik, Iceland and Argentia, terminuses of the SOSUS hydrophone arrays on the sea floor as well as bases for NATO maritime patrol aircraft and air defense interceptors. Simultaneously, teams of Naval Spetsnaz frogmen cut the cables linking the SOSUS arrays to the continental US and Scotland and attach a limpet mine to the T-AGOS long-range sonar ship USNS Able, in harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Lead elements of the 82nd Airborne Division and their Kurdish allies enter the town of Maragheh, driving out the Soviet garrison detachment.
__________________
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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  #333  
Old 11-05-2022, 05:16 AM
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November 5, 1997

The replica USS Constitution enters the South Atlantic for filming the next season of the sitcom "Darwin Was a Monkey's Uncle".

Military units from Eire move into the Northern Irish border counties - the Second Irish Civil War has begun.

Unofficially,

The commander of the 36th Engineer Group (Combat) orders his troops to take offline six hydropower plants between Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee, partially dismantling them and shielding their transformers and control components in underground storage. His independent move (not sanctioned by higher command) incurs the wrath of the Tennessee Valley Authority, owner of the plants, but the colonel's troops have control of the plants.

The Forrest Sherman-class destroyer USS Manley is returned to service at the Mayport Naval Station, Florida and begins local patrolling pending formation of another convoy.

The USS New Jersey battle group is ordered southwest from the vicinity of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The 155th Motor-Rifle (my 235th Rear Area Protection) Division, en route to occupation duty in Austria, pauses for resupply in Bratislava before crossing the border. Local authorities are reluctant to part with their meagre supplies of food and fuel and have very little ammunition (from police stockpiles) to provide Soviet troops, despite orders from Praha to furnish the Soviet division with everything it needs.

In Bavaria, the Danish Expeditionary Corps (an ad-hoc higher headquarters that is commanding the hodgepodge of Danish units that are fighting in the region) drives southwest, hoping to drive the Italians out of the city of Ulm.

A USAF C-23 light transport flies the captured Soviet warhead to the UK after it is decided to examine it at the British Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston.

SACLANT scrambles to seal the gap blown in the defenses of the GIUK Gap. The carriers Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt as well as the escort carriers Langley and Shangri-La are rushed to the area despite the dire state of their air wings and escort force. The light carrier Cabot, in harbor in the Netherlands recovering from its first operational voyage, is ordered to make ready with all due haste. Convoy 306 is routed to the south to avoid the anticipated (relative) flood of Soviet submarines and raiders, and two of the US Navy's remaining attack submarines are ordered into the breach.

The 82nd Airborne Division's center of gravity begins to move south. To avoid presenting a nuclear target the 82nd's battalions operate on a dispersed scale, the division exerting an area of influence that Soviet troops cannot enter rather than holding solid front lines. (Any Soviet units that enter the 82nd's area of control soon find themselves under attack from dismounted infantry from all directions, and that their supporting supply vehicles are shot to pieces before they can reach them).
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #334  
Old 11-06-2022, 04:02 PM
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November 6, 1997

The 6th Marine Division is activated using surviving personnel of the 4th (my 1st) Marine Division as a command and training cadre.

Fanya Ayn Wilkerson, the young American journalist that has become a legend in XVIII Airborne Corps, returns to the US for a well-deserved break following six months in combat covering the 82nd Airborne Division, including two combat drops with the division's pathfinders. She reunites with her husband and young son.

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Oakland Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Irish troops clash with scattered and isolated RUC and UDR outposts as they seek to link up with IRA troops. Britain has cut off Eire from deliveries of petroleum and declared a naval blockade. France, sticking to its strict neutrality (despite Eire's protests that its intervention is a peacekeeping move to protect Ulster's Catholics and not part of the wider war), halts the export of fuel to the Irish Republic, unwilling to engage in a naval confrontation with the British.

Following a quick three days in port, the Missouri battle group heads back to sea, headed northeast along the Japanese coast.

The Luftwaffe's 12th Luftjaeger Regiment completes two weeks of familiarization training, integration of additional Luftwaffe airbase security troops and augmentation with Army NCOs recovering from wounds suffered in Poland, and is subordinated to the Army and thrown into action against the combined Italian and Warsaw Pact forces in Bavaria.

In Poland, following the evacuation of Poznan and Wroclaw, NATO forces are able to form a straighter front line, allowing more units to be pulled back to reinforce defenses along the Oder-Niesse line.

American Pershing II missiles strike six air bases in Ukraine and Byelorussia that intelligence indicates have been repaired and are being used by Soviet nuclear bombers.

A Soviet submarine (the Foxtrot-class B-821) spots the USS Coral Sea operating in the Baltic east of Lolland and radios its location to Leningrad. The transmission is located by nearby shore stations and a Marineflieger (German Navy) Breguet Atlantique patrol aircraft and a Danish Lynx helicopter sortie to intercept the sub. They soon find the Foxtrot at shallow depth (the Baltic not being very deep and the clear lanes through the defensive minefields limited) and sink her. However, the sighting of the carrier is of considerable tactical value, and the Soviets dispatch a pair of aircraft to respond; a Tu-16MR Badger-D naval reconniassance plane and a single Su-24 bomber from the 305th Bomber Aviation Regiment. With the Badger orbiting at high altitude over the eastern Baltic providing updated location information, the lone bomber, flying at 3m altitude, approaches the carrier to within 4 km, when it pitches up, releases a single bomb and turns back to home. The nuclear munition does not score a direct hit, but detonates slightly more than 200 meters off the carrier's starboard side. The blast rips the ship's island off, crushes the hull and blows the ship's aircraft off the deck into the sea; it begins sinking even before the munitions and fuel aboard start to burn. Within 15 minutes it has sunk below the waves. The destroyer Mitscher, providing close-in protection to the carrier, is also severely damaged by the blast and sinks six hours later.

Once again asserting that a 1859 Treaty has been abrogated, Guatemalan troops moving to the border with Belize. The Belizian government mobilizes its two infantry battalions and issues an urgent plea for help from Britain, its former colonizer and guarantor of its independence since 1981. British Forces Belize, which in prewar days included infantry, artillery and support units as well as a flight of Harriers and helicopters, has been reduced to 50 men operating a jungle training school and several officers seconded to the Belizian Defense Force.
__________________
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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  #335  
Old 11-07-2022, 05:02 PM
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November 7, 1997

In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art's directors remove most of the paintings, transferring them to underground vaults on Long Island.

Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, an important transportation hub and industrial town (home of the Vitkovice Iron Works), is destroyed by a 200 kt nuclear bomb (unofficially) dropped by an American F-111 fighter-bomber, one of only a few dozen remaining.

Unofficially,

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

US Army authorities approve the resumption of AT-4 production at the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant.

In the mountains of North Korea, the remnants of the North Korean Peoples Army attempts to sustain their advance using their fairly successful tactics developed pre-war: take advantage of night and poor weather to infiltrate the Allied lines and attack from the rear. The easternmost American formation is the 41st Infantry Division (Light), which abuts a South Korean unit to its east. The ROK troops, while tough and skilled, display less initiative than the Americans and operate more rigidly. The 41st suffers the loss of one of its newest privates, Joseph P. Snoofie, who, not the brightest soldier, doesn't realize that the inscription "front towards enemy" on his Claymore mine means that he should face that side away from his fighting position.

The first technical assessment team arrives at the ruins of the Rotterdam refinery. Their initial assessment is that there is very left remaining to salvage following the blast and subsequent fire and that it will be several years and over a billion Dutch guilders to rebuild it.

Responding to the need for trained NCOs and technical experts, the Southwestern TVD command orders the return of the leadership of the 42nd Guards Tank Division to the Ukraine. The unit, which started the war as a training unit, leaves its junior soldiers and much of its equipment behind, to be distributed to other units, and moves to Chernigov.

NATO naval and civilian salvage and rescue craft move to the site of the sunken USS Coral Sea in an attempt to save what remains. The remainder of the Coral Sea battle group has suffered varying levels of damage and is evacuated from the area to Danish and German shipyard facilities for emergency repairs under a cover of NATO fighter aircraft protecting the flotilla from a Soviet follow-up attack.

The Sierra-class attack submarine K-534, which has been patrolling the Indian Ocean for many months, successfully intercepts the Diego Garcia supply ship, the Galveston Bay, and sinks it with a pair of torpedoes. The loss of the ship impairs the base's long-term viability, but USAF airlifters can provide any immediately needed critical items.
__________________
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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  #336  
Old 11-09-2022, 04:47 PM
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November 8, 1997

To impede the arrival of additional reinforcements from the US by way of Japan, the east coast ROK port cities of Busan and Ulsan are targeted for destruction. The Echo II-class sub K-34 surfaces in the early morning hours in the Sea of Japan and launches two nuclear-tipped P-1000 Vulkan cruise missiles, one each at Busan and Ulsan. Several minutes later, the 350 kt warhead aboard the first P-1000 detonates over Busan, wrecking the port and badly damaging the eastern half of the city. The missile targeting Ulsan suffers a critical engine failure soon after launch and crashes into the sea well short of the Korean coast (the warhead did not explode). A JDF P-3 Orion, on routine ASW patrol over the Sea of Japan, spots the smoky missile launch signatures on the western horizon and closes at speed to investigate. K-34 has difficulty retracting one of its missile launch tubes, delaying its escape. It attempts to submerge just as the JDF P-3 arrives overhead. The P-3 drops two Mk. 46 homing torpedoes, both of which track and hit the crash-diving K-34, sinking it along with all hands.

Unofficially,

Alarmed at the growing losses at the front, collapsing Soviet economy, massive damage already endured from NATO nuclear strikes and the utter impossibility of retaking East Germany, the Politburo confronts General Secretary Sauronski, demanding he reach out to seek a negotiated and immediate end to the war. The "peace faction" - composed of the Minister of Defense and nearly all the civilian members of the Politburo - argue that the USSR is in a better position than it was prewar, for while East Germany has been lost, the USSR now controls China, Romania, Jugoslavia, Austria and Turkey, and that the potential for a disastrous continuation or escalation of the nuclear war has the potential to destroy the USSR and the Communist Party. The opposition - Secretary General Sauronski, KGB Chairman Yangel and the aged ideologue Nikolai Kozlov - decry the defeatism of the peace faction and boldly claim that Western resistance is collapsing and that victory is nearly at hand.

Another Forrest Sherman-class destroyer, the USS Bigelow, is recommissioned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

To provide more trained and combat capable small units to battered units at the front, the Army staff in Washington directs the "Bravo Company transfer" - all combat battalions in the strategic reserve (the 46th ID, 49th AD, 194th Armored Brigade, 197th Infantry Brigade and 13th Armored Cavalry Regiment) plus the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama - are to transfer their complete B Companies to the front and to stand up a new B Company with new replacements being sent from the training base. The battalions are to identify their highest performing soldiers in the remaining companies and promote them to leadership positions to staff out the new companies.

The nuclear attack forces the delay of the trial of the former commander of the battleship Missouri, charged with dereliction of duty for the unauthorized release of a nuclear missile in October.

Tensions grow higher in Bratislava as the 155th Motor-Rifle (my 235th Rear Area Protection) Division's commander demands resupply from the city authorities in Bratislava. The Soviet general is forcefully ejected from the town hall after a confrontation with the city's Communist Party chief.

The American XI Corps and German V Korps evacuate Legnica, Poland after thoroughly demolishing the former Soviet Northern Group of Forces and Western TVD headquarters complex and the nearby command bunker. To the north II British Corps defends Gorzów Wielkopolski, a town which it captured in May, holding on only by the determined efforts of its artillery gunners and intrepid Harrier jump-jet pilots who bombard the attacking Soviets with cluster bombs, rockets and iron bombs.

A team of engineers, contracting experts and civilian experts (American expats employed by the Saudi state oil company) arrive in Aden, Yemen to assess the condition of the city's refinery, which, thankfully, was only lightly damaged in the fighting for the city.
__________________
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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  #337  
Old 11-09-2022, 04:53 PM
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November 9, 1997

The US responds to the nuclear attack on Pusan by launching a single Trident I submarine-launched ballistic missile from the USS George Washington Carver at the Soviet port and naval complex of Vladivostok. (unofficially) The eight MIRVs aboard all function, destroying the docks (three warheads), Pacific Fleet headquarters (two warheads), PVO headquarters (two warheads) and the ship repair yard (one warhead). American nuclear bombs will return to Vladivostok in the weeks ahead, but for now the city is crippled.

Unofficially,

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

The troop ship General Patch completes reactivation and is towed, with only a caretaker crew, to Atlantic City, New Jersey to serve as FEMA emergency housing. While thought is given to using the ship in its designed purpose, the decision is made to continue shipping replacements to Europe by air, using the many intact airfields in the UK, rather than cram thousands of recruits into a single hull, vulnerable to Soviet submarines and raiders, and uncertain as to the condition of any European port large enough to dock the 600-foot long ship.

The defense attorneys for the former commander of the battleship Missouri request a change of venue to the continental US, concerned about their personal safety (and that of their client) in a region increasingly targeted by Soviet nuclear weapons.

The commander of the 155th Motor-Rifle (my 235th Rear Area Security) Division arrays his troops around vital sites in the city of Bratislava in an attempt to intimidate city authorities into releasing supplies to his unit. He dispatches battalions to the city's local and regional government buildings, the telephone exchange, refinery, truck plant, military academy and airfield.

In southern Germany, the US VII Corps comes under pressure on its northern flank as an attack from the Soviet 41st Army, heading south out of Nuremburg, begins.

As the 82nd Airborne moves south and they and their Kurdish allies rove across northwestern Iran disrupting Transcaucasian Front's rear area, General Suryakin orders 7th Army north to, initially, secure a supply line and following that to combat the marauding American force.

The Politburo is in turmoil as the various factions struggle for dominance. Sauronski and the KGB hold the upper hand, however, and one of the peace faction's leaders, Chairman of the Trade Union Council Ivan Maksimov, is arrested by the KGB and transported to the notorious Lefortovo Prison in Moscow. His children - sons serving as a fighter battalion commander in Iran, another son in a tank regiment in Poland and his daughter's husband serving in an air defense battery outside Moscow - are relieved of their commands and ordered to return to the capital, clearly a signal that they are to at least serve as hostages.

Britain dispatches reinforcements to Belize. The first two aircraft are British Air 767s carrying Territorial Army infantrymen from the 4th Battalion, The Kings Own Border Regiment, whose home defense duties are taken over by recently raised Home Service Force companies. 1st Battery, Royal Artillery, a training unit, is mobilized as well and moves to RAF Brize Norton to load on board one of the UK's odder transport aircraft, a chartered former RAF Shorts Belfast. Another of the gargantuan aircraft arrives to load the three Gazelle light helicopters of 25 Helicopter Flight for the transit to Central America.
__________________
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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  #338  
Old 11-10-2022, 04:43 PM
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November 10, 1997

Nothing official for today! Unofficially,

The 108th Armored Cavalry Regiment completes Rotation 97-9 at NTC-3 at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and is declared combat ready.

The US Navy continues its cycle of rapidly bringing 1950s-era destroyers back into service as the USS Morton is recommissioned, under the command of Commander Michelle Lamberton, an experienced officer that previously commanded the landing ship USS Boulder

The officers of the 12th Motor-Rifle Division, battered in action in China and North Korea, return to their pre-war garrisons in Mongolia and prepare to activate a new division. The division's command structure is a shell, with some regiments commanded by captains and the entire reconnaissance battalion missing.

The last Allied troops cross the Taedong River, departing the northern half of the largely ruined city of Pyongyang and demolishing the remaining bridges to slow the Soviet and North Korean advance. On the east coast, Wonsan comes under heavy attack; the presence of the cruiser USS Des Moines is crtical to the city's defense.

The battleships Missouri and New Jersey rendevous north of Japan and pass through the Japanese-held Kurile Islands.

The Dutch 9th Amphibious Combat Group completes its initial training period and is rushed to the front, assigned to duty in the Baltic attached to the US 5th Marine Division as a tenth line infantry battalion.

In a remarkable feat of lucky timing, American forces unleash a Trident I submarine-launched ballistic missile on Bratislava-area industrial sites - the refinery, truck plant, military academy, airfield and regional government headquarters. The Soviet 155th Motor-Rifle (my 235th Rear Area Protection) Division, which has units at all of these locations, is destroyed in the strikes.

The British I Corps counterattacks west of Nuremberg, catching the 30th Guards Motor-Rifle Division in the flank and stalling the Soviet attack, saving US VII Corps from a disastrous flank attack.

In Iran, III MEF goes on the offensive against the supply-starved 40th Army. The lead attacks are from the Australian Brigade, whose tanks have superior gunners to the tired Soviet conscripts that have replaced the Afghanistan veterans that were lost in the earlier months of the campaign. The Soviets put up resistance that can be described as "slightly more than token", falling back in near-panic to the relative safety of the Zagros Mountains.

At the Tblisi electronics plant, the engineers are proud to have completed their prototype of a production SS-23 guidance package. It is immediately sent to Moscow for testing, while the Tblisi plant begins to tool up for an initial production run. In Moscow, the power struggle within the Politburo has played out, with three members of the peace faction fleeing the city and the Minister of Defense announcing his immediate retirement.

Guatemalan forces cross the border with Belize, immediately becoming engaged in fierce firefights with Belizian Defense Force (BDF) and police outposts. The posts are overrun after several hours of fierce fighting, giving time for word to reach the capital. The BDF dispatches two infantry companies to hold the road that cross the border, leaving companies to secure the airports and the harbor in Belize City, while again appealing to the UK for assistance and calling on the United Nations and Organization of American States to condemn the attack and lead efforts to restore the tiny Caribbean nation's borders. (The UN has been moribund since war broke out between Security Council members China and Russia in 1995, but many nations still participate).
__________________
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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  #339  
Old 11-11-2022, 06:38 AM
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November 11, 1997

Survivors of the Dutch 304th Infantry Brigade, largely destroyed in the nuclear attack on Rotterdam on October 14, are reformed in the town of Edam, northeast of Amsterdam. Pitifully understrength, the "brigade" is only a few companies strong and is assigned only local security and relief duties.

Unofficially,

The first American war-built light frigate, the USS Poole, is commissioned and placed on duty at Norfolk, Viginia after two months of post-delivery workups and training. The ship is assigned convoy escort duty. It is assigned a newly-delivered SH-2G anti-submarine helicopter; due to shortages only a single one of the ship's eight Harpoon missile launch tubes is loaded.

The American Essex-class carrier Oriskany, construction of which started in 1944 and originally commissioned in 1950, decommissioned in 1976, is recommissioned once again at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco. Present at the ceremony are the ship's commanding officer when she was decommissioned in 1976 and over a dozen "plank owners" - original crewmen from when she was commissioned in 1950. Its air wing, CVW-56, is training inland at NAS Fallon, Nevada. While Oriskany last operated F-8 and A-7s, the declining A-7 inventory is being used by larger fleet carriers, forcing CVW-56 to use older A-4s culled from training squadrons and the nearly empty AMARC in Arizona.

The battleships New Jersey and Missouri arrive off the coast of Sakhalin Island and begin pounding Soviet targets - ports, air defense radars, army garrisons, the airfields and transportation hubs. The Soviets in the region are so depleted by the nuclear attack on Vladivostok, months of action in the area and Japanese invasion of the Kuriles that they offer only feeble resistance.

The Soviet 30th Guards Motor-Rifle Division struggles to hold its positions, facing the British 1st Armoured Division on its west flank and the US 36th Infantry Division to the south. As the day drags on the 3rd Brigade, 1st US Armored Division arrives on the field and the Soviet formation is forced to give way. It is able to buy time to escape by calling down a strike by a nuclear-tipped SS-21 missile on the lead American battalions; the attack does little physical damage but throws the Americans off balance.

40th Army discovers that the mountains offer less protection than they had hoped as 1st and 4th Marine Air Wings' surviving helicopters are used to insert dismounted patrols of Gurkhas and Marines to hunt isolated Soviet detachments and capture key passes.

The 238th Rear Area Protection Division is ordered to complete its mobilization, a process that had been delayed innumerable times since it began activating and training in late 1996. The flood of refugees from the cities in the Volga region provide an abundance of recruits, but there are only three battalions worth of BTR-152 APCs and a single battalion of T-34/85s in the division’s stores. Nonetheless, the unit is sent by road to perform occupation duties in captured territories in Austria and southern Germany, freeing up other occupation forces for service at the front.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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  #340  
Old 11-12-2022, 06:45 AM
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November 12, 1997

The nuclear exchange finally reaches the Persian Gulf region when Soviet ICBMs target the oil export facility at Kharg Island in the Gulf.

Unofficially,

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

North Korean troops infiltrate the South Korean lines southwest of Wonsan and secure a solid blocking position, cutting off the South Korean division (a reserve division) holding the sector. The Soviets take advantage of the unit's isolation, pounding it with a half dozen nuclear weapons and it disintegrates. Soviet and North Korean light troops bypass the shell-shocked South Koreans and pour through the gap in the lines and reach the coastal road, cutting Wonsan off.

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

The US Navy continues its reactivation of mothballed combatants, with the recommissioning of the USS Decatur DDG-31, an aged guided-missile destroyer. (When it decommissioned in 1983 its name was released, ultimately used for a new USS Decatur, DDG-73. That ship was sunk in December 1996, making the name available for once again for the 1950s-built ship).

The judge presiding over the court martial of the former commander of the USS Missouri, in a long opinion detailing the long history of the JAG Corps in combat over many centuries, nonetheless notes the unprecedented threat that the trial is operating under and approves the change of venue to Bremerton, Washington.

Meanwhile, the officer's former command and its sister ship New Jersey remain off the coast of Sakhalin, pounding additional targets. The Soviet Pacific Fleet takes advantage of the opportunity to dispatch a number of resupply vessels to the beleaguered Aleutian Front.

The Dutch 9th Amphibious Combat Group launches a raid on a Soviet mobile air defense radar site west of Utska, Poland in its combat debut.

In southern Germany, the British I Corps continues its attack on the Soviet 14th Army. Supported by Allied tactical aircraft and a nuclear strike on the Soviet supply lines, the corps makes gains and by nightfall has the city of Nuremberg in sight.

The US Navy dispatches a trio of P-3 Orion patrol aircraft from Ascension Island in an attempt to locate the Soviet raider that attacked McMurdo Station, Antarctica the prior week. The task is nearly impossible, with tens of thousands of miles of iceberg-clogged ocean to search.

The lead battalions of the Soviet 7th Army arrive in the region south of Tabriz, deploying cautiously to try to locate the American paratrooper force.

British infantry arrive at the front in Belize, where their LAW80 anti-tank rockets and Milan platoon are able to halt the small Guatemalan armored force (a platoon of M41 Walker Bulldog tanks and a contingent of V-100 APCs) that had proved critical in defeating the light infantry of the Belizian Defense Force. As the sun sets, the first British artillery arrives within range; its aged M-56 pack howitzers (pulled from storage and rushed to Belize) the first fire support the BDF has enjoyed in this short war.
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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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  #341  
Old 11-13-2022, 08:23 AM
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November 13, 1997

Nothing in canon for today!

The seventh R-5D hypersonic spy plane is completed in Palmdale, California.

Irish forces in Northern Ireland have linked up with IRA paramilitaries in South Armagh but have made no real move to drive out the UDR and RUC garrison of Armagh, the county town. The Irish force has not attempted operations on this scale ever and is struggling to maintain momentum while learning how to support and sustain an effort this large.

Allied forces in eastern North Korea scramble to try to dislodge the enemy troops that are blocking the road south of Wonsan while the naval command once again hastily organizes a fleet to evacuate the surrounded force should that prove necessary.

Meanwhile, in South Korea the Soviet nuclear strikes are disrupting the war effort. Production at South Korean munitions plants has largely halted as their workforces join tens of thousands of civilians fleeing urban areas for the perceived safety of the countryside. The refugee flows result in massive traffic jams that block northbound military supply convoys. The nation's Combat Police and Civil Defense forces are overwhelmed; desperate Combat Police commanders try to clear the roads with gunfire. The effort instead results in panicked civilians, wild rumors and roads blocked by abandoned and shot-up vehicles.

The former commander of the USS Missouri and his defense team are evacuated from Japan aboard a US Navy C-9 aircraft, accompanied by a USN guard detachment.

The battleship task force off the Russian Far Eastern coast moves around the north coast of Sakhalin and slashes into the ferry route between the island and the mainland. After sinking two ferries, they move to demolish the ferry ports on both ends of the route with gunfire from their 16-inch and 5-inch guns.

The British I Corps continues its counter-offensive in southern Germany, reinforced with artillery and the US 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment from the adjacent US VII Corps. The British 2nd Infantry Division passes through the 1st Armoured Division's lines to enter the city of Nuremberg, engaging the retreating Soviet and Czech occupation force.

Soviet occupation forces in the Balkans continue to suffer from widespread local resistance from NATO-supported partisans. The remnants of the Jugoslav and Romanian armies and local defense militias, the American 71st Airborne Brigade and Green Beret detachments all undertake constant raids on isolated outposts and supply convoys, partly out of a desire to continue to resist and partly to capture food, fuel and ammunition. The USAF and CIA fly low level supply flights supporting isolated friendly detachments, and Special Forces A-teams call in lucrative targets for sea-based nuclear weapons in the Mediterranean. All this unrest causes the Southwestern TVD to recall major elements of the Southern Front from Thrace to bolster the occupation forces further north.

The Allied airborne force in Iran continues its move south, capturing the town of Bukan as the final elements of the 82nd Airborne Division prepare to abandon their last positions in Tabriz. The division's engineers supervise the demolition of the air base's runway, fuel tanks, hangars and other key infrastructure; they have already dismantled the secondary airstrip they had established shortly after arriving in the area.

The fallout of the unrest in the Politburo continues, with the resignation or sidelining of all the remaining members of the so-called peace faction. One of the members who fled the capital, GOSPLAN head Yuri Sigayev, is arrested in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on charges of economic sabotage of the war effort.
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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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  #342  
Old 11-14-2022, 03:59 PM
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November 14, 1997

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

The twin light frigates Howard D. Crow and Petit exit the Gulf of St Lawrence to commence their first mission, an escort of Convoy 310.

The 108th Armored Cavalry Regiment is ordered held at the Yuma Proving Ground pending allocation of adequate equipment prior to movement to a theater of war. The regimental commander is grateful for the opportunity for his command to engage in additional training prior to deployment. His adjudant polls commanders for recommended personnel changes, relieving those who the recently-completed NTC rotation has demonstrated as not being up to the task and promoting those that demonstrated potential.

Due to an atmospheric anomoly possibly caused by the nuclear exchange, a radio message from the 139th (my 119th) Motor-Rifle Division is received at the Headquarters, 1st Far Eastern Front. The 139th, a poorly trained and equipped mobilization-only division thought lost since July, reports that it is deep in the Chinese interior and has been reduced to a battalion in strength. It is the last contact the Red Army has with the unit.

In North Korea, the evacuation of Allied forces in Wonsan becomes more chaotic as panicking civilians rush aboard the motley collection of fishing boats, tugs, small freighters and amphibious craft that the ROK naval command has commandeered into an evacuation fleet. Offshore, the guns of the USS Des Moines augment the embattled defenders of the city's perimeter; the heavy cruiser strikes a heavy blow when its onboard helicopter locates the commander of the Soviet 247th Motor-Rifle Division (using an unsecured radio) and wipes him out with one of the ship's tactical nuclear rounds. Despite the loss, the 247th holds its blocking positions, although the unit's planned attacks on the southern perimeter fail to launch.

Their magazines emptying and their fuel tanks running dry, the battleships Missouri and New Jersey conclude their attacks on Sakhalin Island and the Siberian coast opposite it. They travel south through the Strait of Tartary, heading for friendly Japanese territory. As they depart, a Soviet mobile coast defense missile battery looses a volley of SSC-1 anti-ship missiles at the American force. The escorting Aegis destroyers shoot down all but one, which strikes the frigate USS Gray. The missile's 2000-pound warhead tears the frigate's stern apart and tosses the ship's helicopter about in its hangar, igniting a massive blaze. The ship slips under the waves a few hours later.

The 25th Missile Brigade, a former East German Army Scud missile unit, is down to a handful of (non-nuclear) missiles. (The Soviets never allowed the East Germans access to chemical or nuclear warheads). NATO commanders, busy targeting American-built nuclear delivery systems, are too busy to assign the brigade targets and the German government has the brigade withdrawn to the Ruhr, where its remaining TELs (Transporter-Erector-Launcher trucks) are parked in a disused warehouse.

The American 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment battles to recapture its peacetime headquarters, Merrell Barracks in Nuremberg. The firefight adds to the damage the garrison's buildings proudly displayed (the original damage the result of Allied attacks on the former SS barracks during and immediately after World War Two). The American troopers are enraged to discover that the Soviet occupiers have looted the Regimental Museum, and that several historic artifacts (including Patton Silver, the Dragoon Book and several original oils by Stivers, Troianni, etc.) are missing.

NATO forces have largely evacuated all the territory they captured in the spring and summer invasion of Poland, falling back to mostly derelict defensive positions opposite Oder River crossings they occupied over the prior winter.

In the central Atlantic, the Sierra III-class attack sub K-231 completes over a week's patrolling of a remote area of the ocean, failing to detect any NATO or neutral ship traffic. It relays the news to Murmansk, where the Red Banner Northern Fleet orders the Typhoon-class boomer TK-20 and its Akula-class escort K-461 to the area.

Convoy 306 transits the English Channel after dark, concluding a long voyage that included a drastic diversion south to avoid a massive hole blasted in NATO's defenses of the North Atlantic west of Iceland.

A new head of GOSPLAN, the Soviet planning body responsible for control of the command economy, is named. As an indication of the new direction coming from the Kremlin the nominee is a Party official that has spent most of his career in the branch of the Party responsible for indoctrination and mass mobilization; he has no prior economic or industrial experience.

Belizian and British forces stop another Guatemalan assault along the road from the border to the capital city of Belmopan. The British and Belizian light infantry, guided by the instructors of the British Jungle Warfare School, adopt tactics similar to the Finns, striking road-bound units from trackless wooded terrain, then fading away before the enemy can respond. In the commerical capital, Belize City, the last elements of the British Force, 43 Battery, Royal Artillery, a light air defense unit equipped with captured Soviet ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns and obsolescent Blowpipe missiles, arrives.
__________________
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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  #343  
Old 11-15-2022, 04:26 PM
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November 15, 1997

Nothing in canon for today. Unofficially,

At the ministerial level, NATO political leaders raise a delicate subject - the status of the Jugoslav, Romanian, Turkish and Free Polish delegations, all of whom have had their territory overrun by Pact troops and are largely out of the war. After several hours of uncomfortable discussion the decision is reached to continue to allow them to participate in NATO decision making, as the Alliance still has an obligation to seek those countries' liberation.

The final FEMA emergency strategic stockpile is fully loaded and sealed up. This one, at Cardigan Mountain State Forest in New Hampshire, is the 37th one completed; plans for an additional 13 are ultimately not completed due to the nuclear exchange.

The first Soviet trawlers, patrol boats and small freighters that surged out of Petropavlovsk last week arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, bringing vitally needed supplies to the 25th Corps.

With the KGB network in the UK in tatters after months of hunts by the Army and MI 5, a fresh team of agents is dispatched from Moscow. They are flown to Turin, Italy, where they begin their covert trek to the UK.

The Soviet 30th Army, receiving reports of the numbers of Allied troops fleeing Wonsan and the immense damage to the city being inflicted by the fighting and Allied demolition teams, decides to hasten the capture of the city by detonating a Scud missile above the city. The resulting blast and fire from the 300-kiloton detontation destroys much that is left, swamps many of the small craft in the harbor and hastens the collapse of the defense. As night falls, the commander of the USS Des Moines brings the ship into the outer harbor, where it takes on over a thousand desperate soldiers and civilians who reach the cruiser from small craft or are rescued by the ship's boats.

The carrier USS Oriskany completes loading of stores and spares and begins her first voyage in 20 years.

In Singapore, the Freedom-class cargo ship Kansas Freedom is loaded with over 100 tank containers loaded with JP-5, the final cargo that can be hastily assembled for a voyage to Diego Garcia to replace what was en-route to the island garrison aboard the Galveston Bay, sunk last week.

The American battleship force arrives in Hakodate, Japan, where it refuels and the US Navy ammunition ship USNS Mount Hood can more rapidly transfer some of the nation's rapidly dwindling stock of 16-inch shells to the battlewagons.

The Dutch 9th Amphibious Combat Group, recovered from its raid on a Soviet air defense radar, assumes a position along the front lines on the western shore of the Szczecin Lagoon.

Refugee flows disrupt Central Europe as thousands of desperate Poles try to cross into Germany ahead of avenging Communist authorities; the flow of civilians on foot slows down NATO military traffic to and from the Oder bridgeheads. On the opposite side of the lines the Polish communist authorities are carrying out several campaigns simultaneously - a hunt for collaborators and spies, a drive to mobilize civilians to make emergency repairs to the war-ravaged nation's transportation, industrial, power and water systems, and mass relocation of the surviving population into areas that can sustain them as well as be carefully watched by loyal forces. To the west, a steady stream of German and Dutch civilians, fleeing nuclear attacks (or the potential of a nuclear attack) on their home, heads for the Belgian and French borders. The French and Belgian authorities conduct a careful screening of the refugees, but the basic humanity of the French and Belgian populations demands that the aged, young and helpless be granted refuge from a horrible situation.

Aircraft from the USS John F Kennedy battle group continue to range over Jugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria and Italy, striking a variety of industrial, communications and transportation targets and enemy troop concentrations with nuclear bombs.

To the east, the USS Nassau and USS Wisconsin withdraw from the southern Turkish coast, unable to meaningfully influence the situation ashore, where the remnants of 16th Air Force continue to fly attack missions from Incirlik Air Base, stiking Soviet targets in the Balkans, Transcaucasia and interdicting Soviet shipping in the Black Sea.

While the first ships of Convoy 306 arrive off ports in the North Sea, ships from Convoy 304 are still at anchor awaiting unloading berths at the remaining intact European harbors.

The new head of GOSPLAN delivers an address to the organization's staff and representatives of the various central ministries associated with industrial production. His speech calls for greater efforts from the workforce, calling on managers to inspire their workers to superhuman efforts in devotion to the victory of the workers in the worldwide class struggle. Privately, most of the laisson officers are disgusted, noting that his address fails to offer solutions to the myriad real problems faced by the Soviet economy - the cutoff of foreign trade, the loss of millions of workers to the war, nuclear attacks wiping out Kiev, Minsk and numerous other western cities, widespread ethnic and worker unrest, countrywide shortages of basic materials and much more.

The Guatemalan high command, dismayed by the Army's lack of progress in Belize, orders the air force and navy to get involved in the fighting. The Air Force redeploys several of its A-37 light attack aircraft and helicopters to airfields in the northeast, while the elite airborne force is rallied from its scattered garrisons (where they have been fighting Communist guerrillas) to the capital.
__________________
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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  #344  
Old 11-16-2022, 05:05 PM
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November 16, 1997

Nothing official for the day. Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ship Fresno Freedom is delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The KGB agent team departs Turin and is driven to a remote sector of the Franco-Italian border, where the six new spies are able to cross undetected on foot in the darkness.

With the eastern end of the Allied line in disarray - as exhausted and demoralized South Korean troops fall back to the safety of the prewar DMZ - Allied forces in the west, under intense pressure by the Soviet 35th Army, begin to withdraw from the Kaesong River line. I and IX US Corps engineers have surveyed surviving prewar North Korean fortifications between Pyongyang and the DMZ, identifying some positions that can be used to hold off the advancing Soviets and their North Korean allies/clients.

The Chief of Staff of the 25th Infantry Division (Light), the senior surviving officer, begins reforming the unit at Camp Casey and Camp Hovey, facilities used by the 2nd Infantry Division in peacetime. The unit is initially assigned only survivors of the division's escape from encirclement and tactical nuclear strikes; 8th Army's G-1 (Personnel Officer) has determined that the best use of new replacements is to maintain the strength of units on the line rather than trying to rebuild the shattered 25th.

The Kansas Freedom sails from Singapore with a cargo of vitally needed supplies for Diego Garcia. The ship is relying on speed and a routing away from normally travelled sealanes, along with occasional overflights from friendly maritime patrol aircraft, for protection on the way.

As Pact forces close on the Oder River bridges become ever more important. NATO forces strike several of the Wisla crossings in an attempt to slow the flow of supplies and reinforcements to the front, while Western TVD tries to assemble remaining tactical bridging assets for the planned upcoming assault crossing of the Oder.

With Merrell Barracks in Nuremburg secure, the Colonel of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment receives confirmation that the regiment's artifacts are in fact missing. He assigns the entire unit a secondary mission to recover them; the officers raise a bounty of nearly $5,000 for their recovery. The regimental Command Sergeant Major offers his own special package of sweeteners - exemption from the guard and duty rosters, choice assignments within the regiment as well as certain material rewards - to the bounty. The regimental commander offers an on-the-spot one grade promotion to any soldier below the rank of 1st Lieutenant, Chief Warrant Officer or Staff Sergeant that recovers the items.

The soldiers of the 353rd Engineer Group (Combat) return to Fort Hood, Texas following two weeks of leave. Nine soldiers desert.

In Chernigov, Ukraine the 42nd Guards Training Tank Division, its leadership and some of its equipment returned from the Romanian Front, accepts its first contingent of new trainees, teenagers from eastern Ukraine whose teachers and local military commissions have identified as exhibiting leadership or technical potential. The division aims to take the raw talent and transform them into "instant sergeants" or tank or artillery crewmen for the Southwestern TVD.

In Belize, the day is another one of stalemate as the Guatemalan commanders struggle to sustain their troops with food and ammunition following the prior days' action and British and Belizian forces improve their defensive positions.
__________________
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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  #345  
Old 11-17-2022, 04:46 PM
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November 17, 1997

The American paratroops receive some welcome assistance from Kurdish irregulars in the Orumiyeh area.

Unofficially,

The freshly resupplied troops of the Soviet 25th Corps launch an attack on X US Corps' positions outside Fairbanks, Alaska, kicked off with a pair of tactical nuclear artillery rounds. The attack forces the American troops back; to protect the vulnerable civilian population from a winter of privation in the freezing Arctic weather X Corps abandons most of the city without a fight, falling back to defensive positions at Fort Wainwright and Eileson Air Force Base on the city's east side.

The KGB agent team destined for the UK links up with a sympathizer controlled by the KGB's Nice cell, who picks them up in his commercial van (carrying a variety of weapons, surveillance gear, supplies and communications equipment) and begins to travel to Normandy.

HM Government orders an acceleration of the annual technical inspection of the UK Steam Reserve, a collection of decommissioned steam locomotives kept in ready storage at various sites around the UK for emergency post-nuclear service. (They are entirely mechanical, immune to the effects of Electro-Magnetic Pulse and are not reliant on refined petroleum for fuel).

South Korean Special Forces troops sheltering in the remote mountains of North Korea identify a Soviet supply convoy heading south and report the movement. A nearby F-16 of the ROK 162nd Tactical Fighter Squadron arrives shortly thereafter and blankets the trucks with cluster bombs, depriving the 30th Army of much of what it needs to fight for two days.

The USS Des Moines arrives in the South Korean port of Pohang and discharges its massive load of passengers evacuated from Wonsan, North Korea.

The battleship USS Missouri heads back to sea, heading for the Yellow Sea to support the embattled Allied forces fighting in North Korea.

With final pre-deployment checks completed (a quick medical check, confirmation of wills and issuing personal weapons), the troops of the 353rd Engineer Group (Combat) (US Army Reserve) board a pair of requisitioned 747 jetliners at Fort Hood Army Airfield and depart for Europe.

The Guatemalan Air Force enters the war in Belize after several days of preparation. (The Air Force had been left out of planning because of inter-service rivalry, with the Army commander overly confident that his forces would be able to overrun Belize without Air Force assistance, clearing the way for future political advancement as a victorious general). Demonstrating the lack of coordination between the Army and Air Force, a flight of A-37s, flying at low level and 95 mph, flies down the road from the Guatemalan border. The pilots are unable to identify the camouflaged British positions, so they turn to the alternative target, the BDF headquarters in Belmopan. That facility is protected by a pair of emplaced machineguns, which succeed in distracting the pilots in their strafing run and damaging one of the slow-moving converted trainers. The sorties achieve very little of any consequence, and the skies over Belize are clear for the rest of the day.
__________________
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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  #346  
Old 11-18-2022, 02:24 PM
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November 18, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

The 8th Armored Cavalry Regiment completes Rotation 97-11 at NTC-2 at the Yakima Training Center and is declared combat ready.

The carrier USS Oriskany suffers an engineering casualty and lies dead in the water for 12 hours off the Catalina Islands.

Another KGB agent meets with the van driver at a highway rest stop south of Nantes, France and takes over driving the KGB team's van to the English Channel.

South Korean troops of the ROK VIII and III begin to rebuild a defense line along the prewar DMZ along the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. Military Police block all roads leading south and maintain active patrolling of the countryside (along with the patrols of the civilian police), sweeping all stragglers and deserters up and directing them to the battered units furiously rebuilding the prewar defensive positions.

Polish government authorities try to summon the remnants of their four territorial pontoon regiments to replace some of the bridges across the Wisla destroyed by NATO strikes and replace the tactical and assault bridges that Soviet and Polish Army units have thrown across the river, freeing those assets up for use in the upcoming planned Oder assault. Western TVD designates a site north of Świebodzin as the concentration site for the bridging and the troops to operate them, under the umbrella command of the Soviet 5th Pontoon Engineer Regiment.

The NATO counterattack from Nuremburg peters out as the British I Corps and US VII Corps' fuel tanks begin to run dry, a consequence of the destruction of the petroleum import facilities in Rotterdam and repeated nuclear strikes on pumping stations and tank farms of the Central European Pipeline System, the backbone of the NATO fuel distribution network in Germany.

The Greek Type 209 submarine Proteus attacks an American resupply convoy supporting the USS John F Kennedy battlegroup south of Crete. The modern, quiet diesel boat is fortunate to have the convoy''s escort pass overhead without detecting it, placing it in position to launch torpedoes from all eight tubes. Three ships are hit - the frigate USS Antrim, ammunition ship USNS Santa Barbara and the aged oiler USNS Kawashiwi. All three ships end up going under, the oiler taking 17 hours to succumb to fire.

The 353rd Engineer Group (Combat) (US Army Reserve) arrives at Einhoven Airport, the Netherlands. The group commander is livid when he learns that the ship flagged to carry his unit's equipment (the large sealift ship USNS Sisler) has experienced engine trouble and is not expected to load for another 10-12 days. His unit is moved to several holding camps outside Amsterdam to acclimatize.

In midmorning, the Guatemalan Air Force appears over Belize once again. This time the A-37s are escorting a mixed bag of helicopters carrying paratroops to assault the Belize International Airport. The helicopters land, disgorging their paratroops into a hail of withering fire from the defending force of Belizian reserve infantry and British headquarters and support troops. The A-37s loitering overhead are unable to distinguish friendly from enemy ground troops and are forced to resorting to strafing the parked transport and liason aircraft that constitutte the Belizian Defense Force's Air Branch. Within four hours the last Guatemalan troops are surrounded; most chose to surrender rather than be killed. Five Guatemalan UH-1-type helicopters are lost in the assault.
__________________
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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  #347  
Old 11-19-2022, 05:45 AM
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Lieutenant Commander Michael Sacks, U.S. Navy, wounded in one of the earliest actions of the war, is released from the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland.

Unofficially,

Various sources report an increased possibility of a Soviet nuclear attack on the UK. The Prime Minister, having received considerable criticism for his rushed evacuations during previous false alarms since July and reluctant to panic the population, is reluctant to order another full implementation of Operation Peripheral. Instead, after some discussion it is decided that the Royal Family will leave London for their estate at Sandringham in Norfolk, accompanied by the Home Secretary. As a precautionary measure, other senior members of the Government quietly leave the Capital for secure locations throughout the southeast of England.

Eluding authorities with a skillful application of cash, a fishing boat departs Dieppe with the KGB agent team destined for the UK aboard.

The 7th Infantry Division (Light) receives four infantry companies and a 105mm artillery battery as reinforcements from the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama, part of the "Bravo Company Transfer" initiated the week prior.

Her propulsion system working again, USS Oriskany continues her workups, landing A-4s of VA-175.

In Europe, the recipients of the "Bravo Company Transfer" are the 43rd Infantry Division (from the 46th), the 3rd Armored Division (from the 49th) and the 8th Infantry Division (receiving companies from the 194th Armored Brigade).

As allied units return to East Germany the opportunity presents itself for soldiers, exhausted by months of fierce combat and whose units have suffered greatly, to become separated from their units, either intentionally or not. Military Police units establish screens to round up these wayward soldiers and return them to duty, either in their own units or some other nearby, understrength unit.

With the interruption to its supply of fuel and ammunition from yesterday's attack on its replenishment group, the John F Kennedy battle group is forced to scale back operations over Turkey and the Balkans and head to the central Mediterranean for replenishment. The battleship Wisconsin increases its activity in the region, beginning a foray into the Aegean raiding Greek positions in the islands. (Her supply of Tomahawk land-attack missiles has been depleted and the launchers cannot be reloaded underway).

To support the 82nd Airborne Division, a nearly constant flow of C-130s and smaller transport aircraft ferry supplies into northwestern Iran, landing on hastily constructed airstrips, straight stretches of highway or dropping them from low level. This situation creates a plethora of targets for Soviet fighters, demanding a concerted effort to maintain an Allied combat air patrol over the area. Saudi officials are unwilling to extend their F-15 and Tornado force so far from home territory, as are most of its GCC allies. The Iranian Air Force contributes what sorties it can, and over the objections of their commanders the F/A-18s of the 1st and 4th Marine Air Wings make an appearance over the region. The final force brought in is the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, whose F-15E strike fighters possess superior air-to-air capabilities to those of the dedicated F-15C interceptors of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing. This diversion, however, decreases the interdiction effort directed to keeping up the pressure on Soviet supply lines.

More unrest troubles the USSR as peasants in the Vologda region refuse to hand over the produce from their private plots to authorities, noting that their local collective farm did its best to fulfill its norms even in the face of no spare parts for the (overaged and worn out) tractors and cutbacks in fertilizer and fuel.
__________________
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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  #348  
Old 11-21-2022, 04:57 PM
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November 20, 1997

Dr. Allie Kurtz becomes the CIA representative on the Allied Joint Intelligence Task Force in the CENTCOM area of operations.

Unofficially,

The Essex-class carrier USS Oriskany makes her first catapult launches in decades as she works up to full operating capability. She is joined by two of her escorts, the reactivated destroyer John Paul Jones and the Coast Guard cutter Chase, to begin working on battle group operations.

The KGB team arrives in the predawn hours on the beach south of Dover. They quickly unload their rubber raft's cargo of weapons, supplies and equipment before launching it into the surf; 100 meters offshore one of the team members sinks it and undertakes a perilous swim ashore. They break into an unoccupied holiday cottage and shelter for the day, recovering from the rough crossing in cold weather.

The last Allied front line troops withdraw from Pyongyang, leaving stay-behind parties in well-hidden and -supplied observation posts. In the east, forward detachments of the 30th Army reach the prewar Demilitarized Zone, now adequately occupied by South Korean troops.

The battleship Missouri returns to action, firing on Soviet and North Korean troops attacking South Korean and American marines outside the North Korean naval base complex at Songang-ni.

The Soviet 12th Tank Division prepares for an assault crossing of the Oder near Gorlitz.

The commander of the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, seeing other units receive new companies from the US, pleas for additional troops to rebuild his battered unit, which is still at only 35 percent of authorized strength after months of action. He writes: "It is essential that 3rd ACR receive the requested persoonel and equipment to returnt the unit to full strength. However, even if we had all our personnel and mission capable equipment today we would still not be able to return to action because of our losses of senior leaders (sergeant through colonel) and our training status. We have been unable to train above squad level, and even training at squad level is limited by severe shortages of equipment. We have lost a large majority of our trained leaders and soldiers and gained few. None of the new personnel have conducted tactical training with the regiment's units. In addition, we have critical shortages in low density MOSs. 3rd ACR currently has four trained NBC specialists and most troops have no supply personnel; 2d Squadron's S-4 (Supply Officer) is an E-4 with 13 months in service. I have an aggressive training plan that will result in trained squadrons by March and a combat ready regiment by June, but in order to execute it I need the regiment filled with adequately trained personnel and mission-ready equipment."

The Wisconsin surface action group continues its rampage though the Aegean Sea and turns northeast, heading for the Turkish Straits. Lacking friendly air cover and given the near-destruction of enemy air forces in the area, the group proceeds with all of its radars on full power. Consequently, fixing the group's location, course and speed is relatively easy for Soviet ELINT aircraft orbiting over the Black Sea. They relay the information to Moscow and within 45 minutes a SS-20 IRBM is fired by the 19th Missile Regiment near Sumy in the Ukraine. The missile lands 600 meters from the battleship, sending her and her group to the bottom. (The reverberation of the shock wave from the blast off the shallow seabed did greivous damage to the escorts out of the direct range of the blast).

CENTCOM receives several companies of reinforcements from the "Bravo Company Transfer", with the 14th ACR and 48th Infantry Brigade receiving companies from the 13th ACR and 197th Infantry Brigades in the continental US.

In Soviet Georgia, workers at the Tbilisi Electronics plant begin the low-rate production of improved SS-23 guidance packages. The first prototype, completed a few weeks before, is rejected by Moscow because it is too heavy, a result of the unavailability of the proper lightweight alloy from the war-burdened Soviet economy. The initial series production lacks the proper metals as well. Deliveries of SS-23 missiles continue to be on hold while the new guidance packages are produced.

Unwilling to give up on the attempt to overrun Belize, the Guatemalan high command orders the Navy into action. The force, composed of a half-dozen or so patrol boats in the Caribbean and seven companies of marines (nationwide) needs several days to organize for an assault on Belize's many coastal villages and outlying islands.

Meanwhile, the front along the sole road between the two nations remains stalemated, with Guatemalan Army troops struggling to maintain their morale in the face of supply shortages, the shock of facing competent opposition and the constant fear of British attacks emerging from the jungle.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 11-21-2022, 04:59 PM
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November 21, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

The helicopter repair and maintenance center in Corpus Christi, Texas completesits first conversion of a US Navy TH-57 training helicopter into a OH-58 battlefield observation model for service at the front. The conversion was relatively minor, fitting additional avionics and weapons mounts, replacing the windscreen with a flat model as well as a coating of IR and radar-absorbent paint and a general update of aged components. A C-5 Galaxy awaits at the Naval Air Station to fly the "new" aircraft to Iran.

The American attack submarine USS Olympia arrives in Holy Loch, Scotland after a patrol that took it from Pearl Harbor, under the North Pole and into the Barents Sea.

The KGB team in the Dover area splits up into teams of one or two members, dispersing across the UK to begin tracking developments in wartime Britain.

Deep in the Chinese interior, the 292nd Motor-Rifle Division continues its advance on foot. In the month since it abandoned its vehicles (which were out of gas) the unit has advanced another 450 kilometers.

The freighter Kansas Freedom reaches Diego Garcia, carrying a load of JP-5 fuel, food and other essentials. The staff on the island begin storing the cargo discharged by the ship's cranes.

An A-team from the 20th Special Forces Group (National Guard) locates the Soviet 5th Pontoon Engineer Regiment's bivouac area and the growing equipment park containing much of the remaining tactical bridging equipment from Pact units throughout Poland. The team radios the find in to the group headquarters, which dispatches a Green Light Atomic Demolitions Munition team to the area. The strike team arrives shortly before dawn and, covered by the men of the first team, emplace it in between the tent sites and motor pool. The subsequent blast effectively wipes out the massed equipment and the specialist troops, severely limiting Western TVD's ability to ferry anything other than an assault echelon across the Oder.

The American light frigate USS Marchand begins its first operational voyage, an anti-submarine sweep of the approaches to Norfolk, Virginia.

The 234th Rear Area Protection Division, a unit composed of Romanian-speaking Moldovan reservists that performed well in quelling resistance to the Soviet 14th Army's occupation of southeastern Romania, is assigned to 26th Army and transferred to Jugoslavia.

The nuclear exchange continues in the Persian Gulf region, with USAF F-15Es taking a break from air defense to block the road junction south of Mashdad, Iran, where roads from Turkmenistan and Afghanistan join and continue to Tehran. Thanks to the efforts of the 82nd Airborne Division the road is one of the main routes for Transcaucasian Front to obtain supplies.
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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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  #350  
Old 11-22-2022, 05:04 PM
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November 22, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

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

FEMA commissions another evacuation center, this one a winterization and expansion of the campground at Vermont's Grand Isle State Park in Lake Champlain. The facility should be able to accomodate 1500 evacuees from Burlington, Vermont, Plattsburgh, New York or even more distant cities in New England. More controversially, the site is a mere 70 miles from Montreal; local emergency planners worry that the state may be burdened with supporting foreigners, even if they are allied civilians.

The battleship USS Missouri, operating in the Yellow Sea, is damaged by a conventional torpedo (one hit) in the bow from the Victor III-class attack submarine K-244 and heads for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for repairs.

The British and American forces outside Nuremburg shift over to a defensive deployment, in many cases occupying defensive positions long planned for employment in the decades-long effort to defend West Germany from a Warsaw Pact invasion.

In Western Poland, corps commanders question the utility of holding bridgeheads over the Oder, pointing out that the NATO forces are in no condition to repeat the spring and summer's conquest of Poland and that the threat of infiltration and small size of the bridgeheads require troops to minimize dispersal, creating a lucrative target for Soviet nuclear weapons. The prior day's attack on Western TVD's bridging assets reduces the Pact's ability to threaten an assault crossing of the Oder as well, all arguing for a withdrawal from most of the positions east of the Oder-Niesse line.

In western Bavaria, the commander of XX Corps, facing off against exhausted Italian alpini mountain troops, requests reinforcements of artillery, engineers and modest armor forces to take advantage of the enemy's weakness and recapture territory. Unfortunately, 4th Army has no assets to send to the sector, such is the shortage of replacements, fuel, ammunition and spares.

Salvage specialists clear the entrance to the Danish port of Esbjerg that had been blocked by the Romanian freighter Ilfov, which had been sunk by Soviet bombs in an air raid over the summer. This effort clears a major obstacle to clearing the growing backlog of loaded ships in the North Sea. The backlog grows larger with the arrival of Convoy 310, which brings another 48 ships loaded with cargo.

Over the Baltic, an A-7E of the US Navy's VA-66, a survivor of the USS Coral Sea's air wing operating from the Danish Air Force Aalborg Air Station, intercepts a Soviet A-90 Orlyonok Ekranoplan craft flying at low level, ferrying a load of supplies into Poland. (Such is the desperate situation of the Pact forces; the craft carries a mere 28 tons of cargo). The A-7 diverts and downs the craft with several bursts of 20mm gunfire. Upon his return to base, the pilot is incensed that the squadron intelligence officer is uncertain as to credit the pilot with a "kill" (taking him closer to being an Ace) or with sinking a surface craft.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade in Kenya continues its fierce attacks on Tanzanian forces near Mombasa, defeating a planned Tanzanian attack before the forces can even get organized for an offensive.
__________________
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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  #351  
Old 11-23-2022, 04:15 PM
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November 23, 1997

Nothing official for today. Unofficially,

Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Sauronski decides that the strategic situation is growing increasingly intolerable, with the US, UK and Canada continuing to churn out tanks, troops, guns and aircraft with inpunity, while the USSR has suffered the loss of Kiev and Minsk and is faced with diminishing prospects of restoring East Germany to Soviet control. Accordingly, he directs that the nation's nuclear forces prepare to execute a strike on the American and British homelands, to decapitate their Capitalist regimes and create a favorable situation for a worker's uprising, or at least demand an end to the capitalist war of aggression. To prevent the attack from igniting an all-out apocolyptic response on the Soviet homeland, the attacks are to use no more than 15 missiles.

Janet Clancy, daughter of Vice President Pemberton and her father set out on their annual multi-day Thanksgiving cross country ski trip to the family's cabin in North Cascades National Park, Washington. Taking advantage of the cold weather, they travel on the frozen Lake Chalen to the isolated hamlet of Stehekin, accompanied by her Secret Service bodyguard, a former Marine sergeant that learned to ski at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in the Sierra Nevadas. The bodyguard is armed with his issue SIG-Sauer P229 pistol and a M-4 carbine. When they arrive at the cabin they are greeted by another agent and the family's cook, who arrived the day prior via snowmobile.

Soviet troops in Manchuria revolt when they receive word that they are to be sent to the front in Europe. The men feel that they have alreeady won a war for the Soviet Union and that the many reservists, rear area troops and other able-bodied men who did not contribute to victory in China should spend time at the front before they once again risk their lives. The men are heavily armed combat veterans, and the revolt must be handled delicately.

The American carrier Oriskany reaches a new milestone - its first full squadron sortie evolution, when VA-175 launches a training strike (in support of Marines training at Twentynine Palms, California) and returns to the ship.

NATO forces in Poland hold on to the Oder bridgeheads against growing Soviet pressure. The opposiiton is mostly Soviets, the Polish Army being diverted to support the Border Guards in the hunt for pro-NATO partisans, stay-behind parties and collaborators that may have betrayed the Communist Party.

The Freedom-class ship Springfield Freedom diverts from the North Sea into the British port of Felixstone for discharge of its cargo of vehicles (mostly new M939 5-ton trucks but also a quartet of M-1A2D tanks and several dozen old M-561 Gama Goats. They spend only a few hours ashore before being loaded onto the USS Boulder, a LST that can land vehicles on beaches.

As the orders to strike the US and UK are received by the leadership of the Strategic Rocket Forces, Long Range Aviation and Navy, planners begin to pull together the concept for the operation. (Existing plans largely cover an all-out strike on the West using all available weapons). They will be fully prepared to execute in three days.
__________________
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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  #352  
Old 11-24-2022, 06:36 AM
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November 24, 1997

Nothing in canon for the day. Unofficially,

Having given the orders for an attack on the United States and UK, Premier Sauronski departs Moscow for the secret underground command center at Zhiguli Mountain near Kuybyshev. He is accompanied by his mistress, favorite son and small entourage to avoid attracting attention. His departure, of course, is noted by the KGB, whose Chairman Yangel, departs shortly thereafter for the safety of the bunker complex under Kosvinsky Mountain in the Urals.

The 2nd Brigade, 17th Airborne Division is declared combat ready after completing Rotation 97-11 at JRTC-2 at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. It is held at the base pending receipt of equipment and a decision from the Joint Chiefs as to where it will be sent.

The front along the DMZ in eastern Korea is static as 30th Army suffers from severe supply shortages and a lack of replacements for the heavy losses it has sustained in the long advance from the Soviet border. Allied lines in the central mountains are slowly receding to the prewar DMZ, while Allied mechanized forces in the west (mainly a handful of South Korean mechanized brigades and the 163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Montana National Guard)) south of Pyongyang are slowing 35th Army's reconquest of North Korean territory with frequent lighting mechanized raids on the Soviet advanced detachments. Meanwhile, South Korean stay-behind parties continue to identify Soviet supply convoys for interdiction strikes.

NATO troops along the Oder become increasingly nervous as each day passes without a Soviet attack on their bridgeheads. They spend the time furiously digging ever-deeper protective shelters, which hopefully will save them from the nuclear attacks they can't help but fear are coming shortly.

With the loss of the Wisconsin battle group in the Aegean to a Soviet missile strike, the commander of the John F. Kennedy carrier battle group departs Sigonella, Sicily and requests permission from 6th Fleet to shift his area of operations to the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily and west of the Italian Peninsula. The Navy detachment ashore, caring for the damaged carrier America, once again requests an update on what to do, having largely repaired what they are able to do with the resources on hand.

The LST USS Boulder beaches itself at high tide at Scheveningen, Netherlands and drops its ramp to unload the vehicles it loaded the day before from the Springfield Freedom. Dutch motor-transport units are waiting with tank transporters to move the four M1A2D tanks, while the Gama Goats are loaded onto flatbeds and the 5-ton trucks are taken over by a detachment (composed of German civilian employees) sent by the US Army's 21st TAACOM.

photo
The F-15E strike aircraft of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing return to the skies over eastern Iran, this time en route to the road leading from Herat Afghanistan. Mujaheddin fighters and their American CIA advisors reported the departure of the 682nd "Uman-Warsaw" Independent Motor-Rifle Regiment from Afghanistan to reinforce the battered 40th Army. A few hours later the F-15Es appeared overhead, ripping the column apart with an 80-kiloton B-61 bomb.

The Guatemalan Navy makes it's entry in the war with Belize when a force of six patrol boats, constituting all the craft in the Caribbean that can be made seaworthy, appears off the town of Dangriga, the largest town in southern Belize. They enter the yacht/fishing harbor and discharge two platoons of heavily armed Marines, overpowering the three confused policemen that had arrived to investigate. The Marines seize the police car and a number of civilian vehicles and head inland, securing the nearby road junction, cutting off the southern portion of the country and the direct road from the south to the capital.
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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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  #353  
Old 11-25-2022, 08:00 AM
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November 25, 1997

Speaker of the House of Representatives Munson, next in line of succession to the Vice President, is skiing in northern California. He and his wife slip out of his vacation home and do not leave word of their destination (Munson is fanatical about his personal privacy).

The Commander of the USS Olympia releases half of the crew for some well-earned shore leave following the conclusion of the long, dangerous patrol as the boat enters a period of refit alongside the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land.

Unofficially,

1st Brigade, 4th Armored Division completes Rotation 97-101 at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California and is declared combat ready.

Aboard the USS Oriskany, a second squadron, VA-153, matches the achievement of its sister squadron VA-175 by launching a full squadron mission.

The newly arrived vehicles that were transported to Europe aboard the Springfield Freedom and USS Boulder are transferred to a holding area at the British Catterick Barracks in Bielefeld, Germany, where user units are to pick them up.

Elsewhere in NATO-controlled Europe, armies are struggling to sustain operations as the flow of supplies through the heavily damaged port infrastructure slowly chokes off operations. On the Warsaw Pact side things are even more dire, with the Polish civilian population on the edge of starvation following a year where the nation's fields were battlefields and whose young and fittest citizens worked to eject NATO troops from the country rather than produce food and goods. Their Soviet patrons and allies are of little help, overstretched themselves supporting war from Korea to Germany, with their own Baltic States, Byelorussia and Ukraine nearly as devastated as Poland and with the subjugated populations of Romania, Manchuria and Jugoslavia dependant on them for sustenance.

XVIII Airborne Corps and Third Army direct additional supplies of ammunition and replacement vehicles to the 24th Infantry Division in Iran's northern Gulf coast. Airlift planners note that the 82nd Airborne Division has moved south, allowing the smaller airlifters to carry greater loads.

The Belizian command responds to the Guatemalan incursion in the south. They dispatch one of the British Gazelle helicopters to reconnoiter the location; it takes fire from a Guatemalan light machine gun but is not hit. Upon its return to base, the Belizians dispatch an infantry company reinforced with a British platoon to dislodge the Marines.
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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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  #354  
Old 11-26-2022, 07:06 AM
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November 26, 1997

The Honorable Judge Patrick Mahan Warren, a respected judge and community leader in St. Petersburg, Florida (and secretly the New American Natural Aristocrat in charge of the St Petersburg cell since 1990) suffers a debilitating stroke and is incapacitated. His wife Augusta assumes her husband's covert duties.

Colonel Nikita Borisov, one of the newly arrived KGB agents, arrives in London. He kills a beggar, Damien Metcalfe, and takes on his identity

Unofficially,

The Freedom-class cargo ships Mesa and Santa Ana Freedoms are delivered in Pascagoula, Mississippi. (Nine sister ships will be abandoned in various stages of completion after Pascagoula is struck by Soviet nuclear weapons.)

The Red Oak Victory, veteran of three wars, is activated for a fourth in Oakland, California. It begins movement to Concord NWS to load ammunition.

The cargo ship Ruth is activated in Oakland and leaves for Long Beach to load troops.

Rainbow Six reports that the senior KGB agent in the UK, Colonel Mikhail Romanov, based in London, leaves the British capital, having been alerted to the impending Black Thursday nuclear strikes by a coded message from KGB Headquarters.

CVW-546's last A-4 squadron aboard the USS Oriskany launches a full-squadron mission, this one a firepower demonstration for visiting VIPs at Camp Pendleton. The Oriskany group commander receives word that the two of the original escorts identified for the group - the missile cruiser Little Rock (CLG-4) and destroyer Barry (DD-933) - will be indefinitely delayed due to shipyard overcrowding, and that the last escort, the destroyer Mullinix, will be delayed until February. The Navy will attempt to identify other ships that can be assigned to the group as they complete repairs at various shipyards.

A team from the 3rd Infantry Division picks up the four M-1A2D tanks at the Bielefeld transfer site and returns to the division rear area, where they are issued to the 4th Battalion, 69th Armor. Two of the M939 5-ton trucks are issued to the 28th Infantry Division's 28th Signal Battalion, twelve go to the 43rd Infantry Division and the last half dozen to the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Supply officers are confounded by the Gama Goats, which were replaced by the HMMWV in the 1980s and are not on any unit's TOE.

The 24th Infantry Division in Iran is allocated the newly arrived recruits that were received on a charter 767 from Fort Benning, Georgia. The privates are rushed from Saudi Arabia to the front north of Bandar-e-Khomeyni, where the dazed soldiers are welcomed into squads of grizzled veterans.

The Belizian Defense Force group responding to the Guatemalan Marine landing divides into two groups. Two platoons make a cautious advance along the road south from Belize City and, not unexpectedly, run into a Guatemalan ambush, triggering an intense firefight. The firefight absorbs the Guatemalan commander's full attention, allowing the remainder of the Force, traveling overland through farms and jungle, to recapture the town of Dangriga and its tiny port. The second force gets tied up in fighting the Guatemalan patrol boats in the harbor, but the application of several LAW80s convinces the boats to depart. The Guatemalan marines are cut off, but hunker down in preparation for a bloody final stand.
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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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  #355  
Old 11-26-2022, 11:06 PM
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November 27, 1997 - Thanksgiving Day

part 1

Thanksgiving Day, 1997, had started well enough. The war which all rational Americans had feared for the previous 40 years had been going on for over a year without triggering the dire holocaust doomsayers had predicted. The fighting was on Soviet territory or other places equally remote from home and hearth. The news gave every indication that the Soviets would have to accept defeat any day now. The boys (and girls) would be home for Christmas. Meanwhile, there was plenty of work, the money was good, and everything seemed right with America. Then the bombs fell.

Rainbow Six reports that
On a day that British historians would later record as “Black Thursday”, the UK was attacked by Soviet nuclear weapons. (Unofficially) A single of SS-24 missile was fired at the UK by the 46th Missile Division from Pervomaisk in the Ukraine carrying ten 400-kiloton warheads. London was the first city to be hit, being targeted by a number of devices, the first of which detonated in an airburst above the Capital at 11:14am. One of the Soviet warheads aimed at London detonated in a ground burst several hundred metres from Heathrow Airport. The Tower of London suffered extensive damage, being virtually burnt to the ground in the firestorms that swept through London. The major business and financial center of Canary Wharf was destroyed by the firestorms as well. Whilst not a direct target of the attacks, the Thames Flood Barrier suffered significant damage and would require extensive repair work to restore it to full operating condition, leaving London exposed to the risk of potentially serious flooding. The London Underground rapid transit system, more commonly known as the Tube, offered no shelter on Black Thursday, with the fires that raged out of control above ground sucking in all the available oxygen, condemning most of those in the Underground system at the time to death by asphyxiation (many others were trampled to death as thousands tried to rush into Tube stations across London in a futile attempt to find shelter in the moments after the first nuclear detonation. Much of the content of the British Library was lost on (some items deemed to be of vital national interest were moved out of the Capital during the summer of 1997). Likewise, MI6’s London headquarters, Century House, was destroyed. Headquarters, US Naval Forces Europe (USNAVEUR) suffered heavy casualties, with the C in C amongst those either dead or missing. A number of personnel did survive however - some key staff had left London as a precautionary measure, whilst others had been on Thanksgiving leave.

Some three and a half million people were killed in the initial blasts and the firestorms that raged in London for a week afterwards. Another million people were displaced, with many of them exposed to lethal doses of radiation that would cause them to die a lingering death in the weeks and months that followed.

Cheltenham, home of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the arm of British Intelligence responsible for providing Signals Intelligence to the Government and the Military, was the second location in the United Kingdom to be targeted by Soviet nuclear weapons, at 11:15am on Black Thursday (approximately ninety seconds after the first warhead detonated over London).

(Unofficially) Of the ten warheads, seven targeted London (two aimed at the Palace of Westminster and Heathrow Airport, the others aimed to create a blanket level of destruction over the city), two were aimed at Cheltenham and the final one failed during re-entry.
__________________
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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  #356  
Old 11-26-2022, 11:14 PM
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November 27, 1997

part 2

Unofficially,
Word was received in Washington of the London strike within a few minutes. The Secret Service and military wanted to evacuate President Tanner immediately. NORAD confirmed that there were no missiles inbound to North America. The President refused to board the NEACP, unwilling to give the appearance of panicking, but agreed to leave the White House. After issuing a statement condemning the attack on America’s closest ally, offering condolences for the loss of life and ordering American forces in the UK to support HM Government’s relief efforts to the extent that it does not impede combat operations, Tanner departed the White House for the last time. His motorcade took him to the US Department of Agriculture research center in Beltsville, Maryland (adjacent to the Secret Service training center, which had a small Presidential Emergency Facility) for a relaxing jog. A US Marine Corps VH-60 helicopter of HMX-1 stood on standby at the Secret Service center. At mid-morning, he departed the Secret Service center, his motorcade disrupting traffic on the Beltway as the President travelled to Andrews Air Force Base for Thanksgiving dinner with the troops. To keep up the appearance of normalcy, Vice President Pemberton remained in the city to host the White House’s formal Thanksgiving dinner with VIPs.

photo
At shortly after 1700 GMT (3 pm on the US East Coast) in the North Atlantic the second phase of the decapitation strike, the attack on the US, was begun. As the satellites aligned the submerged Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine TK-20 was able to receive an updated position fix from its onboard GLONASS satellite navigation system. The massive boat’s fire control system adjusted for the distance between the receiver on the navigation masthead and the missiles’ locations forward on the boat and with a final glance between the captain and the political officer the first SS-N-20 missile was launched. Within 90 seconds six missiles had been launched and the boat dove and turned northeast, accelerating as fast as the sub’s two nuclear reactors could push the 48,000-ton boat.

(Officially) An orbiting military surveillance satellite picked up a number of IR signatures, characteristic of the launch of SLBMs (Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles). Within minutes, messages were zipping through established channels and alarms began ringing across the nation. (Unofficially) The initial detection by Defense Support Program satellites was relayed to NORAD headquarters, which quickly relayed the news to the White House, Pentagon and Strategic Air Command (SAC). The launch was confirmed by the PAVE PAWS early warning radar on Cape Cod shortly thereafter.

photo
SAC ordered the alert bomber force - some 75 B-1s and B-52s stationed at 14 bases around the nation (as well as the 43rd Bomb Wing’s B-52Gs at Anderson Air Force Base on Guam), as well as their accompanying tankers - to scramble. The so-called Elephant Walk of bombers began within 90 seconds of the confirmation, and with 15 minutes of MITOs (Minimum Interval Take Offs) the bombers were airborne. Following standing Emergency War Orders, they immediately refueled from approximately half of the tankers, topping off their fuel tanks, and proceeded to holding areas over the Arctic and western Pacific for further orders, joining the dozen B-52s already on airborne alert over the Canadian Arctic.

Back in Washington, when the warning of the incoming SLBMs arrived President Tanner was rushed across the base to board the E-4B NEACP, which immediately took off. (Officially) Because an inbound missile had been detected Vice President Pemberton elected to try to make it to the Special Facility at Mount Weather. (Unofficially) Vice President Pemberton ran to the waiting VH-3 of HMX-1 that had been more or less permanently stationed at the White House since the outbreak of war.

photo
(Officially) President Tanner was killed, not by the strike on Washington, but by an accident during takeoff of the NEACP aircraft. The mystery of precisely what went wrong with one of the most rigorously inspected, carefully maintained aircraft in the nation has never been solved - the FAA never properly investigated the accident.

(Unofficially) Back at the White House, the helicopter’s crew already had the rotors turning when Pemberton’s military aide, a Marine Corps Major, heard the radio call about the NEACP crash. (Officially) Upon being informed of the President's death and told that no retaliatory action had been taken, Vice President Pemberton was forced to delay her departure and remain at a secure communications facility (the radios on the evacuation helicopter have never been considered reliable for this purpose). From the bomb shelter under the east wing of the White House (built during President Truman's tenure, and never intended to withstand a direct hit), Vice President Pemberton, after identifying herself, issued a proclamation of the existence of a state of war (only Congress has the power to declare war, and that body was not in session), and ordered retaliatory strikes on the USSR. With less than 10 minutes' notice between the rising of sub-launched ballistic missiles from off the Atlantic coast and their detonation over Washington DC, the orders to evacuate the cities were never given.

(Unofficially) The first missile to be launched by TK-20 was the one targeted at Washington. The SS-N-20 had ten 100-kiloton warheads aboard. One was aimed at the White House, two at the Pentagon, three at Andrews Air Force Base (necessary to ensure the destruction of aircraft on the base as well as cutting the runway) and one each at CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, DIA headquarters at Bolling Air Force Base, the Presidential Emergency Facility and NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland and the National Reconnaissance Office headquarters at Westfields, Virginia. The missile warhead’s courses had been adjusted as they re-entered the atmosphere, adjusting for changes in atmospheric conditions, the missile’s performance, even differences in magnetic fields and gravity, all detected by the on-board electronics and cross-checked against the position reported by the GLONASS receiver. These adjustments allowed each re-entry vehicle accuracy nearly unmatched by any other Soviet (or many American) missiles. Each warhead landed, on average, within 220 meters of its aim point. With this level of accuracy, the strikes were devastating. The warhead aimed at the White House landed in the Kennedy Garden, just south of the East Wing, and detonated. The warhead created a crater 90 meters wide and 40 meters deep; the fireball consumed the adjacent Old Executive Office Building and Treasury Building and flattened all other buildings within a 1000-meter radius. Pemberton was killed when the missile detonated, the blast shelter completely inadequate against a blast so close and so powerful. (a representation of the blast is here). The other strikes were nearly as successful, with none of the Washington area targets surviving.

(Officially) The main target in Washington, DC was the White House, in an effort (a successful one, as it turned out) to destroy the executive leadership of the country. A sizable portion of the downtown area was damaged, not by the blast itself (which was a small one), but from the seismic shock and radiation of the ground burst and the flash-induced fires. As a side note, the National Archives was closed at the time of the attack. When the bomb destroyed the White House, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the two most important documents in American history, were in their normal nocturnal resting place: a 50-ton subterranean vault designed to protect them from fire, flood, earthquake, and (of course) nuclear attack.

NORAD (North American Air Defense) headquarters at Cheyenne Mountain had three SLBMs aimed at it, each with a single 1 MT warhead set for ground bursts. (Unofficially) One of these scored a direct hit while the others landed nearby, creating quite impressive craters in the granite mountainside and delivering an intense shock to the underground facility. The facility had been designed to withstand just such a shock and was largely undamaged. (Officially) It was, however, out of communication temporarily.

Two missiles were targeted at SAC headquarters at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. (Unofficially) An Army Patriot battery at the base, deployed as an experimental anti-missile defense measure, succeeded in destroying one incoming warhead (as well as two decoys), leaving 19 100-kiloton MIRVs (Multiple Independently-targeted Reentry Vehicles) landing within the base perimeter. (Officially) Several, set for ground burst, were aimed at the SAC underground command post, while others attempted to sever the runway, destroy the SR-71s of the 95th Strategic Recon Wing as well as that unit’s and the 544th Aerospace Recon Technical Wing’s headquarters and facilities. The base was incinerated and all the targets were destroyed.

The Thanksgiving Massacre (as it came to be called) destroyed only a limited number of command and control centers, but these were vital. In a matter of minutes the U.S. had been delivered a massive blow.
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I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 11-26-2022, 11:16 PM
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November 27, 1997

part 3

The people of the United States counted on a steady flow of electricity for their health, comfort, and well-being, not to mention their livelihoods. This flow of electricity was the target of the USSR’’s drive to cripple the American war effort. (Unofficially) A matter of minutes after the warhead detonated on Cheyenne Mountain, three SS-18 missiles rose into the skies over the steppes at Dombarovski south of the Ural Mountains. Travelling over the North Pole, they each released a single 1 megaton warhead, (Officially) which detonated more than 50 miles high in several locations over the United States, inducing a massive Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP). The EMP "killed" all unshielded electric power sources and functioning electrical devices over most of the continental United States. EMP proved to be more powerful than the most conservative prewar estimates, affecting even some supposedly shielded equipment. Enough equipment was on standby, and enough adequately shielded, to enable the Joint Chiefs to remain in touch with their scattered forces (for a time). However, basically all unshielded equipment which was turned on at the time of the attack was subjected to induced currents sufficient to destroy it, especially if it contained integrated circuits or the older transistors, which are very sensitive to variations in current and easily damaged by the slightest excess. Telephones, telexes, radios, computers, televisions, practically every form of electronic communications was out of commission or severely damaged. EMP had fried the control circuits of every hydroelectric station on the Tennessee River. Without controls, the massive turbines and generators were severely damaged. Power-generating facilities and the power transmission grid in Utah were severely damaged by surges and EMP.

The EMP knocked out all the operating radio and television channels. It took out the power grid and the power stations themselves, together with the spider web network of power transformers, inducers, relays, back-up generators and associated control instruments. Control circuits in all plants were fried by EMP, and the surge that occurred when the target cities went off-line brought down power transmission lines throughout the country. The power companies had lots of experience getting power back on line. Replacing one or even a dozen major transformers at scattered sites in the teeth of electrical storms or hurricanes was not an unusual occurrence, even on a holiday like Thanksgiving. But what had happened here and across the middle of Florida was a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. The damage was not to one portion of the system but to the entire power grid. All power-generating equipment was affected, from the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant - which automatically shut down to the tiny gas turbine surge stations scattered across the state. Just about the entire electrical production system was on at the time of the strike, including all the back-ups, and was completely destroyed. Stations which had escaped the EMP surged, trying to make up for the sudden shortfall. One by one they overloaded, then their automatic shutoffs took them off-line. The continental power generation and transmission grid collapsed like a string of dominoes.

An effect labeled "residual reverberation" played havoc with backup diesel-generating systems in hospitals, hotels, and inevitably, the Civil Defense control centers. For sowing the seeds of what happened next, the strikes must be counted a total success. The electrical blackout and accompanying residual telecommunications jamming associated with the pulse created a monstrous void in communications, and into that void slipped rumor, exaggeration, and ultimately, panic. Without a reassuring central voice of authority, panic turned to rout and rout into riot and worse.

Airborne civilian aircraft (military aircraft were hardened against EMP) lost all power due to the EMP and dropped out of the sky. Some pilots made successful "dead stick" landings; many of them died trying. Some, blinded by the direct rays of the fireball, were flash-blinded where they sat. With virtually every radio in the affected zone blitzed into inoperability, no one was able to talk anyone down. The scorched ruins of the aircraft dot the nation. One of the lucky passengers was TV journalist Fanya Ayn Wilkerson, who was flying to visit her husband's family in New York. He had taken the boy and went ahead while Fanya completed some tapings for a network special about her escapades in Iran. Fanya was to catch a flight out of Tampa on Thanksgiving Day. Hers was one of the fortunate ones; the pilot managed to make a belly landing near Orlando, and the passengers survived.

Mundane devices like cars, ambulances, electric pacemakers and medical refrigeration units also failed. So did the incubators, respirators, kidney dialysis machines, and iron lungs in local hospitals and clinics. Even when hospital backup generators could be kicked back in to restore power, many patients died because the machines themselves could not be restarted or replaced in time to save them. Cars lost their electrical systems while in motion, causing massive chain-reaction collisions. Traffic lights, police emergency radios, and even the civil defense radios failed. The "We interrupt this program" messages were not heard because the home TV and radio sets that were turned on at the moment of the pulse (and remember the attack occurred on Thanksgiving Day, while the various ball games were on the air) were instantly rendered into so much junk, not even salvageable for spare parts. Generally speaking, if an item of electronic equipment was in use at the time the pulse occurred, that piece of electronics was irretrievably ruined.

(Unofficially) Pemberton’s orders for retaliatory strikes were received at SAC Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base outside Omaha, Nebraska as well as aboard the fleet of always-airborne strategic command and control aircraft. While SAC Headquarters was obliterated only a few minutes later, the Looking Glass airborne command post was able to relay the launch order to missile launch control centers, the airborne bombers and their bases and the US Navy’s TACAMO aircraft.

However, Pemberton’s orders did not specify what retaliatory measures should be implemented. The Single Integrated Operations Plan (SIOP), the US military’s nuclear war plan, had not, in fact, been a single plan for several decades. Starting in the 1970s the SIOP had evolved into a package of plans, which the National Command Authority was intended to select one or more options to execute. (Some early options included whether or not to target China, North Korea and Warsaw Pact allies as well as differing plans depending on the alert status and desire to withhold some assets for follow-up strikes or post-exchange negotiations). The SIOP in effect in 1997, updated earlier in the year, was composed of several categories of targets that could be assembled, like blocks, into a strike plan. (These blocks included five categories of Command and Control targets, two different air defense suppression packages, a petroleum package, a ground forces package, a military industry package, a naval base package, as well as packages of bombers, missiles, population centers, intelligence assets, early-warning assets and electrical power, among others.) In the confusion and chaos that preceded the incoming warhead aimed at Washington, Pemberton did not specify which package or packages should be executed, leaving SAC commanders without guidance.

In the absence of direction from the National Command Authorities, the Vice Chief of SAC, the senior officer aboard the Looking Glass airborne command post circling over the upper Midwest states, ordered what he believed was a proportionate and reasonable response - a near-mirror image strike on the Soviet Union. Therefore, he ordered the execution of the smallest counter-C3I package and a high-altitude EMP strike, after checking to ensure that the number of warheads to be delivered was nearly identical to that used against the US and UK.

As the afternoon wore on it became apparent that the Soviet strikes had ended with (just?) those three target areas and the high-altitude EMP burst. US Navy P-3C maritime patrol aircraft had flooded the area where TK-20 had launched from, with surface ships and attack submarines rushing to the vicinity at flank speed. At 5 pm the operators monitoring the SOSUS underwater sonar array in Bermuda detected a transient noise near where TK-20 had been operating; Allied Command Atlantic in Norfolk confirmed that no friendly submarines were operating in the area. Within five minutes a P-3C was overhead, joined seven minutes later by a second aircraft. Both deployed active sonar sonobuoys en masse, which, combined with low-flying magnetic anomaly detection, soon located the massive Soviet boat. The first aircraft, from squadron VP-24, dropped all four of the Mk.-50 lightweight torpedoes it was carrying. Two of the torpedoes hit, but the massive Soviet boat featured over two meters of separation between its inner and outer hulls, resulting in no significant damage (although creating a lot of structural steel damage that vastly increased the noise generated by the sub). The second plane, from VP-49. then closed in for the kill, dropping a B-57 nuclear depth charge, which crushed the boomer’s hull and reactor compartments. SAC established a round robin of tankers to support the airborne bomber force, keeping them on station but not launching additional aircraft. At bomber bases the commands worked overtime to generate additional alert-ready aircraft, while ground support teams, recalled from their holiday meals with family, raced to dispersal sites to support turnaround of aircraft landing at their alternate sites.

Complicating the plan for striking the Soviet command, control and intelligence apparatus was the presence of the Moscow A-135 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system. Consisting of 100 nuclear-armed (10-kiloton warheads) interceptor missiles (68 Gazelle missiles to strike targets in the atmosphere and 32 Gorogn missiles to engage incoming reentry vehicles outside the atmosphere), the ABM system was controlled by a single tracking and guidance radar, the large PILLBOX phased-array radar at Pushkino, north of Moscow. NATO planners, starting in the late 1960s, had planned to deal with the system by overwhelming it with massive numbers of warheads aimed at the missile launch sites as well as the control radars, as well as striking targets in Moscow with enough warheads that destruction could be reasonably expected even if the ABM system was operational.

The orders from SAC, however, severely limited the number of warheads that could be deployed to defeat the A-135 system, forcing SAC to use an alternative. In the years before the war, American target planners had focused on the PILLBOX radar, concluding that if it were destroyed that the system would be inoperable, the various interceptor missiles unable to be guided against incoming NATO warheads. A slimmed-down effort to suppress the ABM system, therefore, could concentrate on a single target - the radar. Obviously, however, the operators of the A-135 would use the system to protect the radar from incoming ballistic missile warheads, negating the possibility of using low numbers of MIRVs against the PILLBOX. The CIA, reasonably, could not guarantee that one of its covert action teams would be able to penetrate the radar’s security perimeter to place a “backpack nuke” within lethal range. That left bombers as the only nuclear delivery means available to potentially strike the target.

The Moscow area was protected by the 1st Red Banner Air Defense Army for Special Use, a force that deployed four PVO (air defense force) divisions with 26 regiments of the latest model SA-10 surface-to-air missiles deployed in two concentric rings around the Soviet capital. As confident as SAC commanders were in their men and aircraft, they harbored doubts about the ability of a bomber being able to penetrate the Soviet border defenses, reach the Moscow area and overfly the radar to drop a gravity bomb. While the B-2 stealth bomber had proven successful in penetrating Soviet airspace over Siberia the density of overlapping air defense radars and missiles in the Moscow area was an order of magnitude more challenging. A cruise missile, however, harbored a better chance of reaching the target. The most advanced cruise missile, the AGM-129, first fielded in 1990, could be launched outside of Soviet airspace and reach Moscow. A stealthy missile, designed to defeat overhead pulse-doppler radars and coated in radar absorbing material, it offered a reasonable chance of reaching a heavily defended target, and if it failed no American airmen would be imperiled. Therefore, the plan called for the PILLBOX radar to be eliminated by a quartet of AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles.

The American counterstrike began shortly before midnight Washington time. A B-52H of the 644th Bomb Squadron, 410th Bomb Wing from K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Michigan orbiting between the North Pole and the Siberian coast launched a volley of four AGM-129s. The cruise missiles were routed on an indirect path to Moscow, crossing the Soviet coast a few miles east of Murmansk to take advantage of an air defense network ravaged by months of fighting earlier in the year and travelled the length of the Kola Peninsula. Once they were south of the White Sea they rose to a cruising altitude of 7,000 feet to conserve fuel, and headed south once they passed Lake Onega. When the missiles were 200 miles north of the PILLBOX radar they dropped to an altitude of 50 meters, following a snaking path to avoid overflying large population centers, air defense installations or military bases. As they approached Moscow air defense radars began to sweep over the stealthy missiles, but with a radar cross section smaller than a pigeon the radar operators were unable to distinguish their signature from background noise. An orbiting Su-27 interceptor of the 611th Regiment, flying the northern sector of the capital’s Combat Air Patrol, failed to detect the missiles as well. Only when the missiles were less than 10 kilometers from Pushkino was a nearby air defense radar able to get a positive ID, and by then it was too late.

The Pushkino PILLBOX radar was obliterated by three of the missiles’ W-80 5-kiloton warheads. The fourth missile, the trailing one, was knocked out of the sky by the blast wave of the third missile. The blasts also knocked out the surface elements of the adjacent Gazelle missile battery. The A-135 system was down, a fact confirmed by an overwatching Defense Support Program early warning satellite.

With Moscow defenseless against ballistic missiles, the next phase of the American attack proceeded. A pair of LGM-118 Peacekeeper (MX) missiles, each with ten 335-kiloton MIRVs, was launched by the 400th Strategic Missile Squadron, 90th Strategic Missile Wing from silos outside F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. They arrived 25 minutes later, during the Friday morning commute, with 18 of the warheads detonating. Three reduced the Kremlin to a glowing crater, while others did varying degrees of damage to the PVO, Strategic Rocket Forces, KGB and GRU headquarters complexes. While the missiles did not kill General Secretary Sauronski or KGB Chairman Yangel, they did a great deal to cripple the Soviet war effort. Two Politburo members were killed in the attack, along with hundreds of thousands of Muscovites. (The effects of the firestorms and radiation that followed the strike would take the casualty numbers into the millions). While the political leadership that directed the war effort survived, the vast bureaucracy that had been struggling to manage the war effort was completely devastated. The centralized Soviet state had been dealt a body blow.

The next element of the American retaliatory strike was an insurance policy to ensure collapse of the Soviet Union’s war effort - a series of high-altitude EMP strikes that matched the ones inflicted on the US. These strikes were delivered by older-model Minuteman II ICBMs fired by the 321st Strategic Missile Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The collapse of the Soviet electrical grid was assured, The EMP strike had less effect on the lives of many rural Russian citizens, many of whom had no or only intermittent electrical power before the war, but for the urban middle class it was just as life-changing as for their American counterparts.

(Officially) The decapitation attacks were not limited to the UK and US, however. A nuclear bomb was directed at Oslo, the Norwegian capital. King Harald, who refused to abandon the seat of government in the face of enemy attack, died in the blast along with the Statsrad (state council) and most of the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament). (Unofficially) Soviet missiles also struck Copenhagen, Bonn and the Hague. (Officially) Riyadh was nuked. The cumulative effect of the attacks was as intended, a decapitation of NATO’s political leadership.

The Soviets had calculated that the nuclear strikes would disrupt American command, control, and communications - surgical strikes intended to knock America out of the war and end the war before the nuclear Armageddon spread any further. Like most of the major calculations of both sides this proved to be another miscalculation, but that was a small comfort to over half the members of the world's prewar population who were now dead, or to the other half, many of who wished they were.

Elsewhere in the world, the only development of note is that the US 24th Infantry Division begins a drive toward Ahvaz, supported by the 101st Air Assault Division's aviation assets. The assault quickly overwhelms the Soviet rear guards.
__________________
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:50 PM
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November 28, 1997

Unofficially, Shortly after American missiles ravaged Moscow the U.K. released its retaliatory strikes on the USSR. British nuclear targeting policy had for many years been closely coordinated with the Americans - during the days of the V-bombers the RAF was assigned to blast holes in the Soviet air defense net in the Baltics, and in the 1970s the UK developed the Chevaline system for its Polaris? SLBMs to defeat the A-135 system. Both nations were also deeply involved with NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group and British Trident SLBMs had already launched strikes in support of NATO’s war effort, most famously in the attack that leveled Warsaw. With the American strike on the Soviet capital any British retaliation on Moscow would be “bouncing the rubble”, and with the American supreme command in flux (see below) Prime Minister Blore ordered an independent attack.

Accordingly, HMS Vigilant launched two Trident II SLBMs at Leningrad, the largest surviving Soviet city. The missiles’ 12 100-kiloton warheads (each missile carried six) were targeted at the Baltic Fleet headquarters in Khronstadt, the Leningrad Military District headquarters in the city center (and a second MIRV at the command bunker on the northern outskirts off the city), the Kirov tank plant, the Admiralty and Baltic shipyards and the headquarters of the 6th Air Defense Army. The results of the attack were as devastating as the Soviet attack on London had been - overwhelming blast damage, firestorms of historic proportions, immense radiation that added misery to the remaining lives of hundreds of thousands unfortunate enough to survive the blast and firestorm. While the intended targets were all hit and destroyed, there were many other locations that were also destroyed - military academies, research institutes, Communist Party and KGB offices, four major railroad stations, a helicopter repair plant, electrical power plants and much more. While nothing would ever compensate for the attack on London, Britain had its vengeance.

Rainbow Six reports that the Royal Family is evacuated from its estate at Sandringham in Norfolk under heavy military escort by Army units. Other Army units attempt to locate surviving members of the Cabinet and escort them to their emergency command post, a top secret underground bunker located a few miles outside High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire which had been completed in the early 1990’s.

Those in British cities that had not been struck began to flee, heading for the perceived safety of rural communities. Their headlong flight blocked main road arteries, (unofficially) paralyzing government disaster response. Many Britons were shocked with the Government’s response to the strikes on London. No attempt was made for the fire services to extinguish the firestorm, and emergency personnel were ordered to remain on the perimeter of the disaster area, sheltering indoors whenever possible to protect themselves from radiation. The wounded that escaped the conflagration were diverted into triage centers, where those that were likely not to survive their wounds, or over 60 years of age, were denied further medical care, the overwhelmed medical staff concentrating on those that had the highest chance of surviving and contributing to the nation’s recovery. While widely criticized, a policy was implemented limiting transfer to hospitals in other areas of the UK to only a select few, a policy judged necessary to make the best use of a very limited resource.

The British nuclear industry began shutting down nearly immediately, following long-standing Home Office instructions. While the plants had not been targeted, the consequences of an attack on them while operating were dire. RainbowSix reports that the Sizewell nuclear power plants were taken safely offline. Likewise, the nuclear plant at Dungeness in southeastern Kent was shut down as a safety precaution, as was the Calder Hall nuclear power plant.

In the immediate aftermath of the 1997 nuclear strikes a detachment of troops in full NBC gear removed the plates used to manufacture bank notes from the printing plant at Loughton in Essex, following which Royal Engineers rendered inoperable several items of heavy machinery to ensure they could not be misused. Unknowingly they missed several sets of plates used to make twenty and fifty pound sterling notes and various Middle Eastern and African currencies

Unofficially, A flight of Tu-95H Bear missile carrier bombers unleashed six AS-15 missiles at petroleum targets in the UK. Rainbow states that Aberdeen in Scotland, known as the oil capital of Europe before the war, was one of the first cities after London to be hit. (Officially) The other missiles struck Milford Haven, Wales and Grangemouth, Scotland, sites of large refineries.

photo
For a time, the United States had no official "National Command Authority." More than 22 hours passed before he could be located by FEMA Central Locator System (CLS) operatives and transported to the nearest PEF (Presidential Emergency Facility). After being sworn in by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, President Pro Tem Munson's first official act was to proclaim that the full provisions of Federal Emergency Plan D (FEP-D) were in effect. These included, among other things, a declaration of martial law. (The military government's claim to sovereignty was based on the FEP-D documents and Pemberton's proclamation of a state of war.)

In the immediate aftermath of the strikes on Washington, John Carlucci, a prominent Boston lawyer and elected head of the United Brotherhood of Fishermen, believed to be backed by the Boston mob, no longer saw a need for restraint and decided to silence his opposition and secure his power. As the newly elected leaders of the Congress of North Banks Fishermen were gathered in Gloucester for their first meeting, a terrible explosion ripped through the building where the delegates and their families were gathered. Over 100 people were killed outright, and 250 were wounded.

(Unofficially) Meanwhile, the Soviets were not done attacking the United States. Due to the communications blackout that followed the EMP strikes, neither the KGB nor the GRU could determine if they had succeeded in decapitating the American political leadership. Satellite intelligence confirmed that the White House and Pentagon had been hit and the famed “Hotline” to the Kremlin was offline, but no one in the Soviet Union knew if President Tanner was dead or alive. (And if he was not, who was in charge and where they were located). Therefore, another round of attacks against command and control facilities was ordered.

The Typhoon-class submarine Barrikada (formerly the TK-217) received launch orders at its patrol station under the Arctic ice cap. Six of the vessel's 20 SS-N-20 nuclear-tipped missiles were to be fired in a strategic strike intended to damage the command and control facilities of the NATO allies. Two of the missiles were aimed at Canadian targets, the remaining four at targets in the United States. (Unofficially) Barrikada’s sister TK-210, the third of four Soviet SSBNs with hard-target capability, launched five missiles at the state of Florida.

Barrikada’s missiles were aimed at targets in the Mid-Atlantic region. (Officially) Fort Detrick, Maryland, home of the US Army Research Laboratories (well known as an important cancer research center) and reputedly the Army's center for biological warfare research, was hit. The blast which destroyed the center was several kilometers from the town of Frederick. Nonetheless, much of the town was reduced to rubble and several kilometers of the highway north of town were rendered impassable due to debris from fallen buildings, the hulks of autos and trucks, and fallen trees. Further north of Frederick was the location of Camp David, a target for a Soviet SSBN; the road in the valley below the road was made impassable by debris. The attacks, both ground bursts (because of their relatively small size), did comparatively little blast and fire damage outside of their immediate ground zeroes, but threw tremendous amounts of radioactive fallout into the air. The 228th Infantry Brigade was not badly damaged when Fort Meade was the target of a Soviet SLBM the day before because the target was the Presidential Emergency Facility and NSA headquarters rather than the fort's headquarters. In any case, much of the brigade was dispersed throughout the area rather than present on post.

Barrikada’s other missiles hit other Presidential Emergency Facilities as well. The Quantico PEF was struck with five 100-kiloton MIRVs, all set for ground bursts. The SLBM strike on the Presidential Emergency Facilities at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia (unofficially, the other five MIRVs from the missile that hit Quantico) (officially) caused casualties, but the 30th Engineer Brigade (Combat) survived largely intact (unofficially) because, like the 228th, the unit was largely dispersed throughout the region and the MIRVs landed in a different area of the base.

The population of the Washington area that wasn't killed by the strike and its immediate aftereffects either fled the city or died in the subsequent civil disorder. The horrible destruction of Washington, DC and its suburbs produced a wave of refugees flooding to the west, (and unofficially) east and south. (The strikes on Fort Meade, north of the city, blocked many from fleeing to the north).

Five missiles were targeted at the state of Florida. Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville suffered a near miss that landed in the sea just offshore. The resulting nuclear-induced tidal wave and wide-spread radioactive seawater contamination were dreadful and deadly. Millions died, both in the wave surge and in the subsequent legacy of nuclear poisoning, disease, starvation, and chaos that followed. Almost simultaneously three more sites were struck: MacDill AFB in Tampa, Eglin AFB near Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle, and the Satellite Recon Launch Facility at Cape Kennedy. Both the MIRV'd warheads at Eglin and the single one-megaton that were burst over MacDill were airbursts, designed to do the most damage to the widest possible area. Cape Kennedy received the attentions of a ten-warhead MIRV'd (one-megaton total) device. Unlike the other strikes, this was a series of pinpoint attacks upon the launch sites themselves. The resulting blasts vaporized nine of the 11 launchpads and the vehicle assembly building. A fifth attack, this one aimed at Homestead AFB, south of Miami, apparently never materialized. The failure might have been due to the intense EMP, which had the effect of deactivating the onboard electronics of the Homestead weapon, which is presumed to have landed in the sea well south of Miami without detonating. Four hits or near hits, however, turned out to be quite devastating enough - at least no one complained about the missing fifth bomb. In less than a minute the majority of the people in the second most populated state in the nation were plunged into a new Dark Age (literally and figuratively). Since Florida had no major oil refining or distribution targets, it was not as badly damaged as some other states, but the carnage was bad enough, nevertheless.

The Cape Kennedy strike was intended to destroy the launch facilities and, with some help from EMP, they achieved that end. No more recon satellites would be lofted from Cape Kennedy for some time to come. The two remaining launch pads were so extensively damaged by blast, heat, and radioactive residue that they were effectively inoperable, as was the shuttle landing strip and most of the surrounding support facilities. At Eglin AFB the main facilities at Hurlbert Field were scoured off the map. One of the MIRVs was sub-targeted for the nearby Naval Air Station, and seven more were aimed at Eglin's widely spaced AUX, or auxiliary airfields. One warhead was targeted against the Army Airborne Ranger Camp also located (deep in the swamps) on Eglin AFB. Ground zeroes for these .1 Mt MIRVs were much smaller than that of the 1 Mt device that hit Mac-Dill, but because the smaller warheads were "on target" with regard to the altitudes of their detonations, the recipients had no complaints about their relative destructiveness. The single biggest effect of the cumulative air bursts over a wide area of the Florida Panhandle was the vast and uncontrolled forest and grass fires ignited by the blasts. Because each of these devices was an airburst weapon, little initial or residual fallout occurred.

MacDill Air Force Base, headquarters of the US Readiness Command, Special Operations Command and the rear headquarters of Central Command, was hit. The blast there was ten times the size of any one of the single warheads detonating to the north. The only thing that saved Tampa Bay from mass extinction was the mischance of a premature detonation, some 2000 feet too high for the full effects of such a blast to be felt. Directly below the airburst the Earth's surface was first subjected to a blowtorch several miles across, then to a blast with an overpressure of 250 to 500 psi, which was more than sufficient to ensure complete destruction of any aircraft or personnel unfortunate enough to be on the base. The water table in Florida is generally very near the surface, and here on MacDill it was less than three inches down. Water cannot be compressed, and the force of the overpressure from the MacDill blast had the effect of squeezing a huge subterranean sponge; the water table (and the surface of the earth) literally rippled like a pond after a stone has been thrown in. Those spreading concentric circles acted like an earthquake, shaking down buildings and cracking concrete with successive waves of underground water displaced from the center of the water table under ground zero. Those structures above ground level that were not specially built to withstand both the blast and the surging earth beneath it lunged, bucked, and were swept away by the fiery nuclear winds of overpressure, shock wave, and the returning wave (as the surrounding air rushed back to fill the void made by the blast). All told, every major building on the peninsula was scoured off the face of the earth. Having been blasted down, the rubble was then bounced by each succeeding "ripple" of the water table. The central portion of MacDill's runway was never touched by the fireball from the bomb (which had detonated too high for maximum damage). Underground pipelines ruptured during the blast, pouring millions of tons of jet fuel, bunker oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline into the subsurface layer. When the bomb fell on MacDill, its immediate casualties were the families servicemen and women had left behind in the base's government quarters.

The five psi ring extended to the base's north perimeter fence, guaranteeing the destruction of all but the most heavily bunkered and revetted structures on the air base. The two psi ring extended to Gandy Boulevard two miles farther north. At that range almost all of the wood frame residences were first ignited by the thermal pulse, then blasted to splinters by the overpressure wave of the detonation. The fires were added to by the ignition of residential propane and fuel oil tanks. Over half of the brick or cinder block buildings lost a roof or were heavily damaged. All of the lush tropical and subtropical foliage was set afire. Flash burns and overpressure (blast) damage, especially to the very old or very young, contributed additional casualties. The one psi ring extended to the north boundary fence of Tampa International Airport, over ten miles from ground zero. At that range the shock wave tumbled cars and aircraft, and the thermal pulse ignited the highly flammable fuels within their tanks. The inferno resulting from the ignition of all the ruptured fuel tanks can scarcely be imagined. Among the things within the bomb's flash ignition zone were the bulging fuel tank farms of Port Tampa, various munitions on the docks of Hooker's Point, and the environmentally infamous 400-foot-high mounds of phosphorous and phosphate products located at Port Sutton and East Tampa. Initial casualties from the high air burst were in excess of 250,000. Most of this total was from blast and secondary debris from the detonation. Because the burst was too high, the city of Tampa suffered less than it might have from immediate radioactive fallout. The burst spread out from its epicenter in concentric rings of destructive overpressure, blinding dazzle, and secondary missile and fire destruction. Because ground zero was located over the peninsula of MacDill, much of the worst destructive overpressure (that of five pounds per square inch or higher) was confined to the Air Force Base. The ring of total destruction just barely exceeded the northern limits of the base itself, and the lesser but still devastating two-psi ring never ran closer to the heart of the city than the portion of Gandy Boulevard directly north of the point of detonation. The one-psi ring reached its maximum extension at the north barrier fence of Tampa International Airport. Vast amounts of glass windows were blown out, especially in the shimmering towers of the downtown business district (sparsely occupied due to the (unofficially) prior day’s attacks). (Officially) The lovely old homes along Hillsborough Bay's picturesque northern shore suffered blast, thermal radiation, and wave surge damage, while those south of Gandy Boulevard received much heavier damage. Those older, mostly wood-frame, homes disintegrated under the overpressure, ignited under the combination of thermal radiation and bursting gas and fuel oil tanks, and generally suffered total destruction. More modern concrete cinder block construction weathered the fire storm with lost roofs and some small amount of shattered foundations. The green, semitropical foliage burst into fire and burned. The outermost circle of destruction didn't encompass the newer or wealthier neighborhoods. The heart of the new construction and new industrial zone was still intact. The great center of knowledge and instruction, the University of South Florida, was essentially undamaged. The heart and soul of the city itself died although most of its citizens survived. Over one million people within the city limits of Tampa survived the initial blast and the collateral damage due to fire and fragmentation. Radiation from the MacDill attack was negligible except under the ground zero of the airburst. Most of the deaths had occurred in the immediate zone of the blast in the first seconds of the fire and flying debris thrown out from the blast.

MacDill AFB was effectively seared from the face of the earth. The airburst over MacDill pushed outward, creating a moving wave of sea water 10 feet high across lower Tampa Bay. This man-made tidal wave destroyed a large portion of the Gandy Bridge (southernmost of the three links between St. Petersburg and Tampa), damaged portions of the Howard Franklin Bridge, and smashed into the boat basins, jetties, docks, piers (including the local landmark known as the million dollar pier), graceful beach hotels, condos and private residences along Tampa Bay's western shore. The rush of returning water did similar, if less destructive, damage to the Tampa side shoreline. Overpressure tides from the MacDill blast devastated the inner bay area, particularly much of upper Tampa Bay. A wall of water 15 feet high surged over much of the eastern shoreline. It would have been worse, but for the mangrove flats the environmentalists had fought so hard to save from encroaching land developers. The flats significantly reduced the incoming power of the surging waters.

Flooding was widespread in the lower areas and had immediate permanent effects upon the operation of the Tampa International, St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Albert Whitting, and Michael O. Knight Airports. When the water receded, the only functioning air strips were the Clearwater Executive Air Park located near the highest point in Pinellas County and a sprinkling of other grass strips in northern and eastern Hillsborough County. None could accommodate large commercial airliners which might have brought in disaster relief materials.

The survivors could be grateful for only one thing - the wave damage, bad as it was, was not radioactive. The high airburst did fairly extensive blast and thermal damage, but, owing to its targeting pattern, the fireball never touched the ground. No widespread physical debris was sucked into the radiant center of the blast to become secondary radioactive fallout, and what little fallout that was created (by the residue from the bomb casing and the air, dust, and water vapors immediately around the 8000-foot-high core of the detonation) fell promptly back to earth in a fairly tight, localized pattern squarely upon the unlucky communities of Gibsonton and Apollo Beach. This fallout pattern of just over 20 miles or so settled over the three major south-bound escape routes out of Tampa. The city of Gulfport was not swept bare by the tidal wave from MacDill, nor was it blasted by the tremendous overpressure, or ignited by the thermal pulse. There were 7300 heart attacks in this community in the 24 hours immediately following the destruction of Tampa. That figure might have seemed abnormally high unless it is coupled with the average age of the typical Gulfport resident: 87 for men, 92 for women. The sick and dying from Tampa immediately overwhelmed the medical and sanitation facilities of nearby Sarasota.

Gibsonton and Apollo Beach, Florida were unlucky enough to share the fallout pattern from the MacDill AFB strike. The ill wind from the glowing fireball above MacDill carried the mass of the fallout the brief distance across Cockroach Bay before a heavy seasonal downpour washed the bulk of it from the skies above Apollo Beach and Gibsonton. The result was a three-by-15 mile wide swath of radioactive ash that blanketed the main southeasterly evacuation routes from Tampa. The initial rad count was not quite a killing dose, but everyone who drove through it was sick by the time they reached Brandenton or Sarasota. Thanks to a heroic effort by the local civil defense personnel, almost 99 percent of the vehicles that suffered contamination (unofficially, those that were lucky enough to start after the EMP attack of the prior day) were successfully quarantined at the Manatee-Sarasota County line. Some few, however, never made it out of the fallout zone due to lack of gas (no electrical gas pump was working following the EMP) or mechanical breakdown. A statistically insignificant number of other vehicles successfully evaded the sheriffs' roadblocks to spread their slow poison to other parts of the state.

The communities of Palmetto and Bradenton missed the worst of the overpressure tidal wave from the MacDill blast, but they received, instead, the full weight of the dead and dying from the fallout that blanketed those three southeastern routes. The civil defense effort in Gibsonton and Apollo Beach tagged contaminated cars as they passed through. The Manatee and Sarasota County Sheriff's Departments got the "hot" cars into a quarantine site and assisted the medical evacuation of survivors. Efforts to halt the exodus of contaminated people and vehicles south from Tampa led to the establishment of a temporary twenty-acre automobile park on the Manatee-Sarasota County line off of Interstate 75 that gave a whole new meaning to the term "hot car parts."

In the immediate aftermath of the strikes millions of cars and trucks jammed the nation's highways, fleeing cities which, it was imagined, were due to be struck at any moment. A number of people had been stranded in the highway junction (and self-proclaimed “town of hotels) of Breezewood, Pennsylvania during the fateful Thanksgiving weekend. Unofficially, millions more would have been on the roads if they had been able to be started after the EMP strikes. Unfortunately, most cars built after 1978 had computer chips on board and electronic ignition, features which rendered them all but scrap metal.

SAC spent the day recovering from the prior day’s attacks and counter-attacks. The airborne bombers and tankers landed, mostly at their recovery and dispersal bases to minimize the number that could be taken out by further Soviet attacks on their primary bases. These several dozen bases were generally of two categories: former B-52 bases from the heyday of SAC’s bomber force in the 1950s (these bases’ runways were well able to handle the weight of the big bombers) and airports (that had sufficient runway strength) that had hosted US Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard or other military air units in prewar days, most of which still retained at least a residual military presence and therefore a semi-secure facility and manpower that could be drafted into assisting in guarding the nuclear bombers.

The airborne command and control aircraft maintained their constant vigil, supported by a ferry operation of tankers. Those airborne during the attacks landed at their backup bases (Grissom Air Force Base for the Looking Glass, East Auxiliary Command Post and radio relay aircraft, Minot Air Force Base for the Airborne Launch Control Aircraft #2, Ellsworth Air Force Base for the West Auxiliary Command Post and ALCS #3, Rickenbacker, Ohio for the radio relay aircraft and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base for LANTCOM’s Scope Light command post) after their relief aircraft were on station. (The Navy’s TACAMO aircraft landed at Patuxent River, Maryland and Barbers Point, Hawaii). In Nebraska, the SAC backup ground command post emerged from its hide site in former munitions bunkers at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant and within a few hours had established communications links and a skeleton staff while the acting commander of SAC travelled to the site after the conclusion of his Looking Glass tour.

In the post-strike United States only the military had an operating communications network. Military electronics had been designed to survive in an EMP environment and were heavily shielded. NORAD headquarters was back online shortly after midnight, and SAC’s missile and bomber bases retained multiple redundant communications links (airborne relay aircraft, hardened land lines, the GWEN radio network, satellite communications as well as various other secure radio nets). Some state emergency and civil defense networks began to stand up, as did FEMA’s more rudimentary but adequate network of systems. A final communications network was composed of amateur radio operators, who had a long history of supporting in the aftermath of disasters. Finally, for a select few civilians, another reliable source of information was available - foreign short-wave radio broadcasts. These broadcasters were in the dark as to conditions in the many nations that had been struck, but were at least able to relay news that entire nations were “offline”.

Overseas, US military commanders received word of the strikes on the U.S. through the military signals network. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jonathan Cummings, secure at the Alternative National Military Command Post at Raven Rock, Pennsylvania (the warhead aimed at Site R malfunctioned), relayed that in the absence of further orders otherwise that American forces in the field were to continue their operations, continuing to take care to minimize the chance of becoming a target of Soviet nuclear attacks, to monitor and be proactive about the morale of troops whose families may have been effected by the strikes, and to render all available assistance to SAC aircraft that may enter their area of operations following attacks on the USSR.

The crew of the Freedom-class ship Kansas Freedom completes unloading over 1000 containers of supplies in Diego Garcia in the remote Indian Ocean and begins preparations for departure.

The Soviet 234th Rear Area Protection Division arrives in Jugoslavia after a fraught transit from Romania, in which it lost several dozen troops to partisan ambushes as it travelled through small towns and villages in the Danube Valley.
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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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November 29, 1997

Unofficially,
President Munson was escorted to the Redding, California National Guard Armory, secured by an ad-hoc force of National Guard stay-behind and California State Guard troops. CLS operatives were reluctant to bring him to the nearest military airfield, Beale Air Force Base over 100 miles away, afraid that the SAC base will be attacked. The base dispatched a UH-1N helicopter from its base flight detachment to stand by the President when he was ready to relocate to a safer location. The helicopter brought with it a military aide and several security policemen, along with a communications team. Using the equipment that team carried, Munson was briefed on the SIOP and the various options he had. He inquired about the losses suffered by the U.S. in the prior two days (no way to be certain at this point but probably several million) and the losses inflicted on the USSR to date (the DIA estimated that between Moscow and Leningrad they were about five million) and the casualties that could be expected from the various SIOP packages. The briefers responded that they did not have any clarity as to what those losses would be, and that the selection of packages, timing and Soviet civil defense measures would dictate the losses. They relayed that an all-out attack, using all remaining ICBMs, SLBMs and bombers, would likely kill over half the Soviet population within a week. Horrified by that possibility, he authorized a relatively small strike in retaliation for the attacks on the Presidential Emergency Facilities, Tampa and the Kennedy Space Center.

The first, and largest package, was a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) target set. The intent of this was to create corridors for entry/egress of American bombers into the Soviet homeland, opening the full array of targets in the central USSR to further manned bomber strikes. Upon releasing authorization, the operation, code named Boogie Valley, went into operation.

A combination of methods (B-52 stand-off, ICBM, SLCM, SLBM, in that order of priority) were used to blast holes in the Soviet air defense networks. The biggest breach was along the Arctic cost north of the Urals, with others over the Soviet-Finnish border (an egress route), the Sino-Soviet border in the vicinity of Lake Zaysan, near the junction of the Iranian, Afghan and Soviet borders (an egress route as well) and on the shoulders of the natural gap over Jugoslavia and Romania (which required strikes on Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine/Moldova).

For each hole, targets were long-range search radars, interceptor bases and SAM sites, as well as supporting C3I facilities. Special emphasis was on MiG-25/MiG-31 bases, as these long-range fighters had the ability to range long distances beyond Soviet borders (placing American tankers at risk) and act as mini-AWACS, airborne radar stations capable of directing further interceptors against American aircraft. Other high priority targets were the Soviet A-50 AWACS bases and radar sites with long-range P-70 air defense radars.

The main hole was through the Arctic. Soviet defenses in the region consisted of a line of radars on islands in the Arctic Ocean, another line along the coast, a third line a few hundred miles inland and then area defenses around important target areas, such as the Urals industrial region and Strategic Rocket Forces division deployment areas. SAM defenses were rare in the region, with barriers established much closer to target areas rather than a continuous barrier. In the center of the gap the only missile complexes were point defenses for the Norilsk mining center and Pechora, home station of the A-50 force and a strategic missile early warning radar. Instead, defenses were largely interceptors, with forward staging bases along the coast or even on Arctic islands.

Pending creation of the holes, the intent was not to have any bombers penetrate the defenses - to use long range or stand-off weapons to perform the strikes. Two exceptions existed, however. First, B-2s were available for a limited number of strikes. Second, once a hole was blasted through, penetrators departing from the Soviet interior could be used to create gaps along their egress routes. The crews, obviously, preferred that the defenses, while outward looking, be neutralized by others, if possible, however!

After months of intense aerial combat over Norway, Central Europe, the Mediterranean/Balkans, Iran and Korea as well as the plethora of non-strategic air defense systems in use by the Red Army and its allies, the intent was to avoid placing bomber routes over Red Army formations. In the Balkans, given the aged nature of Soviet air defense systems in use against the Romanians and Jugoslavs (and that the front had largely collapsed by this time), the risk was deemed acceptable.
A relatively small number of desired ground zeros (DGZs) - about 100 - were in the initial SEAD package. Munson, however, ordered that the number of weapons be reduced, afraid of provoking a proportionate response of 100 Soviet weapons on the US. SAC planners adjusted the plan to remove the strikes for the egress routes, limiting the strikes to creating the hole along the Arctic coast.

The advantages of this approach were that: 1) it was not a full effort series of strikes that stressed takeoff/recovery base capacities; and 2) it was relatively early in the nuclear exchange, and the most capable and newest weapons were available in quantity.

The first mission, the neutralization of the island of Novaya Zemlya, was done by two B-52Hs from the 26th Bombardment Squadron, 5th Bombardment Wing, from Minot AFB, North Dakota, refueled by KC-135Rs of the co-located 906th Aerial Refueling Squadron, each launching single AGM-68B ALCMs against each of the six air defense radars (outside of Rogachevo; the Rogachevo radar was destroyed by the strike on the airfield, as was the HQ of the 406th SAM Regiment; map). Additional DGZs were on the HQ bunker of the 11th Air Defense Division and two SA-2 SAM sites; finally the radar on Kolguev Island was also struck by ALCMs from this cell.

A separate B-52 mission from Minot attacked the radars and airstrips in Franz Josef Land (four radars and two airfields at Nagorskoye and Graham Bell, five DGZs in total) with ALCMs. That aircraft also launched five missiles against radar sites farther east in the Kara Sea and the Taymyr Peninsula of Siberia.

In mission #3, the MiG-31 base and long-range radar at Amderma were struck by two AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles aimed at the airbase, the radar being disabled by the intense short-range EMP from the two blasts. That aircraft (the fourth aircraft from Minot on this series of strikes) also struck eight radar stations along the Arctic coast, each with a pair of ACMs, and the interceptor base at Vorkuta (two ACMs).

Simultaneously with the arrival of the cruise missiles from the first three B-52 cells on the targets was the arrival of a flight of 10 Minuteman II ICBMs launched by the 510th Strategic Missile Squadron, 351st Strategic Missile Wing from Whiteman AFB, Missouri. Each of those missiles had a single 1.2 MT W56 warhead. The targets for these missiles were A-50 AWACs and MiG-31 and MiG-25 interceptor bases, since the A-50 and MiG-31 had the ability to function as airborne control aircraft, replacing ground radars and coordinating surface to air missile and interceptor responses. (MiG-25 bases were included because they were able to somewhat support the MiG-31.) Each base was targeted by a single missile.

Following the first wave of B-52s and the Minutemen, another wave of B-52s struck targets further inland. The first of these missions targeted the interceptor forward operating base at Dikson with three ALCMs. The strike at Dikson also disabled the Soviet Navy’s radio direction finding facility and damaged the port facility and a number of ships at anchor for the winter. The single aircraft then closed on the Soviet coast before launching another round of ALCMs against the mineral production center of Norilsk and its associated air defense complex (including two SA-5 long range missile complexes, the interceptor bases at Alykel and Norilsk and the headquarters of the PVO’s 22nd Division).

The second cell targeted the second line of air defense radars in from the Arctic coast and the strategic early warning missile complex at Pechora with two B-52s loaded with cruise missiles. This strike also included the interceptor base at Naryan Mar and a second strike on the A-50 home base at Pechora-Kamenka. (Unfortunately, the strikes also resulted in numerous casualties among the Allied prisoners of war held at a nearby MVD prison camp four miles from the missile warning radar).

The third cell struck the northeastern air defenses of the Ural industrial megacomplex with three B-52s. Launching cruise missiles from the vicinity of Novaya Zemla, the ALCMs flew southeast, striking the interceptor bases at Yugorsk, Salka and Bakharevka and air defense radars at Gora Chrisop, Ivdel, Yugorsk, Serov, Sverdlovsk and Bolshoye Savino. Due to the large numbers of SAM launchers in the Urals and the inability to designate target locations for SA-10 batteries (which moved on average once a day and took but 15 minutes to set up), this cell was forced to concentrate its fire on PVO headquarters in an attempt to shut down communication between individual batteries.

The cruise missile strikes were followed by a battle damage assessment flight by a R-5D Aurora hypersonic spy plane, armed with a pair of SRAM-II missiles to target any DGZs that survived the strikes.

Officially, in retaliation for the attack on the Kennedy Space Center, the massive Soviet space launch complex at Leninsk-Tyuratam was struck by (unofficially) four Minuteman III ICBMs, each loaded with three 170-kiloton W62 warheads, 2 megatons in total. The attacks, aimed at the central administrative and support complex, Buran shuttle launch complexes (three pads), Soyuz launch complexes and the main communications sites, crippled the space center just as thoroughly as the Soviet strike on Florida had done.

The final American strikes of the day were against the remaining Soviet Military District headquarters for districts bordering active combat zones - the Southern TVD headquarters in Baku, Southwestern TVD headquarters in Kishinev, the Central Asian MD headquarters in Alma-Ata, the Far East MD headquarters in Khabarovsk and the Transcaucasus MD headquarters in Tbilisi. These strikes were delivered by B-1B bombers that made high-speed low level dashes into Soviet territory from the south.

The Soviets unleashed armageddon on an array of Allied command and control centers across the Pacific. The Delta III-class SSBN K-223, operating 1200 km southwest of Hawaii, unleashed five SS-N-18 mod 2 missiles, each with ten 100-kiloton warheads. One missile was aimed at each of Canberra, Australia, Wellington, New Zealand, Anderson Air Force Base on Guam, US Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii and Vandenburg Air Force Base, California. Officially, Soviet nuclear forces also targeted Japan, aimed primarily at destroying US military bases there. Tokyo was bracketed by 500kt nuclear explosions, destroying the USN base facilities at Yokosuka, west of the capital, and the large oil refinery in Chiba City, across Tokyo Harbor to the east. Nagasaki, home to Sasebo Naval Base, was not spared the indignity of being twice hit by nuclear weapons, not quite 53 years apart.

The strike on Pacific Command Headquarters caused severe damage to the city of Honolulu, and local facilities were overwhelmed. The state's urban residents (over 80 percent of the population) panicked.

Blytheville Air Force Base, located in the northeast corner of Arkansas, was expected to be the target for Soviet missiles. The air base, headquarters for the 42nd Air Division and home of a wing of ALCMs, was destroyed by a one megaton, ICBM-launched warhead shortly before midnight. The airburst flattened the base, and the town itself was damaged quite severely. Fallout was slight but still forced the evacuation of towns as far away as Covington, Tennessee, in addition to Blytheville itself.

Unofficially, Around the US, local authorities, among many other efforts, tried to clear roads of blocked cars and trucks, which had simply died from EMP while in motion. Officially, civilian casualties throughout Maryland were extremely heavy. Baltimore, though not nuked, was ravaged by savage rioting and numerous fires which gutted large parts of the central and western city. Annapolis, the state capital, was downwind of Fort Meade, and panicked residents began to flee the state capital. Unofficially, Those trying to flee Washington to the south were hindered by the prior days attacks - I-95 south through Quantico was closed by the attack on PEF, and US Highway 301 into Virginia was closed by the Fort AP Hill strike.

The SAC mobile command post remained in place at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant, where it stood up a mobile rapid re-targeting software system, fed information from the intelligence system and satellites (including the GPS positioning satellites, which had nuclear detonation detectors installed). Likewise, the NORAD Rapier mobile command center went live, while FEMA staff began moving to moored command ships in coastal Maine.

Elsewhere, RainbowSix reports that Gibraltar was targeted in strikes aimed at destroying the city’s port facilities - it was destroyed by a one megaton airburst. He also reports that the British government lacked the logistical capability to evacuate those who remained. Shortages of food and water led to unrest that soon gave way to outright rioting and looting. The police and the Army tried to control the disturbances, but for every one that they quelled another three were breaking out elsewhere. The first fatal clash between troops and rioters occurred in Glasgow today, with others soon following. The Royal Family arrived at a secure, secret location in southern England.

Officially, Soviet forces in the northwest launched another round of attacks on Norway. This round targeted the major industrial centers and the nation's petroleum facilities. Over a half a million Norwegians died in the day’s attacks and the strike on Oslo two days before.

Unofficially, in western Arkansas, the 2nd Brigade, Arkansas State Guard, still in the process of formation and armed only with privately-owned weapons, is unable to fully contain the outburst of violence that accompanies the nuclear attacks on the state and nation, but receives kudos from the many that it is able to assist. The brigade sees a surge in recruitment, especially among urban refugees who find themselves displaced, unemployed and in rural communities that are lukewarm at best regarding the new arrivals.

Despite the damage to the US ashore, the Oriskany battle group continues its training evolution, flying its first multi-squadron mission. The operations on the flight deck are somewhat disorganized as the crew adapts to having more aircraft moving around.

The Kansas Freedom sails in the predawn hours, headed for Mombasa, Kenya, the closest location where friendly naval forces are to be found, and away from the juicy target that is Diego Garcia.

Officailly, The owner of a M113 APC in Providence, Grenada dies of a heart attack while sitting in the APC's drivers' seat.
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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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