The Central Front D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part VI

Southern Germany Timeline D+10 to D+14

D+10

-VII Corps probing in the direction of the Czech border continues but with less determination than on the previous day. Given the emerging pictures in V Corps sector, as well as in Northern Germany, CENTAG is becoming more content with the prospect of keeping VII Corps mainly in place and holding the NATO line in Bavaria from Bamberg south to the suburbs of Ingolstadt.

-The Warsaw Pact push on Munich halts temporarily. Two fresh divisions from 1st Czech Army are moving forward to resume the advance while the shattered Czech 1st Tank Division withdraws to the rear area to recover and reconsolidate.

D+11

-The Austrian government reaffirms its status as a neutral in the conflict and warns both sides its armed forces will zealously defend Austrian territory against any incursion.

-Protests and other acts of civil disobedience flare up in the western Czech town of Pilsen. Czech internal security forces move in to quell the disturbances, causing military convoys to hold in place or detour their movements west.  *Note: News of these incidents did not reach NATO until late on D+15*

-Czech forces, backed by Soviet artillery, and air support conduct an opposed crossing of the Danube River just outside of Regensburg. Their objective is to secure a sizeable portion of the territory west of the river and hold it until reinforced. This will become the right flank for the renewed Pact drive to Munich.

D+12

-Engagements on the west bank of the Danube River between Czech and Canadian forces evolve into a major engagement lasting through most of the day. In the early evening, the Czechs reinforce with two regiments (one tank and one motor-rifle) and by midnight, the Canadians have been pushed back to the other side of Painten Forest.

-At 2330 the commander of the 1st Czech Army and a small cadre of aides leave the main army headquarters in a pair of Mi-17 Hip helicopters. Their destination is the forward army headquarters at Straubing. Thirty minutes into the flight one of the Hip pilots issues a mayday call and then drops off the freq.

D+13

-Rescue personnel and search parties are dispatched to the last known position of the helicopters before all contact was lost.

-Shortly after 0030 hours, two Czech Mi-17s land outside the Austrian village of Kollerschlag, a short distance from the Austria-West German border. Local authorities arrive immediately. 1st Czech Army’s commanding general announces who he is, and declares it is the intention of him and his men to seek political asylum in Austria.

-With the commander and staff presumed dead in a helicopter crash, 1st Czech Army’s deputy commander goes forward to assume command. The advance towards Munich, scheduled to pick up in the afternoon is delayed for twenty-four hours.

-The Austrian government transports its Czech guests to Vienna, keeping them out of sight for the time being. It is decided that no mention of the apparent defection will be made publicly, as it is not in the nation’s best interests.

-Rumors of French land forces potentially joining the war in Germany start circulating through NATO and Warsaw Pact formations.

D+14

-Advance parties of officers from French II Corps begin arriving at NATO forward headquarters’ in Southern Germany after midnight.

-At 0800 France officially announces it is rejoining the NATO command structure. The French First Army, comprised of three corps, will be placed under the command of SACEUR at 12:00 noon. Elements of the French Air Force will fall under the command of NATO air commanders and join the air war within hours.

-The French decision, coupled with events in Poland, bring a halt to all Warsaw Pact operations in Southern Germany by mid-afternoon.

17 Replies to “The Central Front D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part VI”

    1. Professional Czech officers never forgot 1968 and what it did to the military. That’s some hefty motivation to turn on the Russians.

      Well, the warhead might be conventional. Or, it could be a hint of what’s to come…..

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Hands up, who said “Oh, shit…” when the General staff helo issued the Mayday…and then “OH, SHIT!” when they popped up in Austria?

    Great stuff as always, Mike.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The Poles… The Czechs… Whose next? The Hungarians? The East Germans? Each also felt a Soviet crackdown or “intervention” within then current living memory. Even after the follow up to those events, some hard feelings had to lie buried within the populace

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In real life some of those hard feelings are still there now thirty years after the fact. Eastern Europeans have a long memory. Something to keep in mind as this conflict progresses.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. interesting developments.

    As we’ve discussed and you point out above, the Czech’s have not forgotten what was done to them… as of the time frame of this story, it was less than 19 years ago when Prague Spring occurred.

    That is an Important detail…. and I’m certain other Commands may falter as news of the Boot coming down back home reaches them. If Nato finds out on D15, others won’t be long in learning.

    The Hungarians won’t be far behind, I think. And there goes a chunk of power.

    House of cards…. or is it a Jenga tower?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t know if it was intentional on Mike’s part (I can’t imagine it isn’t, though) but note the rondel on that FROG-7 TEL: that’s a Czech vehicle.

    Odds are it’s not the Soviets doing the shooting…and I’d wager it’s not NATO that the Czechs are targeting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OK, my mistake…that’s not a FROG-7, that’s a FROG-3 (2K6 Luna)…but…I’m not seeing that they were ever used by the Czech military. Hmm…very interesting. Of course I’m relying on Google and Wikipedia, so who knows!

      Liked by 2 people

          1. That’s what I thought, but the FROG-7 TEL uses a different configuration entirely. The FROG-3 is based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank, which if you look at the blunt, angled nose of this missiles TEL, that’s what it is. Also note the prominent manual gear wheel on the rear of the launcher. Finally, the FROG-7 has larger, more angular stabilizer fins.

            I’m not being a smart-ass, I only found this out earlier in the week myself!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Hay Bill, I thought that the chasse is an MTLB https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MT-LB#Variants although the PT-76 is very possible. Not really sure how many MTLB the Czechs used while I know they did have PT-76.

              Looking a bit further I see that the TEL is probably a 2P16 which is a PT-76 variant but used by the Soviets and Pols, some must have been loaned to the Czechs
              You’ve also got a point on the missile, when I looked earlier I mistook the FROG-5 (Luna 3R10) which has a bulbus warhead and didn’t dig deeper. Didn’t even look at the fins. Well spotted.

              Liked by 2 people

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