Baltic Approaches D+16 (25 July, 1987) Part II


0700– The first purely military move against Gdansk by Soviet forces was the use of heliborne troops to seize the highway bridge spanning the Vistula River east of the city and the smaller bridges connecting the island of Wyspa Sobieszewska to the city. The operations were conducted by two Soviet airmobile battalions out of Kaliningrad. The attackers were surprised to discover Polish naval infantrymen guarding both locations in unexpectedly large numbers. Instead of the quick seizure envisioned by Soviet commanders, pitched battles erupted around the bridges and carried on even after the first Soviet troops hit the beach at 0800.

0745– CINC-West’s new orders for the Northern Group of Forces called for an immediate reshuffling of priorities and tasks. Relieving the paratroopers at Skrydstrup was now the main objective for NGF. The impending action against the Polish divisions in western Jutland was on hold for the time being. Colonel General Korbutov did not even pretend to understand the new directive for his command. After the considerable amounts of time and effort spent realigning his main combat elements for operations to the west, NGF now had to undo those moves and prepare to head north as fast as possible. This was not going to be a simple endeavor.

0820– At Skrydstrup Airbase, the commander of the 108th Guards Airborne Regiment is starting to lose hope. He is completely out of touch with his higher headquarters and has no idea of what is taking place beyond the captured NATO airbase his forces still hold, albeit tenuously. Supplies, food and ammunition are projected to start running dangerously low within the next twelve hours. At that time, the regiment commander could find himself having to make some difficult decisions.

0900– Elements of the 36th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade landed on the beaches east of Gdansk at 0800. An hour later, the Polish defenders had been killed or withdrew towards the city. With the beachhead now secure and being consolidated, the second wave of naval infantry was coming ashore and would begin the advance inland later in the morning.

0925– With the first combat elements of the 20th Tank Division expected to reorient north in the early afternoon, NGF orders the East German 17th Motor Rifle Regiment forward to establish contact with the NATO forces positioned south of Skrydstrup. Intelligence reports given to the East Germans indicate their main opposition will come from units of the West German 6th PzGD. Instead, far forward of the expected West German positions, the lead GDR motor rifle troops encounter elements of the US 9th Infantry Division (Light) backed up with heavy air support.

1055– The second echelon of Soviet naval infantry starts moving inland to expand the beachhead and pave the way for the follow-on echelon’s expected assault on the Gdansk shipyard. As the fighting approaches the eastern edge of the city, resistance stiffens considerably.

1159– The East German 28th Motor Rifle Regiment defeats an early morning assault by Danish forces, which were reinforced on the previous evening. The East Germans held their positions but just by the skin of their teeth. Reluctantly, the regiment commander orders his forces still on Zealand to withdraw back to Mon. He’s unsure of just how much longer his men can hold out, but remains determined to make the Danes pay for every yard of territory in blood.

11 Replies to “Baltic Approaches D+16 (25 July, 1987) Part II”

  1. The 9th ID concept is and was a valid one. Very much hit and run oriented… and against typical Soviet Doctrine, they should do well as long as the hit/run aspect is maintained. They really were the “Stick and Move” style of fighting.

    Set Piece battle… they don’t have the resilience to hold.. They can fight one, to be sure but that is operating outside their strengths. The 17th MRR is going to have problems…. and the 108th’s Command is going to have to make that decision. Because known viable options are rapidly diminishing.

    The Battle of Gdansk…. there is not enough Russians or Germans to get this job done. They will get into Gdansk…. and be bled white.

    28th MRR…. I think I mentioned a while back that the landing force was doomed. That their commander has realized this is good… but I am not certain its gonna be hold to last man. That shit only rarely happens outside of movies or books.

    Oh wait… 😉

    The rest of the day’s entries will be interesting for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the 9th ID was one of the more interesting Army divisions we’ve ever seen. I mean they took an entire division and planned to turn it into a high tech, high mobility test bed, got half way through and then decided to knock it off. A lot of good came out of the effort though

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes it did.

        The concept of the Mk19 being plentiful being one as well as the liberal NVS issue to just about everyone by the time I went through basic.

        FAVs… well, its a dune-buggy. A well armed dune buggy… a Ma Duece and a pair of M60’s is a ton of bullets down-range. Swapping the Duece for the Mk 19… is plain vicious.

        I do wish TRADOC/Dept of the Army had let it come to fruition. It would have been a really capable rapid deployment element. A bit fragile for anywhere but Western Europe… but capable. Stick and Move is a thing. But what do I know?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Don’t forget the trad guys freaking the f*** out over the FAVs armed with TOWs. If you don’t know the history, it’s hilarious. An entire intradepartmental war broke out over the idea that a 2 man fast ground attack vehicle could have and effectively use TOWs. Doctrine Rabbis were thrown into a state of higgledy-piggledy over the very notion that a 3-man weapon system could be used by two soldiers. Careers and ranks were threatened. I’d say it was the silliest thing I’d ever seen, but it wasn’t 4 or 5 years ago that a USAF general threatened to not only court-martial A10 supporters but to haul them up for Treason charges too. No, that’s not a joke. Yes, that really happened.

          And for the A-10

          Liked by 1 person

  2. And here’s a special Armed Forces Radio Service dedication going out to the Red Army, who have decided that for the greater glory of the Motherland, in the middle of WW3 they would also declare war on Poland, as well…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Evening Joseph. All systems are ready to go. The publishers have informed me we’ll be moving soon. The two contemporary WWIII novels that came on the market in the past couple of months have pretty much slid off everyone’s radar. That was a concern of the pubs for a while since one of the books was co-written by a well known former admiral. But that one flopped. So between that, and the tensions in the Ukraine now diminishing expect to see publicity beginning within the next week. I’ll probably post about all of that early this week

      Liked by 3 people

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