D+18 1201-1600 Zulu 27 July, 1987 Part I

Washington DC, 1205 Zulu (0805 Local Time)

 The morning phone conversation between President Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was scheduled for 8 AM in the US capital. It was 1 PM in London and Thatcher had just returned from Parliament following a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Commons and other senior members of the legislative body. Communication between the two national leaders was a regular occurrence over the last 19 days. They spoke at least twice daily, often more depending on events in Germany, the North Atlantic and other theaters. On this morning, Thatcher did not waste time on small talk, instead going directly to the first topic of discussion once the American president came on the line.

“Ron, have you had an opportunity to speak with the West German chancellor today?”

“I have,” Reagan confirmed. “I’ll tell you; Helmut sounds ready to lead the charge to Berlin. He’s really chomping at the bit.”

“Quite.” Thatcher commented with a touch of apprehension evident in her voice. Reagan picked up on it at once.

“I advised him to calm down and take a deep breath. No decision about a counteroffensive has been made but he is advocating for one to start immediately. For obvious reasons.”

“Yes. A good deal of his territory remains in Soviet hands. I’m concerned that he will not be satisfied with stopping at the border.”

Reagan chuckled. “Like I said, he sounds ready to get on a horse and lead the charge to Berlin and beyond. Helmut is getting a bit ahead of himself, and I believe he realizes that.”

“I would hope so,” the Prime Minister said lightly. Her next question was put forth in a more somber tone of voice. “Ron, do you think the Russians have been halted permanently?”

“I can’t say for sure, Margaret,” Reagan answered truthfully. “By all appearances it seems they’ve gone about as far as they can. My military advisers, and General Galvin in Brussels agree on that point. What happens in the next day or so will tell us a lot.”

“On the matter of generals, Ron, I am receiving considerable flak from Parliament and members of my own party over the way in which General Farndale was dismissed. He has returned to London with his tail tucked between his legs and is quite humiliated.”

Reagan was not surprised for this subject to be broached and attempted to formulate an honest, but also sympathetic response. “I am very sorry about how the matter has turned out. Please believe me on that. But it was within General Galvin’s right to change commanders and given the successes of the last two days or so, I can’t argue with the decision. It appears to have been the correct one.”

“Yes, perhaps,” Thatcher reluctantly agreed, if somewhat sourly.

“I am more concerned with Moscow,” Reagan continued. “Specifically, what their reaction is going to be once the Kremlin realizes it can no longer win this thing. There has been reversal of fortunes in Germany and now with the Warsaw Pact falling apart around them, this could prove to be a dangerous mixture.”

“That brings up an issue I’d like to discuss before we break away for the day. What are your intentions with regards to northern waters?”

Reagan thought about this for a long minute before speaking. “I’m undecided on that. Although, Admiral Crowe and my naval commanders are pressuring me to resume operations.”

“Understandable. I’m hearing something similar from my admirals here. Personally, I believe we must be cautious for the time being up there.”

“I agree, Margaret.”

“However,” Thatcher then hesitated ever-so-slightly. “I don’t believe it would be outside of alliance interests to strategically position those aircraft carriers and submarines to neutralize the Russian missile submarines should the situation call for it.”

“Now you do sound like one of my admirals!” Reagan chuckled. “I do see your point and will think it over today,” he promised.

The conversation lasted another five minutes. A phone conference with the French and West German leaders was to be held later in the day and Reagan promised to bring the matter up then. Along with gathering opinions about what the next phase of operations in Germany should entail.

10 Replies to “D+18 1201-1600 Zulu 27 July, 1987 Part I”

  1. So the game here…the US repositions aircraft carriers closer in to Kola. The USSR nukes a carrier group and then blames it on NATO for violating their warning, gambling that NATO won’t launch in retaliation and perhaps will bring NATO to the table to negotiate a favorable cease fire. How does this sound?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. 🙂 If the Russians use nuclear weapons on a US carrier group, there’s no way the US can let that go. But I could see the Russians try to use a warning violation….real or imagined….to even the playing field up north, so to speak


  2. Even setting aside the very real prospect that the Germans counterattacking into Berlin will trigger a nuclear exchange, I’m not surprised Maggie is upset by the prospect of a “liberated” East Germany/Berlin: she was opposed to the reunification of the city and German nation, and called it a crisis. One of those datapoints where I as an American vehemently disagreed with the Iron Lady…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wasn’t that the original role of NATO according to Ismay? “Keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans Down” I am enjoying the workup. I can even here their voices reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ismay was on target I think. You know, I’m enjoying writing the workup more than I expected. 🙂 Glad to hear it’s being well received


  4. Hi Mike,

    Former Army SF medic here, recently discovered your blog from someone who posted the link at the Warzone blog. Fantastic stuff you have here. A few questions in the back of my mind as I was binging over the last couple weeks:
    1) based on my count, there are 9 US carriers deployed (3+1 in North Atlantic/Norwegian Sea, 2 in Med, 1 in northern Arabian, 2 in WestPac). Am I missing any mentioned? By D+18 wouldn’t a few more get surged? Unless they’re nuclear and undergoing RCOH, I would think there would be a couple more put to sea by now
    2) wanted to add a trilogy of books to your WW3 fiction list if you haven’t read them: Red Effect, Black Effect, and Blue Effect, by former British intel officer named Harvey Black. The point of view is mostly British focused, especially the ground action, but that’s not a bad thing. Overall not RSR level, but definitely a cut above some others. Felt a bit like a refreshed Chieftain. Set in 1983 if I recall correctly
    3) any update on your novel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kevin. Welcome aboard and thanks for jumping in. 🙂

      You’re right there are 9 carriers deployed that I’ve talked about. Two more are getting ready to leave port, they were in overhaul or recently coming out of sea trials and work ups. We’ll be seeing at least one or two more go into action before the war comes to an end.

      I really like Harvey Black’s work. I’ve read all three and think they’re excellent. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Funny you mention Chieftains. I started re-reading it again last night. Another very good, underrated title.

      As for my novel, the revised manuscript is complete and was submitted a few weeks ago. Now I’m working with the publisher on a release date. They were originally thinking late November, but suddenly January 2022 is being kicked around. I’ll put an update out within the next couple of weeks


      1. Awesome! Looking forward.

        Another decent novel I just remembered is “Red Hammer 1994” by Robert Ratcliffe, who is a former Navy Surface Warfare Officer. Some pretty believable scenes there. Mix of big picture and on the ground (or cockpit) scenes

        Liked by 1 person

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