Note #1-All events in this entry take place in Central Europe in the CEST Central European Summer Time) time zone. Zulu+2. Zulu time is displayed with local time in parenthesis. Since it is after midnight, the date in the CEST time zone is 2 August, 1987, but still 1 August for Zulu time.
2304 (0104 Local)- West German and Danish artillery rounds containing VX begin to explode over positions of the Soviet 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division and 20th Tank Division.
2308 (0108 Local)- The first NATO OCA and interdiction sorties of the new day start launching. Their targets are suspected headquarters sites, supply lines and airbases inside of East Germany and Western Poland. Supporting SEAD and other suppression missions are already airborne and about to cross the border.
2310 (0110 Local)- Western TVD received the first radio reports of NATO chemical agents being used against Soviet divisions in the Danish-West German border area.
2315 (0115 Local)- Two Su-24 Fencers lift off from Jüterbog following a brief delay.
2328 0128 Local)- An air of concern is permeating Western TVD’s wartime headquarters in western Poland. Within minutes of learning that Northern Group of Forces formations were under chemical attack, reports of heavy enemy air activity and attacks arrive. Marshal Snetkov is caught off guard by the sudden burst of action.
2335 (0135 Local)- Snetkov finally succeeds in reaching Colonel General Korbutov at the recently repaired command bunker in Stendal. He briefs him on the developing situation and warns him to be prepared for NATO to use chemical weapons against his forces sooner rather than later.
2353 (0153 Local)- The crew of a USAF F-4G Phantom returning from a mission east of Magdeburg catch a glimpse of an afterburning jet streaking east at an extremely low altitude. The pilot assumes the aircraft is either an F-111 or Luftwaffe Tornado simply inbound to its target.
2359 (0159 Local)- Marshal Snetkov had attempted to contact Stendal again, however, enemy jamming was picking up in that area. Instead, he made an effort to reach the peacetime GSFG headquarters at Wünsdorf south of Berlin. He managed to reach the communications officer on duty there and gave him a list of orders he wanted relayed to Stendal. The young major was in the middle of reciting the orders when the radio went dead. In frustration, Snetkov slammed the handset down on the table and cursed aloud. Less than twenty second later his chief of staff rushed into the communications center, his face a mask of chalky white. “Comrade Marshal,” he informed Snetkov in a shaky voice. “We are receiving reports of a massive explosion south of Berlin. Possibly from a nuclear weapon.”
Author’s Note: Well, D+23 was certainly quite the marathon. 😊 I’m going to do a book or game review, as well as another WWIII-themed entry in the coming week and then on Friday or Saturday I will kick off D+24.