WWIII Naval Losses: NATO, D+0 (9 July, 1987)

As anticipated, the first day of the Third World War generated fierce engagements between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces at sea. From the North Cape to the mouth of the Persian Gulf naval and air forces clashed. Surface warships and submarines from both sides were damaged and destroyed. From the opening of hostilities in the early morning hours through to midnight, ships and sailors were dying in dreadful numbers. Heavy losses had long been expected by NATO and Pact admirals, and they were not disappointed. The lack of activity in the North Atlantic on D+0 did raise some eyebrows though. Swarms of Soviet torpedoes and anti-ship missiles were expected to converge on NATO convoys in the opening hours of hostilities. Yet on the first day of war, NATO’s convoys were either still forming or just getting underway on the east coast of the United States and the bulk of the Red Banner Northern Fleet’s submarine force was still positioned north of the GIUK barrier. In twenty-four hours, this would begin to change. But on the first day of World War III, the North Atlantic was fairly quiet.

Action in other theaters certainly picked up the slack. On D+0 thirty NATO surface warships and submarines were lost with a considerable number of others damaged to one degree or another. The shootout between NATO and Soviet surface groups and Backfire bombers in the Eastern Med early on accounted for almost one-third of the sinkings.

Soviet and Pact losses on D+0 were considerably heavier. We will examine those before mid-December.

NATO Naval Losses D+0

Eastern Mediterranean

Clemenceau R 98   France

Tourville   D 610   France

Duquesne   D 603 France

Dupleix    D 641 France

Jean Moulin  F 785  France

HMS Superb S109  United Kingdom

USS Pogy SSN-647  United States

USS Preble DDG-46   United States

Kriezis D217 Greece

Aegean Sea

Kostakos P25 Greece

Starakis P29 Greece

TCG Rüzgâr P-347 Turkey

TCG Terme M-531 Turkey

Arabian Sea

USS Duncan FFG-10 United States

Baltic Approaches

Suenson P45Denmark

Olfert Fischer F355 Denmark

Søhesten P513 Denmark

Beskytteren  F304 Denmark

Lossen N44 Denmark

Geier P6113 West Germany

Habicht P6119 West Germany

Löwe P6148 West Germany

Northern Flank

HNoMS Rapp P981 Norway

HNoMS Rask P983 Norway

HNoMS Brask P977 Norway

HNoMS Storm P960 Norway

HNoMS Trygg P964 Norway

HNoMS Gnist P979 Norway

HNoMS Trondheim F302 Norway

HNoMS Utsira S301 Norway

10 Replies to “WWIII Naval Losses: NATO, D+0 (9 July, 1987)”

  1. Please explain how the USS Duncan can be sunk in the Arabian Sea on D+0 and return to service in the North Atlantic on D+22. I know the US Navy can perform miracles when the chips are down, bringing back most of the battleships sunk in Pearl Harbor, but I doubt if Fifth Fleet had such capability in 1987.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just checked the North Atlantic entries for D+22. It was the USS Estocin, not the Duncan, Chief. 🙂

      Seriously, thanks for picking up on that. I owe you a beer. 30+ frigates in the class and I somehow double-up on one. Damn


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