Baltic Approaches D+4 (13 July, 1987) Part I

It was becoming clear to the Northern Group of Forces commander Colonel-General Ivan Korbutov that his superiors at Western TVD headquarters were increasingly regarding offensive operations against Denmark as a secondary matter. Defeating Denmark early in the war would’ve dealt NATO a major political defeat. On D+4, however, the value of a Danish surrender would …

Baltic Approaches D+3 (12 July, 1987) Part II

The 174th Panzer Battalion succeeded in holding the Soviet 80th tank regiment long enough for the remainder of its parent brigade to disengage and fall back in good order through friendly lines. The 174th then followed suit, and the battle was finally handed off to the 16th Panzergrenadier Brigade. The fighting that ran through the …

Baltic Approaches D+3 (12 July, 1987) Part I

Colonel-General Ivan Korbutov was the Northern Group of Forces (NGF) commander. He had assumed command of operations in Schleswig-Holstein when the 2nd Guards Tank Army handed off operations in this sector to the NGF, and attached Polish forces. His command now consisted of the 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division (MRD) 20th Tank Division (TD) group …

Baltic Approaches D+2 (11 July, 1987) Part III

The slow progress in the air campaign against Denmark, and a growing need to begin air attacks against southern Norway and RAF bases in Scotland was forcing the Soviets to examine Sweden. The Scandinavian nation had remained neutral in the conflict thus far, adhering to its historic position of not involving itself in European conflicts. …

Baltic Approaches: D+2 (11 July, 1987) Part II

LANDJUT’s next defensive line was established across the length of Schleswig-Holstein from Husum in the west to Brodersby on the Baltic. The Jutland Division anchored the western end of the line, and the West German 6th Panzergrenadier Division in the center. The eastern section was defended by West German Territorial units. Deployed north of the …

Baltic Approaches: D+2 (11 July, 1987) Part I

D+2 presented a myriad of new problems for COMBALTAP, his battle staff, and commanders to contend with. Pre-war analyses, simulations, and exercises had largely predicted that the probable Warsaw Pact assault on Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark would come from two directions: a land advance from the  East German border northwest into Schleswig-Holstein and ultimately onto the …

Baltic Approaches D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part III

COMBATLAP’s naval commander believed otherwise. Bornholm possessed no true strategic value for the Warsaw Pact. It was unable to support offensive operations against Denmark and the Baltic approaches. The island’s airport was small and its port facilities were severely limited for that. The attack on Bornholm was a feint, he judged, aimed at distracting his …

Baltic Approaches: D+0 (9 July, 1987) 1000-2359**

The Soviet air mobile assault earlier in the morning on Rendsburg nearly succeeded in decapitating LANDJUT’s senior leadership. The town, for all of its previously mentioned importance, also served as the peacetime headquarters for the Commander, Allied Land Forces Schleswig-Holstein and Jutland (LANDJUT). When warning of Soviet helicopters approaching Rendsburg was received, LANDJUT’s commander, a …