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

10 July saw the beginning of a major effort by the Pact to secure air and sea supremacy in the Baltic. The focus of this effort was on Danish airbases. Of the fifty NATO airfields that were hosting combat aircraft in Central Europe, six were located in Denmark. The Royal Danish Air Force was a …

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

The defense of Schleswig-Holstein was important to NATO’s defense of Denmark and the Baltic approaches. By noon on 10 July the issue was in doubt. The Warsaw Pact advance north to the Jutland peninsula was expected to resume within hours after slowing overnight and into the early morning hours. As the battle plan dictated, elements …

The Northern Flank D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part II

The loss of air superiority over Northern Norway brought immediate ramifications for NATO’s entire Northern Flank defensive strategy. Air and sea surveillance of the Norwegian coast and Barents Sea would now be severely limited. The same was true for subsequent air and naval operations north of Tromso and Bardufoss. NATO land units in the northern …

The Northern Flank D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part I

10 July, 1987 began with redoubled Soviet efforts to establish air superiority over Northern Norway and pave the way for future air and sea operations farther south. The  Northwestern TVD, like its sister commands, was contending with sizable delays to its  timeline of operations. The air situation over Norway especially was a half day behind …

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 …

The Northern Flank: D+0 (9 July, 1987) 0100-0400 Part II**

Norway Continued... The first naval engagement of the Third World War came off of the North Cape shortly after 0200. A trio of Norwegian Storm-class fast attack boats were patrolling the approaches to inland waterways when they stumbled across three radar contacts moving southwest at moderate speed north of Svaerholt. The contacts would turn out …

The Northern Flank: D+0 (9 July, 1987) 0100-0400 Part I**

As was the case on the Central Front, the Soviets intended to utilize their special operations assets fully in the opening hours of hostilities on the Northern Flank. They faced unique obstacles in the northern region, however. Foremost was the meteorological restriction brought on by the midnight sun. During this time of the year, a …

Opening Moves **

Hostilities between NATO and the Warsaw Pact began at 0103 hours Central European Summer Time (Zulu +2) on 9 July, 1987. For a war that would spread around the world in a matter of days and involve millions, the opening clashes between the combatants were largely limited affairs. The first shots rang out in West …