Western Pacific D+24 (2 August, 1987)

The time zone differences between Greenwich, UK (GMT/Zulu) and the Western Pacific in 1987 was 9-10 hours. This meant that as the NATO retaliatory chemical attacks were underway and GSFG headquarters at Wunsdorf was struck by an air-delivered nuclear gravity bomb in the opening moments of midnight D+24, it was mid-morning in Tokyo and Seoul. …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+22 (31 July, 1987) Part II

Faced with emerging threats on two fronts, Saddam Hussein’s perspective shifted on D+22 towards one embedded deeper in realism. Continuing to battle a newly aggressive Iran with one hand tied behind its back was not conducive for the Iraqi military. Holding Iraq was particularly critical, there was little debate on this point. Contending with the …

Central America/Caribbean D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part II

As the Third World War teetered on the brink of escalating to a global nuclear war on D+18, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega remained indifferent to events going on in Europe and North America. Whereas the leaders of Cuba and Nicaragua saw the writing on the wall and attempted to reach accommodation with the US government, …

Central America/Caribbean D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part I

The use of nuclear weapons on D+18 almost set Central America and the Caribbean on the backburner for the US permanently. But the fear and uncertainty that came in the hours following the nuclear exchange ended up working to Washington’s benefit. The remaining appetites for further conflict in the region were extinguished, with one significant …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part II

As preparations for the night’s air operations continued at CENTCOM-Forward in Riyadh, General George Crist’s thoughts were on Kuwait. The tiny emirate was now occupied by Iraqi forces of lesser quality than the Republican Guard formations that stormed the country days earlier. Those divisions were now positioning near Basra with the mission of blocking an …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part I

Fighting between Iraqi and Iranian forces flared up once more as first light broke over the Shat-al-Arab. In the first engagements of the day, company-sized units clashed and began extended engagements that included artillery support and air attacks from both sides. The morning continued and by 1000, the Iraqis were receiving indications of two Iranian …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+20 (29 July, 1987)

In the pre-dawn hours along the Iraq-Iran frontier a number of small unit engagements, allegedly between Iranian and Iraqi ground units, broke out on the western side of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway. By the time dawn came, forward Iraqi positions near the border were reportedly under fire from Iranian artillery batteries. A short time later, the …