The North Atlantic D+20 (29 July, 1987)

In the pre-dawn hours, Strike Fleet Atlantic’s three carrier air wings had completed preparations for the day’s planned missions against targets on the Kola Peninsula. The morning strikes were scheduled for a 0630 launch with another wave of strikes and supporting missions set for later in the day. Each air wing commander had private concerns …

The Northern Flank D+19 (28 July, 1987)

NATO and Soviet ground forces were largely inactive during the first part of the day. The confusion and anxiety formed by events elsewhere in the world dominated thoughts, preparation and action. NBC precautions were in place on both sides of the battleline. Troops moved around in bulky protective suits and masks. The restrictive nature of …

The Northern Flank D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part III

The Soviet air strikes against Brigade North positions, Banak, and Andoya earlier in the afternoon underscored the need for more ground-based air defenses. They also served to impress upon NATO commanders the fact that Soviet air power could still operate effectively when allowed to concentrate their assets against a handful of targets. The HAWK batteries, …

The Northern Flank D+11 (20 July, 1987) Part I

Immediately following the Defense Council meeting that morning in Moscow, KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov handed Marshal Akhromeyev a list of NWTVD senior officers and their staffs. Notes were scribbled aside each name denoting certain officer’s reliability or lack thereof. In essence, the list told Akhromeyev who the chekists were in the Northwestern Theater of Military …

The Northern Flank D+10 (19 July, 1987) Part II

Sweden’s entry in the war brought operational consequences, as well as potential benefits and advantages for NATO and Soviet forces operating on the Northern Flank. These directly affected the air forces operating in the north on D+10 and beyond. The Swedish emergence from neutrality opened up the airspace of northern Sweden to all combatants. Soviet …

The Northern Flank D+8 (17 July, 1987) Part III

Land operations in Norway remained a secondary matter for both sides on D+8. In the last thirty-six hours, environmental, meteorological, and operational considerations all played roles of varying consequence for Soviet, and NATO ground commanders. As previously detailed, air and sea operations were assuming the lion’s share of prominence in theater. Even though AFNORTH and …