The Northern Flank D+16 (25 July, 1987) Part I

The military paradigm on the Northern Flank had shifted almost completely by the pre-dawn hours of D+16. It was the Soviet Union that was now on the defensive in the air, at sea and on land. NATO was now conducting offensive operations in preparation for the time when a coordinated offensive would be launched to …

The Northern Flank D+15 (24 July, 1987) Part III

Through the morning and early afternoon, it was becoming clear the anticipated Soviet attack on Banak had been either delayed or cancelled altogether. The Royal Marines from 3rd Commando Brigade who secured the airbase initially had been reinforced with additional troops from that brigade, along with US Marines from the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The …

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+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 …

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 …