The Southern Flank D+21 (30 July, 1987)

AFSOUTH planning for offensive operations accelerated when word was received from Brussels that the NATO counterattack in Northern German was underway. Debate raged in Naples over what shape NATO’s counterblow on the Southern Flank would take. Sixth Fleet was pressing for a campaign against Soviet ports and airbases on the Black Sea coastline while officers …

Historical Rhymes: 1987 Vs. 2022

Mark Twain once remarked that “History Doesn't Repeat Itself, but It Often Rhymes.” I first encountered this quote back when I was in high school around 1994. As a know-it-all teenager at the time, I scoffed at Twain’s words. Yet as I grew older and experienced more of what life had to offer, it became …

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

Libya’s declaration of neutrality did not shake Moscow to its core. Frankly, the Libyan move was met with general indifference by Soviet leadership. By this point in the war, the focus had shifted almost fully to the Central European battlefront. Romanov and the Politburo regarded Libya, and the Mediterranean as an inessential sideshow. Gaddafi’s decision …

The Southern Flank D+9 (18 July, 1987) Part I

D+9 saw the first sustained ground combat between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces on the Southern Flank. In the pre-dawn shadows, Pact forces crossed the frontier into Eastern Thrace in force. The Soviet 179th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade (Parent division the 59th Guards MRD) moved south into Turkish territory from staging areas around Lesovo. Bulgarian …