The North Atlantic D+8 (17 July, 1987) Part II

On board the command ship USS Mount Whitney Strike Fleet Atlantic’s commander reminded himself that although the war could not be won in Norwegian Sea, it could easily be lost there. The strike fleet he commanded was the most powerful assemblage of naval power since the end of World War II. Along with the four …

The North Atlantic D+5 (14 July, 1987) Part II

The Red Banner Northern Fleet’s intelligence projection of the NATO convoy picture in the North Atlantic was remarkably accurate in many regards. Convoy 27-1, NATO’s first wartime Atlantic convoy was approaching Le Havre on the morning of D+5 and by mid-afternoon its merchant vessels were starting to disembark material. Behind it, two more convoys were …

The North Atlantic D+4 (13 July, 1987) Part III

Later in the afternoon, fifteen Bear D reconnaissance aircraft came across Northern Norway, and  headed south over the Norwegian Sea. As the Bears approached within 200 miles of the Icelandic coast they descended to altitudes of between 300 and 500 feet. The five formations of three aircraft each separated as they neared the Iceland-Faroes gap …

The North Atlantic D+2 (11 July, 1987) Part I

Defensive operations at the GIUK barrier were underway in earnest by dawn on 11 July. The tempo of operations increased through the morning, and afternoon, peaking at some point around 1600 Zulu. The first wave of Soviet SSNs and SSGNs heading south encountered an aggressive, well-coordinated, multi-layered defense made up of MPAs, surface ships, and …

The North Atlantic D+1 ( 10 July, 1987) Part III

Of the twenty Backfires that made up the Iceland strike group four were shot down by F-15s before reaching their launch points. A further three were destroyed  after launching their air-to-surface missiles. Another pair suffered battle damage but managed to return safely to their bases on the Kola Peninsula. Of the sixteen ASMs launched by …