A Look Ahead At Labor Day Weekend And The Week Beyond

Good morning, folks. As I mentioned the other day, I want to take a few minutes and give everyone an idea about what’s coming up on the blog in the next week or so. I’ve yet to decide how I’ll go about presenting the details and loose ends from D+24 0000-2200 but I’m working on …

We Were Right To Fear That Weapon D+24 (2 August 1987) 1648-2015 Zulu

1648- On Nightwatch President Reagan is placed in contact with Chebrikov and Dolgikh in the Lenin Hills. They speak for eighteen minutes. The topics discussed have never been confirmed by either the Russian or US governments. Nor have any of the three men involved ever revealed the matters discussed and agreements reached at this time. …

Six To Five And Pick ‘Em D+24 (2 August 1987) 1625-1645

Nightwatch 1625 Zulu (1225 Local) Full text of General Secretary Romanov’s Hotline Message 1620 Zulu, 2 August, 1987: MR PRESIDENT, IMMEDIATELY UPON TRANSMISSION OF THIS MESSAGE TO YOU, I WILL CONTACT THE LEADERS OF THE ABORTED COUP AND DEMAND THEIR UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER BY 1800 HOURS ZULU TIME. FAILURE TO MEET THIS DEMAND WILL RESULT IN …

Hell Bent For Leather D+24 (2 August, 1987) 1605-1620

Aboard Nightwatch 1600 Zulu (1205 Local) Debate over the surgical First Strike option presented by General Vuono continued on and  Reagan’s advisers were divided over the prospect. Those in favor believed time was running critically short. Romanov was a loose cannon suffering from sleep deprivation, stress and did not appear to have full control of …

Final Plays Set In Motion D+24 (2 August, 1987) 1545-1550 Zulu

Aboard Nightwatch (E-4B National Emergency Airborne Command Post) 1545 Zulu (1145 Local) The conference room on Nightwatch had not been designed with comfort or handling a large number of people in mind. Unfortunately, the amount of officials now crammed into the somewhat spartan space was considerable. At the head of the table sat the president. …

On The Edge Of The Precipice D+24 (2 August, 1987) 1100-1530 Zulu

1100 Zulu- In Western Poland Marshal Snetkov learns of multiple Soviet divisions in West Germany surrendering to NATO forces. Unfortunately for CINC-West, communication disruptions make it almost impossible to verify the authenticity of the reports. 1115 Zulu- Similar claims of Soviet surrenders are making their way to SACEUR in Belgium. Only his reports come from …

Even A Paranoid Can Have Enemies D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0500-1030 Zulu

0500 Zulu- In Moscow the first indications of a Kremlin power struggle start to take shape. Marshal Akhromeyev informs KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov of the battlefield nuclear attacks in East Germany. Chebrikov advises the senior Soviet military officer to inform the general secretary of this event, and more significant, not to accept any orders by …

Black Jack Dawn D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0400-0450

0415 Zulu- SACEUR submits a final target recommendation to President Reagan. The US leader reviews it with the Joint Chiefs and NSC members first. Next comes a discussion with the leaders of Great Britain, France and the Federal Republic. There is general agreement with SACEUR’s selection. For the Germans, however, their approval is understandably reluctant. …

The Morning’s Second Artificial Sunrise D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0253-0330 Zulu

0253 Zulu- Romanov’s hotline message is summarized for President Reagan and his advisers in the Situation Room by the MOLINK duty officer. The general secretary explains that a direct response to the ‘unprovoked NATO nuclear attack on a Soviet military base in the GDR’ will be launched within minutes. He does not understand the purpose …