The Central Front Mobilization Race Part III

On 28 June, 1987 the Soviet general secretary informed the Ministry of Defense that Zapad ’87 was to commence on the first of July. A final decision on the date hostilities were to commence was not mentioned. Senior Soviet generals suspected Zapad would transition directly into a broader mobilization and from there to war. Marshal …

The Central Front Mobilization Race Part II

In the early June, 1987 senior Soviet military leaders were being queried daily by the new leadership in the Kremlin about theater mobilization procedures. Specifically, General Secretary Romanov was most interested in the amount of time that the vaunted Soviet military would need to prepare for a conventional conflict in Europe. Chief of the General …

Today’s Friend, Tomorrow’s Enemy D+24 And Beyond Part I

As 2 August, 1987 pressed on towards its climactic conclusion, it was becoming evident that if the world survived the dangerous and rapid escalation then underway, the domestic political dynamic of the Soviet Union, and the geopolitical dynamic of Eastern Europe would appear quite different in the immediate postwar days and weeks. In hindsight the …

Poland On The Last Day D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part II

D+24 continued on and the air of impending doom circulated around Poland. With the vast number of Soviet airbases, supply depots, headquarters and other military bases on Polish soil, an overwhelming majority of Poles expected their country to be next. News of additional nuclear explosions in the GDR and West Germany enhanced the panic. Shelters …

Uncertain Times Ahead D+24 (2 August, 1987) 2200-2359 Zulu

2205 Zulu- In Moscow consolidation efforts continued in the shadows of major emergency services and civil defense operations in the vicinity of what remained of the Kremlin and Lubyanka. Even the consolidation efforts were limited and dependent upon radiological readings. At the present time the areas giving off the highest readings were predictably those around …

Trigger Fingers Disengaged D+24 (2 August, 2022) 2015-2022 Zulu

2015 Zulu - Dolgikh and Chebrikov had much work to do. As did President Reagan and his advisers. Before signing off, the new Soviet co-leaders proposed an informal ceasefire be set into place beginning at midnight. The next morning, once SACEUR and Marshal Snetkov met and ironed out matters in Germany, work could begin 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 …