Death Of USS Kitty Hawk D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part II

Two SS-N-19 Shipwreck anti-ship cruise missiles struck USS Kitty Hawk within five seconds of one another. The first Shipwreck hit between the two mid-ship catapults and the second one just aft of the port aircraft elevator. The missiles were each traveling at a speed of close to Mach 2 while carrying 1500-pound warheads. Between the …

Death Of USS Kitty Hawk D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part I

The Soviet Navy’s greatest tactical victory of the war occurred on the final day of the Third World War with the destruction of USS Kitty Hawk in the far northern reaches of the Norwegian Sea. Its effect on the outcome of the war, though, was minimal. The Red Banner Northern Fleet was unable to capitalize …

North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part V

The Backfire groups acknowledged the raid commander’s orders, coming around fully to the west and starting descents to the predetermined altitudes. One group would level off at fifteen thousand feet, another at six thousand and the third a scant five hundred feet above the sea surface. The plan was little revised from the earlier attacks, …

North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part III

Takeoff of the Badger and Backfire regiments commenced at 1140 Zulu on D+24. The process ate up forty minutes. As the bombers cruised north towards their formation rally points over the Barents Sea, the Bears were going to work attempting to find the exact locations of the American carrier formations and relay accurate targeting data …

North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part II

Although the general location of Strike Fleet Atlantic was known with near certainty, the Backfires and Badgers still required relatively current information on the enemy formations. Obtaining this valuable data was not a simple task. By this point of the war satellite coverage, reconnaissance flights and other means of detection were severely degraded on the …

North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part I

In late July and early August of 1987, naval threat facing the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet and the Kola Peninsula had broadened to involve a potential amphibious assault on Soviet territory. The Northern Fleet no longer had the capability to challenge Strike Fleet Atlantic symmetrically. Most of the fleet’s major warships were, by this …

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 …