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 …

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 …

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 …

Politics of Armageddon: “Millions Will Die…” D+22 (31 July 1987) Part I

At 10 AM the Politburo convened again in the same Kremlin conference room it had been meeting in for the duration of the Third World War. This meeting was attended only by full members, to the surprise and alarm of some. Candidate members were not present, and their exclusion was blamed on scheduling conflicts and …

The Central Front D+22 (31 July 1987) Part III (Alpha)

A military aircraft ostensibly designated and marked as a medical evacuation flight transported General Snetkov back to the Western Theater of Operations. The plane landed at a military airfield southeast of Berlin. From there he was transported amid heavy security to the Group Soviet Forces Germany peacetime headquarters complex at Wünsdorf. The buildings and surrounding …

Politics of Armageddon: Fissures Develop in Moscow D+21 (30 July, 1987)

At the Politburo meeting later in the evening, General Secretary Romanov found himself being confronted on the conduct of the war for the first time. Romanov was taken aback by the bold, direct queries put forth by a number of Politburo members, as well as their refusal to accept his rather insubstantial responses. Attempts by …

Politics of Armageddon: The Politburo Returns D+21 (30 July, 1987)

In the early part of the afternoon, the first Politburo members returned to Moscow following their short trips. The bleak and uncertain atmosphere they found the city in mirrored their own attitudes and feelings sharply. The rides from the airport to their residences took them through Moscow and separately, the men who ruled the Soviet …

Politics of Armageddon: Preparations For A Crackdown D+20 (29 July, 1987)

By 2100 hours Moscow time, seventy-five percent of the Politburo’s members were either preparing to depart from Moscow or had already left. Their collective task was to observe events and conditions in whichever theater of operations for eight hours. Afterwards, they would return to Moscow and report their findings to the General Secretary and the …