Air War on the Central Front D+4 (13 July, 1987) Part I

NATO’s surge in offensive counter air (OCA) sorties against Warsaw Pact airfields in East Germany, and Poland commenced in the late night hours of the previous night and ran through 0500 on D+4. Thanks in large part to the efforts of wing and squadron staff officers at RAF Lakenheath and other NATO airbases in the …

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Baltic Approaches D+3 (12 July, 1987) Part II

The 174th Panzer Battalion succeeded in holding the Soviet 80th tank regiment long enough for the remainder of its parent brigade to disengage and fall back in good order through friendly lines. The 174th then followed suit, and the battle was finally handed off to the 16th Panzergrenadier Brigade. The fighting that ran through the …

Baltic Approaches: D+2 (11 July, 1987) Part II

LANDJUT’s next defensive line was established across the length of Schleswig-Holstein from Husum in the west to Brodersby on the Baltic. The Jutland Division anchored the western end of the line, and the West German 6th Panzergrenadier Division in the center. The eastern section was defended by West German Territorial units. Deployed north of the …

The Central Front: 9 July, 1987 0130-0400 Part III

0300- The first non-stealth NATO aircraft into East Germany that morning were USAF F-111F Aardvarks and a mixed force of RAF and Luftwaffe Tornadoes. As the last GBU-27 impacted on the 20th Guards Army’s bunker complex at Mohlau, the fighter-bomber were breaking formation as flights headed off for their assigned ground targets. The primary targets …

The Central Front: 9 July, 1987 0130-0400 Part II

The post-Vietnam years were a time of reconstruction for the US Air Force. The service’s Vietnam experience was best regarded as a stark example of how not to run an air war. Restrictive rules of engagement, micromanagement, and a cumbersome, almost ineffective process of changing tactics and strategy once it became apparent that what was …