Naval Losses In World War III: Introduction

Until recent times, the Third World War was widely considered to have been the final war where control of the oceans was a critical prerequisite for victory. NATO and Warsaw Pact naval strategies were focused on the North Atlantic. The mission for NATO was to maintain control of the North Atlantic and its sea lanes. …

Southern Flank D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part II

0500-1230 Zulu- As the tactical nuclear exchange in Europe and its aftermath gripped world attention through the rest of the morning and early afternoon and the fate of the entire world seemed to hang in the balance, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was motoring obliviously towards final dissolution.  Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina had already declared …

The Southern Flank D+21 (30 July, 1987)

AFSOUTH planning for offensive operations accelerated when word was received from Brussels that the NATO counterattack in Northern German was underway. Debate raged in Naples over what shape NATO’s counterblow on the Southern Flank would take. Sixth Fleet was pressing for a campaign against Soviet ports and airbases on the Black Sea coastline while officers …

The Southern Flank D+5 (14 July, 1987) Part I

Saratoga’s air wing went back into action in the pre-dawn hours. The morning’s target list included POL facilities and staging areas in southern Bulgaria. CVW-17s airstrikes were not preceded by cruise missile strikes as they had been twenty-four hours earlier. The Los Angeles class attack submarines that had fired most of the TLAMs against targets …

The Southern Flank D+4 (13 July, 1987) Part I

At 0125 hours EEST, the Sixth Fleet went to work. Less than an hour before, twenty TLAMs (Tomahawk Cruise Missile Land Attack Variant) were launched from a trio of Los Angeles class attack submarines, and the single TLAM-armed destroyer in the Saratoga’s battlegroup. The missiles approached the Greek-Bulgarian frontier in a staggered pattern, less than …