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 …

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 …

Hell Bent For Leather D+24 (2 August, 1987) 1605-1620

Aboard Nightwatch 1600 Zulu (1205 Local) Debate over the surgical First Strike option presented by General Vuono continued on and  Reagan’s advisers were divided over the prospect. Those in favor believed time was running critically short. Romanov was a loose cannon suffering from sleep deprivation, stress and did not appear to have full control of …

Final Plays Set In Motion D+24 (2 August, 1987) 1545-1550 Zulu

Aboard Nightwatch (E-4B National Emergency Airborne Command Post) 1545 Zulu (1145 Local) The conference room on Nightwatch had not been designed with comfort or handling a large number of people in mind. Unfortunately, the amount of officials now crammed into the somewhat spartan space was considerable. At the head of the table sat the president. …

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 …

Perception and Misperception D+24 (2 August, 1987) 0100-0200 Zulu

Moscow, USSR 0100 Zulu (0500 Local) The Defense Council was huddled together in the secure conference room located on the wing adjacent to the general secretary’s living quarters. It was now beyond first light in Moscow and the Politburo was set to meet at 6:30. In the next ninety minutes some critical decisions had to …

The Politics of Global War: Dueling Dangers in Moscow D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part III

The hotline message arrived in Moscow a short time before the Defense Council meeting was set to begin. Romanov’s military aide retrieved the translated copy of the message and brought it directly to the general secretary, who was just then making the walk from his office to the conference room where the meeting was to …