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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:39 pm 
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And claim to be their caddy and they're late for their tee time no doubt.

Looking forward to Chapter 9!

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:22 pm 
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2-North
RAF Lakenheath
6 August 1985
0443 Local/0443 Zulu[/I]

Daria awoke from her Air Force issue cot for the fifth time that night, or as she glanced with a scowl on her face at her Timex watch, morning. Didn’t Churchill once say? “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” He didn’t mention the bad dreams, or the insomnia, or the feeling of pins in one’s stomach. I wonder if that’s why he drank so damn much.

Daria shook the cobwebs from her head, she figured she got some sleep, and neither of them were on the flight roster till 0730, when they were supposed take off to pay a visit to a rail yard near Karl Marx Stadt. I wonder if Ivan will be surprised when we show up in broad daylight. Somehow, I doubt he’ll care. At least the attack was part of a four-ship, which from Daria’s point of view, was better, more targets to shoot at.

She glanced over at Jane, and saw her sound asleep, her light snoring almost making it seem like there wasn’t a war on. How the hell does she do it? My hands shake, I can’t sleep, and I have been going on coffee and oxygen from the aircraft. She acts as if it’s another day at the office?I envy you mi amiga, I really do.

As Daria made for her flight boots, there came a loud, insistent rapping at the metal personnel door leading to the outside. Daria grabbed her black, Air Force issue .38 and contemplated it. Would Spetsnaz bother knocking? Probably not. Then again…She quickly threw on her flight boots and hefted the revolver in her right hand, holding it behind her back as she quickly moved to the door, a lump in her throat as she opened the door slightly.

She opened the door a crack, and shoved the Model 10 revolver through the gap. “Password, you got one chance or I give you a third nostril!”

The response was a derisive snort. Followed by a gravelly voice that sounded like a mix from a boombox full of feedback and a cement mixer, “Lieutenant, I saw your last range scores, if I really was Spetsnaz, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, anyhow, the password is GLASS, countersign?”

Daria sighed, it was Captain Folkes, the squadron assistant operations officer, and he was right, Daria had barely qualified with her revolver. “TOPHAT”. She relaxed as she opened the door the rest of the way. Captain Marius Folkes had dark ebon skin, with eyes that belied a lively intelligence. He was a man who spoke four languages, Russian, Spanish, Polish and Hungarian, but he was a man afflicted by a minor malady that had gotten him much in the way of derision in the Air Force, at least at first. Marius was 5’5 and barely made the height requirements. He was competing with Crimson for shortest aircrewmember in the wing. But he was whipsmart, and had been bucking for an Air Attaché job in the Eastern Bloc before the war. Now, that seemed to be all in a cocked hat.

“Morning Captain Folkes, what brings you by today, is it the ambiance of our shelter, or the fact Wing is driving you insane and you needed to get away for a while?”

Folkes smiled, and pointed to the shoulders of his flight suit. Instead of the silver railroad tracks one found with a captain, there resided the gold oak leaves one found with a Major’s rank.

Daria’s eyes went wide, “Sorry Maj-“

Folkes waved away her apology, and found an empty work bench to sit at. “Really did want to make Major, not like this though, and I am going to do a horrible thing to you too, Captain.”

Daria’s brow furrowed…Wait a sec, I am not a cap- Oh Christ, it’s been that bad.

Folkes reached into a pocket of his flight suit, and produced a gaggle of white boxes, with items jangling in them, brand new captains bars.
He tossed them to Daria, who barely caught them, with her exhaustion and confusion at being promoted so fast warring in her skull.

“Casualties, I have two flight leaders to replace, and god knows, I have to merge what is left of your flight, with another flight. They have two birds and crews left, and those kids have less experience than you.”

Daria shook her head Surely this was a mistake. Me, Captain, flight leader? Jesus this is all going very damned wrong. “Sir, what about Grady and Robinson, they did a damn good job on the first day, especially leading us out of Grossenhein, and Grady is a Vietnam vet?”

Folkes shook his head, “Grady bought it three hours ago, was trying to bring back a damaged aircraft, and well, the engines gave out 1000ft short of the runway. He and Robinson ejected, capsule chute deployed, sort of..landed hard. Robinson is just being sent home with a broken back. Grady didn’t make it, broke his neck. Simply put, Morgendorffer, I gotta promote you and Lane, I need people who even resemble the qualifications for flight leader at this point. Wing has taken 30% losses in two days of fighting. This keeps up, we won’t be around in 4 more days.”

Daria sat down on her cot with a start. “It is worse than any of us thought?”

Folkes exhaled, “Seems to be that way for both sides, there is a permanent close range dogfight going on just over the damn FEBA, and both sides only have a general idea of what’s in the air right now. I think the guys on the ground are just lighting anything up that flies right now”.

Daria spread her hands in supplication “Karl Marx Stadt still on?”

Folkes shrugged again “Yep, that and three other just like it, The Pact is moving and we are barely holding the line, though we are backpedaling as much as we can, trying not to get smashed under the Sov sledgehammer. SACEUR is screaming at COMFACCE to shut down the Soviet logistical effort, so, yeah, if we are not doing counter-air, we are going to be blowing the crap out of rail lines and bridges for the foreseeable future.”

Daria grimaced and her hands shook imperceptibly, how much more courage and luck do I have left? Will my flight trust me to get the job done? We trusted the last two flight leaders, and both of them are dead, very dead.

Morgendorffer Home
Lawndale, Maryland
6 August, 1985
0317 Local/0713 GMT

Quinn Morgendorffer looked over her luggage one more time. The military had told her to pack light, no more than two bags weighing 10lbs each. She had packed one, and it was mostly clothing Daria had left behind, including her Doc Martens, Is it a sad statement I don’t have a damn bit of practical outdoor clothing?

The trip down from NYC had been slow, and taken almost 24 hours, with Murray driving like a madman the entire time. He had almost collapsed just past Philadelphia. At Quinn’s insistence, she and Murray had tried to find a hotel for the night, but they were all full of people just trying to get away from what they were convinced was the certain nuclear attack. A test of the EBS in one hotel Murray and Quinn had tried had caused a near panic, and a riot broke out. The best Murray and Quinn could do was get the hell out of there before the cab got stolen.

So, they’d settled for sleeping in the cab in the parking lot of a shopping mall ten miles north of the Maryland state line. When it was Quinn’s turn to stand watch, she had gripped the .38 for dear life. The next morning, the drive was somewhat easier, but it still took until almost seven that day to get home. On July 27th, at seven in the evening, a bedraggled Quinn dragged her two suitcases, lighter than they had ever been in her life, through the door of her family home, Murray, even the gentleman, had only asked her for gas money, stating “Good deeds are a good idea right now, we may all be meeting him shortly.”

The ten days Quinn had been home was a eye opener on how her parents were handling the stress of both international crisis, and then war. Her father, Jake, was jumping from one task to another to prepare the house for “the Apocalypse” and had gone and spent a fortune on what appeared to be the necessities, at least, according to the civil defense pamphlet that had shown up at the doorstep on the 1st.

Her mother, Helen, was the picture of calm as she simply moved money around to cover Jake’s panic fueled largesse. Quinn knew she was scared though, because she simply let Jake rant, about the Soviets, about his daughter in danger, and about the fact that the world could be ending. Normally, Helen would stomp down on Jake hard, but this time, she said nothing, and sat quietly, while her hands shook like leaves.

By the 1st, Quinn knew she could not just sit in her family home and wait for the end. An impromptu “Fashion Club Reunion” at a local bar had done nothing to improve Quinn’s spirits, and she had cursed herself for having done such a thing. Sandi was a waitress at a local steakhouse, married to a guy who was more than happy to live off of her, and do nothing to take care of the kids. Stacy however, had opened her own garage, and was proving to be very skilled at it, she had in fact, covered dinner for all of them, as the reunion had been more her idea than anyone else’s. As for Tiffany, she had not shown up, citing the fact that her husband, a successful CPA, had thought it best to get out of town with the impending international situation, at least Stacy had been fun to talk to.

The job search had gone worse, as nobody wanted fashion writers, they wanted news copy…serendipity happened on the 4th. As Quinn and the rest of her family sat on the edge of their seats, breathlessly watching NBC broadcast grainy images of Europe tearing itself apart for the third time in a century, the phone rang.

Helen and Jake both gave Quinn the “answer it” look. She knew why. They are hoping they see Daria alive in some of the news footage. What’s the chance of that?

The voice on the other end was one she had not heard from since high school, Jodie Landon, now Jodie Landon-Mckenzie. Quinn had missed the wedding, much to her later regret, but why call now? And wasn’t Jodie in Germany with Mack, no, wait, she was evacuated…

Jodie’s voice sounded clear, and without static, like it was across town, not across the ocean. Where is she calling me from?

“Hey Quinn, you have a few minutes to talk, I have a potential job offer for you. It won’t be fashion writing, but I need somebody who can write.”

“Sure Jodie, it beats sitting at home, where are you, by the way, and have you heard from Mack?”

“I am in Baltimore, at the main offices of the Sun, haven’t heard from Mack since the 3rd. Right now I am working 12 hour days so I don’t think about him. But, that’s not why I called, ok?”

Quinn sensed it was best to leave things alone from this point, “Ok, you have peaked my interest, what do you have in mind”?

Jodie exhaled sharply “Quinn, our guy covering the air war in England got badly hurt in the first round of airstrikes. He may not make it, and DoD authorized me to send a replacement…finally. Anyhow, I know you can write and take care of yourself.”

Quinn blanched, Jodie is making me a big offer, but I don’t have any experience like this, and what about Mom and Dad. Dad’s losing it over Daria being in harm’s way, me too? Might just kill him…but dammit, this is a chance to not be stuck in the Fierce rut for the rest of my career! “Jodie, the answer is yes, what do I have to do?”

“Military is insisting that all correspondents attend one of their courses held at various posts..nearest one to you is Fort Meade. It’s 5 days long, and then off you go into the war zone. They will fill you in there. Be there no later than the 6th of August at 0830 and bring ID. No more than two bags, 10lbs each, and dress practical. Rest will be done there. Good luck, Quinn!” and with that Jodie hung up.

It occurred to Quinn at that moment that she had forgotten to ask Jodie how much the position paid.

When she told her parents, Jake exploded, demanding Quinn call back and quit. Quinn said she would do no such thing. That had sparked a huge fight where Quinn marched upstairs and slammed the door, with Quinn raiding Daria’s old wardrobe to find some practical clothing, as Quinn seemed to lack items along those lines.

Fast forward to Quinn, sitting on her couch, waiting for a cab at three in the morning to take her to Fort Meade. She had cried, she tried to write several notes to her parents. What did you say? I love you, but my career matters, and I am going to war, even though I don’t have to.

Quinn hoped she would go where she could tell the story right, it was the least she could do for her sister, and her buddies. What if I wind up at Lakenheath? That will be kinda awkward….a noise then disturbed Quinn’s reverie. It was the sound of light footsteps, that could only belong to her mother.

Helen slipped into the living room like a ghost, clad in a white terri-cloth bathrobe and her hair done up in a hairclip. She was not her usual sartorial best, but at three in the morning, who was?

“Quinn honey, can we talk”?

Quinn nodded “I am not changing my mind, mom.”

Helen sat on a chez lounge opposite the couch. “Wouldn’t dream of it dear. Look, your father, for all of his many faults, and there are many…loves us all very much. To him, his father, whom he will never forgive, bred true in Daria. He kind of hoped the military tradition, such as it was, ended with you. And now, while you’re going as a member of the press, you are still going to war. He is scared, scared he might lose you both.”

“Why the hell not just say that!”

“It’s your father dear, he never does that, He can’t decide whether he is going to go to pieces, or be John Wayne. Right now, they are warring for his soul.”

“So what do I do?”

Helen smiled and nodded. “Let him cool off, I will help there, and when you are leaving for the war zone, call before you go. Speak to him then. He will come around. Quinn, you and your sister are both great writers. I wish Daria was telling the story as well, but maybe she will get that chance after the war. At least, I hope she does.” Helen’s famous reserve finally broke, and she broke down, sobbing. Quinn wordlessly crossed the distance, and held her for what seemed like hours. She almost missed her cab.

Rail terminal 10km SSW of Karl Marx Stadt
Karl Marx Stadt, East Germany
6 August, 1985
1030 Local/0830 GMT

It had been a long tiring flight for Daria and Jane, they had taken off at 0730, and tanked over the North Sea 20 minutes later, then going low level down the Elbe and hanging a left in a somewhat straight line at 300 feet for the rail yard. Flak and SAMs had been intermittent, but one of the flight of four had gotten temporarily lost as he had guided off the wrong landmark.
But something had alerted the defenses they were coming..and it seemed everything bigger than an AK-47 in the area was coming up to greet them. Green tracer ripped apart the morning sky, dirty back puffs of flak exploded mostly above the aircraft, and the RWR beeped almost incessantly as a series of SAM and fighter radars attempted to lock onto them. Daria executed a series of Doppler turns, designed to break the radar search beams, but when one lost them, another seemed to come looking. It was bedlam, sheer bedlam.

Ok, there is a series of power lines 2 miles off the target to the West, so watch for them after my run, flak seems to be heaviest to the north, just like the prestrike photos said it would.

“Hanging in there, Sundance?”

Jane simply nodded, she was too busy trying to pick up the radar return for the rail yard and lock it into the bombing computer. She managed to do it quickly, giving a thumbs up as that was their agreed upon signal to begin their Bomb Run (Conventional) checklists.

The strike was simple, the aircraft would go to full speed, pop up to 500 feet and release a lay down attack of 24 Mk 82 Snakeye 500lb bombs with fuse extenders. The aircraft began to buffet and buck between the low altitude turbulence and the flak exploding all around, a stream of 23mm whipping 50 feet in front of the nose. All Daria could so is concentrate and wait fore the signal from Jane to popup.

Three

Two

One


Daria jammed the throttles to their stops, and the engines screamed in protest, pressing both Jane and Daria into their seats. Jane managed to keep a grip on the radar hood, as Daria topped the airplane out at 500 feet. She was rewarded with a panoramic view of the rail yard stretching out before her. More tracers erupted from the ground, and an SA-7 vomited forth on a gout of smoke and flame, but missed, decoyed by the flare program triggered just before the popup.

The computer had the solution, as a light on the panel demonstrated, and Daria mashed the pickle button, with a series of thumps as the F-111 leapt higher, being relieved of the weight of its deadly cargo. The F-111 had been over the target a matter of three seconds at most. To Daria and Jane, it had felt like an eternity.

The 24 bombs each fell individually, in a line a quarter mile long. The fuze extenders were there to ensure that at the low altitude the bombs were being dropped, that indeed, they went off, as below 1000 feet, Mk 82s tended to have an iffy detonation rate, as the Argentinians had found out during the Falklands War. They detonated with the force of 192 lbs of explosive, and two had the misfortune to fall directly onto a Soviet ammunition train, which began a rather huge conflagration. The other three F-111s came from different directions of the compass, and at different drop heights to confuse the defenses. All of them used the burning ammunition train as an aiming point.

It was another day at the office for Daria and Jane.

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


Last edited by Jason on Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:26 pm 
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Awesome, it lives. Concerning the latest losses, doesn't the Vark have that nifty enclosed ejection capsule? Not sure, that's why I am asking. The crew could still die, mind, but the manner in which they do would be a lot different.

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A Missouri man had once written the Confederate[s] that all they had to do to get rid of the St. Louis Unionists was to destroy the breweries and seize all the beer: 'By this, the Dutch will all die in a week and the Yankees will then run from this state.'


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:32 pm 
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Ya know, I forgot about that...lemme fix the description.

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:17 pm 
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Yep. There was a B-1A death in an escape capsule.

Great chapter!

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:37 pm 
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Good work! Very glad to see this back.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:12 pm 
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WHOO HOOOOO!!!

Glad to see it lives.

Thanks for the great work!

Belushi td


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:23 pm 
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Worth the wait! Now get on with the next part. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:11 am 
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Location: Currently 3rd Rock from the sun
excellent

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:44 am 
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Good to see this back; certainly worth the wait.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:45 am 
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Consider yourself teased, Matt Wiser worked on this PDB! Thanks Matt!

The White House
Washington DC
Presidential Morning Briefing
0700 EDT/1100 GMT
8 August, 1985

President Reagan and his National Security Team were assembled in the Situation Room, for the now-usual morning military briefing. After the confusion of the first couple of days after the outbreak of war, things in Washington had settled down, and the President and First Lady had moved back into the Residence, though they did have an augmented Secret Service detail, along with Marines on the perimeter from the Marine Barracks at Eighth and I Streets. Though concern remained about possible Soviet agents, especially after the defection of a husband-and-wife team of deep cover KGB illegals, all known Soviet assets in the D.C. area had been rolled up by the FBI.

As for the domestic situation, there had been some spontaneous evacuation of American cities in the first two days of the war, but now, things had calmed down, apart from the occasional anti-war protest in New York or San Francisco. Right now, the concern was Europe, and the war. So far, NATO was giving ground, grudgingly, but too much had already been lost.

Now, it was time for the morning situation brief, and the National Security Council was meeting in the Situation Room. The members had gathered as usual, but those who lived outside of D.C were forced to get through a huge barrier of security. All roads leading into Washington had roadblocks from the 29th Infantry Division, while a full battalion from the division guarded the Pentagon. A second battalion was guarding the National Mall, and a third was guarding Cabinet level offices. Once they got past that, there were Marines from the Marine Barracks guarding a full block perimeter around the White House, and the building proper was guarded by the Secret Service.

The principals were now in the Sit Room, and though the mood was serious, the usual chit-chat was going on, when the President entered the room. “Good morning, everyone,”

“Good morning, Mr. President,” Don Regan, his Chief of Staff, said, and the others did the same.

Reagan nodded as he sat down at the head of the table in the Sit Room, and the others followed. The President nodded to a military briefer, a two-star AF General from the JCS Operations Section, the J-3. “All right, let's have it.”

“Yes, sir,” the general said. “First, domestically, we're assessing the Soviet SOF threat to CONUS as minimal.” He motioned to an aide, who put up a map on a viewgraph. “The red dots indicate Spetsnaz attacks in CONUS. Apart from Scott AFB in Illinois, which is HQ MAC, Langley AFB, which is HQ TAC, all have been against SAC assets. However, they've been going after soft targets instead of the bases themselves: off-base hangouts for base personnel have been most of the targets. The last one, near Minot AFB, targeted a local diner frequented by base personnel. A four-man Spetsnaz team attacked the diner with automatic-weapons fire, killing twelve people and wounding thirty. They were pursued and killed by local law enforcement.”

“However,” the general continued, “they have not hesitated to go after civilian targets of economic or industrial importance, two days ago, the Port Authority PD in New York got into a shootout with 4 individuals in the Holland Tunnel, at our request, they told the press it was a fugitive recovery gone wrong, but it was a 4 man team of Spetsnaz trying to put shaped charges in the tunnel.”

There was a series of muttered oaths and other curses in response to that bit of news. Reagan held his hands up to silence the cacophony. “It’s a war folks, and we hit them, and they hit us. We just need to make sure they don’t get as many hits in. Bill, any word on whether or not they are playing by the rules?”

“Mr. President, when we've found Spetsnaz, either bodies or live ones,” William Webster, the FBI Director, said, “they wear civilian clothes on the outside, but are wearing articles of Soviet military uniforms underneath.”

“So that if any are caught, they won't be considered as spies,” Admiral Poindexter, the NSA, observed.

“That's correct, Admiral,” Ed Meese, the Attorney General, replied. “I suggest considering them as POWs in that regard.”

The President nodded. “All right, then, and what's happening in Europe?”

“Sir,” the general nodded. A new map came up. “First, in Norway, the Soviets are bogged down in the area known as Fortress Norway. Their 6th Army got there yesterday, and they've run into terrain that's very favorable to the defender. The Soviet amphibious landing at Bodo, though it captured the port and airfield, hinged on the port facilities being taken intact. They were not. The follow-on forces, two Soviet Army motor-rifle divisions that have amphibious training, can't land their heavy equipment. And they're exposed to air attack from Strike Fleet Atlantic. Which is hitting them around the clock.”

“And there's something else out of Norway,” William Colby, the CIA Director, added. “Katarina Witt, the East German skater,”

“She won a gold medal in Sarajevo, right?” the President asked.

“She did, sir. She's now in a CIA safe house in Virginia. She defected while an East German athletic delegation was in Stockholm. Station Stockholm, with some help from Swedish intelligence, managed to get her to Oslo, and a ride on a C-141 back to the States. She's recording broadcasts for VOA and the BBC.”

“I'd like to meet her, when this is all over,” said the President. “Continue, please.”

'Yes, Mr. President. The Swedes are reporting a number of Soviet air incursions into their airspace, and there's been a number of shooting incidents. The Finns are vacillating, as the Soviets are demanding passage through the country for Soviet supplies and reinforcements for Norway. The Finnish military wants to fight, but the government is deeply divided.” The general reported.

“CIA concurs in that,” Colby said. “The Swedes are pressuring the Finns to resist, and may back that up with troops if necessary, but you can guess the last thing the Swedes want to do is to be seen as an aggressor right now?”

“All right,” the President said. “The Central Front?”

The general nodded to his aide, and a new viewgraph came up. “Sir, the Soviets, along with some East German and Polish Forces, control most of Denmark. Soviet and Polish ground forces have control of southern Jutland, while Soviet, East German, and Polish amphibious and airborne forces control Zealand, including Copenhagen. Polish airborne troops have taken Bornholm Island and are now in firm control. The remnants of LANDJUT is retreating north into Jutland for the final stand in the north, with 6th Panzergrenadier Division and the Danish Jutland Division having been badly beat up East of Hamburg on the first day.”

“Moving south, the East German 5th Army has pushed into Bremen, and has given the I Netherlands Corps a serious mauling. One Dutch division, a reserve one, got taken apart, and the other two got roughly handled, all of the divisions are combat ineffective, with upwards of 50 to 60% casualties. One West German Panzer Division and 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Armored Division have bolstered the Dutch, and a British brigade from their II Corps is moving to assist as well. Further south, the West Germans managed to avoid an attempt at encirclement by 2nd Guards Tank Army and the East Germans, and are holding firm in front of Hannover. A Soviet air assault battalion took Hameln on the Weser, however, West German territorials and some British armor are moving to clean them out. We should know in a few hours whether that was successful or not, Mr. President. As for the British I Corps, they're holding off 3rd Shock Army, though they've taken some punishment. Finally, in the I Belgian Corps area, they're fighting a tenacious mobile defense against 20th Guards Army, who we assess as being well behind the Soviets' schedule. They've got backup from III German Corps, which has forced 20th Guards to pull a division from the Belgians to watch their flanks.”

“Where are the Soviet reserves?” Secretary of Defense Weinberger asked.

West of Magdeburg, Mr. Secretary,” the briefer pointed. “That's the 4th Guards Tank Army from Poland, and it consists of two Soviet and two Polish tank divisions, for 1st Western Front. For 2nd Western Front, that's the 1st Guards Tank Army, and they're around Weimar, but haven't moved yet.”

“Very well,” Weinberger said. “And in CENTAG?” That was the Central Army Group, with III German and both V and VII US Corps. SOUTHAG, newly formed, had I and II French Corps, and II German Corps.

“III German Corps is helping the Belgians, as I've said, and is facing elements from the 8th Guards Army, though they're putting in their main effort against V Corps, which has been under pressure from both them and the East German 3rd Army. They're at their third line of defense, and so far, they're holding. VII Corps is also facing the East Germans, but they're also up against the 28th Army, which came through the Hof Gap. VII Corps is confident it can hold a line running from Schweinfurt to Bamberg, and Bayreuth, where the French are in position. The French have brought I French Corps from France, and have had II French Corps in Germany, and they've moved into the line between VII Corps and II German Corps. The enemy forces they're facing are the Central Front, the 41st Army in the North against both French Corps, and the 10th Army, against the West Germans, with 8th Guards Tank Army in reserve. And Mr. President, most of the divisions they're facing are Czech.”

“How are they fighting?” Poindexter wanted to know.

“The Czechs aren't that willing to fight French, or our people in VII Corps, but more than eager to fight West Germans, Admiral,” Colby said.

“And Berlin?” The President asked.

“Mr. President,” Weinberger said. “The commanding general of the Berlin garrison was forced to ask for terms this morning, their time. He destroyed his radio equipment soon after, so we have no idea what is happening there right now. From what he said to us in his last message out, ammunition, food, and medical supplies were all critical, and no hope of resupply or relief.”

“It was inevitable,” Reagan noted. 'When this war's over, we can get the survivors back. Man deserves a medal for managing to hold on this long. Go on, General.”

'Yes, Mr. President,” the general said. “Austria: the Soviets have moved in the Carpathian Front, that's the 13th and 38th Armies from the Ukraine, and 13th Army is pushing up the Danube River Valley towards Linz and Salzburg. 38th Army, though, is in a fight for Vienna, as the Austrians put a division and a half's worth of troops in to defend it, and they were reinforced by, of all people, the French.”

'The French?” Secretary of State Schultz asked.

“Yes, Mr. Secretary,” the briefer nodded. “They were flown in on 3 August, and sent a Marine battalion, and two battalions of Foreign Legionnaires. The two Legion battalions fought at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, so they're used to this.” He paused, then continued. A Hungarian Corps has moved into Graz, but has stopped. The Austrians, along with the Italian IV Alpine Corps, control the Alpine passes, sir. The V Italian Corps is firm near Ljubljana, and has linked up with the 6th Marines and the British.”

“Moving on, Egyptian forces have consolidated their positions in Eastern Libya, and are preparing to move towards Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte, and then Tripoli. Sixth Fleet has conducted carrier air strikes against Soviet air and naval facilities at Lataka and Tartus in Syria, as has the Enterprise group against the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron's base at Aden. So far, the Soviet Black Sea fleet has remained close to home, but we have mopped up their Med. Squadron with little trouble. Our biggest concern there is the Black Sea Fleet’s Backfire Squadrons, they have been rather inactive as of right now, except for some raids on Greek and Turkish ports.”

“How is that going for the Turks and Greeks?” President Reagan inquired.

“So far, the Soviets and Bulgarians are stalled in Turkish Thrace, the Greeks tried counterattacking into Bulgaria, to try to take some of the pressure off, but it got stalled in the mountains, the Soviets stole a march on us there. Moved a Combined Arms Army up between satellite passes. The Greeks are bleeding hard to try to take Sofia, but it is World War I with anti-tank missiles down there, Mr. President.”

“Far East?” Vice President George Bush said via speakerphone. He was still at Camp David, to ensure that at least one Presidential successor was out of Washington at all times.

“Constellation battle group has eliminated the Soviet squadron at Cam Ranh Bay, and has also, along with the Australians, mounted air strikes to neutralize the base. Hanoi has since declared its neutrality. As for Korea, the North Korean advance has slowed, and they're trying to swing around Seoul from the east, but they're facing a buzz saw from the ROKs and our own forces. As for Alaska? There have been no Soviet moves there. No air strikes, missile attacks, or even SOF activity.”

“All right, General, what is the status of SAC?” The President asked.

“Still at DEFCON 3, as ordered, Mr. President,” Secretary Weinberger said. “However, CINC-SAC has taken measures to increase the size of his alert force. Half of the bomber and tanker force is now on ground alert, and the full alert force can be launched within fifteen minutes. He's still asking for permission to disperse the rest, and institute an airborne alert.”

“Not until we see signs of a Soviet Strategic Forces alert,” The President ordered. “Make that clear to him.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“CIA shows no signs of a Soviet Strategic alert,” Director Colby added.

“Let's hope it stays that way,” the President said. “Get me SACEUR.”

'Yes, Mr. President,” one of the communications staff said. In a few minutes, the connection was made. “SACEUR on the line, sir.”

General Bernard Rogers, SACEUR, came on the line. “Mr. President?”

“General, you're on a speaker. The rest of the National Security Council is with me. I need to know one thing: can you hold them conventionally?”

“Sir, Forty-eight hours ago, I was still confident at a seventy percent chance that we can do it. Now, after what happened to the Dutch, it's now sixty percent. I've had to weaken III Corps and II British Corps to shore them up. If you want to hold them conventionally, I need XI Corps.”

“Bernie, it's John,” General John Vessey, the Chairman of the JCS, said. “CAVALRY is five days out. They left yesterday, and should be at Channel ports by the 12th. CNO says that Strike Fleet Atlantic has a few surprises for the Backfires, and there's heavy ASW support for the convoys proper. Even if we lose one-third of each convoy, there's enough to fully equip the Corps.”

There was an audible sigh over the speaker. “Mr. President? SACLANT told me the same thing a few hours ago. With that corps, my chances go up considerably.”

“The air bridge is going well, and the troops are being flown over as we speak, Mr. President,” General Vessey said. “We get them their equipment, and they can go to work.”

The President nodded. “All right, General,” he told SACEUR. “We'll get you those tools, to paraphrase Churchill, and you can finish the job. Now, I'm not like LBJ, who was calling Westmoreland several times a day, it seemed. I'll stay out of your hair. Good luck, and may God be with you and your entire command.”

“Thank you, Mr. President,” replied General Rogers.

After the line was cut, the President turned to his SECDEF and JCS Chairman. “What are the chances of a stalemate?”

“If we hold them, fairly good. Once they use up their prewar supply stocks, they have to pause to resupply,' Vessey said.

“All right, there are National Guard units not yet deployed, correct?” the President asked.

“There are, Mr. President,” Weinberger said. “Do you want plans to get them to Europe?”

“Start thinking along those lines, Mr. Secretary, Chairman.”

Weinberger turned to General Vessey, who nodded. “Yes, Mr. President,” SECDEF replied.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:43 pm 
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Things are tense, but no panic yet. Everyone has their head on straight.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:15 pm 
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Good update. Really liking this story.

However, the Austrians would never have stood and fought for Vienna. It would instantly have been declared an Open City. The city itself and the Marchfeld to the east of it were assessed as indefensible. And the Austrians did not want one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in central/eastern aeurope to be destroyed. The concept of area defence called for key zones to be held by regular (armoured and mech) troops with area defence zones to be defended guerilla style by militia regiments by going for the rear echelon troops. There is an orbat for the (modern) Austrian TLW army and a text on Area Defence by yours truly over at TLW.

The 1.5 Austrian divisions were, what, almost 75% of the regular army and direly needed elsewhere. The French troops would have been welcome but employed elsewhere.

What about the western Alpine passes? Would the Austrians now open them to allow NATO supplies and troops to get through? Austrian neutrality is dead as a dodo in any case. Where is the French III Corps at? It could be a lot of help almost anywhere.

Are Spanish and Portuguese forces on theor way to the Central Front?

NVA 5th Army against the NL Corps gels with what a former NVA and now retired Bundeswehr colonel wrote. I doubt, though, that the Dutch would have crumbled this easily. 3rd Panzer should already have been part of the Dutch Corps. Not complaining, mind. it is your story. Like most others I would have thought the Belgians to be the weak link in CENTAG.

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Last edited by Jotun on Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:24 am 
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The UK has formed a second corps in this TL too I see. A nice update.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:56 pm 
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The scenario is based on Hackett's two books, with some tweaks by Jason. He asked me to do the briefing scenes and add input on the scenes involving aircrew.

You'll note that some of Hackett's stuff isn't there: like the Soviets moving into Italy, for example.

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Nevertheless, by the time this scenario takes place, Austria had abandoned open field battle in favour of area defence. The good general wrote his book before the change in doctrine was finished.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Situation Room, the White House
Washington DC
0700 Local/1100 GMT
8 August, 1985:

President Reagan and his National Security Team were assembled in the Situation Room, for the now-usual morning military briefing. After the confusion of the first couple of days after the outbreak of war, things in Washington had settled down, and the President and First Lady had moved back into the Residence, though they did have an augmented Secret Service detail, along with Marines on the perimeter from the Marine Barracks at Eighth and I Streets. Though concern remained about possible Soviet agents, especially after the defection of a husband-and-wife team of deep cover KGB illegals, all known Soviet assets in the D.C. area had been rolled up by the FBI.

As for the domestic situation, there had been some spontaneous evacuation of American cities in the first two days of the war, but now, things had calmed down, apart from the occasional anti-war protest in New York or San Francisco. Right now, the concern was Europe, and the war. So far, NATO was giving ground, grudgingly, but too much had already been lost.

Now, it was time for the morning situation brief, and the National Security Council was meeting in the Situation Room. The members had gathered as usual, but those who lived outside of D.C were forced to get through a huge barrier of security. All roads leading into Washington had roadblocks from the 29th Infantry Division, while a full battalion from the division guarded the Pentagon. A second battalion was guarding the National Mall, and a third was guarding Cabinet level offices. Once they got past that, there were Marines from the Marine Barracks guarding a full block perimeter around the White House, and the building proper was guarded by the Secret Service.

The principals were now in the Sit Room, and though the mood was serious, the usual chit-chat was going on, when the President entered the room. “Good morning, everyone,”

“Good morning, Mr. President,” Don Regan, his Chief of Staff, said, and the others did the same.

Reagan nodded as he sat down at the head of the table in the Sit Room, and the others followed. The President nodded to a military briefer, a two-star AF General from the JCS Operations Section, the J-3. “All right, let's have it.”

“Yes, sir,” the general said. “First, domestically, we're assessing the Soviet SOF threat to CONUS as minimal, at least for now.” He motioned to an aide, who put up a map on a viewgraph. “The red dots indicate Spetsnaz attacks in CONUS. Apart from Scott AFB in Illinois, which is HQ MAC, Langley AFB, which is HQ TAC, all have been against SAC assets. However, they've been going after soft targets instead of the bases themselves: off-base hangouts for base personnel have been most of the targets. The last one, near Minot AFB, targeted a local diner frequented by base personnel. A four-man Spetsnaz team attacked the diner with automatic-weapons fire, killing twelve people and wounding thirty. They were pursued and killed by local law enforcement. Another incident involved a pair of individuals caught attempting to lay an explosive device along the railway tracks under Manhattan that lead to the Bayonne Marine Terminal spur. NYPD exchanged fire with them, and they did find evidence that one of the perpetrators had been injured, but they have yet to find any bodies. They have their hands full up their putting down sporadic rioting.”

President Reagan put up his hands in mock surrender “General, I have been on the phone with Mayor Koch of New York, Mayor Schaffer of Baltimore, Mayor Bradley in Los Angeles and Mayor Feinstein in San Francisco, all of them have begged me for elements of the National Guard to put down rioting by criminal elements,” Reagan exhaled in frustration, “but I can’t spare such units right now, as we need every serviceman and woman we can lay our hands on for Europe and god only knows where else. I have advised the mayors and governors of the states in question to call in the State Guard, but I have been informed that in many cases, contrary to the Department of Defense encouraging them to stand up the units in question, the units in question either do not exist or are not ready. Cap, find out what the hell is going on here.”

Cap Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, nodded and whispered to an aide who was furiously writing an action item onto a large memo pad.

“And when we've found Spetsnaz, either bodies or live ones, Mr. President,” William Webster, the FBI Director, said, “they wear civilian clothes on the outside, but are wearing articles of Soviet military uniforms underneath.”

“So that if any are caught, they won't be considered as spies,” Admiral Poindexter, the NSA, observed.

“That's correct, Admiral,” Ed Meese, the Attorney General, replied. “I suggest considering them as POWs in that regard.”

The President nodded. “All right, then, and what's happening in Europe?”

“Sir,” the general nodded. A new map came up. “First, in Norway, the Soviets are bogged down in the area known as Fortress Norway. Their 6th Army got there yesterday, and they've run into terrain that's very favorable to the defender. The Soviet amphibious landing at Bodo, though it captured the port and airfield, hinged on the port facilities being taken intact. They were not. The follow-on forces, two Soviet Army motor-rifle divisions that have amphibious training, can't land their heavy equipment. And they're exposed to air attack from Strike Fleet Atlantic. Which is hitting them around the clock.”

“And there's something else out of Norway,” William Colby, the CIA Director, added. “Katarina Witt, the East German skater,”

“She won a gold medal in Sarajevo, right?” the President asked.

“She did, sir. She's now in a CIA safe house in Virginia. She defected while an East German athletic delegation was in Stockholm. Station Stockholm, with some help from Swedish intelligence, managed to get her to Oslo, and a ride on a C-141 back to the States. She's recording broadcasts for VOA and the BBC.”

“I'd like to meet her, when this is all over,” said the President. “Continue, please.”

'Yes, Mr. President. The Swedes are reporting a number of Soviet air incursions into their airspace, and there's been a number of shooting incidents. The Finns are vacillating, as the Soviets are demanding passage through the country for Soviet supplies and reinforcements for Norway. The Finnish military wants to fight, but the government is divided, and we suspect the Soviets are encouraging that division”. The general reported.

“CIA concurs in that,” Colby said. “The Swedes are pressuring the Finns to resist, and may back that up with troops if necessary.”

“All right,” the President said. “The Central Front?”

The general nodded to his aide, and a new viewgraph came up. “Sir, the Soviets, along with some East German and Polish Forces, control most of Denmark. Soviet and Polish ground forces have control of southern Jutland, while Soviet, East German, and Polish amphibious and airborne forces control Zealand, including Copenhagen. Polish airborne troops have taken Bornholm Island and are now in firm control of the entire island.

“Moving south, the East German 5th Army has pushed into Bremen, and has given the I Netherlands Corps a serious mauling. One Dutch division, a reserve one, got taken apart, and the other two got roughly handled. One West German Panzer Division and 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Armored Division have bolstered the Dutch, and a British brigade from their II Corps is moving to assist as well. Further south, the West Germans managed to avoid an attempt at encirclement by 2nd Guards Tank Army and the East Germans, and are holding firm in front of Hannover. A Soviet air assault battalion took Hameln on the Weser, however, West German territorials and some British armor are moving to clean them out. As for the British I Corps, they're holding off 3rd Shock Army, though they've taken some punishment. Finally, in the I Belgian Corps area, they're fighting a tenacious mobile defense against 20th Guards Army, who we assess as being well behind the Soviets' schedule. They’re being supported by III German Corps, which has forced 20th Guards to pull a division from the Belgians to watch their flanks.”

“Where are the Soviet reserves?” Secretary of Defense Weinberger asked.

West of Magdeburg, Mr. Secretary,” the briefer pointed. “That's the 4th Guards Tank Army from Poland, and it consists of two Soviet and two Polish tank divisions, for 1st Western Front. For 2nd Western Front, that's the 1st Guards Tank Army, and they're around Weimar, but haven't moved yet.”

“Very well,” Weinberger said. “And in CENTAG?” That was the Central Army Group, with III German and both V and VII US Corps. SOUTHAG, newly formed, had I and II French Corps, and II German Corps.

“III German Corps is helping the Belgians, as I've said, and is facing elements from the 8th Guards Army, though they're putting in their main effort against V Corps, which has been under pressure from both them and the East German 3rd Army. They're at their third line of defense, and so far, they're holding. VII Corps is also facing the East Germans, but they're also up against the 28th Army, which came through the Hof Gap. VII Corps is confident it can hold a line running from Schweinfurt to Bamberg, and Bayreuth, where the French are in position. The French have brought I French Corps from France, and have had II French Corps in Germany, and they've moved into the line between VII Corps and II German Corps. The enemy forces they're facing are the Central Front, the 41st Army in the North against both French Corps, and the 10th Army, against the West Germans, with 8th Guards Tank Army in reserve. And Mr. President, most of the divisions they're facing are Czech.”

“How are they fighting?” Poindexter wanted to know.

“The Czechs aren't that willing to fight the French, or our people in VII Corps, but they are more than eager to fight West Germans, Admiral,” Colby said.

“And Berlin?” The President asked.

“Mr. President,” Weinberger said. “They were forced to surrender at 0430 this morning, their time. Ammunition, food, and medical supplies were all critical, and no hope of resupply or relief. They have since destroyed their communications gear and ciphers, so there really isn’t any way to get in touch to find out what is happening”.

“It was inevitable,” Reagan noted. 'When this war's over, we can get the survivors back. Go on, General.”

'Yes, Mr. President,” the general said. “Austria: the Soviets have moved in the Carpathian Front, that's the 13th and 38th Armies from the Ukraine, and 13th Army is pushing up the Danube River Valley towards Linz and Salzburg. 38th Army, though, is in a fight for Vienna, as the Austrians put a division and a half's worth of troops in to defend it, and they were reinforced by, of all people, the French.”

'The French?” Secretary of State Schultz asked.

“Yes, Mr. Secretary,” the briefer nodded. “They were flown in on 3 August, and sent a Marine battalion, and two battalions of Foreign Legionnaires. The two Legion battalions fought at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, so they're used to this.” He paused, then continued. A Hungarian Corps has moved into Graz, but has stopped. The Austrians, along with the Italian IV Alpine Corps, control the Alpine passes, sir. The V Italian Corps is firm near Ljubljana, and has linked up with the 6th Marines and the British.

“Moving on, Egyptian forces have consolidated their positions in Eastern Libya, and are preparing to move towards Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte, and then Tripoli. Sixth Fleet has conducted carrier air strikes against Soviet air and naval facilities at Lataka and Tartus in Syria, as has the Enterprise group against the Soviet Indian Ocean Squadron's base at Aden.”

“Far East?” Vice President George Bush said via speakerphone. He was still at Camp David, to ensure that at least one Presidential successor was out of Washington at all times.

“Constellation battle group has eliminated the Soviet squadron at Cam Ranh Bay, and has also, along with the Australians, mounted air strikes to neutralize the base. Hanoi has since declared its neutrality. As for Korea, the North Korean advance has slowed, and they're trying to swing around Seoul from the east, but they're facing a buzz saw from the ROKs and our own forces. As for Alaska? There have been no Soviet moves there. No air strikes, missile attacks, or even SOF activity.”

“All right, General. SAC?” The President asked.

“Still at DEFCON 3, as ordered, Mr. President,” Secretary Weinberger said. “However, CINC-SAC has taken measures to increase the size of his alert force. Half of the bomber and tanker force is now on ground alert, and the full alert force can be launched within fifteen minutes. He's still asking for permission to disperse the rest, and institute an airborne alert.”

“Not until we see signs of a Soviet Strategic Forces alert,” The President ordered. “Make that clear to him.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“CIA shows no signs of a Soviet Strategic alert,” Director Colby added.

“Let's hope it stays that way,” the President said. “Get me SACEUR.”

'Yes, Mr. President,” one of the communications staff said. In a few minutes, the connection was made. “SACEUR on the line, sir.”

General Bernard Rogers, SACEUR, came on the line. “Mr. President?”

“General, you're on a speaker. The rest of the National Security Council is with me. I need to know one thing: can you hold them conventionally?”

“Sir, Forty-eight hours ago, I was still confident at a seventy percent chance that we can do it. Now, after what happened to the Dutch, it's now sixty percent. I've had to weaken III Corps and II British Corps to shore them up. If you want to hold them conventionally, I need XI Corps.”

“Bernie, its John,” General John Vessey, the Chairman of the JCS, said. “CAVALRY is five days out. They left yesterday, and should be arriving at the French Channel ports by the 12th. CNO says that Strike Fleet Atlantic has a few surprises for the Backfires, and there's heavy ASW support for the convoys proper. Even if we lose one-third of each convoy, there's enough to fully equip the Corps.”

There was an audible sigh over the speaker. “Mr. President? SACLANT told me the same thing a few hours ago. With that corps, my chances go up considerably.”

“The air bridge is going well, and the troops are being flown over as we speak, Mr. President,” General Vessey said. “We get them their equipment, and they can go to work.”

The President nodded. “All right, General,” he told SACEUR. “We'll get you those tools, to paraphrase Churchill, and you can finish the job. Now, I'm not like LBJ, who was calling Westmoreland several times a day, it seemed. I'll stay out of your hair. Good luck, and May God be with you and your entire command.”

“Thank you, Mr. President,” replied General Rogers.

After the line was cut, the President turned to his SECDEF and JCS Chairman. “What are the chances of a stalemate?”

“If we hold them, fairly good. Once they use up their prewar supply stocks, they have to pause to resupply,' Vessey said.

“All right, there are National Guard units not yet deployed, correct?” the President asked.

“There are, Mr. President,” Weinberger noted, “Most are slated to go to Europe, with a few exceptions. would you like to make any changes to that?”

“No, Mr. Secretary, continue to follow the current warplan”. Reagan then turned his attention to General Vessey. “Mr Chairman, is there anything else you need?”

Weinberger turned to General Vessey, who shook his head firmly “No, Mr. President,” SECDEF replied.

Mall of the Millennium
Lawndale, Maryland
0930 Local/1330 GMT
8 August, 1985

Jake Morgendorffer was for once, relaxed about events. He sipped his coffee as he sat in the hard bench of the food court and nursed a stale bagel that the cream cheese made barely palatable. He examined the ten page proposal he had worked on all night last night at the office. Even with both of his daughters in harm’s way, things were looking up, as every government agency out there wanted advertisers like Jake to develop civil defense campaigns, not to mention getting people to buy war bonds. Yeesh, War Bonds are coming back? Mad Dog would be laughing his ass off right now.

Jake had a 10 o’clock appointment with a FEMA rep to discuss a campaign to inform people on what to do in case the worst happened. It seemed FEMA was not as confident after all as to the quality of the presentation of their PSA announcements, nor their literature. The slogan they’d adapted from the British was horrible “Survive and Thrive?” Who in the hell thought that one up?

Jake for all of his insecurities, was good at his job, he had managed to make a good living at it. He knew a challenge, and selling the post-apocalypse to ordinary Americans was, as far as he was concerned, the best he could do right now to do his part….even if his part did seem a bit morally dubious and a bit unrealistic. But FEMA was making a good offer, and they didn’t seem to care right now whether you had a GSA number or not.

Jake had noticed a lot of military hanging around the food court, and unlike most times, they were in what the press called “BDUs” and they were more ominously, armed. They were being hustled through the food court like an assembly line to the loud exhortations of their sergeants. Jake didn’t know where these young men were headed, but he sincerely hoped they didn’t do more than get a lousy voyage across the Atlantic for their troubles.

He’d been watching the news, and the fighting look dreadful, even Helen was struck dumb as they watched a sequence of American troops launching a counterattack in a small German town, they were going house to house, firing all manner of weapons, their staccato beat making even shouting unintelligible. He saw at least three young men being carried back by their friends, one wrapped head to toe in his poncho. But it was nothing like Vietnam, this time, the face of the enemy was seen as the same footage showed 4 exhausted Soviet prisoners sitting by the side of the road under guard. Their American captors looked just as tired, and when the reporter tried to get a quote, one of the guards invited the reporter to perform an anatomically impossible act with himself.

Jake was in the zone, here he was ready to sell the contract of his life. 10 million dollars for six weeks of a campaign. Perhaps FEMA could get his GSA number for after the war, as there was always government work to be had, eh?


Captain of Spetsnaz Arkady Gulashin was trying not to be noticed too much as he lazily observed the food court, there were at least 2 platoons worth of Americans getting fed in said court, and they had sloppily not placed any guards of their own, relying on the local police to guard them. Gulashin bit back a chuckle. I have a marksman to deal with the police officers. Today, we are going to send the Americans a message. And I don’t have to get my remaining men killed trying to pull it off.

His Spetsnaz team, SSD-4401, had had a very bad war thus far. He had begun the war with 12, and with two teams of six, they had tried to infiltrate the refinery at Marcus Hook, near Philadelphia. Needless to say, things went wrong, as the Philadelphia PD as well as the Pennsylvania State Police was guarding the refinery. 12 men wasn’t enough to do real damage anyhow. As it was, they’d been made before the operation had gone off, with 8 men being killed or captured the minute they’d begun the assault, blundering right into the guns of the Pennsylvania State Police SWAT team.

Gushin had barely gotten his four men out, and had decided they would set up outside one of the major American bases in Virginia and perform a strategic reconnaissance role. The trouble was, one of his team had been made to talk, and his likeness was being circulated by American law enforcement on a nationwide wanted poster.

Gushin knew it was a matter of time, he had discussed it with his men. To a man, none of them wanted to surrender. All of them wanted to strike some blow against the Yankees. This food court eatery, with these oblivious Americans, they had been observing them for days. Always lax security, always bunching up in the food court. It was a heaven sent opportunity for four men to cause damage all out of proportion with their numbers.

The plan was simple. One of his men had set up in the elevator with a .308 deer rifle, the rest were armed with Uzis, as all of the ammunition was easier to get, as well as spare parts.

Glushin gripped his APS Stechkin pistol tightly. The hard metal form of the pistol comforted him as it resided in the small of his back, covered by his tee shirt, and he slowly released the safety catch, he already had a round loaded already. Glushin left nothing to chance. This would not be another Marcus Hook. He planned to open the ambush with his pistol, his signal being when his marksman began to pick off officers and NCOs. His men were armed accordingly, as soon as they had expended the weapon they intended to open the ambush with, they were going to drop their book bags, fetch their Uzis and begin to hose down the crowd of American soldiers.

Glushin glanced at his watch, watching the hands count down, the red second hand ticking away like a metronome. Five, four, three, two, one…Glushin ducked and brought his pistol out from the small of his back. The county policemen made for their sidearms, but were shot dead within seconds, neither getting their service weapons clear of their holsters. The .308 made a throaty report that could not be mistaken for anything else, and the high velocity round made short work of the brand new body armor both officers were wearing. Shoppers screamed and cowered as the shots rang out, scattering in all directions. Glushin emptied his Stechkin into a small knot of American soldiers diving for cover, he heard screams come from one, a sure sign he had hit that man.

By this point, Metlev, his marksman, was moving on to other targets, shooting an Army 2nd Lieutenant though the temple and dropping him like a puppet with its strings cut while he was examining the possibilities of the salad bar. Two of Glushin’s men had primed grenades, and they threw them into the mass confusion of the food court, both of them cut down a mixture of civilian and military personnel.

Screams and moans filled the air, competing in an awful symphony with various firearms and grenade reports providing the base tempo. The Americans were helpless. Regulations had stipulated no live ammunition off the trucks, and regulations had been followed for safety’s sake. Nobody had been expecting any trouble till the men set sail for Europe. It was to be a tragic oversight.

Glushin was proud of his men, as they used available cover and made the food court into a kill sack, their Uzis burping death as they fired in short, sharp, bursts. The low wall around the location was now serving to make sure nobody got out, and men in BDUs fell like wheat before the thresher.

But Uzis, Stechkins and grenades are not the most accurate of weapons, for all of their concealability, they are inaccurate. Even with controlled bursts, Uzis and Stechkins make shooting less of an exercise in accuracy, and more of a “to whom it may concern”.

Jake Moregendorffer was gripped in panic, he was pinned down under the table, with men and women dropping all around him, as he cowered crying under the table, He was completely out of his depth, he was an ad exec, not a soldier, and even the soldiers were dying, in droves. Completely in the grips of a situation he had no frame of reference for (military school does a great job of teaching Drill and Ceremony, but not how to act under fire, or even what to expect), Jake did what came naturally, he panicked, and got up as to make for a back door he’d seen once. As he got up to run, he was caught in the back by three 9mm ball rounds from an Uzi. The first round hit him low, in the liver, and would have condemned him to a lingering, painful death, but the second bullet spared him that. The second bullet smashed through his back, severing his spine, and ended up blowing a hole through his heart.

Jake Morgendorffer, 55, was dead before he hit the ground, the momentum of his body sliding forward in a bloody trail across the brown tile floor, as he came to rest in a bloody heap against the far wall near the bathrooms.

The shooting ended 2 minutes later, with the entire attack lasting only four minutes. Jake was one of 18 dead. Another 43 were wounded. The four Spetsnaz operatives tried to get away in a stolen brown panel van, but were shot to pieces not far outside the mall by a MP Jeep with an M60 machine gun that had been acting as a convoy guard, Glushin was the last to die, expiring in Johns Hopkins Hospital at 0300 the next morning.

Neither Daria nor Quinn would find out about their father for 36 hours.

Over Sperenberg, East Germany
Sperenberg Airfield, East Germany
2130 hrs Local/1930 hrs GMT
8 August, 1985

“..and bombs away” as multiple thumps reverberated throughout the aircraft as 144 Durandals released from the F-111 as it made a low level pass from east to west across Runway 8. Two Durandals caught an IL-76 on either wing and blew it apart, sending parts of the aircraft hundreds of feet away, and killing all aboard (a Soviet airborne company, reinforcing the airhead across the Weser).

Daria took the airplane as low as she could, as tracers ripped by the windscreen, and a SA-5 flashed across the flightpath of the F-111, flying dumb as it’s guidance system was hopelessly jammed. Daria smashed her right rudder with her foot to avoid the missile, fearing there might be another behind it.

Sperenberg was a massive Soviet airfield, near Berlin, that was meant to be the Soviet airfield to handle all of their heavy lift aircraft. There has been a constant stream of transports from the Soviet Union since the beginning of hostilities, and NATO had been putting a lot of effort into shutting it down to disrupt the overall Soviet logistical effort, but so far, it hadn’t been successful. Daria’s four ship attack was the 4th raid on Sperenberg,..she was hoping this might be the last visit for a while…as casualties had been heavy in every attack, they’d already lost one aircraft on the way in.
“Butch, I recommend we egress to the south east as planned, the Germans took out the Brno sector radar and we might not get picked up by the Czechs so readily.”

“We got the fuel to do that, Sundance?”

“We do, Butch, we do, for once. Other than losing Wrench and Golie on the way in, this has been a fairly..” WHAM!

The F-111 bucked and half a dozen alarms went off: FIRE WARNING, MASTER ALARM..dozens of red lights came on and all of the gauges spun wildly.

“****! Sundance, emergency checklist, we on fire?”

Jane leaned down and looked at the fire lights for the two turbofans, after a quick flash when the aircraft took the hit, they winked back out. “No, Butch, we are not on fire. That’s the good news.”

Daria opened the throttle and put as much distance as she could between her and Sperenberg, she climbed to 1000 feet and made some experimental control movements, the aircraft was climbing slowly, and bled off speed twice as fast as normal, and right aileron turns made the aircraft shake like a leaf.

“Sundance, gotta level with you. We gotta make an egress due West, and hope nobody shoots us. As it is, we might have to eject? You strapped in if it comes to that? I don’t want to wind up like our last flight leader?”

Jane nodded. She checked her radar, it was a dark screen, and no amount of pushing buttons or flipping switches would make it come back. “Butch, we have a real problem, our radar is out, so going NOE ain’t happening. I say we get as far west as we can, and then eject.”

Daria nodded. Crap, I fly 12 missions already, and this is how Jane and I are going to buy it? Dammit! Daria’s hands began to shake, and it was all she could do to concentrate and fly the airplane.

“Sundance, advise the rest of the flight, then put out a mayday call to Ringmaster," referring to the call sign of the E-3 controlling the airbattle over this part of East Germany, "..maybe we get lucky and they vector us some fighters and/or a diversionary field?” stated Daria, the concern in her voice being muffled by the oxygen mask.

JACKHAMMER LEAD TO ALL JACKHAMMERS, DO NOT ANSWER, JACKHAMMER LEAD HAS BEEN HIT, AND WE ARE DECLARING A MAYDAY, EGRESS AS PER PLAN. WE’LL CATCH UP, OUT.

Jane then switched the radio frequency to Ringmaster: RINGMASTER 202, THIS IS JACKHAMMER 11, WE ARE HIT, RADAR OUT AND HAVE A SLOW FUEL LEAK. AIRCRAFT PARTIALLY UNRESPONSIVE. WE NEED A VECTOR TO EITHER A BAILOUT AREA OR A DIVERT FIELD. WOULD ALSO APPRECIATE SOME FIGHTER ESCORT, OVER.

The voice of the fighter controller came through mushy, a consequence of all of the electronic jamming going on over the skies of Germany. JACKHAMMER 11, RINGMASTER, CAN YOU MAKE THE FRENCH BASE AT CONTREXVILLE? WE CAN WHISTLE UP SOME EAGLES FOR YOU COMING BACK FROM A FIGHTER SWEEP NEAR BERLIN, CALL SIGN IS TOYOTA FLIGHT, OVER?

RINGMASTER, JACKHAMMER, WAIT ONE WHILE WE RUN SOME NUMBERS.

Jane looked at the fuel gauge, then pulled a calculator from her flight suit. “Butch, we can make it, but it’s gonna be close, we get one pass, then it’s eject and hope for the damn best.”

“****….”

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


Last edited by Jason on Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:49 am, edited 11 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:51 pm 
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Tough break for innocent bystanders.

Great chapter! It isn't a complete cliffhanger, but close.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
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excellent work

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:22 pm 
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The thought of a couple Spetsnaz guys getting thrown into general population amuses me, for some odd reason.

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