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Greetings
07-05-2015, 09:38 PM,
#11
RE: Greetings
(07-05-2015, 10:02 AM)Porpoise Wrote: ..Troops in all states of dress ran in every direction at once...

Most of my male schoolteachers did that too, they were peedos but we couldn't complain to the headmaster because he was their ringleader..:)
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07-10-2015, 08:56 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-11-2015, 12:32 PM by Porpoise.)
#12
RE: Greetings
That was a frank and disturbing revelation from Spike. To help everyone get over the trauma here is part 7, or day 1 of World War 3.

Day 1

"Ladies and Gentlemen," Fuchs, looking as solemn as an undertaker, began, "around oh-two-hundred zulu, aircraft of the Soviet Air Force struck strategic sites throughout Western Europe. Simultaneously, ground units of the Group of Soviet Forces Germany crossed the border into the Federal Republic of Germany. A political ultimatum demanding an immediate withdrawal has been sent to the Soviet government and until that demand has been met NATO is in a state of war with the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies."

The hall was deathly silent while that news sunk in, broken by the sound of hurried footsteps, phones and printers ferrying communication to and from the bunker. The Deputy Commander continued with administrative details including establishing the chain of command. As Fuchs announced my exalted state as chief operations officer, an unknown US Army Major filling a Norwegian Colonel's position, there was a ripple of mutters from the assembled. Heat rose from my collar as felt two dozen pairs of eyes burning into the back of my head.

Fuchs handed over the briefing to the chief intelligence officer. The J2, Colonel Quinn, US Air Force had a clean-shaven, baby face and told us in his dispassionate, businesslike manner what he knew of the overall situation. Quinn was short and to the point. Russian forces had attacked across Western Europe, crossing the West German border at several points. The location of the Soviet Baltic and Northern Fleets were unknown and a number of key western installations had been damaged by bombing and cruise missile raids overnight. There were a couple of bright spots, Berlin was untouched and Soviet marines were still in their barracks across the Baltic in Kaliningrad. Quinn was interrupted by the Air Deputy, a Royal Air Force Marshal.
"I thought you said the location of the Baltic Fleet was unknown," the Marshal said.
"That's correct," Quinn confirmed which checking his notes, "the latest satellite pass over the bases at Kronstadt and Baltiysk revealed empty docks."
"So the Soviet amphibious fleet has put to sea, but all their marines are still in the barracks. That makes no sense. Why put to sea at all?"
"Safest place for them," countered Quinn, "if they are in port they are sitting ducks for our bombers."
The Air Deputy was unmoved by the response but it seemed a reasonable enough argument at the time and I had enough problems of my own not to disagree.

Admiral Fuchs was interrupted by an aide and hurriedly rushed out of the room after exchanging looks with the Air and Sea Deputies, who gathered their staff around them and followed him. Their departure seemed to signal the end of the briefing which broke up into functional knots. I joined the group with the Land Deputy, Generalmajor Holst, who had been concerned a few days earlier that I wasn't up to the task of filling Oberst Hagen's size 11 ski-boots. Holst was ordinarily immaculate in his personal appearance but that morning I couldn't help noticing he had missed a button on his shirt and part of his combover was sticking up at a crazy angle.

Generalmajor Holst addressed the operations group and began issuing orders. He needed us to retrieve and assess our available contingency plans and begin advising him what options we had. He wanted to know what offensive operations we could conduct immediately to take the fight back to the Soviets. Even though I was officially in command of the operations planning team he refused to address me directly, preferring to divide his attention to Major Olsen and the other members of my team. After issuing his instructions he turned on his heel and left.

Information started filtering in about what was happening outside our mountain hideout. It was likely that Hamburg would fall within hours. When that happened Denmark would be isolated from Germany and would fall soon afterwards. Berlin was cut off, but otherwise untouched. Ramstein airbase had been hit hard and was knocked out. Russian troops had crossed the border and NATO forces were busy mobilising and counter-attacking where they could. All along the Iron Curtain there seemed to be fighting, except here in Norway. Apart from air raids overnight, no Warsaw Pact troops had set foot on Norwegian soil in the far north, which was very quiet. The situation at sea was a different story. Warships were manoeuvring in the Baltic and the North Sea but the locations of the major Russian warships, including the large amphibious landing ships, were unknown. The air above was hotly contested. The air defense network seemed to be the Pact's main target. Allied bases had been hit but dozens of enemy aircraft had also been knocked out of the sky before reaching their targets. Counterstrikes by NATO aircraft had suffered similar losses. The air space was a dangerous place to be.

Throughout that first day we pulled plans, maps, orders of battle, logistics schedules, readiness reports and other information out of the database. We sorted it, ordered it, updated it, discarded some and began preparing a presentation for briefing the senior leadership team that afternoon. We discovered that a lot of the plans were wildly out of date and hadn't been reviewed in years. The intelligence we did have was of doubtful accuracy. Even the readiness reports were questionable. The only information we felt confident about were maps. It was clear we would need to begin developing courses of action from scratch and I felt increasingly anxious about delivering my first briefing.
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07-18-2015, 01:08 PM,
#13
RE: Greetings
Part 8

The appointed hour came and we filed into the briefing room to deliver our results. I've never been as scared as before that first briefing, not even when I manned a barricade as Russian Commandos tried to infiltrate Kolsas a week later, nor years later when the the aircraft I was travelling on was hit and crash landed in the Ukraine and I spent an chilly night in a drainage ditch with a Russian tank parked on top of me. The main reason I felt so nervous was that I had nothing but bad news to deliver, which I knew would reflect badly on me and confirm their suspicions that I was not up to the task thrust upon me by circumstance. Nevertheless, I had to tell the assembled top brass straight.

A German Navy Captain from the Naval Operations team gave his briefing, listing a number of current operations and options for future offensives. The Soviets were weak in the North Sea but strong in the Baltic, especially in coastal areas. Although only Russian ground forces were active, East German and Polish naval units were as active as their Soviet navy counterparts. Nato naval operations were closely tied to that of the northern air forces, which was the cue for a Danish air force Colonel to begin his briefing, detailing a number of sorties already conducted along with plans to disperse aircraft, requisition civilian air assets, arranging air defence sectors and corridors. The air plans were clearly well prepared, they had plenty of resources and could reorganise to a war footing quickly. Next came my turn to take the podium.

"Gentlemen," I said, and they were all men in that room, even if they weren't all gentlemen, "from a land forces perspective, we have few options for offensive operations, and we will have to be very cautious about the operations we do conduct."
Compared to the upbeat presentations of the sea and air operations officers, it was not a crowd pleasing opening.
"We have no units available in Norway to conduct offensive operations for at least 48 hours. The exception is in the far north where we are heavily outnumbered and our lines of communication severely stretched. On the plus side, those Soviet forces facing us in the north appear to be adopting a purely defensive posture. This is just as well as the Norwegian government is still debating whether to mobilise the army reserves."
That summed Norway pretty succinctly. The standing army was mostly deployed in the far north and the call up for the reserves still had not been issued. They wouldn't be issued until the following afternoon. I moved ahead with my slides.
"The threat against Denmark is more imminent, but Danish parliament is similarly debating whether peace negotiations will halt the Soviet invasion. Again, offensive operations would be risky in the extreme. The most we can do is slow the Soviet advance long enough for the Danish army to fully mobilise, which will take a minimum of a week, three weeks at the most. The 6th Panzergrenadier Division is preparing to withdraw behind the Kiel Canal with several Soviet divisions hot on its heels and that is the only force available at the moment to prevent Denmark being cut off from the continent."
"You've forgotten the Jutland Division," a voice called from the floor. Interjections were considered a no-no during the briefing and questions were usually held until the end. I looked up from my notes to see who was heckling me. It was my boss, Generalmajor Holst.
"I'm aware of the Jutland Division, which may be ready to move once the Danish governent decides to activate it," I heard a snort from Holst, "but the forces we are facing are overwhelming. Denmark can probably hold out for a week at most."
Even though Holst folded his arms and scowled at me, I could see nods around the room.
"So what do you recommend," asked Holst in a tone I interpreted as mocking.
"A week is just long enough for us to reinforce southern Norway, which will then face the mass of troops which had just overrun Denmark. We should accept the inevitability of the fall of Denmark and begin concentrating on the defence of Norway."

When I was finished I sat back down to listen to the other briefers and was stunned by what I heard. The first stage to mobilization was to raise alert levels and transfer control of the military forces from national to NATO command, which we called 'chopping'. However, this transfer wasn't happening at anything like the scope or pace that we needed to mount an adequate defense. The Soviets had cleverly managed to split NATO by being very selective in who they attacked, how, when and where. NATO-controlled assets, like HQs and communication stations, had been activated but any units belonging to individual nations had to wait until the respective national political leaders had approved the transfer, and the response was mixed. France, Italy and Canada had yet to chop their forces, while most other countries had only partially chopped theirs. We were facing the prospect of fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.

Kolsas was a joint headquarters and although we were technically in charge of the whole show in the north we were still under the control of ACE, Allied Command Europe, based in Belgium. Subordinate to us were BALTAP, commanding the Baltic Approaches, SONOR South Noway and NON, North Norway. In theory everyone in NATO could point to a clear chain of command from themselves all the way up to SACEUR, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. It was very simple on paper but very different in practice. For example, the commander of NON was also the commander of all Norwegian military forces and subordinate not only to CINCNORTH, but also the Norwegian Defence Minister. In theory every commander was part of NATO, but in reality, the military forces of each country were torn between national and international loyalties. Only the UK, Germany and the USA had gone to a general alert level and transferred control to the unified NATO command, recalling all servicemen and women and implementing emergency reaction plans. Even Norway, the country I was standing in, where the command center for all Allied Forces in Northern Europe was situated, had yet to call up its reserve forces.

In our war games we had practised a steady escalation of tensions giving plenty of time and notice of intentions before all-out conflict. For the real thing there was only the slightest inkling from our intelligence sources that the GSFG were up to anything unusual prior to the invasion.The attack had begun so swiftly that most politicians and senior military leadership were unaware of the seriousness of the situation. In some cases the national command authorities were compromised by communist agents. The most immediate strategic concern expressed at the briefing was the whereabouts of the Soviet Baltic fleet, loose somewhere in the Baltic. At least the Soviet marines were still safely tucked up in bed in Lithuania.
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07-19-2015, 12:46 PM,
#14
RE: Greetings
(06-28-2015, 12:06 AM)Porpoise Wrote: ..Major Vos was the most beautiful woman I had ever met...If I had to be critical it was that her teeth were a little too large..

I think this could be her-
[Image: vos_zpsvdts5hhz.jpg~original]
PS- any chance of giving us a map showing troop positions and movement arrows etc?
And what's going on in Sweden and Finland next door?
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07-19-2015, 05:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-21-2015, 10:35 PM by Porpoise.)
#15
RE: Greetings
(07-19-2015, 12:46 PM)PoorOldSpike Wrote:
(06-28-2015, 12:06 AM)Porpoise Wrote: ..Major Vos was the most beautiful woman I had ever met...If I had to be critical it was that her teeth were a little too large..

I think this could be her-
PS- any chance of giving us a map showing troop positions and movement arrows etc?
And what's going on in Sweden and Finland next door?

I was thinking more like this;

[Image: amg-11.jpg]

but whatever floats your boat. Feel free to imagine your own personal Vos.
Day 1

[Image: day%20one%203rd%20revision.jpg]
I haven't thought much about Sweden and Finland, but thank you for suggesting it - it's something I should consider closely
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07-24-2015, 11:33 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-24-2015, 11:35 AM by PoorOldSpike.)
#16
RE: Greetings
(07-18-2015, 01:08 PM)Porpoise Wrote: ..I've never been as scared as before that first briefing..I had nothing but bad news to deliver..

Hmm...better keep cooking up phoney good news as you go along to keep the brass sweet.
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07-25-2015, 10:09 PM,
#17
RE: Greetings
Part 9, while I wonder if Spike has received advance copies of the next chapter

The meeting broke up and Holst walked out without acknowledging me. As I returned to the Operations section I found the team huddled together in muttered conference and when they saw me they fell silent and returned to their desks. Holst's attitude towards me had infected them as they questioned whether I was up to the task and deserving of their efforts. After sitting at my desk for a moment a thought struck me.
"Vos," I called, "do you have a moment?"
"What is it, sir?"
"Do we have the latest satellite images of Kaliningrad?"
"I can get them."
"Please do," I said, "and then gather the others."
The satellite photos were soon spread on the planning table and the team stood around them.
"These are the latest images of Kaliningrad, home of the 336th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade. As we can see, they haven't moved out of their barracks. Is that right, Vos?"
"Yes, that's right. Their vehicles are parked in lines along here," she pointed with a painted nail.
"Are we sure they are all there?"
"Yes," she said, "we've counted their vehicles and they are ninety percent present."
"Okay," I said, "how could you count them all?"
Vos, Thomsen and Berger took turns blinking at me.
"Because they are parked in the open," Vos said after a pause. The look on her face told me she had serious doubts about my competence.
"Don't the Russians have cover for their vehicles?"
"Yes, of course they...wait," said Vos. She bent over the table to compare the shots more carefully. Even given the seriousness of the situation I couldn't help but admire the way she filled out her uniform.
"You're right," she said, "almost every vehicle has been parked outside for our satellites to photograph."
"So, they wanted us to see them?" asked young Thomsen.
"Yes," said Berger, screwing up his massive bulldog face, "but why?"
This time they all looked at me as if I could supply the answer but I didn't have it yet. As Vos bent over the photos again I turned to see McHenry standing in the corner of the command center with an odd look on his face.
"I got a feeling you ain't flavor of the month, bud," he said as I walked over to him.
"What makes you think that, McHenry?"
I suddenly felt very tired and depressed and it must have showed on my face.
"Let's go grab a bite," he said and we headed for the canteen.

The canteen was operating 24 hours day now in Kolsas which was becoming a base that never slept. We joined the queue, grabbed some chow and sat together in a corner table.
"I heard your briefing was as welcome as a fart in a space suit."
"News travels fast around here," I said.
"Ain't much else to do round here 'cept work and gossip."
"I guess I'm just not cut out for the political side of this job." McHenry took a bite of his roll and chewed for a while before he spoke.
"Here's the way I see it, bud. This ain't no popularity contest. You're here to tell the truth and if the truth is shitty, well that's just too bad. You ain't doing no favors by spouting a load of feel-good bull."
McHenry and I were seated at a corner table, hidden from most of the canteen by a utility cupboard which jutted out into the service area. The canteens were a very egalitarian area, where you could see a general eating from a tray next to a corporal or a major. And that is exactly what I did see, a Norwegian signals corporal eating next to a Danish major who was deep in discussion with a Danish major general. It was my planning officer, Major Olsen nodding seriously at my superior officer Generalbrigade Holst, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations.
"Well," I said to McHenry, "I've got a feeling I won't have to do it for much longer." McHenry twisted around in his seat to see where I was looking.
"Ah, hell," he said, "if all they want is someone to blow smoke up their ass we got bigger problems."
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07-31-2015, 08:54 PM,
#18
RE: Greetings
Hopefully Vos will go into action..;)
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08-01-2015, 09:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-15-2015, 10:39 PM by Porpoise.)
#19
RE: Greetings
Part 10, I can neither confirm nor deny the type of action Vos has in store for her.

Day Two

[Image: day%20two.jpg]

The morning briefing the following day went much the way of the first. One of the principles of war is the concept of 'unity of command' and we still did not have it while the parliaments of NATOs member nations argued over how their armed forces would be employed. France and Italy were still refusing to aid in the defense of their NATO allies, although Canada had chopped their forces once the Canadian Mechanised Group had been bombarded with missiles in North Germany.

The Folketing, the Danish Parliament had debated through the night whether to mobilise and transfer control of their military to NATO. There was no such thing as a majority in Danish Parliament so debates could rage for days without consensus and there was no sign a decision would be made soon.

Norway had transferred its regular forces but still had not called up its reserves. The northern border with the Soviet Union was tense but stagnant, both sides facing off against each other in the snow and unwilling to make a move. Further south, though, the Soviets had launched a broad assault along the Finnish border. We kept a close eye on the situation but could do nothing to help Finland. The Swedes, meanwhile had mobilised their entire armed forces and were patrolling their borders aggressive. The Swedish Defence Ministry stayed in constant contact with us to prevent our forces bumping into theirs.

Throughout Europe NATO and Soviet air forces continued to struggle for control of the air. The major problem that both sides faced was being shot down by air defences like SAMs, which were sophisticated, powerful, numerous and did not seem to care whether they shot down friend or foe. Any aircraft flying above 1000 feet was as like to be shot down by a missile from its own side as the enemy's.

Despite the best efforts of NATO naval forces the location of the Soviet Baltic Fleet was still unknown, although muddled reports flowed in throughout the morning. On the ground in Northern Germany things were going badly. Russian forces had surrounded Hamburg during the night and kept going, racing for the Kiel Canal or the North Sea. The West German 6th Panzergrenadier Division was desperately trying to beat them to it.

As a contrast, here in Norway not much was happening at all. Throughout the briefing Holst tutted and glared at me as if I was personally responsible for situation. The burning hatred I felt for him at that time threatened to impair my ability to do my job effectively.

In terms of directing forces there was little need for us to interfere with our subordinate commands. BALTAP were busy manouvering before the advancing Soviet Tank Divisions in Northern Germany, NON were digging in near the Arctic Circle with Russian troops doing the same across the border from them and SONOR were shuffling garrison forces around to defend against a possible parachute assault. What we were required to do at that stage of the war was coordinate movements and resources between commands, making sure the orders to neighbouring units matched in space and time so everyone had enough bullets, beans and toilet paper and did not all go charging up the same hill at once. It was tedious, meticulous, time consuming and tiring work. I don't remember seeing Holst at all after the briefing that first day until the late afternoon when I was called to the office of the Chief of Staff, the acting Commander in Chief of Allied Forces North, Viseadmiral Fuchs.

The Chief of Staff had rarely used his office since hostilities commenced, so when I got the call to report there I knew it couldn't be good news. I suspected I would feel the imprint of someone's boot on my butt pretty soon. When I saw that Fuchs, Holst and Olsen were already waiting for me my suspicions were confirmed. Fuchs was seated behind his desk looking like a friendly old uncle as his adjutant ushered me in with Major Olsen seated in front of him and Holst seated off to one side.

"Major Andrews," said Admiral Fuchs, rising and gesturing to the chair beside Olsen, "please take a seat. Of course, you know Major Olsen."
"Yes," I replied taking my seat, "he's my operations planner."
"My operations planner," said Holst abruptly. His expression had gone from neutral to ready to explode. I couldn't help but notice his tie was unravelling.
"The operations planner for Allied Forces North," said Fuchs calmly, "but that is about to change. We need to make a reorganisation."
"I understand, Admiral," I said. And I did understand. This was how Holst intended to give me the shaft.
"I've discussed the problem with General Holst and we've agreed to reorganise the operations section. Major Olsen is more senior to you, yes?"
I nodded.
"Then," continued Fuchs, "we cannot have you leading the operations section with Major Olsen subordinate to you. For that reason we've decided that you must exchange duties."
"That makes sense, sir, but why now? Why not when Colonel Hagen left?"
Fuchs traded a glance with Holst.
"Olsen will do a better job than you," blurted Holst.
"Bertram..." said Admiral Fuchs, lowering his eyes. There was an awkward silence.
"It's fine, Admiral," I said, "Major Olsen is very capable and I'm sure he will do a fine job."
"I'm glad you agree, Major Andrews. So it's decided, Major Olsen will assume the duties of the J-3 and you will assume his former role as operations planner. Now, let's discuss future operations."
"We need to reinforce the West Germans," said Holst.
"How do you intend to do that?" I asked.
"We will move the Jutland Division south to help defend the Kiel Canal."
"I'm not sure that's such a good idea, Admiral," I said.
"No one asked your opinion," said Holst sharply.
"Go on, Andrews," said Fuchs. I focussed my attention on the Admiral rather than Holst.
"Firstly," I said, "the Jutland Division isn't under our control yet..."
"The Jutland Division will be available shortly," interrupted Holst.
"Secondly," I continued, "it's too risky..."
"This is war," Holst said, "risk is intrinsic to everything we do."
"It's too risky because we don't know where the Soviet naval infantry is..."
"Major Andrews knows full well satellite imagery has confirmed that the 336th naval infantry has not left the Baltiysk kaserne." Holst no longer spoke to me but directed his comments to Admiral Fuchs who was forced into the role of referee in a tennis match. Olsen hadn't uttered a word since I'd entered the room.
"Admiral," I said, "I believe the vehicles photographed in Kaliningrad are decoys and that an amphibious invasion somewhere along the coast of Denmark is imminent, probably north of the Kiel Canal."
"What evidence do you have," Fuchs asked.
"I have none," I said, "but if I'm correct the 6th West German division and any other forces we send to reinforce them will be cut off from the north and south."
"It's too late," said Holst, "the warning orders have already been issued."
The Admiral stared at me for a long while before turning back to Holst.
"Well Bertram," said Fuchs, "I hope you are correct."

I took a short break for a meal before returning to the operations section. The land operations section occupied a line of desks, each member of the team occupying a desk dedicated to a position within the section, with the J-3 in the center. My papers had been shuffled down the row to Olsen's former desk while Olsen had resumed my position in the middle of the action. To his credit he didn't gloat or make it obvious he had leapfrogged me, nor did the rest of the team act as if anything had happen, although Vos did give me a quick, sad look that might have made me angry if she had not looked so beautiful. She felt pity for me, which made me feel even worse. I smiled back at her, even though I felt as if I was stuck at the bottom of a deep hole. I never asked for the damn job, I had never wanted it, but now that it had been taken away from me in such a devious manner I felt as if I had been cheated out of something I had earned. At least now the blow torch would be pointed at someone else's feet.
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08-07-2015, 08:42 AM,
#20
RE: Greetings
(08-01-2015, 09:01 PM)Porpoise Wrote: ..Vos did give me a quick, sad look that might have made me angry if she had not looked so beautiful. She felt pity for me..

You're in mate, the two of you should change into civvies and hop on the next plane to Vegas!
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