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Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East» Forums » Sessions

Subject: All This & World War 3 rss

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Ross Menzies
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I'm playing the entire grand campaign solo & thought I might record it here. While I've played the combined BFG & SF campaign before I've never played using AF & PG & have never played those games at all apart from substituting for a couple of turns in PG about a million years ago. The PG diplomatic rules have generated plenty of questions, most of which I've eventually found the answers to (I think) but as I run into trouble I'll post questions separately in the rules forum. This will be an ongoing & doubtless llllengthy process so I'll do updates as separate posts with the actual session reports in bold so they are easy to spot. In terms of options etc I'm not using the F-19 or Nukes but am using Chemicals. I'm also using the 'Random Chaos' diplomacy option. Okey-Dokey, away we go...

PWT1
Soviet Union declares that one of the obsticles to peace in the Middle East is the lack of a Kurdish state. The US counters by stating that the best outcome for the Kurds is a strong Centrist Government in Iran. Saudi troops begin what is described as 'lengthy exercises'.


PWT2
Tudeh uprising in Iran. Heavy fighting in the mountains near the country's major cities before the rising is brutally crushed by the Iranian army. Iranian units involved are 1TD near Tabriz; 31ID & 3TB near Tehran; and 10ID & 4TB outside Esfahan. The Iranian 10th Division is destroyed in the fighting. Commentators note the inaction of the Iranian Air Force & Revolutionary Guards during the crisis. The USSR & Syria condem the use of chemical weapons by the Iranian army and blame the crisis on 'US and Israeli meddling in Iranian internal affairs'.

Iranian Centrist Government claims that a Kurdish insurgency is also in progress with the 18ID in Bakhtaran involved in low level actions. It, the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia blame the crisis on 'Soviet meddling in Iranian internal affairs'.


PWT3
Mujahideen uprising in Iran takes control of the three major cities. 1TD & 21IB crush resistance in Tabriz but elsewhere the Iranian army, still unsupported by the airforce and revolutionary guards, is too weakened from the Tudeh rising of the previous week to react. The Centrist Government and the US again point to Soviet involvement, claiming that weapons captured at Tabriz prove that the latter is supplying the rebels.

Heavy fighting at Bakhtaran as Kurdish insurgents make a strong attack on the surrounded 18ID. Iranian sources claim that the attack was defeated with heavy insurgent loss.


PWT4
Major Offensives by the Iranian Army. The Mujahideen are crushed with 3TB & Marines taking Tehran and 2TD,4TB & 5MB overwhelming resistance in Esfahan. In Kurdistan a double pronged operation by 1TD from the north and 7ID & Airmobile troops liberating 18ID at Bakhtaran from the south cause the Kurds to retreat into the mountains. Major anti-insurgency sweep by the airmobile brigade west of Bakhtaran causes more Kurdish casulaties.


to be continued...
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Doctor X

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You're playing the grand campaign solo?!? Wish I could thumb you thrice! wow
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Ross Menzies
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PWT5
Crisis and civil war in Iran after the Supreme leadership demands the resignation of the Centrist Government, accusing it of discussions over military assistance with the US & Israel. Credence is lent to these claims when television footage captures Israeli paratroops and aircraft at Saudi airfields. An attempted coup by senior army commanders follows. Most of the army supports the coup with only 4 major units remaining loyal to the theocracy, but two of these are crucial - the Marines at Tehran and 2TD at Esfahan ensure that both of these major cities remain in the hands of the IRG. 18ID in the Kurdish mountains & 42ID in Abadan are the other units which did not support the coup. The air force also does not join the rebels. While the Centrists have the balance of strength on their side, positionally, their situation is more troublesome with only three cities - Orumiyeh, Bakhtaran & Mashhad - in their possession. The first is essentially pocketed by revolutionary guards and Kurdish partisans so the rebels are dependent upon tenuous lines of communication to the later pair for supplies. The lines to Mashhad are threatened by revolutionary guards & 35ID begins a drive from the city to clear. Heavy casualties result.

To the immediate south & east of Orumiyeh there is a band of territory stretching from the Iraqi frontier to the Caspian which contains significant Centrist forces cut off from supply - 1TD,14ID & 21IB. Very heavy fighting occurs south of Tabriz with an attack by revolutionary guards initially successful in battering 21IB before a counter-attack by 1TD sweeps in to restrict the Islamists to the city itself and opens up a tenuous supply line.

At Esfahan, 2TD & 25PD commence an IRG offensive against the Centrist forces present (4TB & 5MB) & the army falls back without seriously contesting the issue. 4TB is transferred to the Bakhtaran front where the IRG use their superior numbers to stretch a line towards Tehran in order to threaten the communications of the army forces around Tabriz. The Airmobile operation in the border mountains west of the city completes its destruction of Kurdish forces there.

On the Gulf coast the IRG position initially seems untenable with Abadan being the only port not in rebel hands. Consequently 42ID begins a staged withdrawal, dropping back to Ahvaz. Here however, a major Centrist debacle occurs as 55ID moves out of Bandar Khomeyni to attack. In confirmation of IRG claims, Israeli F-16's appear to lend support to the attack but the Iranian air force deploys its more role-appropriate Phantoms and the Centrists are torn to pieces in the swamps south of the city. The IRG gleefully screens footage of thousands of prisoners from the destroyed 55ID burning Israeli & US flags; and also a downed Israeli jet. Chaotic UN scenes follow in broadcasts worldwide.

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Steve Arthur
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Great commentary Ross...very interested to see what happens next...suggest that Iranian AF maintenance rolls wil be crucial...
 
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Ross Menzies
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PWT6
The crisis continues to escalate with the landing of Israeli Paratroops at the Gulf Ports of Bushehr & Bandar Abbas. 35AbnB finds Bushehr surrounded by Revolutionary Guards from Shiraz and is obliged to expend both time and casualties in clearing them out. The Centrist 58ID, which had been tasked with shielding the Port had instead moved north to block a drive by the triumphant 42ID & Revolutionary Guards drawn from the destroyed Centrist 55ID, which has already taken Bandar Khomeyni.

On the Asian front the IRG abandons its Esfahan offensive in order to despatch 2TD south towards the Gulf. This releases the Centrist 5MB to join 4TB in an attack on 18ID which has completed its move towards stringing a line across Iran, cutting off the Centrist Northern Army. The army mechanised forces break through, pushing 18ID further towards Tehran and re-establishing supply. In a related operation 14ID attempts to take Rasht - the Caspian anchor of the IRG line - but fails to do so. The Israeli air force attacks Tehran itself, brushing off Iranian MiGs to do so. The only result of the bombing however is more fodder for the IRG propaganda machine.
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Ross Menzies
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PWT7
In the increasingly acrimonious general assembly of the UN, the Syrian delegate demands that Israel withdraw it's forces from Iran, signifying its assent with 24 hours. Israel ignores the demand, landing 2 more brigades in the country. Syrian MiG21's begin operating in Iranian airspace.

On the ground, for a short time, the IRG flame burns brightly. In the far east of the country Revolutionary Guards outmanoeuvre 35ID to enter Mashhad. With news of this the IRG 18ID takes up positions south of Tehran which block all Centrist supply lines east of the line Tehran-Esfahan-Shiraz. On the Gulf front the 42ID group pushes through punishing Israeli air strikes to surround and destroy the exposed Centrist 58ID in conjunction with the 2TD attacking from the east.

Thereafter it becomes clear that the Revolutionary Government's ability to resist is beginning to sag. Rasht falls to a renewed attack by 14ID despite Syrian air support. Tabriz holds off an assault by 1TD & 30ID by only the slimmest of margins. 18ID is destroyed outside Tehran by 4TB & 5MB, freeing up the lines and the Centrists then complete the encirclement of the capital with these forces plus 31ID & 3TB. Finally, on the Gulf, the Israeli 35AbnB pushes the Revolutionary Guards out of Shiraz before turning west & hitting 2TD in conjunction with the newly arrived 31Abn. The premier IRG division is mauled & pushed west and away from any retreat path to Esfahan. Signs of internal collapse within the IRG can be seen by the summary execution of the head of the Iranian Air Force.
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Ross Menzies
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PWT8
The increasingly confident Centrists begin or continue assualts on Tabriz, Tehran and Mashhad. None fall but the IRG ability to resist is flagging. The only offensive action by the Islamists is the brief reoccupation of Shiraz by Revolutionary Guards before 35Abn returns and clears the area once and for all. The remnants of the IRG gulf forces fall back to the swamps but the 23&31Abn push through Revolutionary Guard holding forces to destroy 42ID at Bandar Khomenyi. The Centrist/Israeli surge is not uniformly victorious however. In Kurdistan an ill-advised operation by the Iranian Airmobile Brigade sees this crucial unit mauled.


Note - couple of edits here as mistakes in the rules by me - thinking that some stuff was lost that wasn't - not dead just sick.
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PWT9
Diplomatic events begin to overshadow those on the ground as the Soviets demand an end to foreign intervention in Iran and mobilise their southern military districts. The US responds with placing the RDF on alert and warns the Soviet Union of the dangers of their present course of action. Iraq too issues a statement, promising 'the mother of all battles' should Soviet forces enter Iran. It and Saudi Arabia recognise the Centrists as the legitimate government of Iran. Syria accuses both of being 'tools of Zionism'.

On the ground both Tabriz & Tehran continue to hold while the effects of the international diplomatic crisis is seen at Mashhad where the Centrists abandon their attack and begin to pull back from the Soviet border. Sporadic fighting continues elsewhere. The Kurds make an unsuccessful attack on the Iranian Airmoble positions before the latter is withdrawn. A Revolutionary Guard brigade from Kurdistan attempts to move on Rasht but is intercepted and pushed away by 5MB. 2TD abandons Ahvaz & attempts to outrun its Israeli pursuers but only reaches the Zagross passes before it is caught by 23Abn & its remnants destroyed in a bloody battle. Syrian air support increases the bloodiness but cannot save the tankers and suffers heavy losses itself. 31Abn overruns Ahvaz & Abadan. Coalition forces begin to hurredly assemble for an attack on Esfahan but haste has a cost when an attempted airdrop near the city by 35Abn from Shiraz is aborted with heavy losses.
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Talon Amores
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Please continue this AAR! I'm seriously considering getting a set of the four games, and this is only further convincing me!
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Ross Menzies
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PWT10
Soviet troops enter Iran. The Iranian Communists declare their support. Iraq proves true to its promise to the Centrist Government, sending the bulk of its air force to join arriving US air units in directly opposing the Soviet advance. Despite a massively unfavourable disparity in airpower the Soviets overwhelm the exhausted Centrists in 2 major battles and some isolated encounters.

Outside Tabriz 261MRD & airmobile troops eventually overcome staunch resistance to destroy 1TD & 30ID with the eventual help of 104GdsMAbnD which comes up behind the Centrists after taking Orumiyeh (21IB) with 164MtnD. The latter does not join in the Tabriz fighting but instead crosses the Iraqi frontier, blocking the northern passes between the two countries. The Airmobile push south, encountering 5MB. Cut off from its retreat lines the Centrist brigade falls back towards Rasht.

Around Tehran a bruising battle is fought between the Soviet 40th Army (15TD, 346MRD & airmobile troops) which has pushed along the Caspian coast and the main Centrist army (14&31ID,3&4TB). Battling through heavy air support the Soviets completely destroy the Centrist army but lose 346MRD & the Airmobile Brigade in the process. 15TD is joined by another 40th Army unit, 5MRD, which pushed through from Mashhad, overrunning 35ID en route. The army then moves towards the Bakhtaran front. Another 40th Army unit coming through the Mashhad region, 357MRD, heads towards the coast, fighting a running battle with 6MB which falls back to Kerman.

Whilst it is these two battles which destroy the Centrist Army, it is an operation almost devoid of fighting which secures the largest slice of Iranian territory. While the Coalition forces enjoy almost complete air superiority in the West Asia theatre, they have neglected to allocate any air units to the 'backwater' Gulf. In this theatre, the airfield at Yazd remains in IRG hands. Using their massive airlift capacity the Soviets eventually transport in 3 full divisions plus paratroopers. These push down almost to Shiraz while 360MRD clears Coalition forces from around Esfahan, destroying 81IB in the process.

The effect of this landing is to force the deployment of the entire US 18Corps to the Shiraz region and the week ends with a Coalition line which stretches from Bushehr to Shiraz & then on an almost straight line through the Zagross Mountains to Bakhtaran before heading due west to the Iraqi border & following the border thereafter. The flanks of this line are reasonably strongly held with 18Corps plus two Israeli brigades and the Centrist 77ID on the right and the Iraqi army on the left. In the centre however, the Bakhtaran front, the line is held by the Centrist 7ID in the city itself with just the Israeli 23Abn & Iraqi 68Cdo brigades holding the city's long flanks. Iraqi & Israeli units are rushing to strengthen the line.

In Syria the opening day of what may come to be seen as the world war was marked by heavy airstrikes by US A-10's on the 9TD & 82AmobB which inflict heavy casualties, particularly on the Airmobile brigade. Above the airstrikes Iraqi MiG23 escorts rout interception attempts by Soviet MiG23s. The Syrian army falls back to a defensible line in front of the river. They are attacked here by an Iraqi force consisting of 4TD,7MotD & 1AmobB & the sector held by 90MB is breached with the latter falling back across the river in some disarray.

Much sound and fury in the UN but the sense of futility is becoming overwhelming.


Edit-from here on in I'll start recording Pact VPs & also permanently destroyed air units. In point of fact the latter don't go into the dead pile until the following turn but losses are easier to follow if given in the turn that they are shot down.
VP:103
Air: Syrian: 1xMiG21

Another Edit - I'll also record cumulative losses for all nations as this gives some understanding of how things are progressing & some need to be recorded anyway for Critical Losses. *=Nation took losses this turn. (#)= brigade equivalents. Nations/Factions which have surrendered or been eliminated will not be recorded.
Pact
IRG-1xTD,2xID (9)
Kurds-1xMtnB (1)
Soviets*-1xMRD,1xAmobB (4)
Syrians*-1xMiG21 (1)
NATO
Centrists*-1xTD,8xID,2xTB,2xIB (31)

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Talon Amores
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Quick question, so is the Iranian Army and Centrists buddies in every playthrough or does it depend on what cards are played by the players?
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Ross Menzies
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UN Spacy wrote:
Quick question, so is the Iranian Army and Centrists buddies in every playthrough or does it depend on what cards are played by the players?


Depends on the cards. More of the Army will rebel if they & the Centrists are committed to the same side. Which was the case here.
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T11(WT0)
The Warsaw Pact announces General Mobilisation, followed by NATO. In a last ditch attempt at averting war the UN Security Council passes a resolution requiring Soviet units to cease military action in Iran. The Soviet delegate is not present for the vote. There are no Pact delegates anywhere in the assembly.

Over Copenhagen Soviet Su-24's brush off interception attacks to deliver a heavy strike on the city. Soviet tanks cross the West German border. The Soviets have begun the war without waiting for full mobilisation.

In arctic Norway the equivalent of 4 Soviet Divisions cross the border, overrunning the surprised Norwegian Finnmarck Regiment before pushing on. Kirkennes, Hammerfest, Alto-Banak & Tromso all fall before 2 Brigades of the Norwegian 6th Division block further progress in the mountain passes south of Tromso. Soviet airmobile troops land behind the Norwegian positions, taking Bardufoss & sealing the Norwegians in the passes. A grim battle ensues with the airmoble troops, marines and elements of 37GdsMRD attempting vainly to push the Nord Brigade out of its passes. Air strikes by Tu-22's & F-111s add to the misery for both sides. The Norwegian 5MtnB arrives, retaking Bardufoss and attacking the airmobile troops in concert with a breakout attempt by the unengaged 15MB. The battle results in the destruction of all forces involved and leaves Nord with its communications freed but no other NATO forces present. The only remaining mobilised units being 13MtnB guarding POMCUS bases near Trondheim & 14AB, shipped out to secure Bergen in reaction to the capture of Oslo by Soviet airmobile troops.

The latter were part of a strong northern push by the Soviets. The two brigades roam across Denmark capturing Odense & Arhus before moving on to the Norwegian capital. Another brigade occupies Kiel as a strong push by 1GTA forces 6PGD out of Lubeck despite French Mirages decimating Soviet attempts at air support. The loss of these bases is a disaster for the NATO Baltic fleet & they withdraw, ceding the sea to the Red Navy. The Danish bridges are blown, cutting off Copenhagen & leaving the Danish Jutland Division out of supply until it reoccupies the mainland centres captured by the Soviet airmobile troops. By the time the Division reaches the line the latter is much changed. Successive waves of Soviet tanks slam into the West German I corps north of the Elbe. 26AbnB fights off two major attacks on Hamburg before being joined by a battered & retreating 3PD. A massive assault on the city overwhelms the exhausted defenders and I corps disintegrates. The remnants of the 1AHR withdraws west to re-equip and 6PGD finds itself pocketed and fights off a massed assault before breaking out north with the help of 2AHR and forming a line on the Kiel Canal with the arriving Jutland Division.

On the Hannover front another I corps unit, 1PD in the city itself, finds itself initially ignored as the 20GA clears its flanks & the Soviets attempt isolate the city. Later the Soviets attack the city but are held. A strong NATO counter attack (primarily the Belgian & Dutch Corps) re-establishes its northern flank, relieving the panzers with the UK 1AD.

A crucial battle is fought to the south where 2PGD with heavy air support initially holds off a strong thrust towards the Ruhr, deadening Soviet momentum before being pushed back to Bielefeld. South of Kassel the US 11ACR is hit by a reinforced 2GA & thrown back with heavy losses before being destroyed in a heroic last stand near the Fulda Gap, taking 27MRD with it. 28 Army pushes US 3MD back onto 12PD at Wurzburg. 3AD is unengaged as the Soviets push through the Gap around it. Initial NATO response is to throw up a line anchored on these 2 American divisions but the line in parts is paper thin and the French 1AHR finds itself overrun by two Soviet MRDs. 207MRD reaches the Rhine & the suburbs of Frankfurt & Mannheim at the tip of a thin finger of Soviet controlled territory. Below this finger the US positions around Nurnberg have been largely untouched apart from air strikes on the city itself & some skirmishing. The Soviet finger is hanging in space, unconnected with the border or other Soviet forces and north of them, around Kassel, a somewhat similar situation pertains although the two divisions of 8GA present here are connected with Soviet forces to the north. This connection is severed when 7PD & 2PGD with French armour & US helicopters in support drive a wedge into the Soviet line north of the city. At the same time US VII Corps drives out of Wurzburg & Nurnberg and destroys 25TD at the base of The Finger in a vicious tank action that also claims 3MD. The remaining two Soviet Divisions in The Finger (57Gds & 207MRD) are hemmed in and overwhelmed by US, West German & French forces. The Finger has been completely severed in a stunning example of mobile defence. NATO high command then attempts to replicate this success with a similar attack on the Soviet positions at Kassel. US 5Corps helicopters recapture the city itself but a drive by 1AD to totally close the net around 20Gds & 39Gds MRD comes unstuck when Soviet airmobile troops holding open the pocket sell themselves dearly, destroying the American armoured division. In the event only 39MRD is forced back with light losses and the 20th holds off its mostly French & Belgian attackers but both divisions are still pocketed. After considerable fighting UK 1Corps pushes the Soviet spearheads away from the outskirts of Bielefeld.

On the Southern Front Regensburg falls with 4PGD being first driven from the city & then destroyed by 8GTA. 10 Army pushes past the destruction and assaults 27AbnB at Munich which holds out long enough for relief in the form of 10PD to arrive. The Gebirgs PGD is trapped up against the Austrian border where it is hit by fresh Soviet forces arriving from Hungary. The division is in desperate stakes and 10PD, the US 8MD & the Canadian brigade launch a relief attempt which does open a corridor but finds that there is nothing left of the Gebirgs to come out. Defence of Munich itself is then passed to French 7AD & the Canadians.

In the Balkans the onset of World War brought only isolated actions with a heavy Soviet airstrike on Istanbul and a dramatic helicopter raid which takes Salonika. Here though the Soviets make a crucial mistake as they attempt an attack on the Greek 22AB on the outskirts of the city. Whilst the Soviets are thus engaged heavy Greek reinforcements enter the city & the airmoble troops hotfoot it back into Bulgaria after being mauled by 20AD & 2MD. In the course of the fighting however the Greeks suffer massive air losses. The raid also serves as a forewarning to NATO command which despatches Italian helicopters to aid in the city's defence.

On the Caucasian front the Turks deploy a strong corps fanned inland from the Black Sea border with the USSR plus division sized groups guarding the mountain passes opposite Yerevan and in front of Van. Initial Turkish moves are more concerned with ensuring their communications in the face of Kurdish partisans than anything offensive. A heavy Soviet airstrike on the Van group contributes to their lack of offensive spirit. Soviet forces facing this are cadged together at the eleventh hour with 104Gds pulled out of Iran to garrison Yerevan and 102Gds MAbnD, the Black Sea Fleet Marines and airmobile troops shipped in from Odessa landing in Batumi. The latter force begins a push along the Turkish coast, trapping a badly positioned 51ID in mountain passes on the border. 9ID & 6AB move up to threaten the Soviet incursion.

The remaining units of the Turkish 3rd Army (29ID + brigades) are deployed against the Syrians who fight a deft mobile defence against the growing forces arrayed against them, hitting & disrupting the Iraqis first before weathering a Turkish thrust and then executing a withering attack on the Turkish 49IB - forcing it out of the fighting. More Turkish probes follow however & soon the Syrian line resembles a stretched & elongated semi-circle based upon the Euphrates. More trouble arrives when the Iraqi Republican Guard Brigade arrives below this base, pushing back 30MB which had raced south to block.

In Iran 164MtnD falls back across the border under pressure from 4 Iranian divisions struggling with their own Kurdish partisan problems. Soviet airmobile troops capture Rasht before they and the IRG Marines surround & destroy the remains of the wandering Centrist 5MB. The helicopters move on to the Bakhtaran sector where 15TD has already begun an offensive, pushing through B-52 strikes & A-10 ground support to slowly drive back the Israeli 23AbnB. The Israelis grudgingly give ground before reaching the last of the passes before the Gulf. At Bakhtaran itself the airmobile joins 5 & 261 MRD in overwhelming the Centrist 7ID after a stiff fight. 261MRD continues on to attempt to seize the westernmost pass shielding the Gulf but is held by the Israeli 31Abn. The Israelis are thereafter relieved by the arriving Iraqi 1TD & 5MD. Another Iraqi unit, 2TD, attempts to relieve pressure on the front by punching through the central pass in Kurdistan, guarded only by remnants of a Revolutionary Guard unit. In the passes however the Iraqi tankers become disoriented and the division is destroyed piecemeal by Guardsmen & Kurdish partisans. At Kerman the ongoing duel between 357MRD & 6MB continues with the Centrists being finally forced into mountain passes behind the airfield. Behind them on the Gulf coast 2 Saudi Brigades land tasked with their reinforcement. In the Shiraz sector the Soviets make a limited attack when 18Corps assets including the attack helicopters are withdrawn to cover potential Soviet breakthroughs on the Bakhtaran line. 1GdsTD & 145MtnD push the Israeli 35 & 143 AbnB out of the mountains but the imminent arrival of US reinforcements in the shape of 24MD & 194AB allows 82AbnD to come up from Shiraz & block further advances. With 24MD in place & the Bakhtaran front stabilised, Coalition command launches a devastating counter offensive. The 18AHB crosses the Zagross Mountains to descend upon Esfahan where it overcomes desperate resistance from Revolutionary Guards & Communist militias to capture the city. 24 MD bursts out of Shiraz to attack the screening 360MRD. Enveloped by 1st Marines the Soviet division disintegrates and suddenly there is nothing between 18 Corps & the Afganhi frontier but 357Gds AbnR at Yazd and 357MRD engaged at Kerman.

VP:118
Air: UK-1xJaguar,1xTornadoG; WGer-1xTornadoG; Grk-1xF-5
SO-1xMiG-29,1xSu-25

Losses:
Pact
IrCom*-1xIB (1)
IRG-1xTD,2xID (9)
Kurds-1xMtnB (1)
Soviets*-1xTD,6xMRD,3xAmobB;1xMiG29,1xSu25 (26)
Syrians-1xMiG21 (1)
NATO*
Centrists-1xTD,9xID,2xTB,1xMB,2xIB (35)
French-1xAHR (1)
Greek-1xF5 (1)
Iraqi-1xTD (3)
Norwegian-1xoMB,1xoMtnB,1xoMtnR (3)
UK-1xJaguar,1xTornadoG (2)
US-1xAD,1xMD,1xACR (7)
WGerman-1xPD,2xPGD,1xAbnB;1xTornadoG (11)

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T12(WT1)

Collapse in Norway. The Soviets pressure Finland into granting them passage through their arctic territories and the Nord Brigade, surrounded again, capitulates, opening the rest of the country to a lightning advance. Mosjoen falls to a landing by Marines and all points north to mechanised columns from 37Gds&54MRDs. The southern ports succumb to drops by 76GdsMAbnD while the forces in Oslo, augmented by the air-landed 6 Polish AbnD spread out to occupy all mobilisation centres. The only points still in NATO hands are the two occupied by Norwegian brigades - Bergen & the POMCUS site north of Trondheim. NATO belatedly takes counter action to keep Norway in the war. The NATO Brigade lands at Bergen to bolster 14AB while a major operation - amphibious landings by 6th & 8th Marines and British Commandos and air drops by French 11 Division & the Canadian regiment - retakes Trondheim.

Collapse too in Denmark as fresh Soviet forces push Jutland off the canal line, smash through the exposed reserve - 1 Zeeland Brigade - to wrap around Jutland and 6PG like an 'S' before the curves of the S close in on themselves and both divisions are crushed. Airmobile troops reach the outskirts of Copenhagen - the remainder of the country is under Soviet control.

Hannover is not attacked but north and south of the city the NATO line is hammered. The line between Bremen & Hannover simply vanishes as 1PD & the Dutch 1MD are overwhelmed, taking 6Gds&19GdsMRD with them. For a glittering moment Bremen lies open to the Soviets but they are beaten into the city by Belgian 1MD which, with 11PGD immediately East on the Elbe, holds off attacks by four Soviet TD. The East German 9TD crosses the Weser immediately north of Hannover but the Brit garrison & the US 1&4MD counter-attack & push the East Germans back across the river with heavy losses.

The NATO successes at Bremen & on the Weser are made possible only by the resistance of 7PD to the south which holds its position above Kassel while the front crumples around it. Three heavy assaults by 8Gds & 28 Armies are required to destroy the division, preventing Soviet tanks from reaching the POMCUS site for 4MD & freeing the site's Belgian garrison to win the race for Bremen. Around the panzers 1Fr&4UK AD plus 5 Corps AHB are destroyed and UK 1 Corps & Belgian 16MD are savaged (the latter so badly it is withdrawn across the Rhine) at a cost of 79& 7East German TD as the Pact forces break open the Kassel pocket, re-taking the city & driving north-west, trying to cut-off Hannover & reach the Ruhr. They are halted, barely, in the suburbs of Dortmund, their armies pointing like an arrowhead at the city with the base of the arrowhead at Kassel & just south of Hannover. The NATO line is stretched almost to breaking point to cover the line and they launch desperate attacks on the East German 4MRD at the tip. I Netherlands, I UK & II West German Corps finally push in the tip, affording NATO a sliver of line in front of the Ruhr.

Berlin is attacked for the first time and the garrison fight off attacks by up to 9 Polish divisions. Behind the NATO line the Pact launch a major airborne operation, attempting to land almost 4 divisions near the III Corps POMCUS bases around Saarbrucken. A wild battle ensues as both NATO & Pact throw their best air assets into the fight. Massive Pact air losses are the result and the Czech Airborne Brigade is destroyed but two Desant divisions are landed successfully and overcome the two French ACBs garrisoning the sites to destroy the stored equipment for 1Cav & 5MD. II Italian Corps en route to the front is diverted to encircle the Desants with French and US support. The Soviet paras justify their tough reputation by requiring multiple attacks to eliminate. 7Gds dies hard occupying Saarbucken but 103Gds fights an extended running battle that ends across the Rhine in Karlshrue and draws in still more NATO assets. Both battles deny the southern front much needed reinforcements.

In the south Pact options are reduced by a punishing B-52 strike on Czech divisions of 41A. 1TD in particular is left unfit for any operations. Pact operations are restricted to very heavy attacks on Nurnberg & Munich. US 2ACR in the former and the French & Canadians in Munich hold. Nurnberg is relieved by 2AD but all that can be spared to reach Munich is the battered original defenders - 27AbnB which marches through airstrikes to reach the city just in time for it to fall to another massed attack. Stopped at Nurnberg the Pact forces smash in its flanks, destroying West German 3AHR in the process. The city is isolated but NATO launches a counter-attack, primarily involving 2AD, 12PD & 8MD, that crushes the breakthrough. 3 Pact divisions (30Gds, 2&15 Czech MRD) & 12PD are destroyed in the fighting and NATO rigs together a battered but complete line.

In the Balkans NATO benefits greatly from foul weather that grounds the considerable air assets ranged against them. 2 Bulgarian Army fails to dislodge the Greek 10&15ID on the border north of Salonika and the Italian 4AHR joins the defenders to defeat a second attempt. All other Pact efforts against the Greeks are directed in the area between the Nestos & Evros rivers. The Bulgarians with Romanian assistance pierce the front & push down the rivers, trapping 2 divisions & 3 brigades between them before converging to completely destroy the Greek army therein. 9&25TB gain a bridgehead over the Nestos at the coast. A bridgehead is likewise gained across the Evros which threatens the otherwise orderly if casualty-heavy retreat of the main Turkish line across the Ergene. The Turkish 8ID however beats off a strong attempt to realise this threat and the Turkish line is relatively solid. NATO reinforcements pour into both countries with III French Corps establishing at Salonika with 2AD, 8MD, helicopters & the Italian Folgore Division under command while the French 12&14MD plus two Italian motorised brigades deploy in Turkey.

The deployment of international forces in European Turkey allows the Turks to send all of their own reinforcements to the east where the Soviets have committed their Strategic Reserve. Two divisions of 9 Army with helicopter support push along the Black Sea coast, trapping and destroying 9ID & 6AB at the cost of 8GdsMRD. 2TaGMRD then pushes on to Trabzon, mauling 1MB & taking the port before turning inland where it catches & destroys 12ID at Erzurum. Turkish forces are rapidly converging to the south however & the Soviets fall back to the coast & content themselves with finishing off 1MB.

The Soviet Black Sea Coast offensive pulls in most of the Turkish forces deployed against Syria. Only 14MB is left to stiffen the Iraqi corps there. The Syrians use the respite given by the Turkish withdrawal by pulling back across the Euphrates and battering the Iraqi Republican Guards who withdraw north, out of the battle. Respite is short however as the Turkish brigade crosses the river to eliminate 30MB in concert with 7 Iraqi Division & the airmobile. Doom then looms to the east as the US 9LMotD appears, overrunning 82AmobB.

The US division is in Iraq thanks to a cross-border raid by 5MRD which pushes through the passes where the Iraqi 2TD met its fate to hit and destroy the Iraqi 66CdoB. Kirkuk and the oilfields lie defenceless before it but the US light division & 7MarB come up and the Soviets withdraw, allowing diversion of the Light Division to Syria.

In Iran the Soviets react to the American breakout from Shiraz by falling onto the defensive at Bakhtaran, abandoning the east and attempting to solidify a line west of Esfahan. The line is anchored in the mountains by 145MtnD to the south & a newly arrived airmobile brigade north with 1GdsTD holding the valley. Newly assigned Backfire bombers pound 24MD as it comes up from Shiraz but the US preparations are methodical, forming up in front of Esfahan before launching a set piece attack up the valley with 24MD, 82AbnD & 194AB while US helicopters attack from behind the Guards division is destroyed & 18 Corps pushes forward.

In the written-off east, 357AbnR at Yazd initially flies out to participate in the Saarbucken landings but cannot complete its mission & returns, battered & to the collective horror of its members, to Yazd. Here it is attacked by 1st Marines. The Soviet paras defeat the first attack but cannot hope to hold the field & pull out, fleeing north. A running battle develops that ends in the destruction of both units. 357MRD too, runs north abandoning Kerman which is reoccupied by the newly arrived 5th Marines while the triumphant Centrist 6MB stays behind to refit.

VP:132
Air: NO-1xF16; US-1xA10
SO-2xMiG29,1xMiG23; EGer-1xMiG27,1xMiG23; Cz-1xMiG21

Losses
Pact
Czech*-2xMRD,1xAbnB;1xMiG21 (8)
EGermany*-1xTD;1xMiG27,1xMiG23 (5)
IrCom-1xIB (1)
IRG-1xTD,2xID (9)
Kurds-1xMtnB (1)
Soviet*-2xMAbnD,3xTD,11xMRD,3xAmobB,1xMAbnR,1xAbnR;3xMiG29,1xMiG23,1xSu25 (58)
Syria*-1xAmobB,1xMB;1xMiG21 (3)
NATO
Canada*-1xMB (1)
Centrists-1xTD,9xID,2xTB,1xMB,2xIB (35)
Denmark*-1xMD,1xMB (4)
France*-2xAD,1xAHR (3)
Greece*-2xID,2xAB,1xIB;1xF5 (10)
Iraq*-1xTD,1xCdoB (4)
Netherlands*-1xMD (3)
Norway*-1xAB,1xoMB,1xoMtnB,1xoMtnR;1xF16 (+8xmob ctrs) (13)
Turkey*-2xID,1AB,1xMB (8)
UK*-1xAD;1xJaguar,1xTornadoG (5)
USA*-1xAD,1xMD,1xAHB,1xMarR,1xACR;1xA10 (10)
WGermany*-4xPD,3xPGD,2xAbnB,1xAHR;1xTornadoG (25)


Edit-Corrected my mangled interpretation of the Greek river system.
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Steve Arthur
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Great description Ross...having no trouble following all the action on my maps...
 
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Ross Menzies
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T13(WT2)

Crisis meetings at NATO High Command as shaken delegates from Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands & Greece question the ability to hold. All signal that they will concentrate on their own defence but this merely recognises the actual strategic situation with the exception of the Dutch whose forces in Germany will now be withdrawn. On the Pact side Syria raises similar concerns.

In Norway poor weather restricts air operations, particularly ground support & both sides engage in runway cratering with the US coming off second in the resulting air battles. The commandos & Nowegian 13MB move north to protect the POMCUS site while the Soviet Marines move south to face them. 6 & 8 Marines move south but are blocked in the passes by paras from Alesund and await the now equipped 2MarB on its way to join them. The Soviets withdraw their airmobile forces.

The latter are needed in Germany thanks to another devastating B-52 strike which wrecks 1GTA on the outskirts of Bremen. This stops dead any Pact offensives from south of the city and instead the Soviet airmobiles are concentrated & launched at the crossings at the mouth of the Elbe. The two WGerman territorial brigades guarding the crossings fall back into Bremen & airmobiles raid deep behind the NATO lines leaving behind detachments in a number of cities before forming a coherent line across the mouths of both the Elbe & the Weser. NATO pulls together a counter-attack force only by abandoning the Elbe. 11PGD,US 1&4MD & Belgian 1MD smash the Weser bridgehead, destroying three airmobile brigades at the cost of 11PGD. WGerman 2AHR pushes through the destruction to recapture Bremerhaven & then loop around the Pact front to grab a vacant Kiel. Most, but not all, Soviet detachments behind the NATO line are cleared out.

Heavy attacks on Hannover dominate Pact efforts in the North. UK 1AD barely holds attacks primarily from 3 Shock & 4GTA. The exhausted Brits are withdrawn but all NATO can afford to replace them with is two reserve PGB. Only probing attacks are made out of the southern edge of the Kassel salient as a result of the concentration on Hannover. Behind the Pact line Berlin falls but the Polish divisions involved are unfit for immediate operations elsewhere.

On the southern front Nurnberg falls with French 3AD destroyed defending the city. A massive extended battle ensues as the whole NATO southern line is in danger of collapse. The Main line is cleared & the river re-crossed again at Wurzburg with two US ACRs lost and heavy NATO losses otherwise in exchange for the Polish 20TD. The NATO position would be even worse were it not for staunch resistance from II Italian corps around Wurzburg. South of Augsburg the mostly airmobile line is ripped to pieces with US 7AHB destroyed & 4th French Division knocked out the fighting in exchange for 55GdsMRD as the Soviets clear the entire Austrian border. Between these two disasters the strongest part of the NATO line (2AD,10PD & 8MD) is in danger of being pocketed. NATO reacts by abandoning Augsburg & the border, throwing up a thin southern facing line mostly consisting of German Territorials stretching back almost to Freiburg and launching their heaviest counter-attack so far on the Pact Forces around the Main. The US & West German divisions push north whilst II Italian Corps, US 3AD & substantial French forces push south. Caught between these thrusts the Pact attack collapses. Wurzburg is retaken, 2TD, 20 Czech MRD & an airmobile brigade destroyed & the survivors hurled back across the Main in disorder. At the same time a major airborne attack on wavering Czechoslovakia is launched with WGerman 28AbnB taking Ostrava; and the Belgian & Canadian regiments taking Brno & Bratislava respectively. A fourth landing, by the newly-arrived Spanish brigade at Prague is aborted with heavy losses.

In the Balkans, NATO complacency as to the strength of their position is revealed to be illusory as disaster arrives on all fronts. Their heavily reinforced air forces are routed with the Bulgarian pilots in particular showing a marked superiority despite their obsolete equipment. The Nestos line collapses as the Bulgarians destroy the Folgore Division in exchange for the assisting Soviet 5Gds MRD. The Greek 6ID & 22AB are pocketed in the mountains at the north of the line as the Strymon becomes the new front line. An even greater calamity unfolds on the Turkish front. Romanian airmoble get in behind the strong Turkish position (33ID, 2&3AB) anchoring the Ergene line to the coast. 2 Romanian army with assistance from 15GdsMRD rout the outflanked Turks & push west along the river causing another rout. The restricted Turkish rear areas are now choked with refugees and disorganised Turkish units and the victorious Romanians catch the Turkish forces above, accompanied by 1AB, in front of Istanbul & completely destroy them. The remaining, and still substantial, NATO forces in European Turkey, cut off from the capital fall back on the Gallipoli penninsula & begin evacuating through the port of Gelibolu while the capital is made ready to resist attack. By the end of the week three Turkish divisions plus the French 14MD & the Italian brigades are still in the pocket. The Italian San Marco Marines are despatched to help secure the southern Anatolian ports from Pact attack but NATO can spare nothing else.

In Eastern Turkey the Soviets launch spoiling attacks out of the mountains south of Trabzon but do not attempt anything major. The Marines in concert with two airmobile brigades attempt to force the surrender of 51ID still trapped in the passes near Batumi but the division holds & 23MtnB comes up to support by cutting Pact supply lines west of the fighting.

Fighting in Syria ends with the total destruction of the Syrian Expeditionary Corps by 9th Division & the Iraqis. The Syrian government requests a ceasefire.

In Iran the Iraqis launch an offensive in the Bakhtaran sector. While the US 7LID & Israelis screen the Soviet 5MRD in the eastern passes 10MtnD begins clearing operations against the Kurds west of the city while 1TD & 5MD take the city itself. The defending forces (Revolutionary Guards & the Iranian Marines) are smashed with only remnants of the Marines surviving. In the Esfahan valley 18 Corps' offensive grinds to a halt as the Soviet mountain & airmoble forces hold their positions and a Revolutionary Guard division blocks the northern exits with Soviet forces in reserve behind. Out of communication & inadequately equipped to clear the mountains, the final nail in the offensive's coffin comes when 15TD & the newly arrived 106GdsMAbnD make a surprise thrust through the rough terrain east of the valley which catches & overwhelms the screening 35 Israeli AbnB. 18 Corps falls back on Esfahan to regroup. It is joined there by 5th Marines which has ceased its eastern operations when 357MRD appears at Tehran after an epic and circuitous retreat.

VP:127
Air:US-1xF111,1xF14;FR-Mir2000;GR-1xF16;IRQ-1xMiG21
SO-1xSU25;PO-1xSU17;RO-1xIAR93

Losses:
Pact
Czech*-3xMRD,1xAbnB;1xMiG21 (11)
EGerman-1xTD;1xMiG27,1xMiG23 (5)
IrCom-1xIB (1)
IRG-1xTD,2xID (9)
Kurd-1xMtnB (1)
Polish*-1xTD;1xSu17 (4)
Romanian*-1xIAR93 (1)
Soviet*-2xMAbnD,4xTD,13xMRD,7xAmobB,1xMAbnR,1xAbnR;3xMiG29,1xMiG23,2xSu25 (72)
NATO
Canadian-1xMB (1)
Centrist-1xTD,9xID,2xTB,1xMB,2xIB (35)
Danish-1xMD,1xMB (4)
French*-3xAD,1xIB,1xAHR;1xMir2000 (6)
Greek*-2xID,2xAB,1xIB;1xF5,1xF16 (11)
Iraqi*-1xTD,1xCdoB;1xMiG21 (5)
Israeli*-1xAbnB (1)
Italian*-1xMD (3)
Netherland-1xMD (3)
Norwegian-1xAB,1xoMB,1xoMtnB,1xoMtnR;1xF16 (+8xmob ctrs) (13)
Turkish*-3xID,4xAB,1xMB (14)
UK*-1xAD,1xIB;1xJaguar,1xTornadoG (6)
US*-1xAD,1xMD,2xAHB,1xIB,1xMarR,3xACR;1xA10,1xF111,1xF14 (16)
WGerman*-4xPD,4xPGD,2xAbnB,1xAHR;1xTornadoG (28)
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T14(WT3)

President Bush broadcasts to the world, calling on those countries still neutral to join the fight now or be consumed later. He describes a NATO victory as the beginning of a 'new world order' and urges the uncommitted to model themselves upon President Saddam of Iraq - a man able to put into perspective minor differences in the face of an overwhelming common threat. A man whose country will take pride of place in the New World Order. Austria answers the call, declaring that it will fight with NATO. Sweden stops short of out and out war but commits land and air force 'volunteers' to aid the fight in Norway. No other European country responds.

The New World Order seems far away on the front lines however as the mass of the Soviet reserve mobilisation make themselves felt in all theatres.

In Norway the reinforcements comprise six new divisions, more than doubling the Pact forces present. Five of these are shipped to Mosjoen but the NATO fleet is still a force to be reckoned with and only one of these, 24GdsTD is able to land in a timely enough manner to be able to immediately participate in operations. It drives south, engaging the British Commandos north of the POMCUS base with the Marines & elements of 54MRD. The Commandos are pushed south, exposing Norwegian 13MtnB. The French 11AbnD comes up from Trondheim to establish a position south of POMCUS & the Norwegians fall back upon this. The French stay only long enough for the Swedish Volunteers to start to arrive before falling back to Trondheim. The Commandos have already gone. Evacuated. The enraged Swedes realise that NATO is quitting Norway. South of Trondhiem 2MarB pushes the Soviet paras out of the way to capture Alesund before themselves embarking. 6th Marines reaches the port too but the 8th is left to clear out the paras. The Swedish 5th Nord Brigade comes up from the south to cut off the Soviets in the passes.

A round the clock aerial bombardment of Copenhagen begins with devastating effect. 2nd Zeeland Brigade & a territorial regiment are destroyed. NATO air seems powerless to stop the attacks and their own attempts at a counter barrage - air strikes on the Baltic Fleet Marines on the outskirts of the city - are ineffective.

The evacuations from Norway are due to the situation in Germany. Kiel is retaken with 2AHR fighting to the last against three Pact divisions & a division's worth of airmobile troops. At the front, the entire NATO line disintegrates as disaster and panic spread like wildfire. The Pact forces in the north receive but one Soviet and one Polish division from the reserves but their exhausted armies lift themselves up for a final surge at a NATO line that is in even worse shape. The German reservists & territorials holding Hannover and Bremen are swept away and the Weser line breached as 3 Shock Army slams into Belgian 1MD & UK 6MotB north of Hannover. The Belgian division is all but destroyed but manages to fill the gap between UK 1AD at Osnabruck & WGerman 1AHR on the Weser south of Bremen. This fresh line shatters with the Belgians & Brits falling further back while a remnant of 1AHR fights its way back to join 1AD. All that is now left of the Weser line is US 4MD pocketed on the coast. The latter fights its way out with the assistance of the newly arrived UK 2MD, destroying 45GdsMRD en route to the new NATO line on the Ems.

In front of Dortmund 2PGD is hit by 2nd & 8th GTA and torn to pieces, its remnants falling back into the city itself as Pact units drive through the gap which this retreat creates. There are almost no reserves. The Italian Folgore AmobB, despite having taken heavy losses in the fighting around Wurzburg the week before is all that can get to the Ruhr, arriving in Essen just in time to fight off 8GA. Nothing can save Dortmund however as 2GA rolls over the remnants of 2PGD. From east of Munster to west of Hannover a large pocket has been formed by the Pact drive on the Ruhr & across the Weser with UK I Corps, 5PD & US 1MD inside. Pact High Command know that if they can fully seal the pocket the war will be over. The Battle of Osnabruck determines that it will go on. Strong attacks are made from north and south on the British positions in and around the city but 1&3AD hold although the remnants of 1AHR are destroyed in the battle. The NATO forces fight their way out of the pocket to the Ems, destroying 12GdsTD in the process.

In the Fulda Gap the Italian Centaurio Division's flanks - 16PGB & UK 9AHR to the north and French 27MtnD to the south - collapse. Only the helicopters escape, falling back into Frankfurt. NATO throw up a pitifully weak screen in front of the city but the Pact concentrate their attacks on Centaurio and on widening the breach. Centaurio surrenders, exposing the containment line behind it. The Pact forces are too exhausted to fully demolish this line but kick away the southern portion, taking Wurzburg.

In the South Soviet airstrikes on Stuttgart destroy French 4AirmobD & the thin NATO line south of the city, mostly manned by German territorial brigades, collapses. The Soviet & Hungarian divisions of 16A & 21A overrun the line as if on a Sunday afternoon drive. Only the resilience of French 2AHR supporting west of Augsburg prevents the Pact from an immediate assault on Stuttgart; envelopment of the Main; & perhaps even a push across the Rhine. The French buy time for another paper-thin containment line to go up. This line in turn shatters & the Pact armies reach the outskirts of Stuttgart & beyond - only heroic resistance from the Italian Cremona Brigade in the containment line delays the Pact long enough to save an undefended Mannheim. The fall of Wurzburg though has formed a NATO pocket on the Main with the cream of their forces - three US divisions plus 10PD - trapped inside. Units of the arriving 5&7 GTA attack the southern portion of the line - 8MD - but the US division holds & the pocketed forces break out to the new NATO line, destroying Hungarian 12TD. Further Pact advances cut off Stuttgart & the city & the troops inside it are abandoned as NATO desperately cadges together a new line either over the Rhine or in the cities along the Rhine. By the end of the week the new line is as follows:

I UK Corps - Behind the Ems - 1&3AD,2MD,6MotB + 3CdoB & US 2MarB in reserve/transit
VII US Corps - Munster - 1&4MD
II NATO Corps - Essen to Koln - 5PD; French 5AD,12&14MD,3ACB; Italian 3AHR + Italian Folgore AmobB in reserve/refit
I Belgian Corps - Behind the Rhine - 16MD,10MB, Canadian 5IB + 1MD in reserve/refit
V US Corps - Frankfurt - 3AD & 8MD,15PGB, UK 9AHR
III NATO Corps - Mannheim - US 2AD, 10PD, French 10AD & 2ACB
Spanish Expeditionary Corps - Behind the Rhine - 1AD,2&3MD; French 2AD & 6LtAD; Aero AmobB, Jarama ACB, French 5AHR
Stuttgart Garrison- 14PGB, Spanish AbnB
There are also Dutch forces in reserve - unavailable for operations outside the Netherlands.

Any Austrian enthusiasm for the war which they have just joined evaporates as four fresh Soviet GTAs plus new Czech and Polish formations push across Czechosolvakia. Any strategic advantage to be had from their entry disappeared in the previous week with the Pact clearance of the Austrian/German border. Instead, Austria becomes an instant liability requiring not just those Italian forces remaining in Italy (principally Ariete & Mantova Divisions plus mountain brigades) but reinforcement of those forces to safeguard Italy itself. The NATO airborne forces and the Austrian army behind them have no chance against the deluge of tanks that break across them like a wave. The Germans in Ostrava are rolled over by 6GTA. The Belgians & Canadians fight off probes by the airmobile vanguards of the armies and Czech 4TD before the wave carries them away too. Even as the airborne regiments are fighting their last fight the Pact forces begin to overrun the Austrians. 3GTA takes Vienna, destroying 4MB & 2nd Landwehr. Czech 1&9TD move down from the north, - allowing 5&7 GTA to continue on into southern Germany - to take Salzburg (6&7 Landwehr). The Austrian 3&9MB abandon Linz & Graz respectively to take up positions in the passes but to no avail as both are destroyed at a cost of the Hungarian Airmoble Brigade. In the southern passes west of Graz Soviet airmobile units isolate the French 9MarD which has come forward to block the exits into Italy. The Italians position their mountain brigades plus reinforcements from the Balkans to open a tenuous supply line to the French who have had to move north, clearing a direct line from Graz to northern Italy apart from the last, but now strongly held exit.

In the Balkans the Pact High Command determines that a direct assault on Istanbul is impossible without a prolonged aerial bombardment. The attempt to commence this however merely results in heavy losses to their precious Blackjack bombers & the city is screened while the attention of the armies is turned to other matters. The Bulgarians force the surrender of the Greek pocket in the mountains and make a failed attempt to force a crossing at the centre of Strymon Line (1Res&8ID), then await the arrival of the Soviet 13th Army which makes a more serious attempt to push III Corps (with Greek 10ID) out of the coastal portion of the line. The Greek air force finally has its day with its A7's playing a crucial role in defeating the attack. The call of the disaster in Germany affects the NATO forces in the Balkans just as it did in Norway. III Corps withdraws although the French & Italian helicopters remain behind to secure the Greeks’ seaward flank. At the opening of the Gallipoli Peninsula the Turkish 23&61ID are heavily attacked by 2 Romanian Army and routed, exposing Gelibolu to direct attack. Destruction of the NATO forces on the peninsula looms but 8ID & the international forces hold firm, beating off two attacks and the evacuation continues with only the remnants of 23ID, left to hold open the port, remaining by week's end. The French & Italian units evacuated return to Europe, leaving behind only the Italian Marines.

In the Caucasus, two fresh divisions reinforce 9 Army, allowing the Marines to be withdrawn to the Balkan front. The reinforcements have an immediate impact. 15GdsTD and the airmobile force the surrender of 51ID before joining 4GdsTD in a drive up the Erzurum Valley. The drive gains momentum when the airmoble push 23MtnB out of the mountains to the north & into the valley. 21MtnB comes up, removing pressure on Yerevan & allowing 102GdsMAbnD to join in the push in the next valley south. The mountain brigade is promptly destroyed without holding up the advance. The Turks move to block the passes but their forces are being destroyed in detail. Eruzum itself falls to 15GdsTD & the Turks then attempt to defend the three western passes out of the valley but can only hold the southernmost. The Turks again pour all of their reinforcements into the region, specifically facing the most western pass, plus detach two mech divisions from their western armies to send east, the US 9th Division reaches the front but the Soviet offensive has cost the Turks five brigades/regiments in addition to 51ID.

Miscalculation in Iran where 194AB is lost in an ill advised clearing operation against Revolutionary Guards in the mountain passes west of Esfahan. The Soviets reinforce their Gulf forces with two TDs & these allow an immediate counter-offensive in the see-saw Bakhtaran sector. Five Soviet divisions hit the surprised Iraqi corps in the city itself, destroying them completely despite heavy US air support. The Soviets then hit the US 7LID & Israeli 35AbnB north of the south-eastern passes, throwing them back with heavy losses. The offensive has caught the Coalition forces by surprise, the realities of their Esfahan position become apparent - the Soviets can switch their forces between Bakhtaran and Esfahan effortlessly whilst the Coalition forces have to navigate the Zagross Mountains in order to do so. While 7MarB comes down from the central Iraqi front & 18AHB crosses the mountains directly, 24MD refits before heading south through the Zagross passes with the marines - all that the coalition have on hand to guard the last passes is two Saudi Brigades & the Israeli 23AbnB. US airstikes on the Soviet forces merely result in heavy air losses. Despite these disasters the Iraqi 10MtnD, aided by the Centrist airmobile troops complete their clearing operation against Kurdish positions west of Bakhtaran.

VP:146
Air:US-1xF16,1xF14;WG-1xF4,1xTornG
SO-1xBlackjack,1xMiG23

Losses:
Pact
Czech-3xMRD,1xAbnB;1xMiG21 (11)
EGerman-1xTD;1xMiG27,1xMiG23 (5)
Hungarian*-1xTD,1xAmobB (4)
IrCom-1xIB (1)
IRG-1xTD,2xID (9)
Kurd*-2xMtnB (2)
Polish-1xTD;1xSu17 (4)
Romanian-1xIAR93 (1)
Soviet*-2xMAbnD,5xTD,14xMRD,7xAmobB,1xMAbnR,1xAbnR;1xBlackjack,3xMiG29,2xMiG23,2xSu25 (80)
NATO
Austrian*-3xMB,3xIB (6)
Belgian*-1xAbnR (1)
Canadian*-1xMB,1xAbnR (2)
Centrist-1xTD,9xID,2xTB,1xMB,2xIB (35)
Danish*-1xMD,2xMB,1xIR (6)
French*-1xAmobD,3xAD,1xMD,1xMtnD,1xACB,1xIB,2xAHR;1xMir2000 (11)
Greek*-3xID,3xAB,1xIB;1xF16,1xF5 (15)
Iraqi*-2xTD,1xMD,1xCdoB;1xMiG21 (11)
Israeli-1xAbnB (1)
Italian*-2xMD,1xMotB,1xAHR (8)
Netherland-1xMD (3)
Norwegian-1xAB,1xoMB,1xoMtnB,1xoMtnR;1xF16 (+8xmob ctrs) (13)
Turkish*-4xID,4xAB,2xMB,1xMtnB,2xIB,1xBdrR (22)
UK-1xAD,1xIB;1xJaguar,1xTornadoG (6)
US*-1xAD,1xMD,2xAHB,1xAB,1xIB,1xMarR,3xACR;1xA10,1xF111,1xF16,2xF14 (19)
WGerman*-4xPD,5xPGD,3xAbnB,9xPGB,3xAHR;1xF4,2xTornadoG (45)
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Anthony Morphet
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Realise this post is nearly 3 years behind the curve! I wonder if you ever finished this, the write up is really good. Amongst my reasons for asking is that I did play the whole thing solo over a few months in 2005 ending with a NATO victory (just)and am considering the whole madness again. Tony
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Hi Tony,

Haven't finished, is still set up since I was playing on cyberboard & will return to it one day - halfway through the next turn it was looking as if the fronts would stabilise with little chance of a Pact breakthrough & less chance of a NATO counter-offensive. 3 years passes pretty bloody quickly, doesn't it.

Ross
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Steve Arthur
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I've kept this in my Favourites in the hope of a possible resuming or restart..
 
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Ross Menzies
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Okay, have been shamed into it . I'll try and get an update up within the next 10 days. Had a look at the progress of the turn & interesting things are happening, particularly in the Gulf but I had judged that looming U.S. reinforcements would stabilise all fronts for a Pact Marginal or Draw within another turn or so but the game has consistently confounded my expectations so far so I don't see why it shouldn't continue to do so.

Just to note why I think so for further discussion - NATO losses have been so horrific that they'll struggle to counterattack without risking the loss of a crucial US Division from an exchange. So the capability to counter-attack will be there but the risk in doing so too high.
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Ross Menzies
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T15(WT4)

At an emergency NATO conference in Antwerp the Austrian and Danish delegates express fears over the level of demoralisation amongst their forces. In view of the crisis the Netherlands announce a re-think of their position on deployment and state that they will again allow I Corps to be committed outside the country, within limits*. The representative of the Swedish Volunteer Force protests over the exodus of NATO land units to the German front and in response NATO high command promises 'significant dedicated air support' and retention of some land units plus existing US, UK and Canadian air assets in theatre.

On the ground the 'significant dedicated air support' translates as B-52 raids vectored in from Europe which hammer the Soviet spearhead and limits attack frontage for their arriving reinforcements. This, plus the arrival of two more Swedish brigades (bringing the total in front of Trondheim to four) prevents any land attacks and allows the Norwegian Brigade to exit the line in order to garrison Trondheim in place of the withdrawing French paratroops. South of the Trondheim position the Pact situation continues to deteriorate with 8th Marines & the Swedes destroying the trapped Soviet paras while U.S. fighters inflict heavy losses on their Soviet counterparts overhead. The Soviet LF MAbnX on the Bergan road falls back into Oslo pursued by the NATO brigade which reaches the outskirts of the city, cutting communications with the only remaining Pact unit outside the capital, a para regiment in Stavanger.

On the western front the Pact cannot sustain their general offensive due to the need to rest and refit their exhausted divisions and, especially, similar issues with their air forces. NATO is able to get more than twice as many aircraft up in theatre as their opponents and this is, in particular, a respite for the miserable Danes in Copenhagen where the air bombardment is suspended for at least the week.

Despite these factors the Pact forces are still capable of undertaking significant offensive action and a major Allied defeat is administered by them on the Ems line where the exhausted I UK Corps is subjected to major attacks. Initially 3AD in the British centre repulses a probing attack by three Polish and Soviet divisions at the cost of heavy losses to French Mirages supporting. A more serious attack by six divisions (primarily from 4GTA) then pushes 2MD off the northern flank and slams into 3AD (& the newly arrived Dutch 101MotB) all but destroying them despite very heavy US air support. The Dutch plain now lies open but NATO have arriving assets in hand in the shape of reinforcements from the US and units pulled out of Norway. I UK Corps is pulled out of the line and replaced by a new III US Corps. I corps reserve - U.S. marines and British commandos from Norway - are initially cut off in Groningen but abandon the city to join the new corps. Other units are: 6LID, French 11AbnD; 3AHB & UK 6MotB. In addition 101AmobD joins VII US Corps which shifts its frontage northwards slightly and pulls 4MD out of the line to refit in anticipation of the need for counter-attacks in the Netherlands. UK 2MD, still in good shape despite its defeat on the Ems takes the position of 4MD but is paired with 5PD as in a reorganised II NATO Corps.

In the Ruhr, Dusseldorf falls to 2 & 8 GA with the French defenders (5AD & 3ACB) being overwhelmed. An unoccupied Krefeld lies before the Pact armies but hopes of a bridgehead over the Rhine evaporates as the recommitted I Netherlands corps plugs the gap. II NATO Corps assets south of the city are attached to this corps.

Heavy US airstrikes on armour of the arriving 5 & 7 GTA around Augsberg. The latter is particularly hard hit, halting their movement towards the front. The Soviets extract some revenge though with MiG29's inflicting a heavy toll on escorting F-16's. 5GTA rolls on and, reinforced, over the German & Spanish defenders of Stuttgart without pause. Some of the tanks continue to the Rhine, taking undefended Freiburg & Karlsruhe. The bulk though swing north towards one of the most decisive battles of the war. Seven tank divisions from 3 & 5 GTA slam into US 2AD in clear terrain between Karlshrue and Mannerheim. If the Americans are shifted it will open up attack frontage on either Mannerheim or on the otherwise thin lines of the Spanish over the Rhine. The Americans hold, inflicting losses on the Soviets proportional to the odds against them. A second attack follows with the same result as well as a slaughter of Czech & Soviet aircraft committed to the battle at the hands of British Jaguars, and finally West German F-4s arrive to strike 3GTA, destroying 27TD.

The rolling rout in Austria slows but continues with the exposed French Marines taking heavy losses from an attack by three Soviet tank divisions and a torturous retreat under fire along mountain passes held open by Italian mountain brigades. Just north of the end point of the French retreat the Italian Pinerolo Brigade is smashed by 20GTD in a debacle which sees French & Belgian Mirages attempting to support torn to pieces by MiG23's. The Soviets lose an airmoble brigade but the French are again cut off from communications and a clear road leading into Italy. There are no Pact reserves to hand however but 18GTD then hits the French from the south but are repulsed with heavy losses. 20GTD & Ariete AD race each other for occupation of the vacant pass to the west of the French with the Soviets winning but the Italians able to get into position to cover its exits into Italy. East of the French the Orobica & Tridentina MtnB are thrown back by 6GTA, through the French to the Italian border and beyond. The French, now completely trapped, again hold off attacks. They are doomed however and no thought is given to their relief, instead the Italians and Austrians spread out their mountain brigades to ensure that the line is solid and safe from airmobile penetration.

In the Balkans air raids continue on Istanbul (with heavy losses to their escorts however) and the Pact has strike capability to spare thanks to serviceability and weather problems affecting NATO. NATO use their entire capability on strikes on 13A and the Greek A7s cause enough damage to forestall an attack on the Strymon Line while the Pact reorganise and wait while the Turkish rearguard at Gelibolu is overwhelmed by 2 Rumanian Army. Ominously, the Black Sea Marines come down to garrison the port, thus threatening Asian Turkey via a landing at Canakkale. The Turks increase defensive preparations in consequence, supporting 8ID in the port with 11IB in close reserve and pulling 1R AD out of Istanbul to a deep reserve position in Bursa. They also pull the remnants of 61ID out of the port to the mountains behind but the Pact superiority in strike aircraft allows them to hit the ragged Turkish columns and the division ceases to exist. 3 Bulgarian Army forms up join the combat ready parts of 13A in the delayed attack on B Corps on the coast (2MD, 9R ID) but is held. An attack on A corps on the northern flank (1R&8ID) follows by 70GMRD & Romanian 6TD plus brigades which is similarly held. Adding to the attrition of the battle, both Greek corps take further losses from Soviet airstrikes but the Greek High Command has organised its reserves based on Saloniki so that damaged units can be rotated out of the line. They take further measures by pulling in two of their three Agean brigades to garrison Athens, allowing the paratroopers and marines to come up into the reserve.

In the Caucasus, the Pact forces are buoyed by the arrival of a further six divisions of the Transcaucasus Front - most stripped of their heavy equipment and outfitted as mountain divisions. Major Coalition problems with air also, with the Pact getting three times as many aircraft up over this front and northern Iran. In the Manzur Valley between Trabzon and Malatya a force of Turkish reservists (58R ID, 3R&5R IB) attempts to hold 15GTD, supported by airmoble & airstrikes, in the northern pass but are overwhelmed, taking the tank division with them. 2TaGMRD comes up to continue the offensive, taking losses from their own air force to get at a resting 20MB which has suddenly found itself in the front line & is thrown out of the valley. All that is left guarding the southern exit from the valley is 1R IB, soon joined by the Turkish paratroops, rushed up from Malatya. To the east, the eastern flank of the Turkish line (4AB & 48IB) is routed and destroyed by three Soviet Divisions. 14MB races up from Diyarbakir to cover the western edge of Lake Van from the pass but is immediately sent packing back towards the airfield by an attack by 117GTD & 10MtnD. This completes the isolation of Van from the Turkish army now pressed into a rough semi-circle anchored on the airfields at Malatya & Diyarbakir. Even as this isolation is completed Van itself has already fallen to Soviet mountain divisions pushing down from Yerevan. In front of them stretches a flank unguarded from Diyarbakir to the Iraq/Iran border. 147GMtnD enters Iraq but instead of pushing south across the oilfields and towards the almost undefended Mosul, swing east to cut off the Iragi 3TD just over the border in Iran. The Iraqis ponderously refocus their attentions towards their northern front and extracting their threatened armies along the Iranian border. The Turks hold their existing positions, even including that of 29ID holding the exposed position of the westernmost pass out of the Erzurum Valley. 23MtnB positions itself to guard the eastern flank of the paratroops and reservists holding the southern Manzur Valley pass. The pair of reinforcing mech divisions arrive but take up positions around Malatya, preferring to secure this flank whilst constituting a counter-attack threat to Soviet penetrations out of the mountains south of Van. Covering these mountains, all that can be gotten into place is the Iraqi 7MotD and RGTB.

In Iran, the Soviets clear the central passes with the only resistance coming from the Saudis (20TB & 30MB) who beat off the first attack by 15TD & airmobile troops before being destroyed in a second attack. They then attempt to push out of the passes with - East to West - 106GMAbnD being held by 7LID and 15TD overrunning the Saudi 60MB. West of Bakhtaran, 17TD launches a surprise strike on the Iraqi 65CdoB in the central pass. A similarly surprise offensive is launched west of Esfahan where 261MRD & 145MtnD hit Israeli 243AbnB in that pass. Both attacks are designed to fix U.S. units otherwise en route to the crisis point in the central passes. Both attacks succeed spectacularly with the Israeli brigade being destroyed and the Iraqi all but, forcing 7MarB to remain around Bakhtaran & 24MD to turn around and head back up towards Esfahan. The Soviets follow up their Bakhtaran attack with another by 17TD & 104GMAbnD on the Iraqi 8MotD in the pass overlooking the city but this is held. In the next set of passses to the north 5MRD & 164MtnD rout the Iraqi 68CdoB to cut off 6 & 8 MotD. The Iraqis, as already noted, begin to fall back in the general direction of the northern front. 24MD however delivers a morale lifting blow in front of Esfarhan. Racing north it grabs 82AbnD & the helicopters en route and crashes into a surprised 357MRD coming up at the head of the valley west of Esfarhan, completely destroying it. It then races back towards the southern passes leaving the 82nd guarding the left flank outside Esfarhan & only the flown in Saudi paratroop brigade in the city itself. The scratch coalition force in front of the central passes falls back slightly so that 7LID can refit but their only significant reinforcement is 5th Marines. Otherwise stretched out in front of, or in immediate reserve, the three central passes, are seven Centrist, Iraqi, Israeli & Saudi brigades plus the Iraqi 9MtnD holding the edge of eastern Zagross.

VP:166**
Air:BE-1xMir5;FR-1xMirF-1
SO-3xMiG23

Losses:
Pact
Czech-3xMRD,1xAbnB;1xMiG21 (11)
EGerman-1xTD;1xMiG27,1xMiG23 (5)
Hungarian-1xTD,1xAmobB (4)
IrCom-1xIB (1)
IRG-1xTD,2xID (9)
Kurd-2xMtnB (2)
Polish-1xTD;1xSu17 (4)
Romanian-1xIAR93 (1)
Soviet*-2xMAbnD,7xTD,15xMRD,8xAmobB,1xMAbnR,2xAbnR;1xBlackjack,3xMiG29,5xMiG23,2xSu25 (94)
NATO
Austrian-3xMB,3xIB (6)
Belgian*-1xAbnR,1xMir5 (2)
Canadian-1xMB,1xAbnR (2)
Centrist-1xTD,9xID,2xTB,1xMB,2xIB (35)
Danish-1xMD,2xMB,1xIR (6)
French*-1xAmobD,4xAD,1xMD,1xMtnD,2xACB,1xIB,2xAHR;1xMir2000,1xMirF-1 (14)
Greek-3xID,3xAB,1xIB;1xF5,1xF16 (15)
Iraqi-2xTD,1xMD,1xCdoB;1xMiG21 (11)
Israeli*-2xAbnB (2)
Italian*-2xMD,1xMB,1xMotB,1xAHR (9)
Netherland-1xMD (3)
Norwegian-1xAB,1xoMB,1xoMtnB,1xoMtnR;1xF16 (+8xmob ctrs) (13)
Saudi*-1xAB,2xMB (3)
Spanish*-1xAbnB (1)
Turkish*-7xID,5xAB,2xMB,1xMtnB,5xIB,1xBdrR (35)
UK-1xAD,1xIB;1xJaguar,1xTornadoG (6)
US-1xAD,1xMD,2xAHB,1xAB,1xIB,1xMarR,3xACR;1xA10,1xF111,1xF16,2xF14 (19)
WGerman*-4xPD,5xPGD,3xAbnB,10xPGB,3xAHR;1xF4,2xTornadoG (46)


*-Misunderstood the rules for 'Shaken'. No real harm done as having the Dutch in reserve actually helped NATO here.
**-Did a full recount of the VP. This total assumes that a port & airfield in the same hex counts as 2VP as implied by the rules. Anyone disagree?
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George Zee
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Awesome write up! We need the conclusion! Nukes??
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Ross Menzies
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ZekeMM25 wrote:
Awesome write up! We need the conclusion! Nukes??


My guilty secret is that I actually completed the next turn of this almost 2 years ago & haven't had the chance to write it up. I'll really really really try to attend to this.
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