Tuesday, 18 September 2012

1. Campaign Prologue - The Opening Gambit..

The Soviet Union had timed its strike to perfection. NATO units across the West German Plains were returning to base to rest, refit and conduct lessons learned and debriefing after REFORGER 86. It was a cold and Snowy Saturday overcast and grey; the day would be indelibly written into memories of those who survived this day and the hundreds of millions who would watch it unfold on TV stations around the globe.

Another weekend flight for the AWACS crew, running a race track over the Franco-German Border, providing the Air-picture to the HQ’s with its two sisters, one to the north and the other over the Franco-Italian border to the south.  The Air picture was a normal weekend in Europe, trans-Atlantic flights leaving and arriving, others heading for the Middle and Far East. 

It was another dismal weekend duty, causing many of the crew to half-heartedly grumble, lamenting their lack of weekend leave, and resenting the civilians below enjoying their weekends with their friends and families. Just like a month ago when this particular crew had missed New Years Eve through an administrative screw-up. Squadron Ops had promised the crew chief no weekend Duty for the next 3months in return for covering New Year, and the next thing they were back on the Weekend Duty roster. 

This was true military life, there was no union to complain to, no-one to listen to your grievance and  anyway no one likes a whiner. Morale wasn't great but at least they were seeing some sunshine above the cloud base and some smart Airman had jury rigged his Walkman to the internal team speaker system and was currently playing A-HA’s “Sun always shines on TV” . The Chief didn't have the heart to tell him to can it, they needed any morale he could muster, so needs must. Another 5 hours and they would be back on the ground.

The first indication that something was wrong was when all Contact was lost with the E-3 Sentry AWACS over Venlo, the second E-3 Sentry on station to the South noted that Radar Contact was lost as well as communications. The on watch Air Battle Commander on the E3, ventured his opinion that this was a possible catastrophic failure, but the overwhelming electronic jamming that hit them bare seconds later confirmed his, and NATO’s Greatest Fears.  

They were at War, and with his communications were completely jammed, his screens were saturated he couldn’t do a thing, even the encrypted channels were somehow compromised. They frequency shifted to their war-modes on the Radar, and they too were jammed, as was the new frequency  hopping gear. The WARPAC had got all the technical details of all the equipment, even the Top Secret stuff was compromised. Out of options, he sank back in his chair utterly dejected. He had totally underestimated the threat, he always thought NATO could rely on Technology to turn back the hordes, but suddenly being this vulnerable and the weight of the enormity of what was happening, rendered him as useless as the equipment around him. 

The standby RAF Sentry Launched within 5 minutes and immediately went active on its Radar.  The sight that greeted the Air controllers was akin to the sight that greeted the German defenders of the Normandy beaches on D-day.  A veritable and potent air armada was launching and continuously pouring into West German Air space. They had been caught unawares, despite all their technology, skill and resources, they had been napping.  February 1st 1986 went into the History Books as the day when over 3,000 Aircraft clashed over German Airspace and when World War III unleashed its latent cold fury.  


  1. Wow! Looks and sounds great, go the Soviets!

  2. Interesting - I´m looking forward to a continuation to see how this unfolds.