This is disconcerting news at best. The alert B-52s move towards their targets, but then one B-52 flight is found to be non-compliant with orders. The US Air Defense fighters are ordered to seek out the non-compliant B-52s and destroy them. Two of the three non-compliant B-52s are found apparently returning to base and are reluctantly shot down, with the loss of one F-101B Voodoo interceptor that got caught in the blast of his own weapon. The last B-52 is apparently continuing onto his target. Whichever way he is going, I can't stop him because I have no fighters with enough fuel to reach him. In the meantime, the remaining B-52s proceed to their targets.
October 20, 1975 015648Z
|The strike continues|
|The B-52s enter Soviet Radar coverage.|
030000Z Still no visible response from the Soviet air defenses, although I see in the message log that Buff 3, the third B-52 from the non-compliant Caveman 5 flight, is hit by an AA-1a Alkali.
|Still closing in.|
|B-52s go feet dry.|
There are now six interceptors detected, and I suspect they might be closing in. I decide to have Caveman 2 climb and launch SRAMs at a few targets.
Just as I begin to get off missiles, I detect bogeys on my tail at close range.
|Bandits on our tail!|
|Fifteen SRAMs are in the air.|
|B-52 with SRAMs on the wings|
|The first SA-5f connects with its SRAM target|
|The second SRAM is taken out|
|Another SRAM is destroyed, as is Luostari air field.|
A second Firebar is shot down by the B-52s in Caveman 3.
As the three remaining SRAMs targeted on the SA-5b Gammon nuclear SAM site close in, one 25kT Nuclear SAM misses, detonating harmlessly, while another malfunctions.
|The last SRAMs close in on their targets.|
Another Firebar is shot down, and seconds later the last SRAM detonates and destroys a SA-2 site.
032849Z Caveman 2 climbs again and launches six more SRAMs, and a Firebar launches more missiles at them. In the meantime, the B-52s from Caveman 3 shoot down yet another Firebar, and again, fortunately, the Firebar's missile misses its target.
A nuclear SAM misses an SRAM, detonating behind it, but another nuclear SAM takes out the one SRAM targeting the SAM battalions. One of the SRAMs scores a hit on Koshka Yar, destroying it.
Four SRAMs are left, two targeting Kilpyarv, which has been launching every fighter available, and one each targeting SA-2 SAM sites. Finally, after another SRAM misses Kilpyarv far enough that it doesn't detonate, the last SRAM targeted against it hits (well, misses by only 1550ft), which is enough to detonate and destroy the air base.
|A SAM site (right) and Kilpyarv (left) are finally hit|
Caveman 3 climbs to launch altitude to fire three SRAMs at Afrikanda [PVO Interceptor Base], before diving down low again.
|Caveman 3 launches SRAMs against Afrikanda|
033837Z Caveman 6 launches a massive salvo of SRAMs against SAM sites around Severomorsk and Polyarnyi.
|Caveman 6 launches SRAMs|
|The B-52s scatter as the SAMs close in.|
The tactic works. All three B-52s manage to survive. Meanwhile, the SRAMs close in relentlessly.
|The B-52s survive and the SRAMs appear to be about to overwhelm their targets.|
|Multiple nuclear SAMs destroy inbound SRAMs, but also Severomorsk is destroyed in the 200kT nuclear fireball.|
To the south, the SRAMs impact Afrikanda [PVO Interceptor Base], wiping it out.
034050Z The last SRAMs launched by Caveman 6 impact, wiping out multiple SAMs site. The area around Murmansk and Severomorsk is swamped by mushroom clouds and burning buildings and trees. The way is clear for Caveman 6 to move in and bomb Polyarny.
Meanwhile, Caveman 2 has closed to within 10nm of its target, Upper Tuloma Hydro-electric Power Plant.
Continued in Part Three.