Thursday, August 31, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 15: Fail Safe Part 3

World War III continues to escalate out of control. Boston and New York have been devastated by nuclear weapons. Retaliatory Strikes have been ordered by the National Military Command Center, targeting several Soviet power stations, shipyards, naval bases, and one major population center, the city of Arkhangelsk.

In Parts One and Two of this nightmare scenario a pair of B-52s went rogue and had to be shot down by US interceptors. The remainder proceed on their mission. The B-52s used dozens of AGM-69A SRAMs, 200kT nuclear missiles, to "suppress" Soviet air defenses, including SAM sites and interceptor bases. One of these strikes takes out the naval administrative city of Severomorsk, a primary target. But the majority of targets still exist and must be destroyed.

October 20, 1975, 034054Z
An AGM-69A SRAM takes out an SAM site near to Polyarnyi Naval Base, and the 200kT warhead is sufficient to take out the naval base. Caveman 6 is left without primary or secondary targets.  I redirect the flight back out to sea to head for home, and hopefully to lure some interceptors along with it.

Caveman 2 reaches 5nm from its target, the Upper Tuloma Hydro-electric Power Plant. Interceptors are close behind, but are unable to fire their missiles due to limitations of their radars. Radar issues do not affect the tail gunners of the B-52s however, and they shoot down a Yak-28P Firebar and a Su-15MF Flagon D. Caveman 2 climbs to 2000ft to begin its attack run.
Caveman 2 approaches its target
Less than a mile from the drop point, an Su-15 Flagon gets into missile launch position and fires.
The Soviet interceptors makes a last ditch effort to prevent the drop.
One of the B-52s is shot down.
One of the B-52s is shot down.
The lead B-52 is shot down seconds later as well, leaving a single B-52. The survivor is too low to drop the bombs, so it is forced to make another pass.

Three more Yak-28P Firebars are shot down by the ever-busy B-52 tail-gunners.

034451Z Bombs away.
Bombs away on Upper Tuloma Hydro-electric Power Plant.
When the B-52 gets 8nm away from the power station, the 1.45MT nuclear bombs detonate.
Upper Tuloma Hydro-electric Power Station is destroyed.
040059Z Caveman 3 approaches to within 10nm of its target, Iova Hydro-Electric Power Station. There are no SAMs in the area, and for the moment there does not appear to be any interceptors in pursuit. Caveman 3 climbs to 2000ft in preparation for its attack run.
Bombs away.
040228Z Bombs away.

In the meantime, Caveman 1 kills a Tu-128 Fiddler A with its tailgunners.

040351Z Iova Hydro-Electric Power Station is destroyed.
Iova Hydro-Electric Power Station is destroyed.
After passing beyond Iova Hydro-Electric Power Station, Caveman 3 launches six AGM-69A SRAMs against Poduzheme [PVO Interceptor Base], before dropping altitude and turning north to get out of there.

Unfortunately, one of the Stratofortresses is shot down by a trailing Soviet interceptor.
Another B-52 is lost.
040928Z Poduzheme is hit and destroyed.

041501Z Caveman 1 is within 20nm of its target, Kola Nuclear Power Station, but it is being pursued by two Tu-128 Fiddler As. It is possible that by the time they gets into range of its bombs, they might get shot down. However, Caveman 3 is returning from its own target, and is some 26nm from Kola Nuclear Power Station. If Caveman 1 fails, Caveman 3 will pick up the slack.
Caveman 1 on its bombing run with Caveman 3 in support.
041800Z Bombs away.
Bombs away on Kola Nuclear Power Station.
Caveman 1 and 3 immediately maneuver to get out of there. Caveman 1 detects a pair of SAMs launched after it--probably nuclear SAMs, and immediately the group splits up into individual bombers and scatters.
SAMs inbound!
The SAMs fall short. Then the nuke goes off, and Kola Nuclear Power Station is destroyed. A pursuing Tu-128 Fiddler A is destroyed in the blast.
Kola Nuclear Power Station is destroyed.
Caveman 1 and Caveman 3 both turn for home.

Caveman 4, meanwhile, has the most difficult mission of all, taking out Severodvinsk and Arkangelsk. They are protected by no less than 15 SA-5b Gammon battalions, each with 12 25kT nuclear SAMs, for a total of 180 nuclear SAMs. In addition to that are four SA-2f Guideline battalions, totaling 24 more SAMs. As such, Caveman 4 launches all of its 24 SRAMs at the SAM batteries in an attempt to punch through. Climbing to launch altitude is risky, but it has to be done.
Missiles away!
After they all have launched, I realize that I should have fired a few at Talagi [PVO Interceptor Base], but it is too late now. There are three SRAMs launched towards the SA-2 battalion next to it, so there's a small chance I'll get it.

Nuclear SAMs fill the sky--I cannot see them, but I can see their effects as they detonate to take out my SRAMs.

042039Z One of the SA-2f Guideline sites is hit.
Nuclear explosions fill the dawn sky north of Arkhangelsk.
The SA-2f Guideline site next to Talagi is hit.

When it's all over, two SA-2f sites are taken out, and one SA-5b site. Arkhangelsk still has plenty of defenses left. Caveman 4 splits into three individual aircraft, two headed for the primary target Severodvinsk, and one for the secondary target Arkhangelsk.

Interceptors are launched from Talagi.

Over the Kola Peninsula, Caveman 1 and 3 continue their egress, shooting down three Su-9B Fishpots, four Su-15MF Flagon Ds, and one Yak-28P Firebar.

An Su-15 Flagon then proceeds to shoot down both B-52s remaining in Caveman 3.
Caveman 4 closes to within 40nm of its targets.
043438Z Caveman 4 approaches to within 15nm of Arkhangelsk.
The endgame.
Caveman 1 loses a Stratofortress to a missile from an Su-15 Flagon.

043719Z Bombs away over Arkhangelsk. Two 1.45MT nuclear bombs fall upon the city. The half-million citizens of Arkhangelsk, although they don't realize it, are already dead.

A nuclear SAM is launched at the B-52 that just dropped on Arkhangelsk, but it's already too late. The B-52 dives to the deck, fleeing the city at 350kts.

The second B-52 approaches Severodvinsk, but due to a misjudgment, fails to climb to the release altitude in time to drop the bomb. Which is why I have the backup.
Arkhangelsk is destroyed.
043851Z Arkhangelsk is destroyed.

I screw up again with the "backup" bomber going after Severodvinsk, so I have to send them in for another pass.

044254Z Bombs away over Severodvinsk.

044320Z A nuclear SAM is launched at the B-52 that dropped over Severodvinsk, which dives to 100ft ASL. The SAM tracks and just as it hits, the shockwave sets off the 1.45MT bombs over Severodvinsk. They got the bomber, but didn't save the city.
The bomb detonates over Severodvinsk.
Severodvinsk is destroyed.

All surviving B-52s attempt to get home, but for Caveman 4, fuel is running low. Tu-128 Fiddlers show up on their tails as they attempt to get out.

060259Z Bingo fuel, one of the B-52s from Caveman 4 is forced to increase altitude. Tu-128 Fiddlers pounce. The B-52 makes a great effort, and evades 11 air-to-air missiles before it is finally shot down.

123515Z After multiple refuelings, the last B-52 returns home to Thule. 7 out 15 survived. The mission is over.

And then...
Soviet forces have now hit West Germany hard in a vicious exchange of nuclear-tipped SRBMs on both sides, and they are still pouring through the Fulda Gap and the North German Plain. West Berlin falls to the Russian Army. World War III is now fully engaged as Soviet nuclear warheads hit European cities and industrial areas. Bombers attacking London are stopped by the RAF, but the city is destroyed by a firestorm caused by Soviet MRBMs raining down on it.

President Ford orders all America's nuclear forces into action, utilizing preliminary plans laid out in the National Security Council's NSC 162/2 directive. US B-52 and FB-111 bombers are launched towards their targets in the Soviet Union. Russian Tu-95 and 3M bombers are launched simultaneously and swarm over the Canadian frontier.

Over 200 warheads are detonated in Russia; 27 reach their targets in the United States, specifically Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Spokane, and eighteen military bases including ICBM Sites (most in the North, but including the Norfolk shipyards and bases in Virginia). In Russia, over two dozen Soviet cities are blasted, and nearly as many major military sites.

Top leaders like Yuri Andropov (Chariman of the KGB) and Mikhail Gorbachev (First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet) are killed at military bunkers in Western Russia; Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev survived. 

Some 80% of American and 90% of Soviet strategic forces are destroyed in the initial days of the war. By November it is estimated that the Soviets have less than a dozen nuclear-capable bombers and very few operational ICBMs and SLBMs remaining. At the same time, some forty American B-52s are operational. 

Nuclear exchange has so far been limited to the United States, the Soviet Union and Europe. Surviving NATO forces and WESTPAC units are deploying to counter the remaining Soviet threat. The world stands on the brink of extinction...

"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death..."
     -The Lawgiver (as spoken by Cornelius in Planet of the Apes)

Trimuph (that's ironic...)
Score: 7000

SIDE: Soviet Union
1x Runway (2000m)
1x Single-Unit Airfield (1x 1401-2000m Runway)
16x SA-3b Goa Quad Rail
36x SA-7a Grail [9K32 Strela-2] MANPADS
4x Vehicle (Flat Face B [P-19])
4x Vehicle (Low Blow [SNR-125])
60x Yak-28P Firebar
2x Radar (Thin Skin A HF [PRV-9])
48x SA-2f Guideline Mod 1/2 Single Rail
8x Vehicle (Fan Song F [RSNA-75M])
8x Vehicle (Spoon Rest C [P-12])
2x Radar (Bar Lock A [P-37])
5x Runway (4000m)
5x Single-Unit Airfield (1x 3201-4000m Runway)
99x Su-15MF Flagon D
29x Su-9B Fishpot
2x Radar (Spoon Rest C [P-12])
1x Radar (Back Net [P-80])
1x Radar (Tall King A [P-14])
4x Marker (City)
30x 23mm ZU-23-2
5x Building (Odd Pair HF [PRV-13])
15x Building (Square Pair [5N62])
90x SA-5b Gammon Single Rail
5x Building (Tall King C [P-14])
2x Structure (Power Station - Hydro-Electric)
9x Tu-128 Fiddler A
1x Structure (Power Station - Nuclear)

2x AA-1a Alkali Mod 2 [RS-2US]
4x AA-3 Anab C [R-98R, SARH]
74x SA-5b Gammon [5V28, 25kT Nuclear]
24x SA-3b Goa [5V27, V-601P]
28x SA-2f Guideline Mod 1 [S-75M2 Volkhov, 5YA23 / V-759]
1x AA-3 Advanced Anab E [R-98MR, SARH]
9x AA-5 Ash A [R-4R, SARH]
8x AA-8 Aphid [R-60T]
4x AA-5 Ash B [R-4T, IR]

1x F-101B Voodoo
8x B-52G Stratofortress

4x AIR-2A Genie [1.5kT Nuclear]
2x AIM-4G Falcon [IR]
74x AGM-69A SRAM [200kT Nuclear]
10x Generic Chaff Salvo [8x Cartridges]
51x 12.7mm/50 MG Burst [160 rnds]
12x Generic Flare Salvo [4x Cartridges, Single Spectral]
10x B28 Strategic Bomb [1.45mT Nuclear]

SIDE: NATO Non Compliant
3x B-52G Stratofortress

1x Generic Flare Salvo [4x Cartridges, Single Spectral]
1x Generic Chaff Salvo [8x Cartridges]

SIDE: NATO Capital Cities


SIDE: NATO First Strike MRBM Forces


SIDE: NATO Air Defence



Siph_Horridus said...

Grim reading.... let's hope North Korea don't push Trump too far...

Ginge said...

Is that the end of the game then? It'd be a struggle to see where the next mission would take you...

I'm gonna have to dig out my old Tom Clancy novels, very similar feel although with a more optimistic ending. Your games background clearly lacked a jack Ryan :P

Dan Eldredge said...

This is the last AAR for this campaign, yes. There is another campaign, "Chains of War" which deals with a war between China and the US in the present day. Hopefully I will be able to work my way through that in the near future. The game also has one-off scenarios and community created scenarios (the game comes with a complete scenario editor) that number into the hundreds.

Dan Eldredge said...

Btw, thanks for reading!

Ginge said...

Thanks for writing, it's been interesting, like reading a cold war thriller :P

Unknown said...

Great stuff. Gives a good feel for how a nuclear exchange would happen. Any real life evidence that Strat tailgunners could be so effective?