Force Majeure – Purgatory.

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The first in my new Apocalyptic series, Force Majeure – Purgatory. Due out in mid-March.

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With the country of Ukraine on the boil, NATO troops move in to support the Ukrainian Prime Minister in defiance of Russia’s continued belligerence. British, US and Polish forces start to dig in along the Russian/Ukrainian border and the temperature rises.

With the Russian economy spiralling downwards, the sanctions starting to bite, and while the rest of Europe debate the level of of involvement they are prepared to commit to, the Russian President’s forces strike.  Attacking from the east and from the south, with forces they had built up in the Crimea, they send NATO reeling.

The German, Dutch and Belgian Governments finally release troops into the fight, recognising the threat the Russian action would have on the stability of the European continent. But too late, by that time the Russian President’s patience ran out, and the button was pushed….

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What would happen if the UK was hit by over 300 megatons of nuclear missiles/bombs? What plans are in place to deal with the aftermath?

The basis of defence planning in the UK during the 90’s and beyond had two key areas of focus:

Miltary

To secure the United Kingdom against any internal threat and to mitigate the effects of any direct attack on the United Kingdom involving the use of conventional, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

A direct major military attack on the UK, is likely to be in tandem with a conflict triggered elsewhere in the world. The UK’s involvement in say the Ukraine, helping to defend a potential incursion from Russian forces, would involve British troops digging in on foreign soil. But should Russian troops attack, a potential overspill from the battle could involve strikes against the British mainland. Any aggressor launching a land attack against the UK mainland would not find the task easy. With one of the most modern armies in the world, a navy with its latest warships and hunter killer nuclear submarines and an air force with latest air superiority fighters, any enemy would more than likely regret the day the decision was made. But in respect to a nuclear attack, that would be a totally different ball game…..

Civil

To provide an alternative mechanism of government at all levels to direct national survival; and to enhance the basis for national recovery in the post-attack period.

To cope with the aftermath of a nuclear strike on the UK, Britain’s civil defence was based on a Regional Government structure.

The Regional Government Headquarters were the embodiment of the original regional level structure that began with the joint civil-military HQs in the mid-1950s. Other than the terms used, the number of staff allocated, their primary role had changed little from the late 1950s to the early 1990s.

Although the majority of the Regional Government Centres are no longer supported, it is possible that many could be resurrected in a time of war.

Many of the 1980s RGHQs used buildings which had previously been used as Regional Seats of Government or Sub Regional Controls in the 1960s. The majority though, were refitted in the 1970s or 1980s. During the 1980s, new bunkers were built. The mid-1980s saw the biggest increase in bunker construction since the early 1950s. Hardened facilities were built for army headquarters, communications facilities, fuel supply points, water companies, etc during the decade.

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Regional Government Headquarters – Chillmark

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The Chilmark RGHQ.

The Chilmark Regional Government Headquarters served the eastern zone of the Number 7 South Western Home Defence Region, covering the counties of Avon, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset. It was designated as RGHQ 7.1.

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Some great additional information can be found at Steve Fox’s, Struggle for Survival, site below.

http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/sfs/new_page_1.htm

Site and content is copyrighted to Harvey Black.

 

The Red Effect. The Cold War hots up. Part 5.

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There are three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980′s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange.

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Allied Forces Central Europe, AFCENT

Allied Forces Central Europe, AFCENT, would have to take the brunt of any attack by the Warsaw Pact forces. With responsibility for Parts of Europe stretching from Denmark in the north to the borders of Austria in the south, it had three subordinate commands. The two key ones, Northern Army Group, NORTHAG, and Central Army Group, CENTAG. For this and the next Post, I will concentrate on CENTAG:

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The Corps sectors of responsibility for NATO forces in the 80s. The layer cake principle was used.

CENTAG, Central Army Group, had four powerful frontline Corps to defend its sector from just south of Kassel to the border with Austria. III German Corps in the north, then the V and VII US Corps with II German Corps in the south. For this Post I will focus on V US Corps, who had the prime responsibility for defending the well known Fulda-Gap.

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V Corps shoulder badge insignia.

V US Corps had three key units to provide the defence of the Fulda Gap. More on the Fulda-Gap later.

V US Corps. HQ – Frankfurt

3rd  (US) Armoured (Spearhead) Division (Frankfurt-am-Main

1st Brigade – Kirchgoens

  • 2nd and 4th Battalion, 32nd Armoured Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 2nd and 3rd mechanised Infantry Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment

2nd Brigade

  • 3rd and 4th Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 1st Battalion, 48th Mechanised Infantry Regiment

3rd Brigade

  • 2nd and 4th Battalion, 67th Cavalry Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment. 

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An XM1 at Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1969

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105mm M1 Abrams of the 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment at a training area, Germany, 1986. First introduced in in 1980, it was the replacement for the ageing M-60. Armed with the licence-built version of the 105mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun.

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Abrams during desert Storm in 1991. Honeywell AGT1500C multi-fuel turbine engine powering the 60+ ton tank to speeds up 40mph.

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M1A1 in Iraq, September 2004.

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US Army M1A2 Abrams 

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M1A1 Abrams, Germany 2005.

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade

  • 2nd Battalion, 227th Attack Helicopter Regiment (21 x AH1F, 13 x OH58C, 3 x UH60A)
  • 3rd battalion, 227th Attack Helicopter Regiment (18 x AH64A, 13 x OH58C, 3 x UH60A)
  • G Company, 227th Attack Helicopter Regiment (6 x UH1H, 6 x OH58A, 6 x OH58D, 3 x EH60)
  • H Company, 227th Attack Helicopter Regiment (15 x UH60A)

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Bell 207 Sioux Scout. A mockup of Bell’s D-255 helicopter gunship concept, named Iroquois Warrior.

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Israeli AH-1F Cobras. Crew of 2. 20mm M197 3-barreled gatling cannon, 70mm rockets and 4 or 8 TOW anti-tank missiles.

3rd Artillery Division.

  • 72 x M109A3, 9 x MRLS

8th Infantry Division

1st Brigade

  • 1st Armoured Battalion, 68th Armoured Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 4th Armoured Battalion, 69th Armoured Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 3rd and 5th Mechanised Infantry Battalion.

2nd Brigade

  • 2nd  Armoured Battalion, 69th Armoured Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 1st Battalion, 13th Mechanised Infantry Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, 39th Mechanised Infantry Regiment

3rd Brigade

  • 5th Armoured Battalion, 68th Armoured Regiment (Abrams-M1)
  • 5th Armoured Battalion, 77th Armoured Regiment (M60A3)
  • 4th Mechanised Infantry Battalion.

8th Infantry Division Artillery.

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M-60 tank. Slowly being replaced by the M1 Abrams

8th Combat Aviation Brigade

  • 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment (M60A3)
  • 2nd Battalion, 4th Attack Helicopter Regiment (21 x AH1F, 13 x OH58C, 3 x UH60A)
  • 3rd battalion, 4th Attack Helicopter Regiment (21 x AH1F, 13 x OH58C, 3 x UH60A)
  • G Company, 4th Attack Helicopter Regiment (6 x UH1H, 6 x OH58A, 6 x OH58D, 3 x EH60)
  • H Company, 4th Attack Helicopter Regiment (15 x UH60A)

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OH-58 Kiowa. 

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OH-58D Kiowa. Unique IR suppression systems mounted on its turbine exhaust. Scout helicopters, some armed with AIM-92 air-to-air Stinger missiles.

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UH-60A Black Hawk. Troop carrier, minelayer and medical evacuation.

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UH-60A’s over Port Salinas during the invasion of Grenada, 1983. The first use of the Black-Hawk in a conflict.

11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment

  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Squadrons (Abrams-M1)
  • 4th Air Cavalry Squadron (26 x AH1F, 27 x OH58C, 3 x UH60, 18 x UH60A

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M2A2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Main armament is a 25mm M242 Chain Gun. TOW anti-tank missiles.

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Top speed of 40mph on roads. Six troops could be carried in the passenger compartment. 

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i hope this has given you a further insight into what NATO, in particular the US Army, had in its arsenal. Going forward I will add more information in support of my Cold War trilogy, including maps and photographs.

The Blog is copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle and Paperback version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War.

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The Blue Effect. The day the Cold War turned Hot. Part 4.

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The last batch of photographs of the Vulcan seen at the Bournemouth Air Show.

The Avro Vulcan Bomber is an Iconic jet-propelled delta wing strategic bomber.  It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984.

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Cover image (C) of Andrew Brown and the Vulcan to the Sky Trust – image of XH558

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The Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact’s pre-emptive strike against the West, supported by the use of chemical weapons, has left NATO forces stunned. Although reinforcements continue to arrive in theatre from all the NATO member countries, the Allies are pushed back relentlessly. The Eastern Bloc armies throw fresh regiments into the fray, their intention to deliver the killing lunge deep into the West’s retreating armies.

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What are the options open to NATO? Can the West stem the disorderly retreat? Can they gather enough conventional forces to hold? Or will they need to resort to more deadly means?

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Follow the series of gripping events in ‘The Blue Effect’, the third instalment in Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

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Cover image (C) of Andrew Brown and the Vulcan to the Sky Trust – image of XH558

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support in reading the first two novels in the series, it is really appreciated. For the next Post, I will include the maps that can be seen at the beginning of The Blue Effect. This enable readers to print them as reference. HB

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‘The Black Effect’ – Available on Kindle.

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The Black Effect

An economy on the verge of collapse, demands from their allies for funding to continue the expansion of communism, and a conventional Army, Navy and Air Force costing the country 20% of its GDP… The Soviet Union is in trouble. Where should they turn for a solution?

Their answer: the capitalist West. On the 4th July 1984, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact launched a massive preemptive conventional strike against the West, sending the NATO forces reeling.

Follow Jacko and Bradley and their allies as they fight off the Soviet Union. Can the NATO forces recover and hold their ground? Will the Soviet Union succeed? Or will it end in an outright defeat? Follow the series of gripping events in The Black Effect, the second installment in Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience.

.

RedEffect72dpi-4

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

Site and content is copyrighted to Harvey Black.

 

The Blue Effect. The day the Cold War turned Hot. Part 3.

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This Post has to be about the Vulcan after seeing it fly at the Bournemouth Air Show.

The Avro Vulcan Bomber is an Iconic jet-propelled delta wing strategic bomber.  It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984.

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The first Avro Vulcan B.2, XH533, flying at Bournemouth Air Show, 2014.

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Its delta wingspan was in excess of 30 metres

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The Vulcan B.1, was first delivered to the RAF in 1956. The XH558, shown above, was the first Vulcan B.Mk2 to be delivered to the RAF in 1960. Its original colour on delivery was ‘anti-flash’ white.

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Powered by 4 x Bristol-Siddeley Olympus engines.  It had a cruising speed of Mach .86 and a top speed of Mach .92/3. It could fly to a height of between 45,000 feet/56,000 feet (14,000/17000 metres).

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The Vulcan, as part of the V-Force, was the backbone of the United Kingdom’s airborne nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War. Originally designed to carry either a single ‘Blue Steel’ nuclear missile or a single free-fall nuclear bomb, its role as a strategic nuclear asset changed in 1970. British Polaris Submarines assumed that role. The Vulcan continued to carry the WE.177B in a tactical nuclear strike role as part of the country’s contribution to NATO. It could also carry a standard bomb load of 21 x 1,000 lb (450kg) iron bombs.

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Avro Vulcan XH558 at Bournemouth Airs how 2014

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The only combat missions involving the Vulcan bomber took place in 1982, during the Falklands War. The missions, known as the Black Buck raids, involved a flight of 3,889 miles from Ascension Island to Stanley in the Falklands.

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The Vulcan was the backbone of the United Kingdom’s airborne deterrent for much of the Cold War. 

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The usual crew was five, the first pilot, co-pilot, navigator radar, navigator plotter and the Air Electronics Officer, AEO.

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Fuel was carried in 14 bag tanks, four in the centre fuselage above and to the rear of the nosewheel bay and five in each outer wing.

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The open bomb bay.

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Could carry 21 x 1,000 Ib free-fall bombs.

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Or carry a single Blue Steel nuclear missile, carrying the Red Snow thermonuclear 1.1 MT warhead (W-28).

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It could also have been fitted with the Blue Danube or Yellow Sun, nuclear free fall bombs.

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A close up of the Vulcan bomb bay.

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Bomb bay starts to close.

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Bomb bay all but closed.

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The 4 x Bristol-Siddely Olympus engines power the Vulcan through the air

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Cover image (C) of Andrew Brown and the Vulcan to the Sky Trust – image of XH558

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The Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact’s pre-emptive strike against the West, supported by the use of chemical weapons, has left NATO forces stunned. Although reinforcements continue to arrive in theatre from all the NATO member countries, the Allies are pushed back relentlessly. The Eastern Bloc armies throw fresh regiments into the fray, their intention to deliver the killing lunge deep into the West’s retreating armies.

.

What are the options open to NATO? Can the West stem the disorderly retreat? Can they gather enough conventional forces to hold? Or will they need to resort to more deadly means?

.
Follow the series of gripping events in ‘The Blue Effect’, the third instalment in Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

.

Vulcan

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The Blue Effect_high resolution-2

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Cover image (C) of Andrew Brown and the Vulcan to the Sky Trust – image of XH558

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support in reading the first two novels in the series, it is really appreciated. For the next Post, I will include the maps that can be seen at the beginning of The Blue Effect. This enable readers to print them as reference. HB

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9781781322215-PerfectCOVER.indd

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‘The Black Effect’ – Available on Kindle.

.

TBE revised - FOR SCREEN-1

The Black Effect

An economy on the verge of collapse, demands from their allies for funding to continue the expansion of communism, and a conventional Army, Navy and Air Force costing the country 20% of its GDP… The Soviet Union is in trouble. Where should they turn for a solution?

Their answer: the capitalist West. On the 4th July 1984, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact launched a massive preemptive conventional strike against the West, sending the NATO forces reeling.

Follow Jacko and Bradley and their allies as they fight off the Soviet Union. Can the NATO forces recover and hold their ground? Will the Soviet Union succeed? Or will it end in an outright defeat? Follow the series of gripping events in The Black Effect, the second installment in Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience.

.

RedEffect72dpi-4

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

Site and content is copyrighted to Harvey Black.