World War III's first battleground
The OpsRoom explains the
Kola Peninsula's importance in the pilot episode.
World War lll might have started here.
The Soviet base at Murmansk was the place from which a naval
break-out would have been staged in case of hostilities with NATO.
Soviet doctrine at the time would have been to flood subs through
the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom waters. If this happened,
Soviet submarines would have wrought havoc with shipping lines
between North America and Europe.
They could have also launched missile attacks against UK, Iceland,
Greenland and Canadian air bases. This would hinder anti-submarine
aircraft activities throughout the Atlantic.
Obviously, at the same time, the Red Army and Air Force would
be pushing through Western Europe. NATO doctrine was naturally
to bottle up the massive Soviet Northern Fleet before that happened,
that way troops in Europe could be re-supplied from Canada and
the United States.
fact, in the August-September 1981 exercise, an armada of 83 US,
British, Canadian, and Norwegian ships led by the carrier CVN
Eisenhower managed to sail the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom
(GIUK) Gap undetected, using carefully
planned and rehearsed tactics.
Concealment and Deception
A combination of obvious if inconvenient passive measures like
operating under electronic emissions control conditions and active
measures like radar-jamming and transmission of false radar signals
was used to hide the allied fleet. They even eluded a Soviet active-radar
satellite launched into a low to search for it.
As the warships came within operating areas of Soviet
long-range reconnaissance planes, the Soviets were initially
able to identify but not track them. Meanwhile, Navy fighters
conducted an unprecedented simulated attack on the Soviet planes
as they refueled in-flight, flying at low levels to avoid detection
by Soviet shore-based radar sites.
the second phase of this exercise, a cruiser and three other ships
left the carrier battle group and sailed north through the Norwegian
Sea and then east around Norway's Cape North and into the Barents
Sea. They then sailed near the militarily important Kola Peninsula
and remained there for nine days before rejoining the main group.
Norway, in case you are not looking at a map, happened to be
between Western Europe and the USSR, and right at the point where
the NATO and Warsaw Pact navies would be shooting at each other.
It might have been the biggest ship-to-ship confrontation since
the First World War, and pretty close to a place called Jutland.
A major naval battle took place during the Great War. There is
a wonderful site with bags of information about that terrible
war called FirstWorldWar.Com.
This includes a section about the Battle