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"The Fulda Gap" Topic


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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2019 12:17 p.m. PST

"Lariat Advance. This terse and odd phrase, typically delivered via telephone in the early hours of the morning, served over years of the Cold War as an unmistakable notice to U.S. soldiers in Germany that a unit alert had been declared and that henceforth every second counted until such time as the unit's response to alert had been assessed, and hopefully found satisfactory. Soldiers who lived outside the unit's base reported in, vehicles and personal equipment were made ready, and finally, the unit deployed to its designated alert location in the countryside.

' For those NATO soldiers whose units were deployed in the vicinity of the Iron Curtain, these alerts were laden with additional tension because the nearby presence of the Soviet forces was palpable. As one responded to the alert and approached the Kaserne, thoughts inevitably assessed how "real" the alert might be. For the U.S. Army in Germany in general, and its V (Fifth) Corps in particular, the geographical focus of this concern was known as the Fulda Gap…"
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Amicalement
Armand

Garand11 Oct 2019 12:23 p.m. PST

My dad told me a story about when he was stationed in Germany during the late '60s. He was in military intelligence, & would be sent around to various units to do security assessments on personnel. He told me of a story of an unannounced alert at a unit equipped with nuclear weapons. Not being told there would be an alert, he thought it was the real thing, that a nuclear war was about to happen. Because of stuff like this he was diagnosed with PTSD after he had his stroke…

Damon.

nickinsomerset11 Oct 2019 1:31 p.m. PST

Active Edge in BAOR, usually advance notice given by one of the Clerks, often led to drunks at the helm of the vehicles crashing into things! Always had to have crashout kit ready to go.

Tally Ho!

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2019 2:21 p.m. PST

The 'fun' one was when they tried to assassinate General Alexander Haig. That was a tense day

Major Mike11 Oct 2019 5:27 p.m. PST

At an AUSA convention in Garmish in 82, I sat with some veterans from the 60's. One told me of an alert called on New Years eve. He and buddies had been partying hard when one left to go back to the BOQ. He soon called the club to say there was an alert because the horn in the BOQ was going off. He and others called it BS. It got real when the 1SG showed up in his jeep and grabbed him as the unit was rolling out. It was a long march before a halt was called. The story teller said he ran up to the front of the column, in his dress uniform, to report to the CO. He recalled that the CO was passed out drunk in his jeep. He remarked that it was a miracle that they didn't kill anyone and found people that were in some way able to drive.

Legion 412 Oct 2019 7:50 a.m. PST

Was briefly at Fulda when I was Mech Co Cdr. The East Germans were just on the other side of the border openly taking pictures of us. The same happened on the DMZ in the ROK. Plus even then USSR Spy Trawlers were off the coast of the CZ, Panama, when I was with the 101. I don't doubt my comrades and my pics ended up in a number of enemyies' MI files ! huh? evil grin

an unannounced alert
Happened very, very often when I was with an M113 Mech Bn just South of the DMZ, for 22 months in'84-'85. And even when we rotated to the DMZ for about 2-3 months. For our Bn's turn to do the mission. Regardless where we were anywhere around or on the DMZ we knew we were in Nork FA range. frown Every time an Alert was sounded by air raid sirens, we thought we were going to war.

diagnosed with PTSD
After serving at all those locations and more, etc., etc., '79-'90. The VA had decided to put me on meds too ! huh? evil grin My friends say I'm always so happy ! I know why ! laugh

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2019 9:17 a.m. PST

Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.

I don't have anything personal to share, not having been in the military.

I have read though, that back in the day, occasionally aircraft and/or helos strayed over the border at, or near Fulda (as well as in other areas of Germany, and Czechoslovakia), and that both sides would scramble to intercept them. Occasionally, the pilots recognized their errors and got back safely, sometimes even after being fired upon. A few aircraft from both sides were shot down over Germany as well.

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And, lest we forget, many, many US airmen were lost during the Cold War, flying secret missions:

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Legion 4, how often did the alerts occur in North Korea?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2019 10:44 a.m. PST

Thanks!.


Amicalement
Armand

Legion 412 Oct 2019 3:01 p.m. PST


Legion 4, how often did the alerts occur in North Korea?
2-4 times a month or more … As I said when we were not on the DMZ we were about 12-15Ks behind it. The DMZ was still a combat zone, running patrols with live ammo. An FA Plt right across the road from our Base Cp. Running live fire missions almost daily. We were still in the mind set of being at war. Because as far as we were concerned … we were.

Our Bde was the forward most deployed Bde. We had 1 Mech Bn[mine], 1 Inf Bn, 1 Arm Cav Bn, 1 FA Bn, and a couple of CE Cos. + support and HQ elements.

Legion 412 Oct 2019 4:48 p.m. PST

Misread your post … I don't know how many times the Norks had alerts, like in the US ARMY and ROKs. But they very aggressive patrolling, trying to infiltrate, doing small commando landings along the South's Coast, etc. They were still at war …

Also when I said 2-4 times that included from Div on down to Bde or Bn alerts. Especially with our Bde being forward deployed. Or when on the DMZ, etc., …

trance13 Oct 2019 7:43 a.m. PST

Tomahawk 1/23 inf 81-82. Imjim scout.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2019 8:54 a.m. PST

"2-4 times a month or more ".

Wow, that is far more often than I would have expected!

I would have guessed 3 – 4 times per year.

Actually, you read my intention right, initially. I really meant in SK, in response to concerns about NK.

Legion 413 Oct 2019 10:40 a.m. PST

I really meant in SK
Thought so ! Yes we were always going on alert & training for war …
I would have guessed 3 4 times per year.
We would have wished ! evil grin

Tomahawk 1/23 inf 81-82. Imjim scout.

Polar Bear 1/31 Inf(M) '84-'85 Imjin Scout thumbs up

ScoutJock13 Oct 2019 12:15 p.m. PST

I have read though, that back in the day, occasionally aircraft and/or helos strayed over the border at, or near Fulda (as well as in other areas of Germany, and Czechoslovakia), and that both sides would scramble to intercept them. Occasionally, the pilots recognized their errors and got back safely, sometimes even after being fired upon. A few aircraft from both sides were shot down over Germany as well.

The code for an aircraft getting ready to, or having already violated the border was Brass Monkey communicated on guard. All aircraft in the border ADIZ not under positive control had to turn and fly 270 degrees until the violator was identified and was back across the fence at which time the Brass Monkey was cancelled.

And then the CO and MI types met you on the ramp when you landed.

Legion 414 Oct 2019 6:19 a.m. PST

We were Medevacing a soldier with GSW from the DMZ in '85. But had to move the LZ further back from the DMZ. As the Medevac birds(2) called over the radio, saying they were being "painted" by Nork Radar. So they/we thought/feared the Norks might open fire on them. Even though they were clearly marked with Red Cross, etc.

Regardless the soldier was evac'd from the LZ only a couple of Klicks away from the first one we choose. But just further South.

He lived, so everybody did their duty.

Virginia Tory16 Oct 2019 8:14 a.m. PST

They even had Lariat Advanced alerts to test HQ response, though I called foul as they used to announce it in advance. Not exactly a true test of its effectiveness (VII Corps late 80s/early 90s).

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