Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A thought or two on my 1981 campaign

As I've said in a previous post, I enjoy the back story for a wargame, whether it's for a one-off battle or a full-blown campaign. I suppose it's the writer in me struggling to get out. It's also the anal-retentive German academic in me which doesn't need to struggle much to get out. 

Over the course of a few upcoming posts, I'll lay the situational groundwork for the campaign. I'll adhere as closely to historical reality as is feasible, while adding in fictional bits that are historically plausible. Being a history professor means that I just can't bring myself to stray too far from what really happened (or too easily could have happened). 

I've chosen a starting point of March 30, 1981. Specifically, about 2130 hours, local West German time. This is for a couple of good reasons. Firstly, this is near the date when I arrived for my first posting in West Germany (Würzburg), so this is a timeframe that I'm familiar with. More importantly, this was a date that could easily have been a real WWIII, had things gone just slightly differently. 

Most writers of 1980's Cold War scenarios choose either November 1983, when Able Archer 83 nearly turned the world into a cinder, or 1988-89, with the anti-Communist unrest in Eastern Europe which would ultimately end up sweeping the Soviet Union into history. So let me begin telling my partially true and partially fictional story....

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