Communist forces seize Warsaw as Russian army rolls west
NATO rallies forces in Germany, vows to "evict" invader

January 2, 2010


Russian Tank on the attackWARSAW, POLAND -- Shortly before dawn on Jan. 1, massive numbers of Russian armored forces rolled across the border in the Ukraine into southern Poland, smashing through local defensive positions held by units of the Free Polish Army. Russian forces were estimated to consist of some eight or ten divisions, mostly armored, supported by a massive artillery corps as well as air and attack helicopter support.

The invasion began only hours after Russian special forces launched multiple attacks in Iceland, the UK and Norway (see previous ENN edition), giving the impression that they were all part of a well-planned, coordinated effort.

US President Alec Baldwin immediately denounced Russia as a belligerent aggressor and called for a declaration of war by Congress in support of its obligations under Article 8 of the NATO treaty. The declaration was passed unanimously within a hours, with similar declarations being passed in Norway, Iceland and the UK. Other NATO members began to follow suit a short time later, although France still appears to be holding out.

According to officials in Moscow, however, the massive advance of Russian armies into Poland should not be considered an invasion but rather a "liberation effort" whose purpose was to "rescue the legitimately elected government of Poland and save the Communist cause in its cradle." While the pro-Russian, Communist government was elected to power last Fall, many people in Poland have been disputing its legitimacy on the basis of shadowy election results and have been threatening its overthrow. The dispute led to civil war that has caused the Polish Army to split in half, with the rebel faction forming the Free Polish Army (FPA) and the other half supporting the new regime.


B52 wreckage
Polish position near border
attacked by artillery

Massive artillery assault begins
Border defenses crumble

At about 5:00, a combination of heavy air and artillery pounded FPA positions guarding the Polish border, shattering them within hours. By 6:00, the few battalions that remained withdrew in panic and disarray, as the first of Russia's tank regiments crossed the border. Only spotty and generally ineffective resistance was offered after that, as the Russian juggernaut consisting of one shock army and one tank army overran all local garrisons on its way west toward Warsaw. 

Air war ends in draw, heavy losses to both sides

Earlier in the day, at 5:00, a series of fierce and bloody air battles were taking place near the German border as Russia launched wave after wave of bombing strikes against NATO forces. Both sides lost a high number of aircraft in the ensuing air battles. As of this time, neither side appears to have air supremacy anywhere along the front, though both sides appear to enjoy some degree of air superiority over their own airspace.

Warsaw Falls

With the Communist government well protected by its garrison in the capital, FPA forces located in this area were routed by the end of the day by Government troops, leaving the door open to the oncoming Russian advance from the East. By the end of the second day, Russian forces reached the city with only minor resistance.

However, prior to the arrival of the Russian army, the capital appears to have changed hands at one point. For a brief period of time during the early morning hours of Jan. 2, the 3rd Brigade of the 7th Panzer Division, which was stationed just west of the city before war broke out, was able to retake the capital from Communist forces with superior firepower and better tanks. But all was in vain as the first of several Russian divisions arrived, overwhelming the German brigade and forcing it into a hasty retreat westward.

Once the city was fully secured, some Russian units were sent south to prevent raids on its supply line from FPA units still in the mountainous southern region. But otherwise, the highways to the west now appear clear and at least one if not several Russian divisions were believed to have passed Warsaw and are headed in the direction of Germany.

NATO organizes counteroffensive

With heavy damage inflicted on its airfields and air defenses from the Russian air strikes and with the German armored brigade in full retreat, things looked shaky for NATO. In fact, it took most of the first day of war just to re-establish communications and gather enough intelligence to be able to make a plan.

By early morning of the second day, however, things were beginning to move. The lead brigades of most of the divisions had begun advancing from their positions in eastern German into Poland at a brisk and efficient pace. The British 1st Armored and the 2nd and 3rd Brigades of the German 7th Panzer, under the command of the German I Corps, crossed into Poland in the north as they attempted to link up with the retreating 3rd brigade from 7th Panzer.

The US V Corps, spearheaded by the US 1st Armored and German 5th Panzer Divisions began to advance eastward into central Poland, moving some 60-70 miles by the end of the second day.

Meanwhile, to the south, airmobile units from the Multinational Division under Eurocorps command had begun a rapid deployment into southwestern Poland, as assault troops were ferried by helos to the city of Leszno and other locations some 75 miles east of the German border.


Russian Paratroopers drop in western Poland

In what appears to be an attempt at blocking or delaying NATO forces in their advance eastward, a large-scale paratrooper assault was carried out during the early evening of Jan. 2 west of the Vistula River. Some military analysts believe that if the paratroopers can delay NATO forces long enough it will allow the Russian armies stampeding from the east to cross the Vistula in relative safety. The exact number of paratroopers dropped in this region is unknown.

Russian Baltic Fleet deploys

By January 2nd, a number of Russian warships had been reported by local fishing fleets and other commercial shipping companies, as Russia's Baltic Fleet moved into Polish waters. While the larger ships stayed off-shore, a couple of Fast Attack Craft (FAC) squadrons have moved into littoral areas near the ports to act as a blockade. This will make it difficult to supply the Free Polish Army from outside of Poland. Without this lifeline, the life expectancy of the Free Polish Army will be a matter of days. In response to this threat, a combined force of 
Dutch, Danish and Norwegian

NATO criticized for lack of preparation

While NATO had been at full alert prior to the Russian attack for some three weeks, this was not enough time for most countries to call up their reserves and get them mobilized. Many western politicos expressed shock at NATO's lack of preparedness.

"We only became fully aware of a potential, full-scale invasion on December 10," admitted the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). "At that time, the planning cell at the US Joint Chiefs of Staff assessed our intelligence and decided such an offensive was likely. But we only moved to DEFCON Four (DEFCON Five being peacetime status, DEFCON

One being State of War.) as we did not know when exactly Russia might become fully hostile." The Supreme Commander hastened to defend the credentials of the Joint Chiefs planning staff, however. "They had been previously responsible for detecting trouble in Croatia, Egypt and other locations where war might have taken place. If it weren't for them we might be facing a two or even three-front war right now. Unfortunately, they were a bit slow off the mark recognizing the threat in Poland," he admitted.

Armageddon expected

In a NATO press conference at SHAPE Headquarters in Brussels, the Chief of Staff of SACEUR indicated that the Russian offensive is currently being led by two Russian armies, the 5th Shock Army and the 10th Tank Army, both of which had used their recent attack on Ukrainian rebels as a pretense to be near the Polish border so that they could deploy quickly into Poland. While both armies had looked like they had pulled back from the Polish border 100 miles or so under a recent peace agreement with the US, they appear to have been only rotating forces and gradually readying themselves for full-scale invastion.

The latest reports, however, according to the NATO Chief of Staff, is that there are a great many other Russian forces that have also mobilized and are on their way to Poland at this very moment. These include 20th Corps out of Kalingrad and the 1st Combined Arms Army out of Belarus, whose forward security elements have already crossed into Polish territory.

"It appears that these forces in the north, together with the 5th Shock and 10th Tank Armies in the south, make up the first echelon of the Russian offensive," explained the NATO general. "A second echelon will likely follow, which appears will be made up of at least two other armies."

When asked how NATO's three standing corps can stop a combined force of
four armies, the general made no further comment, saying only that he would not discuss ongoing planning of operations with the press.

Military analysts see something of a massive meeting of forces somewhere along the Vistula, but it is too early to tell where this clash will take place. "It will be the mother of all meeting engagements," said one analyst. "I sure wouldn't want to be within a hundred miles of that mess, when it happens."

It remains to be seen whether NATO forces can smash through Russian paratroopers and set up a defense along the Vistula, or if they will have to begin their defense farther west. If the latter happens, NATO may well be pushed back into Germany by the time reinforcements arrive.

Winning the Atlantic is critical

The one thing all military analysts seem to agree on, however, is that the war will most likely be decided not on land, but at sea.

"If the Russians can get a sizeable submarine force into the Atlantic as or maybe some bombers," warned one unnamed NATO official, "they will sink our reinforcements and supplies at sea. And without America's reinforcements and supplies, the war will be lost, and our children will all soon be speaking Russian."


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