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Old 09-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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Repulsing the Red Army Faction, Geissen FRG 1977

I saw this online, and was wondering if anyone had heard of it or if any information has come out on it besides what is in this article. If the particulars are still classified, I could understand. It sounds fascinating.

Red Army Faction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army_Faction>

4 January 1977

Giessen

Attack against US 42nd Field Artillery Brigade at Gießen. In a failed attack against the Gießen army base, the RAF sought to capture or destroy nuclear weapons present.[56] A diversionary bomb attack on a fuel tank failed to fully ignite the fuel, and the assault on the armory was then repulsed, with several RAF members killed in the ensuing firefight. The presence of U.S. warheads on German soil was classified and officially denied at the time, and the incident received little publicity. General William Burns, who commanded the base in 1977, detailed the attack in a 1996 interview.[57]


The footnotes give these sources:

56.^ Michael Krepon, Ziad Haider & Charles Thornton, Are Tactical Nuclear Weapons Needed in South Asia?, in Michael Krepon, Rodney W. Jones, and Ziad Haider (eds.), Escalation Control and the Nuclear Option in South Asia, Stimson Publications, 2004.
57.^ Cockburn, Andrew; Cockburn, Leslie (1997). One Point Safe. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-48560-9; Barry L. Rothberg, "Averting Armageddon: Preveting Nuclear Terrorism in the United States", Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, 1997,
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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DavidE,

It sounds like "fascinating" BRAVO SIERRA to me, as I was in USAREUR with 94th MP Bde. at the time and I have heard ZILCH about such an incident. - The "problems with", that I've heard of (I was NOT involved.), Bader Meinhof & The Red Army Faction were in the EARLY rather than mid '70s.
(I believe that I would have heard, as such an action would be hard or impossible to "keep quiet".)

As the saying goes in G2, "Two people can keep a secret, if one of them is dead."

just my OPINION, sw
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
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It could be that it has become an "Urban Legend." (The plot almost sounds like the "smuggle a nuke" element of the James Bond movie "Octopussy," which also related to a West German base.)

A similar reference pops up on several websites though. It also appears on an official Army page as a reference.

History | U.S. Army in Europe

Excerpt:

During the 1970's, force protection concerns grew as Palestinian groups brazenly conducted terror operations in Europe, such as the kidnapping of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the Red Army Faction and the Red Brigades targeted U.S. facilities and personnel with bombings, kidnapping and assassinations. In May 1972 bombs exploded at V Corps headquarters Frankfurt, killing an Army lieutenant colonel, and in Heidelberg at Campbell Barracks, killing three Soldiers. U.S. installations were attacked sporadically throughout the remainder of the decade, including a failed 1977 attack on a U.S. Army base in Giessen.

Last edited by DavidE; 09-12-2013 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:23 AM   #4
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I was in then West Berlin from 70-75 as a USAF dependent...graduated High School there in 73. Bader-Meinhoff were big news, and I remember clearly the posting of M.P.'s at the PX and other facilities. These were all in the housing area where we lived, off-base facilities, so very vulnerable.

By 77 I was active duty USAF and stationed in Georgia. Never heard of this incident. Doesn't mean it didn't happen.

One day I'll tell you the story about Walter Cronkite reporting that someone beat on the nukes of an alert B-52 at our base with a hammer. That was when I realized that the news didn't necessarily report the facts.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishCop View Post
...One day I'll tell you the story about Walter Cronkite reporting that someone beat on the nukes of an alert B-52 at our base with a hammer. That was when I realized that the news didn't necessarily report the facts.

That guy was the mechanic who used to work on my old 1973 MGB!

That reminds me of the old TV series Sledge Hammer in the episode in which he tried to defuse a nuclear bomb; "trust me, I know what I'm doing."
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #6
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Close, Tommy. Close!

Short and sweet. SAC Bomb Wing on an AFLC Base. 4 Alert Bombers, 4 Alert Tankers. Cold foggy middle Georgia night. In the morning, flight crew come out to check over their Aircraft (every morning on alert) and discover some safety wires on certain switches cut and checklists strewn about. Freak Out City and rightfully so.

Full Alert, OSI responds, everyone questioned, security posts doubled. After a 15 hour day, we were all told that this incident was classified and not to speak to anyone about it.

Come home to my wife and very small kids, no explanation to her about the unusually long work day. Watching Walter, and he says that there was a report of a nuclear loaded bomber being sabotaged, and that the nuclear weapons on the wings (all of them were in the bomb bay - I had never seen a BUFF with weapons mounted on the wing) had been beaten with a hammer.

Turned out the female crew chief of that A/C, the daughter of the Deputy Commander for Maintenance, did it because she wanted out of the service.

No weapons were ever touched.

Taa Daa!! A cynic was born...
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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IrishCop,

As some EOF here know, CBS News & Walter Cronkite accused a college friend of mine of committing war crimes in RVN 2 years after he was KIA. - When we provided certified copies of his death certificate, CBS accused him of OTHER war crimes that were allegedly committed THREE YEARS after he was KIA.

I've trusted NOTHING on "The Evening News" since.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 09-17-2013 at 02:41 PM. Reason: dumb grammar error & typos
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:01 AM   #8
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And once again, gentlemen, you see why I call myself a "Recovering Journalist." Even though the job was only a cover for my true role of protecting a young lady I then loved from her stalker ex, I still feel like I'll never be able to fully wash all the filth off.

Walter Krankenhaus... well, frankly I think the only reason he gave positive coverage of the Allies in WWII was that we were on the same team as his buddies in Moscow.
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