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1985: Sacred Oil – And the Sea Gave Up the Dead

This After Action Report covers the Soviet push toward Bandar Abbas, where the first direct clash between Soviet and American forces occurred during the opening phases of World War Three. This report tries to offer a quite detailed description of the events, while at the same time avoiding to plunge into technicalities.


Bandar Abbas is the most ambitious initial objective of the Soviet offensive against Iran, as its control would achieve two strategic goals: denying the Americans one of the best strategic areas for building up forces and controlling the sea lanes needed by Western countries for oil supply.

Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Central Asia Military District are assigned to the task, but for once Soviet High Command cannot rely on quantity, as the poor lines of communications and the scarce number of usable airfields do not allow committing vast forces to the operation.

In the days preceding the Soviet attack, Iranian clergy remains impervious to US offers of military support. When access to Iranian air space and bases is finally granted, only a few hours are left for organizing some sort of defense. With time running out and no other forces immediately available, CENTCOM decides to take its chances and orders USS CV-64 Constellation battle group to pass the strait of Hormuz and protect Bandar Abbas until airfields in the area are made operational and the Marines arrive.

SITREP – June 28, 1985

Soviet Union

Soviet offensive against Iran will probably develop along three different axis:

Soviet forces from Afghanistan
(click for details)

From Transcaucasian Military District: 4th Combined Arms Army, 7th Guards Combined Arms Army, 12th Corps, 34th Corps. This Front will probably have Dezful and Bushehr as primary objectives.

From Turkmenistan Military District: 36th Corps, plus additional brigade or battalion level formations. This front will probably move toward Tehran.

From Afghanistan: Part of 40th Combined Arms Army, 17th Corps, 103rd Guards Airborne Division, 56th Landing Assault Bde, 15th Independent GRU Bde. This Front will advance through Eastern Iran with Bandar Abbas as primary objective.

Air Forces (squadrons): 6x Mig-23 fighter, 3x Su-24 fighter-bomber, 2x Su-25 strike, 2x Tu-22 bomber, 1x Tu-22 ECM, 3x Recce, 7x transport squadrons, 2x Mi-24 attack helicopter , 5x transport helicopter.

Naval Forces: 3x nuclear attack submarines, 1x Intelligence ship.

US Coalition

CENTCOM has the primary objective of securing Bandar Abbas, with following forces at its disposal:

CV-64 Constellation Battlegroup (Task Force 1): Stationed approx. 50 nautical miles from Bandar Abbas and reinforced by two frigates and one combat store ship from UK Armilla patrol.

MPSRON 2 (Task Force 2): Stationed at Diego Garcia, it is loaded with 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade equipment and reinforced by two French frigates from La Reunion. TF2 could be in the AO within 4 or 5 days, personnel will be airlifted from US West coast.

1st Marine Amphibious Force (Task Force 3): Formed by LPH Okinawa and two escort frigates, it has just doubled the Malacca Strait and could be expected in the AO within 7 days.

Continue reading 1985: Sacred Oil – And the Sea Gave Up the Dead
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1985: Sacred Oil – And It Became Blood

CENTCOM Commander Kev Sharp reporting from the Horn of Africa. As usual with Kev, top-notch narrative.

Part 1:
Part 2:


With the Soviet tanks rolling over the Iranian border on June 28th, it was only a question of time before United States and Soviet Union became directly involved in a military confrontation.

On June 30th, an F-14 Combat Air Patrol from USS Constellation engages a Soviet strike package approaching Bandar Abbas, and all hell breaks loose.
USS CV-63 Kitty Hawk and its battlegroup are ordered to neutralize the Soviet bases in Ethiopia and South Yemen and support the subsequent land assault to the Soviet facilities by special forces based in Diego Garcia.

With no lines of communication to the Motherland and scarce supply, the Soviet forces in Aden and Asmara can only hope for the surprise effect of a first strike. An auxiliary intelligence ship and three nuclear submarines have been shadowing the Kitty Hawk battlegroup for days, ready to make the Americans pay dearly for any aggressive move.

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1. At 20220106 2024 ZT US-Led Coalition and Soviet Union announced that an agreement for an immediate ceasefire has been reached.

2. Hostile actions against Soviet forces must cease immediately, except when needed to respond an attack or to stop attempts by Soviet forces to further advance in the territory of Iran or any other friendly nation in the Southwest Asia region.

3. 1985: Sacred Oil is officially OUT OF STOCK.

4. Orders already received are safely stored in an atomic proof bunker and are guaranteed to survive.

5. Reserved copy owners that went AWOL during the seven days period of hostilities are granted a 15 days safe conduct. Report for duty at when ready to acquire the war equipment.

6. With a life span of only seven days, 1985: Sacred Oil established a new record. A big thank you to all the troops who made this possible! The next goal will be a conflict shorter than the six-days war.

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1985: Sacred Oil – DEFCON 1



  1. At 19850628 0500 ZT Soviet troops crossed the USSR – Iran border
  2. At 19850628 0611 ZT, CV-63 BG attacked by SS-N-12 Sandbox vampires presumed launch by Soviet Echo II class Panther.
  3. CJCS declared DEFCON 1 at 19850628 0732 ZT.


  1. Connect to 1985:Sacred Oil equipment page
  2. Acquire the combat equipment


  1. Additional SITREP at this link. Ensure your comm equipment audio is ON.
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1985: Sacred Oil – Troops Are Assembling!

After weeks of mounting tension and sabre-rattling, troops are finally assembling for transport to the Persian Gulf.

According to Pentagon internal sources, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger will announce DEFCON 2 within days.

Soviet General Secretary Andrei Gromyko, recently appointed after a military coup in Soviet Union, declared in a speech broadcasted by USSR state television that the American reaction to the unfolding events in Southwest Asia is “hysterical” and “a menace to the worldwide peace”.

More details on the operation can be found on the official 1985: Sacred Oil page.

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1985: Deadly Northern Lights – CSR Awards Nominee!

1985: Deadly Northern Lights joins its smaller brother Less Than 60 Miles as a Charles S. Roberts Awards Nominee, in the Modern and Hypothetical Wargame category!

1985: DNL didn’t win, but considering our small print runs the nomination is a big achievement and we are really proud of it.

A big THANK YOU to the Grognards who voted for our monster!