FRANKFURT--Soviet-led armored Warsaw Pact columns have advanced across the West German border in a broad assault from Hamburg in the north to the American-held Fulda gap just east of Frankfurt.
The surprise attack was preceeded by a massive air battle, as wave after wave of Warsaw Pact Mig-21 fought for control of the skies over northern and central Germany.
In the town of Fulda, a small border hamlet guarded by the American 11th Armord Cavalry Regiment, the Soviet 8th Guards Army has established a bridge head over the Fulda River and solidified it's left flank with a followup attack on the West German 12th Division.
To the north, the Soviet 3rd Shock Army has pushed the West German defenders from Braunschweig and have siezed the Hanover-Gottingen road.
The 6th West German division reports a smaller Soviet attack towards Hamburg. That city has held against the initial thrust.
And deep in East Germany, the NATO-held sectors of Berlin are reported holding fast against several Warsaw Pact attacks.
The Soviet spearhead into Fulda:
The relatively quiet North German Plains:
The Soviets did not contest the air over Italy and Denmark; the price for controling the skies over most of Germany, though, was heavy.