Alternate History

Battle Group Six raid (Napoleon's World)

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The Battle Group Six raid was an attack on the USN Carrier Battle Group VI (USNCBG-VI) by the Brazilian Air Force on October 26, 1982, in which two squadrons of Brazilian planes flew a nearly 900 mile round trip originating at Cochimbo Airfield in central Brazil to strike CBG-VI in the Amazonian Delta before landing at several undisclosed locations to avoid interception by scrambled American and Colombian jets. The Brazilian squadron sank two Navy vessels and damaged four others, including the USS Oliver Hazard Perry, the group's aircraft carrier. With the sinking of the USS Arkansas, a fairly new guided missile cruiser, and the USS John Minnow, a support vessel, along with damages to the USS Hazard Perry, the destroyers USS Cerro Gordo and USS Snohomish and the guided missile cruiser USS Raleigh, the Navy suffered 987 dead and nearly 2,500 wounded and injured. Unaffected parts of CBG-VI along with the USS Herbert Hoover- led Carrier Battle Group III's rescue and support components arrived at the scene to pull stranded sailors from the water.

The incident was a major blow to the Navy's reputation and psyche and was instrumental in leading towards the Cochimbo strike to take the air base offline. The raid temporarily diminished the NATO presence in northeastern Brazil as it took nearly two weeks to get new aircraft carriers in position, and NATO forces were understandably reluctant to place carriers that close to Brazilian territory until after Cochimbo had been eliminated. The strafing of lifeboats by Brazilian pilots was later classified as a war crime by the United States during trials of Brazilian air force officials in 1988-89.

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