Operation Palaiologos was a large-scale operation in 1978, involving a large number of NATO and Warsaw Pact troops and units against the BETA advance originating from the Minsk Hive so as to prevent the BETA from attacking the densely-populated Central Europe region.
In 1976, the construction of H05, the Minsk Hive, presented a major strategic threat to Soviet Byelorussia and all of Europe as a staging point for BETA advance. This development locked NATO command into two viable options, splitting the top brass into two distinct camps of thought; whether to launch an all-out nuclear attack on the burgeoning Minsk Hive before it could fully mature, or to conserve their battle strength for future defensive battles. The top brass in favor of nuclear attack presented the Athabasca Incident as a prime example of swift action against a BETA Hive, while those who preferred a defensive strategy opted to push forth with a offensive using conventional military forces, pointing to the ongoing situation in Asia where nuclear weapons proved to be an almost negligible counter against the BETA advance, while simultaneously depriving the human defenders of more living space.
In the end, in order to solidify their position, NATO advocates of the defensive strategy approached Soviet officials, who were vehemently opposed to the use of nuclear weapons in the regions surrounding Moscow. The Warsaw Pact, pressured by the Soviet Union regarding strategic defence matters, as well as the construction of the Minsk Hive, agreed to a joint operation with NATO forces for a conventional assault on the Minsk Hive.
Both NATO and Warsaw Pact forces approached the Minsk Hive in a pincer attack, matching the BETA in a war of attrition as the NATO/Warsaw forces pushed the BETA back. The area around the Minsk Hive was surrounded within two months' of hard fighting, allowing the combined NATO/Warsaw forces to lay siege to the Hive and attempt to enter and capture it; however, all attempts were met with abysmal failure, including the deployment of the Soviet Army's 43rd Tactical Armored Division Volk Regiment in a daring Hive infiltration assault operation. Usage of nuclear weapons were denied; the leadership of the operation wanted to capture the Hive intact.
A total of 14 pilots from Volk Regiment survived the infiltration attempt to return to the surface with data on the Hive interior. Contact with the regiment was lost after three and a half hours; shortly thereafter, a massive surge of BETA emerged from within the Minsk Hive, annihilating the NATO/Warsaw units laying siege to the Hive, thereby cementing the failure of the operation.
The failure to contain the BETA at Minsk cut directly into human strategic control of the Eurasian continent; while the Soviet Union retreated east, the remaining Warsaw Pact nations of Central Europe were forced west with their NATO counterparts, cutting them off from their parent organization. This rift in the defence line opened up a path for the BETA to overrun Central Europe, eventually resulting in almost the entirety of Eurasia being overtaken by BETA influence over the next two decades.
Despite the dire situation, the data obtained by the Volk Regiment was successfully retrieved and preserved by the retreating forces. This data, henceforth named the Volk Data after the unit that made possible its compilation, would serve as the primary data source for all counter-BETA Hive intelligence and operational planning for future Hive infiltration attempts for almost the next 25 years. TSF combat data gathered in Operation Palaiologos would also be eventually put to good use in shaping TSF design from a preference for armor to mobility-based tactics, with ground-up application beginning with the F-15 Eagle.
- The operation is named after the Palaiologos, the longest-lived but last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) which ruled 1259-1453.