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Red Team
22 Mar 12,, 21:27
This is probably one of the most common what-ifs ever done (for those who dont know, it's basically it's the clichéd predicted showdown between Eastern Warsaw Pact and Western NATO armies in the German plains during the Cold War). To keep interest I'm gonna mix the scenario up a bit:

-Time Period, foreign policies, and manpower of the 1970s-80s (Post Vietnam/Pre-Afghanistan)
-Technology of the 2000s (Post Cold War military equipment can be used)
-Nuclear option excluded (for the sake of keeping within the realm of Conventional War) (non-nuclear WMDs allowed)
-Potential aftereffects/repercussions of the attack are welcome.

Blademaster
22 Mar 12,, 21:37
Does the exclusion include 1KT TB weapons?

Firestorm
22 Mar 12,, 21:57
-Time Period, foreign policies, and manpower of the 1970s-80s (Post Vietnam/Pre-Afghanistan)
-Technology of the 2000s (Post Cold War military equipment can be used)
.
The technology gap between Russia and the NATO countries in the 2000s is much greater than what it was between the Soviet Union and NATO in the 70s. If you want to keep things interesting, sticking to what was available in the 70s time frame would be better IMHO.

Red Team
22 Mar 12,, 22:57
Does the exclusion include 1KT TB weapons?
Any non-nuclear WMDs are allowed. TB = Thermobaric I'm assuming?


The technology gap between Russia and the NATO countries in the 2000s is much greater than what it was between the Soviet Union and NATO in the 70s. If you want to keep things interesting, sticking to what was available in the 70s time frame would be better IMHO.

Yeah I didn't wanna go that route just because of the large amount of repeats I've seen of that scenario on other forums (especially trying to avoid the eventuality of a major debate between Soviet vs. NATO tanks), so I opted for the 2000s tech. Russian arms industry is still pretty respectable in the 2000s tech era. However the quantity of vital resources (manpower, fuel, # of equipment etc.) still correspond to the 1970s level for this scenario.

bigross86
22 Mar 12,, 23:33
Isn't US policy to view biological or chemical weapon use the same as nukes and to reply in kind?

snapper
23 Mar 12,, 01:20
Gimme a go on the machines: Fulda Gap - Wargame European Escalation Wiki (http://www.wargame-wiki.com/Fulda_Gap)

Red Team
23 Mar 12,, 01:23
Isn't US policy to view biological or chemical weapon use the same as nukes and to reply in kind?

I thought the US policy for proportioned response only called for nuclear retaliation towards a nuclear threat? Even so, the assumption for this scenario still remains the same, no nukes, just non-nuclear WMDs (MOAB, Scuds, CWs etc.).

S2
23 Mar 12,, 04:15
"The technology gap between Russia and the NATO countries in the 2000s is much greater than what it was between the Soviet Union and NATO in the 70s."

The training gap is even more pronounced. The net effect of that high, high level of training and equipment is battle dominance. Essentially you're discussing a Soviet Army of 1990 taking on DESERT STORM postured for defense in central Europe.

Without overwhelming surprise the Soviets stall at the IGB.

Stitch
23 Mar 12,, 05:40
"The technology gap between Russia and the NATO countries in the 2000s is much greater than what it was between the Soviet Union and NATO in the 70s."

The training gap is even more pronounced. The net effect of that high, high level of training and equipment is battle dominance. Essentially you're discussing a Soviet Army of 1990 taking on DESERT STORM postured for defense in central Europe.

Without overwhelming surprise the Soviets stall at the IGB.

So, what, M1A1's and M2's, backed-up by a layered air defense consisting of A-10's, AH-64D's, OH-58D's and, possibly, AH-1W's? No chance for the Soviet M-72/80's . . . . .

kato
23 Mar 12,, 06:48
I thought the US policy for proportioned response only called for nuclear retaliation towards a nuclear threat?
Every single CIMEX and WINTEX exercise in the 80s used a Soviet chemical attack as pretext for NATO opening up with nukes.

snapper
23 Mar 12,, 07:33
I recall reading that the reason NATO stationed 'tactical nuclear weapons' in Europe was due to the imbalance of forces in favour of the Soviet Union. If this was indeed the case at the time then surely in a purely conventional battle the 'hordes' would have overcome the western defences given time. With sufficient reserves in Eastern Germany and our NATO reserves further away a conventional defence can only hold so long... That was my understanding for the reason of stationing these missiles though my knowledge limited I admit.

Doktor
23 Mar 12,, 07:39
Who will launch the attack (I assume Soviets) and with what objectives?

1979
23 Mar 12,, 08:41
I thought the US policy for proportioned response only called for nuclear retaliation towards a nuclear threat? Even so, the assumption for this scenario still remains the same, no nukes, just non-nuclear WMDs (MOAB, Scuds, CWs etc.).

That takes the fun out of it, besides in the 1970's they were very much in love with the nukes .

Deltacamelately
23 Mar 12,, 12:14
The air war fought in the early days would actually decide the outcome of the ground warfare in this scenario.

astralis
23 Mar 12,, 13:37
wouldn't be much of an air war, either. the ISR and 5th-gen fighter capabilities would overwhelm most of the 4/4.5s that this strange USSR would have.

scenario is just a bit too weird. if we assume a scenario where the USSR survives up until the very day, they would STILL have a vastly shrunken military-- their GDP just couldn't handle the 1970s/80s-sized military armed with modern stuff. hell, we probably couldn't, not without bumping our defense spending up 3-4x (percentage-wise!) from our cold war highs.

Albany Rifles
23 Mar 12,, 14:29
A couple of points of clarification required.

Okay, so we are talking a NATO at 1980 force level w/ FY 2000 weaponry; same for Warsaw Pact.

Is the US Army at the 18 division peak (REFORGER matters in that case)?

Are the USN and NATO navies in the same force consideration? That means F-14s and A-6s as well as F-18s are in the force?

What about the Warsaw Pact countries…are they still tied to Mother Russia or has the unrest of the 1980s started to happen? Because what the Czech, Poles

What about France and its reemergence into NATO affairs?

These will all have HUGE implications on what the scenario outcome will be.

As for Bio/Chem = Nuke in US eyes, US policy was WMD = WMD. US would respond with nukes to any attack.

If we are talking 1978 forces with 1978 equipment, it would be a tough slog but I’d say the Warsaw Pact kicks NATOs collective asses.

In 2000s? I don’t know if GSFG can penetrate more than 20 kms. The question then becomes just how far into Eastern Europe does the NATO counterattack reach?

A great analysis of Pact forces in 1979 is available at the following link.

http://www.foia.cia.gov/docs/DOC_0000278537/DOC_0000278537.pdf

Apropos of nothing….I am reminded of one of those war games I used to play in high school and college…you may remember the Avalon Hill and Strategic Games. There was one about a Pact-NATO war. You could do all kinds of different scenarios. My favorite was where a Soviet tank division was nearing Stuttgart and it was facing the remnants of the 2 ACR, about a reinforced battalion in size commanded by MAJ G. A. Custer IV, US Army Cavalry. The Soviets would win by getting various number of points if they achieved so many assigned objectives in so many game turns. The US forces could win if they held on for so long. But I also remembered the US player would get a bonus of 30 points at the end of the game if he could still smile.

Blademaster
23 Mar 12,, 14:42
Good understanding of the terrain at here (full of maps and images): Fulda Gap Page 2 (http://www.1-33rdar.org/fulagap2.htm)

Blademaster
23 Mar 12,, 14:56
Looking at the terrain at Fulda Gap, I fail to see how the Soviets can use this as an invasion route when everybody knows about it and has years to prepare for it. Judging from the terrain, you can use the high ground and forest cover and set up massive killing fields that the Soviets have no hope of breaching.

Station huge numbers of artillery and MLRS and set up initial screen of infantry armed with anti-tank weapons and missiles and fix the enemy force and using your mobile infantry and armor to kill the Soviet backbone, the logistic chains. Then the whole offensive will get bogged down and the Soviets will have to find another pressure point.

1979
23 Mar 12,, 15:07
Looking at the terrain at Fulda Gap, I fail to see how the Soviets can use this as an invasion route when everybody knows about it and has years to prepare for it. Judging from the terrain, you can use the high ground and forest cover and set up massive killing fields that the Soviets have no hope of breaching.

Station huge numbers of artillery and MLRS and set up initial screen of infantry armed with anti-tank weapons and missiles and fix the enemy force and using your mobile infantry and armor to kill the Soviet backbone, the logistic chains. Then the whole offensive will get bogged down and the Soviets will have to find another pressure point.

Hit every NATO division with 5 or 6 nukes per day every day,
problem solved. :)

Doktor
23 Mar 12,, 15:14
Hit every NATO division with 5 or 6 nukes per day every day,
problem solved. :)

Just in case?

And then?

1979
23 Mar 12,, 15:23
Just in case?

And then?

no, not just in case, instead of .

Albany Rifles
23 Mar 12,, 15:29
Hit every NATO division with 5 or 6 nukes per day every day,
problem solved. :)

And say good bye to every Soviet and Warsaw Pact city west of the Urals.

Pershings and SCUDs would be flying back and forth like crazy.

Albany Rifles
23 Mar 12,, 15:52
Looking at the terrain at Fulda Gap, I fail to see how the Soviets can use this as an invasion route when everybody knows about it and has years to prepare for it. Judging from the terrain, you can use the high ground and forest cover and set up massive killing fields that the Soviets have no hope of breaching.

Station huge numbers of artillery and MLRS and set up initial screen of infantry armed with anti-tank weapons and missiles and fix the enemy force and using your mobile infantry and armor to kill the Soviet backbone, the logistic chains. Then the whole offensive will get bogged down and the Soviets will have to find another pressure point.

1. There was more than the Fulda Gap. That happened to be the best route from East Germany to Frankfurt. It was in the US Vth Corps area. It was covered by the entire 11th ACR. ACRs were very big, bigger than a lot of brigades. In a lot of scenarios they were beefed up with an additional tank battalion (+). And they would have had all of Vth Corps Artillery behind them...and at least one of Vth Corps divioosn worth of DIVARTY (Artillery does not go into reserve).

2. In the VIIth Corps sector there was a comparable gap...the Meiningen Gap. It was covered by the 2d ACR in a similiar manner (I was stationed here). In this area the terrain really favored the NATO forces. The mission was to keep Wurzburg and it road networks clear.

Both of these corps were part of the Central Army Group which also include the III GE Corps (north of Vth Corps) and II GE to the south and east of the VII Corps.

3. The area would have a harder time was the NORTHAG sector with 1 NE Corps, 1 BR Corps, 1 BE Corps and 1 GE Corps. They had much more open terrain to try to cover. The North German Plain was the best avenue of approach for GSFG.

1979
23 Mar 12,, 16:00
And say good bye to every Soviet and Warsaw Pact city west of the Urals.

Pershings and SCUDs would be flying back and forth like crazy.

Escalation is unlikely to be contained if it comes to it, more likely it would happen in day one and would not be restricted to the European continent.

kato
23 Mar 12,, 16:07
In 2000s? I don’t know if GSFG can penetrate more than 20 kms.
Eh, that's not that hard. The kicker isn't the 20-km soft border, but the required major amphibious ops at around 60 km.

Albany Rifles
23 Mar 12,, 16:22
Escalation is unlikely to be contained if it comes to it, more likely it would happen in day one and would not be restricted to the European continent.

Exactly my point....

Albany Rifles
23 Mar 12,, 16:25
Eh, that's not that hard. The kicker isn't the 20-km soft border, but the required major amphibious ops at around 60 km.

Looking at an M1/M2/Leo2A4/Marder 1A3 equipped CENTAG, I'm betting they wouldn't have to worry about the amphibious operation. I don't think they could get that far.

zraver
23 Mar 12,, 18:32
3. The area would have a harder time was the NORTHAG sector with 1 NE Corps, 1 BR Corps, 1 BE Corps and 1 GE Corps. They had much more open terrain to try to cover. The North German Plain was the best avenue of approach for GSFG.

Remember the book Red Army, the GSFG brokethrough in the north, but lost in the middle. Before V amd VII Corps could redeploy the Germans through in the towel.

Also Sir John Hackett's The III World War and the excellent offshoot Team Yankee.

zraver
23 Mar 12,, 19:00
In the late 197o's the NATO air forces with the F-4 phantoms, F-111's, F-14's and F-15's had a serious edge on the Warsaw Pact forces. On the ground the Soviets were a generation ahead of the US, Germany and France in tanks (T-64/72), but a generation behind the UK (Chieftain). However, most Soviet tanks were equal generation (T-62 v M60, AMX 30, Centurion and Leo I) or a generation behind (T-55). The US Army was having serious man power issues as the last shudders of Vietnam and the chaos of the AVF shook out. The US Army had also missed an entire upgrade cycle because of Vietnam. Only the AH-1 Cobra with the TOW missile was really cutting edge.

The Warsaw Pact had a huge advantage in IFV/ATGM and rocket artillery force multipliers, but NATO had the edge in tube artillery and over all artillery fire control. The US and UK were also beginning to develop a robust passive night fighting capability which gave them a better ability to conduct round the clock operations effectively against the active IR equipped Soviets. Both sides still rely on HEAT rounds for anti-tank work as sabots are still having serious deformation issues. However the Soviet sabots also suffer from being spool style instead of bore riding. Using HEAT rounds on the Chieftain with its stillbrew armor is less than ideal.

The Chieftain with ceramic armor, thermal vision, laser ranger and the 120mm L11A5 is this what ifs best tank hands down.

Politically, Poland was the unstable rear of the Warsaw Pact, while Italy's endless political turmoil and the Greco-Turkish rupture over Cyprus unhinged NATO in the South.

The wild card is France, she has a large army and air force and can be at the front even quicker than US units via reforger.

Minor ally via minor ally The Dutch, Belgians and Danes are even more poorly equipped than the US and will be using tanks of comparable generations to the T-54/55. East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia are equipped with modern arms but the Romanians, Hungarians, Yugoslavs and Albanians are the Warsaw Pact third string. However whereas France might not fight and in so doing doom NATO, if the Yugoslavs bow out the loss of combat power to the pact forces is minor.

Deep battle, if France jumps in the US gains several secure ports, while the limited rail routes across Poland all with in range of the F-111 pose serious problems for the Soviets trying to move in units from Russia and Belarus.

Unless the Soviets make a play for Norway, England and Scotland are mostly secure as well and provide a good air base area to influence the Battle of the Atlantic and to support the BAOR as it fights for its life in the North German Plain.

Large scale use of Soviet chemical weapons is doubtful unless the war is in deep winter or the end of summer determined by prevailing winds. The use during the growing season on the scale contemplated would lead to the third German famine in a hundred years and might cause a rupture with the East Germans. Plus the public NATO policy was WMD=nuke=nuclear response, most of which would fall on East Germany.

However, the West German's demand to defend forward is or could be crippling depending on how well the ATGM and cannon equipped territorials do in breaking up Soviet attacks and channeling Soviet penetrations.

Warning time is critical as well, each day NATO gets to mobilize the Soviets suffer another divisions worth of casualties.

Mihais
23 Mar 12,, 21:05
Count Romania and Yugoslavia out.We weren't marching anywhere and most likely we would not had allowed anyone marching through.Meaning the S-E TVD isn't marching against the Straits or against Italy.Italy may have been chaotic,but the bulk of its army would have been free to reinforce Austria.

I've no doubt the British were fine.The problem is there were few of them.
I'm sure you heard of operational maneuver groups and what's the idea behind them.Not until the 80's the US had a doctrine comparable(there are a lot of differences though,which aren't the issue now).
To interdict anything using air power means first and foremost neutralization of Soviet air force and air defense.Can't say if it was doable or not in the 70's or 80's,but it would have been costly in time and airplanes.Meanwhile you get the best equipped Soviet troops,those from Ukraine and Belorussia on the march.

Albany Rifles
23 Mar 12,, 21:17
Agree about the Brits...Germans too. The Dutch and Belgians would be game but overmatched.

Agree about the Balkans.

The OMGs were a concern but not too great. That's what what the AH64s/A10 JAAT and MLRS were meant to breakup.

Doktor
23 Mar 12,, 21:43
May I ask again who will start this and what would objective for both sides?

I agree with Mihais about Romania and Yugoslavia. There was no way those two would march with the Soviets. I remember my father telling me there was some mess at the end of the 70s on the Yugo-Hungarian border, the tanks and the trucks were running engines 24/7 for a month or so and every one were on a full alert. Never found out wtf happened.

As for the Albanians.... regime was isolated from everyone, but China until '90s.

Mihais
23 Mar 12,, 22:13
The OMGs were a concern but not too great. That's what what the AH64s/A10 JAAT and MLRS were meant to breakup.

Soviets also had AD and it wasn't the worst in the world.
On a different note,OPFOR at NTC had quite a string of victories against BLUEFOR.Meaning at a first glance 2 things:Soviet doctrine was sound and that competent warfare not necessarily doctrine would have been the decisive factor.

kato
24 Mar 12,, 01:49
However, the West German's demand to defend forward is or could be crippling depending on how well the ATGM and cannon equipped territorials do in breaking up Soviet attacks and channeling Soviet penetrations.
Upgrading the 1980 territorial structure with equivalent FY2000 equipment as per the OP's directive would yield a grand total of twelve combined-arms regiments each equipped with about a thousand riflemen, 34 Leopard 1A5, 14 Milan 2 launchers and 18 120mm mortars on M113. By doctrine of the time they wouldn't be involved in breaking up attacks, they'd act as rear guard against airborne operations.

zraver
24 Mar 12,, 02:21
Soviets also had AD and it wasn't the worst in the world.

It was the best in the world, but it had several flaws that the 111's were designed to exploit.

1. hills create shadows where radar can't see
2. you can detect a radar long before it can detect you
3. Soviet radar had real problems with clutter
4. Soviet radar nets were not linked, so if radar and battery Y saw you but couldn't engage, its couldn't send the info to battery X that was blind but otherwise could engage.
5. US wild weasel pilots in 78 are still mostly Vietnam veteran combat pilots who are used to doing their job (SEAD) for real under fire.

The result is the same as every defensive wall in history- holes that could be exploited by an attacker willing to look for and work for them. The US ALBD was designed to blunt the first and second echelons of the Soviet drive while using air power to slow the transfer of forces out of the Soviet Union to level the playing field with reforger. The idea was to make the war winning play 72 hours march behind the front lines.



On a different note,OPFOR at NTC had quite a string of victories against BLUEFOR.Meaning at a first glance 2 things:Soviet doctrine was sound and that competent warfare not necessarily doctrine would have been the decisive factor.

No, it means Soviet doctrine in the hands of troops who practice it with 300+ days a year of in the field training, always on the same ground and with weapons just as effective as the bluefor troops is sound. Hell I've seen those guys seemingly appear out of thin air. When opfor wins its usually a result of them first winning the recon battle. When the rotation units won that fight, the opfor had a rough day. When we lost it... AR or Steve whats the name of that main pass, it escapes me, IIC its by the Whale and there is a smaller pass to the side of it. IIRC 2nd Bgd 2AD didn't cover the smaller pass and that is how we got flanked on my final rotation through there December of 94.

Because yes, competent warfare with an OK doctrine smashes poorly handled troops with an excellent doctrine.

zraver
24 Mar 12,, 07:24
2000 era equipment with projected staffing levels from the 1980's and the imbalance in force is even greater. The US would have almost 100 B-2 bombers, more B-1's and b-52's. The Army would have more M1a2, the Comanche scout helo, the crusader SPH. At sea the sea wolf would reign supreme rivaled only by her sisters not sister.

The Soviet Red Army doesn't gain a damn thing. Their new kit is only comparable today because of French optics and thermal sights. In 2006 the vaunted Kornet e had a lower success rate than the Sagger did in 1973. In the air the mig 29 is a day fighter and the SU-27 which matches up well vs the F-15A is facing F-15C and E.

Most importantly is the fact that from 1992 to 2000 fully deployed GPS, pentium processors, fiber optic data lines and other technologies sparked a 2nd technological revolution in the US in just 20 years while the Soviets hadn't even caught up to the first one. Soviet radars in 1990 still used vacuum tubes. From a Soviet perspective the warp speed technological transformation of the West was a real life skynet and the US GI became their terminator. The Soviets were terrified that Brilliant pebbles aka Star Wars would event ake their nuclear shield from them.

A lot of people don't understand that the offensive posture of the Warsaw pact was to keep the invaders out of Russia. Underneath everything the Soviets did was a very real Russian paranoia that the Rodina would have a 4th major war fought insider of it in less than a 100 years.

Mihais
24 Mar 12,, 08:11
Some people do understand that,but it's the ole WP attacks the West through Fulda thread.

What could be funny is the reverse:NATO attacks East :cool:

Z,if I recall OPFOR at NTC is/was a mere regiment.Yes,I'm aware they get a lot of practice and they know almost everything about the terrain.They're still not a full tank army in your rear and that's what you'll get if any Soviet regiment or division is lucky or good.
As for interdicting the second or third echelon,RG was not destroyed under much favorable circumstances:no terrain cover,little to no AD in what it was a pursuit by the USAF.No doubt,the Soviets will take losses.But losses that delay them much or make them combat ineffective,I have serious doubts.We're not talking the 2000's,but the 70's-80's.

Officer of Engineers
24 Mar 12,, 08:38
I'm having a hard time imagining all this - well, for one thing, the battle management systems are so completely different. That our screens could act as battle managers is a whole new concept not thought of in the 70s-80s and that add a whole new dimension to the battle field. Things like the EXCALIBUR and the LAV-IIIs ability to direct the round where needed would make short work of entire opposing regiments.

But then, it is exactly these technologies that reduced the size of our forces. No one in North America nor Europe had a division size exercise in decades. Gone are brigade size deployments in favour of battle groups and where the Soviets dare not maintain less than company size garrisons, we had platoon houses in Afghanistan.

In short, this entire scenario makes no sense. To have the kind of technologies at our disposal in the 70s-80s with the same force size would make our forces at the time bloated, ineffective, and frankly running into each other.

However, to reduce the forces to a size capable of taking on Soviet Armies would leave one and only one way to do this - to attack straight into the Warsaw Pact and destroy the Warsaw Pact armies where they stand. To give the Soviets the offensive hand would leave us stretch. No matter how good we could be, we could not be at 2 places at once.

This scenario might as well be the Imperial Stormtroopers against the Klingons.

zraver
24 Mar 12,, 09:43
Some people do understand that,but it's the ole WP attacks the West through Fulda thread.

What could be funny is the reverse:NATO attacks East :cool:

Z,if I recall OPFOR at NTC is/was a mere regiment.Yes,I'm aware they get a lot of practice and they know almost everything about the terrain.They're still not a full tank army in your rear and that's what you'll get if any Soviet regiment or division is lucky or good.

They are a motor rifle regiment+ in terms on physical bodies, but they can be reconstituted as needed. They also have special forces support, air assault troops and other assets a "mere" Soviet motor rifle regiment does not. So its not just destroy X number of tanks and PC's and its miller time. IIRC right now the opfor unit was the 11th ACR The Black Horse. It is probably the finest group of mechanized warriors in the world. Even before the end of the Cold War if there was one unit that could have gone to NTC and taken stock of the then opfor unit and declared like Caesar, "Veni Vidi Vici" it would have been the 11th ACR which routinely spent close 300 days in the field while in Germany.

"Mere" is probably the worst word you could have picked. Skill wise these guys will run circles around any tank unit in the world from any time period. If there were martial Olympics these would be Americas mechanized dream team.


As for interdicting the second or third echelon,RG was not destroyed under much favorable circumstances:no terrain cover,little to no AD in what it was a pursuit by the USAF.No doubt,the Soviets will take losses.But losses that delay them much or make them combat ineffective,I have serious doubts.We're not talking the 2000's,but the 70's-80's.

First favorable to the RG not the US. Once your south of the rivers there are no natural barriers so the only option is the physical destruction of the combat power. That beign said the RG got creamed in both wars.

In Europe, blow the rail bridges across the Vistula, Oder etc however and an army full of tanks in Eastern Poland is about as powerful as a kid with a bb gun shooting at a brick wall. Sure you can ferry and pontoon the divisions across, but not the supplies, and not nearly as fast, probably 20x slower in fact. The object is not to destroy per se, but to attrit, delay and pin.

I don't have any numbers in front of me, but lets say there are 5 nexus bridges between the Soviet border with Poland and the Inter-German border. With those 5 bridges Soviet war needs are only 80% of capacity. Lose 1 bridge and now war needs are at the rail lines capacity, lose 2 and your now having to decide what to do without. Lose 3 and now things are bad, lose 4 and your getting hungry, lose all 5 and your defeated. The Soviets like all mechanized armies were rail bound. How ever many rail bridges it took to keep the troops moving forward, each loss would hurt. Despite the armor, despite the ability to drive over cars and through buildings tanks are fragile, they do not do well on long marches, they break down with alarming frequency. To many moving parts under too much stress. Its even worse for Soviet equipment which was maintained by 1/4 trained asiatic conscripts too stupid to dodge the draft or Russian or slavic rejects who fell all the way down the ladder from the GRE, SRF, VVS, PVO, navy etc and ended up as a non-officer or NCO slav on the front lines.

The idea of going after the rail bridges not the tanks was the mission of the F-111 and then the F-117. The stealth fighters primary target when it was developed was rail bridges. It was designed to get in, drop PGM's on the span and get out.

Remember the goals are 1- slow the pace of the follow on echelons so that reforger and French units can deploy, and so the US and Canadian forces in Central Germany can win their fight and wheel north in to the flank of the Soviet advance. 2- attrit the follow on units so they enter combat shaken and tired. Your not going to drive a T series tank from Warsaw to the North German plain and be fit to do anything but spend money on a chiropractor. Plus a road march that long will leave huge amounts of combat power on the side of the road. The only thing better than killing butt loads of enemy tanks is not having to fight them in the first place. There was also a discussion years ago that wiping out the WP forces with a WWI type slaughter would risk nuclear war so there is also the unspoken goal of trapping enough combat power in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union so that a credible conventional force remains for the Soviets to feel safe enough to avoid the nuclear option. If the Soviets ever really felt that NATO was about to invade and the Red Army could not stop them the war would go nuclear in a heart beat, Russia will never again suffer 50 million dead to German colonialism.

zraver
24 Mar 12,, 09:53
This scenario might as well be the Imperial Stormtroopers against the Klingons.

Storm troopers win, nothing in the Star Trek universe can compete with the Imperial class Star Destroyer. heck Vader's super star destroyer's turbo lasers were vaporizing square kilometers of iron and nickle asteroids with single shots. We are talking lasers with more concentrated energy than the core of thermonuclear explosion.

Star Wars ships are also faster, they can travel across a galaxy in weeks, while the ST ships take years to travel just one spiral arm. IIRC the official number was 25,000 star destroyers each with a division of storm troopers.

wellman
24 Mar 12,, 10:08
what would the navy be doing during this? particularly our aircraft carriers and battleships.

kato
24 Mar 12,, 10:19
No one in North America nor Europe had a division size exercise in decades.
Germany's last major exercise involved 15,000 soldiers (half in combat operations) and took place at division level. In 2010.

Corps level exercises last took place in the early 90s.

1979
24 Mar 12,, 10:37
I don't have any numbers in front of me, but lets say there are 5 nexus bridges between the Soviet border with Poland and the Inter-German border.
the Oder has ~ 50 bridges (1/3 of them rail ), if the scenario is 1970 i would simply nuke them , is a lot harder to rebuild them when wearing NBC suits.

Doktor
24 Mar 12,, 11:07
Bridges connect two banks of one river. If Soviets can't go or will be delayed, so will be NATO in counteroffensive.

I seriously doubt any commander would start such an operation without stocking enough supplies and troops to survive the delay from possible cutout.

I still have can't see if the SU starts this what would be the objectives? The gap alone, Germany, W. Europe? The farther they plan to go, the more troops in East Germany and Czechoslovakia will be placed.

If it is Fulda gap alone, I believe 3000 conventional missiles plus few MOABs would do the trick. Then what?

Officer of Engineers
24 Mar 12,, 12:30
Germany's last major exercise involved 15,000 soldiers (half in combat operations) and took place at division level. In 2010.

Corps level exercises last took place in the early 90s.I so stand corrected.

Officer of Engineers
24 Mar 12,, 12:37
Storm troopers win, nothing in the Star Trek universe can compete with the Imperial class Star Destroyer. heck Vader's super star destroyer's turbo lasers were vaporizing square kilometers of iron and nickle asteroids with single shots. We are talking lasers with more concentrated energy than the core of thermonuclear explosion.

Star Wars ships are also faster, they can travel across a galaxy in weeks, while the ST ships take years to travel just one spiral arm. IIRC the official number was 25,000 star destroyers each with a division of storm troopers.The Emperor's Best Legion got beaten by a bunch of teddy bears.

S2
24 Mar 12,, 12:39
Clancy's RED STORM RISING probably got the initial air war correct from the allied side. NATO would do everything possible in the initial hours of a Soviet assault to drop the Oder and Vistula bridges.

Each ground echelon commander from company up to army group had areas of influence and areas of interest defined in both space and time. Area of influence was further defined by the maximum range of your organic weapons (to include indirect fires and army aviation). Area of interest was defined by the maximum range of your detection capabilities. Seeing deep into your area of interest determined your ability to act decisively within your area of influence.

OTOH, I don't sense concurrence on what era is engaged. By even 1990, Soviet forces would face decisive overmatch both technically and tactically from the operational level downward. It'd been a non-starter simply given that era of equipment and relative levels of training.

In fact, by even 1985 the window had largely closed on a Soviet conventional assault of western Europe.

Officer of Engineers
24 Mar 12,, 12:50
In fact, by even 1985 the window had largely closed on a Soviet conventional assault of western Europe.Hell, by 1985, the Soviets had changed their battle plans. What they saw scared them. 50+ NATO divisions packed tight into the East-West German border with no defence-in-depth and a stated first nuclear use doctrine. Their battle plan was to retreat to the Polish-German border luring NATO into East Germany before beginning a massive counter-attack.

The actual war would look pretty stupid with both sides sitting on their side of border waiting for the other to attack - a you first strategy.

Albany Rifles
24 Mar 12,, 14:03
The US Navy would be fighting to keep the Atlantic sea bridge open. Lots of Soviet subs to deal with. Also the 6th Fleet is fighting in the Med against Black Seas fleet if it tries to sortie. US and British subs are launching Tomahawks and trying to sink all Soviet boomers and attack subs. Carriers are keeping the Backfires off of the merchant ships.

1979
24 Mar 12,, 16:34
the German second corps looks a bit over-tasked, if push comes to shove they would be fighting outnumbered 3 to 1 from the get go.
what exactly was expected from them ?

Officer of Engineers
24 Mar 12,, 16:43
They're on the defensive with built up defences and fall back positions and standard attacker-to-defence ratio is 3 to 1, so the fight is about even.

Blademaster
24 Mar 12,, 17:20
Hell, by 1985, the Soviets had changed their battle plans. What they saw scared them. 50+ NATO divisions packed tight into the East-West German border with no defence-in-depth and a stated first nuclear use doctrine. Their battle plan was to retreat to the Polish-German border luring NATO into East Germany before beginning a massive counter-attack.

The actual war would look pretty stupid with both sides sitting on their side of border waiting for the other to attack - a you first strategy.

Then it means that the Soviets and NATO are waiting for who wins on the North Atlantic ocean front. I surmise that the best bet is to take over Iceland and cut off all sea reinforcements and isolate Britain and mainland Europe from America. Once that happens, I am sure both parties would go back to the table and negotiate to a ceasefire with some concessions. If the Soviets doesn't manage to get Iceland, then the Soviets would be on a defensive posture and ceding the offensive momentum to NATO.

kato
24 Mar 12,, 18:07
the German second corps looks a bit over-tasked, if push comes to shove they would be fighting outnumbered 3 to 1 from the get go.
II (GE) Corps would have been reinforced in the West by II (FR) Corps, as well as VerfTrKdo 45. About six divisions total hunkering down behind a man-made river defense line.

1979
24 Mar 12,, 19:42
II (GE) Corps would have been reinforced in the West by II (FR) Corps, as well as VerfTrKdo 45. About six divisions total hunkering down behind a man-made river defense line.

which is where ? iirc the isn't any major river obstacle all the way to Nuremberg.

zraver
24 Mar 12,, 20:00
79


the Oder has ~ 50 bridges (1/3 of them rail ), if the scenario is 1970 i would simply nuke them , is a lot harder to rebuild them when wearing NBC suits.

A bridge isn't worth 50 million lives, a nuclear release is a nuclear release.


[QUOTE=Doktor;866630]Bridges connect two banks of one river. If Soviets can't go or will be delayed, so will be NATO in counteroffensive.

NATO didn't want to drive into and through Poland, non-starter.


I seriously doubt any commander would start such an operation without stocking enough supplies and troops to survive the delay from possible cutout.

Dok, below is why they say ameutuers study tactics and professionals study logistics.

In the 1970's the average Soviet tank division (TD) had 2300 major equipment items and 8,000 men and the motor rifle division (MRD) 2400 major items and 10,000 men. However due to call up periods most Soviet divisions would never be more than 75% trained and many were chronically short on manpower, probably deliberate. Most of the manpower shortages were in CSS and SS units which creates problems when the red wine flows for true.

Soviet div arty regiment :18 x152mm, 36x 122mm, 4x FROG launchers (16 total missiles), 6x BM-21, 12x BM-24 and 12x BM-14 MLRS total major item count 210. The rocket artillery (non-FROG) has 20 5mt cargo trucks with 5mt trailers for 100 tons of organic supply)

Divisional supplies on hand per doctrine 3-5 days of fuel and 2.5 days of ammo on the attack or 2 on the defensive. POL and ammunition stocks were kept pre-loaded on trucks. each tank division had 328,000 gallons of fuel on hand (508,000 with on board fuel. A motor rifle division had 297,000 gallons on hand (451,000 gallons with on board fuel). The tank division has 1375mt on ammunition loaded on trucks, the MRD has 1060mt.

Soviet Div AT 18x 100mm ATG with 70 total major items

Soviet regimental artillery 18x 120m mortar, 6x 122mm howitzer
Regimental AAA (infantry) 8x zsu-23-4 and 6x zpu-4
Regimental AAA (tank) 8x zsu-23-4, 4x zsu-57-2
Tank regiment 271-336 major items
Motor rifle regiment 309 to 345 major items
artillery regiment 207 major items
FROG battalion 26 major items
Engineer battalion 135 major items
AAA regiment 162 major items
recon battalion 60 major items
MLRS battalion 150 major items
Division motor transport 460+ major items

Do the math... Just the stuff already in Germany equals2400 vehicles with roughly 470,000 gallons of fuel and 1150 tons of ammo x 18 organic divisions and half a dozen divisions worth of supporting assets plus massive tac air forces. The ground forces alone need 11,280,000 gallons of fuel every 4 days. That is 35,000 tons of fuel every 4 days. In the same period they will also need 55,000 tons of ammunition if heavily engaged and 9000 tons of other supplies. Thats 99,000 tons of supplies every 4 days. Plus to keep manpower levels up you have to be shoving troops into the meet grinder- lets say 1 divisions a day. Each division needs 24000 tons of rail capacity to move its major items and organic supplies plus seating for 8-10,000 people. The 1000 or so aircraft in Germany need 2300 tons of fuel and 4600 tons of ammo per sortie so if they are doing 3 sorties a day they need 6900 tons of fuel and 13800 tons of ammunition per day. The combined total is over 270,000 tons of cargo every 4 days.

All of this has to be supplied and moved. If you push it all forward before the war you have two choices- great big dumps where a golden bb can cripple your entire war effort or lots of smaller dumps that dilute combat power and add friction. rail supply is the only way.

to give you an idea of scale...

The Soviet forces TOE

Note- typical army level support is an engineer brigade, SAM brigade, artillery brigade, SSM brigade, rocket regiment, pontoon regiment, recon battalion and spetsnaz battalion.

In Germany (GSFG)

12x TD, 7x MRD (with 20+ TD and 33+ MRD plus 10+ other divisions and 10= divisions worth of assets that can be sent)

8th GA- 2x TD 2x MRD, tank brigade, AT regiment plus support

1st GTA- 2x TD 1x MRD,

3rd shock- 4x TD

2nd GTA 1x TD, 3x MRD

20th GTA 3x TD, 1x MRD, tank brigade, AT regiment


WGF theater assets- artillery division, 2x SSM brigades, engineer brigade, 2x SAM brigade, SAM regiment, spetsnaz brigade, railway brigade, pontoon regiment.

WGF air assets- 24 fighter regiments, 16 fighter bomber regiments, 2 recon regiments

In Poland (NGF)

20th GTA 1x TD 1x MRD plus support,

NGF air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 6 fighter bomber regiments

In Czechoslovakia

4th GA 2x TD, 3x MRD, AT regiment plus support

CGF assets- 2x SSM bgd, 1x super heavy artillery bgd, engineer brigade, SAM brigade, SAM regiment,

CGF air assets 3x fighter bomber regiments

In Hungary (SGF)

9th GA- 2x TD, 2x MRD, AT regiment

SGF assets- super heavy artillery brigade, 2x SSM brigade, engineer brigade, SAM brigade.

SGF air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 3 fighter-bomber regiments, 1 recon regiment.

Lenningrad MD (NWTVD) (to Germany)

6th CAA- 1x cat A MRD, 4x cat B MRD

Vyborg Corps- 3x cat C MRD

Archangel Corps- 3x cat C MRD, cat A artillery division, cat B artillery division, cat A airborne division, spetsnaz naval brigade, cat A naval infantry brigade

NWTVD air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments.

Baltic MD (to Germany)

11th GA- 2x cat B TD, 1x cat B MRD, 1x cat C MRD

14th CAA- 1x cat b tank division, 4x cat C MRD, airborne division, 2x artillery division, naval infantry brigade, spetsnaz naval brigade

Baltic MD air assets- 6 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments, recon regiment

Belarus MD (to Germany)

5th GTA- 1x cat A TD, 3x cat B TD, 1x cat B MRD

7th GTA- 4x cat B TD, 1x cat B MRD

28th CAA- 2x cat b TD, 1x cat A MRD, 1x cat B MRD

1st unified corps- airborne division, 1x cat A artillery division, 1x cat b artillery division, 3x cat A tank brigades, motor rifle regiment, artillery brigade, AAA regiment

BRMD air assets- 6 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments

Moscow Military District-

1st GTA- 1x cat B TD, 3x cat A MRD

2nd GA- 1x cat B TD, 1x cat A MRD, 2x cat C MRD, airborne division, 1x cat A artillery division, 1x cat b artillery division

MMD air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments, 10 bomber regiments

and I am tired and don't feel like writing out the Carpathian, Kiev, Volga, Odessa, and Urals military districts


I still have can't see if the SU starts this what would be the objectives? The gap alone, Germany, W. Europe? The farther they plan to go, the more troops in East Germany and Czechoslovakia will be placed.

Western answer- to conqueror the free peoples of Europe.
Soviet answer- to crush the imperialist dogs and liberate the proletariat
Russian answer- to kill them before they kill us.


If it is Fulda gap alone, I believe 3000 conventional missiles plus few MOABs would do the trick. Then what?

You believe based on what?... 3000 missiles... SCUDS? max damage 12000m^2 or 12km^2 with no overlap and a perfectly square blast... lmao The Fulda gap is 116 km^2

zraver
24 Mar 12,, 20:03
Then it means that the Soviets and NATO are waiting for who wins on the North Atlantic ocean front. I surmise that the best bet is to take over Iceland and cut off all sea reinforcements and isolate Britain and mainland Europe from America. Once that happens, I am sure both parties would go back to the table and negotiate to a ceasefire with some concessions. If the Soviets doesn't manage to get Iceland, then the Soviets would be on a defensive posture and ceding the offensive momentum to NATO.

Close but no, neither side is waiting, the winner will be the one who can cut the others lines and keep their own open and either prevent or achieve a breakthrough with the forces they have and get.

kato
24 Mar 12,, 21:22
which is where ? iirc the isn't any major river obstacle all the way to Nuremberg.
The continuous river obstacle for II (GE) Corps is the Rhine-Main-Danube canal in the North, the Danube due east to Passau, and the Inn and Saalach rivers along the Austrian border. The canal between Nuremberg (north of there: parallel to Regnitz river) and Dietfurt (from there: Altmühl river to Danube connection at Kelheim) was specifically built with defense purposes in mind.

The entire area east of this line was a planned overrun area, and the two brigades stationed in that forward area (10th & 11th) without their heavy assets attached were intended as delay forces so the three brigade-level units stationed behind the obstacle could occupy their positions in order to allow for the buildup of the rest of II (GE) Corps behind them.

Nuremberg was the hinge between II (GE) Corps and VII (US/GE) Corps AoRs btw.

Doktor
24 Mar 12,, 23:31
Z,


NATO didn't want to drive into and through Poland, non-starter.

OK, so it will be the WP who will start it. Just wanted to make it clear.


Dok, below is why they say ameutuers study tactics and professionals study logistics.

In the 1970's the average Soviet tank division (TD) had 2300 major equipment items and 8,000 men and the motor rifle division (MRD) 2400 major items and 10,000 men. However due to call up periods most Soviet divisions would never be more than 75% trained and many were chronically short on manpower, probably deliberate. Most of the manpower shortages were in CSS and SS units which creates problems when the red wine flows for true.

Soviet div arty regiment :18 x152mm, 36x 122mm, 4x FROG launchers (16 total missiles), 6x BM-21, 12x BM-24 and 12x BM-14 MLRS total major item count 210. The rocket artillery (non-FROG) has 20 5mt cargo trucks with 5mt trailers for 100 tons of organic supply)

Divisional supplies on hand per doctrine 3-5 days of fuel and 2.5 days of ammo on the attack or 2 on the defensive. POL and ammunition stocks were kept pre-loaded on trucks. each tank division had 328,000 gallons of fuel on hand (508,000 with on board fuel. A motor rifle division had 297,000 gallons on hand (451,000 gallons with on board fuel). The tank division has 1375mt on ammunition loaded on trucks, the MRD has 1060mt.

Soviet Div AT 18x 100mm ATG with 70 total major items

Soviet regimental artillery 18x 120m mortar, 6x 122mm howitzer
Regimental AAA (infantry) 8x zsu-23-4 and 6x zpu-4
Regimental AAA (tank) 8x zsu-23-4, 4x zsu-57-2
Tank regiment 271-336 major items
Motor rifle regiment 309 to 345 major items
artillery regiment 207 major items
FROG battalion 26 major items
Engineer battalion 135 major items
AAA regiment 162 major items
recon battalion 60 major items
MLRS battalion 150 major items
Division motor transport 460+ major items

Do the math... Just the stuff already in Germany equals2400 vehicles with roughly 470,000 gallons of fuel and 1150 tons of ammo x 18 organic divisions and half a dozen divisions worth of supporting assets plus massive tac air forces. The ground forces alone need 11,280,000 gallons of fuel every 4 days. That is 35,000 tons of fuel every 4 days. In the same period they will also need 55,000 tons of ammunition if heavily engaged and 9000 tons of other supplies. Thats 99,000 tons of supplies every 4 days. Plus to keep manpower levels up you have to be shoving troops into the meet grinder- lets say 1 divisions a day. Each division needs 24000 tons of rail capacity to move its major items and organic supplies plus seating for 8-10,000 people. The 1000 or so aircraft in Germany need 2300 tons of fuel and 4600 tons of ammo per sortie so if they are doing 3 sorties a day they need 6900 tons of fuel and 13800 tons of ammunition per day. The combined total is over 270,000 tons of cargo every 4 days.

All of this has to be supplied and moved. If you push it all forward before the war you have two choices- great big dumps where a golden bb can cripple your entire war effort or lots of smaller dumps that dilute combat power and add friction. rail supply is the only way.

to give you an idea of scale...

The Soviet forces TOE

Note- typical army level support is an engineer brigade, SAM brigade, artillery brigade, SSM brigade, rocket regiment, pontoon regiment, recon battalion and spetsnaz battalion.

In Germany (GSFG)

12x TD, 7x MRD (with 20+ TD and 33+ MRD plus 10+ other divisions and 10= divisions worth of assets that can be sent)

8th GA- 2x TD 2x MRD, tank brigade, AT regiment plus support

1st GTA- 2x TD 1x MRD,

3rd shock- 4x TD

2nd GTA 1x TD, 3x MRD

20th GTA 3x TD, 1x MRD, tank brigade, AT regiment


WGF theater assets- artillery division, 2x SSM brigades, engineer brigade, 2x SAM brigade, SAM regiment, spetsnaz brigade, railway brigade, pontoon regiment.

WGF air assets- 24 fighter regiments, 16 fighter bomber regiments, 2 recon regiments

In Poland (NGF)

20th GTA 1x TD 1x MRD plus support,

NGF air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 6 fighter bomber regiments

In Czechoslovakia

4th GA 2x TD, 3x MRD, AT regiment plus support

CGF assets- 2x SSM bgd, 1x super heavy artillery bgd, engineer brigade, SAM brigade, SAM regiment,

CGF air assets 3x fighter bomber regiments

In Hungary (SGF)

9th GA- 2x TD, 2x MRD, AT regiment

SGF assets- super heavy artillery brigade, 2x SSM brigade, engineer brigade, SAM brigade.

SGF air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 3 fighter-bomber regiments, 1 recon regiment.

Lenningrad MD (NWTVD) (to Germany)

6th CAA- 1x cat A MRD, 4x cat B MRD

Vyborg Corps- 3x cat C MRD

Archangel Corps- 3x cat C MRD, cat A artillery division, cat B artillery division, cat A airborne division, spetsnaz naval brigade, cat A naval infantry brigade

NWTVD air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments.

Baltic MD (to Germany)

11th GA- 2x cat B TD, 1x cat B MRD, 1x cat C MRD

14th CAA- 1x cat b tank division, 4x cat C MRD, airborne division, 2x artillery division, naval infantry brigade, spetsnaz naval brigade

Baltic MD air assets- 6 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments, recon regiment

Belarus MD (to Germany)

5th GTA- 1x cat A TD, 3x cat B TD, 1x cat B MRD

7th GTA- 4x cat B TD, 1x cat B MRD

28th CAA- 2x cat b TD, 1x cat A MRD, 1x cat B MRD

1st unified corps- airborne division, 1x cat A artillery division, 1x cat b artillery division, 3x cat A tank brigades, motor rifle regiment, artillery brigade, AAA regiment

BRMD air assets- 6 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments

Moscow Military District-

1st GTA- 1x cat B TD, 3x cat A MRD

2nd GA- 1x cat B TD, 1x cat A MRD, 2x cat C MRD, airborne division, 1x cat A artillery division, 1x cat b artillery division

MMD air assets- 3 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments, 10 bomber regiments

and I am tired and don't feel like writing out the Carpathian, Kiev, Volga, Odessa, and Urals military districts
Thanks for your detailed answer, I'll need some time to convert and digest all those numbers.


Western answer- to conqueror the free peoples of Europe.
Soviet answer- to crush the imperialist dogs and liberate the proletariat
Russian answer- to kill them before they kill us.

I am no expert, nor I pretend I am, however if you believe WP can't stock that, I believe WP generals had the same issue. Based on what I can scratch from your numbers, a civilian amateur like me goes to the following question: Why on Earth NATO stationed so many troops there, 60% wouldn't be enough of deterrence, especially armed with nukes?

According to your statement NATO wont kill the Russians simply as they have to go through EG and Poland first, and they are not going there, right?



You believe based on what?... 3000 missiles... SCUDS? max damage 12000m^2 or 12km^2 with no overlap and a perfectly square blast... lmao The Fulda gap is 116 km^2
3000 was a figure of top of the head, make them 10 or 20,000 if you feel better, Soviets had those. Fulda gap can be 116km2, but you don't have 1 soldier stationed on ever m2. The idea is to oversaturate the bases.

zraver
25 Mar 12,, 02:02
Z,

OK, so it will be the WP who will start it. Just wanted to make it clear.


Thanks for your detailed answer, I'll need some time to convert and digest all those numbers.

Those numbers are only part of the story BTW. In 1975 NATO is a joke. The US army is in shambles and using obsolete equipment and the allies the Us supplies are using even older kit. Only the UK modernized on time. Because the US Amy is in shambles the best reserves in NATO are French and no one knows if they will fight for Germany.

The only bright spots are in the air the F-111 with laser guided bombs and TV guided missiles offers a way to do in a raid with a few planes what took multiple raids using hundreds of aircraft in WWII. Bridge dropping deep in Eastern Europe is the only way that NATO can possibly win. The West German government has forced NATO to fight forward so the normal freedom of movement the high level of mechanization would provide is wasted. There is a real threat as well that any Soviet breakthroughs will lead to rapid envelopment. This is especially true in the North where the terrain favors mobile warfare.


I am no expert, nor I pretend I am, however if you believe WP can't stock that, I believe WP generals had the same issue. Based on what I can scratch from your numbers, a civilian amateur like me goes to the following question: Why on Earth NATO stationed so many troops there, 60% wouldn't be enough of deterrence, especially armed with nukes?

see above, NATO could have won defensively with fewer troops if they had military freedom, they didn't. West Germany wasn't a big enough battle space to start with and political decisions made NATO plan to fight the war at the frontier. Defending forward risks rapid envelopment of units before they ever get to fire a shot.


According to your statement NATO wont kill the Russians simply as they have to go through EG and Poland first, and they are not going there, right?

Huh?

Air Land Battle in the context of NATO v WP seeks to fight a battle of limited annihilation. If NATO can last longer than the GSFG, get at least some US reforger or French help and cut the rail lines in Eastern Germany and Poland the war might be able to won defensively. However, there are still going to be huge numbers of dead. cutting the rail lines in the Soviet rear shapes the ground battle NATO actually has to fight, instead of 100 divisions worth of enemy, the contest is against 30-50 divisions. Only having to face 1/3 to 1/2 of your enemies combat power is a big advantage.

S2
25 Mar 12,, 05:03
Even if not stopped altogether, the idea is to separate the echelons of Soviet forces into manageable and digestable entities. This is achieved by disrupting the tempo of attack by impeding the flow of follow-on forces to the front. Defeat in detail is the result. Reducing the opposing force absolutely from 100 to 30-50 divisions cannot be guaranteed. Altering the tempo so that units perhaps arrive late and piecemeal carries a higher probability.

zraver
25 Mar 12,, 08:51
Even if not stopped altogether, the idea is to separate the echelons of Soviet forces into manageable and digestable entities. This is achieved by disrupting the tempo of attack by impeding the flow of follow-on forces to the front. Defeat in detail is the result. Reducing the opposing force absolutely from 100 to 30-50 divisions cannot be guaranteed. Altering the tempo so that units perhaps arrive late and piecemeal carries a higher probability.

The end result is the nearly the same thing but they are different if complimentary missions. Breaking the echelons up is IIRC a corps/Army level mission from 40-200ish kilometers. In the time frame we are talking 1975 that is Phantom and Thud missions. Stopping the transfer of forces west from Poland and the USSR is a theater level mission tasked to the F-111's of SAC. The Soviets were not going to reenforce defeat and throw away the Cat B divisions if the Cat A's and pact divisions failed to make a penetration and American troops were arriving in force. They would need them defensively until the Cat C's spun up. NATO had to beat the GSFG and the immediate Cat A divisions and WP divisions that could be sent from NGF, CGF, SGF, east Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia before the war started. I just did a count including the WP allies and the total is 67 organic divisions west of the Soviet border which is slightly more than double NATO's strength. That number jumps 93 with Cat A and B units east of the Soviet border compared to 46 max NATO. If France drops out or the Soviet subs cut the reforger lifeline the NATO number drops to dangerous levels

If NATO failed and there was a major Soviet penetration, in particular in Northag then the Cat B's become a serious problem.

Also WP OOB (34 organic divisions)

10x TD, 21x MRD, artillery division, airborne division, naval infantry division

East Germany
2x TD, 7x MRD, 12 border guard regiments, 2x SSM brigades, 1 SAM Brigade, 7 SAM regiments, 5 engineer regiments, 2x motor rifle regiments, 6 fighter regiments, 2 fighter bomber regiments, 1 recon regiment.

Poland
2x cat A TD, 2x Cat B TD, 3x cat A MRD, 3x cat B MRD, 3x Cat C MRD, 2x reserve MRD, airborne division, naval infantry division, 3 AT regiments, 2 Engineer brigades, 3 artillery brigades, 3 SAM Brigades, 3x SSM brigades, 10 AAA regiments, 9 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments, 2 recon regiments.

Czechoslovakia
4x TD, 2x reserve TD, 5x MRD, artillery division, 2x SSM brigade, 2x engineer brigade, 2x SAM brigade, 3x SAM brigade, 2x AT regiment, airborne regiment, 6 fighter regiments, 4 fighter bomber regiments, 2 recon regiments.

Complete pre-war WP strength of Soviet Cat A west of the Soviet border (except airborne) and the EG, Pol and cz is 67 organic divisions
TD- 27
MRD- 34
artillery- 1
airborne-3
naval infantry- 2

East of the Soviet border in the western military districts there are 25 follow on Cat A and B divisions plus 2 artillery divisions and 13-20 Cat C divisions.

NATO OOB (major ground and air combat units only)

peacetime- 32 organic divisions
max immediate war time- 46

On mainland Europe
18x tank divisions (11 if France stays out) max with France in and US and UK reinforcement- 21
14 infantry divisions (10 if France stays out) max with France in and US and UK reinforcement- 18
1 mountain division (the German Geibergs div is really a panzer division) (0 if France stays out)
1 airborne division (0 id France stays out) max with France in and US and UK reinforcement- 4
1 naval infantry (0 if France stays out) max with France in and US and UK reinforcement- 2

USAE 2x armor div, 2x mech inf div, 1x armor brigade, 2x mech inf brigade, 1x airborne brigade, 4x artillery brigade, 9x tactical fighter wings.

US reforger quick push 1 2/3 armored divisions, 3 2/3rds mech inf divisions, 2 airborne divisions, marine division

UK (BAOR) 3x armored divisions, artillery division, infantry brigade, 9 fighter squadrons (+8 UK), 5 fighter bomber squadrons (+8 UK), 1 recon squadron

UK home army- 1 armored division, 1 infantry division, 3 infantry brigades

Germany (non territorials)
6x panzer division, 4 panzer grenadier divisions, Berlin security division, 2 airborne brigades, 17 fighter squadrons, fighter bomber squadrons, 4 recon squadrons.

Germany (territorials)
1 mechanized brigades, 1 infantry brigade, 14 infantry regiments (Brigades are normally 1 panzer, 2 motorized and 1 artillery battalions)

Belgium
2x infantry divisions, 1x light armor/cavalry regiment, 6 fighter squadrons, 2 fighter bomber squadrons

Canada
1 infantry division, mechanized brigade, 3 fighter squadrons

Denmark
2 mech divisions, 7 reserve brigades, 6 fighter squadrons

France
7x armored divisions, 2x mech divisions, 1x airborne division 1x naval infantry division, 1x mountain division, 1x foreign legion 24 fighter squadrons, 10x fighter bomber squadrons

Holland
3x infantry divisions, 8x fighter bomber squadrons, 1x recon squadron

Mihais
25 Mar 12,, 09:40
I've read similar lists quite often.The problem with accounting is that they show only correlation of numbers,not of forces.For example,French divisions were smaller,IIRC.Then there's quality, the intangibles etc...

Z,as you know,the Soviet engineers were very good at what they did.Stroibat's may have been the worst place in the Soviet army,manned by the dumbest of the dumb,but they don't have to be smart to repair bridges or make new ones.Obviously,USAF thought it was a feasible mission to get there,but we're talking getting through Soviet and EG airforces and AD first,in the 70's.The question may not be ''if'',but the question is certainly ''when''.The most relevant example in this case and age,the Israeli AF at Suez in 73 shows a rather uncomfortable attrition rate and a not so great result.And in this age,the Israelis getting physically in the Egyptian depth proved to work and it's exactly what Soviet deep operations strived to achieve.Getting the effects in the enemy rear,which is what NATO sought, may have worked or may have not,but I found dubious the idea that it may have worked in due time.

My reading on the subject is certainly not that of the plethora of Cold Warriors here and their experience is rather alien.What I'm trying to do is use their experience and knowledge,but also not be trapped by what the doctrine of 30 years ago said.

Now,as a curiosity,did you veterans planned to survive a Soviet artillery barrage?:biggrin:

1979
25 Mar 12,, 09:56
Mihais if WW3 comes along the maintenance of LOC was the responsibly of the host/transit nation , that includes nation wide assets not soviet construction battalions .

Doktor
25 Mar 12,, 10:00
Mihais,

The toys are newer in this scenario, the armyy sizes are from that period.

1979
25 Mar 12,, 10:53
Poland
2x cat A TD, 2x Cat B TD, 3x cat A MRD, 3x cat B MRD, 3x Cat C MRD, 2x reserve MRD, airborne division, naval infantry division, 3 AT regiments, 2 Engineer brigades, 3 artillery brigades, 3 SAM Brigades, 3x SSM brigades, 10 AAA regiments, 9 fighter regiments, 3 fighter bomber regiments, 2 recon regiments.


poland deployement looks this way, the best units are the ones in the north, makes you wonder if they were earmarked for east germany or expecting a second Inchon...:)
http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/308/polandy.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/141/polandy.png/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

zraver
25 Mar 12,, 11:07
I've read similar lists quite often.The problem with accounting is that they show only correlation of numbers,not of forces.For example,French divisions were smaller,IIRC.Then there's quality, the intangibles etc...

Absolutely but divisions are the best rough rubric we have.


Z,as you know,the Soviet engineers were very good at what they did.Stroibat's may have been the worst place in the Soviet army,manned by the dumbest of the dumb,but they don't have to be smart to repair bridges or make new ones. [quote]

Your not going to throw up pontoon bridges for a train. By the 1970's the weight of trains had gone from hundreds of tons to thousands. The busiest Russian rail lines would do a train every 9 minutes during peak periods.

[quote]Obviously,USAF thought it was a feasible mission to get there,but we're talking getting through Soviet and EG airforces and AD first,in the 70's.The question may not be ''if'',but the question is certainly ''when''.The most relevant example in this case and age,the Israeli AF at Suez in 73 shows a rather uncomfortable attrition rate and a not so great result.

Wrong example for deep strikes on bridges. Israel was fighting inside of a layered but static AD net. The F-111's would not be facing that kind of density or sophistication. Also, once the Israeli's got the latest jamming gear from the Us and penetrated the Syrian net the Syrian effort collapsed and the Egyptians came out from under their net to try and save them and got mauled in turn. So to say the effort was a not so great result is untrue.

In 1972 the US took on the most experienced ADA operators in the world and took them apart at the seams. Line Backer II used a combination of innovative tactics, electronic jamming, physical jamming, and physical suppression to completely bust the North Vietmanese defensive net. Hundreds of SAMs were fired and they only got 20 kills. Guns got 1, Migs got 3 more and mechanical problems claimed 3. Both F-111's were believed to have crashed due to a problem in the TFR


And in this age,the Israelis getting physically in the Egyptian depth proved to work and it's exactly what Soviet deep operations strived to achieve.Getting the effects in the enemy rear,which is what NATO sought, may have worked or may have not,but I found dubious the idea that it may have worked in due time.

Israel used her air force like Stukas, that is not the air force's main job in ALB. The close fight is mainly the realm of artillery and helicopters. The F-111 is the belle of the ball in 1975. in Vietnam the plane had a loss rate of 1 loss per 800 combat sorties. Each F-111 could carry 4 phantoms worth of bombs. The paveway LGB was the weapon plane finally sealed the fates of the Paul Doumer and Thanh Hoa bridges in Hanoi. from 1965- 1967 using hundreds of air craft the longest the US was able to knock the Doumer bridge out was 2 months. In 1972 with just two missions using just 16 aircraft total the new bombs knocked the bridge out for 9 months. They did this against a target defended by 85 SAM sites and 300 AAA guns

PGM's let the F-111's target the foundation abutments, super structure and support pillars not the easily repaired span and the damage is much harder to repair.


My reading on the subject is certainly not that of the plethora of Cold Warriors here and their experience is rather alien.What I'm trying to do is use their experience and knowledge,but also not be trapped by what the doctrine of 30 years ago said.

That doctrine was proven in two wars- ODS and Kosovo. In Kosovo there was the fringe benefit (in the setting of a WWIII in Europe) that the numerous dropped bridges not only blocked road and rail traffic but plugged up the Danube for months. So the dropped rail bridges also impact river traffic


Now,as a curiosity,did you veterans planned to survive a Soviet artillery barrage?:biggrin:

Yes, by not being there... That is one reason why the US began to stress winning the recon battle. The Soviets had an artillery hammer to bash our brains in, but if they can't see us they can't hit us. As a tanker if the Soviet security element got its ticket punched my odds of surviving would go way up. Soviet artillery was powerful and numerous but not expertly handled in a fluid situation. Artillery takes people good at math and those good at math in the Soviet Union got better jobs. As long as the battle stayed fluid and the Soviets were kept guessing as to where the MLR was Soviet artillery was much less effective.

Mihais
25 Mar 12,, 12:40
Z,I know about Thanh Hoa and I know the circumstances of the Israeli air attacks on Suez pontoon bridges.New ECM and EW equipment came later in the war,after the Syrians were already beaten by the IDF and the Egyptian reserves were mauled trying to save what was left of the Syrian army.Both arab air forces tried as little as possible to contest the air in the beggining.

Soviet air defense was integrated with a credible air force and the problem with the doctrine used in US wars is that it did not faced the same circumstances.The Iraqis and the Serbs stayed on a very passive defense.No air force to really stay and contest the air.I know its an oversimplification,but the problem is of timing.Yes,I agree that given the time,USAF would have demolished WP air forces and air defenses.But time is the one thing lacking in this scenario.

About Soviet artillery not being flexible enough,Afghan,Chechen (particularly the second one) and Georgian experiences show the reverse.Essentially they're the same men with the same equipment.Winning the recon battle works until it doesn't.That's why this bussiness is an art.However,that's another matter.

kato
25 Mar 12,, 14:00
or expecting a second Inchon...:)
Actually was planned by NATO up till the early 60s. See NATO maneuver HOLD FAST and similar ones at the time.

S2
25 Mar 12,, 18:33
This scenario is not well-defined.

There've been too many discussions (some here) already regarding force capabilities of that era. Most conclude, reasonably, immense NATO vulnerability until about 1980 with that window closed by about 1985 and NATO dominance by 1990.

zraver
25 Mar 12,, 23:24
Z,I know about Thanh Hoa and I know the circumstances of the Israeli air attacks on Suez pontoon bridges.New ECM and EW equipment came later in the war,after the Syrians were already beaten by the IDF and the Egyptian reserves were mauled trying to save what was left of the Syrian army.Both arab air forces tried as little as possible to contest the air in the beggining.

The US already had that ECM... The point I am making is that the US had experience tackling layered combat experienced air defense nets to take out critical pin point targets


Soviet air defense was integrated with a credible air force and the problem with the doctrine used in US wars is that it did not faced the same circumstances.The Iraqis and the Serbs stayed on a very passive defense.No air force to really stay and contest the air.I know its an oversimplification,but the problem is of timing.Yes,I agree that given the time,USAF would have demolished WP air forces and air defenses.But time is the one thing lacking in this scenario.

Wrong, the Iraqis had an air defense net superior to what the Soviets would have had on the offensive. Iraqi tactical nets were linked via fiber optic cables and immune to jamming.


About Soviet artillery not being flexible enough,Afghan,Chechen (particularly the second one) and Georgian experiences show the reverse.Essentially they're the same men with the same equipment.Winning the recon battle works until it doesn't.That's why this bussiness is an art.However,that's another matter.

No its not the same men, the same men would have been the ones who fought the first chechen war. They were Soviet trained and led by Soviet trained officers and they were bumbling to say the least. Soviet artillery in Afghanistan was not agile and not to scale, was not subject to CBF and the Soviets had complete air dominance.

As for the recon battle, in a conventional force engagement who ever has control of the flow of information to both reduce the fog of war effects on their actions and increase them on the enemy will win all other things being equal. A commander who does not know whats going on cannot be proactive but must cede the initiative and be reactive. He doesn't now what his units are doing, what the enemy is doing or what type of support he needs from higher echelons to win the fight.

War is also more than an art, it is also a science. A competent commander well schooled in the science of war and given a competent force for the mission will more than likely beat the master commander with a less than competent force for the mission. Montgomery was at best competent in corps sized engagements. Rommel was arguably one of the finest division and corps commanders of the war. It was Rommel who lost North Africa becuase the force he had, no matter how skilled and how superbly equipped was the wrong force to win (too small).

As S-2 says below, by 85 the window was closed and by 1990 NATO enjoyed conventional mastery. This was not just due to technology but to a rethinking of doctrine and how war would be fought. NTC at Ft Irwin plus the reforger excercises and other field time gave the US Army the chance to practice combat and to practice operating at a combat pace. For the troops this made them veteran without ever seeing combat. For the commanders, the army got to see who like had it, and who obviously didn't. Put the US troops in M60 Pattons and re-fight 73 Easting the result will be the same. The Republican Guard was well trained and had more experience than the panzertrupppen who rolled in Russia in 41. The problem was they were trained for and had fought in a type of war the US had no intentions of fighting. The US fresh from a decade of training sliced in to the best troops Saddam had and ripped them apart not just through fire, but through movement and shock. It demonstrated clearly that the science of war- the careful deliberate study of the facets that go into victory was at least as important as the art.

zraver
26 Mar 12,, 00:13
This scenario is not well-defined.

There've been too many discussions (some here) already regarding force capabilities of that era. Most conclude, reasonably, immense NATO vulnerability until about 1980 with that window closed by about 1985 and NATO dominance by 1990.

Yup, since I've already done the ground forces, now i'll do thumbnail sketches of the air and sea balance of power.

In 1975 not only were the NATO armies weak but the contest at sea and in the air was much less unbalanced in favor of NATO. Although admittedly NATO still had an impressive lead in SSN and carriers at sea and an edge in doctrine, pilot quality and BVR combat in the air.

In 1975 the Soviet navy had 372 submarines, 1 light carrier/missile cruiser, 1 helicopter carrier, 19 heavy cruisers, 36 guided missile destroyers, 36 destroyers, 10 ASW frigates and 100 corvettes. Of that force the 40 SSGN and 25 SSG's were the big threat to the Atlantic and they were protected by 40 SSN's and supported by the TU-95 Bear which provided recon information and added some missiles to the threat mix.

The US is just introducing the F-14 Tom Cat and only the Enterprise has fully exchanged her Phantoms for the F-14. The Phantom while impressive has a lot harder job to do keeping the Tu-95's away than the Tomcat. The British are using a rolls royce powered phantom on their carriers and the French are using the F-8 Crusader.

In the air the F-4 Phantom is the NATO workhorse aided by the Lightning and Mirage F1 and III. The Soviets are in the middle of a massive re-armament inducing large numbers of Mig 23 and 25 fighters. These new fighters mean that NATO is no longer the only one with BVR capability. The recon version of the Mig 25 are also immune to NATO interception giving the Soviets one advantage NATO can't counter. The Soviet bomber force of SU-7 and 17 fighter bombers for the tactical role and the TU-22 Blinder for penetration raids are a nightmare for NATO becuase of their high speed cutting down warning times. This is even more true in 1975 as the E-3 Sentry is still a year away from its first flight and the USAF EC-121's are not in Europe leaving NATO only ground based radars.

Red Team
26 Mar 12,, 03:13
Would it be likely for the Soviet Union to attempt putting pressure on US assets in the Pacific after the attack into Western Germany? I would expect the Soviets to lobby for some help from its Communist subordinates like China and Vietnam to tie down the US (especially the Navy) in the region to create breathing room for themselves.

zraver
26 Mar 12,, 03:41
Would it be likely for the Soviet Union to attempt putting pressure on US assets in the Pacific after the attack into Western Germany? I would expect the Soviets to lobby for some help from its Communist subordinates like China and Vietnam to tie down the US (especially the Navy) in the region to create breathing room for themselves.

More likely the US would be hoping for for help from China. North Korea might jump to take advatage of the fact that the UN wouldn't have anyone to send the South Koreans. Vietnam was fought out. Also in Asia the Soviets only had 1 client- North Korea. The Sino-Soviet split in the late 60's moved China into the US orbit and Vietnam was the Yugoslavia of the Pacific.

kato
02 Apr 12,, 18:52
There've been too many discussions (some here) already regarding force capabilities of that era. Most conclude, reasonably, immense NATO vulnerability until about 1980 with that window closed by about 1985 and NATO dominance by 1990.
Although to a large extent this is not owed so much to weapons capability, which was often just a one-for-one modernization (and not a particularly effective one) - but to the increased fielding of combat units in that time frame. The number of brigade-sized unit slated for the defense of Germany went up from something like 85 in 1980 to about 135 in 1985 - that's a huge expansion. By '89 NATO-Europe alone would have fielded something like 3.5 million soldiers, with a full doubling in wartime.

Doktor
02 Apr 12,, 19:12
More likely the US would be hoping for for help from China. North Korea might jump to take advatage of the fact that the UN wouldn't have anyone to send the South Koreans. Vietnam was fought out. Also in Asia the Soviets only had 1 client- North Korea. The Sino-Soviet split in the late 60's moved China into the US orbit and Vietnam was the Yugoslavia of the Pacific.
Some Arabs, Persians and Indians might want to take advantage of the situation huh?

Oh and some Sout Americans, too.

1979
02 Apr 12,, 19:30
Although to a large extent this is not owed so much to weapons capability, which was often just a one-for-one modernization (and not a particularly effective one) - but to the increased fielding of combat units in that time frame. The number of brigade-sized unit slated for the defense of Germany went up from something like 85 in 1980 to about 135 in 1985 - that's a huge expansion. By '89 NATO-Europe alone would have fielded something like 3.5 million soldiers, with a full doubling in wartime.

Is your territorial army included in those 3.5 millions ?

kato
02 Apr 12,, 21:11
Is your territorial army included in those 3.5 millions ?
It's a bit overstated actually. Real numbers below, for 1989.

WEU forces:
- Armies : ca 1,125,000 active, ca 2,000,000 reserve
- Navies : ca 225,000 active, ca 150,000 reserve
- Air Forces : ca 400,000 active, ca 295,000 reserve
- Paramilitary : ca 250,000 active, ca 135,000 reserve
Total : ca 2,000,000 active, ca 2,730,000 reserve

Non-WEU Southeast Flank (Turkey / Greece):
- Armies : 612,000 active, 1,180,000 reserve
- Navies : 78,500 active, 108,000 reserve
- Air Forces : 93,400 active, 105,000 reserve
- National Guard : 30,000 active, 120,000 reserve
Total: ca 814,000 active, ca 1,513,000 reserve

Non-WEU Northern Flank (Norway / Denmark):
- Armies : 38,400 active, 198,700 reserve
- Navies : 10,700 active, 33,600 reserve
- Air Forces : 16,000 active, 30,100 reserve
- Home Guards : 155,500 reserve
Total: ca 65,000 active, ca 418,000 reserve

Non-WEU Southwest Flank (Spain / Portugal):
- Armies : 245,000 active, 254,000 reserve
- Navies : 60,000 active, 82,000 reserve
- Air Forces : 45,000 active, 94,000 reserve
Total: ca 350,000 active, 430,000 reserve

Tl;dr
-> total : ca 3,230,000 active, ca 5,100,000 reserve -> ca 8,330,000 wartime mobilization.

(Army : 2,020,000 active, 3,630,000 reserve -> 5,650,000)
(Navy : 375,000 active, 375,000 reserve -> 750,000)
(Air Force : 555,000 active, 525,000 reserve -> 1,080,000)
(Paramilitary : 280,000 active, 420,000 reserve -> 700,000)

About 1.8 million of those 8.3 wartime mobilized would be the French Forces, German Territorial Army and Italian Carabinieri, all not under NATO command (like the French Gendarmerie the Italian Carabinieri shouldn't be underestimated - they had full combined-arms formations backed up with tank battalions and light artillery).

zraver
12 Apr 12,, 09:36
Some Arabs, Persians and Indians might want to take advantage of the situation huh?

Oh and some Sout Americans, too.

From 1980 to 88ish the Persians were busy fighting Iraq. The Arabs were still reeling from the defection of Jordan and Egypt and the collapse of oil prices. The Indians would be more concerned that Pakistan already fighting shadow war in Afghanistan against the Soviets might try something, but the Indians always think Pakistan is about to try something.

In Latin America the Nicaraguan's had some Soviet kit, but without Soviet supply what exactly are they going to do and where are they going to go? Cuba would be a nice radio intercept point for the Soviets, and a hell of a place to spend the war for the Bear D crews effectively interned there but its doubtful Castro would jump into a European War with so much of his army in Angola and so much of the Soviet fuel and largess Cuba needed no longer arriving.

The 80's were a very bad time for concentrated Soviet influence, while it seemed they were everywhere, they were penny packet sized pustules of a dying ideology. The Soviet's had gained Vietnam, which was instantly contained by China and its own imperialist war in Cambodia, but lost Egypt and the Suez and all hope of preventing a rapid seaborne shift of American naval power from West to West. While the carriers would of course be useful in the Atlantic, they would also provide very powerful oomph to any efforts to shore up Turkey in the face of Soviet pressure to open up the Dardanelles to allow the BS fleet to sortie. To make the loss of Egypt even worse the Soviet's made the mistake of siding with Ethiopia in the late 70's and this cost them Somalia. Then Ethiopia got hit with several waves of famine that cost the Soviet's that ally too, the result was the Gulf of Aden- the southern plug on the Suez was lost to the communist world.

Doktor
12 Apr 12,, 10:44
From 1980 to 88ish the Persians were busy fighting Iraq. The Arabs were still reeling from the defection of Jordan and Egypt and the collapse of oil prices. The Indians would be more concerned that Pakistan already fighting shadow war in Afghanistan against the Soviets might try something, but the Indians always think Pakistan is about to try something

In Latin America the Nicaraguan's had some Soviet kit, but without Soviet supply what exactly are they going to do and where are they going to go? Cuba would be a nice radio intercept point for the Soviets, and a hell of a place to spend the war for the Bear D crews effectively interned there but its doubtful Castro would jump into a European War with so much of his army in Angola and so much of the Soviet fuel and largess Cuba needed no longer arriving.

The 80's were a very bad time for concentrated Soviet influence, while it seemed they were everywhere, they were penny packet sized pustules of a dying ideology. The Soviet's had gained Vietnam, which was instantly contained by China and its own imperialist war in Cambodia, but lost Egypt and the Suez and all hope of preventing a rapid seaborne shift of American naval power from West to West. While the carriers would of course be useful in the Atlantic, they would also provide very powerful oomph to any efforts to shore up Turkey in the face of Soviet pressure to open up the Dardanelles to allow the BS fleet to sortie. To make the loss of Egypt even worse the Soviet's made the mistake of siding with Ethiopia in the late 70's and this cost them Somalia. Then Ethiopia got hit with several waves of famine that cost the Soviet's that ally too, the result was the Gulf of Aden- the southern plug on the Suez was lost to the communist world.

You seriously believe that in case of a war in Europe everything would be same?

zraver
12 Apr 12,, 11:38
You seriously believe that in case of a war in Europe everything would be same?

The weather doesn't care about war, the famine in Ethiopia isn't going away. The Soviets are not going to magically re-appear in a now hostile Somalia and Egypt is not going to abandon Camp David just for shits and giggles in the midst of WWIII as that would be an attack on the US. What exactly do you think Cuba and the Sandinistas can do? Bomb Florida? Big whoop the troops ships and planes for reforger are leaving from The East Coast not the Gulf Coast and Cuba can't reach them.

What is Vietnam going to do with a massive Chinese army on their border and their own army tied up in Cambodia? China and the US are allies against the Soviets. I guess India could do something but what? India leads the NAM and will do whats best for India and at the moment Pakistan is busy.

A further round up of Soviet allies- Syria is already at war with Israel in the Bekka Valley, Iraq is trying to figure out how to let go of the tiger's tail vis a vis Iran. Yugoslavia will likely declare neutrality and ask for NATO assurances and guarantees. Poland is unstable ground thanks to Solidarity but the Polish army will likely fight. East Germany and the Czechs are still solid but their militaries are not growing and modernizing let alone doing so at the NATO pace.

So what real world situations driven by uncontrollable factors do you think will simply vanish and create a pro-Soviet atmosphere?

Doktor
12 Apr 12,, 12:16
The weather doesn't care about war, the famine in Ethiopia isn't going away. The Soviets are not going to magically re-appear in a now hostile Somalia and Egypt is not going to abandon Camp David just for shits and giggles in the midst of WWIII as that would be an attack on the US. What exactly do you think Cuba and the Sandinistas can do? Bomb Florida? Big whoop the troops ships and planes for reforger are leaving from The East Coast not the Gulf Coast and Cuba can't reach them.

What is Vietnam going to do with a massive Chinese army on their border and their own army tied up in Cambodia? China and the US are allies against the Soviets. I guess India could do something but what? India leads the NAM and will do whats best for India and at the moment Pakistan is busy.

A further round up of Soviet allies- Syria is already at war with Israel in the Bekka Valley, Iraq is trying to figure out how to let go of the tiger's tail vis a vis Iran. Yugoslavia will likely declare neutrality and ask for NATO assurances and guarantees. Poland is unstable ground thanks to Solidarity but the Polish army will likely fight. East Germany and the Czechs are still solid but their militaries are not growing and modernizing let alone doing so at the NATO pace.

So what real world situations driven by uncontrollable factors do you think will simply vanish and create a pro-Soviet atmosphere?

I thought we are talking post-Nam, pre-Astan period, which would be before 1980, no?

zraver
12 Apr 12,, 12:27
I thought we are talking post-Nam, pre-Astan period, which would be before 1980, no?

I was talking 1980-89 period when the Soviet ability to impose a military solution was rapidly becoming history. In the early 70's the Soviets had the best shot but I've already detailed that. Once the teen fighters enter serial production things begin to go downhill fast for the Soviets. Vietnam cost the US army a modernization cycle, but the air force had to speed its cycle up. The modernizing air force combined with a small but rapidly growing lead in micro-electronics had already outclassed the Soviets in the air but by 1980 the F-15 was any question of Soviet parity a sad joke. When the USSR collapsed their best was equal to what the US had 20 years earlier. Not just in air frames either but in intelligence gathering and information management especially space based platforms. The US had switched from canister based spy says to digital allowing for longer missions, better resolution, less failure and faster response. At the same time the US was backing these systems up with the AWACS, JSTARS and RIVETS for local information gathering and control and also re-equipping with GPS which greatly aided stealth technology.

The net result by 1992 was a Soviet military thoroughly outclassed in technology, training, morale and leadership.

Doktor
12 Apr 12,, 12:39
OK, I was under impression we are talking 70's.

IDK about other countries, but you are right about Yugoslavia. I believe we'd stay neutral. Romania, too. In both periods.

1979
14 Apr 12,, 14:18
OK, I was under impression we are talking 70's.

IDK about other countries, but you are right about Yugoslavia. I believe we'd stay neutral. Romania, too. In both periods.

but what if the SU tell us to move out of the way or they would overrun us ?

Doktor
14 Apr 12,, 14:38
but what if the SU tell us to move out of the way or they would overrun us ?

Frankly, I don't know. Guess depends how they'd ask us to move away and how the West would asked not to ;)

I'd guess that Tito would say "no" to USSR. Again. Guess Ceausescu would be the same.

1979
14 Apr 12,, 14:55
practicably give them full control of LOC ( rail, road, airfields, bridges, tunnels ,etc )

Doktor
14 Apr 12,, 15:12
Well, you were in the WP, we were not.

1979
14 Apr 12,, 15:17
before 1968 we would have said yes.
after that no , not certain if they would consider the Bosporus straights that important to push us over , thou.

Mihais
14 Apr 12,, 17:41
No WP on our soil,under any circumstances.Fight if they cross the border.

In the context of a wider war,SU needs to move fast to win.And they had no way they could move fast over us and still arrive at the Turkish border combat ready.

1979
14 Apr 12,, 19:07
In the context of a wider war they can spare 40 nukes to get at the turkish border combat ready , assuming the turks still want to fight after that.

Mihais
14 Apr 12,, 19:15
One nuke goes,all nukes go.Nukes are quite limited tools in that sense.

1979
14 Apr 12,, 19:21
One nuke goes,all nukes go.Nukes are quite limited tools in that sense.

there was no nuclear umbrella hanging over us.

Officer of Engineers
14 Apr 12,, 20:13
One nuke goes,all nukes go.Nukes are quite limited tools in that sense.Does not relieve you of planning and mounting a defence even after a nuke strike.

S2
14 Apr 12,, 21:46
"Big whoop the troops ships and planes for reforger are leaving from The East Coast not the Gulf Coast and Cuba can't reach them."

III Corps would embark from Texas. Securing the Straits Of Florida from Cuban interdiction to facilitate that movement would be a critical task for the U.S.N. and USAF.

Albany Rifles
14 Apr 12,, 23:06
In the context of a wider war they can spare 40 nukes to get at the turkish border combat ready , assuming the turks still want to fight after that.

Well considering the Turks had artillery which would have been firing nuclear weapons from the US in return that may have been problematic.

We had dispersed artillery units which were custodians of nukes which would be fired by the Turks. My old boss was an
S3 for one of those battalions. He said it got interesting when Cyprus blew up and the Turks wanted the nukes to use against the Greeks!

1979
14 Apr 12,, 23:56
free fall bombs and honest johns do not constitute a first strike option.

kato
15 Apr 12,, 04:38
Flexible Response. You don't open up with MX and MM.

1979
15 Apr 12,, 07:41
Flexible Response. You don't open up with MX and MM.

most likely they are tripwires (ie cannot engage Turkey without engaging US military personnel as well )

btw I do not buy into the flexible response theory , it assumes escalation can be contained and i do not.

zraver
16 Apr 12,, 17:00
If the Soviets tried to nuke thier way across the Balkans to get to Turkey, Turkey would nuke them right back, people seem to forget that Turkey as a member of NATO is a NWS with its own control of American nuclear devices in time of war.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 17:11
Jason, it's a dual release. We would have been also tossing nukes across the Iron Curtain if the Turks get their release.

zraver
16 Apr 12,, 17:16
Jason, it's a dual release. We would have been also tossing nukes across the Iron Curtain if the Turks get their release.

I agree, but it was set up that way to prevent the Soviets from engaging in nuclear blackmail against non-NWS members of NATO. Canada, Germany and Turkey I know had/have US nukes.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 17:20
But it would not have been an isolated action. US nuclear release would be part of an overall operation and not just isolated to one front. In fact, if Turkey was allowed to toss nukes, ICBMs would have been already flying at that point.

kato
16 Apr 12,, 18:21
None of the NWS nations had custody of the nukes assigned to them. Any nuclear attack by these nations would be one initiated by the USA, and the USA alone.

The same goes for the other side of the Iron Curtain btw.

1979
16 Apr 12,, 19:02
If the Soviets tried to nuke thier way across the Balkans to get to Turkey, Turkey would nuke them right back, people seem to forget that Turkey as a member of NATO is a NWS with its own control of American nuclear devices in time of war.

But they do not have the fancy delivery systems, (no Pershing, no Lance), honest johns and artillery shells can reach 20 -30 km inside enemy territory and fighter bombers with free fall bombs have to punch trough enemy air defenses, which leads me to believe there were meant to be used on Turkish soil.

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 19:21
None of the NWS nations had custody of the nukes assigned to them. Any nuclear attack by these nations would be one initiated by the USA, and the USA alone.

The same goes for the other side of the Iron Curtain btw.In theory yes but what really was stopping those Germans F-4s and Canadian CF-104s from going on their merry way except orders?

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 19:31
But they do not have the fancy delivery systems, (no Pershing, no Lance), honest johns and artillery shells can reach 20 -30 km inside enemy territory and fighter bombers with free fall bombs have to punch trough enemy air defenses, which leads me to believe there were meant to be used on Turkish soil.Nukes are meant for assembly points and most of those are on WP soil.

Doktor
16 Apr 12,, 19:32
In theory yes but what really was stopping those Germans F-4s and Canadian CF-104s from going on their merry way except orders?

Ermmm... wasn't there dual key mode with one key in USA and the other in NATO country?

Officer of Engineers
16 Apr 12,, 19:40
The dual key is that the US controls the warheads and the allied country controls the delivery vehicles. American servicemen are the only ones who can armed the nukes to be delivered by allied delivery vehicles.

However, up until the late 70s, nukes were controlled by a physical key. The keys were kept at the base where the nukes were stored. When the nukes were mounted onto their delivery vehicles for an armed patrol, it was general practice to arm them.

kato
16 Apr 12,, 19:59
The keys were kept at the base where the nukes were stored.
However, in general nukes weren't kept at the same base as their delivery vehicles with the exception of the QRA-N deployments. "Armed Patrol" in the case of a German QRA-N meant that armed nukes were hanging from a F-104G (or later a Tornado) which was guarded by US soldiers, both aircraft and soldiers sitting in a shelter that was itself guarded by German soldiers. Same for e.g. German Nike Hercules batteries on nuclear alert.


In theory yes but what really was stopping those Germans F-4s and Canadian CF-104s from going on their merry way except orders?
The fact that German F-4s aren't nuke-capable :biggrin:

1979
16 Apr 12,, 20:11
Nukes are meant for assembly points and most of those are on WP soil.

I would prefer hiting the target with cruise missiles instead of taking on Warsaw pact air defenses with sabres or starfighters.

1979
16 Apr 12,, 20:14
However, in general nukes weren't kept at the same base as their delivery vehicles with the exception of the QRA-N deployments.


makes sense , that way you need to target both the nukes and the delivery means instead of taking them out with one blow.



The fact that German F-4s aren't nuke-capable :biggrin:
AFAIK they were not even wired to fire the aim -7 sparrow until after the cold war.

Doktor
16 Apr 12,, 20:16
makes sense , that way you need to target both the nukes and the delivery means instead of taking them out with one blow.

If you target only one of those and successfully destroy them, what would the enemy do with the other parts?

zraver
16 Apr 12,, 21:15
But they do not have the fancy delivery systems, (no Pershing, no Lance), honest johns and artillery shells can reach 20 -30 km inside enemy territory and fighter bombers with free fall bombs have to punch trough enemy air defenses, which leads me to believe there were meant to be used on Turkish soil.

They do not have them anymore, where were the Pershing and then Pershing II's located again?

1979
16 Apr 12,, 21:26
If you target only one of those and successfully destroy them, what would the enemy do with the other parts?

they can get more nukes from us stocks and the delivery could be assigned to other NATO aircraft.

1979
16 Apr 12,, 21:33
They do not have them anymore, where were the Pershing and then Pershing II's located again?

Germany ?

Native
16 Apr 12,, 23:29
Carriers are keeping the Backfires off of the merchant ships.

Backfire strikes were probably the only thing that really scared me....

kato
17 Apr 12,, 06:01
Italy and Turkey initially had Jupiters as long-range delivery systems. Until Cuba.

Officer of Engineers
17 Apr 12,, 06:05
However, in general nukes weren't kept at the same base as their delivery vehicles with the exception of the QRA-N deployments. "Armed Patrol" in the case of a German QRA-N meant that armed nukes were hanging from a F-104G (or later a Tornado) which was guarded by US soldiers, both aircraft and soldiers sitting in a shelter that was itself guarded by German soldiers. Same for e.g. German Nike Hercules batteries on nuclear alert.Ours were on the runway, ready to go.


The fact that German F-4s aren't nuke-capable :biggrin:Har-de-har-har

1979
17 Apr 12,, 09:53
Italy and Turkey initially had Jupiters as long-range delivery systems. Until Cuba.

The Jupiter like the Thor (which was based in England ) were stop gap measures until the US got a true silo based ICBM , the Titan I.