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Thread: NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

  1. #31
    Regular Metak's Avatar
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    In the above illustration, a primary Soviet "blitz" through the Fulda Gap immediately confronts V Corps and the 3rd Armored Division.

    Let's say that the Soviets and Warsaw Pact decides to stop at the Rhine. It tells France it will not cross the Rhine if France does not make any "threatining" moves. It moves in engineer's to start building up a defense line on the bank of the Rhine. It sends the Czechoslovakians to wall of the southern flank and the East Germans to the Denmark border. I think the next best thing for the Soviet Union is to move throught to Italy and move through with the help of the Bulgarian's and Rumanians to take strategic positions in Greece.

  2. #32
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "Are the M-60A1s,Centurians, and Leopard 1A1s(at the time state of the art)in hull down defilade positions enough to deal with the overmatch killing power of the 125mm gun of the T-72?"

    Well the Chieftan during the Iran Iraq War showed an ability to take heat on hits with the 115mm gun and keep in action. It also had the best gun in NATO with that wonderful L-11 120mm rifled cannon. But it had mechanical problems. The 105mms on the M-60, Leo-1, Centurion and M-48A5 should be able to kill a T-72 but a T-72 should be able to kill them as well. Even a M-41 should be able to take out a T-55 but the converse is true as well.

    Also would France, Spain and Austria be taking part?

    France had a lighter force then most but still had good numbers of AMX-30s (with 105mm LP gun), AML-90s and some AMX-13s. This was also before ERA so Frances HEAT guns would be able to kill enemy armor, although be just as easy marks. Austria had the SK-105 TD which was an AMX-13 based tank with a LV 105mm gun.

    One area the WP had up was "manportable"/vehicle mounted AT systems. The M-72 was decent but had problems with guys not trained to use them, one needed a good deal of training on them to get them to work right. Pretty much NATO infantry units relied on RRs/bazookas like the M-67 (90mm), M-40 (105mm), M-2 (84mm), M-18 (57mm), M-20 (90mm). The Dragon did not enter NATO service until 1975. The German Cobra (pen 500mm) had problems in service with accuracy. The French SS-11 (pen 600mm) was decent but had accuracy issues as well.

    The excellent MILAN had already entered service I believe and could have killed any WP tank. The even better TOW had already seen service in Vietnam and is widely rumored to have seen service in the 1973 Arab Israeli war. Ground mounted TOW were rumored to have been used by the IDF that year againist Arab armor on the Golans.

    WP infantry had good anti armor systems like the RPG-7, SPG-9 (73mm), B-10 (82mm), B-11 (107mm) AT-3 which also could drop enemy tanks and were around in pretty big numbers.

    In the air lets not forget most MiG-23s were MiG-23MS models which were the MiG-23M airframe with MiG-21MF systems and weapons (the useless R-13). NATO had the excellent F-4D/E, Mirage III/5, Mirage F-1 (at the time it used M-III weapons). The WP had large numbers of gunless MiG-21PFs and increasing numbers of MiG-21MFs and NATO had F-104s and F-5As. One for one the NATO fighters were better armed and generally better but there would have been swarms of WP fighters.

    Most NATO infantrymen had 7.62mm battle rifles like the FN-FAL and G-3 while WP troops had AK-47 models.

    -----
    And what is happening in Asia as the 2nd Indochina was actually still going on? America was still sending in money to those nations, would they mney have been cut or upped? Many nations in that area were also fighting local communist groups as well. And then there is SK and NK. And of course the middle east and Israel....

  3. #33
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    "The M-72 was decent but had problems with guys not trained to use them, one needed a good deal of training on them to get them to work right."

    The problem with the early M-72 models was that when you pulled the launch tube open it would separate if you pulled too hard.

    That problem was not solved until the early 80s when the M-72A3 W/Coupler was introduced. That weapon was so simple an untrained monkey could use it effectively.

    But it wouldn't penetrate the frontal or side armor on an T-72 or T-64 unless you got lucky and hit a weakspot.

  4. #34
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    True. Hell with untrained guys it had problems with PT-76s.

    RRs would have most likely been the standard way for NATO infantry to try and kill tanks.

    But in 1973 there were not really that many T-72s to worry about I think. The best they would have around in the numbers the needed would be the T-62. I think the first one showed up in 1971 and mass building started in early 1974.
    Last edited by troung; 11 Apr 05, at 00:30.

  5. #35
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    I know that during the Classical period Sicily was the key to the control of the Mediteranian. Is this still the case given the advancement in tactics, strategy, equipment, and the like? If it is the case would it not be wise for the Soviets to dive straight into Italy (with enough forces to take Italy), take Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica fill it with anti-aircraft batteries, radars, aircraft, and ships and deny the Entire Eastern Meditarianian to Nato reinforcements from the Sea/Air?
    Last edited by Praxus; 11 Apr 05, at 00:33.

  6. #36
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    I suppose that control of Italy down to the 'heel' and 'toe', plus Sicily, would allow the WP to cut off Greece and Turkey. Then again, it seems to be both desirable and easier from the point of view of the WP to do Greece and Turkey first. Northern Italy via Austria might be quick, but driving all the way down to the 'toe' and across to Sicily wouldn't be that easy. Following the KISS principle, a direct attack from the Balkans and Caucasus would make more sense than an indirect approach via Italy. The real target in Italy is Northern Italy itself, with all of the industry etc.

  7. #37
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    It'd do more then that, it would stop NATO forces from launching Naval attacks against the reserves of Soviet forces.

    Another aspect that would be interesting to discuss, and thats the middle east. Would the Soviet Union invade Israel?

  8. #38
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    Hmm...the situation we're discussing is in 1973, meaning it could very well coinicide with the Yom Kippur War, meaning the Arabs are already attacking Israel. If the WP is already fighting NATO, there would be no diplomatic reason for them not to join in the assault on Israel (plus it would be doubtful if the US would have the resources to airlift supplies to Israel in this situation). However it would be impossible to keep it from going nuclear here because Israel would probably not be able to conventionally fend off an attack from the Arab League and the USSR.

  9. #39
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    I would think that capturing Greece and Turkey (including Crete and Cyprus) would be sufficient for defensive purposes. Driving into Italy from the North and all the way down the pennisula, plus Sicily and Sardinia would be pretty tough in the face of NATO sea and air advantages in the Western Med. They would obviously be nice to have, but hardly necessary for defense, and it would therefore be difficult to justify the effort on that basis. Seems like the WP would have to be looking for an offensive springboard to the West in order to justify the effort necessary.

    Regarding Israel, I don't see the WP taking on that 'project' themselves. They would probably encourage their Arab allies to do something, especially if Israel was cooperating with NATO in any material way.

  10. #40
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    Gentlemen,

    About the only sure thing that we know of was that the Soviets were prepared for a full scale war against China in the early 70s. Brezhnev had asked Nixon to support a Soviet armoured nuclear strike towards Lop Nor. The OPOBJ was to seize the Chinese Los Alamos itself. Thus, the Soviets were at least psychologically ill prepared for a war against NATO in 1973.

  11. #41
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    Let's take this a step further, say that we beat the Soviets back into Russia proper, what would be our next move? The conquest of the whole of the Soviet Union?
    Last edited by Praxus; 11 Apr 05, at 03:00.

  12. #42
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    That would lead to our own destruction. The USSR would still have plenty of ICBMs, nuclear armed submarines, and probably some bombers left over. A war of conquest could not happen unless we were sure all their nukes were destroyed, which we would have no way of doing. Its the SSBNs that we could definitly not be sure about. I imagine we would just try to get as many concessions out of the Soviets as possible. But their destruction, unless they at least partly consent to it, would be impossible.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZFBoxcar
    But their destruction, unless they at least partly consent to it, would be impossible.
    Agreed. The conquest of a fully armed nuclear power is suicide. Not gonna happen.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZFBoxcar
    That would lead to our own destruction. The USSR would still have plenty of ICBMs, nuclear armed submarines, and probably some bombers left over. A war of conquest could not happen unless we were sure all their nukes were destroyed, which we would have no way of doing. Its the SSBNs that we could definitly not be sure about. I imagine we would just try to get as many concessions out of the Soviets as possible. But their destruction, unless they at least partly consent to it, would be impossible.
    I thought we already established this is without nukes?

    Afterall if you want to be realistic about nukes, we would have lobbed em at each other at the Fulda Gap.

  15. #45
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    People, using the authors scenario we have to pretend there is no such thing as nukes.

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