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Thread: NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

  1. #46
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    Troung, what was the name of that super long ranged Soviet arty piece?

    NATO had no MLRS in 73, and the Russians i believe had a significant artillery advantadge.

    Artillery is king of the battlefield for a reason...it kills the most people.

  2. #47
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    My understanding was the scenario was a 'conventional' battle (i.e. no use of nukes, for whatever reason) between WP and NATO in central Europe. No nuclear armed power is going to accept their own destruction without using their nukes. The USSR might have suffered the loss of their WP puppet regimes in Eastern Europe without risking a nuclear escalation, but once you hit the border, all bets are off. So, much as I postulated that the WP gets to the Rhine and then France plays the nuclear card - going the opposite direction NATO 'liberates' Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria - but then had better stop.

  3. #48
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    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.
    True, sorry, its just hard to separate from reality like that. Allright, with no nukes I still think conquering the whole Soviet Union would be reallllly hard. The USSR's SAM network was second to none, they already had a rationing system so moving to emergency war measures would probably not much of a stretch for them. They have experience with war time hardships and the people were heavily indoctrinated. Plus they would likely still have a lot of equipment left, although from my understanding Soviet doctrine is weak on defense...so maybe we'd have a chance. I don't know.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    People, using the authors scenario we have to pretend there is no such thing as nukes.
    Well, that's the problem. If there are no nukes, then the entire ORBAT and TOE on both sides would change dramatically. What would replace those HERCULES and BORMAC nuke tipped SAMs? What would the Canadians be flying and in what role if the CF-104 nuke strike platform did not exist? How many more US divisions would already be in Europe if tac nukes were not part of the TOE? Would there even be a REFORGER (ie, the US keeps EURCOM at full strength)?

    The alternative would be ok to have the nukes but not use them for this scenario. Well, then, would all those toys sit pretty, waiting to be destroyed? Or do we waste assets to protect them?

  5. #50
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    Nothing would replace them.

    Pretend that a total nuclear weapons ban was signed six months earlier, and all weapons were therefore destroyed.

    What you have left is what Metak wants to discuss.

    Seems reasonable enough to me.

  6. #51
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "Troung, what was the name of that super long ranged Soviet arty piece? NATO had no MLRS in 73, and the Russians i believe had a significant artillery advantadge. Artillery is king of the battlefield for a reason...it kills the most people."

    Yeah I had left out artillery. Russian artillery would probably have been king of the battlefield.

    They had the M-46 which had really won its spurs in Indochina. It fired a 73lb shell 27km with no RAP and 34km with RAP (not sure if the RAP was around in 1973). It could also conduct anti tank fire with a 73.6lb shell. Those would have been around in big numbers and were used for counter battery fire as well is BI missions hitting supply lines and so forth (the NVA used them to kill airbases). Kind of blows the range of our (NATO) towed guns and most SP guns out of the water. Of course it was towed and they never really SPed it.

    They also had the towed S-23 180mm gun with a range of 30km (43km with RAP) with a 185lb shell. It was used in artillery divisions at 12 per artillery division. A ***** to move but drops a big shell. The D-20 was not impressive it had a 96lb 152mm shell it fired 19km but they had big numbers of these towed guns.

    And there would have been scores of BM-21 (122mm) and BM-24 (240mm) MLRS systems. Mobile and good at blanketing enemy targets. The warhead on the BM-21 is 42lbs and the rocket wieghs 169lbs. The BM-24 rocket is 248lbs and the warhead is 103.4lbs. The BM-21 has a 20km range and the BM-24 has a 11km range. Combat has shown them to be very mobile and able to drop in lots of rockets fast and then move to avoid enemy fire. The Czechs had the RM-70 which was similar to the BM-21 but could reload much faster as it had a second volley on the vehicle ready to be quickly put in.

    And the Soviets had Frog battlefield rockets which lacked accucary but would have been flying around probably if nukes are banned to hit airbases. The SP SO-152 would have just been entering service and not around in big numbers. And the SO-122 was a year off. So we are talking towed guns minus the relative handful ASU-87s with the paratroopers which are more mobile TDs then SP guns.

    They also had scores of M-160 (160mm) and M-240 (240mm) heavy mortars. The M-160 shell wieghs about 90lbs and the M-240 shell wieghs about 220lbs. Good for mountian ops. Later on the M-240 got SPed and saw service in Afghanistan with a lazer guided shell.

    The counter to the MLRSs would have been German LARS rocket system (wheeled) which used a 110mm rocket to 14km.

    NATO would have had more SP artillery systems like the M-109 (155mm), M-52 (155mm), M-108 (105mm), Mk-61 (105mm), Mk F3 (155mm), M-110 (203mm), M-107 (175mm) and Abbot (105mm). Those had more mobility then the Soviet guns but many lacked much range all but the M-107 that is. The M-107 was a corps level gun with a 147lb shell that goes out to 32km. It was used by (within NATO) Greece, Turkey, Spain, UK, the USA, Germany and Italy.

    NATO had a good deal of towed guns like the M-115 (203mm/M-1 from WW-2), M-50 (155mm), M-114 (155mm), M-102 (105mm), M-101 (105mm), M-56 (105mm) and others. The UKs L-118 Light Gun (105mm) had just finished testing in 1973 and the first showed up in 1974. Not like a 105mm is a tide turner but still...

    ----

    As far as artillery and manpacked anti tank systems the Russians were really ahead. But how they would have been used by the Soviets I don't know but that could have been one hell or scary of an artillery strike on Germany. The Soviets also had AT-3s and AT-2s on BRDM-2s as wheeled AT systems.

    NATO did have better fighters in the air like the F-4D/E and Mirage III. Small arms who knows scores of AK-47s vs. 7.62mm battle rifles.

    -----

    Greece and Turkey were falling apart by this point and we had been slowing military equipment to the Greeks. This would have been one year before things exploded and they had a go at each other.

  7. #52
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    See why i asked you?

    LOL..thanx for the details cuz.

  8. #53
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    No problem... where else would I be able to rant on about non modern artillery

  9. #54
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    Another thing one must consider heavily is that in 1973 the US military had hundreds of thousands of combat veterans(literally millions if you include the reserves), and an elite hardened NCO and Officers corps. The Senior NCOs and Officers in 1973 had as many as three major wars under their belt...WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

    That makes a HUGE difference once the steel starts flying.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    Another thing one must consider heavily is that in 1973 the US military had hundreds of thousands of combat veterans(literally millions if you include the reserves), and an elite hardened NCO and Officers corps. The Senior NCOs and Officers in 1973 had as many as three major wars under their belt...WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

    That makes a HUGE difference once the steel starts flying.
    And 1000s of battle proven M113s :-)

    The US military was also sufferring from a morale problem vis-a-vi Vietnam (John Kerry). Don't know how much of an effect that would be. The NCO corps should be able to motiviate men in battle. They did in VN.

    However, recalling Khe Sanh, the air corridor was kept openned, as was Berlin (the Berlin Air Lift). So, even if the Soviets managed to isolate various units, would there be sufficient lift and air deliver ordnance to keep them viable and in the fight?

  11. #56
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    My question is what about Asia?

    The 2nd Indochina war was still going on. America was slowly cutting back funding. Would we have upped the funding for South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia if the USSR attacked NATO or canceled the funding? Hindsight 20/20 st Indochina fell anyway but in 1973 things would not have been so clear.

    We did have other allies down there and Soviet aggression could have made them more willing to go in. Thailand had just pulled back the UNITY battalions from Laos because we pulled out of Indochina. Indonesia had debated sending in troops to fight alongside the Cambodian government but canceled it and decided to train officers and special forces. I wonder if we would have pushed them both to go in along with the other pro America nations (Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia).

    Of course they would have to be reequipped to do so but we would not be able to do much other then cascade down really older equipment (F-86s, T-28s and such). Granted ASEAN (at the time Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore) was and still is totally toothless as a group (we are not talking NATO here).

    Then we have Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

    ----

    Back to Europe how ready for war would the USA have been after just finishing leaving Indochina?

  12. #57
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    We'd have probably pulled out of Vietnam ASAP to get those forces to Europe.

    Ready for war?

    Very.

    Ready for a war in C.Europe?

    That's what we're trying to determine here.

  13. #58
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "And 1000s of battle proven M113s :-)"

    Oh yeah we win no contest, it thick skin would be immune to enemy fire and spearhead the drive the Moscow by keeping off the roads. Hook up a M-40 and pow war is over...

    "However, recalling Khe Sanh, the air corridor was kept openned, as was Berlin (the Berlin Air Lift). So, even if the Soviets managed to isolate various units, would there be sufficient lift and air deliver ordnance to keep them viable and in the fight?"

    Khe Sanh was not faced with the AD around it the Soviets threw alongside its own divisions/armies not to mention there was no enemy airforce. Maybe An Loc would be a better example but still the Soviets if they cut some guys off would no doubt have their own planes around along with SAMs and AAA. Artillery would kill the airfields to land the planes really quick so high altitude dropping would be the only way possible.

    C-130s, C-160s, C-123s, C-47s, C-212s and such (doubt we would use the heavies to fly behind the lines) would be flying againist scores of ZSU-23-4s, ZSU-57-2s, S-60s, ZU-23-2s, SA-7s, SA-9s and SA-6s. That would be a lot to fly through with SEAD ability so rather low in 1973. But the VVS might be the bigger threat with regiments of planes flying around. They could keep things supplied with out the enemy aerial and SAM threat but with it things get iffy...

  14. #59
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    "We'd have probably pulled out of Vietnam ASAP to get those forces to Europe."

    Well by 1973 it was only really American money over there...

  15. #60
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    The US had a highly refined wild weasel strategy in 1973, that was conveniently also extensively combat tested.

    OTOH, the Soviets had no equivelant whatsoever back in the early 70s.

    The Hawk missile was a decent SAM...so it leads me to believe they'd probably suffer more from our SAMs than we would from theirs.

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