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Thread: Cold War: Breach of the Fulda Gap Scenario

  1. #16
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    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_000...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.
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    Good understanding of the terrain at here (full of maps and images): Fulda Gap Page 2

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    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.
    J'ai en marre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    Hit every NATO division with 5 or 6 nukes per day every day,
    problem solved.
    Just in case?

    And then?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Just in case?

    And then?
    no, not just in case, instead of .
    J'ai en marre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    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.
    J'ai en marre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    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....
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    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.

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    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.

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    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.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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