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Thread: NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

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    NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

    Okay, alternative history scenario, It's 1973 tensions between the United States and Soviet Union sour over Vietnam and other places such as Africa, The United States threatens all out war against North Vietnam if the Soviet Union does not pull conventional military forces out of the lets say now communist Angola that they are using to spread their control over the rest of African countries, particularly the diamond rich ones. A Soviet hard-liner Politburo refuses to back down. The United States intensifies air operations against North Vietnam. Angolan communist forces with Soviet support commit raids into Botswana and the Congo. The Warsaw Pact central command gets orders to mobilize and prepare for possible war with NATO in Central Europe. The Soviet Shock Armies in the DDR are put on full alert. NATO get's satellite imagery showing Soviet Armored reserve forces moving through Poland. NATO responds with an alert of it's own. Okay excluding the use of ANY NBC weapons by BOTH sides, give me some possible outcomes and situation developements.

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    The Third World War: August 1985 by General Sir John Hackett

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    Red Army by Ralph Peters But what do you think would happen or how do you think the situation would unfold militarily and politically. I'm interested in hearing you'r opinion.

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    In 1973 it's really tough for NATO. The A-10 is not yet in service, the best US tank is the M-60A1, TOW is a brand new untested weapon, all US troops have at best the mediocre M-16A1, and the Russians have the T-72 in mass production.

    Change the date to 1983, and the opposite is true. The M-1 is in mass production, the A-10 fleet is at it's largest ever in USAF service, the F-15, F-14, F-18, and F-16 are in sqn. service, the USN has TLAM, Harpoon, the Iowa Class BBs,it's four pre VLS Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile destroyers, the NTU Kidd DDGs, and the LA 688 boats in fleet service.

    What a difference a decade makes.
    Last edited by Bill; 09 Apr 05, at 08:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    In 1973 it's really tough for NATO.
    We were still in love with nukes back then.

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    Yes, i know...but the author of this thread specifically said "No NBC".

    Given those conditions, the war would be extremely difficult for NATO to win. If the Russians were ever going to attack, the early 70s would've been the time.

    About the only thing the US really had going for it that would help in a high intensity Central European war was it's carrier fleet, the F-4E, and The AH-1 Cobra.

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    Yes but didn't the United States have superiority over the Soviet Union at sea? What about the B-52's? I think the best thing for NATO would be to let the Warsaw Pact gain ground and make strike them whenever they were sure to win. Not really a war of attrition but something along the lines of a large guerilla war. And pund their supply and comm lines with the B-52's.

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    The B-52s of that era had no non-nuclear standoff weapons. In order for them to be used in a direct overflight role the US would need complete air supremacy.

    That would've been a very difficult undertaking considering that the US top of the line fighter at the time was The F-4E Phantom armed with the substandard AIM-7C Sparrow missile.

    The USN in 1973 held complete and total dominance at sea though, and even the RN was a very powerful force at that time. In 1973, the Soviet navy was not a very capable force at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    Yes, i know...but the author of this thread specifically said "No NBC".

    Given those conditions, the war would be extremely difficult for NATO to win. If the Russians were ever going to attack, the early 70s would've been the time.

    About the only thing the US really had going for it that would help in a high intensity Central European war was it's carrier fleet, the F-4E, and The AH-1 Cobra.
    I cannot see it not going nuke from the get-go. All our weapons systems were nuke based or at least in support of nukes. The CF-101 VOODOO was armed with the GENIE nuke tipped AAM. The BORMAC was a nuke tip SAM. Even the HERCULES SAM batteries were nuke tipped. For something as simple as AD, a large portion of the weapons systems in place were nuke tipped. Aside from that, every division in the USArmy had tac nukes.

    Even from the Soviet side, they were planning nuke strikes also. Remember that in the early 70s, they had actively planned and prepared for a nuke strike and invasion into China, specifically towards the Lop Nor (China's Los Alamos).

    In fact, it was Reagan's build up that drastically reduced the need for nukes by both sides.

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    "I cannot see it not going nuke from the get-go."

    Agreed, but i'm trying to stay within the original authors postulated scenario.

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    We'll wouldn't the F-4 Phantom been able to maintain air superiority, they seemed to do pretty well against North Vietnamese Mig-21's. Althought I beleive the Soviets had the Flogger by then. Althought I'm not sure how it the Phantom would do against the Flogger.

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    Yes, the F-4E could be rightly expected to dominate the Mig-21 and Mig-23, however, the Soviets had MASSIVE amounts of Migs, so it got into a numbers game.

    That's why the F-15 and F-14 were designed with complete overmatch in mind, to deal with the vastly superior numbers the Soviets could field.

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    yes, if you were to look at a possible war between NATO and the WARSAW PACT in central europe it would probably be a high-intensity attrition style conflict, in which technically speaking the one with the greater numbers wins. Althought would NATO have been able to launch some tactical cruise missile strikes without nuke tipped warheads?

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    No, TLAM was not yet introduced at that time. Any tactical short range missiles we had in the 70s were nuke tipped.

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