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Thread: What if Nixon Succeeded

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    Military Professional Deltacamelately's Avatar
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    What if Nixon Succeeded

    Gentlemen, many of my course mates have discussed this and its indeed an intriguing scenario.

    What if Nixon was successful in convincing/coercing the Chinese to open the southern theatre with India in 1971, atleast 15 days before East Pakistan collapsed? How would that shape the course of the war? Would Bangladesh still come into existence?

    I would like your individual analysis on this.

    Regards,
    And on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    Gentlemen, many of my course mates have discussed this and its indeed an intriguing scenario.

    What if Nixon was successful in convincing/coercing the Chinese to open the southern theatre with India in 1971, atleast 15 days before East Pakistan collapsed? How would that shape the course of the war? Would Bangladesh still come into existence?

    I would like your individual analysis on this.

    Regards,
    An open invitation to the Soviet 58th Army into Lop Nor.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    An open invitation to the Soviet 58th Army into Lop Nor.
    Sir,aren't VDV divisions and Soviet AF in India enough?To heck with PakAF,the Russians,can level their air bases before they notice there's a war around.
    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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    In 1971-1973, the Soviets were on a hair trigger to march in Lop Nor. It would take time for both armies to re-orient themselves to the Indian Front. Heck, it would take the Chinese 38th and 39th Group Armies two weeks just to get there. So, without a major re-orientation, the Soviets would be poised to take Lop Nor against a weakened Chinese defence.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    But would they still want to move the 38&39 GA's knowing they'll face Soviet troops in India?The VDV is the strategic reserve and they had contingency plans for such a deployment.Does not affect Soviet troops in Far East or Central Asia,much.
    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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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Chinese and Pakistan in war with India, where one are US ally and the others will intervene on US push - where does this place the USN?
    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 Mihais View Post
    But would they still want to move the 38&39 GA's knowing they'll face Soviet troops in India?The VDV is the strategic reserve and they had contingency plans for such a deployment.Does not affect Soviet troops in Far East or Central Asia,much.
    The 38 and 39GAs are the only formations of note. Any other army would face defeat.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    So the real choice for the Chinese is if they lose Lop Nor to the 58th or die in India at the hands of the 100's series of Guards Abn Div's(plus the Indians and the Soviet AF).
    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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    Or both. Lop Nor without the 38 and 39 is a real tempting target for an army on a hair trigger.
    Chimo

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    I don't think the Soviets would send their troops and aircraft to India. They don't really need to. Their purpose is served by opening a second front against the Chinese (which is much easier since the Soviets already have their troops there), which would force the Chinese to withdraw from the southern theater. If they are able to capture Chinese territory in the bargain, that is a bonus. The Chinese knew this, so Nixon's attempt never really had a chance.

    The Major's question becomes more interesting if we assume that the Soviets aren't in the picture and concentrate on the southern theater. What would the Chinese do? Would they send their troops into East Pakistan to reinforce Niazi? The IAF did a number on East Pak airfields within two days of the war starting. So the Chinese would have had to rely on their own airfields for air support. Or would the Chinese start another front in Ladakh or Arunachal Pradesh forcing the IA into an untenable three-front war.?
    Last edited by Firestorm; 07 Feb 13, at 15:12.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    I don't think the Soviets would send their troops and aircraft to India. They don't really need to. Their purpose is served by opening a second front against the Chinese (which is much easier since the Soviets already have their troops there), which would force the Chinese to withdraw from the southern theater. If they are able to capture Chinese territory in the bargain, that is a bonus. The Chinese knew this, so Nixon's attempt never really had a chance.
    Soviet Abn's were put on alert.Officers were informed about a possible deployment to India.
    If the ex-Soviet Abn. Major who told me that lied,so do I.The man was fresh from the officers school at the time.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Soviet Abn's were put on alert.Officers were informed about a possible deployment to India.
    If the ex-Soviet Abn. Major who told me that lied,so do I.The man was fresh from the officers school at the time.
    Well I wasn't aware of this of course. It is surprising. Anyway, I edited my post to include a different scenario.

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    What could Nixon give Mao that would persuade the PLA to march south?

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    DOR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    What could Nixon give Mao that would persuade the PLA to march south?
    More to the point, why in the world would the US want China in a shooting war with India? There is no strategic national interest served by such action.

    However, I recognize that this is a "what if" scenario, not an alternative history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    More to the point, why in the world would the US want China in a shooting war with India? There is no strategic national interest served by such action.

    However, I recognize that this is a "what if" scenario, not an alternative history.
    This is 1971 we are talking about. US's interest was in preventing the breakup of their ally Pakistan into two parts. Nixon wanted to push China into attacking India so that India would lose the war and Pakistan would stay intact.

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