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What if Nixon Succeeded

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  • #46
    Anil your assumption about the US is dead wrong. In almost every direct confrontation of the Cold War it was the Soviets that backed down, not the US. That both sides preferred war by proxy only "mostly" kept them out of direct confrontation. Threatening or hitting the US mainland would be a very bad idea.... In fact the last person to do so ended his career as fish food.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Deltacamelately View Post
      Jason,

      Many striking differences -

      1. The terrain is very different.
      2. The Italian defence was extremely weak, lacked moral, had practically no mobile reserves and surrendered en-mass.
      3. Their forces failed to give any meaningful counter fire, gave away all weather and tactical info over the radio.
      4. The Germans along with arty fire, generously used poison gas, not possible in the current context.
      Sir, sorry I missed this. Absolutely, I was merely pointing out that breakthroughs had been achieved in such terrain.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by zraver View Post
        Anil your assumption about the US is dead wrong. In almost every direct confrontation of the Cold War it was the Soviets that backed down, not the US. That both sides preferred war by proxy only "mostly" kept them out of direct confrontation.
        The question still remains as to whether the alleged Soviet presence in the Bay of Bengal discouraged Nixon from giving the go-ahead to the Big-E to carry out whatever plans they had (and I refuse to believe that the US sent a CBG into a conflict zone without specific plans for intervention). The Russians will claim it did. Americans might say it was only supposed to be a bluff, which got called and the Russian presence had nothing to do with it. Personally, I wouldn't believe the American version in this case. Even though it might have been fairly easy for the Enterprise's battle group to sink the Soviet vessels had they intervened, the possibility of a direct confrontation with the Soviets would have weighed heavily in any cost benefit analysis done in Washington and might have precluded an intervention.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Firestorm View Post
          The question still remains as to whether the alleged Soviet presence in the Bay of Bengal discouraged Nixon from giving the go-ahead to the Big-E to carry out whatever plans they had (and I refuse to believe that the US sent a CBG into a conflict zone without specific plans for intervention). The Russians will claim it did. Americans might say it was only supposed to be a bluff, which got called and the Russian presence had nothing to do with it. Personally, I wouldn't believe the American version in this case. Even though it might have been fairly easy for the Enterprise's battle group to sink the Soviet vessels had they intervened, the possibility of a direct confrontation with the Soviets would have weighed heavily in any cost benefit analysis done in Washington and might have precluded an intervention.
          A single carrier arriving late isn't enough. When was the Big E ordered to the area, when did she arrive, what was here transit speed. East Pakistan collapsed so quickly that its easy to see why the US backed off, there was nothing left to save.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by zraver View Post
            A single carrier arriving late isn't enough. When was the Big E ordered to the area, when did she arrive, what was here transit speed. East Pakistan collapsed so quickly that its easy to see why the US backed off, there was nothing left to save.
            It wasn't a single carrier. There is a wiki article on Task Force 74 which mentions 10 ships including the Big-E, the USS Tripoli and an unnamed SSN. I'm not sure of the exact date that they arrived on station. Different sources cite different dates.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Firestorm View Post
              It wasn't a single carrier. There is a wiki article on Task Force 74 which mentions 10 ships including the Big-E, the USS Tripoli and an unnamed SSN. I'm not sure of the exact date that they arrived on station. Different sources cite different dates.
              That is a single carrier in terms of power projection. The helos on the Tripoli are almost certainly all transport versions as the Supercobra had just been introduced and was not yet universally deployed. The SSN doesn't have slcm's yet and the guided missile ships had very short legged a2a only missiles. That is not enough power projection by itself to stop India.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Firestorm View Post
                It wasn't a single carrier. There is a wiki article on Task Force 74 which mentions 10 ships including the Big-E, the USS Tripoli and an unnamed SSN. I'm not sure of the exact date that they arrived on station. Different sources cite different dates.
                The actual striking power resided with the single carrier. Everything else was support, even USS Tripoli.
                “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by zraver View Post
                  That is a single carrier in terms of power projection. The helos on the Tripoli are almost certainly all transport versions as the Supercobra had just been introduced and was not yet universally deployed. The SSN doesn't have slcm's yet and the guided missile ships had very short legged a2a only missiles. That is not enough power projection by itself to stop India.
                  Gah! Beat me to it!
                  “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                  ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                    Gah! Beat me to it!
                    tehehehe

                    Just enough American blood that if Nixon had moved earlier it would have forced India to back down or risk an unwinnable war with the US. Luckily for India Nixon wa s ore focused on Laos, Cambodia and of course the Vietnams.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by zraver View Post
                      That is a single carrier in terms of power projection. The helos on the Tripoli are almost certainly all transport versions as the Supercobra had just been introduced and was not yet universally deployed. The SSN doesn't have slcm's yet and the guided missile ships had very short legged a2a only missiles. That is not enough power projection by itself to stop India.
                      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                      The actual striking power resided with the single carrier. Everything else was support, even USS Tripoli.
                      It might not have been enough to wage war on the Indian mainland. But it was enough to cripple the Indian Navy's eastern fleet. The loss of several major assets including the Vikrant would have been unacceptable and it would have forced India to declare a ceasefire if that's what it took to stop the American attack.

                      If the Soviet presence theory is discounted, the other possibility is that the Nixon admin only cared for the survival of West Pakistan. East Pakistan's future in itself, didn't really matter. Once it became clear that India's goals did not go beyond the creation of Bangladesh, an intervention was no longer deemed necessary.

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                      • #56
                        All the concerned parties had legitimate concerns and limitations. However, they also suffered from serious misconceptions about the opponent's war plans and OPOBJs.

                        1. Let's be clear that inspite of the notion held by many in the PA and USA, India never had any ambitions in 1971, to dimantle the Pakistani Military.
                        2. Let's be clear that inspite of the notion held by many in India, the USA had no serious intent to get sucked into the Indo-Pak war, sort of fall of West Pakistan.
                        3. Let's also be clear that the USSR would stand by India only till B'Desh was liberated and that it was not going to get sucked into a war with the US beyond B'Desh.
                        4. Let's also be clear, considering US commitment around Vietnam AND Europe, the only potent fighting force it could bring to bear in such a war was the 82nd Airborne.
                        5. From Col Yu and Capt Lemontree's assessment, it is also clear that aside the mutual misconceptions and distrust, both sides never knew or calculated that -

                        1) India was a Nuclear Target for the US.
                        2) Diego Garcia and possible the Big-E was a IAF/IN Target.

                        Ultimately, I would concur with Jason and add, that it was miraculously good for both India and the US, that Nixon came up slow. History would've else, written our present very differently and probably with a lot of American and Indian blood.
                        sigpicAnd on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          tehehehe

                          Just enough American blood that if Nixon had moved earlier it would have forced India to back down or risk an unwinnable war with the US. Luckily for India Nixon wa s ore focused on Laos, Cambodia and of course the Vietnams.
                          How much earlier? The whole Indian incursion in Bangladesh lasted for what, 2 weeks?

                          As for the Chinese, they were smart to decline him as I guess they'd get stuck in Nepal in winter. Besides, what was in for them, but the Soviets on the North?
                          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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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by zraver View Post
                            In almost every direct confrontation of the Cold War it was the Soviets that backed down, not the US.
                            Why did they back down?

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by anil View Post
                              Why did they back down?
                              Coz poker is American game.
                              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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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                                Coz poker is American game.
                                That is no answer.

                                If they backed down albeit capability, what does that mean? What are they thinking?

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