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History, Reference, Research, and GrogTalk => Military (and other) History => Topic started by: bayonetbrant on January 15, 2015, 02:29:15 PM

Title: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 15, 2015, 02:29:15 PM
so a few years ago, Swatter asked

Quote
Given a massive invasion of Germany in 1985, with both sides moderately prepared- what would have happened and why? Do the WP armies reach the Rhine in two weeks or less? Does the US commit to using tactical nukes if that happens? Please back up your assertions with solid reasoning.

and we got 15+ pages of solid discussion.

So let's ask again...

Russians roll West with their allies in tow.  What happens?
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: The Puss on January 15, 2015, 02:42:26 PM
hey Brant,
Just finished reading "The Zone" series by James Rouch and really enjoyed it. Am I too cynical to think that his vision of WWIII is possible?
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 15, 2015, 03:09:27 PM
Just finished reading "The Zone" series by James Rouch and really enjoyed it. Am I too cynical to think that his vision of WWIII is possible?

I haven't read it - can you give us a run-down?

ps - nice to see you back!

pps - you never told us how the trip to California went :)
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: mirth on January 15, 2015, 04:02:24 PM
In '85? It's Red Storm Rising. They make some progress early, but we gut them. And unlike RSR, the naval war isn't even close. We destroy them at sea.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: GDS_Starfury on January 15, 2015, 10:49:17 PM
I think its somewhere between Hackett and Clancy.  and at some point nukes go off somewhere.  hopefully it would just be at sea.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Staggerwing on January 16, 2015, 04:17:28 AM


Does anybody have a link to the regional OOBs for each side in 1985?

Also what other forces could be expected to be sent in-theater after hammerdrop plus 1 week?
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 16, 2015, 04:27:22 AM
Does anybody have a link to the regional OOBs for each side in 1985?

attached are NATO in '88
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Staggerwing on January 16, 2015, 04:38:19 AM
Cool. That'll give us something to chew on.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Airborne Rifles on January 16, 2015, 04:54:39 AM
I think people may be underestimating the Russians in 1985, especially on land. Their army hadn't been completely demoralized by Afghanistan and the collapse of the Soviet Union at that point. I think by 1989 their army was like ours had been in the mid-70s. There's a good trio of books about just this scenario that I just finished reading, The Red Effect, The Black Effect, and The Blue Effect, by Harvey Black. He does the tactical land combat much more in depth than Clancy or anyone else I've read. He focuses on the British, and the war ends in a limited tactical nuke exchange before cooler heads prevail. In his book NATO uses nukes first, which I think is unlikely, but the justification is that it is a response to convince the Russians to stop using chemical weapons. Good reads.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Uberhaus on January 28, 2015, 01:55:28 PM
In '85? It's Red Storm Rising. They make some progress early, but we gut them. And unlike RSR, the naval war isn't even close. We destroy them at sea.

Don't count your chickens...  http://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2010-06/navys-biggest-betrayal (http://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2010-06/navys-biggest-betrayal) 

The Walker spy ring wasn't broken up until midyear.  John Walker Sr.  was arrested May 20, then brother Arthur, and son John Jr.  Jerry Whitworth turned himself in on June 3.  Steps can be taken to ensure safety of communications after that but it takes considerable time (can't find anything solid on when encryption machines were changed).  It's kind of hard to use couriers for naval ops, especially regarding submarines.

So, Brant why did you choose 1985?  Was it because it was the "Year of the Spy"?

As an aside to the thread, naval espionage continues to this day.  Ashamed to say he's Canadian,  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/navy-spy-delisle-sentenced-to-20-years-in-prison-1.1129694 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/navy-spy-delisle-sentenced-to-20-years-in-prison-1.1129694)

Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 28, 2015, 02:03:30 PM
So, Brant why did you choose 1985?  Was it because it was the "Year of the Spy"?

Middle of the decade :)

Too much earlier, and you don't have M1s, M2/3s, or MLRS systems for the US.
Too much later and you have CFE treaties and the Helsinki accords that give nations the ability to inspect your "exercises" to ensure they're not a prelude to war.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: OJsDad on January 28, 2015, 06:34:01 PM
The F-117 was operational by that time.  Did the WP know it was operational at the time, and if so, could they do anything to stop them.  If not, how would they be used.  I would think the AF would have tried early on to take out the WP ground based air defenses first, thus making it easier for non-stealth aircraft to operate deep to disrupt supplies and follow on units.

Also, could the AF us tomahawks to neutralize WP airfields and possible destroy or damage WP AWACS aircraft while on the ground, ie the sub strike in RSR.

For the WP, could they neutralize Iceland, more specifically the SOSUS line.  If they could, then the NATO navies would be hard pressed. 
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: GDS_Starfury on January 28, 2015, 10:57:33 PM
at the time we had enough dedicated SEAD aircraft to press WP air defence.  117's would have been dropping bridges left and and right and screwing the commie time table.
by 1985-87 the WP would have been attacking into a well rehearsed killing ground on known territory, ATGM teams and phase lines the troops could recite in their dreams.  at the time Joe public had no idea what was what but in hindsight.....  20 years of Russian AFV production would have been trashed.  I cant even begin to list all of the weapons designed to saturate and crush a Soviet/WP advance into Western Europe and the mostly came online in the early 80s.  I'm not saying it would have been a cake walk but a 10-1 ratio across the board is reasonable.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: mirth on January 29, 2015, 07:44:31 AM
^Bingo. If it went nuke it would have been because the Sovs opted first to  use tac nukes or chems to make their objectives. In 85, NATO could have held on conventionally.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 29, 2015, 07:56:04 AM
There's other considerations, too...

Would the Soviets invade Iran with eyes on the Gulf?

Would they need to draw troops from the Sino-Soviet border to reinforce those forays, and if they did, would the Chi-Coms decide this would be a good opportunity to seize Siberia and/or central Asia?

If Chinese attention went that way, would India start something with China over disputed territory?

I know this is all outside of the original discussion boundaries (which only indicated a WP invasion of Western Europe), but all of this could easily domino into a nuclear war easily. There's more than just the Soviets to worry about lighting off a few bombs.

I'm in general agreement with regards to Western Europe otherwise. It would really depend on how well NATO could execute the naval war and sink Commie Boomers and interdict Backfire attacks. While we had pre-positioned equipment in Europe, a conventional war would need immediate reinforcement via heavy ship, which means convoys, which means possible Commie sub luckiness.

I loved the game NATO: The Next War in Europe and played it to death in the 80s. I almost always had the Soviets use chemical weapons - it just gave too much of an advantage with minimal risk, in-game at least. That could help even the odds somewhat. Regardless I just don't see the Warsaw Pact overrunning NATO, unless everything just went absolutely wrong for NATO from the start.

Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: OJsDad on January 29, 2015, 10:16:27 AM
BC, I agree, I don't think you can look at a war in Western Europe in a vacuum.  I would think the Norks would jump at the chance launch a war with the South. 

I'm not sure if the Chinese would go after Siberia, but I could see them trying to get the lands back that the Russians took form them in the 1800's.

Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Airborne Rifles on January 29, 2015, 04:35:34 PM
Someone posted this over at the matrix forums for Command. It's the 1985 CIA analysis of the USSRs ability to fight a multi-front war. They were pretty pessimistic about China's ability to threaten the USSR. They also seem to have thought that the soviet navy would have stuck close to home to protect their boomers. They seem to have thought as well that NATO would be the first to use tactical nukes, but that the soviets might try to preempt them to take away the capability. Interesting grand strategy thinking.

http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000261287.pdf (http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000261287.pdf)
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: mirth on January 29, 2015, 04:44:37 PM
It was Sov doctrine that a lot  of Red Fleet would be tasked with protecting the  boomers. They had a lot of types designed for that purpose. Being defensive wasn't going to win the war at sea though.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 29, 2015, 06:02:58 PM
there's a lot of discussion on CSW in the Doomsday folder, too
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 29, 2015, 08:53:02 PM
I'd like to see a game like NATO: The Next War in Europe get redone, maybe expanded to cover the North Cape, Iceland, perhaps some Atlantic war abstractions...that would be awesome.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: GDS_Starfury on January 30, 2015, 12:46:37 AM
I still love Hackett's use of B-52s im carpet bombing and stopping a Soviet spearhead.  :2funny:
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 30, 2015, 09:43:35 AM
^ Was that the book called The Third World War, August 1985, or something like that?

I had that book - read it in middle school, though it took me a while to get through it.

Edit - oops, I forgot I still have the book...opened up my bookcase and there it is! I'll have to read it again. I had forgotten I lost the book somewhere and I found this copy in a discount book store about 8 years ago.

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/photo.jpg)
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Airborne Rifles on January 30, 2015, 10:29:32 AM
^ Was that the book called The Third World War, August 1985, or something like that?

I had that book - read it in middle school, though it took me a while to get through it.

Edit - oops, I forgot I still have the book...opened up my bookcase and there it is! I'll have to read it again. I had forgotten I lost the book somewhere and I found this copy in a discount book store about 8 years ago.

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/photo.jpg)

I think the B52 carpet bombing mission was in the follow-up book: The Third World War: The Untold Story.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Third-World-War-Untold-Story/dp/0025471104/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1422638893&sr=8-3&keywords=World+War+III%3A+The+Untold+Story (http://www.amazon.com/Third-World-War-Untold-Story/dp/0025471104/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1422638893&sr=8-3&keywords=World+War+III%3A+The+Untold+Story)
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: OJsDad on January 30, 2015, 02:00:43 PM
Just a thought.  I don't think the Chinese would attach the Russians  I would think it would be more likely for them to support a Nork attack into the South and maybe a try for Taiwan. 

If the Norks could take the South, it would get the US off the mainland.  And the US Navy may have had shift assets to the Atlantic to help there, thus allowing the Chinese to try for Taiwan.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: mirth on January 30, 2015, 02:18:51 PM
The ChiComms couldn't take Taiwan in 85. Even if the US was out of Korea. They didn't have the amphibious assets for it.

I could see the US making an effort to encourage the Chinese to attack the Sovs. Maybe dangle concessions on Taiwan.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: OJsDad on January 30, 2015, 03:04:26 PM
I'm not sure I buy the theory that the US would sacrifice Taiwan just so the Chinese would attack Russia.

Another thing that would be key, is what was known about Siberian natural resources and how easy they were to get to. 
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Staggerwing on January 30, 2015, 04:46:49 PM
^Ah, the 'Northern Resource Area' plan eh? A classic page from the WW2 Japanese business plan.

Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: GDS_Starfury on January 30, 2015, 11:00:03 PM
I think the B52 carpet bombing mission was in the follow-up book: The Third World War: The Untold Story.

I think your right.  I haven't read either in years.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 31, 2015, 09:39:26 AM
Sadly I didn't even know there was a follow-up book to The Third World War. Thanks for that, I'll have to grab it at some point after reading this first book again.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Staggerwing on January 31, 2015, 11:01:43 AM
IIRC, the Hackett books serve as backstory for one of scifi author Dean Ing's own series, starting with the novel Systemic Shock.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: mirth on February 01, 2015, 02:34:15 PM
I'm not sure I buy the theory that the US would sacrifice Taiwan just so the Chinese would attack Russia.

I don't think we'd sacrifice Taiwan outright, but I think we might dangle concessions to entice the Chinese if they didn't attack on their own.

If the Russians found themselves fighting on two fronts, I think the chance of the things going nuclear increases substantially.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Toonces on February 01, 2015, 02:37:13 PM
I'm bummed I'm so late to this thread- this is my era!

I read somewhere- I can't remember where now- that the Soviet Union viewed the use of tactical nukes completely differently than NATO.  For the Soviets, nukes were just another weapon to get the job done.  There wasn't this nuclear threshold that needed to be crossed in the same way we in the west think of the war "going nuclear."  So there is a high likelihood that tac nukes could have been released.  Of course, that entails a large danger of things escalating to a complete nuclear exchange, which is why such a war would have been so dangerous.

I'll have to see if I can find where I read that about Soviet nuclear doctrine.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Toonces on February 01, 2015, 02:39:03 PM
Also, I think it is easy to get sucked into an all-or-nothing thought process WRT a winner of a NATO/WP conflict in West Germany.  In Red Army, the Germans make a separate peace with the WP to end the war because their country was being decimated.  There is certainly potential that a partial victory was possible.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Staggerwing on February 01, 2015, 02:52:06 PM
^I remember that. Red army is a very good book if anyone is looking for a different perspective on a potential 80's NATO-WP conflict.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: mirth on February 01, 2015, 02:59:20 PM
Thanks for the reminder of Red Army. That's one that I've looked at but haven't read.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Toonces on February 01, 2015, 05:08:20 PM
http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=2199.msg62886#msg62886


So I broke out my copy of Ralph Peters' Red Army again.

Page 56 (first shots of the war just fired previous page, start of new chapter):

"Junior Lieutenant Plinnikov wiped at his nose with hs fingers and ordered his driver forward.  The view through the vehicle commander's optics allowed no meaningful orientation.  Rapid flashes dazzled in the periscope's lens, leaving a deep gray veil of smoke in their wake.  The view was further disrupted by raindrops that found their way under the external cowl of the lens block.  Plinnikov felt as though he were guiding  his reconnaissance track through hell at the bottom of the sea.

The shudder of the powerful artillery bursts reached through the metal walls of the vehcile.  Suddenly, the armor seemed hopelessly thin, the tracks too weak to hold, the automatic cannon little more than a toy.  Occasionally, a tinny sprinkling of debris struck the vehicle, faintly audible through Plinnikov's headset  and over the engine whine.  He could feel the engine pulling, straining to move the tracks through the mud of the farm trail.

'Comrade Lieutenant, we're very close to the barrage,' his driver told him.

Plinnikov understood that the driver meant too close.  But the lieutenant was determined to out perform every other reconnaissance platoon leader in the battalion, if not the entire Second Guards Tank Army. 

'Keep moving,' Plinnikov commanded, 'just keep moving.  Head straight through the smoke.'
....

'Keep going,' Plinnikov said.  'Get down into the low ground.  Stay on the trail as long as the smoke holds.  Fast now, move.'

Plinnikov sensed that they were very close to the enemy.  Clots of earth and stone flew into the air, hurtling across his narrowed horizon.  Plinnikov guessed that, if he moved off the trail, there might be mines, but that the trail itself would only be coverd by direct fires-which would be ineffective in the confusion of the Soviet artillery preparation.

'Lieutenant, we're catching up with the barrage.  We're too close.'

'Keep going.  We're already in it.  Go right through.'

'Comrade Lieutenant...'  It was Junior Sergeant Belonov, his gunner and assistant.  The boy's face was milky.

'It's all right,' Plinnikov told him through the intercom.  'Just spot for targets.  If we wait and try to sneak through, they'll get us for sure.'

An unidentified object thumped against the vehicle so hard that the vehicle jolted, as though in pain.

'Go faster,' Plinnikov shouted to the driver.  'Just stay on the road and go as fast as you can.'

'I can't see the road.  I lose it.'

'Just go.'  Plinnikov brushed his fingers at his nose.  He felt fear rising in his belly and chest, unleashed by the impact of whatever had hit the vehicle.

Suddenly, the artillery blasts seemed to swamp them, shaking the vehicle like a boat on rough water.  Plinnikov realized that if they threw a track now, they were dead.

'Go, damn you.'

In the thick smoke, the lights of the blasts seemed demonic, alive with deadly intentions.

'More to the left...to the left.'

The tracks seemed to buckle on the edge of a ditch or gully, threatening to peel away from the road wheels.

'Target,' Plinnikov screamed.

But the sudden black shape off to their right side was lifeless, its metal deformed by a direct hit.  The driver swerved away, and the tracks came level, back on the trail again.

Plinnikov broke out in a sweat.  He had not seen the shattered vehicle until they almost collided with it.  He wondered, for the first time, if he had not done something irrecovably foolish.

Slop from a nearby impact smacked the external lens of Plinnikov's periscope, cracking it diagonally, just as the vehicle reached a pocket where the wind had thinned the smoke to transparent gauze.  Several dark shapes moved out of the smoke on a converging axis.

'Targets.  Gunner right.  Driver, pull left now.'

But the enemy vehicles moved quickly away, either uninterested in or unaware of Plinnikov's presence.  The huge armored vehicles disappeared back into the smoke, black metal monsters roaming over the floor of hell."

Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: Staggerwing on February 01, 2015, 05:16:11 PM
^you realize you have just condemned me to spending the rest of the evening going through all my bookshelves and boxes of overflow in search of my copy, don't you?  :(
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: bayonetbrant on February 02, 2015, 07:36:18 AM
interesting perspective from a Polish dude

Quote
Back to the topic: it was not exactly the fear of a "resurgent Nazi state" but rather the constant fear, that the Bundesrepublik Deutschlands still did not recognize our western borders and there are still a lot of ex-Nazi officials that only "changed colours" and keep the "democratic" Germany on the same course as their Nazi (adnd also the Kaiser's Germany and Kingdom of Prussia etc.) predecessor. Of course it was backed up by the fact that most of German war criminals (like Heinz Reinefahrt who ordered to kill some 30 thousand people in Warsaw during first few days of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944) have never been put on trial in West Germany - nor have they been transferred to Poland to let us make a trial upon them.

Thus it was not about "just another Nazi state" but rather "another German state that is an enemey of Polish independence forever, no matter whether under an eagle or swastika", so we must keep close to the only power in the area that could protect us from that danger.

And you know, those unfortunate pictues as Chancellor Konrad Adenaure in a Teutoinic Knights' cloak (when he made a visit to the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order) was a happy day for communist propaganda: "You can see that there's no difference between the Teutonic Knights, the Prussians, the Nazis and the current Germany - they all wanted Poland to perish". Also all those societies, like these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Expellees added a lot to support the communist thesis that "former Nazis want to turn back the time and take away the Silesia, Pomerania and Mazury from Polish People" And the fact, that 13 members of the first council of the Federation had a Nazi past, was also a great argument to that communist statement. In Poland the main symbols for many years of these "revisionists" were: Herbert Czaja http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Czaja and Herbert Hupka: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Hupka - similar to the very recent issues with Erika Steinbach (however, Frau Steinbach is a child of a German Wehrmach soldiers occupying Gdynia in WW2, while Hupka and Czaja lived in Silesia before the war and had their "roots" there; yet that's not the most important).

Thus it was very often used as an element of "legitimisation" of the communist government - "only the communists can assure forver friendship, alliance and protection of the Soviet Union, and the USSR is the only power that can stop the Germans, so if you want to keep the Germans waway, support the Communist government".

To sum it up:

any "Nazi 4th Reich" was rather not seen as possible and real danger; however, the post-war Germany were seen as "the real 4th Reich" and thus as dangerous as the Nazis, or even more dangerous as the Bundesrepublik was supported by the USA and Great Britain.
Title: Re: NATO-Warsaw Pact 1985
Post by: GDS_Starfury on February 02, 2015, 08:28:25 PM
but Red Army is moving well towards the worst case scenario and it was written when the reds were 10 feet tall.
all of the weapons we built for 30 years were geared towards stopping Soviet army doctrine and fear.  the end result really were hypercapable weapons.