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Old 03-14-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default WWIII As Seen Through Soviet Eyes

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Chuck Mandus

WWIII As Seen Through Soviet Eyes

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Here is an article I saw posted on Free Republic today where is was a glimpse of World War III from the Warsaw Pact perspective. Very interesting.

*** dead link ***

Chuck
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Chuck Mandus





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TiggerCCW UK

Interesting to read - so much for the Free City of Krakow, according to that scenario, and I wouldn't fancy sailing down the Vistula!
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thefusilier

Kinda funny, it has NATO pushing into East Germany and Poland... kinda like a GDW game I know about.
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The Fusilier

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ChalkLine

I've always thought that soviet low slung tanks and choppers incapable of hovering always pointed to their being more worried about invasion than being capable of it, being optimised for steppe-fighting. Of course, the soviets (and the Russians now) have the avowed national determination of never having a war fought on their soil again, no matter what.
Their post-war modified Zhukovian breakthrough tactics are actually defensive in an extreme manner, they intended to travel essentially faster than their supply to push forward and and secure buffer territory. The only problem is, like Napoleon and the 'French Natural Frontiers', is that once you make a buffer you must defend it. If you've adopted buffer tactics, you then try for a further buffer . . . sooner or later, you're heading for an ocean frontier in a whacko attempt to secure your own land border. Well, I suppose we did wierd things too.

ChalkLine





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graebardeII

Interesting. I would like to read (translated of course ) the plans they had for this particular 'exercise' as well as the other papers being released.

graebardeII





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Abbott Shaull

You know, I look at this map and all I can think is that is a tool the Soviets used to make Poland, East Germans, and Czech worried and keep them in line. One of the things I really think it would be the Soviet using this Vistula River as a line where once NATO force had reached or about to reach they would use their nukes in a way to make a line that couldn't be cross. Which isn't much different in the fact that the French would of done the same along the Rhine in West Germany.

Really don't see the US and NATO launching a strike like this to stop Soviet reinforcements unless the Soviets had launch similar strikes. US and NATO would stike major transportation hubs such as Warsaw, but I don't see NATO drawing a line in the sand to speak. It is interesting that Prague was hit too which leds me to believe that the Soviets would of done this first more than they believe NATO would. They just label them as NATO strikes to keep their 'Allies' in the dark on who would strike these targets. At best Czechslovakia and Hungrary would revolt against their Soviet oppressor fairly quickly due to what happen in 1956 and 1968(IIRC) in those countries. Poles have always been mistrusted by Moscow and part of the reason why a Soviet Marshal had been their Defense Minister most of the time while in the other Pact countries there were some dependable local holding those position with their governments when they could be found.

The Soviets have always vowed that after Germany attacks in WWII that no other foreign power would invade the Motherland. This would be the best place to put a nuke radiation fall out zone to stop would be invaders. Of course they would deal with the fall out, not much choice, but then again NATO units will not make into White Russian and onward into the Russia towards Moscow.

Interesting that Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovakians, and Hungrarians seem to get the raw deal no matter who uses the nukes during WWIII. In these countries is where the Soviet worried the most of a NATO invasion. These countries had the largest 'allied' militaries within the Pact. Then again it is interesting they called their organization alliance and called NATO a Pact. Then again it all depends on one perspective and holds true that the one who wins the war usually is the one who writes it history....

Abbott

Abbott Shaull





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ChalkLine

The Germans used to have a saying "The definition of a short range nuclear missile is one that lands in Germany."

ChalkLine





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DeaconR

One thing I was always a bit dubious about for TW2000 was the length of the conflict. I suspect that they want a longer war for a number of dramatic reasons in the game but in fact after thinking about it I made the war about two years long rather than nearly five, and considered that the second year and a part of the first would be a war of the aftermath. I read a number of scenarios and books and for dramatic purposes preferred "Red Army" to a lot of them.

However, reading this site I wonder about it. After all both sides had many wargames, a number of scenarios. Reading "Inside the Soviet Army" I felt that it would be far more likely for the Soviets to pursue the kind of strategy that they always have adopted if they have the slightest advantage. The consistent view of NATO commanders in the Cold War area seems to have been that ultimately NATO would be outnumbered by the Warsaw Pact.

DeaconR





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Webstral

I see the timeline as reflecting a start-and-stop character of the war. Periods of very intense mechanized fighting are separated by lulls during which both sides catch their breath. For instance, the period OCT 96-JAN 97 is very intensive for NATO and Pact forces in Europe. There’s another spike in February when the Soviets in western Czechoslovakia attack into Bavaria in an attempt to cleave Dutch forces from NATO by causing major casualties. Overall, though, there’s little significant activity in Central Europe from January until the end of April.

During this time, the two sides are pursuing different ends. The new Sauronski government is playing for time. They are putting in defenses in western Poland and building strength in Eastern Europe. NATO is also building strength, but the Western Allies are trying to negotiate an end to the war. After all, they have won the war they joined in Europe. The US has enough to do in Korea and the Middle East.

After February, it becomes obvious that the Soviets aren’t ready for peace. The US President decides to try to end the war in 1997 with the forces the US (and her allies) can field in the next six months. NATO declares “limited war aims” intended to bring an end to the war while leaving the Soviet regime in power. NATO declares that they will occupy Eastern Europe and the far western USSR up to the Dvina-Dniper line. This will effectively knock the Soviet Union out of the fight, free Eastern Europe, and not destroy the Soviet state.

The NATO attack across Poland is held up terribly by Soviet defenses-in-depth. The Soviets have turned Poland into one giant minefield and obstacle belt. Fighting is ferocious wherever NATO attempts a breakthrough. At first, NATO forces attempt to make clean breakthroughs into the Pact rear areas where blitzkrieg warfare can be practiced. This doesn’t go so well. The Allies change their operational pattern to emphasize attrition and a favorable exchange rate for themselves. They know the Soviets are straining for manpower already. If the Soviets decide to bow out of the fight before NATO forces cross Poland, so much the better for everyone.

Once across the Vistula, NATO pauses for breath and to give the Soviets a chance to come to their senses. This pause lasts a couple of weeks. Then NATO moves forward again in early July, with the results we all know.

The tactical nuclear exchange and subsequent Soviet counteroffensive actually bring about another significant operational pause. NATO forces fall back to the Vistula—more of their own free will than as a result of Soviet action. The Soviets keep the pressure on, but they are having exactly the same problems the Western Allies are. SACEUR decides to fall back to the Vistula because the Western leaders want to get some breathing room and re-assess. Obviously, they misjudged the Soviet leadership horribly. At this juncture, they want to keep the nuclear exchange from going strategic.

For the rest of the canon history (v1), there are lots and lots of operational pauses. Really, from Autumn 1997 to the Pact offensive into southern Germany in mid-1998, there isn’t much action at all above the division level. After the 1998 campaign season, there is very little the talk about in Central Europe until the 2000 offensive.

My point is that the war has some very intense active phases separated by significant lulls. The timeframe makes sense, I believe, if one uses some creative license to imagine political machinations and materiel issues.


Webstral

Webstral





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Targan

"The consistent view of NATO commanders in the Cold War area seems to have been that ultimately NATO would be outnumbered by the Warsaw Pact."

See, that's just the unfortunate psychological result of having NATO HQ in Belgium (a country which at some point has been overrun by just about everybody except Switzerland), and of NATO member nations like France (which heeded Napoleon's experiences with taking on Russia, has endured several demoralising periods of occupation by foreign powers, and decided to fulfil its treaty obligations to NATO by refusing to help and invading part of Germany), Italy (whose forces long ago perfected the Strategic Withdrawal manouever and whose government suffered an untimely mental blank about being a NATO member), and Germany (which keenly remembers what happened the last time it pissed Russia off).

And the Russians historically have waged war by hurling vast numbers of troops at the enemy until the enemy has run out of bullets or frozen to death. It is fortunate that Britain and the US took more of a 'glass half full' approach to their war planning, because forming contingency policies based on the assumption that you are going to lose is just plain bad for morale. "Right lads, here's the plan. Abandon all hope, as tomorrow we die. Any questions?"

Targan





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pmulcahy
Someone needs to invent more diet food!

I have an interesting novel on my bookshelf -- Red Army by Ralph Peters. Though it is an old book (1989), it is another interesting look at World War 3 in the European theater, from the viewpoint of the individual Soviet soldiers to the Generals and Field Marshalls commanding the whole shebang. And in this novel, the Soviets win the war (well, not totally, but to a large extent). I highly recommend it.
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