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  #31  
Old 08-26-2016, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I see this as more likely:

The Soviets offer to evac Western personnel from W. Berlin- civilian and military. They also announce that anyone who elects to stay behind is taking his/her life into their own hands, as the Soviets cannot/will not acknowledge responsibility for their well-being. They also offer to provide basic humanitarian supplies (food, water, medical) to those who elect to remain, but they make it clear that the "roads" to Berlin are closed.
West Berlin is under Allied administration not German, and no NATO power is helping the Germans in East Germany and in fact many are condemning it including France. Also the Soviets are assisting their ally East Germany in resisting a West German invasion, not a NATO invasion. The Allied garrison in West Berlin is separate from West German forces. If they do the above which is to all intensive purpose an ultimatum to evacuate West Berlin or else, then the US and the rest of NATO (which means Britain, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Turkey), but also France will support Germany and send their forces into East Germany.

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Y'all make some good points about just how dire the straits the Soviets are in and I agree that the Soviets don't want the rest of NATO to join in on the fun at the frontier. I just don't see the Soviets allowing Western traffic through an active war-zone during a full-blown shooting war. I'm hard pressed to come up with another example of "neutrals" being allowed safe passage through an active war-zone during a modern war. Was the Suez canal open during the 6-Day War or Yom Kippur wars? Look what happened to that Malayan airliner over Ukraine a couple of years ago- and that was through a designated "safe" air corridor over a "low intensity" conflict zone!




And who are we kidding? With the West actively supporting the Chinese in their war against the USSR, there are no neutrals, really. The Soviets would already be pissed about that and I'm sure there would already have been incidents where Western-flagged merchantmen on their way to China had been sunk by Red Fleet commerce raiders. Tension would already be incredibly high. I just don't see a riled up, backed-into-a-corner Stavka/Politburo being OK with U.S./British/French aircraft flying across the contested frontier and landing in Berlin. What if "relief" flights actually include reinforcements? That paranoia would be there.
The situation of Berlin in 1996 is unique, but there are other examples of flights into war zones or through hostile territory. The original Berlin Airlift itself in 1948. Operation Frequent Wind which evacuated Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon, the evacuation of one million Portuguese from Angola and Mozambique in the 1970's, and the 1990 airlift of 110,000 Indians from Kuwait City during the First Gulf War. The political and strategic position of Berlin in German Reunification is obviously quite different to those airlifts, but West Berlin is under the administration of three nuclear powers who if they intervene on the side of Germany will radically change the Soviets defence position for the worst. The Soviets quite frankly do not have the resources and manpower to take on so many powerful countries in Europe and also fight a war in China. The Soviet Union would be reckless in the extreme to provoke the US, Britain and France by issuing ultimatums.

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And would the West be willing to push an aggressively pro-W. Germany agenda in Europe? It's brinksmanship all around. If the West insists on supplying W. Berlin, it's provocative. If the Soviets declare a land/air blockade, it's provocative. The Soviets have an incentive to de-escalate but we also know that the rest of NATO is extremely reluctant to go to war on behalf of W. Germany. I mean, some of NATO quits over this. Is the U.S., as the helmsman of NATO, going to push an action that could lead to an escalation? I guess it all depends on whether the gov't. is hawkish or not. From canon, it's hard to tell. But canon seems to suggest that the Soviet gov't. is quite hawkish. Does that change between '95 and forced reunification?.
The West is not pushing a pro-West German agenda in Europe, they like the Soviets are shell shocked by events in Germany. But its also quite clear that German Reunification is not solely a West German affair as the East Germans are also in on it. So we have a situation from October until the beginning of December were the both NATO and the Soviet Union are trying to contain the issue of German reunification without being dragged into a general war in Central Europe over it. But its also clear that their are divisions within Germany, NATO and the Warsaw Pact strategy. All sides seem to want to avoid a war in Central Europe, but certain actions by all concerned indicate that some do not want to compromise and want a war.

NATO continues to defend West German territory and airspace despite the Germans fighting the Soviets in East Germany, and by November they start to shoot down incoming Soviet raids on West German territory. In November the Soviets send the Czech and Polish armies into East Germany which will rub NATO's nose in it as half of NATO's members don't want to get involved. Then the Luftwaffe starts to attack Warsaw Pact bases in Poland, and the Soviets invade northern Norway to divert NATO's attention from Germany. By December the US, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Turkey support Germany, but Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain declare their neutrality and France and Belgium pull out of NATO (the Atlantic Alliance in France's case). Romania also refuses to support the Warsaw Pact military operations in Europe leading to an invasion by the Soviets, Bulgarians and Hungarians. Turkey then invades Bulgaria and starts fighting the Greeks, and neutral but communist Yugoslavia supports Romania. At the end of the year the Soviets pull off another master stroke and launch and invasion of Iran!!!

Strategies all over the place and reckless to the extreme. But in regards to West Berlin some aid flights into early November before it all starts going to hell and then nothing until NATO takes Berlin at the end of December.

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And, as a fait accompli, we know from canon that the Soviets were willing to use nukes, and use them first, on both fronts. Therefore, I don't think it's outlandish that the Soviets draw that proverbial line in the sand. You shall not pass! (into W. Berlin).
They didn't use nukes until the late summer of 1997, and that was firstly in China when the could see the writing was on the wall.
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  #32  
Old 08-26-2016, 10:22 AM
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My best friend from high school was in the Berlin Brigade, '88-92. He told me the Berlin police were curiously heavily armed, having rifles and AT weapons, almost like light infantry.
Do you think the West Berlin police were expecting something?


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On top of that, West Germany had 3 airborne brigades. If one is fighting defensively, what good are those? Fighting in an urban area behind enemy lines, that's more like their style. No idea if that was true, but that's what this wargamer often did. FWIW, I almost always bypassed West Berlin when I played the Pact, leaving the ugly fighting to the Polish armies coming up on mid-game turns.
The problem with German paratroops being dropped into Berlin would be that the airspace over East Germany was dominated by the Soviet Air Force and the German paratroops probably would not have reached the city. The Luftwaffe at this particular time used older and inferior fighter jets to the Soviet Air Force. The Eurofighter Typhoon hadn't yet entered service so the Germans would be using mainly F-4's and Mig-21's.

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So, yeah, I agree that the Stasi had to have been in on the unification; the Soviets in and around Berlin had much bigger fish to fry when the West Germans crossed the border and the East Germans flipped sides. I'd have to check, but wouldn't the SGFG now be outnumbered?
The issue of the Stasi may need another thread. The Stasi were redder than the KGB and were used by them as they were so effective at doing their job.
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  #33  
Old 08-26-2016, 02:01 PM
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The situation of Berlin in 1996 is unique, but there are other examples of flights into war zones or through hostile territory. The original Berlin Airlift itself in 1948. Operation Frequent Wind which evacuated Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon, the evacuation of one million Portuguese from Angola and Mozambique in the 1970's, and the 1990 airlift of 110,000 Indians from Kuwait City during the First Gulf War.
1948 didn't involve any shooting. The other examples that you cited (barring Kuwait) are mismatches where the forces controlling the ground were unable to significantly impede operations; those mounting the evacuations had air superiority (or supremacy even). Neither of those caveats would apply in East Germany, c. '95.

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The political and strategic position of Berlin in German Reunification is obviously quite different to those airlifts, but West Berlin is under the administration of three nuclear powers who if they intervene on the side of Germany will radically change the Soviets defence position for the worst. The Soviets quite frankly do not have the resources and manpower to take on so many powerful countries in Europe and also fight a war in China. The Soviet Union would be reckless in the extreme to provoke the US, Britain and France by issuing ultimatums.
Quite right. I don't contest the validity of these points, I just disagree about how the Soviets would approach the situation.


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The West is not pushing a pro-West German agenda in Europe, they like the Soviets are shell shocked by events in Germany. But its also quite clear that German Reunification is not solely a West German affair as the East Germans are also in on it. So we have a situation from October until the beginning of December were the both NATO and the Soviet Union are trying to contain the issue of German reunification without being dragged into a general war in Central Europe over it.
A very valid point. In fact, this argument swayed me a little.

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But its also clear that their are divisions within Germany, NATO and the Warsaw Pact strategy. All sides seem to want to avoid a war in Central Europe, but certain actions by all concerned indicate that some do not want to compromise and want a war.
And this is what I was contending in my previous post. The more hawkish elements in the Soviet high command would likely oppose any airlift or resupply missions, fearing such operations were actually Trojan Horse-style ruses to reinforce the W. Berlin garrison or facilitate the W. German offensive in E. Germany.

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NATO continues to defend West German territory and airspace despite the Germans fighting the Soviets in East Germany, and by November they start to shoot down incoming Soviet raids on West German territory.
Strategies all over the place and reckless to the extreme. But in regards to West Berlin some aid flights into early November before it all starts going to hell and then nothing until NATO takes Berlin at the end of December.
Right. So if NATO is willing to shoot down Soviet combat aircraft over W. Germany, the Soviets wouldn't respond in kind? That's a really big reach, in my opinion.

I agree that the Soviets wouldn't want to provoke the rest of NATO into joining the fracas, but would they be willing to project weakness by allowing NATO aircraft to operate over E. Germany? What's the realpolitik response? Once again, it depends on leadership. If you see the Soviets as cautious, prudent, and pragmatic, then I guess it makes sense for them to allow NATO continued access to W. Berlin. I see the Soviets taking the opposite tack, though, trying to convey strength and resolve. It's essentially a game of double-bluff.

In my T2KU, the Soviets were tired of losing these tests of will- Berlin '48, the October Crisis (what we call the Cuban Missile Crisis). In fact, as I see it, the hawks in the Politburo are arguing that it's precisely the Soviet responses to those past crises that have emboldened the W. Germans, and that further displays of weakness will only worsen the situation.

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They didn't use nukes until the late summer of 1997, and that was firstly in China when the could see the writing was on the wall.
I know this, and actually I think canon says that they used them in Europe first, albeit sparingly, then far more liberally in China. I could be wrong, though (I'm on my 30 min lunch break at work and can't access my rulebook). Either way, the Soviets were willing to use tac-nukes. "When" does matter, but they clearly had the will. It's the difference between pointing a gun at someone and actually pulling the trigger. The Soviets pulled the trigger first, so to speak. They had the will, as well as the way. That suggests to me a mindset where defeat/surrender were not an option- a more hawkish mindset, if you will.

I think that you're presupposing a very rational Soviet leadership. I see quite a bit of evidence in canon that the Soviet gov't. and military were not thinking or acting in a particularly rational way (launching a full scale invasion of China, for example). Given that, my views on Berlin make sense.

I respect your opinions- they're rational and well-supported- and I'm not trying to impose mine on anyone. That said, I wouldn't argue this if I didn't think that my POV was justified by the available evidence. I'm totally cool with continuing a cordial, respectful debate here, and I'm equally cool with just agreeing to disagree.
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  #34  
Old 08-26-2016, 11:11 PM
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1948 didn't involve any shooting. The other examples that you cited (barring Kuwait) are mismatches where the forces controlling the ground were unable to significantly impede operations; those mounting the evacuations had air superiority (or supremacy even). Neither of those caveats would apply in East Germany, c. '95.
The Soviets did everything in their power to prevent the Berlin Airlift from succeeding in 1948. No shooting but plenty of harassment, including buzzing the transports, obstructive parachute jumps within the air corridors, and shining searchlights to dazzle pilots at night. Also reportedly flak, air-to-air fire, rocketing, bombing, and explosions. But no shooting!!!

But the political situation of Berlin is unique I think, no real parallel to compare with in history but also nowhere else in the world were the stakes are so high. During Operation Frequent Wind the North Vietnamese could certainly have caused a lot of trouble for the US evacuating Saigon. Maybe the situation in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba could be similar, surrounded by hostile Cuba but America still keeps its base and dares Cuba to stop it from maintaining it.

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And this is what I was contending in my previous post. The more hawkish elements in the Soviet high command would likely oppose any airlift or resupply missions, fearing such operations were actually Trojan Horse-style ruses to reinforce the W. Berlin garrison or facilitate the W. German offensive in E. Germany.
This would have also have been the Soviet position about West Berlin in 1948 and now its 1996! Also there is only so much that you can transport by air into West Berlin, you wont be able to sneak in an armoured division under the noses of the Soviets. In fact there is not even any airforce in the city other than a few helicopters.

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Right. So if NATO is willing to shoot down Soviet combat aircraft over W. Germany, the Soviets wouldn't respond in kind? That's a really big reach, in my opinion.
They did respond, they invaded Norway!

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I agree that the Soviets wouldn't want to provoke the rest of NATO into joining the fracas, but would they be willing to project weakness by allowing NATO aircraft to operate over E. Germany?
Strictly speaking its not NATO aircraft, its aircraft of the Western Allies of WW2 who were once Soviet allies. And we are not talking about combat aircraft, we are talking about transports or more likely commercial airliners.

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What's the realpolitik response? Once again, it depends on leadership. If you see the Soviets as cautious, prudent, and pragmatic, then I guess it makes sense for them to allow NATO continued access to W. Berlin. I see the Soviets taking the opposite tack, though, trying to convey strength and resolve. It's essentially a game of double-bluff.
They acted though and tried to convey strength and resolve by invading China. How did that work out for them?

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In my T2KU, the Soviets were tired of losing these tests of will- Berlin '48, the October Crisis (what we call the Cuban Missile Crisis). In fact, as I see it, the hawks in the Politburo are arguing that it's precisely the Soviet responses to those past crises that have emboldened the W. Germans, and that further displays of weakness will only worsen the situation.

I think that you're presupposing a very rational Soviet leadership. I see quite a bit of evidence in canon that the Soviet gov't. and military were not thinking or acting in a particularly rational way (launching a full scale invasion of China, for example). Given that, my views on Berlin make sense.
Yet the Soviet Army never crossed the inter-German border into West Germany. In fact it is NATO who crosses into East Germany in December and starts a full scale war in Central Europe.

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I know this, and actually I think canon says that they used them in Europe first, albeit sparingly, then far more liberally in China. I could be wrong
I though it was in China first and then used in Poland against NATO. Not quite sure at this moment, as I haven't gone through the books and looked it up.

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I respect your opinions- they're rational and well-supported- and I'm not trying to impose mine on anyone. That said, I wouldn't argue this if I didn't think that my POV was justified by the available evidence. I'm totally cool with continuing a cordial, respectful debate here, and I'm equally cool with just agreeing to disagree.
No bother.
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  #35  
Old 08-27-2016, 12:28 AM
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They did respond, they invaded Norway!
Exactly. It kind of proves my point by refuting your assertions that the Soviets would have gone to great lengths to avoid a war with NATO. Attacking a NATO nation not already involved in the war in Germany would be the ultimate provocation.

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Strictly speaking its not NATO aircraft, its aircraft of the Western Allies of WW2 who were once Soviet allies. And we are not talking about combat aircraft, we are talking about transports or more likely commercial airliners.
IIRC, Soviet Spetsnaz used civie airliners during their coup-de-main in Kabul, 1979. Just because it's a United 747 doesn't mean it can't be full of troops.

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They acted though and tried to convey strength and resolve by invading China. How did that work out for them?
Granted, not so well. But there's plenty of historical precedence for governments reinforcing failure, or making the same mistakes multiple times. Hitler, a most infamous example, was a master of both.

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Yet the Soviet Army never crossed the inter-German border into West Germany. In fact it is NATO who crosses into East Germany in December and starts a full scale war in Central Europe.
That's a bit of a straw man argument because I've never suggested that the Soviets would attempt to cross the inter-German border.

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I though it was in China first and then used in Poland against NATO. Not quite sure at this moment, as I haven't gone through the books and looked it up.
"On July 9th, with advanced elements of 1st German army on Soviet soil, the Red Army began using tactical nuclear weapons." (page 25 of the v1 Referee's Manual)

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  #36  
Old 08-27-2016, 08:44 AM
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Exactly. It kind of proves my point by refuting your assertions that the Soviets would have gone to great lengths to avoid a war with NATO. Attacking a NATO nation not already involved in the war in Germany would be the ultimate provocation.
Well if was specifically to distract NATO's attention away from Central Europe.

"In late 1996, the Soviets moved against northern Norway in an attempt to score a quick victory and draw some of NATO's attention away from central Europe." (Page 11, Boomer)

So the Soviet hawks get their way to an extent, but saner elements also prevail by diverting it to NATO's northern flank and avoiding an all out war with NATO in Central Europe which they can't win.

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IIRC, Soviet Spetsnaz used civie airliners during their coup-de-main in Kabul, 1979. Just because it's a United 747 doesn't mean it can't be full of troops.
That is a good example, but its also an example of how the Soviets prepared for a surprise invasion of Afghanistan. West Berlin would hardly be a surprise to anyone. There are already 10,000 Western troops in West Berlin they have been there since the late 1940's, and the composition of the Berlin garrisons have hardly changed in all of those 50 years.

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Granted, not so well. But there's plenty of historical precedence for governments reinforcing failure, or making the same mistakes multiple times. Hitler, a most infamous example, was a master of both.
If the Soviets can't defeat an unprepared China after a year of bludgeoning them across Manchuria and northern China, how are they going to defeat a better prepared and far better armed NATO in Central Europe the following year?

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That's a bit of a straw man argument because I've never suggested that the Soviets would attempt to cross the inter-German border.
If the Soviets are going to preserve the state of East Germany and stop German Reunification they are going to have to defeat the Bundeswehr, and that will mean pushing it back into West Germany and crossing the inter-German border.

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"On July 9th, with advanced elements of 1st German army on Soviet soil, the Red Army began using tactical nuclear weapons." (page 25 of the v1 Referee's Manual)

Han shot first.
The use of tactical nuclear devices began in July. In the east they were used on a massive scale, first against Chinese military columns and then against Chinese industrial centers. In the west, they were limited at first to tactical attacks against front-line units. (Page 11 of Boomer)

Some ambiguity, but the implication is that China got wacked first.
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  #37  
Old 08-27-2016, 09:34 AM
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Well if was specifically to distract NATO's attention away from Central Europe.

"In late 1996, the Soviets moved against northern Norway in an attempt to score a quick victory and draw some of NATO's attention away from central Europe." (Page 11, Boomer)

So the Soviet hawks get their way to an extent, but saner elements also prevail by diverting it to NATO's northern flank and avoiding an all out war with NATO in Central Europe which they can't win.
Attacking a NATO nation doesn't avoid an all out war with NATO. It simply moves the focal point away from Central Europe. It doesn't mean that NATO won't also add its strength to the fighting in E. Germany. In fact, it does, starting with U.S. and British forces.

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If the Soviets can't defeat an unprepared China after a year of bludgeoning them across Manchuria and northern China, how are they going to defeat a better prepared and far better armed NATO in Central Europe the following year?
I agree that it's foolish, but that was my point. Nations sometimes do foolish things in war. This particular argument is becoming rather circular. I point out that nations don't always behave rationally and you give another example of how the Soviets don't act rationally. Yes.

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If the Soviets are going to preserve the state of East Germany and stop German Reunification they are going to have to defeat the Bundeswehr, and that will mean pushing it back into West Germany and crossing the inter-German border.
No, they don't. They just have to force W. Germany to the negotiating table.

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The use of tactical nuclear devices began in July. In the east they were used on a massive scale, first against Chinese military columns and then against Chinese industrial centers. In the west, they were limited at first to tactical attacks against front-line units. (Page 11 of Boomer)

Some ambiguity, but the implication is that China got wacked first.
I agree that it's ambiguous, but I think it's more clearly implied that it starts in Europe, since that's the first theater mentioned (in the quote I posted). If it started in China, why wasn't that the first theater mentioned? German forces setting foot on Soviet soil is clearly the trigger for the nuclear option. Why would the Soviets use nukes in China first when the existential threat is in West?

I like debate, but this is starting to seem like arguing for argument's sake. I clearly can't persuade you to accept my ideas, and I've not been swayed by yours. I guess at this point, we're just going to have to agree to disagree. In your T2KU, the Soviets allow Western access to W. Berlin after the W. German invasion. In mine, they don't.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:48 AM
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Attacking a NATO nation doesn't avoid an all out war with NATO. It simply moves the focal point away from Central Europe. It doesn't mean that NATO won't also add its strength to the fighting in E. Germany. In fact, it does, starting with U.S. and British forces.
NATO has no forces in East Germany (excluding West Berlin) until December 1996.

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I agree that it's foolish, but that was my point. Nations sometimes do foolish things in war. This particular argument is becoming rather circular. I point out that nations don't always behave rationally and you give another example of how the Soviets don't act rationally. Yes.
There are a lot of things about Twilight 2000 that are irrational!


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No, they don't. They just have to force W. Germany to the negotiating table.
They will have to defeat them which means pushing them back into West Germany to do that.

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I agree that it's ambiguous, but I think it's more clearly implied that it starts in Europe, since that's the first theater mentioned (in the quote I posted). If it started in China, why wasn't that the first theater mentioned? German forces setting foot on Soviet soil is clearly the trigger for the nuclear option. Why would the Soviets use nukes in China first when the existential threat is in West?

I like debate, but this is starting to seem like arguing for argument's sake. I clearly can't persuade you to accept my ideas, and I've not been swayed by yours. I guess at this point, we're just going to have to agree to disagree. In your T2KU, the Soviets allow Western access to W. Berlin after the W. German invasion. In mine, they don't.
Alright Raellus.
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  #39  
Old 08-27-2016, 11:10 AM
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This was a great series of posts. Lots of food for thought and rational explanations. Kudos to all. Keep it up.

Personally I would probably roll a d100 with 1 being the Soviets taking the most hardline position possible and 100 showing the Soviets being as passive and interested in detente as possible. With the middle ground pulling aspects from both sides of the discussion.

Same could be done for the Stasi. 01 having them as the instigators and complicit at every level and 100 having them be totally clueless. The middle ground would be interesting in how far up or down the chain the information goes.

As always something with a bell curve might be a better fit that a d100, but the simplicity of a single number often give me clarity on motivations.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:54 PM
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So its now December 6th 1996 and the gloves are off.

NATO sends 9 American divisions, 3 British divisions, 1 Canadian brigade and a host of armoured cavalry regiments rolling across the inter-German border, backed by the airpower of two NATO' tactical airforce's to help out the Bundeswehr in East Germany. Following up in the rear will be at least another dozen NATO divisions, multiple regiments and 50 plus combat squadrons on their way.

Despite the sound advice of Field Marshal Raellus (a recipient of the Order of Lenin and Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds), more timid voices in the Kremlin decided not to cut off the Western garrisons in West Berlin and provoke NATO. In hind sight Field Marshal Raellus may have been right, as the Soviet's have their hands full, and eliminating NATO forces in West Berlin is now a less pressing priority. The Soviets however can't rely on the loyalist East German forces to take control of West Berlin, as over 90% of the NVA has changed sides and the Stasi and other security forces do not have the firepower to take on regular US and British troops.

With NATO on the march across East Germany the city of Berlin is an obvious target for them. Unless the NATO garrisons in West Berlin are eliminated and the Soviets and Warsaw Pact allies can entrench themselves in Berlin and establish powerful defences, the city will probably fall to NATO by Christmas. If the symbolic capital of Germany falls to NATO the Soviets are going to face the dilemma of not being able to defend its most important Warsaw Pact ally despite the size of its forces based in East Germany. Also Berlin is only a stone throw from the Oder-Neiss Line and Czechoslovakia and Poland, and if Berlin falls the other Warsaw Pact states are going to question the commitment and capability of the Soviet Union to defend them from NATO.

So how will the Soviets try and eliminate the Western garrisons in West Berlin in December before NATO forces are upon them?
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:02 AM
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What kind of resistance dose one expect at the East/West Border?
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:36 PM
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I think that the Soviets will throw newly arrived reinforcements, either Red Army or PACT units, at W. Berlin.

Since CIC among polyglot allies is probably going to be an issue, it might be preferable/easier to send Soviet reinforcements to the front, where Soviet units are already engaged, and leave W. Berlin to the PACT.

On the other hand, the Soviets could place so much symbolic and/or strategic value on W. Berlin, that it's capture becomes a Soviet-led, Soviet-executed enterprise.

It's a moot point now, but in my T2K, W. Berlin would have already been weakened by at least a couple of months of no electricity, running water, or food/medical supply deliveries, making it a bit softer a nut to crack, regardless of who does the final cracking.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:58 PM
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It's a moot point now, but in my T2K, W. Berlin would have already been weakened by at least a couple of months of no electricity, running water, or food/medical supply deliveries, making it a bit softer a nut to crack, regardless of who does the final cracking.
Not necessarily.

The division of Berlin caused some problems in the early years, but in regards to electricity and water supply West Berlin was relatively self-sufficient.

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/compa...ag-ag-history/

https://books.google.ie/books?id=8Vq...berlin&f=false

http://www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.d...11_01.htm#Tab1

In regards to food and medical supplies, it would be obviously less sufficient as there was not much space for an agricultural industry. But I think West Berlin would have been expecting a Soviet blockade throughout its history, and I am sure there were sizeable stockpiles of food and medical supplies built up over the years. Certainly the Allied garrisons would have been planning for it. So with a bit of rationing and without any major attack on it I think it could have survived for two months even without air supplies from the west.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:00 PM
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Question

What kind of resistance dose one expect at the East/West Border?
Fairly heavy I would expect. But remember the Germans planned Reunification themselves and managed to keep NATO and the Soviets (and the East German government) out of the loop. So they opened the border and by the time the Soviets could react it was too late for them to stop it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:50 AM
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Well,
Actually doing research for a wargaming supplement here. And to be honest, I have heard different numbers on just how big the stockpile was. I have heard numbers anywhere from "30 days worth" to "several months". Take it for what it is worth. I think 60 days of combat operations is probably about right. Then again, where are the stockpiles?

And do the East Germans and Soviets know where they are? If they do...then that's something that the MfS saboteurs, as well as the Willi Sanger Air Assault Battalion was supposed to take care of..then again, Willi Sanger was also supposed to seize the airfields at Templehof and Tegel....hard to say what the real role of those guys were.

I am basing a lot of my opinions on this article, which I am sure many of you have read, which appeared in Armor Magazine in 1994. While most of the East German war plans did not survive the fall of the East German regime in 1989, the plans for West Berlin, strangely did.

The article is quite illuminating, and can be found here.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:28 PM
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Thanks Jason that was a great article.

However in T2K this Soviet plan for an occupation of West Berlin would have been thrown out as the Germans themselves decided to reunify, and the NVA changes side very quickly. So if the Soviets won't "liberate" West Berlin themselves then there is only the remnant loyalist regime and security forces in East Berlin to take on the Allied Garrisons in West Berlin.

Its hard to find information about how much was stockpiled in West Berlin. There is a NY Times article that states that there was 300,000 tons of food and supplies worth $480 million stockpiled in 280 warehouses across West Berlin. And that is what the government of West Berlin stockpiled alone, not the Allied garrisons.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:52 PM
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Thanks Jason that was a great article.

However in T2K this Soviet plan for an occupation of West Berlin would have been thrown out as the Germans themselves decided to reunify, and the NVA changes side very quickly. So if the Soviets won't "liberate" West Berlin themselves then there is only the remnant loyalist regime and security forces in East Berlin to take on the Allied Garrisons in West Berlin.
My point exactly, most of the East German force that was slated to take West Berlin was pulled from a variety of sources:

First, there was the NVA's 1st MRD, which would have invariably joined the revolt. Next, was the various formations of the People's Police Alert Battalions (read: well armed riot cops, whose loyalty would have been suspect at best, and at worst, would have certainly balked at taking on NVA troops armed with AFV and all manner of artillery), the Frontier Troops (same boat at the People's Police, and the NVA might have enjoyed gunning them down, these were the hated Grenztruppen, after all.), and elements of the "Combat Groups of the Working Class" (party militia meant as a counter-balance to the Army and the Stasi, read more like a communist version of the Volkssturm to me.)

In short, could the Soviets have trusted anyone enough to launch an assault on West Berlin? Probably not. And more likely, their Motor Rifle Brigade at Karlhorst would have been under siege as some, if not all of these units, turned on them. And where might the Willi Sanger battalion (which I believe was expanding about this time), have come down? All in all, the Allies in West Berlin might have been more than happy to simply seal the borders themselves and hunker down, hoping nobody noticed them..

Quote:
Its hard to find information about how much was stockpiled in West Berlin. There is a NY Times article that states that there was 300,000 tons of food and supplies worth $480 million stockpiled in 280 warehouses across West Berlin. And that is what the government of West Berlin stockpiled alone, not the Allied garrisons.
I spoke to some folks who might have been in a position to know. Those were the answers I got. Frankly, I would think the West Berlin garrison would have run out of people before they ran out of supplies, there wasn't enough of them and they were not, in my opinion, well armed enough to deny the East Germans forever..in a normal scenario. In a T2K scenario? Their best defense is to scream their neutrality to the heavens and hope neither side notices them till the Bundeswehr arrives, or sanity breaks out. Of course, once the wider war starts...that is a whole other kettle of fish, but again, are the Soviets going to spend lives to take West Berlin when they have three US Heavy Corps, along with two British Corps and at least a division's worth of Canadians come crashing over the IGB to deal with?

Something tells me that within days of NATO's entry into the war, a decision is made in the Kremlin to write off Germany. It cannot be held with the current correlation of forces. Best to withdraw across the Oder and dig in, hoping that they can reinforce in the spring and counterattack. Of course, NATO gets there first, but in short, by December of 1996, Germany is a lost cause to the Warsaw Pact. Anyone who can read a map can see that. And the Poles and Czechs worried about whether or not the Soviets will defend them? What is the better option in their eyes? Surrender to a resurgent Germany? No, they experienced that already once this century, better the devil they know...
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:56 PM
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In short, could the Soviets have trusted anyone enough to launch an assault on West Berlin? Probably not. And more likely, their Motor Rifle Brigade at Karlhorst would have been under siege as some, if not all of these units, turned on them. And where might the Willi Sanger battalion (which I believe was expanding about this time), have come down? All in all, the Allies in West Berlin might have been more than happy to simply seal the borders themselves and hunker down, hoping nobody noticed them.....
That's pretty much it, the Soviets would have to do it themselves and with the way the war is developing can they afford to divert military resources?

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I spoke to some folks who might have been in a position to know. Those were the answers I got. Frankly, I would think the West Berlin garrison would have run out of people before they ran out of supplies, there wasn't enough of them and they were not, in my opinion, well armed enough to deny the East Germans forever..in a normal scenario. In a T2K scenario? Their best defense is to scream their neutrality to the heavens and hope neither side notices them till the Bundeswehr arrives, or sanity breaks out. Of course, once the wider war starts...that is a whole other kettle of fish, but again, are the Soviets going to spend lives to take West Berlin when they have three US Heavy Corps, along with two British Corps and at least a division's worth of Canadians come crashing over the IGB to deal with?
Once NATO crosses the IGB the game is up for them in Germany.

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Something tells me that within days of NATO's entry into the war, a decision is made in the Kremlin to write off Germany. It cannot be held with the current correlation of forces. Best to withdraw across the Oder and dig in, hoping that they can reinforce in the spring and counterattack. Of course, NATO gets there first, but in short, by December of 1996, Germany is a lost cause to the Warsaw Pact. Anyone who can read a map can see that. And the Poles and Czechs worried about whether or not the Soviets will defend them? What is the better option in their eyes? Surrender to a resurgent Germany? No, they experienced that already once this century, better the devil they know...
I would agree, but in T2K they continue to fight.

The Soviets and the East German regime have a great deal of resources in East Germany, especially in the eastern districts such as the (now) state of Brandenburg. Underground bunkers all over in places such as Potsdam. The Falkenhagen military bunker complex just west of the Oder was the largest Soviet command and control centre outside of the Soviet Union. Falkenhagen was actually built by the Nazis, and the Soviets just took it over and expanded it. When Berlin is captured the Soviets keep fighting and the war doesn't end when NATO reaches the Oder in the New Year. Advent Crown happened in the spring of 1997 and the Germans and NATO keeps on marching through Poland. Why?
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:09 PM
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No question RN, what I guess I didn't make clear was this:

The Poles and the Czechs will not drop out of the war, not with the threat of a resurgent Germany. NATO stops at the Oder in December 1996 for a variety of reasons:

1) To let their logistical structure catch up with their armies

2) Because river crossings in a European winter aren't the easiest thing to pull off..ask the US Army with the Sava River.

3) Because in some corners, there would be a feeling that there should be a pause to attempt a political solution to the fighting in Europe. Basically, present the Soviets with a fait accompli and assure the Poles and Czechs (as well as some reluctant NATO allies) that Germany was going to be kept in check via NATO (although how successful that had been is now a matter for debate, no?)
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:43 PM
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The Soviets had at least two closed towns near Berlin with at least part of their reason for existing being to keep a "friendly" eye on the city. These towns were off limits to Germans, self contained and were almost independent from East Germany in terms of food and supplies.

The first, Vogelsang, was a barracks town built by the Soviets in the village district of the same name. It lies just a little over 50km north from the centre of Berlin and had a tank division based there.
Vogelsang is particularly interesting because apparently during the course of its occupation by the Soviets, they stationed and/or stored nuclear missiles there on a few ocassions, the last being from 1983 till 1988.
Some links
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20079147
http://www.uncubemagazine.com/blog/14820889
https://yearinberlin.com/2013/05/08/...et-ghost-town/
http://www.abandonedberlin.com/2014/...-missiles.html
This last two links may prove useful for this particular discussion as one is the website of an Englishman who spent time living in Berlin and exploring the city while the other is the site of an urban explorer devoted to Berlin.

The second town, Wünsdorf, was about 40km south of the centre of Berlin and was a Soviet headquarters town with a nearby airfield. Wünsdorf is particularly interesting because it was the site of the WW2 German regime's Maybach I and Maybach II high command bunkers (which were mostly destroyed by the Soviets but some buildings and bunkers were left intact and re-used by them). It had a rail link that ran directly to Moscow and was apparently the largest Soviet base outside the USSR (estimated at between 70,000 and 60,000 personnel).
The townsite has been somewhat re-purposed as a book sellers marketplace.
Some links
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-800658.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/14/wo...potential.html
http://www.abandonedberlin.com/2013/...ans-lenin.html
https://lostandforgottenberlin.wordp...orf-waldstade/
Again, the last two links are particularly relevant to this discussion, although the first is already mentioned above. The second is also an urban explorer's site devoted to Berlin.
For anyone visiting the area in the future, tours of the town can be taken: -
http://www.buecherstadt.com/en/bunker/
http://www.hivino.travel/discover-ge...book-town/e407

Slightly off-topic but those links could also prove useful for anyone running the Contested Ground Studios rpgs Hot War or more particularly Cold City.
http://www.contestedground.co.uk/
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:02 PM
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No question RN, what I guess I didn't make clear was this:

The Poles and the Czechs will not drop out of the war, not with the threat of a resurgent Germany. NATO stops at the Oder in December 1996 for a variety of reasons:
The Czechs and Poles for obvious reasons will fight as they worried about a reunited and rearmed Germany. But the Soviet don't abandon their positions in East Germany and retreat to the Oder after NATO crosses the IGB. They fight on and also in Berlin, and are forced to retreat to the Oder by NATO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Weiser View Post
3) Because in some corners, there would be a feeling that there should be a pause to attempt a political solution to the fighting in Europe. Basically, present the Soviets with a fait accompli and assure the Poles and Czechs (as well as some reluctant NATO allies) that Germany was going to be kept in check via NATO (although how successful that had been is now a matter for debate, no?)
I think we talked about this on this thread.

http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=1038

Or was it this thread..

http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=5197


However if NATO and the Germans were in control of East Germany and were content with that, why did they cross the Oder-Neisse Line into Poland in the Spring of 1997. The Soviets must have clearly not accepted the fait accompli that was present to them in Germany, as they keep fighting until they are forced to the Oder, and they must have intended to re-invade Germany and where building forces to do so for NATO to attack Poland.

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Old 09-08-2016, 08:03 PM
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The Soviets had at least two closed towns near Berlin with at least part of their reason for existing being to keep a "friendly" eye on the city. These towns were off limits to Germans, self contained and were almost independent from East Germany in terms of food and supplies.

The first, Vogelsang, was a barracks town built by the Soviets in the village district of the same name. It lies just a little over 50km north from the centre of Berlin and had a tank division based there.
Vogelsang is particularly interesting because apparently during the course of its occupation by the Soviets, they stationed and/or stored nuclear missiles there on a few ocassions, the last being from 1983 till 1988.
Some links
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20079147
http://www.uncubemagazine.com/blog/14820889
https://yearinberlin.com/2013/05/08/...et-ghost-town/
http://www.abandonedberlin.com/2014/...-missiles.html
This last two links may prove useful for this particular discussion as one is the website of an Englishman who spent time living in Berlin and exploring the city while the other is the site of an urban explorer devoted to Berlin.

The second town, Wünsdorf, was about 40km south of the centre of Berlin and was a Soviet headquarters town with a nearby airfield. Wünsdorf is particularly interesting because it was the site of the WW2 German regime's Maybach I and Maybach II high command bunkers (which were mostly destroyed by the Soviets but some buildings and bunkers were left intact and re-used by them). It had a rail link that ran directly to Moscow and was apparently the largest Soviet base outside the USSR (estimated at between 70,000 and 60,000 personnel).
The townsite has been somewhat re-purposed as a book sellers marketplace.
Some links
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-800658.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/14/wo...potential.html
http://www.abandonedberlin.com/2013/...ans-lenin.html
https://lostandforgottenberlin.wordp...orf-waldstade/
Again, the last two links are particularly relevant to this discussion, although the first is already mentioned above. The second is also an urban explorer's site devoted to Berlin.
For anyone visiting the area in the future, tours of the town can be taken: -
http://www.buecherstadt.com/en/bunker/
http://www.hivino.travel/discover-ge...book-town/e407

Slightly off-topic but those links could also prove useful for anyone running the Contested Ground Studios rpgs Hot War or more particularly Cold City.
http://www.contestedground.co.uk/
Nice links.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:43 PM
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The Czechs and Poles for obvious reasons will fight as they worried about a reunited and rearmed Germany. But the Soviet don't abandon their positions in East Germany and retreat to the Oder after NATO crosses the IGB. They fight on and also in Berlin, and are forced to retreat to the Oder by NATO.

However if NATO and the Germans were in control of East Germany and were content with that, why did they cross the Oder-Neisse Line into Poland in the Spring of 1997. The Soviets must have clearly not accepted the fait accompli that was present to them in Germany, as they keep fighting until they are forced to the Oder, and they must have intended to re-invade Germany and where building forces to do so for NATO to attack Poland.
It might have been a combination of factors?

1. The Poles and the Czechs are not taking any deal where Germany reunifies by force. No way, no how.

2. The Soviets attacked Norway in December, which must have really scared the crap out of the remaining members of NATO (See, the Russians just can't be trusted!)

3. Two large armies are in close proximity...incidents are bound to happen...
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:48 PM
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I agree that it's ambiguous, but I think it's more clearly implied that it starts in Europe, since that's the first theater mentioned (in the quote I posted). If it started in China, why wasn't that the first theater mentioned? German forces setting foot on Soviet soil is clearly the trigger for the nuclear option. Why would the Soviets use nukes in China first when the existential threat is in West?
More ambiguity, or maybe not.

From UK Sourcebook, Page 8:

"In mid-July in the Far East, the Chinese launched a major offensive in the summer. At this time, the Sino-Soviet nuclear exchange began, and the division took heavy losses from several tactical nuclear strikes."

" By the end of September, NATO began to use tactical nuclear weapons to stop the Soviets. The Soviets replied by using their own nuclear weapons."
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:07 PM
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While browsing other parts of the web about Cold War Europe and also reading this thread, I found the following page that has some interesting claims about the situation in the two Germanys: -
https://www.slate.com/articles/news_..._mattered.html

Specifically this section, although it should probably be noted that some of this appears to be the author's opinion: -
"By October, the Soviets had closed off all but one border crossing. On Oct. 27, in a now-forgotten confrontation (one year before the Cuban missile crisis), Soviet and American tanks faced each other along that checkpoint, at short range, for 16 hours until negotiations were held and the Soviet tanks backed off. The crisis faded.

There would never be another crisis over Berlin (which may be why all the previous ones have largely been forgotten). The Soviet rulers had no need to threaten West Berlin as long as the wall kept their own people locked in.

The wall was built to bottle up an incipient revolt—a mass emigration that threatened to expose the Soviet system as inferior to the West, as an oppressive dungeon that its most educated young people yearned to escape. The wall not only blocked those yearnings; it also made clear to the brighter young Soviet and Eastern European leaders that the system itself—the ideological basis of their rule—was suspect, that it could not be sustained, much less compete with the West, without the internal imposition of force.

Khrushchev was ousted by hardliners in 1964. For the next quarter-century, the Kremlin's leaders devolved into increasingly sluggish bureaucrats; the system itself bogged down more and more obviously. In 1988, when Mikhail Gorbachev set a course of serious reform and reopened the Soviet Union to the world, the possibilities that had been unleashed in the late 1950s, but suppressed ever since, once more bubbled up in the popular imagination. And when the wall came down, it was like a cork exploding."


This other site mentions some of the supplies stockpiled in West Berlin in the 1980s, including one year's worth of natural gas!
https://www.the-berlin-wall.com/vide...tockpiles-698/

That site has a number of interesting video presentations arranged by timeline. Some of them discuss the political opposition in East Berlin

And while I was caught up in finding more about possible stockpiles in West Berlin I also found this page from the New York Times in 1990: -
http://articles.latimes.com/1990-11-..._1_west-berlin
It specifically mentions 300,000 metric tons of food & other supplies and 280 warehouses around the city and mentions that the stockpile was large enough to supply West Berlin for up to a year in the article about sending the food stored in West Berlin to the Soviet Union as emergency relief in November 1990.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:49 AM
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Well worth a look is Gordon Rottman's book in the Osprey Fortress series that covers both Berlin and the Inner-German Border.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:59 PM
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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...om_search=true

Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War Operations of the U.S. Army's Elite, 1956-1990
by James Stejskal

I heard about this on the Spycast podcast, here: https://audioboom.com/posts/6137930-...james-stejskal

It's next up on my to-read pile. These were supposed to be the stay-behind SF, when/if the Sovs crossed the borders. According to the interview, the Sovs and East Germans never knew they were there. There were some covert ops outside the city, too.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:07 AM
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Something else that makes Berlin interesting is the trio of flak tower complexes built during WW2.

One of them, located in what was then East Berlin, was demolished and the rubble covered over to form an artificial hill (known officially as Grosser Bunkerberg/Large Bunker Mountain and unofficially as Mont Klamott).
There was so much rubble from the main tower that the hill rises to 78m while the smaller tower provided enough rubble to create a hill of 48m.

Speculating idly, I wonder if there are any open spaces in the rubble? Something that could be burrowed into to create a hidey hole for someone attempting to survive in Berlin. One website claims that these demolished towers can indeed be visited... but you will have to do a lot of digging... in a public park... However that won't be any real barrier in the T2k world.
http://worldwartwo.filminspector.com...ld-war-ii.html

Nothing remains of the tower complex that was in Tiergarten (the site is now part of the Berlin Zoo).
The third complex still has portions of the structures intact. Intact and high enough to make good observation points. Some of the interior remains intact for one of the towers as well. Apparently this last section was left because it was feared demolition attempts would damage the nearby railway lines.
Links for the Berlin towers: -
http://www.battlefieldsww2.com/berlin-flaktowers.html
https://www.triphistoric.com/the-berlin-flak-tower-472/
https://www.landmarkscout.com/flak-t...erlin-germany/
Another, although you have to scroll down about two thirds of the page: -
http://www.thirdreichruins.com/berlin.htm

There's also this YouTube vid although it doesn't actually show the tower until the 2:55 mark. It doesn't show any of the interior but it does illustrate the field of view available from the top of the tower and gives a sense of scale when you see people standing next to it. It also shows some of the battle damage apparently sustained during the fight for Berlin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzdDJG7rU1s

Here's the wiki link to their page on the flak towers in general.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_tower

A link with a number of period photos, some showing the interior of the towers.
http://theelephantgate.weebly.com/th...o-the-zoo.html

These towers are generally forgotten in most histories of WW2.
There were more of them in cities controlled by Nazi Germany and many survive to this day, the effort and expense required to demolish them was deemed too much in some cases.
While this site does have the same general info as others I've linked to, it does have a useful map of the locations of the surviving towers: -
https://owlcation.com/humanities/Wor...efense-Castles

Most towers had walls 3.5m/11ft thick. They were massive & formidable fortifications that have been described by some as "anti-aircraft castles". Most of them could accommodate 10,000 people during air raids.
Anecdotal stories tell of the Soviets in Berlin eventually besieging the towers to starve out the defenders rather than attacking them because they had no ordnance that could penetrate the structures.

There is no doubt in my mind that the towers in Vienna and Hamburg (having survived largely intact) would be useful places in T2k... useful, or troublesome, depending on who controls them

Some other links: -
https://war-documentary.info/vienna-...wers-flakturm/
https://medium.com/war-is-boring/hit...s-4da8c423b725
http://www.kuriositas.com/2012/04/fl...luftwaffe.html
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war...ak-towers.html
https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/01/17/flak-towers/
https://timeline.com/hitlers-flak-to...t-b18b7627fe91
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