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Old 06-20-2017, 02:31 PM
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Default International Martime Choke Points

Panama Canal

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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
Now, for a target such as the Canal, depending on what is defending, it would be more likely that two or more CBGs would be assigned, striking each end of the Canal, with airborne elements seizing the locks and pumping stations. Considering the strategic importance of the Panama Canal to the US, it would be a major effort, unless the Soviets decided a couple of nukes would be a more effective solution.
Actually the US is allowed to legally defend the canal under the Torrijos–Carter Treaties

This first treaty is officially titled The Treaty Concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal and is commonly known as the "Neutrality Treaty". Under this treaty, the U.S. retained the permanent right to defend the canal from any threat that might interfere with its continued neutral service to ships of all nations.

The second treaty is titled The Panama Canal Treaty and provided that as from 12:00 on December 31, 1999, Panama would assume full control of canal operations and become primarily responsible for its defense. I don’t see this coming into effective in Twilight V 1 or V 2

Second the Soviet's taking out the Canal is a huge mission no matter how they.

The closest staging in area for bomber or ships, is Cuba, looking at the map you will see a number of places (such as Aruba) where radar will detect the bombers enroute and fighters can be scrambled for an intercept. The US could also stage a carrier nearby at either end for just this type of attack. While the Soviets could destroy it with a nuke, it makes is impossible for them to use and would be hard for them destroy it with a bomber as mentioned above.

If the Soviets really wanted to destroy the whole canal with a nuke your best option is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) using an R-39 Rif launched from a Typhoon Class Submarine or maybe a Yankee II Class.

However since the Soviets did used nuclear weapons until till late in the Twilight War, you could see a disabling attack using conventional weapons. Launching SLBM from both the Atlantic and Pacific side targeting the locks and pumps could cause the water to drain back into the oceans (See attached chart) and shut down the canal until repairs are down. Targeting the Bridge of the Americas so that it falls into the canal could also further disrupt canal traffic (Spetsnaz GRU Unit?)

Lastly the Soviets could also try and block an entrance by sinking cargo ships in the canal something like the St Nazaire Raid/Operation Chariot mount the by the British Commandos.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:01 PM
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However since the Soviets did used nuclear weapons until till late in the Twilight War, you could see a disabling attack using conventional weapons. Launching SLBM from both the Atlantic and Pacific side targeting the locks and pumps could cause the water to drain back into the oceans (See attached chart) and shut down the canal until repairs are down. Targeting the Bridge of the Americas so that it falls into the canal could also further disrupt canal traffic (Spetsnaz GRU Unit?)

Lastly the Soviets could also try and block an entrance by sinking cargo ships in the canal something like the St Nazaire Raid/Operation Chariot mount the by the British Commandos.
Offer recognition to FARC and/or ELN if they knock out the canal. FARC moved arms through Panama in the 1990s, and the ELN was active in Colombia with a series of kidnappings and hijackings. Equip them with RPGs to sink cargo vessels and/or damage the locks and let them go to town.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:27 AM
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Offer recognition to FARC and/or ELN if they knock out the canal. FARC moved arms through Panama in the 1990s, and the ELN was active in Colombia with a series of kidnappings and hijackings. Equip them with RPGs to sink cargo vessels and/or damage the locks and let them go to town.
Given the limited range of the the RPG you have to get close to get a good hit. And given the size of most modern cargo vessels, it might take a a lot of hits to actually sink it.

Mortars would a better idea, better range and you can fire it from a concealed position and you can break it down for smuggling purposes. However same issue remains it might take a a lot of hits to actually sink it.

Damaging the Lock System might be hard too, here is a little information of the locks

The lock chambers are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide by 1,050 ft (320 m) long, with a usable length of 1,000 ft (305 m). The total lift (the amount by which a ship is raised or lowered) in the three steps of the Gatun locks is 85 ft (25.9 m); the lift of the two-step locks is 54 ft (16 m). The single-step Pedro Miguel locks have a lift of 31 ft (9.4 m).

The lock chambers are massive concrete structures. The side walls are from 45 to 55 ft (14 to 17 m) thick at the bases; toward the top, where less strength is required, they taper down in steps to 8 ft (2.4 m). The center wall between the chambers is 60 ft (18 m) thick and houses three galleries that run its full length. The lowest of these is a drainage tunnel; above this is a gallery for electrical cabling; and toward the top is a passageway that allows operators to gain access to the lock machinery.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:48 AM
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Default The Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca or Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 890 km stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra

The strait is the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Carrying about one-fourth of the world's traded goods, including oil, Chinese manufactured products, and Indonesian coffee. About a quarter of all oil carried by sea passes through the Strait, mainly from Persian Gulf suppliers to Asian markets.

In Game terms this means Soviet Naval Ships operating out of Cam Ranh Bay will try and use this strait to gain access to the Indian Ocean most commercial traffic will avoid this area for the same reason and due to the present of Soviet Naval Vessels in the South China Sea.

This means oil takes longer to reach China from the Middle East.

Hard to say if the Soviet would attempt to block the strait and they might need it if they want to attack US forces in the Indian Ocean.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:10 PM
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Given the limited range of the the RPG you have to get close to get a good hit. And given the size of most modern cargo vessels, it might take a a lot of hits to actually sink it.

Mortars would a better idea, better range and you can fire it from a concealed position and you can break it down for smuggling purposes. However same issue remains it might take a a lot of hits to actually sink it.

Damaging the Lock System might be hard too, here is a little information of the locks

The lock chambers are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide by 1,050 ft (320 m) long, with a usable length of 1,000 ft (305 m). The total lift (the amount by which a ship is raised or lowered) in the three steps of the Gatun locks is 85 ft (25.9 m); the lift of the two-step locks is 54 ft (16 m). The single-step Pedro Miguel locks have a lift of 31 ft (9.4 m).

The lock chambers are massive concrete structures. The side walls are from 45 to 55 ft (14 to 17 m) thick at the bases; toward the top, where less strength is required, they taper down in steps to 8 ft (2.4 m). The center wall between the chambers is 60 ft (18 m) thick and houses three galleries that run its full length. The lowest of these is a drainage tunnel; above this is a gallery for electrical cabling; and toward the top is a passageway that allows operators to gain access to the lock machinery.
Hmm, the Great Pacific War mentions the Japanese knocking out the Canal for 6 months by blowing up a large freighter loaded with explosives so the idea has been floating around since the 1920s. Such an attack,coupled with strikes on the pumping stations should shut the Canal down for several years.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:16 PM
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Offer recognition to FARC and/or ELN if they knock out the canal. FARC moved arms through Panama in the 1990s, and the ELN was active in Colombia with a series of kidnappings and hijackings. Equip them with RPGs to sink cargo vessels and/or damage the locks and let them go to town.
Most antitank weapons don't have the punch to sink a containership at most you might be able to knock out the pilot house, perhaps damage the rudder and cause minor flooding. Even damaging the locks would be beyond humping a few rucks worth of C-4. Their best bet is to damage the pumping stations and the electrical stations.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:18 PM
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The Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca or Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 890 km stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra

The strait is the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, linking major Asian economies such as India, China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Carrying about one-fourth of the world's traded goods, including oil, Chinese manufactured products, and Indonesian coffee. About a quarter of all oil carried by sea passes through the Strait, mainly from Persian Gulf suppliers to Asian markets.
And it practically swarms with pirates.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:19 PM
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Someday, somewhere, I'm going to run into the twit that invented auto-correct...mayhem will occur!!! Just saying!
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:20 PM
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And don't forget the most important chokepoint (at least today) -- the entrance to the Persian Gulf.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:21 PM
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And it practically swarms with pirates.
Pirates, Soviets and Soviet allies...as we used to say in the Cav, a target rich environment!
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:15 PM
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Originally, my Panama Campaign was based around the US moving to secure the Canal against PDF and anti-US protestors but I really like the idea the PDF was engaged against the ELN on the Southern border leaving FARC to roam freely from the north. Or something along those lines...

There was even talk about opposition forces receiving Soviet support or maybe Spetsnaz training.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:50 PM
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Most antitank weapons don't have the punch to sink a containership at most you might be able to knock out the pilot house, perhaps damage the rudder and cause minor flooding. Even damaging the locks would be beyond humping a few rucks worth of C-4. Their best bet is to damage the pumping stations and the electrical stations.
You don't have to completely sink a container ship, just make it take on enough water to add 21 inches to its draft. The Canal had a maximum depth of 12.56 meters (41.2 feet). A Panamax container ship had a draft of 12.04 meters (39.5 feet). If it starts taking on water, it's grounding in the canal.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:21 PM
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You don't have to completely sink a container ship, just make it take on enough water to add 21 inches to its draft. The Canal had a maximum depth of 12.56 meters (41.2 feet). A Panamax container ship had a draft of 12.04 meters (39.5 feet). If it starts taking on water, it's grounding in the canal.
Most containerships are double-hulled and multiple watertight compartments, admittedly not as well built as a warship, but still able to take several hits from antitank weapons. The effect of such a warhead hitting water may not do the damage necessary. The best hope is to knock out the pilot house, perhaps damage the rudder and maybe get a few hits into the engine room.

IMHO the best chance is a ramming attack with an explosive laden boat or to attack the various support systems.
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:49 AM
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Sinking a containership in the Canal reminds me of what Bobby did in Shattered World - he had the Japanese use sub carriers to attack the canal (remember different timeline so they had them ready to use with torpedo carrying planes by war start) and they sank the Lexington in the canal to block it until they could refloat her - along with using naval torpedoes and bombs to damage some of the canal infrastructure
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:15 PM
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Regardless of the method, that would have been done in 1997-1998 probably right?

Why do it after that, most of the world is DOA at that point.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:21 PM
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There is also the Suez Canal - and while there is no attack on the Canal itself there were attacks that caused it to be blocked according to the East Africa Sourcebook that is now canon - similar attacks could have blocked the exits of the Panama Canal

"Cairo, Suez and Alexandria are left in ruins by multiple strikes against the major refineries in those cities. While the Suez Canal is not directly targeted in the attack, the nuclear strikes on the refineries at Suez effectively block the southern end of the Canal with the wrecks of several merchant ships and tankers. Over three million Egyptians die in the attacks and another two million are severely wounded."

The canal was blocked for nearly three years until the French cleared the wrecks enough in the late summer of 2000 to get it open again

and the Panama Canal is very important to the US - most likely there would still be US forces in Panama even in 2000

in fact that might be where the Virginia was headed when she had her last battle a la Satellite Down

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Old 06-22-2017, 07:35 PM
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And posted in another thread today - so that definitely says that the Canal is both still operational and in US hands as late as March 1999 - and since nuke attacks had ceased by then and the Soviet Navy was pretty much gone it sounds like its still a going concern

"V1 canon tells us (in Satellite Down) that
The Panama Canal was not hit in the initial TDM period (USS Virginia passed through it in December 1997)
The Panama Canal was still operational in March 1999 (USS Virginia was ordered to pass through it to get to the Atlantic).

Uncle Ted"
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:13 AM
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Suez itself was blocked by Egypt from 1967 to 1975. Not have it open adds considerable journey time for anyone heading from Europe to the Far East.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:27 PM
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Are we handwaving at the traditional chokepoints? Like the English Channel, Straits of Gibraltar, the passage between Sicily/Malta/Pantelleria/Tunisia, South Africa's Capetown and Port Elizabeth, between the northern tip of Queensland and Southern Papua/New Guinea, off Natal and Recife,Brazil and off Conakry and Bissau on the West African coasts.
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Old 06-24-2017, 03:05 PM
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The major question is just how many mines the Soviet Navy can emplace.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:15 PM
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Default Mine warfare, Soviet style

Primary source is The Guide to the Soviet Navy, Fourth Edition by Norman Polmar.

The Soviet Navy maintains the world's largest mine warfare forces, with a larger mine stockpile, a greater insulating capability and at least quantitatively a much more capable mine counter-measures capability than any other nation.

In addition to its three minelayers, several Soviet surface combatant classes are configured to lay mines as are their bomber aircraft and maritime patrol aircraft. All Soviet combat submarines can also lay mines.

The large force of surface mine counter-measures craft are supplemented by specialized minesweeping helicopters of the Mi-8 and Mi-14 types. In addition to their mine warfare capabilities, most Soviet minesweepers are equipped with defensive armament and a ASW capability, permitting them to be used as escorts, even with sweep gear installed. Most are also capable of carrying small amounts of mines, both for laying practice mines or defensive minelaying.

The Soviet Navy is estimated to maintain a stock of between 350,000-400,000 naval mines. While some of these mines date back to World War II, most are newer weapons. Among these are several deep-water types, capable of being planted in depths of at least 3,000ft. These mines are fitted with passive acoustic detection and, like the U.S. Mk-60 CAPTOR mine, release an ASW weapon that homes on submarine targets.

The Soviets have also developed influence mines of all types; homing mines, rising mines, and remotely controlled mines. Minelaying is exercised by naval aviation, surface ships and submarines.
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:29 PM
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Suez itself was blocked by Egypt from 1967 to 1975. Not have it open adds considerable journey time for anyone heading from Europe to the Far East.
Thats why the French clearing away the wrecks of the sunken ships in 2000 so the Canal was open for business again was so important to them. With the deployment into Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait it was vital that they have the Canal open again to support that effort. You can see why they absorbed Djibouti into the French Union - gives them basically permanent control of one end of the Red Sea and the perfect base for supporting traffic going to and from the Canal.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:25 AM
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The Soviets have also developed influence mines of all types; homing mines, rising mines, and remotely controlled mines. Minelaying is exercised by naval aviation, surface ships and submarines.
The Soviets/Russians and the US, and I would guess China (though I have no hard evidence on the Chinese) have nuclear sea mines and nuclear torpedoes and nuclear antiship missiles and SSMs, which are to be used to destroy large ships like aircraft carriers and boomers, as well as seaports and facilities like the Panama and Suez canals, and the dikes in the Netherlands. I don't know what the stock of these weapons is like now, but I'll bet that both sides have a good supply.
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:32 PM
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The Soviets/Russians and the US, and I would guess China (though I have no hard evidence on the Chinese) have nuclear sea mines and nuclear torpedoes and nuclear antiship missiles and SSMs, which are to be used to destroy large ships like aircraft carriers and boomers, as well as seaports and facilities like the Panama and Suez canals, and the dikes in the Netherlands. I don't know what the stock of these weapons is like now, but I'll bet that both sides have a good supply.
Not even counting the nukes, but at the height of the Cold War, the Soviets were conservatively estimated at maintaining about 6 to 7 times the stocks of the U.S. . Soviet writings indicated that these mines would be used offensively to blockade NATO ports, restrict shipping lanes and choke points, and to seal off the North and Baltic Seas. Defensively, mines would be used to restrict approaches to Warsaw Pact ports, provide bastions to allow Soviet conventional subs safe places to recharge and most importantly to seal off Arctic waters and allow Soviet boomers safe havens from NATO subs...not to mention freeing up their own subs for anti-convoy duties.

While NATO had a qualitative edge in ASW, the Soviets had a quantitative edge that would have made the naval battles of World War III sheer, bloody, hell.
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