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  #1  
Old 07-20-2009, 09:36 PM
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Default China in October 1996

We're getting close to starting the wargaming of the conventional phase of the war, but we have one major unknown - the state of the war in China. We've used Webstral's The Storm in Germany, which leaves off in the winter of 1995-1996. We're starting in October 1996 with German reunification, but obviously the state of the war in China is going to have a big effect on Soviet actions.

So let me here your ideas on the state of the Chinese Army (types of units, numbers, equipment holdings) and where you think the front lines run as a result of the operations between the end of 1995 and October 1996! (I have a good picture of the Pact organization & equipment at this point, but am really just getting started on the PLA orbat and equipment holdings). Assume a more or less canon v1 timeline, modified solely by Webstral's work...
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:59 PM
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China and the USSR had a nasty little border war during the 60s didn't they? Maybe that would be a good starting point for looking at battle lines. There must be maps available that show where the major battles of that conflict occurred.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:39 AM
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Default Sino-Soviet Border Conflict of the 60s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-So...order_conflict
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:07 AM
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I think canon & Web's work portrays a substantially more intense conflict that the 1969 war, which really was a large skirmish. Web & canon, speak of large areas of Manchuria under Soviet occupation. An early engagements may have resembled the 1969 conflict, but rapidly escalated. By 1996 large areas of Manchuria would be under Soviet Occupation, possibly Shenyang under seige with some PLA forces in the pocket, along with large amounts of peoples militia.
Soviet forces would have to deploy some of their troops in the rear, as well as KGB Border Guard Mobile Groups to suppress insurgent activities of Chinese Peoples Militia.
the Air situation over Manchura would be dominated by the Red Airforce, with the remaining Chinese Air Assets concentrated on defending the local airspace above ports & remaining intact industrial centers producing war material for the PLA. Additionally, the PLAAF might move it's nuclear capable aircraft (or a portion there of) as far south as possible to protect against Soviet counter air missions, possibly as far south as Hainan.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:04 PM
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Ok,
The way I see it is this...the 1996 Spring offensive is aimed at pocketing and reducing Harbin, as well as inflicting a massive defeat on the PLA to force them to the table. Soviet airborne drops are to seize bridges and a vital pass via the Sungari river to allow Soviet tank spearheads to exploit South and West to take
Baicheng and Changchun some 140-odd miles away. With that, the new front line can be consolidated and Harbin reduced at the Red Army's leisure...

Needless to say, nothing goes according to plan. The airdrops are cut to pieces, and the Red Army barely advances 20 miles in the teeth of an improved Chinese defense, including "new model" brigades (the first two to be exact), the "New AVG" contesting Soviet air superiority, and the widespread use of improved ATGM and ICM by the Chinese. Also, a massive uprising by Chinese militia occurs in the Soviet rear. While the Soviets put it down, they are forced into some pretty draconian means to do it.

Comments?
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:08 PM
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Apart from the specificity of the place names you cited, that seems to mirror canon pretty closely, Jason. Sounds reasonable to me.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:12 PM
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I'm inclined to see a somewhat greater advance for the Soviets, but overall I like your interpretation of events, Jason. I do see Harbin in Soviet hands prior to the mid-1997 strategic withdrawal, but that's a quibble for another occasion. I especially like the idea that the Chinese prepare for a massive rear-area operation to coincide with the Pact offensive. This is very much in keeping with Chinese thinking and their strong suit in this war.

I see the 1996 Pact offensive as providing a sort of repeat of the WW1 problem. China prepares massive defenses in depth all along the practical avenues of advance. Although it is impossible for China to cover the entire front with trenches the way that the combatants on the Western Front did, a new equivalent is possible. Well-sited ATGM (am I overusing this phrase) with interlocking fields of fire go a long way towards creating a solid front of defenses for the Chinese. Mines and water obstacles constrain mechanized attack to a degree that was unthinkable during the 1995 action. Although the Soviets vigorously seek a breakthrough, what they get is much more reminiscent of Verdun. Both sides suffer horrible losses, but the Chinese manage to prevent a breakthrough.

China loses huge amounts of men and materiel halting the Pact offensive something the official v1 chronology doesn't mention. Pact forces have the initiative, firepower, and weight of numbers (in chosen areas) required to force a breakthrough if the Chinese strictly rely on static defense. The Soviets know this, so they continue to throw men and machines in to the fight even as their leading echelons bog down. Under the sheer weight of firepower and numbers, the Pact forces begin to crack the Chinese defenses at selected points. This is not maneuver warfare. It's nothing more than a straightforward slugging match.

The PLA has anticipated that even with sophisticated Western systems, the best they can do is canalize the Pact attackers and inflict heavy attrition. The keystone of the defense is the mobile reserves, which they move forward as needed. The reserves are needed frequently. In fact, by the time the Soviets call it quits, the PLA has committed three-quarters of its reserves. Losses have been nearly as high for the Chinese as they have been for the Pact forces. A conventional counterattack is out of the question. Consequently, for the rest of the summer Chinese operations focus on inflicting casualties on the Pact troops while establishing favorable conditions for an eventual counteroffensive. Army (corps) level operations are the largest seen during this time.

Why do the Chinese defend themselves so far forward, thus exposing themselves to such tremendous losses? After all, the traditional Chinese method of defense has been to trade space for time. Now, though, the Chinese leadership feels that its collective neck is on the line. The Politburo has indebted China up to her eyeballs. The damage from the Soviet air offensive over the winter has barely begun to be repaired. Chinese prestige around the world hangs by a thread. The Politburo can survive having Beijing bombed into rubble from the air. They don't believe they can survive having Beijing occupied by Soviet troops. If the Soviets achieve a breakthrough in Manchuria or northwest of Beijing, the capital may very well be forfeit along with the lives of the Politburo. Therefore, the Chinese supreme leadership sacrifices hundreds of thousands of lives and untold treasure in a forward defense.

At least it works.

For the rest of the summer, China rebuilds. After blocking the Pact advance earlier in the year, China has some time. The PLA and the Politburo want to use the advantages China possesses, such as being on the defensive in their own country and a deep well of manpower, to best advantage. Weapons continue to come in from the West. Factories continue to retool and be constructed from scratch in the southern part of the country, where an increasingly capable PLAAF is capable of making Soviet air attacks too costly to contemplate. The Army continues to grow.

The Soviets are well aware of the Chinese intent. This is one reason why there is such a sense of urgency about getting more Pact troops to the Far East irrespective of readiness come Autumn 1996. The Kremlin feels that victory must be achieved soon if it is to be achieved at all.

The war in Europe obviously changes the whole game. On the surface, it might appear that this is China's opportunity to launch an offensive that might drive the Soviets out of the country. However, the Chinese leadership decides that the Soviets might withdraw on their own. If the Germans do well enough, the Soviets might throw in the towel in the Far East to concentrate resources in Europe. Accordingly, Chinese operations actually slacken.

Once the fighting spreads to Europe, American and European arms shipments to China virtually cease. Europeans and Americans alike hold their breath as they wait to see what will come of the German-Soviet contest. Beijing uses the halt in arms shipments to justify slowing the pace of Chinese operations.

At the end of November, the PLA steps up its activity dramatically. By this point, it is clear that the FRG is not going to win on its own. Few Pact units have been withdrawn from the Far East. Certain voices in the liberalizing PLA claim that if China had stepped up the pressure in October, the Soviets would have come under greater pressure. Fewer troops airlifted to Germany as a result of Chinese action might have resulted in a German victory, the critics claim. In the long run, a German victory might have been the key to removing Pact troops from China. Instead, the Soviets have established a new equilibrium, thanks to Chinese inactivity. The state security apparatus find itself unable to completely suppress such opinion.

By this point, the PLA is ready to employ new tactics on a large scale. The new tactics combine the action of light infantry with mechanized forces operating against semi-static defensive positions. Pact forces also have dug in all along the front in the Far East. Although the Pact possesses greater weight of mechanization and firepower, the PLA has markedly superior light infantry. The Chinese intend to precede offensive action with infiltration by light units equipped with machine guns, anti-tank weapons, and engineering equipment. Well-trained light fighters infiltrate the target zone in depth and in numbers, giving the PLA a superior tactical intelligence capability in the area. When the offensive begins, the light fighters attack targets throughout the enemyĆ¢€™s position to a depth of ten kilometers or more. Forward observers call in accurate artillery strikes. Engineers demolish bridges and crater roads. Anti-armor ambushes delay the movement of reinforcements. Grenadiers knock out machine gun nests and bunkers covering the engineers assaults on defensive obstacles. In effect, the forward edge of the battle area is isolated through effective light infantry action, mimicking the Soviet tactic of vertical envelopment through infiltration.

The new tactics pose a particular problem for the Soviets. The enormity of the front and depth of occupied area makes it extremely difficult for Pact troops to defend themselves. Superior firepower and mobility are neutralized by the sheer area to be defended and Chinese skill at infiltration. Although detection of an upsurge in infiltration activity sometimes indicates preparation for a tactical or operational level action, by late 1996 the PLA has mastered using such activity for deception and misdirection. Pact efforts to counter Chinese infiltration in depth encounter the twin pillars of a relative shortage of manpower and skill among the Pact infantry and the traditional Soviet reluctance to allow junior leaders to exercise initiative. Although junior leaders in the Far East have far more freedom to operate than anywhere else in the Soviet sphere, the KGB continues to keep its hand on the leash of the average rifle platoon, company, or battalion commander. The Chinese, who are fighting for their lives, enjoy far greater freedom to exercise initiative.

Infiltration envelopment results in shallow breakthroughs for Chinese mechanized forces in localized actions. With infantry on the ground throughout the breakthrough area, the Chinese are well-appraised of the movement of Soviet forces in response to breakthroughs. Mines and anti-armor ambushes help create circumstances favorable to the Chinese attackers. Chinese mechanized units punch into the rear areas of defending divisions, inflicting enormous losses. At greater depth, guerillas and special operations troops attack key communications nodes to delay large-scale movements of relief forces.

However, the Soviets use the opportunity to attack Chinese mechanized forces in the open with air power. Pact fighter-bombers with stand-off munitions attack Chinese AFV and soft-skinned transport on the roads near the breakthroughs. The PLAAF seldom is able to establish air superiority for long over the contested zones. As a consequence, the Chinese infiltration envelopment tactics do not yield major breakthroughs or the creation of major crises for the Pact defenders. Incessant air attacks and long-range artillery attacks by Pact units serve to steal the momentum from Chinese mechanized units at the point of breakthrough. Typically, the Chinese attackers either withdraw after inflicting their damage or establish a new line of defense after a relatively shallow penetration of Pact lines.

In this fashion, the front lines in Manchuria became increasingly fluid, although in general they moved north. Occasionally, Pact forces would counterattack in great strength, driving through the hasty defenses of the Chinese and recapturing lost ground. On other occasions, Pact formations adjacent to the one infiltrated and overwhelmed would withdraw to better positions. The overall effect was a steady drain on the manpower and materiel of both sides. Unnervingly for the Soviets, the exchange rate became more and more even as the winter of 1996-1997 progressed.

Author's Note: That's about it for now. At some point, I changed tenses while writing. You guys are being subjected to a rough draft.


Webstral

Last edited by kato13; 03-16-2010 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:42 PM
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Default Resurrecting the Chinese Front

That was a good read, Web. I'm sorry that it took so long for me to rediscover this thread and comment. I've been thinking about the Chinese front recently and it's raised some questions.

Where did the fiercest, most strategically significant fighting take place? Canon doesn't have much to say about this other than "northern Chinese industrial heartland", but that's about it. Obviously, the bulk of the fighting would take place in China's populous, industrialized northeast. But what about other regions? The border between China and the former USSR is very long, especially if one assumes that Mongolia would/could not maintain any sort of meaningful neutrality. I find it odd that Mongolia isn't mentioned. Really, unlike the canonical descriptions of the fighting in the West, no place names in China are provided. We can safely assume that a lot of action takes place in NE China. What about its mountainous, desert northwestern hinterland? Apparently, during the border skirmishes of the late 1960s, the Soviets were considering an invasion of Xinjiang in the hopes of inspiring its non-Chinese ethnic majorities into declaring independence and joining the USSR as a semi-autonomous SSR. So, certainly there'd be some fighting there. Because of the length of the front, I just don't see static, WWI-style trench warfare as being a viable tactic/strategy.

Would the PACT units sent east to fight the Chinese be grouped into a majority PACT corps or army or would they be spread among majority Soviet corps/armies? I tend to think that it would be the latter, giving the Soviets more control of their erstwhile allies. I can see logic in both approaches but what would be most realistic and why?

As to the course of the fighting in China, there are several clues in the canon (primarily in the v1.0 "Chronological Background"), but mostly it's left to the imagination.

"The Red Army enjoyed rapid initial success, and tank columns rolled deep into the northern Chinese industrial heartland." This suggests that Soviet armored mobility played well during the early fighting, probably because the Chinese chose to fight back, in kind, with their technologically obsolete, home-grown (though largely copied from earlier Soviet material) tank and mechanized forces.

Canon then says that the Soviet onslaught began to bog down as the Chinese rapidly called up its massive reserves and mobilized its large People's militia. It describes China as becoming, in effect, a meat grinder for both sides. I agree with Web's assessment/description of large scale Chinese infiltration tactics, given the size and structure of the PLA and its supporting People's Militia. I see the Chinese as losing most of their armored/mechanized forces early on as they try, futilely, to beat the Red Army at its own game. At that point, the Chinese can only fight back by throwing millions of lightly-equipped infantry at the Soviets, slowing them down while Chinese armor and air strength are rebuilt far from the front lines.

This strikes me as a sort of a role reversal for the Soviets, with the Red Army playing the Wehrmacht of July 1941, making massive initial gains against ill-prepared, poorly-led Chinese military forces, until Chinese numbers and manufacturing capacity, backed by Western "Neo Lend-Lease" aid, ground down the Soviet/PACT spearheads and began to overtake Soviet capacity to replace men and material. In this scenario, the Chinese would trade space for time, albeit begrudgingly. From what canon has to say, this strategy eventually bears fruit.

By the time the nukes start flying, the Chinese have been able to rebuild "mechanized columns" vaporized "in imagined pursuit" of retreating USSR/PACT forces.

That said, I am sure that there would be cities/regions that the Chinese would do everything in their power to hold on to, a-la Stalingrad. Where would this decisive turning point campaign take place?

Clearly the Soviets/PACT weren't fighting in the East with their full strength, as the Chinese were. This also mirrors the Germany v. USSR dynamic of WWII. The Soviets/PACT have to keep significant forces in Eastern Europe, as the Politburo still considered NATO to be an existential threat to the Soviet Union.

What about the naval war between the USSR and China? In the T2K v1.0 timeline, the Chinese navy would have been no match for the Red Fleet. I see the Soviets destroying the PLN pretty quickly, then attempting to blockade Chinese ports to prevent the arrival of Western aid. It's not mentioned in canon, but I am sure that this would have escalated tension between the USSR and the West, especially when Red Fleet subs start sinking non-Chinese flagged merchantmen, as would certainly occur at least a few times before the war expanded to Europe.

I'm going to take another look at the Soviet Vehicle Guide for clues regarding the fighting on the Chinese Front. Aside from those already mentioned, are there other canonical sources worth taking a look at? Specifically, is anyone aware of any canonical source that identifies the non-Soviet PACT units sent to China and where they operated? Are there any Challenge articles on the Chinese Front?

Anyway, I'm interested in reading your thoughts on the Chinese front.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I'm going to take another look at the Soviet Vehicle Guide for clues regarding the fighting on the Chinese Front. Aside from those already mentioned, are there other canonical sources worth taking a look at? Specifically, is anyone aware of any canonical source that identifies the non-Soviet PACT units sent to China and where they operated? Are there any Challenge articles on the Chinese Front?
Rae, I'm not certain on this but I think that the V2 Soviet Vehicle Guide identifies the non Soviet units and gives their current location / strength as of Summer 2000. Someone who has a copy (I don't) should be able to confirm and maybe post the relevant info.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:05 PM
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Except for any unaccounted challenge articles, I think the Sino-Soviet War, like so many other parts of the Twilight war, will have to be written here on this forum. I've read a lot of the fan created stuff here, and if I didn't know any better, i d think it was canon. Some of you guys know the material down the the syntax and spelling errors. There's a piece someone here wrote about the units the soviets created from captured/defected Chinese soldiers. I have it on my laptop at home. Now its not a full breakdown of the entire conflict, but it is a great place to start. Also makes me wonder about Korea and Japan. Also on Paul's site, at the end of the description and history for weapons and vehicles it will also list any deviant info in regards to the war. Like Japan selling weapons the the Philippines, for example. His own little flavor text if you will.
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:50 PM
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@Rainbow6: I didn't know that there was a v2 Soviet Vehicle Guide. I'll have to look into that. Hopefully, someone here can point me in the right direction.

@Draq: Perhaps, someday. If I were to do such a thing, I would want to keep it as close to v1.0 canon as possible, so whatever we can dig up to that end will be helpful.

I read through the blurbs for all of the Soviet units listed as being in the Far East (as of July 2000). Several were listed as destroyed during the Chinese counterattack/counteroffensive in 1995. Others were listed as being destroyed during the Soviet withdrawal in 1997. A spring 1996 offensive was also mentioned.

Several formations were listed as being in Manchuria during/after the fall of China. Several others were listed as being moved to Mongolia during that time. The only cities listed specifically were Peking and Harbin.

So, for those 2+ years of intense warfare in China, there's not a lot in canon to go on. From the Soviet POV, it looks like things started off really well, quickly went to shit, stabilized, got a bit better in the spring of '96, got a lot worse (when the war starts in Germany), and then pretty much ended when they nuked the holy hell out of China. After that, it looks like the Soviets maintained tenuous control over at least part of Manchuria, and occupied at least a part of Mongolia. China, apparently, descends into anarchy and warlordism as central party control is shattered (presumably by the heavy nuking). Basically, China in late '96 is like Poland, only four years sooner.

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Last edited by Raellus; 08-02-2016 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:15 PM
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Default Soviet Unit Dispositions Per Soviet Combat Vehicle Guide

Here are the unit dispositions for Western Siberia, China, and North Korea per the version 2 Soviet Combat Vehicle Guide. The following abbreviations apply:

TD= Tank Division
MRD= Motorized Rifle Division (Mechanized for the Polish unit)
AAB= Air Assault Brigade
IDRD= Internal Defense Rifle Division
AMB= Air Mobile Brigade


WESTERN SIBERIA:

2nd Army: Siberia.

31st MRD. 3000 men
70th MRD. 200 men
78th MRD. 1000 men, 3 T64s
342nd MRD. 200 men

156th MRD (marauder). 4000 men


FAR EASTERN TVD:

1st Far Eastern Front: Manchuria.

98th AAB. 300 men
50th AMB. 200 men

39th Soviet Army: Tsitsihar, Manchuria.

23rd MRD (Tsitsihar, Manchuria). 2000 men, 6 T64s
100th IDRD (Tsitsihar, Manchuria). 2000 men


36th Soviet Army: Manchuria.

49th TD. 2000 men
6th TD. 4000 men, 16 T72s, 20 T80s
46th IDRD (Harbin, Manchuria). 2000 men, 2 T64s

5th Soviet Army: Manchuria.

3rd TD. 500 men, 2 T80s
29th IDRD. 500 men, 2 T74s
79th MRD. 3000 men, 12 tanks (various makes)
71th MRD. 3000 men, 15 T72s
4th (Polish) MRD. 1000 men, 3 T55s

Lost or Rogue Units: Manchuria

139th MRD (missing). 300 men, 1 T72
141st MRD (Marauder). 200 men
148th MRD (missing). 200 men
153rd IDRD (marauder). 100 men


2ND FAR EASTERN FRONT:

17th Soviet Army: Mongolia.

11th TD. 1000 men, 8 T72s
34th MRD. 4000 men, 36 T72s
56th MRD. 4000 men, 32 T74s
91st MRD. 200 men


YALU FRONT: North Korea.

203rd AAB. 200 men

35th Soviet Army: Yalu Penninsula.

173rd MRD. 1000 men, 2 T74s
194th MRD. 200 men, 1 T80
38th IDRD. 200 men, 8 T64s

Those are the units in or near China.


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Old 08-02-2016, 08:37 PM
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Thanks, Swag. I'll compare those to the ones given in the v1 SVG- I'm predicting that there's probably quite a bit of overlap. I take it that no PACT units are listed for the Far East theater?
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:19 PM
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To add the Swaghauler's list.

Siberian Front
2nd Soviet Army
31st Motorised Rifle Division. 3,000 men (Barnaul, Siberia) * Marauder
70th Motorised Rifle Division. 200 men (Tomsk, Siberia)
78th Motorised Rifle Division. 1,000 men, 3x T-64 (Asino, Siberia)
342nd Motorised Rifle Division. 200 men (Siberia)

15th Soviet Army
73rd Internal Defence Division. 3,000 men (Kansk, Siberia)
102nd Internal Defence Division. 3,000 men (Siberia)
116th Motorised Rifle Division. 600 men (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia)
118th Motorised Rifle Division. 2,000 men (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia)

1st Japanese Front: Sakhalin/Kurile Islands
128th Air Assault Brigade. 600 men (Kurile Islands)
28th Soviet Army
50th Guards Motorised Rifle Division. 2,000 men, 12x T-72 (Kurile Islands)
101st Guards Motorised Rifle Division. 1,000 men (Sakhalin)
104th Motorised Rifle Division. 3,000 men, 15x T-74 (Sakhalin)


Warsaw Pact Forces
East German 9th Tank Division. Destroyed in Shenyang in 1996
East German 11th Motorised Rifle Division. Destroyed in Shenyang in 1996
Czech 3rd Motorised Rifle Division. Destroyed in Sverdlovsk in 1996 (from Czechoslovak Vehicle Guide) * attached to Soviet 17th Army
Bulgarian 5th Tank Group. 300 men (Cheremkhovo, Siberia) * attached to Soviet 17th Army
Polish 4th Motorised Rifle Division. 1,000 men, 3x T-55 (Manchuria) * attached to Soviet 5th Army
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:01 PM
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Thanks, RN7. Do those also come from the v2 SVG or do you have another source?

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Old 08-02-2016, 11:15 PM
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V2 Soviet Vehicle Guide, except for the Czech 3rd Motorised Rifle Division which came for the Czechoslovak Vehicle Guide.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:30 PM
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Part of my Chinese write-up from the T2k German Sourcebook I never can finish. This section goes up to German Reunification in October 1996.

Soviet relations with China improved in the 1980's under the Gorbachev regime through the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the diffusion of tensions along the Sino-Soviet border. However the removal of Gorbachev from power in 1991 by Soviet hardliners led to a resumption of Soviet hostility towards China. The modernisation of the Chinese economy and armed forces played upon traditional Russian xenophobia about being encircled by its enemies. The Soviet leadership took the decision to attack China as early as 1993, and Soviet forces were slowly transferred to the Far East in order to avoid notice by China and Western intelligence services. Using territorial disputes with China along the Sino-Soviet border as a legitimate excuse to attack China, Soviet planners intended to launch a military assault through Manchuria and seize Beijing to force a regime change, while also eliminating Chinese military power before the United States and other nations could influence affairs. The use of nuclear weapons against Chinese forces were not part of Soviet planning, but their use was not ruled out either.

1995

Soviet forces facing China were controlled by the Soviet Far Eastern Military District headquartered in the Soviet Far Eastern City of Khabarovsk near Vladivostok. The district was a vast territory stretching from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean, and from the East Siberian Sea to the Chinese border. It bordered China, Mongolia and North Korea through a 17 kilometres strip of land on the Pacific coast, and also Japan across the Soya Strait and Alaska across the Bering Sea. The Soviet Far Eastern Military District controlled 21 divisions (including reserves) assigned to the 3rd Guards Army, 5th Army, 15th Army and 35th Army, the Soviet Navy Red Banner Pacific Fleet and three air corps of the Soviet Air Force. Throughout 1994 second line divisions in the Soviet Far East were reassigned to less pivotal theatres such as Soviet Central Asia, and were replaced by Category I and II divisions and military equipment from Europe. In January 1995 Soviet ground units in the Soviet Far East were assigned to the Soviet 1st Far Eastern Front and 2nd Far Eastern Front were reformed for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Divisions from the Soviet 2nd Army in Siberia, 28th Army in Belorussia, 36th Army in Transbaikal and the 39th Army in Mongolia were also allocated to support operations in the Soviet Far East. Soviet reconnaissance satellites are also prioritised for orbital sweeps over the Far East to give accurate information on Chinese and US forces in Asia. In June 1995 Soviet GRU Spetsnaz troops disguised as KGB Border Troops cross the Ussuri River on the Chinese border and attack the Chinese 52nd Border Defence Force to provoke conflict with China. Following heavy Chinese casualties the Chinese Government deploys regular PLA units along the Sino-Soviet border region, as a number of fire fights and artillery duels occur between Chinese and Soviet forces. Throughout July Soviet troops from western military districts are airlifted to the Far East to fill slots within selected Soviet divisions, while frontline Soviet Air Force squadrons are also deployed to the Far East. In August the Soviet Politburo authorizes a full-scale invasion of China as Soviet forces in the Far East are brought up to full operational strength.

On August 19th the Soviet 1st Far Eastern Front deploys ten divisions of the Soviet 3rd Guards Army and 5th Army across the Chinese border into Manchuria, flanked by three divisions of the Soviet 15th Army from the Soviet Pacific coast. Two additional divisions from the 15th Army with Soviet naval infantry also secure the port of Vladivostok, Sakhalin, the Kurile islands and the North Korean border. To the west the 2nd Far Eastern Front deploys five divisions of the 36th Army to support the Soviet advance into Manchuria and Inner-Mongolia, while five more divisions from the 35th Army in Siberia cross into Xinjiang province. The Soviet 6th Guards Air Assault Division is also airdropped into Manchuria in advance of the main body of Soviet forces to seize rail heads and river crossings, while the Soviet 98th Air Assault Brigade assists the 35th Army in Xinjiang. The Soviet Air Force also heavily attacks PLA military and air bases across northern China. The Soviet Union officially declares war on the People's Republic of China on August 20th. The United States immediately places all its forces in Asia on high alert, while the governments of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan meet in emergency session. North Korea declares its neutrality in the conflict despite the Soviet border remaining open and the presence of Soviet advisors in the country. In Europe NATO tightens security on the inter-German border. As Soviet forces advance into Manchuria a number of PLA divisions are overrun, while the Soviet 50th Airmobile Brigade and 14th Spetsnaz Brigade are dropped behind Chinese lines in Manchuria to block the escape route for several shattered Chinese divisions. By the end of August the Soviets are in effective control of the entire Sino-Soviet border region and capture the cities of Harbin and Changchun despite heavy Chinese resistance. The Soviet Air Force also establishes air superiority over most of northern and western China and inflicts heavy losses on the PLAAF. By September Chinese reserves are fully mobilised but the Soviet advance in China continues. Numerous PLA divisions in Manchuria are shattered by better armed Soviet forces, while Soviet long ranged bombers penetrate air defences around Beijing and damage a number of military installations. The Soviet Pacific Fleet also begins combat operations of the coast of China, and Soviet submarines sink several Chinese frigates and a number of cargo ships in the East China Sea and threaten the sea lanes across the entire the Far East. With the Soviet 1st Far Eastern Front less than 500 kilometres from Beijing the United States and NATO authorise emergency arms shipments to China. Prepositioned sealift ships from the US Material Sealift Command in Guam and Saipan are ordered to the ports of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tientsin under US Navy escort, while USAF transports begin supply runs to China from the United States, Japan and Europe. By the end of September the Soviets capture the city of Shenyang, but the Soviet advance stalls due to increasing shortages of manpower and equipment.

In October the PLA begins a massive counteroffensive against the Soviets, with more than sixty Chinese divisions and over one million troops sent against Soviet forces in China. Despite superior Soviet firepower the size of the Chinese offensive forces a general retreat of Soviet forces in Manchuria. A few Soviet divisions are trapped in pockets around Shenyang. The Soviet 3rd Tank Division takes heavy losses, while the Soviet 29th Internal Rifle Division and 38th Internal Rifle Division are overrun and nearly destroyed. By November the entire Soviet front in Manchuria is in danger of collapsing, and only attrition and Soviet air power prevents the Chinese advancing on the Sino-Soviet border. Soviet combat ready divisions in Europe and Western military districts are readied for deployment to the Soviet Far East, and the Soviet 173rd Motorised Rifle Division is committed to operations in Manchuria. The onset of severe winter weather causes the fighting in Manchuria to subside as both sides rebuilt their exhausted forces. In the Soviet Union living conditions begin to fall as industrial production is diverted to support the war effort in China. In December the Soviet Politburo declares martial law in the Soviet Far Eastern, Siberian and Transbaikal military districts and request that its Warsaw Pact allies send troops to China. East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland comply with the Soviet request, but Romania refuses to send troops to China which causes noticeable dissent in the Eastern Bloc. The Soviet Pacific Fleet also begin unrestricted submarine warfare against Chinese shipping in the Pacific Ocean, leading to the reinforcement of the US Navy Seventh Fleet in Japan. Soviet strategic bombers also begin to target cities in China's populous eastern regions, with Shanghai and Chunking coming under air attack for the first time. In response the Chinese 2nd Artillery Corps launches a barrage of conventional intermediate range ballistic missiles against targets in the Soviet Far East and Siberia, which damage a number of air bases and rail heads and severely disrupt Soviet operations. In the United States paranoia about the war in China escalating to a global nuclear conflict leads to major anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC and New York, with rioting also reported in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Detroit.

1996

In the New Year fresh Soviet Category 1 divisions from Europe are shipped by rail to the Soviet Far East, and the Soviet 9th Guards Tank Division, 18th Guards Tank Division, 22nd Tank Division, 34th Tank Division, 1st Guards Motorised Rifle Division, 34th Motorised Rifle Division and the 106th Guards Air Assault Division are prepared for deployment to China. Soviet bombing of Chinese military targets continues over the winter, but the Chinese front remained stable due to a Soviet reluctance to launch ground offensives until adequately reinforced. By February Soviet divisions transferred from the west are moved into position in Manchuria, and are joined by the East German 9th Tank Division and 11th Motorised Rifle Division, the Czech 3rd Motorised Rifle Division, the Polish 4th Motorised Rifle Division and the Bulgarian 5th Tank Group. In response to the ongoing war in China NATO prepare for future hostilities, while the United States increases military stocks held at POMCUS bases in West Germany, and stockpiles military equipment aboard maritime pre-positioning ships in the Mediterranean, Diego Garcia, Guam and Saipan. The Iran-Nowin government also declares martial law in Iran against the Soviet backed Tudeh and the emergent Islamic Pasdaran militia. In the Soviet Caucasus Chechen rebels also launch a number of surprise attacks on Soviet forces. KGB intelligence sweeps reveal Chechen links with Islamic militants in Iran, and Border Guard regiments are deployed to the Transcaucasian and North Caucasian Military Districts from Russia to secure the Soviet border with the Middle East.

In April the Soviets launch a fresh offensive against China as divisions of the Soviet 1st Far Eastern Front resumes their advance on Manchuria. Soviet armed Uyghur partisans also begin attacks on Chinese forces in Xinjiang Province. PLA forces are shattered by the Soviet offensive and the Chinese 16th Army and 23rd Army are routed by the Soviets in Manchuria, and the Soviet 35th Army advances as far as the Yalu River. By May the Soviet offensive in China stalls as fresh Chinese divisions are transferred from the south to reinforce the Chinese 27th Army and 38th Army defending Beijing. Over the winter Chinese forces were reinforced with NATO arms, and a Chinese counter-offensive led by the Chinese 40th Army breaks through Soviet lines and encircles Harbin and Shenyang. Warsaw Pact troops in Manchuria are hard pressed to hold their positions and casualties increase. During the breakout from the Shenyang pocket the Soviet 70th Motorised Division suffers heavy losses, while the East German 9th Tank Division and 11th Motorised Rifle Division are overrun and destroyed largely due to poor Soviet leadership and communications. Media coverage of Soviet and East German casualties and prisoners of war in China is broadcasted around the world, leading to anti-Soviet protests in West Germany and considerable unease in East Germany. The failure of the Soviet offensive in China leads to a massive mobilisation of Soviet forces. One quarter of the Soviet Army’s Category I divisions and many Soviet category II divisions are mobilised for deployment to China. Soviet category III divisions are upgraded, and reserve mobilisation only divisions start training for the first time since the Second World War. In the Soviet State of Azerbaijan a large group of Chechen rebels with a contingent of Iranian Pasdaran are ambushed and destroyed by the Soviet 22nd Spetsnaz Brigade. In response the Pasdaran storms the Soviet embassy in Tehran before they are eliminated by the Iranian Army.

By June Soviet reinforcements from Europe begin to arrive in the Far East, and the Soviet 27th Tank Division, 23rd Motorised Rifle Division, 33rd Guards Motorised Division, 37th Motorised Rifle Division, 38th Internal Defence Rifle Division, 73rd Internal Defence Rifle Division, 112th Motorised Rifle Division, 116th Motorised Rifle Division, 118th Motorised Rifle Division, 141st Motorised Rifle Division and 158th Motorised Rifle Division are deployed to China. The Soviets also make a second call for troops from Warsaw Pact allies. Even within the highly censured Communist Bloc this news is highly unpopular, but the East German government agrees to reform the divisions destroyed in China. The nationalist officers corps of the Bundeswehr and NVA are alarmed by the prospect of more German troops being sent to China and begin to accelerate plans for German Reunification. In July the Soviet Army goes on the offensive in Manchuria and Chinese cities come under severe Soviet air attack, but the Soviet destroyer Obraztsovy is sunk by a Chinese submarine in East China Sea. The United States also begins to mobilises its forces in the Pacific Region. The US 1st Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) (Alaska NG) assumes responsibility for security in the Bering Strait, the 207th Infantry Group (Alaska NG) is designated the 2nd Infantry Brigade (Arctic Recon) and assumes security for the Aleutian Islands, while 221st Military Police Brigade (US Army Reserve) is sent to Hawaii and assumes security and traffic control duties in Pearl Harbor. By September the Soviet advance in Manchuria continues as Shenyang is captured for the third time. With the fighting in China threatening to spill over to the Korean Peninsula, the US 8th Army is also reconstituted as American ground and air forces prepare for deployment to South Korea. In October the Soviet 101st Internal Defence Rifle Division and 139th Motorised Rifle Division are transferred to the Chinese front. In Europe on October 7th selected border crossings on the inter-German border are opened by West German Bundesgrenzschutz and pro-nationalist East German Grenztruppen units. Forward elements of the Bundeswehr advance into East Germany spearheaded by the 5th Panzer Division. Over the next twelve hours eight West German divisions cross into East Germany. The Soviet General Staff at Checkov orders all Soviet forces in China to cease offensive operations until the situation in Germany is contained.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:02 AM
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Something we may want to think about, for the time frame in T2000: Small Chinese units (mostly trainers and advisors) in Albania, the Middle East (particularly in Iran) and in Africa. The Chinese started selling a lot of military equipment in those areas starting in the mid-late 1980s.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:29 AM
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Do I sense another update of the Soviet orbat?
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:23 AM
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Some things from my own recollections:

1. For those that remember, Tchaikovsky did a real number on the domestic Chinese arms industry, or at least we said it did in our DCWG write-ups. The Chinese AF had taken a beating in '95 and the winter of '95-'96 was probably no different, as the Chinese may be buying western aircraft..but they gotta learn how to fly them..in the meanwhile, Western volunteers in F-4s and F-20s fill in the gap..ala the Flying Tigers.

2. The situation improves as Western aid and trainers arrive beginning in early '96, what really is the big "game-changer" for the Chinese is gobs and gobs of ATGM like Tank Breaker and the latest version of TOW. Yes, it's risky from a security POV, but you can take the money and plow it into product improvements that will keep us ahead of the Soviets. It's a lot easier to train ATGM gunners in light infantry units..than it is to train 'mech infantry. That's not to say those units aren't being formed...

3. The Soviet Spring Offensive in '96 works something like this (barebones). The Soviets launch an offensive to envelop and destroy the major Chinese grouping around Shenyang and force the Chinese to the table on Soviet terms. They have sent one Army East from GSFG (We said 20th Guards, but you can pick whatever works for you), add in some East Germans probably backing them up (in fact, making the initial penetration) and you have the shape of the attempted Soviet offensive...

4. It all winds up a dog's breakfast. The re-equipped Chinese light infantry is well, everywhere. Sure the Soviets and East Germans stack them like firewood, but there are always more..with more ATGM..and it works really well against Soviet reactive armor as it's got tandem warheads and all the trimmings..Tank Breaker, in fact, gets an evil reputation here.

5. After all that goes to hell for the Soviets, and the pincers stall ala the Germans at Kursk, a dozen of the Chinese "New Model" Brigades, organized with Western equipment and along Western lines, counterattack, and beat the snot out of the Soviets, and fearing a replay of Red Willow, they fight a confused, broken backed withdrawal, where the East Germans get left high and dry..and are forced to surrender en masse.

That was the general shape of where we were going with this.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:42 AM
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I like that, Jason. I wonder how much armor the west will really be able to supply to the Chinese, though. I see Chinese domestic production as key to re-armoring to any significant extent. I think that they would be able to do what the Soviets did in '41 and move their factories far enough from the front to be able to produce without too much Soviet interference. I agree that Western ATGMs are what really makes the difference in stopping the '96 Soviet offensive. Then, as I see it, Chinese armor, supplemented by American-made LAV-75/Ridgways and Stingrays turn the tide. And then they get nuked.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:43 AM
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I like that, Jason. I wonder how much armor the west will really be able to supply to the Chinese, though. I see Chinese domestic production as key to re-armoring to any significant extent. I think that they would be able to do what the Soviets did in '41 and move their factories far enough from the front to be able to produce without too much Soviet interference. I agree that Western ATGMs are what really makes the difference in stopping the '96 Soviet offensive. Then, as I see it, Chinese armor, supplemented by American-made LAV-75/Ridgways and Stingrays turn the tide. And then they get nuked.
The trouble is, the Chinese AF just aren't able to keep up with the Soviets..at first. The elements of the AF that are learning to use the new Western kit are still in the US and elsewhere, learning how to use it. What's left is in the same position the Soviet AF was in in '41-'42, being tackling dummies for the other side. The Soviets also take down the Chinese AD network with frightening ease, blowing large holes in it for raids of Bears, Backfires, Badgers and Fencers to range throughout China. And most of the raids are at night..which means the Chinese are at a further disadvantage.

By limiting themselves to a single target set, the Soviets have a doable option. That said, they will not knock out Chinese arms production completely (we didn't manage it with the Germans either), but it will set it back. And losses for the Soviets are going to be lower..many of the attacks are via ALCM (Conventional AS-4/6).

It's really not until the AVG arrives, and the Chinese AF begins to integrate the hardware it has..with what it is getting and implement something right out of the German WWII "Wild Sow/Tame Sow" tactics...that they begin to get the measure of the Soviet AF.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:51 AM
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I wonder if the thousands of E. German POWs getting nuked in such a cavalier fashion didn't help foment the mutinies in the WarPac.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:46 AM
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The trouble is, the Chinese AF just aren't able to keep up with the Soviets..at first. The elements of the AF that are learning to use the new Western kit are still in the US and elsewhere, learning how to use it. What's left is in the same position the Soviet AF was in in '41-'42, being tackling dummies for the other side. The Soviets also take down the Chinese AD network with frightening ease, blowing large holes in it for raids of Bears, Backfires, Badgers and Fencers to range throughout China. And most of the raids are at night..which means the Chinese are at a further disadvantage.

By limiting themselves to a single target set, the Soviets have a doable option. That said, they will not knock out Chinese arms production completely (we didn't manage it with the Germans either), but it will set it back. And losses for the Soviets are going to be lower..many of the attacks are via ALCM (Conventional AS-4/6).

It's really not until the AVG arrives, and the Chinese AF begins to integrate the hardware it has..with what it is getting and implement something right out of the German WWII "Wild Sow/Tame Sow" tactics...that they begin to get the measure of the Soviet AF.
Does any one know exactly that the Chinese got from the West and in what quantity? The only reference anywhere I can find is from Paul's site .

Also from looking at Chinese forces in this period (I am using IISS military balance for 1990/91 and 1991/92 as this gives force levels just before the USSR breaks up, and the right type of equipment that Chinese and Soviet forces would be using in T2K), the Chinese are at a severe technological disadvantage in comparison to the Soviets. Despite huge numbers on paper it is theoretically possible that China would not have been able to hold out against the advancing Soviets, and a Soviet conventional victory was only forestalled by the numbers they were using.

During the First Gulf War at this time the Chinese observed how easily the US and Western forces dismantled the Iraqi Army and Air Force, and Iraqi forces were more experienced and used equipment that was technologically as good or better than what China had at the time. The Iraqis also by and large used Soviets "export" military equipment, which was mostly better than what China had and inferior to what the Soviets used.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:02 AM
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I wonder if the thousands of E. German POWs getting nuked in such a cavalier fashion didn't help foment the mutinies in the WarPac.
The first nuclear use in China according to the Twilight 2000 timeline on Wikia is in July 1997. This is after the events of May-June 1996, where the Spring Offensive occurs, and October 1996, when German reunification occurs at the end of a rifle.

I am going to make the following assumptions on that score:

a) Those POWs have long since been repatriated. Either to West Germany before the war to take advantage of the near-certain unrest in the East, or to a united Germany once war breaks out in Europe.

b) From all accounts that I can glean from, the East Germans sound to me like they were left to fight a rear guard to extricate the Soviets from a Red Willow-style encirclement. I assume they were instead, encircled themselves and forced to capitulate. This will not play well back home at all.

c) What happens between June 1996 and July 1997? That is 11 months we cannot account for. Do the Soviets allow a stalemate to set in, rightly believing that the decisive theatre is now the West? Do the Chinese build up for their own offensive, that fatefully kicks off in the Summer of 1997, and so overwhelm the remaining Soviet units that the Soviets "hold the trigger down and empty the magazine" with regards to the nuclear option in China, as we see the Soviets basically practicing wholesale genocide with regards to their use of nuclear weapons (Not that using nukes in any format is easy on the surrounding life forms).

In short, that 11 month period is really in my mind, the key. This to me, is when the war reaches it's zenith of violence, both in Asia and Europe..before that, it's a regional conflict, after, it's a slow slide to barbarism.

But, YMMV.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:11 AM
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From all accounts that I can glean from, the East Germans sound to me like they were left to fight a rear guard to extricate the Soviets from a Red Willow-style encirclement. I assume they were instead, encircled themselves and forced to capitulate. This will not play well back home at all.
This to me has always been the trigger that started German Reunification. Before this event the East Germans were already uneasy with the direction that Soviet foreign policy was heading and the increasing political and social restrictions over Soviet allies (satellites). Both German militaries obviously discussed and made some contingency plans before the decimation of the two East German divisions in China, but the event and the clear implication that the Soviets were using and planning to use more German troops as cannon fodder in its war in the Far East led to an acceleration of reunification planning in the East and West German militaries.
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:14 PM
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Edit - nvm., saw Jason's post regarding the timeline of events.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:04 PM
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The trouble is, the Chinese AF just aren't able to keep up with the Soviets..at first. The elements of the AF that are learning to use the new Western kit are still in the US and elsewhere, learning how to use it. What's left is in the same position the Soviet AF was in in '41-'42, being tackling dummies for the other side. The Soviets also take down the Chinese AD network with frightening ease, blowing large holes in it for raids of Bears, Backfires, Badgers and Fencers to range throughout China. And most of the raids are at night..which means the Chinese are at a further disadvantage.
A fair point, but I was specifically referencing armor production. Given western aid, specifically fighter jets and SAMS, I think that the Chinese could protect their relocated AFV factories enough that they could start rebuilding their own armored/mechanized forces almost exclusively with domestic production. I don't think that the Chinese would be capable of rebuilding an effective, home-grown AF after their initial losses. I totally agree that an influx of western aircraft, some piloted by westerners, is what allowed relocated Chinese tank factories to continue cranking out cheap-ass T-55 knock-offs. I just think that it would be easier for the U.S.A. to dust off some of the old Phantoms and A-4s and the like stored in S. Arizona, and crank out a few factory-fresh F-5s and F-20s, and ship those to China, than to produce and ship enough American-made tanks to rebuild the PLA's smashed armor forces. Sure, they'd throw in a few Stingrays, and M48s, and LAV-75s, but that would just be icing on the cake. The biggest western contribution- in my T2KU, at least- was aircraft, SAMs, and ATGMs. IMO, it's about conservation of effort and economies of scale. Those western planes and American-made ATGMs are what allowed the Chinese to hold on. That, and their massive manpower reserves and well-established partisan system, of course.

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b) From all accounts that I can glean from, the East Germans sound to me like they were left to fight a rear guard to extricate the Soviets from a Red Willow-style encirclement. I assume they were instead, encircled themselves and forced to capitulate. This will not play well back home at all.
Someday, I'd like to run a T2K campaign based around a group of NVA soldiers, c. 7/97, who say "f*#$ it!" and head for home after being placed in a hopeless rearguard position by their Soviet masters. How do you say, "good luck, you're on your own" in Russian? Considering the distances involved, and the intervening obstacles, both natural and man-made, such a campaign could be epic- a modern Homeric odyssey, if you will. I'm going to call it, "T2K: The Long March". My fellow history buffs will get it.

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Originally Posted by Jason Weiser View Post
c) What happens between June 1996 and July 1997? That is 11 months we cannot account for. Do the Soviets allow a stalemate to set in, rightly believing that the decisive theatre is now the West? Do the Chinese build up for their own offensive, that fatefully kicks off in the Summer of 1997, and so overwhelm the remaining Soviet units that the Soviets "hold the trigger down and empty the magazine" with regards to the nuclear option in China, as we see the Soviets basically practicing wholesale genocide with regards to their use of nuclear weapons (Not that using nukes in any format is easy on the surrounding life forms).
I think that's about right, Jason. This is what canon has to say about the situation in the Far East in the Summer of 1997, starting with the strategic situation in Europe:

"By early July, NATO advanced elements were closing up on the Polish-Soviet frontier in the central region, while continuing the siege of Pact-held Warsaw." (Twilight 2000 Referee's Manual, p. 25)

Then, after a blurb about the Polish government-in-exile, canon goes on to say,

"In the Far East, Pact forces began major withdrawals all along the front, and the mobile elements of the Chinese Army began a victorious pursuit." (p. 25)

On July 9th, with NATO forces closing in on Soviet soil, the Soviets start using tac-nukes. The canon continues with,

"In the East, however, they were used on a massive scale. Chinese mechanized columns were vaporized, caught in the open on the roads in imagined pursuit". (p. 25)

I think, in 13 months between June '96 and July '97, that both China and the USSR were rebuilding and re-martialing their forces in the Far East. This would have been more difficult for the Soviets because, by then, they were fighting a two-front war. The Soviets were probably trying to manage the overall situation, holding on to as much strategically-significant ground in Manchuria as they coould whilst shifting whatever forces they could spare from the Far East back to central Europe. In the meantime, the Chinese were rebuilding their "mobile units" for a massive summer offensive against the PACT occupiers. It sounds like they hit the Soviets just as the Soviets commenced a general retreat. But, instead of chasing the Red Army back across the border, those new, rebuilt "mechanized columns" were annihilated by Soviet tac-nukes.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:54 AM
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Rae,
Try worse for our East Germans...assuming they survived the 1996 Spring Offensive, where so many of their brethren wound up dead or in the bag, then add in the fact that the East Germany they fought for..no longer exists, and the Soviets either:

1) Forcibly disarmed them and turned them into forced labor/POWs (or both).

2) Allowed them to be reformed into a brigade sized unit and sent to go the most dangerous tasks..with a permanently attached KGB unit there to make sure "these Germans remain loyal."

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Old 08-15-2016, 01:12 PM
simonmark6 simonmark6 is offline
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Then you'd have Kampfengruppe Falken only on teh other side. I like the idea, really like it.

For those of you not brought up in the 70s and 80s in the UK, that's totally obscure, I'll try and find a link.

Here we are:

http://britishcomicart.blogspot.co.u...pe-falken.html

I think this comic strip and the flying version: Iron Annie made me ready for T2K even before it existed. The almost nihilistic view of war where you brass was worse than the enemy and victory meant living to face certain death once more has a major vibe of the game.
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