View Single Post
Old 06-22-2009, 11:48 AM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is online now
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marana, AZ
Posts: 2,797

Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
Targan, Rae;
We've had many of these discussions of this very nature. And to be sure, the Red Army is no pushover by any means. But let's keep in mind a few factors:

1. This is not the "Ivan's decided to take a Sunday Drive to the Rhine" scenario. Matter of fact, she's been in a ruinous war in China for the last year or so before NATO gets involved and it's making Afghanistan look like a live-fire exercise. Whole divisions are being wiped out, war stocks are being dipped into, and with Web's timeline (which is the basis for a lot of our work), he has a lot of that stock being given out to the Third World.
Why, exactly, would they be giving away their reserve military stocks? This doesn't make a lot of sense being as the USSR is engaged in a major war against China. I'm not sure why some folks are so quick to accept arguments that weaken the T2K v1 USSR and so quick to dismiss arguments that strengthen it. I should make this into my thesis statement. Perhaps this is why I feel the need to keep bringing this issue up.

Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
Most of the breakdown for Ivan between 1995 and 1997 is logistical, (never a Soviet strong suit).
Never? This is a bit of an overstatement. By 1944, the Red Army was supporting massive numbers of troops, tanks, and aircraft in a steady, innexorable advance over hundreds of miles. I do see your point about the vulnerability of Soviet supply routes to the China front but I'm not sure how it's germaine to your arguments regarding the war in Europe where there would be hundreds of overland supply routes between Mother Russia and the front in Germany/Poland.

Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
In the west, once the USAF and RAF enter the fray, I'd say Air Superiority, if not local air dominance at times, is a given..The SAF is tired from the op tempo in China and has according to canon, stripped the western military districts for aircraft to support the effort in China. Wanna guess what happens after the SAF and Warpac airfields are dealt with? Interdiction round the clock.
Air superiority a given? How is this not an underestimation? Is this based on the U.S.'s performance against the Iraqi AF? Serbia? We've already established that this is not a fair or accurate comparison. Even if the Soviet Air Force was as depleted as you claim, the Soviets still have a massive ground-based air defense network in eastern Europe. Whether it could be eliminated so easily is still up for debate. Even if Europe was stripped on first-line combat aircraft, much of it could and no doubt would be sent back to Europe ASAP after the German gambit. The Soviets always placed a huge emphasis on defending its airspace and NATO's AFs would have been a much greater threat than the Chinese AF. I would argue that the Soviet AF on the China front would be stripped and the bulk of its aircraft rushed west if for no other reason than to defend the Motherland from the mere threat of NATO air power.

I'm also of the opinion that you are overstating Soviet air losses in the East. For one thing, the Chinese AF of the v1.0 timeline could not have been as powerful in '95 as it was in reality, but Web and others seem to be predicating Twilight Chinese AF capabilities on relatively recent developments instead of in keeping with the alternate v1 timeline. With tensions high between the Soviets and Chinese, the Soviets wouldn't have sold SU-27s to China as they did IRL and China's indigenous air industry wouldn't yet be able to produce anything approaching that quality. They only just started to produce their own indigenous 4th generation fighter during the last couple of years, IRL. Aircraft provided to China by the West as military aid would take time to train on and deploy operationally and by that time, most of the "original" Chinese AF would be destroyed. It's not like if you can fly a MiG-21 knock-off, you can just hop into the cockpit of an F-16 and go to town- at least not very effectively. Imagine a fresh-out-of-training Chinese pilot in an F-20 or whatever going up against a Soviet ace in a MiG-29 or SU-27.

I think Webstral's China timeline, although of excellent quality overall, departs somewhat liberally from canon in the beefing up of the Chinese AF.

And once again, by the time that W. Germany launched its forced reunification, Soviet war industries would be operating at close to full swing. As long as attrition of trained pilots wasn't too high, replacement aircraft could eventually be fielded. In this regard, at least, the WTO would have a leg up on NATO.

Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
The Soviet Army is tired. Alluding to point 1, the casualty rate in China has been nothing short of horrendous. Whole divisions are gone and the Soviets are trying to run a war through two railways each a single track in either direction. In the West, they're down a Combined Arms Army and several Air Armies (see point 1). China is a drain on the Soviets, one they cannot win short of use of WMD, which they resort to in July of 1997. Only then does China collapse.
I see your point here, and I think it's a good one. Perhaps I understated the negative effects of the war with China while trumpetting the valuable tactical and operational experience the Red Army would gain from it. But, I think that Abbot makes an important point that the Soviets would not trust the West enough to severely deplete their "occupation" armies there by shipping them all off to Europe. Although canon describes the strain on the Red Army's forces in Europe, I'm not sure where it mentions only one CA army and several AA armies left behind. If this is canonical, I apologize and I will have to rethink this point.

Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
There is no Soviet navy to interdict the convoys anymore, the Soviet Long Range aviation forces would be slaughtered in any conventional bombing campaign against North America...Thus, the escalation to strategic attacks against the US is almost a foregone conclusion.
No Soviet Navy? Now I'm confused. Even if, as canon describes, the Soviet surface navy was bottled up and destroyed early on in the war, there would at least be a few SSNs, SSGNs, and diesel boats out there, staking out the sea lanes. Also, if the Soviets could somehow neutralize or suppress NATO airpower in the GIUK gap, they could still strike at convoys with land based Backfire and Blackjack bombers. I would never argue that those assets would be used to attempt conventional bombing of targets in the CONUS.

No, the Soviet navy couldn't cut the sea lanes, even temporarily. But just one large RO-RO ship sunk and the U.S. could lose close to an armored bigade in one fell swoop. How long would it take for that kind of loss (of tanks and such, not shipping) to be replaced? Would the NATO armies have time to wait? I'd argue that the strategic supply lines between the U.S. and Europe are far more vulnerable to interdiction than the lines between the U.S.S.R. and Europe. To suggest that the Soviet navy would be impotent against NATO is the ultimate in underestimation.

Originally Posted by Jason Weiser
As for equipment, we've taken quite a few approaches in that regard, but I'll let Chico handle that as he's been handling most of the "crunchier" factors.
I'm looking foward to hearing from him.

In closing, I just can't see how canon can be supported if the v1 timeline's Soviet military is as crap-tastic as some folks seem to be claiming. Against NATO air superiority and naval superiority, and a fast, uninterrupted flow of fresh U.S. troops and hi-tech (read "superior") weapons and equipment that you are arguing for here, how could the WTO hold out as long as canon describes? Are you suggesting that the use of tac-nukes is the only way the Soviets are able to compete on the European battlefied? If so, then I've got to stick by my assertion that the Soviet military is being wilfully underestimated.
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure module, Rook's Gambit, and campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, available-

Last edited by Raellus; 06-22-2009 at 12:50 PM.
Reply With Quote