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  #91  
Old 07-14-2009, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fightingflamingo
I worked on the vehicle losses for the DC Group, in consultation with my compatriots... We did not use the current Iraq War, or the 1990 Persian Gulf War... the loss model was developed from statistical experience during world war II (although admittedly we had to make some judgement calls), additionally, we figured in recovery rates (from the Arab Israel Wars in 1967 and 1973), new vehicle delivery (based on the industrial mobilization chico mentioned above, and doctrinal industrial mobilization schedules), as well as field & depot battlefield vehicle recovery rates... in the previous mobilization for war document we touch on how crews would be replaced as that document details the number of recruits turned out on an annual basis (again based upon coldwar era mobilization doctrine), and specifies the armor training sites.

It may not be perfect, and grad school has interfered with my completing the other vehicle types and losses listed on the first page, but it's a start...
It's good to hear from you again, FF. I'm reassured that you're not using the Gulf Wars. The '73 Yom Kippur is probably a much better model, due to the various AT weapons fielded and the large tank v. tank engagements on the Golan Heights. It's like you've covered all of the salient factors in your modelling.

Thanks for posting your work for us to look at.

EDIT: Unfortunately, when I open the file, most of what I see is odd, scrambled characters. Darn it!
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  #92  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:22 PM
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EDIT: Unfortunately, when I open the file, most of what I see is odd, scrambled characters. Darn it!
Right click the link -> "save link as" (or "save target as" or something similar)
then open.

That usually works. Again the DC group has impressed me with their thoroughness.
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  #93  
Old 07-14-2009, 09:16 PM
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my main problem with using 1973 as a complete model is that the terrain even in the Golan (where at least it was hilly) was relatively open. Western Poland, and Germany have dense foliage which would interfere with wireguided systems, also the weather is generally crappier. I think the general physicality of the region (North Central Europe), has much closer engagement ranges (MBT vs MBT, as well as ATGM vs MBT).

Also of note NATO sent a team to Israel following the 1973 war to assess how the IDF handled battlefield recovery and return to service, as they really did an exceptional job, returning high numbers to knocked out tanks to service very, very quickly. But then that's why we've got ARV's right...

Thanks for the input...
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:19 PM
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I've done a lot of reading on the Golan Heights tank battles c. '73. There were indeed some open areas with wide and long vistas, but a lot of the area's broken terrain (hills, ramps, draws, wadis, etc.) created very close engagement distances. The Sinai... now that was some wide open terrain (in general).

Anyway, I know what you're saying and I'm not trying to quibble.

I agree with your assessment that central Europe's terrain would create generally closer engagement ranges than found during the Yom Kippur War but in some ways that would favor the defender, creating more ambush opportunities and flank/rear shots. Also, rough terrain would, in some cases, dictate likely avenues of approach for AFVs, in effect channeling them into heavy defensive fires. These two factors would undoubtedly increase AFV attrition.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:55 AM
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I'm coming late in that debate and everyone knows that I'm often defending the Russians. In fact, I don't really. However, I have a tendancy to distrust the western habit to underestimate Russia.

I have seen a lot of interesting thing but there are too things I wanted to say:

- Kato stated that the soviet economy was too weak and I think he is right. However, I would argue the same about our western societies and I'm not convinced that we could support a long war with a large ennemy.

- O'borg, talking of the IDF stated that their conscripts are highly motivated and, again, he is right. However, motivation is equally true for the Russians (and can compare to that of the IDF) as it only depends on how you present them the war. In 1812, Napoleon I was defeated by Russian peasants fighting for Mother Russia. In 1917, the Russian army was defeated by the Germans as they were fighting for the Czar. Four years later (after 2 years of fighting) these same soldiers (underequipped and outnumbered at least until late 1920) were defeating the largest world coalition of the time (White Russians, US, Japan, German, Czech, Poles, French, British..., all WW1 veterans) while attacked on four fronts (North, Poland, Ukraine and Siberia). They were fighting for Mother Russia and not for an obscure concept. In WW2, the Russians (losing 23 million soldiers, an amazing number) defeated Germany. Again Stalin was smart enough to call them in the defense of Mother Russia (not a word about communism). No people can accept so many dead without a true motivation. Then, my point is simple. When the Russians are fighting for Mother Russia they are highly motivated and very hard to defeat. Otherwise they are leasy and unreliable. In the case of T2K, they are indeed fighting again for Mother Russia as it is Germany which is the aggressor.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:04 AM
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I've done terrain walks in both Sinai, and Golan when I was in Egypt as part of the MFO.
Regarding Sinai, the terrain in the immediate vicinity of the canal and the eastern shore, as well as the north coastal road are relatively open and good country for mounted warfare. However, the central and southern portions of the penninsula are very rugged, and not where I'd want to be riding... not that I prefer walking there as it's hot as hell, but it'd be safer.

Regarding Golan, I think we were on the same page as I wasn't as good as describing my opinion as I intended. In some spaces, the engagement ranges would be very close, and key avenues of approach are relatively easily covered there by the Wadi's, and draws, that allow you to drive into Irsrael proper of off the heights. I intended to infer that the reduced foliage cover, and the terrain (as apposed to the Northern European Plain), would change the character of any combat.

Regarding Poland, and defense, I believe that defense will pretty much always be in a more favorable position than an attacker, and we have discussed at length the fortified defensive belt on the eastern bank of the Oder. However, the terrain in Poland (wife's from Poland so I've travelled extensively there also), which is generally mixed cultivated farms, divided up by thin woodlines, with some deciduous forest, will be a mixed bag. IMHO the foliage there will allow aggressive dismounted infantry anti-armor hunter killer teams a great advantage (both offensively and defensively), which will also affect the outcome of armor engagements. I also think that the battlefield in europe will be come significantly more cluttered with debris generally, since the terrain is more cluttered to begin with (without taking into consideration the fact that the building density is way higher than either if the Arab-Israeli battlefields thus discussed. I think this clutter could significantly hamper the performance of older wireguided antiarmor systems employed at ground level by both sides.
Ultimately I think that the offensive in to Poland, is going to come down to two things. 1) the air situation over the battlefront, and the ability of NATO fixed and rotary wing CAS to support the offensive. 2) the abilty of NATO artillery to suppress WP ATGM systems and dismounted infantry.
We have some idea's regarding how this will be accomplished, but that is another thread, and I for one, would like to wargame the Oder Crossing before I comment on that at length.
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  #97  
Old 07-16-2009, 12:43 PM
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That's awesome that you've been able to walk parts of those battlefields.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightingflamingo
Ultimately I think that the offensive in to Poland, is going to come down to two things. 1) the air situation over the battlefront, and the ability of NATO fixed and rotary wing CAS to support the offensive. 2) the abilty of NATO artillery to suppress WP ATGM systems and dismounted infantry.
We have some idea's regarding how this will be accomplished, but that is another thread, and I for one, would like to wargame the Oder Crossing before I comment on that at length.
Fair point.

It is sort of a topic for a new thread but I'd like to share my thoughts anyway.

1.) I think the European battlefield would be even deadlier for aircraft than it would be for AFVs. MANPADs and SPAAA would take a heavy toll of helicopter gunships. The Soviet's extensive and multilayered AAD network would give NATO fits. Sure, NATO was able to take out the Iraqi's AAD networks relatively easilty, and the Serbian's somewhat less so (although, IIRC, the Serbs were able to shoot down an F-117 with a Soviet made SAM), but those networks were poor imitations of what the Soviet' s would have had. A better model would be the Egyptian's network during the Yom Kippur war.

The popular media and the companies that manufacture combat aircraft and their weapon systems tend to portray modern air warfare as neat and tidy. NATO, especially, seems to put a lot of faith in BVR first kill ability. Yes, NATO has a technological edge in AWACs, combat aircraft, and missile systems, but only just a slight one. With hundred of aircraft in the air at once, AWAC would quickly break down. Contrary to popular belief, radars are neither all seeing nor all knowing. As recently as the '91 Gulf War, a flight of F-15s had trouble differentiating between a low flying MiG-25 and another flight of F-15s. They had to radio each other to waggle their wings to finally make a visual determination. At that point, any BVR edge is out the window. In a huge furball, a lot of NATOs technological advantages would dissappear. In fact, Soviet helmet mounted sights and aircraft-mounted IR seekers on the MiG-29 and SU-27 (the Soviets fielded these technologies first) would actually give a slight edge to the Soviet fighter pilots.

I think NATO's pilot training was clearly superior to the Soviets', though, so I still think NATO would have an overall advantage in air combat. The Soviet's numbers advantage would somewhat negate that, though. Overall, I think that the skies over central Europe would be particularly deadly for everyone involved, well before the TDM. This is one thing, IMO, that canon got dead on.

2.) IMPO, the Soviet's one clear cut edge, numbers notwithstanding, is artillery. I think NATO would lose a lot of its guns to Soviet counterbattery fire. The Red Army in the '80s still fielded artillery divisions and had gun and rocket systems dedicated exclusively to counterbattery fire.

This is one area where I think NATO's philosophy of technology trumping numbers is the most flawed. MLRS is awesome, but their simply aren't enough of them to negate the Soviet's massive fleets of BM-21s and BM-27s. The respective counter battery radars aren't that different in terms of their capabilities. The Soviet's venerable D30 howitzers are just as capable as the american's M117. The Soviets fielded a lot more large calibre guns (and mortars) than NATO and most of their guns (of all calibres) had a range advantage.

I think NATO counted on taking out Soviet batteries from the air, assuming the establishment of air superiority. I believe this was wishful thinking, on at least two counts. First, I don't think NATO could have achieved anything more than brief, local air superiority. Second, I think Soviet AAD systems would make hitting artillery positions a deady mission for NATO pilots.

I guess all of this reflects my skepticism regarding the ability of technology (as the primary causal factor) to win modern wars.

Mo, I think you're right on concerning the Soviet soldier. They may not be as educated or technologically astute as their western counterparts but, if properly motivated, they are tough, resourceful fighters. By most accounts, the average Soviet citizen is better suited to the privations of life on the battlefied than the average western soldier.
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  #98  
Old 07-16-2009, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
1.) I think the European battlefield would be even deadlier for aircraft than it would be for AFVs. MANPADs and SPAAA would take a heavy toll of helicopter gunships. The Soviet's extensive and multilayered AAD network would give NATO fits. Sure, NATO was able to take out the Iraqi's AAD networks relatively easilty, and the Serbian's somewhat less so (although, IIRC, the Serbs were able to shoot down an F-117 with a Soviet made SAM), but those networks were poor imitations of what the Soviet' s would have had. A better model would be the Egyptian's network during the Yom Kippur war.

The popular media and the companies that manufacture combat aircraft and their weapon systems tend to portray modern air warfare as neat and tidy. NATO, especially, seems to put a lot of faith in BVR first kill ability. Yes, NATO has a technological edge in AWACs, combat aircraft, and missile systems, but only just a slight one. With hundred of aircraft in the air at once, AWAC would quickly break down. Contrary to popular belief, radars are neither all seeing nor all knowing. As recently as the '91 Gulf War, a flight of F-15s had trouble differentiating between a low flying MiG-25 and another flight of F-15s. They had to radio each other to waggle their wings to finally make a visual determination. At that point, any BVR edge is out the window. In a huge furball, a lot of NATOs technological advantages would dissappear. In fact, Soviet helmet mounted sights and aircraft-mounted IR seekers on the MiG-29 and SU-27 (the Soviets fielded these technologies first) would actually give a slight edge to the Soviet fighter pilots.

I think NATO's pilot training was clearly superior to the Soviets', though, so I still think NATO would have an overall advantage in air combat. The Soviet's numbers advantage would somewhat negate that, though. Overall, I think that the skies over central Europe would be particularly deadly for everyone involved, well before the TDM. This is one thing, IMO, that canon got dead on.
A few thoughts on the situation in the air. First, the Pact had an integrated air defense system. That means, for example, that the Polish PVO was concentrated along the Baltic coast, especially in the west, and then in depth as area defenses around industrial and politically important cities. When East Germany leaves the Pact and turns its radars & SAMs east (or at least off, either by design or because the crews are defending their sites on the ground) the integrated system is left with a massive hole. The Pact is forced to quickly throw up an alternative system, which they can do but will be less effective than the pre-existing fixed system, and the assets that are used to do so will not be available to perform their intended role defending forces in the field or some other portion of the Fatherland.

One thing to keep in mind is the distinction between development of Soviet high-tech weapons and their widespread fielding throughout the Pact. There are only four regiments of Su-27 in the west - most of the Su-27s are assigned to the PVO, defending the USSR's borders. The Pact allies had limited SPAA (even a Soviet division has only 16 Shilkas), with most of the Polish army having ZU-23-2s without radars on trucks and SA-7s in limited numbers as their sole air defense.

As to historical examples, I think the 1990s IRL are fairly indicative. The F-117 that the Serbs downed was a hangar queen whose bomb-bay doors were stuck open after its bombing run and it ran the same egress route for 3 nights in a row, giving the Serbs plenty of time to move several SA-3 batteries under its flight path and firing volleys almost blind. The greatest losses in 1973 were due to the fielding of a new, previously unknown system - the SA-6 - which dropped off quite quickly once effective countermeasures were developed.

As far as AWACS and the possible outcomes of large numbers of aircraft in action, I don't see it as that likely. Having hundreds of aircraft on the orbat and launching hundreds of aircraft at the same time are vastly different. In Central Europe air operations will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end. At this point other issues begin to trump things like performance of AAMs and radars. Logistics rears its ugly head once again. What are the stockpiles of modern AAMs like? How many missions a day can ground crew maintain for weeks on end? How many spare parts are there? Are replacement pilots forthcoming? How rapidly can replacement ground radars be produced and emplaced? I see both sides having serious issues with these problems - the Pact, for example, has most of its aviation maintenance performed by junior officers, and has been in combat for over a year by the time war breaks out in the west (which has depleted stockpiles of parts and munitions but also allowed some industrial mobilization). On the other hand, the Luftwaffe is probably in pretty bad shape after fighting unassisted for 2 months.

The real decider of the war in the air very well might turn out to be the battle of the airfields. The Soviets would likely start to throw Scuds or their more modern replacements, probably with persistent chemical agents, at NATO's airfields at some point prior to the start of the tactical nuclear exchange. At the same time, NATO deep penetrator fighter-bombers - F-15E, F-111 and Tornado - would be gunning for Pact airfields, especially in Poland and Czechoslovakia (the MiG-29 having really short legs). Rough field and highway operations are hard to sustain long term - there's only so much complex maintenance that can be performed in a tent, and the autobahns are desperately needed to move supplies forward to the troops in contact.

I agree, the end result is likely to be that the air over Poland is pretty clear by the early summer of 1997. LOTS of aircraft losses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
2.) IMPO, the Soviet's one clear cut edge, numbers notwithstanding, is artillery. I think NATO would lose a lot of its guns to Soviet counterbattery fire. The Red Army in the '80s still fielded artillery divisions and had gun and rocket systems dedicated exclusively to counterbattery fire.

This is one area where I think NATO's philosophy of technology trumping numbers is the most flawed. MLRS is awesome, but their simply aren't enough of them to negate the Soviet's massive fleets of BM-21s and BM-27s. The respective counter battery radars aren't that different in terms of their capabilities. The Soviet's venerable D30 howitzers are just as capable as the american's M117. The Soviets fielded a lot more large calibre guns (and mortars) than NATO and most of their guns (of all calibres) had a range advantage.

I think NATO counted on taking out Soviet batteries from the air, assuming the establishment of air superiority. I believe this was wishful thinking, on at least two counts. First, I don't think NATO could have achieved anything more than brief, local air superiority. Second, I think Soviet AAD systems would make hitting artillery positions a deady mission for NATO pilots.

I guess all of this reflects my skepticism regarding the ability of technology (as the primary causal factor) to win modern wars.
The Soviets have a truly massive artillery park. Each Front has an artillery division, each army has at least one artillery and one MRL brigade. During the pause before Advent Crown this artillery park will get dug in and targets pre-registered, with mountains of ammo dumped next to each piece. Some NATO corps have almost comparable levels of artillery assigned, although there is no NATO counterpart to the front-level divisions.

NATO's biggest hope has to be the technology - more ICM and FASCAM rounds, better counterbattery radar, fewer towed guns in Central Europe (at least in comparison to the Soviets as a proportion of guns). Shoot-n-skoot gets real tiring real fast (I "jumped" 8+ times a day for a week on exercises when I was in a SP artillery battalion - and that was the service battery, the guns moved much more - and it gets old quick!). Most importantly, though, is the digital fire control systems that allow NATO to get the guns on target faster and move before the Soviets can react. (The aerial equivalent is KAL flight 007, when the 747 overflew the Kamchakta peninsula unhindered and was only intercepted over Sakhalin). I don't think the US army ever put a whole lot of faith into tactical aviation as a counterbattery tool - the development of the helicopter gunship was essentially a reaction to the perceived failure of (and lack of interest in) the USAF in providing adequate CAS in Vietnam. The emphasis on CAS seems to have been on massed armor, with counterbattery performed by artillery (and in mobile operations reaction time matters more than range - if you can deploy a battery of M-109s 10 km from a D-30 battery who cares if the D-30 can outrange you if the M-109s fire first!) As far as Pact AAA defending individual batteries, the force structure isn't there, with 5 batteries of SAMs in a division and a regiment/brigade at army and Front level. In the west its unlikely to see the masses of small-medium caliber AAA that the North Koreans or Iraqis were able to mass - those nations received the guns cast off by the Pact armies when they upgraded to SAMs.

Fundamentally, I agree on the limitations of technology to win wars. I believe that the limitations of logistics (supply, transportation, maintenance, infrastructure and industrial capacity) and the nexus of force structure with technology, morale/organization/training and mass are the prime factors that determine the outcome. And in Europe in 1996-7 those factors are greatly tested on both sides.
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:20 PM
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I guess I need to find some articles on Soviet AAD doctrine. Maybe I've been too focused on the dizzying array of SAM systems that the Soviets were fielding during the late '80s instead of how they were to be used operationally. The fact that each Soviet division, corps, army, front, etc. had their own subordinate AAD assets lends to the picture that the Soviet AAD network would be both deep and comprehensive. Perhaps this is misleading.

Whereas the U.S. army basically fielded just a few SAM systems- Stinger/Avenger, Vulcan (retired in the early '90s), Hawk (ditto), and Patriot- the Soviets had nearly a dozen operational SAM and AAA systems. To some degree, this was a reaction to the limitations (perceived or real) of some of those systems but, to my understanding, it was also an attempt to cover all of the bases (low, medium, high altitude, various ranges, various types of homing, etc.). I don't think U.S. army divisions had any organic AA other than Stinger/Avenger and Vulcan. Given Patriot's somewhat blotchy combat record (including shooting down a few coalition aircraft in the First Gulf War)*, it just seems that the Red Army placed a much greater emphasis on ground-based air defense systems and operations. Heck, WTO armies still trained their infantry in engaging low flying aircraft with their personal small arms.

As always, please correct me if I'm wrong on any counts. I'm always open to learn!

*This is another case in point regarding the limits of military technology and the deadliness of the modern aerial battlefields.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:42 PM
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FYI - when I went to Basic in the early 1990's here in the US, we were still trained to engage low flying aircraft with massed small arms...
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:57 PM
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FYI - when I went to Basic in the early 1990's here in the US, we were still trained to engage low flying aircraft with massed small arms...
Small arms can do the trick. They just have to get some hits. Technically, the roof-mounted MG on most MBT is for air defense. Whether trying to hit a fast-mover with small arms is a good use of ammunition is another question entirely.

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Old 07-18-2009, 02:24 AM
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Small arms can do the trick. They just have to get some hits. Technically, the roof-mounted MG on most MBT is for air defense. Whether trying to hit a fast-mover with small arms is a good use of ammunition is another question entirely.
A friend of mine was in the Falklands, on an unarmed RFA ship. Apparently when the Argentinian aircraft came over, the helicopter flight deck would be full of marines and sailors firing SLRs, and anything else they could get their hands on, at the aircraft. They were credited with a single kill. Can't remember which ship it was, but I think it may have been the Fort Austin.
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  #103  
Old 09-07-2009, 09:18 PM
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I've been reading a lot lately about the Red Army of WWII and it's gotten me thinking about the Red Army of T2K again.

War Economy and Armaments Production

I'm not an economist so I admit that I don't fully understand the economic factors leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late '80s/early '90s. My understanding is that the proximal cause of the collapse was attempts to at implementing reforms to "Westernize" the Soviet economy. Perhaps if this had not occured, or had been quickly reversed, the Soviet command economy could have held on.

In WWII Soviet Union's command economy enabled them to increase armaments production steadily throughout the war, even when they were forced to rellocate armaments factories out of the path of the advancing German army in 1941 and '42. The overall Soviet economy was by no means very healthy in 1941. By most accounts, Stalin's Five Year Plans almost led to the entire system's collapse. However, centralized party control of the war industries allowed their rapid mobilization and incredible production rates.

The modern West's privately owned, dispersed, decentralized armaments industries, with dozens of subcontractors producing various components, seems more like the WWII German system which simply couldn't keep up.

One could argue that the T2K Soviet Union's war industries would have been well underway in ramping up production by the time the Germans reunified by force in order to support the war in China. Could the Soviet's afford it?

Tank Design

By all accounts, the T-34 was a fairly crude tank design when compared to the overly sophisticated Panther or Tiger designs employed by Germany. However, their simplicity and reliability allowed them to be produced and employed in far greater numbers than the more complex, expensive German tanks. I see a direct parallel here between the T-34 and the modern Soviet MBTs based on the T-72 design. It is not as sophisticated or effective as modern western MBTs but it is easier, cheaper, and faster to produce than a Leopard II, Challenger 2, or M1A1. Even before the outset of the war in Europe, the Soviets enjoyed a favorable correlation of forces. One could argue that this correlation of forces would become even more favorable to the Soviets as time wore on.

The historical parallel extends to the Soviet AF as well. In WWII, the Soviet AF was nearly wiped out on the ground in the first few days of Operation Barbarossa. The Germans had complete or local air superiority through the winter of '42 and, sometimes, even after. But, once again, the Soviets proved that they could replace their lost aircraft while the Germans could not.

Operational Experience

The Red Army of '41 was largely incompetent, in almost every aspect of modern (at that time) warfare. Yet, it was able to take advantage of Germany's logistical difficulties, trading space (and lives) for time, while gaining valuable operational experience.

Regardless of whether your T2K timeline includes a Gulf War or not, the Soviet Army of Twilight '97 would have nearly a year's experience in large-scale mechanized manouver warfare in China, in addition to experience gained so painfully in Afghanistan throughout the '80s. They would also have gained experience in all facets of air warfare.

Furthermore, when Germany unifies and, with U.S. support, drives into Eastern Europe, the Soviets could trade its buffer states' soil for time to build up significant operational reserves (new production, newly mobilized units, and veteran mechanized formations transferred from China) in order to mount a strategic counteroffensive against worn-down, encroaching NATO armies nearing the end of their logistically umbilical cords.

In WWII, the Soviets became experts in soaking up German offensive, attriting their best, attacking divisions, and then launching devastating operational and strategic counteroffensives. This could be seen as early as Moscow in the winter of '41-'42, then more spectacularly at Stalingrad a year later and Kursk, the summer after.

Canon describes NATO as able to meet and defeat early Soviet counter offensives in Europe, prompting the Soviets to use tactical nuclear weapons for the first time in the West. This implies that the Soviets were simply not good enough to meet NATO on a conventional footing. I believe there is an alternative to this explanation.

Soviet Strategy

Having already used tactical nuclear weapons to great effect in the East, and having suffered little in the way of retaliation in kind, the Soviets would be greatly tempted to use tac-nukes again in the west. Repeating their previous success would be argument enough for those more hawkish members of the Soviet political and military high command.

I'd like to add a second, political motivation as well. I believe it stands to reason that the Soviets wanted to send a message to its E. European client states. In the wake of E. Germany's treachery, the Soviets may be worred about the loyalty of the rest of the WTO. Using nukes on E. German and Polish soil would send a powerful message that disloyalty could be punished by total destruction. On the other hand, NATO retaliation in kind could be used as a powerful propaganda tool in a sort of carrot and stick approach. To the average Pole or Czech whose city was destroyed by NATO nukes, it would matter very little who "started it". If the Soviet's intelligence apparati detected/suspected other allies were preparing to follow in E. Germany's footsteps, a nuclear option could quickly squash such treason.

So perhaps the Soviet's first use nukes in Europe has less to do with NATO's conventional military superiority and more to do with broader strategic and political considerations.
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  #104  
Old 09-08-2009, 09:04 AM
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Raellus you have put up here (IMO) some great ideas and some very accurate ones. My comments are, therefore, nothing like critics but they are only inteded to reinforce a point I think well made. Anyone, there is no politics behind it.

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War Economy and Armaments Production
I'm not an economist so I admit that I don't fully understand the economic factors leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late '80s/early '90s. My understanding is that the proximal cause of the collapse was attempts to at implementing reforms to "Westernize" the Soviet economy. Perhaps if this had not occured, or had been quickly reversed, the Soviet command economy could have held on.
It might be very true and it is more than possible that Reagan/Bush policies (1982-1991) tricked them into it.

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The overall Soviet economy was by no means very healthy in 1941. By most accounts, Stalin's Five Year Plans almost led to the entire system's collapse. However, centralized party control of the war industries allowed their rapid mobilization and incredible production rates.
This is even an understatement. Stalin's political/military purges (more than the Plan itself which was not implemented) weakened the soviet union as never before. Technical teams had been disbanded, leading strategist (Toukhatchevski) was killed, 2 Field Marshall remained out of at least 50, Stalin delayed the mechanization/motorization programs that were well underway to refocus on the artillery (Stalin was an artillery officer). His purge had virtually destroyed the animal care system that existed and the red army was lacking in horses (millions of horses had been killed or let to die because of unproper care in the late 1930's and because of the purge: collateral casualties).

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Tank Design
By all accounts, the T-34 was a fairly crude tank design when compared to the overly sophisticated Panther or Tiger designs employed by Germany. However, their simplicity and reliability allowed them to be produced and employed in far greater numbers than the more complex, expensive German tanks. I see a direct parallel here between the T-34 and the modern Soviet MBTs based on the T-72 design. It is not as sophisticated or effective as modern western MBTs but it is easier, cheaper, and faster to produce than a Leopard II, Challenger 2, or M1A1. Even before the outset of the war in Europe, the Soviets enjoyed a favorable correlation of forces. One could argue that this correlation of forces would become even more favorable to the Soviets as time wore on.
True but the T-34 was not so much a crude tank (It was also well in advanced to any world production in 1941 and was matched by no one). It will take two years for Germany to compete. In addition the simple design allowed for easy cheap upgrade going from T-34m41 to T-34m43 to T-34m44 (85mm Gun). A main difference in T2K would be that the west would already have competing designs.

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The historical parallel extends to the Soviet AF as well. In WWII, the Soviet AF was nearly wiped out on the ground in the first few days of Operation Barbarossa. The Germans had complete or local air superiority through the winter of '42 and, sometimes, even after. But, once again, the Soviets proved that they could replace their lost aircraft while the Germans could not.
I'll contradict you partly on that one. What you say is true but the problem was not that of the aircraft. Many were indeed out of dates and outmatched but they also met with the most success. However, for a time the newer models proved no matched because of their week points and crew inexperience. Converting from one aircraft to another need time and work investments. The other problem came from the taking over of eastern Poland. Before that events, the RKKA had several airfield well located and well supplied close to the front. When the Red army moved to Poland in early 1940 the frontal aviation couldn't compete anymore. The building of new fields was underway but it was only in its infancy when Germany attacked. That is a problem Russia wouldn't have in T2K (as actually stated in Canon).

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Operational Experience
The Red Army of '41 was largely incompetent, in almost every aspect of modern (at that time) warfare. Yet, it was able to take advantage of Germany's logistical difficulties, trading space (and lives) for time, while gaining valuable operational experience.
I'll be more hard on that one because it is a western world legend that has no solid ground to it. Actually, the Red Army of 1941 was full of largely competent officers. The problem was that Stalin Purges had killed tens of thousand of high ranking officers (including almost all field marshall but the two least competent, most army commanders and corps commanders). The younger officers were very good (almost as good as the German ones but they lacked the knowledge to conduct large field operation: this is that field of experience that they had to learn). However, they were highly innovative and the Red army had developped strategies that were soon brought back to life (Parachutist by 1936, Mechanized corps, Cavalry/Army collaboration...). Likewise, while German soldiers were not equipped for the winter of 1941, the soviet trooper was not dying from the cold (Probably thanks to the Finnish war a year earlier). Another problem for the Red army was that of the too influencial political officers who could disrupt proper field command (by early 1942, as he did between 1919-1921, Stalin had understood it and they were loosing ground).

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Soviet Strategy
I'd like to add a second, political motivation as well. I believe it stands to reason that the Soviets wanted to send a message to its E. European client states. In the wake of E. Germany's treachery, the Soviets may be worred about the loyalty of the rest of the WTO.
I don't want to criticize your reasoning here (nothing to critic in fact) but E.German treachery is a v1.0 canon assesment which (IMO) is their worse misunderstanding of the Warsaw Pact at the time (also it makes perfect sense in a game and they certainly didn't have the information available to us 20 years later). In fact (IRL) and up to 1989, The E.German army was and remained the most faithful component of the Warsaw Pact. The treachery was not on the side of E.Germany but on the side of Russia (Gorbatchev). When events started in Germany prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the E.German army asked for Russian backing in crushing the protesters. Basically, Moscow refused and told them they were on their own. It's only when they had lost faith in their Russian ally that the E.German turned to the West.

On the other hand, a real treachery came from the Czech Republics and Hungary who had allowed earlier east german citizens to cross to the west through their borders (fairly logical when you remember the 1956 and 1968 events). Earlier, several treacheries had been done by Poland (Polish communists sending classified information to the West from time to time) but that was not the case in 1989. An important point to Poland would and remained for long its fear of Germany (They feared the Russians a little less).

Bulgaria was the other faithfull ally and could have remain so even to these days if history had taken another path.

Romania is entirely different matter which would deserve more thinking nad more knowledge than I have.

Internaly, outside of the Baltic Republics everything could have stayed in place if Gorbatchev (or anyone else) had been able to come up with some true politics (IMO of course).
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:46 PM
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This debate's kind of flared up again in the Iraq thread and so I'd like to un-hijack that thread and revive the debate over here (if anyone's interested).

In order for the v1.0 alternative history to work, one must reconcile the collapse of the Soviet system/Union IRL with its survival in the v1.0 timeline.

I believe that an adequate explanation is a [hypothetical] discovery of large oil and natural gas deposits in the eastern USSR, along the frontier with the PRC, in the mid-to-late '80s. This would both allow the Soviet command economy to remain solvent (and perhaps add an influx of hard currency from exports) and create a causus belli for the canonical war with the PRC. An economic revival would also allow the Soviet military to modernize its major platforms and improve the training of its soldiers, sailors, and airmen. This would make the Red Army a more formidable force, more in line with what the v1.0 timeline describes.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:50 PM
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Well, anyone who's been reading my Finnish Sourcebook translation knows that the guys who did the Finnish version solved the issue by putting the POD in late 1993, after the Duma rebellion against Yeltsin (which is when the book was published). After that, things get worse and worse in Russia until the nationalists and militarists seize power in a coup d'etat, resulting in one Vladimir Zhirinovsky becoming president.

Nowadays he's mostly forgotten, but back in the early 1990s he really made a lot of folks worry with his, uh, "interesting" speeches, particularly here in Finland. In the book I see him as a character similar to Greg Stillson (from the Dead Zone) or Robert L. Booth (the last President of the United States, from the Judge Dredd books): a president who starts World War III out of psychosis (Stillson) and/or dumb macho posturing and overconfidence in his own capabilities (Booth).

Although v.1.0 and v.2.2 were the original works, for me the Finnish Sourcebook will always be the "real" Twilight 2000 because that's what got me into Twilight 2000 in the first place. I'm certain this is the case for those who first got to know v.1.0 or v.2.2.
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:15 PM
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I believe that an adequate explanation is a [hypothetical] discovery of large oil and natural gas deposits in the eastern USSR, along the frontier with the PRC, in the mid-to-late '80s. This would both allow the Soviet command economy to remain solvent (and perhaps add an influx of hard currency from exports) and create a causus belli for the canonical war with the PRC. An economic revival would also allow the Soviet military to modernize its major platforms and improve the training of its soldiers, sailors, and airmen. This would make the Red Army a more formidable force, more in line with what the v1.0 timeline describes.
I forget, did we address Tom Clancy's scenario start from "The bear and the dragon"? That had not just oil & gas, but a gold strike appearing in Siberia, which drew the attention of the Chinese (and their Japanese investors). No comment on the rest of the book, just this element.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:00 PM
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This thread makes me wish I was gaming out the twilight war with the DC group haha.

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Old 02-07-2010, 04:10 AM
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Well, anyone who's been reading my Finnish Sourcebook translation knows that the guys who did the Finnish version solved the issue by putting the POD in late 1993, after the Duma rebellion against Yeltsin (which is when the book was published). After that, things get worse and worse in Russia until the nationalists and militarists seize power in a coup d'etat, resulting in one Vladimir Zhirinovsky becoming president.
While Russia under Zhirinovsky could have threatened the former states of the USSR and even Finland, such as state would have existed during the same period of economic catastrophe that characterized the Yeltsin era. Such as state could instigate a doomed program of conquest, but they'd flounder. Even if the anemic Russian armed forced of the mid-1990s manage to over-run a few former Soviet republics, the international forces arraigned against them would be so great that the desperate Zhirinovsky government would quickly turn to nuclear weapons in an attempt to avoid defeat.

And what would that get us?

A nuclear war? Yep.

An end of modern civilization? Yep.

A post war environment conducive to role playing? MMMMmmaybe? Depends on the size of the nuclear exchange.

But it wouldn't give us Twilight 2000.

When it comes to preserving things about TW2K, the main thing I want to preserve is the character of the war. The Twilight War is a conventional war of attrition where victory seems so tantalizingly close that no one is willing to risk total annihilation by using nuclear weapons. Instead, as desperation rises, we start small, nuclear war becomes the "Death of 1,000 Cuts" rather than the extinction of humanity you'd get from a full commitment of nuclear forces. Zhirinovsky was the kind of guy who would have unrealistic goals far beyond Russia's ability to achieve, and then would petulantly opt to destroy the world rather than fail. I just don't think a Zhirinovsky taking the reigns in 1993 would create a playable rpg universe. I think he'd create a radioactive graveyard.

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Old 02-07-2010, 05:23 AM
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In order for the v1.0 alternative history to work, one must reconcile the collapse of the Soviet system/Union IRL with its survival in the v1.0 timeline.

I believe that an adequate explanation is a [hypothetical] discovery of large oil and natural gas deposits in the eastern USSR, along the frontier with the PRC, in the mid-to-late '80s. This would both allow the Soviet command economy to remain solvent (and perhaps add an influx of hard currency from exports) and create a causus belli for the canonical war with the PRC. An economic revival would also allow the Soviet military to modernize its major platforms and improve the training of its soldiers, sailors, and airmen. This would make the Red Army a more formidable force, more in line with what the v1.0 timeline describes.
For that to work two other things would have to happen:

First the economic boom would have to happen fairly early.. you suggest as early as the mid 1980s. That way there would be enough time for the newly discovered minerals and fossil fuels to be discovered, exploited and brought to market. But, if the newly discovered resources are the casus belli for the Sino-Soviet war, wouldn't that mean the war would happen earlier than the canon? Would ten years really pass before the situation came to a head?

Second, for the casus belli to hold off for 7-10 years the resources must be located somewhere in dispute between the USSR and the PRC. The conflict must escalate for years, finally breaking into a full-scale war in 1995.

That leaves two areas as likely locations for the new resources. One is the area of the Soviet Far East south of the Amur River and north of Vladivostok. That area was taken from China in 1858. For a country as old as China, that's a tick of the clock. If the resources are there, and China is in desperate economic straits, China could start claiming that land as theirs. Of course that means that when the Sino-Soviet War starts, it is the Chinese who are forcing the situation, even if the Soviets strike preemptively they are still doing so to preserve the territorial integrity of the USSR in the face of Chinese aggression. Makes things a bit more morally ambiguous if the US is supporting the Chinese efforts to steal a chunk of the Soviet Far East.

The other, more interesting area would be Mongolia. Now, Mongolia is beyond the borders of the USSR, but the government there is the USSR's oldest client state. If the resources were found there, the USSR would be able to put great pressure on the Mongolian communists to allow the Soviets to reap the greatest percentage of the rewards from any joint exploitation of the resources. Mongolia was only lost to China in 1911 (and briefly brought back under Chinese rule before it was lost permanently in 1920). That's only 75 years ago. When China sees all the mineralogical treasures under Mongolia, the may start meddling in Mongol politics, trying to woo the Mongolian government over to China, promising a fairer division of the spoils.

As Mongolia starts to favor China perhaps the Soviet Group of Forces in Mongolia are used to overthrow the government and install a puppet regime. China declares it's commitment to defend Mongolian sovereignty (while secretly planning to annex the place). Tensions mount, forces are built up at the borders, and in 1995 the Soviets launch a preemptive attack to destroy China's ability to take control of Mongolia...

... and you're back on track for ver1 canon.

The only other thing that needs to be considered is whether Mikael Gorbachev is going to be around during this. If he is, it's going to get the ver 1 canon off track again. Gorbachev allowed the WTO members states to go their own ways. That non-interference in the late 80s means no German Reunification crisis. Without that crisis there's no war in Europe without making more changes to the time-line. Now you're off track again.

For the "New Resource" fix of ver1 canon to work, Glasnost, Peristroika and the Gorbachev agenda can never have reached the Kremlin. It's fairly easy to imagine that either Gorbachev never makes it into the Politburo, or never becomes the Secretary General of the CPSU.

... and you're back on track again for ver1 canon.


A. Scott Glancy, President TCCorp, dba Pagan Publishing
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:39 AM
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First the economic boom would have to happen fairly early.. you suggest as early as the mid 1980s. That way there would be enough time for the newly discovered minerals and fossil fuels to be discovered, exploited and brought to market. But, if the newly discovered resources are the casus belli for the Sino-Soviet war, wouldn't that mean the war would happen earlier than the canon? Would ten years really pass before the situation came to a head?
I have the oil/gold discovered in - 1982

First profits from Gold in - 1984

First Sale of oil to Japan in - 1988

Economy fully stabilizes and expand rapidly - 1989

Japan expands Chinese investment by threefold 1993 (this happened in real life)

Japanese/Chinese Oil Exploration teams discover equivalent/larger oil fields on the Chinese side of a disputed border -1994

Faced with the reduction of their much needed profits in oil sales to Japan "disputed" borders become "conflicted" - 1995

I honestly never spent the time working out a location but given the 6 years to build a pipeline, that would probably be the limiting factor. The Alaskan Pipeline (800 miles / 1,287 km) was built in 4 years.

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Old 02-07-2010, 05:58 AM
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Would discovery of a large amount of oil cause problems for the post nuke period?
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  #113  
Old 02-07-2010, 06:05 AM
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Would discovery of a large amount of oil cause problems for the post nuke period?
Might have to add a few nukes to the canon list, however the 150kt ones are missing already. I also expect the reserves to be in very remote and inhospitable areas given they had not found it before 1982.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:13 AM
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Do we need the oil or is ore enough?
I'm leaning towards the latter.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:41 AM
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So... in the Iraq Thread I tossed out some ideas about my homebrew TW2K timeline, which diverges with a 1988 assassination of Gorbachev and his key reformist allies by hard line Soviet Communists with the connivance of reactionary members of the Chinese Communist Party. Gorbachev's plane is bombed (much like Pakistan President Zia's) on his way to Beijing just prior to the Tienamen Square Massacre. The Soviet and PRC conspirators use the false crisis to crack down on reformers at home and in the WTO, ultimately placing the blame on Muslim fundamentalists getting revenge for Soviet involvement in Afghanistan.

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I just beg to differ on several key points.

I would like to point out that the PRC fought the U.S.-led U.N. force in Korea to a stalemate. <SNIP> Anyway, that was, by and large, a conventional war and one that the U.S. could not win outright. I imagine the results may have been different if the U.S. was also simultaneously fighting the Soviets in Europe.
And I am not suggesting that the US is going to win that war... or that they are doing it alone. In my homebrew timeline the Pacific Theatre of the War is going to line up the USSR, the PRC and North Korea against the USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK (Hong Kong), and Portugal (Macao). The war is confined to the Kurile Island chain, the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan. Macao and Hong Kong having been quickly abandoned as the British and Portugese "Dunkirk" out to Taiwan.

I imagine Vietnam is sitting this one out with the exception of Soviet Naval assets using Cam Rahn Bay.

Combine the power of the US Fleet with the choke point of the Korean Peninsula and the "moats" of the Taiwan strait and the Sea of Japan, I believe that the USSR/PRC/PRNK alliance can be held at bay, but not defeated outright... held at bay until the nukes start flying. And in my homebrew timeline the conventional war in the east would only last from mid 1996 (when the German Reunification Crisis lead to a shooting war in Europe) until Thanksgiving 1997 when the war advances to the level of limited nuclear strikes. After that, with both sides ability to wage war will be severely degraded, and the Chinese and Soviet armies will unable to press the Americans, South Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese very hard. And the Americans and their allies only have to be on the defensive. They "win" by not losing, not by conquering enemy territory.

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I think it's a tad unreasonable to place so much stock in the U.S.' historical success in fighting a two-front war.
But it is reasonable to place stock in a belief in the USSR's ability to fight a two-front war, when no historical record exists to support that belief?

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I like Kato's explanation for the survival and resurgence of the Soviet Union: the U.S.S.R. finds sizeable oil and natural gas deposits near the border with China in the late eighties.
I comment on that in another post on this thread... While the idea has merit, the one thing I forgot to mention is that the problems of the Soviet system were so deep and systemic that I seriously doubt that any mineralogical treasure house would be sufficient to allow the Soviets to get buff enough in seven to ten years to be able to fight a conventional war on three Fronts for nearly two and a half years. Very few economies could handle that strain. The US economy in the mid to late 1990s was, however, one such economy.

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  #116  
Old 02-07-2010, 06:55 AM
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Do we need the oil or is ore enough?
I'm leaning towards the latter.
Of course it is your call, but I don't think the revenue would be enough.

Total gold production in 1985 was ~1500 metric tons.
http://goldnews.bullionvault.com/gol...rica_020620082

Lets say the Russians could add 30% of top of that (much more and they depress the price too much). Given 1985 Gold prices that comes out to about 3.8 billion dollars (450tones X 2200 lbs X 12 Troy Oz X 317 dollars per ounce).

Oil on the other hand had 22 billion barrels consumed (in 1985) at an average price of 20 dollars per barrel in 1988 (when they can start selling). If the soviets could get even 10% of the world market they get 44 billion dollars.

I kinda use the gold for the quick dough to build the infrastructure but the real income comes from oil.

Edit.
Just wanted to note that the above numbers reflect gross numbers and moving 450 tons of gold would incur no where near the expense of moving 2.2 billion barrels of oil. Net profits would not show the full disparity listed above.

Edit:
Just discovered that IRL in 1986 the USSR hard currency debt was around 30 billion dollars.
http://countrystudies.us/russia/67.htm

That actually makes me feel even better about my timeline with a full payoff being completed in mid 1989
1984 1.2 billion
1985 1.8 billion
1986 2.0 billion
1987 2.2 billion
1988 10.2 billion
1989 16.5 billion

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Old 02-11-2010, 06:14 PM
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Another, related question on the Soviet Army:

How fast do you see the USSR being able to mobilize divisions?

I've seen declassified, post-Cold War discussions as to the planning norms for the Pact. Category A divisions could realistically enter the field in 3 days (the 30-minute rush the units out of garrison drills usually resulted in the units making it out of the garrison, but with limited combat capabilities - soldiers left most of their field gear in the barracks, no time to fuel and arm the tanks, etc.). Category B units in a week or two, Category C in a month or so, Mobilization-only units in 2-4 months.

I’ve also seen accounts of the actual experience in the late 20th century, most notably Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979-80. In both cases it took a few months to call up Category B and C units and, looking at things in perspective, they performed (barely) adequately although not looking pretty doing so.

As to the key military indicators: personnel and equipment. First, the personnel. In peacetime, the Soviet Army rotated nearly half of its enlisted force (since their NCO corps was overwhelmingly conscript). By recalling all those that had been discharged in the previous two years (20-22 year olds) the enlisted force would double in size. If you expand the callups to those under 30, you get another 200% of the enlisted strength, 250% in total. That should be sufficient enlisted men to both replace combat losses in China and bring the understrength divisions up to full strength. In addition, every year the draft brings in 18 year olds equal to 50% of the peacetime enlisted force. Officers are going to be more problematic; although the Category B and C units were usually set up so that all the units had most command and NCO positions full. (Example – if the tank regiment in a Category C division was at one third strength, it would have all the subunits established and understrength, so that a tank platoon would have a platoon leader and three tank commanders with no drivers and gunners (although the commanders would be able to act as drivers or gunners). The idea was that reservists would be recalled to fill the lower skill positions, and that someone who had trained as a commander 2 years before would fill the gunners position and someone who had been out for 4 years would drive). There were reserve officers too – it seems that regular male university students would undergo some training similar to US ROTC and be eligible for callup in time of war.

Ok, now to equipment. The mobilization-only divisions IRL were stocked with equipment sets from units that upgraded. For example, when the T-72 was fielded in Mongolia, the troops that had been operating the T-62 brought the T-62s to depots in Siberia for use by mobilization-only units. In the late 80s and 90s some truly ancient equipment, long thought retired, was pulled out of depots for scrapping. (The 1990 Victory Day parade in Red Square featured several battalions of T-34s, and T-10s from a tank division in Ukraine were scrapped in 1988). On the small arms side, US gun shows over the past years have been overrun at times with quantities of Nagant revolvers, SVT, SKS, Mosin Nagant and captured German Mauser rifles, not touching the mountains of early model AKs that couldn’t be imported. Some of the older equipment might have been exported to allies, such as the T-34s that were sent to Somalia and Ethiopia in the late 70s, but IMHO there seems to be ample combat equipment to equip the entirety of the Soviet Army on day one. Trucks obviously would be an issue, I’ll get to that. (I’m also not touching the issue of production – losses vs production, presumably at some point production could exceed losses, allowing divisions arriving at the front to field some equipment that wasn’t 40 years old! Taking a pessimistic view, I’ll discount that possibility, even given that the USSR maintained a considerable mobilization industrial infrastructure such that every heavy industrial plant had some sort of mobilization military production capability and the USSR had been at war for almost 18 months by the time the US enters the war)

That raises the issue of timing. To meet the demands of the war in China, by late 1996 mobilization-only units are drilling. The war expands rapidly in intensity and scale from there. What I’m having a hard time grasping is why, given the strategic situation, does the USSR not mobilize the rest of its units simultaneously? In fact, it continues to call up divisions long after the nuclear exchange – the 117th MRD, according to the Soviet Vehicle Guide, is called up from the Kiev Military District in the Spring of 1999. Why wasn’t this division called up and sent to the front in the desperate days of July 1997, when NATO tank brigades so threatened Brest-Litovsk that the Soviet commander was forced to use tactical nuclear weapons to halt them?

A few ideas as to why. First, maybe the division’s allocated personnel and equipment were taken away to replace losses in other units. Second, maybe the output of the Ukraine’s war economy – providing masses of grain, ore, coal, steel, tanks (from Kharkov) and aircraft (from Kiev) would have been seriously hurt by calling up 10,000 men in their 20s.

But that raises the issue of why in 1999, and a secondary question of how. In 1999 the situation in Ukraine is much worse (from all perspectives), so the 10,000 men (likely far fewer would show up, and likely a bit younger or older and in worse health) would be an even greater burden. It also raises the question of how, over 18 months after a (limited) nuclear exchange, the Soviet central government is able to (no matter how poorly) organize, train and equip a division in one of its rebellious provinces.

I’d like to hear your thoughts as to the hows and why’s. For my T2k universe, I’m inclined to go with a more rapid mobilization in most theaters than that outlined in the Soviet Vehicle Guide, but I’d like your thoughts on it too.
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  #118  
Old 02-11-2010, 07:15 PM
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I admit that this is a somewhat simplistic and incomplete answer, but I think that Soviet military mobilization would speed up as the war progressed. I base this on the Red Army's performance in this aspect during WWII. The Red Army was incredibly adept at churning out massive numbers of poorly trained but relatively well equipped infantry and tankers.

I agree that moblilization would start off at a slower and more deliberate pace, likely producing, on the whole, fairly competent units. As the war began in Europe, a lot of the gears would already be turning and mobilization could likely be ramped up with only modestly negative effects on quality. As time passed- and especially after the nuclear exchanges began- the quality of newly mobilized and replacement units would probably drop off rather significantly.

As for trucks, I've posted before that I think that the Soviets would push the automotive industries in the WTO nations to support the war effort in China first with increased production of military trucks for the Soviet Military. IIRC, there already were STAR in Poland, TATRA in Czechoslovakia, and another company whose name escapes me in Hungary that were producing fairly good quality military trucks during the Cold War. It also stands to reason that military truck production in the USSR could also be sped up relatively easily (compared to say, AFV or combat aircraft production).
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:50 PM
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GDWFan GDWFan is offline
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Default Soviets at War

Well this argument has really picked up steam lately, I have studied this subject a bit myself and heres my 2 cents.

The soviets are underestimated in every area I believe by most fiction this is basically true as they are the evil empire enemy in most works.

As far as a fully funded and equipped army is concerned I believe even with inferior equipment the sheer numbers could force NATO into submission.
However none of that means anything if the canon or personal story of your game history cant deliver a major shift in the way the soviet economy worked during the mid 70's thru the late 80's. I do not believe there is anyway the soviets of this real era could have operated a sustained war of any kind with success.

The posters here keep refering back to the massive soviet war machine of WW2, without a charasmatic leader or extremly brutal leader there would be no repeat of WW2 more likely the early surrender of WW1. The Enron like book-keeping of the Soviets and the general lack of transparency of the USSR led many Def Anylysts to some assumptions that seemed plausible that thanks to unclassified documents were fantastical at best.

Selling huge stocks of those hoarded weapons systems could provide some stimulus, Gold and Oil could also have an effect if introduced early enough.
But the income isn't the major issue its the planned economy and culture of the management in the state run industry that are the true heart of the matter here. I think a slightly capitalist yet hardline nationalist is needed to emerge from the eastern europe crisis, Hawkish enough to slap the politboro and ministers in line yet savvy enough to allow Russia to step onto the global market with force. If started early enough this leader could provide emphesis to

Build gas lines into europe proper
This would take economic pressure off of the Pact nations with discount fuel as well as tempt other nations of europe to suck this teat

Use the ore and Oil strikes to become vital to the WORLD Economy
If other nations besides the Pact rely on commodities from Russia there is incentive to work with and tolerate that nations transgressions. Look at the ChiComs.

Exert its influence on the world again
This has always been a big one for me, Give the Soviets a real voice at the start of the war. Let the new leader be boisterous and aggresive. Take it back to an era when the soviets really were a threat to communize parts of the world. The Soviets always seem week because they are without a doubt starting from a weak position.

Raise the standard of living in the bloc a level
Let this relieve a small part of the pressure on the state, lull the pop into false security before reinstituting a new collectivization, full conscription or a crackdown on rights throughout the pact.

I think these reforms or others like them would ass incentive for Italy and greeces defection. Maybe as they slightly liberalize France begins trade of high tech info and schematics for oil or gas. My main point however is that without massive economic reforms and additional income and some new tech the soviets are really a joke til they pull the nuclear trigger. The Soviets watched there empire dissapear as the policy makers watched there power vanish and they could do nothing of use. The house of cards would not or could not stand up to the stress of a true world war
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:37 PM
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chico20854 chico20854 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I guess I need to find some articles on Soviet AAD doctrine. Maybe I've been too focused on the dizzying array of SAM systems that the Soviets were fielding during the late '80s instead of how they were to be used operationally. The fact that each Soviet division, corps, army, front, etc. had their own subordinate AAD assets lends to the picture that the Soviet AAD network would be both deep and comprehensive. Perhaps this is misleading.
I found a quartet of really nice analytical pieces on the Pact strategic (defensive) SAM network on the Central Front:

Poland: http://geimint.blogspot.com/2009/10/...-cold-war.html
DDR: http://geimint.blogspot.com/2008/08/...ase-study.html
Czechoslovakia: http://geimint.blogspot.com/2008/09/...r-defense.html
Hungary: http://geimint.blogspot.com/2008/10/...ense-cold.html

He notes that in at least the cases of Czechoslovakia and Hungary that there were large gaps in coverage and a reliance on obsolete systems that NATO had developed counters for. When the DDR network goes down the situation for NATO in the air gets better, although as you properly noted the army fields local and area air defense assets.
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