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Old 12-15-2009, 10:30 AM
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Default Destruction of Weapons.

In another thread Eddie brought up the concept of "meat" (human) causalities being larger than "metal" (weapon) causalities. I have always considered that this would lead to (at least at in appearances) an increase of firepower at every level.

Those who might have been carrying pistols or SMGs would upgrade to Assault rifles from their fallen comrades or the enemy. Civilians would gather up (or trade for) weapons they would never have been able to have pre war. Ammunition would be a different matter, but in a t2k world I might want a M4 with 4 rounds over a pistol with 30.

IMO there would be three factors reducing weapons availability.

1) Combat Damage
Even though "metal" is tougher than "meat" there will still be many situations where armaments are destroyed by combat. This is due to the fact that pressures that would kill a man a dozen times over are common in combat.

2) Lack of maintenance
The west really takes a hit here when compared to Soviet armaments, but with a minimum effort I expect that most weapons would maintain some degree of reliability.

3) Purposeful destruction of weapons.
This was the one variable I cannot really wrap my head around what the combatants would do.

My first thought is that during the early stages of the war, destruction of a majority of captured small arms would be the norm. As supply lines get a little more shaky it would be reduced, and by the end everything would be hoarded unless it could not be carried.

Countering this is the Soviet theory of never throwing anything away and the West's need to reequip elements of the East German army. Both of these might lead to hoarding earlier than I expected.

I am wondering what people would think would happen at a macro level in regards to captured weapons.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:10 AM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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One thing to remember that during the Operation Iraqi Freedom, some of the AKMs and AK-74s that were captured were turned around and used by the troop. Sometimes this was due to the fact that many Armor personnel really felt naked when they were out of their vehicles, to add to the personal weapons they were issued. Other times a unit was on the move, and the need/want to keep moving forward, rather than wait for proper resupply to catch up with them.

No with that said there were still plenty of arms to go around, so some where destroyed, but also more importantly some were kept so when it came time to re-establish the Iraqi Army they would have something to initially re-armed them with. With that said, this is one of the subjects that the creators over looked at times. For once either side gained ground they would have to leave significant force to control what they had gained.

Once you take an area over, you want to re-establish local control as soon as possible. Which in cases of fighting in Europe and Korea if you playing US or one of it allies this isn't much to worry. Now if you playing in Iran you would want to do so, or if you happen to pact forces in southern Germany or Austria. Or you could play Soviet forces in Alaska/Canada or China.

Those would of been a couple of came that I would love to played in.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:09 PM
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1) Combat Damage
Would this include weapon exposed to radiation?
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:11 PM
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I can not see NATO willingly destroy captured WP weapons. The main reason for this is that the NVA(DDR) is equipt with WP arms, and because of NATO's need to field the NVA formations, I do not think that NATO could afford to destroy captured arms. The thought of reequiping the NVA along Bundeswehr lines , while attractive, is not possible in the time frame available, given the capacity of West German industry. Battlefield recovery of captured weapons & vehicles could serve to provide a pool of replacement parts and replacements for the NVA's own losses. Secondly, retaining WP small arms (and heavy weapons such as RPG's), provides a further pool of weapons which can be used to equipt partisan or resistance movements in Eastern Europe (or other theatres of war) without drawing on NATO's industrial capacity to provide arms for these movements (should they exist in your campaigns) and allow for them to rely on local sources of ammunition resupply (e.g. captured stockpiles). IMT2KU, I also assume that Web's "Tchaikovsky" raids destroyed substantial amounts of the PRC's industrial capacity prior to the onset of nuclear warfare, so another use would be to ship serviceable captured equipment (surplus to the needs of the NVA) to the PRC to help supplement their war material requirements.

Basically, I'm of the opinion that nothing would be intentionally destroyed once captured. All weapons and systems could be put to use, even if not serviceable, by either providing spare parts for serviceable equipment (from unserviceable equipment) or where captured equipment is serviceable for providing replacement arms for allies equipt with the other sides weapons.

However, I do see both sides taking action to destroy their own equipment to prevent capture by the other side (e.g. thermite grenades in the breaches of howitzers about to be overrun and captured by the enemy). Mainly, I see these efforts focused on destruction of battledamaged, but otherwise recoverable vehicles, and those vehicles which would be captured outright (no damage). This will have varing levels of success. Most equipment will be captured by whichever side is currently on the offensive, and will largely consist of recovery of battlefield losses, with a range of damage, which may or may not be returnable to service after some level of maintenance (depot, or theatre).
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:49 PM
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when the allies freed Norway in 1945 , we were ordered to dump airplanes,guns,tanks and small arms as well as other top notch German gear at sea or to melt it down .Even though we had enough stash left over from them to arm ourselves to a high standard.we had planes,ships,subs,forts,guns,tanks all sort of arms etc enough to arm 300-400 000 German soldiers and stockpiles had been amassed to hold Norway for a long time should it be cut of by allied invasion attempts.

Luckily they went quietly.

Shortly after ,orders were put in for British and American gear on all levels.

But we had so much German equipment that it took years to destroy , and by that time the mood changed and we started hoarding .I still have a nice Kar98 re chambered to Nato 30-06 by the Norwegian arsenal.
Lugers p08 and Walther p38s were main sidearms here up until 1985 or longer .

Economics and civillian considerations factor in -the interests that control the armaments industry might not see the value of keeping 200 000 captured AKMs and 500 T-72s and T-55s.
A contract for 500 MBT and 200 000 small arms to equip a newly liberated nations with STANAG gear is more interesting.

with confusion and disarray in a T2K situation a destroy order regarding captured gear might be carried out by some up to the last moments before "you are on your own " crackles through the aether.

Soldiers take orders from civilians once they reach a certain rank.

just putting it out there as a possibility
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:42 PM
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Would this include weapon exposed to radiation?
That's a good point. How much stuff of any sort are PCs going to find that's radioactively hot? This could be a real problem with food, drink, and medicine!
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:02 PM
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I tend to think any weapons and munitions captured will be destroyed. It may not be right away, but after a few hundred rifles are sent back to Battalion HQ, they're going to be piled up with other captured equipment and blown up.

Vehicles are the same. Fuel will of course be drained and anything else of immediate or intelligence use stripped out, but then they too are going to be destroyed.

It just makes sense in any warzone. Leaving enemy material laying about is a problem. Guarding captured enemy equipment drains manpower. Moving enemy equipment takes manpower AND resources.

It's not going to be just your own equipment that's spiked in a withdrawal either. Why would you want to leave anything, no matter what it's origin, where an enemy may aquire it?

Of course complete destruction isn't always going to occur either. for example an APC only needs certain components to be damaged or removed to make it virtually useless. Most items can be rendered effectively useless with just minimal effort.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:38 PM
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I think both sides would keep nearly everything that wasn't damaged, especially given the need to keep the former GDR units equipped and supplied. Precedent is there. In WWII, both the Germans and the Soviets used significant quantities of their respective opponents' weapons, from tanks and artillery to small arms. The Germans even manufactured a few types of Soviet small arms ammo for use in their captured Red Army weapons.

IIRC, there were so many captured Panzer IVs still around by the end of the war, that the Syrian army was still fielding large numbers of them (via the USSR) during the '67 war with Israel. On a strange note, IIRC the early Israeli air force fielded a number of BF-109 fighters.

After the TDM, captured weaponry and ammo would be an even more important source of resupply.

HQ, on a side note, my grandfather, who spoke fluent Norwegian, was a USN captain assigned to help study/deal with German U-boats captured in Norwegian ports. We still have a medal that was presented to him by the king of Norway for his services and a sheef of primary source documents about the U-boats.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:01 PM
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During the Arab-Israeli war you mentioned, the Syrians also fielded StugIII assault guns with their PzIVs but I think many of them were actually supplied by France and not the USSR (not surprisingly, France had a healthy supply of German vehicles and spares). The Israelis at that time were using Shermans.
The Israeli air force did indeed fly Bf109s that I think were supplied through Czechoslovakia (they also received a number of Kar98K and Vz24 rifles through the same source if I remember right). They faced Egyptian pilots flying Spitfires.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:25 PM
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Here is the question though.

How many weapons are you going to hump? Okay, you are a member of a rifle squad. You set an ambush and it goes as planned. You end up with a dozen AKs. You have another four or five days on patrol. Are you going to hump that spare weapon and ammo and other gear? And then you encounter more enemy forces and capture more equipment. So, by the end you end up with four AKs plus your own weapons. It isn't practical at the small unit level.

Now, if you are dealing with a mass surrender then it is possible, as the enemy stacks their arms and either marches out back to their own lines per an agreement, or they march off to captivity. Then you have a large supply of weapons in a central location where your logistic network can take them into the supply system. But, again, how many are you going to actualy use?

Someone also asked about the wear if I am not mistaken, that was the original question.

We should also figure into the calculation that ALOT of personel will be killed and wounded which will also free up alot of weapons and personal equipment. Yes, some weapons will wear out, some will break, some will be lost. But, will these numbers outstrip the casualties?
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:33 PM
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The Germans in WWII did not have enough vehicles, especially armour throughout the entire war. During the invasion of Poland in 1939, machinegun armed training tanks had to be used on the front lines. Fortunately for the Germans, the Poles didn't have much in the way of effective anti-armour weapons and their tanks were little more than toys spread thinly across the country.

The German reputation for good, powerful and well armoured heavy tanks was not justified until the later part of the war when the Tiger, and later the Panther came into being. Until then, they were using whatever they could scrounge to suplement their relatively meagre production of Pzf III's and IV's of various models. Even so, their heavy tanks were never available in great numbers and suffered from overly complex mechanicals and less than ideal production values (hard to keep quality high while your factories are being bombed).

It also has to be remembered that Germany had been prohibited armour following WWI, a prohibition they secretly (to begin with) flouted, and the declaration in 1932 that they would no long abide by the Treaty of Versailles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_...n_World_War_II
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Versailles

Beginning from a standing start, Germany had no choice but to use whatever weapons, vehicles and equipment they captured. (They could of course have chosen a less warlike course, but with the Nazi's in charge that was never going to happen.)

There were some examples in WWII of Allied units using German equipment, but these are VERY few and far between.

After the war many countries, especially those directly occupied by the Axis had to rebuild using whatever came to hand. This was a very different situation than we see in the first few years of WWIII.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:57 PM
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I can't remember who said, "Leave a soldier and an anvil alone in the desert for three days. When you come back, the anvil will be broken." We used to add, "And Joe won't know how it happened."

Soldiers are the worst enemies of their own gear. Neglect and abuse will be awfully hard on everything soldiers use. The Western powers will be affected more seriously than the Pact, but everyone is going to be affected by creeping decay.

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Old 12-15-2009, 11:38 PM
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There is a similiar saying in the Marines.

"Leave a Pvt./Lt in a room with two metal balls. When you come back one will be broken and the other lost and the Pvt./Lt won't know how it happened."
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester View Post
How many weapons are you going to hump? Okay, you are a member of a rifle squad. You set an ambush and it goes as planned. You end up with a dozen AKs. You have another four or five days on patrol. Are you going to hump that spare weapon and ammo and other gear? And then you encounter more enemy forces and capture more equipment. So, by the end you end up with four AKs plus your own weapons. It isn't practical at the small unit level.
True. I suspect that T2K PCs always have a tendancy to hoard far more than soldiers would IRL. I bet that in many cases captured weapons and equipment would be cached in the vain hope that it might be useful and able to be retrieved at a later date. All through the battle zones of T2K Europe there are probably stashes of captured weapons slowly rusting into uselessness because the people who stashed them are either dead or far away.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Webstral View Post
I can't remember who said, "Leave a soldier and an anvil alone in the desert for three days. When you come back, the anvil will be broken." We used to add, "And Joe won't know how it happened."

Soldiers are the worst enemies of their own gear. Neglect and abuse will be awfully hard on everything soldiers use. The Western powers will be affected more seriously than the Pact, but everyone is going to be affected by creeping decay.

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I agree whole heartedly .
Soldiers on all levels mismanage or slack on maintenance and gear gets worn out faster . Here is a thought - how many rounds is a certain gun barrel projected to take before its worn out / scatters like a shotgun ? Both arty and small arms have this problem - a problem compounded by poor maintenance and lack of parts and or lubricants.

I remember the instructors at our Academy saying that our (A)G3 rifles were good for app 7500 rounds before initial accuracy was reduced.After app double /triple that the gun would be deemed ready for the melting ovens.

Now bear in mind that firing on the practice range is included- a rifle will not be able to take more than a few years before worn out .
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:53 AM
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So would rolling for wear value on weapons as well as vehicles make sense? What penalties should be imposed for wear?
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:35 AM
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So would rolling for wear value on weapons as well as vehicles make sense? What penalties should be imposed for wear?
as a GM you could take a realistic and sadistic approach and drastically reduce range stat OR increase jam/misfeed occurence to portray this.

To alter the range by 5 or 10 meters on teh stats for an assault rifle kind of hurts for the PC .
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:02 AM
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Would this include weapon exposed to radiation?
Depending on the situation, but if your out of arms and fin yourself in a radiation-zone - the damage is probably allready done so I would probably pick up the weapon anyway. It's like the old question how would you like to die...by gun or knife....or in this case slow and horrible or quick...IMHO.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:16 AM
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True. I suspect that T2K PCs always have a tendancy to hoard far more than soldiers would IRL.
To be fair, though, soldiers in most T2K campaigns face a far worse resupply problem than soldiers in RL.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:19 AM
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Depending on the situation, but if your out of arms and fin yourself in a radiation-zone - the damage is probably allready done so I would probably pick up the weapon anyway.
I was thinking more along the lines of a weapon carried out of a radiation zone by a scavenger and the PC either killing the scavenger or coming across his body.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:48 PM
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To be fair, though, soldiers in most T2K campaigns face a far worse resupply problem than soldiers in RL.
This is true, however it's really only since around mid 98 that mentality would have begun to change significantly. Even during, and for a period after the nukes, collection and storage of enemy weapons, vehicles and other materials would be far from the norm.

With most major military operations occuring before this, it is highly likely that normal operational proceedures would have been followed resulting in the distruction of the vast majority of captured equipment.
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:21 PM
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With most major military operations occuring before this, it is highly likely that normal operational proceedures would have been followed resulting in the distruction of the vast majority of captured equipment.
Before the nukes, probably yes. After the nukes, I see destruction of enemy equipment as much less likely. Given that the nukes killed about 80-90% of troops, there will a lot of equipment left (even after accounting for battle damage).
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:40 PM
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A lot of allied material....
Enemy material, in the first few months anyway, will have little to no worth unless supply lines from the rear have been cut/decimated, and then only until "normal" (for want of a better word) supply operations can be reorganised.

Once those supply lines run dry, then will enemy material other than food, fuel, etc become important. Weapons, clothing and vehicles will be amongst the last things saved and used on a wide scale.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:01 AM
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With modern mobile warfare, it is very easy to get ahead of your supply chain. Even with the most secure supply lines, one well place raid can throw you in the world of hurt, especially if you are active in fighting.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:14 AM
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I am glad there are such varying opinions, as it validates my original inability to come to a conclusion.

My original post was about small arms, but I dont mind the drift. I guess images of tanks crushing Ak-47s and Rpgs during the Iraq conflict is what started me thinking about this. Thought total warfare and anti insurgency operations might be apples and oranges.

Since we have drifted onto vehicles two things about trucks. Ones that arrive at the front full will generally be returning to the rear areas empty. Perhaps captured small arms and munitions would go along on that return trip, for use is support of the NVA or even China or Allied forces in the middle east.

Secondly, I don't think captured trucks would be destroyed. While larger more complicated weapons systems might not be worth the hassle, captured trucks would be relatively easy to maintain and use.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:42 AM
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originally intended to respond to a post I misread the context off... just for further clarification of my POV since I bothered to type it up

for the WP, I agree that captured equipment will be of little value beyond technical intel until such time as the rear area supply chain breaks down. However, NATO's situation in V1 would be a different situation (this does not apply to a V2 or V2.2 as the NVA has been disbanded). The NVA makes exclusive use of WP equipment. Given battlefield recovery rates of vehicles in World War 2, as well as from the Arab-Israel conflict through the 1973 war, it is plausible that NATO would be very interested in recovery of captured WP equipment which could provide salvage parts for NVA equipment from vehicles otherwise deemed to be a total loss, and possibly a pool of battle damaged vehicles some of which may be returned to service through canabalization of others.

In the context of V1 or IMT2KU, I think it is unlikely that the industrial productivity of the FRG will be able to adequately reequip those units of the Unified German Army to Bundeswehr standards which had origins in the former NVA. The FRG will be hard pressed to replace it's own battlefield losses (through both new production vehicles and battlefield recovery), let alone reequip former NVA divisions wholesale (let alone make an provision for training the former NVA units to operate and maintain said equipment).

Small Arms would also be retained when captured through the TDM, and for similar reasons. The DDR had a large reserve structure which the new unified Germany would continue to draw upon for combat replacements, and possibly (depending on your particular view of canon) the mobilization of the NVA's reserve structure.

After the breakdown of the logistical supply chain (when in my view the war transitions from what is primarily a full on high intensity mechanized battlespace, to an intermediate level of intensity infantry(e.g. patrolling/infilitration) battlespace that the destruction of capture weapons and equipment will be undertaken to a large extent. At that point in the war, such demolition will be more because the capturing units will not be able to bear the burden for dealing with such equipment (vehicles still will be retained to make up combat losses, likely by the capturing unit if the vehicle in question is immediately serviceable). That is not to say that individual soldiers on either side wouldn't choose to equip themselves with a variety of warprizes.

IMHO...

If you don't have a WP equipt NVA then all this is irrelevant, and there is ample reason to destory captured enemy equipment not retained for technical intel purposes.

Last edited by fightingflamingo; 12-17-2009 at 11:12 AM. Reason: misread context of post I was intending on replying too
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:48 AM
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I am glad there are such varying opinions, as it validates my original inability to come to a conclusion.

My original post was about small arms, but I dont mind the drift. I guess images of tanks crushing Ak-47s and Rpgs during the Iraq conflict is what started me thinking about this. Thought total warfare and anti insurgency operations might be apples and oranges.

Since we have drifted onto vehicles two things about trucks. Ones that arrive at the front full will generally be returning to the rear areas empty. Perhaps captured small arms and munitions would go along on that return trip, for use is support of the NVA or even China or Allied forces in the middle east.

Secondly, I don't think captured trucks would be destroyed. While larger more complicated weapons systems might not be worth the hassle, captured trucks would be relatively easy to maintain and use.
If a shooting war started in Europe. An truck that isn't destroyed would be pressed into service by whomever had current 'Ownership' due to the fact, that what most Logistical people would predict would get the job done. Well let's us say they daydream quite a bit.

Honestly I don't see much of anything leaving Europe except maybe larger capture vehicles.

1. The obvious is the Germans would like the stuff to help re-supply certain ex NVA units.

2. Green Beanies, SAS, and SEALs along with any other forces going behind Pact lines to train partisans need to get hardware. Let's see they are operating behind Pact lines so it make only sense so they should be able to acquire more supplies locally.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:49 PM
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I just thought of another reason why NATO would hang on to captured PACT gear prior to the TDM.

I think we've established that captured gear would be kept to resupply former GDR units, ship to China, equip E. European guerrilla units, etc. I think that NATO would also keep it in order to equip the post war Polish military. With things going slowly but well during early to mid '97, planning for a NATO-aligned Poland must have been on the drawing board. It would have been nearly impossible to reequip whatever remained of the Polish military with NATO-manufactured weapons, especially since NATO would probably be hard pressed to make up its own material losses. It would be easier to equip the post-war Polish military with stockpiles of captured PACT weaponry. It would be faster and cheaper and Polish troops would already be familiar with the operation of Soviet bloc weapons, from rifles to MBTs.

Trucks are a no brainer. Knowledgeable folks here have previously stated that the Soviets would, even at the outset of the war, be short on trucks. Any captured NATO or Chinese trucks would immediately be pressed into service. The WWII Wermacht was always short of trucks and used whatever they could get their hands on. It made maintainance a real pain in the a** sine a single unit could have French, Belgian, Czech, British, Russian, and American military (and civilian) trucks in the their supply and baggage trains.

After the TDM, I think any unit with a vehicle or two would be wise to keep a set of PACT weapons. With resupply sporadic at best, a lot of units would probably have to resort, at times at least, to using captured ammo which should be fairly plentiful or at least readily available during combat. Some PACT gear, like the RPG-7/16, would probably be standard issue in NATO units by 2000.

And the AK series is legendary for its simplicity and durability. The M-16 has a reputation of being rather finicky. I once saw video of a South African special police unit in the early '00s called to remove an old weapons cache from the '80s somewhere in the bush in Namibia. They found an old AK literally orange with rust. They poured motor oil over it, wiped it down with a rag, and fired a whole magazine on full auto without a stoppage.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:10 PM
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Softskins, particularly cargo vehicles are almost certainly going to be retained for use by the logistical networks of all sides. Combat vehicles, besides a few units retained for intel, SF units, etc, are almost sure to be destroyed as there is no guarenteed logistical support for them and the risk of them being recaptured by their original owners (with intact and hopefully effective supply train) tends to outweigh the benefits.

In V1, there will be stronger emphasis on transporting Pact equipment to the East German units, but without dedicated production supporting this material, these units are destined to weaken as the war goes on, no matter how much capture gear is given to them. It is more likely in my opinion that these units will not receive reinforcements - these would be directed to the Western units first as there is a supply chain in position to support them. The East German units would gradually be downsized from Divisions to Brigades and perhaps even Battalions (with the supporting units split off and maybe requipped). Of course Canon appears to tell a different story with these units remaining as strong and effective as any other on the western side.

Trucks moving back from the front are likely to be carrying less than those moving forward, however they will by no means be empty. Casualty evacuation, movement of damaged equipment and vehicles rearward for repair, some enemy equipment (minimal in my opinion), and so on are all vital to continued military operations.

Around mid 1998 everything changes with greater value placed on supplies of all types. With the limited movement of units and the more defensive nature of the war, the risk of losing vehicles and munitions decreased - only the occasional raid would result in the enemy gaining anything significant.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
Trucks moving back from the front are likely to be carrying less than those moving forward, however they will by no means be empty. Casualty evacuation, movement of damaged equipment and vehicles rearward for repair, some enemy equipment (minimal in my opinion), and so on are all vital to continued military operations.
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Given it take something like a half a ton of consumables per US soldier per week, I really do think most trucks will be returning empty. I cannot fathom the above mentioned reaching anywhere near those levels.
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