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  #31  
Old 06-13-2021, 03:44 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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It goes far beyond Operation Gladio or its national equivalents. The West German security apparatus was rebuild from the part of Nazi Germany's intelligence community that specialized on the USSR (Abteilung Fremde Heere Ost, transl. Department Foreign Armies East), for obvious reasons. It turned out that looking at counter-intelligence within your own population from the perspective of fascist extermination warfare does something to your ability to foster a liberal democracy, even 50-70 years later. Let's just say, no other extremist group has been paid in cash by these agencies or committed murder against civilians with intelligence agents sitting in the next room.
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  #32  
Old 06-13-2021, 01:15 PM
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Forgive me- I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything- but something that you posted in another thread compels me to circle back to the concept of Germany as a possible flashpoint for WW3 in Europe, or, more to the point, your insistence that such a scenario is too unrealistic to suspend disbelief.

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I always liked the premise of the novel Arc Light by Eric L. Harry. Essentially (quoting Wikipedia), "China and Russia clash in Siberia, and war brews between the United States and North Korea, a series of accidents and misunderstandings lead to a Russian nuclear strike against the United States. The U.S. retaliates against Russia, and World War III begins." This could easily happen in a timeline, where the USSR would still be around. In essence, the USSR/Russia and the USA need to be committed elsewhere, i. e. the Pacific, so that a crisis in Europe can overstretch ressources and overload capacities to acurately assess the situation. Errors and bad decisions have to be made.
You've stridently contended that the Germanies (W. Germany, in particular) would not make "errors and bad decisions" leading to a shooting war in Europe. You've stated that 20th century German history, and post-WW2 politics and society especially, render such an event almost unthinkable, or at least highly implausible. Fair enough.

On the other hand, you seem totally comfortable with the premise that USSR and USA would make such massive errors and bad decisions that nuclear strikes against each other would follow. Apparently, that is somehow much more plausible, in your mind, than a German origination of any fighting in Europe. Fair enough but, with all due respect, this seems to me like a double-standard.

Since Nagasaki, no nation has willingly or accidentally used nuclear weapons against another- this despite numerous misunderstandings. When MacArthur advocated using nuclear weapons against the Chinese after their "surprise" intervention in Korea, Truman fired him (there were other reasons, but that was the final straw). When Soviet early warning systems an American ICBM launch in 1983 (multiple times!), Stanislav Petrov did not launch a counterstrike. Even during the Cuban Missile crisis, when both Kennedy and Khrushchev were being encouraged by their top military advisors to launch a preemptive first strike on their respective national rivals (and Khrushchev was being egged on by his ally, Castro), neither leader did so. There have also been numerous occasions during the Cold War when either the USA or USSR were preoccupied with major military misadventures outside of Europe (Korea/Vietnam and Afghanistan, respectively, all of which, to one degree or another, was a proxy war between the superpowers), yet didn't come to blows. Both the USA and Soviet Union were familiar with the concept of MAD. Launching even a limited first strike with strategic nuclear weapons would open the door for massive retaliation. As you pointed out earlier in this thread, the only way to win a nuclear war is not to play the game. So are Russians and American people, governments, and militaries just that much more bellicose, reckless, and/or prone to human error than their German counterparts?

I don't think I'm being jingoistic here. I don't have a problem with a T2k background where the USA starts or escalates a global war. I don't see that as beyond the realm of possibility at all. But I could raise the same points about precedent, constitutional law, governmental checks and balances, and the USA's own peace and anti-nuke movements, if I chose to argue against an American fulcrum for WW3. Heck, I could make a compelling socio-cultural arguments for the USSR, an oppressive one-party state. The Soviets lost over 20,000,000 people killed during WW2. Twenty million (at least)! Is a country that suffered 20m dead in the last major war going to start another major war with a peer (i.e. the USA), much less a nuclear-armed one? (Although the PLA had nukes in 1995, their capacity to deliver them was much less than it is today, nor did they have near as many as the USA; a well-planned first strike by the USSR could effectively destroy the PLA's ability to retaliate massively; this was not the case with the USA.). The Soviets would know just about better than anyone the cost of fighting a large-scale war, let alone a nuclear one. This made them less likely to start one, rather than more.

Anyway, you're entitled to your opinions, and I'm not arguing that you're wrong. Nor do I hope to change your mind. That being said, for some reason, double-standards bother me a lot, and I felt compelled to point out what I see as a rather significant one (i.e. W. Germany c.1995 was essentially incapable of actions which could start a war, whereas the USSR and USA were not only fully capable of such actions, but also much more likely to take them).

P.S. Did you get a chance to take another look at v2.2's take on Germany yet? I'm still really curious about your thoughts on it.

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Last edited by Raellus; 06-13-2021 at 10:00 PM.
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  #33  
Old 06-13-2021, 11:51 PM
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B.T. B.T. is offline
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Fair points, Raellus. From my personal point of view, the main points regarding Germany (espacially West-Germany) are the following:
1. German politicians are not better or worse than politicians of other countries. Off course, they make errors or/and take stupid decisions. But the legal situation is the main argument against a hot war, started by German forces: The German Bundeswehr had no possibilities to start a war without the allies (and the most important ally was the US) knowing about that fact. The whole command structure of the Bundeswehr was subordinated to NATO. From a legal PoV, there was no chance for any large scale operation.
2. The fear of the Soviet military power was large. The Bundeswehr was viewed upon as an interim solution in case of an attack on Germany/NATO territory.

Furthermore the Bundeswehr had no nuclear missiles. The few nuclear ammunitions, that could be used by German forces, were under direct control of NATO partners - as far as I know. If you have other information, please let me know.

If it seems, that some of us German posters try to say, German politicians don't make mistakes, this seems to be a kind of misunderstanding: The German forces were in reality not capable to start a hot war in Europe.

If anyone wants the story to go in a different direction, he can do that. But from a German point of view this is unbelievable.

For the other question: Although the background story of ver2.n (IIRC there are differences between both versions, I play ver2.2 and have no access to the ver2 books right now.) is still a little strange, compared with reality, I for myself can live with that idea. In the end, "it's a freaking game, people"
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  #34  
Old 06-15-2021, 04:32 PM
unipus unipus is offline
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I think that's the key point regarding Germany, or most other nations. They might conceivably blunder into a border skirmish, but they had no arsenal or capacity to create a nuclear war. And they had the actual superpowers almost guaranteed to leap down their throats and punish them for any such transgression.

The US and USSR, on the other hand, had limitless capacity for that... and almost all of those cases you mentioned, Raellus, prove out how it easily could have happened. In every situation there were people with almost all of the power needed to do so willing to go to war and even to go nuclear -- but either a key system failed, or a single officer refused their orders. The fact that it's happened that way repeatedly is a relief but also not entirely comforting!

The more complete version depicted in Arc Light is that a coup happens in Russia coincidentally at the same time that the Russians have decided to go nuclear in their war with China. They misinterpret the Chinese counter-attack as an attack by the US, and in the chaotic situation order their own retaliation against the US. It goes from there. So again it's a lot of factors piled on each other that add up to overwhelming the systems designed to prevent it.

It really is a very good technothriller. The politics and characters are a lot better developed than in many other similar books.
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  #35  
Old 06-15-2021, 05:32 PM
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I get what you're saying. I don't think anyone is arguing for the bit that I bolded below (I know that I'm not). Aside from that, what you described is essentially what happens in the v1 timeline.

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I think that's the key point regarding Germany, or most other nations. They might conceivably blunder into a border skirmish, but they had no arsenal or capacity to create a nuclear war. And they had the actual superpowers almost guaranteed to leap down their throats and punish them for any such transgression.
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Last edited by Raellus; 06-15-2021 at 05:52 PM.
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  #36  
Old 06-16-2021, 07:38 AM
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Really the only countries that have the arsenals capable of possibly setting off a world wide nuclear war would be the United States, Soviet Union/Russia, China, France and Great Britain. Israel, India, Pakistan, South Africa (who had nukes and got rid of them) are only capable of setting off a regional war at most -albeit a very very nasty one - unless the Israelis decided to nuke the Soviets/Russians which they threatened to do in 1973 (i.e. if we are going down then everyone is going down).

Think of Germany in the book Cauldron - they invade Poland as part of an alliance with France. But while they can sink ships, shoot down planes and do a lot of damage on the ground they really cant threaten the UK and the US itself with real major damage - only France with its nukes can do that.

Thats why if the war had only been Soviets and WP versus Germany it would have never gone nuclear - in the end no matter what Germany by itself really couldnt harm the Soviets - but once the UK and US are in then the nuclear genie is out of the bottle.

I still think in V1 the Soviets went nuclear too early - I think the creators of the game saw it as necessary to destroy the US production capacity before it got to the point that there was no realistic way for the Soviets to get to the Kalisz moment - but Soviet territory had barely been touched by invaders yet in the war and off they go to the nukes. Much more realistic would have been nuking the Chinese and then transferring everything they had to the West and if they still cant stop them then they go nuclear on the West.

Nuking China back then wasnt that big a risk to the Soviet Union as a whole - but nuking the US and UK is a much bigger deal - and in V4 they hit the French big time too - there is no way the French dont say hi with a hundred or so warheads to the Soviets as well.
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  #37  
Old 06-18-2021, 03:02 PM
Mahatatain Mahatatain is offline
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Just to say a thank you to Ursus Maior and BT for the explanations regarding Germany in this thread. The "West Germany invades East Germany" element of the v1 timeline always seemed a little contrived to me but I didn't realise just how unbelievable it was. I'm now having to rethink the homebrew timeline that I have previously used, as that element clearly needs to change!
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  #38  
Old 06-20-2021, 06:51 PM
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Nowhere Man 1966 Nowhere Man 1966 is offline
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Interesting points there. I'm a whole mess of things including German but I have German ancestors who came from all over the place, My maternal grandmother's side was from the Munich area and my maternal grandfather, the Rhineland from the Landau area along with Alsacian side as well. Many of those actually originated in Zurich Switzerland. Of those ancestors, my 5th great grandfather came over with his mother from Landau to settle in Lancaster County, PA and join the American Revolution, the commander was General George Washington. Later on, he was the second White settler in Mercer County, PA. His father and baby brother died on the way over to America. I downloaded a book from 1906 about their story in America up to that time. A lot of the smaller German states have changed hands in time. If I go back further like the 1200's, I also have a long line of Jewish Rabbis in my background who suffered persecution back then.
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