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  #1  
Old 12-11-2020, 10:22 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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Default Adapting to FL's stuff: how to incorporate Sweden?

So, Fria Ligan wants to have Sweden as an active theater in 2000, with Soviet and US (NATO?) troops looking across a no-man's-land. Some of us don't like FL's timeline, but what could we do to adjust the v1 or v2.2 backgrounds to include a Swedish front?

Thinking off the top of my head, we could alter the descriptions of the fighting in Norway in the v1 background. Just add in that the Soviets sought to widen the front or flank the NATO 1997 drive towards Murmansk. Or that NATO did, and the Soviets reinforced so heavily, that NATO forces were driven back.

In the 2000 briefing sheet and Going Home, the formations that NATO had sent to Norway were now in Germany, so those would need to be relocated to Sweden, instead of withdrawn from Norway in '98 or '99. Such as:
US 2nd Marine Division, 6th Light Infantry Division, perhaps some others. ISTR the British 3rd Commando Brigade went to the UK instead?

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2020, 10:59 PM
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Here is how Sweden was dragged into the war in my modified timeline -

The repaired USS Enterprise leaves Narvik on the 16th February. Tipped off by a Soviet agent, the Soviets launch an air strike conducted through Swedish airspace. Analysts note that the escorting aircraft this time are long range SU27 Flankers. Sweden intercepts the strike, catching the Soviets by surprise, downing a number of attacking TU22M Backfires as well as Flanker escorts. Although a number of missiles are launched targeting the carrier, all are successfully engaged by the escorting cruisers and frigates or fighters. The Soviets suffer relatively light losses, as they wisely choose to break off the attack rather than risk getting caught in a pincer between Swedish Gripens and U.S. Tomcats. Sweden protests to the Soviet Union against the use of its air space and warns both NATO and the PACT that they intend to aggressively defend their airspace. However, before the end of March, Sweden declares war on the side of NATO as New Pact aircraft and submarines kept repeatedly violating Swedish territorial limits and attacking Swedish shipping. Swedish troops deploy north into the northern front with a few units moving into northern Germany, and Swedish naval forces embark on an aggressive mine laying campaign along the Baltic Coast in PACT waters.

I have never really gave Sweden much more to do. The Soviets had their hands full on other fronts and never mounted major combat ops in Sweden. Swedish ground units were used mostly in defensive operations in Finland (also invaded by Russia and now a NATO ally), Norway, and Germany. The country hosted NATO air units including a F-14 unit and RN and USN anti-submarine assets. Swedish spec ops were active around the Baltic including in Latvia, Poland, and Russia.

That was my take on Sweden in WWIII.
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:27 PM
pansarskott pansarskott is offline
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The Swedish airforce's main cold war task was anti-shipping operations to stop a Soviet invasion. The heaviest attack unit was subordinate to the Supreme Commander, not the head of the air force. The Air Force would be dispersed on an extensive network of road bases.


Strategic coastal areas were fortified with coastal artillery. Fixed and mobile.


A scenario with Swedish troops in Germany feels unlikely, troops in Finland sounds much more likely.

Sweden's official cold war stance was (paraprahsed) "free from alliances in peace, aiming for neutrality in war". However, there was extensive planning for being on NATO's side in a war.

Gotland would be sought after as a forward base area (aircraft and anti-aircraft assets) for both sides.
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Old 12-12-2020, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pansarskott View Post
Sweden's official cold war stance was (paraprahsed) "free from alliances in peace, aiming for neutrality in war". However, there was extensive planning for being on NATO's side in a war.
Can anyone confirm that NATO and Sweden had performed joint planning assuming Sweden's role as a NATO ally? I've heard this was done at least informally with plans for NATO to use road network air bases to forward deploy Harriers, F-16s, F-111s, or Tornados. Supposedly, there were specific air units identified to base in Sweden in the late 80s.
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Old 12-12-2020, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
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Can anyone confirm that NATO and Sweden had performed joint planning assuming Sweden's role as a NATO ally? I've heard this was done at least informally with plans for NATO to use road network air bases to forward deploy Harriers, F-16s, F-111s, or Tornados. Supposedly, there were specific air units identified to base in Sweden in the late 80s.
The Chicago Tribune reported in 1994 on a paper published by the Swedish government about Sweden's sharing defense plans with Britain starting in 1949, with the understanding that Britain would share them with NATO, with increasing entanglements up to the end of the report period in 1969.
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Old 12-12-2020, 03:55 AM
pansarskott pansarskott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpipes View Post
Can anyone confirm that NATO and Sweden had performed joint planning assuming Sweden's role as a NATO ally?
Official report:
Had there been a war - preparations for the reception of military assistance 1949-1969

Not sure if Tornados, F111s and similar aircraft could use Swedish road bases. Swedish aircraft are designed for road bases (STOL). 800 meter long (short?) runways was part of the road base system, although the main runway for each base area was longer.

Aircraft are not really relevant in T:2000, but maybe some underground fuel tank at some road base still has some AvGas.
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Old 12-12-2020, 09:23 AM
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In the Nordic I have planned to detail a neutral, but war damaged Sweden. In order to keep in line with the available offical lore.

Due to what is described, Sweden cannot have entered the war fully, but must have reluctantly or mistakenly been pulled into the war by both sides.

Basically, the NATO offensive through northern Finland fails as described in the lore, BUT, retreating US forces get cuts off and forced to retreat through Sweden and the border town of Karesuando, then onwards through Svaapavaara and Kiruna until they reach Narvik. However, tempers flare when one officer refuses to hand over his mother-of-pearl inlaid revolver for safe keeping while in transit. Shots are exchanged in what is later dubbed, "the Massacre at Karesuando". First deaths in Sweden in the Twilight War comes from 5.56 mm NATO rounds.

With Soviets hot on the tail of the americans, things devolve into a short but brutal three-way fight near Kiruna ending in the routing of US forces to Narvik, Soviets stuck in and near Kiruna and Sweden's counter-offensive got bloodied and pushed back by the Soviets.

During that week, there was border skirmishes along the Sweden-Norway border, but in the end a cease-fire was reached between Sweden and NATO, and with NATO being technically the initial aggressors the Soviets/Soviet commander in Kiruna brokered a deal that they will stay put for now and act like a buffer against Narvik. To much wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Swedes. But... Sweden did not and could not act due to it being political suicide. Since they saw how destructive this war is and was.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:05 AM
pansarskott pansarskott is offline
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Some more info on Sweden's cooperation with NATO (Google translate)

I see confrontation between identified Swedish and NATO units as very unlikely. The "let's shoot at each other and then be friends" in V4 doesn't make sense.

Soviet goals in Sweden would depend on their overall goals, e.g.;
Taking control of the Baltic Approaches
Going through northern or middle Sweden to get to Norway.
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:58 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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Default Pumping some life back into an idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurken View Post
In the Nordic I have planned to detail a neutral, but war damaged Sweden.
...

During that week, there was border skirmishes along the Sweden-Norway border, but in the end a cease-fire was reached between Sweden and NATO, and with NATO being technically the initial aggressors the Soviets/Soviet commander in Kiruna brokered a deal that they will stay put for now and act like a buffer against Narvik. To much wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Swedes. But... Sweden did not and could not act due to it being political suicide. Since they saw how destructive this war is and was.
I liked the write-up on this, and I will consider that canon IMC, when I'm using the normal setting and game.

For the immediate future, I expect the FL box set coming soon, and want to play something. The box set is to include a big map of south-central Sweden. I paid for the rules, I paid for the map, I might as well get something out of this. I'm planning a short game, possibly 3 sessions, to explore the stuff.

I may eventually have two sets of canon at my table: FL rules in Sweden, GDW rules in Poland.

Anyway, I started thinking about what NATO and Pact troops would be on that particular map, and I think I'm going to take a slice of both 'histories'.
- FL posits a larger Soviet invasion of Sweden, one column crossing the sea to south of Stockholm, that's the part that is depicted on their map.
- One of the pieces of GDW's history that always rubbed me wrong was the US insertion of IV Corps into Jugoslavia in the autumn of '98.

Crossing the streams, summer & fall of '98
1) I'm going to send the lightly armed IV US Corps to southern Sweden, entering through the western coast. Perhaps they were invited, perhaps to assist in refugee aid, I'll worry about that later. BUT, in my mind, they are also supporting the insertion of the II MEF (finally assembled 2nd Marine Division, support & service elements, whatever's left of the air wing, certainly some NATO marine units, too). The Army divisions secure the west coast and central parts of the country, the Marines the east coast and Gotland island. Undefined naval elements support this, too.

2) the Soviets send a (formation to be named later, not important right now) from the Leningrad/Arctic Front into northern Sweden (passing through the aforementioned 64th GMRD at Kiruna) AND the Baltic Fleet sneaks ashore some naval infantry and paratroopers south of Stockholm, reinforced with heavy stuff from the Baltic Front-- expanding to the 9th Guards Army.

3) I guess the Soviets arrive first, the Americans join in as a reaction.

4) all of this is during the other 1998 battles in central and eastern Germany, perhaps as a distraction. No other NATO forces are available to help the Swedes, so the 3 light/leg divisions from the East Coast are sent-- not good from the CONUS perspective, it turns out.

5) When the MilGov-CivGov split happens, most of the American Army forces in Sweden go the CivGov, the Marines mostly with MilGov. Individuals and small units might migrate from one camp to the other (literally).

6) Stuff stays quiet until the late spring of '00. NATO moves the Marines into northern Poland, per our "normal" understanding of things, leaving some sort of rear base detachment behind on Gotland and/or SE Sweden.

7) Soviets strike out from their enclave south of Stockholm after the Marines leave, using supplies collected over the last year or more, mostly hitting the American forces staying behind. Ground is gained, more-or-less doubling the territory held.

That gets me American, Swedish, some other NATO, and Soviet troops on the map that's in the box, more or less in the positions given in the books, not necessarily the same units.

Thoughts, suggestions?
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:14 PM
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IMHO, looks pretty good, Admiral. Aligning v4's strategic Sweden situation w/ v1-2.2 timelines is a neat trick and I think you've pulled it off admirably.

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4) all of this is during the other 1998 battles in central and eastern Germany, perhaps as a distraction. No other NATO forces are available to help the Swedes, so the 3 light/leg divisions from the East Coast are sent-- not good from the CONUS perspective, it turns out.
Since you asked for thoughts and suggestions, I think moving formations of corps/army size into an ostensibly neutral country requires a more compelling reason than "distraction". Invading Sweden certainly would "distract" the opposition, but it would also create more enemies.

Has Sweden abandoned its neutrality or otherwise provoked the Soviets? Perhaps one of the belligerents invades Sweden in an attempt to outflank strong defensive positions in N. Norway? But that would entail bringing a neutral nation into the war as an opponent, which seems very counterproductive. Sweden is no pushover.

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Old 10-26-2021, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
IMHO, looks pretty good, Admiral. Aligning v4's strategic Sweden situation w/ v1-2.2 timelines is a neat trick and I think you've pulled it off admirably.
Thanks!


Quote:
Since you asked for thoughts and suggestions, I think moving formations of corps/army size into an ostensibly neutral country requires a more compelling reason than "distraction". Invading Sweden certainly would "distract" the opposition, but it would also create more enemies.

Has Sweden abandoned its neutrality or otherwise provoked the Soviets? Perhaps one of the belligerents invades Sweden in an attempt to outflank strong defensive positions in N. Norway? But that would entail bringing a neutral nation into the war as an opponent, which seems very counterproductive. Sweden is no pushover.
-
Invading Sweden (or any neutral) does seem counterproductive, so I suppose some kind of provocation (by someone!) seems like a need.

SIDEBAR: I am a huge fan of GDW's Third World War series, and Arctic Front is my favorite title of the 4. I have invaded Sweden & Finland numerous times, I don't recall it really ever panning out for the Soviets, unless the campaign in Norway is also going swimmingly.

Trying to flank into Norway is a more likely possibility, but that still doesn't get me to use the shiny new map. A provocation by Sweden seems just as counterproductive; I'm at a loss to come up with something plausible.

It may be more useful to move the introduction of both sides to '97, but that upsets the really good semi-canon that's already out there.

I'll probably keep thinking about this, but for now, I just want to get a quick game in (3 sessions?) before the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's period that seems to prevent scheduling games.

Maybe I should just roll a die to see who "did something stupid this time"
1-2 NATO (read: the Americans)
3-4 the Swedes
5-6 the Pact (read: the Soviets)
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Old 10-31-2021, 01:48 PM
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Default Provocation

Perhaps Sweden somehow "provokes" the USSR to invade, maybe even unintentionally.

For example, say Soviet combat aircraft stray into Swedish airspace and the Swedes shoot them down; a Soviet ship or sub strays into Swedish waters and is sunk; Soviet troops accidentally cross the border and are killed or captured (or some combination of all three, over the course of the war to date).

The Soviets feel honor bound to send the Swedes a message and launch a punitive invasion thinking that it will cow the Swedes into a more submissive posture, but instead it triggers Swedish nationalism and Stockholm's invitation to NATO to send its own troops.

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Old 10-31-2021, 09:44 PM
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An accumulation of small defensive "provocations" can work, sure. I'll see what I might think up.
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Old 11-01-2021, 07:20 AM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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That would only rally be feasible, if the shooting war already started in earnest and the USSR would suffer from diffuse strategic goals as well as serious mission creep and unclear command hierarchy. Those things are typical fro mid-mission campaigns, but during the early phase of an offensive, you don't branch out, just because a fifth rate neighbor gets on your nerves. Especially if they got a second rate army that expects you to strike any moment anyway.

But something along that lines would work. Also, Sweden had clear agreements with the USA and UK to be on their side during a Soviet attack on NATO. Opportunities for a Soviet incursion into Sweden would certainly arise plentiful. More stupid stuff happened during World War Two.
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Old 11-03-2021, 12:57 PM
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You could have an event like Sir John Hackett's WWIII book where the Swedes intercept a Soviet attempt to land paratroops in Norway (they shot down a bunch of fighters and transports but paid the price doing so) and the Soviets, instead of taking the Swedes line about "protecting themselves against a massive intrusion in their air space" to heart, decide that the fastest way to get to Central and Southern Norway is by land - and invade

in the book the Soviet Union tries to buy Swedish neutrality with a mixture of rhetoric and veiled threats, but tensions rise as the Soviet Air Force repeatedly invades Swedish airspace to attack Norway. The Soviets believed that because Sweden had not been in a war since the 19th century, the Swedes would not retaliate, but this assumption is quickly proven false. A fierce air battle occurs when the Swedish Air Force attacks a Soviet bomber formation, and the Swedes take heavy losses before the Soviets are forced to turn back. The Swedes fully mobilize for war and contact Norway to begin cooperating on aerial defence, making Sweden a de facto co-belligerent beside NATO.

In the book the war only lasts a few days - obviously not the case with the Twilight War
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:38 PM
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Some earlier discussion on Sweden on this thread

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....ghlight=sweden
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Old 11-04-2021, 02:08 PM
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Most of that thread, IIRC, was about a neutral, non-nuked, Sweden in the v1/v2 timelines, coming out of its shell in 2000 or 2001, and projecting power or influence around the Baltic, helping to clean things up and set up some order.

I kinda like that concept, and would have liked to explore it in a 2001-05-era game.

For now, as I stated up top, I'm going to run with a non-neutral, battleground, Sweden, separating v4 rules into an alteration/addition to the v1 background.
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Old 11-06-2021, 12:48 PM
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Default Strategy re Sweden

After giving this some more thought (and inspired by the arrival of my copy of the v4 boxed set), here's what I've come up with:


Northern Front, Winter 1996 - Autumn 1997

By the closing weeks of 1996, the Baltic Sea is essentially a Soviet Lake. Pact Naval forces have been able to sweep the Baltic of NATO naval forces. Only NATO air forces limit PACT freedom of navigation in the Baltic.

To avoid same, Pact naval vessels and aircraft routinely enter Swedish territorial waters. Stockholm protests vociferously via diplomatic channels, to no avail. Incidents occur, shot are exchanged, the PACT gets the worst of it. Tension builds, but Stockholm refuses to order full mobilization of its military forces in order to avoid further provocation.

By Spring 1997, most Soviet Forces have been pushed out of Northern Norway (isolated pockets left behind continue to resist, as best they can). NATO attempts to advance on Murmansk through northern Finland. Finland strongly asserts its neutrality by attacking the NATO spearhead, stopping it cold. Remnants of the Soviet North Sea Fleet destroy a NATO flotilla closing on the Kola Peninsula but suffer crippling losses in turn. Despite its use of force against NATO forces in the north of the country, Finland refuses to ally with the PACT.

Facilitated by tactical nuclear strikes, a summer 1997 land offensive in Poland pushes NATO forces back towards the German border, increasing Pact control of the Baltic by making it more difficult for NATO air forces to operate in the anti-ship/anti-sub capacity there.

Stymied in the far north, the PACT makes a fateful decision to attempt killing two birds with one stone. An invasion of Sweden aimed at capturing Stockholm would knock a troublesome not-really-neutral nation out of the war and allow the Soviets to outflank NATO units holding firm in northern Norway, and/or present a clear and present danger to Oslo.

Mustering its remaining naval and air assets in the region, the PACT launches a large-scale amphibious and airborne invasion- the last of its kind in WWIII- of SE Sweden, preceded by precision nuclear strikes (mostly aimed at destroying the Swedish air force and navy). PACT naval infantry and parachute units land near Stockholm, establishing a beachhead and pushing towards the capital. Reinforcements soon follow (by sea, of course). The Swedish government appeals to NATO for help.

NATO is surprised by this unexpected development, but the alliance immediately susses out the strategic threat to Norway. Preparations for a counterinvasion of Sweden begin.

Meanwhile, the Swedish army rallies and puts up fierce resistance to the Pact advance, buying time for outside assistance to arrive.

---

This timeline pretty much sets up the military situation in Sweden, described by v4, while aligning, more or less, with the v1 timeline (still my favorite). Some ORBAT adjustments are, of course, necessary, but I don't think this would "break" how v1 describes the correlation of forces in other regions.

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Old 11-06-2021, 10:59 PM
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Raellus, that's pretty good.

I can take that to work with what I'd already gotten.

BTW, we made 4 characters last week and played a bit tonight. The PCs are a US recon mission into the area south of Lake Malaren (nearly everyone ended up a CIA agent and/or a special operator). I'd been sitting on the encounters "Ambulance train" and "If you go into the woods today" for years, so I slipped those into the mission. "Sniper trouble" is on deck, the sniper being the same guy leading the attack on the ambulance train.

I still haven't gotten my box yet, so I am running from the pdfs, a partial print, and a print of the alpha rules.
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Old 11-07-2021, 11:23 AM
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One thing I dont see is the US under any circumstances invading Sweden on their own - backing them up after a Soviet attack yes - but trying to take over Sweden themselves - no way
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Old 11-07-2021, 04:30 PM
Ursus Maior Ursus Maior is offline
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Quote:
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One thing I dont see is the US under any circumstances invading Sweden on their own - backing them up after a Soviet attack yes - but trying to take over Sweden themselves - no way
I think that's pretty much a given. There is just no way that would make sense to anyone in Washington, NATO or any other ally the US has, needs or cares about. This includes especially other Scandinavian countries, Norway and Denmark are NATO partners, and Finland, which would also resist Soviet invasion.

Also, Sweden had defense agreements with the UK and the US since the 1950s. The country was solidly within the Western Sphere, they just didn't announce it as openly as most others.
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Old 11-08-2021, 08:20 PM
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Default A Soviet Invasion of Sweden in v1

This post assumes a Soviet invasion of Sweden in mind-1997 of the v1 timeline, in keeping with the outline I posted earlier.

It's hard to imagine a Soviet amphibious/airborne invasion of Sweden succeeding without first significantly attriting the Swedish air force. This would be quite the challenge for the Soviet military in mid-1997 of the v1 timeline. The Swedish air force routinely dispersed its combat aircraft, making use of paved roadways as ersatz airstrips. The Viggen and Grippen were designed with STOL capability with this in mind.

If the USSR launched its invasion of Sweden early in the war, when it had a huge numerical advantage in combat aircraft, that would be one thing. But by mid-1997, this advantage would have narrowed to a much tighter margin. The Soviets would be risking losing the remainder of their air forces in NW Europe in a major battle with the pristine Swedish air force. The only way I can see a Soviet invasion of Sweden working in mid-1997 (I don't see it having a chance at success any later than that) is by catching the Swedes by surprise with a liberal dose of nuclear strikes. The Swedes' doctrine of dispersal of forces would make even nuclear attacks less effective. I still see the invaders suffering heavy losses during the landings.

Swedish coastal defenses are nothing to sniff at, but the Soviets would only need to worry about threats in the landing area. Fixed coastal batteries would be mapped out ahead of time. As far as land-based coastal defenses, mobile SSM launchers, IMHO, would be the biggest threat to an amphibious invasion force.

Again, surprise would be key to Soviet success. Apparently, it would take a few days for the Swedish military and Home Guard to mobilize in the event of an unexpected attack. If the Soviets could disrupt that scale further, it would buy time for their beachheads and airheads to consolidate. A nuclear attack, even using relatively small yield tactical warheads in widely dispersed precision attacks, would definitely add to panic and confusion and slow Sweden's military deployment. In v4, the Swedish government quits Stockholm pretty early on. The looming specter of a nuclear decapitation strike would definitely accomplish that.

I've been considering how best to employ Spetsnaz in the opening phase of the invasion. If a Spetsnaz team could somehow keep a Viggen squadron from getting off the ground and seize control of the airbase where it's stationed, that would be ideal (from a Soviet POV). An intact airfield would help speed up air landings and even allow the Soviets to station their own supporting combat aircraft and helis in-country.

Using Spetsnaz always risks throwing away the element of surprise if they're detected prior to taking action (remember the traffic accident in Red Storm Rising?). Trying to accomplish too much by giving a team multiple objectives or trying to insert more than one or two teams prior to the invasion increases the odds of tipping off the defenders that something bigger is afoot. Can anyone think of a better use for Spetsnaz than seizing an airfield? An alternative that comes immediately to mind is attempting to assassinate the civilian leadership of the country, but if said is fleeing the capital in the wake of nuclear strikes, that seems almost redundant.

Another question is at what point and in what capacity would the Soviets seek to employ Swedish fifth columnists? If I understand correctly, there were some relatively small but very committed Swedish socialist/communists groups operating in Sweden during the Cold War.

In terms of objectives, Gotland was pretty well defended during the Cold War. Do you think the Soviets would try to seize it in the opening phase of the invasion, perhaps to use as a kind of springboard for further attacks on the mainland, and to defend the left "flank" of invasion sea lanes, or would they circumvent it and leave it to wither on the vine? It seems like v4 takes the latter approach given the geographical description/rumor in the ref's manual. I tend to think that the Soviets wouldn't want to disperse their manpower, so it makes a bit more sense operationally to leave it be, initially at least, or even nuke the Swedish military base there and then mop up the survivors at a later date.

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Old 11-08-2021, 09:07 PM
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I recently binged several years worth of posts on the WWIII 1987 blog/narrative. That author's take on Sweden entering the war is a hastily- and secretly-negotiated limited alliance with NATO. The factors pushing Sweden out of neutrality are a Pact seizure of nearby Bornholm, the possibility of the Pact taking down Denmark or Norway, and various Soviet provocations directed toward gauging Swedish defense force reactions and intimidating Sweden into staying neutral (critical failure on Persuasion). He also has Spetznaz hitting radar facilities on Gotland in advance of air strikes against ADA and antiship missile sites there.

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Old 11-09-2021, 03:36 AM
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With respect to Gotland, I would assume the Soviets would want to eliminate the Rb 15 naval strike missiles stationed there. But other than that, Gotland is only relevant, if the Baltic Fleet wishes to escape into the North Sea and the Atlantic. That would have been a major goal for the Soviets in a war against NATO, but it's not necessary for an attack on Sweden. So it all depends when the USSR goes to war with Sweden. I'd assume that happens after war with NATO starts.

Under these cicumstances I see two options: air-strikes against the missile sites and then containing the threat by jamming and interdicting air-fields. The other option is glassing the site over with tactical nuclear weapons. The island of Gotland itself is not worth an invasion, to my opinion. That would only end in a Soviet version of the US invasion of Okinawa. And while the end might be clear from the start, this invasion would easily eat up a corps-sized amphibious force plus air and naval assets. Such an operation would need at minimum a month worth of time and these are resources the Soviets would not have in case of an all-out war along the Central and Northern front from the Arctic Circle to Bavaria—and beyond, if one sticks to the original T2K timeline.
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Old 11-09-2021, 04:14 AM
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I recently binged several years worth of posts on the WWIII 1987 blog/narrative.
Yeah, thanks for that link. There goes my week...
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Old 11-09-2021, 02:54 PM
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Swedish coastal defenses are nothing to sniff at, but the Soviets would only need to worry about threats in the landing area. Fixed coastal batteries would be mapped out ahead of time. As far as land-based coastal defenses, mobile SSM launchers, IMHO, would be the biggest threat to an amphibious invasion force.
...
Can anyone think of a better use for Spetsnaz than seizing an airfield?
IIRC, the Baltic Fleet should have its own naval-spetsnaz brigade, and neutralizing coast defenses in the are of a landing should be right up their alley. Probably a lot of submarine + SCUBA + small boat insertions the night before landing the rest of the naval infantry.

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An alternative that comes immediately to mind is attempting to assassinate the civilian leadership of the country, but if said is fleeing the capital in the wake of nuclear strikes, that seems almost redundant.
This sounds more like a job for the KGB's osnaz teams.

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Another question is at what point and in what capacity would the Soviets seek to employ Swedish fifth columnists? If I understand correctly, there were some relatively small but very committed Swedish socialist/communists groups operating in Sweden during the Cold War.
-
I think those would be best used to set up safe houses and caches and act as informants for the incoming spetsnaz/osnaz teams.

Something to consider regarding FL's Soviets in Sweden is that they have a significant Soviet presence south & west of Stockholm, as well as undefined forces much farther north. This force landed in Sweden both amphibiously south of Stockholm and airlanded north of Stockholm, but the few formations they mention are all south of there in 2000. A lot of what I wrote to start off this thread was to beef up this grouping.
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Old 11-09-2021, 03:06 PM
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Raellus, you're proposing a Soviet invasion of Sweden in (late?) summer '97, concurrent with their counteroffensives in Poland and Norway-Finland.

When would you suggest US & NATO guys appear, and which ones?
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Old 11-09-2021, 05:05 PM
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Good calls on Soviet use of local assets (i.e. Swedish communists), Admiral. Thanks for reminding me about naval Spetnaz; I feel silly for forgetting about them.

Re timing, that is correct. As I write this, I don't have access to the v1 timeline but, IIRC, the Soviets don't launch a counteroffensive in Norway-Finland. The Finns stop NATO's northern drive into Soviet territory without Soviet assistance. I envision the invasion of Sweden taking place after NATO troops in Poland have been pushed back closer to the German border, so probably late summer, 1997 (I imagine one would try to avoid major combat ops once the days get shorter/colder). So, the Soviets wouldn't have to run three major offensive concurrently (at that stage in the war, I doubt they'd be capable to doing so)- they'd be running two operations consecutively.

I was thinking about this last night and I figure another casus belli for Moscow would be Soviet troops cut off in northern Norway by the NATO offensive "escaping" encirclement by crossing the border into neutral Sweden. Sweden interns them and refuses to repatriate them until hostilities have ended. I would use this in addition to the other strategic objective of outflanking NATO forces in the north. It also makes sense that the best of Sweden's active duty military forces would be oriented north, keeping an eye on the fighting up there between NATO and the Soviet Union/Finland, thereby leaving the southeastern region more vulnerable to a surprise Soviet invasion.

Also, bigger picture, strategically, invading Sweden poses a threat to Norway and Denmark, forcing NATO to weaken its forces in central Europe to shore up the northern front. If the net result would be the same, the Soviets might prefer to take advantage of a "soft" Sweden than continue bludgeoning away at strong NATO forces in Poland in a war of attrition.

I would suggest that NATO sends forces to Sweden in late summer, 1997. I'd go with 2nd MarDiv, since that's what v4 uses. If that messes up your Poland c.2000, then you could use a reactivated Marine Division (there were 6 in WW2; IIRC, there are only 3-4 identified in T2k canon). I'd also throw in some Danish and Canadian troops to make it interesting. As for PACT forces, v4 has 1 Soviet Air Assault division, 1 Marine Infantry Brigade, and 2 Motor Rifles divisions. That seems about right to me. I'd include the Polish marine regiment as well, to spice things up and make it a true PACT endeavor.

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Originally Posted by Ursus Maior View Post
With respect to Gotland, I would assume the Soviets would want to eliminate the Rb 15 naval strike missiles stationed there. But other than that, Gotland is only relevant, if the Baltic Fleet wishes to escape into the North Sea and the Atlantic. That would have been a major goal for the Soviets in a war against NATO, but it's not necessary for an attack on Sweden. So it all depends when the USSR goes to war with Sweden. I'd assume that happens after war with NATO starts.

Under these cicumstances I see two options: air-strikes against the missile sites and then containing the threat by jamming and interdicting air-fields. The other option is glassing the site over with tactical nuclear weapons. The island of Gotland itself is not worth an invasion, to my opinion. That would only end in a Soviet version of the US invasion of Okinawa. And while the end might be clear from the start, this invasion would easily eat up a corps-sized amphibious force plus air and naval assets. Such an operation would need at minimum a month worth of time and these are resources the Soviets would not have in case of an all-out war along the Central and Northern front from the Arctic Circle to Bavaria—and beyond, if one sticks to the original T2K timeline.
I do see Gotland has possessing strategic value for the Soviets. SAM and SSM batteries, and aircraft based there could aid in maintaining Soviet air and sea supremacy in the eastern Baltic, and would held secure the sea and air lanes between Soviet forces operating in SE Sweden and the Motherland. That said, I agree with you that capturing the island would be a significant undertaking, and one the Soviets could not pursue concurrently with landings in SE Sweden. I think your description of how the Soviets would deal with Gotland instead is a more manageable/plausible approach.

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Old 11-09-2021, 09:47 PM
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Re timing, that is correct. As I write this, I don't have access to the v1 timeline but, IIRC, the Soviets don't launch a counteroffensive in Norway-Finland. The Finns stop NATO's northern drive into Soviet territory without Soviet assistance.
I was partly working from an Arctic article I got from around here, I think it's Chico's group? That one has a Soviet counterattack after NATO's push stalls out. The 10th US Mtn Div tries to shortcut thru Sweden as it retreats, and is pursued by the Soviets. There is some shooting between US and Swedes trying to intern them. The Soviets end up leaving a division behind there.

Quote:
I envision the invasion of Sweden taking place after NATO troops in Poland have been pushed back closer to the German border, so probably late summer, 1997 (I imagine one would try to avoid major combat ops once the days get shorter/colder). So, the Soviets wouldn't have to run three major offensive concurrently (at that stage in the war, I doubt they'd be capable to doing so)- they'd be running two operations consecutively.

I was thinking about this last night and I figure another casus belli for Moscow would be Soviet troops cut off in northern Norway by the NATO offensive "escaping" encirclement by crossing the border into neutral Sweden. Sweden interns them and refuses to repatriate them until hostilities have ended. I would use this in addition to the other strategic objective of outflanking NATO forces in the north. It also makes sense that the best of Sweden's active duty military forces would be oriented north, keeping an eye on the fighting up there between NATO and the Soviet Union/Finland, thereby leaving the southeastern region more vulnerable to a surprise Soviet invasion.
That sounds just as plausible to me.

Quote:
Also, bigger picture, strategically, invading Sweden poses a threat to Norway and Denmark, forcing NATO to weaken its forces in central Europe to shore up the northern front. If the net result would be the same, the Soviets might prefer to take advantage of a "soft" Sweden than continue bludgeoning away at strong NATO forces in Poland in a war of attrition.
If the Soviets want this to be more than a punishment, they need to commit some big forces, at least a Front.

I did go for '98, as that would be after NATO shuts down Norway as an active theater, and the Americans, British, and other non-Norwegian units have left for Germany. That might seem like an opportunity for the Soviets?

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I would suggest that NATO sends forces to Sweden in late summer, 1997. I'd go with 2nd MarDiv, since that's what v4 uses. If that messes up your Poland c.2000, then you could use a reactivated Marine Division (there were 6 in WW2; IIRC, there are only 3-4 identified in T2k canon). I'd also throw in some Danish and Canadian troops to make it interesting.
I squared that circle by having the Marines show up in the initial NATO reaction, then get pulled out again for the 2000 offensive on the Polish Baltic coast.
Danish troops would be a good idea, too, though their territorials are probably tied down with civil defense.
Now that you have me thinking about it, the Danish division and Canadian brigade that appear in the 2000 Baltic coast offensive might be better used here?


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As for PACT forces, v4 has 1 Soviet Air Assault division, 1 Marine Infantry Brigade, and 2 Motor Rifles divisions. That seems about right to me. I'd include the Polish marine regiment as well, to spice things up and make it a true PACT endeavor.
I looked at the Soviet Vehicle Guide, and noticed there were 2 short armies in the Reserve Front. Two of the divisions in the 9th Guards Army matched, or were close to, the numbers of the divisions FL used. QED, I moved the 3rd MRD over there, too. The naval and desant guys were a no-brainer.

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I do see Gotland has possessing strategic value for the Soviets. SAM and SSM batteries, and aircraft based there could aid in maintaining Soviet air and sea supremacy in the eastern Baltic, and would held secure the sea and air lanes between Soviet forces operating in SE Sweden and the Motherland. That said, I agree with you that capturing the island would be a significant undertaking, and one the Soviets could not pursue concurrently with landings in SE Sweden. I think your description of how the Soviets would deal with Gotland instead is a more manageable/plausible approach.
Yeah, that island would be great to have, perhaps more useful than the mainland south of Stockholm if there were plans to push the offensive further towards Denmark or Germany. But, as you say, sometimes you can only get one target with the forces you have.
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:53 PM
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I was partly working from an Arctic article I got from around here, I think it's Chico's group? That one has a Soviet counterattack after NATO's push stalls out. The 10th US Mtn Div tries to shortcut thru Sweden as it retreats, and is pursued by the Soviets. There is some shooting between US and Swedes trying to intern them. The Soviets end up leaving a division behind there.
That's an interesting premise. Does that scenario include Finland at all?

I guess I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. I want to involve Sweden in WW3, but without altering the v1 timeline too much. This, of course, is a very subjective exercise. Omitting Finland from the war is a pretty significant change, and complicates the strategic picture in the region too much, IMHO.

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If the Soviets want this to be more than a punishment, they need to commit some big forces, at least a Front.
Agreed. One way to explain less of Soviet presence in Sweden (i.e an Army- equivalent to a NATO Corps- rather than a Front) is that Stavka intended to send additional formations to Sweden in follow-up waves once the beachhead was well-established and transport freed up, but the war took a turn for worse elsewhere and the Soviets just didn't have any "spare" units to significantly reinforce their Army (corps) in Sweden.

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I did go for '98, as that would be after NATO shuts down Norway as an active theater, and the Americans, British, and other non-Norwegian units have left for Germany. That might seem like an opportunity for the Soviets?
That makes sense. Going by the v1 timeline, the closer to 2000 that events get, the fewer air and sea assets there are available. If the Soviets are going to invade Sweden by sea and air, they're going to been ships and aircraft, and, maybe more importantly, fuel for them. By mid-1998 in the v1 timeline, all of those things are in much shorter supply. That's why I went with '97 instead.

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I squared that circle by having the Marines show up in the initial NATO reaction, then get pulled out again for the 2000 offensive on the Polish Baltic coast.
Danish troops would be a good idea, too, though their territorials are probably tied down with civil defense.
Now that you have me thinking about it, the Danish division and Canadian brigade that appear in the 2000 Baltic coast offensive might be better used here?
Yes, I think so. This is a bit of a stretch, but maybe one could explain US XI Corps getting left behind during OMEGA by placing it in Sweden instead of NW Poland. AFAIK, no explanation is given in canon for why XI Corps does not make its way to Bremerhaven in November 2000. A lot of virtual ink has been expended here trying to come up with a likely explanation (without consensus).

You don't have a USMC unit in your Sweden c.2000?

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I looked at the Soviet Vehicle Guide, and noticed there were 2 short armies in the Reserve Front. Two of the divisions in the 9th Guards Army matched, or were close to, the numbers of the divisions FL used. QED, I moved the 3rd MRD over there, too. The naval and desant guys were a no-brainer.
I like that idea. I'm all for using forces described in the VG's as basically just sitting around far from an active front. In my mind, they're fair game to be put to good use elsewhere. There are also a few RL late Cold War Red Army formations that didn't make it into the SVG. I used a couple in the KSB (with Marc Miller's blessing).

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Yeah, that island would be great to have, perhaps more useful than the mainland south of Stockholm if there were plans to push the offensive further towards Denmark or Germany. But, as you say, sometimes you can only get one target with the forces you have.
I figure that capturing Gotland would be in Soviet strategic plans as a second or third phase operational objective. Again, the Soviets don't get around to it due to limited forces.

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