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  #31  
Old 07-24-2020, 01:22 AM
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That the Romanians go over to NATO when they had an actual real, live Stalinist government is to me one of the funniest parts of the T2K canon.
After the austerity measures of the 1980s though, I think the Romanians were pretty much at the breaking point in regards to their government. Those same austerity measures lead the Romanian people to rebel against their government and hunt down & execute the leader Ceaușescu. Switching sides to NATO isn't as far fetched as it sounds at first glance.
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  #32  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:29 AM
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That the Romanians go over to NATO when they had an actual real, live Stalinist government is to me one of the funniest parts of the T2K canon.
I used to think that too. Here's what changed my mind.

According to Osprey's Warsaw Pact Ground Forces (copyright 1987), Romania was the most recalcitrant of the WP nations. It would not allow any foreign troops on its soil, nor would it send troops to conduct WP exercises outside its own borders (except a few observers). It publicly condemned Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia in '68 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in '89. It maintained close cooperation with non-WP Yugoslavia, including jointly developing a few weapon systems. Romania had major territorial disputes with Hungary and Bulgaria, alternately gaining land from, and losing it to, both neighboring nations (Hungary, in particular).

Since Romania proved so difficult, the Soviets wouldn't sell its military the best available weapons and equipment. For example, the Soviets didn't sell the Romanians any T-72s. Bucharest acquired its thirty T-72s from Israel in 1986-'87! (no doubt captured from Syria in Lebanon, '82) Romania also secured the rights to license-build Puma transport helies from France. Romania apparently had most favored nation trading status with the USA, and growing commercial ties to Israel & China, but still boasted one of the weakest economies in the WP.

The Romanian military was designated as a purely defensive force by the WP. At it's height, the army consisted of 8 MRDs and two TDs, with some border troop formations, two mountain infantry brigades, a parachute regiment, and a battalion of naval infantry (read coastal defense infantry). Up to three infantry divisions could be created by calling up reserves, but their quality (weapons, training, and leadership) would have been especially poor. Romania produced much of its own small arms (and exported heaps of AKs) yet due to Soviet policy, remained the least well-equipped and offensive-capable of the WP militaries.

Add to that how unpopular Ceaușescu regime was IRL, and it makes almost perfect sense that Romania would refuse to send troops to China, and would fight back when invaded by the USSR, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
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  #33  
Old 07-24-2020, 07:28 PM
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I don't know what conditions are like in Venezuela in T2K but I would say they aren't very good. France could get involved in Venezuela because of its oil. There are active and quite large French military bases in French Guiana and in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe that are near Venezuela. France could send forces to bolster whoever is running Venezuela to secure oil supplies.
Based on the V2.2 edition I would say Venezuela got nailed pretty badly - and the fact that Gateway to the Spanish Main only mentions Aruba and there is no mention of Curacao or Trinidad I have a feeling they got hit bad too.

From the V2.2.

Central And South America

The oil-producing areas of the Caribbean were severely damaged by nuclear and/or conventional attacks, largely in an effort to deny them to the enemy
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  #34  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:22 PM
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I used to think that too. Here's what changed my mind. [snip]
Yeah, however the Osprey book severely cuts out context for the Ceausescu regime, how it started and the changes it went through.


Initially Ceausescu was a reformer and the darling of the West in the Soviet Bloc. He was a popular leader who frequently bucked the Soviet line for domestic political and very real, practical economic reasons. However that changed. His domestic economic program failed miserably and was badly thought out. Like Stalin he had a habit of plonking down industrial complexes in places economics didn't suit but where he wanted a communist counter-balance to nationalist and intelligentsia forces (this would be his undoing when the workers came after him too). As he'd screwed over his relationship with the Soviets (under Brezhnev you can hardly blame him at this point) he went off looking to the Chinese for support.

Ceausescu became a big fan of Maoism and the Korean Juche system (which I've recently found out massively predates Korean communism which surprised me). It was his affiliation with Mao that the Soviets, especially Brezhnev, disliked (for good reason as Mao was white-anting the USSR). This is when he transitioned from popular but frankly stupid reformer to President-For-Life.

However Mao died. Things changed. Both Albania and Romania started to realise that the PRC weren't the cornucopia of responsibility-free goodies they could be. Albania went its own way into a sort of hermit-kingdom but Romania had no options. The USSR could simply not buy Romanian oil during the oil glut. As a result Romania had a rapprochement with the USSR. Osprey ignores this.

Note also that a lot of people still remembered the "Old Ceausescu" and often gave him the benefit of the doubt. Like all revolutions if you ask anyone afterwards they'll all tell you they were opponents of the regime and it's frankly bollocks. The vast majority of populations simply try and sit out revolutions or only participate to a minor degree when everyone else is doing it.

The big problem in the T2K context is the background.
The West actually is invading. Romanians are going to be isolated if they buck the Soviet line. They simply aren't going to rise up during an existential war, and most importantly they are going to do nothing if the army doesn't help. It was the army and not the people that overthrew Ceausescu when it was so obvious that he's so alienated the people he was a severe liability. The three generals who did him in went on to be the first leaders of the republic. In this situation the army is either going to follow the USSR's lead or they're going to have an angry Red Army in Romania again and they simply aren't going to do that. In real history the USSR had already collapsed and had also shown in true Glasnost style it wasn't going to intervene in dissolutions (okay, Moldavia, but that was an actual literal rogue division).

However GDW wanted warfare everywhere for practical gaming reasons and thus had to have fighting everywhere. We can accept that and stick with it or go with a more practical what-if.

I think Romania would disintegrate but only to the degree Poland disintegrates; still Soviet but with tons of splinter factions and some foreign busybodies who rapidly become loathed by the locals.
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  #35  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:43 PM
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Default If the Ceausescu Fits...

I'm going to respectfully disagree with your assessment. Even in the mid-to-late 1980s (IRL), Romania was the red-headed stepchild of the WTO. I mentioned it before, but even non-aligned Yugoslavia got Soviet-made T-72s and MiG-29s before Romania did (in the case of the T-72, Romania didn't get them from the Soviets at all).

I think the Romanian military, built specifically for defense and not at all accustomed to operating alongside the other WTO militaries- would balk at being shipped off to war against the PRC. The gov't too, with close economic ties to [post-Mao] China, and growing civil unrest at home (if it didn't happen in '89 in the v1.0 timeline, it seems perfectly reasonable that it would begin around the time of the Sino-Soviet War, or the Soviets' demands for troops), wouldn't want to push its luck with its own military and citizenry both screaming "Hell No, We Won't Go!". Or maybe Ceausescu was about to cave in to the USSR's demands for fresh troops for the Far East Meat Grinder.

In either case, the Romanian army misjudges the Soviet gov't, believing it too preoccupied with China and the exploding crisis in the DDR, to do anything concrete about its refusal to send troops, or even regime change.

In my T2kU (which aligns closely to what's described in the official v1 history), the Romanian army launches a coup and removes Ceausescu from power in December, 1996. The Soviets were already planning an invasion of Romania to show the entirety of the WTO what the cost of disloyalty is, so the coup becomes fait accompli.
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  #36  
Old 07-24-2020, 10:10 PM
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Yeah, that's the best thing about this sort of alt-history is that it can play out in a myriad of ways.

NATO could make a drive through Bulgaria to relieve the Romanians (assuming Greece and Italy are still in NATO) which make for serious Balkan hell.
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  #37  
Old 07-24-2020, 10:35 PM
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The beauty of T2K is it's an alternate reality. Who says the world has to be the same as ours up until some arbitrary event or date? Nothing wrong with having a few minor tweaks in the proceeding few decades to allow the game situation to make more logical sense.
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  #38  
Old 07-24-2020, 10:38 PM
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I'm going to disagree as well, I think people severely underestimate the impact of the Romanian austerity measures of the 1980s. Not only did the austerity measures drastically lower the quality of life for many Romanians, it involved severe cuts to healthcare that increased the infant mortality rate and failed to implement measures to restrict the spread of AIDS. A food rationing system was put in place and electricity was restricted to such an extent that even hospitals went without power.
On top of all that, dissent was met with political and civil repression.

It's worth remembering that the execution of Nicolae Ceaușescu and the collapse of the Romanian Communist Party happened in 1989. These things don't just happen "overnight", they take months and often times years to build up. In the context of the Twilight: 2000 setting, this is happening either contemporaneously or even before the Twilight War gets into full swing.
A change was going to come no matter what but it was unlikely to have a favourable treatment of the ruling regime.
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  #39  
Old 07-24-2020, 11:46 PM
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Default Tomato, Ceausescu

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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
The beauty of T2K is it's an alternate reality. Who says the world has to be the same as ours up until some arbitrary event or date? Nothing wrong with having a few minor tweaks in the proceeding few decades to allow the game situation to make more logical sense.
Agreed. I'm not trying to push my version of events on anyone. It's just an option. But, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I think it pretty seamlessly reconciles RL events (Romania's strained relationship with the rest of the WTO, its economic links to China and the west, and the domestic unpopularity of Nicolae Ceaușescu and the Romanian Communist Party) with the v1 timeline, which culminates in the Soviet invasion of Romania, just 6-7 years after the RL Romanian Revolution. In any case, it seems a lot more plausible than Italy and Greece turning against NATO.

But then, I fall into the Reconcile with Canon camp. If there's a way to rationalize the unlikely so that it makes more sense, change implausible to slightly-less-implausible, then that's what I try to do.
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Last edited by Raellus; 07-24-2020 at 11:57 PM.
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  #40  
Old 07-25-2020, 01:40 AM
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But then, I fall into the Reconcile with Canon camp. If there's a way to rationalize the unlikely so that it makes more sense, change implausible to slightly-less-implausible, then that's what I try to do.
As a group, that approach makes the most sense to me. Individually do whatever the hell you want, it's YOUR game world, but don't try ramming your opinion down other peoples throats and call it fact. That was the whole point of the "What is canon?" thread from about a decade ago that developed into a whole lot of butthurt.
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  #41  
Old 07-25-2020, 03:56 PM
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Default Whodunnit?

Who nuked the oil fields/refineries of Ploesti, Romania? Does canon specify?

The Soviets are cited as using tactical nukes in Romania first, to break Romanian resistance in September, 1997. However, it doesn't make a lot of sense to nuke a strategic objective that you have every intention, and realistic chances, of capturing.

I think it makes the most sense that the US did it. With Romania's organized resistance crumbling in the summer of 1997, and no realistic prospects of NATO forces recapturing Ploesti, NATO would be eager to deny its use to the Soviets.

But from Med Cruise, we know that oil production at Ploesti resumed some time prior to summer, 2000. That suggests tactical nuclear weapons were used, rather than strategic, and airbursts instead of ground strikes.

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  #42  
Old 07-25-2020, 05:59 PM
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France? Deny the resource to everybody?
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  #43  
Old 07-25-2020, 06:26 PM
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France? Deny the resource to everybody?
Now that is a very interesting idea. I was so intrigued by it that I jsut double-checked the v1 history to see if the timing would line up. Unfortunately, I don't think it does. The Ploesti oil fields would have been under Soviet control when France enters the war in 1998. A French nuclear strike on Soviet-controlled territory (and Soviet troops in the area) wouldn't be taken too kindly.

Bummer. I wanted it to work.
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  #44  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:41 PM
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France wouldn't be about to publicise their involvement, and would anyone else really be in a condition to determine where the strike came from, especially if fired from a sub?
France's move into the middle east and Africa wouldn't have happened on the spur of the moment either. They've clearly had time to observe what's going on around the world and make plans. Very likely any overt move on their part would have been preceded by months of build up and covert action.

That said, I doubt it was them. More likely in my opinion the Soviets used low yield tac nukes on Romanian troop concentrations rather than infrastructure. We know that the Romanians took out at least one Soviet Division (the 280th) by ambush (albeit one wracked by desertions, etc). What better way to neutralise them than by making them glow in the dark? A handful of nukes is also a lot quicker than moving other units into the area for conventional operations and would be able to be carried out before the Romanians could disburse.

Hmm, evil thought - what if the Soviets used the 280th as bait? It was a mobilisation only unit and not exactly effective anyway.... Timeline probably doesn't work too well, but...
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  #45  
Old 07-25-2020, 11:01 PM
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France wouldn't be about to publicise their involvement, and would anyone else really be in a condition to determine where the strike came from, especially if fired from a sub?
France's move into the middle east and Africa wouldn't have happened on the spur of the moment either. They've clearly had time to observe what's going on around the world and make plans. Very likely any overt move on their part would have been preceded by months of build up and covert action.
That could work. I suppose an SLBM could be impossible to source, unless you had a unit tracking it (and then why would you let it launch, right?). Hm. Maybe it was the French...

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That said, I doubt it was them. More likely in my opinion the Soviets used low yield tac nukes on Romanian troop concentrations rather than infrastructure. We know that the Romanians took out at least one Soviet Division (the 280th) by ambush (albeit one wracked by desertions, etc). What better way to neutralise them than by making them glow in the dark? A handful of nukes is also a lot quicker than moving other units into the area for conventional operations and would be able to be carried out before the Romanians could disburse.
Yes, the Soviets could have done it, but it seems like the work required to repair the Ploesti refineries and restore them to production after a nuking wouldn't be worth the satisfaction of instantly wiping out the Romanian division defending the facilities. Canon, isn't specific on this point, though, so it's not out of the question. Here's what the v1 history has to say:

In September of 1997, “Limited use of tactical nuclear weapons, the increasing numbers of Soviet reserves, and the withdrawal of the Yugoslavians caused the Romanian front to collapse. As Warsaw Pact columns swept through both countries, isolated military units withdrew into the mountains and began to wage a guerilla war.” V1 Ref’s manual, pp. 25-26

So yeah, the Soviets could have nuked the oil fields, but that still seems really counterproductive, considering the prize. I bet it was the Americans. The SVG mentions that, "the 321st [MRD] was hit by a nuclear strike on its way to Romania," so clearly someone else- probably the Americans- was slinging tac-nukes in Romania too.

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Hmm, evil thought - what if the Soviets used the 280th as bait? It was a mobilisation only unit and not exactly effective anyway.... Timeline probably doesn't work too well, but...
Devious! I think you're right about the timeline not cooperating, though. The SVG says the 280th MRD was destroyed in the spring of 2018, almost a year after the tactical nuclear strikes mentioned in the v1 history quoted above.
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Last edited by Raellus; 07-25-2020 at 11:07 PM.
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  #46  
Old 07-25-2020, 11:31 PM
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Well you've got most of the nukes happening in the second half of 1997 with another weaker exchange around Autumn 1998. Nothing to say there weren't a few small tac nukes used in the meantime though especially since the timelines are primarily referring to strategic level strikes.
We do know the Romanians were reforming regular combat units in early 98 and so would be a very tempting target, especially with NATO attempting to push into Czechoslovakia around this time and forcing the PACT to relocate units to counter them.

Of course there's nothing in canon about any of this, but it is an interesting and plausible idea nonetheless.
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