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Ronald Reagan's Pershing Missiles

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  • Ronald Reagan's Pershing Missiles

    What made those tactical nuke missiles so frightening that the entire Warsaw Pact was spooked? Range? Super accurate targetting (not that targetting matters much with nukes)?

    The Soviets had had their mobile SCUDs since the 1960s, what features of the Pershings made them so impressive & intimidating to the Soviets? Also, there were thousands of strategic Minutemans in silos in USA; in the case of an all-out nuclear war Europe and the Soviets were doomed with or without the Pershings.
    Last edited by MonsterZero; 09 Jun 04, 22:55.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

  • #2
    I believe the CEP was between 25-50 meters - and the missile was very fast Of course the US/NATO would never deploy a first strike missile system that would be considered unsporting BTW - does anyone know when the SS-20's were actually deployed?
    Edit: I don't know exactly when the program started - it would be safer to call them : Jimmy Carter : weapons
    Last edited by Foggy; 09 Jun 04, 22:53.
    Black & blue from the TOAW learning curve!

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    • #3
      Now I *know* I've been playing too much CMBO, going into this thread thinking to myself "There are Pershing tanks capable of firing missiles! Cool!".
      -----------------------------------
      Sings we a song of wolves.
      Who smells fear and slays the coward.
      Sings we a song of man.
      Who smells gold and slays his brother
      .

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      • #4
        Pershings were medium range missiles (IIRC) and therefore (if launched from Turkey) could impact after a very short flight time (compared to an ICBM launched from the USA) and giving very little time for a warning/counterattack. Thats the same reason why the USA was so spooked of soviet missiles on Cuba
        "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

        Henry Alfred Kissinger

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kraut
          Pershings were medium range missiles (IIRC) and therefore (if launched from Turkey) could impact after a very short flight time (compared to an ICBM launched from the USA) and giving very little time for a warning/counterattack. Thats the same reason why the USA was so spooked of soviet missiles on Cuba
          Actually, they were stationed in Western Germany, a short hop from Poland's vital river crossing which the Soviet juggernaut had to bridge on their way West. One American nuclear scenario was stop the Soviet divisions right there in Poland with nuke strikes creating a death zone along the the Vistula river.

          "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
          --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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          • #6
            I thought it was the MX system which did the spooking?

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            • #7
              Pershing II were mobile and very accurate. They were deployed to England and West Germany. Because of their short arrival time into the east bloc and their mobility, the Soviets viewed this as a "first strike" weapon confronting the Soviets with a short response time before hitting Soviet territory.

              Many feel that the votes in Europe and the USA Congress to deploy the Pershing II was the first step in the end of the cold war. Early on, the Soviets realized that they lacked the economic system to pay for or develop hi-tech weapons. As such, they resorted to theft of western tech and they attempted to stop deployment by driving a wedge into the NATO alliance between Europe and the USA. This included "disinformation" campaigns, monetary support by the KGB for "peace groups" and diplomatic pressure and "PR" campaigns by Siviet propaganda organs and diplomatic ministries. The disinformation campiagn even included the clandestine purchase of a western newspaper in Greece (or Spain-- I cannot remember which) to create disinformation stories. The strategy almost worked. However, Reagan, Thatcher, Kohl, etc... succeeded in the votes for deployment. From this point on, many feel that Reagan's (and others) strategy of using hi-tech weapons spending and the end of the policy of containment and the new policy of sending the Soviets to the "ash heap of history" (rollback-- not containment) simply doomed the Soviet system.

              By the way, Jimmy Carter (although thrown out of office at the time of the Pershing II deployment vote) did not support the Pershing II deployment and in fact, his Democratic party campiagned and voted against it in congress (including Senator Kerry).

              One other interesting factor overlooked today is the belief that President Bush created the anti-Americanism in Europe today. But if you look back, millions more demonstrated against President Reagan and before that, during Vietnam. European anti-Americanism has always been there. However, with the end of the cold war, there is no longer any reason for Europe and the USA to cope with this hatred. If the USA is really concerned with its own future, it would begin the slow process of alignment with China, Japan, and India. It is time for the USA to stop looking back at old Europe and look to the future in the Pacific.

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              • #8
                So the Pershing 2 made the SS20 vulnerable too ?
                didnt the soviets deploy SS20 east of the urals too ?

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                • #9

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                  • #10
                    I was 6yrs old when the U.S. started putting the Pershings in Germany.

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