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World War III--Soviets invade Iran in 1985--Feedback requested

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  • World War III--Soviets invade Iran in 1985--Feedback requested

    Playing around with ideas...I'd be grateful for feedback on this one as a background for wargame scenarios...

    How plausible is this? What else might happen (or what might happen instead)? What am I missing?

    Here goes...

    What would happen if, in 1985, the Soviet Union joined forces with Iraq and Syria (and some help from India, which had a military pact with the Soviets at the time) and invaded Iran? The Soviet Alliance is able to seize control of most of Iran, including its ports and oil fields, in a few months.

    Not surprisingly, the West is pretty concerned about this. The Soviets could take control of the entire Persian Gulf. Even a best case scenario is to accept sharing dominance of the Gulf with the Soviets.

    Rather than use nukes, the West informs the Soviets they will initiate a global blockade of their shipping until the Soviets withdraw from the Gulf. Half the reason the Soviets wanted Iran was the warm water port, which greatly improves their ability to trade with places like India, Vietnam, and Angola. The Soviets refuse to budge. They say any attack on Soviet shipping will result in attacks on Western shipping.

    War erupts on two fronts. There is a shipping war, with the Soviets and the West both trying to destroy the other's navies and merchant fleets. This is global. Ports and shipping around the world are attacked.

    There is also a war of air raids in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan (which sides with the West), and India. It is a curious kind of World War III, with virtually no action in Europe (except the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic), a war of relatively small skirmishes and convoy actions, and some medium-sized battles meant to cripple rather than seize cities that have strategic value. Basically, neither side is trying to take territory; both sides are trying to wear the other down until either the Soviets give up and withdraw, by making Iran too expensive to keep, or the West gives up because it just can't fight anymore, and accepts the new world order.

    What do you think?

    Thanks. I look forward to your comments.

  • #2
    USN has field day the end also the soviets are not doing anything while dealing with tbe afgahnis

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    • #3
      Military pact with India?
      Кто там?
      Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
      Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

      Comment


      • #4
        I was going to mention Afghansitan too which the had invaded for the previous 6 years. All the USN has to do is block up the Straits of Hormuz which wouldn't be hard. Logistically there's nothing the Soviets can really do about that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
          Military pact with India?
          Sorry...pact was too strong a word. There was a treaty of mutual friendship, strategic cooperation, etc. that was signed in 1971. I'm thinking that India, rather than being eager to fight, might get dragged into the conflict just because its ports would be one place Soviet ships were headed, etc.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
            I was going to mention Afghansitan too which the had invaded for the previous 6 years. All the USN has to do is block up the Straits of Hormuz which wouldn't be hard. Logistically there's nothing the Soviets can really do about that.
            I agree it's a logical move. But what happens if the Soviets move Tu-22s to Iranian (now Soviet-controlled) air bases and start firing cruise missiles at American ships? I suspect this is exactly the sort of thing that might escalate the conflict rather than ending it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mgellis View Post
              Sorry...pact was too strong a word. There was a treaty of mutual friendship, strategic cooperation, etc. that was signed in 1971. I'm thinking that India, rather than being eager to fight, might get dragged into the conflict just because its ports would be one place Soviet ships were headed, etc.
              India was also a leader of the "Unaligned Nations" If conflict erupted between the superpowers their ports and airspace would be closed to both. The treaty you spoke of was more in regards to the Soviet-Sino split and China and the US working closely with Pakistan.

              The whole premise of your scenerio in 1985 is a bit off. Maybe in 1979 or 1980, but in 1985 the Soviet Union was in no place to start a war with The West. After 5 years of fighting Muslim fanatics and blowing the budget doing it do really think newly appointed Mikhail Sergeyevich is going to start another war there? Hell, one of his main points in taking power was wanting to withdraw from Afghanistan..
              Кто там?
              Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
              Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mgellis View Post
                I agree it's a logical move. But what happens if the Soviets move Tu-22s to Iranian (now Soviet-controlled) air bases and start firing cruise missiles at American ships? I suspect this is exactly the sort of thing that might escalate the conflict rather than ending it.
                The threat of US cruise missiles from SSNs hitting those airbases if they do that stops them, also why do they need to station them in Iran where there is a ground threat to them? Google Engels-2
                Кто там?
                Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mgellis View Post
                  Sorry...pact was too strong a word. There was a treaty of mutual friendship, strategic cooperation, etc. that was signed in 1971. I'm thinking that India, rather than being eager to fight, might get dragged into the conflict just because its ports would be one place Soviet ships were headed, etc.
                  In the case of the Soviet relationship with India, Client State, I think is what you are looking for. Here are the bullet points of my following post:
                  1. India flying indigenously built MiG 21s, 23, & 27s not because they were Russian, but because Russia would license their manufacture to India
                  2. As far as I can recall, the US Aircraft designers have not had a strong history of licensing production of US aircraft abroad.
                  3. There is no Russian Naval base on the Indian Ocean which I believe there would be if the Soviet-Indian relationship was as strong as you imply


                  A word of caution regarding the appearance of that relationship: India has large quantities of Russian weapons because one of the economic objectives of the leadership was national self-sufficiency relying on indigenously produced heavy industry. IIRC after independence, Nehru, who saw and learned about the inequities of the colonial system (importing expensive value added items like refined materials or industrial goods while exporting cheaper raw materials to the colonial power), adopted the exact opposite of being a colonial client state as one of India's primary economic goals. He had a saying, the gist of which went along the lines of, "India should not be paying for anything that India can produce itself...India should never pay for imported clothing if every house has a sewing machine."

                  The closed economy that resulted helped restrain Indian economic growth for the next thirty-years. I need to go find my copy of The Commanding Hights: Struggle for the World Economy and dig up the textbook from my comparative politics course. If I do, I might refine this post.

                  Next point: if the relationship between India and the Soviet Union was as strong as implied, then I think we would have seen that manifested in the form of a Soviet naval base or a Soviet naval air station on the Indian sub-continent. As far as I know, that has never happened.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cicero View Post
                    I
                    Next point: if the relationship between India and the Soviet Union was as strong as implied, then I think we would have seen that manifested in the form of a Soviet naval base or a Soviet naval air station on the Indian sub-continent. As far as I know, that has never happened.
                    You are spot on in your assessment. Also of course there was no base India was officially unaligned as I stated in my post.
                    Кто там?
                    Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                    Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What would happen if, in 1985, the Soviet Union joined forces with Iraq and Syria (and some help from India, which had a military pact with the Soviets at the time) and invaded Iran?
                      Syria has nothing to gain from joining this coalition esp since they hated saddam way more than anyone else.India cannot cntribute anything worthwhile to this campaign, in 80s india is fully occupaied with affairs in sri lanka and pakistan's inspired khalistan movement, not to mention the fighting in siachin.

                      Occupying Iran is 1000 times worse than afghaistan and soviets will have no illusions about it either.I doubt if they will expend their energies in doing that.Furthermore its much better politically to let the iraqis and iranians slug it out and maintain a stalmate of sorts rather than invadeIran and incur the wrath of the entire islamic world ( even if the sunnis hate shia iranians )

                      Politically & militarily this will be a big disaster for USSR

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nastle View Post

                        Occupying Iran is 1000 times worse than afghaistan and soviets will have no illusions about it either.

                        Politically & militarily this will be a big disaster for USSR
                        They've done it before. Reza Shah as it turns out was quite the Germanophile. Thought everything German was the most awesome anything to ever grace this Earth (even its politics as he was a Hitler admirer)....and that was an unacceptable risk. During the Summer of '41, the Red Army had it's marching orders occupied Iran from the North. British imperial forces moved in and occupied the South.

                        Not to imply that it would be analogous...Just bringing up a bit of history that not many folks know about.
                        Last edited by Cicero; 05 Jan 13, 01:36.

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                        • #13
                          Yes but that was simply a deterence against a pro-axis govt that was unpopular at home.SO that a repeat of col Rasheed's pro-german iraqi revolt could be avoided.I was not implying that iranians are similar to afghanis in anyway rather they have been occupied in the past by several powers, but in the 80s the situation was vastly different.Plus at that time the soviets were on "our" side and most of the muslim countries were under colonial rule.
                          Assuming the soviets already occupy A-stan and then they move into Iran, the gulf arab states would be incredibly alarmed.Saddam will lose all support he has in the muslim world and nothing will push the arab world closer to the West and may even encourage them to patch up differences with Israel to deal with the immediate threat of USSR.
                          Last edited by nastle; 05 Jan 13, 06:45.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
                            You are spot on in your assessment. Also of course there was no base India was officially unaligned as I stated in my post.
                            There would be no popular support for this war either, even the soviet invasion of hngry in 1956 was frowned upon by Nehru.

                            Even Saddam is far from being a loyal ally of the soviets, he was aware that he would lose all support in the arab world by so direcly challenging the gulfstates.

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                            • #15
                              At first I thought this was going to be like Harold Coyles Spear Point novel where the USSR invaded Iran, which then brought the US in to invade to stop the Soviets, and the series started going downhill from there.

                              I don't see it as being very successful. Is the war in Afghanistan still going on at the same time? Would India be fighting the Paki's to keep them out? The USN would be operating with impunity in both the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, so that negates a meaningful sea route. I see a quagmire for Russia in Iran because to fight two wars in South Asia at the same time as trying to keep a meaningful force in Europe and along the Chinese border is going to strain them awfully hard. Possibly making the 1991 implosion more painful?

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