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Red Storm Unleashed: 1953, 1963, or 1973

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  • Red Storm Unleashed: 1953, 1963, or 1973

    Suddenly, the legions of Soviet tanks storm the borders from Eastern Europe, spearheaded by the divisions in Eastern Germany, making quick work of the NATO troops in West Germany, encircling and destroying Berlin.

    At the same time, Soviet tanks invade Persia, then under the control of a weak Shah. Their goal is the Strait of Hormuz, and the Persian Gulf.

    All over the world, secret negotiations and allegiances are made. If an all-out war (SHORT OF NUCLEAR) suddenly erupts, what regions will be involved and countries?

    If the Soviet Unions sent its divisions across Western Europe and Iran, when will it happen?

    1953, during the tense negotiations in the middle of a stalled Chinese-ROK advance in Korea? 3 years before the Second Arab-Israeli War, and the beginning of communist insurgence in Vietnam and others?

    1963, a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis and shooting war between the Chinese and Indian armies, in the middle of the Kennedy assassination, the gradual escalation of the Vietnam conflict, the collapse of detente and Communist insurgencies in South America and Asia?

    1973, during the Yom Kippur War, a scandal rocking the White House, the peak of insurgencies in South America and Asia, virtual victory in Vietnam?


    And how will it escalate?

    Will Soviet Russia push the North Koreans again, but then it would involve a tense negotiation with Maoist China.

    Will Soviet Russia push through the Balkans, expanding the European theater, to try to control the Mediterranean?

    Will Soviet Russia send divisions across the Caucasus to Iraq and Turkey? After all, the latter had been at war with Russia several times for the Russian dream of "window to Europe". Namely, the Black Sea.

    Will Soviet Russia support the insurgencies in Africa and South America, and push Cuba to open hostility with the United States?

  • #2
    I don't think the Soviets had enough troops to attack Iran and Western Europe at the same time.

    Also keeping the nuclear option off the table is unrealistic, especially if the Soviets are as successful in their initial attack as your outline seems to suggest. Using nukes to stop the Soviet mass was standard doctrine for a very long time, even after the NATO started to emphasise a conventional solution.

    I would also argue that your causes for war don't match the actions you suggest. For example if the Yom Kippur war had been the trigger, it is likely that the first part of the war will take place with Soviet troops in Syria and maybe Egypt, not in Western Germany.

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    • #3
      Im going to make some pointers.

      I seriously doubt the Soviets would try to attack Yugoslavia in order to take control of the Balkans. After the Informbiro despute in 1948, Yugoslavia was running the non-alignment politics. If it was attacked by one side, it would definitly ask for help the other. The last thing the Warsaw Pact wanted to see was NATO in the Balkans. Also, Yugoslavian nations are famous for fierce resistance against any foreign occupators.

      As for Turkey...that is quiet possible. Turkey was by Churchill considered a weak link in NATO. But their dispute did not run so much over the Black sea as it did over the Dardanels and the entrance to the Black Sea. The Soviets (like the Russians) wanted a doorway to the Medditeranian. And in case of the cold war turning hot, this would have definitly been one of the most important strategic goals for the Soviets.

      The Soviet Union supported insurgencies in RL. It would do so even more in such a case. As for Cuba, I dont think they would dare open hositlity until they would get sufficient support from the USSR.

      Of course, this is merely speculating. Such a scenario is unlikely and was even more so the more the Cold War progressed. The greatest realistic chance of an open-war was in the coldest part of the cold war (1945-1968) and even that more in the beggining. After that, both sides just tried to keep Status Quo since they realised that an open war would mean the end of the world.
      "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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      • #4
        I always figured that during the cold war the Soviets were never ever going to start a shooting war as long as the guy in charge was a survivor of the Great Patriotic war. Basically as long as the guy in charge remebered the horrors of WWII, he wouldn't start it. However if someone ever threatened the Russian people again, that someone would be in a world of hurt.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AdrianE
          I always figured that during the cold war the Soviets were never ever going to start a shooting war as long as the guy in charge was a survivor of the Great Patriotic war. Basically as long as the guy in charge remebered the horrors of WWII, he wouldn't start it. However if someone ever threatened the Russian people again, that someone would be in a world of hurt.
          Unfortunately, most of the Soviet leadership was also proven paranoid and had unrealistic fears about being attacked out of the blue by the imperialist snails. Not the one person leading the Soviet Union, but the members of whatever the Politbuero is called in English.

          At the same time, the Soviet Union and Russia in particular was resolved to never, ever, have fighting on their own soil again.

          So in the moment you decide that an enemy attack is certain you have to strike first. Combining that with the first observation is left as an exercise to the reader

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          • #6
            I’ve read somewhere (don’t ask where I can’t remember) that one possible reason that Stalin died was because he was poisoned to keep him from launching an attack in Europe. Not sure how realistic that theory is but knowing what I know of Uncle Joe I wouldn’t put it past him if he thought he could win.
            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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            • #7
              For some good reading on this type of scenario, the Commander of the British Army on the Rhine wrote a fantastic book, called The Third World War: August 1985 that addresses a lot of what you're talking about. It was a huge hit, especially with the military (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/002...encoding=UTF8). There was also a sequel, which was better IMHO, called The Third World War: The Untold Story (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/002...Fencoding=UTF8) by the same author.

              It looks like you still believe in the 10' tall Russian -- we figured out years ago he was a midget.

              Sure, the Russians had hundreds of divisions, but most of them were just poorly maintained ancient equipment in a motor pool. In order to fill them, they would have had to mobilize reservists. Of course, this would have also let us know they were coming (or were at least going to do something stupid).

              A defected senior Russian officer, who goes by the pseudonym Viktor Suvorov, talked in one of his books about Russian soldiers in the invasion of the Czech Republic couldn't drive their tanks and had to be replaced by officer candidates, among other horror stories. You can do that kind of thing to invade one of your allies but it's much harder to do it when you're attacking your rival for the most powerful country on earth.

              I suspect it they had attacked in 1953, we would have nuked them, since we lacked the ground forces to defeat them conventionally.

              If they had attacked in 1963, Fidel Castro would have been a shark's lunch and Cuba would be a hole in the seafloor.

              If they had attacked in 1973, Gerald Ford would never have been president -- R M Nixon would have finished his term after NATO kicked the Russians' butt, and he and H Kissinger would be famous as the men who unified Germany.
              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
              Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


              "Never pet a burning dog."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Janos
                For some good reading on this type of scenario, the Commander of the British Army on the Rhine wrote a fantastic book, called The Third World War: August 1985 that addresses a lot of what you're talking about. It was a huge hit, especially with the military (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/002...encoding=UTF8). There was also a sequel, which was better IMHO, called The Third World War: The Untold Story (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/002...Fencoding=UTF8) by the same author.

                It looks like you still believe in the 10' tall Russian -- we figured out years ago he was a midget.

                Sure, the Russians had hundreds of divisions, but most of them were just poorly maintained ancient equipment in a motor pool. In order to fill them, they would have had to mobilize reservists. Of course, this would have also let us know they were coming (or were at least going to do something stupid).

                A defected senior Russian officer, who goes by the pseudonym Viktor Suvorov, talked in one of his books about Russian soldiers in the invasion of the Czech Republic couldn't drive their tanks and had to be replaced by officer candidates, among other horror stories. You can do that kind of thing to invade one of your allies but it's much harder to do it when you're attacking your rival for the most powerful country on earth.

                I suspect it they had attacked in 1953, we would have nuked them, since we lacked the ground forces to defeat them conventionally.

                If they had attacked in 1963, Fidel Castro would have been a shark's lunch and Cuba would be a hole in the seafloor.

                If they had attacked in 1973, Gerald Ford would never have been president -- R M Nixon would have finished his term after NATO kicked the Russians' butt, and he and H Kissinger would be famous as the men who unified Germany.
                I loved those books. Of course I was in the military at the time so that might have something to do with it.
                Last edited by Tsar; 04 Mar 06, 20:53.
                Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                • #9
                  A soviet WW III scenario seems to me to have been more likely in 1953 than the decades after because U.S. military doctrine considered tactical use of atomic artillery and bombs a part of their doctrine for war against the USSR. And once one side used nukes in a conflict, conventional thought said that the war would escalate out of control with both sides eventually unleashing their full arsenals of nuclear weapons. While many considered the use of atomic weapons feasible in 1953, as time passed and the superpowers increased their nuclear arsenals and developed their ICBM capabilities, it eventually became clear to most that if both sides unleashed their nuclear weapons on one another, it would result in total annhilation of all involved. To put it another way, the policy of nuclear deterrence grew more effective as time passed.

                  Another aspect of this is that in 1953 the USSR still had a cadre of war veterans from the Great Patriotic War. As time passed their veterans grew old and by the sixties and seventies the USSR had relatively few combat veterans. Contrast this to the US, which was fully engaged in Korea and Vietnam during the same time period and has always had a large body of men in uniform and/or the reserves with combat experience. This core of combat veterans is looked upon by America's foes as a cause of concern.
                  "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." ~ Marcus Aurelius

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                  • #10
                    All good points, Grenze.
                    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                    Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                    "Never pet a burning dog."

                    RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tsar
                      I loved those books. Of course I was in the military at the time so that might have something to do with it.

                      General Sir John Hackett is the author of The Third World War.

                      Check out Harold Coyle's book Team Yankee which takes place during the events of Hackett's book

                      or for fun Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We are also failing to keep in mind that the Soviets' plan of attack into West Europe included the use of tactical nukes. We would not have had the ability to use ours first.

                        Okay, we've decided that the attack would have had to take place in 1953, in order for the USSR to have most competent supply of troops. Warsaw pact would have pushed across Europe as quick as possible, spear headed by nuclear attacks. Korea would have lit up again, only with the Chinese backing Korea, in order to allow Russians to concentrate on Europe, with maybe a few forces detatched to show unity with communists in Korea.

                        Can anyone tell us how effective US intelligence of USSR was in 1953? How long would the West have to prepare. Also, what about tech comparisons. Could we have had air superiority? What would be the kill ratio between tanks? How effective were the allied nations of either side? All these must be considered.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Larkin
                          We are also failing to keep in mind that the Soviets' plan of attack into West Europe included the use of tactical nukes. We would not have had the ability to use ours first.
                          The Russians didn't have a tactical nuke that I can find in 1953--the fielded their first one in 1954 (https://www.psr.org/home.cfm?id=nuclear_terrorism3 which says "The first Soviet tactical nuclear weapon was deployed in 1954, a small nuclear drop bomb to be carried by a tactical jet bomber, the Il-28A"). They would have had to use strategic nukes in an operational context. I'm not sold that we could not have used ours first in any case.
                          Originally posted by Larkin
                          Okay, we've decided that the attack would have had to take place in 1953, in order for the USSR to have most competent supply of troops. Warsaw pact would have pushed across Europe as quick as possible, spear headed by nuclear attacks. Korea would have lit up again, only with the Chinese backing Korea, in order to allow Russians to concentrate on Europe, with maybe a few forces detatched to show unity with communists in Korea.
                          Are we assuming late winter/early spring before Stalin died in March? I think we have to, given the instability that followed.
                          Originally posted by Larkin
                          Can anyone tell us how effective US intelligence of USSR was in 1953? How long would the West have to prepare. Also, what about tech comparisons. Could we have had air superiority? What would be the kill ratio between tanks? How effective were the allied nations of either side? All these must be considered.
                          Soviet client states (not yet the WP) were unreliable. There was still no East German army (and they were in revolt in 1953 there), and Hungary was about to explode in revolution. That leave the Reds with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria and a need to garrison East Germany and Hungary (front-line states critical for LOS).
                          In the west, we had the US and UK for reliable forces. There was no West German Army yet.
                          Given the much larger Soviet forces, comparing tanks would have been a moot point. We would have nuked them quickly to get it over with.
                          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                          "Never pet a burning dog."

                          RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                          http://www.sca.org
                          http://www.scv.org/
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                          • #14
                            So, would anyone use the remnants of the Nazi army to fight?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Larkin
                              So, would anyone use the remnants of the Nazi army to fight?
                              I'm sure they would have, whether we wanted to or not...I'm not sure we'd have had time to organize them into units, but they would have been a great guerilla force behind Russkie lines and may have been able to induce surrender/defection on the part of some of their former allies (Hungarians and Romanians, for example).
                              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                              Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                              "Never pet a burning dog."

                              RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                              http://www.mormon.org
                              http://www.sca.org
                              http://www.scv.org/
                              http://www.scouting.org/

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