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NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

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  • #16
    If memory serves, Robert McNamara said something about it being the Europeans that demanded a nuclear deterrent, as opposed to the Americans. (again, this is all if memory serves), I believe he also said something to the effect that the utter uselessness of nuclear weapons was already fairly well-known in the late 1950s (in America, at least).

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    • #17
      And yet we still talk about making mini-nukes for bunker-busters.
      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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      • #18
        Nato VS Warsaw Pact

        Back to the original question...I believe the Russians could have taken great advantage of the total dis-unity of the western family, culture, national spirit and alliances present during the late 60's and early 70's. A first strike would have been devastating and the west would have been hard pressed to get it's brain fried youth to rise to the occasion. Yes, kick em first, kick em hard and then kick em again while their down. I guess we did a good job appearing strong and united. The only true allies we have are our Brit friends. Live by the sword, die by the sword!

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        • #19
          Re: Nato VS Warsaw Pact

          Originally posted by ferello518
          Back to the original question...I believe the Russians could have taken great advantage of the total dis-unity of the western family, culture, national spirit and alliances present during the late 60's and early 70's. A first strike would have been devastating and the west would have been hard pressed to get it's brain fried youth to rise to the occasion. Yes, kick em first, kick em hard and then kick em again while their down. I guess we did a good job appearing strong and united. The only true allies we have are our Brit friends. Live by the sword, die by the sword!
          I would beg to differ with the "Brits only" assertion - they have been fairly well constant, but what has been their intent. Certainly they have not ben universally altruistic. Maybe they only thought that hitching their wagon to the biggest kid on the block would serve their interests. Am I too cynical? Maybe. We do have other friends or allies, but they will act in their own interests, whether or not those interests also benefit us. Personally, I consider the Germans our best ally - they support us in many instances, especially on clearly global issues. However, as according to their Constitution and the wishes of their populace, they are often loath to deploy troops abroad, sometimes even for logistic, medical or other similar activities. Russia inasmuch as it is within their budget and capacities will assist us, and are genuinely appreciative with our (and others) assistance with managing their nuclear arsenal and in disposing of of their BW and CW. Decidedly unhelpful are: France, Japan, Korea and formerly the Philippines.

          As for a WP strike in the 60s or 70s - initial surprise would have been achieved, pushing NATO forces back to about a line parallel with the Jutland Peninsula, possibly (though unlikely) to the Rhine/Meuse areas. Though it was not official doctrine in the 60s - but was in the later 70s with the advent of the Follow-On Forces Attack (FOFA) doctrine, NATO Air Forces would have struck second and third echelon formations, destroying and delaying logistics & reinforcements, attacking railyards and trains themselves, arsenals and supply yards, C3I centers. Certainly the offensive would achieve many objective, until the interdiction of their supplies and and reinforcements degraded their capabilities. After some time of letting the WP forces "wither on the vine" a front-wide counterstroke would begin, steadily pushing back the invaders, defeating and possibly annihilating WP units. Though damage and casualties would be high, NATO would have prevailed.
          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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          • #20
            There is already a discussion on this topic here:

            http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&threadid=1309
            http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

            Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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            • #21
              They would have crushed us. They had a coherent nuclear weapon FIRST strike policy while we did not due to politcal considersions.The "revolutional in military affairs" to use the Soviets terminology dictacted that to their way of thinking that NOT to use nuclear weapons was "nonsense". They maintained such a large conventional force because they knew that the socialist countries would sustaine massive casualties,as would NATO.After the initial nuclear exchange in Europe they would have the forces left to take what is left of the continent. Facing 100 or so WP.divisions there were less than 15 or so NATO divisions. 4 1/3 of those were American. Fulda Gap would have been the encirclement and complete destruction of the 3rd US armored. All they needed was "Boots for marching" Their policy was to take West Germany and to use their caputered weapons cache against us. They had more submarines than the rest of the world put together. While The US and NATO had vastly greater ASW capalities,their greater numders would have invalidated REFORGER. We would have never been able to get our forces back to Europe against an enemy prepared to use nuclear weapons against our navy. AS things turned out we beat them the only way that we could have..economicaly.Without a shot being fired. Thank you Ronald Reagan

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              • #22
                Your first post brings back a 6 year old thread. Awesome.
                Кто там?
                Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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                • #23
                  AS things turned out we beat them the only way that we could have..economicaly.Without a shot being fired. Thank you Ronald Reagan
                  ..indeed, and i for one are grateful for that...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by hogdriver View Post
                    Just a quick estimate, I would say in the late 1970s - the US is still stinging from Vietnam, the Euroepan NATO allies all have some degree of social unrest, and the Soviet Union is not yet embroiled in Afghanistan. A sudden, massive strike could have rapidly driven NATO back, possibly as far as the frontiers of the Netherlands and Belgium. Of course there is no telling what the French would have done, having withdrawn from the military section of NATO in 1966.
                    ..it is a great what if, personally i believe that the French would not want to be isolated like that, having to live with a "your next" threat from WARPAC hanging over their heads fro the immediate future. WARPAC forces would have fancied their chances of rolling south and taking France after a period of replenishing men and material. I think its entirely possible that the inital strong gains made by WARPAC would convince the French Govt that the country was best served by joining NATO again and join the fighting....

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                    • #25
                      Holy thread necro! And not only that, but you honestly believe that the Warsaw Pact would have nukes like long range artillery. You sir deserve a double facepalm.

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                      • #26
                        firstly no nukes or with nukes ?


                        former then anytime from 1955 to 1985.
                        I disagree that 40s was a good time, soviet armies were utterly exhausted and didnt have the motor transport or the attrition reserve.Allies had huge quantities of conventional weaponry

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                        • #27
                          This ia great what if of history and it has so many unknowns (thats both unknown unknowns and known unknowns) and variations and assumptions loaded into it.

                          I'd say late 1960's/early 1970's NATO countries in disarray eg Vietnam, economic stagnation, social unrest and environmentalist garbage, US still in Vietnam and its before the US had most of its best technology.

                          This would have been before the US had Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting vehicle the A-10, Los Angeles class subs, F16, F15 (at least not in any significant numbers) the Multiple Launch Rocket System, FLIR, GPS, advanced cruise missiles,smart bombs, stealth bombers, Aegis. The US would have been fighting a hugely larger force without the technological edge they had in the 1980s.

                          Also Soviets had caught up in nooculer warheads, US couldn't threathen to use nukes as Soviets could call their bluff by pointing out that US wouldn't risk Chicago for Berlin and public opinion in US would be against using nukes in Europe if it put US cities at risk. Alternatively, given that the Soviets were always paranoid they might not threaten to use nukes because they'd be worried that their cities would be destroyed.

                          If both sides recognise that no one can win by resorting to nukes then the conventional war becomes more important-you have to win the conventional war so that you're not faced with using nukes as your only other option. If you lose the conventional war you can't use nukes because you know you can't win it that way either.

                          Incidentally, what would a 'win" for Warsaw Pact look like? Is their goal to simply annihilate NATO so USSR can waltz into the Middle East for oil as per Red Storm Rising (great book by the way)
                          Or is their goal to unite Germany into a Moscow controlled sateliite? How far would they go?

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                          • #28
                            Well, the problem is with nukes- whichever side is on the verge of a decisive defeat is bound to use them.

                            Both sides would have to know that, so what happens... 20 years of WW1-style stalemate, by design? The Germans would be thrilled, another 30 years war, being trampled by every power in Europe.

                            And people wonder why those guys are so grumpy...
                            "Why is the Rum gone?"

                            -Captain Jack

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