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  • Conventional Cold War gone hot: Berlin?

    Just a quick question, what would the forces stationed in west berlin be expected to do if the cold war went hot? Would they button under and attempt to hold, or push out and attempt to inflict as much damage possible before being overrun? Or even attempt to make for the West German Frontier through the rear of 3rd shock...
    Who we are is but a stepping stone to what we may become.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Greasel_burger View Post
    Just a quick question, what would the forces stationed in west berlin be expected to do if the cold war went hot? Would they button under and attempt to hold, or push out and attempt to inflict as much damage possible before being overrun? Or even attempt to make for the West German Frontier through the rear of 3rd shock...
    There must have been a protocol for this eventuality surely?

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    • #3
      There must have been a protocol for this eventuality surely?
      my reasoning exactly, some poor military anaylist somewhere proberly got given the doomed mission of "make a decent last stand"
      Who we are is but a stepping stone to what we may become.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Greasel_burger View Post
        Just a quick question, what would the forces stationed in west berlin be expected to do if the cold war went hot? Would they button under and attempt to hold, or push out and attempt to inflict as much damage possible before being overrun? Or even attempt to make for the West German Frontier through the rear of 3rd shock...
        I remember reading somewhere that the troops of the British Berlin Brigade joked that they were in a glorified POW camp if it ever went 'hot'.

        I can't remember where I read it exactly so I might be just getting my wires crossed.

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        • #5
          Die in place..... They are/were the "trip-wire". In all my gaming of the WW3 scenario, I've only been able to get them out once.
          In Vino Veritas

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
            Die in place..... They are/were the "trip-wire". In all my gaming of the WW3 scenario, I've only been able to get them out once.
            Absolutely right! A couple pals of mine were told at the time, that the American Garrison in Berlin was to be a momentary "speed bump", while doing everything in their power to upset the Soviet time table of conquest. Not a happy scenerio, by any means.
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Greasel_burger View Post
              Just a quick question, what would the forces stationed in west berlin be expected to do if the cold war went hot? Would they button under and attempt to hold, or push out and attempt to inflict as much damage possible before being overrun? Or even attempt to make for the West German Frontier through the rear of 3rd shock...
              I think they were supposed to die bravely. Politically it was impossible to withdraw them. Militarily it was impossible to support them and there were never really enough to fight their way out.

              If it had happened, there would now be painings in officers messes up and down the country of the gallant stand. But thats about it.

              The above assumes that we won the war of course.
              "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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              • #8
                From their goals poltically, i would think that it would be more prudent to attempt to push outwards, to save casualties in west berlin and to provide help for a greater war effort at the expense of the units (unless holding up some units were enough)
                Who we are is but a stepping stone to what we may become.

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                • #9
                  What was the normal force structure of the Berlin contingent?
                  "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                  "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                  "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                  — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

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                  • #10
                    I know that in the 60's and early 70's the US contengent in Berlin had Davy Crocketts issued to them. It could have gotten really ugly and expensive taking the city from troops armed with "nuclear hand grenades."

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                    • #11
                      I think it may depend on when the conflict took place. From the book "The Berlin Wall" which deals with the events of 1961, by Frederick Taylor page 211 in talking about McNamara taking over as Secretary of Defense from the Eisenhower administration.
                      "Previous policy seemed as follows: basically, you fought with inadequate conventional forces until it looked like you would lose (which, because NATO's armies were no match for Soviet might, would probably be pretty soon), after which nuclear weapons would be unleashed, with terrible consequences for the world."

                      Then in the book it talks about McNamara wanting to change how escalation was dealt with. From the same book page 211.
                      "McNamara had already ordered a rethink. Escalation would be carefully calibrated in order to delay the use of nuclear weapons for as long as possible, thus giving time for a conflict resolution that might avoid nuclear war. Essential to this was an expansion of conventional American forces, so that the West would not be immediately overrun."
                      Last edited by Sgt. Rock; 06 Dec 09, 00:58.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
                        I think it may depend on when the conflict took place. From the book "The Berlin Wall" which deals with the events of 1961, by Frederick Taylor page 211 in talking about McNamara taking over as Secretary of Defense from the Eisenhower administration.
                        "Previous policy seemed as follows: basically, you fought with inadequate conventional forces until it looked like you would lose (which, because NATO's armies were no match for Soviet might, would probably be pretty soon), after which nuclear weapons would be unleashed, with terrible consequences for the world."

                        Then in the book it talks about McNamara wanting to change how escalation was dealt with. From the same book page 211.
                        "McNamara had already ordered a rethink. Escalation would be carefully calibrated in order to delay the use of nuclear weapons for as long as possible, thus giving time for a conflict resolution that might avoid nuclear war. Essential to this was an expansion of conventional American forces, so that the West would not be immediately overrun."
                        Those quotes seem to be directed more at the overall level and not West Berlin in particular.

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                        • #13
                          I have a question would Nato actually go over the top and use nukes to stop the Soviet spearheads or is it more likely a scare tactic simply because of the escalation and retaliation this would surely bring upon Nato.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rom87 View Post
                            I have a question would Nato actually go over the top and use nukes to stop the Soviet spearheads or is it more likely a scare tactic simply because of the escalation and retaliation this would surely bring upon Nato.
                            That depends on who you ask, and when. Scary part is that there were leaders, like Le May, ready to unleash Armageddon at first strike, but I don't think politically it would have worked. The President and the General Secretary would work out a policy of not atively nuking each other's cities, even if there had been no agreement on it. Politicians who die can't remain in power, so even if a few nuked got blasted off the chessboard that was Europe, the USSR and USA would have come out OK. Probably the same with Britian and France. Germany would not be a fun place to be. And that's BEFORE the Red Army comes into play.
                            How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                            275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
                              Die in place..... They are/were the "trip-wire". In all my gaming of the WW3 scenario, I've only been able to get them out once.
                              That is one more time than I have. I did have them do nothing but hunker down once and the Warsaw Pact forces left them alone apparantly until the main action was over.
                              "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                              George Mason
                              Co-author of the Second Amendment
                              during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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