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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:10 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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ABLE ARCHER 83: Timeline of a Third World War in 1983

My rules for a Alternative History of World War III
Writing an alternative history of an hypothetical World War III is a very difficult task, mainly because there is an over-production of fictions, models an hypothesis on what it could have been. Every historian or alt-historian has his own precise idea on how it could unfold. For this reason, I prefer to set some basic rules for this Alternative Timeline before writing it, useful for any further debate on this board.
1. Historical context: I chose the Able Archer Crisis of 1983 because it is increasingly recognized by historians as one of the three most dangerous moments of the Cold War (along with the Berlin Crisis of 1948 and the Cuban Missiles Crisis of 1962). While the other two crisis went “public” immediately, the Able Archer one is still a mystery. Were we really close to war or not? Increasing evidence suggests that we were. But there is still a window open for alt-history imagination.
2. Inspiration: I will try to free my mind from any fictional account produced in the 80s, both from the more pessimistic scenarios of nuclear-end-of-the-World (like “Threads”, “When the Wind Blows” and many others) and the overly optimistic scenarios of all-conventional-theatre-war (like Hackett’s “Third World War” and Clancy’s “Red Storm Rising”). I would try to rely on real planning of both sides, given that many key documents are declassified. Where there are no declassified war plans, there are still many writings on doctrine and oral history that could fill the gap.
3. Rationality: I know that a plan is the first victim in war. It could die in the first hour of conflict. After that first hour, I assume that both sides are relatively rational, because both showed restrain during the entire era of the Cold War. Even if war resulted from miscalculation (like in this case), their rationality could persist also during a conflict. I presume that nobody wanted to destroy the World, but “simply” win the war.
4. Technology: I would use only existing military technology already deployed in 1983, but I assume that, in case of war, both sides could try to deploy also new tested (although not yet deployed) systems and use existing or old technologies in new and “creative” manners.
Given those rules… happy reading!

Last edited by giobastia; May 18th, 2013 at 02:46 PM..
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:20 PM
Delta Force Delta Force is online now
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I've always wanted to do an Able Archer 83 timeline myself. I look forward to reading this.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:20 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Historical Background: the hottest years of the Cold War

The so called “detente” between Soviet Union and United States simply fell apart in December 1979. Since 1976, Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces began to deploy the new SS-20 system. The new missiles could hit accurately, with three MIRVed warheads each, all the NATO bases in Europe and all the Us targets in the Asia-Pacific region, without posing a threat to the Us territory.
The Soviet strategists, basically, intended the new system as an upgrade of previous SS-4 and SS-5 missiles, which could reach all the NATO targets in Central and Westrn Europe, but not the peripheral bases in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Greenland. The new SS-20s could reach all those remote bases and put the entire depth of NATO forces inside the Soviet nuclear offensive weapons range.
The SS-20s were the perfect weapons to fight and win a limited nuclear war in Europe, because they could destroy any NATO target in Central Europe with pinpoint accuracy (limiting collateral damages, which could be dangerous also for advancing WP troops), deter any massive retaliation from France and UK, or from the US remote bases in Iceland, Spain, Portugal and Turkey, deny the arrival and concentration of US forces in any European harbor, deny side operations in the enlarged Middle East, destroy or deter US operations in Japan and South Korea.
Western governments understood immediately the importance of the new weapons and they also considered the deployment of SS-20s as a political tool aimed at the “decoupling” of NATO: if Europe is menaced and Usa are not, they thought, American and European interests could diverge. In case of theatre nuclear war in Europe (NATO’s strategists thought), Usa could have been tempted to not intervene. Thus the necessity to retaliate to the deployment of SS-20s with the deployment of new US theatre nuclear weapons, in order to reestablish the balance of nuclear forces in Europe.
The decision to deploy the new missiles, the Pershing2 (medium range ballistic missiles) in Germany and the Gryphon (land based cruise missiles) in UK, Italy and the Netherlands, came in mid-December 1979. The deployment should not be immediate, nor inevitable. It was linked to the result of a new round of negotiations with Ussr on intermediate nuclear forces (INF). Basically the NATO proposal was: retire the SS-20s and we’ll not deploy the Pershings and Gryphons. Earlier that month, unrelated to the deployment decision, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to replace its recalcitrant communist regime with a more faithful one. A military move which was met with outrage all over the West and in the Islamic world and prompted new sanctions by the Carter’s administration in Usa.
These two events, Western reaction to Afghanistan and Western reaction to SS-20s, provoked an escalation of ideological paranoia in Soviet leadership. Until early ’79, the Soviet leadership (dominated by the old general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, but especially by the KGB’s president Yuri Andropov) was relatively optimistic. Soviet-style socialism was spreading all over the World, not only in African countries (where Soviets intervened in, at least, three cases: Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia), but also in the courtyard of Usa (Nicaragua and El Salvador, later the island of Grenada). Western leftism was widespread all over Europe and United States, especially after Vietnam. The overall correlation of forces (military, economic and political) favored the Soviet Union. The world was secure for Moscow, a war was not only not necessary, but even damages for the Soviet cause. But after 1979, the harsh reaction of the West, the election of anti-communist leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and the first symptoms of weakness of the Soviet Communist system (the rise of Solidarnosc in Poland, boosted by a Polish Pope, unrest in Afghanistan, the reforms in China and the strengthening of its military power, economic stagnation in Ussr), signaled a shift of correlation of forces from East to West. “If we are weak and they’re getting stronger, they will soon attack us”, was the mainstream thinking in the military and political circles. In an orthodox Marxist-Leninist view, the East-West conflict was inevitable, détente was only temporary. The shift of the correlation of forces could signal the approaching of the final conflict. A Western surprise attack became a boogeyman for the KGB and the GRU (the military secret service). In 1981, under Andropov and Breznev’s orders, they launched the combined Operation RYAN, aimed at collecting signals of an impending NATO’s nuclear surprise attack on Soviet Union. The Operation RYAN was not an aseptic collection of proofs, but it was more a self-fulfilling prophecy. The KGB was quite sure about the NATO intention to attack, it didn’t know “when” and “how” it will push the button, but the “if” is not considered. Every “suspect” sign in political, military and economic life in the Western countries was signaled, by the Soviet agents, as a checkmark of an impending attack. In case the RYAN matrix is full of checkmarks, the Soviet Union should have to preempt an imminent Western attack. Both KGB and GRU had to discover the preparations of a Western nuclear attack, six days (at least) before it could be launched. A six-days window of opportunity was considered large enough for a preemptive attack in Europe. When Andropov succeeded Breznev, early in 1982, he boosted the Operation RYAN.
Through 1982 and early 1983, retaliating the Soviet-sponsored military coup in Poland and the war in Afghanistan, Us Navy and Air Force conducted a series of dangerous maneuvers close to Soviet borders. Those “Psyops” (psychological operations) succeeded in scaring Soviet military commands, exposing their liabilities. In July 1982, the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces conducted their largest exercise, the “Seven Hours Nuclear War”, which tested SLBMs, theatre nuclear forces, ICBMs, ABM missiles and all the space systems in a simulated “launch on warning” situation. In Spring 1983, in the European Theatre of Operations, the Warsaw Pact ground forces conducted the “Soyuz 83” maneuver. Viktor Kulikov (Warsaw Pact commander in chief) stated, after the exercise: “The future war will be fought without compromises, until the complete defeat of the enemy, with all necessary means, including the uncontrollable escalation of strategic nuclear forces”.
On March 23rd 1983, Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, a new plan for a future comprehensive ballistic missile defense of Us and Allies. Few days after, a little nuclear bomb was detonated in Nevada: the Cabra Event was about to test a new promising ABM weapon, a nuclear pumped X-ray laser. The KGB didn’t know how advanced was that program, but it estimated that, if deployed, it could have shot down the 98% of Soviet ICBMs. The Soviet military leadership and the intelligence community were scared: Usa were probably preparing a first strike, they thought, and the SDI would have stopped an eventual Soviet retaliation. The Operation RYAN was boosted again.
And then, a civilian Korean Boeing mistakenly violated the Soviet airspace, over the Kamchatka peninsula…
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:29 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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When the Soviet SU-15 of major Osipovic shot down the civilian airliner KAL 007, over the Sakhalin Peninsula, nobody really know what is happening. Soviet air defense radars discovered and tracked an “intruder”, maybe an American spy plane. Major Osipovic could see it was a civilian airliner, but he didn’t question his commanders about their orders. The crew of the Korean airliner didn’t know they were flying over one of the Soviet Union most secret locations and didn’t see any warning sign.

When Ronald Reagan publicly condemn the Soviet crime and published all the transcripts of the conversations between Osipovic and his direct superiors (intercepted by Japanese SIGINT), the KGB and the Soviet ruling élite began to think to a Us conspiracy. They thought Reagan was “psychologically preparing the Americans for war”. They thought that even the KAL007 was part of the conspiracy, a blatant provocation, a civilian airplane “deliberately sent” over Soviet air defenses in order to create a scandal. Basically, the KGB was believing in its own propaganda. And added a lot of checkmarks on the RYAN matrix, when the Reagan administration condemned Ussr at the UN General Assembly opted for new unilateral sanctions against Soviet Union.

Even more important, from a military point of view: the Madrid negotiations for INF broke down, paving the way for an early NATO deployment of Gryphons and Pershing2s in Uk, Italy and Germany. The deployment was officially scheduled for the end of November. Gryphons could be launched secretly and could ride undetected over Soviet defenses. Pershing2s were very accurate ballistic missiles and, if launched from Western Germany, could reach Moscow in just 6-8 minutes (KGB’s estimates). Both were the perfect weapons for a decapitating surprise attack on Soviet Union. After the news about their imminent deployment, inside the Soviet military commands began to prevail a basic thinking: if war is inevitable and it could be imminent, it’s better to preempt NATO before the deployment than after. Pershing2, in particular, could further reduce the window of opportunities, not only for a preemptive assault, but even for the basic relocation of Soviet leadership and main commands.

Amid all this tension, on September 26th a Soviet OKO (“eye”) surveillance satellite, mistakenly signaled the launch of five US ICBMs against Soviet Union. Only a coldblooded Soviet officer, colonel Stanislav Petrov, prevent the transmission of a general alarm to the high command. That avoid a very dangerous chain of events, considering that the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces were always on a “launch on warning” posture. This little episode weakened the sense of security of the Soviet General Staff. In case of surprise nuclear strike, Soviet Union could be unprepared.

Another important checkmark in the RYAN matrix was added when the Solidarnosc leader Lech Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel was announced on October 5th and was “part of the psychological Western campaign aimed at preparing the people for the imminent war”.

Few days later, in Rangoon, the South Korean president was almost killed in a terrorist attack. All the Us and South Korean garrisons were strengthened and security measures tightened. Other checkmarks for the operation RYAN.

On October 15th, the Us president Ronald Reagan, British premier Margaret Thatcher and the German chancellor Helmut Kohl, confirmed to NATO their participation for the incoming command post exercises ABLE ARCHER 83. This was another huge checkmark for RYAN agents: the participation of main Western leaders to a nuclear release exercise could be a cover for a real attack.

On October 22nd, large peace demonstrations took place all over Europe: millions of people marched against the deployment of the new Us missiles. While the KGB political line claimed success, the GRU and the KGB’s RYAN agents hold a slightly different view: if so many Western political leaders endorsed the protests, maybe they “knew” something about an impending attack and were “really scared”. Another checkmark for RYAN.

On October 23rd, the Marine and the French airborne barracks in Beirut, Lebanon (where Western forces are present as peacekeepers), were destroyed by a twin suicide attack. KGB didn’t know the author of the terrorist attack, but RYAN agents signaled only the increasing security measures around the Us basis all over the world. Another checkmark for RYAN.

October 25th, Us forces launched a surprise attack against Grenada’s communist regime. Andropov and Moscow’s ruling élite were scared by the Us deception: until the real attack took place, everything was concealed and Washington had always denied any intention to invade Grenada. Even the allies were not informed and the British government (the communist Grenada was still part of the Commonwealth) protested vigorously with a series of encrypted messages. Soviet intelligence tried to intercept all the messages from London to Washington DC but didn’t succeed to decrypt them. It could be a new code used for secret consultations before a nuclear war. Another checkmark for RYAN.

On October 31st, the Soviet submarine K-135 (a Victor3 class attack submarine) snagged the Us frigate McCloy’s towed sonar array cable, off the Bermuda islands. Damaged by its own action, the K-135 was towed to Cienfuegos, Cuba, for repairs. For RYAN agents, this little incident could mean that Us ASW units had intensified their activities against Soviet attack submarines, in order to protect Us ballistic missiles submarines. Another checkmark for RYAN

November 1st: Soviets proposed a non-aggression pact with China; in Europe, first components of Pershing 2 batteries began to arrive in Germany, while trucks and mobile launchers for Gryphons began to be assembled in Greenham Common, Uk. A Pentagon officer, William Fiorentino, testified before the Us Congress about the ongoing deployment of Pershing 2 and revealed that all the first 13 missiles were already in Germany, stockpiled in Frankfurt. Caspar Weinberger denied the news, but the media, especially in Germany, boosted the declarations; the German magazine Stern, in particular, dedicated large sections to a possible secret advanced deployment of the missiles; the KGB came to the idea that a secret missile deployment plan in Europe (a mirror image of the Soviet Anadyr Plan for Cuban missiles) was already almost completed.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:32 PM
theirishdreamer theirishdreamer is offline
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hmmm

I remember us discussing this. My only real view is the SU will launch either everything or if restricted to Europe then on both UK and France. The French forces can be knocked out by surprise and the British are vulnerable if Thatchers in Turnstile - if its hit their retaliation is weakened.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:42 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Keep calm... and wait for escalation!
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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:52 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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The Final Countdown

On November 2nd, the RYAN matrix was almost full when NATO launched its command post exercise, the ABLE ARCHER 83. In the first day of the maneuver, the NATO command and control centers, especially the main command post of Casteau (Belgium), began to simulate the breakdown of negotiation and the preliminary orders for a conventional war in Europe. Both GRU and KGB were put on highest alert.

On November 3rd, NATO command and control centers began to simulate the preliminary phases of a conventional war in Europe, with an hypothetical Soviet invasion of Norway, Germany and the Balkans. They simulated a DEFCON-4 alert for nuclear forces. The nature of the exercise was very realistic. Codes used to encrypt the messages were different from those used for the previous exercises, radio silences were adopted, all the civilian channels of communication were cleared. Those are all symptoms for a surprise nuclear attack, from a KGB and GRU point of view. GRU residents in Europe transmitted the alert to the Soviet high command, which ordered a precautionary partial mobilization of conventional and nuclear forces in Europe and Soviet Union. Sleepy cells of Spetnatz were activated all over Europe by GRU. Many other Spetnatz began to cross the borders of NATO countries disguised as athletes, tourists and students. Arms caches and explosives were planted by GRU agents in secret locations, close to NATO bases.

November 4th: while NATO was continuing its command post exercise at a DEFCON-4 level of alert, the Warsaw Pact forces began their partial mobilization. All the Frontal Aviation units in East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia were put on heightened alert and armed. The ground forces secretly move to their combat stations. Some of the North Fleet and Baltic Fleet surface unites took the see, while the ballistic missile submarines took their positions in Northern and Eastern “bastions”, protected by ASW surface units. Typhoon class ballistic missile submarines head to the Arctic. In Soviet Union, the Strategic Rocket Forces began to prepare ICBMs for a possible launch; escalation in Lebanon: Amal militias hit the Israeli command center in Tiro and Israel air force retaliated against Islamic positions in the Chouf mountains; Us Sixth Fleet in Eastern Mediterranean was reinforced; KGB was persuaded that the “provocation” in Lebanon and the deployment of other nuclear armed naval units in the Mediterranean were all part of the plot for a surprise nuclear strike

November 5th: NATO command and control centers simulated a Soviet use of chemical weapons and a breakthrough of NATO lines in Europe, then simulated a DEFCON-3 level of alert as a retaliation for nuclear forces. The KGB estimated a 7 to 10 days (which means: from November 12th to November 15th) countdown for nuclear war and diffused this information to all its residents in Europe, asking for confirmations; mobile launchers components began to arrive also in the Sigonella air base, Sicily, Italy. In Moscow, during the first celebration day for Red October; in front of a crowded Plenum, in the Kremlin, Central Committee Secretary Grigorij Romanov declared that Soviet Union “will not stay idle” in front of the deployment of the new missiles in Western Europe; in Lebanon, the Syrian army and fractions of Olp dissidents besieged Arafat main base in Tripoli, Israel menaced to intervene deep in Lebanon and the US fleet closed in; from a Soviet point of view, those events are all parts of NATO’s preparations for a strike from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

November 6th: while NATO was continuing its exercise at a DEFCON-3 level of alert, in Brussels the German spy Reiner Rupp dismissed the KGB’s concern for Western war preparation. He told Moscow that there was no mobilization of NATO’s nuclear forces. Asked again about the participation of Western leaders to the exercise, he confirmed the news. The KGB considered important only this last part of the report: top level politicians participating to an “exercise” means impending nuclear attack disguised as an exercise. The lack of mobilization of nuclear forces means only that they could be mobilized quickly on November 12th (the last day of the exercise) or immediately after. Escalation in the Gulf: heavy barrages of Iraqi Scud missiles against the Iranian cities close to the Shatt al Arab region; US didn’t exclude the option of a naval intervention to protect the oil traffic in the Gulf, in case of further escalations. Moscow reply stating that US “will pay consequences” in case of a naval deployment in the Gulf. China turned-down the Soviet propasals for a non-aggression pact

November 7th: Red October celebrations in Moscow. Andropov was absent, due to his illness, but all the rest of political leadership (mostly unaware of the KGB’s and military alert) participated regularly to the parade. No leaves were conceded to troops at all levels and preliminary mobilization moves continued. Hidden from US satellite’s eyes, the Moscow ABM system was loaded. In the meantime, in the Middle East, both Israel and Syria began a partial mobilization of their forces, while the fratricide struggle between Syrians and OLP continues in Lebanon

November 8th: NATO simulated a DEFCON-2 level of alert when the commanders “in the field” asked for the nuclear release. The KGB Central command sent a urgent message (“molnya”) to all its residencies in NATO countries, asking for confirmations. A request for nuclear release could be followed by real preparations for a nuclear strike. All the residencies in European capitals denied ongoing real war preparations: nuclear systems were not at all deployed. But they confirmed a heightened alert in all US military bases (because of the Beirut bombing). And the participation of all top Western leaders to the exercise was confirmed by local KGB agents: as scheduled, they would be relocated to secret and safe shelters, where they could simulate a complete nuclear release procedure. That part of maneuver would take place early in the next morning, on November 12th. The KGB confirmed all its fears and considered the Operation RYAN accomplished. War is now certain and could start in the next four to six days.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 11:53 PM
Orville_third Orville_third is offline
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Old July 1st, 2013, 03:17 AM
Athelstane Athelstane is offline
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The Able Archer 83 War Scare: “NATO requested initial limited use of nuclear weapons”

Hello Giobastia,

I ran across this item from last month over at Unredacted today, and I wondered if you had seen it?

If it's been discussed in the thread already, by all means disregard. But it's illuminating for how the initial part of your timeline could unfold:

Quote:
The after-action report includes other revealing details about Able Archer 83 which suggest that the exercise included components that were more provocative than in previous exercises. These changes may have been misread by fearful Soviet intelligence organs, preoccupied with the “decapitating” Pershing II missiles soon to be installed in Europe, and tasked by General Secretary Yuri Andropov to carry out the largest peacetime intelligence operation in history: Operation RYaN. It was a search for Raketno-Yadernoye Napadenie, the KGB code name for a feared Western nuclear first strike.

These potential indicators included: a 170-flight, radio-silent airlift of 19,000 U.S. soldiers to Europe (this occurred during the much larger conventional precursor exercise to Able Archer 83, Autumn Forge 83), the shifting of NATO commands from “Permanent War Headquarters to the Alternate War Headquarters,” the practice of “new nuclear weapons release procedures,” including consultations with cells in Washington and London, and the “sensitive, political issue” of numerous “slips of the tongue” in which B-52 sorties were referred to as nuclear “strikes.”
Link to full article: http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2013/...ar-armageddon/

Scary stuff. We all dodged a bullet in late 1983.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 04:14 AM
sloreck sloreck is offline
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Most of the chemicals are non-persistent, in the sense of weeks not months at the most. You may find specific places where some agents, like VX, may persist longer, but you don't want too much persistence in areas you expect to eventually occupy as it represents a hazard to your own troops.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 04:18 AM
SactoMan101 SactoMan101 is offline
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I think a big problem for the Warsaw Pact forces now is just moving them to the front. With Warsaw Pact air forces now incapable of mounting large-scale attacks on airfields in England and France, F-117's based in England will now be capable of a harassment campaign against railroad and highway bridges and viaducts that would essentially hurt the movement of fresh troops to the front lines.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 06:31 AM
Scientist Shan Scientist Shan is offline
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Thanks for the updates.

A few questions:

1) What proportion of their Siberian forces have the Soviets brought westwards and what proportion have they left facing China?

2) Does the damage to the Soviet lines of communication force them to be on the defensive or are they able to mount limited attacks?

3) Have NATO reinforced with new units or have they instead used fresh men as replacements to rebuild their original units?

4) Could you do a north to south list of armies/corps in Germany with their approximate remaining fighting capability?

5) Ceausescu didn't want to join the war, is he now trying to get out of it before the next bunker bombing gets him?
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Old July 1st, 2013, 12:50 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athelstane View Post
Hello Giobastia,

I ran across this item from last month over at Unredacted today, and I wondered if you had seen it?

If it's been discussed in the thread already, by all means disregard. But it's illuminating for how the initial part of your timeline could unfold:



Link to full article: http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2013/...ar-armageddon/

Scary stuff. We all dodged a bullet in late 1983.
Yes, indeed, very scary! My alternate history timeline could have not been so "alternate".
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Old July 1st, 2013, 12:53 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Italy, KGB takes all (Operations in Italy, January 9th – February 1st)

Since the end of 1983 Italy is divided in six governing factions. A civil war is going on, with communists in control in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna regions, right wing forces in control in Campania and Calabria regions, while the Warsaw Pact and NATO are still clashing in Northern Italy.

When ill-organized right-wing forces tried a coup in Rome, in the first week of January (after having taken Naples and Campania), the coalition government successfully survived. Vice-premier Berlinguer and premier Dossetti authorize the formation of volunteer militias formed by trade unionist and organized workers, all of them are communist militants. Basically they consider the right-wing threat coming from the South much more immediate then the left-wing threat coming from Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, not only for ideological reasons (Berlinguer is an euro-communist, but still a communist, Dossetti is a left-wing Christian democrat), but also for a question of balance of forces. Then they “give weapons to the people”, as the grassroots communists were asking since November.

The situation is perfect for KGB’s coup. The Soviet secret service has already infiltrated his agents everywhere in Italy, after the 21 November armistice. With all the left-wing militias armed and the Army profoundly divided, they have accomplished their “salami tactics”. On January 11th, irregular communist militias (guided by Spetnatz and GRU officers) who were deployed in Roma to “defend” the institutions, suddenly attack all the strategic and political centers: the airport, the railway stations, the headquarters of RAI State television and all the political institutions. The attack is so swift and lightning that common people are not even aware of what it’s happening. All the government is rounded up and arrested. With a televised communiqué, a new communist government announce the birth of the People’s Democratic Republic of Italy.

Immediately after the coup, three divisions of the Italian regular army, supported by communist militias and by four motorized divisions of the Soviet Second Combined Arms Army, invade the restive Southern right-wing nations. NATO air forces are in Sicily and Sardinia, but a massive intervention is now difficult, considering that all the troops involved in this civil conflict (Soviets aside) are basically indistinguishable. The mutinied Italian troops in the Southern regions are too tired, ill-equipped, confused and demoralized. The authoritarian regime that they have established in their controlled areas is not at all popular and they lack the support of the largest part of the population. Then it’s only a question of two weeks: the Soviet and Italian communists overcome any resistance easily taking the entire Peninsula by February 1st. A low intensity guerrilla continues in the Aspromonte mountain, in Calabria, but all the rest of continental Italy is now firmly under Soviet control. It’s a strategic success for Moscow, but maybe it comes too late: Italy is a “natural carrier” in the Mediterranean, but there are no more fleets nor air forces to deploy there.

Meanwhile, in Northern Italy, two Soviet divisions of the Eight Tank Army successfully take Bergamo and Brescia, completing the suppression of the Italian Stay Behind units in Lombardy region. But they fail a first attempt to cross the Po and Mincio rivers, in Veneto. The bulk of the Italian army, now supported by Hungarian volunteers, are well entrenched, well armed and supported by NATO air power. After a string of frontal assaults against the Desenzano-Goito-Mantova line, from January 18th to 22nd, the Soviets have to stop and reorganize, having suffered heavy losses. The operations in the Alps are even more difficult. The Soviets can’t use a large number of helicopters because of NATO’s air superiority in this area. The land attacks against the entrenched positions hold by the Italian Alpine troops (in Adamello, Ponte di Legno, Madonna di Campiglio and Bormio) are all smashed.

Along the Swiss-Italian and French-Italian borders, the situation reaches a stalemate. The Soviets have too many troops engaged inside Italy to mount other offensives there. The Swiss, French, Spanish and Portuguese forces are too exiguous to launch an attack. It’s all quiet in this part of the front, aside daily artillery exchanges.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 12:54 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Soviet Raiders in North Atlantic (January 9th – February 1st)

The loss of most of the nuclear SSNs in the first two months of war, deprived the Soviets of their main weapon against the enemy convoys in North Atlantic. Some of those losses are replenished with the arrival of 2 Alfa and 6 Victor II and III class submarines from the Pacific Fleet, through the iced water of the Arctic Ocean. The anti-convoy warfare is now a priority (in this phase of stalemate in Europe) and the previous experience demonstrates that attacks against carriers are nearly suicidal missions. Thus Admiral Gorshkov decide to dispatch to North Atlantic the modern cruise missile launcher submarines, originally designed for anti-carrier missions.

On January 10th, nine Charlie class submarines (4 from the Northern Fleet and 5 from the Pacific Fleet) along with the newly come Alfa and Victor class attack submarines, cross the GIUK altogether, covered by an air raid conducted by the remaining Backfire bombers of the Northern Fleet. The overwhelmed NATO defenses can detect and sink one of the two Alfa class submarines and two Victors, but all the other boats can penetrate in North Atlantic.

For some days nothing happened, but on January the 15th, a convoy is attacked with a salvo of 8 SS-N-9 missiles launched by a submarine at a 100 km range. It’s a new kind of threat and ASW units are not able to react promptly. All the eight targeted merchants are completely destroyed. When the Vikings (from Keflavik AFB) begin to seek the attacker, the Soviet boat has had enough time to escape and hide.

On January 17th, an analogous attack occurs off the Azores, when another Charlie submarine launches its 8 missiles at long range and sink all the targeted ships. There is simply not enough time to prevent the attack or intercept the Soviet boat with land based aircrafts and the escorting frigates (with their ASW armed helicopters) are simply too far and too slow to intervene. After the January 17th raid, NATO baptized the new intruders in the Atlantic as “the Soviet Raiders”.

Panic begin to spread in the Second Fleet command in Norfolk, when a third raid occurs on January 20th: other five merchant ships and one frigate are sunk by another submarine, with long range cruise missiles. Thus the decision to deploy in the Atlantic the two oldest carriers: USS Coral Sea and USS Midway, armed with S-2 Tracker ASW aircrafts, are deployed as escorting ships. This move proves successful: providing a constant air cover, the old Trackers sink a Charlie class submarine off the Bermuda, just after the launch of its first missile. More: the SIGINT learns very quickly to intercept the communications between the Charlie submarines and the satellite control centers in the Kola Peninsula, which were giving to commanders at sea all the necessary targeting data. Nuclear attack submarines are thus introduced as rapid intervention force: a Permit class submarine detects and destroy another Charlie off the Canary islands, immediately after a coded message is intercepted.

By the end of the month, seven Soviet raiders are still alive, armed and dangerous.
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  #16  
Old July 1st, 2013, 12:55 PM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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The “Twilight War” (Cuba, November 9th – February 1st)

After the outbreak of war, the clashes with Cuba begun immediately with Soviet and Cuban air strikes against the naval traffic in the Florida straits and an immediate retaliatory US air campaign against the Cuban harbors and air bases. The air and naval force of Cuba is neutralized by the end of the first week of war. A complete naval blockade is established around the island. But the danger remains.

Fidel Castro deliberately decided to avoid any direct assault on the Marine base of Guantanamo, in order to prevent a US massive retaliation. A strange stalemate persisted for all the subsequent months of war. Sometimes the Cuban artillery launches barrages against the Marine positions in Guantanamo and the USAF retaliate immediately with air raids on gun and rocket batteries and Cuban army bases. Cuba uses barrages of rockets and missiles, sometimes also explosive boats sent in open seas, to hit merchant ships crossing the Florida Straits. And the USAF retaliate immediately with air raids against the naval bases, the missile batteries and the nearest military bases. But no one of those continuing clashes escalates to a level of an open war.

The correlation of forces is absolutely against the Havana regime: with Nicaragua overrun by the US forces and then with Cuban forces in Africa steamrolled by the South Africans, there is no possibility to launch acts of war anywhere. The Castro’s strategy becomes one of “revolutionary peace”: keep forces mobilized, wait for better circumstances, launch a revolutionary strike against United States when the war will “inevitably” (in Castro’s thinking) escalate to a nuclear level. On US side, Reagan’s view is the mirror image of Castro’s. There is a growing concern for the “Twilight War” with Cuba. The Castro’s island is always a direct menace to continental Usa. In case of nuclear escalation, the Havana regime could provide the Soviets with bases for the long range aviation and smuggled missiles. To control any access is simply impossible, despite the naval blockade. After a possible nuclear war, the situation would become incontrollable. In case of annihilation of US forces after a Soviet nuclear strike, the Cubans could keep the strongest army (130.000 men with modern Soviet equipment) at the gates.

Since November, the idea of a campaign in Cuba is always taken seriously and detailed plans drawn in 1962 crisis are again updated. But there are no more forces: all the mobilized units are dispatched in Europe, Korea and then also in Iran. In 1983, there were 2 millions of Cubans in exile, most of them are in the United States (800.000), Puerto Rico, Panama and Spain, all Allied territories. Most of the Cubans were against the Castro regime. The JCF, since November took the decision to organize them in a “Freedom Brigade”, named after the brigade formed in the early 60s. It is formed with volunteers (including those US citizens of Cuban ascent already enlisted in the National Guard) in the following months and resulted in a 10.000 men corps. Of course they are not enough to fight against a 130.000 men army and their armament is necessarily outdated, given the priority assigned to the other fronts. A landing with this tiny force is out of question. Reagan doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of Eisenhower and Kennedy at the Bay of Pigs. No improvisations are admitted, this time. The Cuban “Freedom Brigade” is intended as an occupation force for a possible post-war and post-war Cuba, as the nucleus of a new democratic army, not as a fighting force.

Meanwhile, the only possible way to contain Cuba is keeping a strict naval blockade. And prepare for a possible nuclear retaliation.
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  #17  
Old July 2nd, 2013, 07:12 AM
Scientist Shan Scientist Shan is offline
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My suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by giobastia View Post
The loss of most of the nuclear SSNs in the first two months of war, deprived the Soviets of their main weapon against the enemy convoys in North Atlantic. Some of those losses are replenished with the arrival of 4 Victor II and III class submarines from the Pacific Fleet, through the iced water of the Arctic Ocean. The anti-convoy warfare is now a priority (in this phase of stalemate in Europe) and the previous experience demonstrates that attacks against carriers are nearly suicidal missions. But attempts to penetrate the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap have also been too costly to repeat. Thus Admiral Gorshkov decides to use a different route to dispatch into North Atlantic the modern cruise missile launcher submarines, originally designed for anti-carrier missions.

On January 4th, nine Charlie class submarines (4 from the Northern Fleet and 5 from the Pacific Fleet) along with the newly come Victor class attack submarines, breakout from their bases in the Kola peninsula, covered by an air raid conducted by the remaining Backfire bombers of the Northern Fleet on the NATO carriers. While the Victors are used to attack any NATO submarines en route the Charlies are instructed to sail as silently as possible. The distracted NATO defenses can detect and sink only one of the Charlie class submarines as they are forced to engage the more capable Victors. By the time all four Victors have been destroyed (at a cost of two NATO submarines), all the other Charlies are able to escape in a north-west direction.

For some days nothing happened as the Soviet submarines travel around Greenland using the now thick icecap to hide under, but on January the 18th, a convoy is attacked with a salvo of 8 SS-N-9 missiles launched by a submarine at a 100 km range. It’s a new kind of threat and ASW units are not able to react promptly. Two of the targeted merchants are completely destroyed. When the Vikings (from Keflavik AFB) begin to seek the attacker, the Soviet boat has had enough time to escape and hide.

On January 20th, an analogous attack occurs off the Azores, when another Charlie submarine launches its 8 missiles at long range this time sinking one merchant ship and damaging another. There is simply not enough time to prevent the attack or intercept the Soviet boat with land based aircrafts and the escorting frigates (with their ASW armed helicopters) are simply too far and too slow to intervene. After the January 20th raid, NATO baptized the new intruders in the Atlantic as “the Soviet Raiders”.

Panic begin to spread in the Second Fleet command in Norfolk, when a third raid occurs on January 24th: this attack takes place at close range with three merchant ships and one frigate are sunk by another submarine, the greater success because of the more accurate targetting a close range attack allows but this also enables NATO ASW to sink the attacking submarine. Thus the decision to deploy in the Atlantic the two oldest carriers: USS Coral Sea and USS Midway, armed with S-2 Tracker ASW aircrafts, are deployed as escorting ships. This move proves successful: providing a constant air cover, the old Trackers sink a Charlie class submarine off Bermuda, just after the launch of its first missile. More: the SIGINT learns very quickly to intercept the communications between the Charlie submarines and the satellite control centers in the Kola Peninsula, which were giving to commanders at sea all the necessary targeting data. Nuclear attack submarines are thus introduced as rapid intervention force: a Permit class submarine detects and destroys another Charlie off the Canary islands, immediately after a coded message is intercepted.

By the end of the month, five Soviet raiders are still alive, armed and dangerous.
On the assumption that the route west of Greenland is navigable by submerged submarines.

I've changed the dates to give the extra time the longer voyage would require.

Taking into account previous losses and submarines not available due to refit etc I think this update pretty much uses up the last available Soviet front line nuclear subs - only some older obsolete classes plus some diesel classes remain.

Last edited by Scientist Shan; July 2nd, 2013 at 08:07 AM..
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  #18  
Old August 6th, 2013, 01:06 AM
AMBOMB AMBOMB is offline
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Extremely unlikely the Russians would've sunk the Ohio, too quiet.
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  #19  
Old August 6th, 2013, 01:59 AM
Dayton Kitchens Dayton Kitchens is offline
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Originally Posted by AMBOMB View Post
Extremely unlikely the Russians would've sunk the Ohio, too quiet.
The Russians probably couldn't have detected the Ohio tied up to the pier.
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  #20  
Old August 6th, 2013, 04:26 AM
Timmy811 Timmy811 is offline
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Lets not refight something from the first five pages.

EDIT: Anyways, will the Soviets target the Chinese army in Korea? If they did, a miss could hit American units. If those Chinese forces do get hit than perhaps the surviving Chinese may think the Americans are responsible and open fire on them.
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