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  #1281  
Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:06 PM
Super_Cool Super_Cool is offline
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The strategy for NATO in Europe should be liberating the Warsaw Pact countries from communism while leaving the USSR alone.
-invasion of the USSR would start nuclear warfare
-Napoleon and Hitler gave good demonstrations on why invading Russia is stupid

Stop at the Soviet borders, and build a new iron curtain there. End all trade with the Soviets, and blockade their ports. Then watch it fall apart from within.
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  #1282  
Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:15 PM
Dayton Kitchens Dayton Kitchens is offline
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Originally Posted by Super_Cool View Post
The strategy for NATO in Europe should be liberating the Warsaw Pact countries from communism while leaving the USSR alone.
-invasion of the USSR would start nuclear warfare
-Napoleon and Hitler gave good demonstrations on why invading Russia is stupid

Stop at the Soviet borders, and build a new iron curtain there. End all trade with the Soviets, and blockade their ports. Then watch it fall apart from within.
The thing is that this is exactly what Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and the Warsaw Pact was supposed to prevent. That is a hostile army literally on the borders of the Soviet Union as in World War Two.

I would say the Soviets would see NATO armies in Poland for example to be almost as bad as an actual invasion of the Soviet Union.

The Soviets might say "What happens when Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine start screaming for liberation and we have a massive NATO army in Poland and Czechoslovakia?"
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  #1283  
Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:57 PM
Athelstane Athelstane is offline
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Originally Posted by Dayton Kitchens View Post
The thing is that this is exactly what Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and the Warsaw Pact was supposed to prevent. That is a hostile army literally on the borders of the Soviet Union as in World War Two.

I would say the Soviets would see NATO armies in Poland for example to be almost as bad as an actual invasion of the Soviet Union.

The Soviets might say "What happens when Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine start screaming for liberation and we have a massive NATO army in Poland and Czechoslovakia?"
I think that could be finessed: NATO could promise to deploy no troops east of the Oder or Danube Rivers, and arrange for UN peacekeeping troops to assist with restoration of order and relief efforts east of that. The exact boundaries could be negotiable. NATO would insist on the right of these nations to freely elected governments of their own choice, in internationally monitored elections (once those are feasible). A permanent peace treaty would address the security status (NATO membership, troop deployments) in these countries.

I think NATO would insist on that much; it would not be sufficient only that western countries be evacuated. The West would want access to West Berlin, for example. I think East Germany would be a rock bottom minimum.

The Red Army will be looking for an escape hatch before too long; NATO ought to provide them one.
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  #1284  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:02 AM
ScrewySqrl ScrewySqrl is offline
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Originally Posted by Dayton Kitchens View Post
Except this is something that will NEVER become known. If the current Soviet govt. survives, they will never admit it. If a new Soviet (or Russian) govt. takes over they will never admit it. Any suggestion about what happened will be denied. Any pieced of evidence, actively discredited.

Such a staggeringly colossal blunder that endangers all mankind would totally discredit ALL governing authority that came out of Moscow no matter who it was. Probably for decades. No one in Russia would be willing to respect authority if such idiocy was ever common knowledge.

No foreign government would ever remotely trust ANY group that governed from Moscow.

In short, this kind of revelation would destroy any political legitimacy any possible Russian govt. could ever have in the future.

The real reasons for World War 3 will become a topic of discussion for the Oliver Stones of the world for the rest of the 20th century and much of the 21st.

I Don't buy it. this kind of thing *cannot* stay Secret forever. Some captured High rank General (perhaps the commander of the Goebin pocket) has to have said something like "Our orders were to attack to prevent a nuclear strike expected within a week, since the strike didn't happen, we may have lost the war, but we have at least prevented a nuclear holocaust!" -- and it will be a consistant story among high-level commanders who are captured.
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Last edited by ScrewySqrl; July 23rd, 2013 at 12:09 AM..
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  #1285  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:07 AM
Scientist Shan Scientist Shan is offline
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I think this talk of peace treaties is going to be irrelevant until the Soviets have sorted themselves out.

Either the generals will shoot the politburo or the politburo will shoot the generals.

Its possible that the first nuke might be used by one lot of Russians on a different lot of Russians.
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  #1286  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:13 AM
Scientist Shan Scientist Shan is offline
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Originally Posted by ScrewySqrl View Post
I Don't buy it. this kind of thing *cannot* stay Secret forever. Some captured High rank General (perhaps the commander of the Goebin pocket) has to have said something like "Our orders were to attack to prevent a nuclear strike expected within a week of our launch, since the strike didn't happen, we must have at least prevented it!" -- and it will be a consistant story among high-level commanders who are captured.
But to Western ears it sounds ridiculous.

They know they weren't planning on a nuclear strike so how could the Soviets have prevented something which was never going to happen.

It would be easier for the West to believe that the Soviets invaded 'to free the oppressed European proletariat'.

Because of the series of assassinations and sabotage which had obviously been preplanned the West will think that the Soviets had been planning the invasion for years.
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  #1287  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:22 AM
ScrewySqrl ScrewySqrl is offline
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Originally Posted by Scientist Shan View Post
But to Western ears it sounds ridiculous.

They know they weren't planning on a nuclear strike so how could the Soviets have prevented something which was never going to happen.

It would be easier for the West to believe that the Soviets invaded 'to free the oppressed European proletariat'.

Because of the series of assassinations and sabotage which had obviously been preplanned the West will think that the Soviets had been planning the invasion for years.
If only one general was saying it, sure... but a similar tale will be told by every general they capture. "We attacked because YOU were about to launch a nuclear strike" -- one guy is crazy, but when every general you ask keeps saying it again and again? Western analysts will come to the conclusion that these guys believed it, so someone had to be telling them such that the whole high command believes it. Which draws the conclusion the Russian intelligence services thought the West was going to nuke. And eventually the Politburo's incredibly faulty intelligence analysis will be revealed.
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  #1288  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:32 AM
Scientist Shan Scientist Shan is offline
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Originally Posted by ScrewySqrl View Post
If only one general was saying it, sure... but a similar tale will be told by every general they capture. "We attacked because YOU were about to launch a nuclear strike" -- one guy is crazy, but when every general you ask keeps saying it again and again? Western analysts will come to the conclusion that these guys believed it, so someone had to be telling them such that the whole high command believes it. Which draws the conclusion the Russian intelligence services thought the West was going to nuke. And eventually the Politburo's incredibly faulty intelligence analysis will be revealed.
But do the Soviet generals actually believe it themselves.

As far as they're concerned the whole excuse might sound as bizarre as it would do to NATO. Sure they still carried out the invasion but what else would they do its their duty to obey the politburo's orders - if the politburo wanted to add some made up fig leaf to justify the invasion that was just the politburo making up lies as politicians always do.
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  #1289  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:44 AM
ScrewySqrl ScrewySqrl is offline
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Originally Posted by Scientist Shan View Post
But do the Soviet generals actually believe it themselves.

As far as they're concerned the whole excuse might sound as bizarre as it would do to NATO. Sure they still carried out the invasion but what else would they do its their duty to obey the politburo's orders - if the politburo wanted to add some made up fig leaf to justify the invasion that was just the politburo making up lies as politicians always do.
I'm going by the possibly less cynical thought that flawed in its assumptions as it was, the Soviet Intel on the preemptive strike looked true to the Politburo, who sincerely believed it. They would share this apparently true Intel with the leading generals, who would pass this apparent truth down the chain of command.
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  #1290  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:47 AM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Originally Posted by Scientist Shan View Post
Agreed.

I'd say that the politburo is already suspicious of the generals and expecting them to launch a coup.

After all there's been a long history of the Soviet leadership not trusting their generals hence the use of political officers and commisars.

And at some point the Soviet generals will discover that Andropov has been dead for over a month and wonder who's been given the orders.
Just few reminders for this debate on Soviet generals shooting politburo members. Generals, especially high ranking generals, were the most ideological and dogmatic members of the CPSU. They were not like the German generals in WW2, who were basically old guard men, good technicians but not at all nazi zealots. Soviet generals were more ideological than their political leaders. If they avoided nuclear weapons since now, it's just because a conventional war seemed more winnable (at least, since now), not because they are more prudent, pragmatic or peacemonger than their politburo chiefs. You have also to consider that, after the decline and death of Yuri Andropov, the war is entirely in STAVKA's hands. Ogarkov rules. Can he stages a coup against himself?
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  #1291  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 12:49 AM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Hunt for Soviet raiders and “Checkmate” (Naval operations, February 2nd – 12th)

The five Charlie class submarines in the Atlantic are the weapon of last resort for the Soviet war against NATO convoys. But after the first successful strikes, the SACLANT has adopted all its necessary countermeasures, such as the two old Midway and Coral Sea aircraft carriers deployed with convoys. There is also a missile shortage problem. Two of the raiders have already launched all their missiles and need to reload them. A Soviet ship (disguised as an Argentine tanker) is waiting for them, off Conakry. Guinea is still a Soviet partner and, in December, allowed the Red Banner Navy to smuggle all kinds of naval supplies (missiles included) in its own territorial waters from Luanda, Maputo, Socotra and Aden, after the fall of all those Soviet advanced bases.

On February 2nd, a Soviet raider sneaks in Guinean territorial waters, undetected by NATO ASW units and load all her missiles before taking the sea once again. Guinea is very far from all the NATO bases and it’s perfect for Soviet secret operations. But there is a problem: it’s still full of French agents. The French secret service detects immediately suspect moves when the “Argentine” tanker begin to reload its missiles, once the first Charlie submarine is resupplied. They begin to track its movement and, finally, they see (from a disguised fishing boat) the second Charlie submarine reloading its missiles, on February 4th. Once alerted, the French Rubis nuclear attack submarine sinks the Charlie off Cabo Verde. Since February 5th, Conakry becomes the “Conakry trap” for the Soviet raiders. One after another, the four survivors have to reload their missiles undisturbed, just to be tracked by the Rubis and sunk in the following days. But the operations in the Atlantic are not painless, nor easy, for NATO convoys. A Charlie raider attacks a convoy on February 6th, with her missiles. She sinks three merchant ships before being sunk by a S-2 Tracker. The three survivors have a chance other huge damages. One of them, on February 8th, fires her missiles directly against a USS Garcia class frigate and to a merchant ship full of new M1 Abram tanks. Both ships are sunk, before the Charlie could be detected and sunk herself by an S-2 Tracker. A second survivor decide to hunt dispersed merchant vessels from South America. Between February 6th and February 9th, the Soviet boat, sneaking in the Caribbean Sea, can sink 3 tankers and 1 large merchant which have just crossed the Panama canal and are not yet protected by a convoy. This raid forces the SACLANT to organize convoys also in the Caribbean and send many ASW ships also in those waters. Eventually, the Soviet raider is sunk in the “Conakry trap” by the Rubis. The last survivor, launches its missiles directly against the USS Coral Sea, on February 10th. The old carrier cannot shoot them down with its onboard defenses and is hit by three missiles. The reaction is immediate: an S-2 Tracker, already up in the air patrolling the area, sinks the last Charlie. But the Coral Sea is compromised definitely. After many attempts to save the ship, the crew has to abandon and sink her in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

NATO intelligence acknowledges that there are no more raiders in the Atlantic. But the best news (from a NATO point of view) are coming from the North. The special forces expeditions in the Kola Peninsula and the informations given by the Estonian deserters, allow SIGINT to discover the frequencies of communications between the submarines and their bases. All Soviet missile and cruise missile submarines close to Soviet waters, communicate a feedback twice a day using brief “burst” radio communications. Studying the frequencies, NATO intelligence can’t decrypt the messages, but can understand where the submarines are, at any given moment. The first to be discovered is a Yankee II missile submarine which is detected, tracked and sunk by a US Los Angeles class submarine on February 5th, in the Norwegian Sea. Then an Oscar class submarine, maybe waiting for a large carrier “prey” off Bear Island, is sunk by another Los Angeles (along with its escorting Tango class submarine) the day after. Other missile submarines are detected off the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, in the Barents Sea and in the White Sea. A Los Angeles class tries to sneak into Soviet waters as far as Novaya Zemlya on February 7th, but is detected and sunk by a patrolling Udaloy class destroyer. Another Sturgeon class submarine, is sunk in the Barents Sea by a Bear F ASW aircraft. Same fate for a US Sturgeon class in the Sea of Okhotsk: detected by Kresta II class cruiser, is immediately sunk. SACLANT reaches the conclusions that long range submarine incursions in Soviet bastions are too risky, until the Soviets can patrol those waters freely with ASW surface units and aircrafts. The first successful attacks against the bastions, in November, are not a useful lesson: all the Soviet forces are forward, out in the Norwegian Sea and in the Western Pacific Ocean, covering amphibious assaults and trying to breach the NATO and US blockades. Now all the Soviet ASW surface units are deployed in close formations, protecting the bastions, covered by the best survived air regiments of naval and frontal aviation. They could be vulnerable to air and naval attacks, not an easy prey for submarines.

Thus, on February 9th, admiral James Watkings suggests a massive naval attack to both Soviet bastions, in the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Barents. Many interests and objectives converge in an attack like that. Tactically speaking, an attack to the Barents could be necessary to cover the Marines, in their scheduled attack to Soviet forces in Kirkenes, the last Soviet occupied pocket in Northern Norway. The land attack could be very risky, until the Soviet air bases in the Kola Peninsula and their Northern Fleet remain untouched. In this attack should take part also the battleships USS New Jersey and the newly come USS Iowa (which entered the line two months ahead of schedule), which could provide massive fire power for land operations. Always reasoning at a tactical level, a naval attack in the Sea of Okhotsk could be useful as a diversion, while the main land forces are advancing in North Korea. At an operational level, both attacks could achieve naval superiority also in those close Soviet waters still considered as “off limits” for naval aviation and surface ships. At a strategic level, both attacks would open Soviet bastions to naval attack. While considered a highly escalatory move, it is also pretty clear that Soviets never retaliated the sinking of boomers, since now. Moreover, the twin attack on the Sea of Okhotsk and the Barents Sea, does not aim at sinking the boomers directly, but at bottling them in close blockades. Once detected and approached by large surface units, they could be directly threatened. The deterrent (and not preemptive) logic still prevail. The strategic aim of the whole operation, who is significantly baptized “Checkmate”, is about reaching a position from which US Navy can deter Soviet launches of SLBMs with immediate retaliation. Operation Checkmate is lobbied by the very influential secretary of Navy, John Lehman, whose doctrine prescribed naval assaults like that since the outbreak of war. While a “Checkmate” in the last three months could appear like a suicidal mission, in early February it sounds possible. NATO is dominating both the Pacific and Atlantic approaches to Soviet bastions and with the sinking of the last Soviet cruise missile submarines, there are no more imminent dangers for surface ships. And the Soviet naval aviation, while still dangerous, is badly attrited.

Operation Checkmate is officially approved on February 11th. The day after, the two “armadas” simultaneously cross the GIUK and approach the Kurili Islands, silently heading for their assigned targets.
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  #1292  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 01:31 AM
arrowiv arrowiv is offline
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Is the Japanese Navy also involved in Operation Checkmate? How about other Japanese military units elsewhere in the Far East?
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  #1293  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 01:43 AM
SactoMan101 SactoMan101 is offline
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Originally Posted by Dayton Kitchens View Post
Time for Reagan to preempt the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces the best way he can.
Out of the question (emphasis mine).

Here's the issue: the Soviet ballistic missile warning systems, such as their early warning satellites in Molniya and geosynchronous orbits, are still intact. As such, any mass ICBM launch from USA will be detected almost immediately, and will likely give the Soviets 15 to 20 minutes warning time before the warheads start hitting their targets. Given that the forces operating Soviet SS-17 (MR-UR-100 Sotka), SS-18 (R-36M) and SS-19 (UR-100N) are of course on "hair trigger" alert (and can launch within two minutes of receipt of launch orders), the Soviet missiles in retaliatory strike can be launched well before the Miniteman II/III and Titan II missiles impact their targets.
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  #1294  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 01:59 AM
giobastia giobastia is offline
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Is the Japanese Navy also involved in Operation Checkmate? How about other Japanese military units elsewhere in the Far East?
Yes, Japanese ships will be involved in the operations in the Sea of Okhotsk
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  #1295  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 03:08 AM
Wet Coast Wet Coast is offline
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Originally Posted by giobastia View Post
Just few reminders for this debate on Soviet generals shooting politburo members. Generals, especially high ranking generals, were the most ideological and dogmatic members of the CPSU. They were not like the German generals in WW2, who were basically old guard men, good technicians but not at all nazi zealots. Soviet generals were more ideological than their political leaders. If they avoided nuclear weapons since now, it's just because a conventional war seemed more winnable (at least, since now), not because they are more prudent, pragmatic or peacemonger than their politburo chiefs. You have also to consider that, after the decline and death of Yuri Andropov, the war is entirely in STAVKA's hands. Ogarkov rules. Can he stages a coup against himself?
It's true that no one could become a senior officer in the Red Army without being a member in good standing in the party and ideologically beyond reproach. However its approaching the point where it will become obvious to senior leadership that they have lost the conventional war. Should they chose to avoid launching nukes they will need to contemplate making peace and they know or should know that NATO will want a pound of flesh. They can either take collective responsibility and accept the blame as a group or one of the politburo or STAVKA gets thrown under the bus as a scapegoat. Which is more likely? STAVKA needs to at least protect themselves against the possibility.

The politburo can accuse Andropov, Ogarkov and a cabal of generals of colluding to launch the war (and committing the sin of loosing). The generals can claim to be simply obeying the lawful orders of the political leadership who ignored the correlation of forces. Note that the truth has no place in these calculations and accusations. The object is survival and hopefully retention of power. The USSR will continue to exist regardless of outcome (well except for the apocalyptic scenario) and this will be a struggle to determine who will live in a Moscow dacha and who will be in a small apartment in Krasnoyarsk (if lucky).
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  #1296  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 04:10 AM
Dayton Kitchens Dayton Kitchens is offline
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Originally Posted by SactoMan101 View Post
Out of the question (emphasis mine).

Here's the issue: the Soviet ballistic missile warning systems, such as their early warning satellites in Molniya and geosynchronous orbits, are still intact. As such, any mass ICBM launch from USA will be detected almost immediately, and will likely give the Soviets 15 to 20 minutes warning time before the warheads start hitting their targets. Given that the forces operating Soviet SS-17 (MR-UR-100 Sotka), SS-18 (R-36M) and SS-19 (UR-100N) are of course on "hair trigger" alert (and can launch within two minutes of receipt of launch orders), the Soviet missiles in retaliatory strike can be launched well before the Miniteman II/III and Titan II missiles impact their targets.
It is my understanding that the Soviet Strategic Rocket forces NEVER had independent authority or ability to launch their missiles.

And in 1983, the Soviets did not have the U.S. nuclear "football" command system nor did they have Death Hand.
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  #1297  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 05:55 AM
Timmy811 Timmy811 is offline
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Originally Posted by Dayton Kitchens View Post
Except this is something that will NEVER become known. If the current Soviet govt. survives, they will never admit it. If a new Soviet (or Russian) govt. takes over they will never admit it. Any suggestion about what happened will be denied. Any pieced of evidence, actively discredited.

Such a staggeringly colossal blunder that endangers all mankind would totally discredit ALL governing authority that came out of Moscow no matter who it was. Probably for decades. No one in Russia would be willing to respect authority if such idiocy was ever common knowledge.

No foreign government would ever remotely trust ANY group that governed from Moscow.

In short, this kind of revelation would destroy any political legitimacy any possible Russian govt. could ever have in the future.

The real reasons for World War 3 will become a topic of discussion for the Oliver Stones of the world for the rest of the 20th century and much of the 21st.
How could anyone not know?

Why would the Politburo have kept their reasons for war secret? They thought they were correct, that's why they launched the war. They may be a dictatorship but they still had to have offered some explanation for the war to the public and the army.

Surely they laid out in detail their "proof" that the Imperialist powers were plotting to launch a nuclear first strike against the Motherland. Such an accusation if believed, and the USSR could be very good at propaganda, would be sure to whip the nation and the army into a frenzy of support in the early days. If they thought they were the only thing capable of preventing the Motherland from being turned into radioactive slag, Soviet soldiers would have fought like madmen.

The US and UK would have stridently denied the accusations of course, but what would you expect from such warmongers.

Paradoxically, I think that in the post-war period the West wouldn't believe the stated reason for war, convinced that Moscow couldn't be that stupid. Instead they would believe that their stated reason was merely propaganda, and it was really just a last gasp attempt to conquer the world once they realized they were falling behind economically. On the other hand, I'd expect a lot of diehards in the USSR to believe that such an American plot actually existed and that it was foiled by the initial Soviet offensive.
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  #1298  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 07:44 AM
Scientist Shan Scientist Shan is offline
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Originally Posted by Timmy811 View Post
How could anyone not know?

Surely they laid out in detail their "proof" that the Imperialist powers were plotting to launch a nuclear first strike against the Motherland. Such an accusation if believed, and the USSR could be very good at propaganda, would be sure to whip the nation and the army into a frenzy of support in the early days. If they thought they were the only thing capable of preventing the Motherland from being turned into radioactive slag, Soviet soldiers would have fought like madmen.
If believed.

The problem in getting people to believe it is that if the Soviet leadership believed that they were about to face an imminent nuclear attack the logical response would be a nuclear first strike themselves. Not a conventional invasion of multiple countries.

Its easier for everyone from the lowliest Soviet soldier to Ronald Reagan himself to believe that this was a preplanned Soviet war of conquest.
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  #1299  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 08:20 AM
MUC MUC is offline
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I wonder if the Soviets will consider nuking the NATO battlegroup once it comes too close for comfort to the Motherland and Soviet SSBNs start sinking...

Did the Iowa-class ships already have the Tomahawks on board in 1983?
If yes, that could make the Soviets to become even more paranoid, fearing a cruise missile nuclear attack as well.
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  #1300  
Old July 23rd, 2013, 08:39 AM
MUC MUC is offline
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Another interesting point to be taken into account is, what NATO thought in 1983 concerning Soviet mobile ICBMs.
Surely NATO can try to kill all silo-based ICBMs and destroy the SSBNs, but what did NATO know/presume/suggest in 1983 concerning Soviet mobile ICBM capabilities?

This article suggests, that in 1983 the USSR may have had operational mobile ICBMs in 1983. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/wo...ssia/rt-21.htm

One can also imagine, that if such a system existed and was close to reaching operational deployment, the USSR leadership would take all steps necessarily to rush it into service with war imminent/ongoing.

And while Reagan may manage to kill off most of Soviet ICBM/SLBM capabilities with a massive NATO first strike, the same cannot be said about Soviet nuclear cruise missile and IRBM capabilities. The Soviets would still have the capability to strike back at W. Europe and turn it into a radioactive wasteland, even if all their ICBM silos were destroyed and their SSBNs sunk.
What would the British and French think about that?
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