PC/AHC: Conventional WWIII in the 1960's

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by KuboCaskett, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    When it comes to having a conventional World War Three, it's usually in the 80's, of which I find a bit overrated, though granted at the time NATO's military is at least on par with the Warsaw Pact's and that the USSR was on the decline by the end of the decade. In the 60's however (to my knowledge at least), the WP's military is somewhat stronger than NATO's and that France's withdrawal from NATO in the late 60's complicated the situation (along with the USA being focused on the Vietnam War), not to mention the whole nuclear strategy of massive retaliation in place until the late 60's by the USA (and the USSR's hybrid nuclear warfare thing). Still, I feel like the 1960's is an interesting time to have a war play out (not counting the Cuban Missile Crisis), namely that some of the hardware made in the decade were and still are in use afterwards and as some other thread pointed out, there were multiple flashpoints were things could have been escalated out of control.

    So your challenge is with a POD after 1946, have a Third World War occur yet happen as a conventional conflict (at least initially). Bonus points if it doesn't involve the OTL Cuban Missile Crisis given the importance of the USA's Massive Retaliation strategy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  2. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    Almost impossible, given that until 1970 or so, you had stuff like the Davey Crockett nukes deployed at the Platoon level, and 8" howitzers with nukes at Battalion, and most of the Bridges in NORTHAG and CENTAG were fitted for nuclear demo charges , and had around a dozen Regiments armed with the Lance and Corporal missiles, replaced with Sergeants after 1964
     
  3. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    I'm quite aware of the Davy Crocketts but I had no idea of that; what of the WP, more of the same?
     
  4. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    A European land war in the 1960s doesn't necessarily start out nuclear, as NATO had made progress in it's conventional forces where no early first use was feasible and was duly implemented under McNamara, but it would probably go nuclear eventually once the Soviets breach the Lechs-Weser line.

    You might be a little confused there. Davy Crocketts were organized as platoons, but were not regarded as platoon-level assets. They were usually subordinate to divisional-level artillery but could be broken up into sections and attached to divisional sub-units (that is, battalions). So at the lowest, they were battalion-level assets. Which is still pretty low to be attaching nuclear ordinance...
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  5. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    I'm also aware of French plans to use nuclear weapons once the WP crosses the Rhine river.
     
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  6. viperzero Well-Known Member

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    The reason so much Cold War fiction depicts a conventional war in the 80s is because before that it was more or less planned to use nukes out the gate. Given the Massive numbers WP forces had nuclear weapons where part of all western war planning. If you want it conventional you need western leaders to massively increase defense spending and universal military conscription. Basically turn NATO into big Israel.
     
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  7. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    So basically have the Reagan-Thatcher approach to military affairs arrive early? I see. And funny you mention this since in a TL I have conceptualized that deals with a great war in the 60's, this kind of thing happens because of an alternate ending to the Korean War where the UN-US forces win (then again that involved a pre-1960 POD).
     
  8. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in any help with VVS PVO ORBAT in let's say 1963 to 65

    I'm assuming mainstay of fighter force is still mig17 and some mig19?
     
  9. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    In 80s , the Soviets would not hesitated to use nukes in a global conflict otherwise they risk losing them
     
  10. bsmart Well-Known Member

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    As one Ordnance officer who was involved with the Davy Crockett program in Europe told me The realization of what a loose cannon they were came when the wife of a Congressman on a tour of European forces said 'You mean you give half a dozen 18 & 19 year old soldiers with a 23 year old supervisor an atomic weapon and a couple jeeps and turn them loose in Europe? And you don't see a problem with that? Colonel do you remember what you were like at 21?' Very soon after a review of the deployment plan for Davy Crockett was conducted and soon after that they were pulled back into depot level storage.
     
  11. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    Anyone got good sources on pre-1970's warplans? I can think of the book "Blueprints for Battle: Planning for War in Central Europe, 1948-1968" (though I have yet to get that book) and that 1964 Czech map that involves taking Lyon in several days.
     
  12. bsmart Well-Known Member

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    There was a book published years ago titled Dropshot: The American warplan for WWIII against Russia in 1957. It was compiled from declassified plans of the U.S> DOD. A little earlier than what you are looking for but the only decent source I know of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Dropshot
     
  13. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    I know of that, though I wouldn't be surprised if it serves as the basis for conventional fighting post-1950 in war plans that are possibly kept top secret for a long time by the US government.
     
  14. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Possibly. Dropshot, while famous, basically amounted to 1949 trying to envision a war in 1957 and although approved for implementation, it never was because it was superseded by the warplans under Eisenhower’s “New Look” policy that placed (even greater) emphasis on nuclear weapons in late-‘53. The last variant of the Pincher-series of Warplans, which if I recall correctly was codenamed “Offtackle”, was used as a emergency interim plan, even though the US never gathered the forces it called for at war’s start even by 1953 when it was finally superseded.
     
  15. Mad Bad Rabbit Well-Known Member

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    POD: Soviet scientists invent the Nuclear Damping Field, which causes warheads to fizzle. We're able to match it, but now it's conventional war from here out
     
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  16. Electricfox Omnishambler

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    Not really do-able outside of ASB. I'd say it would be a stretch to do it even with an earlier POD, unless you go back to the big bang and alter how the laws of physics works. Even if the Manhattan project failed initially, eventually someone was going to crack it. I think the most you could delay the atomic bomb is by a decade.
     
  17. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    The problem is if one side or the other was "losing" in a way that they saw as an existential loss, not just a relatively acceptable territorial re-arrangement, nukes would be used. tactical at first but limited nuclear war is thought by most to be a chimera - unless the leaders freaked out and perhaps could arrange an end with a more or less status quo antebellum between the big powers. In the 50s and 60s, when there was a real Soviet preponderance with conventional forces (although never as great as it was estimated to be) NATO planning saw the use of tactical nukes as the only way to stabilize things before the Soviets reached the Channel. Once MAD levels of nukes were reached, this sort of planning faded a great deal. Whilemuch is made of the Soviet plans to use WMD, both chemicals and nukes early on, the Soviet military knew that letting the nuclear demon out was not good for anyone - early on NATO had chemicals so a direct tit-for-tat rather than you use chemicals we use nukes was predictable.
     
  18. Zincwarrior Well-Known Member

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    Upon discovery of the "Stalin Particle" by Gregarin in space, and development of the NDF wave in 1962 (copied by the UK and then the US) the West, realizing its peril, rearmed quickly. Drafts and large standing armies were quickly restarted. Given the wartime damage and impacts Germany and the UK, France ironically became the dominant military force in Western Europe. With political uncertainty in central Europe and Asia focusing the attention of the USSR and the USA elsewhere, the time was ripe for a Second Napoleon...
     
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  19. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    You know, that'd be an interesting TL to make from though it might be close to ASB (and it quite reminds me of the Minovsky Particles from Gundam UC).
     
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  20. KuboCaskett Resident Otaku

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    Just for an update, I've changed the requirements so that the POD can be before 1960 yet has to be after 1946 since the atomic bombings are too important to avert in regards to geopolitics.