Romanov Ascendant: What if the Soviet Union survived?

as well as new projects including a stealth attack helicopter.
So it looks like the the RAH-66 Comanche is being drag into service no matter how much some members of the Army and critics complain of the program and its cost, the Eastern block merely existing is enough to keep the program alive, not sure how much the US Army is going to be willing to bite on the program. Anytime I'm reminded of projects for US attack helicopters nowadays I always remember the sad tail of the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

Instead, they should arm, train and prepare the Saudi Arabians and their allies to force Iraq out of Kuwait, and perhaps Saddam out of Iraq all together.
Relying on the Saudi Arabians to invade Iraq?

Sure their Allies are much more military functional in the field but the Saudi's have an infamous history with their military, the intervention in Yemen has shown a spotlight on the problems that the Saudi's are suffering from within their military, the loyalty system the military leadership has along with many soldiers of the military living off of luxurious backgrounds do not help at all, especially when they are force into a situation that is too alien for them, such as the hot climate of the desert with limited to no air conditioning and no lovely showers or plentiful amounts of water to drink when your trapped in a metal machine in the middle of a hot desert that happens to have a lot of enemies with a lot of anti tank weapons of all shapes and sizes.

God help you if your air conditioning breaks down or gets damaged, many factors like those can lead to a series of mistakes made by the crews and soldiers that especially when they are stuck with a lot of equipment written in ENGLISH any mistakes made by accidently pressing wrong buttons in an vehicle or weapon system could result into a disastrous breakdown or worse combat inefficiencies during battle.
Whenever in an stressed situation such as a combat one, the threat of inement death will naturally lead to quick decisions being made that are bad or good.
Humans usually make less than clever decisions when put in a fight or flight situation.

But after reading how much equipment and training the Saudi's were forced with to deal with, it's unsurprising that they have achieved the surprise strike along with Coalition help, but still you might be a bit too lenient on the Saudi's performance in the air, a lot of that equipment has pilots only being trained for less than 6 months since all that military equipment and training couldn't have just started on the exact day the first pieces landed on Saudi soil, their is likely a high percentage of pilots who got the job because they just like flying instead of actually fighting and instead do not engage the Iraqi air forces properly, then their are some who watch the WW2 movies and want to dogfight enemys and use their aircraft against the better judgment of their trainers. Who btw have no choice but to continue training them since they have no time to cancel training for one wannabe pilot and finding an replacement with even less time and training under their belt.

Some squadrons might be just too cautious and fire their AIM-7 and AIM-120 from the furthest distance possible often missing and immediately going into combat manoeuvres (losing the semi-guidance for the AIM-7) whenever an Mig-25 or Mig-29 paints them in radar and launches an missile after them that would often cause an overreaction from the Saudi's, causing a logistical strain for coalition forces to resupply and rearm and leaving an opportunity for the Soviets to come across a fully intact dud AM-120 in the sand that failed to detonate and was cushioned by someone's house, a wonderful present from Uncle Sam I must say.

Of course their will always be the competent pilots in the group who use the capabilities of the F-15C and the F-16 to the fullest and become Ace pilots in the process.

Btw their is a TL that exist of the weaknesses that the Saudi military had being exploited to the fullest here it is (no it's not a Iraqi wank),

Battle of Al Jahra
I still stubbornly believe that you were too lenient on the Saudi's performance no comment on the Egyptians but they had a better military structure and overall were +1 compared to other Arab arimes,

6 months of intense training is still 6 months, (not everyone did receive the six months of training, its an average of 2-4 months of training that the Saudi military and allies received) and they were going up against an hardened army that was stuck on a brutal decade long war against Iran, the Coalition advisors and commanders would've certainly reduce the problems they would've suffered without them but I'm still not convinced, the later stages of the war with the direct US involvement assured a coalition victory, even with a much more worse performing Arab army the end results of the war being the roughly the same with US intervention, with the Americans suffering more casualties against a better equipped and prepared Iraq.

Also the AH-64D is not invulnerable, they risked getting shot down by a lgla type manpads that were believed to have shot down 2 coalition jets during the OTL gulf war.
Trees and Nighthawks
Well risking the NH against top of the line Soviet Air defense's was bound to lead to a disaster, fun fact the Buk missile battery can still fire without their radar module operational which makes them a pain to deal with, compared to older systems that were rendered useless when their radar and EW systems were destroyed.

Meanwhile letting the Saud's and Egyptians to do the nasty work of clearing out Kuwait is a big ugly oof for everyone, the poor Kuwaitis are forced watch their city and love ones turned into rumble and flesh all for the sake of becoming a principality within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an improvement compared to annexation, but at what cost?
The Kuwaitis oil fields meanwhile where even more destroyed then they were in OTL with the "better" state of Saddam's military is in.

Meanwhile The house of Saud regrets the lost of life but is thankful for not getting destabilized like Egypt is, although as the family's continued to mourn their dead sons, opposition to US troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia will slowly grow with people such as a certain man known as Osama Bin Laden not beinga happy camper...

Egypt meanwhile is getting into a significantly worse situation than OTL after betraying Iraq when during 1980 to 1988, the they supported Iraq militarily and economically with one million Egyptians working in Iraq to take the place of Iraqi men serving on the front-line.
And Egypt's betrayal was an attempt to gain an leverage onto the centre of Middle eastern affairs but in OTL they were kicked out, here's a Newspaper article from 1991 reporting about it https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1991-07-07-9103170485-story.html.
Very outdated information nowadays and I'm most likely missing the full picture here.
They in the end still got US$20 billion worth of debt forgiveness from the US for joining the coalition, still the main source of corruption from the state wasn't stopped.

In IOTL Egypt has a large pile of dead soldiers overseas needing to be recovered, the Saudi's effectively own Kuwait and has control over the reconstruction contracts, Mubarak has manoeuvred himself into an unpopular war that is seemingly politically suicidal, he has also singlehandedly killed the Arab Cooperation Council meanwhile, now he risks getting assassinated from extremist for doing the "dirty work" for the USA in conquering Kuwait, the nation now has a large amount of veterans suffering from PTSD and instead of getting a hero's welcome for their suffering they instead meet a Egypt under civil unrest.

Mubarak is likely to cause more chaos with his political corruption of detaining political figures and young activists without trials while he is increasing his and his family's Swiss Bank accounts.

Also Egypt now has to maintain all of the surviving expensive western military equipment that was dumped on them, but moving everything to actual Egypt will take time and money.

The US political scene was increasingly rocked by a newcomer and independent challenger, Ross Perot.
This video is what I remember whenever I hear of Ross, the man predicted the future and he was the hope that could've changed the US politics forever.

The Spring of 1992
A very big ouch, looks like were getting more landscape development via strategic bomber in Afghanistan.

It took way to long for me to write this.
I don't want to burden you with rewriting the entire Gulf War part of the TL, I'm just pointing out my opinion on the matter.


Oh here's a genuine question, how much has the NATO economies suffered with the continued high military spending of the cold war?
 
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chankljp

Donor
Just curious: Any chance that this TL was based on the 2017 "Crisis in the Kremlin" video game? The events as outlined in the introduction was almost exactly the same as the options that you can take when ruling over the Soviet Union in that game.
 
So I have some military related questions. What about the SU-27, the T-90 and T-95? The T-90 was supposed to replaced the T-72 as the standard MBT of the red army but because of the economic crisis few where made. The T-95 was a prototype that could be considered the predecessor of the new T-14 Armata but again economic crisis. In the navy we have the slava class, OTL 10 were planned, 3 completed and the fourth is 75% completed in ukraine currently. I know I'm nitpicking but do you pretend to work this things out? Loving the TL btw watched. Also fun fact the ukrainians tried to give the incomplete cruiser to the brazilians as a plus in 2018 if they purchased ukrainian build corvettes.


Edit: just correcting the number of planned cruisers from 15 to 10.
 
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I absolutely appreciate how much detail you point into your reply, this is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping to spur with the TL. I'll go point by point, but overall I do agree with you on the vast majority of what you say in your post.

The debate surrounding the RAH-66 Comanche
That's a valid point, however the helicopter itself is an example of the cold war style of arms development malfunction that occurred with the Bradley or with various projects in the Soviet Union. My understanding was that the power of drones being demonstrated in the late 90's, and the lack of a massive conventional enemy were the biggest hurdles to a program the the US already had spent a billion dollars on, and with the performance of the AH-64D in this TL's gulf war, it would in my mind only give backing towards those in favor of the program rather than against it. It would also be fair to speculate the program may proceed better, especially with data collected by the West's from modern Soviet SAMs sold to the Iraqis. It could also go international, although it may be too late considering the Eurocopter program would have already filled the roll for most of European NATO, but I could also see the US more willing to sell stealth to Israel earlier on. I would see it as replacing both the Kiowa and the Cobra.

Relying on the Saudi Arabians to invade Iraq?
This has been something I've been grappling with, but I would think it's fair to point out that the notion of Saudi military incompetence is more of a recent idea. The US would have seen what the Iranians managed to do with some of their older hardware, and basically by conducting all of the support, medical, logistical and even command and control of it's forces, could deal with the Iraqis. Especially with compelling Egypt to intercede. But you also make a good point about how the "best", "royal guard" kind of units in the Saudi Arabian army may not have been as good as imagined. Egypt's military is definitely more capable. That TL you posted is good, thanks for that.
but still you might be a bit too lenient on the Saudi's performance in the air
Valid also, I think the overall retcon is going to feature more serious Saudi losses, especially in the beginning. The US shifting to only letting the best Saudi fly, while, flying the planes themselves in mostly BVR fashion over friendly airspace.

Soviets to come across a fully intact dud AM-120 in the sand that failed to detonate and was cushioned by someone's house, a wonderful present from Uncle Sam I must say.
Ha, that, the nighthawk and some crashed F-15s with avionics relatively intact.

the later stages of the war with the direct US involvement assured a coalition victory, even with a much more worse performing Arab army the end results of the war being the roughly the same with US intervention
That's the overall direction I think I'm going to push the retcon. Some have also said that the US wouldn't stand for Iraq invading Kuwait, even with the Soviets standing behind them. If the Saudis get chewed up worse at Al Jahra, then I could see the US intervention taking a larger scale, suffering more causalities and politically harming the president more. Which might give Ross Perot the ammo he needed, unlike OTL.


That's really interesting. My assumption would be then the heavier toll that Egyptian soldiers paid, the bigger role, and now an Western push for some kind of CENTO revival could actually gain traction. I'm assuming the bribe they receive is higher, more aid to help stop the worst of the discontent. But Mubarak as you said is going to be in an extremely contentious position, losing popularity with the army for making what would be universally perceived as a 'bad move', and with the KGB, Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans and Palestinians pumping gas into the 'Traitor to all Arabs' label, his career may be some what more short lived than OTL.

Ross Perot
The more I researched him, the more I was impressed. It honestly doesn't seem that insane that if he ran a more consistent campaign, spent a little more money, and the concurrent economic downturn (increased by the rise in oil prices and the maintenance of western military spending along with the OTL influences) could result in Perot presidency. Politics by the numbers wouldn't get the boost it got with the fall of the Soviet Union. NAFTA being delayed or prevented, really changes the development of the US economy too, for better or for worse.

A very big ouch, looks like were getting more landscape development via strategic bomber in Afghanistan.
Absolutely, and more and better coordinated operations like operation magistral.


So in summary, again I appreciate the effort, and for me I'd rather had more debate, discussion and subsequent rewrites as long as it leads to a better or more realistic timeline.

On the NATO economies, the overall recession would be worsened, but European integration might be sped up in response. The US wouldn't be in a stellar position immediately, but I will need to look more into the economic effects of no NAFTA (perhaps), and that is definitely going to be contentious.
 
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Hey why dont the Soviet do to Afghanistan what the Russians did to Chechnya in the 2000s
I would say that's kind of what they did, except better because the Soviet army didn't end up degenerating into the Yeltsin era mess that it became.

Just curious: Any chance that this TL was based on the 2017 "Crisis in the Kremlin" video game? The events as outlined in the introduction was almost exactly the same as the options that you can take when ruling over the Soviet Union in that game.
I'd say my premise was inspired, mostly because before that game I had no idea who Romanov was, but overall this TL's real inspiration was actually just a few debates among friends and a discussion with a history professor I had a few years ago that kind of gave me the overall question, of what exactly would the world look like if the Soviets didn't collapse? I also considered a successful August coup in 1991, which is something I might explore another time, but overall would have given me a lot less flexibility. But I also don't want to look like I'm not giving credit either, that game was definitely an inspiration, but I wouldn't say exactly the same.

Edit: That's also why I changed it from just Romanov to, Romanov skipping Chernenko
 
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So I have some military related questions. What about the SU-27, the T-90 and T-95? The T-90 was supposed to replaced the T-72 as the standard MBT of the red army but because of the economic crisis few where made. The T-95 was a prototype that could be considered the predecessor of the new T-14 Armata but again economic crisis. In the navy we have the slava class, OTL 10 were planned, 3 completed and the fourth is 75% completed in ukraine currently. I know I'm nitpicking but do you pretend to work this things out? Loving the TL btw watched. Also fun fact the ukrainians tried to give the incomplete cruiser to the brazilians as a plus in 2018 if they purchased ukrainian build corvettes.


Edit: just correcting the number of planned cruisers from 15 to 10.

In this TL, I'd say it would still just be called the T-72BU, but I'd say it becomes the primary MBT in production for most of the early 90's in the Soviet Union, with corresponding production of the T-80U variants (and improved versions of itself). The T-95 would probably end up as one of the major competitors between Uralvagonzavod and LKV for the next generation of Soviet tank.

With the fleet, they probably finish more of the ships, while others are still left slightly incomplete as Romanov did make reductions to the military industrial complex to help sustain the economy. I can't come up with a complete figure right now, but I'd say 6 Slava Class cruisers end up completed as of 1992, one additional Kirov battlecruiser, more work is done on the third Kuznetsov class carrier, and very slow production on the Ulyanovsk class super carrier. The completion of slated to be approached post 13th five year plan. (1994-1995)

Appreciate the question, I haven't really had a lot of opportunities yet to get into detail on how exactly the Soviet Military develops, we kind of have a set piece for how 91 and 92 were supposed to develop which helps. I think it will get a lot more interesting as we get to the late 90's and early 2000's. I also want to get into the space race and the buran project.

 
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What's up in the GDR? You wrote about riots in 1989. What were they about? How are inter-German relations at this point? Will Honecker be succeded by Krenz (regarded as the most likely candidate at this point), a known reformist communist? How is the GDR doing economically?
This is something I also want to get into, I might do a 'flashback' kind of post on how the Soviets actually dealt with the wave of discontent which would have inevitably occurred in the 1980s. As of 1992, Honecker is still in charge, with Egon Krenz and Erich Mielke competing to replace him. Krenz would probably have a slight advantage, but Mielke would be more likely to secure the backing of the Soviets, trying to present himself as the GDR's Andropov.

I'd see Honecker as enthusiastically going along with Romanov's course of reform, successfully implementing some of the computerization and automation of the planning systems. East Germany manages to reap some of the benefits, especially from transfer payments made by the Soviets in hard currency to address the excesses of their debt. Maybe a slightly higher quality of life in East Germany, while the groundwork is laid for further development. There would definitely be more consumer goods and some variety in food, but they would still be running a deficit and would be unwilling to implement austerity. They would be still dependent on the Soviet Union financially.

 
Some thoughts about the 1992 election in the US.

Bush does not have the foreign policy successes he had IOTL (Berlin Wall coming down, Gulf War, end of the Cold War) and he still is distrusted by the Republican base over the tax increases. He has some policy successes with the Americans with Disabilities act but that's not gonna win back his base. The war in the Gulf will create an oil shock and a recession which will also hurt his reelection chances. There's also the issue with voter fatigue with 12 years of Republican rule in the White House which makes 1992 a very good year for the Democrats.

Since Bush's approval ratings won't soar to 89% in the aftermath of the Gulf War, I could see a lot more Democratic candidates entering the race. Mario Cuomo comes to mind and maybe even Al Gore. I think its an open question who becomes the Democratic nominee that year.

Regarding Perot, I don't think his victory was ever really likely. He has no geographic base of support which makes victory in a FPTP electoral system quite difficult and there is the added issue of having to win a majority in the electoral college. He could do a lot better than OTL but I think victory for him is very unlikely.
 
Some thoughts about the 1992 election in the US.

Bush does not have the foreign policy successes he had IOTL (Berlin Wall coming down, Gulf War, end of the Cold War) and he still is distrusted by the Republican base over the tax increases. He has some policy successes with the Americans with Disabilities act but that's not gonna win back his base. The war in the Gulf will create an oil shock and a recession which will also hurt his reelection chances. There's also the issue with voter fatigue with 12 years of Republican rule in the White House which makes 1992 a very good year for the Democrats.

Since Bush's approval ratings won't soar to 89% in the aftermath of the Gulf War, I could see a lot more Democratic candidates entering the race. Mario Cuomo comes to mind and maybe even Al Gore. I think its an open question who becomes the Democratic nominee that year.

Regarding Perot, I don't think his victory was ever really likely. He has no geographic base of support which makes victory in a FPTP electoral system quite difficult and there is the added issue of having to win a majority in the electoral college. He could do a lot better than OTL but I think victory for him is very unlikely.
I think noted failures like in Venezuela and Yugoslavia would definitely kill Bush Sr in the debates, but Perot would always have the ability to hit Clinton or really any of the democratic nominees on the notion, how exactly they're going to be different? I'm also considering that fatigue with both parties was also at it's height (Carter is still a recent memory). Clinton had end of history 90's optimism on his side, and still lost hard in the mid terms.

Ironically in this timeline, a worse economy, run away military spending, foreign policy failures and distaste for more of the same. I'm not set on Perot, but I do kind of like his uniqueness. Do you think his presidency veers in ASB, or a potential historical fluke? Assuming of course he runs a fiercer campaign. He would still face a somewhat hostile house and senate.

On the democratic nomination, what do you think it comes down to?
 
I think noted failures like in Venezuela and Yugoslavia would definitely kill Bush Sr in the debates, but Perot would always have the ability to hit Clinton or really any of the democratic nominees on the notion, how exactly they're going to be different? I'm also considering that fatigue with both parties was also at it's height (Carter is still a recent memory). Clinton had end of history 90's optimism on his side, and still lost hard in the mid terms.

Ironically in this timeline, a worse economy, run away military spending, foreign policy failures and distaste for more of the same. I'm not set on Perot, but I do kind of like his uniqueness. Do you think his presidency veers in ASB, or a potential historical fluke? Assuming of course he runs a fiercer campaign. He would still face a somewhat hostile house and senate.

On the democratic nomination, what do you think it comes down to?
I agree that the fatigue would still be there with both parties. I just don't see how Perot can muster 270 electoral votes. The states which he performed well were small states out in the plains or places like Alaska and Maine. The larger states tended to be locked in for the Democrats or Republicans which makes an outright victory in the electoral college extremely unlikely. If no candidate wins a majority, the election goes to the House of Representatives and Perot can't win there.

Maybe if the 1992 economy was a lot worse and the Democrats nominate Clinton who then gets sunk due to one of his personal scandals. I could see an opening for Perot to at least win the popular vote.
 
It's gonna be interesting to see how the space race plays out with the Soviets having the Buran working. I'm guessing the US will maybe set up the Space Station Freedom rather than turn it into the ISS. Both the Soviets and Americans will have their own shuttles and their own stations.

Perhaps the Energia hardware could also be repurposed for a lunar landing by putting an Apollo style service module + lander on top of the rocket.
 
I wonder how China is going to react to the Yinghe incident, aka the incident that began the beginning of the end for the for the friendly relations that China had with the USA after Nixon visited the nation.

That incident pissed off the Chinese so much that they began to design the Type 093 Nuclear Attack Submarine with alongside the beginning of the rapid expansion of the PLAN with the goal of protecting Chinese sea lanes from foreign warships and to prevent international bullying from ever happening again.
For more context click this link about the Type 093
 
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