Slow Drift to War Europe 1984

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Farmer12, Sep 14, 2016.

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  1. Farmer12 Well-Known Member

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    ferdi254 Your the one who quoted the 7000 ton target for supplies and i pointed out that one train of 100 cars fully loaded would sustain the forces you spoke of and a second train per day would give the Soviets another 7000 tons to build reserves.

    As for the forces in the south the Greek and Turkish force tend to be made up of mostly older equipment and the Italian Army has Yugoslovia in the way so it will need to find a way to get those troops into the war.

    As for the quality of the Soviet Army in the Central front while many units are made up of obsolete equipment and older troops the mainline units have the best of the Soviet Armies frontline equipment and in number to. So they are not in that bad of a situation.
     
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  2. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    The 6th army in Stalingrad needed 700 tons daily with no tanks, no movement, hardly any arty and no airforce to support. The 3.5 mio men the red army has in the GDR will need 7.000 tons of food alone without even the fuel to drive a jeep for 100km.

    Getting a 3.5 mio army with tanks on the move and into a modern fight will need 30.000 tons daily. Yes 300 car trains could handle this but the capacity in Brest to change gauge simply was and is not there. The amount of supply is a fact as well as the inability to move that amount via train from the USSR to the GDR.

    The Italian army does not have to go around Yugoslavia Italy and Austria have a common border.

    And for the Greek and Turkish armies both were pretty well equipped and trained (for a war against each other) and face Red Army B and C divisions plus the Bulgarian army (who would not be that much inclined to be very active) and enjoy 3:1 superiority in numbers plus the support from US and Spanish units. Plus 24 hours into the war latest (if the 7th USSR fleet even lasts that long) the support of a French and an US carrier group.

    Their Generals would have to drink Raki and Ouzo by the barrel not only to not stop any WP advance cold but not to be in Sofia within a week.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  3. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Just a more thorough calculation for the central front: WP will be 3.5 mio USSR, 0.3 Polish, 0.3 CSSR and 0.3 Hungarian total 4.4.

    NATO will be 1.1 FRG 0.4 Benelux, 0.4 Austria, 0.4 GB and France each, 0.8 USA, 0.2 Canada and 0.2 Italian total 3.9.

    The latter fully battle ready, supplied to the brim and in fully prepared defensive positions with perfect knowledge of the time of the attack and near perfect knowledge of the troops which will carry it out. All of them knowing that their homelands are at stake here (except USA and CAN). Plus a couple more advantages just to name a few:

    F117 and cruise missiles.
    Much better night fight equipment
    Much better training
    On average much newer equipment
    Only a few ways for the enemy to get supply up while no such problems on the own side.
    Common language
    Most likely much better CAS.

    Slaughterhouse for the WP forces.
     
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  4. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    The key is what will be the ratio at the point of attack/points of attack. Conventionally attacker needs 3:1 at point of attack, of course artillery and air superiority factor in, as well as how the defense is supported by fortification and terrain. Lots of other unknowns - how badly will refugees clog roads in the west, and on both sides how effective will special forces be and how well will they be assisted by locals rooting for the other side.
     
  5. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Sloreck if you are just 11:10 ahead and the roads of attack are only a few and the enemy has a seriously better road system available (plus the ability to ruin the one that you have to take close to the border on both sides) plus much better supply plus 30 days to get to know your forces it is pretty hard a) to achieve 3:1 anyplace for at least some time and b) not to get hit into the flanks even if you can get a breakthrough. For special forces I still wonder why nearly 3 decades after Afghanistan this is still a topic as their performance there was far from awe inspiring.

    And any larger civilian groups in the FRG helping the WP? That was a funny OTL myth in US circles in the 80s.
     
  6. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    One more for the training.

    One aspect is of course the purely technical. How many hours did the troops spent in tanks etc how many training rounds were fired how many flighthours did the pilots clock... in all those respects the NATO forces were far better trained than WP forces.

    And even worse for the WP the NATO forces had this in depth while non USSR WP forces were even worse off than USSR forces (and inside those again the ones from the SSRs with -stan were badly trained).

    But the most important part is for what kind of battle the forces were trained. NATO was emphasizing on initiative, a well trained noncomm corps and the ability to react to the situation on the battlefield. WP forces were trained to execute a plan with a noncomm corpse which did hardly exist as such. But if your plan relies on having superior numbers against an unprepared enemy who will be able to deal with the situation if that is no longer the case? No one as no one had the required training.

    That was as one of the main reasons the cruise missiles scared the USSR that much. Suddenly the NATO had the ability to take out army headquarters and what then...?
     
  7. Farmer12 Well-Known Member

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    ferdi254 Now we are talking 30,000 tons of food, that mean four one hundred car trains a day plus one 28 car train to ship in the needed food. As fuel Druzhba pipelines and note i use the plural term since there were more than one pipeline under this program was more than sufficient to move the necessary oil to the west. With the refineries in both Czechoslovakia and Poland and maybe some surviving refineries in East Germany. Also an excessively large stockpile of spare parts and ammunition were located in supply depots in East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Now while some the stockpile of supplies probably went missing, I doubt all of it went missing. Not much call for tank ammunition on the black market.

    As for shifting from one gauge to another I know for a fact at that Russian Gauge railroads operated in Poland during this time period. Including one railroad that carried Iron ore into Russian and used Russian Gauge railroads for convenience. Another railroad connected Leningrad with Warsaw. By the way the a number of divisions were moved closer to the potential frontlines in the early days of the crisis. The mobilization began 53 days ago. In three days it will be fifty-six night, my understanding is that the Soviet could move a minimum of 25 divisions every two weeks and in a eight week time period that would mean one hundred full divisions. But at least thirty were in position before the mobilization and the Polish, Czech and a few trusted East Germany units army account for about thirty and remember all those final waive division which do not have anywhere near the proper compliment of equipment so it will take less to move those division. Say roughly roughly one hundred and sixty division would be achievable.

    By the way the French had excellent road and rail networks to but the Germans who had less of everything still won.

    As for the Southern front a few category A divisions will go a long way down there.

    Yes NATO will know the enemy is coming and probably where the main attacks are but like the old say shit happens. The Leadership of the Soviet Union fears loosing power more than anything else so gambling on a war to allow them to survive is nothing new.
     
  8. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    I'm not saying there will be large groups in the FRG or elsewhere in Europe who will be actively aiding the Soviets once the shooting starts, or likewise in WP countries. There are sleepers and fellow travelers who will provide aid of all sorts. A sabotaged switch here, a bridge blown there, a van stopping and machine gunning a group of refugees all make for "extra" problems for NATO over and above the more professional and directed efforts of SPETSNAZ. Additionally there will still be idiots in the "peace movement" who will block roadways, delay troop or other movements "stop the war, peace now!" A hundred or so protestors lying down at a highway intersection chained together means a delay of at least an hour or two before traffic flows again. Will these things make a difference, maybe and maybe not - a supply convoy delayed two hours may mean a unit runs out of anti-tank munitions and gets overrun, and a bridge is captured before it can be blown. On the WP side SOF will be working with known anticommunist forces and again, damage is not going to be massive, but a derailment from just one rail being loosened at the right spot will take hours to clear up.

    Simply by the nature of the two respective alliances/societies, NATO is going to have more problems in the aggregate with everything from disruptive protestors to active professional saboteurs. The techniques and practices the USSR and WP organs can and will use to suppress any form of dissent go well beyond what NATO countries would use even in wartime (if you live in a NATO country you are not likely to be concerned that your family could be hauled off to a GULAG or worse for your political beliefs or even treasonous actions).
     
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  9. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Farmer sorry if the WP can make any headway into Turkey against a 3:1 superiority in easily defendable terrain then the only realistic scenario on the central front would be Paris on day 5. And where do you get a few A divisions from?

    For the logistics: I will just one more time point out that all books about a conventional third world war have the WP with serious logistical troubles and even the WP did not expect to be able to supply its own troops! And that in a scenario where they did not have to supply 3.5 mio troops for three weeks even before the shooting has begun and the GDR is out of order.

    For the number of troops 4.4 mio men equate to 250 divisions on WP side still they are just 11:10 superior.

    And the comparison with 1940: The Wehrmacht did attack with superior doctrine, training and CAS at a place France did not ecpect an attack to happen. No surprise to be had here and training, doctrine and CAS of NATO is superior here.

    Sloreck if the number the WP can get to do anything senseful is above a few handful it would be against all we know by now.
     
  10. Farmer12 Well-Known Member

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    ferdi254- The Ukraine which is under the command of the Southwest Strategic Direction has the 6th Guards Tank Army with 7 tank divisions all armed with T-64's. I sent the main army with the four Guard tank divisions with around 1300 tanks all T-64's, south to the Turkish border. While the other three divisions are sitting in and around Budapest as a reserve force for the attack on Austria.

    Take a look at a map of the Turkish Thrace once you have broken through the rim of mountains to the north. Then there is a plain that go toward Istanbul. Now you do have to break through the mountains but once through the ground is pretty good for tank columns.
     
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  11. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Farmer the WP is still outnumbered 3:1 and both the Greek and the Turkish armies have units on par with A divisions. And you do have to break through the mountains. And Italy in WW 2 has shown how „easy“ it is to break through prepared mountain defenses even if you have air superiority and a 1:1 force ratio.

    Sorry something I have encountered often, the disregard for non US forces. The Greek and Turkish armies in the middle of the eighties were nothing Stavka would have tried to attack with 1:3 troop relationship.

    Oh and even if you break through you will have 0.5 million troops ready to attack your flank.

    And you are of course right no black market for tank ammunition. But a large one for cooling liquid and high precision optics. Especially in summertime a lot of rolling stock would not move pretty far and many arty units would face serious trouble directing their fire.

    And of course Irony on all pepole running the GDR railways, refineries, trucks and power stations do work. Irony off
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  12. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Sloreck one more for you. The FRG/GDR border allowed only for a few massive incursions (both directions). And some of them were valleys so it would be hard to get a 3:1 force relationship.

    The only area with some space would be the 200km Harz to Baltic. So even if the NATO had no idea where the WP would attack (ASB) they can easily place 1/3rd of the troops evenly spread along that line and 1/3rd each at 65 and 130 km on that line. A merely 11:10 superior attacker can at best get 11:5 in this scenario as the defender can pretty fast concentrate half of its troops against the main attack.

    But here the NATO has the knowledge when and where the attack will take place and some parts of this line are river crossings or heavily forested area so NATO can do much better than even distribution.

    But as Farmer is positing that the WP will be able to successfully attack against 3:1 superior forces which had 6 weeks to prepare defenses in mountains the 11:10 will simply sweep NATO forces away.
     
  13. Farmer12 Well-Known Member

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    ferdi254- One the Greeks and Turks hate each other with a passion far greater than anything they feel towards the WARSAW PACT. Two the Turkish Army is tied up on four different fronts, you have the Turkish Thrace front and then more troops were on the Caucusas Front, some troops are watching the Syrian and a number of units were holding defensive positions along the northern Coast of Turkey just in case the Soviet Union does a combination amphibious slash airborne attack. At the same time elements of the Turkish Army are garrisoning Cyprus just in case the Greeks try something while the Turks are fighting the WARSAW PACT.

    As for tanks the Turkish army has less than one hundred Leopard I's the rest of their tanks are M-48"s and 47's. Some have received various upgrades some of the M-48's are now A5 variants but it army is still desperately short of modern tanks. As for the Greek Army it has about one hundred Leopard 1"s and about two hundred AMX-30's. Your right about the mountains and it will be an infantryman's war there. But that is where Airmobile forces can come in handy. You do remember helicopters the Soviet Union did have some of those units. The Soviet airmobile forces are very experienced in mountain fighting.

    As for you usual complaints about number the reaction is the same it not about the overall number but the numbers of troops at the point of decision.
     
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  14. cjc Well-Known Member

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    You have too remember that red army docdren is to concentrate forces on the most important front and to continually reinforce success, but there is only so many forces that can fisicly fight in Germany, especaly the 2 main avenues (north German plane and fulda) so going up the Danube valley is a great way to apply presher to NATO (the red army did not have a great oppion on the Austrian army) going thoe Yugoslavia, wrail better in terms of PR is only useful in attacking Italy and quiet frakly the Russians did not care about Italy, it had had horable performance in both world wars and the Russians had a lower opion on the Italian army then they did for the Austrian army, now that is probably eronius, as far as I can tell the Italian army is much better led and equipped then at any other point in history but the point still stands that the hit to PR is worth it in alowing more of the much larger red army to hit NATO in germany.
    Not that they arnt wrong, the autrean state treaty has several crippling restrictions that will live Austria vurable in till the 2 Italy corps come to help (sense the Italians where paranoid about in invation throe Yugoslavia the largest italyen corps, the V , world be kept on the Yugoslav border, for now), for example the Austrian air force is not only badly out of date but not alowed to have air to air missals equipped in till after hostilities commence.
     
  15. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Ok farmer you will have the Turkish and Greek Generals drink Raki and Ouzo by the barrel.

    WP (btw the Bulgarians and Russians like each other as much as Greek and Turkey) is concentrating its attack force at Thrace but Turkey will have troops guarding Syria?

    1200 WP tanks are within striking reach of Istanbul but Turkey will guard Cyprus?

    NATO has forces to mop up all ships the USSR has in that area but Turkey will waste troops defending against a seaborne invasion?

    Turkish Generals by and large were not drunk, stupid or paid by the WP.

    Greece knows that if Turkey falls they will be second on the menu but wastes troops in Cyprus and does not all to stop WP forces in Trace?

    And then while T34 are seen as a valid threat to the NATO forces on the central front M 47 are not seen as a valid force here.

    The same double standard you already applied concerning movement of troops where the Red Air Force can interdict 9(!) ways for the NATO to move into Austria while NATO would not be able to block 5 in the GDR (perfect targets for F117)

    And for guarding other borders. 3.5 mio on the central front .2 at Thrace .3 in the north .3 in Afghanistan .2 on guard duty in Poland and the GDR that leaves .7 B,C and D troops to guard against China.

    And that also means ZERO troops against internal unrest. Do you think having 0.7 mio troops to guard against China and NO troops left for guarding against internal revolt would be a disposition the Politburo would go for? Especially the Politburo you paint here.

    So the USSR is concentrating its forces against the NATO while NATO is not?

    And for concentrating at the front the same problem I pointed out to Sloreck applies but much sharper. If you are outnumbered 1:3, even if the enemy knows nothing about your disposition (ASB) and spreads evenly you need to concentrate all your troops on 1/9th of the front to get 3:1 at this place. Which a) invites counterattacks on the rest and b) is such a small area that it negates again the advantage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 2:30 AM
  16. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Oh and btw you have already set the airmobile forces to the central front you cannot have them at all places. The number of copters was limited.
     
  17. cjc Well-Known Member

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    Bulgaria was actually the most loyal warsaw pact member, now that's not saying much but curtenly more loyal the any northern tire country, it's Romania that the ussr is going to be much more wored about.
     
  18. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    The Austrian state treaty is about as meaningful as any other treaty to the USSR. Useful when truly neutral or working in their favor, otherwise no. If the USSR is going to go to war with NATO the only question about Austrian (or any other European) neutrality is whether respecting it is a benefit or detriment to military operations. If the USSR wins, then the "propaganda value" to NATO of the Soviet violation of the treaty is essentially zero. In a Soviet victory, European nations will need to trim their sails to Soviet direction - of course the FRG and any other countries physically occupied at the end of the fighting will "spontaneously" have "peoples governments" established, those not occupied will have the bear next door with no significant protection. If the USSR loses, well once again the charge of violation of Austrian neutrality will be only one of a long list of charges the USSR/leadership will answer for.

    You can be sure that, for example, the Soviet submarine force will consider every ship headed east across the Atlantic as a legitimate target, whether sailing alone or in convoy, and the only consider will be whether or not it represents something worth shooting at - the flag it is flying won't matter.
     
  19. Farmer12 Well-Known Member

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    I am at work I will comment later
     
  20. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

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    Sloreck I admire your insight into the inner workings of the Politburo even if there is hardly evidence for it. SCNR

    And for USW that is something the USA would never do of course... oh wait didn‘t they do it against Japan? Yes they did. I agree the USSR would do it if any of their subs will get the chance but in this case the USA can hardly complain.

    And the question is will adding at the very least two more armies to the enemy line of battle help?
     
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