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What if the Cold War became hot?

This is a discussion on What if the Cold War became hot? within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; As it is widely know that the Warsaw pact outnumbered NATO signifigantly in both numbers and war capability. Any suggestions ...


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Old January 16th, 2012   #1
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What if the Cold War became hot?

As it is widely know that the Warsaw pact outnumbered NATO signifigantly in both numbers and war capability. Any suggestions of what might have happened in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific if the Communists attacked? (Also please don't mention ICBMs since those weren't introduced until the end of the Cold War and neither side really wanted to use them). thanks guys
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Old January 16th, 2012   #2
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As it is widely know that the Warsaw pact outnumbered NATO signifigantly in both numbers and war capability. Any suggestions of what might have happened in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific if the Communists attacked? (Also please don't mention ICBMs since those weren't introduced until the end of the Cold War and neither side really wanted to use them). thanks guys
ICBMs were very much in service before the end of the Cold War. Do some googling around on the topic. In fact I can't see how one could have a serious discussion on the Cold War going hot without factoring in strategic nuclear forces, so I'm not sure why you'd want to exclude ICBMs?
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Old January 16th, 2012   #3
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ICBMs were very much in service before the end of the Cold War. Do some googling around on the topic. In fact I can't see how one could have a serious discussion on the Cold War going hot without factoring in strategic nuclear forces, so I'm not sure why you'd want to exclude ICBMs?
I would like to exclude them because I am more interested in what people had to say about Soviet military tactics, war strategy and invasion possiblities and NATO counterattacks rather than who fired what nuke where.
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Old January 16th, 2012   #4
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I would like to exclude them because I am more interested in what people had to say about Soviet military tactics, war strategy and invasion possiblities and NATO counterattacks rather than who fired what nuke where.
That's fair enough then mate, don't know why you didn't just say that in the first place.
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Old January 16th, 2012   #5
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As it is widely know that the Warsaw pact outnumbered NATO signifigantly in both numbers and war capability. Any suggestions of what might have happened in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific if the Communists attacked? (Also please don't mention ICBMs since those weren't introduced until the end of the Cold War and neither side really wanted to use them). thanks guys

can't avoid nukes.

one of the reasons why Ryszard Kukliński defected (the most senior warpac officer on the russian general staff) was that he discovered that the russians intended to tactically nuke their way across eastern europe, and that included nuking warpac troops (they only trusted the east germans and didn't trust the poles, hungarians or czechs)

ignore the wiki reference to him. a decent book on the cold war and perspective russian intentions is in the book "a secret life" by benjamin weiser
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Old January 16th, 2012   #6
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can't avoid nukes.

one of the reasons why Ryszard Kukliński defected (the most senior warpac officer on the russian general staff) was that he discovered that the russians intended to tactically nuke their way across eastern europe, and that included nuking warpac troops (they only trusted the east germans and didn't trust the poles, hungarians or czechs)

ignore the wiki reference to him. a decent book on the cold war and perspective russian intentions is in the book "a secret life" by benjamin weiser
Thanks GF for that info, I will order the book. I didn't know about the Soviets advancing behind nukes, you always hear about the Fulda Gap and regular stuff like that. To further enlarge StrategyFTW post, what other strange "tactics" were considered by the Soviets? I remember something about invading Norway, what other theories of invasion were looked at by the Soviets? Maybe a southern flanking move? What about some kind of Spetsnaz attack on a European port? NBC was big with the Soviets, it would be interesting to hear other thoughts of attacking Europe/NATO than just Fulda Gap.... I have Victor Suvurov's book, Inside the Soviet Army, wow!, just realized I read it in the mid 80's as a teenager, might read it again...
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Old January 16th, 2012   #7
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can't avoid nukes.

one of the reasons why Ryszard Kukliński defected (the most senior warpac officer on the russian general staff) was that he discovered that the russians intended to tactically nuke their way across eastern europe, and that included nuking warpac troops (they only trusted the east germans and didn't trust the poles, hungarians or czechs)

ignore the wiki reference to him. a decent book on the cold war and perspective russian intentions is in the book "a secret life" by benjamin weiser
They were planning to drop tactical warheads on btln sized formations. So, they were literally going to annihilate most of Europe with radiation, if not the blasts themselves.
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Old January 17th, 2012   #8
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Not to talk of the Fulda Gap not being the best route through the NATO lines. It's more like it being in the American sector and as such getting lot's of attention from US authors and such.

The northern plain is much better suited for a massive breakthrough by some MotInf Divisions followed by an armoured exploitation group. There the WarPac Forces wouldn't have met US troops but units from the Germany,UK, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands with additional units from Germany and Denmark waited for them in the north. The south of Germany was probably much safer from a WarPac breakthrough with the heavy US and German units stationed there, the less favorable terrain and the ability to get easier support from French fast reaction and mobilized units. The after war occupation zones dictated the deployment of non-german NATO units on german soil and not military logic.

Not that I would rate the other NATO units less capable personally but equipment, numbers and cohesion favored the US troops.

Nevertheless in the event of the cold war gone hot all my male relatives (from private to general) would have followed in the wake of the 3rd Shock Army or 8th Guards Tank Army to reach the channel in no time... (especially on weekends...)
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Old January 17th, 2012   #9
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i think, if the cold war became hot war, neither you, i, he, she nor others could type these rows!
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Old January 18th, 2012   #10
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Watch the classic apocalypse movies The Day After and Threads-- Both are set relatively in the height of the Cold War (the 70s-80s) and they present a realistic picture of both the reality of nuclear war but also International politics and stressors which would lead to a Hot-Cold War
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Old January 18th, 2012   #11
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They were planning to drop tactical warheads on btln sized formations.
Of course if we really talk about planning in the early 70s to mid 80s, we've got to acknowledge (in just this order of "application"):

1) Nike Hercules taken off the AD grid and targeting formations on the surface crossing the border with up to 400 missiles
2) about 250 Pershing 1A and II launched against WarPac rear areas and C2 nodes in the GDR, Poland and the Czech republics
3) dozens of MADM and SADM placed adhoc by US troops in the border area in strategic chokepoints
4) tactic-strategic nuclear strikes concurrently by up to 1,000 strike aircraft against anything above battalion size
5) SRBM (Lance/Sergeant) against substrategic area targets
6) several thousand tactical nuclear strikes by division- and brigade-level artillery units

Using tactical nuclear strikes to clear heavily defended areas before advancing into the breach with more or less protected troops? In NATO planning since about 1958.

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Not that I would rate the other NATO units less capable personally but equipment, numbers and cohesion favored the US troops.
Depends on when exactly we're talking about. In the mid 70s to early 80s USAREUR being equipped only with M60, M48 and M113 would have been about the one least capable equipment-wise in any conventional exchange.

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There the WarPac Forces wouldn't have met US troops
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Old January 18th, 2012   #12
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Hey Kato- I know it's probably wrong to direct you towards my Australia Roleplay Question, but I read what you did for the Gotland RP'er and would love your help.
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