How much warning would we have had if Ivan had come West?

#1
Reading some old threads, and thinking back to the late Eighties/early Nineties, I realised I wasn't sure how much warning we could have realistically expected, if the WP had decided to invade Germany.

Given that a BAOR-tasked TA infantry Bn was expected to recieve notification of a war-like intent from the WP, call up all its troops, hand out necessary equipment, get on the trucks, get on the ferry, get off the ferry, drive to whichever town on the Weser we were supposed to protect, then get off the trucks and dig in, we would probably have hoped for at least 5 days, possibly one of which could have taken place after the IGB had been crossed.

Does anyone know how realistic that was?
 
#2
I used to work in the Corps Border Surveillance Force, the formation HQ that controlled the Recce Regiments that patrolled the IGB and would have sent the 'Hostile Act' (although we only had 3 Regiments, if I remember, we were commanded by a Brig as a 1 star was required to authorise WWIII). We would not deploy on Active Edge call outs as the general consensus was we would have already been in the field for 4 - 6 weeks.

So I would guess you could assume a slow diplomatic escalation to war over several weeks with corresponding military preparedness.
 
#3
So many of the old exercises were based on "instant response" for convenience ... which IMO tended to give a false impression of what might have happened for real.

Just for a change, I ran a Station Exercise [leading up to declaration of General Alert] which gently trickled through all the preliminary build-up stages over a period of a couple of months [the actual 3-day exercise was already scheduled and pre-notified to all].

Interestingly, it didn't work terribly well!! I can't remember what the first Alert Stage was called now, but 2 weeks after the first "Exercise Signal" went into Base Ops it was still not notified to Station Executives!! 8O
And then we played the old "defecting aircraft" exercise, about 3 weeks before the "outbreak of war". The defecting crew were duly taken off for interrogation ... and nobody reacted to the fact that the Navigator's bag contained the actual Exercise Air Raid Plan for Day 1 of the Main Exercise. 8O

Prior warning? There would have been lots of it, from HUMINT, SIGINT, Imagery, Political messages ... provided the right conclusions were drawn and timely decisions were made :wink:
 
#4
My TA bn were tasked to fly out from the local airport and apart from the road element would have arrived quicker.

I understand that Ivan needed time to mobilize, and that NATO could do it quicker, provided that they read the signs right.
However had they decided to go with a standing start using the divs in E Ger, then feeding in the rest on a come as you are basis, then how fast could they have started? Anyone got any hard gen on this?
 
#6
joey_deacons_lad said:
Another question if thats ok if they achieved strategic suprise how long would it be until tac nukes would be considered
IIRC it was deemed "desirable" to avoid nuking the FRG as much as possible. :wink:

Therefore, IMO, if the initial conventional engagement didn't stem the flow, the TacN option would have to be applied fairly quickly.
 
#7
I used to get detached every so often to HQ 1 BR Corps and worked in G2, I used to see some mad pictures there courtesy of BRIXMIS of FUP's that 3 Shock Army would use in the event, methinks that they were plotted on someones gun charts!



*MOD's if you thinks this still classes as OPSEC feel free to delete*
 
#8
blue-sophist said:
joey_deacons_lad said:
Another question if thats ok if they achieved strategic suprise how long would it be until tac nukes would be considered
IIRC it was deemed "desirable" to avoid nuking the FRG as much as possible. :wink:

Therefore, IMO, if the initial conventional engagement didn't stem the flow, the TacN option would have to be applied fairly quickly.
Especially if the tales on here about active edge exercise's are true it probably would have taken about two hours in baor sector :D
 
#9
angular said:
Given that a BAOR-tasked TA infantry Bn was expected to recieve notification of a war-like intent from the WP, call up all its troops, hand out necessary equipment, get on the trucks, get on the ferry, get off the ferry,
There would have been plenty of time for you to deploy as stated, but then you might have met some nasty Spetznaz operators dressed as civvy truck drivers on your way up to the Weser and not quite got there.

I spent my time looking at lots of really good photographs of WGF in Eastern Germany, working out their orbats etc, watching how their exercises usually ended as a complete fuck up in the Letzlinger Heide or Juterbog training areas.

I also had an open ferry ticket booked to get back to Blighty on the ferry you TA cannon fodder disembarked from :wink:
 
#10
blue-sophist said:
joey_deacons_lad said:
Another question if thats ok if they achieved strategic suprise how long would it be until tac nukes would be considered
IIRC it was deemed "desirable" to avoid nuking the FRG as much as possible. :wink:

Therefore, IMO, if the initial conventional engagement didn't stem the flow, the TacN option would have to be applied fairly quickly.
The exersizes we had in RAFG in the 70s and 80s usually started off with a scenario of tension building up over weeks and then Ivan pouring over the border (usually the Fulda Gap) en masse, with local commanders being rapidly overwhelmed an desperately demanding shed loads of sunshine in order to brighten up Ivans life. End ex was an R-Hour launch with us throwing everything at Ivan that we could get airbourne, of course carrying lots of "special weapons". Meanwhile Ivan would visit us. End of world. Oh happy days. :D
 
#11
Dwarf said:
However had they decided to go with a standing start using the divs in E Ger, then feeding in the rest on a come as you are basis, then how fast could they have started? Anyone got any hard gen on this?
Probably very quickly, tanks and BMP could be "bombed up" very quickly from garrision ammo dumps. All Divisional Transport Battalions and Army Transport Brigades were fully loaded with 2nd line ammo and POL. The sovs always practiced moving out in quick time and taking any vehicles already in maintenance with them.

The problem was that once they stated moving they were very doctrinal and long, long columns of vehicles would be moving along very slowly providing fantastic targets for air strikes, which would have fucked them up no end.
 
#12
Minnesota_Viking said:
angular said:
Given that a BAOR-tasked TA infantry Bn was expected to recieve notification of a war-like intent from the WP, call up all its troops, hand out necessary equipment, get on the trucks, get on the ferry, get off the ferry,
There would have been plenty of time for you to deploy as stated, but then you might have met some nasty Spetznaz operators dressed as civvy truck drivers on your way up to the Weser and not quite got there.

I spent my time looking at lots of really good photographs of WGF in Eastern Germany, working out their orbats etc, watching how their exercises usually ended as a complete fuck up in the Letzlinger Heide or Juterbog training areas.
quote]

The NVA had plenty of "civvy" co-drivers roaming around West Germany, usually getting "lost" whilst very close to British Army units or Uncle Sams Army units.
The piccies of WGF aerial piccies or ground shots? I think I know where the aerial shots came from, on 60 Sqn we had one a/c with lots of cameras that did a once a week trip to Berlin and photographed every single inch of the ground. Uncle Sams Air Force and the Frogs did the same.
 
#13
Weren't the Reforger exercises to practice the whole movement of men and mating same with pre-positioned materel. Last one I remember was about 87, but was too sproggy to appreciate the bigger picture then.I think they lasted about two weeks but don't remember enough to be more precise on timings etc.

Slightly off topic, I seem to remember that we expected to retreat to the Ruhr, then if we still couldn't stop them buckets of instant sunshine, then endex. The idea being either they stopped at that or retaliated, in which case MAD.

Ahh the cold war.
 
#14
Drlligaf said:
The piccies of WGF aerial piccies or ground shots? I think I know where the aerial shots came from, on 60 Sqn we had one a/c with lots of cameras that did a once a week trip to Berlin and photographed every single inch of the ground. Uncle Sams Air Force and the Frogs did the same.
Yes, 60 Sqn flew the missions (it's all unclas now, wait till my mate Petriburg comes on here!). But it didn't ccover every inch of ground, only the air coridors upto Berlin and around teh city, but covered a large per centage of WGF units. Also used to see both ground and air imagery from the liaison missions.
 
#15
When I said every inch, I did of course mean the corridors, which covered lots of East German territory. There were also some very oblique shots of airfields over there, which I saw being used to brief pilots prior to a strike mission or perhaps Snowcat. Apparently some of Brüggens pilots flew the war sorties over the targets, post 1994 once we were allowed over there.
 
#16
Minnesota_Viking said:
Drlligaf said:
The piccies of WGF aerial piccies or ground shots? I think I know where the aerial shots came from, on 60 Sqn we had one a/c with lots of cameras that did a once a week trip to Berlin and photographed every single inch of the ground. Uncle Sams Air Force and the Frogs did the same.
Yes, 60 Sqn flew the missions (it's all unclas now, wait till my mate Petriburg comes on here!). But it didn't ccover every inch of ground, only the air coridors upto Berlin and around teh city, but covered a large per centage of WGF units. Also used to see both ground and air imagery from the liaison missions.
8) yep, I'm here...

If anyone's interested, the IWM at Duxford will be holding a "Special Interest Day" in September on the theme of "Covert Ops". Op HALLMARK is one of the topics and a presentation has been put together and is currently being "vetted" at MOD level.

One thing that Minnesota-Viking seems to have forgotten is watching the chaps of 35 MRD "de-bombing" their T-64Bs, then later T-80s, when doing "CES" checks. We could work out what their war load was from that, as they laid the whole lot out on tarps in front of the vehicle sheds.

And we looked at it in 3D!

Incidentally, the 60 Sqn Pembroke that was fitted for the HALLMARK runs (well, one of them at least) is now owned and flown by Air Atlantique up at Coventry. The sliding doors are still on the belly!
 
#18
Minnesota_Viking said:
Dwarf said:
However had they decided to go with a standing start using the divs in E Ger, then feeding in the rest on a come as you are basis, then how fast could they have started? Anyone got any hard gen on this?
Probably very quickly, tanks and BMP could be "bombed up" very quickly from garrision ammo dumps. All Divisional Transport Battalions and Army Transport Brigades were fully loaded with 2nd line ammo and POL. The sovs always practiced moving out in quick time and taking any vehicles already in maintenance with them.

The problem was that once they stated moving they were very doctrinal and long, long columns of vehicles would be moving along very slowly providing fantastic targets for air strikes, which would have fucked them up no end.
Sure, but they would have had to cross the border first, and then they would have been deployed for the game, at least in the initial echelons.
 
#19
Dwarf said:
Sure, but they would have had to cross the border first, and then they would have been deployed for the game, at least in the initial echelons.
Certainly 3 Shock Army and 8 Guards Army EDAs were very close up to the border areas, and would have deplouyed into Line of March formation on exiting them to cross the border, but it was the logistic tail that would have been their downfall.

Petriburg said:
One thing that Minnesota-Viking seems to have forgotten is watching the chaps of 35 MRD "de-bombing" their T-64Bs, then later T-80s, when doing "CES" checks. We could work out what their war load was from that, as they laid the whole lot out on tarps in front of the vehicle sheds.
Rubbish man, it was 90 GTD in Bernau, you might have considered yourself the Duke of Doeberitz but the Bernau Boys gave up the most int!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
#20
I remember reading (after the fall of the wall) that the East German army had some thing like 75%+ of their army on 24hrs notice to move, all bombed up and ready to go, and that on their own they would have been enough to knacker BAOR, esp if they moved on a Sunday morning. Rumour or confirmed?
 

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