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

B

blindfire

Guest
#22
flamingo said:
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?
Yes but, this is all theory.. we(a Rapier sqn) were on permanent 12hrs notice - but reality is somewhat different...u/s equipment etc.
So what is on paper is in real life rather different..no surprises there.
 
#23
blindfire said:
flamingo said:
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?
Yes but, this is all theory.. we(a Rapier sqn) were on permanent 12hrs notice - but reality is somewhat different...u/s equipment etc.
So what is on paper is in real life rather different..no surprises there.
I'll tread gently around OPSEC, by just saying that an awful lot of "theories" proved utterly wrong, when considering WP capabilities, after the collapse. There were a lot of "theories" and "assessments" that were, in the light of the real facts, proved to be ... not very robust?
 
#24
Ord_Sgt said:
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.
Yep - REFORGER...................REturn of FORces to GERmany! :wink:
 
#25
soprano54 said:
Ord_Sgt said:
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.
Yep - REFORGER...................REturn of FORces to GERmany! :wink:
aka "The Political Gesture That Will Make You Think Again" :lol:
 
#26
blue-sophist said:
blindfire said:
flamingo said:
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?
Yes but, this is all theory.. we(a Rapier sqn) were on permanent 12hrs notice - but reality is somewhat different...u/s equipment etc.
So what is on paper is in real life rather different..no surprises there.
I'll tread gently around OPSEC, by just saying that an awful lot of "theories" proved utterly wrong, when considering WP capabilities, after the collapse. There were a lot of "theories" and "assessments" that were, in the light of the real facts, proved to be ... not very robust?
I have read that the quality of thier equipment was overestimated but thier was a sh1tload of it as the the saying goes quantity has a quality of it's own.
 
#27
joey_deacons_lad said:
[quote="blue-sophist]
I'll tread gently around OPSEC, by just saying that an awful lot of "theories" proved utterly wrong, when considering WP capabilities, after the collapse. There were a lot of "theories" and "assessments" that were, in the light of the real facts, proved to be ... not very robust?
I have read that the quality of thier equipment was overestimated but thier was a sh1tload of it as the the saying goes quantity has a quality of it's own.[/quote]
Only if the quantity [of which there was lots] was ...
1. Serviceable
2. Competently operated
3. Competently managed
4. Re-supplied

Game Set and Match to NATO, IMO. :wink:
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#28
I heard that NATO exercises would cease as the order for nuke release was given, as it was regarded pointless to train for the scenario?
 
#29
A full Colonel at the then RAC Tactics School, who had commanded 16/5 lancers, told us he had the opportunity to talk to an ex-commander of Third Shock Army after peace had broken out. He asked what the (former)bad guys opinion of the "British Plan" had been. The reply was along the lines of "Well we were aware of it but essentially ignored it since nothing you could have done would have stopped our timetable". The Col explained that the point of the story was not the-painfully obvious-banjoeing we would have received but that they really were going to do it!
 
#30
My concern was not how much warning? But how much use would the politicians make of it?

I could see them refusing to mobilise, even cancelling scheduled exercises, in order to “reduce tension” and achieve “peace in our time.”
 
#31
ObnoxiousJockGit said:
A full Colonel at the then RAC Tactics School, who had commanded 16/5 lancers, told us he had the opportunity to talk to an ex-commander of Third Shock Army after peace had broken out. He asked what the (former)bad guys opinion of the "British Plan" had been. The reply was along the lines of "Well we were aware of it but essentially ignored it since nothing you could have done would have stopped our timetable". The Col explained that the point of the story was not the-painfully obvious-banjoeing we would have received but that they really were going to do it!
It would have been interesting to see how their "timetable" would have survived the "first encounter with the Enemy".

"It all looked so wonderful on paper", but somehow I suspect [perhaps due to "Brand Loyalty"] that things would started to go tits-up for the WP after the first 48 hours ... when reality, as opposed to the Commissar's Directive and the Colonel-General's Higher Directive proved as useful as the Soviet Economic Plan.
 
#32
Mobat said:
My concern was not how much warning? But how much use would the politicians make of it?

I could see them refusing to mobilise, even cancelling scheduled exercises, in order to “reduce tension” and achieve “peace in our time.”
Be grateful it all happened before Broon and Bliar.
I do believe Maggie would have said "Fukc Them" or something similar :lol:
 
#33
blue-sophist said:
Mobat said:
My concern was not how much warning? But how much use would the politicians make of it?

I could see them refusing to mobilise, even cancelling scheduled exercises, in order to “reduce tension” and achieve “peace in our time.”
Be grateful it all happened before Broon and Bliar.
I do believe Maggie would have said "Fukc Them" or something similar :lol:
When I joined up it was Callaghan, and the bastard disbanded the Para Bdes.

I met Maggie at one of the 44 Para Bde disbandment functions and was much impressed.
 
#34
Mobat said:
blue-sophist said:
Mobat said:
My concern was not how much warning? But how much use would the politicians make of it?
I could see them refusing to mobilise, even cancelling scheduled exercises, in order to “reduce tension” and achieve “peace in our time.”
Be grateful it all happened before Broon and Bliar.
I do believe Maggie would have said "Fukc Them" or something similar :lol:
When I joined up it was Callaghan, and the fatherless disbanded the Para Bdes.
I met Maggie at one of the 44 Para Bde disbandment functions and was much impressed.
Sadly we can't use her now ... it would be like Brezhnev and those other elderly ones.

I'd forgotten Callaghan ... how time heals :lol:
 
#35
11 Hussars when part of 7 Armoured Brigade in sixties were on 2 hour standby to get out of Hohne,we just motored down to ranges and hid for an hour or so,then stood down, thankfully.Any major exercises in them days ended with defending forces 'going nuclear' after 3 days maximum.Presumably that was how long they thought we would last.
 
#36
brownhat said:
11 Hussars when part of 7 Armoured Brigade in sixties were on 2 hour standby to get out of Hohne,we just motored down to ranges and hid for an hour or so,then stood down, thankfully.Any major exercises in them days ended with defending forces 'going nuclear' after 3 days maximum.Presumably that was how long they thought we would last.
More a case of don't keep playing a losing hand ... no mileage for NATO in going into an attrition battle with the Russians. Napoleon and Hitler showed what happens.

So NATO would have to play the Big N card early, and then ... MAD. Which is possibly/probably why the WP never went for it. Even the "living dead" running The Kremlin could work that one out.

Instead, they were just gently [and continuously] bankrupted by trying to keep up with the West, while at the same time they were increasingly pi66ing off the population as all the money went into "Defence", which I believe is where we won the War 8)
 
#37
I think with the benefit of hindsight they weren't as capable as we gave them credit for. A loose analogy I know, but Iraq were using soviet tactics and essentially equipment and were outclassed by a country mile. I suspect the Soviets would have given us a good kicking but I don't think it would have been the walkover a lot predicted.

Either way thank god it never happened.
 
#38
We all probably know that the Sovs would have (if they thought long enough) crossed the IGB at Christmas time when we were all on leave or bladded - rapid advance as per tactics. Us caught out and the fall back routine initiated. Weser crossed - BOOM! (******* BIG BOOM!)

Don't forget that our planning relied on the fact that a 'tank' (Chieftain etc) couldn't effect a rapid manouevre through those German forests - pity the Sovs had T-64s and T-72s which could have ran through said forests like Linford Christie from a dope test!

Just a (simplified) theory mind!
 
#39
Over4MeNow said:
We all probably know that the Sovs would have (if they thought long enough) crossed the IGB at Christmas time when we were all on leave or bladded - rapid advance as per tactics. Us caught out and the fall back routine initiated. Weser crossed - BOOM! (* BIG BOOM!)

Don't forget that our planning relied on the fact that a 'tank' (Chieftain etc) couldn't effect a rapid manouevre through those German forests - pity the Sovs had T-64s and T-72s which could have ran through said forests like Linford Christie from a dope test!

Just a (simplified) theory mind!
As Mrs B_S always says, timing is everything.

However, even a standing start on Christmas Day would have been preceded by the dreaded "Indicators" ... the prospects of a genuine surprise [without even the vaguest hint from HUMINT, SIGINT or political cues] is not really credible.

I could say more, but I'd have to shoot you first :wink:
 
#40
Blue

Oh those CI's!

A change in symmetry (it wasn't called that then), the rise in oil prices, a new vision from the East, food wars etc etc. (Remember Div Recce?)

Still didn't get by the fact that the Threat was largely underplayed and potentially misread. Granted, and thankfully, it never played out.

I thought we used to have to shred each other in the event of a mutual compromise - the advent of gun crime I suppose!
 

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