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

#41
I understood quite a bit of that ... :lol:

I would know nothing about Div recce, as my avatar might indicate [OMG, another missed indicator .... ]

IMO The Threat was massively overplayed [and over-estimated] but that is, of course, with the blessed benefit of hindsight.

Having spent a substantial part of the Cold War at an assortment of guaranteed Primary Targets, it was all largely academic. I would go to work, and either go home at the end of the day or ... float, as a dwindling speck of dust ... which was actually quite a comfortable thought. I don't think The Aftermath was going to be a nice place to be.
 
#42
Can anyone remember the little boxes kept around certain places ?

If you turned the sound up you got a regular ticking noise. Once a year there would be a test message delivered in a very posh voice with instructions in the event the ' Bloc ' was now shopping in Gieves and Hawkes, Portsmouth Harbour.
 
#43
I always wondered how close Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising was to the way things would have worked out.
I know its a work of fiction but seemed very well researched way back when I first read it.
Way back in the day everybody seemed to think 3rd Shock would find the BAOR nothing more than a slight traffic hold up on their route West.
Personally I always thought sheer weight of numbers would carry them a good way but they would be stopped way before they could take afternoon tea in Paris
 
#44
There were some very sound strategies put in place in the late seventies by the Iron Lady. Firstly, the granting of the Edmund Davies pay award to the civil cops. It came with a message - you will earn it.

Then, in the eighties, the taking on of the left wing within the local councils, industry, and more especially those involved in organised social instability.

Liverpool and London sorted. Then the left activists in industry, coal, motor, newspapers got it.

The Soviet had a plan - destroy the morale of the Police and the Army and you will have the country. It never happened here.
 
#47
JoseyWales said:
Can anyone remember the little boxes kept around certain places ?

If you turned the sound up you got a regular ticking noise. Once a year there would be a test message delivered in a very posh voice with instructions in the event the ' Bloc ' was now shopping in Gieves and Hawkes, Portsmouth Harbour.
Yes! There was one in my fathers (civvy) place of work for a while. His staff would amuse themselves by pretending to play ping-pong with it. Never heard it deliver a test message live though.
 
#48
Minnesota_Viking said:
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ARRSE!! :wink:

It was 62 MR Regt doing a kit check... The only reason you didn't see it was that you'd lost your specs - again :twisted:

8)
 
#49
blue-sophist said:
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.


Never mind the first encounter with the enemy...

I reckon that when the recce elms hit the first Aldis/Kaisers/Kaufhof, the whole bloody lot would have come to a grinding halt whilst the largest pi$$up that Europe had ever seen broke out! :wink:
 
#50
blue-sophist said:
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:
IIRC it ran, Military Vigilance as the first stage...then Simple Alert, onto Reinforced Alert and finally General Alert.
 
#51
blue-sophist said:
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)
I thought that too. That's why I think that the expansion of the TA in 1988 was an element in breaking the Soviet System. It was a very economical way of generating a large and effective army. Shame about Options for Change though :roll:
 
#52
Posted a fair while ago about the 'job' we had whist everyone else was running around on 'Lionheart' '84. Make a long necklace of the biggest fireworks in the local arsenal in REMF BAOR when sufficient notice had been received that Ivan was on the move. Poo hitting the fan? tactical withdrawal with route denial on the biggest scale imaginable. End Ex!
 
#53
blue-sophist said:
It would have been interesting to see how their "timetable" would have survived the "first encounter with the Enemy.
To coin a phrase, no plan survives contact with the enemy...
 
#54
jagman said:
I always wondered how close Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising was to the way things would have worked out.
I know its a work of fiction but seemed very well researched way back when I first read it.
I first read that in 1987, whilst sitting just inside the edge of a wood watching a railway line... Having to put down the book, then count kit on trains heading into a big WARPAC TA was quite something... My boss had also read the book and we had some interesting discussions that evening, even deeper in the forest.

Does anyone else here recall an Active Edge in 1987 when we all bombed out fully loaded for bear? Even our 10 tonners were readied to head for Dulken (?) to pick up the electric darts... And there wasn't the usual "friendly tip-off" from HQ 1 (BR) Corps either... 8O
 
#55
General Sir John Hackett & "others" wrote 2 very good books in the lat 70's about their expectations of WW3. They were designed as a warning to the west but did paint a vivid picture of the thinking of the time.

Like Blue says there was no expectation of a total surprise attack.

They also thought it would be a close run thing. :bom:
 
#56
Didn't each Soviet Army Group have one Regt at 100% operational readiness, ready to go at a couple of hrs notice, just to get an armored formation deep into NATO rear areas ?
john
 
#57
I was with a Nuclear missile reg in the late 80`s,and was told that when the order to launch was given and once rounds were expended our regiment was disbanded and we would fill Infantry reg as BCR`s,hoping our efforts had slowed them down a bit.
I was also told because the role our reg carried out,in the event of a possible war with the Reds,we would have to fight our way out the camp gates......just like your average friday/saturday night!!!
 
#58
Petriburg said:
Never mind the first encounter with the enemy...

I reckon that when the recce elms hit the first Aldis/Kaisers/Kaufhof, the whole bloody lot would have come to a grinding halt whilst the largest pi$$up that Europe had ever seen broke out! :wink:
I liked the theory which said we would be over-run with deserters :)

msr
 
#59
Had a chance to think while having my morning swim.
The Soviets formed Operational Manouver Groups of Regimental strength, in the late 70s or very early 80's.
The rest of War Pact, 3 rd Shock, in BAOR's case where at lets say 75% manning for Men and equipment but the OMG was kept at full readiness and was expected to fight the 'Encounter' Battle with NATO while the rest of 3 rd Shock caught up, probably in the Springe Gap.
john
One of our Pilots stopped with the US Armored Regt in the Fulda Gap and he told us that the US formation had their veichals fully packed, ready to go and tok supplies from the wagons as normal practice.
 
#60
Ok, another silly question.

How many chickens were needed to keep the UK controlled (noeffing keys) nuclear bombs buried in germany operational in the cold??????????????????????????????
 

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