Only 2 days of ammunition during the Cold War

#1
Say it isn't so fellas, say it isn't so!

British defences were so perilously low during the Cold War that the RAF's ammunition would have lasted for only two days if the Soviets had decided to launch an attack, official files reveal today.

The RAF's Phantom jets had enough firepower to defend the country for just two waves of attacks from Leonid Brezhnev's bombers.

And if enemy planes had slipped through, air defence missile batteries protecting key strategic targets could have been fired only twice before they, too, ran out of ammunition.

Further reading
 
T

trowel

Guest
#2
Spent a lot of time over the last few years working with ex- Eastern Bloc people. I have no facts and figures to offer but their overall opinion seems to me , is that they were so disorganized they couldn't take on a pack of Brownies.
 
#4
I can recall back in the early 1980's, when the Warsaw Pact still existed, being in a class where we spent most of the term playing with NATA vs Pact numbers in the Lanchester Equations. The work was arduous with a slide rule and I remember a classmate (Bless him) teaching me how to set the equations up in a brand new product called Lotus 1.2.3. As I recall, the Pact always won and whatever changes we made in weapon unit values only affected the number of days NATO could hold out.
 
B

BambiBasher

Guest
#5
Why so much? Half a day's worth would be all that was needed before someone lit up the bright lights over Europe.
 
#7
Agent-Oranje said:
The RAF's Phantom jets had enough firepower to defend the country for just two waves of attacks from Leonid Brezhnev's bombers.
Maybe, if we are just counting stocks held by the RAF but i doubt that the rest of NATO would have been left out of it. Is that against all of Leonids air power? If thats the case there wouldnt be enough sky over the UK for them, and i'm sure firing anything into that would result in a few kills as any avioding action would cause quite a lot of mid airs. :lol:
 
#8
Like Trowel, I've had alot of dealings with ex-Pact operatives. It was especially interesting to hear what they had to say back in 92, when memories were still fresh. Disorganised, drunk, demoralised, disinterested...that's just the Ds!!! I'm not sure the buckets of sunshine would have been slung about within 2 days though.......only when the Pact was pushed backto somewhere like Prague or Dresden.
 
#9
Two days is a surprise when in the big picture most NATO troops life expectancy was measured in minutes rather than hours. Then they asked why we all drank in BAOR :salut:
 
#10
Manpower and hardware moritoriums in 1980, I remember,
PS. there is a house somewhere near Herford that I paid for.
 
#11
cbgramc said:
Two days is a surprise when in the big picture most NATO troops life expectancy was measured in minutes rather than hours. Then they asked why we all drank in BAOR :salut:
Yep, we knew we were going to die, Just hold them up till the reinforcements arrived.
 
#12
Russian attack maths, 400 paras attack 1500 dug-in Argies at Goose Greeen and win. therefore 400 dug-in in BAOR = 1500 x 3 =4,500, Russians like a 10/1 attack ratio =45,000. not bad for 400 paras! I actually feel sorry for the 45,000 who were going to get their arse kicked.
 
#13
Agreed the whole thing was a farce on both sides from the early days to the end. Remember attending tewts, when you asked where this or that came from they would say you were being negative .The system only partially worked on Exercise everyone even then was committed to about 3 tasks .The other stock answer was that you will be reinforced by the TA.
I remember a particular question being asked by someone what happens to the families ? The answer was they would be taken to channel ports and airfields for move to UK after you left for your defence area .What in? coaches, which coaches ? x ones, Are they not stretcher carrying vehicles earmarked to move casualties? Pause yes, So what happens to the families? well they would be moved as and when resoruces became available.As we were only abour 100 km from the border we were told that we would only have about x hours to get out of barracks and start tasks .
One Snco said do you realy think guys are going to leave camp with their families in the house knowing that there is no transport for them? Well during the phase when we were facing them off there would be time to move the families .pause next question. Who delivers the mines ? X sqn RCT ,they are in NI yes they would come back ,when? and so it used to go on. Think the tactical Nuclear weapons would have been needed rather earlier in the fray. If its any consolation the other side were also in shit state from what i gather over the years .Those bloody Speznats were another worry always there bit like BMH Rinteln nurses :)
 
#14
DavidBOC said:
I can recall back in the early 1980's, when the Warsaw Pact still existed, being in a class where we spent most of the term playing with NATA vs Pact numbers in the Lanchester Equations. The work was arduous with a slide rule and I remember a classmate (Bless him) teaching me how to set the equations up in a brand new product called Lotus 1.2.3. As I recall, the Pact always won and whatever changes we made in weapon unit values only affected the number of days NATO could hold out.
Remember, we were NOT supposed to win, just lose slowly (Run the Batt into the ground).
 
#15
tapas said:
I remember a particular question being asked by someone what happens to the families ? The answer was they would be taken to channel ports and airfields for move to UK after you left for your defence area .What in? coaches, which coaches ? x ones, Are they not stretcher carrying vehicles earmarked to move casualties? Pause yes, So what happens to the families? well they would be moved as and when resoruces became available.As we were only abour 100 km from the border we were told that we would only have about x hours to get out of barracks and start tasks .
One Snco said do you realy think guys are going to leave camp with their families in the house knowing that there is no transport for them?
Weren´t they supposed to be extracted by train?
 
#16
If it kicked off you knew that you had a 90% + chance of dying in the first 48 hours (in my trade anyway). Let's have a beer or several. Armies are not designed to loose, but BAOR was. (remember your map sets).
 
#17
And all these figures worked out on the supposition that,the East Germans,Poles,Checkslovacks,Hungarians,etc,would join with their Soviet comrades,in moving West at a great rate of knots.

Also how much ammo,did the WP have near the IGB(that we didn't know about),and how good was the WP logistics chain ('kin useless). :wink:
 
#18
RoofRat said:
And all these figures worked out on the supposition that,the East Germans,Poles,Checkslovacks,Hungarians,etc,would join with their Soviet comrades,in moving West at a great rate of knots.

Also how much ammo,did the WP have near the IGB(that we didn't know about),and how good was the WP logistics chain ('kin useless). :wink:
Remember, run the Battalion into the ground, WP played pluck and chuck, SAM 7/9's in Afghanistan seems to ring a bell.
 
#19
I was in Budapest in 1987. Quite enlightening. Russian soldiers on the streets with guns, Hungarian soldiers without. Who was afraid of who? In Czechoslovakia, the normal drafting technique was to post Slovaks in Czech part and Czechs in Slovakia because they were just as worried about internal insurgence as about us and didn't want squaddies ( conscripts, that is) refusing to shoot their own. The Eastern bloc was never going to operate as a single, well-oiled machine. The majority of soldiers from the satellite states would have crossed the border. shot the nearest Russians and defected!
 
T

trowel

Guest
#20
Fifteen years ago I, and about twenty others, had the dubious pleasure of working on an islnd in the Baltic. Over the way from our workplace was what had been a Speznats training camp. The locals were a bit stand offish at first, but gradually they opened up a bit. They had many a tale to tell of the drunken antics of these specialists, ie beach party drownings, stabbings, and general uselessness. One of our lot, a Geordie bloke ex RM, was of the opinion that it was probably just as well that the general unreadiness of the opposition wasn't common knowledge.
 

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