Preparing for Nuclear War with the British Army

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Years after the wall came down I found myself in Bulgaria DS on a NATO PFP exercise

One of our hosts was an ex Bulgarian SF type who took much pleasure telling me that an entire SF division was earmarked for the annihilation of the UK nuke capability within hours of startex. Including, for instance, descending on Munster and killing every man jack of 8 Regt RCT in their beds. Even years later he retained an encyclopedic knowledge of all the Regimental personalities of the time. Quite chilling.
They might have descended on Munster, but WSG would have been well deployed by then. I imagine the much vaunted Bulgarian parachutists would have been shot out of the sky on the way in and those who managed to get to the ground would have been beaten to death with spades by the local Germans as ‘terrorflieger’.

Old habits die hard.
 
They might have descended on Munster, but WSG would have been well deployed by then. I imagine the much vaunted Bulgarian parachutists would have been shot out of the sky on the way in and those who managed to get to the ground would have been beaten to death with spades by the local Germans as ‘terrorflieger’.

Old hobbies die hard.
FTFY.
 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

Truxx

LE
They might have descended on Munster, but WSG would have been well deployed by then. I imagine the much vaunted Bulgarian parachutists would have been shot out of the sky on the way in and those who managed to get to the ground would have been beaten to death with spades by the local Germans as ‘terrorflieger’.

Old habits die hard.
Who knows how it would have turned out. But it was clear that the plan was to go early and go hard. Match that with the inevitable western reluctance to make a move that might have been viewed as escalatory and I think that our carefully choreographed crash outs and pitiful protection could have been given a run for its money. I think my interlocutor reciting the names of all the folks in 8 at the time, certainly down to Sqn Commander level, was quite unnerving.
 

itchy300

Old-Salt
Did they mention a date on when the presentation would be on YT?

I joined at a time when CBRN successfully transitioned from being on the back burner to annoying annual distraction so it'd be interesting to see what actually went into preparing for operations under a CBRN treat
 
I had a job to take a couple of brigadiers in a Lynx to do a handover recce of the Task Force Charlie area. There was some discussion of the use of tac nukes in certain areas along with minefields used to channel enemy etc.

During the conversation one of the brigs stopped and said “pilot can you hear me?” When I said I could be told me that when we got back I was to shut down as he wanted a word.

Basically, he reminded me and my crewman of our responsibility to obey the Official Secrets Act - quite strongly.
 

The Assassin

On ROPS
On ROPs
I had a job to take a couple of brigadiers in a Lynx to do a handover recce of the Task Force Charlie area. There was some discussion of the use of tac nukes in certain areas along with minefields used to channel enemy etc.

During the conversation one of the brigs stopped and said “pilot can you hear me?” When I said I could be told me that when we got back I was to shut down as he wanted a word.

Basically, he reminded me and my crewman of our responsibility to obey the Official Secrets Act - quite strongly.
What did they say?
 

The Assassin

On ROPS
On ROPs
Did they mention a date on when the presentation would be on YT?

I joined at a time when CBRN successfully transitioned from being on the back burner to annoying annual distraction so it'd be interesting to see what actually went into preparing for operations under a CBRN treat
May be another month or so when they post it on youtube, will post the link when it does
 
Who knows how it would have turned out. But it was clear that the plan was to go early and go hard. Match that with the inevitable western reluctance to make a move that might have been viewed as escalatory and I think that our carefully choreographed crash outs and pitiful protection could have been given a run for its money. I think my interlocutor reciting the names of all the folks in 8 at the time, certainly down to Sqn Commander level, was quite unnerving.

This reminds me I don't really have a clear idea of the relationship between the GSFG and the other Warsaw Pact countries - were the Bulgarians deployed to Germany? IIRC there was some specialization of roles (Poles = Amphibious, Czechs = Chemical, apparently Bulgaria = cold-blooded assassination)

EDIT: Georgy Markov! that *was* definitely a cold blooded Bulgarian assassination
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Who knows how it would have turned out. But it was clear that the plan was to go early and go hard. Match that with the inevitable western reluctance to make a move that might have been viewed as escalatory and I think that our carefully choreographed crash outs and pitiful protection could have been given a run for its money. I think my interlocutor reciting the names of all the folks in 8 at the time, certainly down to Sqn Commander level, was quite unnerving.
Knowing who was in 8 Regt was unnerving enough without the Bulgarians getting involved.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I was once detached to 8 for an ex with B troop. Holy smoke - after a week I would quite happily have helped the Bulgarians out.
As the only other RCT unit in Arty Div they used to make me laugh - when they turned up with their 4 tonners to much derision from my blokes.
 
Tactical nukes - command and control - I’m curious.

My understanding is that use of nuclear weapons would be authorized by NATO, presumably after political consensus outside the military sphere. Presidents and PMs agree, SACEUR is then given authority to use at least tactical weapons.

My curiosity is around the subsequent bit of that. I would imagine there were only a few hundred, perhaps a thousand tactical warheads. Varying in size from sub 1kT to maybe 100kT. Certain tactical situations would be best solved with a nuclear solution, say enemy armour had broken through own fwd lines, and were approaching a natural feature where they could be stopped with immense firepower. Say the Corps Commander of the relevant area anticipates this, and requests authority from SACEUR. SACEUR says yes, and operation is carried out. The genie is now out of the bottle.

Enemy retaliates and wipes out a NATO Div with (tactical) nuclear attack. It’s all going for a ball of chalk at that point, assuming cooler heads don’t prevail and de-escalate. SACEUR can’t get involved in every decision to launch every nuclear weapon. Delegate to Corps Commanders? What if Corps Main HQ is the target of the retaliation and no longer exists. Delegate to Div Comd? And all the way down to the most junior officer. I can’t see 2Lt Fcuknuts RA taking a decision to nuke say Essen because Ivan’s in town and his CoC is broken. Tp Sgt - “are you sure that’s wise Sir?”. “No, Sgt, I’m not, but we’re somewhat fcuked here.“

That must all have been anticipated, and perhaps some/all of this is still classified, but I find it quite interesting.
 

Houseman

Old-Salt
Tactical nukes - command and control - I’m curious.

My understanding is that use of nuclear weapons would be authorized by NATO, presumably after political consensus outside the military sphere. Presidents and PMs agree, SACEUR is then given authority to use at least tactical weapons.

My curiosity is around the subsequent bit of that. I would imagine there were only a few hundred, perhaps a thousand tactical warheads. Varying in size from sub 1kT to maybe 100kT. Certain tactical situations would be best solved with a nuclear solution, say enemy armour had broken through own fwd lines, and were approaching a natural feature where they could be stopped with immense firepower. Say the Corps Commander of the relevant area anticipates this, and requests authority from SACEUR. SACEUR says yes, and operation is carried out. The genie is now out of the bottle.

Enemy retaliates and wipes out a NATO Div with (tactical) nuclear attack. It’s all going for a ball of chalk at that point, assuming cooler heads don’t prevail and de-escalate. SACEUR can’t get involved in every decision to launch every nuclear weapon. Delegate to Corps Commanders? What if Corps Main HQ is the target of the retaliation and no longer exists. Delegate to Div Comd? And all the way down to the most junior officer. I can’t see 2Lt Fcuknuts RA taking a decision to nuke say Essen because Ivan’s in town and his CoC is broken. Tp Sgt - “are you sure that’s wise Sir?”. “No, Sgt, I’m not, but we’re somewhat fcuked here.“

That must all have been anticipated, and perhaps some/all of this is still classified, but I find it quite interesting.
Weapons release was very tightly controlled. We deployed with a US detachment with direct communication to the White House and we had direct link to Number 10. Without the ok from both nothing happened.
 

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