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#41 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 1434 PM

Oh man, would I have found THAT useful 15 years ago. :D

 

Thanks, that genuinely interesting.


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#42 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 1437 PM

This has been posted many time (and I know you have seen it Retac) but its still one of the best sources ive seen for Cold War military units.

http://coldwargamer.blogspot.co.uk/


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#43 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 1447 PM

Also, the USMLM report for 1983 can be found here.

http://www.coldwarsp...s/uh1983cpr.pdf

 

Cant notice anything obviously odd about that year. If there was any indication of Soviet Fighters parked up with Tactical Nuclear weapons on them (as was one claim) then it presumably wasnt USMLM that saw it.


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#44 shep854

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 1831 PM

What sort of priority did the Sovs actually place on taking control of the Bosphorus/Dardanelles?  In my limited understanding, they coveted unrestricted access to open seas pretty seriously.


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#45 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 0258 AM

Well it was always an ambition of the Tsars to establish a warm water port for Russia, and that ambition extended to Stalin. When I was researching a war-game project some months ago, I stumbled on the Wiki link to the Turkish Straits Crisis. Like Persia, it was one of those forgotten crises that marked the early cold war that everyone seems to have forgotten about. Even the Turks, or so it seems. It seems to have  directly precipitated their entry into NATO.

 

https://en.wikipedia..._Straits_crisis

 

As it turned out, the Soviets were not quite as restricted by the treaty as they thought. It kept aircraft carriers out of the Black Sea, and when they really DID need to reinforce in a hurry (as in October 1973) they didnt have much problem matching the Americans nearly vessel for vessel, partly by forward basing in open anchorages in the Med, partly by reinforcement from the Atlantic, and partly because the treaty was written with destroyers and Cruisers given reasonable terms. ( think it was something like a Cruiser and 2 or 3 or so Destroyers in 24 hours) By the 1970's, such vessels had become considerably more capable.

 

As for how much priority, well they would probably have had a go if there had been a war in Germany. I think one has to view it as a means of pushing US carriers and submarines away as far as possible from the USSR, and in a Third World War i think that would have been massively important to them. Probably as important as reducing Norway. It would have presented us with a major problem, what was more important to reinforce, Norway or Turkey, because I think we would have been truly stretched to have done both. I dont personally believe any east west conflict would have JUST been restricted to Germany. The range of the weapons of the time precluded that.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 28 February 2018 - 0302 AM.

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#46 shep854

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 0849 AM

Thanks, Stuart!


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#47 BansheeOne

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 0908 AM

There was the time when the USSR threatened to occupy the Albanian port of Vlorë after Enver Hoxha renounced their lease of a submarine base there following the ideological split in 1961:

 

After World War II and the beginning the communist regime, the port was leased to the Soviet Union as a submarine base, and played an important part in the conflict between Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha and Nikita Khrushchev in 1960 to 1961, as the Soviet Union had made considerable investments in the naval facilities at nearby Pasha Liman Base and objected strongly to the loss of them as a consequence of Albania denouncing the USSR as 'revisionist' and taking the Chinese side in the split in the world communist movement. The Soviet Union threatened to occupy Vlora with Soviet troops in April 1961, and cut off all Soviet economic, military and technical aid to Albania. The threat was not carried out, as a result of the simultaneous development of the Cuban missiles crisis, but Hoxha realized how vulnerable Albania was, and, after the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, he built the hundreds of thousands of concrete bunkers that still litter the entire Albanian landscape.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Vlorë#History

 

The Soviets probably also realized that invading Albania would have been geographically challenging for them, to say the least ...


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#48 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 0930 AM

IIRC, they had some submarines there at the time (Whiskey's and Romeo's IIRC) that the Albanians confiscated when the Soviets left. The Albanians subsequently threw in their lot with Mao for a while, just to piss the Soviets off further. Then they annoyed China and Split from them too. :D

 

Speaking of Albanians, there was this little known incident in the early cold war. It illustrates quite what a hotbed of tensions the Mediterranean was at the time.

https://en.wikipedia...hannel_Incident


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#49 CT96

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 2318 PM

Its more a case of, with Southern Europe and Scandinavia not occupied or at least, dominated, the USSR was still strategically vulnerable to nuclear attack from theatre forces, such as Polaris or Carrier air. Which presumably (and im just reading this from their perspective) any victory that allowed any theatre nuclear weapons in play in Europe, would threaten any peace that could be negotiated. Thats just my view in any rate.

 

The US Naval War College did some political/strategic level wargames on this kind of thing, the basic results were published in a couple of post cold war books. I forget the name, but they often threw up completely surprising results based on apparently tiny issues. Well worth reading, if sometimes with a certain degree with incredulity. :)

 

This related to the Newport Papers on the Global War Game? 

1979-83 http://digital-commo...=newport-papers

1984-88 http://digital-commo...=newport-papers


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#50 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 1355 PM

That was it. Well done, I was racking my brains to think where I had seen that.

 

 

On a vaguely related note, here is some cool footage if found of Mig21s landing on an road.


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#51 CT96

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 2232 PM

I read those papers years ago. I think I was still at the Battle Command Training Program/National Simulation Center when I did so. Still had all the ETO maps and Red Army resources from gaming the Central Front 15+ years prior on some of the walls. 

 

What I found most wild about those studies is how you can see the lessons learned being applied in the Real World a year or three after the respective game.

 

My biggest takeaway was the lesson that once Nukes came into things, it became a game of escalation control and nothing else really mattered. 


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#52 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 0255 AM

That sounds like it was interesting work.

 

Ive a book written about 25 years ago on the gaming community in the US, specifically the military industrial one, and it actually touched on the Global wargame before it was officially declassified. Supposedly it was NOFORN, mainly because I guess they didnt want to signal they might trade X country in a Third World War. Considering some of the results seem to have been incredibly unlikely, I can hardly blame them.

 

I read somewhere that they took two valuable lessons from these games. That it was very difficult to get a Third World War started. But that when it was, it was nearly impossible to turn it off again.


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#53 CT96

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 1858 PM

Well, the earliest games were Navy only, and OPFOR was played by USN folks who attacked BLUEFOR at most fears. They expanded and drew in Intel people to play OPFOR leadership, and started bringing in Army and Air force to play instead of running a scripted central front. They very quickly learned than keeping the Carrier Task Forces out of danger wasn't possible, and wasted their resources - so they started pushing them forward aggressively to make their inevitable loss at least be paid for in the toll they extracted from OPFOR. As the complexity grew, and they started to involve actual representatives from BLUE National Command Authorities (IIRC the 83 one they WERE going to have POTUS actually participate, coincident with Able Archer and Reforger - which was just playing into the real RED paranoia that BLUE was going for it for real), and as they brought in more experts in the actual RED decision makers, they realized that it wasn't valid that on D-Day RED would drive hell-bent for leather for the Rhein river with no other cause forcing them to. The shenanigans the planners had to do to entice RED to actually start WWIII was significant. The OTHER lesson was that the standard BLUE position of a return to "status quo ante bellum" positions prior to negotiations was untenable - if the war could have been averted via negotiations under the status quo, they wouldn't have had the bellum. 

 

At the start of the land scenarios BLUE expected a short fight that they would lose. By the last one described they had started shifting to playing for the Long Game. Rather than expecting a fight of less than a week, they jumped into a scenario lasting *MUCH* longer, and they saw that BLUE could begin actually productive counterattacks that led to the very open question of stopping after reaching the Oder. Not to say the reality would have played out that way, but considering the early ones basically had the Red Army halfway to Paris, it shows an attitude and confidence shift. The last several scenarios that they cooked up to bring RED into hostilities eerily mirrored what actually happened in 1989. The 1989 game was, in fact, canceled as reality was playing out too fast for them to keep up, and the lessons learned during the preceding decade of games was clearly leveraged in the actual event to help bring about a peaceful end to the Cold War. Amazing to me to read, because I was front-row center as a dependent at US EUCOM and USAEUR 83-90. Reading this I understood the stress my father was under, and understand he was involved in some of those exercises in J-2.


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#54 Rick

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 1944 PM

Well, the earliest games were Navy only, and OPFOR was played by USN folks who attacked BLUEFOR at most fears. They expanded and drew in Intel people to play OPFOR leadership, and started bringing in Army and Air force to play instead of running a scripted central front. They very quickly learned than keeping the Carrier Task Forces out of danger wasn't possible, and wasted their resources - so they started pushing them forward aggressively to make their inevitable loss at least be paid for in the toll they extracted from OPFOR. As the complexity grew, and they started to involve actual representatives from BLUE National Command Authorities (IIRC the 83 one they WERE going to have POTUS actually participate, coincident with Able Archer and Reforger - which was just playing into the real RED paranoia that BLUE was going for it for real), and as they brought in more experts in the actual RED decision makers, they realized that it wasn't valid that on D-Day RED would drive hell-bent for leather for the Rhein river with no other cause forcing them to. The shenanigans the planners had to do to entice RED to actually start WWIII was significant. The OTHER lesson was that the standard BLUE position of a return to "status quo ante bellum" positions prior to negotiations was untenable - if the war could have been averted via negotiations under the status quo, they wouldn't have had the bellum. 

 

At the start of the land scenarios BLUE expected a short fight that they would lose. By the last one described they had started shifting to playing for the Long Game. Rather than expecting a fight of less than a week, they jumped into a scenario lasting *MUCH* longer, and they saw that BLUE could begin actually productive counterattacks that led to the very open question of stopping after reaching the Oder. Not to say the reality would have played out that way, but considering the early ones basically had the Red Army halfway to Paris, it shows an attitude and confidence shift. The last several scenarios that they cooked up to bring RED into hostilities eerily mirrored what actually happened in 1989. The 1989 game was, in fact, canceled as reality was playing out too fast for them to keep up, and the lessons learned during the preceding decade of games was clearly leveraged in the actual event to help bring about a peaceful end to the Cold War. Amazing to me to read, because I was front-row center as a dependent at US EUCOM and USAEUR 83-90. Reading this I understood the stress my father was under, and understand he was involved in some of those exercises in J-2.

Any authentic information from the real "Red" higher ups? One of the great things about this Grate Site, is that it has taught me its not the individual hardware or hardware systems, but the brains, especially higher grade officer brains, that really decide the outcomes. And the more respectful I am of the Red Army, not so much their Air Force and especially their Navy.


Edited by Rick, 05 March 2018 - 1948 PM.

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#55 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 0255 AM

Thanks for that CT96, thats really very interesting indeed.

 

The thing I find most interesting reading of these wargames is the difficulty the players had in getting people to think Red. By which I mean, dont think like honest Americans, but think like honest Communists instead. This was a large part of the reason for mirror imaging the Soviets, and why we embarked on such things as flexible response, when the Soviets didnt really think in such terms. Its a problem we still appear to have.


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#56 RETAC21

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 1316 PM

The Soviets had pretty much the same problems. You can read in the parallel history porject on NATO and the WP how NATO starts the war nuking Poland and East Germany with abandon right before the Red Storm unleashes and overruns Bad Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, etc. Which is exactly the same mindset displayed by Roman around here.

 

The Newport papers have an interesting one in which the Central front doesn't happen but there's plenty of action in the flanks, which would have been the most likely outcome. I have a book around here (Wargames by Thomas B Allen) that cronicles those year within the Pentagon, the amateur and what little was known of the Red gaming comunities. He notes wargames pretty much predicted Vietnam and that computers had to be brought in to go beyond the nuclear threshold because humans wouldn't do it if they could find a way to negotiate an alternative.


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#57 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 1344 PM

The Soviets had pretty much the same problems. You can read in the parallel history porject on NATO and the WP how NATO starts the war nuking Poland and East Germany with abandon right before the Red Storm unleashes and overruns Bad Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, etc. Which is exactly the same mindset displayed by Roman around here.

 

The Newport papers have an interesting one in which the Central front doesn't happen but there's plenty of action in the flanks, which would have been the most likely outcome. I have a book around here (Wargames by Thomas B Allen) that cronicles those year within the Pentagon, the amateur and what little was known of the Red gaming comunities. He notes wargames pretty much predicted Vietnam and that computers had to be brought in to go beyond the nuclear threshold because humans wouldn't do it if they could find a way to negotiate an alternative.

 

Yes, I remember reading of a Polish wargame where NATO attacks first, and they go on the glorious counteroffensive. Which of course seems to be the basis for what was being considered in 1983.

 

I might have that Thomas Allen book. There was another, much earlier, book on a similar subject called 'Wargaming' by Andrew Wilson. He relates wargaming efforts during the vietnam war to wargame COIN  and even an effort in 1972 to wargame a conflict in Thailand which seems to have been a sponsored effort to convince the DOD to buy more C-5's. I imagine a lot of that goes on.


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#58 TOW-2

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 2344 PM

One on Runway airstrips here.

 

 

 

Incidentally, the Exercise Lionheart videos above are excellent, there are about 10 of them. Its too bad its so damn difficult to record from Youtube or Id have burned this years ago.

 

Recording from Youtube is a breeze, really, with just one browser add-on.  I use it all the time!  Flash Video Downloader is the plugin I use.


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#59 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 0314 AM

Cheers for that Tow, Ill look into that.


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#60 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 0409 AM

Interesting podcast here on Able Archer 83, by the author of a new book. I find some of his views somewhat contradictory with the evidence so far, but see what you think.

https://www.acast.co...untitledepisode


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