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NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/23/2014 3:19:11 PM   
Tazak

 

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Found this while looking up information about BAOR intel gathering capabilities

Strategy and Counter-Surprise: Intelligence within BAOR and NATO’s Northern Army Group

Its a google search that links to a PDF document which explores BAOR intel of various kinds including stay behind units, SAS and LRRP deploying behind lines, towards the end in the conclusion is this piece that looks at the lessons NATO took away from the 1973 Arab Israeli war;
quote:

NATO is confident of and requires 48 hours warning of an attack in Europe because of the scale of preparations necessary for even a limited attack. However, in a situation similar to the Central front, the Israeli's vaunted intelligence system noted all the indicators and failed to construe them correctly. NATO might do no better, and a close and careful reappraisal of our intelligence collection methods and analysis procedures is indicated.


Would NATO really have read the warning signs correctly
What kinds of human error could happen (e.g. that radar watch officer at Pearl harbour)
What war preparation can or does look like a peace time activity

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/23/2014 4:54:37 PM   
Sabre21


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There was so much over-lapping intel sources throughout the west that it would have been next to impossible to take a leak next to the border without someone knowing it.

From the constant patrolling on the ground and the air by the ACR's, Bundesgrunschutz, and various other military entities, to the 24/7 monitoring of the airwaves, telephone system, and layered radar coverage the problem would have been only if the civilian heads of state couldn't decide whether to mobilize reserves or not.

I got to visit one of the several underground facilities operated by the Germans back in 84. This place was like a mini-Norad. Deep underground built to withstand anything but a direct Nuc hit. The facility could be closed off and could sustain personnel there for 6 months. It was built on giant springs to absorb blasts and was NBC protected. It controlled the air defense network in southern Germany. I think there were at least two other such facilities. Radar coverage was so good aircraft taking off from deep into Poland were being monitored the moment they got off the ground. Everything was linked so if one site went down the others could pick up the slack. This site near Ulm was called "Strawbasket".

While there, I got to watch an SR-71 fly the border that had taken off from England. The entire flight was 45 minutes from take-off to landing that covered all of the border from Fulda down to Hof then down the Czech border to Austria and then back home. The border was flown by SR-71's on a very regular basis. We even watched a pair of Mig-25's try and intercept the SR-71, they never even came close as the SR simply accelerated away from them. It was a dangerous game they always played.

On another occasion in 89 I was up at Coburg on border duty. At about 1a.m. some green tracers came across the border and in less than 30 minutes the entire squadron was at stand to at their border positions. Someone had tried to jump the fence and had got fired upon. This was just a few months before the Berlin wall came down.

It didn't take much to trigger an alert. We constantly practiced and then practiced even more. Everyone was required to have their field gear packed and ready to go at a moments notice. Even families that were over there had to have a travel bag already packed for evacuation. Whenever we got the dreaded "Lariat Advance" codeword, in less than 1 hour all unit personnel were on duty and the first vehicles and aircraft were departing for the GDP if necessary and families were being moved to relocation sites. Within 24 hours all the units would be at their GDP sites locked and loaded.

West Germany was an armed camp in those days always cocked and ready to fire. You couldn't drive down the autobahn very far without seeing some type of military unit in a convoy going to one place or another. The entire mindset was so different then than it is today. You couldn't go more than an hour away from your base without someone in the chain of command knowing where you were at, unless you were on leave.

Every avenue of approach coming from across the border had been surveyed, every possible kill zone was plotted to the point where primary and alternate battle positions were already created with azimuths and ranges to the target area recorded. We had 45 years to prepare for such a war and I'm just thank full WWIII never broke out, it would have been a bloody awful mess and while I am confident we would have stopped the red horde, there would have been no winners, only survivors.

< Message edited by Sabre21 -- 2/23/2014 8:32:12 PM >


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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/23/2014 7:55:21 PM   
Mad Russian


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OR if the Russians had employed maskirovka. Which is what I have them doing in FPC:RS.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/23/2014 10:06:24 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

OR if the Russians had employed maskirovka. Which is what I have them doing in FPC:RS.

Good Hunting.

MR


I'm sure they would have tried every trick in the book and then some to fool Nato. That's why the 48 to 72 hour warning was the most feared.

Thinking of surprises, do you plan on including any Soviet air assault or Spetznaz forces? I haven't read thru all the scenarios yet so didn't know if you already had those in there or not.

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 1:15:07 AM   
Mad Russian


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Have you seen Purple One?

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 2:19:46 AM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

Have you seen Purple One?

Good Hunting.

MR


I hadn't prior but just looked at it. Looks interesting, I'll definitely give it a go.

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 2:37:59 AM   
Mad Russian


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Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm is NATO's worst nightmare. They got 15 minutes warning. From a flat footed start they got to fight what would have been the most destructive war in human history.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 7:47:37 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabre21

There was so much over-lapping intel sources throughout the west that it would have been next to impossible to take a leak next to the border without someone knowing it.


I also think you are possibly conflating tactical military intelligence with political decision making and sufficient certainty.

The British Civil Service used to play a game with new ministers - designed essentially to scare them witless - called 'slice the salami'.

So they were told that ordering BAOR to its deployment zones would be treated by the Pact as a declaration of war. And then asked when they would do it.

Initially they would say, oh, if there is a Pact build up and clear intelligence etc etc.

So they'd get a scenario. Such as:

Minister the Soviets tell us a defector with key nuclear information has fled into West Berlin and wants to sell it to a radical Palestinian group. Since the material is top secret they insist that we let their special forces in and will send them in ... should we put BAOR on deployment?

Usually they'd say no

Bit later, minister, a firefight has broken out between Soviet special forces and West Berlin police. They have told us that 20 Gds Army will be deployed into Berlin to ensure there is no repetition. ... etc

With a bit of stress, and despite a mounting set of aggressive moods, they would often not allow BAOR to react till they were told that the Pact had crossed the border into West Germany.

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 11:30:47 AM   
british exil


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I suppose the ministers were sitting in a warm office in London and not in GHQ in Rheindalen, only a few hours drive/fighting from the German Borders?

Mat

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 2:00:28 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabre21

There was so much over-lapping intel sources throughout the west that it would have been next to impossible to take a leak next to the border without someone knowing it.


I also think you are possibly conflating tactical military intelligence with political decision making and sufficient certainty.

The British Civil Service used to play a game with new ministers - designed essentially to scare them witless - called 'slice the salami'.

So they were told that ordering BAOR to its deployment zones would be treated by the Pact as a declaration of war. And then asked when they would do it.

Initially they would say, oh, if there is a Pact build up and clear intelligence etc etc.

So they'd get a scenario. Such as:

Minister the Soviets tell us a defector with key nuclear information has fled into West Berlin and wants to sell it to a radical Palestinian group. Since the material is top secret they insist that we let their special forces in and will send them in ... should we put BAOR on deployment?

Usually they'd say no

Bit later, minister, a firefight has broken out between Soviet special forces and West Berlin police. They have told us that 20 Gds Army will be deployed into Berlin to ensure there is no repetition. ... etc

With a bit of stress, and despite a mounting set of aggressive moods, they would often not allow BAOR to react till they were told that the Pact had crossed the border into West Germany.


In the US sector the choice to deploy to the GDP was made by the military commanders. We did it on a regular basis. We also maintained a presence on the border 24/7. I spent many nights up there myself. So no, it wasn't an act of war, it was the nature of things at that time.

It would have been a political decision to deploy a full scale Reforger and activate Reserve/National Guard units. But in country forces, that was the USAREUR commander responsibility.

< Message edited by Sabre21 -- 2/24/2014 3:03:46 PM >


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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 2:18:43 PM   
Mad Russian


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I know of at least twice when the Warsaw Pact deployed to the border and NATO responded with a deployment of it's own. There was no act of war then either. Just a case of jittery nerves.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 4:28:54 PM   
Tazak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100
quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabre21
There was so much over-lapping intel sources throughout the west that it would have been next to impossible to take a leak next to the border without someone knowing it.

I also think you are possibly conflating tactical military intelligence with political decision making and sufficient certainty.
The British Civil Service used to play a game with new ministers - designed essentially to scare them witless - called 'slice the salami'.
So they were told that ordering BAOR to its deployment zones would be treated by the Pact as a declaration of war. And then asked when they would do it.
Initially they would say, oh, if there is a Pact build up and clear intelligence etc etc.
So they'd get a scenario. Such as:
Minister the Soviets tell us a defector with key nuclear information has fled into West Berlin and wants to sell it to a radical Palestinian group. Since the material is top secret they insist that we let their special forces in and will send them in ... should we put BAOR on deployment?
Usually they'd say no
Bit later, minister, a firefight has broken out between Soviet special forces and West Berlin police. They have told us that 20 Gds Army will be deployed into Berlin to ensure there is no repetition. ... etc
With a bit of stress, and despite a mounting set of aggressive moods, they would often not allow BAOR to react till they were told that the Pact had crossed the border into West Germany.


Awww they get to wind up MPs.....I'd love to do that , I'd have them phoning their families arranging to move to the mountains in wales (very little of military value in wales other than sheep!!)

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/24/2014 11:49:45 PM   
Combatengineerjrgmail


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Nice google search idea in the original post. Found the article, interesting reading after just a first glance. Even a poorly written article, which this does not appear to be, can point out much new info when you simply read the endnotes etc. This paper yielded this nugget:

http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/932/1/WRAP_Aldrich_0672848-240609-aldrich.intelligence_northag.jss.31.oct.07.finaldraft.pdf

Endnote 10>>>
quote:

Under the 'Flashpoint Plan' the UK expected it to take a full week to mobilise reserves and get
BAOR up to its wartime complement, see DEFE 7/1821, UK Public Record Office, memo. to Dell
(MoD), 'NATO Alert Measures', 25 Sept. 1961, (all file references are to the PRO unless otherwise
stated).


Plashpoint Plan.... Just what did you guys know when.....

:)

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 7:20:58 AM   
loki100


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Should say that I was deliberately picking up on the question in the first post, that managing full readiness was as much a case of interpretation of information and, for many NATO states, essentially a political decision process

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tazak

Awww they get to wind up MPs.....I'd love to do that , I'd have them phoning their families arranging to move to the mountains in wales (very little of military value in wales other than sheep!!)


och, once they'd got over this exercise (& it was made very real), the next one was around when to allow BAOR to use tactical nukes. Just to make it scary they were told that the UK would be hit by 8-9 Soviet thermonuclear strikes about 35 mins after first release of tactical weapons in Germany.

There is a brilliant, if played for comedy, rendition of this routine in the old British sitcom, 'Yes Minister'. As with so much in that series, the people who wrote it knew exactly what the reality of British governance was:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX_d_vMKswE

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 8:09:29 AM   
Tazak

 

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Check out this PDF link from an Canadian group - OPERATIONAL RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS ESTABLISHMENT

Starting at actual page 55, scenario 1: A Soviet Out-of-the- Blue Surprise Attack goes on to detail the soviet attack plan, the intriguing bit I find is the last sentence "For if surprise has in fact been lost - and this would be readily revealed by NATO's frantic recalling of pass personnel - the operation can be postponed to a more opportune time", how many times did NATO recall troops and start deploying?

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 2:16:55 PM   
Mad Russian


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Twice in the mid-70's that I recall. Both for interesting reasons and with interesting results.

First was when Turkey pulled out of NATO. We were, 'sent to the border' then as a deterrent. The other time the Warsaw Pact deployed to the border (I don't remember the reason now) and NATO responded in kind. When NATO deployed to the border at the time of Turkey's decision the Warsaw Pact also deployed. One side wasn't going to do a full deployment without the other taking a corresponding defensive posture. That's where the 'Out of the Blue' attack for FPC Red Storm came from. What chain of events could lead to a possible Soviet defensive stance that would make them nervous enough to lash out. Think Japan 1941 here.

When going back and reading the actual events of the times I'm totally amazed that world didn't go to war.

I'll look in my initial research and see if I can find the pre-war incidents. If I can find it I'll post that here. It's an amazing chain of actual events.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 4:53:21 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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Most of these discussions were the reason the old CFE monitors and the Military Liaison Missions were established.

If the Sov's put together an exercise of more the X number of troops, NATO had the option to give 24 hours notice of inspection, and then have observers on the ground, cameras in hand, to monitor and observe the exercise to ensure it wasn't an underhanded build up to war. They had the same agreements with us.
started here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki_Accords
later updated with a Stockholm document that I can't find online right now (but referenced here in the "Background" section http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Conventional_Armed_Forces_in_Europe#Background full-text PDF here: http://www.osce.org/fsc/41238 )

There was also the Military Liaison Missions - the US one was based in Potsdam - that had a limited number of officers (usually mid-career majors) who had credentials from the host nation to travel virtually anywhere they wanted and photograph almost anything they wanted.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_liaison_missions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_D._Nicholson

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 6:06:31 PM   
Sabre21


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Turkey? I never heard of that one. Turkey as far as I know was and still is a part of Nato. Now France pulled out politically in the late 50's but militarily, the ground forces were still dedicated to its defense.


As for the SMLM and USMLM guys, they were always present and stationed in the respective countries. LTC Nicholson was killed while on duty taking pics back in the 80's as a member of the USMLM team. I knew the guy and some of the stories he used to tell me were pretty wild.

< Message edited by Sabre21 -- 2/25/2014 7:14:18 PM >


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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 6:15:38 PM   
bayonetbrant

 

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Sabre, I imagine we have some mutual friends. About 2/3 of the team at the USMLM when Nicholson was killed were USARI classmates of my father.

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 6:35:05 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bayonetbrant

Sabre, I imagine we have some mutual friends. About 2/3 of the team at the USMLM when Nicholson was killed were USARI classmates of my father.


He was a major when I first met him back in 83 I think it was. I got selected to attend an Intell course down at Vilseck. I was an aviator then and when I showed up to the course it turned out to be for staff intel guys at brigade level and higher. I was as surprised as everyone else why I was there. Anyhoos, he was a guest speaker to the class and gave a good rundown on what USMLM was all about. I also got to meet the SSG that was his driver. I met him again later on not long before he was killed. They were the only 2 of the mission I met.

I did run into a couple of the SMLM team though up in Frankfurt at the PX.

< Message edited by Sabre21 -- 2/25/2014 7:38:16 PM >


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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 9:37:46 PM   
Mad Russian


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Maybe, they just threatened to pull out of NATO. I know whatever Turkey was involved in was enough to send us to the border on alert status.

No bullets of course. We didn't want anyone to get hurt protecting the Free World.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/25/2014 11:17:30 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

Maybe, they just threatened to pull out of NATO. I know whatever Turkey was involved in was enough to send us to the border on alert status.

No bullets of course. We didn't want anyone to get hurt protecting the Free World.

Good Hunting.

MR


It was probably the Greek - Turk fighting over Cyprus in the mid 70's that you might be thinking of. I know that caused a lot of commotion in Nato for quite a few years considering they are both members. I think at several times one or the other threatened to leave Nato due to the other.

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 12:43:09 AM   
jwarrenw13

 

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Yes, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, 1974. I was stationed in Germany at that time and involved in the preparation for a contingency operation related to that conflict that fortunately never occurred. It was a very dicey time. Among other things, we had tactical nukes deployed in both those nations at the time.

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 12:46:01 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabre21
Every avenue of approach coming from across the border had been surveyed, every possible kill zone was plotted to the point where primary and alternate battle positions were already created with azimuths and ranges to the target area recorded. We had 45 years to prepare for such a war


While this may have been true for many key border crossing areas, it was not true everywhere. I was in 1AD '87-'90 and our GDP was in the Arzberg-Marktredwitz corridor. Just during that time we had a couple of Task Force changes, change of commanders, and changes in battle positions. Those all took time for recons, coordination of basic plans, and communicating down to squad leader level. It was not perfect. If (big IF) we got 24-48 hours warning, uploaded and deployed, then we might have been ready for Day 1. Day 2 and beyond was even more speculative.

I participated in a VII Corps movement map exercise once where we executed the computer-generated movement schedule of all units from garrison to GDP, and it highlighted a number of issues. And that was for clear weather and no opposition. The whole REFORGER fantasy was the planners' ideal, having 10 days to prepare and 10 US divisions deployed to Germany. The reality would probably have been much less warning and utter chaos. Which is the premise for this game, which is fair enough. Grab your stuff and go, now! Movement to contact, hasty attack...

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 1:21:58 PM   
jds1978


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I for one don't believe the Western intel services would've gotten the hints in time. They blew the increase in Soviet alert status during ABLE ARCHER 83, the fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

(1st post.....howdy all!)

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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 2:31:27 PM   
Sabre21


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr


quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabre21
Every avenue of approach coming from across the border had been surveyed, every possible kill zone was plotted to the point where primary and alternate battle positions were already created with azimuths and ranges to the target area recorded. We had 45 years to prepare for such a war


While this may have been true for many key border crossing areas, it was not true everywhere. I was in 1AD '87-'90 and our GDP was in the Arzberg-Marktredwitz corridor. Just during that time we had a couple of Task Force changes, change of commanders, and changes in battle positions. Those all took time for recons, coordination of basic plans, and communicating down to squad leader level. It was not perfect. If (big IF) we got 24-48 hours warning, uploaded and deployed, then we might have been ready for Day 1. Day 2 and beyond was even more speculative.

I participated in a VII Corps movement map exercise once where we executed the computer-generated movement schedule of all units from garrison to GDP, and it highlighted a number of issues. And that was for clear weather and no opposition. The whole REFORGER fantasy was the planners' ideal, having 10 days to prepare and 10 US divisions deployed to Germany. The reality would probably have been much less warning and utter chaos. Which is the premise for this game, which is fair enough. Grab your stuff and go, now! Movement to contact, hasty attack...


You always have updates to plans, change of commands every couple years, and no doubt a few monkey wrenches thrown into the fray now and then. I was in 3rd ID from 83 to 85 and again 88 to 90, our TOC towns changed periodically. These were the initial assembly areas we would deploy to in time of war. They changed for a number of reasons but mostly for tactical considerations.

The data on the battle positions along with individual vehicle/aircraft firing positions was updated annually and that info was kept in the unit safe. These surveyed areas went from the border for about 40 kilometers deep as far as I know. Some units might not have gone that far, but when I was in an attack helicopter battalion, that's what we had. When I was in the Cav in 3rd ID, it was a different type mission so we didn't have the same requirements as the attack units did.

As for early warning detection, it's kind of hard to move 5 Soviet and 2 East German Armies out of their cantonment areas forward to the border without someone noticing it. Not to mention the trainloads of reinforcements, ammo, and supplies that would be needed for a major confrontation. Then take into account the number of aircraft that would have been moved into Poland and E. Germany. As I mentioned in another thread, an aircraft was monitored the moment it took off from as far away as central Poland. Two to three days would have been the worse case, most likely it would have been 7 to 10 days.

Major field exercises were always known ahead of time by the other side and usually coincided with an exercise of their own. These were always monitored by observers from the other side. This was all part of the post war treaty agreements. Any major movement of forces outside of the known ones would cause the other side to react accordingly.

On a side note, Able Archer was a command and control exercise testing for a nuclear war, not a ground force one. The Soviets new about it ahead of time but they over reacted and started to ready their own nuclear forces. Nato was aware of the WP nuclear capable air units in theatre that were put to a heightened state of alert. Both sides misread one another from a political perspective that caused a rise in tensions. If any major ground forces had been moved by either side, the other would have done the same, but neither side did.



< Message edited by Sabre21 -- 2/26/2014 4:18:48 PM >


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RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 9:36:11 PM   
mikeCK

 

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Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and are still members....not sure if they ever pulled out and re-entered but don't believe so. France did pull out of NATOs joint command as de Gaulle chaffed at the idea of French troops under the command of a non French commander. They remained a partner and pledged to assist in the defense of NATO (which would have been of minimal help frankly since they were outside the command structure....lack of unity of command is usually a mess....but that was de Gaulle

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 27
RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 10:41:00 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 8/12/2000
From: Monroe, LA, USA
Status: offline
I was stationed with the 8th ID in Germany twice, in the 70s as a track driver, and, after returning to finish college and get my commission, as an officer in the 80s. 8th ID was stationed west of the Rhine. The open question was whether we would even make it across the Rhine if the balloon went up.

(in reply to mikeCK)
Post #: 28
RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/26/2014 11:44:08 PM   
WABAC

 

Posts: 310
Joined: 1/25/2014
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quote:

Every avenue of approach coming from across the border had been surveyed, every possible kill zone was plotted to the point where primary and alternate battle positions were already created with azimuths and ranges to the target area recorded. We had 45 years to prepare for such a war


It would really be incredibly awesome if this sort of info was condensed into a terrain tip as it is for unit LOS. "If I stand over there, what can I see?"

Short of that I look forward to more topo-style maps.

(in reply to Sabre21)
Post #: 29
RE: NATO and 48 hours warning - 2/27/2014 9:22:29 AM   
Tazak

 

Posts: 1054
Joined: 9/3/2011
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I think the biggest give away would've been an increase in vehicle maintenance. Assuming ammo stocks were kept at reasonable levels (enough for 12-24 hours combat per division), and from what I've read their conscript cycles would have given units up to 25% additional manpower at certain times (give them a AK47 and put them into a APC/IFV and their good to go) which would not have alarmed NATO.

Being conscripts their history of poor vehicle maintenance (using antifreeze to make booze anyone) was well known so any major change in spare parts etc would send up the red flags, but then CIA/MI6 intel reports could've been mistaken this for an increase in tractor spare parts and overlooked, lets face it MI6 & CIA didn't have the best track record in those days and both were riddled with moles who could've misplaced key intel reports.

once they start to move out of their barracks then yes the jig was up but how long would it take them to drive to the border and cross into west Germany....hours

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AUCTO SPLENDORE RESURGO

(in reply to WABAC)
Post #: 30
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