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New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention in Syria

 
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New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention in S... - 9/22/2021 3:00:09 AM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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I always considered the Soviet navy of the late 70s and 80s to be awesome; best-in-class missiles, big, mean looking cruisers, weird aircraft carrier hybrids, long range naval bombers, huge missiles carried in the tinniest possible boats, dangerous (some would say unsafe) nuclear propelled and nuclear weapon equipped submarines

So, for some reason, in every game (from that old Commodore 1986 classic "Red Storm Rising") until now, the Soviets are always the enemy to defeat and their navy the one that ends up as some artificial reef, after getting shot to pieces by the human player

I know that in CMO there are a Soviet-playable scenarios, but they are mostly submarine focused and WW3-NATO vs Warsaw Pact. As far as I know, there is no scenario in which the Soviet navy takes a role of power projection to carry the flag and impose its will to an underdeveloped country, the kind of missions that both the USN and the RN had been doing for decades.

The Soviet Union had good reasons for not trying "naval adventures", mainly the fact the USN had total control of the seas and would deny them any longer term advantage. Another reason was they were a continental power, with their main Warsaw Pact allies accessible by land and with little need for international trade, arguably, the Soviet block was the closest you could get to a self sufficient autarky.

I wanted an hypothetical scenario in which the Soviets were forced to fight on a power projection mission. But where? only 3 places, in my opinion, applied: Cuba, Vietnam and Syria. These 3 countries were friends and allies, and they all provided military bases to the Soviet Navy. But both Vietnam and Cuba had a problem, at least from a navy scenario perspective, they were too close to a rival superpower. For Cuba, the USN could intervene and then totally and soundly defeat the Soviet, or escalate into a nuclear war. For Vietnam, the Chinese had definitively the numbers and the war could escalate into border war that neither side wanted. As a matter of fact, in both 1962's Missile Crisis and in 1979's Sino-Vietnamese war, once things started to get hot, the Soviets got second thoughts and declined direct naval support to their ally. So these 2 options are out.
But what about Syria?: 2 key benefits: it was close enough to the the Black Sea fleet as to make it possible for the Soviets to think about a quick intervention. Also, by 1979, Syria was clearly within the Soviet sphere of influence. Neither the USA, nor NATO, not even France, its former colonial master, would seriously consider intervening as it was not strategic. No world power other than the Soviet Union would have an appetite for intervention. Turkey would like to intervene, and in this scenario they do, but Turkey is not a super power, so they took the subtle, indirect approach, providing critical support, specially in naval assets, something that the Syrians always lacked and lagged behind.

So it is going to be Syria:
This scenario assumes that in 1979, inspired by the Iranian Islamic revolution, an armed uprising occurs in Syria and its Ba'athist regime is defeated and collapsed, with the rebels taking over most of the country. By the time of the Soviet intervention, only a small area around the port of Tartus remains on on the hands of the old regime. The Soviets decided to take matters in their own hands, and they formed a powerful surface fleet task force with the objective to support, resupply and basically tip the balance in favor of the Ba'athists.

The human player controls the Soviet Navy; this includes recently commissioned heavy aviation cruiser "Kiev" as well as several missile cruisers, destroyers and submarines. The objective is to protect a convoy that is navigating to Tartus. The Syrian rebels, supported by Turkey, and with vast stockpiles of Soviet made weaponry, are quite capable of defending themselves.

As a secondary objective, the player can use land based bombers at Tobruk (Libya) to attack the main rebel port and airbase at Latakia and surrounding areas

This is a "Soviet Falklands"-like scenario... a small, relatively inadequate VTOL aircraft force fighting against a modest navy supported by land based aircraft... and lots of missiles ;)

Date: August 25, 1979

Location: Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Playable Side: Soviet Union

Non Playable Side: Syrian rebels (hostile)

Minor Non Playable Sides: Turkey& NATO (neutral), Ba'athist Syria (friendly), Civilians (neutral)

Duration: 2 days






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 9/22/2021 5:56:25 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention ... - 9/22/2021 3:52:50 PM   
Coiler12

 

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Looks good so far. I love the concept.

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RE: New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention ... - 9/22/2021 9:02:22 PM   
stww2

 

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I too find this to be a really intriguing concept...and wow, you were not kidding about the missiles! I'm only about five hours in so far, but it has been quite an enjoyable experience so far (if not exactly a successful one). One thing that I really like are the submarine identification dilemmas that come up here; that's not something that occurs very often in other scenarios. I look forward to finishing this one, hopefully without any mushroom clouds (that's another nice touch; you basically have included a built in "Baloogan Option"), although based on my progress so far I can't say I like my chances.

One error I've found so far: the Soviet merchant loss event also appears to trigger when Soviet warships are sunk.


(in reply to Coiler12)
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RE: New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention ... - 9/24/2021 8:50:53 PM   
BDukes

 

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Very nice job Jorge! Lost gloriously.

Did ok with ASW, not so hot with AAW. Lessons learned, commanding officers shot, the revolution continues!

Only ask is maybe IL-38s in Syria or Tobruk?

Mike

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RE: New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention ... - 9/24/2021 11:46:10 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 4320
Joined: 2/29/2012
From: Toronto and Lima
Status: offline
thanks!
I wanted only shipborne (Kiev's) aircraft/ helicopters for anti surface and anti submarine; otherwise it would be even easier to sink the Syrian missile; it is already too easy with those big, long range P-500 Bazalt missiles

there are no friendly airbases in Syria (they were all taken by rebels), but you have quite a lot of army aviation bombers in Tobruk... starting from day 2... maybe I can add maritime patrols also from day 2 onwards

Also important to mention, as strong as the missile barrage is... it is not a permanent feature of the scenario, eventually they would run out of missiles and/ or you will have assets to counter strike (bombers) or defend (Tu-128s)

Finally, the Kiev's TF had very strong anti air capabilities... it is advisable to use them as umbrella against the missiles, the troop convoy, in the other hand, is a lot more vulnerable

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 9/24/2021 11:51:30 PM >

(in reply to BDukes)
Post #: 5
RE: New scenario for Testing: Soviet Navy intervention ... - 9/25/2021 12:34:29 PM   
BDukes

 

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Joined: 12/27/2017
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

thanks!
I wanted only shipborne (Kiev's) aircraft/ helicopters for anti surface and anti submarine; otherwise it would be even easier to sink the Syrian missile; it is already too easy with those big, long range P-500 Bazalt missiles

there are no friendly airbases in Syria (they were all taken by rebels), but you have quite a lot of army aviation bombers in Tobruk... starting from day 2... maybe I can add maritime patrols also from day 2 onwards

Also important to mention, as strong as the missile barrage is... it is not a permanent feature of the scenario, eventually they would run out of missiles and/ or you will have assets to counter strike (bombers) or defend (Tu-128s)

Finally, the Kiev's TF had very strong anti air capabilities... it is advisable to use them as umbrella against the missiles, the troop convoy, in the other hand, is a lot more vulnerable


No worries. Thanks again Jorge. Keep up the good work!

M


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