From: Toronto and Lima
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
< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 9/22/2021 5:56:25 PM >