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Red Storm Rising

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posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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Having just re-read this excellant book by Tom Clancy, I have often wondered what would have happened if the events portrayed in the book had taken place.

I had the opportunity to go on detachment to both Greenland and Iceland and can honestly say that neither were awe-inspiring but, from a purely military point of view [sub into the Atlantic etc] these two islands are of vital strategic value.

Soviet Frontal Aviation was at the height of its power in the late 60s, with the Tu-16 Badger and the awesome Tu-95 Bear, the Russians had a very good chance of capturing Iceland and could probably have held it for some considerable time.

But my question is: Could the Russian occupation of Greenland and Iceland have prevented the Americans from reinforcing mainland Europe during what was named 'Operation Reforger'?




posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 02:16 PM
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I have read the book and have to agree it is terribly well done and well researched...

I think It might be posible but the whole destruction of the base bit did seem a bit fictional....is that an accurate description of a bombarbment?



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 03:30 PM
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Devilwasp my friend, it all depends on what you call a 'bombardment'.

I have never experienced a bombardment as suffered by those poor souls in the Falklands, in the first Gulf War and neither have I been bombed.

What I have experienced, was a very brief effort a long, long time ago in another little 'police' action that we Brits took part in.

We [Brits] were rocketed by an old BM-21 - albeit with one rocket. It was frightening because we had no knowledge that the 'baddies' had this type of weapon. I guess you live and learn to duck and run like crazy for whatever cover your shellscrape can afford.

I suppose that Tom Clancy did his research well, but most of Keflavik is underground and Rekyavik would have been well protected. The Yanks have or had a full Wing stationed on Iceland and certainly had back up on Greenland. I think there were also F1-11s knocking about a bit as well.

The thing that got me thinking was if the Bear was used as a conventional bomber - like the venerable B-52s, and the Badger and Bison were used in their anti-radar role using stand-off missiles, then any NATO force on Iceland, would have been in it up to their necks. The nearest base of any size is Lossiemouth or Kinloss and they are hours away. Even with in flight fuelling, Brit aircraft would have taken some time to get to Iceland.

I think Mr Clancy got it right! And that trek across the mountains by the weather officer is a classic! Spoilt it with the woman though - cause they would have been invaded by Naval Spetsnaz and they [Russians] would not have behaved like that.



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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Only the problem with the book is that the mig 29 isnt that long ranged but the Su27 is and the Su27 would kick the ass of those phantoms.



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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I don't know about the feasability of invading and holding Iceland like was done in the book, but the missile strike on the airbases is totally possible. An airbase only needs to be hit in a few places to put it out of action. As I recall the missiles were targeted on the Control Tower, Operations Center, power station, barracks, hangars and aircraft revetments. That would be enough to put the base out of action for quite a while. The missiles were probably targeted by an Inertial Navagation System which would give them an accuracy error of only a few hundred feet. Allowing for the fact that none of the targeted locations were movable and the targeting of more than one missile per target it was reasonable to expect success. I don't think that the assault from the container ship would work very well unless there was an Airbourne assault to secure the harbour.

As far as the accuracy of the rest of the book I can say that the US Navy thought enough of it to run an excercise based on it. I was on the USS Forrestal in September and October of 1987 when we snuck our whole battlegroup up to a place called Vestfjiord Norway. The object was to be able to get with in range of the bomber bases located on the Kola Penninsula. The idea was to hide in the fjiord covered by the Norwegian Air Force and pop out launch a strike and then duck back in. I don't know if it would have worked or not, but it sure had the Russians in an uproar.

Another thing that I found interesting was Clancy's use of the F-119 Frisbee stealth fighters as attack aircraft. Remember this book was published before the acknowledgement that the F-117 existed. I always thought it strange that there was never an attack by Clancy's F119s on the radar units on Iceland. I think with tanker support it would have been fairly easy to do and given the importance placed on neutralizing Iceland it would have been the smart thing to do.

[edit on 22-3-2005 by JIMC5499]



posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 03:54 AM
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It certainly was a great read. I'm afraid I don't know a heck of a lot about the equipment or logistics of that day, but I wasn't entirely sure about the scenario for the ground war.
What I've read may not be true, but I was under the impression that the Germans were all but a paper tiger committed to hiding behind American deterrence, and that the Soviets probably could have crushed NATO forces in Europe under sheer weight of numbers if America and Britain couldn't move additional forces to the mainland. True? False?

The naval war was interesting though- seemed very feasible. That bit about the carrier op that JimC brought up is classic too. I'm glad you told us about that



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 03:28 AM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
It certainly was a great read. I'm afraid I don't know a heck of a lot about the equipment or logistics of that day, but I wasn't entirely sure about the scenario for the ground war.
What I've read may not be true, but I was under the impression that the Germans were all but a paper tiger committed to hiding behind American deterrence, and that the Soviets probably could have crushed NATO forces in Europe under sheer weight of numbers if America and Britain couldn't move additional forces to the mainland. True? False?



Well during the 80's the Germans had about 3000 tanks alone and a standing land army of about 600 000 men. They were far from a paper tiger however you are right they would have been overwhelmed. The main job of NATO was to hold the line until reinforcements could arrive ( Operation Reforger ). The North Atlantic was the lifeline to NATO if the Soviets could cut it then NATO would be in dire straits.

There was a plan during the Reagan administration called the Lehman Doctrine which would open a 2nd front during any major war into Siberia. Carrier aircraft would launch strikes cutting the Trans-Siberian Railway effectively cutting off Siberia from the rest of Russia. This would be in conjunction with a Marine landing at Vladitvostok or parts thereabouts.



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