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Warsaw Pact vs NATO (1985)

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posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 04:09 AM
I think if war broke out between the two, No one would win. It's like I've heard so many times before, ultimately no one wins with WMD's.

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 03:39 PM

Originally posted by CoMrAdE_IvAn
Its good to see some educated opinions in this issue

The germans were great at defence. No matter what, The Germans had many tricks up their sleeves to deal with overwhelming numbers. However i believe the sheer fire power of the warsaw pact forces would simply crush any NATO aggression unless they used tactical nuclear weapons. Soviets are experts at ground warfare when using mass attacks.

The only unknow here is the air element. Soviet WW-II doctrine and post war doctrine depended on being able to switch the axis of advance of entire tank armies to best take advantage of enemy weakness. THis allowed them to achieve local superiorties of 10:1 leading to automatic breakthroughs. THus all the literature about 'echelons' and 'follow on forces'.

THis type of attack will work in a permissive air enviornment, and inconjunction with strategic deception maneuvers, will lead to whole sale breakthroughs on an army scale. However the top of the food chain of reconnaissance and such deception maneuvers, is having airsurperiorty.

What do you lose in air parity situation? If their Recon jets are being shot out of the skys, how likely are they to rapidly detect changes in FLOT to exploite in the first place? THis is especaily important and harder to do when advancing into enemy territiory as the WARPAC would be doing. Whats more in Air parity, the enemy jets are able to also conduct interdiction strikes and this is the achilles heal of superior numbers.THis is because such a massing becomes by defination a 'target rich enviornment'.

NATO placed alot of emphasis on interdiction.WOuld it still be able to work enough in an airparity enviornment to seriously interfer with WARPAC plans?

My assumption is that if NATO has airsuperiority , then any serious WARPAC massing is going to attract massive air intervention like the 'battle for Khafji". OBviously with a lot higher western air loss rate, but the same net effect.

So the survival of NATO in the short term would hing on how well and quickly NATO airpower could be brought to bear?

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 03:51 PM
Guess the Afghanistan war from 1978-92 slipped everyone's mind?

"Although the USSR had superior weapons and complete air control, the rebels successfully eluded them. The conflict largely settled into a stalemate, with Soviet and government forces controlling the urban areas, and the Afghan guerrillas operating fairly freely in mountainous rural regions."

15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed and 37,000 wounded, so much for Russian forces.

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 04:18 PM
that was a isolated incident, i could go on about varios NATO failures

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 11:46 PM

Afghanistan? You're kidding, right?

Afghanistan is not a good judgement on Soviet military action in World War III. They went to Afghanistan much to the same reason we went to Vietnam and Iraq. World War II is a big war, a fight for control of the world, for a way of life. Thus, the Soviets can't go all out on Afghanistan, because there would've been no point in going in the first place if you were going to level the entire nation.

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 11:53 PM

As I said earlier, air superiority belongs to the Warsaw Pact. Warsaw Pact outnumbers NATO 10:1 in every possible situation. Now, just imagine what 10:1 is. 10 F-15C Eagles are a very deadly combination. But guess what's deadlier? 100 MiG-21s. Yes, NATO fighters have advanced radar-guided AAMs. But the Warsaw Pact has more. And without reinforcements, that entire stockpile of AAMs that was built up since AAMs were invented would run out in only three weeks. No missiles, low fuel, up against an Air Force that eclipses that of almost 12 nations combined, and they've got plenty of allies of their own (East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, etc.), and the world's (at the time) most concentrated air defense network.

You can figure it out from there.

BTW, did the Soviet Air Force have MiG-29s and Su-27s in 1985? What was their most advanced fighter at the time?

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 09:54 AM

Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo

As I said earlier, air superiority belongs to the Warsaw Pact. Warsaw Pact outnumbers NATO 10:1 in every possible situation.

You can figure it out from there.

BTW, did the Soviet Air Force have MiG-29s and Su-27s in 1985? What was their most advanced fighter at the time?

(shortened due to complaint)

Most of the sources I have show WARPAC outnumbering NATO about 3:1 not 10:1 and pilot training is always more important than jets. In this reguard dissimilar combat training of the Luftwaffe and USAF/RAF should ensure high pilot quality. But having niffty AAM like the AIM-9L sure make the battle alot easier. I estimate NATO could exchange at about 6:1 in their favor in airbattles. Its the other unseen elements that would control the out come.

By the mid 80s NATO was based on AWACS control and increasing numbers of teen series fighters [still a minority]. In the mid 1980s sovs were just starting to move towards AWACS/ Mig-29/SU-27 airdefence [1984 ?], so were still mostly based on GCI and would be very vulnerable to interdiction. We saw how effective cruisemissiles are at taking out airfields in Iraq. This should work as well in europe as Iraqi....but then Sovs have some niffty SSM of their own.

I think if the USA could keep up a supply of AIM-9L/Ms indefinately, then airsuperiority is a question of when , not if.

[edit on 10-6-2004 by psteel]

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 10:16 AM
On the question of air superiority consider the Falklands war (not an ideal comparison I know)

where 200+ Argentina aircraft (including Dassault Mirage III, McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, IAI Dagger and Dassault Super Etendard) went up against about 28 Harriers

In air to air it was 23-0 to the Harrier (considered by many at the time to be an inferior fighter) there were various factor involve iincluding training and the use of the Sidewinder by the British

Overall the Argentines lost 91 confirmed and quite a few more probables and damaged. (See Britain Samll wars)

One of the thing to come out of this from an UK military point was that we would have suffered far fewer casualties if we had had and air radar system (a role now filled by RN Sea Kings with Radar domes that rotate under the aircraft)

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 11:05 AM

Originally posted by Popeye

One of the thing to come out of this from an UK military point was that we would have suffered far fewer casualties if we had had and air radar system (a role now filled by RN Sea Kings with Radar domes that rotate under the aircraft)

Exactly exchange ratios of 10:1 are possible if the ducks are in a row. Look at Lebanon 1982. Due to the limits of GCI and the qualitative superiority of the Israeli jets/pilots, they shot down 80 Syrians jets for the loss of 1 of their own while also destroying the syrian modern SAM at the same time[ modern SAM-6 & SAM -8 as I recall].

SO as long as pilot quality was kept up I can see similar things happening in a 1985 NATO/WARPAC conflict.

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 12:13 PM

Your sources are obviously not that reliable. If you speak with actual veterans of the Cold War, guys who were stationed right on that border, they'll tell you the real story. Yes, I was shocked too. I had no idea the ratio would be as insane as 10:1.

Most of your theory is based on the idea that NATO would have an unlimited supply of AAMs. Perhaps because we've never faced such a situation, a blitzkrieg into West Germany by Soviet air and ground forces would expend every type of weapon very quickly. And remember, NATO forces usually have to await reinforcements from CONUS. Germany and France would be shredded to the point they can't keep up with war production. Even if NATO had a large stockpile of radar-guided and IR-guided AAMs, the sheer number of hostile aircraft would literally make it a store-wide clearance at Target. In less than a month, NATO would be reduced to guns. Remember, the Soviet Union is further from the border, so they at least have the advantage of quick and usually secure resupply and war production.

Also, fighter pilot training in the Soviet era is not as bad as you think it was. Soviet pilots were far more proficient than Western experts led many to think. The reason for this was because Soviet pilot training stressed the basics, such as situational awareness (being outside the cockpit). All this was aided by their own fighters, which were light, fast, small, and nimble, and weren't convoluted with advanced technology. In fact, the track record of the Cold War showed that Soviet and Soviet-trained fighter pilots had more success than their NATO counterparts.

On top of that, good pilot training does not ensure that two F-15Cs can shoot down 100 MiG-21s. Usually, sheer numbers are simply overwhelming.

You also have to consider the amount of airpower availiable. Yes, NATO has a huge collection of airpower. However, all of it is land-based, because carriers would be totally ineffective in Central Europe. That makes them vulnerable to artillery and the constant aerial combardment and cruise missile strikes. Speaking of cruise missiles, they would have limited effectiveness for both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. They would need to be carried by aircraft, as naval vessels would be needed elsewhere. Aircraft are vulnerable to SAM and other aircraft.

Only when the Soviet Union fell did pilot proficiency go down the drains.

A mistake often made is where people say "that couldn't happen, look at what happened here!" People seem to forget all too readily that World War III is not some big nation invading a small defenseless country. World War III is the essence of war itself. All-out. No mercy whatsoever. Therefore, it's going to be fought VERY DIFFERENTLY from the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Much of those wars were clouded by politics, so things like pilot training played a bigger role because pilots were flying under restrictive conditions. Plus, those wars were very small. In a huge global war, things are very different. It's war of attrition. In a war of attrition, numbers do matter, because if you can annihilate the enemy, you've won.

If you guys want to find out more about real World War III situations (yes, it is interesting), find servicemen and women of that time period. Not civilians. These so-called experts make the mistake of concentrating on technicalities instead of the nature of all-out war.

[edit on 10-6-2004 by sweatmonicaIdo]

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 12:16 PM
US doctrine in the mid 80's was that we would win a 'nuclear creep' scenario, but loose a blitz.

Nuclear creep is where the Russians buy time by detonating a few small 'tactical' nukes to slow NATO reinforcements onto the continent of Europe. In order to stay viable, NATO would have to respond in kind, but with a degree of escalation. Slowly, each side would need to commit more and more nukes to keep parity w/ casualties. Before you know it someone pulls out a strategic nuke, and we're off to the races. The idea is that before this point, Soviet conventional forces would have degraded to the point where they'd be unable to defend against a major NATO incursion accross the Ukraine.

The Blitz is an all out strike from day 1, with a conventional forces advance by striking west across all frontiers in Europe. The problem for NATO is that Germany has no natural geographic boundaries. The only way to hold Germany (hence the low countries, hence France and Spain, hence England) is to Nuke the "Fulda Gap" in the German forest with strategic nukes, and turn central Europe into molten glass. When the W. Ger. figured this out, Adenauer and his successors developed "Ostpolitik," an attempt to keep USSR from trying the Blitzkrieg, since Germany would be uninhabitable for several geologic eras.

FULDA GAP plan was leaked to the press by the Reagan White house, to encourage the soviets to think twice. That was the real reason for Reagan's "Bombing commences in 5 minutes" bit.

Ck out a google search on Fulda Gap.

Your welcome.

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 12:30 PM
please do not all the united kingdom england it is racist
also whered u get all this info its pretty detailed man

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 01:03 PM
Are you people saying that Britain was strong against countries like Iraq, Afgani,etc.

Well ask the British what happened in Iraq during WW2 or so.

British wanted to take over Iraq like US right now and they failed BIG time.


posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 01:19 PM
First thing, you must define win.

During the 80's, the role of NATO forces in Germany were to act like a "speedbump." Not a single leader at the time believed they could completely halt an advance from the FSU. As happened in the Korean peninsula in the 50's, the initial thrust from the North Koreans came extremely close to throwing American forces into the ocean. Only stingy defense and the intestinal fortitude of the American fighting man, allowed enough time for MacArthur to land at Inchon with enough Marines to cut the southern deployed forces and instill that panic-effect of being pinned.

So it was with NATO forces in western Germany. At least for the British, French and American forces. Commanders knew it'd take time to deploy forces from CONUS and from France and Britain. Many plans were set to slow the initial movement of FSU troops. One of which was a massive artillery grid laid over the Fulda Gap--which was the only access point for FSU heavy divisions into western Europe. With enough artillery pieces to place a round 1 meter a part, the NATO forces hoped to cause mass cassualties among the lead elements of a Soviet push.

As for the Air power discussion: The largest factor that would've hindered NATO air power was not so much the actual airplanes, it was the air defense assets that the Warsaw Pact owned. Throughout the 80's the Americans were playing catchup in missile defense. At this particular time, the FSU was king. Would've been so close that I'm not even going to guess.

Finally, if what you mean by win is the endstate of war, then I'll say without a doubt, that NATO would've finished ahead. Industrial power from the nations and not to mention that the United Nations would've condemned the aggression, which would most likely have sent several nations to the defense of NATO. It might be very similar to WWII in the sense that the Warsaw Pact may have well triumphed for a while, but in the end, the Industrial Giant would've turned once again to it's innate abilities and came to the defense of Europe.

I went and talked with a few of the older officers I work with who served in Germany during the years you indicated and found that my information on the Fulda Gap was inaccurate. Fulda gap is just one of the corridors that lead into Frankfurt a.m. This corridor would've been used by East German forces as opposed to SU troops. I tried to dig up more information on the GDP (General Defense Plan) and only discovered that the actual OpPlan number is declassified. The document itself is classified and therefor I am unable to disclose anything I would've read, so I decided not to look it up. Damn the bad luck.

[edit on 10-6-2004 by Asyndic]

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 04:17 PM

The war wouldn't last long enough for the tide to turn and for industrialized nations to take command. By the time the first wave of reinforcements arrive, NATO would've been pushed into a retreat-fight to the death-nuke'em situation. Lose-lose-lose. The moment that give Europe to the Warsaw Pact, all they have to do is keep building up on itself. And considering the momentum the Soviets would've built up, it seems like NATO wouldn't have had any time to catch it's breath. They would've been driven into the Atlantic.

NATO would definitely not have surrendered, but in this situation, it calls for almost automatic release of nuclear weapons. Scary. That is the nature of doomsday warfare.

Is there anything more you can find out about that Fulda Gap plan? So it would've been just a huge gaunlet? That would've been a sight to see.

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 06:02 PM

Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo

Your sources are obviously not that reliable. If you speak with actual veterans of the Cold War, guys who were stationed right on that border, they'll tell you the real story. Yes, I was shocked too. I had no idea the ratio would be as insane as 10:1.

I use Anthony Cordesmann's study for JANES in the late 1980s ["NATO'S Central Region Forces" 1988] . He is considered by all to be one of the best objective sources of military analysis in resent times ...that and I spent 10 years getting weekly reports from AWST etc in the 1980s

BTW : I have spoken to veterans from a number of airforces...which is why I have to use an independant source for objectivity


[Edite] follow up....

There was snippit release in the1990s of the soviet plan for the ops in intergerman boarder in the cold war. Brits were to be avoided and sweep to the north of them.

Whats more surprising is that one of their primary scenarios envisaged a german korps punching through the Soviet front lines and liberating conjunction with breakout efforts by the Berlin brigades.

THe follow up action to this was a drive on Warsaw and then Minsk. It appears they did not have the confidence in their own capabilities that some of you do. Infact their entire positioning of forces in East germany was to halt such an advance.

I followed up by going on russian egroups and asking about this years ago. I got into some interesting discussions with ex redarmy officers who where convinced that while they had the upper hand in any NATO WARPAC conflict ...they fully expected to be in a second bloody "Eastern Front" type stalemate.

As I recall they felt the two weeks to the coast scenarios as being wishfull thinking on the part of some of their leaders and just plain fearmongering on the part of the western sources.

They really really feared having to fight the germans again.

[edit on 10-6-2004 by psteel]

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 12:24 AM

I will always believe the military man/woman. The veterans I have spoken to tell a much different story than the optimistic one many so-called "experts" paint.

Regarding the veterans you have spoken to, I'd like to hear what they have to say (or have said).

I think people forget the nature of all-out World War III. This isn't some gargantuan militaristic empire going on a global crusade against largely inferior foes. These are two equally-matched (military, economics, politics) superpowers dishing it out against each other. It's Barry Bonds vs. John Smoltz, power vs. power. Neither side is going to blink unless you push them into that position.

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 12:18 PM
Please tell me Psteel how the NATO are going to break through the numerically and qualitatively supirior WarPac forces who had the T-72 in large numbers and the T-80 on the way(started production in 1978), compare this to the M1 tanks that they had in numbers and the M1A1 tanks that came out that year. It's quite simple really NATO niether has the numbers nor the quality in ground forces to face WarPac forces without a lot of help from the air. This would be hampered by WarPac air units which lacked the quality but still had the quantity. This is a pretty clear win for WarPac I'm afraid, the logistics also make things very difficult for NATO to come out ahead. Rember that re-inforcements are only really useful if they're actually re-inforcing something that's there and fighting, by the time good numbers start coming in from the U.S. there will be little to nothing left of NATO forces in continental europe.

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 12:28 PM
what about the UK we would last long
we have a great defence programe

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 02:03 PM
Because I can only quote 5 lines maximum I will have to heavly abbreviate here

Originally posted by Amur_Tiger
how the NATO are going to break through the numerically and qualitatively supirior WarPac forces who had the T-72 in large numbers and the T-80 on the way, It's quite simple really NATO niether has the numbers nor the quality in ground forces to face WarPac forces

OK many missunderstandings here. I didn't say anything , they did.

next ; T-80 was inferior to T-72B model and at best equal to the T-72A. It was only the T-80B that started in 1984 that matched them. LEO-2 was superior to all these models, infact the LEO-1A1A1 was probably a match for them.

If you have read your history , you will know that in ground battles numbers are not as important as command and training. For a simplistic example , in 1941, on paper the T-34 was as much superior to the Pz-III as the T-64/72 were to the LEO-1/M-60 , and yet historically the germans attacked outnumbered 6:1 and nearly drove all the way to Moscow. Now you may not put much credience in this, but judging by these officers opinions , they did! They stressed a number of times how they did not relish the thought of facing the Germans again in war.

As far as training their soldier goes , one told me that western soldiers are badly overtrained . All soviet conscripts needed was to know how to take orders and how to fire and maintain their weapons . All the rest was BS...[that was an eyeopener hearing that].

This would be hampered by WarPac air units which lacked the quality but still had the quantity.

Again read you history books, numbers are not as important as quality. I would remind you of the wargame lead by the germans. Despite outnumbered 3:1 , they defended and soundly defeated the soviet shock army. Given the track record of the germans when they were given free rain to defend in WW-II they are impossible to defeat with a mere 3:1 advantage. THis is why the soviet officers I spoke to didn't share anywhere near the confidence you people seem to show. It was they who reported the fear for having to face the germans again and agreed that any real war in Europe would end up a bloody mess for all involved with no real winners.

When West germany integrated with East germany they found that they couldn't use most of the soldiers and officers as they just didn't cut it in the Bundeswehr. THey found the Mig pilots dissapointing as they wouldn't dare fly their jets to the limit of capability and had to get rid of the bulk of them too. THe Mig 29s were good fighters but they found in mock dogfights that their basic uprated Phantoms could exchange kills in their favor over the Mig 29s. From what I understand the Soviets didn't even have a real dogfighting training program until the mid 1980s so don't expect miricles from them. They got an aggressor training unit at Turkmenistan some time around the mid 80s but it would take some time to train all the maybe by the early 1990s they would be matched more with western pilots. Infact I gather today that their dogfighting train doctrine is still at best just thrown together. Quality of training is always more important than quantity of training.

All due respects but I don't place much credience on amercian intelligence in such issues. The Officers I spoke to , felt they did have a definate advantage over NATO but thought it might not amount to much [they didn't believe the propaganda].

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