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"Best Year For Soviet Success?" Topic

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835 hits since 28 Dec 2018
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TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 10:09 p.m. PST

Thankfully, the world never had to go through the pain of a Third World War as feared during the Cold War.

However, if the Soviets had decided to begin a conventional invasion of the West during the period from 1950 to 1989, what year do you feel was their ‘opportune' time to ensure the highest chance of success and why?

Also, how likely were their Warsaw Pact Client States to fully take part in said invasion (active, willing participation) in the year you select and what affect do you think that might have had?

I deliberately selected 1950, so no ‘right after Berlin fell' answer (feel free to set that up as another topic if you feel that strongly).

I'm curious what people might answer and why.

Lion in the Stars28 Dec 2018 11:31 p.m. PST

I'd say before the Abrams and Bradley, so, no later than 1985. The Soviet 125mm is much more powerful than the NATO 105s, and most of the NATO 105mm tanks did not have enough armor to take those hits.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 2:26 a.m. PST

1952,early, while the Americans and British were still heavily engaged with the Chinese in Korea, I doubt the client states would be providing much other than logistic support.

However, I cannot think of a reason the Soviet Union would want to attack the West, Russia was still rebuilding. Also, Like the Syrians in the Yom Kippur war in 1973, they were aware that if pushed too far, their enemy would most likely deploy nuclear weapons.

raylev329 Dec 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

Late 60s when most of the American military was tied down in Vietnam and equipment was limited and poor in Europe. Of course, but you're enemy's weakness is only one factor. It also depends on your own capabilities. Strength/capability is a relative term.

Legion 429 Dec 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

I don't know if the USSR/WP seriously ever entertained attacking NATO. Beyond detailed planning, etc. But they certainly appeared to be ready for war … or at least prepared defend from a NATO attack. To what end would a Communist push to the Channel result in ? And as noted the fear/concern of nucs, even just tactical ones would be to no ones advantage, IMO.

However, if I had to make a "SWAG", I'd say the '60s would have been a "prime time". For the reasons already mentioned. And probably a few more we have not thought of ?

Interestingly if a hot war broke out again in Korea when I was with a Mech Bn of the 2ID, '84-'85. We were to push on to Pyongyang and beyond. And unite the Koreas. Not sure what the plan was if the PRC got involved again.

While in Europe our mission/NATO's was only to reestablish the IGB. No push to Berlin, etc.

Of course the NoKos were no where near as powerful, etc., as the WP. There'd be an "X-Factor" once again, i.e. the PRC's reaction, etc. But that was waaay above my pay grade.

Plus the USSR and PRC saw NATO/US vs. both of them was being carried out in "proxy" wars. Or vis versa. E.g. Korea, Vietnam, the Mid East and maybe even Africa. As did the US with the support of the Muj in A'stan. While the USSR tried to occupy that land in the '80s…

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

Yea, 1950s and 1960s.

Soviets still had a lot of troops/divisions when the US and NATO were very weak to non-existent in the 1950s, especially.

US had to resort to pocket nukes on jeeps and in artillery shells to try to stem the tide, without using the megaton+ sized weapons.

PatrickWR29 Dec 2018 8:02 p.m. PST

I'd say 2016. Victory beyond their wildest imagining.

Martin Rapier30 Dec 2018 3:20 a.m. PST

I'd go with the late 70s or early 80s before the big NATO rearmament programme started, but the Russians had had plenty of time to hone their 'strategic defensive, operational offensive' doctrine.

It is also so much more fun to put M60s and Chieftains against T64 than the boring invulnerable M1s and Challys.

beingshort130 Dec 2018 3:21 a.m. PST



nickinsomerset31 Dec 2018 2:15 a.m. PST

Any wednesday sports afternoon, Friday after 1230 or when Pop and Eddies had a marathon 48 hr disco at Rheindahlen,

Tally Ho!

RudyNelson31 Dec 2018 2:29 p.m. PST

Jerky bird has a good point for 1952. That would hold for 1950 with the West German Army still in reorganization, France tied up in Colonial issues as was Britain in Malaya and Nadia.

Legion 401 Jan 2019 8:46 a.m. PST

Yes, that very well could have been true. The USSR had a whole lot of stuff left over from WWII. Some of their heavier AFVs could have been quite a challenge to US and UK AFVs at that time. E.g. M26/46s, M4E8s, M24s, and Centurions vs. JS IIs & T-10s.

IIRC, weren't the French still using some WWII German AFVs even then in Europe ? In '52 at that time, e.g. some Pz Vs and/or VIbs ?

Apache 602 Jan 2019 5:55 p.m. PST

There was no good year. But for great gaming potential…

1956. The Soviets, angered by Western Intervention in Hungary and continued support of partisans (I mean fascists counter revolutionaries) such as the Forest Brothers in the Baltic States, come to the aid of their Egyptian friends when the Imperialists attempt to seize the Suez Canal. This gains the Soviets allies among the Arab Nations and others in Africa. The Egyptians, Syrians, and Iraqis actively attack NATO assets and perhaps most importantly block the Suez and Embargo Fuel.

The Chinese, while not happy with the Soviet version of Marxism, comes to the aid of their Socialist brothers. Khrushchev is misguided but he's still our brother.

The Soviets still had numerous battle seasoned commanders, but their Army ranks were swelled by fresh cohorts of conscripts. While the decadent westerns had disarmed. – Just look how badly the US Army fared against the North Koreans. How do you think they will do against Zukov and his Shock Army equipped with factory fresh T-55s! The Soviet now has sufficient nuclear capability to prevent the US from unsealing the Nuclear Genie. This would also serve (Khrushchev) to prove Stalin wrong about Socialism in one country, and bring about the inevitable victory of the Proletariat.
And Castro is already at working gaining us a foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

Legion 403 Jan 2019 4:48 p.m. PST

Yes, I'd think no matter when it happened it would have very, very messy. And when Nucs became readily available it could have been much, much worse. If someone got a little too "aggressive".

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2019 6:52 p.m. PST

From what I've read, the West German Army really didn't start rebuilding/reorganizing until 1957 or 1958.

NATO was a joke back then, with virtually no teeth, and few forces to stem the communist hordes.

Tac Error06 Jan 2019 10:07 p.m. PST

1987! It was the last year that the Soviet military was developing on the track of Marshal Ogarkov's conventional force reforms; by 1988 Gorbachev announced force reductions in Eastern Europe that would've seriously affected the viability of a future Soviet offensive.

Wolfhag07 Jan 2019 12:07 a.m. PST

No way for success. As soon as the Commie Hordes and conscripts got into Germany and saw all of the food, clothes, electronic consumer goods, beer, air conditioning, running hot water, television, real-world news, Porsche sports cars, beer, toilet paper, Western movies, Beatle records, beer, blue jeans, and other cool stuff they become Capitalists and start buying and selling and never go back. That would entail shooting the Commissars first of course.

The Commie leaders knew this, that's the real reason why they never invaded.


RudyNelson07 Jan 2019 2:58 p.m. PST

It would have to be prior to the development of the neutron bomb. This drastically tipped the strategic and tactical balance .

Legion 407 Jan 2019 3:27 p.m. PST

Nuetron'm 'til they glow !

Virginia Tory10 Jan 2019 12:52 p.m. PST

The year would depend, but if the invaded the week between Christmas and New Year, most of the EUCOM staff would have been skiing in Garmisch and badly out of position.

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