The Red Effect. The Cold War heats up. Part 1.

The Red Effect. The Cold War heats up. Part 1.

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. The next two in the trilogy are also complete, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience.




‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.



The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange.

The emergence of the Cold War started almost immediately after the end of World War 2. The capital of Germany, Berlin, was divided into four Sectors. The consequence being, that the three Western Allied powers now controlled territory deep within the Soviet Union Zone of Germany.


Le drapeau de la victoire


The Soviet flag finally flew over the turret of the Reichstag in Berlin, 1945

Over time, the tensions between the four Allied powers increased, eventually resulting in the Berlin blockade in 1948, when the Soviets attempted to starve West Berlin into submission and force the other three Allied powers out. This failed and the Soviets eventually relented, but an ever-increasing number of East Germans fled to the West; between 150,000 and 300,000 a year during 1951-1953. As a consequence restrictions were placed on movement between the divided country. From 1961, the border was closed and Berlin completely encircled, first by barbed wire, then bricks and finally a concrete wall, along with the infamous ‘death strip’.

Access was now restricted between Berlin and the West. A wall, 124 mile miles in length, was placed around the three sectors of West Berlin, cutting off the city from the rest of the world.


Berlin 5 002

The famous photograph of the East German soldier making an escape to the West. The soldier in the photograph died recently. – The Cold War had begun.



The four zones of Berlin – 1984


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In East Berlin, and other countries under the control of the Soviet Union, the communist state imposed ruthless control over the people of those countries.  A section of the wall that cut off access to the Brandenburg Gate.


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The Intelligence gathering mission commenced. On paper the Soviet Union and the West were allies. In reality both sides were constantly seeking to find chinks in their respective armour and looking for signs when one was preparing to strike. In East Berlin, it often came to a head with the local security forces.


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“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.

The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.

One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.”

Leonid Brezhnev

23rd Party Congress

March 1966


The British Army during the 80’s, although still made up of the traditional Infantry Battalion/Regiment and Tank Regiment, was broken down and recombined into Battle Groups and Combat Teams in order to provide the appropriate force to defend the front line in West Germany. An Infantry Battalion would have elements of a Tank Regiment attached and a Tank Regiment would have perhaps a mechanised infantry platoons assigned to them.


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The backbone of the British Tank Regiment in the 80’s was the Chieftain Tank.


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Although not without its problems, particularly the engine, when first brought into service, the Chieftain, with its formidable 120mm rifled gun was a main battle tank to be reckoned with.


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A Tank Regiment would be made up of four squadrons of 14 tanks, one for the Regimental HQ, making 57 tanks in total. .


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For the Infantry, the battle-taxi was the FV432. Armoured, but unarmed, it would carry a full section of ten men. There were four 432’s in a platoon, the fourth for the platoon headquarters, commanded by a Lieutenant.


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Some variants supported a turreted GPMG, General Purpose Machine Gun.


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Others had the 30mm, Rarden cannon mounted, similar to that found on the Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle.


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The modern day scimitar was not dissimilar from the 1980’s model. Upgraded armour and no longer powered by the Jaguar engine.


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The other reconnaissance vehicle was the scorpion. Similar chassis to the scimitar, but with a 76mm gun.


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During the early-mid 80’s, the Challenger was being introduced as a replacement for the Chieftain.


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The German Leopard was the mainstay of the Bundeswehr, the West German Army.


They were up against some extremely modern Soviet main battle tanks.


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The Soviet T-72. This was very much a tank made for Export. The T-64 would have been the mainstay of any Soviet invasion of the West.


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Soviet T-64.



The T-80, being introduced into the Soviet elite armies of the Group of Soviet Forces Germany in the 80’s


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Soviet Hind-D. The Soviet Army had hundreds of these available in the 80’s. These would have been a major issue for NATO forces.


Going forward i will add more information in support of my Cold War trilogy, including maps and photographs.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.


HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War.


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