The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, 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.

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‘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’.

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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.

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The Chinese Type 59, main battle tank. Top speed of 30mph.

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It is essentially a copy of the Soviet T-54 tank. Powered by a V-12 liquid cooled diesel engine.

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A rugged simple design, ideal for mass production.

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36 tons on torsion bar suspension.

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A 100mm, rifled main gun. Over 9,000 were built. .

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Although the tank was fairly dated in the 80’s, the Soviet army still possessed 35,000 T-54/55 and T-62s.

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T-62 main battle tank.

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This one was captured from the Iraqi forces during the Gulf War in 1991.

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Top speed of fifty miles an hour.

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It had a thirsty diesel engine, covering 2 miles to the gallon. 

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115mm main gun

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The BMP-1, another captured vehicle from the Iraq war. Above the the main gun, there is a Sagger anti-tank, wire guided missile. When the Israelis first came across the sagger missile, packed in a large suit-case type container, and set up on the ground, they destroyed their tanks with devastating effect.

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This can claim the mantle of being the first ever mechanised infantry combat vehicle. The west followed later with vehicles such as the Warrior and the American M2 Bradley.

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The Soviet soldiers would exit via the two rear doors. It weighed 13.5 tons and had armour 23mm thick. They could also exit through four hatches in the roof. The hollow doors also acted as fuel tanks, meaning a hit from behind would have a devastating effect. The internal fuel tank was located between the benches in the rear, putting the soldiers at risk.

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It was also amphibious, driven through the water by the movement of the tracks, hence the vanes at the rear.

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Although very cramped due to its low profile, it could carry eight soldiers in the troop compartment. Four ports either side allowed the soldiers to fire from within the vehicle.

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The 73mm main gun, was a low-pressure, semi-automatic smooth-bore gun.

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It could travel up to a speed of 40mph. It also had a radiation-shielded interior, allowing it to fight in contaminated areas. The Soviet military saw future wars being conducted using nuclear, biological and nuclear weapons.

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The Soviet BRDM-2. Although primarily a traditional reconnaissance vehicle, also had other roles.

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This version of the BRDM-2, another vehicle captured from the Iraqi forces, is a chemical reconnaissance vehicle.

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Equipped to locate areas of the battlefield contaminated with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and mark a safe passage for advancing forces.

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The safe route was identified by firing the yellow flags into the ground as it moved through the area.

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Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were a key part of the Soviet arsenal.

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Soviet Chemical Weapons:

Blister Agent

Causes severe skin, eye and mucosal pain. Breathed in and the effects would be far worse, causing major damage to the lungs.

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Nerve Agents:

Sarin – Disrupts the mechanism by which nerves transfer messages to vital organs. Contraction of the pupils, profuse salivation, involuntary urination and deification and eventual death by asphyxiation.

Blood Agents:

Works at the cellular level by preventing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the body’s cells. Cells suffocate from lack of oxygen.

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This is the bog standard BRDM-2 Reconnaissance vehicle. Although a four-wheel vehicle, between the main wheels there are a pair of smaller wheels either side. These are chain driven from the gearbox and can be lowered to assist across rough ground, 

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Much larger than the ideal reconnaissance vehicle, but the size was necessary as a consequence of it needing to be amphibious. In fact it is twice the size of a British Ferret reconnaissance vehicle.

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Powered by a Gaz V8 petrol engine.

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The engine also provides power for the ducted water jet that it uses when swimming. The flap at the back pivots sideways allowing the jet to push the vehicle through the water.

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Top speed of 60mph, a 14.5mm gun in the turret  and a crew of 4.

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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.

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HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle and Paperback versions available now.  The Cold War that became a Hot War.

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Cold War Kit. Part 7. Soviet BRDM Series

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, 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 cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

. RedEffect72dpi-4 .

‘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. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.

Good reconnaissance is a key requirement of any army if they are to know where the enemy is and bring them to battle. The Soviet army places high importance on reconnaissance. There reconnaissance units were fairly large as they would be used for flanking protection and also be able to take on any enemy they came across.

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BRDM-1, was an amphibious scout car used by the Soviet army. It was last produced in 1966 ( 10,000 of them) and there are still approximately 600 in service throughout the world.

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With 10mm of armour and weighing 51/2 tons, it could travel at 90kph on the road and 9kph in the water.  At the rear you can see the armoured shutter that protected the water jet outlet that powered the vehicle through the water.

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BRDM.

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BRDM-2, the replacement for the BRDM-1.

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The BRDM-2 has a crew of 4, a driver, co-driver, commander and gunner.

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The boat shaped bow to improve its amphibious capability. The trim board would need to be lowered before it went into the water.

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Powered by a gasoline V-8 engine, it could reach top speeds of 100kph and 10kph in the water.

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Just like the BRDM-1, it had a centralised tire pressure regulating system which could adjust the pressure of all four tyres, even individually.

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The shutter conceals the circular water-jet, equipped with a four-bladed propeller at the rear.

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The turret mounted gun was a 14,5mm KPVT heavy machine gun with a coaxial mounted 7.62mm PKT general-purpose machine gun.

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Armour thickness. 10mm turret front and 7mm turret sides top and rear. Hull 7mm at the sides.

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The BRDM-2 had a number of variants.

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This one is a BRDM-2 rkh. .

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Used for radiological and chemical reconnaissance.

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Has two KZO-2 rectangular dispensers for emplacing warning posts around a contaminated area.

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Following the Gloster Meteor, the Vampire was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF.

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This vehicle would also have a GSA-12 gas detector, DP-5V dosimeter, DK-4K decontamination apparatus and semi-automatic detection devices.

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This is a BRDM-2 rkh that was captured from the Iraqi forces during the Gulf War.

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BRDM-2 rkh.

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Initially powered by a Halford H1 engine, called the ‘Goblin’.

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BRDM-2  9P148. Carries an AT-5 (Spandrel) ant-tank missile rail.

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Wire-guided SACLOS with a range of 4km.

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To assist with getting across ditches and rough terrain, the BRDM-2 has two pairs of chain-drivenbelly wheels in the centre beneath the vehicle.

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These can be lowered by the driver when needed.

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I hope this has given you a further insight into what kit was around during the Cold War. On this occasion, it is Soviet. The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

. HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

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

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The Black Effect – Kindle and Paperback now out.