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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RedEffect72dpi-4

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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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BRDM2-rkh

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

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Blister-arm

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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Sarin-3D-balls

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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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.

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RedEffect72dpi-4

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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’.

.

.

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.

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Le drapeau de la victoire

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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DD-ST-86-06655

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.

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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 version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War.

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The Cold War Years. A Hot War in reality. Part 9.

My ‘Cold War’ trilogy is complete. I enjoyed writing it and the empty space it has left will be filled with a new set of books, based on the outcome of a strategic nuclear exchange. An Apocalyptic trilogy, survival at its worst.

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 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.

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.

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Section of the  Berlin Wall – 2011

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The Russians finally take Berlin towards the end of World War 2

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The four zones of Berlin – 1984

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I shall cover various aspects of the two opposing forces, providing the backdrop and background information for my trilogy.

“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

In 1984/85, the Warsaw Pact was already a significant force, the Soviet Union in particular. To counter this NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, assembled its own force of arms along the Iron Curtain. Not just as a show force against the communist ideals purported by the East, but because the likelihood of Warsaw Pact troops, led by the Soviet Union, crossing the Inner German Border was a real possibility.

This is just a supplementary post, building up a catalogue of equipment that would have been used in the event an invasion of the Federal Republic of Germany had gone ahead in the 1980’s

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The FV432, armoured personnel carrier, was a real battle taxi. Its main role was to move troops around the battlefield, but they would always have to dismount to fight.

The FV432 was the armoured personnel carrier variant of the British Army’s FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles.

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Used for transporting troops on the 1980’s battlefield.

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Steel and composite armour.

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Weighed 15 tons 

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Generally, in the 80’s, it carried a British mechanised infantry section of ten men, inclusive of driver and section commander.

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Over 2,500 were in use at the time. A battlefield taxi.

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Torsion bar suspension with 5 road wheels.

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Powered by a Rolls-royce K60 multi-fuel 240 hp.

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Three smoke dischargers each side 

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Maximum of 12.7mm armour.

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Maximum speed of 32mph.

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Side hinged door at the rear for troops to exit.

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An NBC, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical filtration system gave the troops inside clean, safe air.

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Engine is at the front with the driving position on the right. Commander’s hatch is behind the drivers position and a large split-hatch opening in the passenger roof.

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FV434, recovery vehicle, operated by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).

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Crew of four.

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Can tow a layer for the L9 anti-tank Bar Mine, or can tow a Giant Viper mine-clearing system.

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Weighs 17,750 kg fully loaded.

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On the right hand side is an HIAB crane, a lifting capacity of 1,250 kg at 3.96m radius. Suspension can be locked when crane is being used.

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FV432 with General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) turret.

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Only a few were upgraded to mount a 7.62mm GMPG turret.

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Powered by a diesel engine.

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FV432 with Rarden Turret.

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Urban camouflage, similar to that used for Berlin Brigade units.

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The L2A1A1 Rarden 30mm weapon and its associated turret were designed to be compatible with a range of of vehicle chassis, including Fox, CVR(T) and Warrior.

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The basic 432 chassis wasn’t really big enough to allow this weapons combination and carry all the men and equipment to carry out its Infantry Fighting Vehicle role.

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The rate of fire was limited by the use of ammunition in three round clips, rather than belts. The 30mm calibre also limited the projectile performance, particularly the High Explosive capacity.

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The present day Infantry Fighting Vehicle. FV510 Warrior. 25 tons, powered by a Perkins V-8 Condor Diesel 550 hp engine. Capable of 46mph.

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Main armament, a 30mm L21A1 Rarden cannon. Capable of destroying most modern APC’s at a maximum range of 1500 metres. Secondary armament is an L94A1 Coaxial 7.62mm chain gun.

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FV432’s on the move.

Future posts will cover the Warsaw Pact,  the Soviet likely strategy and the Airborne and Spetsnaz force.

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HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my research and experiences with you.  This is the first of my new ‘Cold War’ series, supporting the writing of my new ‘Cold War’ series of novels, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany by the Warsaw Pact in the 80’s.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black

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The Cold War Years. A Hot War in reality. Part 8.

My ‘Cold War’ trilogy is complete. I enjoyed writing it and the empty space it has left will be filled with a new set of books, based on the outcome of a strategic nuclear exchange. An Apocalyptic trilogy, survival at its worst.

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 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.

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.

Section of the Berlin Wall – October 2011.

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Section of the  Berlin Wall – 2011

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The Brandenburg Gate separated from West Berlin by the Berlin Wall – 1984

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Checkpoint Charlie,  between East and West Berlin – American Sector of West Berlin 1981

I shall cover various aspects of the two opposing forces, providing the backdrop and background information for my trilogy.

“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

In 1984/85, the Warsaw Pact was already a significant force, the Soviet Union in particular. To counter this NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, assembled its own force of arms along the Iron Curtain. Not just as a show force against the communist ideals purported by the East, but because the likelihood of Warsaw Pact troops, led by the Soviet Union, crossing the Inner German Border was a real possibility.

The Soviet, European Theatre forces during the early to mid 80’s were growing in size and power daily.

What were the likely forces that NATO would have been up against had the Warsaw Pact, led by the Soviet Union, attacked across the Inner German Border with the intention of defeating NATO and occupying western Europe?

The concentration of forces under Marshal Ogarkov’s High Command showed a huge build up during the period 1980-1984.  The High Command of the ‘Western Strategic Direction’, the ‘Western TVD’, was the most important of the Soviet Union’s four commands and contained the largest number of troops, tactical and medium-range surface to surface missiles and aircraft of any ‘Strategic Direction’.  He commanded all the Soviet military forces in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Belorussia. The other Strategic Direction’s;  Northwestern, Southwestern and North Caucasus.

Western TVD:

Northern Group of Soviet Forces (Poland)

  • 20th Tank Division
  • 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • SSM Brigade (18 x Scud B)
  • SAM Brigade (27 x SA-4)
  • Attack Helicopter Regiment (40 x Mi-24 (Hind) and 20 x Mi-8)

Central Group of Soviet Forces (Czechoslovakia)

4 Guards Army and CGSF assets

  • 1st Guards Tank Division
  • 51st Tank Division
  • 18th Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • 30th Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • 48th Motor Rifle Division
  • Attack Helicopter Regiment
  • 3 x SSM Brigade (54 x Scud B)
  • Artillery Brigade (96 x 2S5)
  • Artillery Brigade (24 x 2S7 and 24 x 2S5)
  • SAM Brigade
  • Air Assault Battalion (17 x BMD)
  • Spetsnaz Battalion (250+)
  • Tank Brigade (150+ x T-80)
  • Anti-Tank Regiment (36 x Anti-Tank Guns and 27 x BRDM-3)

Southern Group of Soviet Forces (Hungary)

9 Guards Army + SGSF assets

  • 2nd Guards Tank Division
  • 13th Guards Tank Division
  • 93rd Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • 253rd Motor Rifle Division
  • Attack Helicopter Regiment
  • Artillery Brigade (96 x 2S5)
  • 3 x SSM Brigade (18 x Scud B)
  • Rocket Regiment (54 x BM-21)
  • 2 x SAM Brigade
  • Air Assault Battalion (17 x BMD)
  • Spetsnaz Battalion
  • Anti-tank Regiment
  • Artillery Brigade (24 x 2S7 and s4 x 2S5)

Baltic Military District (HQ in Kaliningrad, Russia.)

Category B Division 30-50% readiness

Category C Division 5-10% readiness.

11th Guards Army (HQ in Kaliningrad, Russia.)

  • 15th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 40th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 1st Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)
  • 3rd Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat C)

14th Combined Arms Army (HQ in Kaunas, Lithuania)

  • 24th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 26th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat C)
  • 88th Motor Rifle Division (Cat C)
  • 107th Guards Motor Rifle Division

Baltic MD Assets

  • 7th Guards Airborne Division
  • 44th Guards Airborne Division (Training Unit)
  • Baltic Naval Infantry Brigade
  • 129th Artillery Division
  • 344th Artillery Division
  • Spetsnaz Naval Brigade
  • 32nd Air Assault Brigade

Belorussian Military District (HQ in Minsk, Belarus)

5th Guards Tank Army (HQ in Babrujsk, Belarus)

  • 6th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 8th Guards Tank Division
  • 22nd Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 29th Tank Division (Cat B)

7th Guards Tank Army (HQ in Barysau, belarus)

  • 3rd Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 34th Guards tank Division (Cat B)
  • 37th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 47th Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 58th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)

28th Combined Arms Army HQ in Grodno, Belarus)

  • 8th Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 45th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 50th Guards Motor Rifle Division Cat B)
  • 120th Guards Motor Rifle Division

BMD Assets

  • 3 x Tank Brigades (150+ x T-64/T-80
  • Motor Rifle regiment
  • Artillery Brigade
  • Air Defence Regiment
  • Attack Helicopter Regiment
  • Reconnaissance Battalion
  • 103rd Airborne Division
  • 3rd Guards Artillery Division
  • 5th Artillery Division
  • 31st Air Assault Brigade

Carpathian Military District (HQ in L’vov, Ukraine)

2nd Guards Tank Army (HQ in Zhytomyr)

  • 23rd tank Division
  • 17th Motor Rifle Division (Cat C)
  • 66th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)
  • 117th Guards Tank Division (Cat C)

13th Combined Arms Army (HQ in Rovno, USSR)

  • 13th Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 15th Tank Division
  • 24th Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)
  • 97th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat C)

38th Combined Arms Army (HQ in Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine)

  • 30th Guards Tank Division (Cat B)
  • 61st Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)
  • 70th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)
  • 128th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Cat B)

CMD Assets

  • 3 x Tank Brigades (150+ x T-64/T-80)
  • Motor Rifle Regiment
  • Artillery Brigade
  • Air Defence Regiment
  • Attack Helicopter Regiment
  • Reconnaissance Battalion
  • 36th Artillery Division
  • 81st Artillery Division
  • 37th Air Assault Brigade

Group of Soviet Forces Germany (HQ in Magdeburg)

The main striking force was the Group of Soviet Forces Germany, GSFG, commanded by the man below, Army General Mikhail Zaitsev.

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Army General Mikhail Zaitsev – Commander of the Group of Soviet Forces Germany – at the Soviet War Memorial Tiergarten – 1982

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GSFG was a significant force consisting of:

8 Guards Army (HQ in Weimar – Nohra – German Democratic Republic, GDR.)

  • 79th Guards Tank Division
  • 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • 39th Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • 57th Guards Motor Rifle Division

1 Guards Tank Army (HQ in Dresden, GDR)

  • 9th Tank Division
  • 11th Guards Tank Division
  • 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division

2 Guards Tank Army (HQ in Neubrandenburg, GDR)

  • 16th Guards Tank Division
  • 94th Guards Motor Rifle Division
  • 21st Motor Rifle Division
  • 207th Motor Rifle Division

20 Guards Tank Army (HQ in Eberswalde, GDR)

  • 32nd Tank Division
  • 25th Tank Division
  • 35th Motor Rifle Division
  • 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division

3 Shock Army (HQ in Magdeburg, GDR)

3rd Shock Army was the force that was most likely to have gone up against the Northern Army Group, in particular BAOR/I British Corps.

I shall show a more detailed breakdown of this particular Army.

  • 7th Guards Tank Division
  • 10th Guards Tank Division
  • A typical Tank Division would consist of: 10GTD

61 Guards Tank Regiment  (90+  x T-80, 40+ x BMP-2, 2S6, SA-13 and 18 x 2S1)

62 Guards Tank Regiment  (90+  x T-80, 40+ x BMP-2, 2S6, SA-13 and 18 x 2S1)

63 Guards Tank Regiment  (90+  x T-80, 40+ x BMP-2, 2S6, SA-13 and 18 x 2S1)

248 Guards Motor Rifle Regiment (40 x T-80, 142 x BMP-2, 2S6, SA-13, BRDM -3 and 18 x 2S1

744 Guards Artillery Regiment (48 x 2S3 and 18 x BM-21

SS-21 battalion (4 x SS-21)

359 Guards Air Defence Regiment (20 x SA-15 and 21 SA-7/14/16

112 Independent Reconnaissance Battalion (6 x T-80, 13 x BRDM 2, 13 x BMP-2 and BRM)

Helicopter Squadron (6 x Mi-24 (Hind), 6 x Mi-8 (Hip) and 6 x Mi-2 (Hoplite))

131 Independent Engineer Battalion (TMM, GSP, PMP, K-61, BTM, MTK and GMZ)

152 Independent Signals Battalion

127 Independent Chemical Protection Battalion

1072 Independent Supply Battalion

60 Independent Repair Battalion

188 Independent Medical and Sanitary Battalion.

  • 12th Guards Tank Division
  • 47th Guards Tank Division
  • 3rd Shock Attack Helicopter Regiment (40 x MI-24 Hind, 20 x MI-8 Hip)
  • 3rd Shock Air Assault Battalion (17 x BMD)
  • 3rd Shock Spetsnaz Battalion (25+ teams of approximately 10 men.)
  • 3o4th Artillery Brigade (3 x Battalions (24 x 2S5 each battalion)
  • 3rd Shock SSM Brigade (18 x ScudB surface to surface missiles.)
  • 3rd Shock Rocket Regiment (54 x BM-21. each capable of launching 40 x 122mm rockets)
  • 3rd Shock Engineer Brigade (TMM, MTU, PMP, GSP, K-61, BTM, GMZ and MTK)
  • 36th Pontoon Bridging Regiment (TMM, PMP, K-61 and BTM)
  • 3rd Shock Reconnaissance Battalion
  • 3rd Shock SAM Brigade (27 x SA-4 Ghecko)

Notes:

  1. All 10 of the Tank Divisions in East Germany were beefed up with an additional Tank Regiment – an addition of over 100 tanks each
  2. All 9 of the Motor Rifle Divisions had been given an additional tank battalion of over 40 tanks each.
  3.  2 Guards Tank Army, facing northern Germany and Schleswig-Holstein was given an additional 3 Independent Tank Regiments giving them a further 450 main battle tanks to wield at NATO.
  4. Each Division has 4 x Artillery Battalions (50% 152mm and 50% 122mm)

GSFG Assets

  • 34th Artillery Division (3 x Howitzer Brigades (72 x 2S3 each Brigade), 1 x Heavy Brigade (72 x 2S7 each), 1 x Heavy Brigade (24 x 2S7 + 24 x 2S5) and 1 x Missile Brigade (72 x BM-27).
  • 4 x Motor Rifle Battalions
  • 1 x Tank Battalion (40 x T-80’s)
  • 2 x SSM Brigade (18 x SS-23 each)
  • 35th Air Assault Brigade
  • Engineer Brigade
  • 2 x SAM (Surface to Air Missiles) Brigades (one with 27 x SA-4 and one with 27 x SA-5)
  • 1 x SAM Regiment (20 x SA-15)
  • 1 x Spetsnaz Brigade (Between 1500 and 2000 men. Split into teams of 50-150 special forces.)

Western TVD Assets:

  • 72 x SS-22 Surface to Surface missiles, range of 600+ miles, capable of carrying a tactical nuclear warhead. (Stationed in the GDR)
  • 36 x SS-22 Surface to Surface missiles, range of 600+ miles, capable of carrying a tactical nuclear warhead. (Stationed in the Czechoslovakia)
  • 90 x SS-23 Surface to Surface missiles, range of 300+ miles, capable of carrying a tactical nuclear warhead. (Stationed in the GDR)

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Below, some of the Warsaw Pact Equipment NATO would be up against.

Soviet T-72 Main Battle Tank. 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun. Snorkel can be seen attached, allowing the tank to ford rivers.

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Weighs 41.5 tons.

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Steel and composite armour.

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It was far too expensive to equip the Soviet Divisions with the T-64, so a cheaper alternative was introduced. 

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Crew of 3. 25,000 were built.

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37mph with a range of 430 miles with fuel drums fitted on the back.

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Autoloader replaced one of the crew. Expected to load 8 rounds per minute.

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It had a comprehensive nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection ystem.

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T-72

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T-72.

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The T-72 was short on room inside as a consequence of its very low profile.

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Torsion bar suspension.

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V-12 diesel 780 hp engine.

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On parade in East berlin in 1984.

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This is the East German, export version, T-72M.

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It was called the ‘monkey model’ and had thinner armour and downgraded weapons systems.

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T-72M, East Berlin 1984.

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Soviet ACRV M 1974(2).

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Artillery Command & Reconnaissance Vehicle.

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Designed and built to operate with the 2S3 and 2S5 122mm and 152mm self-propelled artillery systems.

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The hull is of all-welded steel armour construction, protecting the crew for small arms fire and shell splinters. It has three roof-mounted day periscopes and a roof mounted swivelling periscope.

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The commander and driver are seated at the front of the vehicle with to large windows which can be covered by armoured shutters.

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Single door in the rear of the hull.

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Powered by a diesel engine.

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ACRV’s on route to East Berlin – 1984.

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ACRV’s on parade in East Berlin – 1984

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ACRV on the move

Future posts will cover the Warsaw Pact,  the Soviet likely strategy and the Airborne and Spetsnaz force.

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my research and experiences with you.  This is the first of my new ‘Cold War’ series, supporting the writing of my new ‘Cold War’ series of novels, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany by the Warsaw Pact in the 80’s. ‘The Red Effect’. so keep your eyes peeled.

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HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black