British Army on the Move  3 – Tankfest 2016.

Another great Tankfest weekend.  The star of the show for me was the Challenger 2 – ‘Megatron’.

The 65 ton Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank is one of the most formidable tanks in the world. 120mm main armament, co-axial 7.62mm chain gun and a Remote Weapon Station capable of carrying up to a 0.5 (12.7mm) calibre heavy machine gun.

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Photos and Post copyrighted to Harvey Black


Military/Intelligence Bulletin 08/2016 – Russian Roulette.

Red Alert! Is the upgrading of the Russian Federation’s armed forces and the various International deployments indicating a return to the Cold War of old?

So where are the Russian forces currently deployed?

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Kaliningrad base

Kaliningrad.

Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad, part of the Western Military District, is strategically placed. With Poland to the south and southwest, Belarus to the southeast and Lithuania to the east, the Kaliningrad Defensive Area plays a key role in countering the US missile defence system in Europe and places Russian forces directly behind the three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The forces in situ are significant – Voronezh DM early-warning radar, 25th Coastal Missile Regiment, 336th Naval Infantry Brigade, 244th Artillery Brigade, 3rd Aerospace Defence Brigade, 79th Motor Rifle Brigade, 7th Motor Rifle Brigade and the 152nd Missile Brigade. There are also three Aviation Groups (Helicopters, transport aircraft, bombers and fighters) along with naval surface forces.

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Crimea, a region of Ukraine of its southern coast.

Crimea

It is common knowledge that the Russian Federation has reinforced Crimea, threatening the underbelly of mainland Ukraine. The minimum Russian forces in situ late 2015/early 2016 are as follows:

126th Naval Infantry Brigade (formerly Ukrainian forces, but now incorporated into the Russian military), 810th Naval Infantry Brigade, 127th Independent Recce Brigade, 219th Independent EW Regiment, 1096th SAM Regiment, 15th Coastal Missile Brigade, 1 battalion from 11th Anti-ship missile Brigade, 31st Air Defence Division and the 8th Artillery Regiment. They are supported by helicopters from 318th Mixed Aviation Regiment and the 38th Fighter Regiment. For naval forces, the Black Sea Fleet has the 11th ASW Ship Brigade, 41st Missile Boat Brigade, 197th Landing Ship Brigade and the 68th Area Protection Ship Brigade.

Russian equipment newly deployed to Crimea, consists of:

T-72B3 Main Battle Tanks, BTR-82A, Su-30SM Flanker (FGA), SU27SM Flanker (FGA), SA-20 Gargoyle SAM, K-300P Bastion (SSC-5-Stooge Anti-ship missiles) and 3K60 Bal (SSC-6 Sennight Anti-ship missiles).

More forces are believed to be on their way.

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Transdniester, a partially recognised country between the River Dniester

and the eastern Moldovam border with Ukraine

Transdniester

A country few people are aware of. It is a constant threat to peace in Moldova and has at least 1,500 Russian military deployed there. 2 Motor Rifle battalions with approximately 100 MBTs/AIFVs/APCs. there are also 7 Mi-24 Hind and 8 Mi-8 Hip helicopters.

Again, these forces are ideally positioned, particularly if reinforced, to create havoc, supporting any attack on Ukraine.

Arctic

Not forgetting the Russian Arctic Joint Strategic Command, ensuring Russian military presence in polar waters.

There are Russian, and Russian backed pro-Russian separatists, forces in Ukraine itself. I will cover those in a later Post. Also Central Asia, Caucasus, Syria and the Black Sea.

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black


The Cold War – Redux (Duplicity) KOBO interview London Book Fair 2016.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a Cold War trilogy, The Red Effect, The Black Effect and The Blue Effect, portraying what I believe could have happened in the 1980’s, had the Soviets, and the Warsaw Pact, taken the decision to attack West Germany and plunged the world into a third world war.

I now ask myself the question, are we heading down that very route now? To answer that, I written the first book in a new Cold War trilogy, or the ‘Cool War’ as it is sometimes referred to. The title is ‘The Cold War – Redux (Duplicity)’.

Where does my story start? I felt the only way to find the answer to that was to go to the very melting pot that could turn the Cool War, into a Hot War, the Ukraine.

Please watch the KOBO interview conducted at the London Book Fair 2016. 8 minutes in. Embarrassing watching yourself on video!

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The Cold War – Redux (Duplicity) KOBO interview London Book Fair.

8 minutes in for Harvey Black.

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The flag of Ukraine.

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T-80, painted in the colours of the Ukrainian Flag,  at the War Museum in Kiev

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Cold War Redux – Book 1. Duplicity


Military/Intelligence Bulletin 07/2016 – Russia plans new divisions to counter NATO.

Russia plans to create two additional army divisions to counter what it sees as the NATO threat.

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Russian Western Military District.

 

By the end of 2016, Russia is planning on creating two new divisions to counter what it perceives as the growing NATO military might on its borders. These new divisions are in addition to the two announced in January.

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Russian T-72B3. Deliveries to the Russian army started in 2012 and continues today. This type of tank has been seen near the Ukrainian border.

One of these newly announced divisions will be created in the Western Military District and the second one in the Southern Military District. The two divisions announced in January will be created in the Central Military District and one in the Western Military District.

The ground forces commander-in-chief, Colonel General Oleg Salyukov, stated that these new divisions will formed from existing brigades. Although Russia abandoned the Soviet-era divisional structure as part of their reforms, due in the main to the chronic shortage of manpower, these divisions will revert to that older structure.

The divisions will likely consist of 10,000 men in six regiments. The worrying thing about these division types, is that they are designed for mass confrontation, as opposed to the brigades which were created to fight localised wars on Russia’s periphery. The Iron curtain is being drawn across the east west borders yet again.

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Blue – Western Military District

Brown – Southern Military District

Green – Central Military District

Orange – Eastern Military District

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Post copyrighted to Harvey Black