The Red Effect. The day the Cold War turned Hot. Part 3.

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. There are 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’.

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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In my last post I touched on the fact that the Soviets considered Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) weapons as a key part of their arsenal. NBC training was conducted by the British Army, and other NATO armies, in readiness if the Warsaw Pact used them in the event of a war. Although we trained hard, it was not always taken seriously. Fighting in full NBC kit was far from comfortable, but the consequences of not being prepared, for the individual soldier at least, would more than likely be death.

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A vacuum sealed, Mark IV protective smock.

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Vacuum packed Mark IV, protective NBC trousers.

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S6 NBC Respirator was issued to the British armed forces from 1966 until replaced by the S10 in 1986. A soldier would initially be supplied with two canisters, one on the respirator and one kept sealed in the respirator case.

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S6 respirator case. This would also contain Decontamination kit Personal 1, basically a ‘blot-bang’. A small pad full of fullers earth, with the instructions to blot, bang and rub. DKP2, a puffer bottle containing fullers earth. Anti-dimming compound, Detector paper (one colour) which turned dark blue if chemical liquid agents were present..

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NBC over-boots.

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Tread on the bottoms. Laced up over the soldiers combat boots. Unless tight, they had a tendency to slip sideways when running or moving across undulating ground.

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Black, rubberised protective gloves. White liner gloves would be worn beneath them.

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The trouser would be put on first.

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Straps/braces would hold them up.

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The smock, like the trousers, had a black, charcoal impregnated liner.

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Because it is semi-permeable, allowing perspiration to escape, once exposed to a liquid agent it needed to be replaced as soon as possible. 

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The Mark IV, unlike the Mark III, had a front-zipped smock.

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The Over-boots fitted.

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S6 Respirator with hood pulled over the top.

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Helmet and 58-pattern webbing and the transformation is complete.

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Chemical weapons consisted of the following types:

Blister Agents:

Mustard Gas and Nitrogen Mustards – Cause severe chemical burns resulting in painful water blisters. The fluid blisters heal slowly and can become infected. It is readily absorbed through eyes, lungs and skin. Exposure to the mustard vapour becomes evident in 4-6 hours and through the skin, 2-48 hours. For Lewisite, the impact is immediate.

As well as killing many soldiers, it would also put major pressure on the Army’s medical services.

Blister-arm

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Result of being exposed to a blister agent.

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Blood Agents:

Hydrogen Cyanide, Cyanogen Chloride and Arsine – Generally entering the body via inhalation, they inhibit the ability of blood cells to utilise and transfer oxygen, effectively causing the body to suffocate.

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Hi-level protection required when handling Blood Agents.

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Nerve Agents:

Organo-phosphorous compounds, Tabun, Sarin, Soman, GF, VX – Nerve Agents acquired their name because they effect the transmission of nerve impulses in the nervous system. Easily dispersed, highly toxic and can be rapidly absorbed through the skin and via respiration. Death would occur in a matter of minutes and it would be a horrible death.

There are persistent and non-persistent agents. The Warsaw Pact would use non-persistent to kill or debilitate the defenders, but the target would be clear of contamination for their assault. Persistent agents would used to potentially deny NATO forces access to bridges, they need to use for logistics, ammunition depots and airfields.

Red effect 3 081 (1)VG Nerve Agent.

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Biological Agents:

Anthrax, Brucellosis, Lassa fever, Typhus, Botulinum Toxin, etc.

Nuclear

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Speaks for itself, 

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Going forward i will add more information in support of my Cold War trilogy, including maps and photographs. Part 4 will cover the Soviet Spetsnaz and Airborne.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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

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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.

.

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.

.

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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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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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