Cold War Kit. CVR(T) Scorpion. Part 1.

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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 cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

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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. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.

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The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. 

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Manufactured by Alvis, it was put into service by the British Army in 1973.

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It was used as a reconnaissance vehicle or a light tank.

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3,000 were produced.

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The Scorpion was armed with a low-velocity, 76mm L23A1 gun, along with a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.

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The first British Regiment to be equipped with the Scorpion were the Blues and Royals

of the Household Cavalry in 1973.

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Its rate of fire was said to be six rounds per minute.

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The original engine was the Jaguar J60, a 4.2 litre petrol engine. It was later change to a Cummins or Perkins diesel engine.

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A Soviet airborne amphibious tracked infantry combat vehicle. It can be palletised and dropped by parachute or off-loaded from an aircraft after a standard runway landing.

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Present day, airborne troops in Abkhazia.

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It was also fitted with a nuclear, biological and chemical protection system. There was a toilet beneath the commander’s seat, an internal water tank and a BV. A Boiling Vessel for cooking or heating water.

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Two troops from B Squadron, Blues and Royals served in the Falklands War.

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Its low ground pressure, similar to a soldier on foot, was particularly useful on the boggy ground of the Falkland Islands.

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The armour was made of 12.7mm welded aluminium.

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A top speed of 45mph, although i am sure it has been driven at a higher speed.

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Torsion bar suspension.

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The close reconnaissance troop of an Armoured Regiment each had eight Scorpions.

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It was used by 21 other countries, including Spain and Togo.

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The basic chassis of the CVR(T), supported a range of vehicles. FV 102 Striker, anti-tank guided weapon carrier. FV 103 Spartan, armoured personnel carrier. FV 104. Samaritan armoured ambulance.

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FV 105. Sultan Command Post vehicle. FV 106. Sampson armoured recovery vehicle. FV 107 Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle.

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i hope this has given you a further insight into what NATO, in particular the British Army, had in their armoury.

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 Red Effect. Nuclear Defence.  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.

Even as early as the late 40s, early 50s, there was a real fear of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.

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B-28 Nuclear Bomb, carried by the B-52 bomber in the 60s.

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With a 1 megaton yield, it would devastate a city and the surrounding area.

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 we still prepared for the worst.

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Advice was provided by the local authorities, giving guidance on how best to defend yourself from the threat.

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Information was basic, but the authorities themselves knew very little about how the population could defend themselves against an all-out nuclear exchange. It was expected that over 300 megatons would be dropped on Great Britain alone, enough to blast it back into the dark ages.

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To assist local Government, in the event of a nuclear exchange, or other major catastrophe, Regional Control Centres would assume full powers over a specific area. They were provided with tools to help cope with the nuclear threat. 

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This Radiological Survey Meter was built in 1962, by the Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio. It is brand new, fortunately unused.

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It records the rate at which at which your body is being exposed to radiation. It is used to find the best shelter and evaluate shielding arrangements. Even stacks of books were seen as an aid to blocking out radiation.

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Very basic circuitry, powered by a 1.5 volt, D-Cell battery

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Made in 1962, the latest test date for the Ion Chamber is 1991, and it still works.

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Measures up to 500 roentgens per hour. Only a few hours at that level would usually be lethal for a human being.

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Basic Instruction Book

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CD V-175

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Dosimeters. Design to be carried on the person to measure the body’s accumulated exposure to radiation.

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Dosimeter charger, used to ‘Zero’ the dosimeters.

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Total Exposure

0-50R – No visible effects

50-200R – Brief periods of nausea. 50% experience radiation sickness

200-450R – 50% deaths within two to four weeks.

450-600R – Serious radiation sickness. Death to 50% within one to three weeks.

Over 600R – Severe radiation sickness. 100% deaths within two weeks.

The thought of it ever happening is frightening.

i hope this has given you a further insight into what was happening during the Cold War Period, 1946-1989. Going forward I will add more information in support of my Cold War trilogy.

The Blog is copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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

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Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS. October 1925 – 8 April 2013. The longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th Century and the only woman to have held the post.

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She was a tough cookie and probably had more grit than most of her Cabinet colleagues.

Although not everybody’s favourite and hated by some, she always did her best to ensure the British Forces were given what was needed to complete their task, within the financial constraints that we all have to endure. I joined the same year she became PM and can remember receiving a substantial pay rise when it was discovered that soldiers getting killed and wounded in Northern Ireland, at the rate of two or more per week, were having to claim housing benefit in order to feed and house their families.

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A 22 carat Gold plated Silver Medal Crown struck to celebrate her inauguration as Prime Minister in 1979.

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Translation of the latin inscription on the reverse. ‘May the Lord protect my steps’.

Originally a research chemist before becoming a barrister, she was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959.

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Margaret Thatcher’s victory over Europe. When in European Union meetings, she was in the habit of looking her opponents in the eye and stating ‘I want my money back’.

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She quickly got the reputation as an Iron Lady. This cartoon sketched, and signed, by David Levine, an American artist and illustrator, and a political satirist,  very much portrays that image. Included in The New York Review of Books 1982.

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She also took a tough stance in respect to the Cold War and the threat that was ever present from the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact countries.

This first day cover, signed by Margaret Thatcher, takes pride of place on my writing desk where i pull together all the research for my novels.

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The personally signed Parachute Regiment 50th Anniversary first day cover.

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A close-up of some of the stamps on the cover.

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The Parachute Regiment 1942-1992

This is not a Political Post. I just want to take the opportunity to pass on my condolences to her family and wish that she rests in peace.

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

The 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 Cold War Years – Part 4.

I am 18,500 words into the first novel of my new ‘Cold War’ series. 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’, will encompass the intelligence build up leading to the Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them.

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.

An Iconic picture of the face-off between the West and the East.  The Cold War starts – October 1961.

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I shall cover various aspects of the two opposing forces, providing the backdrop and background information in preparation for the release of my three novels. In the meantime, you could always read my WW2, Devils with Wings series. :)

In 1984/85, the Warsaw Pact was already a significant force, the Soviet Union in particular.

Although the key strategic Nuclear Forces of the Soviet Union and NATO, were either land based or submarine launched, supported by Tactical, Theatre, Nuclear weapons, they also had the use of the Air Force to deliver a nuclear strike.

Soviet Union.

Long Range Bombers – 100 x Tu-95 (Codename Bear). Unknown number of Bear H in production, capable of carrying an air-launched cruise missile.

Medium Range Bombers – 220 x Tu-16 (Codename Badger), 125 x Tu-22 (Codename Blinder) and 130 x Tu-22M (codenamed Backfire).

Tu-160 (Codenamed Blackjack).

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Tupolev Tu-95. (NATO Code Name: Bear). Claimed to be a reverse engineered B-29, Super-fortres. A long wingspan of 164 feet.

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 Maximum speed of 575 mph with a range of 9,400 miles. Armament of 2 x 23mm AM-23, radar-controlled auto-cannon. 15,000 kilogram payload. The Tu-95MS variant carried the Kh-55, air-launched strategic cruise missile family, one with a 200 kiloton warhead.

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Tu-22 Blinder. A supersonic, swing-wing, long range strategic and maritime strike bomber.

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Tu-22. Speed of 1,240 mph with a combat radius of 1,500 miles. 1 x 23 mm GSh-23, remote-controlled cannon in tail turret. The Kh-55 nuclear cruise missile has been tested on this aircraft, but no confirmation that it is in service.

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Tu-160 (Codename Blackjack).  Swing-wing, with a max speed 1,380 mph and a range of 7,600 miles, without in-flight refuelling. Can carry 12 x Raduga Kh-55, nuclear cruise missiles or 12 x Raduga Kh-15 short-range nuclear missiles.

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Kh-55 Cruise Missile.

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United States of America

Long Range Bombers – 90 x B-52H and  84 x B-52G

Medium Range Bombers – 56 x FB-111A

On order – 18 x B-1B bombers (100 planned.)

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Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, with underslung drones.

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Lower deck of the B-52, dubbed the battle-station.

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B-52H. Payload of 31,500 kilograms of mixed ordnance. 1 x 20mm M61 Vulcan cannon mounted in remote-control tail turret. The B-28 nuclear bomb could be set for an air or ground burst with a yield of up to 1.45 megaton.

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Maximum speed of 650 mph, with a range of 3,980 miles.

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FB-111A, long range bomber. It could carry the AGM-69 SRAM, Short Range Attack Missile (Nuclear). Speed of 1,650 mph with a range of 1,160 nautical miles.

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Rockwell B-1 Lancer, a four engined, variable-sweep winged strategic bomber. The planned replacement for the B-52. Maximum speed of 830 mph, with a range of 7,456 miles. Can carry 24 x B61 (Max 340 kilotons) or B63 (Max 1.2 megatons) nuclear gravity bombs.

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B-28 nuclear bomb.

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United Kingdom

Strategic Long Range Bombers – 130 x Avro Vulcan.B2

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Delta Wing Strategic Bomber

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Armament: 21 x 454 kilograms of conventional bombs or 1 x free-fall nuclear bomb/1 x Blue Steel missile (1.1 megaton).

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Maximum speed of 607 mph with a range of 2,600 miles.

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Blue Steel – Air Launched Cruise Missile.

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France

Supersonic Strategic Bombers – 28 x Mirage IVA

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Maximum speed of 1,454 mph and a range of 775 miles. Carries 1 x AN-11 or 1 x AN-22 nuclear bomb (70 kilotons).

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AN-11 Nuclear Bomb

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There were also the conventional forces lined up along the Inner German Border, the visible barrier between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or better known as West and East Germany. I shall be covering their organisation and equipment over the coming months.

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M-60, or Patton Tank.

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Maximum speed of 30 mph

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A first generation Main Battle Tank.

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Main armament is the British 105mm, M68 gun.

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45 tons with an armour thickness of 155.6mm.

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V-12, air-cooled Twin-turbo diesel engine.

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Top speed of 30mph.

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Introduced in 1960.

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Saw service in the Gulf War.

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M-60 Patton,  over 15,000 built.

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M-60

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Carries a .50 calibre gun

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M-60

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Berlin Air Safety Centre controlled all aircraft in and out of Berlin, including the Air Corridors that transited East Germany.

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Berlin Air Safety Centre controlled all aircraft in and out of Berlin, including the Air Corridors that transited East Germany.

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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Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black