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90s NATO and WP OOB- What if


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Just now, Rick said:

Is there a reason for the Soviet style tank divisions to be so tank heavy? Iirc, Western tank divisions tend to be about a 1:1 ratio of tank formations to armored infantry formation?

They had formations for offensive, not defensive operations. Motor Rifle was for the break in, Tank divisions were for the break out. If you think that ratio is alarming, you should look at the Unified Corp concept.

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1 minute ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

They had formations for offensive, not defensive operations. Motor Rifle was for the break in, Tank divisions were for the break out. If you think that ratio is alarming, you should look at the Unified Corp concept.

Unified Corp?

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Too short in infantry in tank units. Too heavy for supply in comparison to lack in infantry. Peacetime organizational structure which would require changes on regimental/battalion level for any conventional action and with that issue with changed leadership of task force vs peacetime organisation.

Just note that in december 1980 during czechoslovak aborted invasion of Poland 1st TD and 9th TD changed tank regiments with MRDs so that both tank divisions had structure 2+2 tank vs motor-rifle regiments.

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5 hours ago, B0l0 said:

Next up- DDR 1998 OOB
No force reduction, military spending rising at the same pace as during 1980-88

As I argued on the old "Cold War lasts into 2012" thread, the DDR was faced with the same demographic problems as contemporary West Germany, exacerbated by a lack of workers in its socialist economy. There were plans for a force reduction from 1985 on rather than an increase of terms of conscription as the FRG did (despite a Soviet demand for more troops); the intention was also to recruit more professional soldiers, but those too would have been missing in the civilian economy, and in fact young officers were increasingly sent to lead "work brigades" directly after training.

In January 1989 the DDR leadership announced a rather hasty reduction by 10,000 troops and ten percent of defense expenditures, including the disbanding of six tank regiments and one fighter wing (I believe this left the mot. rifle divisions without tank regiments at all). This may not be politically permissible without a thaw leading to and end of the Cold War in the late 80s, but the problems wouldn't go away rather than increase.

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3 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

As I argued on the old "Cold War lasts into 2012" thread, the DDR was faced with the same demographic problems as contemporary West Germany, exacerbated by a lack of workers in its socialist economy. There were plans for a force reduction from 1985 on rather than an increase of terms of conscription as the FRG did (despite a Soviet demand for more troops); the intention was also to recruit more professional soldiers, but those too would have been missing in the civilian economy, and in fact young officers were increasingly sent to lead "work brigades" directly after training.

In January 1989 the DDR leadership announced a rather hasty reduction by 10,000 troops and ten percent of defense expenditures, including the disbanding of six tank regiments and one fighter wing (I believe this left the mot. rifle divisions without tank regiments at all). This may not be politically permissible without a thaw leading to and end of the Cold War in the late 80s, but the problems wouldn't go away rather than increase.

That may be in line with some orbat changes in some of the Soviet formations in the same period, Gorbachev demanding a more defensive concept, and some units at least in 2nd Guards Tank Army were converted from tank to Motor Rifle Units. The Unified Corps were converted back to MRD's in the same period.

This is of course part of the problem with the projected scenario, do you continue with the pre 86 offensive orbat, or convert to the defensive one? Although the ostensibly defensive orbat did provide some offensive advantage, such as lots and lots of infantry. Considering how urbanized the Inner German Border was becoming, this may have been a distinct advantage, as I think I noticed a CIA report of this period noting.

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52 minutes ago, Pavel Novak said:

Regarding DDR, I thing that proposed rearmament with T-72S is way too optimistic. During 10 years of 1980s they were able to completely rearm only one panzer division with T-72. So in next five years I can see that they finish rearming of the second one with T-72M1 and maybe got one regiment worth of T-72S by 1995 (and thus only one regiment worth of older T-72 freed for MRDs).

Similar with BMP-2, they had I think just one battalion in 1989, so by 1995 at best two regiments for panzer divisions but nothing for MRDs.

There are too much artillery battalions in panzer division's artillery regiments.

Finally no more SS-23. What was obtained in 1980s is final number due to INF treaty.

If I'm not wrong they had 550 T-72 (136 M1) in 1989. That leves them with just 70 tanks to fully rearm both TDs. I assume that could be completed in 1990. But yeah close to 100 T-72S a year might be too much. 

I'll look again into those artillery regiments.

Afaik they halted bmp-2 procurement due to economic and political crisis. If we rule that out I can see them getting 400 more of them by '98. Poland planned to buy 520 bmp-2 by just '95.

I agree on SS-23.

I finally settled on 1998 to allow some marder-2 and leo 2a6 for WG. 

 

27 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

That may be in line with some orbat changes in some of the Soviet formations in the same period, Gorbachev demanding a more defensive concept, and some units at least in 2nd Guards Tank Army were converted from tank to Motor Rifle Units. The Unified Corps were converted back to MRD's in the same period.

This is of course part of the problem with the projected scenario, do you continue with the pre 86 offensive orbat, or convert to the defensive one? Although the ostensibly defensive orbat did provide some offensive advantage, such as lots and lots of infantry. Considering how urbanized the Inner German Border was becoming, this may have been a distinct advantage, as I think I noticed a CIA report of this period noting.

The offensive stance stays, but some reasonable changes in oob will be implemented. 

I can see that 3rd shock army would suffer from too small infantry numbers with their 4 TDs. 

Some tank units will be converted to 2MRRs and 2 TRs. 

Unified Corps stays. Scenario assumes some build up, so 148th UC will be brought to western russia from the far east. That will make 2 of them along with 5 UC. 

I found interesting and plausible to&e for those which I will share later. 

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36 minutes ago, B0l0 said:

If I'm not wrong they had 550 T-72 (136 M1) in 1989. That leves them with just 70 tanks to fully rearm both TDs. I assume that could be completed in 1990. But yeah close to 100 T-72S a year might be too much. 

I'll look again into those artillery regiments.

Afaik they halted bmp-2 procurement due to economic and political crisis. If we rule that out I can see them getting 400 more of them by '98. Poland planned to buy 520 bmp-2 by just '95.

...

Some 120 T-72 missing for finishing rearmament of the second panzer division. Average rearmament for whole 1980s is some 60-70 tanks (or two battalions) per year (though faster in first half of 1980s and slower in second half). With speed rearmament from second half of 1980s they would finish rearmament of the second panzer division in 1992.

Getting 400 BMP-2 by 1998 is realistic but not by 1995. Polish and Czechoslovak experience is different due to domestic production (see how Czechoslovakia was surpassing East Germany in both T-72 numbers and also in modernized T-54/55). Good thing is looking how quickly they were able to rearm units in 1980s and I really doubt that it would be possible to be better in theoretical 1990s.

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Thank you for a very interesting "what if" thread.

With regards to the NVA purhaps this old link to the proposed up to 1995 proirities may be helpful in answering some of the above questions. https://web.archive.org/web/20070307170620/http://militaertechnik-der-nva.de/Stichworte/KomplexeThemen/Technik1995.html

its from the same site that was mentioned in the first post of this thread about the NVA's position in 2000.

It talks a lot about replacing equipment more than 20 years old, however the NVA's programme to move its BTR based MRR's to BTR-70's was fairly slow in the late 80's and the last front line MRR to convert to BTR-70's (MRR-2 of 1st MSD) only re-equipped in 1989. Not sure therefore that they would have got to 100% BTR-80's in front line MRR BTR equipped units by 1998? 

 

 

Edited by Captain Hurricane
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20 hours ago, Pavel Novak said:

For me it is interesting how Yugoslavia was in military equipment surpassing non-soviet warsaw pact countries and its freedom in organizational matters (Czechoslovak army resigned to develop own organizational ideas already at the end of 1950s). Also I would insolently state here that Czechoslovak starting position after ww2 was significantly better than Yugoslav one but by 1980s it was already loosing and not just because of that bulky divisional structure.

Part of the original development of orgs, especially lower ones was due the very specific requirements. There was a requirement for every Infantry Co to be able of (limited) ability to operate independently if cut off. Hence 82mm mortars and 82mm RCLs at Co level (except in specific 1969 and 1981 orgs) and multitude of specialized (Hill, Mountain, Light Partrisan) infantry units.

Not all ideas could be implemented - very promising F-80 Infantry Co org with "modular" platoons was abandoned and much simpler F-85/87/90 was implemented. Those also got rid of 82mm mortars at Co level, in preference to Independant Mortar Plt under Bn Hq that would be either split in sections or attached to one Co. Idea was sound, but did not really work in practice, and even before war, in the planned F-92 reorganization mortars were to be brought back to Co level, with 4 x 82mm at each Co. (IRL they were brought back in F-93 org, that was basically F-92 with few tweaks).

In general tendency was to have a lot of support weapons to support relatively few frontline troops until you hit about Bde level. And even there in those "theoretical F-2000" orgs, they have ~25% less tanks and IFVs than 1990/91 orgs, but they have kept about same, or even increased levels of support elements. This was done in order to increase number of brigades as main operational units.

Higher levels were often "miss" as well as "hit" - both attempt to copy US Pentomic org, as well as Soviet Regiment/Divisional org ended in more-less disaster. 1st one was problematic itself (through French have made it work...), second one was simply not flexible enough for an expected battlefield.

One thing that helped was cooperation with other countries*, through that was sometimes with issues of their own (whole thing with Romania, oh god, what a disaster it was, vs relatively smooth cooperation with Czechoslovakia, Poland, Sweden, UK and Swiss).

There were also a lot of development problems:

- M-60/M-60P APC program was probably a largest disaster, in the end, by early '70s it was workable, if not really good after 12+ years of development, but that thing has almost lead to a blanket ban on development of armored vehicles (When a domestic production of a new tank (still to be determined) was discussed argument was "We could not build proper APC, how do you expect to build tank"?)

- Automatic rifle program was horribly late (wrote about it at forum previously). Sniper rifles were almost non-existent until '70s.

- J-22 attack plane was about 10-15 years late.

- ATGMs... Oh, don't get me started. First US canceled planned TOW acquisition in '70s due the sale of MDAP M47s to Ethiopia, then local SACLOS ATGM (Drug) ended up as lemon, then acquisition of Konkurs was canceled in early '80s, then again local development (Drug-2) was not going well... Etc. Maljutka as main long range forever :(

 

*Is the good old DR-M3/IT-65 radiation detector still in use in Czech Army or retired?

Edited by bojan
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5 hours ago, Pavel Novak said:

Some 120 T-72 missing for finishing rearmament of the second panzer division. Average rearmament for whole 1980s is some 60-70 tanks (or two battalions) per year (though faster in first half of 1980s and slower in second half). With speed rearmament from second half of 1980s they would finish rearmament of the second panzer division in 1992.

Getting 400 BMP-2 by 1998 is realistic but not by 1995. Polish and Czechoslovak experience is different due to domestic production (see how Czechoslovakia was surpassing East Germany in both T-72 numbers and also in modernized T-54/55). Good thing is looking how quickly they were able to rearm units in 1980s and I really doubt that it would be possible to be better in theoretical 1990s.

There were 644 tanks in 2 Panzer divisions at most, so 96 tanks missing (there were 550 in 1989). Where does 120 come from? Training and replacements? It's not a big difference though.
What about just 4 T-72S regiments in 1998? That would 376 tanks in 5-6 years (~68 a year).

As for artillery battalions, turns out I'm right (1 in MRR, 5 in artillery regiment). If my source is accurate.
I'm using this oob, seems to be very well researched

https://www.relikte.com/_basis/docs/nva-9.pdf (page 348-9)

It also confirms structure of TRs in TDs, with MR company in peacetime, expanded to battalion in wartime.
Interesting detail on p. 378- 1 tank battalion is outfitted with T-72 in MRD.20- reserve formation. I wonder what was the reason for that.

 

5 hours ago, Captain Hurricane said:

Thank you for a very interesting "what if" thread.

With regards to the NVA purhaps this old link to the proposed up to 1995 proirities may be helpful in answering some of the above questions. https://web.archive.org/web/20070307170620/http://militaertechnik-der-nva.de/Stichworte/KomplexeThemen/Technik1995.html

its from the same site that was mentioned in the first post of this thread about the NVA's position in 2000.

It talks a lot about replacing equipment more than 20 years old, however the NVA's programme to move its BTR based MRR's to BTR-70's was fairly slow in the late 80's and the last front line MRR to convert to BTR-70's (MRR-2 of 1st MSD) only re-equipped in 1989. Not sure therefore that they would have got to 100% BTR-80's in front line MRR BTR equipped units by 1998? 

 

 

Thanks for pointing that out.
Does that mean that all 1st line BTR regiments had BTR-70 in '89? Still BTR-80 is very cheap compared to IFVs and tanks and there are only 6 regiments to reequip, since 2 are converted to BMP.
Do you know what was the historical rate of BTR-70 deliveries?

Seems like I overestimated DDR modernisation capabilities by quite a bit. :D

What are the odds that Soviet Union would supply their allies with discounted or free equipment if the tensions were high enough and long enough? I am working on alternate timeline, so the war can start in '98.

This is proving to be much more complicated than I thought.

Edited by B0l0
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4 hours ago, bojan said:

Part of the original development of orgs, especially lower ones was due the very specific requirements. There was a requirement for every Infantry Co to be able of (limited) ability to operate independently if cut off. Hence 82mm mortars and 82mm RCLs at Co level (except in specific 1969 and 1981 orgs) and multitude of specialized (Hill, Mountain, Light Partrisan) infantry units.

Not all ideas could be implemented - very promising F-80 Infantry Co org with "modular" platoons was abandoned and much simpler F-85/87/90 was implemented. Those also got rid of 82mm mortars at Co level, in preference to Independant Mortar Plt under Bn Hq that would be either split in sections or attached to one Co. Idea was sound, but did not really work in practice, and even before war, in the planned F-92 reorganization mortars were to be brought back to Co level, with 4 x 82mm at each Co. (IRL they were brought back in F-93 org, that was basically F-92 with few tweaks).

In general tendency was to have a lot of support weapons to support relatively few frontline troops until you hit about Bde level. And even there in those "theoretical F-2000" orgs, they have ~25% less tanks and IFVs than 1990/91 orgs, but they have kept about same, or even increased levels of support elements. This was done in order to increase number of brigades as main operational units.

Higher levels were often "miss" as well as "hit" - both attempt to copy US Pentomic org, as well as Soviet Regiment/Divisional org ended in more-less disaster. 1st one was problematic itself (through French have made it work...), second one was simply not flexible enough for an expected battlefield.

One thing that helped was cooperation with other countries*, through that was sometimes with issues of their own (whole thing with Romania, oh god, what a disaster it was, vs relatively smooth cooperation with Czechoslovakia, Poland, Sweden, UK and Swiss).

There were also a lot of development problems:

- M-60/M-60P APC program was probably a largest disaster, in the end, by early '70s it was workable, if not really good after 12+ years of development, but that thing has almost lead to a blanket ban on development of armored vehicles (When a domestic production of a new tank (still to be determined) was discussed argument was "We could not build proper APC, how do you expect to build tank"?)

- Automatic rifle program was horribly late (wrote about it at forum previously). Sniper rifles were almost non-existent until '70s.

- J-22 attack plane was about 10-15 years late.

- ATGMs... Oh, don't get me started. First US canceled planned TOW acquisition in '70s due the sale of MDAP M47s to Ethiopia, then local SACLOS ATGM (Drug) ended up as lemon, then acquisition of Konkurs was canceled in early '80s, then again local development (Drug-2) was not going well... Etc. Maljutka as main long range forever :(

 

*Is the good old DR-M3/IT-65 radiation detector still in use in Czech Army or retired?

Thanks for this explanation!

Regarding IT-65 I don't know. I went through NBC training as conscript and I have used some radiation detector but I have no idea now what was its designation. During my active reserve time we trained only chemical scenario (not much) and nothing regarding radiation.

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This one, through AFAIK Czechoslovakia used different carry bag:

radioloski_detektor_drm3_04.jpg

Czech version, same as for writings and designation (IT-65), also made in Rudi Čajevec factory (that also made M-84 FCS).

pi483-2991-intenzimetr-it-65-94-2_540_54

 

Edited by bojan
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38 minutes ago, B0l0 said:

There were 644 tanks in 2 Panzer divisions at most, so 96 tanks missing (there were 550 in 1989). Where does 120 come from? Training and replacements? It's not a big difference though.
What about just 4 T-72S regiments in 1998? That would 376 tanks in 5-6 years (~68 a year).

As for artillery battalions, turns out I'm right (1 in MRR, 5 in artillery regiment). If my source is accurate.
I'm using this oob, seems to be very well researched

https://www.relikte.com/_basis/docs/nva-9.pdf (page 348-9)

It also confirms structure of TRs in TDs, with MR company in peacetime, expanded to battalion in wartime.
Interesting detail on p. 378- 1 tank battalion is outfitted with T-72 in MRD.20- reserve formation. I wonder what was the reason for that.

 

Thanks for pointing that out.
Does that mean that all 1st line BTR regiments had BTR-70 in '89? Still BTR-80 is very cheap compared to IFVs and tanks and there are only 6 regiments to reequip, since 2 are converted to BMP.
Do you know what was the historical rate of BTR-70 deliveries?

Seems like I overestimated DDR modernisation capabilities by quite a bit. :D

What are the odds that Soviet Union would supply their allies with discounted or free equipment if the tensions were high enough and long enough? I am working on alternate timeline, so the war can start in '98.

This is proving to be much more complicated than I thought.

Some T-72 could have been used for training separately from panzer divisions. In Czechoslovakia the original soviet made T-72 with optical rangefinder were used only as training machines and in 1980s moved between different units. Also further T-72 (cs produced) were deployed with other schools and separate training units. Some of the independent mobilized regiments could have been based on school units with some T-72.

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1 minute ago, bojan said:

This one, through AFAIK Czechoslovakia used different carry bag:

radioloski_detektor_drm3_04.jpg

Yeah, that could be it. I remember that "if you don't have that protective cover (not in photo, you should not use that without it) over detector head just cover it with condom."

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Czechoslovak front structure (major units) in hypothetical year 1995, changes against 1988/89 underlined:

 

Czechoslovak Front assets:

- 311th SSM Brigade - one battalion with Oka (SS-23) and two battalions with Elbrus (SCUD B )

- 7th Artillery Division:

         -- 71st Gun Artillery Brigade - four battalions with ShKH Ondava (my fantasy, originally there were 130mm M-46)

         -- 72nd Gun Artillery Brigade - four battalions with 130mm M-46 (originally there were 122mm vz. 31/37 (A-19) but in this fantasy reequiped with freed guns from 71st Brigade) (mobilization unit)

         -- 73rd Gun Artillery Brigade - four battalions with 152mm vz. 37 (ML-20) (mobilization unit)

         -- 74th MRL Brigade - four battalions with RM-70 (mobilization unit)

         -- 75th Heavy Howitzer Artillery Brigade - four battalions with ShKH-77 Dana

         -- High Power Artillery Battalion - two batteries with 2S7 Pion and one battery with 2S4 Tulpan

- Anti-Tank Brigade - four battalions with 100mm vz. 53 (mobilization unit, not sure with composition, could utilize SU-100 if they are still around - they were in 1989)

- 82nd SAM Brigade - three battalions with Krug-M1 (SA-4)

- 71st Airborne Assault Battalion

- 22nd Special Purpose Airborne Brigade

- 31st Mixed Command and Reconnaissance Squadron - Mi-2, Mi-8 (including Mi-8PPA)

 

Similarly to army assets I don't see much what could have changed between 1989 and 1995 apart of incorporating 152mm ShKH Ondava. SAM Krug (SA-4) would definitely still be there. Maybe there will be some effort to strengthen front aviation as original front assault helicopter regiment was given to 4th army in second half of 1980s.

Edited by Pavel Novak
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/9/2023 at 5:53 PM, B0l0 said:

My first post, nice to meet you all!

I need some advice on my hobby project- scenario for WW3 in late 1990s, where Soviet union and Warsaw Pact somehow survives and does much better economically then irl.
So I'm trying to construct OOBs for both sides and while I'm mostly done with NATO, I have serious problems with Warsaw Pact:

Poland

I found great article in Polish military history magazine on planned military procurement for LWP for 1991-95:
image.png.48c398bf6c5f57ee11a93d0afb6f9519.png
Some of those are very suprising, like advanced 2s6 for premier armored divisions and Tor SAM (article states thay were supposed to join 8 mechanized division).
But what would be next Polish MBT? T72S, or some domestic modernization of M1 model, like T72M2 Wilk program (maybe joint project with Czechoslovakia)?

East Germany

I found a site which detailes NVA procurement plans for 1990s pretty precisely.
http://militaertechnik-der-nva.de/Tagebuch/Technik2000/Technik2000.html

Among others T-72S, BTR-80, Buk and Tor SAMs, Msta-B artillery.
Somewhere else I read that they were planning to buy 2s19 and even sent some personnel to Soviet Union to train on them, but I couldn't find it ever again and frankly I don't quite believe it.

Czechoslovakia

Here I've got nothing, any help? I suppose they would introduce PRAM-S mortars and maybe STROP-2 SPAAG? Any domestic modernization of T-72?

Soviet Union

The fun begins here!
Do you think T-80U and BMP-3 would finally be deployed to GSFG? Would 2S19 join them by 1997-9?
I assumed that next Soviet MBT would be obj 187, is that likely? Would some be combat ready in Moscow MD by 1997-9?
Were there plans for further modernization of T-64 by the end of cold war?
Also how common woud be thermal optics on tanks by late '90?

I know that's a lot of questions, so bear with me. From what I've seen on discussions here you know too much about all this stuff, and I've learned so much.
And feel free to point me in the right direction, if I posted it in the wrong section :D

Is PASUW system this:

http://opisybroni.pl/kompleks-manewr/

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@Pavel Novak:

do you know, how long would it take to fully mobilise and deploy:

1) lower readiness divisions from 1st and 4th Army?

2) 13th and 14th Tank Divisions in Eastern MD/2nd Army?

3) 5x reserve divisions (mobilised by regular units)?

4) artillery brigades of 7th Arty Division?

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