1975 NATO vs. Warsaw Pact

Discussion in 'Modern' started by comiso90, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    1975... NATO vs. Warsaw Pact.

    Would the quality of the Western power's equipment offset the numerical superiority of the East in a conventional war?

    Navy: I believe the U.S, Navy and her allies would of quickly throttled anything the Soviets could have mustered on the open ocean. The Russian submarines would have been a terrific nuisance but little more.

    Air Superiority: It would have been close. There were a hell of a lot of MIG 21's

    Land: In a quick war, the Western powers in Europe would have been reduced to the island nation of England in 2 months. The longer NATO held out the better chance they would have had.

    Without nukes, I think the Ruskies could have steam rolled to Spain.


    1985, the A-10 and helicopters would have made a huge difference
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I would have to give the advantage in many area's to the Warsaw Pact.

    The US was still reeling from the defeat in Vietnam, and the change in doctrine and eqmt. that was apparent in the 80's, had not materialized.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I know you stated in the thread that it was 1975 but I am going to include the whole 1970s because I think war was immenant throughout that whole time period.

    Numerically the Soviets and her allies would have the advantage that is deffinatly true.

    I think in the end NATO had some advantages that could have offset the numerical superiority of the Soviets.

    1. AWACS (okay the E-3 Sentry did not enter service until 1977 but it was first flown and tested in 1975 so I am including it).
    Most Soviet aircraft relied on Ground based Radar for vectoriing to targets. The AWACS and its ability to track a such a vast amount of targets would have given an advantage to the NATO aircraft.

    2. F-15 Eagle (again it did not enter service until 1976 but it was being tested since 1972 so I will include it.)
    The F-15 combined with the AWACS system would have quickly given air superiority to NATO.

    3. F-14 Tomcat Was in service since 1974 and with its Pheonix missiles and combined with the F-15 would have done nice work of the Soviet Bombers.

    4. A-10 (same as the F-15 was in service in 1977 so I will include again.)
    The A-10 would have been a great force multiplier and taken away some of the advantage the Soviets had in numerical advantage.

    5. AH-1 Cobra
    Would have proven a great ground support aircraft and combined with tow missles would have helped desimate the Soviet Tank Divisions.

    6. NATO NCO Leadership
    Lets face it NCOs lead soldiers and make it happen. The US military along with its allies have the best NCOs in the world. The Soviets never really saw the value of the NCO.

    7. Tactics
    Soviet tactics were based of overwelming firepower and numerical superiority. Better tactics which NATO had would have overcome a numerical force. This has been proven before. Look at Operation Desert Storm when the 4th largest army in the world was destroyed by a smaller force with better technology (which NATO had in the 1970s) and better tactics (which NATO had in the 1970s).

    8. Mobility
    The Soviet Army was still largly based off of towed artillary and so forth. NATO had made the step to Self Propelled Artillary, a much larger and more mobile force with Helicopters and Air assault.

    Additionally with NATO being on the defensive and her mover mobile military could have chosen when and where to fight the Russians during this advance and made for easier counter attacks.
    All in all it would not have mattered, this war would have most likely turned Nuclear anyhow.
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Deradler, but isnt it true that in the mid 70's, there were some supply issues that kept many aircraft grounded? This also was applicable to being able to support sustained operations.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I dont believe so. There were so many stock piles in Germany and Western Europe there should not have been any problem.
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I vaguely remember back in 1981 when Reagan took office, the secy of defense saying something to the effect that whole squadrons of the "new" F15 could have been grounded in a sustained war for a lack of spare parts (referring to the 70's), and his new budget would be bringing the supplies up to adequate levels.

    And that also was true for others of the newer systems introduced in the 70's.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid that I am sticking with 1975 as its the year of the thread and that the 70's were a period of change. Its probably not to far from the truth to say that 1975 was the last period when the Soviet forces stood any chance of success. By 1980 NATO was a totally different opponent compared with 1970.
    On that basis I am afriad that in 1975 my money would be on the Russians.

    Clearly in 1975 the fact that they were being testeed wouldn't ahve been any help at all

    Again they wouldn't have been any help in 1975

    The F14 would have been a huge benefit in ensuring that the reinforcements from the USA arrived. The biggest single threat to the supply vessels were long range aircraft carrying A/S missiles.[/QUOTE]
    As you mention in 1975 these wouldn't have helped

    There is no doubt that the AH-1 would be very effective but there are two problems
    a) Only the USA had these or equivalent helicopters and there would have been large area's without this kind of assistance
    b) They would have been operating under Russian controlled skies which would have limited their effectiveness.

    Totally agree

    While I agree with the view that NATO tactics were far more effective I disagree that the Russian ones wouldn't have worked. Desert Storm cannot be used as an example for a lot of reasons. Terrain, cover, technology, training, the fact that the WP would have been attacking, often with better or at least equivalent equipment, you name it. In most large scale exercises, the Red forces won.

    True but the WP with extra numbers, being on the offence and control of the air would have limited the impact of the technical advantages

    By having to respond to russian advances theNATO would have been limited in its choice of battle areas. Politics would ahve stepped in here. For instandce the USA and UK approach was to retire and use AT missiles to funnel and destroy the attackers. The Germans wanted to fight further up to the front as its their country that would have been invaded and lost.

    Agreed but only if NATO started to lose.
     
  8. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I would side w/ NATO.


    Absolutely. I don't see how the Warsaw pact would maintain control of the skies against the air superiority assets of the USAF, USN, USMC - plus all NATO allies.

    Again, why would the skies be assumed to be Soviet controlled? Cobras would be popping tanks like balloons. TOWs would be raining upon WP armored columns. Don't forget, it's not as if the Warsaw Pact would suddenly concentrate all their forces w/o NATO responding. Granted, they would have numberic superiority on the deck, but I wouldn't see them securing control of the skies.



    Better or equivalent equipment? Just a couple examples... Soviet tanks were/are still universally regarded as substandard. From what I understand regarding the avionics and electronic suites in their aircraft - they have been long performed below the abilities of western aircraft. Again, why I find it difficult to imagine the WP just seizing control of the skies.

    I could be off base, but I don't think a large scale Warsaw Pact offensive could have been sustained politically within many of the WP member states. I have a friend that was invited to the US as a political refugee from Poland. They believe that it would be almost impossible for a large scale invasion of the west to be sustained internally in Poland without a domestic catastrophe breaking out.
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    As I said, I am not sticking with 1975 because I dont see why a war would be limited to 1975...


    Read above...:lol:

    Again above...:lol:


    Disagree. The US Army allready had well over a 1000 Cobras in service by 1975, with several hundred of them allready based in Germany.

    I also dont agree that the Russians would have air superiority.

    [qutoe="Glider"]By having to respond to russian advances theNATO would have been limited in its choice of battle areas. Politics would ahve stepped in here. For instandce the USA and UK approach was to retire and use AT missiles to funnel and destroy the attackers. The Germans wanted to fight further up to the front as its their country that would have been invaded and lost.


    Agreed but only if NATO started to lose.[/QUOTE]

    I can only speak for the US forces but each unit in the US Army allready had specific areas of responsibility in Germany (footprints, for instance my fathers unit's footprint was the Fulda Gap) for them to defend from.

    NATO had the advantage of owning that terrain and knowing how to defend from of it. I dont see this disadvantage that you are talking about.
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Dont forget that the 1970s to the 1990s Germany had the most extensive Air Defense Network in Europe to help along with that.

    Agreed
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think this has the probability of being a good thread. Anyway, taking things one at a time.


    F14’s
    These were of course at sea and all the efforts of the NATO navies would be taken up with ensuring that the reserves arrive in Europe. For this role the F14 will have a major role but, they would not be able to help over Europe.

    Over Europe
    The standard aircraft over Europe would be the following
    F4’s mainly USAF and UK significantly better than the Mig 21(German ones lacked Sparrows and were limited to short range engagements)
    F5 a good match for the Mig 21
    F104 a significant disadvantage against the Mig 21
    F100 at a significant disadvantage to the Mig 21
    Mirage III a good match for the Mig 21

    On balance the quality of aircraft was about equal but the Soviet Forces had a significant advantage in numbers. It would be wrong to assume that NATO could control the air.

    This is turn puts the ability of the helicopter to survive at risk. Its also wrong to assume that the Soviet Helicopters were a walk over.
    The Mil 24 was a dangerous attack helicopter. It lacks finesse certainly, but it is dangerous.
    The Mil 8 transport helicopter was also very heavily armed whilst able to carry a significant load.

    Quality of Equipment
    On land the Soviets had a number of advantages over NATO.
    Infantry
    The BMP was the leader in the field of the APC, only the Marder was in the same league and even here, only the BMP could take on a tank with any chance of success. At a second level the BTR60PB was as good as the M113 which was the normal equipment in NATO
    AT Weapons
    WP troops were generally better equipped with AT weapons. It varied by country, but most NATO countries were not as well equipped. The UK, France and Germany were probably the best equipped in NATO.

    Tanks
    The T62 was a good match for the M60 and later Centurian, in use in much of NATO. The T55 was a good match for the M48.
    The Leopard 1 and Chieftains were better than the Russian Tanks
    Again the WP countries have the advantage on numbers.

    Air Defence
    To protect the army in the field the WP forces were well in advance of almost all Nato countries, only Germany could match them.
     
  12. trap one

    trap one New Member

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    Over Europe
    The standard aircraft over Europe would be the following
    F4’s mainly USAF and UK significantly better than the Mig 21(German ones lacked Sparrows and were limited to short range engagements)
    F5 a good match for the Mig 21
    F104 a significant disadvantage against the Mig 21
    F100 at a significant disadvantage to the Mig 21
    Mirage III a good match for the Mig 21


    In addition the UK had lightnings which were very similar to Mg 21 in performance but all the NATO A/C had better MMI and training. The problem would be the numbers and with the pk of the missiles in service at the time an F4 would be capable of killing 4/5 max. IIRC the numbers were 1 NATO to 6 Soviet.

    For me the NATO strike assets were far better in the all weather but no where near as plentiful in clear weather numbers.

    On balance the quality of aircraft was about equal but the Soviet Forces had a significant advantage in numbers. It would be wrong to assume that NATO could control the air.

    Disagree with this quality wise NATO was better but WP had the numbers so WP would I believe have control their side and local over the areas that they were advancing in. As WP tactics was to reinfoce success.


    Air Defence
    To protect the army in the field the WP forces were well in advance of almost all Nato countries, only Germany could match them.


    I disagree with the W German SAM belt being better to the WP. In numbers and variety ie low medium and high SAM systems the WP had more and greater variety. Also the Army AD systems were going forward with the advancing troops and they would have possed an extreme threat to all NATO LL ops.
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I certainly agree with your posting. Training was better n NATO but the WP had numbers.
    I apologise re the German matching the WP air defence I was thinking of the Gepard at the time.
     
  14. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I think the US was in a similar but better position that it was for Korea. In 1975 the US had a whole slew of combat trained and tested Army, Navy, AF, and Marine personnel (millions?), including an infestation of pilots, that could be called upon and brought up to speed quickly. In addition, there had to be lots of F-4s, A-4s, A-7s, (no thuds), A-6s, etc. that could be made combat ready quickly (maybe not Mil-Spec, but fightable). The F-4 was still a formidable fighter and was readily available in quantity. By that time, the AIM-7 and AIM-9 had improved significantly and would have made a major impact. With these upgraded weapons, the F-4 was probably still the best fighter in the world. Also, the October war was over and the west was well aware of the latest Soviet SAM technologies and had developed effective countermeasures. Unlike Korea, the Soviet Union had very limited, if any, combat experience and the 11 to 1 kill ratio of Korea could be expected to be met or exceeded. The Soviets would not have maintained any air superority. With airspace control, precision guided weapons would have made short work of all infrastucture support like bridges, roads, and fuel dumps, of the Soviets. Nato forces were at a considerable disadvantage in anti-armor weapons and tanks but overpowering air power and combat experience would have neutralized most of the advantage of the Soviets. Also, the Huey Cobra was available and its anti-tank capability would make a difference.

    I think Nato would hold its own.
     
  15. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    If you look at the Yom Kippor in 73 war then Soviet SAMs and the ZSUs downed many Isreali planes and the Sagger popped a number of tanks.
    The Fishbed was plentiful and a good match for most NATO fighters.
    The Soviets would have gone chemical very early so no help there.

    I doubt that a convetional war ever worried the Soviets and only NBC did.

    I wonder in relation to anti tank warfare if NATO had more guided missiles than the WP had tanks!
     
  16. trap one

    trap one New Member

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    [I think the US was in a similar but better position that it was for Korea. In 1975 the US had a whole slew of combat trained and tested Army, Navy, AF, and Marine personnel (millions?), including an infestation of pilots, that could be called upon and brought up to speed quickly. In addition, there had to be lots of F-4s, A-4s, A-7s, (no thuds), A-6s, etc. that could be made combat ready quickly (maybe not Mil-Spec, but fightable).

    Davparlr
    Most of these US reservests would take time and not all of them would have been available to NATO. If a Cold War had kicked off then the Far, Middle East and Asia would probably be involved.

    The F-4 was still a formidable fighter and was readily available in quantity. By that time, the AIM-7 and AIM-9 had improved significantly and would have made a major impact. With these upgraded weapons, the F-4 was probably still the best fighter in the world.

    But still not using AIM9L or AIM7M which were the first of their repective models to have a pk of better than 0.5 so still looking at 1 A/C with 5 kills against 6 Mig 21s. The Math speaks for itself!

    Also, the October war was over and the west was well aware of the latest Soviet SAM technologies and had developed effective countermeasures. Unlike Korea, the Soviet Union had very limited, if any, combat experience and the 11 to 1 kill ratio of Korea could be expected to be met or exceeded. The Soviets would not have maintained any air superority.

    With airspace control, precision guided weapons would have made short work of all infrastucture support like bridges, roads, and fuel dumps, of the Soviets. [/I]

    NATO at this point had very little Combat Experience. Yes the USAF had only just finished Vietnam but the rest of the NATO air forces were un blooded. The first of the Flag ex's were only just being opened to NATO and very few crews had flown those 1st ten missions. So combat losses would be high until they learnt.


    Nato forces were at a considerable disadvantage in anti-armor weapons and tanks but overpowering air power and combat experience would have neutralized most of the advantage of the Soviets. Also, the Huey Cobra was available and its anti-tank capability would make a difference.

    I think Nato would hold its own.


    I know that a lot of faith has been placed in the AH1 but it can't be all places all the time. Certainlythe F111 would be able to make it to the rear areas and kill the target but the Buccaneers were only just getting ECM and the rest of NATO didn't have these live saving pods.

    I think NATO would have suffered and had to go nuke to stop the WP.
     
  17. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I specifically mentioned 1975 for many of the reasons u pointed out. Like i said in the opening, helicopters and the A-10 would helped tons. I think 1975 is interesting because it seems to be when the West was most vulnerable. Things were a lot different in 1985.




    Absolutely true and to that I'll add that the west prized the autonomous decision making ability of field commanders and pilots. The eastern block had to seek approval from ground control HQ to fart. This is not only a disadvantage when it came making decisions, it made the bad guys especially vulnerable to strikes against command and control

    While I dont disagree with u, I wouldnt be so quick to compare the Soviet Army to the Iraqi Army. Our equipment was 20 years newer than the Iraqi's. A T-64 or T-72 tank will stand a better chance against a M-60 than a T-55, T-64, T-72, T-82 against a Abrams


    I'm not sure about that. The soviets had zillions of APC's that were better than ours. They may have relied more heavily on towed artillery but since the were built for attack, not defense, they had outstanding mobility. I'd rather be in a BMP than a M-113 or LVTP (I never understood the M-113, it looks like something out of WW1.) Also, I believe more of their APC's had the AT-4 SPIGOT than ours had TOWs (a guess).

    And since were in 1975, Apache and A-10 are not a factor.

    Russian/FSU Armored Fighting Vehicles



    Yep...

    Roughly:


    1945 - 1960 The West (I'm a big fan of the T-34 but I think the Russians were exhausted in 1945)
    1960 - 1970 A Tie
    1970 - 1980 Warsaw Pact
    1980 - 1990 NATO

    .
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Why would they? With aerial refueling they could be over Europe if needed.

    Are you sure about that? I am sure the Germans bought Sparrows as well and given the situation of an armed conflict with the Soviets they would have recieved them in short order had they not.

    Just like all West German aircraft were modified to carry Atomic Bombs so that in a worst case scenerio they could use the stockpiles in Germany at places such as Rammstein.

    No it would not. Soviet avionics and radar equipment was far behind that of the NATO forces.

    What advantage do you have, if you can not see your enemy?

    Also as others put out, dont forget the RAF Lightning.

    Agreed but NATO would have available 1000s of UH-1 Hueys, 1000s of AH-1 Cobras, 100s of CH-53s.

    Also the US allready had been fighting a war with wide spread Helicopter Use in Vietnam. They had time to perfect there tactics. The Soviets had not...

    I disagree that the Infantry was better equipped. I would say 1975 time range the infantry was about equally equipped but better? No...


    Agreed

    And with combined aerial support (because I dont agree with you that the Soviets would get air supperiority) that advantage in numbers is not so much an advantage anymore.

    And 90 percent of WPs Air Defence is not even in the equation because it is back in the rear to defend there own countries from NATO air attacks.

    The WP would be flying into a Air Defence network over Germany that was only second to Moscow and Hanoi.
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Okay then we will throw in the AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Huey, A-1 Skyraider, and A-4 Skyhawk.
     
  20. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The ZSU-23 would be protecting the coloumns from Sandy.
    ZSU-23-4 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I believe the soviets had greater ground to air preparedness than we did.


    The Hind was no slouch.


    UR assumeing that the good guys have Air Superiority. In 1975, I think the Ruskies could have driven to Spain in under 5 months.

    .
     
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