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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 12th, 2017, 3:59 pm
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Hi, Kattsun:

May I ask you about the little 6x6 vehicle? Cheers!


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Kattsun
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 12th, 2017, 4:08 pm
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I saw it in the best Chuck Norris movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfT96j-7Zjc

and in case this is skipped, @Tobius:
Quote:
The font is just screwy. The "5" looks like a six because ~reasons~. There's like a one pixel gap opening up the five.

Anyway this is a good reply. I appreciate the criticism. I'll try to explain my thought process behind the sperg, in a way that's more "how Galla sees it" than "how I understand it":

Breakthrough use can be used if troops advance under armor in IFVs or tanks. As long as you don't stop, or intend to hold the ground, it's OK. No one is in the contaminated zones long enough to breathe the stuff in, and no one gets out or opens the hatches so the vehicles aren't contaminated except possibly externally. The shock effect of the atomic detonation is adequate to let mechanized troops roll over the defenders, especially if they are poorly trained or drilled, and when time is the most important consideration it becomes more difficult to employ conventional artillery. Perhaps a more "post-industrial" solution would be to use PGMs like GL-SDB, but destroying widely dispersed targets like entrenched sub-units (companies) and units (battalions) is really hard without an almost excessive number of PGMs being expended; which results in gun batteries being detected and destroyed, units and sub-units moving out of the kill zones of artillery, the enemy becoming aware of the location of the main attack, or all of these things at once.

FWIW, re: arrows; they're not as specific as they should be, and the nukes probably need more information to show the size of the intended area, or perhaps labeling to describe their use. Most of them are being used for radiation barriers or to fix units for destruction by troops moving along a non-contaminated path.

I tried to show barrier use with the arrows being intercepted by mushroom clouds, though. The bulk of the use, aside from the handful of breakthrough uses (I drew three), is in canalizing and protecting flanks of wide maneuvers where conventional artillery is too weak to perform the job. The breakthrough use of nuclear weapons is mostly done as a time expeditious measure, though. If there's adequate amounts of conventional artillery, then conventional weapons are used, but Galla doesn't think there's always going to be enough conventional weapons to do that. It also believes that its enemy thinks the same.

Galla is also a heavy believer in the concept of fire strikes, and IMO its been shown as useful in the Russo-Ukraine War. So the bulk of "breakthrough" is probably more supporting the attacking unit by destroying enemy strongpoints and units/sub-units that could attack them along the way, rather than bombing things directly in the path of the tanks. So destruction of self propelled gun units and sub-units, and destruction of mobile reserves, is probably the top priority of nuclear targeting in a breakthrough. Secondary priority is suppression of the position to be attacked or penetrated, preferentially using conventional ammunition, DPICMs and PGMs, non-persistent chemical agents, and then nukes; probably in that order.

Wide mechanized maneuvers, less so, since neither side in the Ukraine War has taken much ground using it, but Galla hasn't collectively discovered that you can't simply take a mail fist and sucker punch your enemy to death. Apparently, neither has Russia, so it's seemingly forgotten the last two years of the Great Patriotic War, but then again so did the Soviet Union.

That said, the tactics and images are deliberately anachronistic. Almost everything in that post is copied straight from W.P. Baxter's Soviet Air Land Battle Tactics, though. The stuff from pp. 106-109. The nukes are American, which is about it, but the tactics are pure WW2 Soviet stuff.

I like to joke that Galla is the Soviet Union through a glass darkly [or a bee hive], so it has a similar hard-on for nukes; but it's neither a despotic death state nor a communist dictatorship, rather a boring European-type Social Democracy.

There's a heavier emphasis on proryv-type breakthroughs, which is where the special weapons are used to destroy things that would otherwise require excessive time using conventional artillery, or when the targeting information is too fuzzy to accurately employ PGMs.

This is mainly to address problem that comes with PGMs being both expensive and useful against only single point targets. This means that the cost of using them rises linearly with target dispersion and size, at a faster rate than with nuclear weapons. A single ERW can neutralize a mechanized infantry or tank company, or destroy a gun battery. You'd need many four to six times as many PGMs (or more) to do the same. Big units like gun battalions can be neutralized with ERWs costing maybe $4-8 million in total; while the quantity of PGMs needed to do the same amount of damage is similar in cost (SDB II costs $250k FY14, and 12 SDB II is $6mn; so an artillery shell or rocket with similar capability is probably even more, but the SDB II also requires fuel and a fighter-bomber to deliver it), but takes more time.

With an adequate atomic economy, plutonium can probably be sourced cheap enough that the ERWs can be brought down in cost. You could also recycle plutonium pits from older weapons.

PGMs are great if the things you want to bomb has their location known to a small area, if it's not a lot of things, and you don't have a lot of time. As any of those factors increases, the utility of the nuclear bomb increases commensurately. Because the cost in time and money of using PGMs rises faster than using nuclear weapons, as the locations of tanks and occupied infantry entrenchments increases. The same is true for cargo shells, because they also have an area of effect, but cargo shells are in-between PGMs and nuclear weapons. Their lethal area is smaller than an ERW and so their time cost increases faster, but they are also the cheapest of all three of those munitions.

So in the grand stockpile of Big Gun Natures of Ammunition, Galla is: 1) DPICM; 2) PGMs; 3) Nukes. Discounting the accumulated stockpile of conventional ammunition and chemical weapons.

I'm not going to try to address the terrain factors, though, just the generic cost:benefit ones that involve quantifiable economics, time, and space values. That said, there's clearly room for debate in the matter since there's more than one way to stop a Motor Rifle Regiment skin a cat (the lower three panels have zero breakthrough use of nukes for Galla, since the Cavalry thinks that is stupid, but it thinks that The Enemy would think otherwise), but that's more or less how I think Galla would view it.

Of course, that's insofar as Galla has a single opinion on the matter, since the use of nukes between the Cavalry and Infantry branches of the Army is subtly different. Basically the difference between the 1942 and 1945 Red Army, respectively.

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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 12th, 2017, 5:11 pm
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Kattsun wrote: *
The font is just screwy. The "5" looks like a six because ~reasons~. There's like a one pixel gap opening up the five.

Anyway this is a good reply. I appreciate the criticism. I'll try to explain my thought process behind the sperg, in a way that's more "how Galla sees it" than "how I understand it":

Breakthrough use can be used if troops advance under armor in IFVs or tanks. As long as you don't stop, or intend to hold the ground, it's OK. No one is in the contaminated zones long enough to breathe the stuff in, and no one gets out or opens the hatches so the vehicles aren't contaminated except possibly externally. The shock effect of the atomic detonation is adequate to let mechanized troops roll over the defenders, especially if they are poorly trained or drilled, and when time is the most important consideration it becomes more difficult to employ conventional artillery. Perhaps a more "post-industrial" solution would be to use PGMs like GL-SDB, but destroying widely dispersed targets like entrenched sub-units (companies) and units (battalions) is really hard without an almost excessive number of PGMs being expended; which results in gun batteries being detected and destroyed, units and sub-units moving out of the kill zones of artillery, the enemy becoming aware of the location of the main attack, or all of these things at once.

FWIW, re: arrows; they're not as specific as they should be, and the nukes probably need more information to show the size of the intended area, or perhaps labeling to describe their use. Most of them are being used for radiation barriers or to fix units for destruction by troops moving along a non-contaminated path.

I tried to show barrier use with the arrows being intercepted by mushroom clouds, though. The bulk of the use, aside from the handful of breakthrough uses (I drew three), is in canalizing and protecting flanks of wide maneuvers where conventional artillery is too weak to perform the job. The breakthrough use of nuclear weapons is mostly done as a time expeditious measure, though. If there's adequate amounts of conventional artillery, then conventional weapons are used, but Galla doesn't think there's going to be enough conventional weapons to do that. It also believes that its enemy thinks the same.

Galla is also a heavy believer in the concept of fire strikes, and IMO its been shown as useful in the Russo-Ukraine War. So the bulk of "breakthrough" is probably more supporting the attacking unit by destroying enemy strongpoints and units/sub-units that could attack them along the way, rather than bombing things directly in the path of the tanks. So destruction of self propelled gun units and sub-units, and destruction of mobile reserves, is probably the top priority of nuclear targeting in a breakthrough. Secondary priority is suppression of the position to be attacked or penetrated, preferentially using conventional ammunition, DPICMs and PGMs, non-persistent chemical agents, and then nukes; probably in that order.

Wide mechanized maneuvers, less so, since neither side in the Ukraine War has taken much ground using it, but Galla hasn't collectively discovered that you can't simply take a mail fist and sucker punch your enemy to death. Apparently, neither has Russia, so it's seemingly forgotten the last two years of the Great Patriotic War, but then again so did the Soviet Union.

That said, the tactics and images are deliberately anachronistic. Almost everything in that post is copied straight from W.P. Baxter's Soviet Air Land Battle Tactics, though. The stuff from pp. 106-109. The nukes are American, which is about it, but the tactics are pure WW2 Soviet stuff.

I like to joke that Galla is the Soviet Union through a glass darkly [or a bee hive], so it has a similar hard-on for nukes; but it's neither a despotic death state nor a communist dictatorship, rather a boring European-type Social Democracy.

There's a heavier emphasis on proryv-type breakthroughs, which is where the special weapons are used to destroy things that would otherwise require excessive time using conventional artillery, or when the targeting information is too fuzzy to accurately employ PGMs.

This is mainly to address problem that comes with PGMs being both expensive and useful against only single point targets. This means that the cost of using them rises linearly with target dispersion and size, at a faster rate than with nuclear weapons. A single ERW can neutralize a mechanized infantry or tank company, or destroy a gun battery. You'd need many four to six times as many PGMs (or more) to do the same. Big units like gun battalions can be neutralized with ERWs costing maybe $4-8 million in total; while the quantity of PGMs needed to do the same amount of damage is similar in cost (SDB II costs $250k FY14, and 12 SDB II is $6mn; so an artillery shell or rocket with similar capability is probably even more, but the SDB II also requires fuel and a fighter-bomber to deliver it), but takes more time.

With an adequate atomic economy, plutonium can probably be sourced cheap enough that the ERWs can be brought down in cost. You could also recycle plutonium pits from older weapons.

PGMs are great if the things you want to bomb has their location known to a small area, if it's not a lot of things, and you don't have a lot of time. As any of those factors increases, the utility of the nuclear bomb increases commensurately. Because the cost in time and money of using PGMs rises faster than using nuclear weapons, as the locations of tanks and occupied infantry entrenchments increases. The same is true for cargo shells, because they also have an area of effect, but cargo shells are in-between PGMs and nuclear weapons. Their lethal area is smaller than an ERW and so their time cost increases faster, but they are also the cheapest of all three of those munitions.

So in the grand stockpile of Big Gun Natures of Ammunition, Galla is: 1) DPICM; 2) PGMs; 3) Nukes. Discounting the accumulated stockpile of conventional ammunition and chemical weapons.

I'm not going to try to address the terrain factors, though, just the generic cost:benefit ones that involve quantifiable economics, time, and space values. That said, there's clearly room for debate in the matter since there's more than one way to stop a Motor Rifle Regiment skin a cat (the lower three panels have zero breakthrough use of nukes for Galla, since the Cavalry thinks that is stupid, but it thinks that The Enemy would think otherwise), but that's more or less how I think Galla would view it.

Of course, that's insofar as Galla has a single opinion on the matter, since the use of nukes between the Cavalry and Infantry branches of the Army is subtly different. Basically the difference between the 1942 and 1945 Red Army, respectively.
Please look up ionizing radiation and neutron bomb for details.

Quick military explanation. The bombs one employs, no matter how "clean" the design, will inevitably distribute millions of tonnes; not thousands of tonnes, but millions, of dust across their footprint effects areas. Whether you walk through or ride through protected by chem-suits or under armor, that dust gets on you. It will render your clothing and/or vehicle and eventually YOU radioactive. Troops, additionally, have to eat, drink and relieve themselves. They cannot do that while travelling through irradiated and poisoned terrain called hot zones. They cannot fight either. They will be too busy decontaminating everything down to themselves, just to stay alive to get cancer in 20 years. These hot zones will have these barrier effects for up to 50 years in most cases. Unless you don't care that your soldiers will die horrible deaths from the effects a year or so down the road (best case), certainly you can force an attack, but you won't have an army left once the mutiny starts.^1 That is why the official Russian nuclear weapon doctrine of the 1960s was such a huge joke to us. The troops will always find out when you lie to them. The Russian troops are like everyone else in this aggregate, not so stupid as some few of their (and our) gung-ho generals assume[d].

^1 The Americans were going to use nuclear land mines to blunt WP armored attacks into the FRG, so it is not just the Russian generals who were insane.
^2 The proper use of Pershing IIs (1985 doctrine) was as counter-logistics, counterforce and counter-air missions. Blow up airbases, the Russian 2nd and 3rd echelon assembly areas in western Poland, western Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and incinerate the Russian Pipe Line Laid Overland fuel pumping stations. Even this "correct" use of tactical nuclear weapons was guaranteed to lead straight to city killing. What is London going to do when the RAF midlands bases are vaped by Backfires? Do you know how many cities are right next to those bases? What about the FRG? The urban belt myth is no myth. That is incidentally where the Pershings were.


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Kattsun
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 12th, 2017, 10:52 pm
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Tobius wrote: *
Please look up ionizing radiation and neutron bomb for details.
I know what these are.
Tobius wrote: *
Quick military explanation. The bombs one employs, no matter how "clean" the design, will inevitably distribute millions of tonnes; not thousands of tonnes, but millions, of dust across their footprint effects areas. Whether you walk through or ride through protected by chem-suits or under armor, that dust gets on you. It will render your clothing and/or vehicle and eventually YOU radioactive.
This is correct, somewhat.

For the most part, Alpha and Beta particles are stopped by skin and clothing. The problem is not getting them on you. That is irrelevant in the timescale being discussed, you're unlikely to have your tank become transmuted into a variety of radioactive isotopes without substantial and long duration neutron bombardment. Coincidentally, the amount of neutrons needed to render a tank or armored personnel carrier radioactive would also kill the crew almost immediately. The problem is that if you breathe in the dust, the energy released from the particles creates free radicals in human cells that eventually causes a variety of problems; including immortality, colloquially known as "cancer". This is also not a problem, because we have powerful weapons to defend against radioactive dust: brooms and handrags.

Dust off the tanks. Brush the dust off yourself. Cover your nose and mouth so you don't breathe it in. You won't die next week, but maybe next decade, but at least your children might see tomorrow. Assuming you have children already, because you're possibly sterile now and will never have kids in the future, etc.

Chemical weapons are probably a far more insidious and serious threat to habitation of armored vehicles. Alpha and Beta particles can be stopped by a handkerchief and a good scrub with warm, soapy water. Defeating a nerve agent or a vesicant is far more demanding requirement because it requires total body protection and a small amount of it can prove lethal to an unprotected or unawares soldier.

That said, the Iranians in the Iran-Iraq War were not terribly bothered by sarin, insofar as they had very little protection against it. They "made do" with atropine. Much like the gunners of the Western Allies who "made do" by stripping to their skivvies and slathering themselves in anti-vesicant cream when being hit by Bruchmuller's Yellow Cross; and much like the infantrymen of the Western Allies who "made do" in their dugouts and shelters when the Germans dropped gas on them, involving large amounts of decontaminating ointments and probably buckets of soapy water.

It's much like how the tankmen and mechanized infantry of the Western Allies would have "made do" with chemical or radioactive environments, assuming they contaminated the interiors of their vehicles or something, perhaps by just living in their chemical suits or having an autoinjector in their palm at all times.

In the case of radioactive dust contamination, you wear a handkerchief around your mouth and nostrils, tuck it into your blouse, and hope for the best. Good troops, mediocre troops, and even terrible troops, will find ways to "make do" in the manner that has always been done.
Tobius wrote: *
Troops, additionally, have to eat, drink and relieve themselves. They cannot do that while travelling through irradiated and poisoned terrain called hot zones. They cannot fight either.
This is untrue regarding their inability to fight. It is true that they might have difficulty eating, drinking, and relieving themselves, but c'est la guerre. They can have a bathroom break and a lunch when they've stopped for replenishment of fuel and ammunition before and after traversing the contaminated zone. It is not their destination, but a minor obstacle along the way. Unless the enemy has been sneaky and has blown up whatever they're trying to capture with a nuke beforehand.

Tanks and infantry fighting vehicles can fight mounted. Tanks can shoot on the move, so can the infantry carriers, and some infantry carriers have firing ports that let the occupants firing outside as well. If you simply drive quickly over a bunch of shell-shocked troops who are scrambling out of their dugouts and trying to get back into their foxholes, you can probably roll over them before they have time to put their anti-tank missiles, medium machine guns, and other weapons back into action. Since IFVs and tanks are bulletproof, small arms fire does not present a serious threat to them, and troops of poor training or low morale might abandon their positions when they see a bulletproof pillbox running towards them at 40 kilometers an hour and have no anti-tank means available to defeat it.

Not even the hardest troops are immune to tank terror. The Ukrainians learned this lesson in the Donbass War when Russian T-90s showed up in Debaltseve and kept kicking their asses because they had no anti-tank weapons to fight them with, or the anti-tank weapons they did have (T-64BV) were woefully inadequate against the ultra-modern armor and ammunition of the Russian Army.

LTC W.P. Baxter has a picture (or perhaps a recreation) of a Soviet nomogram that indicates that an armored unit advancing >20 kilometers over open terrain can cover a 300 meter safety zone in less than 60 seconds. The Soviets also expected that a TOW missile would require about a minute and a half to two minutes to put back into action, assuming the crew had constructed a hard enough shelter to survive an artillery suppression (nuclear or non-nuclear, the Soviets did not differentiate) fire which is not very difficult given a few hours of time. If you're a cold warrior then I guess you've probably seen all these old nomograms before and know about the idea of "norms", but I find them to be fascinating.

So a fast moving armored unit can penetrate a defended screen of troops, on the move, with adequate quantities of firepower being laid down to suppress the defenders. Whether it comes from ERW or ICMs or HE-VT isn't really important, as long as it keeps their heads down long enough that the tanks can close with them to close range and destroy or suppress them with machine guns and cannon fire. Once the tanks have driven over, above, or through the trenches and obstacle belts you have more or less accomplished the goal you set out to do. The rest of the unit follows you through, and hopefully mechanized maneuver will carry the battle the rest of the way to victory.

There are obvious drawbacks to this solution to problems, and obvious protections against it (such as depth defense with strongpoints; also called a "hedgehog" defense), but that is the basic idea. It's boring but it works well enough. The Red Army proved it works by beating the Nazis on the Eastern Front by attacking them at their weaknesses in the early parts of the war, and later conducting mass breakthroughs with heavy artillery and tanks followed by infantry, the latter of which reduced the hedgehogs.

And of course, while in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is. But we have no practice in mass mechanized maneuver like the planners in the Cold War expected, so it's still a wildcard as to what would have happened. WW2 is the last serious instruction in the matter. All mechanized wars after it (and Korea) were so short or the forces involved so small that no serious data can be gathered from them. Yom Kippur was decided in one major tank battle between two corps-sized units and barely lasted a month. The other Arab-Israeli wars were also decided quickly, because the Arab armies were so tiny and impotent that they could be defeated in a single battle of annihilation by the IDF.

The other major Arab mechanized war lasted almost a decade, because neither army had sufficient muscle to destroy the other in a battle of annihilation, and both were sufficiently large that they could check each other at every move. So the war became somewhat similar to the Eastern Front of WW2, or the Western Front of WW1. It probably didn't help that both sides were completely unlearned in the military sciences and took many years to discover things that the Western Allies had became aware of in less than one in WW1.
Tobius wrote: *
They will be too busy decontaminating everything down to themselves, just to stay alive to get cancer in 20 years.
That's not a concern when, if they fail to achieve what they are trying to do, then they will not have a home to return to in 20 years.
Tobius wrote: *
These hot zones will have these barrier effects for up to 50 years in most cases.
Zones Rouge have had barrier effects for the past 100 years or more. This is nothing new. War is not a clean business, and filthy battlefields are a thing that will happen regardless if you're slinging nukes, chemicals, HE-VT, ICMs, or just bullets themselves. Rifle ranges have problems with their lands being poisoned by lead from the bullets fired by competition and recreational shooters. You're not going to be growing crops at Gettysburg.

That is why you try to avoid war at all costs, but war is also an aspect of the human condition. In most cases, it can't be avoided, and in most cases, it's a question of "when" rather than "if". Perhaps the only reason the Cold War avoided exploding into a war at all is because both sides were fundamentally defensively oriented, but assumed the other side was plotting their conquest.
Tobius wrote: *
Unless you don't care that your soldiers will die horrible deaths from the effects a year or so down the road (best case),
If nukes are flying around, those soldiers most likely won't be alive a year or so down the road to feel the effects of leukemia or lung cancer or whatever anyway.
Tobius wrote: *
certainly you can force an attack, but you won't have an army left once the mutiny starts.^1
The French still had an army left once their mutiny ended. Or just look at the armies of the Kaiser, who fought to the point of economic collapse and starvation. Or the French in 1940, who fought to the point of having their army reduced to little more than a rabble of whoever they could scrounge up, in less than a month. Sure, both of these countries lost the war, but they only did so after incredible losses. In Germany's case, it took four years for them to lose their entire army and economy. In France's case, their entire army was put in Belgium, and there it fought a running withdrawal down to the last shell and bullet to defend the British retreat.

The threat of total annihilation of your civilization has a even more wonderful effect on morale, as the Germans in both fronts of the European theater fought to the last bullet, shell, bandage, and bayonet against the Western Allies and Soviets alike. But even in absence of such things, soldiers of nations are capable of incredible feats of resistance.

Such mutinies of fear of offensive attack could also simply be solved by a temporary reversion to the defense as a reprieve to combat, until such that the enemy can be broken against the Reliable Shield of Freedom and Democracy. That's a bit :Falkenhayn: though, and wouldn't really work if the enemy is willing to use nuclear weapons to destroy your own defensive positions. It would also assume that the war has broken down to the point where it has become static, or at least that offensive breakthroughs are even necessary, which is contrary to what at least a third of Galla's Army thinks that future wars will look like.
Tobius wrote: *
That is why the official Russian nuclear weapon doctrine of the 1960s was such a huge joke to us. The troops will always find out when you lie to them.
The Russian "doctrine" insofar as it existed, after about 1960, had more or less come to the conclusion that weapons of mass destruction were inherently limiting to the advance of motor troops in large maneuvers. Contaminated zones are not unique to nuclear weapons. They are not even unique to WMDs. The generic term in the US Army, I think, is/was "mobility obstacle". Which can be essentially anything: poor terrain, a persistent nerve agent, a radiation barrier, a FASCAM minefield, a region of DPICM attack, etc., in a rough list of decreasing magnitude/severity of the obstacle. The Russians valued operational tempo over everything, to the point that they believed that maintaining the speed of an offensive was the surest way to defeat their enemy. I believe this is why they avoided the use of cargo shells and FASCAM in preference to bog standard superquick HE rounds, and eventually abandoned the use of TNWs and offensive chemicals altogether by the mid-1970s. Anything that would slow down the movement of troops and tanks would potentially lose the war.

They were entirely correct, in theory, because NATO had a very shallow defense. Proryv-style breakthroughs in the manner of the latter half of the Great Patriotic War/Eastern Front would be unnecessary precisely because NATO had no ability to defend its depth from Soviet maneuver groups. Thus, the optimal method of destroying the enemy is break through his lines with overwhelming firepower, attack while mounted, and get as deep as you can and start hugging cities and refugee columns so he won't nuke you to death.

The Grand Master Plan of the Reliable Shield was to hold NATO's civilian population hostage to their own weapons, forcing Western politicians to the negotiating table and ending the war as quickly as possible on their terms. It's hard to argue against the Soviet ambassador's insistence that his side has already won when there's T-80s and BMP-3s [or BMDs and VDV paratroopers] sitting on the front lawn of Palais Schaumburg and Soviet troops are unfurling gigantic flags like it's 1945 again.
Tobius wrote: *
The Russian troops are like everyone else in this aggregate, not so stupid as some few of their (and our) gung-ho generals assume[d].
Actually, the Soviets would in all likelihood have attacked no matter what. They had a strong sense of patriotism that doesn't really exist in Western Europe anymore, and can only be found in the United States these days. Their major failing would not be their Grand Master Plan's paper. It would be their training style and readiness for war.

The average Soviet soldier in 1985 was poorly trained and ill equipped to fight a high speed mechanized war. The Soviets spent too much time farming chickens and harvesting crops, and not enough time training in mechanized maneuver or against realistic foes. The United States led the charge in this high tech innovation of "train as you fight" which it still does today. The Soviets would have attacked. And attacked. And probably attacked some more. They might've even won. Or they might've taken so long to break through NATO's lines with a series of attacks, because they trained to clean chicken coops and milk cows instead of drive tanks and shoot imperialists, that the Western armies are able to adapt to the Soviets' Grand Master Plan and conduct a powerful defense-in-depth against Soviet OMGs using their own mobile groups to hunt down and destroy the Soviets' groups.

The NATO disposition in the Cold War was not entirely dissimilar to the Nazi dispositions in the early stages of WW2, which is to say it was a shallow, forward defense rather than an in-depth defense, where the tactics and operational-tactical outlook favored the mass maneuver of mechanized troops for exploitation and raiding. It took the Germans a while to figure out how to defeat the mass tank raids the Stavka cooked up. When they did, by organizing a hedgehog defense based around fortification belts and urban areas, the Soviets adapted by transitioning to a more grueling and bloodier form of maneuver warfare: the proyryv. Instead of leading breakthroughs so that tank armies can run amok in enemy rear lines; you lead breakthroughs by tanks and massive amounts of artillery firepower, so that motor rifles can follow them and destroy the enemy in close combat.

Galla's dichotomy is that the Cavalry thinks that the war will be over before meeting engagements can stabilize into a single front, because modern weapons are so lethal and destructive that any stabilization would be rapidly broken by huge amounts of armor and artillery. The Infantry thinks that this is hogwash and that modern weapons' lethality will be complimented by things like UAS and OTH targeting, that will let dispersed units control vast amounts of terrain while being difficult to attack themselves, so that meeting engagements become more difficult to achieve because large mechanized units will be obliterated before the mail fist can sucker punch the enemy; effectively restoring static combat.

If we think that Debaltseve, Mosul, and Syria are the future of warfare, then the Infantry are much closer to correct. Wars will be slogs and extreme firepower is needed to break the deadlock after the meeting engagements have degenerated into a stabilized front where there is no room to maneuver to flank the enemy. If we think like the Russians do, then the Cavalry is much closer to correct, in that meeting engagements will happen on continental or national scales, similar to what the US Army thinks/though would be the case with Future Combat Systems in the 1990s and '00s and perhaps similar to the Toyota War where Chadian "superlight" cavalry in pickup trucks were able to outmaneuver and destroy the mail fist of the Libyan Army.

The reality is probably that they are both correct to varying degrees, though.

Debaltseve or Mosul can be adequately reduced by sufficient quantities of tactical nukes; but the proverbial Pavlov's House will stop a mechanized maneuver force quite literally in its tracks, given the capabilities of highly advanced anti-tank means able to be carried by small units, such as Javelin. Debecka Pass is proof of this. On the other hand, a properly trained and adequately prepared mechanized unit can quite easily dismantle a much, much larger force on the defensive (even a mechanized unit), as seen in Iraq 2003.

The real question is how prepared are Galla's enemies to fight a deep battle against a highly mobile mechanized opponent to which TEMPO. IS. EVERYTHING. and how prepared are they to fight a proryv-oriented, methodical opponent who believes that the meeting engagement is overrated given defense in depth is extremely powerful against it, and the the offense can only be conducted in the sense of a series of isolations of strongpoints, which are then reduced by mechanized infantry and heavy firepower. Because Galla comprises both of these things simultaneously, Galla conducts regular readiness exercises and realistic training insofar as the competing ground close combat branches believe their given definitions of "realistic" , and Gallan soldiers are well motivated and patriotic men and women who will not shirk from a fight easily.

The true weakness for Galla is probably that it is slow to react to technological change, that the Cavalry and Infantry cannot function together due to highly entrenched ideological schism, and the strain placed on the logistics elements of trying to supply what is essentially two different armies makes attacks on transportation hubs and supply depots especially damaging. Advances by Gallan Army units trying to operate in combined arms with the Cavalry and Infantry would probably lead to a very slow, methodical advance at walking pace, similar to Desert Storm or Arras 1940, or an incoherent advance where small combined arms units race ahead of the main body and are easily cut off from the logistics support and defeated in detail.

The alternative to the above is that the Gallan Army is simply a slow moving juggernaut where the Cavalry are just told outright to act as Infantry and fall completely out of their depth because of the highly streamlined and exploitation oriented (small tail, big teeth, few foxholes) organizations cannot cope with assaults. Or they are simply held in reserve and never see battle until the enemy successfully penetrates the FLOT and there they act as a counter-mobile group...mobile group. The latter is a mission they are indirectly capable of performing.
Tobius wrote: *
^1 The Americans were going to use nuclear land mines to blunt WP armored attacks into the FRG, so it is not just the Russian generals who were insane.
There's nothing insane with using a weapon in a way that solves a problem. Although, nuclear "land mines" were more for destroying the proverbial bridge at Remagen or Roki Tunnel than radiation barriers explicitly. When it takes you six weeks to prep a bridge for demolition that can be destroyed in twenty minutes by a MADM, you're going to use the nuke every time, because the Soviets are thirty minutes away.

The real test of insanity is whether or not you want to ask the soldiers using the nuke if they want to snuggle up with it and wait to be embraced by the child of Aten, born from a metal can. Of course, both sides did this, and not just for high value target demolition but also ODA Green Light teams. In practice, it would vary. I suspect that Corps ADM platoons would be willing to stick around until the bomb goes off, if only because they were explicitly told that they'd have to do this and volunteered anyway. So clearly they were closet Atenists who wished to be embraced by the Sun, even if said Sun was a mere abomination created by the techno-wizardry of the Nuke Doctors at Lawrence Livermore.

The Green Berets tended to be a bit cleverer, perhaps because they had higher IQs [I doubt this, 15E had a cut above the typical AFQT requirement in IQ; it was in the ~65 percentile IIRC], or perhaps because they felt they could be of use in the future given their special training and elite skills [very much the most likely explanation]. Although, given the nature of the target to be destroyed, it's unlikely that anyone would be happy if a Green Beret came back without blowing up a dam or road/rail tunnel.
Tobius wrote: *
^2 The proper use of Pershing IIs (1985 doctrine) was as counter-logistics, counterforce and counter-air missions. Blow up airbases, the Russian 2nd and 3rd echelon assembly areas in western Poland, western Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and incinerate the Russian Pipe Line Laid Overland fuel pumping stations.
Word, I can dig it. I included a soft target capability with the single stage Pershing and actual Pershing as built.

Though W86 was the original warhead for Pershing II, though, and it was an earth penetrator/bunker buster. The original, original use of the Pershing II was as a counter-hard target weapon to cripple the Soviet command; as well as other "hard" targets like underground airbases, road tunnels, and nuclear weapons/TEL bunkers. Lobbyists convinced the US Army that this was too "de-stabilizing" (whatever that means besides "the KGB bought me a new house") and it got a soft target warhead instead in real life.

In Gallaverse, both versions are produced, because Galla's land border is shared by an actual Steppe Empire that herds cows with BMPs and has superhard airbases like the PLAAF.
Tobius wrote: *
Even this "correct" use of tactical nuclear weapons was guaranteed to lead straight to city killing. What is London going to do when the RAF midlands bases are vaped by Backfires? Do you know how many cities are right next to those bases? What about the FRG? The urban belt myth is no myth. That is incidentally where the Pershings were.
I'm not sure what would happen to those cities, so I can't really answer the question. Westerners today seem to think that nuclear war is synonymous with "the end of the world". We can't possibly know the veracity of that statement because we have never seen a nuclear war, but we have seen levels of destruction comparable to nuclear wars: Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Both of these countries were not obliterated or wiped out, and they continued to fight despite their cities being gutted by firestorms and their factories reduced to rubble. The only reason we might believe them to be weak is because their opponents had not had similar damage dealt to them. The United States was unscathed and was able to destroy the Nazis and the Japanese with its invincible economic muscle.

So I do not believe that the statement that "nuclear war is the end of the world" holds any real weight: it seems to be a soundbite of dubious truth value, similar to what people reading Popular Mechanics thought firestorms and zeppelins might have been. An exaggeration, perhaps, since a nuclear bomb is really just a Harris Firestorm in a box. A society which views it as a challenge calling for total preparation for nuclear war would likely be able to survive one, just, and would likely need to seriously restructure its society afterwards. But it would defeat a society which is not prepared for nuclear war to a similar degree and reshape these societies into something of its own choosing.

Galla specifically has its military-industrial complex located in small factory cities, similar to places in the United States like Lima, OH; Oak Ridge, TN; and Los Alamos, NM. Small, tiny cities between 5-40,000 people that are built around a single feature of the MIC, whether it's a laboratory like Picatinny Arsenal or Los Alamos, or a major production center like Plant 6 or Lima Army Tank Plant. The major metroplexes and cities of Galla do not have major MIC assets, aside from universities, because that puts too many eggs in one basket. By dispersing the MIC across the country in rural areas and small communities, it frustrates nuclear targeting because it forces the enemy to expend more warheads to destroy the relatively useless (in wartime) MIC and heavily protected population-economic centers.

Galla also has a functional, comprehensive anti-ballistic missile system, and a robust civil defense organization that is trained to deal with nuclear and air attacks. The purpose of the ABM system is mostly to defend the civilian economy because of its ancillary role in providing for rapid transportation of troops (and indeed, the population itself is a weapon of war and perhaps the most important national asset, since military units are made of people) and the civilian factories' ability to produce machining tools and materiel that can be used to reconstruct a damaged MIC.

This is complimented by a series of underground, "superhard" airbases, similar to the Chinese, Swedish, Swiss, and Yugoslavian mountain airbases, that store aircraft for use in wartime. Ditto armored vehicles being dispersed in depots around the country, again to frustrate nuclear targeting and to allow at least some combat systems to survive a nuclear first wave attack. The ABM system emphasizes defense of the metropole and the population centers, and the military depots and training grounds. The MIC itself is not protected as heavily, because it is assumed that the MIC would be of little use in a post-atomic war, which would likely be decided before factories could churn out more than a few thousand integrated circuits or focal plane arrays, a few hundred tanks, or a couple dozen fighter jets.

Peacetime is used to prepare for the inevitable (which, of course, is an assumption since you cannot predict the future so easily) conflict between Galla and its greatest enemies. This means training the population for war through conscription, stockpiling of arms and ammunition, and research and development of new weapons of war. Additionally, development and growth of the civilian economy is of prime importance to the Gallan government, because the civil economy bequeaths the principal tool of war, people, and the tangible objects needed to nourish them.

So, the military is generally not centered or oriented around the civil economy. They are kept almost totally segregated (aside from universities), because they represent different capabilities in the strategic sense. It does not make much sense to put a tank factory in the middle of a city: tanks do not really need to be shipped around the globe or even around the country except in small quantities, and they are not useful for civilians to use, so they are better off in a remote area where they can be stockpiled in quantity and moved by train to ports. It is more of a liability than an affordance to have a tank factory in a large metropolitan area, precisely because of their lack of civilian utility. I suspect that the USA rapidly realized this with Detroit Arsenal, which is why the only functional tank plant in America is located in a tiny town in Ohio of barely 30,000 people; and Oak Ridge, Y-12, and Los Alamos are also in the middle of nowhere and exist solely as planned communities to service MIC objects.

However, allowing the civilian economy the greatest access to thoroughfares and new markets to grow is vitally important, because the civilian economy generates all tax revenues, and serves to make the population stronger, smarter, healthier, and larger. Since the atom of a society is the individual, it makes sense to protect the things that provide the most people the greatest individual benefits, because that increases the strength of the collective as a whole, as humans are both individuals and social animals. The MIC is thus most powerful/relevant in peacetime, while the civilian economy takes preeminence in wartime, because wars of the future are going to be very quick, very short, and very destructive. By the time these super destructive, fast wars are done with, the civilian economy will need to be around to rebuild, while the MIC will serve no actual utility in the post-atomic conflict owing to the increasing complexity and assembly times of modern weapons.

Roughly, "why aren't those cities protected?" would be the question puzzling a Gallan's mind. Because they do not believe that an atomic war is the end of society, but merely the first (or second, third, whatever) stage of a conflict that will be decided, after the bombs have fallen, by the most prepared and powerful economy. Even if that economy is a shadow of its former self it will still be able to permanently destroy its ideological enemies. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and all that.

Once the war is done, you rebuild after your enemies have been so battered that they stop fighting and you have forced your will upon them. It happened in WW2 in both Germanies, in Soviet Russia, in Eastern Europe, and in Japan IRL, and Japan even suffered nuclear bombardment. Yet Hiroshima and Nagasaki were rebuilt at about the same rate as every other Axis city. Perhaps the idea that aerial bombardment and city destruction = death of civilization is a meme that can only exist in places which have not experienced substantial bombardment or destruction of their cities; such as Britain and the United States. The Soviet Union didn't see it that way. Japan rebuilt itself literally from rubble and ashes and became an ultra-modern industrial nation as a result.

So like I said, I like to joke that Galla is the Soviet Union through a glass darkly, but it is only half a joke. The one thing that is the largest difference is it does not have the assuredly suicidal fatalism that is ever-present in Western societies about nuclear war. It sees nuclear war as a continuation of strategic bombardment of the 1930s; whose challenge can be met by robust economic planning for the state-owned economy, civil defense measures, and active defense measures like ABMs, an integrated air defense system, and fighter-interceptors; and encouraging growth of the private-owned economy, civilian infrastructure, and education systems, oriented towards or designed to inculcate optimism about the prospects for surviving an atomic war.

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Last edited by Kattsun on September 13th, 2017, 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 13th, 2017, 2:13 pm
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PM me if you wish to discuss this further. My apologies for derailing your thread.


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Kattsun
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 13th, 2017, 4:19 pm
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Don't worry, you didn't derail it, I just sperged out.

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"ROWDY" RODDY ROSENSTEIN, THE NOTORIOUS J.E.B. AKA JEB KU$H, "KILL 'EM ALL" CLINTON, MAD DOGGY DOG, H.R. MCBLASTA, COMEY ISLAND, BOB "BLOWN OUT BIGLY" MUELLER, BILL BILL BILL BILL, R-MONEY, JOHN "THE BULL" BOLTON, [AND HIS NAME IS] JOHN MCCAIN 2020


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daemyrs
Post subject: Re: Self-Propelled Pinecone/SpergscalePosted: September 13th, 2017, 10:57 pm
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Kattsun sperg is the best sperg. Can't wait to see more.

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