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  #41  
Old January 26th, 2017, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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Some NATO forces, Especially the US and UK, have a lot of recent experience of COIN, but very little of conventional warfare. How useful some of the smaller NATO forces would be, and how good their troops might be, also very much remains to be seen.
Hmmm... You are aware that ALL NATO countries deployed troops in Afghanistan?
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  #42  
Old January 26th, 2017, 03:14 AM

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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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Some NATO forces, Especially the US and UK, have a lot of recent experience of COIN, but very little of conventional warfare. How useful some of the smaller NATO forces would be, and how good their troops might be, also very much remains to be seen.
Hmmm... You are aware that ALL NATO countries deployed troops in Afghanistan?
Yep, many of them not very many men and with limited orders -from their Governments/high command- to actually do very much, Canada being an honourable exception.
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  #43  
Old January 26th, 2017, 05:05 AM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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Originally Posted by scorpio_rocks View Post
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Originally Posted by IronDuke99 View Post
Some NATO forces, Especially the US and UK, have a lot of recent experience of COIN, but very little of conventional warfare. How useful some of the smaller NATO forces would be, and how good their troops might be, also very much remains to be seen.
Hmmm... You are aware that ALL NATO countries deployed troops in Afghanistan?
Yep, many of them not very many men and with limited orders -from their Governments/high command- to actually do very much, Canada being an honourable exception.
True that. For example, we deployed a mixed engineer/medical company that didn't leave Kabul at all and stayed most of the time at the international airport. So our contribution was pretty much symbolic (although, despite our government's best efforts to keep the troops out of firefights, some soldiers were engaged by the attacking Talibans in spring of 2012 when the attacked Kabul, fortuntely with no casualties from our side). Others did deploy troops in combat, but with the mindset of not having casualties at all, essentially making operations with them difficult. Anyway, the willingness in the coaltion wasn't particularly high, which is Ironduke's point I assume and frankly there is no evidence that NATO countries that aren't directly threatened (like the Baltic States, maybe Poland as well) will show much eagerness to fight with Russia.
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  #44  
Old January 26th, 2017, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

I just adjusted the batlocs for the following post 2014 if playing vs Russia to the Baltics: USA, USMC, UK, Germany, Denmark, Canada, UK, Netherlands.

Poland had Poland as a later batloc V Russia, now it has some chance of Ukraine (they would possibly be involved there) and the Baltics as well.

The Baltic batlocs use the Finnish ones with lots of river and marsh and lakelets as a base but add e.g. occasional urbanisation (town).

The other minor nations v Russia post break-up of the USSR usually had their home country as the batloc, and remain so.
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  #45  
Old January 26th, 2017, 07:34 AM

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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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Hmmm... You are aware that ALL NATO countries deployed troops in Afghanistan?
Yep, many of them not very many men and with limited orders -from their Governments/high command- to actually do very much, Canada being an honourable exception.
True that. For example, we deployed a mixed engineer/medical company that didn't leave Kabul at all and stayed most of the time at the international airport. So our contribution was pretty much symbolic (although, despite our government's best efforts to keep the troops out of firefights, some soldiers were engaged by the attacking Talibans in spring of 2012 when the attacked Kabul, fortuntely with no casualties from our side). Others did deploy troops in combat, but with the mindset of not having casualties at all, essentially making operations with them difficult. Anyway, the willingness in the coaltion wasn't particularly high, which is Ironduke's point I assume and frankly there is no evidence that NATO countries that aren't directly threatened (like the Baltic States, maybe Poland as well) will show much eagerness to fight with Russia.
Very much my point.

I believe the German troops, for example, did not do much in the way of night patrols (kind of important in a military campaign). The troops from Canada fought hard. The relatively few troops from Australia and New Zealand fought hard (Check out the losses). Also bear in mind, as Suhiir pointed out on another thread, most nations have some good, elite units, how good the rest of that nations armed forces are depends...

Allied casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan (These first are dead).
http://icasualties.org/
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  #46  
Old January 26th, 2017, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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The thing that worries military professionals at the moment is the great strength of Russian artillery, it can call down a lot of very heavy and destructive fire, relatively quickly. If advanced Russian SAM systems work and protect that artillery from Allied aircraft, NATO would have a big problem. Artillery has, of course, long been the best arm of the Russian Army.
The Georgia war 2008 was a strategic Russian victory but did expose embarrassing Russian shortcomings in especially command and control, intelligence, comms, electronic warfare etc
The war lasted for only five days and they had problems with basic equipment as well as the troops understanding their actual mission prompting the ongoing reformation of the Russian armed forces - aiming at being finished by 2020, but how far have they come? How will they fare against a more qualified opponent like NATO?


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My own view is that even the best multi national force (especially if that force includes several different languages) will have disadvantages against a peer/near peer unified enemy.
Are NATO nations of today not sufficiently coordinated that poses a problem. However there are over 100 languages spoken in the Russian federation. Supposedly the best soldier material is now increasingly to be found in non-Russian minorities where the birthrate is also higher.


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Also I don't see how a modern first world Armoured conflict in a geographically limited area lasts long enough for the economy to matter much once it kicks off...
Assuming there is a will within NATO and the European Union to actually fight. Economy will tell should the conflict not be ended quickly. If Russia overruns most of the Baltic but NATO/EU does not yield and start to build up forces in Poland, maybe Scandinavia the odds will likely not be in Moscow's favour.
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  #47  
Old January 26th, 2017, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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I'm not convinced of the overall quality of Russian brigades vs western opponents. IIRC conscription was reduced significantly in order to try and combat the bulling of new troops.

IIRC Russia also used to have a hard time finding recruits to fill up all their numerous "elite" units (incl Ministry of Interior competing for bodies) as the health situation in Russia is not that great.
The decisive units of a Russian brigade are staffed by good quality personnel (the battalion tactical groups). Check this source:

http://mwi.usma.edu/russian-ukrainia...s-battlefield/

At some point it says:

Quote:
As the Russian–Ukrainian War illustrates, the battalion tactical group has proven to be a uniquely responsive and effective tool for conducting siege warfare. The formation’s versatility and success led Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, to announce in September 2016 the Russian army would increase the number of battalion tactical groups from sixty-six to 125 by 2018. Additionally, professional soldiers will staff the formation, whereas conscripts will be assigned to rear-echelon formations—which will likely yield more effective battalion tactical groups. As a result, the US Army can expect to find Russian battalion tactical group continuing to emerge in areas in which Russia employs ground forces to achieve political objectives.
And I agree with the general concept. I do not think that Russia will fight like the stereotypical Soviet army (which was also misunderstood by many in the west) and there is a very good reason for that: it does not have the resources the former USSR had. Modern Russia has to fight much more smart and carefully if she wants to have any reasonable chance of success. And the first NATO forces in the area are undermanned, undergunned and ill trained for conventional or even the new form of hybrid warfare.
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  #48  
Old January 26th, 2017, 06:59 PM

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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

The most recent stuff on Russia I saw was a talk from a former Royal Marine at RUSI, he had been observing Russian forces in Ukraine, and made much of both their very strong and flexible artillery, signals and electronic intelligence, etc. He made a particular point of how difficult it was to mass forces for a counter attack without getting a massive artillery stonk on top of you.

To my mind if there is a fight over the Baltics and NATO loses, they either quit and cut their losses or it goes nuclear and we are all likely to lose.
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  #49  
Old January 27th, 2017, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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Modern Russia has to fight much more smart and carefully if she wants to have any reasonable chance of success.
Old habits die hard.

Historically the Soviet/Russian art of warfare has been more amazing in theory than in practice. Maybe they have reached their 2020 goals etc ahead of time but I doubt it.
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  #50  
Old January 27th, 2017, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Russian Invasion of the Baltic States

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Modern Russia has to fight much more smart and carefully if she wants to have any reasonable chance of success.
Old habits die hard.

Historically the Soviet/Russian art of warfare has been more amazing in theory than in practice. Maybe they have reached their 2020 goals etc ahead of time but I doubt it.
It was amazing in practise as well...when it was actually performed and not when Soviets were doing knee-jerk reactions to stop the Germans onslaught in the early years. Examples can be found in Operation Bagration, the Vistula-Oder offensive and Manchuria. In the Cold War they simply perfected an already proven system, while NATO was struggling to find a plan that didn't involve "push the red button after the Soviet tanks penetrate our lines". NATO finally found a doctrine that offered better chances of winning tactical victories, hoping that this would translate into operational success (something that they did not have as a concept until the late 80's IIRC) and relying on technological assets. Problem was that the Soviets were already thinking operationally and wars are won on the highest levels, not on the number of battles one side wins (and historical examples are abundant).
Having said that, modern Russia is not USSR. Because of the massive disadvantage in every field compared to the latter, they have to change the way they fight and actually it seems they are doing it. Yes, it won't be a smooth transition, but no country has that good fortune. And they did have a chance to see it in action in Ukraine. Will it be enough to enable them to fight the top tier NATO nations? I hope we won't have to see. But don't underestimate the bear.
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