Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

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South
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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by South » 03 Dec 2018 11:17

Good morning Helmut 0815, Guten Morgan,

Regarding the mentioned NATO terms to use tactical nuclear weapons;

Can you provide, rounded off to the nearest second, the time component of the NATO counter-attack plan using tactical nuclear weapons ?

Prior to Tag 1, would Washington, D.C. not know about the Warsaw Pact mobilization/attack ?

Did Washington, D.C. (Do feel free to substitute the name "NATO" for "Washington, D.C.") have plans for use of non-tactical nuclear weapons ?

Did Reagan's 1983 Strategic Defense Initiation (nicknamed: "Star Wars") envision a Warsaw Pact attack like this ?

Well, there goes the integrity of the Geneva SALT talks !

A hint of even an extended traffic jam interfering with the business of Europoort, Rotterdam and Antwerp causes the tachometer on the political leadership's heads to go on pending meltdown alert.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by Helmut0815 » 03 Dec 2018 11:28

Dear Uncle Bob,


here is my summary

"Almost 300 kilometers is the distance from Boizenburg at the river Elbe to the German-Dutch border near Nordhorn. Nowhere in Germany is it less far between the former GDR, at the extreme western edge of which was Boizenburg, and Western Europe. That is why, according to the top-secret plans of the Warsaw Pact, the most important offensive of the Third World War should have happened here. Between Boizenburg and Nordhorn, a conventional attack could have advanced from divided Germany to another NATO country in just five to seven days.

The documented planning envisaged that three motorized rifle divisions (Mot-Schützen-Division), a NVA tank division plus additional soviet tropps (one mechanized rifle division and two tank regiments) forming the fifth army should attack on a frontal width of about 60 kilometers in the northwestern German lowlands. On the evening of the first day, the cities Lüneburg and Uelzen should be overrun - an advance of just over 50 kilometers. In the evening of the second day, the small towns of Schneverdingen and Winsen (Aller) in Lower Saxony would have been the objective, on the third evening the NVA wanted to have built bridgeheads on the west bank of the river Weser. 24 hours later another Mot-Schützen-Division should be in front of the town of Osnabrück. At day five the troops should have gathered in Westphalia just before the Dutch border at the dutch town of Enschede.

Simultaneously the troops of the Warsaw Pact would have launched a massive attack through the so called "Fulda Gap" in order to engage the main forces of the US Army in Europe in devastating battles.

A war would have been decided in Europe after a week already. Either the US and Great Britain, then NATO's only two nuclear powers, would have immediately plausibly threatened Moscow with a massive nuclear strike in the event of a non-immediate withdrawal. Or - and that was more likely - the western states and their leaders had quarreled among themselves. For example, Belgium and the Netherlands could have insisted that nuclear weapons should only be used if their borders were violated. In this case the Federal Republic of Germany would have been sacrified and the Soviet-Communist sphere of power could have been greatly expanded without a nuclear war."



best regards


Helmut

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RE: Warsaw Pact Attack - (Year 1983).

Post by Robert Rojas » 03 Dec 2018 15:55

Greetings to both citizen Helmut0815 and the community as a whole. Howdy Helmut! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Monday - December 03, 2018 - 2:28am, first and foremost, old yours truly would like to convey my appreciation for your translated summary of the GESCHICTE article in question. Now, for the time being anyway, old Uncle Bob will refrain from interjecting any layman opinions concerning this theoretical blitzkrieg envisioned by the military planners of the Soviet military establishment. I would prefer to review any responses that you may have for brother South's pointed inquiries as noted within his posting of Monday - December 03, 2018 - 2:17am. Incidentally, the FULDA GAP notwithstanding, the United States Army would also be ruthlessly fighting for its very existence before the HOFF GAP as well. TRUST ME! Finally, it would serve everyone well to remember the sage quote from that great Prussian soldier and theoretician Helmut von Moltke: "NO BATTLE PLAN SURVIVES FIRST CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY" as the United States Army rapidly dusts off its atomic artillery shells and pulls the tarpaulins off of its Pershing missile batteries. Once again, it's just some sobering, if not radioactive, food for thought. Knockwurst anyone? Well, that's my latest two pfennigs, centimes, cents, pence or kopecks worth on this now expansive topic of interest - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of the Fatherland. Auf Wiedersehen!


Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by Globalization41 » 03 Dec 2018 19:42

In 1979, at Bentwaters Air Base in S.E. England, U.S.A.F.E. (United States Air Forces Europe) switched from F-4 fighter-bombers to A-10 ground-support attack planes. Before the change, Bentwaters maintained one of its assigned squadrons of F-4s on nuclear alert. They were ready to roll in a second's notice. Base personnel were briefed that the fighter-bombers were within 20 minutes of Warsaw Pact tank concentrations as soon as the horn went off. The security police guarding the "Victor Alert Area" were not nice. The fighter-bombers were replaced in 1979 by A-10 ground-support attack planes. The A-10s would have supplemented massive counteroffensive operations by numerous other N.A.T.O. weapons-platforms. Without using nukes, there would have been smoking and burned out Warsaw Pact tanks everywhere. … The U.S. Air Force did not stand down after the Vietnam War. In fact, the Vietnam War was strategically only a minor mission compared to the Cold War. … Additionally, Nixon halted the 1972 North Vietnamese spring offensive using a finely tuned U.S.A.F. … Meanwhile, the U.S. was sending men to the moon just for the fun of it.

Globalization41.

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by henryk » 03 Dec 2018 21:28

South wrote:
03 Dec 2018 11:17
Good morning Helmut 0815, Guten Morgan,

Regarding the mentioned NATO terms to use tactical nuclear weapons;

Can you provide, rounded off to the nearest second, the time component of the NATO counter-attack plan using tactical nuclear weapons ?

Prior to Tag 1, would Washington, D.C. not know about the Warsaw Pact mobilization/attack ?

Did Washington, D.C. (Do feel free to substitute the name "NATO" for "Washington, D.C.") have plans for use of non-tactical nuclear weapons ?

Did Reagan's 1983 Strategic Defense Initiation (nicknamed: "Star Wars") envision a Warsaw Pact attack like this ?

Well, there goes the integrity of the Geneva SALT talks !

A hint of even an extended traffic jam interfering with the business of Europoort, Rotterdam and Antwerp causes the tachometer on the political leadership's heads to go on pending meltdown alert.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA
The Warsaw Pact Plans were well known within US SOD.
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=75628&hilit=warsaw ... i&start=15
Post by henryk » November 28th, 2005, 2:43 pm

Actually the Warsaw Pact plans were well-known in the US DOD. They had been revealed to them by a Polish General Staff officer, Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, concurrently with their dissemination within the Warsaw Pact countries. A highly recommended book describes how a Polish patriot placed the Polish People above his oath to the Soviet Union controlled Communist state:
A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, and the Price He Paid to Save His Country, by Benjamin Weiser 2004
Editorial Reviews: From Publishers Weekly


Highly placed in the military councils of the Warsaw Pact, Polish colonel Ryszard Kuklinski made himself the CIA's most important East Bloc intelligence asset in the 1970s, passing along invaluable information about Soviet weaponry, military plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident Solidarity movement. In this absorbing biography of an emblematic Cold War figure, journalist Weiser paints Kuklinski as a Polish patriot, his pro-American sentiments motivated by love of freedom, resentment of Soviet domination, and fear that a superpower confrontation would unleash a nuclear holocaust on Poland.

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RE: Warsaw Pact Attack - (Year 1983).

Post by Robert Rojas » 04 Dec 2018 01:37

Greetings to both brother Globalization41 and the community as a whole. Howdy G-1! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Monday - December 03, 2018 - 10:42am, old yours truly is not terribly surprised to learn of the existence of the tactical nuclear capable aerial force deployed on the soil of the United Kingdom in year 1979. What does surprise old Uncle Bob was the decision the replace this far ranging nuclear strike force with conventional ground attack aircraft. Now, don't get me wrong on that point! I, for one, adore the A-10 Warthog Tank Killer, but my concern is with the sheer availability and the timely presence of these machines over a critical juncture of the battlefield. In short, you literally get more bang for the buck with the deployment of a weapon of mass destruction over that of a handful of tactical aircraft that may OR may not arrive to alter the situation on the ground. In short, will these A-10 Warthog Tank Killers manage to become airborne OR will they become so much wreckage on an airfield after a Soviet pre-emptive strike on D-Day? It's just something to ponder for those who have egg on their visors. Well, that's my latest two pfennigs, centimes, cents, pence or kopecks worth on this now expansive topic of interest - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of the Golden State that we both call California.


Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by South » 04 Dec 2018 07:17

Good morning Helmut 0815 / Guten Morgan,

Did this Warsaw Pact battle plan incorporate knowledge that USN fast attack submarines could be near Schleswig Holstein, Germany ? Listen to the American sailors chanting "Baron von Steuben, we are here".

Note that US subs have target acquisition instruments that might/could/would interfere with "bridgeheads on... river Weser".

The Fulda Gap was "written off" (lost) just like US loss of Iceland. Fulda was like the Taiwan Strait:guaranteed outcomes...not pleasant.

The US and UK worked in tandem in re nuclear defense plans. The UK alone could not threaten Moscow. Glance at a map of Murmansk and the proximity to the British North Sea oil fields. Well, there goes the trust account and villa at Road Town, British Virgin Islands. "Alms for the poor" doesn't get a new meaning.

Belgium and the Netherlands could not insist on anything. After France withdrew from military NATO, France never returned to the NATO nuclear planning group. Recall the DeGaulle term le force de frappe. US Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara lost on his plan for "central control" and "graduated nuclear responses". The low countries were just not in a safe area involving radioactive dust and inter alia - amongst other things.

Is it "Fastelavend", the north Germany area holiday where we can discuss all this in a peaceful manner ? If not peacefully settled, as a reservist, I was told to anticipate a shortened life span.

......

I am now in the mood for some of that single malt Scotch sold at the Prestwick Airport, Scotland, near the oil fields. Circa 1983 they still put alcohol into the stuff.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by Globalization41 » 04 Dec 2018 16:20

The switch from fighter-bombers to ground-support aircraft would most likely have been done due to conventional war considerations. An F-4 vs. a tank is not as economically feasible as an A-10. The F-4 could serve as ground support but it was more suited for heavy-duty bombing. There were plenty of nukes around anyway and maybe the Pentagon recommended to N.A.T.O. that it would be a good idea to upgrade to a better conventional force to avoid using nukes in case of a Warsaw Pact mass tank attack. … At Bentwaters air base, hardened aircraft shelters assured safety of the planes. Everyone had chemical & biological warfare suits. Plenty of supplies were stored up. N.A.T.O. spared no expense, as the Pentagon had originally suggested. … The A-10s were capable of quick turnarounds—turn and burn. The pilot didn't even have to get out of the seat. The turn could be completed in a hardened shelter. The A-10 could hang air-to-air missiles on its wings too.

Globalization41.

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by South » 05 Dec 2018 08:22

Good morning Globalization and Helmut,

The F-4 to A-10 aircraft change is really a discussion of that era's new war doctrine" "Air Land Battle".

Air Land Battle was the US (NATO?) concept from the 1980s until near the end of a US Army doctrine for Europe.

Required Background: The US had lost in Vietnam. The Israelis had won its Yom Kippur War. The US needed to modernize and tried but didn't.

Here, we are discussing Helmut's introduction of a specific Warsaw Pact land battle plan. Much has changed since the 1980s......just like change is always going on whether or not it is addressed.

Air superiority, artillery and what the US military called "special operations forces" got integrated into a joint command type of program during a US political environment of winding down from the Vietnam War concurrent with US political worries of petroleum supplies from the Middle East. I am not drifting away from this thread's theme. A-10 aircraft cost $$$, just like the other stuff, yet Diego Garcia, BIOT had got to be built for the oil supplies. This, too, costs $$$.

"Air Land Battles" requires rapid reactions (Disregard the Carter administration's Rapid Reaction Force !) and a "Come as you are" philosophy. The US Army National Guard units, the US Merchant Marine Reserve Fleet, ... all vestiges of an earlier era although funding still required.

Whether a European landmass war could have been won without US (or read: NATO) use of nuclear weapons - I do not know.

Meanwhile, it's still dangerous out there...........

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by Sheldrake » 05 Dec 2018 10:56

[youtube][/youtube]Hi Helmut
where in Lower Saxony is your home?

Some random thoughts here on the air land battle and a hypothetical 1980s cold war.

1. Until 1973 NATO defence was predicated on the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction. OK during 1960s post Cuban missile crisis the phrasing was "flexible response" - but that was about a slippery slope between using some nuclear weapons on a (German) battlefield and an all out nuclear exchange. The assumption was that only nuclear weapons could offset the Soviet numerical superiority in armour. That changed in 1973 when Israel demonstrated that modern -ish Soviet armour could be beaten by well handled conventional forces. Five years later we have the US Air Land battle 2000, lots of NATO interest in manouvre warfare and the operational art of war. The Bundeswehr may have had other plans. I once asked a Bundewswhr officer why they persisted with the FUCHs big wheeled recce vehicle. His answer" There are no roads in Poland..."

2. Military technology developed by the end of the 1970s to improve the capability of conventional anti-armour munitions versus tactical nukes. Tactical nuclear weapons are a very inefficient way of killing tanks. Main battle tanks offer some of the best protection against the immediate effects of a nuclear weapon. Effective ATGW (another lesson from the 1973) and the promise of top attack PGM and scatterable minelets all made a conventional defence look more credible.

3. IIRC the A10 project was triggered by Vietnam where aircraft like the Skyraider and O-1 Bird dog demonstrated the value of a slow long endurance aircraft over a battlefield. A special purpose Close air support aircraft would be cheaper than misusing a high performance jet. Referencing the claimed effectiveness of German anti tank aircraft in WW2 and with a nod to the armour of the IL2 the cheaper Skyraider replacement became the warthog. It looked menacing in that role. In 1979 I was on manouivres digging trenches on Stanford Training Area Thetford where were were "attacked" by Warthogs. You could see these things lining up on individual trenches. The actual effectiveness of the A10 or massed Apache fleet is unproven. There is considerable debate about the actual effectiveness of aircraft against armour in WW2. In Kosovo in the 1990s NATO aircraft seriously over-claimed and we don't know whether the Warthog would have ben effective over Germany.

4. How effective NATO would have been may have depended on the circumstances. NATO planning assumed that there would be a "period of rising tension" during which member countries would become politically engaged and reserves deployed. That might be as little as 48 hours. There would also be more WP forces. The British practiced deploying the reserves in that time. Another scenario was a surprise attack by troops in theatre. We all thought that if the Soviets invaded on New Years Day they could have taken all Europe.

5. The NVA advance rates look slow for the "Come as you are party. Taking two days to reach Scneverdingen isn;t terribly ambitious. That is around the Main line of defences and 48 hours was a target delay for the NATO covering force.

If anyone is interested, I take people around the "battlefields" or should that be "Bottlefields" of the Cold War. http://www.staffrideservices.com/?p=232


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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by Globalization41 » 05 Dec 2018 16:50

I'm guessing the Warsaw Pact forces would have become quickly overextended had they broken into Western Europe. … Eastern Europe citizens in general were not really that motivated to support an ideological war with the capitalist West anyway. Guerrillas would have joined any (non-nuke) shooting war. [IIRC the A10 project was triggered by Vietnam where aircraft like the Skyraider and O-1 Bird dog demonstrated the value of a slow long endurance aircraft over a battlefield. A special purpose Close air support aircraft would be cheaper than misusing a high performance jet.] The Vietnam War showed the need for close-air support. U.S. factories solved much of that need with mass production during WWII. U.S. factories produced a surplus of attack planes. Much of the world was supplied with U.S.-made surplus WWII equipment. S.E. Asian Air Force flightlines looked like it was, back to WWII. But it wasn't enough. China and Russia supplied unlimited equipment to the North Vietnamese. … B-52s were useful against troop concentrations. Most fighter-bombers could deliver as big a payload as the heavy bombers of WWII. Helicopters very effectively moved troops and equipment while disrupting the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong operations with accurate firepower. … The most efficient aircraft was the AC-130 gunship (and earlier versions). It was developed specifically because of the Vietnam War. The Air Force converted a standard cargo plane with side-facing weapons. The guns never missed. With ammo for cargo, they could fly for hours. Infrared & TV technology multiplied capability and efficiency. The North was blocked off by the U.S.A.F. (and Navy) from annexing the South until congress (mad at Nixon) pulled the plug on August 15, 1973. … The A-10 would have been nice for Vietnam had it been ready. Had the tanks rolled offensively in Europe during the Cold War after deployment of the A-10s, they would have been sitting ducks.

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RE: Warsaw Pact Attack - (Year 1983) - The First Battle Of The Next War.

Post by Robert Rojas » 06 Dec 2018 07:24

Greetings to both brother South and the community as a whole. Howdy Bob! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Tuesday - December 04, 2018 - 11:22pm, you certainly resurrected more than a few memories with old yours truly when you broached the topic of the "AIr-Land-Battle" concept. I can still recall to this day when the doctrinal types did their damndest to instill the notion that not only must we be prepared to defeat our attackers from the outset of hostilities, but we must also be prepared to do so from a position of weakness - in other words fighting OUTNUMBERED and winning. As you painfully know, one's response is invariably YES SIR! WE'LL GET RIGHT WITH THE PROGRAM! After furtive looks were exchanged by all, there were none of us that were under any illusions that the Inner German Border was and would remain a Nuclear Tripwire. Needless to say, the pastoral countryside of Deutschland is NOT the primordial escarpment of the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. Finally, I believe you will concur with old Uncle Bob that it is paramount to know well in advance what the capabilities and intentions of your opponent MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be. After all, who likes surprises!? Courtesy of cousin Henryk in his posting of Monday - December 03, 2018 - 12:28pm, we are all pointedly reminded of the danger fraught clandestine exploits of Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski who served on the General Staff of the Polish Army. There is nothing like planning a spectacular reception for uninvited guests from points east gleaned from their own absconded battle plans especially if you're the side conceding the initiative to the enemy. On the other hand, there is nothing like preaching to the choir! Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents worth on the "FRONT" as it might have been in year 1983 - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of the Old Dominion that is the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by South » 06 Dec 2018 12:22

Good morning Sheldrake,

Real good info......

Ref 2; The sotto voce issue here was whether US (NATO) tactical weapons were envisioned for armor targets or to disassemble Warsaw and Pankow.

Ref 3; Yes, indeed ! Slow-moving and ability to "loiter" over the battlefield got the flying machines like the Bird Dog into the limelight. Add up the debate on ETO WWII aircraft against armor and the Mao victory over the KMT with its aircraft, the French First Indochina War, the US Second Indo China War.....

I'm in the camp that the A10/Apache fleet had much less effectiveness than the manufacturers......er... the General Staffs said.

Not just the Brits. A Soviet attack during the Christmas to New Year's Day holiday here is when this place was closed down. If it was also real cold in the area North Carolina to Washington, D.C........with snow: even worst. The only vehicle traffic at the military bases, to include the Pentagon, would be Domino's pizza delivery vehicles. The US had state-of-the art plans with a defense establishment who didn't real them nor understand how to interpret material. Forget about reading annex maps.

If you're in the top left of the picture; I like that hat !

"Bottlefields": Love it !

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by South » 06 Dec 2018 13:00

Good morning Globalization 41,

A couple of specific points;

Ref: [US-Vietnam War] "helicopters very effectively moved troops...";

Not until the end of the war - well after the Tet Offensive.

The first major helicopter was the UH1 "Huey". It could ferry 6 soldiers. Only later, in 1969, did the US have the CH-135 "Twin Huey" - originally ordered by Canada - that could carry 14 soldiers. Note that the Huey meant that an infantry squad was not together during the air assault phase.

A major problem with the larger troop carrier Twin Huey was that the engines were manufactured in Canada by Pratt and Whitney Canada. Ask the question today: What's more important: the electoral votes and campaign contributions from Connecticut, home of Pratt and Whitney or evacuation hospitals in Vietnam ?

Fortunately, the US finally got a larger troop transport helicopter. Even more fortunate for us was that Headquarters, Department of the Army finally agreed to reduce the size of the infantry squad !

Ref: "Congress pulled the plug on August 15, 1973";

Technically, the above is correct. The REAL date governing the US leaving Vietnam was 28 February 1972, "First Joint Communique" (a/k/a/ "Shanghai 1"). Nixon and Mao did more than drink the famous sorghum distillate. Of course Nixon suffered his palace coup for challenging the US original China Lobby establishment. Hanoi's Politburo had cold sweats when they learned of Kissinger's arrival in Beijing from Pakistan a few months earlier to prep the event. Yet, Hanoi knew they won their war.

It's still a big debate in re AC-130 gunships. The earlier versions of the gunship - the AC-47 and AC-119 - were actually better ...... because opponent ground forces did not have infantry SAMs and the portable infantry electronic countermeasures instruments. In contemporary times, a required question is whether a(n), eg, AC-130 can be neutralized by an enemy at 1% of the cost of the AC-130.

Meanwhile, warm socks ..........

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Warsaw Pact - Order of Battle during the Cold War

Post by South » 06 Dec 2018 13:18

Good morning Uncle Bob,

ROFL: "a position of weakness" ! Yes, that was the US doctrine. This was discussed over many a "Billy Beer" brand of brew.

My complete concurrence.

My personal doctrinal approach to determine the attributes and weaknesses of the WARSAW pact forces was to look inward.

If visible on any senior US military honcho any starched BDU uniform shirt or a crease ironed into the BDU pants, immediately contact the Quartermaster Corps Graves Registration Unit and American Battle Monuments Commission.

As much as Fulda was a pending mass grave, the real example of the modern use of the word "Zombie" was our Berlin Brigade.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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