Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

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wm
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Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

Post by wm » 09 Nov 2023 18:13

In 1951, US soldiers stationed in Germany began building a secret system of underground installations for nuclear mines - then NATO's most modern nuclear weapon. In 1957, the task was taken over by the German territorial defense forces. One of the most important West German commanders, General Heinrich Trettner (1907–2006), was a great supporter of the expansion of dams. When the idea was adopted by the main NATO countries in 1964, the system began to be named after him.

According to Trettner's concept, the mines were to be installed along the border of the Federal Republic of Germany with the GDR, from the Baltic Sea to Austria. The strip was 650 km long. During the peak years of the Cold War, it extended up to 100 km into West Germany. Its six sections corresponded to the main directions of the planned attack of the Warsaw Pact troops.

Low-power nuclear charges were intended to destroy road and railway junctions, bridges, viaducts, dams, and contaminate mountain passes. They were hidden in the most difficult-to-avoid places. It was planned to build a second, more powerful one, 5–10 km from the first belt. The space between them was full of classic minefields.
Amerykańskie miny jądrowe by Jarosław Rybak (Google translated)

One of the recreated for training purposes mine chambers on the training ground of the former Jakub Jasinski College of Military Engineering in Wrocław, Poland
(from Miny jadrowe w zimnowojennej koncepcji „spalonej ziemi" by Zbigniew Zielonka)
Jakub Jasinski College of Military Engineering.png
The steel or concrete chambers resembled sewage wells were 6–10 m deep and 80 cm wide. Wiring harnesses connected the fuze to the explosion control station. To make it more difficult to destroy the valuable mine, three to a dozen or so chambers were built, spaced 10-30 m apart. Together they formed the so-called node. The actual cargo was hidden in only one well. The rest were filled with traditional trap mines.

In 1989, the Polish People's Republic intelligence reported that in Western Germany, there were to be approximately 8,000 chambers comprising 2.5 thousand nodes. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the belt was improved and expanded.
Amerykańskie miny jądrowe by Jarosław Rybak (Google translated)
(to be continued)
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Last edited by wm on 09 Nov 2023 19:39, edited 1 time in total.

COmentator
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Re: Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

Post by COmentator » 09 Nov 2023 18:57

of course the ground water and land would be contemenated with nuclear waste

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wm
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Re: Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2023 00:09

The system of nuclear barriers prepared in this way left no illusions about eventual future development. The Eastern Bloc was afraid that in the event of a military defeat, Western commanders, to stop the attacking Warsaw Pact troops, would use scorched earth tactics without regard to civilian losses.
The above scenario was considered quite probable, at least in the Jutland and North Coast operational direction, remaining in the Polish Army's special circle of interests.

As reported in the secret studies, in the early 1980s, in the northeastern part of Lower Saxony, in a border zone 70 km wide and 100 km deep, 410 mine chambers were identified in 102 nodes.
Their distribution in five strips with a depth of 20 km was scattered. However, Polish analysts paid particular attention to the high saturation of installations south of Hamburg, exceeding four nodes per 100 km2.

Due to the numerous rivers and the lowland-swampy nature of the area, the northern coastal area was considered very susceptible to flooding.
...
Serious risks and obstacles to the movement of troops would also be the vast marshy and swampy areas where any move would be possible only along the roads - the most convenient place to set up mine.

The experts also assessed meteorological conditions and the potential radioactive contamination, which were extremely unfavorable for our troops attacking from the east due to the average wind direction and speed.

The predominance of winds blowing from the west would contaminate a significant part of the operational group of the army, while in the case of winds from the north movement - even the entire main group of the army, including its rear.
In these circumstances, strictly academic considerations were given to the possibility of the need to cross the contaminated area or find a way around it.
A forecast of contamination in the northern coastal area of operation.
Wind direction 300 degrees, average wind speed - 50 km/h.
[the map is 140x100 miles]
map.jpg
brown - zone of particularly dangerous contamination (dose rate 1 hour after the explosion - more than 3000 R/h)
red - dangerous contamination zone (dose rate 1 hour after the explosion - 800 R/h)
green - heavy contamination zone (dose rate 1 hour after the explosion - 240 R/h)
blue lines - the most unfavorable direction for crossing contaminated zones
red lines - the most favorable direction for crossing contaminated zones
Miny jadrowe w zimnowojennej koncepcji „spalonej ziemi" by Zbigniew Zielonka
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Re: Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

Post by LineDoggie » 12 Nov 2023 23:54

horse dung
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

Post by wm » 18 Nov 2023 23:29

Intelligence services of the Warsaw Pact countries were trying to determine the organization of nuclear mining units.
Secret documents said that the mines were to be placed by groups of 5-6 soldiers led by a staff sergeant. They had a truck with a trailer. Their safety was provided by at least an infantry platoon. These several dozen security soldiers were also responsible for ensuring that there were no civilians in the explosion zone. Great emphasis was placed on masking activities. Therefore, camouflage teams would go into the field together with the mine-laying group.

The mines were to be detonated using clock mechanisms or wires hidden underground, connecting wells with explosion control stations located at most 8 km away. Up to three mines could be launched from one such site. However, most often, the charges were to be launched by radio. If the operator was on the ground, the radio receiver would operate from a distance of several kilometers. If he flew at an altitude of 1,500 m, the transmitter's range extended up to 64 km.

“Nuclear mines in the engineering barrier system are placed in chambers and brought to operational readiness a few days before the start of hostilities. And in tactical nuclear barriers, a few days, or at least a dozen or so hours, before the enemy troops approach the borders of them,"
wrote Col. Dr. Hab. Bronisław Pawłowski in his habilitation thesis
"The use of nuclear mines in the armies of the main NATO countries and their impact on the conduct of combat operations by their own troops."

This secret work, defended in 1987 at the General Staff Academy (now the National Defense University), is the best collection of information on this subject in Poland. It was only declassified in the summer of 1995.
Amerykańskie miny jądrowe by Jarosław Rybak

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Re: Communist forlon hope - crossing Trettner's nuclear mine belt

Post by wm » 24 Nov 2023 19:12

Just before the attack of the Warsaw Pact armies, several dozen-strong pioneering units (OT) were to be transferred near the Trettner Belt with the task of eliminating the nodes. Their task was clear: to reach the node and prevent the mine from detonating at all costs.

Regular nuclear mine destroyer units existed in Soviet units stationed in the GDR. In the Polish People's Army, such units were planned to be created in each first-line division if necessary. Theoretically, it was assumed that they would consist only of brave, selfless, stress-resistant, and healthy volunteers.
In April 1970, ASG issued a secret instruction on how to overcome nuclear barriers. The materials were provided by the intelligence agency. High-level commanders were trained during several days of training at the Academy. The trainees had a lot of reservations about these plans. The commandos even considered them suicide missions.

In each military district, a training ground was selected where replicas of West German installations were built. They were also designed in military universities.
The instructions stated that after reaching the chamber, they could only lift its cover if the soldiers had complete information about the mine inside, how it was placed and the safeguards used. After entering the well, the sappers were to remove the traps, disconnect the battery from the detonators, and remove the detonators themselves from the explosive material.

In practice, this was impossible, because trap systems were installed in each chamber - the latest wonders of electronics at that time. Meanwhile, the commandos recall that during exercises, they were taught how to overcome barbed wire obstacles and detect traps with a piece of wire from a sapper's tentacle. No one was informed about electronic security.

Large demonstrations of crossing the Trettner Belt were carried out in 1986 in the Silesian Military District.
A year later, in one of the orders, the Minister of National Defense ordered, among others: "train troops more effectively in reconnaissance and destruction of nuclear mines."
Amerykańskie miny jądrowe by Jarosław Rybak

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