Mittwoch, August 13, 2008

History Sometimes Does Have Surprises...

In today's FAZ (link here, behind a paywall...) there is a fascinating article that I simply don't have time to completely cover here.

But let me cover it briefly...

Written by Dr. Hans Rühle and Michael Rühle (Hans was a Minister Director in the German Defense Department, Michael runs the Planning Division of the Political Directorate of NATO in Bruxelles), it documents, using ex-Warsaw Pact documents, the true strategy of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War.

For those too young or not really interested, the "true" intents of the Soviets during this time period were hotly debated back then: Soviet apologists and their ilk argued that the Soviets were merely reacting to the West, while those in the West who claimed that the Soviets didn't merely have concrete war plans, but were planning massed nuclear attacks as part of their military strategy were branded "war-mongers" and "sensationalists" by the left-wing press in Germany (which, of course, is almost all of the press).

What do the Rühles find out?

Again: this is based on actual documents, clear and unambiguous: their conclusions are based on the training documents of the East German Army (their tactical and strategic documents were shredded when that government collapsed), coupled with recently released tactical and strategic documents of the Czech regime under the Warsaw Pact. This is history unveiled, and we're now dealing with facts, rather than with speculation.

The answer is simple: the Soviets, until the 1990s, planned a nuclear first strike.

Let's look at the war planning in 1964: 131 targets alone in Germany, with 41 military targets along the Czech border and the line Würzurg, Erlangen, Regensburg and Landshut, another 90 for the US 7 Corps and its tactical nuclear weapons. At least 100 more to attack the strategic and operative reserves of NATO in order to force NATO to surrender. The nuclear first-strike was aimed at preventing a concerted NATO reaction to an attack by the Warsaw Pact, and the rates of advance planned for the Warsaw Pact forces were only sustainable in the absence of concerted reactions by NATO: by the 7th or 8th day, the Rhine was to have been crossed, and by the thth day the area Langres-Besancon was to be reached, with Lyons due to fall on the 9th day.

This was the plan for the "Attack Group Bavaria": the three Attack Groups in Northern Germany had similar, but currently unknown plans. However, what is interesting is that Austria was to be occupied - despite their neutrality - and the cities of Vienna, Münich, Verona and Vincenza were to have been destroyed by nuclear weapons.

Now, if you cross-reference the training documents, the Rühles come up with what those three northern Attack Groups would have used: 62 nuclear weapons in Schleswig-Holstein, 115 in Ost-Niedersachsen and 175 nuclear weapons in Nordkassel (the infamous "Kasseler Gap" area that would have been the first major battleground of the war.

These last numbers are from exercises held during the 1980s.

But wait: the first numbers are from 1964: does that mean that the planning and training in the 1980s hadn't changed?

No, it hadn't. The Warsaw Pact and the Soviets had planned and were planning a first-strike nuclear-based war against Europe.

The operative planning documents support this: the first troops to go into nuclear strike zones were Polish and Czech. And they were not thrilled about it.

To repeat: these were the operative plans of the Warsaw Pact to attack NATO. These weren't war games, these weren't theoretical war games, but rather the actual operative plans of the Warsaw Pact.

Let that sink in.

They were changed, apparently, in 1986 as Gorbatschow gave members of the Warsaw Pact veto rights to the use of nuclear weapons by the Warsaw Pact.

But the East Germans planned to use 76 nuclear weapons in Schleswig-Holstein during operative planning in 1989 (Exercise "Stabstraining 1989", a war game for the general staff of the East German Army or NVA), indicating that this took a while to be acted upon.

All of this points to one thing, and now an incontrovertible fact of history: The Warsaw Pact, for almost all of its history, planned a regional, preventive combined conventional and nuclear attack against NATO in Europe. Not planned in the sense of "let's think about it" but rather in the sense of "These are your orders."

This was not what NATO expected: it was their worst nightmare. What did NATO expect? A massive conventional attack that would have severely pressed NATO, designed to underrun NATO's ability to conduct a reactive NATO nuclear attack to stop the Warsaw Pact from winning such a war.

Now, this raises all sorts of questions, as the Rühles do point out: why didn't the Soviets attack? They were militarily capable of doing so from the 1960s onwards; during the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet military increasingly warned that NATO technological superiority could be best dealt with by attacking; as late as 1982, General Ogarkow compared the situation in Europe to be that right before WW2, and that "in reality, NATO had already declared war on the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact".

The reason that the Cold War didn't heat up was that the politicians of the Soviet Union didn't decide to go to war.

Their reasons can only be speculated about, and until the Soviet Archives here are available, there is little hope to do anything but speculate. The most likely reason is that the Soviets couldn't be sure that the conflict would remain regional, and indeed it was the doctrine of both the US and NATO to go after targets in the Soviet Union (legitimate military targets, of course) and ensure that the Soviets would realize that there would be no regional limitations in such a war.

That the Soviets didn't go to war is one thing: it's something else entirely that they bankrupted their country to ensure that they could do so, and planned on using over 1000 nuclear warheads in Europe alone.

That's where the article, basically, ends: this above is my synopsis..


Puts a lot in perspective: the sheer audacity of the lies of the Left during the Cold War; the importance of having won that one, and the key event that helped end the Cold War: The Strategic Defense Initiative of the US, aka "SDI", derided as "Star Wars": that was the event, according to the Soviets, that led them to believe that they would no longer have a military option that they could count on.

Made no difference that it wasn't built: it worked on the best minds of the Soviets. That's all that counted.


GSPAN hat gesagt…

The revelations of the Soviets' attack plans come as no surprise. Our useful idiots and fellow-travelers in the West have been willfully blind and, in many cases, complicit in the evil (yes I said it) actions perpetrated by Communists of all stripes. Walter Duranty and the NYT come to mind.

John F. Opie hat gesagt…

Hi -

Thanks for the comment.

Absolutely agree: how can it be that the fellow-travelers and useful idiots can even get near a mirror, let alone take a look at themselves when they peer into one, that remains an absolute mystery to me.

Of course, they're in denial and completely incapable of admitting their mistakes. The intellectual dishonesty continues to amaze me...