HistoryNet.com RSS
ArmchairGeneral.com RSS

HistoryNet.com Articles
America's Civil War
American History
Aviation History
Civil War Times
MHQ
Military History
Vietnam
Wild West
World War II

ACG Online
ACG Magazine
Stuff We Like
War College
History News
Tactics 101
Carlo D'Este
Books

ACG Gaming
Boardgames
PC Game Reviews

ACG Network
Contact Us
Our Newsletter
Meet Our Staff
Advertise With Us

Sites We Support
HistoryNet.com
StreamHistory.com
Once A Marine
The Art of Battle
Game Squad
Mil. History Podcast
Russian Army - WW2
Achtung Panzer!
Mil History Online

Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Xtreme Alternate History

Notices and Announcements

Xtreme Alternate History Alternatives to History with No Holds Barred!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08 Jul 15, 21:18
Handsome Jack's Avatar
Handsome Jack Handsome Jack is offline
Banned
United_States
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Helios
Posts: 405
Handsome Jack is on the path to success [1-99]
Soviet Intervention in Vietnam

1968, months after the Tet Offensive. Convinced North Vietnam will lose without their aid, but is strong enough to be a formidable ally, the U.S.S.R. goes from providing aid and advisors to the NVA and instead sends a full Army Group from the Far East through China and to North Vietnam, where they launch a second offensive against American and South Vietnamese forces on the border in 1969. No open war is declared, but the Soviet military openly engages the Americans and their South Vietnamese allies alongside the NVA and remnants of the now-depleted VC.

This assumes Sino-Soviet relations never soured too awfully, and that the Chinese would be fine with Soviet military access in their country. The Chinese remain neutral, however, and provide no aid to the Soviets or NVA.

What happens? Is it World War III? Will it remain a localized conflict? Will everyone just begin nuking each other?
Reply With Quote
Facebook Connect and Magazine Promotions

World War II Magazine
$26.95

Armchair General Magazine
$26.95
Military History Magazine
$26.95
  #2  
Old 09 Jul 15, 11:07
BF69's Avatar
BF69 BF69 is offline
General of the Forums
Australia
ACG 5 Year Service Ribbon 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 5,712
BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900]
BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsome Jack View Post
1968, months after the Tet Offensive. Convinced North Vietnam will lose without their aid, but is strong enough to be a formidable ally, the U.S.S.R. goes from providing aid and advisors to the NVA and instead sends a full Army Group from the Far East through China and to North Vietnam, where they launch a second offensive against American and South Vietnamese forces on the border in 1969. No open war is declared, but the Soviet military openly engages the Americans and their South Vietnamese allies alongside the NVA and remnants of the now-depleted VC.

This assumes Sino-Soviet relations never soured too awfully, and that the Chinese would be fine with Soviet military access in their country. The Chinese remain neutral, however, and provide no aid to the Soviets or NVA.

What happens? Is it World War III? Will it remain a localized conflict? Will everyone just begin nuking each other?
I'm afraid this is 'Alien Space bats' territory for precisely the reason you bring up - China. There is no way on God's green earth that China is going to let a poorly armed Russian regiment travel through China, let alone a fully tooled up Army Group. They also aren't going to let Russia set up an Army Group on China's southern border. On the other side, Russia isn't going to put an Army Group into combat conditions with logistics running the length of China....even a friendly China.

The border had already been tense for years before Tet & within 12 months China & the USSR would be on the brink of war. Even if that wasn't the case & relations were good, neither side is going to trust the other enough.

The other element here is that North Vietnam isn't going to have a foreign army on its soil fighting its war. They were clever that way. Chinese troops were allowed to do all manner of things up to shooting down US planes (allegedly), but not frontline combat in any numbers. That was deliberate. That policy isn't going to change suddenly because someone in Moscow gets a bright idea.

From the US side this would be a godsend. A war that has reached a point of terminal unpopularity in the US suddenly changes complexion. Now its about the Russians. Not in some abstract way, but in the most immediate way possible. If it becomes known early enough it might save LBJ's Presidency.
Far from drawing down resources, the US will be able to increase troop levels & ditch any notions of a 'limited war'.

Russian soldiers wouldn't have been all that helpful to the PAVN. The North/South border isn't great tank country. Its a relatively narrow coastal strip hemmed in by mountains and crossed by rivers. Lots of trees too. The US & ARVN would have plenty of time to organize defences. Funnelling troops through there is going to get a lot of Russians dead. The USAF & USN alone are going to have a field day. maybe they hold a bit of territory, but not much more.

there will be no WW3. No nukes. There will be lots of furious negotiations to avoid that. Brezhnev (who wouldn't contemplate such a thing on a crack binge) will be weakened, perhaps fatally. Khruschev ended up with lots of time to write his memoirs for something less humiliating. The real winner here is Sth Vietnam. Vietnam will end up like Germany, japan or Korea - a fully fledged front line in the Cold War. There will be a permanent US military presence - enough to stop the RVN from falling.
__________________
Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09 Jul 15, 11:19
Arnold J Rimmer's Avatar
Arnold J Rimmer Arnold J Rimmer is offline
General of the Forums
United_States
Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role  Aircraft 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Red Dwarf
Posts: 21,778
Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Arnold J Rimmer has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Interesting.

We have to assume that the US would have considerable warning, because the PRC would certainly require the Soviets to move the force piecemeal and in increments through their territory.

This would give the USA time to shift armor and anti-armor & ADA assets into Vietnam.

Since we know the USSR's force projection capability is about one Army, 7th Army in Europe could be drawn down considerable.

The anti-war movement would take a severe nose-dive, because this removes the 'its a Vietnamese issue' goes out the window.

It would be politically acceptable to call up the Reserves and NG, meaning the US military, and especially the Army will have its full structure for the first time in the conflict.

By '69 the US military had adapted to the country and climate, while the USSR would be facing a radically new range of personnel and maintenance issues; a lot would depend on the relationship between the NVA and the Soviet force as to how much impact this had.

Very interesting.
__________________
Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09 Jul 15, 19:11
Handsome Jack's Avatar
Handsome Jack Handsome Jack is offline
Banned
United_States
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Helios
Posts: 405
Handsome Jack is on the path to success [1-99]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Interesting.

We have to assume that the US would have considerable warning, because the PRC would certainly require the Soviets to move the force piecemeal and in increments through their territory.

This would give the USA time to shift armor and anti-armor & ADA assets into Vietnam.

Since we know the USSR's force projection capability is about one Army, 7th Army in Europe could be drawn down considerable.

The anti-war movement would take a severe nose-dive, because this removes the 'its a Vietnamese issue' goes out the window.

It would be politically acceptable to call up the Reserves and NG, meaning the US military, and especially the Army will have its full structure for the first time in the conflict.

By '69 the US military had adapted to the country and climate, while the USSR would be facing a radically new range of personnel and maintenance issues; a lot would depend on the relationship between the NVA and the Soviet force as to how much impact this had.

Very interesting.
I imagine it'd please the NVA at that time. Up until then it'd been them against a superpower and its allies in direct combat while their superpower had only provided material and bits of advice-aid. Having Soviet troops show up in full force to aid them would also signal a full involvement on the part of the Soviets. Assuming China was indeed friendly to them in this alternate reality we'd see SAF units basing in China along the border and duking it out with the USAF and American/SV forces on the ground. Basing in China would create another issue for the Americans in that they couldn't go after stationed Soviet forces directly without technically attacking China as well and risking them getting involved, already having to contend with fighting their rival superpower. Adding on a major regional power would make things much worse.

Soviet armor, even old models, proved highly effective in the battles they were in but as BF pointed out it's not good tank country. That and the Soviet troops would likely not be used to a hot, humid jungle environment, especially if they're coming from the frigid steppes of the Russian Far East. The American forces would probably concentrate their firepower on a defensive war rather than a directly offensive war, and the Soviets would do the same. Of course neither side ever fought one another in open combat so it'd be hard to figure who would have superior tactics and training down to the infantry level.

What I can see is a blood and static stalemate brought on by a lack of desire to directly attack the other, along with supply issues; the U.S. having to ferry its forces across the Pacific and the Soviets having to march through the entire middle of China. Soviet strength would keep the South from overrunning the North but American strength would keep the North from overrunning the South, as both sides would fully mobilize for such a conflict (though the Soviets would likely be concentrating more units to Europe in the advent of a NATO attack).

Threats and saber-rattling on both sides until a ceasefire is made and we're left with a Korea situation, DMZ, and all that fun stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09 Jul 15, 21:24
T. A. Gardner's Avatar
T. A. Gardner T. A. Gardner is online now
General of the Forums
United_States
ACG 5 Year Service Ribbon Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C 
Tournament 1 and preceding Mini-Polls Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: T. A. Gardner
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 35,263
T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+] T. A. Gardner has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Direct intervention by both sides in an on-going conflict was avoided during the Cold War. The scenario here would have the US and Soviets in direct, open conflict. That likely would have led to an escalation of things and potentially a WW 3 scenario.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09 Jul 15, 23:28
Handsome Jack's Avatar
Handsome Jack Handsome Jack is offline
Banned
United_States
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Helios
Posts: 405
Handsome Jack is on the path to success [1-99]
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Direct intervention by both sides in an on-going conflict was avoided during the Cold War. The scenario here would have the US and Soviets in direct, open conflict. That likely would have led to an escalation of things and potentially a WW 3 scenario.
I mean, it's possible, but I think it's unlikely. As harsh as Cold War relations were neither side wished for nuclear war. No one wanted to be the "guilty" starter of a worldwide apocalypse. The Cuban Missile Crisis was as close as we came, and that's only because both sides were openly pointing and flaunting nukes at the other.

If it came down to Vietnam alone, I think the US or USSR would reach an agreement long before they considered nuclear action. Not to mention that if a nuke was to target Vietnam itself, there'd be way too much friendly and collateral damage to make it feasible at all. Then if nukes were sent at Europe or the US or the USSR themselves, that'd accomplish nothing for either side, I don't think. Massive retaliation was still the norm and first-strike capabilities were still in their infancy, so it wouldn't be possible for the US or USSR to strike the other and avoid immediate counter-attacks.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10 Jul 15, 06:41
BF69's Avatar
BF69 BF69 is offline
General of the Forums
Australia
ACG 5 Year Service Ribbon 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 5,712
BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900]
BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Interesting.

We have to assume that the US would have considerable warning, because the PRC would certainly require the Soviets to move the force piecemeal and in increments through their territory.

This would give the USA time to shift armor and anti-armor & ADA assets into Vietnam.

Since we know the USSR's force projection capability is about one Army, 7th Army in Europe could be drawn down considerable.

The anti-war movement would take a severe nose-dive, because this removes the 'its a Vietnamese issue' goes out the window.

It would be politically acceptable to call up the Reserves and NG, meaning the US military, and especially the Army will have its full structure for the first time in the conflict.

By '69 the US military had adapted to the country and climate, while the USSR would be facing a radically new range of personnel and maintenance issues; a lot would depend on the relationship between the NVA and the Soviet force as to how much impact this had.

Very interesting.
All very good points. This plays to America's strengths and radically transforms the nature of the war.
__________________
Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10 Jul 15, 07:08
BF69's Avatar
BF69 BF69 is offline
General of the Forums
Australia
ACG 5 Year Service Ribbon 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 5,712
BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900]
BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900] BF69 has earned the respect of all [900]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsome Jack View Post
I imagine it'd please the NVA at that time. Up until then it'd been them against a superpower and its allies in direct combat while their superpower had only provided material and bits of advice-aid. Having Soviet troops show up in full force to aid them would also signal a full involvement on the part of the Soviets. Assuming China was indeed friendly to them in this alternate reality we'd see SAF units basing in China along the border and duking it out with the USAF and American/SV forces on the ground. Basing in China would create another issue for the Americans in that they couldn't go after stationed Soviet forces directly without technically attacking China as well and risking them getting involved, already having to contend with fighting their rival superpower. Adding on a major regional power would make things much worse.
I think you are misreading the PAVN somewhat. Between 1965 & 1968 over 320,000 Chinese troops served in Nth Vietnam. None were combat troops. While China may not have provided combat troops is asked, the request was never made. I haven't read anything to suggest that the PAVN or the Communist Party wanted foreign troops to do its fighting for it. This would mean ceding control over strategy & tactics. I'm not sure the enthusiasm would be all that great. I suspect it would dissipate further when Russian Generals

China won't just have to get over its dislike of the USSR, it will have to be much more willing to risk direct confrontation with the US. China didn't permit Vietnamese air units to operate out of its territory. You need yet another POD to get this up.

Quote:
Soviet armor, even old models, proved highly effective in the battles they were in but as BF pointed out it's not good tank country. That and the Soviet troops would likely not be used to a hot, humid jungle environment, especially if they're coming from the frigid steppes of the Russian Far East. The American forces would probably concentrate their firepower on a defensive war rather than a directly offensive war, and the Soviets would do the same. Of course neither side ever fought one another in open combat so it'd be hard to figure who would have superior tactics and training down to the infantry level.
It isn't just terrain that is a problem. Logistics are going to suck. The southern part of the DRV was pretty minced up by 1968. Other Vietnamese logistics weren't much better. The US had been basing its bombing campaign on what worked against the industrialized German economy in WW2. As a result the DRV had abandoned a lot of the aspects of modern warfare in preference to lots of infantry. The Russians are going to have to bring everything with them & build from scratch under pretty heavy pressure. The US is already well set up, so its a really big game of catch up.

Quote:
What I can see is a blood and static stalemate brought on by a lack of desire to directly attack the other, along with supply issues; the U.S. having to ferry its forces across the Pacific and the Soviets having to march through the entire middle of China. Soviet strength would keep the South from overrunning the North but American strength would keep the North from overrunning the South, as both sides would fully mobilize for such a conflict (though the Soviets would likely be concentrating more units to Europe in the advent of a NATO attack).
Stalemate is a loss for the DRV, which is another reason why it is unlikely to let this happen at all. Hanoi's strategy was to try to get the US to leave so it could deal with the RVN itself.

When it comes to logistics I would rather be at the end of a waterborne pipeline starting in the US than relying on the Chinese railway network at he height of the Cultural Revolution (or any time really). America will win that battle handily.

They will be popping corks in Saigon the moment the first Russian units sets up shop in the North.
__________________
Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson
Reply With Quote
Reply

Please bookmark this thread if you enjoyed it!


Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:32.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.