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Modern Wars & Warfare General discussion on war. Topics that are not covered in any of our sub-forums below. .

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  #1  
Old 30 Nov 17, 13:10
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Soviet expeditionary force in the 80s

Were the soviets capable of sustained ( i.e > 3 months ) of military operations in areas that were not geographically close to the the USSR ?
In other words did they have the capability to muster a expeditionary force comprising of air/sea /land elements to fight overseas average size enemy like lets say Egypt ?
If so what would such a force consist of ? Naval marine units ? Paratroopers ?

I'm thinking of a scenario lets say in early 80s Libya and Egypt war flares up and soviets decide to intervene to prevent fall of GaddAFI , DID they have the force to do so ? Assuming Israel and USA does not come to Egypts aid
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  #2  
Old 30 Nov 17, 13:14
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I don't think that they would have been able to support a force of the size that would have made any difference in the fighting. Nothing could have come through the Bosporus, I don't think.
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  #3  
Old 30 Nov 17, 13:18
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Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
I don't think that they would have been able to support a force of the size that would have made any difference in the fighting. Nothing could have come through the Bosporus, I don't think.
Assuming they are able to send through Bosporus

even then , I do agree with you they cannot make a huge difference

I was interested in more military details

for starters logistics and resupply would be a big problem for them

How will they transfer their airforce units to Libya ? they have done so in 1972 when allegedly some planes took part in air defence of Cairo
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Old 30 Nov 17, 14:03
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coinciding the amount of supplies they sent to Angola in the 70s and 80s i would say they could maintain large force over seas as long as they had access to the coast for ships.
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  #5  
Old 30 Nov 17, 14:56
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I would say that if the Soviets were not at war with the US or NATO, they could probably sustain a brigade sized force for a long time using commercial shipping. Most likely candidates would be their Airborne forces, the heavier the force, the more supply ships they'd have to send.
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  #6  
Old 30 Nov 17, 16:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
Were the soviets capable of sustained ( i.e > 3 months ) of military operations in areas that were not geographically close to the the USSR ?
In other words did they have the capability to muster a expeditionary force comprising of air/sea /land elements to fight overseas average size enemy like lets say Egypt ?
If so what would such a force consist of ? Naval marine units ? Paratroopers ?

I'm thinking of a scenario lets say in early 80s Libya and Egypt war flares up and soviets decide to intervene to prevent fall of GaddAFI , DID they have the force to do so ? Assuming Israel and USA does not come to Egypts aid
The Soviet forces were designed to either penetrate the German border, or defend their Chinese border, so it would have been a waste of precious resources to develop a force capable of sustained military operations in areas that were not geographically close.
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Old 30 Nov 17, 16:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
I would say that if the Soviets were not at war with the US or NATO, they could probably sustain a brigade sized force for a long time using commercial shipping. Most likely candidates would be their Airborne forces, the heavier the force, the more supply ships they'd have to send.
soviet airborne groups are not that light. they mechanized and motorized with a lot of helicopters. And seeing how Cuba could maintain 1500 tanks in Angola for years i dont see the USSR struggling with a maintaining a force
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  #8  
Old 30 Nov 17, 17:48
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Originally Posted by JFKvsNixon View Post
The Soviet forces were designed to either penetrate the German border, or defend their Chinese border, so it would have been a waste of precious resources to develop a force capable of sustained military operations in areas that were not geographically close.
such a force might not be sustained indefinately but as noted earlier it might have utility if it prevents the fall of a friendly regime ( like Gaddafi)
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Old 30 Nov 17, 17:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewza View Post
soviet airborne groups are not that light. they mechanized and motorized with a lot of helicopters. And seeing how Cuba could maintain 1500 tanks in Angola for years i dont see the USSR struggling with a maintaining a force
even if the opposition is much tougher like Egypt ?

I think Soviets will have access to the entire libyan coastline ( again provided USN or NATO are not involved)

And the Egyptian navy would not be in a position to blockade the libyan coast even if soviets send a squadorn of ships and a few subs to bolster the libyan navy.The Egyptians have only a couple of harpoon armed destroyers and rest of their navy is older short ranged OSa/Komar craft and ancient Foxtrot subs

There might be a serious airflift operation from bulgaria to Libya to supply these forces and perhaps ships of the soviet black sea fleet might accompany the freighters

I have heard they trained to use commercial ro-ro ships to transport their heavy ground equipment and helicopters , is that true ?
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Old 30 Nov 17, 17:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
I would say that if the Soviets were not at war with the US or NATO, they could probably sustain a brigade sized force for a long time using commercial shipping. Most likely candidates would be their Airborne forces, the heavier the force, the more supply ships they'd have to send.
How about their naval infantry ? or maybe they are more optimized for coastal defence ?

Will they be able to send aircraft as well ? in the past soviet frontal aviation assets have been used in third world conflicts and they most likely were transported by sea to the friendly ports as air2air refuelling for fighter planes was not possible for VVS in the 80s
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Old 30 Nov 17, 18:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
even if the opposition is much tougher like Egypt ?

I think Soviets will have access to the entire libyan coastline ( again provided USN or NATO are not involved)

And the Egyptian navy would not be in a position to blockade the libyan coast

There might be a serious airflift operation from bulgaria to Libya to supply these forces and perhaps ships of the soviet black sea fleet might accompany the freighters

I have heard they trained to use commercial ro-ro ships to transport their heavy ground equipment and helicopters , is that true ?


if the Cubans could maintain 1500 tanks across the Atlantic the Russians could easliy match that. Most of there forces would be specialized units like Anti Air, VDV, reccon extra but i could see them operating a few front line units to. The USSR Navy would all so of been a threat, they would of total control of waters and it would not take long for Russian Anti Air and aircraft to give them total control of skies. Most of the ground fighting would be done by libya with USSR and other war saw pact forces stepping in when needed. Tbking is it would cost the USSR a lot of money they had the means sure but the need would have to out way the cost.
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  #12  
Old 30 Nov 17, 18:59
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Originally Posted by andrewza View Post
if the Cubans could maintain 1500 tanks across the Atlantic the Russians could easliy match that. Most of there forces would be specialized units like Anti Air, VDV, reccon extra but i could see them operating a few front line units to. The USSR Navy would all so of been a threat, they would of total control of waters and it would not take long for Russian Anti Air and aircraft to give them total control of skies. Most of the ground fighting would be done by libya with USSR and other war saw pact forces stepping in when needed. Tbking is it would cost the USSR a lot of money they had the means sure but the need would have to out way the cost.
probably Libyan oil revenue will pay for most of it

Can you point to a source in english that details the cuban intervention in Angola ? thanks
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Old 01 Dec 17, 00:22
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Looking at the logistical difficulties they had sustaining operations in Afghan in that same period, I would say that they could only sustain an in-and-out operation provided NATO sat on their hands.

As noted, their military was designed for USSR-adjacent or internal operations only, and Afghan exposed weaknesses in even that.
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Old 01 Dec 17, 02:42
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Prone



That was the biggest single build up of Cuban forces in Angola. In fact they would pro ably have more than o E division and a few Independent units.



50th Division[1]:722 - Brigadier General Patricio de la Guardia Font

three special forces battalions - Cuban SPETSNAZ
three tank battalions - Cuban tank regiment (105-110 tanks)
one artillery regiment - Cuban regiment
six infantry regiments - Cuban and Angolan soldiers (1500-2000 men each plus tanks)
three raiding battalions - Cuban and SWAPO soldiers (200 Cuban + 250 SWAPO each)
Missile air defence batteries, air force helicopters and aircraft



I am sure than the USSR could match or beat that in Libya.
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  #15  
Old 01 Dec 17, 02:44
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
Looking at the logistical difficulties they had sustaining operations in Afghan in that same period, I would say that they could only sustain an in-and-out operation provided NATO sat on their hands.

As noted, their military was designed for USSR-adjacent or internal operations only, and Afghan exposed weaknesses in even that.

The op talking g about a 3 month operation VS a conventional army not Maintaining a COIN op o error a entire 3rd world **** hole.
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