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How would a Russian invasion of the Baltics fare against NATO

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  • #76
    Originally posted by urielventis View Post
    Baltic are EU members, EU members territorial integrity are French strategic interest. Two Rafale or Mirage 2000N are taking off with a tanker from the southern France, when at the Europe center they shoot two ASMP-A who explode above the border between the Batlics and Russia. Simple message is send on all channel: back down or more.
    Then two solution, retreat or we all die.
    What if the Russians return the favor? If, say, a Kalibr explodes harmlessly over lake Léman?
    In that case, qui voudrait mourir pour Vilnius?

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by AAMC View Post

      I tried to answer each question in turn.

      1) Could Russia occupy Estonia within three days?

      This depends on the forces committed and their starting disposition. If Russia could amass a sufficiently large force on the Estonian frontier (e.g Corps-level) while maintaining a high degree of secrecy and overall surprise as to the timing and direction of their attack, I think it is reasonable to assume that they could overwhelm the Estonians in a short period of time while only sustaining moderate casualties.

      If NATO and local troops could be caught out of position, or in a state of incomplete mobilization or readiness, it is entirely possible that they could be swept away by a determined attack. So long as the attack was well-planned and organized, shock and the element of surprise would enable the Russians to overcome most deficiencies in equipment vis-a-vis NATO.

      However, given the West's surveillance and intelligence capabilities, I think that such circumstances would be unlikely. If NATO had even a modest warning of Russian intentions, they would be well-placed to stop an attack, even only with the troops at hand. Consider that between the U.K, Germany and France alone, there are more than six hundred modern fighters and attack aircraft, most of which could be rapidly put into theatre – to say nothing of the USAF assets. Determined interdiction by NATO aircraft against the attacking forces, supporting assets and logistics trains could very quickly hold up even a very large scale attack, even if Russian air defenses and aircraft inflicted serious casualties in return. So long as air assets were deployed decisively and forcefully, it is entirely possible to see purely local forces holding off a Russian incursion long enough to for allied reinforcements to arrive.
      Let me describe you more realistic scenario:

      STAGE 1

      GRU gathers intel about Estonian Armed Forces, Interior Troops, Border Guard and Coast Guard - command centers, barracks, warehouses communication hubs etc. Most likely they already have this information but anyway lets say some 50 targets are defined.

      STAGE 2

      On the night of the invasion a pair of Tu-160 each carring 12 X-101 cruise missiles take off from their base in Saratov region and head towards Estonia. Even if they are detected by NATO long range radars there will be no reason for alarm to be raised because Russian strategic bombers conduct this kind of maneuvers regularly. Some 1000 km away from the Estonian border Tu-160 launch the cruise missiles that will reach their targets within 1 hour completely undetected. HE warheads will be effective against command centres and communication hubs.

      As cruise missiles aproach their targets the 26th Missile Brigade based in Pskov region (12 Iskander launchers) launches 24 balistic missiles with termobaric warheads effectively engaging the concentrations of manpower and materials. Even if detected considering the missile approach time of 3-4 minutes there will be absolutely no time for adequate reaction to the threat.

      STAGE 3

      Before missiles reached their targets Russian SSO units are up in arms and ready to take care of what is left of Estonian defense forces and capture the objects of strategic importance.
      473 Naval Special Operations Batalion departs from Kronstadt naval base to quickly aproach the Estonian coast and take control of ports.
      45 Airborne Special Operations Brigade based in Moscow region is lifted by helicopters to capture airports deep within Estonian territory.
      2nd Separate Special Operations Brigade based in Pskov with their armoured vehicles passes by the bombed down border posts and advances along the main highways.
      The remains of Estonian Defense are blocked and engaged by Russian SSO units. If needed the close air support is provided by 15th Army Aviation Brigade (16 Ka-52 attack helicopters) based in Pskov region.

      STAGE 4

      As the morning comes and the situation on the ground becomes clear more missiles strikes can be carried out against the remains of the enemy and Russian regular forces can enter the theatre.
      The 25th Mororized Brigade and 76th Airborne Brigade both based in Pskov can be deployed to the warzone in a matter of hours.

      CONCLUSION

      Like it or not but you can do nothing to prevent this kind of scenario. All of this can be done without "concertration of Corps" or other activities that can be survailed. All you have to do is to use troops that already deployed there. If you dont believe me you can check these units yourself - their size and location.

      If Russia decides to invade be sure it will come as a shock. Your leadership will just wake up one morning to learn from news that polite people are in Tallinn. Just like it happened in Crimea. I hope you are not going to tell me that US and Europe knew in advance what was comming there?

      Aerial and naval battles that will follow is another story. Check my discussion with Picanha.

      Originally posted by AAMC View Post
      2) How would NATO troops be employed? Could they be used against armed locals (e.g so-called 'hybrid warfare')?
      Partially agreed.

      Originally posted by AAMC View Post
      3) Could a NATO member ask it's troops to 'stand down' in the midst of a conflict? Could local authorities countermand such an order?
      Agreed.

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by urielventis View Post
        Baltic are EU members, EU members territorial integrity are French strategic interest. Two Rafale or Mirage 2000N are taking off with a tanker from the southern France, when at the Europe center they shoot two ASMP-A who explode above the border between the Batlics and Russia. Simple message is send on all channel: back down or more.
        Then two solution, retreat or we all die.
        Single side unprovoked nuclear weapon usage?
        Okay, simple escalotary scenario: retaliation comes in form of tactical nuclear strike on, say, german tank batallion.
        "everyone" comes both ways, but it will nevertheless be germans to pay for french rattling.
        It will be even more funny, if same scenario is to fail: be it ASMP malfunction or shoot-down - yet published.


        And there are whole lots of other variants, for Russia has very serious superiority in deployed tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery means on European subcontinent.


        Outside: if somehow Russian leadership for some reason gets hit in the head - Baltics are undefendable. But it doesn't change fact, what Russia is far weaker than US, with or without NATO.

        Comment


        • #79
          The thing is not so much the Baltic. With a bit of good strategy and the right amount of confusion on the NATO side, Geography and logistics favor Russia there.
          The problem is the rest of Russia. We can't assume that this would be a 18th century style Kabinettskrieg. Even in 1853 the british attacked the Russians in other theaters of war (even in the Pacific I think). Russia has a huge land border with a lot of troublesome provinces, lots of frozen conflicts and with the right persuasion, lots of trouble could start even without anything as blatantly obvious as a US carrier raid on Vladivostok.
          Azerbijan attacking Armenia, chaos breaking out in central asia with Saudi/UAE sponsored Islamists, Japan attacking the Kuriles. And of course a lot of options for direct application of US naval power on various Russian coasts. All of that would divert resources from the Baltic theatre or might even be a reason to sue for peace.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by JCR View Post
            Russia has a huge land border with a lot of troublesome provinces, lots of frozen conflicts and with the right persuasion, lots of trouble could start even without anything as blatantly obvious as a US carrier raid on Vladivostok.
            Troublesome provinces?

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Mitleser1987 View Post

              Troublesome provinces?
              Whole of caucasus, probably a few of the autonomous republics bordering the 'Stans etc.

              Comment


              • #82
                I think Russians would win. Nato i think would win also. But baltics would be pretty big winners to.

                There. /thread.

                These sort of mess of a threads happen when OP doesn't know how to formulate his questions properly and lets them be infinitely open ended in nature. We've went from theatre outlook on grabbing the Baltics and countering regional nato assets into spook ops, into global conflict into ICBM measuring contest.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Mashiach View Post
                  Let me describe you more realistic scenario:
                  That was a cool read, thank you

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by drax View Post
                    Just take it with a bit of humour, expressions like "Baltic shithole" and "plumbers and banana pickers" tell you all you need to know about who has which axe to grind and who is hellbent on showing who in bad light. You'll always have an individual Russian from the Baltics telling you how terrible everything is and how oppressed they are, that's just how they roll. Ironically, almost every single economical statistic puts their beloved Rodina into a worse light, watered down with PPP or not. But that's not the topic here.
                    Pretty much agree with you. Well, the another thing is, that usually the ones who can easily find a time to bitch about their hard lives, are the same people who have no time, nor will to finally get their lives straight.

                    Originally posted by drax View Post
                    http://www.rand.org/pubs/testimonies/CT467.html

                    ^^ Instead of a multinational battallion per Baltic state they would need two brigades each, one of them a heavy brigade to keep some kind of parity.
                    IMHO, we should also get rid of the Ottawa treaty. That just plain stupid, that we're shooting ourselves in leg by not using such a cheap and effective defensive tool.


                    Originally posted by Ilya.P View Post
                    Also, I'm sharing the views of younger, rather than older generation here. Both Latvians and Russians. Older generation isn;t planning to gtfo anywhere, for example.
                    Well, you're free to do however you like, but it doesn't mean that others share your POV.


                    On the topic, there is no need to turn Baltics into the unbeatable stronghold, we just need to make sure that any actions would come very high cost.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Mashiach View Post
                      Let me describe you more realistic scenario:

                      STAGE 1

                      GRU gathers intel about Estonian Armed Forces, Interior Troops, Border Guard and Coast Guard - command centers, barracks, warehouses communication hubs etc. Most likely they already have this information but anyway lets say some 50 targets are defined.

                      STAGE 2

                      On the night of the invasion a pair of Tu-160 each carring 12 X-101 cruise missiles take off from their base in Saratov region and head towards Estonia. Even if they are detected by NATO long range radars there will be no reason for alarm to be raised because Russian strategic bombers conduct this kind of maneuvers regularly. Some 1000 km away from the Estonian border Tu-160 launch the cruise missiles that will reach their targets within 1 hour completely undetected. HE warheads will be effective against command centres and communication hubs.

                      As cruise missiles aproach their targets the 26th Missile Brigade based in Pskov region (12 Iskander launchers) launches 24 balistic missiles with termobaric warheads effectively engaging the concentrations of manpower and materials. Even if detected considering the missile approach time of 3-4 minutes there will be absolutely no time for adequate reaction to the threat.

                      STAGE 3

                      Before missiles reached their targets Russian SSO units are up in arms and ready to take care of what is left of Estonian defense forces and capture the objects of strategic importance.
                      473 Naval Special Operations Batalion departs from Kronstadt naval base to quickly aproach the Estonian coast and take control of ports.
                      45 Airborne Special Operations Brigade based in Moscow region is lifted by helicopters to capture airports deep within Estonian territory.
                      2nd Separate Special Operations Brigade based in Pskov with their armoured vehicles passes by the bombed down border posts and advances along the main highways.
                      The remains of Estonian Defense are blocked and engaged by Russian SSO units. If needed the close air support is provided by 15th Army Aviation Brigade (16 Ka-52 attack helicopters) based in Pskov region.

                      STAGE 4

                      As the morning comes and the situation on the ground becomes clear more missiles strikes can be carried out against the remains of the enemy and Russian regular forces can enter the theatre.
                      The 25th Mororized Brigade and 76th Airborne Brigade both based in Pskov can be deployed to the warzone in a matter of hours.

                      CONCLUSION

                      Like it or not but you can do nothing to prevent this kind of scenario. All of this can be done without "concertration of Corps" or other activities that can be survailed. All you have to do is to use troops that already deployed there. If you dont believe me you can check these units yourself - their size and location.

                      If Russia decides to invade be sure it will come as a shock. Your leadership will just wake up one morning to learn from news that polite people are in Tallinn. Just like it happened in Crimea. I hope you are not going to tell me that US and Europe knew in advance what was comming there?

                      Aerial and naval battles that will follow is another story. Check my discussion with Picanha.


                      Partially agreed.


                      Agreed.
                      This whole story reads like there's no NATO, just Estonia. You are completely omitting NATO responses, after all we are debating how an invasion of the Baltics would fare, not if Russia can have successes in the first few days.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by flamming_python View Post

                        The Baltics would be very difficult to hold. It doesn't make much sense to station sizable amounts of NATO forces there or conduct amphibious operations due to the fact that it can easily be cut-off by Russian/Belarussian forces from the land and air (who are quite numerous in Kaliningrad/Pskov/Leningrad districts and Belarus); and most things there would be in range of Russian rocket artillery systems nevermind everything else Russia has.
                        The other factor is that Russia will spare no effort to take the Baltics in case of conflict with NATO. Russia's entire Baltic Fleet is based around support to the Kaliningrad defensive district; that's all its ships, marines and so on. If NATO keeps control of the Baltics that would jeoperdize the whole thing.

                        For NATO it makes a lot more sense to launch attacks and counter-attacks from Poland.
                        I'm hesitant to believe a majority of NATO nations would be willing to throw all in support to fighting Russia over the Baltics. Maybe it's the cynic in me, but some nations I feel might be too ready to throw in the towel.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Mordoror View Post
                          .....Seriously you guys are pathetic : Baltic Stronk but still whinning for getting more and more NATO troops draged in to protect your sorry asses...
                          every new approach of nato around the russian sphere ended up with russian territorial gains. crimea, south ossetia, east ukraine. but the slightly different situation in the baltics will sure be a greater puzzle to solve.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            Obviously they are not gonna get refuelled over enemy territory or in range of SAMs. Inform yourself how that works.
                            No I still don't get it. Its like instead of flying 500 km deep into enemy territory and coming back the fighter bomber flies 1000 km deep into enemy territory, runs out of fuel... And?
                            Is this some kind of kamikaze attack?

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            ?? Why?? But ok still plenty aircarft and stuff available.
                            Because I would like to compare the military potential of Western Europe with that of Russia speculating on the conflict which most likely will never take place.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            But why would they be hostile to EU/NATO then?
                            You said China is going to freeze its trade with Russia if Russian ports are blocked. I'm saying this will never happen because Russia is the only real ally they have and because Russia supplies energy to them.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            Scalp, Taurus and soon ASMP-A (which Germany and Poland should also buy)
                            Alright, scored. Still these are subsonic vehicles so we are yet to see how they gonna work out against Pantsyrs covering S-400, Iskander or Bastion sites.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            Yes it does. But it takes some time.
                            Long story short RuAF has fully operational Tu-160 unit. 122nd Heavy Bombers Regiment based in Saratov. 16 strategic bombers which conduct patrols and combat sorties to Syria on regular basis. I don't understand what is so fantastic about it?

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            That is not what I meant. I just presume that the logistics train is not as up to date as it is in teh west with constant action the last 15 years. Also, as as said before, sophisticated weapon systems need sophisticated maintenance. Quich turnaraounds, repairs of battle damages, working around the clock, having enough and correct spare parts at hand etc etc.
                            Russia maintains significant military presence in Syria and so far there is no signs of their logistics collapsing. Plus Russian troops are constantly being involved in something called "unexpected combat readiness checks" when whole brigades are raised and quickly deployed hundreds and thousands km away from their bases to participate in military drills. So I think we can state with certainty that Russian military logistics is alright.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            Scalp, Taurus and soon ASMP-A (which Germany and Poland should also buy) Kalibr only has two really long range versions. How many?
                            Kalibr is much heavier vehicle with the range of 1500-2000 km. Launched from Caspian Sea and following the curved trajectory it hits targets in central Syria. These are completely different missile classes. Nothing to compare.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            So it is just determined by this single factor???? NATO and the west has other modus operandi than RF. Check that out first. We have lots of other stuff the Russian army can not field in this numbers and on this technological level. Not beacuse they are backwards but simply beacsue of having to do all alone. Hence those missiles. Simple example is the Carrier Killer missile.
                            All I'm saying is they have anti-ship missiles of longer range and they gonna use this advantage to inflict heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Nothing more and nothing less. Plus they have anti-aircraft missiles of longer range which they gonna use. And cruise missiles of longer range.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            NATO navies are a magnitude more powerful and numerous than RF navy. You would even have huge problems coping with the German / Polish / Swedish subs in the baltics. Again the missile philosophie here is to make up for shortcommings.
                            Their numerical superiority can be nullified by coastal batteries and naval aviation. Plus Russian rivers and canals are navigable for corvettes and submarines so they can transfer reinforcements from one fleet to another depending on where the attacker is going to deliver the main blow.
                            The German Type 212 submarines can be dangerous indeed (I don't know why Swedish submarines are supposed to rush into attack though) but again they don't carry cruise missiles and thus represent no threat to coastal batteries and air defense systems.

                            Originally posted by picanha View Post
                            Even if it was like that. I am no expert on that, but Europe has quite some sophisticated military satellites as well. You even launched the 5 SAR-Lupe into space (probably with a bomb attached thanks Schroeder!) But US would give us info that would be laughable not to. But Russia is in no way well ahead in this field. I mean network centric integrated command and communication whatever, is a thing that comes from the west it is done here since decades. The RF armed forces just switched recently from semaphore to somewhat integrated C&C. We have up and down link standards since before I was born.
                            Indeed Western armies have introduced satellite communication and navigation earlier than Russians did. All these innovations resulted in a series of successful military campaigns during 90s and 2000s creating the image of unbeatable super hi-tech military. But after the shortcomings of Russian Army were revealed during the South Ossetian War the Military Reform was launched in 2008. Considerable efforts were made to improve the communication, logistics and navigation. A lot of new electronics and weaponry was not only introduced but also tested in combat invironment effectively eliminating the technological gap between West and Russia.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post

                              This whole story reads like there's no NATO, just Estonia. You are completely omitting NATO responses, after all we are debating how an invasion of the Baltics would fare, not if Russia can have successes in the first few days.
                              No, I was replying to the user who speculated on the possibility to halt the Russian advance in Estonia, the comment which you liked actually. I just thought you might be interested to know that both of you are wrong.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by heiliger_geist View Post

                                every new approach of nato around the russian sphere ended up with russian territorial gains. crimea, south ossetia, east ukraine. but the slightly different situation in the baltics will sure be a greater puzzle to solve.
                                Wrong.

                                Whats there to solve?
                                Last edited by OrangeWolf; 20-04-2017, 11:28 PM.

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