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Pre-reading recommendations


liamb
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Thought it would be good to start a thread with recommended reading on the era to get prepared for release.

I'm interested in more entry level stuff on the weapon systems, TOEs and doctrinal changes occurring in the period but I'm sure others would have different interests.

 

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A great place to start is First Clash by Kenneth Macksey. An easy read, but very informative, having been commissioned as a manual for the Canadian Armed Forces in the early 80's

Team Yankee is in a similar vein but written as an out and out novel and so offers slightly less detail re TOE and weapons systems than First Clash

P

 

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If you are looking for some generally informative information I would highly recommend this blog: https://coldwargamer.blogspot.com/

There is mountains of great material to sift through there, plus some nice model pictures here and there if you're into that sort of thing. 

For more fun reading, "The War That Never Was" by Michael Palmer is great. "Northern Fury: H-Hour" by Bart Gauvin and Joel Radunzel is also great and is based off of a computer wargame (Command: Modern Operations). "Red Army" by Ralph Peters is the Russian version of Team Yankee, written from the perspective of the Russians, and it also quite good. And then there is "The Defense of Hill 781" by James B. McDonough for those looking to get an NTC perspective. 

I'm certainly missing some more that are good, but everything mentioned here in this thread is certainly worth your time. 

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Not books but a lot of games in the 80's were based on the Cold War gone hot :)

Red Storm Rising (C64), Project Stealth Fighter (C64), Red Lightning (Amiga), The Third World War "Battle for Germany" (Boardgame).
Add to that Judge Dredd, the future after the third world war.

Yup, that's my childhood growing up in the 80's listening to Mötley Crüe, Helloween, Doro Pesch, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, etc. playing games and reading Tom Clancy:D

ThirdWorldWar.PNG

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On 2/17/2021 at 3:27 AM, Pete Wenman said:

A great place to start is First Clash by Kenneth Macksey. An easy read, but very informative, having been commissioned as a manual for the Canadian Armed Forces in the early 80's

P

 

That is my favorite,

Another one for the other side- Ralph Peter's Red Army

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18 hours ago, ratdeath said:

Yup, that's my childhood growing up in the 80's listening to Mötley Crüe, Helloween, Doro Pesch, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, etc. playing games and reading Tom Clancy:D

 

Son you needed to spend more time listening to the dead.  :D and then doing all that other stuff

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A (rather dry) treatise on the subject is the  Russia book 'The Offensive (a Soviet view)' by A.A. Sidorenko, published in Moscow in 1970 with a translated version put out by the US Government Printing Office, perhaps in 78(?). 228 pages with chapter titles like "Employment of nuclear weapons and destruction of the enemy by fire", "Defeat of a defending enemy and exploitation of success" and "Forcing water barriers".

Apparently this Colonel Sidoereko was a prolific author of tactical treatises. The book may have been based on his doctoral thesis which earned him a 'doctor of military science'  PhD (equivalent). Though too broad to be applied directly to CM engagements it'll give you a backstory on what the Soviets are attempting and why they're attempting it. If you Google it you'll get lots of hits including some free pdf book downloads.

81hH1W504xL.jpg

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This is from the Admiral Trilogy's High Tide addon to the Harpoon board game developed by Larry Bond, et. al.

"by Dr. John F. Lehman
The decade of the 1970s was the low point in the
fortunes of the United States as leader of the free world
alliance in the Cold War. The Watergate scandal, defeat
in Vietnam and a deep loss of confidence by our national
leadership resulted by the end of the decade in a world
in which the Soviet Union was ascendant and The United
States seemed to be paralyzed by what President Carter
called a national “malaise.” The size, capability and morale
of American Armed forces had drastically declined.
Ronald Reagan campaigned for President in 1980 promising
to rearm America and to return the Free World to an assertive
foreign policy designed ultimately to prevail over the
“Evil Empire.” Upon election he asked me to lead the Navy
in carrying out its part in his new national security policy."

I think this is an excellent backgrounder on the 1979-82 period as a transition from a superpower in serious "malaise" to one developing an "unassailable" technical advantage over its rival. 1979 -1980 was probably when the SU had its peak advantage of NATO countries.

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No one mentioning Mech Brigade & Reforger 88, the old Atari games?  Or Red Lightning by Norm Koger?  (on the game side that is)

Anyway, there was also a book called Chieftains by Bob Forrest-Webb, which was quite good until a rather abrupt end -- Brit tanker in ww3 in the right era.

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Looking for, but can’t find:

FM 71-2J, The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Battalion Task Force (1984)

FC 71-1J (Coordinating Draft), The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Company Team (Dec 1985)

FM 71-1, The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Company Team (1988)

 

Edited by akd
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FM 71-100 Armored and Mechanized Division Operations (1979)FM 71-101 Infantry, Airborne, and Air Assault Division Operations (1980) and FM 7-20 The Infantry Battalion (Infanty, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger (1980) added to list above.

 

Looking for FM 7-10 The Infantry Rifle Company (Infantry, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger) (1982) online.  Can only find print.

Edited by akd
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On 2/17/2021 at 11:27 PM, ratdeath said:

The Third World War "Battle for Germany" (Boardgame).

I love this game, by far the most playable game of its type I've seen. Only one I actually finished a game with (major Soviet victory, I trounced my opponent!). There's also The Next War: Modern Conflict in Europe (1978). Never finished a game of that one, though (the continuation of the series by GMT is much better IMO).  If you want to drill down to the corps level there's also Less than 60 Miles by Thin Red Line that came out recently with some really interesting C3 mechanics in it.

On 2/18/2021 at 5:57 PM, MikeyD said:

A (rather dry) treatise on the subject is the  Russia book 'The Offensive (a Soviet view)' by A.A. Sidorenko, published in Moscow in 1970 with a translated version put out by the US Government Printing Office, perhaps in 78(?). 228 pages with chapter titles like "Employment of nuclear weapons and destruction of the enemy by fire", "Defeat of a defending enemy and exploitation of success" and "Forcing water barriers".

Apparently this Colonel Sidoereko was a prolific author of tactical treatises. The book may have been based on his doctoral thesis which earned him a 'doctor of military science'  PhD (equivalent). Though too broad to be applied directly to CM engagements it'll give you a backstory on what the Soviets are attempting and why they're attempting it. If you Google it you'll get lots of hits including some free pdf book downloads.

+1 to this. Dry, but immensely informative, and likely a lot more accurate to the time period of this game than the field manuals or other writings from much later.

There's also Dave Glantz's The Soviet Conduct of Operational Maneuver that covers the history and development of modern Soviet operational thought.  Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics by William Baxter is also a solid work (don't let the name fool you - he wrote it to be more "approachable" by western officers). Not as dry as many others, too.

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6 hours ago, theforger said:

I have this, and I think its worth picking up. It isn't exactly overflowing with content, but there are a lot of decently put together scenarios, and they all come with some cool custom drawn maps as well. I would say its worth it. 

4 hours ago, Able Archer said:

I started re-reading Team Yankee yesterday. They're using M1:s with the 105 mm gun, it fits perfectly into CM:CW. 

The older edition is much better. The new edition has a ton of typos and grammatical errors. The editor really dropped the ball on the re-release. 

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