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Guest Sawomi

To get in the mood you can watch this (but takes place  1990 not 1980):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpicB7YI3B8

the action starts around 58:40 min)

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Decided to pull out all my relevant books in case any have been missed in this thread.

t73iJhN.png

Since I realise now my picture isn't too great and I don't want to get them back out:, from top to bottom:

  • First Clash: Combat Close-Up in World War Three by Kenneth Macksey. World War 3 Canadian Style, shows a lot of nitty-gritty tactical detail that many other books find wanting.  Super detailed and a good ride too.
  • The Third World War by Sir John Hackett. I honestly found it pretty dry and hawkish, which I guess fits Hackett's objectives in writing it. Lots of scenario ideas though I found a lot of stereotypes (and worse, mirror-imaging!) that I don't think survive a retrospective look.  I got it as one of the "must-reads" but honestly am not too big a fan.
  • The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis. The historiography is getting a little dated by now, but it's still a solid single-volume history of the cold war, a real credit to Gaddis and his editors.
  • Red Thrust by Steven Zaloga.  Reads like a cross between Clancy's work and First Clash. A good read, showcases some of the major technical gaps between WP and NATO equipment in the 80s.
  • The Offensive by A. A. Sidorenko (translated). I know I already mentioned this, it's a dry but very informative read. Can't get better than a primary source on Soviet military thought, though!
  • Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics by William Baxter. Intentionally misnomered, it's a surprisingly easy read on the complicated subject.  Definitely a good way to get started looking at the other side of the Iron Curtain.
  • The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Maneuver by David Glantz. Glantz is probably one of the best experts on the Soviet military in the west. Great historical context bringing the development of Soviet tactical manoeuvre to the modern day.
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Les Grau and David Glantz. Largely a translation of a Frunze Academy report, drills down into specific engagements in the Soviet-Afghan war and identifies problems and failures in the execution of operations. Interesting and detailed commentary by Grau and Glantz ,too.
  • The Soviet-Afghan War by Les Grau.  Some duplication from above, includes information on other combat arms beyond tactical units like logistics and artillery.
  • Armies of Nato's Central Front by David Isby and Charles Kamps, Jr.  Really just an encyclopaedia of militaries in Europe, good info on OOBs and the like.
  • Kriegsschauplatz Deutschland by Siegfried Lautsch. Lautsch is a retired NVA Colonel, which allowed him some great insight into the Warsaw Pact side of the equation. Great diagrams, clear and detailed language. Honestly my favourite of the books.  Also showcases plans and wargames which aren't the much misunderstood Six Days to the River Rhine!
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26 minutes ago, HerrTom said:

Decided to pull out all my relevant books in case any have been missed in this thread.

t73iJhN.png

Since I realise now my picture isn't too great and I don't want to get them back out:, from top to bottom:

  • First Clash: Combat Close-Up in World War Three by Kenneth Macksey. World War 3 Canadian Style, shows a lot of nitty-gritty tactical detail that many other books find wanting.  Super detailed and a good ride too.
  • The Third World War by Sir John Hackett. I honestly found it pretty dry and hawkish, which I guess fits Hackett's objectives in writing it. Lots of scenario ideas though I found a lot of stereotypes (and worse, mirror-imaging!) that I don't think survive a retrospective look.  I got it as one of the "must-reads" but honestly am not too big a fan.
  • The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis. The historiography is getting a little dated by now, but it's still a solid single-volume history of the cold war, a real credit to Gaddis and his editors.
  • Red Thrust by Steven Zaloga.  Reads like a cross between Clancy's work and First Clash. A good read, showcases some of the major technical gaps between WP and NATO equipment in the 80s.
  • The Offensive by A. A. Sidorenko (translated). I know I already mentioned this, it's a dry but very informative read. Can't get better than a primary source on Soviet military thought, though!
  • Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics by William Baxter. Intentionally misnomered, it's a surprisingly easy read on the complicated subject.  Definitely a good way to get started looking at the other side of the Iron Curtain.
  • The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Maneuver by David Glantz. Glantz is probably one of the best experts on the Soviet military in the west. Great historical context bringing the development of Soviet tactical manoeuvre to the modern day.
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Les Grau and David Glantz. Largely a translation of a Frunze Academy report, drills down into specific engagements in the Soviet-Afghan war and identifies problems and failures in the execution of operations. Interesting and detailed commentary by Grau and Glantz ,too.
  • The Soviet-Afghan War by Les Grau.  Some duplication from above, includes information on other combat arms beyond tactical units like logistics and artillery.
  • Armies of Nato's Central Front by David Isby and Charles Kamps, Jr.  Really just an encyclopaedia of militaries in Europe, good info on OOBs and the like.
  • Kriegsschauplatz Deutschland by Siegfried Lautsch. Lautsch is a retired NVA Colonel, which allowed him some great insight into the Warsaw Pact side of the equation. Great diagrams, clear and detailed language. Honestly my favourite of the books.  Also showcases plans and wargames which aren't the much misunderstood Six Days to the River Rhine!

That's a great collection! I'm jealous of "The Third World War." I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy despite trying for a while now. I recently looked into getting "Armies of NATOs Central Front" too but same issue. 

"The War That Never Was" is really good. I just finished reading it. Definitely some good ideas in there for modules...

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1 hour ago, IICptMillerII said:

That's a great collection! I'm jealous of "The Third World War." I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy despite trying for a while now. I recently looked into getting "Armies of NATOs Central Front" too but same issue. 

"The War That Never Was" is really good. I just finished reading it. Definitely some good ideas in there for modules...

Ach! I skipped right over it haha.  Agreed, though I recall it being fairly light in the area of land operations.

The other two I got some ten or so years ago, found Central Front hiding in the back of a used book shop in Boston.

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Its too bad that old back issues of tech magazines like the Monch publications 'Military Technology' from the Cold War days aren't immediately available. They're like a time capsule into their publication year, showing the strategic debates and showcased technology of the time.

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Another book I used to have on my bookshelf was the US government printing office "The Soviet Theater Nuclear Offensive" by Douglas from 1976. I recall it was a pretty horrifying read at the time. Unfortunately, the book didn't survive several book purges over the years and a big move. You can probably find an e-book copy of it online.

 

download.jpg

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There are dozens and dozens of hobbyist picture books that cover vehicles and forces from this period. Contemporary books on Russian vehicles are pretty iffy because Russian tanks were still an enigma at the time. I've got one old magazine article whose  guess at T64 armor stats were off by a factor of x4. :o

Here's the cover of one old hobbyist picture book I have in my aging reference hoard, from around 1994, I think.

81YFxT4AbGL.jpg

Edited by MikeyD
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Besides Tom Clancy and The Third World War, Team Yankee was good reading back in the day. There was another book which I can't recall that was about the Operation Art of War.

I had the Third World War by GDW and all the modules as well as Assault, Boots and Saddle and the other games of that series as well as a bunch of SPI games-Firefight, The Next War, Warzburg, Cityfight to name a few.

I've been collecting old Strategy and Tactics magazines for years, have a decent stash and the NATO vs Warsaw Pact was a big theme back then.

I recently bought NATO The Next War in Europe and old game. Its more of an operational/Strategic game.

PC's were just starting to invade the home space. I had a Mac so my offering were limited. Falcon SE and North Atlantic 80 was pretty much all I had. Hair bands and MTV was the other forms of entertainment back in the day.

 

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This book...

https://ospreypublishing.com/store/military-history/series-books/elite/tank-war-central-front-nato-vs-warsaw-pact-pb

...got me hooked on cold war that is still my main focus in wargaming today.  I was fresh out of college and recreated the opening scenario with Avalon Hill's MBT to my great enjoyment.  I went on to create it in Steels Beasts just a couple years ago.  It was amazing watching it come to 3D life.  I tried recreating it in CMSF1 and then 2, but the exact units aren't there and the maps were just not big enough to do the whole engagement.

I highly recommend the book to get a good taste of a later cold war engagement.

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3 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

This book...

https://ospreypublishing.com/store/military-history/series-books/elite/tank-war-central-front-nato-vs-warsaw-pact-pb

...got me hooked on cold war that is still my main focus in wargaming today.  I was fresh out of college and recreated the opening scenario with Avalon Hill's MBT to my great enjoyment.  I went on to create it in Steels Beasts just a couple years ago.  It was amazing watching it come to 3D life.  I tried recreating it in CMSF1 and then 2, but the exact units aren't there and the maps were just not big enough to do the whole engagement.

I highly recommend the book to get a good taste of a later cold war engagement.

That is a good one.

My gaming buddies and I also played the hell out of MBT, including a lot from that book. Umpired play by mail was the bomb back then.

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I have a 1989 Concord Pub book on T72 by no less than Steve Zaloga that got the naming conventions all messed up. He tackled the same subject in 1993 for New Vanguard and the vehicle naming is spot on. The difference was one was before the fall of the wall and the other was after.

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Guest Butschi

"War Plans and Alliances in the Cold War" by Vojtech Mastny. More about the big picture. Most books recommended here have a very NATO point-of-view, this books shows how unrealistic this Cold War gone hot but not nuclear really was. At least the Soviet side apparently never planned to not use tactical nukes.

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On 2/27/2021 at 12:13 AM, IICptMillerII said:

That's a great collection! I'm jealous of "The Third World War." I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy despite trying for a while now. I recently looked into getting "Armies of NATOs Central Front" too but same issue. 

"The War That Never Was" is really good. I just finished reading it. Definitely some good ideas in there for modules...

There are a couple of Hacket‘s Third World War available on Amazon. Not even very expensive. I have seen a hard cover copy for 12 Euro or so.

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Not so much a pre-reading, but pre-playing recommendation: Twilight Struggle.

The game gives a very good impression about the Cold War  historical events and political „mechanics“. Add a little political pressure here, start a coup there, stir some unrest in the next place....

I started to play this one on-line very recently. More by chance, than by purpose (A friend and I were looking for a game, which we both own.)

A very nice game play, though quite confusing at start. In our last game, I managed to start the hot war (and end the game prematurely) by initiating a coup in Panama.

As with all card driven games, one should know the cards and what their effect is.

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13 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

Not so much a pre-reading, but pre-playing recommendation: Twilight Struggle.

The game gives a very good impression about the Cold War  historical events and political „mechanics“. Add a little political pressure here, start a coup there, stir some unrest in the next place....

I started to play this one on-line very recently. More by chance, than by purpose (A friend and I were looking for a game, which we both own.)

A very nice game play, though quite confusing at start. In our last game, I managed to start the hot war (and end the game prematurely) by initiating a coup in Panama.

As with all card driven games, one should know the cards and what their effect is.

Quite a good game indeed with very high solitaire playability.  It shows Cold War domino-theory thinking well.  Only USD $9.99 on Steam.  👍

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/26/2021 at 11:44 PM, HerrTom said:

Decided to pull out all my relevant books in case any have been missed in this thread.

t73iJhN.png

Since I realise now my picture isn't too great and I don't want to get them back out:, from top to bottom:

  • First Clash: Combat Close-Up in World War Three by Kenneth Macksey. World War 3 Canadian Style, shows a lot of nitty-gritty tactical detail that many other books find wanting.  Super detailed and a good ride too.
  • The Third World War by Sir John Hackett. I honestly found it pretty dry and hawkish, which I guess fits Hackett's objectives in writing it. Lots of scenario ideas though I found a lot of stereotypes (and worse, mirror-imaging!) that I don't think survive a retrospective look.  I got it as one of the "must-reads" but honestly am not too big a fan.
  • The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis. The historiography is getting a little dated by now, but it's still a solid single-volume history of the cold war, a real credit to Gaddis and his editors.
  • Red Thrust by Steven Zaloga.  Reads like a cross between Clancy's work and First Clash. A good read, showcases some of the major technical gaps between WP and NATO equipment in the 80s.
  • The Offensive by A. A. Sidorenko (translated). I know I already mentioned this, it's a dry but very informative read. Can't get better than a primary source on Soviet military thought, though!
  • Soviet AirLand Battle Tactics by William Baxter. Intentionally misnomered, it's a surprisingly easy read on the complicated subject.  Definitely a good way to get started looking at the other side of the Iron Curtain.
  • The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Maneuver by David Glantz. Glantz is probably one of the best experts on the Soviet military in the west. Great historical context bringing the development of Soviet tactical manoeuvre to the modern day.
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Les Grau and David Glantz. Largely a translation of a Frunze Academy report, drills down into specific engagements in the Soviet-Afghan war and identifies problems and failures in the execution of operations. Interesting and detailed commentary by Grau and Glantz ,too.
  • The Soviet-Afghan War by Les Grau.  Some duplication from above, includes information on other combat arms beyond tactical units like logistics and artillery.
  • Armies of Nato's Central Front by David Isby and Charles Kamps, Jr.  Really just an encyclopaedia of militaries in Europe, good info on OOBs and the like.
  • Kriegsschauplatz Deutschland by Siegfried Lautsch. Lautsch is a retired NVA Colonel, which allowed him some great insight into the Warsaw Pact side of the equation. Great diagrams, clear and detailed language. Honestly my favourite of the books.  Also showcases plans and wargames which aren't the much misunderstood Six Days to the River Rhine!

That's an impressive list. I purchased the soviet counterpart to David Isbys book on the NATO forces. It is called:

"Weapons and tactics of the soviet army". 

So it also covers tactical aspects. The soviet way of war, so to speak. Btw quite funny to read that many westeners expected the auto- loader to be a weakness or kind of design flaw in the "new" T-64 and T-72

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