I have decided to go a slightly alt-history route for my ‘Modern’/Cold War 6mm project. Why? Well to be honest I’ve always found the Warsaw Pact quite boring – everyone’s got more or less the same kit and everyone has the same organisation which I just find a bit tedious, even now the ex-members still have tons of Soviet-era equipment so that puts the kibosh on building current forces. Also, when it comes down to it, all Cold War gaming is what-iffery ain’t it so what the hell, in for a penny and all that!
So I was having a think and I thought what-if the Warsaw Pact never was? I think that this can give opportunities for a number of different style ‘conflicts’. I could go for a straight up all European countries are either united in a NATO-esque alliance to counter the USSR or there are a number of smaller alliances that counter each other and play conflicts that might arise from there, or I could ‘re-do’ WW2 with modern kit.
So how did this timeline differ so that the Warsaw Pact never existed? I had first just thought, how about if Hitler never got into power but I’ve changed that somewhat to flesh things out a bit (I do have a LOT of time on my hands!), and was somewhat inspired from reading a AAR of a game of The Operational Art of War PC game about the German attack on Czechoslovakia. So here goes:
Hitler badly miscalculated when he insisted that Germany attacked Czechoslovakia over the Sudetenland issue when the Czechs refused to give into their demands of ceding the disputed territory. Even though the German attack was successful in places the Czech forces were holding their own and they even managed a counter-attack that caused the Germans to fall back in places. Seeing that the Germans were struggling and taking the opportunity to try and wrest territory from the Germans Poland threw in their lot with the Czechs and pretty soon the Germans were in serious trouble. When the French informed the Germans that if they didn’t stop hostilities and start peace talks then they would join the conflict Hitler refused to listen. Shortly afterwards the plane that he was travelling in blew up in mid air and the General Staff quickly took control of the country acceding to the French peace proposals even though it meant losing East Prussia and parts of Pommerania to the Poles. However, the generals quickly gave up power and the new German Republic came into power.
From the late 30’s onwards some minor border squabbles between Hungary and Romania and the splitting up of Czechoslovakia into two separate states caused low-level conflicts that were nothing compared to the savage fighting that broke out in the late 40’s when Yugoslavia broke apart. All during this time the main threat to peace in Europe was the Soviet Union under the rule of Stalin. This threat did cause countries to band together in alliances and when Stalin attacked Finland in the winter of 1949 over a border dispute it ignited a major conflict, France and Britain sided with the Finns and pretty soon the Baltic States, Sweden, Poland, Romania and Germany were fighting against the Soviets too. The Soviet’s war machine was very much weakened by a series of purges carried out since the 30’s on the increasingly paranoid Stalin’s orders and pretty soon their initial advances were contained and the Allies started to push back. More states became involved in the fight against their aggression (Hungary, Czechs and Slovaks) and the Ukrainians declared independence after Allied forces had taken large swathes of their territory.
Peace came about due to a combination of factors. Stalin died of a massive stroke and the USA, that had kept itself out of this fight as it was embroiled in its own conflict against Japan at this time, threatened to get involved after it had finally won out in the Pacific. The Americans made it clear to the Russians that they would not hesitate to use their new ‘A-bomb’ and so the Soviets were left with no choice, agreeing to the terms brokered by the Allies which saw them lose Ukraine which had its independence confirmed . Since then peace has held but tensions are always there….
So that’s the background sorted, how am I going to do the ‘new’ Eastern European armies?
I am going to take each armies OOB from the 1994 ‘Military Balance’, I feel that this is just far enough away from the Cold War ending for the ex WarPact nations to have developed their own force structures and also sees the reduction in forces that might be a reasonable ‘fit’ for my alternative time line where Europe has been at peace for a long time. As for the actual TO&E’s for each of them I will be using a mix of either any unique ones that they historically had (for example the Polish 6 company Regiments) with a few tweaks or I am going to use their WW2 TO&E’s and adjust them as I see fit – replacing HMG platoons with ATGM platoons for example.
To get the new equipment mix for each one it will be a combination of what kit they are currently using and back-dating it, using the ‘rule of cool’ and bunging in what I like, or basing it on a real country’s one – for example I went with Nigeria being the base for Poland as I wanted to use Vickers Tanks (figured that Poland’s love of the Vickers before the war would continue) and I liked the mix of APC’s they had too. So there’s scope for some interesting mix of vehicles including some nice kit-bashing potential, but there will be no armies full of great kit. I’m going to try and limit the use of US stuff as much as I can and there is a strict no-Soviet/Russian kit rule being applied.
Rules used will be Fist Full of Tows 3 which are the standard rules at the club and allow Brigade sized actions, which is exactly the level I was after, and also allows units to be built quite quickly, also other club members already have ‘regular’ forces for these rules so it means that I don’t have to worry about not having any Germans, Brits, French etc. at first – if I can convince them to do a game with them!
I have now set it up so that each of the Armies I will be building will have a separate page under this page’s tab, please look at the header to find it in the drop down menu and thanks for reading!