The Zapad-99 exercise, the first massive maneuver conducted since the fall of the USSR, shows some interesting insight into the conduct of a World War III in the 1990s instead of the classic 1980s. The conduct of the exercise went essentially like this:
- The OPFOR, or “Hypothetical Enemy”, as is the official Russian term for such things, launched a giant campaign in the Baltic/Belarusian region, overwhelming the overmatched CIS troops with air and missile power.
- Kaliningrad was overrun by the Blueeaglelanders.
- In the most famous and controversial part of the exercise, a limited nuclear “escalation by deescalation” after the fall of the exclave was conducted in which bombers attacked several important targets with cruise missiles. Two Tu-95s and two Tu-160s were successfully launched, and the missiles on those are enough to cause monstrous damage. (that’s 36 AS-15s with 200kt warheads. Ouch.)
- Said targets are likely to be NATO bases in Europe and American bomber and logistics bases in the continental US.
To a degree, this era has already been explored, however imperfectly, in Arc Light and Red Hammer 1994. Northern Fury takes place in the 1990s but assumes a stronger, intact USSR and conventional weapons (at least for now…)
One thought on “World War 199X”
In Northern Fury the Nuclear gene remains stuck in the bottle by the Soviet President’s belief that using the weapons would ultimately lead to his nations obliteration, we’ll see where that goes.
We’ve only seen the first 18 hours of the Western response. The cruise missile attack on Crimea in those few hours was a warning to both sides of just how jittery nerves are on the question I think.