Seven Days to the River Rhine was a top-secret limited military simulation exercise developed in 1979 by the Warsaw Pact.
It was a plan to counter strike NATO by the Warsaw Pact forces after a surprise NATO first strike nuclear attack on Warsaw and the Vistula Valley in Poland. This would thus prevent the Soviet Union from sending reinforcements to East Germany to prevent a NATO invasion of that country. The GDR would be left open to invasion, but they and the local Soviet garrison forces would have still been able to take border towns like Wolfsburg and Brunswick in the short term. Such a western atrocity against Poland would have killed ~2,000,000 Poles immediately and destroyed most of the country.
With options limited, a Soviet counter-strike against West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark would take place in an effort to slow down a NATO invasion. Armed combat would hit the North German Plain, Germany's Fulda Gap and the The southern Danube route and the southern Danish Islands at the same time. Since the 1960s, they the Soviets would have also used large amounts of paratroopers here as well as tanks and nukes; unlike NATO, who had cut the paras out in the 1970s, since they it did not want them getting radiation sickness after nukeings and though using nukes was probably good enough anyhow. The Warsaw pact's Operation Northern Norway would probably be activated to.
A major target was the German Rhineland, which had much coal, lead, lignite, magnesium, oil and uranium, as well as some building stone, iron ore, tin ore and lead deposits in it. Cities and towns like Saarbrücken, Dortmund, Koblenz and Düsseldorf were major economic power houses in Napoleonic times, WW1 and WW2.
Soviet nuclear responseEdit
American bases in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany (like Ramstein Air Base) would have been hit, along with many German, Austrian and Italian cities. Roskildein in Denmark would be targeted for its cultural and historical significance demoralise them, the American airbase at Karup would also be hit, while Esbjerg port would be targeted because it had a large harbour capable of facilitating delivery of large NATO reinforcements. The Soviets reckoned that the USAF fighter-bombers, primarily the long-ranged F-111 would be launched British bases on nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union and East Germany, possibly with the help of the RAF (the RAF was officially after Pskov, Nizhny Novgorod and Estonia).
France and the United Kingdom were missed off the attack list and would be conventionally attacked in the the week of war policy; perhaps because nuclear weapons states, and as such retain nuclear arsenals that could be employed in retaliation for nuclear strikes against their nations or because of memories of the 1939-45 war time coalition with them.
Officially they did not want to provoke an immediate nuclear response or over stretch there forces whist fighting in Europe. The conventional attack would have last 1 week and as they would have to tried to intimidate both nations in to surrenders. Places like RAF Fylingdales would have been attacked. The UK and France had no intention to surrender and any falier to do so would have lead to a nucliar attack by the Soviets.
Bad Kotzing and Selb would fall to the Czechoslovaks.
France was at the time not a member of NATO's integrated command structure. France's Force de frappe employed a nuclear strategy known as dissuasion du faible au fort (weak-to-strong deterrence); which was a "counter-value" strategy, which thus implied that a nuclear attack on France's cities and/or bases would be responded to by a strike on Russian cities and/or bases. Pluton rockets would be launched in to the Soviet front lines as they burst in to southern and central Germany.
The Soviet invasion of Denmark would inevitably occur.
Conquering the Low CountriesEdit
W. Germany's ultimate fateEdit
The Soviets also had planned to have reached Lyon by day 9 of the war and then to press on to a final position at the Pyrenees, but the Czechoslovakians thought it was slightly overoptimistic and Western planners now think such a plan was totally unattainable.
Outside of central Europe the Soviets' plans for Europe were to destroy military and industrial stuff, since they wanted to conquer, enslave and plunder (see the GDR). The US was the only nation who went mostly after eastern European civvies in cities. US Brits, the French, China, S. Africa and the Israelis only wanted to do what was necessary to stay alive. A sea strike at Inishtrahull off the Donegal coast, since UK subs regularly loitered their.
Known Soviet targetsEdit
- Vienna was to be hit by 2 500-kiloton bombs
- Vicenza, Verona and several bases in Italy were to be hit by single 500-kiloton bombs.
- Hungary was to capture Vienna and part of northern Italy after this had happened.
- Stuttgart, Munich and Nuremberg were to be destroyed by various large nuclear weapons
- They were to be captured by the Czechoslovakians and Hungarians after being nuked.
- The Soviets planned to use about 7.5 megatons of atomic weaponry in all during such a conflict.
- Roskildein, the American airbase at Karup and Esbjerg port would be hit and then presumably taken by the GDR after an initial landing by Poland.
- Ramstine AFB was to be hit and captured later along with the rest of the Rhineland.
The forces involvedEdit
The SALT II Treaty made this plan effectively obsolete.
- Operation Square Leg (1980) and Exercise Hard Rock (1982)
- Germany's Fulda Gap
- Swedish pseudo-neutrality
- The Swiss National Redoubt (1880-2010)
- French nuclear plans and the Force de Dissuasion
- North German Plain
- Finnish pseudo-neutrality
- Operation Northern Norway
- The southern Danube route
- Soviet/NATO invasion of Finland
- The week of war policy
- Operation Gladio
- Atomic warfare information notes.
- Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie
- Greece, Turkey and southern Italy
- Cold War secret police organisations
- How Governments become Authoritarian
- Nations in 1988
- Nations in 1991
- O.T.L. history notes
- Operation Square Leg (1980) and Exercise Hard Rock (1982)
- Today's OTL types of economies, societies and regimes
- Why the USSR broke up in reality
- Berlin Airlift
- Americas' nuclear targets in 1959
- River Elbe Line
- "Poland is 'toast'!"
- UGM-27 Polaris
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UGM-27_Polaris, #http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13619460500100450,