Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Armed Forces of the World Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
Subject: Lithuanian/Polish/Ukrainian Increased Cooperation
singularity    11/19/2009 12:37:06 PM
Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine are forming are forming a three way international peacekeeping brigade called LITPOLUKRBRIG. According to the Telegraph (UK newspaper), the strength may range from 2,000-5,000 soldiers. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/6589547/Lithuania-Poland-and-Ukraine-create-a-joint-military-brigade.html). According to RIA Novosti (Russian newspaper), this is the second combined battalion between Poland and Ukraine and the paper claims other countries can apparently join the agreement. It appears that Poland and Lithuania are attempting to integrate Ukraine further into NATO and Europe, despite (and perhaps because of) the hesitation by France,Germany and some others. I think further integration/alliances between Ukraine, Poland and the other Central and Eastern European countries offers increased protection against Russian influence or even attack. This got me thinking about this scenario: What would occur if Russia and Ukraine have another spat over gas deliveries and Ukraine attempts to kick out the Russian fleet from Crimea? If this escalated to an armed conflict (non-nuclear), and Poland, Lithuania (and perhaps Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia) came to the aid of Ukraine against Russia (which would probably have the support of Belarus), what would their odds be? I am assuming the other NATO members such as US, France, Germany do not interfere because they are either tied down or do not want to protect countries freedoms because of the chance of losing Russian "business". How long could these countries last? Could they take Kalingrad and deny the Russians a foothold? How long would it take for these countries to develop nukes (Ukraine had some stationed on its land before it disarmed).
 
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: PREV  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   NEXT
Hugo       11/26/2009 5:15:49 AM
Should anyone defending against Russia not be best advised to learn lessons from their largely unsuccessful war against Finland?  The relative strength of Russia and Finland was even more in favour of the former than any conflict today between Russia and Poland.
 
Quote    Reply

Lance Blade       11/26/2009 11:58:46 AM
Two things worth considering.
 
1. The Poles and the Ukrainians are not friendly cultures. They're politically close today, but for all the stink the Poles raise about Katyn, Ukrainian mass murders of Poles weren't much better (arguably a lot worse during the times of Bogdan Khmelnicky and the Cossacs.) Poland considers Ukraine their lost province (which is true) and Lviv in particular, should really be a Polish city. The Ukrainian people know this.
2. The Lithuanians and the Poles hate each other. I'm not sure why this is, but it appears to be the case. I'd imagine it's to do with the Commonwealth falling apart. 
 
Their respective political leaders have one thing in common - anti-Russian paranoia. Beyond that, there is not enough trust between these peoples for a real alliance. 
 
Quote    Reply

Nocturne       11/26/2009 4:28:44 PM
About those hedgehogs. i am not actually an expert in military strategy or tactics..but it isnt that different from 1939. In my opinion those hedgehogs are just pockets waiting to be surrounded.. for 2-3 days they might do fine but after that they would be bypassed and surrounded. the problem is that in a day or two they would be largly out of fuel and immobile. So its bliztkrieg once again.. u have a highly mobile enemy against static polish defenses. it would be systematical. U just roabloack nearest polish  hedgehogs and concentrate max of yours force against one hedgehog( with russian manpower and heavy weapon supperiority they could do this in several places at the same time).  Blast it- move to he next one. While its possible that those hedgehogs could support each other with some sort of mixed artillery  and i dont know what. But without some sort of logistc lines they would soon be out shells( after several days they would be firing only in critical self defence needs not in support of other hedgehogs), spare parts ( leopard its not like T-34...u cant fix it with the hammer), fuel ( i dont think u can airdrop it?). Soviet ww2 could survive on very little supplies, modern divisions cant. It would look like gerogia with russian troops picking up abandoned tanks and guns on the road sides (broken, out of fuel). I am not sure i cant suggest anything better..probably just some form of elastic defenes with max SAM and aviation support for a quick local counter attacks..after that probably counter attacks with just SAM's ..after that with nothing.. Hedehogs would form naturally  in the final phase after no fuel or retreat paths were left.

Fins have little chances to repeat the past miracles against russians. No mannerheim line this time. Of course they could still play war in the woods maybe even outperform russians there. But they cant hold Helsinki adn other important place with them gone.. yeah it's like georgia again russian just move in destory all the military instalations and whatever they want. take whatever they want. Still fins have the best chance out of all polish/ baltic. 
I am just interested in why russians arent moving against central asia ( it's not like like NATO could help anybody there) China? And i think those countries still have much soviet legacy....more than baltics for example . Kazakhstan still has like 80% o f people fluent in russian..no western democratic mumbo jumbo there. And they have oil.. and russian could stop paying for baikonur:D. Its bigger price with less headache.
 
Quote    Reply

Nocturne       11/26/2009 4:29:55 PM
i hate..the lack of edit button:D sry for my english again
 
Quote    Reply

Lance Blade       11/27/2009 5:28:29 AM


I am just interested in why russians arent moving against central asia ( it's not like like NATO could help anybody there) China? And i think those countries still have much soviet legacy....more than baltics for example . Kazakhstan still has like 80% o f people fluent in russian..no western democratic mumbo jumbo there. And they have oil.. and russian could stop paying for baikonur:D. Its bigger price with less headache.

Surely Chinese influence would have been a motivator, not a deterrent? The reason, I believe, is that Russians already have close ties with the Kazakhstani political elite and relations between the two countries are very good. An outright invasion would be far too costly, and would most definitely bring down the Russian government. It'll be a worse idea than invading Ukraine. Makes more sense in the political elites of the countries, to further develop free-trade agreements and mutual defence pacts. The CSTO is a functional organisation today, with Kazakhstani troops participating in Checnhya. The Russia-Belarus-kazakhstan free economic zone is due to come into force in 2010. A Russian invasion of Kazakhstan would make about as much sense as America invading the UK to halt the eurocentric trends there.
 
Quote    Reply

gf0012-aust       11/27/2009 7:13:56 AM

Should anyone defending against Russia not be best advised to learn lessons from their largely unsuccessful war against Finland?  The relative strength of Russia and Finland was even more in favour of the former than any conflict today between Russia and Poland.
I purchased the video of the "winter war" approx 15 years ago - Talvisota (??)  excellent movie.  problem is that it was on VHS video cassette and I never got around to converting it to DVD. 
 
Quote    Reply

Hugo       11/27/2009 9:39:28 AM


Should anyone defending against Russia not be best advised to learn lessons from their largely unsuccessful war against Finland?  The relative strength of Russia and Finland was even more in favour of the former than any conflict today between Russia and Poland.



I purchased the video of the "winter war" approx 15 years ago - Talvisota (??)  excellent movie.  problem is that it was on VHS video cassette and I never got around to converting it to DVD. 

Argh..  and very frustrating when the content owners don't get around to putting things in DVD format.. 
I wonder though if a successful guerilla war can only be fought in difficult terrain like that of Finland and not in say Poland.

 
Quote    Reply

Godofgamblers       11/27/2009 10:12:56 AM

About those hedgehogs. i am not actually an expert in military strategy or tactics..but it isnt that different from 1939. In my opinion those hedgehogs are just pockets waiting to be surrounded.. for 2-3 days they might do fine but after that they would be bypassed and surrounded. the problem is that in a day or two they would be largly out of fuel and immobile. So its bliztkrieg once again.. u have a highly mobile enemy against static polish defenses. it would be systematical. U just roabloack nearest polish  hedgehogs and concentrate max of yours force against one hedgehog( with russian manpower and heavy weapon supperiority they could do this in several places at the same time).  Blast it- move to he next one. While its possible that those hedgehogs could support each other with some sort of mixed artillery  and i dont know what. But without some sort of logistc lines they would soon be out shells( after several days they would be firing only in critical self defence needs not in support of other hedgehogs), spare parts ( leopard its not like T-34...u cant fix it with the hammer), fuel ( i dont think u can airdrop it?). Soviet ww2 could survive on very little supplies, modern divisions cant. It would look like gerogia with russian troops picking up abandoned tanks and guns on the road sides (broken, out of fuel). I am not sure i cant suggest anything better..probably just some form of elastic defenes with max SAM and aviation support for a quick local counter attacks..after that probably counter attacks with just SAM's ..after that with nothing.. Hedehogs would form naturally  in the final phase after no fuel or retreat paths were left.



Fins have little chances to repeat the past miracles against russians. No mannerheim line this time. Of course they could still play war in the woods maybe even outperform russians there. But they cant hold Helsinki adn other important place with them gone.. yeah it's like georgia again russian just move in destory all the military instalations and whatever they want. take whatever they want. Still fins have the best chance out of all polish/ baltic. 

I am just interested in why russians arent moving against central asia ( it's not like like NATO could help anybody there) China? And i think those countries still have much soviet legacy....more than baltics for example . Kazakhstan still has like 80% o f people fluent in russian..no western democratic mumbo jumbo there. And they have oil.. and russian could stop paying for baikonur:D. Its bigger price with less headache.
Yes, all very good points, Nocturne. i think you are right; the hedgehog strategy would have to be combined with conventional warfare as well. However, the hedgehog system i propose is not as fragile as you may think. Remember that the defence line would be based on the North South waterways. As a result, the Russians could not surround the hedgehogs till they crossed the river. Once they crossed and tried to surround the hedgehog, it would retreat along the waterway, North or South. so that it could continue to cross back and forth across the river with great mobility. Other hedgehogs would also be supporting, as you noted. The logistics problem is difficult. It could be insurmountable.  General Slim overcame this in WW2 as i pointed out, through airlifts, but the Allies had air superiority, something i doubt the Poles would enjoy. Would building a static defence line like the Maginot Line be better? I'm not so sure....
 
All things considered, i would advocate basing Poland's defences on natural waterways rather than on lines on a map.

 
Quote    Reply

Lance Blade       11/27/2009 1:32:46 PM

The problem that a defense pact with western European nations or with America has is obvious. We may decide we don't want to die for your nation when we don't have any immediate intrest in defending it, and probably have significant intrests in trade with Russia, long term diplomatic stability in our relations with Russia, etc.

 

Such an attitude in the context of a direct war will spell the end of NATO at the very least. The price is too high to pay. America at least will not leave her Eastern European allies. For this reason I don't believe a Russian invasion of Poland or Lithuania without NATO involvement is a realistic scenario. Ukraine and Georgia, maybe. You can't have "long term diplomatic stability" with someone who treats you as weak and lower than dirt for not honoring your explicit obligations.
 
Quote    Reply

Jeff_F_F       11/30/2009 7:03:09 AM




The problem that a defense pact with western European nations or with America has is obvious. We may decide we don't want to die for your nation when we don't have any immediate intrest in defending it, and probably have significant intrests in trade with Russia, long term diplomatic stability in our relations with Russia, etc.



 




Such an attitude in the context of a direct war will spell the end of NATO at the very least. The price is too high to pay. America at least will not leave her Eastern European allies. For this reason I don't believe a Russian invasion of Poland or Lithuania without NATO involvement is a realistic scenario. Ukraine and Georgia, maybe. You can't have "long term diplomatic stability" with someone who treats you as weak and lower than dirt for not honoring your explicit obligations.


 
 
It is good that you understand the caveat that this only applies to a direct war. However the Russian leadership is not stupid enough to just assemble tanks on the border of any of her neighboring nations and declare war outright. Even if that nation were not a NATO member, the political, economic, and likely even eventual military repercussions would be too great. This is not even a terribly new dynamic, for example Bismarck understood that Prussia could not conquer the neighboring German states through direct campaigns of conquest. Russia's campaign in Georgia demonstrates that the kinds of tactics employed by Bismarck to fight a "defensive" campaign of regional conquest are still relevant today. NATO membership will not protect any nation if Russia can provoke that nation to attack. Similarly, if Russia can create a perception that the war is justified, or at least only ambiguously non-justified they may be able to give American and western European nations the excuse they need to look the other way.
 
For that matter, there may well be political elements within the nations of NATO that would love to see NATO cease to exist, or at least be weakened. Some of them might already be fifth columnists sympathetic to Russia such as closeted western communist sympathizers from the cold war era. Sadly a lot of young adults today from the eastern bloc nations appear to have been young enough when the wall fell that they had only experienced the idealism of communist propaganda and seemingly had not yet felt the frustration of life as an adult under communist rule. Others might well find that their cause is temporarily aligned with Russia's. They might feel that NATO is just a tool for the US to manipulate Europe, for example.
 
Quote    Reply
PREV  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   NEXT



 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics