As it is Book Week I just want to say, if you fancy it, go buy The Horse Lord from Amazon. It would be good if I could get a few more sales in and get some attention from publishers, the link is on the Horse Lord page. Thanks,
So straight to it. After missing off last week, first we head to the USSR, oh apologies to the Russian federation, I mistook things for a second, due to how backwards Russia is today. You may or may not have heard that Boris Nemtsov was shot last week in Moscow just before he was to hold an opposition rally,
so the thin veneer of democracy that Russia has cultivated ever since the wall came down has finally slipped. With Moscow incurring flights into European air space, especially British, the military units posted on the Finnish border – we can see that old Vlad is back to the old ways of interfering and trying to dominate Europe through brute force and violence so this is what I thought we would discuss this week. With the MI6 ex head saying “We should be ready for a war with Russia” it is a hot topic so let’s see what a war with Russia would really be like from the evidence and common sense.
Let’s talk about the Russian federation for a second. This is a country that hasn’t found its standing in the world since the Second World War, a county with such unequal wealth – with a gap that makes the rest of us look like nice big happy families, only India has a wider gulf between its levels in the modern world; a country that has never really had democracy. It’s vast land mass has always been ruled by Tsars or dictators, Putin is just another one of these so the Russian people don’t really know what it is to have freedom. They are just as bad as the United States for indoctrinating their children to have an insatiable hatred of others for no really reason and to put ‘country’ before all else. Let’s actually take a look at the boring bit, the numbers first. Russia had a total population of around 143 million people, half that of the United States with their 330 million and a combined state of 560 million Western Europeans. It is an impressive number with at least 70 million more than the United Kingdom in actual man power. The stats I have see show that there is around 45 million fit for service in the Russian military and their active military is fairly impressive with around 800,000 men and women in uniform and almost 3 million reservists so they do have a lot of man power. History has shown us that Russia relied on that during the first and second world wars, whereas we Brits relied on our toughness and better training. The numbers Russian could have almost five million solders mobilised within a year and the United States would be something similar, Britain unlikely! We would most likely have around a million troops so they have the numbers and they have the proximity to the given battle fields that the world would be fighting over if what the ex-Head of MI6 says is true. Ukraine has always been the path way to the west with Finland and Scandinavia seen as easy pickings from which to launch aircraft from. So that’s why we have so many people in the intelligence network saying it’s a threat that Russia have seized the initiative and already have there units poised in Ukraine for the break out. However, this little exercise is fairly pointless when you consider that the United States has around 80% of the earth’s nuclear weapons and Russia, UK, France, India and Pakistan having a handful between us. If war comes it will be the war to end all wars, but saying that you have to ask, would the USA even get involved? Would they press the button? I don’t know, what I do know is that if it is a conventional war, then I think it is timely to point out what all of us would be fighting. Russia’s standing military has around 15,000 tanks, double that amount of armoured fighting vehicles so they do have a very large mechanised military but their weakness comes in their suitability. Compared to European hardware the German leopard and the British Challenger are easily the top two tanks in the world, at this moment the Challenger probably pips its slightly for seeing action in Iraq and Afghanistan where it showed its prowess against soviet weaponry. If a conventional war was to happen it would be to the same extent, except the Russians have a lot of men and equipment and are a better trained opposition so it would come down to their brawn, overpowering by sheer weight our more advanced tanks. It’s easy to see the plains of Ukraine covered in Russian tanks being systematically dispatched by German and British tanks but for every ten of their tanks the European armies destroy, they will destroy one of ours and as a Brit I have to observe that we only have around 400 tanks so every challenger mark 2 would have to successfully hit and destroy 38 Russian tanks without being over whelmed. That is the reality of it. NATO would only be able to get around 4-5 hundred tanks to Ukraine whereas Russia has already got five brigades of heavy armour ready. It’s not just that alone, as anyone who knows anything about modern warfare will know, it’s all about dominating the air, and here this is where war between NATO and Russia would be won and lost. With that point in mind let’s go back and look at the stats. If war started tomorrow the U.K. could deploy around 80 interceptors, saying that the majority of them would be ancient Tornados, only around 22 would be the newer more capable Typhoon that would be a match against Russia’s assortment of Migs and S.U. but saying that Russia has 38 fighter squadrons which range from 12 to 24 so one squadron of Russian SU37 flankers is the same amount as the most capable aircraft Britain has, and they have another 37 squadrons! So you see my point, Russian equipment is dated and a lot of their hardware is ill conceived but they are not as far behind militarily as we would believe and they have huge numbers of military trained personnel, in comparison to us.
So, if war started tomorrow we could expect most of the European air forces to be caught napping and nullified by Russian air power. On land the small force of Brits would become like the BEF at the outbreak of the Second World War, wholly out matched by sheer numbers so we would resort to moving everything by ship and road, due to Russia’s dominance over the skies of Europe. Only the Germans, with an assortment of French, Italians and Polish would be able to stand against them. The American units in Europe would be swept aside, as would the British and both over-stretched military would be too slow to react, leading to most of Europe falling to Russia within the first week. However, Scandinavia would be there within days with spetsnaz dominance of the air and heavy armour crushing the tiny northern forces, then I believe European armies would rally and may be able to hold the Russians from Slovenia in the south heading to Munich, Prague then Hamburg everything east of that would probably be captured by Russia or just surrender. At this point it would be a case of who could rush units to the front faster as America would have to fly all of its gear into Britain whilst the small number of French/British aircraft fought for control of the skies against the huge numbers of Russian aircraft. It would come down to the Royal Air Force, once more, over the skies of Germany and the north sea to see whether Russia can blitz the rest of Europe before the larger powerful American military can get there in time to stop them…..
But this is just a little exercise – I have been wanting to talk a bit about the military side of what’s going on in the world and I thought after my break this was the perfect time. Although despite everything I said, I wouldn’t be worried because, as I said earlier, due to the nuclear deterrent we are unlikely to see such an event so it’s just something interesting to hypothesise about, an interesting topic to say to your friends or family about ‘What if?’ So that is it for this week.
For those interested in my writing, I am working on a project to do with this topic for a new book but it’s a way to go yet, just in the pipe line at the moment as I have got a lot of other project to get finished first but if you liked the sound of this as a subject for a book then let me know. That’s it then, have a good week. Tech Tuesday should be back this week. Sorry that we don’t have any video at the moment but stay tuned for updates by following me on twitter or facebook. Have a good one! Bye.