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Vader
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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Sat 13 Nov 2021, 22:47

Oooh this means I get to post the funny joke!

A Soviet army is marching through a Finnish forest when a general hears a voice from over a hill shout: "one Finnish soldier is better than 10 Soviet soldiers!"

The Soviet general promptly picks 10 soldiers to root out the voice. There is gunfire, and then silence.

After a few minutes, the voice shouts defiantly: "One Finnish soldier is better than a hundred Soviet soldiers!"

The general angrily sends a hundred men to deal with this nuisance. There is even more gunfire. Then silence.

The voice cries out loudly once more: "One Finnish soldier is better than a thousand Soviet soldiers!!"

Enraged, the general sends a thousand men charging over the hilltop to shut up that voice once and for all, an epic battle rages, and then quiet. After a few minutes, a gravely wounded Soviet crawls back over the hill and cries:

"It's a trap! There are two of them!"

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Putraack
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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Sun 14 Nov 2021, 01:21


Is there any obvious logistical objective in the areas they attack toward? Food production, a power plant that could still be running (hydro? nuclear?), something like that.
Not really, no.

The only possible logical reason that I can see to launch such an offensive is to pre-emptively strike against Swedish units preparing a counteroffensive against the Russian positions.
Thanks!
The other reason would be "narrative causality".
:D That's pretty much why I'm writing my background-- I just wanna use the maps.
 
Raellus
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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Thu 18 Nov 2021, 03:17

Two studies on Soviet intentions and capabilities, vis-a-vis the Finnish and Swedish defense forces, in the late Cold War period.

https://www.marines.mil/portals/1/Publi ... 163241-220

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... /R3776.pdf

An assessment of Soviet military intentions re Sweden during the last two decades of the Cold War begins on p. 42 of the second document (p. 56 of the PDF).

Both studies conclude that the Soviets had strategic motives for mounting a preemptive strike against either or both neutral Scandinavian countries in the event of an imminent, wider European war v. NATO, and the wherewithal to do so.

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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Fri 19 Nov 2021, 11:59

Two studies on Soviet intentions and capabilities, vis-a-vis the Finnish and Swedish defense forces, in the late Cold War period.

https://www.marines.mil/portals/1/Publi ... 163241-220

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... /R3776.pdf

An assessment of Soviet military intentions re Sweden during the last two decades of the Cold War begins on p. 42 of the second document (p. 56 of the PDF).

Both studies conclude that the Soviets had strategic motives for mounting a preemptive strike against either or both neutral Scandinavian countries in the event of an imminent, wider European war v. NATO, and the wherewithal to do so.

The first article ("Finland Study") I'm unsure if I really can comment upon, as I'm unable to see where it's excerpted from — who wrote it, and when. It might be the Federal Research Division's "Finland: A Country Study" (Meditz and Solsten 1990), but not having that particular volume in my own bookshelf, I can't really tell for certain.
The second is a apparently public report drafted for the US Air Force in 1990.

Meaning neither is based on any real research into the actual documentation that became available in Russian archives during the Yeltsin era as they precede it. In other words, both (a) must be mainly based on conjecture, and even more importantly, (b) are specifically written to support US foreign and security policy agendas.

What does this mean for the veracity of any conclusions presented in them? Well, that's pretty much in the view of the beholder, but one may note that the conclusions clearly differ from the conclusions that formed the basis of Swedish defence policy at the time.
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Raellus
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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Fri 19 Nov 2021, 23:49

I didn't intend to give anyone the impression that the reports I linked are conclusive evidence that the Soviets had concrete plans to attack/invade Finland or Sweden during the late Cold War period, or that I was under that impression. I guess I shared them as a way of saying, "See. It's not just some random guy on the internet who thinks that the Soviets had the motive, the opportunity, and the means to do so." I was remiss in not making this clear in the OP. I apologize.

The source of the Finland doc appears to be the USMC- IIRC, it was produced for the Marines, if not by them. I'll double check and get back to you on that. Rand is a pretty well-respected defense think-tank, although it tends to be a bit on the hawkish side in its foreign policies views.

As to Swedish foreign policy, Vader, I am curious as to what the reports got wrong. I'm not at all well-versed in the topic, but what I read in the reports didn't send up any obvious red flags. Please, enlighten me.

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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Mon 22 Nov 2021, 11:09

As to Swedish foreign policy, Vader, I am curious as to what the reports got wrong. I'm not at all well-versed in the topic, but what I read in the reports didn't send up any obvious red flags. Please, enlighten me.

Thank you for asking, and I'll do my best!

We have here in Sweden a research project named FoKK, Försvaret och det Kalla Kriget ("The Defence and the Cold War"). It was started in 2002, and is since 2012 tied to the Department of History of Stockholm University, with support from the country's military academies and various civilian and private institutes and foundations. The people running it are mainly a bunch of high-ranking academics and military personnel; professors, colonels, and others of similar ilk. The project publishes reports illuminating aspects of Sweden's defence during the Cold War; largely with a focus on documenting testimonies from those actually involved at the time.

According to FoKK 12 Det sovjetiska hotet mot Sverige under det kalla kriget ("The Soviet Threat Against Sweden During the Cold War"), a paper written by Bengt Gustafsson (Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces 1986-94) in 2007, based partly on interviews with various ranking former Soviet officers (usually in service with ex-Soviet countries other than Russia when interviewed) — a General, a Colonel, an Admiral, and a Rear Admiral, plus various sundries — and partly on a variety of written sources, the primary objective of the Soviet strategy vis-à-vis Sweden (and Finland) was one of isolation, not invasion.
They knew that Sweden's neutrality was a bit so-so, but based on Sweden's historic decisions, where the country stayed neutral during WWII, it was believed that Sweden would do likewise in a new major conflict in Europe, and stand by its official policy.

So, in the initial phases of a conflict, a push into northern Norway through Finnmark and the Barents Sea, and one through the Danish Straits into Kattegat-Skagerrak and landing in South-Eastern Norway, would hopefully isolate Sweden, and "encourage" the country not to take active part in the conflict.

It was only in a possible follow-up scenario, assuming that initial isolation hadn't been able to succeed by the time American reinforcements came into play in earnest, that plan B — entailing violation of Swedish sovereign territory — would be put in motion.

Hence, the scenario of a pre-emptive invasion of Sweden seems to never have been on the table. Any invasion would indeed happen as part of an on-going larger conflict.
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Raellus
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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Wed 24 Nov 2021, 19:47

Thank you. Most of what I've been able to dig up online has supported the isolation strategy. That's what Sweden (and NATO) were prepared for. Instead of discouraging me, though, that historical fact has provided inspiration to imagine something more unexpected (i.e. an invasion of SE Sweden). If NATO is expecting a right hook, hit 'em with a left uppercut! It would be risky, for certain, to bring Sweden into the war as a full belligerent, but I also see several strategic advantages that the Soviets could glean from launching a surprise invasion of nominally neutral Sweden.

https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Docu ... 202014.pdf

This doc (which also supports an isolation strategy) suggested an interesting tactic to eliminate the threat of the Swedish air force on p. 64-65 (66-67 of the PDF).

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Re: Aligning v4's Sweden with the v1 Timeline

Thu 25 Nov 2021, 14:12

This doc (which also supports an isolation strategy) suggested an interesting tactic to eliminate the threat of the Swedish air force on p. 64-65 (66-67 of the PDF).

That the Soviets were likely to deploy Spetsnaz infiltrators to eliminate Air Force and other key personnel, especially pilots, was a well-known threat here in Sweden at the time. We even joked about it, and how Polish "carpet peddlers" regularly came knocking on the doors of sensitive personnel with ... a bit higher frequency than the general population's.
Therefore, pilots' names and addresses were kept somewhat secret, and their professions weren't candidly listed in the phone books, as otherwise was customary at the time.

Let's just say that there were measures in place to counter such a contingency. This kind of Spetsnaz operation would have had to have been very pre-emptive indeed — launched much in advance of any overtly increased geopolitical tensions or heightened readiness — for it to have been truly effective ... by which the Soviets of course would have shown their hand a lot sooner than I believe they would have preferred to.


…which, as it happens, nicely brings us full circle back to the point where I originally joined this particular thread:

Re preparedness, true. It's highly unlikely that Sweden would be caught napping.
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