Friday, July 18, 2014


Before going off to war, it is important to make the appropriate war plans. And with a plan you need reference materials. For me, I just needed to go back to some of my old favorites. In this case it is two books by Sir John Hackett.

The Third World War published in 1978 was one of the first of many books written about the Cold War going hot in the 1980s. Considering when he wrote it, the book is very believable in a scary way. As a sailor serving at the time he sets his story I find this not only believable but a good reference for such a non-war. While The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising are good books they were not what I was looking for. So I went with Sir John.

There are plenty of land and tank engagement books written about the Central Front yet little is written about the possible war at sea.  If the balloon did go up the US Navy and the NATO allies were going to be very busy. There will be carrier strikes, convoy battles, ASW operations and sweeping the Soviet shipping from the sea. And that is just in the first week or so. Naval Ops will be based on getting convoys from the US and Canada to the Central Front. These will be needed within four weeks of the start of the war to round out the NATO forces. (While the round out brigades as a process were found wanting in the First Gulf War, this was not known in the late 1970s.) Without these resources the Central front will have trouble holding the line without resorting to nuclear weapons.

As the Central Front will be trying to hold, there will be added pressure placed on both the south (Balkans and Turkey) and north (around Norway) fronts.  My campaign is based on the supply runs being made to support the Northern Front. These were trained for. You can see how these operations were planned for in HMS Fearless. While I have read of the NATO plans, I am assuming they do not go according to plan.

The campaign is designed around Harpoon (GDW Edition) but can be played with using Shipwreck! or similar modern/Cold War period rules.

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