Cold war NATO armoured doctrine

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
The plan varied due to geographical location. NORTHAG forces, BAOR and Bundeswehr primarily, would have conducted a fighting withdrawal, though looking for the opportunity to entice the enemy into a position suitable to launch an armoured counterstroke, a one shot measure as far as BAOR went. CENTAG forces, US 7th Corps and the remainder of the Bundeswehr, had a far more favourable position to defend, and with space behind them to maneuver in the case of an enemy breakthrough.

NORTHAG would have been hard pressed, but to what extent they would have been pushed back, or simply smashed through, is conjecture. Training centered around how to conduct a fighting withdrawal for four days before it all went nuclear, if that had not happened on day one of course. However, exercises always ended with practising the counterstroke, endex being called on a notional nuclear strike, who launched the nukes never being made explicit, but understood to be by us. SADAM and MADAM would have been used to deny the enemy access over bridges and viaducts, and could, if nukes had not already been used, trigger an exchange of tactical nukes. Lack of sufficient bridging capacity, IMO, would lead to choke points for forces trying to get West over the Weser, and in at least one exercise an entire divisions worth of tanks had been concentrated near to just one crossing point, a nice target. But, there are constraints in peacetime and an armoured division just cannot maneuver on a broad front as it would in war.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
The plan varied due to geographical location. NORTHAG forces, BAOR and Bundeswehr primarily, would have conducted a fighting withdrawal, though looking for the opportunity to entice the enemy into a position suitable to launch an armoured counterstroke, a one shot measure as far as BAOR went. CENTAG forces, US 7th Corps and the remainder of the Bundeswehr, had a far more favourable position to defend, and with space behind them to maneuver in the case of an enemy breakthrough.
Even that is related specifically to a very specific time. There was a period, Forward Defense, where the German govt were going to fight hard for every square centimeter of W. German soil, which really screwed up the other NATO countries' plans, as they wanted a defense in depth, to continue retreating back, hammering the Soviets with tactical nukes and armored counterstrikes, until REFORGER brought the bulk of US Army forces to Europe, at which time a general counter offensive would be launched. If the Bundswehr followed their own doctrine at this time, they'd have broken their army fighting at the very forward edge of the battlefield.