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Posted: 9/9/2013 1:01:58 AM EDT
how did they rate?

East German Army


Czech Army


Polish Army


Link Posted: 9/9/2013 1:47:05 AM EDT
I don't know about during the cold war. I imagine they were all filled with unmotivated conscripts.

I do know some people who worked with Polish GROM forces in the Middle East and they had nice things to say.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 1:51:04 AM EDT
Probably not very motivated and scared shitless of the thought of going to war against supperior  NATO forces
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 2:46:46 AM EDT
Pretty competent, up to their potential based on arms. they weren't going to be first in at any critical point.  I'm not sure anybody was really confident what they might do.  You have to remember that their families were almost hostages.  
they were never armed up to the point where they might take a chance at going after the local Russian contingents.  The further you got away from Germany the quicker the quality of the troops and armament dropped off.  The Party police forces and Border Police, probably could have taken on the "Armies"

Similar to the situation, which never got past the "Oh yeah right, that's gonna work real well" stage of the proposals to arm southern slaves with the intent of them staying slaves after the war.  (These proposals were starting to get floated in Feb and Mar 1865.  The war ended in Apr 65.)  

What would happen first surrender to the Yanks/NATO or take on the masters.    The Communist Party Leaders really didn't trust their people.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:15:27 AM EDT
Happy to side with Russia as they wont end-up in Siberian POW camp unlike NATO soldiers

Otherwise there was no motivation to fight -  for most conscripts enemy was in Moscow, not in Washington.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:16:50 AM EDT
I have worked with the Slovaks, Romanians, and Bulgarians in Afghanistan.  Granted this was 2013 not 1985 but I got a good impression.  Good people.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:18:03 AM EDT
I used to work with a guy in a local power plant who was from Poland. He talked about his time in the Polish military and brought pics to prove he was there............he stated many times that he didnt know of anyone who wanted to fight NATO forces among WP armies. He stated many times he didnt have any desire to die for the Russians
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:23:44 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I used to work with a guy in a local power plant who was from Poland. He talked about his time in the Polish military and brought pics to prove he was there............he stated many times that he didnt know of anyone who wanted to fight NATO forces among WP armies. He stated many times he didnt have any desire to die for the Russians
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This.  The East Germans knew they were cannon fodder to be sacrificed to save Russian lives.  They were not happy about it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:49:50 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Happy to side with Russia as they wont end-up in Siberian POW camp unlike NATO soldiers

Otherwise there was no motivation to fight -  for most conscripts enemy was in Moscow, not in Washington.
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This.  In a big war you have to wonder if they would simply defect in droves.   The Poles in particular have no love for Moscow and it's hard to imagine the other fighting very hard.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 3:58:29 AM EDT
Don't forget that Soviet doctrine also made decision making by forward commanders almost impossible. Orders came from the top. No orders? Nothing happens. Enlisted soldiers would not act without orders from an officer. This wasn't lost on the troops on the ground. All they had to do was off a few higher ups and the entire machine would grind to a halt.

This is where the American style of fighting completely dominates the battlefield. Acting in the absence of orders is a uniquely Western tactic.
One of the serious problems in planning the fight against American doctrine, is that the Americans do not read their manuals, nor do they feel any obligation to follow their doctrine...
- From a Soviet Junior Lt's Notebook
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"The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis."
- from a post-war debriefing of a German General
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Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:04:29 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Pretty competent, up to their potential based on arms. they weren't going to be first in at any critical point.  I'm not sure anybody was really confident what they might do.  You have to remember that their families were almost hostages.  
they were never armed up to the point where they might take a chance at going after the local Russian contingents.  The further you got away from Germany the quicker the quality of the troops and armament dropped off.  The Party police forces and Border Police, probably could have taken on the "Armies"

Similar to the situation, which never got past the "Oh yeah right, that's gonna work real well" stage of the proposals to arm southern slaves with the intent of them staying slaves after the war.  (These proposals were starting to get floated in Feb and Mar 1865.  The war ended in Apr 65.)  

What would happen first surrender to the Yanks/NATO or take on the masters.    The Communist Party Leaders really didn't trust their people.
View Quote


My thinking.  I remember after the 81 crackdown in Poland people thought that the Poles would turn on the Soviets if it ever came to war.  

I think the Soviets probably thought this too.

Then look at Hungary and Czechoslovakia, I don't think they had "reliable" allies.
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 4:45:35 AM EDT
An Inchon-like landing at Gdansk probably would have had the Poles mobilized and ready at their cranes to unload NATO ships.

Hard to think of countries that would have even semi-enthusiastically joined the fight. Bulgaria maybe for a couple weeks?  GDR?
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:19:35 AM EDT
Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:26:19 AM EDT

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Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.
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I remember reading somewhere of 80%(+/-) casualties expected of the Czech army within weeks, not months, of conflict starting in central Europe. This is from Soviet sources as well.





Part of that was the use of tactical nuclear weapons and pushing pact armies directly into the fallout area.



 
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:27:26 AM EDT

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Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.
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Also, of the major PACT armies, the Poles typically had the worse equipment.



 
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:29:59 AM EDT
The Soviets had pretty impressive fortifications along their lines and behind the Warsaw Pact countries.  The Warsaw pact was nothing but a strategic buffer for the Soviet Union, which itself was really just a strategic buffer for Russia.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:38:06 AM EDT
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I used to work with a guy in a local power plant who was from Poland. He talked about his time in the Polish military and brought pics to prove he was there............he stated many times that he didnt know of anyone who wanted to fight NATO forces among WP armies. He stated many times he didnt have any desire to die for the Russians
View Quote

Doesnt surprise me.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:40:05 AM EDT
My understanding was the poles were not motivated and there was a real question if the balloon went up, if they would half assed fight or rebel all together.  Not sure about the Czechs but there is a lot of anti communist folks there.  I don't know about Slavic countries.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 5:18:57 AM EDT
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Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.
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Czechoslovakia was making licenced T-55, 62 and T-72 as well as BVP-1 and 2.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 5:22:11 AM EDT
I had heard similar, but also that the Soviet plan of battle was to spearhead the push through the Fulda Gap and other places with Category A units, i.e. Elite Operational Maneuver Groups and Guard units, then follow on with groups kept in reserve to exploit holes and breaks in the lines...........hopefully some of the guys here who would have faced them will chime in with more knowledge  

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Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.
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Link Posted: 9/10/2013 5:24:48 AM EDT
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Also, of the major PACT armies, the Poles typically had the worse equipment.
 
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Quoted:
Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.

Also, of the major PACT armies, the Poles typically had the worse equipment.
 



I'm still learning about the Cold War, so help me out. Why were the Poles treated worse? I understand that they got the rawest deal at the close of WWII, but what happened later?
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 6:33:49 AM EDT
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I'm still learning about the Cold War, so help me out. Why were the Poles treated worse? I understand that they got the rawest deal at the close of WWII, but what happened later?
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Story I heard had the Soviets equipping the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians with T54/55s, sending them in as the first wave to exhaust NATO anti-tank capability then following up with Red Army/DDR units equipped with the latest kit.

Also, of the major PACT armies, the Poles typically had the worse equipment.
 



I'm still learning about the Cold War, so help me out. Why were the Poles treated worse? I understand that they got the rawest deal at the close of WWII, but what happened later?


They were ill treated by the Soviets all through WWII, so they were considered unreliable/untrustworthy.  Because they were considered untrustworthy, they were ill treated and ill equipped.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 6:59:53 AM EDT
At least on the East German side, you would have had their field and flag officer corps dominated by Wehrmacht veterans into the early 1960s-must of led to some interesting ops plans with their Soviet "comrades" based on their mutual experience fighting each other.
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