This is coolbert: Soviet Spetsnaz forces
. These were the special purpose units of the Red Army. Can best be categorized as ranger/commando
units by the standards of western armies. Developed to destroy nuclear weapons assets
of potential enemies [primarily, but not solely devoted to, U.S. nuclear arsenal]. Would infiltrate the territory of an enemy prior
to an outbreak of hostilities and began to attack and destroy nuclear weapons assets and the command and control for same prior to an actual outbreak of hostilities. Such attacks, if successful enough, would give a decided advantage to the Soviet side. Most of what we know is from the defector Suvorov, who wrote a book on these units, most appropriately called "Spetsnaz". Suvorov claimed that at one time he actually acted as an evaluator for such a Spetsnaz unit in the field, during an exercise.
Now, could such small units of lightly armed men, armed with only what they can carry, inflict damage of such proportions on the nuclear weapons assets of the U.S. as to have an actual influence on events, and do so prior to an actual outbreak of hostilities? Yes!!
Small, lightly armed bands of Spetsnaz could have indeed inflicted heavy damage on U.S. strategic nuclear assets.
To understand how this could be done, you have to appreciate that U.S. strategic assets were concentrated in a "triad"
of manned bombers [B-52, B-1, B-2], land based missiles [Minuteman 3], and Trident launched submarine missiles. To gain a clear advantage, such assets would have to be attacked just prior to an outbreak of hostilities, and with enough success to gain the advantage sought by the aggressor.
How could these attacks against nuclear weapons assets be conducted??
on the ground would be imperiled by potential attacks. Manned bomber crews
could have been attacked and killed at their base, probably while reading newspapers or magazines in their orderly room while awaiting "go" orders. Without trained crews, the bombers could not fly or accomplish their mission. Bomber aircraft on the ground could be attacked from long range by say hi-power fifty caliber rifles firing exploding rounds. One round exploding in the right spot in the cockpit
could cause severe enough damage to render that aircraft unusable. Bombers taking off could be shot down
by those SA-7 shoulder fired missiles [pea shooters I call them]. Just as the plane is taking off, a missile brings it down [more about this later]. The famous British SAS tactic of running up to a plane on the ground, shooting holes in the wings where the fuel tanks are located, allowing fuel to spew out onto the ground, and then igniting the fuel, destroying the aircraft on the tarmac, could also be employed.
Ground based missile systems [Minuteman III]
in silos could be attacked in ways similar to the way the bomber force would be attacked. Launch officers
underground could be killed by introducing poison gas [nerve agent] into whatever ventilation system these launchers would have. Shaped charges
could be placed over the top of the enormous concrete blast doors covering the openings of the silos and detonated. These shaped charges would punch a hole in the concrete door and destroy the missile in the silo. Rail bender jacks
could be used to deform the rails that are used to slide the blast doors off the top of the silo. The doors could not be moved to give a clear opening for a missile launch! It might be possible to pour flammable liquid
into the silo and set fire to the missile, destroying it in the silo. A missile exiting
the silo would be exceptionally susceptible to damage. You would not necessarily need to destroy the missile entirely, all that would be needed would be a limited amount of damage to the missile. It would not be able to reach the target. One man firing a rocket propelled grenade [RPG], a sniper rifle or machine gun
firing armor piercing incendiary rounds could inflict a lot of damage to a missile as it just exits
the silo. Such damage would cause the missile to go awry during flight and not reach the target. I am not sure about this, but I bet that a SA-7
missile could also damage a missile in the few seconds after launch. [according to Suvorov, the Soviets had SA-7's that were activated remotely by the loud noise made by such things as a missile launch or a jet airplane taking off. These SA-7 would be placed around a silo in advance and activate automatically upon a missile launch, bringing the missile down upon initial take-off].
The Trident nuclear submarine missile launching force
would also be susceptible to attack by Spetsnaz forces. I think the U.S. Navy has about sixteen Trident subs on duty. Of this number, half are at sea at any given time, leaving eight in port. This eight in port would be the targets of Soviet naval Spetsnaz. Combat swimmers [UDT]
would be able to place charges against the subs and sink them at dock. Or kayakers
could approach the subs and place charges as well. Crews could be attacked at their barracks
. A significant loss of crew could render the sub unable to sail, even if it is undamaged. Once, again, total destruction would not be necessary. Only damage of a sufficient nature to render the sub unable to sail.
Another mission of Spetsnaz to attack the U.S. nuclear retaliatory force would be to destroy or incapacitate the command and control mechanism
. Starting with the president
and killing as many persons as possible in the chain of command
, the Spetsnaz would make it very difficult for authorizing personnel to release nuclear weaponry for use. Even if not totally successful, breaking the chain of command at a number of points would cause delay and hesitation
, both of which could prove fatal. Key node points for transmitting "go-code" orders
for the use of nuclear weaponry could also be attacked. This would be analogous to severing the nerve endings leading from the brain to a muscle. The muscle cannot flex if the signals from the brain, transmitted by the nerve, are cut.
All these methods could be employed by Spetsnaz to severely diminish the U.S. nuclear retaliatory capacity. And all this would be done either before the outbreak of hostilities, or at the actual outbreak of hostilities.
Further amplification concerning some comments made above. I mentioned in this blog about using a rail bender jack
to deform the tracks that the concrete blast doors of the missile silos slide on. And I also mentioned that nuclear submarines could be attacked by kayakers
using explosives. Well, these were actual real events that did occur. Some so-called "nuclear peace activists", did actually break into the secure area of a missile silo and use a rail bend jack to deform the track of the concrete blast door. If that missile needed to be fired, it could not have been. And another group of "peace activists" did indeed use kayaks to approach a Trident sub at dock and hammer on the sides of the sub with mallets. So this sort of thing could have been done. And this was done may unarmed "protestors". It should be obvious that professionals, highly armed, could have done much more damage than a rag tag bunch of amateurs.
Further amplification. The U.S. Air Force would employ a truck to render a missile silo inoperable if the launch crew for some reason went berserk. Park a truck over the blast door. If the door swings open, the truck would be in the way of the missile as it would try to exit upon launch. Pretty smart, eh!!??
. During the Cold War there was a "peace" group called "Follow the White Train"
or something like that. Nuclear weapons being transported from depots or places of manufacture were placed on board a special train originally painted white
. So it could be spotted easily and identified. Now, this "peace" group set up 24 hour per day spotters outside of all locations where the white train would run. These "peaceniks" would then try to determine the places the train stopped at, where it was going, etc. Follow the train all over the country. Well, why would anyone in their right mind do this??
One possible explanation was that they were doing this, wittingly or unwittingly
, for Spetsnaz. Finding storage locations and places were nukes were going to would provide vital intelligence for Spetsnaz raiders. All in the name of "peace" of course.