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DarkAngel

Fulda Gap revisited

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A "small" update on the process...

Around 50km of the former inner German border are completed. I´ve decided to simulate also app. 4-8km depth of the Thuringian (Ex-GDR) territory. So areas which can be observed by the West German side.

And some details for the historians of you, some tales are hardly to believe nowadays :clin:

The former Observation Point ROMEO of the 11ACR north of BISSERODE

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Former West/East German Control Point along the Autobahn 4 north of HERLESHAUSEN/WARTHA. It was the only transit point in Hessia.

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"The Wall" between KLEINENSEE and GROSSENSEE. It was one of the few places of the inner German border, where the GDR built a real wall. Otherwise it were normally solid metal fences, obstacles etc.

They built this wall in order to avoid the people to see each other while living less than 500m away.

In the tiny village of GROSSENSEE a whole company of the GDR border troops was located.

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This West German potash factory near HERINGEN had a special permission to drive their freight trains through GDR territory to the train transit point GERSTUNGEN, turn around and bring the goods to BEBRA, because there was no other railway track in the area.

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The end of the Autobahn 4... Until the 90´s there was no direct and end-to-end connection between BAD HERSFELD and EISENACH. The highway ended at OBERSUHL, you had to drive a 30km northeastern bypass around GDR territory along the B400 in order to get on the Autobahn 4 at WOMMEN again.

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Old tower at Vacha/Philippsthal. I just spent a couple hours on Skype with a friend who grew up down the street from that bridge.

Vacha.jpg.f4442e8e5196b9b0779f0cc4022452

Vacha.jpg.f4442e8e5196b9b0779f0cc4022452

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Nice photo! Different times... but always interesting.

Also my memories are nearly gone regarding this period. I was in our school´s last 7th grade which visited West Berlin and The Wall in March 1989.

Must be this bridge and church: https://www.google.de/maps/place/Vacha/@50.8293317,10.0229486,18z/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x47a35c22b082180d:0x7a1b2937b1973695

As you can see, the church was done and also there´s a new bridge across the Werra.

Interesting story again... the house directly north of the bridge was devided in two halfs by the iron curtain :clin:

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Yep, that's the spot. I took that photo during a walkabout one weekend from Bad Hersfeld to Bad Salzungen.

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Looking nice. How long till it's released? I'm guessing a while, maps of that detail take a damn long time! In any event looking forward to its release!

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T(h)anks, T(h)anks.

I again hope to release the new version of the map around turn of the year 2015/16. There´s still a lot of work to do, not with the grade of details as on FRG side... but you should also see some things on the GDR side (villages, main roads etc.).

There should be a modern variant of the map and additionally - as last year - a 1989 version with complete und typical border installations.

And also quality assurance has to do it´s homework :clin:

attachment.php?attachmentid=24590&d=1439051513

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Wow, this brings back a lot of memories! When I was in the 8th Infantry Division 1985-88, our go to war positions were southeast of Fulda. I'm trying to get my bearings straight, I remember a very large hill or mountain to the east where I could see people taking off with hang gliders. My memory has faded to where exactly that was. Beautiful country, colder than hell in the winter though!

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Fantastic map Falli.

Now, a question - in a BG-ANZAC discussion on the Demolition Guard training film we talked about how during the Cold War, troops posted in Germany would prepare and regularly recce defensive positions in case of a Red attack. I'm interested in learning more about this - are there any books/resources anyone can recommend please?

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Fantastic map Falli.

Now, a question - in a BG-ANZAC discussion on the Demolition Guard training film we talked about how during the Cold War, troops posted in Germany would prepare and regularly recce defensive positions in case of a Red attack. I'm interested in learning more about this - are there any books/resources anyone can recommend please?

I'm not sure if there are books but certainly in the UK's British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) sector there were prepared AFV scrapes for a given vehicle's primary, alternate and secondary positions complete with ammo cache.

The optimists said it was to reduce the logistic burden, the pragmatists said that the first battle position was also likely to be the only battle position and they had to make their time there count. :)

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I'm not sure if there are books but certainly in the UK's British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) sector there were prepared AFV scrapes for a given vehicle's primary, alternate and secondary positions complete with ammo cache.

The optimists said it was to reduce the logistic burden, the pragmatists said that the first battle position was also likely to be the only battle position and they had to make their time there count. :)

I was told we would never use them because the WP had plotted their exact locations and would obliterate them with concentrated artillery fire as they were crossing the border.

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Fantastic map Falli.

Now, a question - in a BG-ANZAC discussion on the Demolition Guard training film we talked about how during the Cold War, troops posted in Germany would prepare and regularly recce defensive positions in case of a Red attack. I'm interested in learning more about this - are there any books/resources anyone can recommend please?

Unfortunately it´s hard to find operational informations and I´m not into english books so far.

I only can recommend the following books/magazines which I personally own:

- Schlachtfeld Deutschland: Die Kriegseinsatzplanung der sowjetischen Streitkräfte in der DDR

(Battlefield Germany: Operational War Planning of the Sovjet Forces in the GDR / only German)

- Kriegsschauplatz Deutschland: Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse eines NVA-Offiziers

(War Theater Germany: Experiences and Perceptions of a NVA Officer / only German)

- Schlachtfeld Fulda Gap

Battlefield Fulda Gap - Alliances´ Strategies and Operational Planning in Cold War / only German)

- Die Verteidigung Westeuropas: Doktrin, Kraftestand, Einsatzplanung : eine Bestandsaufnahme aus Sicht der NATO

The Defense of Western Europe: Doctrin, Forces and Operational Planning - a Survey from NATO´s Perspective (only in German)

- The Third World War

(a novel, but quite realistic for that time / in English)

- Constant Enforcer 79 - US Army and NATO-Allies fight for the Fulda Gap

(in German/English)

The term "defense" is perhaps misleading. There was a concept for "forward defense", but it was more like a massive delay operation (from the late 70´s to 1990). It also mainly depends on the terrain, you can´t fight the same way in the Northern German Plains, the Fulda Gap or the Bavarian Forrest :)

More keywords or interesting concepts would be "sponge tactic", "flexible response" or "Jagdkampf" etc.

Edited by Falli

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I was told we would never use them because the WP had plotted their exact locations and would obliterate them with concentrated artillery fire as they were crossing the border.

In the mid 80´s we have forwarded Ammo- and Fuel Dumps, but not in forward GDP Positions.

Bundeswehr did it this way (we called NATO Alarm) move out of the Garrison, get Battle ready and grab your Ammo and Fuel (100 %), move by Train to your GDP Room.

A second 100% Ammoload is transported by the Ammo Group of each Battalion to the GDP Room (That were Areas 25 - 30 Km behind the Borderline).

In the Mid 80´s we have minimum one Time a Year a little visit in our GDP Rooms, certainly in civil Clothes and with taped Number plates and Tactical Signs ;-)

May be a good starting is this Link:

http://www.orbat85.nl/order-of-battle/nato-command-structure.html#northag

It´s about 1 NL Corps/NORTHAG

By the way I serve in PzBtl 74 / PzGrenBrig 7 / 3. Panzerdivision / I Korps (GE) / NORTHAG

Here is another Link (sorry only in German) about the Plannings of the GDR.

Start on Page 20:

http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg/de/home/dokumentation/publik_zeitrschr/military_power_revue.parsys.79525.downloadList.98418.DownloadFile.tmp/gesamtausgabempr211.pdf

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I remembered one special article in the book "Schlachtfeld Fulda Gap", where a former company commander (Roger Cirillo) of the 11ACR explains a lot of details about the defense plan of his company along the border in 1980.

The article is only in German, so I unfortunately have to quote and translate some general details analogously. :heu:

According to the General Defense Plan (GDP) for the 1/11ACR there were 4 phases in case of a WP engagement. It was assumed to face out min. one reinforced Mech. Rifle Regiment of the first echelon.

Soviet calculations spoke of a "typical" penetration of 1500m/h for a MRR.

The 11ACR was equipped with M551, M114, M113 and M60A1 at that time.

- Alarm phase:

load necessary ammunition, take combat positions, engineer/special units on alert, evacuation of civilians

- Recon/Covering of OP area:

reconnaissance of OP area, tank coy in reserve & prepares counterattacks, howitzers secure the deployment, hold positions until reinforcements/replacements arrive (8ID/3AD), blasts according to tactical situation, support by AirCav

See graphic 2

- Defense of Bundesstrasse B84 GEISA-RASDORF-HUENFELD-ALSFELD

Reinforcement by covering forces, delay action along B84, defeat of 1st echelon, counterattacks on 2nd echelon, withdraw to SCHLITZ (3rd Brig/3AD)

See detailed positions in graphic 3

- Reforming:

Regrouping/reforming of 1/11ACR and defense west of highway A7 & east of FULDA, counterattacks

Taken from: Cirillo, R.; Die Verteidigung der Bundesstrasse 84 in: Krueger, D.(Ed.); Schlachtfeld Fulda Gap; Fulda 2014; p.142-146

Threat level of the B Coy according to the General Defence Plan of 1/11ACR in Phase 3 (1980)

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Recon mission for B Coy in Phase 2 (1980)

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Possible defense of 1/11ACR in Phase 3 (1980)

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There are much, much, much more details in this article regarding positions, engineer plans, blasts, obstacles, possible/presumed enemy behaviour & attack axes.

Perhaps I can contact the author for those details in English.

If anyone has more/other informations, please let me know :)

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Fantastic map Falli.

Now, a question - in a BG-ANZAC discussion on the Demolition Guard training film we talked about how during the Cold War, troops posted in Germany would prepare and regularly recce defensive positions in case of a Red attack. I'm interested in learning more about this - are there any books/resources anyone can recommend please?

I recommend looking at back issues of the US Army's Military Review, Armor magazine, Field Artillery magazine, and Army Aviation Digest, which are mostly available online. For obvious reasons, they don't go into detail on the preparation of defensive positions in specific areas of West Germany, but you'll still find lots of interesting details along those lines.

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This is a Video blackhill make in 2012 after a 911 LAN Party.

You can see the way from MARBACH - SARGENZELL to STEINBACH

Notice the Landscape, it´s nearly the same all around FULDA

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so when are you making the sce?:bigsmile:

I´m good in map making or texturing, so I´d like to hand those tasks to more qualified people :bigsmile:

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