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The Last War - The Long And Short Stories Of WW 3 by Jan Niemczyk And Others

'After spending sixty years on the back-burner, the Cold War finally boils over!'

The year is 2005. The USSR crushed the eastern European democracy movements in 1989 and a renewed Cold War has descended upon the world.Due to a fortuitious sequence of events, tactical nuclear weapons (except for sub-hunting weapons)have been abolished by treaty.

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Poland, never really content with being under the thumb of the Soviet Union, has been at odds with them for years. Finally, the Politburo loses patience and starts to mobilize its category A and B divisions - including those in East Germany - in order to bring those uppity Poles to heel once and for all.NATO decides to hold a long-planned NATO exercise in West Germany earlier in order to warn off the Soviet Union from getting any ideas. A REFORGER exercise is thrown into the mix, letting the old men in the Kremlin, the home of theprofessional paranoiac, believe that an attack by NATO is imminent.

In order to unite the peoples of the USSR behind them and to pre-emptively strike before NATO is ready, the USSR and by default the Warsaw Pact mobilize and set long-standing invasion plans in motion to invade Western Europe.

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A British mole in the Politburo lets his handlers know and NATO in turn mobilizes just in time and the two military juggernauts clash at 01:30 Central European Time on the 22nd of April, 2005 when the Warsaw Pact attacks along the entire Iron Curtain.

The Last War is a long-running (since 2005) work of military fiction by Jan Niemczyk and a number of other contributors and can be found on a yahoo group and the HPCA and warships forums.

It explores what a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict in the 21st century could look like without the threat of early (within the first 60 or so minutes) nuclear escalation.

  • This is a multipart alternate history. Point of divergence is the fall of the Iron Curtain being averted.
  • Ace Pilot: Since especially the airspace over the Central Front is a target-rich environment, a number of Allied and also Warsaw Pact pilots (male and female) rack up 5+ kills.
    • Several USN and USAF fighter pilots are expressly mentioned as is one East German.
    • The North Korean Air Force is so hilariously inadequate in materiel and training if not in spirit that Allied fighter pilots have agreed that one kill only counts half.
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  • Anti-Air: Used by both sides. Both artillery and missile.
  • Armored Coffins: The Warsaw Pact fields the BMP family of which especially the BMP-3 is notorious for being a death trap. Every armored vehicle has the potential to become one, although the more modern a vehicle, the more protection it has against catastrophic kills.
  • Chase Fight: The remnants of the Red Army 1st Unified Corps (an Operational Maneuver Group), after being hammered by 60+ heavy USAF bombers, are on the "being chased" part of this, back to their own lines. The unit is for all intents and purposes wiped out, but it does go down fighting.
  • Cool Plane: So many. On NATO's side, it's the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-22 while on the Warsaw Pact side, it is the MiG-37 "Flatpack" (a speculative design that never made it into serial production in Real Life).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Surprisingly few. The very real combat strength of the Warsaw Pact is taken heavily into account. It does happen, though, especially to troops attacking British Army units. It is generally accepted that Brits excel at defensive warfare against numerically superior enemies.
  • Death from Above: B-52s, B1-s, Tu-22M Backfires and Tu-160 Blackjacks, oh my!
  • Elite Army: The USMC, the Red Army Operational Maneuver Groups, West German and British tank units...it is a loooong list.
  • Friend or Foe: Once more, Truth in Television.
    • Ground-based air defence troops and also regular grunts of both sides apparently prefer to err on the side of caution and shoot at everything airborne.
    • An patrol of the 22nd SAS Regiment (also known as THEM) is ambushed by another Special Forces patrol (German or Dutch while on assignment behind enemy lines.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Quoted verbatim by the West German Chancellor when he demands from the President of the United States to send every available B-1 and B-52 to stop a serious and deep penetration by the aforementioned 1st Unified Corps on West German soil. The gloves DO come off.
  • Homefield Advantage: The NATO troops especially in West Germany but also in Norway are fighting over ground they had been practising on for DECADES. It shows.
    • Basically the same in Finland and Austria (no, the USSR does not respect their neutrality).
  • La Résistance: The Polish resurrect the Polish Home Army. On the other hand, it has never been dead in the world of The Last War.
    • In the occupied parts of Denmark and Norway (and presumably also in occupied West Germany), stay-behind units are active and wreaking havoc.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Both sides in the conflict use Long Rod Penetrators as their mainstay main battle tank ammunition. And everybody still uses firearms. And let's not forget the venerable and awesome A-10 Thunderbolt II and its 30mm gatling gun.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Used liberally by both sides. The Soviet Union's forces' preferred use is in the offensive (long range naval aviation with masses of anti-ship missiles) while NATO uses the trope mostly on the defensive (against Soviet naval aviation), although NATO is using MLRS quite liberally on all fronts.
  • Misguided Missile: A USAF cruise missile has a series of guidance system failures and accidentally hits a bunker in a closed-off secret Soviet Biowarfare installation. The Soviets have a big-time attack of the willies and cordon off the city and everything else in a 100-mile radius
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Boy, is this averted. A large number of recognizable names turn up on the list of war casualties. Some deservedly so: Jimmy Savile is killed by a Soviet sleeper agent who knows about his disgusting deeds and decides to take action.
  • Old School Dogfight: Mostly averted as the contributors to the story generally have excellent knowledge about Real Life military technology and tactics. But sometimes, this takes place, mostly at the end of large-scale air battles.
  • Trapped Behind Enemy Lines: Happens all the time. Modern warfare just has that kind of effect. Additionally, pilots have to eject over enemy territory.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Mentioned as having happened to an East German jet pilot taking off thanks to a SEAL on a mission behind enemy lines.
  • Straight for the Commander: NATO's chief tactic in any engagement. The Warsaw Pact armies adhered to a VERY strict top-down order-based command structure in which personal initiative was strongly discouraged for ideological reasons. Thus, NATO was trained to go for the commanders before everybody else to disrupt command and control and unit cohesion. Truth in Television, really.
    • The Warsaw Pact command post at Legnica (Western Strategic Direction) with the Soviet CINC-West is taken out by FAE-armed cruise missiles.
    • The Red Army goes after the West German political leadership holed up in a bunker near Bonn in the opening hours of the war. They fail.
  • World War III: Well, duh. Not (yet??) a global thermonuclear war, though there have been some limited nuclear exchanges.
  • You Have Failed Me: Happens almost always whenever a serious defeat is handed to the Soviets. The Soviet premier is not a man to accept perceived failure from his subordinates lightly. The Soviet "Defence" Minister is one of the first bigwigs to end up against a wall.
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