Hello, Im new to war gaming so please forgive my ignorance
Here is a scenario based on alternate history I was hoping to discuss
With the fall of berlin wall and collapse of communism in eastern Europe fully underway and the SOviet forces being withdrawn the Japanease nationalists consider this an ideal time to take back kuril Islands in a lightning campaign.Esp with the developing crisis in the middle east and US /France/Britain preoccupied with Saddam. Using overflights by soviet recon aircrafts and presence of soviet navy vessels close to the territorial waters as a provocation the Japanese declare war on USSR and attack the Kurils.Using paratroops to compensate for lack of offensive naval /marines force and a blockade of the islands with the their 2 dozen DD/Frigates they isolate the Soviet garrison in the Kurils and subject it to constant air attacks using their 100 + F-15./F-4 fighter jets. What options do the soviet commanders in the Far east have to respond ? Does the Soviet Pacific fleet try to challenge the might of the Japanese navy ? How do the 2 fleets compare ? WHat kind of naval air battles will most likely occur ? Soviets have a huge army but in a small campaign Japanese will not need conscription, they need only a few thousand troops to occupy these islands the real war will be at Sea and in the air SO according to military balance 1990 it is approx. Japanese Fleet 40 DD/FF ( most Harpoon equipped) 12 subs But no Aegis equipped kongo class in service and no aircraft carriers 120 F-15 72 F-4 phantoms Soviet pacific fleet in 1990 have they have approx. 50 subs 25 DD/FF ( some ASW specialized albeit) 30 missile craft 150 naval bombers Tu-16/Tu-22 SSM equipped In the pacific fleet plus 200 Mig-25/31 in the Far East with 250 Mig-23/Su-15 fighters Do the Japanese in 1990 have air to air refulling ? Precision guided munitions for their airforce ? They do have Harppon antiship missiles, subsonic but lethal 100 + Orion ASW planes The Harpoon outclasses the SSN-2 Styx carried by the soviet coastal craft like OSA boats and the SSN-7 carried by some soviet subs The Orion ASW planes will pose a significant threat to soviet subs but will need F-15 escort all the time otherwise they will be vulnerable to soviet fighters The soviets had practicised coordinated missile attacks against surface ships by missiles from surface ships /subs/naval bombers so in theory that will this be a headache for the Japanese navy in 1990 esp without the Kongo class aegis equipped ships and no aircraft carriers The japanese subs will have to deal with significantly powerful ASW soviet ships of KAra, udaloy classes Japanese fighters esp F-15 are superior although outnumbered. Please leave aside assumptions like japan being a pacifist country will never be an aggressor , stranger things have happened in real history. Please try to comment of the military options the Soviets or the Japanese have at that time.
I tried to brainstorm a few encounters that might happen between soviet and Japanese naval/air forces
1-Japanese forces conduct more aggressive patrols over the Kurils in the late summer of 1990 2-During one such missions one of the P-3 orions on patrol is shot down by a Soviet SAM 3-Using this as a pretext , 4 japanese destroyers attack the soviet shippings around the kurils sinking a Krivak class frigate,a minesweeper , Mirka class frigate and 2 freighters 4-Japanese paratroops land on the disputed islands , while the japanese destroyers escort 10 freighters full of troops and tanks to the Kurils and they are disembarked in the face of minimal resistance from the soviet garrison stationed there 5-During the process of disembarkation, a soviet Tango class submarine sinks a japnese destroyer and is itself attack and sunk by ASROC armed japanese warship 6-Japanese airforce formation of 40 F-15 and F-4 attack the soviet airbases in the Kurils destroying 10 aircraft on the ground and all facilities.The rest of the aircraft are promptly withdrawn by soviets flown to kampchatka.2 Japanese attackers are shot down by SAMs 7-Japanese airborne troops and marines complete conquest of the 3 Kuril islands, while soviet garrison is expelled 8-Huge uproar in Asia and USSR over naked japanese aggression.In japan this is seen as reclaiming home islands the govt is hugely popular.USA condems this aggression and so does NATO. 9-USSR mobilizes and masses trrops/planes and ships in the Kamchatka and Sakhlain island bases. 10-Japanese try to pre-empt a soviet counter strike and launch a massive airstrike at a Soviet naval base at Sakhalin.33 F-4 Strike planes escorted by 44 F-15.The soviets have 2 regiments of Su-15 and 1 regiment each of Mig-25 and Mig-23 available for defence.The japanese lack stand off weapons and PGM.The force is intercepted over sea of japan and a massive airbattle occurs.Soviets use the "shoot and scoot" tactics and avoid dogfights.A total of 43 soviet fighters ( 20 Su-15, 10 Mig-25, 13 Mig-23) are shot down but japanese lose 8 F-15 and 10 F-4 to the massive barrage of Soviet BVR missiles.The strike planes unable to take evasive action due to their heavy load of weapons suffer the most.The remining planes attack soviet army barracks influcting some losses ( 100 APC/tanks destroyed) but 5 more planes shot down by concentrated SAM batteries. 11-A japanese submarine cripples the cruiser Leningrad but it limps to port.The next day a soviet Victor III sinks a japanese submarine trying to penetrate the sea of Okhost. 12-Japan establishes a defensive perimeter around the Kurils with submarine and destroyer patrols round the clock and flights of P-3 Orions escoted by F-15 and F-4.This is to prevent any soviet attempts to retake the islands 13-Soviet forces setup the ambush of a japanese flotilla, soviet recon planes track a group of 5 destroyers on the northern approaches of the Kuril, they send a force of 2 Petya class frigates, 1 polocony ship and a tanker as a bait.The 5 destroyers race to intercept this force.In the meantime , 3 charlie II boats and a force of 30 Badger G bombers is prepared for action.At the range of 100nm the badgers launch their missiles , the bombers are picked up by AWACS and a force of 20 F-15 scrambled, Soviets throw in a force of 20 Mig-25 and 20 Su-15 to distract them.Meanline the CHarlie II boats launch their cruise missile submerged.Out of the 30 badger missiles , 3 score hits sinking one destroyer and crippling the other.The badgers break off action and so does the their escorts and race back to base.The F-15 manage to shoot down 3 Su-15 and one badger without loss.The Charlie II missiles ( 24) hit 2 other ships damaging them and only one destroyer is left functional. In the ensuing confusion a Victor II submarines finishes off a damaged destroyer.With the hit probability of only 10 % the sheer number of soviet missiles have led to the loss of 3 new destroyers and another badly damaged. 14 Next day 3 P-3 are patrolling a area for soviet subs , escoted by 2 F-15.They are attacked by 6 Su-15 and 2 Mig-25.3 sukhois and 1 mig is shot down.But 2 P-3 Orions are lost.These attacks become more and more common as soviets from their bases in the Northern kurils fly fighters to intercept small formations of P-3 and sink them. 15-A Kresta II class ship and a Krivak along with 3 Grishca/Pauk are the surface action group of ASW, they are accompanied by a nuclear attack submarine ( victor III) and a diesel electric sub ( tango or kilo).About 5 such groups patrol the entrance to the Sea of Okhost to prevent any further intrusion by japanese subs.They are provided fighter cover by bases in norther kurils and Sakhalin and about 100 Badgers with cruise missiles and Charlie I & II cruise missile subs provide ASuW defence. 16-With the amassing of soviet forces complete, they launch assaults on thesourthern Kurils.Mobile launchers for SCUDs/FROGs are used to attack japanese airbases and also ALCM from the 100 or so Badgers and Bears.Then wave of 200-300 strike planes su-17/24 and mig-27 strike targets in the japanese naval bases in Hokkaido and airfields.They are escorted by 100 interceptors.AS-11 kilter armed mig-25 destroy 2 AWACs,Huge losses occur due to SAM/japanese interecptors but they wear down the defenders, the japanese airforce takes losses on the ground and in the air too and their airfields are gradually all non operational in Hokkaido. 17-A big fleet of soviet merchant marine accompanied by 20 or so polocony, ROpucha craft land soviet marines in the southern kurils.This is preceded by a massive bombardment of the islands by the VVS strike planes primarily su-17 and the accompanying soviet warships ( mostly coastal frigates like petya/mirka and older destroyers like kilden and one elderly sverdlov which used its 12 x 6 inch guns to good effect).Again the japanese destroyers with their harpoons take a heavy toll of soviet shippings however they have to come close to the coast to pick out the individual targets in the Kuril littorals and do suffer attacks by Soviet OSA missile craft and torpedo boats.Here even the range advantage of Harpoon over the SSN-2 was not so significant.Total of 12 soviet merchantmen, 6 coastal frigates , 4 Osa boats, 4 torpedo boats and 4 landing crafts are sunk.In exchange 3 destroyers are sunk and 3 others damaged and had to retire.One of the damaged one sunk by a Kilo that now patrol the littorals around the kurils 18-The aircover of the japnese forces is all but gone with so many airbases out of action in Hokkaido, the soviets paratroops pour into the kurils.A desperate and savage island fight reminiscent of the pacific war develops in the 3 kuril islands with the japanese garrison fights with tenacity they are also supplied to an extent by japnese navy from Hokkaido.The soviets deploy their older diesel electric subs to ambush their convoys to the islands in an effort to stifle the garrison. 19-International opinion is against japan and its commerce suffers greatly, and esp in a war of attrition its resupply from USA dries up 20-The military situaiton on the islands are a stalmate and each side digging into their positions and totally dependent on supplies from their navies and airforce. 21-After 6 months of fighting the japanese self defence airforce and navy is reeling from losses from attrition. The soviets have suffered heavier losses but they used primarily their older warships and aircrafts as their heavier ships were safely in vladivastok port or in the kampchatka and their newer airplanes backfires Mig-31/su-27 retained in reserve.The USSR borrowed money heavily from western europe in this war and also led to easing of tension with CHina.
Any help is appreciated