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The War That Never Was .


Aug 23, 2011
@Secur A rather cogent and well researched piece. I have some professional analysis lying around on the subject matter, time permitting I shall PM them to you once I dig them out.

Keep up the good work. :tup:
Thanks , mate :D Sure , do it .
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Nov 15, 2012
Alphe, this notion that the Soviet/Russian desire for a warm water port is actually from the 17th century onwards. It was how the European powers analyzed Russo-Ottoman and later Russo-Japan debacles. During the time, the Russians needed warm water ports for two main reasons, first, the technology back then could not counter the adverse weather conditions and it hampered the Russian Navy (recall it was Peter the Great who really gave Russia a Navy and amped up the Ottoman-Russian conflict and the designs were mostly adopted from French/German/British ships which were well operated in warmer climates, or at least where water didn't freeze!).

Secondly, the world movement was centred around naval communications, if you had all season ports, you had influx of goods from the outside world. Russia, after Peter, desperately wanted to be known as a 'Great' European nation and for that they needed ports. (like today nations want carriers). That's why Russia repeatedly went on the offensive against nations with warm water ports. Russia finally got some when it entered China during the Boxer rebellion but it did not sit well with Japan: the two went on the war for this and during this time the Japanese and British were in a treaty: The Great Game (Russian and British rivalry in the Afghan/ME region) during this time there was active intelligence sharing b/w the two (Japs and Brits) and the Brits analysed Russian designs in the region (including our region) as a desire for warm waters (more of a confirmation, as they had previously thought so about Russia invading the British India through Afghanistan, though this was more because British India was the foundation of British man and material power with which she ruled the world, Napolean, Germany and Japan also tried to attack British India for the same reason).

This thinking was PROMOTED by the Western powers during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and carried forward (actually the Afghans asked for Russia to come).

Here I would like to point out something, the USSR, sociologically was an ideological state, they had political officers in their military and naturally for such states, the army takes a precedent over other branches. Thus, the Russian people were more of a land oriented people (like the Romans, for example) for them the symbolic hold was of the army. This is in contrast to the British who saw their Navy as the symbol of their power. The Russians treat their air force the same way (it's actually called the Air Army in Russia, it has corps and divisions). Why is this important? Because of USSR plans for a Navy were defensive and nuclear projection, not active hostility. See, Russia was connected to most of Asia by land any way, contrary to what the Cold War propoganda would have you believe the Russians post Stalin saw themselves on the defensive and were weary of confrontation against the West. At the same time, they could not say no, because, you know they were a superpower. This can be seen again from their actions during the last era of Cold War, President Reagen repeatedly went on a public offensive yet whenever he approached the Russians, they welcomed bilateral attempts to dampen the conflict. I'm not saying they were angels but they were no longer the big red machine they were projected to be either.

@Secur How much and why are you sure that Russia was not after the warm waters because for what I have heard Almost every Russian ruler has tried to conquer the ports in warm waters.
E.g. Peter I fought the Ottoman Empire over the Crimea.
Gaining access to the Crimea would have given Russia access
to the Black Sea and the Dardanelles.
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