Originally Posted by Fritz88
Interesting. I need to check out the show.
But do you really think that it would have been that easy? Months?
It was Stalin, after all, who pretty much took on Germany in WWII.
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Yup. They would build one big, bad flagship for every class they had, be it bomber, gunboat or space shuttle. It would look scary as hell, be about 25% operational and would be the only one of the class even close to functional. They would leak its 'capabilities' and inflate numbers.
Most of the time they would have to mothball their scariest toys anyway. Even stuff like the Kirov
class ships, which were scary sonsabitches, never worked right and are pretty much death traps. They only really used one of them for any extended period of time and spent billions on the other 3-4, which were decommissioned within a few years of launch.
The worst thing the Soviet Union could have done was try to keep pace with the US arms buildup through the 80s. They just didn't have the industrial capacity to do it efficiently so it ended up incredibly expensive for them and ultimately completely ineffective.
Reagan probably got a little bit lucky, but his policies throughout the 80s really did spend the USSR into oblivion. By the late 80s, everything they had was crap and they didn't have the financial wherewithal to maintain it. The Russians could've zagged, kept themselves more financially solvent as we were spending more than we had, and bought up US debt and potentially remained a legitimate threat to the United States. Instead they played our game and just weren't prepared to play it.
Yeah, we'd have probably maintained some presence in Russia for years thereafter, but storming and collapsing the Soviet Union wouldn't have taken us more than 6 months, IMO. The only wildcard would've been Chinese intervention, but at that point you have WWIII and who knows how that would've gone?