U.S. Gov't: IF communists attack THEN GOTO communism:
July 28, 2001 11:09 AM   Subscribe

U.S. Gov't: IF communists attack THEN GOTO communism: The plans that the federal government had developed for salvaging the state in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States by the Soviet Union would have added mass starvation and social extinction to the mass devastation of nuclear war by imposing martial law and a federal dictatorship running the country from the top down.
posted by dagny (13 comments total)

 
What did you expect? A public service message in a soothing voice asking for your cooperation?
posted by revbrian at 11:16 AM on July 28, 2001


The SS-18 rendered all of this obsolete. That's why the SS-18 is the center of most nuclear arms agreement.
posted by Ptrin at 11:39 AM on July 28, 2001


And how is that communism? That sounds more like facism to me...
posted by chason at 2:04 PM on July 28, 2001


Ptrin - SS-18? Quick Google search indicates it's a Soviet ICBM. Still, I need more depth on your comment :-)
posted by nathan_teske at 2:39 PM on July 28, 2001


SS-18 = heavy ICBM. By far the largest nuclear missile ever developed by any nation. Basically, they blast holes so deep that even if a bunker could withstand the pounds per square inch, everyone inside would be flattened after the 800 ft fall to the bottom of the crater. If you are on land, and they can estimate what your position will be within the next 30 minutes, you are dead.

Even better, the USSR developed rail- and truck-based versions of many of their smaller, late-gen IRBMs and ICBMs. These would be dispersed before the war's inception, and would be able to deliver less powerful but far more accurate retaliatory attacks long after both nation's infrastructures had collapsed into nothingness.

Believe it or not, while the US was in a better position to fight a nuclear war, the USSR was the only one in a positon to win.

Also, notice that the full NATO codename is "SS-18 Satan" :)
posted by Ptrin at 2:59 PM on July 28, 2001


A 250 meter CEP, and a 16.7 ton throw weight, as compared the a MinutemanIIIB's throw weight of 2.4 tons demonstrates the capabilites of the SS-18. I was actually wrong earlier; the SS-18 is increadibly accurate, and just as MIRV'd as they get. Every one of its 10 warheads has full hard-target capability. Even worse, these monsters are cold-launched, and the silos can be reused within a matter of hours. Yes, they kept spares. These were first and second strike weapons.
posted by Ptrin at 3:13 PM on July 28, 2001


Believe it or not, while the US was in a better position to fight a nuclear war, the USSR was the only one in a positon to win.

I guess that all depends on how you define "win". :-)

By the way, how can one country be better prepared to fight without by definition being in a better position to win? The logic espcapes me for some reason...
posted by fooljay at 4:10 PM on July 28, 2001


It's good to know that someone other than McVeigh-like survivalists were at least thinking about how to rebuild a society, post-Apocalypse. And remember, nothing ever goes as planned.
posted by davidmsc at 5:07 PM on July 28, 2001


what was the fuel 'shelf life' for SS-18. I heard that they russians could not keep enough of it.
bad fuel=rocket sucks rather then blow.
bad fuel=bad rocket
"Even better, the USSR developed rail- and truck-based versions of many of their smaller, late-gen IRBMs and ICBMs. These would be dispersed before the war's inception, and would be able to deliver less powerful but far more accurate retaliatory attacks long after both nation's infrastructures had collapsed into nothingness."

true but if deployed could they not be tracked by satellite. and if always moving, would that not make it easier to track. were not these also designed to be deployed after first or even second strike on russian soil?(like a sleeper)
posted by clavdivs at 5:17 PM on July 28, 2001


fooljay: the US could not win a nuclear war. Sure, we could cause more destruction to the Soviet Union than they could cause to us, but there weren't any accomplishable goals besides maintaining a self-contradicting shell of the government and MAD.

The USSR, on the other hand, realized that they had goals which could be obtained through the use of nuclear force. For instance, turning Western Europe into a radioactive puddle would increase the Soviet portion of the economic and geopolitical pies. Even if the war resulted in the devistation of most the the US and USSR infrastructures and populaces, the USSR knew that what would rise from the ashes would be essentially similar to what was there in the first place. Moreover, far more complete civil defense programs existed in the USSR, and systems such as Dead Hand automated nuclear war, allowing a second strike to be launched even in the event of the entire Soviet government buying the farm.

Think of it as a women's soccer match, US vs. Australia, in which only the Australian's have a net in which to score.

Clavdivs: why do you think destruction of the American satellite system was of such importance to the Soviets? Kill a few satelites her, nuke a few ground bases there, and detonate as many high-altitude nukes as you can, just to make US satellite usage as hellish as possible.

As for the SS-18's, How To Make War charts them as 56% on-target, meaning that at any one time, 56% of them are fully prepared to launch, and might be expected to perform as planned. This number is obtained by multiplying the percent not currently being serviced by the percent expected to work. Granted, this number isn't as high as for American missiles, but its still quite a bit better than earlier generations of Soviet missiles.
posted by Ptrin at 6:32 PM on July 28, 2001


It's a brawl between two baseball team, but the weapons are various types of very powerful hand grenades, and no one (including the many defenseless onlookers) can leave the field.
posted by pracowity at 4:01 AM on July 30, 2001


teams
posted by pracowity at 4:02 AM on July 30, 2001


what i didn't see was provisions for fitting the populace with black leather clothing and football pads so we could begin a Mad Max sort of lifestyle. And nothing about crossbows either.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:34 AM on July 30, 2001


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