"I note here that the first Australia would have known about all this would have been Soviet nuclear strikes on US facilities at Pine Gap (near Alice Springs), Nurrungar (Woomera) and North West Cape (near Exmouth). We know that this was likely because Western spies for the Soviet Union in the late 1970s had given Moscow some insights into the significance of these intelligence and communications facilities for what it saw as US nuclear war-fighting strategy.
" -- former Australian deputy secretary of defence Paul Dibb talks about Able Archer
, the 1983 NATO nuclear warfare exercise that the Soviet Union almost mistook for the real thing. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Oct 19, 2013 -
Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War.
Then, they made a documentary
. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD,
the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels.
You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945).
posted by symbioid
on Mar 27, 2012 -
"Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped. Now two great English writers, two very imaginative writers — I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated — but two English writers, Joan and Peter Foldes, wrote a thing which they called ‘A Short Vision’ in which they wondered what might happen to the animal population of the world if an H-bomb were dropped. It’s produced by George K. Arthur and I’d like you to see it. It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner.
posted by brundlefly
on Jun 27, 2011 -
is a morbidly funny webcomic from Russo-Canadian digital artist Vitaly Alexius
). Set in the starkly diaphanous wreckage
of post-nuclear Manhattan, it follows an eccentric contingent of Soviet soldiers
as they poke through the detritus of the past and contend with the mutants, cultists, aliens, and other horrors that inhabit the ruins. The comic's striking art style
is the result of an arduous process, using "Photoshop, live actors, dead actors, sexy assistants, greenscreen, a camera, and a Wacom tablet"
to composite "6 years worth of textures: 1 terabyte of stock footage, shot in real abandoned, forgotten places of our world." This multimedia ambition has burgeoned into plans for a community-powered animated/live-action web series
). While waiting for that to come together, be sure to spend some time on Kimmo Lemetti's
excellent Gone With the Blastwave
), a very similar webcomic project with a more subdued palette that turned out nearly fifty pages of richly-illustrated post-apocalyptic humor before going on indefinite hiatus.
posted by Rhaomi
on Mar 3, 2011 -
By 17 October, the day of the Soviet Moon landing, tension had risen. Czechoslovakian and Hungarian troops were said to be massing on the border with Austria. Soviet fighters had been harassing civil aircraft in the Berlin corridors, causing an American airliner to crash.
What was once the most secret British government document is released to the public on Tuesday. The Government War Book, used during the Cold War, set out in great detail exactly what would happen in the days before nuclear weapons were fired.
Prof Peter Hennessy
describes the War Book
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar
on Jun 23, 2009 -
The Letter of Last Resort. At this very moment, miles beneath the surface of the ocean, there is a British nuclear submarine carrying powerful ICBMs ... there is a safe attached to a control room floor. Inside that, there is an inner safe. And inside that sits a letter. It is addressed to the submarine commander and it is from the Prime Minister. In that letter, Gordon Brown conveys the most awesome decision of his political career ... and none of us is ever likely to know what he decided.
posted by veedubya
on Jan 22, 2009 -
This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with
nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of
casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you
further information as soon as possible.
- The BBC releases
for use in the event of nuclear war
posted by Artw
on Oct 2, 2008 -
Limited nuclear war would damage ozone layer.
Apart from the human devastation, a small-scale nuclear war between India and Pakistan would destroy much of the ozone layer, leaving the DNA of humans and other organisms at risk of damage from the Sun's rays, say researchers
at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
Michael Mills at the LASP and his colleagues used computer models to study how 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs would affect the atmosphere.
They say that their scenario – in which each country launches 50 devices of 15 kilotons – is realistic, given the countries' nuclear arsenals.
"The figure of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs compares pretty accurately to the approximately 110 warheads that both states reportedly possess between them," agrees Wyn Bowen, professor of non-proliferation and international security in the War Studies Group at King's College, UK.
Here is an earlier 2006 report
by Michael Mills about the devastating effect even a limited nuclear war would have on the ozone layer.
posted by KokuRyu
on Apr 9, 2008 -
Depending on who you believe, either Guy Pearce
or Viggo Mortensen
will be cast in the lead role of the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's utterly brilliant dystopia, The Road
. To my mind, the adaptation marks Hollywood's rekindling of the almost forgotten genre of the post-apocalyptical movie
. With Mad Max, The Postman, Threads and The Day After, nuclear annihilation loomed large in the imaginations of filmmakers in the 70s and 80s. Since then cinematic dystopia has been projected in the realm of the fantastic (think 12 Monkey's, The Matrix and 28 Days Later). If dystopia is really just a satire of the present, what does the film adaptation of The Road tell us about the our times?
posted by MrMerlot
on Dec 5, 2007 -
Twenty Years Ago, The BBC produced a topical drama called Threads
- little did they know the furore it would go on to create. [more inside]
posted by metaxa
on Sep 6, 2004 -
Bush prepares nuclear weapons for use.
A classified Pentagon report directs the Defense Department to prepare "smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations," such as "targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack." Potential targets listed include China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. Is the U.S. merely bluffing, or should we begin stocking our fallout shelters?
posted by johnnyace
on Mar 9, 2002 -
Students for Suicide Pills?
On October 12th, 1984, 1900+ students turned out to vote on a referendum asking that their university's Health Services be allowed to offer cyanide pills in the event of nuclear war.
57% of students said they wanted it.
posted by Fat Elvis
on Sep 4, 2001 -
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
on Jul 28, 2001 -