Go Back   Alternate History Discussion Board > Discussion > Alternate History Discussion: After 1900

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 01:19 AM
david3565 david3565 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 315
Very hair-raising POD for all the WWIII scenarios

This is an interesting article (more detailed one here). It is about Soviet officer who recieved an alarm that the US was launching missiles. He decided it was a false alarm and ignored it. Of course it begs the question of what would have happened if he hadn't. With just the information in the article you could probably work out a scenario that would be pretty close to reality, depending on how far you wanted to map it out. For convenience sake I am putting the article in this post:

Ex-Soviet Officer Honored for Prudence

By Associated Press

May 21, 2004, 12:50 PM EDT

MOSCOW -- A retired Soviet military officer was honored Friday for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 by ignoring an alarm that said the United States had launched a ballistic missile, a U.S.-based peace association said on its Web site.

Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was in charge of the Soviet Union's early warning system when the system wrongly signaled the launch of a U.S. Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile in September 1983.

Petrov had to decide within 20 minutes whether the report was accurate and whether he should launch missiles in retaliation, the Vlast magazine reported in 1998.

At the time of the incident, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were high. The Soviet military had recently shot down a Korean Air Lines jet that strayed over Soviet airspace, killing all 269 people on board.

Petrov decided the alarm was false and did not launch a retaliatory strike.

The article said Petrov suffered severe stress after the incident and spent several months in hospitals before being discharged from the military.

On Friday, the San-Francisco-based Association of World Citizens, a worldwide organization promoting peace, presented Petrov with the World Citizen Award and launched a campaign to raise $1,000 for the Russian, who receives only a meager pension.

"All the 20 years that passed since that moment, I didn't believe I had done something extraordinary. I was simply doing my job and I did it well," Petrov said on Russia's NTV television.
__________________
"Learn as much by writing as by reading."
-- Lord Acton

Last edited by david3565; May 22nd, 2004 at 01:35 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 03:08 AM
knightyknight knightyknight is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 63
Send a message via ICQ to knightyknight
My hair was raised.
__________________
Semper Fi
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 03:12 AM
robertp6165 robertp6165 is offline
Confederate Troll
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: South Carolina: The Cradle of Secession
Posts: 1000 or more
Quote:
Originally Posted by david3565
This is an interesting article (more detailed one here). It is about Soviet officer who recieved an alarm that the US was launching missiles. He decided it was a false alarm and ignored it. Of course it begs the question of what would have happened if he hadn't. With just the information in the article you could probably work out a scenario that would be pretty close to reality, depending on how far you wanted to map it out. For convenience sake I am putting the article in this post:

Ex-Soviet Officer Honored for Prudence

By Associated Press

May 21, 2004, 12:50 PM EDT

MOSCOW -- A retired Soviet military officer was honored Friday for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 by ignoring an alarm that said the United States had launched a ballistic missile, a U.S.-based peace association said on its Web site.

Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was in charge of the Soviet Union's early warning system when the system wrongly signaled the launch of a U.S. Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile in September 1983.

Petrov had to decide within 20 minutes whether the report was accurate and whether he should launch missiles in retaliation, the Vlast magazine reported in 1998.

At the time of the incident, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were high. The Soviet military had recently shot down a Korean Air Lines jet that strayed over Soviet airspace, killing all 269 people on board.

Petrov decided the alarm was false and did not launch a retaliatory strike.

The article said Petrov suffered severe stress after the incident and spent several months in hospitals before being discharged from the military.

On Friday, the San-Francisco-based Association of World Citizens, a worldwide organization promoting peace, presented Petrov with the World Citizen Award and launched a campaign to raise $1,000 for the Russian, who receives only a meager pension.

"All the 20 years that passed since that moment, I didn't believe I had done something extraordinary. I was simply doing my job and I did it well," Petrov said on Russia's NTV television.
I would think that the fact that he only detected one missile would have been a definite give-away that it was not a real attack. If the U.S. was going to attack the Soviet Union in 1983, it would have been an all-out counterforce strike...not a single missile.
__________________
England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty, the adventures of Horatio Nelson in Anglo-Saxon England, is available on lulu.com and on Amazon.com!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:51 AM
DMA DMA is offline
I am not the Final Cylon!
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1000 or more
If you think that one event is scary, it's only one of many "mishaps".

At the Victoria Peace Centre, they have listed 16 events where a nuclear war could have started. Here's the link http://vicpeace.ca/centre/readings/nukeuse.htm#table1

In a similar manner (& there is some overlap), at Nuclearfiles.Org is listed "20 Mishaps That Might Have Started Accidental Nucelar War" here @ http://www.nuclearfiles.org/kinuclea.../anwindex.html . Needless to say, the mishap which david3565 started this thread with could be listed as #21.

Just great to know that there were 20 known mishaps before the one david listed. And, needless to say, this is just those we know about! How many more have there been?
__________________
Awarded the
Presidential Medal of Science Fiction Geekiness
with Crossed Colonial Rifles
and Cylon Basestar Clusters
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 23rd, 2004, 05:46 AM
david3565 david3565 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertp6165
I would think that the fact that he only detected one missile would have been a definite give-away that it was not a real attack. If the U.S. was going to attack the Soviet Union in 1983, it would have been an all-out counterforce strike...not a single missile.
Actually, the more detailed article says missiles, not a single missile. I think it was a mis-statement by the author in the one that I posted.
__________________
"Learn as much by writing as by reading."
-- Lord Acton
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.