40 years since the Stanislav Petrov incident - where were you on Sept. 25/26, 1983? Would you have survived if the nukes were launched?

Today is the 40-year anniversary of the false alarm incident in which Stanislav Petrov prevented a nuclear war from happening (depending on what part of the world you’re in - it was just after midnight on Sept. 26, 1983 in Russia when the incident happened, so it would have been the middle of the afternoon of the 25th in the US - right as the NFL was playing that weekend’s slate of games, as it was a Sunday - whereas it was late night on the 25th in the UK and western Europe, and early in the morning of the 26th in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand).

Anyway, to mark today, I figured I would ask: where were you living on that (fortunately uneventful in OTL) day - or, if you hadn’t been born yet, where did your parents live? If Petrov hadn’t been in the bunker and the nukes flew, would you (or they) have survived?

As for me, I was born in 1993, but my parents (who hadn’t met yet) were both teens in Minnesota in the fall of 1983 - Dad was 19, in his sophomore year at Carleton College in Northfield (about 35-40 miles south of downtown Minneapolis, straight line), whereas Mom was 17, in her senior year at St. John’s Prep School in Collegeville, just west of St. Cloud, and lived in the nearby town of Cold Spring - about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis, straight line.

Based on what I remember from 1983: Doomsday, both my parents would have survived, but both of them would have borne witness to the destruction of Minneapolis (especially Dad, and even more so if MSP Airport, which is south of the city, was targeted as well). As for Mom - I’m not sure if St. Cloud was also nuked in 83DD, but she would have been in bad shape if it were…and as for Dad’s parents (my Grandma and Grandpa on his side), they lived in Topeka, Kansas at the time and often visited Kansas City (where I live now) - so either way, they would be gone. Needless to say, in these scenarios, I most likely am never born.

That’s my story - where were you (or your parents) in September 1983, and what would your - or their - fate have been if Petrov hadn’t saved the day?
 
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My parents lived on the outskirts of Nashville and Atlanta respectively in 1983. They could survive the initial attack (IIRC, both Nashville and Atlanta were Soviet targets in 1983: Doomsday) but they'd be faced with famine (though the land my mom's house was on was surrounded by farmland that could be used after the fallout dissipates), post-collapse violence, and a reversion to at best 19th Century living standards (I'd imagine the relatively intact areas of the world like Latin America, Africa, and Oceania would have all technological progress come to a screeching halt and TTL's 2023 would be at a technological level of either 1890 in targeted areas or 1990 in intact areas).
 
I was in grade school; on a Sunday afternoon I would've been at my parent's home in southeast Houston, inside the 5 psi radius from multiple 100kt airbursts. 💀
 
Today is the 40-year anniversary of the false alarm incident in which Stanislav Petrov prevented a nuclear war from happening
Petrov didn't prevent anything.

To quote the timeline of the events:

First launch was reported at 00:15 Notably enough, early warning system is automatic, so report about launch detection went to Petrov's higher ups at the same moment as he saw it himself. His foremost duty is actually confirm it. But he have no visuals on the missile trail from the satellite.

At 00:17. Petrov recieves a call from Moscow from the on-duty officer about what is actually happening. Petrov reports that he probably have a false alarm situation.

Between 00:17 and 00:20 system detects another four launches from the same area. But there is still no confirmations of launches from visual feeds, over-the-horizon radars, it is only automatic system that signals about the attack.

So attack was confirmed as false within minutes from the detection of the first launch.
How much it would take to respond to the actual attack?

The next step would require confirmation from the on-duty officer of the Missile Attack Warning System command post in Moscow. For that he would need data from over-the-horizon radar facilities and/or from satellite visual feed which would prove that missiles were launched.

After such confirmation the signal would be sent to the 'nuclear briefcase' of the General Secretary and to the similar systems of Minister of Defense, Chief of General Staff and commanders of the all branches of the Armed Forces.

Commander of Soviet Missile Defense Forces Votintsev arrived at the command post, confirmed that it is a false alarm and reported so to the Soviet minister of defense Ustinov.

Notably enough, a very similar incident happened during the test run of the system just two months earlier. After which the system was disabled for additional testing and upgrades. September incident confirmed the problem and another round of improvements was scheduled, so 'Oko' was finally accepted into the military service only in 1985.

It is one of the cases when journalists really overblown a rather mundane story for the shock value. There was never a real danger of Soviet launch in response to that. Petrov didn't have an authority for it anyway. System was in testing and therefore wasn't considered reliable. And there were plenty of people above Petrov who were in position to countermand his decisions.
 
I was in grade school; on a Sunday afternoon I would've been at my parent's home in southeast Houston, inside the 5 psi radius from multiple 100kt airbursts. 💀
I was not born until 88, my parents knew each other but weren't dating. My father was either in Libya, where there's a decent chance he was nuked by the Americans, or in Trinidad in which case he was probably fine. My mother was a student at the University of Liverpool so was probably killed by a Soviet missile aimed at one of the city, the port, or the Cammell Laird shipyard.
 
Yes, and with one grandparent owning a very remote farm with onsite water and natural gas with oil nearby while on the other side grandpa was an intense prepper even by Appalachian standards, I'd have likely done ok if we could get there (not impossible especially considering the back roads in the area would still be quite intact and it was within a half-tank of gas).
 
Well, I was a few miles away from Pease AFB, a major SAC base, and Portsmouth Navy Yard. I'd have seen the FB-111's scrambling, and that's it
 
I lived in Warsaw, Poland, close to centre of the city, a military base just a 300 metres away and not far from the main government building. I would be very dead, hopefully very quickly.
 
Town in the middle of nowhere in Northeastern Brazil? Yeah I will be fine, no one would even bother to nuke a piece of semi-desertic wasteland, the sun already does that on a daily basis.
 
My mom would have been in Sankt Peterburg (Leningrad) as a university student, a year from meeting my father. My father was in Afghanistan, part of the VDV. So I most certainly wouldn't exist, if not for the fact that unless my mother was gone for the time, she would die, and my father would probably be either stranded in Afghanistan or the remnants of the Soviet Armed Forces trying to regroup, establish order, and carry out a post-nuclear invasion of Europe.

Chances are they would both be dead by my birth.
 
If Cebu was hit, my parents would have died. In 1983: Doomsday, Cebu was spared despite being the second largest city in the Philippines which is an economic center and hosts an airbase (Mactan AB) capable of housing USAF bombers, although this was not allowed under the Philippine constitution. It was a Monday so he was probably in medical school (Cebu Institute of Medicine) while mom was a year younger than him. Both were 22/23 years old.

Luzon would have been glassed because Clark AB, Subic Naval Base, and Camp John Hay were situated there. Even if Manila wasn't nuked, there would be huge refugee crisis for the people of the affected provinces. The Philippines as of 1983 was still reeling from the Marcos dictatorship, the assassination of Aquino, and still had thousands of Vietnamese, Hmong, Cambodian, and other Indochinese refugees still awaiting repatriation to the Western world. Soon, the Chinese refugees from China that would have been turned into a radioactive wasteland would be making their way to maritime Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

Even if they survived, I would not exist because of the butterfly effect.
 
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Ya know... I'm genuinely unsure if the Portland metro would be important enough to get its own nuke at this point. My parents were toddlers though so my existence is absolutely scuffed
 
I think able archer has a better chance to start WW3. My home town is a logistical hub about 100km away from the east german border. Killed by a nuke if I am lucky. A 11 years old orphan who ends up in someones stew pot if I am unlucky.
 
4/5 years old. Durham, North east England. While I doubt Durham is going to be targeted ( unless the Soviets REALLY hate Oxbridge reject university students!) Newcastle, ( ship building/repair, regional government, docks, mines) Sunderland ( ship building/repair, docks, mines), Teesside ( chemicals, steel, oil, docks,) Catterick ( LARGE army base, regional government?) , Leeming ( RAF fighter training base/V bomber dispersal?) are all going to be attacked.

The initial attack might be survivable. Doubt the aftermath will be.

EDIT - i expect they are still building/repairing ships on the Tees in the early 1980's so add that to the list of stuff to blow up!)
 
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May I caution against the use of 1983: Doomsday as a reference. Its selection of North American targets is somewhat curious and does not correspond to what might have or have not been hit especially in places like Gainesville, FL or Lexington, KY. Also, in my opinion, they underplay the chaos likely to happen in those cities that do survive and seem to favor their reborn United States faction rebuilding in very specific ways.

[soapbox]A mid-sized city that survives the devastation intact with even semi-stable government, food, water, and especially power along with gasoline, will become a literal City on a Hill rumored far and wide. Desperate refugees will flock there both for safety and opportunity for some chance of peace, security, and survival for themselves and especially their families. Frankly the scenario is optimistic in its outlook from 1983 to 1993 IMO and yet thr survivors are almost intentionally derpy in some ways - biological warfare is not really accounted for nor are the massive cleanups of dead needed to prevent massive outbreaks of disease across the continent. One of the largest surviving cities (if not the outright largest) apparently decides once it gets its home state and surrounding environs back to functional status about ten-to-fifteen years out that it can just stop expansion and keep an eye on its neighbors, including one very expansionist government to its east and a series of other concerning polities to its south, for example.

I can see no reason in that series why a rogue major general not only maintains unit cohesion for an elite active duty army division but also convinces them to march with him into territory perfect for guerilla warfare and not start knocking on the door of the Presidential bunker described. Larger bases had communication systems in place that should have survived, if nothing else intact radio stations were reportedly broadcasting indicating that a nearby city was still standing as was Fort Knox (again, optimistic). The presidential CoG looks like it failed hard too, they would have been in contact by HAM or other means with at least one surviving group based on the nascent city-states emerging by the end of the first year. Given the (optimistic) scenario as listed, there should likely be a nascent reborn United States government with a functional capitol in either Wyoming or Kentucky and strong footholds in those and surrounding states no later than 2000 if not 1995 under President G. H. W. Bush. With a legitimate CoG, intact industry and military forces (including those who would come home from abroad along with stranded tourists etc.), and loyal state governments or their successors in place for several states, the factionalism the series presents would be subsumed as a resurgent federal government looked to reunite and restore the country fairly quickly.

So please be careful about using that scenario as a reference. [/soapbox]
 
May I caution against the use of 1983: Doomsday as a reference
I am not - I am using a map ;-)

UK targets are quite obvious really. We don't have a lot of space compared to the USA! In my example 3 cities/towns within 40 miles are going to go. York is 70 miles to the south, Leeds/Bradford 90, Manchester 130.

So in about the distance between New York and Philadelphia we are going to lose 4 of our bigger cities followed by many other places due to fall out/radiation. That is just city targets. It makes no thought of military installations or the prevailing winds - there is no where for us to run to in the UK.

From where I was:
  • Cant go south: There is going to be a line to the south based on Liverpool > Manchester > Leeds> Sheffield > York> Hull that is going to glow for the rest of time ( always harsh on York as it is such a nice city but it has an army barracks, railway works/junctions and a regional government point so it is going to go)
  • East: Sea ( and what is left of the north east coast)
  • West: Prevailing winds are going to bring lots of muck from NW England ( Sellafield/Barrow/Carlisle for example) over rural north Durham/south Northumberland but you might get lucky
  • North: get past Newcastle somehow, dodge prevailing wind carried muck, find a rural spot and camp out. You cant go as far as Central Scotland. That's gone : Rosyth/Holy Loch, Faslane, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grangemouth.

Best bet - head NW for rural Northumberland/Scottish borders and hope you get lucky or second choice SW for Barnard Castle/Hawes - not sure the locals will be best pleased about that mind!

We are goners - I hope it is quick.
 
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I was not born yet. My eventual parents were in California and probably Louisiana at the time. I'd have a 100% chance of not being born.
 
I live near Verviers, Belgium in 1983
The chance to survive was zero for me
Around Verviers were too many prime and secondary targets for Soviets nukes,
Next to that nuclear fallout from Brussels were NATO HQ.
 
I’m in northwest Indiana near Chicago, so it would probably depend on the wind. There are several steel mills in the area, if they were targeted as strategic assets I’d have been toast.
 
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