From
The Cuban Missile Crisis:
A Nuclear Order of Battle October/November 1962
by Robert S. Norris

A Presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center


Soviet ICBMs

The most authoritative figures on ICBM availability come from Strategic Rocket Forces historian Lt. Col. Sergei Karlov. He concluded that there were 42 ICBMs deployed during the crisis. These included six SS-6s (R-7) and 36 SS-7 (R-16). Four of the SS-6s were on open launch pads at Plesetsk and two were reserve missiles at Baikonur that were not on permanent duty as they were intended for space exploration. During the crisis the two Baikonur SS-6s were made ready by being fueled and attaching a warhead.

A topic for further research is to understand the alert procedures of the Strategic Rocket Forces in particular the Soviet military in general. Were there Soviet counterparts to the U.S. Defense Readiness Conditions (DefCon) and were they activated during the crisis? Were the ICBMs “combat ready,” able to be fired with assigned targets?

The SS-6 was the first Soviet ICBM.It was a one and one-half stage cryogenic, liquid-propellant missile capable of delivering a 10,000 lb reentry vehicle, (with a 2.8 megaton warhead) to a range of 9000 kilometers and had a CEP of five kilometers. They were too large to fit in silos and were fired from reinforced concrete launch pads. It took twenty hours to prepare for launch and could not be kept on alert for more than a day. The liquid fuel for the missiles was corrosive and toxic, could leak, and was potentially dangerous.

The majority of the Soviet ICBM force during the crisis was the 36 SS-7s (R-16), 26 in silos and 10 on open launch pads. The SS-7 Saddler was a two-stage storable, liquid-propellant ICBM capable of delivering 3500 lb reentry vehicle to a range of 12,000 kilometers with a CEP of 1.0-1.25 nm. It was deployed in soft and hard sites. Reaction time under normal conditions was three hours for soft sites and five to fifteen minutes for hard sites.

American estimates at the time were slightly higher. As of 30 June 1962 the U.S. estimate was 32 at soft sites. The CIA estimated that the Soviets had 60-65 ICBMs operational. Later assessments reduced the number to 44 operational with six training launchers with some operational capability, close to Karlov’s figure.
..
Soviet Bombers

Secretary of Defense McNamara testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committees on September 5, 1962 that the Soviets had about 165 long-range bombers and tankers and about 950 medium-range bombers and tankers.

“[T]hey could put about 200 bombers, we believe, over North America today.”

This is close to a later estimate: "By the end of 1962 Long Range Aviation had about 100 Tu-95 [Bear] and 60 3M [Bison B] bombers, which could deliver about 270 nuclear weapons to U.S. territory."

It is unclear how many of these bombers were on some stage of alert, whether they were on the tarmac, with weapons loaded and crews aboard and target folders at hand. More is needed to be known about the status of these aircraft.

In conclusion, Soviet strategic forces totaled some 300-320 weapons (all but about 40 of them bomber weapons), with the potential of hitting the United States. If war had broken out and Soviet Bear and Bison bombers attempted to fly over the North Pole to attack North American targets they would have been met by formidable U.S. and Canadian air defenses. Air defense interceptor aircraft, many (or perhaps all) armed with nuclear Genie or Falcon air-to-air missiles would likely have prevented any Soviet bomber from reaching its target.

(The same situation would have been the case for the any of the Beagles flying from Cuba.)


As noted above the U.S. had over 3,500 fully generated weapons at the ready to use against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union may have had around 300 weapons ready to use against the United States. While that is a ratio of about dozen-to-one, given the difficulty of Soviet bombers to carry out their missions, the actual ratio is probably higher
Thanks for this information. I always needed to know what was the stockpile of the USSR in 1962. It could still hurt the U.S. badly, but the U.S. would virtually destroy the Soviet Union in this case.
 
I was thinking that there is a period of instability in Latam, with realignment and refugees etc, and that at the end of it, they attempt to create a new UN based in Rio. The remnants of the us navy mainly went to the Caribbean, and I'm pondering having Hawaii damaged but not as totally as much of the rest of the us, with a government in exile that lacks much reach. They build new ships but to save vitally needed steel etc they use Amazon timber to build wooden hulled ships; theres no real chance of meeting an armoured ship so wood with metal plating is sufficient. The ships are steam powered for propulsion with diesel generators. I'm picturing three armed ships, three colliers, and a supply ship that also carries a pair of biplanes with both land and water landing gear and a set of helium balloons to carry instrumentation and camera gear on a tether over dangerous areas, and they carry a company of marines armed with bolt a ton rifles, mortars, and a couple of ww2 era machine guns. The government of Hawaii still claims authority over the us, but has no means of enforcing it so is grumpy about the expeditions and demands to have ambassadors aboard them. Australia is host to large numbers of British survivors as well as more American ones including originally diplomats and politicians, and that American group claims IT is the government in exile, so the un doesn't let either go. The British retain st helena, the Falklands, a few other islands, and maybe even Bermuda, as well as uk survivors being part of the Caribbean communities. The french have guadeloupe and a couple of others too. The dutch are basically all in the Caribbean. Things in latam aren't great, theres even more slums, more violence, more poverty, more disease and crime, but it still resembles civilisation at least. The new un wants to show its reach and pro activity, so funds several expeditions. Over the course of these they map the devastation, survivors, and true course of events. Think post apocalyptic semi steam/dieselpunk meets captain cook. Of course the tragedy is that humanity is still fighting, still plotting, still putting narrow interest over global good.
I see Australia and LATAM becoming the new "Western" powers as Australia fills in a role similar to that of the U.S. in LATAM but in East Asia, with remnants of the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam retreating to Hawaii or Guam to regroup in attempts to reach the mainland only to remain stuck there and eventually becoming somewhat subservient to the Australians since the U.S. is presumably fractured, I'd say the M1 and flak jackets continue to be standard issue, with maybe some Australian camo being adopted.
 
I see Australia and LATAM becoming the new "Western" powers as Australia fills in a role similar to that of the U.S. in LATAM but in East Asia, with remnants of the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam retreating to Hawaii or Guam to regroup in attempts to reach the mainland only to remain stuck there and eventually becoming somewhat subservient to the Australians since the U.S. is presumably fractured, I'd say the M1 and flak jackets continue to be standard issue, with maybe some Australian camo being adopted.
"General Kenobi return"
HE FINALLY RETURN
 
Also let's not indulge in the fantasy concept of a limited nuclear exchange that's often seen. Once the first bomb goes off it would take a miracle for it not to escalate into a full strategic exchange. That may not be what's intended by either side but counter strike would follow counter strike, each more devasting than the last until the strategic weapons are launched and it's all over.
correct - spot on
What if UK and France are not hit either
But we are going to be! it is illogical to suggest otherwise. We in the UK we are a base for US planes, missiles, submarines etc before we even consider any NATO or EEC connections let alone our own nuclear arsenal. You cant leave that untouched because very soon it will all come back your way.

Regardless of all that: IF the UK is hit then we are going to hit back and hit back as hard as we can as quickly as we can. They may not be many left in this country to see that but those on the other side will. The French are going to do the same.
 
I see Australia and LATAM becoming the new "Western" powers as Australia fills in a role similar to that of the U.S. in LATAM but in East Asia, with remnants of the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam retreating to Hawaii or Guam to regroup in attempts to reach the mainland only to remain stuck there and eventually becoming somewhat subservient to the Australians since the U.S. is presumably fractured, I'd say the M1 and flak jackets continue to be standard issue, with maybe some Australian camo being adopted.
U.S. forces in Vietnam would try to resupply in what areas of the Philippines that weren't hit. Unfortunately, Subic and Clark are gone. That will force to resupply to Mactan Air Base in Cebu, assuming that place also survived. Mactan AB's runway is enough to fit B-52s to what long-range transport there could fly from there. It was where C-141 evacuation flights from Operation Fiery Vigil (the evacuation of American dependents after Mount Pinatubo in 1991) flew to Guam.
 

marathag

Kicked
Thanks for this information. I always needed to know what was the stockpile of the USSR in 1962. It could still hurt the U.S. badly, but the U.S. would virtually destroy the Soviet Union in this case.
This was the totals for strategic use weapons, set for counterforce and countervalue targeting, most if them very high yield.
For tactical devices, each side had roughly ten times as many smaller devices.
What's that mean?
Well, in Western Europe, that mean everything from Jeeps on up, could have tiny microbombs, like with the Davey Crockett or 8 inch howitzers with low kt devices, to most ADC aircraft having either unguided 2kt AAMs like Genie, or similar guided AAMs with a similar warhead.
At Sea, the USN had a variety of ASW, anti-air and anti-ship missiles with low kt warheads, up to the Iowa BB with 16" delivered nuclear shells.
 
I’m a bit late to this thread, but from what I’ve read it depends on when. If it’s over Cuba in 62 that nuclear Holocaust comes, the Soviet Union is a nuclear wasteland. The US fares better but not much. One thing to keep in mind too is that even rural areas wills be no-go zones. Growing up in Nebraska, the northern Great Plains is full of missile silos and with command centers like NORAD in Denver and SAC in Omaha, you’ll see these rural areas get some damage along with larger cities.

While this might not mean much, a lot of the food supply and land to grow it won’t be seen as safe.
 

marathag

Kicked
I’m a bit late to this thread, but from what I’ve read it depends on when. If it’s over Cuba in 62 that nuclear Holocaust comes, the Soviet Union is a nuclear wasteland. The US fares better but not much. One thing to keep in mind too is that even rural areas wills be no-go zones. Growing up in Nebraska, the northern Great Plains is full of missile silos and with command centers like NORAD in Denver and SAC in Omaha, you’ll see these rural areas get some damage along with larger cities.

While this might not mean much, a lot of the food supply and land to grow it won’t be seen as safe.
In 1962, the Soviets had some slow reacting ICBMs, that did not have coverage over much of CONUS, but most of their strike force was in gravity bombs in Tu-95 Bears.
ADC and RCAF were optimized for taking out that kind of threat over Canadian airspace.
Once in US airspace, you have older, 2nd line aircraft in ANG service, from F-102 down to the F-89, still armed with nuclear AAMs, ADC assets as well,, with front line F-106 and F-101 as there were in Canada and Alaska, plus Army SAMs in the form of nuclear tipped Nike-Hercules in bands around most major metropolitan areas, like Twin Cities, Detroit, Madison and Chicagoland.
All these, plus related radar stations, were tied together with the 1st real computer network on the planet, SAGE.
Personally, I do not believe any Tu-95 would have survived long enough to drop on their designated target.
It sounds like a wank, but 1962 could have turned out that way, as with Dr Strangelove, not even hair mussed.
 

marathag

Kicked
Ike in 1960
"I get tired of saying that defense is to be made an excuse for wasting dollars. I don't believe we should pay one cent for defense more than we have to.

But I do say this: our defense is not only strong, it is awesome, and it is respected elsewhere"

In 1962, yes there were missile and Bomber gaps, but they were all far in the favor of the USA
 
It sounds like we need a separate thread for descriptions of a post-nuclear world if the war occurred in (year X). And not necessarily what it would look like if Continuity of (Government) Operations plans were actually successful.
 
In 1962, the Soviets had some slow reacting ICBMs, that did not have coverage over much of CONUS, but most of their strike force was in gravity bombs in Tu-95 Bears.
ADC and RCAF were optimized for taking out that kind of threat over Canadian airspace.
Once in US airspace, you have older, 2nd line aircraft in ANG service, from F-102 down to the F-89, still armed with nuclear AAMs, ADC assets as well,, with front line F-106 and F-101 as there were in Canada and Alaska, plus Army SAMs in the form of nuclear tipped Nike-Hercules in bands around most major metropolitan areas, like Twin Cities, Detroit, Madison and Chicagoland.
All these, plus related radar stations, were tied together with the 1st real computer network on the planet, SAGE.
Personally, I do not believe any Tu-95 would have survived long enough to drop on their designated target.
It sounds like a wank, but 1962 could have turned out that way, as with Dr Strangelove, not even hair mussed.
As of 1962, the DEW Line had been in effect for five years now. It's a great vast improvement from the Pinetree Line and the Mid-Canada Line. It's very likely those F-102s, F-89s, F-106s, and F-101s would have intercepted those Tu-95s.

Meanwhile, I'm curious how well a B-52 could penetrate deep into Soviet airspace.
 
From
The Cuban Missile Crisis:
A Nuclear Order of Battle October/November 1962
by Robert S. Norris

A Presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center


Soviet ICBMs

The most authoritative figures on ICBM availability come from Strategic Rocket Forces historian Lt. Col. Sergei Karlov. He concluded that there were 42 ICBMs deployed during the crisis. These included six SS-6s (R-7) and 36 SS-7 (R-16). Four of the SS-6s were on open launch pads at Plesetsk and two were reserve missiles at Baikonur that were not on permanent duty as they were intended for space exploration. During the crisis the two Baikonur SS-6s were made ready by being fueled and attaching a warhead.

A topic for further research is to understand the alert procedures of the Strategic Rocket Forces in particular the Soviet military in general. Were there Soviet counterparts to the U.S. Defense Readiness Conditions (DefCon) and were they activated during the crisis? Were the ICBMs “combat ready,” able to be fired with assigned targets?

The SS-6 was the first Soviet ICBM.It was a one and one-half stage cryogenic, liquid-propellant missile capable of delivering a 10,000 lb reentry vehicle, (with a 2.8 megaton warhead) to a range of 9000 kilometers and had a CEP of five kilometers. They were too large to fit in silos and were fired from reinforced concrete launch pads. It took twenty hours to prepare for launch and could not be kept on alert for more than a day. The liquid fuel for the missiles was corrosive and toxic, could leak, and was potentially dangerous.

The majority of the Soviet ICBM force during the crisis was the 36 SS-7s (R-16), 26 in silos and 10 on open launch pads. The SS-7 Saddler was a two-stage storable, liquid-propellant ICBM capable of delivering 3500 lb reentry vehicle to a range of 12,000 kilometers with a CEP of 1.0-1.25 nm. It was deployed in soft and hard sites. Reaction time under normal conditions was three hours for soft sites and five to fifteen minutes for hard sites.

American estimates at the time were slightly higher. As of 30 June 1962 the U.S. estimate was 32 at soft sites. The CIA estimated that the Soviets had 60-65 ICBMs operational. Later assessments reduced the number to 44 operational with six training launchers with some operational capability, close to Karlov’s figure.
..
Soviet Bombers

Secretary of Defense McNamara testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committees on September 5, 1962 that the Soviets had about 165 long-range bombers and tankers and about 950 medium-range bombers and tankers.

“[T]hey could put about 200 bombers, we believe, over North America today.”

This is close to a later estimate: "By the end of 1962 Long Range Aviation had about 100 Tu-95 [Bear] and 60 3M [Bison B] bombers, which could deliver about 270 nuclear weapons to U.S. territory."

It is unclear how many of these bombers were on some stage of alert, whether they were on the tarmac, with weapons loaded and crews aboard and target folders at hand. More is needed to be known about the status of these aircraft.

In conclusion, Soviet strategic forces totaled some 300-320 weapons (all but about 40 of them bomber weapons), with the potential of hitting the United States. If war had broken out and Soviet Bear and Bison bombers attempted to fly over the North Pole to attack North American targets they would have been met by formidable U.S. and Canadian air defenses. Air defense interceptor aircraft, many (or perhaps all) armed with nuclear Genie or Falcon air-to-air missiles would likely have prevented any Soviet bomber from reaching its target.

(The same situation would have been the case for the any of the Beagles flying from Cuba.)


As noted above the U.S. had over 3,500 fully generated weapons at the ready to use against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union may have had around 300 weapons ready to use against the United States. While that is a ratio of about dozen-to-one, given the difficulty of Soviet bombers to carry out their missions, the actual ratio is probably higher
Some additional Information
SS-6 or R-7 used liquid Oxygen and Kerosine, after one day on fuelled alert status it was fit for scrap
it hat 50% chance to reach their US targets New York, Washington D.C. Chicago and Los Angeles.

SS-7 or R-16 was still under Testing but was made ready during Cuba Crisis. it use extrem toxic propellants, but could stay longer on Alert status as R-7.

if the 160 Soviet bombers could have reach there Targets is doubtful
in that time period was USA literary paved with Nike-Zeus anti aircraft missile sites, some equipped with nuclear warheads !
Next to that Interceptors F-101, F-102, F-104, F-106, F-110 (F-4) some equipped with anti aircraft missile with nuclear warheads !
There no information on Soviet ECM system to defend against this threat.

US forces
SAC had 121 Atlas and 53 Titan I ICBM deploy, with similar issue like SS-6 (R-7) and 8 Minuteman I,
Titan II was under development and Test phase
105 Thor and Jupiter MRBM, 48 Mace missile in Europe
and 1576 Bombers B-58, B-57, B-52, B-47
six SSBNs with 96 warheads in Atlantic.

Source:
 
This was likely already said but most of the deaths in a nuclear exchange where either side has the means to render the other nonexistent as a nation state wouldn’t result from nuclear weapons but starvation, exposure, disease etc. In this scenario most of the people that survived the initial exchange would die within a few years from the causes mentioned above and the survivors would envy the dead. There’s also violence, suicide and accidents.
 
Some docus on 1980s nuclear war scenario
Warning some of this stuff is nightmare fuel !


viewer discretion is advised !

About Mutual Assure Destruction or MAD
 
I wrote this as a Reddit comment on possible nuclear targets in the Philippines, with revisions and addendums:
  • Manila - capital of the Philippines, headquarters of the AFP and the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police, and numerous other government agencies, has a major seaport and airport with adjoining Villamor Air Base (Nichols Field) for the Philippine Air Force.
  • Baguio City - a major city in Benguet, the site of the Philippine Military Academy, and is near Camp John Hay, a major USAF base
  • Clark Air Base, Pampanga - the largest USAF base in the Far East. For some time the largest deployment of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces which included F-104s, F-16s, F-15s, and F-4s,
  • Sangley Point, Cavite (Danilo Atienza Air Base) - another USAF base until 1971 when it was transferred to the Philippine Air Force. Directly guards Manila Bay and was home to Philippine Air Force Trojan attack planes
  • Subic Naval Base, Zambales - the largest naval base in the Far East next to Yokosuka. There was usually a USN carrier here present, along with some subs, destroyers, destroyer escorts, amphibious assault ships, landing ship tanks, and AOE/AORs. It is the springboard for the USN for their South China Sea patrols. Adjacent to this was NAS Cubi Point, which houses the USN's P-2 Neptune and P-3 Orion ASW maritime patrol planes.
  • Cebu City - the second largest city of the Philippines. Has a nearby Army Base, a PAF air base in Mactan Island which was transferred to the PAF in 1971 but can house SAC bombers in an event of a WWIII, and a major seaport. In November 2013, the world's largest plane, the An-225 Mirya, landed at Mactan Air Base to deliver a large generator. This coincided with other C-17s and C-130s as part of the humanitarian operation for Typhoon Haiyan.
  • Davao City - the largest city in Mindanao. Has an airport capable of housing SAC bombers

Other possible targets:
  • Wallace Air Station (Naval Station Ernesto Ogbinar), La Union - Helicopter base for the USAF Parajumpers and PAF UH-1s. Also housed antennas and communication devices.
  • Naval Communications Mount Santa Rita, Bataan - A radio station that connected transmissions to the CONUS
  • Naval Communications San Miguel - Another communications outpost
  • U.S. Naval Radio Station, Tarlac - Another communication outpost
  • Antonio Bautista Air Base, Palawan - Airfield used for supplying Philippine marines stationed in the South China Sea
  • Edwin Andrews Air Base, Zamboanga - The biggest air base in Mindanao used for COIN operations against the MNLF, MILF, NPA, pirates, and other terrorist organizations operating in the Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea
  • Crow Valley Firing Range - a test site used by the AFP and the U.S. military
 
I see Australia and LATAM becoming the new "Western" powers as Australia fills in a role similar to that of the U.S. in LATAM but in East Asia, with remnants of the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam retreating to Hawaii or Guam to regroup in attempts to reach the mainland only to remain stuck there and eventually becoming somewhat subservient to the Australians since the U.S. is presumably fractured, I'd say the M1 and flak jackets continue to be standard issue, with maybe some Australian camo being adopted.
Speaking of this, I just recently purchased a surplus set of Australian camo DPCU (aka Jelly Bean camo).

Pic for reference of the DPCU, not mine. Link below.
20201205_145234.jpg


If the war occurred in the 1970s/80s, most armies today would be using leftover surplus from either U.S./UK/Australia and for the Warsaw Pact, their respective camos.

The M16, FAL, G3, Beretta AR-70, SKS, and AK-47s would still be in use.

For example, the Philippines would utilize surplus Olive Drabs and other camos from the Vietnam War (there were a lot after 1975).
https://www.reddit.com/r/Military/comments/git1l4
 
A political map of North America might look like the scene of Terminator 2 where the T-1000 is shot after being frozen.

At first the nation shatters into warlord domains, gang ranges, 'station'-type settlements (several farms and maybe a tiny center but not a true town) and a scattering of city-states. Half of the surviving towns will fall from internacine violence, another half from lack of food, another half from disease. Perhaps a dozen cities over 30,000 survive to become the major cities/settlements of generations to come. Power and clean running water will be luxuries as will modern medicine. Thise who can keep small engines running, heal the sick/tend the dying, and have agricultural experience will be the most valuable.

As time passes, more than likely technology will return and the shattered pieces begin to coalesce. New nations likely form around the surviving cities and a few may fall to one another or powerful warlord/gang armies with military equipment. If a larger overseas nation survives and decides to invade it may galvanize much of the rest of the continent but otherwise look for either a handful of larger regional units or city-states dominating the landscape in the richer areas (Oregon, Idaho, northern California, Wyoming, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, possibly parts of Texas and Florida) with either forbidden zones or warlord kingdoms or maybe even state-level governments in areas like Iowa or Nebraska.

By a century afterwards the world probably looks recognizable to a casual passer-by but closer analysis will be more like the post-Roman world of 500 AD or so - everyone still understands Latin and the structures are readily recognizable but building new equivalents is very difficult and the culture is slowly fragmenting between the three to fifteen major countries that now inhabit North America and their smaller affiliates. There is a chance of unity in a continental scale, especially if war or famine or conquest by one faction occurs, but I think more likely the Mississippi becomes akin to the Danube and Rhine in OTL as a border for several countries.
 
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