Protect and Survive: A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Macragge1, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Chortling Gnome Member

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    This is a fantastic timeline. A couple questions, if I may, and sorry if they've already been asked:

    1. how far are you going to take the effects of nuclear winter? There should be a couple hundred trillion grams of soot in the atmosphere, will there just be a succession of harsh winters, or something closer to a full-on ice age?

    2. what's the state of India and Pakistan, were nuclear weapons exchanged there as well? I'm not sure that each country had many nukes by 83, and even less that they had robust delivery systems (especially Pakistan).

    3. similarly, what about China? Was there an exchange between Russia and China, or China and the US?

    Anyway, please keep up the good work!
     
  2. NCW Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you're quite right, except that I wouldn't describe Peel as having a cheery voice. Calm and re-assuring perhaps - and it would probably have taken a nuclear war to make him play a Gloria Gaynor record.

    I must admit that I didn't mean Jasper as a serious contender, still his act does include one serious question:


    So were prisoners released ITTL ? I guess that it might have happened to free up prison guards for general police duties.


    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
  3. Lemon flavoured British Miami Dolphins fan

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    And even then he's only playing it to subvert the guidelines.
     
  4. Macragge1 Banned

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    I'm sort of working on scientist's best estimates, which is that whilst the climate would be very badly affected, we'd be nowhere near a full on ice - age. The best precedent I can give is the Icelandic volcano that caused most of Europe to lose a whole Summer during the 1700s - it's basically this but a fair bit worse.

    No-one knows who shot first, but at some point during the exchange, both countries decided to go each other - they didn't have many bombs, but every single available weapon on both sides was used. Many were targeted against cities - the casualties were truly biblical. Pakistan (being smaller) has been destroyed as a viable state. India took many more dead, but having close to a billion people, has absorbed this better - still, there is no central control of the chaotic nation.

    China suffered the same fate as Howard Devoto - shot by both sides - being such a wildcard didn't serve it well in the end - it shot at Russia, with a few missiles fired across to the US - like India, it has taken huge casualties in the population centres, but is large enough to sustain a big population - still, it is highly decentralised at the moment.

    Yes - some petty thieves etc were simply let out of open gates - others have been retained as industrial conscripts. Some prisons operated a skeleton staff, whereas others simply locked the worst offenders in their cells and went home. There are persistent rumours that high-profile offenders such as Sutcliffe and Hindley were handed over to the army and shot in the days before the attack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
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  5. Stateless Well-Known Watermelon

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    Who's asking?
    Did Pakistan actually have nuclear weapons in 1983? I thought they didn't have deliverable warheads until the late 80s. Additionally, in this TL did South Africa have and use nukes?
     
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  6. Macragge1 Banned

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    Apparently they had a scarce secret few in the early 1980s (certainly they had the ability to produce them)- the crisis led them to absolutely crash-course their delivery program - primitive bombs were basically ghetto-rigged onto Mirages - since Pakistan didn't test their 'toss-bombing' with fighter-bombers until the 1990s, most of these attacks were one way - trips. There were some epic fighter battles as almost all of the PAF was sent to escort these scarce weapons over Delhi etcetera.

    I've always believed that the Vela flash was a South African bomb - they have a few by the exchange, deliverable only by fighter-bomber. Given their problems with delivery, SA didn't use any of its bombs - this now makes it a massive power (even moreso) in the region. Jo'burg took a hit from a Soviet bomb.
     
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  7. Pyro Love the platypus, obey the platypus.

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    I know I asked this before but at the cost of sounding repetitive and/or annoying, but how long will it before Britain hears from the world outside Europe?

    Come to think of it, I wonder what happened Sweden and Finland. Did they survive?
     
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  8. Macragge1 Banned

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    As promised, here's a sorta spin-off to the main thread of 'Protect and Survive' action (which will continue concurrently) - a lot of you wanted to find out about the States , so I decided I'd try and make it a little more engaging than a list of numbers.

    *

    Operation Prospero [1]

    Gentle breath of yours my sails/ Must fill or else my project fails.

    It had been almost a month since contact was lost completely with the United States of America. CHANTICLEER waited patiently, hoping that eventually a radio signal would arc its way across the oceans and enlighten the remaining European members of NATO.

    No such message came.

    After much deliberation, it was decided that contact must be made with the Americans. With communications seemingly ineffectual, it became clear that any contact with our erstwhile allies would have to be face - to - face. This presented a tremendous logistical problem. Whereas not long ago, one could hop across the Atlantic faster than sound itself, the same vast expanse of ocean now seemed as impassible to us as it did to Boudicca.

    The more obvious choice seemed to be to use our navy to make contact - the further this plan was developed, though, the more impractical it seemed. Our submarines had actually surveyed certain areas of the Eastern seaboard - one submarine came within a few hundred yards of Long Island Sound. It became clear, however, that most settlements along the densely populated coastline had been utterly destroyed - even on unpopulated stretches of coastline, the levels of fallout were presumed to be 'black' - this meant that a) it was perishingly unlikely that we would find any survivors in these areas, and b) the risk to our own servicemen was simply too great. The fact was that there was very little effective NBC kit aboard any vessels near the US. Whitelaw had decided that there simply wasn't time to recall and equip these vessels - this limited their usefulness to merely scoping out the beaches.

    A plan to launch aircraft from our carrier Hermes was also mooted but summarily discarded - reports of ships disappearing on the high seas suggested that the enemy still had submarines roaming the area - without the fuel or manpower available to send a full task force around the carrier, it would have been foolish to risk it.

    This left us with our bomber force. Naturally, these aircraft and their crews had suffered huge losses during the exchange. Some returned though. After days of intense planning, the 'American Plan', as it was then termed, began to solidify. We would send one of our Victors, filled with as many specialists as the RAF deemed possible, and land it in the United States. In order to do this, however, the aeroplane would have to refuel midway. Reports from the Clemenceau suggested that the Azores were unviable, and so it became clear that it would have to be Iceland. We presumed (correctly) that the largest airfields in Reykjavik and Keflavik would have been unusable. Dusting off a tourist map of the country that a secretary had fortuitously taken with her, we determined that the civilian aerodrome at Akureyi was the most viable option to land and refuel such a large craft. If there were any Icelandics around, it was assumed that they would accommodate us. If not, the pilots were under orders to inform them that Her Majesty's Government was still nuclear-armed.

    After this, the 'plane was to make its way to Griffiss AFB in the state of New York - this pushed the limits of the Victor's range. Here, searches were to be made for any survivors, whether government or civilian - it was vital that we knew what was going on over there. Whitelaw especially made clear to us the importance of success - as well as the boost to morale that any survivors brought these days, the boost to Britain's prestige that could be gained from 'rescuing' the Americans would be enormous. Nevertheless, some maintain that the Prime Minister was pessimistic about the mission's chances - indeed, the name he chose to give the operation will certainly mean something to any scholars out there. I talked to...

    *
    It wasn't easy to sleep in the back of a Bedford lorry at the best of times. Straight backed wooden pews backed up against sopping canvas. Still, the Pilot tried.

    It wasn't easy to sleep in the back of a Bedford lorry when it was packed - a Commando, a Scientist, a Doctor, as well as the whole flight crew. Still, the Pilot tried.

    It wasn't easy to sleep in the back of a Bedford lorry travelling at speed over broken roads - barely a minute went by without the driver lurching around some unseen obstacle or throwing the truck through a pothole. Still, the Pilot tried.

    It wasn't easy trying to sleep in the back of a Bedford lorry when one was worried - from what he had been told, this mission would be the riskiest he had yet undertaken. Still, the Pilot tried.

    It wasn't easy to close one's eyes after that sortie. Men women children women children children children in Leningrad. The Pilot fights to stay awake.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
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  9. Pyro Love the platypus, obey the platypus.

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    Ask and thou shall receive, I see. Though I have my fingers crossed from some survivors or surviving population centers, I'm not entirely optimistic of this operation's success. It's safe to say that the eastern seaboard is now irradiated toast as would be the west coast and vast chunks of the interior.

    As for the Great White North there's still probably enough Canadians to make a viable enough nation-state. Since I was still in my mother's womb at the time, something tells me that I won't survive ITTL. :(

    Excellent update, by the way.
     
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  10. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

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    I'll nominate William Shatner to survive. :D
    Thurso would be a soft target, so I'd imagine that the Soviets would use an air-burst. That means little fall-out, so Inverness should be fairly safe.

    IIRC the Army Act in the '80s did allow for impressment in time of emergency. I also seem to remember that people could be conscripted into the police to replace losses.

    Btw the proper title of that DVD I mentioned a while back is Nuclear War In Britain- Home Front Civil Defence Films 1951 - 1987.
     
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  11. LeX Well-Known Member

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    I can imagine that the surviving bomber pilots and submariners would be looked upon in a rather... dark light after this whole "WW3" thing.
     
  12. Macragge1 Banned

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    That's the reasoning - the East and West Coasts are so densely packed basically all the way down that fallout covers most of what the blast hasn't wiped out. Statistically, however, the chances of someone surviving somewhereare very high.

    There's enough Canadians who weren't in the cities, but they were isolated enough pre-war; command and control is therefore very difficult.



    Thanks for the info - I'm doing a part about law and order at the moment so that'll help. Cheers for the full name of the DVD as well, I'll Amazon it.


    Absolutely - these men are now some of history's worst mass murderers - whether they were following orders or not, there's going to be a huge stigma - worse is how these normal, generally good men will see themselves.
     
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  13. Baron Bizarre Is probably thinking about his next meal...

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    I imagine Japan probably took at least a few hits.

    Korea's probably a mess, too.

    I daresay the Middle East got plastered. Likely, no more oil from there for a long time. I wonder what oil-producing countries might not get hit - Venezuela, Indonesia?

    I imagine that even the countries that didn't get hit, or eat any "second-hand fallout", will still find their economies in a bad way.

    I wonder what it would be like to be a citizen of one of the "combatant" countries in a country that didn't get hit, when the war came.
     
  14. Macragge1 Banned

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    Oh yes - to put it crudely, those nations that didn't get hit are still messy as fuck. This isn't just the global economy crashing - there is no longer a global economy - international trade has ground to a near-standstill. Even without a nuclear war, this would be devastating.

    Expect ration cards, nationalisation, restrictions on travel in these un-hit countries. Just because a country hasn't been targeted, doesn't mean it hasn't been harmed.
     
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  15. Baron Bizarre Is probably thinking about his next meal...

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    And we all know how messy that can be. :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  16. Weaver Well-Known Member

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    I'm also reading this with great interest. I'm 65 and grew up with all this Cold War atmosphere in Northern England.

    We lived near Salmesbury near Preston and definitely remember seeing Vulcans (set of 4) on alert status there in the Cuban Missile crisis. Yep, I know it wasn't a standard dispersal field, but I also remember them on a drill there, taking off almost vertically, with just a small distance between each Vulcan....the noise was incredible. The road to Preston from Whalley ran right past the airfield which usually had a few Canberras on site.

    As a bunch of teenagers we set up a "shelter" in an old mine shaft near my house in Burnley, Lancashire in the sixties. Pretty primitive and I doubt it would have done much good.

    Left UK in 72 for good, and find all this "80's" scenario detail fascinating.

    Damned good stuff.
     
  17. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    at first, I felt kind of horrified.

    then I googled the two.

    hey, it's not like they strapped them to the roof or anything like that...
     
  18. BrianD From OTL or ATL depending on your perspective

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    One question about broadcasting, Macragge...in the States, I imagine the networks, and cable stations, and even PBS would have increasingly gone all-news as the crisis progressed. Radio would have been all-news or all-music (with news updates on the hour). The government probably wouldn't take over TV/radio broadcasting until the Emergency Broadcasting System went into effect when the missiles started flying.

    You've told us about the BBC. What happened to Channel 4 and the commercial, non-BBC television and radio stations in TTL? Did the government shut them down completely?
     
  19. Apollo 20 Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that I wonder about the viability of Griffiss as a destination. IIRC, it was an active SAC B-52 base in the '80s and therefore likely to be a target. Seems like a dicey choice for a destination if it was toward the end of the plane's range. If the goal is to find an intact airfield, I'd think one would have better luck with smaller civil airfields not near major cities. I'm thinking someplace in Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire might be intact. Perhaps the airports on Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket off Cape Cod. However, a smaller airport might not have the necessary runway length. In any case, though, I would think the military airfields are probably out of commission, reduced to smouldering craters. However, at this point -- after a month, one should see fallout levels having decreased significantly which makes the idea of a flight out reasonably plausible overall.

    Apart from this little nitpick, though, this is all quite outstanding. Looking forward to more.
     
  20. QuoProQuid Well-Known Member

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    Although I realize that the area would be dretched in radiation and the city was a significant target, I am hoping that Cleveland has not been hit.

    Are we going to see South America eventually?