Protect and Survive: A Timeline

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

  1. Macragge1 Banned

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    Sorry for the late update - i've just been snowed under recently.

    Yeah, I confused the roles - I did mean County Controller - sorry for messing it up and thanks for pointing it out - i'll edit it now to make sense.

    Still pretty busy but next update in a couple of days, promise.
     
  2. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    Don't apologise, I know how real life can get in the way of writing all too well.
    Always happy to help, and again no need to apologise, we all make mistakes. I've relied very heavily on the TLW readership to correct mine.

    Looking forward to more.

    Should have called the County Controller Clive Sutton. :p
     
  3. thevaliant Soviet Socialist

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    I've only read part I, but please do continue!

    I've always been interested in this, ever since watching THREADS.
    I'm interested especially in how Britain would cope (The answer being not well I suspect) and in how long it would take to recover. Threads only pans out to 1996 which really isn't far enough. That said, even 2010 probably isn't far enough for a full scale exchange to see any real sort of recovery.

    Ever read "Resurrection Day" by Brendan DuBois - Main story is investigative journalism, but set in Alt-1972, ten years after the bombs fell in 1962?
     
  4. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    I have and it's not a bad book. I don't think that the European NATO countries, or the WP for that matter, could have kept out of a war caused by the Cuban Missile Crisis, however.
     
  5. Dunois Franco-British Patriot!

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    I might be wrong but I assume that under a Threads type attack, Britain would have coped better than some other countries long term, simply because some planning had been done regarding what actions to take before, during and after an attack.

    France by comparison never had the same extensive plans, or at least I am not aware of them. Fair to say though that France being larger would have vast areas of the country virtually unscathed after the attack.
     
  6. thevaliant Soviet Socialist

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    I'd agree. I've not actually heard of other countries having any plans for their civilian populations in the event of nuclear war.

    Most TL I've read which involved them, especially post 1960, usually end up with the Soviet Union as glass, simply because the USA goes overkill and ends up literally leveling the country.

    Britain wouldn't do very well out of a nuclear attack, but she might cope better than expected due to some idea given to planning.
     
  7. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    this is intense.

    I am subscribing.
     
  8. Macragge1 Banned

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    IV - Choosing a Fall-Out Room

    So the best thing is to make arrangements now to shelter with someone close by.

    At 4.30 am on the 18th February, the unthinkable happened as the Warsaw Pact began an offensive that stretched from Narvik to the Adriatic. Across the 'Central Area', seemingly endless columns of tanks forced their way through the Allied lines. Although far from unexpected, the sheer ferocity of the bombardment that preceded the attack still managed to catch the combined NATO armies off-guard. Well trained and disciplined, these forces mostly succeeded in falling back from pre-planned defence to pre-planned defence, although some such attempts were undermined across the front; not only were huge columns of refugees now clogging the roads (leading, infamously, to a French armoured unit simply ploughing through a road full of fleeing civilians, crushing many in their cars) - crack Spetznaz saboteurs, disguised as British, Americans, even civilians - were doing their level best to harry the retreating forces.

    For three days, the Third World War plays out more or less as expected - Communist numbers slowly overwhelm capitalist technology and training. Across land, sea and air, fighting is brutal.

    In the UK, panic buying is now rife. Within hours of hostilities commencing, there is barely a single edible item left on supermarket shelves. Unglamorous foodstuffs such as pie filling or cake mix are now quite literally worth their weight in gold - by now, however, few accept the handfuls of jewellery presented to them in exchange for a couple of tins of Spam. More than once, policemen (as yet unarmed) posted to protect supermarket stocks are simply trampled to death by stampedes of panic-buyers. Mercifully, the emergency food depots remain almost totally unmolested - the sheer weight of soldiers now surrounding them make any attempts at seizing foodstuffs particularly unattractive.

    The Number One Single this week was Nena's '99 Red Balloons' - or rather, it would have been, had the Official Charts Company not been disbanded as the BBC scaled down to skeleton public information broadcasting (the shooting having started, many of the key staff and much equipment is now moving to Wood Norton anyway)

    Absenteeism has now reached 90% in some areas. Although the threat of war has been looming for some time now, most have not prepared until war has definitely come (as occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962). Simply put, few were willing to tear doors down and dig up back gardens without, as this author's own father put it 'a bloody good reason'. Soviet armour was now pouring across the Fulda Gap, smashing aside determined NATO opposition. This was a bloody good reason to build oneself a shelter.

    A timber yard foreman in Luton is shot dead. The property is stripped bare before anyone thinks to call an ambulance.

    At around lunchtime on the 21st, confused reports reach newsrooms that an atomic blast has been reported in West Germany. An American commander on the ground, having found his forces surrounded west of Kassel, mistakenly believes that the use of tactical nuclear weapons has been authorised (to this day, it is unknown quite how he came to this conclusion, although one can only guess at the stress and confusion the man must have been facing).

    A battlefield nuclear weapon is airburst near Kassel. Soviet casualties are enormous.

    Two hours later, a similar weapon obliterates the American commander's pocket to the west.

    The front goes quiet.

    *

    The Constable, unlike most these days, still turned up to work. He felt no dramatic, swelling sense of duty at a time of dire national emergency - simply a continued desire to survive. Besides, the canteen was one of the few places you could be guaranteed a hot meal now that the silly buggers had started shooting at each other. All day, he and his colleague had been driving from minor disturbance to little scuffle - now that the shelves were bare, there was little to fight about. People kept their doors locked though. And they stayed behind them. Though it was just about midday, almost every street remained completely deserted, disturbed only by an urgent looking green convoy or a couple of screaming police cars. Those that did stay out were acting a little 'off' to say the least, thought the Constable. Fights erupted over nothing, between the meekest of people. Others simply groped and fucked a mere token distance from the main roads. The Constable broke up the fights, but simply ignored the 'lovers' - be the last fun the poor bastard's'll have in a long time, he mused. It was as if the whole town had been drinking all day. As he passed the Civic Centre, he saw a sweet looking old man and his equally kindly looking wife arguing with a couple of less picturesque looking soldiers sitting atop a machine-gun post. He would have thought it a strange scene, was he not immediately distracted by the News at Twelve. 'They've done fucking what?', thought the Constable.

    *

    'Please, Sergeant' repeated the Old Man, 'you have to let me in - I'm the Health Officer for heaven's sake!'. The soldier seemed less concerned about minding his mouth, again telling the elderly gentleman to show him his 'effing' papers or 'eff off'. 'For the tenth time, man, I've left them at home...yes, yes, my wife will be allowed in, just let me speak to the controller!'. Before the soldier could think up an even less polite way to say 'no', a bundle of ill-fitting green clothes came running from the direction of the local Grammar School. 'They've done it', panted the cadet, who couldn't have been a day past sixteen - 'in Germany - radio doesn't know if it's ours or theirs yet...'. The Old Man's Wife started crying. 'For Christ's sake...' thought the soldier, before grabbing both the Old Man and his Wife and near frogmarching them down into the makeshift bunker. At the door they met a policeman, who dutifully went and found the County Controller.

    'What the bloody hell is it, can't you see I'm busy?' snapped the County Controller as he emerged from the bunker entrance. His face lit up as he saw the Old Man - 'Ah, Nigel, thank God you're here!'. His face lit back down as he saw that the Old Man had brought his wife - 'Oh...err...hallo Edith. Nigel, can I have a word with you outside?'.

    The County Controller wants nothing less than to let the Wife in - he went to school with her husband, and he knew her since university, for heaven's sake. But he couldn't - this killed him. Space was already at a premium inside the bunker, and food stocks had been very carefully provisioned. Besides, it wouldn't be fair on those who had left their families behind - if I let one in, thought the Controller, I'll have to let them all in. This he explained to the Old Man.

    'I'm so, so sorry'.

    The County Controller could have stopped the Old Man as he walked upstairs with his wife. Indeed, the soldier made a move so as to grab this 'health officer', and force him into his post. One glance from the County Controller and the soldier stopped. There was in fact a deputy health officer present, but this made no difference either way - this was the Controller's final favour.

    *

    The Old Man and his Wife didn't mind so much. After all, what mattered is that they were together when they went - just like the old tune. In his heart of hearts, the Old Man knew that his Wife wouldn't get into the bunker. She knew too. They walked hand in hand down the once-thriving Northumberland Street towards Grey's Monument. The dead centre of the town. There were some there already, alone or in pairs, a couple of little groups. They were silent, mostly, swaddled in blankets and huddling for warmth.

    The Old Man threw a picnic blanket on the stones and wrapped his wife up warm. He then saw to himself. Proper cheese and nice crackers. He popped a bottle of champagne (of a truly obscene vintage), pouring it into two crystal glasses. This was the rainy day they'd been saving for. They wanted to be right underneath it.



    *

    Attack Warning Red.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  9. Philadelphus Well-Known Member

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    Gosh. Moving scene. At first, reading this, I thought the idea of people positioning themselves at the expected local ground zero was bizarre. Then I remembered something: in 1985, I was in college in Washington. One evening, they set off the air-raid sirens by mistake. (At the time I thought I might be wrong - the sirens were quieter than I expected - but they really did: it was written up in the Post the next day - panicked calls to police, complaints of school plays being disturbed, since sirens were often on the roofs of school buildings....) My reaction was to leave my dorm room, calmly, hoping there was nothing going on (I'd already turned on the all-news radio station and heard normalcy)...I remember stopping at my door, realizing I'd forgotten my key, going back in for it and saying to myself "you're not going to need it." By the time I was downstairs, the sirens had stopped, and I felt a bit silly and went for a walk.

    Years later, I was telling this story to a friend, and he remarked that if he'd been in Washington and thought a nuclear attack was imminent, he would have headed for the Lincoln Memorial to die staring up at the statue.
     
  10. Apollo 20 Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding so far. Looking forward to more.
     
  11. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammn!





    I repeat my earlier sentiment :cool:
     
  12. Macragge1 Banned

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    Christ - I thought I was just using a bit of creative license but wow. I can't imagine what it must have been like to have been alive during the Cold War - must have been horrendously scary at times.
     
  13. NCW Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Switzerland. A law passed in 1963 (and only recently repealed) required new houses and other buildings to be built with nuclear shelters. Probably the largest such project was the Sonnenberg Tunnel, near Lucerne, although that was probably too ambitious.

    Cheers,
    Nigel.
     
  14. Sir Chaos Banned

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    Indeed it was. I grew up right smack in the middle of the Soviet advance route, had they ever smashed through the Fulda Gap. Fortunately, I was only 12 when the wall fell, so I did not understand enough to be really scared.
     
  15. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    Wow, that was impressive. It does have quite a resonance for me because I live quite close to several potential targets.

    Most NATO countries had plans to shelter their civilians; Norway was amongst the most extensive. Outside NATO Sweden, Finland and Switzerland had the best plans.
    France did have plans but they were on a par with the UK.

    I'll need to dig out some of my civil defence books to check on the details though.
     
  16. Grubach Banned

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    So, in event of nuclear confrontation, Lucerne could have been the safest location in Europe...:D

    BTW, props to Macragge1 for his good work on this story :)
     
  17. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    Though its possible both sides would target Switzerland. We don't know about NATO, but the USSR certainly had plans to hit neutral countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Ireland to stop them being potential threats in the post-exchange world.
     
  18. Southpaw How long shall these Things be?

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    Seems like a waste of effort to me because the massive number of troops needed to fully subdue Switzerland would be needed against NATO. By this point the Swiss have preparing for war for over 30 years and would have had nearly every man mobilized.
     
  19. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    When I say 'hit', I mean using nuclear weapons. Sorry, I evidently didn't make that clear. :D
    Soviet targeting plans included neutral capitals at least in their plans. They'd have probably taken out selected neutral military facilities and I'm pretty sure Irish ports would have been targeted.

    It's very likely that both sides will attempt to 'neutralise' neutral nations they see as a potential threat in the post-strike world. It's even money that one of the RN's Polaris missiles has Puerto Belgrano's name on it, for example.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  20. Macragge1 Banned

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    I always wondered about what would happen to the neutrals during armageddon - doubtlessly they were targeted (especially by the reds), but I can't imagine a massive amount of weapons were allotted to them, both because they're a secondary threat (can't hit back) and simply because both sides have a finite amount of weapons.

    On the other hand, most of the European neutrals like Ireland and Switz. are pretty small, and could still receive a fairly nasty kiloton to square mile ratio - Norway and Finland, whilst full of dead space, keep their populations in a few very dense areas - it's no wonder they decided it couldn't hurt to be well prepared (also of course, they had the money to do it).

    If it came to it I guess Switz etcetera would just have to hold their breath and keep their mouths shut - either make the biggest noise possible about being neutral or just remain completely silent and hope you're overlooked in the chaos. Due to the presumably slim amount of bombs allotted to the neutrals, they could avoid catastrophe if they got lucky - there certainly wouldn't be overkill allotted to these supporting players. If I was sitting in that tunnel in Lucerne (cool find BTW Nigel) I'd just be praying that the missile with my name on it either malfunctioned, missed or got hit by NATO - and I might just get away with it.

    Gotta agree with Jan that Argentina's gonna be earmarked when the balloon goes up especially with Thatcher still in charge.

    I wonder how many nukes would be kept back even in the event of full scale war - I imagine each side would have a few kept to one side just in case any neutrals got fresh (i.e in Britain's case - the Republic makes a push for Ulster or the Argentinians grab their chance) during the post-war mess
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010