Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Macragge1, Aug 20, 2010.
You are a good man, and I wish your enemies short lives.
James Dunnigan in his first edition of "How to Make War" also states this (book is a must read on nuclear war in the 1980s, although now out of print. The 3rd Edition devotes far less time to the subject)
One of the interesting facts of the Cold War era pre-GPS is that all of the ICBMs had internal guidance systems that may very well have been seriously affected by proximity to the north magnetic pole. No one ever found out because obviously a missile test fired over the north magnetic pole was out of the question.
IIRC some missiles like Polaris, Poseidon and Trident also used stellar navigation as well as INS. I couldn't say for the Minuteman II and III, which would be the backbone of SAC's ICBM force in this period.
I think that the last of the Titan IIs were gone by '84/85 and the first Peacekeepers wouldn't have been operational. I'd need to double check that, though.
We are in the hands of the demiurge Macragge1 for the exact figures (although I do not know if we'll never know in this TL, I believe that one of the more intriguing side of this story is the lack of an omniscient narrator, allowing us to share the same uncertainty and the same concerns that face the protagonists), but I, after thinking about it a bit, I think there might be more survivors in the world than I thought if ICBMs were really having all the problems you have highlighted.
True, and perhaps some intended targets survived.............I'd say about 20 to 25%. Maybe..............Macragge, would it be a problem to eventually post a list of U.S. cities that survived despite being targets?
This is a radical compliment.
I shall have to read that book - I can't remember quite of the top of my head what ratio of failures I worked with, but it was nearing a quarter of all launches being duds or misses.
C'est tres vrai.
Yeah - there'll be a US roundup at some point once i've decided how to cheat it in to the story.
Perhaps a survey carried out by SAC's remaining U-2s, or maybe what cities and military bases still respond via radio? It might be possible for the US to use its remaining KH sats if there are still downlinks in action.
Man this thing is scary. In 1984 i was an army cadet. ITTL i am a 16 year old shooting looters.
Something like that, yeah - just got to get the Prospero guys in range of a trustworthy and well informed source - might be harder than it sounds
Especially on the "trustworthy" front I'd guess, if their anything like the British officer we've met...
This is quite scary. I just read through the whole thing and I'm still trying to work out if I live or not.
I live in a village quite close to an RAF base, but it wasn't listed as suffering a nuclear strike, but I also live within 20 miles of Reading, which I believe is listed as taking two nukes, so would the fallout get me, or should I be ok (in the short term)?
But really great TL, disturbing and yet so gripping, though I probably shouldn't be reading this late at night after watching The Day After.
It was the reason they went to stellar guidance in later systems. The problem with an INS is that its affected by the Earths gravitation field. Not usually a problem (in an aircraft, you go via waypoints which correct any errors at regular intervals), but for missiles its a big problem. The way around it is to have a map of the anomalies to use to correct this. However to do this, you need to fly test runs over the pole. Which, needless to say, has never been done!
Also, noone (on any side!) has afaik, ever fired a test missile cold - ie without a week os so of making sure everything is fine (they are just too expensive). So noone really know how many will fail....
However in OTL this is a GOOD thing! The more the uncertainty, the less chance someone will think a true premptive strike is possible...
If you're north of Reading the Harwell bomb gets you.
If your SW the Aldermaston one does.
SE dont know if they hit Odiham - quite probably.
Face it, you're toast.
So am I, I was only 8m north of Farnborough/Aldershot.
Christ. I've been there.
I remember in Arc Light a list of targets on a handy map is shown. It included casualty numbers and even fall-out plumes.
If they make it to an operational military base, or a government command bunker then they might find such a source.
XIII - Refuges
The best place is farthest away from the roof and outside walls.
The six Swiss personnel aboard the helicopter landed near Yeovil are arrested and moved under armed guard to the nearby RNAS station. The food - mostly high energy chocolate bars and corn stockpiled since the 1960s - is earmarked for CHANTICLEER.
In Newcastle, a petrol bomb is thrown through a window of the Freeman Hospital - two 'patients' (ironically, victims of burns) are killed. An additional two hundred volunteers are armed; anything from crowbars to pool cues are the order of the day, now - guns and ammuniton are running worryingly low.
Don't be such a... baby
A rumour begins that the Yorkshire RSG is feeding better than the North-East Region - CS-gas armed training aircraft are deployed to stem the tide of souls attempting to get down the A1 - mutual aid is requested from both the North Yorkshire and Lothian and Borders police forces - it is refused; Devon and Cornwall Police promise a few SPGs but can't fathom how to get them up here.
The rumour is not true.
On the 29th March, farmers in the Hebrides report a brief, bright flash on the horizon. Although no radiological equipment is available (or can be moved any time soon), it is believed that this constitutes an attempted Soviet attack.
They took your arm
The pit at Beamish Open-Air museum is now operational; the volunteers which had worked there pre-war, however, are the core of the region's attempt to train more industrial conscripts. Within three hours, a thirteen year old boy has lost his foot to a steam drill.
The RAN crew are entertained at a royal reception at Southwick House - there is a lost lustre to the proceedings, but it is gratefully recieved given the circumstances. Half the crew (and half a British crew) are sent back to Australia and told to bring back the now fabled 'aid ships'. The other half remain in England - they are, in so many words, a deposit.
The Officer bursts into the bunker. He shouts - 'Your Controller is dead. I am now in command for the rest of the Emergency. As you were.'
He is flanked by three or four regulars - there is no violence but there is threat. He strides with filthy boots over to the Controller's desk. Sit down, feet up. With one arm he knocks the family photographs onto the floor. He has nothing to replace them with - no pictures of his wife or his baby daughter, hungry in the countryside. No pictures of his nephew, nineteen forever in a Belfast backstreet. He runs his hands through his hair. He lights a cigarette. Hands through his hair again.
'Lieutenant, here'. Voice cracks as he beckons. 'Have them take a third of men's rations - someone'll crack about the Freeman attacks. Give what we've gained to infants under six.'
'Right away, sir' - slight excitement as he snaps to attention and turns to go.
'And have all the Micks rounded up'
'Excuse me, sir?'
'The Irishmen, boy - they'll be behind the disturbances; there's no doubt about that - take them to the racecourse and starve some answers out. Let's see if they're all such fans of the hunger strike.'
'W-with respect, sir, I can't imagine -'
A raised eyebrow - 'Insubordination?'
'No, no, sir - I'll get to it sir'.
The Controller wakes up in the shivering cold. Black figures around him. Take him by the hand (his only hand). Drag him out of his bed.
Oh god I'm so sorry what have i done imsosorry
Through the corridors and he hears them echo.
Down the stairs - his feet don't touch the ground. Round the back.
Looks like we've just seen the UK's first military coup since Cromwellian times. The officer's motivation is also now pretty clear.
To put it really harshly detaining the Irish population will mean more food for everyone else. Unfortunately it also means taking a source of labour out of the population of able-bodied survivors.
My impression now of the Controller is of a good and decent man who made terrible decisions. So far the Officer looks like a Grade One, twenty-four carat b*stard, though we can probably understand why.
you are doing better than I am... unless one of the escape plans my Dad and I worked out, I lived between the Baytown, Pasadena and Texas City refinery areas, and almost certainly even a near miss means I am toast.
If I am lucky, we are on a sailboat half way to Belize ( I was 22 at the time)
Did a bit of research using this website: http://www.carloslabs.com/node/20.
Turns out even if Rosyth and MHQ Pitreavie are hit by 1.4Mt warheads, I won't be immediately blown to bits as I'm beyond the danger zone for pressure and thermal effects and prevailing winds will carry any fallout away. There is also high ground between me and those targets, which should provide extra protection. This all assumes that both warheads hit their targets with a degree of accuracy.
Even a 10.5Mt warhead hitting Pitreavie would be survivable at the range I'm at so long as one was indoors to avoid flash-burns.
I'd just have to hope that the Controller's equivalent in Fife doesn't take the same decision on feeding young children (I would have been 4). As teachers I think my parents would have found themselves being asked to help man the Rest Centres that would have been set up in their schools.
I can only hope that they would have stayed at home instead as my Dad's old school is practically at GZ for Pitreavie and my Mum's school at that time was within the 5psi and third degree burns zone, meaning that if the school was not blasted to bits, it would be burned to ashes.
Well, I'd be 18 and in Swansea in my first year of my degree. West Wales looks fairly untouched, so I expect I would have volunteered for something to use my St Johns Ambulance training. Back then, I was a bit of a leftie, but a pretty patriotic one with a deep dislike of Soviet Communism. If West Wales is untouched, then the should be coal, steel and power and a nice refinery at Milford Haven.
I did a quick look at a map the other night and it struck me just how the transport network had been shattered. North-South Rail in particular.
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