Rex 84: Nuclear War in America (Second Shot)

No Gods, No Masters, No Peace: This is the end of the world as we know it.

This is a reboot of Rex 84, which I was unsatisfied with. I feel that it wasn't researched enough, and so I am giving it a second shot.
Part 1: Tinder
in 1980, the United States was not in a good place. Through almost all of the 1970's, the United States had experienced never ending tragedy, economic hardship and embarrassment abroad. America, the nation that controlled hordes of natural resources, had the most powerful military in the history of the world, and was the richest nation on Earth, was beaten and broken. Losing to an underdeveloped, poor country in Vietnam. Waves of suicide and crime across the United States, sparking gang violence the nation wasn't seen before. Gas lines that seemed to be mirrors of the Soviet Union's bread lines. Unemployment, hardship, embarrassment. The United States was on it's knees.

For sometime, the Soviet Union drank up their short but good reign as the better superpower. However, as with most things involving the Soviet Union, the good times were short lived. The whole rotting carcass of the Soviet Union began to collapse.


General Secretary of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev
For a time in the 70's, the Soviet Union was outgrowing the American economy. Leonid Brezhnev, before becoming a proponent of no reforms, had introduced some small but good economic reforms in the Soviet Union. Under his leadership, in 1973, documents recovered suggest that the Soviet Union was outperforming the United States economy, albeit by only a small margin. Soviet military strength reached it's zenith, and the might of Communism, from the city of Berlin to the fields of Korea, was unmatched. This was a short lived, but good time for the Soviet Union.

The Communist hard liners, which eventually included Brezhnev himself, began to push back. The prestige and power of the Communist party were under threat by this man. Well, not by Brezhnev. In truth, the Politburo did not disdain Brezhnev, and actually felt he was a good leader. They just felt that his economic policies were threatening the stability of the party. After what one can assume is some talking, Leonid Brezhnev must have come to the same conclusion as the Politburo. In the mid 70's, the programs were halted. Then, the Soviet Union made the braindead move to simply nix the programs all together. This was whole heartily detested by Brezhnev, who saw these reforms as the only way to keep up with the imperialist scum of the West. However, when told he was threatening the stability of the party and the prestige of his nation, he relented. That mattered far more to the General Secretary. The programs, over the course of '75 and '76, were removed.

This was immediately met with problems across the USSR. With the sudden ending of these programs, the economy of the Soviet Union stagnated, and then started to go into free fall. The "Era of Depression", as future historians would call it, was the entire infrastructure of the USSR collapsing in on itself. The economic hardship that would begin in the mid 1970's was happening alongside the United States woes, but were far worse then the United States.

While it is true that the Soviet Union did match economic growth at one point, this ignores several crucial details.

  1. The United States was still an industrial juggernaut, and while the economy slowed, it's industry could revive with a little bit of elbow grease and policy change.
  2. The USSR was incredibly reliant on the Warsaw Pact.
  3. The United States still had the money to maintain a massive nuclear arsenal.
The Warsaw Pact was an especially sharp sticking point. With the economy of the Soviet Union starting to collapse, reform had to be done. Unfortunately, with Leonid Brezhnev convinced to stay the course, a cadre of elderly Communists were getting their wish of a hard line Soviet Union. This meant that reform was, simply, not on the table. Any reform at all. This led to a collapse in business and industry across the USSR, and with that went the only other part of this no-dimensional economy, agriculture. Suddenly, homelessness became problem in a country that wasn't supposed to have any homeless, and the entire country was experiencing a quasi-famine.

The economies faltering and food shortage led to several Warsaw Pact countries attempting to pass their own reforms, against the wishes of the government in Moscow. This went as well as one might imagine. The Brezhnev regime was famous for returning some of the policies that Nikita Khrushchev had removed. While Stalinist purges did not exist in the Brezhnev USSR, as much as modern Reganphites and Conservatives will say, the Soviet Union returned to a totalitarian police state which was being dismantled under Khrushchev. People were arrested if they were deemed as threats to the state (the trials of Yuri Daniel and Andre Sinyavsky) and sent to what were prison camps. Modern Communists, especially ones living in the Rust Belt, will try to say that these camps were inventions of Capitalist propaganda. However, images by planes flying over the ruins of the Soviet Union have found proof that camps did exist.

The Warsaw Pact was dealt with harshly and quickly. The first nation that attempted to resist the Russians in Moscow was Poland. The Republic of Poland attempted to pass reforms, aiming at gaining access to Western loans to jumpstart their economy. This was done without much problem earlier in the reign of Brezhnev, but now that hard-liners like Andrei Gromyko and Dmitry Ustinov were running the Politburo, Poland was ordered to halt this attempt at "Capitalist poison". The Polish decided to resist.


Polish protesters, who were nominally led by Antoni Macierewicz
"The Polish will bow no more!" Cried Antoni Macierewicz, a Polish activist who formed the Workers Defense Committee. He led massive protests across all of Poland, centered mostly in Warsaw. This was met with brutality that Jimmy Carter, President of the United States when it occurred, "The worst that humanity has to offer. If someone were to doubt the evil of Communism after this, they might not have the heart to exist outside of it." As for First Premier Edward Gierek, he was relieved of his duty by Moscow, and promptly shipped off to a prison where he was probably incinerated by nuclear fire. The forces of the Soviet Red Army, including several Polish divisions, then went and cracked down on the protesters. Tear gas, then bullets, then tanks were used to quell the uprising in Poland, called by modern historians The Last Cry of Poland. It lasted several months, until Antoni Macierewicz was found and shot by the KGB.

While the terrors that occurred in Poland were the worst of the uprisings by the Soviet Bloc, it was not the only one. Pretty quickly, over the course of 1978 and 1979, five Premiers (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, Poland and Romania) were removed from their posts in the Warsaw Pact. Not to mention the general unrest in Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic Nations. While it was quelled, it did nothing to help the ailing Soviets. Russia was even starting to show signs of unrest.

To match all this misery, the Chinese were starting to get on the up-and-up. The Peoples Republic of China, after the death of Mao Zedong, started the process of what was essentially removing the economic ideas of Communism from the country. Limited levels of private industry and re-opening of relations with America had led the Chinese to begin their rebuilding. The days of the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward were, at least, over. Not only that, but the Chinese despised the Soviets, and documents recovered from the ruins of Tokyo showed that Mao Zedong allowed the Chinese population to get so large partly so that when a nuclear war occurred, there would be so many Chinese people that they would overwhelm the entire world. While this stupid pipe dream looks to us, with hindsight, as the ramblings of a mad dictator, the Soviets weren't laughing. The Chinese had about 200 hundred nuclear weapons, so the Soviets did the logical thing and set aside several hundred nuclear weapons and a few ICBM's for the Chinese, if it ever came to that.

Polish protesters after the Soviet response

With China modernizing, it became an embarrassment to the Soviets. A "Communist" nation that wasn't them was becoming rich and powerful. The Soviets, because of all of this, were desperate. You can't fund a nuclear stockpile if you have no economy and everyone is revolting in the places where you put your nuclear weapons. Then came Ronald Reagan.


President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan was charismatic, smart, a great speaker, and a belligerent Anti-Communist. He was as conservative as he was charming, and he had two goals in his life. Bring the United States back to it's glory days, and destroy the Soviet Union.

1980 was an election year, and it was the hated, despised President Jimmy Carter against the upstart, hopeful Governor Reagan. Jimmy Carter had become the face of the hardships the United States faced, and not without reason. While modern Liberals will point to the fact that Carter was handed an impossible situation, that isn't an actual excuse. Jimmy Carter simply didn't do enough to avoid the crisis' he would face, which included the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Second Oil Crisis. He refused to do more then shout big words at the Soviets, who were now committing actual war crimes against the Polish, and he was just generally weak and ineffective.

If a wombat high on cocaine, with no feet and three eyes faced off against Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter would have lost. Joseph Stalin could've risen from the dead, and probably beat Carter on a platform of blowing up all Coca-Cola factories in America. There was absolutely no chance that Carter beat whoever he faced. That person happened to be Ronald Reagan. Reagan was strong in his condemnation of the Soviet Union. He lambasted Carter and his administration, and lambasted Brezhnev. So, on November 6th, 1980, Ronald Reagan was unsurprisingly elected.

To understand why the Soviets were afraid of Ronald Reagan, we must go to his past. Ronald Reagan was an actor before he was a politician, and not an especially good one. Reagan got his start with the government there however, turning in actors suspected of having Communist sympathies. From there, he began his journey to Governor of California, where he showed that he was the answer Republicans were looking for. He was a loud, happy, hopeful man who pushed God in politics and wanted to make America great again (his slogan in 1980). Not only that, but he was all for building up the United States military to an astronomical level. He wanted to bankrupt the entire Soviet Union by making them race him in a race they couldn't win. This sounded good on paper, as the Soviets simply couldn't compete in most aspects. As well, Reagan wanted to return to the traditional values he saw as important. Not only that, but he fully opposed all bills or proposels that would put the Government in the way of business. It was Reagan who said "
One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine". And as Reganphiles and those obsessed with the modern world Pre-War will often leave out, Ronald Reagan did not have a tremendous track record on civil rights. While at no point did he support lynchings, death squads and camps (that was a conspiracy later perpetuated by Far-Left paramilitary groups int eh United States), he did oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. During his campaign, he was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, and took longer then one should to reject this endorsement.

All this taken in, one could imagine the rhetoric of Ronald Reagan in the election. The Soviets were not stupid, and knew he was going to win. Desperate? Yes. Not
that stupid though. Reagan's rhetoric, informed by the collapsing Soviets and their war crimes, were vitriolic. He often called the Soviet Union an "Empire of Evil", would often refer to Brezhnev and other high level Soviets as criminals, and called anyone who sympathized with the Soviets "No better then a moderate in Nazi Germany". He also called for Americans to oppose the Soviets by praising God and buying clothes. Well, not really. He encouraged the Christian Right to assert themselves in politics more, and he said that the best way for Americans to help business was to buy more products (with money they didn't have). Simply put, he was the exact mirror opposite of the Soviet Union.

Reagan celebrating winning the Presidency

When he won, the Soviets panicked. When he won, America celebrated. He won every state but Minnesota, and he would've won that had it not been for the Twin Cities. However, the culture change that accompanied his win, even in his short run, was tragic. Only the people who almost worship Reagan see the culture change that accompanied his win as a good thing. His constant assertions that Democracy was on the defensive, and that the American Way of Life was under immediate threat started a Third Red Scare.

This was not an Orwellian scare though. All evidence we can gather shows that the United States government never founded anything even remotely similar to the McCarthy House of Un-American Activities, as much as modern Leftists want it to be true. In truth, the Third Red Scare was not actually enforced by the Government. It was enforced by the people of the United States. By 1981, hate crimes against minorities in the states had increased quite a bit, and suspected Communists (often just leftists) were actively shunned from society. Probably the strangest of this chapter in American history was the counter-culture movement. Specifically, the absence of one. Documents, videos and first hand accounts seem to suggest that the youth of the United States attempted to create some kind of counter-counter-culture movement. They emulated the fifties in as many ways as they could, and women's rights were set back by what would have been decades. Before dying in The War, Richard Nixon even said "These folks make my folks look like moderate folks." To be told by Richard Nixon you look moderate was not a compliment.

For all this negative, the economy did improve. Jobs came back, wages went up slightly, and it seemed that things were on the up an up.

This change in American culture spooked the Soviets. What truly terrified them was the massive build up by Reagan. Reagan immediately started to ramp up the US military, and the Soviets knew they couldn't catch up. They tried anyway, beginning a new arms race. Then, came Grenada.

American invasion of Grenada
The United States had no good reason to invade the island nation. Sure, it was Communist. However, it was so non-essential that to invade it was just a big middle finger to the USSR. This invasion took place fairly early, in 1981.

All this stress lead Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union, to suffer a massive stroke on March 30th, 1980. He died that night, and a new leader was needed. They found him, in Andrei Gromyko.


General Secretary of the Soviet Union Andrei Gromyko.
Gromyko was a hard line Communist, a staunch opponent of Capitalism, and a man who despised the West. His whole career was foreign policy, where he argued that the Soviet Union take a hard line stance against all of the West, including NATO, as well as the Chinese.

Add on to this the paranoia that was now abundant in all levels of the collapsing Soviet Union, and you get a recipe for complete disaster. And disaster was the Soviet Union's specialty.

Immediately, Gromyko met the rhetoric of Reagan with his own rhetoric. He promised to help "
Extinguish the monster imperialists from the Earth!" The man thought he had the way to beat America. He was intelligent, like Reagan. He knew they couldn't beat the US in an arms race. So, in his delirious paranoia, he came up with a plan.

Starting in 1982, the Soviet Union began to arm thousands of nuclear weapons. He then put as many of them on the borders in the Warsaw Pact as viable, and he put many more on the east coast of the Soviet Union. He boasted that he could vaporize every single American in less then an hour. He was lying, of course. But this set off the last chapter of the modern world.

As 1983 started, the tension in the air was clear. The United States put nuclear weapons in NATO countries, and several NATO countries that resisted this were treated harshly. Sp

This was the moment when Americans decided that the end of the world was going to happen. As March of 1983 began, Americans began to form their own shelters and vaults. The United States government even seemed to be anticipating it. In a document, scavenged from the Presidential Bunker after The War, it shows that the Executive Branch of the United States secretly drafted a document that expanded upon the Continuity of Government. While the document is incomplete (as most documents found are), it suggested that a plan was devised that would allow for the Government to suspend the US Constitution of 1789, and hand complete power to the Executive. This was called, tentatively, Rex84. The reason behind the name was never found.

Then, the real rush to oblivion began. In April, FleetEx was launched. The naval exercise was the largest in the North Pacific ever. So, in response, Secretary Gromyko launched a massive war game in Poland, that simulated a Soviet invasion of western Europe. More nukes were put online by both nations, and it seemed that the Soviets were on a always launch basis. This meant that at any point, the Soviets could launch their nukes. Then, to add fuel to the fire, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down by a Soviet fighter, killing Congressman Larry McDonald. Reagan, in a sudden and bellicose response (even for him), said that revenge was necessary.

The US Government soon seemed to accept the reality that they were hurtling toward. Before the flight was shot down, on May 2nd, the United States House of Representatives passed the American Defense Act. The act stripped several powers, including the ability to declare a full war, from Congress and handed it to the President. Then, later, on July 10th, the Public Defense of Information Act was passed. This, in a striking irony, nationalized the entertainment industry and the news industry. It was met with massive protests, which were put down by the government in a Soviet way. This was done so that the people of the United States could be fed both good and government information. The Emergency Broadcast Service was renamed the Public Security Service.

Modern Recreation of the Public Security Station warning that popped up. It was suggested that all that changed was the name.

PBS, the Public Broadcast Station, was also rolled into this PSS. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, distributed flyers about what to do if a nuclear weapon explodes near you. Race riots became common place, but they were put down with brutal efficiency. Then, on August 14th, the United States passed national curfews, to keep people calm. On September 30th, there was a massive riot in the Rust Belt city of Cleveland, which left two hundred dead, and four hundred injured.

During all this time, it is not known what the Soviet Union was doing. The only evidence we have recovered from that time that is not incredibly biased or just nonsense was that the Warsaw Pact nations of East Germany and Hungary had attempted to declare independence, before they were subjected to Nazi style war crimes.

Then, on November 7th, the United States conducted the Able Archer 83 exercise. Needless to say, this massive exercise was not seen well by Secretary Gromyko. It was all a matter of time. The Second Republic was now on borrowed time, and the government knew it. December 4th of 1983 saw the only time in the history of the Second Republic that the elections of the next president were cancelled. This should've been met by massive riots, however, it seems that the people of America had accepted the coming doom too. By that point, 60 percent of Americans were not going to work. Looting and general panic had set into the population. When Congress met for an emergency session, only half of them showed up. Two-thirds of the Senate didn't show up. President Reagan, stoic as usual, was refusing to go to his bunker. With Federal power collapsing, State Governors soon took matters into their own hands. Many commissioned bunkers for them when it happened.

On January 10th, 1984, an incident of some kind occurred at Sofia, in Bulgaria. The incident involved the destruction of a Tu-134 plane, with fifty dead. In the panic and confusion, with paranoia ruling the day, General Secretary Gromyko took action. He had thought that some kind of foul play was responsible for this incident. Soviet forces on the Iron Curtain went into full alert. This caused generals to report to NATO command that the Soviet Union was preparing an attack over the border and into Western Europe. So, NATO commanded their forces to be ready for an attack, and they went into full alert. The US Government went into DEFCON 2. Then, Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union, Dmitriy Ustinov, got a call from an unnamed Soviet General. He was told that shots were being exchanged over the border. Dmitriy ordered a full attack.

Fighting in Berlin. This photo was taken by an unknown Soviet journalist.

For two hours, a full assault was ordered. The Red Army, numerically superior to the defenses of NATO, broke through at several places. Then, the massive air force of the United States arrived, and began to obliterate the Soviet Forces.

General Secretary Gromyko was called. The Soviet bombers were ready. The missiles were primed. He gave the go.

When launches were detected by the United States, President Reagan gave the order. Bombers took off. Missiles were fired. The end of the world had begun.

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Criticism always appreciated! I really appreciated it on the old thread. That wasn't why I restarted this, I restarted it because I felt that i could do better with this. I am far more satisfied with this then the last one. Next part by tomorrow night.
If a wombat high on cocaine, with no feet and three eyes faced off against Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter would have lost. Joseph Stalin could've risen from the dead, and probably beat Carter on a platform of blowing up all Coca-Cola factories in America.

I thought this was funny, IMO...

Methinks this'll make the Protect and Survive TL (1) look like a picnic (and that TL, also about a conventional war that leads to a nuclear one, was pretty dystopic, too)…

IMO, Jimmy Carter could have been a good president, but the winds of the late 1970s were against him (as they would have been against anyone in office)...

(1) Have you read the TL or its spinoffs, @timepilgrim? My favorite spinoffs of that TL are Land of Flatwater by @Chipperback and Protect and Survive Miami: End of Watch by @wolverinethad; the latter is interesting because it's the most detailed at how things got to where they were ITTL...
I thought this was funny, IMO...

Methinks this'll make the Protect and Survive TL (1) look like a picnic (and that TL, also about a conventional war that leads to a nuclear one, was pretty dystopic, too)…

IMO, Jimmy Carter could have been a good president, but the winds of the late 1970s were against him (as they would have been against anyone in office)...

(1) Have you read the TL or its spinoffs, @timepilgrim? My favorite spinoffs of that TL are Land of Flatwater by @Chipperback and Protect and Survive Miami: End of Watch by @wolverinethad; the latter is interesting because it's the most detailed at how things got to where they were ITTL...

I started on a new one, but I gotta check em out! Protect and Survive is one of my favorites. And thanks for the compliment. I thought it important to inject some humor into the mess.


"Specifically, when France said they did not want to be apart of the NATO command structure and infrastructure for missile launches, the United States threatened France with a regime change. France got back in line."
a little mistake
France is a nuclear power and if you threatened it with a coup it could respond with its missiles
Moreover, she had already left NATO's integrated command and had no more American troops on her territory.
Part 2: Endgame
JANUARY 10th, 1984
4:06 PM EST

His face was coated in sweat. Droplets of it would hit the table with a thunk, thunk, thunk. Then, he saw it. What it read.

"No..." he started. His face contorted into one of rage, anger and confusion. He slammed his hands into the table. "NO!" He shouted. "That's not fair!" The woman across from him shook her head. She made a tsk, tsk sound. She smiled at him.
"You rolled a one." She threw a piece of paper at his head, and the other children laughed. With a heavy sigh, Jason threw his head back.
"That's not fair! That's like, what, the four millionth one I've rolled!" He looked at Claire, who was smiling wide behind her thick, black glasses.
"Eh, you're just unlucky." Martin said. Jason shot him a glare. The Dungeon Master of this particular campaign was Claire, who happily went to ruining this poor fools life.
"When you strike with your sword, you miss the orc completely! Instead, you drive it into the ground by accident, breaking it and leaving you defenseless." Claire looked up at Jason, who looked like he might attempt to kill everyone in the room at any minute.
"If I had the nuclear briefcase..." Jason stood up. "Can we take a break? I'm really about to explode over this."
Ivy shook her head as well. "Baby..." She whispered it, but just loud enough that Jason could hear it.
"Yea, let's all take a break for a bit guys." The four of them headed upstairs.

The sixteen year old kids were having their first experience being alone for multiple nights. Jason's parents and brother were gone, off to see his grandparents out in Oregon. However, after much begging and pleading, they decided to let Jason stay home under the pretense "that he learn what it's like being alone for a few nights." It was exciting, and while he was told not to have too many friends over, four seemed like a fine number. Whatever his mom might say about it, she couldn't. Either way, this was quite an exciting night. D&D, followed by....something exciting and fun...then followed by...Well, it wasn't that important.
"Jason?"" Martin asked.

"What should we do now?" It had been about ten minutes, and he wasn't in the mood for dungeon diving. He thought on it.
"I mean, we could go get food." Ivy said. Clair perked up when she heard that. She pushed the glasses upon her head.
"Yea! I'm starving! Didn't your mom and dad leave, like, sixty bucks?" Claire was right in Jason's face, who backed a little away.
"Uhh, yea! Yea, everyone pile in! Just let me find my glasses." The other three all headed out to his car, a red SUV his mom got him. Other then the color, nothing to complain about. It was the product of a hardworking mother and father.
He looked around for a bit. He simply couldn't seem to locate his glasses. No matter how hard he tried to find them, he was having no luck. His friends knew him to be like this, so they were going to be a bit more patient about it. Besides, he had started the SUV so it would warm up. No point in not letting them get all toasty. To keep himself from becoming bored to death, he switched on the radio. Any entertaining stuff had been taken off months ago, but the sound at least kept him focused on finding his glasses.
"...shots have been reported to have been fired across the Iron Curtain."
"What?" He swiveled his head toward the radio. He turned it up, and called his friends back in. He told them that they should probably listen.
"What's going on on the radio? Someone finally put something n--"
"Shh!" Jason shut Martin up. He turned the radio full blast, and listened like it was the word of God.

"...and advancing Soviet Armor columns were stopped by the brave NATO Combined Air Forces. The aggression of the Soviet Union will not be tolerated are the words that President Reagan had when he heard about this attack. The President, who is currently attending a ceremony in Frankfurt, Germany, will be leaving and returning shortly to the United States. The last two hours have seen harrowing combat, but this is not to--" The radio cut out. For a moment, it was completely silent. No noise, no sound, no voice. Just the empty feeling that not everything was okay.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE then the radio was silent again BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE god that noise is so BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Nobody likes these tests. they're scary
This is a public broadcast from the Public Security Service What? Jason didn't like the sound of that. It made a chill go up his spine. Claire and Ivy exchanged glances. Today, at approximately 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time No, it couldn't be. It just couldn't be. This wasn't real. Martin started to breath slow and heavy. Ivy teared up. Several hundred nuclear launches were detected from the Soviet Union nonononononononono this isn't real uh uh tomorrow they would have school and this would be a baddream becausenuclearwarwas And are heading toward the North American continent. mommydaddymommydaddybrotherbrotherIAmMyBrothersKeepermommydaddy no mom and dad just called on a payphone why is everyone crying why am I crying This is not a drill. I repeat. This is not a drill. Nuclear weapons are on their way toward the North American continent, and will arrive in 15-20 minutes. this is real oh god oh god, please oh God above this is real what if the nukes hit here but what if they hit Columbus where his family is probably fine If you are inside, stay inside. Find a basement, or some other location underground looking out the window, my neighbor Mr. Castor is getting in his car he should've stayed inside like told because otherwise he was going to probably but he wouldn't because there was no nuclear but there was the radio said so If you are outside and near a building, get inside and find the lowest elevation you can. silence. Ivy is screaming please stop screaming Ivy and Claire it's going to be okay these are just full on nuclear weapons that can wipe out cities If you cannot find a building, find the nearest ditch or lower elevation. I repeat, several hundred nuclear launches are on their way to the North American continent. pleaaaaaaase be a fake oh god it's not a fake. its not a fake. it's not a fake. It's not a fake, it's a real one. Klaxons go off in my head, then in real life. I hear the klaxons and the alarms and they sound like death knells. Is this what the apocalypse sounds like, because it sounds annoying. Mom and Dad are in Columbus. The capital of a swing state. Brother is just ten. Brother is just ten. President Ronald Reagan will address the nation in due time. The fucking President was in Frankfurt he's been vaporized, good thing too because I didn't like this President I hope his guts have been baptized in the fire of God and that I repeat, several hundred nuclear launches are on their way to the North American continent. This is not a drill. Find shelter. God Bless America.

Ivy was balling. Martin was trying to hold back tears, because men don't cry. The alarms that the Lima Tank Plant was equipped with were screaming as loud as possible. Everyone in his neighborhood was leaving as fast as they could, in cars if they had them. Several of Jason's friends were with their parents now. Jason didn't know where they were going. You can't outrun a nuclear weapon. Claire was frozen, tears pouring from her eyes. His family was about to be vaporized.
"We have to get downstairs!" Jason shouted. Then, they grabbed all the food they could. His father, an avid news listener, had stocked up on canned goods and water. Jason and Martin took the water down, while Ivy and Claire got the food and brought it down. They also got the chips, so they could ride out the apocalypse in comfort. Gotta have chips. After they got downstairs, they sat there for what seemed like forever and more. It was torture, sitting by a radio and eating chips. Someone suggested they go back to their game, but that was more out of comfort that the game was still there then anything else. After about twenty minutes, they looked at each other. Was it a mirage? A dream? A false

Seems not. The Earth trembled as a mighty locomotive roar sounded above them, followed by massive shaking. Like an earthquake, something these four Ohioans had never experienced. Then, came the vicious after shock, as the sounds of windows shattering from above came. Everyone was screaming and crying, and Martin shit himself on the spot. They were laying on the ground like babies, babies hiding from some kind of nuclear boogeyman. Then, it was quiet. So suddenly, it was all quiet and silent for a minute. The basement was fairly far underground, and didn't have windows. They were, as it seemed, safe. Sort of. Maybe. They weren't dead. Martin had to clean up.

Jason volunteered, silently but volunteered nonetheless, to head up and look around. They had sat down there for...some time. Jason slowly walked up each creaking step, each creaking sound was another frightening moment. His mother and father and brother had just been vaporized, he knew it. He was too shocked to cry. He was too broken by this to scream. He just let it all scream internally. He would cry later. When he reached the top of the stairs, the air smelled of steak and honey, with a tinge of shit. He looked around. Dust, that was what he saw first. Dust and dust particles. Then he saw his SUV, which seemed okay. It looked dusty, like everything else. There was glass everywhere. Then he looked out the window.

Most of his friends parents, taking their friends with them, drove toward Lima and the Allen County Airport. There were supposed to be a couple of fallout shelters near the Tank Plant. In that direction was a massive, humongous mushroom cloud that loomed over the world. It touched the sky, and scraped the weeping face of God.

On January 10th, 1984, the world came to a blinding, screaming, shouting end. In about two hours, what is now called The War took place. NATO, The Soviet Union, and China all signed an epic death pact, and hurled themselves into oblivion.

It is impossible to know how many nuclear weapons were detonated that day. Conservative estimates put it as low as 8,000, while far more generous ones put it as high as 17,000. Most moderate estimates put it somewhere in the 11-15,000 range. The Soviet Union is estimated to have fired or dropped around 8,000 nuclear weapons that day, while the United States was estimated to have fired or dropped 5,000. Add on the several hundred from China, France and the United Kingdom, and you have about that range. It is also impossible to know how many actually worked. This is something you obviously can't measure, and there were no previous tests. This was a one time event, so the best we got is speculation and guesswork made by very, very smart people. It's all really just guesswork, and whatever scholars and nuclear archaeologists can find in the dirt and data centers. The War, for it's importance to humanity, will always loom over history as something of a legend. It is almost myth that is real.

The Soviet Union was obliterated from the face of the Earth. Since the USSR was enemies with every single nation that had nuclear weapons on Earth, it took the largest brunt of the attack. Not only that, but while the USSR is massive, there aren't that many population centers worth bombing past the Ural mountains. Even the military targets pale in comparison to the ones back out west. So, it would not be that hard to massacre the entirety of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic's.
Furthermore, the Soviet Union did not plan on saving the civilians. While recovered plans indicate that radio broadcasts from TSSR and writings in Pravda lied to the populace of the USSR and Warsaw Pact, there was no real plan for what to do when it all happened. Yes, there was a "plan" that was made up of several bunkers and involved who was going to be saved, but this plan was not put into action. While there is no definitive proof that this plan wasn't used, most modern scholars agree that the Soviet Union had a suicidal approach to nuclear warfare, especially under General Secretary Gromyko. Plans indicated that the Soviets actual tactic was to just make sure that as many nukes as possible were fired and dropped. If Soviet leadership got to a bunker, good for them (they didn't). At least, that is what we can gather from recovered intelligence. In reality, there probably was some kind of complex plan that the Soviets simply didn't follow.

Most of Russia was destroyed, if not outright annihilated in The War. In an instant, 100 million Soviets were killed. Over the next several days and weeks, another 100 million were added on. Then, as famine, weather, looting, and general collapse of society came about, whatever remained of the Soviet people, from Kiev to Vladivostok, died. Modern estimates say that anywhere from 2 to 3 million Soviets, most of them Ukrainian, survived to 1986. In the modern day, the amount of Soviets left has bounced back somewhat, but it is still somewhere around only 5 million.

Next came the Warsaw Pact, and if the USSR was obliterated, the Warsaw Pact was completely vaporized from existence. East Germany and Poland not only suffered at the hands of the US, France and UK, but suffered at the hands of a vengeful and insane USSR. Recovered audio files suggest that five nuclear weapons were set aside by General Secretary Gromyko just for revenge on the two nations. Around 109.5 million people inhabited the combined states of the Warsaw Pact, and the only one which has anybody left living today is, strangely enough, Romania. Poland, East Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia had all their population killed during The War, or by 1986. Instantly, 70 million or so citizens of the Warsaw Pact were vaporized. 30 Million died within four weeks for various reasons. Finally, by 1986, about 1 million Romanians were left, most of them Roma people.

China was hit by anywhere from 1,000-2,000 nuclear weapons fired by both the United States and Soviet Union. Being a true wildcard, it was the safer option by both nations to simply nuke China. The Peoples Republic of China had the largest population of all these nations, at around 980 million people. This meant that death tolls in China are morbid, with around 800 million people dying by 1986. Famine not seen since the Cultural Revolution hit China after this, resulting in the loss of a further 100 million Chinese. This left 80 million Chinese left after it was all said and done. Of the original 800 million, somewhere in the range of 200-400 million were vaporized instantaneously.

Moving on to the NATO countries, the death toll continues to rise. The United Kingdom lost around 15 million people instantly, and 25 million more joined them after four weeks. West Germany, like East Germany, was obliterated. This left the Germans with almost no people left on the Earth (it is estimated that around 30,000 Germans survived by 1986, but this is a highly contested number.). France lost 25 million instantly, then another 20 million over the next four weeks. Southern Europe got it a bit better, if you can call it that. Italy was heavily bombed in the north, but the south was spared direct bombings. Spain lost Madrid, Seville and Barcelona to direct, purposeful hits. However, it was mostly off target accidental hits in the countryside after that. Portugal lost Lisbon and Porto, Greece lost Athens, Yugoslavia was the only Southern European nation obliterated. Albania lost nothing to direct hit, but an off course device detonated outside Tirana. The Middle East, including Turkey, was heavily destroyed as well. All in all, Southern Europe lost about 100 million people in total.

Now, we move on to the United States of America.


Artists interpretation of Baltimore, Maryland after the bombing.
Around 7,100 nuclear weapons in total were fired at the United States. The only reason it wasn't more is because the Soviet Union, in it's state of disrepair, simply could not afford to keep more in the "ready to launch" mode. However, this number is misleading on it's own, because first we have to take into account that the Soviet Union had, in many ways, a lackluster missile system. While the Soviet Union had a large amount of nuclear weapons, this was in part to make up for what one might call poor technology. Not to say that the bombs themselves weren't of large tonnage. On the contrary, the Soviets specialized in making large explosions. However, the Soviets ability to even detonate these bombs, much less accurately fire them, was suspect to say the least. Estimates of all kinds have to be handled carefully in this area however. Studies that are from Far-Left source often like to say that only 5-10 percent of Soviet missiles were either wildly inaccurate or didn't detonate. If that was true, the United States would have been in far worse shape. On the other side, Far-Right sources often like to put that number as high as 60 or 70 percent. That would mean that only around 2100 nuclear weapons would have detonated, and that number is simply too small. Most good, well researched and fair estimates put the number around 30 percent of Soviet Nuclear Devices (SND) failing to detonate, or going wildly off target. This leads most people to believe that 4,950 nuclear devices were detonated in the United States. While this sounds like a small number at first, if you evenly distributed that among the Second Republic's fifty states, that's 99 bombs per state, and the Soviets used far higher tonnage bombs then the United States used.

Now, the idea of Rhode Island being hit with 99 SND's is insanity, so the next part is judging how many bombs states received, and how many certain cities received. Lists released by the government indicate that FEMA had dreamed up a plan that judged where each state was going to be hit.

This nuclear map ended up being useless in judging though, as it is based on where they would have been detonated
rationally. The USSR was not thinking rationally. While some recovered files indicate that the Soviet Union had a plan to target important military and civilian infrastructure, what actually happened suggested that the Soviet Union's actual plan was to genocide as many people as humanly possible. High population centers were targeted before anything else, military targets were only directly hit if deemed "absolutely necessary" and the only place where warheads went with any strategic thought were places that the US Government was hiding and parts of the US Nuclear Trinity.

The states that received the most nuclear detonations were California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan and Colorado.

As well, what little thinking the Soviets did was aimed at crippling the US Nuclear Triad. Silos and missile infrastructure would be targeted along with population centers. So states with a high concentration of missile silos, such as the Dakotas, Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri would also get hit fairly hard. However, as stated previously, Soviet thinking by this point has devolved into a body count game.

Simply put, the Soviets worked by city, then state. Cities on the eastern seaboard received upwards of thirty nuclear detonations, either directly hit or hit nearby. New York was the one that, on it's own, received thirty targets by the Soviet Union. Other cities along the coast that were hit were Boston, Philadelphia, Savannah, Charleston, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New Haven. The entire East Coast became an irradiated nightmare. Inwards, as one would head to the Midwest, it would become
slightly more survivable. While large sections of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Kentucky would be savaged, large parts would also be somewhat okay, comparatively speaking. . They were still hellholes of unimaginable suffering and agony, but they were survivable. Heading South, the situation became both worse and better. In certain parts of the Deep South, places would have survived. However, the vast majority of population centers in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia would have been completely destroyed. New Orleans was on of the thirty detonation cities, joining Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York and San Francisco. States like Mississippi would have experienced some kind of detonation, but modern historians debate how bad it was. Some say that Mississippi, Parts of Louisiana that aren't New Orleans, South Carolina and Oklahoma were relatively spared, while others suggest they were hit just as hard as the rest of the Deep South. On it's own level was Texas, which was leveled with enough firepower to probably destroy the entirety of the British Isles, Spain and Portugal. Most people in the state were dead by 1986.

Things started to get dicey once you got out West. In the Great Plains states, it became apparent that the sheer size of the United States was enough to ward off total nuclear destruction. For the Soviets to have destroyed the entirety of the Great Plains, Mojave and Rocky regions, it would have required an astronomical amount of detonations. That said, large swaths of states like Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Montana would have been destroyed. Rocky mountain state Colorado suffered an astronomical amount of detonations, due to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, which housed North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. As well, Denver was bombed upwards of fourteen times.

Finally, once you hit the West Coast, you were back to what the East Coast was like, but even worse. California was hit with enough nukes to probably neutralize the entirety of Italy, France, Spain and Germany. Every single city along the West Coast was nuked at least twenty times, with San Francisco and Los Angeles in the aforementioned thirty nuke category alone. Oregon and Washington were so close, that the Soviets also just sent swaths of nuclear fire to them as well. Seattle almost joined the thirty nuke cities, missing it by 2.

Hawaii received two nukes, and Alaska received upwards of twenty.

The United States Pre-War population was around 226 million people. Combining death tolls from across the country, 70 million Americans were instantly vaporized, and four weeks later, 60 million more had joined them. This left, at four weeks in, around 96 million people alive (by modern estimates). Four weeks in, and 42 percent of the United States has been killed. This number could have been higher, had it not been for the general paranoia of the average American at this point, who probably had some kind of "fallout shelter".

It is clear that the United States has been devastated. But we are just getting started.
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"Specifically, when France said they did not want to be apart of the NATO command structure and infrastructure for missile launches, the United States threatened France with a regime change. France got back in line."
a little mistake
France is a nuclear power and if you threatened it with a coup it could respond with its missiles
Moreover, she had already left NATO's integrated command and had no more American troops on her territory.

Fixed! i had thought that France was involved in a very small way, I didn't know they were completely out the NATO command structure.
Hopefully, my research is up to scratch. It should be. Either way, next part will deal with specifics in the days just after the attack, and we get into the real meat.
You have, as one nuclear weapons analyst wryly put it once upon a time, fired so many weapons that you've made the rubble bounce several times. I'd say that Threads probably looks optimistic with this number of detonated warheads.

It's an interesting story, but having studied Russian/Soviet history pretty extensively, I think you're attributing characteristics to their leadership that did not exist. Gromyko was not a bloodthirsty tyrant. Robert Service wrote a great book two years ago called The End of the Cold War, using Politburo documents that were smuggled out of Russia at the very end, and it shows pretty conclusively that Gromyko wasn't on the same level as Andrei Grechko or Yuri Andropov. Hardline, yes, but he knew when to yield.
That's part of the reason I like Protect and Survive and its spinoff TLs (including yours, @wolverinethad); the war and nuclear exchange there comes out of both sides blundering into it...
You have, as one nuclear weapons analyst wryly put it once upon a time, fired so many weapons that you've made the rubble bounce several times. I'd say that Threads probably looks optimistic with this number of detonated warheads.

It's an interesting story, but having studied Russian/Soviet history pretty extensively, I think you're attributing characteristics to their leadership that did not exist. Gromyko was not a bloodthirsty tyrant. Robert Service wrote a great book two years ago called The End of the Cold War, using Politburo documents that were smuggled out of Russia at the very end, and it shows pretty conclusively that Gromyko wasn't on the same level as Andrei Grechko or Yuri Andropov. Hardline, yes, but he knew when to yield.

From the little that I had already known, and from what I had researched, it seemed like the Soviet Union was always more akin to the bombing of large centers one population then it was military targets, especially with things like Dead Hand. Though, several hours of research isn’t going to make up for whole books on the subject. And I had thought that Gromyko was a huge hardline, especially on foreign matters.

Although, while making sure I was correct about Dead Hand, I saw that the United States has a similar project. I didn’t know that.

Either way, thank you for checking it out! I mean that, it’s cool to see protect and survive people in this thread.
Remember something about these kind of scenarios, people: smaller countries are not likely to survive in the institutional sense of the word. Since South America, African and South Asian's economies are highly dependent on the economies of the West, the Soviets and China, their own economical structure is going to colapse as well. They are gonna end with a hell of a lot less casualties than in the zones of impact but their own political integrity its going to get rip apart. Their fate will be likely be Somalia on esteroids with anarchy and civil war.