The Cuban Missile War Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Amerigo Vespucci, Jun 11, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    A couple of notes on fallout. It's important to remember that the vast majority of strikes outside central Europe will be airburst detonations. They'll be exploding at 10,000 feet or so in order to ensure the largest possible fireball and widest possible area of destruction. These strikes are perfect for things like airfields, cities, and troop concentrations, and are the most common type of strike.

    All fallout is is irradiated debris carried into the upper atmosphere by the updraft created by the mushroom cloud. It's not automatically created by the bomb, except for the few bits of bomb casing that aren't immediately vaporized.

    Because airbursts explode high off the ground, there isn't as much opportunity to create fallout. If you read detailed accounts of the two Japanese detonations, you'll find that there was very little radiation outside the initial blast zone. Most fallout was precipitated in rain from the detonations and occured within a few miles of the blast zone. That's going to be the case here.

    Now, most of the tactical strikes, and the bomber strikes going after buried bunkers are going to create fallout. Many of the artillery-shell fired weapons and the man-portable weapons have contact detonators, which means they explode on contact with the ground. Lots of fallout will result from that. A third source of fallout will come from strikes on nuclear reactors -- conventional or not. The destruction of the Arco, Idaho reactor in the United States will create more fallout than every other strike on the United States and Canada combined. All the rest are airburst detonations. In the Soviet Union, there are going to be a lot more strikes on nuclear reactors. Its a two-fer. You not only destroy the nearby city with an airburst, but also release massive clouds of radiation by breaching the reactor.

    Imagine dozens of Chernobyls scattered across Europe and Asia on top of the fact that you've just had a nuclear war. Ghastly stuff.

    In the long run, however, fallout will decay quickly. The really deadly stuff has a half-life measured in hours. That isn't good for folks in central Europe or the former USSR, but it is good news for people in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America. The oceans also do a remarkably good job of soaking up radiation. By the time an ocean current takes bomb fallout anywhere close to an untouched shore, the radiation will have decayed to a safe level. Radiation strong enough to be harmful will kill any effected fish, though it is possible that some radioactive fish will survive in the ocean. Someone in South America eating that fish wouldn't get any more of a radioactive dose than he or she is probably already getting from the sun and air.

    Rain and snow concentrate fallout very well, however. Scattered fallout particles in the air that normally wouldn't kill a person are concentrated in rain, and if they fall on you ... well, you won't have time to worry about being wet for too long. That's going to be the real danger for folks in the former USSR and Scandinavia. If it's raining in their area shortly after the war, you not only have to seek shelter, but you're probably going to have to move, since the rain will have contaminated nearby lakes, streams, and rivers to an unsafe level. Radioactive river runoff (say that ten times fast) is going to concentrate in places like the Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, and Black Sea. The Baltic Sea, too, will also suffer. It's not the fallout that gets you -- it's the concentration of fallout. Think of how many blasts took place in Germany. Then imagine rain falling, carrying all that radioactive runoff into the Rhine, the Elbe, the Weser, and so on. The rivers carry that into the Baltic or the North Sea, and then you've got problems. For weeks or months, it's not going to be safe to fish in those areas. I'm not sure how long -- no one's ever been able to do a study on that scale, but I'll tend to favor the weeks end of things.
  2. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    The Cuban Missile War, Version 1.5 (Part 1)


    Completed transition to timeline format
    Added two appendices
    British political situation cleared up slightly
    Iranian Civil War added
    Nuclear Club members introduced
    Iraq political situation added
    Two-Week War covered (controversial, I'm sure)
    Removed British sale of ships to India
    Added Irish Troubles
    Vatican City, Vatican II conference added
    A few other little surprises :)

    Things to do for 1.6:

    More on India
    Continue adding "demands" and other old suggestions
    Replace Pilaev with correct Soviet officer in Cuba
    Pakistan situation needs clearing up
    More on Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia
    Revise Berlin situation?


    Cuban Missile War v1.5

    Saturday, October 27, 1962

    9:00 AM — CIA memorandum indicates five of six IRBM sites in Cuba appear to be operational. Cuban mobilization continues at a high rate, but Cuban forces have strict orders not to fire unless fired upon.

    10:00 AM — In a meeting of the ExComm (Kennedy-created organization designed to guide him through the crisis... kind of a war cabinet for the crisis) a letter from Krushchev offering to remove the missiles in exchange for American missiles removed from Turkey is recieved. Discussions continue throughout the day about how to respond. Kennedy says that to go to war rather than accept a trade would be an "insupportable position."

    11:00 AM — A U-2 based in Alaska accidentally strays into Soviet airspace. After realizing the error, the pilot radios for backup as he flies back to Alaska. Two nuclear-armed F-102s respond, and although the flight is shadowed by Soviet aircraft, no shots are fired.

    12:00 AM — A U-2 is shot down over Cuba, and the pilot, Major Rudolph Anderson, is killed. Upon recieving the news, the ExComm believes the shootdown was ordered by the Kremlin and is intended to escalate the conflict. In reality, the shootdown was ordered by two Soviet lieutenant generals in Cuba, and the Kremlin was unaware of the situation.

    1:00 PM — The destroyers USS Beale, Cony, and Murray begin the investigation of a reported sonar contact.

    2:00 PM — It is now night in Moscow, and radio operators of the Soviet Navy in Moscow are continuing their frantic efforts to contact the four Foxtrot-class submarines deployed around Cuba. The authority to release nuclear weapons had previously been given to individual submarine commanders, but has now been revoked. Nuclear weapons are to only be used on Moscow’s authority, but this new order cannot reach the submerged Foxtrots.

    3:41 PM — Low-level reconnaisance aircraft fly over Cuba in an effort to gain intelligence. They take heavy fire, and one aircraft is hit by a 37mm antiaircraft shell but is able to return to base.

    4:00 PM — Kennedy meets with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Maxwell Taylor, about the U-2 shootdown. He decides not to order a reprisal raid on the SAM sites that shot down the aircraft, angering many in the Pentagon, but indicates that if another aircraft is shot down, he will authorize retaliation.

    (Note: Throughout the day, Kennedy keeps in close contact with U Thant, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in an effort to broker some sort of agreement with the Soviet Union, using Thant as the go-between.)

    4:17 PM — The USS Beale makes contact with the Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-59. In an attempt to "communicate," the Beale begins pinging with active sonar and drops practice depth charges on the submarine.

    4:28 PM — In Washington, Kennedy and ExComm agree to a response to Krushchev's trade letter, and agree to the deal as long as the American missile withdrawal will be kept secret. In exchange for that concession, the United States will agree to a guarantee of noninvasion with Cuba.

    4:59 PM — The USS Cony, having also arrived on the scene with the Beale attempts to signal B-59 with hand grenades dropped in the water above the submarine. Though aware that American tactics involved the use of practice depth charges, the Soviet submariners believe they are under attack.

    POD: This perception causes many in the submarine's crew to believe that war has already begun. A "totally exhausted" Captain Valentin Savitsky, having repeatedly attempted to surface in order to establish some sort of contact with higher authorities, "becomes furious" and orders a nuclear torpedo be assembled for battle readiness.
    He has no desire to start a nuclear war, but every time the submarine begins to rise to the surface, hull popping and creaking with the change in pressure, more hand grenades and practice depth charges explode in the water around it, forcing the submarine downward once more.

    Savitsky roars "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all." Attempts to dissuade him prove fruitless, as many in the crew believe that the submarine is already at war, and that if they will die, at least they will take some Americans with them. Attempts to surface continue, as do discussions among the boat’s officers about what to do. The submarine’s batteries are almost exhausted, victims of the inability to surface to recharge, and the boat is lit only by the dim glow of emergency lights. Air lies thick and fetid, and the humid atmosphere is difficult to breathe. The repeated blasts of grenades add to the sense of helplessness in the boat.

    5:13 PM — Captain Second Class Vadim Orlov makes one final attempt to talk Capt. Savitsky from his course of action, and seems to succeed. Suddenly, an explosion — the closest yet — rocks the boat, causing men to lose their footing, in many cases stumbling. Orlov, intent on persuading Savitsky, fails to steady himself in time. He falls forward, awkwardly, and smashes his head on the side of a nearby map console. Emergency help is summoned, and Orlov is rushed to the medical bay, where a corpsman begins to work on the unconscious officer. Savitsky, sadly, confirms his previous order. The attack will move forward. There is no other option.

    5:16 PM — A single 15 kiloton nuclear torpedo is launched from the B-59. At 40 knots, it closes the distance between the submarine and the USS Cony quickly.

    5:16:28 PM — A 14.7 kiloton nuclear blast vaporises the USS Cony and USS Beale. The accompanying USS Barry is completely wrecked. Dozens of crewmen aboard the nearby aircraft carrier USS Randolph are blinded due to the closeness of the blast, and several of its accompanying destroyers are damaged as well. The B-59, meanwhile, is hit by a massive underwater shockwave which buckles its hull. Water floods the various compartments of the submarine, sending it deeper and deeper into the ocean, collapsing compartment by compartment due to the pressure. Ironically, the last compartment to be destroyed is the one occupied by crewmen who refused to go along with the orders to fire the nuclear torpedo.

    5:21 PM — President Kennedy is informed of the nuclear detonation. Reportedly, his first words are "Ours or theirs?"

    5:46 PM — Following an emergency conference with ExComm, Kennedy orders immediate retaliation against Soviet submarines. No nuclear weapons are authorized to be used, but Soviet submarines west of 60W are to be killed on sight, but no action is to be taken outside of the western Atlantic Ocean. The Soviet Ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin is to be notified of this fact immediately. In Moscow, no one is yet aware of the nuclear detonation.

    5:50 PM — The order to hunt and destroy Soviet submarines in the western Atlantic is recieved by US Navy ships at sea along the blockade line. The USS Essex, which is heading a task force hunting a submarine at the time of the message, launches alert aircraft, and all ships arm weapons.

    5:52 PM — In Moscow, Premier Krushchev is notified that a nuclear detonation has taken place in the Carribbean. The report comes from the freighter Pella, which had seen a large mushroom cloud to the north as it approached the quarantine line. Krushchev demands an immediate verification and orders that a message be sent to the embassy in Washington. As a precaution, he orders a heightened state of alert for Soviet strategic forces.

    5:59 PM — Anatoly Dobrynin arrives at the White House to meet with President Kennedy. A heated exhange follows, and Dobrynin leaves the White House fifteen minutes later, almost at a run. This fact is observed by reporters who have been watching the comings-and-goings at the building since the beginning of the crisis. Dobrynin's car speeds away in the direction of the Soviet Embassy. In his haste, Dobrynin fails to call ahead to the Embassy.

    6:16 PM — The Essex task force, having finally located the Soviet submarine it was tracking, begins to launch depth charges against the submarine. The attack proves successful, and the submarine is driven to the surface where it is sunk by gunfire from the depth-charging destroyers. Before being destroyed, it manages to transmit a distress call indicating that it is under attack by American ships and is sinking. The garbled call is picked up by nearby Soviet ships and is relayed across the Atlantic to the Soviet Union.

    6:43 PM — Having been delayed by a traffic accident in Washington, ambassador Dobrynin reaches the Soviet Embassy, and rushes to the radio room to pass his information along to Moscow and awaits a reply.

    6:49 PM — News of the sinking of the submarine by the Essex task force reaches Moscow. Upon reciept of the news, Krushchev orders immediate counter action, ordering the Soviet military to full readiness and also ordering that Soviet ships and submarines may attack American ships at sea. Civilian ships are to dock at the nearest friendly port.

    7:12 PM — The Soviet Zulu-class submarine B-75 acknowledges recipt of its orders and orders torpedoes armed. Due to a misunderstanding of orders by its captain, Nikolai Natnenkov, its first target is an American freighter bound for Jacksonville. The freighter is hit by two torpedoes and sinks, sending out a distress call as it goes to the bottom. As with the Soviet submarine's distress call an hour before, the message is passed on by other ships. It is only one of three to go across the radio within fifteen minutes as other Soviet submarines begin to work. One of the sinkings is east of the 60W line set by Kennedy.

    7:13 PM — Ambassador Dobrynin's message reaches Premier Krushchev. Krushchev questions the message, as the Americans now seem to be attacking Soviet submarines. He demands Dobrynin ask Kennedy if a state of war exists between their two countries.

    7:35 PM — News of the freighter sinkings reaches Kennedy's desk. He orders that American ships prosecute any Soviet vessels in the Atlantic Ocean. After extensive negotiations with the Joint Chiefs and ExComm, he orders that a strike be readied for the missile sites in Cuba. If war is at hand, Kennedy thinks, those missiles must not leave the ground.

    7:47 PM — Krushchev's message reaches Dobrynin in Washington, who immediately calls the White House to demand a conference with Kennedy over the phone. The conversation is short and to the point, as Kennedy is furious over the nuclear attack and the percieved Soviet sneak attack. The first real stages of fear setting in, Dobrynin relays the message to Moscow via radio, and requests that Krushchev come to the radio in person so that a direct channel can be set up between him and Kennedy.

    7:48 PM — US Navy vessels on the quarantine line and around the world acknowledge the presidential order. Over the next twenty minutes, 17 Soviet vessels will be sunk around the world. Six American ships will join them at the bottom of the sea.

    10:57 PM — As a precautionary measure, and in response to panicked phone calls from several congressional leaders, President Kennedy issues a Civil Defense Defense Emergency message, informing Civil Defense authorities across the country of attacks against American ships at sea. As a result of the Defense Emergency, Civil Defense measures begin to be put into place, and in several cities, air raid sirens are accidentally switched on, causing panic.

    11:48 PM — As tensions heighten in around the world, in Berlin a brief firefight breaks out between American and Soviet soldiers. A Soviet soldier, patrolling with a loaded rifle, trips, firing a single shot harmlessly into the air. On the other side of the border, American soldiers, tense with the news from the other side of the Atlantic, fire on the Soviet soldiers that they believe are attacking. After ten minutes of firing, each side retreats deeper into its sector of Berlin, having received pullback orders from their respective commanders, who want to avoid conflict as long as possible.

    Over the next few hours, the situation at sea continues to deteriorate as diplomats on both sides of the world work to arrange a voice-to-voice meeting between the two leaders. Meanwhile, ships and submarines are fighting a war while most of the western world sleeps. In Washington, Kennedy is increasingly bombarded by questions from political leaders across the country as news of the nuclear attack and subsequent sinkings trickles out. Not many people in the United States have gone to sleep, and stay glued to their televisions and radios for the latest news bulletins. Premature air raid sirens have awoken many from bed, and in some cities there are riots and bouts of looting, which are suppressed by local police.

    Sunday, October 28, 1962

    12:04 AM — In Washington and Moscow, Kennedy and Krushchev hang up their phones with a sense of finality, concluding a nearly 90 minute discussion — if such a disorganized, shout-filled conversation deserves that label — that leaves both leaders believing the other has fired the first shots. During the argument, Krushchev revealed one important bit of information in an effort to dissuade the United States from invading Cuba — that there are tactical nuclear missiles in Cuba, and that the Soviet commander on the scene has the authority to use them.

    12:23 AM — Kennedy is notified about the Berlin firefight.

    12:46 AM — Krushchev is notified about the Berlin firefight.

    1:16 AM — After discussing the conversation and the reports out of Berlin with the ExComm, Kennedy orders a review of the air strike plans presented by General Taylor on the 21st. Pressured by many members of the ExComm, and by his military advisors, Kennedy believes that the best way to bring the crisis to an end is to destroy the missiles that are causing it. Krushchev’s warning about the nuclear-tipped FROG missiles cautions Kennedy against a seaborne invasion, at least until those missiles are put out of commission by air strikes.

    After a review of the plans, Kennedy okays a combined strike intended to destroy the IRBM and MRBM launchers so far pinpointed as well as the three airfields holding nuclear-capable IL-28 bombers. As a support mission, aircraft are also tasked with hitting the five SAM sites protecting the launcher sites. General Taylor reminds the President that only about 90 percent of the known launchers will likely be destroyed, and that there may be other launchers not pinpointed by U-2s and the CIA. Kennedy, in a deep malaise, and seeing no other option, authorizes the strike. He repeatedly reminds himself that the risk is worth it, that it could save millions of Americans. Even if the Soviets launch…

    1:37 AM — After nearly an hour of discussion, Krushchev comes to an undeniable conclusion — the Soviet Union is in a position it cannot win. A strike against the NATO countries, even if successful, would invite a massive nuclear attack, something that would utterly destroy his country. He is aware, even if the United States is not, of the massive gap between his ability to hit the United States and its ability to hit back. His country is ringed by missiles, and it cannot destroy them all in time. Over protests from his military advisors and many of the Cabinet, he orders that a new line to be established with the White House. He will unconditionally withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba, and hopefully bring the nascent conflict to the end. Unnoticed in the commotion, First Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Shelepin slips from the room, and begins to make phone calls to close friends in the KGB.

    1:46 AM — President Kennedy gives the final go-ahead for the strikes against IRBM and MRBM missile launchers in Cuba. Due to the distance from staging airfields, the first bombs are scheduled to fall at exactly 2:35 AM.

    In a conference with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kennedy is appraised of the nuclear situation, and the fact that the latest Strategic Integrated Operations Plan, the plan for nuclear war with the Soviet Union, China, the Warsaw Pact, or any other nation on Earth, has been updated with the latest information, and that the most up to date installment, SIOP-62, has been implemented and is ready for execution at any time. Kennedy refuses to discuss the topic, and instead veers conversation towards the upcoming attack on Cuba.

    1:53 AM — A firefight similar to the one that took place in Berlin takes place along the inter-German border, near the town of Wanfried. Unlike in Berlin, both sides call for reinforcements, believing that an invasion is underway (Berlin’s long history of tension causes commanders there to be more reluctant about engaging in hostilities, particularly on the Western side, where the strategy is to retreat deep into the city and force the Soviets to fight house-to-house.) Battalion-level artillery is engaged, beginning a fight that will last for nearly an hour, as both sides finally realize that there is no wide-scale invasion taking place. Yet.

    2:13 AM — As the preparations for Krushchev’s second conference with Kennedy are nearly complete, the Premier settles in his chambers and waits for the connection to be made. It will never take place. As midmorning sunlight streams through the windows of his office, the door bursts open to admit several KGB soldiers, who enter in a hail of gunfire. Krushchev dies quickly, and across Moscow, similar firefights take place as Shelepin’s coup unfolds. In Washington, Kennedy waits for a phone call that will never come. A potential recall order goes ungiven.

    2:24 AM — The first wave of American aircraft are picked up by Cuban radar sets. The entire Cuban air defense network is at full alert.

    2:31 AM — The first American aircraft cross into Cuban airspace. MiG fighters launch from Cuba, but they are vastly outnumbered by the approaching American aircraft, which number nearly 200.

    2:34 AM — SAMs lift off from the five closest sites to the IRBM launch positions.

    2:35 AM — MiG fighters engage USAF F-104s and US Navy F-4 Phantoms in air combat above Cuba. Due to the odds stacked against them, the dozen-plus MiGs are shot down in short order, with the loss of only three American aircraft. Twelve American fighters establish an orbit over each of the three defending airfields, with an additional 12 in reserve.

    2:37 AM — The first bombs begin to fall on Cuban SAM sites. Though the American bombers take a few losses from SAM fire, Cuban antiaircraft gunnery is atrocious, and downs no aircraft. All five SAM sites are destroyed, and additional bombers tasked with hitting the Cuban airfields begin their work.

    2:39 AM — The first bombs impact amid the nine known Cuban IRBM and MRBM missile sites. The five-hundred and thousand-pound weapons explode with deadly effect, rupturing fuel lines, destroying launch trailers, and more importantly, fragmenting nuclear warheads across the landscape. Several missiles explode in secondary blasts, adding to the destruction. The first wave of American aircraft departs the scene, leaving behind an ocean of destruction, as lakes of rocket fuel burn uncontrollably, having been ignited when fully-fueled missiles were struck by bombs.

    3:16 AM — The second wave of American aircraft arrives, smashing targets that have already been hit. More launchers and missiles go up in flames, as do the hangars housing Soviet IL-28 bombers. MiG-17 fighters from bases further away manage to down a few more American aircraft, as do the surviving SAM sites, but the bombing proceeds apace.

    3:57 AM — The third and final wave of American aircraft arrives to drop bombs on the pinpointed offensive missile sites. Three more SAM sites are knocked out, as is another airfield suspected of housing nuclear-capable bombers. This time, no Cuban aircraft rise to challenge the Americans, and the only opposition comes from an increasing number of SAM missiles and antiaircraft artillery fire. When the last aircraft finally heads north, it leaves behind a moonscape of fire and shrapnel, torn bodies and wreckage. More importantly, it leaves behind a single intact launcher and four untouched SS-4 missiles.

    4:15 AM — Having taken the air strikes on Cuba to be a declaration of war, Fidel Castro begins the attack on Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, as forces have long been in place, and only needed the order to act. A massive artillery barrage begins to fall on the base. Castro asks Moscow for assistance. Moscow, of course, has more pressing concerns.

    5:00 AM — With the Cuban missiles having been destroyed beyond his wildest expectations, Kennedy breaks out of the malaise he has been in since hearing of the nuclear attack against the U.S. Navy. Yes, there is a worldwide naval war going on, and Cuba is now fully at war with the United States, but the threat of imminent destruction seems to have passed. Now, the work of fighting the war can begin.

    6:45 AM — It is now early afternoon in Moscow, and the counter-Krushchev plotters have gained the upper hand. In the short term, they agree to govern the Soviet Union via a committee, but all of them know that won’t last. In the meantime, there is still the issue of the Cuban situation, which has only gotten worse. The plotters agree to a man that the Soviet Union must respond with force, and eliminate the western nuclear threat. It will be a great challenge, but all agree to a plan of action — an invasion of Western Europe, with the aim of eliminating western nuclear arms that might threaten the Soviet Union.

    Krushchev, knowing the real numbers on the ground — the United States with 27,000+ nuclear warheads, versus the Soviet Union’s 3,000+, and most of those on short-range launchers — knew the strategy wouldn’t work. The plotters do not. Contacting the various commanders of armies along the frontier, they set their plan into motion. Some subterfuge is needed, giving orders as if they come from Krushchev (after all, his death can be played off as being the fault of a CIA assassination when the time comes), but the plan goes surprisingly smoothly. Everyone is too focused at the enemy in front to worry about what might be happening behind them. H-hour will be at dawn the next day, in order to achieve the greatest amount of surprise possible. The Red Army may not be fully ready, but neither will NATO… or so the thought goes.

    9:00 AM — The war in Cuba is now in full swing. President Kennedy has called for a special meeting of the combined Congress in order to take a vote on a declaration of war. The question on everyone’s mind is whether it will be only against Cuba, or also against the Soviet Union. In Cuba itself, Kennedy has authorized the use of everything short of nuclear weapons in order to ensure the safety of Guantanamo Bay. Planning proceeds in regards to an invasion strategy. In his heart, Kennedy had hoped that the air strikes would not bring Cuba into war with the United States, but it had been a long shot at best, and the potential payoff had been too high. Reconnaissance flights continue to search for any missiles or launchers that might have escaped the three air strikes, but nothing is found.

    11:00 AM — After a short struggle, the plotters in Moscow succeed in relieving several Red Army commanders who had shown themselves to be more loyal to Krushchev than was otherwise healthy. The strategic nuclear forces of the Soviet Union are firmly within the grasp of the KGB, and thus the plotters as well. Doubts about moving ahead with an invasion so quickly are quashed by the need to distract Soviet citizens until the plotters can secure their hold on power entirely. Until then, no official announcement of Krushchev’s death is reported, and life continues as it has throughout the Cuban Crisis.

    1:00 PM — In what is perhaps the oddest joint session of Congress in the history of the United States, a formal state of war is declared between the United States and Cuba. Over a third of the assembled chamber casts votes via telephone, due to the fear of a surprise Soviet attack. This bending of the rules is allowed due to the extraordinary circumstances of the vote. Immense public pressure is being placed on Kennedy to retaliate in nuclear form, given the public knowledge that the Soviets have already used a nuclear weapon, but Kennedy feels as in control of the situation as he’s been in the last 24 hours, and resists the pressure.

    3:00 PM — Several hundred miles northwest of Cuba, the Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-130 spots an ideal target — the aircraft carrier USS Essex. The Essex task force has been chasing the submarine for the last 12 hours, and several close depth charges have caused minor damage throughout the boat. Now, the captain has a chance to even the score. Because of the long range, and thanks to the five destroyers screening the Essex, Captain Nikolai Shumkov orders the submarine’s single nuclear torpedo readied.

    3:04 PM — After closing within 4,000 yards of the Essex — as close as he dares — Shumkov orders a long-range deflection shot at the Essex. The 15kt nuclear warhead will kill the carrier even if it detonates a ways off after running out the 4,000m programmed distance. After launch, the B-130 executes an emergency turn, and slips away undetected.

    3:06:03 PM — Having run its programmed course, the 53cm torpedo detonates its 15 kiloton warhead fewer than 200 yards from the hull of the Essex, which has completely failed to spot its attacker, the torpedo, or to take any sort of zig-zag course, confident as it is in its screen of destroyers. It, along with three of its escorts, is vaporized in less than a second. Only one destroyer, which had detected the noise of the B-130’s emergency turn and had gone to investigate, evades massive damage.

    3:21 PM — News of the second nuclear detonation reaches Washington. Unlike the first nuclear attack, reports are immediately picked up outside the White House, and the President is bombarded by calls for retaliation against Cuba. Kennedy is shocked and appalled. One nuke might have been a mistake. Two is enemy action.

    4:49 PM — After a meeting of ExComm, a retaliatory strike is agreed upon. The city of Guantanamo, Cuba, will be targeted by a 50kt nuclear device, to be delivered by the US Air Force. This will have the effect of responding to the Soviet move, as well as relieving pressure on the embattled defenders of Guantanamo Naval Base.

    5:37 PM — A massive protest begins outside the Soviet Embassy in Washington D.C. Rioters storm the gates of the embassy, burning buildings, and lynching the few people still present in the building. Police, unwilling to stop the violence, stand by while the building burns before eventually breaking up the protest. Ambassador Dobrynin, having been evacuated several hours earlier, watches the events unfold on television. He will leave for Mexico in less than an hour, en route to Moscow, having been quietly recalled by the new regime. The assistant ambassador will remain in Mexico to coordinate the American withdrawal from Europe the plotters hope will take place following their victory.

    6:21 PM — Three B-52s of the 96th Bomb Wing launch from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, each armed with a single 50 kiloton nuclear bomb. Only one is scheduled to drop its weapon, but the other two are backups in the event that the primary bomber is shot down.

    6:42 PM — Aircraft lift off from various bases across Florida and the Caribbean. Their mission will be to clear the airspace around Guantanamo and ensure the safe arrival of the B-52s.

    7:17 PM — The first wave of aircraft begins hitting SAM and antiaircraft positions around Guantanamo city. Several go down to Cuban SAM-2s, but many more missiles are successfully evaded. Operation of the sites is hampered by the unfamiliarity of Cuban personnel with the Soviet weapons, and reload time is slow. Many sites are destroyed before they can launch a second missile. A few MiG-17s scramble from Cuban airfields, but are shot down in rapid succession by the F-4 Phantoms that maintain a constant presence over Cuban airfields.

    7:52 PM — A second coordinated wave of aircraft begin launching attacks on Guantanamo city’s defenses. Many sites uncovered during the first wave’s attack are destroyed in this wave of bombing. The way is opened for the B-52 attack.

    8:34 PM — 45 minutes after sunset, the B-52s arrive at Guantanamo. Only one makes an approach over the target, as the other two aircraft stand off in reserve. A few American bombers make one final run through the remaining defenses to draw off whatever missiles or antiaircraft fire remains. As a result, only one SAM is launched at a B-52, and that at one of the reserves, which is damaged in the attack.

    8:36:11 PM — The B-52 “Lucky Lady” drops its weapon on Guantanamo, half a kilometer north of the city’s center. The resulting explosion incinerates the town, killing an estimated 20,000 people instantly. Along the perimeter of the Naval Base, firing comes almost to a complete halt as defender and attacker alike turn to stare at the enormous fireball rising into the sky a dozen miles to the north. The early twilight is banished by the atomic blast. Before the fireball has even risen to its peak, the fighting resumes.

    8:49 PM — Fidel Castro learns of the destruction of Guantanamo. For a moment, the voluble Cuban leader is struck silent. He quickly launches into a tirade, demanding an immediate nuclear response from General Issa Pliyev, commander of Soviet forces in Cuba. Though Pliyev is still reeling from the assault on his longer-ranged missiles, Castro knows that the general still has several short-ranged, small-warhead missiles intended for battlefield use. He demands that the general use these against Guantanamo Naval Base in retaliation for the American nuclear strike.

    Pliyev refuses. He has direct orders from Moscow, received two days prior, not to release any nuclear weapons without the expressed order of high command. Besides, he has sent nearly half of the 41,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers on the island to aid in the attack on Guantanamo. Pliyev fought the Germans from the gates of Moscow to the borders of Hungary. He will not endanger his country for Castro’s revenge. His soldiers will have to do. For Castro, it is not enough. Nuclear weapons have fallen on Cuban soil, and he must respond in kind.

    9:17 PM — The Moscow Plotters receive news of the destruction of Guantanamo. For most, this only hardens their resolve that NATO’s nuclear bases in Western Europe must be destroyed quickly, and at as low a price as possible. The initial phase of the invasion, scheduled for launch in only a few hours, will consist of a series of massive air raids against NATO airbases and missile sites, coupled with a land invasion aimed at Brussels and Paris. Air support of ground forces will be sacrificed to missions targeted at NATO missiles and air power. Those are the primary targets, and they must be destroyed.

    9:36 PM — Cuban soldiers, under direct orders from Fidel Castro, forcibly seize six FROG rocket trucks from a base near the burning city of Guantanamo. It’s a peaceful takeover — no Soviet technicians or soldiers are injured — but Castro’s deputies make it clear that they will brook no resistance to their launching of the missiles, orders or no orders.

    10:02 PM — After no small amount of confusion on the part of Cubans unused to the Soviet equipment, five nuclear-tipped FROG missiles lift off from southern Cuba, heading south towards Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. The sixth fails to launch, due to a problem with the rocket.

    10:05 PM — Having traveled the roughly twenty miles from their launch site, the five nuclear warheads begin their return to Earth. One missile overshoots the base entirely, landing in the Caribbean Sea. Another impacts at the far eastern end of Guantanamo’s runway, blasting chunks of concrete into the air in an enormous fireball. Two fall amidst the American buildings on the eastern side of the bay, killing hundreds of Americans in an instant. The final missile impacts amid aircraft hangars and a control tower on the western side of the bay, destroying Guantanamo’s ability to launch aircraft and killing several hundred more Americans. Among those killed are the commanders of the Marine brigade currently battling along the perimeter of the isolated base. Though the marines fight on, they have largely lost contact with higher command.

    10:12 PM — Pliyev learns of the Cuban seizure of the missiles after the Cubans release Soviet technicians following the launch against Guantanamo. He is utterly furious, and aides are forced to separate Pliyev and Castro, who are at each others’ throats over the issue. Pliyev storms out of Castro’s headquarters in Havana, heading west to Pinar Del Rio and the remaining Soviet nuclear missiles.

    10:31 PM — News of the destruction of Guantanamo reaches Washington, D.C. Kennedy and the rest of the ExComm, who had previously believed Krushchev’s claim of tactical nuclear rockets to be a bluff, are stunned to the core. The CIA and aerial reconnaissance had not revealed the presence of any FROG launchers on the island, and so they felt confident in launching an attack against the known Cuban missiles. Kennedy feels a brief instant of guilt, but quickly moves to what should be done.

    Clearly, the air strikes on the known IRBM sites were not enough. This leaves only one option for a President who wants to eliminate the nuclear threat in Cuba — invasion. FROG missiles, unlike SS-4s, are too easily transported and too easily hidden to be hit reliably from the air, and although an invasion force will be exposed to these weapons, there is no other option if Florida and the rest of the southern United States are to be truly safe.

    In addition, the destruction of the Guantanamo base has left American soldiers still on Cuba in an untenable position. Kennedy is tempted to order an immediate evacuation of the remaining marines around the ruins of the base, but General Taylor reminds Kennedy that any invasion will face long odds, and an evacuation will sap resources from the invasion effort as well as eliminating a distraction for the Cuban defenders. If the marines can hold out for 24 hours, the invasion will bring them relief. Otherwise, they will become a liability, rather than an asset.

    Reluctantly, Kennedy agrees that the Enterprise and Independence carrier groups to the west and south of Jamaica, respectively, should prepare to assist the invasion rather than begin an evacuation. After an additional consultation with ExComm and others, Kennedy agrees to the Joint Chiefs’ request for a nuclear strike on Havana both to retaliate for the destruction of Havana and to soften Cuban defenses for the invasion, which has an H-hour set for noon, 14 hours hence.

    Kennedy is under enormous pressure from Congress to “level Cuba” and end the threat once and for all. Ironically, this would probably have been the right move, as it would have irrevocably eliminated the nuclear threat from the island — at the cost of every human being living on it. Kennedy’s humanity prevents him from taking that cold-blooded action. In his heart, he knows that the invasion of Cuba will cost many lives, but those lives will mean a cost far less than that of the devastation of Cuba. As long as there is still hope, Kennedy will not destroy the world.

    10:53 PM — A single B-52 of the 9th Bomb Wing, based at Homestead, Florida, lifts off from Homestead Air Force Base south of Miami. Due to the large number of SAMs and antiaircraft fire expected around Havana, the bomber is armed with a single AGM-28 Hound Dog standoff missile. As more and more SAC bombers are called into service, armed, and sent to standoff positions near the Soviet Union, every bomber is valuable, and this one will not be risked.

    11:11 PM — From a position 100 miles west of Marathon, Florida, the B-52 “Super Sally” releases its missile towards Havana. It falls to an altitude of 5,000 feet before igniting its engine and rocketing toward Cuba. Cuban radar is completely ignorant of its launch.

    11:26:15 PM — After covering the 200 miles from its launch point as a speed in excess of Mach 1, the 1.1 megaton nuclear bomb in the tip of the missile detonates. Although it explodes over the south side of the city, rather than the downtown section of the city, the large size of the warhead renders any inaccuracy moot. Among the nearly 1 million people who die in the first five minutes after the detonation is Fidel Castro, who has been directing the ongoing fight from a bunker beneath the city.

    General Pliyev, driving west in a chauffeured car, is rocked by the explosion, despite being 30 miles from the city. The car slows, then continues on. The Cubans will be utterly enraged, he realizes — he has to get to the remaining nukes in order to prevent them from seizing them. He has no desire to see a Cuban-launched nuclear missile start a war between his country and the United States, not out of any love for the United States, but rather a love for the Soviet Union.

    Monday, October 30, 1962

    12:35 AM — An exhausted President Kennedy emerges from a conference with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other American military advisers. Virtually every topic in relation to the growing war is discussed, ranging from the pending invasion of Cuba (Kennedy gives the go-ahead for operations to commence in 12 hours’ time), the growing Soviet activity in Europe (Kennedy okays a war-warning message to Gen. Lauris Norstad, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, as a precautionary message), and the growing number of flashpoints around the world, from the Korean border to the Persian/Soviet border, to Europe, Berlin, and the situation at sea, which is finally settling as ships that had been in close contact with vessels Soviet Union are either sunk or sink those near them.

    The only bright spot is China, which has offered to negotiate a cease-fire between the United States and Cuba through the United Nations. In a statement from its embassy, the Chinese state that they have no interest in becoming involved in the conflict, and hope that the Soviet Union, United States, and Cuba will accept its neutrality and offer of mediation. The CIA backs the statement, as no offensive actions have been observed from China, and indeed the opposite has occurred, demonstrated by a CIA intercept of a communiqué between China and North Korea, warning the latter against any invasion of South Korea while the United States is occupied — China clearly has no interest in seeing its corner of the world blanketed in nuclear fire as Cuba has been.

    In light of the circumstances, Kennedy orders that SIOP-62 be updated for a hold against China, but that the hold can be removed as needed. SIOP-62 does not automatically include such “hold options” for individual countries in the Soviet Bloc, as well as including targeting options for specific aspects of the Soviet economy, military, or population, but SIOP-63, its successor plan, does. By combining elements of the un-implemented SIOP-63 into the current war plan, Kennedy hopes to implement something the plan was not designed for. It’s risky, but if the plan has to be used, failure won’t matter as much — they’ll all probably be dead, he thinks.

    Before adjourning to bed for a short rest — Kennedy has been awake for more than 40 consecutive hours — he remarks that it’s a dark day when the only good news is from China, and that he hopes the world will still be there when he wakes up.

    12:50 AM — Upon receiving the war-warning from Washington, Gen. Norstad orders a full NATO war alert (the highest peacetime alert having been given some time before) and orders the dispersal of NATO command from its peacetime headquarters in Paris to its secret alternate command posts near the French/German border. In semi-buried positions in the mountains of Alsace, the NATO high command will be relatively secure. An increasing number of “Soviet activity” messages are reaching his desk, and those, plus the global situation, point to one conclusion — invasion.

    1:15 AM — The Moscow Plotters meet for the final time before the invasion. Already, many in the Red Army are beginning to question who exactly is giving them their orders. Had there not been a large emergency staring them in the face, they probably would have already uncovered the truth. Of course, had there been no Cuban Crisis, there would have been no need to remove Krushchev. Now, everything is being put on this one last roll of the dice. Events in Cuba have made it abundantly clear to the plotters that if things are not handled quickly, they will not be handled at all. Krushchev believed he could handle Kennedy — events in Cuba showed otherwise.

    Many bombers are already in the air, streaming from bases deep inside Russia to targets in Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Only the bare reserves — nuclear-armed retaliatory bombers — stand in reserve to finish things if the strikes do not succeed.

    1:17 AM — Raul Castro, personally commanding the Cuban and Warsaw Pact forces attacking the beleaguered defenders of the ruins of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, learns of the destruction of Havana and the presumed death of his older brother, Fidel Castro. When asked what his orders are, he replies, “Fight. What else can we do?” He orders word of Havana’s destruction be spread among the soldiers, in order to spur them to fight harder.

    1:24 AM — NATO radar stations in West Germany and Norway pick up an enormous swarm of aircraft over Eastern Europe. Electrons know no borders, and the Soviet and Warsaw Pact buildup is noticed with alarm by NATO aerial commanders. With General Norstad out of communications and en route to his alternate command post, NATO sector commanders are left to order their horrifically outnumbered aircraft into the air. Air defenses along the line are put into operation with varying degrees of quickness.

    1:39 AM — President Kennedy is awoken from a deep sleep in the White House. Bleary-eyed, he is ushered into the Situation Room and informed of events in Europe. Additional aircraft have been picked up approaching Japan and Alaska. Exhausted, and having gotten less than an hour of sleep, he orders American air defenses to full readiness, and orders an Air Defense Emergency for NORAD and Civil Defense. Across the United States and Canada, air raid sirens begin to howl, startling the few Americans and Canadians who have gone to sleep into wakefulness.

    Kennedy asks if any missiles have been detected. When a negative is received, there is an ironic laugh. At least they’ll be able to see what hit them, Kennedy remarks. He orders SAC to Defcon One. The instant a bomb falls on North America, he’ll order a strike on the Soviet Union.

    Several of Kennedy’s military advisors are extremely agitated at this statement. By ignoring strikes against American forces outside North America, he is endangering the United States’ ability to strike back, they declare, and by limiting America’s response to targets outside the Soviet Union, he would be inviting a counterstrike. Despite his exhaustion, Kennedy weathers the arguments. Unless the Soviets attack first, he will not give the order to launch. His military leaders stifle the obvious response — so what happened in Cuba, then?

    Eventually, the aircraft turn back, but many remain in holding patterns that mirror American bombers holding at Fail-Safe positions near the Soviet Union.

    1:42 AM — Gen. Pilyev reaches the site of his remaining nuclear weapons. Detoured several times due to American air strikes, the dispersal site holding the final remaining SS-4 launcher and missiles, as well as three Scud-B short-range missiles is guarded by 400 Soviet soldiers and over 5,000 Cuban soldiers. Immediately upon arriving, Pilyev is confronted by an agitated Cuban officer, who says he has orders from Castro to secure the launch of the remaining nuclear weapons against American targets.

    Pilyev, having seen the destruction of Havana in the rear-view mirror of his car, rebuffs the furious officers, and orders him to return to his post. The sentiment festering among the Cubans guarding the missiles, however, is a hostile one — having heard of the destruction of Havana, they want revenge, particularly the soldiers who had families in the city. The nuclear weapons at hand are the perfect way for them to get that revenge, and they cannot understand why “that damned Soviet general” will not let them be fired off. The Americans, after all, have already used nuclear weapons on Cuba — it is only right that they should have revenge.

    Pilyev warns the Red Army troops to be alert. He doesn’t like being out of contact with higher authority, the broadcasts he’s picking up from the United States are making him nervous, and worst of all, the Cubans look mutinous. If things are as bad as American radio is making them sound, he wants to launch the missiles on his authority, not those of some ragged militiaman. And if the orders never come to launch, he’ll be even happier. But that won’t matter a damn if the Cubans don’t go along, he thinks darkly.

    1:50 AM — Soviet soldiers cross the border from East Berlin and Potsdam into the western sections of Berlin in an attempt to cut the city in two. French, British, and American forces resist where possible, but retreat to pre-planned fortress lines. House-by-house fighting, point-blank armor fights, and brutal combat will be the hallmarks of the fight for the city, the first operation of the Soviet invasion of western Europe.

    1:57 AM — Soviet aircraft begin bombing targets in West Germany, Norway, and other NATO countries. The first targets hit are airfields, SAM sites, and suspected nuclear storage sites. The aircraft are met by a hail of ground fire as well as the alerted mass of the NATO air forces. F-104s clash with MiG-21s over Germany as the largest aerial battle in history unfolds as dawn breaks over Europe. The sky is streaked with missile and aircraft contrails and the dots of ejected pilots’ parachutes. Below, NATO troops hunker down for what they know is coming. They won’t have long to wait.

    2:01 AM — Artillery and rockets begin to fire across the German border. Warsaw Pact armor and infantry follow on the heels of the initial bombardment, slashing across the countryside — for the first 100 yards. They are then met by a storm of anti-tank missiles, counter-artillery, and every rifle in Western Europe. Warsaw Pact forces advance extraordinarily slowly, despite chemical bombardment.

    2:12 AM — Gen. Norstad establishes command at the alternate NATO headquarters in eastern France. Taken aback at the ferocity of the assault, he orders aerial reserves into the fight.

    2:37 AM — The initial Warsaw Pact air assault plan is in shambles. Rather than concentrating on wearing down NATO air defenses, Soviet aircraft have been diverted to air-to-air fighting, forcing them to jettison their bombs before engaging NATO aircraft. Soviet air planners are at a loss. Their mission orders were specific — to target NATO special weapons depots wherever found — but the necessities of the fighting mean that the mission must be pushed back. Adding to their troubles is the standing order to keep 20 percent of nuclear-capable aircraft in reserve — just in case. Their only consolation is that NATO forces are surely in even worse straits.

    6:02 AM — A hasty early battle analysis given to Gen. Norstad indicates that Warsaw Pact air attacks have primarily been focused on air defenses and special weapons storage sites. Surprisingly, almost no attention has been paid to ground forces actively engaged in combat, allowing NATO troops to put up a solid, if weakening, defense.

    The question of why the Soviets aren’t providing close air support in the amount expected is brushed aside as Norstad orders the creation of a deception plan designed to take advantage of the Soviet focus on nuclear weapons sites.

    10:00 AM — The initial bombardment of Mariel, Cuba begins. Despite the chaos surrounding the destruction of Havana, some Cubans return fire on the American destroyers shelling the town and surrounding coast. They are quickly silenced, but sporadic artillery fire continues to fall around the ships. In less than a half hour, La Boca, at the entrance to the harbor, is in flames, as is the airfield on the shores of the harbor. American aircraft are everywhere, strafing and launching rockets against anything that even looks like it might be hostile. Guantanamo and the two nuclear torpedoes used against American ships ensure that no one is in the mood to take prisoners.

    11:13 AM — Gen. Pilaev is again approached by the same Cuban officer, who demands that he use the Soviet nuclear weapons. The Americans are attacking Mariel, he declares, and begs Pilaev to use his weapons to drive the Americans back. The begging escalates into cajoling, and when Pilaev still refuses — into threats. If Pilaev will not help, then he is no better than the Americans attacking Cuba’s shores. If Pilaev continues his intrangesince, then he is leaving no other option than for the Cubans to take and use the weapons themselves. In a moment of pique, Pilaev replies, “you can have these weapons when you pry them from my cold, dead, hands.” The Cuban officer, furious, marches off. Pilaev orders the company guarding the missiles to be ready for anything, and orders the radiomen feverishly working to establish contact with anyone in Moscow — or barring that, the Soviet combat group in San Antonio de los banos — to work faster. Time is clearly running out.

    11:49 AM — A Soviet heliborne operation to capture the American headquarters at Nurnberg on the left flank of the main Soviet advance captures several documents reportedly detailing the locations of several redeployed stockpiles of tactical nuclear weapons. The information is quickly helicoptered back to East Germany and passed up the chain of command.

    12:05 PM — Paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions begin landing in Cuba. Assigned to the far eastern and western flanks of the invasion, respectively, the 101st lands near the town of Abajo and its adjacent airfield, while the 82nd lands in and around Cabanas. Fortunately, the weather is good, and only smoke from the burning of Havana mars what is otherwise a picture-perfect jump for the 101st. Even the Cubans seem quiet as the Screaming Eagles fall from the sky, as most of the militiamen who otherwise might have been defending have been rushed to fight fires in Havana, 15 miles to the east.

    The 82nd is greeted by light small arms and antiaircraft fire, and the Cubans there have no burning Havana to distract them. The men of the “All-American” division dig in under increasing fire, and await support. It isn’t long in coming.

    1:37 PM — The first elements of the 1st Armored division and several Marine brigades begin landing to the east and west of the Mariel harbor entrance. The First Armored, better known as “Old Ironsides” lands to the west of the harbor, and scout elements strike quickly inland to capture the Mariel airfield, two miles from the beach. Resistance is light, as the Cuban militia in the area have been largely cowed by the naval bombardment, repeated airstrikes, and the landing of a company of airborne infantry on the airfield.

    The same can’t be said on the harbor’s eastern side, where the towns of Mariel and La Boca are scenes of burning, hellish urban warfare as the Marine regiment assigned their capture becomes drawn into close combat with a regular Cuban Army company. Refugees from the fighting begin streaming south, only to be strafed by American aircraft under orders from higher authority to ensure that no guerilla fighters manage to close with American lines. The fact that the columns are moving away, not towards the battlefront, is ignored.

    2:22 PM — Gen. Pilaev is alerted to a commotion in the Cuban camp nearby. Handed binoculars, he observes a mass of Cuban militiamen and regulars scrambling around as the officer he had a confrontation with gestures wildly. He is about to order a pre-emptive mortar bombardment of the Cuban camp — which seems ready to launch an attack on him — when a radioman rushes up. Contact has been made with the Soviet group at San Antonio. He immediately orders reinforcements for his position, but is taken aback when the officer on the other end of the radio replies that the Americans have landed only 11 miles to his north.

    Pilaev is torn — clearly, there is a danger to his missiles, but equally clear is the even greater danger from the American invasion. He cancels the request for reinforcements and orders that every attempt be made against the American landing. Several minutes later, the order turns out to be justified as the several thousand Cubans in the nearby camp march out in good order to the northwest — towards the Americans — and away from him. Inwardly, Pilaev breathes a sigh of relief.

    3:11 PM — The first two full companies of the 1st Armored Division are formed up and receive orders to advance inland. One company drives west to provide reinforcement to the increasingly embattled 82nd Airborne, while the other drives south, to engage Cuban forces that have begun digging in near Poblado Quiebra Hacha. In the eastern sectors of the beachhead, Marine forces begin advancing south and east, in order to link up with elements of the 101st Airborne, but are distracted by the need to clear the streets of Mariel and capture the docks within the city.

    3:56 PM — In accordance with the pre-invasion briefing, which emphasized speed, speed, and more speed, lead elements of the 1st Armored refuse to be bogged down in the town of Poblado Hacha, and instead attack west of the town, breaking through the thin Cuban line and sweeping south of the town in order to encircle it. The Cuban militiamen have virtually no weapons that can reliably disable the American tanks, and are forced to retreat in the face of superior firepower. The few Cuban regulars in the area have none of the new Soviet RPG-7s, and the RPG-2s they have been supplied lack the range to knock out American tanks conveniently. Sneaking within range is nearly an impossible task due to the open terrain, but several American APCs are destroyed in a lucky ambush. Nevertheless, the American armored advance continues.

    4:17 PM — The Moscow Plotters meet to discuss the latest developments in the fighting. Many of the plotters, having lost faith in the plan to eliminate NATO’s nuclear capability through conventional means, call for the employment of several tactical nuclear weapons in order to ensure the destruction of known enemy weapons. Alexander Shelepin is one of several to vocally object to this idea. Though the Soviet Union can far better suffer nuclear attack than the NATO forces, Shelepin has no desire to see nuclear fire rain down on Europe. He wants to lead the Soviet Union, not kill it.

    Forced by events to reveal the Nurnberg discovery, he declares that even now, Soviet aircraft are en route to destroy the NATO bunkers described in the documents, and that soon, all the talk of nuclear action will become moot. On that note, the plotters disperse, but there is the unspoken feeling that if this attack is not successful, a new approach may be needed.

    4:44 PM — Elements of the First Armored Division complete the encirclement of Poblado Quiebra Hacha. As the men of the unit celebrate their minor victory, word comes in that large numbers of Soviet troops and a small amount of armor is assaulting the Marine beachhead east of Mariel. Air support is plentiful, but the Marines are hard-pressed, and orders go out for the First Armored to make every effort to relieve the pressure on the Marines.

    5:46 PM — South of the town of Brujo, Gen. Pilaev watches through his binoculars as a ragged stream of battered Cuban trucks and soldiers marches into the formerly abandoned camp. They are clearly the worse for wear, and crude bandages can be seen on many of the Cuban soldiers. Pilaev orders one of the few friendly Cubans that remain to get as close to the camp as possible in order to find out what happened. He has suspicions, but feels the risk is worth the potential benefit.

    His suspicions are verified when the man returns with news that the column is the remains of the group that left the camp three hours ago. Thanks to constant American aerial attack, they had only gotten thirty miles before turning back in the face of air strikes. Nearly half their number had been killed or injured by the constant American attacks. Pilaev can believe it. American aircraft have been flying overhead for nearly two days now, and although his missiles are hidden in caves blasted from the mountainside — an abandoned coal mining operation — he still fears discovery from the ever-present eyes in the sky.

    Even more troubling, however, the Cuban reports that many in the camp are threatening to get Pilaev’s missiles themselves, regardless of whether or not the Soviets will cooperate.

    6:03 PM — A shot rings out in the treeline near Pilaev’s missiles. One of the patrols of Soviet soldiers guarding the missiles confronts a group of Cubans intent on seizing the missiles. Both sides draw guns. No one knows who fires first, but the situation devolves into a firefight that draws more and more men from both sides into the fighting. The problem is that Pilaev only has 400 men he can count on — the Cubans have many, many more.

    6:26 PM — Over 500 Soviet aircraft, guided by the information in the captured documents, launch attacks on bunkers and sites across southwestern Germany. The vast majority of the aircraft encounter a multi-pronged ambush as the night skies light up with vast amounts of antiaircraft fire, SAMs, and NATO aircraft that seem to be everywhere. Nonetheless, the Warsaw Pact aircraft press the attack, and launch bombs and cruise missiles that hit nothing but empty fields and bunkers. Norstad’s disinformation plan has been a complete success, and over 200 Soviet aircraft are downed for the loss of only a handful of NATO aircraft. In the air, the tide is beginning to swing in NATO’s favor. The same cannot be said on the ground.

    6:47 PM — Pilaev’s two companies of Soviet troops last less than 45 minutes against the tide of enraged Cubans. Driven by an irrational fear of the approaching American army (which has been engaged in heavy fighting by the Soviet brigade), the destruction of Havana, and fear for their families, they overrun the final platoon of defenders. In the chaos and confusion, Pilaev’s final order — to destroy the launch trailers — goes unheard. Pilaev, pistol in hand, dies defending his dream of protecting the Soviet Union from nuclear war.

    In the minutes that follow, Cuban soldiers swarm over the missiles in the nearby caves and wait for orders — no one, it seems, knows what to do next.

    7:13 PM — Someone in charge finally arrives at the former Soviet missile site in Cuba. The few Cubans who have been at least partially trained on the Soviet equipment are ordered to get the missiles ready for launch. In order to avoid American air attack, all available missiles will be fired simultaneously. The approaching night, it is hoped, will shield the movement of the launchers from their caves.

    8:42 PM — The lead elements of a fresh Soviet armored division, after several hours of fierce fighting with the US V Corps, achieve a breakthrough in the NATO line in southern Germany. Soviet tanks begin the race towards Frankfurt. Small amounts of American reserves — all that’s left after reinforcing embattled units all day — can only slow the Soviet breakthrough.

    9:01 PM — American aircraft overfly the former Soviet missile base in Cuba where the Soviet missiles have been wheeled from their caves and into position for launch. In a panic, and fearing detection, the Cuban commander on the scene orders an immediate launch over the protests of the few Cuban technicians with any sort of training on the Soviet missiles — the single SS-4 remaining has not finished calibrating its gyroscope, something that must be done in order to ensure accuracy. The Cuban commander on the scene orders the missiles launched anyway. The SS-4, targeted at Jacksonville, is only a small part of the attack anyway — what is important are the short-range missiles, which will destroy the Americans on the beaches and destroy their staging areas in southern Florida.

    9:06 PM — Over the next three minutes, a total of nine missiles will be fired from the former Soviet missile base near Brujo. Two additional missiles fail to fire, possibly due to damage from the previous American airstrikes. A third explodes shortly after launch, showering the launch area with fiery debris. The Cubans on the scene scatter, fearful of an American attack and fleeing the fires started by the debris.

    9:07 PM — Two of the five FROG short-ranged missiles targeted at the American beachhead at Mariel begin veering off course due to poor guidance by their Cuban missile men. They will explode harmlessly at sea.

    9:08 PM — A special mobile radar site in Central Florida, hastily rushed into service by the Cuban Crisis, picks up four missiles lifting off from Cuba. (They do not pick up the low-altitude, short-range FROG missiles.) After verification that the missiles are not artificial (in the days previous, false warnings had been frequent, and in one notable instance had been caused by a training tape left in the radar unit) the news is flashed to Washington. Further tracking reveals three missiles are aimed at targets in southern Florida, while the fourth seems to moving somewhat erratically.

    9:09 PM — Three 2-kiloton FROG missiles impact at various points along the Cuban coast from Cabanas to Mariel, devastating the western portion of the American beachhead. Thousands of American soldiers are killed or injured in the first minute. The thick-skinned armor of the tanks and APCs of the First Armored division fare well — those that were further away and buttoned up, at least — but the trucks and men supporting those tanks take heavy losses. The 82nd Infantry division, having been engaged in heavy fighting south of its Cabanas drop zone, takes gruesome losses. Cuban forces close to the detonation points also take losses, but most injuries are from flash blindness as many more Cuban soldiers are facing north, into the American beachhead.

    9:11 PM — The first Scud-B launched from the Cuban site reaches its target as it plummets to the sea 100 yards northwest of Raccoon Key, a suburb of Key West. The resulting 350 kiloton detonation obliterates the island, much of Key West, and the adjacent Boca Chica Naval Air station. What portions of the town and base survive the blast are soon engulfed by the resulting firestorm.

    9:12 PM — President Kennedy, who has gotten only 5 hours of sleep in the previous 72 hours, receives word of the Cuban launch from the Florida radar station. He immediately orders a full civil defense alert and orders that Washington be evacuated. Kennedy himself refuses evacuation.

    9:12:56 PM — The hastily-launched SS-4 impacts three miles south of the small town of Eufala, Alabama, on the Alabama-Georgia border. Due to not having been spun up and fired properly, the missile oscillated in flight, revolving in a roughly circular pattern that brought it several hundred kilometers west of its intended target — Jacksonville, Florida. (Jacksonville had been thought of as the best target to assist in the defense of Cuba — the Cubans cared little for destroying Washington or New York — those would not help defend their country.)

    The 1.1 megaton detonation obliterates the small town, vaporizing it instantly. Over 10,000 are killed in the first few minutes. However, due to Eufala’s geography, more will die in the hours following the detonation than in the first five minutes. The detonation, which takes place almost directly over the nearby Walter F. George reservoir, creates a radioactive tsunami that moves south at hundreds of miles an hour. The wave smashes the dam at Fort Gaines, Georgia, releasing a wall of water that inundates everything in its path.

    Tragically, the casualties will be greatly enhanced by President Kennedy’s Civil defense warning, which instructs people to seek shelter — usually a basement. For Americans along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, they do not have time to realize what has happened and escape from their basements to higher ground. As the flood gathers steam, it travels downstream, meeting Lake Seminole along the Florida border and smashing the dam there as well. This further enhances the flood, which inundates the towns of Chattahoochee and Apalachicola in Florida before escaping into the Gulf of Mexico. Fortunately, by the time the flood had reached those towns, news had spread, and many were able to evacuate. Despite that fact, the nuclear detonation and resulting flood killed over 60,000 people, making it the deadliest dam collapse in history.

    9:13 PM — The second Scud-B lands eight miles southwest of Florida City, in the Everglades. The resulting detonation sparks an enormous wildfire, but due to the fact that it landed in an unpopopulated area, there are fewer than a dozen killed or injured.

    9:13:47 PM — The third and final Scud-B lands in the then-small town of Goulds, Florida, between Miami and Homestead. The resulting 350 kiloton detonation wrecks the nearby Homestead Air Force Base, and kills over 30,000 people, injuring tens of thousands more. Every window in Miami is shattered by the detonation. The resulting fires threaten to spread to the north, but firebreaks blasted by Miami firefighters eventually stop the fire in the town of Pinecrest, barely a dozen miles from downtown Miami.

    9:33 PM — An American divisional commander, having lost the vast majority of his command in a vain attempt to keep the Soviets away from Rhein-Main Air Force Base, personally authorizes the use of nearby nuclear weapons, despite having received no such orders from NATO command or Washington. Washington is still grappling with the launch from Cuba, and no orders are coming from above. The chaos of battle is such that his orders are not questioned as every available man rushes to try to beat back the approaching Soviet armor.

    9:38:27 PM — Two 10 kiloton nuclear devices immolate the lead elements of the Soviet armored division approaching Rhein-Main.

    9:47 PM — After a hurried evacuation of Washington by most of the government, President Kennedy convenes a teleconference with the Joint Chiefs of Staff as to the best response to events in Cuba. No further missiles have been detected as incoming, but Kennedy is advised that it does take some time to reload the missile launchers, particularly if they are being crewed by inexperienced Cubans.

    The situation on the ground is bleak, as the three nuclear blasts have greviously injured the right (western) flank of the invasion, and the First Armored is in a fight for its life as the Cubans exploit the gaps in the line. The eastern flank of the invasion is in scarcely better shape as the marine division there grapples with a strong brigade of Soviet troops. Hesitantly, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommends a full nuclear response to cover an evacuation of the island. Clearly, the situation is untenable, and the threat of further attacks demands a nuclear response.

    An exhausted Kennedy, after further discussion, agrees. He can see no other alternative, and he doesn’t want to see all of the American troops in Cuba die in nuclear fire. He okays nuclear attacks in order to shield the evacuation and on suspected missile sites. In the eyes of Gen. Curtis LeMay and the other military advisers, they have just been given a blank check for anything involving nuclear weapons in Cuba.

    9:59 PM — The Soviet corps commander on the scene orders an immediate retaliatory strike on Rhein-Main.

    10:01 PM — Kennedy receives word of nuclear attacks in Europe, but details are not easy to come by. Stunned by the news, he is tempted to call off the upcoming nuclear bombardment of Cuba for fear of escalating the conflict, but decides that there is no alternative — the United States cannot afford more missiles launched from Cuba.

    10:14 PM — Three Soviet nuclear devices destroy Rhein-Main Air Force base and the scratch forces attempting to defend it. The temporary no-man’s land created by the five nuclear detonations buys American forces time to contain the Soviet breakthrough.

    10:31 PM — The final go-ahead for the initial phase of the nuclear bombardment of Cuba is given. The first phase consists of a full regiment of MGM-29 Sergeant surface-to-surface missiles and a squadron of B-47 Stratojet bombers, an ironic paring of the latest Army missiles with some of the oldest aircraft in SAC’s inventory (newer planes having all been called into alerts against the Soviet Union). Between 10:30 and 11:30 PM, over 40 nuclear devices ranging from 50kt to 4 Mt will be deployed in Cuba. Most are dropped or launched into the Pinar Del Rio region of Cuba west of Havana, at suspected missile launch sites and airfields, but many are deployed on the flanks of the invasion. Five are deployed around Guantanamo as the survivors of the naval base are evacuated. Fewer than 1,000 of the pre-war 20,000+ contingent survive.

    West of Havana, the evacuation proceeds at a strange quick but calm pace. Repeated nuclear strikes have brought the fighting almost to a halt, and American soldiers embark on the beaches at night in a surreal scene lit by the enormous fires that surround the beachhead. Those who have chemical and nuclear gear wear it, adding to the strangeness of the scene. Many evacuees describe the scene as something beyond hell, as badly burned men are loaded onto evacuation ships. The armor of the Marines and First Armored holds back what little hostile action there is.

    11:12 PM — Kennedy finishes a conference with Prime Minister Macmillan of Great Britain and Charles DeGaulle of France. Macmillan has informed the President that he intends to strike first at Soviet targets should the inevitable escalation continue. Great Britain is directly in the Soviet line of fire, and barring the sudden outbreak of common sense, the only way for Britain to survive is to strike first. Nuclear fighting has clearly broken out in Germany, and Macmillan informs Kennedy that he has authorized his forces on the ground to respond to nuclear attack with missiles of their own — even to strike first if it appears that the Soviets are going to employ nuclear weapons. Britain is already undertaking full Civil Defense measures, Kennedy is informed.

    Macmillan himself is leaving London for the massive BURLINGTON bunker complex in Wiltshire, in the west of England. Should war come, he and four thousand government officials will stand ready to conduct the war as best they can.

    France, pledges DeGaulle, will stand with her NATO friends and contribute what she can to the continuing fighting. During the conversation, DeGaulle expresses his wish that the war had been held off just a few more years so that France might be able to respond with weapons of her own. After the talk is concluded, Kennedy remarks that DeGaulle seems almost eager to get into the fighting. “Maybe he just wants to get it over with,” is the reply from the darkened Situation Room.

    11:55 PM — In Moscow, an emergency meeting of the anti-Krushchev plotters devolves into a shouting match as Alexander Shelepin begs his fellow communists not to employ more nuclear weapons in Europe. He is ignored, and is asked to leave. As he is escorted from the room, he finally understands what Krushchev hoped to accomplish by voluntarily evacuating the Cuban missiles. Now, those missiles are gone, having taken with them thousands of American invaders’ lives.

    After Shelepin is removed, the discussion moves along rapidly. The destruction of Cuba and now the blasts in West Germany have made it clear to the plotters that the West is clearly on a course of nuclear war. In his absence, they curse Shelepin for keeping them from acting sooner to destroy the West’s nuclear capability — even those who had supported Shelepin participate in his damning in order to save their own positions. It is agreed that the West’s nuclear weapons must be destroyed as quickly as possible, and that the only way to accomplish that mission is to use the Soviet Union’s nuclear capability.

    Tragically, those who most strongly advocate for the use of nuclear weapons do not have the information that Shelepin and Krushchev had — that of the gross imbalance in nuclear power between the Soviet Union and United States. A first strike, the plotters feel, would have great effect on the no-doubt limited number of nuclear weapons the United States and NATO could bring to bear, and thanks to the sacrifice of Cuba, that number should be even further degraded. After only 35 minutes of conversation, a consensus is reached — the missiles will fly in three hours. That is enough time, the plotters feel, to alert Soviet forces in Europe, and set the country ready for what few American missiles make it through the Soviet strike. NATO’s nuclear capability has been damaged by the ongoing fighting in Europe, and Soviet strikes at missile bases in Turkey and Iceland have no doubt taken even more missiles away from the equation. The plotters depart for their shelters with a sense of confidence that everything will be all right. As they drive through the streets, air raid sirens begin to howl.

    Tuesday, October 31, 1962 — The Last Day

    12:37 AM — Orders go out to the Strategic Rocket Forces, PVO air defense, and Long-Range aviation. The attack is to commence in three hours. Soviet bombers, already at the ready, begin to take to the air, while ICBMs begin spinning up their gyroscopes and begin receiving location and targeting information.

    1:32 AM — Having misinterpreted the preparation order, the Soviet commander on the northern flank of the invasion of Germany issues an order allowing for local commanders to use tactical nuclear weapons as they deem appropriate.

    1:46 AM — British and Dutch forces defending the embattled city of Hamburg are vaporized as a spread of six tactical nuclear weapons is employed in a semicircle around the city. British forces respond with their own nuclear weapons to stem the resulting Soviet breakthrough. Losses on both sides are massive, and at least one detonation takes place in the city itself, causing enormous civilian casualties.

    1:58 AM — A radio broadcast, reportedly by Ludwig Erhard, Vice Chancellor of West Germany, is picked up by radios across the front. The message calls for an immediate cease-fire and says that the government of West Germany will surrender unconditionally to the Soviet Union in exchange for a suspension of nuclear and chemical attacks in West German territory. The message repeats several times before suddenly cutting off. No official contact with the West German government has been made since the early hours of the Soviet attack, when Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was presumed killed in a Red Army Faction assault on his armored limousine. The broadcast is not taken seriously by either side, and fighting continues.

    2:07 AM — Informed of the events near Hamburg, and informed by his military advisors of an increasing number of radar contacts near the Soviet Union, Kennedy authorizes the use of American nuclear weapons in a “forward defense” role, similar to the strategy already employed by Prime Minister Macmillan.

    2:12 AM — Three 10 kiloton nuclear artillery rounds land in a Soviet staging area west of Hannover, presumably fired by elements of the US V Corps. Soviet commanders on the scene respond with nuclear artillery fire of their own on the position from which the rounds were launched. These, in turn, are responded to by nuclear-tipped Corporal rockets launched by US Army forces nearby. In total, the series of stroke-counterstroke-counter-counterstroke and so forth will encompass 17 warheads in the span of 42 minutes. These all fall within 15 miles of the front.

    2:17 AM — After several hours of fighting, embattled Soviet forces reach the Bin-Charlottenburg U-Bahn station in the heart of West Berlin, cutting the combined American, British, and French contingent in two. For the time being, the Soviet strategy will consist of reducing the southern, largely American half of West Berlin, while lighter forces hold the British and French brigades in place. Multiple armored columns attempt to move from the Zossen area into the central portion of the city in an effort to quarter West Berlin, but are stopped near the Papester U-Bahn station by hastily-placed mines and ferocious antitank fire.

    2:34 AM — President Kennedy is once again contacted by Prime Minister Macmillan, who informs him that if the situation continues to deteriorate, he will order a first-strike nuclear attack on Soviet-captured airfields in Norway and bomber bases in the Kola Peninsula. Kennedy attempts to talk Macmillan out of the approach, calling it “insanely dangerous,” but is interrupted by a string of messages about the nuclear fighting in Germany. As he reads through the messages, Bobby Kennedy, who has remained with JFK in Washington, remarks, “Well, there’s only one thing left to do now, John.”

    No sooner has he uttered the words when another officer enters, bringing word that a large number of Soviet bombers have been detected by radar at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland and by radar stations in Alaska. Though the aircraft have not yet crossed into Canadian or American airspace, they have continued on their headings for several minutes, and given the large number of aircraft, the Joint Chiefs of Staff believe this to be a major Soviet attack.

    Silence falls in the White House’s situation room. After several moments, Kennedy orders fighters to intercept any bombers that cross the border. When clarification is requested, Kennedy furiously responds, “That means shoot the damn things down — I don’t care what you use, but those aircraft are not to reach the United States!” When asked by Gen. LeMay, Commander in Chief of the Strategic Air Command, if this means he is free to execute SIOP-62, the nuclear plan for action against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Kennedy hesitates. Not yet, he declares softly, clearly unsure. “I want to see what they do next,” he says over the crackling line to Omaha, where LeMay is guiding his bombers to their Fail-Safe positions.

    LeMay responds heatedly, demanding that they not wait until the bombs are falling on the United States, and Kennedy fires back with harsh words of his own, saying that he will not risk nuclear war. LeMay fires back with a barb of his own — “Mister President, in case you haven’t noticed, the people of Eufala and Key West might argue differently!” The truth of the words take Kennedy aback — has he been looking so intently at the big picture that he might have been willing to sacrifice the country one small piece at a time? Quietly, he agrees to LeMay’s suggestion that should a nuclear attack take place anywhere in North America, he will be free to release the bombers to their missions.

    With the issue settled, Kennedy hangs up the phone, and begins to address the next crisis in a long list of them. In Omaha, LeMay is handed an extensive list of bomber dispositions and fuel states, and with a sinking feeling, realizes that if he does not issue a go order in the next 15 minutes, nearly 20% of his bomber force will need to turn back for refueling. Many bombers have been holding at Fail-Safe for far longer than was planned, and many are now on the edge of being able to perform their missions and return to North America, let alone their staging airfields.

    While one-way missions are only to be expected, 20 percent is a large proportion of the force in the air, and that will be on top of a large number of bombers that have already cycled back from Fail-Safe or are only now returning to it. Those bombers will be needed for follow-up strikes, and they cannot be thrown away, LeMay believes. Quietly, he hopes that the issue will be decided soon.

    2:48 AM — A battery of Soviet surface-to-surface missiles launches an attack on a suspected NATO special weapons depot in central Germany. Six Soviet nuclear weapons devastate the area, destroying a stockpile of Corporal missile reloads. Over 60 NATO nuclear warheads are destroyed. Unfortunately for the Soviet Union, there are over 5,000 NATO-controlled nuclear warheads still in Western Europe.

    The attack creates a crisis in the NATO command. British, Belgian, and Dutch commanders, with Prime Minister Macmillan chiming in from an underground bunker in Wiltshire, demand immediate action against Soviet airfields and known fixed missile positions in Eastern Europe. The threat is clear, they declare to Gen. Norstad — the Soviet Union is clearly on course to escalate the conflict, and the more nuclear weapons NATO destroys, the fewer that can be launched against Western Europe. When Norstad counters that he does not have the freedom to launch nuclear weapons without the authorization of the President, Macmillan replies that Kennedy’s orders of “forward defense” cover this situation, and that by not attacking, Norstad is violating Kennedy’s orders, not following them.

    Norstad attempts to find a compromise solution, but there is none. Macmillan announces his intention to use Britain’s nuclear capability, with or without Norstad’s assistance — but without Norstad’s help, the effectiveness of the attack will be greatly lessened. Norstad is torn — on one hand, Kennedy’s instructions to him were to avoid widening the war whenever possible, but on the other, nuclear war has clearly broken out. He cannot risk splitting NATO in wartime. If he didn’t go along with Macmillan, and the war ended tomorrow, could NATO survive America throwing England to the Soviets in its darkest hour? No, he decided. It couldn’t. Reluctantly, he agrees to Macmillan’s plan, but requests some time to coordinate his forces. Communications are growing more and more difficult, thanks to Soviet attacks, telephone lines being cut, and the increased radio interference caused by the nuclear detonations. “Time,” Macmillan replies, “is something we do not have much of at the moment.”

    2:50 AM — In Omaha, SAC commander Gen. Curtis LeMay is facing a similar conundrum. If he does not issue the go order immediately, his bomber force will lose a substantial portion of its strength for at least three hours. On the other hand, if he does issue the go-order, it might trigger a full-scale nuclear war, not just the little one in Cuba and Germany.

    After a conference call to NORAD headquarters at Cheyenne Mountain, he issues the order. The Soviet aircraft approaching Canada and Alaska have not turned back, so his decision is the obvious one. Unless a full recall is issued, his aircraft are to continue on to Russia and destroy their targets. Though they’ve used up all their loiter time, the bombers on the edge should still have enough fuel in their tanks to hit their targets and crash-land somewhere in North America — barring battle damage. And of course, if the Soviet bombers turn back, they can always be recalled. But as LeMay looks at the situation board, deep underground, that doesn’t seem likely.

    2:53 AM — As the Moscow Plotters settle into bunkers across the Soviet Union, the final order is given — perhaps by all, perhaps by only some. Transmitted by landline, the men of the Strategic Rocket Force receive their final orders and prepare to launch. Due to the patchwork nature of the coup, the precise coordination of the Strategic Rocket Force is not fully imitated among Red Army-controlled launch facilities in Eastern Europe. Approximately 40 percent of the Red Army’s IRBM and MRBM facilities fail to acknowledge the initial order. Many will eventually launch at targets in Western Europe, but many more will be destroyed by the NATO counter-stroke.

    2:55 AM — At missile sites in Central Asia, missile erectors raise themselves to an upright position and fire. Similarly, eight concrete missile silos blow their rocket-propelled hatches clear and fire their missiles. In total, 20 of the Soviet Union’s October 1962 total of 26 ICBMs will reach their targets. Two explode either during launch or shortly after. Three break up on reentry, due to manufacturing defects or navigation malfunctions. One will suffer a gyroscope error and will impact in north-central Montana, incinerating the village of Hays, Montana (population 486 in 1962). The other twenty will proceed to their targets, unnoticed for the first ten minutes of a scheduled 33-minute flight time.

    Eight of the missiles will be SS-6 Sapwood missiles (two of the ten in service are down for maintenance and will not be available at the time of launch) launched from Baikonur and Plesetsk. Plesetsk will launch seven, and Baikonur only one, with three of the failed missiles coming from Plesetsk. Ironically, these missiles are the same ones that launched Sputnik into space.

    The other twenty missiles launched will be SS-7 Saddler missiles, launched from soft (non-silo) positions. Due to the newer nature of the missiles, only three of the twenty will fail in flight, a far lower percentage than the primitive SS-6s. As they launch, curving northward from their launchers in Central Asia, they will proceed undetected, below the horizon, for nearly a third of their flight.

    At T+11 minutes, they will be picked up by the Ballistic Missile Early Warning radar station at Clear, Alaska. That station will likely also be dealing with several IRBMs inbound to points in Alaska, possibly even at the station itself. A full regiment of IRBMs will launch from bases near Anadyr, in the Soviet Far East, with the goal of knocking out Alaskan air defenses and opening a hole through which Soviet bombers can pass. Despite that distraction, standing orders dictate that missiles higher above the horizon (likely to be targeted on the United States proper) have priority. A warning will be flashed to NORAD and Washington.

    At T+12 minutes, they will be picked up by the third and final BMEWS at Thule, Greenland, which should detect the missiles as they cross the horizon and arc over the North Pole. Further warnings will be issued, but NORAD will already be well aware of the situation.

    At T+14 minutes, they will be detected by the RAF’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning radar at Fylingdales, in the UK. That station, monitoring several hundred IRBMs in flight over Europe, may easily miss the ICBM tracks inbound to the United States and Canada. If not, they will immediately pass a warning on to NORAD, which will further the information to Washington, D.C.

    President Kennedy, upon hearing the news, will want to issue a full-scale civil defense alert, but the highest level of alert — that of a Civil Defense Air Emergency — has already been issued 24 hours earlier. The attacks from Cuba have already put Americans at a higher state of alert than any government warning could provide, but the last-minute alert, issued at T+17 minutes, causes many in urban centers to begin fleeing in their automobiles at high speed towards the countryside. Kennedy himself will refuse evacuation, instead ordering that his brother be pushed onto the helicopter and escorted to Mount Weather. JFK has no desire to see what tomorrow will bring, or to live with the knowledge that he helped cause a nuclear war. Either way — a postwar impeachment, trial, and execution, or a nuclear detonation — would no doubt kill him just as dead.

    At T+22, the missiles will disappear from the radar screens at the BMEWS facilities. Their radars only point in one direction, and cannot track the missiles to their ultimate targets, nor do they have the processing power to analyze where the missiles might hit. They only serve to warn, and with their jobs done, they wait to be annihilated themselves. They won’t have long to wait.

    At T+29, the missiles may begin to become visible to Canadians and Americans looking skyward. The night sky will provide a brilliant backdrop to the fiery streaks of the reentry vehicles, which should shoot across the stars like meteors.

    Between T+30 and T+35, all 20 will impact within the United States and Canada. It is unlikely that any will be targeted on sites in Western Europe, as these are well within the range of IRBM and MRBM launched from Eastern Europe and western Russia. Nor is it likely that the missiles will be fired at American missile silos, since these early Soviet missiles lack the accuracy to reliably knock out hardened targets. Exceptions will likely be made in the cases of Cheyenne Mountain and Offut AFB in Omaha, the headquarters of SAC, but these will likely be the only exceptions. The missiles will also not be targeted at early-warning radars or interceptor bases — no one in the world had the capability to shoot down an ICBM at the time, and the most the United States can do is watch as the missiles streak in. Theoretically, a nuclear-tipped BOMARC or Nike-Hercules missile could destroy an incoming ICBM, but that would require a level of coordination with radar and computer-aided guidance not available in 1962.

    In the end, likely targets include soft military bases, command posts, and major population centers. These Soviet missiles lack the accuracy for anything else. This is somewhat countered by a 3.5Mt warhead, but even a near miss will leave buried targets intact.

    As Soviet targeting data is not yet available — nor will it likely ever be — I can only guess at what twenty targets will be destroyed. Still, here is a list of what I think will be targeted, how many missiles will be used on the target (where necessary) and a justification of why.

    • Washington, D.C. (2 missiles)
    This is the most critical target in the United States, beyond even Cheyenne Mountain. It’s the peacetime center of the government, and the immense blow to American pride and prestige, as well as the confusion and chaos its destruction will create is immense, and will not be overlooked. End result: The central portion of the District of Columbia and Arlington County destroyed.

    • Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado (2 missiles)
    Wartime headquarters of NORAD, this bunker is entombed within the mountain. While it’s not likely to be destroyed, given the inaccuracy of the weapons used against it, it will likely be knocked off line by detonations close by that will rupture cables and communications, disconnecting it for some time from the defense of North America. Suspended within the mountain on enormous springs and shock absorbers, the bunker will be tossed around, and injuries and possible deaths will result. Imagine being inside an earthquake, underground. Even ground-bursting weapons — these will likely not detonate until they hit the ground, unlike weapons used against soft targets, which explode at 5,000-10,000 feet to ensure maximum destruction — should not destroy the base, as a direct hit is not likely. End result: Broken bones for those inside, massive wildfires, NORAD HQ knocked offline for several hours to several weeks.

    • Offut AFB, Omaha, Nebraska
    This is the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command, and where Gen. Curtis LeMay, CINC-SAC, will be located during the fighting. The base and city nearby will be utterly destroyed, and the bunker below has a good chance of being knocked out as well, but little is known about it, due to the fact that it is an active command, not retired like Cheyenne Mountain. End result: Omaha and Offut destroyed, SAC HQ knocked offline for several hours, and perhaps days.

    • Syracuse, New York
    One of the three centers for the SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment) system, the SAGE system is what makes NORAD work. State-of-the-art computer systems, tied in to the three early-warning radar lines and interceptor bases across Canada, as well as links to ships at sea and aircraft in the air, enable the SAGE system to vector individual fighters to individual bombers as they are detected in flight. This is a massively complicated system of coordination, roughly similar to the British sector stations during the Blitz, but far more advanced. Syracuse’s SAGE Combat Center is located above-ground, in a giant facility with a four-story video screen and half an acre of computers. End result: Syracuse destroyed, Syracuse SAGE Combat Center offline.

    • North Bay, Ontario
    This is the third of the three (the first being Cheyenne Mountain) main SAGE Combat Centers in North America. Located 700 feet underground, it can survive a nearby hit. However, due to the fragility of computers at the time, and the need to have near-instantaneous communication with fighter bases and radar stations across Canada, even a near-miss will be disastrous. With all three main SAGE Combat Centers destroyed or knocked off line, the backup BUIC (Back Up Interceptor Control) units will take over, but at a reduced rate of effectiveness. End result: North Bay destroyed, SAGE center crippled.

    • Groton/New London, Connecticut
    Groton is the headquarters of the United States’ submarine fleet, and is of critical importance in that it is a soft target that houses nuclear weapons — ballistic missile submarines. While all of these will be at sea, the destruction of the Groton/New London submarine base will destroy a large number of warheads waiting to be transferred onto submarines, will destroy the large submarine construction facility located there, the training facility located there, and possibly any submarines unable to sail away, due to drydocking or other problems. End result: New London and Groton destroyed, several submarines sunk, submarine yards destroyed, SSBN (Strategic Submarine, Ballistic, Nuclear) reloading capability reduced.

    • Charleston, South Carolina
    In addition to being the largest city in the state of South Carolina, Charleston was at the time home to the Charleston Navy Yard, one of the largest ports of the United States Navy, and a major home port for several ballistic missile submarines. Though all are at sea at this point in the hostilities, the destruction of Charleston will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the Atlantic Fleet and hurt the resupply efforts of any ballistic missile submarines that survive their initial attacks. In addition, Charleston has great historical value and a medium-sized shipbuilding industry. End result: Charleston destroyed, economy of South Carolina crippled, loss of Charleston Naval Base, several ships sunk.

    • Norfolk, Virginia
    Norfolk is the largest American naval base on the East Coast. It is the home port to the vast majority of the United States’ Atlantic Fleet, and is the site of a very large shipbuilding industry located in Norfolk and nearby Newport News. At least one aircraft carrier will be in drydock at the time, and a large stockpile of naval nuclear weapons is at the base. In addition, Naval Air Station Oceana is close by, as is the Marine Amphibious base at Little Creek, Langley Air Force Base, and Yorktown Weapons Depot. End result: Both Newport News and Norfolk will be completely obliterated, as will all the naval, marine, and Air Force bases in the area. NAS Oceana, furthest to the east, will suffer damage, but may not be totally destroyed, due to its distance from Norfolk. Virginia Beach will suffer light damage.

    • San Diego, California
    San Diego is one of the largest cities in California, and is also the home of one of the largest naval bases on the West Coast. It is the home to Miramar, training facility for pilots of the US Marine Corps, and Coronado is home to one of the two training facilities of the US Navy Seals. In addition, North Island Naval Air Station has a large contingent of aircraft. End result: A blast over the harbor will obliterate Coronado, North Island, and anything in port, as well as damaging Mischer Field at Miramar and destroying the city. Nearby Camp Pendleton is out of the blast zone, but may suffer broken windows, depending on atmospheric conditions at the time of the blast.

    • Tucson, Arizona
    In 1962, Tucson was still a small town, but also home to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, site of the Air Force’s “boneyard,” a storage facility for unused aircraft and a major repair facility. In addition, Tucson was also home to the 12th Strategic Aerospace Division, a combined force of missiles and bombers. Today, it’s home of the only preserved Titan Missile silo. End result: Tucson, Davis-Monthan completely destroyed. Surrounding missile silos remain intact, however, as these are scattered in the hills south of the town.

    • Barksdale AFB, Bossier City, Louisiana
    Bossier City is located in northwestern Louisiana, near the Texas and Arkansas borders. A suburb of Shreveport, Louisiana, it is also home to the Louisiana Army Ammunition plant. Barksdale AFB in 1962 is home to the headquarters of the Second Air Force, a major component of SAC. End result: Barksdale AFB destroyed, Shreveport in flames, 75% of the city leveled instantly, heavy primary damage to the western portions of the Louisiana Army Ammunition plant. Secondary explosions may further damage or destroy the plant.

    • Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, South Dakota
    Home to the 821st Air Division, Ellsworth is today home to the B-1 bomber. In 1962, it was a major B-52 bomber base, and the Air Division included a large missile component as well. End result: Ellsworth AFB and Rapid City destroyed, missile silos intact, as these are hardened targets and are far from the base.

    • Grand Forks AFB, Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Home to the 319th Bomb Wing, 449th Bombardment Group, and 4133rd Strategic Wing in 1962, Grand Forks is a major bomber base. End result: Grand Forks AFB destroyed, broken windows and light damage in the town itself.

    • Forbes AFB, Topeka, Kansas
    Home to the 21st Air Division, Forbes AFB controls a large number of ICBMs as well as a substantial number of bombers. Topeka is also the capital of the state of Kansas, and thus center to a state government. End result: Forbes AFB destroyed, massive damage to the City of Topeka, but no damage to the missile fields to the west of the city, or to the town of Lawrence to the east.

    • Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington
    In 1962, Fairchild was the home of the 18th Strategic Aerospace Division, an umbrella organization that combined the B-52 bombers and KC-135 Stratotankers of the 92nd Bomb Wing with squadrons of Atlas ICBMs located nearby. Today, Fairchild helps Washington State achieve the distinction of having more nuclear weapons than four countries combined, thanks to the location of a nuclear reserve depot on the base. End result: Fairchild AFB destroyed, possible damage to unstable Atlas missiles, (the missiles must be kept pressurized at all times in order to provide support for the missile, or destruction of the missile will result — this caused problems when a dropped tool could rupture a fuel line and cause an explosion, due to the weak fuel tanks and lines.) Spokane west of the river destroyed, damage to the city’s eastern portion.

    • New York City, New York
    You shouldn’t need to ask why New York would be hit. Ideally, due to its size, it would be hit by several nuclear weapons, but I imagine that only one missile would be targeted there, simply because of its proximity to the Canadian border and thus availability to bomber attack. For the sake of argument, I’ll target the missile at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which in 1962 was still very much in operation. End result: Brooklyn, lower Manhattan destroyed, 50% of the city in flames, massive panic, damage to eastern portions of Staten Island and New Jersey. Broken windows as far north as Yonkers. Newark damaged, Statue of Liberty knocked over, Empire State Building and Chrysler Building obliterated.

    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, in addition to being one of the most populous cities in the United States, also has great historical meaning and is home to the Philadelphia Naval Yard, again one of the largest naval bases on the East Coast of the United States in 1962. End result: Philadelphia virtually destroyed. Broken windows as far as the Delaware border, with fires raging unchecked for miles.

    • San Francisco, California
    This one isn’t so much San Francisco as it is Alameda and Oakland, but a hit on either of those two places will affect San Francisco as well. Alameda is home of the third-largest naval base on the West Coast. In addition, the Oakland Army Base and Alameda Naval Air Station are also within range of a single hit. End result: A hit on Alameda will vaporize the Oakland Army Base, Treasure Island Naval Station, Alameda supply depot, NAS Alameda, and most of downtown Alameda. The Oakland Bay Bridge will be completely destroyed, and Oakland itself will suffer major damage, as will the eastern shore of San Francisco, including the Naval Station. Damage will extend across the city. The Golden Gate Bridge will suffer moderate to light damage, but should survive with scorching. Berekley will be destroyed.

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, and thus is an important administrative and transportation center. It’s one of the largest cities in Canada, and is home to the National Defence Headquarters, which provides direction to Canadian forces around the world. It’s a priority target. A five-megaton hit on Ottawa will obliterate the city, which is in a geographically small location. CFB Ottawa, located south of the city, will be damaged as well. Montreal, downriver from Ottawa, may be in danger from radiological contamination.

    • Toronto, Ontario
    Canada’s largest city, Toronto is a prime target. Because it is spread out over a larger area, there will be more survivors, but deaths are expected to be high. Fires will range from Mississagua to Richmond Hill to Markham to Pickering.

    • Goose Bay, Labrador
    CFB Goose Bay is headquarters to 5 Wing of the Canadian Air Force and is one of the largest airbases in eastern Canada in 1962. It’s a NATO base operated jointly with the United States and other NATO countries, and houses over 20,000 members of the military at the time of the war. Permanent detachments of the German Luftwaffe, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Italian Aeronautica Militare and temporary training deployments from the Royal Air Force are located there. It’s a control center for both the Pinetree and Mid-Canada radar lines and operates B-52 bombers as well as fighter interceptors and helicopters. Located in Labrador, it commands the far eastern flank of the likely Soviet bomber routes southward. A hit on the base will completely destroy it as well as the small town of Goose Bay.

    • Bagotville, Quebec
    Bagotville, located north of Quebec and between the towns of La Baie and Chicoutimi, is a staging area for operations along the Mid-Canada line and is headquarters to the 425 Aloutette Squadron. Bagotville is also one of the few Canadian storage areas for the AIR-2 Genie nuclear air-to-air missile. Destruction of the base will hurt Canadian stocks of the Genie as well as knock out a vital fighter base protecting Quebec from attack. Civilian casualties will be minimal, as the area is sparsely settled. La Baie and Chicoutimi will be heavily damaged.

    A Note on Targeting:

    Those are the targets I feel most likely to be hit in a 36-ICBM attack that results in 24 successful hits. They provide a mix of Air Force and Navy targets, as well as civilian targets. Targets have been chosen to maximize the number of American nuclear weapons destroyed, as would likely be the case in a real Soviet attack. Several missiles would likely be targeted on additional areas or possibly at targets listed above, but due to the failure rates of Soviet missiles at the time, these will not reach their targets.

    National Defense Research Council data indicates 36 total Soviet ICBMs in existence at the time of the Crisis. ( 26 of these, according to ( are R-16 missiles. The remaining ten are older R-7 types similar to the rocket that launched Sputnik. Based on tests conducted before 1961, the R-7 had a success rate of approximately 64.52% (, so it can be expected that six out of ten R-7s will reach their targets, barring any maintenance concerns that would prevent one or more from launching. OTL data gives the R-16 missile an 86.79% success rate. The problem with this figure is that it includes a large number of tests done after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and includes many updated versions of the R-16 that weren’t even on the drawing board during the Crisis, let alone ready to launch at the United States. Therefore, that figure needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt. In 1962, the R-16 was not yet fully approved for military operation, though production and deployment had begun.

    Because of these two factors, having an R-16 success rate of 18/26 (69%) makes sense. It’s better than the success rate of the older R-7, but isn’t quite at the success rate of OTL, as later and more stable designs have not yet been introduced at the time of the war.

    For the purposes of this timeline, I have imagined that the missiles targeted on Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Boston, New York (2nd Missile), Vancouver, St. Louis, San Antonio, Dallas, Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, and Baltimore were those that failed to reach their targets. Note that this is only due to random chance, and not due to the fact that these cities were left off the target list.

    Timeline Continued:

    2:57 AM — BMEWS Fylingdales picks up a large number of missiles launched from Eastern Europe, heading west. In a panic, the Prime Minister is notified.

    2:58 AM — In an instant, Prime Minister Macmillan knows all is lost. Though he will likely survive from his bunker deep below the hills of Wiltshire, the vast majority of Britain — hell, Europe — will not. “We won’t have to fight them on the beaches this time. The war’s already over.” Macmillan orders an immediate retaliatory strike against Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with every available weapon. In buried BBC studios a few hundred yards from the Prime Minister, word of the attack is broadcast to all corners of the British Isles. Across the UK, air-raid sirens blare and telephones ring as the four-minute warning is put into effect. The name will be somewhat of a misnomer — it won’t take four minutes for the Soviet missiles to reach their targets. It will take nine.

    3:00 AM — Fylingdales, having calculated the trajectories of many of the missiles inbound to Britain, passes word to the Prime Minister’s bunker that the apparent targets seem to be limited to military bases only — the fact that many of these bases are near major cities is a fact known by everyone. Macmillan, after a moment of hesitation, does nothing. The attack will continue as planned. V-Bombers to targets in Soviet-occupied Norway and the Kola Peninsula, and No. 77 squadron’s Thor missiles will be targeted at sites across Eastern Europe, as planned.

    3:01 AM — At airfields across the United Kingdom, Valiant, Victor, and Vulcan bombers armed with American-built W-38 gravity bombs lumber down the runway and into the air. Many pilots anxiously turn their eyes skyward, half expecting to see the contrails of incoming missiles. In peacetime, the pilots took pride in their ability to reach the Soviet Union before even the bombers of the Strategic Air Command. Now, in the face of an unknown number of Soviet fighters and SAMs, that pride turns to a growing fear.

    In Lincolnshire, at five RAF bases, missile launchers are thrown upright by giant hydraulic rams, and toxic rocket fuel is pumped into fifteen separate American-built Thor missiles. At the launch site, crewmen work in frenzied panic, one eye on their work, and another on the sky. By the book, it takes fifteen minutes to fire the Thor from its horizontal storage position. Driven by fear for Britain and more importantly, themselves — it will only take six. For those that make it, that is.

    3:03 AM — Gen. Norstad authorizes a full NATO nuclear response to the ongoing attack and orders a full nuclear defensive posture. For many locations in West Germany, the warnings will come too late. Many units have dispersed, particularly the nuclear and chemical units, but those in close contact have not. Moreover, the sheer number of incoming warheads will negate much of both sides’ dispersal strategy.

    In Italy, two squadrons of nuclear-armed Jupiter IRBMs are readied on the launchpad. From their locations north of Taranto, they can reach deep into Eastern Europe. If, of course, they can be launched in time.

    3:05 AM — President Kennedy is informed of the massive European missile launch. He immediately sends authorization for Gen. Norstad to use any means necessary to ensure the security of Europe — an order more redundant than anything a President had ever given. In addition, he authorizes the execution of SIOP-62, Option B, with a hold against China — the targeting of Soviet and Warsaw Pact military and communications installations. As with the Soviet strike, the fact that many of these targets are in or near major population centers is conveniently overlooked.

    In Omaha, Gen. Thomas S. Power is far too involved with the immediate actions of his SAC bombers to be worried about the targeting restrictions placed on him by Kennedy. With scarcely a word, he acknowledges Kennedy’s operations order, gives several targeting orders of his own, and orders SAC’s nuclear missiles to launch. President Kennedy’s authority is no longer needed. With the order given, Power’s main concern shifts to ensuring that none of his bombers will be shot down by NORAD’s fighters over the Arctic Ocean.

    In the air, every SAC bomber not previously en route to the Soviet Union begins to wing its way towards that country. Even those that had been turned back for refueling now make 180-degree turns back towards Russia. Fuel to return to America is a luxury some of Power’s bombers cannot afford. All that matters now are the bombs dropped on target. Over 1,300 American bombers are now winging their way north, across Canada and the Arctic Ocean.

    3:06 AM — Two dozen IRBM launches are detected by BMEWS at Clear Air Force Base in Alaska. Launched from far eastern Siberia, they are clearly inbound to targets in Alaska. Word is passed to NORAD and Washington, which can only stand by and wait. The dispersal of fighters has already taken place, and those not already in the air probably never will. SAC’s bombers are airborne, and it’s all over but the waiting. The only variable is how many missiles and bombers will reach their targets.

    3:07 AM — BMEWS Thule detects 24 inbound Soviet ICBMs. Three will break up on reentry, but twenty-four will reach and destroy their targets. News of the incomings adds to the air of fatalism among the few people who remain in the White House. Despite efforts by the Secret Service to physically manhandle President Kennedy to a waiting helicopter, Kennedy refuses evacuation. He even refuses evacuation to the White House bomb shelter, instead choosing to wait out the missiles on the roof of the White House. From his viewpoint, he savors the night despite the cold temperature and the pain in his back. The streets are empty, and the only sound is the discordant wail of the air-raid sirens. Kennedy looks skyward and waits.

    In Lincolnshire, the first Thor missiles begin to take fight, soaring upward on a pillar of fire. Before the last of them leave the launch rails, an enormous roar in the air signifies the arrival of several Soviet missiles. RAF Helmswell, Feltwell, and dozens of other airfields in Britain are annihilated. The scene is repeated in Western Europe and North Africa, from SAC bases in Morocco to Italy and Turkey and northward, to the unoccupied portions of Norway, as Soviet ICBMs and IRBMs reach their targets.

    The attacks devastate NATO airfields and naval bases, but civilian targets — excepting those near major communications, command, and military centers — are not hit. Though the Soviet missiles have a failure rate approaching 23 percent, the sheer number of missiles ensures that every major target, including every SAC base, is hit at least once. BMEWS Fylingdales is hit by no fewer than five nuclear weapons, completely vaporizing the facility, and eliminating any chance to observe future attacks.

    In West Germany, tactical nuclear weapons and chemical warheads fly with abandon, devastating both sides equally. Dispersal is little help, due to the immense number of warheads. In Berlin, fighting slows as the night sky is lit with dozens of mushroom-cloud explosions at all points of the compass. No weapons fall in Berlin itself — it appears no one was willing to risk hitting their own side.

    North of Taranto, Soviet IRBMs destroy virtually all of the American and Italian Jupiter IRBMs on the launch rails. Only two of the 30 missiles manage to escape the first strike, and one will be driven off course by a detonation, landing harmlessly in Hungary. In Turkey, the third squadron of American Jupiters, the centerpiece of Kennedy’s missiles-for-missiles proposal that would have brought an end to the Cuban crisis, has long since been destroyed by conventional Soviet bombing.

    3:15 AM — The first Soviet IRBMs begin to fall on Alaskan military bases. Elmendorf, Eielson, and Clear Air Force Bases are among the first targets hit, but over a dozen other targets are hit as well, victims of the 21 IRBMs that survived from the initial 24-missile launch. In the air, fighting rages as Soviet fighters and bombers clash with American fighters of the 343rd Fighter Wing.

    Dozens of short-range bombers fall prey to the AIR-2 Genie nuclear rockets of the American fighters, which rack up an impressive kill total. In the end, the simple realities of fuel and ammunition bring down the Delta Darts defending Alaska. For every bomber they bring down, there are two more, launched from bases in nearby Siberia. And with their bases destroyed by Soviet IRBMs, there is no way to refuel and rearm. The vast majority of the fighters launched from Elmendorf and other airfields eventually run out of fuel and have their pilots bail out. A handful manage to reach Juneau or a Canadian airfield, but almost none are refueled in time to defend again.

    Across the Bering Strait, a mirror of the Alaskan battle is being played out over Siberia as Soviet fighters clash with Alaska-based bombers. Thanks to the virtue of being based a thousand miles closer to their targets, the Alaskan bombers find themselves engaging an alerted and able Soviet defense. With no American IRBMs to soften the Soviet defenses, they go down in gruesome numbers, but not without landing a few hits of their own. Few survive to return to Alaska, and only a handful limp back to friendly bases.

    3:20 AM — At missile silos across the United States, rockets blast off silo covers as SAC ICBMs take to the skies. At many silos, however, all is quiet. They represent something the Soviet Union does not have — a reserve.

    It will take only 25 minutes for the first missiles to reach their targets, long before SAC bombers — which passed the fail-safe line over nearly 40 minutes previously — reach their targets.

    3:22 AM — Britain’s revenge begins hitting Eastern Europe as the survivors of Britain’s 15 Thor IRBMs begin to land in the Warsaw Pact. Those that fall in East Germany are lost in the frenzy of tactical and short-range nuclear destruction. Outside of East Germany, the capitals of several Eastern European nations join the nuclear bonfire. Inside of East Germany, there is already very little left. In Berlin, scattered fighting continues, but with fewer and fewer orders coming from higher authorities on either side, and the obviousness of what has happened, no one seems willing to press home the attack.

    3:25 AM — Soviet ICBMs begin to land in the United States and Canada. From New York to Washington to the West Coast, millions of people die. In the space of five minutes, more Americans die than in every American war combined. In Washington, Kennedy watches the meteor-like trails of the incoming warheads from the roof of the White House. A few streaks rise to meet them — Nike-Hercules antiaircraft missiles — before the sky brightens with one final sunrise. It’s the last thing President Kennedy will ever see.

    3:29 AM — At Mount Weather, Virginia, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson and other members of the Executive Branch are read the list of targets in a sense of gloom. When the list reaches Washington, there is a pause. “I guess that makes me next,” says the new President in his Texas drawl. Five hundred feet below the mountains of western Virginia, LBJ takes the oath of office surrounded by other members of the executive branch in the crowded confines of a rocky tunnel. He’d rather be anywhere else.

    3:34 AM — Above the dark, frozen wastes of Greenland, American fighters clash with Soviet bombers intent on the destruction of Thule Air Force Base, the northernmost outpost of the Distant Early Warning radar line as well as the northernmost American fighter and bomber base in the world.

    A full squadron of specially-equipped Tu-95K bombers is tasked with the destruction of the base and the adjoining BMEWS radar station, roughly 18 miles northwest. The bombers are engaged several hundred miles north of the target, and several are shot down. Unfortunately for the defenders, this leaves five bombers, which continue onward, juking and weaving. Roughly 250 miles away from the airfield, the survivors release their underwing AS-3 Kangaroo cruise missiles before they are shot down in turn. No crewmen from the downed bombers will survive the icy, dark shores of Greenland, but their loss is not in vain. Five supersonic cruise missiles streak towards Thule.

    Thanks to forewarning from the intercepting fighters, Thule is ready. A score of BOMARC missiles roar into the air from the darkened base, lancing forward at a closing speed well in excess of Mach 6. Small multi-kiloton warheads explode in front of the cruise missiles, knocking them from the air or destroying them outright. Only a single missile survives. But that’s all that’s needed. The 3 Megaton warhead explodes a bare thousand feet over the base’s runways, destroying the base instantly.

    The radar operators at the BMEWS radar station eighteen miles away are spared immediate death from the nuclear detonation, only to suffer a prolonged death from starvation and freezing, as the site is completely isolated from a United States with far greater problems on its hands. They will be joined by a few homeless pilots who bail out of their fuel-starved aircraft.

    For the Soviet Union, it’s a costly, if successful operation. And it’s one that can’t be repeated. The 12 specially-modified bombers represent almost the entire AS-3 capable force, barring two aircraft down for maintenance. And the extraordinarily unwieldy missiles require over 20 hours to be attached, armed, fueled, and readied for launch. Soviet planners anticipate using the remaining stock as second-strike weapons for targets that escape the initial attack. Unfortunately for those involved, they will not get that chance.

    3:45 AM — The first American ICBMs begin to strike targets in the Soviet Union. From Anadyr in the east to Murmansk in the west, from Moscow to Baku, Baikonur to Chelyabinsk, the Soviet Union is hit by approximately 140 warheads. Hardest hit were airfields, communications systems, command and control systems, and military bases. As with the Soviet attack, where possible, cities were avoided — where possible. Cities like Moscow, Vladivostok, Murmansk, Archangel, that housed large military bases or command facilities, were hit regardless of their civilian population. The Soviet Union had done the same.

    The door is now open for the bombers of the Strategic Air Command, which have received new orders from the new President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson. Johnson also sends orders, via radio, to the American ballistic missile submarine fleet, instructing it to engage the Soviet Union where possible. The submarines’ Polaris missiles lack the accuracy to hit military targets, but Johnson does not care. What matters now is hitting back, and hitting as hard as possible.

    3:47 AM — Canadian-based interceptors begin to engage Soviet bombers above the Canadian Far North. As the bombers come in at low level, the radars of the Distant Early Warning Line have difficulty locating many of the Soviet aircraft. This is further compounded by the loss of the SAGE combat centers to Soviet ICBMs. Due to that loss, fighters must be guided to their targets by the less-efficient BUIC (Back-Up Interceptor Control).

    For every Tu-95 or M-4 that is intercepted, another breaks through to hit the DEW radars and continue south. For every radar that is destroyed, more bombers remain undiscovered, hitting the line and winging their way south. The BUIC operators do their utmost, but as the radars go down, one by one, enormous gaps are torn in the DEW line, allowing more and more bombers through. But the damage to the Soviet bomber force was immense. Of the approximately 120 bombers sent across the Arctic Ocean, fewer than 40 survived to continue south, through Canada, where two more radar lines still lay.

    3:48 AM — Soviet IRBMs hit several targets in the Iberian Peninsula. Due to the long range, most of the missiles land away from their intended targets. Lisbon is heavily damaged and Madrid is destroyed, as are the military bases at Rota, Torrejon, Morón, and Zaragoza. Approximately 4.5 million people die as a result of the strikes, yet Spain and Portugal are among the most lightly-damaged nations in Europe.

    4:12 AM — Nuclear fighting in Europe continues as British V-Bombers strike at Soviet-held airfields in Norway, relieving pressure on Britain from the north. Several bombers continue onward to strike targets in the Kola Peninsula, but many find that their targets are already burning, victims of American ICBMs. All eventually find some target worthy of an atomic bomb, or are shot down. The survivors turn westward, with many bomber crews bailing out over Britain, unable to find a usable airstrip on which to land. Several others land in neutral Sweden, which has fared fairly well in the fighting, and are interned.

    4:20 AM — Sunrise does not come for the survivors of Berlin, nor for much of Europe. Dark clouds of ash blot out the sky over Germany, and dark rain begins to fall as water vapor coalesces around ash from hundreds of nuclear detonations. Survivors remember it as heavy, heavier than anything they can remember. Throughout the growing storms, NATO and Warsaw Pact bombers and fighters continue to clash.

    With an enormous gash ripped in the front line, aircraft from both sides can engage in combat without a fear of ground fire, and can penetrate deep into the opposition’s territory before facing enemy fire. From Germany, bomber strikes move east and west. The gap in defenses allows NATO bombers to hit Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia with ease, just as Warsaw Pact bombers can hit targets in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Britain. The only major threat to these aircraft comes from each other and from the hundreds of mushroom clouds they must avoid.

    In many cases, communications have broken down between what remains of higher authority and the bases launching attacks. As more and more weapons fall, the situation continues to grow worse, with greater and greater civilian casualties. Only the accelerating rate of attrition and the destruction of the remaining stockpiles of weapons and operational aircraft provides an end to the fighting. In some cases, fighters from each side resort to suicide ramming attacks against attacking bombers after their weapons are exhausted and their bases destroyed.

    In less than 90 minutes, over 40% of the nuclear weapons detonated during the entire course of the war have exploded, primarily in Europe, Asia, and North America. Approximately 1,600 Megatons of destruction has been scattered around the world, instantly killing tens of millions, wounding even more, and setting much of Europe ablaze. The war will last for several more days, and for civilians in Europe, the Soviet Union, and much of central Asia, the worst is yet to come.

    4:32 AM — A regiment of Soviet Tu-16 bombers near Vladivostok launches an attack against American bases in Japan and South Korea. American, Japanese, and Korean fighters intercept many of the aircraft, but several make it through the fighter coverage, dropping their weapons before being destroyed. 11 megaton-scale bombs will hit the two countries, grievously wounding South Korea, which feels the impact of six weapons. American bombers based in Guam will avenge the hits by completely leveling the area around Vladivostok, which has itself already been hit by two ICBMs.

    In South Korea, Seoul, Osan Air Base, Taegu, Chongju, Gwangju, Kwangju, and an isolated position between Seoul and the inter-Korean border all suffer nuclear attack. This opens the door for North Korea, despite the Chinese warning, to pour across the South Korean border en masse. American forces in Japan, which have suffered hits on Okinawa, Misawa, Iwakuni, Atsugi, Yokota, and Yokohama, are in no position to support the battered South Korean military.

    The North Korean situation is further exacerbated by a Chinese invasion that takes place one week after the destruction of Pyongyang. The invasion is justified, the Chinese say, by the need to restore order to their corner of the world. The Chinese government has no desire to see even more nuclear weapons exploded near its territory, and the invasion is the best means to stop the war. President Johnson seizes on the invasion as a means to put an end to the war in a corner of the world where American forces are now thin on the ground. With the North Koreans taken care of, he can focus more on recovery in the United States, regardless of the long-term consequences.

    5:36 AM — The USS Sam Houston, an Ethan Allen-class ballistic missile submarine, launches its load of 16 Polaris missiles from a location in the southern Kara Sea, south of the islands of Novaya Zemlya. After firing from a depth of 10m, the submarine slips away undetected as scattered Soviet aircraft respond to the radar contacts.

    The scene will be repeated five more times over the next 48 hours, as various Polaris missile submarines contribute their missiles to the firestorm engulfing the Soviet Union. Of the 80 missiles fired, 67 will successfully hit their targets. Two additional submarines will remain silent, a floating reserve to complement the missiles sitting in SAC silos. Two more commissioned ballistic missile submarines lack missiles, and one — the USS Thomas A. Edison is destroyed in the destruction of Charleston. Two uncommissioned submarines at sea survive the war, but three others still fitting out or under construction are destroyed.

    Not everything goes the way of the American submarine force. The USS Abraham Lincoln is lost with all hands in an encounter with a Soviet hunter-killer submarine after firing its missiles. Additionally, the Regulus Missile-carrying submarines fail to mirror the success of their Polaris counterparts. Due to their weapons’ minimal range, their success is no greater than that of the Soviet missile submarines to which they compare. All are sunk before launching their targets, killing several hundred American sailors in the process.

    6:13 AM — B-52 bombers of the Strategic Air Command, based in Spain and Morocco begin attacks on the southern flank of the Warsaw Pact. Bulgaria and Romania, as well as select targets in the Ukraine and the Caucuses. The bombers take some casualties from fighter aircraft, but none from ground fire. Because their bases have been destroyed by Soviet IRBM and bomber attacks, the crewmen of the bombers are forced to divert to remote airfields in Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. None will make a second mission, due to a lack of weapons or because they are destroyed on the ground by Soviet counter-attacks.

    7:04 AM — The Soviet bombers that survived the DEW line begin to encounter the radars of the Mid-Canada and Pinetree defensive lines. Coming in low over the empty forests, the scattered bombers manage to evade most contact. However, once in range of the radars of the two southernmost lines — which happen to overlap — interceptors can be efficiently vectored to the incoming bombers. Of the forty survivors, twenty-five are downed by fighters guided by the radars of the Pinetree and Mid-Canada lines. Not a few manage to strike back at their attackers, hitting radar sites before going down. Two bombers manage to destroy the Mid-Canada control facilities at Dawson Creek and Stoney Mountain, respectively. Those losses tear an enormous hole in the western sections of the Mid-Canada line.

    The sacrifice of their counterparts allows many bombers to get through the Mid-Canada Line undetected. Many more, however, are shot down while trying to penetrate the eastern sections of the line in an effort to get at rich targets with names like Quebec, Detroit, or Chicago. Though the immense spaces involved and the confusion caused by Soviet ICBMs aid the bombers in their effort to avoid detection and interception, the mere fact that two Mid-Canada control centers have been destroyed is enough to indicate to SAC that Soviet bombers have already reached deep into Canada. American interceptors mass over the border, waiting for the final radar line — the Pinetree Line — to direct them to their targets.

    7:29 AM — The first large wave of American bombers cross the north coast of the Soviet Union. Over two hundred have been shot down over the Arctic Ocean by Soviet interceptors, but over a thousand are still in the air, storming southward towards targets scattered from one end of the Soviet Union to the other. Soviet air defense has been shattered by ICBM and submarine-launched missiles, but the surviving fragments, unguided by higher command, are still deadly.

    Only the sheer number of American bombers prevents the Soviet defenses from having greater effect. Without a central system to coordinate interception, Soviet fighters must be guided by their onboard radar or the facilities from their basing airfields. With over a thousand aircraft heading south, the otherwise strong effort of the surviving Soviet defenders is split too thin. Strikes on defending airbases further reduce the effectiveness of the Soviet defenses.

    7:57 AM — Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is hit by a Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile, which impacts in the southwestern portion of the harbor, wrecking the city of Honolulu and many of the ships still in harbor. The brand-new USS Arizona memorial, dedicated five months previously, is completely destroyed, as is the airfield on Ford Island. The Hotel-class submarine that fired the missile would escape in the confusion.

    9:19 AM — The final Soviet fighter base covering the north coast of the Soviet Union is destroyed by a bomb dropped by a B-52. In total, almost 400 American bombers have been shot down by Soviet fighters. Unfortunately for surviving citizens of the Soviet Union, this still leaves over 800 nuclear-armed bombers to range over the wide-open spaces of the country. What little opposition remains is limited to SA-2 sites near primary targets, most of which have already been destroyed by ICBM warheads.

    10:33 AM — The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, is destroyed by a five-Megaton nuclear bomb dropped by a Tu-95 of the Long-Range Aviation Division of the Soviet Air Force. The attack is somewhat of an accident — Seattle was the primary target for the bomber, but due to repeated momentary contacts with Canadian and American fighters, the crew spends more time evading than navigating towards its target. The attack does serve to light the way for a following Soviet bomber, which avoids interception and makes a successful attack on Seattle before running out of fuel.

    The two attacks are the first of 15 successful bombings of major North American cities by Soviet long-range bombers. Eight of the attacks, due to faulty navigation, purposeful attack, or harassment by interceptors, take place against Canadian cities. Two bombers successfully destroy American cities: Seattle and Minneapolis are destroyed by M-4s that subsequently run out of fuel in central or western Canada. Two separate attempts by Soviet bombers to penetrate Chicago’s defenses by Tu-95s are defeated by nuclear-tipped BOMARC anti-bomber missiles, which knock the low-flying aircraft into Lake Michigan with their shock waves. Two more bombers are intercepted by Canadian fighters as they attempt to make attacks against the American Northeast. American airfields and nuclear research facilities suffer far more heavily at the hands of the bombers. Hanford, Washington; Arco, Idaho; Loring AFB; Larson AFB; and Mountain Home AFB are also hit by Soviet bombers. The strikes on Arco and Hanford are particularly devastating as the explosions blow open several nuclear reactors, releasing enormous clouds of persistent radiation skyward. Together, these two weapons release more radioactive fallout in the United States than every other weapon that hits the United States — combined.

    In addition to Vancouver, Canada loses Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, and Comox on Vancouver Island. Montreal is destroyed as well, victim to the sole Soviet bomber to penetrate the defenses of the American and Canadian northeast. The M-4 only succeeds in its mission by avoiding four interceptors before executing a kamikaze descent that takes it below the height needed to trigger the pressure detonator on its armed nuclear weapon. The bomber, trailing interceptors, and Montreal are all destroyed in less than a second at the heart of a five-Megaton explosion.

    As bad as the damage is, the population centers and airfields of northern Canada fare even worse. Virtually every settlement with a population above 30,000 in the Yukon and Northwest Territories is wiped from existence by shorter-ranged Tu-16 bombers.

    By 4:00 PM, the last long-range Soviet bomber has been destroyed. None, excepting those that turned back before the DEW line, return to the territory of the Soviet Union. Though the shorter-ranged Tu-16s have blasted northern Canada and Alaska into virtual oblivion, their success is not shared by the Tu-95s and M-4s that make up the bulk of Soviet Long-Range Aviation. Fewer than ten percent of the Soviet Union’s long-range bombers successfully reach their targets before falling to interceptors or fuel starvation. By the end of the day, the bomber threat to North America is over.

    2:32 PM — The final aircraft of the first wave of SAC bombers cross out of Soviet airspace en route to safe airfields in Canada, waypoints on the way home. Already, SAC’s second wave of aircraft is nearing Soviet Airspace, bringing several hundred Megatons of further destruction to what is left of the Soviet Union. In the words of CINCSAC Gen. Power, “We’re going to keep it up until the rubble is rubble.”

    November 1 — By early afternoon, no more American bombers are being shot down over the Soviet Union — there is no one left to shoot back. Remaining SA-2 sites are abandoned en masse by soldiers fearful for their lives. The remaining active sites are destroyed by nuclear bombardment. President Johnson orders a focus on the other nations of the Warsaw Pact, and a gradual stand-down of SAC operations. There simply aren’t enough weapons left to continue at the same tempo for much longer, and equipment and crewmen are beginning to break down under the strain.

    At 9:00 PM Eastern time, President Johnson makes a nationwide radio and television address, giving the American and Canadian public an update on what has happened. For those Americans within range of a working radio, the news is a series of hammer blows. The new president confirms the list of destroyed cities, killing the hopes of millions of Americans who had family in or near the Soviet targets. He also states that President Kennedy is presumed killed in the destruction of Washington, something everyone had assumed, given the pre-attack reports of his refusal to evacuate. The news is still a shock, and although conspiracy theorists will continue to put forth the idea that Kennedy somehow survived the attacks, President Johnson declares that he is indeed in charge and has instituted martial law across the United States. Attacked areas will be evacuated, and the government is already stepping in to ensure the continued operation of critical aspects of life like electricity, water, and communications. The mid-term elections scheduled on November 4 will have to be postponed as a matter of necessity. Meanwhile, the war goes on.

    November 4— By the fifth day of SAC’s nuclear campaign, the war begins to wind down. In Europe, surviving elements of the NATO command received cease-fire requests from the surviving elements of the individual Warsaw Pact nations’ militaries. In most cases, individual units (even those far from the supposed “front”) made the requests, as virtually no government officials survived the bombardment.

    In Berlin, a cautious calm prevails as both Soviet and NATO survivors realize that they have survived in the middle of an immense dead zone. The immediate consideration for both sides is to find shelter from the heavily-radioactive rain and fallout that is now sweeping in from the west.

    November 5 — From his command post beneath Mount Weather, President Johnson declares an immediate break in the Strategic Air Command’s bombing campaign.

    The order stems from three primary reasons. The first and most obvious is the request by the Warsaw Pact nations for a cease-fire. In many cases, the request is coupled with a declaration that the surviving members of the government are willing to surrender unconditionally if the bombing stops. Only the Soviet Union fails to make some sort of contact, and that failure is due to the simple fact that no one is left to make a decision.

    The second reason is because SAC has virtually run out of targets. Nearly 5,200 Megatons of nuclear firepower have been levied against the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, wiping out any vestiges of government or a will to fight in the Soviet Union or its now-disintegrated alliance. Time is needed to gather intelligence and prepare strikes against surviving Soviet nuclear arms. Since the afternoon of October 31, the only nuclear attacks performed by the Soviet Union have been submarine-launched, low-yield tactical weapons, or mobile, short-range missiles. A new strategy is needed to address these last fragments of Soviet nuclear power.

    The third reason is the one most pressing on CINCSAC Gen. Power. In the five days of full-scale nuclear war, SAC has lost nearly 40% of its bomber strength, and has employed over 2/3 of its ICBM capability. Crews and aircraft are running on the ragged edge, with many bombers still flying with heavy battle damage. Time is needed to rest and refit, bring weapons forward from surviving storage in the continental United States, and take care of all the other minor concerns that five days of all-out nuclear war let slip.

    November 6 — The commander of East German forces in Berlin unconditionally surrenders to the NATO commander, having been prompted by the threat of further attacks from surviving NATO aircraft. Via radio, he authorizes all other surviving East German units to do the same, barring a counteracting command from higher authority. None is ever received.

    November 7 — Josip Broz Tito requests a cease-fire from both NATO and surviving Warsaw Pact countries. Yugoslavia has been struck by several nuclear weapons from both sides, but the warheads were primarily targeted at supposed military movements, rather than civilian targets. Yugoslavia suffers from the war, but is the least-damaged country in Eastern Europe. Tito is also one of a handful of surviving heads of state in Europe.

    November 9 — 53 looters are shot in New York City by National Guardsmen. It is the largest single execution for looting so far, but it will not be the last. By the time martial law is finally lifted in the United States, an estimated 60,000 Americans will have been killed in summary executions for various offenses.

    November 10 — North Korean forces, having advanced deep into South Korea, are struck by the redeployed might of a wing of Strategic Air Command Bombers based at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and other bases in the central Pacific. With Guam and bases in Japan destroyed, the bombers are forced to fly long distances before dropping their weapons. North Korean MiGs down many bombers, but North Korea’s military and civilian infrastructure is largely destroyed over the course of three days.

    The North Korean advance into South Korea slows and eventually stops due to a lack of fuel. Surviving on scavenged food, North Korean soldiers are forced to abandon motorized vehicles and heavy weapons in favor of infantry weaponry. South Korean forces manage to hold the line, but due to heavy casualties, fail to push the North Koreans back to any major degree. The fighting devolves into World War One-style infantry-and-trench combat as both sides grow hungrier and increasingly short of ammunition.

    November 11 — With Rome having been hit by several nuclear weapons and the situation in the damaged city deteriorating by the day, Pope John XXIII decides to move the Papacy to Sardinia until the situation in Rome can be stabilized. Much of Vatican City, including St. Peter’s Basilica, was destroyed in the Soviet Attack, but Pius, most church officials, and much of the church’s archives and artifacts survived the attacks in underground shelters and catacombs.

    November 12 — Taking advantage of the uncertainty in Iraq, Colonel Abd as-Salam Arif launches a coup against the President of Iraq, Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i. As no one knows whether Iraq will soon suffer the same fate as Turkey, just to the north, Arif’s coup, though ill-prepared, successfully takes advantage of the timing. Arif becomes the new President by use of military force.

    November 15 — At the request of surviving members of the Canadian government, President Johnson orders several regiments of American troops into Canada to help maintain order. Initially intended as a minor move to assist the stability of the Canadian government, the American role in Canada expands over the next several years and eventually involves five divisions of American soldiers.

    November 16 — As the UN presence in New Guinea dissolves with most peacekeepers returning to their home countries, Indonesia assumes control over the western portion of the country. The handover doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, but the end result is still the same. Indonesia now has a new province.

    November 18 — The cease-fire between the United States and the Warsaw Pact (surviving NATO countries have also agreed to abide by the American cease-fire) becomes permanent as a final treaty is signed with the final Warsaw Pact nation, Romania. No treaty will ever be signed with the Soviet Union, though several months later, an accommodation will be quietly reached with the highest-ranking Soviet official that can be found — Colonel-General Yakov Kreizer, Commander in Chief of the Far East Military District, who had survived in a bunker near the Chinese border.

    Fighting around the world does not come to an end as easily as the signing of a treaty, however. Nuclear attacks will continue in Europe for over five months as fragmented Soviet and Warsaw Pact units with nothing left to lose refuse orders to surrender and launch occasional missiles against presumed targets.

    As the winter snow falls, blackened by soot, Europe is in the midst of a refugee crisis as bad as anything following the Second World War. Unlike that war, there will be no help coming from North America, which has its own problems. Little aid arrives comes from Oceania, South Africa, and South America. In one of the great ironies of history, it is India that offers the most aid to a ravaged England, sending food and supplies and taking in refugee experts and scientists who might offer their expertise to a new country undamaged by war.

    November 19 — With problems in damaged and attacked American cities increasing, President Johnson orders quarantine zones established around cities that have been struck by Soviet missiles. The area within the quarantine zones is completely evacuated, and as a safety and security measure, U.S. Army and reservist soldiers are ordered to maintain the quarantine. No one is to be allowed inside the quarantine for fear of spreading radiation or disease. The large numbers of bodies create a threat of infectious disease, and an outbreak of Typhus in Connecticut causes great concern. Fortunately, cold weather and an organized corpse-burning campaign stems further larger outbreaks from occurring in the United States.

    November 22 — A Soviet submarine, having avoided American attack, launches a 5 Mt nuclear missile at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. The base and much of the island are destroyed, and the Soviet submarine is eventually tracked down and sunk. The incident sparks an intense search for remaining Soviet submarines. The picket line of destroyers along the East and West Coast of the United States, removed after the Romanian cease-fire, is reinstated.

    At sea, the hunt for rogue submarines takes place on similar grounds as the hunt for missiles in the territories of the former Soviet Union. Due to the uncertainty of how many submarines were destroyed in Soviet ports, the hunt is a tense one, particularly given the ability of the submarines to hit virtually any location in the world. In the end, however, the hunt proves to be an immensely successful one. Only two submarines manage to make any sort of attempt on a target after the destruction of Guam, and both are sunk shortly after surfacing. The destruction of Guam is the last time an American base will be attacked by nuclear weapons in the war.

    November 23 — In the Congo, a United Nations force created to reunite the breakaway province of Katanga with the rest of the Congo begins to fall apart with the departure of most of the Western military advisors. Without western military assistance, the Congo government cannot capture the key Katangan stronghold of Elizabethville.

    November 30 — The British government leaves its bunker for the alternative seat of government: Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The government’s first action upon establishing itself in its new location is to force the resignation of Prime Minister Macmillan, who goes willingly. Fearing for his safety amid the wild unrest spreading through the country, Macmillan departs England for Canada.

    Replacing Macmillan as Prime Minister is Enoch Powell, the Minister of Health. Powell had departed to the bunker three weeks earlier than the rest of the government, and had been a dynamic force in the countryside. He had directed the construction of dozens of refugee camps, controlled the distribution and rationing of health care — in the few places it was available — and relieved the suffering of tens of thousands of British men and women. Powell was a natural choice for the position, and took the job willingly.

    December, 1962 — In Europe, the eastern portions of France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, along with Luxembourg, Germany, western Poland, and much of Czechoslovakia and Austria form an immense dead zone where virtually nothing survives amidst a blackened, radioactive ruin. Most survivors come from the edges of the zone, as they are able to flee to less-damaged areas. There are very few of those, however. From Narvik to Gibraltar, no corner of Europe escapes damage. The capitals of old Europe — Paris, London, Brussels, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and so on — are all destroyed. Only Berlin remains, and its citizens have almost all fled northward with the surviving NATO and Warsaw Pact soldiers.

    The old Warsaw Pact is horrifically damaged, and the former NATO countries not much better off. Southern France and Spain survive relatively well, and outside of NATO bases such as Faslane, Holy Loch, and cities such as Glasgow, Scotland does as well. Northern Norway is ravaged by both NATO and Soviet weapons, and Sweden suffers a handful of minor strikes in its northern territories in addition to the hit on Stockholm.

    Ireland is perhaps the most undamaged country in Europe, having suffered only minor damage from the destruction of Belfast in Northern Ireland and little fallout from detonations in England. It serves as a hub for recovery efforts in the British Isles, just as Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and Libya do for other parts of Europe.

    December 1 — China, after negotiations with the United States, formally declares war on North Korea. President Johnson has neither the inclination nor ability to deploy the American troops needed to push the North Koreans out of South Korea, and nuclear strikes would damage South Korea along with the North Korean soldiers. American soldiers are needed at home for rescue efforts, to maintain martial law, and keep food and industrial supplies running.

    The Chinese move into what is effectively a power vacuum in North Korea. The American attacks in the first half of November have leveled the North Korean government, and it is only that when the Chinese advance across the former border with South Korea, ironically enough, do they meet any large organized resistance from North Korean military forces. Until then, the main obstacle comes from the poor state of the transportation infrastructure in North Korea.

    December 5 — With their supplies nearing exhaustion and the collapse of the Second Berlin Airlift due to problems in Britain, NATO forces in Berlin are ordered to retreat northward to the Baltic Coast for evacuation. Over a million Berliners and disarmed Warsaw Pact soldiers accompany the NATO soldiers in the largest organized refugee movement in Germany following the war.

    December 6 — The Swiss government officially closes its borders to all non-Swiss citizens. Foreigners already in the country will be allowed to stay, but no more refugees will be admitted. Swiss soldiers are deployed along the borders to enforce the quarantine, and Swiss aid efforts beyond its borders largely end. Giant defensive works, constructed by refugee work parties, block the approaches into Switzerland. Rationing is intensified, and the Swiss government begins conducting a large-scale airlift with what few aircraft are available. Regular long-distance flights are made between Swiss cities and Ireland and Wheelus Airfield in Libya, a major transshipment point for aid inbound to southern Europe.

    The airlift is virtually unsuccessful in relieving shortages in Switzerland, however, and the Swiss government begins audacious plans to repair a series of rail lines and roads running from the Swiss border to the Mediterranean coast in hopes of opening a stable supply line. Large-scale work does not begin until the spring, however.

    December 7 — The Indian government, coordinated by Prime Minister Nehru, unveils a plan to accept large numbers of technically-skilled and educated refugees from Europe, with special preference given to British refugees. Due to lasting Indian resentment at British colonialist policies, few of the British refugees serve in any capacity beyond that of teachers or instructors. Many serve as simple laborers, but are grateful for the chance to survive in relatively easy conditions.

    December 10 — Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is officially declared killed in the destruction of Tehran, according to Iranian state radio. The announcement triggers the beginning of the Iranian Civil War, a conflict that will last for nearly 20 years and cost over one million lives. The fighting is a four-cornered affair. One faction backs the restoration of the monarchy. Another faction backs the establishment of a state founded on Islamic law. A third faction favors the establishment of a secular, parliamentary democracy. The final faction is not such much a faction as a group of warlords, who each want to carve out their own kingdoms backed by military force. At various periods during the course of the war, the warlords side with various factions in an attempt to gain an advantage.

    December 17 — Moise Tshombe, prime minister of the breakaway Congo province of Katanga, begins to offer a settlement plan to that of India and Australia. Targeted at Belgian refugees, it is eventually successful at attracting nearly 50,000 Belgians who, along with several thousand Belgians already in the country, ultimately create the largest minority group in the new central African nation.

    December 21 — Stockholm, Sweden, site of several of the negotiated surrender treaties is destroyed as a result of a radio broadcast that declares it to be instrumental in the peace negotiations. The broadcast is picked up by a Soviet unit in Karelia that discovered an unfired short-range missile. The ten-kiloton explosion is comparatively small, but kills over 100,000 Swedes, shocking a nation that thought it had avoided the worst.
  3. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    Cuban Missile War v1.5 (Part 2)

    January, 1963 — As the weeks wear on and surviving Warsaw Pact units join NATO forces in hunting for these rogue units, their numbers drop dramatically. Of the 56 attacks to take place after the Romanian Treaty, only 14 take place after the destruction of Stockholm, and only four in January 1963, with the last one taking place on January 17.

    These attacks are not the result of units that remained silent since the war’s beginning, but rather the result of shattered Soviet units discovering intact missiles, then launching those new missiles at targets in Western Europe. With their homes destroyed and their families killed, many members of the surviving Soviet military take advantage of the opportunity provided when finding a missile lost in the confusion. The missiles are mostly short-range, low-yield weapons, though one 25-kiloton warhead does strike Lyons, France on December 26.

    In the north, Finland provides a staging area for American and NATO air- and heliborne troops searching for loose missiles. Finnish forces also participate in the search, but owing to the size and limited scope of the Finnish military, their efforts are limited to western Karelia. In Asia, Japan fills much the same role, as does Iran, which provided several emergency bases for SAC bombers and suffered a few nuclear hits because of it.

    By the end of January, the last of these ‘rogue’ missiles has been either destroyed or secured by NATO forces. With no more missiles to fire, even the most die-hard Soviet units have no choice but to surrender or simply fade into the wilderness that the Soviet Union has become. Persistent rumors circulate until the 1970s that China had taken possession of at least a dozen former Soviet nuclear missiles from Colonel-General Yakov Kreizer in exchange for granting the Soviet officer asylum.

    January 11, 1963 — Relatively untouched amidst the chaos of Germany, France, and Italy, Switzerland seals its borders to avoid being inundated by a flood of refugees. In the weeks prior to the border closure, the Swiss militia employs several hundred thousand refugees as coolie labor to construct defenses and blockades along the border.

    January 17, 1963 — With the refugee crisis in the Iberian Peninsula reaching critical mass, Spain and Portugal develop a joint resettlement plan that involves transporting foreign and domestic refugees to Portugese holdings in Angola and Mozambique. The ‘settlers’ are furnished with 100 acres and crude shelter. Thousands die in the Iberian refugee camps, thousands more en route, and even more after arriving in Africa. Still, most are grateful to have a chance to escape Europe.

    January 23, 1963 — Kenya, under control of the Kenya African National Union, declares its independence from Britain, and forcefully asks all British forces to leave the country.

    February, 1963 — Chinese forces link up with South Korean forces deep inside the territory of South Korea. As per its agreement with the United States, China withdraws to the 38th Parallel following the final eradication of North Korean Army. China leaves behind a large number of “reconstruction experts” in South Korea to assist in the rebuilding of that country.

    Worldwide, recovery is stifled by one of the coldest and longest winters the world has seen in recent memory. Roughly 6,800 Megatons of explosive force have driven millions of tons of dust into the upper atmosphere, blocking sunlight and turning a cold winter into a nightmare. In the Northern Hemisphere, global temperatures are 6C below average, and in the Southern Hemisphere, roughly 3C below normal. The following summer comes late, and is far cooler than normal, ravaging crops. For the few historians that remember such things, the weather is reminiscent to the summer of 1816, when an eruption of the Tambora volcano drove temperatures far below normal.

    In Europe and much of northern Asia, the effects are far more savage than the average. Throughout much of Eurasia, massive plumes of ash from burning cities, forests, and people blot out the sun, driving temperatures up to 12C below normal, killing many of the Soviet survivors of the attacks. Effects are strongest in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, and the Ukraine. Across much of the region, black rain and snow fall, the result of precipitation coalescing around ash and soot from the enormous fires. The precipitation is extremely radioactive in places, contaminating areas far away from the initial attack. Much of the Black Sea, and thus the Eastern Mediterranean, is contaminated in this way.

    Further east, China, which was spared almost all attacks, suffers from drought caused by the shift in weather and the radioactive rain, which contaminates much of the Tarim Basin. Only a handful of nuclear weapons fall on Chinese soil, almost all from rogue Soviet commands (and in one case, an off-course American bomber, which is subsequently shot down).

    March, 1963 — American forces used in the search for ‘rogue’ Soviet missiles begin to return home under orders from President Johnson, who needs them to help uphold martial law in the United States.

    The Berlin refugee column arrives along the Baltic, and evacuations begin. NATO’s Berlin Brigade leaves from the central point of the evacuation effort — Barth, Germany — leaving over a million refugees to still be evacuated. Their plight is aggravated by the cold weather, disease, starvation, and the lack of a coordinated evacuation effort. Fewer than 70,000 Germans are evacuated by the few freighters that make voyages through the Baltic to Barth. Transported to refugee transshipment points in Britain and Spain, even fewer survive to emigrate to Africa or South America. 40,000 former Warsaw Pact soldiers are also evacuated alongside the Berlin Brigade.

    South Africa announces that it is throwing open its borders to refugees who “meet nominal standards of admittance” — meaning whites only, preferably educated whites. These refugees are settled along South Africa’s relatively undeveloped border and are granted plots of land and prefabricated shelters. The Apartheid government surmises — and is ultimately proven correct — that the new settlers, having seen the worst of the war in Europe, will fight to the last man against any encroachment — particularly any black encroachment.

    Other former-British colony nations follow suit: Bechuanaland, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Australia, New Zealand, and others all create settlement plans for European refugees with varying standards of admittance. Some nations limited admittance on racial or national grounds, while others, such as Australia, chose not to, basing admittance only by the number of refugees.

    In Morocco, the Moroccan government orchestrates several “incidents” near the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melila. The incidents, it is hoped, will be enough to provoke the Spanish government, damaged by the Cuban Missile War, to evacuate the enclaves and return them to Morocco. The Spanish military responds with force against the organized mobs that attempt a “popular revolution,” and Spanish reinforcements quickly stabilize the situation after being flown in from bases in mainland Spain. With the soldiers badly needed to help maintain order in Iberia and Europe at large, however, Spain is forced to recognize Moroccan control of Western Sahara. In exchange, Morocco agrees to recognize Spanish control of its enclaves. The compromise leaves no one happy, and there is a sense of unfinished business on both sides.

    April, 1963 — With a deteriorating situation in Britain, Prime Minister Enoch Powell orders British forces around the world home to help maintain order. British troops evacuate bases from Hong Kong to Malaya to Kuwait to the Falklands, while token forces remaining where required. One area where the British military is actively strengthened is in Northern Ireland, the site of several large refugee camps.

    Almost immediately following the withdrawal of the British military from Kuwait, the Iraqi Army occupies the country, which the government of Iraq has claimed as its 19th province since Kuwait’s independence in 1961. Though Saudi Arabia deplores such an aggressive action on its border and occupies the former demilitarized zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, it makes no other hostile moves toward Iraq.

    In the United States, President Johnson fails to give a similar blanket order to American forces overseas, forcing many bases and units to fend for themselves, causing long-term resentment among the local populations forced to support American soldiers. Eventually, many isolated units are redeployed to the United States or Canada to help maintain martial law and the quarantine zones around affected cities.

    In Sardinia, Pope John XXIII begins plans to reconvene the Vatican II Council in Sardinia. Foremost among the issues to be debated is the Church’s role in reconstruction and refugee relief, in Europe in particular. It will be several months before representatives — who have mostly returned to their home countries — can gather in Sardinia.

    May, 1963 — Following President Johnson’s failure to reinforce or adequately resupply surviving American forces in Japan, the Japanese government announces that it is restructuring Article 9 of the Japanese constitution in order to ensure Japanese security in the absence of the American military. The move is announced as needed to ensure domestic security, but the U.S. government is too distracted domestically to respond with anything but acceptance.

    In Algeria, popular riots erupt against Europeans, Jews, and the French military, which operates several bases in the Algerian Sahara. With the near-total destruction of the French government and military during the war, French nationals and Jews have been fleeing the country since the end of the war. Many head to Israel or points further south in Africa after being turned away from France.

    Pope John XXIII dies in Sardinia. The Vatican II Council is suspended until a new pope — Paul VI — is elected. Paul declares that he will continue the Council and proclaims his full support for John’s “resurrection” campaign for Rome and the Vatican.

    June, 1963 — The withdrawal of British advisers from Yemen causes a massive setback to royalist forces in the Yemeni Civil War. Already suffering due to the loss of support from Europe, the Royalists suffer a devastating defeat at the hands of Republican forces backed by the Egyptian government. With their prime supporter — Saudi Arabia — having withdrawn support, the few hundred surviving Royalists continue to fight a desperate but futile guerilla war. By the end of the year, virtually all resistance to the Republican government has come to an end.

    August, 1963 — From his office within Mount Weather, President Johnson issues an executive order making segregation on racial or religious grounds illegal in the United States. The order, intended to assist rebuilding efforts and increase available manpower, instead alienates his conservative political base.

    To counter his loss of support, Johnson announces his intention to hold the 1964 elections on schedule. As a first step before the election, he will convene the 88th Congress on January 1 at a location to be determined. The move is enormously popular with the American public, which is struggling through an unseasonably cold year.

    October, 1963 — With support from the Indonesian government, the former British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, northern Borneo and Sabah proclaim the creation of Malaysia.

    After lengthy debates over the location for the new Congress, President Johnson announces that St. Louis, Missouri will serve as the interim capital until Washington can be rebuilt. The federal government will begin setting up in St. Louis immediately, with the first official day of business to be January 1, 1964.

    In far eastern Turkey, surviving bands of ethnic Kurdish people create a new nation — Kurdistan. With the loss of virtually all government in Turkey, the new nation is not threatened by outsiders at first. It simply has to deal with the fact that its population is trying to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear war.

    November, 1963 — Mass starvation occurs in the Northern Hemisphere as crop failures result from an unnaturally short growing season during 1963. By November, most surviving stockpiles of foodstuffs have been exhausted. China and India, which suffered virtually no damage as a direct result of the fighting, are greatly affected by the food shortages, as they were not self-reliant in food production prior to the war. Riots and mass uprisings occur in both countries and in most other nations in the Northern Hemisphere.

    In the United States and China, the food riots are quelled by applications of military force and shipments from less-affected areas. Martial law prevails in the United States and Canada, and soldiers are commonly employed in the food distribution process as needed.

    December, 1963 — An uprising begins in the small nation of Brunei in northern Borneo. The fighting is three-sided: one faction favors independence, another favors incorporation into Malaysia, and another demands the unification of Malaysia’s Borneo provinces with Brunei to create the North Borneo Federation.

    In Sardinia, Pius XXIII reconvenes the first session of the Second Vatican Council, which had been interrupted by the outbreak of war. The primary issues revolve around reconstruction and refugee efforts. Pius XXIII shocks many of the delegates when he announces his intention to rebuild Vatican City as quickly as possible. Given the collapse of the Italian government, Pius’s plan seems a far-off dream to many of the attendees.

    In western Iran, the Kurdish portions of the country begin to move towards unification with Kurdish elements in the former country of Turkey. Due to the chaos in the aftermath of the death of the Shah in the destruction of Tehran, the Iranian Kurdish population makes a mostly clean break with what little remains of the central government in Iran. Negotiations soon begin between the Iranian Kurdish population and the surviving Turkish Kurdish population, which has created a crude Kurdistan nation out of the wreckage of eastern Turkey.

    January, 1964 — President Johnson opens the 88th U.S. Congress in St. Louis, Missouri to wild applause and celebration despite heavy snow. Johnson’s official residence is a short distance away from the building serving as the temporary capital, and empty office buildings across the city have steadily filled with new government workers attempting to rebuild offices ranging from the Department of the Interior to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Almost immediately, however, the exuberance over the reconvening of Congress is tempered by the realization that Johnson will veto any bills calling for the lifting of martial law or those that might relax government control of major American industries. By the end of the month, pre-war and Governor-appointed legislators alike are growing frustrated at Johnson’s intransigence.

    In the Congo, the central government, already weakened by the secession of the province of Katanga, fragments further as the eastern provinces rise in revolt. The central government, based in Stanleyville in the western portion of the country, lacks the resources to prevent the rebels from breaking away. The rebels, who are strongly anti-foreign, commit multiple massacres against individuals from the central government and the few hundred white people in the region. As many are from the small country of Katanga to the south, the events provide an impetus for fighting to break out between the new nation of Kwilu and Katanga. Skirmishes, low-level fighting, massacres, and counter-massacres will take place on a sporadic basis for the next forty years. Both nations, however, manage to find a point of agreement in their hatred for the rump government of Congo, which controls the western third of the country. Nasty three-cornered fighting will continue for decades.

    February, 1964 — 15 National Guardsmen are killed outside Philadelphia’s quarantine zone by raiders based inside the zone. News of the incident manages to avoid being censored before going out over the radio, serving to illustrate the growing problem of raiders and bandits within the quarantine zones. Soldiers are prohibited from pursuing the bandits within the zones, which have become havens for crime and those seeking to reclaim artifacts from destroyed homes. The fences bordering the closed zones have become impromptu memorials for people killed in the attacks as relatives and friends leave notes and gifts in memory of the dead. A few even slip through the fences to make a last search for their loved ones.

    In southern France, a group of far-right French generals institute a coup d’etat against the French Prime Minister, Georges Pompidou, whom they felt was not doing enough to ensure the continued survival of France. Pompidou had been acting as the head of the French government since the death of Charles de Gaulle during the war. Surviving records indicate the generals were influenced — but not led — by the far-right Organisation armée secrète (OAS), several members of which had returned to France following the war. Ironically, following the coup, the OAS — which had violently protested against the withdrawal of France from Algeria — begins calling for a “France First” policy in regards to the French military and recovery efforts.

    In Egypt, Egyptian President Abdul Nasser begins to plan a grand strategy for the unification of Arab states in the Middle East. With the quick victory of the new Nasser-backed government in Yemen, his prestige had been largely restored to what it had been before Syria had abandoned the short-lived United Arab Republic in 1961. The question for Nasser now was what to do. Though Egypt and the Middle East had largely escaped direct effects from the Cuban Missile War, Egypt had lost its main arms supplier in the Soviet Union and its economy had suffered greatly. By 1964, however, the Egyptian economy had largely recovered thanks to enormous food and aid purchases by surviving European nations.

    March, 1964 — A protest march of approximately 50,000 people in Montreal calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Canada is broken up by American troops. After rocks are thrown at the troops, the soldiers fire into the crowd, killing eight Canadians. Additional protests break out in other Canadian cities and several in the United States as well. Aggravating the situation is President Johnson, who refuses to reprimand the officer responsible for fear that it would undermine the authority of martial law.

    Several protest marches over the Montreal Incident and other, unrelated topics — including rationing — are also broken up, sometimes violently by American troops under orders from their superior officers.

    In France, the new oligarchy that has replaced the Fifth Republic issues orders for the withdrawal of French military forces from bases in Algeria amid continued violence in that country. The soldiers are needed to help deal with the massive refugee crisis in southern France and help rebuild what portions of the nation still survive. In perhaps the most epic example of the scorched earth policy to date, the retreating soldiers explode three 2 Megaton nuclear weapons on their abandoned bases in order to deny the equipment and bases left behind to the Algerians. The French generals at the head of the new government promise to return one day to “restore to France what is rightly hers.”

    April, 1964 — Egypt, Syria, and Jordan begin secret plans for a combined attack on Israel. With their main arms supplier gone and Israel’s primary allies in no position to come to her aid, the leaders of each of the three countries realize that if they do not attack soon, their militaries will grind to a halt for lack of spare parts and replacement equipment. Nasser, eager to espouse the cause of pan-Arab unity, takes the lead in negotiations and pledges to forge a coalition of nations to defeat Israel.

    May, 1964 — With the Montreal Incident and other, similar incidents, growing larger in the minds of many Americans, the 88th Congress prepares legislation calling for the end of martial law. Recent events have given Congress enough votes to override Johnson’s veto, and the final vote is expected in mid-June.

    With the French military having fully withdrawn from Algeria, Algerians angry at past French slights and the recent detonations of three nuclear weapons on its soil begin a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Europeans and Jews remaining in the country. Tens of thousands of people die in one of the worst atrocities of the post-war period. Only the lack of anyone else to kill brings the slaughter to a halt.

    June, 1964 — While riding in his Presidential limousine, President Johnson is injured by a large bomb that detonates near his vehicle. Though his injuries are minor, Johnson is profoundly shaken by the incident. Later in the month, Congress votes in favor of lifting martial law in the United States by a margin sufficient to override Johnson’s veto.

    July, 1964 — With Johnson blatantly disregarding the Constitution, the wishes of the 88th Congress, and those of millions of Americans in the United States, several members of Congress prepare impeachment proceedings against President Johnson. As Congress debates what to do about Johnson’s refusal to lift martial law despite the law passed by Congress, more and more Congressmen join the campaign to impeach President Johnson.

    Saudi Arabian intelligence officers learn of the secret plan to attack Israel. With Nasserists in power in Syria and Jordan forced to go along with the Egyptian plan due to the loss of Britain, the attack could take place at any time. After much debate in the Saudi government, the Saudis secretly pass information of the attack through back channels to the Mossad. Though Saudi Arabia can not overtly aid Israel in any conflict with an Arab state, the Saudi government believes it cannot let itself be dominated by an Egypt-controlled pan-Arab state. This is a particular concern due to the loss of Saudi Arabia’s western allies.

    August, 1964 — On the day scheduled for the impeachment vote of President Johnson, members of the 88th Congress are barred from meeting by military officers under orders from the president. When a majority make a move to meet in another building, the officers arrest over half the Congress under martial law regulations for ‘disturbing the peace.’

    Massive demonstrations break out across in cities across the United States, and many turn violent as the military moves to break them up under the martial law regulations. In response, Johnson issues an executive order banning meetings of large groups of people.

    Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping traffic. The move is Nasser’s attempt to take the lead in the brewing war against Israel and is a demonstration of his willingness to take the lead of the coalition arrayed against Israel. Israel, with warning of the impending attack from its own intelligence sources and confirmed by intelligence sources from the Saudi Arabian intelligence service, begins to make plans for a pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The Israeli Defense Force high command theorizes that with their stocks of Soviet heavy weapons destroyed, the Arab states will pose a limited threat to Israel, which has a far larger internal weapons industry than all of the Arab states combined.

    September, 1964 — Violence in the United States escalates, with many protesters taking increasingly-violent approaches to resisting the martial law regulations. In many cases, the actions are counter-effective, driving moderates to support the regulations in an effort to curb the violence. In St. Louis, a march of 100,000 citizens is broken up and turns violent. Eleven Americans are killed.

    September 5, 1964 — Two weeks after Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli traffic, Israel opened the war against Egypt with a surprise combined air and ground assault on Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula. Caught by surprise, many Egyptian aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Owing to the fact that some Egyptian aircraft had not yet been moved into the region in preparation for the Egyptian attack, however, later days of the war turned into somewhat of a protracted air battle, rather than the single knockout punch that Israeli strategists had hoped for.

    On the ground, Israel achieved the element of surprise, thrusting deep into the Sinai Desert. Egyptian units were encircled, bombarded, and destroyed piecemeal. After being surprised by the Israeli attack, Egyptian commanders ordered a large-scale counter-attack directed at the Israeli border in hopes of striking back.

    September 6, 1964 — The Egyptian counter-attack succeeds only in drawing most Egyptian forces in the Sinai into a giant “sack”, allowing for an Israeli encirclement. Over 150,000 Egyptian troops were captured, killed, or injured. By the end of the day, Israeli forces had advanced deep into the Sinai.

    September 7, 1964 — Israeli troops reach the Suez Canal. By reaching and holding the eastern bank of the Suez, Israeli forces cut off the surviving elements of the Egyptian Sinai force. Fewer than 5,000 Egyptian soldiers escape the encirclement, aided largely by a heroic if futile effort by the remaining aircraft of the Egyptian air force. After leaving behind a force sufficient to stop any cross-canal attack by Egypt, Israeli troops begin to redeploy to the Syrian border, where fighting has broken out.

    By this time, word of the Egyptian defeat has reached Jordan. King Hussein of Jordan is reluctant to enter the war, fearing his exposed position and the threat of Israeli attack. If he does not attack, however, he risks civil war from the large numbers of Palestinian refugees within his country as well as the strong native anti-Israel movement. In the end, what tips the balance against war for Jordan is the quick negotiation and signing of a military aid agreement with the Saudi Arabian government. The Saudis have no interest in seeing an Egyptian-led Arab coalition gain dominance in the Middle East, and by pledging military support for Jordan’s neutrality, they hope to restore the balance of power in the region. Saudi forces begin to deploy to Jordan, ostensibly to “protect against Zionist threats,” but in reality to defend the Hussein government against any uprising by the Palestinians. In secret, Jordan reaches a cease-fire agreement with Israel.

    September 8, 1964 — Fighting begins to break out on a large scale along the Syrian-Egyptian border. Syria, seeing that Israel has attacked Egypt first and not knowing of the scale of the Egyptian defeat, activates its mutual defense treaty with Egypt and declares war on Israel.

    September 9, 1964 — Arriving Israeli reinforcements redeployed from the Sinai begin to turn back the advancing Syrian attack. Syria, which has so far enjoyed an advance relatively free from air attack, begins to come under increasing bombardment from the IAF. The Syrian air force responds, however, and puts up a far better showing than the Egyptian Air Force. Air superiority is slightly in favor of the Israelis at first, though as the days go on, Israel expands its air superiority over the Syrians.

    September 10, 1964 — Israeli forces recapture the town of Saifid, which had been taken by the Syrians two days earlier. Lebanon, after skirmishing with Israeli forces with several days, largely ends its combat support of Syria under pressure from Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which are quickly creating a new, second Arab coalition.

    September 11, 1964 — Israeli forces cross the former Israel-Syria border and seize the Golan Heights.

    September 12, 1964 — Israeli forces begin to penetrate into the Syrian heartland, but are ordered to stop. Though the Israeli defense industry is more self-sufficient than those of the Arab states, it is not completely self-contained, and stores of ammunition, spare parts, and other supplies are beginning to run low. In addition, many pilots, soldiers, and support personnel are becoming extremely fatigued. A stop to regroup and recuperate is needed.

    September 13, 1964 — Israel continues air strikes on suspected weapons and ammunition depots in Egypt and Syria. Israel “encourages” Arab citizens in the Sinai, Gaza, and Golan to flee west and east, respectively, even going as far to allow corridors for safe passage. Several million Palestinians, Egyptians, and Syrians take advantage of the opportunity to flee. In Jordan, the announcement that Jordan will not enter the war is met with outrage and shock by the PLO and many Jordanian citizens. Scattered fighting begins between Palestinians and Jordanian forces erupts, and there is a threat of civil war.

    September 14, 1964 — With the Syrian military nearing collapse, Israeli spearheads again begin the advance across Syria. The goal is not one of conquest, but of disarmament. Roving columns attack and destroy stockpiles of Syrian equipment, while Israeli airstrikes do the same across Egypt. With their irreplaceable equipment gone, the Israelis hope to create a long-term atmosphere of security.

    September 15, 1964 — An expeditionary force from Iraq, sent to assist Syria, is virtually destroyed by a combined-arms Israeli assault. Owing to high casualties, the Iraq government abandons its plans to enter the war on the Syrian side and recalls the remains of its expeditionary force.

    September 16, 1964 — Saudi Arabia offers to negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt/Syria. Jordan also acts behind the scenes, but is unable to offer much due to the growing unrest in the country. Mostly-neutral Lebanon also offers its services.

    September 17, 1964 — After Israel continues its offensive, the three neutral Arab countries threaten to enter the war against Israel if it does not agree to a cease-fire. Jordan’s threat is made publicly, and does a little to stem the civil unrest. After the announcement, Israel issues a hold in-place order to its forces, but continues to destroy stockpiles of weapons as they are found.

    September 19, 1964 — After several days of negotiations with all parties, Israel declares a unilateral cease-fire. As a show of its good faith, it will retreat its forces to the Golan Heights, which are, after all, the best defensive position in the region. Egypt and Syria do not publicly respond to the cease-fire, but they unofficially accept. Scattered fighting continues for several days, but eventually tapers off.

    No official agreement is ever signed, but the fighting does come to an end. September 19 is the traditional date given for the end of the Two-Week War. Israel has been largely successful in eliminating the threat to its borders, but its own stocks of military hardware are extremely low. Following the war, the Israel government begins negotiations for the purchase of surviving stockpiles of military equipment from Britain and France. The two countries are still in desperate need of help, and both eagerly agree to sell heavy equipment to Israel.

    October, 1964 — Appalled at the increasing violence, many groups across the United States turn to the non-violent approach of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of Atlanta, James Donahue of Indiana, Richard Davis of California, and Douglass Peachtree of Texas. The most common refrain among all of these groups, which conduct large, peaceful marches and acts of civil disobedience is “A return to normalcy.” Thousands of protesters are arrested, but thousands more join the non-violent protests, which attract far more followers than the violent fringe.

    Israel grapples with the problem of several million Palestinians and Arabs in its captured Sinai territory. From Gaza, Palestinian groups have mounted dozens of attacks and bombing campaigns, and the area has turned into a running sore preventing the Israeli military from fully demobilizing.

    November, 1964 — With the violence in Gaza and the Sinai continuing, Israel’s government begins the most controversial operation of its 20-year history. Operation Midas entails the expulsion and transfer of non-Jewish residents in the Gaza strip and the Sinai. Finding a location to deport the residents to turns out to be an involved process, as neither Egypt nor Jordan will accept the refugees. Syria only accepts a few from the Golan, and eventually Israel is forced to ship tens of thousands of refugees in cramped freighters to the coast of Turkey, where they unceremoniously dropped.

    Israel is loudly criticized by virtually every surrounding nation, and the operation serves as a catalyst for outside terrorist operations until the present day. Israel’s relationship with even nominally neutral nations like Saudi Arabia and Jordan is badly affected. The prevailing attitude in Israel, however, is equated to the old aphorism: “Let them hate so long as they fear.”

    Many Palestinians, dropped into an extremely unstable and unsafe situation in the former nation of Turkey, die as a result of their deportation. Israel makes little effort to ensure their security, and is mainly concerned with the security of its nation. As a result of the deportations, a Palestinian-esque nation arises along the southern coast of Turkey. Poor and isolated, it nonetheless pledges war against Israel, and carries out attacks to the best of its limited ability.

    December, 1964 — President Johnson orders the arrests of the ‘ringleaders’ of the “Normal Movement,” as it has become known. In response to the imprisonment of Dr. King, Donahue, and others, supporters of the movement begin a general strike.

    In Jordan, several months of attacks by the Palestinian Liberation Organization have begun to turn the ordinary people of Jordan against the PLO. Indiscriminate terrorist bombings have largely eliminated the goodwill felt toward the Palestinian cause and have erased much of the anger of normal Jordanians created by their country’s failure to attack Israel alongside Syria and Egypt.

    January, 1965 — With the general strike growing and expanding, President Johnson is forced to use reservists and soldiers to perform duties the strikers have abandoned. In isolated areas, however, soldiers refuse to perform those duties. Several are shot for mutiny.

    February, 1965 — With the growing instability in the United States apparent to outside observers, the Taiwanese government secretly undertakes a plan to develop and produce nuclear weapons. Diplomatic overtures are made to the government of Israel, which has been similarly interested in acquiring nuclear weapons to defend its also-tenuous position.

    After several months of Palestinian violence following Jordan’s failure to enter the war against Israel, Jordan declares the Palestinian Liberation Organization to be a “rogue organization” and orders its expulsion. The PLO and tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees are deported into Syria. The PLO comes to refer to the event as “Black February” and will launch several retaliatory campaigns against Jordan, which it now sees as an ally of Israel. With limited resources, however, it is extremely limited in what it can do.

    March, 1965 — At a large protest in Detroit, Michigan, soldiers are again ordered to use force to break up the rally. Rather than fire upon the non-violent marchers, however, many soldiers elect to join the marchers. Many officers also join the marchers, who make citizens’ arrests and detain the officers who resist. Around the country, the scene is increasingly repeated as soldiers either join marchers or simply abandon their posts and go home.

    April, 1965 — During a protest of an estimated 250,000 people in St. Louis, President Johnson orders nearby soldiers to fire into the crowd. The soldiers hesitate and disobey the order. In the confusion that follows, President Johnson is arrested and thousands of political prisoners are released. Around the country, the few soldiers still loyal to Johnson are arrested or (in a few cases) killed. By and large, it is a peaceful revolution as the vast majority of Americans have had their fill of martial law and wartime attitudes. Many simply believe that it is time for peace.

    The 88th Congress is reconstituted and announces that martial law is now lifted. In addition, the 1964 elections, which had been cancelled by President Johnson, will be held on November 4, 1965.

    May, 1965 — The ‘Normal Party’, a coalition of various groups and political organizations devoted to returning the United States to its pre-war condition is formed in St. Louis. From the beginning, the party is extremely varied and has members from all parts of the political spectrum. It is also heavily favored to win the upcoming election for the vacant presidential seat.

    June, 1965 —China is poised for a great leap northward into the vast empty expanses of Siberia. With the United States distracted by the popular ‘revolution’ against President Johnson, no great international protest is raised to the Chinese claim of former-Soviet Asia.

    Growth northward is hampered by the lack of foreign investment. Prior to the conflict, ninety percent of Chinese military equipment had been based on plans from the Soviet Union, and a substantial portion had actually been manufactured in that country. Despite the cooling relations between the Chinese and Soviet governments, much the same was true for non-military equipment. Due to this fact, exploration and exploitation of Siberian resources by the Chinese in many ways resembles the construction of the Trans-Siberian railroad in the 1880s and 1890s. Masses of Chinese laborers work, often with hand tools, to clear forest, lay railroad track, and dig mines. The work is slow, and though the lack of powered equipment will eventually be remedied by domestic production and small-scale imports, China’s ability to take advantage of Siberia is greatly limited. The radioactive plots that dot the vast expanse of north Asia are no big deal for a nation with 660,000,000 people to spend on cleanup and settlement.

    In conjunction with the annexation of former Soviet territories, the Chinese government adopts an ‘internalist’ viewpoint agreed upon by all of the major leaders of the Chinese government, including Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xioping. Mao, in his role as the decider of Communist orthodoxy, declares that the Soviet Union was brought down not by internal conflict, but because it attempted to move too quickly. The doctrine of international revolution has been disproved in the largest way possible. Clearly, the goal of establishing Communism in one country first is the correct ideological path to take.

    This does not mean that all attempts to spread the revolution will be abandoned, of course. Enlai favors diplomacy with China’s neighbors in an effort to ensure that China will remain undisturbed in its expansion northward. Mao and others, disagree, however, favoring the development of a ring of client states around China in order to secure its borders during the northern annexation.

    July, 1965 — Following the Chinese annexation of the Soviet Far East, Japan announces the annexation of Sakhalin Island, the Kurile Islands, and the southern tip of the Kamatchkan Peninsula, including the destroyed city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Soldiers from the Japanese Self-Defense Force make landings in the islands shortly after the announcement. China protests the move as an encroachment on its territorial claims, but makes no move against Japan and eventually drops the protests.

    Behind the scenes, the Chinese government decides that the Japanese annexation will actually strengthen China’s claim on the former-Soviet Far East, as the Chinese claim cannot be called invalid unless Japan also withdraws its claims. The Japanese claim also causes Enlai, who had favored a conciliatory approach to neighboring countries, to lose prestige.

    In Iraq, Abdul Rahman Arif becomes president of Iraq after his brother is assassinated. The assassination is believed to be the work of the Mossad, who probably hoped to destabilize the Arab state with the largest surviving military following the Two-Week War. Iraq had sent an expeditionary force to Syria during the Two-Week War, but had decided against formally entering the war after the expeditionary force’s defeat.

    August, 1965 — After a contentious and chaotic nomination process, the Normal Party selects its candidate for President — James Donahue, from Indiana. One of the original leaders of the Normal Movement, Donahue controls much of the populist, agrarian portion of the party, and has a weaker hold on many of the conservative members as well. Balancing the ticket is his Vice President, Martin Luther King, Jr., who controls the black vote as well as the liberal side of the party.

    With members of the Normal Party controlling most governmental functions following the overthrow of President Johnson, the interim American government (ostensibly run by the 88th Congress in a manner akin to the Continental Congress), is pressured into formally writing into law Johnson’s executive order abolishing racial discrimination — including at the polls.

    September, 1965 — The Chinese and Japanese claims of former Soviet territory inspire Iran and Syria to make similar claims on Soviet and Turkish territory. Neither country is in a position to immediately capitalize on their claims, however. The Iranian civil war is still in full swing, and claims to former Soviet territory by the combatants are not taken seriously by outside observers who happen to note the declarations. In addition, the Caspian Sea was heavily contaminated by runoff from American attacks on Soviet sites, resulting in the death of virtually all the life within its waters.

    Syria, though avoiding any direct damage from the war, suffered a large amount of indirect damage as a result of fallout from Soviet attacks on Turkey and the subsequent refugee crisis created by the collapse of organized authority in Turkey. Compounding the problem is the virtual destruction of the Syrian military in its war against Israel and the Palestinian refugee crisis created by Jordan’s expulsion of the PLO.

    October, 1965 — The interim American government, under pressure from the general public, announces the end of food rationing in the United States. Critical industrial supplies such as gasoline are still rationed, albeit at a more relaxed level. Food prices immediately spike for several weeks before stabilizing at a high — but sustainable — level.

    November, 1965 — By the largest margin in American history, James Donahue is voted into office as President of the United States on November 4. Due to the fact that the office of president is officially vacant, he takes the oath of office two days later, rather than waiting until January. November 6 is traditionally considered the official restoration of Constitutional law in the United States, though several months and years of rough going lay ahead for the United States.

    December, 1965 — Quarantine zones in the United States are officially abolished according to American law, though in practice, the quarantines had not been kept since the first few months of the year.

    January, 1966 — The corrupt government of South Vietnam collapses amid an attempted military coup. Since the Cuban Missile War, its control of the South Vietnamese countryside has been increasingly shaky. During the last few months of 1965, its reach extends barely beyond the border of Saigon, its capital city. Three days after the government’s collapse, North Vietnamese Army soldiers advance south across the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two countries in order to “restore order.”

    By the end of the month, the Peoples’ Republic of Vietnam is formally created from the merger of North and South Vietnam. The next few years see the new government struggle with resistance from the Catholic minority in the country, but a “re-education” campaign is largely successful in quieting most unrest by 1975.

    February, 1966 — The United Nations General Assembly reconvenes for the first time since the Cuban Missile War. The meeting is prompted by the unilateral Chinese annexation of the former-Soviet Far East territories, and takes place in Santiago, Chile. Notably absent from the meeting are representatives from the United States, People’s Republic of China, and most European nations. Despite the impetus for the meeting, proposals for reforming the structure of the United Nations dominate the discussion.

    March, 1966 — The growing numbers of white settlers in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland lead to conflict between the native black population and the newer white population. Events come to a head when the white-controlled parliament proposes a union with South Africa, which borders the Federation to the south. The black population of the Federation violently protests the union proposal, and military clashes result.

    As the armed struggle grows, the Federation Parliament asks South Africa for military assistance. Fearing the potential spread of unrest to its own black population, the South African military deploys several divisions of troops to the region.

    April, 1966 — The Vatican II Council concludes in Sardinia. The annual meetings of the Council have been as much devoted to the Catholic church’s aid efforts around the world as to doctrinal reforms. Much of what is decided revolves the overall theme of decentralization. Masses in local languages are approved, and local parishes are given greater authority. The unspoken guiding force behind the new doctrine is that if something should happen to the Pope, the Church will continue. One controversial aspect of the Council is the dictate that all Catholic parishes around the world should tithe to the Vatican in order to pay for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. The decision is an unpopular one in the many regions affected by the war. Church aid continues to be important, in particular in eastern Europe, where most governments and other organizations have collapsed.

    May, 1966 — Even though fighting between black guerillas and white soldiers is now in full swing in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the white-controlled parliament passes a treaty of unification with South Africa by a wide margin. With the ratification of the treaty on the first day of 1967, South Africa now encompasses a swath of territory from the Congoese nation of Katanga to the southern tip of Africa. The Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique border the newly-extended country to the west and east, respectively, and its new northern border also touches the independent country of Tanzania and the Congoese nation of Kwilu.

    June, 1966 — Owing to the continued difficulty of administration in many of the outlying regions of Canada, the Canadian government redistricts much of the Canadian Far North and northern plains under an expanded Northwest Territories. Northern Ontario and Quebec, in addition to Baffin Island and many other Canadian Arctic islands are separated into a new Northeast Territory.

    July, 1966 — In Britain, Prime Minister Powell’s latest attempt to restore private enterprise and the economy fails miserably. Though he has been successful in establishing some vestige of safety for surviving British citizens, millions are still isolated in impoverished refugee camps with no hope beyond a hopeful emigration to Australia, Canada, or Africa. The British Pound is utterly valueless, and what little trade goes on is conducted through crude barter or precious metals exchange. Little enterprise beyond the government functions.

    August, 1966 — The secular, pro-democracy faction in the Iranian Civil War begins to gain the upper hand thanks to covert support from Israel — and, to a lesser extent, from India. Self-proclaimed Prime Minister Gholam Hossein Sadighi establishes an Iranian capital in the city of Qom.

    July, 1967 — King Hussein of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian angry at the King’s perceived support of Israel. The assassination fails to create the assassin’s desired change in the Jordanian government, however, as replacing Hussein is Prince Hassan, who is, if anything, even more liberal than Hussein. The assassination forces the new king to expel the thousands of remaining Palestinians from the country, as popular will within Jordan is that the Palestinians are now unwanted guests. The assassination eliminates the last bit of good will felt towards the Palestinian movement by most ordinary Jordanians.

    May, 1967 — Facing increasing international pressure over its annexation of the former Soviet Asian territories, the Chinese government begins the “Great Farm” movement, a thinly-disguised purge of anti-Maoist leaders and intellectuals who may have posed a threat to the new “internalist” mode of Chinese thought. Schools were closed, outside influences (including religious and pre-Revolution icons) were destroyed, and many academics and other “reactionary” elements were sent northward to “expand the Great Farm” composed of the former Soviet territories.

    Mao’s influence, having recovered from the debacle of the Great Leap Forward, allowed him to remove opponents such as Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, and Deng Xiaoping. Shaoqi was imprisoned and later died, while Enlai and Xiaoping were merely “transferred to leadership positions in the Great Farm” and effectively exiled in the former Soviet territories, where they would remain until their deaths in the 1980s.

    July, 1967 — Harvard University publishes a study of the world’s estimated population following the Cuban Missile War and the climactic changes that followed. In 1962, the world’s population was just under three billion people. The 1967 Harvard estimate puts the global post-war population at or near 2.4 billion. More than 500 million people are estimated to have been killed in the six days of full-scale nuclear war and the famines and refugee crisis that followed.

    From the Soviet Union’s pre-war population of 210 million people, no more than eight million people are estimated to have survived. The death rate of 96% can partially be attributed to refugee flight, but Chinese reports of Soviet refugees are somewhat inaccurate due to the chaos caused by the crop failures and riots of 1963.

    In Europe, roughly 400 million of the pre-war population of 600 million was killed during the war, including nearly half of the pre-war non-Soviet population of Europe. Virtually all of the 150 million people in the European portion of the Soviet Union were killed in the fighting or by fallout and climate change.

    January, 1968 — With the Iranian Civil War raging, Abdul Rahman Arif, the President of Iraq, issues orders for the occupation of a formerly disputed section of Iranian territory along the country’s border with Iraq. Arif manages to avoid conflict with any of the parties in the Civil War by making covert donations of arms to each group of combatants in the region — each without the other’s knowledge.

    February, 1968 — Amid ostensibly-democratic elections, a new Communist People’s Party assumes power in Mongolia. In reality, the new government is merely a shell for rule from Beijing, which has largely taken over a nation that was largely depopulated during the war and which lies between China and its new former-Soviet territories.

    March, 1968 — As part of its arms purchases from Britain and France, Israel arranges for the purchase of a dozen nuclear warheads. Recovered from European stockpiles, they serve as Israel’s nuclear deterrent until the development of its own atomic arm.

    June, 1968 — The newly proclaimed Democratic Republic of Baden-Wurttemberg announces that it is the official surviving government of Germany and should be accorded all the aid and inherit the treaties and duties of West Germany. The capital of the new nation is Pforzheim, which boasts a population of less than 40,000 people, despite having not been attacked during the Cuban Missile War. Despite the Republic’s claim of inheriting the official German government, it is not taken seriously, as it is just one of dozens of small governments to have made similar claims.

    General Ne Win seizes control of the revolutionary council leading the southeast Asian nation of Burma. He will remain at the head of the country until his death in 1990.

    August, 1968 — A food production survey conducted by the United Nations lists Brazil and Argentina as the second and fifth-largest producers of food in the world, respectively, in terms of total production. The United States is first, China third, and India fourth. These countries will maintain their respective positions throughout the century, even as absolute production skyrockets due to better technology, seed stock, and improved agricultural methods.

    Brazil and Argentina are the first and third largest food exporters, with the United States second, though continued recovery from wartime damage will eventually allow the United States to pass Brazil for first place. China and India, despite producing a great deal of food, are forced to import large amounts of food until the mid-1980s as a result of their large populations.

    Acting on tips from nearby survivors, aid workers discover the remains of a vast refugee camp in southeastern Poland. Evidently established in the months following the war, little remains of the vast, burned project. After extensive surveys, it is estimated that the site contains over 120,000 corpses. It is the largest — though far from only — such find in Europe. The camps are the remains of desperate government plans during the war to provide for millions of refugees. When the food, water, or other supplies ran out, people with nowhere else to go gradually starved to death or were killed by radiation, biological effects, or chemical weapons.

    April, 1969 — The South African Army is now in a full-fledged guerilla war against black rebels in the northern portions of its newly-annexed Zambian province. Though the South African government has deployed upwards of 50,000 soldiers to the area, the rebels find aid and comfort in the nearby Congoese nation of Kwilu, which is fanatically opposed to white influence in Africa. To stem the flow of Kwilu aid to the rebels, the South African government begins to equip the nearby nation of Katanga with heavy military equipment. Katanga has been involved in a low-level war with Kwilu since the two countries’ secession from Congo, and serves as a natural ally to South Africa.

    May, 1969 — Amid growing demands for change and unrest in British refugee camps, Prime Minister Powell is forced to hold the nation’s first general election since the war. In a not-so-surprising turn of events, the left wing of the Labour party is thrust into power by a general public angry at the perceived notion that the Conservative Party was to blame for the war and the government’s inability to rebuild afterward.

    In addition, the few positive aspects to the rebuilding process — the reconstruction of the rail network, the restoration of electrical power through much of the country, and the successful organization of government-run refugee camps — are seen to have come from the Labour party’s suggestions. The few wholly Conservative projects — which mostly revolved around the encouragement of private enterprise — are judged to be abject failures. In the wake of the election, Labour has a strong majority, and the resurgent Liberal Party has been resurrected from a pre-war grave. It attracts many people who are reluctant to vote Conservative, but who see Labour as far too close to Soviet Socialism, the cause of the war. Richard Crossman is elected Prime Minister by the Labour majority.

    November, 1969 — President Donahue is elected to a second term as president, promising to continue his “Drive toward Normalcy.”

    December, 1969 — On Christmas day, Pope Paul VI holds his first mass in Rome. Citing a message of “rebirth and resurrection,” Paul returns the papacy to the Vatican after more than half a decade of self-imposed exile in Sardinia. The rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica and the rest of the Vatican is still in an early stage, and the pope’s temporary offices consist of a strange hybrid of surviving Renaissance structures and temporary buildings thrown up in the reconstruction efforts following the war.

    January, 1970 — Following a proposal by the Indian government to establish an “International City” outside of Goa, the new UN General Assembly convenes in Goa after four years of meetings in Santiago, Chile. The complex of UN buildings will take several years to complete, but the meeting is the first to consist of nations who have signed the new UN charter.

    February, 1970 — Lin Biao, the de facto second in command of the Chinese government dies in a plane crash. Histories released in the 21st century reveal that Biao had been unhappy over Mao’s internalist policies and had hoped to renew the Sino-Indian conflict that had been aborted by the Cuban Missile War. A few of the histories propose that Mao had Biao killed before he could act against Mao’s government.

    August, 1970 — Israel, in Operation Jericho, detonates its first nuclear weapon at a test site in western Turkey. The region has been largely abandoned after the war, and serves as an excellent test site for the new Israeli weapons purchased from surviving French and British stockpiles. Richard Crossman, the new British PM, had been a strong supporter to the sale of nuclear weapons to Israel. In his view, Israel should be Britain’s primary ally in the Middle East. In exchange for the weapons, the British and French receive critically needed medical supplies and reconstruction materiel.

    July, 1971 — In a secret test conducted in the South Pacific, the Taiwanese nuclear program detonates its first nuclear weapon. The Taiwanese nuclear program will not be officially announced until the early years of the 21st Century, but Chinese intelligence operatives are quietly allowed to ‘discover’ the program and its policy of ‘second-strike-only’ in the late 1990s.

    November, 1971 — Following a bombing attack on a checkpoint in Northern Ireland, the British Army mounts a large operation against Irish Republican Army strongholds in the Republic of Ireland. Though the Irish government strongly protests, and cuts off aid shipments to Britain for three months, it cracks down on IRA action in the months following the British incursion.

    The size and ferocity of the of the British incursion shocks many Irish citizens and surviving members of the IRA, which largely ceases to become a moving force in northern Ireland. The sheer numbers of British refugees have isolated the IRA and nationalist supporters in Northern Ireland, and ironically, many IRA members end up uniting with protestants who believe that the refugees are overwhelming their pre-war existence in the country.

    December, 1971 — Using South African aid, the government of Katanga begins a large-scale offensive against the government of the Congo, the nation from which it seceded over a decade previously. The South Africans are displeased, as they had hoped the Katangans would focus on their mutual opponent, Kwilu.

    October, 1972 — The Canadian government passes laws granting increased autonomy to individual provinces, primarily due to pressure from citizens of Quebec, which has become the largest province in Canada in terms of population. Over seven times as many people live in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec as in all the other Canadian provinces combined.

    November, 1972 — Israel and South Africa sign a technology-sharing agreement covering nuclear weapons. In exchange for Israel sharing its technological knowledge, the South Africans will supply needed uranium ore to the Israeli program.

    March, 1973 — British Prime Minister Richard Crossman dies. Labour Minister Michael Stewart replaces him, and continues many of Crossman’s socialist policies, which have begun to restore the British economy to something beyond postwar subsistence levels. Stewart continues Crossman’s policy of establishing dozens of public hospitals and hundreds of public housing apartment towers to replace housing destroyed in the war. The crude concrete cinderblock towers are given the ironic nickname “estates” by residents. The estates become the most common building style in Britain by the 1990s, and largely replace the refugee camps.

    Following Crossman’s death, Britain’s second postwar general election is held. During the campaign, the Conservative party repudiates the “law and order” political platform that it had itself championed during the 1969 election. Pointing out the Labour Party’s restrictions on free speech and public meetings will be one of the Conservative Party’s strongest campaign attacks into the 21st Century.

    July, 1973 — With the population of Portugal’s colonies now far outweighing the population of Portugal itself, the colonies have become the tail that wags the dog. Millions of European refugees from the Iberian Peninsula and places across Europe have made Mozambique, Angola, the Cape Verde Islands, and Guinea-Bissau “little Europes” in the heart of Africa. With a growing demand for self-government, the Portuguese government is forced to create a Colonial Congress that contains representatives from all Portuguese colonies and deals with issues affecting all Portuguese foreign territory. The colonies themselves have free reign to create whatever government they deem fit.

    October, 1973 — As the debate over self-government continues in the Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau, a compromise is reached between the independence-minded natives and the European refugees who arrived in the country after the war. Since their arrival, a low-level insurgency had been going on in the country, and only the lack of heavy weaponry had prevented the conflict from spiraling out of control. In October, 1973, a province-by-province plebiscite was held, with each province deciding by majority vote whether to declare independence as part of a new country, remain a colony, or join the Portuguese Colonial Congress as a representative state.

    In the provinces of Tombali and Gabu, over 2/3 of the population voted for independence. In the northern provinces of Cacheu, Biombo, and Oio, where most of the refugees had settled, the population was in favor of joining the Colonial Congress. The same was also the case in the island province of Bolama and the capital province of Bissau. The two provinces of Bafata and Quinara were closely divided. In the end, the two divided groups decided to split the country in two. Tombali, Gabu, and the southern portions of Bafata and Quinara declared independence as a new country, while the remaining provinces joined the Colonial Congress. The split was not clean, however, and scattered fighting between the two sides continued for several years before a permanent cease-fire was reached. In addition, a large number of internal refugees were created as people moved to either the new country or to the portions of the colony that were remaining in Portuguese control.

    November, 1973 — Martin Luther King, Jr. is elected President of the United States as the heir apparent to President Donahue, who retires after two terms in office.

    July, 1974 — The final American patrol is conducted in Canada. Though American bases are still common on Canadian soil, the U.S. Army is no longer conducting regular security operations in Canada. The ending of the regular American presence in Canada is largely symbolic, however, as few patrols have been conducted since the beginning of the King Administration and the accompanying slashed defense budgets.

    August, 1974 — With France under a restrictive military government, a new class of refugees has begun to leave French ports for places like French Guiana, the Caribbean, or the South Pacific: Political asylum-seekers. Because their flight is seen as an “internal transfer” rather than actual flight, the generals at the head of the French government fail to crack down on the growing flight of France’s best and brightest.

    September, 1974 — Increasing local unrest in Angola forces the Portuguese colonial government there to pass laws allowing for universal suffrage for native residents. A low-level insurgency still brews, fueled by the idea that Portugal should leave, but it is all but isolated from the outside world. Without outside support, any opposition to the Portuguese-led Colonial Congress can’t get traction. In addition, the several million European refugees who have Angola their home prove to fight fervently for their new homes — both through the political system and in the occasional street fights that sometimes mar the unruly Angolan democracy.

    October, 1974 — With American defense budgets having fallen to their lowest levels since before the Second World War, several south Asian nations sign a military accord in an effort to fend off the growing threat of Chinese dominance. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and Siam are the founding members of this new military organization, the Alliance of Asian Nations, or AAN.

    The organization is reminiscent in many ways of the old NATO, differing primarily in the fact that each nation is responsible for its own nuclear arsenal. Anti-nuclear sentiment is extremely strong in several of the member nations, and a joint nuclear force is out of the question. The nations are still united in most conventional aspects, and several important intelligence-sharing and free trade agreements are also packaged with the military agreement. In many respects, the AAN will come to resemble a stronger version of the pre-war European Economic Community.

    November, 1974 — In just the third “free” election in South Korea since the Cuban Missile War, the South Korean Socialist People’s Party — a front for Chinese influence — is swept into power. As one of its first actions, it signs a treaty of mutual defense with China and grants basing rights throughout the country to the Chinese military.

    Shortly after the election, China announces that it will be ending its two-decade-long occupation of North Korean territory and, in conjunction with the South Korean Socialist People’s Party, will be unifying that territory under the South Korean Government. The announcement gives the new government a great deal of influence among many elements of the populace that had voted against it.

    January, 1975 — In retaliation to another Irish Republican Army bombing in Northern Ireland, the British Army embarks on another incursion into Ireland. The Irish government responds by cutting off formal aid shipments to Britain once more — the fourth time since 1971. This time, the cutoff is permanent, due to increasing hostility between the British government, which sees the Irish government as providing shelter to the IRA, and the Irish government, which sees the British as unnecessarily aggressive in events it has no control over.

    In the end, however, the attack is the last major move by the independent IRA. Most of the IRA has already been subsumed into the joint Protestant-Catholic Alliance Army of Northern Ireland, which proclaims its support for the pre-war population of Northern Ireland. The former Protestant/Catholic divide in the country has been replaced by the Native/Refugee divide, and although their goal is new, they still cling to the same tactics of bombings and reprisals as the old Catholic and Protestant militant organizations.

    February, 1975 — Mao Zedong dies. Hua Guofeng succeeds him in a smooth succession, and promises to continue Mao’s policies. The harshest portions of the “Great Farm” campaign do come to an end with Mao’s death, however.

    April, 1975 — South Africa, as a measure of its increasing influence in Africa and the world, detonates its first nuclear weapon. The explosion, at the Vastrap test range, is the first nuclear weapon to be developed outside the former NATO, Warsaw Pact, and China.

    July, 1975 — A small-scale border skirmish erupts along the Vietnamese border with China. A battalion-scale engagement results, but both sides eventually calm the situation. China claims that the Vietnamese force wandered into its territory and responded with gunfire when informed that it was on the wrong side of the border, but most outside observers and the Vietnamese government simply observe that most of the fighting occurred on the Vietnamese side of the border.

    In response, the Vietnamese government mobilizes its military and conducts several aggressive exercises in the northern provinces of the country. The situation is eventually calmed, but Vietnam maintains an increased alertness in regards to China. Negotiations begin between Vietnam and the newly-formed AAN.

    May, 1976 — The city of Cayenne in French Guiana is rocked by the largest bank robbery in the city’s history. Black-masked bandits make off with nearly $10 million, but are caught a few weeks later. The incident does little to reduce Guiana’s growing reputation as the “Switzerland of the South”, particularly given the quickness with which French police captured the perpetrators.

    French flight from the increasingly-authoritarian government of southern France and the accelerating development of South America have given Guiana an excellent opportunity to become one of the financial centers of the world.

    September, 1976 — After over a decade of fighting, the South African government is forced to declare a cease-fire in its fighting against black rebels in its northern Zambian provinces. Domestic pressure from anti-war groups has grown to the point where the South African military can no longer afford to send tens of thousands of soldiers into endless combat far from home. In exchange for a cessation of hostilities, the rebels are granted a modicum of self-government, and establish a capital at Mplungu. Despite the official declaration, scattered fighting between whites and blacks continues to take place in northern Zambia.

    March, 1977 — The Silesian Peoples’ Republic is proclaimed. With a capital in Legnica — the largest intact city in the new Republic — it comprises portions of former East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Silesia is one of dozens of small nations to emerge from the wreckage of central and eastern Europe. Switzerland, as the largest nation in central Europe, has assumed a status of regional power.

    November, 4, 1977 — By a narrow margin, Republican Ronald Reagan is elected the first non-Normal Party president since the overthrow of the Johnson Administration.

    December 15, 1977 — Due to growing distance between the more conservative agrarian wing of the Normal Party and the liberal side of the party, coupled with the loss of the presidential election, the liberal wing of the Normal Party officially breaks away from the main body of the party as the “American Democrat Party” is founded in Chicago. Its leaders attempt to portray themselves as continuing the legacy of the pre-war Democratic Party while avoiding any references to the Kennedy administration.

    September, 1979 — After several years of negotiations, Vietnam formally joins the AAN as a probationary member. After a 12-month period, Vietnam joins as a full member and begins coordinating its military with the other AAN nations, who welcome Vietnam despite its communist government.

    June, 1980 — In a diplomatic showdown, Morocco cuts off European aid shipments through its ports in an effort to pressure Spain to return the enclaves of Ceuta and Melila. After shipments are merely diverted to ports in southern France, Italy, Ireland, and other North African countries, Morocco is forced to back down.

    February, 1981 — Protests break out in northern Iraq, where the predominantly Kurdish population favors secession in order to join independent Kurdistan, a nation formed from portions of eastern Turkey and western Iran. Iraqi forces are supported by the Syrian military as they violently suppress the dissent. Syria has its own problems with Kurdistan as it attempts to expand into the power vacuum left by the destruction of Turkish authority, and hopes to gain Iraqi support.

    November, 1981 — After nearly 20 years of self-imposed isolation, the Swiss government announces that it will reopen its borders to all travelers on Christmas Day. The government had sealed its borders in order to stem the enormous tide of German, French, and Italian refugees in the years after the war. The borders had remained closed due to the fear of disease, foreign invasion, or other outside conflict.

    June, 1982 — The last official British refugee camp closes its gates. Millions of Britons are housed in concrete cinderblock apartment towers, nicknamed “estates”. The unemployment rate in Britain hovers around 42% despite vast government work programs and a private economy that has somewhat rebuilt itself. Emigration to Australia, Canada, and Africa is still extremely high, however.

    July, 1983 — The nearly 20-year-long Iranian Civil War comes to an end as forces controlled by Gholam Hossein Sadighi’s government succeed in driving Islamicist forces across the Pakistani border. The Islamicists, who have been receiving support from the Pakistan government, continue to launch cross-border raids, but fail to pose a major threat to the central government.

    October, 1983 — The French government announces plans to build a space rocket launching facility near Kourou in French Guiana, but due to the high population of the area and massive protests from local businesspeople who fear accidents, the site for the proposed facility is shifted inland, to the rural Camopi commune near the Brazilian border.

    October, 1984 — The Australian territory of Western Australia holds a vote on the issue of independence from the rest of Australia. Several dozen million refugees from the Cuban Missile War and their Australian-born children have become increasingly upset at their marginalization in Australia’s growing economy. Though the vote fails by a margin of 57% to 43%, it inspires governmental reforms that do much to increase assimilation and reduce resentment among second-generation Australians.

    January, 1985 — Switzerland announces that it is closing the last of its “Work Refuge” camps in Italy. The camps, designed to shelter refugees are infamous for forcing refugees to work on Swiss infrastructure projects in order to remain in the camp. The alternative is ‘allowing’ the refugees to leave into the unorganized wilds of Germany, Italy, or Austria. The Swiss government responded to accusations of ill-treatment by declaring that any measures were necessary for the survival of Swiss citizens and the refugees.

    With stable governments now formed in most of northern Italy and southern Germany, however, the need for the camps has largely been eliminated. In addition, Switzerland now has sufficient connections between itself and the Mediterranean ports on which it relies for trade. There is no further need for large-scale ‘forced’ labor.

    March, 1985 — Following the death of its leader, the Portuguese government collapses. The military dictatorship that had led the country since before the Cuban Missile War had become increasingly moderate since 1970, but had maintained a firm grip on power. Now, with a moderate-centrist government being formed and a new constitution written, true democracy is introduced to Portugal for the first time. The former Portuguese colonies represented by the Colonial Congress are still caught in between full independence and a kind of Portuguese federalism.

    July, 1985 — India announces that it has increased agricultural production to the point where it can meet demand without importing food. Due to Indian demand for high-quality produce from South and North America, however, hundreds of billions of Rupees are spent annually on food imports. The “green revolution” in agricultural technology, coupled with new foodstuffs, has allowed Indians a better diet on average than at any other point in the nation’s history.

    January, 1986 — On the first day of the year, the British colony of Hong Kong is formally returned to Chinese control.

    June, 1986 — The pro-democracy government in control of Iran holds its first general election, nearly 25 years after the destruction of Tehran during the Cuban Missile War. Gholam Hossein Sadighi is elected the nation’s first president.

    February, 1987 — Brazil becomes the first country in South America to independently develop a nuclear weapon. Though several of the central European successor states have nuclear weapons acquired from lost pre-war NATO and Warsaw Pact stockpiles, the reliability of the weapons is in question after a quarter-century of storage. In addition, none of the countries with pre-war weapons has the ability to increase their stockpile as does Brazil.

    October, 1987 — Just over one year after taking office, Iranian President Gholam Hossein Sadighi dies of natural causes. Perhaps surprisingly for a nation wracked by nearly 20 years of civil war, his vice president, Massoud Rajavi, assumes power peacefully.

    August, 1988 — Buoyed by greater-than-expected gains in the aviation sector, the Bombay Stock Exchange Industrial Average (BSEIA) passes the 10,000 Rupee mark.

    June, 1989 — Britain’s 14th general election since 1969 results in its first non-Labour Prime Minister as a coalition government between the Liberal Party and Conservative Party results in Paddy Ashdown’s election. The coalition government is fragile, but succeeds in passing several laws relating to individual rights and free speech. Unfortunately, one of the government’s main campaign promises — to eliminate the National Service program of conscription — failed to pass due to continuing problems in Northern Ireland.

    March, 1990 — General Ne Win, leader of the Socialist Republic of Burma, dies. He is replaced by General Huo Nimong, who continues the militaristic nation’s rapproachment with China. Burma, along with nearby Cambodia, are the only two nations in southeast Asia to maintain close relations with China.

    April, 1991 — The British-dominated Northern Ireland Parliament, in response to continued bomb attacks by elements of the Alliance Army, illegalizes most Alliance political parties in Northern Ireland. Thanks to the massive influx of British refugees, and the widespread belief that the British presence is good for northern Ireland, only approximately three percent of the population of the country indicates favoritism towards the Alliance Army cause at the time of the illegalization.

    February, 1992 — Citing repeated aggressive Chinese actions in the Yellow Sea and the increased pace of nuclear development worldwide, Japan announces its intention to develop nuclear weapons.

    August, 1992 — Argentina becomes the second country in South America to develop nuclear weapons after detonating a bomb off the southern tip of the continent.

    March, 1993 — The French military government, weakened by the continued flight of the best and brightest of France to places like French Guiana or the Caribbean government, collapses amid popular protests. Preparations are made for the first democratic elections since 1958 and the institution of the Sixth Republic.

    October, 1994 — In response to further bomb attacks by Alliance Army elements, the Parliament of Northern Ireland passes a law allowing for warrantless searches of homes thought to be “harboring Alliance terrorists and sympathizers.” The law is extremely popular with British former-refugees, who are primarily the targets of the attacks.

    December ,1995 — The Iraqi government again clashes with Kurdish separatists in the northern portions of the country. The secessionists, aided by nearby Kurdistan, begin a guerilla war with the central Iraqi government that will last for several decades.

    April, 1995 — Australia signs a trade accord with the AAN, which bargains as a collective economic unit for the first time on the international stage. Australian resources have become increasingly important to the growth of the AAN, and in particular the Indian economic boom.

    December, 1996 — Japan detonates its first nuclear weapon on the island of Naha Jima, thus joining the club of nuclear-capable nations.

    February, 1997 — With bomb attacks continuing in Northern Ireland, the British refugee-dominated Northern Ireland government announces its intention to completely seal the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland proper. Between February and April, the border is lined with hundreds of miles of barbed wire dozens of guard towers are constructed, and multiple minefields are laid. The end result reminds some people of the pre-war border between the two Koreas. All of it is built with the full support of the British government, which strongly desires to protect the millions of British subjects who have made Northern Ireland their home.

    The event causes the few remaining Alliance Party members in the Parliament to stage a walkout, proclaiming that the Northern Ireland Parliament is nothing more than a sham designed to further British interests in the country. At no point since the Cuban Missile War have the native Northern Irish and the former refugee population been further apart.

    April, 1998 — A small riot breaks out in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England between Conservative and Labour supporters in one of the several “estates” that dot the countryside around the town. The riot is widely publicized in the English media due to its violence, and is held up as an example of the tensions between the two separate political parties. High unemployment is also cited as a reason for the violence, as the average unemployment rate in Britain is still above 28% despite the growing economy and the successful restoration of the fiat Pound as a form of everyday currency.

    March, 1999 — Pakistan, fearing the increasing prominence of outside influence in Asia, detonates its first nuclear weapon. The detonation is the culmination of a decade-long development program. Pakistan sees its nuclear deterrent as critical to maintaining its neutrality between the Chinese and Indian spheres of influence.

    January 1, 2000 — The world celebrates the end of the bloodiest century in human history with relief. The Earth has survived a third world war, but can it survive a fourth?

    Appendix A: Song List

    Suggested Song List:

    Foreigner: “Feels like the First Time”
    OMD (Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark): “Enola Gay”
    Blue Öyster Cult: “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
    Europe: “The Final Countdown”
    Sting: “Russians”
    Can: “Mushroom”
    Yo La Tengo: “Nuclear War”

    Appendix B: Architecture

    The general architectural style of the post-war world can be summed up in the Brutalist style of OTL. Heavy unornamented concrete, stone and steel construction dominates, with heavy reinforced concrete columns and steel-frame construction. Outdoor ornamentation is rare, and is generally confined to painted murals or frescoes. Ornamental stonework is rare. The overall goal of most post-war architecture is to create a sense of safety and security for the occupants. Natural light and airflow is shunned, with builders favoring a closed-control atmosphere of central air conditioning and heating.

    Glass is uncommon, though block-glass windows are popular in residential dwellings. Glass doors are considered a form of ostentation, and are typically inset from building facades. The same is true for windows, which are normally situated low to the ground, if they can be found at all. It is not uncommon for a 30-story building to have no more than a handful of windows, none higher than the second story.

    Underground construction is common, and many buildings use earthen insulation to create a more efficient climate control system. Many housing developments in the United States built after the 1980s take a so-called low-impact approach where the only thing aboveground is a garage or storage shed or two. Elaborate landscaping and gardening on the open space above the house is typical, and access to the home is usually given through a series of sloping concrete ramps that end in a blank door. Most underground homes have at least one alternate exit due to fire and safety codes. A specially-reinforced “strongroom” is common to upscale homes, and many residents keep these stocked with ample supplies of canned goods and bottled water for emergencies. More often than not, however, the extra space is merely used as a closet.

    Arenas and other large public areas, such as shopping malls, sometimes exhibit a hybrid of the Brutalist and Subterranean styles. Mall of America, built in 1989 outside St. Louis, the capital of the United States, is one such example. Covering several acres, it was built in an excavated pit with half of the concrete structure above ground. A parking garage occupies much of the top of the structure, while outdoor dining and recreation areas occupy the other portions of the structure seen from the surface. Inside, the mall extends downward for several levels, and encompasses several hundred independent stores. So-called “refuge areas” are located in several places throughout the mall for use in the event of an emergency such as a fire, earthquake, or nuclear attack. The refuge areas are mandated by civil defense building codes that require all large public buildings to have a certain number in proportion to the overall capacity of the building. The refuge areas typically provide sufficient water, air, and food for several dozen people for several days.

    Most load-bearing frames use the simple arch or a triangle shape in order to achieve maximum strength. Arches are particularly common in private homes, and it is uncommon to find many vertical walls in a home in the United States built after 1970.

    For OTL examples of Brutalist architecture, see the Ryerson University Library in Toronto, Canada (; The Long Lines Building in New York City (; and Dunelm House at Durham University (
  4. Chris S Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    Really wonderful stuff. Almost feel like printing it and binding it with the diagrams from other contributors (would use up a lot of paper though).

    Just want to point out a couple of errors (I use the TL dates and underlines to make it easier for you to find and correct them):

    The “White Australia” policy was around from 1901 to 1973 in OTL but became very relaxed between 1964 and 1966 in OTL, so Australia would limit admittance on racial grounds in 1963 (but probably not as badly as South Africa), but then again Australia’s immigration policy under the White Australia policy was mainly skewed towards Europeans in general and not just Britons, so Australia would find very little reason to limit refugees based on race (since most of them would have been European anyway).

    The central government would have been based in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) in the west of the country. Stanleyville (now Kisangani) is the east of the country and was where a rival national (rebel) government was set up during the Congo Crisis (actual rebels controlled Stanleyville on a number of separate occasions during and after the Congo Crisis). Also any state formed out of Stanleyville in the east will probably not be named Kwilu as OTL Kwilu province (which seems to be named after a royal house of the old Kingdom of Kongo) was formed out of the Leopoldville province. If anything, a rival national government that secedes (or declares itself the true government and renames the “country”) might use the name Kwilu, but also claim the entire west of the country (Congo). A state formed from eastern Congo might also use the name Mangbetu (a native state in the northeast of the country that was fell under Egyptian occupation before the area was colonized and also the name of an ethnic group in the area) or it might even call itself “Zaire” depending on if a certain someone takes it over. Also of interest to note is that in the Kivu region (in the east of the Congo) there was a secessionist state of Maniema.

    I think you meant Syrian-Israeli border.

    I doubt South Africa would rename the area as “Zambia”, especially as that term would probably be associated with separatist rebels (as the name they use in place of Northern Rhodesia). Most likely if it annexed the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland then it would simply incorporate the 3 provinces from that federation directly so instead of just Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Province and Natal, there would also be Nyasaland (OTL Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (OTL Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (OTL Zimbabwe). By the way, you didn’t mention what happened to South-West Africa (which I assume would be annexed around 1966 at the latest). You know….the immigration of many Europeans, especially Britons and presumably some Dutch refugees and German refugees would affect the Afrikaner-English balance in the white population of South Africa (more so when the Rhodesias and Nyasaland are incorporated). The National Party would probably still retain control, but it might just be that the situation you’ve outlined would have allowed for the possibility of other white-rule parties that would challenge the National Party (and the Afrikaners/Boers)… democracy for the whites.

    It would seem that South Africa would have a lot of insurgents that they would be fighting: SWAPO in South-West Africa, MPLA, FNLA and FRELIMO (which it would fight only sporadically when the first two groups aid SWAPO from Angola; South Africa would probably coordinate with Portugal against MPLA, FNLA, FRELIMO and SWAPO), the ANC (in old South Africa, NRANC (in Northern Rhodesia) and Zambian ANC (in Northern Rhodesia), ZAPU (from which ZANU would probably split off later as in OTL), and the MCP (Malawi Congress Party in the province of Nyasaland). All the same without Soviet supplies these groups would mostly have to rely on whatever they can get (and maybe some communist Chinese assistance). The idea of the rebels gaining a modicum of self-government almost looks like a kind of “Bantustan” policy, which would probably develop in TTL as well (most of the triggers were in place anyway from the 1950s).

    Western Australia was never an Australian territory. It was a State since the formation of Australia in 1901 (Australia has always had 6 States – and at the rate they are going, they always will and Northern Territory will remain a perpetual territory). Western Australia did have a vote on secession in 1933 (which garnered 68% approval but failed in its venture when the British House of Commons eventually declared that it couldn’t legally grant secession – no there’s a “what if?” for you!). There was also a short-lived secession movement in 1974 which stagnated. The idea of a second vote in 1984 though is interesting. Given that the first vote was successful 68% to 32%, the Australian government would probably consider this a massive victory that 51 years (and a couple world wars) later the next vote was unsuccessful 43% to 57%. It would inspire a lot of governmental reforms though as you said.

    Also generally, I think it would be possible that a number of small states would be formed from the former USSR (in the areas not taken over by the Japanese or Chinese). as you have happening in the devastated areas of Europe and like those new countries they would probably be named after the pre-war districts/oblasts/whatever or geographical name or largest surviving settlement or so forth.
  5. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    Thanks for the proof. I'll throw those into 1.6. Give me a few weeks for the next version -- the NCAA Tournament's on, and I've also got to deal with the Road Not Traveled story.
  6. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

    Mar 31, 2007
    In the middle of nowhere
    Why does Indonesia support the formation of Malaysia ?

    EDIT : Not saying that is impossible. But would you mind to explain me the detail ?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  7. Hnau free radical

    Aug 13, 2007
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Wow, great stuff man, can't wait to go over it all. :)
  8. Michel Van Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Liege Belgium Europe
    marvellous TL :cool:

    now to get bug out

    Chris S data on Africa and Congo are right.

    wat is with city of Avignon ?
    there is second bigges complex after Vatican city : Palais des Papes

    OTL Israel has good conection to France, they help israel to start thery Nuclear program
    so wat if Israel buy some Nuke alrady in 1965 from New french goverment ?
    how ever the Relatioship with Israel and New french goverment could be trobble with Algierian massaker

    Syria expasion plans bring them at war with Kurdistan
    because Syria as to move thrue Kurdistan for reach former USSR land
    and Ameria, Gegoriga will also make Problem with new Invader...

    is rest of Bayern (Bavaria) now part of Baden-Wurttemberg ??
    capital Pforzheim ? WHY Pforzheim ?
    there more bigger towns in Baden-Wurttemberg like Freiburg or Ulm
    who are more south from Fallout zoneürttemberg

    offical slogan of State is
    "Wir können alles. außer Hochdeutsch" ("We can do everything except speak standard German." :eek: )
    the rural Camopi commune are south point of French Guiana the rockets has to fly over Brasil territory Amapá
    and First stage falls on Brasil, in case trouble with second stage it falls also on Amapá capital Macapá.
    i think that Brasil start Food embargo or worst send Troop over border to shut down the French Space Port

    of over 356 launches from "Centre Spatial Guyanais" NONE hit the land of French Guiana only atlantic ocean

    to Architecture
    to links Wiki chance again the links, here new

    Ryerson University Library

    AT&T Long Lines building
  9. Chris S Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    Wasn't it because it was determined (through your efforts as well) that Sukarno wasn't a megalomaniac (just a nationalist)?And because without any First World-Second World divide anymore that Sukarno would have no reason to suspect Malaysia's formation as that of a British plot (Britain withdrew her troops to top it off)? I also found that around that time anyway most of the people in Sabah and Sarawak were in favour of uniting with Malaya to form Malaysia. Without the British, a united Malaysia will probably align itself with Indonesia anyway.

    Avignon.....might make sense as a move after the war provided it wasn't destroyed as a target or as "collateral damage".;)

    Are you sure he meant Syria expanding across Turkey and into the former USSR? I kinda got the impression that it was Alexandretta that Syria would have been interested in (and maybe the region of Cilia - I might be wrong but I think that was the region around Alexandretta). But the only way Syria can really expand is before the Two-Week War. After that, its armed forces don't seem to have sufficient strength to occupy large swathes of Turkey and the former Soviet Caucasus - not to mention it would probably meet a bit of resistance from the surviving Turkish, Armenian, Georgian, Azeri and Russian residents in the area (and the Kurds as you pointed out).

    Speaking of the Kurds.....what would happen between Iraq and the new Kurdistan(s)? I doubt Iraq and Syria would be two pleased about that development and try their best to stymie Kurdish independence (maybe up to and including military raids or all-out war.....hmmm....a protracted conflict in the mountains.....).

    That would depend on if the larger towns like Freiburg and Ulm survived the war (which could be possible, but wouldn't there be military bases or transit routes around those towns...Freiburg is near the French border isn't it?)

    It would probably start as a diplomatic dispute before reaching embargoes and troops, but couldn't the second stage also fall within Fr. Guiana (probably within the forest) depending on the trajectory of the rocket?
  10. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    The main objection in regards to French Guiana is that folks don't want their pristine waterfront views obstructed. In OTL, Guiana wasn't as heavily developed. Here, there's a lot more development before the space centre is built.

    Malaysia is exactly as Chris S has summarized.

    I included one Iraq/Kurdistan event in the TL. I'll include more.

    The Sardinia choice I justified by considering that southern France will be dealing with a refugee crisis of its own and will have been affected -- though not hit -- by the war. No weapons fell on Sardinia, and it's also a politically astute choice by a pope who wants to make it clear that the "exile" is just a temporary one. Sardinia's just across the water from Rome.
  11. Michel Van Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Liege Belgium Europe
    in that case take Ouanary in east
    or move the spaceport on Îles du SalutÎles_du_Salut
    other french side near French Guiana ?

    Intrest Alternate History of Space Flight and Aircraft development in CMW TL?
  12. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Good update, Amerigo!!!

    Keep up the good work!!!
  13. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

    Mar 31, 2007
    In the middle of nowhere
    That's true. My concern is your point is so vaguely basic....

    But it can't be help if you don't have anything detail as your reference to make Indonesia's part detail anyway....

    But with this site though, Amerigo, I think it can be used to help you justify your scenario for Indonesia. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  14. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

    Mar 31, 2007
    In the middle of nowhere
    Maybe "justify" is to strong of a word... :eek: but hey, I think this site would help you anyway. I would certainly inform you if I find another interesting sites about Indonesian history.:)
  15. Jukra Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    Tuborg at Uborg
    One very minor correction, with a ten kiloton explosion in Stockholm during a very cold December I don't think you can kill 100 000 Swedes. Stockholm is constructed more ruggedly than Hiroshima, most of the people are indoors, there's a lot of snow for reflection and absorbtion of heat etc.
  16. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    Fair enough. I'm willing to cut initial casualties by 2/3, given what you've said.
  17. Amerigo Vespucci Not lurking since Dec. 2002

    Jan 1, 2004
    Very interesting indeed, and easy to understand. Thank you very much for pointing it to me.
  18. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    It's extremely good, Amerigo! I enjoyed reading this version. And I must say, you found a brilliant solution for Guinea-Bissau.
    The Goa touch was also good. :)

    I have some comments/suggestions:
    More Germans would be saved (South Africa and South America need them - and their know-how).
    It's convenient to focus a bit more on the Caribbean. The Dutch islands (Curaçao, Bonaire, Dutch Antilles) would be much richer than in OTL. Ditto for most of the other islands.
    What happened to Cuba? Did it become a Spanish protectorate?

    On Portugal, I think we can make Caetano live a bit longer to fit the dates.

    By the end of the 80's there will probably a federation comprising Portugal (with autonomy for Azores and Madeira - I think the non-leftist nature of the ATL revolution will butterfly away any stronger autonomic desires), the rump Portuguese Guinea, Angola (with Autonomy for the Cabinda enclave), Mozambique, Cape Verde Islands, Sao Tome and Principe Islands, Portuguese Timor. Macau will have a sort of special status, because of its special situation and it's possible that some sort of understanding with PRC can be reached for mutual benefit. The colonial congress will evolve to a bicameral congress to better suit everyone.

    Angola and Mozambique will be richer than Portugal proper from the start of the 80's and by ATL 2000, they will have a OTL Spanish level of life for the europeanized (regardless of race) populations (in Mozambique there may be some initial resistance to universal franchise, but with all the influx of Europeans with different views, by late 80's most, the problem will be solved).The rest of the population will probably be somewhere in the middle between that and OTL's local standard of life.

    The standard of life for Cape Verde Islands and São Tome and Príncipe will probably be in the OTL's upper end of the developing countries (think the poorest regions in OTL Portugal). East-Timor (in CMW TL still Portuguese Timor) will probably be like OTL's Cape Verde (in the middle of the scale).

    On Guinea-Bissau, the independent portion will be a communist one-party state, more or less pro-Portuguese culture (at least on the leaderships), poorer than OTL and very friendly with the other Guinea (the French-speaking one), their main supporters.
    The Portuguese portion will have a residual communist party. With more Europeans and much less independentists, the local version of an ATL Conservative/Christian Demochratic Party (different name, to appeal to non-Christians) will be dominant, although during Marshall's Spínola's political life (former military commander there), the ATL Liberal Democratic Party may force the CDP to a coalition. After that, the CDP will rule. Life standards by ATL 2007 equivalent to OTL Cape Verde, but progressing (the territory is quite poor).
    It's necessary to know a bit more about Tunisia, Libya, Greece and the remains of Turkey.

    BMEWS Thule: They can try to walk or drive to Dundas.


    If China adopts an "internalist" position, then the "Shining Path" guerilla may not appear, or just be a small groupuscule quickly crushed. The loss of USSR means a slightly decrease in the activities of the Sandinistas (Nicaragua) and FARC (Colombia). This may prevent the Sandinistas to take power in Nicaragua or at least make them less significant in the deposition of the Somoza family.

    I believe we can include Australia in the nuclear Club and in the Wanna-be club of nuclear countries, we could include New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, maybe Portugal and Spain too.
    The French dictatorship would be hard to maintain for so long, but in case you want to keep it, it's necessary to analyse the consequences for the French political system. I have a feeling that the over-seas French territories and Departments may turn out liberal (with many rich people flocking there). Since there is no North-African imigration to France, the local communist in the South of France won't turn to the far-right, but might turn to the socialists (due to the USSR's attacks over Northern France)
    I would like to suggest "Forever young" from the Alphaville, and "Knockin' on Heavens Door" by Bob Dylan, to be added the song list.

    Oppenheimer's quote on the Bhagavad Gita, regarding the atom bomb : "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.", might look good in the prologue.
    Ceylon, Maldives and Bangladesh (if it's formed, it's necessary to clarify the Pakistan-Bangladesh situation) might join the AAN under Indian influence.
    Over the course of years, some communist parties might turn socialist due to the discredit for the CMW, or for prolonged loss of support from USSR.
    This could refer to legal or illegal parties (the CP's from Mozambique, Italy, France, Cyprus, Greece, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Israel, other parties from Nuked countries, and also the CP's from Afghanistan, Iran, Cyprus (because of Greece and Turkey), Brasilian Communist Party, Mozambique, Chile and the pro-soviet CP's from India).
    The successor states in the worst damaged parts of Europe would end up merging according to ethnic/linguistic lines. The German states would end up grouping themselves again out of necessity and common heritage. A good question is to know if what's left of Austria (which I find strange to be very hit - it's a neutral country and a clear strategical error to waste nukes in a neutral and driving it to the opposite side). Valid to other cases.[1] This reconfiguration would be well advanced by early 70's and nearly complete by late 70's. Like I said before, necessity will make the remnants of EFTA and EEC to join somewhere in the early 70's, and they will be making agreements with reemerging former EEC/EFRA members after they reconstitute themselves. Other states (in the Former Warsaw Pact), might take longer, since they are in very bad shape and it's necessary some functional capacities in the State and economy.
    About Israel, some internal pressure in Syria, Iraq and Egypt may lead them to a new war with Israel, which they will lose in a worse way than before. This may cause a great loss of prestige for Nasser and his pan-Arabist Ideas and make his successor more friendly towards the West and Israel.
    What happened to Albania after the war?
    [1] - Yuguslavia, being also a neutral country, wouldn't likely be attacked, and it's not on an easy way to other targets.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  19. Olmeka Banned

    Feb 6, 2008
    Doesn't seem likely. Legnica was HQ of Soviet Northern Group of Forces and one of the main transport hubs for supplying Soviet forces in East Germany.

    You could try restoring in some way the historic

    Mostly made of small cities which could hope to survive. Possibly led this time by Walbrzych which didn't host importent military objects and is one of the largest cities in the area.

    In the longer term, I believe countries in Eastern Europe would rather be run by alliance of military and church officials using nationalism. Somewhat similar to Franco's Spain.
  20. Michel Van Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Liege Belgium Europe
    here my speculation inside CMW TL

    Aircraft development in CMW TL: The USA

    Improvisation after the War

    after world war 3, had SAC and USAF a lot of problems
    apart from the loss of 40% there bomber fleet, they had lost also the manufacturers their best bombers
    Boeing for B-47 and B-52 and Convair for B-58.

    The USAF had lost its whole B-58 fleet, without one of it was shot
    The B-58 made on US bases close the USSR to make an emergency landing because of limited range.

    the remainder of B-52 fleet need quick necessary overhauls , but without Boeing company
    the USAF was forced to use components from bad damange B-52 and left spare parts in AF Bases.
    but the differences between models the B-F and G-H almost made this inpossibly
    UASF retired the B-52 models B-C already after war, for to use as spare parts
    wat reduce the fleet thus on 40% before the War
    remaining mostly B-52 G and H modele (some the B-52H Bomber never was used in WW3 !)

    all remaining B-52 D-F reequipped on AGM-28 Hound Dog and ADM-20 Quail Decoys standard
    in addition got the G-H models the Douglas AGM-48 Skybolt
    as Backup until the Titan II ICBM was available in sufficient numbers.

    1976 retired the USAF the last B-52 D-F. hoping that the B-52 G-H of still few years hold on.
    these retired symbolically in october 1982 to 20 year Ceremonies of WW3

    USAF Gambit: Archangel
    Already in 1968 became clearly the SAC of necessary new bombers to replace the old B-52 .
    but president James Donahue and his successor Martin King Jr not thought for
    order to develop and build new bombers , the rebuild of the USA and its defence had priority!

    With USAF they remembers a concept from the 1950s
    Kelly Johnson "Archangel" where a Mach 3 airplane serves as reconnaissance aircraft, interceptor, bomber
    of the concept remained only 1962 the C.I.A Project Oxcart (A-12) and YF-12 prototypes.

    the USAF sold Archangel as
    Reconnaissance aircraft A-12 aka U-3 (code name Raphael),
    Interceptor F-12 (code name Gabriel)
    Bomber B-12 (code name Michael) was ceep secret vor Congress, Senat and President!
    50% of the fleet are to use in case of War instead of AIM-47A Falcon, the Lookheed AGM-69 SRAM as bombs

    President James Donahue sigined the production order for the Archangel A-12 and F-12 Fleet in 1970
    the USAF ordered a fleet over 1400 of the Archangel planes (50% as B-12 configuration)
    with new Longrange armed Tankerfleed of the KC-141B Starlifter also build by Lookheed.

    as the secret of B-12 was revealed to Public in 1974
    it was biggest Polical scandal in US after WW3
    President Martin King Jr. were it in such a rage that he fired SAC general J.D. Ryan and USAF general J.P. McConnell
    later J.D. Ryan became runnig mate for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan !
    after victory of Reagan in 1977 the B-12 was presented official and put in to servis.

    The new air defense of the USA

    after analyses of the WW3 developed SAC a new strategy called Mobil Air Defence System (MADS)
    instead of ground based radar and command Bunker, flying radar and command post. (AWaCS)
    these locate targets direct and lead the interceptors with improved radar to them
    First line Lookheed F-12 as high-speed interceptor
    Second line McDonnell F-4 as air superiority fighter
    third line Nortrop F-5 as fighter aircraft
    last line Mobil Nike Hercules missile.

    Lookheed proposed large atomicpropelled AWaCS airplanes how remained months in air .
    SAC and USAF announced the selection of this Plane later the year.

    and civilian aviation?
    With Lookheed, McDonnell, Nortrop and Martin became main supplier of US military
    they had not capacity to build also civilian airplanes in 1970s.

    that was the chance for Douglas
    their DC-8 replaces gradually the Boeing 707 at Airlines.
    with DC-12 model sets to Douglas new dimensions in aviation with 518 passengers carried the "Dumbo" doubled as DC-8-63
    its weight of 180 tons and span of 60 meters made it largest airplane of the world in 1978
    until Lookheed presented their atomicpropelled AWaCS Airplane
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.