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WI: The Cold War goes Hot

Besides the Cuban Missile Crisis, Able Archer in November 1983 was the closest we ever came to nuclear war. Let's say the Able Archer 83, the Cold War turns into the Hot War (meaning Nuclear war occurs between the US and USSR). How does this affect both the US and USSR and the world? Who wins- The United States or the Soviet Union?

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Most likely, yes. There are outlier scenarios, to be sure, where one or both sides manages to struggle on in the aftermath despite being deeply mauled (the so-called “Brokeback War” situation), but the most likely outcome is the destruction of central authority and disintegration of the USSR, US, and many of their allies.
 
Extreme reaction then I guess lol
If NATO and the WP nuke each other in 1983, you can pretty much render the whole northern hemisphere uninhabitable. Neither the US nor Russia will “win”. Both countries with take at least one warhead on every city with a population of 10,000+. Europe will cease to exist. The Southern Hemisphere will receive hits on strategically important targets but relatively few cities will be struck, not that it will matter much because the disruption of global trade will result in large scale famines anyways.
 
Didn't take long for someone to go "winner: none" and that's somewhat understandable given the obvious damage nukes do; however it can be won (or rather "won") if the power last standing in an exchange doesn't fall after the others do, at least for a while, a sort of a funny way of saying, the one-eye man is king in a scenario where an eye is taken for an eye (or rather nuked). Thing is, there are a lot of complex factors into nuclear weapon usage and effects, of which are so vast, that even the launching part is hard to determine (outside of accidental launches like the Petrov incident), especially as many nuclear warplans are still classified. Though at least humanity might recover from a war, only to inherit a broken wasteland that would rival the crappiness of third world countries; that's what fallout shelters are for.
 
1983 was the year ABC did "The Day After" where Kansas City was the focal point of the attack. With limited communication, survivors would not know, for some time, how complete or extensive the destruction was. Large land areas would not be hit. Survivability depends very much on how bad the "nuclear winter" scenario would get, since some scientists were predicting as less severe scenario.
 
Didn't take long for someone to go "winner: none" and that's somewhat understandable given the obvious damage nukes do; however it can be won (or rather "won") if the power last standing in an exchange doesn't fall after the others do, at least for a while, a sort of a funny way of saying, the one-eye man is king in a scenario where an eye is taken for an eye (or rather nuked). Thing is, there are a lot of complex factors into nuclear weapon usage and effects, of which are so vast, that even the launching part is hard to determine (outside of accidental launches like the Petrov incident), especially as many nuclear warplans are still classified. Though at least humanity might recover from a war, only to inherit a broken wasteland that would rival the crappiness of third world countries; that's what fallout shelters are for.
There’s no way the USSR and USA are making it through a 1983 nuclear exchange without falling.

You could argue Reagan surviving on NEACP with a handful of government officials means the “government hasn’t fallen”, but it would be a rump government with no country. The country would be gone: every city destroyed, industry in ashes, military functionally gone, all trade and commerce ceased.
 
1983 was the year ABC did "The Day After" where Kansas City was the focal point of the attack. With limited communication, survivors would not know, for some time, how complete or extensive the destruction was. Large land areas would not be hit. Survivability depends very much on how bad the "nuclear winter" scenario would get, since some scientists were predicting as less severe scenario.
Problem is the infrastructure is gone, 1980's high intensity farming isn't going to function without supplies of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and spare parts for all the machinery. Even if the nuclear winter isn't a new ice age it's going to the year without a summer, except its going to be more like the decade without a summer. You are going to have large numbers of refugees fleeing from towns that might not have been nuked but lack the basic essentials of life, all of them heading towards the farming regions looking for food.
 
Problem is the infrastructure is gone, 1980's high intensity farming isn't going to function without supplies of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and spare parts for all the machinery. Even if the nuclear winter isn't a new ice age it's going to the year without a summer, except its going to be more like the decade without a summer. You are going to have large numbers of refugees fleeing from towns that might not have been nuked but lack the basic essentials of life, all of them heading towards the farming regions looking for food.
As I tend to keep saying in these threads, the posters on this board who obsess over pop culture after a full-scale nuclear exchange and muse how U2 would tour the postwar world are ridiculously, absurdly optimistic about just how catastrophic this would be to human society.
 
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Problem is the infrastructure is gone, 1980's high intensity farming isn't going to function without supplies of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and spare parts for all the machinery. Even if the nuclear winter isn't a new ice age it's going to the year without a summer, except its going to be more like the decade without a summer. You are going to have large numbers of refugees fleeing from towns that might not have been nuked but lack the basic essentials of life, all of them heading towards the farming regions looking for food.
And in the US, those farming regions also contain a lot of nuclear silos, which means lots of Soviet nuclear ground bursts, so those regions have also had a massive dusting of fallout.
 
And in the US, those farming regions also contain a lot of nuclear silos, which means lots of Soviet nuclear ground bursts, so those regions have also had a massive dusting of fallout.
The aforementioned The Day After pointed this out:
FARMER: And what do we do with all this radioactive dirt?
GOV'T GUY: UHHHHHH...
 
If NATO and the WP nuke each other in 1983, you can pretty much render the whole northern hemisphere uninhabitable. Neither the US nor Russia will “win”. Both countries with take at least one warhead on every city with a population of 10,000+. Europe will cease to exist. The Southern Hemisphere will receive hits on strategically important targets but relatively few cities will be struck, not that it will matter much because the disruption of global trade will result in large scale famines anyways.

Didn't take long for someone to go "winner: none" and that's somewhat understandable given the obvious damage nukes do; however it can be won (or rather "won") if the power last standing in an exchange doesn't fall after the others do, at least for a while, a sort of a funny way of saying, the one-eye man is king in a scenario where an eye is taken for an eye (or rather nuked). Thing is, there are a lot of complex factors into nuclear weapon usage and effects, of which are so vast, that even the launching part is hard to determine (outside of accidental launches like the Petrov incident), especially as many nuclear warplans are still classified. Though at least humanity might recover from a war, only to inherit a broken wasteland that would rival the crappiness of third world countries; that's what fallout shelters are for.
Goodness gracious! Thank god, this didn't happen in real life...
 
Thank god, this didn't happen in real life...
There are still thousands of nuclear weapons in the world, and more countries have, could have, or want them since the Cold War. And with West/Russia relations plummeting...

The risk is absolutely still there. It's just not as omnipresent and overkill as it was.
 
There are still thousands of nuclear weapons in the world, and more countries have, could have, or want them since the Cold War. And with West/Russia relations plummeting...

The risk is absolutely still there. It's just not as omnipresent and overkill as it was.
The good thing is that there are far fewer deployed warheads in the world today. Nuclear war would be devastating but not necessarily civilization ending.
 
The good thing is that there are far fewer deployed warheads in the world today. Nuclear war would be devastating but not necessarily civilization ending.
Agreed. But my greater point still stands. The risk of them being used en masse is still there, and the results are still not ones I'd want to be around for.
 
Agreed. But my greater point still stands. The risk of them being used en masse is still there, and the results are still not ones I'd want to be around for.
I live next to three major nuclear targets. I’m not likely to survive even a limited exchange.
 
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