WI: The Cold War goes Hot

I live next to three major nuclear targets. I’m not likely to survive even a limited exchange.
Live next to?

I'm typing this in the capital and leading city of a NATO power which is also a major transit point for central Europe. I have no chance.
 
Live next to?

I'm typing this in the capital and leading city of a NATO power which is also a major transit point for central Europe. I have no chance.
Live next to as in “they are only a couple miles away“. I’m in thermal pulse range of NSA-Texas alone.
 
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.
In a full scale nuclear war would either side (specifically the USSR) target countries simply to prevent them from emerging as dominant powers after the war’s over or prevent their resources (ports, minerals, industry etc) from being used by the other side as is often claimed?
 
Would either side (specifically the USSR) target countries simply to prevent them from emerging as dominant powers after the war’s over or prevent their resources (ports, minerals etc, industry etc) from being used by the other side as is often claimed?
You know what's funny? I've asked where that idea comes from (specifically for the Soviets, as that's who I hear it coming from) and no one can offer sources...
 
Would either side (specifically the USSR) target countries simply to prevent them from emerging as dominant powers after the war’s over or prevent their resources (ports, minerals etc, industry etc) from being used by the other side as is often claimed?
By 1983, it’s not likely.

Before SALT, I’d say yes.
 
Live next to?

I'm typing this in the capital and leading city of a NATO power which is also a major transit point for central Europe. I have no chance.
One thing people forget is that even if you don’t die from nuclear weapons it’s still likely you’d die from starvation, disease, exposure, accidents and violence.

Considering where I live in the US I’d be spared a quick incineration and likely die from one of the likely causes mentioned above a post apocalyptic wasteland the likes of which has never been seen before certainly wouldn’t be a place I would want to live in.
 
Last edited:
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
Depends on the Counterforce/Countervalue targeting.
I thing they realized with BMEWs and such, the silos would be empty by time the Warheads got there. No point in shooting an empty hole, since the US didn't plan on reloading the silos quickly, like the USSR did, with some silos using cold launch, like a sub, so the silo wouldn't be torched.

Cities, those would always be there, till they weren't.
 
Lol, this reminds me of a quote from AlternateHistoryHub when he did a cold-war-gone-hot scenario:
"Europe is just... dead."
Replaced by a bunch of survivor/warlord mini-microstates all claiming to be part of their respective nations, surrounded by whatever amount of radiation is present for the time being.
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.
Exactly what I mean, the last one that falls is technically the "winner".
 
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.
Honestly I think our civilization is more vulnerable than it was in the 60s/70s/80s.Our interconnected world means much greater interdependency, plus the tendency to find computers in items that were once purely mechanical, try 'Mad Maxing' a car with electronic fuel injection instead of a carburettor.
 
Honestly I think our civilization is more vulnerable than it was in the 60s/70s/80s.Our interconnected world means much greater interdependency, plus the tendency to find computers in items that were once purely mechanical, try 'Mad Maxing' a car with electronic fuel injection instead of a carburettor.
"In an urban society, everything connects. Each person's needs are fed by the skills of many others. Our lives are woven together in a fabric. But the connections that make society strong also make it vulnerable."
 
Honestly I think our civilization is more vulnerable than it was in the 60s/70s/80s.
This is definitely true. For example there was a fire at a single Japanese factory in 1993 that put most of the global supply of a specific resin used to make computer chips out of commission causing prices to increase significantly.

That’s just a single industry in the 1990s. Imagine what thousands of nuclear weapons fired at the most powerful and wealthiest countries in the world in the present would do even to regions not hit by warheads.
 
Top