1980: A brewing storm Edit
Cold War situation in 1980Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union begin to heat up as the Cold War escalates as the Soviets launch an invasion against Afghanistan. The two superpowers and their allies enter a renewed period of mutually assured destruction. In the Middle East, the First Gulf War (called the Iran-Iraq War at the time) begins.
September 19, 1983 P.O.D. EditColonel Gennady Akrimov replaces Col. Stanislav Petrov as watch officer at the Serpukhov-15 bunker near Moscow, which monitors for a US missile attack on the Soviet Union. Colonel Petrov is re-assigned to a bunker near Odessa.
Sept. 26, 1983 – 03:40 GMT+3 (Moscow Time) , USSR Edit
The Serpukhov-15 bunker's computers indicate that a US missile is heading toward the Soviet Union. At first, Akrimov reasons that a computer error has occurred, since it is only one missile and it doesn't make sense that the US would launch one single missile in an attack. Questions about the reliability of the satellite detection system have been raised in the past, so he dismisses the warning as a false alarm, concluding that there was no actual missile.
Very shortly though, the computers indicate that a second missile has been launched, then a third, a fourth and and then a fifth. Akrimov, a faithful reader of "Pravda", where he had read much of the "warmongering of the American President Reagan", now feels as if the attack was real. He telephones the headquarters of the Strategic Rocket Forces and tells them that his computers show that a massive US attack is underway.
General Secretary Andropov is awakened by his staff and rushed to an evacuation helicopter standing by. On the way he is informed by the generals that they have "reliable information" that the Americans are launching a first-strike. They recommend a full retaliatory strike. Andropov, frail and stunned by the news, nods and gives the launch codes to the SRF commanders. Nuked points in the world in September 26, 1983, DoomsdayFour and a half minutes later, at over 300 missile bunkers, a fateful order is given....launch. Nearly 1100 Soviet ICBMs in staggered order are launched at the United States, American bases in Europe and Great Britain, and in a plan never publicly revealed, at another fifty sites in the People's Republic of China.
Sept 26, 1983 Doomsday Clock Strikes Edit
Doomsday ‘’’The moment mankind has feared since the 1945 drops of the nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki’’’
Over a period of nearly two hours, from approximately 1:15am until 3:10am GMT – 3 (Moscow time), an estimated 3000 nuclear weapons detonate all across the Northern Hemisphere. NATO commanders are ordered to immediately launch tactical Pershing-I missiles at Soviet tank yards, and Warsaw Pact commanders respond with the launch of their Pioneer missiles.
Chinese forces, woefully caught by surprise by the Soviet attack, were only able to launch approximately 30% of their weapons at the USSR. Most Chinese missiles struck cities and military bases that have already been destroyed by American missiles and bombers.
Neither American nor Soviet citizens, nor other non-combatants, received significant advance warning of the attack. Some major cities did issue alerts and, while local mayors and fire chiefs were scrambling to initiate disaster protocols, they were either destroyed or damaged in the attack.
Electromagnetic Pulses (or EMP) from air-burst weapons destroyed some 70% of the electronics across the Northern Hemisphere. Most radios, televisions, telephones systems, and computers were rendered useless.
The initial death toll following the first hours of conflict was estimated at 1.53 billion people... from the United States and Canada, to Cuba, across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom, Western and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, the Philippines, and three cities in Australia.
At day's end, a black pall of smoke, dust, and radioactive ash covered half the world.
September 1983-December 1983 : Aftermath Edit
Predictions of the results of a nuclear exchange from the late 1970s and early 1980s prove fairly accurate. In addition to the initial death toll, subsequent mortality rates due to fall-out, out-of-control fires, starvation, dehydration, and unchecked disease add another 700 million lost, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere. The predictions of a "nuclear winter," however, come up short. Only a 10°F drop is noted, and as the attack occurred going into late fall, it had no major effect on typical weather patterns. The dust cover blocked out the sun for several days, but within a week, it dissipated and cloud patterns returned to normal by mid-October. By contrast, later in the summer of 1984, predictions of a "nuclear summer" do come true, as nitrogen oxides and a reduced ozone layer raised temperatures to an average high 10-25°F over normal.
Vast areas of North America, most of Europe, much of the Soviet Union, and many parts of China are uninhabitable. Radiation levels dropped with the predicted two weeks fall-out pattern, but irradiated regions and areas where toxic chemicals have been spilled remain lethal to humans. Several nuclear reactors in the US, Europe, and the Soviet Union experience critical meltdowns and explode, releasing additional radiation into the atmosphere.
Population: Death tolls keep rising. By March 1984, the population of the United States dropped to 28 million people, almost 1/10 the pre-Doomsday level. The story was similar in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, with Great Britain's population reduced to numbers not seen since the Norman Conquest.
North America Edit
United States of America Edit
After a week in the National Airborne Command Post jet, President Reagan is transferred to the still-surviving Mount Weather command bunker. (Oddly, though known to the Soviets for years, no attack on the facility was made.) Vice President George Bush is relocated to the Greenbrier Hotel facility (this was to have been the Congressional relocation center, but no evacuation of Congress was possible).
Subsequent attempts of coordination of remaining police, fire, and especially National Guard units in the United States prove only marginally successful. With the widespread death, starvation, and fall-out, few National Guardsmen report for duty. Most couldn't, but many (with no safe zones for their families) refused. Chaos reigned.
By Christmas, Hawaii is the only US state with a functioning state-wide government, but shortages of food and medicine cause violence between various factions. Hawaii's main union of farm laborers has won control through its control of the food and the consent of the now-powerless local officials. The union's leader, Louis Goldblatt, takes the title of Governor and imposes Marxist-style labor quotas and rations. His restrictions hold the conflict in check, but just barely. The remote island state is, however, still completely isolated from the mainland US. Many areas of the U.S. that didn't get hit by nuclear missiles and weren't devastated by fallout and/or violence had strong, functioning governments and leadership of some type at the local level. In these areas, from the Rocky Mountains to Texas to the deep South to New England, surviving cities, towns and villages took control of their own survival, taking on responsibilities (the best they could) that would be normally handled by Federal and state agencies making alliances with other nearby towns in order to get through the crisis. Most of the city states and alliances that were able to get past the end of the year were in good position to survive. A coordinated effort by the Greenville, SC, city and county law enforcement agencies institute the "Greenville Protocol" by which hundreds of officers spread out from downtown Greenville and secure the county. Contact is quickly made with officials in Spartanburg and Pickens Counties. An emergency government is set up in Greenville. In nearby Anderson County, radical religious leader Royall Jenkins of the United Nation of Islam takes over the city of Anderson. It is learned later that there had been bloodshed as a racist African-American city-state was set up there, though Jenkins claims that the casualties were a result of "racist resistance to necessary change" as he was setting up the provisional government in the town.
Cuba was one of the few Communist nations to survive Doomsday. Although Havana and Santiago were hit by nuclear devices, strategic plans in the USA did not target massive destruction on the island, partly because they did not wish to set off nuclear devices so close to their border, and partly because Cuba did not harbor nukes of their own. However because Miami was a major target for the USSR, Cuba was expecting major effects from fallout.
Fidel Castro was assumed dead, as was his brother and second-in-command Raul Castro, and other top officials, but the Cuba communist system was built from the bases of society. Important military personnel were overseas, particularly in Angola, so the chain of command could be re-established once communications were restored. The surviving Cuban government, anticipating drastic effects from fallout, decreed that any resident was free to leave the island and suggested that evacuees try to flee to Central or South America but did not provide any means of evacuation.
The major population centers were hit hard by incoming missile strikes. The largest group of survivors were in the Atlantic Provinces (Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia), as only one bomb hit this region. The territories also escaped major damage, but due to their size, most contact with them was lost. Social and civil order proved difficult, if not impossible, to maintain in many regions, as only Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island held onto their provincial governments amidst the storm of refugees and radioactive fallout.