History Main / ANuclearError

27th May '16 5:40:21 AM foxley
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* ''Literature/AlexRider'': In ''Skeleton Key'', General Sarov plans to detonate a nuclear bomb atop the rusting Russian nuclear submarines in the naval base, which are armed with nuclear missiles. The resulting fallout cloud will contaminate most of Western Europe and allow Russia to return to the glory of its Soviet days, or so Sarov believes.
11th May '16 4:56:44 PM weaponer
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* "Dormant," a scary, scary SF short story by Creator/AEVanVogt, describes a robotic nuclear weapon landed on Earth from a long-ago war which is activated by fallout from nuclear bomb tests. On detonation, it thrusts the Earth into the Sun, because it doesn't know it's not the same war and would have had no choice even if it had.

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* "Dormant," a scary, scary SF short story by Creator/AEVanVogt, describes a robotic nuclear weapon landed on Earth from a long-ago war which is activated by fallout from nuclear bomb tests. On detonation, it almost thrusts the Earth into the Sun, because it doesn't know it's not the same war and would have had no choice even if it had.
23rd Apr '16 11:39:33 AM LeedsKing
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* Most films behave as if only the USA and USSR had nukes. In reality the UK and France were also nuclear powers before the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Later Communist China, India, Pakistan, and South Africa (probably joint-developed with Israel) produced weapons before the end of the Cold War. The Republic of China/Taiwan also made a bid for acuqiring nukes in the 1970s-80s, but was blackmailed out of it by the USA. In an OpenSecret, Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons since the 60s or 70s[[note]]Something they ''still'' deny to this day, despite overwhelming evidence of the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Generally, everyone says they don't have them, while everyone knows they do. Israel's enemies publicly decry the fact that Israel is the only nuclear-equipped Middle East state, while the rest of the world brushes off such accusations. It's...complicated[[/note]]. Several European countries had American bombs stationed there too. South Africa disarmed in 1990, while it is an OpenSecret that Pakistan is still making them. Iran and Syria are suspected by some of having nuclear weapons programmes also. Many European countries still have American nuclear gravity bombs stationed there - the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey among others. Their pilots train to use them; in the event of war, the US bombs would be turned over to local NATO forces.

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* Most films behave as if only the USA and USSR had nukes. In reality the UK and France were also nuclear powers before the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Later Communist China, India, Pakistan, and South Africa (probably joint-developed with Israel) produced weapons before the end of the Cold War. The Republic of China/Taiwan also made a bid for acuqiring acquiring nukes in the 1970s-80s, but was blackmailed out of it by the USA. In an OpenSecret, Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons since the 60s or 70s[[note]]Something they ''still'' deny to this day, despite overwhelming evidence of the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Generally, everyone says they don't have them, while everyone knows they do. Israel's enemies publicly decry the fact that Israel is the only nuclear-equipped Middle East state, while the rest of the world brushes off such accusations. It's...complicated[[/note]]. Several European countries had American bombs stationed there too. South Africa disarmed in 1990, while it is an OpenSecret that Pakistan is still making them. Iran and Syria are suspected by some of having nuclear weapons programmes also. Many European countries still have American nuclear gravity bombs stationed there - the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey among others. Their pilots train to use them; in the event of war, the US bombs would be turned over to local NATO forces.
23rd Apr '16 11:36:01 AM LeedsKing
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** In general, Soviet Cold War weapons had coded locks, requiring authorisation from the top commanders to be armed. During the Cuban missile crisis however, there were missile carriers capable of independent launch of armed missiles.

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** In general, Soviet Cold War weapons had coded locks, locks (Permissive Action Link), requiring authorisation from the top commanders to be armed. During the Cuban missile crisis however, there were missile carriers capable of independent launch of armed missiles.
23rd Apr '16 11:31:10 AM LeedsKing
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** In the UK, on the other hand, until 1998 the RAF's nuclear missiles were secured with nothing more than a [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/15/newsnight.shtml cylindrical bicycle lock key]][[note]]Military humour being what it is, it was a running gag that this made the UK the safest place in the world to store nukes because the key would have been lost almost immediately and you'd need fifteen forms and three Warrant Officers' permission, plus a three week wait to requisition a pair of bolt-cutters. This is not ''entirely'' untrue as anyone with experience of the UK forces can attest[[/note]]. Royal Navy Trident submarines are still able to launch without a code since a mere ten minute warning meant that if a nuclear war had broken out, it is unlikely that there would be time to issue relevant orders to their submarine captains. Plus, no officer of the Royal Navy would ever consider acting without orders or the proper cirumstances. It just wouldn't be cricket.

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** In the UK, on the other hand, until 1998 the RAF's nuclear missiles were secured with nothing more than a [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/15/newsnight.shtml cylindrical bicycle lock key]][[note]]Military humour being what it is, it was a running gag that this made the UK the safest place in the world to store nukes because the key would have been lost almost immediately and you'd need fifteen forms and three Warrant Officers' permission, plus a three week wait to requisition a pair of bolt-cutters. This is not ''entirely'' untrue as anyone with experience of the UK forces can attest[[/note]]. Royal Navy Trident submarines are still able to launch without a code since a mere ten minute warning meant that if a nuclear war had broken out, it is unlikely that there would be time to issue relevant orders to their submarine captains. Plus, no officer of the Royal Navy would ever consider acting without orders or the proper cirumstances. It just wouldn't be cricket. And all sailors work for the Queen, who would be utterly Not Amused.
23rd Apr '16 11:28:20 AM LeedsKing
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* Counter-city policies (''Film/FailSafe''): Only used by the larger powers in the early days of nuclear weapons ('50s-'60s), when there was no hope of guiding them to targets more specific than the general vicinity of the largest cities. Lesser nuclear powers like Britain, France, and the PRC continued these policies to make up for their smaller (less than 300 e.a.) number of weapons. The USSR and USA went on to target specific military and industrial targets ('Counter-Value' policy), but in practice there was little difference between nuking these and nuking cities - especially in places like the British Midlands, lower Yangzi, and Japan. While it is sometimes said that the US was less focused on hitting civilian targets than the USSR, this was actually because the Soviets built their military and industrial facilities as far from their civilian population centers as possible to minimise civilian casualties from 'Counter-Value' nuclear strikes [[note]] Of course, this resulted in an awful lot of industries being concentrated in less-than-ideal-for-profitability-purposes areas [[/note]]. While the USA could have reciprocated, they considered the cost and morale-damaging effects prohibitive.

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* Counter-city policies (''Film/FailSafe''): Only used by the larger powers in the early days of nuclear weapons ('50s-'60s), when there was no hope of guiding them to targets more specific than the general vicinity of the largest cities. Lesser nuclear powers like Britain, France, and the PRC continued these policies to make up for their smaller (less than 300 e.a.) number of weapons. The USSR and USA went on to target specific military and industrial targets ('Counter-Value' policy), but in practice there was little difference between nuking these and nuking cities - especially in places like the British Midlands, West Midlands of England, lower Yangzi, and Japan. While it is sometimes said that the US was less focused on hitting civilian targets than the USSR, this was actually because the Soviets built their military and industrial facilities as far from their civilian population centers as possible to minimise civilian casualties from 'Counter-Value' nuclear strikes [[note]] Of course, this resulted in an awful lot of industries being concentrated in less-than-ideal-for-profitability-purposes areas [[/note]]. While the USA could have reciprocated, they considered the cost and morale-damaging effects prohibitive.
16th Apr '16 12:16:01 AM JackG
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** The US also had nuclear weapons stationed on foreign soil in countries like Italy and Turkey which had experienced military coups. Even with a two key lock system, there was nothing to stop the keys from being seized by force.
15th Apr '16 7:59:15 AM MarqFJA
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* One of the late Allied missions in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' has you [[TimedMission race against the clock]] and fighting through Soviet troops in order to reach certain control panels for disarming nuclear missiles that have been launched minutes ago at several European major cities. The only possible HandWave is that Stalin (who in-story was already in the process of [[ThePurge purging]] the ranks of his army and government from "traitors") was too paranoid to trust '''anyone''' with a non-disarmable nuke.
26th Mar '16 6:59:34 PM dragonfly078
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** Even the end of the Cold War didn't stop these close calls - a rocket carrying scientific equipment for studying the aurora borealis was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident launched from Norway in January 1995]], but its trajectory took it over Moscow and its flightpath was the same as a Minuteman ICBM launched from North Dakota. The scientists had notified Russia (and about thirty others) about the launched, but no one told the personnel at the radar installation that detected it. End result: full alert was issued all the way up to President Boris Yeltsin, and the nuclear briefcase used to authorize nuclear attack was activated (the only time in history thus far this has happened).

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** Even the end of the Cold War didn't stop these close calls - a rocket carrying scientific equipment for studying the aurora borealis was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident launched from Norway in January 1995]], but its trajectory took it over Moscow and its flightpath was the same as a Minuteman ICBM launched from North Dakota. The scientists had notified Russia (and about thirty others) about the launched, launch, but no one told the personnel at the radar installation that detected it. End result: full alert was issued all the way up to President Boris Yeltsin, and the nuclear briefcase used to authorize nuclear attack was activated (the only time in history thus far this has happened).
12th Oct '15 4:13:07 PM TheKaizerreich
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** There was also a case of the USA losing a nuclear bomb, never to be found again. What happened was that an F-86 fighter plane collided with a B-47 bomber carrying the device. To prevent an explosion and loss of the crew, the bomb was dropped. Several unsuccessful searches later, the bomb was presumed lost somewhere in Wassaw Sound off the shores of Tybee Island. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_Tybee_Island_mid-air_collision Read the story here.]]
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