History Main / NuclearOption

4th Jun '17 9:47:53 AM nombretomado
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* Colonel Stanislav Petrov very nearly came to this conclusion in late 1983, when he saw what looked like 5 [=ICBMs=] inbound to Moscow while on duty at an early-warning center. Fortunately, he was mistrustful of the newly-installed system (which was malfunctioning -- the satellites had picked up a rare reflection at just the right angle over the right portion of the US to spoof the IR signatures of launching [=ICBMs=]), [[OnlySaneMan and rational enough to realize that launching only five warheads as a first strike was suicidally foolish]]; otherwise, he might have deemed it a US first strike and would have alerted his superiors in the Soviet Union (at that point absolutely paranoid that the US was imminently planning such a sneak attack) who would have ordered a "counter" strike against the "attack"... the upshot of which is that we probably would be too busy being radioactive dust or having never been born to be reading TVTropes right here and now. Petrov himself was neither punished nor rewarded for the incident. Though he found himself HauledBeforeASenateSubCommittee, it was concluded that he had acted properly and sensibly in the situation, but since the incident demonstrated several technical problems with the early warning system, and therefore was an embarrassment his superiors and the influential scientists who were responsible for it, Petrov was ultimately just quietly transferred to a less important post and his story was not told until after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

to:

* Colonel Stanislav Petrov very nearly came to this conclusion in late 1983, when he saw what looked like 5 [=ICBMs=] inbound to Moscow while on duty at an early-warning center. Fortunately, he was mistrustful of the newly-installed system (which was malfunctioning -- the satellites had picked up a rare reflection at just the right angle over the right portion of the US to spoof the IR signatures of launching [=ICBMs=]), [[OnlySaneMan and rational enough to realize that launching only five warheads as a first strike was suicidally foolish]]; otherwise, he might have deemed it a US first strike and would have alerted his superiors in the Soviet Union (at that point absolutely paranoid that the US was imminently planning such a sneak attack) who would have ordered a "counter" strike against the "attack"... the upshot of which is that we probably would be too busy being radioactive dust or having never been born to be reading TVTropes Wiki/TVTropes right here and now. Petrov himself was neither punished nor rewarded for the incident. Though he found himself HauledBeforeASenateSubCommittee, it was concluded that he had acted properly and sensibly in the situation, but since the incident demonstrated several technical problems with the early warning system, and therefore was an embarrassment his superiors and the influential scientists who were responsible for it, Petrov was ultimately just quietly transferred to a less important post and his story was not told until after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
21st May '17 5:19:18 PM nombretomado
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* In WereAlive after [[OurZombiesAreDifferent grown-up "Little Ones"]] reach [[spoiler: Boulder]]. Col. Kimmet decides to activate the nuclear fail-safe beneath the city.

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* In WereAlive ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'' after [[OurZombiesAreDifferent grown-up "Little Ones"]] reach [[spoiler: Boulder]]. Col. Kimmet decides to activate the nuclear fail-safe beneath the city.
14th May '17 10:26:19 AM nombretomado
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* In the ''Franchise/{{Starcraft}}'' franchise, Terran military forces routinely employ tactical nuclear weapons against their opponents. Given the raw strength of Protoss forces and the sheer numbers of Zerg forces, usage of nuclear arms is completely justified for them.

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* In the ''Franchise/{{Starcraft}}'' ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' franchise, Terran military forces routinely employ tactical nuclear weapons against their opponents. Given the raw strength of Protoss forces and the sheer numbers of Zerg forces, usage of nuclear arms is completely justified for them.
7th May '17 9:08:25 AM MAI742
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* [[UsefulNotes/HarryTruman President Truman]] chose to utilize the Nuclear Option in the Air Force's de-urbanisation campaign before using it in the Allied campaign to occupy the Japanese home islands (first phase November 1945, Operation Olympic, part of the larger Operation Downfall). If all it did was start firestorms that would raze two of the four marginally important cities that it had proven impossible to set afire like the other 82 (87 including those four plus Kyoto, but Kyoto was taken off the list), at the cost of just four flights' worth of fuel and a few dozen men's wages instead of the fuel and bombs and pay for many thousands of planes and men, then that was an obvious saving - the USA would have as many bombs as it needed by November, so why not use these two now? But if the bombings convinced the Japanese that the USA was producing so many nuclear weapons that it could afford to waste two of these incredibly expensive superbombs on razing two cities of very marginal military value (given the virtual shutdown of the entire Japanese economy) and have enough to spare for the invasion, then that might convince the Japanese to surrender before the guaranteed-to-succeed-at-minimal-cost invasion even began. It worked: all Japanese estimates of American A-Bomb productivity concurred that they would at least have the handful necessary to catastrophically undermine command-and-control of Japanese forces attempting to repel the American invasion, and some speculated (because their own programme was not sufficiently advanced to gauge this effectively) that the Americans might have many dozens or even hundreds of weapons within the next few months or even at that very moment.

to:

* [[UsefulNotes/HarryTruman President Truman]] chose to utilize the Nuclear Option in the Air Force's de-urbanisation campaign before using it in the Allied campaign to occupy the Japanese home islands (first phase November 1945, Operation Olympic, part of the larger Operation Downfall). If all it did was start firestorms that would raze two of the four marginally important cities that it had proven impossible to set afire like the other 82 (87 including those four plus Kyoto, but Kyoto was taken off the list), at the cost of just four flights' worth of fuel and a few dozen men's wages instead of the fuel and bombs and pay for many thousands of planes and men, then that was an obvious saving - the USA would have as many bombs as it needed by November, so why not use these two now? But if the bombings convinced the Japanese that the USA was producing so many nuclear weapons that it could afford to waste two of these incredibly expensive superbombs on razing two cities of very marginal military value (given the virtual shutdown of the entire Japanese economy) and have enough to spare for the invasion, then that might convince the Japanese to surrender before the guaranteed-to-succeed-at-minimal-cost invasion even began. [[UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki It worked: all Japanese estimates of American A-Bomb productivity concurred that they would at least have the handful necessary to catastrophically undermine command-and-control of Japanese forces attempting to repel the American invasion, and some speculated (because their own programme was not sufficiently advanced to gauge this effectively) that the Americans might have many dozens or even hundreds of weapons within the next few months or even at that very moment.]]


Added DiffLines:

** Less reassuring still has been the recent revelation that at that time some US military planners were advocating a multi-weapon "decapitation" strike upon the Soviet Union (though their proposals were rejected). If Soviet spies had been better at their jobs, then news of these proposals would have reached Soviet early-warning center staff members - and the odds off us being here to read this would have been even slimmer.
7th May '17 8:53:13 AM MAI742
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* [[UsefulNotes/HarryTruman President Truman]] chose to utilize the Nuclear Option over the massive Allied sea invasion and conquest of the Japanese home islands to take place in November 1945, Operation Downfall, on the pretext that "[[LesserOfTwoEvils This will end the war five years sooner and save millions of lives]]". The decision was based on very sound {{Realpolitik}} logic. If it persuaded the Japanese Army-Navy Junta to surrender before the Soviets invaded northern Japan (in September/October 1945), great! If all it did was destroy two of the four cities that it had proven impossible to raze with regular firebombing, like the other 82 (87 including those four plus Kyoto, but Kyoto was taken off the list), then that was also a plus. There wasn't even an opportunity cost to using the bombs against the difficult-to-firebomb-cities, as only a couple of bombs could be used in ''Downfall'' anyway (two days beforehand against the beaches they wanted to land on, so they would have an unopposed landing) and the USA would have produced several more by that time.

to:

* [[UsefulNotes/HarryTruman President Truman]] chose to utilize the Nuclear Option over in the massive Air Force's de-urbanisation campaign before using it in the Allied sea invasion and conquest of campaign to occupy the Japanese home islands to take place in (first phase November 1945, Operation Downfall, on Olympic, part of the pretext that "[[LesserOfTwoEvils This will end the war five years sooner and save millions of lives]]". The decision was based on very sound {{Realpolitik}} logic. If it persuaded the Japanese Army-Navy Junta to surrender before the Soviets invaded northern Japan (in September/October 1945), great! larger Operation Downfall). If all it did was destroy start firestorms that would raze two of the four marginally important cities that it had proven impossible to raze with regular firebombing, set afire like the other 82 (87 including those four plus Kyoto, but Kyoto was taken off the list), at the cost of just four flights' worth of fuel and a few dozen men's wages instead of the fuel and bombs and pay for many thousands of planes and men, then that was also a plus. There wasn't even an opportunity cost to using the bombs against the difficult-to-firebomb-cities, as only a couple of bombs could be used in ''Downfall'' anyway (two days beforehand against the beaches they wanted to land on, so they would have an unopposed landing) and obvious saving - the USA would have produced several more as many bombs as it needed by November, so why not use these two now? But if the bombings convinced the Japanese that time. the USA was producing so many nuclear weapons that it could afford to waste two of these incredibly expensive superbombs on razing two cities of very marginal military value (given the virtual shutdown of the entire Japanese economy) and have enough to spare for the invasion, then that might convince the Japanese to surrender before the guaranteed-to-succeed-at-minimal-cost invasion even began. It worked: all Japanese estimates of American A-Bomb productivity concurred that they would at least have the handful necessary to catastrophically undermine command-and-control of Japanese forces attempting to repel the American invasion, and some speculated (because their own programme was not sufficiently advanced to gauge this effectively) that the Americans might have many dozens or even hundreds of weapons within the next few months or even at that very moment.
23rd Apr '17 10:22:18 AM nombretomado
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* In ''SwordOfTheStars'', the first Hiver fleet that [[DeathFromAbove visited humanity]] was driven off only after Earth broke out its ICBM stockpile. In-game, your missile warhead options ''start'' at nuclear fission and go up from there.

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* In ''SwordOfTheStars'', ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'', the first Hiver fleet that [[DeathFromAbove visited humanity]] was driven off only after Earth broke out its ICBM stockpile. In-game, your missile warhead options ''start'' at nuclear fission and go up from there.
7th Apr '17 2:50:27 AM TheAmazingBlachman
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* Captain Stanislav Petrov very nearly came to this conclusion in late 1983, when he saw what looked like 5 [=ICBMs=] inbound to Moscow while on duty at an early-warning center. Fortunately, he was mistrustful of the newly-installed system (which was malfunctioning -- the satellites had picked up a rare reflection at just the right angle over the right portion of the US to spoof the IR signatures of launching [=ICBMs=]), [[OnlySaneMan and rational enough to realize that launching only five warheads as a first strike was suicidally foolish]]; otherwise, he might have deemed it a US first strike and would have alerted his superiors in the Soviet Union (at that point absolutely paranoid that the US was imminently planning such a sneak attack) who would have ordered a "counter" strike against the "attack"... the upshot of which is that we probably would be too busy being radioactive dust or having never been born to be reading TVTropes right here and now. He was [[UngratefulBastard reprimanded by his superiors at the time]] but rather obviously has been VindicatedByHistory.

to:

* Captain Colonel Stanislav Petrov very nearly came to this conclusion in late 1983, when he saw what looked like 5 [=ICBMs=] inbound to Moscow while on duty at an early-warning center. Fortunately, he was mistrustful of the newly-installed system (which was malfunctioning -- the satellites had picked up a rare reflection at just the right angle over the right portion of the US to spoof the IR signatures of launching [=ICBMs=]), [[OnlySaneMan and rational enough to realize that launching only five warheads as a first strike was suicidally foolish]]; otherwise, he might have deemed it a US first strike and would have alerted his superiors in the Soviet Union (at that point absolutely paranoid that the US was imminently planning such a sneak attack) who would have ordered a "counter" strike against the "attack"... the upshot of which is that we probably would be too busy being radioactive dust or having never been born to be reading TVTropes right here and now. He Petrov himself was [[UngratefulBastard reprimanded by neither punished nor rewarded for the incident. Though he found himself HauledBeforeASenateSubCommittee, it was concluded that he had acted properly and sensibly in the situation, but since the incident demonstrated several technical problems with the early warning system, and therefore was an embarrassment his superiors at and the time]] but rather obviously has been VindicatedByHistory.influential scientists who were responsible for it, Petrov was ultimately just quietly transferred to a less important post and his story was not told until after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
5th Apr '17 6:33:56 PM DemoDemon
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Added DiffLines:

-->Notes: One would think that putting SCP-682 in the epicenter of an explosion that can cause third-degree burns at a distance of 300 km is a good idea, but as long as there are odds of survival we simply cannot go through with it. Yes, it's a goddamn nuke, but if 682 [[FromASingleCell survives]] and [[AdaptiveAbility adapts]] we'd be boned beyond belief. [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure O5-█]]
2nd Apr '17 11:08:54 AM StevieC
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* Hypothetically, an option that might be considered to destroy an asteroid if it were about to strike the earth. However it's not considered a very good option except for fairly small ones, a large one might be broken into several large pieces that might collectively be more dangerous than the intact asteroid.

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* Hypothetically, an option that might be considered to destroy an asteroid if it were about to strike the earth. However it's not considered a very good option except for fairly small ones, a large one might be broken into several large pieces that might collectively be more dangerous than the intact asteroid.asteroid, as not only are there now several asteroid fragments, but now they're radioactive, too.
18th Mar '17 5:30:30 PM Doug86
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* In the category of {{Fantastic Nuke}}s, the use of [[EarthShatteringKaboom Exterminatus]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40k}}'' varies between this and NukeEm DependingOnTheWriter. For every time that a fanatical Inquisitor orders the destruction of an innocent, loyal Imperial world, there are a hundred where the threat is [[HordeOfAlienLocusts so extreme]], [[LegionsOfHell so vile]], [[TheCorruption so insidious]], or [[RobotWar so entrenched]] that destroying the entire planet really is the reasoned, logical approach.

to:

* In the category of {{Fantastic Nuke}}s, the use of [[EarthShatteringKaboom Exterminatus]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40k}}'' ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' varies between this and NukeEm DependingOnTheWriter. For every time that a fanatical Inquisitor orders the destruction of an innocent, loyal Imperial world, there are a hundred where the threat is [[HordeOfAlienLocusts so extreme]], [[LegionsOfHell so vile]], [[TheCorruption so insidious]], or [[RobotWar so entrenched]] that destroying the entire planet really is the reasoned, logical approach.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NuclearOption