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* MilitaryCoup: Dissatisfied Soviet officers eventually launch one to shut down World War III before it goes nuclear, after their attempt to conquer Europe with conventional weapons has failed.

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* MilitaryCoup: Dissatisfied Soviet officers eventually launch one to shut down World War III before it goes nuclear, after their attempt to conquer Europe with conventional weapons has failed. It is portrayed fairly realisticallly, with an emphasis on controlling nodes of communications in the capital.

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* MilitaryCoup: Dissatisfied Soviet officers eventually launch one to shut down World War III before it goes nuclear, after their attempt to conquer Europe with conventional weapons has failed.

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** The F-19 Ghost Rider, a super-capable American stealth fighter, is the major technological break from reality. It's a sort of exaggerated {{expy}} of the contemporary F-117 Nighthawk, which could not be accurately depicted due to the details about it being heavily classified at the time.


* YouKilledMyFather: The death of a Soviet trooper's daughter in the FalseFlagOperation that was used as a causus belli was the cause of the eventual downfall of Director Kosov, which is itself a TearJerker and a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.

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* YouKilledMyFather: The death of a Soviet trooper's daughter in the FalseFlagOperation that was used as a causus belli was the cause of the eventual downfall of Director Kosov, which is itself a TearJerker and a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.Kosov.

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* BreakingTheGlassCeiling: Vice Admiral Richard Pipes is described as "the first black submariner to make three-star rank, a man who had paid his dues with performance as he'd climbed up the ladder in what had traditionally been a whites-only profession."


** The attack on USS ''Nimitz'''s carrier group involves the US Navy getting ''owned'' by Soviet Naval Aviation.

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** The attack on USS ''Nimitz'''s carrier group involves the US U.S. Navy getting ''owned'' by Soviet Naval Aviation.



* KillSat: Played straight by the Soviets, who use a killer satellite to destroy US reconnaissance satellites. The Americans, in an inversion, return the favor with an F-15 that launches air-to-orbit [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASM-135_ASAT ASM-135 anti-satellite missiles]].

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* KillSat: Played straight by the Soviets, who use a killer satellite to destroy US U.S. reconnaissance satellites. The Americans, in an inversion, return the favor with an F-15 that launches air-to-orbit [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASM-135_ASAT ASM-135 anti-satellite missiles]].



* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Lt. Edwards, originally stationed in Iceland as a weatherman, leads a group of US Marines across the island and ultimately provide vital information that lets NATO forces retake Iceland, along the way also taking out a Soviet patrol that were raiding a civilian farm. Prior to this, his best claim to martial fame being that he's a marathon runner.

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* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Lt. Edwards, originally stationed in Iceland as a weatherman, leads a group of US U.S. Marines across the island and ultimately provide vital information that lets NATO forces retake Iceland, along the way also taking out a Soviet patrol that were raiding a civilian farm. Prior to this, his best claim to martial fame being that he's a marathon runner.

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* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: Averted in many respects, but certain aspects of the Soviet strategy (e.g., invading Iceland, declining use of chemical weapons due to East German opposition) were more or less contrived for plot reasons. Still, compared to many other techno-thrillers, this one tried hard to be accurate.

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* GermanicEfficiency: While all the Allied armies are presented as doing their part, the Russians are particularly impressed with the ''Bundeswehr's'' contribution and ability to reform and counterattack even after devastating blows, noting that their discipline and organization still holds up since their last war two generations ago.

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** Also, the A-10 Thunderbolt close air support attack aircraft. Designed to be a tank killer, with a 30mm cannon that fires 4000 bowling-pin sized depleted uranium shells per minute, it's made perfectly clear that the Soviet tank crews are scared shitless of it.
-->Soviet General: I have seen just one of those planes go through a column of tanks like a harvester through a field of wheat.

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* TheGhost: KGB Director Kosov's assistant, whose ambition apparently helped kick off the war, as he gave the Politburo the best case scenario for the war rather than the usual middle case. Then again, considering it's [[StateSec Kosov]], he might have been lying and trying to shift the blame onto his unseen assistant.


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* UncertainDoom: The captain of the ''Julius Fucik'' gets badly wounded by a strafing run from some American F-15s, but refuses to seek medical attention until the ship docks. By the time he does, the paratrooper general notes there's little time left, but it's unclear whether the captain survived or not.


* HotSubOnSubAction: The ''Chicago'' sequences focus more on sub versus surface ship, but there are a few sub versus sub moments, too.

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* HotSubOnSubAction: And how. At a minimum, dozens of submarines are sunk within the context of the writing. Given that action was taking place in other venues, it would not be surprising if the total number exceeded 100.

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* PostInjuryDeskJob: USMC Colonel Chuck Lowe has a desk job in intelligence after he broke his leg while skiing.


* EmbarrassingNickname: Major Nakamura's callsign is "Buns", given to her after her fellow pilots learned of her father's pet name for her - "Bunny".

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* EmbarrassingNickname: Major Nakamura's callsign is "Buns", given to her after her fellow pilots learned of her father's pet name for her - childhood nickname, "Bunny".


* EmbarrassingNickname: Major Nakamura's callsign is "Honey Buns", frequently shortened to "Buns". She's not a fan of it.

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* EmbarrassingNickname: Major Nakamura's callsign is "Honey Buns", frequently shortened "Buns", given to "Buns". She's not a fan her after her fellow pilots learned of it.her father's pet name for her - "Bunny".

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