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Subject: Nuclear Response?
Mixtli    12/14/2005 3:20:30 AM
I had to watch the movie Threads for my nuclear studies class. The war started over the Soviets pulling an Afhanistan in a Iran. Anyway, the Americans deployed airborne troops and readied for war. We accussed the Soviets of having nukes stored at an airfield in Northern Iran and sent a bunch of B-52's to bomb the base, and they were shot down by a nuclear tipped SAM. How realistic a response would that be? Surely the number of B-52's would tell the Soviet commander that it was a conventional strike. Was it really worth it to be the first to respond to a conventional threat with a nuclear weapon? The Americans later tactically nuked the airfield, and to make a long story short, there was a full nuclear exchange. I'm just wondering, did both sides in this hypothetical make the right decisions?
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Basilisk Station    RE:Nuclear Response?   12/14/2005 11:45:21 AM
AFIK, the only nuclear tipped SAMs deployed were as part of the ABM system for Moscow. Nukes weren't a great choice for defenses, given the damage that employing them would tend to cause to whatever they are supposed to be defending. With something like the Moscow system I'm assuming that some damage from a small nuke was considered preferable to being wiped out. So no, it's not very realistic scenario. It would be silly for the USSR to deploy forward nukes like that, stupider for them to put a nuclear armed SAM system to defend it and moronic for them to employ it in combat like that. But the actual trigger to the war was not the point of a movie like "Threads", the people who were making it wanted to show how horrible a nuclear war would be. So I doubt that they put a great deal of thought into the scenario for how the war got started.
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Yimmy    RE:Nuclear Response?   12/14/2005 12:22:31 PM
The only Soviet SAM's I know of which had nuclear warheads (and deployed them in large numbers), were the land SA-2, and the naval one-which-I-forget-the designation-of. The one with the huge twin rail launcher, on the old cruisers and frigates.
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TheArmchairCmd    RE:Nuclear Response?   12/14/2005 12:31:25 PM
What about TARGET=_blank> NIKE HERCULES.
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TheArmchairCmd    RE:Nuclear Response?   12/14/2005 12:40:45 PM
D'oh. Not Soviet, of course...
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bobfall    RE:Nuclear Response?   12/25/2005 11:16:49 AM
Both sides did explore, nuclear tipped SAM's. The americans had a nuclear tipped AAM. A bit over kill, but not impossible. Russian subs, were given the okay to fire nuclear tipped torpedos, durring the Cuban missle problem. And american interceptors where going after Russian fighters, near Alaska, durring the same time. The Americans where armed with nuclear AAM's. A russian political officer, prevented the use of a nuclear torpedo. And the russian fighters turned away. Nuclear controls tightened up, after Cuba. But, before, it almost happened in real life. BOb
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