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Subject: Its 1988 and mechanized warfare in the fulda gap goes nuclear.
MrCarrot    12/16/2008 10:29:51 AM
Hi guys something that has always fascinated me but is largely underepresented in fiction and analysis is the nuclear ORBAT and nature of deployment of the opposing forces. For instance in Red Dawn Rising, or the BBC's WW3 both fun fictional scenarios stop either preventing a nuclear attack or at the start of one. Now this differs slightly from the over analyzed ICBM salvos/first strike etc. scenarious. What happens when 50% of your nuclear armed strike fighter package (F3s, F15s) etc. are engaged in normal warfare scenarios? How quickly could nato and the warsaw pact get birds on the ground re-armed and rolling before ICBMs and SLBMs start raining down? How effective would interception packaged be when a great deal of the numbers are tasked with dealing with anti-CAS operations etc. So in short how damaging would actual open warfare be on the efficiency related units to peform a MAD role? And what would a mid 80s time table actually look like (or is it all just pushing the red button and emergancy action messages go out 30 mins later 25% of everyone is dead)?
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WarNerd       12/17/2008 3:49:45 AM
Look for an old board game by SPI called Red Star/White Star.  It had a set of nice simple rules for simulating this scenario.
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afrikan_neekeri       3/9/2009 8:56:37 PM
If all of Soviet or US nuclear arsenal had been launched simultaneously against each other, total mutual destruction would have resulted. Neither side would have had enough aircraft/other defensive measures to stop anything but a fraction of the incoming missiles.
Executing such a full-scale attack would require preparations and planning weeks before the attack. ICBMs need to be fuelled and you need to know where to hit, when to hit and how hard to hit to ensure maximum destruction of the enemy airfields and silos.
Then there's the matter of aircraft-launched cruise missiles from B2s, B1-Bs, B-52s, Tu-160s and Tu-95s, which are almost impossible to shoot down once launched. And if either side could save a couple of cities from total destruction, the enemy submarines would bring the unforgiving reality of nuclear warfare upon them in no time.
I don't know why such an attack would have ever taken place. Just a single SS-18 detonating over any major US city would result in millions of casualties, it would clog up all the emergency centres, there would be loads of horribly burned people wandering around near the camera crews, firefighters, military emergency personnel and ambulances. And the cruelty of the nuclear weapons is that the initial heat and blast kill less than half of the total casualties. People would be dying for the next days, weeks, months and years. Many survivors would be scarred for the rest of their lives both physically and mentally. I can't imagine any Soviet or US leader willing to murder millions of civilians in such a nasty way.
A tactical nuke is a different story but those would be carried by aircraft or close-range missiles with virtually no chance of intercepting the attack.

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