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(Mandatory)   The DoD released a PDF of cold war moments detailing near catastrophes when Russian, NATO and NORAD nukes almost went KABOOM leaving us all FUBAR. OMG   (mandatory.com) divider line 15
    More: Scary, FUBAR, Kaboom, NORAD, NATO, DoD, Russians, PDF, St. Lawrence River  
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2630 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Nov 2012 at 5:03 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-05 07:57:52 PM
2 votes:
They forgot a few. First they forgot the computer chip incident and then they forgot the autumn equinox incident. They also forgot the Nuclear Torpedo incident during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This was less than a year after the training tape incident in the article. U.S. command posts were alerted that the Soviet Union was in the process of launching a pre-emptive nuclear attack.

Launch crews for Minuteman missiles were given stand-by launch warnings and the bomber crews were scrambled. Unlike the training tape incident, the radar displays didn't show a logical or even a constant attack pattern as a seemingly random number of attacking missiles would be displayed, then would change. At first two missiles were shown to be launched, then none, then 200 missiles.

Even better was that the different command post radar displays didn't agree on the number of missiles in the air at the same time or their intended targets.

Obviously, the higher-ups decided after a short time that this wasn't a real attack and decided to review raw data from the early-warning systems which showed no missiles were in the air. A couple of days later, a tech found that a single computer chip had failed an caused random numbers of attacking missiles to be displayed.


One I will never forget after hearing about it was the incident that occurred in the Soviet Union on September 26, 1983. The brand-new Soviet early-warning satellite system farked up and thought that reflections off of some clouds was actually a massive pre-emptive nuclear launch by the US.

Back then, the Russians used their satellites to look at the edge of the earth (The curve of the earth) instead of 'straight down' like the US satellites did. When US missiles has risen to 50,000 to 100,000 feet, they would be against the black background of space making it easier to identify them and cut down on false alarms caused by snow-capped mountains and high-atmosphere clouds and lightning.

The Soviets used what they called "Molnyia orbits" which come near the edge of the atmosphere when passing near the Southern Hemisphere but will be close to a tenth of the distance to the moon when the orbit is over the Northern Hemisphere.

So, on September 26, 1983, a Soviet 'eye' satellite in a "Molnyia Orbit" saw the sun, during the Autumn Equinox reflect off of a high-altitude thunder storm and misinterpreted it as a US launch of five missiles.

Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was the officer in charge of Serpukhov-15, a bunker that monitored the Soviet Union's early-warning satellites when the satellite gave a false missile launch warning. Officers like Petrov had been told repeatedly if the United States would launch nuclear strike, it would be a massive all-out attack, not five missiles which preliminary tracking (such that it was) showed the missiles would hit randomly inside the Soviet Union.

Lt. Col. Petrov later said that he refused to pass the alert to his superiors because "when people start a war, they don't start it with only five missiles. You can do little damage with just five missiles." He also didn't fully trust the new system and ground radars were not picking up the missiles either.

Finally, Vasili Arkhipov (called "The Man The Saved The World")...the same Vasili Arkhipov from "K-19: The Widowmaker" was assigned as the Executive Officer of a Foxtrot submarine, B-59. On October 27, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, B-59 was in international waters near Cuba when American naval forces dropped 'practice' depth charges near B-59 hoping to force the sub to surface.


B-59 had been running deep and silent and as such, they had been out of contact with Moscow for many days and were too deep to monitor any radio traffic. No one on the sub knew if a war had started but as time went on, the captain, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, began to believe that a shooting war was already underway. He made a decision to launch a nuclear-tipped torpedo and destroy the US Naval ships that were hounding his sub.

Soviet launch protocol at the time dictated that all three officers on board the submarine (the captain, the first officer and the political officer) had to agree unanimously for the use of nuclear weapons. Savitsky and the political officer agreed that they should launch the torpedo but Arkhipov disagreed.

Now, while Arkhipov was only the XO of B-59, he was of equal rank to Savitsky and was the commander of at least three other submarines. This, along with the reputation he had from the K19: Widowmaker incident helped him win over the other officers.
2012-11-05 05:06:31 PM
2 votes:
Am I nuts for thinking this should be in the Geek tab?
2012-11-05 10:50:14 PM
1 votes:
What I take away from this thread is 3 things.

1. Both sides had layered processes to make sure that a false alarm didn't start WWIII, and they worked.

2. It's really hard to make a nuclear weapon go BOOM when it isn't supposed to. Boom, yeah sure, boom is easy, but not BOOM. Just imagine what the Russian version of this report looks like. Probably more then a few booms.

3. The Red Star Rouge stuff is a bunch of hooey cooked up by someone who read too much Clancy and Bond.

/Though Bond did make a fine game . . .
2012-11-05 10:11:24 PM
1 votes:
SSDD
2012-11-05 08:04:40 PM
1 votes:

colithian: I can't wait until 2014 when the Warren Commission gets declassified. Then maybe it'll shut up some conspiracy theorists. Oh who am I kidding: of course they'll just say it's all lies.


Did Obama's birth certificate shut up the Birthers? Nope. You can't prove anything to - or reason with - people like this. Even when shown their beliefs to be utterly false, they double-down. It's how their brains are wired to work. They'll tell you that it's a fake Warren report and that they don't want you to see the real one, or some other bullsh*t.

Never underestimate the power of people to delude themselves when they're convinced they're right. And we think mules are stubborn?
2012-11-05 06:10:37 PM
1 votes:
I gather it's not an "in order" list ...

Able Archer is by far the closest we ever came to nuclear war -- scared the crap out of the Reagan White House when intelligence told them 6 months later that the Soviets came within a hair of launching...

Reagan decided to back off on that "evil empire" "we start bombing in 15 minutes" shiat after that.
2012-11-05 06:05:53 PM
1 votes:
Living in Savannah, a mere 15 or so miles from Tybee Island, I was already well aware of that little surprise under the sea.

Wheeeee!
2012-11-05 05:51:05 PM
1 votes:

Leeds: One wonders why the worst example wasn't even listed on that list?

I'm speaking about the Russian sub commander who launched missiles at Hawaii from what would have appeared to be the maximum range of the chinese versions of the same missiles. They did not explode (for reasons that are even more classified) but it was the first time nukes had been launched at the US and it was also the first time nukes had been launched at the US in an attempt to frame a different nuclear power.


Because it never happened?
2012-11-05 05:50:15 PM
1 votes:

Znuh: Am I nuts for thinking this should be in the Geek tab?


You're not the only one.
2012-11-05 05:44:03 PM
1 votes:

Leeds: One wonders why the worst example wasn't even listed on that list?

I'm speaking about the Russian sub commander who launched missiles at Hawaii from what would have appeared to be the maximum range of the chinese versions of the same missiles. They did not explode (for reasons that are even more classified) but it was the first time nukes had been launched at the US and it was also the first time nukes had been launched at the US in an attempt to frame a different nuclear power.


Uh huh.
2012-11-05 05:38:21 PM
1 votes:

Leeds: One wonders why the worst example wasn't even listed on that list?

I'm speaking about the Russian sub commander who launched missiles at Hawaii from what would have appeared to be the maximum range of the chinese versions of the same missiles. They did not explode (for reasons that are even more classified) but it was the first time nukes had been launched at the US and it was also the first time nukes had been launched at the US in an attempt to frame a different nuclear power.


Sounds legit.
2012-11-05 05:23:14 PM
1 votes:
I was contemplating a bit of physics known as "helium flash" and realized that it's a good thing we don't let normal people play with nuclear weapons. I was actually about to play with the numbers for what size hydrogen bomb I'd need to create fusing degenerate helium.

Then I thought "The world doesn't need planet cracker bombs. Yet."
2012-11-05 05:21:47 PM
1 votes:
Pretty similar to this article, based on the same DoD PDF.
2012-11-05 05:18:37 PM
1 votes:

Lost Thought 00: There are a million things I fear worse than nuclear war. Maybe because the Soviets have not had the capacity to do a missile launch in my entire lifetime, much less a MAD-style synchonized launch


The Russian Strategic Rocket forces have never lost that capacity.

Right now they are testing two new ICBMs, one land and submarine based, one road mobile, that are much more advanced than anything the US, French, British, Israelis, Indians or Chinese have in development or deployed.
2012-11-05 05:09:39 PM
1 votes:
Where's the kaboom? I was expecting an earth-shattering kaboom!

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