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Old 2022-01-13, 22:50   #188
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
And at this point, I'm more concerned about what the leadership of Russia might do than what the US might do, regarding the use of nuclear weapons.
Really? Seriously?

A narcissist recently had some control of some serious western firepower...

Fortunately, a soviet student of power (who actually knows how to read, has a memory, and can speak in paragraphs) managed the situation, who then said "Calm down, little boy... Big toys. Well done. But... You don't press the button until I tell you to do so...
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Old 2022-01-14, 00:12   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
And at this point, I'm more concerned about what the leadership of Russia might do than what the US might do, regarding the use of nuclear weapons.
Really? Seriously?

A narcissist recently had some control of some serious western firepower...

Fortunately, a soviet student of power (who actually knows how to read, has a memory, and can speak in paragraphs) managed the situation, who then said "Calm down, little boy... Big toys. Well done. But... You don't press the button until I tell you to do so...
If you reread my post, you will discover that I did allude to that.

I'm perfectly serious. I don't know about "narcissist," but IMO that guy in charge of Russia is a brutal, bellicose tyrant, and a whole lot smarter than our former Narcissist-in-Chief, who at times acted like his lap dog.

I'm sure you recall that in 2014, Russia invaded and occupied the Crimean Peninsula - then was a bit careless handing out weapons to its proxies in Ukraine, resulting in the destruction of a civilian airliner (at least, according to criminal charges which are the subject of proceedings in the Netherlands).

And you are aware that Russia has been massing troops on its border with Ukraine, threatening to invade if its demands aren't meant, aren't you? I'm more immediately worried about something going wrong with "tactical" than "strategic" nukes in this situation. But if it did, then what would happen?

I am also not confident that Russia will be any more careful with nuclear materials than its legal predecessor the Soviet Union. The locales Kyshtym and Chernobyl, the submarine Kursk, and misfortunes with a number of other nuclear subs have not filled me with confidence.
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Old 2022-01-14, 00:35   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
And you are aware that Russia has been massing troops on its border with Ukraine, threatening to invade if its demands aren't meant, aren't you?
Yes. I read... And model.

I also know how to play the game of Chess. And the game of Go. I understand the concept of the "long game".

I presume all others do so also. It would be foolish to not take others very seriously.

In all contexts.
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Old 2022-01-14, 14:38   #191
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Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
<snip>
I also know how to play the game of Chess. And the game of Go. I understand the concept of the "long game".
<snip>
One little gambit in the "long game" happened in 1962, and came to be known as the "Cuban Missile Crisis." Nikita Khrushchev's strategic reasoning for putting nuclear missiles in Cuba at the time is one thing. The specific incident that very nearly started WWIII as a result was not part of the plan. But it is the sort of thing that worries me now. The Atomic Heritage Foundation describes the incident as follows:
Quote:
The B-59 Submarine

Perhaps the most dangerous moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis came on October 27, when U.S. Navy warships enforcing the blockade attempted to surface the Soviet B-59 submarine. It was one of four submarines sent from the Soviet Union to Cuba, all of which were detected and three of which were eventually forced to surface. The diesel-powered B-59 had lost contact with Moscow for several days, and thus was not informed of the escalating crisis. With its air conditioning broken and battery failing, temperatures inside the submarine were above 100ºF. Crew members fainted from heat exhaustion and rising carbon dioxide levels.

American warships tracking the submarine dropped depth charges on either side of the B-59 as a warning. The crew, unaware of the blockade, thought that perhaps war had been declared. Vadim Orlov, an intelligence officer aboard the submarine, recalled how the American ships "surrounded us and started to tighten the circle, practicing attacks and dropping depth charges. They exploded right next to the hull. It felt like you were sitting in a metal barrel, which somebody is constantly blasting with a sledgehammer."

Unbeknownst to the Americans, the B-59 was equipped with a T-5 nuclear-tipped torpedo. It was capable of a blast equivalent to 10 kilotons of TNT, roughly two-thirds the strength of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Firing without a direct order from Moscow, however, required the consent of all three senior officers on board. Orlov remembered Captain Valentin Savitsky shouting, "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all—we will not disgrace our Navy!" Political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov agreed that they should launch the torpedo.

The last remaining officer, Second Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, dissented. They did not know for sure that the ship was under attack, he argued. Why not surface and then await orders from Moscow? In the end, Arkhipov's view prevailed. The B-59 surfaced near the American warships and the submarine set off north to return to the Soviet Union without incident.
In 1983, a Soviet Air Defense officer reported a missile strike warning as a "malfunction" - and it was indeed a false alarm. Had he strictly followed standing orders and simply reported the warning to his superiors, WWIII would have started within minutes.

This incident came very close to realizing one of the first dramas, if not the first, of the Nuclear Age, Pilot Lights of the Apocalypse by Louis N. Ridenour.
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Old 2022-01-14, 16:14   #192
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North Carolina nearly nuked in 1961 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-24183879
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Old 2022-01-14, 19:32   #193
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
This incident came very close to realizing one of the first dramas, if not the first, of the Nuclear Age, Pilot Lights of the Apocalypse by Louis N. Ridenour.
Yeah... I agree. When playing "close to the wall" (using a Go metaphor) mistakes can happen.

Many people go out of their way to do their best to try to ensure mistakes are not made. There are teams of people whose entire careers are entirely about "what if".

These are the kind of people who think deeply about the absolutely unimaginable. Advise. And work *very* hard to try to avoid the very worst from happening (while having contingency plans in place in case they do).

It's a funny old world...
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Old 2022-01-15, 00:24   #194
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During the Cuban missile crisis, one missile the U.S. was totally unaware was in Cuba was small, nuclear tactical missiles.
Moscow's permission was not needed to use these weapons which would have undoubtedly been used to wipe
out an invasion force.

On a personal note, everyone was getting more and more tense as the day approached when the soviet ships were approaching the blockade. Everyone knew if they didn't stop or turn around, the navy would sink them leading to war. That day was a school day. Right after lunch the principal got on the school's public address system and announced the navy had begun firing on the soviet cargo ships and we were to go home immediately.

I spent the next hour convinced it was the end of the world and the nukes would soon start going off.. Of course, when I got home I found the principal has erred.

Last fiddled with by tServo on 2022-01-15 at 00:26
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Old 2022-01-15, 01:19   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tServo View Post
On a personal note, everyone was getting more and more tense as the day approached when the soviet ships were approaching the blockade. Everyone knew if they didn't stop or turn around, the navy would sink them leading to war. That day was a school day. Right after lunch the principal got on the school's public address system and announced the navy had begun firing on the soviet cargo ships and we were to go home immediately.
I have been told that the USCGC Taney had duty at the entrance of Havana Harbor during part of the blockade and stopped short of firing on a Soviet ship. The ship was testing the blockade. The Captain of the Taney ordered the 5" gun to be pointed at the wheelhouse of the ship, not at the waterline or anywhere else. The message was registered loud and clear. The ship stopped and eventually left. I haven't been able to verify it. But, a USCG Cutter did make the first stop of the blockade. So, it is a possibility that there was some conflation of the story.
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