Originally Posted by Chocolate Lab
Posted about it before, but a few summers ago I got into researching the cold war, and in particular the incidents that actually could have triggered nuclear war. It's the only topic I've ever wished I hadn't delved into because it was and still is truly terrifying. Most people think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when they think of nukes, and of course those would be bad enough if they were ever used. But I don't think people realize how tiny those are compared to the fusion bombs that were later developed.
I grew up and still live in tornado country, and I always assumed all the underground shelters I saw as a kid were for storms. Later I started asking around about how many of those were actually bomb shelters, but most people say not that many. There's a big air force base close and I think most people assumed (rightly so) that if we were nuked there'd be no use.
[View Full Quote]I also asked my parents, who were in college at that time, about it. They don't remember all that much. I don't see how they weren't terrified, but their attitude seemed to be that if it happened, it happened, and there was nothing you could do about it anyway. I don't think the knowledge of how truly catastrophic such a thing would be was that widespread back then. I'm sure being a funloving college kid had something to do with it, too.
Anyway, yeah, truly scary stuff. The scare of 1983 was pretty bad, too. Amazing that both we and the soviets have had our early warning systems malfunction and signal that we and they had been fired on, and nothing happened. Thank God cool heads prevailed.
Yeah, when the info came out that the Soviets had set up an automatic fire dead man switch on their nukes, with a general who only had 30 minutes to switch it off in case of an alert, it was terrifying. That's so abysmally stupid that I thought no one would ever be that foolish. Oops.
And when the mistaken alert did go off, thankfully, the general in charge made the executive decision to not destroy half the world.
".... I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." - Dwight D Eisenhower