What If There Was A Nuclear War Between the US and Russia?

Posted by

The date is March 4th, 2022, and after years
of deliberation, both Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have officially been accepted
as full NATO partners. Ukraine now reinvigorates its push for NATO
membership, while Russia has for the last six months warned of military action. Alarmed by what it views as encroachment of
NATO on its borders, Russia at last responds to the ascension of Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Georgia by massing forces on its western border. Russia is gambling that the other NATO nations
will reconsider admitting the two new members, or at least not be willing to go to war over
the defense of brand new members to the alliance. Russia however has completely underestimated
the solidarity of the alliance. Realizing that NATO is in essence a worthless
entity unless Article 5 of the treaty is immediately enforced, NATO warns Russia that an attack
on one ally is considered an attack on all allies. To reinforce the point, NATO troops are sent
into Estonia, Latvia,and Lithuania- the alliance’s most vulnerable members given their direct
proximity to Russia. Russia however sees this as an unacceptable
show of force, and the move proves to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back- without
warning Russian armor pours into Latvia and Lithuania, linking up with forces in Kaliningrad. World War 3 has officially begun. For the first month of fighting Russian forces
push as far west as Poland, but the offensive grinds to a halt as NATO members finish mobilizing
and their resistance solidifies. With American troops and equipment making
landfall in France and Germany, NATO is now launching vicious counterattacks against Russia’s
forces in Poland. In the Pacific, the American navy steams towards
Russia’s eastern coast, bringing with it a Marine expeditionary force meant to open a
second front in the war and split Russia’s forces. Russia is faced with a losing proposition,
and decides to gamble. It authorizes a single nuclear strike against
Berlin, betting that while European NATO members may retaliate with their limited nuclear arsenals,
the Americans won’t risk the destruction of their cities to support their European allies. The date is now April 12th, 0205 hours Zulu. American and Chinese infrared recon satellites
both pick up the tell-tale fiery plume of an ICBM launch from a missile farm in the
south of Russia. Two minutes later the American president is
awoken from his sleep and given the news: Russia has launched a single nuclear device,
unknown payload, likely target in western Europe. The US Air Force’s Global Strike Command has
for weeks been flying nuclear alert missions with its fleet of B-52 bombers, maintaining
a nuclear-armed force in the air twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, as its predecessor,
the Strategic Air Command, once did for decades during the Cold War. With the detected launch of a Russian nuclear
weapon, a priority flash is immediately dispatched to the airborne forces and alert forces on
the ground. Flight crews stationed overseas in Japan,
on the west coast of the United States, and in Europe all review their Single Integrated
Operational Plan, which lays out the exact flight route, refueling track, and targets
for each of the bomber crews. Most aircraft have two primary targets, with
two alternate targets to be struck should they be unable to make it to their primary
targets. Within minutes the crews are in the air, and
those already on alert patrols immediately set course for their positive-control turnaround
point, a pre-planned point near Russia where the air crews will automatically turn around-
unless they receive an order to strike. At missile sites across the American midwest,
the giant concrete shutters that protect the buried missiles inside their launch facilities
are automatically rolled back, and the Security Forces personnel tasked with defending these
sites go on full alert. Their orders are to defend the silos until
every missile has been launched, after which they are to escort surviving missile crews
out and back to a rendezvous point well away from the missile farm, for these sites will
be a priority target for incoming Russian missiles. Inside underground bunkers, missile operators
rehearse launch procedures, each man responsible for a group of missiles. The entire system only requires two out of
four of the operators to authenticate a launch order, just in case two of the men get cold
feet about launching a nuclear Armageddon and refuse their orders. Deep in the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic
ocean, the US’s Extremely Low Frequency communication system flashes a nuclear alert to America’s
ballistic missile submarine fleet. Each sub carries twenty four Trident missiles,
and each missile carries up to eight independently targetable warheads with a yield of 475 kilotons. America’s fleet of hunter-killer attack submarines
have for weeks been stalking and eliminating Russia’s aging ballistic missile submarines,
and the survivors are bottled up near the Russian shore where they can be protected
with shore-based firepower and anti-submarine patrols. Now America’s attack submarines set course
for Russia’s coast, their mission is to eliminate Russia’s surviving nuke boats, though it will
cost America’s submarine fleet dearly as Russia’s air force and surface navy fiercely defend
their surviving ballistic missile subs. At 0209 hours the American president is told
that American recon assets have positive confirmation of a nuclear detonation in Berlin. The Russians have fired an older, single-warhead
ICBM, yet with a yield large enough to completely destroy the city of 3.6 million. On a hotline direct with the Prime Minister
of the United Kingdom, the President is told that Britain is already issuing a fire order
to retaliate for the attack. The President knows that the attack on Berlin
was a gamble by the Russians, who don’t believe that the US will risk an escalation and attacks
on its own cities to defend Europe. An emergency flash is dispatched by the US’s
ELF communications system to a lurking Ohio class submarine, currently on station deep
beneath the ice of the North Pole. After authenticating the order, the sub breaches
through the five-foot thick ice and the door on a single dorsally mounted launch tube pops
open. The navigation system on the Trident II missile
located inside the launch tube is activated and a mission trajectory is automatically
loaded into the flight computer. Then, a steam generator ignites a solid-grain
rocket motor which feeds superheated exhaust into a tank of chilled water. The water evaporates and expands, forcing
the missile within the launch tube to be launched upwards and out, after which the which the
first-stage motor ignites and the missile screams upward and towards space. An astro-inertial guidance system on board
the missile uses star positioning to fine tune the accuracy of its trajectory, as GPS
has long been unreliable due to Russian attacks on NATO satellites. The Russians have bet wrong, and minutes later
eight 475 kiloton warheads detonate over the Russian missile facility which launched the
Berlin attack. Simultaneously, a British attack strikes at
the cities of Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk- both with a population of 1.5 million, or
3 million together. NATO has responded in kind to the Berlin attack,
and America has both punished Russia’s nuclear forces for the attack and shown that it will
stand with its allies. In the halls of the Kremlin, a desperate power
struggle plays out. 3 million Russians lie dead, and the US has
obliterated one of Russia’s major nuclear missile facilities, destroying dozens of ICBMs
in place. Russian ballistic submarines, considered to
be the most survivable element of the nuclear triad, have also been decimated by American
attack submarines- though the US has lost twelve subs of its own in its quest to eliminate
the remaining Russian boats. Military leadership clashes with the civilian
leadership, and demands a retaliatory attack on American missile facilities. With US reinforcements in force on the Western
front, and Russians starting to lose ground in Poland, battlefield commanders have for
the last week been requesting a release on strategic nuclear weapons to use against American
infantry and tanks. The fierce debate on the use of tactical weapons
is reignited, and when further nuclear attacks are denied, Russian military leadership stages
a stunning coup. The Russian president is removed from power,
and Russian commanders receive authorization for the use of a dozen tactical weapons against
NATO forces in Europe. Within a half hour, NATO troop concentrations
in Poland are hammered by low-yield nuclear attacks, killing tens of thousands. American reinforcements, fresh from the states
and currently massing around the Rammstein military facilities in Germany, are hit with
three tactical devices. The Marine expeditionary force in the pacific,
staging out of Japan, is also struck by a single device, as are the two naval carrier
battle groups supporting the invasion. By 9 AM American military forces have suffered
more casualties than all wars since World War II combined, and the ability for NATO
to push back Russian forces in Poland is eliminated. While Russia has maintained an inventory of
low-yield tactical nuclear weapons to counter America’s overwhelming conventional firepower
advantage, the United States has not kept an active inventory of tactical devices for
decades. This leaves the American president with few
options for a comparable retaliatory attack. While the yields on America’s airborne, submarine
and ground-launched nuclear weapons can be dialed down, there is no way to broadcast
that fact to the Russians, and little chance they would believe it. An attack with traditional ICBMs, submarine
launched missiles, or airborne nuclear cruise missiles will seem to Russian like a full-blown
attack, and risk escalating the war into a total nuclear confrontation. Yet the president has little choice, tens
of thousands of American service members are dead, US forces in Europe have been badly
damaged by the attacks, and both carrier battlegroups supporting the Pacific invasion are reporting
major losses of ships, aircraft, and personnel. The Marine invasion force in Okinawa is combat
ineffective, four divisions reporting over 55% casualties each. Resigning himself to a list of terrible options,
the President orders a retaliatory attack using ground-based ICBMs. The Air Force’s Global Strike Command nuclear
bomber fleet is to approach and hold at their fail-safe points, ready to proceed to their
targets should Russia retaliate again. At Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, a
launch order is authorized by the two-man Minuteman launch crew, and a single Minuteman
III missile roars into the night sky. Sixty seconds later, the second stage of the
missile ignites, separating from the spent first booster stage. Adjustments using the second stage thrust
vector control keeps the missile on course, and another sixty seconds later the flight
computer separates the second stage and fires the engine on the third and final stage. By now the missile has reached space, and
as the third stage engine burns out, reverse thrust separates the three warheads and their
penetration aids from the launch vehicle. Some of the penetration aids explode, showering
space with millions of pieces of reflective aluminum which wreak havoc on radar used by
missile interceptors, while other aids simulate the real warheads and serve as dummy targets
for any Russian interceptors. With no real Russian anti-ballistic missile
defense program though, the warheads and the dummies all re-enter the earth’s atmosphere
completely unharmed. Twenty three minutes after launch, three separate
475 kiloton nuclear explosions rock Eastern Europe- Russian forces in Poland are obliterated
by two nuclear strikes many times greater in magnitude than those used against NATO
forces, while yet another Russian nuclear missile facility is struck by the third warhead. With American weapons targeting their missile
fields and systematically eliminating Russia’s ability to respond to nuclear attacks, the
final order is given for a full-blown nuclear response. American reconnaissance satellites and electronic
eavesdropping assets all pick up the telltale signs of preparatory operations for nuclear
launch across Russia’s remaining missile farms. The order to attack is mirrored in the US,
and launch officers in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana receive the order to launch. Simultaneously, American airborne assets receive
an emergency flash, which when authenticated authorizes the aircrews to proceed to their
targets with full nuclear release. American ballistic missile submarines breach
through the thick polar ice, or rise to twenty five feet below the waves of the Pacific and
the North Sea. As Russian missiles clear their silos, it’s
America’s nuclear ballistic missile subs which launch the first wave of retaliatory attacks,
almost as fast as Russian ground forces. American submarine launched missiles target
Russia’s remaining missile fields in a desperate hope to destroy them before they can finish
launch operations, but for the most part the American strikes fail to stop the launches. Secondary military targets are then struck,
with major Russian military bases, supply depots, troop staging areas, and airfields
all being obliterated in nuclear fire within ten minutes of the start of the Russian attack. As Russia’s ICBMs climb into the atmosphere,
a wave of American ballistic missile defense systems immediately spring into action. Having spent billions on ballistic missile
defense since the 1980s, all in a bid to make Reagan’s Star Wars concept a reality, America
now attacks the incoming missiles with a variety of tools. Airborne laser systems in Europe and flying
in the Pacific manage to strike at a handful of ICBMs during their vulnerable ascent stage,
superheating the missile body from hundreds of miles away with a powerful aircraft-mounted
laser system. As the missiles climb into space, ballistic
missile defense sites across the West Coast of the United States launch their ground-based
interceptors. Using powerful radar, the interceptors scream
towards the incoming missiles in a bid to destroy them through kinetic impact before
they can re-enter the atmosphere. The Russian missiles however immediately disperse
their own penetration aids, and a shower of billions of pieces of aluminum chaff wreaks
hell on American interceptor radar. The interceptors switch to their visual interception
systems and advanced computer programs frantically scramble to identify the incoming warheads
visually, ignoring the clouds of chaff. Half of the interceptors miss their targets,
the other half manage to strike- yet of the successful intercepts a full third are of
dummy warheads. To make matters worse, the US only has an
inventory of about sixty interceptors ready to fire, and are completely overwhelmed by
an incoming horde of hundreds of independently targeting warheads. 24 minutes after launch the West Coast is
the first hit. 1 Megaton strikes against Los Angeles, Seattle,
Portland and others obliterate the most populated cities on the American west coast. A follow-on 450 kiloton strike destroys the
Los Angeles harbor area along with tens of thousands of homes, and the naval base at
San Diego. Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert
is struck by two 450 kiloton strikes, as is Vandenberg Air Force Base. Three minutes later nuclear impacts strike
the American mid-west. North American Aerospace Defense Command at
Peterson Air Force Base is incinerated by a megaton blast, and the Cheyenne Mountain
Complex is struck by two ground-penetration munitions, though the blasts manage to do
little damage to the deeply buried facility. Strikes continue to roll eastwards, and a
saturation of 300 kiloton strikes decimates the American farm belt. These munitions are programmed to be ground
bursts, resulting in the scattering of millions of tons of highly radioactive dirt across
America’s most fertile farm land. Another three minutes later the East Coast
is struck by the Russian ICBMs. Washington is obliterated by two separate
megaton blasts, as is New York City- the financial heart of America. The American president however is safe from
the nuclear blasts. He has long ago boarded what is nicknamed
the Doomsday Plane, an airborne command post from which he can manage America’s remaining
military and civilian forces. With satellite and ground communications completely
eradicated, a fleet of Air Force planes now make up a global command and control system,
linking up surviving military forces with the President. Soon his plane will land at an intact airfield
and he will be helicoptered out to a surviving supercarrier, from where he will continue
to command the survivors of America’s military and oversee the reconstruction, if any is
possible, of what remains of America, all from the safety of the Atlantic Ocean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *