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Quote: "How a war game brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster"

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Quote: "How a war game brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster"

Old 20th Feb 2021, 09:12
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See also here (article includes a link to Gen Perroots's newly-released report):

Apocalypse Averted - The world came much closer to nuclear war than we realized in 1983
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 16:56
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Was at this time an alarm sounded and BAOR went on alert, war stocks issued and people and equipment taken to places they'd never seen before to positions ready prepared they never knew were there?
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 20:56
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Originally Posted by air pig View Post
Was at this time an alarm sounded and BAOR went on alert, war stocks issued and people and equipment taken to places they'd never seen before to positions ready prepared they never knew were there?
Easy to say in hindsight, but if that's really what happened, it would have been a spectacularly unwise way to have run an exercise that was supporting a nuclear forces CPX! Hopefully you are thinking of another occasion?!
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 04:26
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I’ve not been able to find a good book on this episode - does anyone if anything has been written about Able Archer?
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 05:36
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A fictional tv series "Deutschland 83" was about that period, DDR spies and centred on the events around Able Archer.
Very good production and recommend to anyone interested in the era and events, though not a documentary of the events.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 13:43
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+1 for Deutschland 83, the sound track CD is rather good too.

With regard to a book try The World at the Brink 1983 by Taylor Downing, gives the background and events in context that preceded Able Archer and operation RYaN how close we came to Armageddon.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 04:13
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Thanks Beamer, Deutschland 83 is where I first became aware of the Able Archer incident. Also enjoyed Deutschland 89 although was hoping to see Putin doing a cameo at the Dresden protests! And thanks Charlie India, I’ll scope the book out. I do wish Ben Macintyre would pull up his socks and get on this one.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 12:22
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Commander Taco et al.
Spoiler Alerts or better, no spoilers please. Deutschland 89 not on UK Terrestrial TV till 5th March. Have managed to avoid all reviews so far and waiting to be entertained/amused/disappointed* as appropriate.
Thanks.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 13:22
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The most impressive part of the story is that somehow the West did notice the East panicked so the West both halted the war games back then and avoided alarming or amassing it's own hardware.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 15:45
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IIRC it was info from the UK's Russian agent that was the deciding information......................
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 15:49
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BRIXMIS might have played some role as well?
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 17:14
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
The most impressive part of the story is that somehow the West did notice the East panicked so the West both halted the war games back then and avoided alarming or amassing it's own hardware.
There was no panic here at that time, at least in military. Maybe some politicians, foreign affairs and other civvies - I don't know. But not in the campus I served.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 17:34
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The soviet military armed up it's fighters with nukes and activated command centers at some places.
At Neuruppin, East Germany, fighter bombers were secretly armed up for example. Not boring routine it seems. They had even weight and balance issues due to jamming pods and nukes loaded at the same time.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39331/misinterpretation-of-1983-nato-exercise-led-to-the-soviets-arming-100-jets-for-nuclear-war

https://kingscollections.org/exhibitions/archives/espionage/defectors/

Last edited by Less Hair; 22nd Feb 2021 at 18:02.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 18:04
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Around that period I was working for Swissair and a captain, full of enthusiasm and pride, confided that he had been nominated to fly a DC9 to Canada for a government in exile.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 19:10
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Colonel Stanislav Petrov

...
Was this the WWIII that the late Colonel Stanislav Petrov stopped single handed - by disobeying KSOs - for which he was reprimanded, or one of the many other similar events - including in the movies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Petrov

He was awarded $1000 in 2006 - and a posthumous $50,000 in 2018

I'd have thought it was worth rather more than that, but hey ...... we're still alive

LFH
...
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 20:02
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No, this intelligence was provided by Oleg Gordievsky...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Gordievsky
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 09:26
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Interesting collection of what the East was looking for back then: (Apologies for the terrible scan quality and quote layout)
permanent Operational Assignment to discover NATO Preparations for a Nuclear Attack on the USSR Section 1 - Immediate tasks of Residencies for Collecting Information and Organising their Work Top Secret Copy No.1 Attachment 1 1. Collect data about places where Government officials and members of their families are evacuated. Identify possible routes and methods of evacuation .. Make suggestions about ways of organising a ·watch to be kept on preparation and actual evacuation~ Time limit: 3rd quarter [by 30 September 1983] . 2. Identify the location of specially equipped Civil Defence shelters or premises ·' which could if necessary be used as shelters (underground garages and depots, basements, tunnels) and arrange for a periodical check on their state of preparedness to accommodate the population at a particular time. Time limit: 3rd quarter [by 30 September 1983] Report to Centre immediately if shelters are being taken out of storage or a start is. being made on preparing certain premises for accommodation of the. population. 3. One important sign that preparations are beginning for RYAN could be increased purchases of blood from donors and the prices paid for it and extension of the network of reception centres, since the. treatment of burns (the most widespread injury in a nuclear explosion) requires blood transfusions in very considerable quantity .. In this context, discover the location of several blooddonor reception centres, and find out how they operate and the price of the blood donated, and record any changes. Time limit: 2nd quarter [by 30 June 1983] If there is an unexpectedly sharp increase in the number of stationary and mobile blood donor centres and in.the prices paid, report at once to the Centre'\ . · {9 Put forward proposals for organising a \vatch on individual civil defence .Justallations~ Time limit: 2nd quarter [by 30 June 1983] . (5.) Identify several places which are most frequently visited outside. working 1lours by employees of institutions and installations connected with taking and implementing decisions regarding RYAN, including military personneL Put fonvard your selected. .. _._._.. __ )fi,A ... the possibility of regular nnc·.t::>t•·u·~nr~n of the DUl!CeSt Time limit: 2nd [by 30 June -~f Keep under regular observation the most important nrn't;~,;::::i.'t'1"n·nt:•n •-ru:~""'1"1ln'li'u:F~· headquarters and other installations involved in preparation for RYAN. S a list of immediate of observation to the Centre. the "nn.·f*f"niiir level of activity, of these targets in and out of working hours, the o signs of their daily activity in a normal situation (differences in the number cars collected there in the daytime and the evening, and in the number lighted windows in and out of working hours, and activity round these tars:ets·~ on non-working days). Find out, on the basis of the 'normal level' asce1"T"l 1 '"At'F. any changes in the indicators during special conferences, \\~"hen there is a situation (cars collected there out of hours, an increase in the number of windows at night in comparison with the 'normal level', or increased on non ... working days)~ 7. Set a regular watch for any significant changes in the police adminis system and the activity the special [i.e. security and intelligence] servic regard to Soviet citizens and institutions:, \vhich may be associated with aration for RYAN. On points 6 and 7 intonn Centre of the existence or absence of any ........ <1,ftN'tSM• of this kind regularly - once every two \Veeks. .
https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NS...02,%201983.pdf
https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publica...ng-nuclear-war

Last edited by Less Hair; 23rd Feb 2021 at 09:51.
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