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Pax Americana-1960

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:13 pm
In the early sixties SAC had grown from a force with 30 aircraft, mostly the "aluminum overcast" B-36s, to, at the time of the cuban Missile Crisis, a force of 1500 B-47s armed with Thermonucler weapons.

The exact mark of the bomb they carried i do not recall.

also, the B-52-the best bomber in history, began its carreer about 1954 and I saw films of thermonuclear blasts on Eniwetok delivered by B-52's.

the lates B-52 in service still, has a tail number indicating 1958 production.

I will track down the names of the various weapons and the Test shots made during the 40's 50's and 60's in various "operations" starting with "Operation Crossbow" ie: test shot "Able" and Baker" at Bikini lagoon.

The Baker Underwater blast, despite only (ONLY??) a 40 Kiloton blast was frighteningly effective.

The blast is easily identified should you happed to see it as the right side of the stem of the Mushroom has a black spot in it, which was a surplus WWII warship of conderable size.

The famous ships "Saratoga" and "Prinz Eugen" (Bismarcks' consort) met their end in Bikini lagoon. The lagoon's bottom is at the very limit for SCUBA diving.

Nevertheless, dives were recently made by Dennis Hilbert (???the Unit).

The warships in the lagoon carried full war loads of ammunition and aircraft, so a dive onto the wrecks would be a divers paradise.

Truk lagoon, the subject of a savage American air attack, contains many ships now considered to be "War Grave SItes" by the US and Japan.

So, when faced with 1500 plus Nuclear armed B-47s, called the "Doomsday fleet" it is small wonder that Kruschev blinked during the Cuban missile crisis.

It was aparently a double good thing as American estimates of Soviet Nuclear Assets and conventional assets were woefully innacurate.

If the planned invasion of cuba took place it is almost a certainty that the Soveits would have used tactical nukes.

If the invasion did not go well, and/or the Soviets used tactical nukes, of which many more were operational than known, a nuclear exchange on the tactical level would hae taken place.

Also underestimated were the numbers of MRBM's operational. These, as we know, could have struck as far north as Boston on the Continental US's east coast.

If tactical nukes were used, could the conflict have been contained at that level???

The existence of the most powerful air fleet in history, the "Doomsday Fleet" having unimaginable thermonuclear capability, deterred the Soviets.

Hell, it would have deterred me.

At the time of the crisis the B-47/B-52 fleet was either disbursed to every possible civilian and military air strip or in the air waiting for orders.

JFK had an operation in place which placed at least 50 bombers in the air at all times and a substantial number ready to lift of on 15 minutes notice..

considering their probable e payload,-------!!!!

the Doctor Strangelove event I think.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:51 pm
by Hugh
While I, my son, and a friend were touring the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, we went through a WWII era Quonset Hut set up to replicate an airfield HQ in East Anglia during that war. My friend suddenly needed to get out of the hut and, once out, said that it had so reminded him of his time on a SAC base in England during the late 1950s that it had brought back memories of a B-47 that landed and caught fire. An announcement went out that the plane was nuclear equpped and that the staff on the base should leave immediately. There would be an "All Clear" siren sounded when it was safe to return. My friend said that he decided that it would be best to go and to get drunk at the nearest pub since he would still be well within range of any explosion or of any radiation leak. As it turned out, there was neither event and all was well, but it scared the Hell out of him.

A Scenario

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:43 pm
Hi Hugh:

Just seeing the B-52's and 47s' disbursed to Logan and having their unmuffled engines roar over our house was enough 'shock and awe" for me.

But I hoped to get a scenario idea from you as to how the Crisis might have played out if the Russians had not 'blinked'.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:14 pm
by Hugh
There was an alternative history novel on just that subject however I cannot remember the name of it. It had Manhattasn and the DC area as large radioactive no-go areas some 30 years later and the Kennedy Compound at Hyannisport was an abandoned derelict of a place. It was terminally grim and not all that well-written and I never finished it. That is probably why I cannot remember its name or author.

Also, I was in college at the time and I had a professor who had escaped from Poland and then France one jump a head of the NAZIs. He was from a Polish/Jewish family of considerable wealth and had been an officer in both nations' armies. He wound up as a PFC in the US Army Air Corps in Ogden, UT and saw that they USA could out-waste all of the other powers involved in WWII together and that, since war is essentially a waste, that we would win. (His opinon, stated frequently.) He went to a film and saw a slide asking that any postcards, guidebooks, or other information on cities then under enemy control be sent to an address in Washington, DC. He wrote to say that, while he had none of those, he had lived in Warsaw, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Rome, and other European cities and knew them well as well as speaking Polish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Yiddish, and English. About two weeeks later, a C-47 landed at the airbase and his sergeant came looking for him, asking what in Hell he had done now. He was to report to the commander's office immediately in his Class A's. He went there and the next thing that he knew, he was on a plane to DC to meet with General William Donovan of the OSS. he spent most of the rest of the War behind German lines. After the War, He was assigned to the US team at Nuremburg where he 1)learned that his entire family had been wiped out in the death camps and 2)met and married a German girl! This was a very interesting man, as you can imagine. He disappeared during much of the Cuban Missile Crisis and his graduate assistant took the class for those few sessions. However, he did show up just at the most crucial point to tell us not to worry, that he was not leaving the country. :) He had earlier pointed out that, given his history, his colleagues always asked if he had round-trip tickets when he was travelling abroad. As a point of information, he was an informal advisor to the NSC on Eastern European affairs.

Fail Safe

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:12 pm

I suppose the classic movie "Dr. Stranglove-or How I learned to Strart Loving the Bomb" and the novel "Fail Safe" would be two rather old played out scenarios.

Of course "The Day After" was a TV movie that did so, from the target areas point of view.

I have not watched "Jericho" and cannot comment on that.

The JDL is more or less against 'gun control', seeing what that had gotten the Jewish people in the past, or do I Mistate.

I can remember the advice "always keep your passport up to date and a set of bags packed" but have probably read and heard it so many times I could not attribute it to any one source.