US Pentagon reveals Cold War nuke plan

December 30, 2015 7:30 am

 

 The
details of the Pentagon’s plans were revealed in the 800-page Strategic
Air Command Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959. Photo / AP

In the event of a nuclear war, the Pentagon in 1956 penned a report
that listed 1200 cities and 1100 airfields spread across eastern ,
the Soviet Union and that were prioritised for various levels of
destruction, should the unthinkable happen.
The goals were
twofold: deny the former Communist Bloc’s ability to field an effective
air force and then destroy its ability to wage a protracted war.
The details of the Pentagon’s plans were revealed in the 800-page Strategic Air Command Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959,
“the most comprehensive and detailed list of nuclear targets and target
systems that has ever been declassified”, according to the National
Security Archive, an organisation run by George Washington University
that published it last week.
The document, written before the age
of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs, outlines a main
effort to initially destroy the Soviet Union’s ability to field their
bomber fleet against Nato countries and United States interests in
Europe.

The first two airbases slotted for destruction, Bykhov and
Orsha, are both in Belarus, while the first two cities targeted are
Moscow and Leningrad (St Petersburg).
The targets ranged from military command centres to “population centres” – such as the suburbs of Leningrad.
Targets
to destroy population centers would have been hit with atomic weapons.
The nuclear weapons would have been delivered by aircraft such as the
B-47 (based out of Britain, Morocco and Spain) and the newly introduced
B-52 bomber.

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