Author Topic: Technical information on tactics for Cold War nuclear weapons  (Read 632 times)

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Offline CaptainKoloth

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Hello everyone, odd history question, but I just absolutely cannot find the answer anywhere, here is probably a good a place as any to try!

Is there any information out there about how the actual, technical, tactical employment of nuclear weapons would have worked in a NATO-Warsaw Pact Cold War gone hot scenario post Cuban Missile Crisis? There is endless information on:

1) Lists of all the weapons themselves and delivery systems
2) High level political considerations about strategic war
3) Speculation about conventional war in that scenario
4) Very-very early Cold War scenarios along these lines like Operation Dropshot and concepts like Pentomic divisions
5) Many, many things where the authors basically throw up their hands and say "nuclear war bad, not worth thinking about at all"

But when it comes to the specific, purely operational questions of how tactical nuclear weapons would have been used on the battlefield in a post ~1965 context, there seems to nothing at all. I'm talking very technical/tactical information, at the level of "one useful tactic would be to have F-111s saturate front-line airfields with gravity bombs, where the air burst would have destroyed aircraft in the open but not hardened shelters", etc., stuff to that effect.

I can only assume that either a) all that information essentially remains classified or b) wasn't even ever seriously considered as a battlefield tool beyond holding in reserve endless lists of targets, or some combination of these two.

Does anybody know of any other sources on this topic that I'm missing?


Offline W8taminute

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Re: Technical information on tactics for Cold War nuclear weapons
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2022, 08:01:41 AM »
I have these two books at home.  I can see if there is any information in there that you would be interested in.  Both books do talk about what Soviet doctrine would have been if a nuke war broke out.  I don't have anything about western military doctrine though.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/373641763395?chn=ps&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&amdata=enc%3A1Ri-d_utWR6u0Vugw-Vy0Gg79&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=373641763395&targetid=1599090336177&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=9001998&poi=&campaignid=15275224983&mkgroupid=131097072938&rlsatarget=pla-1599090336177&abcId=9300697&merchantid=113367994


Offline CaptainKoloth

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Re: Technical information on tactics for Cold War nuclear weapons
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2022, 08:02:43 AM »
I have these two books at home.  I can see if there is any information in there that you would be interested in.  Both books do talk about what Soviet doctrine would have been if a nuke war broke out.  I don't have anything about western military doctrine though.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/373641763395?chn=ps&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&amdata=enc%3A1Ri-d_utWR6u0Vugw-Vy0Gg79&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=373641763395&targetid=1599090336177&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=9001998&poi=&campaignid=15275224983&mkgroupid=131097072938&rlsatarget=pla-1599090336177&abcId=9300697&merchantid=113367994



I think I may actually have both of those two, I'll check for the relevant information. It's a start!

Edit: Nope, I have a bunch of books in that illustrated guide series (great books!) but not either of these in particular.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 08:04:25 AM by CaptainKoloth »

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Technical information on tactics for Cold War nuclear weapons
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2022, 08:39:21 AM »
i have a book that has information like this in it...is this what you're looking for?

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Offline CaptainKoloth

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Re: Technical information on tactics for Cold War nuclear weapons
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2022, 08:43:14 AM »
i have a book that has information like this in it...is this what you're looking for?



I'm looking for a whole book focusing on the diagram on the upper right, in a sense.  Heck, I'll take a chapter!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2022, 08:45:53 AM by CaptainKoloth »