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Old 2019-08-24, 01:27   #155
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Who knows?

One argument is that the collateral damage of a strictly limited nuclear response with 10-100kt tactical nukes would be sufficiently unpleasant that continental European members of NATO would not have countenanced it. The (apparently) significantly greater capabilities of Warsaw Pact conventional forces may well have meant they would have reached or crossed the Rhine before being brought to a halt by a NATO conventional response.

The above assumes that neither side would escalate to a full strategic response.
Bombing behind the invaders and cutting their supply lines and retreat would have limited W Europe's damages to some tank brigades which would run out of fuel, and be pounded to pieces in a conventional manner.

Problem is, that escalation could start from numerous players. Whoever had nukes and delivery systems could set off the powder keg. Tactical nukes in E Europe to stop the Anschluss** onslaught could have had that effect anyway.
**Word misused in this context. Misconceived meaning on my part.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2019-08-24 at 03:37 Reason: remove excess CRs
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Old 2019-08-24, 11:38   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
You found two more suitably horrifying examples. In terms of floating reactors, isn't there a nuclear sub or two which are no longer floating, but sitting on the sea floor? Those have to start leaking reactor contents sooner or later.
The LA Times story I linked to in this recent post mentions one that went to the bottom.
Quote:
In August 2000, just after Putin’s first election, a disastrous sinking of the nuclear-powered Kursk submarine in the Barents Sea killed 118 Russian sailors. The incident was a public relations nightmare for Putin, who refused other countries’ offers to help rescue the sinking sub while the Kremlin misled and manipulated the public.
However, as described here, most of the wreck, including the reactors, was raised.

This is not the case with many other nuclear weapons -- and reactors -- that went to Davy Jones's Locker. This article, this Wikipedia page, and other pages describe the situation.

In addition, Apollo 13 carried a bit under 4 kg of Plutonium-238 in a protective container, intended for use as a power source for experiments on the Moon. (It's not the fissile isotope. Pu-238 is a hot alpha emitter with a half-life of less than 90 years, used as a heat source for thermopiles in long-term space missions).

The container survived re-entry and is sitting at the bottom of the Tonga trench. As of yet, there have been no signs of the plutonium leaking out.

BTW there is the cheery prospect of future projects deliberately placing nuclear reactors on the sea floor. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 2019-08-24, 13:36   #157
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Thanks for the historic details. I was going on vague memories.
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Old 2019-08-24, 14:52   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Bombing behind the invaders and cutting their supply lines and retreat would have limited W Europe's damages to some tank brigades which would run out of fuel, and be pounded to pieces in a conventional manner.
It would also have left West Germany under Warsaw Pact control.

Consolidate, rinse and repeat.

Perhaps the Soviets may have stopped after neutralizing their recent aggressor. OTOH, I'm sure they remembered Napoleonic France.
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Old 2019-08-24, 17:46   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
It would also have left West Germany under Warsaw Pact control.

Consolidate, rinse and repeat.

Perhaps the Soviets may have stopped after neutralizing their recent aggressor. OTOH, I'm sure they remembered Napoleonic France.
Good point, all.
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Old 2019-08-25, 01:57   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Perhaps the Soviets may have stopped after neutralizing their recent aggressor. OTOH, I'm sure they remembered Napoleonic France.
Indeed they did. During WWII they named one of their offensives in July 1943 "Operation Kutuzov" in honor of Mikhail Kutuzov, who pushed (what was left of) Napoleon's Grande Armee out of Russia.

I heard an anecdote to the effect that a British Diplomat had asked Kutuzov why he hadn't annihilated Napoleon's army, and that Kutuzov's reply was something like, "Why should I solve all of your problems for you?" The implication was, that there was more than a military mind at work. I don't know whether this actually happened. Kutuzov did not live long after defeating Napoleon.

If memory serves, one of the commanders in The Mote in God's Eye was named Kutuzov.

We now return you to discussion of nuclear (in)security...
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Old 2019-08-25, 11:33   #161
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These references to the Napoleonic debacle call up a much-loved Schumann lieder for me. Note the French Anthem at the climax. It was amusing, in my family, to hear Napoleon referred to as the Kaiser, though this is, after all, the Emperor.
Die beiden Grenadiere
http://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=7543
https://www.oxfordlieder.co.uk/song/464

Take your pick of two great singers: Hans Hotter and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Note, however, that the pianist is the same for both. For decades, Gerald Moore was THE Accompanist, period, for this genre. I had the honor of hearing Fischer-Dieskau at Chicago's Symphony Center, many years ago, in the company of my dear departed friend Robert Mark Schumann. He went by Mark, but his family had some link to the composer and had a tradition of naming a son Robert.


Last fiddled with by kladner on 2019-08-25 at 11:46
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Old 2019-08-25, 12:11   #162
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Great lied!

In this part of the world, the ending of Napoleon's rule was marked by the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), which is credited with balancing powers sufficiently well to keep peace more or less until the First World War.
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Old 2019-08-25, 12:13   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Great lied!

In this part of the world, the ending of Napoleon's rule was marked by the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), which is credited with balancing powers sufficiently well to keep peace more or less until the First World War.
Except when it didn't. I present exhibit A.
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Old 2019-08-25, 12:25   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Except when it didn't. I present exhibit A.
Here is Exhibit B, taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...icts_in_Europe
  1. 1815–1817 Second Serbian Uprising
  2. 1817–1864 Russian conquest of the Caucasus
  3. 1821–1832 Greek War of Independence
  4. 1821 Wallachian uprising
  5. 1823 French invasion of Spain
  6. 1826–1828 Russo-Persian War
  7. 1827 War of the Malcontents
  8. 1828–1829 Russo-Turkish War
  9. 1828–1834 Liberal Wars
  10. 1830 Ten Days' Campaign (following the Belgian Revolution)
  11. 1830–1831 November Uprising
  12. 1831 Canut revolts
  13. 1831–1832 Bosnian Uprising
  14. 1831–1836 Tithe War
  15. 1832 War in the Vendée and Chouannerie of 1832
  16. 1832 June Rebellion
  17. 1833–1839 First Carlist War
  18. 1833–1839 Albanian Revolts of 1833–39
  19. 1843–1844 Albanian Revolt of 1843–44
  20. 1846 Galician slaughter
  21. 1846–1849 Second Carlist War
  22. 1847 Albanian Revolt of 1847
  23. 1847 Sonderbund War
  24. 1848–1849 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence
  25. 1848–1851 First Schleswig War
  26. 1848–1849 First Italian War of Independence
  27. 1853–1856 Crimean War
  28. 1854 Epirus Revolt of 1854
  29. 1858 Mahtra War
  30. 1859 Second Italian War of Independence
  31. 1861–62 Montenegrin–Ottoman War (1861–62)
  32. 1863–1864 January Uprising
  33. 1864 Second Schleswig War
  34. 1866 Austro-Prussian War
  35. 1866–1869 Cretan Revolt
  36. 1866 Third Italian War of Independence
  37. 1867 Fenian Rising
  38. 1870–1871 Franco-Prussian War
  39. 1872–1876 Third Carlist War
  40. 1873–1874 Cantonal Revolution
  41. 1875–77 Herzegovina Uprising (1875–77)
  42. 1876–78 Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78)
  43. 1876–78 Montenegrin–Ottoman War (1876–78)
  44. 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War
  45. 1878 Epirus Revolt of 1878
  46. 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War
  47. 1897 Greco-Turkish War
  48. 1903 Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising
  49. 1904–1908 Macedonian Struggle
  50. 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War
  51. 1905 Łódź insurrection
  52. 1905 Revolution of 1905
  53. 1906–1908 Theriso revolt
  54. 1907 1907 Romanian Peasants' Revolt
  55. 1910 Albanian Revolt of 1910
  56. 1910 5 October 1910 revolution
  57. 1910 Portuguese Monarchist Civil War
  58. 1911 Albanian Revolt of 1911
  59. 1911–1912 Italo-Turkish War
  60. 1912–1913 Balkan Wars
  61. 1912–1913 First Balkan War
  62. 1913 Second Balkan War
  63. 1913 Tikveš Uprising
  64. 1913 Ohrid–Debar Uprising
  65. 1914 Peasant Revolt in Albania

I freely concede that Russo-Japanese and Russo-Persian Wars are extreme edge cases and should be omitted for present purposes. That still leaves another 63 to be taken into account.
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Old 2019-08-25, 13:24   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
You found two more suitably horrifying examples. In terms of floating reactors, isn't there a nuclear sub or two which are no longer floating, but sitting on the sea floor? Those have to start leaking reactor contents sooner or later.
There's lots more than just one or two:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ear_submarines

The U.S. has 2: The Scorpion and the Thresher.
The Soviets/Russians have 7; although the last one listed may have been neutered.
There is one on their list that was scuttled, SUNK DELIBERATELY !!!!!!!!
In shallow water, no less.

Upon further review, scratch my comment about the last sub being Neutered.
It was left to rot for 14 years WITH THE REACTOR STILL ABOARD.
It sank while being towed to be scrapped:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_K-159

Last fiddled with by tServo on 2019-08-25 at 13:30
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