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If this had happened 30 years ago today, we would all have died

56 Comments

1:

I think you underestimate the former USSR - they were kooky in many ways (as are we all) but they were not MADbots. This sort of thing is certainly not *safe* under MAD conditions, but "we would all have died" is hyperbole.

We COULD all have died.

2:

It is nice. But America should still work to close the mineshaft gap.

3:

m.l.leuschen: M. Stross is referring to 30 years ago because that was the time Russia almost sent the missiles up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident

Imagine if something big had exploded over a Russian city around that time.

4:

You need to read up on Operation RYAN.

1983 was the most dangerous year of the entire cold war -- probably even more dangerous than 1962 (year of the Cuban missile crisis) because it was similarly unstable, but there were an order of magnitude more warheads in play (i.e. more possible points of friction).

6:

Would this explosion have been misinterpreted as a nuclear attack, though? It doesn't look like a missile on its approach and it doesn't cause enough damage to be confused for anything but a conventional explosive. A reaction would have required an incredibly sensitive chain of command structure with almost zero capacity for second guessing. Another Tunguska event might have been a different story though.

7:

There were some rather "special" flight profiles and designs for missiles being considered/experimented with before the cold war cooled off; fractional orbital bombardment systems and things like the LPBM (Long-Playing Ballistic Missile: goes a l-o-n-g way up and out, comes back down weeks or months later at >>escape velocity specifically to defeat ABM systems).

And there were non-nuclear weapons payloads. See wikipedia on the Soviet biological weapons program.

The real issue is that in 1982-83 the Soviet leadership were expecting an American pre-emptive strike, and Chelyabinsk was a major nuclear weapons R&D centre ...

Put it another way: if a meteor like this one had detonated over Los Alamos during the Cuban missile crisis, what do you think the response would have been?

8:

"Put it another way: if a meteor like this one had detonated over Los Alamos during the Cuban missile crisis, what do you think the response would have been?"

So much for the ski hill...

9:

Much freaking out, but the Geiger counters would have cleared it as not nuclear in, what, a few minutes? Also, no significant military damage. Radar tracking would not be consistent with a missile but make sense as a meteor. So a few minutes of freak out, a few hours of suspicion, a bunch of accusations, but not MAD. Some bombers might have been sent towards the USSR but they would probably have been

I think the main consequence would be a plausible conspiracy theory that someone up there tried to trick us into self-immolation.

The Cold War had quite a few "That got closer to Armageddon that I would have liked" moments, but we survived. Maybe I am optimistic in thinking we were never so close to the edge that an obvious meteor would tip the balance.

10:

"Triggerman": nominated for a Hugo Award in 1959. Washington is obliterated, but the man who has the responsibility for launching the US nuclear counter has his doubts.

12:

thank your lucky [red] stars for Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov - the man who said "nyet" at the right time

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

the man who launched a thousand alternate histories, but thankfully no missiles

and thank heavens Boris Yeltsin was sober, too on 25 January 1995

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident

the closed submarine signalling base that my primary school was half-a-mile from was not taken off the
Raketnye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya targeting list until 2006

300 kiloton ground burst, 200 kiloton airburst apparently 8-o

13:

http://www.nature.com/news/2002/021121/full/news021118-7.html

Spy sats have been detecting bolide explosions for decades. I think something like this would have certainly increased the pucker factor in a crisis but we've seen bigger and not gone nuclear. Just as glad we're out of the Cold War, though!

14:

Yes, thank god a bolide with similar trajectory didn't fall during the Cold War. (I made a similar observation this morning, after learning of the skyfall).

There was one dashboard camera video that imaged the falling bolide from a car driving on a road from east to west. The swelling brightness of the object was like a brilliant teardrop of plasma, and I am sure that if I saw that, I would have lost control over my bowels.

15:

The worst about all this is - as usual - the media coverage. Little to no fact checking and mindless repetition of whatever somebody with "authority" said.

There are claims that the asteroid had just 10 tons ... well, 1000 tons (probably about 3000t) is more like it. Getting a shockwave that can break windows at a distance of 30-40km requires a bit more than 0.3kt TNT equivalent in energy. For comparison, even the Hiroshima bomb only managed to break windows up to 15-20km away.

Links, more explanations and some stupidity at my blog.

16:

SO, can we hope for some money being spent on asteroid protection now?

17:

The general problem in all of this is whether anyone waits for confirmation that it's a bolide, not a nuke, before launching.

One part I don't think we do know is how much the Russians knew about that asteroid before it hit. If they spotted it coming in, they might have simply sat back to enjoy the show. If it surprised them, that's another kettle of fish entirely. Since they didn't go to DEFCON 1 equivalency, I suspect they knew it was coming.

What I don't know is whether they had the same capability in 1983. The nice thing about asteroids is that they don't come out of nowhere, and if you've got a long trail of something coming in, even if it hurts, you know it's not a nuke, and you don't have to retaliate.

18:

> The nice thing about asteroids is that they don't come out of nowhere

15 m in diameter of dark, cold carbonaceous rock at 18 km/sec out of the sector you do not expect ICBMs from.

Not a chance.

19:

I think you are imputing a level of technological sophistication and independent thought sadly lacking throughout the USSR's thankfully short existence

as Stanislav Petrov himself said

"You can’t possibly analyze things properly within a couple of minutes. All you can rely on is your intuition. I had two arguments to fall back on. First, missile attacks do not start from just one base. Second, the computer is, by definition, brainless. There are lots of things it can mistake for a missile launch"

any person from any nation could look at the screen and make the wrong, cataclysmic judgement call.

Military hierarchies do not like free thinkers - luckily one slipped through the Voyska-PVO net.

20:

> The nice thing about asteroids is that they don't come out of nowhere

Actually they do. 2008 TC3 was discovered 11 hours before hitting Sudan, 2009 VA first spotted 15 hours before it passed 8700 miles out. There have been a number of others that were only discovered *after* they flew by.

2008 TC3 was way smaller than current estimates of this mornings visitor, but happened to be coming in from outside the Earths orbit meaning it was lit by the sun against the dark sky. It was actually tracked from discovery until it entered the shadow of the Earth. Despite being around 100x larger, this mornings came from inside Earths orbit and couldn't be seen against the glare.

21:

Well, you know, we're in the same spot as the guys that launched the Hubble, who, when they found out about the thermal vibration, also found out that they CIA had known about the same issue through their spy satellites, yet didn't tell anyone.

Seriously, do you know how good Soviet (or American) radar is at detecting space objects? Me neither. I'm pretty sure that they are monitoring all sorts of space junk in LEO and satellites in geosynchronous. But beyond that? A ringing silence.

This is the key point that's been missed--we DO NOT KNOW the capabilities of military radar. We just know what they've announced. Thing is, if you could detect an inbound asteroid with your super-secret array, the only reason to let the world know is if the damage it will cause to you would be higher the cost of revealing your tech. To do otherwise risks your adversaries creating countermeasures to defeat your top-line radar.

So yes, I wouldn't be surprised if the Russians saw that rock coming in, decided it was too small to care about, and said nothing. It didn't kill anyone, after all, despite the mess.

22:

sorry alexey-goldin - meant to reply heteromeles post, not yours :-D

23:

This has been a very active discussion topic since about 20 min after it happened, among nuclear weapons experts, minor planet (asteroid + meteor + etc) mailing list, etc.

Even today - TODAY - Moscow still has a nuclear-armed anti-ballistic-missile force deployed. They are trying to offline the nuclear warhead interceptors, they have a couple of fields of newer conventional warhead ABMs as well. But they keep having to turn the nuclear ABMs back on.

Those nuclear ABMs, when active, are on release authority of the local air defense chief. If their radar detected an unknown inbound coming over the pole towards Moscow at 18 km/s, it's arguable he'd have fired.

24:

This latest event was fairly small scale as these things go- " Chelyabinsk region. WARNING: this video contains strong language in Russian." how sensitive we have become. Strong language in Russian warnings!

I'm just glad that we didn't have a 1908 Tunguska Style Event at the height of the cold war in the '80s just at the point at which the Soviet Union was set to implode and a great time was being had by all. It wouldn't really have mattered who was at the receiving end of a Tunguska 2 EVENT, by the following day we would all have been toast ...

"Towards the end of Jimmy Carter's presidency, and continued strongly through the subsequent presidency of Ronald Reagan, the United States rejected disarmament and tried to restart the arms race through the production of new weapons and anti-weapons systems. The central part of this strategy was the Strategic Defense Initiative, a space based anti-ballistic missile system derided as "Star Wars" by its critics. However, the SDI would require technology that had not yet been developed, or even researched. This system would require both space and earth based laser battle stations. It would also need sensors on the ground, in the air, and in space with radar, optical, and infrared technology to detect incoming missiles.[32] During the second part of 1980s, the Soviet economy was teetering towards collapse and was unable to match American arms spending. The Soviets feared the SDI because the U.S. would have an edge if it ever came to nuclear war. Numerous negotiations by Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to come to agreements on reducing nuclear stockpiles, but the most radical were rejected by Reagan as they would also prohibit his SDI program. However, due to enormous costs and far too complex technology for its time, the project and research was cancelled."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_arms_race#Reagan_and_the_Strategic_Defense_Initiative


Note " Ronald Reagan, the United States rejected disarmament and tried to restart the arms race through the production of new weapons and anti-weapons systems." A Neo Tunguska would have been assumed to be test/preemptive strike with a 'New Weapon' dependent upon its ground zero.

We were collectively luckier than we deserved to be.


How soon we do forget the political climate of that time. Perhaps we have to forget lest we go collectively mad - no, not that M.A.D...mad with a Small M.

25:

Military hierarchies do not like free thinkers - luckily one slipped through the Voyska-PVO net.

Speaking as a former (albeit part-time) member of a military hierarchy, I have to ask which ones you're basing this opinion on? They're all different, you know...

The whole point of having a person in the loop is to have someone to make these decisions. You select them carefully, you train and evaluate them, and then you let them do their job. The Strategic Rocket Forces of the USSR (IIRC it was a separate force, alongside Army/Navy/Air Defence of the Homeland) got to pick and choose their people. Sounds like this bloke just happened to be one of presumably many sensible, level headed guys in charge of the HQ; he was just there on the day that the alarm rang, I suspect that 99% of his colleagues would have done the same.

Why would you think (given they were spending vast sums designing a command-and-control system for a system capable of causing Armageddon) that the concept of false alarms and their detection wouldn't have been considered as a primary design objective?

26:

I don't really think starting the war is that likely. It's ONE detonation, with ONE inbound track (of a weird shape). AND if you call up the military facilities nearby they'll answer and tell you they're still there.

And it doesn't look like a nuclear detonation; wrong signature, wrong altitude.

With the US having so much of its counterstrike on submarines, I'm sure we could afford to wait after this thing exploding over Los Alamos (and, again, remember, telephoning Los Alamos would have gotten an answer, they'd say there was an explosion overhead but no significant damage).

Maybe the Soviet system, with more reliance on the land-based missiles, less good communications, and probably less good control over nuclear release, could have been panicked into responding badly. The experiments that were run (not deliberately) on that all ended well, but all involved more luck than I'd prefer to depend on.

27:

I'm not sure whether this is the place that I first saw them mentioned, but these two are... Truly scary.. The chapters are interspersed within a forum thread, and if you've got the patience to read the whole thing, there is a lot of additional detail.

http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/doku.php/timelines/protect_and_survive

http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/doku.php/timelines/the_last_flight_of_xm594#the_last_flight_of_xm594

Occasionally, PPrune will throw up some unsurprisingly detailed comments on such forty-year-old matters...

28:

Also the fact that meteors falling were a known thing and likely systems and people involved were trained to tell a meteor strike from a missile strike.

29:

likely systems and people involved were trained to tell a meteor strike from a missile strike.

Success at things like this comes from practice. And we have exactly one event like this in the last 100 years or so that we know of.

This comment and most of the others shows a basic misunderstanding of just how hard these things are. Maybe if we (the folks running radar sites) had a few 100 recorded tracks to study and base test runs on then yes it would have be obvious that this was not a missile. But We don't and the odds of someone "getting it right" in a few minutes are slim to none. Doing nothing turns out to be right in this case. And hopefully in others in the future.

These guys don't have systems like on Stargate SG1 which spit out answers in a few seconds. This is real life. And the computer systems always are decades behind what the population thinks can be done. Especially since TV makes it look so easy.

Oh, yeah. Do to the way government contracts and development processes work these systems in many cases tend to be 5 or 10 years behind the bleeding edge hardware wise.

30:

The Strategic Rocket Forces of the USSR (IIRC it was a separate force, alongside Army/Navy/Air Defence of the Homeland) got to pick and choose their people

I bow to your greater knowledge of Soviet recruitment policy, and military experience.

Alas Petrov was employed not by the Strategic Rocket Forces, but Voyska-PVO, Soviet air defence forces.

The military organisations who launch ballistic missiles are invariably separate from those who detect incoming missiles. They are in the UK, US and Russian military, anyway

One can only discern how pleased his superiors were with performance by his subsequent military career, or at least that described on wikipedia

He received no reward. According to Petrov, this was because the incident and other bugs that were found in the missile detection system embarrassed his superiors and the influential scientists who were responsible for the system, so that if he had been officially rewarded, they would have had to have been punished.He was reassigned to a less sensitive post,and took early retirement.

Military organisations prefer recruits who obey orders and protocols, no matter how flawed or stupid, in my limited experience

Dead "heroes" are easier to bury than tactical and strategic mistakes.

31:

It wasn't just over Russia, but also Cuba:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/second-meteor-video-cuba-two-1712957

and then later over San Francisco (though certainly not as dramatically):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkF4sloZmBI&lc=PCwkobCCFAnABoSne7n9BTXJL8MzIIoosIP_ROsFFTg

Imagining what could have happened in 1983 is scary, but what could have happened if that fireball had exploded over Jerusalem or Tehran today? Not global annihilation for sure, but I imagine it might trigger a knee-jerk military response that could snowball before calmer heads could contain the situation.

32:

Christ, Charlie - warn people before linking to that film! I nearly soiled myself just looking at the front cover...
I suspect that there's a lot of people overestimating the level of thought that might have been given on either side as that particular moment in 1983 as to whether to counterstrike or not. Chances are, there would have been a number of people who would have just hit the big red button straight off - if there's evidence of one strike, you launch so that the missiles are airborne before the rest of theirs land on your launch sites.
Shame there's not a better cheap material for making windows than glass. Would save on a lot of injuries and fatalities if there stuff didn't go flying after any scale of blast.

33:

Charlie, I thought I would just share this with you, although it is off-topic...

From an article entitled "19 Unforgettable Quotes From Retiring General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis"

"PowerPoint makes us stupid."

So true.

34:

Increasingly, people's experience of the military is second- or third-hand; the US and UK have only had voluntary forces for forty years. In other Western countries, the most common experience is that of a conscript within a mass army.

I don't know whether you're a UKian or USian; have been through some form of initial military training; or are relying on tales from those who have.

Military organisations prefer recruits who obey orders and protocols, no matter how flawed or stupid, in my limited experience

The initial training of new recruits, of varying levels of education and cooperation, often teenagers, is not always reflective of how an organisation works. Different armed services have different approaches; some believe in the "you have to break them before you can make them" approach, and often a carrot-and-stick approach is used. It's down to the quality of the instructors and the resources available.

Sweeping statements like "...obey orders and protocols, no matter how flawed or stupid" are rather naive. It might or might not be accurate for recruits during the first weeks of their initial training, but please don't confuse that with how an organisation actually works, or what it looks for in its people. Militaries don't actually want the psychopaths, or the unable-to-operate-independently types - they make awful soldiers.

PS The USAF run both the detection and the launch systems for the USA; different groups of people, but the same organisation. As for Petrov's lack of reward, there is an alternative explanation - what if it was because he did exactly what he was supposed to do? That it happened occasionally but infrequently, and in each case it was dealt with sensibly?

35:

Petrov is receiving the Dresden Prize tomorrow (Feb 17) and with it 25,000 euros

36:

Awesome. Well deserved.

37:

From Huffington Post UK.

The rumours throughout the day, that the meteor had been shot down by Russian missile defence forces, have been dismissed by a former Russian military official, who told Komsomolskaya Pravda the low-level and speed of the object would have made it impossible to see in advance.

And from Forbes
Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, said it did not track the meteorite. “Our ground facilities and those abroad did not monitor this meteor,” the agency spokesman said.

38:

Update on why it wasn't seen...

Trajectories are still being worked up, but the preliminary work by one of the minor planets resident gurus, Bill Gray, is here: http://www.projectpluto.com/temp/chelyab.htm

In short - it came at us from "in the sun", from further in the solar system. We can't look that direction with telescopes. Long term trajectory work ongoing, the solution isn't good enough yet to tell what its historical orbital parameters were and when there might have been earlier opportunities to spot it.

39:

I saw something on TV, the Science Channel's Dark Matters I think, about an incident in the 1990s when there was a glitch in the Russian sensors or something and they thought they detected missiles coming in. The high military commanders contacted Yeltsin for permission to launch a strike, and, though he was drunk, he refused to do it. We came that close, and that was AFTER the cold war.

40:

You might want to look up "bhangmeter" - the US VELA satellites that listen for nuclear explosions detect specific things about the EMP signature of the weapon going off (among other things) There are also indications that for a short while the US was actually offering nuclear weapons safety technology such as permissive action links to other countries, though it sounds like that was stopped when Pakistan went nuclear.

Reed's "At tahe abyss" is an good source for information if you're interested in this kind of stuff.

41:

If this happened 30 years ago we might not have heard about it. Maybe vague reports but I don't know if they would have let this story out like it is now.

42:

If it had happened over a country with less dashboard camera ubiquity we likely would have hardly any video of this event too.

43:

Interesting connection. Rampart police corruption leads to copious video of largest meteor strike in last 100 years.

44:

Telling a meteor strike from a missile strike after the fact is pretty easy, no radiation. Pretty much everything else you posted is also,wrong. In general, all sorts of weird shit happens during the Cold War and none of it resulted in ww3. Mostly because in the absence of a decapatation strike that destroys ypur ability tomcpunter attack, the smartest thing to do is chill out and be a little careful about nuking the world. Cause, you know, it might just be a meteor. Or a computer glitch.

Now if it had been a thousand meteors all hitting strategic targets in Russia then maybe. Despite posts to the contrary the military is not crowd with fucking idiots.

45:

Yep. In the heat of the moment it is real easy to determine that there's no radiation 1000 miles away.

I'm sorry but from everything I've read and heard about such C&C systems and seen complicated systems in real live, determining the facts about what are in reality are first time events is hard. We are no where near the AI to do this well in an automated way. And what the people involved have are a bunch of data points that may or may not line up well with the expectations of the people trying to figure out what is going on.

Look at subs and their passive sonar. They are pretty good at identifying things. But that's based on 50 years of cataloging real things. And I bet they still get it bozo wrong at times. I'd ask my brother but he likely can't tell me the answer. Oh, well.

the smartest thing to do is chill out and be a little careful about nuking the world.

On that we agree.

46:

You don't have to figure everything out in the heat of the moment. All you have to figure out is if the thing that is happening is going to prevent you frm being able to launch your arsena afterwardl

If the answer is yes, then you have to make a split second decision

If the answer is "no, whatever it is is not gonna destroy my ability to respond" then you can play it safe

And actually it IS easy to detect radiation frm a thousand miles away, both the us and ussr have extensive distributed radiation sensor networks for,exactly this purpose.

47:

I am not sure just how the Russian meteor would have looked to a device set to look for a nuclear weapon detonation

It may have been too high for there to be a difference. Initiate a nuke, as those in the business are reputed to phrase it, and you get a short bright flash, before the shockwave from the explosion makes the air hot enough to block visible light. When the shockwave passes over, or it has become weak enough, you see the fireball again, and so a second, much longer, flash.

But when things are happening 30km about the surface, there isn't enough air to make a difference. Though, if it had been nuclear, there would have been a sodding big electromagnetic pulse.

I don't know the equivalents for the Soviet Union, but something like that over Fylingdales would have been a lot more scary. Fry the electronics of the warning radar, and you might be able to wait quite a while before you launch the main attack.

48:

And actually it IS easy to detect radiation frm a thousand miles away, both the us and ussr have extensive distributed radiation sensor networks for,exactly this purpose.

Got any references for that? I'm suspicious that such a system even if planned was ever implemented on a wide scale.

Not be snarky, really curious.

49:

There are certainly manymsuch civilian versions that are pretty well documented and have been available for many years.

It's not a difficult problem, it's basically hooking Geiger counters up to a communication grid like the Internet

What was the exact state as of 1980 I do not know. However both the us and ussr were very interested in detecting atomic explosions throughout the entire world during that time frame, not just for counterstrikes but judging nuclear proloferation and the capabilties of wschothers arsenals. Radiation sniffers and seismic analysis were used alongside satellite imagery for this purpose

http://www.vdh.state.va.us/epidemiology/radiologicalhealth/environmental/erams.htm

http://www.epa.gov/enviro/facts/radnet/index.html

http://radiationnetwork.com/

You can see the readings online in real time from radnet

50:

There are certainly manymsuch civilian versions that are pretty well documented and have been available for many years.

It's not a difficult problem, it's basically hooking Geiger counters up to a communication grid like the Internet

What was the exact state as of 1980 I do not know. However both the us and ussr were very interested in detecting atomic explosions throughout the entire world during that time frame, not just for counterstrikes but judging nuclear proloferation and the capabilties of wschothers arsenals. Radiation sniffers and seismic analysis were used alongside satellite imagery for this purpose

Blog is eating links search for erams and radnet

You can see the readings online in real time from radnet

51:

Radnet.

Lots of open space. Way more than monitored. And I doubt there was anywhere near this kind of thing with ties back to Defense back in the 80s.

I guess we agree to disagree as to how well all of this stuff is tied together for decision makers to use in a crisis.

52:

That's not how it works. You don't necessarily have to be very close to a bomb going off to detect it.

As an example the Swedish monitoring stations picked up the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, and that wasn't even a full on nuclear explosion

Especially with regards to an atmospheric nuclear explosion I would guess a fair number of those Radnet stations would register it, and the ones that are configured to detect gamma would register it immediately.

In general, governments and military's take an interest in this kind of thing and given that the infrastructure to detect radiation is relatively plentiful, it's kid of ludicrous to think a government can not figure out pretty quickly whether a nuclear explosion has occurred inside it's own territory.

53:

Big explosions happen often enough, though usually the cause is apparent. You don't have to wonder about the nuclear option when a chemical factory or a fuel depot blows up.

(My mother was a couple of miles from the Flixborough explosion, supervising a Sunday School day out.)

54:

At the time of Chernobyl, my father was one of the full-time staff of the Royal Observer Corps; they were a volunteer organisation whose remit changed during the Cold War from "phone in assessments of bomber raids" to "spot the instant sunshine".

Their instruments measured no detectable increase in radiation from the accident, because the levels were so small compared to what they were designed to detect, i.e. near-lethal and lethal dose rates.

As for nuclear deterrence, the submarine leg of any triad is critical; it means that you can afford not to be on a hair-trigger. The V-bombers had to be capable of launch from their dispersal sites in three minutes or so after the warning, to avoid being caught on the ground; the Polaris and now Trident boat captains have the ability to wait and make sure. If the Today programme isn't being broadcast on Long Wave, then it's not just a meteorite... This is one of the reasons that the cancellation of Nimrod MRA.4 caused a sucking in of teeth; it was part of making sure that no-one is waiting on the routes between Faslane and the Atlantic, to attempt to trail the boat going out on its strategic deterrent patrol...

55:

This is one of the reasons that the cancellation of Nimrod MRA.4 caused a sucking in of teeth

Yeah, that too.

Cancelling the MRA.4 with no replacement on the horizon was just plain dumb for a whole variety of other reasons, too. (First time the UK's been without a dedicated airborn maritime patrol capability since before WW2. What were they thinking?)

((Yes, I know the MRA.4 was wildly over budget and facing huge problems due to the airframe frankly not being fit for purpose or conforming to modern standards of, er, standardization: but the USAF has an equivalent platform; alternatively it ought to have been possible to take the equipment and shoe-horn it into an A319 or A320 airframe instead. And that kind of capability is arguably more important for the UK than any number of bomb truck upgrades to the Typhoon II, or white elephant super-carriers.))

56:

Yes Camoron is one of a line of (now) at least 5 Prime Ministers [ Cameron, Brown, Blair, Major, Thatcher ] who should be taken out, put up against a wall & shot for treason.
As always, the madwoman started this insanity, by instituting naval cuts that got us the Flaklands War, & every single PM since then has followed this insane lead .....
It is to be hoped that we can re-arm enough with destroyer/cruisers + frigates, all carrying drone swarms, before the shit hits the fan, sometime in the next 15-30 years.

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