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Moscow on brink: NATO’s plan to wipe Kremlin off map with nuclear bomb ‘ready to drop’
February 1, 2021
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The animosity between the US and the USSR was born out of World War 2 after US President Harry Truman kept a secret from Joseph Stalin about the true force of his nuclear weapons that were later dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result, the Kremlin focused all its time and resources to create a nuclear arsenal capable of matching the might of their newfound rivals in a bitter spat that would ensue until the fall of the Berlin Wall some four decades later. Many experts believe the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the world has come to all-out nuclear war when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to fulfil Fidel Castro’s request to place nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island.
But retired Canadian Member of Parliament and former career fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force Laurie Hawn revealed how he was reminded of the possibility daily.
Appearing on an episode of Cold War Conversations, Mr Hawn told host and producer Ian Sanders about NATO’s plans to drop strategic nuclear weapons on Soviet states with a modified version of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter supersonic fighter aircraft.
He said: “The CF-104 Starfighter was strictly a NATO asset, we had the Voodoo CF-101 for our primary air defence in North America.
“It had a short-range and, initially, we were in the nuclear reconnaissance role. The aircraft was extremely well suited for that.
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“We were committed in Europe to the nuclear strike role and reconnaissance. That changed in 1971 to conventional attack.
“It carried free-fall bombs of a variety of yields – tactical nukes – I can’t remember what the upper limit was but it’s classified anyway.
“Generally speaking they were around the 2000lb weight.”
Mr Hawn recalled some of the training exercises he took part in.
He added: “I only flew the aircraft in Europe under the conventional role, but we trained for the nuclear role, too.
“The role on the nuclear strike was single shipped, lower than a snake’s belly and faster than the speed of light.
“The missions were one-way, meaning you weren’t going to get back to an airbase on our side.
“The targets were all pre-planned, people had assigned targets, whether they were in East Germany, or Czechoslovakia – there were some even deeper (into the Soviet Union) than that.
“The training was intense, it was very demanding. We didn’t own the weapons, the Americans did and it was serious business, they didn’t mess around.”
And in a sobering recollection of his time with NATO, Mr Hawn said he was ready to drop the weapon if needed.
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He continued: “The exercises were all low altitude deliveries and they had a variety of techniques.
“Everything was timed and you could deliver them by radar or visually – it was programmed on speed and all the rest – when the timer went off you would do a 4g pull and the weapon would drop.
“We had gold-tinted goggles so we didn’t get blinded by the flash and ideally you would be going the other way.
“It was obviously a deadly device, but there were people on both sides of the curtain doing the same thing – the targets were military targets.
“If you’re at a military installation then you are a bad guy by definition and we are just doing our job. As they would do the other way.”
Had that happened, it is almost guaranteed the Kremlin would have responded under the military doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), threatening to initiate an all-out nuclear war.
In 1959, the US government commissioned a study in the event this exact scenario got out of hand.
The ‘Strategic Air Command (SAC) Atomic Weapons Requirements Study’ reveals the most detailed list of nuclear targets that has ever been declassified.
It was made public as a result of a request by William Burr, a senior analyst at George Washington University’s National Security Archive, who directs the group’s nuclear history documentation project.
The primary aim of the US plan was eliminating the Soviet Union’s airpower – which was regarded as key in their strategy to deploy their own nuclear weapons – since today’s long-range missiles and submarine launchers did not exist.
The SAC documents, declassified in 2006, include lists of more than 1,100 airfields in the Soviet bloc, with a priority number assigned to each base.
SAC also listed over 1,200 cities, from East Germany to China, also with priorities established.
Moscow and Leningrad were priority one and two respectively and Beijing was 13.