Humanity Is Lucky A NATO-Warsaw Pact Nuclear War Never Happened

Kyle Mizokami

Key point: It’s possible that in formulating these plans, the Soviets caught a brief glance at the realities of atomic combat—and that may have made them even more determined to avoid all-out war.

This is a plan for the end of the world, dated 1970.

The arrows are armies and the red vertical symbols are nuclear bombs, all part of a part of Cold War contingency plan crafted by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies in case of war.

War that would have destroyed civilization.

War Plan:

The map and other documents, discovered in Poland, show how the Warsaw Pact aimed to put tanks on the shores of the Atlantic within 14 days of the first shot being fired.

Among Warsaw Pact armies, Poland’s was second in size only to the Soviet Union’s. It had a peacetime strength of 361,000 troops and could expand to 865,000 upon mobilization. It had 15 combat divisions, versus the U.S. Army’s 10 divisions today. The Poles had 2,880 tanks, 2,750 armored personnel carriers and more than 2,000 artillery pieces.

In the event of war, the Polish and Soviet armies would have marched west, invading West Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands and Belgium. The attack was meant to overrun NATO’s northern ports on the Atlantic, preventing the arrival of reinforcements from the U.S. and Canada. Polish marines and airborne troops would invade Denmark on day five, knocking the tiny NATO country out of the war.

All of this was to be accompanied by the use of hundreds of nuclear weapons.

The Atomic Battlefield:

All the Warsaw Pact war plans released, or leaked, to the public after the Cold War feature the liberal use of nuclear weapons. According to documents unearthed in the Czech Republic, Soviet generals “fully expected Western ‘imperialists’ to make the first nuclear strike.” The Soviets and their allies determined they should stage preemptive atomic attacks if war were imminent.

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