Alternate History

Great Nuclear War

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Welcome to the portal page for "Great Nuclear War"

This timeline explores the broken world left by the Great Nuclear War - October 28, 1962.

The year is 1962. Tensions are at a boiling point between the U.S and U.S.S.R as the Cuban Missile Crisis is at its height. On October 27th, a B-52 bomber crashes shortly after take off causing it's nuclear payload to detonate eviscerating a small U.S Air Force Base in the rural town of Damascus, Arkansas. The US are swift to respond launching a “Retaliatory Strike” against the USSR in response to what they believe to be a Soviet First Strike. This attack is detected by soviet early warning sites and they quickly launch their own Retaliatory Strike against the US. Less than ten minutes later Soviet and American missiles are making landfall severely crippling both nations. France, in light of this sudden, and terrifying American aggression, refuses to launch their missiles against the USSR, and after a short but intense series of reprisals, lasting approximately six hours, the world is razed to the ground by nuclear arm fire, and human civilization along with it. While the war is never officially declared over, The early morning hours of October 28th mark the end a chapter of human history.

This is also a collaborative timeline, produced by a team of contributors. If you want to join us in developing this world, we welcome your additions.

Before making major edits to the articles within this ATL, please take some time to read the Editorial Guidelines


US President John F. Kennedy makes a very grave decision on October 20 of that very same year: to invade Cuba in response to Soviet Missiles discovered by a hapless U-2 plane. This invasion didn't lead to the Nuclear War everyone feared, until a takeoff accident on a B-52 Bomber caused a Nuclear Detonation. This event was the first blow in the Nuclear War. But it was not an end; but rather the preface to a new volume of human history. In the years since, much has happened.

Timeline of Crisis

16: US U-2 plane discovers soviet missiles in Cuba

17: US troops are moved to the southeast 

18: President Kennedy is visited by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko 

20: Kennedy decides on invasion, and a speech is prepared to notify the american public 

22: President Kennedy phones former Presidents Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower to brief them on the situation. 

Kennedy briefs the cabinet and congressional leaders on the situation.

British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan informed by telephone

7:00 PM; American Public informed of Invasion Plans

23: Project Greek Island enacted; Congress Moved to Greenbrier and Pentagon moved to Raven Rock 

US Marines/Navy move into position around Cuba

Weak blockade is put into effect

24: US makes landfall in Cuba

Soviet Premier forewarns Kennedy against further activity

Pope John XXIII implores peace of Soviet Premier

25: US captures Santiago 

Castro sends word to the USSR

26: Rioting breaks out outside Soviet Embassy

United Nations continues open debate

Soviet Premier Sends aide to Cuba, attempting to break the US’s naval blockade

27: US forces are met by Soviet carpet bombings after blockade is broken and Soviet aircraft carriers enter Caribbean Waters

A Small U.S Air Force Base In Damascus, Arkansas Is Vaporized By A Thermonuclear Blast. The Great Nuclear War begins.

Most NATO missiles are aimed at the Warsaw Pact, though in a surprise move, the French refuses to launch their missiles and even more surprisingly are spared from soviet attack because of their refusal to fire upon the United States.

28: The Great Nuclear War ends at approximately 2:00 this morning.

This war has many names. The Great Nuclear War, World War III, the Final War, but no matter what you call it, targets worldwide were destroyed, and the results of this total nuclear exchange are close to the frantic forecasts of the General Public. This results in more than a billion people killed initially, and another billion in the Winter of 1962 and the following famines and fallout.

With the world largely devastated, and most of the Northern and parts of the Southern Hemisphere in ruins, the estimated survivors in these areas desperately try to keep together what is left of their societies. They are facing challenges that we would consider third-world today.

After an horrifying first few years Post-War, a few regions, territories, and countries stabilize and master basic problems such as food, water, and defense. As time passes and the recovery continues, new (sometimes shocking) nations are formed. The fragile new world order emerges and it soon become obvious that initial hopes of some survivors for a united mankind (or at least warfare and destruction being ended forever) are indeed naive. Famine, disease, and lack of resources provoke conflicts and wars in large parts of the world, potentially threatening all recovery.

New dangers to this fragile world have emerged all throughout, destroying some of what has been accomplished in the last 50 years...

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