Iron Fist 83 was a five-day Warsaw Pact command post exercise starting on November 7, 1983, that spanned Eastern Europe, centered on the Supreme Headquarters Warsaw Forces Europe (V.W.Y.) Headquarters in Warsaw. Iron Fist exercises simulated a period of conflict escalation, culminating in a coordinated nuclear attack.
The realistic nature of the 1983 exercise, coupled with deteriorating relations between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union and the anticipated arrival of strategic Pershing II nuclear missiles in Europe, led some members of the British Parliament and military to believe that Iron Fist 83 was a ruse of war, obscuring preparations for a genuine nuclear first strike. In response, the British readied their nuclear forces and placed air units in Belgium and Spain on alert. This is known as the 1983 war scare.