View Single Post
Old 06-24-2009, 12:36 PM
chico20854's Avatar
chico20854 chico20854 is offline
Your Friendly 92Y20!
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Washington, DC area
Posts: 349

Originally Posted by Legbreaker
Is there any real reason why thanksgiving day (a date really only relevant to Americans) is so significant?
Sure it was the first day nuclear strikes were made on North America, but dozens, even hundreds (thousands might be pushing it) of nukes had been fired in the preceeding five months all across the world.
Thanksgiving day, although an important date of it's own, was not the first time long range strategic strikes were made. Neutral countries had already felt the scorching fire of attack by then, fire inflicted upon them by both sides of the conflict.

I'm not interested in provoking anyone, but I feel the increasing focus on what happened to, with, by and against the USA and it's forces is clouding the issue and ignoring the fact that many, many other countries have what could be considered to be more important dates on the "Twilight nuke calendar".
I think there are three reasons that the Thanksgiving Strikes are important. First, its the first use of ICBMs and modern SLBMs (older Soviet & NATO SLBMs were tasked with theater strikes). Prior to that point, the nuclear exchange had been carried out with tactical and theater/operational weapons. IMHO, the Soviets had not used silo-based missiles prior to that point.

Second, the Thanksgiving Day strikes were the transition between the operational targets Raellus listed above and strategic targets (with the caveat, again IMHO, that I would consider major ports in Europe to be operational targets). This is a grey area, as there is no clear dividing line for the Soviets between tactical, operational and nuclear strikes when they all land on Soviet territory - but going along the progression of escalation laid out in canon I could see how it could be reasonably argued that NATO would not have struck strategic targets (ICBM fields in Ukraine, the Kharkov tank plant, early warning radars in Western Ukraine) in the USSR prior to the TDM, even though they could have using tactical or operational weapons. Likewise, while the UK may have been struck prior to the TDM (I don't have the Survivor's Guide to the UK with me right now) the strikes on the royal family (a decidely strategic target) occurred on Thanksgiving Day too, again implying that the targets changed from an emphasis to destroying forces in contact (tactical targets) and the means to support and control them (operational targets) to destroying the enemy's ability as a nation to make war (strategic targets).

Third, I disagree with your assertion that the nuclear conflict had spread worldwide, to both nuetral and belligerent nations, prior to the TDM. I think the importance of the TDM is that it is the date at which the conflict does become worldwide. When you look at the list of tactical and operational targets, there are very few of them that nuetrals possess that are useful to beligerants. (And the few are, again IMHO, mostly French - ports, Pluton missiles, transport facilities, all of which it could be reasonably argued France had cut off NATO's access to when they withdrew from NATO). And while canon states that both NATO and the Pact strike nuetral nations once things "go strategic", IMHO most of those strikes are by the Soviets simply because the USSR is essentially surrounded (except for possibly a tenuous supply line across the Mediterranean the Soviets face NATO or NATO-allied troops on the west, south, southeast and east, and the sea lanes from the north lead through NATO controlled waters) so they are unable to receive any war material from nuetral nations - the only beneficiery of nuetral nation's raw materials, energy supplies and export arms are NATO or NATO-allied nations. (Much of the vaunted imported crude oil coming to the US is imported by pipeline from Mexican and Canadian oilfields - so prior to the Mexican invasion the only nation with a reason to nuke Mexico would be the Soviets).

I'm sorry if we give the impression of being US-centric. There are a couple reasons for this. First, all the folks in the DC group are Americans and we prefer to work on things we know best, to avoid making blunders with assumptions about other countries - look at the reception that the Survivors Guide to the UK receives from the Brits here. Rainbow is doing a wonderful job with a more local perspective on things, and we're trying to coordinate our effort with his, and Deacon and Fusilier have provided us valuable input on Canada. Second, the amount of documentation that is available for us to research is greatest about the US, with the USSR a somewhat close second. This allows us to go into much greater detail.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
Reply With Quote