1960 ... the SIOP

... two interesting pages from two separate 1960 reports. This was a period at the end of the Eisenhower administration when the planners of Nuclear War realized they had no real plan. The Air Force had one set of objectives, the Army with their battlefield weapons had another and the Navy with it's end of the deterrent Triad emerging, still other goals. Add all of that confusion together with NATO's nuclear capabilites and the end of the world was going to be one big traffic jam!

Enter the SIOP. (Single Integrated Operational Plan). A grand plan for who goes where and blows up what.

The first fascinating part is the number count at the bottom of the first document.

"the alert force will consist of 880 vehicles" (No, not trucks!) This would be the bombers. (Also included would be a handful of missiles; remember it's way back in 1960 and ICBM's are still a small, new part of the inventory. Approximately one third of SAC's force was kept on Alert status and ready to be airborne in fifteen minutes.

"1459 weapons on 654 targets" gives us a classic 'overkill' factor of X2. In order to be sure to hit a specific target it's best to try at least twice. Of course 'major targets' like a capitol city or a command center might see their popularity ramped up to four or more attempts.

"average assurance of 74.5 percent" might be the most interesting number. If we figure they are going to try for 654 targets with 880 'vehicles' ... hmmm ... math was my worst subject ... it sounds like they expected about 55 to 60 per cent of the bombers to survive to the target.

... as an interesting side note- it took fourteen SAM's to bring down Gary Power's U-2 as he flew over some of the most strategic targets in the USSR. The U-2 flew at 80k feet; while the B-52 maxed at 50k and the B-47 at 33k.

Secondly; it is interesting to note the two simple paragraphs of the redacted second document.
The A and B 'to do list' of Armageddon.

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