How A Nuclear War Will Start – Minute by Minute

How A Nuclear War Will Start – Minute by Minute

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Mr. President! Nuclear missiles will strike our country in 14 minutes. I know it’s your first day in office so I’m going to walk you through it, but you’re the only one who can authorize our nuclear retaliation in response and you’ve only got a few minutes to make a decision!


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46 Responses

  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell says:

    Join us over on Discord to discuss and share your thoughts:

  2. North of the Border says:

    This was very informative and well done and I hated every single second of it.

  3. Efthimisko says:

    Discussing about nuclear war in a vacuum might be grim enough, but seeing it unfold moment to moment really puts into perspective how gut wrenching the whole ordeal is. The first person point of view really helps sell the effect, I have to say.

    • NAMAN says:

      Nutshell inspires me.. My parents said if i get 50K followers They’d buy me a professional camera for recording..begging u guys , literally

    • Somedudewhoexistsandhasalongprofilenameforreasons says:

      @NAMANI’ve seen you before

    • Paul-Stelian Olaru says:

      Those of us close to the Ukraine war and who took the Russian warnings of using nuclear retaliation shall Crimea be recovered by Ukraine take it even _more_ seriously. Hah.

    • Max Schity says:

      Yes, gripping to say the least.

  4. Tjalve says:

    There was also the time when the US missile detection system in Greenland went live. The rising Moon was interpreted as a missile attack. And possibly the only reason why USA didn’t “retaliate”, was because someone remembered that Khrushchev was in New York at the time. And it was considered unlikely that USSR would launch an attack while their leader was in USA.

  5. Flame Soulis says:

    As someone who played Defcon, I had no idea ICBMs had many mini-warheads in them. In some way, I guess that explains why countermeasures fail in-game.

    • Kaitlyn L says:

      They were an innovation of the 60s, so if the game is simulating 50s ICBMs it’d be one warhead per rocket.

      That’s part of why the space race pushed toward larger rockets — bigger payloads could launch cluster warheads as in the manner described in the video!

    • BorderlinePathetic says:

      It’s called MRV (Multiple Reentry Vehicle) or MIRV (Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicle)

    • B Mouch says:

      I haven’t played Defcon, but perhaps you’d be interested in the game ICBM on steam

    • Helikopter bojowy Ka-52 says:

      Yea the only way to defend from them is to shoot them down before they split
      Which is mostly very unlikely due to lack of time

    • Obi Wan says:

      @Helikopter bojowy Ka-52especially since they “split” mostly before re-entering the atmosphere

  6. Jza says:

    The Vasili Arkhipov story is fascinating, a great wiki read for any interested. He was actually the regional commander of multiple submarines iirc, and because of this fact whatever submarine he was serving on was the _only_ one that needed 3 officers to sign off on, all the others only required 2. The circumstances are insane

  7. Lurtz95 says:

    To be completely honest, it can also be argued that the mutually assured destruction (MAD) nuclear weapons brought, has been responsible for the lack of world-wide conflicts we are experiencing right now.

  8. P C says:

    Vasili Arkhipov wasn’t just an officer, but the head of the fleet; he had achieved fame previously during the “widomaker” incident.

    • Alpal424 says:

      I may be mistaken but pretty sure he didn’t even have to be on the submarine, like, it could’ve been possible that just the two officers and the nuclear option would’ve been used

    • History Boss says:

      ​@Alpal424it’s True

    • I Play Games says:

      and it wasnt just because they didnt have contact with moscow but because US destroyers were dropping training depth charges on them.

    • P C says:

      @I Play Games And the sub’s air conditioning failed, the battery was low, and the CO2 levels elevated, making everyone on board absolutely panicky and giving them ONLY the options of “fire torpedo” or “surface/surrender” with no time to reason out the choices.

    • James Dinius says:

      In fact, him being the head of the fleet is the only reason his authorization was required. Standard protocol only required two authorizations, the ship’s captain and the political officer. However, the fleet commander’s authorization was also required if they were aboard.

  9. Connor Phares says:

    I found this surprisingly stressful to watch, but extremely informative.

  10. Vlad M says:

    It’s actually so scary how easily our civilization could be detonated, especially considering the russian submarine incident, 2/3 people confirmed the launch, but only one person opposed them somehow…

    • Leyrann says:

      There is a theory (although unconfirmed) that one of the three people that have to give permission on a Russian submarine to launch has a standing order to ALWAYS oppose the launch (or maybe unless there’s an order to launch from higher up the chain), no matter what, with the underlying idea being that the risk of a mistake in the manner barely avoided here would have been too high otherwise, and it’s better to effectively (secretly) neutralize the ship’s ability to launch. If so, it’s slightly less scary although still pretty far up the scale.

    • Sekai Yukki says:

      @Leyrann unless they knock the guy out

    • Foxybohv says:

      I just heard the 1 person had a lot of influence with the people. So his denial of the launching was taken more credible to the others

    • rob rader says:

      It is very unlikely that a single nuclear torpedo would have triggered a full blown counterattack without any attempt to clarify things first.

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