Nuclear War Movies: Dr. Strangelove And Threads

1657 words - 7 pages

Part II

Many movies have been made that depict the what-ifs of a nuclear war. The two I am going to be discussing are Dr. Strangelove and Threads. Dr. Strangelove is about a paranoid Air Force base commander, orders a squadron of B-52 bombers into the Soviet Union to drop hydrogen bombs on military targets. He is the only one who knows the recall code that could be transmitted to abort the mission. At the pentagon, the U.S. President speaks with the Joint Chiefs in the war room to address the problem. General Turgidson sees this as an opportunity to completely destroy the “Commies” and prevent their inevitable retaliation. The president is a pacifist, and he invites the Russian Ambassador ...view middle of the document...

S. F-4 Phantom flies overhead from the nearby R.A.F. Finningley base. Sheffield, the 4th-largest city in Britain, is close to the Air Force Base and has a major component of steel, energy, and chemical production. BBC runs a story about a Soviet convoy moving through northern Iran. The convoys had apparently been spotted by U.S. satellites, traversing 3 of the mountain passes leading from the USSR. The story then goes on to say that the Soviet foreign minister had defiantly defended the invasion, and it soon becomes obvious that the Soviets are hoping to convert Iran to yet another Soviet satellite state. Soon after that, the U.S. states that it will send troops to Iran if the USSR doesn’t cease its invasion. The Soviets apparently ignore the warning, and soon after the U.S. paratroops go in near a Soviet base at Moshad in northern Iran. Hoping that the USSR will back off, the British prime minister issues a statement of support for the U.S. action. Unfortunately the USSR ignores the international condemnation; a story is broadcast by the BBC advising that a U.S. submarine has disappeared while on reconnaissance duty. Days later another story appears stating that debris from a missing submarine has been found, apparently sunk by the Soviets. The U.S. President angrily denounces the Soviets’ unprovoked attack against the submarine, as well as its invasion of Iran. He goes on to warn the Soviets that their leadership risks escalating things to the point of nuclear war. In May of 1984 The United States issues an ultimatum to the USSR calling for joint withdrawal of all U.S. and Soviet forces from Iran. The Soviets arrogantly ignore it, and as U.K. residents pray for peace, the U.S. launches a conventional weapons strike against the Soviets’ Moshad base using high-level B-52 bombers. The USSR defends the base with a nuclear-tipped air-defense missile, annihilating the bombers. The U.S. retaliates with a single, low-yield tactical nuclear weapon on the Soviet base, and the exchange stops. Anti-Soviet demonstrations are taking place in both the U.S. and East Germany, and people in cities such as Sheffield are heading for Wales, west England, and other country towns well away from major areas to avoid being caught in a possible nuclear war. The Kemps’ neighbors, the Stothards, are among these. Leaving in the Peugeot station wagon, its roof and seats piled with belongings find themselves caught up in the major influx of people heading for remote towns. Stopped by police on an essential service route, they are directed to the M1 where single-lane traffic is being allowed to proceed. Mr. Stothard takes the officer’s suggestion and carries on to his relatives using this route. Sheffield’s peacetime chief executive, Mr. Sutton, is also being advised of changes that need to be made to prepare for the possibility of attack. If necessary, the chief executive can be given full powers of internal government. He is advised to summon the pre-determined emergency,...

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