The National Security Archive has published what is said to be the most comprehensive and detailed list of nuclear weapons targets and applied weapons strategy that has ever been declassified. The report includes details plans for purposefully targeting civilian populations and military infrastructure for the systematic destruction of the Soviet Bloc.
It is called the Strategic Air Command Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959 and was penned in 1956. The 800-plus page study identifies more than 1,100 airfields tagged for destruction, all prioritized in order of their strategic value.
This makes sense as Russia’s main nuclear delivery system at the time was its growing bomber fleet. Just as well, a similar list of over 1,200 targeted population centers is part of the document, ranging from Berlin to Beijing, with top priorities placed on Moscow and Leningrad.
If you want to spend some of your New Year’s Day considering what could have been and thankfully never was, now you can do so.