Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, An Alternate History in which we imagine a nuclear War in 1983.. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
In 1983, the horror of global nuclear war was unleashed on Canada when a pair of multi-megaton Soviet ICBM warheads were airburst over the city of Toronto, destroying the entire metropolitan Toronto area and most of the neighboring city of York.
The Last Broadcast Part 1This attack followed twelve uninterrupted hours of armed hostilities between NATO and the Warsaw Pact which started with a Soviet invasion of West Germany, continued with three tactical nuclear strikes against East Germany, and ultimately led to retaliatory tactical nuclear attacks by the Soviets on two West German cities as well as on London, England.
A new thread by Chris OakleyCanadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who was being evacuated to an emergency command bunker in an undisclosed location when the ICBMs hit Toronto, quickly declared martial law in an effort to prevent further civil unrest from erupting among the citizens of Ontario, where massive protests had been going on since the news came of U.S. cruise missiles being deployed against Soviet military assets in eastern Europe. On reaching his command bunker, Prime Minister Trudeau tried to make contact with U.S. President Ronald Reagan only to be told Reagan and most of his advisors had perished in a Soviet nuclear strike on Washington, D.C.
In 1983, Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau was given his first detailed debriefing on the nuclear attacks that wiped out Toronto and leveled most of York.
The Last Broadcast Part 2: Fall OutAccording to the information given to Trudeau by his top defense advisors, ground zero for the detonation of the first Soviet nuclear warhead had been approximately two blocks south of the Royal Ontario Museum; the extent of the destruction inflicted on metropolitan Toronto was made all too clear when Trudeau's defense secretary showed him an RCAF reconnaissance photo of the ruins of the CN Tower. The tower, once Canada's tallest building, had been reduced to a scorched heap of twisted metal and shattered glass by the blast wave from the first Soviet ICBM strike (the Royal Ontario Museum was vaporized in the Soviet attack).
An article by Chris OakleyThat evening Prime Minister Trudeau finally re-established communications with the U.S. government and was informed by acting President of the United States Malcolm Baldrige that shortly after the Soviet ICBM strike on Toronto American nuclear missiles had destroyed Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev; Baldrige, previously Ronald Reagan's secretary of commerce, had been sworn in as chief executive upon confirmation the deaths of Reagan and Reagan's vice-president George H.W. Bush. The new president also notified Trudeau that he was negotiating a cease-fire accord with the provisional Soviet government and working to secure the withdrawal of surviving Soviet combat troops from West Germany.
In 1983, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to a cease-fire, ending the short but catastrophic superpower conflict which had started just 48 hours earlier with the Soviet invasion of West Germany.
The Last Broadcast Part 3: CeasefireUnfortunately for millions of Europeans and North Americans, the cease-fire came too late: dozens of cities on both sides of the Iron Curtain had been vaporized in the exchange of nuclear missiles between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and many others were so thoroughly contaminated by radioactive fallout as to be rendered uninhabitable. New York City was particularly devastated in the holocaust; at least ten Soviet nuclear warheads were detonated in the metropolitan New York area in a span of less than thirty seconds.
An article by Chris OakleyBut for all the horrors they'd suffered, the United States and the Soviet Union had at least been able to retain some semblance of a national government -- which was more than could be said for many of their allies. To cite just two examples, Czechoslovakia collapsed into anarchy within just hours of the first NATO missile strikes on East Germany and Belgium was literally wiped off the map by multiple Soviet tactical nuclear weapons. Even China had not been spared from nuclear destruction -- just before the cease-fire pact was reached, Beijing and Shanghai were annihilated by what US intelligence believed to be Soviet submarine-launched missiles.
In 1983, in a red hot-line conversation with his fellow Head of State, the Canadian Prime Minister, President René Lévesque (pictured) verified intelligence reports received by Pierre Trudeau that the two multi-megaton Soviet ICBM warheads were launched from the island of Cuba before crossing the sovereign airspace of the Republic of Quebec and then devastating the Greater Toronto Area.
The Last Broadcast Part 4: The Rise of A New FederationEven though the world had reached the very brink of destruction before stepping back, this shocking discovery was just one of a number of such revelations that threatened the fragile ceasefire brokered by Acting US President Malcolm Baldridge. In particular, the destruction of the cities of Beijing and Shanghai by Soviet submarine-launched missiles just moments before the ceasefire took effect left White China acutely vulnerable to a fresh conventional assault from its Communist neighbour Manchuria.
At this critical moment, Canada once again demonstrated its reputation for international leadership by inviting the heads of government to an international peace conference in the West Canadian City of Vancouver. More than a little relieved to escape the madness of their own nations, these world leaders had hardly settled into the plenary session when they were shocked by a radical suggestion from Trudeau. If World War One spawned the League of Nations, and World War Two the United Nations, perhaps World War Three was the catalist for a World Government based right here in the only part of the world unaffected by the nuclear holocause - Vancouver, or "Peace City" as he proposed to rename it.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.