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4:10 AM
So, I'm looking for a creative writing forum or chat where I can get some feedback about different potential character motivations and things like that. I know that SE-WB is not the place for that, but do you guys know of any place that is good for that?
7 hours later…
11:07 AM
@user8663905 Have you tried writers.SE?
11:32 AM
@user8663905 we also enjoy discussing about these things here in the chat, we just don't allow it on the site
1 hour later…
12:51 PM
Hmmmm. I wonder if that torpedo would mean far worse problems than I initially could expect.
Especially when in the context of the Cuban Missile War.
After all: it is a 10 kt nuclear torpedo, so.....
2 hours later…
2:53 PM
A: Sandbox for Proposed Questions

Shard martinHow can you prevent magical body art from being fabricated? Body art is an important element in this society. This art is painted on the skin and applied with magic. They are permanent, only being removed as needed by other magical items. It is not mandatory to wear, but very popular and widely ...

1 hour later…
4:02 PM
@user8663905 The chat room is a good place for open-ended discussions. It can be quiet from time to time, especially on the weekends, but in general it's possible and we would love more regular chat participants.
hey there @Secespitus
Good afternoon @Shalvenay. How's it going?
@Secespitus alright here, as for you?
Alright, working on my next Medium post
still looking for a 2nd opinion on a bit of an odd combat question, myself
4:10 PM
Still the one about weak-person-with-knife against strong-person-without-knife?
@Secespitus yeah
@Shalvenay? 399 American F-100s, F-104s and F-105s vs 576 Soviet SAMs/144 SAM launchers, 102 Cuban/Soviet MiG-17s, MiG-19s and MiG-21s = ??????
@FutureHistorian really depends on how well the Wild Weasels do
NOTE: The Americans are to destroy the IRBM and MRBM launchers in Cuba, while the Soviets/Cubans are to protect as many as they can.
and also whether the lessons from Vietnam re: dogfighting have been assimilated yet
4:13 PM
And NOTE: This is during an escalation of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, aka: This is the first combat operation of World War III.
@FutureHistorian ah, so pre-Vietnam
More or less.
I'd give the advantage strongly to the Soviet/Cuban side then due to the US doctrine being total crap
@Shalvenay Then I am not of any more help. I still think it depends on who gets the knife first/ who can prevent the other from getting the knife.
@Secespitus ah. will keep my eyes peeled for DaaaahWoosh then
4:14 PM
OPLAN 316 is a go. The objective is to destroy the missile sites and soften up defences for the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to land near Havana and the Marines in Guantanamo Bay to expand their perimeter.
At least for the Americans, whom have NO IDEA of the Soviet tactical nukes in the island.
@Shalvenay? How much damage can the Americans do to the missile sites, if any?
@FutureHistorian not a whole heck of a lot, just using fighter-bomber strikes
NOTE: The point of divergence is around the 27th of October of 1962 at around 5:16 PM EDT, when a Soviet Foxtrot-class nuclear submarine fired a 10 kt nuclear torpedo at the USS Randolph and its destroyer escorts.
And yes, this is the same submarine Arkhipov was in, whom allows the launch to occur instead.
@Shalvenay? There are a total of 20 to 40 IRBM and MRBM launchers in Cuba.
The objective is to destroy those sites AND weaken the Cuban defences so the ground troops can land.
@FutureHistorian you'll need a much heavier air superiority effort to do that I reckon
So, @Shalvenay? How successful are they in destroying most of the sites, and to a degree, weaken the Cuban defences?
And this is just the initial air strikes.
576 sorties were planned on Day 1.
Even though the American airborne divisions and Marines will likely be vapourised anyway?
@FutureHistorian it's going to be messy and not very successful. Wild Weasel doctrine was primitive at best then
4:20 PM
@Shalvenay. Out of an estimated 20 to 40 sites, how many of them are destroyed?
@FutureHistorian maybe only a couple if the US side is lucky?
Because Plan B was to use six B-47 bombers carrying two 10 - 20 Mt warheads each to wipe Cuba off the map.
It is either most of the sites are knocked out before the ground troops try to take out the remaining launchers or the B-47s will destroy Cuba.
Either way, the latter option happens if the tactical nukes are unleashed (which is what happens).
Hello and good morning (or actually almost good afternoon) to everyone. How's everyone's weekend going?
@SCPilot alright here, as for you?
@Shalvenay? Since 20 to 40 launchers is an estimate, what is a moderate estimate for the IRBM and MRBM launcher count?
4:23 PM
Doing okay. Except it being cold
@FutureHistorian dunno man
20 is a conservative estimate, 40 is optimistic.
Fine. I will say 28 launchers are there, as a moderate estimate.
@Shalvenay? 28 launchers. How many of them are either destroyed or rendered inoperable?
Ignore the 100 tactical nukes for a second.
As in: if 28 launchers are on Cuba, what is the percentage of the launchers the Americans can render inoperable and/or destroy?
maybe 10% at best? you have no ARMs at this point, basically no Wild Weasel doctrine, and a significant degradation in air combat doctrine
That makes sense.
Here are the missile sites.
28 launchers in 3 missile sites.
Three destroyed silos? Really?
Oh, I forgot to mention.
There are also 24 B-66 aircraft, 36 F-102s and 14 F-4 Phantom IIs.
And 10 F-3s, 8 F-4Ds, and 95 F-84s.
Trying to make the Bay of Pigs Operation work @FutureHistorian?
4:36 PM
Cuban Missile Crisis gets out of control.
Ah. I see.
And NOTE: If counting those additional aircraft, that brings the total up to 586 aircraft.
Oh and @Shalvenay? I forgot to mention: there were 24 SAM sites that were also meant to be targeted.
How many SAM launchers per site is unknown.
However, I can say that the 144 SAM launchers were split into 72 of them in Western Cuba (where most of the launchers are) and Eastern Cuba respectively.
However, 24 SAM sites across Cuba were also meant to be targeted.
So, 586 total aircraft vs 102 Soviet aircraft and 576 SAMs = ???????
@SCPilot and @Shalvenay.
Some data scientist studied how data is done in the Crusader Kings 2 game.
And......Um...it depends on the pilots and how lucky they are.
Sometimes smaller forces have defeated larger forces. Then you have to factor in the weather too.
You have to understand there are numerous variables that could cause countless things to go wrong....or go right.
It's possible that the US could win, but does the US want to win and cause WWIII?
Or do they just let the Soviets take Cuba and just blockade it.
4:44 PM
Well, the Americans have F-84s, F-100s, F-102s, F-104s, F-105s, F-4s, F-4Ds, F-3s and B-66s while the Soviets and Cubans have a combined MiG-17, MiG-19 and MiG-21 air compliment, and 576 S-75 Dvina SAMs (SA-2 Guideline SAMs in NATO reporting).
NOTE: @SCPilot. In this timeline, everything is the same up until the 27th of October of 1962 at around 5:17 PM EDT, when a 10 kt nuclear torpedo is fired by the B-59 Foxtrot-class submarine that Vasily Arkhipov in our timeline did not allow to fire.
I see.
What about Hinds?
As a result, the B-59 is destroyed, along with the USS Randolph and 11 destroyer escorts.
It is 1962.
So, the Hind was still a decade away from being introduced into active service.
And considering WWIII has begun, it probably never will.
And the Americans have 100 tactical nukes that the Soviets have planned for them (which at the time, in our timeline and this one, they were unaware of).
Basically, their objective is to take out the missile sites and weaken Cuban and Soviet defences in the island, so the Marines in Guantanamo Bay can expand their perimeter, and the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions can land near Havana, unaware of the Soviet tactical nukes pointed at them.
@SCPilot? You understand now?
But based on the capabilities of the equipment represented, can the Americans destroy at least MOST of the sites?
Yeah I do. Still, it could go either way. Like I said numerous variables and other things could cause things to go right or wrong. You can plan all you want, but in the heat of the moment, things can go awry faster than a blink of an eye.
@FutureHistorian The US is attacking a nuclear nation as an act of war. They wold nuke the 3 sites. No reason for conventional weapons. They need a guarantee that the sites are knocked out to prevent a counter attack.
What you should do, instead of trying to calculate things, is visualize what is happening at the moment. Do the Soviets get lucky and spot the Marines as the Americans make their way inland, or do the weather conditions aid the Marines in getting close enough to take out the nukes, but they have to do it without air support (of course the Cubans and Soviets are in the same boat since the weather prevents air support for them as well).
4:53 PM
No Marines or Airborne Divisions yet.
@FutureHistorian, let me answer your question with a question: What do YOU want to happen?
Well, most of the silos are destroyed, with a few still operational, only for the Soviets to nuke the Americans.
The Americans in Cuba I mean.
@FutureHistorian Then say that's the result of the attack.
Meanwhile, Soviet tanks begin invading West Germany and occupying West Berlin.
Only to get nuked by the Americans, and as the days pass, MAD happens.
@sphennings. I just need to know the conditions that allow that.
Possible conditions.
Do the details of the attack matter to your story?
If they don't just say that "The US launched an attack."
4:58 PM
Well, I am going to do this as part of the blog, and as a “historian” within that world, I need to consider all relevant factors involved.
What's the weather like? Is there a hurricane about to pop up? I mean, a military operation taking place during a hurricane sounds cool, but realistically, I don't think any military would do that (except for the National Guard).
Come to think of it, does the Air Force operate in stormy conditions?
Depends on the aircraft and priority of the mission.
Not sure if that is true of the time period.
Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Rankin (October 16, 1920 - Pittsburgh — July 6, 2009 - Oakdale) was the only known person to survive a fall from the top of a cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud. He was a pilot in the United States Marine Corps and a World War II and Korean War veteran. He was flying an F-8 Crusader jet fighter over a cumulonimbus cloud when the engine failed, forcing him to eject and parachute into the cloud. Lieutenant Colonel Rankin wrote a book about his experience, The Man Who Rode the Thunder. == The Ejection == On July 26, 1959, Rankin was flying from Naval Air Station South...
@FutureHistorian There are enough relevant factors that you can't write them all down.
Make up whatever makes sense for your narrative.
You're already doing this because there is an outcome you want to happen.
What @sphennings said. ^^
5:05 PM
That makes sense.
Anything you don't write or allude to doesn't happen.
It's your job as the author to provide the relevant details for your story to the audience.
If it doesn't matter what the general had for breakfast then don't write it down.
5:48 PM
@sphennings i am not so sure, the breakfast can provide a nice contrast
@dot_Sp0T Then it matters what the general had for breakfast.
2 hours later…
7:23 PM
Well, the thing is, I want to provide some tension as things go, and also give a good justification for why it ended up like that.
The events that unfolded, I mean.
Hm....That's understandable.
Also, @FutureHistorian seems that a scientist is advocating that if we do colonize Mars, that we give the Martian colonists independence from the get go.
So, let us see. I will say that out of the 42 launchers (I checked my source material and turns out I counted 42 total launchers not 28 like I expected), 11 are still operational.


Basically nearly two-thirds of the launchers are destroyed.
Or do you think it is more reasonable that I reduce the number of launchers that are destroyed?
@SCPilot? Not good for the Soviets, correct?
Actually, no.
Apparently, it has something to do with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Colonists from Earth would give up their rights as citizens of their respective nations.

Hm....Yep. That sounds like the Soviets are in trouble if things stay their course.
What do you mean no?
7:33 PM
Make that 19 launchers still operational by the time the Americans land.
@SCPilot. Sorry. Just doing a correction.
Ah okay. That's alright. But what do you think about the Mars being independent from the start idea that this astrobiologist is talking about?

I'm trying to see what are the drawbacks of this plan are, but the articles I'm reading aren't saying anything.
Still, that means more than half of the launchers are gone.
I'm thinking I need to ask a question, but I'm afraid it's too broad.
@SCPilot. I am not sure Earth’s nations would allow that.
That's the only thing I can think of but the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 keeps popping up and derails that drawback.
7:36 PM
If anything, Mars just gets split between the space-faring nations capable of interplanetary colonisation and an arms race/territory grab begins as a result.
However, according to that BBC article:
The Outer Space Treaty, passed in 1967, says that: “Outer Space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” Which means that nations cannot claim Mars (nor can they put nuclear weapons on it).
Remember: the world's nations have their own interests at hand, and if it means throwing away the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, so be it.
Honestly, how much of the world would actually bother to enforce it: 0.00000000000001%.
Nations put their own interests over international law.
I highly doubt they would throw away the Outer Space Treaty. What with everyone against nations leaving or withdrawing from treaties or organizations these days (Trump withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Change Deal and UK leaving EU are the two biggest examples).
Just look at the States. They violate international law all the time and get away with it, as do many dictatorships, as did the Soviet Union and many other nations.
Basically, the people might care, but the politicians would rather just ignore them.
Depends on the politicians I guess. If you think about it, look at what Obama did to NASA: he told them to come up with ways to make America appeal to Muslims. That's a job for the State Department not the American Space Agency!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, maybe that was a bad example, but if you look at it, only the US has left the Paris Climate Change Deal. Unless someone else left it and I didn't hear or read about it.
7:41 PM
So, if America stationed troops on the Moon, the American public would just shrug it off, while if the PLA did the same, the Americans would put sanctions on China, which would be a bad idea given their economic interdependence.
Basically, international law only exists on paper.
If it is in the interests of a nation, they will do anything to ignore it.
Hm............I see. So, what reasons would the governments of the world want to abide by the Outer Space Treaty?
Even if it means breaking a few decades old space treaties.
@SCPilot. From what I can tell, none.
I see. So the Outer Space Treaty really has no teeth. Period right?
More or less.
Basically, international law is all pen and no sword.
Which is sad.
Seems you would prefer that international did have more bite than bark correct?
7:44 PM
So, Mars, as Churchill would say, would have to pay for independence with blood, sweat and tears.
It means a war with Earth.
I see. You do have a point: according to the BBC article again: But the treaty is vague on how to handle individual companies like SpaceX. And while no one nation can claim land on Mars, they can, in theory, use Martian resources whatever they might be. The people who make their new homes on Mars may not own the land they live on, but they do have to report back to a nation or corporate entity that oversees them.
Yes, I would.
@SCPilot. Except that once the Outer Space Treaty gets repeatedly violated, Mars may be split up between the competing nations, along with other celestial bodies elsewhere in the Solar System.
And according to that astrobiologist I mentioned earlier, Jacob Haqq-Misra of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science:

First, humans who land on Mars relinquish their Earthly citizenship. They are Martians now, not Earthlings. Second, governments, companies and people on Earth cannot interfere with the politics or economics of Mars. That means no coercive trading, no economic meddling, no backdoor deals for goods or services. Third, scientific exploration of Mars can continue as long as it doesn’t interfere with whatever civilisation is developing independently. Fourth, land use on Mar
Could this work?
It might seem odd for a company or country to spend billions of dollars to get to Mars, only to relinquish any control over what happens on the planet. But it’s not inconceivable, says Haqq-Misra. He also argues that there might be a certain kind of long-term (really long-term) thinking that makes an investment in a trip to an independent Mars worthwhile. Plus, there’s a long history of lucrative technology coming out of space programmes — light emitting diodes (LEDs), anti-icing systems for planes and portable cordless vacuum cleaners were all born in NASA’s research labs Still, even the
That's from the article as well
Still, according to several other articles, the thing that would make this work is if we are able to get Mars to become self-sufficient from the start.
@SCPilot there is no way this is going to happen unless the money comes from a person/corporate-body that wants to permanently resettle on mars, and get rid of everything they own and are on earth
But still, wouldn't the Martian colonists develop their own culture and norms that are completely different from those Earth?

@dot_Sp0T good point. I had to reread some of the articles, and they do mention that self-sufficiency is needed before Mars can become independent. In fact, if you look at other colonial revolutions, once a colony becomes self-sufficient it eventually wants independence.
7:56 PM
@SCPilot well, the two go hand-in-hand. Don't they? Once you started earning your own money you wanted to move out from home and have your own say in things
@SCPilot. And since Earth will probably not allow the Martians independence, they’ll have to fight for it.
Yes that is correct.

And that's a good point. The costs of sending supplies alone would be enough to force Mars to be dependent on Earth since it costs $10,000 to just send supplies to the International Space Station! Imagine the costs of sending supplies to Mars! Why the people of Earth might demand that the Martian colonies send them resources to help repair Earth's ecosystem.
And being reminded that you owe your ancestors' homeworld might eventually get on the Martian colonists who actually don't see any reason why they should help Earth out. Didn't their ancestors live Earth because Terrans screwed up there? Martians want to run Mars their way and will start getting upset if they are told by non-Martians constantly on how to run things.
@FutureHistorian and then the Marsians will win and continue to use the old Terran system of measurements while Terra and the rest of the Solar adopt newer and better systems.
And don't forget the great libertarian movement(s) of Mars.
Or the time Mars liberated the water-mines on Europa from these pesky space-terrorists. They still occupy Europa and control the water coming from there, but only because it's not yet safe to return Europa to the Europan settlers. Mars are the good guys. Really.
@dot_Sp0T? In an unrelated note: it is time for the ground invasion of Cuba itself as of the 28th of October of 1962, at around 03:20 hours Romeo/3:20 AM EDT.
While the Americans continue the air strikes, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions land in their designated targets, while American Marines in Guantanamo Bay begin to expand their perimeter. As the fighting begins in the early morning hours, US Marines elsewhere in the region are ordered to land on the beaches.
By the end of the da-. nuclear explosion goes off in the background.....despite an initial success in the landings in Western Cuba, especially Havana and the advance from Guantanamo Bay, thousands of Americans are vapourised in an instant by 100’tactical nukes.
While the Americans are busy in Cuba, though, PACT forces occupy West Berlin and T-55s, T-62s and BTR-60s cross the Fulda Gap, North German Plain and Czechoslovakian-West German border and begin their invasion of Europe. Hours after the tactical nukes in Cuba go off, NATO retaliates by launching tactical nukes against Soviet forces in Germany.
By the late hours of the 29th of October of 1962, six B-47s are sent to destroy the remaining missile sites, but they launch their missiles before they deploy their warheads. The Americans respond by launching all strategic nuclear assets against the Soviets. NATO responds in kind.
One by one, missiles rain down from the sky, while North America, Europe and the Soviet Union erupt into pure white, blinding light, followed by mushroom clouds rising into the horizon.
By the 29th/30th of October of 1962 at around 00:19 hours Zulu/19:19 hours Romeo/7:19 PM EDT/12:19 AM UTC, the dust clears and most of the Northern Hemisphere is reduced to rubble.
@SCPilot? Is that good?
8:27 PM
Sounds good to me.
Now, I already have a blog introducing the historical context for this.
Oh and I forgot to mention something.
Logistical issues may be a thing on this one.
Bloody hell, I forgot something!
The air campaign was to last 8 to 16 days?!
Well, this war may last a little longer than expected.
8 days of air strikes and ground support following that time period and the Invasion gets started.
Of course, the Americans would get vapourised anyway.
27th of October is when the first day of air strikes happens.
42 - one or three launchers gone per day, that means there are 18 launchers left, while 24 launchers are out of the picture.
Of course, the FROGs are still going to be a problem, as well as those cruise missiles and nuclear IL-28s.
Not to mention there are still 18 launchers left.
@Shalvenay? Three launchers gone on the first day, correct?
How many over eight days?
Well, this is it.
The 4th of November of 1962 is when the Invasion of Cuba begins, and when word reaches Moscow, Soviet T-55s, T-62s and BTR-60s begin to invade West Germany and occupy West Berlin.
8:59 PM
@FutureHistorian you've mentioned before that using artificial gravity isn't a good idea, but what people should use are the rotating....wheels, or something. I can't remember what you said but that's the gist of it.
Rotating habitats.
Basically, they use centrifugal force to generate spin gravity by spinning on the centre of an object.
9:21 PM
Interesting. So, you don't have to generate artificial gravity.
10:21 PM
Not really.
Rotating comes with its own problems.
What do you mean?
Using rotation to make gravity has problems, just like artificial gravity. For one you need to make it spin. It's also more difficult to connect to other stuff if you are spinning.
I see.
10:33 PM
The rotating habitat is a form of artificial gravity. Also, the rotation in 0g will build up artifacts and eventually cause spin in unintended directions, so it needs to be constantly monitored and stabilized. This process becomes slower as the object becomes larger, though.
Also, the solution to the docking issue is usually to have a central spire through the axis of rotation which is not spinning. Other ships dock to it.
Ah okay. That makes sense.
Also, gravity doesn't quite operate the same way it would on a body with gravity. Since everything is moving in a circle, if you drop something, it wont go straight down. It will move sideways as well. Throwing a ball becomes a much more complicated process on a spinning habitat.
Hm....i see.
10:52 PM
Q: Throwing a ball in a rotating space station

Joshua BenabouI have lots of trouble understanding circicular motion, fictitious forces, and how to dermine if a reference frame is intertial. I have thought of the following the scenario which causes some confusion. Suppose you are standing in a cylindrical space ship which rotates to simulate gravity (an O'n...

This'll be helpful.
11:28 PM
So, situation update: 4th of November of 1962 at around 6:55 PM EDT/11:55 PM UTC/23:55 hours Zulu, Soviet tactical nukes go off in Cuba, while thousands of Americans are vapourised in an instant.
Meanwhile, at around 8:30 PM EDT/1:30 AM UTC/01:30 hours Zulu, on the 4th/5th of November of 1962, the Soviet advance into Germany is nuked, while B-47s begin to head towards Cuba. 8:37 PM EDT/1:37 AM UTC/01:37 hours Zulu. The B-47s are spotted en route to Cuba, while Moscow gives the remaining launchers in Cuba the order to launch at targets in CONUS. The States respond in kind, while the USSR unleashes the rest of its deployed nuclear assets at around 8:40 PM EDT/1:40 AM UTC/01:40 hours Zulu.
By 5:11 AM EDT/10:11 AM UTC/10:11 hours Zulu, the dust clears as the majority of the Northern Hemisphere is ravaged in atomic hellfire.
100 million Americans, 16 million Canadians, 400 million Europeans (excluding Russians and anyone living in the former USSR) and 190 million Russians are vaporised over the course of nine hours.
22% of the world’s population at the time is killed in the initial exchange.....and they have no idea of the coming twilight.
@Shalvenay? 706 million dead out of 3.15 billion humans at the time + nuclear winter and summer = how much of the world dies afterwards?
@SCPilot? Any ideas as to how many more people will die from the aftermath of the nuclear exchange compared to the initial death count?
11:45 PM
Probably, if my math is right here, 800 million die later on, in the worst case scenario.
Best case scenario? Probably between 150-295 million die, but might be lower if the world is lucky.
So, 706 million + 600 million = how many dead in total?
Well, that is 41% of the world at the time dead.
Oh well. At least humanity has.....survived. Too bad we nuked ourselves into oblivion.
Well, in a more realistic case, probably around 32% of the world's population dies.
That includes your numbers as well.
Overall, in a 'we dodged that bullet by the skin of our teeth' scenario, including your numbers, between 27% to 39% of the world's population has been destroyed. We didn't nuked ourselves back to the Stone Age, but we damn well almost did!
37% of the world dies.
Fair enough.
Or 32% depending on the situation.
1,007,758,158 out of 3,149,244,245 are gone, correct?
11:53 PM
Yep. So, humanity survived, and learned that they nearly blew it big time....literally!
Humans, I mean.
Hmmmm. I wonder if this is a Class 0 or Class 1 apocalypse according to TV Tropes.
Nyrath, for some reason, categorised a global thermonuclear war as a class 1 apocalypse, mainly due to nuclear winter, not to mention nuclear summer.
Wait a minute.
Probably it's a Class 0, but barely.
@SCPilot? Did we take into account nuclear winter and nuclear summer?
Or are these losses throwing that out the window for now?
11:56 PM
Hm..........I think those are included as well. As recovery would occur after the nuclear winter and summer.
So, with a billion people dead, how long before we recover, especially if you add in starvation, turmoil across the Southern Hemisphere, radiation poisoning, the ozone layer being damaged significantly, more cases of skin cancer, etc.?
Well, probably around...best case scenario: 150 years (although it could be 50 to 95 years if we don't have any hiccups along the road). Worst case scenario?

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