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"World War 3 in the Southern Hemisphere." Topic

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1,156 hits since 18 Jun 2016
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Balthazar Marduk18 Jun 2016 5:06 p.m. PST

I've been wondering for awhile what it would have been like for the Southern hemisphere during a global thermonuclear war.

From what I understand, most nations down there weren't likely to be earmarked for immediate atomic destruction and would have to function during the post nuclear holocaust era as best as they could.

I have begun working on scenario that focuses on Rhodesia any time from 1962 to November 1979. The reason being because I bought a whole bunch of figures from Eureka.

I chose that time period because there were three close calls… The Cuban missile crisis, the Yom Kippur War and an event where NORAD's computers mistakenly thought there was a massive Soviet strike on the way. I'm not going to limit the thread to that, though.

So, TMP, how bad would it be for the south after the north blew itself to smithereens? Would their be any opportunities once the fallout settled?

(I also have a post on my new blog about it: link )

HMSResolution Inactive Member18 Jun 2016 5:26 p.m. PST

Hmm, well, pre-1982, South Africa doesn't have the bomb, but it kind of depends on the kind of nuclear war NATO and the Warsaw Pact fought, I should think. Was it a spasm attack where everyone fired everything, or a gradually escalating tit-for-tat counterforce scenario. In the latter, ports used by Soviet or NATO ships (like Capetown) could be targets, and from '66 to 1975, the Royal Navy had ships on station to blockade Rhodesian oil imports through Beira in Mozambique. They could conveivably be targets of nuclear weapons from Soviet forces, or simply stop bothering to search oil tankers and sink them.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Jun 2016 5:29 p.m. PST

You might want to read On the Beach or see the movie… … or the remake of the movie…

Balthazar Marduk18 Jun 2016 6:36 p.m. PST

I'm watching the Armand Assante 2000 remake… It's actually really good. If you deleted the life ending atomic cloud, that could make for a hell of a game setting.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2016 8:50 p.m. PST

Depending on how grim you want it, either the war is going on by proxy with various client states supporting (or ignoring) the conflagration, or the environment is collapsing and people are fighting over the last remaining resources.

Meanwhile, in Australia, one man is driving his Interceptor.

Toaster18 Jun 2016 9:01 p.m. PST

Although weather doesn't usually cross the equator fallout gets blown high enough that it will make it, ditto for nuclear winter. So even if the strikes are limited to the north down under will still suffer.


Oberlindes Sol LIC18 Jun 2016 9:51 p.m. PST

You could play Twilight:2000 in this setting, too, if you want to dust it off.

Balthazar Marduk18 Jun 2016 10:57 p.m. PST

I imagine that there would be a number of years of extreme hardship for the south after a full on exchange.

Areas that were already vulnerable to starvation and receiving food aid would be absolutely ravaged. Places that are net exporters of grain would likely hoard it, making the situation that much worse.

Full scale warfare in South America is likely. During the era in question, those states were at each other's throats. I could picture Argentina and Chile going to war and probably Peru and Bolivia trying to settle old scores… Venezuela and Colombia would likely fight. Refugees fleeing southward would just be even more trouble.

Portuguese troops would be as good as stuck in the colonies. There would be few options except for them to double down on cooperation with Rhodesia and South Africa. Resources would be poor, but there's a chance that they could make it work… It's doubtful the Warsaw Pact could continue to support the nationalist movements, they'd need everything that they could get and, likewise, what is left of NATO would probably ditch any sort of embargo.

The only serious threats I can see for Australia and New Zealand would be Indonesia and rogue naval assets trying to muscle in on their turf out of desperation, but I'm pretty confident that they could keep them out for as long as they needed.

My opinion, and feel free to prove me wrong, is that ANZAC would probably be the best situated to shoulder through the aftermath and become the pre-eminent political power after a full out exchange… The other regions have larger populations and theoretically more resources, but politically are more complex and likely to fall into conflict.

Martin Rapier19 Jun 2016 1:40 a.m. PST

In "On the Beach", the radiation kills everyone, north and south. It just takes longer down south.

D A THB19 Jun 2016 2:22 a.m. PST

I'd imagine that New Zealand would be over run with refugees from all Nations both Military and civilian. There would be serious shortages of food, housing, transport and other essential items and quite a battle for them.

Mardaddy19 Jun 2016 8:38 a.m. PST

Balthazar: "Full scale warfare in South America is likely" I think that also, but not for the reasons you state

I don't think it will be to settle old scores, I think it will be a way to distract the shortages-suffering population from turning on their leaders. Urban South American populations rely HEAVILY on imports. Obviously, not so much the rural. Argentina and Brazil will be in a good place, they can be almost completely self-sufficient. But the others…

It may be under the guise of settling old scores, but war happens FAR too often as a means to consolidate power and give the agitated or restless a focus for their aggression.

Cornelius Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2016 10:36 a.m. PST

NZ is a long way away from anywhere so refugees would need good boats and navigation skills. I doubt they'd be going out looking for boat people to rescue, lovely people though the New Zealanders are.

Khusrau19 Jun 2016 11:03 a.m. PST

They would all die, it would just take longer. The effects of a nuclear exchange of any scale would trigger nuclear winter, destroying crops and livestock.

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2016 2:00 p.m. PST

Every time I read about the "southern hemisphere" this old xkcd cartoon comes to mind.

Lion in the Stars20 Jun 2016 4:00 a.m. PST

Based on declassified US warplans, a single Soviet tacnuke would have precipitated a full strategic launch by the Americans. So basically a spasm conflict.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2016 7:34 a.m. PST

Lion – Yup. And Soviet plans seems to have been that there was no such thing as a gradual escalation: If the balloon went up, everything would have been hurled from gas to nukes to army food.

Not good prospects for anyone in the middle.

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