able archer 83

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Images from NATO Exercise Able Archer 83.

The period of 1982-1984 marked the most dangerous Soviet-American confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Cold War hysteria reached its peak. Tensions were on a knife-edge. The international situation almost devolved into complete nuclear war, when in autumn of 1983, NATO forces conducted a massive nuclear-release exercise named Able Archer 83. Over 19,000 US troops were airlifted to Europe in the lead-up to the exercise.

As with Able Archer exercises from previous years, the purpose of the exercise was to simulate a period of conflict escalation, culminating in a simulated DEFCON 1 coordinated nuclear attack. Coordinated from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) headquarters in Casteau, Belgium, it involved NATO forces throughout Western Europe, beginning on November 7, 1983, and lasting for five days.

The 1983 exercise introduced several new elements not seen in previous years, including a new, unique format of coded communication, radio silences, and the participation of heads of government. This increase in realism, combined with deteriorating relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and the anticipated arrival of Pershing II nuclear missiles in Europe, led some members of the Soviet Politburo and military to believe that Able Archer 83 was a ruse of war, obscuring preparations for a genuine nuclear first strike.

The Soviets immediately feared an impending nuclear attack and according to a CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate — caused “Soviet air units in Germany and Poland [to assume] high alert status with readying of nuclear strike forces.”

The crisis only deescalated with the end of Able Archer 83 on November 11.

november 10 1983

i go down to the fulda gap and hoot and holler so loud that the nato boys on able archer 83 and the soviet forces who think ww3 is about to happen both put aside their differences and go down and make me shut up

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1.01 ‘Quantum Jump // 1.07 ‘Bold Guard & 1.08 ‘Able Archer’

11/22 Major Arcana complete!  WE’RE HALFWAY THERE!

WTNV Tarot

XX - JUDGEMENT: NULOGORSK (for now)

I feel the need that instead of a regular descriptor quote; a preface is needed.  I can guarantee you that this card MAY be changed in the coming months as the Strex arc wraps up.

Judgement, unlike most Tarot cards, is a VERY straightforward card in its meaning.  It basically means the end.  Sometimes of the world, sometimes of the story, depending on context.  Unfortunately, we are currently deep in the first big arc, so there isn’t really an event that fits 100% into the definition of the card.  However, once Strex reveals its true colors you can guarantee I will depict it.  In the meantime, Judgement will be depicted by Nulogorsk.  Ok, so the ep. in which Nulogorsk is referenced is “Deft Bowman”, which is a reference to Able Archer 83, a series of exercises in 1983 during the height of the Cold War escalation.  On Sept. 26, 1983, there was a false alarm of a US ICBM strike that occurred on Soviet warning systems.  During this time period, the end of the world through nuclear war was a very grim possibility hanging over people’s heads.  What’s fascinating about Nulogorsk is that it may potentially have been a pocket dimension, or alternate reality like Luftnarp and Svitz, in which that strike had actually occurred, wiping out the town.

“Do you remember the light, so bright you could see it through the wall? Then nothing. Then dark, and a ringing telephone. But we are here, and now, and this is not there and then.” - Sheriff’s Spokesbeing

Any time Night Vale gives me a landscape description, I feel like a kid at Christmas.  The colors came out just right, and the color balance at the end gives the piece that visual feeling from 80’s photos and videos.  The boat was particularly fun to draw.

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