Plan “Dropshot”: the United States was preparing to start a nuclear war on January 1

“Destroy most of the population of the USSR”

Exactly 65 years ago, on January 1, 1957, according to the secret plan “Dropshot”, approved by the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, was supposed to begin nuclear war between America and the USSR, smoothly turning into the Third World War. As it turns out, similar plans still exist today.


According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu , American strategic bombers from the territory of Ukraine, literally 20 km from our state border, are practicing the use of nuclear weapons at Russian facilities.

MK decided to remind why 65 years ago this New Year's nuclear apocalypse did not take place. And also about who and what “nuclear plans” are in place for the current 2022.

The atomic sword of Damocles

From the moment the United States acquired atomic weapons, the USSR immediately turned into a potential object of its use. The first atomic bomb, as you know, was made by the United States. They started working on it back in 1943 on the Manhattan project. The work was carried out under the guidance of the German physicist Robert Oppenheimer. In 1945, the first test of a new weapon took place in the US state of New Mexico. And already in August 1945 bombs “Baby” and “Fat Man” were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

From a military point of view, then it made no sense. The bombing became a demonstration of the capabilities of the United States specifically for the USSR. And very soon the former ally in the anti-Hitler coalition began planning atomic bombings on Soviet cities.

In October 1945, the Americans began work on the secret military plan, Totality. It was developed by order of US President Harry Truman at the headquarters of American General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Some call it preventive, some call it defensive. Allegedly, the purpose of the appearance of this plan is to mislead the USSR about the real possibilities of the United States. What was needed was the illusion of a large number of atomic bombs in the Pentagon's arsenal. In fact, the United States had few of them – just a few.

According to the Totality plan, there were 20 Soviet cities in the list of US atomic bomb targets: Moscow, Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod), Kazan, Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Saratov, Molotov (Perm) , Tbilisi, Stalinsk (Novokuznetsk), Grozny, Kuibyshev (Samara), Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Novosibirsk, Omsk, Irkutsk, Yaroslavl.

The plan could not be implemented, including due to the strengthening of air defense (air defense) in the USSR.

Until 1949, the United States remained the only country in the world with atomic weapons. And all this time of the atomic monopoly in the USA more and more new plans of strikes against the USSR appeared: the “Pincher” plan – March-June 1946; Broiler – 1947; Bushwecker, Crankshaft, Houghmoon, Fleetwood, Cogwill, Offtech, Chariotir – all 1948; “Trojan” and “Dropshot” – the plans of 1949.

300 targets in the USSR

In March 1946, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his famous speech at Westminster College Fulton, where he stated that the Anglo-Saxons should have absolute military superiority over the USSR. The Soviet Union and the United States, which until recently together celebrated the victory over the Hitlerite Reich, openly turned into military opponents. Soon the term “cold war” appeared and with it the nuclear arms race began.

In three years. In 1949, the US under Harry Truman approved the Dropshot plan. It provided for the delivery of multiple nuclear strikes against the main geopolitical enemy – the USSR. By this time, the number of atomic bombs in the United States was already approaching 300. The Dropshot plan envisioned dropping them onto Russian facilities in such numbers as to destroy most of the population and 85% of the country's industrial potential. In addition to nuclear weapons, the plan also provided for the use of chemical and bacteriological weapons.

There were no heavy missiles at that time. The bombs were to be dropped on our cities by American B-29 “Superfortress” bombers.

The existence of the Dropshot plan became known only in 1978, when it was declassified under US President Jimmy Carter. The date for the start of a nuclear war under this plan was January 1, 1957. The reason is an act of aggression by the USSR or its allies against one of the countries friendly to the United States.

Does it remind you of anything from today? For example, shouts from Washington and NATO countries about Russia's attack on Ukraine?

The Dropshot plan assumed that weapons of mass destruction would be used on both sides, causing the conflict to escalate into World War III. The Americans have divided the world in advance into their supporters, rivals and countries that will maintain relative neutrality.

They thwarted the plan

The scenario of the war according to the “Dropshot” plan assumed four main phases of the development of the conflict. First, a preventive bombardment by the Americans and their allies of objects on the territory of the USSR, ostensibly in order to prevent the advance of Soviet troops on one of the countries friendly to the United States.

If we compare those plans with a time period closer to us, then we can see that the Americans are not too resourceful in looking for reasons for unleashing a serious military conflict. A similar reason was chosen by them in March 1999 for the bombing of Yugoslavia. And today some American generals say that the events in Ukraine may become the trigger for the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Russia.

The second phase of the “Dropshot” is an offensive into the territory of the USSR along the entire front line. The next phase, according to the plan of American strategists, is the surrender of the Soviet army. In the end – the establishment of control over the territory of the USSR, the change of political power and order.

What ultimately prevented the implementation of this and similar plans? First of all, the fact that the USSR had its own atomic, and then a nuclear bomb. Powerful delivery vehicles were also created – the Tu-95 bomber. In 1957, the Tu-95 was put into service. The range exceeded 12 thousand km, which made it possible to deliver the “nuclear filling” directly to the US coast.

One of the Tu-95s was adapted for the thermonuclear 100-megaton Tsar Bomb, which was tested in 1961 on Novaya Zemlya.

In 1957, the USSR successfully tested the R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of delivering a megaton nuclear charge to an almost unlimited range. On October 4, 1957, this rocket launched the world's first artificial Earth satellite.


Today, relations between Russia and the United States are in many ways reminiscent of the times of the Cold War, when the American and Soviet military considered the possibility of using nuclear weapons during the phase of the “hot conflict”. Some Western politicians prefer not to remember the obvious axiom that there will be no winners in a nuclear war.

In the United States, it is practically forgotten after the new nuclear doctrine was adopted there under Trump. It no longer views nuclear weapons solely as a strategic deterrent. According to it, the use of tactical nuclear warheads during local conflicts is not ruled out as a decisive trump card that can change the military situation in favor of the United States.

In accordance with the new doctrine, the theater of operations with the use of tactical nuclear weapons should be located as far away from the United States as possible. And, of course, the warheads used should not be of the highest power. Based on these conditions, Europe is quite suitable for such a conflict. Moreover, American nuclear bombs B61 are stored on its territory in several countries, which are now being modernized, turning into high-precision guided weapons in the B61-12 version.

At the borders of Russia, strategic bombers of the US Air Force have become more active, which are practicing the tactics of delivering missile strikes on Russian territory. This also occurs in the waters of the Okhotsk Sea, and especially in the Black Sea region. Here, according to Russian Minister of War Shoigu, the situation “generally goes beyond certain limits: strategic bombers are flying at a distance of 20 km from our state border. They are known to carry very serious weapons. ” And in November, as Shoigu said, within the framework of the Global Thunder 22 exercise, ten US strategic bombers “practiced the option of using nuclear weapons against Russia practically simultaneously from the western and eastern directions.”

But if the situation had already reached this point , should the Russian military somehow react to such facts and oppose something to the American plans? Do we have any possible scenarios for adequately repelling nuclear aggression? And how does the Russian army, which has the most modern weapons in its arsenal, practice its response to a possible nuclear attack by the United States?

MK asked these questions to one of the leading experts in the field of nuclear weapons. His answer turned out to be somewhat unexpected and short.

– Everything you are asking about, – said the expert, – refers to top secret data. That is, directly to state secrets. I can only say: undoubtedly, such responses are being worked out and practiced. They are developed by the General Staff, and all types and types of troops are directly practiced. More detailed information on this matter is not subject to disclosure.

– Not. This is all very interconnected with the measures that can be applied today. Therefore, it is also a state secret. But this data is a serious taboo. Especially today, in the explosive situation that exists at the moment. So, apart from some empty words and all sorts of assumptions, you will not be able to publish anything.

But I assure you: we are, of course, considering possible response scenarios. This is multivariate planning. It goes in all these questions and directions. There are several dozen options that are included in the corresponding plans, but it is simply not possible to talk about them …

Perhaps this approach makes sense. Nothing is more frightening than the unknown. So let them be afraid. Only the fear of retaliation can stop a potential aggressor. Let their supercomputers calculate as much as they want where the Russian missiles will launch from, how they will fly and what targets will be covered in retaliatory and retaliatory oncoming strikes.


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