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In 1979 Anthony Cave Brown published a book (Operation, World War III: The Secret American Plan 'Dropshot' for War with the Soviet Union, 1957, Arms and Armour Press, 1979; Google Books, Amazon) which was based on declassified war plans of the Operation Dropshot.

Are these war plans genuine? Did anyone ever question their authenticity?

This is the reason why I am suspicious: If you look at the way Soviet propaganda tried to incite hatred towards Americans, there are two common themes:

  • Discrimination of Africans
  • Persecution of Communists

These ideas were so prevalent that they became subjects of jokes and songs even in post-Soviet Russia. In modern Russia, people still remember them.

If the war plans from the book above were real, Soviet propaganda would have a much better ideological tool. Instead of saying Americans are bad because they discriminate against Africans and Communists, they could say Americans are bad because they wanted to kill us all.

The latter message would be much more effective than the former because if someone (the Americans) wanted to kill you (Soviet citizens), you are more likely to hate them than if that same nation

  • discriminates against people (African Americans) who live on the other side of the world, look differently and whom you never saw in your life or
  • against Communists which many Soviets did not like.

But the Soviet propaganda (to my knowledge) never used the Operation Dropshot materials. If they are real, it means that the US and its allies planned to subject the Soviet Union to a nuclear Holocaust in 1957.

Wikipedia writes:

Dropshot included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85 percent of the Soviet Union's industrial potential at a single stroke.

Soviet Union could not retaliate at that time because it lacked means of delivery of an atomic bomb.

These plans were a much stronger reason to hate the Americans. But for some reason Soviet propagand did not make use of it. This is why I think these war plans may be fake.

  • Perhaps Soviet propaganda didn't use it simply because the "Soviet Union could not retaliate at that time ..."? – sempaiscuba Nov 17 at 11:08
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    Note that plans are often made just so you have a plan if needed – Display name Nov 17 at 12:08
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    @Displayname ... but also it is true that you do not need the plans to be genuine in order to use it for propaganda(for example WWI British propaganda about Germany using the corpses of its soldiers in industrial processes). The fact that the plans were not used in propaganda does not imply that the Soviets thought they were false as false plans could have been used for propaganda too, so it is kind of irrelevant if they were used or not. – SJuan76 Nov 17 at 17:18
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    @sempaiscuba I guess the OP is asking why the SU did not use those plans in its propaganda not in 1957 but after the book was published in 1979, at a time it had retaliatory capability. Of course it could have just been that sending the message of "the USA could have destroyed us with impunity and they did chose not to do it" could be problematic from a propaganda POV. – SJuan76 Nov 17 at 17:22

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