The 1958 Emergency Plans Book

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Vault Maker, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    I haven't found any reference to the material that follows on NMA, but it might make good fodder for a few of those ongoing arguments about the Great War of 2077 versus the capabilities of the real-world superpowers of the Fifties. Apologies for the huge post.

    These are the contents of the US Government "Emergency Plans Book" from 1958. The EPB was found in the National Archives, and published, by historian and author Douglas Keeney, as "The Doomsday Scenario" (2002, MBI Publishing Co., St. Paul). Subsequent to Keeney's authorized copying of this formerly "Secret" plan in 1998, the records group of which this copy of the EPB was a part was reclassified and moved to a "Top Secret" part of the National Archives. Thus Keeney has the only known copy of this document to not be classified, and since it was not classified at
    the time he copied it, he is allowed to reproduce it.

    Keeney's book also includes a lot of additional information in both a foreword and footnotes, as well as photos from nuclear tests. Another foreword is by Stephen I. Schwartz of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ( Schwartz also edited 1998's "Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940", from The Brookings Institution (I think it used to be available online).

    Keeney and Schwartz make a number of digressions relating the EPB's plans for "Continuity of Government" to the Bush administration's, and the United States', reaction to the attacks on September 11, 2001, which I don't view as wholly correct (or relevant). If anything, such comparisons serve to remind us of just how complete is the lie that the threat of terrorism is "like no threat we've ever faced before". The descriptions of destruction outlined in the EPB make any terror threat we've seen in the States look little more onerous than Nixon's dog Checkers pooping on Pat's coat.

    What follows are only those portions that comprise the actual EPB, which, as a US Government publication, is not subject to copyright:

    I scanned and OCR'd the contents, and made a few intentional edits (corrected the cover letter portion based on a photo of it in the book, put better labels on a casualties estimate table, altered some hyphenation). Any other errors are mine.

    Portions of Keeney's book can be viewed at Google books:

    Despite the fact that I am publishing the public-domain portions of Keeney's book, I do recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject matter. You may still be able to get $10 copies from Powells:
    ...or from those other guys.

    Highlights of the document:

    * Solidly Fifties: Issued 23 April 1958, under the Eisenhower administration.
    * Includes statements like, "the latest and only approved guidance to the departments and agencies on the D-Minus type situations."
    * One foot in the future, it assumes that the USSR has a much larger arsenal than it did at the time.
    * One foot in the present, it assumes the USSR delivers the nukes via sub-launched missiles, aircraft, and covertly placed bombs...but mostly by aircraft.
    * While mostly a dry recitation of policy, buried within are more ominous statements like this: "carry out broad national policies disseminated as widely as possible before attack - and reiterated or expanded by any means immediately after attack."

                                                          23 April 1958
                       THE GENERAL COUNSEL
                       THE DIRECTOR, GUIDED MISSILES
                       THE CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
    SUBJECT: Revision of Emergency Plans Book
    It is intended that the Emergency Plans Book (EPB) of the Department of Defense will be brought up to date as of 1 June 1958.
    Addressees are requested: (a) to review sections of the Plans Book which pertain to emergency plans and actions over which they have cognizance; and (b) to submit on or before 23 May 1958, either an indication that no plans are necessary, or changes which are to be included in the proposed revision of the EPB.
    The situation assumptions, planning information, actions, operational assignments and organization, and appendices, in Mobilization Plan C, approved 1 June 1957 for planning policy and guidance, will be used for purposes of reviewing Department of Defense plans and actions for the situations resulting from enemy attack on U.S. Forces outside the CONUS.
    Attached for use in reviewing DOD emergency plans and actions to be implemented in the event of a direct attack on CONUS, is a copy of “Capabilities Assumptions” (Part I-A, pp. 1-2), the “Situation Assumptions - The Attack” (Part I-C, pp. 27-29), and the “Situation Assumptions - Post Attack Analysis” (Part I-C, pp. 30-43) of ODM Mobilization Plan D-Minus. These sections were noted by the NSC, at its 11 July 1957 meeting, as being suitable for defense mobilization planning for a surprise attack on the CONUS. They constitute the latest and only approved guidance to the departments and agencies on the D-Minus type situations.
                                  J.W. CLEAR
                                  OFFICE OF EMERGENCY PLANNING
                                  ACTING DIRECTOR
    MAY 1, 1957
    CAPABILITY ASSUMPTIONS are statements of assumed capabilities of the USSR, known effects of atomic weapons and assumed advanced warning capabilities of our own forces. CAPABILITY ASSUMPTIONS are not statements of intent nor of what the USSR will do. They are statements designed to give uniform interpretation to the knowledge of various agencies engaged in defense mobilization planning. All CAPABILITY ASSUMPTIONS, as well as all other assumptions in Part I - Planning Information, are consistent with intelligence sources. It is within the range and scope of the CAPABILITY ASSUMPTIONS that SITUATION ASSUMPTIONS and POLICY ASSUMPTIONS have been developed.
    1. The USSR is capable of:
       a. Producing atomic weapons of varying yields ranging from a few kilotons
          (thousands of tons) to megatons (millions of tons) of TNT equivalent,
          biological and chemical agents, and incendiary and high-explosive weapons.
       b. Delivering these weapons anywhere within the United States and upon
          U.S.-deployed forces and Allies by piloted aircraft, submarine-launched
          missiles or mines or clandestine means.
       c. Fusing these weapons for air or surface burst or for delayed action.
       d. Employing propaganda, psychological warfare, and sabotage.
       e. Supporting a large-scale war effort.
    2. Warning Capabilities:
       a. Weapons launched from submarines may arrive without warning. Likewise,
          weapons emplaced by clandestine means may be detonated without warning.
       b. An air defense warning of an initial mass attack by manned aircraft can be
          received on the Canadian border and the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts
          from a few minutes to three hours before the aircraft reach those boundaries.
          Intelligence as to the probable time attacking aircraft will take to reach
          specific areas can be available to civil defense through the Attack Warning
       c. Interior areas can have one to three hours additional warning between the time
          an air defense warning is received and the time when they are under attack from
          manned aircraft.
       d. Strategic warning cannot be assured.
    (This portion was not distributed as part of the Emergency Plans Book.)
    SITUATION ASSUMPTIONS are statements describing a national condition and a condition of the international political and military environment, the existence of which would require immediate and forceful action by the U.S. Government. They are not forecasts of future events but describe for planning purposes a condition that could occur.
    The situation described herein has resulted from the exercise of some of the capabilities of the USSR described in Section A, CAPABILITY ASSUMPTIONS, and the effects of atomic weapons described in Section B, WEAPONS EFFECTS.
    PART I - C - 1. THE ATTACK
    1. The USSR has made attacks with large numbers of atomic weapons on the United States and on some of its territories, bases overseas, and its Allies. The domestic air defense warning yellow for the first attack was disseminated two hours before USSR aircraft appeared over U.S. frontiers. At the same time as the air defense warning yellow was announced, submarine-launched missiles arrived and weapons emplaced by clandestine means were detonated. However, the major weight of attack has been delivered by manned aircraft.
    2. Air Defense operations in North America and overseas have destroyed a substantial portion of the attacking aircraft but half of those destroyed had reached the bomb release lines and had released their weapons. U.S. and Allied military operations have resulted in casualties and damage to the enemy at least as great as those received. Notwithstanding severe losses of military and civilian personnel and materiel, air operations against the enemy are continuing and our land and naval forces are heavily engaged. Both sides are making use of atomic weapons for tactical air support and in the land battle.
    3. The USSR is expected to use its remaining capability to launch additional strategic air attacks and has considerable air power for tactical and air defense operations. The USSR submarine fleet is active in both the Atlantic and Pacific and serious losses to U.S. and Allied-controlled ocean shipping are being incurred. Intensive propaganda is being directed against the U.S. and its Allies. Clandestine activities and sabotage are being conducted.
    4. Both on the North American continent and overseas, the major weight of the attacks appears to have been directed on U.S. and Allied military installations including atomic weapons delivery capabilities and facilities producing atomic weapons, coastal naval bases, concentrations of ground forces, and ports and airfields servicing international transportation. In addition, the District of Columbia and many population and industrial centers have been attacked. Due to actions of Air Defense Forces and to aiming and other errors of the attacking forces, many weapons resulted in random surface bursts.
    5. The weapons employed range from a few kilotons TNT equivalent to several megatons. All of the weapons in the megaton range burst on the surface. The great majority of the weapons in the kiloton range were air bursts. Blast and thermal radiation damage extends from 5 miles to as much as 15 miles from ground zeros. Severe fire storms have occurred in heavily built-up cities and many rural fires were started involving growing crops and forests. The surface bursts have resulted in widespread radioactive fallout of such intensity that over substantial parts of the United States the taking of shelter for considerable periods of time is the only means of survival. Prior to assurance of safety anywhere on the surface, without shelter, radiological defense monitoring is essential.
    6. The general level of casualties throughout the United States is extremely serious. In many localities it is catastrophic. The following is an estimate as of D-Plus-7 of casualties which have occurred or will occur as a result of the attacks:
                        Number of Persons, in Millions
                                 Killed or
                                 Fatally       Recovery
             Type of Damage      Injured       Possible     Total
             Blast and Thermal      12.5          12.5        25
             Nuclear Radiation      12.5          12.5        25
             Totals                 25.0          25.0        50
    Without thorough radiological defense monitoring and the application of adequate protective measures many more radiation injuries will occur from the cumulative effects of exposure to residual radiation and the consumption of contaminated foodstuffs and water.
    1. GENERAL. With human casualties exceeding material losses, ultimate recuperative potential to meet the requirements of the surviving population is high, providing this population can be adequately motivated. In spite of the magnitude of the catastrophe that has struck the nation and the possibility of additional, but lighter attacks, more than 100 million people and tremendous material resources remain. Restoration of the economy and our society will be possible and necessary. The speed with which restoration is accomplished will depend on governmental leadership and direction, maintenance of the confidence, and initiative of the people and the wisdom of the organization for utilization of remaining resources.
    2. The attack has caused an almost complete paralysis in the functioning of the economic system in all of its aspects. For many years the size and shape of the economy will reflect these effects. There is an immediate severe impact on organized governmental activities, a fragmentation of society into local groups, a deterioration of our social standards, a breakdown in our system of exchange, and complete disruption of normal production processes. The functioning of the post-attack economy may depend chiefly on the rapidity and efficiency with which local and regional action can be organized to carry out broad national policies disseminated as widely as possible before attack - and reiterated or expanded by any means immediately after attack. This would naturally include the maximum utilization of our remaining resources, among other things.
    3. Consideration of the post-attack situation must be directed to two separate and distinct phases, although at some point in time these overlap and tend to merge. The first period might be described as predominantly the survival period; the second is predominantly the reconstruction period.
    4. During the survival period the economy is operating in a highly disorganized manner. The utilized labor force is engaged in large numbers in disposing of the dead, taking care of surviving injured, decontaminating and cleaning up bombed areas, returning public works and utilities to operation, and other activities related to the direct and immediate effects of the attacks. After taking account of the armed forces requirements, the emergency government workers, and essential services, there are few workers left to produce goods. During the first three to six months there will be more capacity for the production of goods than workers to operate the facilities. The production of goods of any kind will be either of an emergency nature - essential survival items - or of a haphazard nature in isolated, not directly affected areas.
    5. Protection of the whole population from the physiological effects of radioactive fallout is the most significant aspect of this period. Days, weeks and months must elapse before great areas are safe for continued occupancy. Many areas are of such importance that decontamination measures must be taken without waiting for radioactive delay.
    6. The care of the surviving injured presents a major problem, calling for the coordination of all resources which can be used in this field. The provision of the necessary food, clothing, and lodging also call for concentrated efforts on all governmental levels. The main problem with respect to food and clothing is one of distribution, arranging to get the available supplies to the areas of greatest needs. The main problem with respect to lodging is directing people to where lodging is available. Action during this survival period must be directed principally toward steps to ensure survival of the remaining population and support of necessary military operations.
    7. After the more pressing of the survival needs of the damaged economy have been met, the reconstruction period will start. There will be an overlap here; the latter period will start before the former ends and it will be impossible to state precisely when one starts and the other stops. Basic actions necessary for re-establishment of the economy, particularly as to the undamaged parts, will have to be taken, announced, or stimulated at the earliest possible moment of the post-attack effort; although some longer-term actions in that connection may not become wholly relevant until the secondary stage.
    8. The reconstruction phase calls for actions of a different type than those used in the survival phase. In the survival phase, the concern is for the immediate needs of the people; in the reconstruction phase, the emphasis is on programs for the future needs of the nation. In the light of the damage, the remaining resources, and the overall national demands, it must be decided what programs must be started. During this period there will still be severe strains on resources, such as manpower, facilities, materials, and services. Programs for the maximum utilization of remaining resources must be devised.
    9. GOVERNMENT. Governmental control is seriously jeopardized and central federal direction is virtually non-existent. Many of the highest government officials are casualties although the presidential office is functioning. Washington was so severely damaged that no operations there are possible. Token complements of personnel at the relocation centers for those governmental agencies that had them are inadequate to carry out essential functions. Some additional personnel who evacuated during the warning period or waited out the radiation hazard in adequate shelter will be available to augment the relocation complements where fallout conditions permit. Because of heavy fallout, none of the personnel at a few of the relocation sites survived. At several additional relocation sites almost all personnel are sick and many are dying. The same situation applies to the Regional Mobilization Committee headquarters. Communication and transportation between the relocation and regional centers are inadequate. In many areas, including several of the largest cities, where surviving injured outnumber the surviving uninjured active adults, the social fabric has ceased to exist in the pre-attack pattern. Confusion is widespread in these areas and customary control and direction are non-existent. These extreme conditions are most prevalent in the vicinity of the heavily damaged and contaminated areas.
    10. HEALTH. Health resources, including physicians, nurses, and other manpower, hospitals and other medical care facilities, and health supplies and equipment, are in a critical state. This results both from the high concentration of these resources in the attacked areas, and from the unprecedented requirements for the surviving resources. Even with the most stringent selection of patients to be treated, rationing of supplies from the outset, and maximum support of industrial restoration, remaining supplies will be adequate only for minimal needs.
    11. From a pre-attack total of 1.6 million hospital beds, approximately 100,000 are available for use at D-7. Where medical care is possible, most patients are being treated under improvised arrangements - on the ground, in tents, in any available buildings - utilizing civil defense emergency hospitals and other available hospitals and medical equipment.
    12. The patient load requirements have essentially exhausted immediately available health and sanitation supplies in the affected areas. Much of the supplies remaining are either inaccessible or unusable because of radiological contamination or because of the disruption of transportation. The production potential for health supplies and equipment is almost completely inoperable for an extended period. Most of the plants which remain are seriously damaged or inactivated due to radioactive contamination and lack of skilled personnel.
    13. The medical care requirements are overwhelming. In addition to 25,000,000 dead or dying, there are 25,000,000 surviving casualties who require emergency medical care. Of this number, one-half (12,500,000) are suffering from blast and thermal injuries and have an immediate and evident need for treatment. Of the 25,000,000 radiation casualties, 12,500,000 have received lethal dosages and have died or will die regardless of treatment. Of the 12,500,000 remaining one-half will require hospitalization at some time during the period from D-2 weeks to D-12 weeks, with the peak, 5,000,000 being reached between D-5 weeks and D-7 weeks. Some of this requirement for hospitalization can be met by facilities becoming available which were earlier unusable due to contamination and shortages of transportation and other services.
    14. Inadequate provision for laboratory diagnostic aids has hampered the more accurate determination of degrees of radiation injury. Unless such determinations are made, many lives may be lost because treatment is being given to hopeless cases.
    15. Besides the casualties resulting from the effects of attack - blast, thermal, and nuclear radiation - there are 120 million surviving of which there is a daily census of 9 million (on the basis of a threefold increase over normal peacetime experience) requiring some type of medical care because of displacement of people, disruption of normal medical and sanitation services, pollution of food and water supplies, environmental exposure, physical and emotional stress, malnutrition and overcrowding. Included in the 9 million above, the numbers afflicted with communicable diseases are considered to be increasing rapidly among both the adult and the pre-adult populations. These diseases include typhoid fever, influenza, smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, and diarrheal and streptococcal diseases. There are some reports of outbreaks of yellow fever and other tropical diseases in the South and of plague, cholera, and typhus in coastal cities. Reserve stocks of vaccines are being rapidly depleted or are inaccessible due to fallout, blast damage, or other reasons. Epidemics of certain of these and of other communicable diseases are anticipated.
    16. FOOD. Many survivors will need to remain under cover and acute shortages will develop except in the available shelters that have been equipped by individuals or groups with adequate food and supplies. When decay of radioactivity permits movement of people out of shelters in the contaminated areas, it is important that food supplies be available without delay. Salvable food stocks in the contaminated areas will particularly meet immediate needs since requirements have been reduced by heavy loss of life. To make up local deficiencies, additional food must be shipped into some areas. Ability to do this depends on adequacy of transportation and communication since food supplies in the nation as a whole are expected to be adequate for all essential civilian and military needs in this immediate post-attack period. Day to day production of essential food commodities must be maintained and, where necessary, restored, since existing food stocks cannot for long make up for loss of current production.
    17. HOUSING AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES. The housing situation is critical. Fire and blast have either completely destroyed or rendered unrepairable significant portions of the housing supply. The situation is further complicated by fallout which has made much of the remaining housing unusable for varying lengths of time. In only very isolated situations is the housing inventory adequate to rehouse survivors from attacked areas. Extensive repair and restoration work on the remaining standing stock and emergency shelters are desperately needed. Voluntary and enforced billeting measures and utilization of non-residential structures are being effected.
    18. Community facilities have been extremely hard hit. Blast damage has not only completely eliminated major water and sewer networks, but has at the same time dangerously impaired the function of water and sewer facilities in peripheral areas otherwise unaffected by blast and fire damage. Stopgap arrangements for providing potable water from local sources are in effect, but waste disposal is a serious health menace.
    19. MONETARY AND CREDIT SYSTEMS. The monetary and credit systems have collapsed in damaged areas and are under severe pressure in those areas overrun with refugees and in the areas where evacuees are concentrated. In transactions occurring in these areas the price structure is rising sharply as to some essentials while collapsing as to other goods and services. Bartering, unorganized confiscation, and looting are in evidence and threaten further the restoration of any orderly degree of economic activity. Because of the interrelationship of the monetary and banking systems, personal and business financial transactions in undamaged areas threaten to reach a standstill.
    20. DOMESTIC COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATIONS. Minimum nationwide telephone and telegraph facilities remain available to provide for the exchange of urgent communications except with those areas actually bombed and destroyed, and with those areas in which communications facilities have been sabotaged. The loss of commercial power sources together with a serious personnel problem created by loss of specialized manpower through casualties, sickness and confusion, the fear of fallout, and lack of food and water, seriously limits employing the remaining communication facilities to their full capacity. Consequently, there are long delays in placing all but the most urgent telephone calls as well as in the delivery of telegraph messages.
    21. INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATION. International radiotelegraph, radiotelephone, and cable control terminals located in gateway cities on the East and West coasts have been destroyed. Damage from sabotage has occurred at cable landing locations on both the East and West coasts and the cutting of the ocean telephone cable has severely reduced the submarine cable capacity for handling telegraph and telephone traffic to Atlantic, Hawaiian, and Alaskan points. Limited radiotelegraph and radiotelephone capacity remains, however, but is unreliable due to electronic jamming, damage to facilities at overseas locations, sabotage efforts, and radiological contamination effects upon surviving technical and operating personnel. Air mail is being employed where available and practicable to supplement the reduced capabilities of the overseas communications network.
    22. TRANSPORTATION. Severe disruption to transportation service exists in all attacked and contaminated areas. Within these areas there has been heavy damage to terminal, warehousing, servicing, and related facilities. Motor vehicles in non-attacked areas free of contamination, including those not previously engaged in common carrier service, are being mustered for use in support of disaster areas. Rail transportation is affected more seriously by disruption of lines and yards in attacked areas than by loss of rolling stock. Large quantities of rail and highway motive power and equipment were not damaged, making it possible to continue minimum
    essential traffic within those areas not duly affected by contamination and to restore principal lines to service as rapidly as radioactive decay or decontamination measures permit opening uncontaminated lines which bypass the physically damaged areas. However, reserve stocks of operating supplies and fuel for all forms of domestic transportation are being depleted at a faster rate than they are being replenished.
    23. In major port areas there has been heavy damage to piers, warehousing, shipbuilding and repair yards, and related facilities. Damage to shoreside cargo handling facilities has necessitated the use of alternate outloading ports and sites along the coasts and the limitation of shipments to the current capacity of those locations. Damage to reserve fleets has been minor, but reactivation is impeded by losses of repair yards, tugs, and manpower. The worldwide distribution of merchant shipping at sea and in foreign ports has left the major part of the active fleet intact, but ship losses are nevertheless serious in light of immediate and heavy requirements for shipping to support and reinforce overseas military operations. Neither ships nor convoy protection in the vulnerable coastwise sea-lanes can be provided for other than direct military support, except in cases of extreme necessity in priority higher than that of the military. Merchant shipping, therefore, cannot be counted on to supplement or replace inland domestic surface transportation to any substantial extent. 
    24. Domestic airlift capacity has been decreased substantially due to damage and destruction of airfields, airstrips and aircraft, lack of communications, manpower, repair parts, fuel, and maintenance facilities. The remaining aircraft are largely devoted to high-priority routes and highest-priority traffic under the air priority system and other controls. Trans-ocean airlift capacity is decreased substantially due to destruction of aircraft, damage to bases, circuitous reroutings and inadequate ground facility capability.
    25. ELECTRIC POWER. Due, for the most part, to heavy damage to distribution lines and substations in bombed cities, sufficient electric power is not immediately available in the majority of the fringe areas and reception centers for evacuees. Most acute need for power in such areas is for refrigeration, hospital operation, community water systems, heating, and mass feeding. Small portable generators can meet only a fraction of these needs. Aggregate generating capacity of electric utilities operable following the attack is sufficient for minimal national needs; therefore, the power shortage will be alleviated in most areas as soon as transmission and distribution lines can be repaired, new lines strung, interconnections effected and communications restored. Restoration of electric service will be slower than in cases of natural disaster. Anticipated delays are due to several factors, including difficulty in transporting utility repair crews and material from undamaged areas to augment those in areas of need and denial of immediate access into fallout areas to make repairs and to obtain stocks of materials and equipment, new or salvable. Where primary sources of steam-generated electric power have been destroyed, the power-consuming facilities (industrial plants, stores, homes, etc.) have, in large measure, likewise been destroyed. In most cases, where hydroelectric-generating facilities have been damaged, there is enough generating capacity intact in the system and through interconnections with other systems, to meet essential needs of the areas served. In those areas, however, sharp curtailment of supply to undamaged industrial plants will be necessary for an extended period. Enough skilled manpower has survived to operate generating plants. Fuel stocks at thermal generating plants using coal, are adequate to keep plants operating for a minimum of 30 to 60 days even after allowance for possible use of a part of their stockpiles for other emergency purposes. Generating plants dependent solely on oil as a fuel can continue operating for a shorter period from stocks on hand, the time varying with the stock position of individual plants.
    26. FUELS. Of all the fuels (including petroleum products, gas, and solid fuels), motor fuels including aviation are the most universally used throughout the nation, regardless of season. Therefore, even though movement of the mass of civilian passenger automobiles is strictly limited, the availability of motor fuels for uses essential to human survival and military operations is of widespread and urgent concern. Among such uses are the operations of trucks, diesel locomotives, water transport, aircraft, tractors and other farm equipment needed for food production, and a host of engines required for water supply, sanitary disposal systems, and hospitals.
    27. Initial military operations are being fueled almost entirely from stocks in military storage. Stocks in motor fuels in undamaged areas to and through which evacuees moved are nearly exhausted, despite rationing efforts by some local authorities. In many of these areas and in contiguous support areas, radioactive fallout temporarily immobilizes all transport and farming operations, thus halting consumption in wheeled equipment and simultaneously preventing replenishment of stocks. When decay of fallout permits resumption of human activity, some consumers such as railroads, airlines, and to a lesser extent, certain farmers, can operate for a brief period using stocks on hand. Generally, however, there will be an immediate, heavy drain on bulk plant stocks of motor fuels including aviation. The rate at which such stocks can in turn be replenished will vary by areas, depending upon availability of surface transportation, the extent to which they are normally served by pipelines, and proximity to surviving, operable petroleum refineries. 
    28. In cold areas to and through which evacuees have moved, the situation with respect to cooking and heating fuels (kerosene, fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas, coal, and gas) is somewhat similar to that of motor fuels. Sheltering and feeding of swollen populations in such areas are rapidly depleting cooking and heating fuels in homes and other buildings and, in communities served by natural gas, lowering pressure in distribution lines. Fallout prevents immediate replenishment of home stocks. When deliveries can be resumed, local distributors’ stocks of fuel oil, “bottled” gas, and coal will soon be gone. Local industrial and some utility stockpiles of coal can be tapped if needed for heating of hospitals, homes, and shelters. Shifts from less available to more available fuels will be necessary. At the outset, wood where available is providing essential warmth, but this cannot long meet needs of masses of people. Again, provision of minimum essential supplies of cooking and heating fuels will depend largely upon restoration of transportation and communication.
    29. The physical productive capacity of oil and gas wells and coal mines has been little affected by the attack, but their operation in some areas is precluded temporarily by radioactive fallout making surface work hazardous to human survival. Even after decay of fallout permits men to work at these facilities, breaks in power service will temporarily prevent operation of certain of them as well as some pipeline pumping stations. A substantial percentage of aboveground fuel facilities in bombed areas - including petroleum refineries, pipeline terminals, tank farms for storage of crude oil and products, gas compressor stations, and coal-handling equipment at rail and port terminals - have been destroyed or extensively damaged. Destruction of docks, tanks, and refineries in coastal areas has drastically curtailed inter-coastal movement and importation of petroleum and petroleum products by tankers. Inland, the disruption of and damage to railroad, waterway, and highway transport at or near urban centers will continue to hamper distribution of both coal and petroleum products.
    30. The non-military requirements for fuel in the post-attack period will be much smaller than pre-attack requirements, since millions of fuel-consuming units - particularly residences, commercial buildings, electric power and generating plants, and factories - have disappeared in the bombing. With strict rationing of petroleum products and allocation of coal, the surviving fuel production capacity, including petroleum refinery capacity, is sufficient to meet properly time-phased military requirements and minimum essential civilian needs for both motor fuel and heating fuel and, also, progressively to supply reviving industries. Priority will be given to the supplying of fuel for human survival and military operations, including communications, transportation, electric power, and food production essential to both. Refinery yields will be adjusted to fit the pattern of needs for particular petroleum products depending on the season of the attack and military requirements. Nevertheless, due mainly to transportation difficulties, severe, localized shortages of one fuel or another from time to time during the next several months should be anticipated. This will call for endurance by affected communities, maximum conservation of motor fuels, perhaps a return to relatively primitive methods of cooking and heating, and ingenuity on the part of the fuel industries and government to alleviate shortages.
    31. MANPOWER. In assessing the survival and emergency work to be done, total manpower requirements for civil defense purposes substantially exceed the available supply. Although manpower priorities have been established in individual local areas, the difficulties of communicating with higher levels of government have resulted in conflicting demands on certain support areas. Some civil defense services are experiencing support surpluses while others cannot function because needed support is lacking. 
    32. The provision of effective manpower support is jeopardized by the dislocation and disorganization of the general population. In many communities evacuation took place in anticipation of initial and follow-up attack. They are now attempting to return to their homes but the process is slow, and previously identified skills cannot be located until the evacuated population is reestablished in the home community. It will be some time before manpower in such areas can be organized to provide needed support to devastated areas and to restore essential services and production.
    33. In many localities radioactive fallout, the imminence of fallout, and particularly the fear of this unseen hazard has temporarily immobilized a tremendous proportion of the manpower which would otherwise be immediately available. Denial of access to large areas because of the fallout hazard has compounded the already major problems in transportation of labor to the point of need.
    34. In many localities there is a surplus of manpower in certain skilled occupations which could be used if necessary equipment and supplies were available. In other localities, the best use of manpower resources requires the temporary separation of workers from their families until housing, transportation, feeding, and other conditions permit reuniting family groups wherever the workers are most needed. Difficulty has been encountered in trying to contain evacuated populations in relocation centers around cities which have been attacked so that they do not further endanger their lives by moving into fallout areas. Many thousands of people are trying to reach the homes of friends and relatives. As a consequence, the size of the labor force and the skill distribution within the relocated area changes continuously. The instability of this situation adversely affects the recruitment of specific skills within the area, and throws askew the labor assessments necessary to balance manpower demand with available supply with a minimum of population shift.
    35. In relocation areas, utilization of available unskilled manpower for necessary emergency work is most inefficient for lack of enough trained civil defense technicians and of leaders and sub-leaders previously trained and organized.
    36. Training programs offer little solution except for very short-term skill development.
    37. PRODUCTION. As in all other areas of economic activity the effect of the attack on levels of production can best be described in time phases. There is an immediate and virtually complete paralysis of the production effort, even in non- damaged and slightly damaged areas. Following this “shock” phase, the gradual return of workers to their places of employment sets in motion a slow recovery cycle, manifesting itself first in scattered, undamaged, non-fallout areas. As the fallout decays and decontamination is started the areas of recovery expand, limited primarily by manpower shortages.
    38. During the early post-attack period primary emphasis must be placed on the production of essential civilian goods and services and on military items urgently needed for combat and support. Two major factors determine achievable levels of production.
    39. First, a major limitation on post-attack production will arise from the damage to the chain of production. The pre-attack production levels achieved in this country resulted from the functioning of a highly complex operation, in which many thousands of contributors to overall production were bound together through the interrelationships of production processes. Suppliers of raw materials, fabricators of metal shapes and forms, manufacturers of components and subassemblies, and final product producers, all contributed to the flow of production in such a manner that, by and large, items necessary for successive steps in the productive process were available when and where needed. It is impossible to measure the damage to this chain of production in all of its ramifications. It seems reasonable to assume, however, that the process has suffered severe damage, not immediately reparable. It will take months to determine the bottlenecks and dislocations, and many more months to overcome shortages and imbalances. The resumption of any sizeable production effort will, of course, be dependent on the extent to which necessary services - power, transportation, communications, etc. - can be provided.
    40. A second major limitation is the number and types of workers available for production purposes, particularly in the first six months. As the need for workers for emergency civil defense efforts lessens, more persons will become available for the production of goods and services. However, even after the first six months, manpower will still impose a restriction on the size of the production program, because of manpower losses and also because of the lowered efficiency of the available utilized labor force.
    The end. Enjoy. -Vault Maker
  2. alexweiln

    alexweiln First time out of the vault

    May 29, 2006
    Impresive piece of work. Indeed.
    But if I look at the numbers of losses and the predicted targets, I find their conclusion to get any kind of civilisation restored within a timeline of one year very very very optimistic.
    I myself, have doubts, that if - under current conditions - a nation can, in a presumable period of time, recover. I find it more likely, that this scenario will leave us, even with the fallout almost decayed, best at some early dark age state. This even due to the heavy losses of 'manpower' but not fewer due to the strong will to be surviving, for himself and his relatvies, who's in every individual.
    And not to forget the nature of us humans to be easily impressed: who will at first follow orders from those who could not 'protect' us in the first place? I think in that 'recovery phase' there will be riots and uprising everywhere. And I doubt that the majority of local or regional governments will stay in a shape needed to do the coordination of that scale of 'controlling' their 'manpower' let alone the restorations of devastated infrastructure.
    And for the forced labor, who would go putting away blasted cinder at an industrial site - needed by governmental reasons - when their family is in need of their manpower or just their shoulder to lean on?
    Did I mention that the majority will not be willing to donate their goods or labour to assure the capability of any kind of 'military operation' at this point? I assume that the majority of the surviving people won't even see the need of, if there is any.
    Even the reliability of the military, how great is the chance that a bunch of scattered and scared soldiers, who have also suffered heavy losses - both in comrades and relatives - will stay put and not rise against their leaders or to form a kind of 'raiders' themselves, or most likely just desert their troops to search for surviving relatives or friends?
    I, for me, hope there's a kind of Shady Sands near when we really should be stupid enoug to get this far!
  3. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    The overall tone of the document is serene, and a little surreal. I suppose that's the language of bureaucracy everywhere. You have to read closely, because the Plan does suggest some harsh post-attack realities. From it, one can easily imagine riots, looting, martial law, confiscation, armed gangs, survivors being used as forced labor, etc.

    I don't think that the assumptions about the quantity of warheads, blast yields, or targets for this scenario were published. The assumptions were almost definitely on the high side for 1958. At the time, president Eisenhower still described government after a nuclear war as "a one-eyed man in the land of the blind".

    Since the Feds reclassified the book in 1999, we can guess that the planning assumptions may have been considered useful even over a decade after the Cold War had ended. However, the damage assumptions were low by the end of the Cold War.

    A detailed look at planning from the 1980s is seen in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Nuclear Attack Planning Base - 1990" (FEMA NAPB-90). It predicts a higher ratio of the population being killed by direct effects (blast and fire) and fallout that the '58 Plan. I'm wrapping up a scanned/OCR'd version of this document as well. You can see the original I'm working from at Federation of American Scientists:

    The destruction level from Fallout's war must have been substantially higher. As an example. take the 1958 description of how disrupted industrial, agricultural, and energy production would be. Now imagine tripling or quadrupling the number of targets, bomb yields, and the number of plants and mills knocked out. I have read that when you eliminate more nodes in a supply/production chain, the difficulty of restoring production goes up exponentially. It's not hard to imagine the optimistic '58 view of an economy being pulled back together after some years of hard work receding into decades, or even centuries.
  4. alexweiln

    alexweiln First time out of the vault

    May 29, 2006
    Okay, to correct my first statement: the presumed numbers of losses, that is. And I didn't want to say you couldn't imagine those things I mentioned. But they were not adressed directly.
    The point I was going to make is: how much can a man - or even a woman - take? Them lists those scientists make do strictly ignore one fact that's just not possible to ignore, the despair. I don't know if not one of the guys working in that stuff tried to imagine what really will happen when the 'nukes fly'.
    I myself think that you could easily add once more 1/5th of human losses to all else - direct hit, compression, fallout and plagues - just because of despairation which prevents you from even going to eat, to make a more drastic point.
    They possibly should have been paying more attention to documentations of the three only really happened desasters Hiroshima, Nagasaki and even not an attack though, Chernobyl. In all those were the main parts of the administrative ability of the respective nations still at work. So they could try and help relatively quick, more try than help what I've figured then. But you have to imagine that they're supposedly out of the picture then. Who will really have the ability to take care of all the different problems that arise?
    That's the point why I call it way to optimistic even for the '50s, though.
    And that important point of letting resignation anger and despair reign for some time, I think at least for the nuclear winter as we call it over here, is also ignored by that fema report, as far as I understand it.
    By the way, the wide area around the Chernobyl Powerplant is still restricted Area. And that's more than twenty years since.
  5. Solon

    Solon First time out of the vault

    Dec 8, 2007
    Although I can't speak for a majority of the nation, I can guess what would happen in my region. For most of the cold war years my area had a higher concentration of ICBMs and Nuke capable airfields and lower population than most. I think there would be few survivors in the Northern Plains, and those that did survive would band into small camps. Self reliance, especially in colder climates, is easier with a small group, some invested in gathering resources and others utilizing said resources. These camps would surely be armed and hostile to strangers due to the difficulty in surviving. I'm quite sure they would resist change violently, and if it continued into successive generations, may never change. This would make large scale farming in the northern plains States extremely difficult, if not impossible, until the military could be brought in to neutralize these camps.

    While I agree that the numbers are quite low, I don't wish to assume the levels of psychological damage. If my children survived, I would be very productive and aggressive in providing for and defending any children. If they did not, I would not be of help to anyone, ever. IF we can assume the same for fathers everywhere, we have some who are aggressively providing, and others who would likely roam about, stealing, raiding, looting. A very dangerous world.
    I wouldn't foresee the nation getting back on it's feet for decades much less in one year, even using the paltry figures from this report. I don't think there would be many patriots in such a dog-eat-dog world.
  6. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    In 1958 the northern and central plains were relatively safe. By the 80s, they would be subjected to the heaviest radiation in the country, due to all the groundbursts used to attack missile silos. Follow the link I gave above to NAPB-90, open up the "Annex B" pdf, and look at page B-7. Federal Regions VII and VIII have the highest numbers of "Very High Risk" population for fallout, while being the least populated.

    Then scroll down to the fallout maps.

    After being sacrificed like that, I imagine surviving enclaves would be hard to bring into line with a postwar government.
  7. alexweiln

    alexweiln First time out of the vault

    May 29, 2006
    You see, that was the point I was going to.
    I have no doubts in the survival for the human race, though. But what survives of it will for the most part have only disrespect, if not disgrace for the pre-war government or politics, if for that.
    Enclaves, maybe even small Kingdoms or Dictatorships is what'll arise from the ashes first. Established will be several 'hubs' where people can meet and organize the transfer of needed goods. But our beloved pre-war democracy? I think not.
    Besides the raiding and this kind of stuff will neither last for long as all pre-war goods are either gone ore totally useless at one point. And who really wants to travel many miles to rob someone up, when that food, or something he could get out of it is much more easy to hunt, grow, or manufacture just around the corner? And the transports of goods from one place to the other will not be easy targets too, because I think all the gung-ho people will gladly offer their services as guards.
    I don't really think there's a chance for anything to recover after all, I think there will be many differen new, and old tries for raising communities, but that's all.


    But whatever the case, them reports are interesting anyway, thanx again for 'em.
  8. Vault Maker

    Vault Maker Vault-Tec Cartographer

    Jun 27, 2006
    I'll make a brief point on supplies. The '58 Plan assumes that the population will be able to take advantage of existing supplies of various kinds for a while, since the population needing to use them is cut down by quite a bit. It would still be a "race against time" to restore production of new supplies before existing stocks are used up. The Plan does state or suggest that food and medical supplies are not likely to be in this "available surplus" for very long (I think present-day US food supply is enough for about a month if all production ceased, and the Plan says medical supplies, facilities, and personnel were mostly wiped out).

    If the Fallout war wiped out more of the population, it stands to reason that caches of prewar supplies might be able to stretch out longer, maybe on the order of decades. The world depicted in the games would not be capable of very much, if any new production.