The Red Effect. Nuclear Defence.

The Red Effect. Nuclear Defence.  The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

Even as early as the late 40s, early 50s, there was a real fear of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.

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B-28 Nuclear Bomb, carried by the B-52 bomber in the 60s.


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With a 1 megaton yield, it would devastate a city and the surrounding area.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But we still prepared for the worst.


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Advice was provided by the local authorities, giving guidance on how best to defend yourself from the threat.


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Information was basic, but the authorities themselves knew very little about how the population could defend themselves against an all-out nuclear exchange. It was expected that over 300 megatons would be dropped on Great Britain alone, enough to blast it back into the dark ages.


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To assist local Government, in the event of a nuclear exchange, or other major catastrophe, Regional Control Centres would assume full powers over a specific area. They were provided with tools to help cope with the nuclear threat. 


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This Radiological Survey Meter was built in 1962, by the Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio. It is brand new, fortunately unused.


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It records the rate at which at which your body is being exposed to radiation. It is used to find the best shelter and evaluate shielding arrangements. Even stacks of books were seen as an aid to blocking out radiation.


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Very basic circuitry, powered by a 1.5 volt, D-Cell battery


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Made in 1962, the latest test date for the Ion Chamber is 1991, and it still works.


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Measures up to 500 roentgens per hour. Only a few hours at that level would usually be lethal for a human being.


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Basic Instruction Book


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CD V-175

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Dosimeters. Design to be carried on the person to measure the body’s accumulated exposure to radiation.


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Dosimeter charger, used to ‘Zero’ the dosimeters.


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Total Exposure

0-50R – No visible effects

50-200R – Brief periods of nausea. 50% experience radiation sickness

200-450R – 50% deaths within two to four weeks.

450-600R – Serious radiation sickness. Death to 50% within one to three weeks.

Over 600R – Severe radiation sickness. 100% deaths within two weeks.

The thought of it ever happening is frightening.

i hope this has given you a further insight into what was happening during the Cold War Period, 1946-1989. Going forward I will add more information in support of my Cold War trilogy.

The Blog is copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle and Paperback version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War.



  1. It’s terrible how many soldiers were exposed to radiation in the nuclear testing in the States. Apparently they were told to cover their eyes and they could still see right through their closed eyes and through their hands. The people who made these nuclear devices had no idea of the power of radiation.

    1. Hi Anneli. There was very little protection for soldiers on the battlefield in the 80s. Our best defence was to be able to run three miles in about thirty minutes to get away from a contaminated area.

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