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Encyclopedia > Red Alert (novel)

Red Alert is a 1958 novel by Peter George about nuclear war. The book was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It differs significantly from Kubrick's movie in that it is not a comedy. 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative in prose. ... Peter Bryan George (March 24, 1924 - June 11, 1966) was a British author, most famous for the Cold War thriller novel Red Alert. ... Nuclear War is a card game designed by Douglas Malewicki, and originally published in 1966. ... Look up book in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928–March 7, 1999) was an American film director and producer, generally considered one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers of his generation. ... Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. ... For the hit 1987 single by Depeche Mode, see the album Music for the Masses Film poster for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a 1964 satirical film directed by Stanley Kubrick. ... Comedy has a classical meaning (comical theatre) and a popular one (the use of humour with an intent to provoke laughter in general). ...

Originally published in the U.K. as Two Hours to Doom -- with George using the pseudonym "Peter Bryant" -- the novel deals with the apocalyptic threat of nuclear war and the almost absurd ease with which it can be triggered. A virtual genre of such topical fiction sprang up in the late 1950s -- led by Nevil Shute´s On the Beach -- of which Red Alert was among the earliest examples. On the Beach is a post-apocalyptic end-of-the-world novel written by British author Nevil Shute after he had emigrated to Australia. ...

Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler´s later bestseller Fail-Safe so closely resembled Red Alert in its premise that George sued on the charge of plagiarism and won an out-of-court settlement. Both novels would inspire very different films that would both be released in 1964. Fail-Safe is a novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, published in 1962. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...

Plot summary

A dying Air Force general commanding the Sonora, Texas Strategic Air Command bomber base, and suffering from the paranoid delusion that he will make the world a better place, has set in motion a catastrophic nuclear air attack on the Soviet Union. He orders the 843rd bomber wing to attack under the provisions of "Wing Attack Plan R", a war plan that was intended to allow lower-echelon SAC commanders to order a retaliatory strike if the United States government had been decapitated by a first strike. The attack consists of his entire B-52 bomber wing, composed of new planes, each armed with two very large nuclear weapons and a sophisticated system of electronic countermeasures designed to prevent the Soviets from shooting down these planes. The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was the operational establishment of the United States Air Force in charge of Americas bomber-based and ballistic missile-based strategic nuclear arsenal, as well as the infrastructure necessary to support their operations (such as tanker aircraft to fuel the bombers and, until 1959... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... The Beheading of Cosmas and Damian, by Fra Angelico Decapitation (from Latin, caput, capitis, meaning head), or beheading, is the removal of a living organisms head. ... In nuclear strategy, first strike capability is a countrys ability to defeat another nuclear power by destroying its arsenal to the point where the attacking country can survive the weakened retaliation. ... The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range jet strategic bomber flown by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1954. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... Inspecting an AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Attack Pod Electronic countermeasures (ECM) are any sort of electrical or electronic device designed to spoof radar, sonar, or other detection systems. ...

Once they realize that the attack is underway, the President of the United States and his military advisors frantically try to stop it. They assist the Soviet defense forces in intercepting the bombers, but to little effect, with the Soviets destroying only two bombers and leaving one, "Alabama Angel" damaged but otherwise unaccounted for.

An American invasion of the SAC base succeeds, but the general who initiated the attack (and who is the only person available to provide the recall code letters) commits suicide before he can be captured and interrogated. His executive officer, however, correctly decodes the general's doodles on a deskpad, intuiting the likely letters of the recall code.

The recall code is issued and all surviving planes in the bomb wing save one are successfully recalled minutes before they can drop their bomb. On "Alabama Angel", however, earlier damage to the radio equipment prevents their reception of the recall code and they continue with their mission.

See also

  • Fail-Safe



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