Re: good to be able to look on this so light-heartedly
I recall seeing an interview fairly recently with a military type who was senior in NATO back in the day. He was asked what the plan was for a defence of Western Europe.
"Well, the plan was we'd try to keep them on the other side of the Rhine until the Americans got their kit across the Atlantic."
"Would that have worked?"
"No, not a chance. They'd have overwhelmed us well before the Yanks could get their heavy stuff over in significant quantity."
"Ok, so in that position what would have been done."
"There was only one plan really. Fall back, get the tactical nukes released, nuke their armoured spearheads in Germany, then cross our fingers and see if they felt like escalating."
"What? You mean the only plan was that NATO would use the first nuclear strike? You can't be serious."
"I'm deadly serious. It was the only workable option we had.".
"And what if the use of nuclear weapons was not approved?"
"Ah, that would be a political problem and it would then be up to the politicians to discuss our surrender terms.".
I'm guessing that the Germans weren't exactly delighted with this approach, which appears to me to revolve around either using Germany for nuclear target practice or handing it to the Soviets.