Thursday, February 05, 2009
The Soviet "Doomsday Device" Myth
Those of you who watch the History Channel may have come across this clip, which is from a series titled "Secrets of War." The speaker, Victor Suvorov, is the author of a notorious and now wholly-discredited book about the Soviet entry into WWII. I was wondering where this persistent "Soviets planned a doomsday machine" myth came from, and it appears it is simply another of Suvorov's many imaginative fabrications. I can find no Russian-language references to this tale whatsoever, and all the English ones lead back to this "documentary," and to the ever-unreliable Mr. Suvorov. Given what I know about Soviet nuclear war planning (my field of academic specialization) the story is ludicrous on it face, as well. The concept of self-immolation implicit in a doomsday machine like this is absolutely alien to Soviet political and strategic thought. The Soviet "doomsday machine" is no more than a fairy tale to concocted to amuse American basic cable subscribers, nothing more.