Russian Naval Remains


Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 10:37:31 +1000
From: Ford Benjamin

It's funny this thread about nukes has come up now.

I was having a talk with a physicist buddy of mine about NBC weapons and their use in the coming century. This was also about the same time I'd just bought Escape from Innsmouth. I started thinking to myself, "It'd be great if there was something like this for Delta Green."

A few years ago I saw a documentary of the disintegration of the Soviet military apparatus. An image that has really stayed with me was the sight of a harbour full of Russian warships rusting away. There was of course a town and a civilian population to support this military base, but apparently most of the people had left when the money ran out.

Most of them. The ones who stayed would have a good reason for staying behind.

Possibilities? One way to hook a DG team in is under the cover of investigation of black market nuclear arms smuggling. Maybe the hybrid cultists are selling off nukes to fund their own plans in addition to just making life difficult for the rest of us. Or perhaps there are rumours of a blacker than black biological weapons research facility located in a dead town no-one cares about anymore. Hearkening back to the subject line, with all those nuclear armed ships falling apart in the harbour, who knows how that may have affected the locals? Foul hybrids not good enough? Try stooped, shuffling scaly Russian peasants with festering sores from radiation poisoning. Of course, imagining what radiation could do to the Deep Ones (and their allies like shoggoths or star spawn) actually living under the harbour is probably best not considered……

Subject to what's released about the GRU's paranormal division in COUNTDOWN, this scenario could culminate in a Russian version of Raid on Innsmouth, complete with MBTs, attack helicopters, and Spetsnaz divers. And perhaps the only way to destroy the deep ones' city is by diving deep enough in a minisub to guide a tac nuke equipped ROV into the devil's maw……..

It's only an idea, but I did find that article on a war between Japanese cults with Unit 731 thrown in for good measure. It's at:

Under the heading of 'Rising Sun Series'. There are also fun articles about Group 13, a British paramilitary group specialising in deniable assassination (handy for COUNTDOWN and Pisces, when it comes out) and much more good for DG fodder.

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 19:49:23 -0500 (CDT)
From: Don Juneau

Hearkening back to the subject line, with
all those nuclear armed ships falling apart in the harbour, who knows how
that may have affected the locals? Foul hybrids not good enough? Try
stooped, shuffling scaly Russian peasants with festering sores from
radiation poisoning. Of course, imagining what radiation could do to the
Deep Ones (and their allies like shoggoths or star spawn) actually living
under the harbour is probably best not considered……

One report I saw some time back said that Uncle Ivan was simply *dumping* nuke-waste (canned) and entire concrete-filled submarine reactor assemblies in the Arctic Ocean off Novya Zemlya <?> or such.

And you thought *Deep Ones* were bad - what mutant monstrosities would it take to make *them* go, "Oh, ick, go a-*way*…" <EG>

Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 00:58:18 EDT
From: Michael Layne

Apparently some time in the 70s, their nuclear icebreaker "Lenin" had some sort of nuclear accident, and, IIRC the affected reactor was eventually dropped into the ocean in that general area. I'm not sure what safeguards (if any) the Russians may have taken with it.

The US Navy did something similar back in the early 60s, when the military was still a bit naive about the effects of radiation on the ocean ecosystem.

The submarine USS Seawolf (not the current SSN-21, but the previous Seawolf, the second US SSN) had been built with an S2G liquid sodium cooled reactor, partly to test this type of reactor vs. the S2W pressurized water cooled reactor in Nautilus.

The design proved less than completely successful in service. (The sodium in the primary loop of the S2G soon became far more radioactive than an equivalent amount of water, it tended to burst into flames on contact with water (another reason, besides it being hot — both thermally and radiologically, that leaks were BAD News!), and it could not be completely shut down (as the sodium metal would then freeze inside the reactor and primary loop — more Bad News!).

The Soviet Navy had developed similar reactors, and had decided that the greater theoretical energy density of a liquid metal cooled reactor was more important than a few safety problems.

However, Rickover _was_ concerned with reactor safety, and thus, after two years of unlimited operations, the S2G was shut down in December of 1958, the boat was drydocked for reactor replacement, and a modified Nautilus type PWR was installed, the boat recommissioning 30 September 1960.

The S2G reactor assembly was reportedly deep-sixed in the Atlantic, a few hundred miles due east of the Delaware-Pennsylvania border.

(This policy has not been repeated in later years when the US Navy scrapped some of its older nuclear subs — the "hot" components are now sent to a special facility in the western US for burial. Check out the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard website for data on this procedure, together with some very depressing pictures of nuclear subs being scrapped…)

Also, the Russians lost the Komsomolets (K-278), their one Mike-class SSN, on 4 July 1989, due to fire and flooding. It sank in the Barents Sea — in a location about a mile down. The Russians later seemed very concerned about salvaging this boat — even talking to some European salvage firms when they found they couldn't carry it out themselves. There was speculation on why the Russians wanted their sunken sub salvaged — it couldn't be restored to service, and there were no others of its class… With the thaw in the Cold War, the news came out that the Russians (for once) were worried about a radiation hazard — not from the SSN's reactor (which had apparently been safely scrammed and was mostly harmless now) — but from the nuclear warheads of the torpedoes (possibly the 53-68 or the older ET-80 (66) type fish), the casings of which were being corroded by the salt water.

Eventually, a Russian expedition, with some US help, managed to seal off the warheads, and make the wreck safe (for now). But, IIRC, the warheads are still down there…

Possible scenario idea for you folks with DG cells with Navy connections…

Awhile back, I put together a story outline (never got around to writing the story) concerning a joint US/Russian salvage expedition to the Komsomolets wreck.

No, Operation RED SHARK was not "Raise the Komsomolets" — they weren't after the boat itself.

(Although some of the USN personnel along didn't mind getting a good look — they were submariners themselves, after all, and Russian-speaking (to better understand their Russian partners on this mission, of course…)) :)

They were there to salvage the torpedo warheads, which would then no longer be a potential underwater menace, and could be take back to the Rodina to be dismantled like some of the rest of the former USSR nuclear stockpile…

Needless to say, it was not a boring op, and besides the usual dangers of salvage operations a mile down, there was a traitor within the party with connections with the "Russian Mafia", and his own agenda for the warheads… (Big surprise!)

One of the warheads turns out to still be useable, and that's the one that ends up being hijacked by the traitor.

He forces a US Navy officer to fly him out to a sub the conspirators have got operational (an old Foxtrot-class boat), promising the officer that "you can return safely to your ship after the warhead and I are aboard the submarine". When his partners try to shoot down the helicopter after he is dropped off, he quarrels with them, and ends up being shot by them.

The helo pilot (who was told to "leave the area as fast as you can after dropping me off") does so — his transmitter was wrecked by the hijacker, and he needs to get back to the ship to get a message out concerning the sub. (US and Russian naval forces might have a chance of locating and sinking it…)

As the hijacker's buddies aboard the submerged Foxtrot class boat gloat to their dying ex-comrade, he informs them that he has taken out a "life insurance policy"… A specialist in Russian Navy nuclear weapons (one reason he was on the expedition), he knew how to disengage the Permissive Action Links, and set a homemade timer to trigger the warhead. (After the damage it suffered in the sinking, and sitting in salt water in the wreck for years, and the decay of its tritium, it will not go off with anything near its rated yield, but even a 10% yield will be equal to a hundred tons of TNT…) He had intended to simply reset the timer manually every so often to keep the nuke from triggering.

His ex-partners insist he is bluffing and ——

No Cthulu Monsters (though you might throw in a couple of Deep Ones, if you must, for local color…). Just your ordinary evil conspiracy to hijack a nuclear warhead! But maybe DG can do something with it?

Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 09:26:21 -0400
From: Graeme Price

Benjamin wrote:

Actually, there is rather a good plot on this topic that I used myself to great effect in the pre-DG days (remember them?!) back in, oh… '94 I guess. It was all based on a plot about Deep Ones and their agents getting hold of nuclear weapons for their own purposes: viz. to see if they could hasten the rise of Ry'leh when the Stars were _almost_ right. This involved lots the kidnap and capture of an elderly Cambridge geology professor to exploit his ideas on plate tectonics and deep blasting to create controlled(ish) plate shifts.

The investigators got their first lead on the London Underground when an ex-FBI agent (who had been watching Innsmouth privately for sometime and was following up his own lead in the UK) stepped onto their train mid heart attack (having just received the Prof. Gammell treatment) and pressed a diary into their hands. Much weirdness, insanity and general carnage ensued as the investigators tried to find out just what the hell was going on.

Unfortunately, the campaign fell apart (as the academic year ended and my players moved home for the summer) befor they got over the Atlantic to follow up on the relevant leads that would lead them to the atomic devices (at the time, the PCs weren't even sure they existed).

Anyway the source of the atomic devices? In 1963 (I think) the USS Thresher sank under unusual conditions whilst undergoing sea trials just off the coast of New England… literally about 100 miles away from the projected psoition of Innsmouth (an easy shoggoth ride). I have reprints of the front page of The Times from the dates concerned (great handouts!), and all sorts of background data (please don't ask me to post them: All my past campaign notes are still in the UK). Had to bend history a little and put 2 SUBROC atomic depth charge weapons aboard the Thresher (which was a nuclear sub): SUBROC didn't enter service 'till '65 (IIRC) but it's not unreasonable that experimental versions were aboard Thresher. Just a little bit of refitting by favourite cultist controlled industrial concern (following recovery from extreme depth via deep ones etc.) and you're ready to rock and roll.

Anyway, I had great fun running that Campaign. Especially when the PI's heart exploded out of his chest in front on the PC with a blood fetish. But that's another story.

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