Classified documents about the cold war era were made public. They reveal then hostile cities which the USA had nuclear attack plans on. Budapest was also a target, wrote.

The 800-page document, that the classification was lifted from, is the most comprehensive nuclear list of the Cold War. The study which was made in 1956 has been published by the US National Security Archive on December 22. In the study which is called “The SAC [Strategic Air Command] Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959”, there are 1200 cities including Moscow, Beijing and Warsaw as potential nuclear targets. The list specifies the targets within a city. These could be, for example, specific military, industrial and investment facilities as well.

Moscow and St. Petersburg (then called Leningrad) are in the first and second place of the list. 179 targets were marked in the Russian capital and 145 in the Baltic Sea port city. In both cities the military – most specifically the headquarters of the Soviet Air Force – targets enjoyed the priority, and the USA wanted to destroy them with thermonuclear weapons initially.

Several Eastern European airports were also nuclear targets, but most of them appeared only as part of the psychological warfare: they were rather symbolic, wrote.

Despite this Tokol airbase, that operated next to Budapest, was still the 125th on the list.

The document lists a further 1100 airports. It also designated the nuclear attack against the two Belarusian bases of the Soviet Air Force as a priority. At the time, the need of the possible use of the 60-megaton nuclear bomb (which was 4 thousand times bigger than the one dropped at Hiroshima) was accepted, because people thought it could achieve significant results in the fight against the Soviet bloc.

based on the article of


Copy editor: bm


  1. You forgot to mention these plans were only if they were attacked first –

    The us was not the aggressor here- it didn’t lock up most of central and Eastern Europe for 40 years. The us wanted nothing more than free these countries and stop the spread of communism.

    The study was done in 56- the world was still reeling from ww2

    It’s hysterical how they were doing air raid drills here up til the 80s

    In the us they ended 20 years earlier

  2. Bombing airfields was not psych-warfare but to prevent bombers from getting off the ground

  3. @Ted
    20 years earlier because they had enough bomb shelters in N.A., so to believe that that would be enough to help. Also the Bombarc missles (ICBMs) were supposed to be a real comfort….

    Bombing airfields with Nukes is a bit of overkill. You dont need more than a large crater. A nuke 4000 times the size of Hiroshima would have taken most of Hungary and its neighbours out.

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