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This Day in Science Fiction History: 4 September

Fictional Entry—Wednesday, September 4, 1985

In the early years of the 1980s, relations between the Soviet Union and the United States continued to worsen. In 1982, there were labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet forces invaded the country under the reasoning of suppressing the riots. The Green Party gained control of the West German Parliament in the ’82 elections and demanded the removal of all nuclear weapons from Europe. The following year, NATO dissolved. The wheat harvest in 1984 was the worst the Soviet Union had suffered in 55 years.

The Warsaw Pact continued to increase its influence in Latin American affairs. Cuba and Nicaragua increased their armed forces to over 500,000 each. Within a year, the democratic governments in El Salvador and Honduras fell. A pro-communist militia started a revolution in Mexico. The fighting raged for nearly two years before the militia gained full control of the country.

Invading forces with a modified PT-76 light tank in front of McDonald’s in Calumet, Colorado
Invading forces in Calumet, Colorado (© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1984)

At 10 A.M. EDT, Soviet land and sea-based ICBMs carried out a nuclear first strike. The cities of Washington D.C., New York, and Kansas City were destroyed by the nuclear missile. Also targeted were Strategic Air Command's headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base (AFB) and the ICBM bases of Minot AFB, Grand Forks AFB, and Ellsworth AFB. Soviet airborne forces, using chartered airliners, parachuted into the western portion of the United States. The purpose was to seize key passes across the Rocky Mountains and some cities. The attacks on the Rocky Mountains were successful while the attempts on cities, such as Phoenix, Arizona, failed. A fast response by the 3rd Armored Division halted the combined ComBloc and Mexican armored and infantry advance in Arizona.

One of the drop points was the town of Calumet, Colorado. At 8:44 A.M. MST, Soviet and Cuban paratroopers dropped near the town, with one platoon landing near the high school. Panicked students and faculty fled, trying to avoid getting shot by the soldiers. A small group of students escaped capture and managed to hide out in the nearby forested wilderness. These young men formed the initial cadre of the partisan force that became known as the Wolverines. They took their name from the mascot of their high school.

World War III had begun.

Red Dawn

Motion Picture



This Day in Science Fiction History examines notable events, real and fictional, concerning fantasy and science fiction in various media.


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