patch of the 393 bomber squadron

The Chernobyl raid is considered the second greatest American intelligence disaster of WWIII, second only to missing the preperations by the Soviet Union and its allies for the invasion of North America. Admittedly every Western intelligence agency had missed the signs of the invasion too and they also made the same mistake regarding Chernobyl

Based on the last satellite images and aerial reconissance, the SAC believed that of the 6 reactors, of which 2 were under construction and the other 4 still incomplete, were offline and defueled so they ordered the strike to hit the power plant before it could be completed.

The attack was carried out by FB-111s of the 393rd Bomb Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing based at Pease AFB, ironically the same wing who dropped the first nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and was, from a pure military point of view an unmitigated success with at least 4 Mk.84 bombs hitting the target and with all the aircraft safely arriving in Turkey, where after the customary 24 hours internment they were sent back in the USA via Cyprus and Gibraltar.

spread of radiation in Europe from Chernobyl

Unluckily the intel possessed by SAC was faulty, the reactors were back online and hadn't been defueled this caused the dispersion of radioactive material that the wind would spread over all of the old continent.

The Politburo decided to cover up the event to prevent panic in the local population, so nobody in Western Europe knew what happened at Chernobyl until late in the day in April 27, 36 hours later, when a radiation alarm went off at the Forsmark nuclear station in Sweden.

Immediately in all the EU nations panicked people demanded action and solutions, spontaneous demonstrations, and protests and some riots happened before all the US embassy and consulate. The precautionary measures taken in response to the radiation included seemingly arbitrary regulations banning the importation of certain foods but not others. In France some officials stated that the Chernobyl accident had no adverse effects. In UK It contaminated some hill farms (some Welsh hill farms have only recently been given the all clear), which affected the food supply to a degree and it set off a lot of RADIAC monitors, which were badly adjusted.

Official figures in southern Bavaria in Germany indicated that some wild plant species contained substantial levels of caesium, which were believed to have been passed onto them by wild boars, a significant number of which had already contained radioactive particles above the allowed level, consuming them.
Il disastro di Chernobyl 20060506

Chernobyl power plant after the attack (photo courtesly from SAC)

Soon the green propaganda against nuclear energy and weapons hit the street with a vengeance, dozens of commercials were produced (many government funding) about the dangers of nuclear energy with great results. Indeed in Italy it almost succeed in winning a referendum about stopping the construction of nuclear plant, the result being in favour by a mere 2% and even in France some politicians and activists demanded the elimination of all the Force de Frappe an event unthinkable till that moment.

This public relation disaster, united by the utterly refusal of the United States to appologize for the raid, temporaly restored the rating approval of the various green/left government giving them at least three more months of life and delaying the invitable political crisis between the hard left/neutralist and the moderate.

Behind the scene the Chiefs of Staff of Italy, France and Germany at the behalf of all the EU members and affiliated states sent an ultimatum to the American President - if there was another attack on nuclear power plant in European Russia or the Near East the unofficial lifeline, the intelligence sharing, the humanitarian help would be stopped and the Allies would be truly alone. At the same time the Secretary General of the USSR received a personal message from Armando Cossuta stating that the European Parliament in a secret and emergency session deliberated that a Soviet retaliation against any Allied nuclear installation will immediately followed by a formal Declaration of War by the European Union against the Warsaw Pact and all its allies. Both adversaries protested against this intrusion on their war plans but in end decided to follow the European terms, to many politicianans, military officers and economists this was the first proof of how much an United Europe can acconplish and how a truly new player in the superpower arena was born.

The official inquiry on this intellicenge debacle stated the 8 April 1992 in their final session that a faulty interpretation of the available photoreconnisance pictures was the cause of the mistaken attack, so absolving the commander of the bomber squadron and the SAC commanders which led to protests by many activists in South America and Europe.