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The Third World War: The Untold Story



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AAFCE Central Europe

AAM Air to Air Missile(s)

ABM anti-Ballistic Missile

ACLANT Allied Command Atlantic

AEW airborne early warning

AFCENT Allied Forces Central Europe

AFNORTH Allied Forces Northern Europe

AFSOUTH Allied Forces Southern Europe

AFV armoured fighting vehicle(s)

AI Air Intercept

AIRCENT Allied Air Forces Central Europe

AIRSOUTH Southern Europe

ALCM air-launched cruise missile(s)

ANC African National Congress

ANG Atlantique nouvelle generation (French ASW aircraft)

APC armoured personnel-carrier(s)

ARM anti-radiation missile

ASEAN Association of South-East Asian Nations

ASW anti-submarine warfare

ATAF Allied Tactical Air Force

ATFS automatic terrain following system

ATGW anti-tank guided weapon(s)

AWACS airborne warning and control system

BATES battlefield artillery target engagement system

BMP boevaya mashina pekhoty (Soviet infantry combat vehicle)

BTR bronetransporter (Soviet APC)

CAFDA Commandement Air de Forces de Defence Aeriennes

CAP combat air patrol(s)

CCP Chinese Communist Party

CENTAG Central Army Group

CEP circular error probable

CINCEASTLANT Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Atlantic

CINCENT Commander-in-Chief, Central Region

CINCHAN Commander-in-Chief, Channel

CINCNORTH Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Northern Europe

CINCSOUTH Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe

CINCUKAIR Commander-in-Chief, United Kingdom Air Forces

CINCUSNAVEUR Commander-in-Chief, US Navy Europe

CINCWESTLANT Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic

CMP counter-military potential

COB co-located base(s)

COMAAFCE Commander Allied Air Forces Central Europe

COMBALTAP Commander Allied Forces Baltic Approaches

COMECON Council for Mutual and Economic Aid

CPA Czechoslovak People’s Army

CPSU Communist Party of the Soviet Union

CW Chemical Warfare

DIA Defence Intelligence Agency

DIVADS divisional air defence system

EASTLANT Eastern Atlantic

ECM electronic counter-measures

ECCM electronic counter-counter- measures

ELINT electronic intelligence

EMP electro-magnetic pulse

ENG electronic newsgathering

ESM electronic support measure(s)

EWO electronic warfare officer(s)

FBS forward based systems

FEBA forward edge of the battle area

FNLA Angolan National Liberation Front

FRELIMO Mozambique Liberation Front

FRG Federal Republic of Germany

FROG free-range over ground (SSM)

FY fiscal year

GAF German Air Force

GDR (DDR) German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik)

GLCM ground-launched cruise missile(s)

GNP gross national product

GRU Glavnoye Razedivatelnoe Upravlenie (Soviet Military Intelligence)

GSFG Group of Soviet Forces in Germany Group

HARM high speed anti-radiation missile

HAS hardened aircraft shelter

HAWK homing killer all the way (SAM)

HE high-explosive

HOT high-subsonic optically teleguided (ATM)

ICBM inter-continental ballistic missile(s)

I/D interceptor/destroyer

IFF identification friend or foe

IGB inner German border

INLA Irish National Liberation Army

IONA Isles of the North Atlantic

IR infra-red

JACWA Joint Allied Command Western Approaches

JTIDS Joint Tactical Information Distribution System

KGB Komitet Gosudarstrennoi Bezaposnosti (Soviet secret police)

LAW light-armour weapon

LRMP long-range maritime patrol(s)

MAD mutual assured destruction

MCM mine counter-measures

MIDS multi-functional information distribution system

MIRV multiple individually targeted re-entry vehicle(s)

MLRS multiple-launch rocket system

MNR Mozambique National Resistance

MPLA Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola

MRCA multiple role combat aircraft

MRUSTAS medium-range unmanned aerial surveillance & targeting system

NAAFI Navy, Army & Air Force Institutes

NADGE NATO air-defence ground environment

NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NCO non-commissioned officer

NORTHAG Northern Army Group

NPA National People’s Army

OAS Organization of American States

OAU Organization for African Unity

ODCA Organization Democratica Cristiana de America

PACAF Pacific Air Force

PLA People’s Liberation Army

PLSS precision location strike system

RAAMS remote anti-armour mine system

RDM remotely delivered mine(s)

REMBAS remotely monitored battlefield sensor system

RPV remotely-piloted vehicle(s)

RWR radar warning receiver

SAC Strategic Air Command

SACEUR Supreme Allied Commander Europe

SACLANT Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic

SADARM seek and destroy armour (ATGW)

SAF Soviet Air Force

SALT Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

SAM surface-to-air missile(s)

SHAPE Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe

SHQ squadron headquarters

Sitrep situation report

SLBM submarine-launched ballistic missile(s)

SLCM submarine-launched cruise missile(s)

SLEP service life extension programme

SNAF Soviet Naval Air Force

SOTAS stand-off target acquisition system

SOUTHAG Southern Army Group

SP self-propelled

SRF Strategic Rocket Forces (Soviet)

SSBN submarine(s), strategic ballistic nuclear

SSGN submarine(s), guided missile nuclear

SSM surface-to-surface missile(s)

SSN submarine(s), nuclear

START Strategic Arms Reduction Talks

SURTASS surface-towed array sensor system

SWAPO South-west Africa People’s Organization

TACEVAL tactical evaluation

TACFIRE tactical fire direction

TACTASS tactical towed array sonar system

TAWDS target acquisition and weapon delivery system

TERCOM terrain contour matching (guidance system)

TNF theatre nuclear force(s)

TOW tube launched optically tracked wire guided (ATGW)

UKAD United Kingdom Air Defence

UNIFIL United Nations Force in Lebanon

UNFISMATRECO United Nations Fissile Materials Recovery Organization

UNITA National Union for the Total Independence of Angola

USAF United States Air Force

USAFE United States Air Force Europe

USAREUR United States Army in Europe

VELA velocity and angle of attack

V/STOL vertical/short take-off and landing

WESTLANT Western Atlantic

ZANLA Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army

ZIPRA Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army


Earlier this year, at Eastertide in 1987, we, a group of Britons deeply aware of how narrowly such freedoms as the Western world enjoys had been able to survive the onslaught upon them of the enemies of freedom in August 1985, completed a book about the causes, course and outcome of the Third World War. In the prologue to that book (a short piece of writing of which every word stands as firmly today, six months later, as it did then, and perhaps deserves re-reading) we wrote: ‘Much will be said and written about these events in years to come, as further sources come to light and further thought is given to this momentous passage in the history of our world.’ A good deal more information has indeed become available since then.

The belligerent involvement of Sweden and Ireland, for example, was passed over in our first book, not through unawareness of its importance but through uncertainty about the political implications of some aspects of it which suggested an approach like that of Agag, who trod delicately. The same was true of the neutrality of Israel, under joint guarantees from the USSR and the USA. We could do little more than state this at that time as an end-product, since here too there were uncertainties in issues where precipitate judgment could have been prejudicial. We are now able to go more fully into the process which led to the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state and the stabilization of Israeli frontiers under guarantee, though the reader will note that the great powers came very near to such conflict over this issue as could have caused the Third World War to break out at least a year before it did.



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