Anti-Trident activists poster London with "Become a Suicide Bomber" spoof naval recruiting ads

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The pedant in me is really bothered by the imprecise substitution of bomb for warhead. I know that the spoof relies on this exchange but it speaks to the credibility of the poster. Maybe if they had kept the socking headline but used warhead in the body it wouldn’t bother me so much.

The poster is intended to bother you.


It’s working, but perhaps not in the way intended.


Thanks for the posting about the project Cory!

Longtime reader, first-time nuclear bus stop poster designer.


Propaganda is less about accuracy than impact.

I feel like ‘Nuclear warheads are suicide warheads’ doesn’t grab as much?

But you’re the first person that has brought this up, even among the RN submariners berating me for what they see as inaccuracy in my claims about certainty of death post-launch.

I drew a short comic which explains my reasoning behind the ‘suicide’ claim at if yr interested.


So I see you claim that a Trident sub takes 30 minutes to launch all it’s missiles (or a launch rate of about one missile every two minutes). But there’s declassified footage of a Trident sub launching 4 missiles at 15 second intervals, or 8 times faster.

Also, why would the Russians waste a missile (or multiple missiles, as land based missiles are restricted by treaty to single warheads) on killing a now useless submarine?

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It seems this also assumes that the sub sticks around to launch all its missiles from one place rather than, say, launching a third of its complement within a few minutes and then diving and changing its course as quickly as possible to avoid the worst of the retaliatory strike and prepare for a possible second launch.


Just being a devils advocate, (because personally I think the poster is trite nonsense which ignores the fundamental fact that weapons like this exist, and ONLY the threat that use of it will bring retaliation lets us all continue to exist these last 70 years . . . but hey, public debate is like that, we have to listen to all sorts of rubbish to get to the good stuff . . .) but they don’t send normal weapons after important targets like a nuke sub.
They vector a MIRV into the general area the moment they detect it launching, and destroy the entire thousand square kilometers. Sub wouldn’t be fast enough to avoid it, even if it just launched one and went for it.


I always wondered what happened to that hamster.


I can’t find the video, do you have a link?

Even if there were only a small chance of being able to stop a single UK missile launch with a return Russian missile it would be worth destroying the sub, they have more missiles to spare than cities.

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Even if the sub commander did this, got back up to speed tried to avoid an incoming strike, these are boats that can go top speed 20knots/23mph. How far would it get, considering a return strike could easily bracket its position? Pressure waves move faster, further and are stronger underwater.

So from a nuclear strategy point of view, you’d be risking having the UK’s only nuclear-armed submarine sunk with two-thirds of its payload because of a desire to save the crew? Meanwhile millions die on land. It makes more sense to release all the missiles when the order comes through, and keep firing until you’re taken out.

I mean I say “makes more sense” - nuclear strategy is a product of insanity.


I was thinking more along the lines of “a desire to retain the option of launching an additional attack if needed, possibly from a more strategically advantageous position.”

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In nuclear war strategic advantage comes from being first.

Also because Trident is a counter-force nuclear weapon there is an added pressure in firing first and firing everything you have, it’s designed to be able to take out the enemy’s ability to fire back. This is the reason Bob Aldridge, former Trident engineer resigned from the program. He said that Trident moved away from deterrence towards the idea of being able to ‘win’ a nuclear war.

This might be why the UK refuses to rule out a first-strike with nuclear weapons.


That’s a major factor to be sure, but if it were the only consideration they wouldn’t have bothered building NORAD under a mountain.

In common parlance, the word “bomb” can be applied to pretty much any explosive device. What’s the technical distinction between a bomb and a warhead?

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I’m pretty sure that’s it. On mobile at the moment , but the title matches.

Agree or disagree, it is a masterful modern Operation Mindfuck. You aren’t supposed to agree with the poster (amirite, @darren_cullen?), but think for yourself, and draw your own conclusions. And stop swallowing every propaganda poster as truth.

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A warhead is a payload delivered by missile, rocket, or torpedo. Bombs are unpowered devices dropped from aircraft. Everything else is an explosive charge or explosive device.

I understand that general parlance accepts bomb as a catch-all for explosive device but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of actions using missiles or rockets described as bombing. Generally you hear of missile strikes and rocket attacks.

I am well aware of how pedantic I am being here but “specificity is the soul of narrative” and so I’m bothered by what comes across to me as poor attention to detail.

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That’s interesting. It’s a US test right? I don’t think the UK has never done a test like this, I assume due to the insane cost, each Trident missile being essentially a space rocket - the closest thing we have to a space program.

But I’ll say, even if a UK sub is able to fire its missiles in half the time, I’ve been told by RN submariners that the Russians are constantly able to find and follow the Trident sub. There’s a good chance in a heightened state of nuclear alert the Russians will be able to take it out with conventional means as soon as it prepares to launch the first missile.

Even if that is not the case, and our submarine fires all its missiles and escapes back home. Exactly how long can we expect the crew to survive in an irradiated, famine hit UK, already decimated by national firestorms?

If anyone has problems with the suicide aspect of the poster, I think they’re essentially arguing over the amount of time the suicide takes.