Simplifies the aiming problem I suppose

Britain could move nuclear submarines to France if Scotland backs independence

It should be easier if you’re only trying to hit the place you’re already in….

16 thoughts on “Simplifies the aiming problem I suppose”

  1. Surely the point of having a submarine nuclear deterrent is that the enemy can’t destroy it in a first strike as they don’t know where it is.

    I’d favour the Falkland Islands as a way of reassuring two governments of the UK’s long term commitment to defend them. Unfortunately the UK is a party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco which bans nuclear weapons in Latin America.

    Ascension Island seems a good second choice – it has no indigenous population and is not (so far) claimed by any other state. Climate, excellent communications links and existing military presence also help.

  2. @Tony PS73

    It’s pretty hard to hide submarine bases.

    The base isn’t that big an issue anyway – nuclear subs are out on rotation for months on end (and any war involving nukes would be over long before they put back into port for maintenance etc) so you’d only get a bit of the fleet.

    But insofar as it is I don’t think Ascension would be a good idea – a military-only target would be an easier hit for anyone who was prepared to drop a nuke but didn’t want to kill hundreds of thousands of civvies because of the PR fall out, or didn’t want to destroy the country it was planning to take over.

    (I appreciate that either of these are fairly unlikely scenarios, but they’re just about plausible and would be made possible by putting our eggs in an isolated basket. It’s why tactical nukes exist, really.)

  3. Use Cornwall, it’s radioactive already.

    Or buy the Faroe Islands from Denmark. We could offer them the Isle of Wight in exchange.

  4. @Interested

    My first point was responding to Tim’s facetious (I hope!) suggestion that the missiles would be launched at France from France. Easy for the French to counter that scenario if the missiles are on their territory. I’ve watched Crimson Tide so I’m an expert on how the submarine nuclear deterrent works!

    As for the topless dictator being less concerned about the PR fallout if our sub base is on a remote island then I suggest that we use one that’s an offshore financial hub and encourage his mates to hold their wealth there.

  5. No, just annex Orkney and restore the Scapa Flow naval base. From the last referendum, Orcadians are strongly anti-independence and would love the defense dollars when the oil runs out.

  6. Thinking further, the Shetlands would then beg to be annexed for the same reasons, which would create a ripple effect leaving the People’s deep-fried mars bar republic of Glasgow.

  7. What everybody seems to miss is that the things are so obviously safe that the last thing the british government wants is to park them in actual Britain…

    Food for thought, mayhaps?

  8. @philip

    The British Virgin Islands is genius. A tropical nuclear-armed offshore financial centre being attacked by a semi-naked megalomaniac has dramatic possibilities.

  9. You need access to deep water and the Arctic Ocean. Scapa would do fine. Did I ever tell you about the time I reached the top of the Old Man of Hoy? I did not get out of the helicopter.

  10. I’ve watched Crimson Tide so I’m an expert on how the submarine nuclear deterrent works!

    Unfortunately, the British Independent Nuclear Deterrent doesn’t work like that. It’s mostly protected by a bike lock and a steely look from the commanding officer.

    As a foreigner in Scotland it would be rather nice not to be living just over the horizon from a primary target, so I would certainly be in favour of a move to Ascension Island. The logistics would be a bitch though.

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