Able Archer by Lars Lichtenfeld
[Novel, Alternative History, Approx. 270 Pages/80.000 Words]
In September 1983, the United States and NATO carried out a joint military exercise called “Able Archer ‘83” to simulate a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. They forgot to tell they Soviets it was all pretend.
The Americans moved troops into forward positions, conducted naval exercises with the South Koreans, and airlifted more than 16,000 soldiers into the European theatre—preparing for an all-out war. After months of American spy aircraft overflying easternmost Russia, the Soviet Union was developing an itchy trigger-finger and shot down a civilian airliner that had mistakenly wandered into their airspace. And the world held its breath.
Then, in the midst of the saber-rattling of war hawks in both the East and West, a Soviet early warning satellite picked up a launch. A signal was sent to a detection station, just outside of Moscow. The Americans had launched a missile. The fate of the world came to one man’s interpretation of the computer’s information. One man would have the power to stop nuclear Armageddon or let the world slip into full-scale war.
What you just read is true. Every word of it. In September 1983, America was ratcheting up its position against the Soviets. President Reagan dramatically increased military spending. Troops were moved, as were weapons. The Soviets shot down KAL–007. A sickly, dying Yuri Andropov ruled the USSR from a hospital bed. And, Soviet satellites did register multiple ICBM launches from American silos during NATO war exercises.
But what if? What if the Americans didn’t realize the Soviets were so paranoid? What if a lone watch commander with a skeptical mind and healthy understanding of human nature wasn’t on duty that night? What if spies caught in the intrigue figured out the situation and tried to stop it? What if one finger pushed one button?
Able Archer gives us the answers to, “What if?”
This is the first book in a trilogy. The second part, Autumn Forge, is being edited. A pilot screenplay is available.
Lars Lichtenfeld was born and raised in Central New Jersey. He left the region in 1989 to attend the University of South Carolina, where he studied English Composition. His time in Columbia, SC afforded him the opportunity to study under great writers William Price Fox and James Dickey, and workshop with Kurt Vonnegut. Lars is proud to be the father to two wonderful young adults who inspire him to be better every day.
Lars has written professionally for minor league sports franchises and venues; the Command Psychologist for Recruiting and Retention, US Army; the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Dept. of Homeland Security; SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Concerns; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and the Dept. of Veteran Affairs.