Tuesday, April 26, 2016

W is for World War III

If you are a child of the Cold War, you may remember this two night, television special in 1982 called World War III. It stars Rock Hudson as the US President, and the only other famous actor was Kathy Lee Crosby from That's Incredible!  Well, there are some other well known actors but these are the only two I recognized at the time.

The story is simple - a crack company of Soviet commandos drop into Alaska to take over/destroy a part of the Alaskan pipeline in retaliation of a US imposed grain embargo. The Soviet paratroopers drop in before a storm, so no Naval, Air Force, or Army units can get up there to stop them. Lucky for the US, a National Guard platoon out on maneuvers (with live ammunition) is in the area, and a battle ensues at a pumping station.

The show is very realistic and I remember being mesmerized when I saw it. Of course, my friends and I went out to play in the snow and reenact it.

One of the key battles is at an oil pumping station where the Americans hide in pipes and ambush the advancing Soviets. I built a diorama of that using large foil tubing and several GI Joe Arctic troopers.

For decades it was very difficult to find this movie. I bought a VHS copy on Ebay for over $100 years ago. I was looking to transfer it to DVD when a quick look at Amazon showed me it was now easily available on DVD.

Soviet Paratroopers organizing their gear after landing.

They dropped in one all terrain command and control vehicle.

American troops in pipes wait for the ambush.

Farther perspective of the pipes in front of the pumping station. 

DVD case photo. Order it on Amazon

My recreation converted into one of my early puzzles. 

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