The First Cities To Be Nuked

The First Cities To Be Nuked

What cities would be nuked first? Well, first, or as part of a “first wave”, certainly a priority will include military targets. Although that’s not the focus of this post (I’m just looking at “cities”), it is an important consideration!

[ Read: Some of the Military Targets to be Nuked ]

“… a list of United States military targets likely to be hit first compared with others. Although there are lots of military installations, the following military nuclear targets logically seem more likely than others to be on primary target lists.”

After (or while) the primary military command & control have been nuked…

After (or while) all of the primary military command and control centers have been nuked (Military Nuclear Targets), have you ever wondered which cities would be nuked first?

It’s an unpleasant thought! And is something that most people believe would never happen. Note that at one time between Russia and the United States alone, there were more than 20,000 nuclear warheads. Though apparently fewer these days, there are enough to destroy us all!

Not that long ago during the years of the Cuban missile crisis, every American feared the worst, while the U.S. and the USSR were seemingly ready to end the world as we know it…

Since then, stockpiles have been reduced somewhat, but in the big picture it is mostly irrelevant. If anything, the world is more dangerous today as radical nations add their own nuclear weapons to the world’s nuclear arsenal.

[ Read: US Nuclear Target Map ]

“…based on a number of factors while looking at other maps and data including military installations, nuclear weapons storage and silo locations, bases, cities, etc..”

Depending on the engagement (who, what, and to what end), military and/or key infrastructure targets may likely be hit first, but it won’t be long down the target list until major cities may be taken out.

In a worst case all-out nuclear engagement, we might consider that many or all cities could be hit, given the number of nukes that are available to countries like Russia and even China.

Top 30 Most Populated Cities

Regardless, most or many of us are at risk. However, a logical place to start the thought process may be this…

The following is a map highlighting the Top 30 most populated cities (and Metropolitan Statistical Areas – MSA) in the United States, followed by the population list for each.

The metro areas themselves are located in the middle of the yellow highlighted regions, and some of them overlap with the cities from the top-30 list (red).

The diameter of the colored regions simply represent a potential evacuation perimeter to escape nuclear fallout, although this will be widely variable depending on wind patterns, detonation (ground burst vs. air burst) and payload. It is a general indication to help visualize an exodus.

First 30 Cities To Be Nuked

Full size map (3MB)

I have included the locations of any operating nuclear power plants that happen to be located within any of the MSA’s and cities listed. They are highlighted for added risk assessment.

To see where all of the nuclear power plants are located within the United States, check here:

[ Read: US Nuclear Power Plant Locations & Live Wind Flow Map For ‘Fallout’ ]

What Cities Would Be Nuked First?

 
CITY LIMITS POPULATION
1. New York (8,175,133)
2. Los Angeles (3,792,621)
3. Chicago (2,695,598)
4. Houston (2,099,451)
5. Philadelphia (1,526,006)
6. Phoenix (1,445,632)
7. San Antonio (1,327,407)
8. San Diego (1,307,402)
9. Dallas (1,197,816)
10. San Jose (945,942)
11. Jacksonville (821,784)
12. Indianapolis (820,445)
13. San Francisco (805,235)
14. Austin (790,390)
15. Columbus (787,033)
16. Fort Worth (741,206)
17. Charlotte (731,424)
18. Detroit (713,777)
19. El Paso (649,121)
20. Memphis (646,889)
21. Baltimore (620,961)
22. Boston (617,594)
23. Seattle (608,660)
24. Washington (601,723)
25. Nashville (601,222)
26. Denver (600,158)
27. Louisville (597,337)
28. Milwaukee (594,833)
29. Portland (583,776)
30. Las Vegas (583,756)

METRO AREAS (population – millions)
1. New York (19.6)
2. Los Angeles (12.8)
3. Chicago (9.5)
4. Dallas-Fort Worth (6.4)
5. Houston (5.9)
6. Philadelphia (5.9)
7. Washington (5.6)
8. Miami (5.6)
9. Atlanta (5.3)
10. Boston (4.6)
11. San Francisco (4.3)
12. Riverside (4.2)
13. Phoenix (4.2)
14. Detroit (4.2)
15. Seattle (3.4)
16. Minneapolis-St. Paul (3.3)
17. San Diego (3.1)
18. Tampa-St. Petersburg (2.8)
19. St. Louis (2.8)
20. Baltimore (2.7)
21. Denver (2.5)
22. Pittsburgh (2.4)
23. Charlotte (2.2)
24. Portland OR (2.2)
25. San Antonio (2.1)
26. Orlando (2.1)
27. Sacramento (2.1)
28. Cincinnati (2.1)
29. Cleveland (2.1)
30. Kansas City (2)

[ Read: 5 Nuclear Radiation Detector Choices ]

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302 Comments

  1. Seriously, who cares enough about Indianapolis to nuke it? I like Indianapolis, but in terms of high-value targets, it’s not even on the radar of serious terrorists.

    1. Nick, the way I read it, the cities on the list are the top 30 most populated cities in the country. I don’t think the OP was evaluating target value, but just showing where the highest population is, which is logical for maximum human elimination (except for EMP which would do far more damage, just not all in one instant).

      1. technically they could nuke New York City cause the US Stock exchange,the UN,and there would be so many casualty’s, it could be D.C. cause our government resides there,or important cities in Michigan cause General Motors (one of the biggest car manufacture)is in Michigan, or whats left of it, it would completely halt the car industry cause if it wasn’t in Michigan it would still halt cause they would be building tank and guns like in world war 2

        1. I am sure right now while we read this sneaky types are collecting data on which factories are closed and which ones are new or still open and adjusting the targeting of the nukes aimed at us. I mean why waste a nuke on a ghost town or a closed plant? We should consider some new potential targets. That island off the East coast that launches private space ships, etc. Worse place in America to be is probably Frederick, MD, but maybe Washington, DC is just as bad. Then there is the Strangelove gambit. Where the sub just sits quietly on the sea bed for a few weeks before launching. That way you get them just after they came out of their bunker for more food.

          1. Let’s not forget the cell phone towers which can emit frequencies on part with a nuclear blast.

          2. I live two hours away from Seattle I just wondering if I would survive

          3. if seatle is hit,it will probably set off that nice little volcano.in that case,two hours away probably wont matter.

          4. You have no idea how much information large organizations of terrorists know

          5. If Nuclear war happens the warheads could be shot blind and the world as we know it would cease their are no winners in a nuclear exchange really good for nothing..thats just way too much energy.. all life is wiped out…gone no more..

          6. Who says there would be an exchange? Seems that we are infiltrated all the way up to the phoney prez elect. Pre placed nukes maybe a plan B to a legal takeover. Biden plans to hand us over to the UN/Chi axis. It is possibly gonna fail, so if their covid camps spur a patriot uprising they may just have Chi EMP us and an inside job with some targets where nukes are already present and waiting. Then after that they can continue their great reset, and have less population to encamp and exterminate.
            Seems to be a hi probably at this point. C’mon man, a potatoe that can’t get 10 cars in a line supposedly won with mountains of voter fraud. Media totally saying there was none (there is always some even if insignificant) after 4 yrs of crying rigges election.
            Trump can say something 100% true and it still be called conspiracy. So it seems we are so infiltrated the elite may not know how to get out safely without nuking the nation as a plan B or C to handing us over to the agenda21 UN/CHi axis of NWO where Barrak and Gates already have their positions situated

          7. Nukes come after the emps.
            Pre planted nukes work much better then missiles as they are more anonymous

        2. I’m from Tucson and we’ve always been taught in our schools what to do in a case of nuclear attack. Scary cause there’s much you can’t do. It scares me that we have ratheon here they make nuclear weapons for the u.s. it’s always been a good economy source for the city. But scary to think anyone could nuke these sites in the u.s and the economy would then crumble anyway, thus starving and killing more. If they nuked us in our economy district we could still bounce back cause we can defend ourselves.

          1. I live in Denver, and I know we are not the most populated city. But we would be nuked before more populated areas because of the Air Force Base. Fallout would get me before anything else :(

          2. I live in Denver as well. I kind of think they’d take out Colorado Springs before Denver. But, who knows. Hopefully we’ll never find out. Peace.

          3. This was my thought too, being that NORAD & Fort Carson are both there along with the Airforce Academy and like 2 other military installations.

          4. They’d hit both Colorado Springs, as well as Denver. What you may be failing to recognize is that Denver has been slowly converted into “The Second Federal City,” replacing San Francisco. Their intentions would be for Denver to become the center of government, in the event of the destruction of Washington D.C..

          5. Hello, im curious to know how to survive a nuclear attack? I live in Ohio close to camp perry and davis bessy nuclear power plant. I tried to look up bomb shelters in this area and there was no results. I know people have to be underground when a blast goes off, but how deep. If I dug a shelter for me and my family what are the specs you guys recommend. Thanks.. Brian Stinson.

          6. @Brian, If you live near a military installation, you will likely not survive a nuclear attack. Just saying… It is the ugly truth.

          7. there are a lot of variables ,and there are also a lot of plans on the net but if you do a shelter make sure you have a proper ventilation system or it wont matter if you survive the blast you wont survive the rads. also plan to be under for several months , meaning food meds and water enough for your family for at least 6 months

          8. In any nuclear detonation, the 100% destruction zone ranges from 5 miles to 15 miles depending on the warhead. The Russian Tsar Bomba 50-100 Megatons can take a 15 mile radius and burn it to nothing in under 1 minute. This is the largest nuke in the world’s arsenals. A common 30 Megaton warhead will ‘ eat ‘ a 5-8 mile radius in a flash and burn it to nothing in seconds. If you are even informed of an attack the ground zero burn zone and the extended burn and blast zones are inescapable. Common tactics dating back to the cold war era are for several missiles to be targeted at the same location in the event of a missile failure. The strategy is to air detonate first to stop all traffic and electrical functions leaving everyone in place for the ground detonations intended to kill and create fall out for continued infliction of casualties. If you seriously want to try to outlive an attack you need to move to the Antarctic. The radiation from 1 rogue bomb will kill for decades. Just imagine 3-5 per city. Good luck to you. I remember worrying about nukes when I was a soldier. Now? Why worry about anything? I have never seen worry lift a car off of a pinned victim ya know?…

          9. Brian, Suppose you DID survive? What are you going to return to? If there is any functioning system of government, there will not be anyone left to govern. Those scarce few who emerge unscathed will be grief-stricken beyond imagination. Please don’t think your little band of plucky survivors are going to cooperate together very long, because I can assure you that THEY WILL NOT. You need to have HOPE to do that, and in the wake of a nuclear war, hope will be obsolete. I believe in God, but unless He breaks with tradition, and intervenes to save us from such unfathomable horrors, you can just forget it. It’ll be over. You want to drag yourself and your family through THAT? Why?

          10. Hope is there as long as you live. It is a state of mind, not a thing you can lay your hands on. People will survive, mishaps not like now, but they will survive. And yes there will be hope and man kind will once again thrive and manage to instill some kind of order from cohos. You do not give up till you are dead.

          11. A nuclear war is NOT war, It’s the end of mankind!!…. You don’t WANT to survive a nuclear attack!!

          12. So would we suffer the same fate in Law Vegas due to the air force base?

          13. Bobby, I have some news for you. There will not be any ‘bouncing back’. There won’t be anything. I lived in wonderful Tucson for 10 years. Don’t forget about Davis-Monthon Air Force base. The Russians would vaporize our beloved Tucson in the first wave. And they would do so gleefully. Russians don’t value human life the way Americans do. They are more than willing to take massive combat and civilian casualties. They always have. They have plenty of people. And THAT is what makes them so dangerous.

          14. In my opinion they would bomb Colorado due to them having so many bases it would br hard to attack due to all the bases but then they would destroy a huge military base , fort carson. This is a terrifying thought though but its realistic in how someone might think in a war.Cause yea taking out a very populated place can hurt someone in war but bombing let’s say new York then Colorado that would be devastating and a very dangerous thought of WW3 being a nuclear war.

        3. They actaully have built another US stock market room .its idenicle in every way . It’s below ground and would be unaffected other then loss of human traders .

        4. I think all this LARP is funny. The way I understand it the powers that be in this world have stuff much more awesome than clumsy nuclear weapons and have started fighting the mind war much more seriously than the physical war. Just as scary. Nukes are foremost symbols and strategic tools not really meant under current doctrine to be used the way you’re imagining bc you’ve seen movies that propagate that meme magick. If say the great mass of Russian armor moved across the masovian plain then maybe nukes would hold them but I doubt maneuvers like that will happen in the next big war. Everything you are worried about saying don’t post that don’t give them ideas they’ve already thought of-there are people who spend their entire career in the military just thinking like you do of different scenarios and those all I’m sure have already been thought of and set aside. Military leaders are as aware of fallout etc as we are I don’t think they ever seriously considered living underground unless this Epstein neo nazi cult is real.

        1. Anchorage is not a threat, America would probably not get nuked first. India and Pakistan HATE eachother, Pakistan would love to see Mumbai reduced to ash. But yeah, LA, NY, and DC should watch out…

          1. dont forget kansass city or omaha.key points of communication.and of course the ace in the hole.one little nuke to yellowstone would end us all for sure!

          2. tony
            If the Yellow Stone goes off the entire plant is toast. One has to understand this plant is like is space ship unto it’s self. If it is damaged there is little to no survival for anything or one.

            Oh, forgot those who have expensive bunkers might survive depending their storage limits, then again in house fighting over food stores.

        2. I would have to say the AK bases would be high on the list because we are close and would be the first to respond to any of the west coast threats. History has shown we are very studious in holding ground and stopping threats. Sounding in from Palmer

    2. My city is a small town with a large Air Force base involved with pilot training and air cargo. I feel we are a bigger target than the cities. WE are defense and response. Yet we are not on the map. Good thing too. I just don’t believe it.

      1. Defense targets are of little significance when it comes to thermo-nuclear war. Most of our military would be emotionally wiped out by such a strike and be combat ineffective for quite some time. Plus most of your military supplies are either generated or travel through these areas. Taking out the major metropolitian area’s also kills transportation nationwide. If you can’t move fuel, food, and ammo, you can have the biggest army and airforce in the world but it would be absolutely useless….

        1. Bill, those are valid arguments. Makes sense. Pinch off supply and distribution from major hubs (the major cities).

          1. Exactly! Same way you would combat Martial Law! Cut off supply of food, water, and replacement personnel, and it will implode on itself.

          2. Any attack like that would surely set off a full scale nuclear war.

            Reasoning:
            Power and loss of government.

            Neither Russia or the U.S. (especially the Oligarchy) would stand for loss of power.
            There is a balance and a chaotic attack would tip it.
            There would be more pros than cons that would trigger a full nuclear response:

            Pro:
            Law enforcement systems would have broken down and a nuclear exchange would be more safe for those in power.
            They would essentially be killing their lawless population by proxy.
            Gaining immense power an authority.
            Democracy as we know it would be suspended, if not destroyed.

            Con:
            They would have to stay under ground for a long while.
            A smaller risk of their own security turning against them.
            Material wealth is lost.

        2. I disagree, notice that N. Korea top targets are Japan, Guam, and Hawaii, all major military command, communication and defense sites.

          1. I disagree as well. Even smaller cities with major highway / rail hubs will be targeted. Any airport with a useable runway able to handle military aircraft will also be under consideration. It’s not like there aren’t enough nukes that they have to be particular.

          2. Those maps are FEMA maps from 1990 – 23 years ago – hardly updated but probably the most reliable guess for an attack from either Russia or China.

          3. dont forget our nuclear submarines location are never known. with 24 nuclear warheads on each sub.each warhead capableof 30 times the explosive power of nagasaki or hiroshima. thier hidden for that senerio. the submarines locations at any given time are only known to a very very few. most comments here focus on ground action. strange to me. maybe everyone thinks its best to keep our nuclear submarines a secret. so ill shut my trap

          4. They don’t want to destroy infrastructure. The enemy will need it. They do want to hit us hard in major locations,wipe out some big cities and ports.

          5. No, anyone attacking the US would most definitely want to wipe us out all together. They wouldn’t have any reservations about infrastructure …. it’s not like they are invading. If it were a major nuclear attack it would come from China or Russia, and it would be total annihilation. It would be mutually assured destruction too, as the US would wipe them out as well.

            If there is a major attack like this, taking out multiple cities, it is the end of the world. Nobody is invading anybody in attempts to take over land.

          6. That sir is the best statement on the thread , if anyone launches more than 1 nuke it is total destruction because if they launch we launch then it is game over

          7. you realize that it only takes 9-12 nukes to sterilize the earth. good bye humanity.

          8. Although they are absolutely military targets, North Korea has probably targeted Japan, Guam, and Hawaii as a function of the range of their delivery systems as opposed to their military value.

          9. Those are top targets because thats the range of their current missile development.

          10. Those might be North Korea’s targets, but it’s not based on strategic targeting of bases – it’s the maximum reach of any rocket North Korea might be able to launch. They are very limited in ICBM capability. Most reports show that they would have a hard time, if not an impossibility all together, trying to even reach the west coast of the US (let alone anywhere else in the US such as east coast targets). If they can, LA, Seattle, San Francisco will all be North Korea’s top targets. Until then, they should be able to hit Hawaii, Guam, and of course, Japan, so that is currently where it is estimated that they would launch their missiles towards. It’s all about range, not strategy.

          11. Well after North Koreas breakthrough with launching a nuclear missile from a submarine. That list will be changing.

      2. Same here I my city is not on the list but I would make it top 5 we have the a titanium plant only two in the world and a large Air Force base and a few miles out us the Ravenna arsenal so why isn’t niles ohio Evan close lol who made these hits

        1. While those things are important they would not make that much of a nation wide impact if they were attacked. Cities such as New York and Chicago are financial and economic hubs, while a port city like Houston is crucial for our nation’s oil supply and transportation of goods (Food, weapons, ammo etc.) A titanium plant and one of our country’s many air bases is not really a good reason for an attack lol.

      3. If your small town is the small town I think it is, you are correct in thinking that thinking we’re not on the radar is a mistake. I know for a fact that our small town with a *massively* important base is a high-value target, per the Russian map of US nuclear targets.

        And thinking that there are only 30 cities is ludicrous. with the START treating “limiting” US and Russia to 450 ICBM-style missiles each (to speak nothing of tactical nukes), 30 cities is just … no. I don’t care how many MSAs you assign to a map, you’re not going to blow through 450 missiles for 30 cities.

      4. If they want to hit the Air Force, they would hit San Antonio. All Air Force personnel were trained there at some point. Also there are three AFBs as well as Fort Sam Houston.

        1. Keesler Air Base is used for the hurricane hunters, maybe they will take out the casinos as there is a lot of cash that goes through Biloxi banks. I think New Orleans should be on the list , grocery warehouse hubs that ship throughout the south , ports along the Mississippi River , small ship building companies located close by , large population center . Be prepared and ready Keep your powder dry.

    3. Hitting US cities would mean annihilation of North Korea. For example North Korea has no way to prevent a US submarine based missile counter strike that could make South Korea a virtual island. From the point of view of inhabitability North Korea would no longer exist. Neither Kim nor the Chinese would likely desire such an outcome.

      On the other hand it costs North Korea, Iran, and whoever almost nothing to saber rattle while it costs the US massively to prepare to defend everything. Given the US financial situation that approach may indeed make sense.

      1. I guess you do not know it but Obama took the nukes off U.S. Submarines a
        few years ago. It was part of a treaty with Russia.

        1. Just finished the last six months on a Boomer, better check you facts on what’s out on patrol!!

          1. You can’t confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons aboard any vessel. You should know that unless your talking out of left field.

        2. Maybe you mean there are no nukes on Carriers. The SSBN’s all have plenty of missiles with multiple warheads on each.

        3. That claim is silly on the face of it. Why would we still operate nuke free submarines? Since they are operating, obviously they are functional.

      2. What everyone seems to overlook in any retaliation is that the possibility exists Obama May not give the military any launch codes. He is systematically removing top brass. Old school warriors. If they have much of a delay in response time it will be too late to launch a counter attack. Therefore if our enemies know this beforehand they would have no fear on making a coordinated and timed strike at close range. Effectively reducing our reaction time to an unrecoverable situation. Are you aware that Russian bombers and subs are being paraded off all our coastal regions. No need for long range nukes over the North Pole! They are at our back front and side doors! 20 miles off our shores! No president I know of that served in my lifetime would allow that proximity to be reached! Mystery Babylon is about to have it’s ass handed to it…. Get your hearts in touch with it’s creator and you will understand how this is come to be on our horizons. God bless you all….

        1. First time on the site, could’nt help but notice this ahhh -let’s call it a thought- you had. The launch codes are for launch authority confirmation. They don’t unlock the system. You can launch w/o the codes dude.

        2. biblical prophesy States that Mystery Baylon is taken out in an instant and is totally unable to reply, retaliate, or carry out any military manoeuvres…….in other words becomes powerless to do……in an instant…………with the President you have and the one the world is told you are going to pick is supporting the one you have……I guess all the world can say is AMERICA is going to cop one Big Bang then weep……..

    4. Probably because its the HQ of the 38th ID and Camp Attebury is about 50 miles away form Indy.

    5. I have read the Indianapolis is one of the top ten cities gaining in real estate value in America. There must be growth and prosperity for this to happen, when most of the nation is still hurting from the real estate bubble.

    6. Seriously enough tho I live in Columbus and go to Indy all the time, I would imagine they would be targeted because they are shipping hubs, its hard to go to or from north eastern US without US 70

      1. Biggest east/west route is 80/90 …. I-70 would make it difficult for the Southern Ohio/Southern Indiana/Kentucky area to go to the Northeast, but it isn’t the main artery to and from the area. Only for a smaller region of the country.

    7. There is no such thing as high value targets in global thermo nuclear warfare. Only primary and secondary targets..The primary target’s being able to break down a countries capacity to wage war both industrial and economical.

    8. I don’t think Pittsburgh should be listed ether, it has no industry left anymore any way

      1. A very large, once said to be the largest east of the Mississippi,natural gas storage pool is located 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. Might be a target?

    9. I live in Indianapolis and I asked my teacher why we would be attacked and she said “because we are centrally located” therefore we would be attacked only due to location and the blast radius.

    10. They clearly didn’t assess target value. Who ever wrote this, just rated cities by population. They would hit Omaha, Kansas City, Charleston, San Antonio, Colorado Springs, all the missile silos in the mid west and west. Etc. I would think they would hit D.C. at a minimum. These cities might be on the list, but they are NOT at the top of the list.

    11. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service is headquartered at Fort Harrison in Indianapolis. Theoretically, without it the military can’t pay anyone. Fort Grissom and the Naval Surface Warfare Center are both also in the area covered on the map. The Naval Surface Warfare Center handles electronic warfare.

    12. MPLS/STP are on the list because of all the defense contractors and the UofM reserch maybe Indy is the same

    13. If anything I’d have thought Albuquerque would be a big target. An AF base plus our history in nukes. And the Rio Grande runs right through it so everything would also flow downstream as a bonus due to the radioactive debris.

    14. Nick – the financial center for the entire US military is in Indianapolis. The second largest military building behind the pentagon… without it, nothing in the military gets funded. Common knowledge that it’s a very high value target.

    15. To answer the question about Indianapolis we must also ask, Who cares enough about Pittsburgh to nuke it? Well… every one… Pittsburgh and many other cities between the North East and Mid West are manufacturing focused. Indianapolis is one of them. Pittsburgh is a leading city in the steel industry a prime target for a nuclear bomb…

    16. This list is a joke, who would just nuke the cities? Any sane country would attack military targets, and let the chaos run wild in the cities. If you attack the civilian population, that is returned upon you. Soneine would have be completely crazy to do that to the U.S. It would be a last effort for certain, and my guess is by that point the military commanders would be bucking orders as it would certainly mean the end of their country…

    17. Indianapolis hosts the entire Midwest’s telecommunications network. If one wanted to do the most damage possible to the United States, destroying Indianapolis would be at the top of their list. After the city is destroyed the entire Midwest goes dark and can only rely off of hearsay until working connections can again be maintained.

    18. you all best move to Wyoming or Montana and learn how to live off the land and mountains

    19. If an enemy was going to nuke the U.S, they’d go for California, so much food is grown there that besides the massive loss of life, the agricultural land there would be destroyed, plus the nuclear fallout would follow the wind directions across the U.S

    20. If those cities are hit it would favor the Republican Party. 75% of the Democrats would be wiped out.

      1. I agree; I wonder if the democrats that want war understand that 75% of them will be dead with in the first month? No one wins in war. To believe you are going to survive is moronic. Mutual and total destruction is the name of the game. I am told they can destroy the earth 10 times over. We either get along or we all die.

  2. During the cold war, my location near both Fermi Lab and Argonne National Lab would have meant I was vapor. Now, I hope I have time to get away from the chicago area before fallout begins to sprinkle.

    1. Yes, one would think that there would most certainly be ‘military’ targets first; thanks for bringing that up. It would be quite an exercise to ‘guess’ which locations would truly go first based on all sorts of parameters and the ‘value’ of targets. In addition, the choices would definitely vary depending on who ‘they’ are, and what they’re resources are, and their ultimate goal. The map that I put together here was fairly straight-forward in only identifying population.

    2. Yes nice article, however America is the number one military Base on the planet. And yes Tampa is on the top 10 list due to the Middle East Command and Control Ops center sitting right in the Tampa Bay. So some more information on the military aspect would be nice.

    3. What ever happened to OPSEC?! Or is the AF the only branch that requires the training?!!! I,ve gleaned enough info. from this page alone that I could take America down with a Taser!!! Who needs Nukes??? Now – what information can any of you share concerning Iran or NK (Except that they,re run by dangerous dictators that ya’ll don,t like very much). And which country is the smartest/wisest between you all!!!. Meaning – does anyone (not in intelligence) know where Kims or Amadinijads operational HQ,s are at??? Boy – this country is in serious trouble!!!

  3. While the population within the city limits of Atlanta is small, the Atlanta Metropolitan Area would place #2: 5,475,213 (2009 est.) in the 28-county Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area, designated by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

    1. Yes, the analysis was fairly straight-forward and only accounts for the population of the cities themselves, according to U.S. census data. It does not take into account the ‘value’ of any given military target or other valued infrastructure.

      It would be an interesting exercise to analyze this deeper and account for the population of the burbs added to the city population, the value of one target over another, values of major manufacturing centers (what’s left of them), military targets, political, etc.., and it all changes somewhat with regard to motive and intended outcome or purpose (e.g. how much infrastructure to keep intact, or is that even relevant).

      No matter what though, we would be economically screwed. Regardless of one nuke, 5, 10, or 30, the financial system would crash around us. It wouldn’t take much these days to trigger it…

  4. Have you ever heard about the Pantex plant near Amarillo Texas? Final disassembly point for nuclear warheads and temporary storage of the same? It’s at the top of the list.

    1. Ya know? The old KGB/Russian Secret Service (and Chinese) have to love sites like this!!! Just added your town to the Strike Computer Matrix Buddy, Thanks for the info… :):):)

      1. That’s just what I was thinking. Nice of us to lay it all out for them, map and all. Even if they already know, at minimum, we’ve just confirmed it… or we’ve given them great new ideas.

  5. Tex, Are you saying that if given a choice between say New York City with 8 million people, and Amarillo, that the aggressor would choose Amarillo as a first strike?

    1. What would be more damaging to a country on a wartime footing? Imagine 8 million people cut off with no food/water/services. This would be a HUGE strain on a nation at war. (I’m not saying NY would be exempt – far from it. They will get ‘hosed’.)

    2. Uhhh – does it really matter whether Amarillo would be 1st or last in a Mushroom Cloud event??? And if it does – please elaborate on why??? Ya know – I think I,d prefer to be hanging out around ground Zero if/when (more @ WHEN) it comes??? Those few that are left will most likely die un-peacfully by disease, famine, starvation or as an ingredient in someone elses soup!!! (Just Food-4-Thought) Pun not intended!!!

      1. Ohhh – and yeh – before some other SA know-it-all American gets to it – famine/starvation are the same thing. Meant to use a slash!!!

        1. Since you are talking about a difference of at most 1 hour, I agree. In the words of Hillary, What difference does it make. You got a rain of 300 or so MIRVS coming down, which one hits the ground first is kind of immaterial.

    1. The list is purely based on city boundary population based on U.S. census data. The cities of Atlanta and Miami are apparently not in the top 30 of population (Atlanta #40, Miami #44)… although if I had accounted for all of the surrounding burbs and metro areas outside of each of the cities themselves, this list would be different in some ways, yes.

      1. A map like this should be based on MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas), not “cities.” A city is limited by city boundaries, while an MSA reflects a metropolis and includes areas outside the city. For example, newspapers are distributed to MSAs, composed of multiple cities.

    2. That,s because Atlanta and Miami will be overthrown by illegals and terrorist before the real fun begins…

  6. I am glad that there are no big military bases and no huge cities any where near me. The closest ones are in other states several hundred miles from me.
    On the aside note yes I remember Jericho. I loved it and have watched the series several times. I always missed some episodes because the reruns were out of order finally got to watch it on net flix all at once…. Watching Revolution now every week! I always make comments about how they have kept their store bought factory made shoes, clothes etc so nice and new looking! Hubby laughs with me about it…

    1. You have definitely lowered your risk by more ways than one, by being away from any major cities…

      I also enjoyed the Jericho series, and wished that they continued the plot. Evidently the ratings from the masses were not enough to keep it going back then. I too watch Revolution, and try to look past the obvious issues with the realism of the show – which is especially apparent when you factor that it is supposed to be 15 years after the power went out. I still enjoy it though.

      1. Yes I think 15 years after lights out we would be wearing either really ratty store bought clothes, hand loomed linen or buck skin. There would be no nice pretty Nikes but instead moccasins or boots/shoes with leather soles. No pretty underwire bras either!!! LOL But it is fun to watch…. I do have a bunch of clothes stored on the in case of side. Instead of taking them to the good will I stored the bags in my storage shed. And tons of yarn, fabric, thread, buttons, snaps,zippers and patterns so I could make clothes on my treadle sewing machine if I had to.

        1. LoL to the deer surviving either a) the survivors all hunting them, or b) the fall out covering them. There will be no deer. There will be no bear. The plants and fish will be unsafe to eat. And the bugs will be everywhere because the birds go first.

  7. yaa hitting new york would be very bad, stock exchanges there, also new york has been a symbol of america forever. And why would they not hit the pentagon, the terrorists did that. And there is a under ground base in colorado springs mountains that is supposed to handle a direct nuclear hit, why is that there. And what about area 51, somethings going on out there, bet they wouldn’t mind blowing it up it has employees flying in out of vegas on its own private jet fleet but the all around shock and awe of hitting major populations would be devastating. And what about hawaii you know we have got to have a stock pile of nukes there that’s half way to asia and a major naval base in the pacific is there, im sure if russia fired off they will send them right over the north pole at us not across the pacific or atlantic and there are so many in that instance of a nuclear war they are going to think of causing major devastation not how much this or that nuke cost unless they tried to cripple us so we surrendered, “fat chance”. Russia also used to have a dead man switch on there nuclear arsenal that if it picks up atmospheric changes and seismic activity at key cities and interprets an attack and no one responds it launches ‘all’ weapons as a last line of attack, kinda like well no one wins type thing. They don’t know if that system is still armed, so you figure one nation has that on there nukes, i’m sure we do too and china does also. All in all it would not take too many nukes to destroy the worlds atmosphere and screw everything up. A hundred nukes could be pretty bad let alone thousands, if they would be that stupid to launch that big a strike around the globe, and i never have seen jericho but i think i am going to look that up on netflix. Well God bless America the place i love and call home…

  8. This post if flawed. Where is cincinnati on the list? It has more people than Indianapolis.

    1. I will be updating this list (and map) hopefully today to reflect adding the metro regions to the city data. This current initial list is derived strictly from population within city limits. Cincinnati is #62 regarding population within its city boundaries.

  9. I have just updated the images and statistics to include MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Areas). I will be adding the nuclear reactors within these areas later…

    1. Ken, the metro list is better! Indianapolis goes from 12 on your first list to not even placing on your metro list.

  10. Many cities (metro areas) could be hit multiple times, depending on the high value targets located within. A 1990 FEMA doc called “Risks and Hazards – State by State” shows possible targets and blast zones in each state. This included both civilian and military targets. A lot has changed since 1990 (less military bases and warheads) but it is the best as to potential targets that I’ve seen in quite a while.

  11. I would think that south Louisiana would be a target given the large number of oil refineries and chemical plants located there. I’m thinking that would actually be a higher value target than say, Indianapolis.

    1. Yeah, and they didn’t even have New Orleans on either list. From Houston to New Orelans along I-10 will be toast looking at targets. Starting with Houston with NASA, the chemical plants/refineries, the port, and population center, 4th in the USA. Then you have Bryan Mound SPR site……down the road a bit Big Hill SPR site, all the plants / refineries…the port around Beaumont/Orange area, then Lake Charles……same stuff……..and West Hackberry SPR…Fort Polk at Leesville…same as you get to Baton Rouge with the plants/refineries, Mississippi River traffic between Baton Rouge to New Orleans……alot of high value in about 300 miles straight across……..

  12. The Las Vegas area is home to almost 2 + million or more. Just north of Nellis AFB is a massive respository of nukes that most people know nothing about. Hitting the Vegas area would not only disrupt major traffic north and south, but create a hot spot to make chernoble (sp) look like a picnic area on a Sunday afternoon in the park.

    1. Ohhh – I get it now!!! Let me guess, Steve – your ex-wife lives in the “Los Vegas Area” – “Just North of Nellis AFB”?! GOOD-ONE!!! That should take care of er!!!

  13. glad I live in an area that isn’t on this list just got to be ready for the hoard of people coming from Seattle

    1. LoL, since big bridges and overpasses will probably get their own specific warhead, I wouldn’t worry too much about mobs of survivors.

  14. It has Detroit as #18…lol I was just in Detroit a few weeks ago and they need not bother, heck it looks like it already got nuked. And its pop. is nowhere near where they have it at anymore. But if you want to buy a 3000 sf victorian house for a thousand dollars that is the place, just have to shoo out the crack heads and remove the bodies from the yard.

  15. N. Korea targets are Japan, Guam and Hawaii, and for good reason.

    Each one of them major military installations.

  16. As a former US Federal Police Officer for US Dept of Energy, and into prepp-ing since 1987 the target-ed cities would fall into several value items, not just population centers. Infrastructure, military, shipping ports, logistics centers, manufacturing centers, energy/refineries/etc. But as we go forward with the current socialist/marxist/communist agenda in the USA, the threat of a full scale nuclear attack gets smaller and smaller, since the American communist will proceed to disarm the American citizens and the US military, so one of 2 nuclear will all it will take to show they mean business….and the average American Joe will surrender…….which most the population already have………

    1. I guess the key word is former. Yes, there is a priority list. And if we were talking about an attack from North Korea with their probable 10 warheads total that would be important, but when you speak of an opponent with more warheads than us, who still has ground based tactical nuke capability (we no longer do) to deal with the NATO forces, we should here in the US expect, once a go ahead decision is made, a first wave of 2 or 3 thousand incoming warheads, covering all the bases. Primary, secondary and tertiary. A second similar wave will probably come in a few hours. It is not going to be fire 40 warheads then wait to see what the response is. Those days are long past.

  17. Good food for thought. Targets (cities vs military) will depend
    on who is sending the nukes to us. First/Second world countries
    might select the military targets first where third world country
    or others would opt for max deaths with the largest cities. Just my
    wiew on this.

    1. I agree. It depends on ‘who’. A terrorist for example (say, with a suitcase nuke) will probably go for maximum population (NY). A well thought out and coordinated attack by a major nation state will depend on how many nukes they have and what they want as an outcome (as well as their possible mutually assured destruction).

      1. If I was a terrorist, I would not go off in the city. I would pick a spot upwind of the city, hopefully also upwind of a probable evacuation route. There I would detonate. Remember terror is the goal. Watch their faces as the wind blows the fallout at them and over a primary evacuation route too. Somewhere on I-78 or I-95 for NYC. That the fallout effects wouldn’t be that bad downwind, the media will never convey. The media news will be the fallout is coming, run. Alternatives: The Colorado nerve gas depot is gone. So maybe get as close to a functioning nuclear plant as possible before detonating my own nuke. Give them two things to worry about instead of just one. The whole concept of the nuke going off in town is from folks who can’t think outside the box. Trust me, the enemy can.

  18. Unbelieveable, some of the people on here seem to be offended because “their city” either didn’t make the list or it wasn’t high enough on the list. So, would it make you feel better if you lived in a city or a metro area worthy of being a nuclear target ?
    I don’t understand why anyone would waste their time bombing Detoit, Baltimore or Cleveland.

    1. I was thinking the same thing (people seem offended that their city isn’t on the list) and I’m glad you pointed it out. It is bizarre how some people think.

  19. Am I to assume that if there is a war that what ever country attacks the US will consider the population and base their attack atrategy on how many Americans thay can annialate with each warhead as opposed to military considerations. I don’t think so and I might add that there are other cities in North America with populations greater than over half of those on this list.

    1. James, I don’t think that was the focus of this information (an analysis of all possibilities and every possible target and their value versus others). It is a list of the most populated cities and metro regions.

      It does open it up for good discussion and opinion though.

    2. “I might add that there are other cities in North America with populations greater than over half of those on this list”

      This map and list is clearly regarding the United States, not North America. If you question a U.S. city and/or metro region, I will gladly reply with where it is on the list (or you can search yourself). The data used is from the most recent U.S. census.

  20. wow looks like there would be an elimination of the dependent class of people, and the fly over states would actually begin to matter again

    i’m good with it

  21. Our country,s defect comes from within itself. We dont need to look any futher than those we appointed to run our government.

  22. It’s military targets, then infastructure, and then population centers. Just ask current and former people in the know. Obviously, there will be some overlap.

  23. No I haven’t wondered , was I supposed too ? Most likely cause my entire life has been lived on or near a primary target zone. Been lugging a bottle around since legal drinking age , to crack open if the missiles fly . If I am lucky will have a panic sex partner to share it with. If not I will hoist a glass to billions of useless feeders going along for the ride to the shores of the afterlife.

  24. If you’re looking for a relatively safe haven, check out S/W Oregon, from Roseburg to the CA border and from I-5 west to the ocean. Yes, there are a lot of red-diaper-doper-babies and collectivist bed-wetting libs around Ashland, but they are no threat. The rednecks in Medford will neutralize them!

  25. Jericho is a great series. We just finished watching it for the third time.

    An evil, corrupt government nukes it’s own cities, lies about it, uses mercenaries to enforce its orders, and patriots become the enemy.

    Gee, I wonder why it was cancelled?

  26. Columbus Ohio has one of the biggest underground ammo dumps in the country,along with Wright Patterson,Ohio is on the list

  27. @TS, Really? Like Russia, China, or other nuclear armed power is so clueless, so inept, and so lacking in their intelligence, that they scour blog comments looking for targets? You are an idiot.

  28. FYI: before any nukes are sent there has to first be a biological warfare to weaken the prepared. Something related to Ebola or something like that. Most likely during a harsh winter. Food and water will be contaminated and everyone will be forced to stay in doors. Only those with food storage have a chance. But those people with food storage better have guns as well because you will be a target for the unprepared. Those people that live in the hills are safer. Once everyone is basically against their neighbor and on their hands and knees, the nukes will come.

    But no worries, the US has more than anyone else and will use them right back. It will basically shut North Korea, china, and Russian down. But all that think North Korea are the pawns, you have forgotten who hates the US the most because how they are treated. Yup, Mexico.

    They have already been busy planting bombs all over underground and in trucks, tunnels, buildings, buses, stadiums, etc. they are just waiting for the green light.

    US will still win, but there will be a lot if damage. Who will be saved? Well, tricky answer. But the best things you can do us prepare for you and others, serve other people and keep the day of Sabbath Holy. Paying tithing and praying also helps. Those people will be protected.

    Get ready for the biological war first. Cities are: San fransisco, Los Angeles, New York and SLC.

  29. Ummm…really? Theyre not going to nuke DC first? I seem to remember something about that being our capital and where our leaders reside. Maybe that was something else

    1. –> unless some of your leaders are part of the plot–> now that is sinister.

      A bunch of crooked politicians, hardly worth a nuke. They will be hiding in their holes like the slithering snakes that they are.

      An enemy would destroy what could hurt them first, probably military targets.

      To cause most maximum economic damage though, they would hit New York City, the financial capital, and it just so happens to have the highest population density as a bonus.

      1. “2 Cause Maximum Economic Damage???” Uhhhh – at last glance we were somewhere in the neighborhooc of 16,000,000,000,000,000 (That,s quadrillion Peso’s) in the red. I’m thinking that they could satchel-Bomb a Circle-K or Wallmart and we’de be done fer!!!

    1. That is thinking “outside the box” for sure. I wonder how many nukes it would take to set off that super volcano.

    2. You are thinking outside the box of the mainstream. That is not encouraged here. LoL, yeah. Or some well injection equipment and soapy water into an earthquake fault line. All considered.

    1. You’re killin’ me here! ROFL! …yeah, nukin’ Detroit would be a major waste of time… I’m thinkin’ it would be the safest city to live in in a nuclear war

  30. Why waste a nuc on one city -maybe 100 square miles- when you can mess up 10,000 square miles by detonating at 150 miles high? And you don’t have to aim too well, either. EMP will take out electricity and communications for a month to many years.

  31. Whether by our side, their side or whatever side, the enemy will need plausible deniability or suffer a disasterous counter strike; as opinion, the most logical choice would be biological cleverly masked as something natural.

  32. I wanna be at ground zero. The rest of the people can fight it out. At least I’ll die quickly & be with Jesus Christ.

  33. Ok should be on the list. The crossroads of the entire countrys oil pipelines. Various AF, army bases.Home to aircraft repair centers incl awacs.
    part of keystone pipeline.etc

  34. I think that the hampton roads area being a retired Navy man that the Hampton Roads (norfolk) area of Va would be a prime target. Being home to the worlds largest Navy Base, a master jet base, an amphib base, an Air Force base and a couple of Army Bases nearby just to mention a few.

    1. 300 or so miles off the coast of NJ is a big line of undersea cliff. To expect an enemy to ignore that is silly. You depth charge that cliff line with some nukes, everything from Boston to South Carolina is going under 50 feet of water (and in the case of Virginia, for many miles inland too). See that, you didn’t even need to launch anything and half the US is simply gone.

  35. “The end result would be that they would become a green, glowing, glass plain”

    I wonder about that… given the present occupier of the WH.

    In any event, it was an interesting exercise to document and map the top 30 cities and metro areas of the country – hopefully a set of data that some might find useful.

  36. Detroit is losing people, why would they nuke a dying city. I’ve visited Detroit and its got some really cool stuff, but it’s a waste of a nuke.

  37. Some of the sites on this list assume an attack by a world power ICBM (Russia/China). But the most likely would be 3rd world wannabes, like Iran, N.Korea, etc. They would most likely use scuds or cruise missles hidden in containers on cargo ships. That means most targets would be within 300-600 miles of an ocean-going freighter.

  38. Im pretty sure one of the first targets would be about a mile down the Road from me! They call LLNL, Look it up!

    1. Doubt it. Killing engineers and scientists is something that could easily be done after the war. It has happened before. Ask the Poles, etc.

      Now if they were to cleanse the bay cities…

  39. im wondering about valued targets are around iowa and nebraska

    i live on the eastern border of northern iowa…

    and i had some deep thoughts and images on if the city i go to everyday was struck by a thermy…

  40. I would like to know WHO came up with this map and HOW the PANTEX plant outside Amarillo, Texas didn’t make the list. Considering it is the ONLY production AND decommissioning facility in the US for our own nukes. Growing up around here all my life, we always heard from the people that worked there that Pantex would be #2 target for Russia. It would make sense, considering its usage and capabilities. Thoughts?

    1. “Here is a mapped illustration of the top 30 most populated cities (and metro areas) in the United States”

      (It looks like the map highlights population centers.)

      “military and/or key infrastructure targets might be hit first, but it won’t be long down the target list until major cities are taken out.”

      (It would be helpful to also see the map include military targets.)

  41. Do the yellow areas indicate nuclear fallout, if so I might survive. Or does it not really matter becuase of nuclear winter, etc.

  42. I think the attack would be high altitude to cause an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) in an effort to disable the electronics on both the East and West coasts. The United States would fall into anarchy and it would tear itself apart. No need for invasion or direct strike. Which would minimize the possibility of retaliation. Combined with a convention strike taking out the United Nations. It would throw the whole country and possibly the entire world into chaos. But that is just my opinion.

    1. This is likely the most plausible scenario. It could be pulled off by just one organized terror group or dunghole country, using scuds from container ships.

      1. Well shielded container ships, cause trust me someone is probably looking for such every day.

    1. That’s why they’re nuking places like Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, etc… Because that’s where all the ICBM’s are.

  43. Colorado Springs is also missing from this list. Yeah I know it’s not one of the 30 most populous cities, but with NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain, Peterson AFB, Fort Carson, etc., it’s just as much of a target as Denver.

  44. I know this may seem like a strange post…but I just need to get this out.

    I have had 2 “dreams” or “visions” or whatever you’d like to call them. The first one upset me because it happened on a beautiful sunny morning about 4 months ago. I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of coffee when all of a sudden, like a movie playing in front of me, I saw a nuclear bomb explosion. That is all I saw. A few nights ago, I woke up panicked. I had a dream that my husband and I were driving on a bridge over water when off in the distance we saw a nuclear bomb explosion. I would guess that it was approx. 30 miles off in the distance. I remember saying, “don’t look at the blast” and worrying about getting somewhere where we could wash off before trying to find our family. We ended up in a place with many rooms off of a long corridor with people moaning in pain from exposure to the radiation. That’s it.

    Had I had one “vision” I wouldn’t have taken it seriously. But 2…and so very detailed. I was just wondering if anyone else has shared those dreams?

  45. Why would they target Dallas? I live about 2 miles from DFW airport and theres really nothing special here. Anybody?

    1. Dallas has the second largest internet exchange hub in the US (After NY). Fort Worth has a huge Naval Air Station and Joint Reserve Base.

  46. To those claiming our enemy doesn’t use blogs and such for intelligence, consider this: OSINT. opsec people. Come on.

    anyhow this is a likely scenario to them nuke warfare.

    1715 hours: us intelligence officials are briefed on irans new cooperative pacts with north Korea. Int operators believe north Korea will supply Iran with a 1-750kt yield nuclear device which will be delivered via cargo ship using a short range ballistic missile or cruise missile.

    1719: president is briefed and orders the sac, norad and others to defcon 2.

    1723: surprise launch is detected by norad before ground alert forces can mobilize. Origin, 100 miles off the coast of Delaware.

    1724: a bunch of classified stuff happens, and the incoming missile is incepted by our advanced global missile defense abilities, theater missile defense or another advanced technology that won’t be discussed here.

    1730: USA +Israel/NATO declare war on Iran and north Korea. Having just seen the awesome missile defense capabilities of the USA, both Russia and china remain neutral.

    1740: norad launches joint usa/Canada task force to deploy to the mid east.

    1755: the nations of Israel and UK commence air raids to deny n Korea the ability to produce nuclear weapons

    1809: Germany, France, Japan and other NATO allies deny Iran the ability to produce and assemble delivery platform.

    I left a lot out, due to opsec. However, generally in the case of anyone except Russia, we decisively win. Russia, yes absolute mad doctrine at play. The pool of gas metaphor was great

    1. C’mon Putin or Pakistan’s factories are probably making Iran’s nukes as we read this. That lets Iran swear truthfully to the world that they have no interest in making nuclear weapons. Iran has ICBMs of their own. Their new warheads will probably mount just fine.

      The real question for us becomes survival. We may survive here a lot longer if we do nothing when Israel or the Vatican are nuked. Yeah, some people may get upset. But, maybe staying out of it and just letting what happens happen is the smarter way to go.

  47. Just to add, we have missile defense tech about to be declassified that is easily 20 years ahead of anyone. Imagine our TS stuff.

  48. The sad truth is in the event the united states were to be in a nuclear attack, the entire world would be in renin for decades. The US would be unable to grow crops to feed most of the world as it does right now. since the US has become a consumer country supplied by many countries, the world would fall into financial hardships unseen before. India, Pakistan, China, North Korea, and the Russians would either stop the attacks with the US in ruins, or continue to rage war with each other. It wouldn’t mater at this point anyway. Nuclear fallout would affect the whole planet because of wind drifts in the atmosphere. Crops and water supplies would be largely contaminated across the globe. Massive earthquakes would start due to the missiles that hit. Tidal waves would destroy many low coastal areas. What the missiles didn’t kill or destroy, starvation, radiation, and diseases from dead bodies and animals would take it place. The population of the world would be greatly reduced and changed forever. I wish them the best of luck.

    1. You left out the miscarriages, still births and not viable infants and damaged sperm for the next 30 years or so.

  49. This is a little off topic but applies to a degree. About 8 months ago I was drawn to better understanding several possible events which might be connected…probably are connected; and it’s changed my entire lifestyle since. I’ve become somewhat of a hermit trying to learn about extraterrestrial life possibilities, economic collapse, and the likelihood of nuclear war. If in fact extraterrestrial life forms are true (I have no proof but I’m intrigued) and if they are sending us warnings of pending destruction then it leads me to ponder that the political moves to destroy the economies of the world will end up in all out war. The gloves are coming off, nuclear missiles will be the weapon of choice. I can’t say of any certainty that my thoughts are even close to accurate. I do believe the human “powers” in governments know all of this, along with the greedy elite control freaks which govern the governments of the world. In the mean time, I’m prepping like something is going to happen and happen soon at that. It’s an unction I have, a very disturbing feeling. Things just aren’t right these days…and the feeling has been getting heavier as the days go by. The truth is that I started feeling this way when our national debt hit the point of no return several years ago but I did not take the impact of all of the possibilities until earlier this year. Does anyone else feel this unction that life as we know it is about to change permanently? I’m concerned for my daughter if 21 years of age…I’m seriously planning a way to be around to help get her through it. By the looks of the map, Indiana is not an ideal location.

  50. I found this map interesting. I agree with the author that these major cities would likely be 2nd or 3rd volley targets, but that they would most certainly be targeted.

    I doubt if they would be nuked, however. More damage could be done (and for far less cost) with weaponized smallpox and/or EMPs against these targets.

    I could only see Russia or Russia+China even surviving the first volley or two in a Nuclear exchange with us having enough left for this phase, and then it would still be a maybe.

    ————-

    On another note, it is disturbing how few young Americans now even have the slightest concept of what was at stake during the Cold War (if they even know what the Cold War was). A lot of them that even do have a miniscule understanding of the strategies of Nuclear Warfare have the false notion that 1 bomb going off could cause an apocalyptic nuclear winter.

  51. Wow you all give out a lot of intel, OPSEC folks don’t make it easy for the bad guys.

  52. I didn’t read all comments so I hope I’m not repeating here, but as to the debate of would we be hit in smaller communities with military bases, rail junctions, etc I tend to agree first targets would be high population cities for maximum human loss and even more strategically motivated to bring transportation, supplies, and the economy to a crushing halt. Remember though, this would probably be all any enemy could muster. By the time it would take to launch secondary strikes at smaller targets, enemy launching capabilities would be expended due to the retaliatory strike from the U.S. If (and this is a definite big IF with our current administration) we enact a planned retalitory strategic plan, once any more than say five preemptive launches are detected, the US would launch a massive counter strike that would cripple any secondary targeting effort. Smaller nations like N. Korea wouldn’t even have a large enough arsenal and the awareness factor would play with them. If anything launched out of N Korea, that was determined to be capable of reaching US soil you can bet the hesitation factor for error would be reduced almost to no hesitation. The retalitory strike from the U.S. to N. Korea, may come close to zero survivors there. With larger possible enemy’s like Russia or China, there would not be small initial launches. They would come in the hundreds and would trigger a massive response in the hundreds as well. The odds are since time to initial launch and target destination is around 12 minutes initial launches ( preemptive and retalitory) would probably end up being close to equal with retalitory getting the possible edge with the “launch everything” natural psychological mentality.. End point being, there won’t be time for smaller “surgical” initial or secondary launches on the smaller city targets. Your gonna hit high population city’s where in addition to high human concentration you have fuel refining and storage, central switching stations for communication and electricity, transportation hubs, economic backbone, government, and most distribution storage and terminals hubs. Thus why most larger military bases are located in rural areas with low impact targeting value. A lot of the military will survive. It will be denigrated and weak with a very high probability of becoming regionalized under no national command and very autocratic. Hollywood is not far off in some of the ways it depicts that in some movies and shows.

    1. North Korea the smart money is on regime change, not nuclear strikes.

      Nuking NK raises liability issues for the fallout reaching Russia, China and Palin’s homeland of Alaska. In the 1950s and 60s the US legal strategy was to deny any fallout spilled outside the test areas. As a defense in civil court, that might not work as a strategy anymore. Even if you can avoid Russia launching it’s own nukes in protest over the irradiating of Vladivostok, the civil suits and dollar claims will be off the scale. Not to mention the huge class action lawsuits coming out of Alaska.

      Yes, if NK finds some gasoline and decides to roll South, we may have to make a decision. But allowing them to over-extend their grab may be the smart play then do a conventional war again, but this time with China’s help. Squeeze play.

  53. i am in Charlotte NC we have all most a million people in our city sounds like not a big deal but my parents live here and i live in New York City i am the first person to die then Los angles Chicago so on then Charlotte i need to move if a nuclear war happened and my parents.

  54. Buffalo/Niagara Falls should be on here too. Niagara Falls has an Air Force Base with hundreds of planes and Niagara Falls produces tons of power for the whole eastern US and Canada

  55. A logical ‘first strike’ strategy would be hit the things that can hurt us first. Air bases, nuke launch places, identified sub locations, major navy bases, etc., then observation points such as satellites, or space stations, and C4I nodes. Remove those and killing the population is not important. Neither would be underground depots of warheads without any way of launching them. Sure, at one time ballistic submarines were untrackable when at sea. Those days are gone. At any time, we know where their subs are, they know where our subs are. Maybe one or three nuclear launch sites survive and somehow launch afterwards (thereby revealing exactly where they are) but an hour or two later *maybe much less*, those places or ships won’t exist anymore. The question then becomes are we willing to absorb 10 nukes detonating here?

    Some enemies love symbolism, so if they had a tactical nuke they would rather nuke (and waste it) on the statue of Liberty, than on something useful like the Niagra Falls Power plant or Hoover Dam. Other enemies are more pragmatic and would go for the infrastructure first and laugh at the idea of wasting a nuke on a statue.

    Other enemies see virtually no need for nukes at all if they can hack into our SCADA systems.

  56. I had always thought(the way I would do it)is to take out electrical systems of a country that relies so heavily on them. I think a cyber attack against key computer systems followed closely with a nationwide EMP attack would greatly cripple the US so much that we would have to withdraw energies from the rest of the world just to take care of ourselves.

  57. With the number of nukes on the table so to speak and this is just pure hypothesis as all of this is anyway. Wouldn’t it be possible to carpet bomb the entire continent, eliminating all the gaps with lower yield devices. Perhaps wasteful by all means, but with a strong certainty of eliminating anyone or anything of consequence – pretty much genocide.

  58. Don’t forget the Manzano Mtns. and Los Alamos Labs here in NM. Lots of things going on here in which the government depends. New Mexico would be nuked as well, and it is not just about population, but intelligence.

  59. Who gives a shit about which cities will or won’t be hit?

    Life is going to end as we know it! It’s not going to be one or two ICBM’s hitting us…it’s going to be hundreds. It’s not like Japan where we only needed two to halt the war, you really think Russia or N. Korea or whomever is going to just fire one? Or 5? Even 10? They are gonna fire them all off and so are we. Who cares which city gets hit.

    All I know is I don’t want to survive and see the suffering of those that do.

    You’re all idiots for thinking any one city is safer than another.
    Basic breakdown of social services after the first one hits and we all go to hell, say nothing about the next 99 falling on us!

  60. I don’t care about which country has the most nuclear weapons, I’m worried about the country who only has one.

  61. I see louisville listed. I must disagree as to a first strike target. There’s not much strategic here except the bridges on the Ohio and maybe the Ford truck plant. There is Fort Knox, but it is 60-70 miles away and no longer has an armored division. There is Fort Knox thehold armory that reportedly has no gold. I see louisville as a secondary or lesser target. Regrettably, in an all out exchange Louisville would most likely be hit. Kentucky is a different story. I believe areas in Kentucky would be survivable.

  62. If you truly want to live and are that worried about nuclear attack, move to the tiny town of Roseburg, Oregon. Yeah that place that was just on the news…. we are probably the safest place in the whole united states…Portland is far enough away that the fallout most likely won’t reach us. And until the shooting at UCC, nobody had ever heard of this little town. very unlikely that “bad guys” would target anywhere remotely close to Roseburg. We hold nothing of interest to the military, nor the overall survival of the western civilization. Hell, we barely are surviving as a town with all the recent lumber shut downs.

  63. Nukes are the last generation’s war. While a terrorist might like to use a few for shock & awe value, real countries (Russia, China, etc) know full well that most of USA society is an artificially supported creation, and to kill it off for sure (without radiating themselves), all they really need to do is get the power grid down, and keep it down. Maybe use a small number of tactical nukes on the larger active military bases and biggest metro areas, just in case the faker in DC is replaced in a coup with a real leader.

  64. Seriously guys, nobody but a moron would waste a nuke on D.C. or N.Y. All nukes would rain down Between the top of the Sierra/Rockies and the Appalacin chains (where the U.S. has it’s nukes). Wasting a nuke on D.C. nets you 542 senators and congress persons (7 of which can’t vote, and the rest of which can’t get together on anything more significant than endorsing the boy scouts. Even if you throw in the congressional staffers, you’ve an understrength undertrained brigade(throw in the pentagon and langely and now we’re up to a division or 2) of do nothings arguing over who gets to be in the rear echelon. N.Y. is a landing zone/dispersal point. Not to mention it’s too close to Newark and it’s refinery, fuel that can be used for any landing/invasion. Sure in the movies and T.V. it’s all about killing people, but in the real world it’s about resources and preventing couter strike or “payback”. Yes their are plenty of middle eastern enemies that would love to …, but they genrally don’t have nukes let alone a delivery system.

  65. I didn’t read all of the comments because I’m in a rush, but I’m willing to bet that no one has said anything about Norfolk, Va being the first to get nuked. Norfolk has the biggest navy base in the world, so I’m 99.9999% sure that it would be a critical target, along with NYC (population and economy) and DC (government and population).

  66. I feel that the world leaders are not doing their best to stop nuclear armageddon.

  67. If all these US cities are attacked,China will be erased off the world map.
    All the major cities ie Shangahi,Beijing,Hong Kong,etc,will bite the dust.
    The US public better lynch the guys who started the nuclear war ie the US president and his henchmen/women.
    China wont press the nuclear button first.

  68. There will be NO nuclear conflagration…
    We must all desire this…

    There are greater powers than man watching this world…we are little children playing with matches in their eyes.

    Children may be punished though for misuse of their new radioactive toys.

  69. One extremely high value target not shown is the nuclear town of Loa Alamos, New Mexico, where weapons are designed and assembled. Also not shown, but likely a primary target, is Kirtland Air Force Base in neighboring Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here, the thousands of our nation’s standby weapons are stored and maintained. Also located here is the nuclear facility of Sandia National Laboratory. The nation’s only gov’t subsidized Nuclear Museum, although not a target in its own right, is also located in the city.

  70. “After all of the military command and control centers have been nuked, have you ever wondered which cities would be nuked first?”

    I am just not seeing the need to nuke the individual cities. I mean if the military is essentially destroyed or reduced to being tied to little bases and depots with no more C3I and no more fuel supplies coming in, what would the point be of nuking cities at random?

    Once you have knocked out the 16 or so C3I centers (Pentagon, Battle Mountain, Camp David/site R, Site Q, etc & also nuking Bolling, Ft Meade, Langley, Pearl Harbor, etc) what is left of the military would essentially be little State militias. If you are the Governor of NY which takes food priority, NYC or Ft. Drum? If you are the Mayor of Las Vegas, you would probably be making some kind of deal with the Commander of Nellis AFB, something mutually useful and not involving large amounts of jet fuel. I anticipate lots of little break away republics and kingdoms forming once the US military command and control centers were destroyed. Lots of internal trade. Fuel coming in through Louisiana may be traded for food or protection, etc.

    Meanwhile the attacker no longer facing a cohesive force sits back and picks which towns have things worth looting and which ones don’t. Indeed they may license raids by third countries. Perhaps give North Korea a permit (for a slight fee) to take women from Seattle Washington, or Canada permission to take lumber from Oregon, or authorize VA to use the Marines left in Quantico to raid W. VA for coal in the winter time, etc.

    Once C3I is destroyed they take out the electric grid, not with EMP but with 1,000 paratroops hitting the ground at places like Niagra Falls, Hoover Dam, etc. They shut down the highways with road blocks and demo charges on key bridges so nothing rolls without both permission and tolls.

    Don’t worry about the cities. The attacker can ignore them. Without food or water coming in and with no sanitation plants working within a month or two they will be ghost towns with skeletons laying everywhere.

  71. So much talk about ‘strategic’ targets here – military bases, oil fields, transportation routes, industry, etc ….. but I think you are all missing the point, unfortunately. If there were to be a nuclear attack on the US, a.) it would be MORE than 30 missiles launched/targets b.) it would be mutual annihilation and c.) the world as we know it would be over.

    Unless there is a smaller, single kiloton nuke detonated by some terrorist group in a single city, say NYC or Washington DC, the likelihood of a nuclear attack will mean all out war, and complete annihilation of the US, the country that initiated the missiles, which would be Russia or China, and most likely much, if not all of the northern hemisphere. There wouldn’t be any strategic bombings of certain parts of the US, like big military bases, major transportation hubs, major fuel production areas, OR ….. the Military Financial Offices located somewhere in/around Indianapolis (lol). Sorry Indy, but I don’t think that would be a major target from any enemy of the US in regards to nuclear war. What would be targeted, per what this article uses as its reasoning for its targets, are the most populous cities and regions of the country, period. It would be about killing as many people as possible, not crippling infrastructure. Any country that would launch this many nuclear missiles towards the US (again, only China or Russia would make sense and have the capability) would a.) know it was all out war b.) know that they would be wiped out and c.) would not be preparing for invasion. It would be the end of the civilized world, at least for the northern hemisphere of the globe. Europe, Asia and North America would be essentially wiped out.

    1. It’s what we’re taught. Most comments that even suggest total annihilation are along the lines of “No one would be that stupid…” But history is full of leaders who WERE that stupid, not caring what happened to their people as long as their egos were fed.

      In the last hundred years we’ve seen several “leaders” who would have nuked their own people without a qualm, and did kill millions of their own. So the possibility definitely exists. On the other hand, even homicidal sociopaths are usually smart enough to know that using nukes would create an immediate and lethal backlash from the rest of the world.

      I do agree that no country that wants territory would use nukes to get it.

  72. First Strike Targets will not be based on population, but on Targets that hurt the Gov’s re-act and operational abilities –
    1) Minot, ND;
    2) Maelstrom, MT;
    3) Cheyenne, WY;

    then, in who knows what order:

    Denver, CO (lots of Top Secret Senior Gov’t entities);
    Colorado Springs, CO;
    Albuquerque, NM;
    Los Alamos, NM;

    Alamogordo, NM; WIPPS, NM (Nuclear Waste Storage near Carlsbad Cavern area – this will contaminate everyone downwind within about 500 miles);

    El Paso, TX;
    Amarillo, TX (Pantex);
    Midland-Odessa, TX (Oil)
    San Antonio, TX;
    Houston/Beaumont, TX (Oil);
    Fort Worth, TX (Lockheed);
    Phoenix, AZ;
    Tucson, AZ (Raytheon and D-M AFB;
    Sierra Vista, AZ (Drones);
    SAC HQ in Nebraska;

    Wherever TAC HQ is now .. after that it won’t matter, cause I’ll either be Radioactive Toast or Freezing my ass off in South America (Nuclear Winter) .. pretty much any place East of the Mississippi that has a Military Base or a Military/Nuclear Manufacturer .. and for those of you dumb enough to actually think I’m “giving the enemy ideas” – they’ve known about these locations for the last 60 years – it’s not anything they haven’t already thought of and planned to strike ..

  73. I bought some iodine tablets years ago as I’m not in a blast zone but those winds,dust,ash,rains will be hell and will spread everywhere. (they last like 20-30yrs). My understanding is it shuts down your thyroid so it won’t distribute radiation throughout your body. I think it just shock shuts down the thyroid and it reboots after a while but I’d still be on high edge about taking them at all during such a wide spread event. Can you even survive long without your thyroid?

    It looks like the border with Canada is THE place to be unless of course they get nuked too.

    I don’t think anyone other than a terrorist cell/ rogue state would be so stupid as its mutually assured destruction and they wouldn’t have the capabilities to hit more than 1-2 targets and it’s a given there would be immediate approval to rain hell to the entire mid-east/ korean peninsula if we actually took such a hit. 9/11 was a nice excuse to conduct operations in a broad region, a nuclear attack would be an even nicer excuse to launch a whole continent off. If people cheered on that war for a while, for this they would demand it if even given the time to do so.

    I think such an exchange (nation vs nation not rogue) would bring all of the aliens out of the shadows and they would be pretty justified in removing our ability to manage our own affairs because we would have nuked that right away. Thats where you get your new world order. Not from a bunch of raised numbers in cards in your wallet but chips in your skull from beings who have been patient enough to study us without outright conquest for tens of thousands of years.

    1. Take if from who had thyroid disease and now doesn’t have one…..nope, can’t live long without one and symptoms are terrible.

    2. the Iodine saturates the thyroid, so it has no room to uptake the radioactive iodines…thereby protecting it. You don’t want to be without the thyroid unless absolutelly necessary.People that must have it removed have a terrible time regulating the minerals, esp calcium and magnesium, in their body and must take massive amounts. Requires very tight medical management.

  74. I would say new york…..and the United states two main laboratories for nukes livermore ca, and Las Alamos nm.

  75. The media has claimed China would target some city on the west coast and let fallout take care of the rest. They have also claimed that Russia would target Yellowstone and trigger a geological reaction. If you think you’re a target, you probably are just stay away from my town.

  76. Putin is not playing the New World Order game and is in a tiff with Jacob Rothschild.If the U.S. (the NWO hammer) keeps meddling in Russia’s affairs, we are SCREWED. Russia has a lot of military might and superiority. We need to get our troops the hell out of Syria and the rest of the middle east.

  77. I live in the Charlotte area. It makes plenty of sense for this to be a target. We have a huge nuclear power plant. Although it is equipped with anti aircraft guns and ex military snipers. Has been since 9/11

  78. Since Alaska isn’t even on your “map” I’m guessing we’re the place to be. Ha! We’re also the closest to Russia and I have no doubt we will be the first to be hit. Maybe next time you can make a more inclusive map of ALL 50 states….Just saying…

  79. First Army Headquarters and the Armament and Munitions command is at the Rock Island, Arsenal in Illinois. I would think that taking out our ability to fight back would be more important than killing civilians.

  80. Sooo…..
    You really missed a bunch in the great southwest.north to great plains..
    Juat sayin

    1. Richard, Sorry if I left off your city to be nuked ;)

      Actually though, the map highlights “the thirty most populated cities in America and the thirty largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA)”. The map is intended to show the most populated regions – possibly the next regions to be nuked after that of the military installations…

      Here is more: US Nuclear Target Map

  81. Silly. We’re always worried about cities getting it; in 1961 my father built a shelter with concrete walls 2 feet thick below ground level, with the door facing toward Washington DC about 25 miles away. I wondered why for years, until learning that there was a missile installation out near Germantown MD. He was far enough up in intelligence operations in the department of state to know what the target would be. No point defeating a country by eliminating citizenry and their humanitarian infrastructure; there’s nothing to own and run, if conquest and tribute are the aim. Eliminating the US economy would do no favors to Russia; the Chinese will never do it as long as we owe them money.

    1. Carson,

      You say “Eliminating the US economy would do no favors to Russia; the Chinese will never do it as long as we owe them money”

      I would suggest that due to the fact that Russia only benefits from our buying tickets to the International Space Station for our astronauts. Otherwise, their economy depends on arms sales to smaller countries and petroleum products to neighboring countries. China needs us only as long as we are willing to borrow money to buy their products. When we stop buying and are unable to make interest payments on our debt, they may not nuke us, but we will be expendable, much like any other “third world country”. Make no mistake, the path our politicians have been taking us down since the Vietnam Era has led us to the point that we are on the verge of becoming no different than any other debt ridden, non productive, morally bankrupt, third world country, immersed in civil wars and racial conflicts.

      Amazing where being “progressive” has led us. That’s why we prep.

  82. Ok. This list is based entirely on population, and doesn’t take two VERY important factors into account.

    1. Military targets.
    A nations ability to “respond” is crucial, probably in reality futile, but let’s keep with the thoughts of the powers that be. Their top targets will be places of military value, i.e. missile silos, airfields, naval shipyards, Military bases, radar instalations and the like.
    2. Manufacturing hubs.
    You can’t go to war without weapons. Places that have the ability and or infrastructure to
    manufacture steel, tech, as well as factories are considered high value as well.

    The population would be eliminated through nuclear fallout. No reason to toss a multi million dollar weapon on something that will be too sick to move in a month and dead not long after that.

    1. Yes, that is correct. It was intentional. The first line of the article reads, “After all of the military command and control centers have been nuked, have you ever wondered which cities would be nuked first?”.

      If you would like to see another map which includes military installations:
      Nuclear Targets Map

      I would also suspect that many ‘high target’ manufacturing hubs will be within the 30 MSA’s listed, however it is a good point that there may be others.

  83. Totally disagree with info on a nuclear strike. The first strike will be aimed at our ability to strike back,(missile sites and military sites) along with communication.

    1. The first sentence of the article reads, “After all of the military command and control centers have been nuked,…”. Hopefully the word, “After”, clears things up for you ;)

      Here’s a map which indicates the potential strike on military installations and our first-strike capabilities.

  84. seriously. all this bickering on what city gets hit, and the offense people feel if their city is not listed?! indianapolis but not buffalo or Cincinnati? Denver but not Omaha or columbus??? what difference does it make if your city is listed or not? if WWIII breaks our, the entire USA is in ashes, including EVERY city…

  85. I believe that Hamilton, oh needs to be moved on to the list. In it of itself, it is not too much (it is stil a larger city) but a Tsar on it would get Cincinnati along with Dayton where there is Wright Pat airforce base along with a good amount of other industry city’s. Get on nuke map and check it out

    1. In the know, that is a good observation, however Cincinnati is the #28 on the greater metro area list. Hamilton is part of the Cincinnati area, so by saying Cincy is in 28th, Hamilton is on the list as 28 th also. I do not know if Dayton is included in the greater metro area.

  86. I am 66 years old and lived my childhood in the “Cold War” era. I will tell you that the worst part of the nuclear war is the fear of it happening. I refuse to be frightened again at this age even though it seems more likely a war will occur now than it did back in the 50’s. We have so many things to worry about here in America, I really think the media and our government wants us frightened and stupid.
    Oh so you don’t think that the special, rich, and elite people already have a place to hide if need be? I am sure that they do. I can’t picture a band of survivors recreating a new world. I am worried about a social or racial war, a war of the classes as it were. I don’t want to make my reply political, but our President seems to be leading us in that direction.

  87. If they can get a nuke onto a container ship they don,t need to launch, just let the ship go into port then blow it. Much simpler.

  88. Living near Malmstrom AFB in Montana. It’s a nice thought knowing that you have an almost 100% chance of dying in the case of nuclear war.

  89. Thankfully my state of Colorado is neutral (like Switzerland in ww2) so no chance there is anything worth targeting here.

  90. I find it hard to believe that the east coast would be hit at all. It would be a 10x safer bet to hit the west today. i do understand the graph is based on population in major cities. its not complete fiction to use missiles to defend against them. furthermore if the u.n. would not stand up for the usa then they will perish themselves, if not by their own strife and injustices then under the power of a would be tyrant nation.

    1. barney, Wake up The UN is CURRENTLY attacking our coutry by providing supplies thru our tax dollars for all of these who are rushing up thru Mexico to our borders. When they are totally de-funded that will help some.

  91. also its pretty funny how nobody thinks their state will be hit. Guaranteed America gets crushed very soon. Venezuela could start the conflict, and likely will. Russia is the last place on earth that will resist the NWO.

  92. Why do the two nukes hit the Des Moines Iowa airport southwest field just shy of the runway itself? Were nobodys

  93. I guess I will die knowing most of our subs will survive the attack and then just sit off of their coasts and decimate every target in Russia and China if need be.

  94. What about az 🤔 never mind I live here so hopefully it doesn’t get nuked but if it did I’d go to…Flagstaff I guess

  95. Have read from so many sources…the first non-military targets would be the 50 largest cites, plus every state capital. Yikes

    1. Mgg,,,not likley more than one or two would be used ,then on military targets ,city’s will eat them sleeves,without a hit. ,

    2. Awesome. Louisville’s #29. Boom goes the dynamite. And us.
      [not likely going to go down like that, though]

  96. We will retaliate with our Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles SLBM. No one knows where they are. But it won’t be enough.

  97. We will retaliate with our Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles SLBM. No one knows where they are. But it won’t be enough.

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