Saturday, March 5, 2022

A Cold War Primer

 The Bum’s Rush Summary of the Cold War






 

 

The End of the Romanov Dynasty and the Origins of Communist Russia

 

In 1918 the Bolsheviks (nascent Communist Party) executed the Tsar, Nicholas Romanov, and his entire family. Thus, eliminating a long line of tyrannical monarchies, which would soon be replaced by another type of tyranny, communism, under the “leadership” of Vladimir Lenin. The big three of the early communist party were Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky (who was assassinated, at the behest of Linin, in Mexico. Featured in the movie, Kahlo) Trotsky’s only fault was that he wanted more democratic reforms in the communist system. Lenin, an ego maniac, would not hear of such a foolish thing, and in order to nip Trotsky’s “dangerous” idea in the bud, he had him “terminated with extreme prejudice,” to borrow a phrase from the C.I.A.

 

WWII

 Having the second largest navy in the world, after the Great Britain’s, and a powerful economy, the U.S. had nothing to fear about Lenin or the Bolsheviks.

 

England declared war on Germany, Sept. 3, 1939, after the Nazis invaded Poland. France also declared war on Germany, shortly after Britain had. Although the Germans were able to invade and occupy France, beginning with the Vichy invasion on Nov. 10, 1942, the Germans weren’t able to crack the Anglo Shield, because for  the next two years, Great Britain stood its ground and was the only European country that the Nazis were unable to invade. However, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the U.S. to join the Brits in the fight against Hitler. Roosevelt wanted the U.S. to join Great Britain in fighting Hitler and the Nazi’s, but because popular opinion was against “getting into another war,” Congress would not vote for war.

However, the tide was soon to turn, when, in 1941, Japan pulled a sneak attack on the U.S Navy with its attack on Pearl Harbor. This event brought the United States into the war. We joined forces with England, Australia, and Canada, and others in World War II to fight the Japanese and the Germans.

 Hitler’s biggest mistake was to invade Russia. The Russians held the Nazis at bay and eventually defeated them. One of the strangest turn of events, was that during WWII, the Russian Communists were our allies. In war, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Russia made a bigger sacrifice than we and the rest of the allies. Twenty million Russians died, fighting the Nazis on the “Russian Front.”

 

After the end of the War, Josef Stalin (Russia), Winston Churchill (U.K.), and Harry Truman (United States) met at Potsdam, Germany (July 17-Aug 2, 1945) and decided which countries in Europe would become “Spheres of Influence” for the victors of the war. For Russia (Soviet Union) it would be Eastern Europe. Romania, Yugoslavia (current day-Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Slovenia) Czechoslovakia, (now the Czech Republic) Estonia, and Ukraine. The Russians “allowed” each of these countries self-rule, as long as their governments were members of the Communist Party, essentially extending Stalinist Dictatorship throughout Eastern Europe.

 


Nuclear Stalemate

July 16, 1945

The world's first nuclear explosion occurred on July 16, 1945, when a plutonium implosion device was tested at a site located 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico, on the barren plains of the Alamogordo Bombing Range, known as the Jornada del Muertos  (Wikipedia) The first two bombs developed in Los Alamos, developed by American Nuclear Physicists Robert Openheimer, Neils Bohr, and Edward Teller and called Fat Man and Little Boy. Fat Man was the first A-Bomb ever exploded.

Less than one month after the A-bomb was tested, on August 6, 1945, U.S. Airforce plane called the Enola Gay, dropped an Atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, with devasting consequences.  

 

The U.S. had been dropping thousands of flyers warning the people about the coming blast, and they warned Emperor Hirohito, an asked him to surrender. However, the emperor and the people of Japan thought the U.S. was bluffing and probably didn’t have such a bomb. The amazing thing is, even after the bomb had devastated Hiroshima, the emperor still wouldn’t surrender. However, after the U.S. dropped the second A-bomb (this one on Nagasaki) August 9, three days after the first, the emperor came to his senses and finally surrendered. Shortly after that, the United States occupied Japan and declared Marshal Law. The U.S. also helped rebuild their devastated cities.

 

A note about Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bomb:

You may here people say that the U.S. was inhumane to drop the A bomb on Japan. You might even hear us accused of being racist. After all, we were at war with Germany too. And since German’s are white, they were spared the A Bomb.

That’s pure bullshit, and here’s why. By the time we developed the Atomic Bomb, Germany was besieged by the Red Army on the Russian Front. The allies knew that Germany and Nazi’s were just about finished. Japan was another story.

Our troops had bloody battles with the Japanese to take the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. And at that point, the U.S. thought it would be sensible and the right thing to do for Japan to surrender.

 

How Russia—United Soviet Socialist Republic or U.S.S.R stopped being our friend and became our enemy.

 

For one thing, during World War II we were never really friends with the Russians, but allies. It was a convenient arrangement for us because as I mentioned the Russians did a terrific job in eliminating many Nazis, at a great cost though. It’s been estimated that Russians lost 20 million men women and children during the war. We were always diametrically opposed to the Russians way of life, that is, communism. After World War II, both superpowers (USA and Russia) declared their sphere of influence. Each country wanted a buffer between them and invaders. For Russia, it was Eastern Europe. But the United States, it was South America and Cuba.

It was understood, that neither country would ever try to invade and occupy any of the countries in the sphere influence. (The Russians violated this agreement in 1962, when they placed missiles in Cuba, which resulted in the Cuban missile crisis)

 

Even though Russia won the war by defeating the Nazis, many people in the U.S. Government, were less than enthusiastic about the fact that the “commies” were our allies. And after the war, it was clear that

 

Cuban Missile Crisis.

 

This was one of the scariest military standoff in U.S. history.

America flew spy missions regularly with their U2 planes, which could fly much higher than other planes, so they were undetectable by radar. The U2s would take pictures of specific sites, determined by the DOD (Department of Defense). In October of 1962, the pictures from the spy planes revealed missile sites in Cuba but the missile's themselves were yet to be installed. he Russians were planning to bring them in by boat and then to install them. President Kennedy made it clear the he would not allow missiles to come into Cuba, which is only 90 miles away from the U.S. and posed a significant threat.

The Russians sent a battle cruiser, stocked with the missiles intended for Cuba,

The U.S. response was a naval blockade. Then came the scary confrontation when the Russian ship carrying the missiles and the ships of the naval blockade faced each other out at sea. The world held it's breath, but, thank God, the Russians had the good sense to back down. There were other scary moments during the Cold War, but none as scary as the Cuban Missile Crisis.