source : facinghistory.org
The Invasion of the Soviet Union
Territories within the Soviet Union were crucial to Nazi plans to acquire Lebensraum, or prime “living space” for “Aryan” Germans. With continental western Europe firmly under German control, Hitler was ready for war with the Soviets in the summer of 1941. For Hitler, according to historian Wendy Lower, “the ultimate aim of this Vernichtungskrieg (war of destruction) against the Soviet Union was to make a ‘Garden of Eden’ out of the newly won territories in the East.”1 Germany planned to colonize western parts of the Soviet Union, especially the resource-rich lands of the Ukraine, as it had colonized the Warthegau in Poland. This would involve expelling the supposedly inferior “races” of Slavs and Jews who lived there and settling ethnic Germans in their place.2
Hitler ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union, which was code-named Operation Barbarossa, on June 22, 1941, deliberately breaking the nonaggression pact that the two countries had signed two years before. The invasion was the largest German military operation of World War II. Battle victories came quickly throughout the rest of 1941, as Germany conquered Soviet-controlled Poland, the Baltic states, and Ukraine. A month after the invasion began, Hitler described his vision for the lands Germany would conquer from the Soviet Union:
The German colonist ought to live on handsome, spacious farms. The German services will be lodged in marvelous buildings, the governors in palaces. . . . What India was for England, the territories of Russia will be for us. If only I could make the German people understand what this space means for our future! Colonies are a precarious possession, but this ground is safely ours. Europe is not a geographic entity, it’s a racial entity.3
From the Nazis’ point of view, in order to establish Europe as a “racial entity,” Operation Barbarossa would need to be fought as a “racial war” against the Jewish and Slavic “races.” Therefore, according to historian Richard Evans, German military officers believed they “were not just officers but also leaders in a racial struggle against ‘Jewish Bolshevism [Communism].’”4 In May 1941, German General Erich Hoepner issued the following orders to his soldiers:
The war against Russia is a fundamental part of the German people’s struggle for existence. It is the old struggle of the Germans against the Slavs, the defence of European culture against the Muscovite, Asiatic deluge, the defence against Jewish Bolshevism. This struggle must aim to smash the Russia of today into rubble, and as a consequence it must be carried out with unprecedented harshness.5
As a result of those orders and similar ones issued by other German generals, many Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) were shot and killed immediately after being captured, in violation of long-standing international agreements. In July 1941, General Hermann Reinecke, the officer in charge of prisoner affairs in the Armed Forces High Command, allowed security forces to screen Soviet POWs for “politically and racially intolerable elements.” Who were those “elements”? They were “intellectuals,” “fanatic Communists,” and Jews. Their executions did not take place in POW camps. Instead, prisoners were transferred to a remote area and shot.
Not all Soviet POWs were executed. But many others died in POW camps as a result of malnutrition and starvation as well as typhus and other diseases that went untreated. The chart below shows the percentage of deaths in the POW camps of various nations.
Deaths of POWs in Prisoner-of-War Camps during World War II 6
Soviet POWs held by Germans
British POWs held by Germans
German POWs held by Soviets
German POWs held by British
German POWs held by French
The Germans fought their “racial war” not only against Soviet soldiers but also against Soviet civilians. Attacks on civilians were carried out by four SS units, known as the Einsatzgruppen, that trailed the German army as it advanced eastward into the Soviet Union. Each of the four units had its own assigned territory: unit A served in the north, unit B along the central Russian front, unit C in northern Ukraine, and unit D in southern Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Crimea. Each had orders to murder anyone the Nazis considered an “enemy of the state,” eventually including hundreds of thousands of Jews, officials of the Soviet Communist Party, Sinti and Roma, and others. According to historian Doris Bergen, “Officially their goal was to secure conquered territory by combating bolshevism and preventing guerrilla warfare. In fact, during the summer of 1941, they began to interpret their primary job as slaughter of all Jews, including women, children, and old people.”7 (See readings, Mobile Killing Units and Reserve Police Battalion 101 in Chapter 9.)
The Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1939 – The pact was broken when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union less than two years later, on June 22, 1941. Why Did Hitler Want the Pact? Germany's participation in a two-front war in World War I had split its forces, weakening and undermining their offensive strength.Hitler's invasion of the ____ in June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements. soviet union In 1940, Hitler indicated his switch to military conquest rather than annexation by invadingHitler's invasion of the in June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements.
WWII Begins Quiz Flashcards | Quizlet – Hitler's invasion of the _____ in June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements. Soviet Union Before invading Poland, Hitler reached a secret agreement with the _______Click here 👆 to get an answer to your question ️ In June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements See answers (1) Ask for details ; Follow Report Log in to add a comment Answer 0. anonymous576. Answer: Adolf Hitler proved that he would constantly break agreements. 0Hitler intended to defeat Great Britain by a massive bombing attack. Hitler's invasion of the ______ in June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements.
Hitler's invasion of the in June 1941 proved that he would – Answers: 2, question: Hitler's invasion of the in june 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements.Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements. The correct option among all the options that are given in the question is the first option or option "a". The attack of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany occurred on 22nd of June in the year 1941 under the code name of "Barbarossa".Great Britain's success in the Battle of Britain and the Soviet defense of Russia proved that Hitler's army could be _____. WWII Begins. Hitler's invasion of the _____ in June 1941 proved that he would consistently break agreements. WWII Begins.
Wacław Krzeptowski – przywódca Goralenvolk – It was commonly believed that Poland and Poles were the only ones in occupied Europe that did not cooperate with the Germans.
There is a lot of truth in this statement, because Polish society was extremely averse to the Germans, and the occupiers did not show any special willingness to form a puppet government. However, the situation was different in Podhale, where it was decided to create certain specific forms of cooperation with the conquered population. The highlanders were considered to be a Germanic tribe – Goralenvolk, headed by Wacław Krzeptowski – an infamous symbol of collaboration with the German occupier. We would like to thank all our patrons for their support. Thanks to you, our channel has a chance for real development. You, too, can influence the materials we publish. Join us today on the Patronite platform. Wacław Krzeptowski was born on June 24, 1897 in Kościelisko. He came from a very famous highlander family who gave birth to many people who deservedly deserved Podhale. During World War I – like many Poles from this partition – Krzeptowski fought in the Austrian army. His main order was to catch deserters hiding in the mountains. After Poland regained independence, he was active in the Zakopane Highlanders' Association, he was the chairman of the People's Party structures and was friends with Wincenty Witos himself. In the church in Kościelisko he welcomed President Ignacy Mościcki with the proverbial salt and bread. In 1938, he donated a heavy machine gun to the Polish army from a family donation. Together with his family, he was part of the Zakopane elite. He cared for highlanders and highlanders. In the period of the reborn Republic of Poland, he was a well-known and respected person. However, it was not these facts from his life that made the name of Wacław Krzeptowski famous. Only with a gloomy and shameful fame. Krzeptowski had no head for his own interests – his debt amounted to seventy thousand zlotys. This led to the need to auction his property, which was planned on September 3, 1939. The war brought this matter to the background. Ultimately, the Germans suspended the auction – thanks to the occupier, Wenceslas was able to breathe. It was probably this – otherwise prosaic – reason that caused the dumb man to be somehow maneuvered into establishing contacts with the occupant. It is hard to say when Krzeptowski really decided to start cooperation with the Germans. Some believe that it happened before the war. It is more likely, however, that this happened only after the occupation of Zakopane by the Germans, and more specifically – after the famous pilgrimage of highlanders to Jasna Góra. The Germans took Podhale in the first days of September and immediately undertook the implementation of the plan to organize highlander collaboration, prepared before the war. The activities started very cleverly, first trying to win over the highlanders. Witalis Wieder – an agent of the Abwehr and the creator of Goralenvolk, whose appearance remains unknown – organized a pilgrimage to Jasna Góra Monastery in October in agreement with the Germans. It was attended, among others, by Wacław Krzeptowski and Józef Cukier – another of the leaders of Goralenvolk. The event itself was a pure propaganda effort – the Germans decided to show the Highlanders that the Jasna Góra sanctuary did not suffer and that it is possible to continue religious practice there, which was very important for the Podhale people committed to the faith. So the grip turned out to be effective. The highlanders, whom poverty regularly looked into, were simply and humanly grateful that the Germans had arranged for them the opportunity to pray for free in the most important Polish sanctuary. Not only simple people had a certain sympathy, but most of all the hero of our episode – Wacław Krzeptowski, who certainly decided that it is worth keeping with the occupant. However, it should be noted that strong friction with loved ones has already appeared here. The family did not approve of Wacław's sympathy, to which Wacław was said to have said during one of the family meetings: "It's not good to die, it's art to live". However, the pilgrimage was only a prologue in contacts with the occupant. The next step took place at the highest government level. Here is November 7, the day of the official takeover of government by Hans Frank – a delegation from the highlanders – Goralenvolk – arrives at Wawel. Krakauer Zeitung proclaimed: "In connection with taking up his office, the governor general greets at the castle in Krakow also a delegation of highlanders, a national group living in the vicinity of Zakopane, which, like other minorities of the Polish state, was oppressed by the rulers from Warsaw." The information is supplemented by a photo in which Krzeptowski shakes Hans Frank's hand. The tribute has been paid. Within a week, Hans Frank arrived in Zakopane on November 12. Krzeptowski was waiting for him at the spruce gate on Kościuszko Street. He addressed Frank with the words: "Meine lieben Kameraden, we have been groaning for twenty years under Polish rule, and now we are returning to the wings of the great German nation!" It was another excuse to show the friendly cooperation between the Germans and the Highlanders. On this occasion, "Goniec Krakowski" publishes the article "Governor General Dr. Frank in Zakopane", in which we read: The governor general visited Zakopane. Among others, a delegation of highlanders came to greet us. One of them assured the governor that the highlanders were satisfied with their present condition and described the suffering they had to endure in the past. The governor thanked them for the declaration of loyalty and assured them that the government of the German Reich always looked after the welfare of its minorities. He said that the persecution of the highlanders was over. The delegation presented the governor with the Highlanders' badge of honor. It was handcrafted and presents great artistic value. What happened with this badge and what it looked like is impossible to answer today. Let us add, however, that from that day on, Hans Frank was a frequent visitor to Zakopane – he most often stayed at the "Berg Hotel Krakau" hostel in Kalatówki, where he took a ski course with a local instructor. What did other Podhale people think about the behavior of Krzeptowski and his associates? Most of the highlanders were outraged by the behavior of their alleged representatives. People were simply ashamed. As Włodzimierz Wnuk recalls: “It got to the point that the highlander outfit, to which all Poland was so attached, became the subject of mockery. Highlanders who traveled to Kraków, Warsaw or other cities during the war changed into their city attire to avoid bitter moments of humiliation, insults and whistles. There were even cases of spitting on highlanders walking down the street. Here and there they were refused to sell goods. " Many highlanders were just angry. On the door of Krzeptowski's house someone hung a card with a prophetic threat that read: Wacuś, Wacuś, you will be hanging for something. The relationship between the prince of highlanders and the governor-general did not end in two meetings. Another one took place at the Maraton guesthouse, where Krzeptowski again groveled before Frank, repeating to his boredom the statements about the persecution of highlanders by the Polish government before the war. Meetings and submissive statements are one thing, but the activities of Goralenvolk had to be included in an administrative and organizational framework. It was an important issue because on September 1, the activities of the pre-war Highlanders Association were suspended. Therefore, at the beginning of 1940, an organizational meeting was called, attended by about 40 people. Then the Goralenverien was created, including: Wacław Krzeptowski as president, Józef Cukier as his deputy, and Andrzej and Stefan Krzeptowski. The governors of Goralenvolk did a good job of taking advantage of the opportunities created by the authorities. Wacław Krzeptowski had the only tobacco shop in Zakopane, Andrzej Krzeptowski – a huge shop with industrial goods. The global conflict is escalating. The political situation is changing, in the East there is a war between the Third Reich and the USSR. Germany needs clear and firm declarations from its vassals. Therefore, in Zakopane, the Goralisches Komitee – the Highlander Committee, is established, the regulations of which were already approved on November 11, 1941, although its official establishment dates back to February 4, 1942. One of the first activities undertaken by the institutions is the issuing of highlander documents – the famous kenkarts with the letter "G". It was different with taking Kennkarts and there were different motives when the highlanders supplied themselves with them. It was often done in the form of coercion, often out of pragmatism, and even more often unconsciously or by deception. During the launch of Kennkart, Wacław Krzeptowski was distinguished by his considerable commitment. Its effects depended on its prestige and recognition in the eyes of the German administration. He forced, blackmailed, organized rallies at which he presented the advantages of accepting a document with the letter G. At the rally held in Rabka, he was supposed to threaten: whoever does not take the card is "20 kg under the arm and vio from Podhale". Another important task of Goralenvolk was the organization of the Wafen-SS legion, which was to include the inhabitants of Podhale. It ended in a complete failure. Recruitment began in June 1942: only 300 volunteers applied and the Germans decided to get them drunk. Young highlanders by no means poured out their collar, so those drunk and mostly unaware people were loaded into wagons and sent for training in the camp in Trawniki, where only 200 of them qualified. When the alcohol evaporated, and the Podhale people noticed that they wanted to be made Nazis, they began to desert them en masse. To make matters worse, a quarrel broke out between them and the Ukrainians, which resulted in a fight. Due to numerous desertions, only a dozen or so attended the training, a few of which were accepted into the ranks of the Waffen-SS, while the rest were sent to forced labor in Germany. The total number of Waffen-SS members of goralism is unknown, numbers from 6 to 15 people are reported. The whole action was one great humiliation of Goralenfurst. Despite the damning initiatives, the Highlander Committee may also note positive actions. He organized folk kitchens, sought to release the highlanders from forced labor in the Reich, organized the collection of necessary medicines, mainly insulin, and helped the poor highlanders, who were abundant in Podhale. It was particularly important at the end of 1942, when the Typhus epidemic broke out in Podhale – no one other than Krzeptowski was organizing free medical assistance at that time. Noteworthy are also numerous grants for fire victims and the poor, which are confirmed in the sources. Wacław Krzeptowski was also a frequent guest of the Zakopane Gestapo, which was located in the Palace Hotel building. This place was a real hell and the real face of the German occupation of Podhale. Krzeptowski came here to denounce and receive orders, but also to save the highlanders whose families came to the Goral Prince for help. Most often, however, he succumbed to the pressure of German superiors, despising the fate of everyone who was their prisoner. This is clearly shown in the account of Jadwiga the Apostle – a soldier of the Tatra Confederation, an organization whose members effectively protected the honor of the highlanders: Once, when she was cleaning the hall, she noticed Weissmann accompanied by Krzeptowski. They were sitting back in their armchairs, the "prince of Podhale" spat on the floor every now and then, and the guard ordered Jadwiga to clean it. Nothing better illustrates Krzeptowski's pride and lies. The collapse of the two main initiatives of the Goralisches Komitee led to Wacław Krzeptowski. The Germans noticed that the whole idea of Goralenvolk simply had no chance of success. The difficult situation at the front also meant that the Third Reich simply did not have time to conduct this experiment deliberately. The increasingly organized Independence Underground effectively cooled the enthusiasm for the Goralenvolk idea, and some leaders were punished at the hands of the soldiers. The lead in the judgments was the guerrilla unit "Grab", commanded by Wojciech Dusza pseud. "Szarota". The commander was not an amateur. By 1943, he had carried out twenty-two executions of traitors and informers associated with Goralenvolk. The Highlander Committee was dissolved by the Germans themselves, which took place at the beginning of November 1944. The burning of compromising documents has begun. The Underground hated Goralenvolk, and there were no major divisions here. Everyone considered them traitors, from socialists to the most extreme right-wing groups. No wonder then that Wacław Krzeptowski was sentenced to death immediately. As early as in the spring of 1940, a branch of the ZWZ in Zakopane was appointed to carry out the sentence. The action did not take place. According to Wojciech Szatkowski, the author of the monumental monograph on the history of Goralenvolk, the attack simply could not be enough because of the enormous consequences that would befall the Podhale people. The Germans had prepared special lists of prominent residents who would be shot immediately in the event of subversive actions. This fact put the executors of the underground movement in check. In the summer of 1943, attempts were made to liquidate Krzeptowski again. A four-person Independent Operational Group of the Home Army Inspectorate "Niwa" set off for Zakopane, and they were ordered to stab Krzeptowski. The action did not take place because the commander was fatally ill. The idea was returned once again – namely in December 1944, when a partisan unit of the Home Army "Kurniawa", commanded by Tadeusz Studziński – Kurzawa who carried out several death sentences on traitors. Now is the time for a highlander prince. At the same time, the order to capture Krzeptowski was given to Rudolf Samardak from the "Grunwald" group operating in cooperation with the Soviet partisans. Krzeptowski spent the last months of the German occupation on the other side of the Tatra Mountains. Wanted by the occupation authorities and Polish partisan units, everyone considered him a traitor, he decided to take refuge in Slovakia and there – incognito – join the Slovak uprising. Equipped with dollars, valuables and, above all, Egyptian cigarettes, he managed to buy himself into the favors of the Soviet partisan unit. When the uprising in Slovakia collapsed, Goralenfurst decided to return to Podhale. First he stopped at the Stoły. The Stoły is located on the ridge and the steep eastern slope, at an average height of about 1300–1360 m. There are traditional shelters here, there used to be several dozen of them, today only three remain. Krzeptowski was probably hiding in one of these huts. Finally, he descended on Gronik in Kościelisko, where he stayed until January 20, 1945, that is, until he was found by the Polish partisan unit. Few sources from that day have survived. One of them is the account of the commander of the Home Army unit "Kurniawa", who captured Krzeptowski: "Among the strangers, I noticed one – wrote Lieutenant Tadeusz Studziński, the commander of the unit – Height one hundred and seventy five centimeters, stout, bald, face quite full with rice bristles. Dressed in a Slovak uniform without badges. As I watched him silently, he ran to the threshold, shook my hand with both of his, and said the first: – Hello, Lieutenant! I'm waiting for Radek Samardak. This is my friend. He is now the guide of the Russian partisans. We've been hiding from the Germans together since autumn. When I saw the partisans, I was a little surprised. Because I am to visit the Soviet comrades today. I wanted to give them a lot of weapons. Rudek told me that they needed guns and cartridges very much. "The Russians won't come today," I lied because of the women and children. Just outside the house, Krzeptowski grabbed my arm with both hands and asked quietly: "Lieutenant, you won't be doing this kind of research with me, are you?" I am a disabled person from the First World War and an old peasant man. Right, you're not gonna be there-there, investigating me, huh? You see, people talk badly about me, but that's not true. I have the documents, how many good things have I done. Every now and then he whispered in my ear with emotion. He considers himself a man of great merit. He talked about his six-month service in the Austrian army. He was wounded on the Russian front. He spoke of the letters he had received from people of thanks for four years. Listening to it, I wondered whether to hang it in Zakopane or somewhere closer, in an easily accessible place. – You are arrested by the Home Army – I said. – I know what for. But it's not my fault. Soon we stopped […] When the partisan put a rope on him, Krzeptowski asked:
– Give me a bullet, Lieutenant, a bullet … – The bullet is an honorary death. Traitors don't deserve it. Before the execution of the sentence, the former leader of Goralenvolk was forced to draw up a will. Krzeptowski had a card attached to his jacket, which said that this will be the end of everyone who betrayed Poland. Krzeptowski hung all night and the next day until his family cut him off. He was buried in an unknown place in the parish cemetery in Kościelisko. In the New Cemetery in Zakopane there is a grave of the Krzeptowski family with the name of Wacław Krzeptowski, but the inscription is only symbolic. I am not able to judge Wacław Krzeptowski. His character is simply too difficult to assess unequivocally. The word traitor is on the lips, but that would be too much of a simplification. Did Wacław betray Podhale, whose situation he was after all striving to improve? Probably not. Can his humility towards Hans Frank be understood in any way? Here, too, the answer is definitely negative. The opinions of the witnesses are also divided, although the majority strongly condemn Krzeptowski. It is certain that he did not do as much harm as he could. However, he definitely had a problem with the moral judgment of his actions and with distinguishing good from bad. He was killed without trial. Is it right? Everyone, regardless of their faults, deserves the opportunity to defend themselves. On the other hand, war – and especially this one – has its own rules. Perhaps we would learn something more during the trial, or perhaps we would all be deceived, because Wacław Krzeptowski perfectly manipulated people. Let us leave his final assessment to someone who knew him very well: Józef Krzeptowski, who, unlike his relative, was a hero, the so-called prince of Tatra couriers, who crossed the Tatras 58 times as a courier. He said simply, in highlander: Wacuś was even a good man, only devoutly stupid. .
The Atomic Age – COLD WAR – The Second World War saw scientific and technological
advancements proceed at an almost unprecedented pace.
Those advancements paired themselves
to a willingness to win by any means necessary and to destroy the enemy. What was born from
this destructively fertile ground was an atomic industry, harnessed and directed by the military
to create a new weapon of mass destruction, a nuclear bomb. These are weapons so powerful
and capable of such indiscriminate destruction, that they have only been used in a hostile
manner twice, by the same nation it should be added, despite being possessed by a number
of nations. I’m your host David, and today we will begin talking about the advent of
the nuclear weapons programs in the Second World War and the early Cold War period. I
am also going to outline one of the guiding theories of nuclear weapons use during this
entire period, the nightmare-inducing Mutually Assured Destruction. This is…The Cold War.
So to start, we should probably go over a quick history of the development of the atomic
bomb. For once, our story isn't going to start during World War II, but rather just before,
with the discovery in 1938 in Germany of a process called Nuclear Fission. This is a
process where atoms of radioactive materials are split, causing a powerful release of energy.
This knowledge and research, as I’m sure you would expect, was quickly taken over by
various militaries to see if it could be harnessed into a usable weapon.
In the United States, a 1939 letter written to President Roosevelt by physicist Leo Szilard
and signed by Albert Einstein, Edward Teller, and Eugene Wigner warned of the possibility
of Nazi Germany developing atomic weapons and urged the United States to develop its
own nuclear program while at the same time stockpiling as much uranium ore as possible.
In October of 1941 Roosevelt approved the Army to begin an atomic research program.
Just over a year later, in December of 1942, one of the most famous science experiments
of all time was established, the Manhattan Project, bringing together scientists and
the military to build an atomic weapon. The United Kingdom was also invited to participate
in the Manhattan Project however, they already had their own independent research project
underway, codenamed Alloy Tubes, and Churchill declined the offer of cooperation. American
offers of financial cooperation were also refused, as the British felt their own program
was further ahead than the Americans and the British did not want to lose control of the
technology. However, due to financial stress from the War, the British had a difficult
time providing adequate funding, leading Churchill to eventually agree to cooperate with Roosevelt,
albeit informally. By 1943, however, British cooperation had
all but ceased, with the British no longer sending scientists or even their research
to the United States. In response, the US stopped sharing any of THEIR information.
Collaboration only resumed after the August 1943 Quebec Agreement at the urging of the
scientists involved in the projects themselves. This sort of reminds me of my kids, fighting
over a toy until I need to step in and break up the fight. Only, in this case, the politicians
are the kids and the scientists are the adult. Not much of a stretch, really…
Anyways, back to the Manhattan Project…by June of 1944, one hundred and thirty thousand
people were dedicated to the program. In a time of total war, this was a major undertaking,
assigning so many skilled workers and scientists to one specific project. The project itself,
under the direction of the theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer and primarily located in
Los Alamos, New Mexico, was cloaked in secrecy. The vast majority of the people involved in
the project actually had no idea what they were even working on. Any mention of the project’s
purpose was punishable with a severe fine or a ten year jail term.
The German nuclear program, for it’s part had suffered delays and setbacks, in part
the result of Allied attacks on research facilities including the SOE sponsored Operation Gunnerside,
which destroyed the heavy water facilities in Telemark, Norway. If you don’t know this
story, go find out about; it is fascinating! But anyway, after the Allied landings in Normandy
and the liberation of northern France, a team of scientists was dispatched to accompany
the advance and gain information about the status of the German nuclear program, while
at the same time, denying any found information to the Soviet Union. The Allied conclusion
from this information gathering was that the German program lacked sufficient resources
to produce an atomic weapon in the near future, leaving the United States well ahead of any
other country in its progress towards the nuclear age. On July 16, 1945 the Trinity
test was conducted at the Alamagordo Bombing Range in New Mexico and the successful completion
of the test brought the world into a new age. A few weeks later, on August 6th The United
States stepped further into the history books, detonating Little Boy, a uranium-based weapon
over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, becoming the only nation to use a nuclear weapon in
anger. Three days later, it doubled down on this record, detonating Fat Man, a plutonium-based
bomb over the city of Nagasaki. These two raids killed over 100,000 people outright,
the result of the blast effects, the heat and the subsequent radiation. Although the
Americans were prepared to conduct further nuclear strikes, the Japanese surrender on
August 15 prevented further nuclear use. So that is the Allied nuclear project…but
what were the Soviets doing? While they weren’t ignoring nuclear technology during the war
years, the Soviet program had a different trajectory than that of the Western Allies.
The struggle against Nazi Germany was THE clear priority after 1941 and it absorbed
the vast majority of Soviet resources. This meant that very little human and material
resources were available for theoretical projects. This changed however in April of 1942 when
the Soviet physicist Georgy Flyorov wrote directly to Stalin to point out that Western
scientific publications surrounding the topic of fission had all but stopped after 1939.
Flyorov surmised, correctly as we already know, that secret projects were underway to
weaponize the technology. The letters to Stalin and Molotov urged Soviet leadership not to
ignore this new field of research and went so far as to encourage the development of
a uranium bomb as soon as possible. Stalin, as we have pointed out previously,
was always a pragmatist, and recognizing the importance that such technology would bring
to whoever possessed it, immediately initiated a bomb project of his own. He appointed the
physicists Anatoly Alexandrov and Igor Kurchatov to head the project. Of course, “guidance”
from senior leadership was still required and initially this role fell to Molotov however,
the project was eventually transferred to the responsibility of the Soviet Army, but
with major support from Lavrenty Beria, the head of the NKVD. Clearly, everybody wanted
a piece of what they all knew would be a crown jewel of Soviet power and authority.
One of the largest challenges faced by the Soviet nuclear program was sourcing a sufficient
amount of uranium. The first uranium mine in the Soviet Union had been established in
Tajikistan in 1945 but the amounts produced were not enough for military production. It
was only after uranium supplies from the German nuclear program had been seized, as well as
taking advantage of mines in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland
that sufficient resources were secured to proceed with the program.
Design Bureau 11, commonly referred to as KB-11, was created on April 9, 1946 by the
Council of Ministers. KB-11 was tasked to map out and work towards creating a nuclear
weapon, using the American approach and weapons grade plutonium as the detonation trigger,
instead of uranium, which was proving more difficult to work with. Work on this project
was carried out quickly and the first Soviet nuclear came online in late October of 1946.
Now, we should address one of the more debated topics in the history of the Cold War. I am
of course talking about the role of espionage in the development of the Soviet nuclear program.
There are many that argue that without the large spy network employed by the Soviet Union,
that the USSR would never have been able to develop their own bomb.
The Soviets had not only seized much of the knowledge from the German nuclear program
but had also infiltrated the Allies nuclear programs, with such names and Klaus Fuchs,
Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, as well as members of the Cambridge Five feeding information
back to Soviet Intelligence. For those who are interested, definitely stay tuned to The
Cold War as we will definately be exploring those stories!
So there is no controversy that the Soviets took advantage of Western intelligence. But
I did say, that it was a debated topic, didn’t I?? Where this debate rests is if the Soviets
could have developed their own bomb independent of any “borrowed” American ideas. The
Soviet physicist and scholar, Yulii Khariton, who also happened to be a part of the Soviet
nuclear program, admitted in later interviews that the information obtained from intelligence
sources was very important. He also however insisted that the role played by Soviet scientists
and researchers was still key. His argument was that since the Soviet program was already
well underway, they were in a position to make sense of the intelligence they were receiving
and to then know what was feasible and what might be disinformation.
Ultimately, the Soviet program was successful and they test launched their first ballistic
rocket in 1948 and on August 29, 1949 successfully detonated the RDS-1 device. Named First Lightning
by the Soviets, it was nicknamed Joe-1 after its original sponsor, this man right here!
The test sight was in an area that became known as the Polygon, outside the town of
Semipalatinsk in the Kazhak Soviet Socialist Republic.
OK, so now that both East and West had harnessed atomic weapons, both sides realized the terrible
destructive power they both possessed and agreed to get rid of them forever, right?
RIGHT?? Not so much… What both sides embarked on was a program
of escalation, developing and building atomic weapons of greater and greater yield capable
of destroying huge swathes of the earth with the push of a button. I’m going to jump
ahead here in our timeline for a second to mention a theory that wouldn’t be named
until 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis but whose seeds were planted in the story
I just told. Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD theory, is a security doctrine that
preaches deterrence, or avoiding conflict based on the understanding that any attack
made by one side using nuclear weapons would be met by an equally destructive response.
MAD theory is basically the understanding that in an atomic war where both sides are
armed with enough firepower to destroy the planet several times over, nobody wins and
therefore war is to be avoided. Now, as I said, this is jumping ahead a little
from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. We still need to go through the 1950s which saw
unprecedented nuclear advancements, of increasingly devastating magnitude, including the Tsar
Bomba and the infamous Castle Bravo test. But as we get to those stories, I want you
to keep in mind the idea that underpin Mutually Assured Destruction, the total destruction
of the planet, and how that can affect both political and social decision making.
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History of World War 2 (in One Take) | History Bombs – 元首，他們準備好讓你說出真相了 真相不重要，贏才是重點 一戰結束後二十年仍然感到絕望 違抗凡爾賽條約非常容易 經濟大蕭條促使德國陷入動亂，引發侵略 從1939到1945年 超過六千萬人喪生 歐洲脆弱的和平
怎麼度過第二次的戰爭惡夢 德國怎麼被一個狂人的白癡目標影響？ 他建立了仇恨組成的恐怖政權 現在跟著我們一起來：
History Bomb：第二次世界大戰 我們必須要站起來為祖國爭光 我們的孩子，亞利安民族會為我們洗刷恥辱 趕走猶太人，他們讓我們衰弱
侵略捷克斯洛伐克 1939年八月歐洲情勢緊張 他找到一個蘇聯假盟友約瑟夫…
忘記和英法的軍事同盟 太好了，打波蘭，速戰速決 然後平分？ 五五 1939年九月，德國與蘇聯入侵波蘭 協議瓜分這個被他們夾擊的國家 英國首相內維爾張伯倫一直想與德國保持和平 但這次他無法坐視希特勒的侵略意圖 目前對於波蘭的情況我可以保證都在掌握之中 我們必須冷靜，我確定希特勒先生很快就會撤退 先生抱歉打擾 已經11點了，柏林沒有任何消息 天啊！我們沒有後路可退了
德軍已開始入侵西歐 這就是新的高密度作戰，稱為『閃擊戰』 他們以爆炸性的速度橫掃法國 約在1940年五月，盟軍被迫往英吉利海峽撤退 我聽過傑利鼠的『閃擊戰』 可我沒想到他們喝水開加速硬幹！ 他們把我們全部趕往大海 我們把裝備丟下來，嚇到褲子裡都剉賽！ 我們最好趕快閃，希望他們可以弄一些船 不然30萬隻湯姆貓都要用浮板 你想我們會不會再回來拿槍？ 我哪知道，現在只有一個方向！ 克服萬難，30萬盟軍在敦克爾克撤離 但他們丟下許多弟兄和珍貴的裝備 隨著西歐淪陷，英國現在孤立無援 希特勒想在1940年夏天給英國皇家空軍致命一擊
如果皇家空軍輸了我們就完蛋 又有一個中隊飛過海峽！ 別龜了，出發，起飛吧！ 由於皇家空軍死守
希特勒入侵英國的計劃馬上就停滯了 大致上要感謝新上任的英國首相 最美好的時刻！ 德軍轟炸機繼續轟炸英國城市
幾個月下來的閃擊沒什麼突破 基於對戰果的渴望，希特勒看向東方 元首，我們又失去一架轟炸機
恐怕閃擊已經不給力 該死！這種情況下我們進軍東方，去蘇聯 史達林可能不喜歡這樣！ 1941年六月德軍攻擊蘇聯軍隊
之前兩國還站在同一陣線 然後，挑戰一個強大的力量好像還不夠 十二月的時候天堂出了大麻煩 夏威夷的美軍遭遇日本突襲 你媽這三小？
這的確是關鍵 1942年六月美國在中途島海戰對日本取得決定性的勝利 十月，盟軍在埃及的沙漠中有更進一步的突破 天啊！熱到快發瘋
這傢伙可以帶領我們勝利！ 盟軍於阿拉曼的勝利對北非戰役來說是個關鍵轉捩點 同時冬線德軍在史達林格勒的大雪中蒙受巨大損失 他們缺乏補給而蘇軍意志頑強且堅定 當希特勒不斷往東進軍時
美國決定放兩個大招 天啊！我們做了什麼 廣島和長崎不見了 核能時代已經展開 我們變成死神，世界被破壞 1945年八月15日，日本投降以拯救人們的生命 在這全球性的戰爭中 整個世界已被改變 無數國家裡無數的生命消逝 所以我們必須站在一起 砲火已經停歇 當各個國家肩並肩時 就會歸於和平 6000萬人於第二次世界大戰中喪生 包括大屠殺中的6百萬猶太人 幾乎世界上所有國家都參與了這場