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The Reunification of Germany... DENIED!

Since the closing days of World War 2, Germany has been occupied by the Allied forces, but each Ally has its own assigned region. The region of Soviet occupation is officially called (in English) "The German Democratic Republic" or DDR for short because actually using the word "Democratic" is just too much BS even for the communists. (I wish that was a joke.) This year Stalin proposes to unify Germany once more. He promises freedom of speech, freedom of religion, bread and circuses. Hooray! Everything a nation could want except self-defense, and a mutual defense treaty with NATO. Travel between the DDR and the West is fairly easy in certain places. At this point about 8 million German refugees have crossed into the West. They don't believe Stalin. (Imagine that.) As negotiations break down the German borders are sealed by the Soviets. Entry into West Berlin is still open, so an additional 16,000 Germans flee there in August alone. Next year over 200,000 will make their way West. Berlin is a shining jewel of capitalism in the midst of communist oppression... oh... I mean a workman's paradise. The contrast will become so stark that the DDR leadership will insist on a wall of separation... a high wall... the Berlin Wall. Construction will begin in 1961. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Oddly enough, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, grew up in the DDR, and Vladimir Putin was a KBG agent there, so there is no love lost between them today. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan called for the General Secretary of the Soviet Union to "tear down this wall," meaning the Berlin Wall. Reagan's advisors thought it would be too confrontational, but he was the President. It said so on TV. A few years later, the wall came tumbling down. A piece of the Berlin Wall is currently set up as a monument at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. It's not too pretty, but freedom rarely is. [4] [5]

The State of Nuclear Weapons

1952 was a big year for the proliferation of nuclear arms. To start of the trio of major advances in nuclear arms was the maiden voyage of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.[6] While it wouldn't be operational until 1955, this was new jet-powered major step to better allowing the US to be able expand it's operational range of delivering nuclear weapons. The B-52 was a replacement for the B-36 Peacemaker, which used a piston-engine that drives propellers, though it was later retrofitted with an added pair of jet-engines.[7] The B-52 is still in use today due to it's good performance at high subsonic speeds, and it's low operational costs. The next major advancement of nuclear weapons in 1952 was the October 3rd testing of the United Kingdoms first nuclear weapon in Australia during Operation Hurricane. The test was successful and had a 25 kiloton yield, which was only slightly more powerful than the US's "Fat Man" bomb.[8] The final major advance in nuclear armament in 1952 was the first ever successful test of a hydrogen bomb by the US on October 31st during Operation Ivy[9], code named "Mike", this test resulted in a yield of 10.4 megatons, which is almost 500 times as powerful as the "Fat Man" bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

My Take by Southpaw Ben

What possible legitimate use could there be for a single weapon that could create a crater 6,240 ft across and 164 ft deep?[10] This crater was the result of the "Mike" test from operation Ivy. The US government, in it's infinite wisdom, had decided that the best way to remain in the lead during the Cold War arms race was to create a weapon that's use could be reasonably called genocide. As Japan had spread it's means of productions out instead of having them contained in a single factory convenient for bombing, the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were nominally on military targets, as these factories produced goods that were vital to the Japanese war effort. If the US were ever to use a H-bomb, it's hard imagine that even the United State's closest allies could justify this use as being against an actually military target, and not just using the nearest actual military target as an excuse for the inevitable massive amount of destruction. With the amount of destruction possible, maybe even probable, should the US ever go to war with Russia, it never fails to amaze me how many Americans view working with Russia as tantamount to treason. While Russia definitely has some human rights violation issues, perhaps we would be better off by attempting friendly relations with Russia and trying convince them as allies to change their ways, rather than aggressively pressuring a paranoid country that, within most adult's lifetime, was in a position to wipe the US off the map just as well as the US could return the favor, and that likely could do so still today.[11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Good one, Southpaw Ben! I live outside of Austin, Texas just across the county line. I sometimes contrast the difference between the atom bomb at Nagasaki with the hydrogen bomb as follows: if an atom bomb hit Austin, it would beat the ever-lovin-tar out of downtown, but out here in the sticks, it would probably crack a few windows and knock down my fence. A hydrogen bomb would knock down my fence, my house, and very likely I'd burst into flames. Regarding nuclear proliferation as we have come to call it, the communist threat of nuclear annihilation in 1952 was real. Only the sanity of Stalin prevented it from happening... and that was a very thin reed to grasp for. It was actually Mao of communist China that was the real threat. Mao was the only man that Stalin thought was crazier than he was. [12] [13]

Notable Births

  • Vladimir Putin: KGB agent, FSB Director, Prime Minister and President of Russia. [14]
  • John Kasich: Governor (R) of Ohio, and presidential candidate. [14]
  • David Petraeus: 4-Star General and CIA Director. [14]
  • Maureen Dowd: New York Times columnist. [14]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Billy West: The voice of "Fry" on Futurama. [14]
  • -- Jonathan Frakes: Star Trek: 2nd Generation's Commander William T. Riker. [14]
  • -- Michael Dorn: Star Trek: 2nd Generation's Mr. Worf. (Klingon Starfleet officer) [14]
  • -- Dan Aykroyd: Saturday Night Live comedian, The Blues Brothers, Coneheads, and Ghostbusters. [14]
  • -- John Goodman and Roseanne Barr: The TV sitcom couple on Roseanne. [14]

This Year in Film

  • The Greatest Show on Earth: Circus drama and Academy Award winner. [15]
  • Singin' in the Rain: Musical comedy, directed, choreographed, and acted by Gene Kelly. [15]
  • Hans Christian Andersen: Starring Danny Kaye in various fairy tales. [15]

This Year in Music

  • Delicado: Instrumental by Percy Faith and his Orchestra . [16] [17]
  • You Belong To Me: Jo Stafford, "See the pyramids along the Nile...just remember all the while..." [16] [18]
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Jimmy Boyd. (He's 12-years-old!) [16]

In Other News

  • Project Blue Book begins: It is a statistical survey of UFO sightings, but without computers, it is really a filing cabinet and people making notes. [19]
  • The Mau Mau Uprising begins: Also known as the Kenya Emergency, this uprising was against the British rule of Kenya. [20]
  • Selman Waksman discovers the cure for tuberculosis. It's streptomycin. He gets the Nobel Prize this year. [1] [21]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1952, Wikipedia.

This Year in Newsreel

1952 Newsreel, YouTube.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 534-535. “16,000 people escape from East to West Berlin in August” 
  2. Stalin Note - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017. “James Warburg, member of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, testified before the committee on March 28, 1952 and observed that the Soviet proposal might be a bluff, but it seemed 'that our government is afraid to call the bluff for the fear that it may not be a bluff at all' and might lead to 'a free, neutral, and demilitarized Germany', which might be 'subverted into Soviet orbit'. This led to an exchange of notes between the Western allies and the Soviet Union, which eventually ended after the Western allies' insistence that a unified Germany should be free to join the European Defence Community and be rearmed, a demand which Stalin rejected as only a few years previously Germany had caused unprecedented destruction and loss of life in the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War.”
  3. Berlin Wall - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017. “On Saturday, 12 August 1961, the leaders of the GDR attended a garden party at a government guesthouse in Döllnsee, in a wooded area to the north of East Berlin. There Ulbricht signed the order to close the border and erect a wall. At midnight, the police and units of the East German army began to close the border and, by Sunday morning, 13 August, the border with West Berlin was closed. East German troops and workers had begun to tear up streets running alongside the border to make them impassable to most vehicles and to install barbed wire entanglements and fences along the 156 kilometres (97 mi) around the three western sectors, and the 43 kilometres (27 mi) that divided West and East Berlin.”
  4. Angela Merkel - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017. “A former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, and briefly served as a deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government headed by Lothar de Maizière in 1990. Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and has been reelected ever since.”
  5. Tear down this wall! - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017. “The speech was also a source of considerable controversy within the Reagan administration itself, with several senior staffers and aides advising against the phrase, saying anything that might cause further East-West tensions or potential embarrassment to Gorbachev, with whom President Reagan had built a good relationship, should be omitted. American officials in West Germany and presidential speechwriters, including Peter Robinson, thought otherwise. Robinson traveled to West Germany to inspect potential speech venues, and gained an overall sense that the majority of West Berliners opposed the wall. Despite getting little support for suggesting Reagan demand the wall's removal, Robinson kept the phrase in the speech text. On May 18, 1987, President Reagan met with his speechwriters and responded to the speech by saying, 'I thought it was a good, solid draft.' White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker objected, saying it sounded 'extreme' and 'unpresidential,' and Deputy US National Security Advisor Colin Powell agreed. Nevertheless, Reagan liked the passage, saying, 'I think we'll leave it in.'”
  6. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017.
  7. Convair B-36 Peacemaker - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017.
  8. Operation Hurricane - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017.
  9. Operation Ivy - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017.
  10. Operation Ivy. Retrieved on 14 February 2017.
  11. Hardcore History 59 -(Blitz) The Destroyer of Worlds (Tuesday 24 January 2017). Retrieved on 7 February 2017.
  12. Alex Shrugged notes: My comments on Mao and Stalin come from my reading of Mao: The Untold Story by Jung Chang who was born in the year 1952.
  13. Jung Chang - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017. “a Chinese-born British writer now living in London, best known for her family autobiography Wild Swans, selling over 10 million copies worldwide but banned in the People's Republic of China. Her 832-page biography of Mao Zedong, Mao: The Unknown Story, written with her husband, the Irish historian Jon Halliday, was published in June 2005.”
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 1952 Births - Wikipedia (2017).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 1952 in film - Wikipedia (2017).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 1952 in music - Wikipedia (2017).
  17. 1952 HITS ARCHIVE: Delicado - Percy Faith (his original #1 version) - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017.
  18. 1952 HITS ARCHIVE: You Belong To Me - Jo Stafford (her original #1 version) - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017.
  19. Project Blue Book - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 23 June 2016. “Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) conducted by the United States Air Force. It started in 1952, and it was the third study of its kind (the first two were projects Sign (1947) and Grudge (1949)). A termination order was given for the study in December 1969, and all activity under its auspices ceased in January 1970.”
  20. Mau Mau Uprising - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017.
  21. Selman Waksman - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 14 February 2017. “In 2005 Selman Waksman was granted an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of the significant work of his lab in isolating more than fifteen antibiotics, including streptomycin, which was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis.”

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