Dedicated to the physicist who discovered the quantum of action.

I may have written a previous post dedicated to Quantum Mechanics but I wanted to take this opportunity and write more about Max Planck since his work is the actual basis of quantum theory (interesting fact: he received his degrees from the University of Berlin and University of Munich and he also won a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918!)

In order to understand the spectral-energy distribution of radiation from a blackbody (physical body that takes in all electromagnetic radiation, no matter the frequency or angle of incidence) Planck believed that the source of radiation were made up of atoms in a state of oscillation (moving back and forth or period motion) and that vibrational energy of each oscillator (which can take in or give off energy only in quantities which are multiples of Planck’s constant times the frequency of the oscillator) may have any of a series of discrete values but never any value between.

When an oscillator changes from E1 (state of energy) to a lower state E2, the amount of energy  E1 − E2 (or quantum of radiation) is equal to the product of the frequency of radiation (frequency in physics meaning number of waves that go through a fixed point in unit time and also number of cycles throughout one unit of time in periodic notion) which is now formulized as Planck’s constant that he created from blackbody radiation information, for instance E1 − E2 = hν.

The Stefan-Boltzmann law discusses the blackbody emissive power (known as Eb) which is the sum of radiation from all wavelengths. Planck’s law explains the range of blackbody radiation (amount of radiation from a surface at a specific wavelength based on the surface temperature, condition of the surface and material of the body) which depends on the object’s temperature and relates to the blackbody emissive power of E (λ meaning wavelength). Planck’s law has been written using modern physics and quantum theory and his hypothesis is based upon the idea that energy is emitted in “discrete quanta”. It’s also important to point out that Wien’s displacement law gives the wavelength at which the Planck law has the most/maximum intensity. You can see this happen using the equation of where h is Planck’s constant, c is the speed of light, k is Boltzmann’s constant and T is the temperature.

Tribute to WWII.

World War II took place between 1st September 1939 to September 2nd 1945 around Europe, Pacific Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean and Northern Africa. The Commanders were (Allies) Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek, Charles de Gaulle (Axis) Adolf Hitler, Hirohito and Benito Mussolini. As for casualties WWII may have totaled over 60 million service personnel and civilians killed. Nations suffering the highest losses, military and civilian, in order are:

USSR: 42,000,000
Germany: 9,000,000
China: 4,000,000
Japan: 3,000,000

Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi Party) equipped the nation and signed strategic treaties with Italy and Japan to support his ambitions of world domination. Hitler’s attack of Poland in September 1939 drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany, and this is how World War II started. Over the next six years, the battle would take more lives and demolish more property and land around the world than any previous war. Among the estimated 45-60 million people killed – 6 million of them were Jews murdered in Nazi concentration camps as part of Hitler’s “Final Solution” plan which is now referred to as the Holocaust. In many aspects World War II grew out of issues left unresolved by World War I which greatly weakened Europe. The political and economic instability in Germany, and remaining resentment over the harsh terms imposed by the Versailles Treaty, charged the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi) Party.

1939

March 15: Czechoslovakia surrenders after Adolf Hitler annexes the country into the Third Reich. The Czechs stood silently in a hopeless state when the Nazis entered Prague (even though they happily welcomed the Germans when they entered the Sudetenland months earlier)

August 31: Adolf Hitler signs the order for an attack on Poland. After the Germans staged a fake raid on a Gleiwitz radio station, they blame the Polish for the “unprovoked strike”

September 1: Without declaring war, Germany attacks Poland. The coordinated air-and-land attack is organized with brutal efficiency that “blitzkrieg” becomes a feared tactic.(Blitzkrieg is a term used to describe a method of offensive warfare designed to strike a swift, focused blow at an enemy using mobile, maneuverable forces, including armored tanks and air support. Such an attack ideally leads to a quick victory, limiting the loss of soldiers and artillery, as described history.com)

September 3: France and Great Britain enter the war against Germany (by honoring their treaty with Poland)

September 4: Japan, occupied in a war with China, announces its neutrality in the European War.

September 5: As the war took place in Europe, the American People heavily favored isolationism. With the nation still doubtful of Allied propaganda after it had persuaded the U.S. into the first World War, the U.S. announces its neutrality in the European War.

September 10: Canada declares war on Germany.

September 27: Warsaw, Poland, yield to German forces. Poland is divided by Germany and Russia.

October 16: In the first attack on British territory, the Germans hit the Brits at the Firth of Forth. They damage cruisers South-Hampton and Edinburgh and the destroyer Mohawk.

November 14: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for its aggression against Finland.

December 12: The 1940 Olympic Games that were supposed to be held in Finland got cancelled.

1940

March 19: The first bombs were dropped by The British on German soil as the Royal Air Force hits the seaplane base at Hornum (Hornum is a municipality in the district of Nordfriesland, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located on the southern headland of the island of Sylt)

April 9: Germany attacks Denmark and Norway with the first airborne attacks on Allied forces.

May 10: Germany invades Luemborg, Holland, and Belgium. The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns because The Houses of Parliament lost their trust in him after the debacle of Dunqurk and his failure of appeasement policies. (it’s important to read what David Lloyd said to Chamberlain on the 7th of May 1940 as well) He was forced to resign and was replaced by Churchill while Chamberlain also paid a political price for the failure of Britain in Norway in the spring of 1940. Churchill soon started conferring and having discussions with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt for aid to the British cause.

May 12: The Germans cross the French border.

June 4: Leaving behind weapons and supplies at Dunkirk. The British evacuate over 338,000 soldiers from France. (The Battle of Dunkirk: As the Allies were losing the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation to Britain of British and remaining Allied forces in Europe from 26th May to 4th June in the year of 1940)

June 10: Italy joins the war as an ally of Germany.

June 11: Italy announces war against the Allies. Great Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and South Africa declare war on Italy. General Hering, the military governor of Paris declares the French capital an open city to prevent its destruction.

June 14: The Germans march into Paris.

June 21: France accept German terms to temporarily stop fighting, creating the Vichy Government under Marshal Petain.

July 3: A British airborne invasion sinks French vessels at Oran and Mers-el-Kebir to stop them from passing into German possession.

August 13: The Battle of Britain started. The air war was planned to destroy the RAF and alleviate the German invasion opens with the Luftwaffe outnumbering its opponent in operational aircraft: 2,669-to-704.

September 7: The London Blitz begins as Germany, trying to weaken the country’s resolve, bombs the British capital.

September 19: The U.S. Congress passes the Selective Service Act. It calls for the first peacetime draft in American history. In order for men to serve, they had to be five feet tall, weigh 105 pounds, have correctable vision and at least half their teeth.

September 27: Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact. It recognizes their right to create a new order in Europe and Asia. The Tripartite Pact was an agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan signed in Berlin on 27th September 1940 by Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburo Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance that was joined by Hungary (20th November 1940), Romania (23rd Novemebr 1940) Bulgaria (1st March 1941) and Yugoslavia (25th March 1941) as well as the German client state of Slovakia (24th November 1940) Yugoslavia’s accession provoked a coup d’etat in Belgrade two after later, and Germany, Italy and Hungary reacted by attacking Yugoslavia, with Bulgarian and Romanian assistance, and subdividing the country. The resulting Italo-German client state, the Independent State of Croatia, joined the pact on 15th June 1941.

October 16: Close to 16 million American men between the ages of 21 and 36 are needed to register at one of 6,500 draft boards across the country. Nearly 50 million men would register during the war.

October 28: The Italians take over Greece.

1941

January 10: The U.S. Congress introduces the Lend-Lease program.

March 11: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease act to provide aide to Great Britain (despite opposition from isolationists)

March 21: The first all-black unit of the U.S.R Air Corps- the 99th Pursuit Squadron – is activated (which I believe is also called Tuskegee Airmen) They created the 332nd Fighter Group and 4477th Bombardment Group of the US Army Air Forces. Although the 477th Bombardment Group trained with North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, they never served in combat. The 99th Pursuit Squadron was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy) The 332nd Fighter Group, which included the 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons was the first black flying group. It deployed to Italy in early 1944. In June 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions and, in July 1944, with the addition of the 99th Fighter Squadron, it had four fighter squadrons.

April 13: Japan and Russia sign a neutrality pact.

May 27: Bismarck, the German battleship is hunted down and sunk.

June 22: Germany unleashes its “Barbarossa” plan and attacks the Soviet Union without declaring war. The Germans encounter little opposition (despite massing troops at the border) Hitler is now fighting a two-front war.

June 25: While threatened of a forced march on Washington, Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802. It fights discrimination against blacks and women in the hiring practices of defense jobs. It is the first federal notion toward civil rights since Reconstruction.

July 8: Germany and Italy announce the end of the Yugoslav nation.

July 12: With Luftwaffe invasions, Germany hits Moscow for the first time.

August 2: The U.S. extends assistance to the Soviet Union.

October 16: The Germans get to the gates of Moscow. Civilians flee the “Bolshoi Trap” in the middle of panic and looting (robbery).

October 19: Soviet Premier Josef Stalin stays in Moscow, pledging that the city will be defended until the very end.

October 31: A German U-boat torpedoes and sinks the U.S.S Reuben James (FFG-57) off the Icelandic coast. It is the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in World War II. The USS Reuben James is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, which was the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for Reuben James, a boatswain’s mate who distinguished himself fighting the Barbary pirates.

November 16: Roosevelt extends Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union.

December 7: Hundreds of Japanese warplanes, at 7:55 am on Sunday, launched from aircraft carriers far out at sea, attack the American Pacific fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, based on a plan by Isoroku Yamamoto. The following were either sunk or damaged: eight battleships (including U.S.S. Arizona) three light cruisers, three destroyers and four other naval vessels. 164 American aircraft, mostly on the ground were ruined. And 2,403 Americans were killed. The Japanese also hit Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines, Malaya and Hong Kong on the day that Roosevelt would call “a date which will live in infamy”. He meant that the day would be remembered as a dishonorable and disgraceful day in American history as a result of the large number of human losses because of the Pearl Harbor attacks.

Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor_1941 (1)
The US destroyer USS ‘Shaw’ explodes during the early morning air attack

December 8: The day U.S. declares war on Japan.

December 11: Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S.

December 22: As more than 40,000 Japanese troops come ashore north of Manila, American general Douglas MacArthur orders a retreat to Bataan.

December 23: Army departs and Manila is declared an open city.

1942

January 13-14: A German U-Boat managed to sink right unarmed vessels. By the end of the month, U-Boats would sink 25 tankers along the East Coast, maintaining a struggle for predominance of the seas called the “Battle of the Atlantic” and threatening to choke off America’s allies. More than 230 Allied ships and almost 5 million tons of needed material went to the bottom of the sea in the first six months of 1942.

January 20: The “Final Solution” for Jews in Europe is established by The Wannsee Conference in Germany. The plan would try to eliminate an estimated 11 million people.

February: Philip Johnston proposes to the Marines that the Navajo Indians be used to transmit military messages through a secure code. This would soon lead to create an unbreakable code developed by the code talkers.

February 15: Lieutenant General Arthur Percival and staff on their way to Singapore Ford factory to discuss and negotiate the island’s surrender with General Yamashita.

February 19: The Executive Order 9066 is signed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This order authorized the secretary of war to designate specific areas as military zones, and then exclude those from them who it felt to be a danger. This order authorized the secretary of war to prescribe certain areas of military zones, clearing the way for the incarceration of Japanese Americans, German Americans, and Italian Americans in U.S. concentration camps. (They were forced from their homes and moved inland)

March 1: U.S. War and Navy Departments state that the commanders of the forces in Hawaii (the ones from Pearl Harbor attack) will be court-martialed for dereliction of duty. (Husband Edward Kimmel was the commander in chief of the United States Fleet and the U.S. Pacific Fleet and removed from command after the December 1941 attack and reduced from four-star to the two-star rank of rear admiral. He retired from the Navy in early 1942.)

March 11: General Douglas MacArthur, leaves the troops and departs for Australia (under orders from the President.)

March 17: General MacArthur is named supreme commander of the Allied Forces.

March 25: B-25 bombers land at McClellan Field near Sacramento. Lt. Col. James Doolittle monitors modifications to the planes (in devising for a secret mission) which depart April 1.

April 9: The Battle of Bataan took place from 7th January and end on the 9th of April. This was a battle fought by the US and the Philippine Commonwealth against Japan during World War II. The battle represented the most intense phase of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during WWII. The American surrender at Bataan to the Japanese, with 76,000 soldiers surrendering in the Philippines altogether, was the largest in American and Filipino military histories, and was the largest US surrender since the American Civil War’s Battle of Harper’s Ferry. Soon afterwards, U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war were forced into the Bataan Death March. The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000-80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war from Saysain Point, Bagac, Bataan and Mariveles to Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, via San Fernando, Pampanga, where the prisoners were loaded onto trains. The transfer started on the 9th of April 1942, after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during WWII. The total distance marched from Mariveles to San Fernando and from the Capas Train Station to Camp O’Donnell is reported by differing sources as between 60 and 69.6 miles. Differing sources also report widely differing prisoner of war casualties prior to reaching Camp O’Donnell: from 5,000 to 18,000 Filipino deaths and 500 to 650 American deaths during the march. The march was characterized by physical abuse and wanton killings, and was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime.

April 18: In the fist American raid on the Japanese mainland, 16 B-25 carrier-launched bombers led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle strike Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya and Yokosuka.

April 30: Notice is posted on the West Coast declaring the planned dismissal of all “Japs” from the area into assembly centers.

May: The first Naavjo code talkers are sent to San Diego for training. The 420 deployed to the Pacific would engage in every battle from Guadalcanal to Okinawa.

May 6: The Battle of Corregidor fought May 5-6 was the culmination of the Japanese campaign for the conquest of the Commonwealth of the Philippines during WWII.

May 7-8: The Battle of the Coral Sea rages. The first air-naval conflict in history block the Japanese from landing a large invasion force at Port Moresby and signals America’s move from a defensive strategy in the Pacific to a mixed defensive-offensive one. This was between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the naval and air forces from the US and Australia, taking place in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. The plan was to strengthen their defensive position in the South Pacific, the Japanese chose to invade and occupy Port Moresby (In New Guinea) and Tulagi (in the southeastern Soloman Islands) The plan to fulfill this was called Operation Mo, and involved several major units of Japan’s Combined Fleet. It was all under the command of Japanese Amdiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U.S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence, and sent two US Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-U.S. cruise force to oppose the offensive. This was also under the command of US Admiral Frank J. Fletcher.

800px-Large_explosion_aboard_USS_Lexington_(CV-2),_8_May_1942_(80-G-16651)
The American aircraft carrier USS Lexington explodes on 8 May 1942, several hours after being damaged by a Japanese carrier air attack.

June 4-7: The Battle of Midway took place. This took place in the Pacific Theatre of WWII six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea. This conflict was between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. The U.S. Navy’s decisive victory in the air-sea battle (June 3-6, 1942) and its successful defense of the major base located at Midway Island ruined Japan’s plan of neutralizing the United States as a naval power and turned the tide of WWII in the Pacific. The Japanese were planning to smash what was left of the Pacific fleet, take Hawaii, hold its people hostage and force the US to sue for peace. However, the whole plan dilapidated when American cryptographers had deciphered their plans and the Navy was waiting for them. The Japanese would lose 3,500 men, four carriers, a cruiser and 332 aircraft. The Americans would lose 307 men, the carrier Yorktown, one destroyer and 150 aircraft.

June 22: A Japanese submarine shells the military depot at For Stevens, Oregon in the first attack on the U.S. mainland.

August 7: American land forces go on the offensive for the first time in the Pacific, landing on Guadalcanal. It would take six months to secure the island, but Japanese expansion has stopped.

August 12: The first supply aircraft land on Guadalcanal’s Henderson Field.

September-October: The 110,00 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast are interred. They are relocated from assembly centers to one of 10 more permanent camps in remote desert areas.

September-November: The Battle of Stalingrad rages. By mid-September the Germans had pushed the Soviet forces in Stalingrad back until the latter occupied only a 9-mile long strip of the city along the Volga, and that strip was only 2 or 3 miles wide. The Soviets had to supply their troops by barge and boat across the Volga from the other bank. At that point Stalingrad became the scene of some of the fiercest and most-concentrated fighting of the war; streets, blocks, and individual buildings were fought over by small units of troops and changed hands again and again. The city’s remaining buildings were pounded into rubble by the close combat.  On 30th September 1942 Adolf Hitler had announced in a public speech that the German army would never leave the city. The most critical moment came when on October 14 the Soviet defenders had their backs so close to the Volga that the few remaining supply crossings of the river came under German machine-gun fire. The turning point of the battle came with a huge Soviet counteroffensive, code-named Operation Uranus (November 19-23) which had been planned by Generals Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich Vasilevsky, and Nikolay Nikolayevich Voronov.

It was launched in two spearheads, some 50 miles north and south of the German salient whos tip was at Stalingrad. The counteroffensive utterly surprised the Germans, who thought the Soviets incapable of mounting such an attack. The operation was a “deep penetration” maneuver, attacking not the main German force at the forefront of the battle for Stalingrad—the 250,000 remaining men of the Sixth Army and Fourth Panzer Army, both formidable foes—but instead hitting the weaker flanks. Those flanks were vulnerably exposed on the open steppes surrounding the city and were weakly defended by undermanned, undersupplied, overstretched, and undermotivated Romanian, Hungarian, and Italian troops.

The attacks quickly penetrated deep into the flanks, and by November 23 the two prongs of the attack had linked up at Kalach, about 60 miles (100 km) west of Stalingrad; the encirclement of the two German armies in Stalingrad was complete. The German high command urged Hitler to allow Paulus and his forces to break out of the encirclement and rejoin the main German forces west of the city, but Hitler would not contemplate a retreat from the Volga River and ordered Paulus to “stand and fight.” With winter setting in and food and medical supplies dwindling, Paulus’s forces grew weaker. Hitler declared that the Sixth Army would be supplied by the Luftwaffe, but the air convoys could deliver only a fraction of the necessary supplies.

November 8: Operation Torch opens as Allied forces land in North Africa. While American planners had an idea of how to beat the Germans-invade France in the spring of 1943 and drive right for Berlin, the British favored attacking German and Italian forces in North Africa. The American commanders believed it was dangerous to invade Africa but Congressional elections were coming up soon.

November 19: The Russians launched a major counter-offensive at Stalingrad. The Germans have little to oppose such a strong force so within three days the troops of the 6th Army are surrounded. Close to 300,000 German and allied soldiers are now under siege in Stalingrad. This would end with the complete obliteration of the German 6th Army.

December 31: After a year at war, more than 35,000 Americans in uniform had died.

1943

January: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt goes over his policy and changes Japanese-Americans from 4-C (enemy aliens) to 1-A (fit for combat). The 442nd Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment of the U.S. Army and is the only infantry formation in the Army Reserve. It is best known for its history as a fighting unit made of entirely second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in WW2.

January 14-24: Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (During the Casablanca Conference: which took place at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco to plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of WW2. General Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, whom would be representing the Free French forces, also attended, even though they did not have very big roles and were not part of the military planning.)  declared that only an unconditional surrender will be accepted from the Axis Powers (Axis Powers here are Germany, Italy and Japan whereas Allied Powers represented Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, China, and the U.S.)

January 31: German Field Marshal Friedrich von Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad (Stalingrad is now known as Volgograd in Russia) The war in the East has turned.

February 14: Field Marshal Erwin Rommel sends his German armoured unit (known as Panzer) against the U.S. forces in North Africa (Tunisia) The Germans pour through the Kasserine Pass. The Kasserine Pass was the site of the US first major battle defeat of the war.

March 2-3: The Battle of the Bismarck Sea is a battle for control of New Guinea. The American victory forces the Japanese to re-enforce its troops by submarine — this was a strategy used to prevent the continued loss of transports and warships.  This battle took place in the South West Pacific Area when aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy. A plan was initially devised to move around 6,900 troops from Rabaul directly to Lae (New Guinea)

April 17: In the Aleutian Islands a listening post intercepts a radio transmission that the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto will be touring bases in the South Pacific. (Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the Japanese naval officer who conceived of the surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941)

April 18: In retaliation to the decoded message, U.S. P-38 Lightning pilots intercept the bomber carrying Yamamoto and shoot it down. Japan’s most popular military leader is killed.

May 12: The Axis Powers surrender in Tunisia. North Africa is now under Allied control.

May 21: The death of Admiral Yamamoto is announced in Tokyo with the nation responding in utter shock.

May 30: All organized Japanese resistance ends on Attu Island in the Aleutians. (The Aleutian Islands or Aleutic Islands known as the Catherine Archipelago before 1867, are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands – most of which belong to the U.S. state of Alaska however some belong to the Russian federal subject of Kamchatka Krai which is a federal subject of Russia and located in the Far East region of the country)

July 2: Lt. Charles B. Hall becomes the first black aviator to shoot down an enemy aircraft. He shoots down a Focke Wulf-190 over western Sicily while flying a P-40 as a part of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

July 5: The Soviets win the Battle of Kursk. (Which is a battle between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front. It began with the launch of the German offensive Operation Citadel on the 5th of July which was aiming to pinch off the Kursk salient with attacks on the base of the salient from north to south at the same time)

July 6: The naval Battle of Kula Gulf took place in the early hours of this day. The battle involved the U.S. and Japanese ships off the eastern cost of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.

July 7: Walter Dornberger briefs the V-2 rocket to Hitler, who approves the project of top importance.

July 10: Operation Husky (The Allied invasion of Sicily) takes place.

July 11: Dominopol no longer exists. On this day, at the height of the Massacres of Poles in Volhynia, the village was destroyed by a death squad of Ukranian Insurgent Army aided by the Ukranian peasants, and all ethnic Poles regardless of age and gender were tortured and killed. The Soviet Union invaded this place in 1939 and during Operation Barbarossa annexed by Nazi Germany into Reichskommissariat Ukraine in 1941.

July 12-13: The Japanese win a tactical victory at the Battle of Kolombangara.

July 12: The Battle of Prokhorovka takes place. This is also known as the biggest tank battle in human history and part of the Battle of Kursk. However both sides of this battle failed to achieve their objectives (In April 1943, the German leadership started getting ready for Operation Citadel with the aim of enveloping and destroying the Soviet forces in the Kursk salient)

July 13: The Soviets continue the battle even though Hitler calls off the Kursk offensive.

July 19: The Allies bomb Rome for the first time.

July 21: The Operation Bellicose is the first bombing of a V-2 rocket facility (targeting of Friendrichshafen Wurzburg raders) This was an attack by Avro Lancaster bombers of the Royal Air Force on a German radar factory housed in the former Zeppelin Works at Friedrichshafen and the Italian naval base at La Spezia. This was the first shuttle bombing raid in WW2 and the second use of a Master Bomber.

July 22: U.S Forces under Patton take over Palermo, Sicily.

July 23: The USSAF orders the first 100 examples of the planned Convair B-36 six-engined intercontinental strategic bomber.

July 24: Hamburg, Germany is heavily bombed in Operation Gomorrah, which at the time is the heaviest assault in the history of aviation.

July 25: Mussolini is arrested and relieved of his offices after a meeting with Italian King Victor Emmanuel III, who picks Marshal Pietro Badoglio to create a new government.

August: August 1: Operation Tidal Wave: U.S. IX Bomber Command bombed Oil refineries in Romania (Ploiesti to be exact) And on this day Japan declares independence for the State of Burma under Ba Maw. On the 2nd, 2,2897 Romani are gassed when their camp in Auschwitz is liquidated. John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 (which is a PT boat last commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy in the Pacific theater during WWII) this boat was rammed in two and sunk off the Solomun Islands. The next day, the first of two “George S. Patton slapping incidents” take place in Sicily. On the 5th of August, the Swedish government announces it will now forbid German troops and water materials to transit Swedish railways. On this day Russia recapture Orel and Belgorod. (city and administrative center of Oryol Oblast in Russia) On the 6th/7th  of August, The U.S. wins the Battle of Vella Gulf off Kolombangara in the Solomons. (On the 6th the German troops start to take control of Italy’s defences) On the 11th German and Italian forces start to leave Sicily. On the 15th The Land Battle of Vella Lavella island in the Solomons begins: US and Canadian troops take over Kiska Island in the Aleutians, unaware that the Japanese have already left. Between the 16th to 20th August, The Bialystok Ghetto uprising takes place which is an insurrection (instance of rising in revolt) in the Jewish Bialystok Ghetto against the Nazi German occupation authorities. The leaders commit suicide when they run out of ammo! U.S troops enter Messina (Sicily) on the 16th. On the 17th there is heavy loss of Allied bombers in the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission in addition to the beginning of Operation Crowssbow with Operation Hydra when the RAF bombs the Peenemunde V-2 rocket facility. On the 17th and 18th of August, Portugal (in reference to the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373) allow Allies to use the Azores Islands for naval and air bases. Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Quebec Agreement during the Quebec Conference on the 19th of August. On the 23rd August Kharkov (Ukraine) is liberated from Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev. On August 29th martial law replaced the Danish government during the Occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany. On August 31, an air raid is conducted against the Italian city of Pisa by the Northwest African Air Forces.

September 1: 22,750,000 British men and women are either doing essential war work or in Civil Defence (based on information from the U.K Ministry of Labour)

September 3: Mainland Italy is taken over when the British XXII Corps lands at Reggio Calabria. This is also the time when Nazi Germany begins evacuating civilians from Berlin.

September 3: The Allies land in Southern Italy.

September 4: Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria. Also the time when The 503rd Parachute Regiment (under American General Douglas MacArthur) lands and takes over Nadzab (went of the port city of Lae in northeastern New Guinea) Lae however falls into Australian hands and those troops take Salamaua.

September 8: The surrender of Italy to the Allies is announced by Eisenhower. This is also the time when The Germans implement Operation Achse (to disarm the Italian armed forces after Italy’s armistice with the Allies on 3rd September 1943)

September 9: The Allies land at Salerno and the date when Iran declares war on Germany.

September 10: German troops take over Rome.

September 11: British troops enter Bari (southeastern Italy)

September 12: German SS troops led by Otto Skorzeny rescue Mussolini. Mussolini is then set up by Hitler who remains loyal to his friend as the head of the puppet “Italian Social Republic” (which is a German puppet state that was made during the later part of WWII)

September 13: The Salerno beachhead is in danger, as German counterattacks increase.

September 14: German troops begin the Holocaust of Viannos (mass extermination campaign launched by Nazi forces against civilians of around 20 villages found in the areas of east Viannos and west lerapetra provinces on Greek island of Crete. The killings, with a death tool in excess of 500, took place on 14-16 September by Wehrmacht units.

September 16: British forces land on Italian-held Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, starting the Dodecanese Campaign.

September 19: German troops leave Sardinia.

September 22/23: Firestorm takes place for seven days (due to the air raid on Kassel)

September 23: German torpedo boats off North coast of Brittany caused the following: to sink the Cruiser HMS Charybdis and damage the HMS Limbourne.

September 25: The Red Army takes Dnipropetrovsk. (The Red Army is the ground warfare branch of the Soviet Union’s military from 1917 – 1946 and Dnipro is the administrative centre of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in Ukraine)

October 1: The Allies begin to enter Naples.

October 6: War is declared on Germany by Italy.

November 1: In Operation Goodtime, US Marines land on Boughainville (Solomon Islands)

November 2: American and Japanese ships battle during the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay (off Bougainville) but Japanese failed to land reinforcements, British Troops also reach the Garigliano River on this day.

November 3: During the “Harvest Festival” which is a two-day event in Aktion Erntefest (Poland) around 43,000 Jews were shot (in three camps found in this location)

November 5: The Italians bomb the Vatican in an attempt to get rid of the Vatican radio (but failed)

November 6: The Red Army (as mentioned earlier) liberates the city of Kiev. (This part of the anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 1917)

November 9:  Allies take over Castiglione, Italy.
General De Gaulle is now the President of the French Committee of National Liberation.

November 12: Germans overrun British forces on the Dodecanese islands (off Turkey)

November 14: Bombers hit Tarawa, in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific.

November 15: The Allied Expeditionary Force for the invasion of Europe is created.
Heinrich Himmler (German SS leader) commands that Gypsies (and part-gypsies) are put on the same level as Jews and put in concentration camps.

November 16: Anti-German resistance in Italy increases.
The British and Italian forces surrender to the Germans as the Battle of Leros ends.
160 American bombers strike a hydro-electric power facility and water factory in German-controlled Vemork, Norway

November 18: 440 Royal Air Force planes bomb Berlin and killing 131. The RAF lose 9 aircraft and 53 aviators.

November 19: A mass escape/uprising is staged by prisoners from the Janowska concentration camp when they ordered to cover up the proof of a mass-murder. Most are rounded up and killed.

November 20: The Galvanic Operation takes place. The US Marines land on Tarawa and US Army assault Makin atoll (chain of islands located in the Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati)  in the Gilbert Islands and take heavy fire from Japanese shore guns.

November 22: The Cairo Conference: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and ROC leader Chiang Kai-shek meet in Cairo, Egypt to go over ways to win over Japan.

November 23: The Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstrabe in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg is destroyed (which is the Deutsche Oper Berlin and country’s second largest opera house and If I’m not mistaken I actually watched the Nutcracker Ballet in this same Opera house when I visited Berlin in January 2020) On this day heavy damage continues to take place in Berlin from the Allies.

November 25: The naval Battle of Cape St. George between Buka and New Ireland is fought between Americans and Japanese. Admiral Arleigh Burke’s destroyers distinguish themselves. On this day Rangoon is also bombed by the Americans.

November 26: The Red Army offensive in Ukraine continues to take place. The Cairo Conference ends where Roosevelt, Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek complete the Cairo Declaration which illustrates the whole strategic plan against Japan.

November 27: Bombing raids continue in Berlin with many civilian losses.

November 28: The Tehran Conference (U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin all meet in Tehran to go over war strategy (on 30th November they create an agreement regarding the planned June 1944 invasion of Europe which they call Operation Overlord) Stalin has what he has finally been waiting for.

November 29: The second session of ANOJ (which is the political umbrella organization for the national liberation councils of the Yugoslav resistance against the Axis occupation during WWII and stands for Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia) takes place in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to decide on the order of the country after war.

November 30: In Malaya, Japanese bring in the Government Notification No. 41 to support families to increase their own food crops and vegetables mentioning that families who fail to comply will be punished and those who are successful will be awarded with prizes.

December

December 2: The Germans conduct the Air Raid on Bari (Italy). One of the German bombs hits a cargo ship which was carrying mustard gas and therefore releasing the chemical and killed 83 allied soldiers (however over 1000 other soldiers died in that raid)

December 3: Broadcast of “Orchestrated Hell” takes over CBS Radio which describes the Royal Air Force nighttime bombing raid on Berlin (Edward R. Murrow delivered the broadcast)

December 4: War declared on all Axis power by Bolivia.
In Yugoslavia, leader Marshal Josip Broz Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.

December 12: Rommel is announced as head of “Fortress Europa”

December 13: The Massacre of Kalavryta in southern Greece is carried out by German soldiers.

December 16: Kalinin is retaken in a large Red Army offensive.

December 24: The Supreme Allied Commander in Europe is now US General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

December 26: Scharnhorst, German battleship is sunk off North Cape by a British force led by the Battleship HMS Duke of York.

December 28: Chinese troops in Burma have some success against the Japanese.

December 19: Control of the Andaman Islands is given to Azad Hind by the Japanese.

December 30: Japanese air forces attack on Calcutta end.

1944

January 4: The First Ukrainian Front (of Red Army) enters Poland.

January 17: The first Battle of Monte Cassino takes place when the British X Corps attacks along the Garigliano river at the western end of the German Gustav Line.

January 20: Russian troops retake Novgorod.

January 20: The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.
The U.S. Army 36th Infantry Division tries to cross the Gari River but fail to do so and suffers many losses.

January 22: Operation Shingle takes place by the Allies, the landing at Anzio, Italy, which was commanded by American Major General John P. Lucas. The Allies hope to break the stalemate in south Italy, but they fail to break out of the beachhead and the line holds until late May. The USS Portent (AM-106) minesweeper (commanded by Lt. H.C. Plummer) hit a mine and sank southeast of Anzio, Italy.

January 23: The HMS Janus (British destroyer) sunk off Anzio.

January 24: The Allied forces experience a major setback on the Gari River.

January 24: The Social Impact (German-occupied Belgium) is confidentially signed (which includes plans for post-war social reform)

January 27: After 872 days the Siege of Leningrad finally ends (the military blockade which was undertaken from the south by the Army Group North of Nazi Germany against soviet city of Leningrad which is now Saint Petersburg – on the eastern front) as Soviet forces forced the Germans to withdraw. Around 2 million died mostly from diseases and starvation.

January 28: The Russian Army completes encirclement of two German Army corps at the Korsun pocket (Battle of the Korsun-Cherkasy Pocket which was a battle from 24 January to 16 February 1944). Two-thirds of the Germans break free in the breakout next month with the loss of most equipment.

January 29: The Leningrad- Moscow rail line opens again ending the siege of Leningrad.

January 30: During the Homfreyganj massacre, the Japanese kill 44 suspected spies.
The Battle of Cisterna took place
The Brazzaville Conference takes place in French Equatorial Africa, during this conference, the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN) agrees to reforms to the French colonial empire.

January 30: Operation Flintlock takes places, as American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands. U.S troops take over Majuro, Marshall Islands.

March 7: Operation U-Go begins by the Japanese where they try to achieve in pushing the Allies back to India by damaging their bases at Imphal and Kohima, in Burmha and north east India.

March 15: Allies drop 1,250 tonnes of bombs on Cassino in Italy (start of a new offensive)

March 24: The head of the Burma based Chindits, Orde Wingate, is killed along with nine other people, when a USAAF Mitchell bomber crashes into northeast India.

March 26: For the first time, Russian troops move onto Romanian soil.

April 8: The Russians begin their final attack on German forces in Crimea.

May 9: The Crimea is cleared from German resistance and Sevastopol is retaken by Soviet Forces.

May 12: German troops surrender in the Crimea.

June 4: Rome is captured by the Allies.

June 6: D-Day Operation Overlord – the Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe-takes place on the beaches of Normandy, France (Operation Overlord is the codename for the Battle of Normandy) The operation begun with Normandy landings. A 1,200 plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault including more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on this day and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of this month.

June 13: The first V-1 flying bomb is launched on Britain by Germany.

June 15: U.S. troops assault on the Japanese-held island of Saipan in the Marianas.

June 19: The Japanese lose to the U.S. over a massive air battle which is called the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The Japanese lost more than 400 planes and three carriers.

June 27: The Allies liberate Cherbourg.

July 3: The USSR retake Minsk.

July 7: Japanese troops on Saipan surrender.

July 9: The Allies liberate Caen.

July 20: This is the day when German military leaders try to kill Adolf Hitler but fail miserably in the Rastenburg Assassination Plot. Hitler then kills about 200 people whom he suspects that were behind this. U.S troops assault the Japanese-held island of Guam in the Marianas.

July 23: U.S troops make an amphibious assault on the Japanese-held island of Tinian in the Marianas.

August 4: Florence is liberated by the Allies.

August 10: U.S troops finally recapture Guam.

August 15: The Allies land in the South of France, which begin Operation Anvil. This was also called Operation Dragoon which was the code name for the landing operation of the Allied invasion of Provence (South of France). This operation was planned to take place with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing of Normandy but the lack of resources led to canceling the second landing. The objective was to maintain and secure the vital ports on the French Mediterranean coast and increase pressure on German forces by opening another front. The operation resulted with the victory of the Allies with territorial changes such as German forces withdrawing from most of Southern France to the Vosges area.

August 20: The German-occupied Romania is invaded by the USSR.

August 23: Romania surrenders.

August 25: The Allies liberate Paris.

September 2: The Allies liberate Pisa.

September 4: The Allies liberate Brussels and Antwerp.

September 8: Bulgaria is invaded by the USSR. Germany launch the first V-2 flying-bomb on Britain.

September 9: Bulgaria makes peace with the USSR then declares war on Germany.

September 11: The Allies enter Germany.

September 17: The Operation-Market-Garden (allied airbone assault in Arnhem, Holland) fails to halt the war against Germany.

September 22: Boulogne is liberated by The Allies.

September 26: The USSR takes over Estonia. The Germans imprison over 6,000 Allie survivors from the Market-Garden Operation in Arnhem, Holland.

September 28: Calais is liberated by The Allies.

October 1: Soviet troops enter Yugoslavia.

October 4: The Allies enter Greece, followed by German troops withdrawing.

October 14: Athens is liberated by The Allies.

October 20: Belgrade is taken over by The Allies.

October 21: Aachen is captured by The Allies (the first city to be taken in Germany)

October 23: Soviet troops enter East Prussia.

October 26: During the Battle in Leyte Gulf, the U.S. Navy succeed in battle against the Japanese. This battle is considered to have been the biggest naval battle of WWII, and possibly also the largest naval battle in history with over 200,000 naval personnel included in the battle. (This took place between 23-26 October 1944) This battle consisted of four main separate involvements: The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, The Battle of Surigao Strait, The Battle off Cape Engano, and The Battle off Samar in addition to others. This battle however was the first to include Japanese aircraft carrying our organized kamikaze attacks and the last naval battle between battleships in history. (This battle was fought in waters near Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar and Luzon from the 23rd to 26th between American and Australian forces and IJN as part of the invasion of Leyte which had the objective to isolate Japan from the other countries it had taken over in Southeast Asia which were an important source of industrial and oil supplies)

November 4: Axis forces in Greece surrender.

November 24: U.S. B-29 bombers start the bombing campaign against mainland Japan. In addition, the Allies take over Strasbourg.

November 29: Albania is captured by The Allies.

December 16: Germany start its ‘last-ditch offensive in the Ardennes, which begins the Battle of the Bulge. (took place between 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945) This battle was also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive and the last major offensive campaign on the Western Front during WWII. The objective was intended to stop Allied use of the Belgian port of Antwerp and to divide the Allied lines, in order for the Germans to surround and destroy four Allied armies and force the Western Allies to find a way to have a peace treaty in the Axis powers’ favor.

December 26: U.S. troops hold Bastogne (Belgium), which delayed the German offensive in the Ardennes.

1945

January 1: The Germans start a surprise offensive (Operation Nordwind) and Unternehmen Bodenplatte which is Operation Baseplate begins by the Luftwaffe against western Allied air bases in Belgium and Holland by elements of different fighter wings (Jagdgeschwadern) as the first big air offensive of war in the west.

January 4: US navy air attacks on Formosa (in Taiwan)

January 9: U.S. Army troops arrive in Luzon in the Philippines.

January 15: Hitler settled (ensconced) in the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin with Eva Braun.
General Ronald Scobie, The British commander (in Athens) accepts for a request for a ceasefire from the Greek People’s Liberation Army. This marks the end of the Dekemvriana, which results in the defeat for the Greek Left.

January 17: Soviet troops take care Warsaw.

January 24: The Battle of Poznan starts for the German-occupied city of Poznan in Poland.

January 25: The Allies win the Battle of the Bulge.

January 26: Japanese troops withdraw to the coast of China.

January 27: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, discovering hundreds of corpses that were killed, thousands of people who barely made it out alive, and the earthly remains of around 1,000,000 men and women.

January 28: The Battel of Bulge ends. Americans suffered around 75,000 deaths and the Germans lost 80,000 to 100,000. The Americans can recover however the Germans would not be able to.

January 30: The Malta Conference starts with Winston Churchill meeting with the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean to arrange the end of WWII in both theatres, and to go over the ramifications of the Soviets now taking over most of Eastern Europe. (President Franklin D. Roosevelt would join for one day)

February 1: Ecuador declares war on Germany and Japan.

February 4: The Yalta Conference between USSR, Britain and US takes place. Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt go over their plans for Europe after the war ends, and Stalin agrees to declare war on Japan. In the Pacific, the Allies retake Manila after three years of Japanese occupation.

February 13: Dresden, Germany is firebombed by The Allies resulting in 135,000 casualties.

February 19: U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima (In the Pacific)

February 20: Saarbrucken is captured by The Allies.

March 3: Finland declares war on Germany.

March 7: The Allies capture the Remagen bridge over the Rhine and the city of Cologne (in Germany)

March 9: U.S. firebombing of Tokyo kills around 85,000 Japanese.

March 16: U.S. troops finally capture Iwo Jima from the Japanese, at the expense of 20,000 American casualties.

March 20: Mandalay, Burma is captured by The Allies.

March 30: Danzig is captured by Soviet troops.

April 1: Okinawa is invaded by U.S troops (the first Japanese home island to be reached). The Japanese defenders would cause around 35,000 American casualties. In Europe, the Allies encircle over 300,000 German troops in the Ruhr, and the final Allied offensive in northern Italy takes place.

April 10: Hanover, Germany is captured by The Allies.

April 11: U.S. troops get to the Buchenwald concentration camp and find that the prisoners had freed themselves from a forced evacuation. Few days later, British troops liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for women.

April 12: President Franklin D. Roosevelt passes away at the age of 63 (from a cerebral hemorrhage) afterwards Harry S. Truman becomes the president of the United States.

April 13: Vienna, Austria is captured by Soviet troops.

April 15: Arnhem (Netherlands) is captured by The Allies.

April 18: The last of the German troops trapped on the Ruhr River surrender.

April 23: Soviet troops get to Berlin.

April 25: At the Elbe River in Germany, both the U.S. and Soviet troops meet.

April 28: Italian anti-fascists capture Benito Mussolini and kill him. (He was the man who founded the National Fascist Party and Prime Minister of Italy from the fascist coup d’etat in 1922 to his deposition in 1943)

April 29: U.S. troops liberate Dachau concentration camp where they evidence of medical experiments.

April 30: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide in a Berlin bunker as Soviet troops advance through the city. Nazi Propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels is planned to become the new German Chancellor but he also commits suicide – after having his wife and six children killed. Karl Donitz takes Hitler’s place (his successor)

May 2: Soviet troops complete capturing Berlin. The other German troops in Italy surrender.

May 7: Germany surrenders at all fronts.

May 8: V-E Day is declared — Victory in Europe.

May 9: Soviet troops take over Prague and the Allies liberate the Channel Islands.

June 21: U.S. troops complete capturing Okinawa, giving a base for the last assault on Japan.

July 16: The world’s first atomic bomb is tested in New Mexico called The Trinity Test. The parts of the bomb that are to be dropped on Japan are already on the way. In Germany, the Potsdam Conference between USSR, Britain and U.S. take place.

July 26: China, Britain and the U.S. issue the Potsdam Declaration which gives an ultimatum to Japan: surrender right away, or face “prompt and utter destruction.” In Britain, Clement Atlee takes Winston Churchill’s place as Prime Minister.

August 6: A U.S. B-29 called Enola Gay drops the atomic bomb over Hiroshima (Japan) which we all know is called “Little Boy.” Around 140,000 will be killed by the end of the year.

August 8: War is declared on Japan by the USSR. Soviet troops take over Japanese-held Manchuria.

August 9: A U.S. B-29 called Bock’s Car drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki (Japan) called “Fat Man.” Around 70,000 will be killed by the end of the year.

August 14: Japan finally agrees to surrender “unconditionally”

August 15: V-J Day is declared – Victory over Japan

September 2: Japan signs the formal and official surrender agreement on board the U.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay. World War II (most devastating war in human history) is finally over.

Tribute to the Cold War

*Ivy Mike was the code name given to the first test of a thermonuclear device, where the explosive yield is from nuclear fusion.

*On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was created which was tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico at the “Trinity” site. The bomb had two main objectives: a quick end of WWII, and possession by the US would allow control of foreign policy.

The Cold War started between the Soviet Union (officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed between 1922 to 1991.) with it’s satellite states (formally independent in the world but under political, economic and military influence from another country) – known as the Eastern Bloc and the United States with it’s allies – known as the Western Bloc.

The Satellite States of the Soviet Union: The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania (Satellite 1944-1960;government extant until 1992); The Polish People’s Republic (1944-1989); The People’s Republic of Bulgaria (1946-1990); The People’s Republic of Romania (1947-1965); The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1948-1960 and also 1968-1989); The German Democratic Republic (1949-1990) and finally The Hungarian People’s Republic (1949-1989). The Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia is sometimes known as a Soviet satellite, though it broke from Soviet orbit in the 1948 Tito-Stalin split, when the Cominform offices moved to Bucharest from Belgrade, and Yugoslavia formed the Non-Aligned Movement. The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, controlled by Stalinist Enver Hoxha, broke ties with Soviet Union the 1960 Soviet-Albanian split following Soviet de-Stalinization process. The countries listed were all members of the Eastern Bloc at least between 1945-1948. From 1978 to 1991, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan can also be considered a Soviet satellite, the central government in Kabul was in line with the Eastern Bloc and supported by Soviet military in 1979 to 1989. The East Turkestan Republic (1944-1946) was a Soviet satellite until it was taken into the People’s Republic of China along with rest of Xinjiang. The Mongolian People’s Republic was a Soviet satellite from 1924 to 1991. It was controlled by the Soviet Union until it no longer existed in February 1992, less than two months after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

The Eastern Bloc (a term created by NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was used to refer to former communist states in Eastern and Central Europe which include the Soviet Union, countries in Warsaw Pact and Albania and Yugoslavia (Warsaw Pact countries include Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania)  The Warsaw Pact came into being after the socialist republic of Czechoslovakia came to fear the reinforcement of armaments of West Germany by its Western Allies, and wanted to make a pact with fellow communist European states. After the end of WWII, the countries which were to be brought under the banner of NATO did not confirm their approval to support Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union and other socialist republics. Therefore in 1955 May 14th, the Warsaw Pact was created. The reason behind the creation of the Eastern Bloc was because of the aftermath of WWII which exposed the expansive Russian border. The communist government didn’t think it was a good idea to completely withdraw from neighboring countries it had taken over during the war. Therefore it was decided there should be a buffer zone made of loyal neighbors.
The Eastern Bloc was created during WWII as a united force led by the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) It’s initial intention was to fight Nazi Germany. However, after the war, the Union lacked a unified goal. Stalin was afraid of neighboring countries converting to capitalism, he mobilized and funded socialist movements which grabbed power to become socialist states with loyalty to Moscow. These countries along with Russia created the Warsaw Pact, also known as the Eastern Bloc. The members of the Eastern Bloc across eastern and central Europe include: Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary.

*NATO: Intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The countries are as follows: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Montenegro (as of 5 June 2017) Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, The United Kingdom, The United States. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on April 4th 1949. NATO is based on a collective defence system where its independent members agree to mutual defence in relation to an attack by any external party.

The Western Bloc: Refers to capitalist countries under the leadership of the U.S. and NATO against Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. The latter are called the Eastern Bloc. The countries were as follows: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, West Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain (from 1982), Turkey, UK, U.S., Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand. Other countries backed, supported or allied by Western powers: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Republic of China, Dominican Republic, Iran (until 1979), Israel, Japan, Kenya, Khmer Republic (1970-1975), South Korea (during Korean War), Laos (until 1975), Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Vietnam (during Vietnam War), North Yemen, Zaire. 

 

  • 4th February to 11th February 1945. The Yalta Conference. Meeting between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin to decide what will take place at the end of the war. They discussed the following topics: Partitioning of Germany, Fate of Poland, The United Nations, German reparations.
  • 8th May 1945: V E Day (Victory in Europe Day). Victory in Europe as Germany surrenders to the Russian Army. (On 30th of April 1945 Adolf Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin) – The Battle of Berlin (designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by Soviet Union, and also known as the Fall of Berlin) was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of WWII.
  • 3rd July 1945: U.S, France, Britain and Soviet Union occupy zones of Berlin.
  • 17th July 1945: Potsdam Conference begins in Germany. This conference took place at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17th July to 2nd August 1945. The participants include U.S., U.K, and Soviet Union represented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman. This conference divided Germany and Austria into four zones. It was also agreed that Berlin would be divided into four zones. The Russian Polish border was determined and Korea was divided into Soviet and American zones.
  • 6th August 1945: U.S. Army Air Force drops atom bomb on Hiroshima.
  • 9th August 1945: U.S. Army Air Force drops atom bomb on Nagasaki (situated on a long, narrow bay on Japan’s main island, Kyushu)
  • 14th August 1945: VJ Day. The Japanese surrendered bringing WWII to an end.

    Happy sailor kissing nurse in Times Square during impromptu VJ Day celebration following announcement of the Japanese surrender and the end of WWII.
    A jubilant American sailor clutching a white-uniformed nurse in a back-bending, passionate kiss as he vents his joy while thousands jam Times Square to celebrate the long awaited-victory over Japan.
  • 16th August 1945: Soviet Union and Poland sign treaty accepting Soviet-Polish frontier.
  • 19th August 1945: The Vietminh seize power from Japan in French Indochina.
  • 2nd September 1945: Vietnam Independence. Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnam an independent republic.
  • 5th March 1946: Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech. Churchill delivers ‘Sinews of Peace’ which includes the famous sentence “..an iron curtain has descended on Europe”
  • 12th March 1947: Truman Doctrine. President Truman committed to support any country facing Communist takeover.
  • June 5th 1947: Marshall Plan. The United States introduced this economic aid programme to any European country. This plan was rejected by Stalin and any Eastern bloc country accepting aid would be reprimanded as well. Therefore aid was only provided to Western European countries.
  • September 1947: Cominform. The USSR set up the Communist Information Bureau which was responsible for the creation of the Eastern Bloc and which divided the world into imperialist and anti-imperialist. This was a Soviet-dominated organization of Communist parties.
  • June 1948: West Germany formation. The French, USA and UK partitions of Germany were merged to create West Germany.
  • June 24th 1948: Berlin Blockade. Russia’s reaction to the merger of the French, USA and UK partitions of Berlin was to cut all road and rail links to that sector. So those living in Western Berlin had no access to food supplies and were starving. Food was brought to Western Berlin by US and UK airplanes (also known as the Berlin Airlift)
  • May 1949: End of Berlin Blockade. Russia ended the blockade of Berlin.
  • 4th April 1949: NATO formation. NATO also known as The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formed with member states Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However as of today there are 29 members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, The United Kingdom and The United States. (1989: Fall of Berlin Wall, 1991 NATO creates partnerships with former adversaries after the break-up of the Soviet Union, 1995 when Europe reunited NATO engages in its first major-crisis management operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2001 Large-scale terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., Nato invokes Article 5 for the first time ever and adopts a broader approach to security, 2003 NATO takes command of the International Security Assistant Force – ISAF – in Afghanistan, 2010 NATO adopts the 2010 Strategic Concept “Active Engagement, Modern Defence”
  • 25th June 1950: Korean War. The Korean War began with North Korea invaded South Korea.
  • 5th March 1953: Stalin. When Joseph Stalin died at the age of 74, he was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev.
  • 27th July 1953: Korean War. The Korean war ended. North Korea remained associated with Russia while South Korea was associated with the U.S.
  • Summer 1954: Geneva Accords. This set of documents ended the French War with the Vietminh and divided Vietnam into North and South states. The communist leader of North Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh while the U.S. south was led by Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • 14th May 1955: Warsaw Pact. The Warsaw Pact was formed with member states East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union. The Warsaw Pact was a collective defence treaty, signed in Warsaw Poland (of Central and Eastern Europe) during the Cold War.
  • [The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, (CoMEcon), the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO in 1955 per the London and Paris Conferences of 1954, but also considered to have been motivated by Soviet desires to keep control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe. This Pact was created as a balance of power or counterweight to NATO; there was no direct military confrontation between them. The conflict was fought on an ideological basis and in proxy wars. Both the Warsaw Pact and NATO led to the expansion of military forces and their integration into the respective blocs. It’s largest military engagement was the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 (with involvement of all Pact nations except Albania, Romania, and East Germany), which, resulted in Albania withdrawing from the pact less than a month later. The Pact began to unravel in its entirety with the spread of the Revolutions in 1989 through the Eastern Bloc, beginning with the Solidarity movement in Poland and its electoral success in June 1989.]
  • [The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. Sometimes they call this period the Fall of Nations, a play on the term Spring of Nations that is sometimes used to describe the Revolutions of 1848. The events of the full-blown revolution began in Poland in 1989 and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania.] East Germany withdrew from the Pact following the reunification of Germany in 1990. On 25th February 1991, at a meeting in Hungary, the Pact was declared at the end by the defence and foreign ministers of the six remaining member states. The USSR itself was dissolved in December 1991, although most of the former Soviet republics formed the Collective Security Treaty Organizations shortly thereafter.]
  • 23rd October 1956: Hungarian Revolution. This started as a Hungarian protest against Communist rule in Budapest. It gathered people from where and on the 24th October Soviet tanks got into Budapest. The tanks backed out on 28th and a new government was created which started to introduce freedom of speech, democracy, and freedom of religion. The Soviet tanks came back on the 4th of November surrounding Budapest. The Prime Minister at the time, Imre Nagy [Hungarian communist politician who served as Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People’s Republic from 1953 to 1955 and in 1956 Nagy became leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against the Soviet-backed government, for which he was executed two years later] made a World broadcast that Hungary was under attack from the Soviet Union and calling for aid. Hungary fell to Russia on the 10th of November 1956.
  • 30th October 1956: Suez Crisis. Following military attack missiles by Israeli forces, a joint British and French force seized Egypt to regain control of the Suez Canal which had been nationalised by the Egyptian leader Nasser.[Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt after Mohamed Naguib who resigned on the 14th November 1954, Nasser served from 1954 until his death in 1970, he led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy and introduced land reforms the following year. Following a 1954 attempt on his life by a Muslim Brotherhood member, he cracked down on the organization, put President Mohamed Naguib under house arrest and assumed executive office. He was formally elected president in June 1956.] The attack was criticised by World leaders specifically U.S because Russia had offered to help Egypt. The British and French were forced to withdraw and a UN peace keeping force was sent to establish order.
  • 1st November 1957: Space Race. USSR Sputnik II carried Laika the dog, the first living creature to go into space.
  • 1960: Paris East/West talks. Talks between Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower regarding the future of Germany broke down when a USA U2 spy plane was shot down over Russian airspace. [Nikita Khrushchev was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during the Cold War as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinzation of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for many liberal reforms in places of domestic policy. In 1964 his party colleagues removed him and put Leonhid Brezhnev in charge as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.] [Dwight Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War 2, he was a five-star general in the Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942-43 and the successful invasion of Normandy in 1944-45 from the Western Front.]
  • 12th April 1961: Space Race. The first human being in space was Russian cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyvich Gagarian.
  • 17th April 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion. During the Cuban revolution, the M1 Garand was the standard rifle for both the Cuban Army and the Rebels. As for the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban were already using new weapons, but it was widely used by the invading exiles. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a failed attempt by the US-sponsored Cuban exiles to reverse Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution beginning with a military invasion of Northern Cuba. A Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored rebel group, Brigade 2506, tried an invasion on 17th April 1961 that lasted just three days. Brigade 2506 was a counter-revolutionary military group made up mostly of Cuban exiles who had traveled to the US after Castro’s takeover but also included some US military personnel.
  • 13th August 1961: Berlin Wall. The Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (or East Germany) began to create a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The main purpose of this wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it mainly served the goal of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9th 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they wanted. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others got hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. As World War two came to an end in 1945, a pair of Allied peace conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the fate of Germany’s territories. They split the defeated nation into four “allied occupation zones”: The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and eventually France.
  • 14th October 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis. Also known as the Caribbean Crisis or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day (October 16 – 28, 1962) confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union initiated by the American discovery of the Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation is considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to Cuba’s request to place nuclear missiles on the island to deter a future invasion as a response to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Fidel Castro and Khrushchev in July 1962, and construction of a number of missile launch facilities started later that summer. Meanwhile the 1962 US Elections were under way, and the White House denied charges for months that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles (140 km) from Florida. The missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane created clear photographic evidence of medium-range (SS-4) and intermediate-range (R-14) ballistic missile facilities. The US created a naval blockade in place in order to try to provoke Soviet-backed forces in Berlin as well. The US declared it would not allow offensive weapons to be sent to Cuba and demanded that the weapons already in Cuba be dismantled and sent back to Soviet Union. After seven days of negotiations, an agreement was reached between US President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. In exchange for a US public declaration and agreement to avoid invading Cuba again, the Soviets would dismantle their weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union (which would need to be verified by the United Nations) However in secret, the US agreed that it would dismantle all US-built Jupiter MRBMs, [PGM-19 Jupiter was the first nuclear tipped, medium-range ballistic missile ‘MRBM’ of the US Air Force (USAF) it was a liquid-propellant rocket using RP-1 fuel and LOX oxidizer with a single Rocketdyne LR79-NA rocket engine making 667 kN of thrust. It was armed with 1.44 megaton W49 nuclear warhead. The contractor was Chrysler Corporation] which had been deployed in Turkey against the Soviet Union; there has been debate on whether or not Italy was included in the agreement as well. When all offensive missiles and llyushin II-28 light bombers [NATO reporting name: Beagle is a jet bomber of the immediate postwar period that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Forces. It was Soviet Union’s first such aircraft to enter large-scale production.] had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade officially ended on November 21, 1962. The negotiations between the US and Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick, clear, and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow. In the end, the Moscow-Washington hotline was created. A series of agreements later reduced US-Soviet tensions for many years until both parties began to build their nuclear arsenal even further. As a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Removal of the Soviet Union’s nuclear missiles in Cuba. Removal of American nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy, Agreement with the Soviet Union that the US would never invade Cuba w/o direct provocation, and finally the creation of a nuclear hotline between the US and the Soviet Union.
  • 22nd November 1963: JFK Assassination. JF Kennedy was assassinated while on a visit to Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the murder but there has always been rumors that he was not the only one involved and that there was a possibility there may have been communist or CIA complicity.
  • 15th October 1964: USSR. Nikita Khrushchev removed from office and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.
  • July 1965: Vietnam War. Also named Second Indochina War and as the Resistance War Against America in Vietnam, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 1st November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30th April 1975 [Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam by the People’s Army of Vietnam and Viet Cong on 30th April 1975.] It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Soviet Union, China and other communist allies supported North Vietnam, and the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies supported the South of Vietnam. The war, considered a cold war-era proxy war by some people, lasted 19 years with direct involved from the U.S. ending in 1973, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War which ended with all three countries becoming communist in 1975. 150,000 US troops were sent to Vietnam.
  • 20th August 1968: Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Or also known as the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia (or also Operation Danube) was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact countries which are Poland, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, East Germany and Hungary – on the night of 20-21 August 1968. Around 250,000 Warsaw pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia that evening, with Romania and Albania refusing to get involved. East German forces, except for a small number of specialists, did not get involved in the invasion because they were following orders from Moscow not to cross the border of Czechoslovakia just hours before the invasion. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killed and 500 wounded during the occupation. The invasion successfully stopped Alexander Dubcek’s Prague Spring liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the authoritarian wing within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The foreign policy of the Soviet Union during this era was known as the Brezhnev Doctrine.
  • 21st December 1968. Space Race. US launched Apollo 8 -first manned orbit of the Moon. [There was also something called the Space Race which was the 20th century competition between two Cold War enemies, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States, to achieve firsts in spaceflight capabilities. It had its origins in the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations that occurred following World War 2. The competition began on August 2 1955 when the Soviet Union responded to the US announcement four days earlier of intent to launch artificial satellites for the International Geophysical Year, by declaring they would also launch a satellite in the near future. The Soviet Union achieved its first launch with October 4 1957 orbiting Sputnik 1, and sent their first human to space with the orbital flight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12 1961]
  • 20th July 1969. Space Race. US Apollo 11 landed on the Moon and Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon.
  • 30th April 1970. Vietnam War. President Richard Nixon ordered troops to go to Cambodia. He declared to a television audience that the American military troops, accompanied by South Vietnamese People’s Army, were to invade and attack Cambodia. The invasion was under the pretext of disrupting the North Vietnamese supply lines. They also attacked in order to destroy the Viet Cong base camps, that were backing the operations of South Vietnam. Although he declared it officially, there had been air raids in Cambodia for the last year, without the American citizen’s knowledge. Nixon had been ordering bombings on Cambodia for months before actually announcing an invasion. The image of Nixon appeared all over the televisions and the New York Times and on the cover of Time magazine. A journalist from Time wrote (this was extracted but paraphrased) “At one point during his television address to the nation last week, Nixon lost his place in the typescript. For 4 to 5 seconds he shuffled pages, eyes darting through paragraphs to pick up the trail again. For the nation watching, it was an instant of complex psychology. There was the acute embarrassment and sympathy for the speaker who has fluffed his lines. There was also, for some, an eccentric partial hope that he could not continue, an absurdist, McLuhan logic would apply: “The U.S. was about to move in Cambodia, but the President lost his place in the script.’ The instant passed. Richard Nixon went on.” Many reports similar to this one, along with his declaration of the invasion was spread all over the US, and the American citizens were soon filled with disbelief and fear. Nixon had promised “Vietnamization,” and many of the citizens felt failed by the President they trusted. The relief that the soldiers may have been coming home quickly fled the minds of all their waiting families. All the people of American became filled with anger and shock. In the end, protests both peaceful and violent erupted across the country. This reaction was important in the Vietnam War conflict, it marked the beginning of the large disagreement between American Citizens and Military arrangements that Nixon declared.
  • 3rd September 1971. Four Power Agreement Berlin. Also known as the Berlin Agreement or Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin was agreed by four wartime Allied powers (represented by the ambassadors) The ministers were Alec Doughlas-Home of UK, the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics’ Andrei Gromyko, France’s Maurice Schumann, and the US’s William P. Rogers signed together to put into motion at a ceremony in Berlin on 3rd June 1972. The agreement wasn’t a treaty and didn’t need any formal ratification. The Berlin Agreement by reconfirming the existence of the rights and responsibilities of the four powers for the future of Berlin and Germany as a whole (which Soviets claimed to have abrogated as a result of the Berlin crisis of 1959-1962) the Agreement described the basis for a series of East-West agreements which ushered in the period known as Detente. It also reestablished ties between two parts of Berlin, improved travel and communications between the two parts of the city and brought improvements for the residents of the Western Sectors. The Agreement was translated into English, French, and Russian languages but there was no authentic text in the German language. The translations used by the two German states have some differences. After the agreement entered into force, the Soviet Union used this vague wording in an effort to loosen West Berlin’s ties with the Federal Republic of Germany. But, the agreement contributed greatly both to a reduction of tensions between both sides and to expanded contacts between the two parts of Germany. It made an important contribution to the process which resulted in the reunification of Germany in 1990. Along with the Allied agreement, the Basic Treaty recognized two German states, and the two countries pledged to respect one another’s sovereignty.
  • 26th May 1972. SALT. Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty signed between US and USSR. During the late 1960s the US learned that the Soviet Union had embarked upon a massive Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) buildup designed to reach parity with the United States. In January 1967, President Lyndon Johnson announced that the Soviet Union had begun to create a limited Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) defense system around Moscow. The development of an ABM system could allow one side to launch a first strike and then prevent the other from retaliating by shooting down incoming missiles. Johnson called for strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) and in 1967, he and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin met at Glassboro State College in New Jersey. Johnson said they must gain “control of the ABM race” and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara argued that the more each reacted to each other’s escalation, the more they had chosen “an insane road to follow.” While abolition of nuclear weapons would be impossible, limiting the development of both offensive and defensive strategic systems would stabilize U.S.-Soviet relations.
  • 15th August 1973. Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords ended American involvement in Vietnam.
  • 17th April 1975. Cambodia Killing Fields. The Khmer Rouge attacked and took over Cambodia. Those that were supporters of the old regime, or had links or supposed links to foreign governments as well as many intellectuals and professionals were killed in a genocide that became known as the ‘Killing Fields’
  • 30th April 1975. Vietnam. North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese led to the whole country becoming Communist.
  • July 1975. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Joint space venture between USA and USSR heralded as an end to the ‘Space Race’.
  • 20th January 1977. Carter President. Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the US.
  • 4th November 1979. Iranian hostage crisis. A group of Iranian students and militants stormed the American embassy and captured 53 Americans hostage to show support for Iranian Revolution. [Iranian Revolution caused by discontent with Shah’s rule, exile of Ruhollah Khomeini, Social injustice, religious motives. It started with a series of events involving the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the US-backed monarchy was supported by leftist Islamist organizations and student movements.]
  • 24th December 1979. Afghanistan. Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan. This lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known as mujahideen as well as smaller Maoist groups fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government. The mujahideen groups were backed by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees mostly to Pakistan and Iran. The war derives from a 1978 coup when Afghanistan’s communist party took power, initiating radical modernization reforms throughout the country. These reforms were unpopular among more traditional rural population and established power structures. The repressive nature of Soviet Afghanistan (who executed thousands of political prisoners) led to the rise of anti-government armed groups and by April 1979 large parts of the country were in open rebellion. In September 1979 President Nur Mohammad Taraki, was murdered under orders of the second-in-command Hafizullah Amin, which sourced relations with Soviet Union. Eventually, the Soviet government, under leader Leonid Brezhnev, deployed the 40th Army on December 24th 1979. Arriving in the capital Kabul, they staged a coup, killing president Amin and installing Soviet loyalist Babrak Karmal from a rival faction. The deployment had been called an “invasion” (by western media and rebels) or a legitimate supporting intervention (by the soviet union and the afghan government) on the basis of the Brezhnev Doctrine.
  • July 1980. Olympic Boycott by USA. Number of countries incl. USA boycotted the summer Olympics held in Moscow in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Other countries like Great Britain got involved under the Olympic flag rather than their national flag.
  • 13th December 1980. Poland. Martial law was declared to crush the Solidarity movement.
  • 20th January 1981. Iranian hostage crisis ended. The Iranian hostage took 444 days to end.
  • June 1982. START. During a summit in Geneva Reagan proposed Strategic Arms Reduction Talks. This was a bilateral treaty between US and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. This was signed on 31st July 1991 and became implemented on 5th December 1994. The treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) and bombers. START negotiated the biggest arms control treaty in worldwide history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in removing of about 80% of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence. This was proposed by Ronald Reagan and it was renamed START I after negotiations started on the second START treaty. On April 2010, the replacement New START treaty was signed in Prague by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Following ratification by the US Senate and the Federal Assembly of Russia, it went into force on 26 January 2011. This treaty was the first to provide reductions of American and Soviet/Russian strategic nuclear weapons.
  • July 1984. Olympic boycott by Russia. Russia and 13 allied countries boycotted the summer Olympics held in LA in response for the US boycott of 1980.
  • 11th March 1985. Govbachov leader of USSE. Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union.
  • 26th April 1986. Chernobyl Disaster. This a nuclear accident that took place at the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Ukraine) near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history and is one of only two nuclear energy disasters rated at seven-the maximum severity-on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
  • June 1987. Glasnost and Perestroika. Mikhail Gorbachev announced his intention to follow a policy of glasnot-openness transparency and freedom of speech; and perestroika – restructuring of government and economy. He also advocated free elections and ending the arms race.
  • 4th June 1989. Tiananmen Square. Anti Communist protests in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China were crushed by the government. The death count is unknown.
  • August 1989. Poland. Tadeusz Mazowiecki elected leader of the Polish government – the first eastern bloc country to become a democracy.
  • 23rd October 1989. Hungary proclaimed itself a republic.
  • 9th November 1989.  Fall of Berlin Wall.
  • 17th November – 29th December 1989. Velvet Revolution. Also known as the Gentle Revolution, was a series of peaceful protests in Czechoslovakia that led to the overthrow of the Communist government.
  • 2nd, 3rd December 1989. Malta Summit. This meeting between Mikhail Gorbachov and George H W Bush reversed much of the provisions of the Yalta Conference 1945. It is seen by some as the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
  • 16th – 25th December 1989. Romanian Revolution. Riots broke out which culminated in the overthrow and execution of leader Ceausescu and his wife.
  • 3rd October 1990. German reunification. East and West Germany reunited as one country.
  • 1st July 1991. End of Warsaw Pact.
  • 31st July 1991. START. The treaty that was signed between US and Russia.
  • 25th December 1991. Gorbachev resigned. The hammer and sickle flag on the Kremlin was lowered.
  • 26th December 1991. End of the Soviet Union. Russia formally recognized the end of the Soviet Union.

 

 

Quantum Mechanics, Part II: Eat, Pray, Quantum Entanglement.

You cannot discuss Quantum Mechanics without mentioning Young’s Interference Experiment (which is also called the double-split experiment) Anyone can actually re-create this experiment on their own. All you have to do is cut two slits in a piece of paper, shine a flashlight through the slits, and pay attention to the linear patterns created. If you want a video to show you what I’m actually talking about click here.
The video will give you a better understanding and explaining the patterns mentioned above. In simpler terms, the experiment shows that light photons act as both particle and wave, a property called (not officially) “wave-particle duality”. The first detection of the duality of particles took place before science created the field of quantum mechanics, and payed way for things like the first photograph of light in both its particles and wave states.

In the span of 135 years of scientists trying to understand the ramifications of Young’s experiment, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger devised a thought experiment that would further baffle everyone’s minds, but also became one of the most popular building blocks of the quantum superposition theory.

Schrodinger presented the following idea of mental gymnastics: If there’s a cat stuck in a booby-trapped box, only upon observation (i.e. when you open the box) can you ascertain if the cat is alive or dead. Which entails, until the very moment of observation, both possibilities are true, so the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. By imagining this insane cat torture, Schrodinger hoped to understand when particles leave a state of quantum superposition to become one thing or another. Quantum superposition add that a thing can exist in all possible states until it’s observed. Light is both a particle and a wave, a cat in a box is both alive and dead. It isn’t until we observe something that it “fixes” on a state of being. Which leads us to binge-watching Netflix on a computer drastically more powerful than anything we know today through a project named “Quantum computing”

Quantum computing is a new concept on processing power utilizing principles like quantum superposition and entanglement. The ability to process data at speeds beyond the scope of classic computers and with numerous applications. The most advanced quantum computer in the world right now is found at the USC-Lockheed Martin Computing Center.

Quantum Entanglement illustrates that particles can be linked together regardless of physical distance. For example if you have two linked particles, one in Hawaii and the other in Antarctica, if you measure the one in Hawaii, the particle in Antarctica will respond to the measurement. A second property of quantum entanglement is of “opposites attract” where physical properties (spin, position, and so on) of the linked particles will always be opposite. Measuring one particle has an effect on the other, which leads us to quantum teleportation.

Quantum teleportation, how does it work? You generate two entangled photos and send one of them over a distance and medium (for instance 102 km of optical fiber). Based on their entangled states, you can identify when they are in opposite states, “in effect (‘teleporting’) the evil twin of the photon” For visual explanation, click here.

Scientists might have figured out the fiber optic teleportation of information encoded in light, but they haven’t figured out the teleportation of matter. There is still a million of pieces to determine the gap between fiber optic teleportation and matter teleportation, so you won’t be able to Mike TeaVee yourself anytime soon.

There is still a meta layer of paradox here: the science of things at a small scale doesn’t work with the science of things at the bigger scale. Scientists including Einstein are still baffled on trying to explain or unify these two theories together as they both remain in opposition to each other but maintain to explain a good deal of each one. This leads us to the “Unified Field Theory”. Einstein tried to unify this theory using electromagnetism. The “Theory of Everything” and “Grand Unified Theory” are similarly related to unified field theory but unsimilar by not needing the basis of nature to be fields, and often by attempting to explain physical constants of nature. There are currently four fundamental forces which result from the exchange of gauge bosons. The four fundamental interactions to be unified are: Strong interaction, Electromagnetic interaction, Weak interaction and Gravitational interaction. The first successful classical unified field theory (attempts based on classical physics) was created by James Clerk Maxwell.

Until the 1960s, almost everyone agreed that smallest of the smallest building blocks into which we’ve divided the universe – subatomic particles – were basically particles. But what is a particle really? Why didn’t this discovery explain things like dark matter? Geoffrey Chew would lead his associates to think outside the box to consider items beyond the particle. This research integrate into string theory as it’s proposed today. String theory claims speculate that everything is composed of one-dimensional, vibrating objects. How these strings act determines everything from gravity to M&M crumbs. Yet the most bizarre assumption is the following: if string theory is what’s going on, extra dimensions would have to exist.

What about parallel universes? universe theory of quantum mechanics, relying on probabilities rather than definites, proposes that for every possible outcome of any possible decision a universe is created. So, in another universe, sectarianism in Lebanon doesn’t exist and everyone has free water and electricity.

Time travel is among the many interesting implications of quantum mechanics that makes everyone say things like, “I wish I could go back in time and encourage Hitler to pursue his dreams and remain a dictator” (just kidding)
Scientists have simulated sending particles backward through time, more on this here. 
But perhaps simulation is a long way off from reality, and sending things into the future is still a murk quandary (same goes for this article)

Finally you have Simulation Hypothesis which proposes that all of reality is in fact an artificial stimulation and mostly like a computer simulation (Hello Matrix).

 

 

 

 

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum theory in simpler terms is the theoretical basis of physics that describes the nature and presence of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level. The nature of matter and energy on that level is sometimes referred to as Quantum physics or Quantum mechanics.

The most accurate clocks, atomic clocks use values of quantum theory to measure time. They track the specific radiation frequency required to make electrons bounce between energy levels.

There are a total of four quantum numbers:

The principal quantum figure – n

This quantum number appoints the principal electron shell. Because n is the most foreseeable distance of electrons from the nucleus, the bigger the number n is, the farther the electron is from the nucleus, the bigger the size of the orbital, and the bigger the atom is. n can only be any positive integer starting at 1, as n equal 1 appoints the first principle shell. The first principal shell is also named the ground state, or lowest energy state. This describes why n can not be zero or any negative integer, because there are no atoms with zero or a negative amount of energy levels/principal shells. When an electron gains energy or is an excited condition, it may leap to the second principle shell, where n equals 2. This is referred to as absorption because the electron is “absorbing” energy or photons. Electrons can also release energy as they leap to lower principle shells (This is called Emission) where n lessens by whole numbers. As the electron energy increases, so does the principal quantum figure, i.e. n = 3 meaning the third principal shell, n = 4 meaning the fourth principal shell, and etc.

The orbital angular momentum quantum figure – l

This figure determines the orbital shape and is therefore named the angular distribution. The number of angular nodes is equal to the value of the angular momentum quantum number l. Each value of l means a particular s, p, d, f subshell. The value of l is dependent on the principal quantum number n. The value of l however can be zero. It can also be a positive integer, but cannot be bigger than one less than principal quantum number (n-1).

The magnetic quantum figure – m

This number regulates the number of orbitals and their orientation inside a subshell. Its value also varies on the orbital angular momentum quantum number l. Given a certain l, mis an interval varying from l–l to +l+l so it can be zero, a negative or positive integer.                    
The electron spin quantum – ms

This number, unlike the other three, does not rely on another quantum figure. It appoints the direction of the electron spin and may have a spin of +1/2, represented by ↑ or -1/2, represented by ↓. This means when ms is positive the electron has an upward spin, which can always be referred to as “spin up”. When it’s negative the electron has a downward spin, so it would mean “spin down”. The importance of the electron spin quantum number is its determination of an atom’s ability to create a magnetic field or not.

According to Purdue University, quantum numbers come from the Bohr model, Schrödinger’s Hw = Ew wave equation, Hund’s rules and Hund-Mulliken orbital theory. It’s recommended to become familiarized with related physics and chemistry terms in order to understand the quantum figures that describe electrons in an atom.

Quantum mechanics developed over many decades, initially as a set of controversial mathematical explanations of experiments that the math of classical mechanics cannot describe. It started in the 20th century around when Einstein published his theory of relativity, which describes the motion of things at high speeds. The origination can only be accredited to a number of scientists who contributed to the grounds of three revolutionary principles that eventually earned acceptance and experimental verification between 1900 and 1930. They are the following:

Quantized properties: Particular properties, like position, speed and color, can at times only happen in specific, set amounts, much like a dial that “clicks” from figure to figure. This challenged a fundamental assumption of classical mechanics, which mention that such properties should exist on a smooth, continuous spectrum. Scientists described this process as “quantized” to describe concepts that some properties “clicked” like a dial with specific settings.

Particles of Light: Light can sometimes operate as a particle. This concept was initially criticized, as it was contradicting to 200 years of experiments showing that light behaved as a wave; like ripples on the surface of a calm lake. Light works similarly in that it jumps off walls and bends around corners, and that the crests and troughs of the wave can add up or cancel out. Added wave crests follow in brighter light, while waves that cancel out produce darkness. A light source can be thought of as a ball on a stick being rhythmically dipped in the center of a lake. The color radiating corresponds to the distance between the crests, which is settled by the speed of the ball’s rhythm. Einstein published a paper in 1905 known as, “Concerning an Heuristic Point of View Toward the Emission and Transformation of Light,” in where he foresees light traveling as a manner of “energy quanta” and not as a wave. Einstein explained this packet of energy could “be absorbed or generated only as a whole,” when an atom leaps between quantized vibration rates. This would also apply, as would be shown a few years later, when an electron leaps between quantized orbits. Under this representation, Einstein’s “energy quanta” includes the energy difference of the leap; when divided by Planck’s constant, that energy difference determined the color of light carried by those quanta.

For those who don’t know what Planck’s constant is, it’s simply denoted  which is a physical constant that is the quantum of electromagnetic action which relates the energy carried by a photon to its frequency. The Planck constant is the basis for the definition of the kilogram.

Waves of Matter: Matter can also behave as a wave. This ran offset to the approximately 30 years of experiments showing that matter (i.e. electrons) live as particles. Since 1896 when electrons were discovered, proof that all matter existed in the form of particles was slowly building up. The presentation of light’s wave-particle duality made scientists articulate whether matter was restricted to acting only as particles. Maybe wave-particle duality could ring true for matter as well? The first scientist to make significant advancements with this reasoning was a French physicist called Louis de Broglie. In 1924, he used the equations of Einstein’s theory of special relativity to explain that particles can display wave-like components, and that waves can display particle-like components. In 1925, two scientists, working individually and using isolated lines of mathematical thinking, applied de Broglie’s reasoning to explain how electrons whizzed around in atoms (a phenomenon that was indescribable using equations of classical mechanics). In Germany, physicist Werner Heisenberg (collaborating with Pascual Jordan and Max Born) accomplished this by creating a similar theory called “wave mechanics”. In 1926, Schrödinger displayed that these two pathways were correspondent (though Swiss physicist Wolfgang Pauli sent an unpublished result to Jordan showing that matrix mechanics was more complete)

 

 

 

 

Tribute to World War One.

28 June 1914: Assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

  • The Balkans states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, had been annexed from Turkey and taken into the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This was resented by Serbs and Croats, this was also when The Black Hand (a nationalist group) was created.
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and his wife, decided to inspect the Austro-Hungarian troops in Bosnia. The day chosen for inspection happened to be a national day in Bosnia. The nationalist group (Black Hand) supplied a group of students with weapons for an assassination attempt to mark the occasion. (Yikes).
  • Austrian Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist student, when their open car stopped at a corner on its way out of the town.

28 July 1914: Austria declared war on Serbia.

  • The Austrian government blamed the Serbian government for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife and declared war on Serbia.
  • Although Russia was allied with Serbia, Germany did not believe that she would mobilise and offered to support Austria if needed.
  • However, Russia did mobilise, and through their alliance with France, called on the French to mobilise.

1 August 1914: Germany declared war on Russia.

  • Germany declared war on Russia.

3 August 1914: Germany declared war on France.

  • Germany declared war on France. German troops poured into Belgium as directed under the Schlieffen Plan, drawn up in 1905. The British foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey, sent an ultimatum to Germany demanding their withdrawal from the neutral Belgium. (Just a bit more insight on the Schlieffen Plan: The name given to German war plans and the influence of Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen and his thinking on the invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914. Schlieffen was Chief of the General Staff of the German Army from 1891 to 1906. This plan also resulted in 305,000 casualties. In 1905 and 1906, Schlieffen devised an army deployment plan for a war-winning offensive against the French Third Republic [The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1807, when the Second French Empire collapsed during Franco-Russian War, until 10 July 1940 after France’s defeat by Nazi Germany in World War 2 led to the formation of the Vichy government in France]. After losing the First World War, German official historians of the Reichsarchiv and other writers described the plan as a blueprint for victory. Generaloberst (Colonel-General) Helmuth Von Moltke the Younger, succeeded the Schlieffen as Chief of the German General Staff in 1906 and was dismissed after the First Battle of Marne (5 to 12 September 1914). German historians claimed that Moltke had ruined the plan by meddling with it.)

4 August 1914: British declaration of war.

  • Germany did not withdraw from Belgium and Britain declared war on Germany.
  • The Russian army marched into Prussia. However, because of the differences in railway gauge between Russia and Prussia it was difficult for the Russians to get supplies through to their men. The Germans, on the other hand, used their railway system to surround the Russian Second army at Tannenberg before it’s commander could realise what was happening. The ensuing battle was a heavy defeat for the Russians with thousands of men killed and 125,000 taken prisoner. Although the Germans won the battle, 13,000 men were killed.

13th August 1914: Japan declared war on Germany. 

  • Japan declared war on Germany through their alliance with Great Britain, signed in 1902.

September 1914: Battle of Masurian Lakes.

  • Having defeated the Russian Second army, the Germans turned their attention to the Russian First army at Masurian Lakes. Although the Germans were unable to defeat the army completely, over 100,000 Russians were taken prisoner.

29th October 1914: Turkey.

  • Turkey entered the war on the side of the central powers and gave help to a German naval bombardment of Russia.

2nd November 1914: Russia declared war on Turkey.

  • Because of the help given by Turkey to the German attack of Russia, Russia declared war on Turkey.

5th November 1914: Britain and France declared war on Turkey. 

  • Britain and France, Russia’s allies, declared war on Turkey, because of the help given to the German attack on Russia.
  • The German advance through Belgium to France did not go as smoothly as the Germans had hoped. The Belgians put up a good fight destroying railway lines to slow the transport of German supplies.
  • Despite a French counter-attack that saw the deaths of many Frenchmen on the battlefields at Ardennes, the Germans continued to march into France. They were eventually halted by the allies at the river Marne.

Late 1914: Early stages of the war.

  • British troops had advanced from the northern coast of France to the Belgian town of Mons. Although they initially held off the Germans, they were soon forced to retreat.
  • The British lost a huge number of men at the first battle of Ypres.
  • By Christmas, all hopes that the war would be over had gone and the holiday saw men of both sides digging themselves into the trenches of the Western Front.

December 1914: Zeppelins.

  • The first Zeppelins appeared over the English coast.

7th May 1915: Lusitania Sunk.

  • There outraged protests from the United States at the German U-boat campaign, when the Lusitania, which had many American passengers abroad, was sank. The Germans moderated their U-boat campaign.

23rd May 1915: Italy.

  • Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies.

2nd April 1915: Second Battle of Ypres.

  • Poison gas was used for the first time during this battle. The gas, fired by the Germans claimed many British casualties.

February 1915: Zeppelin bombing.

  • Zeppelin airships dropped bombs on Yarmouth.

February 1915: Dardenelles.

  • The Russians appealed for help from Britain and France to beat off an attack by the Turkish. The British navy responded by attacking Turkish forts in the Dardenelles.

April – August 1915: Dardenelles/Gallipoli.

  • Despite the loss of several ships to mines, the British successfully landed a number of marines in the Gallipoli region of the Dardenelles. Unfortunately the success was not followed up and the mission was a failure.

After February 1915: Winston Churchill resigns.

  • Winston Churchill, critical of the Dardenelles campaign resigned his post as First Lord of the Admiralty. He rejoined the army as a battalion commander.

April 1915: Zeppelins.

  • The use of airships by the Germans increased. Zeppelins began attacking London. They were also used for naval reconnaissance [There are three types of reconnaissance: Three types of reconnaissance patrols are area, zone, and route. Reconnaissance patrols provide timely and accurate information on the enemy and terrain. They confirm the leader’s plan before it is executed] to attack London and smaller balloons were used for reconnaissance along the Western Front. They were only stopped when the introduction of aeroplanes shot them down.

Early 1916: Winston Churchill.

  • Winston Churchill served in Belgium as lieutenant colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. [Royal Scots Fusiliers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1678 until 1959 when it was amalgamated with the Highland Light Infantry to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers which was later itself merged with the Royal Scots Borderers, the Black Watch, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Highlanders to form a large regiment, the Royal Regiment of Scotland.]

April 1916: Romania enter the war.

  • Romania joined the war on the side of the Allies. But within a few months it was occupied by Germans and Austrians. [Keep in mind the Allied powers were Great Britain, The United States, China and the Soviet Union. The leaders of the Allies were Franklin Roosevelt (the United States), Winston Churchill (Great Britain), and Joseph Stalin (the Soviet Union) The main Axis powers were Germany, Japan and Italy. The Axis leaders were Adolf Hitler (Germany), Benito Mussolini (Italy), and Emperor Hirohito (Japan)]

31st May 1916: Battle of Jutland.

  • This was the only truly large-scale naval battle of the war. German forces, confined to port by a British naval blockade, came out in the hope of splitting the British fleet and destroying it ship by ship. However, the British admiral, David Beatty, aware that the German tactics were the same as those used by Nelson at Trafalgar, sent a smaller force to lure the German’s into the range of Admiral Jellicoe’s main fleet. Although Beatty’s idea worked, the exchange of fire was brief and the German’s withdrew.

1st June 1916: Battle of Jutland.

  • The British and German naval forces met again but the battle was inconclusive. The German ships did a great deal of damage to British ships before once again withdrawing and the British Admiral Jellicoe decided not to give chase.
  • Although British losses were heavier than the German, the battle had alarmed both the Kaiser [Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the German Kaiser (emperor) and king of Prussia from 1888 to 1918] and the German Admiral Scheer and they decided to keep their fleet consigned to harbor for the remainder of the war.

28th November 1916: First Aeroplane raid.

  • The first German air raid on London took place. The Germans hoped that by making raids on London and the South East, the British Air Force would be forced into protecting the home front rather than attacking the German air force.

December 1916: Lloyd George Prime Minister.

  • Lloyd George became Prime Minister of the war time coalition. His war cabinet, unlike that of his predecessor, met every day. However, there was considerable disagreement among the members of the Cabinet, especially between Lloyd George and his war secretary, Sir Douglas Haig. Lloyd George suspected Haig of squandering life needlessly and was suspicious of his demands for more men and freedom of action in the field.

21st February – November 1916: Battle of Verdun.

  • The Germans mounted an attack on the French at Verdun designed to ‘bleed the French dry’. Although the fighting continued for nine months, the battle was inconclusive. Casualties were disastrous on both ends with the Germans losing 430,000 men and 540,000 for the French.

1st July – November 1916: Battle of the Somme.

  • The battle was preceded by a week long artillery bombardment of the German line which was supposed to destroy the barbed wire defences placed along the German line but only actually succeeded in making no mans land a mess of mud and craters. The 5 month long battle witnessed the deaths of 420,000 British soldiers (60,000 on 1st day), 200,000 French soldiers and half a million of German soldiers all just for a total land gain of 25 miles.

1917: New War Commander.

  • Lloyd George [An interesting 2 minute video on The Treaty of Versailles, What did the Big Three Want? Watch here and more on that later] who had never trusted his war minister’s ability to direct the war, persuaded the Cabinet to appoint the French General Nivelle as supreme war commander over Haig’s head. Haid was assured that the appointment was for one operation only and that if the felt the British army was being misused by the Frenchmen he could appeal to the British government.

July – November 1917: W.front Passchendaele.

  • The operation commanded by the French General, Robert Nivelle, went wrong and caused the loss of many French soldiers [Short video on the Battle of Passchendaele here] The total casualties at Passchendaele were estimated at some 500,000 about 275,000 British and Commonwealth and maybe more than 200,000 Germans. Nearly 15,700 Canadians and 5300 New Zealanders fell there, killed, wounded or missing. (Although numbers could be a bit inaccurate)] Haig protested to the British government and advocated trying his own scheme for a breakthrough. At the resulting battle of Passchendaele Haig broke his promise to call off the battle if the first stage failed because he did not want to lose face with the government. [A little backstory on French General Robert Nivelle; Robert Nivelle was a French artillery officer who served in the Boxer Rebellion and WW1. He was an organizer of field artillery at the regimental and divisional levels. In May 1916 he succeeded Philippe Petain as commander of the French Second Army in the Battle of Verdun, leading counter-offensives that rolled back the German forces in late 1916. During this time, he and General Charles Mangin were already accused of wasting French lives. [Charles Mangin serving as a French general during WW1 was and rose from divisional command to that of the Tenth Army for the Second Battle of the Marne, commanding both French and American troops. He was nicknamed “the Butcher” for his espousal of ‘la guerre a outrance (all-out war) and his faith in the suitability of North African Tirailleur for the attack, there was no doubt in the french Army that Mangin was fearless. Tirailleur in the Napoleonic era, was a type of light infantry trained to skirmish ahead of the main columns. During that war, Mangin had notable victories at the Battle of Charleroi (1914) and Battle of Verdun (1916) but his reputation suffered following the Nivelle Offensive which is due partly to the fact that he was one of the few high-ranking French officials who supported Nivelle’s strategy.]

1917: Churchill Minister of Munitions.

  • Following the defeat at Passchendaele, Lloyd George decided that he wanted Churchill in the Cabinet. Churchill was then appointed Minister of Munitions.

1917: Reinforcements sent to Italy.

  • The Italians lost many men trying to hold the line between Italy and Central Powers. British and French reinforcements were sent to hold the line.

6th April 1917: USA declares war on Germany.

  • The United States declared war on Germany in response to the sinking, by German U boats, of US ships.

November 1917: W.Front Cambrai.

  • The British took a large force of tanks across barbed wire and machine gun posts at Cambrai.

March 1918: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

  • Following the successful revolution by the Bolsheviks, the Russians signed an Armistice with the Germans at Brest-Litovsk. The terms of the treaty were raspy: Russia had to surrender Poland, the Ukraine and other regions. They had to stop all Socialist propaganda directed at Germany and pay 300 million roubles for the repatriation of Russian prisoners.

April 1918: Formation of RAF.

  • The Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were merged to create the Royal Air Force. [During the early part of the war, RFC supported the British Army by artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance. This led RFC pilots into aerial battles with German pilots and later in the war included strafing of enemy infantry and emplacements, the bombing of German military airfields and later the strategic bombing of German industrial and transport facilities.]

8 – 11th August 1918: Battle of Amiens.

  • The British general, Haig, ordered the attack of the German sector at Amiens. At the same time the news came through that the allies had broken through from Salonika and forced Bulgaria to sue for peace.

Mid October 1918: Allies recover France and Belgium.

  • The allies had taken almost all of German-occupied France and part of Belgium.

30th October 1918: Armistice with Turkey.

  • The allies had successfully pushed the Turkish army back and the Turks were forced to ask for an armistice. The terms of the armistice treaty allowed the allies access to the Dardenelles.

Early November 1918: Hindenberg line collapsed.

  • By the beginning of November the allies had pushed the Germans back beyond the Hindenberg line.

9th November 1918: Kaiser Abdicated. 

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated.

 

 

 

Jamal Khashoggi.

When I speak of the fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds, and then I tell you that I’m from Saudi Arabia, are you surprised? – Jamal Khashoggi.

I always found it ironic when a Saudi official bashes Islamists, given that Saudi Arabia is the mother of all political Islam — and even describes itself as an Islamic state in its “ Higher Law.” (We avoid the term “constitution” because of its secular interpretation and often say that the Koran is our constitution.) – Jamal Khashoggi.

  • Donald Trump has criticised the apparent Saudi plot to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it one of the ‘worst in the history of cover-ups’. (video). More on this from BBC.com
  • CNN has released CCTV footage of a man wearing what appear to be the clothes of the murdered Saudi journalist.
  • Murdered Journalist’s Final Moments, Youtube video.
  • Who was the murdered Saudi journalist #JamalKhashoggi? | Al Jazeera English Youtube video.
  • Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News “the murder” had been a “tremendous mistake” and denied the powerful crown prince had ordered it.
  • Jamal Khashoggi: Who’s who in alleged Saudi ‘hit squad’

  • Saudi Arabia has said that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul as part of a “rogue operation” by Saudi agents who had nothing to do with the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • It has been more than two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi government, walked into the country’s consulate in Istanbul and disappeared.
  • Social media criticizes Saudi condolence photo showing a pained look as Khashoggi’s son shakes prince’s hand.
  • Jamal Khashoggi Death Case: The visa curbs came as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudis’ Istanbul consulate had been meticulously planned, in a speech that overshadowed a long-planned investment forum in Riyadh.

  • Jamal Khashoggi: Who is murdered Saudi Journalist?

  • The US president draws laughter at a Montana rally with advice to ‘never wrestle’ local Congressman Gianforte, who in 2017 assaulted a  Guardian reporter. ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy,’ says the US president. Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.
  • US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, says neither he or the Saudi government want to discuss the facts when asked whether missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is alive or dead.
  • Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared on 2 October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. More than two weeks later, Saudi Arabia admitted he had been killed, reportedly as a result of a fight inside the premises, an act that drew global condemnation.
  • Few people outside Saudi Arabia had heard of Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud before his father became king in 2015. But now, the 33-year-old crown prince is considered the de facto ruler of the world’s leading oil exporter.
  • Donald Trump has said for the first time that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman could have been involved in the operation to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi noting that “the prince is running things over there” in Riyadh.
  • pieces together events surrounding this death and the investigation, and links to Riyadh’s controversial crown prince.
  • Panetta on Khashoggi: Trump needs to show there is a price to be paid.

  • Donald Trump has said he presumes Jamal Khashoggi is dead and that the consequences for Saudi Arabia could be “very severe” if its leaders are found to have ordered the dissident journalist’s killing.
  • “….the terrible circumstances of his death brought him instant fame that focused global attention on the conservative kingdom.”
  • Donald Trump has defended Saudi Arabia against mounting international condemnation of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning against a rush to judgment as his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, headed to Turkey to meet Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
  • Donald Trump says the US has asked Turkey for an audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death which reportedly proves he was brutally tortured before his premeditated murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
  • Erdogan makes statement on killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

  • The King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia meet with members of Jamal Khashoggi’s family on Tuesday, the same day that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says evidence shows the journalist was ‘brutally murdered’.
  • The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned days in advance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told MPs from his ruling party.
  • Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates.bcd9dcd7c8a54546abf99cf5b4d2a0f7_18

 

3rd September 2018

  • Johnson, who resigned as foreign secretary over the Chequers plan, used a column in the Telegraph to argue that May’s Brexit proposals meant she was entering negotiations with a “white flag fluttering”.  More on this found here.
  • Remember all the hoo-ha over Donald Trump’s summit in June with North Korea’s maverick dictator, Kim Jong-un? With typical immodesty, Trump proclaimed a historic diplomatic breakthrough.
  • Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims have been found guilty of breaching the country’s Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in prison.
  • Brazil’s 200-year-old national museum:Most of the 20 million items it contained, including the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas, are believed to have been destroyed.
  • The UNHCR said 1,095 people died on the central Mediterranean route, mainly from Libya to Italy, between January and July this year, amounting to one death for every 18 arrivals. This compares with 2,276 last year, or one death for every 42 arrivals.
  • The Kosovan president, Hashim Thaçi, and his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vučić, have suggested an exchange of territory could be part of a deal that would pave the way for a final settlement between Belgrade and Pristina.
  • No 10: Boris Johnson has ‘no new ideas’ and does not offer ‘serious leadership’- Politics live. More here.

  • Britain on Monday called for the immediate release of two Reuters jailed in Myanmar for their reporting of the Rohingya crisis, saying that the verdict undermined press freedom in Myanmar.
  • Palestinian President Abbas said he would agree to such an offer only if Israel is a part of the confederation.
  • Analysis: If Israel had to enter Gaza today, the Israeli army would have a big problem.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that armed groups must be “cleaned out” of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, Iranian media reports.
  • BAGHDAD — On land, Syria’s government is mustering thousands of conscripts to bolster its depleted forces. At sea, a Russian naval flotilla is just offshore, ready to intervene with formidable firepower. In Idlib Province, millions of civilians are dreading what comes next.
  • Casualties Reported in Alleged Israeli Strike on Damascus Overnight; Syria, Iran Deny. Read more here.

  • Lebanon Sunday joined the global condemnation of the recent U.S. decision to cut all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, denouncing it as an attempt to deny Palestinians their right of return.
  • Washington Mourned John McCain. President Trump Played Golf.

  • What you need to know about the week ahead.

25th April 2018

  • The back-to-back visits come weeks before a May 12 deadline set by Mr. Trump to “fix” the Iran agreement or walk away from it.
  • Emmanuel Macron has proposed negotiations on a “new deal” aimed at curbing Iran’s military power and regional activities, to exist alongside a three year-old agreement that restricts the country’s nuclear programme.
  • They call him the Trump whisperer. France’s President Emmanuel Macron – who believes his diplomacy, persuasion and personal charm can sway the thinking of his US counterpart, Donald Trump – arrives in Washington on Monday for the deeply symbolic first state visit by a foreign leader since Trump came to power.
  • Donald Trump loves the drama and tension of an ultimatum. It appeals to the ringmaster in him. The former reality show star revels in having the whole world hold its breath in anticipation of his next announcement.
  • Guardian briefing on Macron and Trump in Iran arms wrestle found here.
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has questioned the legitimacy of efforts by the US and its European allies to change a nuclear deal with his country.
  • Oil prices hit $75 on Tuesday, the highest level in nearly three and a half years, as fears mounted over the prospect of new US sanctions on Iran. “The US will decide by 12 May whether to abandon a nuclear deal with Iran and re-impose sanctions”
  • Australia: The 1 May deadline when US steel tariffs will apply to all countries including Australia is fast approaching and no permanent exemption has yet been put in place, according to the US Customs and Border Protection agency.
  • Video: Unfit for office? How the 25th amendment could remove Trump-video explainer.
  • President Trump acknowledged Tuesday that Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, his nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, is in serious trouble amid accusations that as the White House doctor he oversaw a hostile work environment, improperly dispensed prescription drugs and possibly drank on the job.
  • Russia plans to deliver new air defense systems to Syria in the near future, RIA news agency cited Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying on Wednesday.
  • Analysis: Everyone’s talking about Russia’s S-300. Why now, and why should Israel be worried?
  • Israel: Democratic congressmen and women write to PM, saying they were ‘dismayed’ that agreement to resettle 16,500 Africans in West was canceled within 24 hours of being announced due to right-wing pressure.
  • There are also ominous notes for Trump in the book, in that Comey — at least before he got dragged into the 2016 election morass — was seen as one of Washington’s straight-shooters, much like Mueller himself.
  • Japan: The country’s foreign ministry issued a “strong protest” over plans to serve a mango mousse, featuring disputed islands on a map of the Korean peninsula, at the meeting.
  • North Korea crisis in 300 words: The North Korean stand-off is a crisis that, at worst, threatens nuclear war. The sudden prospect of direct talks with the US might mean there’s a chance at peace, but it’s complicated. Let’s take a step back.
  • North and South Korea: As a peace treaty was never signed after the end of the Korean War in 1953, the neighbours do not have formal relations. The “Sunshine Policy” of re-engagement with the North from the late 1990s earned one leader a Nobel Peace prize, but broke down within a decade as South Korean politics changed course and Pyongyang pursued its illegal nuclear ambitions.
  • Egypt: An Egyptian military court has sentenced Hisham Genena, the country’s former top auditor, to five years in prison for “spreading news that harms the armed forces.”
  • Egyptian authorities have extended the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein, who has spent almost 500 days in jail without charge.
  • Lebanon: Prime Minister Saad Hariri Wednesday addressed the international community, calling on donor countries to exert more efforts in supporting Lebanon to cope with the impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • Lebanon: The Constitutional Court is set to convene Thursday to consider an appeal brought forth Tuesday by MP Sami Gemayel against a controversial article in the 2018 state budget, the state-run National News Agency reported.
  • Jakarta: A newly drilled, unregulated oil well in western Indonesia exploded into flames early Wednesday, burning to death 15 people and injuring dozens of others.
  • Lebanon: The Higher Judicial Council Wednesday issued an official “clarification” on a number of details of the case of a Bint Jbeil parliamentary candidate who was assaulted earlier this week while hanging posters after a flurry of media reports regarding the incident.
  • Lebanon: The PSP and the LDP are rivals in the electoral battle, with both groups considered to be heavyweights among the Druze community, particularly in the Chouf-Aley district
  • Lebanon: President Michel Aoun will address Lebanese nationals at home and abroad Wednesday evening ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections.
  • Egypt: May sent a statement praising the Egyptian leader on Wednesday, in which she said the UK was looking forward to developing better relations with his government.
  • The most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 attacks that left 130 people dead in Paris has been given a 20-year jail term for his part in a shootout in Belgium four months later.
  • Kim Wall: What we know about about Danish submarine death.
  • UK: Borrowing fell by £3.5bn to £42.6bn in the 2017-18 financial year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
  • More than a year after President Trump issued a travel ban that set off the first legal controversy of his presidency, the Supreme Court is set to consider whether the chief executive has the power to bar most immigrants and travelers from five heavily Muslim countries.
  • Republican activists said Tuesday that they have collected at least 830,000 signatures for an initiative to repeal recent increases in California’s gas tax and vehicle fees, more than enough to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
  • Brexit: The Brexit secretary told MPs he always “respected” the wishes of Parliament, even when they defied ministers, but he believed they would not in this case.
  • Richard Corbett says feeling that Brexit is ‘not a done deal’ is growing.
  • China: While South Korea and the United States appear to be doing much of the diplomatic leg-workbringing the summit to fruition, the region’s future would-be leader, China, has not been watching on idly.
  • The UN’s two most senior Syria experts have warned of an Aleppo-style humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib as an EU donor conference aimed to raise up to $6bn (£4bn)to help Syrians displaced both inside and outside the country.
  • Yemen is not Saudi Arabia’s only unfinished war in this decade.
  • A court in Iraq has turned a death penalty handed down to Lamia K. into a life sentence. The woman from the southern German town of Mannheim had been found guilty of terror offenses as a member of “Islamic State.”
  • Iraq is opening more of its untapped oil and gas resources to foreign developers, hoping to boost revenues after its costly war with the Islamic State group, but analysts say the rushed bidding process — now timed to precede national elections — could draw a lukewarm response.
  • The Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has denied intentions to intervene within Syrian affairs, saying airstrikes against Islamic State will continue.
  • Russian state television has shown footage from the 2016 set of a Syrian film in a report pushing Moscow’s claim that a suspected gas attack in Syria was “staged.”
  • Syria: The United Nations and the European Union have appealed for quick political talks to end the seven-year conflict in Syria, saying the latest territorial gains by Damascus and its allies hadn’t brought peace any closer.
  • The chief of the global chemical-weapons watchdog says it remains unclear when a team of international experts can visit the Syrian town of Douma to investigate an alleged deadly chemical attack there.
  • As geopolitical tensions spiked between Russia and West in recent years, one staunch US ally has been something of outlier toward Moscow: Israel.
  • After the April 13 attack on Syrian chemical facilities, the leaders of the United States, France, and Britain—who jointly conducted the strike—expressed satisfaction at the outcome.
  • Britain: The Government will commit to providing £450 million for Syria and the region in 2018, with £300 earmarked for 2019, bringing the total UK aid to the region to £2.71 billion. The announcement, set for Wednesday, consists of £150 million of new money spread across the two years.
  • Turkey’s snap elections and the future of Turkish democracy. 
  • Key decision looms for Turkey’s central bank on rates.
  • Turkey on April 25 rejected United States President Donald Trump’s “inaccurate expressions and the subjective interpretation of history” regarding the 1915 events, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
  • ANKARA, Turkey — BMC, a privately owned Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, has won a multibillion-dollar contract for the serial production of the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous, new-generation main battle tank in the making.
  • 4229.jpg

Nuclear Proliferation

09vowell-master768Rebekka Dunlap
  • The Danger of an Incurious President: On Aug. 10, 1945, that query was on President Harry Truman’s mind. According to a cabinet secretary’s diary, the day after the five-ton nuclear weapon nicknamed Fat Man obliterated Nagasaki, Truman “didn’t like the idea of killing, as he said, ‘all those kids.’ ”
  • The weapon dropped over Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945, weighed five tons and was known as the Fat Man.
  • Two professors who study nuclear proliferation — Nick Miller at Dartmouth and Vipin Narang at MIT — have a neat little piece in Politico Magazine about which poli-sci theories predicted North Korea’s bomb and which didn’t. Long story short: most didn’t. Etel Solingen’s Nuclear Logics (2007) holds up well. It was, of course, published four years after North Korea’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the year after its first nuclear test. Still, case studies aside, her earlier work presented the same essential set of ideas. (The link to this website is known as Arms Control Wonk: Leading voices on Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-Proliferation) Popular Article on their website: Why, exactly, is there an insistence that Iran is racing up to some sharply defined point where its adversaries, Israel included, must either strike preventively or accept an uneasy relationship of mutual (nuclear) deterrence?
  • The Russian chemical weapons attack in Salisbury is, sadly, not the first assassination to take place on UK soil.
  • 14 April 2017: Yesterday the United States dropped a GBU.43 on a cave complex in eastern Afghanistan. The bomb is better known by its nickname MOAB, Mother Of All Bombs. But just how does the GBU.43 compare to some of the more common—and not so common—weapons in the US arsenal?
  • 7 March 2017: North Korea’s Missile Program.
  • 16 May 2017: North Korea tested yet another missile. It did land very far away as it fell just off the coast of North Korea near Russia.
  • 2007 Index of U.S. Military Strength: Assessment on Threats to the Homeland.
  • Missile Threat CSIS Missile Defense Project: Report-Distributed Defense: New Operational Concepts For Air and Missile Defense.
  • 20 December 2016: Last Friday China seized a US Navy submersible drone—like the drones the Air Force uses but for underwater purposes—in international waters off the coast of the Philippines.
  • 28 February 2017: One of the big news stories yesterday centred on the Trump administration’s budget outline that would expand US defence spending by 9%, or $54 billion. That is quite a lot of money. More worrying, however, was the draft’s directive that it be accompanied by equal spending cuts in neither security nor entitlement programmes like Social Security and Medicare. Nor, obviously, the trillions allocated for mandatory spending, e.g. debt repayment.
  • 1 November 2016: In case you missed it, two weeks ago President Duterte of the Philippines had some interesting things to say regarding the relationship between the Philippines and the United States.
  • Assessing Threats to U.S. Vital Interests: The Index focuses on three fundamental vital national interests. Assessment found here.
  • Missile Threat CSIS Missile Defense Project: List of Analysis found here.
  • 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength: U.S. Military Power Assessment found here.
  • September 3 2017: This Missile Could Reach California.But Can North Korea Use It With a Nuclear Weapon?

  • To be updated at a later stage.