The Berlin crisis: how the tankers almost started world war III

History 15/01/20 Berlin crisis: how the tankers almost started a Third world

it is believed to trigger a Third world war is an incident involving missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. It is not necessary. Once the world was on the threshold of a new world war because of the opposition of the tanks the US and the USSR in Berlin.

the Berlin crisis of 1958 — 1963

writes a number of researchers, including Wettig, in his book on the Berlin crisis (translated from German in 2007), began to put the protest note of the USSR of 27 November 1956, demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Britain and France from West Berlin. The city was supposed to give the status of the demilitarized zone and the free city. On the evacuation of the contingents of the Soviet Union took six months.

the World community accepted the Soviet initiative as an attempt of annexation of West Berlin to the GDR. In reality, the plans were modest — to bring the city under Western influence and to negotiate with the authorities about the restriction of the flow of GDR citizens fleeing to the West. The German government was in this sense determined.

socialist unity party of Germany, supported the Soviet project, with a crash has lost elections of December 7, 1958 in West Berlin, gaining 2%, and the Soviet Union broke out a new series of notes has already been to 23 countries that participated in the struggle against Hitler. It was proposed to conclude a peace Treaty with the FRG and the GDR or their Confederation. Plan more warmly welcomed in the West. Held a number of conferences and meetings, including the summit between Khrushchev and Eisenhower at camp David, during 1950. But then the world situation escalated, the Soviet Union shot down may 1, 1960 the spy plane U-2 Gary powers, the U.S. arrested a Soviet spy Abel and the world began to increase the tension. NATO and the Warsaw Pact increased its military capabilities, Khrushchev threatened military action.

Tanks vs tanks

the Confrontation has reached a pICA 27 October 1961, when the area of the checkpoint “Charlie” ( from 13 August of that year was introduced border control on the border between East and West sectors of Berlin) advanced American units, attempted to destroy by force the Soviet fortification works on the border. A convoy of bulldozers and three jeeps were accompanied by 10 tanks in full combat readiness. The whole cavalcade passed through checkpoint Charlie and entered Soviet territory to Berlin. Bulldozers began to tear down Soviet buildings, when it seemed the Soviet tanks. Bulldozer quit my job and the jeep disappeared in the American sector. Armored vehicles of the two countries came to a standstill facing each other, ready to fire, if you follow such an order. Before the Third world was quite a bit.

it is Worth noting that, according to the memoirs of senior officials, in the United States and the Soviet Union there were hotheads demanding to open fire. In the United States since the late 40-ies there were various plans of aggression against the USSR. In turn, the Soviet Union has developed a scheme for the invasion of Western Europe, where just tank wedges were assigned a crucial role. And everything should begin it would be in West Berlin, reaching to the shores of the English channel, at least.

the tanks moved up reinforcements, who held positions on its side of the border. Were intense negotiations between the leaders of the USA and the USSR. Closed.

as a result, American technology turned and left the Soviet sector. Historians and military experts believe that the war broke out due to aging and composure of tank crews of both sides. Razdaysya at least one shot and the events began to develop according to camerascamera spiral, regardless of the will of the political or military leadership.

Who commanded the American mini-army of invasion is unknown, but the Soviet tanks were subordinated to the commander of the third tank battalion of the 68th guards tank regiment, major V. J. Mika, which directly commanded the tanks that stood in the way of the Americans.

In the end, the Soviet leadership decided on the construction of the Berlin wall, which until its fall in 1989 was a symbol of separation of the German people. But the wall had a very practical military sense — to prevent incidents like the incident near checkpoint Charlie. But even many months after the erection of the Berlin wall, the tanks of the USSR and the USA were far from it.

Konstantin Baranovsky

© Russian Seven

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