Military Review

Nuclear bullying on the example of the Berlin crisis of the year 1948

21



Today’s world, after a rather long period of nuclear disarmament, again, step by step, returns to rhetoric and nuclear intimidation in the style of the Cold War.

In addition to the well-known nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula, it seems that the same tensions are returning to Europe. In the context of an international political crisis, in other words, a crisis of confidence, many politicians are not averse to taking up the usual means of intimidating opponents with the help of all sorts of plans for nuclear war.

However, the question arises: is it worth going on about the fear? Attentive study stories nuclear confrontation of the USSR and the United States gives very interesting answers to these questions.

In the days when Washington had a monopoly on nuclear weaponthere were many plans for a nuclear war against the USSR. In 1980's, they were partially declassified and even published, quickly became known to the Soviet reader, because in the party press they quickly picked up these plans for a nuclear war as an argument proving the incurable aggressiveness of American imperialism. Yes, indeed the first plan of the US nuclear attack on the USSR was developed in September 1945, about two months after the signing of the Potsdam agreements. The countries were still formally, and in fact were allies - the war with Japan had just ended - and suddenly such a turn ...

Nobody forced the Americans to publish such documents, and this suggests that the reason for the promulgation of the old and unfulfilled plans of nuclear war was another. Such documents served the tasks of “psychological warfare” and the intimidation of a potential enemy, that is, the USSR, and, to a certain extent, Russia. The message here is quite transparent: here, look, we always kept you on the spot! It also follows from this that they are keeping even now, developing even more sinister plans. Approximately in this style, the first American plans for a nuclear war against the USSR were commented, already in Russian political journalism, almost always with a greater or lesser degree of fear.

At the same time, they write very little about the fact that these remarkable plans for nuclear war were very difficult to implement, and the Americans, even during the Berlin crisis of 1948, refused to use nuclear weapons themselves, just like weapons in general.


At the time of the Berlin crisis 1948 of the year (in the Western literature known as the “Blockade of West Berlin”), the United States had a ready plan for a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. This was the Broiler plan, which included the bombing of 24 by Soviet nuclear cities with 35 Soviet cities. Plans quickly reviewed. Approved 10 March 1948 of the year Broiler 19 March already turned into a Frolic plan. Apparently, the revision of these plans was associated with changes in the list of goals.

It was a very tense moment. In March 1948, the United States, Britain and France approved the use of the Marshall Plan for Germany. The USSR categorically refused to implement the Marshall Plan in the Soviet occupation zone. And after heated debates, due to the impossibility of reaching an agreement, the Federal Control Council - the highest body of allied power in occupied Germany (this was before the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR) - collapsed. The western zones sharply reduced the supply of coal and steel to the Soviet zone, and in response a strict search of allied trains and cars was introduced. When Western countries put into circulation in their zones and in West Berlin 21 June 1948, the new German mark, SWAG 22 June introduced its German mark, and 24 –25 June 1948, all communication with West Berlin was discontinued. Trains and barges were not allowed through the canal, car traffic was only allowed to detour. Power supply has been disconnected.

In Western literature, all of this is called the “blockade of Berlin,” although in reality these measures were introduced in response to the splitting policy of the American military administration in Germany. The Berlin crisis also occurred due to the refusal of the Western allies to confiscate the property of German concerns that had participated in the preparation of the war. This was their commitment to the Potsdam Agreement. In the Soviet sector of Berlin, in which the largest industrial concerns were located, 310 enterprises were confiscated, and all former Nazis were expelled from there. The Americans returned to the factories of directors and managers who held their posts under Hitler. In February, 1947, the Berlin City Assembly passed a law on the confiscation of property of concerns throughout Berlin. The American commander, General Lucius Clay, refused to approve it.

Actually, the Marshall Plan in Germany was to keep German concerns almost intact, only with superficial reorganization. These concerns were of interest to American investment and profit. Americans were not embarrassed that at the head of factories and plants for the most part remain the same person as under Hitler.

So, there was a very conflict situation. In West Berlin, the supply of food and coal has stopped. Due to the fact that the United States has nuclear weapons, and the USSR does not, the Americans are beginning to consider the use of force.


It was a situation where the American leadership and US President Harry Truman personally seriously discussed the possibility of starting a nuclear war and bombing the Soviet Union.


But nuclear war did not happen. Why? Consider that situation in more detail.

Then in Berlin, the preponderance of forces was on the side of the Soviet army. The Americans had a group of only 31 thousand people in their zone. In West Berlin there were 8973 American, 7606 British and 6100 French soldiers. The number of troops in the Soviet occupation zone, the Americans estimated at 1,5 million people, but in reality there were about 450 thousands at that time. Subsequently, in 1949, the number of Soviet groups increased significantly. The West Berlin garrison was surrounded and had no chance of resistance, General Clay even gave the order not to build fortifications due to their complete meaninglessness, and rejected the proposal of the US Air Force commander General Curtis Lemey about striking Soviet air bases.

The beginning of the war would have meant the inevitable defeat of the garrison of West Berlin and the possibility of a rapid transition of the Soviet grouping to a decisive offensive, with the seizure of West Germany, and possibly other countries of Western Europe.

In addition, even the presence of nuclear bombs and strategic bombers by the United States did not guarantee anything. Mark III B-29 specially modified carriers of nuclear bombs had a combat radius sufficient only for hitting targets in the European part of the USSR, approximately to the Urals. It was already very difficult to hit targets in the Eastern Urals, in Siberia and in Central Asia - there was not enough radius.

In addition, 35 atomic bombs - it was too small to destroy even the main military, transport and military-industrial facilities of the Soviet Union. The power of plutonium bombs was far from infinite, and Soviet factories, as a rule, were located on a huge area.

Finally, the USSR was not at all defenseless against American air raid. In 1945, we already had 607 stationary and mobile radars. There were fighters capable of intercepting B-29. Among them are 35 high-altitude propeller fighters Yak-9ПД, as well as jet fighters: Yak-15 - 280, Yak-17 - 430, La-15 –235 and Yak-23 - 310 units. This is a summary of the release, in 1948, the number of combat-ready machines was less. But in this case, the Soviet Air Force could use about 500 - 600 high-altitude jet fighters. In 1947, the production of the MiG-15 began - a jet fighter specially designed to intercept the B-29.

The American strategist with nuclear weapons B-29B was distinguished by the fact that all defensive weapons were removed from him, in order to increase range and payload. The best fighter pilots would be thrown at the interception of a “nuclear” raid, among them the recognized Aes. Pokryshkin and I.N. Kozhedub. It is possible that Pokryshkin himself would have taken to the air in order to bring down the nuclear bomb bomber, since during the war he was a great expert on German bombers.

So, the American В-29В, which were supposed to fly to the atomic bombing from air bases in the UK, had a very difficult task. First, they and the fighter cover had to grapple in the air with the 16 th air force fighters stationed in Germany. Then he waited for the aircraft of the Leningrad Guards Fighter Aviakorpusov air defense, and behind him - the Moscow region air defense, the most powerful and well-equipped compound of the air defense forces. American bomber after the first bashing over Germany and the Baltic would have to overcome hundreds of kilometers of Soviet airspace, without fighter cover, without onboard armament, and, in general, without the slightest chance of success and return. It would not be a raid, but a beating of American planes. Especially since there were not so many of them.

Moreover: in 1948, US Secretary of Defense James Forrestal found out at the most crucial moment of developing plans for a nuclear war that there was not a single bomber capable of carrying a nuclear bomb in Europe. All 32 units from the 509 Bomb Group were located at their Roswell air base in New Mexico. Anyway, it turned out that the condition of a significant part of the US Air Force park leaves much to be desired.

The question is, was this nuclear war plan realistic? Of course no. The 32 B-29 bomber with nuclear bombs would have been detected and shot down long before they approached their targets.

The Americans a little later recognized that the factor of the Soviet Air Force must be taken into account and even put forward an estimate that during the raid, up to 90% of bombers could be destroyed. But this can be considered unjustified optimism.


In general, the situation quickly cleared up, and it became obvious that there could be no question of any military solution to the Berlin crisis. Aviation handy, but for another purpose: the organization of the famous "air bridge". The Americans and the British assembled all the transport planes they had. For example, 96 American and 150 British S-47s and 447 American S-54s worked in transportation. This fleet per day, at the peak of transportation, made 1500 sorties and delivered 4500-5000 tons of cargo. Mostly, it was coal, the minimum amount needed for heating and energy supply of the city. From June 28, 1948 to September 30, 1949, 2,2 million tons of cargo was transported by air to West Berlin. A peaceful option to resolve the crisis was chosen and implemented.

So the Americans did not help either the nuclear weapon itself, or the monopoly of its possession even in the situation that demanded and assumed its use. This episode shows that the early plans of a nuclear war, which were in abundance in the United States, were largely built on sand, on a strong underestimation of what the Soviet Union could oppose to air raids.

So, the unsolvable problems were already in 1948, when the Soviet air defense system was far from ideal and only re-equipped with new technology. Subsequently, when a large fleet of jet fighters appeared, more advanced radar and anti-aircraft missile systems appeared, the atomic bombing of the Soviet Union could only be described as a hypothesis. This circumstance requires a review of some generally accepted ideas.

The USSR was not at all defenseless, the situation with the possession of nuclear weapons was still not as dramatic as it is usually represented (“atomic race”).


This example very vividly shows that not every plan of nuclear war, even despite its intimidating appearance, can be implemented in practice, and generally intended for this. Many plans, especially those published, served the purpose of intimidation more than they were actual guidance documents. If the enemy was frightened and made concessions, then the goals were achieved without the use of nuclear weapons.
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  1. Amurets
    Amurets 27 February 2016 07: 27 New
    -3
    In Soviet times, I came across many books with plans for atomic wars, I don’t know if it was true or fiction? Why I doubt it? These were brochures of the propaganda committee of the CPSU Central Committee. I read about 1948 for the first time, but there were a lot about the plans of 1951 and 1953. There are plans for atomic strikes.
    1. n.kolesnichenko
      n.kolesnichenko 28 February 2016 00: 32 New
      0
      And the authors are also communists? http://www.allworldwars.com/Dropshot%20-%20American%20Plan%20for%20War%20with%20
      the% 20Soviet% 20Union% 201957.html
    2. n.kolesnichenko
      n.kolesnichenko 28 February 2016 00: 37 New
      0
      And the authors are also communists? http://www.allworldwars.com/Dropshot%20-%20American%20Plan%20for%20War%20with%20
      the% 20Soviet% 20Union% 201957.html
    3. Akuzenka
      Akuzenka 28 February 2016 14: 27 New
      0
      So brochures were not issued from scratch, on real plans. And that it was "impossible" to realize them was not Agitprom's fault. It's just a comparison. Not a single liberal one has ever found similar plans of the USSR. And there are dozens of plans. So make a conclusion, believe Agitprom or not. Everything is relative.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 27 February 2016 07: 48 New
    +9
    the party press quickly picked up these nuclear war plans as an argument proving the incurable aggressiveness of American imperialism.... So it’s really incurable ... With or without a bomb ...
    1. Rus2012
      27 February 2016 11: 25 New
      +4
      Quote: parusnik
      With or without a bomb ...

      ... as they say - "a butting cow ..."
      This is about early atomic bombing plans.

      And about "communist or Russian propaganda", as liberals of all stripes like to trumpet - one has only to recall the history of the last wars in the world in order to finally establish itself about the natural aggressiveness, parasitism and predatory nature of the Anglo-Saxon civilization, starting at least with an unmotivated atomic attack on the peaceful cities of the Japs .. ...
  3. Koshak
    Koshak 27 February 2016 07: 51 New
    +2
    April 26 - 30 years of the Chernobyl accident. And besides nuclear intimidation, there are enough problems ...
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 27 February 2016 09: 58 New
      +2
      Quote: Koshak
      April 26 - 30 years of the Chernobyl accident. And besides nuclear intimidation, there are enough problems ...

      Thank you! They reminded. And also Semipalatinsk and Novaya Zemlya and Fukushima. And that they could make dill at their 4 nuclear power plants and the remaining Chernobyl nuclear power units, there they were going to make a spent fuel repository so as not to return it to Russia.
      1. Koshak
        Koshak 28 February 2016 07: 44 New
        0
        And Chelyabinsk ... It would be better if nothing like that happened, otherwise atomic energy seems to be too early for humanity. "Matches are not toys for children" hi
  4. Fitter65
    Fitter65 27 February 2016 08: 19 New
    +1
    While Powers wasn’t shot down, they flew almost over the USSR where they wanted. The same RB-47 flight almost to Moscow was an example. Although there were interceptions, it was more an accident than a system. It was only in the early 60s that the air defense became a real Defense became afraid ...
    1. aiw
      aiw 27 February 2016 10: 03 New
      +7
      Powers flew on what? On a bomber? How many kilograms of bomb load could the U-2 take if it didn’t even have a full chassis?
  5. Mera joota
    Mera joota 27 February 2016 09: 35 New
    -5
    The question is, was this nuclear war plan realistic?

    In the absence of interest Truman this plan is not. The above facts only indicate that no one seriously dealt with the plan for the start of the nuclear bombing of the USSR.
    32 B-29B bombers with nuclear bombs would have been detected and shot down long before they approached their targets.

    Nonsense. There was nothing to shoot them down, the MiG-15 had good chances to shoot down the B-29, but even that 100% guarantee did not provide what to say about the Yak-9, it had no chance.
    as well as jet fighters: Yak-15 - 280, Yak-17 - 430, La-15-235 and Yak-23 - 310 units.

    This is the total production data, in the 1948 year there were fewer combat-ready vehicles

    The author, list the number of the above machines in the air defense units in 1948.? Zero point ten?
    1. bovig
      bovig 27 February 2016 11: 50 New
      +2
      Quote: Mera Joota
      The question is, was this nuclear war plan realistic?

      In the absence of interest Truman this plan is not. The above facts only indicate that no one seriously dealt with the plan for the start of the nuclear bombing of the USSR.
      32 B-29B bombers with nuclear bombs would have been detected and shot down long before they approached their targets.

      Nonsense. There was nothing to shoot them down, the MiG-15 had good chances to shoot down the B-29, but even that 100% guarantee did not provide what to say about the Yak-9, it had no chance.
      as well as jet fighters: Yak-15 - 280, Yak-17 - 430, La-15-235 and Yak-23 - 310 units.

      This is the total production data, in the 1948 year there were fewer combat-ready vehicles

      The author, list the number of the above machines in the air defense units in 1948.? Zero point ten?

      Given that one fighter rammed one bomber could deprive him of the opportunity to fly further, then the chances of stopping the nuclear bombing were very real ...
    2. Rus2012
      27 February 2016 12: 01 New
      +1
      Quote: Mera Joota
      as well as jet fighters: Yak-15 - 280, Yak-17 - 430, La-15-235 and Yak-23 - 310 units.
      This is the total production data, in the 1948 year there were fewer combat-ready vehicles
      The author, list the number of the above machines in the air defense units in 1948.? Zero point ten?


      ... in the USSR aviation in 47-48, among other things, there were about 600 jet Mig-9 -
      The general release of the MiG-9 fighters for the 1946-1948. made up xnumx machine.

      MiG-9 in combat units, from wiki -
      14 Fighter Air Corps of the 303 Fighter Air Division of the 1 Air Army.
      5 Fighter Air Corps of the 309 Fighter Air Division of the 7 Air Army.
      1th Guards Fighter Air Corps of the 3th Guards Fighter Air Division of the 16 Air Army.
      10 Fighter Air Corps of the 15 Fighter Air Division of the 14 Air Army.
      11 Fighter Air Corps of the 5 Guards Fighter Air Division of the 15 Air Army.
      1-th training and methodological aviation center


      In addition, the last piston La-9 was in service
      Wiki -
      Serially produced from August 1946 until the end of 1949 of the year at the aircraft factory number 21 in Gorky. A total of 1882 aircraft were produced in combat and in two-seat training versions.


      From 1949 of the year went Mig-15, the real destroyer of the B-29 -
      In 1949, the MiG-15 fighter jet, which was exceptionally successful and gained world fame, entered service. He showed such combat qualities (flight speed near the ground - 1050 km / h, ceiling - 15 200 m, range with suspended tanks - over 1900 km), which no aircraft of this class possessed at that time, which was brilliantly confirmed during war in Korea.

      More details: http://www.vko.ru/oruzhie/ideologiya-razvitiya-aviacii-pvo
    3. alicante11
      alicante11 27 February 2016 13: 32 New
      +1
      Nonsense. There was nothing to shoot them down, the MiG-15 had good chances to shoot down the B-29, but even that 100% guarantee did not provide what to say about the Yak-9, it had no chance.


      And 10 Yak-9 on one B-29? Even the Nazis at the end of the war shot down B-29 in commodity quantities, despite the fighter cover and tight construction.
      1. Mountain shooter
        Mountain shooter 27 February 2016 15: 15 New
        0
        B-29 NEVER bombed Germany. They participated only in the war against Japan. And, yes, the Japanese managed to shoot them down!
  6. Old26
    Old26 27 February 2016 09: 51 New
    +4
    Quote: Amurets
    In Soviet times, I came across many books with plans for atomic wars, I don’t know if it was true or fiction? Why I doubt it? These were brochures of the propaganda committee of the CPSU Central Committee. I read about 1948 for the first time, but there were a lot about the plans of 1951 and 1953. There are plans for atomic strikes.

    Hi Nikolay! It’s just not worth doubting. It is the publication in our press real plans and was the trump card of the Central Committee propaganda.
    All these plans, in principle, were unrealizable (at least until the mid-50s). It was impossible to realize them, not only because the carriers would have been shot down for the most part, but also because the Americans sometimes did not have the quantity of nuclear weapons that they laid down in their plans. Or there was a margin exclusively for one blow according to plan.
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 27 February 2016 11: 41 New
      0
      Quote: Old26
      . Or there was a margin exclusively for one blow according to plan.

      Volodya! Hello! With the past holiday, all the best. Immediately, do you remember the conversation about the 117th in 1999 in Yugoslavia? So the guys from Israel gave a clarification and a link: Two failed the Serbs, because they shot down the difference. As for the nuclear strike, thanks for clarification, I I thought just agitation. sivuch IL Yesterday, 17:11 ↑

      Yes, the second one was damaged
      http://pentagonus.ru/publ/boevoe_primenenie_f_117po_materialam_rossijskikh_i_zar

      ubezhnykh_istochnikov / 100-1-0-1715
      Volodya! This is the 117th refinement.
  7. X Y Z
    X Y Z 27 February 2016 12: 21 New
    0
    Yes, these plans were real. Just the submission and processing of material by our Agitprop was in the spirit of the times, which is why it aroused doubts among citizens who were accustomed to official propaganda.
  8. Old26
    Old26 27 February 2016 13: 24 New
    +1
    Quote: XYZ
    Yes, these plans were real. Just the submission and processing of material by our Agitprop was in the spirit of the times, which is why it aroused doubts among citizens who were accustomed to official propaganda.

    Let's just say there were plans, but their presentation was in doubt. Alas, you are right. There were doubts about such sometimes clumsy propaganda, they simply could not help but arise
    But the plans of the Americans themselves were sometimes very, very fantastic.
  9. Jääkorppi
    Jääkorppi 27 February 2016 13: 36 New
    0
    This is not surprising! The delirium in the heads of the Russian so-called "elite" is surprising! And the people accepting such an elite! In the DPR and LPR, people are on the brink of survival, and Russian oligarchs are buying new football clubs in England! Or is this an attempt to undermine the power of the British?
  10. engineer
    engineer 27 February 2016 14: 20 New
    +3
    really, then only large cities could effectively bomb. those. civilians. nuclear weapons have no such effect on the army. This was checked by ours at the Totsky training ground. army dispersed has protective equipment and facilities. the damage compared to the industrial center is very small. or appears after a year. then the number of charges. which the United States had at that time could only piss off and give Stalin the right to kick the allies out of Europe. therefore, they did not.