Truman Doctrine 

The purpose of the Truman Doctrine delineated in 1947 was to counter geopolitical expansion of the Soviet Union. Initially, in place of direct military action, the U.S. Congress appropriated financial aid to support the economies and militaries of Greece and Turkey....

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Kalashnikov AK-47

Reliable in extreme conditions, simple to use and cheap to produce – the  AK-47 assault rifle was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov after WWII. The originalI AK-47 model has spawned a host of derivative assault rifles.       The AK-47 is reportedly the most widely...

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20th Century Russian literature

In the late 19th century the Russian writer Anton Chekhov was famous for his short stories and plays. One of his best known short stories, The Lady with the Dog,  told  of two lovers who had an affair while both were married to other people. In the 19th century,...

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Joseph Stalin

Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili, born in December 1878 in Georgia, assumed the name Stalin (man of steel) in his 30s. Growing up the poor, only child of a shoemaker and laundress, he attended a Georgian Orthodox seminary as a young man. Inspired by the works of Karl...

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North & South Korea

This rapid-fire video is an excellent summary of Korean history since the 19th century. The division of Korea between North and South occurred after WWII, ending the Empire of Japan's 35-year rule over Korea in 1945. The United States and the Soviet Union occupied two...

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Soviet Propaganda

This quirky, undated Soviet propaganda film reflects the Communist view of Western imperialism during the Cold War.

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The Iron Curtain

In  March 1946, as the Green Lecturer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill delivered a lecture entitled the "Sinews of Peace" that  became known as the "Iron Curtain Speech." "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron...

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Animal Farm 

George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm, published in 1945, described his book as an allegorical account of events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. George Orwell was the nom de plum of Eric Blair, a...

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The Long Telegram

In 1946, the American Chargé d’Affaires in Moscow George F. Kennan proposed the concept of "containment" in his famous 8,000-word  "long telegram" to the U.S. State Department. These suggestions became the foundation of U.S. Cold War policy in the 1940s. in 1947,...

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COLD WAR BEGINS

After the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, most Americans viewed Communism as a threat to the Western democracies. Communist rhetoric envisioning the overthrow of capitalism was common in Depression-era America. Before WWII, both American and Soviet...

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Understanding Korea

Ancient Korea Gojoseon, Korea's legendary first kingdom, was founded in 2333 B.C.E. After its collapse, several small kingdoms coalesced into the Three Kingdoms Period (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla) around the year zero C.E. Gradually assuming power, Silla consolidated...

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After the War

September 1945 - the war is over! ...You'll never know how many dreams I've dreamed about you Or how empty they all seem without you So kiss me once...and kiss me twice And kiss me once again It's been a long...long time It's been a mighty, mighty long time   WWII...

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Operation August Storm 1945

On August 8, 1945, after refusing to mediate a Japanese surrender with the United States and its allies, the USSR declared war on Japan. On August 9, 1945, Russian troops invaded the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in Operation August Storm. On August 14, 1945 a...

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Potsdam Conference

In July 1945, USSR Premier Joseph Stalin, the new American president Harry S. Truman, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain met in Potsdam Germany in the last Big Three meeting of WWII .   At Potsdam, the Big Three leaders demanded unconditional...

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Elbe Day

On April 25, 1945, with great jubilation, American and Soviet armies met southwest of Berlin  at Torgau on the Elbe River. Torgau is on the banks of the Elbe in northwestern Saxony, Germany....

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Yalta Conference

  In February 1945, the "Big Three" President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin met at Yalta in the Crimea to: demand the unconditional surrender of Germany discuss the security and self-determination of liberated...

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Warsaw Uprising

The Warsaw Uprising by the Polish resistance Home Army in August 1944 occurred as the Russian Army approached the city and the Germans were retreating. Unfortunately, the Russian advance stopped short of the city, leaving the Poles (who assumed the Russians would join...

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United Nations WWII

  A lot of people seem surprised to hear that the term "United Nations," coined by FDR, was used during WWII. President Franklin Roosevelt first coined the term "United Nations" to describe the Allied countries in WWII.  On New Year's Day 1942, FDR, Prime Minister...

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On the Eastern Front

For the ordinary German soldier, the horrific war on the Eastern Front was unlike its more "civilized" counterpart in the Western campaign. The seeds of anti-semitism, long present among "Aryan" Germans, were germinated and vastly amplified by Nazi propaganda, laws...

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Battle of Kursk

Although this video relates some disputed statistics, and seems skewed toward Germany's aces, it is an interesting overview of this important battle that effectively ended the German offensive on the Eastern Front.   The Battle of Kursk  between German and Soviet...

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Defeat at Stalingrad

In September 1942, the German Sixth Army under General Friedrich Paulus was on the outskirts of Stalingrad, expecting to take the city within a few days. But Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, realizing the loss of Stalingrad would allow the Germans to advance into the...

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The Last Cavalry Charge

After infantry and chariots, cavalry formed some of the oldest military units in history. With lightning speed, mounted warriors often proved key to victory in many major battles. Although this advantage was mostly lost with the introduction of firearms and mechanized...

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Leningrad 7th Symphony

In the summer of 1941, shortly after the German army began the long siege of his city Leningrad, the Soviet Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich began work on his Seventh Symphony. After composing several movements, Shostakovich and his family, along with the...

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INFERNO

I am currently reading this excellent book by Max Hastings. Not only is it detailed, balanced and well-referenced; it is superb writing. Before dawn next morning, "a warm, damp, rather hazy day," American and Japanese pilots breakfasted. The Yorktown's men favoured...

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Soviets view U.S. Racism

This heavy-handed 1933 Soviet propaganda cartoon is quite disturbing, but unfortunately reflects some aspects of our society at the time. Although we've come a long way since then, recent inner-city riots remind us that racism is still a significant problem in the...

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