It Started With A Iron Curtain
And Ended With A Wall Coming Down!


U.S. versus THEM

In the sixties, everyone was waiting for...
'The Big One', 'The Big Surprise', 'The Big Contingency', Round Three', 'Day One'

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the Cold War as follows:

cold war or Cold War n 1: A state of poliical tension and military rivaly between nations that stops short of full scale war. 2: A state of rivalry and tension between two factions, groups or individuals that stops short of open, violent confrontation.

F-86 Sabre


It has been said that those who can remember the sixties weren't really there. But for those who can recall those early years...the sixties began with a presidential hopeful, Jack Kennedy and ended when Richard Nixon began troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

U2 Spy Plane, Similar To One Flown By Gary Powers.

In between, a U2 was downed over Russia...which halted a summit conference in Vienna, a wall was built in Berlin and seen a 16-hour confronation between Soviet and American tanks, Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe at the United Nations and promise that the Soviets "would bury" us. Kennedy started the Peace Corp and increased the number of military advisors in Laos and Vietnam.

Remember 'Duck And Cover Drills'?

Early into 1961, America sent the first chimp into space. In April, the Russians won the race to put a man into space when 27-year-old Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth in a Vostok spacecraft. America countered the Russian response with two 15-minute space hops, the first by Alan Shepard. By August, the Russians had orbited the earth 17 times in a manned shot lasting over 25 hours. Later, the Minuteman, America's first three-stage Inter-continental Ballistic Missile, was tested successfully. Now both of the superpowers were in a position to annihilate each other - along with the rest of the northern hemisphere.

By 1962, the Cuban missile crisis for seven days, kept the world on the brink of a nuclear war. Only when fourteen thousand USAF reservists were called up, did the Soviets backed off and said they would dismantle the missile sites if America withdrew its bases in Turkey. On October 28, an agreement to that effect was signed, Nuclear holocaust had been averted by a hair breadth.

Hahn's Base Operation Center

If Anyone Knew...It Was Here!

It was a solid block of concrete, even the windows weren't real.

All of the above is hindsight, wonderful thing...hindsight, because at the time we knew nothing about what was happening in the 'real world'. Chubby Checker was teaching the world how to 'twist' and believe me, we were 'twisting the night away' in Lautzenhausen. Were we dumb? I don't think so, we were in the military and the military lets you know what you 'NEED TO KNOW' and nothing more! So, we had our ALERTS, sometimes for a reason...sometimes just for 'fun'. All I know is...they always seen to happen just after getting off duty or when the weather was real lousy!

Alert! Alert! Alert!

"Code Alpha Bravo Foxtrol! All pilots to the briefing room! Ground crews to their stations! All personel to their duty stations! This is not a drill! Repeat, this is not a drill!"

..........Cold War Enemy..........
Soviet's Observation Mission

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There Was A War...It Ended With Silence!

There was a war...

With real casualties. Real people died! Though most often it was clandestine and subtle, it ranged worldwide, cost many lives, evoked much heroism and lasted what seemed like for ever.

There was a war...

It was America's longest war, and no it wasn't Vietnam! There were to be no medals...or battle steamers! There were no victory parades. There are no momuments or museums built, no special day designated to mark the victory and to honor the sacrifices made by Americans to achieve it, it did not rate even fireworks.

There was a war...

The Americans who fought it... patrolled barbed-wire borders, flew secret reconnaissance flights in hostile skies, stood alone guarding flightlines and missile sites, sailed submarines in the oceans depths and manned remote communications stations in desolate locations, served in vital roles.

There was a war...

The theatre of operations, were located in West Germany, the borders of Turkey, Greenland, Iceland, Finland, and even in Iran, the DMZ Zone of Korea, the islands of Okinawa and the Philippines, the global skies and the United States!

There was a war...

It was a struggle against the Soviet Union and international communisms...and we won!

There was a war...

And as Senator P. Gramm recently said: "The brave men and women, who served America in the military between the begin- ning of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, won a big victory, that brought more freedom to more people world wide than any other military victory in the history of mankind."

There was a war...

Won by "Cold War Warriors"..."Peace Time Veterans"...and we salute them all.

How Close Did We Ever Come To...'THE BIG ONE'.

Here's Several Mishaps That Might Have Started A Accidental Nuclear War.

My Favorite Story!

1956, Nov. 5: Suez Crisis Coincidence!

British and French forces were attacking Egypt at the Suez Canal. The Soviet Government had suggested to U.S. that they combine forces to stop this by a joint military action, and had warned the British and French governments that (non-nuclear) rocket attacks on London and Paris were being considered. That night the U.S. military HQ in Europe received messages that:

(i) Unidentified aircraft were flying over Turkey and the Turkish Air Force was on alert.

(ii) 100 Soviet MIG-15's were flying over Syria.

(iii) A British Canberra bomber had been shot down over Syria.

(iv) The Russian fleet was moving through the Dardanelles. It is reported that in U.S.A. General Goodpaster himself was concerned that these events might trigger the NATO operations plan for nuclear strikes against U.S.S.R.

The 4 reports were all shown afterwards to have innocent explanations. They were due, respectively, to:

(i) A flight of swans.

(ii) A routine air force escort (much smaller than the number reported) for the president of Syria, who was returning from a visit to Moscow.

(iii) The Canberra bomber was forced down by mechanical problems.

(iv) The Russian fleet was engaged in scheduled routine exercises.


1962, Oct. 22: Cuban Missile Crisis

President Kennedy Wasn't The Only One With His Finger On The Button.

It is recorded in British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan B9s diary for 22 October that in order to avoid provocation of U.S.S.R., he and the NATO Supreme Commander, General Lauris Norstad, agreed not to put NATO On alert. When the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered DEFCON 3 Norstad was authorized to use his discretion in complying. Norstad therefore did not order a NATO alert. However, several NATO subordinate commanders did order alerts to DEFCON 3 or equivalent levels of readiness at bases in West Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Britain. This seems to have been largely due to the action of General Truman Landon, CINC U.S. Air Forces Europe, who had already started alert procedures on 17 October in anticipation of a serious crisis over Cuba.

SiteBuilder Note: Hahn was one of the bases in West Germany that went on alert. It was about 3:30 a.m. that the alert horns sounded and for the first time ever, I heard the voice over the PA say, "This is a real alert", repeat, "This is a real alert"!

After that, all you heard were locker doors being slammed shut, as everyone quickly grumbling! Automatically we all ran to the weapons room, not knowing what was going was the fastest response to a alert ever!

Even as we loaded into the trucks, you could see and hear some of the planes lifting off for their targets. And you knew, that 'the other side' was doing the same thing...we were their target or so we though.

I've forgotten how long we were all out there, some of us on the flightline, Area 5, others at Zulu Alert or Victor Alert with their planes warming up, waiting for the 'word' to spin the mountains of Eastern Europe into glass. The base was a bee hive of activity, everyone doing what they were trained to...all for the 'base mission'...get the planes loaded and up, get them off the ground!

Eventually, the planes started to come back and the 'all clear' sounded...we stood down, still not knowing what had just happened...not until days later, did we hear all about it on the Armed Forces radio/TV news. By then, we were all part of history...the closest that this country has ever come to a nuclear war!


1965, Nov.: Power Failure And Fauty Bomb Alarms

Special bomb alarms were installed near military facilities and near cities in U.S.A. so that the locations of nuclear bursts would be transmitted before the expected communication failure. The alarm circuits were set up to display a red signal at command posts the instant that the flash of a nuclear detonation reached the sensor and before the blast could put it out of action. Normally the display would show a green signal, and yellow if the sensor was not operating or was out of communication for any other reason.

During the commercial power failure in the North East United States in November 1965, displays from all the bomb alarms for the area should have shown yellow. In fact two of them from different cities showed red because of circuit errors. The effect was consistent with the power failure being due to nuclear weapon explosions, and the Command Center of the Office of Emergency Planning went on full alert. Apparently the military did not.


SiteBuilder: Now tell me the truth...aren't you glad you didn't know back then? I am...just think how many incidents weren't reported or what was happening on the 'other side'.

1960 --- 1966

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