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Peter Carl Faberge

Peter Carl Faberge was a world famous master jeweler and head of the ‘House of Faberge’ in Imperial Russia in the waning days of the Russian Empire.

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On this day: Russia in a click

3 December

On December 3, 1949, the United States approved the “Trojan” military directive, which provided for nuclear war against the Soviet Union from January 1, 1950 onward.

The first American nuclear bomb was successfully tested in the US on July 16, 1945, making the United States world’s first nuclear power. According to the daily CIA reports delivered to then-US President Harry Truman, the Soviet Union was able to produce a nuclear weapon no earlier than 1953.

However, Joseph Stalin, aware that the US already possessed nuclear weapons, organized a special Committee, bringing together various branches of industry and economy, to produce the bomb in the shortest time possible. As a result of the intensive work and research, the first Soviet nuclear bomb was successfully tested on August 29, 1949. The blast, yielding 22 kilotons, destroyed everything in a 5-kilometer radius.

Immediately following the successful testing, the United States started making plans for military aggression against the Soviet Union on the single assumption that the Soviet Union, being a socialist state, constituted a major threat to the rest of the world. The frictions in post-war relations instilled in the Western countries concerns about the Soviet Union eventually seizing more power and expanding socialism worldwide.

The first plans regarding the attack on the Soviet Union were drafted as early as 1945, and called for the bombing of 20 Soviet cities; later, however, the number of the cities increased to 70, and subsequently to 100. An estimated 6.7 million people would be killed, out of a total population of 28 million. American military experts estimated the total destruction of Moscow would cost them 8 nuclear bombs, while St. Petersburg would be eradicated with only 6. 200 more bombs would have sufficed to destroy the entire Soviet Union.

Once the news broke about the Soviet Union producing its first nuclear weapon, the panic-stricken American authorities decided to strike immediately: this is when the “Trojan” plan was introduced. According to it, the American Air Force intended to hit 70 Soviet cities with 133 atomic bombs to reduce substantially Russian petroleum and war industries. However, when tested during staff exercises, the plan proved unfeasible without the substantial loss of combat power and effectiveness because of shortages in specialized personnel.

Besides, the Soviet Union, as the participants of the exercises concluded, would be able to reach as far as the Atlantic and Indian coastlines, seizing Europe and the Middle East in passing. Great Britain, America’s major European airfield, would give up in just 2 months. An American advancement would have been almost impossible afterward, considering the poor shape of the Cairo-Suez area airfields. Besides, with plausible human losses constituting as much as 55% of the entire army, people would simply refuse to fight anymore. Combined together, all these inconveniences called for an enhanced plan.

However, as the arms race was quickly won by the Soviet Union, the confrontation froze into a Cold War, in which the superpowers fought through nuclear deterrence and indirect warfare in Third World countries.