The cessation of hostilities in World War Two brought an end to the greatest loss of life mankind has ever known. More than fifty-five million (55,000.000) people, over half of them civilians, died in that horrendous war—and that total does not include the eleven million (11,000,000) or more Jews lost in the Holocaust.
At that historic moment the Cold War began. The Soviets blockaded Berlin, put up an Iron Curtain dividing Germany in half, erected the Berlin Wall and shot those who tried to escape from the east to the west. The United States established the Berlin Airlift and brought the Berlin Wall down and reunited Germany.
The Cold War escalated into an Atomic then a Nuclear Arms Race. During the mid 1940s through the 1960s the U.S. flew B-29s, B45s and B-47s, et al, over Russia and China to pin point such weapons. Some US planes were shot down; such losses cataloged as “mechanical failure.” Neither side would admit to any violations until May 1960 when Gary Powers’ U-2 was shot down. Russia released Powers in an exchange for the Soviet spy-master, Rudolf Abel in 1962.
On the ground was the constant game of agents, double agents and triple agents, spies and counter spies. Interspersed with all of that was the “containment wars:” Korea, Vietnam and Russia’s Afghanistan War; and of course, the Cuban Missile crisis.
All of the Cold War and hot war “performances” have been and still are played out like a game of political and military chess on an international stage—with the savage details and covert action hidden from the eyes of the public. Each faction continually checked and counter-checked the other in a game of escalating superiority and domination. During all of that the most fundamental players—the pawns so to speak—fell by the wayside.
This is the story of one such man, a pawn.