Today’s Friend, Tomorrow’s Enemy D+24 And Beyond: Poland

After forty-plus years of submission to Moscow, Eastern Europe decoupled from the Soviet orbit in the aftermath of World War III. The wounds and trauma inflicted on the satellite states from 9 July through early August, 1987 served as a spark on the powder keg Eastern Europe had become in the previous decade. In retrospect …

Poland On The Last Day D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part II

D+24 continued on and the air of impending doom circulated around Poland. With the vast number of Soviet airbases, supply depots, headquarters and other military bases on Polish soil, an overwhelming majority of Poles expected their country to be next. News of additional nuclear explosions in the GDR and West Germany enhanced the panic. Shelters …

The Politics of Global War: The Eve of Disintegration Part II

Poland Civilian demonstrations resumed on the morning of 26 July, 1987 in greater numbers than the previous day. Thousands of people turned out in almost every major city in the country. The audacity of the crowds was on full display as well. Buildings that housed government offices were ransacked and in some cases set ablaze. …

The Politics of Global War: Dueling Dangers in Moscow D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part II

The Politburo meeting continued into the early afternoon hours. As time went on, the news from Poland had taken on a life of its own. More significantly, it was developing into a cautionary legend passed down from generation to generation. The details were ambiguous and slid farther from reality with every passing moment. Only its …

The Politics of Global War: Poland Teeters D+14 Part I

D+14 0000-0900 The meeting between the Soviet ambassador and Poland’s head of state concluded three minutes after midnight. As soon as the pompous Soviet diplomat was gone, Wojciech Jaruzelski summoned his aides and the senior members of his government. Telephone calls were made, and orders given. The Soviet ambassador had made a fatal mistake in …

The Politics of Global War: Cause and Effect D+13 (22 July, 1987) Part II

Two full weeks of war had all but removed the veil of uniform civility and compliance from the face of the Polish populace. The relationship between the Poles, and their Soviet overseers was nearing the point of extreme duress. The war showed every sign of continuing and growing in size and scope. Every night NATO …

The Politics of Global War: The Polish Powder Keg

After eight days of war the Polish People’s Republic was beginning to show signs of uneasiness. Though the evidence was generally unnoticed by a world preoccupied by the war raging, it was nevertheless present, and smoldering. The direct effects of the war were being felt more by Poland than any other Warsaw Pact member-state, with …