Timeline of World War III: 1952-1955
|"UN convoy, England bound, is hit in predawn Red air-submarine attack. Heavy bombers (right rear) have made moonlight run over Allied ships" (Painting by Fred Freeman, p. 24)|
The introductory piece below is a timeline of the key events of the war, beginning with an uprising in Yugoslavia.
From Collier's magazine, October 27, 1951, pp. 14-16:
PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF WORLD WAR III
Assassination attempt on Marshal Tito's life, May 10th, precipitates Cominform-planned uprising in Yugoslavia. Troops from satellite nations of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, backed by Red Army, cross borders. Truman terms aggression "Kremlin inspired."; Reds call it "an internal matter."
Third World War begins when Moscow, still insisting that uprising is "the will of the Yugoslav people," refuses to withdraw Red Army units. Stalin miscalculates risk: had believed U.S. would neither back Tito nor fight alone. U.S. is joined by principal UN nations in declaration of war.
Neutrals include Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Egypt, India and Pakistan.
Saturation A-bombing of U.S.S.R. begins. Avoiding completely population centers, West concentrates on legitimate targets only. Principal objectives: industrial installations; oil, steel and A-bomb plants.
Communists throughout West begin sabotage campaign. Trained saboteurs open attacks in U.S.
General Vassily Stalin, aviator son of Red dictator, becomes a UN prisoner of war.
Red Army, under vast air umbrella which outnumbers UN planes five to three, attacks across north German plain, in Baltic countries and through Middle East.
UN troops, fighting for time, retreat on all fronts, suffering heavy losses.
North American continent invaded when Red Army, in combined air-sea operation, lands in Alaska, occupying Nome and Little Diomede Island.
Reds A-bomb London and UN bases overseas.
Far East "Dunkerque" takes place when, under unremitting air and submarine attacks, U.S. occupation forces evacuate from Korea for Japan.
U.S. A-bombed for first time when Red air force hits Detroit, New York and A-bomb plant at Hanford (Washington). Civil defense proves inadequate.
Turning point in war's first phase reached when atomic artillery smashes enemy offensive on Christmas Day in Europe.
U.S. A-bombed for second time. Bombers hit Chicago, New York, Washington and Philadelphia. Red submarines fire atomic-headed missiles into Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Norfolk (Virginia) and Bremerton (Washington). Casualties greatly lessened by improved civil defense procedures.
UN air forces finally achieve air superiority over battle fronts.
Psychological warfare begins to play important role; propaganda emphasizes that UN is fighting war of liberation for Russian people; leaflet raids and broadcasts warn Russian people to evacuate areas scheduled for attack.
Moscow A-bombed midnight, July 22nd, by flying B-36s in retaliation for Red A-bomb terror raid on Washington. Planes flying from U.S. bases destroy center of Moscow. Area of damage: 20 square miles.
Suicide task force lands behind U.S.S.R. borders, destroys Soviets' last remaining A-bomb stockpile in underground chambers of Ural Mountains. Of 10,000 paratroopers and airborne units, 10 per cent survive.
UN General Assembly issues momentous war-aims statement known as "Denver Declaration."
Underground forces in satellite countries receive arms and materials in UN plane-drops; highly trained guerrilla fighters parachute into U.S.S.R. to aid resistance movements and destroy specific targets.
Severest rationing since beginning of war introduced in U.S.
Yugoslav guerrilla fighters begin to tie down large numbers of Red troops.
1954A captured Soviet general reports disappearance of Stalin, reveals that MVD (secret police) Chief Beria is new Red dictator.
Uprisings take place in U.S.S.R. and satellite nations. UN parachutes Russian émigrés into Soviet Union to aid dissident groups.
UN offensive begins on all fronts as West at last gains initiative.
Red Army gradually retreats, then disintegrates under onslaught of UN air and ground forces.
Three Red generals desert to UN forces.
UN armored spearhead captures Warsaw, reaches Pripet Marshes in Poland. Another armored column crosses U.S.S.R. border into Ukraine.
UN forces clear Asiatic Turkey and cross border into Crimea.
Marines, in combined air-sea operation, capture and occupy Vladivostok.
Hostilities cease as U.S.S.R. degenerates into a state of chaos and internal revolt.
UN forces begin occupation duties in satellite nations and Ukraine.
UNITOC—United Nations Temporary Occupation Command—set up in Moscow.