Skip to comments.USSR planned nuclear attack on China in 1969
Posted on 05/13/2010 3:30:13 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
The Soviet Union was on the brink of launching a nuclear attack against China in 1969 and only backed down after the US told Moscow such a move would start World War Three, according to a Chinese historian.
The extraordinary assertion, made in a publication sanctioned by China's ruling Communist Party, suggests that the world came perilously close to nuclear war just seven years after the Cuban missile crisis.
Richard Nixon in Moscow with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in 1974
Liu Chenshan, the author of a series of articles that chronicle the five times China has faced a nuclear threat since 1949, wrote that the most serious threat came in 1969 at the height of a bitter border dispute between Moscow and Beijing that left more than one thousand people dead on both sides.
He said Soviet diplomats warned Washington of Moscow's plans "to wipe out the Chinese threat and get rid of this modern adventurer," with a nuclear strike, asking the US to remain neutral.
But, he says, Washington told Moscow the United States would not stand idly by but launch its own nuclear attack against the Soviet Union if it attacked China, loosing nuclear missiles at 130 Soviet cities. The threat worked, he added, and made Moscow think twice, while forcing the two countries to regulate their border dispute at the negotiating table.
He quotes Soviet ministers and diplomats at the time to bolster his claim.
On 15 October 1969, he quotes Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin as telling Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev that Washington has drawn up "detailed plans" for a nuclear war against the USSR if it attacked China.
"[The United States] has clearly indicated that China's interests are closely related to theirs and they have mapped out detailed plans for nuclear
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
No Wonder they let Nixon into China...
They must have known about this
Remember when the president was a man? I wonder how things would turn out today.
I call BS, too many places this does not fit.
It has been mentioned in several threads over the years.
Just Google “Yalu River.”
I referred to this incident in a post years ago and was attacked by some know it all freeper as an an idiot.
Wish I could remember his name. I’d ping the guy, I tell ya’.
Which might have been a bluff, but I bet it would have gotten the ChiCom's to back down out of Korea at the very least.
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Absolutely. And Curtis LeMay should have been allowed to knock off North Vietnam. Real Americans don't fight wars based on re-election polls.
Ah, what could have been......
Did that story have a ChiCom confirmation?
USSR planned nuclear attack on China in 1969 but shelved the idea because Ping Ping was still in the Moscow Zoo
If we could only go back and change it all...
LOL! Now we know what the screenplay writers were reading ;-)
Back when we had men like Richard Nixon as President. I can’t imagine Carter, Clinton or Obama doing that.
A very bad mistake,should have let the Russians nuke them.
Being widely despised by the Chinese people for corruption and lack of democracy and rule of law, and with economic performance faltering, the communist regime must inevitably emphasize nationalistic themes as a basis of legitimacy. The depiction of foreigners as dangerous and untrustworthy is a long established element of Chinese nationalism.
It wouldn’t have turned into World War 3. We should have let the USSR do it. China wouldn’t be what it is today and the Soviet Union would have been badly wounded as well.
Is Tricky Dick flashing gang signage at Leonid B?
Dang, I sure missed some inresting intel, er stuff, after I became a full time civilian.
Not to mention the fact that they have literally stolen most of American industry's intellectual property such as the integrated circuit, personal and super computers, and all kinds of RF\communications technology.
Additionally, their (communist) spies have stolen our rocket technology which cost hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars to develop and other military technologies such as the W-80 nuclear warhead, stealth technology, and many others.
Now they say we OWE them almost a TRILLION dollars.
I say we send them a big fat bill and slam the door shut on their prison labor produced goods.
Not only did he open trade with communist China, he took the Dollar off the Gold standard.
Now his Grandson (another globalist) thinks that he can slither into our government because of his name?!?!
Don't we have enough problems with the legacy of Kennedy, Clinton, and Bush political thought ingrained in our government?!
I say HELL NO! We are on the brink with all of this global crap!
I do not dispute the USSR considered and planned a nuclear strike on China, I dispute Nixon threatening a US retaliatory strike.
Your analysis of current Chinese communist motivation is highly likely to be spot on. There is little new in the Chicom political playbook.
The Nixon name means as much as the Taft name.
I’m having another of those November Charlie moments.
No kidding. Wage and price controls did it for me.
So you let a commander who twice, through gross incompentence, was egregiously surprised, start running U.S. foreign policy?
First, his air force in the Phillipines gets destroyed on the ground TEN HOURS AFTER PEARL HARBOR.
Second, despite numerous warnings and intelligence about Chinese infiltration into North Korea, his forces are completely surprised and in several cases almost surrounded and annihilated when they do attack?
Most overrated general in U.S. military history.
I'll go for that!
Nixon was the man with enough foreign policy savvy to realize that a fullblown war between the two Asian behemoths would be a worldwide catastrophe. This is why the Chinese had great respect for Nixon, despite his antipathy to communism.
Hey made some good photo ops though wading in the the ocean like that. And you have to give him credit for his campaign to re-take the Pacific and the landing at Incheon.
Reminds me of the fable of a frog saving a scorpion. To be honest, the US will one day be the winner of the 'Darwin Award of the Year.' Guaranteed. The nation just tries so very hard to qualify (e.g. the China escapades, Pakistan, etc), and one day its luck will run out.
Traitors in the FDR and Truman administrations handed China over to Mao.
What part of “I am not a crook” didn’t you hear?
I got taught this twenty years past (American sources), save for the threat of US nuc lear threats. At the time, the analysis was that the US were tempted but too smart to stand by and watch the Sovs destroy China. In a three way conflict, you always assist or prevent the destruction of the weakest member. Had the Sovs been allowed to take out China then:
A - The US would have been partners (albeit through inaction) in a bloody crime, because I doubt the Sovs could have done it without a few nukes in civilian zones and millions dead
B - The USSR would have had the luxury of not having to be nervous about their horrendously long land border with China, or with China’s influence over the international communist groups. That would have simplified Soviet strategic needs greatly, to the detriment of the west.
China and the US had nothing in common politically save distrust of the Soviets, but without China the Sovs would have been a much more credible threat. Even though China never matched Russia remotely in terms of strngth, they had the North Korean factor - e.g. the Russians were never sure what that crazy old bastard Mao would do, so they had to be given either careful treatment or all-out treatment.
However, Nixon did not offer to blow the USSR off the face of the Earth to solve the problem.
He was much more skilled, he offered Détente, and the deal was excellent from the USSR's point of view.
By 1972 he had SALT I in place and SALT II in the works, and the pressure between the USSR and China dialed down to manageable levels.
This was a real achievement considering the ongoing Vietnam war.
Nixon had courage as others have pointed out, however he was about as far from a warmonger as one could get, and not a reckless man.
It should have been easy to predict communists fighting among themselves from history.
The Bolshevik theft of the Revolution and Lenin's pursuit of the victims of that theft. Hitler's (the communist's) usurpation of the communist plot to take Germany. The two way double cross between Hitler and Stalin.
So Nixon could have easily seen the USSR's problem coming, and the seriousness of it.
Nixon might well have seen the Cultural Revolution coming as well, and knew all he had to do was buy time till the USSR perceived less threat from a decaying China, the careful treatment.
One more reason to hate Nixon, he should’ve let them do it.
“One more reason to hate Nixon, he shouldve let them do it.”
And that would be the worst mistake American could’ve ever made. Russia and China are the 2 dominant powers of Eurasia. It is in our interest to keep Eurasia divided.
In 1970, Russia could’ve conceivably annihilated all military opposition in China with about 50 strategic nukes and taken over the entire East Asian Mainland largely intact.
Now imagine a fully industrialized USSR that controls 90% of Eurasia, with the combined natural resources of Russia and the human resources of China.
Such an empire would have 5X our population, 5X our natural resources, and be within 5 years of our military tech curve. We might well have lost the cold war if that had happened.