As the Cold War crescendo approached, two world powers exchanged a pair of spies on a bridge in Berlin that separates the East from the West. The date was February 10, 1962. The weather had recently turned from snow to mere training, symbolizing a temporary thaw in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, which would have allowed them to make this gesture before the craze that was the source of the nuclear arms race.
At the time, according to author Giles Whittell, both ideological enemies had only ten ICBM nuclear warheads. Thirty years later, the Cold War was concluded, and they would own tens of thousands. Eisenhower's warning about the military / industrial complex seems to have been ignored. Over the course of time, Spy Bridge embraces the fact that we are seeing the foundation for a war that fortunately has never become a reality. It was fought in the shadows. Jill skilfully peeles the onion dome layers to show the fears the two sides had.
Enter to the left, William Fisher, a rather curious tribal spy from Russia. From Germany, he arrived in Canada with the help of passenger liners in the city of Quebec, in one of many accepted names. The date is November 1948. Counselors are seriously behind nuclear technology and, since the Los Alamos and Manhattan Project days, have been feverishly spying on Americans for success. Fisher's job is to recruit and set up a spy network across the US, with the latest Russian spy group being discovered and led (Klaus Fuchs and Rosenberg). William Fisher is a cool head spy. He mainly deals with secrecy and maintenance of this cover at all costs. He has done very little espionage for years. He seems to be quite comfortable keeping his cover as an artist in New York who retired after making oodles in the photo finishing business. The author points out that since no one has ever made more than half oodles at the time of photo finishing, his cover should have been suspect at first glance.
It reminds me of two Nazi spies who landed in submarine Gaspé in Quebec during World War II. They lasted all about fifteen minutes. They were sunbathing in a small hotel in the middle of nowhere and asking for a room. Paying in outdated currency, they went to a room for much-needed rest. The joiner couldn't imagine where these two "business travelers" had come from. Could they have really taken off their suitcases from the next village since they came on foot and stashed diesel? She immediately called Mounties. William Fisher should have been similarly revealed to his neighbors, who he would reveal with contradictory stories about his past, but they accidentally challenged him to the point of inventing the self-invented man to make an impression on others. Although obviously a liar for many contradictory histories, he was well received by colleagues and deeply shared their interest in art. His only contact in America, which he cultivated on barren soil, was Reino Hayhanen, who was worried about the sea and worried about a ban on the resurrection.
Enter the right side of the stage, Francis Gerry Powers, a young expert Air Force pilot approached by the CIA to conduct Soviet airspace missions. At this point, the United States is the Strategic Bomber Command, the large bombers are constantly being serviced and ready to fly over the North Pole to deliver nuclear bombs to Russia's hypothetical targets. Soon the Russians equate nuclear bomb technology and advance with ballistic missiles that can cross continents in minutes. America is in a panic and it is desperate to know how many rockets the Soviet authorities have and where they are. The US has developed a U2 aircraft that can fly at 70,000 feet, far above the ability of Russian fighter jets to intercept. They need the best pilots in the country to fly long missions over hostile areas, shooting rocket installations. For various reasons, it is not practical to ask the CIA to set up a spy network in the Soviet Union. This is the only approach available to them, and probably the most secure.
Citizens coming from a very modest background in Virginia are offered an amazing thirty thousand dollar flight to the CIA. Anyone who knows the US will recognize the lure of many disadvantaged Americans. Modern money equivalent to about half a million a year. The work consists mainly of training missions. Every invasion of hostile airspace must be approved by the president, so there are few flights over Russia. The real enemy becomes boredom and insidious jealousy of wives who cannot accompany them to remote air bases in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
Another protagonist of this drama, so to speak, is dead – U2 itself. Whittell skilfully describes the development of the aircraft needed to fly over the intercepting Russian MIGs. Admittedly, the reader needs basic knowledge of aviation, but the author opens it up to trade school readers. He tells us why it was so difficult for the plane to fly at these altitudes, why the U2 was so low in thin air control, why the engine had to be extremely powerful to be one step from orbit, why the distance between falling speed and excessive acceleration at these altitudes was it is necessary for the aircraft to fly normally on autopilot, and why the pilot who flew at seventy thousand feet was not expected to survive. The parachute was intended to be raised at a height, and the human body, which was inflated under pressure by an elastic pressurized suit, was expected to explode as gases in the blood stream and in the body spread. During the tests, open skin, which was not supported by the suit, bubbled as the aircraft reached high altitude. Imagine an astronaut without his suit traveling in space. The result would be an immediate red and brown poopnado . It is inconceivable that U2 pilots could not conceive of such images, but most likely they suppressed them, allowing their subconscious to create a permanent fear of their existence, possibly the cause of many ropes. death of a walker.
The canvas on which this drama unfolds is also being refined. Jill frantically tells us about two powerful and huge rivals trying to impress each other with footage of open-air thermoelectric explosions that serve as a warning about the dangers of 100 megatonons of fungal clouds and two hostile giants in open war. Whittell uses the detached perspective needed to understand the madness of humanity and how close we were to the ruthless act of self-immolation. The contribution of the former secretary-general's son, Sergei Khrushchev, is invaluable. The same distance is 50 years in the shortest possible time.
In this work, we look at contemporary political systems: the Soviet Union, led by dogmatic social engineers who willingly sacrifice thousands of people to the Gulags to shape human behavior by adopting the concept of self-denial in favor of the state. Imagine, if you will, the peasant who is in charge of this experiment with the Russian Donald Trump's bombastic personality and free intelligence, demonstrating a tendency to take off his shoes at the United Nations and bump them on the table as the ultimate force of his articulation. The peasant leader claims that the Soviet Union produces ICBM as sausages and bury them in the US. Check out the map of the Soviet Union. Its territory may include three complete United States. In order to prove or deny the Soviet Union, sites have been set up that are ready to be destroyed by the United States at a daunting task, so aggressive Khrushchev must take his name. Consequently, more flights are needed.
The other half is essentially a class system led by lottery winners in the struggle for capitalism for individual superiority. Their leader, John F. Kennedy, was one of the most successful, morally ambiguous winners. John F. Kennedy joked that his father asked him exactly how many votes he needed to win the 1960 election because he was too cheap to pay for the landslide. Not least, all American proletarians want to play the game, losing odds to become a bourgeoisie. Most important is the alluring wonder of wealth, the freedom to jump or not to jump on the gym. Even disadvantaged people, such as Gary Powers, defend them to death, even if it means destroying the planet. After the Second World War, America is an industrial giant and the average population is in a much better position due to the free flow of capital and credit system. They will defend it, even if it means a preventive nuclear strike.
Ironically, it would take fifty years later for the world's largest communist power to prove that the capitalist system sometimes works best. At that time, however, the US system lost its influence worldwide. It seemed very bleak for free entrepreneurs; China, Cuba, Greece, North Korea, Indochina, Malaysia, virtually all of Eastern Europe and many others were under Communist control; it is therefore desperate to increase the number of ICBMs. The Cold War was very realistic and the fuel box was ready for ignition.
Fisher, a Soviet spy, is captured, convicted and sent to prison in Atlanta. Power shot over Russia is also imprisoned. Spy Bridge & # 39; shortly after the iron curtain was erected, the details and grounds for their exchange in Berlin were revealed.
I will allow author Gil Wittel to take it from here, because he can do it much better than I ever could. White writes with the professional skills of an independent journalist, combining multiple threads over time to create an intense and highly relevant story from a holistic perspective. I think the work is very well researched, complemented by the history of many bit players, such as the men who led the missile sites that brought Powers & # 39; U2 down 1,500 miles in Soviet airspace. Such a collection of detailed and accurate information on several continents over fifty years is the achievement of Herculean proportions, even for the best writer. I am applying my hat against his superior skills to delve into the dark depths of the past.
Now that I am interested in your author's subject matter and skills, I need to offer warnings. Napoleon was quite wrong with England; it's not populated by shopkeepers alone. It seems to come in two forms – either highly talented craftsmen or academics. Like many English non-fiction writers, Jill is a member of the first group, striving for the latter. If I say that an author is an academic, it is a death kiss for his work as far as the joy of reading is concerned. Jill gets dangerously close several times, crossing the line for a brief moment and jumping back quickly to keep his job interesting and moving on.
Academics are tempted to expose themselves to a higher level of knowledge of the subject and full action of the facts to reconcile. One of those mistakes is the references ahead, as it says – "There I was in Swaziland, which was confronted by thousands of armed and decaying insurgent locals, but all this in the future. First let me tell you about my exciting youth and what made me join the Queen's own rifles as their surgeon number one. "Jelly does this with his inaugural department, introducing a minor character on the bridge stage who is quickly forgotten. He refers to him at the end, almost two hundred and sixty pages later, but my memory fails to place him.
Another thing academics want to do is clutter up their work with many factual aspects of identifying the reader who is responsible. With only a few pages, it becomes quite clear that Jill is English and is one of the elite schools and not everyone has read it. Jill has the subconscious habit of defining his credentials to the reader through didactic diction and pedantry, the intellectual snobbery handed to him when he received his diploma. Why the author will do it, risking to sabotage his works, is beyond me. His credentials as a professional journalist and editor may have also saddened proofreaders by not allowing them to comment on another stylistic mistake that most irritated readers of rapidly changing historical drama. He very often refers or inferred to someone or something at the end of a small, oblique snippet to make sense of. For example, he could first talk about an airplane that can break through the seventy thousand feet barrier, and then he could talk about a program to build those aircraft, and finally his reference or conclusion would be "it". I don't know how many times I had to re-read the passage to find out which one is & # 39; meant. One of the last things I found worrying was getting to know a character without a face. We are introduced to so many by Beerl, Donovan, Drozdov, Meehan, Silverman, Sudoplatov, Von Broekers et al. That their meaning becomes a distant memory. Since Jell has compiled a list of characters in the preface, he does not feel the need to plug in a gentle reminder. Forget who she is? Go look for it, doofus. Only cast name as & # 39; Dramatic Personae & # 39; was supposed to be an indication of its subconscious academic tendencies, but I'll digress. Jill, overall, I've given you a B plus for your work, but if you want to get a higher grade for your next assignment, I'll expect less pedantry, young man in the future.
All facial expression aside, & # 39; Spy Bridge & # 39; is more than a good read, essential to understanding who we are, and important, accurate history of the days when the nuclear holocaust was a very real opportunity for people of my generation. I remember the days when there were sirens in the air next to telephone poles in the countryside, and during school there were drills to bend and peel under the tables. If I remember anything about my early youth, I had to prepare and face the nuclear drive as an eight-year-old. Jill Wittel is doing a great job of rebuilding this era.