January 12, 2018




After reaching the Vistula River August 1944, Soviet troops had slowed its advance, building up men and supplies in eastern Poland before launching the next offensive. On 12 Jan 1945, a large invasion force of 163 divisions with a total of 2,203,000 men, 4,529 tanks, 2,513 self-propelled guns, and 13,763 artillery pieces, supported by about 5,000 aircraft, was launched for the Vistula-Oder Offensive. The attacking force was consisted of Marshal Georgi Zhukov's 1st Byelorussian Front and Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front. Facing the attack was Colonel General Josef Harpe's German Army Group A, consisted of three armies (4th Panzer Army, 9th Army, and 17th Army) totaling 400,000 men, 1,150 tanks, and 4,100 artillery pieces. The Vistula–Oder Offensive was a major Soviet victory. The Red Army advanced hundreds of kilometers in a matter of day, striking against German targets. The offensive broke the back of Army Group A, and much of Germany's remaining capacity for military resistance. German forces however continued to resist in Silesia and Pomerania, as well as East Prussia.


United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide:  The term "genocide" was coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish jurist. He began lobbying the UN for the the term "genocide" to be included in international law, and was singularly responsible for bringing the matter to the attention of the nascent United Nations. Delegates from many nations debated the term, and finally on December 9, 1948, the final text was adopted by unanimous vote.  The UN Convention came into force on January 12, 1951, ratified by more than 20 nations.


John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State under the Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration, delivered a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations. Dulles announced that the United States could protect its allies through the “deterrent of massive retaliatory power.” The announcement was a clear signal that President Eisenhower relied heavily on the power of  American nuclear arsenal as defense against communist aggression. Dulles explained that it would be unwise to “become permanently committed to military expenditures so vast that they lead to ‘practical bankruptcy.'” Instead, he believed a new policy of “getting maximum protection at a bearable cost” should be developed. Although Dulles did not directly refer to nuclear weapons, his reference to "massive retaliatory power" made it clear that the new policy was based on such weapons to respond to future acts of war.

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