In 1968, on this day the Great Powers were brought to the brink of nuclear warfare by their careless meddling in the Nazi succession crisis which was precipitated by the final decline and long-expected demise of Führer Hermann Göring.
By Ed, Scott Palter and Jeff ProvineA veteran ace fighter pilot who served with distinction in the wing once led by "The Red Baron" Manfred von Richthofen" he was regarded as the Nazi the traditional elites could best work with after Hitler was accidentally given a "hot" dose in late 1938. But ironically, in those difficult days after Munich, he was the decorated war hero who led Germany away from the path of conflict.
Demobilization was followed by a "Cold peace" but then the USSR got the bomb and everything changed. Fortunately Stalin's premature death in 1953 prevented the Soviet leader from wielding the nuclear club.
"I am determined to go down in German history as a great man" ~ GöringThe infiltration of the Soviet bomb project forced the United States, Britain and France into a collaborative effort so that by 1960 a fragile global peace was only maintained by their shared acceptance of the doctrine of mutual assured destruction.
By the late sixties, the successors to the ageing Führer were jockeying for position. Premier Nikita Khruschev was acutely concerned that a pro-Western Führer would create a capitalist encirclement. Refusing to wait for the inevitable, he decided to push his own preferred candidate, warning Western leaders "We will bury you".