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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | January 5, 2011

42 years ago today, the Soviet Union once again crushed freedom under the heel of its boot. This time, the victim was Czechoslovakia. It always angers me when I revisit this Soviet invasion, especially since my maternal great-grandparents hailed from there.

January 5, 1968 – Prague Spring Begins

Antonin Novotny, the Stalinist ruler of Czechoslovakia, is succeeded as first secretary by Alexander Dubcek, a Slovak who supports liberal reforms. In the first few months of his rule, Dubcek introduced a series of far-reaching political and economic reforms, including increased freedom of speech and the rehabilitation of political dissidents. Dubcek’s effort to establish “communism with a human face” was celebrated across the country, and the brief period of freedom became known as the “Prague Spring.”

On August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union answered Dubcek’s reforms with invasion of Czechoslovakia by 600,000 Warsaw Pact troops. Prague was not eager to give way, but scattered student resistance was no match for Soviet tanks. Dubcek’s reforms were repealed, and the leader himself was replaced with the staunchly pro-Soviet Gustav Husak, who re-established an authoritarian Communist regime in the country.

On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two separate countries: Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Thankfully, the Russians have kept their distance

Topics: HHH, Slovakia | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. Rick Says:
    January 5th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    We should have taken the Russians out after WWll ended

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 5th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Rick – That’s what Patton wanted to do. I miss that man.

  3. Robert B. Says:
    January 5th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Patton wanted to take out the Soviets, MacArthur wanted to take out the communist Chinese. At the end of WW Twice, the USA had the most advanced war machine ever seen by man, and a monopoly on nukes. I wonder what the leaders of our government would have done, had they possessed the ability to see what we face today.

  4. Fenway_Nation Says:
    January 6th, 2011 at 3:52 am

    It also is reportedly why Jaromir Jagr wore the #68 throughout his career.

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 6th, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Robert B. – They may have sent in some feelers and targeted some tactical sites. Would have saved a lot of lives.

    Fenway – As a Jagr fan I can tell you that that’s absolutely true.

  6. Dr. Evil Says:
    January 6th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Imagine how different the face of the globe would be if we followed Patton’s lead and taken down the hammer and sickle. Damn. Better yet, imagine if Germany would’ve won WW I, the Great War. Hmmmm, the Middle East controlled by the Ottoman Turks, a German puppet. I’m inclined to believe their wouldn’t be as many problems there right now.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Dr. Evil – You are almost certainly correct. Besides, if Germany won WWI, there wouldn’t be WWII, nor would there be an atmosphere that leads Hitler to power.