Cuban Crisis: (the really Cold War)
Having been invited to contribute to a Remembrance Day observance at my seniors' residence,
I seek info about the experiences of dependent wives 1958-1967 in western Europe, in PMQs or on the economy.
When did you first hear the words Red Alert? How was it handled in your household? What might happen to you and your family?
We were told that Russian missiles were zeroed in on the base at No. 1 Fighter Wing, Marville.
If the balloon went up, our husbands were toast and we would be on our own while the Russians invaded across Belgium nonstop.
(Back in Canada, I later met the widow of a Polish officer who died in the Katjyn forrest massacre. She, along with the other wives, was sent to a gulag where they stayed until Russia became an ally. No longer enemies, these women were turned away from the camps where they at least had shelter and food. The German invading army was between them and their homes in Poland, so they risked being taken prisoner again. She eventually made her way to the Black Sea and out)
Many residents here are themselves survivors of those years, Balts, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans other lands that ended up behind the Iron Curtain. They too have their stories, each one an epic.
It seems nobody in Canada knew anything about the whole episode, even armed forces veterans, they were quite simply, incredulous. It is to our credit that these survivors have been made welcome, to contribute mightily to our development as a nation among nations.
If there is another source for this sort of history, please direct me to it.
This one (yours) seems devoted mainly to humour (now it can be told, no names, no pack drill) and artifacts sought or offered by collectors. Sorry, I can't really help you with that (thought there is a tale of a forklift legitimately sporting a "kill" on its bright yellow bodywork).
Has anybody even heard of the Cuban Crisis, or Canada's military presence at various bases in France and Germany, or the Air Division HQ at Metz for our fighter bases, the development of Transport Command?. (These guys flew supplies to the Congo too, when the time came).
Most surviving wives of servicemen that I meet were married after the war to veterans already released. They just weren't there.
What can I say? What should I say? Shirley Laking