world war ii: operation case white

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White Coke for Marshal Zhukov,

At the end of World War II, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower met with supreme Soviet commander Marshal Georgy Zhukov, and toasted the destruction of the Nazi Third Reich with a glass of Coca Cola. Immediately Zhukov was smitten by the sugary, fizzy American cola beverage, and wanted more.  However there was a problem.  Coca Cola was banned in the Soviet Union, being seen as a symbol of American capitalist imperialism. It certainly wouldn’t do to have the Soviet Union’s highest ranking military officer and most decorated soldier being caught drinking the carbonated milk of the evil capitalist pig-dog.

Zhukov turned to Gen. Mark Clark, commander of the US sector of Allied occupied Austria, if there was some way cases of Coca Cola could be shipped to him in more discreet packaging.  Gen. Clark passed the request on the President Harry Truman, who in turn passed it on to James Farley, Chairman of the Board of Coca Cola Export Operations.  Farley found a chemist who was successfully able to remove the color from Coca Cola while preserving its taste.  The new “White Coke” was then bottled in straight clear bottles which resembled vodka bottles, the cap featuring a red star.  The first shipment of “white coke” for Marshal Zhukov was a case of 50.  It is unknown how much white coke was produced for Zhukov, as the production and distribution of it was a company secret.