The Result Of The Cuban Missile Crisis In 1962
It’s not hard to imagine of a world that at any moment you and everyone you know could be wiped out without a warning at a push of a button. Well that was the reality for millions of people during the 45year period after world war II better known as the cold war. In 1962 Fidel Castro knew communist regime was three years old. Castro had been working to underline Cuba with the powerful Soviet Union, which saw an opportunity to nurture a communist state a stone throw from the American border. The Cold War was in full swing, the US president John F Kennedy had politically defined himself in opposition to Castro's regime.
when President Kennedy got into office, he acquired the Cuban issue. He had been advised by Eisenhower's administration about the works to eliminate Castro. Kennedy permitted the CIA and the Cuban outcasts to continue. Realizing that it would search terrible for an incredible country to attack a minuscule island, he wouldn't include the American military; U.S. military airplane would not be permitted to give cover to the attack. Kennedy trusted no doubt the United States had no say on the matter. The CIA and the fifteen hundred outcasts, sure that the Cuban public would ascend and help their work against Castro, supported by 8 B-26 bombers and 5 supply ships proceeded with their attack on April 17, But facing them are 25,000 soldiers, 200,000 militiamen and 9000 police force. And it does not take long before the invasion becomes a fiasco and a public one. This failed attempt was henceforth known as the bay of pigs.
“In this failed attempted coup air attacks by Castro’s forces slowed the process, destroying one transport carrying vital supplies, and ultimately led the invasion flotilla to put out to sea, while Cuban T-33 fighter jets proved unexpectedly successful in downing the exiles B-26s. Castro’s swift incarceration of one to two hundred thousand potential domestic opponents effectively precluded any internal uprising to support the invasion. Meanwhile, Cuban ground forces, tanks, and artillery wreaked havoc on the invaders. A few escaped by small boat to U.S. naval vessels nearby, but 114 were killed and 1,113 captured. Cuban losses were far greater: approximately 1,650 dead and two thousand wounded. With Kennedy administration backing, 18 months later private sources in the United States provided Cuba with $53 million of food and medicine in exchange for the imprisoned fighters. The Bay of Pigs represented a humiliating international failure for the United States, vindicating those critics who considered that nation an overbearing, imperialist state that backed unpopular right-wing forces around the globe. Publicly, Kennedy took full responsibility for the operation; privately, he deeply resented what he perceived as CIA mismanagement, and the following year he replaced both Allen W. Dulles, the CIAÊs near-legendary director, and Richard Bissell, the head of its Clandestine Service. From then onward the CIA placed greater emphasis on intelligence collection as opposed to flamboyant but risky covert operations. Kennedy’s reckless authorization and half-hearted implementation of this operation may have helped convince Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev that he was a lightweight without the resolve to confront the Soviet Union.”
The reaction and condemnation by cuba and the soviet union are swift and angry. And in the following month the attorney general of the new kennedy administration Robert Kennedy will meet Bolshakov 19 times in order to patch up relations to little avail.
On the other hand the usual American Soviet tension escalated in months leading up to October 1962. First, hoping to intimidate the Soviets, the United states deployed nuclear Jupiter missile to Turkey and Italy. General secretary Nikita Khrushchev is feeling threatened by weapons pointed at the USSR from Western Europe. So he thought that if American nuclear weapons were moving to Turkey, and Italy perhaps the Soviet should level the playing field.
As the US and the soviet union faced off each knew that the other had nuclear weapon capable of mass destruction. And destruction never loomed closer than during the 13 days of the Cuban missile crisis.
The events of bay of pigs driven Cuba to seek help from the U.S.S.R. The already threatened Soviet premier was happy to comply with this request.
Construction on the Cuban missile sites began late summer 1962 . Less than a month later, . On September 4 U.S. President John F Kennedy issued a statement to the nation. He conveyed that there was no evidence that the Soviet Union had significant offensive capability in Cuba where it to be otherwise he said the gravest issue would arise it was clear warning to the Soviet end Cuba but the Soviets ignored the message and continued to build the missile sites. But on October A U-2 surveillance flight over Cuba photographs nuclear-capable missile installations. they were spotted by US reconnaissance flight. After receiving these photographic evidence “Analysis of photographic data collected by several flights on October 14 and 15 revealed the existence of several nuclear-capable missile sites in Cuba, some equipped for intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) and others intended for medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), as well as crates holding Il-28 medium-range light bombers. On the evening of October 15 Ray Cline, the CIAÊs deputy director of intelligence, passed on this information to McGeorge Bundy, President John F. Kennedy’s national security adviser. The following morning Bundy in turn told Kennedy. The news marked the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, triggering 13 days of deliberations among Kennedy and his senior diplomatic and military advisers. Further U-2 sorties over the next week identified numerous additional missile sites on Cuba, with no certainty that the reconnaissance revealed all existing installations. On October 25, in an emergency debate at the United Nations, U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson displayed sample photographs and demanded that Valerian Zorin, his Soviet counterpart, confirm or deny the presence of Soviet nuclear-capable missiles on Cuba. When French newspapers expressed doubts over the validity of the photographic evidence, CIA officials flew to France bearing sets of the photographs to verify their allegations. U-2 overflights had the potential to escalate the crisis. Soviet forces tracked overflights on October 14, 15, and 17, but had been ordered not to fire on U.S. aircraft unless attacked. On October 27, as negotiations between U.S. and Soviet officials continued, a Soviet SAM battery in Cuba shot down a U-2, killing the pilot, Maj. Rudolph Anderson. Other lower-flying naval reconnaissance aircraft over Cuba also came under fire; one was damaged but returned safely to base. Kennedy and other U.S. officials had previously agreed that any attacks on U.S. airplanes would trigger U.S. air strikes against the batteries responsible for these. In the event, Kennedy and McNamara decided against immediate retaliation, choosing instead to assume that lower-level Soviet military personnel in Cuba had acted without specific authorization from their superiors in Moscow”.
On October 16 president Kennedy summons the executive committee EX-COMM of the national security council, his foreign policy advisors which will meet every day from then until October 28. At an emergency meeting on October 16, 1962 as options were being put on the table some chose a diplomatic solution to this crisis and the military advisors urged an airstrike on missile sites and a possible invasion of the island but president John F Kennedy choose a more careful approach. On October 18 the president summons Russian foreign minister Andrey Gromyko to confront him about the soviet deploying a nuclear missiles to Cuba which Gromyko denies the presence of any soviet nuclear capable missiles on Cuba. In addition on October 1 the Soviet Union secretly sent four submarines to Cuba each loaded with 15 kiloton nuclear torpedoes. But on October 22 president Kennedy publicly announces that the united states knows Soviet nuclear capable missiles have been installed on Cuba and demands their withdrawal and repeats his speech from his presidency campaign saying the United states will not tolerate nuclear arms on Cuba and would be met with an aggressive response. And now he feels he has to deliver on that threat no matter how senseless.
On the same day president Kennedy announces that the us navy would intercept all shipment to Cuba with the exception of the basic necessity goods a quarantine as president Kennedy called it And the United states moves to DEFCON-3 meaning high nuclear alert. But before the quarantine took effect a Russian ship named Aleksandrovsk bearing 68 nuclear warheads reached Cuba. There was just one problem with the newly imposed quarantine, a naval blockade was considered an act of war although the president called it a quarantine that did not block the basic necessity. The soviet’s did not appreciate the distinction.
In an outraged letter to Kennedy Khrushchev wrote “The violation of freedom to use international water and airspace is an act of aggression which pushes mankind towards the abyss of world nuclear missile war”
Thus ensued the most intense six days of the cold war. While the US demanded the removal of the war heads, Cuba and the USSR insisted that they were only there as a defensive measure against the US trying to invade the island or Cuba once again. And as the weapons continued to be armed the us started to prepare for a possible invasion mobilizing her troops that were even outside territory, the US hasn’t gathered this much of her troops at once since the Vietnam war.
“On October 27 a US spy plane piloted by Major Rudolph Anderson, by Soviet antiaircraft batteries on Cuba shot down without specific authorization from Kremlin leaders, whom this episode greatly alarmed a U.S. U-2 reconnaissance plane. Seeking to avoid further escalation, Kennedy rejected Taylor s advice to retaliate militarily and he deliberately refrained from action.
Recently released tapes of conversations among President Kennedy and his advisers reveal that to avoid nuclear war, he was prepared to make even greater concessions to the Soviets, including taking the issue to the United Nations and openly trading Turkish missiles for those in Cuba. In so doing, he parted company with some of his more hard-liner advisers. Showing considerable statesmanship, Kennedy deliberately refrained from emphasizing Khrushchev’s humiliation, although other administration officials were privately less diplomatic and celebrated their victory to the press.”
From the military for that idea today the Joint Chiefs of staff of the US armed forces try hard to sway Kennedy back to the path of military action on Cuba there were many many many many more Soviets than U.S. intelligence presumes and they are hard at work readying their missiles for deployment the CIA has been trying to work out where the Soviet nuclear warheads were stored obviously knowing this is the prerequisite for the US Air Force taking them out with targeted strikes and would significantly increase the appeal of a limited air strike as a solution one location they have been observing for months is a bunker complex nearby who call about a 45 minute drive South of Havana but they have by now discarded this as a possible option since they didn't see any recent improvements to the facility it wasn't very well guarded and was in fact only protected by a chain link fence bear who calls surrounds a small Township founded in 1831 other than being the terminal station of cuba's first railroad and hosting a very popular carnival festival it's a fairly insignificant place.Anyhow the CIA are very much mistaken this is where the warheads are in fact stored in a modified hillside bunker complex there are now 160 nuclear warheads being prepared to be mounted on missiles and arms a veteran of the Soviet nuclear armed forces Colonel Sergei Romanov is in charge of the operation the working conditions are abysmal in Cuba the warm and humid tropical climate makes it difficult to maintain the right conditions for what is a very sensitive at a very dangerous job romanoff scrounges whatever air conditioners his Cuban hosts can lay their hands on but finally resorts to requisitioning loads and loads of ice the coolly inside of the bunker much worse though is the imperceptible radiation many of the workers will develop cancer and die from this radioactive exposure over the coming months and years there's also the stress of maybe being discovered and bombed by the United states there is hardly any time or any Peace of Mind to sleep strain is already taking its toll on romanoffs health and he will die of a heart attack shortly after returning to the Silva union his second in command major Boris Bolton Co also a nuclear force veteran is even now suffering from undiagnosed brain cancer from prolonged exposure and will also die in a few months today they are finally getting rid of at least some of the warheads the first batch of the gadgets as they call them it's ready to be shipped to the missile sites the chosen destination is a remote missile location at the center of the island unit commander Colonel sidorov has made progress there far more quickly than expected with preparing the Rockets his unit is also the best concealed and most difficult to strike from the air the warheads are loaded onto a convoy of 20 trucks that will travel 14 hours by night on primitive jungle roads to avoid detection they use no headlights and only every 4th truck uses sidelights to allow the convoy to stay on the road Sonora finalizes preparations so that the first warheads can be mounted already tomorrow the Soviets will then only need 30 minute window to arm and launch the missils in the White House the assumption or should I say the hope is that this window is 18 hours which would allow the US to act without the danger of immediate nuclear retaliation though as of today the US does correctly assume the total Cuban nuclear Arsenal including ICBM's will be deployable sometime in the next two months at 9:45 AM President Kennedy receives the Joint Chiefs of staff they still want to convince him to make a military strike as I said before chairman of the Joint Chiefs general Taylor says and outlines all the difficulties that they're presented with on a diplomatic level if they should attack Cuba especially regarding Berlin.
The crisis had heated up significantly when the US administration decided to impose a naval blockade on Cuba beginning tomorrow the 22nd the Soviets were deeply mistaken in thinking that they had deterred the US from decisive action on Cuba the preparations for the blockade and for a possible war are underway Sunday October 21st 1962. It's virtually impossible to mobilize the armed forces of the United states without someone noticing all you need are a few people in the right places observing the movement of people and material to connect the dots that's exactly what happens today when the Soviets are alerted to the fact that their assessment yesterday is inaccurate. Moscow is to start looking at the various scenarios at hand the central question is how to react in case of an American invasion of Cuba. That they will fight back is clear but will they use their tactical nuclear arms more importantly will they give their commanders in the field discretion as to when to use those nukes this is a discussion that has actually been going on for some time it was already debated by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev Soviet foreign minister Andrei gromiko the architects of the whole Soviet missiles on Cuba plan along with Marshall McVey zakharoff the chief of the Soviet general staff who argued for allowing the use of tactical nukes in case of an American invasion they met opposition from deputy chairman mikoyan and defence minister Marshall rodion malinovsky a veteran of both world wars and the Russian civil war malinovsky is an outstanding military leader who is in the process of turning the Red Army into one of the most fearsome fighting forces ever seen but he is also an outspoken pacifist and he believed that a conventional defence policy to him nuclear arms should only be used strategically as a deterrent to keep the peace, never in the field in the end they cannot find common ground but Khrushchev prevails or at least he thinks he prevails and order is drafted but when it lands on malanoski's desk for signature he stalls and just leaves it there unsigned so when the battle orders are formally issued it's not part of malinovsky zan zakharoff signed memorandum unfortunately the unsigned instructions have already been given orally to most of the commanders on the ground the verbal briefing is along the lines of how the unsigned order reads in a situation of an enemy landing on the island of Cuba when the destruction of the enemy is delaying further actions and there is no possibility of receiving instructions from the USSR ministry of defense you are permitted to make your own decision and to use the neuclear means of the Lunar missile 28 or FCR one as instruments of local warfare for the destruction of the enemy on land and along the coast in order to achieve the complete destruction of the invaders on the Cuban territory and to defend the Republic of Cuba the lunar missiles can carry a nuclear warhead with an explosive yield as low as three kilotons or as high as 200 the lowest yield would kill about 65,000 and injure almost a quarter of a million if blown up over Paris which we've used as our model in great detail before the 200 kiloton bomb would kill over 900,000 people and cause up to 1.8 million further casualties these Soviets have at least seven missiles ready to fire from land and 12 from ships at sea an estimated additional 70 warheads are also in storage together with these strategic warheads. so today the Soviet forces have both been ordered to use and to not use these tactical nukes at their own discretion for now the Soviet forces on Cuba remain on alert with tactical nuclear readiness in a political vacuum Meanwhile the American armed forces find themselves in a remarkably similar situation as we've already seen President Kennedy has walked thin line between decisive military actions and diplomatic restraint regarding Cuba for some time at the famous press conference back on September 13th he said but let me make this clear once again if at anytime the communist buildup in Cuba were to in danger or interfere with our security in any way including our base on Guantanamo, our passage to the Panama Canal our missile and space activities at Cape Canaveral on the lives of American citizens in this country or Cuba should ever attempt to export its aggressive purposes by force or the threat of force against any nation in this hemisphere or become an offensive military base of significant capacity for the Soviet Union then this country will do whatever must be done to protect its own security and that of its allies.