The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis

U.S. President John F. Kennedy with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Andrei Gromyko's office Rounded white houses.
Photo from the Library and Museum named after President John F. Kennedy in Boston. 1962

October 14 marked 50 years since the beginning of day or which lasted 13 days, the Cuban Missile Crisis, which in the United States called the Cuban missile crisis, and in Cuba — October Crisis. In this period of confrontation between nuclear giants — the Soviet Union and the United States — have gained maximum points cool war. The world really looked completely in the eye of the future of nuclear catastrophe. Action occurs repeatedly investigated by Western and Russian scientists. State Archive of Security (NSA), located in Washington, recently published more than 10 April s quite hidden documents showing that white-washed house very seriously preparing poruha to Cuba.


The emergence of the crisis in relations between the U.S. and CCCP Russian government explained as a response to the U.S. deployment in the area of Turkey American medium-range ballistic missiles PGM-19 Jupiter. In 1961, 15 such single-stage liquid propellant was found starting at 5 units around the town of Izmir. Their service made Turkish spices, but the nuclear warheads were fitted and controlled by U.S. forces. IRBM could hit targets that are at a distance of 2.5 million km, and the power of their nuclear charge was almost half a megaton.

Deployment of missile systems to Turkey has caused resentment in the ranks of the boundless Russian managers. South American missiles were highly mobile weapon of the time, and their prelaunch only took only 15 minutes. In addition, the flight time of the IRBM was the least 10 minutes, and the United States had the opportunity drawing unexpected and very devastating blow to the western part of the Soviet Union, including Moscow and the major industrial centers. Because favorite Russian Union decided to give an adequate response to America and secretly installed in Cuba nuclear missiles that might be able to strike strategic targets virtually the entire country the United States.

The past, the then President of the Council of Ministers and the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Nikita Khrushchev formally expressed its indignation of the fact definitive set of U.S. IRBM in Turkey. Later, in his memoirs, he wrote that sending nuclear missiles and strategic bombers, Il-28, Cuba was the first time a Russian nuclear weapon carriers left the area of the USSR.

Remembering those days, Khrushchev stated that the first time the idea placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba came to him in 1962 during a visit to Bulgaria. One member of the delegation, which was headed by Khrushchev, pointed to the dark sea, and said that in Turkey there are South American nuclear missiles capable of at least 15 minutes to strike at the factory main centers of the USSR.

Nikita Sergeyevich last very sensual and too dogmatic person, very sharply reacted to the Turkish share white houses. Immediately after returning from Bulgaria, May 20, he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko, Minister of Defence, Rodion Malinovsky and Anastas Mikoyan, who was a confidant of Khrushchev and his assignments involved in the foreign policy activity. The Prime Minister offered to their employees to meet the constant requests from Fidel Castro to increasing the number of troops in Cuba and the Soviet Union deployed nuclear missiles there. The next day the Defence Council majority supported the proposal by Khrushchev. However, not all members were in agreement with this decision. More categorically against this action performed Mikoyan.

The military and the Foreign Ministry were tasked to provide lurking delivery of troops, nuclear missiles and other weapons on the peninsula of freedom, which in 1959 was an economic blockade by the United States.

At the end of May Russian delegation, which included politicians, soldiers and diplomats met with Fidel and Raul Castro. Last led the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba. Representatives of the Soviet Union proposed the introduction of Russian troops in the country. This proposal, as noted by participants in the negotiations, was quite unexpected for the Cuban favorite and even made him a kind of confusion. But the members of the delegation managed to assure a high probability of Fidel and the last threat of American aggression. The next day Castro agreed to the plan by Nikita Khrushchev.

All the details of the coming operation to bring troops and equipment were refined during the visit of Raul Castro, who visited Moscow in late June 1962. During this visit, Raul Castro and the Soviet Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky signed a secret project "Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Cuba and the Government of the Russian Union of Socialist Republics on the placement of Russian Armed Forces in the area of the Republic of Cuba." This document was prepared spices Head of operational management of the General Staff of the USSR Ministry of Defense. Fidel Castro has brought some amendments to this document, the essence of which the Russian favorite laid visited Moscow Ernesto Che Guevara. August 27, Khrushchev approved the proposals Castro. The final text of the contract stated that the Soviet Union "to strengthen its defense capability" in case of a threat of anger outside forces send their aircraft to Cuba that will ensure the maintenance of world peace. " In the event of military action against Cuba or the attacks on the Russian Armed Forces stationed in the area of the island, the Government of the Union of States of the right of personal or collective defense under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will take "all necessary measures to repel aggression."

Enter Russian Troops

Military cooperation between Moscow and Havana began in the spring of 1960. First of March in Havana harbor was bombed a French ship "Le Couvre," which brought to Cuba ammunition, acquired in Belgium. Since then, the United States of favorites in the Western world, blocked all the Cuban government's ability to purchase weapons abroad. Almost immediately followed by the explosion of the Presidium of the Central Committee Plenum of the Communist Party to address the issue of military assistance to Cuba. In July 1960, during his visit to Moscow, Defense Minister Raul Castro, Cuba signed a joint communique. This document was formulated long before the obligations of Moscow Havana. Communiqué was of an open disposition. Exclusively during July of that year Russian control twice warned whitewashed house on the willingness to Cuba needed military assistance, including the specific role of the military in the defense of the country.

Deliveries of Russian military equipment were made from reserves stockpiled sun since the second world war. Havana has received about 3 x 10-s of the T-34-85 and self-propelled guns SU-100.

After the Bay of Pigs failure and approved April 4, 1961 the final version of the plan of "Operation Zapata", as a result of which the forces of the so-called "Brigade 2506", consisting of specially trained and armed Cuban exiles, had to be overthrown by Fidel Castro's government, the government USSR adopted a resolution to extend military aid to Cuba. It was decided to supply arms and military equipment to the peninsula on preferential criteria. August 4 and September 30, 1961 were en
tered into appropriate agreements. Total price supplied arms was 150 million dollars when all that Cuba had to pay the USSR only 67.5 million by the end of March 1962 Sun Cuba received 400 tanks, 40 MiG-15 and MiG-19, several radar stations and certain other types of military equipment. Maintenance and operation of Russian military equipment Cuban military instructors taught Russian in places deployment on the peninsula and in training centers, schools and academies in the USSR Armed Forces.

Group of Russian Forces created for deployment in Cuba (GSVK) was formed as early as June 20, 1962. Overall management of the development plan for delivery and placement of Russian troops in Cuba produced Deputy Defense Minister, Marshal Ivan Akhurian. Specifically, the plan amounted to Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Colonel-General Semyon Ivanov, director of operations and operational management of the Head of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Anatoly fungus.

The forthcoming operation, which he knew very limited number of people, was held in strictest confidence. To mislead the management of the United States and make it the idea that it's just a strategic doctrine, and some plainclothes rally in the northern part of USSR, operation was given the title of "Anadyr".

In GSVK was to enter the division of strategic missiles (16 missile launchers and 24 missiles R-14) and two missile regiment armed with 24 launchers and 36 missiles R-12. These forces were attached to the repair and technical base, as parts and service and support units. Capacity of nuclear weapons, which would be delivered to striking targets in the day when it was 70 Mt. To cover the missile forces planned to use the four infantry regiments.

In addition, Cuba was to be deployed missile defense division, which consists of 12 launchers with 144 anti-aircraft missiles S-75, and surface-to-air defense artillery division. In addition, members of this group went regiment front of the MiG-21F-13.

Air Force GSVK include separate air squadron, separate helicopter regiment and two regiments tactical cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. In the inventory of the shelves were 16 launchers, 12 of which were for not yet taken into service missiles "Moon", and 42 light bomber Il-28.

In the naval defense of the group also planned to include a division of ships and crew of 11 submarines, two mother ships, two cruisers, two missile destroyers and two artillery, a brigade of 12 missile boats, a separate mobile coastal missile regiment armed missile systems "Sopka", mine -Torpedo Aviation Regiment, consisting of 33 IL-28, and a detachment of five vessels.

The structure GSVK had to turn on the field bakery, 3 Infirmary for 1800 people, sanitary and anti-epidemic Detachment, a company servicing storage terminal and 7 depots of military equipment.

Russian administration also planned to deploy in Cuban harbors 5th Fleet of the Soviet Navy, which consisted of 26 surface ships, seven diesel submarines with ballistic missiles, warheads carrying capacity of 1 Mt, 4 torpedo diesel submarines and two mother ships. Relocation of submarines to Cuba was to be held in a separate operation, code-named "Kama".

Delivery troops to Cuba carried out by the courts of the Ministry of the Navy of the USSR. The total number of troops peredislotsiruemoy was almost 51 thousand personnel and up to 3 thousand civilian personnel. In general, had to carry more than 230 tons of military equipment and other physical assets. According to preliminary estimates of Russian professionals, transportation of missiles, for which required more than 70 cargo ships had to take about four months. But realistically, in July and October 1961 to implement "Operation Anadyr" was used 85 cargo and passenger ships that made 183 flights to Cuba and back. Anastas Mikoyan later claimed that "only transportation we spent 20 million dollars."

But the Russian Union failed to realize until the end of their plans to build GSVK, although by October 14, 1962 Cuba delivered 40 nuclear missiles and a huge piece of equipment. After learning about the so-scale transfer of Russian troops and equipment to the borders of the United States, Snow White House announced the "quarantine" of Cuba, in other words, the introduction of a naval blockade. Russian government was forced to finish the operation "Anadyr". Was suspended, and the redeployment of surface ships and submarines, to the shores of the Island of freedom. In the end, all these acts of the Russian government and led to the Cuban missile crisis. The world in 13 days was on the brink of World War III.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

Patrol aircraft "Neptune" U.S. Navy is trying to find on board the Russian cargo ship containers with IL-28 bombers.
Photos from the book Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 2. 1962

Settlement of Difficulties

October 14, 1962 South American spy plane U-2, making regular flights over Cuba in the districts of the village of San Cristobal photographed deployed position IRBM P-12. These photos are laid on the table of John F. Kennedy, have caused a sharp reaction of the president and gave impetus to the Caribbean crisis. Kennedy almost immediately after receiving intelligence information held with a group of his own advisors appeared at a closed meeting of a dilemma. October 22, this group of government officials, which apart from the president were members of the state security of the U.S., some advisers and experts, in accordance with the Memorandum issued by Kennedy on the activities of the Public Security number 196 has received official status and became known as "The Executive Committee» (EXCOMM) .

After some time, members of the committee suggested that the president pinpoint strikes kill Russian rocket. Another option is the likely action is to carry out a full-scale military operation in the area of Cuba. As the last U.S. response to the actions of the Soviet Union proposed to block the sea approaches to Cuba.

A number of meetings of the Executive Committee was held in secret mode serious. But on October 22 Kennedy addressed an open appeal to the South American nation and announced that Russian The Alliance has delivered to Cuba "offensive weapon." After that was introduced naval blockade of the island.

How should one of the not so long ago placed the State Archive of security at all the hidden documents of that period, and from the statements of officials close to President Kennedy was against the invasion of Cuba, as imagined for themselves languishing consequences of this war for the entire population. In addition, he was very concerned about the fact that a nuclear war may break out in Europe, where America had huge supplies of nuclear weapons. At the same time, the Pentagon generals intensively preparing for war with Cuba and establish adequate operational plans. Finals against the military events performed and the Kremlin.

The President gave an indication the Pentagon to assess the likely loss of America in the event of a war with Cuba. November 2, 1962 in a memo marked "Top Secret," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs four-star Army General Maxwell Taylor, a pretty intense playing for a military solution to the Cuban difficulties, wrote in a memo to the president that even if the invasion would occur without nuclear strikes, then 1 -s 10 days of fighting the loss of U.S. military might, the experience of such operations, up 18.5 thousand people. He also noted that such estimates hold, without data on the combat use of nuclear weapons, is
virtually impossible. General stressed that in case of sudden nuclear attack on the Cuban side of loss will be tremendous, but assured the President that the retaliation will be done immediately.

Due to the escalation of inter-state relations Kennedy and Khrushchev became every day to send each other letters, which were offered in different compromise way out of the crisis. October 26th Russian government made an official statement. Moscow has offered to Washington to abandon the attack on Cuba and to hold its own allies from similar actions. Russian government has also stated that if the United States will end the naval blockade of Cuba, the situation will change drastically around the island. The Soviet government has expressed its readiness to provide guarantees America that will end all arms deliveries to Cuba and withdraw from the country of Russian military professionals. This proposal is to find a positive response in Washington. But even before receiving an official response from the white houses Kremlin has put forward new conditions. Russian Alliance offered the U.S. in response to the elimination of indigenous missile bases in Cuba to withdraw missiles from Turkey "Jupiter".

By October 27, the tension in relations between Moscow and Washington have gained the highest point. Nikita Khrushchev received reports of downed the spy plane U-2 and the letter of Fidel Castro that the South American invasion of Cuba could begin in the coming few days. This is all very worried Russian favorite, since the action inexorably evolved in the direction of the war. But for the next day, when Snow White House has officially agreed with most of the proposals of the Kremlin, Russian Alliance officially announced its own readiness to remove nuclear weapon from Cuba. So Makar, the Caribbean crisis has come to the end.

It is worth noting that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the process of discussing their own positions using informal channels and used for the transmission of its own proposals scouts, journalists and well knew each other and close to senior politicians Russian and American professionals.

Kennedy tried to resolve the crisis by establishing informal contacts with UN Secretary General U Thant, who in the evening on October 27, one of his emissaries to New York just passed a secret message with a proposal to put pressure on Khrushchev. The president tried to attract and Brazil, which had good relations with the Cuban favorite, appeared to resolve the crisis by negotiating specifically with Fidel Castro without the participation of the Russian side. America is unwilling to offer Castro to abandon the Russian missiles. For that he guaranteed the establishment of good neighborly relations with the United States and other Western countries. The effort the president has lost all meaning, as the Brazilian envoy General Albino Silva, who has been authorized to bring up to Castro's proposal of Washington, arrived in Havana on October 29, in other words, one day after the decision of the Soviet Union to remove its missiles from Cuba.

October 28, 1962 the Minister of Defense of the USSR issued a directive to dismantle the missile launch sites and translated into Russian Alliance personnel. Within a month, all the missiles and bombers IL-28 were removed from Cuba. Cuba remained a small contingent of officers, NCOs and fighter SRF and some support units. Then it was decided to transfer the Cuban army to imports of arms and military equipment NE, Defense, the Navy and the Air Force. Within 10 months, the sun of Cuba were transferred to the MiG-21, MiG-15UTI, Yak-12 and An-2, Mi-4 missile boats of the "Mosquito" and a number of other weapons.

EVALUATION Overseas Professionals

Recent estimates of the crisis were made in the work, which became available to the general public, leading special-nuclear weapon States Federation of American Scientists (Federation of American Scientists — FAS), Robert Norris and director of nuclear programs from disk imaging FAS Hans Christensen.

Scientists note that the framework of the 10-thousand pages devoted to the analysis of these events, we consider only certain types of guns and evaluated all military the potential of the opposing sides. In their opinion, the crisis was significantly more dangerous than many spices. This is justified by the fact that in the course of these events, military action could begin by someone else's mistake, miscalculation or misinterpretation management guidelines. They say that by the time a naval blockade of Cuba, which began on October 24, 1962, the peninsula has been delivered to 158 Russian nuclear warheads are 5 types. South American intelligence had no about it for a minute presentation.

Robert McNamara, the last in a time of crisis the Minister of Defense and took an active role in its settlement, in 1997, in a letter to General Anatoly Gribkova, which was at that time in the United States USSR Ministry of Defense, said: "The United States believed that the Soviet Union never took out and will not remove the nuclear warheads from its territory. In 1989, we learned that this is not the case. At the time, the CIA claimed that the nuclear weapons in Cuba is not … The CIA reported that on the peninsula 10 thousand Russian soldiers, the Capital of the conference, we learned that 43 thousands of them out there … Exceptionally in 1992, we learned that the peninsula was and tactical warheads. "

Scientists estimate that out of all of these warheads could be used only 95-100 units, because only part of R-14 was delivered to Cuba and brought out all the IRBM P-12 in combat readiness was only 6-8 rockets. Several bomber IL-28 were able to build, while others have been packaged in containers. The biggest threat to the U.S. Armed Forces were two regiments of cruise missiles KGF-1 "Meteor", which were equipped 80 nuclear warheads and can strike at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval and on an assault landing.

As they say spices, to this day remains unknown, edited to the Joint Chiefs of its nuclear plans in connection with the alleged invasion of Cuba, although there is evidence that this issue has been addressed generals. But on Oct. 31, they chose not to use nuclear weapons in the operation. What remains unclear, and the question of whether there was the possibility of GSVK commander Gen. Issa Pliyev in its sole discretion decide to use missiles "Moon" and PRK-1 with nuclear warheads. All this, according to the views of scientists, asks forthcoming study.

During the crisis, strategic focus of the U.S. forces had significantly more power and are more reliable than their counterparts in the Soviet Union. America has 3.5 thousand of nuclear weapons, with total capacity of 6.3 million mt, 1,479 bombers and 182 ballistic missiles.

Only 42 Russian ICBMs were armed, could reach the U.S. countryside. Russian Alliance possessed 150 bombers distant radius acts capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. But in order to achieve the goal, they would have to overcome the US-Canadian air defense system, which was quite effective. In the early 90-ies of General of the Army Anatoly Gribkov said that Khrushchev and his military advisers knew that the nuclear power of the Soviet Union in the United States exceeded 17 times.

As the South American experts, the Cuban missile crisis was unfolding at the stage of early nuclear arms race, when any of the warring parties was relatively immature in the nuclear matter. U.S. nuclear forces were based on the principle of the creation of a barrier in the way of deterrence cerebral enemy — the Soviet Union. America's own security then stood in second place. But specifically the Cuban missile crisis gave impetus to these negotiations on nuclear disarmament.

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