U.S. And Soviet Brink of Nuclear War – 10/27/1962

World History |

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Negotiations that were both tension-filled and complicated with the Soviet Union on one side and the United States on the other, both came up with proposal to bring a conclusion to the Cuban Missile Crisis that had lasted for two weeks. This was a scary time as many felt that a nuclear holocaust could happen at any moment but thankfully steps were being taken in order for this not to happen. 

The world watched and listened to President John F. Kennedy’s declaration on October 22nd that the Soviet Union’s dangerous program of placing nuclear weapons in Cuba would not be tolerated and as a result, a naval blockade would be used to prevent more weapons to be delivered to Cuba. Now, the world waited anxiously to see if these Superpowers would fight one another. As a result, armed forces of the U.S. was ordered to be on alert and the Strategic Air Command was put on Stage 4; an alert one number away from a nuclear attack.

Two days later, the stage was set to see if Russian vessels carrying a cargo of more missiles to Cuba would attempt to break through the U.S. naval blockade. Upon the moment of truth, the ships turned away and headed back toward the Soviet Union thus avoiding a military conflict. Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, contacted President Kennedy on October 26th through a letter responding to the situation by proposing a deal. The Soviet leader said that he would no longer send ships to Cuba carrying any weapons if in return, the U.S. would stay away from any plans on invading Cuba. Also, he begged President Kennedy that both sides should show common sense as well as he should strongly weigh all options based on the aggressive response that the U.S. was considering in international waters.

The next day, Khrushchev sent another letter suggesting that the Soviet Union would remove their missiles in Cuba if the U.S. would remove their nuclear weapons based in Turkey. The President debated with his officials on how the U.S. should respond to these suggestions. 

Finally, it was Attorney General Robert Kennedy who stepped in with the final suggestion; ignore the Soviet leader’s second letter and respond to the initial letter. While there was consideration for some time on possibly remove the missiles in Turkey, going along with the Soviet’s suggestion might make America look weak. However, it turned out that Russian diplomats were informed, behind the scenes, that when Russia removed their missiles in Cuba the U.S. would remove the missiles in Turkey. Khrushchev was faced with an important decision on whether or not to end the standoff as the proposal came with the threat the if the Cuban missiles were not removed within two days, the U.S. would have no choice but to respond with military action.

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Cody Cartier

The "Boss"

Cody is a native of Tampa Bay, Florida and lets it be known on a daily basis. Each day he is wearing some kind of Tampa Bay sports apparel, mainly that of the Buccaneers. He is a season ticket holder and hopes to one day see them make it back to the Super bowl. He started as our resident photographer, but has found that his talent lies in writing.