Presentation on theme: "THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS"— Presentation transcript:
1 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS The Cuban Missile Crisis (also known as The October Crisis in Cuba ) was the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. The United States armed forces were at their higheststate of readiness ever and Soviet field commanders in Cuba wereprepared to use battlefield nuclear weapons to defend the island if itwas invaded. Luckily, thanks to the bravery of two men, PresidentJohn F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, war was averted.In 1962, the Soviet Union was desperately behind the UnitedStates in the arms race. Soviet missiles were only powerful enough tobe launched against Europe but U.S. missiles were capable of strikingthe entire Soviet Union. In May 1962, Soviet Premier NikitaKhrushchev conceived the idea of placing intermediate-range missilesin Cuba. A deployment in Cuba would double the Soviet strategicarsenal and provide a real deterrent to a potential U.S. attack againstthe Soviet Union.John F. KennedyNikita Khrushchev
2 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS Meanwhile, Fidel Castro was looking for a way to defend hisisland nation from an attack by the U.S. Ever since the failed Bay ofPigs invasion in 1961, Castro felt a second attack was inevitable.Consequently, he approved of Khrushchev’s plan to place missiles onthe island. In the summer of 1962 the Soviet Union worked quicklyand secretly to build its missile installations in Cuba.For the United States, the crisis began on October 15, 1962when reconnaissance photographs revealed Soviet missiles under construction in Cuba. Early the next day, President John Kennedywas informed of the missile installations. Kennedy immediately organizedthe EX-COMM, a group of his twelve most important advisorsto handle the crisis. After seven days of guarded and intense debatewithin the upper echelons of government, Kennedy concluded toimpose a naval quarantine around Cuba. He wished to prevent thearrival of more Soviet offensive weapons on the island.Fidel Castro
3 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS On October22, Kennedy announced the discovery of the missile installations to the public and his decision to quarantine the island. He also proclaimed that any nuclear missile launched from Cuba would be regarded as an attack on the United States by the Soviet Union and demanded that the Soviets remove all of their offensive weapons from Cuba. During the public phase of the Crisis, tensions began to build on both sides. Kennedy eventually ordered low-level reconnaissance missions once every two hours. On the 25th Kennedy pulled the quarantine line back and raised military readiness to DEFCON 2.Then on the 26th EX-COMM heard from Khrushchev in an impassionedletter. He proposed removing Soviet missiles and personnel if theU.S. would guarantee not to invade Cuba. October 27 was the worst day of the crisis. A U-2 was shot down over Cuba and EX-COMM received a second letter from Khrushchev demanding the removal of U.S. missiles in Turkey in exchange for Soviet missiles in Cuba.Attorney General Robert Kennedy suggested ignoring the second letterand contacted Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to tell him of theU.S. agreement with the first.
4 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS Tensions finally began to ease on October 28 when Khrushchevannounced that he would dismantle the installations and return themissiles to the Soviet Union, expressing his trust that the United Stateswould not invade Cuba. Further negotiations were held to implementthe October 28 agreement, including a United States demand thatSoviet light bombers be removed from Cuba, and specifying the exactform and conditions of United States assurances not to invade Cuba.
5 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS Events14 Oct: U2 spy-plane takes pictures of Missile bases in Cuba - experts tell Kennedy he has 10 days before they are operational. 16 Oct: Kennedy set up a Committee of the National Security Council to advise him.22 Oct: Kennedy announced that he was mounting a naval blockade of Cuba. B52 nuclear bombers were deployed, so that one-eighth of them were airborne all the time .That night, Oleg Penkovsky – a Western spy working in Russia – was arrested. His last message read; ‘Soviet attack imminent’.23 Oct: Khrushchev explained that the missile sites were ‘solely to defend Cuba against the attack of an aggressor’. 20 Russian ships were heading for Cuba Oct:Khrushchev accused America of piracy. He warned that Russia would get ready ‘a fitting reply to the aggressor’. 25 Oct: The first Russian ship reached the naval blockade. It was an oil ship and was allowed through. All the other Russian ships (carrying missiles) turned back. Secretly, the US government offered to remove US missiles in Turkey in exchange for those in Cuba.
6 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS 26 Oct: Russia was still building the missile bases, and Kennedy started planning a military attack on Cuba - until, at 6pm, Khrushchev sent a telegram to Kennedy, offering to dismantle the sites if Kennedy would lift the blockade and agree not to invade Cuba - the Americans comment: ‘the other fellow just blinked’. The Kennedy brothers saw the Russian ambassador, and again mentioned removing the missiles in Turkey.27 Oct: Before Kennedy could reply, Khrushchev sent another letter, demanding that Kennedy also dismantle American missile bases in Turkey. On the same day, a U2 plane was shot down over Cuba .It looked as if war was about to happen.Kennedy ignored the plane incident. He also ignored Khrushchev’s second letter – he wrote simply that would lift the blockade and agree not to invade Cuba if Khrushchev would dismantle the missile bases. He also offered secretly to dismantle the Turkish missile bases.28 Oct: Khrushchev agreed. The crisis finished.20 Nov: Russian bombers left Cuba, and Kennedy lifted the naval blockade.
7 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS Causes1. Superpower Tension All the tensions that had grown up between Russia’s assertive ‘peaceful competition’ and Kennedy’s promise to be tough on Russia – including the space race, the arms race and nuclear testing, American funding of anti-Communists in Vietnam and Laos, the failed Vienna summit (1961) and the Berlin Wall.2. Fidel Castro’s Cuba In 1959, Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. This was very threatening to the USA because it was right next to America. In 1960, Castro made a trade agreement with Russia, whereby Cuba sent sugar to Russia, in return for oil, machines and money. This frightened the Americans more, and in 1960 they stopped trading with Cuba. In retaliation, Cuba nationalized all American-owned companies.3. The Bay of Pigs In April 1961 the CIA encouraged, funded and transported an attempt by anti-Castro Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. It failed miserably, greatly embarrassing Kennedy. In September 1961, therefore, Castro asked for – and Russia publicly promised – weapons to defend Cuba against America.
8 THE CUBAN(MISSILE)CRISIS Results1. Khrushchev lost prestige – he had failed. Particularly, China broke from Russia. 2. Kennedy gained prestige. He was seen as the men who faced down the Russians. 3. Both sides had had a fright. They were more careful in future. The two leaders set up a telephone ‘hotline’ to talk directly in a crisis.4. In 1963, they agreed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Cuba was the start of the end of the Cold War. 5. Cuba remained a Communist dictatorship, but America left it alone.This British cartoon of 29 October 1962 shows Kennedy and Khrushchev arm-wrestling for power, sitting on nuclear weapons. The caption read: 'OK Mr president, let's talk‘