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The Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis: 56lg2ET-HcE&feature=related 56lg2ET-HcE&feature=related.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis: 56lg2ET-HcE&feature=related 56lg2ET-HcE&feature=related."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cuban Missile Crisis

2 The Cuban Missile Crisis: 56lg2ET-HcE&feature=related 56lg2ET-HcE&feature=related

3 April 15, 1961: CIA attempts to overthrow Castro by landing several thousand anti-Castro Cubams at the Bay of Pigs

4 The operation failed miserably, but it made Cuba a key front in the Cold War: K gave Castro security guarantees

5 Khrushchev admired Castro as a true, real-life revolutionary

6 Solidarity with revolutionaries across the world

7 Vienna, June 1961

8 Jackie was truly entertained by K’s jokes and asked K for a space dog’s puppy. She got one soon after returning to Washington



11 The Vienna Summit 1. Easy agreement on neutralization of Laos 2. Fierce debate on the terms of peaceful coexistence – right to revolution? 3. Germany, Berlin. Major Soviet worry about growing West German potential and East German weakness K repeats his ultimatum to sign a peace treaty with GDR and give it full control over E. Berlin JFK warns of consequences: NATO will act K says he’s ready for war



14 August 14, 1961: East Germans build a wall around West Berlin



17 Kennedy orders mobilization of reserves

18 October 28, 1961: US forces make an attempt to destroy the wall. Soviet tanks stop them. After a 1- day standoff, both sides withdraw their forces

19 JFK in West Berlin, June 26, 1963: “Ich bin ein Berliner!”



22 Nuclear weapons stockpiles



25 1960: The biggest nuclear bomb ever built: “Tsar-bomba”, “Big Ivan”, “Kooz’ka’s Mother” (from old Russian proverb, much liked by Khrushchev: “We’ll show you Kooz’ka’s mother!”


27 October 1961: The world’s biggest H-bomb tested at Novaya Zemlya Island, the Arctic, explosive power – 57 mt


29 Gen. Curtis B. LeMay, Chief of the Strategic Air Command, advocated all-out nuclear war to destroy Soviet Union and Red China

30 Spring 1961 JFK asks JCS: “If your plans for general [nuclear] war are carried out as planned, how many people will be killed in the Soviet Union and China?” Answer: 275 mln. instantly 325 mln. after 6 months Up to 600 mln. total for Europe and Asia*

31 In the summer of 1962, K. orders a major Soviet military deployment in Cuba: 43,000 troops 164 nuclear weapons, of which (as was recently revealed): 42 were already put on intermediate-range missiles, ready to be launched at US targets 9 were on tactical missiles, ready to be used against an invading US force

32 Khrushchev’s motives: Certainly not to wage war on the US. Rather:  To restore Soviet image as a military superpower ready to confront US  To protect the Castro regime  To obtain strike positions against US similar to those US had against Russia









41 Col. Georgi Bolshakov, Soviet military intelligence, under cover as a Soviet diplomat in Washington, a “back channel” between the White House and the Kremlin – in 1961- 62, Robert Kennedy met with him about 90 times. He met with JFK, too

42 Anatoly Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador to the US


44 Oct.22, 1962: JFK tells the nation about Soviet missiles in Cuba

45 Kennedy’s Oct.22 statement:  A quarantine on any ships bringing weapons to Cuba  Full alert of US armed forces. It meant:  1436 strategic bombers  172 ICBMs  140,000 troops poised to invade Cuba  In case the missiles are used, US will respond with an all-out war

46 Castro was ready to sacrifice Cuba for the sake of destroying US imperialism

47 K’s response:  Full military alert  Turn the ships back  Offer to remove the missiles in exchange for JFK’s pledge not to invade Cuba and to remove US missiles from Turkey

48 In private conversations, both sides were greatly concerned about the influence of the military and the hardliners on the other side The Man Who Saved the World: who-saved-the-world-watch-the-full-episode/905/ who-saved-the-world-watch-the-full-episode/905/

49 A Havana memorial: Soviet surface-to-air missile of the type which downed a US U-2 reconnaissance plane over Cuba on October 27, 1962; in front of it, an engine from the downed plane

50 A US Navy destroyer intercepting a Soviet freighter off Cuba

51 A close call: incident with the Russian submarine near Cuba: tBAWyA&feature=related tBAWyA&feature=related


53 The public impression: JFK won, and K was humiliated In reality, JFK did make important concessions:  1. A pledge not to invade Cuba (provided that the missiles are withdrawn and Cuba does not export its revolution to other L. A. countries)  2. Removal of US nuclear missiles from Turkey

54 Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis  Clashes over revolutions may end in nuclear Holocaust  The two superpowers have important common interests and should learn to cooperate despite their differences  US and Russia should bind their arsenals with agreements providing stability and predictability

55 Nov.-Dec.1962, Kennedy in a private conversation in the Oval Office: "There was created a myth in this country that did great harm to the nation. It was created by, I would say, emotionally guided but nonetheless patriotic individuals in the Pentagon. There are still people of that kind in the Pentagon. I wouldn’t give them any foundation for creating another myth." The President initially responds by poking fun at himself, evoking laughter from his military staff, stating, "As one of those who put that myth around – a patriotic and misguided man…“

56 "If the purpose of our strategic buildup is to deter the Russians, number one; number two, to attack them if it looks like they are about to attack us or be able to lessen the impact they would have on us in an attack…if our point really then is to deter them…we have an awful lot of megatonnage to put on the Soviets sufficient to deter them from ever using nuclear weapons. Otherwise what good are they? You can’t use them as a first weapon yourself, they are only good for deterring…I don’t see quite why we’re building as many as we’re building." New+Tapes+JFK+Questioned+Value+of+Nuclear+Build+Up.htm New+Tapes+JFK+Questioned+Value+of+Nuclear+Build+Up.htm

57 JFK, Commencement Speech, American U., June 10, 1963: “So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.

58 … Let us reexamine our attitude towards the cold war, remembering we're not engaged in a debate, seeking to pile up debating points. We are not here distributing blame or pointing the finger of judgment. We must deal with the world as it is, and not as it might have been had the history of the last 18 years been different. We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us. We must conduct our affairs in such a way that it becomes in the Communists' interest to agree on a genuine peace.”

59 L to R: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Dobrynin: Moscow, June 1963, after the signing of the Test Ban Treaty




63 JFK’s grave at Arlington Cemetery

64 Khrushchev was deposed on Oct.14, 1964 at a meeting of the Soviet Party leadership The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the motives

65 K became a depressed pensioner. Richard Nixon wanted to see him during his brief visit to Moscow in 1967, but K was at his cottage

66 K. died on Sept. 11, 1971. He is buried at the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow

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