Cuban Missile Crisis


A sudden crisis involving American-Soviet nuclear warfare that occurred in the middle of October 1962.

The crisis originated with a photograph taken from a United States Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane in the skies over Cuba showing a mid-range ballistic missile base under construction by the Soviet Union. Holding in check plans for aerial bombing by the Department of Defense and the hard line of the CIA, the John F. Kennedy Administration publicly announced the existence of the missile base and carried out a sea blockade, as well as demanding that the Soviet Union remove its missiles. The Soviet Union refused President Kennedy's demand, and, as a group of transport ships loaded with missiles approached Cuba, the United Nations and neutral countries became very active behind the scenes and brisk negotiations were carried out between the USA and the Soviet Union. The state of tension continued as a United States U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down by a Soviet missile, but General Secretary Khrushchev agreed to dismantle and withdraw the Cuban missiles, avoiding an all-out nuclear war.

There was a secret agreement to the dismantling and withdrawal of the Cuban missiles. General Secretary Khrushchev demanded the return of weapons developer, Stepanovich Sokolov, who had defected to the USA. In the interest of avoiding an all-out nuclear war, President Kennedy agreed. Sokolov was handed over to the Soviet Union and escorted under KGB protection to the OKB-754 Design Bureau.