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The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962. Location. “Trinity and Beyond” Chronology of First Five Nations With Nuclear Weapons. 1945 July 16 U.S.  U.S. explodes the world's first atomic bomb, the ‘ Trinity Test’ , at Alamogordo, New Mexico .

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“Trinity and Beyond”Chronology of First Five Nations With Nuclear Weapons

1945 July 16 U.S.U.S. explodes the world's first atomic bomb, the ‘Trinity Test’, at Alamogordo, New Mexico.

1949 August 29 U.S.S.R.Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb, ‘Joe 1’, at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. It’s a copy of the Fat Man bomb and had a yield of 21 kilotons.

1952 October 3 UK First British atomic bomb, ‘Hurricane’, was tested at Monte Bello Islands, Australia, with a yield of 25 kilotons.

1960 February 13 FRANCE First French nuclear testoccurs at Reganne, Algeria, in the Sahara Desert. ‘Gerboise Bleue’ had a yield of 60-70 kilotons.

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1964 October 16CHINA Chinaexplodes its first atomic bomb at the Lop Nor test site on the northeastern edge of the Tarim Basin in the XinJiang Province. It was an uranium 235 implosion fission device named ‘596’and had a yield of 22 kilotons.


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Players: Soviet Side

Fidel Castro Premier of Cuba

Andrei Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nikita Khrushchev Soviet Premier

Anatoly Dobrynin Ambassador to the U.S.

Raul Castro Head of Military Deputy Foreign Minister


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Players: American Side

John Kennedy U.S. President

Robert Kennedy Attorney General

Robert McNamara Secretary of Defense

Dean Rusk Secretary of State


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Causes

  • Soviet Insecurity

    • Missile capability NOT balanced.

  • Cuban Invasion

    • Bay-of-Pigs-1961, Operation Mongoose-1962.

    • Castro nervous.

  • Build-up

    • April 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceived the idea of placing intermediate-range missiles in Cuba to provide a real deterrent to a potential U.S. attack against the Soviet Union or Cuba.


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“Missiles & Machines of War”

USN F-8 Crusader

SS-4 "Sandal" 1000 km

USAF RF-101

SS-5 "Skean" 2000 km

USAF U2







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Blockade: Close-up

  • 250,000 Marines and ground troops

  • 1,000 planes

  • 250 naval vessels.


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Warning Signs

  • May, 1962: Khrushchev makes veiled references to a plot (How would the U.S. feel having missiles pointing at them, as they have missiles pointed at us?)

  • September: JFK and Congress issue warnings to USSR that US will deal harshly with any threats to national security

  • October 14: U2 recon. flight over Cuba spots sites installing nuclear missiles…Major Richard S. Heyser

  • October 15: Presence of missiles is confirmed


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“13 Days” Begin

  • October 16: President Kennedy notified

  • October 16-22: Secret deliberations on what should be done

  • October 22: Kennedy tells nation his plan for blockade and quarantine

  • October 23: OAS endorses naval quarantine

  • October 24: Naval quarantine begins and successfully changes course of many Soviet ships


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“13 Days” cont.

  • October 25: One Soviet ship challenges naval quarantine; Kennedy lets it pass

  • October 25: At the UN, Adlai Stevenson directly challenges the Soviet ambassador to admit to the existence of missiles, when the ambassador refuses, Stevenson wheels out pictures of the missile sites

  • October 26: Soviets raise possibility for a deal: if we withdraw missiles will America promise not to invade Cuba?


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“13 Days” -- closure

  • October 27: Soviets demand that Americans also withdraw missiles from Turkey;

    • Major Rudolf Anderson’s plane shot down…tensions high

    • Kennedy tells Khrushchev that he will accept the proposal of the 26th, Kennedy tells his brother to tell the Soviet Ambassador that though the Turkey missiles would not be part of the bargain, they would be removed in time

  • October 28: USSR agrees to withdraw missiles


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Soviet Decisions & Motivations

  • Close the Missile Gap

    • Currently far behind U.S. in terms of number of missiles

    • Verbal threats no longer effective with overwhelming evidence of U.S. superiority

  • Protect Cuba

  • Reciprocity

    • The U.S. has missiles pointing at us, let’s see how they feel now

  • Inability to Use the Missiles

    • If fired a missile, repercussions would be severe


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    Why Khrushchev Settled

    • Effectiveness of naval quarantine

    • Conventional inferiority in the Caribbean

    • No possible countermove

    • Overwhelming world support for the U.S.

    • Other possible reasons

      • Got what he wanted?

        • No U.S. invasion of Cuba

        • U.S. missiles withdrawn from Turkey


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    Castro’s Role

    • No real role in decision making

    • Apparently out of touch with the situation

      • Oct. 26: “Aggression imminent/imperialists disregarding world opinion”—Clearly not the case

      • Khrushchev plays along to some extent but it is clear he disagrees with him… (“your suggestion would have started a thermonuclear world war”)


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    The American Decision

    • In September Kennedy had stated and Congress had passed a resolution saying that if the Soviet Union placed offensive weapons in Cuba we would not tolerate it.

    • Could we then rely solely on diplomacy? Both Kennedy brothers thought that John could be “impeached” if he didn’t act in accordance with his prior warnings

    • Determined in first 48 hours of crisis that the removal of missiles was the primary objective

    • Many options were considered


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    The American Decision: Considerations

    (1) Air Strike

    • On October 17th, President Kennedy considered that there would be an air strike, at least against the missile sites, and perhaps against wider targets

    • Reservations from others: air strike may be using a “sledgehammer” to kill a “fly

    • Later that day Robert McNamara suggests policy in between diplomacy and an air strike

      (2) Blockade

    • Advocated by McNamara and Robert Kennedy

    • Critics feared it would allow Soviets time

    • 10/19, Kennedy accepted plan


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    The American Decision: Considerations

    (3) Do Nothing

    • Ignore missiles in Cuba.

    • U.S. had military bases in 127 different countries including Cuba.

    • U.S. had nuclear missiles in several countries close to the Soviet Union.

    • Therefore, only right that the Soviet Union should be allowed to place missiles in Cuba.

      (4) Negotiate

    • U.S. should offer the Soviet Union a deal.

    • USSR remove missiles in CubaU.S. withdraw her nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy.


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    The American Decision: Considerations

    (5)Invasion

    • Send U.S. troops to Cuba to overthrow Castro's government.

    • Missiles could then be put out of action and the Soviet Union could no longer use Cuba as a military base.

      (6) Nuclear Weapons

    • Use nuclear weapons against Cuba and/or the Soviet Union.


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    Activity 1

    • As teams, please respond to the following Cuban Missile Crisis prompts, with clearly written, detailed discussions.

    • Premier Khrushchev’s Letter:

      • Discuss the underlying tone of Khrushchev’s letter.

      • Describe the line of logic that Khrushchev used in making his case.

      • Ultimately, what was the Soviet commitment toward the crisis? Identify and discuss.


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    Consequences of Cuban Missile Crisis

    • Some of the direct consequences of the crisis include the following:

    • HOT LINE

      • The two sides established a direct communications link that became known as the Hot Line. It was hoped that this would help prevent dangerous confrontations such as the Cuban Missile Crisis arising again.

    • (2) U.S. REMOVES MISSILES

      • Three months after the Cuban Missile Crisis the United States secretly removed all its nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy.


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    Consequences of Cuban Missile Crisis

    • (3) TEST BAN TREATY

      • A Test Ban Treaty was signed between the two countries in August 1963. The treaty prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.

    • (4)PRISONERS RELEASED

      • The 1,113 prisoners captured during the Bay of Pigs invasion were exchanged by Castro for $50 million in food, drugs, medicine and cash.

    • (5) USSR RESOLVE

      • The Soviet Union became determined to have a nuclear capability that was equal to the United States. This was achieved by 1972.


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    Consequences of Cuban Missile Crisis

    • (6) STRAIN ON SOVIET ALLIES

      • China accused the Soviet Union of being a 'paper-tiger' and claimed to be the true leader of the Communist movement. The split between the Soviet Union and China became wider.

    • (7) U.S. RESOLVE

      • The United States became convinced that the Soviet Union would not go to war over another communist country. It has been argued that this encouraged the United States to help attempts to overthrow socialist and communist governments in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Grenada.


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    Activity 1

    As teams, please respond to the following Cuban Missile Crisis prompts, with clearly written, detailed discussions.

    President Kennedy’s Address:

    • Discuss the evidence of Cuba’s capabilities and President Kennedy’s general/specific concerns.

    • Describe the essential element(s) re. each of Kennedy’s Seven-Points.

    • What are the critical messages the president directed toward Cubans and Americans at the close of his address?


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    Activity 2

    • As teams, please respond to the following Cuban Missile Crisis prompts, with clearly written, detailed discussions.

    • Premier Khrushchev’s Letter:

      • Discuss the underlying tone of Khrushchev’s letter.

      • Describe the line of logic that Khrushchev used in making his case.

      • Ultimately, what was the Soviet commitment toward the crisis? Identify and discuss.


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    Activity 3

    As teams, please respond to the following Cuban Missile Crisis prompts, with clearly written, detailed discussions.

    • Were Castro and Khrushchev justified in placing nuclear missiles in Cuba?Defend.

    • Were the actions taken by Kennedy and the U.S. appropriate? Defend.

    • HYPOTHETICAL: If Venezuela (which, under President Chavez, has been outspoken in its/his criticism of the U.S.) began receiving nuclear warheads and missile shipments (capable of reaching U.S. soil), what would you recommend as an effective response?Defend.


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    JOURNAL 1

    What might have happened differently if…

    …the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. shared an equal number of nuclear weapons before/during the Cuban Missile Crisis?


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    JOURNAL 2

    As an individual, please respond to the following “Fog of War” prompts, with a clearly written, detailed Journal entry.

    • Evaluate former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s perspective on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Do you agree or disagree with his points? Defend.

    • What observations does he make about “Empathy”…about “Rationality?”


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    CONTENT/SOURCES: Text, handouts, PPT Notes

    • Soviet Losses in WWII

    • Yalta

    • Potsdam Declaration

    • Truman Doctrine

    • Marshall Plan

    • Berlin Blockade/Airlift

    • NATO

    • Korean War

    • McCarthy Era

    • Bay-of-Pigs

      FORMAT:

    • Multiple choice

      • All content

    • Matching

      • People/Events

    UNIT REVIEW


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    BONUS

    Write responses at the bottom of last page, according to the numbers below;

    Accuracy is non-negotiable.

    Each item is worth ½ pt. 4 points possible

    • Identify four key characteristics/points of significance of Sputnik: A.__ B.__ C.__ D.__

    • <must be accurate according to classroom readings>

    • 2) Name Four SPECIFIC ways the U.S. controlled Cuban capital…AND the percentage of control:

    • A.__ B.__ C.__ D.__

    • <must be accurate according to Bay of Pigs Handout>


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