Interesting facts about the Caribbean crisis

The Soviet leadership was concerned that the American Jupiter missiles stationed in Turkey could reach the vital centers of the Soviet Union in just 10 minutes, while the Soviet missiles needed 25 minutes to reach the territory of the United States. It was necessary to put the Americans in their place. It was then that Fidel Castro, offended by the Americans, turned up, whom the United States constantly tried to overthrow from the post of "the main Cuban communist" and return Cuba to the bosom of the mother of democracy.

In the summer of 1962, the Armed Forces of the USSR deployed a contingent of 40, 000 people in Cuba, along with 42 missiles with nuclear warheads and bombers capable of carrying nuclear bombs. The time it takes to reach the heart of the United States has dropped dramatically.

The crisis began on October 14, 1962, when a US Air Force U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, during one of its regular flights over Cuba, discovered Soviet R-12 medium-range missiles in the vicinity of the village of San Cristobal.

On October 22, Kennedy issued an address to the people, announcing the presence of Soviet "offensive weapons" in Cuba, which immediately caused panic in the United States. The "quarantine" (blockade) of Cuba was introduced.

On October 23, the Soviet government issued a statement condemning the US actions as aggressive. Both sides prepared to attack.

The US government discussed a military solution to the problem, and its supporters persuaded Kennedy to begin a massive bombing of Cuba as soon as possible. However, another U-2 flyby showed that several missiles had already been installed and were ready for launch, and that such actions would inevitably lead to a nuclear war with an unpredictable ending.

On October 27, the "Black Saturday" of the Cuban crisis came, when a new world war only miraculously did not break out. In those days, squadrons of American bombers swept over Cuba with the purpose of intimidation twice a day. The invasion force, stationed in ports in the southeastern United States, numbered 180, 000.

It is not known how, but after flexing their muscles, the parties nevertheless agreed: the USSR pledged to dismantle the installed missiles in exchange for US guarantees not to attack Cuba and not to overthrow the Fidel Castro regime. The decision to remove the missiles from Cuba was made without the consent of the Cuban leadership.

The last Soviet missile left Cuba a few weeks later, and the blockade of Cuba was lifted on 20 November. The confrontation between the two great powers, which almost led to the third world war, lasted 37 days.