Cuban Missile Crisis Essay

1145 words - 5 pages

In October 1962 USA discovered Soviet nuclear bases on Cuba. This was only seventy miles away from the US coastline. It was literally in America's "back-yard". It came as a shock to the Americans because Cuba and the US had such close ties so recently and this was going against such ties. This source is from a historian named Stephen E. Ambrose. This means that it is a reliable source because history books have to go through checks from other historians. It tells of the Executive Committee that Kennedy appointed to advise him on the situation. It is important as it shows the importance of Kennedy's brother, Robert "Bobby" Kennedy. It was he that persuaded Kennedy to take the option of a blockade of Cuba which stopped any military goods being transported to Cuba. This would not force an immediate response from Khruschev. The Soviet missiles with their warheads could devastate vast areas of the American continent. The missiles could reach as far as south California. This map shows the strike range of the Cuban base. The entire East Coast of America can be destroyed with such cities as New York and Washington D.C. well within the area. If the missiles were to be launched then it would be a disaster. Kennedy was faced with the most dangerous crisis of the Cold War, and in the history of mankind. The world looked on in fear of the breakout of World War III. If this were to happen then both sides would unleash their arsenal. These sources show the technological terror that could be unleashed. Source A1 shows a picture of the ominous mushroom cloud that a nuclear explosion would produce. A huge towering mass of smoke, dust and fire. Source A2 (i) and A2 (ii) show information on the nuclear submarines and their Polaris missiles, which could be fired, from any ocean in the world. Kennedy's advisors told Kennedy that now was the time to attack. Some, however, opposed to military action such as that. Kennedy decided to blockade Cuba. This was a good decision. The blockade began on Wednesday 24th October. The NAVY blockade consisted of 100 warships surrounding Cuba. The US was aware of a fleet headed to Cuba, which was suspected to be holding missiles. The fleet was escorted by one submarine; if they needed to the NAVY could have easily defeated the fleet. The blockade did not get the missiles off the island; it did however give Kennedy more time. This also switched the decision making to USSR; it was their move. The only ships that were stopped by the blockade were ones carrying offensive military equipment. The...

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