The most dangerous moment in human history 50 years ago

Posted on October 10, 2012


The American discovery of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba 50 years ago opened a most serious crisis of the Cold War, marked one of the most dangerous moment in human history.
Tuesday, 10.09.2012, 18:02 GMT +7

Leaders of the two countries the United States and the then Soviet Union had almost lost faith in the ability to maintain peace and prevent the world from a nuclear war.

Over the decades, the Cuban missile crisis now referred to in the U.S. as a master performance of former President John Kennedy, with admiration for the way he stand and stop the war. Precedent created by President Kennedy later be regarded as a model of leadership under pressure. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared the current administration’s approach to Iran’s nuclear program is similar to the “big bet diplomacy” of Kennedy.

However, the documents of the Soviet Union and the United States announced recently that a lot more real life: stress for 13 days and nights of the month 10/1962, President Kennedy and Soviet leaders, Nikita Khrushchev, often struggling to control the crisis to avoid further escalation.

Previous concerns of nuclear power as an attempt to overthrow the pro Moscow administration of Washington, May / 1962, Khrushchev decided to send more than 40,000 troops and dozens of missiles mounted nuclear warheads to Cuba. Meanwhile, he continues to make Americans believe that the answer to this question should deploy Soviet offensive weapons in Cuba remains unanswered.

Because the dexterity of Moscow, U.S. officials are extremely surprised to learn that the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba on January 16/10, thanks for the photos taken by the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

“We are shocked to the extreme,” the president’s brother, Robert Kennedy, then recalled.

Before that, there were many reports of the CIA referred to suspicious activity at night in Cuba. However, in the book of memoirs about the Cuban missile crisis, “One Minute to Midnight”, author Michael Dobbs said, U.S. intelligence agencies still denies vague information, which goes against belief is almost certainly that Moscow no way to deploy missiles in an area so close to the United States.
Withdraw missiles in Turkey

Before shocking photographs brought by plane U-2, the top generals in the White House has proposed to conduct air strikes and invasion of Cuba, while Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and other diplomats suggest that blockade of the island to prevent Soviet naval ships more weapons on the territory of Cuba.

On 22/10, President Kennedy referred to the crisis in a speech to the American people, and ordered the military forces of this country willing to fight situation. Although under pressure from the Pentagon, the president has decided to reject the advice of the generals and choose the naval blockade.

Prior to this move by the White House, Soviet warships have decided to go back in the journey to Cuba, to the relief of the entire world.
Situations “hanging hair”

The two leaders Kennedy and Khrushchev did not stop trying to solve the deadlock exists, but their efforts are threatened by misunderstanding, the telegram, diplomatic correspondence confusion. Channel does not have any direct contact.

26/10, the Soviet Union proposed the withdrawal of their missile provided that the United States promised not to invade Cuba. However, the next day, Moscow suddenly asked Washington to withdraw the whole of the country’s Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

The situation became more serious when on 27/10, then known as the “7th day of darkness”, a fighter of U.S. U-2 was shot down in Cuba. Tensions began to spiral out of control when President Kennedy’s advisers fierce debate about the ability to make a retaliatory air strike on Cuba. The Pentagon has even planned to conduct a major bombing on Tuesday, 30/10, followed by the invasion of the presence of 120,000 troops, a move that is comparable to landing on D-Day in World War II.

American do not need 30 years to learn that “owns dozens of Soviet short-range battlefield missiles on the island of Cuba, equipped with nuclear warheads and capable of destroying entire invasion force,” Dobbs wrote in his book.
Narrowly escape

Under an agreement signed between the two countries, Washington pledged not to invade Cuba and secretly agreed to withdraw the missiles in Turkey, while Moscow promised to withdraw nuclear warheads from Cuba.

“After many years, I still see the events in Cuba as a foreign policy crisis is the best deal in the second half of the 20th century”, the head of the Pentagon McNamara said in a news conference in Havana in 2002.

“But now I have to conclude that, although the crisis was under control wisely, but in the end the 13-day string of unusual, luck has played a very important role in avoiding a nuclear war narrowly. ”

With former leader of Cuba department of the KGB, Nikolai Leonov, peaceful end like a miracle. “There seems to have had a supernatural intervention to help us save ourselves.”

Quynh Hoa (AFP)

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