Three Men, One Island - A Cuban Missile Crisis Timeline [REDUX]

I've re-read the original thread and found several holes in the plot I'm not happy with. As a result, I'm re-launching the thread.

Without further ado:

Three Men, One Island - A Cuban Missile Crisis Timeline

[REDUX]


original.jpg


7806d9b61e4c81a44b79916b8ddfb73d.jpg


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"It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union"

- John F. Kennedy


Chapters
1) Chapter 1 – Shot Heard 'Round the World
2) Chapter 2 – Clear and Present Danger
3) Chapter 3 – Rupture
4) Chapter 4 – Victory of Might, Vindication of Right
5) Chapter 5 – Preparations
6) Chapter 6 – Countdown
7) Chapter 7 – Let's Go
8) Chapter 8 – So Long, Mom
TBC

Comments?
 
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To be continued.

Note this hotel in Ireland which was to serve as headquarters for the Swiss government in the event of an invasion (french) :


The Belgian government in the 1950s had to retreat to an air base in the Belgian Congo, but here it was already independent and a war zone with Katanga facing the UN.
 
Chapter 1 – Shot Heard 'Round the World

Chapter 1 – Shot Heard 'Round the World

27 October 1962

0_Astonishing-Footage-Shows-A-Nuclear-Bomb-Being-Tested-Underwater.jpg

"The 1930s taught us a clear lesson; aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”

– John F. Kennedy




In mid-to-late October of 1962, the world came closer to war than it had since 1939, with stakes unimaginably higher. The United States and the Soviet Union butted heads over the deployment of large numbers of Soviet nuclear warheads and delivery systems, including medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and jet bombers, in Fidel Castro's revolutionary Cuba, ninety miles off the coast of Florida. Over thirteen days in the hot autumn month, the most powerful states in human history, armed with immense numbers of the most powerful weapons ever created, were headed for disaster. By the time the sun rose on October 27th, 1962, it appeared that those fears would become reality due to the unpredictable and uncontrollable human factors which made the game of international politics many times more complex than mere miscommunication between governments or rulers.

11:45 EDT, U.S. Robert McNamara receives an alarming phone call from the Pentagon. Ninety minutes earlier, a U-2 based in Alaska wandered off its flight course due to unusual amounts of northern lights and is now lost in Soviet air space. The Soviet Air Force is aware of the U-2's presence and they send up several MiG fighters to shoot it down; at the same time, the U.S. Air Force sends up two Convair F-102 Delta Dagger fighters to safely guide the U-2 home and if necessary dispose of the MiGs. One of the F-102s carries a nuclear missile aboard. President John F. Kennedy was less than pleased at the incident, saying "There's always some son of a bitch that doesn't get the message." It was the first crisis of the day that brought the world closer to nuclear war.

At 12:00 EDT, a Lockheed U-2 spy plane on a reconnaissance mission over Cuba, piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson, was shot down by a Soviet SA-2 anti-aircraft missile. News of the shooting reaches the desk of President John F. Kennedy, already under immense pressure to resolve the missile crisis quickly before they become operational. After discussing the option of a retaliatory air strike against the SA-2 site, Kennedy and his advisers decide against a strike to avoid a war. It is the second crisis that unfolded on the 27th which could have brought the fears of millions to bear.




3799f7933a08def0f932d12e6aacb0b6.jpg


In the late afternoon, in the Sargasso Sea in the western portion of the Atlantic Ocean, the most dangerous game of cat-and-mouse is taking place between the U.S. Navy and the crew of a Soviet diesel-electric submarine, the Foxtrot-class B-59, armed with a T-5 nuclear torpedo. The B-59 is cornered, they are running low on oxygen, they have been out of contact with Moscow for over a week and it is hot, so unbearably hot; now their batteries hold enough power for under six hours. In such an environment, rational decision-making is near-impossible as the lowering of oxygen levels makes concentration extremely difficult. As if the oxygen wasn't enough, the crashing thuds against the sub's walls added a tangible sense of mortal danger. Although the depth charges impacting the walls of the B-59 are practice charges, the crew of the submarine do not know.

It will never be known what went on inside the mind of Valentin Grigoryevich Savitsky, the captain of the B-59, but by the evening he has made up his mind that his ship is under attack. He orders the launch of the special weapon. He and his crew will almost certainly die, but the enemy will come down with them. To launch the T-5, the permission of both the submarine's captain and the political officer must be given. If permission is granted the two halves of the key carried by both are brought together, unlocking the firing mechnaism. Then it is only a matter of pressing a button and the special weapon is released. Aboard the B-59, both Savitsky and the political officer, Ivan Semyonovich Maslennikov, give their permission. Their keys are brought together. The firing mechanism is unlocked. Five kilotons is now just seconds from launch. Savitsky and Maslennikov turn to each other once more, the captain asks again for the political officer's consent. It is given [1]. At 17:15.12 EDT, the T-5 is launched directly towards the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Cony.

The T-5 surges through the water directly on course. Aboard the Cony, the crew begins to notice strange noises coming from the direction of the sub they've been tailing. Then they hear the tubes flood, they're being attacked, but they don't know what with. Nearby, the crew of the USS Beale also hear the tubes flood. It's an attack. The crew are ordered to prepare to sink this submarine. The captain scarcely has time to place down his mouthpiece before the enormous plume of water rises like a mushroom cloud. Thirty-one seconds after launch, the B-59's five-kiloton T-5 torpedo detonates. The Cony and the Beale are instantly vapourised. Further afield, the crew of the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Randolph witnesses the plume rising over a thousand meters into the air. Whatever they were doing before, they drop everything and run for cover. Enormous quantities of water are thrust outward in all directions, including towards the Randolph. The almost twenty miles/hour wind blows some men into the sea. The shockwave from the blast hits the Randolph, shaking it like a tree in a storm and knocking some aircraft into the Atlantic.

Several minutes pass before the picture becomes clearer. Someone has used nuclear weapons. The Randolph has taken minor hull damage but it and almost all of its crew have survived. There are unlikely to be survivors, but the ship turns in the direction of the blast to check anyway. They find almost nothing. Over eight hundred American sailors are dead.

The Third World War has started.


Footnotes
- [1] The POD. Just as with the original timeline, Vasily Arkhipov is not aboard to deny launch permission.

Comments?
 
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Chapter 2 – Clear and Present Danger

Chapter 2 – Clear and Present Danger

27 October 1962

Republic_F-105D-5-RE_SN_58-1173_in_flight_with_full_bomb_load_060901-F-1234S-017-1024x669.jpg

"...If people do not show wisdom, then in the final analysis they will come to a clash, like blind moles...”

– Nikita Khrushchev (1962)




"Here is a bulletin from CBS News. A Soviet submarine has attacked a task force of U.S. destroyers north of the Dominican Republic with nuclear weapons. The first reports say that several Navy vessels have been destroyed or damaged and that heavy casualties have been inflicted by the attack..."



At 17:21 EDT on the 27th, Admiral George W. Anderson Jr., the Chief of Naval Operations, receives a phone call from the Pentagon alerting him to the detonation. As soon as the receiver is put down, he almost gives the order to launch, he has the pre-delegated launch authority to do so, but he doesn't. It occurs to the Admiral that should he do as is rightly within his power to do, that sonofabitch McNamara would probably have him done for mutiny. Asshole. A Soviet attack could be underway right now, arriving in the United States within less than half an hour, he has the power to ensure America's retaliation gets through. He picks up the receiver again to call the White House. If there is an ongoing attack then the White House will be evacuating and, as such, the President will be unreachable; in such an eventuality he can delegate launch authority to his submarine commanders to strike their targets inside the Soviet Union. If the call is answered, he can do the same with Presidential authorisation.

ANDERSON: "Hello?"

OPERATOR: "Yes, this is the White House."

ANDERSON: "Admiral Anderson speaking, from the Pentagon, is the President available?"

OPERATOR: "Yes, he's..."

ANDERSON: "Good, get him here now. There's been an attack on our ships."

OPERATOR: "A what?"


ANDERSON: "An attack on our ships, with nuclear weapons! Get me the President, NOW!"

The phone briefly cut out as the line was connected to the Oval Office.

KENNEDY: "Hello?"

ANDERSON: "Admiral Anderson, Mr. President. Th..."

KENNEDY: "What's going on?"

ANDERSON: "There's been an attack on our ships in the Atlantic, north of the Dominican Republic. A task force of destroyers supporting the Randolph carrier was attacked whilst pursuing a Soviet submarine. Two of the destroyers were destroyed, lost with all hands. Appa..."

KENNEDY: "Was the..."

ANDERSON: "Apparently, the task force was attacked with a nuclear torpedo. Captain Berns's description completely resembles the aftermath of an underwater detonation."

KENNEDY: "Good God! This is a massive escalation from them."

ANDERSON: "Yes, Mr. President, exactly."

KENNEDY: "How long ago did the attack take place?"

ANDERSON: "Approximately seven minutes ago. It gives me no pleasure to say this but the United States has been attacked with nuclear weapons. As such I ask for your approval to launch retaliatory operations, do I have your permission?"


KENNEDY: "What sort of retaliation?"

ANDERSON: "Sir, the Soviets could be launching a strategic attack against this country as we speak. As such, I request your permission to engage strategic targets of interest inside the Soviet Union."

KENNEDY: "You want to strike Russia, Admiral?"

ANDERSON: "I need your decision, Sir. There may not be much time."

KENNEDY: "Christ. What are the chances this isn't a surprise attack?"

ANDERSON: "I don't think we can worry about the possibilities, Sir, the risk of inaction may be..."

MCNAMARA (IN FOREGROUND): What's going on in here?

ANDERSON: I'm aware of the situation, Mr. Secretary, I am dealing with it now.

MCNAMARA: What situation, Admiral? And who are you calling?"

ANDERSON: "The Soviets have attacked our ships in the Atlantic. No need to worry Mr. Secretary, I have it under control."

MCNAMARA: "Hold on, there's been an attack and you didn't tell me?"

KENNEDY: "What's going on over there?"

MCNAMARA: "What have you done, Admiral? Have you ordered a strike?"

KENNEDY: "Hello?"

ANDERSON: "I'm talking to the President."

MCNAMARA: "Let me speak to him. [GRABS THE PHONE RECEIVER] Hello, Mr. President?"

KENNEDY: "A Soviet sub has attacked the Randolph's task force with a nuclear torpedo."

MCNAMARA: "Shit!"

KENNEDY: "The question now is how do we respond?
"

Admiral Anderson does not get immediate permission to launch. Instead, Kennedy - taking the calculated risk of waiting - convenes an emergency session of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM) and the service chiefs. The news of the attack doesn't go down well. Across the table, men's faces turn white in shock and the dread starts to kick in. It doesn't take long for views to be exchanged. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Curtis LeMay is the first to suggest an immediate attack. The Air Force should begin striking nuclear weapons sites, airfields and air defence sites in Cuba, followed by a ground invasion. Before the attack the suggestion would be discussed, pondered and then pushed back in favour of less drastic methods. Now such a resolution becomes increasingly appealing, not because it is desirable - it isn't, but because the risk of inaction brings a probable risk of further attacks.

It was a Soviet SAM site that shot down the U-2 earlier that day, and now a Soviet submarine has used nuclear weapons against the United States. The members of EXCOMM have no way of knowing what the members of the Presidium in Moscow are thinking, whether they ordered these attacks themselves or whether they are losing control of their forces in the Americas. It is likely that Castro already knows of the attack himself, and that his country's forces will be preparing to respond to an attack, perhaps they are taking control of the Soviet nukes themselves. The longer the delay, the harder it will be to remove the missiles, by talk or by action. The option of initiating the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) and launching a strategic nuclear strike against the USSR is raised, but almost immediately shot down by Kennedy, something he reiterates to General Thomas S. Power, the Commander-in-Chief of Strategic Air Command when his phone call from Omaha interrupts EXCOMM's meeting.

By 17:50 EDT, just as Moscow receives news of the attack, EXCOMM has already decided on a response. The orders are issued for the Air Force to begin airstrikes against the missile sites in Cuba, in addition to taking out Cuban and Soviet air defence sites and airfields, starting from 20:00 EDT. Additionally, the Navy is given orders to hunt and eliminate any Soviet military vessel west of the 60th meridian west, any Soviet cargo vessels west of that line are to be told very clearly to turn home, or to dock in the nearest port if they have the fuel to do so. Failure to comply and the vessel will be eliminated. After discussing federalising the National Guard, the idea is turned down. The aim is to spook the Soviets and force them into a fait acompli, not to start a world war. Kennedy prays for a miracle, that the Soviets will withdraw their weapons and that no further military action will be necessary, the stress is beginning to make his back ache.



The news reaches Fidel Castro's desk in Havana at 17:29 EDT, sending a chill down his spine. From the description provided to him, it looks as though the Soviet submarine fired first; To Castro, though, that fact doesn't matter, he's certain the Americans will use it to justify an invasion of his country. He picks up the phone on his desk and demands a meeting with the Soviet ambassador, there may not be much time.

At 17:41 EDT, the Soviet ambassador Alexander Ivanovich Alexeyev arrives in Castro's office. He is made aware of the attack by Castro, who then proceeds to fly into a lecture about how the "Yankee imperialists" will use it to justify attacking and invading Cuba and about how his country has been used as a pawn by the superpowers before demanding that the ambassador get confirmation from Moscow that they will stand by Cuba when the American attack comes.

As Alexeyev listens, he begins to consider the situation. It will take almost twelve hours to contact Moscow, in which time the world may already have ended. Right now, they are effectively alone against the Americans. The American attack is almost certain and will likely come before the day is out. Will they use nuclear weapons in return? Even if they do not, how will the Presidium react to news of dead Soviets killed by American bombs? Not well.

Both Castro and Alexeyev know there isn't much that can be done except to prepare for the inevitable attack. After Castro begins to calm down, he begins ordering Cuba's armed forces to shoot down American planes over Cuban airspace. Alexeyev leaves to return to his embassy, to start burning documents.



"Fuck! Who shot first"

Those were the words uttered by Soviet leader Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev at 00:53 Moscow time when informed of the atomic blast in the Caribbean. The news comes from a nearby cargo vessel whose captain gave a description of an extremely large blast north of the Dominican Republic, a description matching that of an underwater nuclear torpedo. An emergency session of the Presidium is called and a response is prepared. During that time, it is noted that the Foxtrot-class B-59 submarine is uncontactable. The Americans will almost certainly attack Cuba now, that almost certainly means dead Soviets in Cuba. The best they can do now is hope to reduce casualties. Khrushchev gives orders for the three remaining Soviet submarines to return home immediately, to avoid giving the Americans further reason to escalate the crisis. All they can do is hope that the orders arrive before the U.S. Navy does. All the submarine captains have orders allowing them to fire their nuclear torpedoes if attacked, any more incidents like this one and there won't be much left to salvage. The Strategic Rocket Forces and the Long-Range Aviation branch of the Soviet Air Force is placed on high alert.

For now, they have no choice but to wait.


Sources

Comments?
 
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Chapter 1 – Shot Heard 'Round the World

27 October 1962

0_Astonishing-Footage-Shows-A-Nuclear-Bomb-Being-Tested-Underwater.jpg

"The 1930s taught us a clear lesson; aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”

– John F. Kennedy




In mid-to-late October of 1962, the world came closer to war than it had since 1939, with stakes unimaginably higher. The United States and the Soviet Union butted heads over the deployment of large numbers of Soviet nuclear warheads and delivery systems, including medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and jet bombers, in Fidel Castro's revolutionary Cuba, ninety miles off the coast of Florida. Over thirteen days in the hot autumn month, the most powerful states in human history, armed with immense numbers of the most powerful weapons ever created, were headed for disaster. By the time the sun rose on October 27th, 1962, it appeared that those fears would become reality due to the unpredictable and uncontrollable human factors which made the game of international politics many times more complex than mere miscommunication between governments or rulers.

11:45 EDT, U.S. Robert McNamara receives an alarming phone call from the Pentagon. Ninety minutes earlier, a U-2 based in Alaska wandered off its flight course due to unusual amounts of northern lights and is now lost in Soviet air space. The Soviet Air Force is aware of the U-2's presence and they send up several MiG fighters to shoot it down; at the same time, the U.S. Air Force sends up two Convair F-102 Delta Dagger fighters to safely guide the U-2 home and if necessary dispose of the MiGs. One of the F-102s carries a nuclear missile aboard. President John F. Kennedy was less than pleased at the incident, saying "There's always some son of a bitch that doesn't get the message." It was the first crisis of the day that brought the world closer to nuclear war.

At 12:00 EDT, a Lockheed U-2 spy plane on a reconnaissance mission over Cuba, piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson, was shot down by a Soviet SA-2 anti-aircraft missile. News of the shooting reaches the desk of President John F. Kennedy, already under immense pressure to resolve the missile crisis quickly before they become operational. After discussing the option of a retaliatory air strike against the SA-2 site, Kennedy and his advisers decide against a strike to avoid a war. It is the second crisis that unfolded on the 27th which could have brought the fears of millions to bear.




3799f7933a08def0f932d12e6aacb0b6.jpg


In the late afternoon, in the Sargasso Sea in the western portion of the Atlantic Ocean, the most dangerous game of cat-and-mouse is taking place between the U.S. Navy and the crew of a Soviet diesel-electric submarine, the Foxtrot-class B-59, armed with a T-5 nuclear torpedo. The B-59 is cornered, they are running low on oxygen, they have been out of contact with Moscow for over a week and it is hot, so unbearably hot; now their batteries hold enough power for under six hours. In such an environment, rational decision-making is near-impossible as the lowering of oxygen levels makes concentration extremely difficult. As if the oxygen wasn't enough, the crashing thuds against the sub's walls added a tangible sense of mortal danger. Although the depth charges impacting the walls of the B-59 are practice charges, the crew of the submarine do not know.

It will never be known what went on inside the mind of Valentin Grigoryevich Savitsky, the captain of the B-59, but by the evening he has made up his mind that his ship is under attack. He orders the launch of the special weapon. He and his crew will almost certainly die, but the enemy will come down with them. To launch the T-5, the permission of both the submarine's captain and the political officer must be given. If permission is granted the two halves of the key carried by both are brought together, unlocking the firing mechnaism. Then it is only a matter of pressing a button and the special weapon is released. Aboard the B-59, both Savitsky and the political officer, Ivan Semyonovich Maslennikov, give their permission. Their keys are brought together. The firing mechanism is unlocked. Five kilotons is now just seconds from launch. Savitsky and Maslennikov turn to each other once more, the captain asks again for the political officer's consent. It is given [1]. At 17:15.12 EDT, the T-5 is launched directly towards the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Cony.

The T-5 surges through the water directly on course. Aboard the Cony, the crew begins to notice strange noises coming from the direction of the sub they've been tailing. Then they hear the tubes flood, they're being attacked, but they don't know what with. Nearby, the crew of the USS Beale also hear the tubes flood. It's an attack. The crew are ordered to prepare to sink this submarine. The captain scarcely has time to place down his mouthpiece before the enormous plume of water rises like a mushroom cloud. Thirty-one seconds after launch, the B-59's five-kiloton T-5 torpedo detonates. The Cony and the Beale are instantly vapourised. Further afield, the crew of the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Randolph witnesses the plume rising over a thousand meters into the air. Whatever they were doing before, they drop everything and run for cover. Enormous quantities of water are thrust outward in all directions, including towards the Randolph. The almost twenty miles/hour wind blows some men into the sea. The shockwave from the blast hits the Randolph, shaking it like a tree in a storm and knocking some aircraft into the Atlantic.

Several minutes pass before the picture becomes clearer. Someone has used nuclear weapons. The Randolph has taken minor hull damage but it and almost all of its crew have survived. There are unlikely to be survivors, but the ship turns in the direction of the blast to check anyway. They find almost nothing. Over eight hundred American sailors are dead.

The Third World War has started.


Footnotes
- [1] The POD. Just as with the original timeline, Vasily Arkhipov is not aboard to deny launch permission.

Co
WRONG WAY MAULTSBY - the off course U2 pilot




 
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Ramontxo

Donor
Have fast read the previous thread and this one and am subscribed. Just a, minor, point. Your presentation of de Gaulle is ,imho, incorrect. OTL he was quite supportive of Kennedy

"In a brief conversation after the presentation ceremonies, de Gaulle (accompanied by Couve De Murville) said that the Cuban affair was US business and that France understood and will understand whatever actions we might be forced to take. He said that France was not directly involved, but they did not “blame” us for the actions we had taken and would not in the future. He then asked me to transmit to my government the assurance that if developments in this affair should unfortunately lead to war, the US could be sure that France with its limited means would be at our side in the war."
From


And
"President De Gaulle listened with obvious interest and then remarked that US for first time felt itself threatened since missiles in Cuba were aimed at US and they had no other reason to be in Cuba save threaten US. He continued that President Kennedy wishes to react, and to react now, and certainly France can have no objection to that since it is legal for a country to defend itself when it finds itself in danger."
From


Again this is an minor point
 
De Gaulle, in the early 1960s, was for a very firm position in the event of a confrontation with the Soviets. Excerpt from his speech during the Berlin Wall crisis in 1961 (does the automatic translation work correctly?):
 
Press conference of September 5, 1961 :


The extract from the report in bold


.... On peut en effet se demander pourquoi les Soviets ont pris tout à coup le prétexte de Berlin pour exiger que le statut de la ville soit changé, de gré ou de force. On peut se demander aussi pourquoi cette situation de Berlin, qui leur paraît tolérable depuis seize ans, et qu'ils ont eux-mêmes organisée, instituée, avec les Etats-Unis et la Grande-Bretagne, à la réunion de Potsdam - où la France d'ailleurs, n'était pas -, pourquoi cette situation leur paraît tout à coup intolérable ? On peut se demander pourquoi ils assortissent tout à coup leurs exigences de menaces épouvantables ? On peut se demander s'il y a quelqu'un qui croit vraiment qu'il y ait un danger de la part de la République fédérale allemande telle qu'elle est, vis-à-vis de la Russie actuelle.
Et on peut se demander enfin s'il y a vraiment un Soviétique qui le croit, puisque le Kremlin déclare qu'il est en mesure d'écraser totalement et immédiatement sous des bombes qui valent, paraît-il, cent millions de tonnes d'explosifs, quiconque lèverait la main sur le monde communiste.
En vérité, il y a dans cette, dans ce tumulte d'imprécations et de sommations organisé par les Soviets, quelque chose de tellement arbitraire et tellement artificiel, qu'on est conduit à l'attribuer, ou bien au déchaînement prémédité d'ambitions frénétiques, ou bien à un dérivatif à de grandes difficultés.
Cette deuxième hypothèse me paraît d'autant plus plausible qu'en dépit des contraintes de l'isolement et des actes de force dans lequel le régime communiste enferme les pays qui sont sous son joug, et malgré certaines réussites collectives qu'il a réalisé, en prélevant sur la substance de ces sujets, en fait, ces lacunes, ces défaillances, ces échecs internes, et par-dessus tout, son caractère d'écrasement inhumain, sont ressentis de plus en plus par des élites et des masses, qu'il est de plus en plus malaisé de leurrer et de courber.
Et puis aussi, les satellites, que le régime soviétique tient sous sa loi, éprouvent de plus en plus dans leur sentiment national ce qu'il y a de cruel dans l'annexion qu'ils ont subie.
Alors, on comprend que dans ces conditions, les Soviets considèrent que l'affaire de Berlin peut être une occasion appropriée pour se donner le change et pour le donner aux autres.
Et en effet, là où Berlin est situé, il leur est relativement facile de faire des manifestations sur place, et les mesures de contrainte qu'ils prennent entraînent pour eux des risques limités.
Et puis, ils peuvent penser que les Etats-Unis, l'Angleterre et la France se laisseront glisser à quelque découragement, à quelque résignation, et qu'ainsi le recul de ces trois puissances amènera un coup grave pour l'alliance atlantique, que par-dessus tout, devant le monde entier, il apparaîtra que le régime totalitaire, le camp totalitaire devant un occident incertain et divisé, est décidément le plus fort.
Or, justement, ce n'est pas vrai.
Assurément, les Soviets disposent d'armements nucléaires terribles, mais les Occidentaux en ont aussi de formidables.
Si le conflit mondial devait éclater, la mise en oeuvre des forces de destruction entraînerait, en particulier, sans aucun doute, le bouleversement complet de la Russie et des pays qui sont en proie au communisme.
A quoi bon régner sur des morts ?
Et puis du reste, le règne serait terminé aussi, parce que, dans ce désastre, l'armature serait brisée, l'armature d'un régime qui ne tient qu'en vertu d'un appareil d'autorité, d'activité, et de police, rigidement planifié, et implacablement imposé.
Cela d'ailleurs, les dirigeants soviétiques le savent, malgré toutes leurs vantardises.
Alors, les puissances occidentales n'ont aucune raison de ne pas considérer avec un œil clair et un cœur ferme les manifestations soviétiques.
Il est vrai, je le répète, que localement, à Berlin, l'action de force qui serait engagée, pourrait provoquer, pourrait procurer aux Soviets, quelque avantage, parce qu'il serait évidemment difficile aux puissances occidentales d'agir, en partant de loin, sur le sol et dans le ciel de l'ancienne capitale allemande.
Mais les Occidentaux pourraient fort bien riposter sur des mers et dans des ciels du monde que parcourent des navires ou des avions soviétiques qui eux aussi seraient loin de leurs bases.
Il y aurait alors un échange de mauvais procédés qui ne se terminerait sans doute pas au bénéfice des Soviets.
Bref, si ceux-ci veulent, par la force, réduire les positions et couper les communications des Alliés à Berlin, les Alliés doivent, par la force, maintenir leurs positions et maintenir leurs communications.
Assurément, de fil en aiguille, comme on dit, et si tout cela fait multiplier les actes hostiles des Soviets, actes auxquels il faudrait répondre, on pourrait en venir à la guerre générale.
Mais alors, c'est que les Soviets l'auraient délibérément voulue, et dans ce cas, tout recul préalable de l'Occident n'aurait servi qu'à l'affaiblir et à le diviser, et sans empêcher l'échéance.

A un certain point de menace de la part d'un impérialisme ambitieux, tout recul a pour effet de surexciter l'agresseur, de le pousser à redoubler sa pression, et finalement, facilite et hâte son assaut.
Au total, actuellement, les puissances occidentales n'ont pas de meilleur moyen de servir la paix du monde que de rester droites et fermes.
Est-ce que ça veut dire que pour toujours les deux camps devront s'opposer ?
Ce n'est pas du tout ce que pense la France, parce que ce serait vraiment très bête, et que ce serait vraiment très cher.
Si le conflit mondial doit éclater, alors le progrès mécanique moderne aura abouti à la mort !
Sinon, c'est la paix qu'il faut tenter de faire !

Que les Soviets cessent de menacer, qu'ils aident la détente à s'établir, au lieu de l'empêcher, qu'ils favorisent une atmosphère internationale pacifique, tandis qu'ils la rendent étouffante.
Alors, il sera possible aux trois puissances de l'Occident d'étudier, avec eux, tous les problèmes du monde et, notamment, celui de l'Allemagne.
Et dans ce cas, on pourrait compter que la France ménagerait des solutions.
C'est qu'en effet, la France qui, pour sa part, n'est pas disposée à céder aux menaces de l'empire totalitaire, la France garde cependant sincère et profonde son amitié pour les pays qui vivent dans cet Empire.
Et puis, la France croit que la civilisation moderne n'a d'avenir que par l'entente et puis la coopération, et enfin l'osmose des pays qui l'ont faite et qui continuent de la faire, qui l'ont répandue sur la terre et qui continuent de l'y répandre et, avant tout, de tous les peuples européens.
Voilà ce que je puis vous répondre, monsieur.
Quant à la seconde question, ou à son corollaire de la première, que vous m'avez posée, au sujet des expériences atomiques, je vous répondrai simplement ceci : la France sait qu'une conférence est engagée depuis longtemps à Genève entre les trois Etats qui ont des armements atomiques énormes.
Cette conférence nous est toujours apparue comme devant faire partie d'un ensemble qui s'appelle le désarmement et, plus particulièrement, le désarmement atomique.
Pour tout ce qui, effectivement, tendrait au désarmement atomique, la France coopérerait sans aucun doute.
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.... We can indeed wonder why the Soviets suddenly took the pretext of Berlin to demand that the status of the city be changed, willingly or by force. We can also wonder why this situation in Berlin, which has seemed tolerable to them for sixteen years, and which they themselves organized, instituted, with the United States and Great Britain, at the Potsdam meeting - where the France, moreover, was not - why does this situation suddenly seem intolerable to them? One might wonder why they suddenly match their demands with terrible threats? It is questionable whether there is anyone who really believes that there is a danger from the German Federal Republic as it is, vis-à-vis present-day Russia.

And we can finally wonder if there is really a Soviet person who believes this, since the Kremlin declares that it is capable of completely and immediately crushing it with bombs worth, it seems, a hundred million tons of explosives, anyone who raises a hand against the communist world.

In truth, there is in this, in this tumult of imprecations and summons organized by the Soviets, something so arbitrary and so artificial that one is led to attribute it either to the premeditated unleashing of ambitions frantic, or else a diversion to great difficulties.

This second hypothesis seems all the more plausible to me because despite the constraints of isolation and acts of force in which the communist regime confines the countries under its yoke, and despite certain collective successes that it has achieved, taking from the substance of these subjects, in fact, these gaps, these failures, these internal failures, and above all, its character of inhuman crushing, are felt more and more by elites and masses, that it is more and more difficult to deceive and bend.

And then also, the satellites, which the Soviet regime holds under its law, experience more and more in their national feeling what is cruel in the annexation which they have suffered.

So, we understand that in these conditions, the Soviets consider that the Berlin affair could be an appropriate opportunity to give themselves a lie and to give it to others.

And indeed, where Berlin is located, it is relatively easy for them to hold demonstrations there, and the constraint measures they take entail limited risks for them.

And then, they may think that the United States, England and France will allow themselves to slide into some discouragement, into some resignation, and that thus the retreat of these three powers will bring a serious blow to the Atlantic alliance, that above all, before the whole world, it will appear that the totalitarian regime, the totalitarian camp facing an uncertain and divided West, is decidedly the strongest.

However, this is precisely not true.

Certainly, the Soviets have terrible nuclear weapons, but the West also has formidable ones.

If the world conflict were to break out, the deployment of the forces of destruction would, in particular, undoubtedly lead to the complete upheaval of Russia and the countries which are prey to communism.

What's the point of ruling over the dead?

And then, moreover, the reign would also be over, because, in this disaster, the framework would be broken, the framework of a regime which only holds together by virtue of an apparatus of authority, of activity, and police, rigidly planned, and implacably imposed.

The Soviet leaders know this, despite all their boasting.

So, the Western powers have no reason not to view the Soviet demonstrations with a clear eye and a firm heart.

It is true, I repeat, that locally, in Berlin, the forceful action which would be undertaken could provoke, could provide the Soviets with some advantage, because it would obviously be difficult for the Western powers to act, by leaving from afar, on the ground and in the sky of the former German capital.

But the West could very well retaliate on the seas and skies of the world covered by Soviet ships or planes which would also be far from their bases.

There would then be an exchange of bad practices which would undoubtedly not end to the benefit of the Soviets.

In short, if they want, by force, to reduce the positions and cut the communications of the Allies in Berlin, the Allies must, by force, maintain their positions and maintain their communications.
Certainly, one thing leads to another, as they say, and if all this leads to an increase in the hostile acts of the Soviets, acts to which we would have to respond, we could come to general war.

But then, the Soviets would have deliberately wanted it, and in this case, any prior retreat from the West would only have served to weaken and divide it, and without preventing the outcome.


At a certain point of threat from ambitious imperialism, any retreat has the effect of over-excited the aggressor, of pushing him to redouble his pressure, and ultimately, facilitates and hastens his assault.

Overall, currently, the Western powers have no better way to serve world peace than to remain upright and firm.

Does this mean that the two camps will have to oppose each other forever?

This is not at all what France thinks, because it would be really very stupid, and it would be really very expensive.

If global conflict is to break out, then modern mechanical progress will have ended in death!

Otherwise, it is peace that we must try to make!


Let the Soviets stop threatening, let them help détente to establish itself, instead of preventing it, let them promote a peaceful international atmosphere, while making it stifling.

Then, it will be possible for the three Western powers to study, with them, all the problems of the world and, in particular, that of Germany.

And in this case, we could count on France to find solutions.

Indeed, France which, for its part, is not prepared to give in to the threats of the totalitarian empire, France nevertheless maintains sincere and deep its friendship for the countries which live in this Empire.

And then, France believes that modern civilization only has a future through understanding and then cooperation, and finally the osmosis of the countries which have made it and which continue to make it, which have spread it on the earth and who continue to spread it there and, above all, of all European peoples.

This is what I can answer you, sir.

As for the second question, or its corollary to the first, that you asked me, on the subject of atomic experiments, I will simply answer you this: France knows that a conference has been underway for a long time in Geneva between the three States who have enormous atomic weapons.

This conference has always appeared to us as having to be part of a whole called disarmament and, more particularly, atomic disarmament.

For anything that would actually lead to atomic disarmament, France would undoubtedly cooperate.
 
Do we now know the real reliability rate of the various types of American and Russian nuclear weapons? I read that for the first Polaris missiles, it was extremely low:

Taken on the Alternatewar site in 2011 since disappeared:

"The overall reliability of the Polaris A-1 was estimated at only 25%, indeed the launcher itself had a reliability rate of 50% or less, and the 600 kiloton W47Y1 warhead arming it was estimated at a one in two chance of initiating a nuclear explosion if necessary but during tests in 1966, there were three failures in four which drops the actual reliability rate to 12.5%"
 
Chapter 3 – Rupture

Chapter 3 – Rupture

27 – 28 October 1962

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"In a world of danger and trial, peace is our deepest aspiration...But it is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.

– John F. Kennedy (1960)




"You see, Burt is a very very careful fellow. When there's danger, this is the way he keeps from being hurt. Sometimes it even saves his life..."



The American public was first made aware of the B-59 incident at 18:38 EDT with an emergency bulletin from CBS News, the announcement coming in too quickly to get cameras in place, necessitating a brief shift back to normal programming. Almost an hour later, at 19:25 EDT, CBS anchorman Walter Kronkite returned to the television screen with the following announcement:

"From the White House, the flash - apparently official, a Soviet nuclear-armed submarine attacked a United States Navy task force with nuclear weapons at fifteen minutes past five eastern daylight time, some two hours ago. President Kennedy will address the nation at 20:00 EDT. Presumably, he will lay out the administration's response...[KRONKITE BRIEFLY HESITATES]...Today, this country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. I do not believe I need to go into too much detail as to dangers of a nuclear attack, it should by now be common knowledge..."

Many more Americans heard the first announcement than the second. For many, the original thirty-second bulletin was enough of a signal to get out of town. All across the United States, families hurriedly through what belongings they could into the back of their cars or trucks and hit the highways, only to discover they weren't the only ones with such ideas - clogging the Interstate in the major cities with one-way traffic. Over 150,000 people in Miami, more than half the population, attempted to leave noting the closeness to Cuba and subsequently to Soviet missiles. In Mobile, Alabama, almost 100,000 people fled. In Chicago, over a million fled. In New York City it was almost three million. Within two hours of the initial attack, over ten million Americans began spontaneous evacuations either to smaller cities less likely to be targeted or to the countryside. Others still took to their fallout shelters, counting out tins of non-perishables and

While the civilian population of the United States was fleeing, the military began its final preparations for war, with Cuba and possibly the Soviet Union as well. In airbases in southern Florida, Tactical Air Command (TAC) and U.S. Navy pilots are given their final briefings before their strike missions in Cuba. Targeting missile and air defence sites will almost certainly kill Soviet soldiers, the Russians won't take that lying down. As such, dozens of Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 Stratofortress nuclear bombers were ordered to "fail safe" positions just outside the Soviet Union's northern frontiers in preparation for a Soviet response.

At 20:00 EDT, television and radio sets across the United States tuned in to hear President Kennedy's address.



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“Good evening, my fellow citizens,

Shortly after five o'clock Daylight Time, a Soviet nuclear submarine, deliberately and without provocation, attacked a task force of United States naval vessels with nuclear weapons whilst they were enforcing the quarantine on Cuba. It is with great sadness and misfortune to announce that the destroyers USS Beale and Cony were completely destroyed and all their crewmen have perished, whilst another destroyer - the USS Murray - was damaged beyond repair with heavy loss of life. We mourn every single sailor who has perished in this atrocious and unwarranted attack.

It is with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfilment of my oath of office, that in response I have ordered aerial military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba, which the United States Air Force and Navy are now carrying out as I speak. In addition, I have ordered the United States Navy to extend the present quarantine to the 60th meridian west. These actions have been taken under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations and in fulfilment of the requirements of national safety. Further military action has been authorized to ensure that this threat is fully removed and not restored.


Over the last week, this nation has worked tirelessly to resolve the present crisis over Cuba using careful diplomacy and negotiation. But we were not prepared, under any circumstances, to yield our vital interests. Namely, the safety of the United States and the Western Hemisphere. We have pursued both direct and indirect means of negotiating and reasoning with the Soviet Government to remove their offensive nuclear missiles and jet bombers from the island of Cuba. Yet, this endeavour has clearly failed, forcing us to take matters into our own hands to guarantee and protect our national safety.

The strikes against Cuba now underway are aimed at military targets to minimize casualties among the Cuban people with whom we have no quarrel. Although we our now taking direct military action to remove this present threat to world peace, we have no intention of starting a worldwide conflict. The United States of America is a peace-loving nation remains open to negotiation with the Soviet Union to resolve this crisis peacefully. If any diplomatic solution can be reached, then any military operations I have announced tonight will be called off, but not before. Until such a solution may be reached, the Armed Forces of the United States will continue to defend the security of this nation, the Western Hemisphere and any other of our allies around the world from aggression.


The tragedy here self evidently is in the loss of innocent lives on all sides. For the United States government, I hereby accept responsibility for this action and pledge that all appropriate efforts will be made, on request, to assist the families of these innocent victims. Neither Cubans nor Russians, as individuals, can be held accountable for the extraordinary and irresponsible conspiracy which has required this action. This was Communist militarism in action, leaving us with no choice but to meet that aggressive conduct with military force, and we will continue to do so until the present threat is permanently removed. Our aims are clear and limited, we do not seek to escalate this conflict, but it will be the policy of this nation to meet any such Communist escalation with all force available to us. We will not accept peace at any cost, especially if that cost forces us to live at the end of an atomic threat less than 100 miles from our shores.

Now, what of the future?

First, I ask that the American people remain calm and self-confident. The strength and determination of your defenses are an answer against a major war.

Second, the military quarantine of Cuba will continue until other effective assurances can be obtained against any repetition of this conspiracy…

Third, I have directed our military forces to continue and increase their close surveillance of Cuba and to take further military action, if necessary, against offensive capabilities on Cuban soil; and finally, to regard any missile that might remain and be launched from Cuba as an attack by the Soviet Union, requiring a massive retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.

Fourth, under the Charter of the United Nations, we are asking tonight that an emergency meeting of the Security Council be convoked without delay to meet and defuse the increasing tension and risk of conflict that this present crisis has brought about.

Fifth, I am asking Soviet Chairman Khrushchev to meet with me at the earliest opportunity with respect to the prevention of any further conspiracies which may strain the relations between our two countries. We do not wish to war with the Soviet Union; we are a peaceful people who desire to live in peace with all other peoples. I am prepared to discuss with the Soviet Chairman how both of us might remove existing tensions instead of creating new ones.

I wish all of our servicemen good luck, in carrying out their tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. The path upon which we are embarking is frought with risk, as all paths are bound to be, but it is the path consistent with both our character as a nation and our obligations. We pray that there may yet still be a peaceful resolution to this present crisis, and we contnue to strive to advance the joint goals of peace and freedom, yet we are prepared to meet any eventuality so that we are not faced with the path of tyranny or submission.

God bless you all. Thank you and goodnight.




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It was at 19:53 EDT when Cuban radar picked up incoming aircraft from the north. Seven minutes later, at 20:00 EDT exactly, the first of the two hundred-plus American air armada crossed into Cuban airspace. The USAF F-100 Super Sabres, F-104 Starfighters, F-84 Thunderjets, and U.S. Navy F-4 Phantoms were very capable aircraft with well-trained crew, and Cuba would be their first major tactical air operation since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Almost as soon as they enter Cuban airspace, they are met by Cuban and Soviet-piloted MiG fighters, anti-aircraft guns and Soviet-manned S-75 Dvina surface-to-air (SAM) missiles. Already anticipating an American attack since the B-59 blast, many MiGs were already airborne and waiting for the attackers. The resulting air battle was not the easy success that many in USAF hoped for. The outnumbered Communist aircraft, MiG-15s, -17s and -21s, were eventually overwhelmed and shot down in dogfight combat, after which American fighters began operating an orbit over defending airfields with twelve aircraft each. Five minutes after entering Cuba, the first SAM sites are bombed by USAF fighter-bombers. The S-75s managed to down five American fighters in the first wave before three of the five sites targeted were destroyed. The nine known MRBM are struck viciously, destroying fuel lines, and launcher vehicles and breaking apart warheads. Secondary explosions from the missiles themselves add to the chaos, scattering burning rocket fuel across the landscape. Men, both alive and dead are burnt and blown apart.

Over the next two-and-a-half hours, several hundred TAC aircraft will bomb military targets in Cuba, their advantage in numbers making up for poor accuracy in many locations. The Soviet missile sites are left devastated, with only a handful of launchers and missiles surviving the first night of attack. The S-75 SAMs proved to be capable at shooting down American planes, with Cuban anti-air gunnery shooting down a singular F-84 over Matanzas.

Efforts to accurately target both offensive and SAM missile sites were harder than anticipated. For instance, three F-100s were lost while attacking the SAM site Bahía Honda, without success in destroying the site. Elsewhere, the differing operating principles between the Navy and Air Force led to near-collisions over Cuban skies. In total, some seventeen American aircraft, lost to both combat and a handful of mid-air collisions caused by crowding and miscommunication between the Navy and Air Force. Cuban and Soviet aircraft losses number thirty-nine planes. Personnel losses include twenty-three dead and captured American pilots, two-and-a-half thousand Cuban combatants and civilians and eight hundred dead Soviet personnel.

At 00:51 EDT, Cuban artillery began bombarding Guantanamo Bay. When the all-clear sounds, a furious Fidel Castro announces in a public early morning speech in Havana that the American attacks have created a state of war between Cuba and the United States.


Sources

Comments?
 
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If the civilian populations of NATO nations will try to move away from potential targets (for France, I think that many Parisians will try to settle in the Massif Central), will the populations of the Pact of Warsaw will be able to do the same? I doubt it, all the railways and major roads will be under strict control of the military and the secret police.
 
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