Students of history already know this stuff, but I’m a little behind the curve.
1. The Russian decision to put missiles in Cuba was most likely a response to U.S. nuclear missiles placed in the Soviet Union’s “backyard” in Turkey and Italy.
2. Part of the resolution to the crisis involved the U.S. secretly agreeing to remove those missiles from Turkey and Italy.
3. During the American blockade of Cuba, American destroyers forced a Soviet submarine to surface by dropping depth charges. The U.S. didn’t know at the time that the sub had a nuclear torpedo. The sub’s three commanding officers argued over whether or not to use the nuke, obviously deciding against it.
4. There was much discussion of the U.S. taking out the Cuban missile bases with air strikes. The U.S. did not realize at the time that the Soviets had already deployed 100 Hiroshima-sized tactical nuclear weapons around Cuba. Had the air strike option been selected, there probably would have a been a battle involving multiple nuclear explosions. Then maybe a full-scale war with the Soviets.
5. After the crisis, the Soviets considered giving these 100 nukes to Cuba, since the U.S. never knew about them, and the Cubans were ticked off at the Soviets for backing down. Soviet diplomat, Anastas Mikoyan, didn’t want this to happen and carried out negotiations that led to the weapons being sent back to the U.S.S.R.
Yeah, I do have vague memories of being almost at war with the Russians. I was eight at the time. It was scary.