1. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Cuban Missile Crisis

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Kratos, Feb 4, 2009.

    For a new story I have an urge to write, a key point is that the Cuban Missile Crisis is not avoided, and Russia attacks the US. But, I don't know that much about the Cold War. I've looked up some info so I have a basic understanding, but I'd like some input. How much damage would the Soviet nukes have caused, and where do you think they would have hit? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I lived through the Cuban missile crisis. Watched the news on our black & white TV every evening as the tension built. The truth about how close we came to nuclear war did not come out until many years later as information became declassified.

    One important fact that could easily have triggered a nuclear holocaust was that Russian submarine commanders had nuclear tipped torpedos and authorization to use them at their individual discretion. If even one of them had destroyed an American ship in the blockade, an immediate nuclear counter attack could have been triggered. I suspect we would have immediately "taken out" all the Cuban sites where missiles were functional. I know we had "orbiting" bombers that could have struck in a few minutes notice. The big question at that point would be what would Russia do if we attacked Cuba.

    The possibility of escalation was a terrible reality and many possible "mistakes" could have triggered it. There is an enormous amount of declassified information available today. Before attempting to write such a story, you need to do a LOT of research.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ah, memories!

    i was 'locked down' on march afb, when we hit 'red alert' status... i'd been on my way there on the bus and it was stopped at the gate to be turned away, since the condition at that time was 'orange'... however, since i was about ready to drop #4 and was headed there for a dr's check-up to see if i should be admitted, and the bus ride back could've made that a foregone conclusion, the mp's let me in and drove me to the hospital, where i was 'incommunicado' for hours!...

    couldn't let my husband or the babysitter [my young sister] know what had happened to me and why i wasn't home when expected, or didn't call... and, of course, there was the added nice touch of not being sure i'd survive to ever get back home, since the sac bases were at the top of russia's 'first strike' list!

    anyway, if you want any info on those events and such, kratos, feel free to email me any time... since i was military-connected [my then husband was a retired 'ranger'], i may have a bit different pov from others you ask about it...

    love and hugs, maia

    ps: here's a site with a good background overview and links to more: http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:9iZFUe1-fk8J:www.answers.com/topic/cuban-missile-crisis+how+long+was+the+us+on+red+alert+during+the+cuban+missile+crisis%3F&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3
     
  4. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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  5. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    My grandfather tells stories about the episode every change he gets. What makes his stories interesting is that they are from a middle-class Cuban standpoint.

    He remembers a lot of mixed emotions within his community. The massage of ultimate patriotism was fresh, but the thought of being swallowed by the Soviet Union was a scary reality.

    What is interesting was his lack of knowledge regarding what a nuclear weapon could do. For them it was a traditional war scenario. He says they were simple minded people not ready to accept that a single bomb could wide out most of the island.

    I like listening to his stories.
     
  6. flashgordon
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    flashgordon Contributing Member

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    A lot of the old military armaments along the California and Washington Coasts were established to protect us from Russia during the Cold War. So either their missiles would have come from subs or from the Bering Coast area of Russia.

    I'd also suggest visiting your local university library and exploring their newspaper archives.
     
  7. Union Operative 0282
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    Union Operative 0282 New Member

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    Post Cuban Missile Crisis

    I've read some alternate histories where Atlanta was hit, being the largest city in closest proximity to Cuba, and also the missiles put in cuba were medium ranged ballistic missiles meaning that they had a limited field of use. They most likely could have hit Washington. A cool thing perhaps would be if the US capital was moved to New York or Philadelphia in light of the utter destruction of Washington.

    Don't know if that helps, but I like the topic you chose and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
     
  8. MarkW
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    MarkW New Member

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    I remember some basic stuff from History classes a couple of years ago. There was handy map of Cuba and the US and where could be hit within what range. I've found a similar one which I hope helps.

    Map

    The page it's from doesn't supply any details to what the map means (I don't know what "NM"s are. So maybe someone else could help out there.

    Note that most of the major cities in the US, and some in Canada even, were in range of the missiles. San Francisco lies just outside the outer ring and Seattle is the only labelled city far out of range.

    Also, during my History coursework this year, I found this quote from Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who played a major part in securing the deal to bring missiles to Cuba, to a journalist a while after the crisis ended. This could go some way in showing what would've happened had the US not discovered the missiles:

     
  9. Perdondaris
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    Perdondaris Member

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    It is rather late, but it's probably worth noting that I could not find any decent sources for that quote. I'm not quite a Guevara fan, but I tend to be somewhat suspicious when the only sources one can seem to find for the quote are various anti-Che blogs and whatnot referring vaguely to some unnamed British paper as the source.
     

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