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Cordon of Steel: The U.S. Navy and the Cuban Missle Crisis


In the fall of 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union came as close as they ever would to global nuclear war. Hoping to correct what he saw as a strategic imbalance with the United States, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev began secretly deploying medium range ballistic missiles (MRBM) and intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBM) to Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Once operational, these nuclear-armed weapons could have been fired against cities and military targets in most of the continental United States. Before this happened, however, U.S. intelligence discovered Khrushchev’s brash maneuver. In what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy and an alerted and aroused American government, armed forces, and public compelled the Soviets to remove from Cuba not only their missiles but all of their offensive weapons. The U.S. Navy played a pivotal role in this crisis, demonstrating the critical importance of naval forces to national defense.

56 pages

Categories: All Books, Miscellaneous


The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest the major powers came to actual combat during the Cold War. While all of the services played their part (I can remember nuclear armed bombers parked at the end of Boston’s Logan Airport’s runways.) the main tasks fell on the Navy. The pictures on this book show just how ready the Navy was. Pictures of planes in the air and on carriers show them fully armed with rockets and bombs.

Only at the end of the crisis did the tensions go down. And in one point a Navy helicopter lowered a Navy tie clasp to the Russian freighter ‘Alapayevsk.’ The Russians returned with a gift of a bottle of vodka.

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