Cuban Missile Crisis Summary

Want a short informative summary of all the key events in the Cuban missile crisis? Want to know what triggered the missile crisis and how nuclear war was averted? Our summary of the Cuban missile crisis gives you the facts & information you want to

If the world ever came close to a nuclear world war then that would have to be the time of the Cuban missile crisis. On one side the United States was ready to pounce on Cuban territory and on the other the Soviet Union was willing to go nuclear in defense of the island. But as the course of events unfolded the world was spared from witnessing another bloody battle which would have been much worse than the wars fought before it.

Main Players

The two men that can be said to have been responsible for averting the war are President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The whole scene began when the Soviet Union conceived the idea of deploying intermediate range missiles in Cuba. The Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev thought this to be an appropriate idea so that they could have the United States within their range and thus reduce the risk of a potential attack on the part of the American government. This was otherwise impossible because the Union lacked such long range missiles that could target the United States from their homeland.

Secret Soviet Missiles in Cuba

Feeling the constant threat of another armed attack on the little island Fidel Castro more than welcomed the plan of the Soviet Premier with arms wide open. Hence the work began in 1962 when the Union started to build their missile installations in Cuba in a very secretive manner and at great speed. However they got caught red handed when the reconnaissance photographs captured the under construction sites in Cuba.

On hearing the news the American president set up the EX-COMM who reached to a consensus to deploy a naval quarantine around the waters of Cuba. Following this the news was made public and it was understood that any launch from Cuba would be considered as a war on the United States. With the navy preventing further Soviet Union approach President John F. Kennedy demanded them to back out of the plan.

Naval Blockade

The next few days were hair raising for the global community. The U.S continued two hourly low level reconnaissance missions to keep a check on the situation. The navy was pulled back and the army was readied to DEFCON2. After which the Soviet Premier proposed to remove the missiles based on the guarantee that the U.S would not attack Cuba. The next day a U2 was shot down with a follow up letter from the Premier asking the American government to remove their missiles from Turkey in exchange. As a strategic move the American Government decided to ignore the second letter and settle for the first deal.


As a result Khrushchev announced that he would take back the missiles to Soviet territory claiming that he would trust the U.S not to attack Cuba. In the next few days the deal was formalized with the United states putting forward their complete proposal which included the removal of Soviet light bombers as well in return for the assurance that the United States would not attack Cuba.


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