The Cuban Missile Crisis

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  • The Cuban Missile Crisis
    • The arms race
      • America were ahead in the arms race between 1940-1950.
      • By 1949, the USSR were producing atomic bombs.
      • In the USA, schools held regular 'duck and cover' rehearsals incase of a nuclear attack.
      • Statistics
        • USSR's figures were overestimated.
          • USA's biggest concern was the rate at which the USSR was building nuclear weapons and the size of the weapons.
            • USSR's biggest concern was that the US missiles were much closer to them than USSR's missiles were to USA.
              • In 1958 the USA had missile bases in the Uk.
                • In 1961 they also had missile bases in Turkey and Italy.
                  • USSR could not fire missiles at the USA because they had to travel further, and this meant they could no be targeted accurately.
                  • America had B52 bombers that could drop nuclear weapons on the soviet union.
      • By 1957, Russian scientists launched Sputnik 1- worlds first man-made satellite
        • By 1960 the Russians had landed a robotic spacecraft on the moon.
          • This demonstrated the sophistication of Soviet technology.
        • Many Americans believed that rockets used to put the satellites in space could be used to launch nuclear missiles at America.
    • The Cuban Revolution.
      • Cuba had been an ally of America.
      • America presidents believed Cuba's friendship was important because it was only 145 km away.
      • Much of the land in cuba was owned by American businesses.
      • The Cuban Revolution of 1959 overthrew cuba's pro american government.
        • Led by Fidel Castro- wanted greater independence  from America.
          • America banned the import of cuban sugar in response- this would threaten to bankrupt the cuban economy.
            • Cuba turned to USSR for help, Khrushchev was delighted to have an ally deep in the american sphere of influence and agreed to offer economic aid to cuba.
    • The Bay of Pigs incident
      • CIA persuaded Kennedy to launch an invasion of Cuba to dislodge Castro's government and put Batista back in charge.
      • This invasion had been kept secret ad planned for over a year.
        • CIA promised they could make it look like a cuban revolution by training Cuban exiles and disguising old US planes to look like cuban ones for bombing.
          • Castro's hold on the country was weak.
          • Most cubans would join in against Castro once the invasion began.
      • It was a disaster.
        • The 'secret' plan was known to Castro so he was expecting the attack.
        • Most cubans did not want Batista back.
        • Targets missed and the disguised planes were photographed and US involvement was made public.
      • This ended any chance that the USA and Cuba may negotiate a friendly relationship.
        • Castro declared himself as a communist.
    • Missiles
      • August 1961. Khrushchev stationed russian nuclear weapons on cuban soil.
        • This placed Russian nuclear missiles within striking range of America.
    • The Thirteen Day Crisis
    • 25 September 1962, Krushchev sent 114 soviet ships to cuba.
      • This ship carried nuclear war heads and long-range missiles.  This plan was secret for a long time but by mid October, american spy planes had discovered what was going on.
    • Hawks wanted an agressive policy. Doves recommended diplomatic srtategies.


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