What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?

What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?

During the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was a direct and dangerous conflict between the US and the Soviet Union, and it was the closest the two superpowers came to nuclear war.

Tensions between the two superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union, over Cuba had been steadily growing since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, in which Cuban refugees armed and trained by the US landed in Cuba and attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government.

As a result, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to Cuba’s offer to station nuclear missiles on the island in order to deter potential aggression. The Soviets had implemented plans to deploy medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles in Cuba, placing the eastern United States within range of a nuclear strike.

During the Crisis, US and Soviet leaders engaged in a tense 13-day political and military standoff over the Soviet Union’s deployment of nuclear-armed missiles on Cuba, which was just 90 miles from US shores.

On October 28, 1962 the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from Cuba, ending effectively the Cuban Missile crisis.

In November, 1962 President Kennedy called off the blockade of Cuba, and by the end of the year all nuclear-armed offensive Soviet missiles had left Cuba. President Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove all nuclear-armed U.S. missiles from Turkey.