Cuban Missile Crisis - THE CRISIS WORSENS

THE CRISIS WORSENS (Illustration) American Presidents Famous Historical Events Government Social Studies The Kennedys Russian Studies Law and Politics American History

This map depicts the Caribbean Basin in the early 1960s and appears in Cordon of Steel: The U.S. Navy and the Cuban Missile Crisis, by Curtis A. Utz (a member of the Navy’s Contemporary History Branch when he wrote this work in 1993). The book’s description of this map—which appears at pages 6 and 7—tells us where the quarantine lines were positioned during the October 1962 crisis:

"The quarantine lines were both located east of the Bahamas and north of Puerto Rico, in the upper center of the map. The carrier task force (Task Force 135) operated in the waters around Jamaica." Image online via Naval History & Heritage Command. Click on the image for a better view.


The President effectively told the Soviets:

We don't submit.

The Soviets responded with actions that effectively told the President:

Neither do we.

And the Soviets added another level of anxiety according to a document released by the National Security Agency. Stating they would not allow their ships to be searched, the Kremlin warned:

U.S. action could end in thermonuclear war.

While the United States sent guided-missile PT boats to patrol the Cuban coast, the Soviets stepped up construction of the ballistic missile launch sites.

As America readied F101Cs for potential air strikes against Cuba, sophisticated MiGs (including MiG 21s) were being assembled to fly into American air space, if ordered.

Both sides moved closer to the edge of an uncharted, nuclear confrontation. At the time, there wasn't even a "hotline" between Washington and Moscow.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Apr 29, 2019

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