Black Saturday October 27th 1962

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Blanco Bill, Oct 22, 2012.

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  1. Exactly fifty years ago this Saturday, during the Cuban missile crisis, a Russian submarine B-59 surrounded by US naval forces came within seconds of launching a nuclear-tipped torpedo at a screen of US ASW destroyers.
    Captain Vasily Arkhipov, the man who saved the world.

    Thomas S. Blanton: The most surprising new evidence revealed that we were even closer to nuclear war than the policymakers knew at the time, and that's saying something, because on Saturday, October 27, Robert McNamara thought he might not live to see the sunrise. At the time, there was a crescendo of bad news: a U-2 shot down over Cuba, another U-2 straying over Siberia with US Air Force jets (also armed with nuclear air-to-air missiles) scrambling to head off possible MIG interception. The Joint Chiefs had recommended air strike and invasion of Cuba, as of 4 p.m. The Cubans were firing on all the low-level US recon flights. At the conference, we found out that exactly at that moment, US destroyers were dropping signaling depth charges on a Soviet submarine near the quarantine line that was carrying a nuclear-tipped torpedo -- totally unbeknownst to the US Navy. The Soviet captain lost his temper, there could be a world war up there, let's take some of them down with us, etc. Cooler heads prevailed, specifically the sub brigade deputy commander named Vasily Arkhipov, who was onboard and calmed the captain down. The sub came to the surface about 15 minutes after Soviet ambassador Dobrynin left Bobby Kennedy's office carrying RFK's urgent message to Khrushchev, time is running out, invasion in 48 hours, if you take the missiles out, we will pledge not to invade Cuba, plus we'll take our missiles out of Turkey as long as you don't mention that part of it publicly. Early the next morning, Khrushchev announced the Soviet missiles would be coming out.

  2. mercurydancer

    mercurydancer LE Book Reviewer

    Possibly the closest of close run things. In a historical perspective, the fear caused by the missile crisis was probably the foundation for the cold war being cold and not getting hot. It was certainly something that Gorbachev considered.
  3. Surely it would have been 'Black Saturday' if it had kicked off, and more widely known about.

    Interesting thought; the US had positioned missiles in Turkey, the USSR threatens the US from Cuba. The US promises not to intefere in Cuba, and pulls its missiles from Turkey. The USSR pull their missiles from Cuba, and still have a free hand in the area. Who came away with the better deal?
  4. We all did. No big bright lights and no kissing our own arses goodbye.
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