ANN: Cuban Missile Crisis at 60

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Cuban Missile Crisis @ 60

Nuclear Crisis Lasted 59 Days, Not Just 13

October 4, 1962: Soviet Nuclear Warheads Arrive in Cuba
Commander Beloborodov on using tactical nukes: "that would be the beginning of the end. Only madmen could unleash a nuclear war."

October 5, 1962: CIA Scrambles to Track the Soviet Buildup in Cuba
60-year-old map shows Soviet deployments and mysterious "unidentified missiles"

Washington, D.C., October 5, 2022 – The Cuban Missile Crisis actually lasted 59 days, not the fabled "13 days" so familiar from books and Hollywood, according to a new collection announced today by the National Security Archive. Soviet nuclear warheads arrived in Cuba on October 4, 1962, and did not leave until December 1. Those warheads were never detected by U.S. intelligence while they were in Cuba.

Marking these 59 days of the Crisis, and the 60th anniversary of the famous superpower confrontation, the Archive is posting images and documents from Soviet, American, and Cuban sources. The primary sources are drawn from the Archive's unmatched collections on the Cuban Missile Crisis based on 30+ years of research and landmark conferences in Moscow and Havana that included Fidel Castro, Robert McNamara, Anatoly Gribkov, and other leading veterans of 1962.

Yesterday, to mark the first day of the crisis, the Archive posted the recollections of the Soviet commander of nuclear forces in Cuba, whose account provides extraordinary details about the transportation, deployment and removal of the warheads and includes his warning that "Only madmen could unleash a war" by using tactical nuclear weapons.

Today, on the second day of the 59-day Cuban Missile Crisis, the Archive published a CIA reconnaissance map of Cuba showing Soviet deployments and a target area with "unidentified missiles."

Check out our new posting and follow us on Twitter @NSArchive for daily updates.


THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.