Fifty years ago this week, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of war.
At issue was a bold move by Moscow to place nuclear weapons in Cuba in the form of missiles that could easily reach Washington and New York.
While America’s military leadership pushed hard for air strikes on the warheads followed by an amphibious assault of Cuba, President Kennedy opted for a more cautious strategy – a naval blockade of the island.
While the plan didn’t remove the missiles that were already in place at the two dozen launch sites, it prevented further weapons from reaching Cuba and demonstrated American resolve.
Senior Pentagon officials balked at Kennedy’s approach, considering it too weak. And according to an article published this week by the American news source The Christian Science Monitor, a group of generals led by Strategic Air Command’s Gen. Curtis Le May was ready to ignore the president’s orders and proceed with strikes on the missiles on their own.
“Robert Kennedy warned that ‘there were indeed people in the Pentagon that would take action if Kennedy did not – that there could be a military coup,’” writes the author of the article, Anna Mulrine.
This is just one of several revelations offered in the piece entitled: “Cuban Missile Crisis: The Three Most Surprising Things You Didn’t Know”. I won’t spoil the article for you, but rst assured, the other revelations are just as surprising.
It’s well worth the read. Click here for the full story.