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In Pictures: Cuban Missile Crisis

In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis came within one decision of turning the Cold War hot – and plunging the world into nuclear war

THE WORLD ON THE BRINK...

“ALL SHIPS OF ANY KIND BOUND FOR CUBA WILL BE TURNED BACK”

At 7pm on 22 October 1962, in the midst of the Cold War, President John F Kennedy makes a historic television address, announcing a naval blockade of Cuba. In his calm, distinctive tone, JFK informs a global audience of tens of millions that the Soviet Union is building nuclear missile launch sites on Cuba and that the United States would commit to a “full retaliatory response” if attacked.

COMRADES IN ARMS

In the aftermath of his Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro (left) becomes a strategic Russian ally and enjoys making a great show of his friendship with the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (centre) – seen here at the United Nations in 1960. Despite the pomp and ceremony of the missile parades through Moscow (far right), however, the Soviet Union lags behind the United States in the nuclear arms race, so Khrushchev makes the risky move of placing nukes on Cuba. When his plan is uncovered, it leads to a tense stand-o – the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The October 2015 issue of History Revealed