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Cuban Missile Crisis


The Cuban Missile Crisis. Lesson overview. What was the background to the ... You are about to find out what actually happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Andrew Wood and Dave Ryan

The Cuban Missile Crisis
Lesson overview
  • What was the background to the events in Cuba?
  • How successful were early attempts at
  • Why was the USSR interested in helping Cuba?
  • What happened during the October Crisis?
  • What was the outcome of the crisis?

What was the background to the events in Cuba?
  • Cuba, small island, 160 km from coast of Florida
  • US ally, US businesses US military base
  • 1959, Fidel Castro overthrows Battista (US-backed
    dictator), establishing Communist government.

Why was Cuba so important to the Americans?
How successful were early attempts at
  • Castro takes over US businesses
  • January 1961, US breaks off diplomatic relations
  • April, 1961, Bay of Pigs 1,400 anti-Cuban
    exiles attempted to overthrow Castro
  • Autumn 1962, Cuba has received 1000s of USSR
    missiles, jets, boats personnel

The US committed 100 million to overthrowing
Castro, the CIA tried to sabotage the economy,
they even planned to send him an exploding cigar!
Why did they go to such lengths after April 1961?
Why was the USSR interested in helping Cuba?
  • Cuba was a new Communist state
  • Cuba provided a launch base for USSR
    inter-continental missiles (ICMs)
  • Khrushchev wanted to test strength of new US
    president, JFK
  • Khrushchev wanted to force JFK into bargaining
    over US missile in Europe

Why does this cartoonist think that Khrushchev
was interested in Cuba?
What happened during the October Crisis?
Why have some modern historians questioned the
accuracy of these spy plane pictures?
  • 14 October 1962, US U2 spy plane takes photos of
    suspected USSR missile sites on Cuba
  • Sites nearing completion, experts believe they
    could be ready in 7 days
  • US spy planes identify 20 Soviet ships bound for
    Cuba carrying missiles

Castros Role
  • No real role in decision making
  • Apparently out of touch with the situation
  • Oct. 26 Aggression imminent/imperialists
    disregarding world opinionClearly not the case
  • Khrushchev plays along to some extent but it is
    clear he disagrees with him (your suggestion
    would have started a thermonuclear world war)

? Your task
  • President John F Kennedy was faced with a number
    of extremely difficult decisions that could
    decide the fate of the world! Read through the
    list of options on your task sheet. Reduce the
    options to 2 and explain your reasons to the

Problem-solving task
One of our U-2 flights over Cuba has revealed
what analysts believe to be nuclear missiles.
Sir, the missiles look to be from the Soviet
The Missiles One Site
? Your task
  • You are about to find out what actually happened
    during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Complete a
    timeline in your notes. There are 10 key events
    to include.

Its time to discuss military options sir. The
Soviets still deny that there are nuclear
missiles in Cuba.
What happened during the October Crisis?
  • 20 October, Kennedy decides to blockade Cuba
  • 22 October, Kennedy publicly calls on Khrushchev
    to remove weapons

What happened during the October Crisis?
  • 23 October Khrushchev refuses to acknowledge
    blockade or presence of Soviet missiles on Cuba
  • 24 October, 1st Soviet ships (accompanied by
    submarine) approach 800 km exclusion zone

What happened during the October Crisis?
  • 24 October, 1032 am, Soviet ships stop and turn
  • 25 October, aerial photos show continued
    construction of missile sites
  • 26 October, Kennedy receives another letter
    offering to negotiate over missiles in Cuba with
    removal of blockade and US invasion threat
  • 27 October, Kennedy receives second letter
    calling for withdrawal of US missiles in Turkey

The American Decision
  • In September Kennedy had stated and Congress had
    passed a resolution saying that if the Soviet
    Union placed offensive weapons in Cuba we would
    not tolerate it.
  • Could we then rely solely on diplomacy? Kennedys
    thought John could be impeached if he didnt
    act in accordance with his prior warnings
  • Determined in first 48 hours of crisis that the
    removal of missiles was the primary objective
  • This objective effectively ruled out isolated
    diplomacy, and left two options

What happened during the October Crisis?
  • 27 October, US U2 plane shot down over Cuba
    pilot killed.Kennedy decides to ignore second
    letter, but accepts terms of 1st letter
  • 28 October, Khrushchev agrees to dismantle Soviet
    missiles in Cuba

What is this cartoonist trying to say about the
difficulties facing Kennedy during the Crisis?
What was the outcome of the crisis?
  • Cuba remained Communist heavily armed (without
    nuclear missiles)
  • Both leaders didnt lose face and came away with
  • Helped renew the thaw world saw the futility of
  • Permanent hotline between White House Kremlin
    set up
  • Supported theory of containment co-existence
    because alternatives unimaginable

? Your task
  • Read source 1 2 and discuss how they differ in
    their interpretation of the crisis.
  • Read all 3 sources and discuss how useful they
    are to students studying the results of the Cuban
    Missile Crisis.
  • Who do you think won the missile crisis? Kennedy,
    Khrushchev or neither? Explain your answer.

? Extension task
  • Divide into student A or B. Student A must
    produce a short press release explaining the
    background, key events outcome for the Soviet
    news agency Pravda. Student B must do the same
    for the White House spokesmens speech to

Congratulations Mr. President, Khrushchev is
removing the missiles from Cuba. We made the
right choices.