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The Cuban Missile Crisis

Were the dangers of the Cuban Missile Crisis underestimated or exaggerated?
by

Eric Rodriguez

on 3 June 2013

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Transcript of The Cuban Missile Crisis

Underestimated Exaggerated The Cuban Missile Crisis General Information -Soviet nuclear missiles already in Cuba at time of crisis. Could have been made ready for firing within hours.
-Soviet commanders in Cuba have permission to fire nuclear missiles at an American invading force without asking Moscow first.
-In 1962, American nuclear missiles in Europe have no safety keys and JFK worries that a US officer could fire missiles at Red Army without permission.
-American Minuteman missiles aimed at Soviet Union during crisis later found to have electronic faults which could have caused them to launch themselves.
-Both leaders fear that if they do not reach agreement quickly they will lose control of the military, which is eager to make the first strike. -When the US discovered the missiles in Cuba, odds were overwhelmingly in Kennedy's favor to defeat Krushchev and withdraw the missiles
-One single act by the Soviet Union would initiate a war against the 200,000 U.S. and NATO forces in Europe in which Khrushchev would be forced to surrender
-Soviet Union had between 75 and 300 missiles compared to the U.S.'s 5,000
-Khrushchev was a "bluffer", as said by U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower based on Khrushchev's response to the 1961 Berlin crisis
-Khrushchev was never thought to have been insane and was dealing with a country (U.S.) who wasn't afraid to use nuclear power as well (Nagasaki and Hiroshima)
-Wasn't as dangerous as the Berlin situation, the circlings of nuclear-loaded SAC bombers, or the nuclear-armed U.S. and Soviet submarines -U.S. and Soviet hostility and tension has been building for a long time
-In 1962, Soviet Union way behind U.S. in arms race
-Soviet missiles only capable of striking Europe, while U.S. missiles capable of striking Soviet Union
-Late April 1962, Khrushchev puts together idea to place missiles in Cuba (90 miles from U.S.)
-Fidel Castro looking for way to defend Cuba ever since failed Bay of Pigs invasion by U.S. in 1961
-Castro agrees with Khrushchev to secretly build missile sites in Cuba
-Crisis began in U.S. on October 15, 1962 when photographs revealed missile sites
-On October 22, 1962, Kennedy makes radio address to American citizens, informs them of missiles and outlines initial steps to handle crisis
-Kennedy organizes Ex-Comm, a group of 12 advisers to handle crisis
-After 7 days of debate, Kennedy imposes naval quarantine around Cuba
-October 27, U-2 spy plane shot down over Cuba and Kennedy receives letter from Khrushchev demanding removal of U.S. missiles in Turkey in exchange for removal of Soviet missiles in Cuba
-October 28, tensions begin to ease as Khrushchev agrees to remove missiles from Cuba, trusting U.S. not to invade Cuba again
-Further negotiations assure Soviet light bombers in Cuba will leave and U.S. will not invade Cuba
-Closest the world has come to a full-scale nuclear war The Cuban Missile Crisis EQ: Were the dangers of the Cuban Missile Crisis underestimated or exaggerated? THE END My Opinion I believe the dangers of the Cuban Missile Crisis were exaggerated in that Khrushchev was an infamous bluffer and would not be stupid enough to start a nuclear war that he could not win. I do believe, however, that the potential effects of the crisis were underestimated and could have been catastrophic, wiping out 500,000,000 lives. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/x3jfk.gif http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/heroesvillains/g2/images/g2cs2s7a.gif http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/cuban-missile-crisis.html
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