The Cuban Missile Crisis
In October of 1962, the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, which had existed since the end of World War Two, climaxed when the USA discovered Soviet supplied nuclear missile bases on the Caribbean island of Cuba, a mere 90 miles from US coastline. What followed was the Cuban Missile Crisis, a political arm wrestle between the two superpowers of the world that lasted fourteen days and brought the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe. The motives behind the USSR's decision to deploy the missiles in the first place are long and complex, as are the effects and repercussions of the move. The Crisis itself lasted fourteen days, from the 15th of October until the 28th of October 1962, and the entire time "nuclear catastrophe was hanging by a thread...and we weren't counting days or hours, but minutes" (Soviet Army Chief of Operations Anatoly Gribkov) .
After the Cuban revolution of 1959, lead by left wing revolutionary Fidel Castro, and brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista's overthrow, relations between Cuba and the USA rapidly deteriorated and a very tense and hostile relationship emerged. As the new leader of Cuba, Castro wanted to make his country independent of the control the US had had on Cuba since the end of the Spanish rule in 1898, and he began to nationalize many aspects of Cuban business and industry. In retaliation to the subsequent economic losses that the nationalization of previously American-owned Cuban industry had on the USA, US authorities began to restrict trade with Cuba and refused to buy many of the Cuban exports which Cuba depended on for economic survival. The USA banned all trade in arms with Cuba, and considered banning the sugar trade, Cuba's main export. To counter the trade restrictions...