In this essay it will be argued that indeed the Cuban Missile Crisis was the point of highest tension during the Cold War and also that Kennedy benefited the most from the outcome as opposed to Khrushchev who was the leader of the USSR. Firstly the Cuban Missile Crisis began on the 16th October 1962 when an American U2 spy plane photographed Soviet missiles sites in Cuba. The fact that the USSR had responded to appeals for help from Cuba following the Bay of Pigs invasion was a large problem for the USA and straight away increased the tensions of the Cold War. It was an issue because Cuba was lead by Castro, a communist who had already overthrown the pro- American government in 1961 and so he was motivated to possibly harm the United States of America and working with Khrushchev gave him the means to do so. Furthermore Cuba was only 90 miles off the coast of America, which meant these missiles, particularly the long-ranged weapons could reach major American cities.
Why, despite the disasters of 1941, was Soviet Russia able to defeat Nazi Germany by 1945? Despite many of the problems Soviet Russia initially faced when joining World War Two in 1939- such as a lack of high quality weaponry and equipment, poor economy and lack of knowledgeable officers due to the extensive purges under The Great Terror- they were able to quickly overcome them and emerge victorious against Nazi Germany in 1945. The reason behind their changing fete came as a result of a culmination of key factors including: Stalin’s leadership; the sheer patriotism and strength of the Russian people; the alliances they, begrudgingly, made; as well as fatal German mistakes. One of the factors behind this victory, which can be deemed as the least influential, was the German mistakes. Despite Hitler’s wealth of well put together weaponry, well trained and seemingly invincible army and a seemingly tactical mind-set (which made him at first so fearful and successful) he eventually made some vital errors which led to the Nazi demise.
These instances show the world again and again, that America is anti totalitarian. America’s trepidation about totalitarian regimes is a common motivator for US military involvement. A turning point in American ideals that illustrates the power of the emotion of fear and its effect on government action came during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was a very controversial time for the USSR, Cuba, and the United States. This critical event set the stage for America’s on going high tension relationship with Cuba and the U.S.S.R, both less than 100 miles of the coast of our country, (parts of Alaska are near Russia).
Following the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, Fidel Castro sought even more support from the USSR to prevent any further attempts to overthrow him. This security came in the form of Soviet nuclear missiles. From an orthodox point of view this has been viewed as an act of aggression by the USSR as it brought Soviet missiles in range of continental America, however from a revisionist perspective this can be seen as a reaction to the USA's deployment of nuclear weapons throughout Europe, particularly of Jupiter missile installations based in Turkey1. Soviet aims in Cuba were defined as bridging the missile gap between the USA and USSR, defending socialism were it was threatened and to use the missiles as a bargaining tool in international politics2. On October 15th 1962 American U-2 planes obtained photographic evidence of Soviet medium range missiles on Cuban territory.
It focuses on the diplomatic and legal efforts of the Kennedy brothers in resolving the issue of Soviet nuclear missiles inside Cuba. They strived to get some type of legal approval for any actions they took. This was done through the United Nations and the Organization of American States, or OAS. This memoir highlights the access and influence that Robert Kennedy had in the Kennedy administration. Thirteen Days takes a rational actor approach1 to the problem and tends to give less weight to organizational pressures2.
From 1939-1941, the Axis powers were at its peak. Led by the ruthless blitzkrieg war tactics of Hitler, Germany and the Axis powers were able to undergo a string of victories. However, the ironic successes of the Axis powers led to greater actions by the Allies, which ultimately resulted in failure for the Axis powers. Had Hitler and the Axis powers were not so quick as to act upon impulse, and actually work as an alliance, it is more likely that the results of the war would have been in their favor. The success of Hitler and the Axis powers during the first two years of the war, 1939-1941, was impaired due to poor, irrational planning, postponements, overconfidence, and the growing forces of the Allied powers, as exemplified in the Battle of Britain, the Invasion of the Soviet Union, and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1912 the US forces return to Cuba to put down black protests against discrimination. 1934: The US abandons its right to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs, revises Cuba's sugar quota and changes tariffs to favour Cuba. 1958: The US withdraws military aid to Batista. Over all, these events all have lead to the build up of tension between Cuba and the USA which eventually lead to the Missile crisis. Why did Castro come to power in Cuba?
During this time, East Germans became fed up with the oppressive policies of the Stazi, the antics of Honecker’s government, and the hated symbol of the Berlin Wall. They reacted against the only thing they could change and tore down the wall. Poland was another major country that disintegrated from communism. Under the lead of Lech Walesa, Poland was growing a rebellious strength. With Gorbachev as Russia’s leader, reforms were putin place as well as removing many USSR restrictions of satellite countries.
At the Yalta conference, Roosevelt’s death in 1945 brought an end to any superficial unity that still existed at the end of 1943 and Stalin had promised free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe. At Potsdam, this was the driving factor which led to Truman adopting the ‘Iron Fist’ approach; Stalin’s failure to hold free elections in the countries of Eastern Europe. In addition to this, the distrust between the allies was clearly seen when Truman had successfully developed the atomic bomb and dropped it in Japan in 1945, without telling Stalin about it. This worsened the fragile relationship as it uprooted feelings of mistrust, and increased the tensions. Another key reason was a result of Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, due to which Stalin had forced communism on Eastern Europe.
Soviet and US relations changed dramatically between 1945 and 1947, there were many reasons to explain why and how this happened. Firstly, one reason was the end of WW2. During the Second World War, America and the USSR were members of the Grand Alliance in order to oppose Hitler, but when this war finished there was nothing to bring the Communists and Capitalists together. Therefore, the two countries went from allies to progressing enemies after Germany was defeated. This developed until a confrontation, from Western and Eastern Europe, in a nuclear arms race.