Crisis in Cuba

October 27, 1962. 72,000 feet above Cuba, an American U2 spy plane flies over the island, capturing photo intelligence. It’s been 13 days since the CIA discovered Soviet nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba, pointed directly at the US. Soviet defense forces on the ground catch the spy plane on their radar. They name it Target Number 33. The lower-level Soviet officers are getting nervous that this spy is capturing critical intelligence. Unable to reach their general, they make the call: destroy Target Number 33. In that moment, the pilot becomes the first casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis. How, at the peak of the Cold War, did a combination of political choices and bad luck push the world to the brink of nuclear war? And how did leadership, diplomacy and chance pull us back to safety?


Thank you to our guest, Michael Dobbs, author of "One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War"


 

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