Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell Air Force Base


Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland Air Force Base


Commander in Chief Atlantic


CNN Cold War TV series, 1998. Transcripts of interviews at King's College London


Chief of Naval Operations

CNO Cuba

CNO Cuba history files, Boxes 58-72, Operational Archives, USNHC


CIA Records Search Tool, NARA


Cold War International History Project bulletin


Department of Energy OpenNet


Foreign Broadcast Information Service.


Response to Freedom of Information Act request


Foreign Relations of the United States Series, 1961-1963, Vols. X, XI, XV. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997, 1996, 1994.

Havana 2002

Havana Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962. Conference briefing books prepared by the National Security Archive


John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection at NARA


John F. Kennedy Library, Boston


Philip Zelikow and Ernest May, eds., The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, The Great Crises, Vols. 2-3, Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia


Los Angeles Times


Library of Congress Dmitrii Volkogonov Collection


Archives of Mezhregional'naya Assotsiatsia Voinov-Internatsionalistov, Moscow


National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD


National Defense University, Washington, D.C.


National Intelligence Estimate


Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970


Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament. Boston: Little, Brown, 1974


National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO


National Security Agency


National Security Archive, Washington, DC


National Security Archive, Cuba Collection


New York Times


Oral History


Office of Secretary of Defense, Cuba Files, NARA


Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days. New York: W. W. Norton, 1969


Records of State Department Coordinator for Cuban Affairs, NARA


Records of State Department Executive Secretariat, NARA


Archives of Soviet Foreign Intelligence, Moscow


U.S. Continental Army Command


U.S. Intelligence Agency


U.S. Navy Historical Center, U.S. Continental Army Command, Washington, DC.


Washington Post


Zulu time or GMT, four hours ahead of Quebec time (Eastern Daylight Time), five hours ahead of Romeo time (Eastern Standard Time). Time group 241504Z is equivalent to October 24, 1504GMT, which is the same as 241104Q, or 1104EDT


"the clearing of a field": Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days (New York: W. W. Norton, 1969, hereafter RFK), 24. Photographs of missile sites are available through the John F. Kennedy Library, the National Security Archive, the Naval Historical Research Center, and NARA.

"Daddy, daddy": CNN interview with Sidney Graybeal, January 1998, CNN CW. 3 "Caroline, have you": Dino Brugioni, "The Cuban Missile Crisis--Phase 1," CIA Studies in Intelligence (Fall 1972), 49-50, CREST; Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), 371; author's interview with Robert McNamara, October 2005.

Once armed and ready to fire: CIA, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 19, 1962, CREST. The CIA estimated the range of the R-12 (SS-4) missile as 1,020 nautical miles; the true range was 2,080 kilometers, or 1,292 miles. For simplicity, I have converted all nautical mile measurements to the more commonly used statute miles.

"The length, sir": For dialogue from ExComm meetings, I have relied on the transcripts produced by the Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia, Philip Zelikow and Ernest May, eds., The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, The Great Crises, Vols. 2 and 3 (hereafter JFK2 and JFK3). The transcripts are available at the Miller Center Web site. I have also consulted Sheldon M. Stern, Averting "the Final Failure": John F. Kennedy and the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis Meetings (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003). For atmosphere, and to check discrepancies, I have listened to the original tapes, available through the Miller Center and the JFK Library.

"a hostile and militant Communist": Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 101.

"to hurl rockets": Keating press release, October 10, 1962.

"Ken Keating will probably": Kai Bird, The Color of Truth (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), 226-7. Kenneth P. O'Donnell and David F. Powers, Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970), 310.

"let it begin now": William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003), 499.

"It reminded me": Beschloss, 224-7. Robert Dallek, An Unfinished Life (Boston: Little, Brown, 2003), 413-15. Reeves, 174.

"I'm inexperienced": Reeves, 172.

"fucking liar": Dallek, 429.

"an immoral gangster": Beschloss, 11.

the president's "dissatisfaction": FRUS, 1961-1963, Vol. XI: Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath, Document 19. Sabotage proposals and earlier meeting of Special Group (Augmented) available through JFK Assassination Records Collection, NARA. See also Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder (New York: Random House, 2003), 208-9.

"Demolition of a railroad bridge": Mongoose memorandum, October 16, 1962, JFKARC.

"the Cuban problem carries": CIA memorandum, January 19, 1962, JFKARC. See also Church Committee Report, Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975), 141.

"Everybody in my family forgives": Richard D. Mahoney, Sons and Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy (New York: Arcade, 1999), 87.

"Oh shit, shit, shit": Dino Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball: The Inside Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Random House, 1991), 223; RFK, 23.

"the dominant feeling was one": RFK, 27.

"My idea is": Reeves, 264; Dallek, 439.

He even had his own full-time: Samuel Halpern interview with CIA history staff, January 15, 1988, JFKARC record no. 104-10324-1003.

"Robert Kennedy's most conspicuous folly": Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978), 534.

"sit there, chewing gum": Author's interview with Thomas Parrott, October 2005.

"reflected the president's own": Richard Goodwin, Remembering America (Boston: Little, Brown, 1988), 187.

A top secret Lansdale memorandum: "The Cuba Project," February 20, 1962, JFKARC record no. 176-10011-10046.

"Lansdale's projects simply gave": McManus interview with Church Committee, JFKARC.

"Elimination by Illumination": Lansdale memo, October 15, 1962, JFKARC; Parrott interview with Church Committee. In a January 1, 1976, letter to the Church Committee, Lansdale indignantly denied making the illumination proposal, but the record shows that he did.

"will meet our requirements": Robert A. Hurwitch memorandum, September 16, 1962, SCA, JFKARC record no. 179-10003-10046.

"There is only one thing": Eisenhower presidential papers quoted in Reeves, 103.

"I know there is a God": Ibid., 174.

"odds are even": Joseph Alsop, "The Legacy of John F. Kennedy," Saturday Evening Post, November 21, 1964, 17. For the "one-in-five" quote, see Reeves, 179.

"Bullfight critics": Max Frankel, High Noon in the Cold War (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004), 83.

the approval by "higher authority": Thomas Parrott memorandum, October 17, 1962, SCA, JFKARC record no. 179-10003-10081.

As the winds: State Department history of "The Cuban Crisis 1962," 72, NSA Cuba; CINCLANT Historical Account of Cuban Crisis, 141, NSA Cuba.

"military intervention by the United States": JCS memorandum, April 10, 1962, JFKARC.

"We could blow up": L. L. Lemnitzer memorandum, August 8, 1962, JFKARC. 18 "I am so angry": Edmund Morris, Theodore Rex (New York: Random House, 2001), 456.

"an importance in the sum": James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn, and David A. Welch, Cuba on the Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis, and the Soviet Collapse (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 323-4.

Bobby Kennedy was already: RFK desk diary, JFKARC. See also Chronology of the Matahambre Mine Sabotage Operation, William Harvey to DCI, November 14, 1962, JFKARC.

"an initial burst": Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy: His Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), 214.

"My brother is not going": Elie Abel, The Missile Crisis (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1966), 51.

According to Harvey's record: Chronology of the Matahambre Mine Sabotage Operation; Harvey memo on sabotage operation, October 19, 1962, JFKARC.

"I don't want that man": Reeves, 182.

America had "the Russian bear": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 469.

As many as 70 million: Reeves, 175.

"These brass hats": O'Donnell and Powers, 318.

"the military always screws up": Stern, 38; Beschloss, 530.

Every aspect of the operation had: Author's interview with Pedro Vera, January 2006; Harvey memo to Lansdale, August 29, 1962, JFKARC; Cuban army interrogation of Vera and Pedro Ortiz, Documentos de los Archivos Cubanos, November 8, 1962, Havana 2002.

"the Farm": Also known by the code word "ISOLATION" Chronology of the Matahambre Mine Sabotage Operation.

"You do it": Warren Hinckle and William Turner, Deadly Secrets (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992), 149.

"If the Americans see us": Malakhov reminiscences, Archives of Mezhregional'naya Assotsiatsia Voinov-Internatsionalistov, Moscow (hereafter MAVI).

the 79th missile regiment: V. I. Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr': Kak Eto Bylo (Moscow: MOOVVIK, 2004), 381. Except where noted, all references to this book are to the 2004 edition. Some of the names of the missile regiments were changed for Operation Anadyr as part of the Soviet disinformation campaign. The 79th missile regiment was also referred to as the 514th missile regiment in Cuba. The CIA incorrectly reported that a missile site near San Cristobal was the first to achieve combat-ready status.

given a special "government assignment": Sidorov's account of the deployment is contained in A. I. Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni (Moscow: Gregory-Page, 1998), 213-23.

All this was part of a much larger: Col. Gen. Sergei Ivanov memo, June 20, 1962, Soviet defense minister Rodion Malinovsky memos, September 6 and 8, 1962, trans. in CWIHP, 11 (Winter 1998), 257-60.

"The motherland will not forget": Malakhov, MAVI.

The first ship to depart: For shipping tonnages and descriptions, I have relied on Ambrose Greenway, Soviet Merchant Ships (Emsworth, UK: Kenneth Mason, 1985). I use gross tonnage, a measurement of volume, not weight.

In all, 264 men had to share: Author's interview with Lt. Col. Sergei Karlov, official historian, Peter the Great Military Academy of Strategic Rocket Forces (RSVN), May 2006.

Military statisticians later estimated: Ibid.

"barreled gas oil": NSA Cuban missile crisis release, October 1998.

McNamara estimated Soviet troop: JFK2, 606. The CIA had estimated 3,000 Soviet "technicians" in Cuba on September 4. By November 19, they increased the estimate to 12,000-16,000. In January 1963, they concluded retrospectively that there were 22,000 Soviet troops in Cuba at the peak of the crisis. See Raymond L. Garthoff, Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1989), 35.

"For the sake of the revolution": Author's interview with Capt. Oleg Dobrochinsky, Moscow, July 2004.

citing a "traffic accident": Final report by Maj. Gen. I. D. Statsenko on Operation Anadyr (hereafter Statsenko report);see Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 345-53.

"we may not have confused": Yesin, et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 219. Author's interviews with Viktor Yesin, lieutenant engineer in Sidorov's regiment, July 2004 and May 2006.

Four more missile launchers were stationed: In order to avoid confusion, I have stuck with the CIA designation of Sagua la Grande as the site of Sidorov's regiment. In fact, his regimental headquarters were seventeen miles southeast of there, closer to the village of Calabazar de Sagua, at 22deg39'N, 79deg52'W. One battalion (diviziya in Russian) of four missile launchers was stationed near Calabazar de Sagua; the second was between Sitiecito and Viana, six miles southeast of Sagua la Grande.

"Just remember one thing": Malakhov, MAVI.

"The minute you get back": Pierre Salinger, John F. Kennedy: Commander in Chief (New York: Penguin Studio, 1997), 116.

A surprise air strike: Minutes of October 20,1962, ExComm meeting, JFK2, 601-14.

"Gentlemen, today": Stern, 133. See also Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 314, and Reeves, 388.

"My fellow Americans": Havana 2002, vol. 2. The author of the air strike speech has not been identified, but circumstantial evidence including the formatting suggests that it was written by Bundy or one of his aides.

"We are very, very close": Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 1-2; Theodore Sorensen OH, 60-66, JFKL.


the "highest national urgency": Salinger, John F. Kennedy, 262.

"They've probably discovered": Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev: Krizisy i Rakety (Moscow: Novosti, 1994), 263, author's translation.

"It's a pre-electoral trick": A. A. Fursenko, Prezidium Ts. K. KPSS, 1954-1964 (Moscow: Rosspen, 2003), Vol. 1, Protocol No. 60, 617, author's trans. English translations of the Presidium protocols are available through the Kremlin Decision-Making Project of the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

"If they were to use": Sergo Mikoyan, Anatomiya Karibskogo Krizisa (Moscow: Academia, 2006), 252. Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali attributed this quote to Mikoyan rather than Khrushchev in Khrushchev's Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006), 472. They subsequently said they made a mistake. Sergo Mikoyan is the son of Anastas Mikoyan. His book includes extensive citations from notes made by his father in January 1963, three months after the missile crisis, which are now in his possession.

"He's either all the way": Taubman, xx.

"enough emotion": James G. Blight and David A. Welch, On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990), 329.

It was "only natural": Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974, hereafter NK2), 510.

"The tragic thing is that": Presidium Protocol No. 60.

Khrushchev was proud of his humble roots: Taubman, xvii.

"like the old joke": Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs (New York: Knopf, 1990), 217.

"Not strong enough": Reeves, 166.

"young enough to be": See, e.g., William Knox's account of his visit to Khrushchev, October 24, 1962, JFKL.

"a merciless business": NK2, 499.

"America recognizes only": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 62.

"How can you say that": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 130.

"Your voice must impress": Fursenko and Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, 416.

"their own medicine": Aleksandr Alekseev, "Karibskii Krizis," Ekho Planety, 33 (November 1988).

"the same shit": Fursenko and Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, 413.

"I see U.S. missiles": John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 264.

"Now we can swat": FRUS, 1961-1963, Vol. XV: Berlin Crisis, 1962-1963, 309-10.

the "best kept secret": Sorensen OH, JFKL. The thirteen full members of the ExComm were President Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy, Director of Central Intelligence John McCone, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Maxwell Taylor, Under Secretary of State George Ball, Ambassador-at-Large Llewellyn Thompson, Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric, and Special Counsel Theodore Sorensen. Several other aides were invited to attend ExComm sessions on an ad hoc basis. (National Security Action Memorandum 196, October 22,1962.)

"How long do I have": Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, The Wise Men (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986), 631.

By Monday afternoon: Cuba Fact Sheet, October 27, 1962, NSAW.

"Call Operator 18": Reeves, 392.

"A great nation": Dean Acheson OH, JFKL.

"by an inadvertent act": Air Defense Command in the Cuban Crisis, ADC Historical Study No. 16, 116, FOIA. See also sections on 25th and 30th Air divisions.

"the dumbest weapons system": June 2002 e-mail to the author from Joseph A. Hart, former F-106 pilot.

"booming off the runway": ADC Historical Study No. 16.

"If they want this job": Beschloss, 481.

"clearly in a nervous": Dobrynin cable, October 22, 1962, CWIHP, 5 (Spring 1995), 69. Dean Rusk, As I Saw It (New York: W. W. Norton, 1990), 235.

"Is this a crisis?": WP, October 23, 1962, A1; Beschloss, 482.

"This is not a war": Fursenko and Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, 474.

"We've saved Cuba": Oleg Troyanovsky, Cherez Gody y Rastoyaniya (Moscow: Vagrius, 1997), 244-5.

The 11,000-ton Yuri Gagarin: I have reconstructed the positions of Soviet ships on October 23 from CIA daily memorandums for October 24 and 25, NSA intercepts, plus research in Moscow by Karlov. See also Statsenko report.

Her cargo included: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 114.

After a sixteen-day voyage: For the positions of the Aleksandrovsk and Almetyevsk, see NSA Cuban missile crisis release, vol. 2, October 1998.

In addition to the surface ships: Svetlana Savranskaya, "New Sources on the Role of Soviet Submarines in the Cuban Missile Crisis," Journal of Strategic Studies (April 2005).

The vessels closest to Cuba: The ships that continued to Cuba were the Aleksandrovsk, Almetyevsk, Divnogorsk, Dubno, and Nikolaevsk, according to CIA logs and Karlov research.

"In connection with": Havana 2002, vol. 2, Document 16, author's trans.

"Order the return": Fursenko, Prezidium Ts. K. KPSS, 618-19.

"caught literally with his pants": Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970, hereafter NK1), 497; Troyanovsky, 245.

"He is a genuine revolutionary": Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1958-1964 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), 39.

"He made a deep": NK2, 478.

"like a son": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 190.

the code name AVANPOST: Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 55.

"He had a weakness": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 203.

"Are you or are you not": Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 29, quoting interview with Alekseev.

"understand that there are limits": Felix Chuev, Molotov Remembers (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1993), 8.

"it would be foolish": NK1, 494.

When Khrushchev's son-in-law: Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 153.

"One thought kept": NK1, 495.

"What if we were": Dmitri Volkogonov, Sem'Vozdei (Moscow: Novosti, 1998), 420; the English version of Volkogonov's book, Autopsy for an Empire (New York: Free Press, 1998), 236, provides a slightly different translation.

that "something big": Author's interviews with F-102 pilots Dan Barry and Darrell Gydesen, November 2005-February 2006.

The first five planes: USAF incident report, October 22, 1962, AFSC.

By mobilizing the reserves: Alekseev message to Moscow, October 23, 1962, CWIHP, 8-9 (Winter 1996-97), 283.

Even before Castro issued: Tomas Diez Acosta, October 1962: The Missile Crisis as Seen from Cuba (Tucson, AZ: Pathfinder, 2002), 156.

"The Americans": Fernando Davalos, Testigo Nuclear (Havana: Editora Politica, 2004), 22.

"The goofiest idea since": Dallek, 335.

"Patient too tired": JFK medical file, JFKL.

"ready to quit": Kraus files, JFKL.

"I'm sorry, doctor": Reeves, 396.

It was a short twenty-minute hop: Author's interview with Ruger Winchester, former B-47 pilot, February 2006.

Logan was totally unprepared: History of 509th Bombardment Wing, October 1962, and Special Historical Annex on Cuban Crisis, FOIA, Whiteman AFB.

The 509th would have had difficulty: Author's interview with Ross Schmoll, former B-47 navigator, December 2005.

"We shouldn't worry": Carlos Franqui, Family Portrait with Fidel (New York: Random House, 1984), 192.

Soviet commanders had been gathering: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 130.

Pliyev had accepted the Cuba post: M. A. Derkachev, Osoboe Poruchenie (Vladikavkaz: Ir, 1994), 24-28, 48-50; Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 79. For Pliyev's personality, see also Dmitri Yazov, Udary Sudby (Moscow: Paleya-Mishin, 1999), 183-5.

The general explained the situation: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 143; Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 306.

"Cuba si, yanqui no": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 234.

Orders had already gone out: Karlov interview.

The submarines were still: Mikoyan notes dictated in January 1963; see Mikoyan, 252-4.

"in the interests of the motherland": Vladimir Semichastny, Bespoikonoe Serdtse (Moscow: Vagrius, 2002), 236.


Radiation detection devices: U.S. Navy message, November 14, 1962, from DNI to CINCUSNAVEUR, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

The photo interpreters had identified: October 22, 1962, transcript, JFK 3, 64. Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 542.

An initial shipment of ninety: The NSA incorrectly identified the Indigirka on September 25 as an "icebreaker," but correctly noted that she had left from the Murmansk area. See NSA Cuban missile crisis release, October 1998. For Aleksandrovsk shipment, see Malinovsky report for Special Ammunition for Operation Anadyr, October 5, 1962, Havana 2002, vol. 2. Details on the Indigirka shipment come from Karlov notes and interview. The Soviet officer in charge of the deployment, Col. Nikolai Beloborodov, said in 1994 that six nuclear mines were also sent to Cuba, but this claim has not been confirmed by documents--James G. Blight and David A. Welch, eds., Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Oxford: Routledge, 1998), 58.

nicknamed "Tatyanas": The formal name for the bomb was RDS-4. Author's interview with Valentin Anastasiev, May 2006.

The Tatyanas were an afterthought: CWIHP, 11 (Winter 1998), 259. See also draft directive to commander of Soviet forces on Cuba, September 8, 1962, Havana 2002, vol. 2.

The absence of security fences: Based on the details provided by Anastasiev, the storage site for the Tatyana bombs appears to have been 23deg1'13''N, 82deg49'56''W, on the coast about five miles west of Mariel.

Like the Indigirka: A January 1963 reconstruction by the CIA located the Aleksandrovsk at the Guba Okolnaya submarine facility near Severomorsk on October 5. See "On the Trail of the Aleksandrovsk," released under CIA historical program, September 18, 1995, CREST.

Three 37mm antiaircraft guns: Malinovsky report, October 5, 1962, Havana 2002, vol. 2.

Demolition engineers had placed: See Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 208, for the story of the Indigirka crossing. Aleksandrovsk procedures were similar.

for "saving the ship": Report by Maj. Gen. Osipov, MAVI; Karlov interview.

The Aleksandrovsk kept radio silence: For the escort ship, see, e.g., NSA intercepts, October 23, 1962; Cuban missile crisis release, vol. 2, October 1998.

a "dry cargo" ship: See CIA memorandum on "Soviet Bloc shipping to Cuba," October 23, 1962, JFKARC. On October 24, after the Aleksandrovsk had already docked in La Isabela, the CIA gave an incorrect position for the ship, and said she was not expected in Havana until October 25--CIA memorandum, October 24, 1962, CREST. The Aleksandrovsk was located through electronic direction-finding techniques rather than visually.

"an underwater demolition attack": Mongoose memo, October 16, 1962, JFKARC.

The raiders later boasted: CIA report on Alpha 66, November 9, 1962, JFKARC; see also FBI report, FOIA release R-759-1-41, posted on Internet by Cuban Information Archives, The Alpha 66 raid took place on October 8.

The Aleksandrovsk and the Almetyevsk: Ship's log inspected by Karlov, arrival recorded as 1345 Moscow time. The NSA located the Almetyevsk twenty-five miles from La Isabela at 3:49 a.m., NSA Cuban missile crisis release, vol. 2, October 1998.

"The ship Aleksandrovsk... adjusted": Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 254. The authors incorrectly report that the Aleksandrovsk arrived later in the day.

"So you've brought": Author's interview with Gen. Anatoly Gribkov, July 2004.

The port soon became: Author's interview with Rafael Zakirov, May 2006; Zakirov article in Nezavisimoe Voennoe Obozrenie, October 5, 2007. See also report by former nuclear weapons chief Beloborodov in Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 204-13. Writing three decades after the crisis, Beloborodov is unreliable on dates and some other details, but his report is the most authoritative account available about the handling of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba.

The six RF-8 Crusader jets: U.S. Navy records, NPIC Photographic Interpretation Reports, CREST; raw intelligence film for Blue Moon missions 5001, 5003, and 5005, NARA; author's interviews with Comm. William Ecker, Lt. Comm. James Kauflin, and Lt. Gerald Coffee in October 2005. Ecker flew mission 5003.

One thousand feet was the ideal: Author's interview with John I. Hudson, who flew Crusaders over Cuba, October 2005. Other pilots remember taking photographs from lower altitudes, but Arthur Lundahl and Maxwell Taylor told JFK on October 24 that the previous day's photographs were taken from "around 1,000 feet"--JFK3, 186-7. The raw film, now at NARA, has numerous markings stating that it was shot at 1,000 feet.

"Chalk up another chicken": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 374.

"You're a pilot": Ecker interview.

Fernando Davalos: Davalos, 15.

Valentin Polkovnikov: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 189.

"Why can't we retaliate?": Anatoly I. Gribkov and William Y. Smith, Operation ANADYR: U.S. and Soviet Generals Recount the Cuban Missile Crisis (Chicago: Edition Q, 1993), 57.

"Only someone with no": Ibid., 55.

By October 23, 42,822 Soviet: Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 100.

Overnight, the missile sites: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 173; blast information provided by Gen. Viktor Yesin--interview, May 2006.

"Other people are deciding": Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Edmundo Desnoes, Memories of Underdevelopment (Pittsburgh: Latin American Literary Review Press, 2004), 171.

"The poster": Adolfo Gilly, Inside the Cuban Revolution (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1964), 48.

"It looks like it's going": I have relied on Stern, Averting "The Final Failure," 204, for the unexpurgated version of this exchange.

"I fought in three": Abel, 116.

"Here lie the Soviet diplomats": Reeves, 397.

"Why is it": David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest (New York: Random House, 1972), 269.

"In the Navy, the ethos": Author's interview with Capt. William D. Hauser, Gilpatric naval aide, May 2006.

"Keep a firm grasp": Time magazine profile of Anderson, November 2, 1962.

"From now on": Anderson memo to McNamara, October 23, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"locking the barn door": Transcript of Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings, Havana 2002, vol. 2.

The admiral resented McNamara's: George Anderson OH, USNHC.

"We'll hail it": Blight and Welch, On the Brink, 64.

"It's all in there": Abel, 137; Joseph F. Bouchard, Command in Crisis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 115. Abel and other writers misidentified the publication cited by Anderson as the Manual of Naval Regulations. As Bouchard points out, this manual contains no guidance on the conduct of blockades. Law of Naval Warfare is available through USNHC, no. NWIP 10-2.

"This is none of your goddamn": Roswell Gilpatric OH, JFKL. Anderson denied using strong language, but conceded making "a good-humored remark" about the Navy knowing how to run blockades.

"You heard me": McNamara interview.

The clash between: Following Abel, 135-8, most authors say this scene took place on the evening of Wednesday, October 24, despite McNamara's recollection that it was the evening of October 23, prior to the imposition of the quarantine. The records show that Anderson left the Pentagon at 2035 on October 24; McNamara visited Flag Plot at 2120, where he met with one of Anderson's deputies--CNO Cuba files, CNO Office logs, USHNC; see also McNamara office diaries, OSD.

"I don't know how": Sources for this scene include Kennedy, Thirteen Days, 65-6; Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence (New York: Random House, 1995), 81-2; and the reports filed by both men immediately afterward. RFK's version is reprinted in FRUS, Vol. XI, 175; an English trans. of Dobrynin's October 24, 1962, cable can be found in CWIHP, 5 (Spring 1995), 71-3.

The mass media had always: Tad Szulc, Fidel: A Critical Portrait (New York: William Morrow, 1986), 465. I have relied on Szulc for most of Castro's early biographical details.

"Fatigued by talking": "The Fidel Castro I know," Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cuba News, August 2, 2006.

The streets of Havana: Prensa Latina dispatch by Sergio Pineda, October 24, 1962.

"They were geared": Maurice Halperin, Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 191.

"We have won the war": Szulc, 30.

"a much bigger": Ibid., 51. Castro later claimed that he wrote this letter at a time of great emotion and that it did not reflect his true feelings toward America. His argument is unconvincing, and seems geared to an international audience. Copies of the letter to Sanchez are prominently displayed in Cuban museums for the domestic audience.

"We are going ahead": Hugh Thomas, Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 445.

"an illiterate and ignorant": Halperin, 81.

The sugar harvest: Ibid., 124-5, 160.

"sectarianism": See, e.g., report of Hungarian ambassador Janos Beck, December 1, 1962, Havana 2002, vol. 2.

When Khrushchev first broached: See, e.g., Alekseev quoted in Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 179.

"many mobile ramps": Mary McAuliffe, CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992), 105. The pilot's name was Claudio Morinas. The report was disseminated within the CIA on September 20, 1962.

"missiles on Cuban territory": Henry Brandon, Special Relationships (New York: Atheneum, 1988), 172.

"the pass at Thermopylae": Szulc, 445.

Carved out of the soft limestone: Author's visit to Cueva de los Portales, March 2006. The caves have been turned into a museum and shrine to Che.

"an extraordinary man": Jorge Castaneda, Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara (New York: Knopf, 1997), 83.

"our old, much lamented": Ibid., 62.

"too much freedom": Ibid., 71.

Castro had reserved half: Blight and Welch, On the Brink, 398.

Timur Gaidar: The father of Yegor Gaidar, Russia's first post-Communist prime minister. Decades later, Yevtushenko gleefully told the story of how, as a small boy living with his father in Havana, the father of Russian capitalism "pissed on my beautiful white suit"--author's interview, June 2006. See also Yevtushenko, article in Novaya Gazeta, July 11, 2005.

"Has Moscow called?": Timur Gaidar, Grozi na Yuge (Moscow: Voennoe Izdatelstvo, 1984), 159.


The previous evening, he and other: NYT, October 24, 1962; Foy Kohler cable to State Department 1065, October 24, 1962, SDX.

"Why, that's Karl": Knox notes on meeting, JFKL.

"If I point a pistol": Beschloss, 496.

"disappear the first day": Roger Hilsman memo to secretary of state, October 26, 1962, OSD.

"Saying Grace": Reeves, 410.

"He opened and closed": RFK, 69-70.

"probably the most memorable day": Dobrynin, 83.

"massive uncertainty": NYT, October 28, 1962.

"sat around wondering": Clinton Heylin, Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 102-3; see also Dylan interview with Studs Turkel, May 1, 1963.

"We're eyeball": Rusk, 237.

"The meeting droned on": RFK, 72.

"SECRET. FROM HIGHEST": CINCLANTFLT message 241523Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC. The order was also passed on by single sideband radio from Navy Plot--Vice Adm. Griffin notes, October 24, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

The Kimovsk was nearly: The Kimovsk's position at 0930, October 24, was 27deg18'N, 55deg42'W, according to CINCLANTFLT message 241950Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC. The Essex's position at 0900 on October 24 was 23deg20'N, 67deg20'W, according to ship logs now at NARA. Erroneous accounts of Soviet ship positions are given in Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision, 2nd ed. (New York: Longman, 1999), 233, 348-9, and Fursenko and Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, 477, 615. The U.S. Navy concluded on October 25 that the Soviet ships had turned around at 0700 Zulu time on October 23, 3:00 a.m. in Washington, 10:00 a.m. in Moscow--CNO Office logs, October 25, USNHC. According to Soviet records, the turnaround orders began going out at 6:00 a.m. on October 23--see notes in chapter two.

"turned around when confronted": McAuliffe, 297. McCone's information was incorrect. JFK noted at the ExComm meeting that an intercept attempt would be made between 10:30 and 11:00.

only "a few miles" apart: RFK, 68-72; see also Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 537, which draws on RFK's account.

"en route to the Baltic": CIA report, October 25, 1962, CREST.

The naval staff suspected: Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 391. Some of the reported positions for Soviet ships, including the Aleksandrovsk and the Poltava, were clearly false. For accuracy of direction fixes, see JFK3, 238.

He had visited Flag Plot: CNO, Report on the Naval Quarantine of Cuba, USNHC.

Communications circuits were overloaded: CNO Office logs, October 24, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

That afternoon, NSA received: Message from director, NSA, October 24, 1962, NSA Cryptotologic Museum, Fort Meade, MD.

"in a position to reach": JFK3, 41.

"surprise attacks": Anderson message 230003Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"I give you my word": Kohler cable to State Department, 979, October 16, 1962, SDX.

"the appearance of": CINCLANT (Dennison) message to JCS 312250Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"Initial class probable sub": U.S. Navy messages 241610Z and 250533Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC, also available through "The Submarines of October," Electronic Briefing Book 75, NSAW. The submarine was located at 25deg25'N, 63deg40'W. It was dubbed "C-18" by the Navy.

What had started off: See Gary E. Weir and Walter J. Boyne, Rising Tide: The Untold Story of the Russian Submarines That Fought the Cold War (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 79-98, for an account of the B-130 journey, based on interviews with Capt. Nikolai Shumkov.

"special camps are being prepared": Savranskaya, "New Sources on the Role of Soviet Submarines in the Cuban Missile Crisis," Journal of Strategic Studies (April 2005).

Shumkov understood the power: Weir and Boyne, 79-80; Aleksandr Mozgovoi, Kubinskaya Samba Kvarteta Fokstrotov (Moscow: Voenni bibliography Entryd, 2002), 69.

"If they slap you": Savranskaya, "New Sources." See this article also for conflicting evidence over whether Soviet submarine captains had the authority to use nuclear torpedoes if attacked.

The information on the overhead screens: SAC historians jotted down the daily totals and recorded them in Strategic Air Command Operations in the Cuban Crisis of 1962, SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, NSA. Photographs of the SAC control room are in Vol. 2, FOIA.

By the time SAC reached: SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, 58.

"high priority Task 1 targets": William Kaufmann memo, Cuba and the Strategic Threat, October 25, 1962, OSD.

At 11:10 a.m.: Cuba crisis records, 389th Strategic Missile Wing, FOIA.

"This is General Power speaking": SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, vii.

It was received loud and clear: G. M. Kornienko, Kholodnaya Voina (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnie Otnesheniya, 1994), 96. It is unclear whether the Soviets intercepted the DEFCON-2 order, in addition to Power's message. The DEF CON-2 order was classified top secret; Power's address was unclassified. See Garthoff, Reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 62.

tried as "a war criminal": Quoted in Richard Rhodes, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 21.

"SAC bases and SAC targets": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 262-5.

"They're smart": Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), 265.

"mean," "cruel": Gen. Horace M. Wade OH, AFHRA.

"The whole idea": Kaplan, 246.

Using maps and charts: Kaufmann memo, Cuba and the Strategic Threat, OSD.

Just to move the 1st Armored Division: USCONARC Participation in the Cuban Crisis 1962, NSAW, 79-88, 119-21. USCONARC briefing to House Appropriations Committee, January 21, 1963.

"Soon military police": Dino Brugioni, "The Invasion of Cuba," in Robert Cowley, ed., The Cold War (New York: Random House, 2006), 214-15.

The British consul in Miami: British Archives on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 (London: Archival Publications, 2001), 278; "Air Force Response to the Cuban Crisis," 6-9, NSAW; NYT, WP, and LAT reports from Key West, October 1962.

Military shipments did not always: USCONARC, 117.

Fidel Castro had spent the night: Author's interview with Rafael Del Pino, former Cuban air force aide to Castro, September 2005. Unpublished MS by Del Pino.

"Our greatest problem": Notes on meeting between Castro and Cuban military chiefs, October 24, 1962, released by the Cuban government, Documentos de los Archivos Cubanos, Havana 2002.

This stretch of coastline: Szulc, 474-6.

A thirty-minute drive: Author's visit to Tarara beach and SAM site, March 2006. Both the SAM site and the antimissile site are still visible on Google Earth at 23deg09' 28.08''N, 82deg13' 38.87''W.

As he drove back to Havana: Acosta, 165. For Castro's thoughts, see Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 211. Photographs of Castro's visit to the AA unit are available on Cuban Web sites.

"Fidel gets his kicks": Franqui, 189.

A few months earlier: Estimate by Soviet defense minister Malinovsky; Blight and Welch, On the Brink, 327.

The Marine regiment selected: Marine Corps records, October 1962, JFKARC.

"Where are we gonna go?": Author's interview with Maj. Gregory J. Cizek, operations officer, 2nd Marine Regiment, April 2005.

who "spent his time": Author's interview with Don Fulham, assistant operations officer, 2nd Marine Regiment, May 2005.

Whatever happened, casualties: CINCLANT message, November 2, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"diversionary replies": CNO Office logs, October 24, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"purposeful and completely unruffled": Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 69.

He quickly agreed: Statsenko report.

"A force that remains": Szulc, 179.

"You don't want to celebrate": Beschloss, 501.

"You'll be interested": Ibid., 502.

Had Kennedy known: Yesin interviews, July 2004 and May 2006. See also Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 154.

The targeting cards: Author's interview with Maj. Nikolai Oblizin, deputy head ballistic division, July 2004.

Launching the missiles successfully: For description of the sequence of firing an R-12 missile, I am indebted to Col. Gen. Yesin, former chief of staff of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces, who served with Sidorov's regiment as a lieutenant engineer.

The regiment of Colonel Nikolai Bandilovsky: The sites in western Cuba were designated San Cristobal 1, 2, 3, and 4 by the CIA, from west to east. The first two sites (Bandilovsky) were actually sixteen and thirteen miles west of San Cristobal. The other two (Solovyev) were about six miles west and seven miles northeast.

He ordered Sidorov and Bandilovsky: Statsenko report.


"The Americans have": Presidium protocol No. 61. Fursenko, Prezidium Ts. K. KPSS, 620-2.

Nikita "shit in his pants": Attributed to Deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Kuznetsov, in Kornienko, 96.

"That's it": Semichastny, 279.

"You don't have to worry": Testimony of Emilio Aragones in Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 351.

The two men sent by the CIA: Vera interview.

The lack of power would also: CIA report, August 29, 1962, Mongoose memo, JFKARC.

A dispatch from Ambassador Dobrynin: CWIHP, 8-9 (Winter 1996-97), 287.

a proximity fuse: Alexander Feklisov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (New York: Enigma Books, 2001), 127.

"what we would call": NK1, 372.

"He sure as hell": Warren Rogers interview in Tulanian (Spring 1998).

"to finish with Castro": Author's interview with embassy counselor Georgi Kornienko, July 2004; KGB report to Moscow, SVR; Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 261.

It was the tip: Dobrynin telegram, October 25, 1962, LCV; Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 259-62.

"Stop the conveyor": Article in Hoy Dominical [Havana], November 18, 1962; CIA report, August 29, 1962, Mongoose memo, JFKARC.

Coffee could see rows and rows: Author's interview with Lt. Gerald Coffee, December 2005; his mission number was Blue Moon 5012.

"alertness in a rapidly": Undated letter to Coffee from Marine Corps Cdr. David Shoup.

The overflight of the Crusader: Gribkov et al., U KrayaYadernoi Bezdni, 253-60.

Kovalenko controlled two Luna launchers: Malinovsky memorandum, September 6, 1962, LCV, trans. in CWIHP, 11 (Winter 1998), 259. Together with the launchers, each regiment controlled four nuclear Luna missiles and eight conventional missiles.

His most recent report: Author's interview with Carlos Pasqual, January 2006. CIA Operation Mongoose memo from Richard Helms, December 7, 1962, JFKARC.

As they sorted through: Richard Lehman, "CIA Handling of Soviet Build-up in Cuba," November 14, 1962, CREST.

had "come to view": Ibid.

"the establishment on Cuban soil": NIE 85-3-62, "The Military Buildup in Cuba," September 19, 1962, CREST.

"large intercontinental rockets": CIA inspector general report on handling of Cuban intelligence information, November 22, 1962, 19, 31, available through CREST. The report was disseminated by CIA on October 2, with the dismissive headquarters comment. The Poltava docked in Mariel on September 16 with eight R-12 missiles on board, according to RSVN documents inspected by Karlov.

"giant missiles": Marchant dispatch, November 10, 1962, NSAW Cuba; also published in British Archives on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962.

a "wide, unpaved": Report by M. B. Collins, November 3, 1962, British Archives on Cuba, Cuba Under Castro, Vol. 5: 1962 (London: Archival Publications, 2003), 155.

The vaults were hot and humid: Reminiscences of Rafael Zakirov, former FKR nuclear control officer, V. I. Yesin, ed., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 1st ed. (1999), 179-85. See also Zakirov, October 2007 article.

The Soviet trailer-launched missiles: Malinovsky memo, May 24, 1962, LCV, trans. in CWIHP, 11 (Winter 1998), 254.

"to deliver a blow": Malinovsky order to Pliyev, September 8, 1962, LCV, in ibid., 260.

a "liberated zone": Author's visit to Mayari Arriba, March 2006.

Raul understood immediately: Yazov, 157; see also Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 119.

The Soviet officer responsible: Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 90, 302-3.

Soon after arriving in Oriente: Cuba under Castro, Vol. 5, 152.

Everything was in place: Svetlana Chervonnaya interview with Sgt. Vitaly Roshva, May 2006; Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 87-8.

Raul received regular intelligence: Blight and Welch, eds., Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 102.

They took elaborate precautions: Zakirov, October 2007 article.

Known to the Marines: "Guantanamo Bay Compared to Attack-Ready Suburbia," Washington Evening Star, November 14, 1962.

By nightfall, 2,810 dependents: CINCLANT history, chap. VII. Evacuation details from Cuba Fact Sheet, October 27, 1962, NSAW.

But nearly half the 2,400: Gitmo situation report No. 15 250100Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

a series of yellow, green, and red: AP report from Guantanamo in Chicago Tribune, November 13, 1962.

At first, Adlai Stevenson: George Plimpton OH, JFKL.

Stevenson was humiliated: Porter McKeever, Adlai Stevenson: His Life and Legacy (New York: William Morrow, 1989), 488.

"What year is this?": Arkady Shevchenko, Breaking with Moscow (New York: Knopf, 1985), 114.

"Missile," he wrote: Presidential doodles file, JFKL.

"Terrific": O'Donnell and Powers, 334.

The nightwatchman: Scott D. Sagan, The Limits of Safety (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 99; NORAD Combat Operations Center logs, October 26, 1962, Sagan Collection, NSA.

Nobody knew what to make of: E-mail message to the author from Jim Artman, former F-106 pilot, Duluth.

"discretion was": ADC Historical Study No. 16, 212-14.

At Williams Air Force: Ibid., 121, 129.

The order to flush: Historical Resume of 1st Fighter Wing Operations During Cuban Crisis, December 13, 1962, AFHRA; e-mail correspondence with Dan Barry, former F-106 pilot, Selfridge AFB.

They eventually concluded: NORAD log, NSA.


"brainwash" the press: Handwritten note from Maj. Gen. Chester Clifton, October 22, 1962, JFKL.

it would be "nice": The suggestion was made by Vice Adm. Wallace Beakley, deputy commander of the Atlantic Fleet--Diary of Vice Adm. Alfred Ward, commander Task Force 136, USNHC. See also deck logs for Pierce and Kennedy, NARA.

"friendly gestures": Message 251800Z from COMSECONDFLT, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

labeled "scientific instruments": Personal notes of Lt. Cdr. Reynolds, Battleship Cove Naval Museum. The Kennedy is now on permanent display in Fall River, MA.

The streets around: Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 190-2.

The overnight intelligence haul: Photo Interpretation Report, NPIC/R-1047/62, October 25, 1962, CREST.

were "fully operational": Supplement 6, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 26, 1962, CREST; Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 436-7. For information provided by Penkovsky, see Jerrold L. Schecter and Peter S. Deriabin, The Spy Who Saved the World (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992), 334-46. The Penkovsky materials were labeled IRONBARK and CHICK ADEE, and mentioned in the October 19, 1962, Joint Evaluation, CREST.

"a fear or stampede": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 437.

He liked to boast: Arthur Lundahl OH, July 1, 1981, Columbia University Oral History Research Office.

In October 1962 alone: Photo Interpretation Report, October 1962, CREST.

Cratology scored its greatest triumph: Thaxter L. Goodall, "Cratology Pays Off," Studies in Intelligence (Fall 1964), CREST. The ship was the Kasimov, photographed on September 28.

"The hot morning sun": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 195-6.

B-36 was sighted: Chronology of Submarine Contacts, C-20, CNO Cuba, USNHC. See also Summary of Soviet Submarine Activity 272016Z, also in Electronic Briefing Book 75, NSAW.

More than eight hundred contacts: SOSUS activity in Atlantic, CTG 81.1 message 261645Z, USNHC; Electronic Briefing Book 75, NSAW.

"a reliable contact": Summary of Soviet Submarine Activity, 272016Z.

Lieutenant Anatoly Andreev: Andreev diary provided by Svetlana Savranskaya, NSAW. Portions of the diary were published in Krasnaya Zvezda, October 11, 2000.

B-36 reached the approaches: Dubivko memoir, "In the Depths of the Sargasso Sea," in Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 314-30, trans. Svetlana Savranskaya, NSAW.

he was instructed: Memoirs of Capt. Vitaly Agafonov, commander of submarine flotilla, in Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 123.

"that lying bastard": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 287.

"Now this is interesting": The references to the FROG launcher and tactical nuclear weapons have been redacted from the official transcripts of the meeting. However, they are included in JFK Library release notes prepared by Sheldon M. Stern.

to be put out "right now": Bundy conversation with George Ball, FRUS, Vol. XI, 219; 10:00 a.m. ExComm meeting, October 26, 1962.

a "weapon," to be used: U.S. News & World Report, November 12, 1962; Newsweek, November 12, 1962. See also Arthur Sylvester OH, JFKL.

"Please identify yourself": Ship's log, as reported by Ahlander, Krig och fred i Atomaldern, 24-5; author's interview with Nils Carlson, September 2005.

"temperamental and headstrong": Cable from U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, October 27, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"STAY WITH SWEDISH SHIP": Coolangatta file, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

He wanted to share: Alekseev telegram to Moscow 49201, October 26, 1962, NSAW.

"You are going to hear": Yevtushenko article, Novaya Gazeta, July 11, 2005.

Castro's "personal courage": JFK1, 492.

In April 1962, Pravda began: Halperin, 155.

"unlimited confidence": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 83, 254.

"Well, it looks like war": Ibid., 213.

is "inevitable": Reports from Brazilian and Yugoslav embassies, quoted in James Hershberg, "The United States, Brazil, and the Cuban Missile Crisis," Journal of Cold War Studies (Summer 2004).

"So you are": David Martin, Wilderness of Mirrors (New York: Harper & Row, 1980), 127

"that fucker": Martin, 136. See also David Corn, Blond Ghost (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), 82.

"We don't mind going": Martin, 144; see also Thomas, Robert Kennedy, 234. RFK's diary lists a telephone call from San Roman in Miami on October 27 and a meeting scheduled for October 26, but it is unclear whether the meeting actually took place.

"using such valuable Cuban": McCone memo on meeting, October 29, 1962, JFKARC; see also Parrott minutes, FRUS, Vol. XI, 229-31.

"Sink in Cuban": Lansdale memo, October 26, 1962, JFKARC. The shipping sabotage plan was approved on October 27, but suspended on October 30, after Khrushchev agreed to withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba--Lansdale memo, October 30, 1962, JFKARC.

"presumed lost": Chronology of the Matahambre Sabotage Operation, November 21, 1962, JFKARC.

"obviously plastered": Parrott interview.

"Harvey has destroyed": Martin, 144.

The FBI had been searching: Report from SAC, Los Angeles, to FBI director, October 26, 1962, JFKARC.

"would work anywhere": Senate Church Committee Report, Alleged Assassination Plots, 84.

"every single team": Harvey testimony to Church Committee, July 11, 1975, JFKARC.

"gathering intelligence": Roselli testimony to Church Committee, June 24, 1975, JFKARC.

While there is no smoking gun: Thomas, 157-9; Lansdale memo to RFK, December 4, 1961, JFKARC; CIA memo to Church Committee, September 4, 1975, JFKARC.

"getting rid": Samuel Halpern interview with CIA history staff, January 15, 1988, JFKARC.

"liquidation of leaders": Thomas, 159.

"no holds barred": Halpern interview with CIA history staff; Harvey testimony to Church Committee.

"If you fuckers": Stockton, Flawed Patriot, 141.

"idiocy": Harvey testimony to Church Committee.

During the course of 1962: Branch and Crile III, "The Kennedy Vendetta" comments by CIA review staff, August 14, 1975, JFKARC; Corn, Blond Ghost, 74-99.

"I don't have time": Author's interview with Warren Frank, former JM/WAVE officer, April 2006.

A "counter-revolutionary handbook": RFK confidential file, Box 10, JFKARC.

"The trouble with us Cubans": WP, October 28, 1962, E5.

at the "highest possible pitch": CIA memo to Lansdale, "Operation Mongoose--Infiltration Teams," October 29, 1962.

Typical of the fighters: Unpublished 1996 memoir by Carlos Obregon; author's interview with Obregon in February 2004.


"forget his role as host": Mikoyan conversation with U.S. officials, November 30, 1962, SDX.

"Cuba does not accept": Acosta, 170.

"emergency operational capability": CIA memo, October 21, 1962, CREST/JFKL.

"Missile units ready": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 111; Statsenko report.

"Turn on the radars": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 113.

And he wanted the forty-three thousand troops: Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 65.

"freedom-loving Cuba": TASS report, October 27, 1962; Revolucion, October 27, 1962, 8; NYT, October 27, 1962, 6.

"Somos socialistas": Cuba Under Castro, 1962, 107.

"stronger discipline": Alekseev cable to Soviet Foreign Ministry, October 23, 1962, NSAW.

"primitiveness": Desnoes interview, April 2006.

"They were years": Franqui, 187. For a contemporaneous report on Franqui's views, see CIA telegram, June 5, 1963, JFKL.

"a crazy wonderland": Cuba Under Castro, 1962, 147.

"a large number": Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 161-2.

"not all that important": Halperin, 190.

"Their Spanish blood": Cuba Under Castro, 1962, 619-20.

"This is a joke": Air Force message on JCS authentication system 57834, October 25, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

The problem was even worse: Kornienko interview.

"under considerable strain": Beschloss, 521; Abel, 162.

"a lot of bullshit": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 288.

As relayed by Scali: Scali memo to Hilsman, October 26, 1962, FRUS, Vol. XI, 227.

"I have reason": Ibid., 241.

"Does this come": Pierre Salinger, With Kennedy (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966), 274-6.

no "official information": KGB foreign intelligence refused to distribute many of Feklisov's reports because they lacked secret information--SVR.

"an exuberant type": Feklisov, 371.

After pondering the rezident's report: Ibid., 382; Dobrynin, 95. Dobrynin refers to Feklisov as "Fomin," his cover name in Washington.

The most Feklisov could do: Feklisov report to Andrei Sakharovsky, October 27, 1962, SVR. Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, "Using KGB Documents: The Scali-Feklisov Channel in the Cuban Missile Crisis," CWIHP, 5 (Spring 1995), 58. See also Semichastny, 282. The KGB chief described Feklisov's dealings with Scali as "unauthorized."

"within forty-eight hours": B. G. Putilin, Na Krayu Propasti (Moscow: Institut Voennoi Istorii, 1994), 104.

"suspended within": Hershberg, "The United States, Brazil, and the Cuban Missile Crisis," 34; Putilin, 108.

"full military readiness": Putilin, 106.

"Don't panic": Derkachev, 45.

Now even Pliyev: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 113.

"We have nowhere to retreat": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 167, 226.

Pliyev rejected: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 51; Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 115; Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 64-5; Putilin, 105.

There had been some initial confusion: See Svetlana Savranskaya, "Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Cuba: New Evidence" CWIHP, 14-15 (Winter 2003), 385-7; also Mark Kramer, "Tactical Nuclear Weapons, Soviet Command Authority, and the Cuban Missile Crisis" CWIHP, 3 (Fall 1993), 40.

"To the Director": LCV.

Colonel Sergei Romanov: Romanov was commander of a special military unit responsible for storing and servicing nuclear weapons, known as a Podvizhnaya Remontno-Technicheskaya Baza (Mobile Repair-Technical Base), or PRTB. A PRTB was attached to each missile regiment, FKR regiment, motorized rifle regiment, or IL-28 squadron that operated nuclear warheads. Prior to arriving in Cuba, the warheads were under the control of an arsenal headed by Col. Nikolai Beloborodov, which reported to the original nuclear design bureaus. Once the warheads had arrived safely in Cuba and had been checked out, Beloborodov transferred formal control over them to the individual PRTBs, but shared responsibility for their proper maintenance.

A drive-through bunker: Cuba Activity Summary, 1963; CIA, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 19, 1962, LBJ Library; NPIC memorandum, December 4, 1961, "Suspect Missile Sites in Cuba," NPIC/B-49/61, CREST.

The general staff had drawn up: Malinovsky, "Instructions for Chiefs of Reconnaissance Groups," July 4, 1962, LCV. See also Beloborodov memoirs in Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 210.

The stress of handling: Romanov death certificate, January 30, 1963, inspected by Karlov.

His principal deputy: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 196; author's interview with Lt. Valentin Polkovnikov, who served in the same regiment as Boltenko.

Many of the technicians: Author's interview with Vadim Galev, May 2006; letters from Dr. V. P. Nikolski and Engineer Kriukov, MAVI.

The next night, they feasted: Recollections of Dmitri Senko in Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 265.

Every precaution was taken: Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 234-5.

"an unusual facility": Marshall Carter briefing, White House meeting, October 16, 1962, JFK2, 430.

A more detailed CIA analysis: Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 19, 1962, LBJ Library.

Reconnaissance planes overflew: Photographic Interpretation Reports, CREST.

In hindsight: Dwayne Anderson, "On the Trail of the Alexandrovsk," Studies in Intelligence (Winter 1966), 39-43, available through CREST.

in which he identified: See Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 546-8.

Soviet officers: See, e.g., Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 209; Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 46. In the latter, Gribkov incorrectly states that the Luna warheads were stored at Bejucal. According to Beloborodov, who was directly responsible for them, they were stored in Managua. The coordinates of the Bejucal bunker are 22deg56'18''N, 82deg22'39''W. The outlines of the bunker and circular road are still visible on Google Earth. The headquarters facility was half a mile south of the bunker, on the northeastern outskirts of Bejucal. The coordinates of the Managua complex (three bunkers) are 22deg58'00''N, 82deg18'38W.

"The experts kept saying": Author's interview with Dino Brugioni, May 2007.

"a double security fence": Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 19, 1962, CREST; Lundahl briefing of JFK, October 22, 1962.

The molasses factory: Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 542. The CIA later correctly concluded that Mariel was an important transit point for nuclear warheads entering and leaving Cuba, but paid little further attention to Bejucal.

"having a hard time": USCONARC history, 154, NSAW.

The invasion plan was code-named: "Alternative Military Strikes," JFKL; "Air Force Response to the Cuban Crisis," 8, NSAW; Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 164. When Fidel Castro was informed about these plans at a conference in Havana in 1992, he misheard the number of air strikes as 119,000. He asked for the figure to be repeated, saying it seemed "a bit exaggerated." Told that the number was actually a mere 1,190, he remarked dryly, "I'm more at ease now."

Inevitably, with an operation: USCONARC history, 105, 130, 139, 143; Commanders' conference, February 4, 1963, CNO Cuba, USNHC; Don Fulham interview.

"Soviet Bloc military technicians": U.S. Marine Corps intelligence estimate, November 1962, JFKARC.

As word spread within the upper: See, e.g., CINCLANT message 311620Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

The distance from the pre-launch position: Chervonnaya interview with Sgt. Vitaly Roshva, senior aviation mechanic, FKR unit, May 2006. According to U.S. intelligence intercepts, the launch position in Filipinas was at 20deg0'46''N, 75deg24'42''W. The pre-launch position at Vilorio was at 20deg5'16''N, 75deg19'22''W.

Among the Soviet soldiers: Chervonnaya interview with Gennady Mikheev, brother of Viktor, plus family photographs and correspondence, April 2006.

Maltsev called for surgeons: The exchange was intercepted by U.S. intelligence, as reported by Seymour M. Hersh, "Was Castro Out of Control in 1962?" WP, October 11, 1987, H1. The article contains several inaccuracies, including speculation that Cuban troops attempted to storm a Soviet SAM site. This account relies on an interview with Roshva and GITMO intelligence reports.

"dress for dinner": TV reports by Bjorn Ahlander, trans. by his son, Dag Sebastian Ahlander.

"While you are armed": Transcript of broadcast, October 26, 1962, Robert Williams Collection, University of Michigan.

"In the event": Carlos Alzuguray, "La crisis de octubre desde una perspectiva Cubana," Conference in Mexico City, November 2002; Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 248.

Nobody "seemed to notice": Halperin, 190.

"by far the worst day": Sorensen OH, JFKL.


The decision had been taken for security reasons: See, e.g., October 26, ExComm debate, JFK3, 290.

The Cuban navy played a continuous: Author's interview with Aubrey Brown, R Branch, USS Oxford, November 2005.

"diddy chasers": Author's interview with Keith Taylor, R Branch chief, November 2005.

On October 20, T-branchers: Ship logs, Oxford, NARA; author's interview with Dale Thrasher, T Branch chief, November 2005; President's Intelligence Check List, October 22, 1962, quoted in CIA Paper on Intelligence Relationship with JFK White House, 18, record no. 104-10302-100009, JFKARC. Information about the Oxford also supplied by George Cassidy, former T-brancher.

The radar systems at all three sites: NSA Cryptological Museum. The report does not mention the Oxford. Interviews with crew members and the ship logs make clear, however, that the Oxford was the source of the report.

The activation of the radar: "The 1962 Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba," 77, CREST; Memo from NSA assistant director John Davis, November 1, 1962, JFKL.

The Mars probe was off: Boris Chertok, Rakety i Lyudi: Goryachie Dni Kholodnoi Voini (Moscow: Mashinostroenie, 1999), chapter on Karibskii Raketnii Krizis. See also Ivan Evtreev, Esche Podnimalos' Plamya (Moscow: Intervesy, 1997), 79-80, for reminiscences of a Soviet missile officer at Baikonur. The R-7s at Baikonur were brought to Readiness Condition 2, like the missiles in Cuba.

By Pentagon calculations: Kaufmann memo, Cuba and the Strategic Threat, OSD. The U.S. figure includes 144 ICBMs and 96 missiles based on Polaris submarines. The Soviet figures are from Karlov, the Strategic Rocket Forces historian, based on official Soviet data. The Soviet figure includes thirty-six R-16s and four R-7s, based at Plesetsk, plus the two reserve R-7s at Baikonur, which were not on permanent duty. The disparity in long-range bombers was even more pronounced, around 1-5 by most estimates. The CIA and State Department believed that the Soviet Union had sixty to seventy-five operational ICBM launchers, somewhat less than the Pentagon estimate, but still higher than the official Soviet figure cited by Karlov--Garthoff, 208.

In Havana, it was still: Oblizin interview; notes of Col. Vladimir Rakhnyansky, head of ballistic division, MAVI.

"cost the Soviets millions": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 109-11.

for "an important meeting": Alekseev message to Moscow, November 2, 1962, NSAW Cuba. Transcript of missile crisis conference in Moscow, January 1989. Bruce J. Allyn, James G. Blight, and David A. Welch, eds., Back to the Brink: Proceedings of the Moscow Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis, January 27-28, 1989 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992), 159. See also Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 117-22.

He was full of complaints: Putilin, 108.

"took it for granted": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 252.

"con suprema dignidad": Castro letter to Khrushchev, October 28, 1962, Cuban document submitted to 2002 Havana conference.

"strengthen the Socialist camp": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 345; Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 187.

"very complex and excessively sensitive": November 2, 1962, dispatch, NSAW.

dictated a holding telegram: NSAW Cuba.

"the brightest light": Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1986), 672.

"I'd be a jellyfish": Sakharov, 217.

"Fucked again": Dallek, 429.

The weather on Novaya Zemlya: G. G. Kudryavtsev, Vospominaniya o Novoi Zemlye available online at; V. I. Ogorodnikov, Yadernyi Arkhipelag (Moscow: Izdat, 1995), 166; author's interview with atomic veteran Vitaly Lysenko, Kiev, May 2006.

To confuse American intelligence: Kudryavtsev article.

"Gruz poshyel": Ogorodnikov, 155-8; Pavel Podwig, ed., Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), 503.

"I wouldn't pull": Unpublished Maultsby memoir, made available to the author by Jeanne Maultsby. History of 4080th Strategic Wing (SAC), October 1962, FOIA.

"Your mind never relaxes": Heyser interview. See Michael Dobbs, "Into Thin Air," WP Magazine, October 26, 2003.

"They had decided to settle": Fursenko, Prezidium Ts. K. KPSS, 623, Protocol No. 62.

His intelligence folder on Friday: Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 261-2.

"Robert Kennedy and his circle": Ibid., 249.

Khrushchev understood the Lippmann column: Soviet envoy Anastas Mikoyan later told the Cubans that this column had prompted Khrushchev to propose the Cuba-Turkey swap. See memorandum of conversation with Cuban leaders, November 5, 1962, NSAW Cuba. See also Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 275. Lippmann's column appeared in WP and other newspapers on October 25.

"You are worried about Cuba": Problems of Communism, Spring 1992, author's trans. from the Russian.

"It is categorically": Malinovsky message to Pliyev, October 27, 1962, 1630 Moscow time, NSAW.

The Americans "know very well": Gromyko message to Alekseev, October 27, 1962, NSAW. A former Khrushchev aide, Oleg Troyanovsky, has claimed that the Presidium had "no idea" that publication of the Turkey-Cuba offer would create problems for Kennedy--see Troyanovsky, 249. However, the instructions to Alekseev make clear that the struggle for public opinion was an important part of Khrushchev's strategy.

"Who gives you the right": Theodore Shabad, "Why a Blockade, Muscovites Ask," NYT, October 28, 1962. See also "The Face of Moscow in the Missile Crisis," Studies in Intelligence, Spring 1966, 29-36, CREST.

a "training ground on which": Petr Vail' and Aleksandr Genis, Shesdesyatiye--Mir Sovetskovo Cheloveka (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2001), 52-60.

"amused, disturbed": Report from Eugene Staples, U.S. Embassy, Moscow, October 30, 1962, State Department Cuba files, NARA.

Soviet "state interests": Malinovsky message to Khrushchev, October 27, 1962, MAVI.

"Cuba, give us back": Vail' and Genis, 59.

"quite intricate phrases": Alekseev, November 2, 1962, NSAW dispatch.

"Dear Comrade Khrushchev": Castro letter to Khrushchev, October 26-27, 1962, NSAW Cuba, trans. by the author.

"Razvernut'sya!": Roshva interview. For details of the deployment, see Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 89-90, 115-19; interview with Vadut Khakimov, former PRTB officer, in Vremya i Denghi, March 17, 2005.

Inside the naval base: GITMO intelligence reports.

"The U.S. authorities in Guantanamo": December 6,1962, report from M. B. Collins in Cuba Under Castro, Vol. 5, 565. The CIA subsequently misidentified the FKR cruise missiles at Mayari Arriba as coastal cruise missiles known as Sopkas. The two missiles were similar to each other in appearance, but the Sopka did not carry a nuclear warhead and was intended for use against ships--see the discussion in CWIHP, 12-13 (Fall-Winter 2001), 360-1.


were "fully operational": CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, October 27, 1962, CREST.

Ham radio operators along: Reeves, 92.

"a war room for the Cold War": Michael K. Bohn, Nerve Center: Inside the White House Situation Room (Washington, DC: Brassey's, 2003), 30.

There was a continuous clatter: Salinger, With Kennedy, 253.

"a pigpen": Bohn, 32.

Communications intercepts started: NSA and the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1998 monograph, published by NSA.

Contrary to later myth: Bouchard, 115. See also Graham Allison, Essence of Decision (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971), 128.

A tactical strike force: JCS Scabbards message 270922Z, JFKARC; Cuba Fact Sheet, October 27, 1962, NSAW.

mobilized "at a rapid rate": CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, October 27, 1962, CREST; JCS Scabbards report, October 28, 1962, Cuba National Security Files, JFKL.

All twenty-four Soviet SAM: JCS Scabbards message 270922Z, JFKARC.

Half a dozen Soviet cargo: Khrushchev message to U Thant, October 26, 1962, NSAW.

In fact, the consensus at the CIA: See, e.g., CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, October 27, 1962, CREST; "Operation Mongoose Sabotage Proposals," October 16, 1962, JFKARC.

"there are damned few trains": ExComm debate, October 25, 1962, JFK3, 254.

Three more reconnaissance planes: History of 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, October 1962, AFHRA.

A subsequent investigation: USAF accident report, October 27, 1962, AFSC; author's interviews with John E. Johnson, navigator on the RB-47 that aborted, and Gene Murphy, electronic warfare officer on backup plane, December 2005.

Carney spotted the Soviet ship: History of 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing; Sanders A. Laubenthal, "The Missiles in Cuba, 1962: The Role of SAC Intelligence," FOIA; MacDonough message 271336Z, Grozny file, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"weary and discouraged": Andrew St. George "Hit and Run to Cuba with Alpha 66," Life magazine, November 16, 1962. See also CIA memos on Alpha 66, October 30, 1962, and November 30, 1962, JFKARC.

"A hell of a fine piece": Letter from William R. Hearst, Jr., to Clare Boothe Luce, Clare Boothe Luce Papers, Library of Congress.

By her own account: Telephone conversation between William Colby and Clare Boothe Luce, October 25, 1975, CIA files, CREST. A good account of Luce's dealings with Keating appears in Max Holland, "A Luce Connection: Senator Keating, William Pawley, and the Cuban Missile Crisis," Journal of Cold War Studies (Fall 1999).

The CIA suspected him: CIA memo, July 25, 1975, CREST.

an "honorary member": CIA memorandum on Alpha 66, November 30, 1962, JFKARC.

The two Cuban exiles: Vera interview, January 2006.

"Hands off Cuba": NYT, October 28, 1962.

To counter such skepticism: JFK was also "disturbed" by the release of the photos, and demanded an explanation. Bruce told the White House that the CIA had given approval for their release--Bruce message to Michael Forrestal, October 24, 1962, National Security Files, JFKL. A CIA representative in London, Chester Cooper, said he called Washington but "couldn't get anybody," and sent a wire "just saying I was going to do it unless I got a Washington veto"--Chester Cooper OH, JFKL.

"a slight oscillation": Bruce message to Secretary of State No. 1705, October 28, 1962, JFKL and SDX.

to "get close to Jack": Reeves, 291.

In the meantime, Macmillan quietly: Record of conversation between British service chiefs, October 27, 1962, DEFE 32/7, Public Records Office. For discussion of British military moves in crisis, see Stephen Twigge and Len Scott, "The Thor IRBMs and the Cuban Missile Crisis," Electronic Journal of World History, September 2005, available online.

"the most dangerous spot": Beschloss, 217; Reeves, 68.

"soldiers and weapons": Reeves, 250.

The answer was thirty-five hours: JCS memorandum, October 6, 1962, NARA.

The CIA reported on October 23: CIA Office of National Estimates memo, October 23, 1962, JFKL.

East Germans were still fleeing: Reports from Berlin, UPI and NYT, October 27, 1962.

In the afternoon: CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, October 28, 1962, CREST.

"We will give": See Taubman, 538-40; Fursenko and Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, 457-60.

"We are just beginning": Troyanovsky, 247.

"who took every mission": Author's interview with former U-2 pilot Robert Powell, June 2003.

Anderson was engaged: History of 4080th Strategic Wing, appendix on special operations, October 1962, FOIA.

Initially, Anderson's name: SAC message CNO 262215Z to CONAD, October 26, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

Eager to rack up more: Heyser and McIlmoyle interviews.

One pilot, Captain Charles Kern: Unpublished Kern memoir; Supplement 8, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 28, 1962, CREST.

The flight plan: SAC reported various incorrect times for Anderson's takeoff. I have used the time in the original execution order, outlined in SAC message 262215Z, copied to U.S. air defenses, on file at USNHC. This flight plan coincides exactly with the time Anderson entered Cuban airspace, as logged by the Soviets. A map of Anderson's flight route is contained in Supplement 8, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat in Cuba, October 28, 1962, CREST.

It was a CIA bird: Anderson's aircraft was the third U-2 to roll off Lockheed's Skunk Works assembly line in Burbank, California, in 1955. It was a U-2A upgraded to a U-2F. Heyser, the pilot who first photographed the Soviet missile sites on October 14, flew in model no. 56-6675, the second U-2 ever produced. The U-2 flown by Maultsby during his overflight of the Soviet Union was 56-6715. All three planes were destroyed in crashes, a fate shared by most of the early U-2s--History of 4080th Strategic Wing, October 1962, FOIA.

"looking for fault": McIlmoyle interview.

He carried photographs: State Department telegram 1633 from New York to Secretary of State, November 5, 1962, SDX.

He was still feeling: Author's interview with Anderson's daughter Robyn Lorys, September 2003; Anderson medical report, October 11, 1962.

"Aren't I doing": Col. John Des Portes OH interview, NSAW Cuba.

"Okay, Rudy": Herman interview; see also WP Magazine article, October 26, 2003.

"Lost Cause": Bruce Bailey, We See All: A History of the 55th SRW (privately published), 111. I am indebted to Rob Hoover, the unofficial historian of the 55th SRW, for putting me in touch with his fellow pilots and ravens.

"noise of silence": Author's interview with RB-47 pilot Don Griffin, December 2005. Griffin flew a mission to Cuba on October 27.

"fire to destroy": SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, 3, NSAW.

Hunched over their monitors: See McNamara and Taylor comments to ExComm, JFK3, 446, 451. Taylor mistakenly refers to the Fruit Set radar as a "fruitcake" radar. According to McNamara, the Fruit Set signals were picked up by the intel plane "at the same time" the U-2 was overhead.

The senior raven: History of the 55th SRW, October 1962, FOIA. Willson detected three "Big Cigar" radars on October 27. He reported a total of fourteen miscellaneous "missile intercepts," i.e., radars associated with different Soviet missile systems.

"whip anybody else": Martin Caidin, Thunderbirds (New York: Dell, 1961), 109.

gone "terribly wrong": Maultsby memoir. All passages describing Maultsby's personal thoughts and actions are taken from this unpublished memoir; they have been checked against other sources, including contemporaneous astronomical charts, and a State Department chart of his flight route.

seemed "highly suspect": Ibid.

"especially important": Letter to Adm. George Burkley, October 24, 1962, Kraus files, JFKL.

"personal effects": Memo from Burkley, October 25, 1962, JFK medical file, JFKL.

"to live every day": Dallek, 154.

"addicted to excitement": Reeves, 19.

"capacity for projecting": Dallek, 72.

"This war here": Quoted in Stern, 39-40.

"every officer in the Army": Reeves, 306.

"How did it all": Sorensen, Kennedy, 513. 227 "The book says": Reeves, 306.

"the red button": JCS Emergency Actions File, Scott Sagan records, NSAW.

These were hardly abstract questions: See, e.g., Fred Kaplan, "JFK's First Strike Plan," Atlantic Monthly (October 2001).

"orgiastic, Wagnerian": Reeves, 229-30, 696; target data from Kaplan, "JFK's First Strike Plan." When Power briefed McNamara on SIOP-62, he told him with a smirk, "Well, Mr. Secretary, I hope you don't have any friends or relations in Albania, because we're just going to have to wipe it out."

"a substantial deterrent to me": White House transcript, December 5, 1962, quoted by David Coleman in Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (May-June 2006). See Reeves, 175, for Civil War comparison.

"insane that two men": Goodwin, 218.


As Anderson entered Cuban airspace: Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 124.

The ground floor of the command post: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 273; memoirs of former PVO officer Col. Pavel Korolev in Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 246-53; author's interview with PVO political officer Col. Grigory Danilevich, July 2004.

"Target Number 33": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 124.

"a pile of junk": Philip Nash, The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Jupiters (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 1-3.

Kennedy was so concerned about: October 22, 1962, memo, McNamara Papers, OSD.

"Our guest has been up": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 199-200. The Soviet defense minister later reported that the U-2 was "shot down with the aim of not permitting the photographs to fall into U.S. hands"--Malinovsky memo, October 28, 1962, CWIHP, 11 (Winter 1998), 262. According to Derkachev, 56, Pliyev was furious when he learned about the shootdown. "You shouldn't have done this," he reportedly told his subordinates. "We can seriously complicate the [diplomatic] negotiations."

"establish a pattern of operation": JFK3, 240; flight tracks for October 27 reported in NPIC Photo Interpretation Report on Missions 5017-5030, CREST.

The canvas covers had been taken off: JCS meeting notes for October 27, 1962, Havana 2002, vol. 2. The notes were made in 1976 by a JCS historian, Walter Poole, on the basis of original transcripts. According to the JCS, the original transcripts were subsequently destroyed. Photographs taken by these missions are contained in SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 2, FOIA.

"First of all": Malakhov notes, MAVI.

"The people at large": British Archives on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 242.

"a city of children": Saverio Tutino, L'Occhio del Barracuda (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1995), 134.

"Of course we were frightened": Desnoes interview.

"We are expecting": Adolfo Gilly, "A la luz del relampago: Cuba en octubre," Perfil de la Jornada, November 29, 2002.

"Keep two or three buckets": FBIS trans. of Radio Rebelde, October 28, 1962.

"Love Thy Neighbor": October 27 UPI report from Havana; see NYT, October 28, 1962.

On a hill above: Author's interview with Alfredo Duran, former inmate, December 2005.

"Destroy Target Number 33": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 124; Putilin, 111-12. There are slight variations in the time of the shootdown. I have relied on the time given by Col. Korolev, who was on duty at the Camaguey command post (see Gribkov et al., 250). For the location of the wreckage, see October 28, 1962, report from Unidad Military 1065, NSAW Cuba.

"Que vivan los Sovieticos": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 235.

a "munitions storage site": See NPIC reports, October 26 and October 27, 1962, CREST.

The commander of the missile troops: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 67.

On the other hand: Statsenko report; Yesin interview.

"You are irritating": Malinovsky (Trostnik) order to Pliyev, October 27, 1962, NSAW Cuba, author's trans. See a different trans. in CWIHP, 14-15 (Winter 2003), 388.

"bearded, energetic man": Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 69.

"the definitive victory": Verde Olivo, October 10, 1968, quoted in Carla Anne Robbins, The Cuban Threat (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983), 47.

"established a military command post": CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, October 26, 1962, CREST; author's visit to Cueva de los Portales; Blue Moon missions 5019-5020, October 27, 1962, NPIC report, CREST.

the "final stage": Blue Moon missions 5023-5024, NPIC report, CREST.

The Soviets had even dropped a live: See, e.g., David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), 326-8.

Nuclear-capable IL-28s: CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, November 6, 1962, CREST. The CIA reported that the Air Force IL-28s "almost certainly" arrived on the Leninsky Komsomol, which docked near Holguin on October 20. According to Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 173, NPIC already had its eye on Holguin because of construction activity similar to that seen in the Soviet Union prior to the deployment of IL-28s. Unlike the IL-28s at San Julian, the planes at Holguin were never taken from their crates, and were removed around November 26--Brugioni, 536.

"those things that nobody": Anastasiev interview.

According to the original Defense Ministry: Malinovsky memoranda, September 6 and 8, 1962, trans. in CWIHP, 11 (Winter 1998), 258-60. See also Raymond Garthoff, "New Evidence on the Cuban Missile Crisis," ibid., 251-4.

"In the event": CINCONAD message 262345Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC; for JCS reply, see Chronology of JCS Decisions Concerning the Cuban Crisis, October 27, 1962, NSAW Cuba, and OPNAV 24-hour resume of events, 270000 to 280000, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"an atomic delivery": Chronology of JCS Decisions, October 28, 1962, NSAW Cuba.

"any movement of FROG": CINCLANT history, 95.

After earlier discounting: Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 255, 261; amendment to CINCLANT history, JCS request for casualty estimates, November 1, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

The nuclear cores for the bombs: Polmar and Gresham, 230; USCONARC message to CINCLANT 291227Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

a "surprise first strike": Taylor memos to McNamara and the President, May 25, 1962, JCS records, NARA.

"I know the Soviet Union": Sorensen OH, JFKL.

At the same time that U.S. generals: JCS memo to McNamara, October 23, 1962; Gilpatric memos to President and Bundy, October 24, 1962; Sagan Collection, NSAW; Sagan, 106-11. On October 22, Gilpatric had told aides that he saw no reason for a change in rules governing the two-stage weapons--Gilpatric desk diary, OSD.

"so loose, it jars": Lt. Col. Robert Melgard quoted in Sagan, 110.

As the B-52 began a series: Author's interview with 1st Lt. George R. McCrillis, pilot on CALAMITY, February 2006.

"Three minutes--NOW": Procedures described in Dominic Operations Plan, September 1962, History of Air Force Participation in Operation Dominic, Vol. III, DOE.


Alone in the vast blackness: Maultsby memoir.

The befuddled pilot: Data tracking Maultsby's U-2 and Soviet interceptors are taken from U.S. government charts. I found the most detailed map in the files of the State Department Executive Secretariat, SDX, Box 7. A second map tracking Soviet interceptors that appear to have taken off from an air base at Pevek is located in National Security Files--Cuba, Box 54, Maps, charts, and photographs folder, JFKL.

"unusually somber and harried": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 456.

The mere mention of "civil defense": Official transcript, McNamara press conference, October 22, 1962, OSD.

If the Soviets attacked: Report to National Governors' Conference by Assistant Defense Secretary Steuart L. Pittman, October 27, 1962, JFKL.

Earlier in the week: Steuart L. Pittman OH, JFKL.

In the absence of government action: Alice L. George, Awaiting Armageddon: How Americans Faced the Cuban Missile Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 78-80.

"Invade Cuba, Attack the Reds": AP and UPI reports, October 27, 1962; WP, October 28, 1962.

General Power was on: Author's interview with Maj. Orville Clancy, former SAC HQ officer, June 2003.

"Peace is our Profession": Reminiscences of Col. Maynard White, America's Shield, The Story of the Strategic Air Command and Its People (Paducah, KY: Turner, 1997), 98.

"what the hell you are doing": Des Portes OH, NSAW.

The ability to "read the mail": Interviews with Clancy; Gerald E. McIlmoyle; and former SAC intelligence officer James Enney, October 2005.259 "We have a problem": Author's interview with Fred Okimoto, August 2005.

"while engaged in a high-altitude": Taubman, 455.

His thoughts went back: Maultsby was shot down over North Korea on January 5, 1952; he was released on August 31, 1953--Maultsby personnel file, NPRC. A copy of his interrogation record by the North Koreans was supplied to Russia, and released through the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POWs/MIAs.

"the muzzles of": Martin Caidin, The Silken Angels: A History of Parachuting (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1964), 230-6.

"missing in action": Maultsby personnel file.

When he learned of the stand-down order: Correspondence and interview with McNamara aide Col. Francis J. Roberts, May 2006.

"Tell the admiral": CNO Office logs, October 27, 1962, CNO Cuba, USNHC. The naval aide was Capt. Isaac C. Kidd, Jr.

"missiles flying through": Council for Correspondence, Newsletter No. 22, Herman Kahn files, NDU; author's interview with Irvin Doress, February 2006.

When the military radar station: Charts of Maultsby flight.

Earlier in the week: Author's interviews with former F-102 pilots Leon Schmutz and Joseph W. Rogers, June 2003. See also Sagan, 136-7; Alaskan Air Command Post log, October 22, 1962.

"Khrushchev, like every doctrinaire": Message to Joint Staff from Maj. Gen. V. H. Krulak, October 26, 1962, JCS Maxwell Taylor records, NARA.

"diplomatic blackmail": JCS memo for the President, JCSM-844-62, OSD.

"Attacking Sunday or Monday": JCS Poole notes.

"much worse if Khrushchev": Kaplan, 256.

"You must have lost": David Burchinal OH, NSAW Cuba.

"the ablest combat officer": McNamara interview; see also McNamara interviews for The Fog of War, film documentary, directed by Errol Morris (Sony Pictures Classics, 2003).

He slept on a cot: LAT, October 28, 1962; McNamara desk diaries, OSD.

"A U-2 has been lost": JCS Poole notes. In his 1975 oral history, Burchinal claimed that McNamara yelled hysterically, "This means war with the Soviet Union. The president must get on the hot line to Moscow!" McNamara denies saying this. The Moscow-Washington "hot line" was inaugurated after the missile crisis.

"got off course": Secret U-2 memo, National Security Files, Box 179, JFKL.

Returning from his swim: I have reconstructed events from the president's telephone logs for October 27, 1962; the White House gate logs, JFKL; and O'Donnell and Powers, Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, 338-9. The latter account confuses the timing of when JFK found out about the two U-2 incidents.

"There's always some sonofabitch": Roger Hilsman, To Move a Nation (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967), 221; JFK letter to Jacqueline Kennedy, March 6, 1964, JFKL; Roger Hilsman interview, CNN CW.

"the last time I asked": According to O'Donnell and Powers, 337, JFK had "ordered the removal of the Jupiter missiles in August." Bundy later disputed this claim, arguing that "a presidential opinion is not a presidential order"--see Stern, 86. A presidential memorandum (NSAM 181) dated August 23, 1962, tasked the Pentagon with examining "what action can be taken to get Jupiter missiles out of Turkey"--see Nash, 110.

"the people deciding": Parallel drawn by Stern, 39, 296.

"The possibility of the destruction": RFK, 127, 106.

"You might as well come back": Herman interview; History of the 4080th Strategic Wing, October 1962, FOIA.

He personally got on the phone: Author's interview with McNamara military aide Sidney B. Berry, May 2006.

"operating on the basis": Gilpatric OH, NSAW.

He ordered its immediate recall: History of the 4080th Strategic Wing, October 1962, FOIA; McNamara memo to Air Force secretary, October 28,1962, OSD.

"A U-2 overflying Cuba": JCS Poole notes. The news was brought by Col. Ralph D. Steakley of the Joint Reconnaissance Group.

"Bail out!": Maultsby memoir. Maultsby does not mention the name of the pilot who urged him to bail out. Schmutz says it was not him, so it must have been Rands, who has since died.

The U-2 "did not seem to want": Maultsby calculated his flight time as 10 hours 25 minutes, a record for a U-2 flight. A White House note records his touchdown time as 2:14 p.m. Washington time after a 10-hour 14-minute flight--National Security Files, Box 179, JFKL. He was scheduled to return at 11:50 a.m. after a 7-hour 50-minute flight. I have used the time provided by Maultsby, which is also cited in the October 1962 History of the 4080th Strategic Wing.


SAC already had more planes: Cuba Fact Sheet, October 27, 1962, NSAW.

the "last thing" Andrus wanted: Reminiscences of Col. Burton C. Andrus, Jr., History of the 341st Space Wing, FOIA.

"I hate these Krauts": Joseph E. Persico, Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial (New York: Penguin, 1995), 50.

"Khrushchev knows we're after": Interview with Joe Andrew, Missile Maintenance Division, 341st Strategic Missile Wing, September 2005, in Time magazine, December 14, 1962.

"You can't drive it": Lt. Col. George V. Leffler quoted in Saturday Evening Post, February 9, 1963.

"If I don't get a light": Andrus reminiscences.

"have had warheads installed": Eugene Zuckert letter to JFK, October 26, 1962, Curtis LeMay records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Alpha Six was placed on strategic alert at 1816Z (2:16 p.m. Washington time) on October 26, 1962 (November history, 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Sagan Collection, NSAW).

"required many workarounds": October history, 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Sagan Collection, NSAW; Sagan, 82-90.

Having encouraged Andrus: SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, 72-3, 121; SAC message 1827Z, October 27, 1962.

and "run like hell": Andrew interview in Time.

Two B-52 Stratofortresses: SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, 43. During the missile crisis, B-52s generally carried either four Mark-28s or two Mark-15s.

"ready to go to war": "A Full Retaliatory Response," Air and Space (November

2005); author's interviews with former SAC pilots Ron Wink and Don Aldridge, September 2005.

to deliver the "full retaliatory response": Sagan, 66.

"Ocean Station Bravo": SAC Historical Study No. 90, Vol. 1, 90. For jamming, see Air Force messages AF IN 1500 and 1838, October 27 and 28, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

six "target complexes": Kaplan, 268.

the "dead man's switch": Sagan, 186-8.

The special storage facilities: CIA, Supplement 8, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat, October 28, 1962, LBJ Library; Yesin interview.

Soviet missiles could not hit: My source for the targeting of New York from Calabazar is retired Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, who served under Sidorov as a lieutenant engineer and had the opportunity to review archival documents closed to other researchers as chief of staff of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces.

"Don't worry": Malakhov notes, MAVI; Yesin interview.

The regiment was formally: Yesin interview.

Communications links with division headquarters: CIA, Supplement 8, Joint Evaluation of Soviet Missile Threat, LBJ Library.

"You have to understand": Yesin interview.

The CIA had long suspected: CIA telegram on Communist plans for Central America in the event of an invasion of Cuba, October 10, 1962, National Security Files, JFKL; CIA memo on Cuban subversion, February 18, 1963, JFKARC.

On Saturday afternoon: Undated CIA memo obtained through CREST, RDP80B01676R001800010029-3; CIA memoranda, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, October 29 and November 1, 1962; October 27, 1962, intercept, JFKARC.

"It is the duty of every revolutionary": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 18.

A secret plan known as Operation Boomerang: Blight and Welch, eds., Intelligence and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 99.

"The United States will not be able": Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 141.

At the Mongoose meeting on Friday: CIA memo, "Operation Mongoose, Main Points to Consider," October 26, 1962, and McCone memo on Mongoose meeting, October 26, 1962, JFKARC.

It did not take long: NYT, October 29, 1962.

a "Communist sabotage ring": NYT, October 30, 1962.

Operation Bugle Call: Memos on CINCLANT psychological leaflet program, OSD. After initially supporting the operation, the Joint Chiefs described it as "militarily unsound" in an October 27 memorandum (OSD). The chiefs feared that the delivery aircraft might be shot down, providing the Cubans with a propaganda victory.

The six Navy Crusaders: OPNAV 24-hour resume, 270000 to 280000, CNO Cuba, USNHC; flight record sheet supplied to the author by Lt. Cdr. James A. Kauflin.

"Move it out!": Author's interview with Capt. Edgar Love, October 2005; flight track in NPIC report on Blue Moon missions, October 27, 1962, CREST; Raw intelligence film, NARA.

The president turned his attention: The State Department draft was prepared by George Ball and his deputy, Alexis Johnson--Johnson OH, JFKL. A copy of the preliminary draft is in Maxwell Taylor Papers, NDU.

McNamara erroneously reported: According to pilot debriefs, no planes were hit. It is unclear how many planes took part in the afternoon mission. Gen. Taylor told the ExComm that two planes turned back with engine trouble and six others overflew Cuba. According to other reports, only six flights were scheduled for the afternoon of October 27--see, e.g., Pentagon war room journal for October 27, NSAW.

"This is a stinking double-cross": Scali's memos to Rusk were published in Salinger, With Kennedy, 274-80. See also ABC News program on John Scali, August 13, 1964, transcript available through NSAW.

The deputy chief of intelligence: Author's interview with Thomas Hughes, March 2006. Scali and Hughes entered the White House together at 5:40 p.m.--WH gate logs, JFKL.

"twelve pages of fluff": JFK3, 462.

He proposed new, more conciliatory language: Rusk read the text of the Stevenson draft to the ExComm. I found the original State Department draft among Maxwell Taylor's Papers at NDU. See also Alexis Johnson OH, JFKL.

He suggested his brother tell Khrushchev: This later became known as the "Trollope ploy," discussed in the Afterword (pp. 344-5). Numerous writers, e.g., Graham Allison in Essence of Decision, claim that, on Bobby's advice, JFK decided to respond to the first Khrushchev letter and ignore the second. This is a gross oversimplification of what took place. JFK did not ignore the second letter. The following chapter gives the details of how he addressed the Turkey-Cuba issue.

"the noose was tightening": RFK, 97.

and went looking for Marlene Powell: Author's interview with Marlene Powell, September 2003. See WP Magazine, October 26, 2003. According to the History of the 4080th Strategic Wing, Jane Anderson was notified that her husband was missing at 5:50 p.m. on October 27.

Around 1:00 a.m., Khrushchev got: Troyanovsky, 250; Sergei Khrushchev, 363.

a "signal of extreme alarm": Khrushchev letter to Castro, October 30, 1962, NSAW Cuba.

"a young horse that hasn't": Shevchenko, 106.

"We are not struggling": Khrushchev letter to Castro, October 30, 1962, NSAW Cuba; Sergei Khrushchev, 364.

to "stomach the humiliation": NK1, 499.


By the afternoon: The U.S. Navy labeled the Soviet submarines in chronological order, based on time of sighting. The first to be positively identified was C-18 (Soviet designation B-130, commanded by Nikolai Shumkov) at 241504Z. The others were C-19 (B-59, Valentin Savitsky) at 252211Z; C-20, later identified as C-26 (B-36, Aleksei Dubivko), at 261219Z; and C-23 (B-4, Ryurik Ketov) at 271910Z.

"Submarine to starboard": Carrier Division Sixteen, Cuban missile crisis documentation, NSAW.

"Dropped five hand grenades": Logbooks of Beale and Cony, NARA, also available through NSAW.

"Submerged submarines": Secretary of Defense message to Secretary of State 240054Z, NSAW Cuba.

"The president has been seized": JCS Poole notes.

"he would want to know": Time magazine profile, July 28, 1961.

danger of getting "bogged down": JCS message 051956Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

Electronic eavesdroppers on board: Intercepted message reported in ExComm meeting, interview with Keith Taylor, USS Oxford, November 2005; tracking intercept described in Harold L. Parish OH, October 12, 1982, NSA.

FIRE HOSE: CINCAFLANT messages 27022Z and 280808Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC. Some writers have claimed that the White House had to talk LeMay out of ordering the immediate destruction of a SAM site--see Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 463-4. Notes taken by JCS historian Walter Poole suggest this was not the case. The JCS favored continuing reconnaissance flights until another loss occurred and then attacking all SAM sites "as a minimum"--see Chronology of JCS Decisions, October 23, 1962, NSAW. For JCS opposition to piecemeal measures, see October 27 memorandum on "Proposed Military Actions in Operation Raincoat," OSD.

The men were falling "like dominoes": Mozgovoi, 92, Havana 2002, vol. 2.

According to regulations: Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr', 84; Mozgovoi, 71. The flotilla commander was Capt. 1st class Vitaly Agafonov. He was traveling on submarine B-4.

Arkhipov and Savitsky were equal in rank: Both men had the rank of captain 2nd class, the Soviet equivalent of a commander. The officer in charge of the torpedo was a captain 3rd class, equivalent to a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy.

"The Americans hit us": Mozgovoi, 93; Orlov interview with the author, July 2004. Other submarine commanders have questioned Orlov's version of events. Arkhipov and Savitsky are both dead. While it is impossible to know the precise words used by Savitsky, Orlov's account is consistent with other descriptions of the conditions on board the Soviet Foxtrots and the known movements of B-59.

"There were sharp disagreements": RFK, 102.

his "terrific executive energy": Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 625.

"almost telepathic": Schlesinger, "On JFK: An Interview with Isaiah Berlin," New York Review of Books, October 22, 1998.

The final version bore the marks: See State Department and Stevenson drafts, and ExComm discussion.

The inner ExComm agreed that: Accounts differ as to who attended this meeting. According to Rusk, it was attended by JFK, RFK, McNamara, Bundy, and "perhaps one other," in addition to himself--Letter to James Blight, February 25, 1987, NSAW. According to Bundy, the meeting was also attended by Ball, Gilpatric, Thompson, and Sorensen--see McGeorge Bundy, Danger and Survival (New York: Random House, 1988), 432-3.

Drawing on a cable: The formula proposed by Rusk was first suggested by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Raymond Hare, in Ankara cable 587, which arrived at the State Department on Saturday morning--NSAW.

"No one not in the room": Bundy, 433. For another account, see Rusk, 240-1.

a "complex and difficult person": Dobrynin, 61. In an October 30, 1962, memo to Rusk, RFK said he asked Dobrynin to meet him at the Justice Department at 7:45 p.m. (FRUS, Vol. XI, 270). But RFK was running late. The ExComm session did not end until around 7:35. RFK then attended the meeting in the Oval Office, which lasted around twenty minutes. He likely met Dobrynin around 8:05 p.m., at the same time the State Department transmitted the president's message to Moscow--ibid., 268.

"tapping telephone conversations": KGB profile of RFK, February 1962, SVR.

as "very upset": Dobrynin cable to Soviet Foreign Ministry, October 27, 1962. I have reconstructed this account from the Dobrynin cable, the RFK memo to Rusk, and RFK, Thirteen Days, 107-8. The RFK and Dobrynin accounts match each other closely, although Dobrynin is more explicit, particularly on the withdrawal of the Jupiters. On the Jupiter discussion, the contemporaneous Dobrynin cable seems more credible than the various RFK accounts. The official U.S. story on the Jupiters has changed over the years. Former Kennedy aides, such as Ted Sorensen, have acknowledged playing down or even omitting potentially embarrassing details. See articles and documents published by Jim Hershberg, CWIHP, 5 (Spring 1995), 75-80, and 8-9 (Winter 1996-97), 274, 344-7, including English translations of the Dobrynin cables.

"the children everywhere in the world": O'Donnell and Powers, 325; WH gate logs and president's phone log, October 27, 1962.

"an extra chicken leg": O'Donnell and Powers, 340-1.

The evacuation instructions were part: Ted Gup, "The Doomsday Blueprints," Time, August 10, 1992; George, 46-53.

"What happens to our wives": O'Donnell and Powers, 324.

"succumbed to the general mood of apocalypse": Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball, 482; "An Interview with Richard Lehman," Studies in Intelligence (Summer 2000).

"never live to see another": Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 378. McNamara says that he was "leaving the president's office at dusk" to return to the Pentagon, but Sheldon Stern points out that it was already dark by the time the ExComm broke up: sunset came at 6:15 p.m. on October 27.

With Kennedy's consent, Rusk telephoned: FRUS, Vol. XI, 275; Rusk, 240-1. Some scholars have questioned the reliability of Rusk's 1987 account of the approach to Cordier, but it seems fully consistent with the thrust of the previous ExComm debate and JFK's views on the Jupiters.

"Junta for an Independent": State Department Coordinator for Cuban Affairs memo, October 27, 1962, JFKARC.

"I cannot run my office": Miro profile, Time, April 28, 1961.

"I know something": Reeves, 97.

kept at "maximum readiness": Nestor T. Carbonell, And the Russians Stayed: The Sovietization of Cuba (New York: William Morrow, 1989), 222-3.

a "volatile, emotional": CIA memo for Lansdale on Operation Mongoose--Infiltration Teams, October 29, 1962, JFKARC; see also Lansdale memo on covert operations, October 31, 1962, JFKARC.

"Friends simply do not behave": Allyn et al., Back to the Brink, 149.

"He began to assess the situation": Alekseev cable to Moscow, October 27, 1962, trans. in CWIHP, 8-9 (Winter 1996-97), 291.

His subsequent report to Moscow: Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 117. Alekseev said that he did not find out the truth about who shot down the plane until 1978.

"almost fell into the water": Orlov interview.

"This ship belongs": Ibid.

Lookouts reported that the Americans: Mozgovoi, 93; Carrier Division Sixteen, Cuban missile crisis documentation, NSAW.

"to throw off your pursuers": Orlov interview.

Kennedy dismissed most: Salinger, John F. Kennedy, 125.

a "piece of ass": Seymour Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot (Boston: Little, Brown, 1997), 389. The need for sex was a recurring theme for JFK. He told Clare Boothe Luce that he could not "go to sleep without a lay."

Mary telephoned Jack: White House phone records, October 27, 1962; WH social files, October 24, 1962, JFKL. Meyer's many visits to the White House were usually noted by the Secret Service. There is no evidence that she met JFK on October 27. It is unclear whether he returned her phone call, as he was able to make local calls without going through the White House switchboard. For a discussion of their relationship, see Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman (New York: Bantam Books, 1998), 181-227.

"We'll be going": O'Donnell and Powers, 341.

George Anderson retired to bed: CNO Office log, October 27, 1962; OPNAV resume of events, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

to be "hostile": Gilpatric handwritten notes from 9:00 p.m. ExComm meeting, October 27, 1962, OSD.

"Now anything can happen": October 28 Prensa Latina report, FBIS, October 30, 1962.


"You dragged us into this mess": Troyanovsky, 250. For the time of meeting, see Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev, 351.

"the danger of war and nuclear": September 1993 interview with CC secretary Boris Ponomaryev cited in Fursenko and Naftali, One Hell of a Gamble, 284; see Fursenko, Prezidium Ts. K. KPSS, 624, for Malin notes on Presidium meeting, October 28, 1962.

The possibility that Soviet commanders on Cuba: Sergei Khrushchev, 335. Sergei reports that his father angrily asked Malinovsky whether Soviet generals on Cuba were serving in the Soviet or Cuban army. "If they are serving in the Soviet army, why do they place themselves under a foreign commander?" Since Sergei was not present at this conversation, I have not used the quote. However, the sentiment appears to be an accurate reflection of his father's views at the time.

the "hour of decision": Troyanovsky, 251; Dobrynin, 88. Several writers have argued that Dobrynin's report on his meeting with RFK arrived too late to influence Khrushchev's reply to JFK. See, e.g., Fursenko and Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, 490, which claims that Khrushchev "dictated his concession speech...before he knew of Kennedy's own concession." This is a misreading of the October 28 Presidium record. The minutes do suggest that a smaller group of Presidium members convened later in the day to consider the Dobrynin report, and reply to it. However, they list the Dobrynin report as number three on an agenda of at least nine items that day, ahead of a letter to Fidel Castro and a telegram to Pliyev (number five on the agenda), which were both part of the original discussion. Other Presidium records show that several agenda items were debated "out of order."

It seems probable, therefore, that the Dobrynin message arrived during the first part of the meeting, before Khrushchev dictated his letters to JFK and Castro, but became the subject of detailed discussion at the second session. This is consistent with Khrushchev's own memoirs and the memories of Oleg Troyanovsky, who was present at the first session. Together with the fragmentary Presidium record, Troyanovsky's account is the most authoritative version of what took place, and I have followed it closely.

if he led them into a "war of annihilation": Khrushchev letter to Castro, October 30, 1962, NSAW.

"Let none of you": Gribkov et al., U Kraya Yadernoi Bezdni, 167.

had come to "deeply respect": NK1, 500.

The Soviet people wanted "nothing but peace": FRUS, Vol. XI, 279.

advised Castro to "show patience": Khrushchev letter to Castro, October 28, 1962, NSAW, trans. by the author.

"We consider that you acted": Malinovsky telegram to Pliyev (pseudonym Pavlov), October 28, 1962, 4:00 p.m. Moscow time. NSAW Cuba, trans. by the author. Malinovsky sent a further message at 6:30 p.m. Moscow time, ordering Pliyev not to use S-75 SAM missiles and to ground fighter aircraft "in order to avoid collisions with U.S. reconnaissance planes." Translations of both documents are in CWIHP, 14-15 (Winter 2003), 389.

"a long wire" or rope: CINCLANFLT message 272318Z, CNO Cuba, USNHC.

"Korabl X": Log books of USS Beale, Cony, and Murray. See Submarine chronology prepared by NSAW.

"Attention, attention please": Carrier Division Sixteen, Cuban missile crisis documentation, NSAW.

to "behave with dignity": Mozgovoi, 94; Orlov interview.

"The only thing he understood": Dubivko memoir, "In the Depths of the Sargasso Sea," trans. Savranskaya.

"It's a disgrace": Mozgovoi, 109-10.

"enjoyed ridiculing people": Gen. Horace M. Wade OH, AFHRA.

"Shit, oh dear!": Unpublished Maultsby memoir.

"demonstrated the seriousness": Sagan, 76.

"You are a lucky little devil": Exactly how Maultsby came to overfly the Soviet Union, and the precise route he took on his way to and from the North Pole, would remain mysterious for many decades. Although the U.S. government admitted to a "serious navigational error" by the pilot that took him over Soviet territory, it did its best to hush up the embarrassing incident. McNamara demanded "a complete and detailed report" on what went wrong, but the results of the Air Force investigation have not been released. (McNamara memo to Air Force secretary, Cuban missile crisis files, Box 1, OSD.) Among the few official documents that this author was able to find relating to the incident were two charts showing Maultsby's route over the Soviet Union. The charts turned up in unexpected places in the records of the State Department and the JFK Library, suggesting that they may have been declassified inadvertently.

Read in conjunction with astronomical maps, the charts confirm the personal recollections of Maultsby and the navigator who helped him return to Alaska. But they also undermine the widely accepted official assumption that he ended up over the Soviet Union because he took a wrong turn over the North Pole. In fact, they suggest that he never reached the Pole, and instead ended up somewhere in the vicinity of northern Greenland or the Queen Elizabeth Islands of northern Canada.

The principal problem with the official version is an unexplained hour and a quarter of extra flying time. At 75,000 thousand feet, a U-2 was obliged to fly at constant speed of around 420 knots. Had Maultsby maintained this speed and made a wrong turn at the North Pole, he would have crossed over Soviet territory around 10:45 a.m. Washington time, rather than 11:59 a.m. The extra flying time equates to a detour of around six hundred miles.

The most likely explanation for the aberration is that his compass interfered with his navigational computations. In the vicinity of the North Pole, a compass is useless. Pilots had to rely on the stars, a gyro to keep them on a fixed heading, and accurate calculations of time and distance flown. According to another U-2 pilot, Roger Herman, Maultsby told friends that he forgot to unchain his gyro from his compass, an error that would have had the effect of pulling him in the direction of the magnetic North Pole, then located in northern Canada.

According to the State Department chart, Maultsby entered Soviet territory not from the north, but from the northeast. This is consistent with his recollection that he observed the Belt of Orion off the left nose of his plane. Had he been flying southward from the North Pole, he would have seen Orion off the right nose of the plane.

Gradually, the truth sank in: Vera interview.

The CIA later said: Richard Helms memo, November 13, 1962, JFKARC.

"operationally infeasible": Chronology of the Mathambre Mine Sabotage Operation, November 14, 1962, JFKARC. See also Harvey memo to Director of Central Intelligence, November 21, 1962, JFKARC. In his memos, Harvey said that the plan called for "only two immediate alternate rendezvous, on 22 and 23 October," i.e., four or five days after the saboteurs were dropped off. A "final pickup operation," in the event that these rendezvous were missed, was set for November 19. This chronology makes little sense. Everybody understood that it was likely to take longer than four days to carry out the sabotage operation. During the previous, unsuccessful attempt to target the copper mine, in early October, a sabotage team led by Orozco was retrieved after five days in Cuba. The October 22-23 pickup may have been designed for a separate arms-caching operation, and as a fallback in case Orozco and Vera failed to make it as far as Matahambre. There is no reason to doubt Vera's insistence that the main rendezvous date was between October 28 and 30, with a final fallback date of November 19.

On the morning of Tuesday: Cuban interrogation report, November 8, 1962, Havana 2002, Documentos de los Archivos Cubanos, Vera interview.

It was clear from the photographs: Blue Moon mission 5035, November 2, 1962, NARA.

"within 11/2 to 2 hours": Moscow telegram 1115 to Secretary of State, October 28, 1962, SDX.

With time running out: Troyanovsky, 252; Taubman, 575-6.

sounded to him like a "shameful retreat": Sergei Khrushchev, 367.

"If possible": Troyanovsky, 253.

"I feel like a new man": O'Donnell and Powers, 341; Beschloss, 541.

"I could hardly believe": Alsop and Bartlett, "In Time of Crisis," Saturday Evening Post, December 8, 1962.

"felt like laughing": Wilson OH, JFKL.

"a rose growing out": Abel, 180.

between "one in three": Sorensen, Kennedy, 705.

"a charade": JCS Poole notes.

"an insincere proposal": NSAW Cuba.

"It's the greatest defeat": Beschloss, 544.

"Son of a bitch!": Franqui, 194, Thomas, 524. For the Castro account, see Blight et al., Cuba on the Brink, 214.

Alekseev had been up late: Alekseev interview, CNN CW.

The report reaching the North American: For a full account of this incident, see Sagan, 127-33. Sagan and other writers have given an apparently erroneous time: NORAD logs give the time as 1608Z, or 11:08 a.m. Washington time--Sagan Collection, NSAW.

"Everyone knows who were": Summary record of ExComm meeting, FRUS, Vol. XI, 283.

"I don't think either of them": Sorensen interview, CNN CW.

"a victory for us": Reeves, 424.

"At last, I am going": Instructions to Dobrynin, October 28, 1962, NSAW; Dobrynin, 89-90.

"All of them?": Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 72.

"Nikita, Nikita": Mario Vargas Llosa report, Le Monde, November 23, 1962.

"watches, boots": CIA memorandum, The Crisis: USSR/Cuba, November 10, 1962, CREST.

"Some experts and technicians": Telegram from Czechoslovak ambassador, October 31, 1962, Havana 2002, vol. 2.

"First you urged me": Yesin et al., Strategicheskaya Operatsiya Anadyr, 57.

"to tighten your belts": K. S. Karol, Guerrillas in Power (New York: Hill & Wang, 1970), 274.

"This is the night": RFK, 110.


"dazzled the world": Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965), 851.

"Adlai wanted a Munich": Alsop and Bartlett, "In Time of Crisis," Saturday Evening Post, December 8, 1962.

"a dove from the start": Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 529.

"a thought of breathtaking ingenuity": Schlesinger, A Thousand Days, 828.

"the enormous tension that gripped us": Dobrynin, 83.

Most books on the missile crisis: An exception is The Limits of Safety (1993), by Scott Sagan, a study about accidents involving nuclear weapons.

"100 per cent successful": History of 4080th Strategic Wing, October 1962, FOIA.

"an inner sense of confidence": Alsop and Bartlett, "In Time of Crisis."

a policy of "progressive squeeze-and-talk": Kaplan, 334.

"deeply influenced": Clark M. Clifford, Counsel to the President (New York: Random House, 1991), 411.

"Very gung-ho fellows": Michael Charlton and Anthony Moncrieff, Many Reasons Why: The American Involvement in Vietnam (New York: Hill & Wang, 1978), 82, cited in Eliot A. Cohen, "Why We Should Stop Studying the Cuban Missile Crisis," The National Interest (Winter 1985-86).

"You got away with it": Reeves, 424.

"bright and energetic": Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times, 548.

"incompatible with Soviet practice": NIE 85-3-62, September 19, 1962; for postmortem, see February 4, 1963, memo from President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in McAuliffe, 362-71.

"We all inhabit": JFK Commencement Address at American University, June 10, 1963.

"plain dumb luck": Reeves, 425; see also "Acheson Says Luck Saved JFK on Cuba," WP, January 19, 1969.

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