Cuban Crisis
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Cuban Missile Crisis

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron was formed on Cavenham Heath at Tuddenham Airfield under the control of Bomber Command and equipped with Douglas Thor missiles. The squadron consisted of three missiles on their own launch pads. These rockets had a range of 1,750 miles and carried a two-megaton nuclear warhead. They were mounted at a state of readiness and remained as such until they ceased to be in operation. During the Cuban Crisis of 1962 the missiles were brought up to a very high state of readiness, armed and fuelled and almost ready for ‘off’, but the only live firings were those carried out by R.A.F. crews while training in the U.S.A.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was the culmination of deteriorating relations between the United States, and the Soviet Union and Cuba during the Cold War. The Soviets started shipping (among other weapons) medium- (MRBM) and intermediate-range ballistic (IRBM) missiles to Cuba in early 1962. In September 1962 the US responded to the introduction of these offensive weapons into Cuba by developing plans for a coordinated air attack. October 20th was set as the date when all preparations needed to implement this attack on Cuba should be completed. In response to this threat and other diplomatic moves the Soviet missiles were withdrawn from Cuba.

©2000 Sarah Brownie

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