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From this film, I figure out railway tracks will be back in time now. But seems like the 1600 per hour business is around here... It will be a long time after that. . . Date line Cuba January 1959. A victorious revolutionary enters Tarana in triumph. . He promises his people freedom. Instead, he gives them bondage as Russia's first satellite in the Caribbean.
Soon, our government notes a steady increase in the amount of Soviet shipping to Cuba. Is a breakneck Soviet build-up of personnel and military equipment underway? Is Russia establishing an armed camp 90 miles from the continental United States? A bland cruise chaff denies applying offensive weapons to Cuba. His foreign minister, Andre Gromiko, tells President Kennedy that the Soviet government would never become involved in rendering such assistance. The 14th October 1962 surveillance of Cuba, which had been interrupted four days by Hurricane Ella, is resumed. A strategic air command reconnaissance pilot, sores high over Cuba, is cameras recording all that is below. His film is delivered to an Air Force recon laboratory for developing and printing. Within hours after they were taken, photo interpreters in Washington are studying the photographs.
The evidence is unmistakable. Russia is building missile sites. Both medium and intermediate-range missiles are seen on the ground. Jet bombers are being uncreated. In one giant step, Russia is giving Cuba an offensive nuclear capability that can strike at the heart of the United States, or at our neighbors in the Western hemisphere. The administration studies the situation. A crisis is near. Too many key officials fail to turn up at dinner parties. There are no longer any regular hours. An anxious America speculates. Then on 22 October, the president speaks to the nation. He directs the armed forces to prepare for any eventuality and warns. It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.
He imposes a naval and air quarantine on the shipment of all offensive weapons and demands that Russia withdraw such weapons from Cuba. The two great nuclear powers of the world now face each other squarely. As the world holds its breath, all leaders work around the clock. Even before the president spoke, the armed services were prepared for what he called any eventuality. The joint military staff adapted standing contingency plans to the administration's strategy for this crisis. Aircraft, troops, and naval ships were moved into position. They are now alert and ready. Minutes after the president spoke, the Secretary of Defense reports the military actions of the past 10 days. This included redeployment of air defense units to better defend the eastern coast, substantial reinforcement of Guantanamo, the alerting and evacuation of the defendants from Guantanamo, and the increased alert status of the United States military forces worldwide,
including the alert status of the strategic air command. As the coded orders go out, all wing command posts step up their alerts. These sackmen and their weapons systems are the might which gave the president speech unmistakable significance. The worldwide deterrent force of sack on super alert around the clock is a message in the clear that Russia understands. On them and their planes and missiles, and on the Polaris submarines on station around the world, rests the responsibility of keeping Soviet nuclear power at bay. As the alert is stepped up, missiles and rockets are slung under wings of bombers and fighters to ready them if a ghost signal is given. Both ADC and sack aircraft are dispersed to assure survival of the force should the Soviet Union decide to attack. At civilian airports, they are met by volunteer air national guard and Air Force Reserve personnel who assist in dispersal operations.
Sync clad headquarters, which controls all unified Army, Navy, Marine and Air Forces during contingency operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean, prepares for any eventuality in Cuba. Working closely with Sync clad, other Air Force commands are already at increased alert posture. Flying radar stations keep constant vigil over the approaches to our borders, feeding information into the Montgomery Air Defense sector, which watches the skies to the south. If an unknown aircraft appears, interceptors instantly will be directed to it. In minutes, the unknown will be identified and if hostile, shot down. Simultaneously, the tactical air command is ready. Attack fighters positioned at Florida bases even before the President spoke are on alert. The supersonic hard-hitting F-100s. F-104s
and F-105s. Reconnaissance aircraft, the RB-66s and the RF-101s. The dispersal of this gigantic air armada was carried out so coolly and professionally, the public is not yet aware of it. The events moving swiftly taught a showdown with the Soviets. The United States wins hemispheric support. By unanimous vote, the Organization of American States sanctions the use of force, if necessary, to enforce the quarantine. Even as the Organization of American States approves the President's proposals, naval ships plow through the Caribbean to establish the quarantine line. Usath, airlifts, battle-ready troops to staging areas. They are prepared to act if word is given. More tactical aircraft arrive to strengthen forces already deployed and, generally may,
Air Force Chief of Staff down from the Pentagon, is given a quick but thorough progress report. General Swini, who commands the Air Force's assigned to sink plant, tours the Florida Vases, reviewing contingency plans with key staff members. He talks with personnel, inspects planes and equipment. The day before the President's address, he was in the White House, reporting that his tactical air forces were ready. Main time, Air Force Plains helped the Navy enforce the quarantine. From Vases throughout the Caribbean, they scan over one million square miles of ocean, reporting back the location and course of approaching vessels. As the fighting men and planes continue to move into position, equipment and support personnel vital to their mission move with them. Maths, tack, and air reserve aerial workhorses fly hundreds of missions. Shuttling between home bases and Florida,
they establish an aerial pipeline, transporting thousands of tons of material to the alert areas. They bring in the train maintenance and other support experts required to sustain the tactical air armada. The vast deployment of men and equipment is accomplished smoothly. The United States Air Force does a job that only highly trained professional airmen could do. For years, they have prepared for this or any other contingency in training operations like clear lake, swift strike, wooden tell, and many others. Now, they keep their skills battle sharp, even as they wait. In runs over remote Florida scrub, they are directly on target with fire bombs. Far from Florida, sack bombers are also poised,
flying precise patterns within striking distance of the Iron Curtain, a reminder that defeat awaits any nation that dares launch a sudden, vicious, nuclear attack. Meanwhile, our efforts toward a peaceful solution continue. Still, Khrushchev Quibbles, he has not given the president a satisfactory answer. Then, October 27, five days after the president's automated assistant secretary.
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Europe Goes Nuclear
Cuban Crisis
Episode Number
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Episode Description
Coverage of activities during Cuban Crisis, including scenes of US government buildings, Russian ship en route from Cuba with deck-loaded missiles; newspaper clippings about reservists being called up and Russian decision to withdraw; and scenes taken in Havana during Castro's entry following the revolution.
Asset type
Raw Footage
Soviet Union; United States; Cuba
Rights Note:,Rights:Public Domain,Rights Credit:NAFB,Rights Type:All,Rights Coverage:In perpetuity,Rights Holder:NAFB
Media type
Moving Image
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Writer: Castro, Fidel, 1926-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: dbc3e0df502bd3ec3deedddd168eb793222ba908 (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
Color: B&W
Duration: 00:06:10
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Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Cuban Crisis; 104,” 1962-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Cuban Crisis; 104.” 1962-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Cuban Crisis; 104. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from