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what if the Cuban Missile Crisis got violent?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
    Hmmmm, I seem to remember several close calls during the Ray-gun era although for different reasons from the above. Too many itchy fingers too close to the button for comfort.

    Yeah, but those "close calls" were all "upclose and personal" and not left to some National Guard Yokels to make the final call.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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    • #17
      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
      Yeah, but those "close calls" were all "upclose and personal" and not left to some National Guard Yokels to make the final call.
      Yep, all the more reason to take the responsibility away from the incumbents.
      Signing out.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
        Yep, all the more reason to take the responsibility away from the incumbents.

        Precisely. War is far too important to be left solely to the realm of the amateurs or politicians.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
          Precisely. War is far too important to be left solely to the realm of the amateurs or politicians.
          The 'amateurs' being 'The Military' of course. Give them a weapon and they'll take any excuse to use it.
          Signing out.

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          • #20
            I think those two Russians are remarkable men. Can you imagine the pressure?!!!! People talk about a golfer having to sink a 15 yard put to win a tournament as pressure. I dont think so. Those two men just to name but two should be known throughout the world. We're alive because of them.And they lost their careers over it aswell. Typical.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
              I think those two Russians are remarkable men. Can you imagine the pressure?!!!! People talk about a golfer having to sink a 15 yard put to win a tournament as pressure. I dont think so. Those two men just to name but two should be known throughout the world. We're alive because of them.And they lost their careers over it aswell. Typical.
              I do not like the phrase "Sport Heroes" because they are not heroes. These two men are much closer to being heroes.
              FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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              • #22
                Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                This what if was closer than originally known. Since the delcassification and international symposiums by participating countries, it was learned a Soviet sub almost fired a nuclear tipped torpedo. Apparently, the Soviet sub was under the US blockade ships and a destroyed dropped depth charges against the sub. The sub commander wanted to fire the torpedoes, by Soviet protocol it required a unanimous vote of the three senior officers, two voted to fire, the third said no, lets check first with Moscow.
                Do you have more references for this?

                I find it unlikely that firing a nuclear tipped torpedo is the best weapon against a destroyer.

                Also, how is the sub, which is obviously somewhere under the destroyer (hence the depth charges) going to fire at the destroyer, not to mention be outside the lethal radius of a nuclear explosion?

                I wonder whether U.S. records have the dropping of the charges on file.

                Not a slam against you, it just caught my eye.

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                • #23
                  The Foxtrots being ordered to break the blockade certainly had nuclear-tipped torpedoes. Whether or not they would have used them on destroyers remains open to question, though I remember seeing an interview with one captain where he made it pretty clear if he fired it would be all out.
                  Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Redwolf View Post
                    Do you have more references for this?

                    I find it unlikely that firing a nuclear tipped torpedo is the best weapon against a destroyer.

                    Also, how is the sub, which is obviously somewhere under the destroyer (hence the depth charges) going to fire at the destroyer, not to mention be outside the lethal radius of a nuclear explosion?

                    I wonder whether U.S. records have the dropping of the charges on file.

                    Not a slam against you, it just caught my eye.
                    No slam taken.

                    The details of the incident emerged during a three-day confereence sponsored by the private National Security Archive, Brown University and Cuban government on the 40th anniversary of the crisis in Havana during October 2002. Press release on the issue in the October 20, 2002 Boston Sunday Globe (it's on the internet)

                    It was recently covered in a Russian book, not yet translated into English, Kubinskaya Samba Kvarteta Fokstrotov, "Cuban Samba of the Foxtrot Quartet", by journalist Alexander Mozgovoi. Google the translated title and it will bring up several hits.

                    You can also go to The National Security Archive of George Washington University at http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB75/ which has a short overview article with references and includes Soviet Plans to Deploy submarines, Cables, reports, deck logs, and after-action reports on U.S> ASW operations, charts, and photographs.

                    rna
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by thejester View Post
                      The Foxtrots being ordered to break the blockade certainly had nuclear-tipped torpedoes. Whether or not they would have used them on destroyers remains open to question, though I remember seeing an interview with one captain where he made it pretty clear if he fired it would be all out.
                      From the posts here we cant be certain the torpedo was aimed at the destroyer. If practical aiming it at a aircraft carrier or other large ship nearby would make more sense. I'd be suprised if there was not a target priority list or doctrine in place for the submarine commander.

                      My second thought here is how vulnerable the USN commnications were to EMP in 1962. Not just aboard the ships, but at the shore intallation along the US south east coast. Ditto for the Soviet commuication in Cuba. One can easily imagine the panic on all sides were a few critical comm links to fail at that point. Even if only for a hour or two.

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                      • #26
                        There is an account by Navy veteran Peter Huchthausen who served on the USS Blandy during the crisis pubilshed as October Fury which brings together the recollections of American and Russian participants in the confrontation between US destroyers and Soviet submarines.

                        There were several encounters. The B-59 was the most dangerous. In the "Cuban Samba" Vadim Orlov, a communications intelligence officer on the Soviet sub recounted tense and stressful situation on Oct 27th when US destroyers lobbed PDCs at B-59. Captain Savitsky unable to establish communications with Moscow "became angry" and ordered the nuclear torpedo [No one on the US side knew at the time that the Sov subs were nuclear-armed.] to be assembled for battle readiness. Savitsky roared, "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all." It was at this point Archipov calmed Savitsky and they made the decision tosurface the submarine. So, the target had not been identified.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                        • #27
                          The soviet nuclear torpedo of the time 53-58 had a 3KT warhead. EMP pulse would not be a major factor.
                          FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                            Hmmmm, I seem to remember several close calls during the Ray-gun era although for different reasons from the above. Too many itchy fingers too close to the button for comfort.
                            I seem to remember that it was the decision by Reagan to reinvigorate the conventional military and intelligence assetts which made nuclear war less likely due to options other than a harsh diplomatic protest and a strategic nuclear strike practical and thus more likely.
                            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                            George Mason
                            Co-author of the Second Amendment
                            during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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                            • #29
                              I would think that a nuclear or conventional torpedo strike would result in relatively the same level of escalation in the crisis. "Nukes don't leave holes in the water."

                              Either way, the US would have had more conventional options with which to deal with the Soviet missile sites, ships and subs while the USSR would either have to go nuclear in Cuba as well as escalate in Europe, which would only lead to a larger, possibly general exchange of nukes or choose to back off while blaming the US for the destruction to date. None of the options were palatable, however. I am glad we never found out. My dad told me he really thought he was going to lose his young family to nuclear war for a day or two.
                              "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                              George Mason
                              Co-author of the Second Amendment
                              during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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                              • #30
                                Either way, it wouldn't help the relationship between the US and the USSR

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