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Over Cuba

June 2024
1min read

Is it not astonishing that Sergei Khrushchev would quote his father telling Andrei Gromyko, even as the endgame in the Cuban Missile Crisis was unfolding, “We have no right to take risks“? Could those words really have emanated from a leadership that in full recognition of its vast overall inferiority in nuclear capabilities had nonetheless quietly delegated to military commanders in the field the discretion to initiate first use of such weapons in the form of nuclear torpedoes and tactical missiles?

May I also offer a minor technical correction? The photograph on page 73 identified as an F-8U spy plane was no such thing. Although the venerable F8 series did include reconnaissance variants, the particular aircraft you’ve pictured isn’t one of them. Rather, it is an F8U-3, a quite distinctive experimental design limited to a handful of prototypes. Most assuredly, it never flew over Cuba.

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