The Internet Newsletter for the Cold War Museum and
Cold War Veterans Association
March / April 2003
“What if free people could live secure in the knowledge
that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant
U.S. retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could
intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?”
Strategic Defense Initiative
This Issue of Cold War Times is Sponsored by…
Volume 3, Issue 2: March / April 2003
In This Issue…
The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Cold War Times, the Cold War Museum, the Cold War Veterans Association, and/or their respective Board of Directors. As is the case with all history, the history of the Cold War is subject to some degree of interpretation.
Cold War Museum Update pp. 3-4
By Gary Powers, Jr.
Cold War News & Notes pp. 6-10
Cold War Pop Culture pp. 11-12
By Bill Geerhart
Caribbean Crisis Part II of III pp. 13-19
By James Hansen
Operation Homecoming 30th Anniversary pp.19-20
Reagan Announces SDI p. 20
On the Cover: In a televised speech to the nation, President Ronald Reagan announces the program to
develop and deploy a ballistic missile defense system
known as the Strategic Defense Initiative.
(Photo from Reagan Presidential Library).
About the Cold War Museum
Founded in 1996 by Francis Gary Powers, Jr. and John C. Welch, the Cold War Museum is dedicated to preserving Cold War history and honoring Cold War Veterans.
For more information: Cold War Museum, P.O. Box 178, Fairfax, VA 22030 Ph: 703-273-2381
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 3
Cold War Museum Update by Francis Gary Powers Jr.
Dear Friends of the Cold War Museum,
These past two months have been very hectic. The Museum continues to make progress towards its goal of establishing a primary location. On March 3, we will submit our proposal to Fairfax County for use of the former Nike Missile base in Lorton, Virginia. The Museum board is very optimistic that our proposal will be accepted due to the large amount of community support, state support, and institutional support that we have been able to secure
since our inception over five years ago.
Our Midwest Chapter continues to grow and advance. On February 28, I attended a press conference at the Press Club in Milwaukee, WI where I unveiled our latest "Stasi Prison" exhibit. Our Midwest Chapter President Chris Sturdavent and Chairman Werner Juresko, who was imprisoned by the Stasi between 1955 and 1962, contributed significantly to the success of this event and the overall growth of our Midwest Chapter. If there are other
individuals that would like to assist with out efforts to open addition chapters across the county, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 21, I was invited to make a presentation about our efforts to the Antelope Valley Board of Trade's 2003 Outlook Conference attended by over 800 people including represent-tatives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman as well many California elected officials. The day before giving my lecture, I was treated to a behind the scenes look at the Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, CA. Not only were we able to see U-2's in production, but also watched one land after a mission, and had briefings on some of Lockheed's future
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 4
concepts, which include subsonic airflow at supersonic speeds and airframe designs that change shape and physical characteristics during flight.
Unfortunately, I recently received notice that the Commonwealth of Virginia did not pass any legislation this year for non state agency funding, which means that we will need to rely on your continued financial support during 2003. We are at a critical stage of our develop-ment and I would like to encourage you to renew your membership with the Cold War Museum by making a financial contribution. Your continued support will allow us to make this vision a reality.
If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Very truly yours,
Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
The Cold War Museum
P.O. Box 178
Fairfax, VA 22030
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 5
A Few Words from the Editor…
Bryan J. Dickerson
The previous edition of CWT was a historic milestone as it marked the largest edition we have ever produced and a feat that will never be duplicated again. Based largely upon reader input, we have decided to slim down CWT to a more manageable size (15 to 20 pages).
This edition of CWT marks another historic milestone: our first sponsor. We welcome Sovietski, a firm specializing in Russian and Eastern European gifts, artifacts and novelties.
The March / April issue includes some exciting news of Cold War-related events. James Hansen returns with the second installment of his expose on deception in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bill Geerhart examines Cold War pop culture in his essay.
On 1 February 2003, the space shuttle Columbia
and seven courageous individuals were lost during
re-entry in the skies over Texas. Investigators are
still attempting to learn why this happened. In
April 1981, Columbia became the first spacecraft
to fly into space and land like an airplane and be
reusable for subsequent missions. Altogether
Columbia flew 28 missions before that tragic day
just a few weeks ago. We here at CWT honor the
memory of Columbia’s final crew. Through the
mercy of God may they join in with the choirs of
Heaven for all eternity.
(Official NASA Photo)
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 6
Cold War News and Notes…
Cold War Museum / Sovietski Collection
Announce Gary Powers Artifact
Rare, Francis Gary Powers autograph-ed collectible now available from Sovietski. On May 1, 1960, Captain Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union while piloting his U2 spy plane, sparking one of the most famous international incidents of the Cold War. Nearly two years later, Powers was exchanged for a Soviet agent in a dramatic spy swap. In 1977, Powers was killed when the helicopter he was piloting crashed. Sovietski’s framed piece, featuring Powers' rare autograph on a cancelled check, vin-tage photos from the Powers' family archives and a brass story plaque, is a fitting tribute to this renowned Cold
War hero. Matted and custom-framed, under Plexiglass®. There will be no more than 100 units in this special, limited edition series.*
N. Gary Powers Autographed Collectible #151003 $449.00
$20 from each purchase will be donated to the Cold War Museum.
Unique Russian and Eastern European gear, gifts and collectibles.
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 7
CELL DOOR EXHIBIT WILL MARK OPENING OF
MIDWEST COLD WAR MUSEUM
A cell door from the infamous KGB/Stasi Communist-era prison in East Berlin was unveiled during a press conference at 5 p.m. Friday, February 28 in the Newsroom of the Milwaukee Press Club, marking the official opening of the Cold War Museum’s Midwest Chapter.
Chris Sturdevant of Waukesha, Wis., Chairman of the Midwest Chapter and founder of the Cold War Historical Society, said the cell door “will offer a glimpse into the stark, cold reality of oppression that Communism came to dictate behind the Iron Curtain.” The Chapter Executive Director, Werner Juretzko of Mt. Prospect, Ill., is a former prisoner of the Stasi and helped acquire the artifact.
“Both individuals are striving to promote Cold War history in their respective communities by working with schools, veterans’ organizations, and other interested local groups,” Cold War Museum co-founder Francis Gary Powers, Jr. noted. “The exhibit on the Stasi Prison is but a small example of the types of displays that will be in the museum and its affiliates.”
The museum sponsors a traveling exhibit of Cold War memorabilia and is expecting to construct a permanent home in Northern Virginia at a former Nike missile site. It publishes an electronic newsletter Cold War Times and also sponsors a “Spy Tour” of sites in the Washington area associated with famous espionage cases. Museum officials welcome contributions of significant artifacts from the Cold War period, as well as donations, which are tax deductible.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Chris Sturdevant (email@example.com) or Werner I. Juretzko, (firstname.lastname@example.org) Midwest Chapter, The Cold War Museum, 950 North Elmhurst Road, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056; (847) 590-7554. Francis Gary Powers, Jr. (email@example.com), The Cold War Museum, P.O. Box 178, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 273-2381; www.coldwar.org.
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 8
The Cold War Veterans Association and the Vietnam Veterans of America Form Partnership for California’s Vets
David Fofanoff, Director of Pacific Coast Operations, CWVA
In a historic move towards unity between the two veterans service organizations representing millions of military veterans of the United States, the California Chapter of the Cold War Veterans Association and the California State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America announced the ratifying of a joint partnership agreement between their organizations.
“Too often the voices of our veterans are not heard in the halls where legislative decisions concerning their well-being are made because of a lack of unity between those organizations representing them. This partnership agreement, officially ratified by both the California Chapter of the Cold War Veterans Association and the California State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America, clearly shows that veterans organizations throughout the United States can work together on common causes in promoting the welfare and honor of our nation’s military veterans.”, said David Fofanoff, Director of Pacific Coast Operations for the CWVA. “Our veterans deserve the best that our country can give. We are striving together to make sure this message is not forgotten here in California and to ensure that their voices are heard loud and clear; when and where it counts.”
As part of the agreement, both organizations have agreed to create a unique liaison officer position that will be responsible for channeling information between the two organizations so that both organizations can support one another more readily and concretely. The first person to be appointed to the liaison officer position is CWVA and VVA Associate member Matt Davison.
Matt is an Air Force Cold War veteran (1956-1962), having served two years as an Intercept Radio Operator at Misawa AFB and Wakkanai Det. in Japan and finishing up his active service at Otis AFB, Massachusetts. For the past four years Matt has been working in association with the VVA helping homeless and incarcerated veterans in California to get off the streets and out of prison, into transitional housing, computer classes, training, job preparation, employment, and self-sufficiency.
“Matt's significant work for the Vietnam Veterans of America here in California and his passion for seeing all veterans treated with respect and honor makes him the obvious choice for the Liaison Officer position.”, said Dick Southern, President of the California State Council of the VVA. “We are proud that the VVA and CWVA here in California will be working together more visibly.”
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 9
The leadership of both organizations recognizes the importance of taking positive actions like this and hopes that this partnership agreement will be the beginning of a more unified National veterans service organization coalition.
Cold War Veterans Association Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
California Chapter California State Council
1267 Fitzgerald Rd P.O. Box 760
Simi Valley, CA 93065 Yuba City, CA 95992
Cold War Service Medal Online Petition
Cold War Veteran Joe Martin has created an online petition calling upon the Secretary of Defense to authorize the Cold War Service Medal. The petition for the long overdue medal may be found at…
Additions to WWW.RB-29.NET
Chuck and Nell Stone
During the past few weeks we have made four additions to our web site resources some of which may be of interest to you. They include the following references:
1) A selection of three related stories of U.S. Naval Aviation In the South Pacific during WW II Featuring the Lexington Aircraft Carrier and her dedicated crew as key participants in The Battle of the Marianas — June 1944
2) A story of the WW II shoot-down and POW experience as related by a B-17 Ball Gunner: The Charles Reed Holden Story by Charles “Reed” Holden as told through William A. “Bill” Sutton http://www.RB-29.net/HTML/83holden-suttonsty/83.00.25cvr.htm
3) A Contributed Information piece entitled Guidelines in Dealing with Identity Theft
4) A new Fun Stuff item # 11 The Future of Military Funding
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 10
UMBC To Host “Atomic Culture: Cold War Civil Defense”
Professor Joseph N. Tatarewicz
The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) will be hosting "Atomic Culture: Cold War Civil Defense" featuring Jayne Loader, Co-Master of Quincy House, Harvard College on Tuesday 4 March 2003 at 4:00 pm at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. In 1977 Jayne Loader joined Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty to produce a documentary based on 10,000 U.S. Government films on nuclear attack and civil defense. Using only original audio and video with no narration, “The Atomic Café” debuted in 1982 to critical acclaim worldwide. It has been shown continuously since, and was recently released on DVD.
For Directions to UMBC see http://www.umbc.edu/aboutumbc/campusmap/
For Further information or queries, contact:
Professor Joseph N. Tatarewicz
Department of History
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 11
COLD WAR POP CULTURE ESSAY
Uranium, plutonium, M.A.D., détente, glasnost, Yakov Smirnoff’s career: These are but a few of the leftovers--toxic and otherwise--from the Cold War. Like the radioactive material that is still floating around out there in decommissioned missiles and the stray suitcase, many other reminders of the epic struggle of our time remain in our collective midst. The legacy of the Cold War has been and will continue to be fodder for numerous academic papers and tomes that seek to predict the future impact of this period. Unfortunately, with but a few notable exceptions, there is a tendency to relegate the pop cultural fallout from this era to the realm of kitschy nostalgia. This is a regrettable trend because while it is laudable to memorialize pieces of the Berlin Wall and the pens that signed the SALT II treaty--as well as the diplomacy that made these breakthroughs possible--it is also worthwhile to recognize the effect this time had on the culture.
To be sure, every war produces its fair share of nostalgic touchstones. World War I had the doughboys, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” and prosthetic noses. World War II had Glen Miller, Rosie the Riveter and about a million mostly awful B-war films. Korea and Vietnam, themselves sideshows of the grander epoch, had their own impact on the culture (well, at least Korea had “MASH”). But none of the preceding wars can hold a candle to the cultural effect the forty-plus-year Cold War had on the United States and the world. The combination of science, the military/industry and government pitted against such a worthy adversary as the U.S.S.R. was a phenomenon that the growing mass media eagerly exploited.
The early Cold War (for ease of demarcation: Post-Soviet A-bomb detonation/pre-JFK assassination) was the period that really defined the era. Mention the Cold War today and people—even youngsters—will cite things from the “classic years,” “Duck and Cover” and fallout shelters, not Reykjavik, KAL 007 or Mathius Rust.
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 12
The widespread pervasiveness of all things atomic during this 1949-1963 time frame and its lingering after-effects still boggle the imagination. Films, novels, music, television, art, advertising and even fashion (if you didn’t already know, you can thank the Cold War for the Bikini—well, at least the name) were all influenced (or, if you prefer contaminated) by the Bomb and the attendant battle of wills between the superpowers. The bizarre music (“The Atomic Blond Polka” springs to mind) of this period alone could fill volumes of scholarly text if only the academics realized the potential. So could all the strange movies and pulp novels that used atomic war or testing as their main plot points. The Las Vegas Miss Atomic Bomb pageant of 1953 is worth at least a “think piece” in the New Republic! Alas, no. Instead it is left to the pop historians and their websites and History Channel documentaries to ponder the meaning of it all.
What is truly encouraging and exciting, however, is the Cold War Museum’s mission to address the entire history of the conflict, not just the textbook stuff. For it is the global examination of an event in history that makes such history come alive for everyone--John Q. Public and William F. Buckley, Jr., alike. The Museum will be doing us all a favor in preserving the totality of the Cold War and providing the appropriate context for the seemingly crazy mélange of art and politics. The lessons and the meaning of this period are still unfolding and it is vitally important that such a permanent institution as the Museum exists to collect and sift through the historical and cultural fallout.
In the interim, while the Museum establishes itself as a leader in the public discourse, there is no reason why you can’t contribute in your own small way. The next time you overhear your wonkish acquaintances debating Reagan’s use of SDI as a tool of deterrence, interject a reference to Slim Gaillard’s 1945 novelty song “Atomic Cocktail.” Your non-sequitur may seem odd at first blush, but Gaillard’s 2-minute masterpiece of foolishness has a lot more resonance and significance to understanding the Cold War than your friends may have ever realized. That is why they need to be reminded.
Bill Geerhart is the co-creator of conelrad.com, a website devoted to all things atomic
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 13
CARIBBEAN CRISIS – DIAGNOSIS OF DECEPTION
James Hansen / 7 May 2001
[Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a three-part article written by Hansen on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The article originally appeared in Studies in Intelligence. A full copy of the article may be found at http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/vol46no1/index.html ]
Unloading in Cuba
The planners had selected 11 Cuban ports to receive the Soviet ships: Havana, Mariel, Cabanas, Bahia Honda, Matanzas, La Isabella, Nuevitas, Nicaro, Casilda, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. Three of them were earmarked to receive the surface-to-surface missiles and nuclear warheads -- Bahia Honda and Mariel on the northwest coast and Casilda on the south coast.1
Even before the Soviet ships approached the Cuban ports, a number of maskirovka pre-cautions had been implemented. For example, at Mariel the Soviets had built a large cinder-block wall around the unloading area at the port so that none of the activity at the port could be observed by land-based agents.2 As the ships lay in port, KGB officers stood on deck and kept watch throughout the harbors. All Cubans, and even militiamen, had been barred from the port areas.3 The local Cubans had been given two days to evacuate their homes within a mile of the waterfront in Mariel.4
The Mariel naval port was noteworthy, as it received the initial shipment of nuclear war-heads on board the Indigirka on 4 October. Reported to be on board were 45 warheads for the SS-4 missiles, 12 warheads for the Luna tactical missiles, 6 bombs for the Il-28 light bombers, and 36 warheads for the cruise missiles called FKRs. According to Fursenko and Naftali, this one ship alone carried 99 nuclear charges – some 2/3 of all nuclear weapons sent to Cuba and over 20 times the explosive power dropped by all Allied bombers on Germany throughout
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 14
World War II.5 In addition, most of the military technicians came ashore at Mariel, and the strict security measures there hindered the ability of US intelligence to estimate the number of Soviet troops.
In those hectic initial days, secrecy created more than a few glitches. The General Staff had neglected to provide passwords for the greeting parties and the arriving transport ships to identify themselves to one another. Accordingly, some ship captains and on-board troop commanders had difficulty accepting orders to re-route their ships away from the originally-assigned ports. The captain of one ship even turned back out to sea rather than allow a Cuban patrol boat crew to come aboard to guide him to his anchorage.6
Usually two or three days were required to unload a single ship with military cargo, and maskirovka needs invariably complicated the work. Equipment that had at least a superficial resemblance to agricultural machinery could be unloaded in broad daylight, but weapons and other military equipment could be unloaded only at night. From there they were stored in sheds out of sight or else moved along back roads at night to designated bases.7
All this time, Radio Moscow stated that the USSR was only giving Cuba “machine tools, wheat, and agricultural machinery” along with “some 7,000 tons of various fertilizers.”8
This cover story was consistent with the false identities provided to many of the Soviet military specialists and also with the daytime unloading.
Movement to the Field
Evidently the maskirovka measures were not comprehensive with regard to the first Soviet military men who arrived. The US received reports from friendly nations, from newspaper correspondents, and from other sources indicating that hundreds of Russian troops in fatigues had been seen in Havana and also in seemingly endless convoys along Cuba’s main highways. Many young Russian men also had been observed in Havana, sightseeing, in cotton checked shirts and cheap trousers.9
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 15
By the time that the SS-4s and nuclear warheads were on their way to Cuba, maskirovka measures had been tightened up considerably. Once they had disembarked, the troops -- now dressed as civilians -- were subjected to further demands. Their Soviet escorts posted there earlier were required to wear Cuban military uniforms, and were told to
issue commands along the convoy routes only in Spanish.10
From the port areas, the canvas-covered SS-4 missiles were moved in night convoys, under tight security, to remote sites in the interior of the island. When these nocturnal trips took a long time, the men camped in roadside bivouacs. On the march and on bivouac, Soviet military men remained dressed in civilian clothing, and were also forbidden to mention their military designations or the ranks of their commanders -- especially in the presence of outsiders. Moreover, all communications between the Soviet military headquarters in Havana and units in the field had to be oral, not written, and made in person, not by radio. Except for very brief hookups and equipment tests, Soviet troops maintained total radio silence in order to mask their identity, location, and troop strength from US intelligence.11
The SS-4 missile carriers were just too big to go unnoticed on the back roads of the island. As they rumbled through the little Cuban towns to their sites in the field, they left a trail of downed telephone poles and mailboxes in their wake. When a peasant’s shack had to be moved or knocked down to allow a missile carrier to turn a tight corner, those who witnessed the event were bound to talk. In retrospect, some Soviet planners found it remarkable that the secret remained so for a full month after the MRBMs arrived in Cuba.12
At Bases in the Countryside
Many of the Soviet troops had arrived at their bases by early September, and the Cubans did what they could to enhance the Soviet maskirovka plan. At that time, Cuban officials began to exert control over the movements of all foreigners on the island. News reporters and foreign embassy personnel were forbidden to travel outside the city limits of Havana. Within the capital, all foreigners were surveilled by Cuban agents on foot and in cars. British embassy officials were especially harassed.13
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 16
The launch sites for the missiles were constructed on areas expropriated from Cuban landowners, yet had no special security measures such as fences or walls and were completely exposed to aerial observation.14 Standard maskirovka doctrine gave preference to deployment in wooded areas, yet Cuba’s forests could not cover all the missile equipment.15 They were generally sparse, consisting of a few clusters of palm trees or a thick undergrowth of bushes.
The missile sites could never have been hidden for long, as this type of missile site is not easily disguised. The area is filled not only with missiles but with multiple buildings, fuel trucks and tanks, and hundreds of meters of thick cable -- all surrounding the large concrete slabs that anchored the missile launchers. Once the heavy equipment had been moved in, some of this might be hidden from ground-level view, but from above it stuck out markedly.16
All of this became apparent on 14 October when a U-2 aircraft photographed the area of San Cristobal, where the first missile unit was being deployed. In only six minutes, Air Force Major Richard Heyser snapped 928 photographs that yielded the first confirmed existence of offensive missiles in Cuba. The Russians then informed Raul Castro that they would all have to devote more attention to concealing the work and camouflaging the missile sites and other heavy military equipment.17 Later on Soviet units in the field tried to counter the US reconnaissance flights by enhancing their maskirovka around the missile sites. They stretched tarpaulins and nets over the missiles, and daubed paint or mud across the canvases. This marked the first time that they tried to conceal their missiles from the air.18
Cuban realities hit home in other ways. To try to maintain secrecy, Soviet commanders forbade their troops from taking any leave from their deployment sites, and also ruled out using Cuban labor on the fenced-in construction sites. Yet even with these efforts, total concealment was impossible. Soviet commanders and planners knew that the tractor-trailers could be covered by canvas, but their mass could not be shrunk, and associated large objects and fuel trucks nearby would lead to the presence of the missile units.19
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 17
One Soviet priority was a secure and well-organized system of communications by direct wire and with radio with each missile unit. Defense Minister Malinovsky ordered that when the missiles were fully ready a prearranged phrase would be used: “To the Director: the sugar cane harvest is coming along successfully.”20 Throughout the episode, Malinovsky’s code name was “Director,” while the headquarters of Soviet forces in Cuba was known by the code name of Trosnik (reed).
Soviet spokesmen kept up a steady stream of denials and disinformation ploys in September. On 4 September, Soviet Ambassador Anatoli Dobrynin sought out Robert Kennedy and stated that he had received instructions from Khrushchev to assure the President that there would be no surface-to-surface missiles or offensive weapons placed in Cuba. Dobrynin also added that the Attorney General could assure his brother that the Soviet military buildup was not of any significance.21 On 6 September, Theodore Sorenson, special counsel to President Kennedy, met with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin, who reiterated his assurances that Soviet military assistance to Cuba was strictly defensive in nature and did not represent a threat to American security. The following day, Dobrynin assured US Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson that the USSR was supplying only defensive weapons to Cuba. On 11 September, TASS announced that the USSR neither needed nor intended to introduce offensive nuclear weapons into Cuba.22
In late September Khrushchev embarked on a barnstorming tour of agricultural enter-prises in the Turkmen and Uzbek republics. This high-profile tour extended into the first week of October, and emphasized agricultural topics. In none of Khrushchev’s many speeches during this tour was there any mention of a sign of aggression or threats to the United States.23
Moscow echoed the same themes in October as well. On 13 October, a high State Department official, Chester Bowles, questioned Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin on whether Moscow intended to put “offensive weapons” in Cuba, and he denied any such intention. On 17 October, GRU Colonel Georgi Bolshakov brought Robert Kennedy a personal message directly from Khrushchev to President John Kennedy that “under no circumstances would
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 18
surface-to-surface missiles be sent to Cuba.” The next day Foreign Minister Gromyko met with President Kennedy for two hours. Gromyko assured him that the Soviet aid to Cuba “pursued solely the purpose of contributing to the defense capabilities of Cuba and to the development of its peaceful economy.”24
One action at this time had extraordinary and unpredictable consequences. Colonel Oleg Penkovsky of the GRU, who worked for both the CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in Moscow, was arrested on 23 October (Moscow time – 22 October in Washington). He has been under suspicion for some time and remained under close surveillance in the waning months of his service for the West. Soviet counterintelligence authorities did not know, however, until his arrest and interrogation exactly what he had turned over to the CIA and SIS. In particular, they did not know then whether he had acquired and passed on information on the Cuban missile deployments.25
Only on 25 October did US intelligence detect a Soviet contingent with a single Luna launcher in eastern Cuba. Because this weapon could fire both conventional and nuclear warheads, little was made of this finding. Even though the Soviets had dispatched about 100 tactical nuclear weapons to Cuba before the quarantine took effect, US intelligence had not discovered any of the smaller nuclear-capable delivery systems until then. The US evidently believed that the Lunas would fire conventional warheads, and had assumed that all Soviets on the island were support personnel for the large SS-4 and SS-5 strategic missiles and their associated equipment.26
During the night of 26 October, General Pliyev -- expecting a US attack the very next day -- ordered a number of mobile technical support bases carrying nuclear warheads to move, under the cover of darkness, closer to their delivery vehicles – including the FKR cruise missiles and the Lunas.27 After General Pliyev advised Moscow of that decision, he received a quick reply from “Director” specifically forbidding him to use any nuclear weapons on his own.
We now know that of all the nuclear-capable delivery systems there, only some of the battlefield weapons were ready for action at this time. Of the 36 SS-4s deployed, only about
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 19
half were ready to be fueled – an 18-hour process – and not one had been programmed for flight. Most of the Il-28 aircraft were still in their crates. Yet the FKR cruise missiles and Lunas were in place and targeted on likely beachheads and ocean approaches, and the warheads for them had been moved forward.28
Read the Conclusion in the May / June Issue…
About the Author…
James (Jim) Hansen is a senior intelligence officer with DIA, specializing in counter-intelligence. He holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Michigan, and began his intelligence career with CIA in 1971. He is the author of two books, Correlation of Forces: Four Decades of Soviet Military Development (Praeger, 1987) and Japanese Intelligence: The Competitive Edge (NIBC, 1996). He has also prepared many articles for professional periodicals. Mr. Hansen is an authority on foreign intelligence services and is now approaching retirement.
Operation Homecoming 30th Anniversary
At the end of January 1973, a ceasefire for the Vietnam War was arranged at the Paris Peace Talks. The following month, the first planeloads of American prisoners of war began leaving North Vietnam for the return home to the United States. The released American POWs included U.S. Army Capt. Floyd Thompson captured on 26 March 1964, Navy Lt. j.g. Everett Alvarez Jr. shot down several days after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Navy Lt. Cdr. and future Senator John McCain, and USAF Capt. Peter Camerota shot down during the December 1972 Linebacker II raids on North Vietnam. Altogether 591 freed prisoners, including 25 U.S. Government civilians, returned to the U.S.
Some of these freed prisoners had been held for nearly ten years under inhumane conditions. They had endured sadistic physical and psychological torture, and had been the pawns of Communist propaganda that vilified them as criminals. Many had been deprived
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 20
of adequate medical care for illnesses and injuries sustained before and after capture. For some the years of captivity and torture had inflicted irreparable harm on them.
Unlike other American servicemen returning from Vietnam around this time, the freed prisoners were treated like heroes. While the nation tore itself apart in opposition to the Vietnam War, the majority of American people viewed these freed prisoners with compassion and admiration for the horrendous ordeals that they had endured.
Reagan Announces SDI – 23 March 1983
A major focus of Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president had been the rebuilding of America’s armed forces and dealing with the Soviet Union from a position of strength. On 23 March 1983, President Reagan made a stunning announcement about a new initiative to improve America’s ability to defend herself. “Tonight, consistent with our obligations of the ABM treaty and recognizing the need for closer consultation with our allies, I'm taking an important first step,” he stated. “I am directing a comprehensive and intensive effort to define a long-term research and development program to begin to achieve our ultimate goal of eliminating the threat posed by strategic nuclear missiles. This could pave the way for arms control measures to eliminate the weapons themselves. We seek neither military superiority nor political advantage. Our only purpose–one all people share–is to search for ways to reduce the danger of nuclear war.”
Mockingly dubbed “Star Wars” by a hostile media, Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative was envisioned as a system of earth- and space-based advanced weapons to destroy nuclear ballistic missiles before they impacted upon the United States. He realized that a defense based upon massive retaliation could only protect America from nuclear attack by deterring the attack. America needed a defense against the missiles after they were launched.
Twenty years later, a ballistic missile defense is still under development. While the Soviet Union has collapsed, the threat of future nuclear missile attack by rogue nations like North Korea is a very real possibility. Fortunately the Bush Administration recognizes this and has reinvigorated the efforts to develop and deploy ballistic missile defense.
Cold War Times March / April 2003 p. 21
The November / December issue of Cold War Times included an article by Charles D. Carter titled, "America's Air Defense of South Florida During and After the Cuban Missile Crisis: 1962-1979."
Carter's article was heavily dependent on language, research, and ideas originally presented in "The Cold War in South Florida Historic Resource Survey Phase I," a study of Cold War-related activities in South Florida's National Parks written by Steve Hach, a PhD candidate in Diplomatic History at the University of Florida.
Hach's study, completed under contract to the U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service as part of the Federal Government's Cold War Legacy Project, included an appendix on Nike operations in South Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unit histories of the 2/52 Nike Missile Battalion written by James R. Hinds and Charles Edward Kirkpatrick served as primary source materials for Hach's work.
Carter, who has no professional training in historical research, writing, or publication practices, presented large portions of Hach's work verbatim et literatum without attribution in his CWT article.
Carter accepts responsibility for his actions and has issued an apology to Hach. Hach has accepted Carter's apology.