The Cuban Missile Crisis was a conflict which took place between the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in 1962 during the Cold War. It is also known as the October Crisis or the Caribbean Crisis by some. It was the closest the world ever came to a nuclear war. The United States armed forces were at their highest state of readiness ever and Soviet field commanders in Cuba were all set to use battlefield nuclear weapons to defend the island if it was invaded. All thanks to the bravery of two men, President John F. Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev, war was avoided.
Following the Berlin blockade of 1948, the arms race began arguably between the east and the west towards the end of 1949 after the Russians had produced their own atomic bomb. The Americans already had a big lead in bombs of this type, but the Russians were determined to catch up even though production of nuclear weapons placed an enormous strain on their economy. When the Americans made the much more powerful hydrogen bomb, the Russians did the same the following year, and had soon developed a bomber with a range long enough to reach the USA.
This arms race continued with both the sides producing new types of nuclear weapons like the inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) and other nuclear missiles with a shorter range. The Russians successfully launched the world’s first earth satellite (Sputnik 1) in 1958, the Americans felt that they dared not be left behind; within a few months they had launched an earth satellite of their own. The resulting crisis ranks with the Berlin blockade as one of the key confrontations of the Cold war and it is typically considered to be the minute when the Cold War came closest to becoming a nuclear discord. 
Cuba became involved in the cold war in 1959 when Fidel Castro, who had just seized power from the corrupt, American-backed dictator Batista, outraged the USA by nationalising American-owned estates and factories. As Cuba’s relations with the USA...