In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy called on the U.S. Navy to play a crucial role in what would be the most tension-filled superpower showdown of the Cold War. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George W. Anderson’s response is the title our cover story commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis: “Mr. President, The Navy Will Not Let You Down.”
Thomas B. Allen’s article examines the background and course of the crisis while focusing on the Navy’s tasks: implementing a quarantine of the island nation, flying low-level reconnaissance missions, and preparing for a possible U.S. invasion. Norman Polmar’s follow-up article, “The Soviet Navy’s Caribbean Outpost,” examines Moscow’s ambitious, aborted plan to base a large naval force in Cuba and its navy’s subsequent visits there.