Cuban Missile War (Introduction)

The closest man has come to extinction in our timeline.

War….war never changes, says the introduction of the 1997 video game, Fallout from our timeline. Nowhere could that be closer to the truth than in the Cuban Missile War timeline, where just one single event could cause catastrophic consequences. First, however, we need some context.

October, 1962. Thirteen days of panic, fear and tension marked that month in the that tense fall, those days being known to us as the Cuban Missile Crisis. In our timeline, Kennedy formed EXCOMM (not to be confused with the fictional anti-extraterrestrial defence force known as X-COM); a body of government officials that was to advise Kennedy on the Cuban Missile Crisis, which had begun on the 18th of October, although U-2 recon images had revealed the sites over the course of several months, and its roots can be dated back to February of 1962, with Operation: Adanyr.

What was Operation: Adanyr? Operation Adanyr was the Soviet plan to station those nuclear missiles in Cuba, which in turn, was a response to the American Jupiter missiles in Turkey (which the Americans were going to dispose of anyway, though the Soviets did not see it that way until the last days of the crisis in our timeline). The result? You guessed it: the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Our timeline’s blockade of Cuba.

What was EXCOMM’s plan for dealing with the missiles in Cuba? Well, there were a few options: there was the blockade of our timeline, OPLAN 312, which involved launching air strikes against the missile sites, and finally (the one I chose to go with in this timeline following the point of divergence), OPLAN 316. That one was the last resort; the plan for a full invasion of Cuba. Said plan was as follows:

US F-100s, and F-105s were to launch air strikes on the missile sites, like in OPLAN 312, as well as use the F-104s to prevent MiGs from intercepting them, while bombers would begin softening up defences in Western Cuba, mainly near Tarana. After an eight day air campaign, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions would deploy to these landing zones:

Jose Martí airfield (near Havana)
Los Banos airfield
Mariel Naval Air Station
Baracoa Airfield

They would be followed by contingents of US Army Divisions and US Marine Corps divisions CINCLANT, which would be deploying the rest of the XVIII Airborne Corps and the II Marine Amphibious Force.

At the same time, US Marines in Guantanamo Bay would expand their perimeter to secure the surrounding area and push deeper into the island.

Unfortunately for the Americans, the Soviets had 100 tactical nukes at the time of the crisis ready to nuke them if they EVER tried to land on the island. So, basically, if the Americans executed this plan, the majority of their forces would be vapourised in an instant.

The Americans would then proceed with Plan B: nuke the missile sites with 6 B-47 bombers, carrying two 10–20 Mt warheads each, meaning that Cuba gets wiped off the map (literally).

So, how is this timeline’s Cuban Missile Crisis different from our timeline? Well, let me tell you a story that happened on the 27th of October of 1962, hours after Maj. Rudolf Anderson was killed while performing reconnaissance operations with a U-2 spy plane. So, it all started when the USS Randolph, an aircraft carrier, and its 11 destroyers began to deploy depth charges on the B-59 after they got spotted. The other officers thought that NATO and PACT forces were at war, but they needed to agree unanimously to fire their nuclear torpedoes. Just one man, Vasily Arkhipov prevented this from happening by convincing the submarine’s Capt. Valentin Savitsky to await orders from Moscow. In our timeline, that is the world saved, right? Well, in this timeline…Vashya just decides to authorise the launch of that nuclear torpedo. It was the last thing he did, as nuclear fire destroyed the B-59, the USS Randolph and its destroyer escorts; thanks to him, the world of 1962 will now burn…

The beginning of this alternate timeline, and with it, the end…..

References:

http://www.alternatewars.com/WW3/Cuba/Cuba_1962_OOB.htm

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/2012_10_24_Norris_Cuban_Missile_Crisis_Nuclear_Order_of_Battle.pdf

https://www.britannica.com/event/Cuban-missile-crisis

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/27/vasili-arkhipov-soviet-submarine-captain-who-averted-nuclear-war-awarded-future-of-life-prize

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/27/vasili-arkhipov-stopped-nuclear-war

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/oplan-316-62-the-invasion-of-cuba-1962.68127/