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28 October 1962: The U.S. Navy shadows the second Soviet F-class submarine to surface, after repeated rounds of signaling depth charges on 27 October

U.S. and Soviet Naval Encounters During the Cuban Missile Crisis

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 75
William Burr and Thomas S. Blanton, editors
October 31, 2002

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Washington, D.C., 31 October 2002-- Forty years ago today, the U.S. Navy forced to the surface a Soviet submarine, which unbeknownst to the Navy, was carrying a nuclear-tipped torpedo. This was the third surfacing of a Soviet submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After a day of persistent tracking by the U.S. destroyer, the Charles P. Cecil, commanded by Captain Charles Rozier, Soviet submarine B-36, commanded by Captain Aleksei Dubivko, exhausted its batteries forcing it to come to the surface. On 27 and 30 October respectively, U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) forces surfaced Soviet submarines B-59 and B-130. No one on the U.S. side knew at the time that the Soviet submarines were nuclear-armed; no one knew that conditions in the Soviet submarines were so physically difficult and unstable that commanding officers, fearing they were under attack by U.S. forces, may have briefly considered arming the nuclear torpedoes. Indeed, one of the incidents--the effort to surface B-59 on 27 October 1962--occurred on one of the most dangerous days of the missile crisis, only hours after the Soviet shoot-down of a U-2 over Cuba and as President Kennedy was intensifying threats to invade Cuba.

The U.S.-Soviet conflict over nuclear deployments on Cuba that produced the October 1962 crisis has necessarily been a focal point of public interest, but the drama that unfolded above and below Caribbean waters is now receiving greater attention. While experts on the missile crisis, as well as the participants themselves, have been long aware of the cat-and-mouse game between U.S.ASW forces and Soviet submarines during October and November 1962(1), only in recent months has the hidden history of Soviet submarine operations during the crisis become more widely known. In the spring of 2002, Russian researcher Alexander Mozgovoi began the revelations when he published The Cuban Samba of the Quartet of Foxtrots, which is available only in Russian and was not released through ordinary commercial channels.(2) Earlier this fall, U.S. Navy veteran Peter A. Huchthausen, who served on the U.S.S. Blandy during the crisis, published October Fury, which for the first time brings together the recollections of American and Russian participants in the confrontation between U.S. destroyers and Soviet submarines.(3) Thanks to Mozgovoi's and Huchthausen's efforts, as well as the recent Havana conference on the missile crisis which produced new details on submarine operations,(4) interested readers now know that Soviet "Foxtrot" (NATO classification) submarines heading toward Cuba were the spearhead of an effort to develop a Soviet naval base at Mariel Bay, Cuba. One of the most startling disclosures was that each of the submarines carried a nuclear-tipped torpedo, which greatly raised the dangers of an incident as the U.S. Navy carried out its efforts to induce the beleaguered Soviet submariners to bring their ships to the surface.(5)

During the missile crisis, U.S. naval officers did not know about Soviet plans for a submarine base or that the Foxtrot submarines were nuclear-armed. Nevertheless, the Navy high command worried that the submarines, which had already been detected in the north Atlantic, could endanger enforcement of the blockade. Therefore, under orders from the Pentagon, U.S. Naval forces carried out systematic efforts to track Soviet submarines in tandem with the plans to blockade, and possibly invade, Cuba. While ordered not to attack the submarines, the Navy received instructions on 23 October from Secretary of Defense McNamara to signal Soviet submarines in order to induce them to surface and identify themselves. Soon messages conveying "Submarine Surfacing and Identification Procedures" were transmitted to Moscow and other governments around the world. The next morning, on 24 October, President Kennedy and the National Security Council's Executive Committee (ExCom) discussed the submarine threat and the dangers of an incident. According to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara reviewed the use of practice depth charges (PDCs), the size of hand grenades, to signal the submarines, "those few minutes were the time of greatest worry to the President. His hand went up to his face & he closed his fist" (see document three). Within a few days, U.S. navy task groups in the Caribbean had identified Soviet submarines in the approaches to Cuba and were tracking them with all of the detection technology that they had at their disposal.(6)

The U.S. effort to surface the Soviet submarines involved considerable risk; exhausted by weeks undersea in difficult circumstances and worried that the U.S. Navy's practice depth charges were dangerous explosives, senior officers on several of the submarines, notably B-59 and B-130, were rattled enough to talk about firing nuclear torpedoes, whose 15 kiloton explosive yields approximated the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in August 1945. Huchthausen includes a disquieting account of an incident aboard submarine B-130, when U.S. destroyers were pitching PDCs at it. In a move to impress the Communist Party political officer, Captain Nikolai Shumkov ordered the preparations of torpedoes, including the tube holding the nuclear torpedo; the special weapon security officer then warned Shumkov that the torpedo could not be armed without permission from headquarters. After hearing that the security officer had fainted, Shumkov told his subordinates that he had no intention to use the torpedo "because we would go up with it if we did."(7)

Possibly even more dangerous was an incident on submarine B-59 recalled by Vadim Orlov, who served as a communications intelligence officer. In an account published by Mozgovoi (see document 16), Orlov recounted the tense and stressful situation on 27 October when U.S. destroyers lobbed PDCs at B-59. According to Orlov, a "totally exhausted" Captain Valentin Savitsky, unable to establish communications with Moscow, "became furious" and ordered the nuclear torpedo to be assembled for battle readiness. Savitsky roared "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all." Deputy brigade commander Second Captain Vasili Archipov calmed Savitsky down and they made the decision to surface the submarine. Orlov's description of the order to assemble the nuclear torpedo is controversial and the other submarine commanders do not believe that that Savitsky would have made such a command.

Soviet submarine commanders were highly disciplined and unlikely to use nuclear weapons by design, but the unstable conditions on board raised the spectre of an accident. Orlov himself believes that the major danger was not from the unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon but from an accident caused by the interaction of men and machines under the most trying of circumstances. Captain Joseph Bouchard, the author of a major study on Naval operations during the missile crisis, supports this point when he suggests that the "biggest danger" was not from "deliberate acts" but from accidents, such as an accidental torpedo launch.(8) If the Soviets had used nuclear torpedoes, by accident or otherwise, the U.S. would have made a "nuclear counter-response."(9) U.S. aircraft carriers had nuclear depth charges on board, while non-nuclear components (all but the fissile material pit) for more depth charges were stored at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (see document 49). Fortunately, the U.S. and Soviet leadership, from heads of state to naval commanders wanted to avoid open conflict; cool heads, professionalism, and some amount of luck, kept the crisis under control.

The documents that follow, culled mostly from the U.S. Navy's operational archives,(10) show how U.S. destroyers and patrol aircraft pursued Soviet submarines during the crisis and after it had subsided, in November. Some of the documents give an overview of the submarine tracking operation while others provide detail on the encounters with Soviet submarines in late October and early November. Of the four submarines that secretly left for Cuba on 1 October, the U.S. Navy detected and closely tracked three: 1) B-36, commanded by Aleksei Dubivko, and identified by the U.S. Navy as C-26 (and later found to be identical with another identified submarine C-20), 2) B-59, commanded by Valentin Savitsky, and identified as C-19, and 3) B-130, commanded by Nikolai Shumkov, and identified as C-18. Only submarine B-4, commanded by Captain Rurik Ketov, escaped intensive U.S. monitoring (although U.S. patrol aircraft may have spotted it). In a major defeat of the Soviet mission, these three submarines came to the surface under thorough U.S. Navy scrutiny.

Some Soviet submarines may have escaped U.S. detection altogether. While the four Soviet Foxtrot submarines did not have combat orders, the Soviet Navy sent two submarines, B-75 and B-88, to the Caribbean and the Pacific respectively, with specific combat orders. B-75, a "Zulu" class diesel submarine, commanded by Captain Nikolai Natnenkov, carried two nuclear torpedoes. It left Russian waters at the end of September with instructions to defend Soviet transport ships en route to Cuba with any weapons if the ships came under attack. Although the Soviets originally intended to send a nuclear-powered submarine for transport ship defense (see document 2), only a diesel submarine was available. Once President Kennedy announced the quarantine, the Soviet navy recalled B-75 and it returned to the Soviet Union by 10 November, if not earlier. Another submarine, B-88, left a base at Kamchatka peninsula, on 28 October, with orders to sail to Pearl Harbor and attack the base if the crisis over Cuba escalated into U.S.-Soviet war. Commanded by Captain Konstatine Kireev, B-88 arrived near Pearl Harbor on 10 November and patrolled the area until 14 November when it received orders to return to base, orders that were rescinded that same day, a sign that Moscow believed that the crisis was not over. B-88 did not return to Kamchatka under the very end of December. While the U.S. Navy detected and surfaced most of the submarines en route to Cuba, it remains to be seen whether it detected any traces of submarines B-75 or B-88.(11)



I. Soviet Plans to Deploy Submarines

1. Report from General Zakharov and Admiral Fokin to the Defense Council and Premier Khrushchev on Initial Plans for Soviet Navy Activities in Support of Operation Anadry, 18 September 1962, describing arrangements to send to Cuba a squadron of submarines, including a brigade of torpedo submarines and a division of missile submarines, with two submarine tenders.
Source: Volkogonoff Collection, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Reel 17, Container 26. Translated by Gary Goldberg for the Cold War International History Project and the National Security Archive.

2. Report from General Zakharov and Admiral Fokin to the Presidium, Central Committee, Communist Party of the Soviet Union, on the Progress of Operation Anadyr, 25 September 1962, indicating plans to equip the submarine brigade with one nuclear torpedo on each submarine and to send a nuclear attack submarine to protect the transport ship Aleksandrovsk.
Source: Volkogonoff Collection, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Reel 17, Container 26. Translated by Gary Goldberg for the Cold War International History Project and the National Security Archive.


II. Cables, reports, deck logs, and after-action reports on U.S. ASW operations

1. Excerpt from meeting of the Executive Committee (Excom) of the National Security Council, 10:00 A.M.--11:15 A.M., 24 October 1962, during which President Kennedy and his advisers discussed the Soviet submarine problem and the Navy's procedures for signaling the submarines with practice depth charges.
Source: Philip Zelikow and Ernest R. May, editors. The Presidential Recordings John F. Kennedy, The Great Crises, Vol. III (New York, W.W. Norton, 2001), pp. 190-194; John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA.

2. COMASWFORLANT (Commander, Anti-Submarine Warfare Forces, Atlantic) cable to Task Group 81.5 (Bermuda ASW Task Group), 24 October 1962, noting task group report on "probable" submarine sighting (probably C-18) and requesting patrol flights to find the submarine.
Source: Washington Navy Yard, Naval Historical Center, Operational Archives Branch, Cuba History Files, Boxes 68-71, file: 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1 (hereinafter cited as CHF, with file name)

3. Commander TG 81.5 cable to task group elements, 25 October 1962, assigning "highest priority" to effort to track C-18, with a patrol squadron VP 45 assigned the task on a "continuing basis."
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

4. Commander TG 81.5 cable to COMASWFORLANT, 25 October 1962, noting that ASW squadron "Woodpecker Nine" made a visual sighting of a Soviet Foxtrot submarine, probably C-18.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

5. CTG 81.5 cable to CTF 81 (Commander Task Force 81) (COMASWFORLANT), 25 October 1962, reporting on visual sighting of C-18 (Soviet submarine B-130).
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

6. "OpNav [Office of the Chief of Naval Operations] 24 Hour Resume of Events 250000Q to 260000Q", 26 October 1962, recounting blockade and ASW efforts as well as the preparation of forces for an invasion of Cuba.
Source: Washington Navy Yard, Naval Historical Center, Operational Archives, Flag Plot Cuba Missile Crisis 31-2, file: Misc. Information

7. CTG 136.2 (Commander, Essex Task Group) cable to COMASWFORLANT, 26 October 1962, confirming that submarine C-18, identified with hull number 945, dove after a sighting by ASW aircraft.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

8. CTG 81.5 cable to COMASWFORLANT, 26 October 1962, reporting sighting by "Woodpecker Five" of submarine cataloged as C-19 (Soviet submarine B-59). Patrol aircraft maintaining "mad contact," that is, contact through magnetic anomaly detection (MAD).(12)
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

9. CINCLANT cable to AIG [Address Indicator Group?] 930, JCS, CINCARIB, et al., "Current ASW Status," 26 October 1962, showing visual sightings and SOSUS (sound surveillance system)(13) contacts with Soviet submarines--including C-18, C-19, and C-20--since 22 October.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

10. CTU 81.7.9 (Element of Caribbean ASW Group/Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico) cable to CTF 81 (COMASWFORLANT), 27 October 1962, summarizing "current ASW activity" in the vicinity of Guantanamo Bay (GITMO).
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

11. CTG 81.1 (element of COMSAWFORLANT?) cable to CTF 81 (COMASWFORLANT), "Appreciation of SOSUS Activity in Western Atlantic from 23001Z to 273100Z," 27 October 1962, reports seven SOSUS contacts with conventional Soviet submarines, although noting difficulty of using SOSUS to track C-18 and C-19
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

12. CINCLANT cable to JCS, "Summary of Soviet Submarine Activities in Western Atlantic to 271700Z," 27 October 1962, reporting various visual sightings and various technical intelligence contacts of Soviet submarines through radar, SOSUS, MAD, as well as Julie and Jezebel sonobuoys.(14)
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

13. Deck Log Book [Excerpts] for U.S.S. Beale, DD 471, showing tracking and signaling operations, with use of practice depth charges (PDCs), and eventual surfacing of submarine C-19 on the evening of 27 October (local time). The Beale was part of the Randolph ASW task group 83.2.
Source: National Archives, Record Group 24, Records of Bureau of Naval Personnel (hereinafter cited as RG 24), Deck Logs 1962, box 74

14. Deck Log Book [Excerpts] for U.S.S. Cony, DD 508, also part of TG 83.2, showing its role in tracking, signaling, and surfacing submarine C-19.
Source: RG 24, Deck Logs 1962, box 178

15. Deck Log Book [Excerpts] for U.S.S. Bache, DD 479, which tracked C-19 (identified as PROSNABLAVST) on 28 October
Source: RG 24, Deck Logs 1962, box 57

16. Recollections of Vadim Orlov (USSR Submarine B-59), "We Will Sink Them All, But We Will Not Disgrace Our Navy," Orlov's account includes the controversial depiction of an order by Captain Valentin Savitsky to assemble the nuclear torpedo.
Source: Alexander Mozgovoi, The Cuban Samba of the Quartet of Foxtrots: Soviet Submarines in the Caribbean Crisis of 1962 (Moscow, Military Parade, 2002). Translated by Svetlana Savranskaya, National Security Archive.

17. CTG 81.1 cable to CTF, "Appreciation SOSUS Activity from 271201Z-2843000Z," 28 October 1962, reporting that SOSUS system "total remaining above normal", including 6 contacts of Soviet conventional submarines: C-18, C-19, C-20, and C-23.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

18. Deck Log Book [Excerpts] for U.S.S. Barry, DD 933, which tracked C-19 (PROSNABLAVST) on 29 October
Source: RG 24

19. COMASWFORLANT cable to AIG 43, 29 October 1962, describing C-19 as "raising and lowering masts and snorkel indicating hydraulic difficulties and/or repairs."
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

20. COMASWFORLANT cable to AIG 43, 30 October 1962, reporting that the Barry lost contact with C-19 after it "went deep."
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

21. COMASWFORLANT cable to AIG 43, 30 October 1962, on surfacing of Foxtrot submarine C-18 (B-130), side number 945, late in the evening of 29 October at 2310Z (Greenwich meridian time).
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

22. CTG 136.2 (Essex Task Group) cable to COMASWFORLANT, 30 October 1962, reports that C-18 "remaining on the surface."
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

23. COMASWFORLANT cable to AIG 43, 30 October, reporting that C-18 [B-130] submerged early in the morning at 3000622Z, but that destroyers and aircraft were holding sonar (sound navigation and ranging)(15) and MAD contacts.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

24. U.S.S. Speed Cable to COMASWFORLANT, 30 October 1962, on MAD and sonar contacts with Soviet submarine C-26 (B-36), although "have not attempted special surfacing signals viewed as part of lifted quarantine."
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

25. U.S.S. C.P. Cecil cable to COMASWFORLANT, 30 October 1962, reporting B-36 [C-26]'s "strong attempt [to] break contact ... in radical course changes and speeds to 15 [knots] and false echo cans."
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

26. U.S.S. C.P. Cecil Cable to COMASWFORLANT, 30 October 1962, reports that contact was evaluated as "submarine" in light of 30 MAD contacts by patrol aircraft. "Maintaining continuous sonar contact" of C-26 [B-36]
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

27. CTG 136.2 to COMASWFORLANT, 31 October 1962, reports surfacing of C-18 [B-130] after 14 hours of continuous contact by destroyers and patrol aircraft. "Sub was evasive using decoys, depth changes, backing down" but "sonar contact [was] never lost." After surfacing, submarine stated its number as 945 and stated that it needed no assistance.
Source: CHF, CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-1

28. Deck Log Book [Excerpts] for U.S.S. Blandy, DD 943, which played a critical role in the surfacing of C-18 (B-130).
Source: RG 24, Deck Logs 1962, Box 91.

29. CTG 135.1 (element of invasion task group) cable to COMASWFORLANT, 31 October 1962, on radar and visual sighting of submarine cataloged as C-21 (possibly Soviet submarine B-4).(16)
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-2

30. U.S.S. C.P. Cecil cable to COMASWFORLANT, 31 October, on efforts to hold contact with submarine C-26 [B-36] whose "evasive tactics" were increasing. "Submarine launched false target cans at least three occasions."
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

31. U.S.S. Aldebaran cable to COMASWFORLANT, 31 October 1962, reports on surfacing of C-26 [B-36] at 11054Z. The U.S.S. Cecil will monitor the submarine whose crew was "taking turns airing topside." The term "xmas" found in paragraph 4 stands for "unknown non-American submarine."
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

32. Aleksei F. Dubivko, "In the Depths of the Sargasso Sea"
Source: On the Edge of the Nuclear Precipice (Moscow: Gregory Page, 1998). Translated by Svetlana Savranskaya

33. CTG 81.1 cable to CTF 81, 31 October 1962, "Appreciation of SOSUS Activity from 301301Z to 311300Z," reports high detection visibility although a decrease in SOSUS contacts.
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

34. CINCLANT cable, to JCS, 1 November 1962, "Summary of Soviet Submarine Activities in Western Atlantic 271700Z to 311700Z," reviews previously reported and new submarine contacts through Jezebel, LOFAR (low frequency analysis and recording), and other detection systems.
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

35. U.S.S. C.P. Cecil cable to COMASWFORLANT, 2 November 1962, reports that the Cecil is keeping watch of C-26 [B-36], whose crew "worked on fittings under superstructure deck." C-26 submerged later in the day (see document 36).
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

36. Deck Log Book [Excerpts] for the U.S.S. Keppler, which monitored C-18 in early November.
Source: RG 24, 1962 Deck Logs, box 467

37. CTG 135.1 cable to COMASWFORLANT, 3 November 1962, providing status report on contacts with C-21 : "our attitude has changed from confidence to frustration to doubt as the nature of the contacts varied. My present evaluation [is] that the original contact was a positive sub sighting."
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)-2

38. COMASWFORLANT cable to AIG 43 et al., 3 November 1962, on the status of C-18, C-19, C-21, and C-26, among other contacts.
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

39. U.S.S. Zellars cable to COMASWFORLANT, 4 November 1962, on unsuccessful efforts to track C-21.
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

40. Special Report of the CNO Submarine Contact Evaluation Board As of 5 November 1962," 5 November 1962, showing confirmed sightings of Soviet submarines, but noting that contact C-21B is "tentative" because of a "lack of confirming evidence."
Source: Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW 2

41. COMASWFORLANT cable to supporting elements, 5 November 1962, "Summary Soviet Submarine Activity in the Western Atlantic to 051700Z Third Report," reporting status of C-18, C-19, C-21, and C-26
Source: Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW 2

42. CTU 81.7.9 (element of COMASWFORLANT) cable to COMASWFORLANT, 6 November 1962, on continuing efforts to track C-21 as well as the possible detection, through LOFAR and ECM (electronic countermeasures) of a nuclear submarine
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)

43. U.S.S. Keppler cable to COMASWFORLANT, 8 November 1962, on continued monitoring of C-18 (B-130), which appears to be experiencing "mechanical difficulty in separating fuel from water for diesel engines."
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)

44. COMASWFORLANT cable to AIG 43, 9 November 1962, on rendezvous by C-18 (B-130) with an unidentified surface ship, probably Russian tugboat, Pamir.
Source: CHF, 21.SS/ASW

45. U.S.S. Keppler cable to COMASWLANT, 9 November 1962, on C-18's unsuccessful attempts to submerge.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts (Closed)

46. COMASWFORLANT cable to CTG 81.9, 9 November 1962, reporting that if Soviet tugboat Pamir is escorting and C-18 and both "are homeward bound", surveillance operation will soon end. As it turned out, the Pamir towed C-18 (B-130) back to port near Murmansk, a three-week voyage.
Source: CHF, 21 (A) SS/ASW Contacts

47. Carrier Division Sixteen, "Report of ASW Barrier Operations During the Cuban Missile Crisis by Group Built Around Randolph," 14 December 1962, describing aerial patrol efforts to track C-19. During one of the helicopter operations on 27 October, after PDC "surfacing signals exploded," sonar picked up noise caused by hatches slamming shut "leaving no doubt that we had a submarine contact."
Source: U.S. Navy Freedom of Information Act Release

48. Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron Five, "Report of Support of Cuban Missile Crisis Operations," 15 December 1962, showing surveillance efforts against Soviet submarine C-26, which surfaced because its "undersea capability ... had been evidently exhausted through continued restriction of its movement by air and surface units since the evening of 29 October 1962."
Source: U.S. Navy Freedom of Information Act Release

49. Table showing deployment of non-nuclear components of nuclear depth charges at Guantanamo Bay, 1961-1963
Source: Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy, "History of the Custody and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons (U), July 1945 - September 1977," February 1978, Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Release


III. Charts

The following charts showing ship deployments and movements on each day of the Cuban missile crisis were the work of "Flag Plot" and "ASW plot," special components of the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. With these charts, formerly classified "Top Secret", one can track the massive buildup of blockade and invasion forces during the days after 22 October as well as the systematic effort to locate Soviet submarines and other Soviet ships. As the intensity of the crisis grew, the demands of senior officials for more timely information led Flag Plot to produce these charts four times daily; as the crisis ebbed, however, charts were produced only once a day. As the details of submarine sightings accumulated, by the end of October CNO staffers began to produce a daily "ASW Plot" chart that included brief summaries of encounters with Soviet submarines.

Source for charts: Washington Navy Yard, U.S. Naval Historical Center, Operational Archives, "Flag Plot Cuban Missile Crisis" files: "Op-Sum Oct 62" and "Op-Sum Nov 62"

1. Carib As Of 22 Oct 1962 0800Q (17)

2. Carib As of 23 October 1962 0800Q

3. Carib As of 24 October 1962 0800Q

4. Carib As of 24 October 1962 1200Q

5. Carib As of 24 October 1962 2230Q

6. Carib As of 25 October 1962 0300Q

7. Carib As of 25 October 1962 0800Q

8. Carib As of 25 October 1962 1200Q

9. Caribbean As of 25 October 1962 2000Q

10. Caribbean As of 25 October 1962 2400Q

11. Caribbean As of 26 October 1962 0800Q

12. Caribbean As of 26 October 1962 1200Q

13. Caribbean As of 26 October 1962 1800Q

14. Caribbean As of 26 October 1962 2400Q

15. Caribbean As of 27 October 1962 0600Q

16. Caribbean As of 27 October 1962 1200Q

17. Caribbean As of 27 October 1962 1800Q

18. Caribbean As of 27 October 1962 2400Q

19. Caribbean As of 28 October 1962 0600R (18)

20. Caribbean As of 28 October 1962 1200R

21. Caribbean As of 28 October 1962 1800R

22. Caribbean As of 28 October 1962 2400R

23. Caribbean As of 29 October 1962 0600R

24. Caribbean As of 29 October 1962 1200R

25. Caribbean As of 29 October 1962 1800R

26. "Cuba ASW Plot," circa 29 October 1962

27. Caribbean As of 29 October 1962 2400R

28. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 300000R Oct 62"

29. Caribbean As of 30 October 1962 0600R

30. Caribbean As of 30 October 1962 1400R

31. Caribbean As of 30 October 1962 2400R

32. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 310000 R Oct 62"

33. Caribbean As of 31 October 1962 0600R

34. Caribbean As of 31 October 19621200R

35. Caribbean As of 31 October 1962 2400R

36. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 010000 R Nov 1962"

37. Caribbean As of 1 November 1962 0600R

38. Caribbean As of 1 November 1962 2400R

39. "Cuba ASW Plot as of 020000 R Nov 62"

40. Caribbean As of 2 Nov. 1962 0600R

41. Caribbean As of 2 Nov. 1962 0600R

42. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 030000 R Nov 1962"

43. Caribbean As of 3 Nov. 1962 0600R

44. "Cuba ASW Plot as of 040000R Nov 1962"

45. Caribbean As of 4 Nov. 1962 0600R

46. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 050000R Nov 1962

47. Caribbean As of 5 Nov. 1962 0600R48. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 060000R Nov 1962"49. "Cuba ASW Plot As of 070000R Nov 1962" 


IV. Photographs

1. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-59 taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 28-29 October, 1962
Source: U.S. National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 428, Item 428-N-711201

2. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-59 taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 28-29 October, 1962
Source: U.S. National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 428, Item 428-N-711199

3. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-59 taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 28-29 October, 1962
Source: U.S. National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 428, Item 428-N-711200

4. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-36 (conning tower number 911), taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 31 October-2 November 1962
Source: U.S. National Archives, Still Pictures Branch, Record Group 428, Item 428-N-711198

5. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-130 (conning tower number 945), taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 30 October-8 November 1962
Source: collection of Dino Brugioni, former senior officer, National Photographic Intelligence Center (NPIC).

6. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-130 (conning tower number 945), taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 30 October-8 November 1962
Source: Dino Brugioni collection

7. Photograph of Soviet submarine B-130 (conning tower number 945), taken by U.S. Navy photographers, circa 30 October-8 November 1962
Source: Dino Brugioni collection


Notes

1. For one of the most significant studies of naval operations during the crisis, see Joseph Bouchard, Command in Crisis: Four Case Studies (New York, Columbia University Press, 1992).

2. For Mozgovoi's book, see Anatoly Yurkin, "Book on actions of Soviet subs during 1962 Caribbean crisis," Tass, 19 June 2002.

3. Peter Huchthausen, October Fury (New York: John Wiley, 2002)

4. See <htttp://www.nsarchive.org/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/>

5. For press coverage of these revelations as well as of the Havana conference, see "Soviets Set to Fire," Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne), 23 June 2002; 'How Cuban Crisis Put World Minutes from Nuclear Oblivion," The Scotsman, 13 October 2002, and "Soviets Close to Using A-Bomb in 1962 Crisis, Forum is Told," The Boston Globe, 13 October 2002, and "Forty Years After Missile Crisis, Players Swap Stories," The Washington Post, 13 October 2002.

6. For details, see Bouchard, Command in Crisis, pp. 120-121. See also Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, "The Naval Quarantine of Cuba, 1962", 1963, posted at <http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq90-5.htm>. For the ExCom meeting, see Philip Zelikow and Ernest R. May, editors. The Presidential Recordings John F. Kennedy, The Great Crises, Vol. III (New York, W.W. Norton, 2001), pp. 190-194.

7. See Huchthausen, October Fury, pp. 204-213; and Orlov memoir (document 16)

8. Interview with Vadim Orlov by Svetlana Savranskaya, National Security Archive, 17 October 2002, Moscow; Captain Joseph Bouchard, communication with editor, 16 September 2002. Indicating what can go wrong, Bouchard cited the accidental launching of a torpedo by a Soviet destroyer during a NATO exercise in October 1983 and a torpedo inadvertently accidentally launched by a U.S. Navy frigate in December 1983. See London Times, 8 October 1973, and Washington Post, 20 December 1983.

9. Telephone interview with Rear Admiral Carl J. Seiberlich (retired) by William Burr, 14 September 2002.

10. Unfortunately, files at the operational archives that were open to researchers last spring are now closed until at least March 2003 while the archives undergoes renovation of its records storage system. See <http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/nhcorg10.htm>

11. Alexander Mozgovoi, The Cuban Samba of the Quartet of Foxtrots; interviews with Alexander Mozgovoi and Vadim Orlov by Svetlana Savranskaya, National Security Archive, 16 and 17 October 2002, Moscow.

12. Magnetic anomaly sensors are "used to detect the natural and manmade differences in the Earth's magnetic field."; the passing of large ferrous objects such as ships and submarines passing through the earth's magnetic field can produce detectable changes. To detect a change or anomaly an ASW aircraft mut be practically overhead or very close to a submarine's position. See Federation of American Scientists, Military Analysis Network, "Air Anti-Submarine Warfare," <http://www.fas.org/man/dod/-101/sys/ac/asw.htm>.

13. SOSUS is the Navy's strategic underwater network of passive sonar (sound navigation and ranging) detectors and hydrophones deployed on the ocean floor to detect and differentiate submarine noise from normal oceanic background sound. The hydrophones are deployed at major natural choke points that the shipping of adversaries is forced to use. An early SOSUS station was established in the Bahamas. See S. F. Tomajczk, Dictionary of the Modern United States Military (Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Company, 1996).

14. Julie and Jezebell are types of sonobouys that use sonar technology to detect a submarine either actively (through reflected acoustical pulse), or passively, by detecting sound, for example, with hydrophones. Most sonobouys are small and cylindrical in shape and are distributed by aircraft or ships. Julie sonobouys release charges that explode at predetermined depths to provide echo-ranging data, while Jezebel sonobouys are airborne devices that can detect low-frequency sounds originating from underwater sources of energy. See Tomajczk, Dictionary of the Modern United States Military, for entries on SONAR, sonobouys, Jezebel and Julie.

15. See note 11 (above).

16. Huchthausen, October Fury, p. 234.

17. Standing for Quebec, Q signified Eastern Daylight Time plus four hours. An explanation of changes in the time scheme is unavailable; see Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, "The Naval Quarantine of Cuba, 1962", p. 1.

18. Standing for Romeo, R signified Eastern Daylight time plus five hours.

 

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