Helion's Pigs, Missiles and the CIA vol.2

Author/Artists: Linda Rios Bromley


Helion  Publishing


$29.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 100 pages, softcover, approx 100 images
ISBN 978-1-91507075-3

62 years ago, the United States and Soviet Union came as close as ever to starting a nuclear war. Though I was just a kid at the time, I do recall the tension and consistent media coverage of the situation once it became known what was going on.

No surprise to anyone at the time was that it involved Cuba. The US had just gotten over the disaster of the Bay of Pigs (which is also the story in the first volume) so Cuba was still on everyone's mind. Add to it the situation regarding Berlin and it was an uncomfortable time of the Cold War for both the Soviets and the US.

In a nutshell, the Soviets were not very jazzed about the US basing obsolete Jupiter nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy. The Soviets/Russians have been paranoid about threats (both real and supposed) along their borders. So they decided to base both Medium and Intermediate range missiles in Cuba. In addition, this also included troops and IL-28 bombers with the troops supposedly there to train Cuban military units on how to operate the various equipment that was being sent to them.

Initially the US was unaware of what was going on until they got word that they ought to check out what was going on. Once it was realized that offensive weapons were being based in Cuba, President Kennedy put the military on alert. Despite the military wanting to bomb and invade Cuba, Kennedy felt that would only result in the start of a nuclear war. Instead, he set up a blockade to turn back Soviet ships that were supplying the Cubans. To make a long story short, it worked and eventually the Soviets removed their missiles and bombers from Cuba and the US removed their missiles from Turkey and Italy.

The author has done a superlative job of telling this story. I was quite pleased with the format used as it moved from Soviet sub captains to the Kremlin, to the White House and UN in a back and forth that not only provided the facts of the event, but kept it a very interesting read. As usual the book contains lots of period photos and the usual maps and color art work/profiles we have come to expect from Helion. This is a book I can highly recommend to you especially considering the gravity of the situation at the time.

January 2024

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