This article is about a fictional representation of a real world subject.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was an event that occurred in October 1962 during the Cold War. Until the aftermath of the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater, it was the event that brought the world the closest to nuclear war.


On October 14, a U2 spy plane had uncovered photographic evidence that the Soviets had been deploying Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles in one of their allied countries, Cuba.[1] Cuba had earlier undergone a socialist revolution in 1959.


On October 16, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, received word of the Soviets' actions, and demanded for the Soviets to disarm and dismantle the nukes at the site. He also arranged for a naval blockade at Cuba at the same time to prevent further missile shipments to Cuba. The Soviet Premier at the time, Nikita Khrushchev, refused to back down and ordered for the Soviet forces to enter secondary alert, and had their Soviet transport ships continue on their way to their destination. As a result, both the U.S. and the Soviet forces were placed onto alert for an all-out nuclear war. In addition, frantic negotiations ended up conducted through the United Nations's Emergency Security Council and unofficial channels between Kennedy and Khrushchev were utilized in an attempt to end the stand-off.[1] The crisis was severe enough that countries as far out as Japan were panicked over the possibility of nuclear war, with a U2 spy plane being shot down by the Soviets during the blockade.[2] At some point during the crisis, a Russian sub commander had been ordered to launch a nuke at an American destroyer, but the commander had refused.[3] On October 28, 1962, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba, although only under the condition that the United States do something for the Soviet Union in return.[1]


Because of the deal the United States had to make with the USSR to halt the crisis, they were forced to allow the Soviets to retrieve a defecting Soviet rocket scientist named Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov, who had only made it to Berlin a week before the crisis. Because of this, the CIA agent in charge of the operation, David Oh, was forced to let the Soviets retrieve Sokolov while the latter was screaming for Oh to save him. The United States, as part of their cover up of the true nature of the deal, leaked to the various intelligence agencies that they had dismantled their Jupiter IRBMs in Turkey, which had actually been obsolete and the U.S. had planned to get rid of them anyways. At the time, the United States did not know why Khrushchev was willing to forego installing nuclear missile launch sites at Cuba to get Sokolov back.[1] It was during the aftermath analysis of the crisis that a hotline between Moscow and Washington was established.[2]

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

In large part because of their failure to create a launch base at Cuba, the Soviets were forced to search for another site, one that was not likely to be discovered. Two years later, they eventually found the site in the form of the San Hieronymo Peninsula at Colombia in South America, and developed the base with the aid of a Marxist revolutionary group called FARC.[4] The United States Department of Defense and the CIA suspected Soviet involvement in the creation of the base since shortly after the crisis, with the latter group also being suspected of having known since even earlier.[5]

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

The same year, the CIA discovered some details about why Khrushchev was willing to pull out of Cuba just to get Sokolov back: namely, a new weapon that would have shifted power during the Cold War had been in development. Convinced of this, the CIA sent the then-unofficial unit FOX to be dispatched in their first mission.[6]

The FOX unit itself had been created by David Oh, going by the codename of Major Zero, as a direct response to his failure of aiding Sokolov in defecting from the USSR, intending to have a second chance at ensuring his defection. The result of the mission, known as the Virtuous Mission, was a colossal failure due to the (later revealed to have been faked) defection of an American soldier, The Boss and, thanks to the actions of the rogue GRU colonel Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, resulted in the world nearly entering a nuclear war before the crisis was quelled with Operation Snake Eater. Shortly afterward, the world fell into détente, which was ironically caused in part by measures established as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis.[2]

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

Over time, due to détente, and in large part due to the theft of half of the Philosophers' Legacy in 1964, the development of the Soviet missile base at San Hieronymo was halted before construction could begin. However, it resumed after the FOX unit, by that time led by Gene, went renegade[4] and nearly caused a nuclear war by launching a stolen weapon at Washington, D.C. and frame the Soviets for it.[7]

Six years later, the man responsible for the success of Operation Snake Eater, Big Boss (formerly known as Naked Snake), quelled the revolt at San Hieronymo.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Four years afterwards, Big Boss, now a leader of a private military group known as the Militaires Sans Frontières, reflected that had the Cuban Missile Crisis never occurred, Operation Snake Eater would not have happened, and thus he wouldn't have had to kill his mentor, The Boss.[2] Hot Coldman, the leader of Peace Sentinel and a disgraced former CIA Director, also noted that the Russian sub commander's earlier decision made him a hero in hindsight when explaining his rationale behind his concept of deterrence to the then-recently captured Big Boss.[3] The KGB agent Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zadornov also planned for a similar event to the Cuban Missile Crisis by having a nuke launched at Cuba from an experimental self-defense system and then framing the United States to ensure Communism overran the West and thus the Soviets won the Cold War,[8] but his actions, due to Coldman's madness, resulted in another instance of all-out nuclear war.[9] Earlier, Zadornov, while still using the alias of Ramón Gálvez Mena when hiring MSF's services, commented that, even with Cuba, the region of Central America posed "a delicate balance" to the Cold War and the United States.[10]

Behind the scenes

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a real life event that is mentioned in the Metal Gear franchise. In reality, the crisis ended after the United States removed their ICBMs from Turkey, just as Major Zero explains during the briefing for the Virtuous Mission in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. As Sokolov is a fictional character, the missile removal being used as a cover so they could return him to the Soviets is fictional as well. However, Zero's claim that the Americans were already planning to remove the nukes from Turkey anyway due to them being obsolete was indeed true in real life, as the United States had begun deploying submarines with nuclear-strike capabilities.[11]

The Missile Crisis is mentioned in The Phantom Pain, when Kazuhira Miller compares the events of the Crisis to what would happen of Skull Face's plan of using Metal Gear Sahelanthropus succeeded.

See also

External links


  1. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    Major Zero: We got Sokolov over in one piece but the whole ordeal had left him exhausted, and we checked him into a hospital in West Berlin. It took him two weeks and over 600 miles to get from the research facility in the Soviet Union to Berlin. He was in no condition to say anything coherent. And it was only a week later that we had something much bigger on our hands. // Jack: The Cuban Missile Crisis. // Zero: October 16, 1962. President Kennedy received word that the Soviets were in the process of deploying intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. The president demanded that the Soviets dismantle and remove the missiles. At the same time, he announced a naval blockade to prevent further missile shipments from reaching Cuba. But the Soviets didn't back down, instead placing their armed forces on secondary alert. Soviet transport ships carrying missiles continued on course toward Cuba. US and Soviet forces went on alert for an all-out nuclear war. Frantic negotiations were conducted through the UN's Emergency Security Council and unofficial channels to end the hair-trigger standoff. Finally, on October 28, the Soviet Union agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba. And so the world avoided a nuclear holocaust. But in order to get the Soviets to pull their missiles out, we had to make a deal. // Jack: You mean the one where the US agreed to remove its IRBMs from Turkey? // Zero: No. The Jupiter IRBMs deployed in Turkey were obsolete and we were going to get rid of them anyway. They had no strategic value whatsoever to either the US or the Russians. The Turkey deal was a ruse - a cover story that was fed to the other intelligence agencies around the world. // Jack: So what did the Russians really want? // Zero: Sokolov. They wanted us to return Sokolov. // Jack: You mean the Soviets pulled out of Cuba just to get their hands on Sokolov? // Zero: That's right. // Jack: What the hell was he working on? // Zero: At the time we had no idea. We were running out of time. It was either give up Sokolov or risk full-scale nuclear war. In the end, we had no choice. President Kennedy gave into Khrushchev's demand. The next day, I got Sokolov out of the hospital and handed him over to agents on the eastern side. Sokolov kept on screaming "Save me!" until he disappeared from my sight.
  2. ^ a b c d Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Briefing Files > Briefing Library > Miller > Situation in Central America > The Cuban Missile Crisis
    Kazuhira Miller: So it's been more than ten years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, huh? // Naked Snake (Big Boss): I don't think we'll ever forget it. // Miller: No kidding. Those 13 days starting October 15, 1962 were probably the closest we ever came to all-out nuclear war. The Russians deployed nuclear missiles to Cuba. America responded with a naval blockade. Then Russia shot down an American spy plane... I was still a teenager back then. But I remember what it felt like to be one step away from nuclear war - the adults were freaking out. // Snake: If it wasn't for the Cuban Missile Crisis, there might never have been an Operation Snake Eater. And... // Miller: What's the matter, Snake? It's not like you to get all hypothetical. // Snake: Hm... I guess not. It was the reassessment after the Missile Crisis that paved the way for the hotline between Moscow and Washington, and also for Détente. That's irony for you.
  3. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Hot Coldman: Hmph. Quite the romantic. Remember during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the commander of a Russian sub refused an order to launch a nuclear-armed torpedo at an American destroyer? In retrospect, that man was a hero. He saved the world from all-out nuclear war. Humans are incapable of destroying themselves.
  4. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    ??? (Roy Campbell): Well, I'll be damned. It is Snake...Or should I say, Big Boss. Are you the real deal? Naked Snake (Big Boss): You know me? // ???: Are you kidding? You're a legend in the black ops world. // Snake: Black ops... // ???: What's a hero like you doing in a place like this? // Snake: Beats me. I'd like to find out myself. Where are we, anyway? Near the equator, from the looks of it... If I had to guess, I'd say South America. // ???: You got it, Big Boss. The San Hieronymo Peninsula, to be exact, known to the locals as "la peninsula de los muertos", the peninsula of the dead. It's off the coast of central Columbia, more or less directly south of Cuba. // Snake: Never heard of it. // ???: You wouldn't have. It doesn't show up on any conventional maps - it's under Red Army control. // Snake: The Red Army? In Columbia? // ???: In 1964, the Russians provided military aid to FARC, Columbia's biggest rebel faction. And in return, FARC gave them this land. // Snake: 1964... The year of the Virtuous Mission. // ???: Two years prior, the Russians failed in their attempt to build an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) base in Cuba. Had they succeeded in deploying nuclear-equipped IRBMs inside Cuba, every major American city would have been within range. // Snake: The Cuban Missile Crisis. // ???: Exactly. In the end, the Russians gave up on the idea of deploying missiles in Cuba. But rumor had it that they were looking for a new site, one where they could build a base in secret. // Snake: And that place was the San-Hieronymo Peninsula? // ???: Yeah. Well, not exactly... Apparently the plans for this missile base were abandoned before it was built. // Snake: Abandoned? // ???: Due to detente. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union are having trouble financing their enormous military budget, and they can't afford to keep waging the Cold War like they did in the Sixties. Last year, they began conducting the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the goal of limiting each country's number of ballistic missiles. // Snake: Meaning no more need to build a new missile base. // ???: Right. But as you can see, they'd already completed part of the facility. We were sent in to investigate what was going on. Before we could do that, they ambushed us. // Snake: "They"? // ???: The FOX Unit. My team was wiped out in the blink of an eye. I fear I'm the only survivor. // Snake: What's the FOX Unit doing in a Soviet base? // ???: Not a clue. I'd have expected you to know more about it than me. // Snake: I'm not with FOX anymore. // ???: I see. Anyway, that's all I've got.
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Roy Campbell: ...Truth is, the Pentagon suspected the Soviets might have a base here on the peninsula even before the FOX Unit went rogue. FARC is an insurgent group inspired by the Cuban Revolution, and they're rumored to receive aid from the Soviet Union. When the Soviets gave up on building a missile base in the Caribbean after the Cuban Missile Crisis in '62, chances were very good they'd look to San Hieronymo as their next target. The CIA probably knew what was going on even before that, but it seems they kept the information to themselves so they could use it in an under-the-table deal with the Soviets later on.
  6. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Kojima Productions (2004)
    Major Zero: Then, a month ago, we received some new information from one of our moles. // Jack: About Sokolov? // Zero: Yes. He was taken back to the research facility and forced to continue working on the weapon in question under KGB supervision. What's more, it's on the verge of completion. // Jack: So? What kind of weapon is it? Something to do with space rockets? // Zero: No, missiles. // Jack: Same technology. // Zero: I guess you're right. We don't know the details but it appears to be a new kind of nuclear device. For a year now the Soviets have been conducting frequent nuclear tests at Semipaiatinsk. // Jack: Something to do with the weapon I assume. // Zero: We're talking about a secret weapon so big that Khrushchev was ready to pull out of Cuba to get it back. // Jack: Is Sokolov still in the facility? // Zero: No. According to our intelligence, he's in Tselinoyarsk, a place in the mountains about 3 miles to the west that's known as the Virgin Cliffs. // Jack: The Virgin Cliffs. Nice name for a Virtuous mission. // Zero: They moved him there just recently. // Jack: Why? // Zero: Apparently they're conducting a field test of the weapon. But it's our best chance to get him back. This mission would never have been possible if he were still in the research facility. This is our last chance. Sokolov must have known that, too, when he contacted us.
  7. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Kojima Productions (2006).
    Gene: No. They killed themselves. They all despaired of their crimes and decided to die. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Crimes? You mean the fact that this is all a Pentagon conspiracy? // Gene: Conspiracy? I see. Cunningham must have spilled his guts. The poor fool. He died never realizing he was only a puppet after all... // Snake: Aren't you the puppet, Gene? The Pentagon was trying to get rid of the CIA. // Gene: Wrong. I've known everything from the very start. The Pentagon's plans... that Cunningham would betray me... Everything. I simply used it to my own advantage, for my real plan. // Snake: Real plan? // Gene: I won't be launching Metal Gear into the Soviet Union. // Snake: What? // Gene: The Pentagon must have been prepared for the possibility that Cunningham might fail to erase the evidence. They're probably in negotiations with the Red Army as we speak. Even if I launched Metal Gear into Russia now, it wouldn't trigger a war. // Snake: If Russia isn't the target? Then... ...what is? // Gene: Virginia, U.S.A. ...The CIA headquarters at Langley and the Pentagon, the Philosophers' twin lairs will be obliterated. // Snake: You're launching a nuclear strike against America!? But if you do that... // Gene: Chaos will be created on an unprecedented scale. Worst case scenario: America ceases to exist as a nation. The existing world order crumbles. And Russia won't escape unscathed, either. Metal Gear will have been launched from a Soviet nuclear missile base. Under a storm of international criticism, the Warsaw Pact will lose its sway over the Third World. It may even faced armed conflict with NATO. // Snake: Why? Why would you do that? // Gene: To free the world from the Philosophers' control. I'll create a new global balance of power of my own design. My goal of building a new nation of mercenaries with only the most capable soldiers is real. But this peninsula is not the right place for it. Our nation will be an organization of shadows, without shape or form. We will lurk deep underground and intervene in conflicts all over the world. History will be ours to control. I will accomplish what the hollow shell of the Philosophers could not with a superior breed of soldier. This organization will be the true "peninsula of the dead". I call it "Army's Heaven."
  8. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Hot Coldman: Zadornov you backstabbing son of a..! // Ramón Gálvez Mena (Zadornov): Backstabbing? Correct me if I'm wrong but were we not enemies all along? Did you really think my comrades were working for the company? Did you truly think we'd faithfully serve a pack of depraved capitalist dogs? // Coldman: What are you going to do? // Gálvez: Launch a Nuke... Target: Cuba. // Coldman: Have you lost your mind?! What would you possibly gain? // Gálvez: We won't be the ones launching it. You, The Americans will attack our ally, Cuba. // Coldman: What?! // Gálvez: Think, Coldman. We're on an American base, eagerly endorsed and supplied by a Pro-American regime. What's the internatinal community to think? The world will burn with Anti-American sentiment! Communism will spread across Latin America unchecked. Let the Age of Deterrence be Undone by the Deterrent Itself - such is the Kremlin's plan. // Coldman: You son of a bitch...
  9. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    [While Miller and Paz are talking Coldman stirs and opens The Football and inputs the launch code.] // Kazuhira Miller: ... What's that Noise? // [Miller turns around and grabs The Football] // Miller: What'd he do..?! // Vladimir Zadornov: I should have killed you when I had the chance! // Hot Coldman: ... NORAD's nightmare is about to begin. // Miller: What? // Coldman: Peace Walker... Determines retaliation targets... Based on enemy nuclear strike data... That data... can be sent... to third parties as well... // Miller: We got big problems Snake. Coldman's activated the Nuclear Launch Switch! // Naked Snake (Big Boss): What?! And the target's Cuba? // Miller: Yeah. But that's not it That son of a bitch has screwed us all over. // Coldman: When Peace Walker was activated it started transmitting false data set to NORAD. It's using a spread spectrum MLF Signal... It can't be blacked out even by EMP. // Miller: There's no way to tell the difference between false data and the real thing on a radar screen. NORAD will have no idea it's all a ruse generated by Peace Walker. They're gonna think it's a real Soviet attack. They'll pass the data onto the National Military Command Center... // Snake: And Washington will have to choose whether or not to retaliate. // Miller: This could get ugly! Unless we stop it... We're looking at a retaliatory chain-reaction! // Coldman: No... No need to panic. The nightmare will end soon enough. // Miller: What do you mean? // Zadornov: Coldman's aim is for the buraucrat's in Washington to see the importance of a machine like Peace Walker. ... He's trying to prove that humans don't have the will to launch Nukes. // Coldman: Everything will be fine. They'll never retaliate. They're only human... // Snake: Kaz. Where's the President? // Miller: ... Last I heard he was in the middle of SALT II negotiations in Vladivostok. // Snake: With the president gone. Nuclear launch authority passes to the next person in the chain of succession. // Miller: The Vice President's gone too. so after him comes the speaker... // Coldman: ... President, Vice President... Not one among them has the courage to push the button. No one willing to enter history as The Great Destroyer. In the end it's not their lives that people value most... it's their reputations! // Strangelove: The bureaucrats in Washington may not be able to retaliate. Peace Walker on the other hand... She's loyal to the misssion above all. And she's well aware that guaranteed retaliation is essential for Nuclear Deterrence to work. // Coldman: Peace Walker is the perfect deterrent. Cuba would not have been my choice of targets... But you can't make Peace without breaking a few eggs. Now that Peace Walker has the false data... Retaliation is inevitable. // Miller: Are you insane? You think it'll end there?! You're about to unleash all-out nuclear war! // Snake: Somebody find out what's going on at NORAD! // Strangelove: Mammal's got a connection to NORAD. We could monitor it with the right equipment. // Huey Emmerich: I've got you covered. I've got NORAD on the line. // [Colorado, USA NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center] // Man #1: Sir, we're tracking unidentified targets current apogee 20 degrees. Estimated time of re-entry is 2250 zulu. // Man #2: Have you contacted the President? // Man #3: Coverall is not responding. // Man #2: Warning system checks out. No corresponding Natural signatures. Data is assessed as reliable. // [Nicaragua, US Missile Base] // Snake: Cut the data transmission! We can't say for sure Washington isn't going to retaliate! // Hot Coldman: The only one who knows... The abort code... Is me... I die... And no one can turn it off... Even if they do strike back... I'll already... be dead... I can only pray... That my theory... My peace... Is proven right... Pea... ...Ce.
  10. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Ramón Gálvez Mena (Vladimir Zadornov): As you both [Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller] know, the United States views Central America as its backyard... Even after Cuba [Cuban Missile Crisis], we've managed to maintain a delicate balance with the U.S.
  11. ^ Leaf, Johnathan. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties. p153.
    "Eventually, the Soviets agreed to dismantle the missiles in exchange for American pledges not to invade Cuba and to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey at a later date. The batteries in Turkey were obsolete anyway, made redundant by the enhanced capabilities of new American nuclear subs."