I am hip-deep in research and writing on my Cuban Missile Crisis book, tentatively titled, The Fires of October. The publisher wants it out this year (the 50th anniversary of the event) so I am accelerating my work on it.
If you’re like many people you’ll say, “another missile crisis book?” Yes. This book is written about the planned invasion of Cuba and how that would have unfolded. This is a military history book. Most writers of the crisis focus on the politics, the decisions, etc. of the crisis with cursory mention of the planned invasion. These books are great, and in the last 20 years a lot of new information has emerged.
My book focuses purely on the military aspects of the invasion and the possible outcome of that assault. For the first time you’ll be treated to the details of the planned invasion of Cuba and, from a speculative historians perspective, how that might have played out. While men like General Curtis LeMay thought that the landings and assaults would be a ‘walk-in,’ the reality is, when you look at the opposing sides and the planned invasion- this was going to be a horrific and bloody struggle.
I’ve gotten some new information declassified – and have dug up some sources that other historians (because of their focus) did not use. My goal is to put you on the beaches or in the LZ’s as the US struggles to secure the missile sites and depose Fidel Castro’s government. This was a war that would be fought not just on the mainland of Cuba, but on the high seas and in a number of other potential hot spots around the world. I have uncovered some tantalizing details that will please even the most stolid Cold War historian…at least, I hope!
Is it an alternate history? Yes – but only to a degree. I’m using the actual battle plans, TO&E, intelligence reports, etc., in formulating what would have happened. The actual invasion was forestalled by the decisions of calmer minds and hearts. Using the best information available, you will get a good glimpse of what the US actually may have faced when invading Cuba. Veterans of the Cold War who would have been involved on the drops/landings will find this book particularly fascinating.
This research is different from most books on the crisis. I intend to support this book project with articles and I’m even working on a board game design (once a wargamer, always a wargamer).
I am always looking for new facts, tid bits, anything that might make this book better. If you’re a veteran of the military at that time with knowledge of the invasion plans, I’d love to talk with you. Every little detail you might remember would be of potential interest to me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact me and let’s chat!