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Thirteen Days vs. the Real Cuban Missile Crisis

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Submitted By andrewallen110
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The movie Thirteen Days directed by Roger Donaldson is about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. It is often referred to as a docudrama as it is very entertainment oriented but still remains close to the roots of what actually happened. Since it was produced at a later date than many other films portraying the events, Thirteen Days was able to access recently declassified information which helped in attaining a more historically accurate film. Although there were some discrepancies with what happened in real life compared to the film. The year is 1962 and American surveillance planes discover that the USSR is in the process of placing nuclear ballistic missiles in Cuba. The missiles have a said capability to reach 80 million Americans striking every major city but Seattle. As well they are capable of reaching the majority of the United States Air Force bomber bases effectively crippling their ability to retaliate. It is a race to find a means of removing the missiles before they become operational. Thus the problem for the President is to decide whether to use force or diplomatic means to keep the missiles un-operational. Initial diplomatic attempts to come to a peaceful conclusion fail and the Secretary of Defence proposes a naval blockade which they call a “quarantine” and if the Soviets ignore the blockade, the Navy will forcibly remove the ships from going to Cuba. This would quickly escalate the situation which is clearly what the Secretary of Defence wanted but the President with help of his Special Assistant; Kenneth O’Donnell, realized that an invasion of Cuba by Americans would lead to the Soviets invading Berlin effectively causing a World War III. In the end through unique communication methods between the US and the Soviets the Soviets agree to remove the missiles from Cuba providing the US promises never to invade Cuba as well as remove missiles from…...

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