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November 22, 1962

Danish Defense Intelligence Service Weekly Brief (Excerpts)

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Danish Defense Intelligence Service


Weekly Brief

22 November 1962






(For the period 15-21 November 1962)


One of the dominating foreign-political features has been the gradual lessening of the tensions of the Cuban-crisis. The contours of a more general period of détente can be faintly discerned.


Another remarkable feature has been the development in the Indian-Chinese conflict. The proclaimed withdrawal of the Chinese can have several possible reasons (Soviet, political and financial pressure, as well as Chinese supply problems). It is however to hasty to talk about any real détente in this area yet.


The week brought another Soviet nuclear test in Central Asia, probably the last of the series.

The period covered by the report exhibits the normal activity and the normal amount of training activities for the season of the year.


The readiness measures prompted by the Cuban-crisis are still active. However, among the East German forces, a degree of easing up of the tension can be traced.


The reinforced patrol- and surveillance-service in the western Baltic Sea, including the occasional circumnavigation of Zealand, has continued unabated, but is expected to be canceled.


On the 21st of November, [Soviet Defense Minister] Marshal [Rodion] Malinovskiy received instructions to call off the readiness measures taken.


One of the few new items demonstrated during the parade on the Red Square on 7 November was a naval missile, which could possibly be a ballistic-missile for submarines.


Both the PVO [(Soviet) Air Defense Forces] and the rocket-troops have received new chiefs, respectively Marshal V. A. STUDETS, former commander of the tactical air-force, and Marshall S. S. BIRYUZOV. The latter is a member of the Central Committee and the Supreme Soviet.






For official use


World political activities of the Eastern Bloc: The development around Cuba:

14 November: Stevenson negotiates with U Thant and commented after the meeting, that the Cuban-issue must be concluded in the Security Council, where it had started. It is considered whether to hinder the supply of fuel to Cuba.


15 November: Cuba [i.e., Castro] sends a message to U Thant, wherein he threatens to shoot down American reconnaissance planes over Cuban territory.


16 November: As an answer to Castro’s threats, Washington answers that the aerial-reconnaissance will be continued, and that the planes if necessary will be protected by fighters. Any fire will be returned. Moscow repeats its bartering proposal with regards to a mutual dismantling of rocket-bases.


17 November: The negotiations concerning Cuba are once again at a stalemate.


18 November: In order to keep the airspace above Cuba open for military flying and to counter the American reconnaissance, Castro orders the suspension of all civilian air traffic over Cuba. Washington makes it apparent, that Kennedy, if Khrushchev does not declare himself willing to full-fill his obligations with regards to the withdrawal of the IL-28 bombers from Cuba, will give the order for initiating harsher measures. This will probably mean a strengthening of the blockade with the objective to cut Castro off from further fuel deliveries to the aforementioned bomber-planes.


19 November: The threat to shoot down American reconnaissance planes is repeated by the Cubans. Of the foreign airlines, only the routes to Prague and Mexico City will be kept going. In the evening Mikoyan has a two hour meeting with Fidel Castro, after which the text for a letter from Castro to U Thant is publicized on Havana radio in the night between the 19th and the…


20 November: In the letter it says, that Cuba is prepared to send the IL-28 planes, “that are obsolete and is moreover the property of the Soviet government,” back to the Soviet Union. It is furthermore said in the letter, that Cuba does not accept a “unilateral” (i.e. American, but possibly international) inspection of Cuban territory. Minister-president Khrushchev informs President Kennedy in a brief, that all IL-28 bombers will be withdrawn inside the next 30 days, and that it will be allowed to put the removal of the planes under surveillance, as they are leaving Cuba. President  Kennedy informs during a press conference about Khrushchev’s letter and adds, that the surveillance of the Cuban military activities will continue (from the air), but that on the 21st [of November] at 05:00 PM (Danish time) the blockade will be lifted. The President adds, that the negotiations with the Soviet Union concerning the technicalities of the settlement of the Cuban-crisis will continue, after which there be a created the proper foundation for further negotiations concerning the other world-political problems.


21 November, 12:00: The press and radio of the Eastern Bloc refers to the events such, that they have “forced the USA to lift the aggressive blockade,” and they celebrate Castro’s decision to send back the bombers. The Americans inform that there will be a military maneuver named “Sunscreen” in order to discern how fast paratroopers can be transported to places where their military deployment is needed.


Based on the available information about the turn of events, it can perhaps be drawn the conclusion, that the Eastern Bloc once more (as had been the case between the 26 and 28 of October) has given in to a firm American statement, this time formulated through the declaration, that President Kennedy on the 20th [of November] would make a proclamation concerning Cuba, one which would probably be about an active intervention on the part of the United States, if the IL-28 bombers were not removed. The President’s suggestion of an opportunity to negotiate about the other world-political problems after the definitive conclusion of the Cuban-crisis could be viewed in the light of the rumors about new Soviet proposals to the United States and the United Kingdom about possible solutions of world-political problems through mutual concessions.


The Danish Defense Intelligence Service reports on the general standing of several nations after the Cuban Missile Crisis and says that detente is not likely at this time. This weekly report also includes a list of the important events/actions from that week by each day.

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Danish State Archive, Copenhagen, Archives of the Danish Defense Intelligence Service. Translated for CWIHP by Henrik Brandt.

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