Cuban Missile Crisis, 60 years on

Published on: 21 October 2022

Re-enactors at the RAF Museum Midlands will explore how the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 brought the world to the brink of Armageddon in a series of workshops, demonstrations, and object handling sessions on 29-30 October.

The weekend event will reflect on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 60 years on since the political tension between the Soviet Union and the United States brought the two countries close to war over the presence of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba.

Visitors will discover more about the tense 13-day political standoff between the two superpowers, and the impending countdown to nuclear war, as they step back in time with reenactors from UP AN’ AT ‘EM! HISTORY. On a journey through the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, find out how members of the Civil Defence Corps, RAF V-Bomber Pilots, Royal Observer Corps, British Army Berlin Brigade and US Air Force dealt with the crisis. Suitable for visitors of all ages, there is also an opportunity to take a close look at the uniforms, kit and equipment used at pop-up stations dotted around the hangar.

Once you’ve brushed up on your knowledge with the re-enactors, families are invited to take part in an interactive Cuban Missile Crisis strategy game. Delivered by the Foreign Field Living History Group, the game reflects the events leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. See if you’ve got what it takes to make quick decisions. You’ll need to choose the route through this diplomatic nightmare, order blockades, airstrikes, reconciliations, olive branches and brinksmanship whilst doing your level best to avoid the outbreak of an unwinnable war. The game can be played by all ages either individually or in groups.

The weekend activities will take place inside the National Cold War Exhibition hangar, featuring aircraft, vehicles, equipment, and people stories from the Cold War period, including an immersive audio visual Cuban Missile Crisis hotspot. Entry to the Museum and participation in the re-enactment activities is free. For more information and to pre-book your arrival time CLICK HERE.

On Friday 28 October the Museum will host a free lecture suitable for adults, entitled ‘Cuban Missile Crisis – How close did Britain come to Armageddon’. Commencing at 12.30pm, Bill Pyke (an independent air power researcher) will discuss how and why the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, what preparations were in place in the U.K.’s top secret ‘War Book’, and what lessons we can take away from the experience. This free lecture will be hosted in the Museum’s lecture theatre with a live audience and will also be live streamed online via Crowdcast. To book your free place CLICK HERE.

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