I am an author primarily in three genres: Science Fiction, True Crime, and Military History. Military History is the fun one since, in many respects, it bleeds into my science fiction writing so heavily. October always stirs memories for me as a writer. Some go to the first of the Colonial Park Murders, other thoughts go to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Both tug at me differently, emotionally and otherwise. A few years ago I wrote a book on the Cuban Missile Crisis – The Fires of October.
My approach was different than previous books on the subject. It focused on the planned invasion of Cuba – Operation Scabbards (Op Plan 316-1-62). No one had really done a book on the invasion that never happened, so I did break some new ground. I got a lot of material declassified for the book and found some real surprises in my research. There is little doubt in my mind that if we had invaded Cuba with conventional forces it would have been very costly for the US military. We would have had our own little Vietnam experience in 1962, 90 miles off the Florida Coast.
The attached map was one we didn’t use fully in the book, but I thought historians out there might like it. It was drawn up in November of 1962, right on the heels of the crisis, showing Guantanamo Bay. It is one of the best maps I found of the Bay from the time period. The letters marked key marshaling points and staging areas. During the invasion, there would have been a push out from Guantanamo Bay, but the main thrust of the invasion would have been on the north shores of the island.
As we cross another anniversary of the crisis, I thought folks might enjoy this little graphic tid-bit.