The Cuban Missile Crisis
was not the first time Nikita Krushchev
the western world with nuclear
missiles. Barring the later release of secure
documents by western governments, it seems that Krushchev's first attempt to
bring opposing capitals into his sight went totally unnoticed and unremarked upon in
the cities in question. According to a German TV
documentary entitled The
, broadcast on February 28, 2002
, Stasi secret police
show that London
were vulnerable to nuclear
attack by May 1959
. Order 589-365, bearing Krushchev's signature, authorised
twelve nuclear-armed R5M rocket
s to be deployed to target the west European
Two divisions of the 72nd Brigade
, based at Novgorod
, were dispatched to join
the East German Second Guard Tank Army
, near Berlin
. According to reports submitted to Moscow
missiles could have been fired within five hours of Krushchev giving the order.
Each rocket had an operational range of 745 miles (1192 kilometres), and carried
a one megaton
. Four of the missiles targeted London alone.
But in August of the same year, Krushchev gave the order to withdraw, and by
early next month, the 72nd Brigade and their missiles were at Kaliningrad
far away to target any of the original destinations except, perhaps, for Bonn.
The specially-constructed bunkers were simply abandoned as the experimental
deployment came to an end, and are now completely overgrown. Our very own wertperch
lived in the area for a while, and recalls visiting the overgrown bunkers before their original purpose was made public.