Heroes & Villains the national archives
Home > Kennedy & Cuba > Why didn’t this lead to nuclear war? > Source 6 print
source six
Extracts from Khrushchev’s letter to Kennedy, 26 October 1962
(Catalogue ref: PREM 11/3691)
PREM 11/3691; letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy, 1962 PREM 11/3691; letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy, 1962 PREM 11/3691; letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy, 1962
6a 6b 6c            
Transcript
PREM 11/3691; letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy, 1962

Questions

  1. How convincing are the arguments used by Khrushchev in this letter about:

    a. the Communists wanting peace,
    b. the likely result of a war,
    c. the missiles in Cuba not being intended for an attack?

  2. How would you have replied if you had wanted to bring the crisis to a peaceful end?

  3. How would you have replied if you had wanted to show the Soviet Union that you were not prepared to let the missiles remain in Cuba?

  4. Having read this letter, do you regard Khrushchev as recklessly risking world peace or as a reasonable leader prepared to compromise?

  5. Why do you think Khrushchev rather than Kennedy was the first to give way?

  6. Does this mean that Khrushchev should be given greater credit for resolving the missile crisis than Kennedy?