The Cuban Missile Crisis of October/November 1962 was a flashpoint that very nearly led to a Third World War. Yet at least in the view of Tony Benn it was not the first such flashpoint. He wrote in his Diary for Tuesday 6th November 1956:
This morning’s news of a Russian near-ultimatum has made the situation far more grave and we could be within a few hours of a third world war complete with the hydrogen bomb. Very, very, very depressed’.
It didn’t happen on that occasion because after the US made clear it was not backing Britain, France and Israel in Suez there was a cease fire.
The bomb remains a reality of life.
Keith Flett is the Editor of 1956 & All That (CSP)