War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Sidney Graybeal, 1986
Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.
Sidney Graybeal served on the Defense Policy Board, and was on the negotiating team for the SALT I agreements. In the interview he discusses his role in providing intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. He describes the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and explains the collaborative efforts of photo-interpreters and intelligence analysts to determine the type of missiles and their operational status. One of the sources of information analysts exploited, he notes, were the photographs of missiles frequently paraded through Red Square. Soviet spy Oleg Penkovsky was another important source. He describes briefing President Kennedy and Secretary of Defense McNamara at the first Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM) meeting, and explains the importance of telling them exactly what he did and did not know. He describes the subsequent intelligence gathering and the steady pace at which the Soviets drew closer to operational readiness. While no one was certain if the nuclear warheads were in Cuba or mated to their missile bases, he believed they were; however, he was not alarmed by the prospect of a nuclear attack because he expected the Soviets would try to avoid that at all costs.
- War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- Europe Goes Nuclear
- Program Number
Interview with Sidney Graybeal, 1986
- Series Description
The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.
In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989
- Program Description
France and England rush to acquire their own nuclear weapons, NATO worries about the threat from the East, and Europe becomes the most nuclear-saturated place on Earth.
British and American scientists worked side by side to build the first nuclear bombs. “There was a strong desire on the British side for that collaboration to continue into peacetime. There was no such desire on the part of the United States,” recalls British diplomat Roger Makins, Lord Sherfield. Britain decided to proceed on its own and in 1952 joined the US and the Soviets in what pundits would call “the nuclear club.” General Charles De Gaulle, president of France, wanted to join the club, too, and not rely on the US for nuclear protection. Prestige was also an issue. In 1960, France exploded its first atomic weapon. Since World War II the Soviet Union had had a superiority in conventional forces in Europe. NATO countered by deploying thousands of nuclear weapons. “They were accepted as being perfectly reasonable weapons to use in a tactical battle in continental Europe,” said Sir Richard Powell of the British Defense Ministry.
- Asset Type
- Media Type
- Wheelon, Albert D. (Albert Dewell), 1929-
- U-2 (Reconnaissance aircraft)
- United States
- Intercontinental ballistic missiles
- Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971
- Rusk, Dean, 1909-1994
- Aerial photography
- McCone, John A. (John Alex), 1902-1991
- Nuclear arms control
- Nuclear weapons
- Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
- Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
- Lundahl, Art
- Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
- Bundy, McGeorge
- Cline, Ray S.
- United States. Central Intelligence Agency
- Soviet Union
- Photographic reconnaissance systems
- McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009
- Dillon, C. Douglas (Clarence Douglas), 1909-2003
- Photographic interpretation
- Intermediate-range ballistic missiles
- Pen'kovskii, Oleg Vladimirovich, 1919-1963
- Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
- Global Affairs
- War and Conflict
- Graybeal, Sidney (Interviewee)
- Publication Information
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Sidney Graybeal, 1986,” 02/20/1986, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 20, 2017, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F04C27D0FE264911AB26F7A880A073C9.
- MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Sidney Graybeal, 1986.” 02/20/1986. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 20, 2017. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F04C27D0FE264911AB26F7A880A073C9>.
- APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Sidney Graybeal, 1986. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F04C27D0FE264911AB26F7A880A073C9