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Kennedy's 'victory map' of Cuba auctioned for over USD 138k

Press Trust of India  |  Boston 

Former US John F Kennedy's personal 'victory map' of - used during the of 1962 - has been sold at an auction for USD 138,798.

The map, consisting of two sheets once taped together at the centre, features eight types of sticker symbols applied to the surface, representing Soviet MiG fighter jets, Komar-class missile boats, bombers, SS-4 missiles, SSM-Cruise missiles and nuclear storage sites.

The intelligence represented by the map was supplied by planes, confirming Kennedy's worst fears of an increasing Soviet military presence just one hundred miles away from the

The map, marked "Secret" in the lower left and upper right corners, was originally expected to fetch USD 20,000, according to the US-based RR Auction.

A two-page key paper-clipped to the upper right corner, headed "MRBM-IRBM Status of Cuban Missiles," dated October 27, 1962, summarises the Soviet military buildup, listing sites, enumerating number of launchers and missiles, and completion status.

The map shows the position of every Soviet missile, bomber and fighter jet and nuclear storage facility in as of noon on Saturday, October 27, 1962.

This was the most dangerous moment of the October 27 was the day the crisis came within hours, even minutes, of triggering a war between the US and

That morning, a Soviet anti-air missile shot down a plane on a photo reconnaissance mission over

Many years later, the Cubans claimed himself pushed the button to fire the missile.

Later that afternoon, two US destroyers dropped depth charges on a Soviet submarine. At last minute, the surfaced his submarine, his other option being to launch his missiles against the US mainland.

When the sun set that evening, Robert McNamara, the during the Cuban Missile Crisis, wondered if he'd be alive to see the following Saturday's sunset.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff pushed for an air strike against the Soviet missile sites and other targets. Had Kennedy given the order, this map shows the nine Soviet targets US warplanes would have bombed. However, everything changed overnight.

Relying on a letter from to Kennedy, and Soviet hammered out a deal.

The Soviets agreed to withdraw their missiles and other offensive weapons in return for the US pledging not to invade Cuba. The US secretly promised to remove obsolete missiles from

The nine targets on the map became the weapons the US forced out of Cuba. When Kennedy presented the map to McNamara, he called it the victory map.'

In the annals of the Cold War, no event is more talked about and debated than the of October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962, RR Auction said.

It is considered the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. This amazing map dates to the penultimate day of the crisis - October 27, a day that saw an American pilot shot down over Cuba.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 15 2018. 14:15 IST