Missiles of October looks at the IRBM deployment made on NATO's behalf by the United States. Thor and Jupiter missiles, still very much first-generation strategic weapons, were set up in squadrons in England, Italy and Turkey right around 1960. These weapons were liquid-fueled and kept above-ground, rather than in bunkers. Armed with nuclear weapons, the IRBMs could only be fired by a twin-key arrangement, with a USAF and host-nation officer required to "agree" to the launch.
The weapons were obsolete almost as soon as they were deployed, yet there was a perception that they were needed until the United States had a reliable ICBM or other weapon system which would not require a forward base to reach the USSR.
Nash looks at the diplomatic context of the deployment, subtly implying that the placement of the IRBMs would later result in the Soviets placing similar missiles in Cuba. He looks at various politicians and military theorists who believed that the deployment was necessary. This does make the book rather dry reading unless you are a serious policy wonk.
Of course, the key to this book is the deal cut during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which saw the removal of the Soviet missiles from Cuba and the standing down of the IRBMs in Europe, a quid pro quo which was not publically acknowledged at the time.
Illustrated with photos and maps.
on October 7, 2005
Though the author only deals with a narrow focus on "our" missiles and their effect on the crisis, he has succeeded in writing what I consider the best of the Plethora (with a capital P) of books on the ruthlessly overworked subject. His writing is clear, crisp and insightful without overreliance on academic jargon. More to the point, he reveals interesting tidbits about just how important these obsolete missiles were to preserving world peace. No collection of Cold War books is complete without Nash's slender but packed volume.
on October 19, 2003
I'm currently writing my internal assessment for IB, based on how the Turkish Jupiter missiles contributed to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
I need a minimum of two sources. Only with this book I am able to get loads of unbiased facts and events. What is interesting is that 99% of the information from this book matches my other source which shows that this book has a reliable content.
The content of the book is put in such a way that it keeps the reader constantly interested.
I really recomend this book!
on March 29, 2004
My name is Michelle and my friend Sam and I are interested in the Cuban Missile Crisis. After reading this book, we looked up the author and had a meet 'n greet with him in Sharon, PA. We are from Brazil and are birthday party entertainers. He signed our copies and took us to lunch in his pimped-out Subaru. He is a professor at Penn State Shenango and a total smart ass when it comes to the Cuban Missile Crisis. We highly recommend meeting with Dr. Phil if you are intrigued by his work of art. Philip Nash is truly a national treasure for your United States. Highly intelligent, high class, and dreamy features are only a few ways to describe him. Thanks Phil we love your book!!-Tru Dat!!
on February 22, 2000
A good, solidly researched report. Smooth flowing in organization and writing. Author is, on occasion, given to second guessing the factors and motivations confronting key players.
I recommend the book. The information presented is important towards a background and an understanding of the most volatile Cold War battle.