In due course, this Russian advantage will decrease. The many U-2 flights over the Soviet Union … produced a remarkable set of photographs, which laid bare manifold secrets ….
Of myths and missiles: the truth about John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap
This, then, is the question posed: What should the United States attempt to do in its relations with the Soviet Union, looking toward the day when both the current American nuclear advantage and the Soviet secrecy advantage disappear? To understand our more immediate plan for dealing with the Soviet Union, one must first glance back at the long argument over the so-called missile gap and what happened to it.
Intelligence reports, attempting to chart Soviet missile-building capabilities, said that by a date later brought forward to the Russians would have as many as to 1, [intercontinental ballistic missiles]. American missile production, resisted by the Air Force bomber chiefs and delayed by weight-yield problems until the invention of the hydrogen bomb, was charted at only about 70, a small number compared with the massive figures assigned the Russians.
The missile-gap controversy first began in Congress some three years ago. While it was evolving into an issue in the presidential campaign, the U-2 began to bring amazing results. Their radar had tracked a number of our planes.
The Missile Gap | SpringerLink
Yet Eisenhower was caught in a box; he could not give any such reason while the U-2 was still supersecret, and when the U-2 was caught on May 1, , he at once was put on the defensive both at home and by our allies, as well as by the Soviets. These U-2 pictures convinced Eisenhower and his aides that the initial American assessment of a Soviet preparation for a first strike had been wrong. The pictures now were read as indicating that the Soviet preparations, like our own, were essentially defensive. It was painful, politically, for the new administration to concede this, but it represented the facts.
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Folder Title: Missile gap. Date s of Materials: 30 January , and undated. Kennedy's secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, concerning the perceived disparity between the number and power of the weapons in the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Materials in this folder include a memorandum describing the Kennedy administration's relationship with the news media and a copy of Missiles and Rockets: The Missile Space Weekly.
Collection: Papers of John F. Presidential Papers.
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President's Office Files. Finding Aid Digitized Content. Title: Missile gap. Extent: 9 digital pages. Series Number: Series Name: Subjects. Preferred Citation: Papers of John F.
Subject s : Cold War Nuclear weapons. Place s : Soviet Union.
Media Type: Paper. Copyright Notice: Documents in this collection that were prepared by officials of the United States as part of their official duties are in the public domain.
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