Alternative History
U.S. Invasion of Cuba
Part of Cold War, World War III
Cuban exiles forces.jpg
U.S. Marines supported by UH-1 gunships march towards Santiago.
Date Naval Blockade: October 20, 1962

Invasion: October 24-October 27, 1962
Continued fighting: October 27, 1962—October 31 1962

Location Cuba
  • Escalation into World War III by nuclear warfare
  • Havana and Santiago nuked by the U.S.
  • Guantanamo Bay is nuked by Soviet Union and U.S. Aircraft Carrier the USS Independence is also destroyed along with ten other ships after being hit with a nuclear torpedo from a Soviet submarine.
  • Hasty Evacuation of U.S. troops from Cuba
Guantanamo Bay seized by Cuba after it was destroyed by a nuclear weapon
Flag of the United States.svg United States Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba
Flag of the Soviet Union (1955-1980).svg Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
John F. Kennedy

Robert McNamara

Fidel Castro

Nikita Khrushchev

United States Armed Forces
  • US Army (includes some National Guard)
  • US Marine Corps
  • US Navy
  • US Air Force
Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces

Soviet Navy

The U.S. Invasion of Cuba was an American military offensive aimed to overthrow the Castro Regime via simultaneous invasions from the sea and air. The operation occurred a year after the CIA-backed failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. It is the direct cause of the Great Nuclear War of 1962, also known as World War III.

The Battle


On October 23, 1962, the U.S. Navy began enacting a "naval quarantine" of the island of Cuba after discovering Soviet nuclear weapons stored on the island. Having failed diplomatically in tense negotiation with the Soviets, President John F. Kennedy gave the go ahead signal to invade the island on October 24, 1962.


Simultaneously, U.S. Marines mounted an amphibious invasion of Cuba, followed by airstrikes from the Air Force and bombardment by the U.S. Navy. After the initial Marine invasion, the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne were deployed, joining up with the rest of the invasion force. This caused the treaty of 1902 to become void as both Cuba and the United States were now at war. Meanwhile, in Guantanamo Bay, U.S. Naval Forces came under relentless attacks by Cuban Revolutionary Forces but were able to successfully defend the base, due to its impregnable defenses. The invasion was quick and swift as the superior U.S. military was easily able to defeat the Cubans. Santiago fell just to the Americans just the following day of invasion. However, all American progress was quickly halted outside of Santiago as Cuban forces launch a campaign of guerrilla warfare.

Map showing the US naval blockade of the island.

Soviet Intervention

However, the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro requested help from the USSR. Unexpectedly, on October 27, the Soviets responded by attacking the U.S. Naval Blockade, resulting in the loss of several ships. The USSR lost five bombers while attacking American ships at sea. This was not the end however, the Soviet Air Force would conduct carpet bombing operations on American troops on Cuba itself as the naval blockade finally broke as Soviet carriers and submarines entered the Caribbean Sea. Casualties mounted from the carpet bombings. U.S. Air Force jets would engage the Soviet bombers as it seemed the World War III was finally on the horizon. At home, Americans began evacuating the major cities and headed into fallout shelters. B-52 bombers, nuclear submarines, and Minuteman silos were placed on high alert for a fear of a Soviet strike. The world's worst fear of a global thermonuclear war was finally confirmed hours after the American-Soviet clashes in Cuba. While this happened, U.S. troops suddenly withdrew from Santiago and Guantanamo Bay, regrouping at the Bay of Pigs

War Becomes Nuclear

The same day, a small U.S Air Force Base in Damascus, Arkansas is vaporized by a thermonuclear blast after a B-52 crashed on take off resulting in the detonation of its nuclear payload. Strategic Air Command mistaken this as a genuine Soviet attack on American soil and ordered all nuclear-armed units to empty their payloads to targets in USSR, the Warsaw Pact, and China. The Great Nuclear War begins. Major cities in the Soviet Union, as well as major military installations became targets for American nuclear missiles. The Soviet Union's response was harsh, retaliating with their missiles and bombers against both the United States, United Kingdom, and NATO, Meanwhile ordering all ground units armed with tactical nuclear weapons against large NATO Troop formations in West Germany, Vietnam, And Cuba. Also all Submarines armed with nuclear payloads were ordered to unleash their "Special Weapons" against NATO fleets, more specifically against American Aircraft Carriers and their Task Force.

In Europe, most NATO missiles stationed in West Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (with the UK firing theirs as well) are aimed at the Warsaw Pact, though in a surprise move, the French refused to fire their missiles and as a result the Soviets aborted their launches against France redirecting the ICBMs at the United States and United Kingdoms. While it is unknown why they did this, it can be assumed that the French had a No First Use of Nuclear Weapons policy and that they had a hunch that the Soviets would spare them if they didn't attack.

At the end of the day, majority of the North America, Europe, the USSR, the Middle East, and Asia remained irradiated. Some areas attacked such Japan, the Philippines, and parts of Oceania fared better than Northern Hemisphere, but nonetheless faced a challenge on how to move on from WWIII. Millions died in the the resulting war with many more dying from the resulting fallout, prevailing diseases, infighting, and starvation. It was start of a new dark age in which mankind needed to survive and cooperate for the future generations.

Post War

Fighting with Cuban and American forces did not stop with the nuking of Havana and Santiago. Instead, it intensified the Cuban's to take revenge on America and under Fidel Castro’s continued leadership from a bunker somewhere in the Cuban Countryside they made great gains effectively pushing all U.S. Forces on the Island back to the Bay of Pigs. But the Americans dug in and even with support from the remaining Soviet Forces on the island they could not break through U.S. lines. Thus the battle became a stalemate, with both sides sporadically engaging in clashes with no clear achievements. Remnant U.S. forces still in Cuba made the Bay of Pigs their temporary HQ, now that contact with Washington DC was gone.

Soviet submarine B-59 prior to attacking the U.S. Navy Fleet.

Meanwhile, the Cubans continued their relentless assault on Bay of Pigs even though they failed several times in the past. About two days later, the U.S. troops realized that Kennedy was still alive and gave an order for all military assets to evacuate to Hawaii, the last functioning state of the union. The Americans began a hasty evacuation of Cuba, bringing all their equipment with them as they headed for the Panama Canal Zone which was still believed to be under the strict control of the U.S. Army which had multiple bases within the Canal Zone. However, four Days after the nuclear war the Soviet Foxtrot-Class submarine B-59 surfaced and learned of what had happened four days earlier from Cuban Forces. The officers and crew of the submarine, consumed by anger and grief, unanimously agreed to launch their nuclear torpedo at the US Navy ships in the Bay of Pigs. Two hours later they were in position and launched their ten kiloton nuclear torpedo. This action results in the destruction of 11 ships including four cruisers, three transport ships, two supply ships and the aircraft carrier USS Independence and killed 4000 American Sailors and Soldiers.

The events that transpired on October 31st resulted in a beach in the American lines which the Cubans poured through. The remaining two U.S. Navy Cruisers attempt to sink the Soviet Submarine and succeed in damaging it forcing it to retreat. However, the submarine sinks one of the cruisers with normal torpedoes. After the Submarine retreats U.S. Forces hastily evacuate using the remaining transport ships in the Bay of Pigs, leaving behind military equipment and supplies only bring some ammo and food in order to make room for the U.S. Troops on the remaining transport ships. However, Soviet and Cuban Forces managed to move BM-21 Grad Multiple Rocket Launchers and pound the American Evacuation zone with rocket fire. The U.S. Forces had to stop their evacuation because any ships that tried to escape into the bay were destroyed by the BM-21 Grads. However, a company of U.S. Marines attacked the BM-21 Grad position and destroyed the Grads thus allowing the evacuation to resume. Then the same group of Marines dug in on a ridge above the evacuation area and made a epic last rearguard action holding out for 18 hours giving the rest of the U.S. Forces to escape via U.S. Navy ships. The company fought to the last man with all of them being killed. When John F. Kennedy heard of their deeds he gave every member of the company the Medal of Honor. But an even greater honor was bestowed upon them by their fellow marines, the title “The Hell Riders”.

After the evacuation was complete U.S, forces made contact with the Antilles, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the American territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on their way to the Panama Canal. After a brief stop at the heavily damaged Panama Canal where they picked up the remaining U.S. Military Forces at the Canal Zone, the U.S. troops from the Bay of Pigs finally arrived in Hawaii, now part of the newly established United States of the Pacific, which served as the successor to the Federal government.