Based on recently released materials from the John F. Kennedy Library, US Department of State, and the former Soviet Union, this text examines the Cuban missile crisis which began with the discovery of nuclear ballistic missiles installed by the Soviet Union in Cuba, in support of Fidel Castro. The discovery of these missiles by U-2 spy planes produced a nuclear confrontation between two super powers. As this study demonstrates, both the Soviet and the United States governments misunderstood, misperceived and misjudged the actions and motives of the other side. Both governments were at fault in bringing on this confrontation. In the end, both governments were frightened enough to draw back from ingiting a nuclear holocaust.