Contrary to popular belief, the Cuban missile crisis did not end with the agreement between the US and Soviet Union in October, 1962. Unknown to the US at the time, there were 100 other nuclear weapons also in the hands of Cuba, sparking a frantic - and ingenious - Russian mission to recover them.
In November 2011, aware that the 50th anniversary of the most dangerous few weeks in history was less than a year away, my Russian colleague Pasha Shilov and I came across several new accounts that changed our perspective on the Cuban missile crisis and how much we thought we knew about it.
Fearing that Castro's hurt pride and widespread Cuban indignation over the concessions Khrushchev had made to Kennedy, might lead to a breakdown of the agreement between the superpowers, the Soviet leader concocted a plan to give Castro a consolation prize.
The prize was an offer to give Cuba more than 100 tactical nuclear weapons that had been shipped to Cuba along with the long-range missiles, but which crucially had passed completely under the radar of US intelligence.
1. How was the US able to determine the amount of Soviets on the island? Soccer Fields
Looking over satellite photos the CIA could see the hundreds of soccer fields. One sharp CIA agent said the Cubans play baseball not soccer. There could not be so many soccer fields unless the Soviets were using them. By counting the soccer fields they could determine the amount of Soviets on the island.