We don't have a plan B

October 23, 1962

Damn, damn, damn, damn! We came so close to sneaking the missiles by the Americans. It looks as if we have to move to plan B. Unfortunately, we don’t have a plan B. Maybe Kennedy is as weak and immature as some of my advisers think he is. Maybe Kennedy is bluffing and will cave in if we keep the pressure on. Maybe he will not challenge our ships when they crash through his so-called “quarantine” line.

Or, maybe not. What then? As we used to say in the mines of the Ukraine: then the hedgehog will be in my pants. And Kennedy’s pants. I can feel the little bastard gnawing away right now.

Let’s see what happens. I will tell our fleet that for the moment, they should prepare to crash through the blockade of Kennedy’s. But wait a minute. If Kennedy tells his navy to fire at our ships, then our submarines will begin to fire at the U.S. ships. Since these subs have nuclear weapons on board, then … I don’t want to think about it.

I am going to the opera tonight. “Boris Gudunov” always soothes my nerves. Tonight, he will be “Boris Good-enough.” Ha! Look at my hands. They are shaking.