The B-58 Hustler was introduced in an era when the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were at its height. Two weeks after the first B-58 had been taken into service by the 43rd Bomber Wing at Carswell at 15 March 1960, CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down in a Lockheed U-2C over Svedlovsk, Russia.

In 1961, a two-day summit conference in Vienna between Krushchev and Kennedy did nothing to ease the situation in Berlin which had been devided by the Wall a month later and seen a 16-hour confrontation between Soviet and American tanks.

The situation was likely to escalate any moment now, and almost did in 1962. In august a major Soviet military build-up was discovered on Cuba by a Lockheed U-2. Intermediate-range ballistic missiles were secretly stationed here and presented a considerable danger to the continental USA. For seven days, the world stood on the brink of a nuclear war. Ultimately it was the threat of a US invasion of Cuba that forced the Soviets to remove their offensive weapons.

If you want to take a closer look at the cold war in the sixties you can select your choice at the left.

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