42,000 Soviet personnel were busy installing missile bases in Cuba. The Americans had underestimated their number (5,000). SS-4 and SS-5 missiles would soon be operational: 9 actually were. 20 warheads had been shipped to Cuba and another twenty were en route.
“We are going to have this knife stuck in our guts in about two months. Now, the question really is, what are we going to do?” JFK told Ex Comm on 19 October.