U-2 Incident

U2 IncidentU-2 Incident


Starting in 1955, the United States began running surveillance flights over the Soviet Union at altitudes beyond Soviet anti-aircraft ranges. However, in May of 1960, a Soviet Sam II missile struck Francis Gary Powers’ aircraft in Soviet airspace. Plane, pilot and gear were captured by the USSR. The incident proved a major embarrassment to the Eisenhower administration, as they initially denied that the US was running such missions. The successful downing of the U-2 caused a major chill in superpower relations and was a propaganda coup for the Soviet Union.

Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes


3 Ops is better than 1 VP, and still better than a chance at 2 VPs.  So unless you’re at -18 or -19VPs, play this for the Ops.


Play this for the Ops and don’t think twice about it, unless you’re at -19VPs, in which case space it, duh.

Pedantical aside

Much more interesting (to me, at least) is whether this card should be “U2 Incident” or “U-2 Incident”.  According to both the 1962 United States Tri-Service military aircraft designation system as well as the U.S. Navy Style Guide, military aircraft is always designated with a hyphen (e.g., U-2, F/A-18 Hornet, B-52 Stratofortress).  But in Twilight Struggle, both the card and the Player Aid Card List omit the hyphen. (Oddly enough, the historical notes at the end of the rulebook, as reprinted above, do include the hyphen.)

Of course, it is possible that the event is actually referring to an incident involving a certain Irish rock band, and the picture of the plane is just thrown in there to confuse us.

This entry was posted in Mid War, USSR Events and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to U-2 Incident

  1. Ioan76_TM says:

    As a side note :

    >So unless you’re at -18 or -19VPs, play this for the Ops.

    Or in LateWar, when Wargames may lurk around while US VP is at +7 or something like this. 🙂
    I want to make this observation because in last period my games tend more and more to reach LateWar/Final Scoring phase and in this situation keeping VP between [-5,5] seems to be a real, additional challange …

    Beyond this consideration – having +1 “friendly card” in deck is crucial for Soviet player during MidWar.

  2. Scifiantihero says:

    What if you know you’re going to, (or can) use UN Intervention?

    • Paul says:

      I think you wait and play it after your UN intervention.

      • aisforantipathy says:

        Ah, I should have specified that I was asking from the ussr perspective! Wondering if 3ops/2pts was worth it.

        • trevaur says:

          Definitely worth it in some situations, but definitely not in others. Arms race (another 3 ops card) is usually worth it if you can get 3VP’s out of it, but sometimes you need to play it for ops. The same goes for this card, although you’ll be leaning farther towards wanting to play it for ops.

  3. ddddddd says:

    I’ve never seen the USSR play this for the event. Ever.

    And I’ve seen them play into Australia.

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