Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Barnet Eye salutes the courage of the man who saved the world

50 years ago today, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasilli Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain's order to launch nuclear torpedoes against US warships and setting off what might well have been a terminal superpower nuclear war.

The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War 3 had begun, and 2 of the officers agreed to 'blast the warships out of the water'. Arkhipov refused to agree - unanimous consent of 3 officers was required - and thanks to him, we are here to talk about it.
(Courtesy of T. Mad)
 It is worth bearing in mind that the officer was in the armed forces of a brutal dictatorship. His action was not without risks. It is an example to us all. 

His story is finally being told - the BBC is airing a documentary. - via Jonathan Douglas

Raise a glass to Vasilli Arkhipov - the Man Who Saved the World."

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