“A guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world.” – Thomas Blanton in 2002 (then director of the National Security Archive)
Last month, October 27, 1962 marked the 50th anniversary of an event too important in world history for it to get lost amid the Halloween and other “trivial” holiday-related notifications. I therefore chose to wait until they were over to pay due honor to this truly great and heroic gentleman who is sadly almost unknown outside his mother country: Vasili Arkhipov.
At the nail-biting height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 adamantly refused to follow his commanding officers’ order to launch nuclear torpedoes against USA warships which had been dropping depth charges near his submarine in a attempt to force it to surface.
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