You (and almost everyone you know) Owe Your Life To This Man

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Crabtownboy, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. Crabtownboy

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    Temperament matters.

    Especially when nuclear weapons are involved and you don’t—you can’t—know what the enemy is up to, and you’re scared. Then it helps (it helps a lot) to be calm.

    The world owes an enormous debt to a quiet, steady Russian naval officer who probably saved my life. And yours. And everyone you know. Even those of you who weren’t yet born. I want to tell his story…

    It’s October 1962, the height of the Cuban missile crisis, and there’s a Soviet submarine in the Caribbean that’s been spotted by the American Navy. President Kennedy has blockaded Cuba. No sea traffic is permitted through.

    The sub is hiding in the ocean, and the Americans are dropping depth charges left and right of the hull. Inside, the sub is rocking, shaking with each new explosion. What the Americans don’t know is that this sub has a tactical nuclear torpedo on board, available to launch, and that the Russian captain is asking himself, Shall I fire?

    This actually happened.

    The Russian in question, an exhausted, nervous submarine commander named Valentin Savitsky, decided to do it. He ordered the nuclear-tipped missile readied. His second in command approved the order. Moscow hadn’t communicated with its sub for days. Eleven U.S. Navy ships were nearby, all possible targets. The nuke on this missile had roughly the power of the bomb at Hiroshima.

    “We’re gonna blast them now!”

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  2. Rolfe

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    May 17, 2014
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    Makes one shudder how close-run that was.

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