Vasili Arkhipov – Soviet Submariner Who Prevented World War III

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Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (Source:

Vasili Arkhipov – Soviet submariner who prevented World War III. It was 1962, when American families were gathering supplies and building bomb shelters and the tension between USA and USSR escalated. Both countries were equipped with nuclear bombs strong enough to destroy each other.

When four Soviet submarines left the motherland only few of them knew that they were carrying nuclear power capable of destroying entire American fleet.

After Arkhipov’s sub, B59, was spotted by American hunters he was forced to make an emergency dive. They stayed hidden deep in the ocean for a week in 60 degree heat with only one glass of water a day.

The Americans threw some warning grenades under the water. Inside the submarine, the Soviet submariners thought they were under attack, so then captain Savitsky proposed to launch nuclear torpedo to save Russia’s pride.

Then the commander of Soviet fleet Arkhipov did something astonishing. Instead of attacking American fleet, he surrender.

After a while Soviet submariners were forced to return to their motherland.

When discussing the Cuban missile crisis in 2002, Robert McNamara, who was U.S. Secretary of Defense during the crisis, stated that we came “very close” to nuclear war, “closer than we knew at the time.

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