The Man Who Saved the World: The Soviet Submariner Who Singlehandedly Averted WW3 At Height of Cuban Missile Crisis/Video
The Man Who Saved the World: The Soviet Submariner Who Singlehandedly Averted WW3 At Height of Cuban Missile Crisis/Video. PUBLISHED: 07:34 EST, 25 September 2012 | UPDATED: 01:45 EST, 26 September 2012.
Vasili Arkhipoy pictured saved the world by single-handedly averting World War 3 with one decision 50 years ago, yet he died humiliated, outcast and an unknown.
U.S.S.R. and U.S. stood on brink of nuclear war during Cuban Missile Crisis
Four Russian submarines secretly set sail to Cuba, with nuclear weapons
Vasili Arkhipov, who died in 1998, used last veto against firing sub's torpedo.
The Russians instead surrendered and his action avoided World War Three.
He was the man who saved the world by single-handedly averting World War Three five decades ago, yet he died humiliated, outcast and an unknown. Only now has his story has come to light.
A documentary shown tonight told how for 13 days during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, the world held its breath as the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. stood on the brink of nuclear war.
At the height of the Cold War, when paranoia on both sides meant the slightest provocation could spark nuclear war, four submarines secretly set sail from Russia to communist Cuba.
'At that period of time it was called "special weapon", not "nuclear torpedo",’ said Viktor Mikhailov, junior navigator on Sub B-59. ‘At that time we couldn't even imagine a nuclear torpedo.’
In a game of high stakes cat and mouse it wasn't long before the Russians were spotted. Arkhipov's sub was forced to make an emergency dive. As the submariners tried to stay hidden from their US hunters, conditions in the sub deteriorated. For a week they stayed underwater, in sweltering 60C heat, rationed to just one glass of water a day.
'Basically what we were trying to do was apply passive torture. Frankly I don't think we felt any sympathy for them at all. They were the enemy.'
Above them, the U.S. navy were 'hunting by exhaustion' - trying to force the Soviet sub to come to the surface to recharge its batteries.
They had no idea that on board the submarines were weapons capable of destroying the entire American fleet.
Gary Slaughter, a signalman on board the USS Cony battleship, said: 'We knew they were probably having trouble breathing. It was hot as hell in there, they were miserable. 'They were cramped together and they had been under great stress for a long time. Basically what we were trying to do was apply passive torture.
'They said that the person who prevented a nuclear war was the Russian submariner Vasili Arkhipov.
'Frankly I don't think we felt any sympathy for them at all. They were the enemy.'
The Americans decided to ratchet up the pressure, and dropped warning grenades into the sea. Inside the sub, the Soviet submariners thought they were under attack.
Valentin Savitsky, the captain of B59, was convinced the nuclear war had already started.
He demanded that the submariners launch their torpedo to save some of Russia's pride.
The programme on Channel 5 revealed how in any normal circumstances Savitsky's orders would have been followed, and World War Three would have been unleashed.
'Close friend': Ryurik Ketov, commander of Sub B-4, said Arkhipov was 'cool-headed' and 'in control.'
Memories: Viktor Mikhailov, junior navigator on Sub B-59, said they had a 'special weapon' on board, which was not even referred to as a 'nuclear weapon.'
Ryurik Ketov, commander of another sub, Sub B-4, said: ‘Vasili Arkhipov was a submariner and a close friend of mine. He was a family friend. He stood out for being cool-headed. He was in control.’[pictured in link below this article].
'One of the Russian admirals told the submariners: "It would have been better if you'd gone down with your ship." [ Extraordinary says'
Thomas Blanton, historian]
Savitsky hadn't counted on Arkhipov. As commander of the fleet, Arkhipov had the last veto. And although his men were against him, he insisted that they must not fire - and instead surrender.
It was a humiliating move - but one that saved the world. The Soviet submariners were forced to return to their native Russia, where they were given the opposite of a hero's welcome.
Historian Thomas Blanton told the Sun: 'What heroism, what duty, they fulfilled to go halfway across the world and come back, and survive.
Covert mission: In a game of high stakes cat and mouse it wasn't long before the Russian's were spotted.
Four decades passed before the story of what really happened on the B59 sub was discovered. It was after Arkipov had died in 1998 from radiation poisoning.
But to his widow Olga, he was always a hero.
She said: 'He knew that it was madness to fire the nuclear torpedo. In Cuba, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the crisis, people gathered.
‘They said that the person who prevented a nuclear war was the Russian submariner Vasili Arkhipov. Arkopov's widow Olga said: I was proud and I am proud of my husband always.’
Secrets of the Dead: The Man Who Saved the World.- Published on Nov 11, 2012
This film explores the dramatic and little-known events that unfolded inside a nuclear-armed Soviet submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. While politicians sought a solution to the stand-off, Vasili Arkhipov, an officer aboard the submarine, refused to fire a nuclear torpedo, thus averting disaster. The program combines tense drama with eyewitness accounts and
expert testimony about a critical event during the Cold War. WATCH VIDEO HERE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VPY2SgyG5w
Disclaimer: This video may contain copyrighted material and is being used under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 Fair Usage for non profit, non competing, educational purposes or political commentary and criticism..This is Fully allowed under US Copyright Law Title
17 U.S.C. Section 107
Read more here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208342/Soviet-submariner-single...
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