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Vasiliy Arkhipov

Vasiliy Arkhipov

Infobox Military Person
name= Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov
born= 1926
died= death year and age|1999|1926
placeofbirth= Soviet Union
placeofdeath=


caption=
nickname=
allegiance= flagcountry|Soviet Union
branch= flagicon|USSR Soviet Navy
serviceyears=
rank= Naval Officer
commands=
unit=
battles=Cuban Missile Crisis

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov ( _ru. Василий Александрович Архипов) (1926-1999) was a Soviet naval officer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and therefore a possible nuclear war.

On October 27 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS "Randolph" entrapped a nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot class submarine B-59 near Cuba and started dropping practice depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. Allegedly, the captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, prepared to launch a retaliatory nuclear-tipped torpedo.

Three officers on board the submarine — Savitsky, Political Officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and Second Captain Arkhipov — were entitled to launch the torpedo if they agreed unanimously in favour of doing so. An argument broke out among the three, in which only Arkhipov was against making the attack, eventually persuading Savitsky to surface the submarine and await orders from Moscow. The nuclear warfare which presumably would have ensued was thus averted.

At the conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis held in Havana on 13 October 2002, Robert McNamara admitted that nuclear war had come much closer than people had thought. Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, said that "a guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world."

In Aleksandr Mozgovoy's 2002 book, "Cuban Samba of the "Foxtrot" Quartet: Soviet Submarines during the Year 1962 Caribbean Crisis"cite web |date=June 21, 2002|url = http://65.120.76.252/russia/johnson/6320-12.cfm|title = Russian Book Looks at Missile Crisis|format = HTML |publisher = johnson| accessdate = 2008-05-03 | last=VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV |quote=] , a participant of the events, retired Commander Vadim Pavlovich Orlov, presents the events less dramatically (the captain lost his temper, but the two other officers calmed him down).

ee also

*Stanislav Petrov, a Russian duty officer at a missile warning station who averted a possible nuclear war in 1983.

References

External links

* [http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/cold-war/sovietsbomb.htm A 2002 "Boston Globe" article]
* [http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/zforum/02/sp_world_blanton101602.htm "Washington Post" interview with Thomas S. Blanton, Executive Director, National Security Archive]


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