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Author Topic: A Nuclear Torpedo Attack in 1962  (Read 2763 times)
Mad_Russian
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« on: 8 June 2012, 01:29:24 »
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On October 27, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph trapped the 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. The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, wanted to launch a nuclear-tipped torpedo.

Three officers on board the submarine — Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the second-in-command Arkhipov — were authorized to launch the torpedo if agreeing unanimously in favor of doing so. An argument broke out among the three, in which only Arkhipov was against the launch,[5] eventually persuading Savitsky to surface the submarine and await orders from Moscow. The nuclear warfare which presumably would have ensued was thus averted. Although Arkhipov was only second-in-command of submarine B-59, he was actually Commander of the flotilla of submarines including B-4, B-36, and B-130 and of equal rank to Captain Savitsky. Washington's message that practice depth charges were being used to signal the submarines to surface never reached B-59, and Moscow claims they have no record of receiving it either. (A good argument for creating the Hot Line.) The B-59 was also too deep to spy on US Navy radio traffic, so those on board didn't know if war had broken out. The nuclear torpedo would have killed a lot of people, including those on board B-59.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasiliy_Arkhipov

Good Hunting.

MR
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