27 Oct: The Man Who Saved The World

Rerun. Soviet naval officer Vasili Arkhipov may not have the name recognition of Castro, Kruschev and Kennedy – but his actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis on 27th October, 1962 almost certainly prevented World War Three from erupting. 

On-board a sweltering Russian submarine, he talked Captain valentyn Savitsky down from firing a nuclear torpedo at the United States Navy, whom, Savitsky falsely believed, were attacking his boat. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly speculate about what Arkhipov said to Savitsky to stop him from firing his ‘special weapon’; explain why his heroic story stayed untold until the ‘90s; and reveal where Jimmy Carter kept his nuclear codes… 

Further Reading:

• How Vasili Arkhipov Literally Saved The World From Nuclear War (All That’s Interesting, 2018): https://allthatsinteresting.com/vasili-arkhipov

• ‘9 Times the World Was at the Brink of Nuclear War — and Pulled Back’ (Business Insider, 2018): https://www.businessinsider.com/when-nuclear-war-almost-happened-2018-4?r=US&IR=T#:~:text=The%20Cuban%20Missile%20Crisis%20is%20perhaps%20the%20closest,DEFCON%203%2C%20two%20steps%20away%20from%20nuclear%20war

• ‘Arkhipov family awarded Future of Life award’ (University of Cambridge, 2017):

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