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Another Man Who Saved the World.


Vasili Arkhipov

Cooler heads prevailed. Neither Khrushchev nor Kennedy wanted a nuclear war. Castro, it turns out, wanted one, and put his fist through a wall when Khrushchev told him about his agreement with Kennedy to remove the missiles in Kennedy.

However, the coolest head was not Kennedy or Khrushchev. It was Vasili Arkhipov. He was an officer aboard Soviet submarine B-59. They had no communications for days and the captain assumed war had broken out. He wanted to launch nuclear warheads. But protocols required the captain and political officer approve the launch. Both did. But since the submarine also was carrying the chief of staff of the submarine flotilla, Arkhipov, he had to approve as well. He refused to approve despite heated arguments.

Arkhipov was later awarded the Future of Life prize in 2017.


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