Vasily Alexandrovich, the Man Who Prevented Nuclear War
Vasily Alexandrovich, the man who saved the world from certain nuclear annihilation, died in obscurity On October 27, 1962.
Introduction to Nuclear War
The world was on the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban missile conflict between the US and the Soviet Union could turn into a nuclear war at any time. During the conflict, Washington demanded that Moscow remove its nuclear missiles from Cuba, just 200 kilometers from the US border. In this case, Soviet submarines were stationed around Cuban waters, some of them armed with nuclear torpedoes.
In one of these submarines came a moment when nuclear war came close to becoming a reality. In those days, three commanders aboard any Soviet submarine had to decide whether or not to use nuclear torpedoes in response if they were attacked by the Americans. The two commanders aboard this particular Soviet submarine made that decision. But a third commander refused to be part of the decision.
Saved the world from nuclear annihilation
Edward Wilson, the author of the book “The Midnight”, told BBC Mundo “This man saved the world from nuclear annihilation and he committed himself to the moment, according to the Moscow Protocol. According to the protocol or code of the Soviet Union, the three commanders had to agree to launch a nuclear torpedo. “Vasili’s feat did not gain more attention because there were other factors that prevented this nuclear attack from occurring,” Edwards says.
Future of Life
Vasili died in 1998 and it was only after that those tributes began to be paid to him. In 2018, an American organization decided to give him a posthumous “Future of Life” award.
US President John Kennedy
On that day, the world woke up to the news of the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. US President John Kennedy announced that he had learned that the Soviet Union had installed nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba. These weapons could be used at any time and were capable of destroying any major American city within minutes with their help only 200 km from the US border. John Kennedy also announced defensive measures. The decision was made. These included the decision to build a naval blockade around Cuba that would have militarily isolated Cuba.
Activate a nuclear missile
The purpose of this decision was to prevent access to the equipment needed to activate a nuclear missile. However, the Soviet Union was not going to be swayed by these measures. The Soviet Union also alerted the entire army and all fleets in that particular area. According to American documents and the testimony of Soviet naval captain Vadim Orlov, the situation in his submarine that day was dire. This submarine was specially designe to fire nuclear missiles.
Too warm for a Submarine
The seawater near Cuba was too warm for the submarine, which design with the cold northern waters in mind, causing the submarine’s air-conditioning system to malfunction. Thus, the temperature inside the submarine start to rise. Before that, the captain of the submarine, Valentin Sotsky, drive the submarine at high speed, due to which the American warship was able to track it.
According to the Pentagon report, Edwards says, the US ship began efforts to bring the submarine to the surface and began firing munitions. The submarine was completely silent due to the conflict and had lost contact with the Soviet High Command. The crew inside the submarine believe that war had broken out.
Meeting of Three Senior Officers
Because of this attack, Captain Svetsky called a meeting of three senior officers, one of whom was Vasili, who was the deputy commander. Alarm by the shells raining like fire from the surface of the sea, the captain suggest that a nuclear torpedo would be the best answer in this situation. According to Vadam Orlov, Svetsky shouted, “Destroy them now, we will die but we will sink them, we will not be ashamed in our flat.”
Refuse to Captain Decision
At the time, Edwards says, Soviet submarines were not restrict from seeking permission from Moscow. To use nuclear weapons, and only three commanders agreeing would have been sufficient.
However, Vasily Alexandrovich refuse to support the captain’s decision. “Vasily was the only person who refuse,” says Edward Wilson. It is true that his fame also play a role in this. A year ago, he save a submarine when its reactor overheat.
Not support a Nuclear Attack
A few years after the incident. Vasily Alexandrovich wrote a report outlining the reasons why he did not support a nuclear attack. He wrote that despite the difficult situation, when he left his naval base, no military clash had started. Edward says that he calm down the captain. Who was also affect by the rising temperature of the submarine. So that World War III did not break out, which would have had disastrous consequences.