Fifty-three years ago today, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain's order to launch nuclear torpedos against US warships and beginning a nuclear war between the superpowers.
The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War 3 had begun, and 2 of the officers agreed to 'blast the warships out of the water'. Arkhipov refused to agree - unanimous consent of 3 officers was required - and thanks to him, we are here to talk about it.
His story is finally being told in this PBS documentary, 'The Man who Saved the World':