MovieChat Forums > Thirteen Days (2000) Discussion > Soviets had subs with nukes in the crise...

Soviets had subs with nukes in the crises and almost launched one


From what I just read the Soviets also gave the their sub commanders freedom of action in launching a nuclear strike (due to inherent communication difficulties with submarines)

When a US destroyer was launching depth charges to surface the subs, the Soviet sub captain ordered a launch of one. Lucky for all humanity, a Soviet fleet commander was on board the sub countermanded the launch order.

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Why did the captain want to launch and FC did not?

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And do you have some documentation that any US ship dropped depth charges during the crisis? Concussion grenades are not depth charges, BTW.

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I read this in 'New York review of Books' 2016

1970's Defense Secretary William Perry's new book. In it he laments the lack of concern about a nuclear holocaust in current governments. The idea that new technology and smart missiles can prevent a full scale nuclear war is eroding the concept of MAD (mutually assured destruction).

The book talks about the Cuban crises, I am not sure what the destroyers used (barrel bombs?) to up the subs. But the book names the Soviet commander that might have prevented WWIII.

I think it was the July 2016 NYROB...William J Perry

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Vasili Arkhipov, they didn't even bother to whisper his name
it was needed that the 3 officers agree on the launch, he opposed
he was a HERO !
it was the most dangerous moment in the crisis
they barely touched on it
because it wasn't the great americam white male that saved the day....

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To add....The Soviets had a 'nuclear torpedo'....and the US was trying to up them with 'practice barrel bombs' (ones that would not damage the Soviet subs but would make the same sound).

But how was the Soviet captain to know the difference?

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