Stanislav Petrov: The man who may have saved the worldBreaking News
tags: Cold War, nuclear weapons
Thirty years ago, on 26 September 1983, the world was saved from potential nuclear disaster.
In the early hours of the morning, the Soviet Union's early-warning systems detected an incoming missile strike from the United States. Computer readouts suggested several missiles had been launched. The protocol for the Soviet military would have been to retaliate with a nuclear attack of its own.
But duty officer Stanislav Petrov - whose job it was to register apparent enemy missile launches - decided not to report them to his superiors, and instead dismissed them as a false alarm.
This was a breach of his instructions, a dereliction of duty. The safe thing to do would have been to pass the responsibility on, to refer up.
But his decision may have saved the world....
comments powered by Disqus
- German Vice Chancellor Condemns Populist's Holocaust Remarks
- Arizona scuttles bill that took aim at whiteness studies
- Maine governor offers John Lewis an erroneous history lesson
- How Trump's Inauguration Compares to Inaugurations Past
- The Fake News Pioneer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
- Jack Rakove tells League of Women Voters Electoral College needs to be abolished
- Juan Cole says Chelsea Manning’s leaks contributed to the revolution in Tunisia
- Bacevich and Mearsheimer on Obama’s Legacy
- Where Historians Work: An Interactive Database of History PhD Career Outcomes
- GW history department targeted by conservative media after curriculum change was announced